Mors Praetor – part 2

The basement of the 8th street building where Frankie’s kiss was located was dark and damp and I shivered at the memories it tried to pull out of my head. Ant put his hand on my shoulder then passed me – he was going first. I resented the protection a little, but that was just Ant. He would have done that with his father as well. Tony rarely came with us on anything on this, but he had a few times. They could almost be twins if they weren’t father and son. Age wise they weren’t that different in comparison with their long lives. Cari had met Tony when she was training to be the Enforcer with all the Council members. He had been ten. When he was twenty five he and Cari had the sordid affair. And it continued until Cari had been a vampire for about fifty years then Cari did the horrible thing of slaughtering a town in her hunger. Tony and his father helped cover it up. But a few years later the Vampire council found out and forbid Tony and Cari from seeing one another feeling Tony was the reason instead of the true reason. Their last nights together conceived Ant with Magic. And thus begins the story of one of my best friends

Ant was trained by Cari to be a protector. She was not the most loving mother, so Ant and I had a lot in common in that regard. His father was absentee just like mine. And just like mine Ant’s father wasn’t at fault, his father didn’t know he existed for much of his life either. And it’s been a long life.

Ryan was about 18 years older than Ant, but when you’ve been a live for eight hundred years it the difference hardly matters. Ryan had gone from father figure, to brother, to best friend over the years. They were my friends now and I trusted Ant would let me do my job, but he’d also protect me if anything bad were to happen.

We descended into the sub basement where you could hear the train rumbling past below us. The smell of blood grew with each step we took closer to the door at the end of the hall. “I’m glad I ate before I came here.”

“The whole kiss looks like it’s killing.” I said as I passed the last empty room that was covered in blood splattered walls, none of it fresh.

“Mother will look into it. Frankie is this way.” Ant pushed open the door in front of us. The smell hit me long before I saw anything. The stench of decaying blood, the putrid smell of bodies long since drained of blood. I choked back the gag reflex that threatened to empty my stomach from the smell. My senses were already pulled back and I could only do so much before my body reacted to the stench. Hopefully long enough to deal with Frankie.

Frankie sat against a wall with a small porcelain doll in his lap. Except at second glance the doll was just a girl who was nearly dead. Her eyes were glazed over with lust filled eyes. Her body limp and pale from loss of blood. The red stain at her neck stark against her pale skin as Frankie looked up.

He saw Ant and he smiled, his fangs visible in blood stained lips. And then he saw me and he stood up, dropping the girl. I wove air and caught the girl before her limp body fell completely lifeless to the floor. She was human but I wrapped her in the elements a last ditch effort to keep her alive while I felt the fury of the crime. The girl was no more than fourteen. There were other bodies of similar girls lying around the room. Long since dead but she was alive.

There was a growl in the dim light and Ant took a step to the side to keep Frankie from bolting out the door. His face showed no emotion and I was certain I wasn’t as calm. I felt the snarl on my lips. The heat in my face. I was angry. Who wouldn’t be seeing this thing taking the life of the future generation. Killing a child in cold blood.

Ant spoke softly into the dim light, “Your rights have been revoked. The Council sees your deeds as against the clan. And you are now submitted unto Venatori justice per the Clandestine Providence and the Law of the Aeternus. Your death shall not be avenged.” With each word of the formal denouement Ant took a step back towards the door. His only job was to keep the creature from fleeing. Ant didn’t try to protect me now. If I died under his watch it would be all my fault.

The man looked at me, “You don’t kill.”

I grinned at him. “You don’t know me.”

“I know who you are.” He sneered, “Just a weak boy who doesn’t play by the rules. I heard about how you cheat.”

“There is no cheating when it comes to life.” I shrugged. “You won’t play fair, why should I?”

“This isn’t some game.” Frankie growled.

“No, this is the end of the road for you Frankie.”

“Where is my trial?” He laughed.

He should get one. And if he didn’t attack me he likely would at least get a reprieve. He wouldn’t die today, maybe tomorrow morning at the top of the building staked to the top of the roof for the sun to rise. A death fitting of what he’d done. A slow torturous death until nothing but ash.

Ant audibly shuddered behind me. He’d felt the thought, seen it in my head. Sometimes he could do that. But most of the time he stayed out of my head. It was a trick most vampires of his kind had, but Frankie was embraced from the Incubus line – Damien must be so proud of his progeny. Not that I had ever met the man myself.

Frankie lunged for the girl and tried to pull her from the grips of the air. I growled and let the anger rise. In my hand I formed a razor sharp line of air, and in a quick moment the offending Vampire’s head was gone from his body. Spurts of blood splattered the ceiling and the walls, and everything else it’s path as it fell to the ground.

Fire erupted from the body. I stared at the body as I burnt it to the same ash I had been thinking about moments before. And then I left the corpse to burn and went to the girl who was still alive, barely breathing, but alive. “You’ll be alright.” I said as I lifted her gently in my arms. All fury was gone except for the edge that kept the fire going. I let the anger fuel the fire, burn it away like the creature who had invoked it. This was the second kill in my lifetime that had been murder in my heart. He hadn’t attacked me.

Ant’s arm around my shoulder made me look over at him. “Don’t make it more than it is. His life was over. If you did not end it I would have been back to do the job on the Council’s order. My mother already said he was the Venatori’s problem now.”

“My problem.” I sighed and started the slow walk out of the building.

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