We walked in relative silence after that. Walker coming along for what I didn’t know. I didn’t really care. We hopped on the subway and got off at the closest stop and finished the walk in silence. Walker checked his gun at his side and I just shook my head. Guns were the first thing people went for. She was a hacker. Did he really think she was going to have a goon for hire?
But then she might, she was working for an evil mastermind after all.
The house we walked up to was similar to Sage’s brownstone he and Dee lived in. It looked a little more run down than most in the neighborhood. The windows were all blacked out, no pretty curtains. It reminded me of Sage’s basement and I wondered if it was a hacker den. Sage didn’t mention it. “Wicked?” I asked over my headset.
“Sup, Nox?” He said his voice only a little strained by concentration.
“Is this a hacker den?”
“The windows are blacked out.”
“Give me a sec.” He said in short clipped words and I heard the rat-a-tat-tat of his keyboard clacking away as he typed.
Sage came back on the line. “Nah, I only see one thing getting out of the system. So nothing more than her. No idea why the windows are blacked out.”
I sighed. I could think of one, but this was a dragon not a vampire. I nodded towards the front door. “You go through the front door. I’ll take the back. No killing.”
Walker nodded and moved with little more instruction, and he drew his gun but I prayed he didn’t need to use it. I went around the back and I had a pattern of fire waiting to blast if necessary. This was a hacker, but I was a hunter and this was my life.
The back door was locked but I used a weave of air and picked the lock like a key would open it. It was a useful trick. The door squeaked as I pushed it open. The kitchen was black, no sun through the windows to cast shadows. Everything was already in shadows. I let go of my shields and embraced my senses. I could smell dragon and vampire. What the fuck was vampire doing here?
I went upstairs first to clear the house. If vampires were here, they’d be in the basement at this hour. Too many windows was too much for a little vampire even with them blacked out.
Everything was clear. But I had no hacker up here, so I hoped Walker was alright. I headed down stairs. Vampires and dragons? I still couldn’t believe it. Ant wasn’t going to like this. I wasn’t even able to call him. I was going to have to call Tony.
“Yeah Nox?” He said on the other end, he was still busy.
“I need to call Tony, can you do that for me, I’m a bit busy.”
Sage didn’t respond but my phone started ringing in my ear. I loved having a hacker for a best friend I thought to myself as I headed down into the basement. I heard a gun shot go off just as Tony picked up, “Yes?”
“Hey Tony, it’s Nox. Can you come to me as soon as possible. I think I got a vamp in a dragon home and Ant’s busy, and it’s daylight. I ah… gotta go. Wicked help him find me.” I added as I barreled down the stairs a fireball at the ready. There was a girl standing in the doorway of a room at the end of the basement, Walker was clutching his neck and chained to the wall was a hungry vampire clamouring to reach either the girl or Walker.
I wasted no time and wrapped Walker in the elements, I shoved his hand aside with flick of air and he protested only then to notice it wasn’t bleeding and he could feel the healing effects of what I was doing. I looked at the girl who was turning to go back in the room and I flung her door shut with a quick thread of air and she stared at me as I pinned her to the door with another weave. “You aren’t going anywhere duckling.”
The baby vampire thrashed as it couldn’t reach either of it’s prey but as I stepped closer its attention was on me. I let my power flood the room. I was bigger, I was badder. I heard both Walker and the girl gasp as my power reached them. The vampire only fell to his knees and cowered in fear. It was a handy trick. And in that moment a man walked out of the shadows. At first I thought it was Ant, but as he drew near I saw it was his father. Tony. He stopped and stared at me, “Never knew you had this kinda power boy.” He said as he stepped closer to the baby vampire. “I’ll make sure he’s taken care of. He won’t be able to hurt anyone in Sanctuary.”
“Is he one of yours?”
Tony shook his head. “Cursed. We’ll teach him and return him to Bernstein. Can you relay that?”
I nodded. “I can.” And then I had a question. “Is that where Cari sends them all for rehabilitation?”
Tony’s smile grew but he didn’t answer me as he stepped into the shadows and was gone. I had figured out what Cari did with all my little babies I found. Put them in a place where they couldn’t get out by themselves. I guess it was good to know a secret society of vampires that lived inside a mountain.