THE MEETING

CHAPTER ONE

Bethany sat in a bar with her black booted feet propped up on the table. Her long, black leather duster was wrapped around her and her hat was low over her crystal green eyes. Her shoulder-length dark brown hair was pulled back into a pony tail. With all these men around, she believed it was best that she didn't look exactly helpless. She wasn't, of course. The thirteen year old girl had a small armory hidden away in her coat.

She scanned over the drunken men in the pub. Her long time friend, William Larc, had advised her to be careful. Beth knew it was a good idea to heed his warning. She knew drunken men and a young girl, such as herself, did not mix. That wasn't the only thing the young monster hunter had to look out for.

She was sent here on an assignment. Apparently, a werewolf had been raging though London for about a month and a half. Bethany had been sent here to stop it. Since she arrived about two days ago, her research had gotten her no where. Beth really was never one for a lot of research. She preferred to get her hands dirty. She figured that the creature would rear it's ugly head sometime. All she had to do was watch and wait.

"Who's the brainless person in the corner?" Beth heard a man at the bar ask the bar tender.

"I don't know who that is. She's been coming in here for three nights now. She's a peculiar one, that girl. She never does anything. She just sits in that corner till we close. Never says a word to anyone." He replied.

"Did you say 'she'?" the man asked.

"Yes, I did. She's a girl of about thirteen or so."

"Really?"

"Now don't you be getting any ideas, Marcum. She's done nothing to no one."

"She could be a thief, Tom. Look at her. She's certainly mysterious enough. Maybe someone ought to put her in her place." Marcum said.

Beth sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. She lowered her hat over her eyes once again.

"You know," Beth said to them. "I'm right here. I can hear you talking about me."

"She's also very observant." Tom said. Beth just rolled her eyes.

"I'm no thief, thank you very much. I'm just….am unusual."

"How are you unusual?" Marcum asked her.

"Are you blind?" Tom interrupted him. "She's not in a dress parading around trying to get married like all the other girls her age."

"Yes, thank you for that." Beth sighed. Exactly how many times has the Cardinal said that to her? More than she could even count. It was starting to get annoying. If he wanted her to get married so badly, he shouldn't have let her be a hunter.

"What's your name, child?" Tom asked.

"That is none of your business." Beth replied as politely as she could. "I'm not here to make acquaintances. I just ant to do what I came here to do and get home."

"What do you have to do?" Marcum asked eyeing her warily.

Bethany rolled her eyes at the man, though he couldn't see because of her hat. Would he ever shut-up at all? Then again, she hadn't spoken with anyone since she left the Vatican. From a working standpoint, she didn't have any time for this.

"Murder someone."

Both men were silent for a moment with looks of utter shock and horror on their faces. This caused Bethany to smile slightly. Gosh, she loved her job. The men's looks softened and then they began to laugh.

Beth just sighed again and stood, her fists shoved in her pockets. Time to go. She had long over stayed her welcome.

"Goodnight gentlemen."

The girl walked calmly toward the door. Suddenly, a long howl was heard above the pub. Everyone froze and silence hung thick around them. Beth fingered her favorite revolver under her coat. It was fully loaded and ready to go. She even had more ammo tucked away in her pockets. It never hurt to be prepared.

There was a second howl, only closer this time, but Beth still couldn't place it. Bethany calmly waked out into the streets, her boots clicking against the cobblestones. The streets were deserted. She just guessed that it was because everyone was scared…or they were just much smarter than her. She believed that it was just a bit of both.

"C'mon wolf, let's get this over with. I want to go home." She mumbled.

Bethany heard a growl and turned around. It was the werewolf. The girl shot at it, but it pounced back into the shadows.

"Are you hunting me or am I hunting you?" Beth breathed.

The girl ran after it, her coat billowing out behind her. She was suddenly pushed against a wall, causing her head to be flung into the brick wall behind her. She fell to the ground, but quickly jumped back up again. The wolf pinned her against the wall, his saliva dripping though his long fangs at the prospect of his new dinner.

"Not tonight, big boy." Beth told him and kicked him in his tightly knit ball of fuzz. The wolf howled in pain. Bethany raised her gun and a shot rang out. This caused her confusion. She didn't even pull the trigger yet. However, the wolf had fallen to the ground, dead as a doornail.

A girl who looked Bethany's age (maybe a litter older) came into her line of sight, a smoking pistol in hand. So that was where the shot came from. This new girl was dressed in all black to match her long braided hair.

"Are you alright?" the girl asked in a flawless British accent, her crystal blue eyes looking Beth over as the firearm disappeared into the folds of her black cloak.

"Yeah. Thanks."

"Don't mention it." The girl said as Bethany placed her revolver back in her coat. "You haven't been doing this long, have you?"

"Two months and three weeks." Beth replied. "I'm Bethany."

"That's nice." The girl said and began to walk away.

"Hey!" Beth said running after her. Bethany caught up to the dark girl and walked beside her.

"You know when people introduce themselves, they expect the person they don't know to do the same." Beth told her.

"That so?" the girl said flatly. "Sorry to disappoint you."

"Well…"

"You're still there? Why are you still talking to me?"

"Why can't I?" Bethany asked. "You just killed something that was trying to kill me. I think that I should at least thank you."

"You did, now why are you following me?"

"I'm not following you."

"Yes, you are. Now, stop it. I have to get back to Rome." the girl told her.

"Where in Rome?" Beth asked her. "Vatican City?"

The girl didn't reply. She just kept on walking and Beth kept following her.

"You're with the Knights of the Holy Order, aren't you?"

"How did you know about them!" The girl demanded harshly as she quickly spun around and clutched Beth's arm tightly.

"I'm a member." Beth replied. "Could you let go of my arm now? It hurts."

"Sorry." the girl told her, her voice cold and emotionless again. She released Bethany's arm and began walking again.

"We could travel together." The thirteen year-old suggested. "I have to go there too."

"You wouldn't want to travel with me, dear Bethany. I promise you that."

"How would I know that?" Beth said smirking slightly. "I don't even know your name, let alone how much I annoy you."

"Mori."

"Now was that so hard?" Beth asked smiling at her.

"You have no idea." Mori mumbled to herself, but Bethany didn't catch it. Why was this child following her? Most people would have just let her walk away, but not this girl. She had to be friendly. Actually, most people would run away screaming if they had spent as much time with Mori as Bethany already had. She was certainly unique just for Mori being able to stand her this long. Most people by now were dead or dying. Maybe traveling with her wouldn't be to bad.

"I've heard of you, Bethany. You're the youngest field agent in the Order." Mori said.

"Yup." Beth said proudly.

"If you keep fighting like what I just saw, you aren't going to last much longer." said Mori.

"Hey!"

"Alright, if you are going to talk to me, we might as well get a few things straight, Bethany." Mori said turning on her heel to face the youth. "You speak in comprehendible, sensible, and complete sentences. Is that clear?"

"Yes, it's crystal clear." Beth replied.

"Good." Mori told her, turned around and began walking yet again. "Continue."

"Is 'continue' a complete sentence?" the youth asked the dark girl.

"Just because those rules apply to you doesn't mean they apply to me." Mori said.

"Got it. Sorry."

"Where are you staying?" Mori asked as she glanced over her shoulder at Bethany.

"The Red Dragon Inn. You?"

"My old house." Mori replied.

"Where is it?"

"Far from here. I'll meet you outside your inn in the morning at seven A.M. Don't be late or I'll leave you." Mori told her.

"You mean you changed your mind about us traveling together?" Beth asked excitedly.

"No. I'm just saying it so I can better find you when I murder you tomorrow." Mori said. She then saw the look on the youth's face. The dark girl sighed heavily and rolled her eyes.

"I was being sarcastic, Bethany. It's just one more service I offer." Mori told her.

"Oh. Sorry. I'll be ready at seven then." Beth said. "Nice meeting you, Mori."

"Goodnight Bethany. I'll see you in the morning."

The girls then went their separate ways, neither one knowing what had just been set into motion.