I slowly moved over to my mother to see if she was okay. She winced, but said she wasn’t that hurt. She wrapped her arms around me and told me it was going to be okay. We heard Maddie scream and both sprinted to her room. We got halfway down the hall when the dark haired vampire returned with Maddie in his arms. She was crying but didn’t seem hurt. He handed her to my mother and the three of us sat huddled together on the cold floor. Maddie sobbed, my mother trying to comfort her. It was all like a nightmare that had come to life. My hands were shaking and it was hard to breathe. The dark haired vampire looked at Ben and the other Hunter on the table, then at his companion. “Are these the Hunters you seek?” He had an accent to his voice that I couldn’t place.
“Yes Lord Otvos. These are who killed my sire, Louis,” the blonde one replied. He had an American accent.
“And these?” the dark haired vampire said giving the three of us a side glance.
“I know nothing of them, my lord.”
The dark haired vampire walked over and knelt in front of us. He took my mother’s face in his hand and tilted her head up to look at her face.
“Leave her alone!” I yelled and tried to pull his hand away from her, but it was like a toddler against a grown man.
“The ever vigilant son,” he said and looked me over, a look of shock came over him. I pulled back from him as he reached a hand toward me. Then he looked at Maddie and my mother. He took my mother’s wrist tightly and in an urgent tone asked, “Who is their father?”
“Go to Hell,” she said through gritted teeth. I could see her skin turning red under his firm grip.
“Who is their father?” he asked again. His voice and presence was terrifying. I felt cold and started to shiver.
“He’s dead,” was all my mother said in response.
“All I need is a name,” he said in a low haunting whisper and my mother winced in pain before he let go of her jaw. My mother said nothing and took Maddie in her arms, trying to keep her calm. I took Maddie’s hand and squeezed it as much for me as for her.
I could see the Lord Otvos’ frustration building at my mother’s defiance. He clearly wasn’t used to being refused. He turned to the man on the table who remained unconscious during all this. He sniffed at his neck, which made me gag at the thought of watching him feed. He kneeled in front of where Ben lay on the ground still struggling against the other vampire to no avail.
“Maybe you’ll be more accommodating,” he mused and waved the blonde vamp away. He took Ben by the collar and lifted him up only enough to look into his face. Ben spit in the vampire’s face. The vampire slammed Ben into the ground, hard. Maddie buried her face into my mother’s chest. Ben looked back up at the vampire, fury in his eyes. Blood started to run down Ben’s face from his nose that sat at an awkward angle on his face.
“What do you want?!” I yelled. There were tears building up in my eyes but I pushed them back. I couldn’t just sit here and do nothing anymore. I heard my mother hush me, but I ignored it.
The vampire turned to me in curiosity. “Well, seems like we’ve finally found the reasonable one. All I want to know is who your father is.”
I looked at my mother, she shook her head, but I couldn’t see what harm this could do and maybe it could save our lives. “So, if I tell you what I know about him you’ll leave us alone and go?” I didn’t like making a deal with a vamp, but what choice did I have?
“If I’m satisfied with your answer I promise no harm will come to your family.” Otvos kneeled in front of me eyebrows raised in expectation.
“Adrian don’t!” Ben yelled out. The blonde vampire kicked him in the mouth and more blood poured from his face.
I looked up into Otvos’ face, and took a deep breath to calm my nerves. “He’s dead. He died before Maddie was born and I don’t remember him much. He was a Hunter. He died killing monsters, like you. He had black hair and eyes like mine and his name was Joseph. That’s what I know. Now let us go.”
The vampire looked from me to my mother and then to Ben. “A Hunter was he? Well that’s an interesting story,” he motioned for his companion to take the Hunter again; then strolled back to my mother.
“Tsk tsk… A mother who lies to her own children? You know I won’t leave here without his true name. A father will do much for his children. So why don’t you save yourself and tell me?”
“Leave them alone!” she said in a rage I had never seen before. Her face red and her grip on Maddie tightened. My mother was always so calm and collected it was hard for me to see her so undone by this monster.
“I promise you no harm will come to them. What’s in question is your life. Now… do I get the name?” he stared into her eyes unflinching. I looked away as his gaze sent goosebumps across my skin. I found my hands were shaking again too. I forced them into fists so no one could see.
“Go stake yourself,” my mother hissed at him. From the reaction of the other vampire I could tell it was quite the insult.
The lord vampire shook his head, grabbed Mom by her arm and yanked her up so hard that she lost her grip on Maddie. He was so tall that even with her height my mother had to look up at him. He struck her across the face, hard. I jumped up and put myself between her and Otvos. Maddie screamed and Ben was fiercely struggling against the other vampire and got kicked in the back of the head for his efforts and fell back to the floor. Maddie couldn’t stop crying and I saw a grimace from the blonde vampire. Otvos pushed me back down to the floor and I fell over her. I put my arms around her and whispered lots of nonsensical things trying everything I could to calm her.
When Otvos dropped my mother she collapsed on the floor in a heap. I tried to reach for her, but couldn’t with Maddie between us clinging to me.
“Calm down. She’s not dead yet,” he let out an exasperated sigh. “Now, let’s see what this one has to say,” he grabbed Ben by the back of his shirt and pulled him up into a kitchen chair then slapped him awake. My mother crawled towards us, her cheek bright red and blood running down her lip where he’d struck her. I took her hand and the warmth of it helped calm me.
To Be Continued…