The windshield wipers streaked across the glass as the car pulled up alongside of the house. The man in the car looked out the window at the dark house. It was almost nine now. The family should have been home. The lights would have been on. They should be in front of the TV enjoying the night together. The daughter would have been upstairs in her bedroom talking on the phone or on her computer, but the upstairs windows were dark too.

The man felt a nervous tweak in his stomach. He didn't like the way the house looked so dark and ominous. The rest of the suburban street was lit and active. Cars were in driveways, lights were on, dogs barked in back yards. But this house was still and silent.

He turned the car off and climbed out. No one was on the street anymore. The sun had gone down and everyone was turning in for the evening. He looked both ways just to be sure, but no one was out. So he lifted the hood of his sweater to block out the drizzle and stepped toward the front door.

The scent of fresh blood reached his nose before he could knock. He reached up to knock but decided against it. The sound might attract attention. Someone might hear the doorbell. The girl might run.

Instead he gently turned the knob and pushed the door open. It creaked and swung forward and he had to hold his breath to avoid the stench of their bodies. All he could see of the woman were her two pale legs sticking out from the kitchen. The man's body was not much farther from her, slumped against the wall. His eyes were empty and what was left of his throat was hidden behind the blood.

"Shit," he said as he stepped in and avoided getting blood on the clean carpet. "Vesper?" he asked.

Then he heard a whimper from the other side of the couch in the living room. He stepped toward it and found the girl huddled against the wall. She had her arms wrapped around her knees, covered in blood and tears.

The man didn't say a word. He just stepped forward, scooped up the small teenager into his arms and carried her out of the house. He took her to the car and laid her down on the backseat. He covered her with a spare blanket he kept under the seat, but she kept her eyes pinched closed. Then he went back to the house to lock and shut the door. He didn't have enough time to gather her things. He went right back to the car and put it on the road.

The girl fell asleep on the ride. She didn't ask questions and she stopped crying within a few minutes. But the man kept driving. He didn't stop for the night until much later. He considered finding a hotel to spend the night in. But figured it would be better to wait until the girl was comfortable. Plus he didn't want to bring her to a hotel covered in blood anyway. He didn't know who might be looking for her.

He stopped the car in the desert on the side of the road. He got a few hours of sleep in the front seat before setting back out. He woke up when the sun came up and yawned as he started the car toward Barstow. She woke up a little while later. He saw her peek over the back of the seat. Her dark red hair was messy and caked in blood. Her blue eyes were swollen and piercing.

"How did you sleep?" he asked.

"Fine," she replied quietly.

"I suppose you're hungry."

"Yes."

"Climb up. We'll find something for you to eat."

"Are you a police officer?"

"No, kid. I'm not."

"You're not going to kill me or anything, are you?"

"Relax. You're safe with me. Your mom sent me to get you."

"My mom is dead." He sighed.

"Just climb up. We'll talk about it later."

She scrambled over the seat and sat down on the bench at his side. He glanced at her behind sunglasses, looking over her bloodstained clothes and the way she picked the dried substance from her fingernails to no avail.

"I suppose we'll have to find some clothes for you too. I didn't have time to pack anything for you. Not that I would know how to pack for a thirteen year old girl anyway." She sighed and leaned against the window.

"Where are you taking me?" she asked him.

"Maine," he told her.

"Why?"

"I'll answer soon. My name is Samael Collins. Sam for short." He reached over to shake her hand, but kept the other on the steering wheel. She lifted her hand and they both looked over the blood. They decided not to shake after all.

"My name is Vesper," she told him.

"I know."

"How?"

"All in time." She sighed.

"I didn't mean to do it," she said.

"I know you didn't. I should have gotten to you sooner. I stayed in Vegas too long."

"Something is wrong with me." He sighed deeply.

"I wish I knew how to explain everything to you. I don't even know where to start. I think you need some time to recover and I need some time to figure out how to get the words out. Plus this isn't exactly the best place for this conversation."

"Am I a vampire?" He laughed.

"Don't be crazy. There's no such thing as vampires."

"Then why did I do that to my parents? I mean… I killed them." Her voice wobbled. "I couldn't even control it. I… drank their blood."

"I'll explain everything when I can. But you're not the first and you won't be the last. Just… build up a list of questions and I'll answer them. How does Denny's sound?"

"Fine."

"Good. There's one in Barstow I'm hoping to hit."

"I don't really care."

"I know." He patted her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her, but it didn't help.

...

Okay, so my inability to write story descriptions kills me. I can't write a description for this story without giving everything away. But I really like it so far. And I hope you do too. You've just been introduced to a random idea I think I got from a half sleep state.