Chapter 1: Getting Caught

The club was packed. Of course, it was always packed on Saturday nights. The music was loud, and since the club only played the hits that you heard on the popular radio stations, a lot of people were on the dance floor. A lot of people were ordering drinks, too.

"I need a vacation," Sam sighed to himself. He was the club's bartender and, as such, he was having a very busy night.

"What's the matter, Sam?" said a voice behind him, "Are you having a bad night?"

"Very funny, Veronika," Sam replied as he turned around to face the slim brunette who was seated at the bar behind him. She just smiled sweetly.

Veronika was a slim young woman of about twenty-three, with an unusually light complexion that was not unappealing, clear eyes that were a beautiful shade of azure blue, and brown hair that was so dark it was almost black. She wore a pair of tight-fitting, black leather pants, a deep crimson-coloured halter top, and stylish black leather boots. She was gorgeous, but there was one problem. She wasn't exactly a woman. She was a vampire.

"Can't Saturdays ever not be busy here!" Sam cried out in exasperation.

"I guess not," replied Veronika, her smile showing off a bit of her fangs.

"Just so you know, you might want to be careful with that smile of yours," he said, indicating his teeth.

"Thanks, Sam," Veronika said gratefully. Sam was the only human who knew she was a vampire, and she knew she could trust him to keep her secret. What made his silence about this even more important was that, when he had found out about Veronika's being a vampire, Sam had also become the only human in the world who knew that vampires really existed.

"No problem."

Veronika glanced around the room, watching the people dancing and talking to each other. Briefly, she wondered what they would think if they knew that there was a real vampire sitting in their midst. She smiled at the thought. Of course, she could never let any of them know the truth. Just letting Sam find out had been a risk in itself. However, Veronika never would have told him if she had thought there was even the slightest chance of Sam revealing her secret. She sighed and turned back around to face the bar.

"So," Sam said, leaning in close to her, his voice lowered so they wouldn't be overheard, "Can you drink anything other than, well…you know?"

Veronika smiled, "Well, we don't do it often, but yeah, we can drink other things."

"Good. Now then, what can I get you to drink?"

"How about a cosmopolitan?"

"Good choice. You want that with a twist?" Sam asked.

"Sure," Veronika said.

"So," he said as he turned around to mix her drink, "Are you sure you, uh, family isn't going to be upset with you for spending the night at a club with us regular people?"

"Well, since I don't plan on telling them about it, no, I don't think they'll be upset." Veronika knew that if anyone from Viktor's coven found out about what she had been doing, and Viktor got wind of it, she would be punished severely. In their eyes, she would have been placing the coven and everyone in it in danger of being discovered. They would have been right, but Veronika wasn't going to let anyone other than Sam find out that she was a vampire. She had been aware of the risks of going to such a populated place alone since she had first started coming here. She had also known that she was taking a risk when she told Sam that she was a vampire. If anyone from the coven, especially Kraven or, worst of all, Viktor, found out that she had told a human about the existence of vampires, then there would have been only one outcome. Viktor would order someone, most likely Kraven, to kill Sam. She wasn't even sure what they would do to her, but she was more worried about Sam's fate than her own. It wasn't like she was in love with Sam or anything, but he was her very good friend, and she didn't want anything bad to happen to him because of her.

"Here you go," Sam said, handing her her drink.

"Thanks," she said.

"You, uh, don't think that any of them have ever followed you here, do you?"

He must have been thinking along the same lines as I was, Veronika mused silently.

"No, I don't think they've ever followed me here."

He let out a breath, "Good."

"Worried?" she asked him, and smiled when a sheepish look crossed his face.

"Maybe a little," he said.

"There's nothing wrong with that," she assured him. After all, if placed in his situation, most humans would probably have already had a panic attack from worrying excessively about being caught by Viktor and his coven. Veronika would have been surprised if Sam hadn't been worried.

"I think I'm going to walk around for a bit," she said after a while.

"Alright, but don't forget to say goodbye before you leave," he said, smiling.

"You know I would never forget about you," Veronika smiled back, being careful not to show too much of her fangs, "See you in a few."

She picked up her drink and headed towards one of the less occupied areas of the club, a slightly shadowed corner with a few of the brick pillars that were common in buildings like this. Tonight there were only about three or four people there, which was surprising because it was a great place to make out with a boyfriend or girlfriend. She walked over to a couch that was close to the pillars and sat down. The song that was currently playing was one of the more popular ones. For this week, at least. She took a sip of her drink and listened to the words that were flowing from the speakers across the club.

About two or three yards behind Veronika and to her right, a dark figure emerged from behind one of the pillars. Veronika sat on the couch, sipping her drink and nodding her head in time with the music, completely unaware of the fact that she was being watched.

Kraven continued to watch Veronika, still amused by the fact that she had thought that she could get away with what she was doing. He had seen her leave the mansion that night, and had decided to follow her. After all, he had seen her leave the mansion several nights in a row for about two months, and each time she had done so without first getting permission from either himself or from Viktor. It was amazing that she had thought that nobody would, eventually, notice her frequent absences. The thought alone made him want to laugh.

Kraven stepped fully out of the shadows of the pillars, and began walking towards Veronika, a smirk etched across his features. There was no way Veronika could wiggle her way out of this one. He had seen it all. Stopping directly behind her, he lowered his head so that his mouth was right next to her left ear.

"Hello, Veronika, my dear," he whispered softly. Veronika's eyes widened in shock. It wasn't possible, it just wasn't possible. There was no way he could be here.

Slowly, ever so slowly, she turned around and looked up at the vampire behind her. Her disbelief was evident in her expression, and his name slipped past her lips.