Season One – Episode 9 – “Relationships”

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 10/31/2011

“Air Date” 11/23/2011

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

Derrick bounced his basketball along the court by himself. Christmas in his neighborhood was never too great. It almost seemed like any other day, only with a lot of depression. There was no month he hated more; it made him feel alone. After his third air ball, he decided he would quit playing. He turned around to see a present in the middle of the court. He stopped in his tracks and looked around. There was nothing beyond the lights that lit up the turf, nobody was around. There weren’t even tracks in the very light layer of snow around him. It was as if the present had been there all along but he would have noticed it by now. The kid looked around cautiously and walked to the present. His fingers dug into the wrapping and peeled away the paper to reveal a DVD Box-Set of a Vampire Series that he had never heard of. He blinked and held it in his hands a moment. Chills glided down his spine as Jordan’s voice caught his ear.

“I picked it up at the store on the way over here.” Jordan knelt beside him. He fell backward onto the thin sheath of white and gasped. Jordan was quick to help him to his feet. The blonde girl helped dust her friend off and gave him a hug.

“What are you doing here?” Derrick asked. “I thought that, what’s-his-name said I couldn’t come around anymore.”

“He had a change of heart. Are you – single?” Jordan shrugged her shoulders. It had been almost a month since she saw him last and she wasn’t sure if he was taken. She waited and held her breath.

“It depends on if that creepy guy is still around.” He said.

“He – is…” Jordan lurched forward as Derrick turned around to walk away from her. She grabbed his arm and yanked him toward her. “… But he told me that he wanted to apologize to you, in person. Please?” Jordan looked into his eyes in hopes that he wouldn’t walk away. Derrick took a few seconds. Even for a Vampire it was hard for Jordan to tell the differences between seconds and centuries, albeit, she had never experienced a century before.

“Okay…”

Jordan smiled and pulled him in for a hug.

“Can you ask your parents if you can come over for Christmas?”

“I can come.” Derrick said. “Where’s your wheels?”

Jordan donned a confused expression for a moment before she caught onto what he was saying and then she nodded — and then she shook her head.

“Oh, no… No, not now. Mom cam come pick us up. I came alone though.”

“How did you get here?” Derrick asked.

“The bus,” Jordan said.

“The bus on Christmas Eve?” Derrick asked. He raised an eyebrow at her. “I didn’t know they did that.”

Jordan looked around at the streetlights and then returned her gaze to Derrick.

“I was thinking that we could watch a couple episodes of that series tonight,” Jordan pointed to the DVD’s and hoped that he would forget about how she made it there if the busses were not operating. She wasn’t sure if that was true or not but she wasn’t going to be able to find out by asking him if he knew it for sure.

“Yeah.. Sounds cool.” The boy replied. She smiled at the kid that she liked so much. She pirticularly liked his smile. She wanted to see him smile again but it had been a while since she had seen him, rougly two months. Now, it was a little harder for him to smile but she had only seen him smile once, anyway. She wished she could just outright ask him to smile but then, it wouldn’t be very genuine. She hoped that now, after two months, things would clear up enough for him to allow himself an exprssion of joy, or laughter. He may not have known it, but to Jordan, that would be the greatest christmas gift of all gifts. She pulled out her cell phone and gave Anna a call. After her mother picked up and an agreement was made on where to meet, they sat on a park bench and watched the streets together. Jordan wrapped her slender arms around Derrick in an attempt to keep him warm, but sadly, there was no body heat coming from her to add to his comfort.

“You’re cold…” He said.

“Yeah, it’s cold out here, genius…” She tried to say jokingly as she wrapped herself closer to him, placing an arm around his jacket-clad shoulders and one leg over his. In his attempt at chivalry, he too, wraped his arms around the strange girl that was so attracted to him.

“How is everything now that there is no drugs on the street?” Jordan asked. She felt him tense up when she asked. The flesh of his neck rose and fell more rapidly as the river of blood underneath picked up speed.

“A – little better. Less addicts and shit.” Derrick said. “How are you doing? What’s up with that tutor?”

Jordan understood that he deflected the question slightly but decided to let it go. Her mom promised her that she would be able to spend time with him now that the tutoring process has progressed.

“He wanted to apologize for being so mean to you. He said that if you wish to continue learning, he will be nicer.” Jordan looked beyond then sidewalk toward the streets to see a slow moving car pass them by. That river of blood in Derrick’s veins turned to rapids and she could sense it. She watched as the car with three people inside with angry expression slowly crept away.

“… So would you be up for it?” Jordan asked.

“Yeah…” He shrugged his shoulders again once he felt more comfortable in the park again now that the car had left. “That dude is creepy though. He’s as pale as you, too.” He looked down at the package that Jordan gave him; specifically, he paid attention to the Vampire label underneath the store-fresh factory plastic wrapping. “And now you give me a Vampire series to watch, on Christmas… Are you trying to tell me anything, Jordan?”

Jordan loved how smart he was. It too courage to ask about such an outrageous thing. She smiled at him and gave the uneasy boyfriend a hug.

“That wasn’t an answer…” This time, he didn’t let the question go unanswered. Jordan was about to answer but they took notice of a group of people walking toward them.

“Maybe we should have mom meet us somewhere else. I guess these people walking toward us want to play basketball.” Jordan hoped, more than meant.

“Girl, those fuckers don’t have any basketball’s on them.” He had no way of putting it any more polite than that. They were about a football field’s length away. Jordan was able to zoom in on them with her eyes. Two out of the five men had guns tucked in their waistbands, and the other three had metal baseball bats. The bats, Jordan was sure that even her boyfriend could make out because the metallic length caught the reflection from the street lights on occasion as they made their haste toward them.

“Maybe they want to play baseball?” Jordan asked as Derrick sat up from the bench and pulled her toward the direction of the basketball court.

“Where are we going?” Jordan asked while being yanked.

“There’s a clearing over the fence and through the woods!” He yelled while tightly holding onto her hand during the sprint. Jordan looked over her shoulder to see two of the more skinny, fit guys were already passing the bench they were sitting on earlier. Jordan caught the box of DVD’s as they fell out of Derrick’s hand without even slowing down.

“Quick! Go!” Derrick said as he grabbed hold of the wire-mesh fence.

“You keep going!” Jordan said. “I’m right behind you!”

Jordan watched as Derrick jumped over the fence. Jordan tossed the DVD’s over him.

“Just go! I promise I’ll be okay! Hide and come out when I tell you —,” Jordan was going to add “too” to that sentence but she heard the fast approaching footsteps. Derrick didn’t listen to her and attempted to climb the fence. By the time he made it up the first row of chain-link’s, Jordan grappled onto her attacker. He struggled and fought as she drank deeply, weakening him. She was sure to lick the wound so that there would be no evidence of the bite. It healed in seconds by the time she kicked him to the ground. She grabbed his baseball bat and flung it all the way across the basketball court. She missed the man with the gun by an inch as the bat went on like a torpedo through the air. There was a crack as the bat embedded itself into the side of a trash can like a spear. She turned to Derrick and kicked the chin link fence. He flew off of the fence and landed in the bushes. Jordan ran toward the other four people. Jordan slammed her fist into the first gunman. She was sure that she saw teeth fly out of his mouth and she instantly smelt the metallic aroma of blood in the air. The next guy tried to hit Jordan with a baseball bat. She ducked under and it hit the other man before he realized his teeth were missing.

Derrick sat up in the snow in time to see Jordan throw a man toward the basketball hoop. Her three point throw was a miss but it was a very good try for an air ball. The backboard of the basketball hoop snapped as the mans leg got caught into the hoop and then he dangled just shortly before the whole hoop came apart from the pole that held it. Jordan raised her skinny arms out as if she were saying bring it on to the other two men. They promptly ran away. Jordan leaned down and cut her finger. She stuck it into the man’s mouth that crawled along the basketball court. There was a painful scream in the cold night air. Despite teeth littering the basketball court, the man that tried to hurt Jordan felt his teeth grow back into his mouth. It wasn’t enough blood from Jordan to do anything more than fix the injuries to his face – not enough to turn him into a vampire if he were to suddenly die later on during the night, but it was a small gift from a girl that might have been too harsh on the man. He got to his knees before Jordan leaned in.

“Why are you after Yoyo?” It was the first time she hadn’t called him by his real name for months. Her mother made her think about what that name stood for and she had agreed that it would be more honoring to call him by the name his parents gave him. This man, however, probably only knew Derrick by his street name.

“He’s wit’ da E-Side rola’s, ho. Be frontin’ on we all’s turf.” He said it kindly enough; after-all, he had a brand new set of teeth that an orthodontist couldn’t get any money from. Jordan, however, only understood that he was being nice to her for two reasons; Reason one being she officially scared the hell out of him, reason two being the fact that she cured him of many things and he somehow knew it.

“I uh… Whatever…” Jordan gave up trying to understand. “Get your friend. If any of you try and hurt Yoyo again, I’ll be back.” Jordan pulled the unintelligible man to his feet and watched as he pulled his friend out of a basketball hoop. They were well on their way to limping off into the hood before Derrick caught back up with Jordan.

“Okay… You are not human.” Derrick said the obvious. Jordan pointed to the wet plastic packaging that protected his DVD case and tapped the picture of the vampire character.

“Just don’t tell anyone, kay?” Jordan chirped.

“They’d think I was crazy if I did.” Derrick said.

*

Nickole Draysdale smiled in satisfaction whenever Anna walked through the hallway. It seemed that she was always aware when Anna was in the hallway. She was always there to gloat. She may not have been able to sue Anna for bodily harm done by her daughter due the persuasion of Jordan’s tutor by way of nearly two-hundred thousand dollars, but at least now she could see that Anna was merely a street-cop, or at least, for the rest of the year. Anna felt like unloading her gun into Nickole and her superior smile.

“Who’s your friend, Jordan?” Nickole asked as they walked past her to their home.

“Nunya!” Jordan said with a wide smile.

“Nice to meet you Nunya.” Nickole said. “Still in uniform? Anna?” She looked up to Anna and smiled.

“Only another five days and I’m off uniform status.” Anna did her best to get along. The idea of Jordan draining her to dust was the only thing that kept her from dropping the “F” Bomb on her every time she passed.

“Nunya isn’t my name,” Derrick said. “She meant Nunya’ Business.”

Anna smiled at the huff coming from Nickole. Jordan opened the door and everyone walked in. Titus was sitting at the dining room table with Zak when they walked in.

“Derrick!” Zak stood up; he seemed happier to see him than last time – more happy than Derrick would have ever expected him to be. “How are ya?” Zak nearly hopped over the table as he wrapped his arm around the young boy. “Save me…” Zak said. He turned around toward Titus and responded, “… I’m just going to chat and apologize to the boy since I was so mean to him last time.”

At the table, Titus looked to Jordan as she sat down next to him.

“… Humans – they keep forgetting we can hear them.” He said.

“I think it was a joke.” Jordan reached forward and grabbed a glass from the table. She could tell it was blood by smell alone. She drank it as Anna sat down. She adjusted her NYPD uniform as if it was uncomfortable for her.

“I can’t wait for these four more days to be done.” She gasped in exasperation.

“Holidays, throughout history, have always been the most trying of times, for everyone.” Titus said. He looked toward the presents under the tree. “We condition Christmas to be special in ways of receiving gift’s from loved ones, and to be able to have loved ones to give gifts to. But for those that have neither, what is happy for some turn to sorrow for others.”

“What’s this?” Zak asked as he grabbed the DVD case from Derrick’s hands. “Wow! Oldschool Vampire show…” Zak said. “Are we doing this instead of playing basketball?”

“Basketball?!” Jordan smiled.

“You already played basketball today…” Derrick yelled over to Jordan. Jordan flashed a silly look to Derrick. She might have been nonchalant about the happenings of the night, but to Derrick, it was all too real and new.

After watching a few episodes of a Vampire TV show that Titus had a hand in criticizing, Jordan handed him a present.

“For me?” Titus asked. “I’m touched…”

He opened the present and smiled. It was an annotated version of Dracula.

“My favorite…” Titus smiled. He was already sitting on the sofa after they all watched the TV show so all he had to do was lean to one side to hug her. Her boyfriend took the wise option of being on the other side of her, using her as a shield for Titus – which put Anna on the other side of him. Needless to say, holding hands with Jordan in front of her mother, and her mother’s best friend, was awkward for him; especially since Anna was in a police uniform, so Derrick stayed squeezed to Jordan on the other side of her as Titus hugged.

* Club Proton *

The new Sanctum was off to a shaky start now that several people were over from London. The club was closed down for Christmas. Nero’s footsteps echoed in the place where music usually flowed – it’s space eerily silent. He could hear the echo’s of argumentative tones being emitted from the VIP office on the catwalks above. It was easy enough to figure out where he needed to go, even if he didn’t like where his legs were taking him. He opened the door to find Margot, Jaime, and Pedro arguing with a man in an expensive grey suit. Nero raised an eyebrow as he walked into the room wearing the most outlandish suit in the club for a change. The man in an equally expensive, yet, more business-capable attire tilted his head and gazed at the long haired man with a tie that looked like it got sent through a tie-dye conveyer.

“Judging by the way you dress, I take it you are Nero.” He said with a British accent.

Nero smiled at the man and let the door close behind him as he stepped into the room.

“Judging by the way you dress, you’re a British guy…”

Jaime instantly started to laugh. She had been at odds with the man since before Nero entered the room and it was apparent by her lack of civility toward Nero’s horrible joke. Pedro even cracked a slight smile and he usually hated all of Nero’s jokes, regardless of how funny the were. All he heard after the hint of laughter was Margot’s sigh.

“We have some things to go over, Mister Nero; serious things. My name is Mercurio. I shall be overseeing the reboot of the sanctum since the horrible tragedy last September. I require everyone’s full attention and we must make sure that any injustice incurred since the fall of the organization does not go unpunished. We must act swiftly.” He said. Nero looked to Margot, and Jaime for a moment. They seemed uneasy after the words of this thin British guy met the air. He could understand that he was being covered for since he had broken many rules that the pact sanctum taught; specifically rules about not befriending mortals, telling mortals that Vampires existed, telling mortals that he was a vampire, crossing a mortal over into the night, allowing a mortal’s family to become aware of it, housing an immortal Vampire with mortals… The list went on and apparently this prick knew none of it.

“What are the punishments going to be? I mean, seriously… Not much could happen in just a few months.” Nero said with a shit eating grin. Pedro tilted his head to Nero, knowing what all he had done in the last two months, he didn’t find dangling his guilt in front of the man very funny at all. Pedro had thoughts of throwing Nero in a dumpster again for doing that.

“You obviously have no idea as to the limits of fiendishness immortals are capable of in such a short amount of time.” Mercurio spat as he sat down in a chair and rolled out a piece of plastic that emitted a light much like a computer screen. Suddenly, it turned on and they all saw in amazement that this was, in fact, a giant computer monitor. It displayed a map of New York City. “Now, I understand that your entire records database over the past several centuries have been eradicated by the ill-conceived doings of a dispatched heathen of which should have been dispatched long ago. We have to start from scratch due to the incompetence of your coven, Margot. “

Nero watched as Margot’s hands tensed by her sides. He almost found himself enjoying the anger and resentment she had toward the man. It was as if he was watching this girl get a taste of her own medicine for the first time. Nero caught himself smiling at Margot but Margot caught his flash of joy. She mouthed fuck you in his general direction and it only made Nero’s smile more broad and gleeful.

“… I want to assign each of you to spread the word that the Sanctum is back in control. This is vital to order and law. Step two will be to establish examples for those who have gone astray. Margot… You are to take the message to all immortals that occupy the western boroughs, Nero, you have the eastern side, Nero, you have central Manhattan.” Mercurio pointed to Jaime, “Jaime – I understand that you and Pedro need to keep this club established. You will swap with Pedro’s duties every other night. Coordinate with one another accordingly. Now openly, we don’t seek resistance and we will simply spread the word. Internally, my men will stand by for resistance. Report it. We need to set an example – we are in control now.”

“What do you plan on doing?” Pedro asked. “.. To the people, I mean; the vampires that show resistance to the new Sanctum?”

“We shall hold a meeting and start the beheadings, publicly amongst our community.” Mercurio said.

Nero turned and started for the door.

“I remind you that – if word of our internal plans get out, you will all be made – examples…” Mercurio made sure Nero heard him as he left. Jaime followed Nero onto the catwalk that overlooked a club that was oddly empty on Christmas night.

“Now you see why nobody likes the Sanctum…” Jaime said. Nero and Jaime walked further away from the VIP booth and through beams of twilight lights that cut through the dust that flew through the empty spaces. He gripped the metal railing and gazed at the stage full of unmanned instruments, and soundless amplifiers. Jaime saw that to Nero, it seemed as if the world was suffocating him.

“I’m sure that someone around here is listening to us. Too many ears…” Nero reminded Jaime. “We’ll have to talk more seriously about this later.” Nero said. “How are you – I mean, otherwise…”

“Fairly well.. Nero… You need to quit breaking promises on me.”

Nero smiled. He knew what she was talking about.

“My place or yours?”

“Yours…”

Chapter Two

Christmas was fun for a vampire, or so it seemed in the McKenzie household. Jordan had gotten flowers and a gun holster for her mother, a leg holster for a backup pistol for Zak, the Annotated “Dracula” for Titus, and a Vampire DVD collection for her boyfriend. She hadn’t yet seen Nero that night so she didn’t get a chance to give him his present. In return, she had gotten hugs and kisses from her boyfriend whom had no idea would see her until Christmas night, another dress from Titus (something that she wasn’t fond of – dresses), a Kindle reader for her books from Zak, a gift card for Barnes and Noble from her mother, and she was sure more presents were on their way in the mail. The best present of all was the fact that Derrick got to stay the night against Zak’s express concerns. It wasn’t technically spending the night though, it was spending the day – a day where her mother could constantly check in on them to make sure that nothing funny was going on.

Funny meant boinking…

The ground-rules were that the dehumidifier’s had to be on full (so no going to mist), and if her mother, Zak, or Titus spotted any nudity, Derrick spent the rest of the day handcuffed to the window-seal with a great view of West End Avenue. West End Avenue would also have a great fiew of Derrick – naked.

With a final warning from Zak, she closed the door to the bedroom and smiled at Derrick. Derrick in turn sat on the bed and got comfortable while his blond girlfriend vanished in the bathroom. She came out with a long shirt on that said Bancroft County Sheriff’s Department; it must have been her fathers T-Shirt because it was long enough to make it almost down to her knees. He was dying to ask if she had anything on under it but he reserved the comment out of decency.

“Did you want to watch some episodes?” Jordan asked. “Just make sure that all the blinds stay shut. No matter what, okay?”

“Yeah… Sure.” Derrick said as he cautiously stripped to just his shirt and boxers. Jordan put disc five of the first season of their TV show into the player and let it run while she jumped in bed for the morning.

“It’s gonna be strange you know? Sleeping during the daytime.” Derrick said as she slipped in next to him and kissed him.

“Yeah, but you get used to it… When night becomes day, the lights become the multiple suns that a day-dweller misses out on.” Jordan smiled and looked into his eyes. The TV show continued as the young couple fell asleep together despite the hum of multiple dehumidifying machines.

Anna could hear the shower running as Zak cleaned off. She could hear the sounds of Nickole Draysdale next door getting ready for her day, and the hustle of the cars picking up in the streets below. As the day wound up, she wound down. There was something to the new schedule that made her feel lonely; perhaps it was just Christmas. In a few days it would be 2012 – the year that supposedly was the last year, according to the Mayan calendar. She didn’t think about it as she opened the fridge. She saw the blood packs and sneered at them a moment before reaching past them to get to a bottle of Mountain Dew. She was still in her NYPD uniform and she couldn’t wait to get it off. She looked at the sofa to ensure that Titus was fast asleep during the light of the day before unbuttoning her uniform. She wanted to burn the uniform but she had a few more days to go before she was put back on Active Duty; it was safe to say she was counting the days. In her sports bra now, she heard a knock at the door. She sighed and put the officer’s shirt on the back of a chair along with her NYPD labeled turtleneck. She pulled the Glock 17 from her holster and tucked it into the small of her back in the waistband. After the events of the last few months, she could never be too careful – at least she knew it wasn’t a vampire knocking at the door.

Anna’s eyes widened as a bouquet of flowers preceded a man she hadn’t seen for nearly five years. Her ex husband, Daniel Anderson.

“Merry Christmas…”

He was a tall man with dark hair, green eyes, about Anna’s age – muscular too. Anna stood there looking at him with her jaw dropped.

“I – uh…” She scratched her head while trying to put together what to say to him. Just then Zak walked out of the shower with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist.

“What the hell?!” Daniel yelled.

“Yo, who’s that?” Zak asked as he stood in front of the bathroom door looking at the man.

“You sonofabitch!” He said it so fast that it was literally all one word. He pushed past Anna to the side and raced into the apartment. He was suddenly stopped by Titus as he placed his arms around him and held the ex-husband in place.

“Get off me!” He yelled to the tall pale man.

“Think it over, dear chap… Would Anna be sleeping with that man, while I was here – On the Eve of Christmas? This was a party, that is her partner.. I am her friend. And you sir, are out of line.” He grumbled. “Now… If I let you go, will I finally be able to get to sleep sometime this morning?” There was clear agitation in his voice.

“Who are you?” David turned to face him.

“A friend… A friend that is going to sleep on Anna’s sofa. Good day, sir.” Titus said as he walked to the sofa and laid down.

“You’re her ex?” Zak asked while holding the towel up with his left hand. “Nice to meet you. Sorry to make you think I was laying a mile of pipe in her.”

Anna kicked her partner and he jumped. He took that as a sign that he needed to leave them alone. Getting dressed would be a perfect excuse to do so.

“I’m sorry.” David said.

“Even if I was with him… You and I are divorced. Remember?” Anna said.

“Sorry…” He said again. He handed her the flowers that he had been holding behind his back – several of them were bent from when Titus grabbed him from behind to keep him from getting beaten up by a naked black man. Anna smiled slightly and shook her head, letting her know that she somewhat forgave him simply because he knew how to start a scene.

“Look… I know you wanted to surprise us. You really should have called ahead. But – I think you know that now. Did you come all the way from Iowa just to see us?” Anna asked.

David smiled and nodded.

“I missed you, Anna. You and Jordan.”

“Yeah.. Well, obviously we’re booked for the night. Do you need any money for a hotel?” She asked. “I might have a friend that can set you up for the night.” Anna said.

First off, David never knew Anna to use the phrase set you up in a sentence before. She was obviously being influenced by the New York lifestyle, second, he was appalled by the fact that his own ex-love would show him the door when he tried to surprise her.

“Driving me out? I thought you would be happy to see me?!”

Anna turned her head and this time she wasn’t very happy or entertained.

“You came uninvited!” She said.

“Well, let me see Jordan and wish her a Merry Christmas before I leave.” He said. “She in here?” He started walking toward the door and Anna was quick to chase after him; to no avail, she couldn’t stop him from swinging the door open and spotting his young yellow-haired daughter sound asleep in bed – next to a boy.

“What the fuck?!” He yelled loud enough to wake Jordan from her slumber. Behind them, Titus took a set of covers and pulled them over his head. He had spent centuries delegating political squabbles involving families and their promiscuous activities with other families, and in his time, even promiscuous activities within the family, too. – So, he didn’t give a shit.

In the bedroom, Jordan woke up to see her father. She checked to make sure that it wasn’t a dream. Despite the level of her father’s freakosity, she smiled and jumped out of the bed and hugged him right in the middle of his wtf mode.

“Daddy!” She squeaked. “I missed you!”

“I – missed you too! Who – Anna? ANNA! What is that!” He pointed to the bed where her boyfriend lie sound asleep.

“That is none of your business. I’m her mother and you’ve already jumped to too many conclusions today.” Anna said. She pointed to the door even though Jordan was practically attached to her father.

“Can he stay just for a while?! Dad! Don’t go!” She said. “I love you!”

“I’ll be by tomorrow if that’s okay?”

“Can you come tomorrow night?” Jordan asked.

“Tomorrow night? I wanted to take you to Six Flags… Wouldn’t you like that?”

Jordan almost emitted her expression of sadness when her father mentioned something – some place that she wouldn’t be allowed to go to due to the lack of sunlight. She leaned back and sighed.

“Aww, I – can’t go out during the day.” She said.

“She has a skin disorder. It developed not long after she got here. It’s a type of Porferia.” Anna said. She had been doing her homework with Titus to ensure that there would be a reasonable excuse for when the questions started coming her way. Her father had never heard of the disease and he looked to Anna concerned.

“What is it? Is she alright?”

“She is… She can’t go out in the sunlight though. It would hurt her skin. We’ve had to switch to home-schooling her. The man on the sofa is her tutor.” She explained. “We’ve all kind of become somewhat of a family over the past few months.” Anna said.

“I’m sorry dad.” She said. She didn’t like having to lie to her father but it seemed that it was the best thing for her to do since he would think they were all batshit crazy if the truth were emitted.

“It’s alright sweets.” He said.

“I have a good friend that probably wouldn’t mind you coming over.” Anna said. “He’s asleep right now, too probably but you’ll love his place. From what he described to me, it’s the best bachelor pad known to man and you’ll f it right in.” Anna smiled. “I really am happy you are here, it’s just bad timing. You should have coordinated with me before working to surprise Jordan. It was very sweet of you. I missed you.” Anna said.

“Alright…” Daniel sighed and gave Jordan a hug. He knelt down to be face to face with his daughter. “I’m so sorry. I hope everything is okay for you? I know how much you loved playing out during the day. Are you okay?” He kept asking. Jordan did miss some of the things that she used to do as a normal human child but she knew that there was nothing she could do about that. Nero, the friend with the happiest outlook on the subject of being a creature of the night was a great help as well. She thought about her adventures with him so far and couldn’t help but smile.

“Nah, dad. I’m fine. Thank you.” She said. It was genuine. As Nero said to her, you get to live forever kid. You get to experience so much in many lifetimes; trading the day for night is not that bad after all.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night, okay? Tell me who your friend is sometime.” Daniel patted her on the head and headed out the door. Zak had gathered his things and was right behind him on the way out.

“I’ll show him where Nero’s is. You know this is going to piss him off right?” Zak asked while putting his coat on. He caught Anna’s glance and smiled. It was going to be great.

Anna looked to Jordan. The young girl was practically glowing with happiness. She bounced on the heels of her bare feet so much that her shirt was starting to ride up and her yellow hair flung up and down. Anna guessed that she could jump as high as she wanted to now. A few more bounces and she was almost to the ceiling and she didn’t want her boyfriend seeing parts of her that she would not agree with him seeing.

“Jordan…” She said.

“Sorry! Dad’s home!” She squeaked.

“Yes… But you do know we have to keep some things secret.”

“Yah…” It was a quick yes which was daughter-mother talk for alright, quit bickering!

“You do know that you’re going to have to clear the refrigerator out or disguise the blood as red-wine? Right?” Titus’s voice said. “I’ll spare some expenses tomorrow night to get you your own box fridge — with a lock.” His voice was groggy, agitated, and wreaking of shut up so I can go to sleep.

“Wow! My own fridge!” Jordan jumped and hugged Titus. He was not amused at the fact that she had jumped on him in front of her mother; nor was he amused that after everything that he had taught her over the past few months, she felt that the offer of her own refrigerator was generous and not out of necessity. He wasn’t in the mood or in the energy-level needed to explain things to her so he simply let it be and pushed Jordan off of him.

“You fledglings have way too much energy. Go to bed.” Titus practically demanded.

“You heard the man,” Anna said. There was a bed waiting for her too and she felt like if she were drained of waking energy for another minute, she would pass out in the middle of the apartment living room.

“Want me to drive?” Daniel asked as he watched Zak yawn.

“You’re asking to drive a police car? Get out of here…” Zak said with a laugh.

“I’m a cop,” Daniel reminded him.

“No – no you a small town sheriff deputy,” Zak corrected. “And in the NYPD, letting someone else drive your patrol car is an offense that can get me fired. No – I’ll drive. Besides, you have no idea where Nero lives.” He laughed as he put the car in gear and drove off. Daniel made sure Zak wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel by keeping up conversation as they headed over the bridge to manhattan.

“Look, I’m sorry about earlier.” Daniel said. “Anna is right. I guess she isn’t mine anymore. But from officer to officer, I have to ask something regarding my daughter. What is Anna doing letting Jordan sleep with some boy?”

“They stayed up all night. They’re in good hands. We threatened him with handcuffs to a railing if he tried anything funny but as you could see, all that bitching and he didn’t even wake up. Sex is the last thing on his mind.” Zak said. He wanted to believe that himself so he helped make himself believe it as he applied more pressure to the gas. This was awkward for Zak and he was trying to understand why he could deal with multiple offenders, but Derrick of all people, made him nervous.

“So who is this, Nero, anyway?”

“He’s a private investor of sorts I guess. He used to be a cop until he got fired but it was later found that he – was framed. He could come back but he chose to stay away ever since. Nice guy – bad taste in ties.” Zak said.

Even as a man from Iowa, Daniel knew when he was approaching Times Square. Zak pulled into the nearest parking garage where they had to walk to their destination. He was almost expecting Zak to say he was joking when they entered the lobby of the Times Square Condos. They walked through the lobby while Zak waved to the man behind the desk like they had known one-another. The elevator ride to Nero’s wasn’t quick enough. They both hated elevator music. As they got close to Nero’s place, they heard a scream. It sounded urgent and the door was unlocked. Daniel pulled his .45 Revolver.

“Man… You can’t have that in New York!” Zak whispered.

“Would you rather I put it away?”

Zak rolled his eyes and opened the door. They stormed in to find Nero and Jaime naked on the floor. Jaime leaned up and Nero noticed Zak. He waved the free hand that wasn’t on Jaime’s butt.

“Welcome… Sorry, this is a – private event. Nobody else can join in.”

The thin dark haired DJ laughed. The two had no shame.

“Sorry, we heard screaming…” Zak said. Daniel turned around out of respect for the mating couple.

“Look,” Daniel said as he traced the imperfections in the wall behind him while holstering his sidearm.. “I was told that you would be able to have me for a few days while I was in town visiting my daughter.”

“Daughter?” Jaime asked.

“Hey.. Are you two going to get dressed? Can he stay?” Zak asked both questions in fast succession because he didn’t want to see Nero naked anymore.

“If you two can step out for just a few minutes… I’ll let him stay.” Nero said. They both watched as they were left alone. The door shut on them and Nero looked to Jaime with a sad expression. “Rain check on the fireworks?”

“Damn it…” Jaime sighed and rolled her eyes. “Who is that?”

“I think it’s Jordan’s father.”

The two got dressed and quickly re-arranged the apartment in a way where the blood was locked up where this mystery-father couldn’t find it. By the time they let him in, Zak was gone and it was only Daniel on the other end of the door.

“Sorry for barging in. I thought she had planned this with you in advance.” Daniel said. He stepped into the room and brought his luggage in with him. Nero patted him on the back. Jaime offered a wave to him.

“It’s okay. I think you just became part of a practical joke. So! Jordan’s father… Anna’s ex?” Nero asked. “Sorry for the circumstance but I bet Jordan is thrilled.” He waved to the sofa. “It’s been a rough night. I hope you don’t mind but Jaime and I are going to get some rest in the bedroom. The one rule we have is that you don’t mess with the blinds. Would you be up for catching up later this afternoon?”

“Ah yeah… That’s fine.” He said. He noticed that Jaime only had on a long shirt. Nero only bother to put his pants on. He was sure that they weren’t going to rest right away, and he was also sure that they were telling the truth about Anna never running plans by him.

“Feel free to use the remote. We don’t have anything to eat or drink right now, but there is tap water.” Nero tossed a remote at him after turning the TV on which consisted of a projector that dropped from the ceiling and a large screen displaying the TiVo logo. Suddenly, Daniel seemed more at home.

“Wow…” He whispered.

He paid no attention to Nero and Jaime as they scampered off to the bedroom together.

“I find it amazing Titus didn’t object to this. We have the sanctum obligations to go to and I have to give Jordan her present tomorrow. How am I supposed to do all this while babysitting Anna’s Ex?” Nero said as he lost the pants he slipped on and jumped in bed.

“Titus wasn’t there. He has no idea that we were given orders to run around finding people to persecute and set examples.” Jaime said as she lost all she was wearing as well and replaced her attire with bed sheets, and of course, Nero. They got comfortable together again in the protection of the locked bedroom. Their night wasn’t going to be one of the most smoothest nights they had encountered by a long shot, and they knew it.

Chapter Three

It all boils down to love

Pedro was a little ticked off. Jaime had not been there when he stepped out of bed to help him set the equipment for the night of partying. Partying was important to him because it was the main source of his income. He simply didn’t want to be the one responsible for setting up Jaime’s equipment as well as his own. The closing proceedures were not according to him; it was building code. Every amplifier had to be shut off at the source, every piece of equipment right down to the keyboards had to be manually turned off, and then the circuit breaker had to be shut down. This was easy when everyone was there to shut everything down – that part always is. The part that wasn’t fair, according to Pedro, was having to be the only one to walk around turning it all on.

“Gothic bitch…” He whispered to himself as he started turning his partners equipment on. His phone rang and he looked at the screen. It was Jaime. He picked it up and didn’t allow her to speak.

“Jaime! Girl! Get up here and start turning your shit on. I don’t want to do this for you every day!” Pedro yelled.

“Every night you mean. Yes, I know – I’m late! I’m on my way! I just need time to go home first to pick out my wardrobe”

“Where the fuck are you?!” Pedro said.

“Hey Pedro!” Nero’s voice rang through the phone.

Pedro’s facial expression changed to that of dread and disgust as he looked at the phone like it contracted a disease before hanging up on them.

“Problems?” The British accent angered him almost more than Nero did as a whole. Pedro turned around.

“My business partner was spending time across town fucking one of her friends and leaving me with all this shit to set up. Other than that, no problem, dude.” Pedro tried to sound as dismissive as possible as the amp’s he touched clicked on and emitted a low hiss for a moment. He stood up straight and checked for all the red lights. It would be dark in just a few minutes and instead of picking out what to wear for the club, he spent the time doing someone else’s job.

“Are you not going to go outside and make examples for the Sanctum?” Mercurio asked as he pulled some of his long blonde strands behind his ear. He stood there like he owned Pedro and it thoroughly pissed him off. Pedro shook his head.

“I have a club to run, Mercurio. This equipment has to be running before the doors open. Some of the other vampires are going to be rushing right to us anyway. Until then, though – No… I am not going to be running around the fucking city, making examples. That will happen as soon as Jaime and I coordinate between sets of tracks.”

“Unacceptable.”

“Do you not understand that we have jobs? We have obligations. I – have obligations. We also had a meeting last night to make sure that we knew how to run those obligations and work with the Sanctum at the same time. Now you stand there telling me that everything you talked about wasn’t exactly how you really wanted it and call this unacceptable?! Fuck off, Mercurio.” Pedro lifted his middle finger in Mercurio’s general direction. The thin blonde man raised a brow as if that was a bad idea for him but Pedro was confident that he could stand is ground. He was right, this time, it seemed. Mercurio let him walk away.

*

Derrick woke up before Jordan did. He opened his eyes and noticed something interesting happened during the night – her shirt had rode up her legs and past her hips during the day’s squirming. He couldn’t resist peaking. He thought to himself that one day he might actually get lucky with her. Those thoughts might have continued if it weren’t for something else interesting that happened during the night. If he had looked at her face first, wouldn’t have dared risk pissing her off by peaking under the sheets. Her bright white, razor sharp fangs were extended a fraction of an inch past the rest of her teeth. They were extremely pointy and if it weren’t for the terror of the moment, might have seemed slightly cute. The fangs suddenly shot back into her gums and her eyes opened. Derrick’s eyes widened while Jordan stretched her arms out and yawned.

“Grrr.. Is it Five PM already?” She said cutely.

“Ah… Yeah.” Derrick said.

Jordan sniffed at him and went to kiss the boy but he pulled back. He felt a leg wrap around his and she pulled him closer. He kindly resisted while she put her arms around him. Her smile faded slightly as she saw his scared expression.

“What is it?” She asked. She felt his boxers where she should have felt her shirt and instantly reacted by letting go of him and pulling her shirt back down to the length that it was before they had gotten into bed.

“Oh! I’m sorry.” She said.

“Ah yeah.. It’s – it’s okay. Really.” Derrick played it off since there was an excuse. “So what are we going to do tonight?”

“Hm… When mom leaves for work, want to — take a shower with me?” She whispered.

“No!” Derrick said flat out when he should have been more diplomatic about it. Jordan felt the goose bumps rise in his arms the moment she suggested it. She was starting to wonder if Derrick really liked her now. She wondered if maybe, something happened the other night that averted his affections. What she didn’t know was that Derrick got the message loud and clear – the Vampire DVD’s, the fangs that he witnessed – it all had him imagining Jordan proclaiming how tasty he was while she showered with his naked corpse with the leftover blood circling down the drain Psycho-Style.

“What?” Jordan felt a little hurt but she tried to hide it. “They won’t know. Come on… It will be fun!”

Derrick swallowed hard.

“I really like you, Jordan. I don’t want to give your mom the wrong impression.”

“Well we have to do it before my dad gets here anyway. We’re either going to do it one at a time, or together.” Jordan said.

“Wait, wait, wait… Dad? I thought you either didn’t have a dad, they were separated or something?”

“Oh! Yeah!” Jordan said. “They are, but he’s here for Christmas! We get to go around town with him and stuff!”

“I get to hang around with you – and your dad?” Derrick was weighing in whether he should risk being her next meal now. It might be safer. “Alllright. Well, you go first. I’ll come in after okay?”

“Aww, but your friends got to see me like that.. Don’t you?”

“Not while your parents are both in town…” Derrick said in a sing-a-long voice.

“He is a smart one…” Came the voice that shocked the both of them. They both turned their head to the corner of the room. Titus had obviously been there long enough to hear Jordan’s urges to do things that her mother would never agree to. It was as if he expected her to break the rules and he didn’t seem the least bit surprised or concerned with it.

“Holy shit…” Derrick said. The young boy turned in the sheets and Jordan hugged him from behind as the well dressed vampire elder approached the foot of the bed and looked down on them.

“Your secret is safe with me. In my day, we were having children at your age. Derrick, however, is wise and chooses his time to mate with you. Why don’t you run along to the shower. I have a partial itinerary to go over with your girlfriend.” Titus made sure that his statement was not misconstrued as a suggestion. Derrick got up and headed for the bathroom after quickly figuring out where the towels were. Meanwhile, Jordan looked to Titus.

“Dead or not, are you really sure you want to go that far with – Him?” Titus whispered as he sat down on the bed next to her.

“I wasn’t even thinking about that. I actually kind of want to play basketball with him. I’m starting to think he doesn’t like me like that,” Jordan said. “He didn’t want to – play around like that with me.”

“And your mother would be so proud of him…” Titus said. It was obviously implied that she should be ashamed of herself for the thoughts that she was having. Titus knew that this girl was probably going to end up doing many things that her parents would disagree with in the coming months. The killer instinct of a vampire included all of the grownup things incorporated with attracting human prey and this instinct was now in Jordan; a young girl that had no idea what to do with it now that she had it. At least by bestowing a little guilt on the girl, Titus could hold off the inevitable for a little while longer – at last until after the holidays. Jordan sat up in the bed and picked at the shirt that she was wearing for something to do while she thought about it.

“Sorry.” She whispered.

“It’s okay. But remember what we talked about. No more mortals, under any circumstances can know that you are a Vampire.” Titus said. “I know he’s your father. I know that you think that you can trust him with anything that you say, but a line has to be drawn. There are some serious consequences to telling mortals you are a vampire, or allowing mortals with the knowledge of vampires, to live.” Titus said. “I’ve broken many guidelines and the guild that enforces those rules are back in New York. It is paramount that you don’t do anything to attract attention.”

“What will they do to me if they find out I’m here?” Jordan looked intently at Nero.

“They will kill Derrick, your Mother, possibly even your Father. They may even behead every vampire you’ve learned to trust and love. Nero, Pedro, Jaime, Margot, and I.” Titus said.

“Derrick doesn’t know I’m a Vampire.” Jordan said.

“Actually, yes.. He does.” Nero said. “While you were sleeping, he took a peak down below the sheets and was admiring the view until he saw the fangs sticking out of your mouth when he looked at your face. I think after the Christmas Gift, and your multiple strange encounters, he was able to put it all together when he saw your fangs. That’s why he didn’t want to take a shower with you, not because he dislikes you. He wouldn’t have peaked at you if he didn’t like you. You terrify him.”

“What should I do?” Jordan asked.

Titus sighed and rolled his eyes.

“Are you hungry?” Titus asked.

“Not yet… I probably will be in a little bit.” She said.

“Then join him… Go.. Don’t’ kill him.” Titus pushed at her after she turned her head. Her bright blue eyes looked him over to make sure that this wasn’t some sort of a trick. He pushed at her some more toward the general direction of the bathroom. “Once he knows that he can survive a relationship, there’s less of a chance he will discontinue the romance out of mortal fear for his life.”

Jordan smiled and went to mist in order to join him in the shower. Titus was suddenly concerned when he saw the mist get sucked into the nearest dehumidifying machine. Titus quickly shut the machine off in hopes that Jordan would come out. He pulled the retaining bucket out of the machine and sighed. He had never encountered this problem before. Jordan was suddenly turned into a liquid.

“Blasted – bloody hell…” He whispered to himself.

Carefully, Titus poured Liquid-Jordan into a frying pan while he cursed her mother’s idea of using a dehumidifier to keep the vampire girl grounded. He hoped that Anna would still be asleep by the time he boiled the poor girl back into mist form. Sadly, that didn’t happen. The door opened and Anna whiffed the air.

“Smells good. Making a night-time breakfast?” She asked.

“Not exactly. You need to re-think the dehumidifer idea unless you want to accidently kill Jordan by diluting her with too much water already gathered from the room – or worse, sending her down the drain where it would take a long time for her to ever escape.”

“Oh my god! Jordan is in there?!” Anna leaned over the stove and looked at the boiling water. “Oh my god! Oh my god!” Anna started to cry.

“Calm down. I believe everything will be fine.” Titus said.

He watched as the last of the water, or the last of Jordan, one, boiled down to the last drop. Anna and Titus observed some of that mist heading toward Jordan’s bedroom and collecting underneath the door. Titus sighed in relief because he knew that his plan to put Jordan back into mist form where she could control herself, worked.

“I’m so glad I have you here.” Anna hugged Titus as she started to cry. “I thought she would be able to get out when the power was turned off.”

“That is why Vampires fear mortals. They might not be able to kill us, but even their accidents do us harm. Please, let Jordan be a Vampire. She is going to grow up fast.”

As soon as he said it, there was a scream. The bedroom door opened and a wet, naked boy ran out, screaming for dear life. He ran to the kitchen and curled up in a ball by the stove and the kitchen counters. Titus and Anna ran to the bedroom to see Jordan, also naked, but with a trail of mist constantly following her around and she was partially see-through.

“Jordan! Are you okay?!” Anna asked.

The shaken steamy translucent blonde girl pointed to Anna.

“You dehumidified me!” She squeaked! She then pointed to Titus. “And YOU poured me in a pan and boiled me! I don’t like being boiled!” She screamed. “Or dehumidified!” There was still steam coming off of her but the more she cooled down to room temperature, the more solid and opaque, and naked she looked.

“You boiled my girlfriend?!” Derrick yelled in a shaken tone as he flattened himself against the kitchen counters and the oven door.

Jordan patted herself down to check if all the parts that she left with were still there. She then looked to Derrick.

“I didn’t mean to scare you…” Jordan said. She reached out to take Derrick’s hand. Cautiously he accepted and she pulled him to his feet. Anna watched the two as they both stood in her kitchen, naked.

“Derrick…” Anna decided to chime in.

“Yeah?” He said. He was still breathing hard and somewhat in shock.

“Would you like anything to eat? Drink… Underwear?” Anna shrugged her shoulders like him being naked with her naked daughter in the middle of the kitchen was – perfectly okay. Derrick looked down and realized his position. He stepped behind Jordan. Jordan in turn put her hands over the parts that counted. Anna continued to advance and continue. “… I mean., It’s nice to see such openness in a strapping young man but I promised you I would handcuff you to the windows if I caught you doing anything I would consider suggestive.” Anna pulled out a pair of handcuffs and took another step forward.

“Mom…” Jordan protested. Unknowingly, her fangs started to descend as she became agitated.

“Jordan… Titus boiled you today. I’m not in the mood for anything else.” She looked to Derrick. “Get dressed…” She then looked to her daughter. “You too.”

Nero walked in without knocking. He had a present in his arms. He could smell the humidity in the condo as he walked in. He placed the present on the living room table and straightened his tie. He took notice to the water on the floor, the steamy kitchen, Titus’s disgusted expression, Anna’s tears, and the footsteps in the carpet left behind by a pair of wet feet.

“What have you all been up to while I’ve been away?” Nero said.

“I’m quite sure Jordan will tell you all about it, Nero.” Titus said. “I kept getting woken up during the day so I’m not in the mood right now.”

“Oh, very nice sending your ex my way, by the way.” Nero said. “He’s heading here via bus so he should be here soon. I just assumed it best to let you guys know ahead of time this time – just in case anything weird happens.” Nero pulled out a packet of blood from his suitcase and opened it somewhat. Suddenly Jordan bolted from the bedroom and dug into it. Anna went to get her daughter but Titus held her back while Jordan was in her frenzy.

“You guys wouldn’t happen to have an extra that I could drink? It’ll be along night without a good drink to get me by.” Nero said while Jordan drained an entire bag of blood. Meanwhile, Titus checked on Derrick.

Titus was quick to check on Derrick to make sure that he wasn’t drained. It hadn’t occurred to him that being turned to liquid, and then boiled probably took a lot of energy out of her. He flung the door open to the bedroom and saw that the human was still breathing, albeit a little distraught over the events of the night so far. Derrick had just finished getting dressed and was looking at the tall pale man oddly.

“Man… Are you gay or something? Close the door!”

Titus did so and thought about the rude tone that was given to him. On second thought, Titus wondered if the world would have been better if the little girl did drain him dry. Titus closed the door and watched as Jordan drained the bag. She stood up and wiped her lips.

“Are you full?” Nero asked. “… Because there are more. I know you don’t want to drain your boyfriend or your mother because you got boiled or anything.” Nero tried not to laugh at the fact that this girl was condensed to a glass of water.

“Yeah..” Jordan whispered. She felt ashamed of herself for going on a feeding binge and also for standing around with nothing on, in the middle of the living room with blood dripping from her lips. “I… Will get dressed now.” She didn’t even want to look at Titus. She knew that the position she was in was very embarrassing.

“It’s okay kiddo,” Nero said after she noticed her shameful stance. “It’s happened to us all at some point. Well, not getting boiled, but we will find ourselves in all sorts of weird positions sometimes.”

“Your secret is safe with us.” Titus said. He made a note of letting her in on a story of his past that might make her feel better later during the night.

Jordan stomped into the room and saw that her boyfriend had already mostly recovered from the event.

“You’re too scared of me to love me, aren’t you?” Jordan wiped her lips with her forearm. She watched as Derrick stood at the foot of her bed, as he struggled for words. Derrick’s jaw clenched and he shook his head.

“No!” He yelled. “Not at all! It’s just going to take some time. I never dated a damned vampire before.” He looked at her. “You scare me but if I can survive drive by’’s I can survive loving you.” He sat down on the bed while Jordan rushed to the closet. She had become adept at speed-clothing herself.

She donned a pair of blue jeans and a sweater from the Rat Bastard clothing store that had the logo “Hide and Seek Champion 1942-1945” on it with a picture of Anne Frank on the front. She worked on throwing her boots on while Derrick continued.

“Look. I really do think I’m falling in love with you. You look like the bomb when your’s naked too.” He added. “But the fangs… The — boiling thing, and scaring the hell out of me. If you can tone that shit down just a little bit, I think you and I’ll be all-right.” He reverted to ghetto for just a moment when it came to his speech. Jordan smiled at him when he started talking like a gangster again. She leaned in and kissed him. The red marks on his cheek — not lipstick. She leaned back and giggled.

“So — what we do now?” Derrick said.

“Dad’s going to pick us up, and then we’ll figure out what he has planned from there.” Jordan said.

“I guess, with your dad around, it’ll be hard to make out with you hm?” Derrick smiled.

“He might like you if you don’t sound the way you talk whenever you are in your own neighborhood.” Jordan said. “With all your tattoos gone, he won’t label you a low life! Isn’t that great!” Jordan grinned from ear to ear almost while Derrick lightly punched her in her arm.

“I thought we was going to go ballin’.”

“What?”

“Basketball.. I thought that we were going to play some basket ball later tonight.” Derrick said.

“Oh.. Well, dad never really was into basketball but he’s probably going to take us out somewhere. Maybe the movies!”

“… Or maybe to eat.”

“Oh…” Jordan didn’t think of that. She scooted next to him and hugged him. He flinched slightly but he didn’t pull away.

“Yeah… About that. I’ve never seen you eat. Let me guess, you can’t?” Derrick said. He stopped and watched her reaction as she looked away from him. She seemed to be deep in thought. That’s the only look that he needed to understand that he was right and she couldn’t eat anything. She could only drink blood.

“… Well — This is going to make the night difficult. Your dad has no freaking idea, does he?” Derrick said.

Jordan shook her head as she kept gazing at the carpet in front of them.

“Don’t worry. You and I were a match from the start. I gotchya back.”

“What?”

“Your back?”

“What about it?” Jordan tried to look around at her back but even Vampires couldn’t pull an exorcist.

“No.. I mean — I will be on your side. I will help deceive your father.” He said it in the most educated fashion that he could. Jordan finally understood. “And then — after all of this is over, we seriously have to go over your Ebonics if you plan on staying in New York. It’s amazing you survived this long!”

Jordan shrugged her shoulders.

“Technically, I didn’t survive the first week.” She said. Jordan was the next one to flinch just a little as she didn’t expect to receive a hug from her boyfriend after all of this. “You don’t hate me for all this?”

“Nah… You saved me from a bad life. Me, and my brother. We both love you — just, I love you a little more.” Derrick laughed.

“I love you too.”

Derrick ended up with two red lip-marks on his cheek. Their bedroom door opened again and she turned in the middle of one another’s embrace to see that her father had arrived. He was none to happy to see his young daughter with a boy but he hid the indignation.

“Daddy!” She yelled. Within moment’s she hugged her father tightly. He looked down at her shirt.

“Jordan… We can’t go out with you — wearing a shirt like that.” Daniel held her at arms length after the hug and shook his head. “I can’t believe your mother would let you wear such a shirt. Who even sells this stuff?!”

“The Rat Bastard store in lower Manhattan.” Jordan helped with his personal mental investigation. There was suddenly laughter erupting from behind her father. Titus had gotten a glance at the shirt and laughed somewhat maliciously, but loudly.

“Dear heavens be… That’s grand.” He said after the startling eruption of laughter from the man. Jordan had never heard Titus laugh like that before and her wide-mouthed expression of wonder made it all the funnier as she stood there with such an offensive sweater. “He’s right, however. Have some Christmas spirit and show honor to your father by not putting him in a position to protect you from hoards of angry Jewish people.” He kept with a low giggle. “She is a truly unique woman, Daniel. You should be very proud of her.”

“I’ve always been proud of my little girl,” Daniel said as he smiled. He looked to Derrick and nodded his head. “Come on. We’re going out to eat. I’m sure you’re both starving.”

“I boiled Jordan up — something earlier.” Titus said, unable to contain the laughter. Even Nero’s laugh emanated from the kitchen when he said it. “… She might not be very hungry for a while. However, if you wanted to serve her something, I recommend French Fries. I gathered my special ketchup recipe that should help with your — Porferia condition. Please, enjoy.” Titus said. Jordan took the small ketchup bottle and could smell the blood, mixed with — what smelled like– Tomato Sauce? Jordan looked to Titus to make sure that this wasn’t a joke and that she could really eat French Fries with it. Titus nodded as if letting her know silently, yes, she most certainly could. Jordan suddenly felt as if she had received yet another amazing Christmas present.

Nero walked in and handed Jordan a large box wrapped in Christmas paper.

“Oh wow!” Jordan grabbed the present and opened it up. She giggled and laughed when she saw the DVR Recorder symbol. It wasn’t exactly what Nero had as Nero explained it to her, it was a better system overall than the one that she found so entertaining at his own house.

“Yeah, best thing yet is that it doesn’t have anything on the hard drive yet.” Nero said. “So… There isn’t any programs in it like a million ways to die or T.J. Smacker.”

“If it did, I would have to kill him,” Anna said as she squeezed into the room with everyone else. Nero gave Anna a sly smile.

“Wait…” Anna said. “When was Jordan ever in your condo?”

Jordan’s eyes widened. The detective capabilities of her mother were so fine tuned, she caught onto the most interesting things.

“Remember when I reported my car stolen?” Nero asked.

“Oh.. I still need to shoot you for that.” Anna said nonchalantly.

“What about the car?” Daniel asked.

“Nothing!” Jordan squeaked. “Let’s eat!”

Jaime made it to Pedro’s place and keyed the lock. Club Proton was supposed to have been opened already. The bouncers were fighting back a line and Jaime had the hardest time getting in because of it. She pushed her key into the lock and walked in, just in time to see Pedro yelling at Mercurio to stop doing what he was doing. She witnessed the beheading of another Vampire that Pedro’s bodyguards were tasked with bringing in off the streets. The body burst into flames and then the ashes simply floated away — off into the air.

“What is going on?!” Jaime screamed in horror. She ran across the empty stage and to Pedro who was standing there with a lo0ok of disgust on his face.

“This sick fucker is beheading anyone who even looks like they might have been guilty while the Sanctum was down on it’s knees — using our club for an execution ground.” Pedro said.

Jaime’s lip raised in a scowl and she looked to the young looking blonde man. He seemed to have enjoyed beheading what was probably a perfectly innocent Vampire in order to bring fear in to the hearts of everyone else.

“No more killing…” Jaime demanded.

“Excuse me?” The British vampire turned his head to Jaime, his fangs were already extended an inch each.

“I won’t condone it here. It might be how you do it in England, but there are other ways to get your point across here.” She said. “I have more influence with the Vampires in this city than you will ever know and if anything happens to me, or anymore of my friends, you will never regain a foothold in this city, ever again.”

Mercurio looked Jaime over. He laughed through his fangs.

“You defy me?” He asked coldly.

“And everyone else will too if you treat us the way you think you can. You’re going to have to trust us.” Jaime said. Mercurio sighed and shook his head.

“I have a better idea. Sign over the deed to this place and let me own the club. I decide everything for you, and I lead you whether I trust you or not.”

From out of the shadows, several people encircled Jaime and Pedro. Mercurio walked toward them and smiled at Jaime. Pedro was shaking with anger but he knew how to pick his fights and wouldn’t attack them – yet.

“That’s a lovely car you have out front, too.” Mercurio stated.

“So you’re just going to steal everything you want and accuse all the other Vampires of being what you are – a liar, thief, and a cheat.” Jaime stated.

“Let’s not confuse freedoms with privileges. Your being alive is not a right. It’s a privilege to be accepted among the Sanctum. What you own is what we provide you. As a leader of the community you will come to enjoy the fruits of what we are all about. Order and the ability to command the specifics over how we live as Vampires That’s precisely why we must monitor all of the undead in New York, assess what they have, decide what they shouldn’t, take what we want, and live social.”

Pedro wanted to call the man a bastard but he kept his mouth shut. Not even the last sanctum was so strict. His body shook with rage. He combed his hands through his hair, too angry to speak.

“I can see that you two are thinking it over. Keep your ownership papers, but remember that you answer to me. The club stays closed tonight. We have work to do. Please – let your people know the bad news.” Mercurio commanded. He shout his malicious smile and waved his hands at them. It was as if he had suddenly taken complete ownership of the club. Pedro’s bodyguards were not around; thankfully, it was probably a good thing because there was something about Mercurio that made him think that he was actually hoping for a battle.

The two walked out of the club with their orders on a piece of paper in their hands and relayed the news to the men and women who were hoping to dance. Angry people yelled and protested. Pedro even saw a few bottles crash against the front door of Club Proton. Nero closed his eyes a moment and turned away from the crowd.

“What the hell are we going to do? We can’t do what he asks of us…” Pedro looked at the list.

Your Orders are as Follows:

Find the Following Suspected Vampire

Jordan McKenzie

You will receive help from a woman named Chrissy Richards, former NYPD Detective. Once Jordan is retrieved, eliminate miss Richards. Determine if Jordan McKenzie is a creature of the night – if not, report back.

“I think Anna needs to kill that bitch.” Jaime said.

“I’m up for killing them all – for wasting my fucking time.” Pedro said.

Derrick looked around the restaurant. Big Rick’s Pizza Joint was within walking distance of Jordan’s home. It was open late-night and didn’t require suits, ties, dresses, or thick wallets. He sat in a booth next to Jordan and held her cold hand under the table. No matter what, her body was always cold unless she had just gone to the fridge for a packet of blood to suck on. This blood-sucking problem would have to be something he would have to get used to if he was going to date a dead girl. As Daniel, her father, sat down, he felt encroached by all sorts of guilt; lying to her father about how much he loves her would be one thing, but keeping the fact that his daughter was actually dead – entirely another.

Titus had given her a type of blood-sauce that would allow her to eat French Fries and he was not seeing that particular type of food on the menu. He was hoping for a burger place so that she could have steak fries. The young blonde girl looked over the menu and was equally disappointed that she would not get a chance to test out eating Human Food today.

“I don’t know about this place,” Derrick said. “Did you want a place with french fries?” He turned to Jordan. Jordan looked across the table to her father and shrugged her shoulders.

“I – kinda just want to hang out. I’m not really that hungry.” Jordan said.

“Well you have to eat something girl.. Look at you, you’re skinny as a stick.” Daniel said.

“Don’t hold it against me if I don’t eat anything. Can I just sit here? I ate not too long ago.”

Daniel shrugged and looked to Derrick.

“So, how long have you two been dating?”

“Two months,” Jordan broke in. She wanted to make sure that it didn’t seem like they weren’t dating a long time – because to Jordan, two months was a long time. Daniel took a deep breath and looked at the kids. They had no idea what he was thinking but Jordan recognized some of the looks from his face.

“Two months…” Daniel raised a brow. “Two months and Anna lets you two sleep in the same bed for a night? She must really trust you two.”

Derrick started to shake a little. There was quiet at the table for a few minutes. Derrick hated that. He wanted the food to get served before they had to deal with anymore conversation. He wanted to pretend that his mouth was full so he wouldn’t have to talk. He was afraid that any wrong would could suddenly change the way Daniel thought about him in an instant. It was like being on the firing range and the table was the lane in which his target was set up in. There needed to be other things in that lane. He quit holding his breath as a waitress laid down a basket of bread sticks and he didn’t hesitate to dig in.

“We promised that we wouldn’t do anything wrong.” Jordan said.

“Oh I’m sure…” He said sarcastically. “Sorry… It’s been a rough Christmas. I just wanted to see you.”

“What’s everything like in Iowa?” Jordan asked.

“The same really.” He said. He placed the basket in front of Jordan. “Come on… Eat.”

Jordan felt sick just looking at the food. She straightened her back and her blue eyes eyed the basket as her brows furrowed. Her blonde hair even tickled Derrick as she shook her head from side to side.

“Are you still playing basketball around here?” Daniel asked.

“Yeah!” Jordan said.

Her boyfriend suddenly had the image of the night before Christmas, when all through court, not a gangster was stirring, not even the one that she slammed head first into the basketball hoop for trying to bust a cap in him. As his girlfriend answered her father, he wondered if she counted that as playing basketball, or if she had actually played basketball with – a ball. He closed his eyes and tried to clear that image out of his head.

“Are you okay?” Daniel asked Derrick as he watched him shake his head with his hand on the bridge of his nose.

“I’m good…” He replied.

Derrick felt Jordan’s hand on his leg and he twitched just a little but quickly calmed down. He took a deep breath.

“I guess maybe I am a bit hungry.” Derrick said.

Jordan looked out the window and noticed someone she didn’t want to see. It was Chrissy… She was walking toward her apartment complex. Jordan’s jaw tensed as she saw that she had men with her. This would be the third time she’s tried this and Jordan was actually starting to get pissed off.

“I need to go to the bathroom.” Jordan said. “I’ll be back.” She stepped away from the table just in time for her father not to notice the fangs growing through. She thought about killing everyone, including Chrissy but she had something else in mind. She silently thanked Titus for teaching her that up-front and personal is not always the best way to deal with certain situations.

Jordan calmly pulled her cell phone and called the house. Titus answered.

“Jordan? Any problems?”

“Yeah. That girl Chrissy… She’s on her way to the house with a buncha people that don’t look human at all. I figured you might want to get out and I can call the cops!” Jordan said.

“I see you’ve been learning well. Make sure they know that you said it was Chrissy and they will be here with plenty of support in a short amount of time.” Titus said.

“Yep!”

Within minutes, Jordan had finished calling the police and returned back to the booth. Derrick didn’t bother scooting out for her since she didn’t give him time to stand up before scooting him to the inside of the booth. Derrick felt really trapped now that he couldn’t get away from her father without bowling through her – which would have been quite impossible to do. A police car zoomed past the restaurant and was already applying breaks by the time they got to their block. Daniel took a moment to notice that the emergency lights ended close to their apartment.

“I wonder what’s going on?” Daniel said as the pizza was served.

“Probably just one of the neighbors.” Jordan lied with a squeak.

Derrick nudged Jordan and she gave him a confirming look for just a moment and then went back to playing the innocent cute blonde.

A SWAT vehicle zoomed by the window.

Derrick’s eyes widened and Daniel wiped his mouth.

“Maybe I should double check?” Daniel said. “You two stay here.”

“Dad… This is New York. There’s always something going on.”

A Tactical Response Unit in the form of a big black truck zoomed by.

“What the…” Daniel got up but Jordan pulled him back.

“Dad!” Jordan said. “This is a normal New York day. You’re from country-town! Remember?”

“Yeah… If you think this is wrong you should see the Bronx…” Derrick tried to help.

Seven police cars passed by the store.

“You can’t tell me this is normal.” Daniel said.

“Yeah, but you are having dinner with us! You aren’t a cop.” Jordan said. “Daddy!”

Daniel scratched at his short brown hair. He wasn’t the only one wondering what was going on down the street – at the same intersection that his Ex-Wife, and daughter lives at.

“It’s normal…” Derrick tried to say but some customer that needed a tall glass of shut-up decided that they would boot into their deceit and tell Jordan’s father that this, in fact, was not normal.

“Is too!” Jordan yelled at one of the customers.

“No,” said the fat overweight balding man. “… it most certainly is not and you would do well not to slander this great city.”

“Bla, bla, bla… Would it be slandering to say that in New York, everyone jumps into conversations that were totally not theirs?” Jordan put her hands on her tiny hips and stuck her tongue out at the fatty.

“Jordan…” Her father furrowed his brow and stepped away from the windows

“He was being rude…” Jordan said.

Chrissy found herself in Jordan’s apartment ready to point her ex-family friend out to these people that she had now discovered were vampires. She was still attempting to wrap her mind around it but after seeing several people turn to mist as soon as the apartment complex was surrounded by the police, she knew for sure that they were probably telling the truth. All she was left with when the police came to arrest her for breaking and entering, was herself, amidst twelve pairs of suits that used to have bodies in them. Anna re-entered her apartment after SWAT made sure that there was nobody else around that could hurt her. Still in NYPD uniform, the Blonde Officer gazed at Chrissy.

“Why are you doing this to us?” Anna asked while cuffing her hands together. Chrissy looked down at the floor and didn’t respond. Even if she wanted to tell the truth about it, they would think she was crazy. Zak was the next one in and he sighed in relief.

“B and E… That’ll keep you out of our hair for a while,” Zak said.

“We’ll see,” Chrissy said. “I will be out of jail on bail. They were after Jordan anyway.”

Anna spun Chrissy back around after cuffing her.

“Who do you mean, they?”

“Others…” Chrissy said. “… others like Jordan.”

The police left, aside from Anna and Zak. They stood in the empty living room, looking at all the suits that were left behind. As far as the other police officers knew, they just had a messy house and someone enjoyed wearing the same outfit every day. After several minutes of picking the pockets, Anna had come with no information and 20,000 dollars ahead.

“Should we keep it?” Anna asked.

“Those fuckers tried to kill you.. Yes, you keep it.” Zak said. “I recommend using it to find a different place to live though. You’re like – trouble magnets.”

“I don’t see this as ethical, somehow.” Anna said.

“Well, allow me to take the grief off of your hands,” Zak recommended as he extended his head.

Jordan giggled and Anna gave her those Eyes-Half-Open-I-Can’t-Believe-You-Said-That look. She then looked to Zak. “Hold onto it if you want. I’ve been so busy the past few weeks that I saved my money the honest way. I didn’t have time to spend it!” Anna said. “I have to get going. Jordan. Stay home for a while, for me?” Anna asked. Jordan sighed.

“Mom!”

“Please. Watch those DVD’s with Derrick and Daniel. I have to go to work.”

Outside, Anna walked past Chrissy and gave her a smile.

“Breaking and Entering….” She shook her head at the woman that was once her friend. She went from a seemingly wonderful person – a great co-worker, to an evil bitch that would do anything to turn a buck even if it meant destroying an innocent family. Chrissy didn’t need explaining, nor did she need to be taught what she had gotten herself into. Anna was happy that this girl was out of the picture. Under any other circumstances, Anna would have killed her and claimed temporary insanity.

“Your daughter’s a Vampire!” She screamed out. “She needs to be destroyed!” She yelled, trying to get a rise out of Anna. She thought that she was perfectly justified to say such a slanderous, hateful remark. She expected Anna to get pissed off for dropping Jordan’s secret in front of a handful of police officers.

Instead, there was laughter. Anna smiled widely and looked to the ten police officers, the SWAT team members, and the tactical response unit – all in all, there must have been a hallway full of blue-blooded professionals, and they were all laughing at her.

Chrissy kicked at Anna and managed to brush her foot across her NYPD uniform without actually making contact with anything solid.

“… and assaulting an officer.” Anna added. She pulled a card out of her wallet. The best part was reading this to Chrissy.

“You have the right to remain silent…” Anna began reading with an ear-to-ear grin.