Hildreth walked alone through the night.
Elsie was at home buried under her blankets with a headache.
A headache. I bet she has a headache and it has Mark Caten’s name all over it in ransom note letters.
“For Mother Eeeeeennnglaaaand and Saaaaainnnt Geeeeoorrrrrge! yaaaaaaaaaa—”
Hildreth spun around and staked the vampire.
I wish she were here. It feels weird to be hunting without her at my side, without that comforting knowledge that she’s just on the other side of the block, just around the corner, just—
He scoffed. “Man! I’m making it sound like she died.”
I wonder if she knows that Caten wants me.
Maybe she suspects it.
Hildreth stopped walking. He pulled out his Bossman 550 as a group of vampires came racing at him. Seriously? Am I the only one human out here tonight? Do I have a ‘Free Meal’ sign hanging around my neck?
He braced himself for the recoil and fired.
Each bolt hit its mark.
Each mark dropped dead.
Maybe that’s why she isn’t out here with me.
“Oh, my! Look at the handsome hunter.”
Hildreth returned his Bossman 550 to the holster on his back and pulled out a couple of stakes from the stake belt around his wrist.
He spun around and she was right there in front of him. A woman in a red sleeveless V-neck dress.
“I’m so cold.” She threw her bare arms around his neck and pressed her body against him. “Why don’t you be a gentleman and warm me up?”
Hildreth was momentarily thrown for a loop. “I’m…I’m sorry, miss. I’m engaged.”
“But you aren’t married.”
He gently removed her arms from around his neck. “And I’m too busy.”
“Too busy? Doing what? Hunting. Fighting. Killing. That sort of thing? So dull. Come on, hunter. All I want is a kiss.” She curled her fingers around the collar of his coat. “I’m so cold. Your kiss would just warm me down to my toes.”
“Like I said, I’m engaged. Find someone else.”
She smirked. “Well. You can’t say I didn’t ask nicely.” She tore his coat open, bared her fangs, and he grabbed her and threw her across the street. She smacked into a lamp post, causing it to vibrate, causing the light bulb to go out.
“Well! Look at you.” She stood and dusted herself off. “Looks like you want to get physical after all.” She ran at him.
He charged at her.
“Not tonight.” He bashed his shoulder into her chest, sending her back against the lamp post. It flickered back on.
She raced back at him and slashed at his face with her claws. He blocked his face in time, but his sleeve got shredded. She tried to bite his exposed arm.
He bashed his arm against her mouth and bashed the underside of her jaw with his other fist. Her teeth clonked together.
“Ow! Ow!” She backed away from him and flapped her hands. “I think I chipped a fang. Ahhhh! I think I chipped a fang! Please could you check for me?”
“Oh my gosh! I can’t believe you think I’m that dumb.”
She stopped her handflapping. “Hey. You bought my slutty prostitute act.”
She charged back at him.
He was ready for her.
His stake hit hard and true.
She fell and her light went out.
Hildreth looked at his shredded sleeve and sighed.
I wish Elsie were here.