The heavy leaved tree sways in the breeze, as the sky darkens with a promising storm. The grey clouds swirl together and the wind picks up speed. The king stands under a tall tree, watching the surrounding ones get whipped around. A cruel smile found its way to his lips as his grey eyes stares at the unpenetrated wall of storm. Lightning blisters the sky, searing his eyes. Mumbling, the king brings his eyes down to the ground, watching the purple flash pass over him. A black silhouette appears, an outline of a male’s body. The dim light of the stormy day illuminates his face.
Blood red eyes burns under the light, a ghost of a sarcastic smile lingers on his face as he stares at the king. He wears tattered clothing, hanging in strips. Both black due to color deuteriation. “My lord.” The male purrs, bowing at his waist.
The king lets out a snort of displeasure, his lips twisting into a sneer. “Drakae,” the older male murmurs, his voice deep, “remember your place.”
The other male tilts his head and crosses his arms over his chest. A black tattoo wraps around his arm, circling under his shirt sleeve. “I do. I am curious on why you summoned me here after all these years.”
“I am sending one of my best hunters and trackers to find her. He is ready.” The king replies.
A dark smile forms upon the other male’s lips. “Oh, this is good.” The clouds open and pours rain upon them. The purple flashes again and Drakae disappears.
Julius Flynn stands by a roaring river, the storm churning above. Thunder rumbles and lightning flashes, making him back away from the river. Mortal lands are too unpredictable. He crosses his arms over his chest and watches the horizon. It’s been three hours since Jacob and Davis have been sent into the town, to search for clues for Alice Cram. In his left pocket, sits a photo of the girl and she is about eight-years-old in the picture. Short black hair and light blue eyes, a gaunt face filled with trauma. She looks vaguely familiar, but a black spot forms and little sparks of pain fill his head.
The fourth lead led them here, a town called Morton. The town is surrounded by a grove of trees, like a wall. Variety of trees going from oaks to pine trees. Julius doesn’t understand what they could be protecting themselves from. It’s the mortal realm, no supernatural are to trespass into the lands. The law by the Elders makes them abide to it. His father made the Eight Elders go into hiding after killing three of them. The other five have been out of action for over ten years.
The Eight Elders are a group of males who lived since the first vampire, Fae, werewolf, and other creatures were created. The Elders’ formed a pack, creating the Council of Elders. All the supernatural at the time were at war, each against the other, no allies. When their people kept dying, the stakes were getting higher. They formed the Council and enforced the laws they made. Each Elder is the elder of their kind. Meres, the Elder of Vampires, was the first one his father killed. Julius remembers that night, just before he became a fully-fledged male.
Meres was in the kingdom to discuss prisoners with the king, when he was poisoned. When his king announced it was, he who killed the Elder, the people started riots. Peace and honesty were hard in the Vampi Kingdom, so no one knew what to do when his father started to tell them of his plan to get complete control of the Supernatural Realm, in the end, the Mortal Realm as well. That was the night he had left, to disappear into the Outlaw Village.
“Julius?” Jacob’s voice echoes the trees, scattering the birds. The male turns and watches as the person who spoke and a man named Davis walk to him. Their faces are haggard with defeat and inwardly, Julius curses.
“Anything?” he asks, noting the way they glance at each other, looking troubled. The males come to a stop in front of him, their clothes dirty for the scoping of clues. Something had cut down Davis’s cheek, dry blood crusted his jaw line.
“We found an Alice, but no relation to Cram.” Jacob reports, his body shifting. The other male beside him narrows his browneyes and looks toward the horizon. His dirty blonde hair seems to fall to one side of his head. The trees around them became still, the wind coming to a stop. Julius peeks up at the sky, seeing the clouds growing darker. He frowns, rain sweeps everything away.
Jacob glares at Davis, his eyes hostile. “We do not know, Davis. We can’t expect him to go off course for a theory.”
Julius crosses his arms, staring down his second-in-command. “Tell me anyways.”
Davis throws a look at Jacob, before meeting the leader’s eyes. “The Alice we found is five years younger than what your father told us. But the description fits perfectly. Silver-blue eyes and black hair.”
He cocks his head to the side in confusion. “Did you see her?”
“No,” Jacob responds, letting his hands drop to his sides, “Her picture is all over town. She went missing five days ago.”
Julius lets out a hiss, the dates too close together. Five days ago, he was ordered by his father to find an Alice Cram. “What is her name?”
“Malik. Alice Malik.”
He starts to pace, the wind picking up again, throwing his bangs into his face. Putting his hands to his side, he stops and stares at Jacob. The ideas of who this mysterious Alice too much for him to bare. When you go into hiding, you automatically want to be sure you are starting over one hundred percent. That means changing your last name. Alice is pretty common name. Julius lets out a breath. “Let’s talk to these parents, the Malik’s’. If they are familiar then we are on the right path.”
Jacob starts nodding, his green eyes sparking with motivation. “They could just be hiding her. If they are part of the supernatural realm, they could have an informant.”
Davis brings his eyes back to the group, sparking with challenge. “And what if they simply don’t know where she is?”
Julius shrugs. “We won’t know until we go.”
“When me and Jacob were there, we looked at the police reports and the detective notes. The last one to see her, was the police officer at the scene,” the other male explains, his voice growing irritated, “It wouldn’t so us any good to mess with the parents.”
“Okay. That still doesn’t mean we can’t go talk to them.” Julius agues, his anger boiling through him. The hot inferno of rage pulls him in, taking control of his reigns.
“Juli—” Davis starts to say, before Julius has his collar in his hands, white knuckles as he pulls him close. Davis trembled with suppressed anger, knowing his place in ranks. Julius, lost in the bliss of fury, reaches a hand to caress his throat.
“Do not push me, Davison,” he snarls, his breath coming out irregular.
Jacob stands back, his face pale. “Julius.” he calls out, trying to pass that wall of anger. Julius ignores him, instead wraps his hand around the other male’s throat, inflicting pain, “Julius!” he snaps. Loud enough where Julius is snapped out of his daze.
Letting go, Julius staggers away, the anger leaving him lightheaded. He falls to a stop, his arm resting against a tree as he catches his breath. “What's going on with me?” he whispers softly to himself.
Jacob looks worried and a little skittish. Davis looks slightly dizzy as he watches Julius. The male walks over to his other friend’s side and the leader leans against the tree, trying to get his bearings. The trees seem to blur together as he looks toward the canopy above. Then it starts to dissipate, leaving Julius to pick up the pieces. He pushes himself off the tree, to stand, but the lightheadedness sways through him.
“Are you okay?” Davis asks lowly. He was treading softly in case the other male has another anger episode. Nodding his head, Julius stands up straight, his head pounding with pain.
“I still believe we should talk to them,” he orders. Davis rolls his brown eyes and turns away from them, his muscles bunching up as he tenses. “Spread out through town; in case Alice is here.”
Jacob looks confused, his eyes fills with doubt. “Why would she hide in town?”
Davis snorts, his brown eyes blazing with fury. “She isn't. He just wants an excuse to interrogate them.”
Julius ignores him, walking passed him. The sunlight stands about an inch away from them, the sun slowly going down. “Jacob, I want you to take a team of three. Search everywhere within miles of this town,” he orders, turning to face them, “Davis, you're coming with me and you can help me interrogate the Malik’s.”
Davis looks away and glances at Jacob. Shrugging his shoulders, Jacob looks back at Julius. “Alright. I'll take Keiser and Lintel with me.”
Julius runs his hand through his hair, nibbling on his bottom lip in thought. Davis comes to stand by him, his brown eyes deep with an untamed emotion. “You sure this is the best call?”
He nods, the feeling of dread surging through him. “I guess we will find out.”
The mansion is the about one fourth as tall as the wall surrounding his kingdom. No car sits in the drive way, no one is surrounding the house. It seems to be an empty carcass. No lights are on, no movement in the opened windows. Julius and Davis stand in the long gravel drive, both set of eyes on the house. The male’s lips thin as his eyes met Davis’s.
“It is too quiet.” Davis states, finality in his tone.
“That could mean many things,” Julius mutters, his voice pitched low so the sound doesn’t echo. He gestures for Davis to stay behind while he continues walking up to the door. He hears the other male grumble under his breath, but hears no other footsteps. Julius makes it to the small porch, the white door standing out like a beacon from the brown and red. A golden buzzer hangs to the left and Julius presses it down. The sound echoes the house and as he goes to look over his shoulder to meet his friend’s eyes, the door cracks open. A bitter smell smokes out and Julius feels his fangs sink a little. The metallic smell lingers on the air, the smell of old blood. It isn’t human, but animal.
A timid woman fills the doorway, her dark blue eyes hollow and dim. In the light of day, he sees a long nightgown, with splotches of food and sweat. His nose crinkles, and he gestures for Davis to come with him. He takes in the details of the woman and he feels the pinch of familiarity. A simmer of recognition shines in the depths of her eyes.
“No—” she tries to slam the door shut, but Julius smoothly sticks his foot in the door, keeping it from shutting. The woman backs away in fear and the male opens the door with ease. Clicking his tongue in disappointment, Julius enters the home with a dark smirk. Davis follows, his feet slow as he takes in the senses of the place. Pictures hang on the dark cyan walls, with quotes of the bible above them. A dog bed sits in the corner of what he thinks is the living room. A loveseat sits beside it and across from it a television. Polished wooden floors reflect them as they take turns observing the things around them.
A picture at the end of a bookshelf catches Julius’s eyes. He strides to it, hearing the woman whimper and plea. The picture holds a young girl, around eight or nine. She has short black hair and daunting silver-blue eyes, with the glance of trauma. In the picture with her stood two adults, the woman with them now and a handsome young man. Neither of them looks like her, but the way they are holding her, they seem to be family.
He stares harder at the man, itching for the clues on why they were familiar. The woman recognizes him and he couldn’t place her. Then it seems to bubble up in his head like a dream. The woman before him, inside his Kingdom, a lover to his father. The male is the woman’s husband who took to the female queen of his kingdom. They are purely human, nothing supernatural about them.
“Traitors,” he hisses at the broken woman. Davis’s head whipped to him and his brown eyes narrowed, “Stealing from the King of Vampi and leaving through the portal?”
Davis closes his eyes briefly, and then places them on the woman as if seeing her for the first time. “You are Tamara and your husband are Lukas,” he accuses, “The humans who stole from our king, an important item.”
Fury brightens the woman’s dark eyes as she bares her teeth in a snarl. “Alice is not an item! She is a human being.”
Davis shakes his head, sending a look over his shoulder to Julius. The message is received, the news surprises them. The stolen item is a magic mirror that belongs to the Heir of the Vampi kingdom. Not a child.
“Wait, you stole a child? Not a mirror?” Julius scoffs, “No. You are lying.”
Tamara sends him a glare and shakes her head. “I only took the child.”
The male notices the way she said the child, like it wasn’t hers, even now. Alice is just a pawn in a game for these humans. Julius nods, a thought dancing across his mind. Hunters. That’s what Tamara and Lukas are. A hunting picture hangs to the left of the little girl photo and the trophy is a black wolf. Julius straightens, striding to the photo. Tamara tries to protest, but Davis glides right in front of her. The wood beneath his feet groans as he comes to a stop. He yanks the picture off the wall, taking the nail with it.
The wolf is monstrous. Black, and has a single white spot on its inner belly. The wolf is on its side with the would visible. A small dime sized wound goes through the chest. The size of a bullet, a silver bullet. The wolf is a werewolf, part of the supernatural world. Narrowing his eyes at the picture, he could see a speck of purple in the distance.
“Hunters,” he confirms, anger shaking his tone. Tamara’s blue eyes harden and she stands straight. A wicked gleam shines in her as she watches the males before her. Davis walks towards them, his hands clenched at his side.
“Is it true?” he whispers in a lethal tone, “Are you hunters?”
A crooked smirk found its way to her face and she flings herself at a little compartment by the front door. The wood creaks as Julius and Davis throws themselves at her, but she swings around a black crossbow, the arrow dipped in a liquid of Maldom. Maldom is poisonous to vampires, it burns them from the inside out when ingested. They freeze a few feet away from the woman, the arrow pinpointing them in place.
Davis vamps to behind her and Julius vamps to the side of the arrow. While Tamara is figuring out where they went, Davis kicks her legs out and the other male snaps the crossbow out of her hands. The woman cries out as she connects to the ground, a burst of metallic scent sprays through the air. A dribble of blood falls off her elbow, causing Davis and Julius to become alert. Their eyes meet hers and dawning fear blooms in her eyes.
“Alice is gone,” Tamara whispers fiercely, “You will never find her.”
Davis grins, his fangs flickering in the light of the mansion. The woman flinches, scrambling as far away as she can. “We can find anyone if we work together. You are no longer of interest to us.”
Julius briefly hears Davis saying they are poor people grieving for their missing daughter and their dead dog. Hunters are cruel humans who murder innocent supernatural. Davis’s mother was murdered by a raging hunter that passed through the borders. The woman watches the males, her crossbow in Julius’s hands. Davis steps closer to the woman, his eyes bleeding to black as hunger consumes him.
“Wait,” he orders, allowing his friend to come to a stop. He walks closer to them, his eyes narrowing at Tamara. The rush of memories passes over him as he continues to remember her and her husband. He kneels down to get to her level. “Why is Alice important to my father? She is human.
The woman shakes her head, her eyes huge on her pale face. A small smile inches on her face. “No. See—” Her eyes went blank, the life draining. Julius raises an eyebrow and moves her body over. A knife is stuck through the back, shoved under the rib cage. To the heart. Her hand drips with blood, an indicator that she had stabbed herself.
Growling, he shoves himself off the ground, as he stares in disgust at the woman. He kicks at the ground. He drops the crossbow by her body. Davis snorts and rolls his eyes at the easy way she left the world. Leaving her little girl by herself in a desperate, cruel world. Julius walks away from the dead woman, following the scent of old blood that radiated from the floor above.
He enters the room, finding all windows open, a dirty stain on a dog bed by the huge bed in the middle of the room. Creases litter the bed, showing movement was made the last few days. His lips twitch and he frown, walking closer. He sees a woman shaped crease and he knew the mother laid in the bed at night. Shaking his head, he crosses the room to the window, looking over the forest. He visualizes a young girl leaning out the window, watching the forest below. Julius lets his mind venture and watches a small path come into light. Straightening, he leans out of the window, gripping the ledge. He sees foot prints, a small dent in the old dirt. He vamps, a brush of wind wipes passes him and then he is standing in front of the path. A smile plays his lips, a plan forming inside his mind. It is obvious where she left, and where she took off. The paw prints and bigger foot prints that surround it, show they already looked this way.
“Davis?” He calls. A wicked wind blow passes me as Davis vamps beside the other male. The brown eyes look over the faded prints and meet Julius’s over his shoulder. A knowing spark lit his eyes, so they turn molten in the drifting sun.
“Man, are humans stupid.” Were all Davis mutters.