MacLaren rolled over, stretched and opened his eyes. He smiled, seeing Peter’s bed empty. He reached down to find the bottom bunk empty as well.
His roommates had already begun their night.
Smiling, MacLaren swung out of bed and extended his hearing. To his surprise, he heard silence. Not one of the four was making a sound!
Alarmed, he extended his hearing down to the heartbeat level. He found them – all inside the house. All four heartbeats elevated, though slightly distorted.
Other, unfamiliar heartbeats surrounded them. All of those were elevated as well.
But there wasn’t a sound being made by anyone.
He was still a bit foggy from sleep, but he was awake enough to realise elevated heart rates meant tension. Silence wasn’t natural for any of his four roommates. So – that meant his roommates were in danger!
Not bothering with changing from his pajamas, MacLaren let his fangs drop and his eyes turn red. He jerked open the bedroom door and raced out, hissing fury.
MacLaren was brought up short by the sight of his roommates – safe and sound! He just barely retracted the fangs and cleared some of the red from his eyes in time for the other people there to turn around and see him.
Jameson was there. Babbitt was there. Friends of the Monkees were there. All eyes were now focused on the disheveled young man with the reddened eyes and startled expression who was staring at them.
Davy walked over and gently removed wax earplugs from his double’s ears. MacLaren blinked as sound returned to him. “….what….”
Looking past Davy, he saw the room was decorated brightly. A giant cake and two punchbowls – one much smaller than the other – stood on a table.
MacLaren looked around, frowning. “…what….” he repeated.
Peter stepped forward, smiling sheepishly. “Uhm… surprise?”
MacLaren just stood there, blinking stupidly. “Sur…prise?” he squeaked.
Jameson walked over. “So much for our surprise party,” he quipped.
“Hello? “MacLaren greeted, his mouth quirking into a half-smile. “I’m…sorry. I’m afraid I’m…just not fully awake yet.”
Peter put an arm around the smaller man’s shoulders and steered him toward the kitchen. Out of earshot and easy sight of the others, he opened a mason jar and poured the thick, red liquid into a glass. Once MacLaren had the glass, Peter re-capped the jar and replaced it.
MacLaren sipped the blood and sighed as the fog began to clear from his sleep-fuddled brain. “Peter,” he asked softly, “what is going on here?”
Smiling, Peter leaned against the sink and replied just as softly, “We were counting on your sleeping another hour or so.”
“Well, obviously I didn’t.” He sighed. “Why are you throwing me a party?”
“Because tomorrow night is Halloween and we wanted to have this one before that – to celebrate your anniversary!”
MacLaren frowned again. “My…what?”
Peter laughed. “Your anniversary! Two years ago tomorrow you showed up at our party. One year ago, you returned and stayed.”
“One year…it’s been a year of discoveries, that’s for certain.” He sipped the drink again. “Though how you manage to get me fresh blood every few days without arousing suspicion remains beyond me!”
“It’s not human – we make sure to just get animals’ blood.”
MacLaren’s eyes softened. “And for that, I’m profoundly grateful. Thank you for aiding me in keeping my vow.” Then his head tilted. “Just tell me -- you don’t sacrifice the beasties or anything like that?”
Peter laughed, but before he could reply, Mike called, “MacLaren! Get dressed!”
“Yeah!” Micky added. “We’ve a party to throw!”
Draining the glass, MacLaren placed it in the sink and headed for the bedroom. He overheard a man ask Davy, “You’re just acquaintances, then?”
“Oh, no, we’re roommates,” Davy chuckled. “We just look alike!”
MacLaren smiled, then he heard him press, “But you call him by his last name.”
“Of course!” Davy replied, amusement colouring his tone. “If we called him ‘Peter’, neither of them would ever know which one we meant!”
MacLaren allowed the laugh to escape as he closed the door behind him.
It was only as he was pulling on his shirt that a low hiss of surprise escaped as well.
There had been eighteen people in that room – not counting himself.
But MacLaren had only heard sixteen heartbeats.
MacLaren took a moment to compose himself before he walked back out to the party. He took a careful look around, moving casually.
He heard music playing and saw couples dancing. He saw Jameson and Babbitt in the corner, chatting. With a grin, MacLaren refrained from eavesdropping – though a conversation between a policeman and a known slumlord would have been interesting to hear.
His eyes swept the room, searching for his four roommates. Peter and Mike were sitting on the bandstand, chatting with an unfamiliar man. MacLaren’s eyes widened and then narrowed as he registered that their conversation partner had no heartbeat.
Moving closer, MacLaren had every intention of confronting the man, demanding to know who he was and why he was there. He’d barely taken two steps when Mike turned and locked eyes with him.
Reading the pain lurking in the chocolate brown depths, MacLaren nodded. The empath was ‘reading’ the stranger and if he was a threat – well, he knew Mike would let him know.
Acknowledging that with a nod and a mouthed Take your painkillers -- which Mike smiled at – MacLaren went back to searching.
Micky was sitting on the couch, listening to Alice’s latest gossip. Never mind he’d heard it all before. Micky was too kind-hearted to tell the elderly woman she was repeating herself.
MacLaren squeezed his shoulder as he passed—and then he saw her.
She was dancing with Davy, close and slow. MacLaren listened – to hear only one heartbeat in the pair. He couldn’t see her face, as she had it buried in Davy’s shoulder.
Walking over, MacLaren tapped his double’s shoulder. Davy smiled warmly down at her and then they switched places so adeptly the rhythm wasn’t broken.
Her eyes didn’t even open. “Hmmm….y’r far away…”
He smiled down at her, recognising her at last. “No, you’re just too close.”
Her head snapped up, eyes opening and widening as she gaped at her dance partner.
MacLaren smiled. “It’s been decades, Ruth. How are you?”
Ruth blinked in shock at him, then began to smile. “…Peter?”
“I go by my surname now. MacLaren,” he corrected, swinging her around so her back was to the room.
The lady Vampyre smiled at her old friend. “What are you doing here?”
He chuckled. “That’s my question to you. What are you doing here and who is your companion?”
“That’s Daniel,” Ruth reported. “I found him and fully turned him after his master was killed by the Shakharii.”
MacLaren hissed low. “Are they still trying to destroy us?”
She nodded solemnly. “We received word they were active again and…” She bit her lip. “Why are you here?”
“I live here. In this house.”
Ruth’s eyes widened and flicked toward the bandstand and the giant bay windows. The sun was down, but she imagined the room flooding with poisonous sunlight….
“Relax, Ruth,” MacLaren chuckled. “I’m only in this part of the house at night. I’m perfectly safe.”
A car rolled down the beach, momentarily casting its headlights across the bay windows and into the Pad.
Mike suddenly let out a blood-curdling screech. His hands flew to his head and he toppled into Peter’s arms.
Without a word, Peter passed Mike to Micky, who ran up the stairs with him. MacLaren followed at a run.
Peter and Davy then began to swiftly break up the party. When only Ruth and Daniel remained, Peter walked over to them. “I’m sorry…you’ll have to—“
Ruth held up a hand. “We’re not going anywhere.”
Peter sighed. “Ma’am, please—“
“I’m a friend of Pe—uh, MacLaren’s. A very…old …friend.”
His eyes widened, then narrowed. “What….kind….of friend?”
“I mean you no harm,” Ruth said, then lowered her fangs. “We came here for diversion, not feeding. I have been aiding your friend for over a century…please. If we can – let us help.”
Peter looked at Davy. Davy looked at Peter. “All right,” Peter finally said. “Follow us!”
Mike lay, pale and trembling, on the bed. Micky sat beside his legs and MacLaren sat at his head, massaging the empath’s temples and willing him to wake.
“What happened?” Peter asked as he led the way into the bedroom.
MacLaren shook his head as Ruth moved to his side. “I don’t know – he hasn’t woken enough to explain.”
Micky raised his eyes to Peter. “Last time he had a reaction anywhere this intense was when that Siryn was going after Davy.”
Peter sat down and touched Mike’s hand. “That means it’s something big…”
“…..evil….” Mike whispered as his eyes opened.
“Who, Michael?” Peter asked. “Who did you feel?”
Mike’s eyes began to close again, but the word he mumbled made even the humans hiss with anger.
Ruth growled through her fangs. “Why?” she hissed. “Why can’t they just leave us alone?”
Daniel hissed, “And how would *he* know – unless he were one *of* them.”
MacLaren glared at him. “Call your dog off, Ruth,” he said coldly. “I’ve known Mike a lot longer than he has, and he is not Shakharii.”
She gestured at Mike’s pale, unconscious form. “Then kindly explain?”
“It’s his Gift,” MacLaren said gently. “Mike is an Empath. He can feel their evil.”
“Gift?” Ruth’s head swiveled as she looked at the other three. Daniel did the same, and MacLaren and Micky noted Daniel cringed away from Davy.
Davy sighed and lowered his eyes as he noticed it too. He shot an apologetic smile at Ruth. “My Gift’s Price,” he told her ruefully. “People seem to sense what I am – and it scares them.”
“That’s impossible,” Ruth murmured. “For that, he’d have to be something like a WeaponsMaster or—“ She broke off, looking at MacLaren.
“Oh, no!” she laughed. “You can’t honestly expect me to believe that that --“ she pointed at Davy, “is a WeaponsMaster!”
MacLaren nodded, smiling tightly as he rubbed Mike’s forehead. “A WeaponsMaster. An Empath. A Seer and an Archivist.”
All the colour drained from Ruth’s face. “You can’t be serious!”
“I am. And now is not the time to discuss it.” MacLaren looked down at Mike, who was stirring. He smiled as the dark eyes opened. “Hello.”
Mike groaned and struggled to sit up. “That was a bad one.” He met Peter’s eyes. “I need to find some way to tolerate this – or I’m not going to be much good.”
Peter’s eyes narrowed. “They’re coming here, then?”
“I’m not sure,” Mike sighed as he leaned back against the headboard. “They were just driving by – and there was such a bolt of hatred and malice fired toward the house…”
“That makes sense,” MacLaren growled. “It was here where the Shakharii attacked the first time…”
Davy sighed deeply. “I’ll have to invest in a bullet-proof vest, then.”
It was the needed tension-breaker. After the laughter had wound down, Micky spread is hands. “The Shakharii are such a large group, there must be some documentation of them somewhere!”
“Good idea,” Peter nodded. “Head on to bed so you can get to the Library in the morning and research.”
“I’ll go with you,” Daniel spoke up.
Micky frowned at him. “In the daytime?”
Ruth smiled. “Daniel is an Eosian vampyre. So long as he avoids the direct rays of dawn, he can walk in the sun.”
Micky nodded and held out his hand. “Thank you for finally trusting us.”
Daniel looked at the hand, then back up at Micky. “Save your thanks. I don’t. MacLaren does – so I work with you. But I do not trust you.” He spun on his heel and left the bedroom.
Ruth sighed. “I apologise for my consort. I do not understand him at times.”
Peter nodded. “Apologise later. Right now we have to plan as best we can until we have that information.”
Ruth tilted her head. “Why are you so certain here is were they’ll strike?”
Mike’s face was drawn into grim, pain-filled lines. “Because here is where they hit us before.”
Davy nodded. “And because evil never learns.”
The Pad’s interior was dark and quiet in the hours after dawn. Usually, nobody was up and around.
But this morning, there was movement. A form moved through the living room, heading toward the phone. Picking it up, he dialed a number swiftly.
“I saw you drive by last night,” he said without preamble. “I will deliver him to you – I promised!”
Micky and Daniel entered the library at half-past-noon. Micky walked right up to the reference librarian. “Hey, Donna.”
Donna Savage smiled up at him. “Hey yourself, Micky. What can I help you find today?”
“We need information on a group of vampyre hunters called Shakharii.”
Daniel glared at him.
Donna nodded. “Give me a minute.” She got up and moved into a back room.
Daniel grabbed Micky’s arm and spun him around. “Why didn’t you just tell her all our secrets, huh?” he snarled.
Micky shook his head. “Daniel, Donna knows I’m always looking up information on vampyres, Siryns – all that stuff! She thinks I’m collecting information for a book!”
Daniel nodded and released Micky’s arm just as Donna returned. “There’s not much information….”
Micky smiled at her. “It’s okay, Donna. Show me what you’ve got.”
“Follow me.” She led them back into a windowless room. “Have at it!”
“Thanks, Donna – you’re a peach!” Micky settled in and began to read.
Daniel sat down as well and watched Micky.
An hour later, Micky closed the last book. He looked up at Daniel, his face grim. “Well, the sources treat the Shakharii as legend – the way I was expecting. But there’s a part to the legend that disturbs me.”
“Well, don’t keep me in suspense!” Daniel growled. “What is it?”
Micky sighed and ran a hand over his forehead. “One of the books theorises that Shakharii’s anti-vampyre actions are controlled from behind the scenes by a vampyre.”
“Eliminating the competition, so to speak?”
A grim nod was Micky’s answer. “And we’ve recently had dealings with a vampyre who did just that.” He stood. “We’d best get back – this is information we can’t keep to ourselves.”
Donna asked if they’d had any luck, and Micky assured her she’d been a tremendous help. They parted with Micky giving her a kiss on the cheek – which simultaneously made Donna blush and Daniel roll his eyes.
As they left the library, Micky and Daniel had to do some fancy footwork to avoid the battered green car that came too close to the sidewalk. It rode down to the corner, then turned and cruised slowly toward them again.
They saw the driver smile a closed-mouth smile at them and give a sassy salute before he floored the accelerator and nearly hit them again before roaring away.
Daniel and Micky picked themselves up, trembling with shock and disbelief. Neither of them needed Micky’s photographic memory to recognise the face behind the cold, cruel smile.
The face was Mike Nesmith’s.
“I’m tellin’ you, that wasn’t him!” were Micky’s words as they entered the Pad.
“Does he have a brother?” Daniel shot back.
“Any relatives in town?”
“Micky shook his head.
“Then who else could it have been?”
“Look!” Micky spread his hands. “Everyone in this world has a double! Mac is Davy’s! Mine is a gangster! Peter’s is some Russian dancer! Who knows where Mike’s is! I bet that whoever it is, it was him that nearly ran us down!”
Attracted by the shouting, and nursing a headache that had flared him into awakeness, Mike came down the stairs. “What’s all the racket?”
Daniel whirled and dropped Mike with a single punch.
“Daniel!” Micky bellowed as he helped Mike up.
Mike wiped blood from the corner of his mouth and glared at Daniel. “I hope,” he said in a deadly calm voice, “there’s an explanation for this strange wakeup call.”
“Mike…” Micky released him and stepped back. “This is going to sound real strange – but were you here all the time we were gone?”
Mike nodded, rubbing his forehead. “Heard you go, fell back asleep. Why?”
“Yeah, feels like something bad’s close. What’s goin’ on?”
Micky nodded. “I believe him.”
Daniel shook his head. “Why? He was alone in the room –“
Micky smiled and touched the side of Mike’s jaw that Daniel had not hit. “Mike is very fastidious, Daniel. Even if he rumpled himself to look like he’d been sleeping – he wouldn’t have faked the line of dried drool.”
Mike’s eyes widened in horror and his hand flew to his face. Growling a curse as he felt it, he all but ran into the bathroom.
Daniel sighed. “Point conceded. But if it wasn’t him…”
“Who was it?” Micky finished.
Once Mike dressed, the trio converged on the downstairs bedroom. Waking the four in there – after making certain the plastic was intact so no sunlight would bother Mac or Ruth – they shared what Micky and Daniel had found.
Ruth scoffed, “Who ever heard of one of us behind an anti-vampyre movement?”
Mac smiled at her. “Remember Simone?”
Her smile was fond. “Yes, I do. Wonder what ever happened to the old charmer?”
Mac and Peter told them all about the Chosen and Simone. Ruth’s jaw unhinged as the tale spun out; then she closed it and blinked blearily. “Well…I suppose it’s not so far-fetched.”
Micky suddenly snapped his fingers. “If it is a vampyre, it’s have to be an Eosian one like Daniel to be able to handle the daylight his followers congregate in!”
Daniel growled, “You’re not suggesting –“
“Down, boy,” Ruth laughed. “He’s only suggesting it’s like you, not it is you!”
Daniel subsided, but growled and glared, arms crossed.
“Well,” Peter said with a sigh,” I suggest you two get some rest. You were up awful early.” Micky and Daniel nodded. “Then I suggest tonight, we figure out how to take this to the Shakharii.”
“Agreed,” Mac nodded. “I, for one, am tired of playing the victim.”
The next dawn found them all in bed, having formulated several attack stratagems.
An hour after dawn, a figure moved through the Pad and lifted the phone receiver.
“Master,” he hissed into the phone, “they strike very soon. It must happen today.”
Davy was dreaming. She was warm and soft … and a tease! Her laughter was musical…almost a tinkling sound….
He reluctantly left the dream when he felt the cool of dusk brush across his face. His eyes peeked open and he frowned.
Why was he feeling the night air?
The answer jarred him to full wakefulness. “Peter!” he bellowed. “Mac! Something’s wrong!”
Peter sat up. His eyes moved to the window, and he swore. “Something’s come through the window!” he bellowed as he flung the covers aside, finding the rock easily and kicking it under his bed.
MacLaren growled as he woke and toward the sleepaway beds. He woke Ruth and a dozing Daniel.
All action froze as a tinkling sound met their ears. “The bay window,” Davy whispered.
Three pairs of brown eyes met. Then all three pairs of eyes turned upward toward the bedroom. “Now,” Peter whispered.
The three then alerted their roommates the fastest way they knew how.
Each of them pictured Mike and made themselves feel severe alarm.
Mike jerked awake with a gasp. He willed his pounding heart into submission and forced his headache into the background.
Glass breaking downstairs hit his ears and he shook Micky awake, clamping a hand firmly over the drummer’s mouth. When Micky’s startled eyes met his, Mike hissed, “We’re bein’ invaded, man!”
Even in the tense situation, Mike marveled at how one of Micky’s eyes seemed to unfocus as scenarios were considered and mentally discarded within seconds. Mike removed his hand and Micky hissed, “Shakharii.”
“More’n likely.” Mike slid a shirt on and Micky shoved his feet into shoes.
Once Mike had done the same, Micky slowly opened the door. The pair crept into the hallway and to the railing, keeping low as they peered into the dimness below.
Forms were milling about in the darkness. Mike hissed softly, a hand flying to his head. “Worse?” Micky whispered.
Mike nodded. “Had a low-level one since Ruth and Daniel go there….worse after the lights….worse again!”
“Bad intentions, then,” Micky growled. “The question is – do we confront or wait for the others?”
That question was answered a moment later by ‘shave-and-a-haircut’ being taped softly under their feet. Mike and Micky looked at each other and smiled tightly even as mike reached down and gently rapped twice on the wooden floor. One more rap sounded from below.
There were decided advantages to having the downstairs bedroom entrance hidden behind the tornado staircase. MacLaren could slip out, check that everyone upstairs was awake and ready, and slide back to the others – all without being seen. “They’re ready,” he reported. “Who sends the signal?”
“Signal?” Ruth asked, frowning.
MacLaren smiled and hugged her one-armed. “There are advantages to having an Empath in the house.”
“I will.” Davy bowed his head, closed his eyes –and focused his entire being on feeling one feeling for ten seconds.
Mike’s eyes unfocused. “They’re ready.”
Micky nodded. He stood up – with Mike behind him – and clicked the switch at the top of the stairs.
The Pad flooded with light, revealing the attackers. Teenagers all, dressed for efficiency if not modesty – all of them armed.
“What do you want?” Micky demanded of the ten youths.
“MacLaren,” one of them snarled. “And only MacLaren. Surrender him and we’ll harm none of you!”
“My, my,” MacLaren laughed as he walked into the open, Ruth and Daniel flanking him and Peter and Davy flanking them. “All this for me? I’m touched.”
Knives were drawn all around. “We don’t want trouble,” the spokesman said. “Just come quietly.”
Mike suddenly grabbed Micky’s arm. “There’s…something not right here!”
Daniel spoke up. “Hey, MacLaren?”
“Yes, Daniel?” he replied.
“There are also certain dis-advantages to having an Empath in the house.” Daniel raised his eyes to the stairs, and his face screwed up in pure hatred.
Mike screamed, his hands flying to his head. He mis-stepped and fell down four stairs, lying across several others in an insensate heap.
Micky was instantly at Mike’s side. When he stood up, his face was grim as he faced Daniel. “Why?”
Daniel’s own face bore a cruel smile as he stepped forward and turned to face MacLaren – among the Shakharii. “Surrender.”
Jaws were pulled back up, and MacLaren’s eyes narrowed and reddened. “No.”
Ruth’s eyes altered as well. “Daniel!” she growled. “Why?!”
Daniel ignored her. “Pity.” He stepped back a step and flung his arm out. “Shakharii! Attack!”
After their encounter with the madman who thought he was Jack the Ripper, Davy had flatly declared he was not going to be the only one who knew how to fight! Each of the Monkees had taken several self-defense courses and each had developed enough skills to more than take care of themselves.
The Shakharii were expecting a fight. They fanned out and attacked. Soon, several tussles were going on. The Monkees disarmed them quickly and it was hand-to-hand. Some of the Shakharii were martial artists and while none of the Pad’s inhabitants were, they managed to deflect punches and kicks and stay upright.
Micky finally grew tired of the battle and snapped a roundhouse right to a startled Shakharii, who went down without a sound. Davy was next to fell one – using a heavy serving tray as both shield and mace.
MacLaren and Peter fought back-to-back, defending and punching. MacLaren’s strength came into play, and more Shakharii fell.
Daniel lowered his fangs and leapt at MacLaren, only to find Ruth blocking his path. “Move!” he hissed.
“No!” she bellowed back. “Daniel, why? I loved you—“
“No you don’t!” he bellowed back. “You never did! If you had ever loved me, you would have let medie instead of making me like this!”
Micky dispatched another Shakharii into unconsciousness and put in, “So you went to them, hoping they’d kill you!”
“Not that it matters,” Daniel growled, trying to lunge around Ruth – and failing. “Ruth, I do not want to harm you!”
“Why wait till now to betray us?” Ruth shot back.
Surprised, Daniel blurted, “If I help deliver MacLaren to them, they will give me the death I crave!”
“Why do they want me?” MacLaren growled as he and Peter’s combined fists sent the last human Shakharii to dreamland.
Daniel saw he was now outnumbered. His chin rose and he ground out, “You are the only one who ever survived an attack.”
“That was…why I hurt…all’a time…” Mike groaned as he shakily got to his feet. “You were…friendly….till you realised…Mac was here…Then…” He shook his ringing head.
Ruth shook her head. “We can’t let you do this, Daniel.”
“It’s the only way!” Daniel growled. “Once I do this, they will destroy me!”
Davy stepped forward. “You hate what you are that much?”
Daniel’s expression answered more eloquently than words.
Davy looked at MacLaren. MacLaren studied his face, and gave a single nod. With a resigned sigh, Davy headed toward the kitchen.
“Peter…Micky….get Mike into the bedroom.” MacLaren ordered. He watched as they supported Mike into the downstairs room. “Ruth…come with me.” He took her hand and led her into the kitchen as Davy came out.
“What—“ Daniel started to demand, then he saw what Davy held. His eyes widened. “You…after what I…you would….”
For answer, Davy cracked the wooden spoon’s long handle over his knee, creating a jagged spike of an edge. He looked up at Daniel, his face deadly grim. “So you won’t return to them – I’ll grant your desire.”
Daniel’s eyes brimmed with tears as he stared at the WeaponsMaster. Slowly, he began to smile. “Thank you…”
“Now?” Davy asked. Daniel’s nod was immediate.
“Good-bye, Daniel,” Davy said. Ruth whispered it as well.
Davy shifted his grip on the makeshift stake – and then lunged, plunging it deep into Daniel’s breast with one efficient movement.
Daniel’s whole body seemed to light with gratitude – and then he exploded into shimmering dust.
In the bedroom, Mike suddenly let out a shuddering gasp and collapsed into Peter and Micky’s arms. “It’s…over….” he panted, the pain clearing from his eyes at last. “A bolt….of pure thanks….then—nothing.”
Out in the living room, Davy prodded the dust for a moment before he threw the stake in the middle of it.
“Burn that,” MacLaren ordered. “Neither Ruth nor I can touch it now – it’s now a Killing Stake and it would harm us.”
Davy nodded, lifting both wooden pieces. “The – remains?”
Ruth spoke, her voice trembling. “He was an Eosian – but not even they can stand dawn. Put… put the ashes in the dawn and….and they’ll dissolve.”
Davy began his work, but then froze. “What about the Shakharii?”
“I’ll take care of them,” MacLaren said.
To say he was furious would be an understatement. His operatives had been returned to him with their memories modified – none of them knew where MacLaren lived anymore!
He swore, throwing his snifter across the room and watching the thick red liquid drip down the wall as he ran his hands through his thick black hair in frustration.
With them amnesiac, he’d have to start all over!
A sudden resolve gripped him, and he sat back in his chair. Slowly, his lips parted to reveal wicked-looking fangs. His dark brown eyes shifted to blood-red.
“Well…” he said slowly. “At least I know he resides somewhere in this….quaint…little town.” The grin grew. “And it’s only a matter of time until I find him!”
He raised a hand and made a fist. “And then, MacLaren – you’re mine.”
With that, Michael Nesmith -- Andrew Michael Nesmith, five hundred year old vampyre – threw back his head and laughed.
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