Vincent Vanhorne watched them step farther away from him along the street, his bright blue eyes narrowed. He had first thought to leave and return to the coven, indeed, he had already prepared himself for the stream of violent titles he would be called by his master once he returned empty-handed….
But something about the man known as Tom settled strangely with him, this, he could not deny. Owing a huge sense of gratitude toward his uncanny ability to know, Vincent had decided at the last minute that that Tom…person…had to be something other than that:
But if he were a Vampire…why could he, Vincent, not smell any cold blood, any trace of death? Was it the wind that blew so relentlessly this night that stilled any such scent from reaching his more than sharp nose? No, no, that was absolutely ridiculous – he, being what he was, could simply direct the scent of anyone or anything toward his nose, no matter the state of nature: He had once, he recalled briefly then, directed the scent of his target to his very nose, a small girl lost in the snow, some odd winters before. He had ventured at least six yards before he reached her, yet he could do nothing: Death had already claimed her as its own.
Shaking away the almost depressing thought, he returned his attention back to the two distant figures, bobbing merrily along the stone road toward a destination he was sure was their home.
Allowing himself a second to hesitate, he stepped forward as well, tracing their steps with his own soundless ones. The park was perfectly empty now: not a soul passed him along the road, and as he walked, just because he preferred the darkness, the street lamps’ light flickered off casting all behind him into completely gloom.
What is your plan with the human, Tom? Vincent thought to himself, keeping his eyes upon the other man’s back as they walked. Whatever it was, he added irritability, he would see to it that the plan was never followed through – he, Vincent, would be there to stop it before anything got out of his master’s looming control.***
The park’s gates reached high over their heads as they passed through it, and just as they did, Vincent was struck with an alarming wind. It caused him to freeze in his tracks, though he was not more than five yards from the couple that now turned onto a sidewalk and disappeared from view.
She was getting away but he could do nothing for it, for just then, before the gates leading out of the park, appeared three strangely dressed Vampires all carrying long black staffs: They all wore long black coats and a silver emblem appeared pressed into the coats’ side.
Even through the darkness, Vincent could see the red of all their irises as they glared upon him in contempt. Figuring he best chance a conversation, Vincent said, “I cannot imagine this is a friendly visit.”
The two strange Vampires on either side of the one in the center snarled, showing long fangs through the night, while the one in the middle, whose red hair blared loudly against his black coat, said, “It is best you stay away from the human, Vanhorne. She has been under our watch for years – we will not accept any interference.”
His blue eyes narrowed immediately. “Any interference?” he snarled angrily. “What the devil do you mean? That human is desired for my master—”
“We know that Desmond desires the human for his own selfish reasons, but she is the key to all Vampires’ prolonged power. She must be protected. We have our best brother on the job—”
“So that Tom is a Vampire, is he?” he asked angrily, his previous questions confirmed.
“Thomas is one of the best brothers in our coven, Vanhorne,” this same Vampire said darkly. “And we will do whatever it takes to protect him. You have been warned; leave Thomas and the human alone. We will not give you a warning if we are to ever meet again.”
“Is that some sort of threat?!”
His red eyes seemed to flash as another wind began to swirl around them all. “It is the truth.” And before Vincent could take a step toward them, they had disappeared leaving him terribly alone and farther away from the woman than he had ever been before.
Snarling in frustration, he allowed his eyes to close, allowed his anger to take him away from the cold of the park….
He soon opened his eyes and beheld the cave that was the entrance to his home. The mouth of it loomed ominously before him as though mocking him with the cold, fearful gloom that he knew he would face by his master’s words, or worse, his hand….
There was nothing for it, he reasoned after a while of supreme procrastination. He would have to press forward and accept his punishment…but surely, he thought then, as he stepped onto the stone of the cave, surely it wasn’t his fault that he let the woman get away. Another had interfered in his capture of her…and then those Vampires had appeared with ominous warnings….
He could make nothing of it. None of it made any perfect sense. Who was this Jessica Landry and why, just why was she so sought after? Though this question did not hold his thoughts more than the fact that another coven of Vampires existed in this very area. In all the years of his living here, Vincent, nor did any other in the coven, witness any speck of another Vampire – another coven anywhere nearby.
Why would these new Vampires come out of the woodwork for this woman?