I should have been more excited when I arrived home. For a brief moment, it did hit me; my disciples were gathered together, by my side. For that small space of time, it was almost like the old days, when a much larger coven gathered together. The thrill of future possibilities ran through my body. That only served to sharpen my fear, however. We were just myth now; too few of us existed to be otherwise. Our invisibility is truly our only shield. So to now meet mortals that not only knew how to kill a vampire, but also seemed to be practiced at it…it was disturbing, to say the least. It was these thoughts that preoccupied me for the rest of that night.
I am sure my disciples could feel my uneasiness. Faye, in spite of her immense curiosity, said not a word when Juventino and I arrived home. She merely stared, first at the somber look on my face, then at Juventino. She knew who he was–even if I had never said a word to her, she would have felt the connection. Juventino, on the other hand, was beyond restless, pacing to and fro like a caged lion. He acknowledged Faye with a slight nod, but for the most part, stayed in his own dark thoughts.
I considered what I knew so far, which was precious little. I knew the priest’s name; I easily picked up that information from his mind. Finding out exactly how to find him…though it may take some time, it wouldn’t that great of a challenge. I had ways of finding things out, certain connections to the mortal world I used from time to time. I made a few phone calls to begin the search, then curled up into the darkest corner of the room to think and to plan
I was now exposed to him; I could not assume that he would be unprepared the next time we met. Obviously, the direct approach was out of the question. I had an idea, though, an ace in the hole. Something they would not be likely to expect. Assuming, of course, I was right about something.
As dawn approached, as we all prepared to rest for the day, I took Faye aside for a moment. “Tonight, you and I have a task to do.” Faye, her curiosity nearly as insatiable as her bloodlust, was nonetheless insightful enough to know that I wasn’t going to reveal a thing until I was ready to tell her. She nodded in agreement, and that was all. Juventino was not happy about staying behind, but I promised him that his time would come. This was a job that only Faye could do.
I awoke the moment the sun sank below the horizon. My sources, as reliable as ever, already had the information I needed waiting for me in my E-mail. Time was of the essence at this point, and I unceremoniously jerked Faye from her slumber. Our destination firmly in mind, I took her from our home to a dark little place located strategically close to the priest. His parrish was a poor one; the church was located in the most desolate, run-down area of town. Interesting that his humble little church–chapel, really–was undergoing some rather expensive renovations. The rectory itself faced a long-abandoned warehouse, a place where drug addicts scuttled about like cockroaches. This was our destination.
“It’s still daylight!” gasped Faye as she glanced around, taking in her surroundings.
Moving across time zones was a bitch. While I usually tried to stay in darkness, today’s task required us to be there just as the sun started to weaken its influence on the world. I led her to a doorway that faced the rectory. No sunlight poured to where we stood, but the daylight just outside made the area uncomfortably hot. At least, for the likes of us. Faye, clearly unnerved, averted her eyes from the brightness. Not that I enjoyed standing there any more that she did, but I had withstood worse. Morgan was not exactly what you would call a fun-loving sire, if you have not already guessed.
“Faye” I said, commanding her complete attention. Sensing her time to discover my plan was near, she gazed at me intently. I pointed to the rectory door. “I want you to go knock on the priest’s door and convince him to come here. Make up a story. Tell him you have a relative that overdosed in this pit.”
Faye nodded her head, “Of course Ruby!”
As she wasn’t moving, I knew I needed to clarify my instructions. “I need you to do that right now.”
Faye, thinking that I had to be joking, started to laugh, but the serious look I gave her stopped her cold. Frowning, she looked at me, then at the ever-so-bright doorway. “Ruby…” she started to say, but I had no time for this. I grabbed her arm, drug her closer to the doorway, then forced her to stick her hand into the sunlight. She gasped as the sunlight warmed her flesh, her bloodless skin turning a slight pink in the sun’s rays. Summoning all her strength, she managed to break free from me. With an injured look on her face, she held her hand tightly to her chest. “It’s HOT.” she exclaimed.
Without humor, I smiled. “Not as hot as it is for me,” I replied, and with that I stuck my own hand out into the light. Immediately my skin began to bubble, then char. Just as quickly, I jerked my hand back into the sweet darkness, tendrils of smoke still rising from my burnt flesh. Merde. That was going to take forever to heal.
Wide-eyed, Faye stared at my hand, then slowly she looked again at her own hand. At that point, I had to chuckle. “Don’t let it go to your head,” I told her, “I would not suggest going to Ecuador and taking a walk at noon. At least, not yet. But now, so close to dusk, this far north, you should be alright. This is why it had to be you that came with me. Your talent is exceptionally rare–I doubt they would be expecting it.”
I could feel the questions swirling in her mind, “But how…” she began.
“No time, Faye.” I said. “You need to do this now, while the sun is up and his guard is down. Feed on me for strength, then go.”
Eagerly she bit into me, both her excitement and her fear growing with each drop of my blood. I admit, I envied her–to walk so boldy into the hateful sunlight. Finally, she was ready, and she faced the glowing doorway. With her head held high and facing her enemy, she walked out into the yard. Her face set squarely on the rectory door, Faye strolled just as casually as you please through the sunlit yard. Again the heat gave her skin a pinkish cast, but that only served to give her the illusion of life. She wasted no time in pounding on the priest’s door; even from where I stood I could see her anxiety begin to grow. That, of course, only served to make the lie she then told the priest–about her little sister OD’ing in the warehouse–that much more believable. He made a move to go back into his home, but Faye grabbed him and began pulling him toward the warehouse, appearing to weep all the while. The acting was beautiful, though I knew her anxiety was quite real.
“Please hurry, she’s right over here.” I heard Faye say as they neared, the priest looking nervously around the yard and up toward the sun.
Finally, the priest was in the warehouse, and Faye collapsed the moment she was in the darkness. The priest immediately went to her to offer his help.
“Miss, are you OK?” he said in a thickly accented voice as he bent down to render aid.
“Oh, she’ll be just fine,” I replied, and the priest whirled around to face me. I relished the look of panic on his face: the wild, darting eyes; the fast, shallow breaths; and most importantly, the quickened heartbeat. I always did like a little adrenaline in my blood–gives it an almost spicy flavor, IMO. The priest wasn’t completely unprepared; quickly he whipped out the vampire-hunter’s favorite trinket. Sighing, I grabbed the crucifix right out of his hand. I tossed it unceremoniously over my shoulder, then grabbed the priest for a drink. Ugh. Cheap communion wine. Nasty. Faye began to stir as I fed, but did not quite have the energy to do more than stare. It wasn’t long before the priest was unconscious. Dragging my prisoner with one hand, and holding on to Faye with the other, I transported us back home. I left Faye in Juventino’s care, then tranported the priest to yet another location. Now I only wait for him to wake up. Then he and I can have a little chat.
For now, I can only sit and brood.