Dana Nyliin Yang (short for Yangowski) cautiously stepped inside the oversized hacienda. The door had been locked, but it was a simple trick to open it; one she learned long ago from her master. She’d grown accustomed to the darkness she’d found inside the vamps’ homes over the years. She shut the door behind her, pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head, and waited for her eyes to adjust.
Stepping forward, she withdrew the Katana that belonged to her grandfather—given to him by the Emperor Ninkô long ago—and walked with purpose through the house. The sword was actually given to her brother because he was the first grandson, but she used it because she was the better swordsman or woman between the two of them. She glided past each room, carefully peeking inside, guarding against an unwanted attack. Must be upstairs. She scaled the steps, peered around the corner at the top, and looked down the hall.
Not a sound.
She couldn’t have been expecting me. She crept down the hall. Of course, vampyres do have excellent hearing. Let’s have us a little fun now.
“Come out, come out, where ever you are,” she whispered, barely audible to herself.
The creature could hear her at her quietest. It was part of the reason she was alert, prepared for anything, just in case. She couldn’t imagine they wouldn’t be around; they usually slept during the day. Shealynn could be here alone, or she could have twenty fledglings around the place. Dana paused and wondered if this was a good idea. The place was looking more and more like it was empty. That made her nervous. She peered through the doorway of the room she was about to pass.
Dana drew in a deep breath through her nose. The end of the hall, huh? That’s where you are. She zigzagged down the hall, checking each room just in case there were more she didn’t scent. It was a faint, sordid smell. The average person wouldn’t notice it, but she was trained to search it out. This one tried to cover it up with incense and perfume, but she smelled it as though the creature were right under her nose. So far, she only smelled one of them. Weird.
When she reached the last door, it was cracked opened. Maybe you were expecting me. She put her hand on the door and carefully pushed it open. Stepping inside, she looked around. Where are you? I know you’re here; I can smell you.
Movement out of the corner of her eye made her swing the Katana in its direction. A blur flashed past her and into the hallway. She quickly ran after it. While the vamps were fast as hell, Dana was faster than the average human. The blur zipped from one room to the next. When she followed it into a room, it disappeared. She spun around again; it sprinted out of the room. She ran back into the hall. Dana looked to the right, to the left, and saw it going down the stairs. We have one that likes to play games. Nice.
The vamp was toying with her, trying to tire her for an easier attack. Not all vamps had this super speed. She really hated the ones that did. It made it more difficult to chase them. These were the ones she generally killed while they slept, but Shealynn hadn’t shown any signs of this gift when she spied on her. Figured. The older ones tended to be much wiser and didn’t reveal all of their abilities right away. It generally took years of watching to know their every move, and she couldn’t wait that long. There were others who watched for years, but none of them belonged to her clan of slayers. These “others” specialized in vampyres, learning every detail about them, like watchers, but they got involved and killed. It involved too much damn work. Kill them and get it over with, was her motto. Besides, it was her twin’s job to learn all the details.
Dana ran down the hall and descended the stairs in a blur of her own, and right into the main room. She held the Katana up and waited for an attack. The blur flew from one side of the room to the other. Back and forth, to and fro . . . it was rather annoying, really.
“Enough,” she shouted. “Your games are boring me.” She’d studied Shealynn enough to know how to get her attention.
In mid-stream, the blur changed into a tall, slender woman. Her long white-blonde hair settled down around her shoulders and flowed down her back, almost to her waist. She looked at the slayer with her bright blue eyes and smiled sweetly.
“Bored? Can’t I have a little fun before you try to kill me?”
“What do you mean ‘try’? You’re toast, bitch.”
Shealynn laughed. “Oh, that’s funny. I like you. You have a much better sense of humor than the others.”
“Is that so?” Dana was unaware she’d cracked a joke.
“Yes. They didn’t even try to talk to me, that is, until I ripped their guts out. Then they screamed bloody murder and begged for mercy.” She laughed again, and looked her over. “You must be Yang. I’ve heard of you.”
“I’m honored,” she said with a touch of sarcasm.
“Where’s Yin?” Shealynn grinned widely.
Dana rolled her eyes. Like she’d never heard that one before. “Busy tracking my next kill.”
“You’re fast too; faster than most mortals. I didn’t expect that.”
“Well, there’s a lot more where that came from.” She watched Shealynn carefully. The vamp walked around the room, coming in close. Dana was surprised at how confident this one was, but then they all had that omnipotent confidence about them.
It helped to kill them.
Just as she was ready to strike, Shealynn looked at her. “You know, when he finishes his quest, you’ll die. Even if you succeed in killing me, which you won’t, he’ll seek you out and you won’t have the power to stop him. You’ve never had the power to stop him. He almost killed you once before.”
Dana frowned and held her body steady, though it wouldn’t take much to behead the bitch.
Just a flick of the wrists.
“Ooh, something you didn’t know about, hmm?” Shealynn said with delight, clapping her hands together festively.
The comments were all that kept the vamp alive, and Shealynn knew it. She was dangerously close to her now. Who’s she talking about? What quest?
“Now, if I told you that, you might try to stop him. Though I doubt you could, if you live past today. Besides, he already has one problem to deal with,” Shealynn said, grinning at her.
“How did you know what I was thinking? It’s daylight.”
“I caught the last thought, ‘what quest’.” She walked by her.
A draft of ice-chilled air rushed by, brushing Dana’s arms.
Shealynn waved her right hand around. “It’s annoying, really, to be able to only catch random thoughts during the day, but what’s a woman to do?” She shrugged, and then turned to her again. “I’m sure you’d like to know who I’m talking about, but I won’t tell you. I’d much rather it remains a mystery, even in your death.”
“Well then, since you’re not going to give me any information, let’s get this over with.”
“Yes, please do get on with it. You’ve disturbed my beauty rest.”
“Is that what you call it? Well, you’re still as ugly as you’ll ever be, dear.” Dana smiled. They were all alike, so incredibly vain.
Shealynn shrieked, lunged, and knocked the Katana from her hands.
It happened every time.
Dana sometimes wondered why she even carried the damn thing.
Shealynn turned around and attacked again, her foot heading straight for Dana’s head. Dana ducked and flipped backward. Her feet landed on the wall. She pushed off, somersaulted and twisted in the air, landing flat on her feet in the center of the room, facing her enemy.
“I didn’t know mortals could do that,” Shealynn said.
Dana raised her eyebrows. “There’s a lot you don’t know.”
“No matter, you’re already dead.” Shealynn jumped at her.
“I believe you’re the one who’s dead.” She counter-attacked, kicking her mid-air. Her foot slammed into Shealynn’s chest. The vampyre fell back and landed hard on the floor. She jumped to her feet and spun around, looking for her. Dana came up from behind. Shealynn turned and grabbed her arm, blocking the dagger coming toward her back.
“Oh, you’re good, and quiet. How’d you manage that? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were a vampyre.”
“I had a good master.”
Shealynn back-handed her across the room. She hit the wall and dropped to the floor beside the dagger. Shealynn walked toward her, but stopped halfway with the most curious expression upon her face.
“Who was this master?”
“Mako,” Dana replied. She knelt before the vampyre. The dagger lay concealed beneath her leg.
“I don’t believe this.” Shealynn threw her hands up in the air and clapped yet again. “I had the privilege of killing him, and now I get to kill one of his pupils? Oh, this is too good.”
A surge of anger swept through Dana’s body, but she suppressed it as much as she could. “Why’s that?”
“Because, I’ll bestow upon you the same honor I gave him—a slow and painful death. He killed many of my kind, my family, and for that he had to suffer greatly.”
“Sounds exciting,” she said, trying to keep her distracted.
“Well, for me, yes. Not so much for you, I’m afraid, unless you’re into that sort of thing.” Shealynn tilted her head and grinned.
“You talk too much.”
“Yes. I suppose you’re bored again. I guess I’ll kill you now and get it done with so I can go back to bed.”
Dana smiled at her. “Go ahead you ugly bitch, kill me if you can.”
Shealynn leapt through the air in a full rage. Dana moved her leg, picked up the dagger by the blade, and threw it with lightning speed. It plunged into Shealynn’s heart. She dropped to the floor. The dagger embedded deeper into her chest when she hit the floor, and she screamed. Dana jumped up, flipped over her to the Katana and picked it up in the midst of a cartwheel. On the balls of her feet, she quickly turned. Shealynn began to crawl across the floor. The older ones were never completely paralyzed with a pierce to the heart. She ran toward her, jumped, somersaulted mid-air, and landed beside her. Dana brought the blade down, severing her neck.
Shealynn’s head rolled a few feet before it stopped.
That’s why I carry the Katana.
“That one was for you, Mako.” She kicked the body and pushed it over with her foot. Leaving her foot on Shealynn’s chest, she bent over and grabbed the handle of the dagger. “I’ll take my dagger back now.” She extracted it from Shealynn’s body and walked over to the head.
“You lose.” She pulled out a lock of hair and threw the head across the room with a grin.
She wiped the blood from her weapons and put them away. She walked over to the curtains. This will do. She rubbed her thumb and forefinger together. A green flame appeared, and she moved her hand to the curtains. They ignited immediately. She turned around and walked out of the house with her Katana, dagger, and a lock of Shealynn DiGrassi’s hair safely tucked away in a vile.
From a safe distance, she watched the house burn to the ground. She had to be sure even though she took the vampyre’s head off and took the hair. When the house was nothing but ash, she jumped into her Jeep and drove off.
Now, what was she saying about a quest? She wondered who Shealynn was talking about. And I didn’t have the power to stop him. She tried to piece the puzzle together. That I’ve never had the power to stop him—
Her mind drifted to when Shealynn read her thoughts. It’s daytime, how? I didn’t know they could do that. She wondered what else they could do when the sun was up. It was bad enough the sun didn’t kill these older ones, but now she discovered they could use some of their powers when it was daylight. It would seem the older they were, the more they could do. She was going to have to tell the others about this.
The power . . . .
He almost killed me once before. So many of them had almost done so, but she’d killed them all.
The power . . . .
. . . almost killed me once bef—
She slammed her foot down on the brake pedal and the Jeep came to a screeching halt on the asphalt. The Jeep slid, throwing her tail end out a few feet to the side.
“Mother of all vampyres!”
She picked up her cell phone and pressed the first number on speed dial. “Well, more like ‘Father’, but whatever.” Danny picked up on the other end after a short ring.
“Hey bro, I need all the information you have on MacLeer, and I mean everything you can find.”
“Why, what’s up, Dana? Did you find him again?”
“I think we have a problem, if not yet, very soon.”
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