A few words of introduction: Bryn is the main character of my first urban fantasy manuscript. She and her sister work for the government as the clean-up crew when the paranormal world spills over into the “normal” world. They’re best friends and enjoy their jobs thoroughly. This is the first part of the first chapter, a short introduction to their lives. The book’s working title is ‘Roadtrip to Were?’ and is currently in the last stages of editing before being sent off to the literary agents I respect most. If you have any feedback feel free to post it. I would love to hear your thoughts. You are, after all, the people who may hopefully one day be reading the rest of the story in paper form.
The clan of feral vampires was huddled inside the building ahead of us, along with their human bonds. Human bonds being, of course, non-vampires who’d been bound to a vampire with a combination of blood and sex magic, essentially something even less than slaves, just in case that needed clearing up. That could include witches like me, humans, or maybe even stronger beings. It wasn’t like the magical practices had been openly experimented on with results published in national papers.
I looked at Nadeah, my best friend and adoptive sister. Her dark hair reflected the moonlight above us. She was ridiculously beautiful no matter what face she was making, and she was making a face that should have been uglier than a squashed mongoose at that moment. Her deep blue eyes were tight around the edges, mimicking her hands locked around the gun loaded with silver bullets. She was actually a little funny to look at just then. Her light-reflecting hair creating a halo around eyes glaring daggers that could kill.
At that point in time it wasn’t even the stupid vampires that were causing us problems. The vampires and their human bonds we could handle. The great Goddess knew we could handle paranormals, like ourselves. We were witches, granted it was of our own respective brands, somewhere between human and… not-so-human. We were Government operators, the cleanup crew for when the paranormal world dared spill over into the ‘normal’.
Our problem at that point was the two civilians trying to take our case away from us. The two Dark-Hunters- mortals who tried to protect the human race from less than wholly human beings like us, but on their own time and dollar- were crouched across the street from us. We’d had the misfortune of running into them a few times before. Goddess, they were a real pain in the ass, though to be perfectly frank, I knew they meant well.
“Bryn, Nadeah, we were here first,” a mature female voice called over to us with a patience that spoke of having raised unruly children. We weren’t unruly children. We were adults, and dangerous ones at that. Tedious, tedious, tedious. I heard her husband loading a non-standard shotgun with whatever strange ammo they’d concocted that time. I sighed, leaning against the car we’d taken cover behind in case the vampires were craftier than we thought they’d be.
Odds were looking pretty high, they weren’t.
“Darlene, sweetheart, you know that the government sent us here to take care of it,” I called back across the empty air. Annoyance at the tediousness of the situation made me sarcastic. So sue me. At least my two handguns were still holstered. I didn’t think the situation really called for guns considering the other weapons I had at my disposal.
“Plus, you’re getting old,” Nadeah cracked out, humor rich in her voice. I shot her an exasperated look, only getting a smile for my trouble. Darren, Darlene’s husband and fellow Dark-Hunter, growled.
“We ain’ gettin’ old! Fidy-five ain’ old, girl! Kids these days, don’ know how to respect their elders,” he yelled. I sighed theatrically so the ‘elders’ would hear.
“Isn’t your daughter’s wedding next week? You want to show up in a cast?” I waited through a few seconds of silence before continuing. “There’s a clan of at least 12 vampires in there that have gone off vampire rule. They’ve got another 12 human bonds. That’s an awful lot of trouble for you two, isn’t it? When’s the last time you took on a clan that size?”
Silence met my words. Nadeah snickered to me, amused with the situation. In the building I sensed the vampires getting excited. The human bonds were blank, emotionless, void until commanded. Their emotions were sluggish, drugged. The vampires on the other hand were balls of energy that my extensive skills at empathy could easily pick up. It was practically like being able to see through the walls. Well, seeing through the walls without eyes really. Darren coughed.
“Government cleanup don’t always get the job done right, girl. We know what we’re doin’,” he yelled back.
“We aren’t assassins and you know it. When have we ever not done the job right?”
“When that psycho boy got involved, girl, you know. We know he is… was?… dating you. Things didn’ get done right then! And don’ try an’ say they did,” he replied angrily. I shot up to glare over at where they were sitting. The vampires were stupid, they weren’t going to blow our heads off with guns. And if they did, well, I pretty much deserved it for standing up. So there.
“Was dating, and yeah, that went to hell but when else? It’s just us.” My voice was more annoyed than I’d meant for it to be, taking a warning tone as I continued. “Now, the government sent us to deal with these feral vampires, and it’s in Ithel’s territory. That makes it doubly ours. I want you to clear out before things go to shit.”
“We don’ listen to no vamp-er, girl, you should know that by now,” came his response. I should have expected it. Dark-Hunters didn’t like anything supernatural, even the vampires responsible for protecting the humans in their territories. There were nine American vampire territory owners, Ithel being the one in charge of the states surrounding our home. We were something like advisors and assistants- when it suited us- for him.
“Well then listen to us for Goddess fucking dark-magic fucking crap-eating sake!” Nadeah screamed out, standing up beside me. I gave her a look of disapproval. From across the street Darren stood up, in spite of his wife’s whispered warnings. We were all acting like idiot rookies. Thank the Goddess these vampires were stupid or we’d all be dead by now.
“Now you listen here, you bad-tempered lil’ sprite of a girl,” he began to Nadeah, who was almost as well-known for her temper as he was, “don’ you go round cursing at me when my wife is sittin’ righ’ aside me! You have got the most foul tongue that ain’ never been to sea!”
Nadeah began yelling something back at him but I forgot to listen, finding my focus drawn entirely to the building. A new set of emotions had joined the group and they weren’t the numb emotions of a bond or the quick, shifting emotions of a vampire. They were brilliant and multi-faceted. Human. I turned back at the dark building even though it showed me nothing, sensing the human stuck inside with them, feeling his mind-numbing fear, straightening like a dog catching the scent. The thrill of the chase, the race of adrenaline, flew through me. This was what I loved about my job. I was a highly skilled predator seeking out my unwitting prey and saving those who couldn’t save themselves. The sense of the human inside was all it took for me.
I took off sprinting, leaving Nadeah screaming at the two Dark-Hunters in the hopes that it would distract them, leaving the guns holstered. The uncontrolled force of my mind forced the front door to explode of its hinges, letting the others know that I’d run off without them and bringing an end to their fighting. Nadeah, Darlene, and Darren all started after me with shouts of confusion and excitement. The chase was on and by God, it felt fucking good.