Season Two – Episode 7 – “War”

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 6/24/2012

“Air Date” 7/21/2012

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

Jordan woke up for the third night in a row not wanting to go anywhere and when she did get out of bed, she only went to mist. Sometimes, the only way her mother could get Jordan to collect herself was to threaten her with a dehumidifier. Not wanting to be turned into a glass of water, Jordan would emerge from the bathroom in either a towel, her PJ’s, or whatever her mom laid out for her to try and wear for the night. First loves always hurt the most and her mother knew that, but to have a first love die would have been an unfathomable sorrow for nearly anyone to comprehend. Jordan turned in the bed to see her mom at the door with what looked like a large smoothie in her hand. When Jordan was alive, she used to love smoothies. Just looking at it almost made her smile. The fact that it was in a an extra large Styrofoam cup with a large wacky transparent straw that curved, bent, and looped wildly even made it funnier. The vampire girl knew the tactic. Her mother used it several times when she was younger to cheer her up.

“Why don’t you get out of bed, sweetie. Moping around isn’t going to help you get over it. He was a good guy.” Anna said as she sat at the foot of the bed. She hated seeing her daughter so upset. Jordan was naturally a happy girl and it was unnatural to see her spending her nights crying tears of blood on a pillow. She could tell what side of the bed her daughter liked most because after three nights of crimson tears, someone would have thought someone died. She had already ruined her PJ’s, several shirts, and a few bath towels. What’s worse was that all the crying demanded replenishment and it wasn’t like someone could go to the local grocery store and ask for a pint of Type B-Negative. “You need to find a reason to leave the room and gain momentum or else you’ll be sad for the rest of your life. All it takes is one reason to get up and get started.”

“You know I can’t drink smoothie’s anymore,” Jordan whispered through a parched throat. She then emitted a sympathetic smile. It was the first smile Anna had seen from her little girl in days. “Thanks mom.”

“Nero stopped by earlier to see how you were. And Jaime said that she was going to spend the day with you if you wanted. Wouldn’t that be nice?”

Jordan sat up and leaned against her mom while taking the smoothie out of her hands. She sniffed at the wacky, loopy straw and could sense the amount of blood in the drink.

“Aw… Mommy, you made me a mixed drink?” She squeezed her mom tightly as she took a sip of the smoothie.

“I wouldn’t exactly call it that,” Anna said fearfully as she thought about what would happen next if Jordan accidently told her neighbor that her mother made her mixed drinks.

“Well yeah. It’s a smoothie, I know,” Jordan said obliviously.

Anna had to look away as soon as a mixture of blood, strawberry’s, and ice did it’s acrobatic dance in the see-through tube before the contents touched Jordan’s lips. Jordan felt a little better already even though she noticed her mom trying not to visibly look away in disgust. She ran her finger under her nose a moment to clear away the other effects of long periods of crying.

“Is my tongue red?” Jordan asked as she stuck her tiny tongue out and wiggled it at her mom. It was meant to be a joke to let Anna know that she felt a little better but instead she watched as her mom almost made it to Jordan’s attached bathroom. One of the other down-sides to being a Vampire sometimes was enhanced sense of smell. The pungent aroma of fast food quickly hit her nose. “Eh, you’re right mom. I think I should get out of bed and leave the room for a change. You – always know how to give me a reason.” The little blonde girl held her nose as she skipped out of the room with her smoothie.

Zak was in the living room when she entered in her PJ’s. Jordan’s chin length blonde hair made her paleness not look as bad but her blue eyes were somewhat darker than usual as she wiped them on her blood-streaked sleeve. Even from the other room, she could smell the accumulation of a cop’s daily diet as the smell reached the rest of the house. Zak obviously couldn’t smell it because he was finishing up taco’s from Taco Bell. He swallowed the last taco, clapped his hands together and pointed Jordan out as she walked toward him.

“Want to play some basketball?”

“Let’s do it,” Zak replied.

After a mutual quick change of clothes, Jordan looked complete with a backward hat holding up her shoulder length blonde locks, a sports bra, and knee-level shorts. Her tennis shoes were only half a year old but her excessive movement and play were already showing in the form of wear and tear on the soles and stitching.

“Stylin!” Jordan said as she looked Zak up and down. Zak sported a Chicago Bulls Jersey logo number “23″, and matching red shorts. “You’re going to need all the help you can get so good choice in jersey’s.” She still almost cried as she tried her hand at taunting Zak. Zak could tell that she was attempting to feel better so he kept it going.

“I’m ready for ya. You got nothin’ on me, girl!” Zak said in his most taunting tone.

“Bring it!” Jordan flailed her arms out and moved her neck from side to side. Jordan was starting to understand and emulate the standard speech practice of the average basketball player now that she had played a few rounds with her ex-boyfriend. Zak hoped that maybe playing ball with her would help keep her mind in the game and not on the loss so much. He laughed at her expression and pulled her into a hug.

They walked to the end of 335 West End Avenue to the basketball courts. The city had installed new lights and there were people already playing when Jordan and Zak walked to the brightly lit asphalt court. Zak noticed the odd looks they got but didn’t let it bother him as he opened the latch to the chainlink gate. As soon as they walked in, one of the other dark skinned men got in Zak’s way a moment and then looked down at Jordan. The blonde girl smiled slightly and waved at him. It was still hard to smile after all that happened since she got back from Iowa. The man was trying to be intimidating but it wasn’t working on her. Zak’s instinct was to get in front of her and despite her not needing any help, in order to keep up a good image that’s what he had to do anyway.

“What’s up?” Zak asked as he pulled Jordan behind him.

“It be too late up in here for her yo.”

“Summer vacation.” Jordan put her hands on her near non-existent hips and stuck her tongue out at the man. “You want to play some ball with us? Or do you not like the idea of losing to a little girl?”

There was some Ooh’ing at that remark. Zak placed a guiding hand on Jordan’s shoulder but he couldn’t get the girl to budge; she was like a rock.

“You better hold back your girl, boy. Or is she your girlfriend…” The laughter behind him from his three other friends was near-uncontrollable.

Zak suddenly stiffened his posture and his eyes went wide. Anyone who knew Zak also knew never to joke about such things in his presence. Zak looked down to his best friend and offered a nod.

“Aight’, let’s do this.” Zak threw him a ball. “Use that. You can sign it for her after outballs ya’ll.” Zak was really laying it on thick. Jordan laughed as she skipped onto the court.

“Do you have a magic marker on you?” Jordan asked. She took him seriously but the other guys thought she was just adding to the taunt and started Ooh’ing again.

The ball passed from one of the players back to Zak again and he started dribbling the ball toward him. Jordan in turn concentrated on her surroundings. She could hear and see everything. Night turned to day in her vision. Aided by the street lights, nothing could get past her vision or her reflexes. The nimble little girl popped through the uneven odd’s by way of suddenly jumping between two men guarding the hoop. Zak threw the ball in her general direction and somewhat higher than she would have wanted. Nonetheless, she jumped the extra four feet in the air to catch the ball and dribbled it only once.

“From downtown!” Jordan yelled in her cute high pitched voice.

Jordan jumped back into the air and launched the ball at half-court. It sailed through the air and threaded itself straight down the center of the hoop causing the dangling chain to jingle.

“Swishie!” She yelled again just after the ball bounced off the pavement and rolled to a stop. The three other basketball players looked at the girl with their jaws wide. Jordan happily skipped to the center line and waited for the ball to be given. The tall black man nodded to his lanky white friend to go get the ball. The pass was given and Jordan started making her way toward the basket while dribbling.

“Guard the guy! Guard the guy!” The tall black man waved toward Zak to let his friends know that he would personally tend to Jordan as she tried to advance on the hoop. Zak was blocked by the other two guys and kept trying to get around but they denied his access. Knowing that this was normally a foul, he contemplated that this game was being played under different rules and blasted through them on a sprint to the hoop. Out on a limb, he assumed that Jordan now had the ability to put the ball in his hands wherever he was now that he was clear; he was right about that. The ball bounced once and practically docked in his hands just as he launched toward the rim. Zak outstretched his arms and slammed the ball into the basket with relentless vigor.

“Ahhhhhh!!!!” He yelled out as he hung from the rim for a few seconds more. By the time he was done yelling, all that was left was a mixture of Jordan’s laughing and three men complaining about their defensive skills.

Zak had the ball next. This time, Jordan had the tall lanky white guy guarding her and he had to contend with the ghetto pack-leader and his short muscular South American friend.

“You gonna loose!” The Latin said as he attempted to grab the ball away from him. Zak pulled his arm back a bit too far in his dribble and the leader managed to get a hold of the ball. Zak quickly ran after him but Jordan was already on him before he could blink. The ball was stolen back in a streaking fast transfer in mid-bounce just before he got to their side of the court.

“Get back to the three point line!” Jordan yelled as she jumped up to pass the ball. As she caught air, the black man jumped into her to foul her. Her senses went into overdrive and everything moved in slow motion. She felt the impact of the man’s shoulders against her hips the moment she jumped into the air. She shifted her focus from Zak to the hoop. She could easily see and feel the corrections she would need to make in order to get the ball where it needed to go. As she fell, she kept the ball in her hand and gave it just the right amount of force, angle, and energy to make it exactly where it needed to go, once again. The ball was on it’s strong upward leg of the journey through the air when she started feeling the hardness of concrete on her back. The pressure of her defensive opposition was starting to press on her by the time the ball sailed into it’s highest point. Time returned to normal for Jordan and she felt the air suddenly get knocked out of her as the back of her head smacked against the pavement. Followed by a familiar swooshing sound in the distance.

“You okay?!” Zak ran over to Jordan as fast as he could after seeing her take the fall. At that moment, he could care less that she made the ball in. When Jordan got up smiling as if nothing had happened, Zak was quickly reminded that there wasn’t much of anything that anyone could do to ever hurt the girl. Still, that didn’t ban him from being pissed at the ballers for attempting to win a game by taking advantage of a young girl’s stature in a game with few rules. He held his tongue to prevent himself from causing a fight on the basketball court that would undoubtedly end in something happening to their opponents by the hands of Jordan that wouldn’t be quite right.

“Yeah! That’s another three pointer!” She giggled.

“Nah, man… That ain’t count! That ain’t count! She got fouled. Mybad, dawg…” Said the leader of the group. Zak was about to get angry but he caught Jordan’s pigtails waving from left to right. She jumped to her feet and took the ball.

“Tis’ Okay! I gotcha,” Jordan said cutely as she collected the ball and started bouncing it over to the free throw line. “You all just do what you have to do and I’ll go ahead and start getting shootie, kay?” The girl giggled to herself as she stood at the line and started bouncing the ball some more. It was almost as if she was dramatizing the moment by making everyone wait. Zak started smiling as she started humming a song from a band called The Birthday Massacre as she dribbled.

“Throw the damn ball, girl!” The lanky white guy’s voice sounded exasperated. He was losing breath and patience all at the same time. Jordan threw the first ball and it went in without touching the rim. There were whispers amongst the other players as it went in. It wasn’t anything too dramatic but Zak was taking not that unlike any other thirteen year old girl, Jordan never missed a shot. She always missed at least ninety percent of the time when she was a living breathing mortal. He knew that he should have warned her to play dumb from time to time, but these assholes needed a lesson and he was enjoying every moment of it. The second ball signaled it’s flawless entrance into the hoop by the familiar swishing of the chain.

“You ain’t right girl! Damn!” The Latino said more out of amazement than frustration. Jordan looked to Zak and received a humorous nod from him.

“You should at least lay us up with some trick shot.” The leader said.

“No! Don’t listen to them!” Zak yelled. “They’re just trying to get you to lose a point. Its why they pushed you down in the first place.”

“Ma’an Shut yourself up!” The black man laid on the dismissal thick and flailed his arms about as if he was about ready to run over there and fight him if he said another word. Zak hoped he would try.

“Alrightie!” Jordan spun around in one whole circle and leaned down half way to the ground with one leg in the air and one leg to pivot on. The girl launched the ball nearly vertically and it vanished into the night sky.

“What the fuck?!” The black man laughed out loud and his friends followed fourth. Zak was equally perplexed. He walked over to Jordan while the other guys laughed so hard that nesting birds fled their nests in the trees high above them in order to go someplace quiet.

“What was that?!” Zak asked.

“Your girl is off the chain man… She ain’t havin’ our ball if she’s going to loose it!”

Jordan turned to the other guys and put her hands back on her hips. It was her favorite thing to do when she thought that she had a point to give.

“I did not lose the ball! Remember! I needed you to get a sharpie so that you can sign int when we beat you!”

… Swish.

The men turned around in time to see the chain rattling violently. The basketball slammed into the ground so hard that it’s first bounce was well above the metallic net. Jordan pushed past them and jumped high into the air on the ball’s return. She grabbed the ball entered her tiny hands with a slap as the stunned onlookers watched the five foot blonde girl sail toward the net and actually dunk the ball. Zak’s eyes went so wide that it almost looked as if the eyeballs themselves were about to fall out of their sockets. He caught himself making the Ooh’ing sound that their friends were so fond of doing to them at the beginning of the game. Jordan stayed swinging from the hoop and screamed FIVE POINTS at the top of her lungs! Her feet dangled five feet off the ground as she held her chin on the hoop and displayed her cheese-eating grin to a bunch of grown men that knew they just got their ass beat by a thirteen year old child.

“Oh I’m sorry! You boys still wanna play?!” She giggled out loud as she pulled herself on top of the hoop and sat on the rim as if she were queen of the world.

“You boys still wanna talk shit now?” Zak crossed his arms and laughed hard. “Oh? Hey! Where you goin? You bouncin’?!” Zak watched as the men picked their own ball up and started leaving the court. “Hey?!”

“Looks like we got the court alllllll to ourselves! Tehee…”

Zak gazed twelve feet up to see Jordan smiling down on him with a grin that seemed to say I’m not done owning you yet.

From the shadows came a tall, slender, and pale man. Jordan knew in a moment who it was. She smiled and waved but as he stepped under a street light, she could see that he wasn’t amused. His frown seemed to cast long shadows across his chin that even Zak could recognize. The glint of a sword pendant used to keep his collar high and tight on his black Japanese style suit glinted off the lights as he passed under.

“Yo, tall pale, and whitie… What’s up?” Zak asked as he passed him. He watched as Titus ignored him and continued on toward the hoops. “Damn… Is everyone having a bad night or something?”

“Jordan…” Titus said. “It is good to see you but I’d rather you acted more like a human being and not as a child.” He stated. “You’ve spent one month in Iowa and it seems as if you’ve forgotten everything that I taught you.”

“I was just playing a little basket ball,” Jordan retorted as her feet tangled high above the pavement. Titus motioned for her to jump down from the hoop while Zak walked over.

“She wasn’t doing anything unfeasible for a human, really. Remember Mugsy?”

“Dear sir,” Titus said referring to Zak as he turned on his foot and placed his hands behind his back. “If it has anything to do with the nineteen sixties and beyond and involves pop-culture, then no… I never had the chance to know a Mugsy, nor remember a Mugsy.” As he finished his sentence, a smack of rubber on pavement signaled Jordan’s arrival back to Earth. Titus pulled her into a hug. She didn’t need to understand why. By now everyone knew that she knew about what happened.

“Did they find the guy that did it?” Jordan asked.

“They know who did it. His name is Nickey. Although, if you wait long enough, he’ll be dead too. He was a tool of the Gamboni family and he is a liability now. Sooner or later, the vampire that took over the crime family will have him executed in order to keep desirability.”

“Hey!” Zak protested. “You can’t be teaching Jordan about revenge and you aren’t supposed to be giving out that kind of information to someone capable of taking the law into her own hands!”

“What are you saying?! I can’t help catch the guy that killed Derrick?!” Jordan yelled louder than the both of them and her high pitched voice hurt Zak’s ears. Even Titus sidestepped a little as if to make room for the sound waves.

“Revenge is in order, Zak.” Titus agreed with Jordan. Zak shook his head wildly.

“No… No.. I ain’t havin’ part of this. And if you do try and get in the way of your mothers investigation, Im’a tell her! I know we’re close friends but being a vigilante is not cool!”

Jordan sighed and looked to Titus who patted her on the head. Titus in turn looked to Zak and shrugged his shoulders.

“I’ll never forgive you if you kill a man out of revenge, Jordan.” Zak pointed at her and then swung his finger toward Titus. “Nero hired you on to be her tutor. Teach her books and shit. Not revenge.”

“You’ve obviously never studied history closely enough or you would know that much of the past is built on vengeance, revenge, along with all other sorts of bloody dealings.” Titus almost laughed as he retorted Zak’s remark. It was then that Jordan realized that there was some sort of power struggle going on between the detective and the tutor. Zak walked closer to him and pulled at her arm. Titus instinctively grabbed Zak’s arm and used his other hand to grab Jordan’s other arm. The little young teen dropped her basketball and gasped up at them.

“Alright… You two figure out your deal. Titus.. Don’t hurt my best friend or I’ll be really mad at you. Zak, no matter what you’re my best friend and all but I’ll get revenge if I want to. In the meantime… Fight amongst yourselves, nicely!”

Zak and Titus’s grip turned to nothing as all that remained of Jordan was a thick cloud of mist. Her basketball shorts and her t-shirt flopped to the ground next to the basketball that slowly rolled between them.

“Damn it…” Zak said. “Jordan! Get back here!” Zak yelled into the night as the mist despersed. Titus sighed and crossed his arms as he watched the mist integrate with the rest of the late night air. Zak picked up the girls clothes and her basketball. “Who know’s what the hell she’s going to do now! And it’s not up to you to teach her how to get vengeance for people! Mortal or not, sometimes you just have to go to the police!”

“She lost her lover,” Titus spat as he turned around. “There’s no fury more well deserved. Especially when it was targeted as such.”

“What the hell are you talking about?! And they weren’t lovers! They never had sex! She’s too young!”

“Same concept. Of course they didn’t mate… If they did, he’d be a vampire just like her.”

“What do you mean?”

“If she had mated with him, it’d be the same as if she fed her blood to him before he died. They never did either and that’s why he’s dead.” Titus said. “And when she finds this out, it’s going to devastate her, so let her have her revenge before she realizes the truth.”

Zak stopped to think about it for a moment. He didn’t know whether to feel guilty about keeping such a close eye on her to make sure such things never happened, or that he was relieved that her boyfriend were dead now. Titus seemed to tower over him at that moment.

“Live and death are not so black and white, my friend.” Titus’s whisper was as chilling as ever. “Perhaps you should feel glad that you did your part in protecting Jordan. Or, perhaps you should feel pained in the fact that she may take your protectiveness as yet another reason the one she loved was taken from her life. You never know how teenagers, or fledglings for that matter, will react to the news that there were choices they didn’t make. It’s not like she can have offspring you know? Nothing bad can come from what prudish behavior prohibits. Especially for a Vampire. It’s in her nature that you very much deny.”

“She’s still an innocent girl, Titus…”

Titus suddenly laughed so loud that the echo returned to them on the paved court. The ancient roman reached down with his long, pale fingers and snatched the ball at their feet. He swirled it in his hands and gave Zak a frightful grin.

“She lost her innocence before she even died. The moment you take a life as she did – even in self defense, it changes you more than a night in bed with a lover ever could. It doesn’t show with Jordan because she is strong.” Titus threw the ball behind his back with the same consistent results as young Jordan. Despite the fact that this man didn’t play basketball, he could handle it just as well. As the ball bounced to a stop in the distance, he reached out with his throwing arm and placed it on Zak’s shoulder. “… strong enough to forgive those important to her for anything. I apologize for explaining in so harsh a manner.”

Zak pulled away from Zak and walked to get Jordan’s ball before returning home.

Chapter Two

Special Agent Yannis Zervos was on his third Starbucks coffee. His surveillance van was big, blue, bulky 80’s vehicle that was horrible on gas milage, and worst of all, he owned it. A driven Agent, Yannis had spent the past three years following the Rodaeo crime family’s front restaurant for the past few weeks off-book. Unable to gain approval from his assistant director, he wouldn’t take no for an answer when told to stop using resources on surveillance despite the fact that they had a perfectly good court order to do so. This led to several drawbacks: the van was old, and the AC didn’t work; the Starbucks coffee wasn’t making matters any better for him. Also, the van was something he ended up living out of and he didn’t have much chance to go anywhere else. In the back were several piles of clothes that were in desperate need of a wash. His long nose had since gotten used to the stench of old socks, soiled underwear, and burnt out machine components. Mounted to the interior of the van were several flat screen monitors. He had a FLIR camera hidden on the roof of the van that was currently trained on the windows, a Laser Microphone carefully attuned to a small crack in the dining room window, several Radio-Shack scanners – one of which was set to a frequency given off by a bug inside the house. Yannis might have been FBI but he didn’t look like one at all. The van was so hot, he had resorted to the bare minimum of blue jeans, and a muscle shirt. A chain around his neck held his FBI badge and his Glock 17 was securely fastened to his belt. On a carrier around his leg were five fully loaded magazines. In the corner behind him, amongst the clothes was a bullet proof vest, a tactical vest, and a P90 Personal Defense Assault Rifle. As the only one on the case, he wanted to make sure that he was ready for any accident that might come flying his way.

The large earphones he had on would also bring in exterior sounds around the vehicle in the case where one of the mobsters would step outside and continue a conversation. Usually through that particular audio channel, he would hear dogs barking, car engines starting, or the occasional splash of a passing vehicle on the wet streets. What he was hearing through that channel started to perplex him. His eyes widened as his brows dipped inward. He pushed the earphones closer to his head to make out a song ‘baby, baby baby oh… I said baby.. Baby…’ The van suddenly LUNGED forward and Yannis was thrown out of his chair. Saved by the pile of dirty clothes behind him, he prepared for whatever it was that ran into the back of him.

He certainly didn’t expect that the accident would be in the form of a Volkswagen Beetle. The agent caught himself thinking that the mob had found out, somehow that his van was a surveillance vehicle. He was soon brought to the conclusion that mobsters wouldn’t be listening to such lame music. His heart raced, and he geared up with full vest and tactical gear in minutes. With a quick call over the radio, he informed NYPD that he may need immediate assistance. The Greek agent kicked the back doors of the van open only to find a crying blonde girl attempting to text on her phone. Half of his van had been done in by twenty-first century German engineering and it looked like the blonde sorority girl that hit him was about to get blown away by a P90 for her trouble.

Yannis wanted to comb his hands through his spiked hair after seeing what this woman had done to his favorite van but he kept himself from doing so in order to preserve his spiked style. He stepped off the back of it to see that she had rammed the underside of the beetle right into the rear axle and destroyed the gas tank in the process. Despite being dressed for war, he looked just as scared as the woman who saw a Greek Rambo pop out the back of the vehicle with a gun. A man of great respect, Yannis had many words to replace standard curse words so when it came time for one, he chose something else to say. Sometimes explaining and asking questions in a certain manner helped get the point across to him. Things like.

“How the – you hit a parked car?! How?! Oh!” Yannis jumped from the hood of the beatle to the streets beside the restaurant he was keeping an eye on in order to better inspect the damage. The van was more or less done in.

“I didn’t mean to!” The girl yelled. “It was the fault of this street’s speed limit. If they let us drive a little faster on this road, I would have been past you because I was looking down to turn up a Justin Beiber song, duh…” She looked him over obliviously and raised an eyebrow. “Uh, Halloween is not for three months, babe.”

“You’re blaming the speed limit on – on… And you were listening to Beiber and…”

Yannis stopped for a second just to see if he were really hearing what he thought he was hearing from this woman. He thought about it a moment. His eyes shifted from left to right as he let the P-90 dangle from it’s sling.

“You’re blaming this on Justin Beiber and a slow speed limit?!” He screamed at the top of his lungs and waved his arms in the air for emphasis.

“Duh! I just said that… Duh! I mean… DuH!” She was starting to sound like a broken record. “I’m insured, are you?”

“You killed The Blue Whale and you want to know if I’m insured?! Of course I am, lady! But you ran into me so it’s going to be on your plan anyway!”

The blonde sorority girl held a finger up in the air as if saying I can’t believe you’re talking to me like this and took a few steps forward.

“I don’t see how this is my fault. The speed limit should have been faster so that I could get past the parallel parking areas before I replied to my BFF.” She flung a few locks of hair behind her ear as she said it. Her head swung to a near forty five degree angle. She fixed her hair and pushed her lips together to take a picture of herself as if everything was alright. The shock of crashing her car was already gone. Yannis was about to finally call her a name when the front doors to the restaurant opened and two men walked out with guns.

“Oh great!” Yannis grabbed the sorority girl and ducked behind the van. Yannis soon realized that these mobsters were really stupid to be firing on a federal agent simply because he was spying on them. They may not have done anything before that implicated them in a crime, but they sure did now. As the bullets shreaded through the van, and every other piece of equipment that he had to pay for out of his own pocket, it also occurred to him that this stupid girl’s prepubescent pop star crush was causing him all kinds of pain.

“Oh… Oh no! My blue whale!” Yannis didn’t know whether to be angry or to cry. As he looked over to the Volkswagen he smiled a little.

“Quick! Follow me!” Yannis yanked the girl in over and they soon found themselves behind her Beatle. Glass shattered as bullets ripped through her car and drumed against the metallic frame of the vehicle.

“Are you trying to get me out of here?! Oh my god!” Oh my GOD!” The girl dropped her phone and waved her hands beside her face as the bullets zinged around them. Yannis’s brows furrowed and he shook his head at the question.

“What? No! I just wanted you to see how it feels to have your car destroyed!”

It suddenly dawned on her that, because they were hiding behind her car, it was acting as their shield and thus getting torn to pieces. He stood up while they reloaded without even shooting back at the couple with old-style Tommy Guns.

“Can’t you guys hit anything?!” Yannis quickly ducked back behind the wheel well of the vehicle. He turned his head to the petrified sorority girl and gazed at her through the rain of flying glass and debris with crazed wide eyes and a Cheshire grin. She could tell he was becoming more and more gleeful with every shattered, torn, and flaming piece of her car that fell around them.

“You bastard!” The sorority girl swung her purse at Yannis as they stayed crouched behind her car as it rapidly lost it’s resale value second by second.

He knew that it was not proper, nor the time, but he couldn’t help but laugh over the sound of perpetual gunfire. Just as the special agent was starting to wonder if he had gone mad, the shooting stopped and he heard bickering and complaining instead of the mechanical clap of magazines being injected into receivers.

Yannis stood up and pointed his P90 at them.

“I – take it you’re out of ammo?” Yannis would have thought the entire situation were great if it were not for the fact that his favorite car was totaled in the incident. He managed to catch members of the Rodaeo Family in a crime via enticing them into it. “FBI… Drop your weapons, get face down on the ground with your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers. Do it now please.” Oil leaking all over the hot engine block of the sorority girl’s totaled Volkswagen and generated a thick cloud of smoke that obscured Yannis’s polite smile as he held the two dumbasses at gunpoint. Aside from the hissing of a blown radiator and the sobbing of a wreckless Beiber-addicted college student, the streets were once again relatively silent save for the distant sound of approaching police vehicles.

“I hope you guys like soap on a rope!” Yannis stepped over the flaming dislocated passenger-side door of the beatle as he carefully advanced on the two idiots that would never again be involved with organized crime.

“We’ll be oudda ‘ere by tomorrow, pig!” One of the mobsters said.

“You may have gotten off if all you did was destroy that girls car for me but you killed the blue whale!” He pointed to the van with faded blue paint that now had close to sixty bullet holes in it, including two flat tires. He yanked on the man’s sleeve and knelt down to the steps of the building so he could whisper in the mans ear after cuffing him with flexicuffs. “That was an endangered species! You just screwed yourself… If I would have known that all it would take was a stupid blind college girl to point at me and say Hey He’s a Cop for you to start shooting at me, I would have skipped all the money I spent to spy on you.”

“You’re dead, cop!” The man cringed under the pain of having the cuff’s pulled too tightly around his wrists. Around that time Yannis pulled his badge and ID out as several police vehicles screeched to a halt in front of the two ruined cars.

“Drop the gun! Let me see your hands!” One of the officers yelled from the streets.

“Special Agent Yannis Zervos! FBI!”

He slowly walked forward until he got within arms reach of one of the officers. They kept their guns trained on him until the closest officer nodded.

“I didn’t get a chance to read them his rights. The girl hunkered down by the car rear-ended me and destroyed my car. I want to speak to her insurance agency. She rear ended my properly parked vehicle.”

Another car pulled up. It was a Crown Victoria detectives cruiser with a windshield so new and fresh that the masking tape was still pulled around the windows. The car stopped in front of him and a young woman, no older than thirty got out. He held his hands in front of the blinding blue and red’s.

“This was supposed to be my day off! Detective first grade Anna McKenzie, and you are?” She held out her hand to Yannis. He couldn’t tell if she were angry by her sudden change in tone or if she was just having mood swings.

“Special Agent Yannis Zevos.”

“You aren’t going to pull any jurious my dicktion crap on me are you?” The cute blonde batted her eyelashes at him cutely now that she turned to be in the lights of her cruiser where he could see her face.

“No, ma’am. Not at all. I was just survailaing these guy on my free time. I have a proper court order to do so and I thought I might get lucky and catch them in the act.”

“Looks like you did,” Anna laughed.

“Is there any way you can get my van to a – mechanic or something?”

Anna leaned to one side and then looked to Yannis. Only one half of her smile was able to make it through while the other side of her face remained motionless.

“I – don’t understand why you would want it fixed.” She finally said it. After looking at the expression on the young agent’s face, she could tell that this was not at all dissimilar to being the doctor as she tells a patient that someone didn’t make it. “… is it –,” she trailed off and focused on his expression.

“A little.. Yeah. We’ve traveled a lot of miles together.”

Anna placed her hand squarely on his shoulder and gave him a consoling shake.

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Thanks…”

Anna sat down on the hood of her freshly refurbished Crown Victoria and crossed her arms in front of her lap. She had never actually worked with the feds before but so far, Yannis didn’t seem too bad. In fact, judging by the mayhem he had just helped cause, she could see that Yannis and Zak would probably not only get along, but have a good time, too.

“Agent Zervos,” Anna kicked at the curb a bit as she slid down the hood of the car to do so. “I was wondering… If you would like to assist me with another problem?”

“It depends… I’m sure my Assistant Director is going to do everything short of firing me already…”

“My partner is – searching for someone at the moment and it’s going to take all night. Seeing as you obviously share the same shift as I do. I was curious to see which court orders your agency has obtained in regards to a different crime family; namely the Gamboni family.”

Yannis nodded and crossed his arms in much the same way hers were.

“We do, but it’s for federal employees only. However, if your department can do something for me – I can help you in return!” Yannis smiled and nodded toward the blue van behind him. Anna nodded and smiled.

“I think we have a deal, Agent Zervos”

Chapter Three

Jordan took her time lazily floating across town. Being in mist form had the side-effect of seeing the world from a different point of view – almost a godly one. It wasn’t as much seeing everything as much as it was being a part of the surroundings as well as being able to comprehend everything going on around her. Mist form effected her thinking in a way to where she didn’t mind the burdens of life, or unlife, as it was for her; she simply existed when in mist form. She traveled under the doors to the old firehouse, up the wall’s, through the interior of the pole that firemen used to slide down – that pole was now being used as a dancing pole on the first floor of Pedro’s techno club, and as a black-light fixture on the second floor to the goth-club. The mist flowed from the ceiling and recollected on the floor to blend in with the rest of the fog machines. She could feel the vibrations of the dark, industrial music as she flowed up the final flight of stairs to the bedroom where two naked figures lie under the sheets. The mist went unnoticed as it solidified under the bed.

On top of the bed, Nero and Jamie Jax were catching their breath after thirty minutes of getting it on. Being a Vampire came with a few nice side-effects of being somewhat dead. The sheets were not soaked with sweat and they had just as much fun as any other couple would have had without the added need for constant use of a washer and dryer.

They didn’t notice a slender hand reaching out from under the bed like a monster out of a child’s nightmare as Jaime rolled on top of Nero and kissed him passionately. The hand quietly pulled all of DJ JJ’s clothing from the floor. Jordan and Jaime were both very skinny girls so the black tube-top fit her well but the short-shorts went down a little too far on her knees and the tube-top almost stretched down to her abdomen. She wiggled around under the bed to try and get it to fit better but clothing for a tall skinny girl just wasn’t a good fit for a short skinny girl no matter how hard Jordan tried to work her magic.

On top of the bed, Jaime sat up on Nero and sighed as she looked down at him.

“I’m still upset over what happened,” Jaime said. “I feel like there’s something more we can do about finding the bastard that’s pulling the strings and getting rid of him.”

“I don’t do treachery very well. I get fooled by it every time,” Nero said while ticking off his fingers and looking at her. “I can’t be treacherous, I can’t detect it, I can’t defeat it. It’s what I need girls like you around for. You and Margot understand this stuff. All I understand is how to catch sneaky people that don’t follow manageable rules.”

“I know… It takes one to know one,” Jaime said. Nero shook his head and shrugged his naked shoulders as he side-glanced her suspiciously.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You can’t follow simple, manageable rules, therefore, you know how to spot other people that can’t follow simple, manageable rules.” The tall, slender stuck her tongue out at Nero for a moment before he tried to catch it in his teeth. She jumped back and smiled. “Is there something we can do?”

Nero rolled his eyes a moment and nodded.

“When things cool down, I’m planning on hitting them where it hurts, yeah… But this Rodney guy… He’s the real problem. Anna doesn’t know it yet but he’s in charge of the Gamboni crime family now as far as everyone is concerned. He’s probably the one calling the shots with that Nickey guy they had in the cell.”

“Nickey?”

“Yeah. He’s the guy that killed Jordan’s boyfriend and his whole family. It’s to get at us for not playing by the original Sanctum’s rules out in Brittan.

“Wait.. How many mortals know about Vampires now?!”

“It’s not like that,” Nero said. He sat up so he could place himself against the headboard of the bed and still hold his girlfriend in his arms. He looked at Jaime as he spoke. “Rodney uses organized crime networks to do his bidding by infiltrating them for his own needs. In this case, he’s targeting people that mean things to us in an attempt stay here and stop the rebellion against the British. He’s targeting Humans that know about us, too.”

“Those evil bastards…” Jaime said. “So they’re telling us they’re going to keep killing people we care about unless we pack up and move on?”

“They want New York and they see this as a rebellion, and not a reboot of the Sanctum under new management. They don’t want people from this city controlling other Vampires. They want a world domination on all Vampires.” Nero shook his head. “And we have to fight that.”

Both Vampires jumped and Nero quickly threw the covers over the both of them when Jordan popped up from under the bed wearing clothing that was all a bit oversized for her and way too gothic for her liking. She normally would have had a problem with that if it were not for the fact she eavesdropped on a conversation that Nero and Jaime didn’t want her to hear.

“You know where we can find the guy that killed my boyfriend?” Jordan almost sounded cheerful again. Nero and Jaime popped their heads out of the covers to see a smiling blonde bouncing on her feet.

“How long were you in here?!” Jaime asked.

“I think I got here right after the funstuff stopped and the conversation began so it’s okay! I didn’t hear any of that moaning or screaming. So! When are we going to fight the fight?” Jordan put her hands behind her back and bounced on the balls of her feet in anticipation.

“I think it’s best if we let the older Vampires take care of it, Jordan. And please… Would you enter the club the traditional way? People are trying to have sex in here.”

Jaime slapped Nero for putting it so bluntly. In turn Jordan stomped her bare feet on the floor at Nero and turned around in a few circles.

“Why can’t I help at all?” Jordan’s happy demeanor changed to a pout faster than the speed of light.

“Because we don’t want you going around killing humans yet; especially not for revenge. You’re too young for that, girlie…” Jaime said sweetly. “We’ll catch this guy and we’re going to make him pay, too. Don’t worry. We just have to watch out for our own humanity in the process.” Jaime held onto Jordan’s shoulder and guided the girl to the side of their bed.

“What are you going to do when you catch him?”

“We’re going to make sure he spends the rest of his life behind bars,” Nero said. “Trust me – that’s going to be a lot of revenge.” He watched the expression on the girl as she sat down on the bed. She looked at the floor and nodded quietly to herself; this was a good sign that they had gotten through to her. With any luck, she wouldn’t be looking for revenge. He hoped that young Jordan would seek trust in her friends instead. In order to make sure this was a repeating process, he knew that, no matter what, they had to find this guy.

“Do you have any blood?” Jordan whispered.

“Yeah, bottom drawer of the fridge, sweetie. Can you get me some clothes out of the closet since you’re wearing mine?” Jaime said.

A few minutes later, Jaime had Jordan emerged from the bathroom. Jaime took back her usual gothic outfit. Jordan was wearing something that was a bit more her size again, too. The clothes were also strikingly similar to what Jaime was wearing, only shorter and more fitting for the young girl. Nero had just finished adjusting his tie when he saw Jaime and Jordan standing together all goth’d up. He laughed at her as Jaime turned the little girl around in a swivel seat. Jaime had fitted her with black boots, black and white striped socks, a slender knee-length black skirt that was cut all the way to the hip that partially revealed her skull-and-bones undies. Her top consisted of yet another tube top that hugged tight to her skin. Nero clapped his hands and laughed out loud.

“Okay! Two questions, Jaime… Where did you find that? And do you know that you just turned Jordan’s mother into a Vampire Hunter? Because, she’s going to be after us both when she see’s her daughter like that.”

Jordan rolled her eyes as she stood between the two adults.

“You know I sew my own stuff and I have patterns. I thought Jordan would look good in Goth for a long time! I had this ready for her because I knew she would eventually come to the club.”

“What about her bright blonde hair? It’s clashing,” Nero noted as he crossed his arms.

“You’re absolutely right…” Jaime pulled Jordan back into the bathroom and vanished for another hour. By then Nero had turned on the projector and had finished watching a Mythbusters Marathon before the two girls came out again.

“Nero!” Jordan said. “Do I look weird?”

Nero turned around from the sofa in the middle of the room and he dropped the remote to the wooden floor of the loft’s third floor. Jordan was now sporting raven-black hair. The only thing cheerful looking about her was the bright blue eyes but beyond that, it fit with her pale skin and the rest of her outfit.

“Damn… Now even Pedro is going to kill you, Jaime… You turned a pop-culture girl into a goth.”

“Let’s let her go down stairs and have a dance!”

“The bouncers will throw her out,” Nero reminded her.

Jaime smiled and shook her head. She looked down at Jordan and whispered something in her ear. It was a password to give the bouncers apparently.

“They won’t throw her out.”

“Nope!” Jordan chirped.

Nero laughed again. Jaime knelt down and looked up at the fledgling vampire.

“Now remember, if you’re going to be a Goth, you’re going to have to decide whether or not you want to be a straight, brooding Goth girl, or a candy Goth.”

“What’s that?”

“A candy Goth is a happy Gothic girl. You won’t be getting along with many of the down and dreary gothic girls if you do that though. Experiment a little.”

“But everything I do is to try and be happy!” Jordan said.

“Then be a happy Candy Goth!” Jaime nearly sang at the end of her reply. “Go on! Get on the dance floor and show em’ how it’s done!”

Nero and Jaime watched as the dark black haired girl giggled and skipped out the door. Nero still couldn’t help but laugh.

“Anna is going to kill me if she finds out,” Nero wiped his hands across his eyes and hid the rest of his face with his shoulder length brown hair. He felt Jaime place her hands on his shoulders.

“Come on… I’ll sing a song.”

Just then, Nero’s phone rang. Jaime sighed and gave him a smile as she left him to pick his phone up. Jaime pointed behind her as Nero answered and he nodded as she went out the door.

“Hey Nero… It’s Zak… Have you seen Jordan?”

Jordan didn’t exactly know how to dance but then again, Pedro’s club downstairs worked on trickle up economics. Extacy made people just not give a shit just as long as everyone was moving – and Jordan was moving! People sober enough noticed that she was a bit slender for a college girl but if she was on the dance floor, the general thought was that if a person managed to get past two groups of bouncers, then they probably belonged on the dance floor. Jordan never had black hair before. As she danced to the hard Gothic music, she kept having to remind herself that the dark strands that kept flying into her face were actually hers. Pedro had snuck up the stairwell just enough to watch the girl dance. If it wasn’t for his advanced sense of smell, he wouldn’t have noticed it but he knew that he was looking at Jordan on the dance floor as he leaned against the railing of the staircase and shook his head.

“Pedro!”

Pedro looked down to see a bouncer at the bottom of the stairs with a group of people in suits that didn’t look like they were there to party. Pedro straightened his silver and black suit and descended back to his own club. His eyes widened slightly when he recognized the man that he tied up to the very same stairwell he walked down a month ago.

“What the hell is he doing here?” Pedro said to Rickey. “Who are you people?” Pedro practically spat as he yelled over the sound of techno music.

“We’re not here for protection this time!” One of the men stepped forward and smiled at Pedro. What Pedro didn’t know was that this was Rodney, the ancient vampire that kept attempting to cause problems for him, the same man that ordered Rickey to kill Jordan’s parents.

“What are you here for?”

“I’m from the Sanctum overseas…” Rickey yelled. “I’m going to give you an ultimatum. Accept that we’re coming back in to take over the way it was, or get out of here. Those are the only choices on the table.”

Pedro sighed and pulled his cell phone out.

“I have to make a call to someone. It’s not my show dude…”

“Make your calls…” Rodney smiled and waited patiently.

At the same time Margot arrived, so did Titus and Zak.

“What are you two doing here?” Margot asked.

“We’re here to get Jordan. She ventured into the club without her mother’s permission,” Titus said. The three looked behind them as Anna’s Crown Victoria parked on the street.

“This can’t bode well…” Titus whispered more to himself than anyone else.

“Is that their car?” Anna leaned forward and scrolled through vehicle registrations on her computer and then nodded to herself. As she looked up she caught Zak gazing at her from across the street. “What the…”

“What is it?” Yannis asked.

“It’s my partner…”

“What’s he doing at a dance club?”

“It’s not unusual for him to be there. It’s just strange that he would be there with my daughters tutor is all. I guess they’re just meeting up tonight.” She didn’t want to tell Yannis that her daughter probably went to a dance club to meet her vampire friends.

“Interesting,” Yannis raised an eyebrow at her. “Should we go in?”

“No…” Anna shook her head. The last thing she wanted to do was bring another person into their secrets. She was starting to wish she never brought him along now. She couldn’t have known that she would end up tracking one of the mob vehicles straight to Club Proton/Pandora. “Let’s just wait here and see what happens.”

Eric Connor had just made it past the first set of guards at the door and had one floor to go before he found himself in the place he dreamed of being ever since it was moved near his part of town. He always told his friends that he would one day be able to sneak in undetected. Now, he found himself only one flight of stairs away from being able to claim that he had been to Pandora. Despite being seventeen, Eric looked like he belonged aside from his short stature. The skinny boy chose just the right time to squeeze past the last bouncer without him noticing. Apparently, there was some trouble brewing downstairs that gave him a blind spot to sneak through. Everyone at the club seemed many years older than he. He was careful not to ruin his vampire-pale makeup as he scanned the dance floor for potential dancers that wouldn’t mind spending the night with him. He opened his mouth to reveal a set of fake vampire fangs. His eyes suddenly stopped on a slender, young, petite girl that probably wouldn’t have been taken by anyone else in the club that would rather have gone out with someone that resembled the full bodied 80’s style Elvira.

As the music stopped, Jordan felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to see a kid about her age. She could hear his heart beating so fast that she worried he might pass out but his anxiety didn’t show on the surface of his confident facade.

“Might I spend the evening with you?” It was a fake British accent and it made Jordan giggle. She saw the look in his eyes and she suddenly felt a sadness come over her when she recognized the look. Although not a gangster, some expressions never change apparently and Jordan just realized that. He was cute. Jordan decided to sprout her fangs behind a closed smile just so that they could be matching vampires together. The boy blushed when he saw her fangs.

“That would be splendid,” she tried to fake a British accent as well but she wasn’t any better at it than he. They stood together and watched as Jaime Jax got onto the stage.

“Greetings, my minions…” Jaime Joked as she seemed to caress the microphone. “How are you all fairing on this dark, moonless night?” As Jaime expected, the whole room exploded with energy the moment she finished her question. On the dance floor, the kids smiled at each other with their fanged mouths. Jaime took a moment to notice the new alliance of youth but she also couldn’t help but notice the argument on the staircase, and the arrival of Zak Jones. She wasn’t sure how this night was going to continue but she was at least going to attempt steering it in a decent direction. “Tonight we will be taking requests along with gothic karaoke! To start this night off, I will sing the first song. Enjoy yourselves…” She started singing nearly right off to a slow tune with dark and mysterious sounding lyrics that even Jordan, with her super-sensitive ears, couldn’t quite make out because she was singing with a thick accent for the same of the song.

Jordan turned to her new friend and started slowly moving her body from side to side as she swung her arms over her head and across her face in a pattern. It was her best attempt at dancing and as far as anyone could tell, she was a natural. Eric couldn’t help but smile as he nervously began to dance. The difference between the two of the kids though, was that the bouncers were biased; Jaime couldn’t stop singing to alert them to the fact that she would allow him in the club so as they grabbed him, Jordan followed. Jaime’s song suddenly changed tune to the tone of true sadness as she made a note to apologize to the newly bound couple as soon as she could find them.

“… it’s now or never. As you can see, we don’t care about your establishments. It’s simple,” Rodney pressed his hand against Margot’s shoulder in a shove as he hissed at her. “Get out… I’ll give you three days to find some other city.”

“All the other cities have Sanctums that are branched out from the European ruling clans,” Margot interjected as she slapped his arm off of her shoulder. “This is the only place, under the underground rulings, that could rightfully be taken under control by the local coven.”

“It’s nice to know we’re on the same page,” Rodney said cruelly. “New York is a city we cannot afford to lose. This is an exception. Besides, there’s always San Francisco. It’s ruled by an American coven go there.”

“We’re not leaving,” Margot said.

Nero crossed his arms and nodded in agreement. As two kids were ushered past them, Nero took note that Jordan was amongst them.

“Hey!” He pointed to Jordan. “She’s with us.”

“She’s underage,” the bouncer said.

“It’s okay… I’m going out with him,” Jordan pointed to a young vampiric looking boy. He looked like one of the undead despite the heat he could sense radiating from his body. Nero smiled and pointed to the kid. Jordan rolled her eyes but she couldn’t help but smile a little.

“You too boy!” The bouncer pointed at a short blonde boy in a striped suit that stood next to Rodney as he attempted pushing Margot around.

“Try it!” The boy was adversarial from the start. Jordan looked to the large bouncer and to the scrawny little boy and smiled with pure amusement. She then nodded to Casey. “Come on! We’ll have fun!” It was a pure attempt to keep the boy out of trouble.

“He’s with me!” Rodney all but snapped at the mean. His cold eyes gazed at the bouncer and seemed to tell him that if he tried to touch the boy, he would find himself with his neck snapped.

“Hey bud… No kids allowed,” Nero felt that inciting more of a problem would be just as entertaining as Jordan thought it would be. Aggregated and annoyed, he looked to the boy and waved his hand at him.

“Go with them, but do not do anything.”

Jordan continued down the stairs with the bouncer behind them. On the way down, she saw Zak and waved but Zak wasn’t paying attention. It wasn’t as much he didn’t recognize her but more of the fact that he wasn’t searching for a raven-haired goth-girl. He was looking for a blonde and his mind was filled with images of basketball jersey’s, or glittering clothes that one would find in a techno club downstairs. Jordan didn’t bother gaining her best friends attention any further because she was already causing a scene with the bouncer and she wanted more time to get to know the other boy. Jordan noticed her mother’s car parked across the street the moment the bouncer threw the kids out the door.

“Over here!” She ran to duck into the alley so that her mother wouldn’t see her. Eric followed her into an alley that was sparsely lit by the occasional light from the tops of side-doors that led to various businesses. The alley spanned about a hundred yards with a large square gap in between to allow for multiple dumpsters to encircle a spot where dump trucks would make their way through after the sun came up.

“I’m Jordan,” she said. “Sorry it was so loud in there!”

“Eric,” the goth-boy smiled.

“And you two disgust me,” said the boy in a striped suit. Jordan and Eric turned to the blonde boy with curious expressions. What they didn’t notice was Titus several stories up, crouched over the roof’s edge, looking down on the group of kids.

“What’s your name?” Jordan asked while trying not to sound hurt by the strange comment. She put her hands back on her hips as her usual defensive posture.

“Casey… You have no idea what’s going on do you, girl?”

“Hey!” Eric stepped in front of Jordan. “Why are you being a dick?”

Jordan’s explosive snicker was something that couldn’t be hidden from behind the tiny back of her brand new friend.

“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into! Jordan… You’re about to move because we don’t want you here anymore. My master will make sure of that.”

“Your master?” Jordan stepped around Eric and kept a hand on his shoulder. “What are you talking about exactly?” She squeaked cutely at the end of the sentence. She was hoping that this meant she just ran into a delusional young kid that thought he was a vampire, but she could tell already that this kid’s pale complection wasn’t makeup. “… Oh. Crapsocks…. Eric, could you move over there?”She pointed behind a dumpster.

“What?!” Eric asked.

“Just do it! Kay’?”

At that point the young blonde boy jumped at her. Jordan had no idea how skillful this kid was but she was starting to learn fast as she side stepped him and kicked him in the ass with her shin-high combat boots as he passed by. He slammed into the brick wall behind her so hard that the light above his head shattered from the sheer vibration.

“Man… You’re new at this hm?,” she asked so nonchalantly and cutely as she crossed her arms and as she proceeded to give a quick victory dance. The shadow of a staggering boy emerged with the silhouette of a pizza box on top of his head.

“I’m going to kill you!”

“Too late, some asshole already did that so you can’t even get in line, home-slice!” She giggled at the kid as he scraped Papa-Johns pizza off of his head.

On the roof, Titus smiled inwardly at himself as he watched the events unfold below him. He thought about Rodney and how pissed off he would be to find out that Jordan had either kicked the kids ass or dealt him a final death. One thing was for sure, Jordan must have known that she was highly skilled compared to the other fledgling thanks to him. Rodney clearly neglected to give Casey proper training and it was going to cost him a lot of his dignity when he was done posturing and attempting to assert dominance. Titus sincerely hoped that he would fail in both aspects of his abilities – or inabilities.

Back on the ground, Jordan’s new potential boyfriend finally did what she told him to do and hid behind a large rusted dumpster that wreaked of the rancid day-old from the new Subway that had opened near Club Pandora.

“Why are you doing this?!” Jordan yelled. She had never met this boy before and now he was attempting to fight her. “So you’re a vampire, too.. But what are we doing? Why are you doing this?” She kept asking as she kept enough space between him.

“Because you don’t listen to reason or law!” The boy lunged for her. With fantastic speed, Jordan moved out of the way. The young boy stopped before hitting another brick wall in the alley. His suit was ruined already and his hair dripped form spaghetti sauce. He growled through his teeth as he sneered at her with utter contempt while he slowly advanced toward the girl while she backed into the open space in the middle of the alley.

“We’re going to kill everyone you care about! Just like your boyfriend!”

Jordan’s dark, dyed-black eyebrows raised in sudden realization as he said it. Her mouth opened and she stopped walking backwards. Despite being dead, her body still reacted to surprise and this one hit her where it really hurt. Her eyes widened and she breathed in hard.

“You were part of that?!”

She confirmed the answer as the boy returned an exuberant, angry, evil grin. The boy had no idea the trouble he just got himself in by admitting it.

Dumpster lids made different sounds when thirteen year old girls attempted to bypass opening them by just forcing horrific vampire boy’s through the metal. For instance, she had learned that they reverberated deeper when she used the boys legs as a swinging device. Eric watched as Casey was turned into the stick that turned each dumpster into a different musical tuning fork.

Bang… Bang… Gong… Bang… Gong…

From above, Titus laughed as he watched Rodney’s apprentice get the shit kicked out of him.

Jordan finally swung him around in a circle and let him go. She screamed as she sent him flying down the alleyway so fast that he literally threaded himself through a narrow slit in the top of one of the dumpsters. The expensive clothing on Casey’s back was peeled off as his rapid velocity sent him through the opening where people usually threw raw food into the receptacle. A large gash formed in the side of the steel container where the boys head hit and slivers of the kids skin could be seen stuck to the metallic edges of the tiny hole the dumpsters side. Only a shoe could be seen sticking out of the container. There was silence for a moment before finally, the echo of a young boy’s cry could be heard emanating from the bin.

“Oh my god!” Eric yelled. “Oh my god… Oh my god…” He got up and proceeded to freak out.

Jordan turned to him and put her finger to her lips.

Eric cowered behind a few heads of rotten lettuce and a tall bag of dog shit from the local vet when the steel latch over his head opened to an angry thirteen year old girl with rapidly darkening eyes that stared daggers into him.

“Where’s the fucker that killed my boyfriend?!”

Jordan watched as the kid’s arms shook in front of his face as if guarding himself from a potential second attack. Jordan was half tempted to deliver the attack that he feared would come but she kept to the task of exacting vengeance.

“Tell me now, or so help me, I’ll make you wish you stayed dead the first time…” Jordan’s skin kept turning whiter and whiter. By the time the boy looked beyond his hands, her eyes were solid black, her fangs were extended past her bottom lip, and her fingers even seemed to have changed shape into something blade-like.

“He’s… In… In the – In the club!” The boy curled into a ball as rancid milk began to soak it’s way through his clothing and bathe him.

“Your phone.” Jordan looked to Eric and held her hand out. Her fingers opened and clasped over and over again but she didn’t feel anything in her hand yet. “Come on! If I didn’t go to mist today, I would have had my phone already.”

“I’m confused.. And pardon me but a little freaked out. What the… I mean, you just –,” Eric choked over his own words as he carefully walked to Jordan and handed his cell phone to her. Jordan opened the lid of the dumpster. While Casey was healing from having the skin stripped off his back in order to fit into the ventilation slot of the dumpster, he was largely immobile and unable to fight against Jordan’s manipulations. The girl giggled as she took two pieces of Subway Italian Bread, split them open and placed them on the boy’s shoulders. She found a pepperoni to place on the top of the rotten dough like they were ranks. Jordan took her new friends phone and snapped a few pictures. From outside, Eric’ s brows raised in concern as bright flashes streaked out of the cracks and ventilation slats as the space was suddenly transformed from dumpster, to photo booth.

“You are now to be tagged as Major Homeslice, on Facebook, bitch!” Jordan wasted no time logging into her account. She uploaded the photo of the battered fledgling vampire and began a booty dance of victory. As the boys swollen eyes came back into focus, all he saw was a spinning skirt and striped black and white panties being flashed in front of his face. “Owned! Now, Don’t ya dare get out of there until I’ve bounced, Kay’?!” She giggled at him and bucked her rear end into his head good measure. The dumpster ring like a bell. She then jumped out and slammed the steel cover back over the unconscious boy. Eric was shaken by the events but he found he could still walk when the vampire girl grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him out o of the alleyway.

“Bouncie!”

In the club, the music finally stopped when Zak pulled his gun on Nickey. Margot and Jaime were telling him to put the gun away while Rodney could care less. Nero was quick yank the gun from Rodney’s hand so fast that it took him an extra second to realize that he no longer had anything to boost his ego anymore, so he cowered behind Rodney.

“Help me out here, Rodney!” Rickey said.

“You’re pathetic,” Rodney rolled his eyes. “Do you all really want it to go this way?” Rodney ignored Nickey and focused on the other Vampires; namely, Margot. “Is it money you want? A stake in the board on the new sanctum? I hear you’re the only one to survive out of all the other ancients. That’s proof alone we could use a person like you.”

“You can stay out of our way and allow people that were actually born and turned in this country to have a chance at running the sanctum.” Margot crossed her arms.

Rodney scratched at his long hair and blinked a few times at Margot as if he were politely judging her.

“You, had your chance. Now your ex husband knows about us, your partner knows about us… And you don’t keep track of what any of the other vampires in this fine city are up to. You track nobody, so who knows what’s going on! You imbeciles are destroying the secretive infrastructure of our society and it will spiral, out, of, control… I tried to send you a clear message.”

“A clear message?” Nero pushed at Rodney hard enough to knock Nickey, who had been cowering behind him, on his back. “Killing innocent kids?!”

“Come now!” Rodney retorted. “Far from innocent and far from trustworthy.” He then smiled to himself as he stood up straight again from the push. “… At least now, I can trust him.”

Anna and Yannis had pushed through the last of the club patrons in time to see Zak rolling down the stairs after his attempt to punch the ancient vampire. Anna pulled her weapon out and aimed it at the tall man as he noticed her and laughed.

“Are you okay?” Anna asked.

“Far from it. That bastard is the reason why Jordan’s boyfriend got killed.”

“What?!” Jordan heard what was said before she entered through the door of the old fire station with her Goth friend in tow.

Anna recognized the voice but she almost didn’t recognize Jordan as her daughter when she turned her head to see that her hair had been dyed black and she was wearing a gothic outfit that left little to the imagination. She gave her a double take while keeping her Glock honed half way up the staircase where Rodney stood.

“Jordan?!” She looked back to the staircase. “To my car.. NOW.”

“But mom! One of those two killed my boyfriend!”

“NOW!” Anna yelled louder.

“You’re her mom?” Eric said. He straightened himself up and pulled the vampire fangs out of his mouth. He then used the same hand that he used to pocket his fangs to reach out to Anna. “Hi.. I’m Eric and I would be delighted if I could…”

“I’m BUSY!” Anna yelled louder.

“Kay’.”

The kids ran out the door together without another word. Anna then looked up the staircase to Margot specifically and asked her what was going on. It took a few minuets of explaining. Anna had even went to her radio to explain that the disturbance at the club was an airsoft prank gone-wrong and that no assistance was needed; this kept the cops from returning to the club once again.

“Why do you need New York?” Zak asked as Anna kept a hand on his shoulder. He was still out of breath from falling down the stairs and he was pretty sure that he had bruised a rib on the way down.

“None of your concern,” Rodney said as he leaned against the stair railing and crossed his arms. “You are mortal and shouldn’t even know about this. For that very reason, the original Sanctum must be reestablished.”

“What he’s not telling you is that under Sanctum rules, you will all have to die because you know about us. There is no leniency or trust with the old Sanctum traditions.”

“Over my dead body,” Zak mumbled.

“That’s the point,” Rodney whispered back just loud enough to be heard. With the music down, the old fire-house-turned-club carried the sound well.

“That will be a problem,” Titus’s voice emanated from the top of the stairs. “The bottom line, please… Then get out.”

“Ah, Titus!” Rodney had reverence in his voice as he looked up to the man. It was as if they had some sort of friendship or had something in common that he liked about him. Titus, on the other hand didn’t react to the friendly response as he stomped down the stairs with purpose in his stride. Rodney’s lips tightened and he nodded at him.

“As of now… You are all on notice. We’re taking the city back and there will be no leniency from here on out. Good day, gentlemen.” Rodney was about to push past Margot and Jaime when a beaten little boy covered in rancid, pungent meat, fumbled through the door wearing nothing put the stained pants of the 3,000 dollar suit he had bout for the boy. He was crying tears of blood and gasping for air like the upset kid that he was; his fangs were extended and his eyes were red with despair.

“That girl– she… She beat me up!” Followed by a scream of agony over the rapidly healing scab on his chest and back. Rodney placed his hands over his face out of embarrassment. Anna, out of instinct grabbed for her radio. The small pale figure looked like a zombie shuffling with his arms flailed out toward Rodney’s general direction but she could also see that the injuries the boy had were vanishing before her eyes. By the time the boy was to the bottom of the staircase, his back looked just fine, yet, seriously in need of a tan.

“Get a hold of yourself! How did that happen?!”

“J– Jordan…. She… She… She…” He broke out into a fit of crying which left blood droplets all over the floor of the staircase at his feet.

“Oh my god man,” Pedro rolled his eyes. “You’re right. Just get out. If we go to war with you, I don’t want to be thinking about how easy that shit’s going to be.”

Anna was quick to bring her gun back up to eye-level when Rodney grabbed Pedro by the throat. Zak held his hand on Anna’s arms knowing that if she shot, no mortal would get out of there alive. Nero slapped at Rodney’s hands.

“Go,” Nero said. “Just go… We’ll have the war later.”

“You’ve all been warned.”

Rodney left with a shaken mobster that probably wouldn’t live to see the next sunrise, and a boy that had a lot of learning to do. As the doors shut, everyone in the room exploded with statements, questions, and accusations. It suddenly sounded like a children’s lunchroom; the roar of talking overloaded even the Vampires senses but they kept yelling anyway until the entire first floor of the club was nothing but a roar of chatter.

“Hold it! Hold on! GUYS!” Margot yelled. She held her hands in the air and people began to quiet down. “He’s right… We have to either submit to the Sanctum of Brittan, or prepare for war.”

“What about them,” Jaime pointed to Zak and Anna. “They’ll die if we give up.”

“Yeah, I ain’t for dying! This is bullshit,” Zak agreed.

“Obviously we can’t do that,” Nero said while sitting on the stairs and running his face over the palms of his hands. “We need to prepare.”

“It will be the start of an empire if we succeed,” Titus said. “All great empires were built upon the bones of old empires. It is possible to win with a deafening blow. Vlad Teppesh had done it after all.”

Pedro was still rubbing his neck and his voice cracked when he asked him, “Who?”

“Dracula.. The real one… He would discourage armies to take over Romania by staking the victims of the first wave on pikes for all to see.”

“You want us to do what?” Anna asked.

“Your weapons won’t work against them,” Jaime pointed toward the gun in Anna’s hand. “They can’t possibly fight our kind and win. What are they going to do?”

“We can lock them up here,” Titus said.

“Whoa.. Whoa… We have jobs and families,” Anna reminded them.

“What the hell is going on?” Yannis asked. Anna had totally forgotten that he was with her after all the commotion she witnessed. Anna looked around to the other Vampires and then looked to Yannis, who had no idea such things ever existed.

“Oh… Um… well, shit.” Anna sighed to herself. “Yannis…. You – probably aren’t going to believe this.”

“You brought another mortal into this that didn’t need to know?!” Pedro spat. “You’re just freaking brilliant today, aren’t you Anna? Let’s let the whole world know about us! What the hell were you thinking?!” Pedro kicked at the railing of the staircase so hard that wooden pieces flew off and bounced off his dance floor.

“I – I lost track of…” Anna breathed in to catch her mental footing. “… alright, I screwed up! When I saw Jordan run in with dyed black hair and that skimpy outfit, I forgot all about the reason I was here. I was searching for an organized crime connection and we traced a suspicious tag to this location.”

“Tag?” Pedro asked defensively.

“One of the cars registered to the Gamboni family,” Anna said.

“Oh,” Nero laughed. “That would be the car Rodney came here with. That little boy is the son of that crime family. Although, as you’ve just seen…” Nero shrugged his shoulder and hoped that Anna would put the rest together.

“He turned him into a vampire?!” Zak gasped.

“Great! Vampire mobsters! BULLSHIT!”

“This – isn’t going in my reports to the bureau,” Yannis said. “I can’t say that I worked a joint conjunction effort with the New York Police Department to catch a bunch of – vampire mobsters… Sorry.”

“You believe us?” Anna raised an eyebrow at the agent.

“I saw a young boy’s skin go from I should be dead skint up to perfectly fine right before my eyes! If you didn’t say vampire, I would have deduced black magic or something, which I normally don’t believe in by the way. It’s just that Vampire in this situation seems to be the best explanation. I’m not going to say anything about this. No offense,” Yannis started backing against the door. “… but you all can just handle all this on your own. Don’t call – don’t write.”

“Time to prepare, ladies and gents,” Nero said.

“What the fuck just happened?” Zak asked.

“War.” Titus answered.