Summary: While investigating Vampire Hunters for Michel, Kerry is taken off the street. KerryMichel
Rated T for some mature themes, but not enough to warrent a M (in my opinion).
Disclaimer: Disclaimed. I love you VVV (and also Michel).
Kerry was having severe déjà vu. Of all the moments in her life she had hoped to repeat, this was definitely not on the short list. In fact, with the exception of her mother leaving and the morning she killed Marsala, this was one of the last moments she ever hoped to have to go through again.
"WHERE ARE THE OTHERS?" The man screamed in her face, spittle landing on her cheeks, her eyelids, across her mouth. Kerry raised her chin, refusing to flinch and refusing to answer. For her efforts, she was smacked hard across the face with a meaty hand and she grunted in surprise, her teeth clenched so tightly she thought they would chip from the pressure. Her face screamed in pain where she would not utter a word, and the delicate skin across her cheekbone split open from the strike, weeping blood down the side of her face like a trail of tears she refused to shed.
They had grabbed her getting into her car outside of the grocery store, screaming obscenities at her about being a vampire. For an instance she couldn't believe this was happening again and thought it was an elaborate prank, but then the large man broke her arm as he forced her into the back of a van and Kerry realized that even Michel could not come up with a joke this sick.
"Vampires aren't real," Kerry choked out between her teeth once she was able to open her mouth without screaming. Her arm was pulsating with pain from where they broke it and then roughly tied it behind her back. She could only think of how badly treated Ethan Bryne had been when she met him, and she knew she couldn't live through that kind of torture. They'd allow her to bleed all over the floor of the garage she was being held in.
"Don't be stupid. We know what you are and we know you've been tracking us." The woman was much calmer than the man, but as Kerry observed her, she could see a sparkle in the woman's eye that promised that things would only get much worse and it would be a joy to watch. Sadist, Kerry decided, falling back on her old habit of creating nicknames for people while in precarious situations. She might know that the lady's name was Christine and the man Cory, and she might have been tailing them for the past few weeks – closely enough that she could give a detailed report to the police once she escaped that would put them away for years – but there was something comforting about treating this like that night in the Laundromat. Maybe if she wished hard enough, some innocent young boy would come along and save her, all the better if he was really a vampire.
"I'm a private investigator," Kerry hissed, jaw locked together. Oh God, she wanted to just start screaming and crying and never stop, but something told her that Meaty Fist would not put up with the sound for very long. "I was hired by a man who asked me to trail you and report every move you made back to him. I got a bonus for working at night."
"Vampire whore!" The man yelled again, raising his fist. The woman put a calming hand on his arm, saying something in low tones in his ear. Kerry realized the irony that if she was really a vampire, she'd be able to hear every word they said.
Kerry looked down, finding herself unable to watch as they devised the next way to torture information out of her. There was a stain of blood running down her shirt, and seeing it made her blood run cold and a wash of fear shiver down her spine. Seeing that blood, so dark red against the pastel blue of her shirt, made her realize that she probably wasn't getting out of this alive. There was something comforting, almost immortal, about the knowledge that she was human and once the sun came up they would see that. The illusion was gone now. Her pain was real, her body damaged, and she could hear Ethan Bryne's words running through her head. What happened when the sun came up and she didn't burn to death? Would they convince themselves it had to be by the midday sun, or that it was too overcast? Would they kill her anyway, even if they were convinced she was telling the truth about being human?
She jerked as she was doused with something wet, the liquid dripping down her face and into her eyes and mouth. For an instant she panicked, thinking it was lighter fluid or something flammable, worried that they were trying to set her on fire, but as soon as she had a moment to assess the situation, she realized it had no taste or smell, and it didn't burn in her eyes. It was only water. For a moment Kerry almost sneered, wondering if they thought it was holy water and would burn her.
"I'm not a vampire," she asserted again, adding a waver to her voice to convince them of her fear. It wasn't difficult. "Look, I'm wearing little dangly cross earrings." She was too. Michel got a kick out of them every time her wearing them happened to coincide with one of his visits for updates. He'd brush her hair off her neck and take her earlobe into his mouth, earring and all, just to prove he could. She also knew it amused him greatly to know she wore them because of him, not to ward him off but because the first time he saw them he was drawn to them. Right now, she didn't care about any of that.
"Crosses don't affect vampires," Sadist Lady sneered. "And you'd know that because you're wearing them as earrings."
Kerry wanted to point out the circular reasoning there, but Meaty Fist was looking like he wanted to hit her again, and she really didn't want to lose any teeth. "I'm not a vampire."
"The sun will prove you a liar."
Kerry felt like screaming again, but for a completely different reason. This conversation was frigging frustration. Her eyes were drawn to a drain in the floor, and for some morbid reason she couldn't look away. Her mind kept flashing to images of them washing the remains of her body, or at least her shed blood, down the pipes so casually, and she felt another chill as she realized her death and the irony of it. Michel had offered her vampirism once and she had declined, but now she was about to be killed for being one anyway. "So what do we do until then?" she asked with a false sense of bravado. "Sunrise isn't for a few hours yet. Did anyone bring any cards?"
Christine slapped Kerry with an open hand, the sound echoing through the garage. Kerry started to laugh, unable to help it. There was a slight hysterical lilt to the sound, and she couldn't stop. Meaty Fist's fist came towards her face, and Kerry moved her head just before it landed on her jaw, sending his knuckles across the center of her face. Kerry's nose snapped with a sharp sound and a quick burst of pain followed by a wicked throb. Blood spurted everywhere, down the front of her shirt and in fresh, hot bursts over her mouth. Kerry choked on the cloyingly metallic taste of it down the back of her throat, and she sniffed deeply, spitting the bloody contents in her mouth over Christine's content face.
"Sadist," Kerry jeered.
She didn't see the second fist coming.
Kerry awoke a few hours later, the skin of her chin and mouth oddly stiff with dried blood. She groaned, in so much pain that all of it was like white noise to her fear. Waking up still alive, she supposed, was a positive thing. If only she could find a way to make it permanent. It took her a minute to realize she was no longer sitting up and tied to a chair, and while the last hit may have knocked her over completely, she was pretty sure that didn't account for the prickle of grass she felt beneath her cheek. Her hands were still tied behind her back, but her legs were miraculously and stupidly free.
She opened her eyes, wincing at the light from the garage door. Christine and Cory were standing near her, a gun trained at her head. They were a few paces back, and at first Kerry couldn't figure out why they weren't still trying to torture her. Then it clicked, and she realized that the light she saw was the rising sun, causing the night sky to go a lovely purple color on the horizon, and they were standing well out of way of the flames.
This, Kerry realized, was her only chance. She'd have to time it right, making her move just after the sun had risen enough so they realized their mistake but not before they had time recognize that they should kill her anyway. It was her only chance.
The sun reached her face, and Kerry realized she may have blacked out for a moment. Christine was saying "I don't think..." and that's when Kerry made her move, struggling to her knees and then to her feet. The progress seemed to take forever, but probably only lasted a few moments. Kerry ran for all she was worth into the street, recognising that she was in the suburbs only a few blocks from her house.
A gunshot went off and Kerry started screaming, falling to the asphalt in front of an oncoming car.
The Conroys remained smug during their preliminary hearing, high on the assurances of their lawyer that no court would take a case about vampire hunters seriously, especially since he could spin it to make Kerry Nowicki a serial offender with a fetish for the same story line. They were smug when their bail was set at a low, almost affordable price. Their emotion remained unchanged as they learned the human they had mistaken for a vampire remained in the coma she had been put in by the fortuitous presence of a car smashing into her head, only implicating them by the unfortuitous presence of duct-tape already around her wrists.
Christine was recounting the sound of Kerry's nose breaking as they entered the house, the smugness wiped off her face by the company of a young man sitting in Cory's favourite armchair. "So you've made it on bail?" he asked, the small smile appearing on his face.
"Who the hell are you?" Cory asked as Christine edged her way towards the gun kept in the telephone table drawer.
"Are you looking for this?" the man asked with a widening grin as he casually dangled the weapon from his finger. The sharp points of his incisors mocked them. "Think of me as an avenging angel. I know what you're thinking, and you're right: most of us don't care how many innocent humans get caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately for you, I have very detailed plans for this particular human, and they don't include her dying just yet." Michel smiled grimly. "Fortunately, however, you didn't manage to kill her despite your best efforts."
"So you're not going to kills us?" Christine asked with a confused frown.
"No," Michel answered, casually shooting Cory in the knee and continuing his conversation with Christine over the screams. "I'm going to kill you. I just won't torture you for days before doing it. You're lucky that girl is as tenacious as a weed." Michel stood, placing the gun on the table beside the chair and flexed his long, slender fingers with a feral smile.
Kerry awoke in the dark to the whirr and beeps of machines above her head. Her pulse leapt to her throat at the unfamiliar room. Panic dulled her awareness, and her breathing became heavy and burdened as she found she was only able to breathe through her mouth. She tried to move her hands to feel her face, but found that neither of them would respond for her. The right one was broken, her consciousness vaguely remembered, but the left should be ok. She must still be tied up. The realization stopped her breath and she whimpered despite her best efforts to remain silent.
"Shhh, Kerry, shhh." She suddenly heard a comforting and familiar voice say to her. Fingers tightened gently around her left hand, and she realized that she couldn't move it because Michel was holding it. Relief – more than relief, also an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love towards him, though she wasn't sure he deserved it – washed over her in a sensation so strong it brought tears to her eyes.
"Light," she croaked, and was immediately bathed in the harsh beam from the fluorescent lamp above her head. She winced, but didn't ask him to turn it off. Her head ached and she could feel a throb of pain from the tips of her toes up to the crown of her head. The light, though, helped stave off the darkness she could feel edging on the periphery.
"Here," Michel said in a low tone that had her flinching away from him, but turning to watch at the same time. She couldn't help it. He thumbed a dial on her IV, shooting morphine into her system. It took a moment for the buzz to set in, but once it did it was complete.
"Car hit me," she told him, wondering if it was a question or not. She wasn't sure. The world was going fuzzy, and in the middle of it she could see him in absolute clarity as though he were an illusion. She didn't think he was.
"Car saved you, too. The driver was a former cop who didn't take too kindly to girls running out into the street covered in blood, half tied up, and being shot at."
Kerry blinked at him. "Smaller sentences," she requesting, making him grin at her. Reflexively, she tightened her fingers around his, staring down at their joined hands. "My face?"
"It'll heal fine."
"Liar." She stared, entranced by his fingers. "There's blood under your nails," she told him quietly. Kerry glanced to his face, everything sharpening into fine detail, and she knew the horrible truth of it. She knew that if anything he had ever done deserved her gratitude and love, it was this. She smiled, echoing the ferality of his own grin before he killed the Conroys in a bloodbath fit for her pain. "Good," Kerry said fiercely, her eyes reflecting her words.
Michel's eyes met hers with intense concentration as he stared into her soul. She was almost ready, expertly moulded into the person he wanted her to be and he couldn't have planned it better himself. He kissed her, bridging the distance between them in a smooth, rapid eye-blinking move. She was his favourite protégé and had already proved her worthiness time after time, so he couldn't help but reward the two of them.
Soon, she'd be completely his.
Hey guys. I have 3 words for you: massive hard-drive failure. It has become a running joke in my family that I go through computers like other people go through underwear. Luckily, I had some of Dreams backed up (only lost about half a chapter), but unfortunately I did lose a new CotN story (estimated at approx 7,000 words so far).