A/N: I'm always a bit nervous when starting a new story. This one was inspired by the show Supernatural which I spent way too many hours watching. I'll warn you right now that some of my characters are going to be a bit OOC. This story will update every Friday unless life gets in the way. Big thanks to the folks over at PTB for their awesome beta skills.
"C'mon, sweet thang, don't be like that. I promise to make you feel good." the guy leered at Alice as she played coy in the dirty motel room we were in.
"I don't know," she said quietly. "Drugs are bad for you."
The guy with black hair gave a laugh and did his best to assure Alice it would be fine. He wanted to get her hopped up on drugs so when he killed her, she wouldn't make a fuss. Some vamps got off on listening to their prey scream and beg, while others didn't want to draw attention to themselves. Apparently, this guy was of the quiet variety. Too bad it was going to be his last night on earth. As Alice played him, I snuck out of the closet and tossed a vile of lighter fluid on his back.
"What the fuck?!" he roared, whirling around with a shocked look on his face when he saw me there. If he'd been more focused on his surroundings instead of on his next meal, I would've never taken him by surprise.
"Burn baby, burn," Alice said with a grin as she tossed the lighter she'd just lit on him. The fucker erupted into flames, letting out an anguished howl before turning into a pile of smoldering ash. The one good thing about vampires was that they burned quickly and left nothing but a pile of ash that could easily be swept up.
"Man, that was way too easy," Ali said as we cleaned up the mess the guy had made.
"I wish they were all that easy," I told her, thinking about the broken ribs and arm I'd gotten a few months ago after a vampire had gotten his arms around me. They were wicked strong and could crush a human easily.
"So, where to next?" she asked.
That was always the question. It all depended on where vampire attacks were. Sometimes, we'd spend days scouring the Internet and papers for suspicious deaths only to drive hundreds of miles and find nothing. Sometimes, we found more than we bargained for. Last year in Atlanta, we stumbled upon a small coven of vamps trying to take over the downtown area. We had to call in reinforcements because there was no way the two of us could take out six vamps at once. Hell, even with help it had almost been impossible, but we'd finished them off. It was our job. We were hunters, vampire hunters to be specific. There weren't a lot of us in the U.S., and we all tended to know one another. We might not have all gotten along or liked each other very well, but you could usually count on another hunter to help out or feed you information. It was just the way we worked.
I loved my job despite the fact it was a thankless job. We didn't get paid to hunt down and kill vamps. Most of our money came to us illegally, and our job was all about breaking the rules. Very little of what we did was legal. Hell, if we were ever caught by the police, I'd hate to think of the charges they'd throw our way: impersonation of federal or government employees, credit card fraud, theft, harboring of illegal weapons. Yeah, we'd be in a world of hurt and that was why we had to be constantly vigilant. Being a good liar didn't hurt either. Dad had taught me how to do the job and how to do it well. I owed it all to him.
Five hours later, I was checking us into a tiny motel off the beaten path. They were the best places to stay. Not only were they cheap, no one would think to look for us there, assuming anyone was looking for us. That and the decor in these places tended to crack me up.
We were in a small town in Oklahoma that had seen a few unusual deaths. Three people had been found dead in their homes, drained of blood, leaving the small town police baffled. That was where Alice and I would come in. We would pose as detectives from Oklahoma City, which was about thirty miles away.
"Oh, man. This has to be the best place yet," Alice said with a grin as she unlocked the door and it swung open. She wasn't kidding. The entire room was done in cheetah print, from the bedspreads, to the curtains, to the towels hanging near the sink. Hell, even the lampshades and the carpet were cheetah themed. Taking my phone out of my pocket, I snapped a picture. What? I had a collection going on.
I dropped my bag on the floor by the bed closest to the door and flopped down on the bed. It wasn't the most comfortable mattress in the world, but I'd slept on worse. With a sigh, I sat up and leaned over to grab my bag. We needed to go over our game plan for the morning.
"Got your badge?" I asked Alice as I dug through my bag for the small locked box containing all of my various IDs.
"Yep," she said, flashing me the badge that said she was Detective Melanie Daniels.
Once I got my box opened, I dug around and pulled out my own badge, Detective Helen Lyle. We knew a guy who ran a bar outside of St. Louis who made badges for hunters. When I'd first started hunting with Dad, he'd taken me to see Jared, who'd hooked me up with a ton of badges. When Alice had joined me in hunting last year, I'd taken her to see him as well. Thanks to him, I could pose as a FBI agent, CDC agent, ATF agent, detective, doctor, and hell, I even had a badge saying I worked for NASA. It was fucking awesome, and a must-have in our trade.
"Okay, so tomorrow we'll go talk to the sheriff and then hit up the morgue. After that, we'll ask around town if they've seen anyone or anything suspicious. The usual routine," I told her.
"Sounds good," she said with a grin.
She'd taken to the hunter life far quicker than I'd expected, but I wasn't convinced she was cut out to do this for life. Until a few years ago, she'd been a college student studying fashion design in New York, and then Dad had died. She'd dropped everything to be with me, but after a few months of moving from one place to the next, she'd grown restless and had gone back to school. It had been for the best, and I'd continued hunting on my own. Then one night, eighteen months ago, Alice had called me, hysterical. Her boyfriend had never returned from the bar and the next morning his body was found discovered behind a dumpster with slashes to his throat and wrists, and the police had found nothing to go on. But we both knew what had killed him.
Ali changed after his death. She'd become determined to hunt down the vampire bastard that had killed her boyfriend, Dean, and I was more than willing to help. We'd gathered information from Dean's friends and discovered that an unkempt guy with dreadlocks had been hanging around the bar they frequented. It took us surprisingly little time to hunt the vamp down. The cocky bastard hadn't left and we found him hiding out in a dirty motel room in the seedy part of town. We'd posed as hookers and he was more than willing to let us in to play. Asshole never stood a chance. We'd flambéed his ass with a couple of hand held flamethrowers. I'd thought for sure after we turned dreadlocks into ashes, Alice would go back to her college life, but to my surprise, she didn't. She'd chosen to come with me and so here we were hunting together. Dad would've been proud.
After a dinner of takeout burgers and fries, we settled in for the night, confident in our plan for the morning. We'd done the detective routine more than once, and we were damn good at pulling it off.
"Hold still, Bells. I need to add a few more wrinkles to your face," Alice said as she finished touching up my makeup. Since we were playing detectives, we needed to age ourselves up a bit seeing as how we were both in our early twenties.
"Perfect," she declared a few minutes later, I didn't have to look to know it was. Alice was a magician when it came to makeup and clothes. She'd sewn a bunch of suits and professional outfits for us. I had to admit, things were easier having her with me.
"Ready?" I asked, as I slid my feet into a pair of black slip-ons.
"Yep," she said.
The small town sheriff was so grateful to see us that he gave us everything we asked for and answered all of our questions. In the beginning, I used to feel bad about lying to these people, but not anymore. Now, it was just a part of the job.
"Thank you, Sheriff Macon. We appreciate the information you've given us," I told him, shaking his hand. Alice did the same and then we headed to the basement of the building where the morgue was. It didn't take but a few minutes for the coroner to let us in and we got a look at the three bodies.
"There are these strange puncture marks on all of them. All I can figure is that the killer stabbed them with something and let them bleed out."
The man was more correct than he knew. The killer did stab them, with his or her fangs. It confirmed what we'd already known. There was a vamp in town, and we were going to have to stop it.
We spent the rest of the day asking questions around town and looking out for anyone who seemed a bit suspicious. Vamps had a hard time coming off as human, mainly because their humanity has been lost. They also had red eyes, but during the day they were easy enough to hide with a pair of sunglasses. What we tried to look for was someone wearing sunglasses that walked a bit weird, like they were forcing themselves to walk slowly. There was also the fact that vampires were almost overly attractive.
We got a break later that night while having dinner at the local diner. We overheard a couple of young men talking about a woman who was new in town: a beautiful woman with long dark hair and pale skin. One of the guys described her as so beautiful it hurt his eyes to look at her. Bingo.
"Think she'll be at the Turtle Tap again?" one guy asked his friend.
And, we had a place. Perfect. Later in the evening, we dressed in jeans and t-shirts before heading to the bar. We found a small table in a dark corner and settled in. It could be a long night. We ordered a couple of beers and kept an eye out. About an hour later, the vamp walked in. She was wearing a short, tight red dress and had her long brown hair pulled back.
"Jackpot," I mouthed to Alice. She nodded.
An hour and a half later, the vampire was ashes and my new jeans had blood on them. I was more than a bit pissed. We didn't have a ton of money so new clothes were a rarity, and getting the blood out of these jeans was going to be next to impossible.
"You okay?" I asked Alice as she cradled her wrist.
"Yeah. I don't think it's broken."
Good, 'cause the last thing we needed was a hospital bill. I wiped away a drop of blood dripping from my nose and sighed in disgust. Bitch had smacked me hard in the face. I'm lucky all I got was a broken nose. Last time a vamp hit me in the face, I'd had a broken jaw.
"Let's go," I told Alice, gathering my purse from the ground before we headed back to the car. I grimaced as I got a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror. My nose was swollen and a black eye was starting to form around my left eye. Fantastic.
I turned the engine on and cranked up Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now that our job here was done, it was time to move on.
"Hurry up, Alice!" I hollered through the open door to our sunflower inspired motel room. Granted, the name of the place was the Sunflower Motel so it made sense they'd have a sunflower motif. We'd been brought into our latest case in Kansas by an old hunter friend of our father's, Samuel Allison. He would have taken the case himself, but he was laid up with a broken leg and three broken ribs after a nasty encounter with a vamp. He'd called us almost a month ago to let us know about two vamps that'd been ravaging small towns around Kansas. The latest incident had happened in Latham, a small town with a population of roughly one hundred and fifty people. Yeah, they couldn't afford for any more people to die.
We'd tracked the two vampires here, but they were slippery bastards and by the time we'd arrived here in was too little too late. We'd gathered what info we could and I had a fairly good idea of where they were, but we needed to move and we needed to move now.
"Alice!" I hollered again. If Alice took any longer we'd lose them, and then I'd lose my shit. The bathroom door finally opened and out stepped Alice, looking like a very short model on a runway.
"About fucking time," I growled, doing a onceover of the room to make sure nothing was left behind. Satisfied we had everything, I practically shoved Alice out the door and slammed it shut behind me.
"Calm down, Bella. We'll catch up to them," Alice said, her laid-back manner getting on my nerves. She was always so fucking calm and sometimes I wondered if she was human. Rarely did anything ever get to her.
Muttering curses under my breath, we climbed into our dad's 1967 Pontiac GTO. She'd been his baby when he was alive, and he'd doted on her in ways he'd never done with us. He hadn't been a horrible father, but he sure wouldn't have won an award for father of the year. From the time I was four, he'd dragged us from one place to the next. We'd lived out of motels, slept in the car, and had been raised on junk food. It had been awesome at first but eventually it had gotten old. As far as schooling went, well … sometimes we went and sometimes we didn't. We'd never really stayed in one place long enough to go to school or to make friends.
"Besides," Alice continued. "Just because we're hunting doesn't mean we shouldn't look good."
I let out a snort. "Right, because the vamps we're chasing care what we're wearing."
"They're people, too," Alice said, irritation in her voice. This was an argument we'd had countless times over the years. I didn't consider vampires people. To be a person you needed be alive. Vampires were the walking dead in a non-zombie kind of way. They were soulless demons that had no qualms about taking a human life or hurting those who got in the way of what they wanted. And they all wanted one thing: blood.
"I mean, they can't be all bad, right?" Alice asked. "There must be some good vampires out there."
I barked out a harsh laugh at her delusional thinking. As far as I was concerned there was no such thing as a good vampire. Sure there were a couple of them out there who helped hunters out from time to time, but they had their reasons for doing so, and it wasn't because they were good. Besides, Dad had spent years hunting them, and he'd never had anything nice to say about any of them. Maybe one or two had helped him out over the years, but the bloodsucking demons weren't trustworthy. As far as I was concerned, they all needed to be burned, and I was more than willing to the do the job, to pick up where Dad left off.
We'd been tracking these two leeches for a month through three counties. They had left a high body count behind them; we were always a second too late, and it was pissing me off. It was well known amongst hunters that there were vamps out there with special abilities. As if they didn't have enough of an advantage over us. There were vamps that could read your mind, zap you with a touch, and manipulate your emotions. Apparently, the ones we were chasing had the ability to escape. The redheaded demon bitch and her pony-tailed friend were always one step ahead of us. We'd caught sight of them two weeks ago after they'd drained a young woman, but we hadn't been fast enough to catch them.
"Hand me Dad's journal," I demanded of Alice as we drove down the highway. I wanted to know if Dad had ever come across her before and if he had, it would be in his journal.
"Drive. Tell me what you're looking for," Alice said, taking Dad's journal out of the glove compartment.
"See if he references any redheaded vamps that are good at evasion."
I drove fast, tapping my fingers restlessly on the steering wheel as I waited for Alice to search through the book. That book was our vampire-hunting bible. It had been passed down from generation to generation and contained all kinds of valuable information. Besides the GTO, it was the only other thing of Dad's we had, and it was invaluable. All those things that people think they know about vampires are complete bullshit. They don't sleep in coffins –hell, they don't fucking sleep, ever. Garlic, crosses, and holy water don't do shit and the sun won't kill them. As a matter of fact, the sun turns them into giant, walking disco balls. There's only one way for a human to kill a vamp and that is with fire. Any kind of fire will do: campfire, lighter, matches, flamethrower. We had it all, and we were always prepared.
"Well?" I asked, impatiently.
"I'm looking, Bells. Calm down and focus on the road."
Scowling, I took a deep breath and tried to calm down. It irritated the hell out of me how she could be so calm about things. We had to catch these vamps before they murdered any more children. Two days ago, they'd wiped out a playground, murdering five children and leaving behind a devastated community. The rage I felt toward these vamps was unlike any other. Children were innocents and they weren't to be fucked with.
"What?" I snapped.
"Your phone's ringing."
I snatched the phone off the dashboard where I'd laid it and scanned the incoming number. Demetri. He was the only vamp I'd ever made nice with and only because he'd saved my father's life once. Pulling over to the side of the road, I put the phone on speaker as I answered.
"What do you have for me?" I asked. I'd left him a message earlier in the morning seeing if he knew anything about the two monsters we were hunting.
"The male sounds like a nomad I stumbled across years back. Goes by the name James. He tends to travel with a redhead who goes by Victoria," he said in his Greek accent.
"That's them. Alice, did you find anything?" I asked, turning to her.
She shook her head, closing the book. "Nothing."
"I have an acquaintance who could help you," Demetri said as I turned my gaze back to the road. "He used to work for the Volturi and he's—"
"You're fucking kidding me, right?" I growled. "Are you trying to get us killed? If the Volturi finds out about us, we'll be slaughtered."
Demetri let out a cold laugh. "They are well aware of you and your sister. They have been for quite some time."
I was stunned into silence, but it didn't last long. I swore long and hard at Demetri before demanding to know why he hadn't warned us.
"They've been after your family for generations. I thought for sure Charlie would have warned you."
"Well, he didn't," I barked, although I should have been aware the Volturi knew of us. When someone goes hunting your kind, you make sure to know the names of your enemies. Why I thought they wouldn't find out about us was stupid thinking on my part. Of course, it was one more worry I didn't need.
"So, they're after us because we know about the existence of vampires?" Alice asked.
Demetri let out a heavy sigh on the other end of the phone. "That's part of it, but the main part is because Charlie killed Marcus' wife and Aro's sister, Didyme."
I was shocked and judging from the look on Alice's face, she was as well. Dad had never once mentioned killing a vamp named Didyme. Never mind the fact she was related to the leaders of the vampire world.
"Why would he do that?" Alice asked, fear in her voice.
"Revenge, Alice. Revenge. Marcus murdered your mother, so Charlie retaliated. It was what got him killed in the end."
I frowned, thinking back to that night nineteen years ago when I was four. There wasn't much I didn't remember about Mom's death. I remembered hearing her begging and pleading for her life, loud screams, and then an eerie silence. Dad had come home and found her body on the bed, drained of blood with slits to her wrists and throat. The medical examiner claimed it was suicide despite the lack of blood evidence or sharp instruments near her body. Dad hadn't bought it; he'd refused to believe Mom offed herself and he had become obsessed with finding out what had killed our mother. Turns out, our grandfather had known from the get go. He'd told Dad all about vampires and had then given him a crash course in fighting them.
When I'd gotten older, Dad had told me about them and according to him, the only important thing in this life was to wipe out their existence. Easier said than done. They could create vampires known as newborns at any given time, thus populating the vampire world and endangering even more human lives. It was a never-ending battle, but one I'd sworn to fight.
"Listen, Swan. James is a tracker. He can track down any human following him and you're gonna need all the help you can get," Demetri said, interrupting my thoughts.
"I said no," I tried to argue, but Demetri spoke over me.
"His name is Carlisle Cullen. He and his coven are vegetarian so to speak, and they won't hurt you. You can find them outside of Forks, Washington. Go to him. He can help," Demetri said before hanging up.
Glaring, I shut off my phone and tossed it back on the dash. How stupid did Demetri think I was? I wasn't about to go running into the arms of a Volturi sympathizer.
"What did he mean by vegetarian? How can a vamp be a vegetarian?" Alice asked as I pulled the car back onto the road.
"I don't know. Sounded like bullshit to me."
Alice shrugged then opened up Dad's journal again. With as much as we'd rifled through and read it, you'd think we'd have it memorized, but there was a lot of shit in there.
"Dad doesn't have anything about vegetarians or these Cullens," she said several miles later. I wasn't surprised. If Dad had known anything about these Cullens, he would've mentioned it to me or put it in his book.
"Doesn't matter since we're not going to them. For all we know, Demetri is playing both sides and setting us up to be slaughtered."
Alice let out a sigh as she closed the journals. "You're so pessimistic."
"No, I'm realistic. I'm not about to drive halfway across the fucking country only to be vamp food."
"But if they can help us—"
"No!" I barked before cranking the radio up so I wouldn't have to listen to her. I'd been hunting far longer than she had and I wasn't about to take Demetri's word about some veggie vamps. No, we'd find James and Victoria the old fashioned way. With good detective work, determination, and skill. We didn't need the help of these Cullens.
a/n: *fidgets nervously* Well? Did you like it? Hate it? Meh it?