And the beat goes on.
Punch. Kick. Throat punch. Gut punch.
The beat goes on.
Kick. Punch. Kickkickpunchkickpunch.
The vampire fell at Hildreth’s feet.
La dee da dee dee. The beat goes on.
Hildreth attached the tracker button to the vampire.
“It isn’t the weirdest song I’ve gotten stuck in my head, but it sure ranks up there.”
He activated the button.
“Right next to the original Pokémon theme song. Pretty high flying random.”
Elsie came over to him. “You talking to yourself, Mayhew?”
He looked up at her. “All the time, baby. And let me tell you what. I’ve had some very interesting conversations with myself.”
She laughed and pulled him up to his feet. “I’m sure you have.”
“Ohhh, you don’t have to sound so doubtful. I mean it. I can be pretty profound when I choose to be.”
He smiled. “mm? That’s the only response I get for that comment? Tsk! So disappointed, Els. I was expecting you to acknowledge my wit and brilliance and hard-core profundity.”
“What if I just want to kiss you, instead?”
Hildreth tapped his index finger against his lips as he thought about it. “Hmm, yes. I think that would be a satisfactory substi—”
She swooped in and kissed him. Just a quick tease of a kiss.
“Boooo! Thumbs down, Elsie. That kiss needed to be a whole lot longer.”
“Oh?” She wrapped her arms around his waist. “How about—-”
“There they are!” A group of hooligans marched towards the two hunters. Their leader had overly processed skunk-colored hair. He wore a shredded leather vest that didn’t really do much to conceal his body, a bike chain choker, and artistically torn jeans. He arm-punched the closest hooligan. “Told you I’d find them.” He punched him again. “And you doubted me. Well, look at that, Mr. Doubter Doubtington-Doubtski. I found them. Caught them while they were smooking.”
“Smooking? Elsie, are we smooking?”
Elsie gave Hildreth one more quick kiss. “Not even close.”
She released him and turned to face the fun-interlopers. “What do you idiots want?”
Hildreth scratched the back of his head. “Smooking.”
“The Master of Havaton did not like how you dissed her.”
“Smooking. It’s like there’s a whole vernacular out there that I’m completely unaware of, but somehow Elsie knows about it.”
“Well.” Elsie said. ‘I don’t like how she keeps interfering with our lives.”
“I wonder how I managed to miss out on learning these fascinating, apparently commonplace words. Was I under a rock somewhere or what?”
Elsie elbowed Hildreth.
“Ah!” He cleared his throat. “Sorry. Uhh.” He frowned. “Wait. What were you guys talking about?”
The hooligan leader scoffed. “Now, I can see why they call you The Lovering Machine.”
Elsie’s mouth dropped open. “They call him what?”
“He’s nice to look at, but he clearly doesn’t have any brains or skill.”
“Well, that’s just mean. Mean and petty.” Hildreth shifted into a defensive position. “If you want to drag your doofy self over here, I’ll give you a good demonstration of my skills.”
The hooligan leader shrugged. “Why bother? You’d obviously go down with just one punch. Hardly a worthy challenge.”
“Oh, really? I don’t know. That sure sounds like a challenge to me.”
Elsie stepped in front of Hildreth. “Did you come here to challenge my fiancée? Is that what this is all about? Because if it is, I will have you know that you are mucking with the wrong guy. He will beat your face off fifty times until two Mondays from now.”
“Aww, you’re standing up for your weaker half. Cute.”
Elsie clenched her hands into fists.
“But we didn’t come here to pick a fight.”
“I don’t know.” Hildreth said. “Sure sounds like it to me.”
“Master Incandesca told us to repeat her offer with an added bonus.”
Hildreth perked up. “I get my own personal team of hula girls?”
Elsie elbowed him again.
“Aww, man. Disappointed by so much.”
“You get a lifetime supply of Grecian Urn’s jelly beans.”
Elsie scoffed. “I don’t eat candy.”
“That is true.” Hildreth said. “As for me, yuck. Who wants to eat jelly beans from a Grecian urn?” He fake gagged.
The hooligan leader stomped his foot on the ground. “You idiot! That’s the brand’s name!”
“Tough. Not interested, because seriously bleah!”
He pointed furiously at the two hunters. “Just you wait. Master Incandesca will be so put out by this new refusal. She’ll probably send someone else after you.” He did a big, dramatic pivot and marched off with his entourage.