“Damn it, Liv! Wait!”
Logan’s voice echoed in the maze of stone-paved alleys after the thumping of Olivia’s boots.
“She’s going to get away again!” she called over her shoulder, but did not stop running after the two vampires she was pursuing.
Just as she was about to disappear past a corner, she raised her crossbow. Logan never saw her fire as he was tackled to the ground. He crashed hard enough onto the street that he’d be blue and black when morning came - if morning ever came for him again. It wasn’t such a certainty anymore, not when he suddenly had to ward off the fangs of an irate vampire.
“You hurt him!” the female vampire – God, she was just a girl! – growled at him. Her fangs gleamed in the light of a nearby street lamp. “How dare you!”
The vampire clawed at his face as he held her head back with his forearm across her throat. His crossbow was trapped under him, and in any case she was too close for him to use it. Instead, he fumbled at his belt to free one of the stakes hanging from leather loops. It took him precious long seconds to loosen the length of woods – enough time, maybe, for the vampire he had wounded to come closer and help his girlfriend.
Or enough time for Olivia to catch up with the other two vamps.
Olivia. Alone. Fighting Ann.
The thought sent a burst of renewed energy through Logan. With a grunt, he pushed the girl back, and when she lunged at him again, she all but impaled herself on his stake. She dissolved into a cloud of ashes that rained over Logan, blinding him for just a second.
“No!” the vampire’s boyfriend shouted. “You bastard! You killed—”
Jumping back to his feet, Logan whirled and used the very same stake to kill the boyfriend too; he aimed to the left of the wound he had made earlier – poor shot on his part – and this time struck true. There was a kind of harmony there. They had killed together, and now they were ashes in the same street, killed by the same hand. But Logan didn’t have to think about that, didn’t have time to stop and wipe the ashes from his stinging eyes. He was already running, calling out Olivia’s name, listening for her voice to call back.
He couldn’t hear anything but the rumbling of thunder in the distance. As he searched empty street after empty street, finding an abandoned stake here, a crossbow arrow there, a sense of dread started creeping through his mind.
When he reached the end of a cul de sac and found Olivia’s crossbow, the metal stained with still warm blood, he froze. The dread was slowly evolving into a full-blown certainty.
Olivia would never have left the crossbow behind, not of her own free will.
The first lightning strike tore the sky. With it, Logan’s world started crashing down around him.