"A were-bat?" She repeated, puzzled. "I've never heard of a were-bat."

"But you've heard of vampires, haven't you?" he spat, growling.

Fascinated, the possibilities running through her head, she asked, "So are you the primitive version of the vampire or something? Or somehow related?" She wondered if it would be too impersonal to ask about his wings, then went ahead anyway. "Where are the wings from? What's it like to fly?" Flying, she thought in amazement, actually being able to live out all those childhood dreams, to for once jump off the swing and actually keep going. Incredible.

His irritated look had turned to a half wary, half-bemused one, like a deer confronted with a blow-up clown and trying to decide whether to bolt or laugh. If, you know, deer could laugh. "You missed your cue to go running a minute ago."

"If you bite me will I be able to fly too?" September asked, her mind already racing towards visions of her soaring the night sky. "This is brilliant! You can fly without the minuses of sucking blood! You don't do you?" she asked worriedly. "How gross. Because I have a line I will definitely draw."

"You can't become a werebat. It's hereditary. My species," Brian said, his voice almost entirely colored with bemusement now. "Aren't you scared?"

September shook her head. Her fear had left almost immediately - for how could anyone be scared of something so ridiculous? - leaving behind curiosity. "What is a werebat?"

"What's a werewolf?" he responded. "A human that turns into a wolf."

"Thank you, but I was asked for a definition of the bat-were, not the wolf one," she answered primly.

"Substitute the word and it's the same thing."

"Anytime, or just the full moon?"

He peered up at the noticeably small moon. "What do you think?"

"Point taken," September said, also staring at the night sky. "Wow," she slowly breathed, the entirety finally hitting her. "You're a were-bat."

The dignified silence was interrupted when she started to laugh, uneven guffaws that forced her to lean over.

"I'm sorry!" she gasped, as she crouched down. "But were-bat!" She looked up at him, pleading that he would join in her merriment. "Come on. How can that not be amusing?"

He looked stunned, whole-heartedly taken aback. "You aren't scared?" he had to verify again.

September snorted. "Are you joking? What's there to be scared of? You're like the most useless supernatural being in the world. A bat?"

He defended himself as though on autopilot, while the rest of him was still studying her in astonishment. "Were-bat's are a highly evolved and powerful species."

"For what?" September asked. "Scaring people to death? Or vampire camouflage?"

He made a face. "Ha ha."

"You are fantastic," she said happily. "A were-bat."

"You can stop saying that now," he said, sounding for all the world like a prim school matron.

"Do you have super hearing or something?" she needled, just for the pure pleasure. "Or are you blind, perhaps?"

"Yes, I'm blind as a bat," he said sarcastically. "Behold your wittiness." He rolled his eyes.

She giggled. "You can't be surprised that I'm taking it this way. Doesn't everyone collapse in laughter when you tell them?"

He narrowed his eyes. "I'm sorry, do you for some reason think it's all right to insult my family background? Do I blatantly make fun of your species?"

"Probably," September answered in good humor. "I can just see you," she continued, waving her hands in an arc and looking outward, "Sitting around in a circle complaining about those idiotic humans. Stupid, dull animals, without a speck of intelligence. Can't even tell a bat from a werebat from a vampire." She shook her head sadly.

"You're going to start laughing again, aren't you?" he asked tiredly.

It was a possibility, but the great looming voice of the Enemy interrupted first. "She won't have time to."

What a pathetic villain, September thought. "I wouldn't've had time to if you'd pounced first instead of making evil threats." And while, admittedly, she hadn't known he was around, so she was a bit surprised, he had completely ruined his cover by talking.

"You will not get away so easily this time," the voice growled.

September, a devoted watcher of TV, felt the need to reply, "You thought that was easy?" and then grinned proudly at her repertoire.

Brian glanced over at her. "It was pretty easy."

"You're ruining my line," she mock pouted, and then grinned at him.

The owner of the evil voice stepped forward, unamused. "Girl," he began -

"That's me," September told Brian.

" - You are not part of this. Go home now."

September frowned. "Um, no thanks. That wouldn't be very brave at all."

"September," Brian said softly, his tone a warning.

"This is your last chance," he told her, stepping forward into the light of the street lamp, his form cloaked in - a cloak, actually. "After this you will not be spared."

"Oh, you don't need to worry about me," September said warily. "I have a were-bat to protect me."

"Feel free to stop any time," Brian said through gritted teeth.

"I believe you to be innocent," the man said, sounding as irritated as Brian. "But if you continue to stand with this abomination of nature, I shall be forced to take that as an admission of guilt, that you, too, are a vampire, for surely no human could side with Pure Evil."

"Surely," September murmured, simply because she couldn't help herself. The man sounded so much like a cartoon villain she couldn't imagine that his own family took him seriously. Why, he was so much of a goof that he ought to have some sort of a super-villain name, like Sir Evil or Benny, the Vampire Slayer slash Benny, the accidental-Werebat-slayer-since-Benny-thought-his-victim-was-a-vampire.

Unfortunately, all she could come up with on short notice was the Enemy, because there were four more men suddenly running towards her and Brian, and they all seemed pretty dangerous and rather blatantly the enemy.

In fact, they were obviously intent on bodily harm. This was demonstrated by quiet angry cries, which probably would have been loud ones if they hadn't been within yelling distance of a neighborhood. It was also confirmed by the fact that some of them held knives and bottled water (comma, holy) and crosses sharpened to a point, which seemed a little sacrilegious to September, but she wasn't going to be the one to mention it.

No, she was going to run.

Brian had the same idea, if the words that came from his mouth were any indication.

(The words, if one was wondering, were "Let's run.")

And so they ran.

September wasn't a particularly good runner, and she had long curls that kept trying to jump in front of her face, but she tried her hardest. Brian, who ran beside her, one hand tightly holding hers, was clearly holding himself back on her behalf. Each step he took made it look like he wanted to launch himself into the sky, only restraining himself because September, unfortunately, could not fly.

It was possibly the strangest thing she had ever done, running with this boy, because this, more than anything else, made it clear to September that he was not human. There was nothing in his looks or speech to indicate it, but the way he ran - the movement of his arms, the tightening of his back. She remembered how he had said it was his species, not an infection, as werewolves were supposed to have. What else about him wasn't quite human, was just a little bit . . . off?

"There's a dead end around the next curve," he said, sounding not the least bit out of breath, while September was panting as they ran. "A streetlight too. We'll want to go to the left - there's a stack of tires we can duck behind."

"What?" September asked in confusion.

"Hurry," he said shortly. "They're close."

The cleared the bend at a run, and then Brian steered them off to the side. "Here," he whispered, taking September's hand and pulling her down with him.

"Wha-" she started, then stopped in complete surprise when her bottom landed in a rain puddle. "That's wet," she yelped, quickly rearranging herself so she crouched on the side of the water, sending a maligned look in Brian's direction.

"Hush," he said a little absently, leaving September with absolutely no choice but to mimic him and roll her eyes. He turned to her, frowning. "We're in hiding, remember? There were five men who just chased us down the street?"

"You, not us," September corrected, looking around at there hideout. They were barricaded behind a pile of discarded tiles and wood just out of the spread of lamp light. "Since when are discarded tires just left on street corners?" Which, by the way, were bad. Tires, that is, for the environment, and they tuck up an awful lot of space in landfills and water gathered in them and insects bread, and really, they should all be shredded and reused.

"Since we got lucky," Brian said, peering through the tires. "And you forget, we aren't yet back in your fancy, perfectly trimmed neighborhoods. Things are a little different around here, where the rest of us live."

"Can't fool me," September muttered. "I saw the Abercombie and Fitch label on your shirt."

To her delight, he flushed, hard as it was to see in the dark. "It's my brother's," he mumbled.

"Sure," she drawled, grinning as he sent her a death look.

"I am not an Abercrombie and Fitch type," he complained.

"Uh huh." She checked out her nails.

"I'm not!"

She glanced up at him, feeling a bit cheeky. "Not so loud. We're supposed to be hiding - remember?"

"Oh shut up." He was blushing again, but she decided to give him a break and let it pass. Instead, she poked her head up over the tires, scanning for any of the Enemy. Before she was able to get a good look, she was yanked down. "Hey! What was that for?" she complained.

"They could've seen you."

"Nuh-uh," she argued. "I was being discreet."

He looked skeptical. "Somehow I doubt that."

"I was!" she argued. "I was like one of those little viewfinder things, on submarines, that just poke up for a minute -"

"No, you weren't," he said in exasperation. "That was your head, and it was in plain sight."

"If it was in plain sight why hasn't anyone captured us by now?" She crossed her arms righteously. "Ha. Argue with that."

"You are impossible to argue with," he said with a roll of his eyes.

"That's because I'm always right."

"No," he retorted, "It's because you use some sort of twisted logic that only makes sense in September-land. Down here on earth, we have to settle with regular, normal logic."

"Says the were-bat," she narrated with a giggle.

"Hasn't that been run to the ground?" he asked in an aggrieved voice.

She shook her head solemnly. "It will never be run to the ground. Not in a hundred years. Hey, are you immortal?"

He blinked. "Am I - no. Why would you think that?"

"Vampires are immortal," she explained.

He gritted his teeth, which fascinated September, as she could actually hear him doing it. She had to snap her mouth shut to keep herself from warning him of the potentially harmful results of grinding teeth, deciding he probably wasn't in the mood. "I am not a vampire," Brian said slowly, voice tight with anger. "And I share no characteristics with them."

"Except you turn into a bat," September pointed out. She couldn't help playing with him. It made him look like he was going to explode.

"That doesn't make us similar to vamps," he said as though explaining to an idiot that he would rather hit then talk to. "It makes them similar to us."

"Huh," she said, nodding her head. "Have you mapped and compared your DNA?"


"Well, you know, because humans are actually very similar in their code to all sorts of things. And besides, looking at the DNA helps learn things, and you could probably figure out when you started to different in your DNA from vampires, as well as from humans, and which came first. So do you know if anyone has?"

"I don't think anyone cares that much."

"I do," September contradicted.

"You're not a werebat."

She was unable to reply as she was busy laughing again, leaving Brian to roll his eyes. "Sorry," she gasped, "Really sorry." The look on his face just spurred her on, though. "Come on," she said, "It's funny. Funniest thing I've heard in years."

"Oh, look, I think I hear the bad guys," Brian said sourly.

"Poor sport!"

"I think I've put up with more then enough teasing for one night."

"Mmm, no. You should be teased for an eternity. It comes with the species."

"One day you'll be really sorry you made fun of me."

"Really? You mean the day when were-bats take over the world?"

"Yes, then. And don't think we haven't planned it."

She laughed, which turned out to be a really bad idea, for Brian was right: the Enemy had reached them.

"Reveal yourselves!" his theatrical voice boomed, and in surprise September "eep!"-ed and fell over backwards from her crouch behind the tires.

Bad idea.


Her arm was seized, and she was dragged up. The Enemy, apparently not being very bright, did not look behind the barricade for his true victim, instead just hauling September to his side. "You are my captive."

"Yes," September said, swallowing a grin, "I am."

"In my power," he growled."

"Mmm," she said, wishing she could make the classic move of boredom by examining her nails, only her arms were pinned to her side. Yet for all her amused outlook, a strange man was holding her where the only light spilled from a dim streetlamp. It was unnerving – not scary, she assured herself, but a little – discomforting.

The Enemy raised his voice, scanning the area. "Come out, my boy. Come out now, or this lovely young girl will suffer the consequences."

He wrapped his arm more securely around her, holding her tight, and a little shiver of fear spread through, hairs standing straight up. It was getting less funny by the second, reality crashing back down on her that this was not a good situation to be in, that even if the man seemed cartoonish, he was potentially dangerous.

He was scanning the area, his mutterings growing louder and louder as his breath became for of a pant.

"Get out here, you mutation of nature!" the Enemy screamed, his voice high pitched and uneven. September would have found it funny if she hadn't been held tightly to him, if she hadn't been able to see him fumble in his pocket and pull out a dark, shining object, and feel him hold it to her head.

A gun. It was a cold, smooth gun, pressed hard into the side of her head, buried in her black hair. Somehow that dragged everything out of a fun, comic-book like adventure, and into real horror.

A gun was pointed at her head.

"Put it down," Brian said, and his voice was shaking as he slowly stood up, coming out from behind the cover of the tires.

The Enemy laughed, his hand shaking. "I do not think so, creature of the night. I do not think any of you will be going anywhere tonight. You think I would let you, humanity's killer, walk free? And you have murdered one of my own tonight." His grip tightened. "You killed Blamoure, a good, brave man."

"I didn't kill him," Brian said, his voice steadying a bit, as though he was on firmer ground. September barely heard the words; she barely heard anything other then her wild pulse and broken breathing. The sounds in the background continued as she stood with her entire body locked, the whole of her conscious focused on the circle of metal on her head. Every time the Enemy spoke, she stopped breathing, scared that the violent shakes that accompanied his words would accidentally see her shot.

"Of course you killed him, vermin," her capture said in surprise, the epithet added on almost absently. His arm twitching a little, and September froze. "We all saw him sprawled on the ground."

"You saw him with broken legs, knocked unconscious. But the floorboards of that building were rotting, especially in the center where he fell. They cushioned his fall."

"Liar," the Enemy hissed.

"Just let the girl go," Brian said, taking another step forward, his hands spread, his face solemn. "She's not part of this."

"Ha!" the man said. "Why should I believe a Spawn of Satan? She's probably just like you. The walking undead. Fanged death. Soulless.

"A vampire!"

"She's not a vampire," Brian said, a touch of familiar exasperation sounding in his voice. "And neither am I."

"Ha! I have seen you turn into the winged devil yourself."

Brian frowned. "True," he finally said. "But that is all I can do." He looked up sharply, trying to meet September's eyes in comfort, only she was engrossed with the gun at her head and nothing else. "Do you have a cross, or holy water? Or a mirror? Because I can touch them - they have no effect on me. I am not a vampire."

The Enemy laughed again, though the other two were not entirely certain why. "Do not ply me with your tricks, foul beast."

"I have a cross," September choked out, her attention now split between the conversation and the gun. "On my necklace."

The Enemy did not seem to know how to take this.

"A lie," he finally pronounced, pushing aside his confused and fixing a glare on Brian.

"No, it's not," September continued. "It's there. It's been there for a year, since my grandmother gave it to me on my last birthday. Really."

He hesitated, glancing back and force between the girl's open face and Brian's angry one, before ripping the chain out into the open, and catching the small charm on it. Scowling, he pressed the chain experimentally to her cheek.

Nothing happened.

He pressed harder.

"Ow," September muttered as he pushed it into her cheekbone. The Enemy took the charm away and carefully examined the untouched skin beneath. "She is an innocent," he pronounced.

Brian snorted, his eyes flaring. "That's what I was trying to tell you."

The man ripped the cross from September's neck - rather painfully, enough to leave a burn where the chain broke - and shoved it in Brian's direction. "Aha!" he screamed, his voice filling the night air. "Finally, foul creature! Thee - I - banish!"

Brian rolled his eyes.

Even September, who still had a gun to her head, couldn't help rolling her eyes, simply because the man seemed intent on destroying any respect anyone could possibly feel for him.

Apparently the man didn't like being mocked. He threw the cross at Brian, which only resulted in September stiffening at the loss of her grandmother's present, and Brian laughing. In response, the Enemy removed the gun from September's head, carefully aimed, and shot Brian.

September blinked.

The night was certainly going too fast for her.

Because, of course, Brian wasn't there when the bullet sped through the air he had been occupying. He had dissolved, his particles exploding outward into a cloud of Brian-dust.

September wasn't easily unnerved, not by cultish hunters or being chased during the night or finding out the guy she was possibly crushing on was a werebat. And she had actually seen this before, the human-to-bat-to-human when he'd jumped out the window. But now, right beside her, it was different. It was not a quick burst outward of atoms and then, a split second later, those same atoms rearranging their form. This was much closer to her, and much, much slower. For Brian was only going halfway towards bat form, then lingering in a strange, supernatural limbo before condensing back into his human shape instead of making the change over.

When she edged her eyes over to the Enemy, he looked just as shocked, and she was sure that would soon affirm itself into even more certainty that this shapechanger was a vampire.

But in the meantime, while he was busy being stunned.. .

September wasn't good at fighting. She usually talked her way out of bad situations, but talking was never good enough for her parent's comfort, especially when they had spent the first eleven years of her life listening to their daughter cry as she was ruthlessly bullied for being plumper than the average kid. And when the "fat little blob" finally struck back with an absolutely dismal punch, she came home covered in bruises.

Her mother spent the next four years trying to convince September to take a self-defense class.

She gave in when she was fifteen. She didn't like it, and she didn't have fun, and it certainly wasn't easy for her, but after six months of hard repetition she had them drilled into her.

Though, at the time, she hadn't cared about that so much as the fact that 31 weeks of exercise had finally given her a figure.

Now she cared, and given that she had a minute to remember while they stared dumbly at the now human Brian, she thought she might be able to use those drills. Hmm. If she put her hand there - no. Maybe she could trip him? Or use her elbow? The instructor had been a big fan of elbows. Great, he was going to finish being shocked any minute. Maybe she could ask him to patiently wait a moment as she recalled her self-defense class? Or maybe -

He slumped, the gun falling to the pavement and his body following in an unconscious heap.

Which was interesting, because she hadn't actually done anything yet and Brian was standing before her looking confused.

"Did you do something?" he asked.

"No. I was going to -"

"Me too. I was going to turn into a bat and fly into his face-"

"He would have shot me!"

"No, no, I would have yanked the gun away and held it in my feet. He would be to surprised to resist."

"Oh. I was going to use some a self-defense move except I couldn't remember any."

"So you didn't do anything?"

"And neither did you?

They looked down at the man, wondering what had felled him.

"Spontaneous death?" Brian offered.

"Maybe he had a heart attack?" The looked at each other and shrugged, each of them having no idea what had done this.

"It was us."

"Oh, good," September said, a touch sarcastically. "I love when people introduce themselves by "us." The identification given is so quick and solid."

"September," Brian said softly, so she was the only one who could hear him. "Don't you think it's better to wait until you know who you're insulting before you start? Like maybe know if there's another gun?"

"Is there?"

"Why are you asked me?" he said in an exasperated tone.

"I'm not stupid," she said with a bright smile. "You knew about the tires before you could possibly see them, and you've known precisely where everything around you is. It's a fair guess you're using some sort of weird bat-sense."

"For calling it weird, I'm not going to tell you anything."

But she was already off on another tangent. "Oh, wow, do you think Batman was a werebat?"

Brian rolled his eyes. "No, because he was a fictional character!"'

"No need to yell," September said calmly. "I was just wondering."

Someone on the other side of the body made a sound. "Have we been forgotten?"

Actually, they had. September and Brian turned to look at the newcomers with surprise. There were three of them - a boy in unfortunately bright orange, a girl who looked like she wanted to hurt someone - oh, September thought, she had. That would explain the club in her hand and the Enemy collapsed on the ground - and a boy dressed like he was coming from a school concert.

Just as one of the kid's who had been kidnapped had been.

Come to think of it, they all had dark hair and eyes, like Brian and September, though the girl's was streaked with pink and red. And their clothes looked like they had seen brighter days.

Plus they smelled really bad. That cinched it: they were the kidnapped, the kids taken in search of a vampire.

"Sorry if I stole your moment," the girl said, not sounding very sorry at all as she looked at the Enemy with relish. "But I really wanted to hurt him. And it was so easy, as he just stood around in shock." She eyed Brian. "No wonder. Guess he found his vamp after all."

Brian raised an eyebrow in what might have been menacing, if he hadn't been wearing a preppy shirt and khakis. September decided to break the moment.

"But what are you doing here?" she asked in utter bewilderment. "I thought you were being held captive."

The three exchanged glances before the first boy, the one in concert dress, answered. "We escaped."

It was Brian and September's turn to exchange looks, before Brian said, in a confused tone, "Uh, when?"

"Just an hour ago," the second, orange-shirted boy responded. "One of the guards let us out because of the fire."

"What fire?"

It was the first boy, the apparent leader, who spoke. "A fire started in the warehouse - consumed it completely. And though those are fanatics, they aren't all evil. One of them was apparently attacked by his conscience and didn't want us to die. He even told us to run home, as opposed to trying to keep us captured." His voice held a note of wonderment in it.

"Oh, that must be because they realized Brian is the one they really wanted, not you," September said dully, trying to reconcile these events with her own night. "But shouldn't we have seen the fire?" And the escape, and all. It seemed a lot to have missed.

"We are several blocks away," Brian offered.

"It's just -" She frowned, struggling to find the words. "It's hard to believe that we missed such an integral part of the evening. What finally brought about the Enemy's fall."

The other girl sniffed, tossing her shiny, straight hair over her shoulder. "The world doesn't revolve around you," she pointed out.

Brian muttered something that sounded an awful lot like, "Yeah, but the plot does," but could just have well have been "Yeah, cut the snot, cuz."

"Though to give them their due," Orange Shirt said with a nod, "They are the reason we escaped."

"We are?" September said, feeling stupider by the moment. "Er, why?"

"When Blamoure- he was the man who was thrown from the rail - fell onto the floor, it knocked some of the floor boards loose. The building is badly constructed and falling apart, and so that fall shook the ceiling of the room underneath that floor. Wood fell from the ceiling onto the torches, knocking them down as well. From there the fire spread. The room we were locked on was on that floor."

"But how did you know about the man's fall?"

Orange Shirt shrugged. "Mel saw it. She was already out."

Brian titled his head in question.

"I seduced one of the guards and he let me out," the girl said easily, eyeing Leader from under suspiciously long lashes.

September blanched. "Ok, that is a story that can wait for another time."

Mel looked amused, and slightly superior, the look of a girl who is quite confident in her seduction skills, and had already picked her next victim – Leader, apparently. Brian and September exchanged their own bemused looks.

"So when the fire started, Kale – my guard – came down and let the other two out," Mel explained. "And we ran for it."

"For revenge," Leader said grimly.

"But how did you find the Enemy?" September asked.

"The – oh, Mitch?" Leader said.

Brian and September looked at each other and cracked up. "His name is Mitch?" Brian finally said, shaking his head in disbelief. "Priceless."

"Anyway, we just followed the noise," Mel said. "He's a pretty loud guy, after all."

"What are we going to do with him now?" Orange shirt asked, and they all turned to look at the unconscious body."

"We'll take care of him," Leader said, looking satisfied.

"Don't kill him," Brian said.

September, who hadn't even contemplated that, watched the other three agree slowly, Mel taking the longest time of all. "Besides," the other girl said when she finally agreed, narrowing her eyes, "He doesn't deserve death."

"We'll make sure he gets to the Authorities," Orange Shirt told Brian.


"Well, then," Mel said, looking at the Enemy with a savage hunger, "let's be off, shall we?"

The other four nodded. "Thanks," Leader said to Brian and September, seriously. "You did save us." He hesitated, then made himself ask. "You – you aren't a vampire are you?" He and Mel watched intently for the answer.

Brian laughed. "Of course not."

"Oh, right. Of course not," Leader said with a grin, and then turned to his people. "We're off."

Mel had already started tying up the Enemy with rope she had seemingly conjured. Orange Shirt smiled at September, then nodded to Brian, before joining the other two in carting the Enemy off.

Brian watched them go, looked away, looked back, and then chuckled, shaking his head slowly in amusement. September stared at him, partly because she wasn't used to people actually chuckling, which was a surprisingly pleasant sound, and partly because she was curious. "What was that about?"

Brian looked at her as if he had forgotten she was there, which didn't exactly inspire warm fuzzies. "What? Oh, nothing."

September just gave him a look.

He laughed again, softly. "It's not that important. It's just that -" he looked towards where they had left, and shrugged. "It's just that Darren -"


"The one with the orange shirt."

"Oh, right," September said, a bit pleased that he had labeled Orange Shirt - er, Darren - by the shirt color as well. The orange really was arresting. "What about him?"

"Oh, I just thought it was funny, because, you know - Darren's a vampire." He grinned, a really rather cute grin. September couldn't help but noticing it as she was staring wide-eyed at him. "You lie."

He made a dismissive gesture. "Nah. It's why my 'bat-sense,' as you eloquently called it, didn't catch them sneaking up on us. Darren cloaked them. He's a good guy, of course, but a verifiable vamp. Blood-sucking fiend to the core."

September shook her head. "The Enemies really are idiots, then."

"Yes," Brian said in heartfelt agreement. "Definitely yes."

The began to walk back towards September's neighborhood, arms swinging at their sides, until the reached the familiar job board, with September's house just beyond it. "So, uh," Brian said, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Guess this is your stop."

"That it would be," she said, leaning against the board and looking at him. "That one's my house."

"Good to know," he said smiling at her. "Are your parents going to mind you coming home late?"

"Yeah," she said with a grimace. "But if I can handle having a gun pressed to my head, I can handle a lecture."

"Good," he said, and with a little nod, turned to go.

"Brian," she said, exasperated. "You forgot."

He turned around, grinned that good-looking, inwardly laughing grin. "What'd I forget?"

She rolled her eyes. "To ask for my number, of course."

He looked surprised, his grin dropping off. "Really?" he said in consternation. "I thought I forgot to kiss you."

"Oh, that," September said, biting back her own grin. "I guess you forgot that, too."

He mocked glared at her. "Way to kill my ego. Like all a guy can expect after saving the love interest's life is her number."

"How come I have to be the love interest?" she asked, glowing just the tiniest bit. "I want to be the hero."

"Were you the one who took down the Enemy?" he asked, grinning broadly

"No, and neither were you. Mel did it."

"Oh, right," he said, and bent his head and sweetly kissed her.

"So," he said when he drew back, "I guess I'd like that number, too."

When he left, he went in a swirl of mist, forming into a bat that flew once around her head and did a showy flip before flapping into the night. Grinning from cheek to cheek, September unlocked her door and slipped inside, heading towards the dining room where her parents would undoubtedly be waiting for her.

Huhshe thought cheerfully, so she hadn't got the job. But that was all right. She was perfectly happy to get a werebat instead.

Sighing with content, she entered the warm and bright dining room, adding one last thought. It was better, after all, that Brian was a werebat, not a vampire. If he was a vampire, she'd only be able to see him at night.

And she intended to see him a lot more then that.


Watch for Darren's story, which will, eventually, be forthcoming