Standard Disclaimer Applies.
Grandma Mazur, Stephanie Plum and Ranger belong to the literary genius Janet Evanavich from the Plum Series.
A spin, a kick, a block and then the wooden stake was rammed into the heart of the vampire and a rain of cloud fell from the air where it had stood and Xander Harris coughed. How many times did he have to remind himself not to breath in the un-dead?
Returning the stake to the inside pocket of his short black leather jacket Xander turned to the little old lady standing behind him, her permed blue head level with the centre of his chest and her hands remained gripped tightly around the strap on her bag.
“ Well I’ll be damned!” She exclaimed shaking and Xander smiled as he reached for her elbow to steady her, “ I haven’t seen a vampire in Jersey for nearly ten years.” She stated and Xander’s smile faltered.
“ Vampires don’t exist.” He said as he helped her to sit down on the curb before her knees gave way,
“ Don’t be an ass boy.” Grandma Mazur snapped still shaken by the fact that she’d nearly been mugged and dined on.
“ Sorry force of habit,” Xander apologized wondering what to make of the old woman now sitting beside him. “ Are you all right?” He asked noticing that her hands were still gripped so tightly around her handbag that her bony knuckles had turned white.
“ I must admit I am a bit shaken, but I’m an old lady I’ll get over it.” She assured Xander looking him up and down with such an eye that Xander felt the urge to fold his hands over his chest and crotch protectively.
“ You are a fine looking young man, if I were five years younger I’d do you in a heartbeat.” Grandma Mazur said with a whistle and Xander coughed and spluttered at the horrible mental image that came to mind.
“ You shouldn’t breath that ash stuff in, it has to be bad for you.” She scolded and Xander nodded,
“ I know, hey how do you know about,” He indicated the dust lying on the ground.
“ I’ve been around a long time and I’ve seen things that would make your hair stand straight up on end, I know about vampires cause I seen what they can do, never seen anyone fight’em though, you the first. I’m Edna Mazur.” She told him and Xander nodded,
“ Xander,” He returned and smiled at her, not bothering to mention that he wasn’t in fact the first and noticing that she was still shaking he pulled off his jacket and draped it around her shoulders.
“ I’d give you a ride home but I don’t have a car, is there someone I can call to come pick you up?” He asked kindly looking around the dark street.
“ I’ll call my granddaughter Stephanie, she’s a bounty hunter. She’s single you know, maybe a bit old for you but you tell me if you want me to set you up.” The old lady demanded as she plied one hand of her bag to reach in for her cell phone.
Stephanie’s number was on speed dial so she hit a button and held the phone up to her ear shakily.
“ What do you mean what? Is that anyway to answer a phone?” She muttered shakily into the phone a moment later, there was a pause, “ No I’m not all right I just nearly got mugged down on Cameron Street and I’m shaking like a ninety year old heart patient on viagra.”
The phone call was ended and the old lady looked at Xander,
“ She’s going to come and get me, she was just around the corner on a stakeout with her fine looking friend Ranger, I mean you’re a peach you are but you got nothing on Ranger, you just can’t compare anyone to that man.” The woman babbled and Xander ducked his head to hide a grin at the thought ‘ I wonder if a seventy year old Willow will babble this much and compare young ladies?’
“ What are you smiling at?” Grandma Mazur asked and Xander shook his head trying to avoid answering but in the end he didn’t need to because a big black SUV swung around the corner of the road at high speed and screeched to a halt.
A woman in her thirties jumped from the car as soon as it had stopped, racing over Xander smiled and wondered if Edna would hold tight on the promise to set him up as he noticed the woman’s obvious beauty and the ketchup stain down the front of her white t-shirt.
“ Grandma are you ok?” She demanded as the driver’s side door opened and a huge Cuban man unfolded himself and strode across the road with a predator’s grace.
“ This is Stephanie, my Grandaughter and her ‘partner’ Ranger,” Edna explained to Xander as Steph came to a stop crouching down besides Edna and Ranger came to stand behind her, his eyes not on the old lady or his favourite bounty hunter but on the one eyed man dressed in black sitting next to the old lady.
“ I’m fine, Xander here came to my rescue before the jackass could get my purse, he’s a knight in shining armour, aren’t you Xander?” Edna said with a smile and Xander blushed as he stood up.
“ He didn’t hurt you did he?” Steph demanded and Grandma Mazur shook her head as Ranger looked up and down the street,
“ Which way did he go?” He asked and watched as Xander and Grandma Mazur exchanged a brief glance,
“ Down that way,” She said extending a shaky finger and Ranger looked down the street,
“ What’d he look like?” He asked
“ To be honest I couldn’t tell you it all happened so fast.” Grandma Mazur explained and held out her hand to Xander who helped her to her feet.
“ What about you? You get a good look at him?” Ranger asked Xander as Steph took her Grandma by the elbow and led her towards the SUV,
“ Ah average height, chubby build wearing a red sweater and blue jeans,” Xander offered trying to remember how to describe the guys face but by the time he’d seen it, the eyes were yellow and the brow distorted.
“ You call the police?” Ranger asked and Xander shook his head, he honestly hadn’t even thought of that.
“ Why not?” Ranger asked curiously and Xander shrugged and glanced over to where Edna was beside the SUV,
“ She’s fine, I’m not a fan of cops, and nothing was taken.” He said rattling off his reasons and Ranger nodded,
“ You mind if I say goodbye?” Xander asked recognising the protective nature of the man standing before him.
Ranger shook his head slightly and Xander wandered over to the old lady, he smiled and took her hand, which she offered and kissed the back of her hand gently.
“ Oh Edna, if you were only forty years younger and I was ten years older then this could have been the start of something beautiful.” He said with a wink that made the old lady blush.
“ You take care now Xander, you the only one I know of and it’s nice to know there’s someone out there.” The old lady said her tone serious and Xander nodded.
“ You take care too, and no more wondering down dark streets at night.” He warned with a smile and stepped back so that Steph could help Edna into the car.
With the door firmly shut Steph spun around and stared at Xander for a beat before smiling and leaning in to plant a kiss on his cheek, then she handed his leather jacket back to him.
“ Thank you.” She said and Xander nodded feeling his cheeks burn.
Steph climbed into the car next to her Grandma and Xander gave a finger wave before walking a few steps back, Ranger appeared beside him.
“ It was a vamp?” Ranger asked and Xander rolled his eyes,
“ Is this something everyone knows about now? Cause I thought I was supposed to keep it a secret,” He said lightly and Ranger raised a single eyebrow.
“ You ever need any help with that you give me a call.” Ranger stated as he handed a business card to Xander before walking back to the car.
Xander looked down at the card as the car reeled out of the street, ‘Rangeman Inc.’ He moved to toss it in the gutter but noticed some faint hardly discernable writing on the back which sat above a different phone number and said simply ‘Dustbusters.’ Pocketing the card Xander wandered back into the night.
‘ Who you gonna call?’ he sang as he disappeared into the shadows.
AN: I get a tingly feeling all over when you review…so tingle me!