Devil or Angel

It was Halloween. One day a year which I can, in a limited sense at least, show my true self. I was dressed in a red latex outfit which the collar plunges down so that if it was any lower, my nipples would show and cropped so that most of my abdomen was visible as well. I wanted to show as much cleavage as possible. The mini skirt was as short as I could make it and if I bent down, my red silk thongs would show clearly. To complete the costume, I had a red forked tail sewed onto the back of my skirt and had a pair of red bat wings. Red fishnet stocking and four inch heels, also red, made me look even more sexy. I had my nails painted red and I had worn the brightest red lip stick I could find. To complete the costume, I wore a set of plastic red devil horn is my curly hair. My hair is red as well although not the fire engine red which my costume was. Maybe my costume said "Easy" but it was still fun to see the reaction of the men around me.

For one day, I could be the Succubus that I was in real life. My real form has wings, horns, and a long tail as well although not as cute as my costume which I wore was. Yes, I am a demon although the term half demon was actually more accurate. My father is a demon lord while my mother is a human. Well, physically a human. Her heart is every bit as black as the demon who she sold herself to long before them. I had been their special child who was raised to claim ultimate power for them. I had run away when I was seventeen and still hid from them. I was deathly afraid of being captured by them and punished.

All over the Tidewater area, there where Halloween parties. Parties were the perfect place to pick up some new company for the night. Don't get me wrong, I love sex. In my cases though, it goes further. I survive off of emotional energies and get literally sick and weak if I do not have a source. It had been that way for me since puberty. Yes, I can feed off of pain and suffering, but I do not enjoy it in any way. Righteous revenge was one thing, hurting people just to hurt them was another. Due to how powerful my appetites are, if I feed off of any person too long, they will get weak and could possibly even die. For that reason, I tend to switch partners as often as possible, rarely staying with any one man more than a single night. It also helps make sure that no men get serious attachments to me although many seemed prepared to fall in love with me after a single night. I seem to be wired to only be a pure heterosexual, only attracted to men. Luckily, there was a huge number of available young males in the area due to the various military bases.

I have to admit a certain loneliness though. I see people fall in love all around me. I often wished I could find the right man to share my life with. It was impossible, I literally would love him to death. That is why my dreams had been so disturbing of late. I kept dreaming of the face of a man. Long haired with a face like a poet. Extremely handsome. At first, I thought it might be someone I might need to fight. Often evil wears a pretty face after all. The problem is that I found my perspective in many of the dreams was like we were making love. Maybe I was half in love with the dreams and was afraid I would meet the man and could not touch him.

Unfortunately, I am not the only being who hunts humans and unlike me, some are not so careful. A couple of tumbles in the sheets with me causes no lasting harm although they will usually collapse in exhaustion when we are done. No, in the bar were two vampires. Sometimes I am called a "Psi-Vampire" but they were real vampires. They had to drink blood to survive. It had to be human blood, not animal blood. It also had to come straight from a person and not from a non-living container. I did not really understand why that was, the only thing I thought possible was due to some kind of psychic connection. I had not much experience with vampires, most of my knowledge had come from reading.

The two vampires were on the other side of the bar and were extremely obvious to me due to their aura. To the normal people who composed virtually everyone in the bar, they looked like normal people but to me, their aura was that of a rotting corpse which superimposed on their physical form. It was my sorceress's sight interposing itself on the physical world. I shut down my sorceress's sight for a moment and saw that it was two females, both dressed as cheerleaders.

From what I could see, I suspected that they were both in hunting mode and their prey was the young man next to them. Of course from what I understood, not all vampires became what they are willing and many are very choosy about who they will feed from. Like me, some only going after people willing to share and are careful to drink the blood of a single individual once or twice. Others would consume the blood of their victim completely and took unwilling victims. The problem was telling what kind of vampires they were. As well, vampires could bespell a person by looking in their eyes and make them think they are willing when they are really not.

I decided that I better confront them. Taking a person under their complete control just did not sit well with me. It almost looked like these woman might be willing to nuzzle up to the man's neck right in the bar and skip finding a private place. They would push his head to one side, pretend to be about to bite and then stop. There was a cruel malice in their eyes. From what I had read, eventually a feeding frenzy would take over. Young vampires were not suppose to have much in the way of self control. There were many supernatural creatures in the world, many of us having existed since the dawn of man or before, and most of us prefer that man does not know of our existence. Even if I did not care what they did, Vampires attacking someone in the middle of a crowd would create in incident which would produce questions.

Of course I had to be careful with the wings of my costume as I walked through the crowded bar. Unlike my true wings, I could not fold these. Yes, I can fly with my real wings although by the laws of physics, it should be impossible. When I got to the table, one of the girls looked up to me. She locked eyes with me in an obvious effort to bespell me. Of course she did not know what I was but trying to hypnotize the mind of a half demon who was a sorceress as well was pretty much impossible. Even if I had been simply a human sorceress, it would have been extremely difficult. An evil grin grew on my mouth as it became obvious to her that she would not succeed. Foolish vampires. She appeared to have only been eighteen or nineteen when she had died and from the unsure feeling I got from her that she was young as a vampire, a year or two at most.

Concerned, I looked over at the young man who they had been showing so much interest in. Not bad although a bit geeky looking. Very young, just out of high school, likely a sailor just out of boot camp from his extremely short haircut. He was definitely under their control from his glazed expression. There was no way he could decide for himself what he wanted. If he disappeared, it was likely that the navy would consider him simply to have gone AWOL unfortunately. It was not all that uncommon. I wondered if perhaps some of the sailors who disappeared each year suffered from being the prey of supernatural creatures such as these.

I could hear from another table that the guys thought that he was about to get lucky with three women tonight. These other guys seemed to be from his ship although they were a bit older. The other female vampire, the one who had not tried to hypnotize me, looked up at me and stated, "Bitch, we found him first." She appeared to be around the same age as the first one. Maybe they had been sisters before becoming vampires and they did share many of the same features. From what I understood, vampires cannot see auras other than being able to tell a vampire from others. I had only met vampires a few times and most of my knowledge about them had come from my reading and what I had been taught by my mother. I could see auras both due to my half demon heritage and as a sorceress.

"I am concerned about how you plan to play with your new toy!" I responded. I pumped my aura into producing fear mostly focusing on them. It was very unlikely that I could actually frighten them with my aura but they would feel the fear. Others around us started finding excuses to be elsewhere from the effects of my aura. I could push an aura of fear or lust. I was actually better at lust. Once, when I had not been careful, I caused a Baptist priest to try and rip my cloths off due to my lust aura. I had been home schooled by my mother because of the danger that I would reveal secrets when I was young but when I got older my aura would have caused incidents which would have been impossible to explain. Hormones and producing an impossible to control animal attraction would have been a disaster.

Well, now the two vampires knew that I was definitely something other than a normal human. For their expression, the two vampires did not know what to think of me. A wizard would see the darkness in my aura and consider me to be a sorceress who dealt with demons and likely drew much of her power from them. A werewolf would be able to smell brimstone under my perfume. The women likely first considered me to be a werewolf, after all they were the most common enemy of vampires. Suddenly one of them noted my costume and I could see open question on her face. I nodded my head with a wicked smile and suddenly she looked down towards her feet.

Still, the other was more bold or did not understand the byplay between the other vampire and myself. She stated, "It is none of your business! Leave us be." Standing up suddenly, she grabbed the hand of her bespelled target as if to drag him out of the bar. I had a feeling that they would drain him dry although I still had no concrete proof. Sometimes all you have all feelings to work from though.

Starting a fight in the bar would get far too much attention but there was no way that I was going to let the girls take this poor sailor away. Two baby vampires did not seem like much of a threat but it would create an incident. Throwing a ball of Hellfire would certainly get her attention but would attract everyone else's attention as well and produce unwanted questions. Something more subtle would be needed.

Making sure that I kept calm, I replied, "I am curious if I might be able to interest you in a game of pool with winner takes all." With that, I focused the magical energies for telekinesis and grabbed a pool stick from the wall beside the pool tables with the mental hand. It landed into my hands. In the wild atmosphere of the bar, it appeared no one else saw the pool stick fly through the air. As well, half the patrons were drunk and if they did see it, the next morning they probably would blame the alcohol.

The vampire who had been doing most of the talking suddenly registered what was effectively a wooden stake in my hands. In reality, I should kill them because otherwise they will likely simply find someone else for prey. I don't know what stayed my hand, maybe mercy. They were trapped like me. I required emotional energies to survive and they required blood. Both them and I were predators.

I spoke in whisper. As a vampires they could certainly hear me. "This is your only warning. I find you bespelling anyone else, they will be you last. If I find anyone dead, you will find yourself never seeing another sunset. Otherwise, I will leave you both alone."

Suddenly, they were both gone as if they had become mist. I saw a glimpse of them turning and that was it. A normal human likely would have seen nothing at all. Still, wherever they went, they were no longer in the bar. Good riddance to them although I could not help wonder if I would encounter them again.

I turned towards their victim who was still out of it. I wondered what it would take to break their mind control. It did not help that he had been drinking heavily. Since they had abandoned him, why not take advantage of the situation. The thought came to me that he was as much as victim of me as he was of the female vampires but no harm would come from my attentions. As I noted earlier, he was not too bad looking and quite young. If nothing else, keeping him with me would keep the vampires from returning to claim him. As well, it was unlikely that he would actually remember me with any distinction when he woke.

I had already reserved a motel room a few blocks away. It was always good to plan ahead. Pumping my aura into lust and focusing it on him, I could see his body rising to the occasion. I had a way of doing that. Smiling, more friendly than before, I gently grabbed his hand and walked him out of the bar.

I was running late for the appointment which I had set for early this morning. My companion last night, who I had learned his was named Michael, had been shy when we first started but he was a quick learner. Like many men I had met, I had been his first. We had been tearing up the sheets of the motel room most of the night with him collapsing just before dawn in exhaustion. I had registered in the hotel under a false name and had used cash so there would be nothing to track. I left a note on the table asking him to return the key with the key sitting on top of it.

There was no way I could not go to an interview dressed up as a female devil and the suits I normal kept in my office were all dirty. I was wearing the red skirt and top but the wings were sitting in the back seat as I drove out of the parking lot of the motel. I would have to run to the dry cleaners and get my suits from there and change before I could see clients. Unfortunately, the dry cleaners were half way back to were I live in Chesapeake. While I liked the company of men, there were times that I just wanted peace so my house was in southern Chesapeake where little had yet been developed. I had showered in the motel before heading out so at least that was not a concern and I would not need to go all the way home to clean up.

This was an unusual potential job. I only rarely do bodyguard work and was extremely expensive due to the constant risk. Normally my expertise is finding lost and stolen objects, sometimes of a mystical nature. As well, worked sometimes looking for lost people and a bit of hunting from bail jumpers when the price was right. As I had become more established, I did less and less hunting for bail jumpers. One thing I did not do was investigate for domestic purposes. I did not care who someone slept with.

From the bits and pieces I was told, my new client was an up and coming artist who had just moved into the area. The caller I.D. showed his address at the hotel at Waterside. I was not sure how a relatively new artist could afford my fees but he claimed he could. Perhaps he came from a wealthy family. Over the phone, he had sounded spooked although he had not wanted to elaborate until he saw me in person.

Well, my new Mustang was tailor made for dealing with being late. I had just bought a convertible late model bright red Mustang from a car auction. The rental I had a few weeks ago had impressed me so much that I decided to get one of my own. Sometimes a girl just needs to have some fun. It had required just a little bit of magic to get other potential bidders to lose interest in the vehicle and I managed to get the car for under a thousand dollars. While I make pretty good money at my job and manage a few perks beyond that, I as still not really wealthy so cannot afford brand new cars.

As long as a male police officer pulled me over, I was not too concerned with getting a ticket. I could persuade them to give me a warning. That is actually not quite true. There are some men who are only attracted to the same sex. They are immune to my charms unfortunately. Still, there were simply tricks to keep the police from pulling me over as I raced down the highway at over eighty. A touch of magic made the car blur and cops would not remember my car after it passed. A powerful psychic could resist but I had not met any yet on the police force so it was not a major concern.

I slid into a parking space next to the cleaners and jumped out of the Mustang. I did not take the time to shut off the rumbling engine but quickly set the wards which I had placed on the car. Anyone who got near the car would feel an aversion and would not want to steal the car. The lady behind the counter pulled my dry cleaning off of the racks and smiles at the obvious I rush I was in. Smiling back, I quickly swiped my credit card and was off with my suits.

Just as quickly as I could run, I ran back to my Mustang and jumped in and was on my way back to downtown Norfolk in one of high rise office buildings. Provided I did not get stuck in traffic, I should have just enough time to park, run to my office, and change before my appointment. I desperately hoped that there was not a bridge lift this morning.

I had chosen the Tidewater area to settle after escaping from my mother's grasp because of the comparatively low amount of supernatural activity. Wizards likely avoided the city due to Pat Robertson, the famous religious leader. Most people do not like "Suffer not a Witch to Live" to be yelled at them. To be honest he was likely even more corrupt than my mother. Diamond mining in South Africa and gold mining in Liberia. I was not sure why other supernatural creatures seemed to avoid the area. Still, I had not met a vampire until last night in this area and had yet to meet any werewolves in the Tidewater area.

The Tidewater area had many pretensions but little substance. Every few years, there would be a new attempt to bring a profession sports team into the area. Still, this area has a lot of history. Just up the river is Jamestown, the first permanent settlement of the British colonist in the North American continent. As well, many famous battles occurred including the Battle of Yorktown, which effectively ended the American Revolution War with the defeat of the British. The region is also important in the American Civil War including the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimack which the South renamed the Virginia. This area still held the largest naval base in the world to my knowledge.

I had to decrease my speed rapidly as I crossed the downtown bridge so I would not overshoot my exit. Luckily the bridge was not open for a boat to pass. Just off Waterside drive, I pulled into the parking garage. This time, I made sure that the car was completely locked up and that the protective wards were active. Grabbing my suits and purse, I managed to reach my office fifteen minutes before the client was scheduled by running down the passage to my office.

Maybe my beauty was due to being a half demon but there is no reason which I should hate myself because of it. There is also no reason why I should hide my body either. I liked looking sexy. As a result, my suits are all tailored to take advantage of my looks with the waist of my suits form fitting and the collar open to reveal as much cleavage as I can get away with although tame compared to what I normally wear when hunting.

I looked at myself in the mirror and I could see I looked good. Luckily I had a spare set of spike heels in my office but no hose. The red fishnet hose I had worn for the party just would not work so I had left my legs bare. My makeup needed just a bit of touch up and I was ready.

Unlocking the door, I saw that a figure was already waiting by the door. "Come on in." I stated and walked towards my desk. In my haste, I did not pay any attention to him initially and had not bothered to read his aura as I usually do.

I turned to look at him after just a couple of steps and I almost fainted. I had to sit down.

Somehow I found my way to my favorite chair. I took several deep breaths in an effort to calm myself. I had heard the phrase "Weak in the knees" but had never really believed it before. Now I did. It was him. The man who had been in my dreams so often as late. The same handsome face surrounded by a halo of long hair that I was half in love with. There was an innocence about his appearance. The same incredible long blond hair which the man in my dreams had. The body of an angel. He was the client, the man who I was suppose to work as a body guard for. With a measure of calm regained, I looked at his soul. It was a bright white light like I had never seen before.

From his reaction, I effected him the same way. As we locked eyes, he gave an expression of shock. He also collapsed into a chair and we just looked at each other. Maybe it was looking into each other as well. I was afraid that like I could see the bright white light which inhabited the depths of his soul, he could see the darkness which was part of mine.

Finally I asked, "Good Morning, I am Nicolette Darkenwald. I believe you asked for an appointment. How can I help you?" I was pleased how steady I was. I held my hand out to him.

Taking my hand, the man replied, "Wayne Williamson. Good morning. I contacted you earlier on acting as my body guard. I have a few friends who have had dealing with you in the past. Not as a body guard but to retrieve priceless objects. The person seemed to indicate that you were completely reliable as well as having an understanding of the unseen world." His voice was exactly like it had been in my dreams. The phone had distorted his voice so that I had noticed that it sounded exactly the voice in my dreams. From his accent, it sounded like he came from New York but it was hardly unpleasant. Being from Boston originally, I had worked hard to make my voice sound as southern as possible as if I had come from Mississippi or Louisiana.

Nodding my head, I responded, "Yes, you said over the phone that you did not want to tell me the exact nature of the danger over the phone. Who do you think is after you?"

He did not answer me for several moments but then spoke out, "Before I continue, may I ask you a question?" After I nodded, he asked, "I can see auras. To be blunt, I have never seen one which carries the darkness that yours does? I have seen those with dealing with demons but all of them have an evil reputation to match their aura." His voice was completely calm as if we were discussing our favorite colors. Of course I had never seen an aura as bright white as his. Some human who linked with demons had auras as dark as mine. Maybe there was a knight which linked with the forces of light, some kind of holy warrior.

Debating how I should answer, I decided to simply tell the truth. "It is an accident of who my parents were. My mother is witch who linked herself with a Demon Lord. I was a product of that union," was my response. To be honest, I have never told anyone before about this. Was it because of my dreams of him. Was it that his bright white aura inspired trust. I did not know. Often my dark aura would inspire those who served the darkness to consider me a potential ally.

He smiles at me. He seemed to accept my explanation. It was a sad smile just the same though. "I had assumed you were just a sorceress from what I had been told but you are much more like me than I thought. We are opposite sides of the same coin. My mother was an artist, a normal human, but an angel fell in love with her. I was the child of that relationship. Eventually he left my mother. I don't know why." There was the sound of slight bewilderment with the last part. I had heard of half angels before although I had never met one. Apparently angels could be as fickle as demons in their own way. Still, the very idea of actually meeting a half angel without hostility was nothing short of amazing. It would certainly explain his aura and it was interesting that the child on an angel would trust a half demon.

I had to wonder that if a half demon could serve the light, could a half angel serve darkness. I did not think it was the case with Mr Williamson but it showed that our auras had less to do with what we were than one might believe. Less than a month ago, I had battled a woman who had tied herself to a greater demon. Extremely beautiful, she was extremely innocent looking as yell yet was incredibly evil in her soul. Just as evil as my mother or even my demon father.

While most Christians think that Angels and Demons come from their religion, stories about Demons and Angels can be found in many different cultures and many different religions, many of them predating Christianity and Judaism. There are some stories that demons are actually fallen angels. I wondered if my father even knew the truth. It was true that some demons were as beautiful as angels. I am proof of that and my father could appear incredibly handsome when he wished. He could seduce just about any woman when he set his mind towards it like I could with men. It was part of his powers.

"Somehow I have the feeling that whoever is threatening you is not mundane," I offered.

Wayne nodded his head, "Have you ever met a true vampire."

Could it truly be coincidence that I had just encountered that pair of vampires last night. Not likely. Maybe a group of vampires had just recently moved into the area. I responded, "Yes although I have had only the most limited dealings with them. Most of my knowledge comes from having read about them."

"Well, a group of them have tried to ambush me three times. The last time I was just barely able to escape." was his answer. "I am sorry, I don't know what they want from me." He continued with. I could only wonder what vampires wanted with him myself. Did they want to turn him into a vampire either due to his beauty or due to being wealthy. Maybe both. From what I read, someone with angel's blood running through their veins could not be turned into a vampire but maybe they did not know that. Luckily for me, the same was suppose to true with someone with demon blood running through their veins. I could not be turned into a vampire either. It was possible that extortion of some kind as well was the motive although I did not consider it very likely.

Even though my heart seemed to beat faster just looking at him, I told myself not to fall for him and to treat this like business. In truth I needed to bury all of my feelings. "You realize that my fees are two hundred an hour plus expenses?" I asked him. I figured he needed to understand that my protection did not come cheap. To be honest, my heart told me not to charge him anything.

Wayne nodded his head, "Yes, my mother comes from a family of old money and I can afford your fees."

"Could you tell me how the ambushes occurred?" I asked him.

"Yes, the first time I was leaving from a showing for my art. I am showing my works at the Cloud Leopard Gallery. I was waiting for a taxi." He paused for a moment and took a deep breath. The Cloud Leopard Gallery was in Ghent and was pretty exclusive from what I understood. "I knew vampires existed but I had never encountered one. Suddenly, four of them came out from the shadows. I looked at their aura and they each appeared to be a rotting corpse. I simply ran as fast as I could. The second was basically a repeat of the first one except that there were eight vampires. The final one, there were only four of them but they went into the art gallery itself and tried to grab me there." Again he paused but he added after a moment, "I was suppose to be at the gallery last night but I called them up saying that I had a migraine."

"Are you suppose to go for a 'showing' tonight?" I asked. In my mind, I was already trying to think ahead what I would need to deal with vampires. It was sure that a cross would do me little good. A cross would not burn me if I held it but, as has been said many times, you have to have faith for it to work. It was a piece of shiny metal in my hand. Whatever skills I might have, religious faith was not one of them. I guess I could be considered a skeptic of the worst kind. I never considered the Christian god to be all that noble or merciful in truth.

He nodded his head and I stated, "I will attend the showing with you as you companion. Do you have a wife or someone who might have a problem with this kind of arrangement." My heart caught in my throat. If he already had a partner. I needed to stop those thoughts. It was business. Besides, I could find plenty of willing partners in the bars. Was it just that I wanted the love like I saw others at the bars having. Something beyond just lust and single night affairs.

"No, I don't have a wife or a girl friend. My mother died a couple of years ago as well." he responded. I could hear a genuine sadness at the last part. It appeared that there had been love between him and his mother. There had never been anything like love between me and my mother.

"What time is the showing?" I asked, thinking if I had anything which would fit in such a situation. The black dress which I had tailored for funerals was destroyed from the fight with an evil wizard a few weeks ago. Most of my other outfits were either business suits or not conservative enough.

He responded, "It starts at eight and ends around midnight."

Nodding my head, I asked him, "Can you tell me anything about what they looked like?"

With that, he began describing them. None of them sounded like the two girls I had encountered last night. They appeared a little young to be effective. Still, that meant that there were at least ten vampires in the area, likely more. He described that six of the vampires he had encountered had been males and two had been females. All the ones in the smaller groups were in the group of eight. The males had been tall, all over six feet in height. They had all dressed in black suits and the female had dressed in short black dresses. I wondered if vampires always dressed in black. Still, I thought I had enough to recognize them if I saw them.

It appeared that we were almost done for now. I asked, "Where are you staying at?"

"Staying at the Omni at Waterside, suite two-two-two." He did not have a permanent place yet. The security was suppose to be excellent but likely vampires would be beyond their league.

I nodded my head, "How about I meet you there around seven." With that, I escorted him out the door. His backside appeared as attractive as his front side. I had relationships with clients before but I could not risk it in this case. My heart was just too involved for it to work this time.

I figured it would be best if I headed for a few more hours of sleep. As a half demon, I could survive on little sleep but I certainly could not survive on absolutely none. Still, it might be more profitable to see what I could find out about the vampires in the area. Who might know something though?

Instead of going home to get some sleep or going to research more on vampires, I went shopping. Maybe I am a bit selfish but what is the purpose of making money if you cannot spend a little on yourself. It was my own money which I had earned. Vanity was one of the few things I shared with my mother. Whatever else could be said, she was incredibly attractive.

The MacArthur Mall was within easy walking distance of my office anyway. It would be good to get out and enjoy the sunlight. Recently, the city had redone the sidewalks downtown with a diagonal brick pattern replacing concrete. It was pretty attractive, I had to admit. At least during the day there were no concerns about vampires. Most of the mythology I had read on them agreed that they could not stand the sun and would burst into flame under its influence.

Each time I went into the MacArthur Mall, it appeared just a bit more seedy than it had before. I heard that when it first opened, the mall actually had live singers so entertainment. There had also been a restaurant with live animals. They were both gone now. Of course there are several low rent housing areas which were within easy walking distance. As I walked in, I saw a group of black males making gang signs at each other although they did not notice that I saw it. At the moment, there were still some extremely nice stores and restaurants but how long would that last.

In one of the boutiques, I was able to find exactly what I was looking for, a little red dress but not quite as revealing as the cloths I normally wore. Still, it hugged my figure nicely and was extremely pretty. I liked to show off my figure. I have nice curves and it is always nice to show them off. One of the advantages of being a half demon is that I don't have to work to keep my figure. The dress should do nicely for the gallery tonight. It was made from pure silk and was shockingly expensive. Still, I swiped my credit card. Technically I could probably claim it as a business expensive or even charge the client but in honesty, I just wanted it.

To compliment the dress, I went to the high class shoe store and found myself a nice set of red leather spike heels just a little shorter than I normally wore. Like the dress, they were extremely expensive but I had found that leather spike heels were more comfortable than the cheaper ones. You could almost say that stiletto heels were a fetish with me. There had only been women working at the boutique but the male clerk at the shoe store was fun to flirt with. He was pretty young but he had a wedding ring so I did not press beyond flirting. I also heard him talking about his children with other clerk as I entered. How could he support a family while working at a shoe store was something I could not understand.

After that, I went into the lingerie store. That place is always quite interesting and I purchased some new thongs as well as a set of red pantyhose to compliment the dress and the spiked pumps. For some reason, I did not think the red fishnet stockings would be appropriate for the gallery. There was a new scent of perfume which was extremely inviting and I bought a small bottle of it. I don't know why I did but I also decided to visit a salon and get myself pampered for a while.

Still, not all of my visit to the mall was for pleasure. packages of pencils. I would get them sharpened to a point and when thrown with telekinesis, they would make extremely effective weapons against vampires. I figured that I could carry several dozen of them in my purse and no one would be the wiser of it.

Finally, I could get some lunch. The idea of a steak, still bloody, was just too inviting for me to pass up. I had one covered with onions, mushrooms, and gravy. I meet a lot of women who eat what tastes like garbage to try and stay thin. That is something I am extremely glad to be spared.

It was after one when I finished at the mall. I considered simply going back to my office and locking the door. It would not have been the first time that I had napped in the office. Still, the cat likely wanted to be fed and it would be nice to sleep in a real bed for at least a few hours. With that, I decided to head for the parking garage where I had parked my Mustang instead of back to my office.

With just a bit of luck, I would be home in about forty-five minutes.

I had never been to the Snow Leopard Gallery before. Don't get me wrong, I like art but it was not kind of place which I really enjoyed. I got a belly full of smiling at like someone and then backstabbing whenever you get the chance when I was with my mother. Empathically, I could feel the petty jealousies behind the smiling masks just like I had with my mother. My mother had been a wealthy socialite in Boston before she became linked to a demon. She had only been moderately wealthy by the standards of the North East but would be extremely wealthy compared to most of the wealthy of Norfolk. Looking through eyes which were taught by those experiences, the Snow Leopard Gallery was more pretentious than anything.

From looking at the women, I realized I might have overdressed a bit for the party. Most of the woman were dressed far more conservatively. Still, I knew I looked extremely hot in my red dress yet not trashy like I did normally. Yes, I love red, partially because of the way it set my semi-curly golden red hair off probably. I kept my hair much like a slightly longer version of what Farrah Fawcett had in the Eighties. My magic makes it easier to take care of although I have been working on some more effective spells to make it even easier.

Most of the women here were a bit older than I was, in the late Thirties or early Forties with a few quite a bit older. The oldest woman appeared to be in her sixties although had gone under the knife at least once and her true age was had to peg down with any certainty. The women were dressed in a wide variety of styles, some in dresses while others were in slacks, with most of the men, including Wayne, dressed is suits or tuxedos.

Hanging on to Wayne's arms, I definitely looked like I fit in as a younger member of the social circle. As well, there were many young women in the local universities with daddy's money to spend. If anyone asked, I planned to reply that we had met in a club last night and that he had invited me to come to the gallery. I could feel jealousy from several of the women. Some seemed to be because they thought I had landed the man which they had been angling for while others were due to my apparent youth and beauty.

It would not do for anyone to find out that I was his body guard. As such, I had to be careful not to keep scanning back and forth. It is sometimes called "Cop Eyes" and is one of the easiest thing for others to pick up on. Often they will not notice it consciously but will still react to it instinctively. Besides for all of the petty jealousy I felt from others, none seemed to be a real danger. I am not an extremely powerful empath, mostly keyed into lust, but such a powerful anger would set my alarms off. As well, I felt nothing like the coldness and emptiness I would expect from a professional assassin. I was trying to key in on vampires and I felt nothing which felt like the girls I met last night.

A relatively new gallery, the Snow Leopard Gallery was a mix of different types of arts, some paintings, some sculpture, some classic style, and some modern art types. Paintings of various kinds dominated the gallery. There was both oil and water colors although oil was the most common medium. It was hard to be sure but the mixture of modern and classical styles were about even. Animal themes were common with various cats being a favorite animal.

Wayne lead me over to where his work was displayed and I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the other artists embraced darkness in their artwork. To be honest, blood and pain always seemed to sell. Wayne's artwork instead embraced life and had an incredible energy about them and I felt I could almost see the person's aura in the paintings. His medium of choice was oil although he favored bright colors. The base of the artwork was classical although he had managed to incorporate modern art elements into them.

The painting in front of me was the painting of an old lady who was knitting in a rocking chair. Age did not seem to have scarred her but instead seemed to put a lightness in her spirit. Like she lived he life, seen wonders, and now was prepared to give the world to another generation without bitterness. That was a lesson few people could learn in their life, that life was to be enjoyed but eventually it is time for the next generation to take over. The great cycle of life. Granted, I don't know how long as a half demon I might live. Still, I suspect that even I was finite.

The showing went as I expected for the most part. With my mother, I had gone to similar in the past. It started with a short speech from Wayne and the director of the gallery. Wayne apologized for not being able to make it last night. As usual, the speeches were pretty boring and did not pay too much attention to them, preferring to pay attention to the emotions around me more that the actual speeches. Still, I could not but notice that the directors speech was on the vague side.

There was something sour in the director's expression although I could not tell exactly what it was. Mrs Elizabeth Patrick, the director, was the woman who I noted early had cosmetic surgery at least once and most likely multiple times. She was obviously fighting time and losing. Obviously the theme of the painting which impressed me so much was beyond her. She dressed all in black and there was a darkness about her which seemed to match the theme of some of the darker artwork. She would have been the perfect victim for my father. I wondered if I would need to track her down later.

After the speeches, it was time for socializing. People slowly circled around the gallery. This was where an artist tried to subtly sell his artwork. Wine was passed around. I did not have to worry too much about the alcohol effecting me due to my virtually supernatural endurance due to being half demon. Still, I noted that many did overindulge and some of the comments got less cautious as the night progressed.

One of the women asked me who I was. I gave the name Cindy and said that I was a student of literature and liberal arts at Old Dominion University. With all of my studies, it was a field which I could fake having studied it in college. No matter what else I could say about my mother, she had pushed my studies hard. In reality, I had run from home when I was seventeen and had begun to set up the identity which I have now and had never taken any college.

Eventually the number of people at the gallery began to thin. I was wondering if there would be an attack after all tonight. Maybe Wayne having not show up last night had disrupted the vampires' plans. Suddenly, it happened. It seemed like Mrs Patrick disappeared just moments before. For some reason, I did not think it was coincidence. Two figures came from the back door of the gallery with another pair entering through the front. Their aura was that of rotting corpses. Vampires just like the two girls I had met last night. These seemed to have a power behind like them as if they were much older and more powerful than the girls last night and appeared determined. They would not be frightened as easily.

Wayne stated beside me, "It is them!" and I simply nodded my head at him. They should not be able to sense that I was anything beyond that of a normal human.

I made a snap decision that it would be better to see if we could simply distract them and escape. If nothing else, I would prefer to fight where there were less innocents who could get hurt. There was a large modern art sculpture next to the front door which was suppose to be that of a leopard. My telekinesis was not especially strong but it was easy enough to knock the sculpture onto the two entering through the main entrance. It only pinned them for a couple of seconds. I grabbed Wayne's hand and ran for the door. Running directly past them, we got out of the gallery but they were quickly in pursuit.

I did not see any additional vampires outside but he had been ambushed by up to eight and it was quite possible that there were more than that in total. Since Wayne had managed to simply outrun them before, I considered it most likely that they were ready for that. A black Lexus pulled up and I could sense the presence of a pair of vampires through the tinted glass.

There was an alley next to the gallery. I turned and ran down the alley in hopes to escape in that direction but suddenly there were two additional vampire presences in the alley. Obviously this was what they had expected us to do. I concentrated a ball of Hellfire in my hand and threw it at one of the vampires. It would have turned a normal person into ash but it did not seem to do much to the vampire. It definitely hurt it but was not as effective as I was expecting. I had read that vampires were tough but never had actually fought one before.

Pain! One of the vampires which had been behind us had grabbed me and his sharp canines went down on my neck. The figure was female although the aura of the rotting corpse was what I saw more than anything else. I grabbed her and tried to throw her off. She did not have a good grasp and went flying in front of me. From what I could tell, I was about as strong as she was. Unfortunately, her teeth were deeply imbedded in my neck and tore a huge gash. If I had been a normal human, I would be on the ground bleeding to death. As it was, I would survive and it would heal without a scar but it still hurt bad. As well, my new dress was shredded and covered in blood. I did not know which bothered me more.

Grabbing one of the pencils which I had purchased earlier from the dollar store from my purse, I jabbed it into her heart. Suddenly, she went limp. One down but there were three more in the alley and probably more coming. The one behind us was now approaching more cautiously. I could not see him but I could hear his movement. I used telekinesis to throw all the pencils in one mass block at the heart of the vampire in front of me which had been scorched by my Hellfire. Once much have hit home because he went limp and went to the ground.

The two remain vampires slowly continued approaching in a circling motion. I should have saved at least some of the pencils. Using just a bit of will, I activated my armor talisman. From my bracelet came a force field which would stop most attacks although sometime an enemy could find a weakness in it. With my right hand, I drew the dagger which I had captured from the sorcerer / priest which I had fought a few weeks before. The enchantments should allow the blade to hurt even a vampire.

I would need to see what Wayne could do later if we managed to escape. If he could at guard my back, it would mean that I did not have to be concerned with attacks in to directions. While I considered this, Wayne grabbed a piece of wood. It looked like a two by four, maybe from a broken pallet and began swinging it back and forth, keeping the vampire in the rear from getting too close. Wayne showed no real skill with it but I hoped the vampire did not notice.

With there no longer a concern about attack from two directions, I launched at attack of Hellfire at the other vampire. While less powerful than the single ball I had thrown at the first vampire, I launched blast after blast focusing my anger into them. After five blasts, the vampire turned and ran for the other end of the alley. I threw a final blast of fire at him but I missed and he escaped without further scorching. The vampire which Wayne had been keeping at bay with the block of wood turned and ran at the same time. I thought I also heard the door to the Lexus close and it dirve off.

Somehow I knew they would be back although probably not tonight. I also had to wonder about how the vampires had gotten through the back of the gallery. The door should have been locked. I would definitely need to see Mrs Elizabeth Patrick tomorrow. My dress was ruined although at least my neck appeared to be healing. It was healing less quickly than it would from a bullet wound. Injuries caused by supernatural creatures or magic often took longer to heal than normal injuries.

The two bodies of the vampires which I had taken down were still laying where I had dropped them. I wondered what the police would think if they found them. Still, that was quite easy to take care of. The clothing of the male was ruined and I could not find any wallet. It might have been destroyed by my first Hellfire blast along with the clothing or might have been dropped. Luckily, the female vampire still had a purse next to her and I quickly grabbed it. Either the information in the purse might give me some information to where to look or perhaps tracing the auras on the purse would help me to trace the others.

I cut off the female vampire's heads with the knife which seemed to go through them like it was made from butter not flesh and bone. As soon as I did that, the body seemed to start rotting beside me. I threw a ball of Hellfire at it and it burned to ash within seconds. It had been a relatively weak ball and even a normal human body would not burn this fast. I repeated this with the other vampire's body. As well as they worked, I would need to get more pencils tomorrow. Hopefully they would not think to wear body armor.

I could hear sirens. It was time to leave. Otherwise there would be awkward questions to be answered.

We had finally gotten back to Wayne's hotel suite. I proceeded him into the room and checked to see if anyone was waiting for us. There was no one waiting for us, surprisingly enough. It was doubtful that the threshold would prevent vampires from entering like it did with a home. Maybe the hotel was simply too secure for the vampires to attack here. After all, there were almost always guests coming in and out. As well, there was security and housekeeping to contend with. Unless the vampires were security experts, there were also cameras to create additional problems.

In many ways, the suite was just as nice as my house and I had invested a good chunk of money getting my home fixed up. I had left my Mustang in the parking garage and we had taken a taxi to the Gallery. We had walked back to the Hotel, trying to stay as unseen as possible. Wayne had given me his jacket to cover up the blood but I still not want anyone to look too closely at us.

It was actually kind of enjoyable. Most of my time with men was just trying to get them in the sack as quickly as possible. Romance is not what drove me but lust. When I had been thirteen, I had almost killed a boy with my sexual dive. It was then that I learned that I could literally drain a person dry through sex. It was almost like a date. We had walked by the old battleship Wisconsin and through the park next to it. Between us, muggers were not much of a threat.

When we got into his room, I sat down on one of the many couches. The blood had dried so al least I would not leave blood stains. I was extremely hungry though from my body needing to repair the damage so rapidly. I wondered if room service was still available. As well, I considered that I might want to spend the night on one of the couches.

Wayne walked over to me and stated, "I don't care who your father is, you are an angel. You fought four vampires for me and managed to kill two and the rest were driven off."

Suddenly in a softer voice Wayne told me, "I have never seem a woman as beautiful as you are. I have not been able to keep my mind off you." His hand was on my face, gently stroking my cheek.

My body was telling me how handsome he was but I had resolved not to act on it. Still, I could not push his hand away. I knew if I accepted what he was offering, I could never let him go and would drain him until he was little more than a zombie or might even kill him. Tears flowed on my face. I had never cried over a man before.

Wayne whispered, "Why are you crying. I dreamed of you long before I ever met you. Did you dream of me too?"

"Damn it, you know what I am. I am a half demon. A Succubus might be a better way of describing me. I drain any companion who I am with. I move from man to man so that I do not cripple or kill anyone. In many ways I am just as much of a vampire as the ones I killed in the alley. A permanent relationship is just impossible for me," was my responded. It hurt so much to admit it but I had to tell the truth. I was crying harder now.

A whispered question came back, "Do you dream of me?"

"Yes, I dream of you. Are you satisfied?" I responded. Why did he had to ask me.

Suddenly, I found a set of arms wrapped around me. I could have fought them but I did not want to. His arms were warm and comfortable. My mother never comforted me this way. Slowly, I found myself calming down in his arms.

Once my sobs had subsided, he held me out just a little and wiped off my tears. In the same gentle voice as before, he asked, "If we dreamed of each other, why do you think that you would drain me so? Maybe we were meant for each other?"

I swallowed and answered, "When I was Thirteen, there was a boy. I thought I was in love but maybe it was lust. It was so hard to tell at that age. My mother never really trusted me in public schools and had a specific agenda to each me. Well, this boy almost died from my draining."

"Nicky, like you, I am not a normal person. My father's blood runs as strongly as yours. Have you ever had a lover who was not just a normal person?" He asked. I shook my head and he continued, "I would not worry then. Face it, we were meant to be together."

Our lips met for the first time. I had kissed hundreds of men and boys since my sexual vampirism had awakened but this was different. Far different than any kiss I had ever had. I found myself gasping for breath from the power of the kiss. For the longest time, our lips just remained locked together.

I opened myself to his aura and the power of it was immense. I rarely did that, especially this physically close. Most human auras were like that of a small brook. The aura of a powerful wizard might be like that of swift running stream. His was like a raging river. Maybe I would not drain him like I had others. I could only hope.

My body felt hot so close to him. As aroused as I was, it was going to happen unless I was to rip his hands from me and run out the door right now. I could only hope that it was the right choice and not a mistake. I had taken off his jacket before I had sat down.

Reluctantly, I broke the kiss and brought my hands to my ruined dress and I slowly slid it off. It stuck to my shoulder where my blood had dried although the wound was completely healed by now. My dress fell to the floor followed a few moments later by my scanty underwear and hose. I stood directly in front of him completely nude. While I had never been shy about showing my body, there was something that made me nervous standing in front of him this way.

I heard Wayne say something but could not understand him. I was simply too lost in my own thoughts. He spoke again, just slightly louder, "I want to see what you really look like." I knew he meant my demon form. That was a request I had in no way expected to hear. Only at home did I ever release my natural form. I had never had sex with anyone in my true form. The closest I had ever come was the costume I had worn last night.

While I can hold my human appearance indefinitely, it does feel extremely good to return my natural form. At home, I normally transformed back into my demon form. It is like stepping out of suit that is simply too tight. A pair of six foot bat wings appear from my back. I wondered if he had angel wings to match mine. Where a human tail bone is, a long prehensile tail sprouted. While it was as capable as a money's tail, it was not extremely strong. On my head, a set of small horns emerged although mostly hidden by my red hair. My figure and facial features stay the same. To be honest, my body was built for sex. I can change my appearance completely but it is my face.

Wayne smiles back at me. At least her was not repelled by my appearance. Truth be told by the bulge in his dress pants, his was as aroused as I was. I savored watching him undressing. He took his time and he was as nicely built as I thought from what I had seen. He was nicely muscled but was slim like that of a runner. I had lovers which had been body builders and most of them seemed to be in love with themselves. He had no body hair except for at his loins and wondered if he shaved if off or if it was natural.

He took a deep breath and suddenly bird wings grew behind him. Slightly larger than mine, probably a wingspan of around eight feet, and covered in snow white feathers. He could probably fly, just like I could, using his wings. How could an angel like him love a demon like me. Finding my voice, I asked, "Can I touch them?" He nodded his head. My right hand went to his wings and I gently stroked them. They were soft as anything which I had ever felt.

His left arm came around my waist while his right began exploring other parts of my body. It felt like I was on fire all over my body. Nothing I had ever felt had been like this before. Passion is a part of what I felt but it was far more than anything physical. I can only say that I lost control. Need for him took control of my body. Suddenly I was all over him. He was a bit shy at first but I brought him quickly over his caution. Making love with mouth and body, we knew nothing except each other. He took me, or I took him, many times that night. I felt my body climax many times that night. No one I had been with had ever remained with me all night.

Just as the light dawn crept through the curtains, we hit our final climax. It was incredibly powerful and I had never felt anything like it before. For the longest time, I simply remained wrapped around Wayne and trying to steady myself. I saw that he was smiling and that his eyes were locked with mine. I gently stroked his back and watched his eyes close gently. I pulled the blanket over us so if the maid snuck in, she would not see his wings.

I slept like a baby.

Something woke me. Maybe a helicopter flying overhead. I looked up and rubbed my eyes. There was a set of white angel wings wrapped around me. I slid up as much as I could and looked around. Wayne's eyes were still closed and there was a content smile on his face. Last night had been wonderful. I just hoped that it was not just a single night although I was as determined as ever that I would not drain him. Maybe being a half angel would give him the endurance not to be hurt by me.

There was a clock by the bed and I looked over at it. It showed "12:48." I had slept for almost seven hours. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to get up. There would be more vampire attacks against Wayne unless I could stop them. Before it was just business, now it was something more! How much more, I would find out in time.

Gently, I pushed on Wayne's shoulder. At first all he did was smile at me. His eyes remained closed. I stated firmly, "Love, you need to get up. We need to talk." I don't know why I used the word 'Love' but he seemed to notice it as well.

Slowly he slid up as well, grogginess slowly leaving his eyes. He put a hand down in a very sensitive spot. I scolded with some regret, "I would love to but we don't have time." In my mind came how I would make it up to him later.

In a voice still fogged slightly with sleep. He responded, "Alright! Is it about us?"

Shaking my head, I answered "No, although we will have to talk about us soon." I paused for several moments before continuing, "No, it is about the vampires who are after you."

He nodded his head, "Just want to say before you continue that I don't want to lose you." I could help but smile. He was already extremely important to me as well.

Still, I needed to get to the business at hand. "So, I am curious what made you come down to here?" While I talked, I concentrated on bringing back my human seeming. Wayne is the only being, other than my mother and father, to have ever actually seen my demon form.

He looked at me for several moments before answering. Suddenly, a look of suspicion dawned on his face. He connected what I had thought last night. He stated, "I live in New York just outside of the city itself. I had my artwork in several gallery and I was getting a lot of interest although never as much as I had hoped for. There were simply too many artists which I was competing with. I got a call from Mrs Elizabeth Patrick. She told me that she was the director of the Snow Leopard Gallery and that she had seen pictures of my work in New York. Mrs Patrick offered to show my pictures in her Gallery and even pay for my traveling expenses. She told me that while there was a smaller market in Norfolk but that there was also far less competition and that my paintings should sell well. It sounded like a great deal at the time to be honest."

I simply nodded at first. Then I asked, "I have to be honest as well. I am pretty suspicious of Mrs Patrick. She disappeared just before the vampires appeared. Did you know anything about her?"

"Just a little bit. I asked some other artists who I know. One of them used to live in Norfolk. She was suppose to be pretty wealthy and her gallery was suppose to be pretty exclusive. He had tried to get his works into her gallery and had been refused. The only think really funny was that the style of my works did not seem to fit with her gallery's theme. Most of hers have a dark tone. I figured that she might be broadening the scope of her gallery," came his answer.

"I am curious if you have talked to her any since you have been down here. Maybe she has told you a bit about her background?" I asked Wayne.

"Well, I have talked to her a number of times although she has told me little about herself. She seemed to prefer to talk about her artwork, especially the works which involved dark themes and themes of death. No, she is not a artist. She was talking about her collection. I have talked to some of the others who work at the gallery. Although no one said it directly, it sounds like she is pretty difficult to work for. She is in her early Sixties and has been divorced several times. No children apparently. Her latest husband died mysteriously and she collected a vast amount of money from a number of insurance policies," Wayne answered.

"Well, I think I will need to pay a visit to her home. I am not sure exactly how she is tied to this but something just feels wrong. I would say it is most likely that the leader of the vampires offered her the usual deal. Immortality for something from her. Something to do with you although I am not sure exactly what. Many people come to demons and make pacts for Immortality as well." I paused for just a moment or two before I asked, "Do you know where she lives?"

To my surprise, he nodded his head, "She invited me to stay at her place. She gave me her address so that I could get there. I told her that I did not want to be an inconvenience and would stay at a hotel instead. I suspected that the time that she wanted me to stay in her home so that she might try and seduce me. Of course that was probably how she originally planned to trap me. " He gave me the address as Four Seventy Eight Jacob Drive, Virginia Beach. If it was where I thought it was, it was very exclusive neighborhood with huge yards and extremely expensive homes. It was near where the mayor of that city lived. He was probably right that she originally planned to have the vampires capture him while he was in her household. It is probably sound proofed so there would have been almost no chance of anyone noticing anything suspicious. Probably the attacks at the gallery were a secondary plan after he had decided to stay at a hotel instead.

I slowly slid out of the bed. Looking down at it, I was that the dress which I had been wearing was ruined completely. It was even more obvious than it had been when I had taken it off. Luckily, I kept some cloths in my office. Actually, probably more than I should. My office was actually only a few blocks away in one of the high rise towers. I thought about wearing a bathrobe and sneaking over there but I had a better idea.

I asked, "Love, could you do me a favor?"

"Angel, you need only ask," came his response. Angel was just not a name I was used to be being called. Of course it was also the name that evil woman who I had fought a few weeks before also called herself. Still there was something special about the way he said it. The nervousness about that must have showed because he stated, "You are my angel. I said that last night and I meant it. Understand?"

I nodded my head. "My dress is ruined and would attract just too much attention if I was to try and wear it. Stopped by the cops and asked questions would create potential problems. My office is within quick walking distance. I was hoping I could send you to my office to get some cloths of mine." In the daylight, he should be fairly safe from vampires.

He smiles back at me and hopped out of bed to get dressed a moment later. He stated, "While I am out, why don't you shower and order us some food. I am hungry and I am sure you are as well. When I get back, we need to talk about us."

Us! I did not know how to react to the word but is was an us. I needed him and I hoped he needed me. How could all of this have happened in a single day.

I had thought long on how I would question Mrs Patrick. I needed to get in and out of her house before full dark. I had checked the address on my laptop and it was where I thought it was. While I could look up the address on the Internet, I had no plans for her house so the whole plan would have to be seat of the pants to some extent. The people who lived in the community would be suspicious of outsiders so I had to come up with someone who they would expect.

The plan I eventually came up with was that of a delivery driver. I rented a white van and bought a bouquet of flowers. Because I had used it before in skip tracing, or bounty hunting, I had a delivery uniform already. I also had several uniforms which were designed to look like hotel staff. People do not usually notice people who they expect to see. Instead of using my normal human seeming, I looked like a dark blond haired woman who was extremely slim and petite. I would not be recognized by anyone in my present form and my size would make me extremely unthreatening.

It had taken quite a bit of talking to convince Wayne to wait for me in my Mustang in case I need him. I did not want him directly involved just in case something went wrong. After discussing what had happened last night and our relationship, we had decided that he would stay at my house tonight instead of the hotel and he would call off from going to the gallery due to having a migraine. There was much more we needed to talk about anyway.

The white van slid to a halt in front of the house. I made a big show of trying to park the monstrosity properly. Slowly, I grasped the flowers and stepped out of the van. After making sure that the vehicle was locked, I started walking towards the house while looking around. So that no one would think to write down the licence plates, I cast a ward quickly on the van so people would not pay attention to it. There was a silver BMW sitting in the driveway so it appeared that she was home.

The building itself was a huge brick structure with a two car garage. Almost a mansion in its own right, I had to estimate that the building probably had over a dozen rooms from the number of windows, possibly more depending on how far back the house extended. The sides of the house were partially obscured by trees and there was a huge lawn in the front. The houses around this one looked similarly expensive to this one and most had at least one extremely expensive car sitting beside them.

I slowly walked up the cobblestone walkway to the front door, looking down as if slightly nervous. It looked like it took me several moments to gather enough courage to ring the doorbell. I hoped that she did not keep permanent servants in her house. They would make the situation far more complicated. I made a quick psychic scan of the house. There was only the aura of a single woman in the house. She was upstairs and the aura matched that of Mrs Patrick from last night.

It took a few minutes for the doorbell to be answered but I felt the aura of Mrs Patrick slowly came down the stairs and down to the front door. I kept my psychic senses keyed up and from her position, it appeared that she was peeking through the peephole at me. I concentrated on looking like an innocent flower delivery driver and held up the flowers. It much have worked because after a few moments Mrs Patrick opened the main door. I smiled up at her nervously and stated, "Flower delivery."

She then opened up the exterior glass door so she could take the flowers. It was my chance. Taking her by surprise, I pushed her into the house and slammed the door after us. No matter what form I take, I keep my strength which is greater than any body builder. Even though she was both taller and heavier than I was, I was strong enough that it would near impossible for her to resist.

Using telekinesis, I closed the front door while still holding her. It would keep anyone from seeing or hearing anything. "Isn't this interesting?" I asked, voice extremely calm and locking my eyes with hers. She showed definite fear in her grey eyes.

She fumbled a bit with her words before answering, "What do you want, Money? I have lots. I will pay you if you let me go."

Shaking my head, I responded, "Not looking for any money. Looking for information about your new allies."

"What are you talking about," came her response. "I just run an art gallery. Looking for one of my patrols" I could see that she was pretty quick witted even as scared as she was. Also I could tell she was willing to sell out one of her patrons if she get escape. Honor was not something she had in her makeup.

While keeping my eyes locked onto hers, I shook my head. I replied, "No, you have made allies with a group of...oh." I paused for a few moments before adding, "Lets call them what they are. Vampires. You are working with a group of vampires."

"You are crazy! Vampires!" she responded virtually instantly. She had attempted to make her voice sound like she was scoffing at me but was not very successful.

"Sometimes it is a very bad idea to play games." I added an aura of fear when I said it. I had to be careful that I did not scare her completely though.

Her eyes got even wider than they were before. She spoke out, "If you know about the vampires, you know they will kill you?"

"I am sure that they will try." I responded with a malign smile. "I just want to know a few things about them." I added. She just nodded her head and I stated, "I have been watching you gallery for a few days. I have been noticing an interest in a specific artist. The vampires tried to ambush him last night. Why is that?"

"The Mistress Charlotte simply stated that she wanted him alive for some reason. She has not told anyone why although I heard some speculating for some kind of magic spell. They also seem to think that she had been a voodoo priestess before she became a vampire. She is extremely angry that the young man has not been brought to her yet."

"So, tell me how she got in contact with you? How long have you been the Mistress Charlotte's human servant?"I asked. I wondered if this mistress Charlotte was a master vampire. It seemed likely that she was. Master vampires are more powerful vampires who often lead large groups of other vampires.

Apparently she had given up trying to fight me because she answered quite readily. "Mistress Charlotte came to me a few months ago, offering me eternal life in exchange for luring an artist from New York down here. She came to my gallery. I did not know her before then."

"Now, tell me where she lives?" I asked.

She shook her head, "I don't know exactly. I heard some of her vampires talk about coming down from Williamsburg but I don't know any address." I wondered how long she might have lived in Williamsburg. It was one of the oldest cities in the North American continent. It was near Jamestown, which was the first permanent British colony in North America. It was pretty interesting that this vampire had chosen Williamsburg and I had to wonder how long she had lived there. She could have been an original settler to Jamestown as a vampire.

"I think you might want to consider not saying anything about me to anyone, especially the Mistress Charlotte or he minions. Vampires tend to not be very forgiving of those who turn on them. Death is usually the least painful part. If fact, if you survive, you may want to consider if you really want them as your friends."

It took little more than a simple twist of will and she fell asleep, collapsing to the thick carpet. I considered searching her house for valuable information but my thoughts were that a quick escape might be better. If the van stayed in front of the house, someone might decide to investigate. Even with the ward designed to cause a person to pay no attention to it, people might get suspicious after a while. Wealthy neighborhoods like hers were notoriously nosy.

After dropping the rented van off, Wayne and I were headed towards my house in southern Chesapeake. The sun had not quite set but I was calling it an early day. The roads down here were not as well maintained as they were in the more populated sections of Chesapeake but I preferred to live in the comparative seclusion. Wayne was the first lover who I had brought down here. In most cases, I had simply rented a motel room for the night when I spent the night with a man although in some cases I had gone to their house.

From the passenger seat Wayne asked, "So what made you chose Virginia, especially here? There are places with larger populations of sorcerers and I have heard that nearby is the home of a powerful televangelist?"

"Pat Robertson, you mean," came my response. "Yes, he lives in Virginia Beach and Regent University is a large religious school. I cannot say that I don't despise the man. There are few more corrupt individuals than him. His latest scheme is gold mining in Liberia."

I paused for a few moments before continuing on, "This area does have a few advantage. As you know, I feed on emotional energies, especially sexual energies. The large number of sailors allows me to keep finding new partners to feed my lusts without creating suspicion. The large tourist trade also gives the potential for additional partners without commitments. Most simply leave after a few days and never come back."

"As far as other sorcerers, I chose this area due to the relative lack of supernatural occurrences although there is a small number of sorcerers and witches in the area. Due to the area being comparatively quiet, it seemed to be the perfect place to hide." I told Wayne, my eyes flickering over to him to see his expression. He appeared neutral although I though I saw just a bit of curiosity in his face.

"When I got back from getting your stuff, we talked just a little bit about what happened last night. You admit that you have dreamed of me and I know I have dreamed of you. I really want to try and see if we can make this relationship work. I know that I have only known you for a short time but I love you." There was a shade of worry in his voice.

I snuck a longer look at him. There was little traffic to worry about. I really wanted this relationship to work as well. I could only hope that being a supernatural creature as well, I would not drain him of his life energies. It seemed that I had already fallen in love with him as well. "Yes, I would like that too," I answered him, my voice slightly husky.

"I heard from another artist that there is a large studio in Norfolk. I was thinking I might be able to stay down here and work out of there for a while." Wayne told me. "Also, maybe we could go back and forth. Stay down here for a while and go to my home near New York from time to time as well."

I shook my head, "I am not sure how wise that might be. The last place my mother lived was near Boston and I know she used to go down to New York as well. While the odds are against meeting with her, I don't know if I want to take the chance. She preferred Florida for vacation and avoided here due to Pat Robertson."

He reached out and gently held my hand closest to him. "Angel, I would not worry too much about it. I am sure that we can work out something," came his response, voice with just a touch of sadness.

"Love, we will have many problems but as I said in the hotel room, I will try my best to make it work. While I have had hundreds of lovers since coming down here, I have always felt a certain loneliness as if I have been empty. You fill this void and I hope that this is forever."

Wayne simply sat quietly beside me. It only took a few more minutes for me to reach the driveway of my house. It seems that with my job, I rarely get home when if is not dark out. While on its way to setting, the sun still reached me with its golden light. Beside where I parked was the Ford Taurus sedan which I drove when I needed a less noticeable car than the Mustang.

As soon as I was parked, I checked the master wards protection the house. I did not want to take any chances if I was dealing with a several hundred year old vampire who knew voodoo. There were no disturbances of the wards by anything but animals. My cat had decided it wanted in and the grey fox who kept investigating my trash cans for food decided to visit as well. The fox and my cat seemed to leave each other alone. All was well.

As I led Wayne to the front door, I deactivate the master wards against him so that he would not get hurt. I kept multiple layers of wards. The first layer was designed to deal with normal people and were just designed to warn them off. The wards simply caused fear and nervousness in anyone coming close to the house. The second and third layers were designed to deal with other practitioners of magic and supernatural creatures. They were designed to stun them if they tried to enter my house. These would have hit Wayne hard if he had tried to enter without me lowering them against him first.

My home was an old four bedroom farmhouse and had been in rough shape when I had first bought it. The barn was long gone although there were still a few remnants to indicate where it had been. I had made allies with some brownies to help fix up the house and hired contractors for the work which they could not do. The inside was not as exclusive as that of Mrs Patrick but it was still extremely nice.

As soon as I ushered Wayne through the door, I was able to drop the wards back down and I felt a great relief. The wards were not absolute protection but there were still powerful protection against the outside world. I did not use it much but the first room would be considered a living room which I had couches ring the walls.

I motion to the couches and told Wayne, "Go ahead and sit down for a while. I am going to go upstairs and change. I have some work I have to do tonight to see if I can find where the head vampire lives." The work would involve both spell casting and book research. I wanted to check my books for additional information about vampires, especially master vampires. He sat down on the couch and placed his suitcase beside him.

Without any further words, I ran upstairs. Normally when I was home, I wore nothing. Even though Wayne and I had been skin to skin just hours before, I did not feel comfortable just wandering around the house in the nude with him. Actually it probably would be a good idea to wear some clothes. Otherwise, I was most likely to get distracted and not get any of the work done I needed. Even so, the distraction sounded like fun. Later, maybe.

Quickly I tossed the clothes I was wearing onto the bed and shape shifted into my natural form. It did not seem to bother Wayne any, in fact he seemed to like it a lot, and home was one of the few places I felt comfortable assuming this shape. Grabbing comfortable clothing, I put on a pink baby doll shirt and a red loose cotton skirt. I did not worry about any underwear. When I looked in the mirror, I looked almost like a demon cheerleader in the clothing. All I would really need would be a pair of pom-poms. Still, the skirt allowed my tail relatively free movement.

I slowly came back downstairs to see Wayne with his eyes closed on the couch. His shirt was off and he had allowed his wings to sprout from his back. Sebastian, the black tomcat who adopted me, was on his lap purring. Sebastian was quite a bruiser, as large as a small dog, but could be friendly with those he considered worthy. I never understood his selection process. Cats do not seem to follow the rules of heaven or hell.

He probably needed his rest to be honest so I simply sat down on the couch and he looked over at me with a smile. After that, he closed his eyes once again and continued petting Sebastian. We would need to get some kind of dinner. Probably should have stopped at Hardees on the way home. I did not keep much in the way of groceries. My skills did not include cooking however good my mystical skills were. As you can expect, I avoided alchemy as well.

After I had made myself comfortable, I began going through the purse of the vampire who I had battled last night. I had meant to get to it much earlier. There was no drivers licence in her purse. Either she relied on using her hypnotic abilities to deal with the police or she did not drive. The second seemed unlikely when I pulled a set of keys, including car keys, out of the purse. That would mean that she was not all that old due to having most likely been born when automobiles existed. From what I have read, most vampires do not pick up many skills after the go over although they can. On the car keys was the word "Honda." I wonder if the others had taken her car or if it had been towed. Much of the usual was in the purse. There was perfume, lipstick, and other cosmetics in the purse as well as a number of credit cards in the name of Diane Bryant. There was also several hundred dollars in cash. Idly, I wondered for a moment how she made her money.

If I could get a good psychic reading off of her stuff, I might be able to figure out where she lived. It was a long shot but it was possible. Finishing looking through her purse, I told Wayne, "I am going into my work room. I don't know how your auras will effect my magic. Why don't you continue entertaining Sebastian? He seems to like you." The cat looked at me with suspicious eyes as I slid from the chair and headed into my magical work room.

My work room was not originally part of the house and appeared to have been a workshop for the previous owner. It had been redone in a similar fashion to the rest of the house with the entire floor having been done in stone tiles. I had hired contractors to have that done. When I had first moved into the house, there had been religious writings all over the walls including "Suffer not a Witch to Live." I wondered how he would react to a witch and demoness living in his home now.

The room was separately warded with the wards designed to contain as well as protect for the outside. I had not done any summoning in my work room but I cast virtually all of my ritual magic in the room. As well, the doors and windows to the room have been reinforced. I never left the room unlocked just in cases someone got into my house somehow.

This was an comparatively easy ritual I was planning to perform tonight. A large marble table dominated the center of my work room. On it, I laid the items from the female vampire. The keys would the first object which I would try and get impressions from. The money would be my last choice for getting impressions from. Money often carried a huge number of different impressions. Some say that money is the root of all evil. I dispute that to some extent but it still is a major cause of evil in the world.

I began chanting my spell over the keys, working to clear my mind to be in the proper state to receive visions from the keys. Slowly I build magical power to feed the ritual. It was not a major ritual and I had restored all of my reserves since battling the vampires last night.

Finally I locked onto a vision. I felt pain. A man was being attacked by the female vampire who I saw in the alley last night. Along with pain coming from him, I felt pleasure coming from the vampire as she sucked the life from the man along with his blood. It was akin to my pulling of life energies from a person but fed on pain not pleasure.

After a few minutes, the visions flashed to another scene of her feeding. Several more scenes of feeding followed that one. It seemed like there was no end to the scenes of her feeding. Blood sprayed everywhere in several of the visions. One was in the back seat of her car which was some kind of black foreign car. It came in flashes so it was hard to tell but it did appear to be a Honda of some kind.

A new vision flashed. In her mind, I could feel panic. The sun was coming up and she was fumbling with the keys trying to get the door of a house open. Beside the door were the numbers 1137. She got through the door just moments before the sun climbed over the horizon. If I could find that location, it was quite possible that I could find her mistress's lair as well.

As if the thoughts of her mistress provoked new memories, the vision shifted again. This time it was accompanied with a feeling of fear. The vampire who I had killed yesterday was bowing to another figure. There was a number of other figures bowed in supplication as well. The individual she was bowing to also appeared female and had long straight jet black hair. The woman was dressed in what appeared to be a dress straight from a civil war movie. A better way to describe it in reflection might be to say that the costume looked like something Scarlet O'Hara might have worn in "Gone with the Wind." The dress was bright red and purple with a Victorian style low cut collar which showed virtually the whole upper part of her breasts. The woman was extremely beautiful although her ethnic background was hard to tell. There did appear to be a hint of Spanish in her appearance. I had to wonder if this was the Mistress Charlotte. Though the fear that the bearer of the keys had to her, I suspected it was. There was an aura of power from her which I could feel even through my impressions.

Fangs extended as she spoke, "Diane, you better not fail me again. I want that angel brought here before the sun rises or you will meet my wrath."Anger carried over in her voice and her eyes were black pools of midnight.

Meekly, the lesser vampire responded, "Yes, Mistress." That answered my question if it was Mistress Charlotte.

With that, the vision faded. I rarely get visions of this long and I had found out a fair amount about who I was dealing with. Taking a seat beside my work table, I slowly caught my breath and recovered my bearings. The visions can be very disorienting. As a result, it is always better to use the ritual under protected conditions. Of course, there were several ways to proceed with the situation.

Once I recovered from the vision spell, I cast a quick purification spell on my table. I did not want psychic images becoming part of the table itself. I had heard they can actually become permanent in some cases. They could interfere with later vision rituals or possibly other rituals. A few moment to cast the cleansing ritual was easy enough anyway.

I had plans on going to my library to research on vampires but as I left my workroom, the fantastic smell of cooking assault me. After I locked the workroom door, I wandered into the kitchen. Even though I did not use it very often, I had the room redone including all new appliances and had it fully stocked as far as plates, pots, and pans. The most I ever really did in the kitchen was make toast. Even I could make that without screwing up.

Wayne was standing in front of the stove with a stainless steel spatula in hand. I could see that he had put an apron over his bare chest and was dutifully watching something in a pan. I wondered what I had that he could cook. As I walked over to him, I saw a plate of pancakes already ready. I had bought instant pancake mix with high hopes but when I tried to make some, all I managed to do was burn them. I even had bought a bottle of real maple syrup but never even opened it. His looked like the ones pictured on the box.

Taking the final few steps over to Wayne, I wrapped my arms around his waist from the back, being careful of his wings. Rubbing my nose against his back, I took in the clean scent of him. "Hmm, I think I should keep you just for your cooking skills. It sounded like you mother was pretty wealthy. I am surprised you ever learned how to cook," I stated.

"My mother did have a cook who worked for when I was little but I always liked cooking so I taught myself how to cook," came Wayne's response. His hands gently went back and brushed my waist. "So what did you find out?" He asked after a moment.

"I have a possible address number but no street name. I think it is somewhere in Williamsburg. I am think that maybe through a little bit of searching, I may be able to find the address although it will likely take some time,"came my answer. "I don't know if it is only the female vampire's lair or if it is the lair for all the vampires though." Of course I was thinking of an alternative plan which did not involve searching for her lair.

Wayne flipped a final set of pancakes onto a platter and stated, "Dinner is ready. It was all that I could find so I hope it is alright?"

I sighed for a moment and replied, "Sorry, but I am not much of a cook. I can almost burn water. About all I ever do is make a bit of toast. Otherwise, I usually stop somewhere to get food. I stocked my kitchen in the hopes that I might learn to cook but never have picked up the knack. Always pretty busy anyway."

As he pulled out a pair of plates, I broke my hug on his back and grabbed some silverware with the idea of setting the table. It was a little humorous due to the fact that I never had set the table before and could not remember the proper places for the forks and knives.

There was a massive wood table in the kitchen. It had come with the house and likely had been in here virtually since the house was built. When I moved in, the table had been in rough shape with burns and deep gouges in it. A variety of stains also darkened the wood. The damage would have been impossible to repair by normal means but the Brownies had magically restored the table. Even though they had been able to restore it until it looked new, I would not want to use it as a magical work table. There were simply too many memories in the light colored wood.

We sat down and dug into the food. As a supernatural creature, I do not have to worry about getting fat and will keep my figure into eternity. It has to do with what your demon father or mother is. My father is a prince of lust and power, therefore has an extremely handsome body. A demon prince of greed might be extremely fat and if he produced any half breed offspring, they likely would take after him in appearance as well. Of course, there is a price to pay for being a supernatural creature. Many supernatural creatures need special sources for their energy. Mine comes from lust and sexual energies. As well though, I have to eat huge amounts of food. I have to eat as much if not more than a professional body builder. From what I could see, Wayne needed to do the same. If Wayne could cook, it might be a good idea to go to the grocery store.

There was a lot to think about while I ate as well. For one thing, was I still actually working on contract for Wayne. While I had not done it often, he was not the first client I had even slept with. Of course I did not charge for that. I laid down my fork and asked, "You hired me just yesterday to act as your body guard. We do need to figure out where our professional relationship is?"

He laid down his fork after a moment and answered, "Good question which I don't have an answer for you. If you want to consider yourself still under contract, I am willing to pay all expenses. Still, I have to be honest in that I consider my money already yours."

I simply nodded my head, "Yes, I understand. I don't really have any good answers myself."

He teased back, "Well, I could always hire you as a permanent body guard."

"Wayne, unless we deal with the vampires, they will continue hunting for you. You will need a permanent body" I stated with my tone as serious as I could make it. He simply nodded his head.

Suddenly I had an idea who I might be able to deal with the vampires. It was time to broach the plan I had just been thought of. I continued with, "I have an idea on how to deal with them but it involves selling you out."

He looked scared and I hastily added, "Of course not for real!" After he had taken a deep breath, I told him, "The mistress of these vampires wants you alive for some reason. I will try doing some research but don't know anything a vampire would want a live angel for. Somehow I don't think she wants you as a sex toy even though you skills are quite amicable to that career. My idea is to set up a meeting and see what the vampire wants with you. I will tell her that I have you in safe keeping and will not reveal your location unless she pays me two million dollars. You will stay here and hopefully be safe" He nodded his head again. He did not look happy about the plan but it did not look like he was going to fight me on it.

It was time to broach another subject. "I am curious if you ever have had any hand to hand or firearm training?" I asked.

Wayne shook his head, "Sorry. I have not really had any magic training but I can create an aura that causes others to leave me alone. Kind of an aura of holy wrath you might call it." It sounded a lot like the aura of fear I could create.

"Well, I really have no had any martial arts training myself but my mother did teach me how to use a knife and I picked up shooting on my own,"I told him. "We need to have you learn to defend yourself. We don't have time for you to learn any hand to hand fighting in the time we have. Still, tomorrow we will go to the range and I will show you how to shoot." Basic shooting skills can be picked up quickly, especially if a person has a good eye and a steady hand.

I wish I knew someone who could make silver rounds. From what I had read, they are not as effective as wood against vampire but silver would still hurt them. Of course I could put a temporary enchantment on the rounds which would allow them to hurt vampires as well. Still, maybe while I was at the range I should see how much the equipment to cast bullets would cost.

Dinner was done and I had to do some research in my library before I went to bed. I grabbed my plate and started towards the sink. The Brownies would clean the plates when I went to bed. They enjoyed the work and were better than any dish washer. Wayne got up the same time to carry his plate to the sink. He appeared about to wash the dishes.

I stated, "Don't worry about the dishes. They will be taken care of." I noticed that he had spilled some maple syrup on his chest. He had not put a shirt on when we sat down to eat. My finger seemed to travel to the golden glob of almost pure sugar on his chest and I stuck it between my lips a moment later. I gave Wayne a wicked smile and he smiled back at me similarly.

I found myself crushed against his chest. Matching desire seemed to take over my body. I was always easily aroused but he seemed to take it to a new level. My tongue licked at the remains of the maple syrup on his chest. His chest was as nice as the rest of him and there was no hair to get stuck in my mouth.

I felt his hands gently pull off the baby doll shirt I had worn. There was no way to fight it. Wiggling slightly to allow him to get it completely off, my breast were revealed, already betraying my desire. The pink fabric fell to the floor. After a few moment, the same hungry hands explored the waistband of my skirt. After a moment, it found the zipper and the skirt too fell to the floor.

I never did get the research done that night.

There was a huge amount I needed to get done the next day. To be honest after our love making during the night, I did not really want to get up. Quickly I untangled myself from Wayne and climbed into the shower. A few minutes later Wayne joined me. It was so hard not continue our adventures of the previous night but there was too much to do unfortunately. There was still a bit of wordless exploring and further promises for tonight. I got dressed, this time is a short red skirt and pink silk blouse. I chose sandals instead of pumps for a slightly casual look. I got dressed quickly but makeup took a bit longer. Still, the admiring glances I got from Wayne made the effort well worth it. I decided to take the Taurus because it would be less likely to attract attention. Besides, it had far more cargo space than the Mustang.

I had the cash from the vampire and planned to use it to purchase a new cell phone. Of course I already have a cell phone but I did not want to have its number traced to me and where I live. There is an old say that "Just because you are paranoid does not mean that they are not out to get you." Instead I went to a Seven-Eleven convenience store in downtown Norfolk and purchase a pay as you go cell phone. I did not want to go anywhere near my home. Using cash should mean that no one could trace me through a credit card. Transforming before I got there, I used the form I called "Crack Whore." Wayne watched carefully when I shape changed. It was the same form I used when dealing with drug dealers. A black woman who was quite attractive but had let her looks go due to being on drugs.

Once out in the parking lot of the convenience store, I charged the phone up for a few minutes and called up to register the phone. The phone could charge more while I run further errands. It was easy enough to give fictitious information and did not give a credit card for top-up. I suspect that an expert could trace the phone anyway but I hoped that the vampires were not very tech savvy. I know a bit about electronics but cannot consider myself an expert either. Wayne sat beside me, shaking his head. After a moment I decided to explain, "It is far to easy to trace my own cell phone and I am planning to give the number to this phone to Mrs Patrick to pass on to Mistress Charlotte to contact me."

Wayne nodded his head and I put the Taurus into gear. Backtracking, the next step was going back to Walmart Super Center relatively near where I live to get some groceries. There was other items I needed to pick up as well. If Wayne was going to stay for a while, getting some groceries was definitely needed. There are no grocery stores terribly close to where I live and the super center seemed like the best choice. I could have picked up the cell phone at Walmart but did not want to take the chance of it being traced through a credit card.

I let Wayne do the actual grocery shopping, he obviously knew what was needed more than I did. Watching him shop for groceries was a new experience for me. Included was a large turkey in case he stayed until Thanksgiving. I had decided to go by the sporting goods area so I could pick up some additional ammo. It was far cheaper than buying the ammo at the range.

Our shopping cart loaded to the maximum and we headed for the check out. Next to the check out area was a box of discount movies. I saw the movie "Bedazzled" featuring Elizabeth Hurley as the devil in there and just could not resist dropping it into the cart. The groceries and other items came to several hundred dollars and I heard Wayne grumble about having to pay sales tax on them. Virginia charges sales tax on groceries but few other states do. Massachusetts does not, for example. Still, he put them on his credit card.

After we traveled back home to drop off the groceries, we had to head back out again. I was amazed that all of the food would fit in my refrigerator and freezer. Wayne recommended to me that I get myself a stand up freezer for meats. I always thought an angel would be a vegetarian but he seemed to like meat as much as I did. Of course I never thought an angel could be such a devil in bed either. Before we could go to the gun range, I wanted to eat. I also did not want to take the time for Wayne to cook something.

On our way back towards Norfolk, I stopped at the Hardees restaurant and introduced Wayne to Frisco Burgers. Half pound of beef with bacon and cheese on a sourdough bread. Tastes like heaven. Luckily my metabolism did not allow all the fat in it fat to clog up my arteries like human. I assumed it was the same with him.

It was finally time to go to the range. I usually go to a place called "Fred's" in downtown Norfolk. It was near my office I worked out of and was convenient for me. I try to go the range once a month, twice when I get the chance. Before going to the range, I checked out downstairs. There was a pistol virtually identical to mine for sale and if everything worked out, I planned to purchase it for Wayne. They also had the equipment for making your own ammunition including casting bullets.

I saw him eyeing a Glock and I just shook my head at him. I never liked them myself even though they are very popular. I could also see that the pistol was a nine millimeter. I also did not care for nine millimeter pistols, preferring the stopping power of a forty-five.

Upstairs is the range. Paying for two at the range, we went through. I use a Smith 4516 automatic. It is the forty-five version of had once been the police standard issue automatic. It is a tough and reliable weapon. Loading several magazines, I started Wayne on how to properly aim and fire the pistol. As I had expected, Wayne turned out the be a quick learner. After about an hour of shooting, I judged him to be reasonably proficient. I would want to take him to the range several more times but it would take time.

On the way out of the store, I purchased the Smith and Wesson pistol I had looked at early. I purchased it in my name to make it quicker and grabbed the reloading equipment while waiting for an approval for the gun purchase. Of course I needed to figure where I could get raw silver, I did not want to melt down any jewelry. Again there is a delay. They had to check my record to see if I had any crimes before I could purchase a pistol. The computer system seemed to have problems and it took about half an hour before approval came through. Finally, the day was almost over.

There was a final stop and with the sun just setting, it would be time to finish up. I dropped off Wayne at his hotel to finish packing. He had decided to move out of the hotel for now. I did not blame him. The cost of the hotel room for the night was almost the cost of my mortgage for a month. He had called off from the gallery again but the attendant seemed distracted and simply had accepted his reasoning.

As well, I also did not want him in the car as I ran this final errand. If someone saw him, the who plan would likely collapse. I slid my car by the Snow Leopard Gallery. Taking my time, I looked for a black Honda just in cases but did not see one. I also did not see any park spots nearby. It was hard to find any parking spots and I had to park a good distance away. In some ways it was an advantage because it was less likely that anyone would write down my plates even though the wards on my car should already do that. Still, I wish I could have found a parking place slightly closer.

With the darken windows of the Taurus and it being dusk, it is hard for anyone to see inside and I shape shifted into a very pale skinned woman with white blond hair and light blue eyes. Yes, I can shape shift into male forms but I really do not like to. They just feel wrong. Whatever else I might be, I am a woman. In this new form, I stepped out of the car.

Looking at the meter, I saw that this was a two hour parking at maximum. I did not plan to be here for two hours but put enough change for a full two hours. It was not likely that anyone would be interested so I hurried as much as possible to get to the gallery. Wayne planned to be packed and ready to leave within the hour. I needed to get back to do a psychic cleansing so that there was nothing to trace him from the room. Having to park so far away from the gallery had put me behind in my time frame.

When I reached the door to the Snow Leopard Gallery, I saw that Mrs Patrick was in. I hoped that she would be there by the time the sun went down and hoped to get out before any vampires showed up. Fighting them right now was not in my plan.

Just in case, I did a quick check to see if there were any supernatural auras in the area. There were no auras of any vampires with the range of my sight. Of course the vampires could come in anytime after dark. They had not arrived at the gallery before almost midnight the last time but I did not want to take the risk. One of the customers did show a slight amount of psychic abilities but that was it.

Mrs Patrick looked scared and wondered if it was due to what discussion with her last afternoon or if her mistress had a heart to heart visit with her. The gallery wonwer was standing next to a table and she just looked different. She seemed to be older than she was yesterday when I visited her home. I could see the other workers looked slightly cowed. Likely she had been taking out her fear on them. I walked over to her, making my steps purposeful and aggressive. High heels clattered on the floor as I walked. My plan was to keep her off balance.

She turned toward me and asked, "Can I help you?" Maybe I could hear just a bit of nervousness in her voice.

Pushing my aura to cause just a shadow of additional fear but not enough to make her cower, I made an evil smile back at her and replied, "Yes, I believe you are looking for someone?" She did not respond in any way and I continued, "You represent a group, let us call them the Red Faction for convenience sake?"

Her eyes turned questioningly at me and she stated, "I don't know any Red Faction." There was definitely just a touch of fear or nervousness in her voice.

I continued anyway and said, "Yes, the Red Faction. Red as in blood you might say. Well, I might be able to help them find this person."

I grabbed a notepad from off the table she was next to and a pen. It was an expensive gold pen, likely worth several hundred dollars. On top of the notepad was the gallery logo, a drawing of a snow leopard, in gold. I did not want to leave any psychic traces for me to be tracked by. She looked at me with surprise but did not open her mouth. I wrote the number of the new cell phone on the paper using her pen and pocketed her pen. Again, she looked like wanted to protest but did not say anything.

When I handed her the paper, I said "You need to give this to Mistress Charlotte." Her face showed shock at my mention of her mistress or it might downright fear. Maybe she had shown what punishment meant when it came from a vampire. Just in case just the handling of the paper left psychic traces, with a flash of will I did a quick cleansing on the piece of paper now clenched in her hand.

I added, "Tell her that it will not be cheap." At her shocked expression, I laughed as I turned on my heels, allowing just a hint of malice to color it. With that, I walked out of her gallery. I disappeared into the night, leaving her speechless.

It was not until after midnight that the new cell phone rang. Maybe Mrs Patrick had to deliver the message in person. The called I.D. on the phone showed the number but no name or address. I wondered if it was a cell phone or a regular phone. I might be able to trace a regular phone to an address if it was listed. I would see about tracing it in the morning.

Not letting the other person speak, the first words out of my mouth were, "No, I am not interested in your offer of eternal life!" I pitched my voice to be as forceful as possible. I expected that would be the first offer to come from a vampire would be for eternal life, vampire style.

I was laying in my bed, completely naked with Wayne beside me. Clothes were strewn on the floor around the bed. We had managed to mess up the red silk sheets while waiting for the call. My bedroom was done all in Red with various plush devil figures along the walls. I knew that if Wayne moved into my bedroom, we would need to change it to being less feminine although I was not giving up my walk-in closest. Sorry but a girl has got to have space for her shoes and cloths.

I held my index finger up to my lips. He seemed mesmerized by my gloss red polish. I needed Wayne to be extremely quiet. Vampires had incredible hearing from what I had read and might hear him otherwise. Before Wayne and I had started rumpling the sheets, I had finally been able to study what I had on vampires. It had been extremely enlightening.

There was silence on the other end of line for several endless moments. Then came, "Name is Clarence. I represent Mistress Charlotte. Got your contact through Elizabeth." It was a male voice with a strange accent to it. Assuming he was a vampire, it could be from virtually any time or place.

"Call me Delila." I responded to him. It was a good name, the temptress of biblical fame.

"According to Mistress Charlotte, you made quite an impression on of Elizabeth. Put quite a fright in her. While she has displeased the mistress recently, Mistress Charlotte asks that you do not harm her anymore." Before I could answer, he asked, "Mistress wants hear what exactly what the terms of the deal are?"

"You are looking for a certain Mr Wayne Williamson. I have him safely hidden away. I can hand him to you if the proper price is met." I answered him, my voice calm and measured.

"What is the price for him?" Clarence asked.

I answered with a touch of annoyance in my voice, "Two million in cash. Relatively untraceable. Non-sequential numbers. I also want to meet with her directly with no one else on either side to interfere. Tomorrow, we will meet somewhere neutral and I will then drive her to where Mr Williamson has been stashed. If everything works right, she will have Mr Williamson and I will have my cash. If there is any tricks and the deal is off and you will never get him."

After moment, I heard, "Hold on" from the other end of the line. This was followed by some muted talking. I could only wonder what they were saying. While I knew I had excellent hearing, my hearing was nowhere near vampire levels.

He came back on the line, "Delila, I discussed it with my mistress. She is willing to pay the two million for him. She is in favor of meeting with you but not quite on the terms which you discussed. She wants to bring four companions along to make sure that you are being honest. As well, she does not trust using your car but instead wants to use her own vehicle and her own driver."

I considered the idea for a few moments to see if it would ruin what I was planning. It would make the trap much trickier and I had to wonder what her real plans were. Vampires were probably as likely to double cross as demons are. Obviously, I had no plans to give Wayne to them. The plan which I was evolving should still work. I answered him, "Alright but no other changes or the deal is off!"

Waiting several moments before continuing, I asked, "So, has your mistress considered a neutral spot to meet at?"

He stated, "She said that she favors the Snow Leopard Gallery."

"Give me a break" came my response. "That is her territory considering that Elizabeth is pretty much one of her human minions. Try again. How about Waterside Park. There are often a few people wandering around the park even at night yet it is private enough to talk there."

He turned away from the phone and began talking to her some more. It sounded like he was simply relaying what I had said and it sounds like I heard a simple yes and then it sounded like she said something else although I could not make it out.

After a moment he came back and stated, "Mistress Charlotte can agrees to that location. Can you be there at eleven in the evening tonight?"

"Sure, I think that would work for me." I responded and got ready to hang up the phone.

Before I could hand up the phone though, Clarence asked, "The mistress is wondering who you are." From the tone of voice, it was not who but what I was that she was asking.

"I am simply a representative of a third party who had their attention attracted with all that is going on." I responded carefully. "I am willing to tell more to your mistress directly tomorrow evening."

I heard him tell someone on the other side but it was not distinct enough to hear. I stated, "If there are any problems or complications, you can contact me on this phone again." With that, I pressed the button to hang up the phone.

I tossed the cell phone on a chair next to the bed. While it landed on the cushion, it bounced off and clattered to the floor. The call from the vampire did not precisely interrupt anything serious but I had been waiting for the call for several hours. It did not stop Wayne and I from messing around but I did not want to get involved in anything serious.

My hand snuck down teasingly between Wayne's legs

The weather in the Tidewater area is one of extremes, especially in early November. One day, the weather may be in the seventies or even eighties, the next day it may be bitterly cold. When Wayne and I had walked to the hotel from the gallery, it had been an extremely pleasant evening, probably in the low sixties for temperature. Tonight it felt like it was in the forties and the cold wind blowing off the water did not help either. Weather does not really hurt but I can feel it and cold is not pleasant.

I was waiting in Waterside Park for the vampire mistress to appear. I snuck a look at my watch again and saw the display showed 10:56. I could only hope that my plan worked as well as I hoped. I turned my head over to the great steel hull of the battleship. I could not see the whole vessel but the bow could clearly be seen and it towered over the building which partially hid it. I have never had much interest in the military but the ship still create awe in me.

Suddenly I felt a presence. I looked around to see it I could see anyone. A figure detached from the shadows. Whoever it was, the figure was dressed in a long gown. I presumed it was the Mistress Charlotte I concentrated my special sight on the figure. The aura of death, the rotting corpse, which I knew was the aura of a vampire showed clearly. Still there was something with the figures that none of the other vampires had. The power of a master vampire was part of it but there was more. It was an aura of mystical power. The vampire was a sorceress or sorcerer although the magic felt twisted somehow.

The figure continued walking over to me and within moments it was obvious that the figure was a woman. The first thing I noted was the dress. It was much like the dress which I had seen in the visions from the keys. The colors were different. This one was a deep blue with black lace. I wondered how you mastered walking in something like that with a corset and so full a skirt. How many layers did she wear under her skirt anyway. I had long mastered walking in high heals but something like what she wore was entirely different. Maybe is was simply what you got used to.

I allowed my normal vision to look at her so I could see the face she presented to the world. It was definitely the same woman which I had seen in the visions the night before last. The same long raven hair and dark pools for eyes. The face did show a hint of Spanish heritage even though it was almost white from being out of the sun for hundreds of years. She looked like she was in her late teens or early twenties. Probably when she died. Bright red lipstick highlighted her mouth.

I had decided to go with the form I had gone with when I lasted visited Mrs Patrick's studio. The blond haired and blue eyed type. The cold wind whipped the short white blond hair which I was sporting at the moment. That should avoid any confusion which using a different form might cause. Of course there was no way that Mistress Charlotte could miss the fact that I carried a powerful aura of magic as well and the inky dark which should make he consider me to be an ally not an enemy.

She took the final few steps over to me and simply stood there as if waiting for something. The image of women curtseying in movies about the era popped into my mind. As best I could, I emulated what I had seen in the movies. If my mother had taught me one thing, it was how to adapt to unknown social situations.

Mistress Charlotte curtseyed back to me. I could see that she was far more expert than I was.

"You must be the Mistress Charlotte? I am Delila and I talked to Clarence last night," I stated

She replied, "Not the best in the world but it will do. Now, I believe we have much to discuss?" She made no attempt to hypnotize me with her eyes which surprised me.

I simply nodded my head and replied, "Yes, Ma'am." I was not about to argue with her. There were most likely minions ready to come to her aid if she signaled them and I did not want any innocent victims to get caught by any disagreement between us.

"So tell me, what made you decide to get involved, Demon Thrall?" she asked with what sounded like a slight sneer. Often people will misinterpret my aura to be that of someone with a permanent bond to a demon. Most often they sell their body and a soul to a demon for power, magical or mundane. You would be surprised how many claimed Christian priests do just that. Mother has sold herself body and soul to the demon lord who is my father. The vampire assumed I had sold my body and soul to a demon for mystical power. It was what I wanted her to do in this case.

I smiles back at her. "Mistress Charlotte, is it not said that the enemy of my enemy is my friend?" I answered her question with a question of my own.

"Quite," came back her response in a tone which I could not read.

"Perhaps in the future we can work together more. I doubt that our goals are all that different?" I responded back to her.

"Perhaps,"she answered me with a single word. "You are pretty bold, I will give you that. Do you think your master will protect you."

I took a deep breath as if just a bit nervous, "All I can say is that I am a loyal servant of my master. I assume you want to collect your package and I can get payed?"

"You assume correctly. I have a vehicle awaiting us." She responded, motioning for me to follow her to the nearest exit from the park.

I walked slowly behind her, admiring the grace she had in the gown she wore. I did not see anything which shouted it that it was a trap. Waterside park is not a huge park and within just a few minutes, I was standing beside a black Rolls Royce limousine. The engine was running and back passenger door was open. A male vampire stood beside the door in a dark suit. The inside of the limo was done in a creme colored silk from what I could see. Still this was not what grabbed my attention. What grabbed my attention was the inside of the vehicle was warded to prevent magical sight to see inside.

She scooted into the door of the limo, making it look surprisingly graceful. As soon as she seemed finished, I slid inside the back area as well and within just a moment or two, the vampire outside closed the door. I saw that we were alone in the back but there was a driver who I could tell was also a vampire. After a moment, the vampire who had held the door open had gotten into the front passenger seat. I wondered if either of the vampires was the Clarence I had talked to earlier.

Their Mistress asked as soon as I got seated, "So where is this angel being kept?"

"He is staying in a house south of here. Have your drive take 464 and I will give directions to where he is. I persuaded him that he would be safe there. I must confess that the idea of a half angel was quite intriguing and had never met one before." I responded to her. The driver looked back at her and she nodded her head at him. He put the limousine in gear and the vehicle slid out from where he had been waiting.

I took quick peek out the back door to see if anyone was following. Right behind the Rolls Royce pulled a smaller black car. It looked a lot like the Lexus which I had seen near the gallery. Due to the wards which Mistress Charlotte put on the limousine, I could not see any auras in the other cars.

Once the limousine was moving, I asked, "We agreed on two million cash. Can I please see the money?" keeping my voice carefully polite.

"Too bad we could not have recruited you before your master did. I could have taught you as much magic as he did. You could be quite useful as bold and ruthless as you seem to be," she responded with just a note of threat in her voice. Still, she handed me a black leather briefcase.

Placing the obviously expensive briefcase on my lap, I opened it up. I could smell the smell of money. Once I had a lover who had been an armored car driver. People say that they love the smell of money but he used to tell how much he hated it. I grabbed a stack of bills. They were all hundreds and they did not have sequential numbers. I nodded my head back to her. "Looks fine. Thank you." I closed the briefcase and put it beside me.

"This has been a lot more expensive than I had planned," came her response. "I had two of my vassals killed three nights ago at the gallery. The one who survived claimed he had to run for his life. He told me that someone was throwing magical fire. Do you know anything about it? Servants of demons often use Hellfire!"

"The angel hired a private investigator to protect him after he was attacked. She seems to work as a body guard from time to time as well. From what I have heard that she is a powerful psychic who is both a telekinetic and a pyrokinetic. She can create fire with her mind." After a moment, I added "The loss of your vassals must be a serious concern as well." The trick in talking to her was to mix the truth and deception. Otherwise, she might be able to tell that I was lying.

"That explains why mind control did not work. It is very hard for our mind control to effect those with psychic abilities. So, I wonder why he did not retain her?" She asked

I smiled back at her again, " The situation was more that she wanted to get involved in. She had not been told she was fighting vampires from what I was told by him. While a bit cowardly, I can definitely understand her reasons. He was very hurt when she abandoned him." By this time, the limo had left downtown Norfolk and was crossing the Berkeley Bridge on its way south.

She turned away for a moment to look out the window and asked me, "So how did you get involved?"

"Just chance although there was a disturbance which I felt that attracted to," I answered her. "I met him in the hotel which he was staying at. It is often a good place to find people who will not be missed and there are spells which my master taught me to confuse the eye so that no one will remember you clearly."

"I am surprised he accepted you. He should have been able to see your aura. It is also how he probably was able to see my vassals before they could ambush him." Mistress Charlotte stated.

I gave a conspirative smile and continued with, "Men are so easy to seduce with the right approach. His heart was broken with what he saw as a betrayal by the woman. I was able to convince him to take me up to his room. I don't care if they have angel blood in them. They may claim to be pure but they are just as corrupt as anyone. After I managed to seduce him, I was able to get him to think he could trust me. I told him that I could keep him safe from the vampires who were after him."

"How did you manage to figure out who to talk to so you could contact me?" She asked.

I shook my head, "No offence but it was quite obvious after talking to the angel. The whole plan was easily to that it was a set up from the beginning and Mrs Elizabeth Patrick was obviously one of your more important tools in your plan. You should have tracked him and ambushed him where he would have been unable to escape."

Mistress Charlotte seemed to accept that answer. "Maybe so," she replied.

I had to admit that I was curious why she was looking for an angel and decided to ask her. "I am curious of something myself. I am wondering what your interest in this half angel is?"

At first, I thought that she would not answer me. There was even the possibility that I had overstepped what she considered acceptable. Still, she decided to answer me after a couple of minutes of silence. When she did, it was in a hushed tone. "Like you, I am a practitioner of the magical arts. There have been rumors of an ancient ritual which would allow me to walking in the daylight. I have been researching it for over a century but finally discovered it. It is a complex ritual and involves the replacing my heart with the heart of a being of divine birth. As in, one of the individuals parents must have been an angel. It was month that I learned of him and was not one hundred percent sure until I got him down here. I need him alive as a result and his heart needs to still be beating when it is removed."

The Rolls Royce was still traveling south on the highway. In just a few minutes, the interstate would end but it would likely take about fifteen more minutes to reach our final destination. Even though in southern Chesapeake, I had chosen a place fairly far from my home. The place I had chosen was just south of the Great Bridge section of Chesapeake.

I looked back again and saw what looked like the same vehicle which had been behind us when we had pulled out from Waterside. It was definitely a black Lexus, probably the same one. Most likely vampire minions of hers. Still, all appeared to be going according to plan.

I stated, "Park right in that driveway next to that house right there," pointing at a white two story farmhouse which was just ahead. Mistress Charlotte motioned for the driver to pull in where I stated. The driver pulled the Rolls Royce into the gravel driveway. Moments later, the black car which had been following us to this point pulled in front of the building.

While the farmhouse was no longer lived in, it still appeared to be in good shape from the outside. Soon it was planned to be demolished and would be replaced by yet another apartment complete. The demolishing of the building had not started yet but was scheduled in just a few more days. The urban creep of Chesapeake had reached this point. I wondered if this urban sprawl would reach my house someday. When I first moved here, this farmhouse still had horses beside it. I thought it kind of sad that it would be replaced by just more expensive apartments.

To make the house look like it was still lived in, I had Wayne set up a number of Coleman lanterns. He had done it while I had guided Mistress Charlotte and her vassal vampires to the house. I did not want to leave the lights on too long and have someone call the police thinking that a drug deal or something was going down. He was suppose to have then moved out of the line of fire until I called him. I hoped he would go to a nearby bar and simply wait. I had carefully explained the plan in hopes that he would not interfere and ruin the plan. Still there was the concern that he might try to be a hero to prove his manhood.

I opened up the door to the limo and stepped outside without waiting for one of the vampires sitting in the front seats. They would need me to open the door so they could enter. The legend of vampires being unable to enter a house unless invited is true. I checked it last night. I stated, "Lets go get him before he figures out that something is wrong." I left the briefcase in the limousine. Maybe I could grab it and escape before the authorities arrived. It would certainly be a nice nest egg if I could get away with it.

As I got out of the back of the Limousine, I saw four more vampires step from the black Lexus. Three were males and one was female, all dressed in black suits. They all appeared Caucasian. Coming the time frame which she came from, I would not be surprised if Mistress Charlotte did not like blacks very much. The agreement was for only four companions and she had brought six. To be honest, I had expected her to bring even more and had planned around it.

The male who had held the door of the limo when we had gotten in gave his mistress a hand getting out of the door. She straightened up gracefully. Mistress Charlotte replied, "Why don't I have my other guards take the back door so that he cannot escape that way?" While phrased as a question, it was actually more of a statement.

I nodded my head, "Not to concerned if we hurry but it is not a bad idea." With that, I stalked toward the front door to the house.

She nodded to the four vampires which had followed us in the other car and they went around to the back of the building. They moved incredibly fast and they were gone from sight within seconds. Mistress Charlotte took her time and slowly walked up to the front door. Up close, you could see that there was peeling white paint on the door. The last owners had fallen on hard times.

I opened up the door and stepped through. There was some remains of furniture but the inside was mostly bear. There were three tables and an old wood stove which Wayne had put the lanterns. I had also bought a number of plastic gas cans and had placed them around the room. I had used duct tape to plug up all the holes in the hope that the vampires would not smell the gasoline.

Just a few seconds after I stepped in, the vampire mistress glided into the room. She looked around and locked eyes with me, "What kind of trick is this?" She has extremely angry from the tone of her voice, something almost missing before. The other two vampires stepped into the room just behind her.

I slowly backed up towards the center of the room, trying to look as fearful as possible. Mistress Charlotte yelled, "Vincent, in here now!" I heard them break down the back door and I knew that I had four more vampires behind me.

She had gotten most of her poise back, "I am going to kill you and your so called Master is not going to help you. I will offer you a choice though. If you tell me where the half angel is, I will make it quite. Otherwise, you will know pain like you cannot imagine.

I backed a couple more steps back and triggered the trap I had been planning. I focused as much Hellfire as I could and began concentrating it between my hands. I was pulling recklessly from my reserves but there was no help for it. It was an incredible strain to hold this much at one time. Any mistake and I would lose it and I doubted I could gather this much Hellfire again.

The vampires took a step back with the crackling between but their mistress yelled, "Grab her."

I brought my arms up above my head released the concentrated Hellfire in all directions. The blast blew in all directions and knocked the vampires in all directions. The gasoline cans and propane lanterns exploded from the force of the Hellfire blast and even I could not see for several directions.

From the sudden release of energy, I sunk to my knees. I did not use up all my reserves but used enough at a single time to feel momentarily weak. Still there was no time for rest. I began focusing on the flames which engulfed the house, making them stronger and stronger. My demon blood makes me completely immune to fire and gives me the ability to manipulate fire. I had discovered in my reading that while normal fire did little to hurt a vampire, an intense enough fire would kill them. I figured the fire was burning over a couple thousand degrees within moments. I could already feel a fire vortex forming above the old farmhouse. There would be nothing left in the house when I was done. Luckily it had rained recently and the fire should not spread.

Finally able to look around I saw that two of the vampires in front of me were writhing as the fire. consumed them. The third was a different story. About a dozen feet away, it was Mistress Charlotte and she had managed to throw an enchanted shield around herself to protect her from the fire. Her face showed incredibly rage. I knew that I did not have the reserves for an extended mage battle.

Suddenly, a blast of lightning was focused on me. Luckily my protective talisman was already charged and I brought up its magic shield with a simple twist of my mind. The lighting crackled around my shields, even brighter than the building burning around us. She was definitely a powerful sorceress in her own right. I would not enjoy a fight with her even if I was not drained from the massive Hellfire blast I created.

I looked around desperately and saw the old wood stove which Wayne had put one of the Coleman lanterns although it had exploded with the others. It was close to the limit which I could lift using telekinesis Still, it was worth a try. I focused my magical energy to pick up the old stove and I could feel the strain. I was just barely able to throw the cast iron stove and it knocked her down for just a moment. The lightning ceased.

It was a short reprieve. Withing moments, was back on her feet and lighting was again slamming against my shields. My shields were being drained more quickly than I had expected. As well, I could hear groaning sounds coming from the building. Within just a few minutes, the building would collapse. I had to end the fight quickly if I hoped to escape.

Maybe the best plan would not be to escape. Using telekinesis again, I pulled at the burning supports on the farmhouse. I was rewarded by hearing the immediate sounds of collapse. Boards began falling. As the roof began coming down, I focused all of my remaining shields on holding the shield against the collapsing building.

It went black for several moments as the roof and floor above came down. I slowly felt myself returning to consciousness. There was bruises everywhere but I was alive. I was buried in the rubble which still burned. While the fire did not hurt me, I was virtually pinned. I did not have enough magical energy to lift the burning materials using magic so I had to fight my way out. While I was stronger than the strongest human body builder, I still needed leverage and it seemed to take forever.

It was a race against time because I could hear sirens. The fire department and police would be here within a couple of minutes. Finally, I managed to get free from the debris which had pinned me. Then I saw that Mistress Charlotte was still alive and fighting her way out from the remains of the building although she was still partially pinned. She was no longer elegant with her gown torn and badly burned. I could also see burned flesh on her face and arms. I suspected that I did not look much better at the moment.

I still had both my pistol and enchanted dagger, protected by being close to my body. I drew my dagger and climbed towards where she was still fighting to escape. Due to the unstable nature of the burning rubble, I stumbled several times.

Finally I got within a few feet of her. Her eyes locked on mine and she held up her hand to deflect the dagger. She managed to block my blows for the first several blows and managed to deep scratches with claws which her hands had transformed into somehow. Finally, I was able to get the blade through her guard. I stuck the dagger right under her chin and she went limp.

I began climbing off the rubble in a race to escape before the fire department and police arrived. Finally, I was clear of the collapsed farmhouse. The limousine looked to be intact but I noticed that the paint was scorched from the fire. There would not be time for me to escape on foot. Instead I jumped into the drivers seat.

The vampire had left the keys in the car. In honesty, the likelihood of the car being stolen was virtually negligible due to the wards. Hopefully the fire had not damaged anything under the hood. Nervously, I turned the key and the engine immediately purred to life. I backed out of the driveway as fast as I could and began driving in the opposite direction as where I heard the sirens come from. I kept the Rolls Royce at the speed limit although I desperately wanted to take off as fast and far as I could. In my rearview mirror, I saw the flashing lights of the first fire truck.

At the first intersection, I turned off. The further I got from the farmhouse, the more likely it would be that I could escape. The problem was that even once I cleared the area around the burning house, my wrecked cloths would make anyone suspicious who saw me. They were covered in ash from the fire even though they were protected from outright destruction. I needed to get some new clothes and I had almost no magic left. Usually I would just wrap magic around me to cause people not to notice me but I did not think I could manage that at the moment.

I needed Wayne to pick me up. I reached into the pocket of my jacket and my hand went right through. It was ripped out and the cell phone was gone. It had been the cheap phone I had gotten at Seven-Eleven but it was how I was going to contact Wayne. Looking around the car, I saw that the car had a cell phone itself but it might allow the allow the police to trace the call back to Wayne when they found the limo. Maybe I could steal some cloths from a Laundromat. Silly woman, I thought to myself as I saw that there was a bunch of change between the two seats. I pulled in to the first gas station I could find and parked where it was dark. Grabbing fifty cent from the limousine, I called Wayne.

Picking up, Wayne replied, "Who is it," with obvious suspicion in his voice.

"It is Nicky, I need you to pick me up." I replied just a bit breathless in my relief to hear his voice.

"I was beginning to be worried about you," he replied back to me. Wayne added, "What happened? I expected you to call me on your cell phone," before I could reply. From the tone of his voice, he was obviously scared that something had happened to me.

"There have been some complications but do not worry. I will tell you more when you come to pick me up." I answered him, trying to interject calm into my voice.

He seemed to calm down with the soothing tone of my voice and asked, "Where are you at? Probably going to need directions."

Down the street just a few blocks was a strip mall with several bars which were still open. It would not be a bad place. I gave him directions to where it was and decided what to do with the car. I drove it into an office complex which was closed at the moment and no one would probably notice the vehicle until morning. It would be best to simply leave the limousine here and walk over to the strip mall. It was only about two blocks. I was not planning to leave the money and grabbed the briefcase.

There is a relatively simple spell which destroys all signs of your presence. Makes DNA and fingerprints simply fade away. Since it required so little, I thought it would be safe. I spoke the power words and focused my will on it. It worked but I almost went to my knees. Damn, I had never felt this weak before. Still, all of the evidence of my presence had been destroyed.

Once I recovered just a bit, I began walking towards the strip mall. Figuring that I had plenty of time, I took it slow. Still, I was there long before Wayne got there. I found an area of shadows to hide and wait for him. From how long it took, it seemed that he probably got lost at least once.

Still, I was go glad when he pulled up in the Mustang. He prepared to get out for me to drive but I waved him off. Usually I prefer to drive but not right now with as exhausted as I was. It looked like he wanted to ask about a dozen questions but on seeing me, he just pressed his lips firmly together. Tossing the precious briefcase into the back first, I slowly slid into the passenger seat and allowed myself to relax in the bucket seat. My eyes closed and I laid my head on his shoulder. I simply said, "Home, please." Wayne put the car in drive.

By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2006, Kitsune. All rights reserved.