Kendra stared at Falco and Leo for a moment before rolling her eyes once more in exasperation.
Kimmy covered her mouth and tried to stifle her laughter.
“I KNOW your vampires!” Kendra said.
Kendra then began to pace and run her hands through her hair. Finally, she stopped and faced the three of them.
“Okay, it’s like this. When we learn to hunt, one of the first things we learn is what vampires smell like. Now, even though I’m human, I was born with the hunter gene. So, my sense of smell is stronger. We need that strong sense of smell because if the eyes aren’t red, and the fangs aren’t out, how would we know the difference between human and vamp, right?”
They all nodded silently as if they weren’t sure if they should agree or not.
“Example. If Falco hadn’t flashed his eyes red at me that day at my parents I would never have known he was a…? Wait! That’s it!” Kendra said excitedly as she snapped her fingers. “That’s how he’s gone so long without getting caught, ha!”
Kendra started pacing again as she mumbled under her breath. She thought hard about what she’d had just learned.
Falco and Leo had been born vampires and they didn’t smell like any vampire she had ever met. So, born vampires obviously smell different. Which means that the vampire she was after could possibly be a born vampire, not a created one. Why had no one ever told her this?
Kendra stopped pacing and turned to look at them. All three were staring at her like she had lost her mind.
“Um…could you explain it to us now Kendra?” Kimmy bravely asked.
“Okay,” Kendra started. “Did you know that created vampires smell different then you do?”
Leo and Falco shook their heads.
Kendra cocked her head at them. “How could you be vampires and not know this? Hm…maybe all vampires just smell the same to you since you are one…eh,” she flipped her hand in the air in a couldn’t care less motion. “Anyway, they do, and it never even crossed my mind before today. Let me explain…”
“Ja, please do that,” Leo muttered looking annoyed at this point.
“To me, a vampire smells like, well, like road kill,” Kendra told them. “You, on the other hand, do not.”
“Ew!” Kimmy said as she wrinkled her nose.
“Disgusting! I’m so happy to know I don’t smell like that!” Leo agreed.
“At the wedding, I never noticed that you smelled different. Maybe because I was trying to keep my distance and stuff, but I didn’t. Today though, it hit me that you don’t smell like any vampire I’ve ever come across. It makes me wonder if it’s only created vampires who smell that way…” she paused, thinking. “Or is it the “bad blood” in them that causes them to smell that way? I’m leaning more toward them being created being the reason for the smell though.”
“That’s a very interesting theory,” Leo commented.
“Well, at this point that’s all it is, just a theory. Now, both of you have a similar smell, a hint of peppermint, which could be because you are family, or because you were born vampire, I don’t know,” Kendra continued. “What I need is to smell one that isn’t related to the two of you. I don’t suppose you have a good friend just hanging around somewhere that is a born vampire that I could smell.”
“No, sorry,” Leo said.
“Me neither,” Falco replied.
“I have a question though Kendra,” Kimmy said. “If you go by smell and Falco doesn’t smell like what a vampire is supposed to smell, then how did mom know he was one?”
Kendra stared off into space for a moment thinking before saying, “I don’t have the answer to that Kimmy. As I said, I knew because when I walked into the room where Falco was that day his eyes flashed red for just a moment before he called me hunter. If he hadn’t done that, I might never have realized that was what he was.”
“Maybe she had a run in with a born vampire and recognized my scent as one,” Falco said.
“Hm…yes, that would explain her reaction to you. That would also mean that born vampires all have the same scent as you. If that’s what she recognized anyway,” Kenda agreed thoughtfully.
“Or maybe, since Falco knew she was a hunter, his eyes flashed at her too,” Kimmy piped up to say.
Kendra turned to look at Falco.
Falco shrugged. “If I did, I didn’t realize I was doing it. Sorry.”
Kendra huffed. “Back to square one.”
“Now that we’ve figured that out, what was it you were talking about when you said, “that’s how he’s gone so long without getting caught”?” Leo questioned.
Kendra turned toward him. Realizing what he’d said, she grinned. “Hey, yeah! That’s right, I just caught a break thanks to my new brothers-in-law. Thanks, guys, gotta go now!”
Kendra opened the door and walked fast down the hallway.
“Don’t forget dinner!” Kimmy yelled out from behind Kendra
Kendra spun around, walking backward for a moment to give her sister a thumb up when she saw Kimmy’s head poked out the office door. “I won’t!”
Then turning to face forward once more, Kendra practically jogged out the door to her car.
Once she’d reached it, she drove to her motel and quickly began scanning the file Mr. Ripple had given her.
Then she called the hunter in California who had been on the case first. She knew she had to be careful with the questions she asked.
If nobody had ever smelled a vampire that smelled different, it would raise red flags.
Then the questions would start. Questions she couldn’t answer without ratting out her in-laws.
An hour later Kendra was bent over her hotel desk groaning in aggravation and frustration!
The hunter on the other end of the line in California had been more into flirting then he was in solving this case and finding the rogue vampire.
She could almost see how the vamp got away from him. He’d probably been kissing some girl on the street corner rather than doing his job and hunting!
She sighed as she scrubbed her hands through her hair. It looked as if she was on her own.
Glancing at her watch she realized she needed to call Mr. Ripple with what she did have. Then it was time to get ready to head out to Kimmy’s.
Calling Mr. Ripple, she told him what she’d learned, what her plan was, and so on. She then took a quick shower and headed to Kimmy’s.
Falco let Kendra in the house.
Giving him a hug, she headed into the kitchen. Then, in a deep, movie vampire voice, Kendra said, “Good evening madam.”
Kimmy turned around and pretended to cower and tremble. Then in a high-pitched voice, she said, “Oh please Mister Vampire, don’t hurt me!”
Then they both busted out laughing before hugging.
“You really don’t make a good vampire Kendra, you aren’t scary enough,” Kimmy told her.
“Yeah, well, it’s my good looks that get me close to the bad guys so, yeah,” Kendra said with a shrug.
Falco walked in and started to set the table.
“Need any help big guy?” Kendra asked.
Falco turned to look at her. “Big guy?”
“Well, yeah! You’re a lot bigger then I am,” Kendra teased. “Well, in width anyway, since I’m not exactly short.”
“It’s fine, I just wasn’t…” Falco started but was interrupted when the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it,” Kendra offered.
Walking out of the kitchen, she headed for the door and opened it. Outside under the porch light stood the man of her dreams, literally!
She knew it would be Tobias. What she wasn’t expecting was for it to be the guy from the car lot the other night. That explained why ‘Vogel Automotive’ seemed so familiar! It also explained why Falco and Leo had smelled familiar to her because he smelled faintly like them!
Tonight though, he wasn’t wearing a white dress shirt. Instead, he was wearing a dark blue t-shirt that stretched across his broad chest and showed off his bulging biceps.
Kendra’s gaze wandered down to see he had on a pair of faded blue jeans that were tight across his thighs, and a pair of biker boots.
She licked her lips as she brought her eyes back up to his. “Mm, Mm, Angel. I’ll be your Buffy any day.”
Her face heated up when those words popped out of her mouth. Where had all this boldness come from?
Sure, she’d had boyfriends. A few real ones among the fake ones, but she had never, never talked to them, or looked at them, the way she was Tobias.
There was just something about him that called out the women inside of her and it made her want to rub herself against him. It made her want to tell the other girls who dare to stare to hit the road!
As if his looks weren’t enough, he smelled absolutely delicious! Behind the hint of peppermint was a stronger cinnamon scent. It was the whole stick kind that you pull out of the jar and almost salivate over because it smells so good! Yeah, that kind.
“Um… sorry, but my name is Tobias,” he said softly and with a puzzled look on his face.
Kendra grinned. “Yeah, I know. I think Kimmy has dinner on the table. So we should probably head that way.”
As she spoke, she moved back from the door to let him in.
As he walked away, she closed the door and watched him go. She was nearly hyperventilating watching that butt walk away in those tight jeans.
Then he stopped walking.
Her eyes slowly moved upward, over the muscular back to find his face turned slightly so he could see her.
Oops! She’d been caught in the act. She almost groaned as her face heated up once more.
“Coming?” He asked her.
“Yep, right behind you Angel,” she told him.
He waited for her to catch up. No more show, phooey! She pouted the rest of the way to the kitchen.
“Something wrong Kendra?” Kimmy asked with a smirk on her face.
“Nope, not a thing,” Kendra muttered as she frowned at Tobias.
He ignored her.
They all sat down, after filling their plates, and Falco began to talk about his day.
Tobias was quiet.
That was okay though because sometimes she liked the quiet too.
Kendra found herself daydreaming about Tobias as his scent surrounded her from where he sat next to her.
“Kendra?” Kimmy called.
“Huh? I’m sorry, did you say something,” Kendra asked.
“Yes, three times now! I wanted to know if you wanted dessert.” Kimmy said as she looked at Kendra strangely.
“Oh, sure,” Kendra answered.
“So, did you find anything else about the vampire your hunting?” Falco asked to bring her attention to him.
“What vampire?” Tobias asked, speaking for the first time.
Kendra looked his way. Suddenly, it hit her, causing her to swivel her head back and forth between the two brothers. “Hey, are you two twins?”
They both turned to stare at her.
Falco laughed and told her, “Nein, there are sixty years between us. I stopped my aging at twenty-eight and Tobias stopped his aging process at thirty.”
“So, you’re older?” She asked Tobias as she gave him her attention.
“Huh…okay. Well, to answer your question, not really. My contact in California wasn’t really helpful, so I’m on my own mostly. Don’t you worry though because I always catch the guy I'm after, this one is no different!” Kendra told them. “If I must carry on a conversation though, I’d rather it not be about him. I would rather talk about…Tobias.”
Tobias had his fork full of cake halfway to his face when he stopped and looked at Kendra.
It was a look that asked, “why, just why?”
Kimmy busted out laughing.
“Oh, that is too funny. It’s almost the same look Falco gave me the day we met,” Kimmy said.
“Really?” Kendra said. “This I gotta hear, so explain.”
“Okay. So we went to lunch and I asked him where he was from because I noticed his accent. He told me he was from Germany originally. So when he told me he was in the car business…”
“Oooh! You asked if they sold German engineered cars?” Kendra almost shouted in her excitement.
Kimmy gave her a thumb up. “Yeah! I mean it had to be asked, right?”
“Nein, Nein, it really didn’t,” Falco disagreed. “Isn’t that like stereotyping or something.”
“Yes, it did need to be asked big guy,” Kendra told him. “No, it isn’t stereotyping…it’s just…breaking the ice when you meet someone,” Kendra informed them.
Kimmy nodded vigorously in agreement.
“What’s with the nicknames?” Tobias asked quietly then.
Kendra turned sideways in her chair. She then propped an elbow on the table before propping her chin in her hand she asked, “Do you watch TV much Tobias?”
Tobias shook his head.
“Oh, well, that explains it then,” Kendra said with a nod.
“How does that explain the nicknames?” Tobias asked.
“Well, Falco’s is self-explanatory. He’s bigger than me,” Kendra told Tobias.
Tobias nodded his agreement with that. Then he said, “It doesn’t explain you calling me angel though.”
Kendra giggled. “Because Angel was one extremely hunky TV vampire who was loved by a vampire slayer on a TV show. Therefore, since you are one extremely hunky vampire, I have dubbed you Angel after him. There, all explained now.”
Tobias cocked his head at Kendra
Kendra heard Kimmy trying her best not to laugh in the background.
“Who is Angel?” Falco asked Kimmy in a whisper.
“Shh.…” Kimmy said.
“You called yourself Buffy earlier. Who is Buffy?” Tobias asked then.
Kendra leaned forward. Putting her mouth close to his ear she whispered, “Why the slayer of course.”
“Slayer?” Tobias asked just as quietly. His mouth was close to her ear and his breath on it caused a shiver to run down her spine.
Kendra felt her heartbeat pick up. Then, for his ears only, she whispered, “A hunter, and Angel, I always get my man.”
Unable to resist the temptation that was Tobias, she gave his ear a slight nip before pulling back. She heard him take a sharp indrawn breath.
“I need to go,” Tobias said as he pushed his chair back suddenly and stood. He then turned and walked out the door.
“Um… what was that about?” Kendra asked.
Falco shook his head. “That was just typical Tobias. Mutter says he’s shy but…?”
Kendra turned toward the door. Oh no Tobias mine, you aren’t getting away from me that easily! He had captivated her, and she wanted to get to know him better. They might not be able to be more than friends, but she still wanted to know him.
So, she too stood up. With a smirk on her face, she told Kimmy and Falco, “Sorry guys, I have a vampire to chase.”
They can take that anyway they want, Kendra though to herself as she followed Tobias out the door and into the evening.