Moving’s not happening soon. I get a message. From one of my kind. He needs help. Seems the Vampyres in his area have decided he needs to be eliminated.
Stop by where Del works. Tell him I’ll be MIA for a bit. And why. He’s not happy but…
“Trev, wear this, for protection.” He takes off a chain. There’s a simple silver cross on it. “My mom gave it to me when I was just a kid.”
“I can’t. It’s yours. I mean…”
“I know what you mean, but I want you to. You can return it when you get back.” He fastens it around my neck. “Now go and be safe.”
I kiss his forehead. “I will.”
Leave. Head to the airport. Catch the next plane out. Arrive just before dark.
The Dhampir, Daniel, is there. Takes me to his place. He lives good. Not ostentatious. But a hell of a lot better than me.
We settle down. Beers in hand. He tells me what’s going on.
“I took out one of the big ones.” He grins a bit. Sobers up then. “Seems they may be territorial but he was some sort of big wig in the local Vampyre community, the capo do capo so to speak. So the others got afraid since I was able to do that. Now they have a vendetta out against me which is making my life a bit dicey. I figured, since you have the rep for dealing with them easily, maybe you’d be willing to help.”
“I’m here aren’t I?” Tempted to roll my eyes. Maybe there’s a reason they’re after him. If he’s this stupid. And I find out he is. And more so. Or naive.
“Yeah, you are. Thanks. Look, I’m sort of new at this game. I got hired to clear an area of one, and did my damnedest to do it so I’d get paid.”
“Without asking questions first I take it.” He shrugs. “How the hell old are you anyway?” Looking at him. Figuring maybe he’s twenty-one, twenty-two tops. He confirms that. “So how’d you decide to be a Vampyre hunter? Did you watch too many Blade movies?”
He looks embarrassed. “Something like that. Plus my mom made sure I knew what I was. My dad wasn’t all that happy about it but he figured he’d at least make sure I didn’t take out any of the good ones.”
“There are no good ones. They’re all fucking bastards that need eliminating.” Not quite true. I know one who’s…decent. But not telling him that.
He gets angry. “My dad isn’t a bastard. For a Vampyre he’s not a bad sort. Not his fault he got turned damn it. Hell, he doesn’t even hunt, just uses bagged blood.”
“Kid, you got a lot to learn. Not saying your old man’s bad but never, ever trust a Vampyre. They can turn on you in a heartbeat if they feel threatened.”
Daniel shakes his head. Keeps quiet though. Moves on. “So, anyway, it’s getting a bit hairy out there for me. I’ve been pretty much staying in nights.” Looks at me hard. “I’m not a coward, but I do know my limitations.”
“Never said you were. In fact you’re being smart in asking for help. Do they know where you live?”
“Probably, but so what, they can’t come in unless I invite them.”
“You are so kidding me. You believe that crap. I thought you said you dad taught you about his species.”
He stares. Shocked. “But…”
“OK, we’ll start with the basics.” I spend the next hour teaching him. Divest him of all the shit he thinks is true about Vampyres. And wonder how the hell he’s still alive.