Frau Hunter Ash
(a.k.a Dana Cooper-Kjarr)
Posting: This Halloween story is unfinished and will be posted in chapters.
This type of posting is a first for me, so I may have to go back and change things
in already posted chapters. In other words, read at your own risk
but there shouldn't be too much of that. I hope you enjoy it!!!
Ownership: This story is not meant as an infringement of any copyright.
Any relation the characters within the following story have to other people (or
True Born) living, dead or fictional is purely coincidental. All characters, the
story idea and the story itself are the sole property of me! This story cannot
be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private
use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
Copyright © 2001 by Hunter Ash. All Rights Reserved.
Alt Sex/Language/Violence: The story assumes a loving and sexual relationship
between people of the same gender and of the opposite sex. If this offends or
is illegal for you, then please leave. Come back when you are older, have an open
mind, moved, or changed your laws. Additionally, the story does contain graphic
action scenes and some adult language. So, if cutting off vampire heads or biting
and sucking on someone's neck bothers you, then please move on. Rating: R
Feedback: Always welcome and I do respond!
Setting/Summary: This story is in today's world, specifically around Halloween,
and is based in a small town somewhere in Northern California. Annie meets Cerys,
an alternate universe being, who draws her into a battle between good and evil
Chapter 1 Hallowed Meeting
October 28, 2001
The following story is true; I'll admit I changed some of the names to protect
survivors and families from harassment. I'll also swear personally that the events
happened; I didn't change any of the facts and none of the cases. I lived through
them but I'll also be the first to admit I can't believe any of it happened.
Annie R. Cooper shook her head as she bent over her computer keyboard. The
author was not happy and scowled at the monitor.
The current story was not going well for the young woman. <God, I hate deadlines,>
Ever since getting two short stories and one short novel published in two years,
her agent and editor were after her to really develop a full-length novel. A novel
based on vampires, preferably a hip new approach.
To help inspire the young author, her editor, Jeannie, had arranged for Annie
to write for the summer at a cabin in Northern California. At first Annie hadn't
been enthused but agreed after her agent and Jeannie assured her total peace and
quiet as well as atmosphere.
<Atmosphere. That is a good word,> Annie thought. <A
well stocked but creepy cabin deep in the woods with only a small town nearby.>
Something out of Stephen King, she muttered. Her agent had found the
place and convinced her that one of the attractive things about the town was it
seemed to attract weird events.
For a small mountain community, it appeared that the town of Havenwood had three
times the normal amount of disappearances to its credit. Add in a number of people
going crazy and killing their entire families and you definitely began to get
the idea things weren't exactly normal in the small town.
What also seemed like it was straight out of a Stephen King short story was the
fog which surrounded the town and cabin every morning. It was the type of fog
that deadened sounds, distorted directions and made even the trees seem eerie
Annie wasn't really interested in solving the mystery of the place but wanted
to latch onto it for a bit. Leeching some of the energy from the surrounding area
and writing were her objectives; the goal was her novel.
Now it was a month later and she was still stuck at certain key points in her
book. There were spots that simply weren't flowing easily and they were beginning
to discourage the young writer. Having heard words like the next generation
Stephen King or Anne Rice had been hard to ignore when she had her first
two stories accepted and published. Both of them gained quite a bit of attention,
more so than short stories in anthologies usually did. Annie was a little overwhelmed
at the sudden change from unknown struggling writer to sought-after hot commodity.
Annie had been a realist though and hadn't let the praise and courting go to her
head. She only reluctantly agreed to put her day job on hold when given the chance
to write full time over the summer. It was a decision made easier when the publisher
agreed to pay the cabin rental and supply a small stipend to live on.
The blonde absently tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and rubbed her green
eyes as she glared back at the monitor. Then she glanced at the one joy in her
life that was always a guarantee to get a smile out of the writer.
The boy sitting on the sofa was seven, his name was Travis and he was absorbed
in his own joy, his books. <That was one of the things he had inherited
from his mother and not his father,> Annie reflected. <He did get
his good looks from both parents.>
David Sanders had been good looking with coal black hair and beautiful bright
blue eyes that could melt the resistance from almost anyone, male or female. A
strong swimmer's body only added to his natural charm.
<One night,> Annie thought, <one night of a drunken mistake
and I get the best thing that ever happened in my life: Travis.>
Then she grinned and bent back over the keyboard.
Got you! she muttered as her fingers began flying, trying to keep
up with the images in her head and working out the words to go along with the
The writer figured it was an hour later when she looked over and found that Travis
had fallen asleep while reading. Annie went to the sofa and gently brushed a lock
of black hair from his normally pale forehead.
Annie remembered that time in her life with a mixture of regret, sadness and pride.
She had taken the worst she thought most anyone could go through and had come
out the other side with her spirit intact, a creative writing streak awakened,
and a son.
The writer was also a teacher and thought her life was going fairly well. A
good job, a relationship of four years that she considered a marriage, coworkers
who didn't seem to notice she was gay, and a comfortable home.
A bomb threat had closed school early. When Annie opened the door to the apartment
she shared with Samantha Harrington, she expected to be alone as Sam wasn't due
home from work for another two hours. Instead the apartment seemed different somehow,
it felt occupied, especially when Annie heard a familiar noise from the bedroom.
Annie had seemed like she was being pulled to the hallway against her will. The
door was partially open, increasing the sound carrying into the hall. Inside Annie's
head a voice was screaming for her to just leave and not look inside the room.
The noises were enough to destroy her marriage and her life. The voice kept saying
she didn't have to look.
The writer/teacher had opened the door a little further. After a few moments,
Annie turned away, still stunned at the sight of Sam having sex with someone else.
A male someone else, Annie's mind screamed. The sound of Sam's excited and passionate
voice echoed in her ears as she slammed the door to the apartment.
Annie started on a downward spiral of drinking, lack of sleep, lack of food and
bouncing from one friend's sofa to another; this lasted three weeks. She gradually
begun eating and sleeping a little more regularly and avoided all contact with
Sam, even though the woman pleaded through friends and telephone calls to be given
another chance. Annie had moved her things out while Sam had been at work and
had put them in a storage unit.
The teacher became a frequent visitor to the local gay bar and that was where
she met David Sanders. Annie didn't know it at the time but David prided himself
on his ability to help broken-hearted lovers get over their ex-mates.
The fact that it didn't matter if the broken lover was male or female only increased
his attraction to most. He had turned his attention and his charm to Annie and
the young woman had been more than willing to accept a friend.
How it had accelerated two weeks later into Annie being very drunk and in his
car, Annie never really knew. The night had given her two things: the firm conviction
that she wasn't bisexual and Travis, when she learned two months later she was
After that night she had given up alcohol and gotten her life in order, including
her desire to write again.
Annie smiled and lifted her sleeping son into her arms. Like most children, he
slept right through being jostled about and put into his bed. The writer pulled
off his slippers and pulled the blankets up over him. He had changed into his
pajamas earlier in the evening before settling down with his books. She kissed
him gently on his forehead and tucked him in, remembering to leave a nightlight
on for him.
The writer returned to her keyboard.
Annie wasn't aware of how long she had clacked away on the computer until a knock
at the door of the cabin distracted her. The young woman looked down and was surprised
to see she had added another 15 pages to the story. That was a lot for one sitting
and it pleased Annie at how well it had flowed from her fingers.
<Wait, she had been distracted by something.>
Another knock at the door brought her mind into focus that something had disturbed
her and it was someone at her front door. Annie frowned and looked at her watch.
Who the hell? she muttered and winced as she attempted to stand up
from her small computer. She made the mistake of not setting her watch again,
she moaned. Annie had discovered that she often became lost in the joy of writing
and forgot to move and give her body a break. It would often protest loudly in
unused and stiff muscles when she tried to stand. The writer solved that problem
by setting her watch alarm for an hour and she would force herself to stand up
and stretch. She had forgotten to do that this time and now her legs were screaming
Annie had no idea how long she had been typing a way. It had been a little after
dusk when she put Travis to bed and now it was 9pm at night.
The writer went to the window and took the precaution of reaching above the window
sill. She grabbed the two shotgun shells that rested above the sill and loaded
the weapon that rested behind the door. Many hours had been spent teaching Travis
respect for weapons, even to the point of taking him outside and showing what
a shotgun blast could do to a pumpkin. Annie was assured the boy wouldn't play
with the weapon but she still kept it unloaded just to be safe. She also kept
it behind the front door to be secure in an area where mysterious things and weird
people seemed to be.
She didn't think there would be any trouble during her stay but the stories of
the disappearances and the wackos had made an impression. Annie wasn't going to
be a stereotypical blonde victim of the latest weirdo running around in the woods
with an axe.
Who is it? she called, wondering if that was on the lists of things
Not to Do to survive a horror movie or novel.
I'm looking for a Ms. Cooper, the writer, a female voice answered.
<Well, serial killers usually aren't female,> Annie tried to reassure
It's a little late, isn't it? she called back.
I apologize for the lateness of the hour but I was unable to find your cabin
until this evening, the voice responded.
Nice sentence structure, educated, possibly foreign, Annie quickly
evaluated, made her decision and cautiously opened the door, the shotgun resting
easily over one arm.
Standing on her porch was a tall female who was blinking against the brightness
after Annie turned on the porch light. Annie quickly sized up her visitor, her
writer's mind filing away little details for future use.
The female was taller than Annie, which wasn't hard at Annie's 5'4 slender
frame. The stranger was dressed in black casual Docker-type slacks and a black
t-shirt. Over that she wore a medium length leather jacket and cowboy boots, both
black as well.
Annie quickly noted the black hair and was slightly surprised to find the stranger's
eyes weren't black but a bright blue, a crystal color that held her gaze intensely.
The hair was long except where it fell around the face, almost like a retro-shag
from the 70s. Annie's mind supplied the thought that it framed the stranger's
pale face and beauty very nicely before Annie mentally scolded herself for being
distracted by the woman's exotic looks.
I'm Annie Cooper, she said after a moment.
I'm Cerys and I'd like to talk to you, the stranger said.
Again Annie was struck with the woman's speech pattern, there wasn't a trace of
an accent and that was part of the problem. The writer couldn't begin to figure
where Cerys had been raised, educated or anything from any hints in her voice.
No clues except the structure and word choice itself rang foreign to the writer
but nothing else.
Annie hesitated, it was late and she had a son to protect. Even if the stranger
in front of her was female and didn't look like Freddie Kruger or Alice Cooper,
the writer wasn't sure she should trust anyone so quickly, especially in this
Look, I'm a friend of Jeannie Carson, your editor, Cerys smiled. Her
phone number is area code 415-555-4512 and she is divorced with two kids and thinks
her ex-husband is a bastard but won't say so publicly because of the kids. You
can also keep that shotgun in hand, if you wish.
Annie blushed and placed the shotgun back in its usual place behind the door.
She also made a mental note to unload it after her visitor left.
Annie, faced with the decision, stepped back and motioned to the inside of the
cabin. Please, come in. I was about to make some coffee, would you like
No, thank you, Cerys answered with a smile as she moved past the smaller
woman into the cabin. I don't drink
Cerys, what an usual name, where is that from? Annie asked as she
moved past the woman and motioned for Cerys to follow her to the kitchen area.
An old family name, Cerys commented.
Well, my mother swears that she didn't name me after Alice Cooper, the rock
star, but I had my doubts, Annie grinned. A. Cooper got me teased
growing up, especially around Halloween.
Like now? Cerys grinned as she took a seat at the kitchen table, avoiding
the chair in front of the laptop computer.
Yeah, I went to one of his concerts once, imagine how they looked at me
when I reserved dinner and seats under the name of Cooper, Annie grinned.
Cerys laughed easily and leaned back in the chair.
Annie turned to fix her coffee and frowned to herself. Here she was in her kitchen
in the middle of the woods with a stranger and she felt comfortable and right
at home talking with Cerys. <Cerys, what kind of name was that?>
Can I get you anything? I've got beer, some alcohol, soda, water, tea?
No, thank you, Cerys answered with a smile that froze Annie in midstep.
The writer mentally shook herself and she sat down at the table across from Cerys.
How can I help you, Ms. Cerys? she asked
Just call me Cerys, please, the stranger continued to smile.
Okay, how can I help you?
By writing the truth, Cerys said simply, her voice dropping an octave
as she grew serious.
Excuse me? Annie asked with raised eyebrows. Maybe you've got
the wrong writer. I write fiction, horror fiction not a whole lot of truth
But there can be and I need some of that information to get out to the public,
Cerys said easily.
Annie felt a sinking feeling hitting her stomach. <Not a nut case, please,>
she thought to herself. Her editor and agent had warned her that she would attract
nut cases, especially horror fanatics. The writer was hoping she hadn't run into
one way out here, it was awfully isolated and not a good place to deal with a
stalker or fanatic.
What kind of information? Horror fiction usually isn't regarded as fact,
you know, Annie asked cautiously.
I know but some believe and if only a handful of those who believe begin
working, then the danger is lessened, Cerys said.
Cerys suddenly grinned. This is going nowhere, you haven't a clue what I
am talking about and would not believe me if you did.
Annie smiled in return. You're right, I'm thinking that you're probably
a horror fiction fanatic who want their viewpoint of vampires or whatever in my
next story. You probably would be very upset if I broke with your vision or canon
of how vampires are handled, Annie admitted.
All right, Cerys continued smiling and nodding. Good, honesty
is a good point to start any conversation and relationship from. Do you believe
in vampires, demons, werewolves and witches?
Witches, yes, Annie answered easily. People who are part of
a pagan religious tradition can be known as witches if they practice magick.
And the others? Cerys asked.
That's more difficult, Annie frowned thoughtfully. I'm open
to the possibility but it would take a bit to convince me. I don't see how any
number of species: vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts and whatever could keep
out of sight of the government and not leave proof of their existence.
What if I could prove to you that vampires exist? Cerys asked softly.
I'd think you're either a nutcase or got here on a black helicopter,
Annie smiled but was still worried she might be dealing with a mental case.
Black helicopter? Cerys questioned with a frown.
TV reference, Annie shrugged. I take it you're not an X-Files
Not particularly, Cerys admitted.
Okay, this is almost exactly taken from Interview With a Vampire,
Annie complained, losing her smile. What happens next? You vamp out, move
at lightning quick speed and threaten me with your fangs to prove that vampires
I could probably do that, Cerys continued to smile and Annie felt
her stomach lurch again and the author wasn't sure if she suddenly believed the
woman in front of her was actually capable of doing all of those things. You'll
find most of us; especially True Born females only take blood from willing subjects.
Oh Christ, Annie growled and rubbed her forehead with both hands.
I am much too tired to deal with this, she complained.
And I don't have a lot of time to convince you either, Cerys' smile
grew rueful. She held out her arm across the table. If you check, I have
no pulse and I only breathe to form words of speech. I don't need to eat except
blood in this realm and lots of other things that could help to prove I'm not
Annie shook her head. Look, I don't know if my agent set you up to wig me
out or if you sincerely believe that you're a vampire. Right now, I don't care.
I've got a good run on the novel I'm writing and really don't need the distraction.
Why not drop in on Maine or something? It's been years since King wrote about
Cerys frowned and got up slowly. Annie cautiously watched the other woman
as Cerys went to the counter and looked over the wooden block holding several
kitchen knives and selected a long cutting knife. The small woman felt her breath
catch in her throat when the stranger turned and looked at Annie closely.
The writer tried to absorb the shock that Cerys was now staring at her through
yellow eyes and had fangs showing. The blonde also noted the woman's ordinary
fingernails had suddenly become thicker and longer, very much claw-like. Annie
was positive the stranger might have been able to put in a set of fangs or attach
a set of special effects claws but not contact lenses without Annie noticing.
The knife in Cerys hand also disturbed the writer, a lot. Annie moved her chair
back a couple of inches away from the table, preparing to run for the shotgun
Cerys made no move towards her but raised her t-shirt with her free hand and continued
to watch the writer. Seeing is believing, isn't it? she whispered
and jammed the knife into her stomach, just above her trousers.
Annie cried out in shock and jumped to her feet. Cerys held up a restraining hand
as she whimpered with obvious pain. After a moment the woman straightened up out
of the half bend she had gone into around the knife. Her face became very determined
and she pulled on the knife abruptly, extracting the blade out of her body.
The writer stared in horror as the wound stopped bleeding and then slowly began
to close in front of her eyes while Cerys held the t-shirt up for her to watch.
After the wound had settled into an angry red scar, Cerys dropped the t-shirt
and turned to place the knife in the kitchen sink. She slowly moved back to the
table and sat down cautiously, never taking her eyes off Annie.
Please sit down and I'll try and explain, Cerys said in a calm voice.
Explain? Annie squeaked. Explain? How the hell can you explain
that? she shouted.
Please, try and calm yourself and I'll tell you, Cerys urged.
Okay, sitting down now, Annie muttered and sat down, her coffee totally
forgotten. A stray thought wandered through, wondering if the fire had gone out
in the fireplace, it suddenly seemed cold in the cabin.
If you have a tape recorder or something, you'll probably want to take notes,
Definitely out of 'Interview!' Annie complained. Reporter starts
to interview fascinating person he met on the street, turns out the guy is a vampire
and willing to tell his story. At the end he bites the reporter and leaves. Any
ideas along those lines?
Cerys laughed at Annie's description and question.
Only willing subjects, remember? she grinned. You would have
Okay, Annie muttered and stood up. She quickly went to her bedroom
and came back with a small tape recorder and set it up at the table. If
I ever write about this I'll be accused of stealing the idea from Anne Rice,
Cerys merely shrugged.
I'm not going to tell you I was a farm girl in 1775 or a peasant in Medieval
Europe or anything, Cerys began. I am a vampire, a True Born. We live
in another dimension and don't require human blood over there.
Dimension, like the Star Trek episode where they wind up in a mirror universe?
Yes, only unlike the inhabitants of your dimension, we are aware of your
world, Cerys continued. In our realm there are those who want absolute
power and use dark magick to get it.
Like Bill Gates or Donald Trump? Annie asked with a mischievous glint
in her green eyes and Cerys laughed.
Maybe even worse, she smiled. To achieve immortality and untold
power, there is a ritual that can be done. To work the spell they have to cross
over into this realm, obtain blood through fear and terror and become powerful
as vampires. Once they achieve a certain amount of power they can either stay
here as a Master vampire or return to our realm and achieve immortality and power.
Whoa, Annie muttered. Vampires are actually from another dimension?
Some of them, the original ones, Cerys answered. So are demons
and some werewolves. Other vampires are the human victims of True Borns, who have
been turned into vampires. Most werewolves are also turned by True Born of my
This is a little hard to swallow, you know, Annie frowned, wondering
if she was believing this. How could she not? She knew that knife wasn't a Hollywood
trick unless she had been drugged or hypnotized. Annie watched as the eyes changed
from vampire yellow to gentle blue again and the fangs receded.
Want to try and pull them out? Cerys offered with an impish grin.
Annie felt herself blushing. No, that's okay, she mumbled.
So where do you fit in? You said the females take from only willing victims,
Annie questioned. You said the ritual required terror and blood?
Yes, it's only males that seem drawn to this horrible dark magick in our
realm, Cerys continued with the explanation. Female True Borns cross
over into this land to fight against the dark workers. We try and stop them before
they take too many victims and turn too many humans. They leave the humans behind
to wreck havoc in your world.
That explains where vampires come from, Annie muttered.
Yes, Cerys nodded.
So what do you want from me? Annie questioned.
To see a portal for yourself, watch the fight and then write about it,
Cerys said simply.
Sometimes called a Hellgate, Cerys continued. It's a doorway
between the dimensions. There are certain times when a doorway becomes thin and
those on either side can cross over. Mostly it's from my side to yours because
very few humans learn of portals and most don't want to cross over once they do.
You know those stories about Hell?
That's part of my realm, humans end up in the most unpleasant areas when
they cross, Cerys said softly. And when we cross into your realm,
we become vampires and have to drink blood to survive. We can't go out into sunlight
and other fun side effects.
What about holy objects?
Holy to whom? Cerys asked with a grin. Ever run into an atheist
vampire? No, holy objects don't work, neither does holy water or mirrors.
Okay, so, let me get this straight, at certain times of the year, the doorways
get thin and we get vampires, demons and werewolves coming to earth and causing
Yes, exactly, Cerys nodded.
Let me guess, Halloween is one of those nights, Annie said ruefully.
It was three nights until Halloween.
Yes, Cerys agreed.
And a portal is near here, right? Annie continued.
Yes, Cerys continued to nod. That's one reason strange things
seem to happen around here. The negative energies leaking from the portal affect
the people living around it and it also attracts vampires, demons, and werewolves
on this side of the realms.
Like a homing beacon?
More like honey to a bear, Cerys frowned. They feed on the energy
and it amuses them to watch the humans interact with a Hellgate.
Okay, so you're a vampire but you're fighting other vampires to protect
both realms from power hungry bastards? Annie questioned.
That's it in a single sentence, Cerys grinned.
And you want me to be your war correspondent, Annie continued.
Yes, exactly, Cerys nodded. I'm hoping that a couple of other
Warders will make it here before Hallows. If not, I'll have to take on one of
the most powerful vampires to cross in 100 years by myself.
He's coming into this realm a Master already. Any power he gains on this
side will be tripled on my side. He will be worse than your Adolph Hitler ever
envisioned being, Cerys said seriously. I'm not sure I can take him.
Annie frowned. Here she was, sitting at a table in a cabin, in the middle of the
woods with a total stranger, talking about Master Vampires, Vampire warriors and
<Was she really believing this?>
So all female vampires are the good guys? Annie asked, trying to work
the facts around in her head.
No, some are humans that were turned into vampires, Cerys clarified.
They can be as deadly and evil as the male True Borns and anyone turned
on this side.
You said the gates are only thin during certain times of the year, how is
it that you're here before Hallows? Annie asked.
I've been here for several years. I fight the vampires left behind and try
to protect humanity, Cerys explained. I'm a Warder, a protector warrior.
Heavy, Annie muttered.
Cerys stood up abruptly, her face serious. It's about to get worse,
Annie's eyes went wide when Cerys pulled out a large silver knife from her coat.
Actually, it was more like a small sword, Annie thought. The blade was heavy and
thick and looked something like a pirate cutlass.
What's gong on?
Vampires or demons, we can sense each other, Cerys responded.
They know that Warders will come to try and keep demons and vampires from
crossing through the portal on Halloween. The ones who are already here will try
and stop us, Cerys explained.
What do we do? Annie asked; her voice slightly higher from the tension.
What about my son?
Your what? Cerys asked, her eyes widening in surprise.
What? Annie demanded. Your research on me didn't reveal I have
a seven year old son sleeping in the next room?
No, it didn't! Cerys frowned and ran a hand over her face. Gods,
this is bad. You stay inside where it's safe, Cerys answered, moving into
the living room and glancing out the window. One thing about your legends,
vampires can't enter a residential place unless they're invited.
How many are there and how do we fight them?
I'll fight them with this knife coated in silver, Cerys said, glancing
back at Annie. Silver doesn't kill but it hurts like hell. Decapitation,
fire, and sunlight are the best methods. Locking a vampire away in a steel coffin
for a hundred years really pisses them off, she continued, looking thoughtful.
Perfect for pizza, Cerys mumbled, watching out the window again.
Useless, Cerys continued. Unless you can blow off their head
with a shotgun.
Annie grinned and grabbed up the shotgun, she quickly went to a wall unit bookcase
and opened one of the cabinets. She smashed open a box of shotgun shells and began
stuffing them into her pockets.
Cerys watched with an amused look on her face.
I want you to stay inside, no matter what happens, Cerys ordered.
It's important that if I get killed or can't stop the Master from crossing
over that you are around for any Warder following me so as to get the information
out to the general public.
No one will believe me, Annie protested.
How many Goth clubs and live action role playing games sprang up after Interview
with the Vampire was released? Cerys countered.
Okay, point taken, Annie grumbled.
They're here, Cerys growled and Annie's breath caught when the vampire's
eyes changed from bright blue to yellow and her fangs extended.
Annie could feel the danger radiating from the other woman and it was almost intoxicating.
Stay inside, I mean it, Cerys growled and opened the door to the dark
night. When I yell at you, turn on all the outside lights.
Okay, what about the cops?
No such thing near a portal. They tend to be busy whenever there's a supernatural
crisis going down.
The Vampire Warder stepped outside onto the porch and let the moonlight hit the
silver blade in her hand as she closed the door. She heard Annie locking it behind
her as she moved to the window.
Annie watched as the vampire stepped down the few steps to the clearing, her body
moving like a panther. The writer's eyes widened when she saw five figures step
out of the shadows of the tree line and slowly begin approaching the Warder.
The Vampire Warder stepped further into the open, letting the five surround her
as she balanced evenly on both feet, her sword held in a defensive position.
Annie opened the window and gripped the shotgun tightly. She saw Cerys glance
her way and then the writer moved back to the door, her hand on the light switch.
Annie! a voice yelled and the writer flipped both switches, bathing
the clearing and porch in bright spotlights. It was one of the precautions she
had taken when she took the cabin for the summer. With all the weird events going
on in the area, Annie felt more comfortable with bright lights surrounding the
She dashed back to the window.
Cerys was moving like something out of a martial arts film. She ducked under a
slash from one of the vampire-like claws, slashed upward with her sword and severed
the arm at the elbow.
The vampire fell back with a howl of pain and rage. Cerys rolled forward and came
up with the sword stabbed into the center of the chest of another vampire. Annie
whimpered when two other vampires grabbed the Warder, throwing her to the ground.
Cerys kicked back and caught one of the vampires in the chest. The other vampire
racked downward with his claws and Annie screamed at the sight of blood flying
through the air.
The writer ran to the door and grabbed desperately at the lock. Flinging the door
open she dashed out onto the porch as the vampire Cerys had kicked was getting
to his feet. Annie jumped off the porch and placed the shotgun at the base of
his skull. The writer closed her eyes and pulled the trigger. She opened her eyes
and was surprised that there was only dust covering her instead of blood and brains.
Annie somehow got herself moving again as she saw the vampire attacking Cerys
flip the Warder over and begin struggling with Cerys for the sword.
Annie noticed the vampire with the severed arm getting to his feet with a growl.
He turned towards the Warder and vampire but seemed to dismiss Annie. The writer's
eyes narrowed and she ran up to him and ducked as he slashed at her with his remaining
hand. She came up under his slash with the shotgun and pulled the trigger.
Again there was only an explosion of dust.
Cerys smacked the vampire she was fighting with in the face and forced him off
her. She rolled with him and brought the sword between them across his throat.
Annie grimaced when the Warder placed her free hand on the end of the sword and
After a moment the sword went through the neck of the vampire and he turned to
Annie reached down to help the vampire to her feet when a commotion spun both
of them around to face the cabin.
The vampire who had been stabbed in the chest, was dragging Travis out of the
cabin. Annie screamed in horror when she realized the sound of the shotgun blasts
and the fight must have awakened the boy and he had gone to the open doorway.
He was just far enough outside for a vampire to grab him.
No! Annie screamed and rushed the porch. All Annie saw was the glimpse
of the vampire's hand and then she tried to sort out her thoughts of confusion
as she shook her head and moaned, her body hurting everywhere. She was sitting
in the driveway on the rough gravel and her tailbone felt like it was on fire.
She was also at least twenty feet away from the porch, away from the threat to
The vampire grinned and pulled the struggling and screaming boy into his arms,
lowering his fangs to Travis' neck.
No! Cerys cried out. Stop! I surrender! she shouted.
The vampire's fangs were making small indents in the boy's skin as he hesitated.
Total surrender? the vampire asked around his fangs, drawing back
If you put the boy back in the cabin and let his mother live as well,
Cerys said firmly.
No, Cerys, don't do this! Annie screamed and crawled to her hands
You give your word as a Warder? the vampire demanded, ignoring Annie.
Yes, if you let the boy and mother live, Cerys growled. Willing
The vampire lowered the struggling boy to the porch and shoved him into the doorway.
Annie scrambled back to the porch and tackled her son, moving them both into the
safety of the cabin. She grabbed Travis into a bear hug in relief.
You okay, Bud? she said softly and smiled as he nodded. He was no
longer screaming in terror but his eyes were still wide and he was awfully pale.
The writer moved Travis to the sofa and then went back to the door.
The vampire had moved in front of Cerys and both seemed to be waiting and watching
each other cautiously.
Cerys glanced towards Annie, You stay inside with the boy, Cerys growled.
The vampires can't come in unless invited.
Don't do this, please, Annie begged.
The Warder vampire turned and held her arm out to her side and opened her hand,
dropping the small sword to the ground.
On your knees, Warder Cer, the male vampire ordered.
Never in any of your existences! Cerys snapped, her voice suddenly
The male vampire growled and lashed out with both hands, claws flashing in the
bright spotlights across Cerys' chest. The Warder went to her knees with a cry
and the male vampire bent over and dropped his head before Annie could even blink,
burying his fangs into the female vampire's neck.
Cerys screamed and beat at his back as he drank. After a moment Annie could almost
swear in court that Cerys was holding the vampire to her. Annie whimpered when
the Warder's arms dropped away, limp and the female vampire's head dropped backwards.
The male vampire dropped the Warder prone to the ground and disappeared into the
tree line as Annie turned to her son.
Stay there, Travis, she ordered. I need to help my friend out
there, we'll be back in a moment. Don't move!
The boy nodded, his eyes still wide from fear.
Annie rushed out and helped the Warder to her feet and the writer frowned at the
amount of blood covering Cerys' shirt.
The writer draped the Warders' arm over her shoulder and helped the vampire back
towards the cabin.
I thought I told you to stay inside, Cerys grinned.
You didn't have to do that, Annie protested.
Yes I did, Cerys countered. I got you both into this; I had
to get you out.
Annie helped the vampire back into the living room. The writer helped the Warder
to the sofa and went back and locked the door behind them.
Travis, Annie said, getting the boy's attention away from the slashes
across Cerys' body. I want you to get the first aid kit out of the bathroom
and bring two clean towels, okay?
The boy nodded solemnly and rushed to the bathroom.
Annie turned to find Cerys removing her jacket with a look of pain.
Bullets only annoy you but claws hurt? Annie questioned, helping Cerys
off with her jacket.
From another vampire, yes, Cerys explained with a hiss of pain.
Annie pushed the vampire back and examined the wounds, tearing at the t-shirt,
expanding the rips. She frowned at how deep the wounds went and how much blood
the vampire seemed to be losing.
How do I help you?
Not much to do, Cerys growled.
How do you heal? Annie demanded.
Nothing here will help, Cerys said, dropping her head into her hands.
If I were human I'd already be dead from a severed artery.
What are you telling me? Annie demanded. You're dying?
Yes, I'm not strong enough to go through the Gate and my blood partner is
about 400 miles away.
Yes, someone willing to give their blood, Cerys muttered as Annie
grabbed the first aid kit from Travis and began cleaning the wounds. Doesn't
matter about the wounds, you know.
Hey, makes me feel useful, okay? Annie muttered. The mother looked
over and caught the wide-eyed look from her son as he saw the massive wounds.
The writer went over to her son and squatted down next to the chair. Can
you do me and my friend a really big favor?
Travis nodded, a goofy pleased smile on his face. He did like helping his mom
every chance he got.
I'd like you to keep watch for bad guys out back from your window,
Annie suggested. That way they can't sneak up on us.
Sure! Travis said brightly and bounded out of the chair. Annie followed
him to his room and bundled him up in a warm blanket and pillow in a rocker by
his window. She was counting on him falling asleep soon and knew he would once
the adrenaline eased out of his system.
Annie returned to the sofa and began doctoring the vampire's wounds again. Blood
Okay, Cerys mumbled. There are humans who know about us and
like the act of being fed on. Some only believe us to be blood drinkers, obsessed
or with a kinky fetish with blood. Basically, blood partners are people who get
off on the feeding, on the eroticism of it.
Eroticism, of drinking blood? Annie frowned and shuddered slightly.
For some it's very intense. Most of the time a vampire will drain the donor
only a little, no more than a human blood drinker, someone with a blood fetish,
Cerys explained, her voice getting weaker as Annie held gauze pads against the
Okay, how is that erotic?
Having someone needing something from you, the feeling of desperate need.
Some find it arousing, Cerys tried to explain.
Annie continued to frown.
Going further and drinking more is very erotic for both parties, Cerys
continued. It's one of the addicting things about being a vampire and being
a donor or victim. The bite is intense.
I'll take your word for it, Annie mumbled and then squeaked when Cerys
fell over onto her side on the sofa. Cerys!
The writer lifted Cerys' head and saw the vampire was nearly unconscious from
the loss of blood.
What happens if you die? Annie demanded.
Then the Master crosses over into your realm and wrecks all kinds of havoc,
maybe even upsetting the balance of power between light and dark in this realm,
Cerys said softly. I don't think any of the other Warders will make it here
You said you can't get better without blood, what about animal blood?
This kind of wound requires the energy that comes from human blood,
Cerys whispered, closing her eyes.
Annie frowned, trying to think around the problem.
Leave here tomorrow, Cerys said softly. There's an address and
phone number in the inner pocket of my jacket. It's another Warder; they'll protect
you now that you know about vampires. Maybe you'll even become a Watcher.
What's a Watcher? Annie asked softly, taking the vampire's hand into
A human who knows about the vampires and helps the Warders when they cross
over, Cerys was interrupted by a coughing fit. Annie whimpered and wiped
the blood away from the vampire's lips.
There must be something! Annie cried out.
Nothing, Cerys insisted.
What about me? Annie asked softly.
I told you, there's a Warder who will take you in, Cerys snapped.
No, I mean my blood, Annie countered and wasn't surprised when Cerys'
eyes opened quickly.
Cerys looked thoughtful. You don't know what you're offering. I need more
than a small amount of blood; it will drain you to the point of weakness.
If it will save you, I don't care, Annie declared.
You don't understand, Cerys tried to sit up and failed. I choose
gay males for my blood partners because of the intense sexuality connected with
feeding. The sexual attraction only lasts during the feeding and doesn't spill
over into everyday life.
You mean with both of us being gay, I'll want to sleep with you after this?
Annie asked with a grin.
There's that possibility, Cerys admitted grimly.
Well, I say we deal with that later. First we save your life then we'll
see if we end up in bed together again, Annie said firmly.
I can't, please, Cerys whispered.
What do you mean you can't? Annie demanded.
In this weakened state I might not be able to stop, Cerys admitted,
closing her eyes again, a look of emotional pain across her face. If I drain
you too much you'll die or I'll have to turn you into a vampire to save you. I
can't do that; your son needs a mother, not a vampire.
Okay, I'm not sure I'm fond of the liquid diet idea but if that's what it
takes to stop those things, Annie said firmly. I may not be a perfect
mom if I'm a vampire but we'll adapt if we have to.
If you are vampire you're stuck here in this realm. Turned vampires can't
cross through a Gate and return to human on either side. Only True Borns can regain
their humanity in my realm unless they've worked the dark ritual for immortality.
Okay, let me sort this out, Annie muttered. A male vampire comes
over from your realm to gain power through fear, terror and blood. They do a ritual
and it makes them immortal and powerful in your realm.
A female True Born comes through a Gate and is a vampire, but because she's
a good guy, she only drinks from willing blood donors. Once you cross back into
your realm you become human again because you haven't worked an evil spell and
used human blood and terror.
Correct, Cerys managed to smile. See, I knew we were correct
in picking you for our writer.
A human who becomes a vampire in this realm can't cross into your realm
and remains a vampire here, Annie continued.
Yes, if they try and cross through a Gate, they are sent to the equivalent
of what you would call Hell or they are destroyed, the vampire whispered
Then I'll take that risk, Annie decided. We need you to fight
the Master thing coming on Halloween.
I won't let you, the risk is too great, Cerys growled.
We stand a better chance with you alive, Annie declared. That
means my blood.
Annie became alarmed when the vampire didn't answer her. She firmly shook the
vampire warrior and Cerys opened her eyes slightly.
Now, damnit! Annie snapped and pulled the Warder up into a sitting
position on the sofa.
Taking a deep breath, Annie sat down next to the vampire and looked puzzled. Okay,
how do we do this with you so weak?
Normally, I'd kiss you and drive you crazy with arousal and then sink my
fangs into your throat, Cerys answered. Now, there's no time. Lean
into me where I can reach your neck if you're willing to do this.
Annie shrugged with a slight smile and moved her body until she had her arms wrapped
around the Warder's neck, in an embrace and pulled the vampire to her neck.
I wish we had more time to get to know each other, Cerys mumbled,
kissing the neck lightly. I am attracted to you. Unfortunately, the sexual
intensity runs both ways. I may not let you go after this. Female vampires have
a weakness for emotions, that's why the males shut off their feelings and delve
into the dark arts. They feel emotions make a vampire weak.
I'll take that chance too, Annie whispered, her fingers running through
the vampire's hair and holding her head close.
The writer gasped and felt her body jerk when she felt a sharp pain at her throat.
It lasted only a moment and then a wonderful warmth spread over her that centered
right in her sexual area.
Oh God, she muttered as the sexual arousal hit her body and she clutched
at Cerys' body. A chill began spreading through her body as well as the warmth;
it was like dueling sensations causing her body to jerk in response. So
good, she whispered.
Annie felt herself growing weaker and Cerys' hands reaching out to hold her close.
The writer knew that her energy and life source was being transferred to the vampire
and held on tighter.
Don't stop, she whispered and then cried out as Cerys' hands found
she wasn't wearing a bra under the buttoned shirt. Somewhere she vaguely understood
that the buttons were no longer part of her shirt, they had been ripped away so
the vampire could reach her skin and breasts. Oh God, please don't stop.
Annie felt herself being lifted from the sofa and lowered to the rug on the floor;
the vampire never losing her grip on the writer's throat and Annie didn't ease
her hold around the Warder's neck.
Cerys moved her body alongside the writer's and pulled her close. Annie moaned
and felt her body jerk against the vampire. The Warder growled and pulled back
slightly, yellow vampire eyes meeting human green ones. Cerys began kissing Annie
roughly and the writer whimpered with the incredible sensation that she was tasting
her own blood on Cerys' lips and tongue. Cerys pulled back slightly.
Please, don't stop, Annie cried out, urging the vampire's head back
down to her neck. I want this!
Despite Annie's apparent original reluctance at the thought of a vampire's feeding,
she had always fantasized about having sex with a vampire. She knew most horror
authors probably shared her same fantasies about vampires and werewolves. It was
what she wrote, after all.
Annie heard Cerys moan when she sank her fangs into Annie's neck once more.
The writer's body began to shake as she screamed out Cerys name. Darkness began
crowding her as her hips bucked and her body shuddered.
She vaguely wondered if she was dying and decided if she was, she didn't care
as long as the sensation didn't stop.
Annie opened her eyes slowly, trying to remember what had happened. With a smile
she remembered and sighed with relief that she didn't feel any different than
the day before. Well, maybe weak as a kitten but not what she would expect a vampire
to feel like. She had warm skin and a pulse and Travis was asleep in her arms.
The writer/mother realized that Cerys must have moved her and Travis onto his
Annie gently removed her arms from around her son, carefully so not to wake
him. She quickly stood up and realized she hadn't dreamed losing blood the night
before as the room began to spin and she held onto the wall. The writer closed
her eyes and waited for the dizziness to subside.
She walked slowly out of her son's room and into the living room, her eyes darting
around until they spotted Cerys lying on the sofa with the leather jacket thrown
over her head.
Annie breathed a sigh of relief and knelt down next to the vampire. She gently
pulled the leather jacket away from Cerys' face and smiled at the healthy appearance
of the vampire.
The writer figured out of all of them, Cerys probably looked the healthiest that
morning. Annie knew she must look as bad as she felt and absently ran her hands
through her hair.
Cerys? she said softly, placing her hand on the vampire's shoulder.
The Warder didn't stir and Annie shook her lightly. Cerys?
The writer's frown deepened as her shaking became more solid and pronounced. Still
the vampire didn't flinch or move.
Annie tried to calm her racing heart. <How the hell do you tell if a vampire
is alive or not?> she demanded.
It wasn't like they had a pulse or respiration. According to the legends, they
were animated corpses with barely any resemblance of life in them.
The writer tried to wrap her mind around the problem and not allow herself to
Okay, it's daytime, she muttered to herself. Maybe she can't
wake up in the daytime.
Annie leaned her head on the vampire's arm and tried not to break into tears.
Oh God, what the fuck am I supposed to do if she's dead? the writer
mumbled. A goddamn Master vampire is due here in three days, I've got a
scared little boy to look after and possibly a dead vampire on my sofa.
The writer stood up and glanced in a mirror. Atmosphere, she growled.
I'll give Jeannie atmosphere if I get my hands on her.
Annie looked back down at the vampire, her anger quickly fading away as the feeling
of desperation and panic tried to overwhelm her.
Come on, Cerys, she growled, shaking the vampire again. We need
you! I don't know how to do this!
The vampire remained either dead or comatose and Annie couldn't tell which.
It was three days until Halloween.
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