The road served as my bed, the tarmac a rough pillow against my face. The Mustang, now devoid of all life, was a crumpled mess. I hauled myself up, still not quite used to the muscle tightness that came with regeneration. Two human males stood open-mouthed on the opposite side of the road. They were younger than Hallie but I couldn’t tell by how much. They were smarter than they looked and had associated me with the crash. Luckily for me, they hadn’t thought to call either the police or an ambulance. They watched as I walked to the ‘Stang and took the key out of the ignition. The car wasn’t exactly driveable but I wasn’t going to risk it. They kept watching as I changed direction and began walking along the road.
“Hey, mister, there’s nothing that way for miles” one of them said.
“You’re better off heading the other way, back to the city. Zeke and me can walk back with you, we’re from a town like five minutes away from it” the other said.
“Apollo’s Arrow?” I said with the hint of a laugh.
“You know it?”
“I live there. And I’m still going this way. I was heading this way with someone”.
“You must mean that brunette chick”.
“Dude, her hair was hazel” the one called Zeke said.
“Where did she go?” I asked, not caring for their slang.
“Some other brunette chick was sat on the hood”.
“Where did the hazel girl go?”
“The brunette chick carried her off the way you’re heading”.
“And you stood by and watched?”
“We asked if you were okay. We asked the brunette chick’s name too. It was something weird like Lillian or Lilia”.
“Lilith” I said icily.
“Yeah, that was it”.
I walked over to the two boys, handed them each fifty dollars and informed them that they didn’t see anything. I headed back to the car. On the ground was a tiny puddle of blood. I wiped some on my fingers and got the scent. It was definitely Hallie’s. It wouldn’t be wise to let the boys see my eyes now so I kept my head down. Hallie’s scent was strong in my nostrils and the scent trail was fresh. Lilith had made no attempt to mask it, she wanted me to find her. She was up to something and I didn’t like what my instincts were telling me. A few hours later and the trail started to confuse me. Morrigan had joined the pair but it smelt like a werewolf had joined them too. Would Lilith really stoop so low as to recruit a werewolf? My instincts were torn. Part of me said to follow Hallie’s scent, which had now mingled with Morrigan and the wolf’s. The other part, however, was telling me to follow Lilith. I thought of Hallie. She was nearly a full vampire, she could look after herself. But if they overdid it and she died… I shook my head and cleared the dark thought from my mind. Ultimately I would en up seeking out Lilith so I decided to cut out the middleman and head straight for her, even if guilt clawed at my insides. I didn’t have to walk far, though. Lilith was waiting for me.
“Ah, Fang, I wondered when you would arrive” she said sweetly, standing up from the tree trunk she had been sat on.
She walked with the same dancers grace as her sister and I knew I was to follow her. She led me across the barren landscape to a small building that couldn’t have housed more than three rooms. From the outside it looked more like a bunker than a building and the whole thing seemed to be devoid of windows. It was a cell.
“Hallie is inside. But you will not see her today. No, today you must meet with my associate, Blue-Scar” Lilith said, prying open a metal door in the side of the concrete monster.
I stepped into the belly of the beast and looked around eagerly for Hallie. There was another metal door padlocked multiple times but her scent was heavy behind it. The room itself was bland and dark. To any human it would appear abandoned and empty but there were, in fact, a square dining table topped with marble effect and three dining chairs, none of which had the same pattern. Sat in one of these chairs already was Lilith. She beckoned for me to sit and for another entity to sit with us. A female I didn’t know sat down. She carried the werewolf scent but she didn’t seem to be a werewolf. Lilith spoke something to her while I tried to determine the newcomer’s species.
“Fang! It would benefit you if you paid attention!” Lilith snapped, a growl escaping her lips, “This is Ren, the leader of The Nightstalkers”.
“Former leader” the vampire-wolf snapped.
“The Nightstalkers would let a wolf lead them?” I asked, tempting an answer out of her.
“Don’t be disgusting. Wolves are our slaves” she replied, not completely convincing me she was a vampire.
“Now, Fang, we have a proposition for you,” Lilith said, distracting me from Ren, “Hallie is fine, you do not need to worry about her. Once Ren pays her a visit, however, I would not be so sure of that. You can prevent her suffering, though. Ren here runs a small agency, a family business if you will. The latest job requires you, though”.
“Because you are a male, that is why”.
“What do I have to do?”
“In a few weeks time you will be expected to marry a Miss Elli Crenshaw. And on your wedding night you will be expected to kill her. Any questions? No. That’s brilliant. Miss Crenshaw’s older brother will be your best man and we already have a suit for you. It’s waiting for you at the Lone Star Motel. I would get going if I were you, it is a quite a walk away and you will want to get there before dark. It is not the classiest of places” Lilith said with an evil smile and escorted me out of the building.