A/N: Follow up to Dark Awakenings. Apparently a couple of people wanted to see more of Morgan. Enjoy.
1. The Call
The call came in at five past midnight on a Friday night. I was sitting in front of the wall mounted sixty-inch plasma screen watching back to back episodes of Dexter on DVD. Amy, the hundred and eighty something elder vampire I lived with was out hunting.
It must be said, before I go on further, that I am quite a new vampire. It's been only six months since I had the bite put on me. Adjusting has been strange. The whole no more sunlight for you! issue I got a handle on pretty quickly. I was never much of an outdoorsy girl to begin with. And the whole drinking the blood of humans to survive thing isn't that big an imposition if you don't think too much about it. Vampires possess millennial old instincts that serve quite well so long as you stand down the thinking part of your mind and let the instincts do their thing.
Of course the downside is that those same instincts are, quite literally 'killer.' Let them get out of control and your inner Beast takes over, turning you from a sophisticated, urbane predator into a rampaging blood thirsty berserker from hell. Rampaging blood thirsty berserkers from hell tended to lead short, extemely violent lives as other Kindred hunted them down and executed them. It was all about the Masquerade - the code of conduct we live by in order to conceal our existence from mortals. A few thousand of us, six billion of them - you can see why humanity finding out about us would be a very bad thing indeed.
So anyway, I was watching TV and the phone rang. Considered letting the answering machine take it but something told me I should answer it. I pressed the pause button on the DVD remote, got up and went to the telephone sitting on an antique table.
"Yeah?" I said. I wasn't being paid to be a proper receptionist. Come to that, I wasn't being paid full stop. I made a mental note to talk to Amy about that. A girl has needs after all.
"The fuck is this?" the voice, male, angry, scared replied.
"I might ask you the same question," I said.
"Look, cut the shit! Where the fuck is Amy?" My but he was in a right state.
"Amy isn't here," I explained, as though talking to a mental defective, "shall I take a message?" I clamped the receiver between shoulder and head and picked up the pad and pen next to the phone.
"What the fuck? I don't have time to fuck around with you, bitch."
"Do I sound as though I want to be fucked around?" I asked. This guy was beginning to irritate me.
"Look, I need to talk to Amy-"
"Who isn't here," I broke in. "Maybe I can help?" I really hoped he'd just tell me to fuck off and hang up. Instead he said, "Do you know when she'll be back?"
"What am I, her mother? All I know is that she went out dressed for hunting and said she'd be back by dawn."
"Shit! Fuck! Oh Jesus Christ, I need help," he babbled over the line.
"So I gather. Take a deep breath," I could hear the gasp in my ear, "and start from the beginning. What's your name?"
"Chris, Chris Reed." For a second I thought he'd said 'Reeve' and thought the world had come to a pretty pass when even Superman needed help.
"OK, I'm Morgan. I guess you could say I'm a friend of Amy's." Amy had been appointed by the local vampire government - the Camarilla - to be a sort of mentor to me and teach me about the laws and customs of vampire-kind. I got the distinct impression that she felt she had better things to do. Whatever.
"Morgan, right, the newbie," Chris said. Right, the newbie.
"They took her!" he burst out. By 'her' he meant either his sister, girlfriend/wife or possibly mother, judging by the way he'd said it.
"And 'her' is?"
"My girlfriend, Elissa," he went on, "They warned me that if I couldn't pay up, they'd take her!"
"Right, so we have a kidnapping," I mentally cursed myself for saying 'we.' I didn't want to get wrapped up in this shit.
"Who took her and what couldn't you pay?"
"It's the mob! The Russian Mafiya! I...owe them some money and now I can' t pay it back. They said...said," he began to sob. I really hate hearing men cry. I held the phone away from my ear until he pulled himself together. More or less.
"They said, I have two days to get the money or they'd start cutting her up! Her face..."
"OK, OK, I get the idea - unless you pay up, she gets cut up. And I suppose you're looking for somebody to go find her, bust her out and break some Mafiya heads?"
"Yes! Can you help?"
Geez, can I help? I don't know. My vampire instincts were tightening like springs at the mere thought of the amount of bloodshed a rescue op would likely cause. The mostly-human part of my mind was calculating the odds of my survival - in short close to nil. A single six-month old vampire chick against who knew how many Russian wise guys? What was I, Sarah Connor on crack?
I sighed heavily. I could wait until Amy came back but by then, it'd be near daybreak and we'd have to wait until sundown of the next day to even begin to make plans. Likely by then Elissa's face would look like something out of a horror flick.
"Fine," I said. I had to hold the phone away from my ear again as he burst into tears of gratitude.
After a while I asked, "Do you at least know where they may have taken her?"
"They own a club downtime. Vodka Freeze, it's called." I'd heard of the place, the cops liked to raid the place fairly often - lot of small time drug dealers hung out there but the vice department couldn't get any hard info on the actual owners themselves.
"How long ago was she taken?"
"A few hours ago," he said.
"Right, where do you live?" I took down the address - a little housing development project a half hour's drive away. "I'm going to need a recent picture of her - I don't want to accidentally cap her," I continued. I hung up on him as he began babbling thanks.
So, a club full of trigger-happy Russian mobsters, a shitload of humans cluttering up the dance-floor and only one of me. I rolled my head around, feeling my vertebrae creak and went to my small bedroom. Behind the door sat my semi-auto shotgun. I wouldn't be able to smuggle that past the front doors, sadly. I settled for a flick-knife and my .45 pistol. I figured the mob guys would have plenty of hardware on their persons I could borrow for the occasion.
I looked at my outfit in the mirror. I figured my T-shirt with the logo My Face is up Here could use a little something. Something like a Kevlar vest and my leather jacket. I pulled up the leg of my jeans and tucked the knife inside the leg of my boot. The handgun I stuck in a backdraw holster at the small of my back. I looked pretty badass, I thought. On the way out of the apartment, I scooped up the keys to my second hand Ford Taurus and headed out.
I walked swiftly past the elevator which had been out of order for about five years, my boot heels clicking on the floor and headed down the stairs. Once out of sight of the drunk guy shuffling along the hall, I boosted my speed and flew down the steps to the underground parking garage. Soon I was unlocking my car and was heading down the road. I drove about 5mph over the limit and soon arrived at Chris and Elissa's place. I managed to get the pic of Elissa and was out the door fairly quickly, Chris having calmed down somewhat now that he'd secured help.
On the walk back to the car, I studied the pic. Elissa looked about 25, had hazel eyes, blonde hair and a pretty smile. It'd be a real shame if somebody started cutting on her, I thought as I got back into the car.