As darkness descended the tension ramped up in the small house. They had a plan, they knew it would work, if Calaul acted and reacted in the ways they expected. They'd even counted on the fact the vampire assassin might not respond quite as expected and had planned for such events. Unfortunately, as Simeon had pointed out, all they knew about Calaul was based on rumor and Simeon's encounters with him several centuries previously.
"By now he is both older and undoubtedly wiser, so he may well zig instead of zagging so to speak."
"Then obviously we'll need to be ready for any contingency and, to use another bad analogy, play it as it lays."
Now Vergil was in the main room on the ground floor of the house, seemingly totally involved in the book he held in his hands, a gun lying partially hidden under one of the pillows. Occasionally he'd glance at the open door under the stairway to check the security monitor for any signs of something larger than a small animal in the vicinity.
Below him Simeon waited in the wine cellar. The door was locked, which was not a problem as Simeon had the misting ability of most vampires, especially ones as old as he. He had also masked his presence so as not to forewarn Calaul he was in the vicinity.
If this doesn't happen tonight I'm going to go bug fuck. Vergil's hands tightened on the book. He had no idea what he was supposedly reading, and at the moment he didn't care. The lines on the page were just blurs as he kept all his senses alert for anything out of the norm. Another glance at the monitor told him there was nothing out there. Come on, come on, let's get this over.
Simeon was calmer, as calm comes with age, but still wanted the night to end, and successfully, for both their sakes. He scanned the house with all his highly attuned senses. Nothing. Or maybe… He heard a sound, so low no human would have picked up on it. Someone was on the porch. So much for the damned perimeter security system. But then in truth it had been set up to detect the presence of bodies, alive or dead. He knew in that instant Calaul had undoubtedly misted in. He had warned Vergil that might happen, and if Calaul did it would only be a problem in that he'd arrive at the house without the security system picking up on it. In his mist form that was all the vampire could do, travel unseen. After that he'd have to revert to his physical body.
Vergil tried not to react when he felt a breath of a breeze when the door began to open. Closing the book he casually stood and wandered into the kitchen. When he got to the refrigerator he put one hand on the door as if planning to open it, then used his other hand to swing it away from the wall just enough to squeeze through the opening onto the stairs. He didn't bother to turn on the light, making his way down by memory alone.
He heard a soft chuckle above him and knew Calaul was close behind him. "You forgot your gun," the assassin said, tossing the broken halves so they bounced down the stairs past Vergil.
Vergil swore softly, the way a human target would when they realized they'd screwed up, and continued to move as fast as possible until he reached the basement. He barely made it to the door to the safe room when a hand gripped his shoulder, swinging him around.
Calaul stared at him, a wicked smile on his lips. "What's behind the door? An armory? A panic-room? Open it Mr. Orbryn." When Vergil hesitated, forcing himself to tremble as if he was terrified, which was half true, Calaul dug long, sharp fingernails into his shoulder, piercing his skin.
"Damn it," Vergil croaked out, "I have to punch in the code."
Vergil did. Then he tried to spin free of the vampire's knife-like nails. He felt his skin tear and bit back a cry of pain.
"Stupid, but not unexpected." Calaul's voice was low and vicious as he added, "One wrong move and you will discover how much pain fire can inflict. I won't kill you, yet, but you may well wish I had."
Vergil nodded, opening the door. As soon as there was enough space he darted into the room, sliding to one side of the door. Calaul was inside seconds later. He lifted his hand and flames surrounded Vergil's legs.
"What are you?" Calaul screamed in rage when the flames didn't burn Vergil. A gun seemed to spring into his hand, pointed at Vergil's chest. "I asked you a question."
Vergil smiled grimly. "Shoot me and you'll never find out, will you, presuming a bullet can penetrate my shield." As he spoke he kept his eyes fastened on Calaul's, praying he wouldn't turn away.