Kenneth awoke with a hunger he′d never felt before. He had been restless of late and couldn’t shake this sense of impending doom that was coursing through him. After curbing his hunger; he decided a walk was in order. He walked down the dank dirty streets, passing a bum sleeping on one of the benches.Aah. South Beach.He thought with a smirked to himself.A virtual playground for murders, thieves and drug dealers. He fit in perfectly.
Kenneth had come to Miami six months ago from his native home in Madrid and still had no clue as to what he was doing here. He just packed one day and took off, not knowing where he was going. He traveled day and night; never wavering or turning back. It was like his soul (if he had one, that is) knew exactly where to go. Sure enough, when he got here, he knew this was his final destination. He just had no damn clue as to why.
Kenneth never made up excuses for what he was. He was a creature of the night; plain and simple. He killed without remorse. Hell, that’s how he survived.A guy’s got to eat right? Kenneth knew what it meant to be evil. He’d asked for the gift over one hundred years ago and who was he to complain? He did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and didn’t have to answer to anyone. He had more money than he’d ever spend in a lifetime. The only complaint he could currently think of, had to do with the damn compulsion that forced him to come to this hot, humid cesspool where the scum of human society were left to congregate.
It had been hours since he’d eaten and Kenneth figured he would go back and see if his prey had been discovered yet. Sure enough; the vice squad was there and swarming all over the place like a pack of wolves on the hunt. Stupid Humans.He thought to himself. Kenneth didn’t have anything against the humans. Not personally. After all; he used to be one. But over the years, he’d found that most of them are not that bright. From what he saw, most of the time they just walked around scratching their heads;like a bunch of monkeys. They’ll never find anything.He thought pleased with himself.The only thing they’ll find about this victim is the fact that there isn’t a drop of blood left in his sorry ass. They will never find out how it happened as there are no bite marks.One of the Perks of have healing antibodies in your saliva. So all the pigs will have is a dried up carcass and no clue as to how it got that way.
He chuckled to himself as another squad car rolled up. More pigs to trifle around in the dirt, hoping to find a clue. The car coasted to a stop right in front of the entrance to the crime scene; An old abandoned theater just off of Ocean Drive and a short, pudgy balding man exited the driver’s side in typical pompous pig fashion. Kenneth was just about to turn and leave this sorry display of Miami’s finest when the passenger door swung open and the passenger stepped out. All the breath left his lungs and the earth began to spin. There she was; Carmelita, right before his eyes and she was alive! His excitement dissipated as he realized there was no way this angel standing beside the squad car was his Carmelita. She had been dead for over one hundred years.
The impostor moved to the interior of the theater and he followed; his movement quicker than any human could register. Being able to cloak his presence, no one noticed him as he found a good vantage point from which to fully see her and what she was doing. The impostor approached the body and bent down to take a look. Only then, did she address the officer standing in front of her. She looked up at the deputy and asked a number of questions. The deputy responded letting her know what had been done so far.
Kenneth took the opportunity to fully examine the gorgeousness that was this strange woman who resembled his long dead fiancee. Her long red hair was pulled into a pony tail on the top of her head. Her hair was the same color as Carmelita’s except, this woman’s hair seemed to glow as if it were living. Her glowing green eyes, with their golden flakes, were the same as Carmelita’s. The rest of her face was also flawlessly the same as he remembered Carmelita’s looking, down to the full pout of her lips. Lips which at this moment were pulled into the most adorable grim line of concentration Kenneth had ever seen.
She wore a black leather jacket over a bright pink tank top with a skin tight pair of black pants that were tucked into a massive pair of black combat boots. She looked fierce. As the thought passed through his mind, Kenneth’s partner in crime suddenly lurched to full attention. The surge of lust that shot through his body nearly had him gasping for breath. Kenneth quickly stomped the feeling back. He had more important things to worry about without imagining every way possible he’d love to make her his. He shook his head to clear it, as his wayward thoughts threatened to take over again.
Just then another young, pretty boy detective entered the theater speaking to the woman as he approached her.
“Ailis, what are you doing here? I thought you only dealt with high profile murders.”
Kenneth could barely breathe now. Her name was Ailis. How was that possible? Ailis was Carmelita’s middle name. If it weren’t for the fact that this human looked exactly like Carmelita, he wouldn’t even consider that a coincidence. He listened closely to her speaking. It sounded just like her too. Dear God was he being punished?
Ailis answered the pretty boy’s question. “This ones a personal interest for me Collin.”
“You’re interested in dead guys with no blood left.” Collin retorted. “That’s kind of sadistic. I love it.” He laughed as he winked at her.
Kenneth didn’t know why but he suddenly felt the urge to rip this Collin’s throat out. Ailis just rolled her eyes as Collin began asking the same questions she just asked.
“What was the time of death?” Collin asked.
“We don’t know sir.” The deputy answered.
“What do you mean you don’t know?” Collin asked sounding a bit annoyed. “Does anyone do his job around here?”
“Collin!” Ailis said in a tired sounding voice that stopped him. Ailis rolled her eyes to look up as she spoke to Collin. “It’s kind of hard to determine a time of death on the scene as there is no blood to test the temperature.” She stated. “We will have to wait until the examiner can test the temperature of the organs.”
Collin stopped, stared at her for a moment and then started to laugh. “See Ailis, that’s what’s so appealing about you, you are just so smart.”
“Wonderful.” Ailis answered in the middle of an eye roll. “I am always remembered for being the brains.” She finished.
“Well,” Collins stated “Your also beautiful, the total package.”
Ailis sighed. “Somehow Collin, that doesn’t make me feel any better.”
Kenneth couldn’t believe his emotions. He had no right to be jealous of their friendly rapport but he wanted this guy dead. Fast. He wanted to know more about this Ailis, so he reached out for her thoughts and hit a crude barrier of some sorts. She pushed back on his mental breach and glared into the corner he was hidden in. She stared as if she could see him. He thought for a moment that she was going to alert the others to his presence, which wouldn’t have mattered.It would have taken him all of thirty seconds to dispose of them all. But instead, he heard her voice in his head.
“Don’t mess with me!” She sent into the corner through her mind. How in the hell did she do that? She’s not vampire, He would sense it if she was. She is just a human
Ailis felt the push immediately. She was astonished. It had been months since she’d had to use her ability to block an intrusion. She knew exactly where this one was. She just didn’t know who they were. She couldn’t even decipher whether it was male or female. She was leaning toward male. Just because of the arrogance and force behind the attempted intrusion but she wasn’t positive. She glared into the corner, from which the push came. She gave only a small warning and hoped that it was enough. She assumed it was, as she felt the push on her brain leave.
She took fifteen more minutes to examine the body. By the time she was ready to leave she was sure that the victim died from a vampire bite just like the rest. She would never voice her opinion however, as everyone would think she’d gone off the deep end. She knewall the same,it was up to her to find out who was doing this or this would never end. She pulled into her driveway at ten till four in the morning. It was dark outside but she still heard the music coming from a mansion next door. These people here never stopped partying. Not that she didn’t enjoy a good night of partying as much as the next twenty-two year old, but every night? The problem with these people is they have too much money and free time on their hands. Ailis had only been here for six months but she felt like it was six months too long.
Her grandmother died last September and Ailis was blessed with the one hundred year old Victorian Home. The house was immaculate, in a 1800s kind of way. She loved that it was her Grandmothers home but Ailis was not content in this place. She felt out of place. The house was wonderful and when it was built it was probably in the middle of nowhere, which would have suited Ailis fine. But this place was always teeming with life. There was always an after party or a premier party going on. It wasn’t all that bad. Good Fortune Island was an exclusive living community for only the most wealthy. Movie stars, music artists, Senators and people like her. Old money. So, at least she had her privacy, unless, some inventive paparazzi got past the guards that protect the bridge entrance. It was a literal island. Not just by name, so the only way in was a bridge which was gated and guarded. Of course, they could scuba dive in if they wanted to. In which case, Ailis felt that if they went through that much trouble, they deserve the picture. She was a no body, so they pretty much left her alone anyway.
Her grandfather used to own the whole island when he and her grandmother came to Miami from Spain a long ass time ago. After the death of her grandfather, her grandmother sold all but the half-acre parcel that the house and the outdoor pool sat on. The daytime was quiet, as most of the rich assholes had come home to sleep the day away. Ailis told everyone that’s why she preferred the night shift. “ That’s when the most happens around here.” She would tell everyone when they would make a comment about her never wanting a day shift. The truth of it was, Ailis had always been a night person.
She had always slept the best during the day. At night she was up and ready to go. She used to partake in the Miami nightlife a lot more but since she landed this case, if she wasn’t working, she was trying to sleep off her mental and physical exhaustion. I miss dancing.She thought to herself longingly, the feel of the music vibrating through her, inspiring her body to move almost of its’ own accord. Ailis loved music and she loved to dance. She also missed Maya. Maya was the head bartender at Kraze; one of the most popular night clubs on Ocean Drive. Ailis and Maya had made fast friends upon Ailis’ arrival here in Miami. At first, Ailis was wary of the girl, not knowing if all vampires where evil or not. The only other one she’d ever met was definitely evil. Ailis had always known other things besides humans existed. Her grandmother told her about some of them when she was really little but Ailis had never really believed her and er mother always told her that her grandmother had Alzheimer’s and that she confused reality with fairy tales. Ailis thought that made since but also knew she was different and if she existed, why couldn’t others?
Her first experience with a non human was wit a Vampire and that did not end well at all. It left her wary of all other supernatural races. Including her own. Whatever that was.
Then she’d met Maya. It was nice to have a friend who was different as well. She’d never had that in all her life.
I really need to solve this case and go have a drink.She thought as she walked through her dark house. Ailis yawned as she flipped on light switches while made her way to her coffee pot. After turning it on, she wandered up stairs to get her shower. She couldn’t stop thinking about the attempted intrusion to her mind earlier. She had only felt that a few times before but the other times the person had felt far away. Now they felt so much closer. She couldn’t figure out why but she knew it was the same person. She also knew if the person she’d been feeling for the last few weeks was the same person from the theater then, she’d been channeling a murder for almost a month or something. Ailis pressed her forehead against the shower wall as she let the warm water wash down her back. Why couldn’t she just be like a normal twenty-two year old? She should still be in college, going to frat parties on the weekend. Instead she was here in Miami. Looking for what she had no idea.
That was a lie. Ailis knew what she was looking for. Answers. She wanted answers her mother never gave her. Answers her mother chose to train out of her. Ailis wanted to know what she was and why all these things keep happening to her. If she had to confront even the worst of the supernatural world to get those answers then so be it. She needed to know what vampire was killing all of these people and why, If she learned any information about herself in the process, she’d consider that a bonus. Then maybe she could blow this Popsicle stand and go back home where she belonged.
Deliberately she searched for the path they had used and tried to reverse it. It was working until she slammed into a barrier of strength she had never experienced, even in communication with her grandmother.
Ailis’ grandmother came from Madrid. She was not sure what village, as her grandmother would never tell her. “Some things are better left forgotten,” She would say. Grandmother Carmelita was always vague with her life story.
Since she couldn’t get through the barrier she decided to knock, so to speak. “Who are you?”She asked. No answer. She turned off the water and stepped from the shower. She kept trying even as she was toweling her hair. “Hello!” She shouted to the barrier. She put on her terry cloth robe and headed down to the kitchen to get her coffee. “I’m still trying to reach you.”She persisted while running back up stairs to get dressed. Finally, after twenty minutes and her second cup of coffee, she finally got an answer.
“Why are you bothering me?” He asked her point blank.
Bingo. She thought triumphantly. She knew he’d be a man. She was proud of herself for being right. His voice was smooth, like warm honey, it slid down her spine. She shook her head to clear the thought. Where had that come from?
“Who are you?” She asked again.
“Who are you?” He questioned back rudely.
“I thought I was asking the questions.”She shot back at the rudeness. “You tried to intrude in on my thoughts, now who are you?”
“Don’t you mean what am I?”He asked slyly.
“Don’t be coy with me.” She cautioned. “I know what you are. Now I want to know who you are and why you are here.”
He chuckled then. It was a low sensual rumble that made her wonder what he looked like. She quickly reprimanded herself for that thought. This is an interrogation. She firmly reminded herself.
“I have no idea why I am here.” He stated plainly. “How is it that you can block me, let alone communicate with me?” He asked her.
“I have always been able to. My grandmotherwas able toas well as my mother. What is your name?” She hated that she wanted to even know.
He didn’t respond for about a minute. Kenneth was so confused all he wanted was answers. Like who was she and why did she resemble Carmelita so much? Finally, he figured that if he was ever going to find anything out, he would have to win her trust. “Kenneth” was the short answer he gave.
“Kenneth,” She stated out loud. “I haven’t met you formally but I think that Kenneth suits you.” She said to him alone.
“Why do you say that?” He asked her, curious about what was going through her pretty little head. Damn he wished he could read her thoughts. He was perched on a tree limb outside one of her expansive living room windows, where he had been watching her since the moment she walked into her house. She was walking around picking up the kitchen and living room talking to him as if it was the most natural thing in the world. When he first saw her, it looked like she had shoulder length blazing red hair pulled back in a pony tail. Now, he realized she must have had it doubled up in the band as her candle flame colored hair fell in gorgeous cascades down her back ending just above her waistline. It was a breath taking sight. The glow from the chandelier behind her seemed to only enhance the look of living flames flowing from her scalp. She was so beautiful like his Carmelita, but different somehow. She was more confident in herself. He could watch her all day had he not been so aware of the short time before the sun would rise and again force him back to his sanctuary.
“You are from Spain, aren’t you?” She asked.
“Yes.” He answered.
“I can tell.” She stated. “You even have an accent in your thoughts”
Now he was really interested in finding out more about this woman. She was extremely perceptive, for a human. “You seem to know a lot about an accent that most people don’t notice. I try to hide it and you caught it anyway”. He stated.
She shrugged as if he were standing right in front of her. “My grandmother was from Spain so I am familiar with the accent.”
He accepted that and asked his former question again for clarification. “What was it you said about my name?”
“That it suited you was all”. She replied. “Do you know what it means?” She asked.
“No, I have no idea.” He answered impatiently.
“Born of Fire” She replied out loud. “Yes I definitely think it suits you.”
He was baffled. What the hell did it matter what his stupid name meant? He was named after a father he had never met. Kenneth was his father’s name, he was a Scottish land owner that traveled to Madrid on business and met his mother. It was love at first sight as his mother told the story. Kenneth hated the man he had never met. The true story was more close to the fact that his mother was in love and his father took what he could and got out clean while his mother was left to raise a child alone. Still, his mother loved the man enough to name her first and only son after him. He shook his head and brought his thoughts back to Ailis.
“How do you know what my name means?” He asked, shocked that he really wanted to know the answer instead of just trying to make her trust him. She shrugged her shoulders and her breasts rose in an all too appealing manner molding themselves to the nearly shear black tank she was wearing.
“My grandfather, on my father’s side was from Scotland. He was big on the meaning of names. Your name is Scott s Gaelic. It means Born of Fire” She said.
“What about your name? Where did you get it?” He asked, pleased with himself that he found an opening for his line of questioning.
“It was my grandmother’s middle name. My mother named me after her”. She replied.
Kenneth felt like the air had been dragged out of his lungs. This was impossible. Carmelita died. It had to be a different person. And the most confusing aspect was how it was possible to care more for Ailis who he had just met, than he ever did for his beautiful Carmelita. He didn’t know why but he had this deep down gut feeling that Ailis was vitally important to him in some way. He had always believed he loved Carmelita. He had always thought that it was his memories of her that got him through this hellish existence that was his life. Now, the feelings he had for Ailis were all consuming. It was hard for him to think of anything but her, he was obsessed with her, and he felt that he needed her as much as he needed blood. How could this possibly happen after only mere hours? He shook this thought off and chalked it up to the fact that she looked like Carmelita and nothing more.
Through their shared mental link, he was looking out of her window, without actually seeing what was there until she said “Are you indoors?”
“What kind of a question is that?” He asked, still distracted by his rambling thoughts.
“Well” she said, “if you aren’t, I would suggest you get there fast. I have more questions for you and I can’t ask them if you are burnt to a crisp.” She heard him swear and smiled. Glad for some odd reason that it was she that had made him forget the approaching dawn.
“Got to go” He stated.
"Don’t go too far.” She told him. “I’ll want those questions answered tonight.”
“Do I have a choice?” He retorted.
“Well yes. But I guarantee that you will never rest peacefully, cause I’ll keep bothering you,” She said with a smile. At that the connection was gone. Ailis went upstairs pulled the dark curtains closed and went to bed. Kenneth barely made it inside the house before the sun broke over the horizon. He was so utterly shaken by the night’s activities. He quickly went to his chambers and sought oblivion.
Ailis did not sleep well that day. She kept waking up feeling a deep sense of loss. She didn’t know what it was but she knew it had to do with Kenneth. He was a mystery. She knew he was the one who was killing all of these people but she could not bring herself to hate him for it. Still, she was a detective and with that came her responsibility. What was she going to do? Arrest a vampire. She was so confused. She fought with herself over the fact that all of the victims, upon further investigation had proven to be very bad people. The first was six weeks ago and it turned out that he was a suspect in Marion County in a murder investigation. Upon searching his apartment they found the evidence in the form of pictures that proved he had killed a High School student from Gainesville and dumped her body in a river.
The next was three weeks ago and they discovered that he ran an adult movie company that also did teen bondage flicks on the side. She hated to find out what the newest addition to the morgue had done to end up in an abandoned theater with every last drop of blood drained from him. She hated herself for siding with Kenneth but in this case she felt that they had gotten what they deserved. That still didn’t change the fact that it was her job to catch the person responsible for these crimes. But the trouble was they didn’t seem that much like crimes to her.
“The rays of the sun” Ailis sat straight up in her bed and glanced around the dark room. She wasn’t dreaming. She had heard his voice plain as day.
“What are you talking about?” She asked sleepily.
“The rays of the sun, that’s what Ailis means. Funny isn’t it?” He asked sounding as sleepy as she did.
She was so startled it took her a few moments to answer. “I thought you people slept during the day?” She asked him grumpily.
“We normally do, but all of your worrying has kept me awake.” He replied.
“I’ve kept you awake.” She stated. “You’re the one who has kept me awake, I’ve never felt so sad before and those feelings are coming from you.”
“Woman I have no idea what you are talking about. Now go to sleep so that I can.”
Ailis finally fell asleep with a smile on her lips.