The “same plan as usual” involved me being the bait and one or two of the others taking down the troublesome vampire. All of a sudden, the seven of us had become hit men. Technically the six of us. Nate was like our pimp. Did I really just call Nate a pimp?
Because of the apparent nature of Raphael, Aya insisted that he and Morrigan take him down. They may not have been the strongest but they were the fastest and Morrigan was the most intelligent. All I had to do was walk around the outskirts of town, maybe brushing a tree every now and then. Soon enough Raphael appeared, hunger in his eyes. He looked Italian, as I’d expected him to, and wore a designer suit though there was a tear in the left shoulder.
“Well, hello, little girl” he said in an accent that was mainly Italian but hinted that he’d spent a lot of time in America.
“Raphael, isn’t it?” I asked, sticking to the plan. Keep him distracted while Aya and Morrigan get into position.
“Raphael Camargo. You know, I’ve been searching for you for years”.
“Really? And why is that?” I tried to ask sweetly.
“Why, you’re the girl of my dreams and-“
“And my blood smells simply delicious?”
“So you know of vampires”.
“You don’t seem like the slayer type. Are you a vampire yourself?”
I had to think about my answer. One false move now could jeopardise the whole plan. If I said yes, he would lose interest and we would lose the upper hand. If I said no, surely he would smell it in my blood. Aya and Morrigan were almost ready, I just had to stall him for a little longer.
“Yes. The pickings in this town are so boring and easy, I wanted to join you”.
“That’s charming but I hunt alone”.
No. No. No. I’d lost him. It didn’t matter. Aya and Morrigan were on top of him. They had pinned him to the ground. Raphael struggled but he was no match for the two of them.
“Raphael Camargo, you are charged on three fronts. For the unnecessary slaughter of human beings, for hunting on foreign land and for being a rogue. How do you plead to these charges?” Aya asked.
I heard bones snap and realised what they were doing. Normal handcuffs would never hold a vampire so they were restraining him with his own skeleton.
“Your girl hit the nail straight on the head. There’s so many humans here it’s boring. Waiting for them to leave the nest is much more exciting” Raphael said, wincing and licking his lips.
“We’ll take that as a ‘guilty’ then” Morrigan said, lifting the struggling vampire on to his feet.
“You should talk to her! She understands more about being a vampire than a vampire does!” Raphael shouted as Aya dragged him away.
“Raphael Camargo. Let’s see, he’s a rogue, that’s two hundred straight up. Hunting on foreign land without permission is another hundred. Each human makes one hundred so that’s twelve hundred. Over all…fifteen hundred dollars. That’s not too bad. I would have thought more” Morrigan said, walking me back to the manor. Dad was still in California so I was still living with Tawny and the others.
I wanted to ask Morrigan why she had made Aya promise to avoid me but didn’t. Part of me suspected Aya had wanted another reason for avoiding me and used the two people I cared about most as scapegoats. Then again, part of me still trusted him. Part of me wanted to beat him stupid but part of me just wanted to talk to him. Morrigan was still chattering away to herself. None of the vampires reacted when I went quiet which was a nice thing. If I was quiet at home Dad would just assume something was going on at school, march down there and demand to see the principal who had normally gone home by the time he got there. For once, though, I wanted Morrigan to notice I’d gone quiet. I wanted her to ask me what the matter was. But she didn’t. Because that’s who I am. Quiet little Hallie who has to plan things out before she says them. What Raphael said was bothering me too. Evidently he knew I wasn’t a vampire but maybe he knew I wasn’t human either. Perhaps when he said he’d been searching for me, he meant because I was the legendary half-blood. Now that I think about it, he’d been friendly with me. Friendlier than any of the vampires I called my friends had been. They were all avoiding me in some way or another. Call me paranoid if you will but I think they were afraid of me. I followed Morrigan back to the manor, not really paying attention to anything. For all I know she could have asked me if I wanted a husky puppy called Nanook. I say this because I do want a husky puppy called Nanook. I hope she didn’t ask me that, I’d love a puppy.
By the time we got back, the manor house was empty. Completely empty. Not even Lilith was there. Morrigan shrugged it off and waltzed off into another room. I decided that for at least one day I was going to sulk my way into oblivion. If you can call sitting in my room and talking to Mom sulking. Okay, so I wouldn’t talk to Mom. As if she’d understand about vampires anyway. The thought that she could still be alive flashed through my mind. I hadn’t been too hopeful that she was alive, after all if she was she would be a vampire and not my mom. What I meant by ‘sulk my way into oblivion’ was lying on my bed, listening to Taylor Swift. She’s not exactly my style but it chills me out. Just like Tawny and her white noise. I turned on my CD player, which was always loaded with the same five CDs, and lay back on the silk bed sheets. As the light-hearted country music enveloped the room, I no longer felt like I was alone.
“I know you’re there. Just be quiet and don’t touch anything” I said with my eyes shut.
This was the third time in the last month that someone had been in my room, just standing there not doing anything. Today would be the exception. I heard footsteps and assumed they were leaving, as usual. Then there was someone lying next to me.