"Complicated Girls"
Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: The following story is a work of fiction based on the "Vampire Hunter D" anime films from 1985 and 2001. All characters in the story are not of my own creation. They are copyrighted by Hideyuki Kikuchi. The following story is copyrighted © 2001, 2002, 2003 by Mark Moore.

I wrote the first draft from Wednesday, December 26, 2001, 12:00 PM to Thursday, August 1, 2002, 10:56 PM. I would now like to thank Penny L. for providing Leila's last name and the name of her hometown, Kelly Hu for Lamika's statement about the steak, and Charlotte McFarlane for the names of Leila's relatives. Thank you! =)

I started working on the final draft on Wednesday, November 20, 2002, at 11:37 AM. I finished it on Monday, May 5, 2003, at 10:22 AM. Feel free to send/leave me reviews, whether they're positive, negative, or something in between. Thank you, Cathy, for posting this story at The Vampire Hunter D Archives.

Since FanFiction.Net banned all NC-17 fanfics, I originally couldn't post this story on here. So, I've removed the sexual situation during Leila's shower scene to make it "safe for FanFiction.Net". This story is censored, and I do not recommend that you read it. I've uploaded it here simply to make my word count a more accurate representation of the number of words that I've written. The sexual situation isn't important to the story, but I like it. If you want to read the story as I intended for it to be read, please go to the Vampire Hunter D Archives at and look for the story in the Fanfic Archive. I created this "stripped version" on Thursday, August 14, 2003, from 11:40 PM to 11:45 PM.

Thursday, July 21, 12090

Doris Lang stared out the window, searching for clues.
It was rather dark; only a small amount of light was cast down in front of her.
"I still don't see anything." Doris told the others.
"Keep looking." Rory told her.
It had been three months since Doris, her brother Dan, and their adopted sister, Lamika Lee, had been exiled. They had left their home with a rock band called Dazzle. Doris and Lamika were now members of the band, and they were on tour.
Their destination was Los Angeles, where Doris hoped to find four of her ancestors. The trip was taking a long time due to a number of reasons. Most of the roads were bad, so they had to drive at a slow speed. In the case of rubble blocking their path, they had to either clear it or find a way around it. They had to stop for fuel at gas stations. These were rare, since not that many people drove automobiles, so they had to fill up lots of containers with gasoline before they continued on their trip. When they stopped in a small town to get something to eat and drink, the locals would request musical performances. In addition to meals, Dazzle also got a few dollars. Doris had asked Rory if she could drive the Firebird. Rory had agreed. Doris had no idea where they were, but she wasn't about to admit to the others that she had gotten them lost.
"I think I see a sign." Doris said.
They all looked outside. The sign read: Las Cruces.
Phoebe opened up their map and checked it. "Doris, Las Cruces is in New Mexico, which is in the Claybourne States!"
"No wonder we're not in L.A. yet!" Ingrid yelled. "We're going in the wrong direction!"
"What?!" Lamika asked.
Dan folded his arms over his chest. "Way to go, sis."
Doris felt embarrassed and ashamed at herself for making such a huge error, but she kept her mouth shut and drove into town.

Leila Markus dismounted from the cyborg horse.
So much had happened to her recently. She had lost her adoptive brothers, Borgoff, Kyle, Nolt, and Grove. Both of her parents had been killed when she was a little girl. She was now all alone.
Leila looked up at the man that had given her a ride back to her house. D sat on his horse, wide brim hat on his head, cloak on his back, boots on his feet. She had gained a certain amount of respect for this vampire hunter in the short time that she had known him. He was sort of a friend.
"Thanks for the ride." Leila said.
"Will you be all right here?" D asked, not looking at her.
"Yeah, sure." Leila said.
"What will you do?"
"I dunno." Leila said. "I'll get a job. Might take up basket-weaving."
She didn't know why she said that, and she immediately felt stupid.
"All right." D accepted. "Good-bye."
D rode off down the street on his horse, leaving her alone.
She sighed and turned to face her house. She walked up to the front door and took her house key out of her front right pocket. She put the key in the lock and turned. The door opened. She wasn't sure if it would have or not. She had thought that the house may have been sold in her absence, and the new owner had changed the lock.
Upon opening the front door, she was greeted by darkness. She walked into the living room and felt around for the candle and lighter. She lit the candle and was greeted by the site of furniture covered in sheets.
It was still her house.
She kicked closed the door and locked it. She walked over to a chair and pulled the sheet off of it. The chair was clean, untouched by dust after all these years. That meant less cleaning for her.
But first, she needed to get the power back on and get something to eat.

Doris parked the Firebird on the side of the road, and everyone got out of it.
They leaned against the car as Phoebe tried to figure out which way to go.
"This is all your fault!" Phoebe told Doris. "We wouldn't be lost if you had bothered to check the map!"
"Sure, blame me!" Doris yelled back. "None of you bothered to correct me while I was driving!"
"Calm down, both of you." Rory told them. "Doris, why don't you go to that house across the street and ask for directions?"
Doris walked across the street and knocked on the door.

Leila had come back home after getting the power turned back on in her house and going shopping. She had flipped on the light switch in the living room and was happy to see the light come on. She had then put her groceries in her refrigerator and cleaned the house up a bit.
She had taken a steak out to her backyard and turned on her electric grill. She had just put the steak on the grill when she heard the doorbell ring.
Leila wondered who was at the door. She was sure that she wasn't important enough to the rest of the town that anyone would want to visit her. She walked back into the house, unlocked the front door, and opened it.
A girl with golden blonde hair in double ponytails was standing outside.
"Yeah?" Leila asked.
"Hello, my name is Doris Lang. My friends and I are lost. Could you maybe give us directions on how to get to L.A.?"
"Los Angeles."
"No." Leila replied. "Sorry."
"All right. Thanks." Doris turned and started to walk away.
"Hey, do you have a place to stay for the night?" Leila asked.
Doris turned to face her. "We usually sleep in the car."
"You and your friends can stay here for the night." Leila offered. "We'll figure out how to get you on your way tomorrow."
"Oh, gee, we wouldn't want to impose."
"It's no trouble."
"Thank you." Doris turned and yelled to the others across the street, "Hey, we're staying here for the night!"
In a few minutes, Phoebe, Ingrid, Lamika, and Dan came to the door, carrying their pajamas, robes, and toothbrushes.
"There are five of you?" Leila asked in surprise. "Oh, no! That's too many! I don't have enough room! So, take your stuff and go sleep in your car!"
Rory walked up to her door. Leila looked at him.
Rory smiled at her. "I...am here."
"I - I - I..." Leila couldn't get any other words out.
Rory walked into the living room, followed by the others. Leila silently closed the door and locked it.
"Are you okay?" Doris asked her.
"Uh, yeah." Leila said. "I'm afraid I don't have enough room for six guests. We'll have to share rooms. There are three."
"Okay, I'll share a room with Lamika." Doris said.
"I'll share a room with Vixen." Phoebe said.
"And I'll share a room with you." Rory said, smiling at Leila.
"Uh, no, you won't." Leila told him. "You'll sleep on the couch."
"What?!" Rory asked. "You insult me!"
"Calm down, Rory." Doris told him. "You'll have Dan to keep you company."
"You're putting me with a child?" Rory asked her. "He's your brother, not mine."
"Well, I don't want him to see me and Lamika...doing it." Doris whispered in his left ear.
Rory smiled. "Why not? The kid'll enjoy it."
"Shut up." Doris said.
"Okay, I guess it's settled." Leila said. "I've got a huge steak on the grill. Anybody hungry?"
The visitors all agreed that they were.
They went into the kitchen. Leila got plates from a cabinet and forks and knives from a drawer and set the table. Then she got bread and a bottle of barbecue sauce from the refrigerator and set them on the table, too. Finally, she got some extra chairs.
"Anybody want anything to drink?" Leila offered.
"Wadaya got?" Phoebe asked.
Leila opened the fridge. "Milk and beer."
"Beer." the girls said.
"Beer." Rory said.
"Beer!" Dan exclaimed.
"Dan!" Doris yelled.
"I mean milk." Dan told Leila.
Leila smiled at him and got a glass from a cabinet. She poured him a glass of milk. Leila got six bottles of beer from the fridge and passed five of them out.
"Let's go out to the backyard." Leila said. "I gotta watch the steak."
They went out to Leila's backyard. A light was on at the back of the house, and it provided enough light for them to see.
"So, tell me about yourselves." Leila said.
"Well, I'm Doris Lang. I'm 17 years old. I'm from Ransylva, Oregon. It's a small village."
"I'm Lamika Lee. I'm also 17 years old. I'm from Ransylva, too."
"I'm Dan Lang. I'm 8. I'm Doris' younger brother."
"I'm Rory Llewellyn. This is my rock band, Dazzle." Rory bowed and kissed Leila's right hand. "You've undoubtedly heard of us."
"Sorry." Leila said.
Rory frowned and straightened himself. "Anyway, I'm...24 years old. I'm from Los Angeles, California."
"I'm Phoebe Ashe. I'm 20 years old. I'm from San Francisco, California."
"I'm Ingrid Kruger. I'm 20 years old. I'm from Berlin, Germany."
"Well, nice to meet you all." Leila said. "I'm Leila Markus. I mean...Leila de Lavga. I'm 24 years old. I'm from right here in Las Cruces. In fact, I just moved back here tonight."
"Oh, really? Where have you been?" Doris asked.
Leila was silent for a moment. "I was 10 when it happened."

Sunday, August 10, 12076

"Good night, Leila."
Leila smiled up at her mommy. "Good night, mommy."
Nadya de Lavga finished tucking her daughter into bed and turned off the lamp.
She left the bedroom.
Leila soon fell asleep.

"Leila! Leila, wake up!"
Leila woke up with a start at the sound of her daddy's voice.
He had just run into her bedroom, and he looked very scared.
"What's wrong, daddy?" Leila asked, sitting up.
Merrill de Lavga looked straight at his daughter. "Mommy's missing! I heard her yell, and I ran out into the backyard! I found her cross on the ground! It looks like vampires have kidnapped her!"
Leila gasped and became very scared. "What?!"
"Come on! We're going to Auntie Evelyn's house!"
Leila got out of bed, holding her teddy bear, and ran over to her daddy.
The two of them ran down the stairs and out the door.
Leila hadn't had time to put on her shoes, but her feet didn't get cut. It was a short run, and they were at Auntie Evelyn's house.
Merrill knocked on the front door. "Evelyn, it's me! Open up!"
Soon, the door opened, and Auntie Evelyn was standing there.
"Merrill, what's wrong?"
"Nadya's been taken by vampires!"
"Oh, my God!"
"Watch after Leila! I'm goin' after 'em!"
"Daddy, be careful!" Leila exclaimed.
Merrill knelt down and hugged his daughter. "I will, Leila. I promise. And I promise I'll bring mommy back."
Leila hugged him.
Merrill stood up. "I need stakes, garlic, and holy water."
Evelyn got the items from a drawer and gave them to him. "Be careful, Merrill."
Merrill nodded, then he turned and ran out the door.
Evelyn went and stood in front of Leila, and she placed her hands on the young girl's shoulders. "Pray with me, Leila."
Leila and Evelyn knelt on the floor.
"Dear Jesus," Leila said, "please let my daddy kill those vampire bastards and save mommy. Amen."

Monday, August 11, 12076

"Leila! Lord, wake up, girl!"
Leila woke up with a start at the sound of her auntie's voice. She immediately sat up. "What is it, Auntie Evelyn?! Has daddy found mommy!"
"Sweetie, come downstairs!"
Leila got out of bed and ran with her auntie downstairs. She followed her mommy's sis out of the house and into the street. They ran to the town square.
Leila came to a halt, frozen in shock. Her daddy was laying on the cobblestones. One of the stakes he had taken with him was rammed through his heart.
"I'm sorry, Leila!" Auntie Evelyn cried. "Your daddy's dead!"
"Noooooooooo! Daaaaddyyyy!" Leila ran over to her daddy, knelt down, and hugged him.

Thursday, August 14, 12076

They had the funeral in the afternoon.
Leila released her auntie's hand, walked over to the coffin, and dropped a white carnation on top of it. The flower fell on the wreath. Other people then dropped their flowers, too. She didn't see a point in it. It wouldn't help her daddy.
Her auntie put her left arm around her. "Let's go home, Leila."

Saturday, August 16, 12076

Leila was sitting on the sidewalk outside Auntie Evelyn's house, holding her teddy bear.
It was dusk.
She was so mad. The evil vampires had killed her daddy - and maybe her mommy, too.
Leila looked up. It was her mommy. Her mommy was alive.
"Mommy! Mommy!" Leila got to her feet and ran over to her.
She hugged her mommy.
"Mommy, you're back!" Leila cried for joy.
"Yes, Leila," Nadya said, "mommy's back."
Her eyes started glowing blue, and she grew fangs.
Evelyn came out of the house. "Leila, come inside. It's past sunset. Dear God, Leila, get away from her!"
She ran over and pulled Leila out of Nadya's arms.
"Help!" Evelyn yelled. "Vampire!"
Soon, people started rushing out of their houses, holding stones in their hands.
Then things got really confusing for little Leila. Two men grabbed hold of her mommy. Everyone moved to the town square.
Auntie Evelyn pulled Leila along. "Come on, Leila. You need to watch this."
When they got to the square, everyone surrounded Nadya. They started throwing stones at her.
"No! Stop! Don't hit mommy!" Leila yelled.
They wouldn't listen. Everyone threw stones: her neighbors, her priest, her Auntie Evelyn, her friends, the mayor, the sheriff, and everyone else.
"Stop it!!!" Leila screamed. "Stop it; damn you!!!"
"Here, Leila." Evelyn shoved some stones into her hands. "Throw them at the creature."
Leila threw the stones on the ground. "No! I won't kill my mommy! I won't kill anyone!"
Soon, it was over. Her mommy lay dead in the middle of the town square.
Leila ran over to her body, knelt down, and hugged it. "Mommy..."
Everybody started walking away.
Leila looked at them. "Damn you all to Hell!"
Her auntie walked over to her and pulled on her right arm. "Let's go home, Leila."
Leila slowly stood up. She looked at her auntie. Hatred blazed in her eyes. "Yes, Auntie Evilyn."

Leila fought back tears.
"I'm sorry." Doris told her.
"Thanks." Leila said. She looked at the grill. "Steak's ready."
Leila put the steak on a plate and turned off and unplugged the grill.
They went back into the house. Leila shut off the light at the back. They all entered the kitchen.
Leila put the plate in the middle of the table. Everyone sat down.
They each cut for themselves a part of the steak, took a piece of bread, poured barbecue sauce, and started eating.
"How is it?" Leila asked.
Lamika chewed and swallowed a piece of steak. "I like the texture. It feels great in my mouth."
The other girls and Rory started laughing uncontrollably. Lamika eventually realized the double-meaning of her statement and started laughing as well.
Dan remained puzzled. "What's so funny?"
Doris got her laughter under control. "Nothing. Eat, Dan."
"You still haven't told us where you've been." Phoebe told Leila.
Leila stuck a piece of steak into her mouth, chewed, and swallowed. "When I was 17, I met up with the Markus Brothers."

Wednesday, June 3, 12083

Leila walked over to the hole and dropped a white carnation on her Aunt Evelyn's coffin.
She hadn't cried when the body was found two days earlier. She hadn't cried since then - not even during the funeral.
She was free.
Leila turned and walked away, not looking back.
When her parents had been murdered nearly seven years earlier, her aunt had become her legal guardian and owner of her parents' house.
Ever since that time, Leila had lost all of her friends. They hadn't been killed by vampires. She simply hated them ever since that night. She hated everyone in the town. To avoid problems, she had mostly kept her mouth shut, but she had sometimes argued with her aunt. Her aunt had remained firm with her, however, sometimes even hitting her if her niece had yelled for too long.
It was poetic justice that Leila now owned her parents' house and her aunt's house.
Leila returned to her own house.
She had made some quick decisions in the few hours after she had found her aunt's body. Some of her aunt's personal belongings had been moved to Leila's attic. She had sold the rest of them and her aunt's house on that same day. Leila had deposited most of the money into her own bank account. She had not bought any new food or drinks. Now, the refrigerator was empty. Earlier this morning, she had vacuumed the house, packed a bag, placed sheets on the furniture, and had the power shut off prior to attending the funeral.
Now, she took one final look around the house, walked outside, closed and locked the front door, placed the key in her front right pants pocket, hung the bag over her left shoulder, and started walking out of the town.
She didn't know where she was going, but any place was better than here.

Wednesday, June 10, 12083

Leila had been walking for one week, stopping only for breakfast, dinner, restroom breaks, and sleep for the night.
It was currently about noon, and she was hot and sweaty.
She stopped at a small store in the town of Tularosa to get something to drink. She walked inside, went over to the beverages area, opened a door, and took out of cold bottle of water. She got in line to pay.
"Well, hey, there, babe."
Leila turned and looked behind her at the source of the comment: an orange-haired guy that looked to be around her age.
"Who are you?" Leila asked.
"Kyle Markus." the guy said. "What's your name, sexy?"
"Leila de Lavga."
"Well, Leila, how's about you and me get to know one another better?" Kyle put his left arm around her.
"Okay. I'm 17 years old. I'm from the town of Las Cruces." Leila drew a gun and pointed it at him. "I hate men like you, and, if you don't get your arm off of me right now, I'll shoot it off and make sausages out of it."
Kyle quickly pulled his arm away and took a few steps back. "Whoa. Whoa. Gee, uh,...that's a really nice gun you got there."
Leila smiled. "You like it? I just got it, and I'm very eager to try it out."
"Uh, uh, - "
"Kyle, what's goin' on?"
Leila and Kyle both looked and saw a man with short brown hair. He looked to be in his twenties and was smoking a cigar.
"Put that out." Leila immediately told him.
"Why?" the man asked.
"Well, for one thing, I'm in great health, and I don't allow people to smoke around me." Leila said. "Plus you'll talk clearer."
He took the cigar out of his mouth and put it out in an ashtray. "Happy to oblige, lil lady."
Leila rolled her eyes. "What's your name?"
"Name's Borgoff. Borgoff Markus."
"Well, Borgoff, are you related to this asshole?" Leila jerked her left thumb at Kyle.
"Hey! My name's Kyle."
"Same thing." Leila said.
"Yeah, I know 'im." Borgoff said. "He's my brother."
"Great. Can you please tell him to stop harassing me?" Leila asked.
"Sure thing." Borgoff said. "Uh, what's yer name?"
"Leila de Lavga."
"Kyle, you leave Leila alone." Borgoff told him.
"Aw, c'mon, Borgoff." Kyle said. "I was just trying to get to know the girl."
Kyle placed his right hand on Leila's ass and gave it a squeeze. Leila elbowed him in the chest, turned, and broke his wrist.
Borgoff observed the scene calmly. "Now y'see, Kyle, that there's sexual haironyourassment. Serves ya right."
Just then, two more guys walked into the store. One had white hair, and the other had a tattoo of a cross on his face.
"Ah, Leila, these are my other brothers, Grove and Nolt." Borgoff introduced. "Boys, this here's Leila de Lavga."
"Hi." Leila said.
"Kyle, what's taking so long?" Nolt asked.
"We've gotta get going." Grove said.
"The bitch broke my wrist!" Kyle yelled, clutching it with his other hand.
Leila glared at him.
"C'mon, let's go." Borgoff said.
Leila paid for her water, then Kyle paid for his six-pack of beer.
"So, what do you guys do?" Leila asked.
"We're bounty hunters." Borgoff said. "We hunt and kill vampires for money."
Leila thought for a moment. "Can I join you?"
They laughed at her.
"You?" Borgoff asked.
"My parents were killed by vampires. I want to avenge their deaths." Leila said. "Please. I want to be a vampire hunter."

Monday, June 15, 12083

Leila was sitting in the back of the truck that they were traveling in.
The truck came to a stop.
"Leila!" Borgoff called. "Think ya ready?!"
Leila thought about it for a moment, hesitating. "I guess!"
"Then c'mon out!"
Leila picked up her laser rifle and a wooden stake, stood up, opened the door, and got out of the truck.
Nolt and Grove got out of the truck after her.
Borgoff and Kyle walked over to them.
"Okay." Borgoff said. "We've been hired to kill a local vamp in this area. Y'ready?"
Leila raised her laser rifle and nodded.
Soon, a vampire came out from behind a tree.
Leila aimed her laser rifle and fired a few blasts.
The vampire fell backwards.
Leila ran over to him, raised her right hand, fell to her knees, and drove the stake into the vampire's chest, piercing his heart.
Then Leila drew a knife from her belt and brought it down over the vampire's neck, chopping his head off.
"Yup." Borgoff said. "Looks like she's ready."
Leila was panting, exhilarated over her first kill. She heard footsteps behind her but didn't turn around. She just grinned, staring down at the corpse.
"You're the little sister we never had, Leila." Kyle told her.
Leila was delighted to hear that. She had finally found a place where she belonged.

"The Markus Brothers?" Doris asked.
"Yeah." Leila said. "You know 'em?"
"I know the Markus Sisters." Doris told her. "Kei, Christy, and Kimber Lee own a club in Ransylva. Before we left, Christy mentioned that their brothers are bounty hunters."
Leila started. "It...must be some other Markus family."
"More likely, they lied to you to make you feel better." Doris told her.
Leila was silent for a moment as she thought about this.
"What did you do while you were with them?" Rory asked.
"We just went from town to town, hunting local vampires." Leila said.
"It sounds exciting." Ingrid said. "Why did you leave?"
Leila told them about what had happened to her recently, ending with them showing up at her house.
Doris, Lamika, and Dan stared at her in surprise.
"You were with him?" Doris asked.
"Yeah." Leila said. "He left. You missed him."
"Damn." Doris said.
By now, everyone had finished their dinners, so Leila stood up and collected the dishes. Doris helped her.

Leila walked into the living room, carrying her robe over her left arm.
Doris and Lamika were standing there, holding their robes in their hands.
"You're gonna shower together?" Leila asked them in surprise.
Doris smiled. "Yep."
"Do you have a back brush?" Lamika asked.
"Yeah." Leila replied. "Why do you ask? You can just wash each other's backs."
Lamika smiled. "Just curious."
Doris and Lamika walked into the bathroom. Lamika closed the door behind her.

The bathroom door opened, and Doris and Lamika walked out, wearing their robes.
Leila, sitting on a couch, looked up at them. "What took you so long?"
Doris and Lamika smiled.
Leila stood up. "Sheesh. Well, it's my turn."
Just then, Phoebe and Ingrid walked into the room.
"Good! The shower's free!" Phoebe exclaimed.
"Hey, you guys have gotta try the back brush." Doris to whispered Phoebe.
"Use the back brush to pleasure each other." Lamika whispered to Ingrid.
Phoebe grinned. "Nice idea."
"Yes. We will try it." Ingrid agreed.
Phoebe and Ingrid walked into the bathroom. Ingrid closed the door behind her.
Leila sighed and sat back down on the couch. "I don't wanna know."

The bathroom door opened, and Phoebe and Ingrid walked out, wearing their robes.
Leila stood up and picked up her robe. "I hope you left me some hot water."
Then Leila walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
She put her robe on the toilet tank, opened the sliding door to the bathtub, took off her clothes, put them in the hamper, got into the bathtub, closed the sliding door, opened the cold and hot water, felt it with her hand until it wasn't cold, and opened the shower.
Leila picked up the bar of soap and her washcloth, and she washed herself. Then she picked up her back brush, soaped it up, and washed her back.

Friday, July 22, 12090

Leila woke up at 8:03 AM.
She got dressed; went to the bathroom; ate cereal for breakfast; flossed, rinsed, and brushed her teeth; and combed her hair.
When Leila stepped out of the bathroom again, Doris met her.
"Hey." Doris said.
"Hey." Leila said.
"Are you goin' out somewhere?" Doris asked.
"I have to go find a job." Leila told her.
"A job?" Doris asked. "I assumed you have a lot of money from bounty-hunting."
"I have enough." Leila said. "That's not the point. I've gotta do something. I can't just sit around the house. I'd be bored."
The two of them walked into the living room.
"What do you have in mind?" Doris asked.
"I dunno." Leila said. "I'll look around."
"Can I come with you?" Doris asked.
"Sure." Leila said.
"We'll come, too." Rory said.
Doris and Leila looked. Rory, Phoebe, Ingrid, Lamika, and Dan stood there.
Leila smiled. "Sure."

The seven of them came to a building.
There was a sign that read "The Scene" in a window.
"I don't recognize this place." Leila said.
They entered the building.
"This looks like a club." Doris said in surprise.
They walked over to the stage, where a man was working with some sound equipment.
Leila walked up on the stage. "Excuse me. Are you the manager?"
"Yeah." the guy said, obviously not wanting to be bothered.
"I'm looking for a job." Leila said. "Do you have any openings?"
"We could use some new entertainment." The manager stood up straight and offered a microphone to Leila. "Here. Tell a joke. We need to do a sound check."
Leila took the microphone in her right hand. "Uh,...okay,...there's this guy, this explorer,...and he's in the jungle, and suddenly he's surrounded by cannibals." She raised her head and looked up. "He looks up and says, 'Oh, God,...I'm doomed.'" She fiercely gripped the microphone with both hands. "Suddenly, this voice booms from overhead, and it says, 'No, you're not. Pick up that rock and bash in the head of the cannibal leader.'" She held the microphone in her right hand again and started making fast hitting movements with her left hand. "So, the guy grabs the rock and bashes the leader's head in. So, the leader's lying dead, and the voice says,..." She pointed her left index finger at her audience. "'Okay,...now you're doomed.'"
Leila looked at the manager and smiled in anticipation.
The manager just stared at her for a moment. "What else can you do?"
Leila frowned. "Um,...I can sing."
"Is your voice as bad as your jokes?"
"I don't think so." Leila told him. "I've got a band."
"Okay. You'll play tonight, starting at 7:00."
"Thank you." Leila said, smiling.
She handed the mic back to him and jumped off the stage.
Leila and her friends walked out of the club.
"You've got a band?" Phoebe asked her.
"Well, I figured it would help." Leila explained. "You...will perform with me at the club tonight, won't you? Please?"
"Forget it." Ingrid said.
Rory came and stood in front of Leila, placing his hands on her arms. "For you, my darling Leila, anything."
Leila stared at him in surprise. So did everyone else.

Shortly before noon, Leila made boneless hog jowl sandwiches topped with horseradish for lunch.
They all sat in the backyard, eating them.
"Anyone wanna tell me more?" Leila asked. "I hardly know you."
The others all looked at each other.
"You go." Lamika said, looking at Doris.
Doris looked at Leila. "Dan and I grew up in Ransylva. Our father was a werewolf hunter. Our mother stayed home and took care of us. The local Noble was named Count Magnus Lee. He had ruled there since before the village was built, but he left on January 22nd, 12073, shortly after he had killed Lamika's mother after she had given birth. He returned two years ago with his daughter. Then my life changed forever."

Thursday, January 21, 12088

Doris was finishing up washing the dishes.
She turned off the water and dried her hands.
"Done?" Marion Lang asked.
Doris turned to face her. "Yes, mother."
"Good. Now go to bed."
They walked into the living room together.
Doris frowned at her. "Dan was supposed to do the dishes tonight."
"Doris, I told you. Dan had to go to bed early tonight. He's got a big day tomorrow with your father."
"Yeah, real big. Father's taking him to a festival." Doris said, upset. "So, Dan gets out of his chores, and I have to bring in the animals and wash the dishes."
Marion placed her hands on Doris' shoulders. "I know you're upset, sweetheart, but Dan's young, and he needs a lot of attention."
Doris didn't say anything.
"I'm running low on ammunition. I'm gonna go out and buy some." Marion said.
"At night...and during a storm?" Doris asked.
"I won't be gone long." her mother said. "Now, give me a hug and a kiss."
Doris pulled away from her. "No! I hate you! You dumped chores on me, you won't help me do them, and Dan is getting rewarded tomorrow! I hate you! If you wanna go out, fine, but don't ever come back!"
Marion sighed. "We'll talk when I get home."
She turned and walked to the front door. She opened it, then she looked back at her daughter. Doris stared back at her mother with a scowl on her face.
Lightning flashed outside and across Doris' face.
Suddenly frightened of her daughter, Marion turned and walked out the door. "Good night."

Friday, January 22, 12088

Doris, Dan, and their father got out of the carriage.
They had ridden into town after a messenger had been sent to them with news of a vampire attack. Now, they got out of the carriage and ran into the village square.
There lay Marion Lang, dead. Her body was pale. Two puncture wounds were on the side of her neck.
"No!" Doris cried. "Mom!"
Doris placed her face against her father's chest. Garrett Lang hugged his daughter in shock.

Doris was sobbing. "I still can't believe how horrible I was to her. I wish I could've hugged her and told her how much I...loved...her."
Lamika put her left arm around Doris and hugged her.
"I'm sorry." Leila said.
Doris wiped away her tears. "Thank you."
Leila hesitated for a moment. "How did you meet the dunpeal?"
"Why do you keep calling him that?" Doris asked.
"What?" Leila asked.
"Dunpeal." Doris said.
"Because...that's what he is?"
"I guess it's a regional thing." Doris guessed. "In Ransylva, we called him a dampeal."
Leila laughed. "How stupid."
"And dunpeal isn't?" Doris retorted. "I checked the dictionary. The correct term is dhampir."
"Whatever." Leila said. "What happened next?"
Doris sighed. "Three days later, my father was called to Mayor Rohman's office."

Monday, January 25, 12088

Doris and Dan waited outside for their father to come out of the building.
Finally, he walked outside.
"Well?" Doris asked. "What did the mayor want to talk to you about?"
"He and Sheriff Dawsy want me to...hunt vampires." he said.
"But you're a werewolf hunter." Doris told him. "You don't know anything about vampires."
"I know," he said, "but it pays good, and,...after your mother's funeral,...we need the money."
Dan hugged him. "Be careful, father."
Garrett hugged his son. "I will, Dano."

Wednesday, January 27, 12088

Doris finished tucking Dan into bed.
She walked downstairs, into the living room.
Her father was standing by the window. Doris approached him. He was sharpening a wooden stake.
"Are you going out again tonight?" Doris asked.
"Could you...tell me about vampires?" she asked.
"I...want to become a vampire hunter, too."
Her father turned to face her. "Doris, I raised you to be a werewolf hunter."
"You still haven't told me anything."
Garrett turned back to his stake. "Like you said, I don't know anything about them. So, wanna know about vampires? Ask the vampire hunter."
"We don't have one."
"We do now." Garrett kissed his daughter on the forehead and walked to the front door. "I'll be back in a few hours. Don't wait up."
He opened the door, walked outside, and closed the door behind him.
Doris walked over to the front door, locked it, and walked back over to the window.
She stood there for an hour before finally going to bed.

Thursday, January 28, 12088

Doris waited for what seemed like forever, but her father never returned.
Eventually, there was a knock at the front door.
Doris and Dan stood up and ran over to it. Doris opened the door.
"Dr. Fering." Doris said in surprise. "What...are you doing here?"
"Doris," the gray-haired doctor said softly, "there's no easy way for me to tell you this, but...your father is dead."
Doris shuddered. "What?!"
"He was found about a half-hour ago just outside the village." he said. "His body was drained of blood. Doris, I'm so sorry."
"No! Oh, God, no!" Doris cried.
Dr. Fering hugged her.

Friday, January 29, 12088

Doris shoveled some dirt onto the coffin, then she handed the shovel to Dr. Fering, turned, and walked away.
Mayor Rohman and Sheriff Dawsy walked over to her.
"Miss Lang, we're sorry for your loss." Mayor Rohman told her.
Doris could tell by the tone of his voice that the words were purely perfunctory. "Thank you."
"We were wondering if you could do the village a favor." Sheriff Dawsy said.
"What?" Doris deadpanned.
"We want you to become our new vampire hunter." the sheriff told her.
"What?!" Doris exclaimed in surprise.
"We need someone to protect the village." the mayor explained. "Since you're a good werewolf hunter, we - "
"Where did you hear that?!" Doris demanded.
"From your father." the mayor told her.
"I can't hit a garden mutant!" Doris corrected them. "I suck at hunting!"
"Is that a 'No'?" the mayor asked her.
"I'm an orphan now!" Doris yelled at them. "I have a farm to run and a little brother to take care of! He was so traumatized by our father's death, he couldn't even come to the funeral! How dare you ask this of me!"
Doris ran past them without another word.

Doris was crying again.
Suddenly, she felt an arm around her.
Doris looked to her left and saw Leila hugging her. They smiled at each other. A simple touch healed so much hurt and bridged their worlds.
"Let's get ready for the concert." Doris said.

That evening, at 7:00 PM, Leila was on stage with Dazzle at The Scene.
Chaos had his synthaxe. Vixen was on her synthesizer. Ecstasy was on her bass guitar. Leila stood in the center of the stage.
Doris, Lamika, and Dan sat at a table near the stage.
"The manager didn't even introduce them." Doris said in anger. "Kei, Christy, and Kimber Lee are much better."
"Thank you, all, for coming to our concert." Leila said. "I hope you like the songs."
Chaos, Vixen, and Ecstasy started playing their instruments. Vixen and Ecstasy sang the back-up vocals, and Leila danced and sang the lead vocals:

in the night,
there's a perfume in the air.
You can almost smell the danger.
Pressed in a crowd,
you can feel the heat flow
in the touch of every stranger.
We're out on the prowl,
and it's action that we're after.
Keep fannin' the flame
just a little faster.

It's gonna be a hot night.
We're gonna have a hot night
It's gonna be a hot night.
We won't get no sleep tonight.
Too hot; it's too hot.

The need
in your eyes
pierce me to the heart
with a shot of stimulation.
Come on with me.
In a moment, I will see
such a burnin' fascination.
No stoppin' it now.
We got to stay in motion.
We're two-foot of fire,
two-foot of emotion.

It's gonna be a hot night.
We're gonna have a hot night
It's gonna be a hot night.
We won't get no sleep tonight.
Too hot; it's too hot.

It's gonna be a hot night.
We're gonna have a hot night
It's gonna be a hot night.
We won't get no sleep tonight.
Too hot; it's too hot."

The band then went into an instrumental break. After that, Leila (backed up by Vixen and Ecstasy) sang:

"No stoppin' it now.
We got to stay in motion.
We're two-foot of fire,
two-foot of emotion.

It's gonna be a hot night.
We're gonna have a hot night
It's gonna be a hot night.
We won't get no sleep tonight.
Too hot; it's too hot.

It's gonna be a hot night.
We're gonna have a hot night
It's gonna be a hot night.
We won't get no sleep tonight.
Too hot; it's too hot.

It's gonna be a hot night.
We're gonna have a hot night
It's gonna be a hot night.
We won't get no sleep tonight.
Too hot; it's too hot."

Everyone applauded for the performers. Leila, Chaos, Vixen, and Ecstasy took bows.

After the concert was over, they all left the club.
"Leila, you've got a magnificent singing voice." Rory told her.
Leila smiled. "Thanks, Rory."
She walked ahead of them to the car. Vixen and Ecstasy followed, carrying all of the instruments.
"I want her." Rory said.
Doris laughed. "Tough Leila? Yeah, right."
Rory smiled. "You'll see."

When they got back to Leila's house, Phoebe and Ingrid went to put away the instruments, Dan tagged along, and Doris and Lamika went to their room.
Leila and Rory walked into the kitchen.
"Are you considering singing at The Scene nightly?" Rory asked.
Leila got a bottle of beer out of the fridge, opened it, and took a swig. "I guess."
"Well, that's too bad." Rory said. "I was going to offer you a place in Dazzle."
"Really?!" Leila asked.
"Yes. You're quite wonderful."
Leila smiled. "I'll think about it."
"Well, decide quickly." Rory said. He paused for a moment. "You know, Leila, seeing as I've done you a favor, I was wondering if you'd let me sleep in your room."
"Sure." Leila said. "But I won't be sleepin' there."
Rory frowned. "Very well, I'll take it. Anything to not have to share a couch with that annoying brat."
Leila and Rory left the kitchen and went to her bedroom. Leila opened the door and let Rory step inside first, then she followed.
Rory looked around. "Yes, this is worthy of me."
Leila shook her head, got her robe, and walked out, closing the door behind her.
She saw Doris and Lamika coming out of their bedroom, holding their robes in their hands.
"No!" Leila told them. "I'm showering first tonight!"
Leila turned and walked away from them.

Leila walked into her bathroom, turned on the light, and closed the door.
She put her robe on the toilet tank and opened the sliding door to the bathtub.
Leila took off her clothes and put them in the hamper.
Leila stepped into her bathtub, closed the sliding door, opened the cold and hot water, felt the water with her hand until it wasn't cold, and opened the shower.
Leila got her washcloth and the bar of soap. She soaped up the washcloth, put the bar of soap back in its place, and washed herself. She rinsed her washcloth and hung it up to dry. Then she picked up the bottle, squirted some shampoo onto her right hand, closed the bottle, put it back in its place, and washed her hair. She rinsed her body, closed the shower, closed the hot and cold water, and stepped out of the bathtub.
Leila got her towel; dried herself; combed her hair; flossed, rinsed, and brushed her teeth; and put on her robe. She tied it up, opened the door, and walked into the living room.
Doris and Lamika were standing there, holding their robes in their hands.
"You two can use the shower now." Leila told them.
Doris giggled.
"What's so funny?" Leila asked.
"Oh, I was just thinking that you at least have enough sense to tie up your robe when you come out of the shower." Doris told her.
"I don't wanna know." Leila said. "Please make it quick tonight. I gotta pay the electric bill, y'know."
Doris smiled. "Oh, come on, Leila. If we shower together for double the normal length, it's the same as showering individually for half that time each."
"Uh,...right." Leila said.
"We won't be too long." Lamika promised, giving Leila a sweet smile.
Doris and Lamika walked into the bathroom. Lamika closed the door behind her.

Leila was sitting on the couch in her living room. Lamika was sitting to her right, and Doris was sitting to Lamika's right. Phoebe, Ingrid, and Dan sat on the floor.
The bathroom door opened, and Rory walked out, wearing a pair of shorts. All of the girls stared at him.
Rory smiled and sat down in a chair.
"Who wants to go next?" Leila asked.
Everyone looked at each other.
"I guess I will." Lamika said. She couldn't bring herself to start, though.
Doris picked up Lamika's right hand, kissed it, and held it with her left hand. "It's okay. Go on."
Lamika smiled appreciatively. "My father was Count Magnus Lee. He killed my mother shortly after I was born. I was raised in the ways of the Nobility. One day, when I was ten years old,..."

Saturday, January 22, 12083

Lamika was sitting at the dining table in the castle, eating her dinner of beef and mashed potatoes with gravy.
Her father, Count Magnus Lee, walked into the room. "Lamika."
Lamika turned to face him. "Yes, father?"
"You are 10 years old now." he said. "It is time for you to learn more about what it is to be a Noble. Vampires need to eat and drink, but we also require blood. Up until now, I have given you blood in a cup with your meals, but you must get it on your own from now on."
"How, father?" Lamika asked.
"Go into town and pretend that you are lost." he told her. "When someone offers to help you, lead him to a secluded area and bite his neck."
"I'll try, father." Lamika said.
"I will send Rei Ginsei with you." he told her. "He will protect you if you cannot overcome the human."

Lamika walked down a street in the town of Bistritz.
Even though she knew that Rei Ginsei was following a few meters behind her, she was scared.
Lamika spotted a young man and slowly walked over to him.
"Excuse me." Lamika said.
The man turned around to face her. "Yes, what is it, little girl?"
"I'm lost." Lamika told her. "I want to go home."
"Where do you live?" he asked her.
"On the...west end of town." Lamika told him.
"Come with me." he told her.
Lamika followed the man. She eventually went in front of him.
"This way." Lamika turned and walked onto an unlit part of the street.
The man followed her.
"Well?" the man asked her.
"Oh, I dropped my key, and I can't find it." Lamika said.
The man crouched down and looked.
Lamika's eyes started glowing blue, and she grew fangs. She grabbed hold of the man and sunk her canine teeth into his neck.
The man screamed and tried to push her away.
Lamika started sucking. She felt the man's struggling decrease and realized that Rei Ginsei was holding him in place. Lamika tasted his blood and drank it.
A minute passed, and Lamika felt the man stop moving. She stopped drinking. Her canine teeth went back to their normal size, and she let go of the man.
Rei Ginsei dropped the man's corpse and gave Lamika a smile. "Congratulations, Lamika. You just killed your first human."
Lamika stared down at the corpse, a smile slowly coming to her bloody lips.

Everyone was silent for a moment.
Then Lamika started crying.
Leila stared at her, furious. "Get out of my house!"
"Wait, Leila." Doris told her. "Let us tell you what happened to us recently."
Doris, Lamika, and Dan told Leila about how Doris had been bitten by Count Lee, their time with D, the battle to kill Count Lee, Lamika digging her way out of the ground and moving in with Doris and Dan, and the hatred that they felt from the rest of the villagers. Rory, Phoebe, and Ingrid then joined in, telling about the battle outside the club, Lamika and the Langs being exiled, and their tour. That brought Leila up to the present.
Leila was deep in thought as she considered all of this new information. Everyone else waited in anticipation.
"Okay." Leila finally said. "You can stay."
Lamika smiled, Leila smiled, and the two girls hugged.

Saturday, July 23, 12090

Lamika was standing in front of a mirror in the living room, watching herself as she spoke.
"Howdy! Y'all come on down to The Scene! We got grits 'n' lemonade!" Lamika shook her head. "Hey, hosers, come on down! We love Canadians at The Scene! Yesiree, we've got all of that back bacon 'ere 'n' donuts 'ere! So, come on down, eh?"
Lamika sighed and turned around. That's when she saw Doris, Dan, Phoebe, and Ingrid standing there.
"Lamika, what the hell are you doing?" Doris asked with a smile.
"Practicing different accents." Lamika replied. "How long have you all been standing there?"
Phoebe smiled. "Long enough to see you make an ass of yourself."
Ingrid laughed. "What a twit you are."
"Lamika, why do you want to change your accent?" Doris asked.
"Do you want me to sing with my accent?" Lamika asked.
Doris thought about that for a moment. "You have a point."

That evening, at 11:00 PM, Leila was on stage with Dazzle at The Scene.
Chaos had his synthaxe. Vixen was on her synthesizer. Ecstasy was on her bass guitar. Leila stood in the center of the stage.
Doris, Lamika, and Dan sat at a table near the stage. They and the rest of the audience were cheering and applauding after the final song.
Leila waved at all of them. "Thank you! Please come again tomorrow night!"
Suddenly, there was a puff of smoke. Leila coughed and tried to wave it away, but there was too much of it.
When the smoke cleared, Ecstasy was wearing a purple cloak and stood in front of a crystal ball. Leila, Doris, Lamika, and Dan looked at her with curiosity.
"I am the Oracle of Athens!" Ecstasy exclaimed. "Let me tell your future! I shall reveal all!"
"Are we gonna find our relatives?!" Doris asked her.
Lamika looked at Doris in surprise. "Doris, she can't really - "
"Play along." Doris told her with a smile.
Lamika looked at Ecstasy. "Am I going to get rid of my accent?"
"Am I going to get Leila?" Chaos asked.
Leila was surprised at that.
Ecstasy shook her head. "No, but do not let it trouble you. My friends, everything you desire will come to pass! It is your destiny!"
Chaos and Vixen started playing their instruments. Ecstasy waved her hands over the crystal ball. Ecstasy and Vixen sang the verses, and Chaos sang the refrain to Leila:

"I make a prediction;
just you wait and see:
all the things you want,
the Fates will grant to be.

It's destiny. (Destiny!)
The dreams I dream are destined to be.
I can see
the future, and I'm satisfied.
You and me, it's destiny.
Fate is on my side.

I share your convictions.
Same thing goes for me.
All her plans and schemes
are more than fantasy.

It's destiny. (Destiny!)
The dreams I dream are destined to be.
I can see (I can see!)
the future, and I'm satisfied.
You and me, it's destiny.
Fate is on my side.

You and me, it's destiny.
Fate is on my side."

Everyone applauded for the performers. Chaos, Vixen, and Ecstasy took bows.
Leila stared at Chaos, smiling.

Sunday, July 24, 12090

At noon, Leila arrived at a shop.
She walked over to the counter. A young man was standing there.
"I'd like to buy a motorcycle." Leila told him.
"See one ya like?" the man asked.
Leila walked over and looked at them closely. She found a red motorcycle that looked very similar to the one that she had before.
"I'll take this one." Leila told him.
"$7,000." the man replied.
Leila walked over to the counter, reached into her left pants pocket, pulled out a bunch of gold coins, and put them on the counter.
She walked back over to the motorcycle, put on the helmet, sat down, pressed the starter button, revved the engine, and drove off.

That evening, Leila was on stage with Dazzle at The Scene.
Chaos had his synthaxe. Vixen was on her synthesizer. Ecstasy was on her bass guitar. Leila stood in the center of the stage.
Doris, Lamika, and Dan sat at a table near the stage. They and the rest of the audience were cheering and applauding after the latest song.
Leila waved at all of them. "Thank you! We're gonna take a break!"
Leila and Rory walked off of the stage.
Doris and Lamika started reading their music sheets for the next few songs.
A teenaged girl ran over to Rory. She held out a photograph of him and a pen. "Chaos, can I have your autograph?!"
Rory smiled. "Sure. What's your name?"
"Jennifer." she replied.
Rory put his left arm around her. "Well, Jennifer, let's go some place a bit less crowded. Shall we?"
They walked off together.
Leila stared at them. "He certainly does flirt a lot."
Doris smiled at her. "Jealous?"
Leila laughed. "About as jealous as I am of D."

A few minutes later, Leila had to relieve herself.
She walked into the club's one bathroom.
Leila stopped in her tracks, surprised.
Rory had Jennifer pressed against the far wall. His eyes were glowing blue, and he had fangs. Rory's fangs were pressed into the right side of Jennifer's neck.
Leila's surprise quickly turned to anger. "What the hell is going on?!"
Rory pulled away from Jennifer's neck and turned to face Leila, surprised.
"Leila!" Rory exclaimed. "This isn't what it looks like!"
Leila stormed over to them. "Then what the fuck is it?!"
Rory's fangs retracted, and his eyes stopped glowing.
"It's okay!" Jennifer explained. "I wanted it!"
Leila examined the puncture wounds on Jennifer's neck. "Did you drink his blood?!"
"No!" Jennifer replied.
"Leila, I would never make her do that!" Rory insisted.
Leila pushed Jennifer towards the door. "Let's go!"
Rory followed them out. "Leila, we do this at all of our concerts! Our fans consent to it! It's how we feed!"
"You disgust me!" Leila replied. "You take advantage of people that find you attractive! And to think that I had a crush on you!"
Jennifer walked back to her table, holding her pen and her autographed picture of Rory.
Rory walked onto the stage and picked up his synthaxe. Vixen got on her synthesizer. Ecstasy put on her bass guitar.
"What's going on?" Doris asked. "I thought we were performing next."
Vixen and Ecstasy started playing their instruments. Ecstasy and Vixen sang the back-up vocals, and Chaos sang the lead vocals to Leila:

"Don't like the way I act.
Girl, you better face the fact.
You can wait a long while;
I'm not about to change my style.

This is me (Ooh!),
how I like to be.
Take it or leave it.
I am free,
how I like to be.
Take it or leave it.
(Take it or leave it.)
What you get is what you see.
You better believe it.
Take it or leave it.

You think I'm a big disgrace.
Why don't you get off my case?
You say I'm the hurtin' kind.
Girl, you oughta keep in mind,

this is me (Ah-ah-ah),
how I like to be.
Take it or leave it.
What you get is what you see.
You better believe it.
Take it or leave it,
Take it or leave it."

Leila turned and stormed out of the club in anger.
"Leila!" Rory called. "I don't get it. What's wrong?"
"What's wrong is that Leila has a problem with dhampirs, and you let her catch you drinking someone's blood!" Doris whispered to him after she had walked onto the stage. "I told you to stick to bloody steaks like Micki and I do!"
"But I didn't do anything to her personally!" Rory replied, confused.
"Hey, you'd better listen, 'cause I'm warning you." Doris told him. "Love is never simple with a complicated girl."
Rory got off the stage and stormed out of the club.
Lamika watched him go.
"Lamika." Doris called.
Lamika looked at her, then she stood up and walked onto the stage. She took her place at the synthesizer.
Doris picked up Rory's synthaxe. "We've gotta sing the rest of the songs on our own."
"I don't know if my singing voice has improved." Lamika told her. "How should I sing?"
"Just sing with a neutral accent." Doris told her. "Don't imitate any accent. Just hide your own."
"I'll try." Lamika picked up a microphone.
Doris, Vixen, and Ecstasy started playing their instruments. Doris sang the back-up vocals, and Lamika sang the lead vocals to Doris:

"When I saw you
for the first time,
eyes the color of the ocean,
something moved inside of me,
long forgotten, lying broken.

Now, I can't
turn away,
watching you as you lay sleeping.
Can you hear
winds of change?
Is this something to believe in?

I lost direction
in the darkness;
couldn't stop myself from runnin', runnin'.
I could feel the sun on my back (and I turned around),
but I was afraid to let the light in.

Now, I can't
run anymore.
Now, I see this gift you bring me.
Can you hear
winds of change?
Maybe this loser's luck is turning."

The band then went into an instrumental break. After that, Lamika sang:

"I will carry you in my heart.
I will hold you in my memory.
You could be a million miles away,
but, when I call,
you will hear

Everyone applauded for the performers. Doris, Lamika, Vixen, and Ecstasy took bows.
Doris gave Lamika a smile. Lamika smiled back at her. They hugged each other. Then Doris kissed Lamika on the lips very passionately.
"Much better." Doris told Lamika between kisses.

When Doris got back to Leila's house, she saw that Rory wasn't there.
Doris knocked on Leila's bedroom door. "Leila?"
There was no response.
"It's Doris. Can I come in?"
There was silence for a moment.
"All right." Leila finally said.
Doris opened the door and walked into Leila's bedroom, closing the door behind her.
Leila was sitting on her bed. She was wearing her pajamas. The lamp on Leila's nightstand provided the only light in the room.
Doris walked over to the bed and sat down to Leila's right.
"Leila,...how are you holding up?" Doris asked her.
"Not very well." Leila replied. "I don't wanna see that sick bastard ever again!"
"I understand how you feel." Doris told her. "I personally find it unnecessary. Lamika and I always request meat with the blood still in it. It sustains us just as well as human blood. But Rory has his own way. Phoebe and Ingrid occasionally do it, too. I don't approve of it, but, as long as they're not causing any harm, I'm letting them feed how they want."
"I can't accept that kind of behavior." Leila replied. "Who would want to be bitten by a dhampir?"
Doris didn't say anything.
Leila sighed. "Sorry."
"I was a regular human until three months ago." Doris said. "Then, when I became a dhampir, I started to crave blood. I learned to satisfy my cravings in a non-destructive manner. I'm sure Rory can learn that, too."
"Do you really think so?" Leila asked her.
Doris smiled. "If he doesn't, I'll whip him in the crotch."
Leila started laughing, and Doris joined in.
After a while, Doris stopped laughing and turned serious. "We're leaving tomorrow morning."
Leila stopped laughing. "Oh."
"Will you be coming with us?" Doris asked.
"I...I don't know." Leila replied.
"Would you rather live in a town filled with people that you hate?" Doris asked her.
"No, but...I kinda got sick of the whole bounty hunter thing." Leila replied. "I wanted a normal life, y'know?"
"I understand," Doris said, "but you need to decide how you want to live your life from tomorrow on."
Leila was silent for a moment. "I'll think about it."
Doris stood up. "We leave early. Good night."
"Good night." Leila said.
Doris turned and walked to the door. She opened it and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Leila turned off her lamp and lay down on her bed, her mind occupied with the decision that she had to make tomorrow until she fell asleep.

Monday, July 25, 12090

At dawn, Doris, Lamika, Dan, Rory, Phoebe, and Ingrid were standing outside, across the street from Leila's house.
Rory put the last bag into the trunk.
Just then, the front door to Leila's house opened.
Leila walked outside, a bag slung over her left shoulder, and closed the door behind her.
She walked across the street.
"Leila?" Doris asked.
"I want to be with you." Leila told them.
Doris smiled. "Welcome to the group."
Rory took Leila's bag and put it into the trunk. "I'm glad you changed your mind about us."
Leila smiled. "I've got a motorcycle. I'll follow you."
Rory closed the trunk and nodded.
Leila walked back across the street.
Rory got in the driver seat of the car. Doris got in the passenger seat. Lamika, Phoebe, Ingrid, and Dan got in the back seat. They fastened their seatbelts. Rory started the engine.
Leila put on her helmet and got on her motorcycle. She started the engine.
The car got onto the street and headed west.
Leila followed, the wind blowing through her hair.

The End
Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2003 by Mark Moore