Vincent came over to pick Vanessa up. Drake met him at the door. “She’s had 3 bottles since coming here at 7,” he reported. “Her blood lust seems rather large for her age. Then again, I’ve not much experience with vampire babies.”
“That’s my Nessa. She went through twice as many the other day and was still clawing at Sarah for more. I think that’s one of the reasons she’s as big as she is now. Though like you, I don’t know much about vampire babies…or babies in general. But we’re learning as we go aren’t we beautiful,” he said kissing her chest. She giggled and pulled back.
I walked down the stairs and found them talking civilly at the door. I was somewhat impressed. I didn’t think these two had it in them.
“Hey Zo. Thanks for taking care of my angel,” he smiled watching me grab a movie to pop into the BluRay player.
“Any time, Vincent! She’s a treasure to have around.”
His eyes stayed focused on me as I walked to the kitchen to start some popcorn.
“As you can see, Zoe and I are about to watch a movie or two. Is there anything else?” Drake asked redirecting Vincent’s gaze.
“No, Drake. Thanks again.” Vincent said turning to leave.
Drake joined me in the kitchen, his body pressed against mine as I prepared a bowl of the buttery snack for us. “I love you so much, Zoe.”
I turned and wrapped my arms around his neck. “I love you too, Drake.” He kissed me and smiled. “What movie did you choose?”
I shrugged. “Honestly I have no idea. Does it matter? It’s a nice quiet evening togeth…” my words choked in my throat and I felt Zavier’s grip in my head again.
He was ripping thunderous spasms through my temples. I could hear him calling me, something he hasn’t done before, and it only increased the terrible pounding. I felt as though my head was really on the verge of exploding.
“That son of a bitch needs to stop doing this,” Drake said bracing me.
I fell as I was brought into Zavier’s…penthouse?
“I’m sorry, Zoe. Were you busy?” he said giving me an evil smile.
“Does it matter? You’d have done it anyway!” I stood up and looked around the place expecting chains, blood, hooks and other miscellaneous weapons. Instead I found crystal chandeliers, Persian rugs and a gorgeous skyline and view of the city.
“Where are we?”
“My home; I figured it would be a nice little change from the dungeon. Do you like it?”
“It’s beautiful. This is really yours?”
He smirked at the comment. “I like nice things, Zoe, always have. Which is why I need you; I want more nice things.”
“Ok, what will it be today? The soul of the little school girls down the street or the dentures from some poor old man?”
He laughed wickedly. “I love that! Humor in the face of adversity! You amaze me, Zoe. Your attitude is healthy. That’s great.”
He approached me. “The place needs a woman’s touch. Make it homey for me.”
I was stunned by his request, “Did I hear you right? You called me here to make your home…pretty?”
“Let’s see what you can do. Rearrange whatever you need to.” He walked over and took a seat on a couch sitting in the center of the large room. “Close your mouth Zoe, you’re catching flies. Feel free to start now.”
I did as he asked and rearranged his living space with a “woman’s touch”.
He walked around examining my work. “Excellent. Are you happy with what you’ve done?”
“Would you be happy living here?”
“Zavier what is this? If you are trying to ask me something, please just get to it. Your behavior is scaring me.”
“If you walked into this apartment and saw it for the first time, what would your reaction be?”
“Well when I walked in here before, it was amazement. Now that the furniture is arranged and decorated, I’d be floored.”
“Good. You can leave now.”
He was about to wave me off when I stopped him. “Zavier, if you need me, use a cell phone like normal people. The migraines are a bit much.”
He turned his gaze to me and I was sure the fireworks were about to start. “Of course, Zoe. Perhaps we should exchange numbers?” he handed me his phone and I dialed mine before handing it back.
“Good night Zavier,” I said still not believing the interaction.
I got back to the house and found Drake pacing in the living room. He smiled when he saw me. “What happened?”
“He asked me to decorate his apartment.”
“I’m serious, Drake. He had me rearrange furniture in his loft. Then he gave me his cell phone and told me he’d call if he needed anything instead of the head thing.”
“You sure it was Zavier?”
“Baby, I’m just as shocked as you!”
I took a seat on the couch and Drake joined me. He turned on the movie and snuggled close.
Vincent tucked Vanessa into bed and walked into the kitchen. He grabbed a plasma juice before retreating to the living room. As he sat on the couch, he heard the front door. “How’s the boy toy?” he called to Sarah as she made it home in the early morning.
“Vincent, I understand you don’t approve of what I’m doing but it’s better than sleeping around with the skanks you invite in your bed every night. Mind your business because I’m not telling you a thing about me or Brad.”
She sank into the couch next to him. “How’s Vanessa?”
“Sleeping; she’s worn out. Drake said she drank her weight and then some in blood tonight.”
“I told you her appetite is increasing. I can’t understand it.”
“She’s a growing girl. She eats like me. She’s fine, besides, it’s not like we can take her to a doctor that would understand it.”
Sarah stood. She walked into Vanessa’s room, kissed her forehead and went to her room to sleep.
The next morning she hopped up ready to meet Brad again. She’d been spending a lot of time with him lately. She liked that they no longer had the secret of her vampire state between them. She dressed Vanessa and found Vincent working out in the den.
“I’m taking Vanessa over to Drake’s, unless you were going to watch her today?”
“I have a few errands to run, but I’ll pick her up from there when I’m done,” he answered without looking up.
“Fine, just don’t leave her there too long. I don’t have many bottles made for her.”
She decided to drive his convertible today. She put Vanessa’s car seat inside and strapped her in and backed out of the drive. As she got to the stop sign at the end of the street she found a roadblock.
Great. She looked in the rearview to navigate backing up for a detour. As she turned her attention from the jam in front, her door opened up and she was snatched out.
Before she could react, she felt the distinct pinch of a needle injecting into her arm, “Get her in the van,” was the last thing she heard before she passed out.
Vincent walked around Zavier’s penthouse. “Very nice! Definitely an upgrade from the chamber.”
“So does this mean you’re putting down roots? Planning an extended stay here?”
He turned and took a seat at the table.
“Why not? This city offers more than enough excess for my needs.” He offered Vincent a plasma juice before joining him at the table.
“You’re little object of desire decorated for me,” he said.
“Zo did this? Why?”
“Because I asked her to. You’ve been coming through on your parts and I’ve been doing the same, keeping my hands off of her and maintaining a somewhat working relationship.”
“Thank you Zavier.” Vincent sipped the juice in his hand. “So what’s this place for? Lily?”
“You catch on quick, Brother. I think she’ll like it here. I hope she likes it here. What do you think?”
“I think it’s an apartment decorated by another woman and if I know anything about the breed, they hate that. Zo has a new place now.”
“Yeah I know. One of the reasons I called you here. I need you to place another sentry.”
Vincent stood and crumpled the plasma juice container in his hand. “That wasn’t what I wanted.”
“Let’s go for a hunt then, like old times.”
He jumped up and waited near the door for Vincent.
Sarah came to in a white room. Her vision was blurred as she tried to make out her surroundings. What happened? Where am I?
“She’s coming to,” a female yelled. Sarah stood and walked around. She found the door locked but knew she was being watched from that two way mirror.
“Who are you? Why am I here? Where’s my daughter?!”
The door opened behind her and Brad walked in and took a seat at the table.
“Brad! They got you too? What’s going on here?”
He hung his head as she tried to search his eyes. I’m sorry, Sarah, she heard him think.
“Sorry? For…? No! You did this? You son of a bitch,” she charged at him. Before she could make it across to him she felt a sharp pain in her neck and instantly dropped to her knees.
“Because you demon bastards killed his mother! My wife!” The elder man said entering in behind Brad. “You all deserve to rot in a hell similar to which you’ve placed many of your victims!”
“I didn’t know your wife and I’d never hurt anyone! Tell him Brad! Please, let me go!” Sarah shrieked as she got to her feet.
“Father…” Brad stood.
“Go and collect my tools, we’ll get what we need from this one and use the baby as bait for the others.”
Sarah’s eyes doubled in size, “Stay away from my daughter!” she was zapped again and found herself doubled over.
“You have no authority here, demon.”
Brad returned with an assortment of surgical tools.
His Dad turned to pick up a scalpel. The plan was to torture Sarah for the location of others like her. The Andersons had made it their life’s mission to destroy all of her kind.
“Now I know this won’t really last, one cut and you’ll be healed. Which is why I brought a bone saw as well. If I can make the wounds deep enough, it’ll take you a while to heal, which means you’ll be in pain much longer.”
“You don’t have to do this! I’ve never done anything to deserve this! I was turned against my will and I’ve never killed a human!”
He threw his hand at her and sliced her nose with the scalpel. “That doesn’t matter. You’re one of them; you will die just the same.”
“Dad! Don’t! She’ll tell you what you want to know. Just ask her.”
Raymond slapped Brad. “I told you to keep those emotions in check! She is a monster and I will not have you falling for her tricks! Go find Cassidy and Antonio, have them prepare for a raid once I extract what we need from your little whore, we’re going hunting!”
Vincent and Zavier arrived to Waylon’s Haunt and not long after getting inside, the entire bar was dead. They’d killed for lunch, killed for pleasure, killed because it was their nature as predators and they reveled in it.
“Nicely painted bar, just like the good old days, Brother! You can’t tell me you haven’t missed that pure rush of adrenaline!”
Another patron had entered inside; Vincent immediately rushed him and ripped his throat out. “It’s definitely nice returning to my roots!”
“What about her?” Vincent asked in reference to the barkeep.
“Oh don’t worry about her; I have extra special plans for her!”
Zavier let out an evil chuckle and Vincent joined in. They stood in the room filling with blood and body parts enjoying the smell of the spilled fluids and the carnage they’d created.
Lily and Drake sat talking. She’d asked that he come over again because she wasn’t sure if the talisman she’d given him was doing its job. “Have you seen Zavier lately?”
“Me? No,” Lily replied. I’m pretty sure that my charm works; I think yours may be off though. Has he come after you?”
“No, but he has pulled Zoe again. Has the Syndicate said anything since last we talked?”
She shook her head no. “I’ll check with them in the morning then,” Drake said.
“I’ll take care of it, Drake. I have direct numbers. I’m sure they have something, they have to. Zavier’s been around too long for them to not have just a little information on what can stop him right?”
Sarah was placed in a cell in a dark basement. “In the morning, Vampire, we’re going to watch you burn in the heat of the sun!” Cassidy smiled. “And once that little brat you created gets us the others, she’ll die just as horribly!”
Sarah charged at the cage and Cassidy jumped back in fear. “I can’t wait to watch you reduce to ashes you soulless monster!” she turned and walked up the stairs to join the others.
Vanessa was taken to another room and started throwing a fit. “Grab a bottle and put this in it,” Raymond said handing Brad a pill of some kind. “It’ll calm her quick.”
“I’m not doing that. I can get her to calm down, Father.”
“Fine! Take care of it before I do!”
Brad walked Vanessa down to Sarah’s prison.
“Sarah?” he called as he neared her.
“Vanessa! Give her to me, Brad! I’m sure she’s hungry!”
“I can feed her,” he offered. “We know how much she enjoys my blood.”
“No! I don’t want anything from you except my daughter and our freedom. How could you do this to me, Brad? I thought you liked me!”
“I do, Sarah. I made the mistake of telling my Dad about you. Though you and your kind is the reason we’re in this town.” He placed Vanessa on the ground and she wandered to a corner exploring. “Please understand I’ve been put in the tough decision between family and honor versus what my heart is telling me.”
“What are you? Some sort of Vampire Slayers? I mean do you really do this for a living?”
He nodded. “Ever since my Dad found one of you standing over my Mom’s bleeding body. It’s all he’s talked about; killing all of you is his driving force and haunts his waking moments. He even discovered some sort of music that attracts vampires. So what he does is have me play it in public areas and see what I find. His plan is to follow the ones that show real interest in the music and stake them, though it never quite works out that way.”
“All those questions…you used me, Brad. And now my daughter will die because of you! Do you not care at all? Have no regret? No remorse?”
“I do. I want to help you.”
“Then help me! Don’t let them kill my daughter!”
“Bradley?” the older Anderson yelled. “What are you doing down there?”
“Quieting the kid in a civil manner, I’ll be up soon.”
Sarah’s eyes were pleading; begging Brad to save her.
“I’ll get you out of this,” he said pulling her to the cage and kissing her. He let his hands search her body. “I’m sorry, Sarah, please forgive me.”
Vincent pulled into the drive and rushed to the front door. He’d bought Vanessa a new teddy bear and was excited to show her.
He rang the doorbell and waited. I answered to his smiling face. “Hey Zo,” he looked behind me. “Drake’s not home again? You’d think as a newlywed couple he’d be spending his every waking moment with you!”
I sighed dreading getting into this conversation with him. “He went to meet Lily, he’ll be back soon. You smell like…death.”
“Sorry about that. I didn’t shower after my hunt.”
“So then you’re back to killing people? And I thought you hated smelling like your last meal.”
“You remembered?” he said, his eyes sparkling with a soft gleam. “Can I come in?”
“Depends; what do you want?”
“Well that’s a question that can be answered in a number of ways, Beautiful. But for starters, I’ll take my daughter.”
“Vincent, Vanessa’s not here.”
“Ha, nice try Zoe, but you can’t have her. Now if you’d like, I can help you make one of your own,” he said stepping up into the threshold. “There’s plenty of me to go around. Can you imagine how absolutely perfect our child would be? Your beauty? My brawn?”
I backed away and he stepped inside, closing the door behind him. We stood in the foyer, and he kept eyeing his surroundings looking for his daughter.
“She’s really not here, Vincent. What made you think she was?”
“Sarah said she was dropping her off here before meeting Brad.”
“Well I guess you got your wires crossed somewhere, because she never came by.”
Vincent pulled out his phone and dialed Sarah’s number. It went straight to voicemail.
“She would have called me if she’d decided to keep Vanessa with her, you think?”
I shrugged. “I guess, she’s not inconsiderate enough not to, she knows how you worry.”
His anger began to show as he tried Sarah’s number again. “Why isn’t she answering? Where is she?”