“What the hell is going on, Zo? Where is my little girl?!” he tried dialing Sarah’s number a third time, pacing towards the door as he listened to it ring. There was no answer. “FUCK! Where the fuck did she go?”
He turned back towards me, “Do you know where this Brad clown lives?!”
“No, I’ve never actually met him. Have you? Vincent relax, she probably just got caught up with whatever they are doing.”
“Even still Zo like you said she knows I’d worry, why won’t she answer? You think she’s avoiding my calls?”
I pulled out my cell phone and dialed her. She didn’t answer me either.
“Ok see, I can understand if she didn’t answer me, I’m a dick she tries to avoid me. But you? Why wouldn’t she answer you? I need to find my daughter, Zo.”
“That guy she’s seeing hangs out at the park pestering people for change. I’m going to wring his fucking neck if something’s happened to my baby.”
“And you don’t know that anything has. Please Vincent, calm down. I’ll help look for her ok?”
We walked out to his car and he drove to the park. Looking around, we saw no sign of Sarah or Vanessa. He ran back to the car and we headed towards his house trying to sniff them out.
We pulled to a stop sign near his block. “Vincent! Isn’t that your car?”
He jumped out and ran over to it. The driver side door was ajar and so was the back where Vanessa’s car seat normally goes.
“Maybe she ran out of gas?” I suggested.
He jumped inside and checked that the engine cranked and the gauges worked. “This isn’t right. Where the fuck is my little girl?”
“Get me back to the house; I can try scrying for her. We’ll find her.”
As we pulled up to the door, Drake was also getting back. I saw a disapproving grimace on his face as I hopped out of Vincent’s car.
He held his arms out for me and kissed me as I neared him. “What’s going on?” he asked glancing over at Vincent.
“And we’re wasting time,” Vincent urged.
Cassidy and Antonio drove over to plasma 501. Their mission was to do scout work, confirm the information Sarah had told Brad about this being a vampire hangout.
They watched as the pale skinned, glowing eyed fiends entered into the building. Screams could be heard; another innocent victim no doubt. Cassidy gave Antonio a look; tears and anger apparent on her face.
She made a move towards the door, Antonio jumped in front of her. “No; you saw their numbers! We’re going to need the whole team.”
Cassidy’s hatred for the blood drinkers ran deep. The perversity they inflicted on her baby sister scarred her. She wanted nothing more than to watch them all burn; twist in agony as she inflicts the same acts of horror on their flesh. “Then let’s get back so we can burn this place to the ground!”
The duo returned to the hideout. “There are tons of them infesting the club downtown!” Cassidy yelled to the others.
“How many exactly?” Raymond asked.
“We sat at least 8 enter into the place while we waited. They were arriving in groves.”
“That’s not the worst of it,” Antonio chimed in. “We heard screaming from inside. They have victims up there.”
Cassidy glared at Brad. “How could you feel anything but complete hate for these creatures? They all deserve to die! Especially your little girlfriend and her mutant baby!”
“Back off Cassidy; not everyone can be a cold and heartless bitch like you. And though you may be fine with killing a child, that’s not high on my ‘to do’ list.”
He turned and walked down to the basement.
Sarah sat on the edge of the bed hoping that someone would notice her missing. Anyone. She’d even hope to see Vincent’s scowling face walk through the door to save her from this group of hunters. The bleakness of the situation weighed heavy on her. She let her emotions put her child in danger, Vincent would never forgive her; hell she didn’t think she could forgive herself.
“I’ll take over watch, Richard,” he said relieving the person sitting at Sarah’s cell.
She sat up when she saw him. “How are you feeling?” he asked standing closer.
“I’m hungry! Where’s Vanessa?”
“I placed her in my room and locked the door. She’s sleeping right now.” He reached his wrist through the cell and smiled.
She walked over and grabbed him to feed. She wiped her lips and tried stepping back.
He grabbed her arm and held her. “I don’t understand my feelings for you. I should want you dead; I should want to kill you for what happened to my mother. But I can’t look at you and hate you. I want to see you smile, make you happy.” He gazed at her, “Whenever I look at you, I feel as though I’ve betrayed my Mother because of the way you make me feel.”
Sarah backed away. “When are you getting us out of here?”
“Soon. Before light out. The others are going on a raid to Plasma 501. Once they’ve gone, I can slip you out. Sarah, I am really sorry about all of this.”
I pulled out a crystal and started scrying for Vanessa and Sarah; Vincent made me look for Vanessa first. His overwhelming lack of concern for Sarah was disheartening.
The crystal stopped on the warehouse district near the marina. “Let’s get over there,” Vincent said rushing for the door.
“Wait Vincent,” I said running in front of him. “You don’t know what’s out there!”
“And you think that’s going to make me less likely to go? Zo, this is my daughter. Please get out of my way; I don’t want to have to go through you.”
“Vincent please, think about this,” I urged. “I can try and get a visual.”
He picked me up and dropped me away from the door. “There’s nothing to think about.” He sped out of the drive and headed to the marina.
Drake and I followed suit trying to keep up to him as he negotiated wide turns and ran stop signs and red lights.
The others had gone. They waited until the cover of darkness and equipped themselves with flare guns, harpoons fashioned with stakes, crossbows, crosses, holy water and garlic. Half of the weapons were useless; old vampire lore, but they’ll soon learn.
Richard, Antonio, Cassidy and Raymond arrived to Plasma 501. They stopped just under the awning and could still clearly discern low screams from inside the skyscraper.
“Antonio, I want you and Richard to take the back. Once we get inside pop your flares immediately. These creature hate the sunlight, we’ll drown them in it. Cassidy you stick close to me, make sure that bow is loaded and ready to go, I don’t want any of these vile monsters to escape with their lives.”
Richard and Antonio went around first and entered inside. They waited until they saw Cassidy and Raymond enter before going around. The moment the door closed, they drew the attention of the entire club.
“Look at this friends!” one of them yelled. “Our dinner comes to us!”
Another stepped forward and grabbed at Cassidy. “And doesn’t she look sweet?”
Before he could take her, Richard and Antonio appeared from the back and immediately popped flares.
The vampires hissed and then a surge of laughter filled the room. “What was that?” one of them cackled.
“That was dinner preparing to die!” A vampire charged at Richard and sank his teeth into his neck. Richard screamed as three more ran at him chomping at his flailing limbs.
“Are you ready to go?” Brad said smiling as he unlocked Sarah’s cell.
“Take me to Nessa!”
Antonio, Raymond and Cassidy quickly exited the building scared and unsure why their tactics failed.
What happened, Ray? I thought you said flares would blind them? Kill them? Richard is dead because of you!”
Raymond shrugged. “It worked in the movies.”
Vincent pulled up to the building and ran for the door. He rushed through the desolate hall and picked up the scent of his baby girl.
He kicked in the door to the apartment, but he couldn’t enter inside.
Brad heard the loud crash from upstairs as he and Sarah were about to grab Vanessa and head out.
“What was that?” she asked.
“Wait here, the others may be back.”
Brad walked upstairs. He saw Vincent standing at the remnants of his front door.
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“My little girl,” he said snarling.
Brad’s eyes widened, “You’re Vincent?”
Drake and I were right behind him as he tried again to get in the door.
“Give me my daughter and die!”
Shouldn’t that have been “or die”? I asked Drake. He shook his head no.
The others returned and came up behind us.
“VAMPIRES!” Drake turned and sidestepped Antonio’s efforts to stake him. The wooden object fell with a dull clank next to the elevator. Antonio jumped back; instantly he knew he’d bitten off more than he could chew.
Vincent charged at Cassidy; he held her throat tight, choking the life out of her. He walked her to the door. “Let me in or watch her die,” he ordered.
Cassidy’s eyes were rolling to the back of her head as the oxygen depleted from her brain.
“Don’t do it!” Antonio yelled. Cassidy began to pass out as Vincent’s grip tightened.
“You may enter,” Brad said.
Vincent threw Cassidy into a corner and charged Brad, slamming him to the ground, hard.
Sarah ran up to the stairs and saw Vincent on top of Brad.
“Vincent! No! Don’t!” she shrieked watching his wild fists hit their mark time and again.
She pulled him off; he threw her back and went at him again. Drake pulled Brad away, holding him in a choke of his own. He mostly wanted to extract the information WITHOUT killing him. “Where’s the girl,” he asked.
Brad pointed to a door. Vincent made a move to kick it in. “Wait, Vincent, she could be right behind the door,” I cautioned. He dropped his foot and moved more careful.
“Where’s the key?” I questioned. Brad handed it over still being held by Drake.
Cassidy was coming to and Antonio ran to help her up. The two stood frozen in fear.
I unlocked the door and Vincent ran inside, scooping Vanessa into his arms and hugging her tight.
He stormed back out of the room. He glared at Sarah, “What the hell is going on here?”
She had fear in her eyes as she explained who these people were and what happened.
Vincent handed Vanessa to me and went after Brad again. He sank his teeth into his neck.
“Vincent don’t!” Sarah yelled. Drake pulled him off. Vincent stood with his back to the door, Raymond appeared behind him.
“Vincent behind you!” I warned.
With all his force, Raymond drove a stake through the intruding vampire. The veins in his face constricted as he grabbed at his chest. He looked down at the wooden object jutting from his muscle, turned and began strangling Raymond.
Vincent pulled the stake out, grabbed a nearby cane and plunged it into Raymond. He stood over him and watched the life fade out of the human!
“Dad!” Brad yelled running towards him.
Vincent stood over him and watched Brad mourn.
“Vincent? How did you survive that?” I asked.
“He missed. He’s lucky I let him die quick. Though these others, I’m going to enjoy.” He walked towards Antonio and Cassidy. “You’re going to feel pain you never thought possible. You should never have touched my child.”
“And you Sarah, you may hate my escapades but how many of them came after Vanessa? Maybe you should look closer into the men you bed before you lose your life for a fuck!”
“That’s not fair, Vincent,” I said defending her.
“Stay out of it, Zo,” he replied before turning his attention to the two humans.
“You’re not killing them, Vincent,” Drake said.
“Fuck off, Steele. It wasn’t your daughter that was taken. Now If you ladies are too squeamish for this please get the fuck out.”
“Drake let’s go. This has nothing to do with us,” I said. “Let’s get Vanessa some place safe.” We walked out to the elevator and headed to the car.
Sarah walked over to Brad. “If you stay he will kill you too, come with me,” she said kneeling at him.
“And you agree with what he’s doing? He just told you he is going to kill us!”
“Yes I do. You threatened me, my daughter and my friends. I’m protecting my own as you did. Now you can come with me and live or stay and wait your turn.”
“I like you Sarah, but I can’t walk away and let this happen.”
“Come with me,” Sarah said again. “Please Brad.” He stood up and walked with her.
“BRAD!” Cassidy yelled. “You’re just going to let him kill us? Brad!?”
Drake, Sarah, Brad and I got back to the house. I walked Vanessa into the kitchen and watched Sarah prepare her a bottle.
Vincent called for Zavier.
He smiled seeing the treats Vincent had for him. “And what have we here?”
“Vampire hunters; volunteers for the chamber,” he replied.
“That absolutely can be arranged,” he said patting Vincent’s shoulder.
Brad sat in the living room with a faraway look on his face. He’d lost everyone; his Mom, his Dad, his cousin and friends. Sarah walked in and sat near him.
“My entire life has been pain. I have no one. For the first time in 26 years being with you was the only time I can remember smiling, genuinely smiling. My Mother was killed when I was 9. My Father vowed to kill every vampire he ever came across.”
“From then on, my life has been training and researching; preparing for combat and encounters of your kind. You’re the first one we actually met. I was taught to hate you; my Father told me nothing good ever came from friendships with vampires. I’ve never approved of this life and I’ve harbored resentment for him stealing my childhood.”
“I was instantly attracted to you. You have an ethereal beauty I’ve never seen. That first day in the park when I saw you were enticed by my song, I knew you were one of them. My Dad saw it too. He’d planned on killing you that day.”
“I saw you had a baby and I begged him to let you go. I told him that I could talk to you, get to know you and maybe get you to reveal the location of others. After much consideration he finally agreed.”
“So you were after me from the first day?” Sarah questioned. Drake and I stood in the doorway listening to the tale.
He nodded. “Getting to know you was the worst mistake I could have made because learning more, I fell harder. I became less able to tell my Father anything about you and he became increasingly agitated. Finally I asked you what he’d wanted to know: if there were more and where we could find them.”
“Sarah, I never meant to cause you any distress. Though my Father trained me to kill, I don’t think it’s in me to do, and there was no way I could ever have started with you.”
Vanessa crawled over, baring her fangs. Brad pointed and smiled. “I think she’s coming for her third round.” He picked her up and tickled her. She laughed with delight; her emerald green eyes sparkled and she nudged her head under his chin.
Vincent strapped Cassidy into the garrote and tightened the chicken wire around her neck. He smiled menacingly watching her shake in fear. He loved the thought of her screaming as he showed her what a real vampire could do. That pretty little face didn’t stand a chance. Zavier had no qualms about hitting a woman, and neither did Vincent when it came to his little girl.
Zavier stood behind him, watching him taunt the girl. “What are you going to do first, Vincent? Perhaps a taste?”
“No. I’d never defile myself in that manner. I don’t want her filthy blood in me. She found enjoyment in her hunt of us; I wonder what it was? The adrenaline of stalking; killing someone? Or the danger of being on the prowl for a vicious predator knowing at any moment she could be killed?” he turned the grip tighter, the spiked collar choking Cassidy; her soft moans and gasps excited Zavier.
“Is that it then, girl?” Zavier chimed in. “Are you an adrenaline junky?” Without her answer, he rushed over and bit her neck, tasting the fear in her blood.
He spit it on the floor. “Wise decision, Vincent. Her blood isn’t fit for consumption; then again, you always had an eye for the tasty ones.”
“Look at that, Zavier loosened your bind. How inconsiderate of him, here, allow me,” he said gripping the choke collar on her neck and twisting it taut on her throat listening to her choke and cough up blood.
Zavier laughed. He missed this Vincent and was happy to see him back in form. The monster he’d helped create so many years ago.
Vincent walked over and grabbed a poker and stabbed it through the girls’ side. She jerked forward in pain and let out a glass shattering scream. The force of her convulsion tightened the wire around her neck and caused burns, allowing it to cut deeper into her.
Blood quickly drenched her shirt and she began muttering to herself, praying for a quick death.
Zavier dragged Antonio over and forced him to watch the events. He and Vincent took turns torturing her before finally tossing her into a corner to let her bleed out.
“Your turn,” Vincent growled. Antonio stepped back into the corner and began wailing. His tears only enhanced the pleasure of his torture for Vincent and Zavier. They watched as he begged for mercy; mercy that will never come.
“You think watching is better or worse than receiving?” Vincent asked Zavier.
“Well I know someone who is about to find that out,” he snickered.
Vincent grabbed Antonio and tossed him into the torture chair, the Iron Chair. Antonio immediately jumped out screaming in pain. Zavier kicked him back and held him in place as Vincent strapped him in.
Zavier started his torture this time and Vincent watched. “You shouldn’t have chosen this profession. And you definitely should not have threatened my precious niece.” He grabbed a knife from the tool table. “I’ll try not to enjoy this too much!”
So what are you going to do now?” Drake asked walking into the room.
Brad shrugged. “I’ve never thought about it. I’ve always had my Father. He’s made the decisions for my life since I can remember.”
He took Sarah’s hand. “If you’d let me, I want to make up for what I’ve done. I’d really like to start over with you, fresh,” he smiled in hopeful anticipation of her answer.
“Does this mean the hunting stops?” she asked.
He nodded. “I was never cut out for it.”
She threw her arms around his neck and he leaned her back placing tender kisses on cheek, neck and lips.
“Thank you, Sarah,” he smiled.
She collected Vanessa and they left.
“Vampire hunters? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised they exist, but I never actually thought about it I guess,” I said taking a seat with Drake.
“It’s my first encounter also. Though I’ve kept a low profile, mostly going unnoticed. It comes as no surprise to me that I’ve never been accosted.” He wrapped his arm around my shoulders. “Just one more thing to fight against.”
“And the list grows,” I agreed.
Brad drove Sarah home. Vincent pounced on him the moment his feet hit the concrete of the driveway.
“Vincent don’t!” Sarah yelled holding Vanessa close and watching as he pummeled Brad’s body. “Please! He saved us!”
“Saved you? If it wasn’t for him my daughter would have never been in this situation in the first place!” he growled tightening the choke around Brad’s neck.
Brad’s shallow breathing and gagging penetrated the still air of the night. He grabbed at Vincent’s arms to try and loosen his grip but to no avail.
“Let him go, Vincent! You’re killing him!”
“No shit?” he sneered.
“Think about Vanessa! Are you going to let her watch you do this?” Sarah yelled.
Vincent looked up and caught the gaze of his baby girl; her eyes were fixed on his actions.
He dropped his grip and Brad fell unconscious to the ground. Vincent walked over and took Vanessa from Sarah. “Get this piece of shit out of here; I’ll finish with him later.”
Sarah ran over to grab Brad up.
“And Sarah, your time is up. I want you out of my house. The both of you will be lucky to live through the next week.”