Rudolph lay next to Gregory on his bed the next night, and they stared up at the ceiling for several minutes. "I tried," Gregory finally whispered, turning his head toward his brother.
Rudolph wrapped his arms around Gregory. "I'm so proud of you," he said.
"Hey, it's not like I believed I was going to achieve desirable results."
"It doesn't matter. You did it, or tried to. That's all that counts."
Gregory turned so that he was on his back and his brother on top of him, and he wrapped his arms around Rudolph and gave him a gentle squeeze.
Rookery ducked into his truck and immediately went for the light switches. Several vampires shot back, and others moved to the tailgate. He put the truck in gear and floored it, turning to the south and taking the most obscure road he knew of as fast as his truck would allow. A quick look in the rearview mirror confirmed what he had already suspected: the vampires were following him.
He opened the glove box and felt around for his phone. He flipped it open and speed-dialled a number. After a few moments, an annoyed, heavily accented Scottish female voice answered, "What dae you want, John?"
"We have a situation," Rookery replied. "It's like the Hydra up here. Cut off one head, several more spring up."
"More vampire stuff? Yae really need a new hobby. They turned human, remember? Yae sent me thae paper several weeks ago."
"It's nothing to do with the Sackville-Baggs, not directly, at least."
"Then what is it?"
"A bunch of seemingly unrelated bloodthirsty fiends, too many for me to handle."
The girl seemed to change her tune almost immediately. "Where are yae?"
"What sort ae vampires are we talkin'? Who's the most powerful? You know?"
"No, I don't know, but I'll wager a guess, that vampire I blew up in the Thompsons' driveway."
"I heard him called the Count."
"As in...Count Dracula?"
"Haven't heard any different."
"Alright, stay there. I'm on my way."
Rookery snapped the phone shut and tossed it into the passenger seat, and then he turned a sharp corner.
Aila pocketed her phone and picked her dorm room apart for the few necessities that needed to be packed in a duffel bag along with her so-called starter kit: several stakes, both wooden and silver, a vial of holy water, a vial of garlic juice, a vial of a mix of the two, and several pieces of silver jewelry. She zipped the duffel bag up and walked out of the building toward a small Sedan. She tossed the bag in the back seat, started the car, turned on the headlights, and pulled out.
Several minutes later, she glanced at the road sign pointing in the direction of McAshtonland, and she looked in her rearview at Edinburgh.