"Roderick

He was back in the dream, but yet he wasn't. It wasn't his dream, but somebody else's dream. It was like he was on the roof of a building, watching himself stand in the road. The blood was coming around him as he watched. He was turning away from the scene now, guilt filling him for some reason. Someone was talking to him through powers but he couldn't tell what he was saying. Whatever it was, it made him feel sad and angry at once. He turned back to watch himself just as the wave was pulling back. The voice came back and said it's line just as he remembered. Then the wave came down to him.

A strong wave of power crashed into him and he could feel his own power as if he was a spell in the air, suffocating him. The blood washed over the Roderick that was on the street. He tried to just stand there, but this wasn't him. This view was from someone else's eyes. He moved to the edge of the building and stared at the spot where he went under. The blood didn't move and that laugh came again. Anger grew inside him and he threw his power out in a threatening way. He was shouting something to the unnamed killer.

"Oh no…" The voice answered from below, "I promised you no such thing…" That laugh came again, but was slowly becoming deeper as the blood started to gain a silver tint.

"Roderick!" He shouted. The voice wasn't his, but it was familiar. Before he could register what was happening, the blood was around him, suffocating him. His hands were slashing through the blood, searching even though he was dying. One thought kept echoing in his head: I'm sorry.

But it was a dream, he reminded himself. He wasn't really drowning, he was dreaming. With a push of his power, he called out to his followers to come to him.

--

Damian and Zachery gave a small shout of surprise as a strong slap of power passed through them. "Holy clot, what the hell was that?" Zachery rubbed his arms.

"I have no idea," Damian looked around. "Where do you think it came from?"

"Should we check on Roderick?"

"No—yeah." Damian went to the voodoo shop with Zachery at his heels.

"This place is creepy…" He whispered.

"Can you sense that?" Damian's eyes scanned the shop and found the hallway.

"Feel what?" Zachery asked as he too started to search the shop.

"Exactly. We should be able to sense Roderick." Damian moved quickly to the hallway and rushed to the door. Zachery followed with a prickle of fear. They stopped dead at the sight of their leader face down in a bowl with a human woman holding his hands to the bowl. The woman was shaking under the heavy cloak.

"I can't go in." Zachery pushed forward but did not move past the doorway.

"Made from a different house; we're not invited." Damian lifted his hands to the invisible wall and pushed against it. "Roderick!" He pushed his power at him only to feel it bounce back. The force of his power knocked both vampires to the ground.

Roderick stirred from the noise and pulled his head out of the water. Zachery sat up on his elbows with a groan. Damian groaned unable to move. Roderick slowly looked around. "Roderick!" Zachery called out. Roderick's head turned a bit. "Roderick, was that your power?" Zachery got to his feet.

"What are you talking about?" He asked. He looked at Damian and tried to stand. He stumbled into the table. He looked at the woman and tried to pull his hands from her. Her grip was abnormal for a human woman. "Heather." He pushed a little power to her.

Zachery knelt down to Damian. "Are you alright?" He got a groan for an answer. Another wave of power crashed into him and a cry came from both vampires.

Roderick looked at the others, confusion and worry rippled through him. He couldn't feel what they were feeling. "Zachery, take Damian home. I believe Xül may be coming.

"Already?" The young vampire asked as he pulled Damian to a sitting position.

"I didn't beat him too badly. Quick." He turned back to Heather. "I need you to stop your spell."

Zachery hesitated as he picked Damian up awkwardly. "Roderick—"

"Just go." He pushed power with his words and felt a sudden shock in his body as his powers bounced back. He gave a small hiss of pain. Zachery frowned and pushed his own power into Damian's. It triggered a sudden shiver in the vampire and he shrank to be a silver haired rat in the boy's hands.

"Be careful, Rod!" Zachery took off, slower than normal due to his lack of energy.

"Roderick," a voice spoke to him; deep, scratchy, and angry "I do not like you meddling in my plans…"

"Who are you? Where are you?" He threw his power to Heather to try to wake her.

"Foolish boy, do you think that will work?" The voice spoke as his power was knocked back at him. The shock passed through him and he gritted his teeth to prevent an audible reaction. Heather's head slowly came up and stared at him through a mask of darkness.

"Heather!" Roderick tried to pull his hands away again but her nails sank into him.

"I am lucky," the voice came from the darkness that was Heather's face, "this woman's guard was down in your presence."

"Who are you?"

"Why should I tell you? You will be dead soon." A wave of power knocked him back, ripping his hands free in the process. He crashed into an invisible wall and felt an electronic shock rock through his systems. He pulled himself away from the wall and the shock went away. He knelt there, giving his body time to heal. He looked up at Heather just in time to find the knife in her hand, heading for his throat. He phased through her attack and watched her pass through the invisible wall. Her body went limp and crumbled to the ground. She lay there in a heap of cloth, body curled.

He got to his feet on high alert. The air was thin, making breathing difficult. That's when that laugh came; quiet but growing louder and hysterical. He backed up and bumped the table, almost falling over. "Oh yes… I forgot how old you are now…" The voice rose from the cloth.

Roderick searched the room for something to restrain the human's body. His eyes fell onto the bowl. The water was murky, glittering with silver and red, but something was in it. Without thinking, he reached in and grabbed it. A scream came from Heather's body in her normal voice. He tried to pull the thing out (with corresponding screams coming from the human) but it would not come away from the bowl. He released it and Heather's screams stopped as if the switch was turned off by a flip of a switch. He turned as she stood with a limp body; as if she was being pulled by strings.

"That was not very nice, Roderick." The other voice had returned and was no longer laughing. She had the small knife in hand again and was coming at him. Roderick moved aside and pulled down a curtain. The knife was in his back and he cried out as it started to burn his flesh. He turned as Heather closed the distance between them. He had a moment to register she had thrown the knife before he was hit by the small human woman with preternatural strength.

He fell back into the wall and winced as the blade went deeper into his body. The woman snapped at his neck before he could pull the curtain over them. "What are you doing?" He took in Heather's looks before using his vampire strength to flip her against the wall above him. A human cry of pain sounded on impact and she fell on him. He wrapped the unconscious body in the curtain before picking up the bowl. The thing inside it started to panic as he dumped the water on the ground. When the surface of the strange, furry thing poked out of the surface, he was smacked with a wave of power and blacked out.

--

Xül stumbled as yet another wave of power washed over him. He had regained consciousness in the manor that was ECFHQ from a massive wave of power. Were he not so weak, he would have followed it to the source. Instead, he sent out a mind message to Heather, but could not reach her. This wasn't normal and worried him. He had tried to reach the others but had no success there either. Now he resorted to pacing the lower levels of the large building. He went to the house phone and dialed the number for her shop. The error tone came and he slammed the phone on the receiver. He stumbled to the elevator and stepped in. Out of frustration, he pressed the button a few times. As the elevator started its slow climb up, he worked out a plan of action: quick meal, rush to Heather, kill whoever's blocking his powers. He checked his watch. Forty-five minutes until soft light. He cursed under his breath. He'd have to knock the latter off his schedule.

The elevator stopped and he stepped out into the great hall. He reached out with his powers and picked up an angry teen just outside. With a cold smile, he slipped outside to follow his morning snack.

He caught up to her and didn't let her even try to escape. He pulled her into an ally and forced her to look up. She screamed when he bit into her neck. The blood passed his fangs slowly in the veins. He ripped her flesh more and felt the blood rushing out of her body. His eyes narrowed to slits and he pushed her to the ground. She covered her wound while she started to cry and beg for her life. "I didn't drink your blood, girl." She pushed her down with his foot. She cried out as he increased the pressure on her chest as he leaned down to her. He could see her soul being squeezed out of her. "You shouldn't walk alone at night, danger lurks everywhere…" He pushed down with vampire strength and felt her bones shatter under his foot.

Her cries grew quiet and her eyes emptied. He reached his hand out as small orbs floated up from her eye. They came together in his palm and he brought it to his mouth. His fangs stretched and sank into the orb. As his fangs shrunk, the orbs did as well; he closed his mouth as his teeth returned to normal and swallowed the last of the girl's soul.

He could feel his strength returning. He looked down at the girl's body. Her body would lay there until dawn. By then, she would be missing a good bit of her body from the scavengers. "Waste not, want not." He said as he knelt down into the blood that was pooling around her. The placed his hands in the blood felt his body absorbing it. Her biodegradable parts started to melt and go towards his hand. He could feel his wounds heeling and his energy increasing more. He closed his eyes until he could feel himself healing no more.

When he opened his eyes again, a moist skeleton laid there. He drew one of his daggers and stuck it in the ground before rushing off to Heather's shop. When he arrived, he could feel the same energy pulsating from inside. He started in on guard. The shop was alright, so it (whatever it was) would be in the back. He threw his power out. It hit something and came barreling back at him with a force behind it. He collapsed his energy and felt himself move with the blow to reduce the damage it would have dealt. He kept this level of power as he went to the back room.

It took Xül a moment to register what was happening. Heather was ripping up curtains out of frustration. Roderick was tied up with a herb rope that no preternatural being could break. Xül frowned when he noticed Roderick's eyes were closed. He took a step forward and stopped. "Heather." His voice startled her to look at him. He pulled on their connection and found someone else on the other end. "Get lost." He pushed his power along the connection and she fell to the ground as if invisible strings were cut. The barrio was gone and he went straight to Heather.

He checked her neck and wrists and found them clean. He picked her up and started to Roderick. "Xül?" She muttered. He knelt down to Roderick as she struggled to look at him. "What's going on?"

"You attacked Roderick. Don't you remember?"

"No. Why would I?" She looked at him finally in disbelief.

"Well, apparently you did. You're coming home with us." He shifted her a bit so he could throw Roderick on his back. He stood up, cradling Heather in his arms while holding Roderick's wrists to keep him from falling. He took off at vampire speeds to the manor. There would be a lot to discuss the next sunset.