Season Two – Episode 1 – “Vacation”

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 1/02/2012

“Air Date” 2/02/2012

Published by: Abyssal Books

www.abyssalbooks.com

Copyright ©2012

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

Honolulu Hilton

“No vacation goes unpunished” – Karl Hakkarainen

The Honolulu Hilton had a very spacial attribute to the pool. During the daytime, the Hilton Lagoon was bathed in sunlight, while the pool was healthily shaded by the immense structure of two hotels at all times. This allowed for Jordan to enjoy the sunlight without being burnt to a crisp. It took a lot of research to find such a spot and Nero assured Anna that this would be the best place for her to stay and enjoy her child as she once was. After the trials of the past week, and Anna being forced into mandatory vacation leave, he recommended Hawaii for a little bit of sun and fun. The expenses were immense, however, affordable with Nero’s built up interest in the bank. Nero fit right in with his bright clothing. He pulled his shoulder length brown hair into a ponytail and found a seat to lounge on in the vast shade of the hotel that loomed over the pool deck, and he watched the beach from a distance. It would be a perfect vacation, he was sure of it!

“Hey! Nero! Watch this!!” Jordan, clad in her two piece blue bikini ran to the diving board and jumped with only a partial fraction of her full strength. The diving board cracked as it bent down to the surface of the pool to lick the water and the petite blonde’s toes. The entire structure of the board threatened to snap at that moment. A blast of water blasted into the air along with the girl that thought that a diving board would be her newest method of reaching orbit. He could hear her screams as the tiny spot of a girl paralleled the sixth floor before starting her journey back down. The slender blonde’s limbs seemed to shoot out in all directions for a way to fly for that brief moment where she hung in the air. At the same time, the diving board beside Nero applauded the dive by way of bouncing up and down consistently.

“Cannon Ball!” Jordan’s scream seemed to have a Doppler-shift quality to it as pulled her arms and legs in tight. Like a space capsule without a parachute, the slammed into the water at such an immense speed that anyone else may not have survived. Children were launched from the pool on a chlorinated wave, rich fat people were doused along with their expensive laptops that they had probably been required to take with them so that they could work on their vacations, and no beach-reading book went un-splashed.

Titus stepped out and rolled his eyes at the crowd of men and women that wondered what must have happened. Titus hoped that Nero wouldn’t do anything to bring more attention to them by saying something stupid like “Don’t jump so high!” In an effort to keep everyone from assuming that there were any people on the pool deck with supernatural strength, the first thing he yelled out was.

“What the bloody hell is going on here?! That diving board is set way to high on it’s tension!” Titus walked for the board and not toward the girl that had miraculously sprung herself thirty feet into the air. He hoped that they would think that there was something beyond natural about the diving board, and not the girl that nearly snapped it in half.

“My laptop!” A man yelled from the pool deck. Nero looked to see man, soaked from the large cannonball splash, throw his laptop to the ground. He stood at the edge of the pool that was now missing more than a few gallons and waited for the girl to surface. “You ruined my computer!”

“It was obviously the diving board,” Titus said as he ran closer to the man. “Nobody could jump that far without some kind of help from a malfunctioning piece of equipment. If you want to blame anyone, blame the hotel staff.”

“I’m not going to be able do revisions for my job now! What am I going to do! Someone is going to answer for this!” Wet Laptop Man responded.

“Actually go on vacation?” Jordan raised her shoulders out of the water in a shrug and shook her head at him.

“What are you talking about?!”

“There was once a city where work could be done and kept separate from leisure. This was done in a way that even the servants could enjoy the luxurious lifestyle of their masters. No more are the days of old where such a task could be kept separate without risk of dishonor in the light of their masters,” Titus said. “It’s because of people like you. If you actually took your vacations without your equipment that keeps you leashed to your occupation, then your masters would soon understand that delegation of leisure and responsibility works. Your job can pay you for a new laptop. This girl did you a favor.”

“You are a strange guy – just.. Just get away from me,” the man said. He took his soaked towel and flopped off with his shorted out computer.

Nero sighed and looked to Titus as the blonde enjoyed the pool as if nothing happened. People were scurrying away to check on their soaked belongings while the two vampires decided amongst themselves what they were going to do about Jordan’s openness to – well, everything.

“Jordan!” Nero said. He curved his finger over and over in a way of telling her to get out of the pool and come to him. She got out and skipped over to the two.

“What?”

“Did you know you were going to do that? Or was it an accident?” Asked Titus.

“Oh, it was an accident! I just figured that since I was on my way down anyway, I should at least yell cannonball,” she responded in a singing tune.

“Alright,” Titus said. “Now that you understand your strength, try not to use it all in one dive. You know the type of problems this could cause for us all. There are several bottles of Vampire in Pedro’s new club on the top shelf, locked away as a reminder to keep ourselves in the shadows.” Titus was referring to the Vampires that Jordan dehumidified by catching them in a dehumidifying machine when they went to mist the previous year. Since these vampires were responsible for destroying a club owned by a few friends, they were happy to keep the bottles on a shelf in their new club. Nero called it poetic justice, but Titus kept calling it devious fuckery of the first order.

“I normally give it my all on a diving board. I just – forgot.”

“It’s okay,” Titus said. “Remember what you are capable of. Worse things could come from it and you need to know yourself.”

“I’ll remember.”

“Make sure you do, especially when hanging around Derrick,” Nero added.

“Where is he, anyway?” Jordan looked around but she knew he wasn’t there.

Jet lagged like the rest of the humans, Derrick lie asleep in the hotel he had woken up to a bounce in the bed. He kept his eyes shut for a moment while he smiled.

“You planned on jumping my bone for vacation?”

“Not quite,” the sound of Titus’s voice made him want to spring from the bed like a jack-in-the-box but the elder Vampire held him down against the mattress.

“What are you doing in here?!”

Short of breath and feint of heart, he looked Titus in the eye and could tell that he probably wasn’t going to be the next meal on the menu but it was something else that he wanted.

“Jordan is outside and everyone else is asleep or otherwise dispatched with their own accord. Are you not going to accompany your girlfriend pool-side? It’s well past four in the afternoon.”

“I thought you were supposed to be asleep during the day and not in the sun.”

“We don’t have to be asleep during the day, no, but away from the sun, yes. That’s why we chose this hotel. It provides ample shade so that a vampire can mingle with the mortals – provided they keep a mortal schedule.”

“It’s called jet lag man. We just took the redeye and you want me to be up and happy? Shit..” Derrick flopped his head back onto the mattress and took a deep breath to recover from his startle. He was jabbed in his side by a sharp set of fingers.

“What?!” Derrick felt his pants getting jerked off of him and before he could protest, his suitcase was thrown open and a pair of swimming trunks landed on his head. “What the…”

“Go on! You’re a horrible consort to Jordan. Go!”

“Maan! The more I hang around you,” he stopped a moment to pull his swimming trunks on. “… the more I think you’re GAY!”

“Happy? I haven’t been completely happy for centuries. Amused, perhaps…”

“News flash, Dracula. Gay doesn’t hold the same meaning that it used to,” Derrick said as he stood on his feet and tied the cord primarily responsible for preventing nudity in the face diving in the deep end. “Why don’t you join Jordan. You’re so interested in keeping her company.”

“I used to love pools,” Titus sat on the hotel bed. “… Only, in my time, pools were more communal and nobody kept to themselves, reading their – Kindle’s,” Titus said with a sneer on his lips. “Gone are the days where one would simply ask for a good frolic by the pool side. Come one, come all, join the fun, they would say. Ultimately, the answer to your question is that if I dare see another Stephen King, or Dean Koontz title, I’ll go mad with my own fond memories of what a real pool experience would have been if we were in Rome.”

Derrick left the room without so much as a goodbye as he reminisced.

39AD

Rome, Italy

With much laughter and short deep breathing, the pool side was a clutter with beautiful women, family, and close friends. Nearly anything that the polite civilization of the western world would have appalled, was happening right there in that spot amongst countless Romans.

“Another drink, if you please, Claudius…” Titus held his cup out to his servant, a woman who he used to be servants with for years.

“Enjoying yourself too much all in one night, are you?” Claudius smiled as he poured him a drink.

“Oh my dear Claudius, you must take a dive. Nobody will know slave from master as bare as Nyx,” Titus said.

“What of your daughter, Titus? Should she see us together, it could affect her much needed education. I fear I might never be seen the same way upon her eyes, ever again!”

“She will soon be at the age of joining us in the pools of pleasure. If she’s to see you, it’s a lesson well learned,” Titus replied simply.

“I suppose… However, I doubt she’d be out in the light of day. She’s been ill of the sun as of late,” Claudius said as she disrobed. To Titus, her body may as well have been one of the beautiful statues’ templates of the great hall of Rome itself. “I dare not repeat the nonsense whispers about regarding her.”

“… Just whispers,” Titus said as he guided her into the pool. “When the day comes that you buy your way into the freedoms of Rome as I, I hope you stay by my side.” He kissed the back of her hand as she sat on the steps to the pool with him.

“In the pools with your master?” Came a voice from the edge of the steps. A giant fat man with a cup in each hand stood nude before them. “… I suppose it was bound to happen. How are you on this beautiful evening, dear Claudius?”

“Gaius,” Claudius smiled and gazed at him with her blue eyes. She sat in Titus’s lap to give the man room. Another nearby Roman had splashed them with a shallow dive nearby which turned her blonde hair a darker tinge. “How are you?”

“Very good.. Very good indeed.”

Titus took a sip from his cup before he cut in, “How go the debates in the senate?”

“Things are looking up. Reduction of arms, increase in product and exports…”

“Fantastic,” Titus agreed. He gasped as Claudius readjusted herself in his lap to accommodate his affection for her. Gaius even clapped and laughed. The scene were normal for such a pool in Rome; in fact, it was a dull scene compared to the fornication around them with the younger lovers, newlywed’s, and the near out of control prostitution.

“Julia doing well? I’ve heard talk…”

“She seems to be fine beyond the dusk but as dawn approaches, she becomes rather ill,” Titus sighed.

“Shame… Just as you’ve gained title to grace the world of the rulers, such a sad thing to befall. Perhaps, you and Claudius shall bare fruitful from your deeds as we speak?” Gaius winked at the slave and smiled. She nodded back in return. Gaius struggled and pulled himself from the stairs to the pool so that he could swim. “I do hope that she gets better. I hear the overseer is concerned with the recent strangeness afoot at night.” With that, he sent his warning and swam away.

“Lord, what does she mean?” Asked his current lover.

“A friendly warning, my dear… A warning.”

Present Day

At the pool deck, Derrick looked around to see a large splash mark where someone must have done the finest cannonball known to humanity. He noticed Nero walking around the pool deck talking to someone in the water. As he got closer to the water, he could see that Jordan was swimming around. He attempted to sneak up on his girlfriend by way of using the diving board to cannonball right behind her. This didn’t work though, because as he walked out onto the board, it snapped into two pieces, sending him falling straight into the water. Through the galaxy of bubbles a hand reached out for him. He felt another hand wrap around him and as the blue diving board made it to the bottom, Jordan swam up to the surface to let him wheeze the water out of his lungs and breathe oxygen again.

“What the…” He stopped to cough.

“I told you, that diving board was messed up to begin with!” Nero stood up and pointed at the board from the edge of the pool.

“Good day,” Jordan said happily as she hugged him. The rapid kicking of her legs kept them both on the surface. “You got so used to us being up all late at night that you’re starting to sleep all day hehe,” Jordan kissed his cheek with no mention nor regard to the diving board that had just sunk below the twelve foot depths below their feet.

“I would have slept longer if Titus would have left me alone,” Derrick admitted.

“But you would have missed out on all the fun!” Jordan squeezed him slightly and then swam him to the edge where he could hold on. The hotel staff raced to the rescue in time to see the pool board at the bottom of the pool.

“The pool is closed until we can get that board out. Everyone, out of the pool…”

“I’ll get it!” Jordan said with cheer. Before anyone could protest, she swam to the bottom, picked the board up with relative ease, and walked it, under water, to the shallow end of the pool until she emerged. She set the board on the side of the pool deck for the staff to get it.

“We told you to get out, not get the board, little girl,” the staff man exclaimed.

“Want me to put it back in?” Jordan crossed her skinny arms in front of her bikini clad chest and furrowed her brows.

“Where are your parents?”

Jordan raised he brows and looked at him. She then looked to Nero.

“Good question, Nero, where are my parents?”

“Out on the beach, I think,” Nero replied as he watched two staff members struggle to pull the board off of the deck and shuffle it into the grass. Jordan wondered how much one of those boards cost now that she broke it unintentionally.

“Are you her legal guardian?”

“I am one of her tutors. We’re all on vacation together,” Nero said.

“Train her to listen to authority and not be so sarcastic next time,” said the man. He walked away since he didn’t think he would be getting anything more from them. Word had obviously gotten out that someone’s laptop was destroyed in the Jordan-Tsunami.

“What was his problem?” Derrick kicked away from the wall and swam on his back.

“Jordan found the lost diving board was his problem. He needs it put back up his ass,” Nero stated as he watched the angry employee stomp away. Jordan giggled.

“Keep on and you’ll have another person trying to kill you,” Derrick said.

“Oh, you started this! You got nabbed first,” Jordan reminded.

“She saved all the kids, does it matter?” Nero laughed.

*One Week Ago*

It seemed to take forever for the sun to go down but once it did, that’s when the fun started. It was mainly because she was ordered to go to mist and simply tell her mother where all the kids were being held. Unfortunately for them, they had wanted to do the sacrifices early which allowed her the excuse to get more creative with the mortals.

“It’s imperative that we kill the virgins before the new year. The sacrifices have to be done prior to midnight,” said one of the men. Three children cowered around Jordan and cried out in fear. Jordan was happy to let them stay behind her as they listened through a thin door with multiple locks. She found it amusing that they thought such a door could even hold mortals, much less a Vampire. Well, these guys don’t really know about the Vampire part of the equation, Jordan thought to herself as she gave the children a comforting smile. The young blonde took the lamp off of a night stand and crawled on top of it. She clamped her hands around the hardened steel bars that would have surely kept the kids locked in the rooms. She pulled the bars out like they were made of paper.

“Come on,” Jordan whispered.

“How did you do that?” One of the young boys asked. Jordan in turn widened her eyes at the kid for asking such a stupid question when the men outside the door wanted to knife them. She assumed nothing more had to be said. Jordan jammed the bars back into the window and straightened them out as if they had never even been budged. The kids that didn’t run looked at her oddly because she did not try and escape.

“What are you doing?” Asked a girl on the other side of the window.

Jordan handed her a piece of paper

“Call the number on that. Can you find the address of this place?”

“Yeah,” said the girl. “Then do it and tell them. I’ll be okay.”

The girl ran off without acknowledging what she said.

“No really!” Jordan said sarcastically, “I’ll be okay.” She rolled her eyes. “I hope I wasn’t that concerned with only myself last year,” she said to herself. She watched as the girl ran off into the night and hoped that the girl would call who she told her to call instead of updating her Facebook account. Jordan sat on the bed and waited until her captors returned.

“If you update your facebook account before you call to save me, Ima kick your ass!” Jordan decided to yell. Her grin was visible even through the bars; this was not the face of a scared little girl. She giggled slightly and sat back down. No doubt, her captors had heard her yell. The door flung open and Jordan looked up to two baffled men in robes while toting knives.

“Well hello mister stabby,” Jordan taunted.

“Where is everyone?! What did you do?!” Captor number one ran past her and tested the bars on the window. Satisfied that they could not have gone out by way of the window, he turned to Jordan and grabbed her. “What did you do to them?!”

“I didn’t do anything! They just vanished! They said that you had done your job and it was time for them to ascend!” Jordan looked up to the ceiling as if she could see something that they couldn’t. With perfect fucking acting, she replied, “… it was beautiful! They just gradually vanished and turned to a mist and went out the window!”

“That’s not how the prophecies foretold!” Said the other man. Jordan was trying not to smile. It was hard to pretend to be concerned or scared when every muscle in her face wanted to raise her lips into the letter U.

“Let’s do this! Come on…” Said the other man.

“I’m being called for! I can hear them! They told me to tell you to get on your knees! Quick! Or be judged unworthy!” Jordan pushed at the shoulders of the man on the ground. “Just pray! Pray and you will be saved. It’s my turn now…” Jordan clasped her hands together and suddenly, in front of both her captors, she vanished into a thick mist leaving nothing behind but her clothes. The thick white cloud slowly ventured out the bars and into the night.

“It’s… It’s the rapture! Pray.. PRAY!” Demanded the man that had originally had her against the wall.

Anna and Zak were the first two officers to advance on the house once they got the call. They had kicked in the door and rushed the house to find two loony’s on their knees and with their eyes closed.

“What the…,” was all Zak managed to say as he witnessed the sight before him.

Anna raised a brow at Zak as she pulled the handcuff’s out.

Present Day

Jordan smiled at Nero and Derrick after explaining, in detail the events that passed by. Titus sighed and massaged the bridge of his nose but he didn’t pick it.

“Great,” Titus said. “She started a new prison religion with devout followers of the great rapture.” Titus wanted to sit down but there weren’t any deck chairs around that didn’t have water splashed all over them.

“The what?” Jordan looked confused but didn’t stay around long enough to really understand what it was that Titus was trying to say; she knew that it was something cynical anyway so she decided to ignore it and duck underneath the water. The cool rush of liquid covered her head as she coiled up to the side of the pool and pushed herself off into an arrow under the water, the surface of which bulged up due to the extreme speed at which she launched herself toward the other end of the pool. Titus and Nero looked to one another as they witnessed the super-human speed that Jordan possessed under the surface. They then looked around to make sure that nobody else was around to see this display of strange swimming ability. Derrick was suddenly sucked away from the wall of the pool that he had been holding onto so that he wouldn’t have to swim.

“Let’s – tell her when she sticks her head out of the water,” Titus said.

“I thought you trained her well,” Nero asked.

“I did,” Titus replied. “Which is why I am going to try not to be so disappointed in her open display of vampiric stupidity when she gets to the other end of the pool.”

Both Titus and Nero paid little attention to Jordan’s poor boyfriend that screamed for help as he became sucked into the swirling wake that was gradually developing in the center of the pool.

“Um.. Help!” Derrick tried to swim against the current to no avail.

“Young Vampires,” Titus said while liberating a towel that hadn’t been totally soaked so that he could sit down on the edge of one of the pool-side chairs. He sat down and took a deep breath, not that vampires had to breath; Jordan was actually proving that as she kept kicking off corner after corner underneath the waves. “… if they’re not entertaining, they’re fucking annoying.”

“Titus,” Nero grabbed the towel from him and dried off the chair beside him. “.. I’m shocked! This is the only time I’ve ever heard you lower yourself to cursing I think.”

“I used to curse all the time when I was faced with mortal problems,” Titus corrected Nero as he sat next to him. Meanwhile, Derrick was fighting for air and spinning wildly in the center of the pool while Jordan obliviously made her fifth revolution at high speed under the swirl.

“Then why are you cursing?”

“Because,” Titus nodded toward the drowning boy, “young vampires cause mortal problems again.”

“She seems to be kept in line well enough to me,” Nero said.

“HELP MOTHERFUCKERS!” Was Derrick’s final death scream before being swallowed up by the funnel that just black-holed him into the pool.

Titus and Nero stood up in unison with their jaws dropped. The pool looked like someone had pulled the drainplug. The water spun around in such a fashion that reminded them of something out of a Jules Vern novel where someone found the end of the ocean. Derrick was the dark spot in the center of the vortex spinning like a top.

“That’s me,” Nero agreed.

Titus sat back down as Nero jumped into the pool after Derrick.

“The bloody sign says not to leave children unattended,” he said.

Chapter Two

“Hope sung in the key of madness” – Christopher Moore

Anna was up and ready to start her vacation around two o’clock in the afternoon; a side effect of jetlag. She still yawned as she opened the curtains to her hotel room, which overlooked, oddly enough, an empty pool with a broken diving board. She opened a cooler that was in her room to find nothing but miniature alcoholic bottles. She didn’t drink too much anymore. There were always people around that she didn’t trust ever since Jordan became what she was. She stumbled to the shower door and dropped her robe. Just as the water started, the door opened.

“Room service!” Zak stepped into the room just in time to see a naked arm sticking out of the bathroom door with a taser in hand.

“Oh shit, my bad!”

“Go!”

“But I was just…”

“Go!”

Anna closed the bathroom door – and locked it. She smiled to herself as she put her head under the shower.

* New York City 2006 *

25 Year old Anna McKenzie stood naked in the shower room of the precinct with soap in her eyes. She was new to the force and didn’t understand the concept of the locker room’s boundaries; which was why she ended up in the wrong shower section, also known as the mens section. Nero walked in after a long lengthy chase and an extremely rough shift. He saw the beautiful officer and smiled to himself as he started taking off his officer’s uniform. He had seen her when she first signed on with her field training officer. He threw the uniform to the ground and started the shower nozzle next to hers and began soaping up his hair.

“Wait until you finish your field training, you’ll end up stinking like me. I chased a man three blocks today. Can you believe it?” Nero closed his eyes and leaned back into the stream. Anna’s eyes widened at the sound of a male voice. She squeezed the water out of her long wet hair and swallowed hard.

“Oh my god!” She looked Nero up and down with a dropped jaw.

“I know,” Nero played it off. “All for a pack of cigarette’s too. I say if I caught him doing that and the shop owner wasn’t screaming at me to chase after him, I might have just let him go. But since I was in the area and the man was screaming at me to retrieve his precious cancer sticks – well… That’s life.”

“Excuse me… Are you – in the right place?”

Nero ran his hands quickly back and fourth through his then, spiky, short hair, and offered his hand to the beautiful blonde.

“Yes, ma’am. My name’s Nero,” he then looked to her breasts and then back up to her blue eyes. “… sorry, you don’t seem to have your name tag on either. You are?”

“Um– Officer Ann– Anna.. McKenzie. Anna McKenzie,” she kept correcting.

“Nice to meet you, Anna,” Nero said while running soap underneath his armpits. “How was your first day?”

“I’m – sorry, Nero,” Anna stopped and paused a moment with a hint of a smile on her lips. “… is this a co-ed locker room?”

“It most certainly is, however, you see, you’re in the male side. The female section is divided by a row of lockers in the center of the room. I locked the door and transferred your clothes to your side because I figure you’ll probably be running over there any second. Your secret is safe with me. Just thought I would save you from some embarrassment.” Nero smiled. “Would it be considered harassment to tell you you’re beautiful?”

Anna took a step back and said nothing more. She looked him over and blushed. She rushed around the corner to see a gap in the lockers and made her way to the other end of the locker room.

Nero smiled to himself as he watched her run off. He walked to the door and pulled the lock out of it and quickly scurried back to his shower nozzle. He took the time to shut Anna’s shower off and stood under his stream as he smiled to himself.

Present Day

6:00 PM

The Honolulu Buffet&Grill

“She did what?!” Zak couldn’t believe what he was hearing. They sat in a booth near a window overlooking a moonlit ocean as sailboats slowly drifted back and fourth. Next to the window in the booth, Jordan hugged Derrick and rested her chin on his shoulder. The way she held him, it was as if she would never let him go again. Derrick in turn, couldn’t move anything but his arms while she whispered a bunch of sweet sorry’s into his ear every other second.

“I didn’t mean to!” Jordan said as she looked to her mother with pleading blue eyes.

“I taught you better than that,” Titus said. “You need to be aware of the mortals. Or else you could harm them. We were meant to harm by nature the moment we’re brought over. In order to avoid such instincts, we have to be constantly vigilant of ourselves and what we do to the mortals around us,” Titus said.

“No more whirlpools,” Derrick added.

“Is that why the pool was empty?” Anna sipped her drink and waited for an answer while Zak comforted her by rubbing her shoulder. Nero nodded without replying verbally. Anna looked to Jordan as if surprised and then looked back to Titus as if not trusting the word of her old friend Nero.

“What about the diving board?”

Titus removed his hand from his chin a moment and pointed to Jordan again.

“What did you do?!”

“Broke the diving board – duh…” Jordan shook her head and hoped that she wouldn’t have to elaborate on exactly how she broke the diving board. She went back to getting huggy with her boyfriend that got sucked into the eye of an aqua-vortex.

“She got some good air,” Nero said.

“How many people saw this?!” Zak looked around the table. “How did she get away with it?”

“We blamed it on the settings of the diving board and at the very word of a threatened establishment, they swiped the oddities under the carpet for the time being. What we must focus on now is maintaining the illusion that Jordan is a mere mortal by not causing any more incidents from this point on,” Titus emphasized by tapping his pale finger against the center of the table in front of Jordan’s nose.

“I’ll do my best,” Jordan said.

“Our boat to Malaki leaves in an hour. Make sure you don’t draw any attention to yourself,” Titus reminded her.

“Are you okay?” Jordan asked Derrick as she rubbed his neck.

“Yeah… I’m sorry I puked on the side of the pool. I – wasn’t feeling too hot,” her boyfriend responded. He looked to Anna and Zak, “Thank you for taking me on vacation. I’m sure the boat ride is going to be a lot of fun.”

“You’re welcome,” Anna said. “I’m sorry that my daughter almost killed you today.”

“I’m used to dangerous situations. It’s all good,” Derrick said.

Zak looked to Titus who seemed to be somewhat distant as he looked around at the rest of the bar around them. Titus was paying attention to everyone around him and his movements even made Jordan and Derrick notice that he wasn’t acting his usual calm self.

“Are you okay?” Anna’s head leaned over past Zak so that she could get a better look at the ancient Roman.

“I’m sure it’s nothing,” Titus assured them. It was a lie, but it was certainly something he wasn’t prepared to let them worry about. He was more surprised at the feeling than concerned at first. He distinctly remembered the first time that he had felt such a vibrating feeling that rocked is soul in ways that made his consciousness vibrate. She was close and he knew it.

Julia, my dear… So this is where you’ve been hiding yourself? He thought to himself as he intently looked around the restaurant.

“Earth to Titus!” Zak slammed his fist into the table. Chicken legs, french fries, and ice cubes from drinks suddenly took to life and hopped as if excited to see him break away from his moment of reflection.

“My apologizes,” Titus said. “I was preoccupied with the past.”

“Are you still thinking about the whole pool thing?” Derrick asked.

“I made a mistake! I won’t do it again, geez,” Jordan sighed.

“No,” Derrick said. “Not that. He was telling me about how it was in Rome.”

“How what was?” Anna suddenly smiled and gazed her blue eyes over at Titus.

“Pools,” Titus said. “Pool parties – the experience in general.”

“Bet you had some hot bitches up in there,” Zak commented while forking food into his mouth.

“There was no need to take a novel with you. The stories were made in every moment when in Rome,” Titus allowed a small smile to surface through his lips.

“What did you do?” Anna was memorized by the intrigue.

“He boinked people like mad,” said Julia.

Titus stopped and turned a lighter shade of white than what he was usually used to as he eyed her.

“Really?” Jordan didn’t mind that someone wedged themselves into the conversation; just as long as it wasn’t the regular New York style interruption regarding how wrong someone was. She wasn’t used to that when she was in Iowa and she hoped that Hawaii wouldn’t be the same as New York.

“Julia…” Titus got up from the table and was still unable to pull his jaw back up. “It’s been,” he stopped to think about it and still couldn’t put it into words.

“Centuries, Titus… Centuries,” Julia said while grinning at Jordan. “Who’s the new girl? Maybe we should play.”

“Who’s this?” Jordan looked at her.

“Julia as in… The Julia?” Derrick’s eyes widened and he reached out to hold Jordan’s hand, who was still confused as to what was going on.

“What are you doing here,” Titus asked as he got up from the table and attempted to pull her along; Julia stayed rooted to the floor of the restaurant; unmovable.

“That’s no way to speak to a long lost daughter,” Julia said with a wry smile.

“Last I heard, it was only those like you who could decide to get lost,” Titus said. He walked around her with a highly visible scowl on his face.

“Is everything alright?” Anna stood up and stepped behind Titus. After so many years in law enforcement, she could tell that something was seriously getting out of hand; Zak knew the stances and posturing just as well. The one thing both officers had in common was that they had the sinking feeling that there was nothing that they could do about it.

“None of your concern,” Julia said with a chipper voice. “Why don’t you all continue to eat and we’ll have our reunion elsewhere?”

“Titus?” Jordan got up from her chair and did nothing else but blink. Derrick held onto her hand as she got up and unthinkingly kept her boyfriend and Julia.

“Stay with your family, Jordan. Go straight home.” Titus’s words were stern and striking. His gaze fixated on Jordan in particular as if attempting to tell her something that he couldn’t say in front of Julia. Once the family left, Julia sat down at the table and wistfully slid the plates of food away from her. The plates clashed and dinged until the contents of the entire meal were pressed into the corner of the booth and the division wall. Titus looked around at the men and women who stopped eating to look at the display of oddness that had just befallen the restaurant. Titus sat down and looked at his daughter a moment because she wasn’t talking now that the family was out of the way.

“You’re still as beautiful as ever,” Titus said.

“If I were beautiful enough, you would have had me like many other emperors and their liberties with their own,” Julia spat.

“I loved you… Still love you as a daughter, Julia. What you asked of me would have been the complete opposite of love. It would have been taken advantage. It’s wrong, Julia.”

“It’s been nineteen centuries. How about now?”

“No.”

“Fine; why did you come?”

“To have a vacation. Why are you here?” Titus sighed.

“I sensed you,” Julia said. “I would have eventually visited you but I’ve been so busy. Honolulu has it’s Vampires and I am the coven leader. You should have contacted the guild before simply dropping by. This would have been a lot easier.”

“I’m with a human family. Contacting a guild was not even on my priority list,” Titus grinded his teeth shortly after saying so. He regretted to hear that his daughter had finally gotten into politics; she was stubborn, had always been stubborn, and somewhat lost in his opinion and it showed in his down looking expression, narrowed eyes, and raised upper lip in his response to Julia.

Julia re-adjusted the ponytail in her light brown hair and looked up at him with her dark eyes. Even her skin tone seemed to change color from time to time. Titus tried to remember what color her hair originally was for a moment but his thoughts were interrupted by the girl.

“I can see that these humans know about us. How unfortunate, daddy.”

Titus watched as she got up from the table. Her fingernails practically melted into the wood of the booth’s eating surface. Wood poured out of the deep crevices she made as she easily swayed her hands along it’s surface. Her nails popped through the edge of the table’s end-cap with a snap, and then she walked away. Titus stopped grinding his teeth and took a deep breath. His daughter stopped and turned around.

“Dad! We’re going to play a little game. It’s called can you get to the airport?”

She laughed as she turned around and walked through the front door. Titus rubbed his hand across the scarred surface of the table. He swiped away the wood shavings that were dug out from the particle board and rubbed his palm over the nail-marks.

“Julia,” he whispered. “What happened to you.” Titus’s eyes began to reflect the light as he blinked away a single tear.

Julia met with three men that were all dressed in black; they had been waiting for her outside the restaurant. Her fangs sprouted yet she still sported the smile as she looked up at them from her short point of stature.

“Only the humans. Leave Titus to me. Wait until they get to wherever it is they are going and find their travel plans. This is going to be fun.”

Titus ran to her from the parking lot and caught up with her at the exact time that her companions ran off at unimaginable speed.

“Can you not leave us be and attempt to have a normal relationship?” Titus pleaded his point by looking down to her and conveying his comment as kindly as possible in tone.

“You abandoned me!” She yelled.

“Did not! If I abandoned you, you would have killed me. It was you that vanished in the middle of the night. Don’t think for one second I forgot about that business with King Edward either! You never listened to me, not even as a mortal! Now, you can’t stand that I’ve found a group of people that I developed an inkling of feelings for. It’s not physical love I ever sought after in a true family! Never!”

“You and Jordan?” Julia crossed her hands. “I know she’s a fledgling. I can smell it. And that one man that didn’t say much? He’s been around for a while but still – fledglings. Tell me father, did you turn her? Or are you just taking care of someone else’ mess?” She stepped forward and smiled at him. “You love her? Like you loved me, or is it more? I can get rid of that mortal boyfriend of hers. We can share.”

“Julia… I didn’t turn her. She was turned because someone loved her and cared enough to protect her from her short mortality – a different kind of love. Something that you couldn’t understand if it took you another nineteen centuries it seems.”

“Are you saying that, that fledgling knows more about love than I? Julia’s fangs fully extended as a result of her anger.

“What I’m saying is that you are loved, and can be loved but you’ll never be able to accept either properly if you don’t allow yourself to be receptive to the teachings of your elders, friends, lovers, or even your enemies. I don’t want to be your enemy but either way, I hope you can learn from me, whatever it is I am to you, I hope you can allow yourself the ability to gain better points of view.”

Julia paused for a moment and looked at Titus. Her face went plain and emotionless as her eyes seemed to scan him.

“You still think I’m a child!”

“Of course not, Julia! I’ve seen grown men act like children though; grown women, too. Immorality or aesthetics have nothing to do with it and if you think that I’m treating you like a self-serving, egotistical, stubborn little girl, you are absolutely right. It has nothing to do with your looks! You can hide behind that excuse all you want but it’s not going to change my better judgement. I don’t have to convince you of this because I think that deep down you know what I am telling you is right. Stubborn is stubborn and there’s nothing I can do to change that about you. That’s a decision you’ve already made. Otherwise you wouldn’t be playing games with me. I’m going back home, and I’m taking a real family in tow, unlike the likes of you. Enjoy your clan because that fake bond only lasts for so long. You know it, you’re jealous of it and because of that, you’re trying to rid me of it. That’s how childish you are, Julia.”

Julia sighed and pulled her phone out of her pocket. Titus was curious what she was doing and promptly looked at the text message she was sending.

Call it off. Let them leave.

“Thank you, Julia.”

“Don’t thank me yet daddy. I’ll be visiting you soon.”

Nero had just finished packing the last of the bags and looked over to Derrick who had his arms crossed and was giving him a raised eyebrow.

“What?” Nero brought his head back an inch and shrugged his shoulders.

“You’ve been unusually quiet,” Derrick said.

“Just was thinking about things really. Don’t get your socks in a bunch. Sometimes people get quiet – nothing more, nothing less, bud.” He pulled a horribly multicolored tie out of his suitcase and held it next to his red shirt. “What do you think? This one, or this one?” He reached down and pulled another tie from the bed that was multicolored as well. One had more orange colors, and the other had a red and blue pattern.

“Dude, they’re both ugly.”

“Which one is least?” Nero began to grin at the boy who then rolled his eyes and went back to packing both his, and Jordans things.

The door to Jordan and Derrick’s room flung open and a wave of heated debate was heard as Jordan, Anna, and Zak ran into the room.

“We’ve only been here for one night! Titus will figure something out! I don’t want to go back to New York where it’s cold yet!” Jordan stomped so hard that a generic framed photocopied artwork fell from it’s hook on the wall and landed with a thunderous crash. Jordan’s boney shoulders protruded from her blue t-shirt as she turned around to see what she had done.

“Watch yourself, Jordan… I’m still your mother and you listen to me,” Anna said to her understandably irate daughter having an understandably childish fit over having to return to the current arctic climate of New York City where she was murdered by the mob.

“Have you given thought to perhaps just spending the rest of the vacation on a different Island? The girl said that she was the baroness of Honolulu, not all of Hawaii,” Nero offered.

“No worries,” Titus said as he entered the door behind his friends. “I’ve talked it over with Julia.. We can stay without being harmed. There may be much animosity between the both of us but we have come to an understanding. You may – unpack.” Titus waved away at the suitcases on the bed as he said it. He closed the door behind him so that noone else might barge in to hear a truly strange conversation.

“What does she want?” Nero asked.

“Yeah,” Zak asked as he folded his arms awaiting an explanation.

“As some of you already know, she’s my daughter. And she’s set in her ways due to being turned at an early age. Some adolescent feelings still preside in her to this day, despite the centuries worth of experience granted to her by time.”

Anna looked fearful for Jordan as her eyes widened.

“Wait a minute,” Anna asked. “What’s this about being turned at an early age?”

Titus took a deep breath and looked to Jordan and then back at her mother.

“She’s always going to be as spunky as she was the day she was turned. She will continue to learn, mentally grow, and retain the same capacity to interpret the past as any one of us,” Titus assured them as he approached the bed and placed a hand on Jordan’s shoulder. “… however, you’ll always have the propensity to enjoy Basketball as you always did, be as inquisitive, and quick to action as you are now. Your personality will forever hold onto certain aspects of your youth.”

Teardrops began to wet Annas cheeks as she held her hands to her face and wept.

Jordan looked to her mother and shook her head and then gazed back to Titus.

“What’s wrong? I see that as a good thing. You’re telling me I’m not going to be dull like you,” Jordan told Titus.

Jordan’s mother then giggled through her fingers as streaks of wetness raced to her chin at the same time.

“What?!” Jordan blinked furiously with confusion. “What?” She looked to Nero and then to Titus. There was too much confusion of emotion in the room for her to comprehend. Nero offered a friendly hug to the girl while her mother calmed down. She felt Derrick’s fingers pull her hand into his palm and he squeezed tightly. Jordan peaked over Nero’s upper arm to see her mother coming toward her to add to the group hug that Zak was first reluctant to join. Titus remained the only person not part of the ball of love that suddenly permeated the room. He did, however, raise an eyebrow at the display as he didn’t know what to think of it.

Chapter Three

A Working Vacation

Still on alert after the evenings escapades with long lost family members with a tendancy to get murderous, Titus stood vigilant on the shore as the rest of the family tested the tides with rented surf boards. Nero had gladly offered to pay for one, which got Jordan into a fit when her mother told her that there would be no use for surf boards once they went back to New York. Zak’s gaze averted from the shore to Anna as she stepped onto the beach nearly naked. Her bikini showed off her B cups, defined abdomen, and her bottom portion left little to the imagination. By the time his eyes finished scanning her beautiful body and returned to the face-portion of his partner, her hand had already playfully slapped him in the jaw.

“Damn!”

“Hey, did you know that I actually got to see her –,” Nero was stopped short by a not-so-playful kick to the crotch of his bathing suit.

“Her what?!” Zak paid no attention to Nero’s pain as he looked to Anna. “Do tell! Do tell!”

Jordan and Derrick quickly found a new use for the surfboards when Derrick let his float as far away as the ankle strap would let it while they held their hands together over her board. With their feet intertwined under the waves, they were steady enough to lock lips over the plastic and fiberglass surface. The light from a nearby passing cruise ship illuminated their surroundings brighter than the moon ever could have. Derrick liked it. The warm waters were comfortable, the board was nice, and it was also the first time he ever got to french-kiss the girl he loved. Despite being dead, she was a good kisser. His lips had to break the seal of their bonds due to the grin that wouldn’t go away. He pulled back and looked into her eyes.

“I love you.”

“Ditto,” Jordan whispered back and pulled him closer again.

The light from the distant ship grew brighter despite the fact that it was slowly moving away. Jordan broke her gaze with Derrick when he noticed his eyes averted over her shoulder. Jordan turned and her smile dropped as she saw why the ship was getting brighter.

“Oh crapsocks…”

Anna, Zak, Nero, and Titus watched as a ship in the distance clearly burst into flames.

“You two call 911 and find a boat,” Nero said. He turned to Titus and nodded toward the sea. “Shall we?”

“Lets,” Titus regretfully agreed.

Jordan and Derrick were both equally stunned to see Nero and Titus swimming toward them. Jordan watched with dread as she saw the ripples under the waves coming closer and closer toward them at speeds no normal swimmer could ever accomplish without being checked for drugs after an Olympic match. Jordan sighed when Titus popped out of the water and grabbed onto their surfboard.

“Titus!,” Jordan said. “It’s inconsiderate enough that a flaming boat messed up a perfectly good makeout session!… What do you want?!” She knew what he wanted but just didn’t want to admit that more responsibilities were put on her shoulders.

“Oh, I’m sorry. You’re only a part time crime fighter and life saver?” Nero interrupted with a laugh.

“I thought vampires were not protected against fire!” Derrick protested.

“Well, we are not but we do have sound minds and somewhat decent intelligence. I think we’ll be fine,” Titus said.

“I don’t know…”

“Are you saying she’s stupid?” Nero asked as he kept himself above the waves by sharing the surfboard with the lovebirds.

“That’s not what I meant! You’re twisting my words,” Derrick said. He sighed and looked to Titus and Nero, who looked won at him as if he were the bad person now. “Alright… Alright… Go!” He turned and kissed Jordan one last time before she launched herself off the board. He witnessed the three vampires speeding toward the ship at speeds that an Olympic committee would have to test for rocket fuel being stored in their stomachs, toward the ship. He wasn’t sure if their vampiric powers would reach their ears with their heads under the water but he decided he would yell it anyway.

“If you send her back anymore hot than she already is, like, if she’s on fire or something! Ima kick your ass!” Derrick gripped the extra surfboard that his girlfriend left behind only because he didn’t want to catch flack from the people that they rented it from. The ship suddenly vanished as a monster wave encroached between himself and the vampires; the towering wall scooped him up and sent him back to shore. To those on the beach, it sounded as if the serene scene was overtaken by vulgar language swept in on a white-capped vortex that glistened from the fire of a nearby sinking ship.

Anna and Zak raced to the boats after notifying the authorities that there was a burning passenger liner just offshore. They found the only thing that could combat the waves at high tide, a pair of jet ski’s. Anna stepped onboard the craft and tried to start it with the key that they commandeered from the rental shop but the jet ski wouldn’t start. Anna tried again and nothing would happen. Zak sighed and stepped over to his partner. He reached for a life jacket that lie on the back of the craft and put it on her. He then took a plastic cord and showed it to her. He reached down on her left handlebar and pulled a piece of plastic that must have been part of the ignition, pulled it up, and snapped the piece of plastic to the other plastic piece. The jet ski started after she tried it again.

“It’s a failsafe. If you fall off, the thing don’t drive off without you. See, Anna? This is why we need to move to Florida.”

“I like New York,” Anna said as she blasted off without him without even as much as a thank you.

Once Zak got himself out of the water again, he skidded up to the front of his jet ski, playfully called her a name, and set out after her. The moon was just bright enough to illuminate the waves in front of them and show them where not to turn as they traversed toward the flaming object on the horizon. Zak attempted to catch up to her but due to her light weight and a good engine, she was sure to reach it to the boat before anyone – except of course, the vampires. Zak leaned over the handles of and pulled down on the throttle until it met the handlebar of his craft. The console in front of him was reading 75MPH which he found quite impressive. The ship was slowly getting larger in his vision and Anna was slowing down.

Derrick made it to the shore and was met by a crowd of horrified onlookers. He untied the boards from his ankles. He turned and jumped away from Julia’s face; her teeth glistened in the moonlight and she had dawned a one piece bikini to blend in with the rest of the concerned crowd only she hadn’t been looking at the burning boat – she was looking at him.

“Julia?!”

The girl smiled and put her hands on his bare shoulders.

“I saw you two kissing. You like Vampires?” She pushed him back a ways and before he could protest her hands slammed into his chest and he fell into the sand. “Hehe, you’re cute!” Her fangs sprouted and theatrically waved her arms around as she looked around the beach. “What? Nobody to protect you this time?” Her chuckle turned evil as she sat on his legs and pinned him down.

“What do you want?”

Derrick struggled to get out from under a girl that was only slightly taller than Jordan. It hurt his ego greatly that he couldn’t get away from someone so small.

“How does she not kill you?”

“Because her ass isn’t fat like yours when she sits on me?!”

She got up for just a moment to observe her, in all actuality, skinny ass, but it gave Derrick the time he needed to slide out from under her and run away.

Derrick ran through the streets of Honolulu as fast as he could in nothing but his swim trunks.

“Don’t care what you want…” He gasped as he kept running. “… don’t care for you either.” He kept talking to himself in an effort to calm down but running at full speed through the streets wasn’t helping. A streak blurred his vision for just a moment and then he felt arms and legs grapple around him. He fell to the sidewalk and scraped his legs in the process.

“My ass is not fat!” She hissed and grabbed onto his knee which bled from the fall. She licked her palm and slapped her hand behind his neck to pull him eye-to-eye.

“Why are you after me?”

“I had questions about Jordan!”

“Like what?!”

Julia smiled, showing her long canines.

“Why does she keep you alive if she loves you and how did you get away from the New York Sanctum knowing what we are?” She asked.

“Someone fucked the Sanctum up. It’s getting rebuilt. Why are you so violent?”

Derrick gasped and tried to reach for his knees but once again, Julia was in the way by pinning him down. Several people in cars that drove by them recommended getting a room by verbally yelling Get A Room! There was apparently no real way a girl like her could be on top of a taller, more muscular man and not be consensual, or so they thought.

“I just wanted to see what Titus was to you, what the other vampires are, to you…”

“My friends,” Derrick tried to get up but she kept him pinned down. The police were busy and everyone else wanted to see what the commotion was at the shoreline to really pay attention to the display of lacked decency on the street curb. “Jordan’s my girlfriend too so you better get off me or she’s going to kick your ass if she see’s this!”

Julia laughed and stood up. She pulled him back to his feet despite being so short and dusted him off even though he twitched with ever stroke of her hand that swiped down his bare back. He pushed her hands away.

“I’m not trying to steal you. I’m trying to understand you,” Julia said. “You sleep with someone that could kill you, easily get into a family that I can’t even get into even though my father is part of it, and you avoid getting murdered by organized vampiric society. I want to know how you do it! Who’s pulling the strings?”

Derrick looked away from Julia who had her hands on her hips. He hoped that her curiosity was genuine and that she truly wanted to learn from him and not drain his blood. Julia in turn looked at him and wondered what Jordan could see in this skinny boy who’s swimming trunks had to be tied so tight to avoid falling off his slender hips, that the string he pulled out of the shorts dangled six inches. He looked weak to her and nothing like the warrior her father would approve of.

“I really don’t know all that much about it. I know there was something of a war in the city and that – a lot of blood suckers were killed and the right vampires were victorious. Records were lost I think?” Derrick shrugged his shoulders. “They couldn’t tell who was the vampires and who was not!”

“Does he – say anything about me?” Julia asked.

“Who,” responded Derrick. “Your father? Yes… He told me a lot about you. He was right about you being beautiful but he told me what happened. He digs you for a daughter, not anything else. You could be part of the family too – Easily! You just have to not be so – pushy.”

“Pushy?!”

“Yeah… I mean figuratively too.”

Julia sighed. “Can I have Jordan’s number?”

“I should –,” he looked around as he tried to find the right words but in the middle of it a pair of fingers wrapped around his throat and she repeated.

“Her number!”

Derrick didn’t hesitate to tell her via his wheezed breath. His breathing only returned to normal after the girl let go. She said the number out loud in her head after he had given it.

“Excuse me,” a blonde twenty-something surfer-dude walked up to them. “There a problem here? Is that boy bothering you?”

Derrick’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped. He felt his heart climb into his throat; not for what might happen to himself, but for the surfer dude that had just interrupted them.

“No… He’s my bitch.” Julia looked to the man and smiled. “Beat it.”

The surfer looked to Derrick with his dyed eyebrows raised high and his mouth half open.

“Sorry dude… Better luck next time bro…” And it was said sympathetically as if he was whopped.

A few gawks at the apparent young couple and a hurtful look later, the surfer dude went back to find his friends. Julia held her nose and rolled her eyes.

“I could smell him coming from the moment he passed the street corner.” She then tapped Derrick’s shoulder. “I’ll see you soon.” With that, she vanished into the night and left Derrick alone to fend for himself. Relieved that she was gone, Derrick sighed and found a bench to flop down on.

“Her bitch?!” Derrick blinked and looked around at the small handful of beach goers that looked at him with silly grins after the sight of him getting beat on by a little girl. “I can’t wait to go back to New York…”

In a very not-so-titanic style, Zak and Anna made sure that all the lifeboats were completely full while two rich pricks a few decks below stole their jet ski’s and made their way to shore. Zak spared Anna’s ears from the fit he wanted to have over that while he counted passengers. Below decks, Jordan, Titus, and Nero were competing for the Major League Doorkicker title in an effort to find any passengers that may have locked themselves down-below.

“That’s twenty!” Jordan yelled.

Nero rubbed his bare foot and pulled his swim trunks up to his waste again. Titus however, wasn’t prepared to swim that night so in contrast to Nero’s swimming trunks, and Jordan’s two piece bikini, Titus looked like an old waterlogged white haired man in black pants and a tourist-style aloha shirt who’s shoes were getting gradually dryer than the rest of his attire with each kick of a door.

“This is a bloody sad waste of my time,” Titus said. “… stupid!”

“Perhaps I can help,” Nero slapped a hand on his back a few times and then yelled. “Hey! Everyone! The ship is sinking. If anyone want’s to die, stay in your rooms! If you want to live then come into the hallways! A locked door doesn’t save you from a sinking ship!”

Jordan wiggled a finger into her ear from the loudness of Nero’s yell. At the end of the corridor, a door opened with a middle aged couple.

“The ship is sinking?!” The husband huffed. “How do you know?”

“Trust me,” Nero said as he wrapped an arm around Titus’s wet shoulders and smiled at the two that approached them. “When you have to put one foot on a wall and one foot on the floor to keep yourself from falling over, the ship is sinking. Take only what you can, and follow mister soggy over here,” Nero said as he shook Titus like a madman for emphasis. Jordan even had to giggle at the stress that he put her tutor under. Jordan noticed that everything seemed to change to a dark blue color inside the ship and the passengers suddenly screamed in terror and held onto each other.

“Don’t just get huggie! Come on!” Jordan yelled. “I can feel the ship sinking already!”

“They can’t see you!” Nero said.

“The lights are off,” Titus explained.

Jordan looked around and could see just fine but it occurred to her that it was her superior vision that allowed her to see in pitch blackness. Nero and Titus pushed past her and grabbed onto the blind passengers to help them through the ship.

“Go in the back compartments and make sure there’s nobody else! We’ll take the couple to the deck!” Nero said.

“How can you see where you’re going?!” Asked the man they were saving.

“I’ve been on cruises all my life,” Titus said. “I have a good memory of where to go. We’re getting out of here. Don’t worry,” Titus lied his best to keep suspicions off of him. Nero even had to give Titus a thumbs-up for his quick thinking. Titus, Nero, and the poor passengers that they led through the ships inner hull in pitch-black noticed that they needed to lean to one side more and more as time went by.

“Oh my god… We’re not going to make it, we’re not going to make it!” The woman cried as she held on tight to her husband.

“You must not think such dreary things when in situations like this,” Titus said.

“You don’t even know where you’re going,” the man said.

“We do actually. You’re going to make it. Comfort your wife while we get you out of here. Miss, you’re going to make it and so is your husband. We only have one more deck to go and we’re out of here, trust us,” Nero said. “Hey Titus, remember what happened last time we were on a ship?”

“Don’t remind me now,” Titus replied.

As promised, the couple saw light at the end of the next staircase that Nero and Titus dragged them through. When they emerged, a muscular black man in swimming trunks and a beautiful fit woman in a bathing suit quickly helped them into a lifeboat.

“Where’s Jordan?!” Anna yelled.

“Still below decks. She had a few more rooms to check!”

“You let her go into a sinking ship alone?!” Zak found himself holding onto Anna’s shoulder. Anna seemed as if she wanted to kick Titus and Nero back down into the darkness to see how they liked being down there but she controlled herself – to a degree.

“She’s not going to die,” Titus said. “She doesn’t even have to breathe, and she can see in the dark just fine.”

“What if – what if the ship sinks? Can she see under water?!” Zak had to ask to make sure.

“Yeah, she can see under water just fine,” Nero assured them.

A man in a tattered white uniform approached them by alternating pressing his feet against the deck and the railing because the ship was now leaning dangerously close to the water.

“Did you count everyone off correctly?!” The captain asked them.

“Yeah fifteen!” Zak referred to the amount of people that they helped off of that particular section of the ship.

The captain hit the railing with the side of his fist.

“Damnit… I hope to god someone counted wrong. We’re missing one.. One person,” the captain threw his hat into the water and ran his fingers over his bald head. “You two did a great job but it’s time to abandon ship. Thank you for your help.”

Anna and Zak nodded to the captain and helped get the last couple that they could find off of the ship. The captain boarded the last lifeboat with Zak, Titus, and the rescued couple. They stopped to see Anna and Nero still on the ship.

“Get in here!” The Captain yelled.

“We’re going to make sure Jordan gets out safely!,” Nero yelled.

“There’s someone else on the ship?!” The captain was petrified. He watched as Anna’s feet began to touch the water as the ship went down.

From the pool of water that used to be the opening to the stairwell into the ship, a young girl emerged with another young girl in tow. Jordan leapt past her mother and Nero and landed in the boat.

“Someone give her CPR!”

The captain, dumbfounded by the near-impossible athletic display of a ninety pound girl carrying someone else much the same frame, had to snap out of his trance at what he just saw. Jordan laid the girl down and the Captain began to breathe into the unconscious girls lungs.

“Don’t just sink with the ship!” Titus yelled to Anna and Nero. “Get in here!”

As the last part of the ship sank, Nero and Anna jumped onto the lifeboat.

Jordan watched with rapt attention as the captain tried and tried to revive the poor girl that had almost drowned. The lifeboat quickly made their way to the cluster of other lifeboats. The captain stopped for just a moment to notice that the grey headed buzz cut was propelling the life raft swiftly and with no sign that his efforts. Titus in turn noticed that the humans were getting oddly curious about when he was going to give out at the speed he was paddling at. He slowed his pace and pretended to wain in his efforts.

Jordan nudged the captain of the ship and he returned to his chest compressions on the poor girl. Anna wrapped her arms around Zak and hoped for the best. Zak looked down and saw that her hands was over his and he took his other hand and gripped hers reassuringly as they waited to see what the captain can do.

“What is happening?” Jordan crawled to Zak and placed her head on his arm.

“Death,” Titus said as he rowed the boat.

“Oh very comforting,” Nero spat.

“We still have to witness it even if we’re safe, overall. It’s inevitable that we’re going to, on occasion suffer sadness.”

“I don’t know what the hell you two are talking about,” the captain said. “… but you aren’t going to be suffering any sadness today.”

It was hard to hear the captain because there was a little girl coughing too.

Several Coast Guard ships approached their position and began taking people off of the rafts onto the ship. Jordan looked over to see one of the officers talking with the captain of the ship. She saw the uniformed man talk into his radio a moment as the girl was put onto a stretcher.

“What’s happening?” She asked.

“They found her parents,” Anna said as she hugged her daughter from behind.

“We found your calling, girl… Crime fighter, super hero…” Zak quipped with a laugh as he purposely ruffled her wet blonde hair with his hand. She playfully slapped his arm out of the way.

“Ack! Hey!”

*

20 Days Later

New York City

Derrick, Jordan, Titus, Nero, and Anna decided to call it a finished vacation at the newly found ritual of flopping on any available surface.

“Maan, I never thought I’d ever be happy to come back to New York after Hawaii,” Derrick said as he went straight for Jordan’s room. His shirt was suddenly caught by Anna who tugged on his hoodie while Jordan passed him by in the middle of his parental detour. Anna closed the door on her daughter and dropped her mail onto the counter.

“Yeah… Let’s try Florida next time,” Zak said.

“We’ll have plenty of time to think about it,” Anna said. “We used all of our vacation time so it will take another few years before we can do this again.”

“She’s quite the life saver,” Titus mused as he laid claim to the sofa. It was nearly 6:30AM and it was time for everyone to go to sleep; at least, for their schedule.

“Mind if I crash here?” Nero suddenly felt a tug to the back of his Hawaiian shirt as Anna used her free hand and detoured him out of her bedroom entrance and he soon joined Titus and Zak at the foot of the sofa.

Anna picked the first piece of mail up and read it. And then she attempted to breathe a glass of Mountain dew instead of drink it.

Chapter Four

The Price of Good Deeds

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Hawaii View Boats and Sea Doo Rental

2x 2012 Sea-Doo RXT-X aS 260 Personal Watercraft Bill $16,399 Each

($32,798)

2x Unreturned Surf Boards – 6’4 Isle Triple Wing Tri Fish XPS $389.00 Each

($778.00)

Grand Total Replacement Cost:

$33,576

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