This story uses ideas and characters from Captain Scarlet, and inspired by Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. I do not own any of the characters, only the ideas that ensue. All rights reserved. I would like to say thanks to Chris Bishop for giving me an idea to go in this and Sue Stanhope for helping me put characters in the right places.
‘I’m Chan Kwan, accomplished bounty hunter and working in the prenatural forensics department at the Victory Memorial Hospital, Brooklyn. I hunt Shapeshifters, vampires and anything remotely gross. Lately there have been a lot of murders turning up, people killed in the strangest ways, and I have begun to have some sneaking suspicions. If you delved into the world of the supernatural like I do, you’d understand why…’
Blood. And plenty of it…
I was at the latest crime scene during a mid-summer’s afternoon. I can tell you, blood and heat do not mix well. The smell was almost too much to handle. It had that certain odour that makes you feel imminently sick, not to mention making you feel dirty, almost tasting it at the back of your throat.
I was standing a few feet away from the body; well you couldn’t call it a body anymore. Much more like a mangled heap of blood and guts splashed out across the green grass in long and filling brown streaks. That’s what happens when blood begins to dry, it changes colour. Actually, I find it better; fresh blood kind of puts you off your lunch. What am I saying! Any can! But I can handle it, not like some of the officers on the scene who were wrenching up their lunches behind the nearest trees and bushes.
I wasn’t going to mock them; I’ve done it before. Not pretty.
My work involves me with the police a lot. I work in the Prenatural Forensics Department at the Victory Memorial Hospital, which leads to work for the New York State Police, who has it’s own special team called the Prenatural Police Squad. Snazzy.
Here I am once again on the job, staring at the mauled body of some poor woman just dumped in the middle of a park. Nobody saw anything happen, it was just like the dead woman just popped out of nowhere and, well, played dead. Or rather is, actually.
I was standing next to the Prenatural Police Squad’s leader, Sergeant Paul Metcalfe. He was tall; six foot exactly, towering over me. I’m the simple five foot one, how unfitting for the big scary bounty hunter. Remember kiddies, size doesn’t matter.
He had a thick wave of short-cropped hair, combed smoothly off to the side. His normally sparkling blue eyes had dropped into dullness. He wasn’t in a good mood.
“We are no closer to solving this thing then we were two hours ago.” He folded his arms tight up to his chest, watching the forensics team slowly work away at the scene in front of us. He didn’t look at me, but still I knew he was addressing me. “You got anything from it?”
Had to be honest. “Missing organs and body is only so much for a lead, and so far it could be anything. Any sick twisted monster of these times would play around with vital body parts.”
Since the monsters became legal citizens it was all hell, I found it harder to stick a bounty on people, much less get paid to kill the monsters without getting a jail sentence branded to my back.
“Damn.” He let out a deep grunt and turned around from the scene. I did so myself. Nope, I wasn’t having lunch today. I played absently with the cross I always wore under my tops. It was there for safety, you never know when you’ll next need a holy item.
“Want a coffee, Chan?” Paul offered me. “It might settle your stomach,” he gripped the bridge of his nose. “What a case…”
“Why all the stress all of a sudden?” I asked bluntly, accepting a coffee from one of the lackey police officers, playing tea lady.
“It hasn’t come on all of a sudden,” he stressed on the words. “Murders have been turning up here and there around the area. From what we are getting, it’s all leading back to the bar, ‘Blood Bath’, which people have been mysteriously disappearing from after they’ve been near. All the names we pick up lead back there in some reference but there is nothing. No proof that anything happened around the place or coming from it.”
“Coincidence?” I couldn’t help let out a bitter laugh. “I think not. But it could be a scandal. Oh well, we’ll soon find out.”
“You going to pry your nose in there?” He asked me, looking over his coffee.
“When I get the chance. I have a few places to go before there. This crime could be linked with anyone I know, since most of them are monsters.”
“How come a bounty hunter hangs out with the monsters?” It was almost a stern question.
“I never understand that myself,” I said, almost wishing for him not to stare at me like I was some mad insane murderous psychopath.
“What do you honestly think killed that woman over there and all of the other victims we’ve encountered?”
“Werewolves, vampires, demons, zombies…” I shrugged. “Hard to tell with so much damage. Not much left of the body. A little too unnatural to me. Somehow the kill could lead to one group of monsters in one way, but then another part would totally be uncharacteristic for them, and the trail goes cold.”
Paul gave up with a sigh and drunk down his coffee in seconds, depositing the plastic cup in the trash. I followed that example and we went back to his squad car.
Standing there was Detective Karen Wainwright, the squads tough bitch… excuse me, lady, who always wants to head the cases. She and I don’t get along too well, so I avoid her as much as I can.
She was on the phone with someone, having a slanging match. As we stopped beside her, we could hear the conversation was ending… with her losing. Why did I feel like laughing? God help me.
She turned off the mobile, red-faced.
“The boss wants us to wrap it up, he says we have much more important things on the platter. We have to hand over the body to forensics.” Karen looked at me with narrow eyes. “It’s over to you, Kwan.”
“Thanks.” I gave her the biggest, evilest smile I could possibly offer, making her look away. I love to win.
“I can’t see what is more important than a murder case,” the Sergeant argued to nobody exceptionally.
“That’s what I said,” Karen just slumped into the driver’s seat of the car, sitting sideways out.
“Well, your boss thinks something is, I won’t debate it. I’m not him,” I said with a shrug.
Karen just stared daggers at me, and I couldn’t care less. She didn’t like my behind-the-scenes profession or me. Hell, I hated her for being a stuck up snob.
“Well, guys, its been a pleasure but I have to go back to the hospital, clock off and be prepared for some serious investigating tonight,” I said, almost sorry to leave, but actually glad to get away from the body. Not my job today, my co-worker Edward had that one covered.
“Alright then, remember to write a short statement about the scene and we’ll pick it up later.”
“Cool, later.” I departed from their company and off back to my 4x4.
I love that car; it is the sleekest one I have ever bought in my entire life. Pure black with seats lined with leather. It was a bargain! I jumped up into the driver’s seat, taking off my jacket and throwing it into the back.
I let out a sigh, closing my eyes for just a second. I was extremely tired, I’d been up since three this morning, got called in to take a look at another murder, something on a totally different topic. Then I was running about the office, filling in paper work till I got called out for this. Not my idea of a perfect day.
I got back to business; I stretched my arms out and opened up the glove compartment to pick out my 9mm-handgun, putting it back in its rightful holster around my waist. I am well equipped with artillery. Lots and lots of weapons within my grasps.
I can tell you what I have: A high-powered assault rifle, .357 magnum, two Uzi’s, a sawed off shotgun, the 9mm and a small silver lined knife. Why would I have a knife when I have lots of big toys to kill with? Well, because it is the only weapon you can really hide if you are stripped of your weapons in any case. I never leave home without it. It has saved my butt a couple of times and the fact is, on police scenes, it’s better to go on without a gun so you don’t look too menacing, but the knife stays in an ankle holster.
I started the engine with a quick turn of the key in the ignition and took the car from the grass area of the park we had commandeered for a make shift car park and headed out the iron gates onto the road.
It was a twenty-five-minute drive to the hospital, not too long but I was tired and wanted to get there quickly. Of course, I’m a good girl, so no speeding! Just left the cops, don’t want to have to face them again today.
I checked my hair in the mirror. The gel I had put through it this morning was holding. Good, didn’t want to look a shamble when I got into work. I looked fine, no need for make up at all. I have pale skin, which only sucks up so much tan from the hot weather we have in Brooklyn.
I like being feminine, besides having the mean streak making me look far from it. My oriental touch sorts that out. I’m both Japanese and Chinese, a mixed breed from having one of each for parents. I don’t mind, as long as I live to show it off.
The car journey was long and boring. Passing down the highways lined with many tall trees wasn’t actually something to strike a thought on. Oh, there was a car accident scene but I wasn’t interested to drive slower just to take a glimpse on how much blood had splattered across the pavement. Frankly, I had had enough of blood for one day.
I was hungry, but not desperately needing to eat. I felt like my stomach could turn any second. I’d give myself an hour or so, then I’d eat.
Before I realised it, I was pulling up in front of the Victory Memorial Hospital, my daytime workplace. I just instinctually drive sometimes, like you just know where you’re going even though you’re not really paying attention.
The wheel’s moving, but the hamster’s asleep.
I pulled into the car park, nabbing a decent parking space in the employee section. I get that honour.
I stepped out, managing to fish out my jacket to cover up my handgun. You don’t want to go into public places with your weapons, not a good idea. Especially at a hospital.
I entered the reception area and was greeted by that smell, you know, the one where you can tell it is a hospital with lots of sick and injured people; it’s like a musky plastic smell.
My welcoming inside was a lot of grunts, groans, crying and the sounds of tannoy buzzing above my head.
I approached the reception desk and was greeted by a happy smile, the only one presently there in the room.
“Good day, Chan,” The cheery British redhead, Dianne Simms, hailed me.
“Hello, Dianne,” I said, almost dejected. “Wish I could say I was happy to be here but I’m tired and overworked and need a long, well deserved rest.”
Dianne just grinned at me. She was always happy, nothing ever tore the smile off her face. She was just that kind of person, like the only light in a dark room that makes it glow. She is only a few inches taller than I am, but in heels, she’s like a mountain.
“Mr Gray isn’t happy, Chan,” Dianne shook her head, but still her smile didn’t fade. “He’s been hitting the roof that you haven’t been around. It’s understaffed, up in your area. Body after body keeps coming in, whatever the case. Poor Edward’s having to handle most of the work.”
“He can cry on my shoulder,” I smirked. “Minus, Mr. Gray, he can go back to his hole.”
Edward Wilkie is the best co-worker in the world, such a soul, always helping me out. A pure man of innocence and like everyone else in the world, taller than me. Mr. Gray is a duller man, not someone I’d give a Christmas card, actually, he’s been struck off that list. He’s in his fifties and showing the ware with a thick mop of silver grey hair. His face displays authority and he wants it. He is a very well trained GP but got lumbered checking in as co-ordinator of our department and he doesn’t like it one bit.
Poor him. Wait a minute, I don’t care!
“I’d better go up and see the old man then,” I sighed reluctantly.
“Hope to see you later then,” Dianne waved me off as I headed for the stairs up to Prenatural department.
It’s a bit of a pain that I have to climb two flights of stairs just to get up to the department. I don’t like doing it in the early hours of the morning, nor will I take an elevator. Last time I took one of those things, someone cut the cables on top and I went for a long plunge through an office building. Lucky for me I managed a quick escape out the engineer’s hatch up top before I became a Chan-cake.
I came up into the office, swinging back a big bright blue door engraved with a silver plaque of the department name, so to warn off all ye who try to wander into the wrong hole. Believe me, this one hole you would want to avoid. But not me…
When you enter, the first smell that hits you is the freshly sprayed hint of roses and poppy dew. We have an automatic air freshener that relieves the dead smell from the office part, but when you delve into the back, the smell becomes that musky dried blood smell. They tried using alpine freshener back there and the only result was that it smelled like someone died in the mountains.
The first person I came across was Edward, he was stripping down some of his bloodied garb as I headed his way; he looked up and smiled.
“A bit late, my friend,” he said, throwing away the used gloves and apron.
“Poor, Edward,” I rottenly sympathised, “did I leave you with all the mess?”
“Had some help, a few of the other guys trotted in and out, you know, the usual.” He shrugged.
“What about the old boss man?” I sat down on top of my own small desk. It’s cool; I actually own something more than a bar of soap.
Edward laughed at me, wiping an eye. Yep, expecting Mr. Gray to do anything in the back was much of a joke. “He isn’t that kind of guy. He just comes into the department to make sure we aren’t hacking up the body and selling bits on the black market.”
“Oh fun!” I said sarcastically.
“You may want to go in to see him, he has been throwing fits that you were out on the case too long.”
I began to whine. “Do I have to?”
Edward rolled his eyes. “You better before he comes out and drags you into his lair!”
“You make him sound like a monster,” I said, a faint smile on my lips.
“If he was, I’d pay you to kill him,” Edward joked, walking over to his own corner.
“The Silver Assassin doesn’t come cheap…” I said, rolling my fingers on the butt of the 9mm. I am the Silver Assassin to the monsters since that’s the kind of ammo I use, and I normally carry polished silver crosses. I have a cool title, all for the price of a little monster blood.
“KWAN!” A voice bellowed after me.
I narrowed my eyes, hunching my shoulders. “But I could make an exception for one time, and he doesn’t have to be a monster.”
“I won’t tell anyone if you don’t,” Edward winked.
I turned and sighed. Here I go.
His office wasn’t too far down to walk to, unfortunately… When I came to the oak door of his, I pushed it open, revealing the sheer astounding office. The walls were bright white and mounted with plaque after plaque of honours and certificates. The man behind the large desk seemed something out of place in the perfect room, like a blemish on creamy pure skin. Mr Charles Gray.
He was a great Doctor but a hard case. He was given the job to watch over the department, God knows why but he was there, and from everything that happened under his charge, I just wish they’d transfer him out.
He gave me the instructive stern eyes and I knew he wanted me to sit down on the chair opposite him. I did.
I waited for him to speak. For a moment, he didn’t, just looking at me in one of those ways that could turn you to stone.
I was about to say something, anything to break the silence when his voice echoed over me and around the room.
“If you take this job so seriously why do you lag about? You are needed in places but then you are still at others. Maybe you should learn the routine and know better then to waste time chattering with the cops. It’s a go in, assess and get out procedure, you understand?"
I frowned, anger seeping into my words. “I have to take time in assessing.”
“You don’t just assess,” he leaned forward. “You loiter about like you have nothing better to do while we are overrun by the paranormal dead in this department. Some days I’m glad to just be a watcher in this section. I feel sorry for those out their busting their butts off, knee high in blood while you waltz around like the world will never end.”
It was such a pointless fight. He just likes to have a go at me whatever I do, he is never ever happy. What a life.
I sighed. “I have some paperwork to do, then I clock off. May I go now?”
He couldn’t argue, he knew I had been up early. He just turned away from me in his wickedly cool spinning chair. “Just go before I make you scrub the slabs in the morgue.”
Oh, I’m so scared!
I stood up and left, smiling like a Cheshire cat.
As I shut the door, the smile broke wider and I rushed over to my desk and jumped into the seat, rocking it back slightly.
Edward looked at me with a raised eyebrow. “You seem happy.”
“The boss is angry, that always makes me happy!” I said, gleefully.
“Crazy woman,” Edward commented.
I sat up. “Well, my work for today isn’t done. A report to write then to go out and do my own investigating by moonlight.”
“You sure lead a busy life, especially after dark,” he said.
“A licensed bounty hunters work is never done!” I exclaimed. “But frankly, I’m not out on a kill, I’m doing a favour for the police. Anyway, I hope to catch up on my life when I clock off. Can’t wait to drip into a warm bath and read a trashy romance novel.”
“You are pure feminine deep down,” he laughed, almost as if it was unbelievable.
“Don’t be too surprised. Anyway, chatting like this won’t get me home any faster,” I brought a biro out of the pen pot on the corner of my desk.
Right, back to the real mean things in life.
Once I finished my work, I left with no buts. Mr Gray couldn’t stop me now. My bed called, and maybe if I was lucky, I could catch a few winks before nightfall.
Fat chance! But in my world I sometimes get that rare privilege.
I pulled up outside my apartment building. It is fairly tall, grey and pebble dashed. I live way up on the top floor. I purposely bought one on top so that anyone who wanted to kill me would have to climb a lot of stairs first, or take the lift, whatever way, still gives me the home advantage. In some respects anyway…
I pulled out my key from my pocket as I trailed slowly towards the door of the apartment. I pushed open the swinging door and entered into a cold foyer, lined with wooden mailboxes. I got my small key out to check inside mine. Nope, nothing today. The mailman isn’t my friend; he has nothing to bring me.
I climbed the stairs, whistling absently, fiddling with my jacket cuffs. When I reached my floor, a happy neighbourly face greeted me.
“Hello, Seymour,” I said softly, stopping directly in front of the dark man.
Seymour Griffiths, my humble neighbour a door down from me. He is a dark man but has a face so innocent and full of wonder it makes me smile. He is a year older than I am at 27 but he is like a child, always so hyper and bubbly. I liked him, but not in a way that would have me falling into his arms.
“You know, you never fail to amaze me,” he said, speaking in his rich Caribbean accent, with the hints of teasing present. “I hear you up and running around at 3 in the morning, I don’t know how you live with such little time to sleep.”
“Well, as they say, I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” I shrugged, smirking, spinning my keys on my fingers without thinking about it.
“Well, I’ll sleep dead or alive, suits me fine,” Seymour said, patting my shoulder as he walked past me. “I’d better be off, the shelves don’t start themselves.”
“What would Mr. Pep’s convenience store do without you, huh?” I smiled, jabbing him slightly in the shoulder as he headed for the stairs.
He just shrugged. “Wouldn’t want to find out. Bye, Chan!”
“Bye,” I turned and only had to walk a few paces to be right outside my own door.
I jingled the keys in my hands as I searched for the right one to unlock my door. Didn’t take me a few seconds before I walked into my home sweet home.
My home is all the dark shades, minus my bedroom, which is an amber colour. Don’t ask me why, but when I sleep, I want to feel cosy. I slumped onto my dark red leather sofa, which made that squeaky sound that leather does as you move against it. I switched from pure cotton to leather just in case I had some nasty visitors coming over and I have to pop their brains out all over my furniture.
Bloodstains or whatever bodily fluid does not do well with cotton, but with leather it just rolls off unless it dries into that sticky brown mess that you have to scrub at. Not a job I like doing on my Saturdays, mind you.
I removed my jacket, flinging it onto a chair matching my sofa and took off the holster with the gun still in. I carried it over my arm as I went into my bedroom to fetch out a large T-shirt and biker shorts before heading into the bathroom for a shower.
The 9mm is placed on the toilet when I have a bath and the little silver knife in an empty soap dish next to me. Oh and the .357 Magnum just above my head hiding behind the shampoo bottles. The gun moves around with me, from the car to all manor of places, just so I have a back up if I lose the 9mm. You always have to be careful.
I filled up the bath and impregnated the water with mountain dew bubble bath and sunk into the warmth. God, I was dying for this much comfort. I wished Brad were here.
Oh, Brad, yeah him! That’s my boyfriend! Great guy. Tall and dark haired and has the sexiest voice on the planet. His only floor is him being a werewolf, an alpha one at that. How did I become involved with a werewolf? Long story, but basically it follows along a case I was on under my bounty hunter regime. There was a rogue werewolf, killing nearly everything in sight. And I mean, everything, from other monsters to humans to cute innocent little animals. It was giving the Lycanthropes’ a bad reputation and with legal citizen status, they were desperate to keep it.
Patrick – the Master Vampire of Brooklyn and many unnamed states, also the biggest pain in the ass this side of New York – was pretty disturbed that some of his flock were being killed and pulled me in on the case. I found out that Brad, the Werewolf leader had legally got permission for me to gun the rogue down, with his help and couple of the wolves’, wanting to clear a scratched slate so to speak.
We kind of hit off from then on.
Now getting back to Patrick, he is the most annoying man/vampire in the world and is stalking after me, trying to woo me. Like he is ever going to succeed! He loves me dearly, for some strange reason and wasn’t too chuffed when he found out he drew Brad and me together. The only thing I’ve ever liked that vamp for!
Deep down I groaned. I had to see that dead man later. God help me!
I rested in the bath, thinking about the man I loved, keeping me safe. Some days, I dared to close my eyes for some of the images that came into my head. When you work around the dead, the monsters and the blood for this long, you know it will leave a mark on you. Some days I feel like I’m trapped inside a box with all the sides bleeding over me, like I’m drowning within. I’m so afraid sometimes; I don’t know what to do.
I sighed, I had closed my eyes for some time and all I could see what the darkness behind the lids, for once I wasn’t seeing things.
I opened my eyes to the bathroom and shimmied my hands through the water, sloshing it about. I inhaled the sweet scent of the water and decided I had long enough to soak up the suds. I washed my hair and soaped up my body before taking a dip under to wash it off. I rinsed the shampoo out under the sink taps.
I reached out for a towel to wrap around me and another to stick around my hair. I did the bare essentials to my face and teeth, dried up and stuck on the T-shirt and shorts. I looked about for the blow drier and dried my hair into a fluffy mop. I had to laugh.
I suppressed a yawn as I left the bathroom and flopped back onto the couch, putting my 9mm on the coffee table, the Magnum under it and the knife hid under the cushion. I was now very tired. Maybe I would catch a few winks after all. I turned the TV on in the background, just to generally have some noise so I didn’t feel so damn lonely.
I didn’t pay much attention to what was on the TV, I just settled back. I dosed, maybe for a moment or so. I just felt uncomfortable. I didn’t really know why.
A cool chill ran across my spine, like I could sense something close, something inhuman. My fingers coiled tight onto the knife handle as I let my foggy eyes open.
A screech made me leap up, knife in one hand, gun in the other. Eyes darting.
The TV. Had to be monster marathon day today! Some poor damsel in distress getting scared over a shadow. I slumped down.
Easy, Chan, my brain murmured. Jumpy or what!
Yep, the easiest thing for the brain to say when you are in denial or just acting chicken. I put the knife down on the table, but the gun stayed. Strange, it felt like I had glued it to my hand.
If my heart hadn’t already skipped a beat, it did pretty much do so then.
The phone rang loud and my gun was instantly pointing at it.
I raised it up and groaned, getting up carefully to walk over to the receiver.
I picked it up and placed it to my ear, a little bit angry to be disturbed. “Hello?” My voice sounded too disgruntled.
“And a very happy hello to you too, my dear.” I smiled all of a sudden.
“Brad! You couldn’t have picked a worse time. I jumped out of my skin.”
“I scared the Silver Assassin!” He laughed.
“Shut up, Brad,” I grumbled.
“Just open the door, please.”
I raised an eyebrow, “Huh?”
I complied, walking to the front door and opening it to my dear sweet beloved Brad, just ending the call and smiling deeply at me. I snorted and went over to the handset and hung up the phone.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, curiously.
“Gee, Chan,” he said, raising hands in defence, “Can’t I see you anymore without a full arranged booking?”
“Don’t start…” This wasn’t the time to crack stupid jokes, I could tell you.
“What’s with the gun?” he asked. I suddenly realised I had it in my hand, tight.
That sudden trail of power of a monster had been Brad; I wouldn’t tell him I sensed him, in a sort of bad way, he’d take it personally.
“Protection. You can never be sure,” I raised it up, clicking the safety on.
“Are you sure with me?” Could I hear hurt in his voice?
The gun left my hand in seconds as I threw it onto the chair, within diving distance. “Happy?”
I just smirked, walking up to him slow and easy. He watched me with his lovely brown eyes, seeming to trace my steps. I let my hands slip around his waist until I was pressed against him firmly. I looked up at him before sighing, relaxed, and putting my head against his chest.
“You don’t need to book,” I said, almost lost in a whisper. I raised my tone higher, but it wasn’t a bad tone, “But you still need to warn me in advance.”
“Oh, but I thought you’d enjoy a surprise.” He leaned down close and stopped as I pressed my right index finger onto his lips, pushing his head back slowly.
“Surprises aren’t my speciality.” My finger lowered to his cheek to jab lightly.
“Oh come on, Chan!” He gave me the cute puppy dog smile that only Lycanthrope’s can seem to master perfectly. “Loosen up a little.”
“I’ll loosen up when I’m six feet under,” I declared before flopping back onto the sofa. The logic behind that seemed unfitting, with rigor mortis and stuff… oh, never mind, not a nice thing to think about.
He followed, practically leaping over the side arm to sit in the seat next to me. I turned around and shuffled to him to rest my head on his lap and letting out a relaxed moan.
“Tired?” he asked.
“Exhausted…” I replied, the word just making me want to yawn long and loud.
“Your job getting you down?” I turned my gaze up to him and rolled my eyes, and he got the picture. “That bad, huh?”
“The boss is on my case, the police gives me little time to sleep and I have to run around sorting things out on both sides.” Carefully I sat up, still positioned in his lap. “My job is never done! They’ll run me into the ground.”
“Have you got work tonight?” He was so damn inquiring tonight.
“Not really, but I’m doing a favour for the police.” I rested into his shoulder and he wrapped an arm against me. “This monster killer can be anything, so I’m gonna pay a little visit to the annoying one himself.”
“You mean?” He looked at me, almost disappointed.
I had to clear the air. “You don’t have to worry about Patrick, he can woo me but he will always fail.” I softly kissed Brad’s cheek. “I’ve got you.”
He nodded, excepting that fact, but it still bugged him. “I just don’t trust the guy. You shouldn’t keep getting yourself tangled with him. Vampires are bad news.”
“You don’t think I already know that?” I stood up, folding my arms. I had wished for that moment to be a thick silence but the TV took that away with the moans of the actor zombies. I sighed and grabbed the remote, flicking it off.
“You don’t need to worry about me!” I snapped. “I can take care of myself.”
He cringed slightly. “I worry for a reason. If I lose you, I’d go crazy.”
“Come off it, Brad,” I sighed. “You would have a proper wolfy mate if I kicked the bucket.”
He looked saddened by that and I gave him an apologetic look.
There was only a moment of silence and nothingness in the room before he stood up fluidly and came to stand in front of me, bringing a hand up to touch my cheek.
“You know, Chan,” He stared at me longingly, “When I first met you, I knew of your reputation for being masked, being more behind that pretty face, having a certain feminine charm and I was instantly attracted by that. I know that you know of the female pack members becoming enraged that you are playing alpha female without even being a wolf, but I don’t care. Do you care about what I am, since you are the bounty hunter, the monsters’ nightmare?”
“I wouldn’t be dating you if I cared,” I said honestly. “True, the wolf part kind of freaks me out but I can live with it, and so you have to learn to live with that side of me you can’t control.”
He nodded, almost reluctantly. He didn’t want to see me hurt, knowing I had a few too many enemies out there. He thought all the killing was meaningless. I couldn’t blame him for seeing things the way he does, but I live my life and he lives his. That is that.
“You been keeping your pack under close watch, since we have a murdering, carnivorous monster out there? Killing and removing organs and limbs so strangely, it’s just too weird. Do werewolves do that?”
“I’ve never known one to.” He paused. “But mind you, I’ve known a few who are sick. Like one time, I had a pack member who cut up human limbs for trophies and put them on plaques on his wall.”
“Sick…” Another thing to make you put off lunch forever.
“And that isn’t even the end of it. He kept some of his maimed victims alive and did unspeakable things to them.”
I closed my eyes and shook my head. “That thing was screwed up, I don’t even want to know anymore!”
“I don’t think it is a Lycanthrope, Chan.” Brad touched my shoulders. “I don’t even think it is a vampire, but then again, you never know. You’ll just have to find out.”
“That is my mission tonight.” I sat down on the sofa once more.
“Well at least let me give you a lift,” he suggested.
I jumped up. “Oh no! I see where this is leading.” I put a hand to his chest, “Look, Brad, I know you like to know I’m safe but you can’t hold my hand all the time. Little Chan is capable of taking care of herself…” I went to pick up the gun and pointed it up for safety. “… And I come with the finest weapons on this planet.”
“Come on, I want to do you a favour,” he said, pleading. “Anything can happen out there. You could end up like one of those people.”
“Only people who have been in the ‘Blood Bath’ in this theory will become victims. I’m not going there tonight.”
He lowered his gaze. “I’m just looking out for you.”
Christ, I think I hurt him. Shoving him away isn’t always the best way to solve things. I gave in.
“Fine, you can drive me. But first, I’m going to bed. I need some sleep.” I headed for my room, in defeat.
He brightened up. “Need company?”
That paused me in mid stride. I turned to him, seeing his face coy behind the sudden innocence he was trying to cheat me over with.
“You can sit up beside me,” I grinned cheekily. “No time for funny stuff… well, not today anyway.”
I was grateful for the four and a half-hours sleep I claimed. Brad had kept a watchful eye over me and woke me at nightfall promptly.
Just before I had settled down for some rest I had called up Pat, and he was happy that was calling around. Smug git! I wasn’t gonna fall into his arms, not now or ever.
I dressed much more warmly, as it was going to be a long cool summer’s night. I much tighter T-shirt, sporting a red rose was today’s pick to go along with stone washed jeans and a much darker blue denim jacket.
Brad drove me up to Patrick’s abode; a dance club called ‘Deadly Whisper’. Nice name – if you were a sick minded pervert – and I could definitely name one for you right then and there.
We parked around the back entrance, shrouded by shadows. I was armed to the teeth. Never take me for a chicken, just someone that knows better then to be around the monsters unarmed.
The 9mm was in its holster, the knife at my ankle and one of the Uzi on a back strap, hidden under my jacket.
“You sure you don’t want me to go in with you?” Brad asked me for the umpteenth time.
“I keep telling you, I’ll be fine,” I assured him, “I’m a grown woman. And besides, turning up with you may put him off being nice towards me. He’ll answer my questions better if I’m alone.”
He shrugged, dejected. “Fine, but I’ll wait here. You can’t force me to go. I’ll watch your back from a far then.”
I couldn’t boot him away, not my place to anymore, he was doing what I wanted to a certain extent, but I couldn’t be his commanding officer.
“Alright, wait here and don’t come after me unless you sense I’m in real danger,” I told him plain and straight.
“Understood.” He saluted annoyingly.
I leaned over towards him and kissed him firmly on the lips. He returned the kiss with the same amount of sweet sensual passion. We parted and he smiled.
“Good luck,” he wished me.
I nodded in gratitude. “I’ll need it.” I exited the car without another word.
It was a short walk around to the main entrance and I walked a firm pace, coming up to the front door where a broadly built, pale vampire stood, looking me up and down. He towered over me, but of course, everyone else did, he didn’t deter me at all.
“Move aside, freak show,” I spat his way. “I have an appointment with your master and you wouldn’t want to put a wedge in the proceedings.” I leaned in with an evil smile on my face. “Frankly, he wouldn’t like that one bit, would he?”
The vamp shook his head and spoke in a rough voice, turned scared. That was a new one.
“Yes. That’s me.” He had almost leapt out of his skin.
He stepped back, not really knowing he had done so. “You are expected.”
I passed him, smiling brightly. “Thank you greatly.” Evil Chan, evil! Ah, what do I care?
The music drummed against the walls so high and loud that you could feel it inside your chest, over your heart like a second beating. It was music you could groove aimlessly down to, something I wasn’t interested in, especially here of all places.
The room was dark and filled with bodies moving against the coloured lights flowing over the room and the strobe lighting that now and again went on and off and distorted the scene, like you missed seconds off your actions.
Vampires and humans danced about in perfect harmony. One human, or more or less I could tell from the bite marks, a vampire junky, moved in front of my face, dancing away with pale eyes looking at me.
It was unnerving, but I just brushed past without a backward glance.
Junkies are addicted to being engulfed in the pleasures of being fed upon; frankly, it sickens me to hell to think about it.
I came into a much quieter area, but still the music pierced around me. I was in a long corridor, walking right down to the end where there was a large red stained wood door. I knocked heavily and loud.
“Enter,” Pat’s voice called out in glossy perfection. I hated it when vampires acted all damn perfect; it was annoying to high heaven.
I opened the door, throwing it back and walked in, grabbing the door and slamming it to. Not intentional, only do it when I’m walking with a purpose.
I was now in the sights of the Master Vampire of Brooklyn and other unnamed states, but who cares about the little places. Dark hair and chocolate eyes faced me; his face was nicely rosy, probably from a fresh feed. He was fairly tall, but sat down, he shrunk.
“Ah Chan, my angel.” He stood and tried to greet me with open arms.
My hand came up in front, stopping him. “This isn’t a casual visit. I’m talking business.” I then jabbed a finger at his face, “And don’t call me angel!”
“As you wish. I’ve noticed anyway that you always talk business,” he chuckled, offering me a seat, which I took.
“I don’t come to you EVER for social calls,” I reminded him, watching with triumph as I swore I could see a tint of sadness fade in.
“Well true.” He wasn’t fazed. Damn him.
He sat down again and interlocked his fingers, resting back into the black leather of his seat. His office was a dark place, lit by one small wall lamp and small candles placed about. Too dreary in here for my tastes and it was so antique it was creepy, the ornaments and décor were reaching far back across the centuries.
I locked onto his face and frowned at his eerie smile. Patrick Donaghue, born in Dublin about 400 years ago. For that age he wasn’t looking bad, only appearing to be about thirty. I wasn’t into really old men, especially anything of his age. And the fact that he was a vampire put me off.
I jumped, as the shadows on the floor seemed to squirm at me feet, my heart raced as something grazed my leg, much like the feeling of a hand brushing up to me. My gun shot out as I watched fingers disappear behind Pat’s desk.
“No touching her, Adam,” Pat warned sternly, “You’ll end up in the city morgue.”
A blonde head looked up over the edge of the table and I watched the sparkling blue eyes watch me before he rose up to reveal himself.
“Oh it’s you…” I mumbled.
Adam Svenson, Pat’s pet werewolf. Master vampires can call a certain animal; it is part of their power they accumulate over the years, and an honour they can hold. So, he shows this off, with his animal to call being a wolf; he likes to show this off. Adam is part of Brad’s pack, but he spends most of his time hanging around Pat, as ordered by the Master.
He stands about 6ft 3in, which is scary. He was only dressed in joggers; his bare chest sporting a rich, golden tan and tight tonnage.
“Hello, Miss Kwan,” he greeted, lowering himself back onto the floor, lying on his back looking up at me with an intrigued gaze. I looked away; he was just acting like a puppy looking for attention, that kind of attention involved playing with him and that always led somewhere bad.
“Adam,” I said bluntly addressing his presence.
“So, what do you want to talk to me about, my angel?” Pat asked.
I scowled at him in warning but went on anyway. “You should know about the murders that keep turning up close around the area. right?”
“Of course,” he spanned his arms out, then brought them to rest on his lap. “News travels quick.”
“Then you should know why I’m here then.” He stared at me hard and sighed, shuffling his seat as if someone has put worms on him.
“You think my vampires did it?” His voice had lost any sense of kindness or playfulness.
“Could be a possibility,” I bluntly said.
He shook his head. “No, I can sense their movements, I have them under my wing. This kind of publicity could ruin us. Any rogue vampire would be dealt with accordingly. But it isn’t, it is something else.”
“Like?” Urging was all I felt like doing now, there was something he might know that I could use wisely.
“A strong demon,” he just shrugged, drawing Adam to place his head to his thigh like a good dog. “You know there is lots of monsters out there, you should have seen a lot of the different beasts that you slay down.”
“Don’t care to look really.” The tone in my voice was chilling.
Pat raised an eyebrow. “You must do to know what you are killing?”
“I could kill any one of the monsters with a bounty on their head and I couldn’t care less what they were,” I snapped without hesitation.
“What about Bradley Holden, my angel?” Pat lowered his voice, distinctly flashing fang with his grin.
He had me in a corner and I hadn’t realised I’d really said it that way.
I smirked. “Love will keep him safe, I’d never kill him. Only the bad monsters.” I lifted the 9mm, toying with him, as I lined it with his head. “Like you… and if you call me ‘my angel’ once more, I’ll be happy to pop you out of existence.”
He just stared at me; Adam growled at me but Pat silenced him.
“You wouldn’t kill me, I’m too valuable to you,” he merely said.
“As if!” I stood up. “I see now that you are right. Vampires aren’t this case’s murderer. I’ve done what I came here for. Night to you, Pat.”
The door opened as I turned and the gun in my hand was now held up against my shoulder, almost at the ready.
Soft footsteps touched the carpet as the fragile looking woman entered. I had to be naïve to believe she was weak. A vampire of her power was far from it.
Juliette, Pat’s close advisor, and hoping to be more. She loves the master and despises me for being his little infatuation. Couldn’t help it really.
She was pure blond, almost a white gold, as I would call it. It was looped through a sort of bun and a lot of loose hair hung across her shoulders. She was about 5ft 5in, wasn’t sure really, the small heels she was wearing didn’t tell you her real height.
She wore a long knee length blue dress, and from the right to the left, the edge dropped like a cliff side. She draped a long mink coat across her left shoulder and removed fur gloves. She was a real fur fanatic, wearing some in trims along her gloves, hat and scarf. She looked ready to take a winter walk.
She only dressed that way to look good. Who was she impressing?
“Ah, your important engagement, hey Patrick?” Juliette didn’t sound the least bit pleased, her rich French accent trailed like water over your skin. Her eyes turned to stare at me like sharp daggers. “Is she important enough to cancel our dinner date?”
“It wasn’t a date, just a material appointment,” Pat said quickly, as if he was trying to cover up for himself on my account. Didn’t need to at all. “We were going just for the opening of ‘Persian Clover’ Nothing more, nothing less.”
She make a high pitched insulted noise and her eyes moved to stare into his. “I don’t know what you see in this little wretch!”
“Thanks…” I mumbled.
“You watch what you say, Juliette,” Pat snapped as he stood up, Adam following close behind. “I am your master and you will not debate who I choose to woo.”
“Unsuccessfully, of course,” I added in, smirking at his blank facing looking at me, somewhat sore. Score one for the Kwan team!
“If she wasn’t around, I’d had a chance!” She snapped.
“You’d have never had one!” Pat argued back.
“I really must be going, I have other things to do…” I stepped back towards the door.
It was as if someone had cut a shot from a movie, as I was shocked to have Juliette move at lightning speed within a heartbeat to be pressed to me, smashing the gun out of my hand.
“No time have you, Miss Kwan?” She angrily snapped. “Always one to act all innocent and walk around as if you can do anything, flaunting yourself to the highest men. You’d be better off out of the way!” It was only a split second later that I felt her backhand me. It felt like a Mach truck was mowing me down. I could barely remember hitting the floor, but when I saw the ruby coloured ceiling, there was no doubt. I hit and I hit hard!
Blood pumped up into my head; my eyes were sore. She had knocked my senses to high heaven. I turned my head as I vaguely heard a screech through the sound of thumping in my head.
Juliette was down on her knees in front of Pat, cradling her hand. Her wrist was bent out of proportion and definitely at the wrong angle. Broken, of course.
Adam leaned over me, touching my face and I gasped in pain and he took his hand away. He was talking to me, but it sounded so blurred, like when your ears pop on a plane. For an instant, I could hear every noise as a wave of power flowed over me. I heard the door open and I knew Brad was there. It was his power.
I didn’t see his face as I drifted into darkness.
I woke up in Brad’s strong arms, wrapped around me like a security blanket.
I felt a wave of nausea pass over me, and then the strong pain kicked in. The side of my face hurt like hell.
Once I had stopped squirming and trying my best to cope with the pain, I noticed I wasn’t in Pat’s office anymore. It was one of his rooms in the guest accommodation upstairs. Light fuchsia walls startled my eyes; the room was plush and finely decorated, but at that moment in time, I didn’t care much.
“Oh man…” I whispered, trying to sit up.
Brad pushed me back down. “Rest, Chan.”
“Where is she then?” I asked flatly.
“Being punished from what Pat was saying,” he said.
I sighed and turned in his arms slightly; finally noticing Adam was leaning against the door.
“What’s he doing here?” I asked.
“He helped you. Got some ice to reduce the swelling on your face.”
I cringed, fearful. “Is it bad?”
“You have a dark bruise on your cheek and a nicer shiner for an eye,” he told me. I groaned sharply.
“Just fantastic,” I whined. “Can’t wait to show those beauties off!”
Brad brushed the hair off the side of my face. “I think what did you in was that nasty bump to the head you took when you hit the floor. I’m sorry I wasn’t quick enough to get there to catch you.”
“Never mind,” I said, no longer caring about anything in the world.
The door opened and Adam moved from it as Pat literally slid in, a concerned look on his face. When he looked at Brad though, his eyes were darkly staring at him, but when looking at me, they were the light brown as I always remembered.
“I am so sorry, my angel,” he apologised. “Juliette was out of order. But I’ve set her straight and she’ll learn to obey me.”
“Peachy,” I said bitterly.
“Please don’t hold it against me, my angel,” he pleaded.
“Stop calling me that,” I said through gritted teeth.
“As you wish.” Hell, I didn’t believe he’d stop, but right now, I wanted out.
I tried to sit up but Brad used his great strength over me to keep me down.
“Chan, you need to rest, you’ve been banged up pretty bad,” he said.
“I’ve been worse, this is just one bump” I was being snide. “Just let me up. Help me to the jeep, I want to go.”
“You could stay and rest here for tonight?” Pat offered.
“Not with all the money in the world would I spend a night under your roof.” I push off Brad’s hand and sat up, leaning against him as I felt a pressure in my head, feeling slightly dizzy.
Brad took my arm, leaning into me. “Take it easy.”
“I am, I’m not a stupid little kid!” I snapped, regretting it almost as I said it.
Brad fell silent, making me deadly uncomfortable. Nobody spoke; it was just so tense. I sighed.
“Come on, Brad,” my arm came up across his shoulders. “Lets go.”
My voice softly touched him and he raised me up to standing, holding me up.
Pat shrugged. “I can’t stop you from going, my a-” he stopped as I turned two solid eyes on him. “Chan…” He smiled.
Brad looked between the two of us and then at Adam, who just shrugged lightly. I was actually quite surprised he had come to refrain for one moment in time to not call me ‘my angel’.
Pat turned to the blonde man. “See them safely out will you.”
“Yes, master,” he said and opened the door for Brad and me.
“I hope you will come again.” Pat bowed his head at us, actually, more or less to me.
“I actually hope it won’t be too soon…” I said, nearly grumbling it, loud enough for him to hear. We passed him and out into the corridor, following Adam.
Brad didn’t say anything; maybe he was a bit sore from getting a blunt stab of anger come from me. I rubbed my good cheek to his arm, making him look down at me.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
He smiled. “Don’t be, I shouldn’t be so pushy.”
“Or a worry wart!”
Brad playfully rolled his eyes. “Or that too.”
A long set of stairs appeared in front of us, it leaded into a narrow passage going out into the main dance hall. The music was still going strong, practically banging against the walls with every deep thud.
I felt myself lift off my feet; my stomach jumped. I looked into Brad’s eyes and he was smiling as he started down the stairs.
“Why’d you pick me up?” I asked, just like a curious child.
“In your condition, I don’t want you falling down,” he said.
I laughed. “I’m not feeble.”
“I know you’re not but you take risks,” he then sniggered. “I don’t want to have to peel you off the floor at the bottom.”
“Oh ha bloody ha!” I drooped my head back, listening to his musical laughter. “It would be just my luck for that to happen!”
When we reached the bottom, Brad put me down and looked over at Adam leaning against the framework of the entrance into the corridor, his hands pressed above his head.
“You should be around your pack more than him,” Brad just came out saying.
“I have my obligations,” Adam replied.
“Yes, but they are pretty damn screwed up if you ask me,” he confronted the taller man. “I’m the alpha and I want to keep my pack from straying.”
“I may be in the pack but I will remain loyal to the master, just as much as I will keep my close loyalties to you. I will not give up one for the other.”
Brad shook his head and took my hand softly after I stood there watching the exchange.
“Come on, let’s go,” Brad walked out; giving one last look at Adam whom shook his head, going back up the stairs.
We were back out into the dancing, thick full of people, more than before.
Brad twisted through the crowd with me against his back; I was following like the good little girl I am.
Eyes watched us. They could sense Brad’s power, obviously by the way they pulled back from him. And when they looked at me, I couldn’t tell what was in their faces. Some angry, fearful or unknowing.
I did catch one face through the crowd that was icy cold, eyes like deep dark pools of cruel intentions. Juliette stood there; wrist wrapped up in her scarf, healing fast from what I knew of the vampire metabolism. She had pure hate in her heart, all directed at me at this point in time. Nothing good was coming from her.
I knew she wanted some matter of revenge against me. Now I wondered what he had done to her. But I did notice a blood had laced across part of her arm. He must have done something bad, maybe even permanent.
I left the building, still feeling her coldness over me like an invisible hand trying to grab my soul. Somehow, I didn’t want to encounter her again.
The cold air had hit me harshly on my face and I sucked in a shocked breath of air and turned my injured side to my shoulder, feeling now my neck was slightly stiff. It wasn’t exactly my plan to go in and get myself beaten up.
Brad let go off my hand so I could lean against the 4x4 while he unlocked it. Wow, he actually locked it before rushing in to try and save my butt. Don’t know what to think there.
I heard the faint click as all the doors unlocked and I reached for the handle, opening it slowly and slipping in, resting my head back to the coolness of the seat. I shut the door and heard Brad shut his and search for the key to put in the ignition.
“I really should get down to ‘Blood Bath’, I need to sort this out before anyone else gets killed.”
Brad turned in his seat, shocked. “You could have been seriously injured in there, it’s only lucky you came out of it just bruised up. No way am I letting you carry on tonight, you need to get to a hospital to check you over.”
“I’ve seen a lot of those,” I groaned, “I work in one remember?”
“Well I want you checked over before I take you home, IF they think you are well enough,” he said.
“Chan, you’ll make yourself worse. I won’t let you do that.” He got the key he wanted and started the car. “I’ve been playing by your rules most of the evening, now you can at least follow along with one of mine. Never jump too deep in, Chan. You aren’t made of steel.”
I sighed. “Wish I was, some days.”
We moved away from ‘Deadly Whisper’. I had no choice. To the hospital and that was final. Actually, I was quite glad. I felt really bad.
I was glad he didn’t take me to the Victory Memorial Hospital, it would have been evil to encounter Mr. Gray seeing me in the state I was. I knew I’d get some sort of lecture about it.
The nurse I did see however said I had a minor concussion and should get some rest but be woke up every hour just in case. I got some pain killers, iced down my face so it wouldn’t swell up like a balloon and Brad took me back to my apartment.
It was about one in the morning, and I didn’t realise that we’d been out that long. Time flies when stuff like this happens.
Brad helped me up the stairs; he ignored the swearing coming from me when sharp twinges of pain started running in my face and partly in my back; no wonder I hurt my back, I landed on the Uzi. I had to keep the noise down for my neighbour’s sake. I did see Seymour unlocking his door, coming back after a day’s work.
When he looked up at me, he almost fell over staring at the bruises on my face.
“Whoa! Chan, what happened?” he asked, turning full to me.
“Long story short, a jealous vamp tried to take me apart.” He pulled a face, one that was sorry for me.
“Tough break,” he said softly, “Get rested up well, don’t want to see you like a torn punch bag.”
Didn’t know whether to laugh or groan. “Cheers.”
“Come on, Chan,” Brad ushered me onwards.
“Later,” I said over my shoulder.
“Later,” Seymour replied, going into his apartment.
I scooped my door key out of my pocket and let Brad open it for me, swinging it full back as he helped me in. When I got inside, hearing the door shut, I feel back onto the sofa and grunted.
“Not such a tough bounty hunter after all,” Brad smirked, trying to joke.
I looked at the ceiling; my pride was in jeopardy. “I wasn’t prepared for that quick attack.”
“It goes to show you have to be careful when playing with the monsters,” he said, sitting in the chair across from me.
“What about you then?” I smirked slightly.
He laughed. “Well that is a different case.”
I stretched my arms downward, shaking my head. I stopped and felt into the holster on my waist. Where was my 9mm?
“Looking for your gun?” Brad asked, pulling it out his inner jacket pocket. I sighed with relief. “I picked it up when you were down for the count.”
“Okay, so I’m not as tough as I make out to be, but I’ve got around worse injuries and took the bad guys to the wood shed,” I said, staking my claims.
He just smirked, I guess he couldn’t take a little girl like me seriously with the state I’m in. Oh, what the hell! I’m not gonna argue with a thumping headache.
“I think you’d find it more comfortable in your bedroom,” he suggested.
“Sorry, Brad,” I joked, giving him a teasing expression, “I’m not in that kind of mood.”
He ignored me, rolling his eyes and picked me up, carrying me into my comfy bedroom. He lay me down carefully on the bed and put the 9mm on the bed stand beside me. I lifted myself up a bit and slipped my arms back to unbuckle the back strap with the Uzi on. He helped me out, rolling up the back of my top so he could easily pull it off.
He grabbed me a long T-shirt of the draw and left me for a few minutes to get unchanged and relaxed on the bed, puffing the pillows up behind me.
He came back in; hands in pockets, watching over me like watching an innocent child. I knew those eyes, ones that said, ‘Why do you drag yourself into the strange world of the monsters. My world…’
Some days I could swear I felt some resentment that he was trapped for eternity to become a wolf under the light of the moon and me to sleep those nights away, without a care. I would never give up on him, so he didn’t have to worry.
“All tucked in, honey?” he asked, sitting down at the foot of my bed, hand over my left leg that was warmly hidden in my bed.
“Snug as a bug in a rug,” I chuckled lightly.
He shuffled up the bed and leaned in to plant a kiss on my forehead then one on my lips, which I excepted graciously, softly returning it.
“I’ll be back to wake you in an hour,” he said softly.
“Well… see you then,” I shrugged, not thinking there was much left to say then to just let me get on with it and go to sleepy land.
He rose up and touched my arm, rubbing it and turned, leaving the room, shutting the door without a sound. I let out a yawn and settled myself down properly.
I never realised I had fallen asleep so fast.
At first, I wasn’t sure where I was. My eyes were shifting between darkness and light, until I realised I was waking in a different place. A soft ray of sunshine lit up my pale skin and I blinked a few times as it shined into my eyes. I sat up slowly, the feeling of grass soft against my skin was unnerving, so unexpected.
I was in some sort of meadow, full of fresh summer grass and beautiful yellow headed flowers. Across the vast field, it was edged with a large wooden fence, and beyond that there was whole array of farmland with animals and cotton fields galore.
The smells were so adorning to me, like drifting through a perfume factory. So potent. Children’s voices travelled over the field as a few boys and girls ran across the grass, taking hands and skipping in circles. They were oblivious to my presence.
I couldn’t help but watch them, so carefree as they were. It just didn’t feel right, my skin could pick up a distinct coolness. An evil lurking so near it was scary.
The pale blue sky was growing dull above my head, turning into a deep navy; a roll of thunder made me look up. A sort of storm was brewing, but it was more than that. I could hear distant calls; voices bellowing like rumbling of an earth tremor, laughing full of pure evil. It was if the sky was alive with a deep dark demon of hell.
I gasped as I saw streams of dark light shot out around the children, by now they had stopped playing to notice this phenomenon. They were crying for help as the whole area of grass around them set ablaze. Sharp whips of the dark forming clouds lashed out at them. I got up, trying to run to them to help them, but each step I took, they were moving further away, all I could do was watch in horror as they were being struck down.
They were lashed, skin cut like paper and blood sprayed onto the grass. Their cries were so horrific I had to cover my ears, it was burning me up inside out.
Limbs were being hacked and mangled on their bodies, even one of the children’s head was ripped straight apart in a thick explosion of blood and a liquid much more thick and sickening. I couldn’t believe it; I was powerless to save them now.
I felt eyes stare at me from the clouds, laughing at me so vilely it tore me up.
I screamed loud and hard, closing my eyes as tears fell free.
I lurched and opened my eyes to darkness, a figure over me. I thrashed my arms out hitting whoever had his grip against my shoulders.
“GET AWAY FROM ME!” I screeched in horror.
“CHAN! PLEASE, IT’S ME!”
I struggled back from the grip, grabbing a pillow against me. My eyes came into focus as I cowered back from Brad who looked utterly shocked.
I was suddenly overcome by nausea and lent over the side of my bed and threw up, my throat hurting once I couldn’t heave anymore. That nightmare, oh my God it was the most horrible one I’d ever had in my life.
I felt Brad’s hand brush the hair away from the side of my face, wet with the salty tears still pouring from my eyes.
“Oh Chan…” He spoke soothing.
I curled up, feeling so pathetic. He rubbed my back before disappearing off to get me a drink of ice cold water. Once he handed it to me, I gulped it down like there was no tomorrow. I panted loudly, lying back.
I felt sorry for Brad; he was left cleaning up after me. But he insisted he was there to help. I could plainly see that he was worried, not understanding the sudden outburst and sickness. I couldn’t tell him about the dream; it made me feel like vomiting all over again, it was that bad.
But I could tell you one thing; I understood the message of the dream.
There was an evil coming, so dark it would kill anything in its path even the innocent and somehow, I’d get involved with it.
I was scared to sleep again but Brad told me that I needed to. I still wasn’t willing to tell him why I had that sudden adverse reaction. I just said I had a nightmare and that was it; he knew better than to ask questions when I was like that.
He woke me up promptly on the dot every hour for the following five hours. Thankfully, I didn’t dream anymore, it was as if I went out into darkness for a few seconds before being woken up again and being an hour later.
I woke up by myself just after 7 a.m. I looked up to see some early morning light breaking through my curtains and it made me get up, stretching and covering up a yawn. I reached my foot over the bed to feel around for a slipper. On finding it, I put my foot in and kicked the other forwards for my other foot.
I strode out slowly from the bedroom into the dimly lit lounge, where I could see Brad seated, drinking hot morning coffee and watching the TV with the sound down low. Thankfully his good wolf hearing would pick up what had been down toned.
I approached him quietly, but he still picked me up like hearing a strange whisper and turned to me.
“What you doing up?” he questioned.
“Can’t sleep anymore,” I blankly said.
“Take it easy will you, Chan.” He stood up, putting the coffee mug down on the table in front of him and walked to me, reaching to hold my shoulders.
“Always do,” I shrugged him off and walked into the kitchen. “Any coffee left?”
“Plenty, I brewed enough, want me to make you a cup?” He followed me in.
“Please.” I leaned against the kitchen table and watched him cross to the far side of the room, pouring me out a strong mug of coffee. It was even in my favourite doggie mug. Yeah, I’m a sucker for puppy eyes on occasions. Only Some puppy eyes though!
I felt rather light headed for a second but shook it off, I think it was due to lack of proper sleep. But I wasn’t prepared for my legs to spasm and collapse from under me, sending me backwards.
I was marvelled by Brad’s speed, I didn’t even think he saw me. Probably just sensed me or something. It was inhuman even for him to have got over to me in time from the other side of the room to catch me. Any normal person would have just watched me smash my head on the tiles as they were getting half way there.
“Chan?” He asked, looking into my glazed eyes.
“Uh, I wish this wasn’t happening,” I said with a moan. “That bitch really knocked me up bad.”
“That nurse gave you quite strong pain killers. Maybe you’re having a bad reaction to them,” Brad said thoughtfully.
All I did was shrug gently in his arms and watched him sigh.
“Right, I’m putting you back to bed for an hour or two,” he said lifting me up, cradling me like a child. “I’ll bring you coffee.”
“I can’t lie about all day, I have to go to ‘Blood Bath’,” I murmured.
“I’m not letting you go the way you are,” Brad said sternly, briskly carting me across through the lounge and back to the bedroom, putting me in the bed and throwing the covers over me.
“Stay.” He put a hand on my chest.
“Oh, Brad,” I grumbled.
“I’ll bring you your coffee.” He left me scowling at his back.
Admitting now, I was a bit angry at him for being so forceful, I never ever liked that kind of treatment, and I don’t think anyone was too keen with it even if it was for their own good. God, some days I just wish I could curl up into a ball and go into hibernation.
He brought me a coffee and ordered me to stay put for the time being. He asked me to use the shower so he could get changed, and of course, I wouldn’t say no, he was my boyfriend and my acting Florence Nightingale. He always had some clothes here, I dunno why but they just ended up in with my stuff. Kind of creepy, isn’t it?
I lay there, drinking down my coffee, using one hand now and again to rub a throbbing temple. I was caught up in thought, about the murders and my dream.
Things weren’t right at all in my life, but I only have myself to blame for it.
I had drifted off to sleep after I had finished my coffee. And they say caffeine keeps you awake. I was only asleep for about fifteen minutes before I was awoke by the sound of the door buzzer. The shower was still going so Brad was still in there, so I grudgingly climbed out my warm bed. I crossed from my bedroom through to the lounge and over quickly to the door, just as the buzzer went again.
“Yeah, I’m coming!” I called out groggily, opening the door to a beaming dark face, pointing at her watch.
“I thought you were suppose to be getting up so we could go for breakfast?” Magnolia Jones, my best friend, said as she turned to look at me as the door opened. When she saw my face, her jaw could have hit the floor. “Oh Chan! What happened?”
“I got beat up?” I grimaced touching my cheek; I stepped aside. “Coming in?”
She passed me and gave me a light smirk. “Need a lawyer?”
Magnolia was the best damn lawyer in Brooklyn, no doubt about it. She had got me out a few scrapes before, and I can tell you, my situations were bad, but she always managed to pull something over the judges and juries eyes so that I wouldn’t get a bad punishment.
“I think I’ll pass this time, I’ll get some legal retribution soon,” I said, wandering into the kitchen, slumping into a chair.
“So, how you shaped up minus showing off a face of bruise-ville?” She asked, taking a seat across from me and slipping her handbag on the table.
“Headache, well, not too bad now. I have some painkillers. Got a bit of concussion,” I sighed. “A little make up will do the trick.”
“So, is breakfast cancelled today?” She looked downhearted. We always did breakfast on Fridays, ever since I can remember.
“Afraid so.” I leaned in towards her and lowered my voice. “Would you be able to take me down ‘Blood Bath’ in a bit, I’m doing a favour for the police. Brad doesn’t want me down there but he has work very soon and I need a cover up?”
“I don’t want to get into trouble with your boyfriend,” Magnolia spoke doubtfully. “And didn’t you just say you had a concussion?”
“I’ll take the rap! Please! I beg of you!” I gave her the sad eyes and she faulted.
“Oh, Chan, I don’t see why I always get drug into this kind of business…” She grumbled. I cheered quietly, making her laugh.
“Thanks, I owe you one.” I heard the shower go off. “Ah, Brad shouldn’t be a minute before getting out.”
“Ah, I knew he’d be in there but it’s baffling you aren’t in there with him,” Magnolia grinned. She loved to tease me.
I pointed a warning finger at her, my smile breaking any seriousness about it. “Watch what you say, Jones.”
“I’ll see you in a court of law…” She grinned.
The bathroom door opened and Brad stepped out in a fresh set of clothes, drying his dark hair. He stared over at us and stood perplexed that I was up again and that Magnolia was here.
“I didn’t know someone was here,” he said. “Thought it was some mail guy or something when I heard the door go.”
“You heard the door go through the shower?” Magnolia looked confused, then remembered and gave an apologetic look. “Sorry, I forgot.”
Brad shrugged it off and walked towards us, talking to me. “I’ll be leaving for work soon, I can’t get a day off from the office, can you get someone to come and take care of you?”
I felt like a little tiny baby when he said that. I gave him a small smile. “Magnolia is taking me off with her, she’ll keep an eye on me. Will I see you tonight maybe?”
“Can’t…” He lowered his voice. “Getting close to a full moon, don’t want to be hanging around with the general mood swings; oh, and the hormonal.”
I understood fully and didn’t say anything else, even though I faintly sniggered.
“Well, I’ll leave you two to your business.” Brad leaned in and kissed my cheek, lowering his voice as he spoke into my ear. “Don’t do anything too drastic today.”
“I won’t.” Well, I wasn’t exactly going in there, guns roaring. I’d probably have to grab a zimmer-frame first.
“Alright, to work I go then.” He was very unenthusiastic about going, maybe it was because he didn’t trust me not to run about and end up getting hurt. Hey! I’m a big girl; I can stick my own Band-Aids on!
He looked me dead in the eye as he turned to leave. It was a stare that was seeing if he could spot any signs of deceiving. He wouldn’t be able to tell; I was keeping a blank face.
As the door shut behind him, I waited a few seconds before sighing. I turned to Magnolia who was tutting and shaking her head. I rolled my eyes at her and stood up.
“I’ll take some medication and get washed up.” I dragged myself out of the kitchen. “Oh and call in to the PPS, so I can tell them my little bit of information.”
“I thought you’d avoid the boys in blue with your kind of record.” I shrugged off the comment. Some things the police didn’t know always nagged at me when I was with them, but I was never gonna tell. What they don’t know won’t hurt me, right?
I went into my bedroom and grabbed out my favourite light blue short-sleeved sweater and royal blue new brought jeans. I had to fish about for my black trainers; they always go walk about. I didn’t forget to take my make up into the bathroom with me as a cover up for my cheek and eye. I wasn’t about to go out looking like the whipping boy for the Mafia.
I washed up, grateful for the cold water to relief my stresses. I could hear the TV go on and knew Magnolia had been bored stranded in the kitchen while I dealt with my beauty aides. Once finished, and feeling stupid for looking like a cream puff with a little bit of purple dancing on the side of my face, I exited the bathroom and grabbed the phone.
When I first got through to their department, I had the misfortune to be greeted on the phone by Miss Wainwright, and she wasn’t one happy bunny. She groaned and bitched, saying that some of them actually had long working hours behind decent jobs to be doing instead of wasting time. Was she supposed to be hinting something? She finally gave up griping at me and went to find Paul. I had a thousand and one things to say to her, what I really wanted her to do was blow chunks because I was living my life and not under her wing, thank God for that one.
When Paul came on the line, I told him everything about last night, even the part when Juliette smashed me up. He told me to sue but I said it wouldn’t be worth my time. He didn’t believe that I’d be a good little girl and not stick a gun under her chin and blow her brains out. Actually he’d be on the right track. I wanted to show her a thing or two, someday soon.
He took down notes and said to keep my eyes peeled and we both hung up.
Also, I had to make a quick call into work, filling in the situation and why I wouldn’t be there that day. Edward intercepted my call at the office, thankfully, so that I didn’t have to speak to the old boss man. He was nice about it. Poor bloke left all alone again. Some days he is a man of little words, maybe due to stress I’d say, so the conversation was brief. I hung up, he hung up. That was that.
I felt a lot better, but I was seriously taking it easy. Magnolia flicked off the TV after sitting through one of the cheesy soap operas know to man. She revolved while standing up to turn to me.
“Ready to go?” She asked.
“Yeah, let me just load up,” I grabbed my 9mm from my room, kept my small knife around my ankle and put the magnum somewhere safe, namely at my side under my top. I slipped on a long jacket to hide the 9mm.
I watched Magnolia raise an eyebrow and I just grinned.
“You never can be too careful.”
“Want to grab a coffee and a bun before I drop you off at ‘Blood Bath’?”
It was too tempting to refuse. “Okay, I definitely need something to fill up on.”
“Alright, lets go then! Breakfast comes cheap at Patsy’s Place,” She said, ushering me towards the doorway. I could take a hint; she wanted to get food down her, most likely dying for breakfast.
I locked up and we trotted off down the corridor. We briefly greeted Seymour as he was going out. He and Magnolia knew each other through family so it wasn’t like they suddenly brushed each other off.
“Where you heading today then, Chan?” Seymour asked after he and Magnolia had shared a five-minute conversation that was made up of laughter and embarrassing times. “Not gonna get yourself beat up again are you?”
“Hopefully not,” I said. “But you know me, I say that then I’ll be coming home in a wheelchair.”
“No way do I want to see that happen,” he said with a half grin on his face.
“You think I do? I hate lifts!” I had to chuckle then grabbed Magnolia’s arm. “Come on, girl, times a wasting. Later Seymour.”
He waved us off as we headed for the stairs and he waited for the lift. I bet he couldn’t be half arsed to walk down the stairs at that time in the morning.
We pushed open the swinging doors outside to meet soft warm sunshine. It was a nice feeling, the air was clear and it wasn’t too dry.
We walked over to her car, which was this dinky sports car painted a dark pink. Sometimes I wanted to send that car into the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean; it was that God damn horrible. I hated riding in it; I just didn’t want to be seen. It would blemish my reputation.
I climbed in, ducking my head low, making Magnolia grunt, that mostly being bored enthusiasm. She got it and revved up the engine and we were soon cruising down the highway.
The music was on loud and from what I could tell was country music. It was nice, but I hadn’t the faintest idea who was singing.
We weren’t more than ten minutes from my apartment when we stopped at Patsy’s Place. Magnolia went in for me while I waited in the car. I told her to get me a strong coffee and an iced bun, not much of a breakfast, but hey, I was on the move.
Magnolia decided to go for French toast and fried eggs and a cup of coffee herself. We ate in the car, wasn’t much point in going in if we wanted to be out of there quickly so I could do my business and go home.
“You really think the bar has something behind the murders?” Magnolia asked me through swallowing chunks of toast and drinking big gulps of steaming coffee.
“You’re a lawyer, you should see the connection. All the victims had visited the club during the night of their murder. Isn’t that in the least bit suspicious?”
She shrugged. “I’m not on the case but it does sound a tad bit fishy. I think you should be careful what you’re prying into.”
“Oh, don’t worry! I will,” I said, finishing up the last drop of my cup of coffee and crushing it in my hand, throwing it towards the bin across from the car. It rolled on the side and went in. I’m still a good shot even though I’m all beat up and stuff.
It didn’t take long for Magnolia to finish up and discard her trash, and then we were back on the road in a flash.
It wasn’t a long drive towards ‘Blood Bath’ but I was anxious. Even if you couldn’t register it on my face, you could tell by the way I was acting. Fidgeting and seeming distant. I was desperate to stop these murders. Innocent people were being killed for no reason and their families couldn’t rest on the idea of some rogue killer who was sickly on a rampage against the people of Brooklyn.
I let out a silent sigh, thinking about all those people. Some had been monsters, but most had been important in some way, with high finances and weird but wonderful jobs. Something had connected them for as targets, but what?
I looked up at the big sign reading ‘Blood Bath Parking’ standing up high at the hedge side of the road and Magnolia pulled off into a small car park in front of the bar. It was a large square building, with 2 floors, the ground floor was the bar and small club and the upstairs was dedicated to pool, television, gambling machines and such. The building was made of red bricks and dusty grey cinder blocks, the windows were lines with brass and were frosted out and had beer mats decorating the inner pane. A big red neon sign was positioned above the double doors in front; at the moment it was off as it was daylight hours. Underneath to one side was an over-exaggerated board painting with the words ‘Blood Bath’ on, with the pattern being each letter dripped like blood. Quaint or what!
Magnolia parked quite close to the entrance. By the looks of things, it wasn’t that busy.
“Well, I’m going in!” I reached for the handle and heard her open her side. I was about to turn to tell her to wait when she cut me off.
“You aren’t in the right condition to go in alone and I promised to make sure you were okay.” She cracked a deep smile. “Frankly, this seedy kind of place isn’t fit for a lone lady of your standards. You need some serious backup.”
“Alright, as you insist so much,” I said, meeting her smile with a wide one of my own.
Magnolia locked up the car behind us and we walked towards the bar. I had a bit of a headache but it was passing slowly. She pushed open the door for me inside which squeaked loudly, ringing angrily in my ear. I cringed but gave her a thankful smile and entered, looking about in a small corridor decorated with pictures of people, most about the history of the bar and its former owners.
We walked through the dim surroundings and pushed open another door. We were hit by a deep smell of cigarette smoke, booze and sweat.
“Are you sure you want to come here?” Magnolia wafted a hand about her coughing, trying to clear her way through the dry, ripe odours.
“I’ve promised to investigate into this. Official police stuff,” I trod on forward wondering why any sane person would actually go near the place.
It wasn’t too crowded at this time of day, not surprising really. Only a few rough looking retired, old men who sat in the corners drinking down fat glasses of beer by the keg worth and wasting away their pensions in card games and such. There were a few greasy ladies in their forties seated eating food near the back of the bar, laughing long and loud. There was a mixture of other people; the young ones were mostly workers there. Decent looking college girls wasting their lives in dumps, you can just imagine my face as I saw bright faces serving plates of greasy chips, burgers and such. At night, the place would be packed with hustlers, prostitutes looking to be picked up, gamblers and some well-known names looking for a way to waste their money.
I approached the bar with Magnolia leading the rear to where a grouchy looking woman of sixty stood staring me up and down, wiping down the main counter. She was about an inch shorter but looked tough and well worn in.
“Could I speak to the manager please?” I said sternly, trying to look intimidating.
She chewed away loudly, smacking her lips as she ground at the gum in her mouth, staring at me before shouting towards the back.
“Rick, you got a couple of little girls wanting to talk to you!” She gave me another grudging look and wandered off to deal with a few new customers who had just walked in.
I turned my gaze from her as a man, about 6 foot tall walked out to the bar. He looked at me and turned his top lip up into a cocky grin. His hair was a mop of light brown fuzz, neatly laid like a fluffy blanket on his head. He wore the average workers checker shirt and jeans worn at the knees. His eyes were a deep brown, giving me a look that made me hate him instantly. A man who thinks he can charm down a horse. I hope he knows this horse comes armed and ready to blow him to little bits.
“Well, hello ladies.” He rubbed his hands together and leaned onto the bar surface. “What can I do for you today?”
I slipped an official ID out of my pocket, feeling all-important. I deserved an Oscar for having the biggest head ever!
“Oh! Flashy,” he commented.
“Chan Kwan, Prenatural Forensics at the Victory Memorial Hospital, I’m working officially close with the PPS of the New York State Police Department. I would like to ask you a few questions.”
“Whose your friend?” Now he was just being annoying.
“Magnolia Jones, my lawyer.” That shut him up. He gave me a considerate look, then took a look to Magnolia and then about and beckoned us behind the bar, out of public hearing.
We went through into a make shift lounge, made up of a couple of old sofas and a TV, radio and coffee maker. He offered us to a seat and we sat down, bouncing on the soft sofa.
“What you want to ask?” He asked snappily, like he wasn’t too interested but also hoping to get rid of us quicker that way.
“Do you know anything about the murders that seem to trace back to your bar?” I asked. “Because it is a little unbelievable that the victims all had been here during the night of their murder.”
“I’ve had the police asking me this, and I’ll tell you the same thing,” he sat down in a huff. “I have no idea what you are talking about. I have not been involved in any murders, I work here and that is that. If there is a serial killer stalking around the place, maybe some undercover cops should stick around and see if they can apprehend ‘em.”
“Not as easy as you may think, but as it is right now, we aren’t sure of the murderers, whatever they may be…”
He looked at me shocked. “Whatever they may be!” he wiped a sweaty brow. “This is getting stranger by the second! You aren’t even sure what it is that you’re looking for over here?”
“It doesn’t matter what they are,” I spat angrily. “We just have to stop them from killing anymore people!”
“Well, I seriously can’t help you out. I’m sorry.” Rick tried to give his apologies in account for himself. It was kind of strange that the bar owner wasn’t digging into the murder case himself since his bar was centred around it. Highly suspicious.
“How come you don’t seem to know about them, as you are the owner of the bar, I thought you’d be more aware of what is going on around here?” Magnolia asked.
“I’m not on the look out 24/7,” Rick snapped at her, making me flinch. “I’ve asked my bar tenders and they are as clueless as I. Is that all?”
I barely replied as I felt an utterly cold shudder trace right up my back, making me turn around, looking eyes were two new dark ones that entered into the room. The pale face that the eyes stared from didn’t feel welcoming at all. Magnolia beside me had tilted her head, some reminiscence of something was lingering in her thoughts, and I couldn’t tell what she was thinking.
Rick looked over at the newcomer as well and seemed a little angry. “You could have waited before barging in,” he snapped. “What do you want?”
“I’ve finished my tasks…” The man droned, his voice so deep it was chilling. He was carrying a mop and a couple of buckets, showing his jobs were in the janitorial department.
“Alright, wait outside, I’ll be with you in a minute,” Rick said, watching the pale man leave, eyes flicking between myself and Magnolia, almost detesting.
I could tell what he was. Nothing more than a zombie. The coldness that lifted in its own power of his skin was enough to give him away like a sore thumb. But what was he doing there, and why was he animated for menial labour?
“Excuse me ladies, I have duties to attend to, if you could show yourselves out, since we have nothing left to discuss.”
I stared a hole through Rick. “Why do you have a zombie working in your bar?”
“Punishment,” Rick merely said.
“And?” I edged him on but I saw Magnolia raise a hand.
“I can fill in the details,” she said softly.
Rick raised his arms apart, passing both of us by. “By all means, she can tell you. Good day, ladies.”
He simply wasn’t sticking around. Oh well, I’d drill him another time. I turned to my dark friend. “Well?”
She sighed, shaking her head. “Conrad Turner.”
“Ah, so we have a name for the dead guy.”
“Yes,” her voice was low. “He was a convicted murderer on at least ten charges. I was working in the background on the case. His final verdict was the death penalty, but then some wise guy came up with the idea with punishment after death as well.”
“So they reanimated him into menial service,” I said, knowing where the end of the story was going, as it was plainly obvious.
“Yes, and if he steps out of line, the court order allows him to be maimed but not killed. A fate worse than death I suppose.”
I had to agree with her, I wouldn’t want to be walking around like a mindless entity, working in some bar like a sap, having to strongly abide by the rules. Just not my style in any case.
“We should take a hint anyway and go,” I reluctantly said. “Let’s better waste our time somewhere decent.”
“Agreed,” she nodded.
We both made sharp exits, not wanting to spend another second in the place. We were both well aware of the zombie man’s eyes watching us leave, especially having some deep focus on me. Unnerving as hell and I just didn’t feel strong headed enough to stare him down. Zombies always won a staring contest; you’d be scared to death before blinking.
It had been quite a contrasting tense ride down the busy main street as Magnolia and I headed to park up somewhere quiet, which thankfully, was the park. The kids were in school so we weren’t threatened by the sounds of screaming kids echoing in our ears. It wouldn’t have done my head any good at all.
Once she found a small parking space, she instantly turned off the engine and we were dropped into a dead silence. I looked at her and she returned the glance formidably.
“You don’t know how glad I am to have got out of there,” Magnolia said and I cocked my eyebrow. “That zombie man… Turner… brought back too many memories. The way he acted, he didn’t care that his life was thrown to the lions. And now, I saw the way he looked at us… especially at you,” she gripped the wheel, her knuckles going bright white. “… It was scary.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it,” I said. “I know how to take care of zombies.”
“I don’t think you have much to fear really,” she said to me, leaning back in her seat. “From what I see, he is under a legal binding contract. He steps out of line and they’ll burn him up or just scramble him, it won’t matter, he’s just a corpse anyway.”
The only way to kill a zombie… to torch him. You play with fire, they’re gonna get burned… to a crisp.
“What did you think of that Rick character?” I asked her.
She shrugged. “Seemed an over eager workaholic with a completely thick headed sense of humour. I don’t think he knows much anyway, not his kind of business. He’s just running a grease house, not the kind of guy to try and incriminate his name.”
“True, I’m just not sure.” I rubbed my chin; an absent gesture.
“You think something dodgy is going on beneath the surface?”
I let out a deep breath. “God, I hope not. I just get this feeling…” I shrugged. “… Oh I dunno, I’m no further into finding a killer than I was an hour ago… even when this first started…”
I think neither of us was in a good mood after that conversation, we didn’t spend much more time there, it was just depressing seeing all the happy people walking by. Little did they know what was going on in the big wide world around them.
Magnolia drove me home; the only thing keeping the car from silence was the jazz music on the radio. Just what I wanted to hear, the morbid blues!
When we actually got back to my apartment, I was so tired and she forced me to lie down and take it easy. I couldn’t have agreed more and hit the sack, with her waking me up every hour and a half, while I was feeling the way I was. We upped the time a bit so I could actually get some decent shuteye.
I didn’t get really any sleep, but when I began to feel I was drifting into a deep sleep, I was awoken by Magnolia. She did however have to leave in the late afternoon to run some errands and I set my alarm clock to take the place of a human. I never thought I’d have such a quiet day in my entire life, just lying there in recovery.
It was about eight when the phone rang, about half an hour before my alarm would go off, so I quickly flicked a switch on the clock so it wouldn’t scare me to high heaven if I was wide awake when it went off, and I grabbed the phone.
“Hello?” I said tiredly.
“Did you enjoy a day off work?” Edward’s voice chirped down the phone to me.
“Very much, why you calling?” I asked. Just like me, straight to the point.
“Just going to warn you there is a lot of paperwork waiting for you when you decide to come back, whenever that is.”
I groaned. “The day after tomorrow most likely, I’m giving myself some recovery time.”
“Alright, well you’d better take care,” he said sympathetically. “I need a healthy person to help scrub the slabs.”
“Funny, Edward.” I said, mock laughing.
“Later,” he said.
“Later,” I hung up, sighing and rolling over onto my side, resetting my alarm.
I settled back down, closing my eyes and waiting for sleep to take me. When it did, I was glad, drifting in a calm dream of being in a beautiful springtime art gallery, with some of my own work on display. I always wanted to be known for some of my hidden talents, but with my life, I’d never get there.
I was pulled from my cosy slumber at twenty five past nine as the phone rung loudly. Can’t people just leave me alone?
I sprung up, groggy headed and picked up the receiver. “Look, I’m trying to sleep, can you call back later?” Wow, I’m the master of politeness!
“Sorry, Chan,” A saddened voice said. “I was just seeing if you were alright, I’ll call back later if you want.”
I shuffled on the bed, regretting being so nasty. BAD CHAN! “Sorry, Brad, didn’t know it was you.”
“It’s okay. So, how are you? Other than trying to sleep.”
I smiled a little. “I’m feeling much better. But I wish I didn’t have such a dull head.”
“Well, you better rest up,” he instructed, acting like a parent.
“I wish I could see you tonight…” I mumbled to him, my voice lost in depression.
“I would love to be there, but I’m having some weird turns. The moon is doing it to me and I don’t want you around if I get angry.”
“Well, maybe another day then.” The best compromise I could think of without whining.
A loud beeping sound went off behind me and I yelped in shocked, turning to slam my fist down on the clock. It had given me quite a scare.
“What was that?” Brad asked worriedly.
I sighed. “Just my alarm, forgot to switch it off.”
“You sure are the king of conversations,” I joked.
“Sorry, getting a bit of a bad head,” he admitted.
I laughed. “We sure are a pair aren’t we!”
He chuckled. “Two peas in a pod.” He cleared his throat. “Besides my long dreadful day of work, what have you done today?”
It was a pressuring question. One that I didn’t want him to ask. He would know something if my voice faltered to lie to him. I wasn’t even suppose to go to ‘Blood Bath’ because it was putting strain on me while I was suppose to be resting up.
“Well, I…” The phone began to bleep. MY SAVIOR! “Hold on, Brad. Someone is on the other line.”
“Alright,” he replied.
I pressed a button on the bottom of the phone to change lines. “Hello?”
“Chan, it’s Paul. You’d better get out here quick. We’ve got another murder.”
“Shit,” I was dreading to tell Brad. “I’ll be out in half and hour.”
“Alright, see you soon.” I switched from Paul back to Brad.
“Who was that?” He asked instantly.
“Paul Metcalfe, from the PPS, there has been another murder.”
“You’re not going out there are you?” he asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
“I’m sorry, Brad. But I have to.”
“Can’t they get someone else! You’re in no state!” he snapped, which made me jump.
I forced a stern voice on. “I have a commitment to make and if you don’t like it, that’s your choice but I’m going. So later to you, I have to get ready.” I hung up, failing to hear the last words of discouragement that he tried to hurl down the phone at me.
I got up and straightened myself out. The 9mm was in my holster, the knife at my ankle and the Magnum hiding under the back of my top. I was seriously armed and dangerous… to face a corpse.
The soft humming of the car engines still whirring behind me were a great help to focus on as I stood at the scene of the murder. Paul had given me directions downtown into the local community golf course; they sure are picky where they kill people.
The body lay just of the 17th hole tee. Poor bloke didn’t get to finish his round. Actually, I should say vampire. He was Rupert Penning, the spokesperson for the vampire side of the city council and one of Patrick’s close personal friends. This wasn’t looking very good, with things moving onto delicate grounds, the vampires might start to crack under the pressure.
Poor Penning’s body was nothing more than scraps of meat. I wanted to know, what kind of monster could maul a super strong man of the living dead.
Sergeant Metcalfe, staring vividly at the scene, joined me. He was expecting me to come up with all the answers.
“Don’t even ask because I don’t know,” I said, as he was about to address me, pausing him completely into a dead silence.
We stared at each other eye to eye as he then spoke again. “This isn’t something we’ve encountered before and with the way it has taken out this vampire, everyone in Brooklyn is pretty screwed.”
“Subtle,” I said with a deep breath.
Wainwright was stood to one side of the crime scene taking in shallow breaths, not looking her usual perky self. To tell you the truth, I found her much more compassionate in this state. She did cast a brief glance over towards us, her eyes looking a bit glassy, giving me a look of urgency. She didn’t want to see anything like this again and neither did I.
A bright light lit me up and my head turned towards it, a hand shielding my eyes slightly. When it dimmed down, a limousine revealed itself and pulled to a dead stop. I turned to Sergeant Metcalfe. He just shrugged.
Of all the people I’d have like to see, Patrick wasn’t one of them. But unfortunately, he was the one to step from the limousine, followed by a proudly darned up Juliette. Faux fur peaked from every inch of her adorning thick outfit; she was hiding physically behind the plush which was serving as a safe guard, especially the hat that cast shadows upon her pale face.
There were no romantic and bothersome comments from Patrick; he just nodded a gentle motion my way to acknowledge my presence. A few officers approached the pair. There was a quiet discussion, well, from what I could hear; their voices were barely audible. Then a high pitched shriek caught me off guard and Juliette bounded through the police, a glossy sheen appeared on her cheeks.
“NO, RUPERT!” She wailed out, pushing away the police who tried to bring her back behind the yellow line. It was Patrick that finally pulled the hysterical vampire away.
Juliette pulled from Patrick and stood, letting the tears flow freely, a tissue coming into her hand from her large breast pocket. After patting away the freshly born tears, she turned to me and strode my way swiftly, until I suddenly realised she was right in front of me like a whisper in the wind. I felt myself jolt back, a little iffy about the situation.
“Y-You have to find… o-out who did this…” She soon lost the words and licked her lips as she gathered herself. “You have to help them track this monster…” She broke down and muffled words into her posh leather gloves, no longer making any sense, the sobs drowning everything.
I was shocked; had she just been nice, after she had wanted to kill me the other day? This was something new, and I actually felt sorry for the vampire. I’m becoming too soft I know it.
Patrick had one of the policemen guide the sobbing vampire back to the limo, then he looked at me with eyes that scared me. They were dark, tormented.
“This situation is getting out of hand…” His voice was drawl and deep. “… I hope you can find out who did this, before the vampires take this investigation into their own hands.”
With that, he headed back towards the limo, pushing past many a police officers. He was enraged, I could feel it rolling off him like a backlash.
I sighed. This wasn’t good.
I struck around for another hour, trying to help out the best I could. The police forensics team came in to clean up the mess on the tee. The golf club manager was completely miffed about the incident, complaining of the god awful blood strain on the smooth grass and how much the police investigation would hinder his business. I hope nobody was up for a round of golf any time soon.
After doing my job, I got back in my car and headed back home. I shouldn’t have been driving, but I was taking it easy. Things were just rolling through my head like no tomorrow. The complete fear that had boiled between the people on this murder, knowing the vampires were finally becoming restless. The tears I saw in Juliette’s eyes had turned by blood cold, and especially the darkness I saw in the once bright Patrick’s face, I couldn’t help but share the adorning fear of the people.
Once I got back home, I was surprised to see my answer machine blinking away.
One message was from Mr. Gray, roaring abuse about me being off work, demanding to know if I’d be in soon. I suppose he hadn’t been talking to Edward. I phoned in to be greeted by the office answer phone and gave him my answer in few words, and maybe a cheeky comment here and there. I wouldn’t be in for a day or so, and he’d have to live with it, and frankly, he needed someone like me in their department so he wasn’t going to get rid of me very fast.
Another message was from Magnolia, checking up on me. I phoned back, giving her a brief update and bid her goodnight.
The last two messages were from Brad, worriedly calling down the phone to see if I was back yet. His voice had got a lot deeper since we last spoke. It was getting a lot closer to the full moon, so there wasn’t a surprise there. I didn’t call him back; I wasn’t in the mood for him to be going on at me.
I washed up, got changed and settled in to bed, realising it was going on for midnight. I would be glad to get a decent night’s sleep, but just in case, I set my clock for two hours. Just in case.
It was a touchy night, my sleep bitter as I kept having this faint whiff of blood catch my nostrils now and again, and I would instantly be snapped away, thinking I’d find a dismembered body lying in my room. Fortunately it was just my imagination. When I did get fed up with this, I sprayed some honeysuckle and vanilla air freshener around. It did the trick… for now.
I got up around six o’clock, the early morning light flicking onto my face. I couldn’t try and sleep anymore after the rough attempts to get some shuteye. So there I was, up and at ‘em with a cup of coffee at hand and sat in the living room with a pen and notepad, writing down things I had found out, trying to come up with anything that could lead me to a possible murderer.
Nothing. Great, I’m that helpful!
I tapped my pen on the rim of the pad, still recalling past events behind closed eyes. None of the bodies had left any certain marks to point towards anyone or anything. Frustrating as it was, I knew there was a murderer out there that was capable of this, and I had to put my finger on them.
I gave up with writing things down, for that fact I had got nowhere in the last few hours and the other fact that my wrist was cramping up from doodling stupid faces around the pad. I tell you, I get distracted easily. Instead of this, I opted to slowly pace the room, flicking my knife between my fingers. This was hard, too hard for even me. I really believed now I was no longer of any use to the police’s investigation.
That was when I decided to take my mind off it. This was probably why I was getting a goodnight’s sleep. This whole investigation had my mind tied up so badly there was no room to consider anything else. I decided to go shopping. To clear my head and waste some time.
For me, shopping is something I’ll do if I really have to. Thankfully, I didn’t have to drive far. I shop at a small supermarket. Not the best of places but it has what I need.
I drove down carefully, wary I shouldn’t have been driving with how I was. I was glad there wasn’t many cars in the car park, so I could easily get a space close to the store.
I picked up the bare essentials, leaning heavily on the rickety trolley now and again, feeling as if the world was getting heavy. Boy, it was hot in there! Explains a lot of things. I saw Adam while I was there, deciding between two different kinds of canned meat. Quite funny if I was in the mood. We didn’t say much to each other, nothing really worth mentioning anyway. I didn’t want to talk to him; he reminded me too much of business and business meant the investigation. That was when I could smell the blood again, even so faint it made me feel sick.
I blamed it on being close to the meat section; but then again, I started smelling it before hand. It was getting on my nerves, so I hurried up and left the store.
When I got home, I packed everything away, orderly and such. My headache came back with vengeance so I went towards the living room.
I sighed and hit the couch, lying staring at the ceiling. I briefly glanced at the time, late afternoon some time, but lost track as I was overcome by a weight inside my pounding head, forcing me to sleep.
My dreams were clouded with visions of faces, maybe even the people who had died, and a dark monstrous figure, who I couldn’t see well, laughing deeply, hideous claws trying to lash at me. I kept awaking from this same dream; maybe at hour intervals, but it kept haunting me to no end. The blood, the tears, the crying… it was overcoming me in waves.
It was much later on, after once again having this nightmare that I was woken with a start. My ears were ringing. No, wait! That was the phone.
I got up groggily, still having quick flashes of the dream in front of my eyes. I shook my head and grabbed the phone.
“Hello?” I answered.
“Miss Kwan, I’m glad to catch you.” I almost dropped the phone. It was Juliette.
“Oh, um, hello Juliette.” I wasn’t sure what to say to her; we were never truly on good terms.
“I’m sorry to catch you so late,” she said with a purring tone.
“Late?” I checked the clock on the wall. 10:35. I must have been unaware of the time flying by all afternoon.
“Oh, it’s okay,” I finally replied, getting back to the vamp on the phone. “What do you want?”
“I wasn’t sure whether to call you at first, I was trying to confirm my findings,” she cleared her voice a bit; I think she was finding herself ready to babble. “Well, I may have some findings that may lead us to the murderer.”
My eye went wide. “You do?”
“Yes, but it isn’t safe to talk on the phone,” Juliette said. “Meet me outside ‘Persian Clover’ in an hour. You know where it is don’t you?”
“Yeah,” I nodded, even though she couldn’t see it. “It’s where the old library used to be.”
“That’s correct, I’ll see you there, goodbye, Chan,” and she’d hung up, just like that.
She was being strangely nice, and I could understand why. She’d be shaken from this whole murder escapade that she wanted it all cleared up.
I didn’t waste a moment. I got changed into a loose tank top under a hooded sweatshirt, a pair of pale blue jeans, some sports socks and some sneakers. I had on my ankle holster for my knife, my waist one for my 9mm and my back-strap for my Uzi. Hey, I couldn’t go unprepared. I just had this feeling the night was gonna take a turn for the worst.
‘Persian Clover’ was the brand new fancy restaurant and bar not too far from where my apartment was. I did briefly remember Juliette mentioning it before trying to take my head off back in Patrick’s office. Oh, and I’d heard the planning about it to replace the old library, which all the campaigners lost the fight to keep it standing. Major riot! Another story.
I pulled my 4x4 into the car park, looking about for signs of Juliette. None as of yet. I found a parking space and turned off the engine, sitting in the dark in silence, trying to collect my thoughts.
How in the hell did she get a lead when I was no closer to finding anything than the police? That’s what was nagging me, threatening to choke me into an eternal darkness wondering whom the murderer could be.
A sharp knock on the window make me jump, turning to look at the soft, made up face of Juliette. I sighed; realising my hand was now on the butt of my gun. My reflexes were getting better.
I opened the door, still keeping my hand close to my gun. I was a little wary of Juliette since she was a vampire and could kill me in a split second. She backed up a bit to give me room to get out.
I looked her over. She was dressed in a long fur coat with a glittering turquoise dress underneath. She dressed like she was going to the opera, not to be divulging information and such on a murderer.
“I’m glad you could make it,” Juliette said, acting all chummy towards me, a soft smile playing her lips. You wouldn’t believe this was the overly jealous vampire that wants to see me lying in a morgue in tiny bits. But for tonight, I assumed things were slightly different.
“You have information, why are you talking to me?” I asked her.
Juliette sighed. “I know I can trust you. Just in case I’m wrong… the police would probably have me for wasting their time. I need someone to check this out with me. To revenge for the murders… for Robert…”
“I ain’t killing anyone,” I pointed out. “I don’t want my head on the chopping board.”
“No, I never said you had to kill anyone,” Juliette proclaimed, hands up in defence. “We just need to make a trip…”
“’Blood Bath’,” she replied, checking on her immaculate nails.
I frowned. “Why?”
“I believe the murderer is… Richard Fraser,” she began to whisper, fearing someone other than me would hear her.
I just stared at her for a moment, unsure of what to say. How in the hell could it be Rick Fraser? Even though it did seem to point his way. He was human! A human could not have mangled those bodies without taking time and effort to do it, and I definitely know that those bodies were quick kills, even in their state.
I ushered her to the car. “We’ll talk more on the way then.”
She smiled and trotted around gracefully in her four-inch heels. I could never be as graceful as she could without breaking both my ankles in the process.
She opened the passenger side door and climbed in fluidly to sit on the seat, not even making a sound on the leather. Very creepy how they can do that.
I held the door ready to climb in when I paused and looked about. Coolness flowed over me like ice water dribbling over my skin. I felt someone watching me. Maybe I was paranoid, maybe I wasn’t. But I wasn’t idle. I got into the 4x4 nevertheless, keeping a watchful eye about me, shutting the door, with a hand close to the 9mm. Nobody jumped out at us, thank the Lord.
I started the motor and I took off out of the car park, looking back in the rear mirror to see if anyone had appeared there where we were.
Nobody. Just my imagination.
“Nothing wrong is there?” Juliette asked, breaking through the quietness that had suddenly dominated the air. “You hesitated.”
“Oh nothing,” I gripped the wheel tighter. “Now tell me, how could Richard Fraser kill all these people and monsters?”
“Well,” she fiddled with a button on her coat. “From reliable sources, I hear he has been mixed in a rather shady past, maybe even delving into the world of dark magic…”
“You mean with witches?” I asked, a little unbelieving.
“Yes,” she nodded hastily. “I have encountered the man before when I visited the bar. Seems to cover up his tracks a bit, and why would he have a zombie around, besides that silly court order around its neck? To do strange things I can tell you. He’s using dark magic for murder I tell you.”
“We’ll see,” I said. “We’ll have a talk with Mr. Fraser.”
“Are you sure that’s wise?” Juliette’s voice was beginning to drown in fright. “If he can do all manor of sickening things to the monsters, imagine what he can do to us!”
“Calm down, we’re just gonna talk with him,” I assured. “Nothing drastic.”
“Alright,” Juliette seemed to curl up into her seat, gripping the seat belt tight. She was anxious. I think she might wanted to get away, just leave it to me to sort out. No, I needed her.
Maybe she was getting at something. I never really thought about witches, it didn’t occur. Some magic could do such things, even though I’d never seen them out in the open.
The big sign of the ‘Blood Bath’ Car Park came into sight and I turned off to head into it. Since it was night, it was a bitch to find a space. The place was packed out, the music blaring out into lot.
I managed to find a place, right at the back of the lot. I turned off the ignition and undid my seat belt, looking at Juliette.
“Ready?” I asked.
“I’ll never be,” she quivered, slowly undoing her belt. “But I will go though.”
“Good,” I stepped out, taking in a breath of the cooling air, suddenly catching the whiff of booze, smoke and… blood.
Blood? Why could I smell that? I took another sniff and I could no longer smell it. It was like in the early hours of the morning, when I could suddenly smell blood.
Strange… eerily strange.
“I hope you can walk in those heels,” I said hearing the heavy click of her footwear on the tarmac.
“I’ve had lots of practice,” she seemed to slide across the way, all dainty and keeping up a stiff, trotting pace. How she did it, I’ll never know.
I had to jog a bit to keep up with her at first but I slowed when I reached her side.
“We’ll take the back entrance,” I said. “Easy way to avoid the ruckus through the front.
“Won’t we cause, how you say, a ruckus, going though a private entrance?” Juliette asked.
“Not if I keep things under control with old reliable,” I patted my 9mm.
I love my gun, so don’t mess with me.
I lead or way around the side of the building, being careful not to get caught by anyone. I kept Juliette close; finally the tonnage of the noise from her shoes had dispersed. That way she wouldn’t announce our presence early in the name of her fashion statement.
We passed the garbage bins, squeezing through to get around the back. I could hear Juliette letting out a few mumbles in complaint but I didn’t listen to her.
The back door was on a jar, the light seeping out in a line. I had my back to the wall, slowly approached the door, reaching a hand to push it open a slight bit more to get a look in. Rick was relaxed on the couch, laughing at some sick program on the television in the backroom. Thankfully he was alone.
I pulled out the 9mm, keeping it in a firm grip between both hands at my side. I nodded at Juliette and used my foot to slide open the door, walking in, firm footed, entering the small backroom, aiming the gun at Rick.
He hadn’t noticed us for a second, but when he did, he jumped in his seat. “What the…”
“Shut up, we’ve got some things to talk about, Mr. Fraser,” I watched from the corner of my eye as Juliette slipped over to the door, that opened out into the corridor opposite the bar. She peered out, checking if the coast was clear before shutting the door quietly, locking it.
“Now, you’d better not lie to me this time around,” I said, gun aimed at his head.
“What are you talking about?” He answered dismayed, hands shaking as he gripped the edge of the couch.
“I know you’ve had something to do with the murders,” I snapped at him. “You’ve been playing us for fools. All those innocent people dead because you are one major screwed up chicken shit!”
“I swear I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he pleaded, hands out in front of him. “I’m innocent, I tell you!”
“How do we know that?” I said through gritted teeth.
“But… you…” he paused, eyes widening to something behind me. I stood riveted ready to turn. I was too slow. A bottle smashed me straight in the back of the head and I was sent sprawling across the floor.
Okay, this is not good when you’ve got a concussion.
I didn’t see my attacker, couldn’t feel my gun in my hand, actually, I couldn’t feel anything, my body wasn’t reacting. I heard Rick cry out something, dissipating in an echo in my mind as I began to black out, with the faint scent of blood in my nostrils.
I began to awake with the most mind-numbing headache on the planet. I was actually thankful I woke up at all. Two head injuries within two days don’t sit well with anyone. My eyes were blurred at first, trying to focus in on anything, naturally becoming a task at that moment. I leaned back and knocked my head against someone else. I let out a small cry of pain.
“Nice of you to wake up, Miss Kwan,” a voice said. “Actually, it isn’t so nice because you’ve got us into a right sticky situation!”
I turned my head slightly; realising it was Rick who was talking. His back was against mine.
“Oh, it’s just you,” I groaned. “Don’t talk so loud, you’re hurting my head.”
“So!” He hissed at me. “You’ve really cocked up your investigation, you know that? Now do you believe I’m not the murderer?”
I was pulling at my hands, realising they were bound, and that his were against mine, both of us tied together. “Okay, so I listened to the wrong sources! So, where’s Juliette?”
“Over here…” Came a smooth voice as Juliette stepped through the door, smiling evilly. “You were very stupid to trust me, Chan. My little act had you fooled.”
“I knew something was off,” I said to her.
Rick nudged me in the back. “Couldn’t you have figured it out before coming to me?”
“Oh shut up,” I snapped at him.
“Poor little Chan is all mad because she placed her trust in the wrong person,” Juliette laughed, her voice so liquid smooth it itched at my skin. She approached me running a hand over my face.
I gasped involuntarily, suddenly the smell of blood rearing its ugly head again. Faint flickers of visions flashed over my eyes, of the dark figure and of that dream I had the night I visited Patrick’s office. All the pieces fell into place.
“You…” I snarled as she backed up from me. “You planted the dreams in my head… the little visions I keep seeing. The smell of blood, it comes from you… you’re the murderer…”
“No, a mere helper,” Juliette stated.
“You’re tainted with blood and you smeared the invisible essence of it onto me when you struck me in your master’s office, by accident of course,” I said. “The only reason you could do it, is because someone higher is fuelling your power.”
Juliette clapped. “You’re so clever, Miss Kwan,” she mocked me. “You should win an award for being a know it all!”
Another figure entered the room behind the Juliette, stopping to stand looking at us.
“Conrad!” Rick said, confused. “What the…”
“Shocked?” Juliette asked. “Thought you might be! I think it would be best to explain this to you before you die of confusion… wouldn’t want that to happen… we want the privilege of watching you die slowly…”
Conrad moved past her, now showing he was carrying a box of objects, laying it down on a table just across from us. I finally began to take in the surroundings. A cellar of some type, old and dank and smelled of ageing spirits. I could hear music faintly. I knew we were still in ‘Blood Bath’, just below it to be more accurate.
Juliette took a seat on a barrel, not caring about her beautiful dress. “I am not exactly the murderer, just a helper to cover up the tracks and make sure things go according to plan,” she brushed a hand through her blonde locks. “Yes, I am working for a higher power, a demon to be more precise.”
“A demon!” I was in a state of shock, and maybe a state of nausea with my aching head.
“Yes, Miss Kwan,” she suddenly began to laugh musically. “Witches indeed! They’d have to use a major spell for that one, and in fact it would kill more people in a go then one at a time. You need to brush up on your magic.”
“I wasn’t fully taken in,” I snapped angrily at her, pulling at my restraints. “I had my doubts with- HEY! That’s my gun!” I saw Conrad holding up my Uzi for inspection.
“Yes, you will find yourself unarmed, Miss Kwan,” Juliette informed me.
“You tell me now,” I rolled my eyes. “I can plainly see that,” I shifted in my position, bringing my leg up to shake slightly unseen. As I suspected, I could still feel the knife in the ankle holster. Unarmed my ass!
She sniggered. “So you must know. Conrad here, is your murderer.”
“WHAT!” Rick yelled. “He wouldn’t… no wait, he couldn’t! He’s a zombie for crying out loud, no real conscious mind!”
“So you’d think,” the zombie’s words came hauntingly.
Rick stammered, his face suddenly flushing with anger. “The court will have him maimed for sure! Burnt to a crisp even!”
“They aren’t a concern of mine,” Conrad spoke in a deep meaning voice, the barrel of the Uzi skimming over Rick and myself. “If things go according to plan, I’ll never have to worry about anything again.”
“I don’t understand?” I stared at him ominously, unknowing of what he would do.
“I made a pact with the demon, Kamaitachi, I would give him the pieces of powerful embodied beings, he would be able to cross into our world and give me immortality. He gave me the power to kill in the way I did.”
I watched the zombie man speak, my own voice lost in horror. The Silver Assassin has nothing good to say, which is definitely a new one! I managed to say something when the silence ate away at the room. “Kamaitachi?”
“The word is Japanese for ‘Folkloric Monster’,” Juliette informed me. “This demon steals the heat of people who walk the Earth, taking their lives to power its own.”
“Why are you helping it then, Juliette?” I just had to hear her story. Pass me the popcorn, this is going to be ‘B’ Movie style.
She stood. “I want power! The power to rule over all the nations! To be the master vampire everywhere! And to win Patrick as my love and slave.”
“Do you think it would slightly bother you that he’ll be under a spell and won’t really love you?” I had to ask.
She smiled cockily. “Not at all. He’ll still be all mine.”
“But he wants me…” I taunted, watching her expression shift. “Could you live knowing that, even under that spell, he loves me… even if you kill me, it’ll still be true, however much you hide it.”
Her face began to twitch and in an instant she snapped. “SHUT UP, YOU LITTLE BITCH!” She rushed at me, clawing at the side of my face.
My head reeled, and I felt the blood pour, gritting my teeth in pain. But she was pulled back by Conrad.
“You will not kill her,” he stated coldly. “She is to die at the hands of Kamaitachi.”
“I was only going to hurt her…” she leaned in sneering. “… A lot.”
I just grinned at her, making her hiss.
“No,” Conrad said forcefully. “Her blood shall spill in the circle.”
The zombie man turned to me with a knife in hand, kneeling and cutting the binds that kept me to Rick. We both had our own separate bonds. Not helpful. He dragged me roughly to my feet and turned to Juliette nodding.
She nodded in returning, licking my blood of her fingers, heading to the table to grab my Uzi, the 9mm and some chalk.
“What are you going to do?” Rick asked, watching as the vampire laid the objects down and began to mark a large circle, then placing the weapons around it.
“Chan Kwan is of power, she will be the final piece in the puzzle to bring Kamaitachi’s coming to the Earth,” Conrad answered.
“You, Mr. Fraser will be dessert for our hungry master when he comes to this world,” Juliette said as she stood up, approaching me, coiling her fingers around my top and tearing a portion from the bottom of it.
“HEY!” I said, then groaning as my own voice caused me a terrible headache.
Juliette ignored me and took the torn cloth and placed it around the outside of the circle. The next thing she did was take a pair of scissors from the box on the table and snip a lock of my hair, taking it to put around the circle.
“I’m not due for a trim, now I’m going to look scraggily.”
The blonde vampire just laughed at me. “You won’t care when you’re dead.”
Juliette stood up, rubbing the dust from the chalk and the dirt of the floor of her hands. “We’re ready,” she stated.
Conrad nodded. “Good,” he pushed me hard, and I stumbled, falling directly into the centre of the circle.
“Ow! Watch it, asshole!” I grumbled, unable to stand.
He ignored me, of course, zombies are like that, and they can take insults.
He claimed a book from the box he had brought in and flicked through the pages until he came to the one he was looking for. He set it down on the ground, and with the knife from earlier at hand, he lent into the circle over me and rested the tip into the scratch wounds on my face. He dug in slightly, drawing down to restart the bleeding again.
I cried out in pain, as he drew it painfully slow.
Once he’d saw he’d done enough, he stopped; holding the knife out so drops fell onto the ground beside me, inside the circle.
I rested my head down, teeth gritted, the blood trickling over my flesh and dropping onto the ground.
“I wish you’d have let me do that to her,” Juliette said, licking her lips.
If I could have, I’d have jumped up, grabbed my Uzi and blew off her pretty little face.
Rick was struggling on the ground. “Stop, you can’t do whatever you’re planning.”
“Oh be quiet, make it easier on yourself,” Juliette walked over to him, circling him on the ground like an animal ready to pounce on their prey. With a swift kick, she hit him in the stomach, not hard, only winding him. I pitied the poor man; with Juliette in charge of his torture, he was sure in for a rough ride.
I could hear my heart beating inside my head. I was growing tired all of a sudden. No! No time for sleeping when your life is in danger.
Deep words began to echo off the walls. Conrad was reading something from the book, words of a language that seemed unreal. He repeated them over and over again until the ground around me began to grow hot.
Okay, time to panic.
I stared at the ground within the circle as it began to glow. I felt it then. Evil. Darkness. All aimed at me. Something was coming to get me.
One word: Shit!
I began to shuffle in my position, noticing cracks appearing in the ground. I let out a screech when the cracks burst, a large claw slicing through.
The ground crumbled until nearly all the circle was gone, the only the part intact was the small bit holding me up. A creature, dark and tormenting began to emerge. A large bulk surrounded by a power that could have burned the skin off my bones. Its body was made of a flesh like rock, dripping with ooze, vile and smelling of something worse than a rotting corpse in the hot sun. It appeared in full, towering over me.
This was Kamaitachi.
“She is yours to take,” Conrad said, now back to speaking a normal language.
Kamaitachi roared at me, raising its claw high, bringing it down speedily towards me. I moved sharply. I felt only a minor sharp pain on my arm, but I had mostly avoided the blow.
I rolled from the circle and got to my feet. I was shocked to see that my hands were no longer bound. Kamaitachi had sliced the ropes, as well as cut a gash in my arm.
I was now fighting for my life.
Fighting against the dizziness, I dived out of the way of Conrad, trying to grab me, and another of the demon’s slashes. I managed to grab my Uzi.
Finally, I have a decent weapon at hand.
I shimmed back on rear, suddenly faced with a charging vampire. Juliette hissed as she leapt at me. I aimed the Uzi and let her rip.
Juliette was thrown back, body convulsing as I pumped bullet after bullet into her. But of course, vampires are tough and she was still managing to stand.
Kamaitachi still had its sights on me and was ready to launch itself on top of me. I had one chance to distract it, maybe giving me the advantage.
I raced towards Juliette, as fast as I could go in my condition. She didn’t know what hit her as I directed her into the path of the demon, who impaled her as I took a hefty side step, rolling out the way.
Juliette’s scream was shrill. A shot right through the heart, it was definitely the end for her. Like a sparkler, she set a light, her skin brightly crackling with flames.
BURN, BITCH, BURN!
Kamaitachi screeched and threw the smouldering vamp off its claw.
I noticed Rick had got to a safe corner. Thank God he was okay.
I was suddenly grabbed from behind. Conrad! I was too distracted to notice him loom over me. He held me tight in place, ready to hand me over to the demon. Like I was going down without a fight.
The Uzi turned in my grip as I pulled myself slightly off his body. I prayed this would work. I pulled the trigger.
The force sent me forward, the bullets tearing into the zombie’s shoulder, his arm tore away from the rest of his body, sending me forward forcefully that he couldn’t keep his hold. The release had been so vicious, that he was swiftly thrown straight over my shoulder by the leverage I had created.
Kamaitachi was coming at me. I aimed the Uzi once more and fired. I stared in horror as the bullets didn’t affect the demon and it slammed into me, knocking the gun from my hand and sending me tumbling across the floor.
My whole body racked with pain. This was not fair! The bounty hunter always wins!
It began to loom over me, roaring so loudly, that I thought my eardrums would burst.
It used one of its claws to pin me down around my neck. Unbelievably it leapt back, screeching, holding it’s sizzling claw.
What! I looked down and saw my cross glowing.
Oh, that’s right! Demons don’t fare well with anything holy.
I sat up slowly, bringing my hand down to my ankle to retrieve my knife, holding it tightly in my hand. It was the only available weapon I had left. I held up the cross around my neck in my free hand and charged the demon, thrusting my knife into its midsection. It roared, angrily swinging its bulbous arm down and whacked me hard, sending me against the wall with a loud crack.
The door burst open at this point as I lay there. My vision was going fuzzy, but I could make out a pack of wolves charging the demon and a few vampires piled into the room.
I saw Patrick.
My God! How did he know we were here?
I was too hurt to move anymore, my consciousness becoming less.
A large wolf stood over me, its fur a dark brown, a colour I was so familiar with.
“Chan…” The wolf actually made out a word, so deep, throaty, almost a growl.
Was it… Brad?
I could faintly hear sirens, but it was becoming all distorted. Was it the police?
Darkness finally claimed me.
The smell of plastic filled the air.
I awoke to a bright white hospital room. I lay there, bandages adorning me like a mummy. I must have been beat up really bad. And how come I was still alive? Where was Kamaitachi?
I turned my head and gazed across a figure.
“Oh, it’s you,” I groaned.
Patrick smiled. “So glad you’re finally awake, my angel.”
“Don’t call me that, I’ve told you,” I snapped groggily.
“I’m sorry,” he said, bowing his head and the room fell into silence.
I blinked my eyes staring at him. “So…” I prompted. “Are you going to fill me in on the details of what happened?”
“I thought I’d save that till you’re much better,” he said.
“Just tell me before I get nasty,” I growled at him.
“Alright, my angel.” I glared at him, but he ignored me, carrying on. “You won’t have to worry about the demon, we managed to sustain it long enough to get in a couple of priests in to perform some holy ritual, burning it to ash.”
“How could you sustain a demon for so long?” I asked, curious.
“With great difficulty. We have a lot of injured Vampires and Lycanthropes, but they will heal,” he said.
“Brad?” I asked.
He sighed. “He’s fine, a few scratches, nothing serious.”
“So, he was there,” I said lowly, mainly to myself. I then turned with a baffled look plastered to my face. “How did you know we were there?”
“Adam was following Juliette when she was going out,” Patrick said, playing with his jacket cuff. “We had been suspicious of her for some time, even more then at the golf club, she was really putting on a show. I saw right through her, of course.”
“So, in the parking lot where I met Juliette… I was right when I thought someone was following us,” I at least knew I should now trust my instincts.
Patrick nodded. “We have been doing our own private investigating in the background. The police would have found our methods… unorthodox so we kept it to ourselves. We knew something about the zombie, but we weren’t sure. We were waiting for the final pieces of the puzzle to laid into place.”
“Yeah, with me getting the crap kicked out of me,” I said, infuriated. “You could have, at least, let me in on your little investigation.”
“It was strictly vampire business,” Patrick stated.
“Thanks a lot, I nearly died because you wanted to keep your investigation between your vampires,” I turned my head from him.
“I’m truly sorry, my…”
“DON’T EVEN SAY IT!”
“I’m sorry, I apologise,” he bowed his head.
I sighed. “What happened to Conrad?”
“The police came, I gave them valuable information and evidence, they torched him.”
“Great, I’ve been on the tail end of the investigation, pretty much bait to confirm things,” I was not in the least bit pleased. “So, how did Brad’s pack and the police get involved.”
“We called them in at the last minute.”
“Great,” I groaned under my breath, a hand to my head.
“At least now there will be no more murders,” Patrick smiled warmly at me.
“Alright, I’ll give you that,” I snapped, then calmed. “What happened to Rick?”
“A bump on the head and a little shaken up, nothing more than that.”
“At least he’s accounted for,” I said, feeling easier. The door to my hospital room opened and Brad entered with a bouquet of white roses at hand. Patrick had a cold expression on his face, but remained quiet.
“You’re awake,” Brad approached the bed, taking my hand.
“I’m one lucky pup,” he smiled at me affectionately.
I noticed he had a Band-Aid across his face.
“Is that what you got out of the fight?” I asked.
“It was worse before, but with my healing abilities, it’s turning out as just a scratch now,” he rubbed my hand and I lifted it so I could hold it.
Patrick cleared his throat and stood. “Well, I’d better be going. I’ll leave you two alone,” he bowed to me, kissing my free hand. “See you soon…” he turned for the door, his long coat swaying behind him, almost hypnotically. He opened the door and peered back, smiling, “… My angel.”
Before I could shout at him, he was gone. Damn him.
He turned my attention back to Brad and scowled as I saw the expression on his face. It was one of those ‘I told you so’ faces. Yes, I was hurt. He had warned me so many times.
“Just don’t say anything,” I said before he could speak.
He shrugged and I let go of his hand, turning slowly in the bed.
Have I ever told you how much I hate hospitals? I work in one, that’s why! Really can’t escape life, can I!
I survived, receiving a much worse concussion than before, a few cracked ribs, a bruised back, stitches in my cheek, arm and both my legs. Yes, I was a mess.
I claimed more time off work, much to Mr. Gray’s anger. I tried not to laugh on the phone; I had to put my hand over the mouthpiece to laugh out loud now and again during the conversation.
Rick was okay, even though his bar got trashed from everyone raiding through. ‘Blood Bath’ was closed for some time while the police were bringing the case to a close. Paul was happy bunny.
Juliette and Conrad were toasted, and they both well deserved it. (No more crazy monsters trying to raise demons for stupid purposes.)
Patrick still tries to woo me and fails.
Magnolia told me I look like shit. (Thanks, girl!)
Brad and I have had more snuggling sessions, since we never know what life will throw at us.
And just me in general… I carry on being the tough ass chick, the Silver Assassin, Chan Kwan: Bounty Hunter.
Harmony Angel finished typing ‘Chan Kwan: Bounty Hunter’ on one of the many Cloudbase computers, sitting back and sighing happily.
“There we go,” she said to herself. “My first story!”
She’d had so much inspiration as of late; she couldn’t help but write a story, especially having her in a lead role. She always wanted to be some kind of hero figure.
She saved her work then clicked the print button on screen and waited for a copy to come out.
“I hope the others like,” she smiled. “I bet they never knew I could write!”
She watched piece after piece of paper come out of the printer with her story on, waiting anxiously for the last page to come out.
Darn, I forgot to get a folder to put it in, she thought, I’d better go back to my quarters quickly.
Harmony quickly shuffled off back towards her quarters, the last few pages finished printing and waiting in the small tray.
A soft whistling noise filled the room as Destiny entered, carrying a few boxes of work. She passed by the computer, just taking a quick glance and suddenly grounded to a stop, and backed up a few steps.
“What do we have here?” She put the boxes down and gathered up the large wad of paper, being that of Harmony’s story. She read the first few lines before becoming immensely interested. “Well, I don’t think she’d mind if I took a copy to read.”
She shuffled the paper orderly and laid it on top of the boxes and went on her merry once more.
Harmony came back, minutes later, with her folder at hand. She stopped mid-step and frowned.
“Hey, where’d my printed work go?”
She ultimately found out later…
Harmony was still pretty baffled about what happened to the first printed copy. She thought that maybe she had gone mad and had never printed one in the first place. She shrugged it off and had printed off another copy for her folder.
She decided to go down to the Amber Room to see how the others were. When she entered, she saw Captains Blue, Scarlet and Magenta seated with Destiny and Melody Angels and an off-duty Symphony. She felt suddenly odd in the room. They were looking at her in the strangest way.
“What?” She asked.
Destiny stood up, her face was somewhat shocked and she held up a hefty wad of paper. Harmony suddenly realised it was her story, and could have died of embarrassment right there and then.
“Chan! Why on Earth would you see me as a manipulative, evil tart! What did I ever do to you?” Harmony’s face dropped into her hands as Destiny questioned her.
“I just needed someone to fill the role, honest,” Harmony said, finally bucking the courage to look at the other Angel.
“Do you have some grudge against me too?” Symphony asked.
“No, seriously, just a part to fill,” Harmony skittishly explained.
“You think you had it bad! I was reduced to a mere Sergeant!” Scarlet inclined his view of his role.
“You big baby!” Destiny threw his way. “At least you weren’t shot, impaled and burnt, within the space of twenty seconds!”
“Sorry about that,” Harmony was close to laughing, but she was holding back. The looks on her comrades’ faces were just priceless.
“Well I’m perceived as some pet dog,” Blue added in. There was a short pause before everyone started laughing at the American captain, his face turning bright red.
“Aww, but you make such a cute doggy…” Symphony teased him.
“I think Dianne had the best part,” Destiny interjected. “Hardly anything at all. Just a simple receptionist.”
“I bet she’ll be loving that!” Melody said, and turned to Harmony with a wide smile. “I liked the part you gave me. A top lawyer! I can just envision it.”
“And I’m a master vampire,” Magenta said with a grin. “In a strange way, I like it,” he approached Melody, seeming to swoop over the dark skinned woman. “Mind if I suck your blood?”
“Don’t bother, Rick would have something to say about that!” Blue pointed out.
Melody pushed the Irishman away. “You can keep your mouth off of my throat.”
Magenta winked and hovered Harmony’s way, taking her hand. “My angel…” he bent down and kissed it, wiggling his eyebrows.
Harmony pulled her hand back, her cheeks glowing even more. “Don’t start.”
“I wouldn’t show this story to the Colonel if I were you,” Scarlet warned.
“As if!” Symphony said sharply. “We won’t be that cruel on Chan!”
Destiny leaned against Harmony’s shoulder, the story out ahead of them. “I did kind of notice one thing, my dear Chan. Brad seemed to get a nice role… as your lover boy.”
Harmony turned beet-red, snatching the story from Destiny’s hand.
“Yeah, kind of strange that, isn’t it?” Blue coaxed on.
“I think I’ll be leaving now.” Harmony took her leave quickly as she heard most of the room call after her with catcalls about her and Captain Grey.
She grinned, looking at her handy work. She wished she could be half of what her character was made up to be, and get the man along with it.
Maybe one day, her wish could come true… but without the monsters and such.
THE END (This time, for real)
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