Travis stood, dressed like a smart Colonial gentleman. He shut the door and I heard the lock click. What was it with vampires in this place and locking the human in?
“Hallie, you rather upset me the other day” he said, walking over to me. He was posher than he’d been before. Wait, how did he know my name?
“I’d prefer it if you didn’t interrupt me, half-breed. You rather upset me because I was finally going to reclaim my position as supreme leader of The Nightstalkers”.
“More like you were going to steal it from Trace. But think about it, Travis. Ren’s more important than you, the position would go to her first”.
“Stupid child. You think yourself knowledgeable in affairs that you do not know or understand. The position would have gone to the first to share blood memories. Which in this case is me”.
“Why do you want to lead this anyway? Your…subordinates said you believed in preserving human life”.
“An image. I made myself look weak and pitiful in front of them. Made Trace look all the more powerful. Did he ever tell you how he thought I joined The Nightstalkers?”
I shook my head.
“He believes he forced me to share blood memories. He believes this because I told him to. The minute my blood touched his lips he was mine to control, my puppet. And my followers believe the same because I willed them to”.
“How can you be sure that isn’t what Trace wants you to think?”
Travis laughed. It was the laugh of a madman. A madman on the verge of sanity.
“Do you really think that weakling could control an organisation as large as this? He only pines for his little love rat. And the same goes for Ren. And while I acted my part they seemed powerful, like true leaders. But that time is over now. It’s time for me to take my rightful place as leader of The Nightstalkers. And you are going to help me”.
“Why should I?” it came out weakly. Now why do I have my vampire mood swings when I don’t need them?
“Because if you don’t I’ll kill him. Slowly and I’ll make you deliver the final blow” Travis said menacingly and padded off to get something, presumably the “him” he was talking about.
He pulled back a dark red curtain that I’d never noticed before. Why had I never noticed that before? And then he was dragging a squirming figure out from behind it and towards me, and towards the light. Tied up with a mixture of chains, ropes and God knows what else was none other than Aya. Travis shook him so he would look up.
“Hallie, I’m sorry” Aya said with guilt in his eyes.
“Well, Hallie, what will it be? Trace or your little boyfriend?”
“He is not my boyfriend!” I shouted.
“I’m not her boyfriend!” Aya shouted at the same time.
Travis tried to suppress a laugh but failed miserably.
“What’s your answer?”
I looked Aya in the eye. He shook his head.
“Don’t help her” Travis sneered, twisting something behind Aya’s back and making him cry out in pain.
“I wont kill Aya but I wont kill Trace” I said firmly.
The beginnings of a smile shrunk from Travis’ face. He threw Aya on the ground next to my feet. Aya tried to sit up but Travis kicked him in the ribs.
“Very well. The three of you can die together. No, I think the two of you should die together. After all, it seems your girl Morrigan’s handling Trace pretty well” Travis said as more noise came from Trace’s room.
“You lay one finger on her!” Aya shouted and got another kick in the ribs. This time there was a crack.
“The vampire prince and the half-breed princess, how ironic” Travis said as he searched around for something.
“What does he mean?” I asked Aya.
“Hallie, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. If I’d known then I wouldn’t have… They wanted us to hate each other. Lille needed your blood to come off stronger and the only way to do that was to get you mad. But, it worked. We worked it out. Who bit your mom, I mean. It was the leader of The Union, Azarius. Dracula’s heir” Aya struggled to say over his broken rib.
“Okay, but what about “the vampire prince?’”
“Uh, that… That would be me. Yeah, we, uh, we found out who I was and it turns out I was a prince” he said shyly.
“Any last requests?” Travis asked, brandishing a large metal rod.
“Yeah, let Hallie go” Aya said viciously.
“Now, why would I want to do that?” Travis asked.
“Because Azarius knows of her existence. If you kill her not only do you kill a descendant of Dracula, your forefather, but you kill Azarius’ heir”.
“Hmm, a wizened old coot like Azarius… Ooh, I’m shaking in my boots. I think, she should die first. Something tells me you wont go down without a fight” Travis said as forced me onto my knees and lined the rod up with my heart.