Sidsel Stories - Hearts and Minds
Hearts and Minds
May 2008


I had some formatting issues with this one. Smilies show up around cities, countries, continents etc., and certain names. I decided to keep them. They sort of liven up the story.


I was very optimistic about Hearts and Minds for quite a while, but it ended up much too boring and cliché for me. Too bad... but here it is anyway, enjoy the corniness! 


The story is along the lines of a romance/thriller/horror/science-fiction novel (<-- haha).

It's mainly about a group of people who are on the run from a deadly virus. Some of them are vampires, some are demons, and a few are humans. Along the way, they face different challenges, and a few people tag onto their surviving group.


In the future, the world has been split into The Western World and The Eastern World. Humans are controlled by a power hungry president in the west, and they've lost all contact with the east. Immortals suffer under the iron grip of The Law, who makes sure that all Immortals stay hidden, and don't make humans aware of their very existence.


Will the world survive the horrific outbreak?

Will peace be established once more?

Will the humans and the immortals be united once and for all?

(hint: nope!)


Buckle up.


1

Incident

The sun finally set, and Cat could now live as a “normal” person. Though, nothing was normal about her or anything around her. She sighed and thought back to when it all began; to when she had met Dominic for the first time.

   He had been everything she’d dreamt of. He was handsome, protective, willing to spoil her as much as he could, and he was the sweetest person on earth. The only bad thing about him was his other side. They called him Cinimod, as they were opposites. Two very different men in one body.

   His bad side had become much too prominent lately. She rarely ever saw Dominic anymore.

   She felt the tears well up in her dry eyes.

   Then she remembered her ex, and felt the rage build up in her chest.

   Nobody ever mentioned him anymore, and for good reasons.

   When she’d married him, it was because she had a crush on him, and she had been very lonely. She quickly realised that the marriage was a huge mistake, and she would have had a divorce almost immediately, if it wasn’t for Marius. She missed him so much; her first son.

   Therefore, the marriage held for about 10 years. Or was it 11? Maybe 12? She couldn’t remember anymore. Her memories were blurry. Then she met Dominic, and finally got divorced. She still regretted to this day, that she didn’t take Marius away with her. She’d never even really apologized to him. And then…

   Marius had been so nice. But she ruined him completely. When she’d met him again, he had told her about the horrors he’d been through. After she left her ex, her ex left him. She still didn’t understand how the government had let that happen. He was sent to an orphanage, but he was traumatized for the rest of his life. As time passed, he began to kill people. He quickly became a serial killer, as he seemed to enjoy the feeling of harming others in such a despicable way. The worst thing about it was that he did it because he “felt like it”. She felt so guilty. He then discovered that he was homosexual, and that was looked down upon in his environment, much like most other environments in the modern world. That hadn’t helped his mental state, and he went on a killing spree.

   When they met, she successfully convinced him to move in with her. It actually worked out for a while, until he was murdered himself, by the goddamn President of The Western World’s army! She got a phone call the next morning, saying that he had been declared dead. All she remembered after that was an immense pain, before she fainted.

   As she felt the tears again, and a sob in her throat, she tried to think of something else.

   When she finally moved in with Dominic, she had also been reunited with her brother, Raven. Boy was he the unluckiest man on earth! He had experienced catastrophe upon catastrophe, with nobody else than Dominic to take care of him. It all came crashing down on him, when the “love of his life”, Diana, died. He had already been a cocaine addict and an alcoholic for too many years, but that incident made everything a whole lot worse. There was only one lucky thing about him. He’d survived. Time and time again, he’d escaped death by inches. Even when he had tried to commit suicide, three times, he hadn’t succeeded.

   He was lucky that she found him when she did. She had always been the only one who could match his stubbornness. Throughout the years, he became more and more sober, even though he was usually a wreck. It evened up a little when he was bitten by a werewolf and became one himself. He loved it! Then, one day, he and his new girlfriend, Rachel, just disappeared. Nobody had any idea where they went – they were still missing – and Raven took an immense part of her heart with him.

   Only a few months after she’d moved in, she became pregnant for the second time. This time with Lance. Luckily he’d inherited his father’s sweet nature instead of his mother’s horrible sarcasm. She actually missed her plump kid, though she knew he was well; he lived with his wife, Cindy, and his daughter, Angelina, now. He also got married in a young age, just like herself, though Cindy wasn’t as devilish as her ex. Thank heavens for that; he was so sensitive. Even the slightest accusation could make him blubber. She’d lost count on how many times that had happened.

   His daughter, Angelina, was the most angelic creature she’d ever seen. She’d inherited all the good things from her parents, and even some from her grandparents too, and she was so beautiful. Grandparent. The mere word made her stomach twist.

   She was beginning to settle down in life, when William came out of nowhere.

   He had turned her life upside down, without she’d even noticed.

   Dominic introduced her to the stunning, 150-year-old, billionaire vampire, whom she’s found quite interesting and attractive at first, but nothing more than that. She also found him extremely annoying. He was so selfish sometimes that it made her want to kill something. He still ended up becoming one of her best friends. Out of her love to Dominic, she’d asked him to bite her, so that she could become a vampire too and have eternal life, just like the demon she loved. He had been very reluctant, but did it in the end. What neither of them had known was that she was ovulating when he bit her. She’d never understood how it worked, but it made her pregnant with her third son, Alexander. For all she knew, it might as well be a lie, but she got pregnant in any case. She and William had lived in total isolation from civilization, to teach her how to hunt for their precious blood. He had more trouble doing it than she had, as he had never been taught to resist human blood. When she returned, Dominic had been on the warpath because of what she did, and the bump on her stomach didn’t help at all. To complicate matters, she found herself in love with William as well.

   Alexander turned out to be the smartest member of the family. He’d inherited both his father’s and his mother’s brains, which made him a genius. He was sweet as an angel, and mean as the devil himself. He was more stubborn than she and Raven together, and had sudden outbursts of rage, like his father. At the same time, William claimed that he was even stronger than his great-grandfather and his great-grandmother, who were both great vampires. She had a hard time imagining that.

   As she thought it all through, she suddenly felt vibrations. They were very small. So small in fact that only a vampire like her, with their enhanced senses, would be able to feel them. Seconds later, she heard a rumbling noise in the distance. She hoped that William hadn’t heard that. It sounded like thunder, and he was tremendously terrified of it. That was his one “weakness”.

   It was probably nothing. She brushed it off, and turned on the TV. She couldn’t help the feeling that something was very wrong, though. Forget it, she thought to herself.

 

   A few minutes later, she felt another much stronger vibration against her thigh. She jumped in her seat. It was her cell phone. She forcefully pulled it out of her pocket at looked at the display. “Dominic calling” it said. She sighed, annoyed, and answered.

   “I don’t wanna talk to you, Cinimod,” she said, in a harsh tone.

   “Cat, it’s Dominic!” Her heart skipped a beat. It was really him!

   “Oh! Dominic! Oh, sweetheart I’ve missed you so-“ she began, but he interrupted her.

   “Cat, you have to get outta there, now!” he near-yelled. She could her that he was exhausted. Was he running? Or maybe… he was flying?

   “What? What’s going on?!” she asked, alarmed.

   “Remember that lab I told you about? In the forest? Good, it just blew! I bet you could feel the vibrations! They’ve been experimenting with a brand-new virus and it’s lethal! The reason I’m telling you to run, is because our immune system possibly won’t be completely immune to this. Nobody’s ever experienced it before! It’ll kill you!” He rushed through the words, almost making them impossible to understand. She chewed on that for a few seconds.

   “How do you know-“ she began, and he interrupted her. Again.

   “Will told me,” – of course; he’d never be able to figure that out by himself – “We’ve agreed to meet near the wheat fields! Get there as fast as you can! William will escort you somewhere safe!” Escort! She snorted.

   “Fine!” she snapped and hung up.

   She regretted that the moment she did it. Here he was, her beloved husband, after two weeks of being Cinimod, and then she treats him like that. Bitch, she thought to herself, in the best Raven manners.

   She shoved a few things off the shelves into her handbag, including her wallet, make-up, watch, and her precious memory box. Afterwards, she grabbed her jacket, out of pure habit though she didn’t need it, and rushed down the dirty stairs, in her inhumane pace.

   Outside, her tough skin protected her from the cold weather. As expected. The usual homeless man sat next to her in the snow. She threw her jacket to him, and ran as fast as possible, heading for the wheat fields. Light snow began to drizzle from the sky again as she ran. The poor people in town had no idea what was coming for them. They would all die.


2

Journey

She became more and more anxious the closer she came to the fields.

   What would happen?

   Was this the end of the world? The Apocalypse?

   Was everything she had been fighting for in vain?

   What about the rest of humanity? The humans in town still had no idea that the virus had escaped. They had no idea that they were facing death. But maybe they wouldn’t die? Of course, William had told Dominic that it was lethal, but who knows if it was true?

   She reached the huge, snowy wheat fields, just minutes later. As much as she despised using her powers, they did come in handy from time to time. Especially now. Otherwise, someone would have had to pick her up. To save her. Ugh!

   As she thought, she scanned the fields visually. William was nowhere to be seen.

   Suddenly, a hand touched her shoulder. She exhaled in a gust, and spun around to face who had so impolitely surprised her. It was William. Of course. What had she expected?

   A mocking grin spread across his perfect face. His long hair swayed lightly in the wind, whiter than the snow. His glorious red eyes were just as mocking as his sneer, but somewhere in the deep, deep bottom of them were panic.

   As she took in his expression, he leaned in and kissed her. A soft, passionate tongue kiss. It tickled in her stomach, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Her whole being craved more. He then let her go, and she came back to reality. To the horrors of it. He snickered. She inhaled and exhaled a few times before speaking.

   “Oh how I love when you sneak up on me like that!” she hissed, the sarcasm burning on her tongue. He chuckled and kissed her, shorter and harder this time, but still equally as passionate.

   “The expression on you face is simply priceless,” he said, with a near-admiring tone. He grabbed her hand and pulled her hastily across the gigantic fields. She quickly matched his tempo.

   “No, seriously! It’s just wonderful!” she continued, with an angry tone, but he didn’t answer. She decided to ask him a few questions.

   “What happened at that lab?” He seemed to think for a second.

   “I’m not entirely sure. I believe it was merely a researcher who made a horrible mistake. Whatever the reason, the costs will surely be beyond our imagination,” he explained. She pondered about that for a minute.

   “But what makes you so sure about that? We don’t know what’ll happen.”

   “Maybe you don’t, but I do. I stole some documents from the laboratory a few months ago,” – Stole documents? That’s weird… she thought – “Apparently, they tested the virus on a few human test subjects. 9/10th of the humans died within a few days. The last 1/10th mutated hideously. The mutations all seemed random. Some grew in size, while others did not, for example. I don’t know how it will affect the immortals though.”

   She wanted to ask another question. A vital one.

   “Has the virus killed or mutated anybody yet then?” She hoped intensely for a “no”.

   “Not anybody that I know of.” A wave of relief washed over her. William had spared her a lot of smaller questions, so she continued her questioning in another direction.

   “So… Did you hear the explosion too?” she asked, cautiously. His hand clenched tighter around hers. She knew what that meant. He did. That must’ve been the reason for the misery in his eyes. A minute later, he answered.

   “I knew that it wasn’t a lightning strike, because it sounded a bit off… but I have to admit I was frightened. I climbed to my roof and saw the smoke in the distance. The only thing out there was the lab and there was an odd smell. I contacted Dominic immediately, telling him to contact you. I knew that he would want to be the one to do that. Even if it was Cinimod who answered for him,” – she felt a sting of agony in her gut – “I called everybody I could. I got through to Lance, who will bring Cindy and Angelina, and Dominic got through to Alexander. We’ll all meet up,” he explained.

   “Where are we heading?” she asked.

   “confused.gifBuenos Airestongue.gif. I have a residence there,” he answered, smug.

   Of course he did. He owned mansions pretty much everywhere in the world. They were in confused.gifconfused.gifKansasconfused.giftongue.gif, though. That was a long way to run.

   Suddenly, William skidded to a stop, almost yanking her arm off. Behind her, she heard a heavy thud. She slowly turned, scowling at William as she did so, and saw the demon behind her. His skin was completely white, his platinum blond hair looked frozen, his bright blue eyes were angry, and his lips were white, with a slight hint of blue, and were pulled down in a frown. His breathing was uneven and he was shaking heavily. His shirt and winter jacket were tied around his waist, because of the huge, white wings on his back.

   As he saw the smile that spread across her face in that instant, he couldn’t help smiling back, a little half-heartedly. She shook herself free of William’s firm grip, and threw herself around her husband, Dominic’s, neck. She felt the joy shooting through her spine. He hugged her tightly. They were frozen like that for a couple of seconds, Dominic caressing her hair and back.

   William cleared his throat, obviously impatient. They released each other. Dominic smiled his sweetest smile at her. They turned toward William, hand in hand.

   He took in the sight with antipathy.

   “Were you able to find Lance?” he asked, with an uncomfortable edge to his tone.

   “Yeah. He and Cindy are already on their way. Caught them on the road, they said you already told them… Oh, and Angie too of course,” Dominic answered, with a shaking voice.

   “The rest?” William continued, just as harsh. Dominic’s smile faded a little.

   “I… I, um, couldn’t make Alex listen. He really just wouldn’t listen to me… But I think I made it clear that he didn’t have a choice. He ran off,” he answered, a little embarrassed. William winced.

   “Do you have to be so incompetent?” he growled, through clenched teeth.

   “You have no right to be so mean to him! He just did everything he could! I know Dominic doesn’t give up so easily!” Cat snapped. William hissed, and bared his teeth at them for half a second before he composed himself and continued.

   “At any rate, as I have already told you, we have to get to confused.gifMexicotongue.gif as fast as possible. It’s no more than a minute stop on our journey to confused.gifBuenos Airestongue.gif. We’ll all meet up there. I have a residence there, too. We’ll be able to spend the day there.” His expression had become dead. Dominic nodded, leaned over her, gave her a quick kiss, and flew high up into the sky. He quickly became a dot on the grey clouds.

   She and William looked at each other. His expression was just as dead as before. Hers was probably slightly painful. She bit her lip, as he pulled her along again.

   “Does he really have to do that?” she asked reluctantly. He sighed, strained.

   “I would like him better if he was not so damn incompetent all the time, if that’s what you mean,” he answered, in the same cruel tone as before.

   “Oh yes that’s exactly what I meant. Sheesh! Didn’t you look at him? He was freezing, Will-” she complained, being interrupted for the third time that night.

   “He volunteered for the task!” His tone was filled with loathing. She gave up on the issue. It was impossible to discuss anything with him when he acted up like that.

 

   Cat was bushed when they reached the mansion in confused.gifMonterrey, Mexicotongue.gif. They walked up the pathway to the black front door. She marvelled at the beautiful front garden. She could spend all night out there! William unlocked the door. She didn’t even hear him use a key. Had the house been unlocked? No way in hell!

   She had another shock, when he picked her up and carried her inside. The manor was beautifully decorated. Much prettier than the mansion he lived in. Maybe she thought so because she favoured black above white any day. And crimson wasn’t bad either. There were huge panorama windows in one of the walls, and the back garden was even more amazing than the front; there was even a pool-looking hot spring. She couldn’t wait to try it out! Then she remembered that there probably wasn’t time to do that.

   She threw her expensive handbag over his shoulder, where it landed in a comfy chair.

   He placed her gently on one of the soft, luxurious couches. She grabbed his chin, and pulled him to her mouth, in another kiss. His silk-soft hair brushed against her neck. She wound her arms around his waist, and swung him on top of her. They kissed and caressed for a few minutes, then she asked him…

   “Um… Will?”

   “Yes, Kitty?” he whispered.

   “Can I… Try out that pool in your back garden?” He looked at her with a puzzled expression, and then chuckled. His eyes were mocking. She pouted.

   “Now what?” she demanded. He chuckled again.

   “I blacked out the windows, Kitty. It is almost dawn.” He grinned at her.

   “Oh…” She hadn’t even noticed. She’d never learn to be as stealthy as him. Then, she gasped in horror. William was instantly alarmed.

   “Is anything wrong?!” She thought it through, and then burst out…

   “What about Alex?! He’ll burn in the sunlight! If he doesn’t get here fast he’ll die!” she shrieked.

   “I know that immortals reincarnate if their bodies are destroyed, but what if he’s then infected with the virus?!” she felt the tears again. His expression turned completely calm.

   “He’s going to be fine, Cat. He just texted me. He’s almost here.” What?! Was her hearing that bad?!

   “What about Raven?! And Yuki?! They wouldn’t know! You didn’t say you contacted them!” Yuki. Her only remaining friend through her life. William chuckled again and smirked.

   “No worries, Cat. Raven would have been able to hear the explosion too, and I wouldn’t have been able to contact him in any case. He would have known instinctively to run. And Yuki…” His smile faded and his eyes widened as he realised the horrible truth. Yuki was not immortal. Neither did she live in their town. She couldn’t have heard the explosion. The virus would reach her. She couldn’t escape. She couldn’t survive. She would be either killed or mutated by the virus!

   Cat sprang lightly off the couch, and whipped out her cell.

   She dialled Yuki’s number in the fraction of a second.

   She didn’t pick up.

   She tried calling her about 10 times, leaving loads of messages on her answering machine, and tried both her cell and her house. Eventually, she realised that it was too late. The tears welled up in her eyes for the third time that night, and this time they won. She just lost her best friend.

   William cuddled her securely, as she cried out on his shoulder. He felt awfully responsible. Why hadn’t he thought of her before? He should have made Dominic warn her, just like the others! He could at least have remembered her before this happened!

   Suddenly, they heard the door burst open. Cat pushed herself away from William and wiped the tears off her cheeks. They didn’t hear his approach, but all of a sudden Alexander was in the doorway. He looked perplexed at them.

   “What’s going on?” he asked, his voice breaking due to puberty. She saw the worry in his red eyes. His brown hair was completely out of place and he had positioned his short, yet gangly body cautiously against the wall, almost as if he were expecting an attack. His forehead creased, as he saw her wounded expression and the tears in her eyes.

   “Mom? Are you okay?” he asked again. Unable to speak, she promptly paced toward him and embraced him in a tight hug.

   “What happened?” he muttered. She tried to control her voice.

   “Nothing, sweetie. It’s okay, I’m just a little shocked and emotional. I’ve been so worried about you!” She sounded strangled. He knew nothing was “okay”, but he wouldn’t push her.

   He demanded an explanation from his father, and William explained everything he’d explained to Cat. Alexander wondered why they hadn’t just taken a flight to confused.gifEuropetongue.gif, if they wanted to get as far away from the virus as possible. Apparently, William wanted to “observe” the virus from a somewhat safe distance, and then decide what had to be done. Alexander snorted at that comment.

   If it spread further down South America, William had a small, icy island just outside of confused.gifAntarcticatongue.gif. They would be able to live there, until the virus was under control. He had a private jet and everything, so all they needed would be a little supply from either the Antarctic base, or from the main land. And, of course, the vampires would need to hunt a few penguins or seals now and then. It sounded like a hard time was coming.

   “I can’t believe those scientists! Instead of finding a cure against Type B Cancer or something, they create viruses that can kill everybody! Why would anyone do that?!” Alexander complained.

   “Maybe for that sole purpose?” William suggested. The only response was an irritated groan.

   About two hours later, they heard a car screech to a stop in front of the manor. It was now bright day. There were no sounds at all for a while. Everybody held their breath. Then, three doors slammed and they heard Cindy’s voice.

   “Don’t ever drive like that again!” she shrieked, followed by Angelina’s angelic laugh.

   “Let’s do it again! It was fun!” she laughed. Cindy hushed her, but she kept laughing. Cindy sighed.

   “Are you sure this is the place?”

   “Yeah. At least that’s the address dad gave me.” Lance. His breathing was fairly heavy, and his light voice was strained. They walked up the pathway and Cindy gasped at the gorgeous garden. They heard the door handle click and the door opened.

   Cat shot toward the door. A brilliant smile flashed across her tubby son’s face when he saw her. He almost leapt into her arms. His fat belly pushed against hers, and his podgy cheek stroked her jaw. She felt sobs rocking through his body, and he held his breath. He released her and looked into her vivid brown eyes. His blue ones were overflowing with tears and his blond hair was clammy. Angelina shrieked,

   “Grandma!” and hugged her leg. Lance smiled again and picked up his daughter, so that she could give her granny a real hug. She was such an angel.

   They all entered the living room, and demanded the same story as Alexander had. At least Lance did; Cindy decided to put Angelina to bed and was told to find an appropriate room. As William had to explain for the fourth time, including Dominic, it seemed to annoy him. As Lance heard the horrific story, he ended up weeping in despair on the floor. In between his whining, he garbled words such as “dead” and “doom”. Cat managed to calm him down, but he didn’t stop sobbing.

   A sudden, very heavy thud outside made them all jump in their seats. The front door was kicked open, and Dominic walked into the living room, his wings slowly retracting into his back. His skin colour had almost returned to its normal complexion. In his arms, were an amazed Yuki. He put her on the floor, though she could barely stand. Her black hair was windblown from the flight, and she had a dumbfounded expression on her face. She laughed a frantic laugh.

   “Oh dear! That was slightly extreme!” she squealed, and Dominic laughed with her.

   “Look what the bird dragged in!” Cat laughed and helped her stand up on her legs.

   “I saw her at the street, and I decided to take her with me. I was actually on my way to pack some clothes, but I figured that she was much more important. I’m glad I found you. Can’t believe I forgot to search for you!” Yuki looked at him with a wild smile.

   “At least you remembered before I did!” William growled and left the room, into another part of the manor, nearly slamming the door out of its frame behind him. Dominic’s smile faded again.

   “What’s up with Will?” Yuki asked, but Cat just shrugged. She didn’t feel like explaining.


3

Dreaming

Yuki and Cat used the rest of the day chatting. The huge age gap between them was no problem at all, though Yuki had become a lot more cheerful over past few the years. Lance had fallen asleep in another couch next to them, and was snoring lightly. It was a very soothing sound. Cindy was also asleep, next to Angelina in one of the many lavish bedrooms. Those three were all exhausted from the long drive, and they had been stressed to the max. Dominic was sitting in the back garden, with his feet in the pool. He had a cigarette in his right hand and seemed pretty comfortable. Alexander was upstairs, writing on a laptop with lightening speed. He seemed quite on edge. They all were, in some sense, but they had no choice but to wait for sunset. Otherwise, the vampires wouldn’t be able to travel. William was sulking off in the far end of the manor.

   Suddenly, Yuki rose from the couch and went for the door that lead to the stairwell. Cat shot a mystified look after her. She stuck her tongue out in response and disappeared. She walked up the dark maghony stairs. There was a long, dark hallway with 8 doors at the sides. There were lots of beautiful, colourful paintings on the walls. She tried each and every door, and looked at every painting, Alexander hissing at her as she opened the door to his room, until she found the one door she had been looking for, in the far end of the hallway. As she opened the last door to the right, she found William scowling at her, in one of the luxurious bedrooms. He was sitting on the bed, in a tense posture.

   She smiled brightly in response, and sat down on the bed next to him.

   “What’s up, Will? You want me dead so bad?” she teased. He groaned and looked away from her. She laughed blissfully.

   “Jealous, eh? You wanted to find me, didn’t you?” she continued, in a delightful tone.

   “I’m not jealous at all and I… You wouldn’t understand!” he complained.

   “You can tell me! You know I won’t tell anyone!” she pushed.

   “I know that,” he said, broodingly. “But I’m not in the mood to chat.” Yuki frowned.

   “That’s too bad. I only just arrived and already I’m being rejected. You’re so nasty!” she whined. He rolled his eyes.

   “Oh, alright. It’s just that I overlooked you. It irritates me that I didn’t keep you in mind and tell Dominic to fetch you. I’m terribly sorry, Yuki. That was very foul of me,” he confessed. Yuki smiled again.

   “Aw, it’s okay Will! You were stressed out! I mean, the world is coming to an end. Nobody can expect you to keep your calm then. Nobody would be able to do that.” They both laughed and Yuki hugged William.

   “Nothing happened anyway, so there’s nothing to be sorry about!” she continued. William chuckled darkly.

   “How come you are so breezy about the whole “end of the world” craze? You are supposed to be stressed out, aren’t you?” he asked, with a flattering tone to his low pitch voice. She giggled.

   “I am not afraid of death. If we die, then we die, and that’s it.” She rose from the sleek bed and headed for the door.

   “By the way, I really love your choice of colours for this place. Black and crimson. Those are my favourites,” she chimed. William smirked.

   Lance was still fast asleep when she entered the living room again. Cat was lying at the couch she had left just minutes ago. Her eyes were closed. Was she asleep? She would surely hear her approach if she wasn’t. Yuki decided to follow Dominic’s example and went outside to stick her feet in the hot pool as well.

   Cat was restlessly trying to sleep. She was, on the other hand, trying to follow Alexander’s example. He was able to sleep whenever he felt like it. She eagerly wanted to learn that. In times like this, it would be nice with a few hours off. She was pressing her eyelids shut and tried to relax. Slowly, she drifted into unconsciousness.

   Suddenly, she was walking up an aisle. She was walking pretty slow, for a vampire, and was walking arm in arm with her brother, Raven. What was Ray doing there?! She looked at him. He looked pretty tense, looking straight forward. Then she noticed that he was wearing a black suit. A suit? He didn’t even own one! She looked down at herself. She was wearing the most gorgeous black dress she had ever seen. On her left wrist was a sparkling diamond bracelet that she didn’t recognize. On her right third finger was a dazzling ring that she didn’t recognize either. What was going on?!

   The setting changed again, and she saw Lance bending over her, laughing merrily. There was pure joy in his eyes. He was wearing a heavy winter outfit, with a huge jacket, a cap, and knitted gloves. A colossal, black wolf was also bending over her, with a wolfy sneer on its large face.

   She gasped. She was lying on the black leather couch in William’s living room in confused.gifMonterreytongue.gif, covered in sweat. She hyperventilated and looked around. Dominic was sitting on the other couch. He seemed completely uninterested in her. He looked at her with dull eyes.

   “Dominic? Honey?” she pleaded in a small voice. Have I become invisible too?! she thought. Within the fraction of a second, William had taken place in the seat next to her, as she sat up. He held his hands on both her shoulders.

   “Are you alright, sweetheart? Did you have a bad dream?” he asked, anxious. She looked at him. She found only concern in his expression. He searched her face for other emotions than astonishment. Dominic snorted.

   “How cute. The womanizer taking care of the slut while her “husband” is right next to her,” his words seethed.

   “Beat it, Cinimod!” William shot at him. He laughed menacingly and left to the stairwell.

   She was completely stumped. Was she having dream visions again? William picked her up and carried her into the back garden. She was surprised to see that it had just turned night again. For how long had she slept? He took off her pants, shoes, and socks and sited her on the edge of the pool. He clicked her bra open under her shirt, and removed it cautiously. Her body was slumped. She felt like jelly. He threw her clothes onto a comfy lawn chair, and did the same to his own boots, socks, and shirt. His perfect, skinny chest shone palely in the reflection of the hot water. He did a smooth head dive into the deep end of the pool, not even causing a single ripple on its surface, only wearing his size 0 jeans. As he came back to the surface, he turned to look at her. Her mind became present again, and she looked in his eyes. He smiled a breathtaking smile at her, his perfectly white teeth glinting. He picked her up again. He slowly put her down into the warm water, in the shallow end, with him. She folded her arms around his waist and kissed his marble chest. She felt much more relaxed. Her breathing slowed, as she enjoyed the dreamy moment.

 

   While Cat had been asleep, a few things had happened inside the manor. William had thoughtfully ordered a whole lot of clothes for everybody. None of them had had any time to pack, so that was very useful. Everybody liked the clothes he had ordered, and every single part of it fit perfectly. Cindy had been to the local store, to stock up on food and other necessary bits and pieces. To her dismay, she and Lance’s car had run out of fuel. She had had to walk 900 feet, while carrying a heavy load. She had been slightly cranky when she had returned. Alexander had been watching the news, and he reported that the virus had already taken over several towns in confused.gifconfused.gifKansasconfused.giftongue.gif. It was ever so slowly spreading. It made them all anxious. What would await the world, if the virus spread even further? If it reached confused.gifEuropetongue.gif? Would everybody die or mutate? What about the Eastern World, on the other side of The Wall?

   All their odd party could do was run away and “observe”.

   Now they were ready to leave. William insisted that the humans would use his car; it was a lot faster, and it also had the function of blackening out the glass, much like any other item William owned that had windows. That feature would allow the three vampires to sleep in it, if necessary. Cat wasn’t much for the idea, but she had no choice.

   Lance, Yuki, Cindy, and Angelina got in the lustrous, classy, black car, and pulled out of the driveway. Yuki had also taken a nap, shortly after her little run-in with Cinimod by the pool. That hadn’t been very comfortable for her. Cat, William, and Alexander had to run alongside the car, the best they could. Of course, they would have to hide from time to time, but they decided to avoid the cities. The car would definitely be able to handle the rough roads, had William assured them. Cinimod would be flying yet again.

   Alas, they continued their journey to confused.gifBuenos Airestongue.gif.

   Angelina was looking out of the window, with a faraway look in her eyes. She was probably imagining growing up and being as awesome as her family. She usually did. Cat probably thinks her family is the biggest mess ever. It’s probably true. It really is a jumble, Yuki thought. She was also looking out the front passenger seat window, looking at the countryside racing by. It was very calming in a way. Cindy was sitting next to Angelina, holding her pretty closely. What was she expecting to happen? A meteor rocketing from the sky to crash them? There was nobody around, and Lance was a reasonable driver. As he watched the road, he spotted Alexander in between the woods. Their eyes met for a second, before they looked away immediately. They’d never gotten along very well. Alex was the outsider in the family, according to Lance.

   They drove up a small path in the trees. William had given them a signal to go there. He was their live GPS. It was a straight, but uneven road. It evened up after a while, though. The forest became darker, and the trees became closer and larger, the further in they drove.

   Suddenly, Lance shrieked. They jumped in their seats. Yuki scowled at him.

   “Stop it! You scared the crap outta me!” she accused. As she saw his expression, she became a little nervous. He looked as if he’d seen a ghost. Cindy also looked very worried.

   “Lance? What’s going on?” she asked with a wary tone. Lance was hyperventilating.

   “I-I saw something! Something in the trees! Some kind of monster!” he whispered. They were silent for a few seconds. Yuki giggled a little, and was just about to laugh at him, when his eyes widened in horror as he looked in the rear-view mirror. They all turned in their seats to look out the rear window. In the lights from the car, they were able to see what Lance had seen, though they only caught a glimpse of it. A massive monster was standing behind the car. Its face was inhumane, looked more some kind of animal than a man, it had claws, its eyes were completely black, and it had huge leather-like wings. Its skin was completely white, as was its short, wild hair. It disappeared from their view, a second later. Lance sped up. Another moment of silence.

   “Mom?! Dad?! What’s happening?!” Angelina whimpered. Cindy hugged her tightly, and Yuki spotted a tear peeling down her cheek.

   “What was that thing?” Yuki whispered, with a frightened tone. Lance just shook his head.

   A second later, Cat was on their right side, signalling that they should stop the car. Reluctantly, Lance eased his foot off the speeder until the car was still. There was dead silence outside. Cat was in front of the car, looking forward toward the darkness. They couldn’t see anything. William and Alexander ran in front of the car, to stand beside Cat. They were just able to see what was going on.

   Then it approached from the darkness. It was enormous! About t="on">7 feet tall and very wide. It was very muscular. Yet, it moved with an incredible grace. Like an elegant and natural bodybuilder. How could the vampires remain so calm?! This terrifying monster was right in front of them, and they didn’t attack!

   The monster growled and then grinned at the vamps; they smiled back, and William laughed blissfully, as if this was completely normal.

   What was going on?!

   As the two humans, one half demon and one ¼ demon took this sight in, the monster began to transform. Its wings retracted into its back, and its features became human. A few seconds after, it was not a humongous monster that stood in front of them, but a humongous man. He chuckled with a very deep voice. Out of the darkness behind him emerged a small woman. Her hair was a caramel-like brown colour, and her curves were divine. She chuckled too, with a bubbly voice. She smiled a dazzling smile and ran into William’s arms.

   Lance gasped. He knew them! How could he have forgotten?

   He removed his seat belt, opened the door, and stepped into the cold night air. He laughed along with the others and joined in their small party.

   “Oh, Will! I’ve missed you so much, darling! I’ve been so worried after hearing what happened!” the woman chimed, with an entirely British accent, and hugged William tightly.

   “I’ve missed you as well, mom. We’re all okay, and that is the only thing of importance,” William answered in the same delighted tone. He looked at the enormous man.

   “Dad. It’s wonderful to see you again,” he said.

   Now Lance had remembered everything. Those two were William’s parents. Victor and Victoria. The dark, calm, and ominous father and the bright, energetic, and cheery mother. They were opposites, and yet so similar. Like Ying and Yang. They both had a flair for the dramatic, though.

   Yuki stared at them for a long while, as they were reunited. This was all getting weirder and weirder for every minute that passed.

   She looked at Cindy and Angelina again, who both had the same bewildered expression as herself.

   Victor and Victoria were joining them on the journey. They were like one big family now. Cat, Dominic, Lance, William, Alexander, confused.gifVictor, confused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif, Cindy, Angelina, and Yuki. Only Raven was still missing.

   Their journey continued.


4

confused.gifBuenos Airestongue.gif

   After a few long, tedious days and nights, they finally arrived at the mansion in confused.gifBuenos Airestongue.gif.

   Lance slowly pulled up in the driveway. They got out of the air-conditioned car and into the night heat from the south of confused.gifSouth Americatongue.gif. It was like the country’s welcome to them. A quite uncomfortable welcome, that was.

   This mansion was a light wheat colour, though the exterior was mostly marble, and sky blue. Were all these mansions decorated in themes? It was about midnight, and they were all exhausted. William unlocked the double marble doors, and went back to the car to get their clothes. They all entered the large living room, and made themselves comfortable. Cat noticed that Dominic wasn’t there. He was probably putting this moment off. Cinimod loathed them all, and it was only for his other half’s sake that he stayed with them – and if he left Dominic would do everything he could to return. She sighed and sat down in a shiny, blue armchair. Lance was sweaty and panting from the heat; and maybe just from moving his body a little. Angelina was asleep in Cindy’s arms, breathing heavily. Yuki sat down on one of the couches, completely expressionless. She was tired out. Victoria and Victor sat down on a couch as well, hand in hand as they had been the whole time. They rarely ever let go of each other.

   William came back with their luggage, and ordered them to go to specific rooms in the mansion. He was certainly very manipulative.

   Lance and Cindy got the room in the far west side of the mansion. There were two wondrous beds in that smaller room; one double bed and one single, depending on Angelina’s needs. Victor and Victoria got the one just next to the garage – about 40 feet away from Lance’s and Cindy’s. Although confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif never needed to sleep, Victor did. Vampires could be very different from one another. confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif was very patient, and she always “slept” when he did. Dominic was going to be ordered to sleep the farthest from all the others, as Cinimod usually performed insane rituals on himself and animals. He had a very strong fait, in a religion that none of the others had ever heard of. Yuki and William had rooms just next to each other. William had his usual room, a few metres from the living room. He needed to be in the centre of everything, of course. Yuki didn’t care where she slept, as long as it was nice and comfy. Cat wanted to be by herself a little, but William gave her the room across the hallway from his and Yuki’s. He wanted her close by. He was indeed extremely manipulating.

   Before Cat went to her room, to try to force herself asleep once more, she decided to try out the Jacuzzi in the back yard. The ground was covered with beautiful marble tiles. She had only just stopped, as she realised that she had no idea how to turn it on, when William was at her side.

   “Let me handle that,” he said, with a soft voice and in the next second, the Jacuzzi was turned on. The huge bubbles looked very promising. She smiled a half-hearted smile at him, and took her pants off once more. This time she also took her tight shirt off. She didn’t care about the underwear. William had bought her some pretty cute lingerie anyway…

   She sat down in the boiling hot water, and felt her muscles relax. She closed her eyes and her senses. She didn’t want to be disturbed.

   She sat like that for a few minutes, until she felt a pair of fairly cool lips touch hers. Chilly arms wrapped around her waist, and a sweet taste entered her mouth, followed by a soft tongue. This was the one thing she allowed to disturb. She held his face in her hands, and leaned toward him. She’d never understood why she didn’t feel guilty about cheating on her husband. It had to be Cinimod’s fault. Every time she thought of him, she felt furious. He was ruining their relationship! If it wasn’t for him, neither Dominic nor she would ever have had to go through this. She would never have fallen in love with William.

   As she thought this, she tightened her grip around him, and kissed him harder. Right now, this was what she wanted. Nothing else. Maybe a little bit naughtier, though…

   As if he had read her thoughts, he clicked her bra open. She felt the joy dart through her veins, as she opened the buttons on his laced shirt.

   Right next to them, someone cleared their throat.

   She immediately pushed herself away from William, and looked to her right. It was Lance.

   “Uh… Maybe this isn’t the best time for that?” he said, obviously embarrassed.

   “What do you know about that? Oh wait, I forgot. You don’t know anything,” William snapped at him. He exhaled in a gust, and was struggling not to cry. He continued with a shaky voice.

   “Well… Alexander wants us to meet up in the living room… Just thought I’d let you know…” he finished.

   “Fine. Now go away,” William barked. Lance sobbed, and hurried back inside. William was about to continue making out with Cat, when was taken by surprise by a hard strike on the jaw. It was throbbing. He made an effort not to counter it immediately.

   “… What was that for, Kitty?” he asked, upset. Cat scowled at him.

   “I’m not letting you talk to my son like that! If you’re gonna treat him like shit, then you might as well just piss off!” she shrieked. He sighed, and jumped out of the warm water. He took his shirt, his boots, and his socks off, and dried his feet and upper body with a towel. She clicked her bra shut. He grabbed a blanket from a luxurious chair, and turned to look at her.

   “I apologize. That was awfully foul of me. I can assure you that I will never act like that toward your son again,” he said, with a dazing tone. It almost soothed her anger away.

   “You always apologize immediately after you do something wrong. You can’t stand when people blame you. All you care about is maintaining your image of perfection,” she stated, with a gloomy and angry voice. He chuckled darkly and smirked at her. She was dead right. He went inside as well, throwing her a second blanket from the chair. She jumped straight up and grabbed it with perfection. She angled her body to land on the marble tiles. She wrapped the blanket around her, and went inside with a fairly better mood compared to a few seconds ago.

 

   It had just turned dark and it was very warm.

   There were a lot of people in the streets. The news about the virus from confused.gifNorth Americatongue.gif had reached the whole Western World within just one day. Nearly all humans seemed to think that the virus was the end of the world – that the virus would kill everybody – so they let themselves live the sweet life.

   They were wrong.

   It would kill all humans, but not the immortals. If they had been immune to the plague, they would also be immune to this.

   Yet, some still had seeds of doubt in their mind. They thought they would die too. That wasn’t the case. It could never be. It would spawn a new era. An era of immortality!

   At least that was what they had told him.

   He was one of those who believed the immortals would die. It just wouldn’t make sense with a world filled with immortal people. It would be hellish.

   They spotted an easy victim on the street. A young woman. She went into a dark alley. They leapt across the rooftops to follow her. She lit a cigarette, and sat down against the wall. A light sob escaped her throat. Her obviously dyed hair was filthy, and her tiny clothes were a mess. Her eyelids slid shut, and she whimpered. That was it.

   “Are you ready for your first kill?” Sam asked, with his usual dark, slithering voice. He sighed.

   “I already told you. I’m not comfortable with killing humans. It’s not… natural,” he answered. Sam chuckled without humour.

   “Nemo, you are going to kill a human sometime, whether you like it or not. I’ll force you, if I have to. I have the power to make you do anything I want. Anything the mistress wants. And even if you don’t kill her, you still won’t be able to resist the smell.” Nemo shook his head. He was right.

   Sam’s bright, blue eyes were flaming, as he shot himself across the alley to the rooftop below them. He landed on the other side, and slid inaudibly down a drainpipe. He crept towards the woman. She didn’t notice anything. He felt a strong urge to interrupt the “stalk”. It just wasn’t right!

   Within a small second, Sam had grabbed her by the hair, and smashed her face into the hard concrete ground, with a loud cracking noise. Her blood flooded onto the ground, where her face lay smashed. Her body slumped into Sam’s grip, as he violently bit her neck, with his crystal white fangs. He knew what was going to happen next. It was just like last time.

   The strong scent of her blood entered his hypersensitive nose like a knock-out punch. He felt his control fade away. He would never be able to interact with humans ever again, if they even let him.

   Sam saw his reaction, and let go of the woman with his fangs.

   “I told you so, Nemo,” he said, “You can’t resist it.” and continued drinking her blood.

   Nemo dropped from the six-storied building, and landed almost as silently as Sam.

   He threw himself at the dead woman, and joined the gorge to satisfy their thirst.

 

She couldn’t believe it! Why did she have to get the groceries?! Just because Lance ate like a pig, she had to do the dirty work?!

   Cat tried to calm herself down, as she slowly breathed in the warm night air.

   The problem Alexander wanted to address was the lack of supplies.

   Lance had looked very guilty when it was brought up, and he was neither good at lying nor at hiding things.

   Therefore, she had been ordered to get groceries in town.

   It was so unfair! Any of the others could have done it! But no, they had “other things” to take care of. They just wanted to get rid of her.

   Let’s just get this shit over with. If Raven was here, he’d complain about me complaining and call me a bitch, she thought as she walked. There were a lot of people on the streets. A lot of loud music coming from different homes as well. People were going nuts over the virus. They were all being reckless and stupid. A few men looked at her; like she was a steak and they were a hungry pack of wolves. She felt mildly disgusted and sped up just a little bit.

   She thought of William. Thought of embracing him, sliding her fingers through his silky hair, resting her body against his lean chest. Kissing him softly. He was her drug. She was addicted to him. As she kept fantasizing, she wondered why she never thought of Dominic anymore. He was her husband, and yet they were always distant. He mostly stayed away from people. He was scared of his other self. It would pop up out of nowhere, and ruin a nice conversation – or something else. They were rarely ever together anymore. Why didn’t they just get a divorce? Oh right; because they loved each other. Dominic would be devastated if she ever left him. He was quite sensitive – like his son. Protective too. Like a knight in shining amour.

   Suddenly the bedtime fantasy wasn’t William, but Dominic.

   If he was himself when she got home, they were going to spend some quality time together.

   The big city was a terrible place. Chaos was everywhere. People obviously believed that this was doomsday. She searched around town for a while, trying to find a decent-looking store. She finally found a large mall, that didn’t seem too damaged from the raiding riots.

   It was quite a good mall. She managed to buy the supplies they needed, regarding the extra food Lance would consume. He ate much more than any of the others. No wonder he had gained so much weight so quickly. He had no limits.

   And yet he didn’t understand what was happening to his body. He knew nothing about nutrition, or about anything else for that matter. He had almost failed the primary school’s exams and had no common sense at all. She felt bad for him, and, most of all, she felt like she’d failed him.

   She bought a lot of vegetables, a lot of pasta, some bread and different kinds of cold meat, a bit of cheese and butter, some milk, a whole lot of coffee, some spices, a little bit of meat, and a load of cigarettes and lighter oil.

   William had again been thoughtful, and had exchanged currency for her.

   It was in times like this the super strength came in handy.

   Carrying 4 huge bags with groceries would not have been an easy task for a human, but for a vampire it was a piece of cake.

   She took another way home than the one she used to get there.

   On the way, she saw a police swarmed street.

   It looked like they were investigating a dark alleyway. As she went by, the strong smell of human blood struck her. She almost dropped the 4 bags. Countless people were piled together near the alleyway. As she went closer, she saw a reporter amongst them. Then she saw the body.

   It used to be a young lady, but her face was completely crushed. There was blood all over her body, but, oddly enough, there was barely any blood on the ground – except for the large spot where her face had hit it. But the most noticeable things were the bite marks; two small holes next to each other, no more than t="on">2 inches from each other. There were a few of those bite marks on her neck, and Cat knew exactly what had made them.

   Vampires.

   “Once again, The Vampire has murdered another innocent human in the streets of confused.gifBuenos Airestongue.gif. He has really been heating things up recently, as there have been 3 attacks just this week. This time the victim was a young female who was merely 19 years old. He is presumably taking advantage of the current state of disarray the city is in. Investigators are still clueless about who The Vampire is, as there, again, were no clues left behind from the notorious murderer. People are starting to get very frightened, and some even skips a Doomsday Pillaging- or Party to stay safe. The police are still looking for clues, as hard as they can…”

   Cat didn’t hear more from the reporter. She had to tell the others! It wasn’t just an insane human being, it really was a vampire! Maybe even more than one.

   She hurried back home, as fast as possible. Walking as quickly as she did, with 4 bags of groceries surely didn’t look all that normal, but she didn’t care. Only one thing mattered.


5

Lunacy

   As she entered the mansion, she heard a very peaceful sound; snoring.

   She entered the living room and saw Lance sleeping on the couch. He looked very tired, and was obviously not going to wake up anytime soon.

   Cat made an effort to sneak by him, even though it wasn’t necessary. Vampires were very silent creatures.

   What if something happened to him? she thought, and stopped to look at her sleeping son. He would be completely defenceless if someone were to come after him. He’d never learned how to use his demonic powers, so he had no way to escape if a vampire was chasing him. He had to learn it… He and his family’s life could end up being dependent on it.

   She sighed quietly and snuck into the kitchen.

   As she stored the groceries, she tried to think of a way to tell William what had happened in town. He would freak out! He wouldn’t be able to handle if those vampires suddenly ruined his plan. He always planned out everything in his head. They would mess it all up. Stress wasn’t something he was able to handle very well…

   Somebody entered the kitchen, but stopped shortly after; probably because of her.

   Cat turned around and saw her husband staring blankly at her.

   At first she became a little bit scared – she suspected that Cinimod had taken over again. Then she noticed the relaxed stance and the pyjamas. Cinimod would never wear comfy clothes. She breathed out and calmed down, as Dominic smiled at her, then yawned and scratched his tummy.

   “I just… needed another smoke,” he said, and walked towards her. He opened a few cabinets, searching for a pack of cigarettes. She quickly rummaged through the bags and found a pack for him. He smiled sheepishly at her, and quickly lit a smoke – enjoying it a bit too much. She smiled back at him.

   “You know I hate smoke…” she whispered. Dominic chuckled.

   “I can’t believe we’ve lived together for more than twenty years with that attitude of yours,” he whispered back, with a mocking expression. She giggled a little, but felt tears pushing her limit. Dominic noticed and hugged her tightly with one arm, caressing her waist.

   “Hey that’s nothing to be sad about! I’m glad we made it this far. I’ll be okay soon. I promise. When this is over, I’ll get rid of that mind fucking prick. Don’t you worry about it!” He believed in her. He thought she was still faithful, didn’t he?

   “If you weren’t immortal you’d be dead by lunge cancer long ago…” she whispered. He laughed and kissed her cheek. She caught a smell of his smoky breath and cringed. He smiled a cheerful smile at her and turned her against him. He held her face in one hand and kissed her again. This time on the mouth. He pressed his tongue into her mouth against her will. He really enjoyed it and she deeply wanted to as well, but he tasted worse than ever!

   She clenched her fists and pushed herself away from him. She stepped back, as he let her go. He looked at her with bewilderment, which was seconds later replaced by guilt.

   “You taste bad…” she whispered. The floor seemed to catch his attention, as he left the kitchen.

   “Sorry…” he whispered. His tone was a mix between shame and fury.

   “Dominic! I-I didn’t mean to…!” she squealed, but let him walk away.

   Damn you, Cat! Whenever I try to get close to you there’s always something in the fucking way! I just want to know you again! … She’s changed. So have confused.gifI.tongue.gif Might as well just let that bastard take over my sanity completely! If only I could… Dominic thought, as he walked towards his room, and took a drag.

   Cat felt as stumped as ever.

   Had they broke apart?

   She’d never been this bothered by his smoking before. Had it escalated? Was she just not used to it anymore? Hadn’t she kissed him when they met in the wheat field? Or had she…? Weren’t vampires supposed to remember incredibly well?!

   She decided to put it behind her for the moment, and find William.

   After a few minutes of searching through the house, she finally found him in the garage.

   He seemed to be searching for something in the trunk of one of his lavish cars. Of course he was by her side as soon as she had entered through the door. It never failed to astonish her.

   “I see you returned safely from town. No men trying to impress you?” He smirked at her.

   “Not in my face at least. Um… I have something really important I want to talk to you about,” she said, nervously curling a tuft of hair around her index finger. He noticed her anxiety immediately.

   “Is anything wrong?” he asked, holding her hand. She breathed in deeply and cleared her throat.

   “I know that only Alexander watches the news, so you wouldn’t know…” – he raised one eyebrow – “… and I know that none of us drink human blood on a regular basis. At least we try not to! And therefore… I’m pretty sure that there are other vampires here,” she whispered.

   William went completely silent and stopped breathing for a few seconds.

   “H-how do you know that?” he asked, between clenched teeth.

   “There was this dead woman whose face had been smashed and there were vampire bite marks on her neck and a news reporter said that it was a murderer called “The Vampire”, but it wasn’t a human it was a vampire because there was only a little bit of blood around her, and I think they licked it off the ground… And I’ve seen it myself I know those bite marks wasn’t made by a human…” She talked in a furry of words. William stopped her by pressing his index finger against her lips. He reacted just like she expected. His breathing had gone heavy and he looked like a spoiled little kid who had just been denied a puppy for Christmas. He grabbed the nearest thing he could find – which turned out to be an expensive can of oil – turned around, and threw it with great strength into the wall. It splattered all over the garage. He smashed his fist into another wall, creating a crack in it.

   “Well that’s just perfect!” he shouted. “Just what I needed! Fucking typical!” He paced around the garage, knocking random things off shelves. Cat was just about to try to calm him down, when she heard a deep voice behind her, speaking in another language – it made her jump in her place.

   She turned around and found that it was Victor. He could barely even stand up straight in the garage. She realised that it was the first time she had ever heard him talk. Was he even able to speak English?

   William answered his question in the same language, almost yelling at him. Unlike William, Victor kept his calm, and they had a short conversation in the unknown tongue. Eventually, William rushed out of the garage, past her and Victor. She was perplexed.

   “What just happened?” she asked him. He smiled a half-hearted smile at her.

   “We choose who to hunt vampires,” he answered, with a very heavy accent. It took her a second to figure out what he actually said, but when she finally understood, she was even more confused.

   “What?! You could have told me!” she hissed, offended. He shrugged and went after his son, leaving her in the garage. She felt like a complete fool.

   If Dominic was still awake, she’d apologize to him. She quickly walked through the mansion, ignoring William, Victor, and Lance who had just woken up. She reached the very last bedroom, and burst the door open without thinking about it at all. As soon as she had stepped into the room, she screamed in horror.

   Dominic was sitting on the floor in his black suit. Large cuts on his throat and his wrists were bleeding onto the floor, and the already bloody knife in his hand. When he saw her, he jumped to his feet and pointed the knife at her.

   “What are you doing?!” Cat screamed. Dominic came closer, still pointing the knife at her.

   “Get outta here or I’ll cut your motherfucking throat…!” he said, with a coarse voice. Even though he was cutting himself, he still had a cigarette in the corner of his mouth.

   He suddenly took a hop towards her, and sliced her left arm with the knife. It didn’t have exactly the effect that he wanted, as she nearly managed to step away in time, but she screamed again and ran off – that was good enough for him.

   The door was slammed behind her, as she dashed with unearthly speed through the hallway, and into William’s unsuspecting arms, making him lose his balance for a second. He hugged her tightly and caressed her back with slow, gentle movements.

   Victor and Lance stared with wide eyes, as Cat cried her heart out on his shoulder.

   It took a couple of long minutes before she was done weeping. He took her face in his hands, and kissed her. The most passionate kiss she’d had in a long time. He looked into her weary eyes.

   “Whatever happens, I’ll always be there for you. I’ll always take care of you. If you were ever in doubt of that, you got me so very wrong. I’ll love you forever, Kitty. Don’t you dare forget that,” he whispered. She sighed deeply and cuddled him tightly.

 

The night after, it had cooled a bit.

   The nights in confused.gifBuenos Airestongue.gif were quite short this time of the year, so there was not much time to be outside.

   William gazed upon the beautiful moon, which was almost full. It cast an eerie light down on the quiet, dirty streets. He had managed to find the most abandoned neighbourhood, full of old warehouses – the perfect hideout for a fierce group of inexperienced vampires.

   He jumped from the roof he was standing on, to another warehouse, just about 22 yards away. He slowly climbed down the wall, hanging onto the small gaps at the windows, as silently as possible.

   About five minutes passed, where he quickly followed a scent of blood he picked up instantly when he got to the ground.

   Eventually, he found an abandoned office building. He stepped inside and immediately noticed writing on one of the walls. It looked like graffiti, but something was wrong; it smelled exactly like blood.

   “FIGHT THE POWER! PRAISE THE MISTRESS!” it said.

   He ran a finger down the M, and was not surprised to find that it was blood – possibly human.

   He turned around to leave the building and search onwards, when he virtually walked into someone’s fist. He was hit twice in the face, and was then lifted and thrown through a window.

   Behind him were three different voices, all laughing menacingly.

   His head was throbbing when he hit the ground, but he managed to stand up and look behind him.

   In the smashed window sat a woman with short, blonde hair, grinning at him. There were two men next to her; one in the doorway with remarkably light blue eyes and another on the ground in front of the others, ready to jump at him.

   “Looking for something?” the man in the doorway said, with a sarcastic tone.

   William cleared his throat.

   “Well. I came here to investigate the recent murders. They were obviously committed by vampires, such as you,” he explained.

   The woman giggled.

   “He knows about vampires! He’s one himself, isn’t he! I thought he was human, since he was so easy to take down,” she mocked and dropped onto the ground, also taking on a hunting position. The second man hissed lightly at William.

   “Let me slaughter this bitch, Sam!” he snapped. The first man, who had to be named Sam, shook his head.

   “Not yet, Julius. It sounds like you don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into, pretty boy. You’re no threat to us. Nina, Julius, we’ll play with him for a little while!”

   The moment he said that, both Nina and Julius leapt towards William in a tick.

   He managed to dodge them in time, but Sam swiftly rammed him and knocked him to the ground. He took a few nippy hits, until Nina dragged him off by the hair. She picked him up again and threw him into a wall. As he was still standing, Julius kicked him to the ground and twisted his arm, keeping him down.

   William stopped breathing for a few seconds to prevent himself from screaming in pain.

   “Wanna finish him off, Sam?” Nina asked.

   “Nah. Let’s see if he’s worth throwing around a bit more,” Sam said, and kneeled in front of William.

   “Listen up, chew toy. If you join the clan we’ll let you live. But you absolutely have to be completely loyal towards The Mistress.”

   So they were part of a clan?

   “Never…!” he whispered.

   Sam grabbed his throat and threw him into a metal wall.

   Meanwhile, Nina had found a large iron pole. She beat William with it several times, until he was barely even conscious. She picked him up again, preparing to throw, when he grew wings and claws and ripped her across her face. She screamed in agony and dropped him, as she quickly backed off.

   The three vicious vampires all stared at him in astonishment; they couldn’t know much about their own species, since they had clearly never seen a vampire transform.

   He grinned and charged at Julius, piercing his throat with his claws. He was lethally wounded, and was choking to death on his own blood. Nina shrieked in fury and hit William with the iron pole again, this time with all of her strength. He was knocked half unconscious, and felt warm blood run into his eyes. She was about to hit him again, but he grabbed the pole in midair and beat her down with it. He grabbed her neck and twisted it as much as possible, until it snapped.

   Julius had almost bled to death, but his wound was starting to heal. He had to speed things up.

   Sam watched what happened to his friends in terror – without doing anything at all. William fearlessly walked towards him, still holding the bloody pole in his hand. Sam backed off, looking very panicky.

   “Hey man, relax! W-we didn’t mean to rough you up so badly or anything! We just have to stay faithful-“ he tried to explain, but William grabbed his throat, smashing him into a window, and then lifted him in one arm.

   “W-what do you want?! I’ll give you anything! Just don’t kill me!

   William tightened his grip around his throat.

   “Where exactly is this clan of yours? Your lair?” he asked, amazingly calm.

   “J-just north of here! It’s an old factory in the woods! V-very large! Please just let me go!” Sam squealed.

   William snickered, flapped his wings, and flew off into the dark sky.

   The two other vampires’ wounds were slowly healing.

   His whole body was aching! How could he take such a battering without standing a chance?! He was out of shape that’s how. He had to train more. First of all though, he needed blood. He had to find somebody to feed on – the healing would be much quicker that way.

   After a few minutes of flying, he spotted a man on the street. He was all alone. Perfect target.

   He promptly landed, without caring whether the man heard him or not.

   The victim turned around just in time to scream in horror. Seconds later, his life was ended.

   William sunk his fangs into his thick neck. The sweet, warm blood filled his mouth. Such a marvellous feeling! He greedily drank his blood, resulting in more of a mess than he intended. His white shirt had been stained with the blood. He took it off, hoping that nobody would notice his sweet breath.

   He quickly rose from the scene of crime, feeling a bit dizzy. His wounds were already healing much faster, as he took off again, flying high up in sky. He didn’t want anybody to see him.

   Meanwhile, Cat had been trying to calm down. She was very worried about William going to track the vampires, and she was concerned about Dominic’s health. Even though he was immortal, he could still be mentally scarred forever. Thanks to a “miracle balm” confused.gifVictoriaconfused.gif had picked up in confused.gifIndiatongue.gif, his cuts had healed extremely quickly. They looked like they were several days old already.

   At that moment, she was sitting next to him, in his bed. He was half asleep, and was more or less simply enjoying the way she continually stroked his hair.

   It had been quite a shock to him to suddenly find himself on the floor, covered in blood, with cuts everywhere – again. It had been even worse when he had tried to ask Cat for help; she yelled at him and pushed him away from her. Dominic didn’t know what happened while Cinimod was in control and vice versa.

   The only reason Dominic had found out about his disease was because he used to have a hobby. He would record everything he could with a video camera. When Cinimod began appearing, he would record things as well. That explained the odd time gaps and the weird black marks and cuts Dominic had everywhere. He even had videos with himself when he was only 18 years old, along with videos of Raven when he was 16. It felt very odd watching them, as Raven in particular had changed a lot since then.

   “You think he’s still alive?” Dominic mumbled into his pillow.

   “What? Who?” Cat asked. He was obviously following a train thought of again – that left others knowing little to nothing about what he meant.

   “Ray?” he muttered. Cat felt an anguishing sting in her heart, and sighed. She still missed her brother a lot.

   “Well… I hope so. He’s survived himself, so why not survive this?” she whispered. Dominic giggled a bit.

   “Yeah. I think he’s alive. Probably found some place in the Norwegian woods where he can wolf around all day with his girlfriend, uh, Rachel,” he said, with a rough voice. What an odd, but somehow very probable thought.

   The bedroom door creaked open, and confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif sneaked inside. She was carrying a silver tray with a cup and four pieces of bread with butter. She smiled warmly at Dominic, when she saw he was awake.

   “I thought I ought to bring you a nice cup of tea and a bite to eat,” she chimed.

   Dominic yawed and sat up, smiling back at her.

   “Thanks, Vicky. That’s real nice of you.” As soon as she placed the tray in front of him, he began stuffing himself with the food. He was obviously quite hungry.

   confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif sat down on the bed, and cautiously held Cat’s hand.

   “Are you still worried?” she asked. Cat nodded and made an effort out of looking extra sad.

   confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif sighed and hugged her securely. A nice, long hug. She let go and looked at her with a serious expression on her gorgeous face.

   “He’s going to be just fine. Don’t worry about it. He’s been through worse than a couple of vamps. Isn’t that right, Domino?” She made a gesture towards Dominic. It took him a while to realise that she was talking to him.

   “Wha’?” he said, with his mouth full of bread. confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif laughed cheerfully, and stood up from the bed, looking at Dominic with the same smile as before.

   “Cat, he just had quite the pastime when he was still a youngster. He was a bounty hunter, and he attempted to murder William once, because there was a bounty on his head. Will just found it hilarious, and he was completely untouchable. They made a truce, and that’s how they became friends in the first place.” She smiled at Cat, and left the bedroom.

   Dominic looked quite perplexed.

   “What was that all about?” he asked, chewing his meal.


6

Memories

Cat was pacing around the living room.

   William still hadn’t returned, and she was increasingly worried about him.

   What if confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriatongue.gifconfused.gif was wrong? What if he couldn’t handle it? He could’ve been captured and tortured and never turn up again! They could’ve torn him apart and buried him, so that it would take him days to recover!

   She decided to force herself to sleep once more.

   She went into her bedroom, and sat down; only then she noticed her handbag on the pillows. It looked a little dirty, but that was to be expected.

   She picked it up and put it onto her lap, opened it and searched it thoroughly. Inside was her beloved wallet, which was full of cash, her golden pocket watch, a load of make-up that she had been missing, a couple of worthless spare coins, and – she gasped – her memory box.

   It was dusty, but it still had its beautiful ruby red colour after all those years. She cautiously opened it, and searched through its contents.

   She found a couple of pictures of her and Dominic, from when they were young and in love; a picture of her with newborn Lance in her arms – he still had that cute face; a couple more pictures of young Lance, along with one where he got his first guitar; and few pictures, that she had taken with her terrible camera skills, of Marius when he was just about 7 years old – she couldn’t help shedding a tear.

   Alongside the pictures were also Dominic’s sugar sweet love letters. Back when they weren’t married, he used to send her secret letters of love, every month. Her ex never found out, until she left him.

   At the bottom of the box, lay another letter – it was unopened. Something was inside of it, shaped like a square. It read “Cat” on the front, with neat, decorated, gothic-style writing.

   She ripped open the envelope and shook out a piece of paper and a jewellery box. She carefully opened the small box. Inside was a pair of brilliant earrings. She picked them up and studied them closely. Real silver! She quickly put them in her ears and went to the bathroom to take a look. Absolutely stunning!

   She returned to the bedroom and picked up the piece of paper. She smelled it – it had a light smell of dark coffee and leaves.

   It read:

   “Dear Sissy:

   First of all, I know that you’re confused about my disappearing. But I felt I had to do it. I had a feeling that I was a bad influence on you and your family – especially Lance. And it didn’t exactly make it better that we kept arguing all the time. Believe it or not, I actually felt terrible every time we yelled at each other and every time I made you cry. I thought you all needed a break from me, and I from you.

   I’m so sorry! I hope that you understand my decision though. And if you need me in the end, I’ll be there for you. Somehow. And, now that this idiotic virus is terrorising everything, maybe we’ll see each other soon.

   With that said, I hope you like those earrings! It took me a hella lot of time to pick just the right pair! At least I know your despicable taste in jewellery pretty darn well.

   Second of all, I hope you’re well more than anything! I sure am. I moved in with my girlfriend Rachel (you better remember her!), in a small house. It’s not much, but all we need are each other. Yeah, I know that sounds MUCH too cute for me, but that’s the truth, really. I gave up searching for a job in the business industry. Nobody seemed to need a mathematician; I always got comments about not really fitting into their fucking companies too. No wonder. Anyway, instead I actually worked hard to get a job as a tattoo artist. Nobody sure complained about my looks around there! I practiced for ages, got all the certificates, did all the tests, etc., and now I’m a tattoo artist. Hurray! Rach is still a mechanic, and now we’re both making some pretty good cash. We’re really getting intimate too. I know I’m gonna hate myself for saying this, but… I feel better with her than I ever did with Diana…! She takes me to another dimension of joy, and I feel like I can survive reality without having to somehow escape into my own imagination. She’s opened up a whole new world for me. Maybe I should just write a corny romance novel right away, hah! Anyway, I think I’ve changed quite a bit since last time we saw. Thankfully, I’ve gained some weight, so I’m not scarily skinny anymore! Also, being a werewolf really gets you ripped! I never thought of that, but now it seems kinda obvious. Running around on all four in a forest, now THAT’S work-out! At the same time, I’ve started boxing again. Things have really gone uphill! But it does make me realise how much of my life I’ve fucking wasted away with drugs and booze. I guess I’ll make up for the lost years tens of thousands of times, now that I’m immortal. Never thought I’D appreciate eternal life. Well, what d’ya know. My terrible cough is almost gone.

   Reminds me – please say hi to- and hug DOMINIC for me! Same with LANCE! Damn I miss those two. I hope Dominic hasn’t gone completely bat shit crazy, ‘cause he was getting a bit eccentric when I saw him last. And I bet Lance’s grown like heck! What was he, like 6 when I left? I miss the guys. Had some great times with them.

   Maybe even your new buddy, Mr. Mosquito, has been missed a slight bit. But just maybe.

   But, most of all, I’ve missed YOU. I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s been quite a hole in my stomach since you weren’t there anymore. I’ve really missed my chubby little sister! You’ve always been there for me, and tried to help me, when I was never ever there for you. I never appreciated your help. And, again, it makes me feel like a terrible, TERRIBLE person. And I really was a monster! I’ve still got issues with my temper, but I believe I’ve improved. I’m really sorry for everything I’ve done to you. I may seem like a coward, writing this instead of saying it face-to-face, but I have my reasons.

   With that said, I still HOPE that we’ll see each other soon! Hope this letter found you well.

   Love ya

   – Raven

   She couldn’t breathe.

   He missed her!

   Where had the letter come from? Had he been in the mansion? That couldn’t be, someone would have noticed him. Maybe someone had delivered the letter for him? Had he seen someone about it? Was he in contact with someone else than her? She’d kill the person that hadn’t told her! And if he had been there, why wouldn’t he talk to her face-to-face – and join them?

   At least it seemed like he was feeling much better. She was looking forward to seeing him again already. But at that moment, she needed to sleep on it. It was too much to take in, in just one day. She put the box back into her bag, and pulled the sheets over her head.

 

Cat had just turned off her computer, and had begun to take her tight clothes off. It was about 2 o’ clock. Her parents were going to kill her if they knew she wasn’t asleep yet! She knew that they were still awake too, though. Such hypocrites!

   She took her clothes off and studied her chubby teenage body in the mirror, before putting on her pyjamas. She’d already brushed her teeth, but she had to go to the bathroom before going to bed.

   Just as she got closer to the door, she heard it lock. Now why would anybody lock the door at this time of the night? She pressed her ear against it, and heard someone breathing heavily outside. Someone slid down the door, and sat on the floor in front of it.

   “Ray…?” she whispered – the breathing disappeared for a moment. What was he doing?

   “Are you okay…?” she whispered again. She could hear that he was about to cry, but struggled not to. His hand slid under the door. She took it in hers. His skinny hand was shaking.

   “It’s gonna be okay, Sissy… We’ll be fine…! Be strong, and believe in yourself! We’ll stay with our aunt in confused.gifconfused.gifMissouritongue.gifconfused.gif. You’ll be fine. Just remember that I love you…! I always will! No matter what I say! Don’t you dare forget that! Just live your life to its full potential… You’ll go so far, I know you will! Don’t let anybody get you down! Be happy. And… Don’t tell anybody about this… What I’m gonna do is not right… But I have no choice! You’ll understand sometime,” he whispered, and squeezed her hand before pulling his back under the door.

   “But… Ray! What’s going on?!” she shrieked quietly. She heard him move away from the door. In the next couple of seconds there was silence. Then…

   Gunshots.

   Her mom and dad screaming.

   She squirmed behind the door. Was she pleased or terrified? She began to feel nauseous, and grabbed the largest bags she could find. She had to pack. She was only halfway done when the door was unlocked again. The door creaked open, and she looked behind her.

   Tears were running down Raven’s cheeks, ruining the tonnes of black eye-liner he was wearing.

   “Leave it be. They’ll pick our stuff up later,” he said, with a dead tone. He made her sit down on her bed, and sat down next to her. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders, as she wept. They could only hope for the best.

   “I hope she’s happy that little bitch,” he growled. She didn’t want to know what he meant.

   Minutes later, the police arrived. Someone must have heard the gunshots. Raven told them the biggest lie of his life, about not knowing what had happened. He told them that the murderer had locked them both in her room, and that they didn’t know what exactly had happened.

   On the way outside, she saw them. Both dead. They had blood all over them, and her mother had bullet holes in her head and her chest, while her father was bleeding from the mouth, his gun tucked in his hand. She cuddled her brother tightly. If they found out, he’d rot in prison forever!

   “MOM!

   She suddenly woke, by the sound of Alexander screaming for her.

   As she quickly sat up, she got an uncomfortable head rush. The room was spinning in front of her eyes, and she covered her face with her hands, breathing slowly. As the head rush wore off, Alexander called her name again.

   “If you want to talk, come in here!” she replied. She covered her face again, and waited a few long seconds, before Alexander opened the door. He had his laptop in his hands, and a pair of large headphones, connected to the laptop, hung around his neck. He looked at her, confused.

   “Are you okay?” he asked with a strained, nervous voice. Her hands dropped to her thighs, and she sighed and smiled at him.

   “Yeah, I’m fine. Just had a bad dream that’s all.” Alexander nodded slightly and sat down next to her on the bed. He yawned and ran his hand through his brown hair, before he turned the computer so that she could see the image on the monitor.

   “I found this website, redirected from LNB, that has constant updates about the virus and such. It’s like a constant streaming. Anyway, they just added these photos which someone was “lucky” enough to snap of some of the infected – and not just infected, mutants! It’s totally sick, but that’s not the point though, the point is the way those mutants look. You see,” – he tilted the laptop further, and Cat bent over to look closely – “don’t they look kinda familiar?”

   He had an odd smirk on his face, as if he expected her to be clueless, as she looked over the photo. It did look familiar. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but her photographic memory recognized something in it.

   “Yeah… It does look familiar. I don’t know why, it just does,” she said quietly, still analyzing the photo. The smirk disappeared from Alexander’s face, and he stared at the monitor for a few seconds, with a blank expression on his face.

   “Yeah, you see, I felt the exact same thing when I saw it first. I knew it was familiar, but I couldn’t define it. And then it suddenly hit me; you do remember how vampires look when they’re transformed, right?” – she nodded – “Don’t you think that thing looks exactly like it? Well maybe not completely, it is a mutant, and the limbs are…”

   As he kept talking, she wasn’t listening. Now the puzzle piece fell into place. She remembered when she had seen Victor coming towards her in the middle of the road, in his monstrous vampire form. The image looked the same. Its wings were twisted, and it had a hideously deformed vampiric appearance, however. She remembered the first, and only, time that she had grown wings herself.

   “Do you think these are immortals? Does that mean we can get infected as well?” she asked quietly, still pondering. Alexander sighed, bit his lip, and looked at the monitor for a few more seconds, trying to figure out how to answer.

   “I’m not sure. I would seem logical that way, wouldn’t it? I mean, obviously they look like immortals, but… I just don’t know. It’s the only reasonable explanation we have right now though,” he murmured.


7

Full Moon Symphony

Soon after William finally returned home. Cat threw herself into his expecting arms.

   “I’ve been so worried!” she mumbled. He chuckled and caressed her back, still a little bit sore.

   “How did it go?” she asked, excited. He sighed and pretended that it was no big deal.

   “It went just fine. I managed to track down a couple of vampires. There were very hostile, but I fought them off without trouble; they went down almost too easily. I found out that it’s a clan that’s been plaguing the city, and that their lair is somewhere in the forest in an abandoned factory. I decided to be merciful and let them go without harming them too much,” he explained, with a satisfied look on his face. Cat smiled brilliantly at him, as they walked inside hand in hand. She didn’t mind the fact that he wasn’t wearing a shirt – it only made him that much more amazing, though it was a little bit odd. At least he was unharmed.

   Inside confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriatongue.gifconfused.gif was sitting in the couch, expectantly tapping her foot. When she saw them, the smile that spread on her face wasn’t nearly as affectionate as usual. She almost seemed nervous, as the tapping stopped.

   “Did you find any useful information?” Cat was surprised that she didn’t ask how it went.

   “Indeed. It’s a clan. They reside just outside of town, in an old factory in the forest,” he quickly explained. He seemed to catch on to the tense atmosphere immediately. confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriaconfused.giftongue.gif’s smile faded, as she looked away from them and sighed deeply.

   “We’ll have to ambush them, as quickly as possible. There’s no time for it now, though. It’s almost dawn. At sunset then,” she said quietly. She seemed rather dissatisfied with the situation. William nodded and went to sit down next to her.

   “All we have to do now is plan the assault, and wait for sunset. Is there anything we need?” he wondered, mostly to himself. Cat’s felt completely misplaced.

   “What are you talking about?! Nobody told me anything about any attacks! Ever considered telling everyone what’s going on?!” she complained. confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriatongue.gifconfused.gif stared at William with a slightly irritated look in her eyes, as he laughed at Cat, and looked at her with a mocking expression in his eyes. He shook his head.

   “I was convinced you knew what was going on after Victor told you. We, the vampires in this “household”, are going to find the vampires and stop their plaguing of this city, whether it has to be done with force or not,” he explained, with a tone as if he expected her to know everything already. She stared at him with a dumbfounded look on her face. She felt deceived.

   “Let’s get people together to discuss our plans about this,” confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriatongue.gifconfused.gif suggested. William nodded and exit the living room. Cat threw her arms up in revulsion, and was about to leave them to go see Dominic, but Victoria was suddenly beside her and put her hand on her shoulder.

   “William wants all of us, except for those who “can’t help”, to be a part of this. We need you, Cat. I understand that you’re... pissed off. Put your mind on standby, we just need to get through this and then it’ll be gone and over,” she whispered. Cat sighed and hugged her, to hide that she was about to cry.

   A few minutes later, the vampires were all gathered in the living room. They had had a discussion whether Alexander should join them or not, and in the end he decided for himself that he wanted to come. Considering that they didn’t know the layout of the factory, they had to try to form a plan around their expectations – especially how they anticipated the clan would react to an attack. The clan had to have a leader, which William concluded was the “Mistress” that the three vampires had mentioned. In the end they decided that they would prepare themselves for fighting the clan, but also to negotiate with them. Cat and particularly Alexander would need protection from the others, as they had the least experience. Dominic insisted that he wanted to help them, even though he didn’t have the same fighting skills as the vampires, and he still hadn’t healed completely. They agreed that he would be helpful nonetheless, and he was allowed to come with them. He was immortal and demons were at least better flyers than vampires.

   After a few hours of discussing, preparation, and imagination, they felt that they were ready for the night. At least as ready as they could get with such little time. Lance, Cindy, Angelina, and Yuki were staying home. They could take care of themselves.

   They day went by quite slowly. Everyone tried to entertain themselves as they used to, but it just wasn’t the same. Everything was tense and they couldn’t look in each others’ eyes without thinking of what might happen that night.

 

   Eventually, it was time. Cat and Dominic said their goodbyes to Lance and Angelina and Cat to Yuki. Dominic folded out his white wings, as they left and focused on staying away from larger roads. They reached the vicinity of the city, where the forest began. They snuck onwards, quickly but silently. After a couple of minutes Alexander spotted a large building to their left. That had to be the factory. It was larger than they had expected. The windows were reinforced with wooden planks and cardboard. Primitive but effective – against sunlight.

   They circled around the house, looking for an appropriate way in. On the first floor they saw a little bit of light escape the blocked windows from the inside, possibly from candles. They signalled to each other, and decided to would go along with the loud entry.

   Victor backed up a little and then leapt through the window, smashing it and the wood. The others followed closely behind and jumped, and flew, through the window as fast as possible, trying to avoid the splintered glass.

   The inside was to their surprise decorated with antique furniture and old, patterned wallpaper. The floor looked like something from another century, as did the ceiling. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was playing from an old gramophone on a small table.

   A few people were standing on the other side of the room. Some were in hunting positions and others just looked surprised. More were rushing in from a door and gathering with the others. Soon they were surrounded by the vampires. They were all standing very still, as some of them hissed at them and bared their teeth, showing off their glinting fangs. Victor was standing in front of them, as protection, and it was noticeably intimidating to them.

   In the fraction of a second, a female vampire jumped towards him, ready to bite on contact. He smashed his arm into her, audibly breaking a few bones in her chest. Others followed her example and began attacking them. Alexander whined and backed off, terrified, as one came straight for him. confused.gifconfused.gifVictoriatongue.gifconfused.gif went in front of him and kicked the vampire away from him. Cat figured that she had to “man up” for this, as she launched herself onto an unexpecting male, knocking him down and slapping him continuously. Dominic suddenly felt incredibly misplaced and tried his best to avoid being killed, but ultimately got pinned down onto the floor by a couple of males and they broke his shoulder in one single hit. His shriek caught everyone’s attention and Cat quickly came to the rescue, pushing the others out of the way and protecting him.

   “Enough!” a bright voice commanded and the vampires pulled back in a flash and stood around the tall woman who had entered their midst. They all seemed more than willing to shield her. She took a step forward and ran her fingers through her long, thick, blonde hair. As she and William’s eyes met, she grinned.

   “Oh my! William! Long time no see, gorgeous,” she teased, and tilted her head slightly. William was confused at first, but then recognized her and laughed blissfully.

   “Valentine! So you’re the one behind all this. Why am I not surprised?” he said, and slowly walked a little closer to her.

 
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