Season One – Episode 8 – “Taking Out the Trash”

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 10/21/2011

“Air Date” 10/31/2011

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

Someone to watch over me

Jordan woke up the next night and looked around the room. There were several cords that ran underneath the door to the different corners of her room. They were connected to tall objects that were humming lowly. She wiped her eyes and walked out in her PJ’s. Her mother was getting ready for work. Anna reached into the fridge and pulled a blood pack out for her and laid it on the counter.

“Good morning sweetie,” Anna said.

“Night,” Jordan said. “.. What’s in my room?”

“Those are dehumidifiers. You aren’t going to mist anymore in this house young lady…” Anna said. She watched as her daughter’s brows furrowed and she stomped.

“But mom! I like going to mist!”

“When you were human, you would have never walked around outside of the bathroom naked. Terry told me how he met you and that is not how I raised my daughter, Jordan. Sorry. Going to mist outside this house is out of the question.” Anna said firmly.

“With those things in my room I can’t even go to mist IN the house!” Jordan stood up angerly and stomped to the microwave and threw her packet of blood in it. “Not fair.”

Anna breathed in deeply and exhaled before she thought about what she wanted to say next. Her daughter was being stubborn despite all the things she had done that were clearly wrong.

“Jordan! You snuck out of the house in mist, walked around naked — OUTSIDE, mind you… And then you lied to me. You went as far as to forwarding the house calls to a cell phone just so that you could lie to me. I love you, Jordan. I just don’t trust you right now. I caught you in bed with a guy for goodness sake! Thank about what you have done.” Anna watched as Jordan looked away from the microwave. Even after the machine dinged, Jordan didn’t go for it because her mother had made her realize just how many bad things she had done recently.

“I’m sorry mom.” She whispered.

“You see where I’m going with this, right , Jordan?” Anna walked over to her and hugged her daughter. “I had to cover for you too, so I had to lie to my bosses just to keep you out of trouble. I have a very good boss, Jordan. He’s a very nice guy and I hate being put in a position like that. I know it’s not your fault. Your father was right when he told me New York wasn’t a good idea for you. I just missed you so badly, I didn’t know what else to do. I hope you aren’t mad at me for taking you away from Iowa.”

Jordan pulled back and shook her head at her mother.

“No mom, this city is exciting. I like it. I promise I won’t do all of that again.”

“Derrick is coming over soon, so have your — blood. Eewh, I still can’t believe it.” She smiled and looked away as Jordan opened the microwave door and pulled out a warm packet of blood and started drinking it. Anna looked away, not wanting to see her daughter drink blood.

“By the way, thanks for saving me from getting hit with that stove burner.” Anna said.

Jordan gulped the blood down until the packet was dry and her fangs retracted back to normal size. She dumped the empty plastic bag in the trash and wiped her lips.

“Yeah! What was that girls problem?!”

“She was just a bitch.” Anna laughed. Jordan smiled.

“Bitch is in jail now..” Jordan said with a hint of a victory dance that made her mom smile.

“Quit cursing okay? Crazy girl…”

The doorbell rang and Anna darted off to open the door. Jordan expected Anna, but instead it was some blonde girl with fake breasts.

“Ah Misses Draysdale, how are you?” Anna asked. Jordan looked closely as she opened her laptop to see that Anna must not have liked this woman very much because she could sense the anger welling up inside her. She didn’t know how she could sense it, but she could. Jordan was fairly certain she knew this woman before but she last remembered that she had red hair. It might have been her next door neighbor after a sudden attack by a bottle of hair dye. She stayed quiet and observed for while as they talked about random things such as the weather. This Draysdale person was clearly beating around the bush and being polite about it. Finally, Jordan noticed that she got to the point.

“We noticed that your daughter didn’t come back last night. I was dreadfully worried. We just heard the arguing through the walls but couldn’t quite make out exactly what it was that you were saying. Is everything alright dear?”

Anna’s eyes narrowed on her neighbor. Nickole Draysdale was in no way concerned about her daughter and she knew it. Anna gave her best fake smile.

“If you heard anything, it’s because we’re nudists. It’s perfectly legal for her to have done anything that you think that you heard.” Anna didn’t feel like trying to make her feel better. The eavesdropping bitch could hate her guts for all she cared. The feeling would be mutual. “Jordan goes off to camp on occasion and we were having an argument about not doing it during the winter seasons. It’s too cold — regardless of the fact that everyone builds camp fires.”

Nickole grabbed her Christian cross and let out another huff. The waves of judgment were practically warming the room. She held her nose up in the air a moment and then brought it down.

“Are you Christians?” She asked with scorn in her voice.

“No, my daughter is a Witch and so am I.”

“Excuse me?”

Jordan’s giggles could be heard from the kitchen. Nickole’s eyelids did that half-open thing which also pissed Anna off to no end.

“I suppose you think that living in sin is a laughing manner. Well, we just can’t have that.” Nickole said with a huff.

“Nickole,” Anna said with a smile. “Go fuck yourself.” Anna extended her hands and pushed them in-between the caverns of her neighbors breasts and used the niche to push Nickole violently out of the interior of her doorway. Nickole was about to protest but the door slammed shut in her face.

“I’m making calls!” Came Nickole’s voice through the door. Anna turned around to Jordan, who was looking at her with eyes wide.

“What’s her problem?” Jordan scratched her blonde hair with a confused expression on her face.

“She doesn’t think we’re rich enough to live here.” Anna said. “She’s pushing at us to get us to move out.”

“I thought all we had to do was pay all of the bills and stuff and we can live here?” Jordan’s blue eyes changed in size to where one eye seemed a bit wider than the other – the other being almost a slit for her pupil to see through. Anna giggled at that expression and shook her head. She approached her daughter and sat down on the stool next to her at the kitchen bar.

“Some people are raised to think that other people are lower than them because of how much they get paid, what kind of a job they have, and how wealthy they are overall. Ever hear of Goldberg, Ironcrotch, and Draysdale?”

Jordan’s thin facial features tightened as her smile stretched across her face. She jumped from the stool and swayed her slender hips and held her arms up in the air, slowly fanning them out as she sang a jingle.

“Gold-burg, ironcrotchhh, and Draayyysdale! Together, we get you — Out of — Jail!” She giggled. “Who hasn’t! It’s on whenever you turn on the radio or the TV.” She hopped back onto the stool next to where her mother was laughing.

“Yeah… Well, that was the wife of the Draysdale guy. She thinks that if we aren’t earning a million dollars a year, we don’t belong in the building.” Anna sighed and shook her head. “It’s the way people are brought up. You don’t understand it because we brought you up to see people for who they are, and not judge them by status.”

“That’s why you let me go out with Yoyo?” Jordan leaned her elbow on the bar and leaned forward with smile being held up by the palm of her left hand.

“His name is Derrick,” Anna said plainly. “And, yes, that is part of it. Your tutor is going to come by an hour after he gets here. Don’t screw around, learn something, and play nice with Derrick.”

“Why don’t you call him by the name he likes?” Jordan asked. She brought her arm down and looked up at her.

“Because that is his gang nickname. I don’t respect gangs. You destroyed the factory that used the gang to distribute two types of major illegal drugs. Please, Jordan – -Don’t go against me on this. I’m never going to call him yoyo.” Anna saw the disappointment in her daughter’s eyes the moment she said it but she held her ground on the subject. “Derrick is a good name. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s the name that his mother or father gave to him because they loved him just as much as I love you. His gang didn’t love him, they used him. You must have some love for him because you freed him from that life but now it might be a nice thing to use the name given to him by people that actually cared for him — the way that you do.”

Jordan looked down at the tile floor a moment and nodded slowly.

“I’ll ask him if he wants me to call him Derrick.” Jordan’s grin returned to a slight hint of a smile when she looked up at her mother. Suddenly, the front door flew open. Anna and her daughter quickly turned to see the seven foot tall Zak stomp through the door.

“Where’s that brat..” He said as he stomped into the living room and looked over at Anna and Jordan. “Not here yet?”

“Zak… You’re the second person that came in here today trying to do my parenting. I don’t appreciate it.” Anna said.

“Jordan is my best friend. I don’t want him doing anything to her that could be… You know.”

“We aren’t boinking!” Jordan yelled. “I promise…” She leaned forward and pushed her head out toward the both of them. She then heard something now that her ears were angled right. Her predatory instinct kicked in and she gripped the counter, her eyes went darker and her fangs extended.

“Jordan, what the…” Zak took a few steps back and pulled Anna toward him as Jordan’s skin turned a little whiter than usual and her eyes turned dark black. Jordan could see the aura of Nickole listening in on their conversation by putting a glass against the wall. It was the slight scooting nose that originally caught her ear – a noise that no mortal would have noticed. Jordan grabbed a phone book and slammed it hard against the wall, right where the cup was on the other side.

Anna and Zak heard a distinctive scream on the other side of the wall.

“Quit listening in on our conversations you nosy meanie!” Jordan yelled loud enough for not just Nickole to hear, but for anyone in the adjacent apartments to hear. Anna swallowed hard, her eyes still peeled with disbelief at what just happened.

“How did you know?!” Anna asked. Jordan’s eyes went back to normal, and her skin went to it’s normal pale white, which wasn’t as pale as it was a moment ago. For a few seconds, Anna saw that her daughter could look like a real monster.

“Because her senses are beginning to develop further,” said a whispery voice that emanated from the hallway. Feeling somewhat ambushed, Zak and Anna centered themselves in the living room as a man only slightly shorter entered their condominium. He had on a black suit that looked somewhat Japanese in origin, but he wasn’t Japanese. He had a British accent and was very pale white, with bright blue eyes much like Jordan’s. His shoes clacked on the wooden portion of the floor as he walked the rest of the way in. He didn’t smile as he looked to Jordan. He seemed to eye her with a cold curiosity.

“I was summoned to be somewhat of a tutor to your child,” it was a low hiss, his voice — strange and chilling. Titus Atticus, at your service. I shall teach your daughter the arts, reasoning, mathematics, and patience. This is the first I’ve heard of this type of situation, however. I’m surprised she listens to you considering you’re mere mortals.”

“Ah shit man… Another one?!” Zak blurted.

“Zak, I’ll meet you downstairs.” Anna said. Zak wanted to say something more but he held his tongue and nodded.

“I’ll see you later. Tomorrow night’s my day off. Up for some B-Ball?”

“Yeah!” Jordan said. She was quick to respond because Zak was already almost to the door by the time he finished his question. Titus watched him leave and then looked to Jordan.

“It’s customary to stand up when there’s company. Polite society didn’t die with the past century. Let me get a look at you.” Titus reached his arms out to her. Anna watched as he put his hands on her shoulders, turned her around, and then brought her back to face him. His blue eyes turned on Anna and he finally smiled, just a little.

“What a lovely daughter you have here Anna. I assure you, she’s in good hands.”

“You scare the hell out of me, Titus. I trust Nero though.” Jordan took a step back and then looked to Jordan. It was the first time she had seen her daughter look truly frightened. Somehow, Anna knew that she would probably have to feel like she was anything but on top of the world in order to listen to reason. She also knew that he probably didn’t hear the additional news from Nero so she reluctantly added. “I don’t know if Nero told you or not, but Jordan’s boyfriend is coming over too. I know Nero will pay anything extra that is needed for you to tutor him as well. I think they are the same age.”

Titus’s mouth loosened a bit after Anna added that bit of info and he looked to Jordan. He placed a hand on her shoulder.

“I must ask… Same species? Or – Human?”

“Eh, Human.” Anna said.

“Does this – Boyfriend… Know about us? About what she is?”

“No.”

“Please,” Titus took a step toward the mother and placed his only free hand on her shoulder as he gripped Jordan’s shoulder lightly at the same time. “… don’t.”

“Wasn’t planning on it.”

“Your chariot awaits, Detective McKenzie.”

“Mom?” Jordan asked.

“I love you Jordan… Do what he asks. I’ll see you when the sun comes up.”

The door closed and Jordan was left alone with this strange man. He still had his hand on her shoulder and he gripped at the shirt she had on.

“First off…” He said. “This is not befitting of what I should expect to see when someone confronts an elder. You knew I was coming, yes?”

“Yeah, but I figured I would –,” she was cut off in mid sentence.

“Back when I was mortal, the young ones, even when sold off for afternoons with men, would be in their best robe.” He looked at what she had on again and his eyes darted to her own. “You’re too beautiful to be clothed in such a dishonor to your own body. To do so dishonors me, and this – boyfriend of yours. Do you not have a dress?”

“I – Kinda like blue jeans, and t-shirts.” Jordan shrugged her shoulders. “How long have you been a Vampire?”

“We will get to that later. No dresses? This simply won’t do. Is that all you have on?”

“That’s a little personal isn’t it?” Jordan asked.

“You’re a vampire. One of the rules is that we reveal the personal. It attracts the prey.”

“I don’t have prey,” Jordan attempted to cross her arms but Titus pulled her shirt off of her. Jordan tried to hide herself but Titus wasn’t paying attention to her. He practically hissed at the shirt that he held in his hand while he walked into Jordan’s room. He went for her closet and pulled out her clothes. He ran across her short shorts, and her bikini top.

“What madness is this?” He looked to Jordan as she pulled the bed sheets from her bed around her.

“It’s for clubbing.”

“Clubbing?” Titus blinked at her. He looked disgusted. “Madness…” He whispered again. He reached into the pocket of his expensive suit and tossed his phone to Jordan. “Call your boyfriend. Tell him that you are ill-dressed for the occasion and to come here in an hour. You are not meeting your mate nor prey in – blue jeans…” His lips rose and he said it through his teeth.

Only twenty minutes passed and Jordan found herself sliding into a tight blue dress. Titus sat behind her as he helped her put it on. Jordan of course, was feeling embarrassed. Titus seemed to be a master at makeup. Jordan didn’t like makeup but as her new tutor turned her to face the bathroom mirror, she saw someone she almost didn’t recognize. From head to toe, she was in a fitting blue dress that dangled just above her knees, high heeled shoes that brought her up a few inches taller, a gold necklace, a few gold rings, and makeup that brought color back to her face. The only thing fake about her was the clip on earrings.

“I – look like I’m ready for prom or something.” Jordan said.

“There is so much we have to work on, my dear.” Titus said. “How you thought you were going to seduce your prey is so far beyond me I may as well have been sending smoke signals to Rome.”

“I wasn’t planning on doing any seducing. What are you talking about?” Jordan limped around on the high heels as she tried to walk.

“What’s his name?” Titus reached out and held onto her hands to keep her upright as she walked. He walked backwards while the student stumbled forward.

“His name is Derrick, and he’s not prey. He’s my boyfriend.”

The grey headed man laughed this time. It was the first time Jordan had ever seen him smile. “I don’t give the relationship that long. You’re already a killer, I can see it in your eyes. That is a conversation for another time. Be careful when you make love with a mortal, Jordan. You may find the urges too hard to ignore.”

Jordan sat up and looked sickened.

“Eewh! No way! I’m not going to do that. You all have all that kind of fun you want, I’m not doing that. He’s just a boyfriend! It doesn’t mean I’m going to… you know.”

Titus threw some clothes in her general direction.

“Sure you will one day. It’s in your blood now.” Titus hissed with a hint of gratification in his voice. “You would be a master at subterfuge to not tell me that when you were mortal, the position you find yourself in now would have absolutely terrified you.” He pointed to her. “Now, it’s second nature. Nero tells me you’ve been running all over town with nothing but a smile for the past few nights and you say that you’re not changing? It’s the predator in you, Jordan.” Titus said. “You need not be coy with me. I am your tutor.”

Jordan swallowed and blinked at the man.

“I thought it was just normal changes.”

“My dear,” Titus sat down next to her and patted her head. “… these changes have absolutely nothing to do with what you are thinking about. You weren’t meant for this gift, so it will be a challenge to teach you the ways of the night. Personally, I don’t give that boyfriend of yours but two weeks, at the maximum.”

Jordan kept her sheets up to her neck and her blue eyes studied his expression.

“Two weeks before what?”

“Before you kill him.” Titus’s bite was passive and to the point. He got up.

“Get dressed. We have less than an hour and I want you to look appropriate for the occasion. We’re going – shopping.” And he said it with a slight pinch of regret in his voice like he couldn’t believe he had to deal with this.

Jordan went to mist for just a moment. It was a struggle not to get pulled into her mothers dehumidifiers, but she solidified just in time. It was the best, quickest way to get clean because when she materialized, all the dirt, or whatever she got into, was gone. She quickly got dressed into the clothes that she liked — tomboy style clothes that consisted of a few long sleeve shirts and a pair of jeans. She now had two pairs of sneakers to choose from; a pair that her mother bought, or a pair that had just gone through an explosion from a meth lab. She decided to go with the shoes her mom gave her. She stepped outside her bedroom door ready to go. Her tutor looked at her and tilted his head slightly.

“Are you sure it’s boyfriends you want? Appearances tell me that you swing more toward — boyish attire.” He said.

“Hey! You’re the one that demands we go — shopping…” Jordan put her hands on her hips and dramatically pointed her chin upward as she said shopping to indicate that there was something wrong with the way Titus said it.

Titus shook his head at nobody in particular. He opened the door for Jordan and swung his long arm from the interior of the room toward the doorway in an extravagant manner.

“Please…” He said kindly, yet coldly. Jordan felt a slight shiver work it’s way down her spine. She shook it off and walked through the door. It was then that she was met with a man in an expensive suit, behind him, Jordan’s neighbor.

“I understand you deliberately harmed my wife. That constitutes a felony under the law.” Mr. Draysdale, a forty year old brown haired, green eyed attorney — he had a college wring from Duke university on his hand and he held it at eye level to Jordan by crossing his arms.

“She was listening in on us. That’s spying! Meanie.” Jordan said.

“My wife can do whatever she wants inside her own condominium.” Samuel Draysdale said. He then handed Jordan one of his business cards. “Give this to your mother. I will contact her shortly for a suit you for medical expenses, and psychological trauma.”

“Go fuck yourself!” Jordan repeated her mother and went to push Mr. Draysdale back, but a pair of stone white hands pulled her back.

“I am terribly sorry, Mister Draysdale,” Titus said. He even bowed slightly to him which made Jordan want to kick him too. “Perhaps I should hold onto the card for you. We will all pull together to work out a suitable arrangement. Thank you so much and my humble apologies. Perhaps, before the paperwork is drawn up, we can talk about this over dinner, tomorrow night?” Titus walked forward and put a hand on the man while keeping Jordan at bay with the other. The way he put it was somewhat forceful; as if saying no was not an option.

“Sir, now is not a good time.”

“Titus Atticus.”

“What?”

“I have been polite with you, please. Allow me the favor of inviting you to dinner tomorrow night. I am quite sure that Anna will not mind, and on her behalf, we can come to an agreement, of that, I am sure. My name is Titus Atticus and I will make your time, much worthwhile.”

“I uh..”

“Just,” Titus stepped within nose-to-nose distance of the man an looked down at him. He had a kind, polite smile, yet his eyes were cold and insisting. “… Say yes.”

“Of course, Mister Atticus.”

Jordan watched as his wife pulled her terrified husband back a few steps. Titus stood steady with his hands holding one another behind his back. She didn’t even realize that he had taken his hands off of her after holding her back.

“We must be going,” Titus took the card out of Jordan’s hand and pocketed it. “It was a pleasure making your acquaintance.” Titus walked past the both of them with the little blonde girl in tow.

She found herself pulling on a dress that may as well have been the vampire costume she wore on Halloween night — only tighter. The bottom half almost made it to her knees, and flowed straight with a cut in the fabric that went right up to her lower hip. This allowed her to move her legs in the tight fitting dress, yet it didn’t have to be cut so high. The top of the dress was too loose for her and she didn’t like how it hung down too far, showing too much skin. One good yank and the rip that allowed her legs freedom would totally fall to the ground. Her mother would kill her if she spotted her in that dress. The mid-section of the dress was nothing but thin pieces of black fabric that caught hold of the black top. She went to have it fitted for her three times after Titus agreed, for some reason, that this was the dress for her. Once the top-half of the dress accommodated the lack of everything that she wished to one day have, she stepped out.

“The emperor’s of Rome would have labeled you an unfathomed beauty.” He said. “Don’t you agree?” He looked to the woman who helped stitch and needle her outfit to Titus’s definition of perfection and somehow, she agreed. Either she was a Vampire, too, or Titus gave her enough money to agree to anything.

“It’s too cold. The others’ will think I’m freezing.” Jordan said. “It will turn too many heads.”

“Our kind attracts it’s prey this way. This is part of your first lesson. It’s time to ditch the stitch of the old life and embrace the face of satin and lace, my dear.” Titus’s whispery song of a voice made Jordan almost weak in the knees. “Do you see? Do you understand, finally, what it is to be a hunter?”

Jordan snapped out of his spell of words and it was all shivers again.

“You’re weird.. But, in a good way! A good, weird? I guess that’s the only way to put it but I’m being honest.”

Titus walked up to her and placed his arm her bare shoulder. His touch felt warmer than usual. The young girl looked up to the older man as he looked her over. He breathed out and glided his eyes over her.

“I understand this is hard for you. One step at a time,” he reached over and picked up a pair of black high heeled shoes to go with her unnaturally revealing black dress. “.. As they say.”

“How am I going to pull this off and make the mortals think I’m normal when I’m walking out wearing a dress that would make anyone freeze to death in this weather?” Jordan simplified.

“That’s what coats are for.” Titus said without missing a beat. He pointed to a rack. “I recommend the black trench, with the belt. I saw to it that it fits you — perfectly.”

Titus watched her as she walked barefoot to the coat rack and wasted no time putting it on. The black coat draped all the way down beyond her knees. He gave her a smug smile as he leaned down and helped her slip into high heels.

“I’m warning you, I can’t walk in those.” Jordan said.

“If you can blow up a meth lab, you can walk in these. It takes roughly the equivalent effort.”

Jordan let Titus strap her feet in and he offered his shoulder as her trainer so that she could work on learning how to walk all over again. She hobbled, fumbled, and tried not to fall over.

“Its like — learning rollerblades all over again.” Jordan giggled.

“Roller, blades?” Titus asked while he held her up.

“Please don’t tell me you don’t know what roller blades are? What about roller skates?”

Titus nodded at the mention of roller skates.

“Welcome to the twenty-first century, Titus.” Jordan said. “Same thing, only they are in a straight line, not lined up like a car. Sort of like — ice skates, only the wheels are where the blades are.” She then fumbled again s her mind wandered off for a moment. “.. I wonder if that’s why they call them roller blades.”

“You would be amazed at the lack of active thought in an inventors mind; I am quite sure of it. Now, I’m going to let go and you concentrate on walking in a straight line. Arc your foot to land flat with every step. Move one leg, in front of the other and allow your body to sway.”

Jordan tried this and gradually got a little better at it as she attempted to stay on the same path of a weave in the clothing store’s carpet. She noticed the smile on the tailor’s face as she watched her learn to walk high-heels for the first time.

“She’s a fast learner, Titus.” The tailor said.

“Oh yes… I’m quite interested in this one. I believe she has it.”

“Has what?” Jordan asked Titus but in the asking, she fell over and landed on her face.

Titus took a deep breath at the same time he heard a muffled scream get injected into the carpet that Jordan’s face landed on.

“Despite the recent event, I still believe she has it.” Titus reinforced to the tailor.

“I will leave you both to it. It’s a pleasure seeing you again, Titus.” The woman said while Jordan concentrated on getting back to her feet.

“Pleasure is all mine, my lovely.” Titus let out a slight smile; that smile faded when he focused his attention back to Jordan. “I believe it will be less embarrassing if I allow you to wear that dress, with these shoes.” He said. He tossed Jordan’s sneakers next to her. “Hurry it up — it’s time to meet your boyfriend.”

Titus noticed once they got back to the condo that Jordan felt uncomfortable. The slender blonde kept picking at her dress until it was just under her belly button past the waist line as she sat down. She fidgeted around a moment and then, before anyone else could knock at the door, she got up, grabbed her bag, and vanished into her room only to come out in her blue jeans, and long sleeve t-shirt again.

“Sorry.. I can’t wear that. It’s horrible, stupid, unneeded, and impractical.” Jordan said. “It doesn’t even have pockets! You can’t survive without pockets! Pockets are a necessity!” She demanded.

“Are you to tell me, that I went through all that trouble to make you presentable, and you repay me like this?!”

Jordan stopped and gripped the doorway to her bedroom. Titus’s eyes seemed to go from his brilliant blue to a darker tint. Jordan felt her skin get colder as she tried to muster all of her energy, and courage to say it.

“Yep.”

Titus took a deep breath.

“Perhaps, your mother is right and you are different. Maybe you won’t end up killing that boyfriend of yours after all. If you have enough bravery to stand up to me, you may very well end up being one to stand up against her inner instincts.”

“We can return the dress. I know it must have cost you-,”

“Cost is of no importance to me. We will however, continue training for eloquence at a later time. For now…” Titus sat down at a table in the dining room next to the kitchen and waved toward the seats across from him.

The knock came to the door and Jordan instantly tensed up. Titus looked to the girl and did nothing more than stare. Jordan got up half way and stopped to make sure that he was okay with her getting out of her seat. Still, Titus didn’t move and his pale face was like stone with a blank expression. Jordan got up and walked to the door. She opened it and found Derrick on the other side. He had a block of paper, a stack of pens, and was wearing a suit and tie. Jordan smiled and would have blushed but being dead kept her from doing so. He walked into the room and froze at the sight of her tutor. He eyed the kid with his following blue eyes as Jordan shut the door behind him.

“Um..” Jordan swallowed and pointed to her boyfriend. “This is Derrick. Derrick, our tutor, Titus Atticus.” She said. The silence between Titus and everyone else was almost maddening. She looked to Titus and could see that his mind might have been racing for what to do.

“A man who knows how to dress formally is a man who finds importance in their goals. Unlike your girlfriend, I believe we have gotten off on the wrong foot.” Titus said. He looked to Jordan and then nodded to Derrick. “Please… Sit. I see you’ve come prepared for your studies. Jordan’s mother told me that she caught you two together in a terrible position. I find it commendable that you have been given drive enough to change your ways, somewhat.” By the time he finished, Derrick sat down next to Jordan. Titus shook his head. “Dear sir… Please stand back up and shake my hand. Tonight we work on etiquette.”

Derrick looked to Jordan cautiously as he got up and carefully eased to the other end of the table. Titus put one hand on his shoulder and shook his hand with the other. Once he had Derrick in his grasp.

“Very good… Very, good.” He said. He didn’t let go of him until he sat the boy down right next to his seat instead of next to Jordan’s. “Now…” Titus sat back down at his chair and leaned on his elbows. He crossed his fingers together and placed his hands just inches from Derrick’s spot on the table. “… tell me everything you know, about Jordan.”

Derrick seemed shaken by Titus as he burnt into him with his eyes. He realized that he was at the center of this man’s rapt attention.

“I uh –,” he started out with a voice too shaken to stand out. He looked over to Jordan, fear, prominent in his eyes.

“Please,” Titus said. “Don’t look at her – Look at me.”

“I.. I know I like her. And.. That she can dunk a ball.”

“You like her… And she can dunk, a, ball?” Titus raised a grey eyebrow at him. “Why do you like her?”

Jordan brought her legs to her chest while she waited for him to reply.

“She’s smart, and she saved my life.”

“I don’t consider saving your life to be very smart. Why do you really like her?” Titus asked.

“I don’t understand.” Derrick leaned his whole body toward the chair furthest from him.

“Sure you do.”

“Titus, why are you doing this?” Jordan asked. All Jordan got in response was an outstretched hand with an index finger. Jordan watched over her knees as Titus repeated the question and got no answer.

“You really don’t like her for anything than her looks. You want her don’t you? For that – body? Don’t lie to me. Back in my day that would have been all the servants wanted from the daughter of the ruler. Nothing but a good, fun, time.. An object…”

Derrick broke out in a cold sweat and backed away from him. Jordan could hear the screeching of the chair across the floor.

“Leaving so soon?” Titus asked.

“I’m sorry…” Derrick said. He was heading for the door but Titus suddenly swooped in behind him and pushed him back to the table.

“Don’t be rude, Derrick! Tell her if you’re ever going to see her again? Are you?! Are you ever going to see her again?!”

Jordan began to cry as Derrick shook his head. Titus pulled him up to eye level and stuffed money into his jacket pocket.

“Bus money home!” He hissed. He sent Derrick out the door and slammed it shut. He stared at the closed door and listened to the boy fumbling on the other side. He took a moment and then turned around to a very ungrateful young girl.

“It’s too bad,” Titus said to the sobbing girl. “I think he showed promise and I wasn’t about to let you kill him one night over the need of a meal.” The grey headed man sat down in the seat that Derrick originally pulled next to hers. “He may have grown better intentions for you, Jordan; better to have it not happen at all from a person that only saw you as an object of lust than to risk real feelings be grown while you battle with newfound hungers that would have eventually killed him.”

Jordan wiped her eyes and tried to control her breathing as she spoke through her fangs.

“I wouldn’t have killed him!” She shouted.

“Oh, yes you would have… You’d like not to believe that but I’ve seen it more times than you would believe. Eventually, you could handle love with a mortal, but not now… No… You are too young both as an entity in general, and as a child of the night. Good things come to those who wait…” Titus wrapped an arm around her and held her while she cried. “There there. You’ll feel better about this soon enough.”

Chapter Two

Lessons Learned

Nero knew better than to leave his clothes in a doctors office. Last time he turned to mist and slithered his way into the morgue, he ended up naked on a slab with medical students ready to carve into him with very sharp knives and when he returned. Walking out of the hospital without his expensive suit and multicolored tie was not going to happen this time and he left it all in the janitors closet this time. He also had Anna and Zak on his side. The two officers waited outside the hallway for the morgue doors to be unlocked from the inside. There was a click and the doors opened. Nero stood before both Zak and Anna naked and smiling. Zak pulled his sidearm and aimed it between Nero’s legs.

“You best mist your ass back into the air ducts before I blow your junk away!” Zak said.

“You’re going to need me to get rid of the evidence.” Nero said.

“Wait.. How are we supposed to solve this one if Nero here gets rid of the evidence?” Zak asked.

Anna seemed fixated on Nero as he walked around from slab to slab, searching for bodies as he tip-toed around in the buff. Zak saw what she was looking at and gawked. He snapped his fingers in front of his partners blue eyes.

“Earth to pervert…” He said.

“Ah, yeah?” Anna asked as she started uncovering bodies.

“Did you hear anything I just said?”

“Got it!” Nero said. This time, Nero already had a saw in place and he cut out the part of the neck with the holes in it. Anna and Zak observed what was left of the man while Nero sent a chunk of the corpses neck down the garbage disposal. He turned around and smiled at Anna after a chunk of flesh went down the drain.

“You like what you see?” Nero winked at Anna.

“Can I please shoot him?” Zak whispered over Anna’s shoulder.

“Lock the door behind us and meet us on the street,” Anna said.

“With your damn clothes on!” Zak added.

After doing everything known to the books about doing their jobs, incorrectly – they met back on the street. Nero had already beat them to it and was sitting on the hood of Zaks brand new Dodge Charger. Zak’s eyes darted to Nero and he instantly pulled the tall long haired jovial man off of the hood.

“Man… Sit on your own car.” Zak griped.

“We need to find Margot and put together another Sanctum.” Nero sounded saddened that those words came out of his mouth. “I’m not much for the establishment but if this keeps on, the British are liable to come in and take things over before we get a chance. They behead Vampires for smiling too much, much less following any regular rules.”

“You’re joking?” Anna seemed slightly concerned.

“Have you met your daughter’s new Tutor?” Nero asked “Imagine people like him running the city as far as the undead are concerned – no, not really. The British are assholes. We need to put this together quickly before word gets across the pond that we can’t help ourselves.”

“How does this effect us?” Zak asked. “Like, why should we give a shit?”

Nero’s attention suddenly fixated on Zak as his grin widened.

“Well, Anna’s daughter just happens to be a vampire, Zak.”

“Ah… right.” Zak sighed. “Damn.”

Standing in line at a late-night Subway restaurant, Zak and Anna watched their clocks. They had fifteen minutes; plenty of time to get back on the streets before anyone noticed they were off the clock too long.

They thought wrong.

Nero was at a table, sitting and observing the two detectives, as well as their reactions when the first person in line pulled out a list.

“Yes, I actually have three orders, three separate receipts please.” She said to the Subway sandwich artist. They called them artists instead of sandwich makers for some reason. Long story short, it took another five minutes off of their fifteen minutes to eat. Zak’s eyes widened when he saw that the next person in front of them had a list with ten names on it, followed by the different ingredients that they all wanted in their sandwiches. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out several credit and debit cards, as well as a few stacks of cash in paper clips.

Anna held Zak’s shoulder as his eyes widened more but it was too late.

“BULLSHIT!” Zak yelled loudly. Anna’s mouth opened wide with shock as she quickly stood between Zak and the girl.

“I’m so sorry…” Anna said to the man.

“He better be too. These are very important people I’m getting food for. You two can wait your turn.” He replied without a hint of fear in his voice, which he should have had because he was up against a seven foot tall man with muscles. Anna blinked and tapped the man’s shoulder.

“How many credit cards to you have? Are they all yours?” Anna asked.

“That’s none of your business.” The man turned back around and instantly felt another tap on his shoulder. He turned again. “Go away.”

“Sorry,” Anna held out her badge. “It is our business. This could be construed as credit card theft. Are all of those cards yours?”

“Of course not, but I’ve been given express permission to use them by the clients of Goldburg, Ironcrotch, and Draysdale.” He said.

Anna smiled. The sandwich artist took a break from his well disrespected craft because it looked as if both detectives encroached and leered over the businessman with the excessive order. All gazes consisted of worry, malice, or entertainment oriented focus as the seconds on the clock ticked away at everyone’s lunch hour. Nero was quick to intervene.

“So! What’s up?!” Nero said. “Oh hey!” He said to the business man. “… Didn’t see you there. It might be best if you left though; please come back another time. I am sorry about this confusion.” Nero said cheerfully and loudly. He never said he was the manager but it was automatically assumed that he was. “I tell you what, say Nero sent you and you’ll receive your entire meal for free, buddy. Please come back again.” Nero said as he rushed the man out the door. As the doors hissed to a close and latched, the long haired, slender, crazy-tied man swung around.

“What the hell was that about guys?” Nero asked.

“He works for a fucking asshole.” Zak said in a dismissive manner. “Oh, are we next?” He leaned over the counter to the dazed sandwich artist. He nodded.

“How may I take your order?”

By the time everyone but Nero was eating, the detectives had already dug five minutes beyond the time that they were officially supposed to be back on the street and actively perusing her cases. Nero knew that it must have been hard for them to dismantle their case and ruin their record streak.

“So, who is this guy tutoring Jordan, anyhow?” Zak asked.

“Not now,” Anna unwrapped her sandwich and sighed before eating it.

“No – I really want to know.” Zak said. “I know she’s not family but she’s been my best friend since I started looking after her half a year ago.”

“He’s someone that comes with a reputation of teaching younger vampires to behave. He might have a bit of a – ancient Roman attitude toward women, but he’s as good as his word and he promised me he would teach her all that she needs to know.”

“What about Derrick?” Anna asked.

“I told him about the other kid and he said that he’d have him where he needs to be.” Nero watched the two detectives eat.

“What does that mean?” Zak asked. “That sounds cryptic as hell.”

“He wouldn’t do anything bad to him. I know him that well.” Nero assured. He looked at his cell phone and smiled. “Also, Margot is on the way. She’s going to meet us here just as long as you don’t run any more customers off.” Nero said with a laugh.

“I don’t trust the guy.” Zak said.

“And what’s with this mist thing? Anna, she wouldn’t normally run around the city with nothing on. That’s not Jordan. It scares the hell out of me.” Zak added.

“You’ve seen it yourself,” Nero said. “.. You go to mist, you can’t take anything else with you. It also happens to be one of the swiftest methods of travel. Plus, well.. Vampires tend to – be more up front because it used to help them eat. It was evolutionary.” Nero watched Anna’s facial expression change. “… you can take the killer out of the Vampire but you can’t take the killer instinct with it… Anna – remind yourself what your daughter did last night and it might help you put a few things together.” Nero said. “She wasn’t exactly dressed for success and she blew up part of Brooklyn.”

Zak nodded to Anna.

“He’s right. Most thirteen year olds don’t blow up a city block.”

“They were extenuating circumstances. Most thirteen year olds don’t get shot by family friends, either.” Anna whispered.

“And most don’t live to tell about it after it happens, befriends a gang member, cures him of his addictions, and blow up a meth lab. Oh, how many bodies did they find?” Nero said. “My point is that, her brain has developed. She’s not human. She’s Jordan, but don’t expect her to act like the same person she was before she died.”

Anna turned red and held her face in her hands a moment.

“You told me that she was the same person that she was.”

“Everybody changes, but she’s the same Jordan, yes. She’s just smarter, more intelligent, more grown up, and instinctually driven.” Nero said. “In other words, she’s not a kid anymore. She lost her childhood but she’s going to live forever.”

Anna tried not to cry when Margot arrived. The elder vampire that didn’t look very elder, took a seat next to Nero. Nero sighed and took a look at Margot. The young looking woman wasn’t too thrilled about sitting next to Nero either and it showed by the way she angled herself away from him. Anna noticed that Nero wasn’t actually going to say anything so she decided to start, despite her hurt feelings over her daughters fate.

“We uh… We need a new Sanctum.” Anna said lowly.

“No shit.”

“Are you going to help?” Nero asked.

“What do you mean, am I going to help?! You’re not running it. I am. I’ve already gotten a small group up. We need more members. Titus has already agreed.”

“Titus is British!” Nero said.

“He’s not British,” Margot finally turned her body parallel to Nero’s in the booth. “… Roman. And you know that.”

“Well, what about Pedro?” Nero asked.

“Nero said that the Sanctum was for –,” she was rudely inturrupted by Nero.

“Okayyy! Well… I guess it’s up to me to join.” Nero said.

“And I.” Anna added.

Nero and Margot both looked to Anna oddly.

“You um — you can’t join.” Margot said.

“Why not?” Anna asked.

“You’re human.” Margot explained.

“So?” Anna said. “I’ve already been persecuted for being a bad neighbor. You’re not going to tell me that just because I have a pulse, I can’t contribute for you.”

“Anna… In the last Sanctum, all humans who knew about Vampires were to be… Taken care of?” Nero didn’t want to sound like a bad person by saying this and at least that it showed that he was delicate with the way that he worded his response.

“So Margot,” Anna decided to change the subject slightly; not because she wanted to get away from an argument but because she wanted a second opinion about her daughter. “When a person becomes like you, how much of that person is taken away, and what stays? Do they stay mentally the same age? Or do they change in that aspect?”

“Well,” Margot cleared her throat and continued. “She won’t be a kid anymore. Several centuries of instinct take over the reasoning of the person, no matter what age they are. I suppose you’ve seen the changes by now. I apologize. But – in all other ways, the same personality, the same memories… The same love.”

“But… What about her doing unusually open things?” Anna asked.

“Normal Vampiric instinct. She’s got no shame. She can’t have shame. It’s how she grabs her prey. She’s not a thirteen year old anymore. She’s a predator.”

“What about her new boyfriend, is he safe?” Anna watched as Margot’s reaction changed. “I mean.. I spent all this time thinking about protecting her, it’s just hard to – adjust to seeing my daughter as the one who could hurt others’.”

“Does this boys parents know that he was coming over to your place, specifically?” Margot asked.

“Of course.” Anna replied.

Margot pulled her cell phone out and dialed Titus. After a short conversation, she explained to Anna that Titus ran the kid off to his parents house and that Anna’s neighbors were causing more problems.

“Dinner with those jerks, tomorrow?” Anna slouched closed her eyes a moment. “Assholes…”

“So where is the sanctum now, and where are we holding the meetings?” Nero asked.

“First, we need to make it clear that the European coven doesn’t need to come around here.” Margot said. “We need to show them that we are capable of taking care of ourselves without their intervention and we can’t do that until we make it clear to the Vampires here in NYC that they can’t go around killing at random. We need to find a few of them and punish them.”

“What kind of punishment?” Nero asked.

“In accordance to Sanctum rules,” Margot affirmed.

“Come on,” Nero said. “We have a chance to start a new here. We shouldn’t be running around chopping people’s heads off for killing a few people that needed killing. Those people on the dance floor were selling illegal drugs, by the way. The vamps did us a service.”

“What about the man in the apartment that Anna found?” Margot said.

“Good point.” Nero added.

“Those you can kill, sure.” Anna said with a wink. “I hate being given cases that I can’t solve because it has something to do with a species that my daughter just so happens to be a part of.”

“You want Margot to kill people because it saves you from unsolvable cases?” Nero raised a brow at his friend and gave her a smile. “You certainly have gotten devious since I’ve known you.”

Zak smiled at Anna and nodded.

“I taught her everything I’s know!” Zak said.

“Everything except for proper vernacular,” Nero said.

“This meeting is pointless,” Margot said. “Let me take care of it. Nero, if you really want to be a part of this, please, act like a grown up.”

Nero shrugged his shoulders. “Well guys… You two have a wonderful day, and I’ll drop by before sunup to check on Jordan.”

“Thanks for letting me invite you,”Anna said sarcastically as they left the restaurant.

Zak turned to Anna after finishing his sub.

“So what are we going to do about this case?”

“We will keep investigating it up to a point and then add it to the black drawer of unsolved mysteries.” Anna replied while she continued to eat her sandwich.

“That’s going to be two in a year,” Zak reminded.

“Not if we keep this one open past the end of December. That won’t kill your average too much.” Anna breathed in and sighed. “Jordan has changed a little. I can tell.”

“She can get shot multiple times and live to complain about it.” Zak tried to joke to keep her mind off of it. “Of course she has changed, but she’s still Jordan. What are we going to do about Chrissy?”

“I know that she’s going to keep after Jordan, maybe even me too. I’ll do something about it.” Anna said.

“We could use her as bait.” Zak said. Anna turned to Zak and her expression changed to that of total surprise and dread. She breathed out as if she had been kicked in the stomach by some unknown force. Zak reacted to her expression.

“I never thought I would ever hear you say something like that!”

“Like I said before, she can take multiple gunshots and live to complain about it.” Zak said. “Besides, according to Jordan, Chrissy thinks she’s dead. There is something we can do here and I think you can see the opportunity.”

“Jordan said she took that shot up close and personal. There’s no way they would have expected her to survive. Unless…” Anna tilted her head and scratched her ear as she thought about it. “Zak.. You’re a genius.”

“What?” Zak attempted to figure out exactly what Anna had on her mind but she went ahead and told him.

“Call the hospital and reserve a room.” Anna said. “It’s time to get rid of someone.”

* Lenox Hill Hospital *

Titus Aticus approached Anna in the hallway. He looked into the windowless room where her daughter sat down on a bed. She and Zak were supposedly talking about what to do but the sound of laughs soon made it to Anna’s ears. Titus shook his head and looked to Anna.

“I must tell you that this is seriously against my better judgement. If it were up to me, you never would have known about – us, or my history in particular but seeing as the cat is out of the bag I can tell you that this is an old, old story.” Titus said.

“What do you mean?” Anna asked.

“I knew a man named Cesar. His best friend stabbed him in the back, too. He was eventually stabbed twenty-two times by the masses.” Titus leaned in. “It happens a lot, Anna – usually by the best of friends. It’s why you and Jordan never saw it coming, and it’s why I don’t look forward to having Human’s as friends. I will be your friend, Anna. I will keep an eye on you at the same time and please take no offense to it.”

“Why didn’t you help Cesar?” Anna asked.

“I was too far away and he had already tripped on the stairs after being blinded by his own blood. There was nothing left to save.”

“I’m sorry to hear about your friend,” Anna said.

“Don’t be. He would have been dead by now, anyway.” Titus looked through the glass room. It was designed to give privacy only by controlling the blinds but for that moment they would be able to look after Jordan. Anna pulled out her phone and checked the news on it. They had talked with an anchor and agreed that in exchange for an exclusive on their next case, they would mention that Jordan was in intensive care for a gunshot wound to the abdomen. “I would have rather completed her training but I see that there are more pressing matters. What do you intend to do with this, Chrissy?”

“Take her to court. I will testify as a witness instead of Jordan. That way she is safe. Zak will testify too and we can put her away once and for all.” Anna said.

“Do you really believe that this is the best course of action? Leaving her alive?”

“She would have killed my Jordan if she wasn’t one of you. I would want her dead but I’m not going to let my anger cloud my judgement.”

“I guess we better get you ready.” Zak let Jordan swing her legs into the bed and tucked her in. Jordan stuck her tongue out at him and giggled. Zak rolled his eyes and placed a plastic clip over her wring finger. The computer monitor behind him wouldn’t budge with a pulse, or any other electrical activity. Zak grunted with confusion and put the clip on his finger. The monitor lit up with a pulse and her could hear a low beeping. He took the clip off and put it back on Jordan’s hand and it flat-lined again. Jordan rolled her eyes.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Jordan said.

Titus began to look irritated as he watched Anna being pushed into the same room in a hospital bed. Zak put curtains between the two beds to make it look like a two patient room and then ran the pulse detector under the curtain to Anna’s hand.

“I’ll be right outside with Tight Ass…” Zak said. He heard Jordan giggle on the other side of the curtain. “You didn’t hear that, Jordan!”

“I heard it…” Titus whispered behind his ear. Zak’s eyes widened and he turned around to face the cold blue eyes of the man he had just poked fun at. He just stood there, with a strange unamused look on his face.

“You and Titus go to the observation room and wait.” Anna said with a hint of laughter.

“Zachary… A deck of cards await our attention.” Titus turned on his heels and walked through the doorway leaving Zak, Jordan, and Anna together.

“That fucker’s weird as hell,” Zak said.

“Yep…” Jordan agreed.

“We’ll be alright. Jordan, if you end up being here until the sun comes up, you won’t mind staying?” Anna asked.

“I’ll have to turn to mist to avoid anyone taking me anywhere else, but it’s not like I can’t find some scrubbies tomorrow night when I return.” Jordan said.

“Oh shit, what about Titus?” Zak asked. “He can’t stay all night until morning.”

“He’s been around for a very long time. I wouldn’t worry about what he has planned.” Anna said.

“Aight’. Jordan.. You and I, basketball tomorrow, got it?” Zak pointed through the curtain.

“Yay!”

Chrissy Richards wiped the sweat off her face with the back of her hand as she grabbed the bed sheets from the sleeping hulk beside her and draped them over her legs to bring warmth to her feet. It had been a long, interesting day. She had her car replaced, and she had a bruise on her cheek from a fight with Anna earlier in the day. It felt nice to top it off by getting with a man from her department. She was relaxed and was in the process of riding the aftershocks of lust as she rested her head on the backboard of the bed. She swapped through channels. Her expression changed as she saw a news title at the bottom of the local happenings bar that read – Police Officer’s child in intensive care after shooting. –

Chrissy jumped out of bed, foregoing the shower and walked straight to her cell phone in the living room. She looked out the window of her apartment and down into the streets as she listened for an answer. The city lights glistened off of bare skin and beads of sweat as the worried detective tried to piece together what to do in her head. Finally the phone picked up.

“Do you have any idea what time it is?” A man with a Japanese accent answered.

“It’s Jordan.. She’s alive.” She whispered.

“Impossible… Get sleep.”

“She’s alive! It’s on the news!” Chrissy said.

“Which hospital?” There was silence on Chrissy’s end of the line. “Which hospital? Hello?”

Chrissy dropped the phone because she had been stabbed in the back with a needle. She staggered around to see Angelica DiSoto behind her. She tried to say something but death had already taken over.

Lieutenant Pierce Callahan felt the blindfold fall over his face. He laughed lightly as he felt a warm body fall back on top of him.

“You’re freaky tonight.” The man said. He suddenly felt something prick his skin. Before he could protest the drug had taken over. It looked like a couples overdose to Angelica and she hoped it would look that way to the authorities, too. The young Italian girl was out for revenge and she had grown tired of relying on a police detective to try and do her dirty work. She stepped out of the apartment complex and made a few calls to people on her payroll. She had just put another cop on the take and this time, it was a man. In her mind, she couldn’t trust another woman to do the right thing. Chrissy had messed up one too many times. It didn’t take long to find the location of the hospital that Jordan was staying at and she quickly made her way there. She called a man named Lee for help despite the fact that he was the actual person that shot Jordan the first time. She wanted to make sure that he did it right this time. Angelica lost her father, and her two brothers to a thirteen year old girl it enraged her. It was hard enough simply to wait for Lee in the parking lot of the hospital once she got there. A black Mazda Maida pulled in next to her Mercedes and they got out together. Their cars blended in with the rest of the doctors cars in the parking lot and that pissed her off even more.

“Where’s Chrissy?” Lee asked. His dragon-eyes scanned the parking lot.

“I took care of her. Don’t fail me, Lee.”

Lee tilted his head in her direction and nodded. He reached behind his seat and pulled out what looked like a box of flowers, yet, wasn’t. It was a classic movie-style cliché’ but it always worked in real life because nobody would expect something so generic as to hide a sawed off shotgun in a box of flowers. The murderous duo walked through the front doors and signed in under some false names and made their way to the floor that their newest take-paid detective told them she would be on. The doors opened and they walked to a room where Jordan was supposed to be.

Lee walked in on Jordan. She was already awake and he looked at her.

“I don’t know how you survived this.” Lee said. He turned around and closed the door. Angelica stood guard in the hallway. “So I shot you five times was it? And I guess it didn’t hit a vital organ?” Lee shook his head and smiled menacingly. “You must be the luckiest girl in the world.”

“Why do you do it?” Jordan asked. Her calm made Lee nervous. “Don’t shoot me yet, please… I want to know why.” The young blonde whispered.

“You brought the DiSoto family under and killed everyone. Even the main man had a heart attack over it. All that’s left is Angelica, outside. You really messed things up and she’s willing to pay me a lot of money.”

“I have thirty-five bucks… I’ll pay you!”

Lee laughed and made sure that the silencer was screwed on tight. He put it to her chest but Jordan grabbed the tip of the gun and squeezed the open end of the silencer shut without him noticing. She held her finger against the barrel of the gun.

“Ah… Can’t shoot me now. I stoppered your gun with my finger!” Jordan stuck her tongue out at the man.

“You’re not as smart as I thought you were…”

Lee pulled the trigger and the round sent the slider into his eye. With the only eye left and a blown up gun in his hand, he looked to Jordan with shock on his face. Then, he fell back onto the floor and died. The monitor behind her flat lined and Zak pulled the curtains.

“Damn girl!” Zak looked at the mess that was Lee and shook his head as nausea crept in.

“Sorry. I didn’t want to get shot again. It really hurts!” Jordan said.

Outside Angelica checked her watch. A pale man in a doctors lab coat walked her way. He put a clipboard under his arm.

“Excuse me, miss. Are you lost?” The tall, pale man asked. She looked up and shook her head.

“I’m waiting for my friend. Staying near the elevator for him since I’m not sure exactly which room he’s in.”

“Ah… Well, tell me what happened to Chrissy…”

Angelica pulled her pistol but before she could squeeze the trigger, Titus ripped it out of her hand so fast that it skinned the flesh off of her trigger finger. Anna ran past Titus and Angelica. The Italian girl grabbed her wrist with her other hand as she bled onto the floor and screamed.

“Lucky for you, you happen to be in a hospital, dear.” Titus grinned wildly and reached out for her with fangs extended. Angelica froze stiff due to a mixture of horror and immense pain.

Anna ran in with her gun drawn only to find that the man Angelica had sent into the room was already dead.

“We have to find Chrissy!” Anna said.

“He said that they had already killed her.” Jordan said. She pulled away from Zak to let her mother hug her tightly. Titus leaned into the room.

“We must make haste. I need to take Angelica somewhere where I can keep an eye on her and we don’t want her to get taken where she will undoubtedly make bail.” Titus said.

“You can’t do that.” Anna shook her head at him.

“She knows what we are… As far as you two are concerned, I was never here.”

Zak ran for Titus but he and Angelica seemed to have vanished into thin air. He turned around and shook his head at Anna and then looked to the man on the floor. He smiled slightly.

“Do you always try and humiliate professionals? Or is it random coincidence?” Zak asked.

“What do you mean?” Jordan asked while gathering her clothes to change into.

Zak raised his hands in the air exuberantly like a stage actor and recited a theoretical headline from a newspaper.

“Professional hit-man kills himself with a misfiring weapon?”

Jordan smiled and giggled. She shook her head while she changed into her clothes.

“Nope… I just didn’t want to get shot again.” Jordan said. She wondered why Zak turned away and for a moment, it didn’t make sense to her until she realized that she had just buttoned the last button of her long sleeve shirt but it didn’t occur to her that she had changed out of a hospital gown in front of everyone in the room, including the dead guy with a gun slider stuck in his eye. “Oh.. Sorry.” She said.

“Damn… Titus was right. She’s turned into a freakin’ nudist.” Zak turned around to make sure she was decent. “At least get your shoes and socks on, you put everything else on in front of me…”

Anna didn’t say anything. She didn’t want to. She looked at Jordan’s face and saw that she was really surprised that she was so open without even realizing it. She watched as she slipped her socks and shoes on. She stood over the dead body and acted as if there were totally nothing wrong with that, either. It wasn’t a big deal for Jordan now as it would have been if she had been mortal. Titus was right about everything he said and Anna didn’t like it. There would be a lot of questions to answer in a few minutes and Anna had to stay behind with Jordan to answer them.

The first officers arrived on the scene with CSI and the process began. Two other detectives approached Zak, Anna, and Jordan as they were walked out of the room.

“Anna McKenzie, I’m detective Neil Fleming.” Said a thin man with short brown hair. He was in his forties with brown eyes, and a fair complexion. His partner was older, with grey hair, and blue eyes. “… My partner, Donald North. We’re with Internal Affairs. I understand this was an officer involved shooting?”

Zak and Anna looked to one another and then back at the IA detective.

“No sir… We didn’t fire a single shot,” Anna said. “By the time we entered the room, he had fired his weapon but it malfunctioned.”

Donald North hobbled down to his knees and inspected the dead body from the room. He was specifically interested in the gun slider that was sticking out of his eye-socket.

“I can see that.” He grabbed the door frame to get up and then looked to Anna. “I would like to take all three of you for questioning.”

“Whoa… Questioning regarding what?” Zak asked.

“Anna, did you have a fight with Detective Chrissy Richards the other day? Is that where you got the black eye?” Donald North asked as he looked at Anna’s face. She had put makeup on her eye to cover up most of the black and blue but it was still slightly visible.

“Yes, but she told my boss she wasn’t going to press charges.” Anna said.

“Detective Richards was found with another detective tonight. She’s in recovery, but another member of the police department she was with — didn’t make it. It was designed to look like a drug overdose, but Chrissy managed to survive the encounter.” Neil Fleming said. “I understand you went out of your jurisdiction to Brooklyn last night to investigate the explosion of a drug lab. Why did that interest you so much?”

“I wasn’t aware it was in the handbook that we had to stand by when we thought people needed help. Serve and protect motherfucker!” Zak bit.

Anna held her hand out.

“My daughter was missing last night. I went out there because I knew that she had friends in Brooklyn.” Anna said. “I don’t know what else you are getting at. If Chrissy survives, she’ll tell you I had nothing to do with her drug addiction. I didn’t even know she had one.”

“She tells us her house was broken into and they made it look like an overdose. We already told you part of this, Detective. All three of you need to come with us.” North said.

“Jordan can’t go with you. She needs to be home before morning. She has an allergy to sunlight.” Anna said.

“She can deal with it,” Neil said. He reached out to grab Jordan but Jordan pulled the man to the floor violently.

“Hey! Meanie!” She yelled. Neil went for her again and Zak knocked him off balance the moment he went to get up. He fell to the side and landed on the dead hit man. He yelled as blood got all over him from the ocular wound.

Anna held onto Zak to keep him from doing anything else stupid. Donald pulled is weapon but didn’t aim it.

“Any more of that and I will drag you all out of here in irons!” The detective said. “I want your guns, right now…”

“Go fuck yourself, North. I didn’t’ do anything wrong.” Zak said.

Neil got up and pulled his jacket off before the corpses blood soaked through to his shirt.

“Jesus fucking Christ…” Neil gasped as he held his coat out and dropped it to the floor. “Fuck…” He reached out to the girl, but Anna moved in between Jordan and the younger cop.

“Get out of my way.” He said.

“You went for her, not the other way around. You can question Zak and I at the station if you like, but Jordan is going home before the sun comes up.”

“You aren’t in a position to dictate anything. Chrissy is pressing charges for attempted murder. Now, we’ve deemed that you are not a flight risk until we claim otherwise. Jordan is coming with us.”

“Am not…” Jordan’s high pitched voice squeaked from behind her mother’s back.

“Chrissy hates me. If she nearly overdoses and kills her boyfriend, she would try and pin it on me. You have no basis to hold me on anything other than the word of another officer that I didn’t take to trial a few months ago for kidnaping my daughter.” Anna said. “She goes home, you can take us.”

Zak, Anna, and Jordan watched as the two IA detectives talked amongst themselves for a while. About a minute passed by before they turned to Zak and Anna.

“She doesn’t leave home.” North said.

“I’m grounded,” Jordan said. “I can’t leave home.” The little blonde girl looked up at her other with her big blue eyes accusingly. It had the opposite effect on Anna, it made her laugh – especially now that she didn’t have to worry about her burning alive in an interrogation room with a window to view a sunrise.

Chapter Three

The Beginning of One Life, the End of Another.

Angelica DiSoto, the last remaining descendant of the DiSoto family always thought that she would be able to start her own crime family. Had she known that a thirteen year old blonde girl would kill everyone off, and put her into a fit of rage that ultimately would put her in a cage, hanging from a ceiling of a place that looked recently burnt down, she would have lived a more simpler life. She looked beyond the cage to see the pale man she met at the hospital cleaning up.

“What are you doing?!” She yelled from the cage. “Get me down from here! I’m friends with the Grimaldi family! They’ll kill you for this!”

“For a rich girl raised in a family capable to afford proper education, you’re quiet a lousy negotiator.” Titus said. “Here I thought looking after young Jordan would be a bore, and then you shoot your way into my life. Thank you, my dear.”

“Who the hell are you?” Angelica looked down from the cage and at the room. It looked like a very old place that had been retrofitted to house computer servers, only everything was torched and burned. It was a tomb out of time.

“Titus Atticus.” He said. “I am your new master, you are my slave — my newfound key to understanding the century that I find myself living in. Times change so drastically that I sometimes find myself with the need of a reminder of how the mortals run their society.”

Angelica tried to squeeze her skinny frame through the fresh new metallic bars that must have been put together from a shark cage. After hearing his rant about her being Mortal, she was convinced that this man was insane and she needed to find her way out. She was sure that she smelt burnt flesh somewhere in the scent of burnt wood and electronic devices. This man might be a serial killer on the loose.

“When the people I work for find you, you’ll wish you were never even born! If you set me free now I’ll make sure that they never have to!” Angelica yelled. She realized that she wasn’t going to be able to make it through the bars. Titus was busy cleaning the area below her and didn’t respond to her right away.

“What are you going to do to me?! Who do you think you are?! Jack the Ripper?”

That finally got a laugh out of the tall pale man. He looked up and shook his head.

“Jack the Ripper was just a villain that the police couldn’t catch due to his cunning ability to avoid leaving evidence of who he was. Trust me, if I wanted to be, I would be much worse than Jack. But I am not. I’m doing you a favor, Angelica.”

Titus smiled to himself as he picked the old conference table that the Sanctum once used to host meetings as a center for his example of how strong he was. He kicked it and it blasted to splinters. Angelica flinched so violently that the cage swung on the chain that it dangled from.

“What’s the favor?” Angelica asked.

“You’re alive.” Titus said simply. “I chose you because you have viciousness within you. You can do the things that Rome would have spoke wonders of. You’re the Octavious of the twenty-first century. I can feel it within you. You sought vengeance for your family despite no need for further wealth, you could have taken over the family but instead you chose to kill the girl that defended herself against your rapist brother…” Titus felt his fangs extend as he said it. His voice turned to harsh whispers that echoed throughout the tomb that was the Sanctum and returned to Angelica’s ears with a sharp sting. “You have potential…”

“What are you?” Angelica asked fearfully.

“I’m a Vampire.”