IN THE WORKS
So, I'm not sure this story will go anywhere. I started it awhile ago, but I felt it lacked something......but, since I can't think of anything else to write at the momemt, I pulled it up for a second look. Would love your feedback.
It's a sequel to Dead Perfect.
The dream came every day and it was always the same. And even as it unfolded, never changing, the man who had once been known as Jim Hewitt wished it was just that, nothing but a dream….
He had followed the vampire known as Ronan and the woman, Shannah, home, intent on destroying the one and rescuing the other. And he had come so close. Armed with a bottle of holy water and a sharp wooden stake, he had attacked Ronan as they arrived at his lair. The holy water had done its job, burning the vampire's face, giving Hewitt the window of opportunity he needed to drive the stake into the vampire's back. The scent of fresh hot blood wafted through the night.
He hollered at Shannah to run away while she could.
But Shannah didn't run away. With a scream of rage, she grabbed him by the arm.
Startled, he glanced at her. "What are you doing?"
"Stopping you!" She yanked his hand away from the stake, her fingers curling around his wrist in an iron-like grip.
"Are you crazy?" Hewitt exclaimed. "He's a vampire!"
"Yes!" she hissed, baring her fangs. "And so am I."
Startled, he could only stare at her, and then he lashed out as fear and fury swept through him.
She laughed as he struggled in vain to free himself from her hold. And then she trapped his gaze with hers. "Stop fighting me," she commanded.
Unable to resist the preternatural power in her voice, his arms fell limply to his sides. Helpless to move, he watched her drop to her knees beside Ronan and yanked the stake from his back. A torrent of dark red blood flowed from the nasty wound.
And then the vampire sat up and uttered the most chilling words Jim Hewitt had ever heard.
"Bring him to me."
The nightmare grew worse from that point on. Shannah released him from her spell and dragged him effortlessly toward the wounded vampire. Fear spiraled through Hewitt as he gazed into Ronan's blood-red eyes.
"I warned you," the vampire said. "You should have listened."
Hewitt struggled in vain as Ronan sank his fangs into his throat.
For a time, he seemed to be drifting between this world and the next. And then, as from far away, he heard the vampire's voice.
"Listen to me. You have only a few minutes to make up your mind. Do you want to live or die?"
Hewitt stared up into the monster's face. How could he be expected to make such a decision? He was a hunter. How could he choose between death or spending the rest of his existence as a vampire?
"Your time is running out," Ronan said curtly. "Make your choice!"
"Live." Hewitt forced the word from the depths of his soul. "I want…to live."
With a feral cry, the vampire bit into his own wrist. "Then drink," he said, and his voice was like sandpaper over steel.
Hewitt grimaced as dark red blood – vampire blood - dripped from the wound in Ronan's wrist into his mouth. He choked down the first taste, hating what he was doing, hating the creature who had brought him to this.
And then, to his amazement, he latched onto Ronan's arm with both hands, drinking eagerly, afraid the vampire would make him stop. How could something so repulsive taste so good?
"Damn you!" he cried hoarsely, and then he pulled the vampire's wrist to his mouth again and took his first step into another life.
The man who had once been Jim Hewitt jackknifed into a sitting position, the nightmare still fresh in his mind. Not for the first time, he wondered why he was plagued with the same dream night after night. He was a vampire now and everyone knew that vampires didn't dream.
Jim Hewitt had died that horrible night. It seemed only fitting that he lay his old name to rest, as well. It seemed a wise decision for a number of reasons, but mainly because Jim Hewitt the vampire hunter was also dead. He had considered several before deciding on Travis Black -- Travis for the man who had fathered him. And Black....he grunted softly. It had been one of Ronan's aliases. It seemed only fitting to take his sire's name, as well.
"Travis." He murmured it out loud, wondering how long it would take before he answered to it automatically. Of course, it was a moot point at the moment, since he was the only one who knew he had discarded the name he had been born with.
If he lived to be a hundred, he would never forget the horror of waking that first night and realizing it hadn't been a dream. Even now, four months later, he often roused from the dark sleep feeling lost and disoriented. He was supposed to hunt and destroy vampires, not hide from the hunters.
As he did every night on waking, he cursed the vampire who had turned him although, to be honest, he had no one to blame but himself. If he had left the damned, blood-sucking creature and his woman alone, none of this would have happened.
He blew out a sigh. He had hunted the undead his whole adult life, had thought he knew all there was to know about them. Just proved how wrong a man could be, he thought bitterly, and once again, he cursed Ronan for turning him and then leaving him. A sire was supposed to stay with his fledgling for at least a year to help him adjust to his new life, teach him how to hunt, how to find shelter, how to defend himself, if need be. A sire wasn't supposed to abandon those he turned.
Travis swore softly. Sure, he knew about hunting vampires. He knew how to find them, how to immobilize them, how to destroy them.
What he didn't know was how to be one.
He had lost more than his humanity. He had lost his family, too, as well as the few friends he'd had back home in Nevada. There was just no way in hell his old acquaintances, mostly hunters, would accept him as he was now. Being a hunter hadn't allowed him the luxury of staying in one place long enough to really get to know anyone.
From time to time, he had thought about contacting Carl Overstreet. Not that he and Carl had been friends, exactly, but they had shared some hairy moments together. He'd met the man while shadowing Ronan and Shannah. A free-lance reporter, Overstreet had written a series of articles titled Vampires Among Us ~ Truth or Legend? for a national magazine. Travis, still known as Hewitt at the time, had met him in a bar late one night where they had struck up an alliance of sorts. They had both been after the same thing, though for different reasons. Jim had wanted to destroy Ronan, and Overstreet had wanted to interview a vampire. Jim had failed in his quest. The writer had succeeded and then quit the field.
Travis raked his fingers through his hair. If only he had done the same. Hunting sure as hell hadn't paid much, but he hadn't been qualified to do anything else. He'd been thinking about taking up another line of work when he'd gotten a hot tip from another hunter that Ronan was holed up in a little town in Northern California. He had followed them from a discreet distance for a time and then one night he'd followed Ronan and the woman into a bookstore where he learned that Shannah was a published author. It wasn't until later that he discovered it was the vampire who was the writer and that the woman merely pretended to be him, though, at the time, he'd had no idea why.
Travis huffed a sigh of regret. If only he'd stayed in Nevada and found some nine-to-five job, none of this would have happened and he wouldn't be here now, a fledgling vampire with less than forty dollars in his pocket. On the bright side, he no longer had to buy groceries. He didn't have to worry about getting sick, so there was no longer any need for health insurance. Maybe dental, if he broke a fang, he mused with wry amusement.
On the dark side, he still had to pay rent since he didn't want to take his rest in the ground. He had tried that once, he recalled with a grimace, and he had no desire to do it again. As his old grandmother had been fond of saying -- there was no use in crying over spilt milk. He was what he was and there was no going back.
Or was there?
Rising, he began to pace the bedroom floor. He had never heard of a vampire returning to mortality, but that didn't mean it had never happened. If there was a cure, the vampire community was keeping it to themselves.
So, how was he to find out if one existed?
The Web, of course.
Going into the living room of the cottage, he booted up his laptop and Googled vampire cures. Page after page of links came up. The only problem? They all referred to the role-playing game, "Oblivion."
He spent another forty minutes searching the Internet. He found numerous sites about vampires, how to become a vampire, how to recognize one, how to kill the monsters, not to mention numerous sites dedicated to the old tv show, "Dark Shadows", the works of Anne Rice, as well as "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" – both the movie and the tv series. There were fan sites for notorious individual vampires, as well, both real and fictional - Lestat, Edward Cullen, Mick St. John, Rhys Costain, and Henry Fitzroy. But nothing about a cure for actual vampirism.
Muttering an oath, he signed off, then sat there, staring into the distance, until a familiar ache started deep inside of him. His tongue brushed his fangs as his need rose up from deep inside. The hunger had become his master, a tyrant he was helpless to resist, an addiction he craved almost as much as he despised it.
Leaving the small rental house, he went out into the night in search of prey and rent money.