The next morning I was woken up by the sound of “All you lazy vampires in the house! Get out from your hidey-holes and come check out what Papa Nate’s got for you today! You wanted danger! You wanted excitement! Well, now you got it!”
Even though Nate had only addressed the vampires I knew he meant for me to get up as well. After all, I was part of the team. Live bait is part of the team, isn’t it? Nonetheless, I scrambled out of bed and made my way downstairs. Nate was sat on one of the sofas waiting for everyone else.
“Hey there, human” he said with a grin.
“Hey there, fangs” I said, sitting next to him.
“Now, Hallie, you know vampires don’t have fangs. It’s just a silly legend” his accent was very Southern today.
“Oh yeah? Then what do you call these?” Morrigan asked with a smile to show off her canines.
“I personally would call those mutations”.
Morrigan glared at him but smiled to show it was a joke. By the time everyone had gotten downstairs, and in Fang’s case upstairs, Nate was bored and thumb wrestling Morrigan and I was starting to give in to tiredness. Well, it was 6AM. Aya was the last to storm into the front room. Even though vampires don’t sleep, he still looked like he’d just been woken up. He gave Nate and myself the glare of death and padded over to an armchair on the other side of the room. Nate just smiled at him and as a result lost his thumb war with Morrigan. Morrigan seemed to have been treating him better lately. Maybe because Lilith didn’t seem to even acknowledge his existence. Nate’s leg bobbed up and down in excitement while he waited for everyone to get comfortable.
“Okay, you wanted something big. Something that would get a lot of money. Well, I spoke to a few of my buddies who deal with requests and stuff. You want anybody taken out, it has to go through them first. So, I spoke to a couple of them and they gave me a tip off. It’s going out in a few weeks so we don’t have long but… The head honcho of The Union, Mr Mystery himself, ordered this one so it’s gotta be a big payer” he said, going more Southern at points in his tale.
“Nate, you’re dodging the subject here” Morrigan said from the floor.
“Oh, yeah… Any of you guys heard of The Nightstalkers?”
There were a few nods.
“Right. Now, The Union’s been pretty liberal about them since they’ve been sticking to the rules and all. But, now The Union fancies they’re getting’ a little too big for their britches. So, they’ve sent out an order for The Nightstalkers to be shut down. The reason it’s going out in a few weeks is ‘cause they’re gonna try and reason with ‘em first. After that, it’s down to their loyal subjects to take them down through the art of war”.
“And what exactly are we going to do about it?” someone asked. I was expecting it to be Aya, what with his love of challenging everything Nate did, but it was Fang’s voice that rang through the room.
“I think shutting them down from the inside is the best way to do it”.
“Okay, so we find out who’s running it and we take them out”.
“Well, see there Fang, that’s your one problem. Only one of your little happy family can fit in. Those who go willingly have an affinity with all things dark. Lilith, as scary as she looks, is too innocent, too reluctant to spill unnecessary blood. Tawny’s too kind-hearted. Ayumu’s too head-strong. You’re too controlled by your fear of heights. I’m sorry man, new recruits start pretty high up in their establishment. And Hallie is just a little too human. That leaves-“
“Me” Morrigan interrupted.
Nate nodded. A look of shock flashed into Lilith’s eyes.
“Alright. I think I know the answer anyway but why I am the only one who can do it?” she asked with a sigh.
“Well, your appearance for a start. Only you can pull off the Goth look because, well, because that’s your normal look. And your personality suits the role. A little dark, a little mysterious. That’s what The Nightstalkers are after. Power and a lack of empathy”.
“Are you patronising my sister, rogue?” Lilith shouted. It was a chilling shout as she didn’t even have to raise her voice.
“L-Lilith, I meant no offence. I just-“
“Do not waste your excuses on me. Unlike Tawny, I have no concern for you” she said sharply and disappeared upstairs.
Morrigan watched her almost float up the stairs with that same disappointed look in her eye. She sighed and seemed to forget everyone else was in the room. Everyone except me.
“I’ve watched her grow up. She used to be just like you, a shy little thing who hadn’t come out of her shell. She never had many friends. Then again, she was never very open towards others. That kind of behaviour upsets me, though. Only after the two of us were turned did she start acting up. She couldn’t have been happier that we could never see our parents again but… Something changed in her. Sometimes I wonder, if I’d left her what would she be like now? Would she have even survived this long? But, part of me knows that I’m holding her back. She could be something much greater but I wont let her. I still need my little sister”.
“Morri, you’re forgetting, Lilith’s already done those great things you’re talking about. And we had to put a stop to it, remember? She was a danger to herself and those around her. I know it hurts you to remember but think what she did to you” Tawny said gently, putting an arm around Morrigan.
Morrigan pushed her away. “I brought that on myself. Don’t you try and blame her for that! That was never her fault!”
“I hate to ask you when you’re all worked up like this but, will you do it?” Nate asked.
Morrigan didn’t hesitate. She didn’t have to think about what she was going to say, she just acted on impulse. “Yeah I’ll do it. But you have to promise me you’ll keep Hallie safe”.