I open my eyes slowly, there is a harsh fluorescent light directly above my head. "Where the hell am I..." I mutter to myself.
"Head quarters," someone answers. I know that voice. Hmm it's all coming back to me, getting dropped off by Nick, and then abducted by the slayers. They gave me a shot of something to knock me out.
I wonder how long I've been out for, but I'm not about to make conversation with a slayer. Suddenly someone is leaning over me.
"Kevin?!" I ask loudly.
"Hey, not so loud babe," he says.
"What the hell are you doing here?" I ask.
"I live here," he says, "I'm a slayer in training." I can actually see when he stands over me, because he's blocking the harsh light. He's also the only person who calls me 'babe'. There's a little badge on the left side of his chest with S.I.T printed on it.
"So how are you feeling?" he asks.
"Like shit, and can you turn this damn light off?"
"I'm not supposed to," he says.
"Please, I can't stand it," I reply.
"I'll make an exception," he says, giving me a wink. He walks away from me and I shut my eyes. When the light turns off I wait a couple seconds and reopen them. Kevin is standing over me again. I go to get up off the hard flat surface that I'm lying on but I can't move an inch.
"What the hell.." Have they got me paralysed? What have they done to me? I try to struggle but I can only move my hands and feet. They must have restraints on me at the wrists and ankles.
"Hey, relax," Kevin says, pushing away some hair that's plastered to my face, "you're just in restraints they didn't do anything to you." I stop moving my hands and feet.
"So why are you working for them?" I ask.
"My brother was a slayer, and I just sort of followed in his footsteps," he says in an elusive tone. He knows his brother was a slayer.
"So they do tell their families what they do? I thought the slayers were so top secret the agents didn't reveal their occupation to anybody."
"They're not supposed to," Kevin replies, "but some of them do, my brother was one of them." He strokes my cheek, an absent expression on his face. Creepy. I wish I wasn't in restraints right now.
"So where's your brother now?" I ask, a guess already on my mind.
"Dead," he says, like he's snapping back to reality.
"I'm sorry," I say.
"Not your fault," he shrugs, "but he didn't deserve to die."
"Do you mind if I ask... how?"
"No," he says, shaking his head, "he was killed in combat, at least that's what the papers say. I believe he was betrayed by a member of his own crew, he was the only witness to what this guy did."
I want to ask what the guy did, but I think I'll leave it for now. "That's terrible. When did you find out?"
"Not till after he died, I read his diary."
"So you joined the slayers after that and now you're going to get revenge on the person that betrayed him?" I say.
"Yeah, that's the general idea," he replies, "and I know who they are, I just had to come up with the perfect way to fuck them up." His cinnamon eyes are cold. I never thought of Kevin as the violent type. But it was his brother, I'd do the same thing.
"Maybe you could let me go, and say this guy was responsible for me escaping?" I suggest, knowing he won't go for it.
"Nah, I can't do that, and it's not like it matters, you're getting out of here tonight."
"What?" I ask. "They are letting me go?" He grins, like he knows something I don't.
"What's going on? And how long have I been out for?"
"Three days or so," he says casually. "I was responsible for looking after you. You were in the sleeper ward until a couple of hours ago. I said I needed to move you here for 'interrogation'. There is less supervision here, so I can talk to you. You didn't feel it, but I gave you another drug to reverse the effects of the first one. You don't need to worry. Your boyfriend is going to bust you out of this place, and guess who's taking the rap for giving Nick the information that he needed?"
"Your brother's killer," I say, "it all fits together so nicely."
"That it does," he says, smiling.
"But how will you make sure they think it's him and not you?" I ask.
He shrugs, "I'll tell you later." So Nick is helping Seb take down the slayers? I thought he was going to have a counter team, damage control. I guess that changed when they took me. I don't like the feeling of these restraints. I'm so trapped.
"Can you take these off?" I ask.
"Sorry, no can do," he replies.
"Oh come on, you are completely betraying the slayers and letting them get taken over and you can't even take these bloody restraints off. It's not like I'm dangerous!"
"It's just a precaution, in case you've been turned." No wonder they feel so unbreakable, they must be designed for vampires.
"Wouldn't you guys know if I'd been turned?"
"Well, we used to just feel for a heart beat. But there were some mistakes made due to people forgetting not to use their thumbs when feeling for someone else's pulse and heart beat. These cadets aren't exactly encouraged to think. Some cadets were also biased and a few of them got something that seemed obvious wrong. So now we are required to be thorough in our diagnosis of being undead."
"So they have certain tests they would have run on me, right?"
"They do, but they like you to be awake to take them," he says.
"But I thought it was just like..." I trail off.
"What we scan you with some hi-tech blue light device?" he asks, smirking a little.
"But I thought you guys were all, cloak and dagger up with the times, bam bam big weapons ya know?"
"We are, on a few things but the slayers are more old school than they like people to know."
"So what are the tests then?"
"Like I said, you'll find out."
"But will it hurt?" I ask impatiently.
"No, it won't hurt," he says, he's stroking the side of my face again.
"Yeah, can you like not do that?" I say bluntly.
"I can do what I like," he says in a defiant tone. What is he playing at? Is he saying he wants to rape me?
"If you touch me, you know I'll kill you right?" I say, just to make myself clear.
"I don't think you'd be much of a match for me," he says, his eyes are fiery.
I open my mouth to say something and then shut it. I'm really not sure what to say. His face goes back to its normally friendly expression.
"I could take these restraints off," he says, "but there'd have to be something in it for me." Fuck, he is so evil! And he's not even a vampire. I shake my head. I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole.
"Nothing big," he says, watching my face. "Just let me hold you for a bit, then maybe a kiss." I don't like the sound of that, but I like the feel of these restraints less. At least if he gets me out of them I'll be free to fight back if tries anything.
"Fine," I answer. He smiles and unbuckles the restraints at my ankles. Then he unfastens the straps pinning my arms to my sides. I sit up on the metal table, sore but glad to be free. "Hmm that doesn't look too comfortable to sit on," he observes. He walks away from me. Good. I take a look around the room. There's nothing in it except me, Kevin, the table I was tied to, and one chair. Looks like a proper interrogation room. Kevin sits down in the chair. It must have wheels because he skids across the room on it. He is close to me now. His brown hair looks fake there is so much gel in it. He is good looking, but I wouldn't betray Nick.
"Sit," he says lightly, patting his knees. I roll my eyes.
"Hey, you said I getta hold you for a minute," he reminds me, smiling in a cutesy way. I glare back at him, but I get off the table. My knees give way, I flinch as the floor becomes closer. I feel something across my stomach as my falling comes to halt. Kevin must have caught me.
"Um, thanks," I say awkwardly.
"It's cool," he says. I flick my eyes sideways. He's still sitting in the chair, he's holding me up with his left arm. I need to stand up. I hope my legs can take the weight. Of course my legs would fuck up when I haven't walked in three days! Kevin stands up, gripping his arm around my waist and pulling me to my feet as he gets up. I'm kind of slumped over from the stomach up wards. I try to stand up but my legs feel like jelly. "It's alright," he says soothingly. Yeah. Right. I stay like that for a bit longer and then have another go. I stand up, and Kevin lets go of me. He sits back down in the chair.
"Come on, sit down before you fall over," he advises. I feel my legs start to go again and quickly sit down on his lap. I'd rather sit on him than break my head on the concrete floor. I flinch as he puts both his arms around me. Suddenly it occurs to me that I must smell terrible.
"Do you think I could take a shower?" I ask.
"I'm not sure what the procedure is on that," he replies, holding me a little tighter. I think I am going to throw up.
"You hungry?" he asks, "coz I'm allowed to bring you some food."
"If you do, they'll know I'm awake," I say, "and then they'll 'test' me, and start pumping me for info."
"Yeah," he agrees, "but they don't have to know.
"I'm not hungry any way," I say. I don't want to risk him getting busted sneaking food to me. Not good for either of us.
"So how come this room isn't bugged?" I ask him.
"They ask us to keep a record of the information we retain, and we do. It's just that it makes it hard for us to use... persuasive methods if we are videotaped or audio recorded. So we have a couple of rooms that we reserve for this purpose. We go by the book most of the time and document faithfully. The slayers pride themselves on being efficient, anti-vampire and protecting humans. They don't like to admit they sometimes terrorise a few individuals in the pursuit of protecting the human flock."
"Ok," I say, breathing a little easier, as I think things over, "All you have to do is not let them find out I'm awake until tonight, and then Nick will bust me out right?"
"Yeah, as long as no one else comes in here you'll be fine."
"Is someone else going to come in here?" I say, my voice rising.
"No one is scheduled to, they classified you as a low level threat and allowed me to take over your case."
"So why am I only low level?" I ask.
"They are leaning towards the conclusion that you are just a civilian who got caught up Nick's web and that you don't have too much information for them." If they knew how Sebastian bought me then they would know that was true.
"Do they know I know he's a vamp?" I ask.
"No, that's what they want to find out amongst other things." I don't want them to find out anything from me. They really are going to have to torture me to make me talk.
"So the question is, how do we pass the time till then?" Kevin asks in a low voice. I jerk myself forwards and he tightens his grip around me.
"Relax, I'm not stupid enough to rape you, even if I was a psychopath which by the way I am not, I wouldn't touch Nick James's girlfriend." But he is touching me. I guess having his arms around my waist doesn't register as 'touching' with Kevin.
"That's right," I say firmly, "and if you try to make me play monopoly, I'll kill you myself."
He laughs softly. "I'll go and get steal some things for you. You're about a size five right?"
"Yeah," I reply. I think I'm smaller than that in some clothes, but it doesn't matter he's probably bringing me a slayer combat outfit and I doubt if they have extremely small sizes.
It's two p.m. I'm pacing the floor at Amelia's apartment. The slayers attacked her place about the same time as Seb, but she wasn't home. She returned just after they'd been there. Thank God she wasn't there when they attacked. I mean Amelia can hold her own but they would have sent at least five and she's not as strong as Seb.
"How are you feeling?" she asks me, walking back into the lounge room.
"Fine," I say, "what's Seb doing?"
"Upstairs," she says, "he's finalising plans with his associates. You sure you're up for this?"
"Yes, I am Amelia," I snap.
She looks taken aback and I shrug my shoulders. "Come here," she says, holding out her arms.
"I'm not in the mood for a hug," I say bluntly.
"I know you Nicholas," she answers, "and you need a hug more than ever right now." I sigh as I embrace her. She squeezes her arms around me and mine seem to tighten around her involuntarily.
-She's a nice one, Nicholas, but remember who she belongs to.-
Shutup you! It's not like I'm in love with Amelia, she's my brother's girlfriend I know and more importantly not Anastacia!
She lets go of me and I drop my arms to my sides.
"Has Seb told you I'm coming along?" Amelia asked.
"No," I answer, "he didn't. You know you shouldn't it will be dangerous."
"Well thank you Mr-state-the-obvious," she says dryly, "but when they invaded Seb's house they destroyed all of my art work that was in my room, so now it is personal. I want my share of the blood shed."
"Hmm," I say. Amelia isn't really evil, as far as vampires go. I guess they just got her where it hurts.
-I like this girl, blood shed boy am I looking forward to that.-
Can't you stay quiet for two seconds?
-Why? Aren't you looking forward to the taste of slayer blood?-
I want to kill them.
-Yes, but are you going to drain a few while you're at it?-
"Nick," Amelia says, raising her eyebrows, "you look a bit out of it."
"Ah, no," I say, shaking my head. "I'm ready for this."
"You might wanna try and get some sleep then," she says. "There's a spare room upstairs."
"OK," I reply.
"Well I am going to bed," she says, "good night, Nick." She kisses me on the cheek, and I run my fingers through her fiery red hair.
"Night, Amelia." She walks out of the room again, leaving me alone to pace with my volatile thoughts.
I wake up on the couch. I don't even remembering lying back down. The house is quiet and I could almost forget what today is. I get up slowly and take a look around. The sun is down. I can't see the tiny crack of light streaming through the curtain anymore. I look at my arm. I burnt myself a couple of times when I went in front of it.
-Tonight is the night Nicholas, your first dose of slayer blood in decades...-
It's too early in the morning for your shit, go back to sleep.
I walk up stairs, feeling groggy. It's not a feeling I'm used to, I guess the stress is taking it out of me. I plod along the landing and knock softly on Seb's door. Amelia answers, wrapping a dressing gown around herself as she swings the door open. Her red hair is messy.
"Uh," I say, "morning." She must have slept with him last night. They both have sort of unofficial rooms at each others houses.
"Nicholas," he says, jumping out of bed, "what time is it?"
"It's sunset Seb, we have to move off."
"Yeah, no kidding. We are meeting on the perimeter in half an hour." We found out through this kid who works for the slayers, Kevin, that their head quarters isn't far from Amelia's place. Not even out in the middle of nowhere, although it is well secluded and the security is tight. Sebastian's plan is basically bar no holds violent onslaught. We storm the perimeter and have the place taken over before they get the chance to call for reinforcements. But we're keeping some vamps out on the perimeter once it's secured, so that if they do call for reinforcements they will be slaughtered on arrival. The vamps that go in split up once we get inside, groups of fifty heading to different parts of the complex, my team is heading to the holding room, where Kevin has Anastacia. If I found out he's laid so much as a finger on her, I'll drain him. He could try denying it, but I'd smell her on him. Seb is going right to the control centre. Kevin says he can shut down the power to the whole complex a few minutes before we get there. I'm not sure if he's really capable of that, so Seb will force the main technical worker of the center to shut down the whole place. If he does that before they call for help, they are completely and utterly at our mercy, and that's what I want. I realise I am just standing in the door way and they both want to get ready, because Amelia is giving me a quizzical look.
"Oh sorry," I mutter, turning away and walking back across the landing. I should get ready too. I walk downstairs, I'm dressed but I need to get armed. I walk down the hall from the lounge and turn into a room on my right. This is called the preparation room, because it has pretty much everything you need to go fight in a war. It was Seb's idea, he said Amelia needed to be able to protect herself when he wasn't around, and has stocked up since the slayers invaded her place. I select a stun gun, a semi-automatic rifle and a vial of anti-slayer-poison. If they fucking shoot me with another one of those arrows, I am going to lose the plot.
-Hey why do you need that stuff you can just bite them.-
-fine, if you want to go all technical advancement on me Nick but only pussies use guns.-
Fuck off! I have to get close to bite them in any case.
-Do you intend to feed?-
No, I mean I... no! I am hungry.
-You're doubting it aren't your goodie goodie self aren't you? That's a good sign.-
-/what is this I hear colloquial teenage speak? I don't like it.-
Well no on asked you.
The evil voice stays quiet as I exit the room, my vial in the pocket of my combat pants and the semi automatic across my shoulder on a strap, the stun gun I attach to my utility belt.
"All set?" Seb asks me, suddenly in the weapons room.
"Yep," I answer, "I'll meet you out front." I walk quickly through the house and go and stand in the front yard. The light breeze caresses my cheeks. I am ready for this.
Half an hour later, still Nick
We are gathered outside the perimeter, there is a vampire wearing glasses walking around and taking down names and counting how many of us there are. I don't think that's going to work to well since none of us are standing still. They got this warlock to cast a spell of invisibility which supposedly envelops us so no one can see or hear us outside the circle but I pretty much think that's a crock of shit. I never trusted warlocks. The vampire next to me nudges me. He looks very young, must have been turned at about thirteen.
"I've heard great things about you," he says casually, but his light green eyes are boring into me.
"Yeah," I say defensively, "what you heard kid?"
He snorts, "I am three hundred and twelve, and I heard they call you Nicholas the Merciless, and you killed four thousand people in one year."
"Never really counted," I say coolly, "but four thousand sounds about right, when I was at my... worst."
"You mean your peak?" He corrects.
"Whatever you want to call it, I don't kill much at all these days."
A disappointed look crosses his childish face, "Yes, I've heard that too but I was hoping it wasn't the case. Will you feed today?" I don't like the way he's looking at me so intently.
"Most likely," I say.
He smiles approvingly, "I will also feed if I have time, and you permit it." Am I his mentor? I don't want that responsibility.
"Do what you like kid, as long as it doesn't interfere with the mission, if you screw it up you will get to see my evil side." He nods, still looking at me with his wide green eyes.
"Everyone's accounted for, we charge in three minutes," Seb says, walking up to me. He looks the happiest he's been in ages. Being the head of an operation to take down the slayers and getting me into a situation where I have to kill has got him ecstatic. It doesn't show much on his calm face, but I know how to read his moods.
"Nick," he says.
"Yeah, good," I snap, "get back to your own team." The noise is almost unbearable. We are supposed to be hiding out here, just beyond the slayers perimeter, and these vampires are stupid enough to chat. "Shut up!" I yell, then flinch at the outburst of my loud, harsh voice. Dead silence settles over the clan of vampires. "Good," I mutter.
We wait in the uncomfortable silence, the kid takes the hint not to talk to me. At least I've got a friend standing by me. He puts his hand on my shoulder in a reassuring way. "This will work out, kid," he says. He is the only one that calls me kid. He was turned when he was around forty years old, and he's way older than me in vamp years. "Yeah," I say, not sounding too sure of myself, "this mission will go just fine." He nods, and the brown skin around his milky blue eyes crinkles. He's different to other vampires, he wanted to be turned because he was going blind. His sight isn't too keen but he makes up for it with his other senses, and he is very smart.
"Attention!" I hear Seb shout, "hold nothing back. These slayers, these vermin, do not understand their place in the social order and have persecuted us, threatened us, and otherwise irritated us for far too long. And it will NOT be tolerated any more. We must take over their head quarters, and shut down all their branches. Only then will we be back in control. And as you all know, my brother has a personal stake in this, and that makes it my affair too. Nicholas, come up here and tell us what's on your mind." God, I should have known he'd make some bloody speech before leading the troops into battle. The chance for self glorification is not something Seb would pass up. He didn't have to put the spotlight on me though. I walk over to the clear space where Seb is standing.
I start to speak, and the voice takes over without my permission, "These slayers, these human scum, trying to rid the earth of us, the superior race. They have taken my girlfriend, who I deeply love, she is human, but she had agreed to be turned. I was going to turn her the night she was captured, and they put a stop to that. They are trying to keep us a part, and stop her from gaining eternal life and becoming part of our race. We must not stand for this. We cannot allow them to interfere with our lives, take our loved ones and drive us from our own homes. We must stop the slayers before they gain any more strength. Go in, and as my brother says bar no holds, show mercy to no one!" I up hold my arm, making a fist. A massive roar echoes through the crowd. Anastacia did say she wanted to be turned, a while ago. I wasn't planning on turning her that night, but it's close enough to the truth. Adrenaline pulses through my veins. Now I really am ready.
"CHARGE!" Sebastian screams. I run forward as fast as my legs can carry me, along with three hundred other hungry vampires.
There are fifty or so guards on my side of the perimeter. There are three teams, my team, Christian's team and Seb's. My team has stopped dead, in front of the terrified looking humans who have literally frozen up in shock. I realise they are waiting for my instructions.
"Kill, but do not feed, we must gain entry!" I shout. Somehow I know what to do. My team of a hundred vampires makes short work off the men in combat suits. I hear the crunching of neck bones being snapped. One has escaped, and is running towards me. It's just a kid, about sixteen years old. I reach out and grab his arm as he tires to run past me. He gives a small scream and pulls a gun from his waist, but he never gets it pointed at me because I break his arm at the wrist. He screams in pain, his large brown eyes watering and begging me to let him live. "Please," he whimpers, "I... I won't even bother you just please let me go." Oh God I want to, but I know I can't.
My teeth seem to attach themselves to his neck on their own. The warm rich blood gushes into my mouth. I haven't fed from a human in months. I've been living off pig's blood. I gulp at the blood greedily, feeling the boy's body becoming lighter.
"Master, may we feed too?" I hear an anxious voice ask.
"Go ahead," I say, removing my mouth from the boy's neck. All around the noise of sucking and gulping can be heard as the vampires suck the guards dry. I go back to draining the young slayer. Some of them weren't shot dead, and screams fill the air. Music to my ears. I drop the boy's lifeless body and wipe blood from my mouth. I break into a run, towards the entrance.
"Where is everyone?" I ask the kid with the green eyes.
"The other teams are inside," he informs me, "they went in just before we began to feed."
"You should have told me then!" I snap as I swing open the already busted heavy metal double doors.
"Yes, but I thought it would give you greater strength if you were to finish that boy, and besides, Seb's team is to secure the main control room." That's right. Christian's team is heading to the room where the top commanders and officers are. He is going to neutralise, but not kill them with his team. I hear the sound of footsteps. I almost forgot I have a hundred vampires following me. The kid is trotting to keep up with me. I can't believe he is older than me. I am close enough to smell her now and follow the sweet scent, up some stairs. The noise of hundreds of footsteps echoes through the complex. Not just from my team either, there are vampires running all through the place. Seb must have reached the control room. I hear muffled screams and some clear as day, shattering through my brain. Gun shots ring out and I put my hands over my ears. I never liked the sound of a gun firing. I come to a halt outside another set of double doors, but these ones are not broken. The screams have died down. The other teams must have secured the control room and the commanding officers. Where the hell are all the minion slayers? I look behind me and see dead bodies in combat uniforms with strange looking guns, spray cans and other weaponry strewn all over this floor, their throats and other parts of their body leaking blood, organs are even strewn around. And there's a bunch of vampires with bloody mouths. The kid smiles at me, blood dripping from his teeth. I thought the screaming was close. I step back slightly, bumping into a couple of vamps but then they make room for me. I give the door a good kick and it flies open, a bit of metal shoots across the landing and several vampires duck. You get what you pay for in this place, but these guys must have been jibbed. I turn around before going in. "No one comes in, this room only has one slayer in and my girlfriend. Kid, go and check what's happening with Sebastian's team and report back, take twenty men with you in case there are still live slayers about, and report back to me as quickly as you can." If the slayers are still putting up a fight I don't want to send the kid alone. With twenty of them at least one should make it back to report. "Fifty of you should go and help Christian, but I want ten to return and report on conditions. Is that clear?" Again at least one should make it back alive if ten start back. "Yes sir!" the kid says. There is some counting and shuffling around as the vampires get organised, then many of them depart. "Nobody gets in this room," I tell the remaining thirty vamps. One with a huge scar running all the way across his face nods and growls, "No one will get past us Nicholas."
"Good," I nod. Then I go into the room.