A/N: So this is another of the 100 Theme Challenge pieces. I have to admit, I haven't written anything about vampires for a while, but for some reason, this just kind of popped into my head. It has characters from the Realm of Shadows Universe, some of which have appeared in previous pieces (Die, Die My Darling, Angel of Death, Precious Treasure and a few others), characters from these are also mentioned here. This, however, is my favourite so far; maybe because it focuses on Poison and Blake, and includes characters like Tommy and Felicia who I haven't used much yet but who have been floating around in my head for a while. I have to give slight credit to Tawny Owl, reading her story Under the Moonlight reminded me of how much I love my own dark creatures, and sparked off this idea. Anyway, hope you enjoy this, and would love to know what you think - especially whether or not you like the characters here. Let me know if you'd like to see them again. Thanks for reading this A/N, and thanks for reading 'Vacation', too.
"I just don't get it," The drawl was followed by a scoff as the tall man glanced around at the strip of lights, the bright beams that shone down on the figures now pushing through the crowds and aiming for a casino. "Why vacation? Why can't you yanks just say holiday like everyone else?"
"Like you, you mean."
They came to a stop in front of what looked like a glorified, old-time shop. Neon lights announced its name in red and blue, 'Tommy's Gun'. Both men looked overly out of place here, the Brit dressed in a dark suit, a red tie falling in front of his black shirt. The other had gained a few fair odd glances on their way along the strip. His green Mohican towered above most other people's hairstyle, his denim jacket, ripped at the sleeves, covered in patches and badges of old punk backs. The jacket was open, revealing a Misfits t-shirt underneath it though, like the denim, the shirt had its sleeves off.
The pair glanced at the facade of the Casino, at the stream of people coming in and out. When the doors opened, they caught glances of women dressed as flappers, at men wearing trilby hats and suits, though the weather was too hot for both their attire and the man now standing outside.
"Seriously, Tommy couldn't have just asked if I wanted a holiday?"
"Get used to it," The American laughed, clapping his friend on the back and pushing him towards the entrance. "You're in the glorious U.S of A now, my friend."
"Blake! Poison! You made it!"
The man lifted himself up from behind the desk, moving quickly to greet his two friends. Like the men out on the floor, he was dressed in a smart pinstripe suit, completed with trilby hat. Unlike them, however, he hadn't taken off his vintage suit since the actual 1920s, which the Casino had tried to recreate.
"How are you boys?" His accent was heavily Brooklyn, and Blake found himself smiling at the sound. After hanging around with a bunch of either old Americans with Creole French and Spanish accents, or Brits like Poison, it was nice to hear someone closer to his own time – even if there was a almost five decades between them.
"We're well, how are you Tommy?"
"Not too bad, not too bad. So, you like any of the girls out there?" He gestured to the door as he leant on his desk, the other two taking seats on the two plush armchairs.
"We've eaten thanks."
"Good to hear," His hands rested against the desktop, a smile lurking on his face. "It feels like years since I saw you."
"It was only last summer," Blake chuckled. "Last time you invited us for a vacation, remember?"
"Holiday," Poison corrected, eyes flashing from light blue to a deep hazel. "I hate that word."
"What," Tommy leant forward, "Vacation?"
"Yeah," Poison rolled his eyes. "It sounds vulgar."
"Vulgar?" Blake scoffed. "This from a dude who hung out with prostitutes."
"She was not a prostitute," The anger was evident, not from the rise in tone but by how cold and calm he now sounded. "And how would you know, Blake? You're barely more than a child."
"Whatever old timer," He glanced towards Tommy. "How's business Tom?"
"Pretty good actually," His eyes shifted to the camera screens, showing various areas of the Casino. "Nostalgia is rising, people have more money. God damn yuppies keep pouring in."
Every time he came here, Poison couldn't help but think of an age old question that had been around as long as the modern Christmas; what did Father Christmas do in the summer? He had no doubt that if the big round jolly fellow was real, he'd come to Vegas. What better place to hide yourself in than the strip, where all sorts of people gathered and gambled? And what better release from the pressures of providing presents for every child in the world than spending cash at the many casinos here?
If it was good enough for relieving the stress of the constant hunt, the permanent running, then it was good enough for anyone else
"How's Kitty?" Poison asked, eyes following Tommy's gaze to rest on the cameras.
"Good. The girl's out hunting now. Actually...where are the others?"
"Around. Raven and Calista decided on a 'pirate cruise'."
The laugh burst from Tommy, filling the whole room. "See? Nostalgia."
"Yeah. Eddie's on some bike tour, Marcus is out scouring for his next protégée."
"Of course. Are you still looking for information on the hunters?"
Poison let out a sigh, hanging his head forward. As long as they had roamed the earth, hiding in the shadows of the night and managing to remain on top of the food chain, there had been hunters, men and women who were determined that vampires were not natural creatures, that they were pure evil and, for the religious nuts, had been created by the Devil himself.
But Poison had been around long enough to realise, if there was a God, vampires were his creation, too.
Try explaining that to a devout Christian, realising part-way through the conversation that you'd have to kill them before they stuffed a stake into your heart.
Poison, personally, had landed on the radar of the hunters just over a hundred years ago. Before then, he'd managed to dodge them, sometimes running into a couple who knew what he was but never getting on their Most Wanted list. As far as he could tell, he'd been in the top ten of that list since the fifties, but he'd been on it way before then.
"Yeah. If we can find them before they find us..."
"There will always be more of them," Tommy interrupted, before grabbing a remote and pointing it at the screen. "I know you guys are on vacation..."
"Vacation, Poison. But there's a certain someone here I think you might be interested in."
The screen flickered to one of the blackjack tables, where a woman in her early twenties sat, hair hidden under a purple bobbed wig. She draw a drag on a long cigarette, before indicating to the dealer. He slapped another card down, as Poison and Blake rose, inching closer to the screen.
"Shit," Black muttered under his breath. "She followed us here."
"So you recognise her then?" The tone of Tommy's voice indicated that he knew the answer, but he was the type of guy who liked to prove he was right, who liked to hear his theories validated and confirmed.
Blake shot a glance towards his companion. "I'd know it was her anywhere, even with her hair hidden."
Poison nodded slowly, still watching the screen. "You know what; I really thought this holiday was going to be uneventful."
"Like life ever is for us, Poison old-buddy," Blake slung an arm around the Brit's shoulders, pulling him closer to him. "Guess hunters don't get vacations."
They'd decided to act as though they hadn't recognised the girl. It'd make things easier, for them, in the long run. Before they left the office, Poison had questioned Tommy and found out that the hunters didn't know that one of Vegas' richest casino owners (though little of that had been gained in the last decade) was, indeed, one of them. Lucky for Tommy; his casino had, in the eighties, become his life, and he enjoyed running the business. Now, as the nineties started, he did not want to lose that.
He let them out of the office, watching them on the camera as they wound their way through the various tables and games to get to the table where Felicia sat.
"Evening boys," The dealer greeted them, flashing them both a quick grin. Like most of the humans who worked here, he knew what Tommy was, and had had the pleasure of meeting both Blake and Poison previously. "Having a good ninety-two?"
"Sure," Poison chuckled, sitting beside Felicia and sending her a quick, approving glance. "Glad summer's here though."
"Holiday, but yeah."
"Introduce us." Poison shifted his gaze – now hidden by sunglasses – from Felicia, looking instead at the dealer. The boy's expression didn't change, but by the next thought that Poison picked up, he knew he'd heard. "Names...how about Dean and Peter? You chose which is which."
"Carrie, I'd like you to meet two regulars. Every summer you can find them here – this is Dean, and this is Peter."
Poison held out a hand for the woman, smiling gently as she took it. He didn't need to peak into her mind to know what she was thinking, he could see it written all over her face as Danny, the dealer, handed out the cards to the players. She thought she had them; she was convinced they were tricked.
Blake leant forward. "Pleasure, Carrie."
"The pleasure's all mine."
"Another Brit, great!" Poison enthused, letting out a chuckle. "You know what; I'm getting very fed up of all these yanks around."
She giggled lightly before taking a peek at her cards. "Tell me about it. So, where are you from?"
"You don't sound Cornish."
"I know. I travelled around a lot. Yourself?"
"You don't sound Welsh."
She giggled again. Both were lying through their teeth, and each of them knew it.
"How do you know...Dean, was it?"
Blake raised a hand, knowing this was something best left to Poison. High-class chit-chat in a casino like this was just his thing.
"We work together," Poison couldn't resist a grin. "Became great friends over the years."
There was a flash of knowledge in her eyes; the hunters who had been tracking them had, of course, noticed in the seventies when Poison started travelling with Blake. He knew it confused them, he knew they had no idea if he had made Blake or simply picked up a lonely vampire. The girl had studied their files extensively when she had joined up with the hunters after Poison and Blake had helped themselves to her parents.
She'd just turned sixteen at the time, and had caught a glimpse of the pair leaving her house as she returned home after a late night study session. The hunters had turned up after she'd called the emergency services, having found the bodies in the upstairs bedroom.
Since that day, she'd trained, and trained hard.
Of course they'd met previously; this must have been the third time she'd found them in the last year. Neither Poison nor Blake could deny that she was possibly the best hunter they'd ever faced. The worst thing about it was that every time she got onto their trail, they had to split from the Coven.
Blake faked a groan as Danny slapped another card down. "I'm out. I'm going to grab a drink," Feigning annoyance, he slipped away from the table and returned to Tommy's office, watching his friend and the hunter on one of the cameras.
Poison continued to chat to her as they played another round, before he leant forward and whispered something in her ear. She giggled, replied and then moved away, leaving Poison sitting at the table and talking to Danny. Tommy clicked something on the remote, and one of the screens switched to the girl's toilet.
"Not perverted mate," Tommy laughed, on seeing Blake's slightly shocked expression. "It's not in the actual cubicles, see? Just outside them."
The pair watched as Felicia/Carrie slipped a small device from her handbag. It looked similar to the mobile phones that were gradually becoming more and more available to the public, but on closer inspection it had some various differences. It was small and light, and under his breath Tommy muttered "recording device."
"Pretty high tech for them, isn't it?" Blake whispered, watching the girl's lips as she mouthed something into the device. "You think she's calling the other hunters?"
"Wouldn't surprise me," Tommy glanced at the punk. "After all, she's failed every time she's gone against you two on her own."
"Damn right she has."
Tommy pressed another button, as she left the toilet and rejoined Poison.
"Don't worry," He told Blake. "I've got eyes all over this town. We'll know where they're going."
On the screen, Poison stood up, pulling his jacket over his shoulders. He spoke to Felicia, before glancing over his shoulder, eyes locked on the camera. He gave Tommy a quick wink, before ushering Felicia away.
Poison forced himself to sound impressed as Felicia led him through the foyer and towards the bar.
"Come on then, where's the money from?" He asked, hand resting gently on the small of her back.
"Nice. So do you have a job then?"
"Yeah, but it's not well paid. They have just enough money to help us do what we need to do."
"So what is it?"
He wanted to see how far she could take the lie, how far she'd gone to create her 'Carrie' persona. There was denying that she'd become more sneaky since their first meeting, when she'd just burst in on them mid-feed and tried to kill them. A quick fight, more of a scuffle, had followed, before they dropped her off at a roadside, leaving her for dead.
It had shocked both him and Blake when she'd appeared months later, right on their trail. They'd led her on a wild goose chase before losing her completely. Now, here she was in a poorly made disguise, trying to lure him into a sense of security.
He knew Tommy and Blake were somewhere nearby; he couldn't help but wonder if she had reinforcements closing in on them, too.
"Aw, I can't tell you everything about me now, can I?" She turned to him, placing her hands on the edges of his jacket, fingers running along the material.
"You never know," He chuckled. "We could die tonight. Live for the moment, Carrie."
She laughed, but in her eyes he could see a flash of fear.
"Why don't you take your glasses off?" She asked, lifting her fingers to reach for them.
Before she could touch the edges, his hands were around her wrists. "No, not yet. I like these – they're expensive."
Sure, his voice sounded jokey, but there was defiantly a hint of underlying danger there, one he knew she would pick up on.
"Let's forget the bar," He whispered. "Why don't we go straight to your room?"
"Sure," She gripped his hand, dragging him behind her as she made her way towards the lifts. He could feel the hunger rising inside him as they stood in the metal box, the smell of her perfume filling his senses and making him feel slightly dizzy. He was going to enjoy this. Her scent was intoxicating, and he knew why. Because of her hatred of vampires, of him specifically, he was going to like this all the more. It filled every pore of her being, it fuelled her.
Finally, this close to her with no one else around, as the lift climbed past the fourth floor, going towards the tenth, he turned to her and pushed her against the wall. His lips clasped onto her, feeling her melt into him against her own mixture of repulsion and hate. Her mind was practically screaming, but neither of them stopped.
His hand reached out and he jammed the emergency stop button before she could even blink. The same hand now rested on her stomach, snaking its way upwards.
She groaned, her own hands gripping his shoulders and holding him there. The knowledge that they were enemies was forgotten in the lust, as he lifted her legs up around his waist.
One of the first things a hunter was taught was never forget what they are. After all, letting your guard down was the worst thing you could possibly do. But the taste of him was so intoxicating, so amazing that she had forgotten.
His shades had long ago fallen off, and it was only when he pulled his head back, both of them panting heavily, that she remembered. As her eyes locked on his, her body froze. She was dead. A pair of blood red eyes stared back at her, a grin turning the corners of his mouth upwards.
"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" She asked, palms flat against the wall. She had been stupid, so very stupid. All of her weaponry was in her bedroom.
"No," He trailed a finger along her jawbone, eyes surveying her with a calculated coldness. "I'm going to give you a gift. One that, for you, is worse than death."
His teeth sank into her neck, her head snapping upwards as if by instinct. She didn't cry, or scream, and she was shocked that, as the world slowly went black, all she could think was that at least, in those last few moments, she had really, truly lived. He had given her that much, at least.
The world was slowly coming back to her. She could hear the lift doors being forced open, could hear voices on the other side and knew instantly that he had gone. He'd left her here. She was alive.
That wasn't right.
Felicia opened her eyes, realising that the colours were brighter, starker than ever before. A gift worse than death.
No. That was wrong. He'd been wrong.
She'd been brainwashed. Had she? Her thoughts were a jumble, a mixed up mess. She knew what she needed to do though, and as her fellow hunters forced the door open, she sat upwards. Jacob fell to his knees before her, grabbing her hand.
"Felicia! Are you alright?"
As soon as they realised what had happened, they'd kill her.
"Better than ever," She grinned at them, heard the girl behind him gasp as, quicker than she'd ever moved before, she threw Jacob backwards. The other two took out their guns, but before they could shoot she'd snapped a neck and knocked the other one out. One dead, two unconscious. She couldn't kill Jacob, couldn't bring herself to do it, and Kathy had been like a sister to her for so long....
The word came out breathless, as she realised how weak her body felt. The sun was rising.
How long had he left her there for?
It didn't matter; she had a room, with a cupboard. She took off on a sprint towards it before sense knocked her for six and she remembered that they knew exactly where her room was. She didn't stop running however, knowing she needed to push her new self to her limits, to see exactly what she could do.
Her body flew through the window, and she hit the ground with a force that would have killed a human. Lifting herself up, she gazed around.
That was when she saw him, dressed in a suit with a trilby hat.
"You don't need to know my name." Sliding forward, he helped her to her feet. "I'm a friend, an ally. That's all you need to know. My boss wants to meet you. He'll make sure you're alright."
She nodded, allowing this human to lead her down through the strip and towards the casino where she'd met Poison and Blake earlier that night. As the night started to end, she used the human for support, hoping he'd get her somewhere quickly.
Poison had returned to Tommy's office soon after his incident in the lift, and as he strolled in, slipping off his jacket, his eyes flickered to the cameras. Nice piece of work Tommy. He thought, shaking his head. Possibly the only cameras in the world which could catch their image. He grinned to himself as he waited for his friends to return, settling himself back in one of the armchairs.
As he lit up a cigarette and tilted his head back, he couldn't help but think that this was one of the most interesting vacations he'd ever been on.