Hildreth staked another vampire.
I fight for the light.
The light that these creatures want to destroy.
The light of humanity.
But what if…
He looked down at the vampire.
He can’t even be sixteen yet.
What if it’s all just a losing battle?
He shook his head.
“I shouldn’t even think such things.” He looked up at the sky. Not dawn yet.
I should find Elsie.
He walked through the crowded street and smiled. “I bet I know where she’ll be.”
Hildreth entered the cemetery and headed for the usual mausoleum.
He heard someone crying on the other side of an altar shaped tombstone.
He glanced over there.
He saw her right away – doubled over and sobbing.
Hildreth ran to her. “Elsie. Elsie baby. What? What?” He dropped to his knees beside her. “Honey, what is it? What? Are you…are you…”
She gave him a stricken look. “Hildreth.”
He touched her hair, her face. “Baby, what is it? What? Are you hurt? Are you bitten? Are you…are you…” He ran his hands all around her neck, searching for the tell tale cyst-like marks.
He found none. “What is it? What?”
She shook her head. “I’m not him. I am not my father. But Hildreth.” Tears streamed down her face. “What if I am? What if he was right? What if I send my children away and I never…I never…”
He hugged her. “Oh, baby.”
She cried into his coat. “Am I heartless, Hildreth? Am I? Am I?”
He closed his eyes and held her tight. “No, you’re not. If you were heartless, you wouldn’t be crying right now.” He rubbed his hands in comforting patterns on her back. “My Elsie. My beautiful, fierce Elsie.”
Hildreth opened his eyes and kissed the side of her head. “I know you, Elsie. You will not become your father.” He smiled slightly. “You’ll become a more aggressive version of your mother, instead.”
Elsie made a sound that was something between a sob and a laugh.
“You’ll be calling random cute guys at the store things like, I don’t know, ‘Hot Lips’ and ‘Smackers’.”
She laughed and rubbed away her tears.
His smile grew with her happiness. “And then if they give you the whole ‘Ehh. Creepy cougar lady. Run away.’ act, you’ll run after them and threaten to kickbox their faces off for dissing your advances.”
She laughed even harder.
“But I will love you, Elsie. I’ll be like ‘Yep. That’s my crazy creeper woman.'” He thought about Tiffany/Gabby’s mental assault and turned serious. “I will never love anyone the way I love you.”