Prey

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Law and Order

Aric and Henry talked through the night, Aric learning that his friend possessed more depth to his character than he'd ever thought possible.

It turned out he'd been trying to figure out if there was a legal way to turn his pet into a full vampire for almost a decade.

As the law was written, only certain human's who'd proved themselves worthy or who possessed a certain ruthless quality that Aric's father appreciated were granted the chance to be turned.

Any vampire found to have turned a human illegally was sentenced to be dismembered, their body parts spread across the vampire controlled sectors of North America as a warning to others.

Their families were stripped of all rank and privilege, their fangs removed and they were left to starve in the streets.

It was a punishment that neither he nor Henry had ever seen, but the stories they'd heard as children had given them both nightmares.

"This isn't helping," Aric sighed, finishing his fourth mug of spiced blood.

"No," his friend agreed, moving to stand, "it's not. Let's get out of here."

With overly full stomachs they walked out into the cool moist morning air of Spokane in fall.

"I need to check the archives," Aric said, sliding on his sunglasses. "Maybe there's something in the tomes there that could help us."

"You know," Henry said, sliding on his motorcycle helmet, "you could just ask you father."

"Are you insane?" his friend replied hotly. "After I just told your sister I wouldn't marry her, do you think he'd be in any kind of mood to grant me even the smallest favor?"

"How about your mother?" Henry asked, grasping at straws.

"I don't know," Aric replied, amazed that the idea hadn't crossed his mind. "Maybe. But that's only if she's not pissed of at me about the whole Josephine thing too."

"It's worth a try," Henry shrugged, straddling his vintage Harley. "See you later."

After his friend kicked over the engine, it was no use for Aric to try and talk to him anymore. The roar of his motorcycle drowned out everything else as he sped away, off to wherever it was he planned to go.

Aric watched his friend disappear around a corner before climbing into his own car.

Turning it on, he looked at the clock and realized just how long he'd left Liberty alone.

Pointing his car back towards town, Aric thought about Henry's suggestion. Why hadn't he thought to ask his mother?

The answer was simple. While a master vampire in her own right, she'd surrendered her power to her husband decades ago, preferring life in solitude and isolation to one of politics and intrigue.

Would it be wrong of him to try and pull her back into a world she so obviously wanted nothing to do with?

It wouldn't hurt to ask, would it?

Reaching home, he walked straight to his study planning on trying to reach her that very moment, but his steps halted when he heard something unusual from the back of the house.

It was feminine conversation interspersed with laughter.

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