The Joy of Power

I should have napped instead I got a long shower. I didn’t know when Scott would show up. I expected near night fall or after. I had plenty of time so I lounged on the bed in boxers and a tank top while I sifted through the treasure box again. I had probably done it everyday since I found it.

I lifted the leather band of the watch to my nose and took a deep breathe, the smell of my mystery man was still present. I didn’t know when he’d worn it last and I was careful not to actually touch the leather. I didn’t want my scent mingling with his. It was a comfort that I took and was half asleep when there was a knock on the door.

I groaned as I pulled myself out of bed and to the door. I peered through the door and saw a man dressed in tight leather pants, and an tighter shirt. Like it was almost painted on. There was a thin collar around his neck and he was smiling shyly at me. “Scott?” I asked as I opened the door.

“Is this for me?” I joked. I knew he let the vampires bite him. He was a letter and he was turned on by their bite. And from the looks of it I was turning him on. He came in with his head ducked.

“I didn’t realized you’d be here so quickly.” I said. “Let me get dressed.”

“You don’t have to.” He said shyly.

“I don’t have to get dressed, you mean I can go in my boxers?”

Scott shook his head. “We don’t have to go anywhere, you can just bite me here.”

“What?” I asked confused.

He looked at me like I was an alien. He looked confused but that didn’t stop him from coming up to me I instinctivily backed up until I was pressed against a wall. Scott stalked me like a predator – like a vampire might stalk him. “You feel like a vampire. I can feel the power radiating off of you.” He said as he stood in front of me, pressing his chest to mine. I could feel his hardon through my boxers and it was only getting stronger as he sniffed at my neck like he could smell the power.

“Oh.” I said and pushed him away. “You are sensitive to the occult. I’m not a vampire. I’m not human but I’m not a vampire. “Where’s this club at?” I said as I grabbed a pair of jeans, they were black but not nearly as tight as what Scott was wearing.

I pulled off the tank top I was wearing without really paying attention that my back was to Scott. I heard a gasp but didn’t comment as I pulled the t-shirt over my head and then tugged a long sleeved shirt on over it. It wasn’t my normal club going gear but it would do in a pinch. To emphasis that I wasn’t human I ran my fingers through my hair and knew my tips were turning the color of my shirt.

He was staring wide eyed at me and I waved my hand to the door as I tugged my last shoe on. “This club.”

“It’s called Frozen.” he stammered out. “I didn’t… Wait.”

I sighed. “What?”

He looked down and frowned. “I’m sorry. I thought.”

I sighed. “You thought what? I would take you here so you wouldn’t have to prostitute yourself at the club so you can feel the bit of a vampire?”

He nodded. “Don’t worry about it. I want to go to the club, so you can either tell me where it is, or show me, but either way I’m going with or without you.”

He sighed, but he headed for the door and I followed him out tucking my key into the pocket. I didn’t bother with anything else. Scott lead the way and I caught up to him and we walked towards a large looking warehouse type building with a blue flashing neon sign reading “Frozen”

Moving On

The shower was hot. And the bed was uncomfortable. But I closed my eyes and prayed I didn’t die in my sleep. Of all the nights I wanted to see those blue eyes. I wanted to see his smile. I didn’t want to have a nightmare. I didn’t want to go off into the darkness and feel the razor sharp tentacles flay my skin. I wanted him to touch me – remind me I’m alive.

I drifted into the emptiness and there was a glimmer of the room I was always in. In the vagueness of my dream I knew that room. I remembered where I’d seen it before. Not the dream version. The room was once where I’d gone to see Margo. Filled with toys and paintings and things for a kid to do while they waited, and they observed the child.

The thought woke me from my slumber and I wondered how I could dream of the room before I saw it. Had I been in the room before. I sat up and sighed. I didn’t know but now I knew the nightmare would come. I could feel it lingering in the air.

I went for a run. A long very tiring run. And then I passed out on the uncomfortable bed without a thought.

I woke with my back bloodied – but still alive. I was a live.

I got back on the road and moved on with my life. I had a vampire to hunt. I grinned at myself, my own thoughts. I wasn’t going to kill her. She’d done nothing wrong, but I wanted to find her. I wanted her to know I was just as good as she was. I wanted that prestige to hunt Il Cane and succeed. I wouldn’t succeed if I tried to kill her but that wasn’t my goal.

I drove for two more days. Texas was a large state it seemed like I’d be in it forever. Louisiana had been mostly a blur having traveled it with vampire venom coursing through my veins. Mississippi and Alabama were nothing compared to that. And then another long trek through Florida to the far coast of the peninsula.

Dangberg was a strange place. All the sidewalks were shaded with awnings and parks all had large tents attached to them. I stopped at one of the parks and got out to stretch my legs while I figured out where the best place to start was. In the middle of the large tented area was a rock with a plague. “The Founding of Dangberg.” It went on to tell about the vampire founders. I nearly laughed.

There was a point in my history lessons where we did a little bit on the founding of America. The first settlers had brought with vampires – the boat trips over had been catastrophic at first until Venatori started coming across on each one killing all the vampires. It made sense that this was where they’d say Cari Giovanni was. She had come with the council to the New World, leaving most of them behind with a new Enforcer and bringing Il Cane with the transplants. They were said to have settled far and wide. Salvador Einor settled in the south in an undisclosed location. Desmond Vallejo was centered right in New York City. Every Venatori knew his name but none had seen him. And Dimitri Vallejo – no relation – went out into the wilderness that was the West.

The town was founded by a vampire and the awnings catered to the myths of the town. The vampires were playing tourist attraction. Come be bitten by the vampire bug. I shook my head in disbelief. I’d gone hunting a vampire for using media to attract food, and here was a whole town doing the same thing. But it had been here since the founding of our great country. I scoffed. The vampires were here and now I only had to find them.

I did what any tourist would do. I went into the closest coffee shop I ordered a tall coffee black and flirted with the barrista. He was cute, a little shy, but a quick smile, and a graze of him hand and he wasn’t beating me down so I kept going. I stood at the pick up counter out of the way and talked to Scott. “So if I wanted to see a true vampire where might I go?”

Scott looked at me with a smile and he brushed his fingers against his neck pulling his collar up a little higher. He was a letter. I smiled. He’d know where I could find a vampire. “I can show you.” He said, “After my shift is over.”

Hook, line and sinker. I smiled. “I’d love that. So while I wait for you to get off.” I smirked at my words. “Where is the best hotel around. Where I can sleep like the dead until you stop by?”

He blushed a little but he pointed across the street. “The B&B across the street is far enough away from the clubs, that you won’t hear the noise, but close enough you can walk home without too much trouble.”

I grinned at him as I placed my hand on his after he’d set down another customer’s drink, “So when you get off, ask for Nox at the front desk. I’ll let them know Scott will be stopping by.”

He nodded and blushed. “Okay. I should get back to work.”

I nodded. “You should. I’ll see you later.” I winked at him and walked out of the cafe with a certain sway because I knew he was watching me.

To Alexandria

It was a good thing the car wasn’t far. I couldn’t just go to a hospital. Which was likely closer. I might only be half Venatori but my DNA and blood work was definitely going to raise alarms. Fuck even my blood type might throw off warning signals. Venatori just didn’t go human doctors. So I had no where but to go except to another facility with an Infirmary. The closest one was two hours away. I hoped I could make it.

I could feel the lights drawing in and out in my mind’s eye. Every second passed the closer I crawled towards death.

I made it to the car and started it left handed. That was far harder than anything else. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of using my power to turn the key until after I’d already managed. I chalked up the distraction to the pain. I was almost numb to it now tho.

I pulled out onto the road, then the highway and I drove the speed limit. I blinked away the fog, but kept on going. My music played and I drove.

I had blinders on, nothing but the speed limit and the signs in front of me. I watched as mile marker after mile marker flew past and then I saw the sign for Alexandria. I blinked. What? Already.

I looked at the time on my phone and it was two hours later.

I sighed. I had made it. But the clock still ticked. I used a wash of water and air to rinse the blood from my arm and the seat while I pulled into the driveway of the Alexandria safe house. The car in gear and I glanced down at my arm and saw nothing.

Nothing? Wait..

I turned on the interior light, not that it wasn’t already bright from the sun. I don’t know what was going through my mind. But my arm, there was no cut, only a simple dimpled scar where the teeth and punctured my arm.

I let the power go and got out of the car. I grabbed my overnight bag from the back seat and headed inside.

The Alexandria safe house wasn’t really much, but it had facilities to help the infirmed. But I didn’t need it despite all the blood. I wasn’t asked any questions as I headed into the locker room. I took a shower. A long hot shower. I was dazed. I was weak and tired, but I was alive. I was going to stay here for a little while just to make sure I was alright and near help if needed but the wound was healed except the small scar of a mount on my right forearm.

I wasn’t sure what was going on. I was completely dazed at the moment I needed a few hours of rest and then maybe I could figure it all out.

Little Orange Button

Some of you might have noticed a little orange button in my side bar that’s been there a few days. If any of you have clicked it you’ll see it takes you to Patreon where you can subscribe for $1 or $3 US dollars to get exclusive content from AJ.

So today I’m bestowing upon all my readers the 411 on that.

In all of AJ’s adventures in writing publishing has always been last on her list of things. Mostly because she’d have to write query letters and sell herself. And in the indie publishing she needs cash.

SO, this is where Patreon comes in. AJ wants to use that money to polish/edit my first 5 books after rewrite. While there is some disposable income, there isn’t enough to warrant a $3K edit for ONE book. Most of the rest AJ has a good handle on being she’s done graphic design and has access to a graphic designer for quality assurance sake. And formatting a book yeah, well AJ is a web designer by trade so layout is something of her forte so again easy enough to do.

So why don’t you head on over to Patreon and check out AJ’s page and read over what she’s offering you.

And I’ll go out on a limb and say I bet AJ will grant anyone who wants a digital copy of the First Hunt so that you don’t have to wait for it to finish here. Along with all the supplemental scenes that AJ is in the process of formatting for Patreon.

Dire Stakes

The twins had been eager to tell me about their day. Jesse confided after they’d been sent to bed that they used to do that with their mother and this was a treat for them. I told him I’d try to call often. “How’s a weekly Thursday call at 8 sound?” I asked Jesse.”

“Do you plan everything?” He asked.

I nodded against the phone. “I do. It keeps my sanity. I might have to change it depending on my work detail but until my birthday ish I’m gonna be out on my own doing my thing.”

“8 on Thursday is good. We might need to change it up if and when the boys decide to do after school activities.”

“Just let me know ahead of time.” I said. We shared good-byes and I told him we’d talk next Thursday.

I’d left early the next morning stopped for lunch and went for a run before I got back in the car again. By 6pm I was just outside of Shreveport in a shitty little motel waiting for the sun to fall behind the horizon so I could hunt down the vampires. They weren’t hard to find. There was a club in mock and or true fandom called Fangtasia. True Blood at it’s finest. I was surprised they hadn’t been handed a cease and desists order.

It wasn’t hard to dress the part – tight black jeans, a black t-shirt, really heavy eyeliner, I spiked my hair up with gel. The tips were multicolored. I loved that trick. My nails were painted black. They hadn’t needed it but if I was going to doll up to look like a ‘fang banger’ I might as well do it right. I even had a black choker to go with the ensemble.

In my pocket I fingered the zippo lighter from the box my dream guy had sent me after. I don’t think he expected me to take it, but I had. Everything in it. I don’t know why, but just knowing someone was out there somewhere. It was heartwarming.

But then I looked back on how Jesse and the boys were handling my mother’s death. I wouldn’t want to put someone through that. I sighed as I entered the door to the club. It looked like any other club I’d ever been to. Except I could feel the vampiric energy coursing through the place. I smelled the coppery smell of blood but I saw no one dead or dying. It was just that powerful here.

The moment I walked into the club there was a pause. Nearly ever eye turned in my direction, they looked at me and then it was like a mass exodus, every vampire scattered. The place was filled with more dazed humans that I’d seen, but half the room had cleared.

One man, one vampire, rather sat on the make shift throne that their homage to sat on. He looked at me with red eyes, he hadn’t fed in a while. “Just contacts” he said in response to my thought.

Not good. The man smirked, “No not good at all, a baby Venatori in the middle of a vampire den. Not good at all.”

“I’m looking for Il Cane.”

“Last I heard she was in Florida.” He laughed. “Small town – Danghdburg, I think is the name. Go hunt Il Cane.”

I smiled. “I will. But I think we need to have a chat about this first.”

He laughed again and in a blink of an eye he was on me. I tried to get away but he had my arm and his fangs were sinking in before I could think. I pulled and my strength and his… The ripping sound was more like a sucking sound but it made me shudder as I wrapped the vampire in flames and his body ignited in a bright inferno. Blood gushed from my now gaping wound and I shoved every element in it to stop the bleeding. I could feel the life dripping out of me. I needed to get to an infirmary fast.

Though a vampire had bitten me – the prognosis wasn’t good. Just like therian venom vampire venom was toxic to Venatori. I didn’t expect to make it through the night – what the fuck was I thinking…

Driving is Boring

I slept most of the morning away after Michaela said her good-byes. The sex was extraordinary, I think she was giving it her all trying for whatever it was she was trying for. Wasting a drop was not something Mich wanted to do. I hope she at least had fun while she used me. I wasn’t sure I was quite happy with the situation. If she got pregnant and didn’t tell me afterwards I think I’d be pretty peeved. But I’d also heard that Mich had requested another hot looking young man who was a first time hunter in his family.

She was vying for the best sperm this side of the rockies I guessed. I felt a little used but I was almost 20 now so I really didn’t care. Fuck I was saying good-bye to my teens too. The thought of my birthday looming was exciting and daunting. I still had a long ways to go before I was home though.

There was no fucking way I was going to fly if I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to be anywhere until I reported into New York City HQ. I’d given Mich my plan. Told her I was going to hunt Il Cane. She laughed at me. But I had an advantage, I had Jack. Not that I knew how to find Jack, but I knew how to find the scariest fucking vampire. You went were the vampires were misbehaving the most. So I’d done my research these past few weeks leading up to my dismissal from Michaela. I was making my way down into Texas and over into Louisiana where I was going to be hunting down a nest of vampires who hopefully would be also being taken care of by the illustrious vampire assassin.

Michaela laughed at me. “The fastest to know the name, and the stupidest because he actually is going to hunt her”. She said.

I just grinned at her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks for takin care of me, Mich.”

She hugged me and I was off in a Venatori supplied car. It wasn’t the Jeep I’d been driving. Much more economical and highway easy and something that the mountaineers wouldn’t mind getting rid of.

Leaving Ward, Colorado was a difficult thing. I stopped by my mother’s place and said good-bye to Jesse. The boys were in school. I told him I’d call them when I stopped for the night. I gave him a precise time. “I’ll call by 8pm that work for them?”

“Yeah, I can let them stay up a little past that to speak to you. But not much later.” He said.

I nodded. “Yes, sir. I’ll call by 8, even if I have to pull over on the side of the road to do so.”

“Be safe. You’ll always be welcome back here. You’re momma woulda wanted it that way.”

I nodded trying not to think about what my mom would actually want. She still thought me a monster. She died thinking that. I wasn’t proud of myself, I should have stood up to her, but it was like Garrett. Whenever I saw him, I couldn’t manage to be more than a 5 year old boy.

The greatest thing about new cars these days they were equipped with bluetooth and I could stream my music straight to the speakers. I never once lost a station – never once had commercials. It was great.

Boulder to Denver so I could say my good-byes to Ricky. He was a good cop, told him Mich would be available. He patted me on the back and told me that it was going to be strange not having a Sétanta to call on. It was probably the first time in my life I’d been proud to be my mother’s son. Her only heir by name. The last living member of her line to carry on. And likely to be the last male heir to the name.

From Denver I was gonna drive for about 8 hours only. there was no need to be messed up driving, I hated it and I didn’t have to be anywhere quickly. So no more than 8 or so hours on the road. I figured that was going to be me to somewhere in Texas before I hit Dallas.

From there I’d hit The town outside of Shreveport, Louisiana and I’d go hunting a nest of nasty vampires who were making trouble like because they thought True Blood was real. Idiots!