Tegan entered the warehouse from Oak Road. Her old friend was seated at a black marble table.
“Well, any luck?” she asked.
“He’s at a loft on Essex Street.” The old man said.
Tegan’s stomach sank. Why would Ian be here unless he was involved?
“And what of Wilhelm?”
“He is cloaked.”
She let out a long sigh.
“Alright let’s wait until dark, then we will head over to confront Ian.” she said.
“Shall I call Dylan?” he said as he pushed up his glasses.
His brown eyes widened. She could see the familiar crinkle on his forehead whenever he was concerned.
“Don’t give me that look, Elia.”
Tegan entered the building from the alley where the streetlight was out. She could smell him. She rushed up the creaky wooden staircase. His scent grew stronger. It was apartment four. She stopped in front of it, planning her entrance. Should she frighten him, be nice, which play would get the fastest result? Violence of course. She kicked in the wood door and found him, hazel eyes wide, mouth agape holding two glasses of Champagne.
“Still like it rough, I see.” Ian said.
“Where is Wilhelm?” she asked. Trying not to smile at him.
He flashed his eyes at her.
“Really? This isn’t a social visit.”
“We have a problem. Wilhelm has been released.”
Ian took a sip of his bubbly.
“You mean your House has a problem. I doubt Wilhelm knows that I had any part in your sticky business.”
She felt a heat rise in her body. After all these centuries he was still the same selfish fucker.
“Maybe you released him,” she said. “I wonder what the Board would think about that?”
“Oh, hold on, I have no use for him. He wasn’t my pet.”
She turned to leave there was no point in spending one more second in his presence. Then she realized. The Champagne, he had two glasses.
“Were you expecting company?”
“No, well Sarah….”
“Of course, Sarah I almost forgot about your new …. pet.”
He saw her from across the street. Her blonde hair flowing in chaos all over her face. This would be easy. She shoved her yoga mat into the back seat and headed toward Spring Street toward the all-night cafe hidden by old oaks. It was in the trees he would appear. He chuckled to himself, he wanted her to be scared. He wanted her to beg for mercy.
He crept behind her as her tennis shoes glided along the cobble stone. She stopped and turned jamming her fist hard into his ball sack. He lounged forward, catching himself before his pale face hit the two hundred year old sidewalk. He had to catch his breath and take her but the fire in his balls slowed him. She stood over him and kicked him hard in the head. He rolled over into the moonlight. A bell ringing through his head as blood came out his nose. I can bleed? He thought. She got a glimpse of his face in the moonlight sneaking through the oaks.
“Oh my God!” she gasped. “How is this possible?”
He looked straight at her. Her blue eyes looked soft, as if they cared. There was no time to think, she had seen him. He summoned all he had to give, leapt to his feet and grabbed her by the neck, leaned in and bit.
A long slow breath eked out of her. The first drop hit his soul. This was what it was like to be alive. A surge of electricity rose up his spine. He almost ejaculated on himself. He couldn’t get enough, he drank and drank, each drop touching a part of him he had lost.
He bathed in the warm glow of it, but knew he had to leave, fast. He felt someone coming, someone stronger. He looked ahead and saw a thick fog, that chilled him from hundreds of feet away. It wasn’t a cold fog, but it was what would emerge from it that stirred him. He didn’t have time to move her body, he just ran off into the park across the street from him. He hid in the big oaks, hoping it would pass him. He was still high on her blood so his senses were heightened. He felt cold pins go up his spine. He turned around, the fog was right in front of him, he was surrounded in its thick gray mist. He felt a hand grab him by the neck and push him up against an old oak.
“Time to go where you belong,” a man’s voice said.
More from the Chapter, “A Special Kill”
Dan had a lump in his throat, for an hour. No amount of black coffee was helping. His hand shook as he dialed.
“Meredith. I don’t know how to tell you this, it’s Jim. The police found his body….drained of blood.” He let out a deep breath.
A wave of cool relief washed down through his head, into his chest.
“He’s dead! He’s dead, what a relief. It’s over, it’s finally over.” She blurted out. “We were having a hard time, that’s what I️ meant. Does the Sheriff have any leads on Sean?”
“No, they still haven’t found Sean. I’m coming over, you shouldn’t be alone right now..”
“No need to come over, I need to go shoe shopping.”
“AH Meredith,” Dan raised his voice. Did you hear me, Jim, your fiancée is dead!”
“Yes, I heard you, I guess I’m just in shock. What if he becomes a vampire? Where is his body, now?”
Dan’s stomach bounced. He hadn’t even thought of that. What if Jim turns?
“The coroner’s office. Sheriff Keane said there will be an autopsy.”
“He can turn Dan. We need to get the body and destroy it.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” he said. “Lets think about this.”
“There is nothing to think about. Meet me at the coroner’s office at 6 pm it should be closed by then. I have to go, shopping before the sun goes down.”
Dan had never decapitated a dead body before, but he was willing to try. Especially if it meant saving Jim from an undead existence of blood drinking and killing his friends.
His stomach was a fire pit. He put on his goggles which were slippery from the sweat on his face. He grabbed the ax, stood back to swing, then hesitated.
“What the fuck am I doing?” He said as he turned to Meredith.
“He can wake up any minute Dan,” she said. “You have to do it.”
“Wait didn’t it say in one of the journals that we can burn them?” He asked. “Are we even sure he’s going to become one?”
“I have lighter fluid in the car,” she said.
The vampire drank every drop Jim had to give, then dropped his body in the December snow. The electric liquid danced through his undead veins, giving him a brief euphoria topped off with a light buzz in his chest. Blood dripped down his porcelain face, he reached for the blood stained handkerchief in his coat pocket. He was ready to bolt when he realized who he had dropped in the snow. The buzz in his chest turned to fire, then to a ticklish laughter as he remembered how much he hated Jim Summers. He was told how to dispose of bodies, but not tonight. This was a special kill, one everyone should see.
Meredith strolled through the French Market looking for a sun hat. It was November and 78 degrees. She couldn’t stop thinking about the note she found next to her pillow this morning.
“Are you predator or are you prey? Decide!”
Her phone buzzed it was Jim again. I should have never told him, she thought.
“I need you to come home now, or I will fly out there and get you,” Jim said.
“You don’t understand, this is about my brother. I have a lead,” she said. “Oh I like that one,” she said to the lady seated at the table. It was brown weave with a sunflower.
“In New Orleans, that’s unlikely. I just don’t know if we can continue like this and who are you talking to?”
“What do you mean?” she asked even though she had heard this all before.
His insecurity blared through her phone.
She felt that ache in her throat that she often got when having this conversation with him.
“Are you seeing someone else?” he asked. “Is it Dan Okada?”
And there it was again. She was sleeping with any man she was friends with.
“No, Dan is like a brother to me. I have to go.”
She put her phone away, but Jim buzzed again. She just ignored it. He had no reason to doubt her, she had never cheated on him. She played by the rules of being the good socialite girlfriend and he fit her list of qualifications too. He was perfect on paper as her best friend Sylvia always said. Unfortunately that’s all he was. She prayed everyday, “God let me love him today.” But that prayer was never answered. Jim would not stop buzzing there was a voicemail and two angry texts.
As she turned and exited onto Ursuline Avenue she locked eyes with a stunning man grinning at her as if he was looking into her soul. She almost felt violated by his predatory eyes. She felt a jump in her stomach and turned away. The message from the morning ran across her mind.
“Are you predator or are you prey? Decide!”
She knew the answer. She was prey. But if she was to find her brother she had to be a predator. She turned back around and looked straight back at him. Her stomach ached, her face quivered. He dropped his smile and loosened his gaze. He nodded at her in approval as he stepped into the coffee shop across the street. How did he do that? He was so close how did he just appear across the street? Was he….a vampire?
As Tegan walked over dried leaves on Spring Street her phone buzzed incessantly. Everyone needed her advice or opinion on something. She realized with Justin gone she was now in charge. Really in charge. She had to call Ian, she was able to contact Ian for the first time in a hundred years, without permission, secrecy or repercussions.
Justin’s new prison offered a new opportunity. She might even be able to reunite the clans. She was getting ahead of herself. For now she just needed to call her estranged husband. So why was she hesitating? Because she knew deep down there was no happily ever after with Ian. He would eventually try to take over the Clan himself if she let him back in.
Then there was Dylan husband number three always loyal but rash and vicious when needed. He was often more action than thought. He could be a problem too.
Maybe she should lock them all in coffins she thought.
Tegan arrived at the Bean on Beacon and Charles as Dan ordered his coffee. She hid in the back and felt into his energy. He was tense, emotional, angry. She went further and read his thoughts. He and Sean O’Rourke were preparing to leave their job today. Good for them, that Weller could be a son of a bitch, she thought. She needed more intell on everything else he was doing today. She had to touch him.
“MEDIUM CHAI with whole milk, extra cinnamon for Tegan,” the barista said.
She moved forward to the faux white marble counter, Dan was standing close by, she nudged him as she walked by, a slight tingle of electricity went right to her solar plexus. He had the deep magic of the Okada bloodline but he buried it, sealed it behind a thick gray wall. She grabbed her chai, turned around, smiled, looked straight on into his deep brown eyes as she nudged him again as she tried to exit.
“Tegan? Like Sarah and Tegan?” he asked.
She felt his attraction like a blue flame hovering in the small space between them. She knew that energy. She had to cut it off.
“More like running late, Tegan.” she said winking her right green eye at him.
She glided out the door sending a surge of sharp, frigid wind his way so he could not follow. She needed to get to his office before Dylan found Sean O’Rourke there.
Tegan swallowed hard as she paced the floor her mind was a triathlon of thoughts. Who freed him? Why? How did they free him? Someone was always watching the tombs on the security system. And her last thought, it was bad to have just staked one of the only vampires in the world strong enough to help them.
Dylan only had one thought.
“The truce is over, Tegan,” he said. “The O’Rourkes will be coming, if we do not get to them first.”
With that he sped out of the tomb.
“Dylan, DON’T! Damn it.”
She raced up the stone steps after him, but he was gone only the aspen scent of him remained. The O’Rourkes, we could manage them, they weren’t hunters anymore. They were harmless. Oh shit, they were defenseless and she had placed Dan with them. This is was turning out to be one of the worst days in the last one hundred years!
She didn’t hesitate upon the words entering her ears, piercing her heart, she raised the wooden stake in her right hand and rammed it hard right through Justin’s heart.
He let out a loud gasp. His brown eyes widened as he stared at her grasping for the stake.
Dylan gasped as well, but saw the opportunity and rushed over placing his hands over Tegan’s and shoved the stake in further.
Justin’s head flew back.
“How could you?” he whispered. I thought you understood.”
Tegan was silent as the tears flowed down her porcelain cheeks. Dylan lifted Justin’s body and placed him in Philippe’s empty coffin.
“Chains, we are going to need chains,” she said.