Blood Wars

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Chapter 2

Alyssa:

Central Park at midnight is always way too quiet. I can hear every tree branch move in the wind, and the leaves rustling together. But so far, I haven’t heard the sound I want to hear, the rushing wind of a vampire running like a blur near me. To them I look like a helpless teenage girl that is out enjoying the crisp air of the night, but they have no idea what the truth is.

I’m standing against a huge tree, my leg propped up and my arms crossed, I look like the poster child for nonchalant, even with the rough bark of the tree biting into my lower back. My instructor, or as I refer to him, the giant thorn in my side, Keith is sitting on his ass on a bench, staring at me. He wants to see how I will perform if or when a vampire attacks tonight, just like they do every night. I would think that vampires would prefer Soho or even Hell’s Kitchen, but no, they seem to enjoy stalking around Central Park at night. All well, more for me to kill I suppose.

“Looks like it might be a slow night tonight!” Keith yells. I turn around and look at him throwing my hands in the air and giving him my best “what the fuck” look. If the vamps don’t smell us already, they definitely hear us! God, you would think someone who has been doing this long enough to become an instructor would be smarter than this. Keith’s an idiot anyway, he’s all brawn and no brain. His big stocky, muscular build made him ideal for hunting and fighting vampires but not so ideal in the Brainiac department.

I quickly grab my phone out of my back pocket and punch Keith’s number. I watch him as he pulls the phone out with a really confused look on his face.

“Hello?” He says the confusion coming through in his voice too.

“What is wrong with you? Could you yell any louder?! Honestly, has all that vodka you’ve been drinking over there seeped into your brain?” I ask hanging up the phone on him. When I look up, I see him flipping me off. Very mature asshole. But suddenly he jumps up and starts running towards me.

“Alyssa turn around!” He yells. I quickly turn around to see a group of four vampires coming towards us quickly. Oh shit.

I grab the wooden stake out of my tall leather boot and stand my ground waiting for them to try and overwhelm me. Vampires always seem to have the same battle plan, go for the kill and that’s as far as they get. Or at least that’s what I count on. But as I stand here waiting for them to try and bumrush me, they all suddenly take off like bullets in multiple different directions.

I start turning all around trying to look for one vampire. I can hear the whooshing around me as they ran, I focus my eyes and find one, I hear Keith behind me already fighting with one. I hear sounds all around me, I feel the wind against my face as the vampires run around me in a huge circle, I almost feel them taunting me and trying to scare me.

“Sorry bloodsuckers, you’ll have to do better than that.” I whisper. One of the vampires must have heard me and slows down enough for me to get them in my sights. His shoulder length blonde hair whipped in his face as he makes his sudden stop to look at me with a hunger lurking behind those bright red eyes.

“Bad move buddy.” I whisper toward him with a dark smile on my face. With as much strength as I can, I throw my stake at least 100 feet in front of me. As if in slow motion I can see every movement of the stake as it flies faster and faster until finally hitting its target and the vampire disintegrates into dust.

“Nicholai!” A female vampire screams almost painfully. She stops dead in her tracks to stare where Nicholai’s ashes lay. Suddenly, she starts looking at me with a hatred that is hard to miss.

“Kelly, run!” The vampire that is fighting with Keith yells. Keith seizes the opportunity while the vamp is distracted and shovs the stake into his chest quickly.

Kelly didn’t look like she was going to heed her friends warning. Her black pixie cut does nothing to hide her face, she crouches down with a look that says, she is going to kill me.

“You sure you want to do this, Kelly? I mean you saw what happened to your buddy over there. You want to end up like that?” I ask taunting her. This is going to be fun.

She makes a loud growling noise and lunges toward me. I underestimate the amount of force she put into her lunge and she successfully knocks me flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me. She’s growling and snapping her fangs at me trying to get at my neck. I feel the heat of her breath and the slight bit of saliva dripping onto my neck. I’m struggling to hold her off at least long enough to try and grab the other stake I have out of the waistband of my jeans, but she’s much stronger than she looks, but then again, so am I.

In an effort to distract her I quickly throw my head into hers as hard as I can. She loses her balance slightly and I take the chance to roll out from under her and quickly grab the stake, but before I can do anything I am grabbed from behind.

“Drop it little girl, and maybe we’ll make your death quick.” Another male vampire growls behind me holding my arms tightly behind my back. Kelly giggles darkly and slowly starts moving towards me licking her lips and snarling.

“Let me go, and maybe I’ll give you the same courtesy.” I say struggling against whoever was holding me. All I need is my hands free, that’s all I need.

“You’ve got spunk little girl; I’ll give you that.” The man chuckles darkly. His breath is freezing as it brushes my neck; when I feel his nose brush against my neck, I quickly slam the side of my face into his head knocking him sideways. Finally, my hands are free. I stretch my arms out and crack my neck. All this hitting people with my head is going to hurt like hell tomorrow but right now I couldn’t care less.

“Show time.” I whisper as the vamps came towards me. I wave my hand in front of me and in a puff of smoke I disappear from in front of them and reappear behind them.

“What the hell?” Kelly said as she spins around to face me, a look of shock on her face. I grab my last stake out the sleeve of my jacket and throw it towards her chest and watch as it hits my target and Kelly fades into a pile of ashes and the stake drops to the ground.

“What the hell are you?” The male vampire whispers dumbstruck.

“I’m certainly not a little girl.” I say running as fast as I can to where the stake fell. I slide on the ground and grab it quick and throw it hard when I see the vampire lunging towards me. The stake hits him in the chest and he too, turns to ashes in midair. Some of the ashes fall onto me and in my face.

“Oh ew.” I say shaking my head watching the ashes as they fall out of my hair. I am going to need at least 3 showers to feel clean again.

“Nice work Alyssa. But using your teleportation power is against the rules and you know it. I’m going to have to report that to your Mother.” Keith says disapprovingly.

“Aw, come on Keith, you’ve got to be kidding me. I was going to be dinner for those blood suckers if I didn’t. I had to! So, can we let it go just this once?” I ask. I so do not want to deal with my Mother about this.

“Nope, sorry Alyssa. You know I have to report everything to your Mother and if I don’t it’s my job, and I liked being employed, even if it is by your Mother.” He explains getting his small notepad and pen out of his back pocket and starts writing down the events of tonight’s patrol, so he can be sure to tell every little detail to my Mother. Oh joy.

“Well if I’m already going to be in trouble anyway, I guess you won’t mind if I do this.” I say lifting my hand and in a puff of smoke I disappear and am back in my room at Wolfsbane Academy.

Time to get all this vamp ash out of my hair. I quickly go into my bathroom and turn the hot water as hot and it will go. I look at myself in the mirror and can see that I have a slight bruise forming on the side of my forehead from when I slammed my face into those vampires. Ugh no wonder I’m starting to get a headache. I wonder what other bruises have ended up on my body tonight? I quickly undress and look at my body in the mirror, I feel weird, but I can see a bruise on the left side of my ribs, a bruise on my right hip, and my arms have multiple bruises on them, but that isn’t something new.

I quickly hop into the shower and the hot water instantly starts loosening the tight muscles in my back relaxing me. I stand there holding onto the bar in the shower waiting for the rest of my body to relax. Which takes longer than I hoped it would. Hunting normally doesn’t agitate me like this, I have had closer calls than I did tonight, but I can’t get the way Keith just basically stood there and let those blood suckers try to kill me, out of my head. If it was a test, I better have passed it with flying colors.

I wash my hair three times making sure to scrub all the vampire dust out of my hair. The floral scent of my shampoo and conditioner finally helps to relax all my senses while I wash my body, being gentle on the parts of my body that are bruised and sore. I step out and dress in my black yoga pants and a red tank top and put my long brown hair in a ponytail. I lie in my bed and look at the clock on my nightstand, it flashes 2:15 a.m. So, I flip over and wait for sleep to find me which definitely doesn’t take too long.

“Alyssa Jefferson, please report to the headmistress’s office” I hear my name ring loud and clear through the intercom system. Oh, you have got to be kidding me. God, that thing is so annoying, especially first thing in the morning. I groan, and flip over to look at the clock and it flashes, 11:30 a.m. Ugh what could she possibly want right now?

Stumbling out of bed I start getting dressed in my classic attire, my dark jeans and a black tank top with my leather jacket which I pick up off the footboard of my bed and quickly run up the two flights of stairs and down the corridor to my mother’s- I mean the headmistress’s office. I’m never allowed to refer to her as “Mother” when anyone else is around, because supposedly it takes away her authority and makes her look weak to the other students and staff. She’s so sentimental let me tell you.

Finally reaching her office, I knock twice and then three times, this is our signature knock so that she knows it’s me.

“Come in Alyssa.” My mother says. I walk in the room to find her standing looking out of her big bay window. Her long brown hair left undone against her back. She has a long black dress on and her classic four-inch black heels. My Mother is very conventional. Or boring, however you want to look at it.

“You summoned me, Mother?” I grumble walking towards her desk.

“Well you could try to be a little less grumpy about it. Come sit. I have a report for you. Would you like tea or something?” Mother asked gesturing toward the chair in front of her desk. Which is always impeccably neat, not one paper is out of place, and her large name plate shines her name, Justine Jefferson, in the bright florescent light.

“No, I’m good thanks. I’m assuming you want to talk about last night’s patrol?” I ask flopping into the chair and bring my legs up to sit Indian style, which I know gets under her skin because it’s not “lady like”, but that’s what she gets for summoning me so early after knowing I was on patrol last night.

“Yes, and Alyssa I am not thrilled about the report Keith gave me. What do you think you were doing using magic in public?” She asks carefully sitting herself down in her large desk chair smoothing her dress as she sits, God forbid she should get a wrinkle.

“Oh, my God Mother, nobody was around and it’s not like I used extreme magic or something, I teleported myself to get out of the way of two vampires and then teleported behind them so I could try and stake them. What’s the big deal? Or would you have rather they try and kill me? Which is what they were doing, while Keith sat back and got shit faced. He’s supposed to be observing me and trying to help keep me alive, good thing I know I can depend on myself!” I exclaim, I can’t believe she is reprimanding me for what I do best. I know what I am doing by now, that’s why she keeps sending me out every night.

“It’s not about protecting yourself, but you could have been seen. Just because no one was there at the time doesn’t mean no one would have seen you. I am concerned for you and your safety. But I also have to protect this academy and the other students.” She says trying to sound motherly but she’s doing a shit job.

“Mother, if you are going to be so concerned about my safety then why send me out on patrol every night? Why have me practice my magic if you are going to reprimand me every time, I use it? I need to experiment more with it if I’m ever going to get full control of it and you know it.” I shout.

I continue to sit here and listen to her drone on and on about protecting the secret of what we do, and that one mistake could cost this academy everything. As if “Wolfsbane Academy” hasn’t already dealt with enough people getting caught and having to erase memories of those individuals. How can she try and justify her crappy parenting to me?

My mother and I haven’t always had a strained relationship, it started around the time my father died and I threw myself into hunting. She pretty much ignores my existence until it’s convenient and me being the idiot I am, I still do a lot of what she tells me to do. I have no idea why.

Would I like to have a decent mother daughter relationship? Well yeah, but I’m not holding my breath on that. After my dad died, she changed completely, it was like she became a totally different person. A warm nurturing mother became a cold-hearted stranger to me in a matter of days. But I’m not going to get too stuck on the past, it’s not exactly pleasant. I look around trying to pretend I’m at least hearing some of what she’s saying, and I take quick glance at the clock and I instantly feel a surge of relief when I see it’s now a little past noon. Combat training time. My salvation!

“Look, I understand your concern.” Lie. “But if you don’t stop worrying, I’m never going to get to combat training in time and you know how Brandon doesn’t like having to stay after to teach me what I missed.” I hop up out the chair, not giving her any time to stop me.

“But I haven’t told you the news from last night!”

“Later!” I yell slamming the door behind me as I run down the hall and four flights of steps to the basement where combat training class was taking place, which I was already ten minutes late for. Yay, Brandon was going to make me do ten laps for this, one for every minute I’m late. But when I reached the basement, no one was there, when I walked to the large mirror I saw a note that said, “Class has been canceled today due to excess patrol needs for the next few nights, classes will resume next week, work out on your own in the meantime.” The note was signed by Brandon. What was the need for excess patrols?

Only I and a couple other hunters were in charge of nightly patrols, and why wasn’t I informed of this? Time to go visit my brother Killian, who was the school gossip, he knew everything about everything that went on here. I ran up the two flights of stairs to his bedroom, which was only two doors down from mine.

“Killian!” I yelled banging on his door with my fist. I can hear him stumble out of his bed before he reaches the door. When he opens the door, he only has on a pair of sleep pants on, but I walked right under his arm into the room anyway.

“Alyssa, why don’t you come- or let yourself in.”

“I don’t have time for pleasantries, I want to know why I wasn’t told about the excess patrols? I am the lead student hunter I should have been informed, or you know given a heads up?!” I yelled as his eyes went from sleepy too wide as can be.

“Alyssa, why are you so surprised? You think communication is that great here? The extra patrols are only a precaution; the higher ups are worried about a new vampire coven that just moved into town.”

“Again, I wasn’t informed on this why?” I exclaim, not caring about the explanation, I want to know why I wasn’t told.

“Why don’t you ask Mother? I don’t do patrols, so I don’t know what you want me to tell you. You’re the big bad hunter, not me, I just wield magic. Speaking of which aren’t we both supposed to go to see Hawk for magic training in a half hour?” Killian asks slipping a shirt on and running his fingers through his brown hair to make it look less disheveled.

“Who knows? Maybe that is canceled too.” I grumble slamming myself down on his bed laying my head off the side.

“What’s eating you?” Killian asks laying down next to me.

“Mother reprimanded me earlier for using magic on a patrol last night. Why bother training me to control my magic and how to use it if when I do use it, I get in trouble?” I asked lifting my hand producing a fireball bouncing it up and down in my hand, and in the next instant Killian produces a water bubble and starts controlling it to consume my fireball extinguishing it. “Hey! That’s not fair!” I giggle slapping him hard in the stomach.

“I don’t want to relive the last time you did that in my room. I don’t need to sleep on the floor for a week waiting for another bed to be delivered.” Ugh, one little fire and you’re scarred for life.

“Fine. But just because we control two different elements doesn’t mean we should use them against each other.” I can control fire and produce fire in the palms of my hands and Killian can produce and control all the different forms of water. Killian’s power is much cooler than mine, while mine is much more lethal, I can’t make snowballs in my hand or make it snow like he can. His power is more popular with the kids around here than mine is. I’m only good when someone needs a fire or cigarette lit.

“Come on dork, let’s see if Hawk is in his office and ready for training. We could be early for once.” Killian says grabbing a pair of jeans out of his dresser and walking into the bathroom to put them on. I hear the sink running while he brushes his teeth. Shutting the water off he walks over to me and pulls me up off the bed, leading me out the door. I love magic training but for some reason today I can’t seem to get excited for it. Something feels really off about today.

Walking upstairs to the magic room is like walking into my own room. I am so comfortable here; this is mine and Killian’s special place. We are the only two here that can wield magic. I’m double gifted because not only can I do magic, I’m also a superior fighter; Killian not so much. He tried combat training and patrolling a couple of times, but it’s never been his forte. He always ends up with a bloody nose and can’t keep his balance to save his life. Thank goodness he’s good looking.

When we walk into Hawk’s office, he isn’t at his desk, which is abnormal for him. He pretty much lives in his office. I’m not even sure if he sleeps at all. He’s always in this office, reading magic books and doing endless amounts of research on multiple different subjects.

“Well do you want to practice on our own?” I ask winking at Killian.

“Have you lost your mind? If Hawk knew we were trying to train without him being present, we’d be in a lot of trouble Alyssa and you know it.” He says looking at me with disbelief. Jeez he needs to lighten up.

“Oh fine, ruin my fun. Look if Hawk doesn’t show up in ten minutes, I’m going to the gym to burn off some steam for a while.” I say plopping myself in one of Hawks big leather chairs in front of his desk.

“Only you would consider going to the gym therapeutic.” Killian says as he sits in the chair next to me. I stare at the clock on the wall and watch the minutes tick by. Where the hell is Hawk? It’s not like him to just ditch magic training, or just work in general. If he was ever out, he would at least leave a note on his door, but today, nothing.

“So, where do you think he is anyway?” I ask after 5 minutes of silence. I must have disrupted one of Killian’s many deep thoughts because he jumped when I spoke.

“Sorry. Come again?” He asks

“Jeez what are you thinking about?” I chuckle.

“Nothing of importance to you nosey.” Killian replies.

“Okay, that either means you’ve got something bad going on, or you’re thinking about a guy!” I exclaim waiting for him to say something. But he just gives me a look that tells me to shut my mouth. He clenches his jaw and furrows his brows.

“Like I said, it’s nothing of importance. Just got a few things on my mind. Leave it alone.” He says giving me a tone that told me not argue with him.

“Oh, fine buzzkill.” I wink. When he gives me his classic relaxed crooked smile, I know he’s okay again. I start staring at my nails listening to the clock ticking away. Eight minutes have gone by, Jesus I can’t take this anymore.

“Alright close enough. Hawk isn’t coming. So, lets bounce.” I say hopping up out of the chair.

“Okay I’m going to go back to my room and study for a bit.”

“I think I might stay here for a little bit and catch up on some reading before going to the gym.” I say as Killian starts walking towards the door.

“Sounds good. I’ll meet you in the cafeteria for dinner.” Killian waves as he walks out of the room back in the direction of his bedroom. I walk over to the huge bookshelves and start running my fingers across the spines of all the books. There are books on magic, history, but many of them are about Vampire lore and just about Vampires in general.

Vampires have always fascinated me, their myths and legends over the years have made them seem like beautiful creatures of the night, and some very well might be. But, in most cases, vampires are a sickness that destroy communities and turns even the most respectable people into blood lusting killers. I have confronted over five hundred vampires in cities surrounding New York City. For some reason, New York is a huge vampire gathering scene, so many of them come here for refuge but others come just to cause trouble and destruction.

I will never forget the mass slaying in Times Square. Every hunter was put on duty and we slayed over one hundred and fifty vampires, and it was all covered up by some big “bath salt epidemic”. Got to love having news reporters on our payroll.

The way normal people fanaticize about vampires weirds me out. Stories like Twilight, and The Vampire Diaries, while beautiful in theory couldn’t have the whole vampire thing more wrong. Do I wish there were vampires like that? Well sure, because maybe I could have a night off sometimes. But that won’t happen. Vampires like Edward Cullen don’t exist. The only kind of vampires I deal with are bloodthirsty, soulless monsters.

Looking back at the bookshelves I noticed a book I’d never seen before and one that hadn’t had a chance to gather dust like the rest. My curiosity is instantly peaked. I pick up the large red leather-bound book and open it to find a handwritten note on the inside cover,

“Alyssa. I’ve left this for you in the hopes that you find it and read it, so that maybe you’ll understand that things are not always as black and white as they may seem. As hard as it may be to accept, sometimes vampires aren’t the worst monsters out there. Sometimes the most frightening monsters are in our own backyard… Your Father was right about a lot of things. Please keep an open mind and read this in its entirety. I won’t be far, be safe. -Hawk.”. Suddenly the book sent a shock through me; making my body feel like it was vibrating.

“Ow, what the hell?!” I yelp dropping the book and backing away. What does Hawk mean by “sometimes the most frightening monsters are in our own backyard?”.

Picking the book up off the floor I start to leave the room and walk to my bedroom. If I was going to read this thing, I am going to need privacy.

Tossing my jacket across the desk, I stare at the book cover and plop onto the bed. It’s definitely old. There is a Latin inscription that says, Pulchra Mortuus Est luckily my Latin classes taught me a little something and I know it means, “The Beautiful Dead”. I can only wonder what that can means. The vampires? Whoever wrote this must be a vampire or a pro vampire advocate. Yet, I can’t help but be slightly intrigued by this book. This is either Hawk’s best joke ever or he is starting to go soft on me.

Cracking the book open I find red roses that are dripping with blood, acting as borders for the pages. It was disturbing to my eyes but also oddly beautiful. The outside cover may be inscribed in Latin. But luckily the inside was in English. Old English but English, nonetheless.

Reading the book is a wringer of emotions. It’s beautiful and tragic all at the same time. The story of “the beautiful dead” is a thing of dreams and nightmares. The book in 675 pages, tells one continuous story about the origin of the vampire species and how they were turned and what happened afterward. The heightened senses, faster reflexes, and intense beauty all came with a horrible price. Bloodlust.

I have previously been told that a vampire’s bloodlust was voluntary, but this book tells otherwise. It says that the bloodlust is involuntary, it isn’t something that can be helped but with a lot of practice and restraint it can be controlled, but not avoided. I never knew the things this book was telling me. How they turn and how truly painful it is, and more than anything their lust for life and their enhanced feelings. I never knew that their feelings were magnified tenfold our own. Holy shit.

Before I know it, I’ve missed dinner and my alarm is blaring telling me it’s 11:00 p.m. and time to get ready for patrol. The last page of the book falls out of my hand as I sat there unmoving. Was this book a work of fiction, meant to throw me off or could it true?

How has everything I’ve ever read before get turned on its head? No! Nope! It’s not true! This story is nothing more than a beautifully written story, I can find those anywhere.

Pulling myself out of bed I start to change my clothes. I pull on my black leather pants and a black tank top. I tug my black combat boots onto my feet and go into to my bathroom to throw my hair in a ponytail. But I stopped in my tracks and stared at my reflection for a minute. Who is this girl? I don’t recognize her; my blue eyes are wider than usual, and my skin is paler. This is what happens when I skip dinner. Damn book.

I pull my brown hair into a ponytail and grab a wooden stake and slide it into my left boot and put another one in the waistband of my pants. I pull my leather jacket on and run down the stairs. None of my patrol team is in the common room when I get there. Seriously?! Guess I’m going solo tonight. Fine by me.

Well since I’m going solo, I don’t need to follow specific protocol-or at least in my mind I don’t, since no one is here to play tattle tale. So, instead of walking I teleport myself to an alley across from Central Park. Central Park at midnight is never really booming and buzzing. Unlike what the tourists might think, this city does actually know how to sleep.

Coming out of the alley I walk over to the park and head soundlessly towards a bench and sit down listening and waiting. After an hour of sitting here I realize that tonight is another one of the slow nights. I haven’t heard or seen a single vampire. Seriously? After the events of the day I would love some serious action, but of course the night I am looking to kick some ass I am sitting here twiddling my thumbs.

Boredom triggers my fire power and I produce a fireball in my hand, and I start to bounce it up and down and from hand to hand almost like my fire version of a slinky.

“Didn’t your Mother ever teach you not to play with fire?” A velvety voice says from behind me causing me to jump and drop my fire ball onto the grass catching it on fire. Cursing, I wave my hand over it to extinguish the flame. Turning around I’m facing a tall dark and handsome vampire.

“Didn’t your Mother ever teach you not to sneak up on a lady?” I ask coming around the bench walking closer to him.

“Yes, and if I saw one, I would have announced myself. All I can see is a hunter before me, and I have perfect eyesight.” He growls dropping his voice low, obviously trying to scare me.

“A blood sucker with a sense of humor, well that’s a new one.” I sneer waiting for him to make the first move, so I could open up that can of whoop ass that I’ve been waiting to open all damn night.

“You never give any of us a chance to show our sense of humor do you, Alyssa?” He chuckles moving to my right.

“How do you know my name? Oh, wait let me guess. Telepathic. No that’s not it… Oh wow, are you a stalker vampire?” I say obviously entertaining him as he chuckles and keeps attempting to circle me.

“Believe me, if I was telepathic, I would have told you all your darkest secrets just to watch you blush that scarlet red color you do when you’re mad.” Okay, that’s a check yes in the stalker column.

“So, you are a stalker. I definitely called that one, you have that look about you.” What am I doing?! I should have killed him already! Not be standing here having a snarky chat with him!

“How about I level the playing field. I know that you’re Alyssa Jefferson. So, let me introduce myself, I’m Derek Hawthorne. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance; I’m not here to hurt you so if you could please take your hand off the stake in your waistband, I would appreciate it.” Derek says softly and for a reason unbeknownst to me I slowly take my hand off the stake and straighten up looking him right in his eyes. His eyes are ice blue and could almost be white they’re so bright. His black shoulder length hair swayed in the cool September breeze. He’s very tall, he has to be at least 6’2 or 6’3, which makes him tower over me at my mere 5’3.

“What do you want from me? If you don’t want my blood, what else could you possibly want? My lunch money?” I ask crossing my arms, waiting for that one chance he would try and strike me.

“Certainly not. A mutual friend of ours Hawk McAlister referred me here. He said you preferred to patrol here. I’m not sure why he wanted me to meet you, but I have been keeping a close eye on you Alyssa. I truly don’t understand Hawk’s purpose for this, because it seems as though you can take care of yourself.” Derek says walking back and forth starting to pace.

“You bet your ass I can take care of myself. Always have and always will.” I watch him as he starts to pace faster and faster. If I keep watching him, I’m going to get dizzy.

“Oh, I believe you Alyssa. And after seeing that you have magic on your side, I don’t understand why Hawk sent me your way.” He stops to look at me; pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration.

“Well sorry to have your time wasted. But if you don’t mind, I have work to do.” I say as I start to walk away, suddenly I walk right into what feels like a stone wall, and when I look up Derek is standing there with an amused look on his face.

“Hawk wouldn’t have sent me here without a good reason, my time is too valuable to be wasted and he knows that.” Derek says crossing his arms.

“Well don’t ask me, because I have no idea.” I said moving past him, but he was right next to me. It was unnerving. What I wouldn’t do for an angry vamp right about now… Looking to my left, I finally find one.

“Finally, some action.” I teleport away from Derek and behind the angry vampire. But in the blink of an eye Derek is next to me. Son of a bitch, this guy is going to make my job very hard.

“Here vampy, vampy, vampy. Fresh blood in these veins. Would you like to taste?” I taunt as the angry vampire with his blazing red eyes and disheveled blonde hair turns to me and licks his lips coming towards me. But before he can even think to put his hands on me, I fly up and land an uppercut kick to his jaw knocking him down. I reach for the stake in my boot, but I can’t get it out of the holder. Damn, I’ve got to get this thing fixed. Twisting my hand and turning my palm towards the vampire I shoot a stream of fire out of my palm lighting him ablaze and turning him to dust in seconds.

“Do you get your rocks off taunting thirsty vampires?” Derek asks, yanking the stake from my boot. How the hell did he do that? Oh, wait inhuman strength, I forgot.

“So, what if I do? It gets the job done and I get to have some fun in the meantime.” I reply, snatching my stake back from him putting it back in its holder. “And wait, didn’t I just kill one of your buddies? Shouldn’t you have tried to stop me or something?” I ask, walking away from him utterly annoyed at his attitude.

“Not all vampires stick together Alyssa, which I’m sure contradicts everything you’ve ever been taught.” Derek says keeping up with my fast pace with no effort.

“Look, if you don’t give me some space, I will teleport my ass home, or you to Timbuktu and I won’t even break a sweat.” I say, turning towards him lifting my hand. Just a wave and one of us was going to disappear.

“Oh, I believe that, but—” Derek grabs my hand but stops mid-sentence as soon as he touches me. His eyes become glazed over like he is having some kind of vision. He grips my hand almost painfully, as he looks faraway. His hand touching me unnerves me, but I can feel a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’ve never felt before. Suddenly he gets a different look. A look of shock and disbelief.

“You read it,” Was all he said. He leans closer, his hand still holding mine with his other moving my hair and touching my cheek. Nearing my ear and whispered. “Your life will never be the same now. Welcome to my world, Alyssa.” Then, he vanished.

I never got a word out. I was alone in the dark with only the sounds of the owls and occasional cars surrounding me. His icy cold hands and his breath still linger on my hair and skin. What the hell did he mean by “Welcome to my world, Alyssa?”

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