Tegan leaned back and closed her eyes. Henry knew she must have trusted him. When they reached the hotel he gently nudged her awake. She opened her eyes as the hotel doorman opened the car door. She exited falling to her knees.
The doorman gasped, then moved quickly to life her.
A knot formed in Henry’s throat at the sight of it. He summoned all he had.
“Tegan,” Henry called to her. He slid over and jumped out to help her. He took her arm under his.
“Which room do you need?”
She turned to him, a shell of the vampire he had researched, feared.
“It’s room… oh he’ll do.” She said as a young Nazi officer approached.
“Let me see your papers, Yankee,” he said to Henry.
“Close your eyes Henry,” Tegan said.
She lounged forward and embraced the officer sinking her fangs into his neck. Henry’s heart raced. He looked up and down the sidewalk no one seemed to notice, what was happening. Even the doorman asked..,
“Too much wine? We have coffee inside for the lady.”
“We…were good!” Henry stuttered.
Drive,” Tegan said.
“I need to feed. Take me to Hotel Wolff.”
“We can’t…,” Henry stopped himself. How could he argue with her? Even in her shaken state, she could overtake him.
“I have a regular there, it’s not what you think. He gives me blood.”
“Ok, Milton head to Hotel Wolff in the ArnulfstrauBe,” he told the driver.
“What happened tonight,” he asked.
“I touched him as I said and I saw what is to come….” she said. “Complete devastation, death, genocide.”
Henry’s heart jumped. He believed her.
“We need you,” he said. “We need your organization, we must defeat this monster.”
“I actually agree with you.”
Tegan took a seat in a pew in front of Agent Cahill. She knew she had to gain his trust by taking the weaker position.
She turned to greet him observing his blue eyes widened, his mouth agape.
“Yes, I can enter a church,” she grinned.
He shook his head as if to snap himself to.
“I guess there is a lot I need to learn about vampires.”
“There’s a lot everyone needs to learn about vampires,” she said.
He loosened his shoulders.
“Well it looks like we have a common interest.”
“Or a common enemy,” she said.
“Indeed, the Fuhrer, is everyone’s enemy. You know what we need, what do you need?”
She twirled her red locks.
“Safe passage out of the country back to the US for myself and my son.”
“What about your husband?…”
“Unfortunately he is more loyal to his homeland than I first understood.”
Leslie Paxton had that cold tight feeling in her chest again. Her lover Sarah acted like nothing was wrong.
“Its just a routine assignment,” Sarah said. “A fluff piece for Halloween, they want to bring in a younger audience, college kids love vampires, that silly Buffy movie is even being made into a TV show my editor said.”
The silly fluff piece went well past Halloween, Sarah was out at all hours of the night, she seemed tense, nervous, in a fog. Leslie wanted her to drop the story, but knew she couldn’t ask, so she offered to help, Sarah declined.
“Don’t want to share your Pulitzer?” Leslie joked.
“Something like that,” Sarah’s smiled.
It was late December when Leslie finally had enough. She jumped in her VW and followed Sarah to a club called Insomnia in Southie. She parked a few blocks away grabbed her mace and a screw driver out of the glove compartment and made her way to the brick building hidden in back of a cobble stone alley. She walked past a bunch of goth looking kids, showed the very tall pale, bouncer her ID and entered into a long red hallway. Her heart started to jump. Why was it so quiet? She slowed down as she moved closer to the wooden door that led into another room. She could hear a woman laughing inside. Leslie opened the door just enough to see Insominia’s secret.
The journals and archives of Tegan’s life were endless. Dan had secretly been accessing them through the Foundation’s library for months. He needed to know who she really was–friend, or secret enemy. He had downloaded a few volumes on his reading device and brought them on the plane.
Page 505 paragraph 3
The ship docked in what is now known as Boston Harbor in 1630. Only five families remained alive. A decision had to be made quick. Orion wanted to kill them all. I understood his reasoning, most Christians couldn’t be trusted with our secret. He made a good argument that they would eventually turn on us and have us staked. Tegan had a better idea. She suggested, why not force them to keep our secret by turning one of their beloved family members. Make them see what we go through, make them sympathize, Orion loved it. Out of respect for Tegan’s age and stature in the vampire community we asked her to pick the family members that should be turned. The first one she wanted was Joseph O’Rourke. My first thought was that she was just looking to make Justin, her ex lover, jealous with the handsome young man. Over time however, I began to see the wisdom of all of Tegan’s choices. She did nothing out of simple spite. Every move she ever made was highly calculated and always to the advantage of our family. Joseph O’Rourke was an excellent choice.
From the Memoirs of the Vampire Gabriella Martinez
Was she friend or foe? Just keep quiet he told himself. His stomach spun. He was strong, he could take her. But she was a threat?
“By the vampire code, you must repay me for your release,” she said.
“So, you are an opportunist, what a relief.” he said. “What is your name madame?”
“I am Sarah,” she smiled, “We need to go—Wilhelm.”
“I have a safe house for you, but we need to move, fast.”
He looked around the room noticing all the other coffins.
“Where am I?”
“The De Morlais Tomb.”
He felt a sharp pain in his heart. The memories flooded back. Tegan, she did this to me—with those hunters, the O’Rourkes. He hopped out of the coffin, following Sarah toward the main gate.
The cold wind felt familiar as did the gray autumn sky. He was buried in 1945, he hoped Boston was somewhat recognizable to him.
The noise was unbearable, most of it Wilhelm couldn’t understand. He had been a prisoner for seventy-three years. It took all the strength he possessed to scratch the top of the wooden coffin. The noise was coming closer to him, pounding, thrashing, piercing his sensitive ears. His wooden prison shook.
“Stop, stop,” he cried out covering his ears. A sharp terror filled him as he realized someone was opening the top of his prison.
“Holy Hell.” He heard a woman’s voice, unrecognizable to him. “This can’t be possible.”
He stayed silent. His fear subsiding. He summoned all his strength to open his eyes and meet his new savior. Something dripped onto his mouth, it smelled of—blood. Old instinct kicked in, he licked. More and more flooded his mouth, he was being fed, freed, satiated. Alive again every cell in his being shouted. The droplets invaded every part of him, a high warm buzz melted into his membranes. Strength returned. He lifted his arm and felt his skin, it was whole again. He rose to lock eyes with a skinny blonde, young woman, holding a blow torch.
Feeling a little nostalgic today. The shelter in place in San Francisco is starting to wear on me, even though I have enjoyed the solace. It was a much needed break from the world for me, but now I am aching to travel again. So I am reposting a piece from my travels in one of my favorite places, New Orleans.
Day 4 — New Orleans, June 2015
This morning I took a city tour where I got to see St. Louis Cemetery number 3, Lake Ponchitran which was beautiful and City Park. These were all places I didn’t get to see last time I was here. After the tour I ate at Napoleon House built in 1797. Napoleon was supposed to escape exile here in the 1820s but of course that didn’t happen. On one of the ghost tours I went on they talked about how the ghost of Napolean often shows up at dinner parties there.
After lunch I headed back to the hotel to get in the pool. It was really hot today. I almost didn’t go to the bar tour I Had at 4pm but I’m glad I did, Joe our tour guide was excellent. He’s a local authority on cocktail and bar history he has even been on Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain on CNN. He told us a lot of great stories on the local places in NOLA.
The first bar he took us to was Tujagues established in 1856. It’s the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans. And its still a standing bar 200 years later. I had the best Pimms Cup there.
Joe next took us to Pirate’s Alley right next to St. Louis Cathedral. Their signature drink is 120 proof Absinthe from France by a company called Lucid. I had that the other day on another tour. Next we were onto the Court of Two Sisters a very popular restaurant and bar that has the only death mask of President Andrew Jackson in the world on the wall. One of their signature drinks, is the Golden Coconut which reminded me of a White Russian but seemed lighter. It felt like I was drinking a cloud. It was one of the best drinks I’ve ever had anywhere.
The last place we visited was Antoine’s where Joe got us access to some of the private dining rooms, like the room President Clinton dined in. Joe was the best tour guide, everybody knows him so we got easy access everywhere we went.
After the tour I walked into the Boutique Du Vampyre in the French Quarter. And met the owner Marita who is going give me a Tarot reading tomorrow. It is such a nice little shop with all things vampire.
“Look at it this way,” he said. “Dan could be an asset to us; after all he is Jon Okada’s grandson.
“We’ll see,” Jake said. “He fuckin choked out there ya know.”
“I know it was not a good first outing,” Elia said. “Please think on it, Tegan values your opinion on these matters.”
“Why would Tegan want him involved in this anyway? Hasn’t she spent the last thirty years protecting him from all of this shit?”
“Even Tegan has a superior,” Elia said as he put on his coat and headed off for the evening.
Jake tapped his cigarette against his tin lighter. He was almost conflicted. Dan froze, he probably saw the creature as human, he thought. He didn’t go off all half cocked like so many of the others that were brought to him.
He snapped back the tin lid and lit his cigarette. The first few drags usually calmed him. Jake always needed a smoke or two after a good kill. Tonight was different though. The disappointment of it swept over him giving him the chills. He needed another drag. He watched the smoke race out of his mouth.
“Bloody fucking Hell! How am I going to tell Tegan this?”
He was almost numb. The truth made his chest burn. Dan was not a born overzealous killer instead he was a man of reason….the right man for the job.
“I can’t kill it,” Dan said.
“It! I have a name,” the vampire said, “Don’t turn away from me, coward!”
The vampire tried to lunge forward but the vervain laced chains burned his skin and kept him against the cold brick wall.
Dan turned to Jake who of course was ready.
“I bet you’re delicious. What are you Japanese?” The vampire asked.
“Oh do shut up,” Jake said as drove the final stake through the monster’s heart.
The creature gasped and slowly turned to ash.
“Get your jaw off the ground, Mate. We’ve got more vamps to hunt,” Jake said.
“I … just…”
“Look I know you are a virgin, so don’t worry I won’t tell anyone you just stood there cock in hand and …nothing.”
“Fuck off.” Dan said as he walked back to the car.
“Oh I’m just fuckin with ya. You white collar boys sure are sensitive.”
Dan was not laughing. He had to get used to this, he thought. Jake was right, he froze. They look too human. He needed to focus and not forget what they did to his family.