February 15 at 10:00 PM
Photo courtesy of Photos8.com
"Scouts have confirmed that Enura has returned to the vineyard. Let's pay her a visit, shall we?" said Lord Vangley.
The crowd was quiet, restless.
"I am sure many of you are wondering what this man is doing in our presence. Certainly we've never had to enlist the aid of a professional before, especially a mortal. But I fear it will be too late before we admit our deficiency; perhaps Vissorouy could use a new leader as well."
His words met more silence.
"But it would be unwise to underestimate our mortal liaison. What Lawson lacks in personality, he more than makes up for with his calm, judicious demeanor."
"Thanks," Lawson whispered.
The elder ignored the comment. "Per the terms of our arrangement, he will not partake in any of the action, and will remain unarmed at all times. In place, he will offer his strategem: uncover Enura's weaknesses, and orchestrate her demise. It is your job to protect him, and if it warrants, obey him."
The vampires grumbled; the first sign of life in the pallid crowd. Lawson knew he had to prove himself quickly if his contributions were to have any merit.
"Alain, Farron, you will lead the hunt this evening." Vangley pointed to two young men before him. "I will hang back and enlighten Lawson of our tactics. Our intent is not to attack head on, but to poke and prod; see how malleable she becomes when forced into an unfavorable position. The night following we will strike."
"So this is the vampire hunter?" An unshaven man with deep scars stepped forward, and licked his fang with his tongue. "Forgive me if I am a bit underwhelmed."
"Just as underwhelmed he is of you," said Vangley.
"Lawson, is it not?" He drew closer.
Lawson could smell the alcohol on his breath. "Hello, Ness."
The man angled his head. "Are you not a man of your word? One who follows through on his promises?"
"Always," said Lawson.
"So why haven't you killed me? Isn't that what you promised yourself after I butchered those two young boys? What were they, cousins?" he smirked.
"Godchildren." Lawson's voice was soft and steady.
"Hopefully you were able to collect all the pieces." His coral eyes glowed. "So where does that leave us? Are you ready to follow through on your promise, or perhaps it is I who will be comforting Elena?" he grinned.
Suddenly the edge of a sword burst through his chest.
"Do not trouble yourself, I will carry through on that promise." Vangley retracted the blade.
Ness wallowed on the cobblestone as the elder paced. "Forget thy past. Move forward. Become better men. Empower through community. Admit mistakes openly and freely. Share, coexist...forgive...these are the founding principles of Vissorouy," Vangley exclaimed. "This man risks everything for you, yet you spit in his face and on the graves of his children? Your presence here is an insult."
Lord Vangley turned, and lopped off his head.