Kat sat in the cafeteria, her hands wrapped around a large olive green coffee mug. The smell of caffeine and sugar tickled her nose as she sipped the dark liquid. Warmth flooded down her throat and settled in her stomach causing a small smile to cross her delicate features. It had been six hours since the vampire, Lee, had confronted them on their home turf; telling of a meeting with Malik’s father in three days. The proposition didn’t sit well with her, what if it was a trap? What if vampires, in all their devilry and cunning, banded together to take out Malik.
After all, he had been hunting their kind for years, practically driving them far into the black recesses of the world. Savages would do such a thing; that’s what vampires were. Mindless, blood starved creatures that wore the faces of their human self. Just because they could talk didn’t mean that they were civilized.
Hell, Indian tribes of third world countries spoke and they beheaded their best friends when they felt it was necessary. Kat shifted uncomfortably, remembering Malik’s conviction. Trap or not, he would walk right in there, unarmed and starved for the answers his father held.
“Little early to be up, eh, Katarina?” A chuckling voice teased. Flinching, she spun around, catching sight of a tall muscular man with an angled face. He had two large milky brown eyes and shaggy amber hair that hung part way down, a soft expression resting on his features.
“Russ,” Kat breathed, releasing her tension. Russ grinned and nodded, taking a seat next to his fellow vampire hunter.
“Most of us aren’t up during the day…so why are you? You seem nervous and bothered.” Kat shrugged taking another sip of her drink, as much as she wanted to hide her consternation about the coming events, Russ could always see. For his towering size and threatening looks, Russ was a big teddy bear around his friends. Often when Kat and Malik got into arguments, he was the one to help settle the issue and divert Malik’s sharp tongue.
“I’m just a bit worried…no need to trouble yourself with my problems.” Kat distracted stirred her coffee with a tiny stir stick. Russ placed his hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her. She was always such a worrier, fussing about their weapons, safety and anything that could go wrong. It was her nature; she had a servant’s heart.
“Kat, Malik will be fine. He has hunted vampires ever since Master Derrin allowed him too. Malik has wanted to face his father; he’s finally going to stand up to the specter that haunted his thoughts.” Russ hugged her and smiled.
“Well ain’t that sweet.” The two hunters turned to meet a third figure who perched himself in the doorway. Russ scowled and Kat glared, the man who was entering had light spiky red hair and mischievous green eyes. A coy grin danced upon his face as the newcomer sat on the opposite side of Kat, looking at the two.
“It’s too early for your sour attitude, Alex.” Russ shot back, keeping his anger in check as Alex sarcastically pouted and pulled Kat’s coffee mug out of her loose grasp. He rolled his eyes, why were they always serious. Kat was always chasing after Malik, and Russ pulling them both back from the Dhampir’s compulsion for self destruction.
“I can’t believe you two are fussing over that half blood. He’s found his father, maybe that will make him less of a brooding suicidal maniac.” Alex took a large gulp of Kat’s drink and choked as the black liquid scalded his throat. Kat was always one to drink her coffee black, hardly any sugar, and so hot that it could turn you tongue to charcoal. Alex pushed the mug back and let his mouth hang open a bit, trying to relieve the scalding burns.
“He’s a fellow vampire hunter, Alex, the best hunter of our order. You should have more respect for him; show us that you at least have a heart.” Russ growled, leaning towards Alex who laughed hysterically. Kat frowned and tucked her arms closer to herself, letting her fingers curl around the warm mug. It was her only comfort, besides Russ who was too engaged in trying to scold Alex.
“He’s half vampire!” Alex burst out loudly. “That’s what you two seem to forget, just because he doesn’t roast in the sun, have fangs, or an unholy craving for blood doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous. Mark my words, his father plans more than a little father son outing. There will be blood spilt and I guarantee you it will be Malik’s!” Alex thrust his finger out in a pointing manner, waving it back and forth like some enraged priest and continuing his rants and raves.
“Is that so?” An incredulous voice questioned. The three hunter’s head cranked around, eyes wide at the figure’s sudden appearance. Malik’s snowy grey eyes flicked over his comrades waiting for one to speak up and answer his question. Russ offered a small smirk, peering at Alex out of the corner of his eye. Alex, on the other hand, did not share Kat and Russ’s enthusiasm; showing a deer in the headlights look for a fraction of a second. Regaining his composure, the red haired hunter eyed Malik with contempt.
“Yea…it is.” Alex weakly retorted, standing. “I have weapons to repair for tonight. Good day.” He winked at Kat then completely ignored the other hunters, leaving the room without another word. Kat sighed; she despised Alex, his flirtatious and arrogant attitude always displayed like a badge of honor. She instead reclassified it as a badge of egotism and looked up to Malik.
He always had the uncanny ability to sneak up on people, scaring the living daylights out of them. It didn’t help that he had pale grey-ish white skin and midnight black hair, if you didn’t know him, he was an intimidating person. Kat shook her head and concealed a small chuckle; she was the only one who knew what he was truly like. When his mind was not consumed with revenge and rage.
“Good morning,” she said trying to hide her relief, Russ also nodded in greeting. Malik nodded back and returned his all seeing gaze to Kat. His face was devoid of emotion until he released a tense sigh, causing curiosities to blossom in both Kat and Russ’s mind.
“Katarina, I was wondering if you would indulge me with your presence…for lunch?” Kat sat frozen in her seat, shocked into silence and confusion. Had he just asked her to lunch?! What would prompt such an act from Malik? Kat stared at him and Malik starred back at her, outstretching his hand. Finally Kat smiled and took his hand.
“I’d be happy to join you!”