Disclaimer: Shocking, but none of the characters are mine. I know y'all were confused there for a second. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is gained. Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke. Anita Blake and her buddies belong to Laurell K. Hamilton.
On the night of my first vampire attack, I was surrounded by humans. It didn’t, just so everything is clear, go the way I’d imagined it would. I was sixteen. The daughter of a famous hunter. I had idealistic images of staking my first vamp with mom standing proudly by my side; not in the middle of a gaggle of normal humans who knew as much about vampires as they did the tooth fairy.
The tooth fairy is one scary bitch, but that’s another story for another time.
It all began with my arch-nemesis, Whitney. It would be her first, and last, attempt at teenage rebellion…
“Okay, my dad’ll drop us off in front of the theater. We go in and sneak out the side door!” Whitney smiled brightly, white teeth bared as she whispered the plan to her brigade of teen bimbos, which included me. I wasn’t proud of it, but what else was I supposed to do? It was high school, for God’s sake.
“And then?” I asked, concerned at the withering look my fearless leader shot my way.
“And then, we take a quick hike down the alley to Tic-Tock-Tap.”
I tried to hide my look of surprise. Tic-Tock-Tap was a hole in the wall. Lucky for me, it was a human establishment. Freeport, our hometown, was a backwater little town in the middle of northwest Illinois. It might as well have been the middle of nowhere. But, and this is a big but, the unsuspecting populace of this little town was home to a minor Hell Gate, which was guarded by my family. Not that I participated in the guarding. I was too young, a girl and I might get hurt. Blah, blah, blah.
The bad side of guarding a Hell Gate, not that there’s a good side, was it seemed to attract nasty supernatural entities to the general area. Whether they knew the Gate was there or not, they seemed to come to Stephenson County in droves. So, my mom hunted them, tried to keep people from dying off. Of course, there was still a 1% decrease in the population a year. I was thinking of all this because I knew my mom was hunting in the downtown Freeport area tonight and I didn’t really want my friends to become part of the population decrease.
Toying with my necklace, I eyed Whitney weighing what her reaction might be if I protested. It wouldn’t be good. “So, the rumors are true? They serve minors?”
“Duh, why else would we go?”
The van lurched to a stop, and Whitney slid the side door open with a quick jerk of her hand. Perky and blonde, she had the same intensity as a vampire that scented blood. “Thanks for the ride, daddy!” Her line was a mixture of innocence and wistfulness, perfectly executed.
Turning in his seat, her father smiled affectionately. “Have a good time at the movie, sweetie.” The trusting fool. My mother would never fall for this act.
We piled out of the van, five teenage girls chattering like birds on a sunny day. With a quick glance over her shoulder, Whitney watched her father as we filed into the movie theater. Satisfied we’d made it safely inside, he pulled away, taillights glowing red as he drove into the night.
“Come on!” We followed like the dutiful lemmings we were, ducking out the side door into the dank alley behind the Lindo Theater. My stomach clenched. Glancing at the long shadows cast by the tall brick buildings on either side, I reached out with my senses. Something wasn’t right. Fingering my necklace, I toyed with the idea of taking it off. I knew my mother and her friends were on a hunt close by. Worried about some vamps that were getting out of hand, she sent me to stay overnight at Whitney’s.
She’d be pissed as hell if she knew what we were doing.
“Are you coming?” Whitney shot a petulant glare my way, and I sighed before trudging after her. Girlish giggles echoed through the alley as we came to an empty street. There were no cars, just the soft glimmer of streetlight as our footsteps thudded on pavement. Heels clicking, we crossed to the other side. This alley was darker, more foreboding, and I didn’t need to take off my necklace to know this was a bad idea.
“We should go back.” I stood frozen at the mouth of the alley, suddenly the center of attention.
“Don’t be a wuss, Anna.” Tittering giggles rang out, and I glared Whitney’s way.
All I had to do was take off the necklace, and… And everyone would know.
Sighing, I looked down at my shoes as she went on, “You can go back and watch the movie all by yourself; we’re going to the bar.”
Frozen, I stayed at the mouth of the alley. Leaving now would ensure my immediate safety; it would also guarantee my social standing would be that of a kid who rode the short bus to school. I really didn’t want that, but I didn’t want to be a vamp hors d'oeuvre either.
“Come on,” Whitney said dismissively to the group and turned on her heel, disappearing in the dark shadows of the alley.
Wendy, who I’d been friends with since second grade, gave me a wistful last look. Pausing, she grabbed my hand. “Come with, or she’ll make your life miserable.”
I wanted to, but survival instincts weren’t something to dismiss in this town. I gave Wendy’s hand a little squeeze, about to say goodbye when the first scream echoed through the alley.
I want to be clear. I didn’t think about not helping. I should have. They were in the bad part of town, disobeying their parents. Anything that happened to them was, well, their fault. But, they were my friends. Not good friends, but people I couldn’t leave behind. Wendy’s eyes went wide, and I shoved her behind me. I grabbed the necklace, pulling it over my head and ran into the dark.
Eyes adjusting, it took me a second to see, but I could feel them. A cool itching crept up my spine, and I knew I was too late. There were at least eight vampires, the three girls that’d followed Whitney didn’t have a chance. My friends were surrounded, Whitney held in the air by the neck by a tall, blonde ‘woman’. She convulsed in the embrace of the vampire, body jerking as the female drained her.
“Stop.” My voice echoed, bouncing unnaturally against the brick and the vampire pulled away from ‘my leader’ with a vicious renting of flesh. Blood poured from Whitney’s wound, and I gulped hard choking down the nausea at the sight. Whitney may have been a conniving bitch, but I’d known her since grade school. The vamp dropped her with a wet thud, and my eyes stayed frozen on my friend’s limp body as, hips swaying, the vamp crossed to me. There was the sound of whimpers in the background, and I knew the others were alive. Scared as hell, sure, but alive.
“What do we have here?” The female swayed, moving to her own internal beat as she came closer. Holding out her hand as if she was warming it before a fire, she giggled. “So much power in something so young…”
With a shrug, I tried to ignore her. I was too busy pulling energy from the earth. Under the asphalt, digging deep down, I connected. A bright jolt went through me, setting my teeth on edge. The vamp winced, ducking away from the sudden light that poured off me. The alley lit up like daytime, and I could clearly see Whitney’s empty eyes – her body resting in a pool of her own blood.
“You didn’t have to kill her,” I hissed, my voice sounding strangely electric, like it was coming from a badly wired speaker. My mother kept me away from her line of work, tried to keep me separate from the awful things that went bump in the night, but this wasn’t my first experience with vampires. I knew they didn’t have to kill to survive.
The vampire danced forward, almost cooing as she reached out to touch me. “Didn’t have to, wanted to.”
Rage. I tried to tuck my feelings down, bury them, but this was too much. I gave Whitney’s body one last glance and grabbed the vamp’s hand, twisting it with a quick flick of my wrist. The alley had been quiet, and the sound of snapping bone echoed like a shot. She screamed, features morphing as her eyes glowed, the green of them iridescent. She hit me with a left hook to the jaw, and I went flying. I was barely aware of the pain. There was the sound of screams, and she was on me. Her hand at my throat, I watched with impotent anger as she hissed through elongated canines and moved to strike.
Things seemed to go into slow motion. Something grabbed her from behind, and suddenly I was free of her weight. Wheezing, I tried to catch my breath as I scrambled up. There was a sharp crack, a splurging wet sound and she disappeared into dust. The rest of the vampires rushed the figure, it was too dark to see a face. The girls ran screaming from the alley, and I slipped my necklace back on, watching the fight in case… Well, in case I could help. I couldn’t leave my savior there without knowing he’d gotten away. And, it was a he. The shape of his wide shoulders tapered down to a small waist. I watched him move, dancing almost, into a spinning kick before plunging his stake home – another vampire drifted into dust.
I pressed into the shadows, molding myself to the brick wall as I watched. He was taking a beating, but winning. There were two left, and with a flick of the wrist, he dusted one but lost the stake. It clattered to the ground, and he dove for it. Not in time. The last vampire rode him to the ground, and struck in a blur of fangs and blood. I froze, staring at the sliver stake that rolled to my feet. With shaking hands, I grabbed it and ran forward. Reaching back, I thrust the stake down with all the force I had, watching as it sank through the brown leather jacket of the vampire. Pushing it home, I ignored the vamp’s scream of pain as he turned to dust and I fell through the space he once inhabited. With an oomph, I landed on top of my savoir. Hands running over a familiar black canvas jacket, I let out a gasp. Fingers gripping the rough material, it took all of my strength to turn over his dead weight.
Warm wetness rushed over my fingers, and I tried not to think too hard about what it was. With shaking hands, I reached out and touched the torn skin on his throat. His eyelids fluttered.
“Sam?” I croaked the name of one of Mom’s hunting buddies, suddenly feeling sick as I watched him shudder beneath me. There was no choice. The police would be here any minute. With blood slick fingers, I pulled the necklace off again. My family’s power, our ability to hunt, stemmed from magic. Old magic. Some people thought of us as witches, but we were more than that. I closed my eyes, and let the world around me still. There was a rush of wind. Warm, it wrapped around me, urging me forward. Suddenly, I knew what I had to do. As if it was encouraging me, the wind swept my hair back, caressing my cheek as I leaned down and pressed my mouth to Sam’s neck. Something electric poured through me. Primal, animal… it left my body in a rush, and as I slid my tongue across the ragged flesh, the wound knit together – healing. I leaned back, watching his eyelids flutter before leaning back down. Mouth sliding over his, I kissed him. I don’t know why, or what possessed me, it just seemed like the right thing to do. He grabbed my arms, sitting up with a gasp.
“Anna?” His deep, velvety voice stumbled on my name as he searched my face. Sam Winchester didn’t look like he was all there. A glazed look came over his blue eyes and he said my name again, “Anna…”
His mouth met mine again, tongue lapping at my lips before his hands tangled through my hair and suddenly I realized I was straddling him like a lover would. A small whimper left me when he grabbed my hips, pressing his hardness against my belly. I was sixteen. As good as all this felt, it was the first time I’d ever been in this position. And I liked it. For a minute, I felt whole. The wind roared through the alley, whipping my hair back as he clenched my body to his. I grabbed his head, cradling it in my hands. That’s when I heard the sound of sirens. I broke the kiss, staring into Sam’s eyes as the wailing noise drew closer. Scrambling off him, I looked down at the necklace I still held clenched in my hand. With a small, resigned sigh, I slipped it back over my head.
The wind died. It didn’t slowly fade away, it stopped instantly. Sam frowned at me, a look of horror coming over his face as he seemed to come to his senses. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
Ignoring his question, I pointed at the fire escape above us. “We need to hide, now.”
With a quick glance at the mouth of the alley, we both saw the red and blue flashing of the cop car before it stopped. Grabbing me around the waist, he crouched and jumped. We landed a flight up and clambered the metal stairs, hoisting our bodies to the roof. The contact seemed electric. Unable to hold back a shiver at our proximity, I stepped away from him, looking anywhere but at his eyes.
“You healed me.”
With a shrug, I tried to ignore Captain Obvious and peered over the lip of the roof, watching as the police filled the alley. They circled Whitney’s body; one cop crouching down to check for a pulse. Quietly, carefully, I backed away from the edge and sat down with a thump.
“I couldn’t heal her, though.” My voice was thready, and I tried to blink back tears.
He frowned before sitting beside me. “You would have had to raise the dead.” I nodded absently, picking at the drying blood on my sleeve. “Anna, what were you doing in the alley?”
My mother kept my abilities a secret. The talisman I wore shielded my abilities, making me appear normal. Almost human. Only my family knew what I was. My family and a few other hunters. Sam was one of the few. On orders from some superior, he had been forced to help Mom and our family guard the Hell Gate about the time I was born. I turned, looking up into his eyes before softly answering,
“Sneaking down to Tic-Tock-Tap.”
His jaw clenched and he grabbed my arm. “You’re a fucking moron. You knew about the vamps downtown. What would have happened if I hadn’t walked by?”
I shivered as a wave of his anger rushed over me. Sam felt old, and I didn’t mean that in a teenage estimation of age. I meant he felt ancient despite his youthful good looks. Power like his was usually collected over centuries or was the result of some powerful, dark mojo. Reaching out, I grabbed his hand, running my fingers across his palm. “I was going back to the movie theater, kay?”
“You’re…” He glanced down at our entwined fingers, jaw clenching. “You’re sixteen years old, for Christ’s sake.”
He jerked his hand away from mine, and stood. “I’m sorry about grabbing you like I did. I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
Wincing, I looked away. He was sorry about the kiss. Figured.
“Yeah, I get it. I’m a kid.”
He glared at me over his shoulder. “A stupid kid who clearly needs to be trained to hunt. You almost got your ass handed to you tonight.”
He let out an annoyed sigh before standing. Watching his back as he walked away, I knew it was going to be a long fucking time before we got off the roof of this building. It would be hours until the police got done with their evidence collection. Hours I’d be stuck up here with him. After that, there would be awkward run-ins at home when he was on hunts with my mother. I stared at his back, annoyed at the warmth pooling low in my stomach at the mere sight of him. Red and blue flashed in the night as another police car approached, and I leaned back on my elbows. I was pretty sure I was gonna regret not leaving him for the cops to find.
I had to get away from my mom, and him, before they drove me completely around the bend.