As long as I’m in the neighborhood. Check out the house of the gang leader Vampyre first. Not bad. I should live so well. Well I do now. Just not as pretentious. Big house. Big yard. Fenced but that’s all. Couple, three gangbangers hanging on the stoop. No sign of the Vampyre but then it’s still daylight. Wondering if the punks are watching the place for him. They’re on alert. Keep a tight eye on me 'cause I’ve stopped. Pull away. Circle the block. They watch me close as I go by again. There’s an alley behind the house. Go down it slow. More punks in back. Goofing around. They all freeze. Watch too. Getting in when I need to may be difficult, I’m thinking.
Head to my next destination. Nice middle-class neighborhood. Small houses. Well kept. Spot a couple more punks. Throwing their weight around with a couple of younger kids. Tempted to stop. What the hell. Pull over.
“You guys should pick on someone your own size, or are you only tough with kids?”
They turn. Smirk. Walk over.
“You think you can take us?”
“Don’t think. Know. But not out here on the street.” Thumb towards the alley.
“You’re on punk.”
I laugh. “I’m not the punk here.” Pull the bike down the alley. The gangbangers follow. Grinning.
Off my bike. Facing them. Grinning back savagely. Been a while since I’ve had a good fight.
They come at me. Pull out pig-stickers. Both lunge. I drop and roll. Kick out. Catch one hard in the knee. He goes down. The other one’s on me. He has no clue. I catch hold of his arm with both hands. Twist hard. Hear something break. His scream echoes down the alley. I wonder how long til someone calls the cops.
The second one’s on his feet. Limping but moving. I shove the first one off me. Get up. Laughing as an idea hits me. Use my speed and strength to get him before he knows what’s happening. Arm around his throat. Cutting off his air. He’s struggling. His friend is moaning. I look at him.
“Tell your leader there’s a new man in town who wants in.”
Release the one I’m holding. But not before taking his blade. Marking him with it. Long cut from cheekbone to chin. Toss the blade in the trash.
“Okay, punks. You have my message. Deliver it.”
They stagger away. Giving me deadly looks. But leaving. I’m about to get back on my bike when I hear someone call my name.