Season One – Episode 3 – “Taken”

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 3/31/2011 (6:00PM EST)

“Air Date” 4/02/2011 (11:55AM EST)

Published by: Abyssalbooks

www.abyssalbooks.com

Copyright ©2011

All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer

This series is a work of fiction. Characters, names and incidences are either productions of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Chapter One

New Beginnings

Jordan knew that this time, it wasn’t a dream. All of it was too much to handle for someone who grew up with the knowledge that you’re supposed to die when you drown in a bathtub or in this case, get shot. Her basketball had deflated after one of the stray rounds found it’s way to it’s surface as Jordan had been readying herself for another jumpshot. Somehow, these people that had been after her found out where she was. They were obviously pissed because she became the center of attention for about fifteen or twenty bullets. Even when she was down, they had been shooting into her. It hurt more than anything she could imagine; especially the bullet that glanced past her eye. Her head throbbed as Anthony stepped over what he thought should have been a corpse.

Jordan felt as if it were instinct to latch onto him. She was angry too, so that helped her out. As she lie there on the basketball court, she felt her wounds healing, the vision returning to her right eye, and eventually — she noticed the pile of dust next to her — that was Anthony’s new partner, but not anymore. She had known about the DiSoto mob since she had been moved around so much; usually it only took a few relocations for a teenaged girl to proclaim what the hell on her parents. As she sat up in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that were riddled with bullet holes and soaked with blood, what the hell seemed to be the phrase of the night, for her. She had been thirsty and hungry for weeks now and she never could understand why anything she ate wouldn’t stay down. It seemed so normal to grab onto his throat and drink. Jordan cautiously reached her fingers up past her chin and into her mouth to confirm her suspicions.

Yeah, those were fangs alright…

Jordan stepped up off the basketball court and dusted herself off. She shook her head to herself as a million different questions roamed through her mind. How will I tell mom? Where do I hide these clothes so that I don’t have to tell her? Why don’t I feel guilty about killing this guy? They were all relevant questions that she would need answers to, but where would she find answers?

“This sucks…”

Amongst the pile of clothes, something began to vibrate. The shaken Vampire Girl reached into the dusty jacket pocket and picked the phone up. On the faceplate was a caller I.D.,by the name of Anthony. She picked it up and put it to her ear.

“What’s taking you so long? Did you forget to call in or what?” Came the voice on the other end.

“Who is this?” Jordan asked in a shaken voice.

“You’re still alive?! You killed him too? What kind of a fucking girl are you! I’m coming for you! You killed my brother bitch! You motherf–” Jordan could tell that this man was a little more than angry and he scared the hell out of her, so she hung the phone up. She also thought it would be a good idea to leave the basketball court as soon as possible. She checked her wallet to see how much allowance money she had remaining. The wallet had a bullet hole in it, and her money was soaked with her blood. She noticed the bullet hole in the side of her pants. Taking her fingers to expand the hole, she checked to see if she was hurt, but the skin underneath was fine. Apparently drinking blood healed her, just like Vampires in the movies. She wondered if she would be able to buy clothes with fourteen dollars worth of bloody money with a bullet hole in each bill. It then occurred to her to check out the pile of clothes across from her. She reached into the pants pocket of the clothes that used to be on the person that shot at her. She pulled out his wallet and counted off twenty hundred-dollar bills.

“Well, would it be considered stealing?” Her lips straightened as her eyes hovered over the pile of clothes and dust as she gave it thought. She then dismissed it because taking two thousand dollars from a man that tried to kill you versus the wild explanation she’d have to give her mother? Easy choice. She pocketed the money and contemplated the excuse she would have to give the cashier when she walked into a store to buy new clothes.

Nero dressed up for another night on the town. He smiled to himself as he observed his clothing through the mirror and thanked whatever true god was out there, that the myth about Vampires not being able to see themselves in the mirror was just that, a myth. He enjoyed looking at himself in the mirror and he knew that he would always look as good as he thought he did in his outrageously colorful ties, dark blue suit, overpriced shirt, and his shiny boots. He was asking to get mugged on the street and he knew it. He knew that he was the most powerful thing stalking the night, so he may as well be the most out there with his apparel. The suit, along with the way that he wore it would show nothing but confidence. Besides, he had to get back at Pedro and his bodyguards for throwing his ass in a dumpster the other day and that would take some planning – and some effort at looking good while executing whatever plan that would be. Having escaped the last minute stop by his needful neighbor down the hall, he made his way to the street only to be stopped by a beautiful woman dressed in a black Japanese dress. She, herself, was not Japanese, but the dress looked stunning on her semi-curvy, athletic body. Her dark hair was rolled in a bun held in place by what seemed to Nero like dark chopsticks.

“Margot, you hook sexy tonight. Hot date? Or just searching for food?”

“Your progress has been disappointing to say the least,” Margot said. “He skipped town on us. The Sanctum wishes you to only pursue him if he returns. Otherwise, let it go and wait for your call again.”

Nero nodded and put his hands in his jacket pocket, “You came all this way to tell me this?”

“No,” Margot said. “Possible Sanctum violation. Our surveillance sweeps caught something unusual in a clothing store just after dusk tonight.”

“Really?” Nero’s grin switched to shit-eating mode as he delivered his painful blow of sarcasm, “… someone found something strange in New York?! Shall I call Guinness, or did you want all the credit for this one?” He asked as he took a small yellow envelope from Margot. “Ah, and in the classic gestapo yellow envelope? You go out of your way to make my job seem more interesting than it really is.”

“She claimed that she was going to a zombie party but needed an extra pair of clothes just in case she wanted to skip out on it earlier than expected.”

Nero slid the paper out of the envelope and blinked a few times before sliding it back in. His eyes looked above the envelope a moment and found a crack on the street in front of his apartment entrance to concentrate on while he seemed deep in thought.

“I tell you what, I’ll look into it and tell you what I find. I promise I’ll be able to work on this more quickly and I’ll have an answer for you by the end of the night. Besides – a zombie party sounds fun, eh?” Nero faked the smile. Part of being so jovial was the fact that he had to pretend to be that way when something struck him as not funny anymore. Margot nodded.

“So sure of yourself, Nero?”

“Yes…” Nero pocketed the photograph and walked off before he had to answer any more of her uninteresting questions.

It only took fifteen minutes to run to his parking garage, grab his brand new 2010 Volvo C70 that he bought from the previous week, and race it down to Anna and Jordan’s apartment. Nero looked out to the basketball court and was surprised to see that there were people playing but Jordan wasn’t around. He checked his watch to see that it wasn’t too late in the night yet, her mother would have probably let her out to play by that time.

“Ah Jordan… For your sake I hope you’re grounded.” Nero said to himself as he popped the door latch and stepped out. He nervously combed his fingers through his shoulder length hair and advanced into the courtyard.

“Hey! Any of you guys know a girl named Jordan?” Nero asked.

“Who want’s to know?”

“Doctor White from the hospital. I just came to return something she left before I had to head back tonight. It’s going to be a long week and I didn’t want her to be stuck without her – bracelets.” Nero instantly thought about slapping himself in the head for saying that. Anyone that knew Jordan would know that this girl wasn’t the type to wear any kind of jewelry. “… It was a new thing she had bought from a fitness store. It tracks her heart beat, miles traveled, calories burned…” Nero added in hopes to save himself from seeming like some creepy stalker.

“Yeah – she left yesterday.” One of the b-ball players said. “Don’t know where though. She had some dudes afta her so they went off somewhere for a while because she mixed it up with the DiSoto’s.” He was instantly slapped in the upper shoulder for saying so by a younger white guy that was probably about Jordan’s age if not just a little older. He then took over the conversation.

“Hey, how we know you ain’t one of em?”

“Do I look Italian to you?” Nero laughed as he walked back around to the drivers-side door and got in. The laugh changed to a nervous sigh as he started the car.

“Ah, shit Nero… You’re in a world of hurt now…” He kept repeating to himself as he put his car into gear and peeled his tires out on the sidewalk next to the basketball court. “If The Sanctum hates me now, they’re going to go postal this time..”

Zak went over the crime scene photos one last time before placing the case of the rooftop killer, into the unsolved mysteries section of the filing cabinet along with all the Flash Drives containing info to the case. Anna walked over to him with a new file folder that was marked red and black which meant that it was something from a homicide involving organized crime. Zak scratched his dark brown bald head and sighed.

“You know Anna, what pisses me off the most?!” Zak asked.

“What?”

“My FIRST case goes into this damn drawer… Goddamn it.”

Anna patted her partner on his shoulder and shook her head.

“Don’t make everything personal. If you make everything personal, this job will eat you alive before you can spend a single year doing it.” Anna said. A few seconds later, Zak grabbed the red file folder out of her hand.

“Speaking of personal…” Zak opened up the file folder and raised his eyebrow in a Vulcan-like look. “.. Ah, the DiSoto family hm? What was that you were saying about — Personal?” He handed the file back to Anna.

“That’s different,” Anna said.

“Different?” Zak asked in a tone that someone could speak to a child to — it had that upward inflection to it which had patronizing slapped all over it. “Different, how exactly?” Zak said.

Anna’s jaw tensed as Zak handed her folder back. Zak hardly ever saw her angry — not really angry, anyway.

“Look — Zak. These people are after my daughter. I can’t go home until they are arrested for something. I have to protect my family. This is self defense and I have the most motivation and drive to get some sort of a conviction and will you please climb down your high horse and help me? She’s your best friend.” She admitted with a sigh. Zak tilted his head and smiled.

“What are friends for,” Zak said as he grabbed the file. “What are we looking for in here.” He asked as he turned a corner and walked to his desk which was put together with Anna’s desk so they could more closely work together. Sometimes it was hard to concentrate because they didn’t exactly have an office, or even a cubicle. All the desks were out in the open on the main floor with other people that were trying to work, and of course, everyone was using the backs of their chairs as a hallway to get back and fourth. Jak was new to detective work and therefore was not used to such horrible conditions to study case-files in. Anna however felt right at home concentrating in an environment that was hard to concentrate in. Zak hated his desk.

“How old are these cases?!” Zak finally exploded after reading through the old paperwork at the beginning of the file. Anna had already grabbed the last half of the paper stack since it was the most recent records regarding the crime syndicate.

“Back in the early 90’s and before, you’ll find the date of the records in the top, right hand corner.” Anna hoped she didn’t come across as sarcastic but she didn’t want to risk being hurtful by assuming that Zak was not asking a rhetorical question. If he really wanted to know, she waned to be as kind as possible by teaching him a bit about more ancient methods of paperwork.

“Look,” Zak said reluctantly; because he was not used to feeling vulnerable, he had trouble saying what he felt needed to be said and it showed by the way he shied his face away from his partner. “I’m sorry about getting on your back about this; I — apologize for it. I was frustrated about the last case and I didn’t mean to take it out on you.”

Anna offered a kind smile and reached her hand over the desk to pat the back of his palm.

“I know, Zak. I’ve been there before. Did you know I lost my first case too?” She admitted in return. She almost giggled like a little kid when she saw the way Zak’s eyes widened at her — his head tilted sideways like a curious puppy as she told him part of her life which she somewhat regretted. Zak made her feel a little better already in a misery loves company sort of way.

“I never knew you lost a case.”

“Not something I advertise.”

Chrissy ran to their desk while they conversed and startled Anna with the urgency in which she slammed herself up against the desk.

“We just got a call in from one of the residents that there was a man snooping around asking questions about where Jordan is.” Chrissy said.

Anna reached over to her phone and quick dialed her daughter while Zak looked to Chrissy.

“They describe this person?”

Chrissy nodded, “Yeah – tall, pale white, green eyes, shoulder length brown hair, skinny, driving a red car. They didn’t know what model, but it was new.”

Zak wrote down all that he knew from Chrissy onto his IPad and nodded.

“Are you free for a while? We might could use some backup.” Zak offered. Chrissy shrugged her shoulders and looked anxious.

“I– I don’t know. I might need to finish up a few things here before I leave. Could I meet you out there?” Chrissy asked.

“Anything’s better than nothing. Thank you.” Zak gave a nod.

“She’s not picking up.” Anna turned her cordless phone off and dropped it on her desk. She got up and put her coat on. “Let’s move.”

Chrissy waited until both detectives were at full sprint and dodging people in the crowded department before turning Anna’s computer screen. Anna had been using her USB “SuperJack” telephone adaptor instead of the department issued telephones on the desk. Luckily for Chrissy, Anna didn’t bother to lock her computer. The number that Anna dialed was on the computer screen. She wrote it down and picked up the department issued desk phone and hit two numbers.

“Hey Jack. I was wondering if you could look up a number for me?”

Jordan double bagged her clothes so that no one would get a look at them by accident. She knew that if the right person were to go trash-grabbing on the streets, they’d be doing DNA tests for a dead girl named Jordan who — wasn’t actually dead. As she checked her bare body in the mirror for any signs of bullet holes, the thought occurred to her to check her pulse. Her fangs were gone but she was getting more pale as the days went by. She the skinny pale blonde Vampire leaned toward the mirror in the bathroom and pressed her fingers to her neck. Her brilliant blue eyes widened as she pressed her fingers to her neck again, and in another place — again. Her breathing accelerated as she stumbled to the floor and held onto her chest. She imagined that maybe her heart had just stopped and her body was about to die in seconds. Panic rushed through her as she gasped and hoped she wasn’t going to be dead. She waited but death never came. Jordan closed her eyes and checked her pulse again.

People die within seconds of their heart stopping? Right? She thought to herself as she kept checking while realizing that there was no dizziness, no black tunnel, no death… She felt numb with the realization that she could be some sort of zombie. Is my flesh going to rot away like those minions from a cheap 80’s movie? Jordan imagined herself roaming the streets chanting brains… She stepped back to her feet and tied the garbage bag that held her shot up clothing. After a few minutes of calming herself down, she realized that something else was new and odd about her.

Due to being a tomboy, Jordan had more than her average share of scars. She had broken a wrist, a collar bone, and cut herself on coffee tables as a child; she was hit in the head with a baseball bat on accident, splintered doing backflip’s off boardwalks, sliced to ribbons jumping off cliff’s, and even roadrashed doing a stupid stunt called car surfing when she was twelve. All those bumps from mended broken bones — all the scars from her many encounters with pain, gone, all gone now. Her skin looked as if it had been untouched since birth. She checked everywhere for the scars that she loved to brag about, they were all gone.

“Okay,” Jordan said to herself. “I can’t be dead if all my scars are just — missing.” She checked a third time in the mirror. “I healed quickly?” She asked the mirror as if expecting a response. She checked her pulse again, nothing…

At risk of being thrown into another dumpster by Pedro’s ragtag bunch of Vampire Goon’s, Nero snuck himself into his downtown club with specific intentions to actually find that crack peddling South American that mixes music that sounded like Robots fucking washing machines on full tilt. The problem would be getting to Pedro without running into one of his guards first — which would be bad because they probably associated Nero with dumpster on sight. Nero knew that if he wanted to, he could always go to mist but that would mean running into Pedro completely butt-naked when he finally returned to solid form. As much as he didn’t care for the man, he didn’t want to be seen naked with him, either. No, that was not an option. He would have to hear about it from Pedro for all of eternity and he’d rather be thrown in a dumpster over having to deal with being reminded of such a thing.

The club was mostly lit up with halogen lights that spun around the room similar to the way the grass along a highway might look after two cars decided to spin doughnuts in the middle of the lane, swirling around the walls and ceiling rapidly; the only difference here was that the lights were changing colors. Laser lights filled the air that was diluted with pot smoke, fog machine mist, and various other substances that filled the air that Nero would rather not want to know about. All in all, it did create a great lighting effect that the stoners and pill junkies appreciated more than he.

Nero wasn’t looking around to enjoy the view as much as he was seeking out the guards. He knew of the one place he could go where he could find every one of them and that brought his attention to the media-booth on the second story catwalk where Jaime, the DJ, spent a good portion of her nights. Nero found a pole behind a wall where not may were looking and ascended it with near inhuman like speeds. He made sure to make it seem as if it were possible to do what he did, and at the speed that he did it. It was a delicate balance of assumption versus reality to keep from breaking The Sanctum’s rules.

Nero opened the door to the media-center and was met with Jaime in military fatigues, an Airsoft gun, and an IPod, jamming to her tunes. She quickly popped her earphones out of her ear and pulled Nero into her little dance so she wouldn’t be left alone in her dancing with myself routine.

“Nero!” The tone suggested she was happily surprised as she brought him into a kiss. Nero pulled back and smiled at this young woman as she swatted him with her gothic style pigtails. “Bring any more blood for me? Hey! I heard Pedro threw your ass in a dumpster? For real?”

“Yeah for real, and no blood this time — I’ll make it up to you! Promise!” Nero raised his brows and brought his chin up and down once in each direction. He reached out and held her thin shoulders as if trying to calm her down. “What’s with the getup? Decided to wear more clothing like a normal person for a change?”

“Airsoft tournament tonight!” Her fangs extended and her eyes lit up with delight.

“You? Airsoft?”

“Yeah? So?”

“Nothing,” Nero said. “Just didn’t seem like your bag. Hey… Have you seen Pedro around? I need to ask him a favor.”

The military gothic DJ laughed through her fangs as she heard what Nero said. She had to lean next to the counter underneath the Forward Looking Infrared Radar television monitors to steady herself. At first Nero thought that she was overexaddurating, but she wasn’t. She had to catch her breath by breathing in sharply and looking away from him in order to compose herself.

“You?! Asking a favor from Pedro?! You must have a lot of money or something or else he isn’t going to give you shit! Haha, seriously?! He’s just going to throw you in a dumpster again if you come up to him asking a favor out of the — the kindness of his heart!” She trailed off in laughter as Nero kept himself entertained by watching her reaction to his Vampiric feuds. He then decided to let her in on what’s happening for her to understand the context.

“He’s into drugs, which means that the Mafia has a piece of his business. I need to know where I can find the Disoto family because a friend of mine is in danger. I need to know if she’s alright.” Nero said. He shrugged his shoulders, “Besides, if I can pin them on something that I can give to the cops — I used to be a cop you know…” Nero stopped a moment to see if she could see where he was going with this.

“Ah, so you’re going to make Pedro’s life easier on the mortal side of things? Messing with mortals? Isn’t that against the affairs of The Sanctum?”

“That’s the jist of it, Jaime.”

“I’ll run it by him before I leave for the tournament, k?”

“It’s kind of important,” Nero added.

“Okay…” Jaime reached into her pocket and pulled out her cellphone from her tactical vest. She tapped a button and held it to her ear. Nero looked to the monitor and saw one of the bright white objects amongst the crowd of darker objects put their hand to their ear.

“Nero want’s to talk to you,” Jaime said. She waited a moment and then pulled the phone from her ear. She looked at the screen and saw that it had returned to the main menu. She looked over the top of the phone and focused on Nero who was leaning against the center table with his hands in his pockets. He didn’t look surprised in the least.

“Sorry Nero,” Jaime said.

“Hey, thanked for trying. Don’t worry — I’ll get to him tonight one way or another.”

Jaime looked to the monitors to see a group of white objects moving toward the stairway to the catwalk that hung over the dancing gothic crowd.

“Nero…”

“Yeah,” Nero noticed it too and looked away from the monitors. “That’s my signal.” Nero leaned over and give Vamp-Marine another quick kiss before he stepped out the door and back onto the catwalk. Jaime smiled and watched him leave. The music outside sounded as if it were a custom fit for Nero’s personal movie chase scene; it was loud, fast, with frequent beats and lots of bass.

“Hey guys,” Nero said to the pack of angry Vampire bouncers that were sympathetic to Pedro. “I take it you’re pretty pissed eh?” He laughed as he pulled out a sidearm and held it by the tip of the gun instead of by the handle. “Now, I happen to be an enforcer. If you guys want to spend the rest of the night playing dead until the mortician shuts the lights off down town, be my guest. Otherwise, take a few steps back so you can enjoy the party without a hell of a lot of bullet holes in your wonderful looking suits.”

From the side-windows of the catwalk observation booth, Jaime noticed that she was missing her Airsoft Handgun which looked like a Glock 17. It was amusing watching one of her friends fend off a hand full of vampires with an airsoft toy with a bright orange tip that shot plastic pellets at less than two hundred feet per second. The best part about it, was that it was working.

Nero watched as the men backed off and he treaded carefully past them.

“Now, point me in the direction of that South American techno freak and I’ll be on my way.” Nero added. One of the bodyguards pointed toward a certain section of the crowd and Nero nodded. “Thank you. You’ve been very helpful.”

Pedro was fiddling with a piece of equipment that looked to Nero like a childs toy from the Matel company. He took great pleasure in sticking another childs-toy into the center of Pedro’s back and cocking the hammer of something that posed no threat to the kid other than to his ego.

“Now, before you do anything rash, think about all the popularity you’re going to lose with your crowd if you have to play dead and get a new personality. The Sanctum won’t allow you to become a techno artist for quite some time.” Nero said as he leaned over his shoulder. Ironically, his little machine , when un-attended still kept the crowd happy with the rampid beats that it injected into the speakers.

“It’s DJ, not artist, you asshole…”

“Yeah, whatever… Tell me where you mail your mob-money to the DiSoto’s for running your operation.”

“..the hell you’re talkin bout man… I’m clean!”

Nero pushed the gun further into his back, “Everyone will think your dead. Come on!”

“Fourteenth and Central, Five Oh One..” Pedro said.

“Thanks!” Nero said happily as if they were best buddies. He was sure everything about that situation pissed him off. He handed the airsoft gun to Pedro and ran like hell before he could call his guards. Nero was sure that if Pedro’s goons caught up to him this time, they’d do a little more than throw him in a dumpster.

The thin Vampire threaded himself through the crowd a little more easily than the three beefy guards Pedro hired for security. All of them were Vamps as well, but they couldn’t exactly bowl people own with their supernatural speed; no, they had to run like mere mortals to keep from gaining attention — this gave Nero the ability to gain distance. He burst through the door to find a few uniformed officers hovering around his car. Nero stopped in his tracks a moment and thought everything over quickly as he stood in the alley.

“Officers!” Nero yelled in a distraught way. “Two fat guys are after me because I hit on their girlfriend!” Nero yelled as he ran to them and slid the key into his door. Before they could respond, Nero was behind the wheel with the doors locked so they couldn’t get to him while he peeled out of the alley. The two bodyguards bowled out of the doorway at the same time the officers got on the radio about Nero’s red car.

“Excuse me, were you chasing after this man?” One of the officers said. The two bouncers looked to one another and then back to the officers in the dark alley. Pedro was the next person through the door. The officers quickly pulled their weapons.

“Put the gun down!”

Pedro looked in his hand and rolled his eyes.

“It’s an airsoft gun…”

“What are you doing with an airsoft gun?!” The officer asked once he noticed the orange tip on it.

“… Airsoft tournament somewhere tonight.” Pedro shrugged his shoulders.

Chapter Two

Jordan didn’t feel like going back to bed. She had slept all day for the second or third day in a row and she didn’t know why she was naturally getting up at night. Despite all that’s happened she was never the type of girl to believe in the tooth fairy, Santa, or even Vampires. Part of being a tomboy was having her feet firmly on the ground and her head anywhere else but the clouds. She had read a few Vampire stories because she enjoyed the romance, but to actually believe in such things as Vampires was laughable. She tried her best to laugh at the thought even now but she wasn’t sure if that was bad luck.

Instead of throwing on her PJ’s like the night before, or just jumping in bed with nothing on like the night before last, she decided she would throw on her new clothes that she bought with a small portion of the two thousand dollars she had inherited from mister hitman that tried to kill her. Her mother hardly ever gave her name-brand things so it was nice to be sporting Hollister for a change. She smiled at herself and spun around in front of the mirror in the hotel room as it reflected her blue hoodie, bluejean pants, brand new Nike sneakers, and even a new blue hat that she didn’t mind wearing backwards. She half wanted to go back out to the basketball court and challenge the locals to a game. Her freckles scrunched up slightly as she smiled at herself. She was trying not to think about the man that she killed, and more so, the reason why it didn’t concern her as much as it should. It was second nature to her for some reason; that was the one thing she was worried about. There was a knock at her door. After all that had happened, she was nothing but cautious.

“Jordan?! It’s Detective Chrissy!” She said happily through the door. Jordan knew that voice and sighed in relief. She reached up and unlatched the locks and let the door come open.

“Chrissy!” Jordan smiled and jumped out to hug her. Chrissy wrapped her arms around the girl and hugged in return. “Come on, we have to go somewhere. Your mom needed me to get you while she worked the case.”

“Where are we going?” Jordan asked as she turned to get her small backpack that she kept her belongings in. She made sure to get her favorite book that she had been reading as well as the money that she got from the man that tried to kill her.

“My place,” Chrissy said. “It’s better than this hotel. Your mom’s going to be by to pick up her stuff after she’s off. Jordan looked at her oddly and nodded. “Okay.”

Zak and Anna had followed the red car all the way across town. They watched it turn a turn that would put it going in circles. Anna sighed.

“It’s going in circles. This person know’s we’re trailing him. Hit the lights.” Zak said. This time, Anna was driving and Zak was giving all of the backseat driver commentary but Anna wasn’t listening. She knew that eventually he would have to do something that would allow them to get somewhere. “Anna?”

“Just have a little patience. If he does anything stupid we can pull him over. If he waves us to go around we can get a look at this guy.” Anna said. “It’s not all about the covert. Sometimes it’s a little like — chess.” She said more to herself to reassure, than to her partner.

Nero was starting to think that he hated his life when he noticed the unmarked patrol car behind him. He hadn’t changed his identity since he was still capable of looking his age and his mortal friends wouldn’t have known he was a vampire. The problem was, since he didn’t change his identity, he knew that if that was Anna behind him, his night was beginning to suck more. Finally the car behind him lit up and there was a short whoop from the siren. Nero decided to roll with it. He hoped that he wouldn’t have to be in this situation but his eyes narrowed and his brows raised slightly as he saw a short Blonde haired beauty in a suit walk up to his car with a gun in her hand. She knocked on his window. Nero rolled it down.

“I was surprised to see your face pop up on the computer. What ya doing here, Nero?” Anna asked. He noticed a tall muscular black man in a suit not big enough to hide his muscles shining a light into his back seat before turning his attention back to Anna.

“Anna! I missed you,” Nero said with a sly smile. “I was out driving around. You know how I like the club scene.”

“Basketball courts too?” Anna asked while snapping off his picture with her cell phone.

“What do you mean? What are you doing?”

“Sending your picture to one of my daughter’s friends to see if you’re the guy they saw asking about her.” Anna said. “If he says yes, then I’m going to take you in and learn why you were stalking my daughter and impersonating a doctor. You gave her those clothes that night in the hospital?”

“It’s not what you think,” Nero said.

“Really?What is it then?” Anna hit send on her phone and then put a hand on her hip, the other one was still firmly grasping her gun. Nero sighed and leaned back in the seat of his car. He shook his head slowly and looked at her.

“I think she may be in some trouble. You know that the DiSoto family is after her, right? I was in the hospital working for a consulting firm called The Sanctum. You may have heard of them?” Nero tilted his head. He knew she was listening so he continued. “While searching for my client, I ran into your daughter and I found out who she was. I also found out that the man she killed was the son of the ringleader of that little mob… I was making sure she was alright.” Nero said.

“I’m sure your company is going to love the fact that you were checking up on a thirteen year old girl on company time.” Anna said.

“She’s your daughter. I thought you were a dike.” Nero decided to just say it. She started hearing a spout of laughter from the other side of the car. Anna confirmed at least part of Nero’s story about him being there but she was obviously suspicious of a Jovial ex-street cop that got busted from the force for supposedly having possession of coke.

“Is the address on this license current?” Anna asked, totally ignoring Nero’s comment as he handed it to her before she even asked for it.

“Yeah,” Nero said.

“If I see you asking about my daughter again, I’m going to come back and arrest you for stalking.”

“Hey,” Nero said. “I’m on my way to the DiSoto’s right now to ask them what their deal is with her.”

“How do you know where they are?”

“Because I all but beat it out of DJ Pedro to get the info.”

“Two units did have a Red car peeling out of the club downtown with a DJ and his two bouncers chasing after him,” Zak added.

“Look,” Nero said. “Just call your daughter and tell her to wait for you so you can move her to another place, just to be sure. She already knows me. If I were a hit man I had my chance already so obviously you can put two and two together.”

Anna looked to Nero a moment. He gestured his hand toward her a second and nodded his head.

Jordan’s phone rang but before she could take the call, Chrissy grabbed the phone out of the young blonde girl’s hand.

“Hey!”

“Oh good, it’s your mom!” Chrissy said. “I needed to talk with her but my cell battery died. May I ?” She said as convincingly as she could. She hit the silent button and pretended to talk into the phone, only Jordan could somehow hear that there really wasn’t anyone on the other end. She directed her hearing as she listened to Chrissy talk to a phone that never picked up the other end of the conversation. As Chrissy talked, Jordan could hear her fingernails tapping the volume on the side of the cell until it reached mute.

Jordan knew that something was wrong now. She looked oddly at Chrissy as she continued a conversation to noone.

“… Yeah! Alright. I know she won’t like that but I’ll run that by her… Yeah… Yeah… Uh-huh… Alright, any time! It’s been forever since I’ve seen her, it’s exciting to spend time with her. I will. Thank you!” She pretended to hang up the phone which was already hung up. Jordan heard Chrissy depress her finger off of the hang-up key long enough to shut the entire phone off. Chrissy pocketed Jordan’s phone while she drove and looked to Jordan a moment.

“Everything is fine. Your mother said I should hold onto your phone since mine lost battery ours ago. It’s been a long day but I’m happy to see you again!” Chrissy said.

“I want to talk to my mom too. Let me have the phone and I’ll give it right back.” Jordan pulled her feet up into te seat of Chrissy’s Honda Civic and held her arms around her knees as she asked. She was feeling vulnerable and Chrissy could see something was wrong; she tried to play it off.

“She’s on a big assignment. She told me not to call her unless it was important.”

“Yeah, but she’s my mother, she’ll understand. She told me I can always call her whenever I want.”

“Just — give her a few minutes okay?”

“Fine, but I want my phone back.” Jordan felt bold despite the position she was put in. She was more confused than scared. She imagined that if this had happened just a few days earlier, she’d be both. She missed being playful like she used to be, but after several days of people trying to hurt her, shoot her, and drown her — she lost some of her comical edge.

“No!” Chrissy said. “We’re almost there anyway.” She said sternly.

“What’s gotten into you?”

“You! I tell you not to do something an you keep asking for it. Life isn’t just about you, you know! Hasn’t your mother taught you that yet?”

Chrissy turned the corner and stopped just short of a windowless white van in an alley.

“What’s going on?!” Demanded Jordan as three masked men approached her. “Lock the doors!” She screamed as she locked the doors. Jordan heard the doors unlock as Chrissy unlocked them for the masked me. Jordan grabbed the door handle with one hand and held onto the side of her seat with the other. To the masked man’s surprise, she was strong enough to keep him from opening the passenger door. He grunted and failed to open the door.

“What the hell!” Said one of the masked men.

“Agh! I can’t get it!” Said the man at the door. “This bitch is fucking strong!”

Chrissy looked around and then decided to slap Jordan.

“Stop it! Jordan, just stop it!” She yelled.

Jordan felt the slap but it didn’t hurt her. She whimpered as Chrissy failed to pull her away from the door.

“Damn it! Just roll down the window!” Said the third masked man. Chrissy nervously abided to their bidding and tapped the button to roll down the passenger side window. Jordan was instantly punched the moment there was enough room for a fist to fly through; it didn’t phase her. Jordan cried out more for the ordeal of being the recipient of such violence more than any actual physical pain whatsoever. She kept holding onto the door. The masked man at the other end of the passenger side reached through to try and grab her hair but it was only enough to fit between his knuckles. He tried to pull but it didn’t phase her — nor did it pull a single strand out of her hair to resist. Jordan was like a rock that wasn’t moving. Still, the men didn’t give up. They pulled away from her to talk amongst themselves as Chrissy reached out to hold her shoulders. Jordan rightfully pulled away from her and pulled her knees up to her chest. She looked at her with her bright blue eyes, wondering why Chrissy was putting her through this.

“It’s going to be okay! You just got to let go…” Chrissy said.

“You just got to go fuck yourself!” Jordan knew that her mother would kill her for cursing like that but it seemed like the perfect time to turn a phrase. “Just get us out of here!” Jordan yelled. “I won’t tell mom!”

Chrissy looked to the three men behind the windowless van as they talked amongst themselves for a while. She turned to the frightened little girl and looked at her. She was tiny, athletic for sure, but not that strong for her size; at least, she shouldn’t have been.

“How strong are you, Jordan?” She asked as she looked her over. The golden shine of the streetlight illuminated her well enough for her to see that Jordan shouldn’t have been able to withstand the pull of a full grown man. It sunk in that this girl was odd somehow. “You look really pale, are you getting sick?”

“What kind of weird questions is that?” Jordan held onto the seat like a frightened animal. Despite the ordeal she had been put through, she wasn’t breathing hard at all, she just clung to the seat with her slender hands, shaking slightly with her eyes darting around at anything that moved. “Why are you doing this?”

Chrissy turned red and looked away like she didn’t want to answer. To Jordan, Chrissy had been a family acquaintance for years. She trusted her easily until now. Jordan kept looking at her now, as if she knew that it helped bring shame to the crooked cop for being what she was, for choosing her actions, and for trying to hurt her. The three masked men came back and opened the drivers side door. Chrissy looked up just long enough for her to see the masked man pull her out of the car. Another masked man took her place as the man that pulled Chrissy out yanked her around by her suit and talked at her forcefully.

Jordan couldn’t have squeezed any further into the passenger side door if she wanted to. The masked man had contacts in his eyes that made his pupils look like they belonged to a dragon. It made the whole ordeal all that much more scarier for her.

“If you don’t cooperate, I’ll have your friend call mommie down here, and we’ll shoot her in the head.” His whisper was hideous as much as it was sincere. Jordan’s eyes went wide. The third man was waiting for her as she opened the door.

Chrissy watched as the young blonde girl vanished behind a set of white doors.

“Are you listening? Look at me,” said the masked man. Chrissy blinked and adjusted his attention to the man in the mask. “Go about your day, go home…” He handed her a yellow envelope filled with cash and then he continued. “… We’re going to do the rest. There is no need to contact us unless we need you again. Understand?”

Chrissy tried not to cry as she nodded.

Nero found himself out of the loop as Anna instructed a couple other detectives to stake out the address that Pedro had given them while he sat outside a hotel waiting for Anna and Zak to return. He knew that his fears were founded when Anna returned to the parking lot distraught and freaked out. Nero stepped out of the car and watched from a distance as Anna held onto Zak. After a few minutes of leaving them space, Nero walked to them.

“I was trying to help. Who else knew that you relocated here?” Nero asked.

“We didn’t’ tell anyone.” Zak said.

“Someone knew… Think.”

“We didn’t tell anyone!” Anna yelled. Nero believed her. There had to have been another way someone found out. He rubbed his head while thinking about it a moment and then he shook it.

“I don’t know… It has to be someone in your department though. It’s the only way.”

“Hey!” Zak said. “Our department is clean now that you’re out. They cleaned house with you.”

Nero kept his calm and shook his head in the slightest display of defiance that he could muster considering the circumstances.

“I was never dirty, Zak… Never. Either way, you two need to trust me. We can find her.” Nero said. “We have to get moving though if we want to see her again. She’s probably with the DiSoto’s right now.

“How you know they didn’t just cap her?” Zak asked while holding Anna tight as she tried her best to wrap her mind around the situation.

“Because if they did, we would have found her already.” Nero stopped and rubbed his forehead underneath his long strands of hair. “…but we need to get some black and whites to scour the entire area — just in case.” He said sadly. Nero knew that if they did kill her, there was a chance she would come back as a Vampire, but not after a few hours of being dead just like a real corpse; it was obviously imperative for Nero to know that she was found before that happened.

“She’s alive,” Anna said through sniffled sob’s. “… I know it.”

“Then let’s get her.” Zak nodded to Nero.