Another horrendous night. I had to break up three raids and one riot all before 11 p.m. These young fledglings have no idea what discretion means and I’m sick to death of having to teach it to them. No pun intended. Being a vampire Clan Leader in New York is growing tiresome. Since being put in this position, I’ve been overcome with a sense of ferocity that hasn’t struck me in years. I need something better to do than babysit these little shits. Somebody else needs to take the damn job. But the only way for that to happen is for me to die, and I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon. I’ve been alive for over 200 hundred years already, if I haven’t gotten myself killed yet, it’s probably not going to happen.
Agitated, I walk into my empty and dark home, tossing my jacket onto the railing of the stairs as I walk up to my bedroom. I cross the room to the bathroom and look at myself in the large mirror. My shoulder length black hair is in disarray, which after the events of the night isn’t a surprise. I have spots of dried blood on my face and neck which I quickly wash off. My black t-shirt has taken the brunt of the bloodshed with large dark spots of dried blood all over it. I quickly remove it and toss it in the small trashcan next to the sink. My alabaster skin shines bright in the lights of the vanity mirror with large dark circles under my eyes from the lack of blood in my system. My veins look like dark blue and purple bruises running up and down my muscular arms. I walk back into the bedroom to grab a fresh shirt from the dresser.
Pulling on the shirt, I go to sit in my favorite reading chair right in front of the stone fireplace and watch as the dying flames dance. I need something new to break up all this monotony in my life. If it’s not breaking up raids or riots, it’s enforcing the laws that a lot of vampires seem to love breaking. I swear some vampires get more adolescent with age; as soon as they aren’t supposed to do something, they have to do it that much more which is highly irritating. I’m not cut out for this shit; I need to find something less dark and more exciting.
Like an answer to my prayer my phone starts ringing in my pocket. I briefly look at the screen and my irritation only grows when I see the name “Hawk” staring back at me. It’s a little past 2 a.m. already; does he not have anything better to do than disturb me with petty shit? I better answer it; otherwise, he will continue to pester me, which I would like to avoid.
“Yes?” I snap, not bothering to hide my displeasure.
“Well, aren’t we pleasant this evening?” Hawk says, with a slight chuckle.
“What do you want, Hawk?” I grunt as I bend down to untie my boots. “I’ve had a hell of a night.”
“Ah, yes, I heard about the raids and the riot. Seems these new vamps are quite ferocious.” My ears pick up the squeaking of his chair in the background. It rakes my nerves and sends a shrill sound through my ear.
“You’re telling me. I’m so sick of killing them to make them fall in line. I can’t keep the peace if my only way of enforcing the law is by killing them! It’s getting ridiculous. But anyway, what is it that you need? Besides a new chair.”
“My chair is just fine, thank you.” There is a brief pause and an even louder squeak follows, I can tell he is sitting up straight now. “I need you to look after someone for me.”
“Another babysitting job? Hawk, you’ve got to be kidding me.” I growl. And here I thought we were breaking up the monotony not adding to it. I didn’t ask to be his watch dog. When I said, I owed him a debt, this was not that I had in mind.
“Derek, this is different.” Hawk whispers, his voice would be barely audible to a normal person’s ears. I can hear the worry lingering in his voice. “Cassandra’s book resurfaced. It was sent in the mail to my office yesterday afternoon. You and I both know what that means.”
“That’s impossible. That book was hidden years ago. I don’t even know where it had been taken. There’s no way it could have resurfaced.” I say, shoving my boots under the chair and standing up. Almost involuntarily, I find myself pacing back and forth just hoping beyond hope that my words were true. That damn book couldn’t have come back. But if I know Cassie like I’m sure I do; it’s back to haunt me.
“Look, I wouldn’t ask this of you if it wasn’t of the gravest of importance, you know that. But Cassandra has a distant relative that goes to Wolfsbane Academy. She’s who I need you to look after. Inside the package I received was a note that said it was to be delivered to her. Cassandra must still be trying to deliver her message. If I don’t find a way to get this book to her, this madness might continue, and you and I can’t allow that to happen.”
“A student at the academy, are you serious?! You really hate me, don’t you? You’re basically signing my death certificate!” this is too much to ask. Even for him.
“No! She is a hunter but– “
“Oh, even better. She’ll really want to chop my head off. Not a chance in hell, Hawk. This time, you’re going way too far, and asking too much from me. I can’t believe you would ask me to do this.” I pull the phone away from my ear, about to hang up on him, when I hear his last desperate pleas.
“Look I know how crazy this may sound, but she’s probably our best fighter here, and one of the only two that can wield magic. She has a power that even I’ve never seen. She won’t need much looking after, and you probably won’t even need to lift a finger to help her, but I need you to do this for me. Please, Derek. You know things about this book that I can’t even begin to teach her. She’ll need your help. You know this book, its history, and what it can do to someone. If anyone can do this, it’s you”
“That’s not necessarily true,” I reply, raising the phone back up to my ear. “Lacey has read parts of the book, and I haven’t even touched it. Why don’t you ask her?” I ask exasperated. I may owe him a favor, but I don’t owe him my life, which if I do this, I feel like I’ll basically be handing it over to him.
“I tried, but she won’t do it. It has to be you, and she agrees with that.” Damn it Lacey, she’s never any help to me.
“Hawk, I don’t want to do this. I’ve got enough nonsense to deal with without adding a babysitting job to the mix. Isn’t there anyone else you can ask?” I plea, still pacing the floor.
“Derek, do you think I would waste my time asking you if there was anyone else? You’re not the only one here who values their time.” He says and I know by the serious tone in his voice there is no more arguing with him. I groan loudly, feeling like an adolescent who isn’t getting his way.
“Fine. Who the hell is she?” I grumble, sitting down on the edge of my bed. How do I always end up doing what he asks of me? Oh, that’s right that damn favor I owe him. He saves Lacey from a werewolf bite once, and I become indebted to this man for what feels like eternity.
“Her name’s Alyssa Jefferson. Outside your front door there’s a file waiting for you. It contains everything you’ll need to know about her. She’s really something, Derek, I think even you will be impressed by her.” I scoff. There’s not much that can surprise me anymore. But for some reason this girl’s name sounds familiar to me. “When she finds the book, I won’t be here. I have some things to take care of across town and I have to keep a low profile for a while. I’m not sure when I’ll return. So please, look after her. Guide her. She can be extremely difficult and will definitely resist you at first, but she’s going to be worth it. I promise.”
“Yeah, she better be. After this, my debt to you is cleared. You know what you owe me after this, correct?” I ask, running in a blur to my front door, collecting the file. Hmm it’s heavier than I thought it would be. Back in the bedroom I drop it swiftly on the bed.
“Yes. Protection for Alyssa in exchange for your immortality stripped and your humanity restored. If that’s still what you want, of course.” The chance to possibly become human again is worth the headache this girl is certain to cause me.
“Yes, it is. When should I start?”
“The sooner the better. Her patrol starts at 11:00 p.m. in Central Park, but it’s typical for her to arrive at around midnight. Punctuality isn’t her strong suit, but I would start there.”
“Great— difficult and tardy, just what I’ve always wanted. You’re a real peach, Hawk.”
“Let me know if you have any questions.”
“I will. Enjoy your trip” I sneer sarcastically, ending the call and tossing my phone into my chair. God, that man gets on my nerves.
I sit against my pillows and turn on the bedside lamp. I flip open the organized and tidy file. Every page is neatly typed in typical Hawk fashion. Although this file is much more in depth than normal. He must have gone through her entire life, and then some. I wouldn’t be surprised to see what kind of toothpaste or shampoo she uses. I get a few pages in and see what appears to be a school picture. This girl is definitely a relative of Cassandra’s. She doesn’t look exactly like her, but the similarity is undeniable— the same hair color, the high cheekbones, and even their lips have the same shape. Their eyes are different colors, though. Cassandra’s were dark brown and captivating, in a way that could bring even the strongest man to his knees. Cassie had a way of getting anything she wanted from someone just by looking at them. It was one of the qualities I liked most about her. That, among other things. But Alyssa’s blue hued eyes held me in a way Cassandra’s eyes never did. Behind the small smile in this picture, I can see a lingering sadness that to an untrained eye would have never been noticed. I wonder what this girl has to be sad about.
I continue to thumb through this girl’s life and to be honest, I’ve never felt weird about reading someone’s file that Hawk sent me but reading all the intimate details of this girl’s life, made me feel like I was violating her privacy.
Midway through the file, I see a news article, and now I know why her name sounded so damn familiar. Her Father, Ashton Jefferson was murdered by a small vampire coven two years ago in Wolfsbane Academy, while he was the headmaster. The vampire coven that killed him was one that he had ordered to be banished from New York, because of their nonadherence to the new rules that were being put into place.
Ashton had been working on peace between the vampires and the humans who knew of our existence. But there were certain vampires who wouldn’t hear of such things like peace, least of all with humans. So, they took matters into their own hands and infiltrated the academy and murdered him. As I start to think about that night, the memories begin take over. I haven’t thought about that night in so long, but I remember every detail.
I was one of the first responding vampire clan leaders to show up on the scene that night. I recall the chaos that had ensued inside the academy’s four walls. I wasted no time walking to his office to examine the scene and punish the accused. I saw Alyssa sitting next to Ashton’s lifeless body, holding his hand, her hands were covered in his blood. The tears were not missed as the silent sobs shook her body. His wife and son were sitting nearby. His wife looked almost bored dealing with the questions of her husband’s brutal murder, while her son who looked much like his sister was crying and not bothering to hide his sadness.
“I will fix this Dad; I will make them pay.” I heard her whisper to her father’s dead body. She gently put his hand down on his chest and stood up, the sadness in her eyes turned to fury. She started looking around the room for the vampire responsible for his murder. Her eyes lock on mine, I can’t say or do anything, I feel almost trapped in the doorway. A sudden snarl and growl can be heard from the end of the hallway and I know that the murderer was found, by none other than William Fredrickson, a vampire bounty hunter of sorts.
“Only took me 5 minutes to sniff this prick out.” He chuckled as he brought the suspect onto his knees in front of me.
“Look at me,” I said simply and sternly. Normally that’s all I would need to do, and they do what I tell them to do or beg for mercy, but this idiot seemed to much rather drag this out as long as he can. Fine by me. I yanked his red hair back, forcing him to look at me. “Now that I have your attention. Did you do this? Wait. Don’t answer that. I already know. I can see the blood all over you. You weren’t even slick about it, what did you want to get caught or something?” I asked to more of less play with this little shit. I could tell he was a fledgling, but he wasn’t even scared of dying, he looked more pissed off than scared. His eyes were boring into mine and out of nowhere he started to laugh. It was a high pitch maniacal laugh that would send chills up some peoples spines. All it did was further annoy me. Without thinking, I punched him square in his jaw. He turned his head slightly to the left to spit some blood and a couple of teeth and started giving me a look of fury.
“You bloody traitor. We did this for our kind. That fucker was going to exile a whole lot of us and for what? Some fake peace treaty? Bullshit man, he didn’t want peace. He wanted control over New York. My coven promised that wouldn’t happen, and now it never will. We had the guts to do something you wankers never would. That dumb fuck dug his own grave, I just helped him into it.” He said. He had a thick English accent so obviously he was new in town. He had never met me, and he is going to wish he never had.
I can tell by the look of disdain he was giving me that he really did believe that he committed this act this for the survival of our race. The thought troubles me but not as much as the cries I heard coming from Ashton’s office. I quickly realized that it was his daughter going into a fit of rage.
“Your name?” I asked.
“My what?” He replied, his face twisted from disdain to utter confusion.
“You deaf or just stupid?! What is your name?!” I emphasized. I didn’t really care what his name was but for the report I was going to have to write when this was all over, I needed to know who I killed and why.
“Justin. Justin Kingsley.” He whispered. The realization must have hit him as to what was going to happen, and what his actions had cost him— his life.
“Well, Justin, I hope your efforts were worth what useless existence you had.” I said pulling up my sleeve preparing to rip his heart out. I was then startled by a strangled cry from behind me.
When I looked behind me Ashton’s daughter had a stake in her hand and a face full of rage directed right at Justin. But this wasn’t her kill, it was mine. She wanted to avenge her father, and while apart of my sympathized; I needed to promote justice. Vampire justice, or the peace that her father worked so hard for would have been for nothing.
“Take him somewhere now. Don’t argue, just take him somewhere until I can deal with him. This is a delicate situation.” I whispered quickly to William and watched as he blurred out of my sight.
“I will find you it’s only a matter of time.” She screamed, tears were still falling down her face, but I couldn’t tell if they were from sadness or her rage.
“Alyssa that’s enough, you’re causing a scene.” Her mother yelled from the office, not even bothering to come check on her daughter. What a bitch.
“Alyssa, was it? You should listen to your mother. I am only here to help, and I will make sure that the one responsible for your father’s death will be dealt with I promise. But you need to-.” I tried to rationalize with this poor girl, but she caught me off guard and tackled me to the ground. She was surprisingly strong for a young girl.
“If I can’t kill him, I guess I’ll have to settle for you. The only good vampire is a dead one.” The murderous look in her eyes made my protective instincts go into overdrive. I shoved her off of me as gently as I could manage and ripped the stake from her grasp. I crushed it in my hand making it shatter into splinters at my feet. The look of pure hatred she had for me also had a trace of hurt because I had taken her chance for revenge away. I grabbed her hand and pulled her off the floor. I began to drag her down the hallway with me ignoring all her protests because my mind was made up. She wanted to see the bastard die, then that’s what I was going to show her.
I walked three doors down and saw Justin bloodied up on the floor and William was wiping his knuckles on his pant legs. What the fuck.
“He was being a prick, so I just smacked him around a bit. I needed the stress release anyway. He didn’t give me the chase I wanted so I think he deserved an ass beating.”
“Fine, whatever.” I said as I gripped Justin up by his hair, while still holding tight to Alyssa’s hand. I ignored her cursing and hateful comments that she spewed in my direction. She will thank me for this. “Shut up little girl. You want justice? You want this fucker to die? I am about to give you that, so sit down and shut your damn mouth for a minute.” I yelled forcing her into a nearby chair. My yelling had seemed to shut her up quickly.
“Now, where was I? Oh right, ripping your heart from your chest cavity.” I snarled into Justin’s ear. I have never enjoyed doing this, but at the same time I couldn’t ignore the animalistic side of me that was relishing this a little.
“No! I want to be the one to do it, he killed my father, I deserve this, please let me do it.” Alyssa begged. A part of me wanted to give her the justice that she so deserved, but I couldn’t. Being a Clan Leader has its huge downsides. This happened to be one of them. As much as I wanted to let her kill him, I had to be the one to do it.
“Sorry, but this is something I have to do. You wouldn’t understand.” I said as coldly as I could manage and swiftly punched my hand through his chest and grabbed his heart. I could feel his heart trying to pump blood through his body as I squeezed and quickly yanked his heart right from his chest. The heart felt very warm and was dripping blood onto the floor and my hand. Justin’s lifeless body dropped like a sack of potatoes to the floor and crumbled to ash at my feet.
I could hear Alyssa screaming behind me, but for some reason she hadn’t attempted to come out of her chair. I dropped Justin’s heart to the floor and finally looked at Alyssa. She had her body bent in half and sobs had once again taken over her body. Seeing her like this was disturbing for me and was something I wouldn’t typically witness. She looked like a broken child and for that I felt sorry for my part in her grief.
“William. Where is Marissa? Is she here yet?” I asked. Marissa is the compulsion agent that I used in times of need, and at that moment I found her particular gifts were necessary.
“Yeah she just walked in. I can hear her downstairs.”
“Bring her up here please. I am in need of her services.” I reply. I started to walk over to Alyssa as William walked out of the door. I bent down next to her and placed my hand on her back trying to soothe her as best as I could. When my hand touched her back her whole body stiffened, and she looked at me with hatred. Before I could react, she slapped me across my face. I can’t say that it wasn’t well deserved.
“You bastard, how could you?” She whispered at me, her voice was full of anger and pain. I had almost wished she would’ve yelled at me because then it wouldn’t have sounded so pained and so damn sad.
“Like I said, you wouldn’t understand. Vampire politics don’t concern you.”
“Don’t concern me? You’re kidding me, right?! Your politics just blew up my life. My father is dead because of you!” She yelled and I could feel every ounce of pain she felt as if it was my own. I couldn’t help but feel for this girl. She loved her father deeply and I knew that Marissa was the only one who could help her get the peace she so desperately needed.
I heard the door open and I didn’t even have to look up to know it was Marissa. Her clunky black goth like boots hit the floor so loud that elephants might mistake her for a distant cousin. When I looked up her fiery red hair was pulled into a messy bun that was held together with 2 black chopsticks. Her black corset top and black fluffy mini shirt made her pale skin look like the moon against the night sky. Her classic red lipstick and bright colored eyeshadow was locked into place and she had far too much eyeliner on for my taste. She looked like a scene girls dream. You would think being alive for over 300 years would give her better fashion sense, but to each their own.
“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” She giggled when she walked behind me. She looked at Alyssa with curiosity.
“Marissa, I need you to compel her. I don’t want her to forget everything but change somethings around.” I said not bothering to exchange pleasantries with her. She seemed in a mocking mood and I didn’t have the patience to deal with it.
“What am I changing?” She asked, and I was grateful that she wasn’t going to try to argue with me or ask me if I was sure that I wanted her to do that.
“Her father was murdered tonight, and instead of letting her take out her vengeance on the vampire responsible I had to kill him. I want her to believe that she did it, that she found him that she avenged her father’s death. Also, remove any trace of me and William from her memories. I don’t want this coming back to bite me later. Do the same with any other humans that have been around the scene. Tell them Alyssa killed the vampire responsible. Make sure no one knows about me. Erase every speck of me from this.” I said being sure that she understood every word and didn’t mess it up.
I left the room and listened through the door as Marissa did exactly what I told her to. Marissa also told Alyssa that she was exhausted from tonight’s events and that she needed to go upstairs to her bed to get some well-deserved sleep. When Alyssa exited the room, I turned my back to make sure that she didn’t see me.
Marissa moved past me as she left the room and started to take care of the rest of the humans around making sure they only know what I wanted them to know. It might have been messed up to do it that way and manipulate people’s minds, but they needed to believe that one of their own avenged their headmaster. If they didn’t who knows what might’ve happened?
I shake the memory from my mind and continue to stare at the news article. I continue flipping through and don’t see much else that can help me with knowing how to handle this girl. I have a feeling I am going to have my work cut out for me.
This poor girl has no idea what is about to hit her. Her life just got a whole lot more complicated.