Elsie danced a deadly tarantella of kicks and blows. Each move was effortless and graceful. Each move turned and twisted into the next one.
Hildreth wanted to just stand back and watch her do her thing, but the vampires were determined to keep him well distracted.
Hildreth’s dance was hard and brutal with a strong rhythm.
Elsie could count it out in her head.
Over and over.
She longed to step back from the action and watch his moves. But everything within her, all of her years of training, demanded that she stay focused on her own dance.
Distraction meant death.
Daydreaming meant death.
Idle admiration would have to wait for another time, another place, another day.
She smiled and it scared the vampire she was fighting.
He blanched. “Well, forget this.” He turned and ran for his life. Several other vampires followed his lead and bolted.
“I’M NOT DONE WITH YOU!” She ran after them.
They scattered in panic.
Elsie chased after the lead.
He glanced back, saw her coming, and ran faster.
Darndarndarndarn DARN! Why didn’t anyone tell me that she’d be out tonight?
Never mind that.
Need to escape.
Don’t want to die.
Want to live.
Need to get back to the Master.
She’ll protect me.
Which alley was it?
He glanced back again.
She was gaining on him.
Here it is!
He turned right into an alley with his heart pounding in all of the wrong places.
He found the correct wall and ran through it.
Zips and zots of static zapped him all over until he made it to the other side. It frizzed his hair to extreme levels of crazy frizz, but he didn’t care.
Frizzy hair was at the very bottom of his list of worries at the moment.
He had a Marauder to escape from.
He ran straight to the imposing brick townhouse standing before him.
A pair of black iron lampposts stood by the front door, shining their yellow light on the closed door.
Please don’t be locked. Don’t be locked. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.
He grabbed the doorknob and turned it.
He yanked the door open.
And let out a startled yelp.
A black cloaked figure stood on the other side of the door. A crystal and sequin falcon mask concealed the figure’s face.
Maybe it was a man.
Maybe it was a woman.
There was no way to tell.
But the vampire knew.
“Move out of my way. I need to go hunt.”
He shook his head. “You don’t want to do that. The Marauder is out there and she’s more powerful than ever.”
“The Marauder.” She scoffed. “I’m not afraid of that girl. I can beat her any time of the day. All I have to do is threaten her man and she’ll wilt. I know. I’ve done it before. Now. Get out of my way or I will throw you out of my way. I’M HUNGRY!”
“No. It’s too dangerous. Trust me on this. She’ll kill you in less than two seconds and laugh about it. Master, the Marauder is as heartless as the rumors say she is. Please don’t go out tonight.”
Incandesca went into silent contemplation. “Fine. You will hunt for me. Bring me my prey. Make sure it smells good. Doesn’t matter if it’s a man, woman, or child, as long as it smells good.”
The vampire wanted to object.
I just wanted to hide here.
I don’t want to go back out there and run missions. The Marauder will be out in the alley waiting for me. I just know it.
I don’t want to die.
“Is there a reason why you’re just standing there?”
“uhhh, well. You see, I—”
“I don’t care about your explanations. So, just stop.” She paused. “You know, this is all Mark Caten’s fault.”
Oh, no! Not the Mark Caten rant!
“Yes. Mark Caten. Dear Mark.”
She could be at this for hours.
“Lovely Mark. Delicious, seductive, and—”
“Okay. Fine. I’ll hunt for you.” He turned and ran towards the wall.
“—-dark-hearted Mark Caten. My dear former husband Mark Caten. Handsome, sinful Mark Caten who must die!”
He ran through the wall as Incandesca ranted on and on.