REDEMPTION - Blood Bond
by ‘Teresa Devereux’
After leaving Father Luther and the slum area, we went back to my home to see how Marie was faring. Understandably, I think we were both a little apprehensive about the state we might find Marie in Vissago seemed to appear to her when she was alone, and it had been several hours now since we left.
We found her in the kitchen, with a statue bust in front of her that she had moulded out of flour, water and dirt. She looked up as we entered, then squashed the bust with her fist. I asked her why she did that, to which she replied “it was no good.” She seemed to have a guilty look on her face, and I am sure there was more to it than that.
She picked up a letter from the bench beside her, and threw it to Van Myers.
“Vissago gave it to me when he was here.”
Frightened, I looked around the room, my eyes scanning every corner.
“He was here?”
Marie continued in a blasé voice.
“It’s a list of people. Vissago wants the addresses of their havens.”
She was idly playing with the sticky mass in front of her, as if nothing was amiss. Van Myers was scanning through the list of names, as if he was actually considering complying with Vissago’s blackmail. I stood beside him and looked at the page. The list contained nine names:
I looked at both of them, outraged of what they were considering.
“I can’t believe either of you are even entertaining the idea of becoming traitors! Can’t you see what you would be doing to them? It would be murder. Their blood would be on our hands! We can’t do it, and we won’t!”
Van Myers said “what are they to us? Nothing. Why shouldn’t we play along?”
Marie chimed in with “yeah, and besides, he gave me this.”
In her hand she had a large unpolished crystal rock, hanging from a chain around her neck. Disturbed that she was accepting gifts from him, again, I said “and what is that supposed to be?”
“He said it was a special necklace, that it would hide the black stripes in my aura from other vampires, and protect me from them.”
I had my doubts about its effectiveness, yet there was no denying Vissago’s constant affection towards Marie. I doubt he would put her life in danger by lying to her about it.
Van Myers turned to me.
“I have a plan. What if we were to call the Annubi and get their help. We could bribe them with silver and cash for their ‘werewolf hunting’. If we could get them to track one person on the list, find their haven, then we could set a trap for Vissago. .......Well?”
It was certainly better than the alternative. As long as I didn’t have to deal with that female animal, Felicity.
With our plan in mind, we went to Van Myers apartment to get some silverware. Most of my silver had already found it’s way into the Annubi’s pocket, and I certainly wasn’t going to admit to still having a few family heirlooms packed away upstairs.
Van Myers gathered a number of silver goblets and silver tea set, and put them into a leather sports bag. Now all we had to do was find the Annubi.
We drove to an area they frequented, and entered ‘O’Malley’s’. Walking into the dim bar, the smell of stale beer and the smoke hanging in the air was stifling. The wooden oak bar extended the length of the room, with five ‘barfly’s’‚ sitting along its length. They were sipping from their glasses whilst staring into them, perhaps trying to find the meaning of their existence in the murky depths of the ale.
The bartender stared at us as we entered. I sensed he was a man only in his forties, but his face belied his true age. He had seen many battles, evident by his crooked nose, and the boxing pictures of him that hung on the wall. The rich tapestry of his life was documented in the photos framed around the room. It was a warm friendly environment, yet there was an air of caution in the way the publican looked at us.
I looked over to a lone man sitting in a booth off to the side at the rear of the room. He looked vaguely familiar, and yet I couldn’t place him immediately. It was then that that he looked up. The left side of his face looked normal, but the right side made me gasp in recognition. The flesh was badly scarred from a terrible burn. He was the man Jan had been torturing, the night I was first introduced to the Annubi’s nocturnal warfare. Although I had no proof, I suspected that he was a werewolf.
Turning to Van Myers and Marie, I tried to look casual as I whispered to them my concerns. I suggested we leave, as if this man was here, I doubted the Annubi would frequent the bar. After what Jan had done to him, I would think he would stay far away from them. We quietly left, nodding to the bartender on our way out the door.
We drove a few blocks, scouting the area for any signs of the gang. We passed a 7-11 store, and I spotted two of the junior members walking out. Stopping in front of them, we got out and Van Myers approached them.
“Gentlemen. Who is in charge of the Annubi now that Jan..... Who is in charge?”
The men glanced at each other with the reminder of Jan’s demise thrust in their face, and I swear I heard one of them growl quietly at Van Myers. The man directly in from of him answered.
“I am. My name is Michael. What’s it to you?”
“We have some business with your leader. This is a small token gift.”
He opened the bag and covertly showed the man the silverware.
“Now who is really in charge?”
The man named Michael puffed his chest out, and unconvincingly tried again to tell Van Myers he was in charge. I saw Van Myers begin to lose patience.
“You want to help us. Who is in charge of the Annubi?”
His domination worked on the man, and he obediently replied truthfully.
“The person in charge is Blake. He’s at the crib.”
“Take me there.”
The man faltered, and said “I can’t”
It seemed the mild dominate power induced wasn’t enough for him to tell us everything. Van Myers sighed audibly, and handed him one of his business cards.
“Set up a meeting.”
The men walked off with the bag, and we left to await the phone call at Van Myers apartment.
Before we had retired, Van Myers had arranged for three large ingots of silver to be delivered to him. They arrived by a secured courier shortly after we had woken.
Van Myers said he had other business to attend to, so Marie and I headed out to feed. On returning, the Annubi called, and told Van Myers to meet in one hour in Lincoln Memorial Park.
Van Myers had place the three ingots, and $3,000 in cash bundles into a brief case. We took it to the park to offer to the Annubi, in exchange for information.
We entered the park on foot, and saw two figures sitting at a bench near the children’s swings. The leader, Blake, was sitting on the bench seat, while another man sat on the ground in front of him. As we approached, I was aware we were being followed by three figures that had come from out of the shadows.
We came to a stop in front of Blake. Van Myers clicked open the brief case, and showed Blake the contents. He looked at it and sniffed derisively.
“What do you want for that?”
“Just some information. About how to find Anastasie Koch.”
Blake nodded, as if what we offered far outweighed the request we had.
“You’ll find her at gallery openings, anything like that. She runs with the likes of her.”
He indicated Marie with a glance. I assumed that Anastasie was of the same clan as Marie, the Toreador’s. They seemed predisposed to artistic pursuits. He gave us a description of what she looked like, and we left, walking back through the park quietly in the dull moonlight.
Story 2 - “Blood Bond”
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