When Dracula awoke the next night, he stretched his long arms over his head and yawned, running his tongue over his teeth as he did so.
"Hey, dad." Not expecting to hear his daughter's voice, he sailed out of the coffin and ended up clutching the ceiling with his claws.
"Wow, am I gonna be able to do that?" Johnny asked.
"Mavy, you know better than to sneak up on me like that. My heart cannot take it." he fell to the floor fully dressed now. The great thing about being a vampire was that you could change into any clothing you so chose. His little purple bat pajamas were way too embarrassing and hoped that neither Mavis nor Johnny had seen them.
"Dad, your heart hasn't been beating for over five hundred years; I don't think that it's going to just magically start beating and then stop when anyone startles you."
"FIVE HUNDRED YEARS?!" Johnny shouted.
"Yes, I'll be 581 come November." Dracula replied.
"Wow. And your mom was how old when she met your dad?"
"118." Mavis said.
"Well, not exactly." Dracula said.
"Wait, what?" she asked, looking at her father in confusion.
"That's actually the next part of the story…which I'm sure is what you came here so early for." he said.
Johnny and Mavis nodded.
"All right then, let us continue, where did I leave off?"
"Mavis's mom and Aunt had just beaten up that dude Elijah." Johnny replied.
"Thank you, Jonathon."
The arrow slammed into the dead center of the bullseye. Jacqueline lowered the bow and raised an eyebrow.
"I think I'm better at this than with a gun." she stated.
"I'll say. You couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, Cherie." Martha replied as she took the bow from her.
"You could have just said yes." she said, hurt.
"Okay, sorry, but you won't always be able to have this. It's too big to hide. The only time you'll ever be able to use it is if you're sneaking up on someone." she explained.
"Shall we try with the knives now?" Jacqueline asked.
"Yes, this one is actually my favorite." Martha reached behind her and pulled her knife from the sheath that was tied to the back of her pants. Usually, she never wore clothes that were made for men, but today, she just didn't care. It had taken her nearly half an hour to convince her sister the same.
"I can see why, dad said that he'd have something made especially for me one day, but would you like to know a secret?" she asked.
"Sure." Martha replied.
"I don't want to be a huntress. I actually just want to live a normal life. Get married, have a family, not having to worry about whether or not I'm going to live to see the next day." she stated.
"Is that all you can say? 'Ah'?"
"No, I understand, I really do." Martha looked at her reflection in the knife and shook her head.
"What about, Mar-Mar? Don't you ever want to just leave this all behind you and start a family of your own? That Quincy boy has his eyes on you." Jacqueline nudged her sister playfully and Martha couldn't help but smile.
"Let's not talk about him, all right? He makes me feel weird." she frowned.
"Weird in a good way?"
"No, weird as in he's weird and loves guns far too much for his own good." she said.
"Look who's talking." Jacqueline snorted.
"Do you want to be the moving target?" Martha asked, raising the knife up so that her sister could see it clearly.
"But I do wonder, do you want to get married someday, Martha?"
"I don't really know to be honest. I've thought about it, but I can't really see myself "zinging" with someone. None of the men around here have done it for me at all. I'd be horrified of being a mother as well."
"Why? You're pretty protective, if someone dared tried to harm your child, you'd go down swinging." Jacqueline pointed out.
"Yes, true. Though can you picture some poor child calling me mom?"
"I really could. Don't down yourself so much, Martha, you're a whole lot better than you think you are."
Martha smiled and a lump rose in her throat. Her sister was always so reassuring for anything, but she shook her head quickly and swallowed hard.
"Enough chit chat, we have to get back to work. Now, I'm going to let you hold my baby, but be very careful with her." she placed the knife in her sister's hand and held out her hand, her palm visible. "How you hold is what it all depends on, if you hold it by the hilt too tightly," she wrapped her hand into a small fist, like she was holding a knife herself, "It won't hit anything whatsoever and just bounce off whatever you aimed it at. Hold it gently but throw it at enough speed to make it hit the target. Give it a go."
She backed away and gave her enough room to concentrate. Jacqueline took in a deep breath and then flung the weapon with all her might. The knife didn't hit the bullseye, but it did hit around that area and Martha clapped and laughed.
"Well! It's a start! I'm proud of you, Jackie." Martha said.
"As am I. You're showing great potential." The girls turned and saw that Edward was standing there.
"How long have you been standing there?" Jacqueline asked.
"Long enough to see that you're a good shot, almost as good as your sister." he smirked.
"Let's not get her ego going. She still has a ways to go before she's anywhere near my skills." Martha said.
"Yeah, she's always going to better me at this stuff." Jacqueline said.
"Nah, you'll get the hang of it one day, but Martha, may I speak with you please?" he nodded his head and began to walk away.
"Don't worry, I'm sure everything's fine." Martha dashed after him and left her sibling alone, contemplating on what weapon to practice with next, and also wondering what Edward wanted to be so secretive about.
"Yes, sir?" Martha asked when they were well out of ear shot.
"I heard what Jacqueline said about not wanting to do this."
"Oh you did? What are your thoughts on that?"
"I honestly think that maybe she isn't cut out for this. She's a strong girl, you two got that from both your mother and me and I've very proud of that, but I have noticed that she and Elijah look at each other in a certain way, as if they were meant to be." he explained.
"I had a feeling that they zinged." she replied.
"God, I haven't heard that word in quite some time." Edward smiled.
"Either way, I'm happy for Jackie, but I could use some help. You came out here to tell me about another case didn't you?" she folded her arms across her chest.
"How is it that you know all these things? Can you see into the future?"
"No, I'm just great at observation. You had a look on your face that just screamed that I had another job to do."
"You will need her help, I hope she's ready because this one may be a little tough." he said.
"Tough how? Like, werewolf tough?"
"No. Vampire tough." Martha's eyes grew wide.
"A coven of them are hiding out on the outskirts of New Orleans. I know it'll be a long journey, but you'll be paid well and once you finish that job, you will never have to do another and you can settle down and start a family of your own."
"You weren't paying well enough attention to my part of that conversation were you? I don't think I'll ever get married and I'll be OK with that." she was lying and Edward knew it.
"Whatever you say, my dear. Whatever you say. When do you think would be the best time to leave?"
"When did the client say would be a good time to leave?"
"The vampires are actually picking off people from New Orleans one by one; most of the general population doesn't even realize it. They do know for a fact though that people are dying but they're not sure how. They love to attend large galas and masquerade balls so that they can change their appearance quickly and make sure that they are not seen. You're going to need all the help you can get for this. There's no telling how many of them are there."
"How do you plan on us finding them? Any idea where they may be?" she asked.
"There is going to be a masquerade ball in New Orleans, it's definitely going to be a place where they'll go. You know what vampires look like, right?"
"They'll probably be the most beautiful thing in the room. Enough to make anyone get up and leave with them." he nodded.
"Right. Both of you are all ready beautiful, but you need to get the proper attire for this. I have a present for the both of you back at the house. When you're finished here, come and see."
After another hour of hard training, the pair came back to the house and hurried up to their rooms. Both found a box of large size on their bed. When they opened them, both had long, gorgeous dresses. Martha's was black with long sleeves that dangled and Jacqueline's dress was emerald with short sleeves, each their favorite color and style. Another thing they discovered were small masks that only covered their eyes, the colors matched their dresses.
"Here, put these in your bag." Martha handed Jacqueline two guns and a small box of bullets. "Hopefully, you'll only have to use one round, but you never know. The bullets are made of pure silver, shooting them in the heart or the head are the best places, but you knew that all ready."
"I do indeed, though I'm still worried about the possibility of not being able to hit one…I'm scared, Martha. I really am."
"I know, I was scared my first time out too, but what you need to remember is that all you can do is be prepared for anything. Don't worry though, you have me on your side." she hugged her tight, the hug reassuring her, but not by much.
"I'm thankful for that. What about you, what're you taking?" Jacqueline questioned.
"Just this." Martha held up the knife and Jacqueline looked surprised.
"Just that? What happens if they knock it out of your hands, what will you do then?"
"You've seen me fight; I can catch them off guard just long enough to retrieve it. I don't think they'll be able to have that chance though." she ran her index finger down the sharp blade.
"You scare me sometimes, you know that right?" Jacqueline said.
"It's my favorite thing to do. Of course I know it." Martha smirked, Jacqueline rolled her eyes.
"Can you imagine what it would be like if Mom were still here?" she asked.
"I don' even want to think about it. She'd definitely have sent us off somewhere far away all ready if she knew what our profession was." Martha replied.
Jacqueline sighed. "I'm still scared, Mar-Mar. What if I do something wrong?"
"All right look. You are going to be fine. I was just as nervous as you, but hey! I'm still here, aren't I? If you have one ounce of father's blood in you, you're going to be great."
I actually had to break this chapter in half because the next one is somewhat long. I hope you enjoyed it and I will see y'all again shortly!