Okay, okay. So I wrote this pretty much on a whim, and my sister threatened to beat me if I didn't post it, so here it is. A couple of things, though. 1. I did it while I was bored, so I honestly don't know how much more I'll write and 2. I'm not setting myself to any sort of posting schedule, cause I never follow them anyway. So chapters, if they get done, will be up when they are up.

But other than that, yay? Idek. I've become cynical in my old age.

Sorry to everyone who is new to my vamp world, I haven't given you much information in this chapter. :T Maybe next one?

"Remind me again why I'm not patrolling with June?"

Matthias Tiernay, vampire, demon hunter, and current steady boyfriend of my best friend, managed to convey with a single glare exasperation, condescension, and annoyance.

I, Jessica McCarthy, human, vampire hunter, and currently single, merely raised an eyebrow back at him, fighting the itch in my staking hand.

"She's with Gabby," he replied shortly, and turned his attention back to the door of the bar/club we were currently watching.

I rolled my eyes in an exaggerated manner in order for him to see it in the dark. "I know that. But why aren't you with your daughter, instead of here, brightening my night with your charming presence?"

I was still a bit incredulous about the fact that we were actively staking out a country bar of all things. The loud twanging of some guy singing about either his girlfriend or his tractor (the lyrics were a little ambiguous) echoed out into our alley and I smirked, thinking of how much cred the vamps would lose if word got out that they liked this kind of music.

Tiernay shot me that multi-faceted glare again, and again I fought the urge to drive some wood into his lung. To say there was a little bad blood was, other than a terrible pun, a bit of an understatement. I still hadn't quite forgiven him for kidnapping and nearly causing the death of my friend June the year before (although she had quite forgiven and, heaven help her, fallen for the vamp), and he was both unforgiving of my multiple near-miss "accidental" stakings and was, in general, a dick. It was only because June got such a stupid goofy smile around him that I curbed my natural instincts and settled on using my rapier wit instead of a sharpened spike.

Fortunately for him, he was saved a verbal skewering by the rising of the hairs on the back of my neck, accompanied by a foggy feeling of doom in my mind that usually came about when something super awesome and totally not dangerous was about to happen.

"Heads up," I told Tiernay, shifting the crossbow in my arms to a more easily fired position. I would say he serious'd up, but to honest, I couldn't tell his serious face from his non-serious one. He did double check that the back of his jacket was loose enough to grab the gun that was back there.

I shifted into a squatting position on the fire escape, my butt tingling from having sat on the metal stair for too long. Finally, something was happening. It wasn't overly cold, one of those weirdly warm March days, but it wasn't like sitting outside getting my butt dimpled by a stairwell was high on my list of Friday night activities.

Ten minutes past. Then fifteen. Twenty.

Tiernay leaned back on his haunches and began to look unimpressed and I bit my tongue against snapping at him, my anxiety only worsened by the fact that my doom-metre hadn't dropped. It just hung around, like an annoying buzzing insect.

He opened his mouth, but I cut him off with a glare. "Say it, and I will stake you and happily spend the rest of my life consoling poor, dear June who lost her boyfriend through his own sheer stupidity."

He shook his head. "Listen. Do you hear it?"

I shut up and concentrated on the sounds coming from inside the bar, trying to tune out the music.

Then, I don't know whether it was because I was listening or because it suddenly got louder, but I heard it.


"Shit," Tiernay swore and stood just a split second before the door we were watching busted open.

He was up and moving like a flash, almost faster than I could see with my eyes, in through the stream of people towards the club. Without me, of course.

An indignant noise burst from my throat as I stood and leapt off the fire escape, and attempted to follow. However, not being of the male vamp species with their super-reflexes, I had to resort to angrily elbowing my way through the throng of frightened people, lugging my crossbow and large black bag behind me. I squeezed through the doorway, almost getting pushed back out again by the screaming masses (managing to kill my eardrums in the process) but finally I made it into the dark smokiness of the club.

I had to stand for several minutes just inside the door, smelling smoke and beer and BO, letting my eyes adjust to the even dimmer light, punctuated only by the flashing lights of the dance floor and the neon signs proclaiming particular brands of low grade beer.

Most of the people had already escaped, but the club was not empty. Several bodies lay twisted on the floor, looking like dark lumps in the gloom and around them stood nearly ten vampires.

I frowned. Something was completely off. I quickly ducked behind a bar when a figure dropped down right beside me. I barely refrained from screaming and automatically swung my crossbow in that direction. Tiernay caught it in his hand before I could point it to his chest and glared at me.


"Oh hell," I growled as the name crawled up my spine and through my brain like a slimy hand, leaving trails of filth in its wake. Every single hair on my body stood on end and I had to suppress a couple shivers.

"There're DOIs here," I whispered to the Tiernay, unable to keep a touch of fear out of my voice. DOIs (an acronym that stood for Dead on the Inside) were incredibly disturbing. They used to be vampires like Tiernay, living, breathing, thinking creatures. But somewhere along the way, they went crazy and lost their, for lack of a better word, souls. So they ended up these animalistic zombie-vamps – only interested in eating or sucking or whatever-ing human souls. Fricken. Scary.

Tiernay grunted. For some reason, my annoyance at his muted answers made me feel better. The queasiness in my stomach lessoned, and I swallowed back down the bile that had risen in my throat as I threw him a look, reaching into my bag and pulling out a machete, perfect for cutting down a horde of the undead.

Suddenly, Tiernay's gun was in front of my face, so close that the slide almost clipped my nose as he fired. I let out a squawk of surprise, and banged my head backwards against the shelving underneath the bar a second before a DOI fell across my legs, leaking something from the smoking hole in his forehead.

"Ewwww," I stated eloquently, kicking the corpse away from me before he gooped all over my clean jeans.

"Seems like our hiding spot has been compromised," Tiernay said with just the driest hint of amusement. His lips quirked. "Don't die. June would be really upset."

He was up and gone before I could give him a witty repartee, or, failing that, an immature gesture.


"Yeah, yeah," I told creepy voices as I stood, removing my black bag and setting it and my crossbow on the bar so that they were relatively easily accessible and (hopefully) I wouldn't forget them later.

"Okay." I faced the four or so figures starting to gather around me, hearing Tiernay's shots off in the distance as vague pops underneath the still blaring twangy upbeat music. Feeling a grin start to creep across my face, I raised my machete like a baseball bat. "Let's have at 'er."

I had long ago gotten rid of my squeemishness in regards to killing human-ish creatures, easy enough to do when it had been a way of life since fourteen. Still, as I lopped off an arm reaching for my throat, I felt unsettled about something. It wasn't until my machete got caught in the one's chest and I had to put my boot to his Ralph Lauren polo clad chest that it struck me.

These DOIs were nicely dressed. In fact, they were all even dressed quite similarly, fashionable and, other than the blood spatter, clean. These guys had taken time to get into club wear.

"This is wrong," I stated out loud to myself, even as I swung my giant knife overhead two-handedly to chop off polo-DOI's head, the only way to permanently kill a vamp other than sun-frying and heart removal. The last group of these things I had fought, there were two of them, and they were dirty, smelly, and hadn't changed clothes since they became... whatever it is they were. Every other account I had heard of was basically the same thing. So why were these guys, all of them, dressed as though they had been normal vampires an hour before?


I whirled around, brandishing my bloody machete, but it was only Tiernay there, wiping his hand on a bloody t-shirt. He had obviously engaged in the other form of DOI killing than decapitation as well as having a more hands on approach. Gross.

"I don't know what this is, but I don't like it," I told him with no preamble. "These guys are way too nice looking for DOIs."

"I agree," Tiernay said, tossing the t-shirt to the ground where it landed with a wet 'plop' sound. I noticed only then that the music was no longer blaring and half-wondered what had happened to it.

My hands went into the air, machete and all. "Well, that settles it. You're agreeing with me. Most definitely a sign of the apocalypse."

He shot me that look that I was starting to think of as his 'I-promised-June-I-wouldn't-kill-her' look. "I could understand one newly turned DOI, not seven."

A chill went down my spine. "What if... what if that entire gang here...?"

Tiernay looked at me sharply. "And what would cause that?"

"Well, well. Isn't this a delight?" a new female voice called out of the gloom and I watched as Tiernay's face paled.

We both turned to see a slight woman dressed up like one of those stereotypical cowgirls, complete with a pink stenson pulled over her long hair. She also sent my doom-metre into overdrive, nearly exploding out my eyeballs.

"Zlex," Tiernay snarled and the woman who was obviously not just human smiled, showing straight white, even teeth.

"Matthias Tiernay," she replied. "How good of you to recognise me. How's your daughter?"

Tiernay didn't answer, but his eyes went pitchblack with rage and he raised his gun. Unfortunately, he only managed to get off one shot before her arm shot out and grasped his throat.

I let out an inarticulate yell and charged, my blade sliding through the woman's shoulder with far more ease that it should have. She looked down at it, unimpressed, before grabbing my arm and tossing me half across the room. My back slammed into the bar and sparks of agony flashed before my eyes.

Pulling myself up painfully, stabs of fire shooting through my abdomen informing me that I most likely had a cracked rib or dozen, I looked towards where the woman was staring into Tiernay's eyes intently, a malicious smile on her pretty face. He was glaring back, but all of a sudden, his face went slack and his gun dropped from his hand. Fear shot through me as my doom-metre went off like an atomic bomb.

Ignoring the pain that blackened my vision, I lifted my crossbow and took aim.

The bolt hit her square in the face and she let out an unholy screech that nearly shattered my eardrums, but she thankfully staggered back from Tiernay.

Tiernay stumbled backwards before going to one knee, shaking his head like someone coming out of a deep sleep.

The woman snarled at me, and I had to repress a shudder of revulsion as some of the skin peeled away from her face like a mask, leaving behind a red sort of... nothingness underneath. It was as if my brain and my eyes couldn't agree on what they were seeing.

"You bitch," the demon spat at me, its words slurring from the fact its lips were half-torn off and began to head in my direction.

She didn't get very far as a shot through her head threw her momentum backwards and another shot through the chest pushed her to the ground. Tiernay, looking pale and grimfaced, stood above her and unloaded his gun into the demon's face, making the body twitch like a mannequin, until finally he was clicking empty and the body was still.

A creepy laugh echoed through our heads as the weird redness disintegrated, causing the body to collapse in on itself as if it were a cheap suit. And then it began to smoulder before bursting into flames.

I limped over to Tiernay, feeling every breath like a stab to the chest. "Do they always do that?" I asked, pointing to the body that was quickly become a pile of ash.

He grunted what I'm pretty sure was an affirmative. I was again unimpressed by his uncommunicativeness.

"You're welcome for saving your life," I commented airily, knowing it would bother him as I bend down and picked up my machete from the now simply steaming pile of ash, barely refraining from groaning due to my ribs.

He shot me a condescending look. "I'm surprised there was no snappy saying during all that."

I started to shrug, but the pain stopped me. "There was a pun about 'eating stake' in there somewhere. I just didn't think of it in time."

"A pity," he replied dryly.

I had a witty retort half-formed, but a buzzing in my pocket stopped me.

'Calc' the little call display told me and despite everything, I felt my stomach go a little queasy and there was one hard thump of my heart. I ignored both and flipped my phone open and held it to my ear.


"You two have fun?"

"Oh, just loads," I replied as sarcastically as possible. "Thank you so much for making me go on this fantastic evening excursion."

"Why, you're absolutely welcome," Calc replied with a smirk I could hear across the damn phone. "Clean-up crew is already on their way. Meet you at Tiernay's place." With that, there was a click and silence. I gritted my teeth and snapped my phone shut.

"We're apparently meeting at your place," I told him as I walk-hobbled back over to the bar to sheath my machete and stow it back in my black tote.

He made an unimpressed noise as he turned to head out.

I scowled at his back and shouldered my bag, dropping it with several loud, unladylike words as it banged my ribs and caused fresh pain to lance through my abdomen. Cursing Calc, Tiernay, the entire vampire race in general, and the world, I grabbed my stuff slightly more gingerly and followed him.