Tobias snuck in the back door of the dealership hoping to avoid his Bruders. It didn’t work, because apparently his Bruder Leo knew him too well and was waiting for him.
“I heard you left dinner early last night in a snit,” Leo said, his arms crossed over his chest and a frown on his face.
“Dinner was over, so I didn’t leave early. Also, I’m not a girl, so I don’t have snits,” Tobias snarled, pulling on his coveralls. “What’s it to you anyway?”
“Tobias, she’s a nice girl who is now family by marriage,” Leo said, relaxing his stance. “You need to relax.”
“What she is, is a hunter,” Tobias hissed. He then headed for the car that needed valve cover gaskets replaced.
Leo hissed back at him before he said, “Don’t hold that against her, Tobias. Besides, she won’t go after you unless you do something wrong. Just think of her as… as a police officer in the family. Ja, a police officer for vampires.”
“It isn’t the same Leo, and you know it. Regardless, she’s only going to be here a couple of days,” Tobias mumbled from under the car. “I can avoid her that long.”
“Nein, no, Tobias, that’s rude,” Leo huffed. “Have you given any consideration, at all, to how it will make Kimberly feel if you ignore her sister? What if she treated you that way?”
He did like Kimberly, and his Bruder loved her so much. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings, she’d been good to him, even if he didn’t talk much. He had this feeling though that he could easily become attached to Kendra if he didn’t watch himself. Then when she left… he didn’t want to be hurt either. He also knew there was no getting around Leo, better to just agree and be done with it.
“Fine, Leo, you win,” Tobias said, giving in. “I will speak if spoken to, but don’t expect me to go out of my way to interact with her.”
Kendra was beyond exhausted. For three days she had been tailing the rogue vampire, Martin Valdez. Every time she thought she had him, he somehow slipped away from her and she was beginning to get seriously annoyed. The only good thing was that, so far, he hadn’t killed anyone again.
Well, that we know of anyway.
The first night it had been her phone going off. It had startled her, throwing her off her game because she could have sworn it was on vibrate.
The second night, she’d seen him slip into an alleyway and was sure she had him. About that time a guy and two girls had come out of the door in front of her and the girls had pushed the guy, laughing about something. He must have been drunk because he stumbled right into her. By the time she had gotten loose from him and his apologies and made it to the alleyway, the vamp was long gone.
Mr. Ripple was getting upset, and probably wondering if he’d made a mistake in bringing her in. He probably wasn’t any more upset with her than she was with herself though. She didn’t usually have this much problem getting the vamp she was after.
Last night had been her third attempt to kill him and she’d gotten close enough to realize he had no scent. Sadly, close was all she’d gotten before fate had intervened again with a group of street thugs. They had come out of nowhere almost and started waving knives and guns around causing a panic in the street. People had been running, screaming, trying to get away, and in the commotion, the vamp had once more disappeared.
Later, she’d mentioned to her boss about him having no scent. He’d told her he would investigate it. Usually, no smell meant humans, and they knew this guy was a vamp.
Tonight, though was her fourth attempt and she was having a whole new set of problems.
It started when she got up after taking a bit of a nap. She had ached slightly all day, but now she ached to the point she felt like crying and felt as if she had the chills on top of that. She was also sick to her stomach, felt on the verge of throwing up, and her eyes burned bad enough to run water. It made it hard to focus because focusing made her head hurt.
I must get this guy, tonight. I want him eradicated, so I can go to bed and sleep for a week or until this flu I have is gone, gone, and gone!
She’d been following Valdez as he roamed slowly down the sidewalk for twenty minutes now. He seemed to be in no hurry and only slowed to flirt with the women he saw. So far, he hadn’t had any takers on his charms though, so he’d kept going.
Suddenly she began to feel as if she were the one being watched, but she didn’t dare look, or she’d lose Valdez again and she couldn’t afford for that to happen.
Valdez had stopped and was talking once more to a woman. This one seemed receptive to whatever nonsense he was spouting in her ear. The woman was twirling a finger in her long black hair and Valdez was feeling her arm up.
Is he looking for a hookup or a drink?
Kendra narrowed her eyes as she slowly moved closer to where they stood. She needed to be far enough not to catch his attention, but close enough to stick with him.
The girl must have agreed to something because the next thing Kendra saw was them headed for the alleyway.
“Okay Kendra, you have to make this fast, before this flu does any more damage,” she told herself softly.
She knew her strengths and her weaknesses. There weren’t many hunters who could beat her, and she hadn’t had a vamp to beat her yet. She knew though that with the shakes and nausea she was fighting, not to mention her burning eyes, she could easily be thrown off her game. That could cost her if she weren’t careful, and she wasn’t ready to die tonight.
Slowly following them into the alleyway, she waited for the right moment to strike. When she saw him bend the girl forward, and a flash of fang, she took her chance. She was hoping he would be occupied to the point that he wouldn’t be paying as close of attention to his surroundings.
So, fingers crossed, she pulled out her stake and positioned it for a flyby. Then she took off running.
Valdez must have felt the change in the air because he pulled his head up with a jerk. His fangs were covered in blood, and when he spotted her, he hissed.
The woman jerked slightly, causing Valdez to lose his concentration.
This allowed Kendra to take advantage. With a quick lunge, her stake landed its mark and Valdez was dust.
The girl was semi-lucid, but after screaming, she hit the ground in a faint.
Kendra hit the ground with a groan. The run had taken everything she had, and she had no more. With her eyes closed, she tried to take deep breaths, she needed to get out of here before the girl woke up, but she was shaking too hard to move.
Her ears perked up at the sound of footsteps, male and stealthy. She knew she’d been followed! Slowly prying her eyes open, she hid her stake under her body. It was as good a weapon as any if she needed it.
“Kendra, are you hurt?” A male voice asked.
The voice was familiar. “Jarod?”
“Have you been following me?” She asked as she slowly rolled over to face where he was behind her.
“Um… yeah. Boss was worried about you when you came to the office earlier. He seemed to think you weren’t well. Was he right?” Jarod asked as he knelt next to her.
“Yeah, he was right. I think I have the flu and it’s kickin’ my butt,” she explained. “Help me up?”
Having him touch her was a mistake because as soon as he touched her hand she screamed. Jerking her arm away, she held it to her chest. It felt as if he had put fire on her skin.
“What? What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?” Jarod asked, panic in his voice.
“I-I don’t know,” she whimpered. “Your hand felt like fire burning me where you touched me.
Jarod pulled off his long-sleeved shirt and put it around her, making sure not to touch her skin. Then, he pulled the sleeve down over her hand to take it again. He quickly pulled her up, putting his arm around her, and helped her to his car.
Kendra whimpered but bit her lip to hold it in. He was only trying to help, and he didn’t need to know that the shirt only took the edge off the pain.
“Maybe I should take you to the hospital.”
“No, I just want to go to bed. If it gets worse, I’ll call my sister to take me, but thank you for the offering.”
When they reached her motel room, he helped her inside, asking, “Are you sure you’ll be okay here by yourself?”
“I don’t need a babysitter to watch me sleep, Jarod,” she said, “because that’s all I plan on doing. Tell Mr. Ripple that Valdez is no more. If I don’t get up with him tomorrow, then I’ll call him as soon as I get rid of this flu.”
“Alright. Goodnight then,” Jarod said and left.
Carefully getting up off the bed, she locked the door and took a quick shower. Then, she huddled up in the bed a shivering mess. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath hoping for sleep.
Maybe tomorrow would be better.