Author's note - I kind of imagine Regina to look like Emily Browning in Sucker Punch, and Adrian to look kind of like Ben Barnes, only a little more hardcore and a lot more psychotic.


["Desperate Times" - Killswitch Engage]

I had a hard time getting to sleep that night, but it eventually came when my body succumbed to the exhaustion from the altercation with the pseudo-vampire Adrian. I'd tasted his power, and as much as I hated vampires with every fiber of my being, his strength was a total turn on. Plus, he was right: I was searching for someone and was having zero luck of finding and slaughtering them. Would he really help me? I couldn't sense him lying, but with one as powerful as him, would I be able to?

I turned over in my bed and groaned at the clock before pulling the covers back over my head to shield myself from the sunlight pouring in the windows. Vampires. Disgusting creatures with a bloodlust that drove me into a heated frenzy.

OK, so maybe I have a little bloodlust, too, I thought to myself, But at least I direct mine toward something positive instead of destroying the lives of innocent people. I flipped over again trying to drive the thoughts of vampires out of my mind with an imagined stake. If only I could have driven that pen into Adrian's heart when I'd had the chance, I wouldn't be in such a situation. Thinking that reminded me of his wave of energy from the night before and I could feel my body start to react again in an unwanted way. I clenched my knees together and tried to think of other things. Abruptly, I threw the covers off and went to busy myself until work since sleep would not be making another visit.

That evening I was working as a server instead of a performer. I didn't mind; I actually enjoyed the variety. My ensemble for the evening consisted of simply being wrapped with strategically placed silky red ribbons. My hair was set in loose curls and a smoky eye completed the look designed for this night by the club planners. I glided around during the entertainment, a plate of drinks balanced regally atop my left hand. I was used to the people staring at me in my bizarre outfits, so I hardly even noticed them anymore. I was bending over to place drinks at a couple's table when I felt fingers entwine around my upper arm.

"Will you be coming after me in that outfit tonight?" a low voice whispered, loud enough for only me to hear. I looked slowly up to Adrian's face, then to his hand on my arm, and back to his face, an annoyed look staining my expression.

"Let go of me," I said through clenched teeth, "We're in public." A body guard standing against a wall looked at our exchange and began to make his way over. I shook my head at the guard and he fell back against the wall, still intent on our actions. The bodyguards here were a bit of a joke. My stalker acquaintance was the real deal, and I could barely keep a handle on him myself. Adrian let go of my arm and a huge smile came across his face.

"Come outside now if you don't want me to make a scene, baby girl," he said so quickly and silently that no average human would have picked up on his speech. I rolled my eyes at him as he backed away from me and walked toward the red room. I finished passing out my drinks and set the platter on a vacant table before following his path to the front door.

Outside the chill in the air made me remember my ensemble. I wrapped my arms around myself and looked for where Adrian had disappeared to. I felt a jacket being placed on my bare shoulders and turned to see him standing behind me.

"Let's take a little stroll, darling," he said and urged me forward with his hand on the small of my back.

"I have a name," I said.

"Well, you never told me," Adrian replied, "But I know your name perfectly well. I just prefer to use terms of endearment since we will soon be working together."

"You seem pretty confident of that; how can you be sure?"

"Because I have what you need, and you have what I need."

"Oh?" I said and stopped walking to turn to him. "And just what is that?"

"Well," he began, "I have a way of finding the ones you're looking to put an end to, and you can join me in business and help me out." He flashed his grin again and under the streetlights I could see how dazzling it was. I was able to really see his face now that they weren't in a dim alley or night club. His brown hair was a bit messy, like it was blown this way and that on a beach somewhere. His green eyes had the sparkle of a politician – inviting, but still hiding venom behind them. His skin was as pale as mine, and his features seemed to be chiseled out of marble.

He placed his hand on my cheek. "We are so perfect for each other."

"You are such a fucking twisted freak," I said before recoiling from his touch. "I don't think you know what I am."

"I know what you are, Regina. You're a half breed. Half vampire, half human, which is just what I wanted. The powers of a vampire with the privilege of seeing that god damn flaming orb in the sky each day. That's what I want, that's what I need. You felt my power the other day; I'm willing to share it with you. That, and part of the proceeds from the bounties you help me score."

I shook my head. "I don't understand. Why is that so important to you? Why not just stick with the ones you can take on your own and let someone else get to the others?"

All emotion drained from his eyes and he let me see his coldness, his uncaring, unfeeling nature. He was not used to people resisting him. "When you have been alive as long as I have, you need a hobby." The anger sprang back to his eyes, switching tactics. "Don't make me hurt you, Regina. Your bruises have already disappeared from last night, but I won't be so gentle this time." He grabbed my hand before I could stop him and broke four of my fingers. I hissed in pain but kept my face void of emotion.

"If this is a cock fight you're looking for, you should probably give up now," he said and leaned in to whisper in my ear, the bones of my ruined fingers already reknitting themselves inside his hand, "Because mine is bigger than any you've ever seen." He snapped my fingers again once they had finished their rebuild.

"You sick fuck," I said, a laugh of disgust present in my voice.

"Don't make me start threatening your friends, baby girl. I know where you work, as you know, and I can easily follow any or all of them home and find the slowest way to kill them and fastest way to hurt you. They don't heal as nicely as you, you know."

"How about a trial basis?" I said quickly, meeting his eyes. His face showed interest. "I'll spend a little time with you on my nights off, and we can go from there."

"That can be arranged," he said and brought the hand he'd just broken twice to his lips. "Should we start tonight?" Before receiving an answer, he was already dragging me along. "This one will be easy; I just want to see what you can do."

"I'm supposed to be at work right now," I said, trying to keep up with his pace without breaking an ankle in my 5 inch strappy heels. "And I am really not dressed for the occasion." He simply shrugged.

"Tell them you had an emergency and had to leave early without telling anyone," he replied. "Your outfit is fine. Make their last images something they can enjoy."

I was lagging, tip toeing to try to keep up. Adrian sighed in annoyance at me before scooping me into his arms despite my protests. He picked up speed then, and I felt the world zip by me as if they were going hundreds of miles per hour. They possibly were, because he stopped within minutes and placed me on the ground in front of a house in a subdivision unfamiliar to me.

"So do I get any background on this or is it just cold murder for me?" I asked with my hands on my hips. He looked at me with his head tilted a little.

"We're going after a 400 year old vampire named William. He's a big guy with red hair. Real short temper too. His bounty is for $60,000 dollars," he said. "Anything else?"

"What's he wanted for?"

"Child molestation," Adrian replied. "He's recently turned a child to keep with him for eternity." I felt my blood run cold and an empty expression set itself onto my face. "Unfortunately for him, his eternity ends today. Shall we?" He began to walk to the front door. I followed close behind, my arms wrapped around me to keep away the cold even with Adrian's jacket over me. We walked up two stairs to the door. The house looked so normal. It could have been any home anywhere. It was a fairly new build with the neighbors' houses only feet away on either side. Adrian rang the doorbell, and I almost smirked.

Knock, knock bitches, I thought to myself. I heard footsteps on the other side of the door and saw someone part the curtains to look at who was on their doorstep at that time. The door opened to reveal a woman that looked to be the same age as me.

"Can I help you?" She asked. I peered around her and saw a hulk of a man sitting on the couch in front of the TV. William.

"Yes, my girlfriend and I were just driving through when our car stalled. Mind if we use your phone?" Adrian said with a smile, teeth perfectly straight and without points.

"Who is that at the door, Carly?" William's voice boomed from the couch.

"Just some people who need to use the phone," Carly answered. She looked us up and down. "She can come in, but not you." Adrian nodded at me.

"Perfectly understandable. I'll just wait right here while she calls a tow truck."

I stepped over the threshold into the house and followed Carly into the living room. William looked up at me and admired my outfit. I pulled the jacket closer around myself, trying to cover myself up. In the corner I saw a boy, barely five years old standing with his back to the room. He turned his little head to look at me and my breath caught in my throat. I suppressed the urge to vomit. A vampire child.

"The phone is this way," Carly said, trying to urge me into the kitchen as William started sniffing the air.

"A half breed?" he said in realization and glared at me. "In my fucking house?" He laughed. "Hold up right there, girly." He rose from his seat and walked over to me, towering high above my head. "What do you think you're doing in my house?"

"You have a bounty on your head," I said in a low, dangerous voice, letting the phone story slip away. "And I've come to collect it. Now, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice."

"Is that so, you little bitch?" his hand snaked out faster than I'd thought it would for someone his size. He grabbed a handful of my loose curls and twisted my head up at him. "Do I look like someone who will go down easily?"

"I was worried you'd say that," I said, not impressed by his strength. He was a light weight in my division. I wrapped my small hands around the wrist attached to my hair and squeezed with all my might. He yelled at the top of his lungs and released my hair, but I continued to squeeze until his hand was pinched from his wrist and left twitching in my palm. Seeing the look on that sick bastard's face when he saw his nub actually brought a smile to my lips. The front door burst open and they all turned to see what had happened.

"Regina," Adrian said, his head tilted low and eyes taking in the scene, "Invite me in, baby girl."

"Come in," I responded and watched him step across the doorway, a sadistic look on his face. William's face went even whiter when he took in Adrian's appearance. He wasn't dressed in scary clothes – simply dark jeans, a white v neck t shirt, and his steel toed boots – he actually looked a little like a male model straight out of an Abercrombie catalog, but something about his aura had him seem dangerous.

"You!" William choked out, fear evident in his voice. "The Reaper? N-no, this must be a mistake!"

"There's no mistake here, William," Adrian said, one fang hanging out of his smirk. "Well, no mistake made by us, I mean. Your mistake was turning a little boy for your own sick pleasure. Now, like my beautiful assistant said, we can do this the easy way or the hard way."

"I would stake myself before I let you delight your perversions in my blood, Reaper," William said, and faster than I could react, he'd produced a gun with his remaining hand. The gun was fired into me from 6 inches away; the bullet cut through my left shoulder, leaving behind a hole the size of a dime. The bullet continued with such a velocity, flying from the back of my shoulder and straight into Carly's chest where I stood, frozen, halfway out of the living area. The bullet caught Carly off guard and sent her flying to the floor, blood pouring from her wound with each beat of her heart.

My hand flew to my own shoulder, chancing a glance back at William's casualty. My fingers were sticky and warm from my own blood, but I would heal. Carly's eyes were open, tiny flutters of her eyelashes the only evidence of life. The pool of blood was growing and I took a step to the right to avoid the tidal wave threatening my shoes. William's face showed barely a flicker of emotion at the site of the dying woman before him – the woman he'd presumably been living with for who knows how long? Instead, his eyes were focused on my bullet hole, eyes bleeding black at the site of my blood. His nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply, infatuated with the scent of my half blood.

"Enough games," Adrian said as he flew across the room to William. A kick to his gut so quick it looked like a blur sent him to his knees. Adrian brought his elbow down on the back of William's head so hard a wide laceration spread from ear to ear, causing him to fall completely onto the ground. William rolled onto his stomach, about to jump to his feet, but Adrian was faster. From nowhere he'd pulled out a knife and slashed at William's midsection like some sort of undead Zorro. His bowels fell from the cuts and smell of bile filled the air. Adrian brought his foot up and crushed it down on William's thigh, snapping the femur like a twig and compressing the muscle until it was nearing a pancake. William's pained screams echoed through the house.

"William Montgomery," Adrian said through his yells, "You are wanted for child molestation and the unlawful turning of an underage child. Do you have any last words?"

"N-no," William said, fear making his eyes wide as saucers, "It wasn't like that, you don't understand-"

Cutting him off, Adrian pulled out a gun and said, "Goodbye, William." The shot rang out through the house, through the neighborhood, and echoed inside my head, as I saw the burst of light through the barrel and watched the wooden bullet impale William's chest. The vampire exploded in a burst of blood and gore, a liquid pool of muscle, limbs, and body tissue. Adrian stared at the puddle as he shoved the gun back into his pocket. Regina glanced up at Adrian's face, looking for a sign of remorse, a sign of respect for the life he took, but instead saw a bizarre, twisted expression. A wide, sinister grin broke across his face.

"This is where it gets dirty," Adrian said before crouching down beside William's soupy remains and plunging one hand into the puddle of gore. He fished about for a bit before producing a blood soaked wallet. "Proof of his unfortunate end. They can test the DNA if they don't believe us." He then pulled a sandwich bag from his pocket and placed the wallet inside. It was then deposited into his pocket. He walked toward the kitchen, stepping over Carly's cooling body to wash his hands in the glistening sink. A shuddering sound from the corner jerked me to attention.

"Adrian," I said. He appeared behind me, drying his hands on a dish cloth and taking in the site of the vampire child.

He tossed the cloth behind him and it fell to a soft flutter on Carly's dead-eyed face. "That sick fucker," he said, and I didn't think to remind him of how I was certain I saw him erect staring at the violence he'd just inflicted on William's body. Adrian pulled his gun out as he stepped toward the boy.

"Wait, stop!" Regina said as I raced forward and grabbed his arm. "He's just a little boy!" Adrian turned to look at me as if seeing my face for the first time. His face was empty as his eyes drank in my features, as if deciphering some code I didn't know had been on my face.

"He's a five year old boy who has been turned into a vampire to be used for eternity by his molester," Adrian said, his face no longer twisted by his perverted love for gore. Instead, his face was a blank slate, devoid of any kind of emotion as he spoke to me. "What would be more humane: letting him live as a sexually abused child, forever confined to the body of a five year old by the vampire who stole his innocence, or swiftly putting an end to the torture that would be the remainder of his life?" I let my hand fall away from his arm as I considered what he'd just said. Adrian didn't wait for my answer as he stalked toward the child; either he didn't care what I thought or he knew what my answer would be before I had decided it.

I was left to turn my back, crush my eyes shut, and cover my ears in an attempt to block out the sound that meant the end.