I was about two steps out of the door when a hand grabbed my arm from behind and spun me around. Xero stood in front of me breathing hard. “I am sorry,” he said, scratching a mess of blond hair with his free hand.
“Let go of me,” I spoke through closed teeth. He let go of my arm as if it was on fire.
I turned back around and got into his car. He followed in a few seconds. I continued looking ahead, hoping he would get a hint that I didn’t want to communicate with him. “I said I was sorry,” he repeated.
“Start the car, please.”
“No,” I cut him off. I shifted my head so I stared him right in the eyes. “You don’t need to say anything to me. It is my fault for prying into your personal matters. I won’t ask you anything about you from now on. I don’t want to know anything about you. Just explain things that are related to my father’s case and I will keep my mouth shut.”
He was silent for an entire minute. I could hear the sound of distant traffic too well. “Alright,” he said.
Xero started the car and soon we were back on the road. “We are going back to Midnight Sunset. We are going to see a guy named Papa Snake. He’s the coven leader and sire of many of the members making him an alpha. Alpha Vampires are harder to take out since their progeny tend to be very loyal.”
What kind of name was Papa Snake? “Was that vampire from Papa’s coven, too?”
“It’s a possibility,” he acknowledged. “If he is than Papa has some explaining to do. Vampires from his coven aren’t supposed to hunt humans as prey. It’s an unspoken rule. That’s what keeps us from hunting them.”
We drove a bit longer in silence until the club came to view. The words Midnight Sunset in huge letters glowed dimly in blue. Xero parked the car right at the entrance; I had a feeling we would be running for our lives out of here soon.
“Vampires can’t go out in the sun, if it gets too dangerous find the first way out,” Xero informed as we got out of the car.
I nodded and straightened my shirt. I looked up to see him watching me carefully. “What?”
Xero reached behind my head and pulled my hairband down. My hair came down loose, spilling in all directions. He slipped out of his big black jacket and threw it around my shoulders.
“What are you doing?” I asked, keeping my face void of all emotions.
He cleared his throat and spoke, “Papa is a bit of a pervert. My clothes will hide your s-scent.”
Xero nodded and walked ahead. I couldn’t believe my ears. Was he being nice?
I shook that dreaded thought out of my head and followed him through the entrance of the club. The inside was mostly empty with just a few workers cleaning up.
A janitor looked up from sweeping the floor with a pink coloured mop, “We are closed!”
Xero reached into the breast pocket of his jacket on me and bought out a rectangular piece of paper with a black carving printed on. He held it above his head. “I am here to see Papa.”
Suddenly we were surrounded by six vampires; all crouched like leopards ready to attack.
“Turn back Hunter,” the janitor chided. “You are not welcome here.”
Xero sighed. “I am not welcomed anywhere. I am going to say it again, I am here to see Papa. We just want to talk.”
“Talk my ass,” a girl with red hair spat. I recognized her, she was the one gave me away. “You bastard! You killed Mike and Steve.”
“They attacked a human,” the Hunter replied nonchalantly. “I did what any Hunter would do. Now, go get Papa―”
Xero’s eyes fell on a ceiling long glass window at the far back of the club.
“It’s made out of special glass,” the girl answered his unspoken question. “It stops all the UV rays from getting in. You see we have been evolving. We have been learning how to survive better. And one of those survival techniques also include some exceptional ways to kill and dispose a Hunter.”
The janitor laughed at her works and the network of vampire’s closed; only this time with its fangs out.
“STAND DOWN!” a voice echoed through the room. A tall man with a sharp square face, stood on a pair of stairs leading up. “Lily, get your friends out of here.”
The redhead whose name was apparently Lily sneered at me but then reluctantly moved away with its friends. The janitor showed us the finger and went back to moping.
“Follow me,” the tall man told Xero.
The stairs led up to a larger room where a naked dark skinned man laid on a round bed with barely dressed women sprawled around him.
“Hello, Xavier,” the man greeted slipping his arms from underneath a woman. “Or should I saw Xero?”
“Are those women still alive?” Xero asked, cocking his head towards them.
“Hm, I wouldn’t say alive, they are more likely Undead,” he answered. “Who is this pretty girl?”
He eyed me from head to toe and winked.
“You can’t ignore the rules Papa,” Xavier ignored his words. “You have turned too many humans against their will. The Council will not be happy.”
Papa scoffed and stood up. I looked away in shame as two maids came forward and slipped him into a velvet purple robe. “The Council? Who are you to speak of the Council? The last time I heard you had quit after your friend had died.”
Xero stiffened at his words.
Papa turned his head and gave me a sinister smile. “What’s your name, darling?”
“Tamara Dragomir,” I answered, clearing my throat.
His smile disappeared. “Ah, I see why you are here. I don’t know anything.”
“You don’t know what I will ask yet,” Xero said, taking a step towards him. “We are just asking you why we found one of your men were in Richard Dragomir’s house.”
“How did you know he was one of my men?”
“He said so,” Xero lied.
Papa watched us carefully. I don’t know what it was that gave us away. Maybe it was the fact that I was holding my breath or that my pupils were darting from one place to another, but in the end Papa decided, “Lies.”
“Dagger,” he called out and the man who led us here stepped up. “Get rid of them.”
I heard Xero swear, under his breath. We were outnumbered. There were at least four vampires in the room and a few of the girls had started to stir. I looked frantically around for something sharp. My eyes fell on a window identical to the one downstairs behind Papa.
A plan begun to form in my mind. I needed something big. Like a big stone or . . . a vase! A black and orange vase sat in the corner of the room just for my convenience.
I made my way towards it, feeling a few too many pairs of eyes on my back. “Is this expensive?” I asked Papa.
“Tamara,” Xero warned.
“Why, yes it is, darling,” he answered, “If you wish, I will have you buried with it.”
I grabbed the vase from its neck and turned around. “That won’t be necessary.”
I sent the vase sailing over his head. It hit the window causing it to shatter the glass with itself. Sunlight poured in and vampires scattered to the dark corners of the room, hissing.
“Do you know how easy it is for me to stake you in your own nest now?” I asked tipping my head down at Papa. “Do you want me to show you, Papa Snake?”
Papa’s eyes glowed red. “What do you want to know?”
“I want to know what your man was doing at my house,” I demanded. “Did you order to have my father killed?”
“What my children do is not my responsibility,” he spat. “I can’t make decisions for them.”
“Lies,” I imitated him. “You are making me very angry now, Papa. I will ask you one final time: Did you order the kill?”
Papa’s eyes scanned my face looking for bluff. He wasn’t going to find any. I was dead serious. “I did send my man there,” he begun, “but I didn’t have your father killed. We just wanted to get there before Wolfgang.”
“Is that supposed to mean something?”
“Wolfgang is the Alpha of the only werewolf pack near the Hamptons area,” Xer was the one who answered. “His people run the Harvest Meat Company.”
“Harvest Meat?” I repeated. “I get my meat from there. Wait, is there meat, even animal meat?”
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “We check every six months. Wait . . . I haven’t gone there in the past three weeks.”
“I am so sorry to interrupt your incredibly important conversation,” Papa added, crawling behind a maid. “But if you don’t mind, I would like to get away from the reaches of this DAMN SUNLIGHT!”
I sighed in content. He was already slightly shaking. “What did Wolfgang wanted to get from Richard,” Xero questioned. “Richard did not know of the supernatural world.”
“Something about some shipment coming from the Middle East,” Papa said. “That’s all I know. I am telling you, Xero, I didn’t kill that man. I grant you a safe passage out of here. Dagger would see to it.”
He was right. Dagger did see to it. He followed us downstairs hiding in the dark, shadowy corners, making that Lily and her friends don’t attack us. The doors slammed shut behind us the second we stepped out.
“That was,” Xero started. Reckless? Idiotic? “Incredible.”
Oh. I nodded in thanks. “Let’s go see Wolfgang now.”
He looked like he wanted to say something more, and for a second I desperately wished that he would. When he didn’t, I walked ahead and got into a car.
Werewolves are real, I thought. I wonder if they were going to be a ruthless and sadistic as the vampires.
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