The room was dark, and Ken couldn’t see anything. His head was spinning as he struggled for focus.
“Don’t worry. I can make it better,” a voice said. He felt a woman grabbing his face and planting kisses like his Teya would, but these lips were different. He snarled.
“Salina!” he screamed, grabbing her hard with all his strength. She just laughed.
“I’m in your head, Ken. I made you, and my venom runs through your veins. There is no escaping me,” she taunted. He heard a scream, and his eyes snapped open.
“Ken, stop! Please!” Teya shrieked. He looked horrified at the scene around him, and he removed his hands from Teya’s arm, revealing bruises. He seemed so lost and hurt.
“Teya, I’m sorry,” he sighed as he climbed out the bed and walked over to the bathroom. He took a good look in the mirror, wondering what was happening to him. The nightmares were getting worse, and for some reason he couldn’t shake the events of his turning out of his head. What haunted him most was the unanswered question of if he’d had sex with her. In his drugged state, he didn’t know what had happened, or how to explain to Teya his reasoning for leaving for in the cabin. He shook his head, confused.
“Ken?” Teya asked, saying his name as softly as possible. He glanced at her briefly before turning away. “The nightmare is getting worse?” Ken nodded, unable to look at her.
“Talk to me. You never want to tell me what it’s about.” She begged. Ken looked at himself in the mirror.
“I can’t tell you because I honestly don’t know. Salina has tied herself to me, and somehow she’s messing with my head. I don’t want to hurt you, Teya,” he said. She sighed.
“I know. Isn’t that the reason we aren’t having sex anymore?” she asked. Ken put his head down.
“I’m a vampire now. I don’t know if I can control myself enough to not harm you in our lovemaking. Besides, I see the doubt the hunters placed within you about me just wanting you for breeding. You still believe that,” he explained. Teya bit her bottom lip, remaining quiet. Ken scoffed. “We aren’t adapting to these changes, and it’s affecting us in different ways. It kills me that I have to lie under the dark covers while you go to work. I miss picking you up for our lunches.” Teya touched his arm, testing his reaction. He accepted it, allowing her to comfort him.
“It will be hard for awhile, but I think we can make it,” she assured him. Kenneth knocked on the bedroom door.
“Everything alright?” he asked. Ken went to open the door for his father.
“Yeah, we’re OK,” he replied dryly. Kenneth looked at Teya for the truth. She just held her arms to comfort herself.
“Are you ready for this conference Markees set up?” Kenneth asked. Ken ran an agitated hand through his hair.
“Do I have a choice?” he asked. Kenneth shrugged.
“You could always say no,” he replied. Ken smiled, knowing his father was joking.
“You could always go in my place,” he shot back. Kenneth shook his head.
“I haven’t spoken in twenty-two years. I don’t think I’m qualified to speak to a group full of hunters. They need a half-breed’s perspective, and you know what they go through better than anyone,” his father said, placing his hand on his shoulder. “You’ll do great.”
Ken walked into the conference confident and cocky. Markees was standing by the door, awaiting his arrival as he introduced him to the vampire hunters. The hunters gasped at the sight of the father and son as they walked through the crowd.
“What are they doing here?” one hunter shouted in protest.
“They’re here to help. Please don’t be alarmed; they can tell us things that we humans can’t comprehend. They aren’t the bad guys,” Markees assured the room.
“Like hell they aren’t. They’re vampires. Killing vampires is what we’re here to do, and you’re telling us a vampire is going to help us do that?” the hunter replied. Ken placed his hand on Markees’ shoulder and began speaking.
“Hunters, I know you believe your past leader was just, but Ross was obtaining help from a vampire behind your backs. Markees is here to do the right thing and inform you of a situation that affects both humans and vampires,” Ken explained as professionally as possible. “I want the same things that you do: to stop the bad vampires and become their executioner. Not all vampires deserve the same fate Ross’ partner, Allen. There are some who didn’t choose this way of life, this way of life chose them. If we’re going to stop this army of half-breeds, you will all need to be informed on how they work, their strengths and weakness, and how to spot one out of the crowd.”
“How do you know all of this?” another hunter asked.
“I was one a few weeks ago, before I was turned. Half-breeds are still vulnerable. They have all the strengths of a vampire, but all the weaknesses of a human. At times, my heart would fail, and it would feel as though I was having a heart attack. The vampire blood wants dominance over the human blood, which causes them to weaken at times,” he explained. Another hunter jumped up.
“Why should we trust you? You’ve killed hunters. You are the very thing we’re fighting against,” he shouted. Ken sighed.
“I killed many of your people at Club 89,” Ken admitted, looking over at Kenneth. “So I do understand your concern. I won’t hesitate to kill when I’m provoked to do so, as I was back then. One of your hunters put a gun to my girlfriend’s head. I don’t trust any of you, and I know you don’t trust me. But at the end of the day, I want to stop rogue vampires and protect humans. And I know that that’s your job.” Ken pressed a button on a remote and turned on the projector. “These are vampire women. Salina Williams and Rosa Estelle. They will have some idea of what’s going on with the half-breeds. Finding them is our top priority. Our second priority are the disappearing women, which Markees and I will be working on together,” he explained. Markees walked up and took over.
“Thank you. That’s all for now,” he announced, before turning to Ken.
“Is that Salina the one who changed you?” he asked. Ken sighed.
“Yes,” he admitted. Markees ran his hand through his hair.
“I saw her at the hospital when Teya was visiting me one night,” Markees informed him. Ken could only glare at this news.
“She still wants her revenge. I chose Teya over her,” he snarled. Kenneth walked over to the duo.
“Ken, if she changed you, then you are able to sense her presence anywhere. Her venom is forever inside you. Go track her. I’ll bring Teya here to work on the missing women’s scents,” Kenneth explained. Ken nodded, and immediately rushed off to find Salina.