The night was a warm one, so much a haze was obscuring the sky, blocking the moon from view and allowing very little light to shine through. It didn't hamper him much though. Vampire eyes were keener than a human's in the dark, and he had had over 2,000 years to train his own. Tonight, however, he was relying more on his other senses.
Vampire attacks on humans had been on the rise in the past couple of weeks – not that they had become numerous, the figures were still much lower compared to most areas, especially given the size of the territory he had to cover. But a few attacks were still more than he cared for. Besides, they had been reported to the human police, and he feared that they would be leaked to the press, fanning the fear of the Dallas human population towards his kind.
And so, he had put Isabel on the case. She had identified one and the same scent on the scenes of the attacks, one she didn't know. Of course, she didn't know every vampire in town, and much less their smell, but this tended to point towards a vampire who would have recently entered his area, and either didn't know about Godric's reputation for little tolerance regarding violence towards humans, or did know about it and was deliberately provoking him. Either way, the culprit had to be caught, and he would be punished severely.
The sheriff of area 9 had thought that his second, being the old and capable vampire that she was, would have this solved in no time. However, she hadn't been able to catch the culprit.
She had gone to Dallas' vampire nest and gathering places, inquiring whether anyone had noticed a new vampire in town, a loner who would have violent tendencies towards humans, but nothing had come out of it.
The culprit did not seem to have an established pattern, never striking in the same area, sometimes attacking twice in a night, sometimes not at all for days. He wasn't targeting humans of a single blood type, and sometimes killed his victims, sometimes let them live, in which case he'd glamour them into remembering the fear he had instilled in them but not his description. And there were no witnesses.
That was why Godric had decided to back up his second in the hunt – and had gone as far as putting Stan on the case, something he usually preferred not to do when humans were involved. The impulsive vampire may be competent in handling affairs that remained strictly within the vampire community, but his dislike of humans was too great for the sheriff to entrust him with their protection. But desperate times called for desperate measures.
Tonight the three of them were separately investigating the places where he had last struck. Godric stopped to take a look at his surroundings. He could hear a bunch of people behind him, and the way they talked and laughed indicated a group of drunk men. A hundred yards or so in front of him, he could see a small grocery store, with a sign that read "Open 24/24". He started walking again, deciding to get in and ask if the owner had seen anything out of the ordinary on the night of the attack. It was a very long shot, but he was grasping at straws there, and was starting to lose patience. Something that did not happen very often. When he caught the culprit, the punishment was going to be very severe indeed.
The bunch behind him caught up with him before he could reach the store, and since the sidewalk was rather narrow, he stepped aside to let them walk ahead of him. They didn't pass him by however, instead stopping as they reached his level.
- "Hey, boy!" One of the men exclaimed. He was a tall, big man, and was wearing a baseball cap over a military haircut. Godric didn't react at being called "boy". In his earliest centuries, any allusion to his youthful appearance would have earned the caller a prompt bite which may or may have not have resulted in his death. Now the old vampire had gotten so used to such references that it didn't even remotely bother him anymore.
- "Hey, you got a dollar for me and my buddies here? Cause we'd like to grab something to eat a' that grocery shop, but we forgot our money. And you look so proper, we thought we could borrow from you!" He exclaimed brightly as said "buddies" laughed.
At that, Godric refrained from rolling his eyes. Humans, he thought. There were only three men, and he could have had them all lying flat on their backs in a second, but this was not an option. He could glamour them, but the corner of his eyes caught a movement to his right, as a girl exited the grocery store and started heading their way. He didn't want any potential witness to his ability, and certainly didn't want to have to glamour the girl as well. Messing with humans' brains wasn't the best thing for them, and he wasn't going to do it to one just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. So the wise vampire went for the last option: he took out his wallet and handed the man his dollar bills. It wasn't such a great loss to him anyways.
- "Now here's a good boy" the man flashed a grin, slamming a hand onto Godric's shoulder as if they were old pals, and nodding to his friends to follow him as he made to leave. They couldn't, however: the girl he had spotted before was blocking their way. In one hand, she was carrying a grocery bag slung over her shoulder. Her other hand was sitting on her hip.
- "Give it back." She called out to the man who was still holding Godric's bills, looking him straight in the eyes.
- "Give what back?" the big man answered, his smile still on. He was considerably more imposing than the girl, and yet, she didn't budge.
- "The money you just took from him. Hand it back," she replied levelly without changing her position.
Godric took a closer look at her. She looked Asian, was in her early twenties, and he supposed her face and figure would be considered rather attractive by humans as well as vampires. Centuries ago, she would surely have had his immediate interest. A few decades ago, she might have held his eye. But now women, no matter how beautiful or desirable other men may find them, were nothing more to him than a pleasing sight, like an aesthetic painting. Something that made for a nice decorum, but failed to stir much in him.
This clearly was not the case for the aggressors, however. The big human's grin was now slightly wolfish, and when he answered, his voice sounded deeper than when he had talked to Godric, the drunk edge less pronounced.
- "Come on, sweetheart. He and us, we made a deal, and agreed that we'd pay him back later. And anyway, he's not your boyfriend is he?"
She didn't answer. The three men exchanged glances. Their leader pocketed Godric's money and took a step forward towards the girl, pulling her to him with one arm.
- "Let go. And give the money back." She said, without a trace of fear but a hint of irritation.
- "Or else? You'll call the cops?" He answered in a low, playful tone, and his companions sniggered behind him.
Maybe it was time for Godric to intervene, he mused.
- "No need. I am the cops", she answered. The girl's hand which had been resting on her hip went to her jacket, pulling a shining officer's badge from an inner pocket.
Maybe it wasn't time, after all.
- "So let me go and give the money back, or I'm afraid I'll have to use force." She added in a warning tone.
If she thought this would drive them away, she was wrong. The men only laughed, looking more turned on by that prospect than anything else.
- "Hear that, Joe? Woman are truly scary nowadays, eh?" One of the men told the big one with an expression of mock apprehension.
She raised her eyes to the sky, clearly exasperated with the whole situation, before looking down at the men again.
- "Well then, you can't complain that I didn't give you a fair warning".
The next thing Godric knew, she had snatched Joe's hand from her waist and was twisting it in a way that sent him to hi knee, a grimace on his face.
He tried to get up but she only applied more pressure on his wrist, causing him to twitch in pain and growl "You bitch… You - fucking - vampire bitch..." as his free hand tried to catch her legs.
Apparently, he had said the wrong thing.
- "I'm a bit strong, so that makes me a vampire?" She sounded annoyed now, and just as she let go of his hand she stepped behind him to kick the base of his head. He sprawled onto the ground face first, and did not get up. She had knocked him out cold.
Frowning slightly at that, the old vampire looked at her. She still had her grocery bag in one hand, and was now facing the remaining two men.
One of them had drawn a knife from his jacket. He slashed but she dodged easily. Swiftly, she delivered two kicks to the inside of his knee, the first one weakening his standing position, the second one, more powerful, sending him to the floor and causing him to drop the knife, which she kicked away.
The last man lunged at her, but she brought her knee to her chest before extending her leg to meet his attack with a full-blow to his mid-section. Godric heard a crack that suggested a fractured bone. The man doubled over, holding his stomach, and the girl went to pick up the knife with her free hand.
- "All right, gentlemen, I suggest you remain where you are now" She said with a tiny jerk of her head that pushed her bangs away from her eyes. "Unless you prefer to end up comfy on the ground like your buddy G.I. Joe over there," she added with a nod towards the unconscious big man, her eyes not leaving them.
She waited for a second and although the men were swearing and uttering offensive words through gritted teeth, she seemed quite content that they weren't going to attack her again.
She went over to Joe and took his pulse. Once she had made sure his vitals were fine, she picked up the bills he had taken from Godric and handed them to him, asking if he wished to press charges, which he declined. He had more urgent matters to attend to – but she did not need to know that. The girl turned back to the other two, and asked to see their papers.
- "OK, here's what we'll do. You two – get G.I. Joe and carry him to a hospital for a check-up. And you, as well" she looked at the last aggressor, who was still pressing a hand to his torso with a rather pained look. "I won't fill in any statement against you three tonight, but I do hope I won't get to see your names pop up again." She said with a warning look.
And with that she turned to Godric once more, and for the first time since she had appeared in front of him a small smile spread on her face as her features softened.
- "Sorry about that", she said apologetically.
He did not reply, but cocked his head slightly to the side and looked at her without blinking, taking in her short size - no more than 5'2 - and delicate frame.
Knocking out a man in so few moves was no easy task for a human. It usually took many strikes, because the first blows didn't weaken the target enough to prevent them from picking themselves up. It was even more difficult when said target was much taller than you, and twice your weight. And yet, she had just done so with three men in a row, using only one hand and leg. Meaning that not only did she have good technical training, she was also much stronger than her built should allow for.
And throughout all that, her heartbeat had remained perfectly steady. Even now, the old vampire could tell that she wasn't the slightest out of breath. She could have been taking a lazy stroll in a park.
After a short while, his stare seemed to made her uncomfortable. She ran her free hand over the top of her head and said something about having to get back home before walking away from him.
- "Thank you", he said making her jump slightly. "I am sorry that you had to get caught up in that." He added once she had faced him again. Her smile was back on.
- "It's my job", she replied. "I'm just glad nobody got harmed." She frowned. "Well, I might have given one of them a fractured rib – but I did give them plenty of opportunities to solve that without a fight." And after a pause: "Plus, they should be able to recover fully."
- "Indeed." The old vampire agreed quitely, his eyes not leaving hers. "I understand why he might have thought that you were vampire. Although you seemed to dislike being called that" he added, putting just a bit of his glamour behind his words, which usually worked just as well as when younger vampires used their entire ability. However, she did not adopt the vacant look that humans had when glamoured.
- "It's not that I have something against vampires." She said, looking thoughtful. "If anything I guess I should have been flattered – vampires are actually quite famous for their super-human strength" she added, but she sounded somewhat annoyed with that fact. "But it's bad enough that they see us as a bunch of weak and pathetic creatures" Godric internally winced at those words, knowing the truth behind them, "we should have more self-respect and not believe that just because someone is strong, they have to be vampire." She shrugged. "And I don't like people who make excuses for their own weakness." She said dismissively. "Anyway, I should really be on my way now. You stay safe!" She flashed him one last smile before turning her back to him and striding away, her pace confident, her long ponytail swaying with her every step.
Godric watched her back for a little while as she grew smaller in the distance. He believed she might not be completely human – her strength and apparent ability to resist glamouring certainly indicated so. But then she hadn't used magical powers, so he ruled out the possibility of her being a witch. And she didn't smell like a were or a shifter. In fact, she almost did not smell at all. He sniffed the air. The scent of the three men was still strong, but hers was very faint.
But as she disappeared from his view, the ancient vampire told himself that there were too many mysteries in this world for him to try and unravel all of them. She didn't look like a threat, and she didn't seem to have any extraordinary ability, so he quickly turned his mind back to the matter that had brought him there in the first place.
He still had a vampire to catch.
And that's it for chapter 1 :)
Next one will be from the girl's POV. And there is something special about her, but what exactly will only be explained later in the story, once she and Godric have grown closer. About that, I'm planning to make the relationship evolve gradually. I just can't see Godric as the love at first sight typee (when he turned Eric maybe but not in his later years).
Review if you like :)
PS: English is not my native language, so my apologies for any sentence that may read weird!