"Celé? Celé? Hello, anyone home?" Akira called in the hallway of his little home. "Huriye? Celémenta? ...Anybody?"
It was nearly five a.m. already and Huriye should have been tucked in bed and fast asleep, which was why Akira did not dare to raise his voice too much. It was still a little unnerving not to have anybody answering.
He was not able to shake the feeling that something was wrong. And naturally feared for hir young daughter.
Celé, if you have even looked at her angrily, I swear I will gut you with a bamboo stick and dump your corpse in the nearest dump!
Gritting his teeth, Akira tried to keep all worst case scenarios out of his mind and focused on thinking up probable explanations for the silence. Huriye may be sleeping and Celé has got bored at waiting and has removed himself from my home. Both of them might have fallen asleep. It's possible that Hubrelt has called and ordered Celé to go somewhere else. There are many possibilities – many possibilities that don't involve Riya's death. I have no reason to worry... Celé fears Hubrelt enough not to hurt my daughter. Riya is just sleeping peacefully somewhere...
On the other hand, if Celé has snapped at Riya and she has started crying Celé might have hit her, or kick her like she was a stray puppy, or choked her, or... just abused her in some way.
I have to find her. Now.
With his heart in his mouth, Akira leapt at her daughter's room's door and commanded it to open. The short time it took for the light brown door to slide open felt like a five centuries. He did not lose one bit of his anxiousness when he saw that the room was unoccupied and the bedcovers totally unwrinkled. Nobody had been sleeping there.
Huriye! Akira cried his daughter's name out in his mind. He retreated from the empty room and peeked in his own bedroom. With good luck, Celé had just got the wrong room and Huriye was sleeping there.
However, his room lacked a certain young, orangey haired little girl.
And a vampiric criminal, for that matter.
At least I have not yet found her violated corpse anywhere. There is still hope, Akira thought with a hint of bitterness. He strolled next to the soundproof door of the living room and hit the opening button with more force than would have been needed.
Even before the door had fully opened he heard unfamiliar voices about some or other problem at somewhere. It took a moment for Akira to realize that it was a television. He thought that Celé may be in the room, even if he had not pictured the vampire as a person who would watch tv more than what was necessary. Maybe he is a closet couch potato...
When the door had fully opened, Akira almost fainted. He had found both Celé and his daughter.
The vampire was lying on his back on his couch and was fast asleep, as far as Akira was able to tell considering that Celé's long dark green mane hid half of his face.
His daughter on the other hand was currrently sitting on the floor beside the couch and combing the vampire's hair with her little fingers. What made Akira pale, was the fact that Huriye was also tangling the same hair she had a moment ago combed.
"Huriye", Akira hissed so quietly that he was not entirely sure if his daughter had even heard him. "Come here. 'Furious' won't even begin to cover Celémenta's mood when he wakes up and sees his hair!"
To Akira's horror Huriye did not sneak to him (after which they could have run to the airport and left the city hoping that the pissed off vampire would never manage to find them), but just turned her head and smiled widely.
"Huriye! Come here now!" Akira did his best to hiss authoritatively. He did not want to sound angry, but he was worried and feared that if he tried to fetch his daughter the vampire's reflexes would kick in and he would wake up.
Huriye bit her lower lip and mumbled quietly: "But uncle said I can do whatever I want as long as I stay silent."
Wonderful babysitter they managed to get for me, he snorted in his mind. Huriye could have hurt herself and he would be blissfully ignorant. Sleeping on duty, just wait till I tell Hubrelt, you vile bat. Hopefully she will gut you, eat your liver while you are still alive and nail your violated body on the wall next to her office's door as a warning for newbies.
"He did not mean you were allowed to mess with his hair, little princess. Just come now, let him sleep", Akire half explained half murmured while gesturing Huriye to come away from the sleeping vampire.
"No!" Huriye protested and tugged the locks she was holding in her hand. Akira drew a sharp breath and hoped for the best.
No such luck – Celémenta's fingers twitched.
The vampire was waking up.
Akira felt like he was paralysized. He could just stare with widened eyes the vampire who was raising his body up from the couch like a ghost from a grave.
"Now, that was your last mistake, little lassie."
He has a quite nice voice when he is chuckling, Akira thought feeling like an outsider. Wait, chuckling?!
When his daughter run from the couch giggling so hard she nearly tripped on her own legs and the vampire murderer lazily chasd her around the living room, Akira truly felt that he was seeing some bizarre dream which should have never existed. It took him long – although to him it felt like a mere second, he vaguely realized that his dear Huriye had had enough time to run five times around the room and then hide under the coffee table – to grasp the situation.
"You two, what are you doing?" he asked meakly, with a voice that did not sound like his own at all. Celémenta, who was currently on all fours on his coffee table and peeking over its edge in order to see under it, whirled around and stared at him with a shocked expression in his eyes that were barely visible under his green bangs.
"Oh, it's you, curlyhead, I did not see you there", he said, finding his composure. What was he doing on my coffee table again? Oh right, he was babysitting my daughter... who should have been tucked in bed hours ago.
Grabbing the first practical thought he could Akira inquired why his daughter was not in bed already. He was a bit surprised to see his unqualified babysitter to swallow slightly. "Weeeeeell, I forgot the time, you see."
"While you were sleeping?" Akira accused without much venom. He was feeling empty and tired all of sudden and just hoped that the vampire would disappear from his life for good.
"I was not asleep, just pretending to be", the vampire smirked before continueing: "You look like death walked over your grave, by the way."
"My looks are none of your business", Akira answered automatically.
"Miracle to me why Hubrelt lets you to negotiate with the customers. Looking like that you probably make them run off screaming in horror."
"At least I would not outright kill them like somebody here", Akira hissed angrily. He had no idea if Celé ever met the customers whose bidding he did. Probably did not, since it was far safer if those who actually broke the law were never seen by any oursiders.
The vampire flashed an amused grin to him.
Suddenly Akira remembered something important. His daughter was still hiding under the coffee table.
"Huriye, come out of there, will you? It's time to go to bed", he cooed walking closer to the table and holding his had out to his daughter. She crawled to him and let him to lift her up. "I am going to tuck her in bed, Celé. You either remove your presence from my coffee table or get out of my house. Am I talking slowly enough for you to understand?"
"Sorry, what did you say? You were talking so rabidly I missed the last part", the vampire inquired with a sarcastic smile. Akira glared at him for a moment before carrying his daughter to her bedroom.
Huriye wanted him to read a tale for her and he did. While looking at her daughter's big eyes he completely forgot the vampire in his living room and his dangerous job and gone wealth and reputation. He forgot his runaway wife and relatives who had let him down. He just saw two beautiful eyes full of joy and trust.
Akira felt almost sad when Huriye yawned and those eyes closed for the morning and coming day.
He smiled at her daughter and walked to the door. It hummed quietly when he closed it. Nothing would disturb Huriye's sleep.
Now he just had to banish the vampire from his house if he had not left on his own already. Of course he had gone. It is not like he likes to spend time with me.
On the other hand, I think he actually loves it. Must be wonderful to have somebody to boss around. In his head Akira cursed Celémenta and himself for making that mistake years ago. He had thought he could manage but then he had ended up owning both his life and a ridiculously big sum of money to a vampire that was not exactly known for his mercifulness. Since he was not able to pay the debt back he was totally at the vampire's beck and call. If Celémenta ever decided to demand the money back, Akira would have been doomed.
Clicking the living room door to open Akira gave the room a hopeful sharp glance.
The vampire sat on his coffee table and looked at his dvd collection.
"Celémenta", Akira started in order to get the accursed bloodsucker's attention. He noticed that the vampire had combed the tangles out of his hair while he had been reading Huriye a bedtime story.
"You don't have any good films."
"Could you at least look at me when you are sneering at my dvds?" Akira snapped, trying to keep his voice low so his daughter would not wake up. "Or are you afraid to face me after fouling up royally your babysitting duty?!"
"I did not 'foul up', curlyhead. The little lassie is still alive."
"Get out of my house, you monster!" Akira snarled the command. He had hoped to appear calm and collected, but did not seem to be capable of it after all the shocks he had got that night.
"Or you will... what, finally pay your debt back?"
Swallowing, Akira lowered his eyes. It had been plain stupid to try to order the vampire to do anything. The vampire was practically famous for rebelling any orders. Akira felt like he should apologize but gritting his teeth he decided to take whatever taunt the vampire would say next.
"I could take your daughter and sold her, you know. She is pretty – the money I would get for her might cover one third of your debt." The vampire's smirk seemed only to widen when he saw Akira's rage-filled eyes. "Maybe you should think about it, hmm?"
"I – will – not, you low hateful vile barbaric disgusting..."
"I'll leave you at it, curlyhead. But remember that I expect to hear a long litany of nice new names you can call me", the vampire chuckled and jumped down from the coffee table.
Akira was still muttering to himself when the vampire shut the front door of Akira's small house.