My Very First Vamp

My First Vamp 1 of 6

“Vampire suck!” Regency yelled holding his bleeding neck. A beat after his friends burst out laughing. Demilla, usually stoic cop-chick, literally fell to the floor unable to breath. Madame, all 6 feet something drag queen wearing moo-moo of her, was snorting in a very un-lady-like way. Even Corey was laughing so hard he was turning red. Regency hadn’t meant to make the pun. It wasn’t that funny, was it? Maybe it was post-battle catharsis. The fight had been long and hard. They were all injured but alive. The cadres of vampires were dust, literally covering every surface of the warehouse. “Not funny!” snapped Regency. “Bleeding over here!”

Which just made them all laugh harder.

“Hey what if I get all thrall-y?” Regency tried to rein in their humor.
“Reg, you can’t get enthralled by a vampire who’s dusted.” Corey laughed.
“And we dusted them!” Demilla high-fived Corey.
“It’s barely bleeding dear,” Madame snickered, “I got vamp blood in my mouth! Now that’s something to worry about…gross.”
“Are you going to turn?” Regency gulped.

His friends burst out laughing again. Corey, ever the teacher, added, “No Regency she’s fine. I told you before, intent and consequence. Unless you did it willingly Madame?”
“Oh yes I feel the dark powers taking me!!!” Madame laughed at Regency’s expense and was joined in by the others.
He did not appreciate it, “You guys suck!”

Which of course was answered with more laughter more howls and more snorting.

“Laugh it up guys,” Regency rolled his eyes, “I’m finding the first aid kit.” Some how the gang found that even funnier and they all let out hoots and guffaws as he stomped away to the door marked office in the warehouse. He continued mockingly, “Oh so funny Regency got bit…so very funny ha ha ha!”

The warehouse was dark and dusty. It was a long walk to the other end to the office. Regency walked away from the pack of laughers, down the hall between huge crates filled with cheap “made in China” toys. A few of these crates had also been used to ship a cadres of Chinese vampires. As they had opened the crates holy water, stakes and canned-sunbeams ready they were welcomed by Sponge Bob Square Pants plushies and fangs. It was a hell of a fight. One that would have been much easier in the daytime but of course you can’t exactly explain the situation to the warehouse workers who would be bait and in the way.

At one time Regency would have been afraid of long dark walks in dark warehouses. Now he was a vampire killer and although injured, still pretty awesome. Regency flung open the door knowing there would be a small first aid kit, as there always were in these offices, probably on the ancient filing cabinet. What he didn’t know, as he flicked on the light, was that hiding in that office was the vamp that got away.

“VAMP!” Regency screamed as he backed away. He had brought zero weapons and was completely unprepared for combat despite his earlier attempts at helping the gang. ‘Well maybe not completely unprepared…’ Regency’s mind raced, which somehow made his legs stop running backwards. They found footing. In the same split second the fiend leapt at him. Regency went with the force of his attacker and brought the vamp down on top of him, but then tucked, rolled and flipped pinning the vamp down on the ground with Regency on top. Which was so friggin’ cool that Regency smiled, “Wicca Please, I totally did it!”

The Vampire stared at Regency momentarily and then seemed to roll its creepy eyes. It may have smiled as it tossed Regency off of it with ease. The vampire was up and climbing a huge wooden crate. It leapt in the air to grab a chain that, seemingly, would take it to the roof. Unluckily for it, Madame was ready.

As Corey and Demilla had run towards the screaming and flipping Regency, Madame had climbed a crate to counter and witness. When she saw the vamp was climbing she removed her necklace, a lovely long piece of silver with two decorative balls at the ends. She swung it overhead. As the vamp leapt she released her necklace and it wrapped around the beast by the legs and dragged it to the ground.

The vampire fell at Regency’s feet. Corey yelled, “CATCH!” as he threw a wooden stake. Regency caught it and reflexively slammed it down and into the entangled vamp. He slammed it, unfortunately, into the right side of the creature who screamed in pain but didn’t dust. “Opps sorry.” Regency pulled out the stake. The vampire seemed more annoyed than afraid as Regency re-slammed the weapon into his heart and the demon finally turned to dust.

“YES!” Corey cheered! The gang came over and congratulated him, “You did it! You dusted him!”
“First kill buys the brewskies!” yelled Demilla as she patted him on the head.
“Well done dear!” cooed Madame as she untangled her weapon.
Corey congratulated her, “you too Madame, nice bolas!”
“Where did you learn to do that?” Demilla admired her necklace.

“Well,” Madame loved her stories and especially loved not telling them, “I shant tell you, but suffice to say I spent a bit of time on an Argentinian ranch with a gaucho or three. I learned to throw a lot of balls. Hay Mami, vos sos tan buena con esas manos!”

Corey turned to the oddly silent Regency, “you ok? I expect you to be cheering or jumping up and down or something…”
“I am…I mean yes…I mean I did it?” Regency was in shock, “did you see me flip him? And does it count that he was tied up?”
“It totally counts!” cheered Demilla. She was usually annoyed or the like by Regency. He thought maybe he now had cool-points in her book.

“Ahh I remember my first,” Madame said dreamily.
“Your first kill or bite?” Regency asked quietly.
Demilla snorted, “If you get your first bite it had better also be your first kill! You don’t want walk around being a blood-bitch. My first kill was awesome. I knew I was born for it right then. BAM!” She made a stabbing motion.
Corey smiled at her, “you were definitely born for it.”
“…yea…” Regency mumbled, “first kill and first bite definitely!”
Demilla laughed, “Corey you remember your first?”

“Oh yes,” Corey laughed, “I wasn’t terribly heroic. It was a long time ago. I was a kid. Used a tree branch I had been hung from…..” Corey looked at the faces wanting to hear his tale, “ahh this is for another day guys. I’m beat. We should come back tomorrow morning and clean this place up. Everyone still got their cleaning crew gear?” Corey referred to the costumes they sometimes wore as a cleaning toxic waste crew. All nodded. “But first a round of beer is on Philip Regency: Vampire Killer!”

“Here, Here!” yelled Demilla and Madame.

“Thanks. I did it!” Regency finally smiled and yelled at the dust covered clothing, “take that stupid vamp! You can suck it!”

This time Regency laughed with everyone else.

My First Vamp 2 of 6

Nirvana blared out of the East Village watering hole, “here we are now, entertain us…” mocked the cold night air. Demilla could almost see her breath. She should have worn something warmer but her uniform was so bulky she liked to look nice when she went out. Not that her cop outfit didn’t attract a lot of girls’ attention, too much, but sometimes she wanted to look like the hot chick she was. It was the 90’s now and dykes could be fem without chastising and fems go butch if they friggin’ wanted. She half-smiled at her politicizing. She knew she was just trying to think of something safe. Something she could wrap her brain around. Something that wasn’t: vampires.

The music grunged on “…hello, hello hello, hello…”
“Hello.” A new voice chirped. Demilla jumped. The man raised his arms in compliance, “sorry I didn’t mean to scare you. I said hello like 4 times..”
“I wasn’t…” Demilla knew she didn’t need to pretend, “I’m jumpy and was lost in thought…sorry….anyway, are you Mr. Anders?”
“Call me Corey. And you must be Barbara?” Corey smiled sincerely.
“Yes. Sorry everyone calls me Demilla, my last name…hi,” they shook hands.
“So,” Corey continued, he didn’t need to rush the young lady but he had work to do and wasn’t really sure why he was here anyway, “you’re from Cecilia’s coven?”

“SHHHH” Demilla snapped and looked around the deserted street, “not here.”
“Ya know witch shame is as bad as inner homophobia…” he laughed but not in a mean way.
“Inner homo? You’re making a hell of a lot of assumptions Mr. Anders!” Demilla hated being laughed at kindly or un.
Corey pointed to the glass door of the bar, “The Boiler Room is a gay bar. I don’t think I’d have to a super sleuth…”
“I’m sorry,” she said again. “I don’t know what I’m doing.” She paused.
“What exactly are we doing?” Corey was getting impatient. The girl paused more. He huffed, “Listen, kid, Cecilia called me said you were a nice girl who needed some advice about…things most people don’t believe in. I came as a favor to her. If you need to talk: talk. If not I have people to help even if they don’t know or want it.”
“I’m a cop. I know all about helping the ungrateful shit-people in this town,” she half smiled.
“A cop?” Corey changed his stance, “is this official business?”
“NO!” she said quickly, “not really. My partner is dead, man.” A tear came to her eye, “so is Piers or Pears or whatever the hell his stupid rookie name is…was…”

Corey never liked playing therapist. It’s not so much that he was apathetic as much as he simply wasn’t good at it. He had seen so much of life that people’s problems, even when huge, felt small. Then he’d feel guilty or ashamed that he lacked empathy. But this tough and crying woman needed someone to believe her. Believe what she saw. Help. Part of him remembered his whole point of being was to help. He gently touched her shoulder and said, “Hey, coffee or beer?”
“huh?”
“Well we don’t stand a chance in Hades of having a conversation in that noise,” he referred to the Boiler Room bar still blaring the hits, “we can go a block down and have a beer some place quieter or a cup of coffee at the diner. Your choice. I’ll even buy.”

The waitress, for lack of a better word, filled their coffee cups roughly and dropped the day old muffin on their table. She rolled her green and black shaded eyes and adjusted one of the many piercings on her lips, “anything else?”
“Just more of your superb company,” smiled Corey condescendingly.
The waitress grunted, “look dude…”
Demilla cut her off,” we’re fine thanks.” Then she casually placed her wallet, badge side up on the table. The green-eyed girl gulped and backed away probably running to hide her works real fast before she got busted.
“Nice move,” Corey smiled.
“It’s a weapon,” smiled Demilla back, “probably more powerful than the gun at my side or the one strapped to your thigh.”
Corey liked her, “nice again. I have a permit. But let’s talk about you. Two officers died?”
“Yes.”
“Do you know how?”
“Yes.”
“Can you tell me?”
“Can I?” she gulped. Here was the leap of faith part. She knew the occult was real but admitting that to anyone could be a one-way ticket to the funny farm and the loss of her badge.
“Hang on,” Corey lifted his hands and said a few words. The he did some flourish with his hand and suddenly the room went quiet. Completely. As if to prove his magick Corey yelled, “Free heroine! Free heroine????? Anyone?” No one made any impression they had heard his screaming. “There. A little silence spell. Talk away.”
“Thanks…umm…wow…” Demilla had never seen that kind of magick done and he seemed to do it so easily. She hadn’t needed proof but it was nice to have it. She took a deep breath, “…vampires.”

Corey took a breath. Everyone always thought everything was vampires. It was annoying. Freakin’ Lestats running around everywhere. He hated goth. He knew, however, that if this cop had been in Cecelia’s coven she was no rookie. She may even actually know what a vampire was. He decided to treat her with professional courtesy. Why the hell not. “OK what kind of vampire?”

“There’s more than one kind?” Demilla blurted out and then felt foolish. Of course there’d be more than one kind. When was a killer a cookie cut out? “I didn’t know that….umm, the kind that live in squalor and cover their walls in sigils of blood and rip people’s faces off…” she broke down in tears. She had seen something bad.

“It’s ok. You survived. That’s all we can do sometimes. Live.” His voiced seemed to relax her a bit. She nodded and sipped some coffee. “I need you to give me a full account of everything that happened.”

Demilla took a big breath. “Ok. We were driving down Essex. We had…shit what’s his name…Johnson kept calling him Officer Pear on account of his shape, I think it was Pier? Anyway we were giving him a lift. When this girl runs out into traffic waving her arms and screaming. We flip the lights and pull over. She looked a lot like our waitress. I figured her boyfriend od’d or something fun. She starts crying ‘They took Marjorie? They took her!’ I calm her down with the who what and why’s. She doesn’t know much. Some homeless guys came out of the building and grabbed her friend. She ran. The building’s this run down piece of crap full of squatters. Johnson calls it in and we three enter guns and flashlights out. We hear music up stairs. Rookie points a flashlight up but then I see a high-heeled paten leather shoe on the stairs in back. Too rich for that hood. I motion to it. Johnson, hates basements, rolls his eyes and makes the rookie go first. I laughed. I laughed.”

Corey nodded and waited patiently. It was important to let someone tell the story not lead them or make guesses. There’s a reason you don’t lead witnesses, not if you want the real story. Demilla sipped and continued.

“As we went down you could smell the blood. I saw graffiti on the walls. Upside down crosses and pentagrams. I know they aren’t what people think they are. They were put there the freak out the straights. It worked on Johnson. He was wigged. Kept whispering about friggin’ kids and Satanic music. But I knew. Some of the sigils were real. Like ancient. Some were used for keeping people out and others: curses or hexes. I knew we were in over our heads. I whispered to Johnson we needed back up and he laughed at me. He thought they were just some stupid kids. The rookie braver than he should be, hence I guess rookie status, went farther down. I told him to wait up. He didn’t listen. They both went down. I lifted a hand to a rune. It buzzed in all the wrong ways. I knew there was serious magick around. I said quick prayer to Hecate and pulled up some protection. I heard the rookie scream. I ran down the stairs. I screamed, “NYPD!” al the stuff you’re supposed to yell. And then I took out my mace that was actually full of holy water. Old habits. Whatever.

“As I came into the basement Johnson was shooting. In his light I could see a vagrant looking man, covered in rags, his face full of blood, laughing. Johnson’s gun ran out as the thing ran towards him. Teeth out. Attacked his neck, as I stood there terrified. My partner was being bitten and I froze man. Johnson hit the thing with the butt of his gun. That knocked the creep back and me awake. I maced it with holy water. That pissed it off. Johnson turns to me. White and bleeding, with this look of surprise. Like he was saying ‘was that a friggin’ vampire?’ I didn’t have time to help him. The vampire growled at me and in the face of all that blood and what he had done to Johnson and the evil in the room I think I kind of went nuts.

“I jumped on the vamp. I jumped in the air and tackled a vampire! I didn’t know a lot about the how’s and why’s but I knew that thing was dying. So I held it down and sprayed the mace over and over again in its face. It screamed good. Then I grabbed a pipe, there were tools and pipes lying around, and forced it into his jaw, his teeth wrapped around it, and I sprayed the water into his mouth. All of it. He shook. I think it poisoned him. Then I started smashing his face. Over and over again. It was little more than pulp. Something started to make sense. I came out of the frenzy sort of. I knew, or remembered, that it needed to be decapitated to really die. So I put the pipe under it’s chin, called upon the Earth and pushed. It turned to ash. I thought that was only in the movies….”

She looked at Corey. He believed every word. She shook her head and said, “that felt good to say. Thanks. Do you believe me? I’m not nuts?”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Corey smiled, “you tackled a vampire! That’s a seriously crazy thing to do. Remind me never to piss you off!”
Demilla laughed a bit. The first time since the vampire took out her friend.
“What did you tell the cops?” Corey wondered.
“That we got jumped by some Satanist gang or something. That it was dark. That they fled. I’m on leave. Made me talk to a shrink. Told me I wasn’t responsible. That didn’t help. I think I am.”
“You are.”

“WHAT?” gasped Demilla.
“Sorry,” Corey put his hand sup, “I didn’t mean that to sound so accusatory. But you went into a lair unprepared. It’s not your fault but it is your responsibility. What are you going to do about it?”
“I killed it.” Demilla said stiffly.
“They don’t operate alone.” Corey shrugged his shoulders. “If it was a lair with that much magick there’s more. They need to die.”
Demilla nodded, “but the cops have had the building on lockdown for three days now. No way they’re there.”
“Do you think you could recognize the bane-rune if you felt it again?” Corey looked into her eyes. He sensed the Power in her.
“I think so…yes.” Demilla nodded again. “Yes.”

“Then we track them.” Corey said matter of factly, “I can show you how. We track them to their lair, wait for sunrise, and then I kill them.”
“We kill them.”

Corey laughed, “you got lucky, and little blessed, last time. You don’t know how to kill vampires.”
“I’m a quick study.” Demilla was not taking no for an answer.

Corey smiled. He nodded. “Let’s get some breakfast first. I’m starving. Hey waitress!” he called.

“Ummmm,” smiled Demilla, “I might be less magick-y than you, but I think you have to break your silence spell first….?”

“Ahh right.” Corey laughed innocently as he broke the spell, “I think I’m going to like you.”

My First Vamp 3 of 6

“You suck!” laughed Regency as Jesse’s soldier killed his dude a third time in a row.
Jesse paused the video game. “Three out of five. Pay up.” Laughed the vampire. Regency looked at Jesse and gulped. Jesse smiled, “this was sort of your idea..”

Regency had met Jesse on one of his first assignments with Corey. They infiltrated the club Jesse ran and Corey had threatened to beat Jesse up unless he spilled some information. Regency had been new and cracked a Star Wars joke. Jesse laughed and they had been friends ever since. Pals maybe. Not lovers, though flirting had definitely happened. And if Corey ever found out that Regency and Jesse were video pals he would turn Regency into a small rodent and make him spend the rest of his life running on a gerbil wheel. Literally.

“Was not!” Regency rolled his yes. He went to unbutton his shirt, thought better of it, and took of his sneaker.
“Both,” Jesse laughed, “sneakers is one item of clothing!” Jesse laughed harder and his fangs showed.
“How come sometimes you laugh and your teeth show and sometimes they don’t?” Regency asked naively.
Jesse quickly closed his mouth. He seemed embarrassed or concerned. “Sorry. Do they scare you?” he mumbled.

Now Regency felt bad. He didn’t mean to make Jesse feel bad about his fangs. It was like the bullies making fun of that kid whose name no one ever remembered except as the kid with the overbite. He felt maybe there were two schools of thought when dealing with disabilities: one was too ignore them but that seemed silly. The other, more difficult at first, would be to embrace them, even laugh about them, and in turn become a new bond with that person. So he reached up a hand, trying not to look tentative and placed it on the side of Jesse’s face. His thumb brushed the vampires lips and gently parted them to touch the teeth.

“Not at all,” Regency smiled.
Jesse pulled his head back shyly and laughed, “the other sneaker. Don’t try and get all chick-flick with me. Save that for your feel good witchy friends. Sneaker bitch!” Regency punched him in the arm, laughed and removed the other sneaker wishing to hell he had worn socks.

A lot of tapping, pushing and rolling of controllers later…

“BAM!” Regency screamed, “I pwned you! BAM! Suck it! BAM! FINALLY!” Regency stood triumphantly hands in the air! “ I got you now! I figured you out!” Regency was wearing a tank top and underwear. Nothing else. He was playing for his life, or at least what little honor he had left. Jesse was fully clothed.

“You are a horrible winner,” Jesse laughed and took of a sneaker.
“I’m down to nothing, HEY: both sneakers!” Regency barked. “I got you! I got you now. It just took me a few hours but I so got you!”
Jesse removed his other sneaker laughingly, “he wins one game out of how many? 23 or something and you think you got me? You’re basically naked in the next 20 minutes. Then the fun starts!”

“What?” Regency got still and covered his junk. “…what fun?”
“What are you going to do after you loose and have no more clothes to give me?”
“..ummm…what?” Regency blushed. “the….a….that’s…umm …when the game’s over.”
“Oh ok” Jesse rolled his eyes.
“Wait wtf?” Regency was confused.
“I don’t know but,” Jesse smiled, “when a bro asks a dude to play strip Call of Duty, a man makes some assumptions…”
“What did you…I mean what…” Regency coughed and rocked back and forth awkwardly, “what did you think was going to happen? I was gunna go all vamp?”

“No!” A silence filled the room. Jesse got weird. “Sorry. I was just…playing…… Let’s go. Reset.” He hit the controller.

“I hurt your feelings again didn’t I?” Regency sat on the couch. Unsure.
“Nah,” Jesse half-laughed. Regency knew that laugh because he had done it a million times. Like every time he lamely hit on someone and then laughed trying to turn it into a joke instead of a rejection.
“I’m sorry about the vamp line.” Regency stared at the screen.
“Don’t be,” Jesse said seriously, “never forget what I am dude.”

They both sat awkwardly. The game waited for them impatiently.

“Should I go? You’re not starting the battle?” Regency whispered.
“…maybe..” Jesse coughed.

“..ok……” Regency stood. He grabbed his jeans from the floor. He had the feeling that Jesse was watching him bend over. He froze. Did he like that Jesse was watching him? Did he want Jesse to watch him? Did he want to watch Jesse? Regency’s brain exploded. Man this was so wrong. Corey would have a triple fit if he even knew he was alone with Jesse playing games. He would probably literally kill him. Both of them. What the hell was he doing? How did he get into this mess? Was it a mess? Maybe it wasn’t? Maybe it was cool and Corey was weird about vampires and all judgmental. Maybe…..

“Are you ok?” Jesse asked.
Regency realized he had just spent a minute in thought bent over in a very odd, albeit sexual, position. He stood, “sorry I got lost in thought.”
“About bending over?”

“No…” laughed Regency. He laughed so much with Jesse. He knew he should go but part of him wanted to stay. “Do you want me to go for reals? I can. Totes go. But ya know….we started the game we should finish it. Otherwise we’ll always have this weird unfinished game between us and that would be uncool. Like every time I looked at you I’d think ‘I just finally figured out his move and never got to destroy him with it’ or like you’d always think of me as that guy who didn’t have the balls, or guts to show his balls, to finish a stupid fight game. That would suck. I don’t want to be the kind of guy that doesn’t finish a game for something as silly as a misunderstanding. I mean whatever! Shit happens man. Welcome to life. Dudes play games! Yes you are a vampire. I am a human person. Doesn’t mean we can’t eat Pringles and beat each other up? It’s basically the call of the wild or typical normal thing to do. Right? I mean come on! Dudes play games. Whatever. Do you want to stop the game?”

“Hell no!” snapped Jesse, “I want to obliterate you! Completely! Let’s finish this game brah!” Jesse stood! “We’re doin’ this!”
“Hell yea!” Regency barked as he moved forward, “hit that reset button and let’s do this game!”
“This game is ours!” Jesse fist bumped Regency’s shoulder.
“We got this game!” Regency excitedly threw down his jeans.
“It’s my bitch!” Jesse moved closer.
“I own it!” Regency yelled millimeters from Jesse’s face.
“Bam!” Jesse returned the volume. The two stood eye to eye in silence. Only their fluttering breath crossing each other’s lips.
“…bam…” Regency whispered.
“…bam.” Jesse said in a scared voice.
“…alakazam?” Regency half whispered half laughed.

A lot of tapping, pushing and rolling of bodies later…

The video game illuminated their sweaty bodies. Reflections of soldiers blowing each other to bits danced over their clenching torsos. A hand grenade was lobbed into a building and seemingly exploded on Jesse’s chest. Their bodies swayed and thrust in tandem with the video violence. Jesse arched his back and in the red glow of the bomb Regency could see his fangs fully extended.

Jesse covered his teeth with his lips and turned his face away.
“Why are you looking away?” Regency half moaned. The end was near.
“I don’t want you to see them…” Jesse tried to articulate in the throws of passion.
“NO.” Regency reached up and grabbed his lover’s shoulders. “I want to see you. All of you…” The glare in the vampire’s eyes should have scared the hell out of Regency but instead it just made him hotter, “we’re doing this!”
“No,” gasped Jesse, “we can’t go there…”
“Why not?”
“Because we can’t…” Jesse told himself. He couldn’t do that to Regency. They were friends. It had been so long since Jesse could just be himself with a real friend. And now his passion was trying to ruin that. No he had to hold on to himself. “…can’t”
“You don’t want to?” Regency was speaking without thinking.
“Want to?!?!?!” Jesse laughed as he pushed his hips harder, “ I want to more than I want to clear level 5!”
“SHUT UP!”
“For reals bro!” Jesse was gasping. He couldn’t hold out much longer. He let out a moan and freed his teeth. Trying to look at the ceiling to hide them.
“We are finishing the game!” Regency begged. He didn’t know what he was asking for but he wasn’t thinking with his brain anymore. He wanted every inch of Jesse. He needed him. This had to happen.
“I could hurt you!”
“Life is pain. This is a game! You won fair and square. Win Jesse WIN!” Regency threw back his neck as Jesse’s eyes grew wide and saliva dripped from his mouth. He paused for less than a reload and snarled as he clamped down on his bro’s neck.

Blood splattered into his mouth as he splattered everywhere else. Regency’s back convulsed in ways he never dreamed possible. His eyes rolled back until they could see heaven. His brain went numb as a smile crossed his lips. No drug had ever felt this good. He never wanted it to end. He laughed in pleasure as Jesse fed. His hands grasped the skin of his mate. He pulled and tugged wanting more and shook with a need he never knew.

Jesse collapsed. He kissed Regency’s neck, “are you ok?”
“NO…” Regency laughed, “wow…I feel…..wow”
“I know,” Jesse returned the gentle laugh, “it’ll wear off in a few hours.”
“A few HOURS? Holy crap…” Regency giggled, “am I high?”
“Kind of” Jesse wasn’t sure if he should feel guilty but right now he was just blissed out. “I hope I didn’t hurt you too much…”
“Shhh” Regency patted him sweetly, “we’re good bro. I just kind of feel woozy, but in a good way.”
“It’s ok.” Jesse rolled to his side and put a kind arm on Regency’s chest, “I’ll hold you til’ it’s over.”
Regency reached his head around. He could feel the hurt on his neck. He didn’t care. He could read the concern on Jesse’s face. He kissed him reassuringly. “Despite evidence to the contrary, “Regency tittered, “that did not suck at all.”

The video game continued silent warring as these two soldiers, mission accomplished, laughed curled up amongst chips, soda cans and a new found friendship that was all their own.

My First Vamp 4 of 6

The council convened. Eyes were serious. Heads bowed in disapproval and concern. There were seven of them seated solemnly staring at Coriander. He was kneeling, hands shackled to the earth like a dog. A rabid dog of whom they were terrified. The Commander, a few magistrates, none from his village, and an old plump woman sat in a row. She stared at Coriander with such fierceness he had to look a way. It was better to look downcast and remorseful for having broken a law of magick and used necromancy.

They each introduced themselves, all very official, Coriander barely noticed. He kept his mind to himself. He knew there were those present who could read his mind. He’d rather they did not. He had confessed. What was all this convening about? He wished they’d just sentence him and have it all done. ‘The Gods of Death greet us all, why not today,’ thought the exhausted Coriander.

“So,” the Commander’s voice bellowed to the council and room full of people who came to watch the execution, “before us is Coriander, who has confessed to practicing the arts of necromancy. The laws are strict. However, he came of his own accord…”
“He admitted it before we could smell it on him,” snapped a magistrate in golden robes, “he reeks of it. Don’t paint him a hero, master warrior.”

The Commander did not like be challenged by a politician you could see it in his eyes, “facts are facts. Each fact a stroke of paint to make clear the picture. That is what we need: a clear picture. He could have run away. But did not. As I said, he came forward of his own free will and confessed it. What he has failed to tell us is why? Why Coriander?”

“Does it matter?’ Coriander’s voice seemed weak and unfamiliar to him.

“See?’ snapped the magistrate again, “he knows it matters not…”
The Commander boomed,” I WILL HAVE A FULL ACCOUNT! Suspicion will fall on any who interfere with this process as if they, or he, has some reason to not let the facts be presented!”

The murmuring of the room bounced off the stone walls of the temple. The Commandeer had just told a magistrate to shut up or go on trial himself. Coriander couldn’t imagine why the Commander was protecting him. He had barely ever notice Coriander before today. Maybe this was all standard or maybe the Commander didn’t want it to be said any of his apprentices worked in Death.

“Now, boy,” the Commander controlled the room, “healers have attested you did in fact employ the dreadful art of necromancy but you have been silent as to why and more importantly why would you curse your own sister?

“I didn’t!” Coriander blurt out with the shouts of the room. “I didn’t…..” He wished he had shut up. That would have been a perfect answer. Like the last few days he wished he could take everything back. Go back in time…..

“We have the fact, from you Magister Father himself, that your sister and her servant did not return with you. You came back. Took to horse. Rode two days and came before us and admitted your crime. What else can we think?”

“Yes.” Coriander confessed, “I killed her with necromancy. My reasons are my own.”
“The child lies,” the plump woman barked.
Coriander searched for words…”I…I…does it matter? Just be done with it. Rip out my heart or whatever it is you do,” he cried a little which made him furious at his eyes.

“Coriander,” the Commander’s voice grew compassionate, “you admit to using the art and then lie on whom it was employed? I detest being confused. Please, and we will know if speak false, who did you use the arts on? Speak.”

Coriander knew he had to come clean, well as clean as he could, “on a vampire.”

The room exploded in commotion. Jeers, screams and even laughter were thrown at the chained boy. The magistrate in golden robes sneered, “we haven’t seen a vampire in hundreds of years. This boy is mad! Slay him before he causes more chaos!”

“You are ill informed Magistrate,” the plump woman spoke in simple no-nonsense sentences, “ we have information that an Egyptian cadre has been seen in the southern states and rumors of a northern tribe. The boy lives East, if he is correct, we are being surrounded.”

The room exploded again in fury and fear. “THIS IS ABSURD!” shouted the magistrate. “The boy lies! He uses the Death Arts how can you trust such a despicable creature!”

The Commander lifted his hands silencing the room. “I know you are scared Coriander. But now more than ever, the council needs to know everything. Please start at the beginning. Please. Where did the vampire, if it was a vampire, come from, what did it look like..”

Coriander shook his head and said nothing.

“Commander,” whispered the plump woman, “may I?” The Commander looked sad but defeated. He nodded. Coriander realized everyone had gone silent. Who was this powerful woman who could silence them all? She stood, she was so short the act didn’t change her size but somehow she grew in a way that made many look away. She walked up to Coriander and placed a hand on his face. It was gentle and smelled of sweet grass. “Now child start at the beginning.”

Coriander felt himself relax. Part of him knew she had put a spell on him but for some reason he didn’t care. He wanted to tell this woman everything, anything, she asked of him. He needed to tell her. So he did.

“We went on a moon picnic,” Coriander said without emotion, “Saffron is coming of age and has many admirers. We thought it would be,” Coriander tripped over the next word, “…f—fun to go out beneath the full face of the White Goddess and practice divination and see who best would love her. We brought Reeci along to watch. They are, were friends more than anything, inseparable….. When the Moon was high I grabbed my seeing stones and entered a trance…I do not know how long I was unaware but before I could cast, I heard a voice scream. I knew I had to wake up from the state. I struggled and as I came conscious I was hit with something on the back of the head and everything went dark.” Coriander’s eyes swelled.

The woman’s hand went to the back of Coriander’s head, “so you were. Go on when did you next wake up? It’s alright you can tell me.”

Coriander relaxed again and continued in his daze, “When I woke I was tied to a low branch of a tree. My head hurt. I could hardly breathe my head felt like it was full of rocks pushing against my skull. There was a fire glowing. I adjusted my eyes. I was bleeding from my neck and nose. Not a lot, just enough to trickle down my body. I was able to see the blood fall. It landed on what was left of Reeci. She was ripped open at the base of my tree. I lifted my head and, Hera be naught, he was on top of my sister. He had dirty light colored hair, like straw, his eyes were…were…were wrong. And blood was everywhere. He was at her neck drinking her and…..and….on top of…..”

“He was ravishing her?” the plump woman offered and increased her spell in the now silent room.

“…yes..” Coriander swallowed tears, “She was looking at me with huge happy eyes. I think she was laughing…..the man looked up and smiled at me. He had sharp pointed teeth. I fought the rope but couldn’t move. He told me that he was taking my sister…that she would be his forever…but to do so she would feast on me first. Saffron laughed. He called her pet. She looked at me…like…a sister does not look at a brother.

“I got scared. I knew from school that if she killed me she’d turn. I also knew she’d do whatever he told her to do. I knew I had to kill him. I couldn’t think. My head hurt. I screamed ‘I’ll kill you! You dead daughter of nightmares. I’ll KILL YOU!” Coriander screamed in the hall. “I was so angry I let the Power take me…but different Power. It hurt…..”

The plump woman held his head tight, “what did you do child?”

“I spoke the words. The ones I read on a Dead-Lovers tomb. Part of me knew I shouldn’t but most of me wanted to kill him. To spill hi sblood. To makehim deader than he already was.” Coriander’s voice became raspy as he quoted, “Rotting bone, decaying tooth of stone. Naught the Sun nor Moon to East blood rite of child decea….”

“DO NOT let him speak those words here!” the Commander frantically called to the woman. “Death Arts spoken in temple!”

“If they worked we may need to know the spell,” snapped the woman, “but perhaps not here or now.” She referred to the listening ears of the room, “What happened then boy? Did the vampire die?”

“Not exactly,” Coriander’s voice returned to normal as he searched for the words, “he was affected. I used my bond of blood with my sister to corrupt the blood had had drunk. I poisoned him with a curse of the dead. His eyes grew wide. He stumbled around. He fell to his knees screaming. Then the tree broke. The branch I mean. It just snapped off. Like the tree itself wanted to discard the rotted branch I hung on. I didn’t care. On the ground, I easily slipped out of the bonds and picked up the branch. The vampire looked at me with terrified eyes. He went to put his hands up and block me but I deepened the curse and his arms were thrown wide. It made an easy target. I thrust the branch into his heart with all the Power darkness would give me.

“He turned to dust. I smiled. I did. I was happy. Maybe like drunk, a little, but on darkness. My veins looked like they were green and flowed backwards. I tried to calm my breath and get the Power out of me before it took me. Finally I remembered myself. That’s what happened.”

The crowd murmured and seemed confused but pleased at the tale. Even the golden magistrate was no longer furious. No one in the room doubted the story no one wanted to believe, but the repercussions of such events were endless. Who could punish a boy for stopping his sister’s killer?

“And your sister?” continued the plump woman. Silence returned. People had forgotten about the sister. Coriander said nothing. “Speak boy!”

“Please don’t make me,” Coriander’s eyes came into focus. He had fought off the spell much to the shock of the old woman. “Please.”

“Coriander,” the Commander spoke in such a fatherly voice Coriander had to look at him to make sure it was still the Commander, “you must tell us the whole truth. Your family deserves to know what became of their daughter.”

“They don’t.” Coriander cried, “no one deserves that…” Coriander knew had to finish the story. Tears streamed down his face, His breathing labored and gasping he reached out for the old woman’s hand for strength. She gave it to him and Coriander could see wetness on her cheeks too. “I had forgotten about her in the fight. I was…single minded? I guess. I didn’t see her slip past me. They say the thirst, when you first change, is uncontrollable, that’s what I’ve read. And it must be true. You see….Reeci wasn’t dead. She was still alive. I didn’t know. She looked dead, but Saffron…she…she…I turned around and she was…eating her. She was on her neck. Eating her. I just stood there. Nothing I did nothing. Then she…Saffron, ripped Reeci’s head off…like a doll…like what bullies to do little girl’s dolls. It came off and landed on the ground. The fire light…. Then Saffron, or whoever she was now, laughed. A laugh like my sister could never laugh and probably had never heard. She blew me a kiss and ran off into the night. Laughing. Laughing…I didn’t do anything…I….didn’t…..”

The room was quiet except for the crying of Coriander. It was a horrible sound. “I have…I have to…don’t I?”

Coriander hadn’t heard the Commander leave the table and come to his side. He put and arms around the boy and lifted him up. Coriander felt like a baby cradled by the strong man. The Commander whispered to him, “we’re going to take care of this Coriander. Your family is en route. We will help you all through this. But for now sleep.”

“Commander,” the golden robed magistrate stood, “he used necromancy. The laws are clear….” Commotion again was raised. Coriander couldn’t follow all the voices. He couldn’t stop crying nestled in the Commander’s arms. One voice came out strong. It was the old plump woman.

“He is now under my direct protection, harm him and make war with me!” She attacked the room with Power. Silence fell. The magistrate sat. She put a kind hand of the boy and whispered, “sleep now child. Sleep I say.”

Coriander’s eyes grew heavy and he fell asleep. He didn’t dream. Instead he felt safe. Oddly safe. Safety like the world was all right again. A world where vampires didn’t exist. Where the Moon Goddess spoke in riddles about true love. Where children laughed. Where his sister was still his best friend and he wouldn’t have to kill her.

My First Vamp 5 of 6

Dearest Alexandra:

I pray this letter arrives in time or you will think me vulgar and unappreciative of all you have done for me. I will not be able to meet you at the summer palace for the christening and presentation. Unfortunately, a new development has arrived that needs my complete attention. I know you will agree with the severe importance of this matter. The undead, my dear, are spreading. I shall grant you a full account.

Three months ago on a carriage ride in the middle of the night, through the provinces of Romania, we were attacked by, I shall call them, wolves. But “wolves” lacks the size and determination of these beasts. They set upon our party with goals. Not as you would imagine, the goals of feasting or hunger, but more human goals of theft and murder. The wolves did not drag away and eat anyone. They did not kill the horses. Instead they plundered.

My travelling companion and I heard the commotion. The carriage came to a full stop and men screamed. As I leapt from the box, I was already to late. Blood covered the lane and pieces of coachmen and riders were strewn about. I grabbed a fallen torch and held it high. In my right hand I called forth the Power to defend. I heard the growling all around me. They did not attack me. I think I confused them. I know that sounds odd, even for me. There I was standing strong, holding the torch high. I was wearing a white floor-length fur coat topped with that wonderful ushanka you gifted me. I do not know if they could “see” the barrier I had created. But they circled and paused as if deciding what I was. I believe they thought me a woman. I think that saved my life.

The wolves “looked” at one another in a sentient human-like manner, but I did not detect werewolf on them. Instead, rather, I got the impression that they were being mind controlled somehow by something. But what? One growled and jumped up at me. Not fiercely, more a test I think. It hit the barrier and fell. Slowly the beasts backed up. If they had been men I would have been certain that they were thieves, desiring horses and gold, and when finding the taking not so easy, choosing wisely to abandon their cause.

Abraham, my companion, came lumbering out of the coach, stunned and useless. We climbed up to the reins. I gave him the torch and bade the horses forward as fast as we dare. The entire way to the small village he babbled. Begged me what was happening? What had I done? How had I done it? I dared not tell him the facts. He was so panicking I didn’t want to scare him further. But I knew. I had heard the legends though never encountered the foe. There was vampire on our trail.

I could hear the wolves, far off calling to one another, as we arrived at the small gated village. We were met with fear, uncertainty and admiration for our survival. I had to shut Abraham up repeatedly. Luckily most of what he was muttering was in Dutch so the poor people had no idea of what witchcraft he spake. The site, however, of this large handsome man behaving in a most child-like and terrified manner, and guarded by me, a statuesque gorgeous woman in fur, made for suspicious eyes and a lot of guess work. I managed to get out in rough Italian, Russian and some other dialects I have collected that we needed food and sleep. They led us to a small inn where our horses would be fed and we could sleep until the morning. We did not sleep.

We were given food, gruel basically and stale bread, but how grateful I was. We took it in our room guided by a lovely silver candleholder. I was starving and exhausted but Abraham was craving other tastes than gruel. The moment our door closed Abraham came at me with desirous eyes. The passion of flight and fear had brought him from childish babbling to adolescent wants. I fulfilled them of course, a story for another time when we are alone my dear…but I tell you this sordid fact because it saved our lives. Had we been sleeping, as my pillow had begged earlier, we would have been easy prey for the woman who visited our room. But as it turned out we were aglow in the moisture of post-amour, and so, were very aware, when the window slid open.

I put a hand on Ab’s mouth. It was dark. She didn’t know we were well awake or her style would have been different. She brazenly climbed over the sill. I grabbed the recently extinguished candlestick by our bed. She landed silently illuminated by the full moon on her white dress. She was lender but strong. Her long hair fluttered in the wind. Far off wolves howled. I couldn’t hear her breathe. Behind her, near the door, was a mirror. She cast no reflection. I now had proof she was the vampire.

She slowly, sexually, like some well-paid mistress of extremes, came towards us. I had few options. I could jump up and try to impale her with the silver candlestick, a method I had heard would work along with wood, but she would be very fast. Too fast. Instead I laughed. I know not where I found that bravery. But laugh I did, “come sister, I have feats enough for us both…” said I.

Abraham made protest, actual fear engulfed him, which was good, for I am sure he would have been a terrible thespian. I clamped my hand harder on his mouth. I wickedly, seductively lounged while silencing him and waiting for response from the woman at the end of my bed. When it came I was surprised. She spoke eloquently. I could not place the accent or more like it was a thousand accents in one. “Sister?” she purred, “maybe, possibly, but I hear your heart so think not and yet I see your magick as well as your manhood and taste your fear as well as your resolve….”

I shuttered. This opponent was obviously unafraid of anything I had to offer. I thought about calling forth a barrier spell and protecting us but knew, even if I could set it up before she attacked I would never be able to keep it up till dawn. So instead I laughed again, “define me by sight and smell and taste all you wish, dear, I am often called Madame, but have other names too. How may I call you?”

“You will call me conqueror soon,” she giggled, “I am amused by you. I will grant you answer before I, yes taste you, as you are Madame of many name and no more, you may call me Countess of the countless and more to come.” Then in the moonlight I could see her reach down and grab Abraham’s foot. He struggled but was useless against her grip. She brought his ankle to her mouth and bit. I clasped my hand down harder on his mouth. If he screamed he would wake the inn and then who knows how many innocents this creature would kill. I knew she’d enjoy it. I watched as Abraham’s body relaxed and seemed to teeter on ecstasy. I let go of his mouth. It was smiling.

I knew if I was too save him from future torment of the undead succubus she had to die. I had heard the legends on how even one bite could cause a dangerous link to these creatures. I was sworn to protect him and now my oath would mean its worth. The Countess rubbed his leg and smiled at me. Daring me. Threatening me? I sat up and straddled his chest naked and daring, threatening her back.

The act caught her off guard, “ do you wish to play with me? Joy! So long since I had a playmate. Do throw your magick at me! Oh how the Count will love you! I will make you a present to him. Perhaps I see a future for you? Our daughters are such a handful maybe a new playmate will inspire them. Yes, I will take your magick and you will serve us, in so may ways, such delightful ways, and your power will grow in ways you cannot imagine. When I saw you through my pets’ eyes I knew I had to taste you and your magick but I never dreamed you would become so….enticing. The things we shall do! You shall aids us as we take back this miserable world and rule it with fang and blood!!!!!” She set down the foot, wiped the trickle of blood off her chin and sucked at the finger as she too straddled Abraham.

I flinched not. Gulped not. I smiled instead. I took my free hand and rubbed my naked torso whispering, “you wish to taste my magick?”

“Oh very much my love!” she cooed as she advanced. I shutter a pleasurable moan and took a deep breath seeming to bend my neck as an offering. I used that breath to call forth Power. Strength for the Earth herself willed up two stories, through beams and brick it surged up through the bed. The countess’ eyes fixed on my throat. I welled with strength, my muscles burned. Her teeth became elongated as she leaned forward and teased my vein. I grasped the candlestick with my right hand and rammed it with unnatural strength into her chest. “Taste that!” I yelled.
She shook. Her face lost any of its beauty as it became shrunken and wicked looking. Outside wolves howled. Her body crumbled as her eyes, still in shock, begged me for mercy. Then there was nothing but dust and an empty white dress.

Abraham came back to his sense and made love to me again with vigor. He seems a changed man. Ready to become some sort of warrior. I think he’s going to ask me to marry him. Me? Mrs. Van Helsing? I think not. We are however, now joined in common goal. He is obsessed with learning all about magick, vampires and predators and I need a financier. We seem to balance one another. We assume the count she spoke of lives not far off. We hope to catch him unaware. There are rumors of a strange royal, possibly a count, moving to London. They whisper the name Dracula here. I care not for whispers. An undead succubus is an undead succubus and it must die. You cannot trust rumors, but a vampire in London? The city would be filled with the living-dead in a fortnight. I shutter to think such things. We are not currently sure if it is the same count or his intentions, but we aim to find out.

I do hope you understand the importance or our newly rearranged travels. We will be scouring the Romanian country side and attempting to find any wispy leads whilst being shadows ourselves. I hate to miss the christening but will make up for it. We should be done with this business before the winter creeps up. The summer is kind enough, but the idea of wandering about in the snow gives me pause.

I will write as soon as I can. Delivery systems here are not reliable. I don’t dare trust the baby’s gift with any messenger. I will in time delivery it myself, never worry. The blessings will not fade. I shall find a lovely make-amends gift for you too. Perhaps a lovely necklace of vampire teeth? I know how you love mysticism and magickal beats. Figuring out how to remove their teeth before they turn to dust is an exciting experiment I cannot wait to tackle. Be well dear, my love to all your family and best wishes to Niki’s continued recovery.

Affections,

Madame

PS Send my deepest love to Grigori and tell him I study everyday to make him proud. Please leave out the Abraham parts. You know how jealous he is.

My First Vamp 6 of 6

Sun streamed through the windows of the warehouse like some deep and meaningful 90’s music video. Regency was late as usual. He was incredibly nervous which was new. He had lied. You don’t lie to people you love. He had to tell them about Jesse. But how would they react? These were his friends. They would understand. Would they? They had the right to know. The need to know, but it was so long ago maybe it didn’t count? ‘It counts,’ Regency thought, ‘it all counts. Man up.’ Outside a couple of warehouse workers were hanging-out waiting for whatever mess “the crew” was cleaning up was safe. They seemed to not mind getting paid to hangout and smoke cigarettes. Regency, wearing his costumes had nodded to them. He took a sigh and walked farther into the gigantic space and found his friends cleaning.

Corey was using a shop-vac. Demilla was using a broom to sweep out the vampire dust in between crates. Madame was on a ladder holding two feather dusters in each hand cleaning the hanging florescent light fixtures. Regency wanted to laugh but was too nervous.

Corey saw him first, “welcome to the glamorous world of monster hunting!” He laughed as he turned of the very loud shop-vac.
“Finally,” Demilla grunted. “You’re late. Did you bring the masks, killer?”
“Yea…ummm sorry..” Regency handed her the Rite-Aid bag filled with protective masks.
“Uhg,’ re-grunted Demilla, “I needed you to go to Home Depot and get the good kind. No one wants to inhale vamp dust all day!”
Regency fumbled his words, “Oh I didn’t know…”

“Philip!” Madame called as she descended from the ladder like Sophia Loren might deplane, “what is it?” Of course she’d know something was wrong first. Madame was the most susceptible to emotions. She also adored Regency, even calling him Philip instead of his family name. Regency made an attempt to answer her but instead his eyes welled up.

Demilla dropped her broom.
Corey ran over, “what is it?”

“I have a confession to make,” Regency gulped. They were friends. He could trust them. What of they hated him? What if they never trusted him again? He knew immediately he wished he kept his mouth shut. In the next second he was ashamed to even think of lying to his friends. His pause was met with concerned eyes. That just made it harder.

“You can tell us anything,” smiled Corey.
“Come on man,” nodded Demilla kindly, “we toasted a cadre of satanic vamps together!”
“They weren’t…..” Madame and Corey said together.
“I KNOW” snapped Demilla. She alluded to an argument over brewskies the night before. “Yes we’ve cleared the whole vampires versus Satan confusion. I was just being dramatic.”
“…not more dramatic than Regency,” jested Madame.
“Hey,” Corey put a hand on Regency’s shoulder, “it can’t be that bad?”

“I…I..” Regency took a deep breath, “…I let Jesse bite me.”

“…what?” Corey’s jaw dropped.
“…oh my,” whispered Madame.
“When? How often? Did you bite back?” Demilla was forever a cop first, “REGENCY! How many times?”
“Once,” Regency noticed each of them had silently slid a foot into a fighting stance. He had never been on that side of their stances before. It was terrifying. He knew what those poses meant. He knew what they could do.

“Oh just once?” Demilla relaxed. “ha can’t change from….”
Corey tensed, “….when…..”
“A while ago…” Regency wasn’t sure how much information to give, “I’ve seen Jesse a few times, for work too, and ok, he’s like a video guru, but I only let him bite me that once. It was like a year ago!” Regency felt like he was in high school all over again except the stakes were a lot higher. He had betrayed Corey. Corey’s face showed it. Regency knew now he had to tell the whole truth. So he did. Every last vivid detail. He gave a full account.

“Oh my!” Madame laughed. “I can see why you did it. And you went back?”
“Yes but not to feed. No more feeding. It scared me,” Regency continued to confess, “I mean at first I thought I’d let him again but then the dreams started. Weird dreams. And I’d sweat a lot. It freaked me out. We both knew we had done something wrong…”

“Ya think?” Demilla snapped. “I never bought that one-bite brain-fusion bullshit anyway. I’m glad you told us. That was an incredibly stupid thing to do that by the way…”
“I’ll kill him,” Corey grunted angrily, “I’ll sun that son of a jackal. I’ll flay him with iron of the killing tree. He’s dead…”
“Corey it wasn’t totally his…” Regency trying to take responsibility for his actions reached out a hand to Corey.

SMACK Corey backhanded Regency. He had only meant to slap his hand away but his anger filled the slap with intensity and Corey’s long arms connected with Regency’s face. He fell to the dusty ground. Corey looked surprised at his actions. Half of him wanted to apologize and the other half wanted to kick his nerd butt. He loomed over him. Furious. Confused. Regency brought up his hand to his lip. Blood.
“Oh look blood,” Corey said in a very un-Corey voice, “maybe you need to give that to your lover? Should we have saved one of these creeps for you last night?”

He took a cruel step forward but Demilla was quicker. She put herself between the two, “Back down right the hell now. I mean it Corey. Back down. You are not thinking clearly…”
“I’M NOT thinking clearly?” Corey grunted more, “ME? How about him! Blood bank over there!”
“He’s a kid. He did something stupid,” Demilla’s voice was even.
“I should teach him a lesson about disobeying orders!” Corey stepped forward.

A blur moved so quickly Regency didn’t realize it was Madame moving until she stopped by Demilla’s side, “raise a hand to that boy again and you will incur the wrath of Madame!”

Something in her voice or perhaps faced off with two friends made Corey stop. He looked at the ceiling and visibly tried to control his breathing. His eyes pulsed with anger he couldn’t let go. Demilla and Madame didn’t flinch. They stared him down. Eventually Corey took three steps back and the room relaxed a mili-bit.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to actually hit him…you, Regency. I think.” he mumbled. “Do you have any idea of what could happen to you? To us? How many times have I explained Jesse isn’t your friend? He’s a bad guy. Possibly the ultimate bad guy because you don’t think he is! What could you possibly have been thinking! You never think things through. Actions have consequences!” Corey took a beat and wiped his face as if trying to pull his rage back in. Silence filled the room. Regency knew better than to stand. “I am sorry I hit you Phil. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Here get up Let me see…” Corey reached a hand down and helped Regency to his feet.

Regency stood bleeding and scared. He didn’t know what to do or say. Every sentence seemed stupider than the last. Madame spoke, “well if everyone is done with violence, we need to think about what comes next? Does Jesse have thrall on Philip? Is he crossing over? Can he be trusted? I don’t wish to stake you dear but if it comes to it I’ll make it clean and painless…as possible…I think.”

“That’s being done with violence?” Regency tried a joke. “I’m fine. I don’t dream about him. I won’t see him again if you want. I’m not crossing anything. I’m bleeding and I’m not all like ‘yea I get to drink blood’ or anything. Trust? I can only hope you still trust me.”

“We do.” Said Demilla before the others. It seemed to shock her as much as Regency when she said it. She laughed, “you made a bad call. I’ve done worse. A lot worse. Don’t ask. It’s been like a year Corey there no way he’s enthralled after a year. The important thing is you came clean and ARE NOT DOING IT AGAIN.”

“Never.” Regency smiled. He gave Madame puppy eyes. “We good?”
“Oh dear,” Madame hugged him tightly, which Regency allowed because of present circumstances but did not like, “of course little one. And now I’ll keep an extra eye on you! And a wooden stake handy. Not to say I don’t trust you. But I am not Madame because I am unprepared!”
“I’ll take that as a yes we’re good,” Regency un-hugged himself from Madame’s grasp. He looked at Corey, which is not to say he met his eyes but looked towards him, “boss?”

Corey sighed and huffed a tiny bit. He wanted to forgive the kid but also wanted to let him know this was a big deal, “I don’t know. I’m just being honest. You endangered yourself and our work. What we do is really important Reg. Do you get that?”

“Yes.” Regency gulped, “now especially. When I hung out with Jesse I was still pretty new. I’ve learned and seen a lot over the last year. I wouldn’t make the same mistake now.”

“OK I forgive you,” Corey said but his body didn’t relax, “it’s really my fault. I should have been clearer. Or maybe let you see who he really was. Or make you understand the importance. Fault lies with me.”

Regency suddenly got the idea that Corey wasn’t only upset for Regency’s sake but that perhaps he was jealous. Corey was jealous of Jesse. The idea made Regency hide the smile on his face. It was like two great knights of the magickal world were fighting over his love or something. It was cool. Romantic, even. Regency wanted to assure Corey he’d never cheat on him again. That he meant more to him than anyone, even a champion of video games, ever could. Regency let himself smile just a bit and looked at Corey, “So. What do we do now?”

“Grab the shop-vac and help these two get rid of this dust.” Corey shrugged his shoulders and grabbed his jacket.
“And where are you going?” asked Demilla.
“I’m going to kill Jesse,” Corey said matter-of-factly like someone saying ‘I’ll grab bread on the way home dear.’

Wide eyes of Madame looked at Demilla who then looked at Regency. None of them said anything. Madame was simply stunned. Demilla had known this was a possibility from Regency’s confession. Regency knew better than to protect his friend. He would look like some sort of vamp sympathizer. He couldn’t protect Jesse without looking like he was under a spell or thrall. They had agreed to forgive him. That was not the same thing as forgetting what he had done.

‘Consequences’ Corey had kept telling him during their training. ‘Every action has consequences, from thrust and parry to magick and spells…” Regency had always nodded saying he understood and wishing Corey would teach him something cooler than consequences. Now the reality of action and consequence was real. Too real. Corey was off to kill Jesse and it was his fault and he couldn’t stop it. Regency didn’t feel romantic at all anymore. He felt sick to his stomach. He sighed, felt his neck wound and mumbled, “I suck.”