As soon as he was off work for the night Kemp changed back into his jeans and shirt, checked that his knives weren’t visible, and headed out onto Bourbon. The night was warm and the street still crowded with tourists and locals out for a good time. Kemp knew he had very little cash to spare. That meant either going back to the rat-trap of a hotel he’d stayed at for a couple of nights the last time he’d been in New Orleans, or finding a safe place to sleep rough.
He decided to check out some spots he knew of where it might still be safe to bed down for the night, away from prying eyes. One was down by the river front so he headed that way. As he walked the familiar streets he remembered all the times he and Owen had done the same thing. He paused at the spot where he’d first met Rikard, when the vampyre had thought he was going to slay Owen. He and Owen had laughed about that later but at the time Kemp hadn’t been sure he wouldn’t be the one dying.
When he got to the river front more memories came surging back of his times with Owen. This had been their favorite place in the city and they’d spent many hours here just talking and walking, getting to know each other. Kemp wondered if Owen had ever come here again after they’d been forced into separation.
It didn’t take long for him to discover that the spot he’d been looking for had been taken over by a couple of street kids who had no intention of sharing their space with him. So he headed back through the Quarter to the other side. He knew the place that he was thinking about would not be as safe, but if he was careful and stayed on high alert he’d be able to avoid any vampyres that used mausoleums in the cemetery as their hidey-holes during the day.
When he reached Rampart he paused, sensing the presence of a lone vampyre on the prowl. Locating him, Kemp watched from a distance as the vampyre homed in on a young man, obviously drunk, a few yards ahead of him. The vampyre caught up with his intended victim, gripping his arm to drag him into the darkened doorway of an abandoned building.
Kemp pulled out his knives as he quickly but silently joined the pair. The vampyre had shoved the inebriated man against the wall and was just about to start feasting when he must have felt Kemp’s arrival. He whirled around, claws and fangs at the ready. Kemp stepped into his space, smiling tightly as he adroitly avoided having his arm lacerated, while managing to make a telling strike across the vampyre’s bicep. Since the blades were silver the long gash he inflicted did not immediately heal. The vampyre swore angrily as he attempted to defend himself. The battle was short and ended badly for the vampyre. Once the ashes settled Kemp checked to make certain the young man was all right and then stepped back onto the street.
“Seems you’ve improved in the last year,” a voice said from the shadows of a nearby doorway.
Kemp spun around and his gaze met deep lavender eyes he knew well.