Terror. The kind of fear that only a child could feel coursed through her veins. Yekaterina and her twin sister Nadia shivered, drenched as they were by the pounding rain.
Nadia was curled up in a dark haired ball in the corner of the little tree-house their mother told them to hide in when the vampires came to wreak vengeance on the Nightstorm family.
They’d never faced such peril before. Hunting vampires for the Vatican wasn’t a safe life, but the Nightstorms were a powerful bloodline, and very talented. Still, they were human and could die as humans died.
It was the biggest vampire infestation her family yet faced and even with the Vatican’s information they’d been unprepared for the sheer number of undead in the Grey Childe village. Had they known they might have done things differently.
So, they’d attacked the coven of Vampires, killing the Master and many of the lesser ones in the bargain. There were three covens surrounding the village, not just the one they attacked; and so, in unprecedented alliance, the other covens came for the Nightstorm family’s blood.
Truth be told, Kat was terrified when they came; but unlike her, Nadia was a gentle, fragile soul. She needed to be strong enough for both of them, or they might not survive. She knew what Nadia hadn’t yet guessed. The Nightstorms were dead.
It had been far too long since the start of the attack, and all they’d been able to hear since was the sound of the raging thunderstorm all around them. All else was in eerie silence.
Kat cocked the crossbow her father had begun teaching her to use and crept forward.
“Stay here Nadia. I’ll check it out.” Nadia nodded, eyes huge with terror. Kat took a deep breath and made her way down the ladder, across the yard, and to the house. All she could hear was her own pounding heart and the rain.
With shaking hands, Yekaterina pushed open the door. It was barely attached to the frame anymore, squeaking on its hinges before crashing to the ground with a thud.
She winced at the sound and ran inside, hoping the vampires were all gone. Otherwise, she’d undoubtedly attracted their attention. That was soon forgotten, however, as she took in the house. She wandered in shock for a time before sinking to her knees in the blood-soaked carpet.
The carnage around her was so brutal that she recognized nothing of her father, mother, or older sisters in the gore. But there was no time to cry, for the temperature dropped, and her skin prickled. Both were sure signs a vampire was near. She stood quickly, bringing up the crossbow.
By sight alone, she knew he was the most powerful vampire she’d ever seen, not that she’d seen many. At five years old, she’d only been allowed to observe two hunts. She would only have begun participating once she was ten.
“Was this your family child?” He was so tall she could have sworn his head would touch the ceiling. Strong features claws and eyes that had no whites in them screamed danger.
“Yes. Are you here to kill me?” She had to know. He raised an eyebrow and offered his hand.
“I mean you, nor your sister in the tree-house any harm. But you should leave this place. Come, and I shall see you safely to the orphanage.” Was this a trick? Why would a Vampire help a Vampire Slayer, even a very young one? She hadn’t even hunted yet, how could she hope to stand a chance against this Vampire? He could kill her with less than a flick of the wrist.
He raised his eyebrow again, eyes glittering black in the dim room. There were no whites to his eyes, only darkness.
“Look at it this way child, what choice do you truly have?” Knowing he was right she took his hand, and he picked her up. Shame and rage burned in her blood, and she vowed to herself that she’d never be helpless again.
Not so far away, Joy Parker shot up in bed, three-year-old frame shaking, sobs wracking her, seeing images of blood, death, and a dark haired girl with rage in her eyes, held by a man who wasn’t a man. She took a deep breath and screamed for her Mother.