A Name Worth Dying For – Part 3

by jeanineoloughlin

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“Hello,” he said in a velvety voice that made my skin crawl. Ben’s eyes focused on the vampire’s face and his expression immediately fixed itself into stubborn hatred. The vampire sat back in a chair and just stared at Ben for a few moments.

“I hate the cliché of the easy way or the hard way. We are both realists aren’t we? We both know no one ever takes the easy route or we wouldn’t be here now,” Lord Otvos said. “So, you can tell us what we want to know and I kill you quickly.” Ben let out an angry cry and tried to lunge at Otvos but his companion had his hands on him before he even left the chair.

“Now, option two is that I torture you, you still tell me what I want to know, and then I drink from you. Then there’s option three; I torture you and if you still don’t tell me what I want to know, I torture you some more right here, in front of them,” he nodded toward Maddie and I. “Then I drink you dry as you stare into their innocent faces, and know that you’re choice has forever scarred their young, impressionable minds,” Ben’s eyes widened in disbelief.

“You wouldn’t… They’re too valuable to you,” Ben looked over at us.

“Well, they’re going to have to learn eventually, and just think, you could be part of their future education,” he purred in mock delight.

Ben looked from us to the vampire and back. Then looking into our eyes he sighed in defeat. The vampire stood up and clapped his hands together. “Excellent! Now shall we go to my office and discuss,” he grabbed Ben by the arm, forced him up, and dragged the broken man into the back.

It wasn’t long until the vampire returned and called his companion to him. He was wiping his mouth with a handkerchief. I saw my mother had silent tears rolling down her swollen cheek. “Philip, go ahead and call Patricia. Tell her to have rooms ready for our guests. We haven’t much time.” The blonde vampire, Philip, nodded then walked over to the far side of the kitchen dialing on a small flip phone he pulled from his pocket.

The vampire knelt by my mother and took her face in his hand. “Mom!” I yelled gripping her hand tightly. Maddie wrapped her arms around my mother’s waist and sobbed into her shirt.

“Now, this is the last time I’m going to ask you. For the sake of your children tell me the name,” his voice was cold and it sent shivers down my spine.

“Mom… please…” I said as the tears spilled over. I couldn’t understand why she refused. What was my father’s name worth?

“You said… you said they would be safe,” she accused the vampire.

“You have my word they will be safe. However, do you really think seeing their mother die in front of their eyes will be a memory they will forgive you for?” he asked in a patronizing tone. I hated being used like that.

My mother’s eyes showed a myriad of emotions at once; fear, anger, disgust, and finally resignation. The vampire leaned his face close to hers and she whispered a single word into his ear. The vampire smiled and backed away.

Just then a crash came from the front door in the living room. Maddie screamed and another crash came through our back door. Several people came rushing in from all around us. Otvos wasted no time, and with the information he wanted and my mother so close he took her head in his hands and whipped it around with a sickening crunch. I went numb all over as her lifeless body slumped to the floor, her eyes still open, staring into the distance. There was instant chaos as both vampires moved to engage this unknown enemy. Someone grabbed me by the arm, bringing me back to reality. I fought to get away until I heard a voice I recognized as Mr. Winston’s. “Come on kid! Run!” he urged me towards the open back door.

“Maddie!” I yelled when I realized I had lost my grip on her.

“Darren has her, just go!” he pushed me forward. I got to the door and heard him cry out behind me. Philip had grabbed him and they were now grappling on the floor.

“Adrian, run!” he yelled at me and slammed a knife into the gut of the vampire. Philip cried out in pain and the two combatants rolled out of sight.

I moved as fast as I could and almost tripped down the steps in my rush. An older woman with cropped silver gray hair and wearing business looking clothes waved me over to her and a large black SUV. I stopped in distrust before I reached her.

“Adrian, my name is Jessie. I’m with Mr. Winston,” she approached me cautiously keeping her hands up in a calming pose. “Nostra per iter tenebricosum.” That phrase was a phrase from the Hunter pledge. We’re taught the pledge as a way to identify Hunters. We only use it in emergencies.

“My sister… where is she?” I asked her as she helped me into the backseat of the SUV.

“I’m sure she’ll be fine. We’ve six Hunters in there,” there was a sound of a window breaking and yells from the house. I moved to get out, but she pushed me back inside. “Stay here,” she said then closed the door, and ran to the driver’s seat.

I pressed up against the window of the SUV looking for the Hunters, Maddie, my mother, anyone. Then Jessie started the engine and pulled out of the driving. “Wait! We can’t leave! Maddie’s in there!” I banged on the window and tried to open the door, but she had engaged the child locks. She said nothing as we raced away, my home and family vanished in the distance.

A half an hour later we were in farm country when she pulled off the highway onto a dirt road to an ancient looking house with a run-down barn behind it. “Where are we?” I asked

“Safe house,” Jessie said. Inside, an old couple sat me down at a large wooden table and gave me a cup of hot chocolate. I didn’t drink it. I kept demanding that they tell me what was going on. Where was Maddie? Hours went by then Mr. Winston came through the door.

“What’s going on?! Where’s Maddie…  the Hunters?” I needed answers. The silence seemed to stretch for an eternity.

To Be Continued…

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