Panic erupted the instant the entire building was left in darkness. Humans were scrambling to get the lights back on, running, and within seconds screams of terror echoed throughout the hotel. The sound of bones crunching, and the gurgling sounds from a victim choking on their own blood was a sign that Damien had materialized and begun feasting. The tension in the air exploded into full- fledged violence as werewolves transitioned, and vampires took full advantage of the confusion and snatched random humans from their seats and fed mercilessly. Rio surrounded himself with his bodyguards whom ushered him into a hasty retreat to the elevator, while Kevin was left unattended by his pack who were busy seeking and destroying feeding vampires. And through it all, Lucas and his entourage sat completely unbothered, seeming to enjoy the spectacle that this event had become…that is until a snarling werewolf charged in their direction, taking the head of one of Luca’s men, and disemboweling his female companion. The werewolf charged again, this time at Lucas, and with a movement to fast for a human eye, he dodged the advance and then without missing a beat snapped the wolf’s neck.

I reach for my specially calibrated 9mm once I have Lucas in my sight. Perfect. And without a second thought, I open fire on the very being that I hated with every ounce of my existence. The Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I shoot three times, each bullet whizzing past the unintended at the speed of light toward their intended target. Like everyone else he heard the explosion of the gun, and turns in my direction, his eyes widening in recognition, a subtle slip in vulnerability, and one that I am going to take full advantage of. He flips out of the way, successfully avoiding the silver nitrate that fills the hollow points, sending my hallowed missles in the direction of another vampire consumed in bloodlust, and turning him into ash upon contact. I don’t bother to fire again because I cannot afford to lose another bullet, and Lucas leads me into a chase. I know that I just may be being led into a trap, but vengeance consumes me, and I follow in pursuit.

Gunshots ring out behind me as I follow Lucas up the emergency stairway. I hear Blondie call out my name as police sirens echo in the background. The snarls, howls, the tearing of flesh, the heightened and desperate pleas for help that fill the lobby are deafening. I should turn around. I should leave all of this alone….but as the memory of this sick son of bitch forcing himself into my mother’s body flooded my vision; vengeance reminds me of my purpose. Lucas Barnes was going to die by my hand one way or the other….even if I have to blow the whole goddamn hotel up just to make it happen.

The fucker dematerializes when I am all but a few feet behind him, and I abruptly come to a halt. Somewhere off in the distance, closing in is the sound of a helicopter. The roof! The motherfucker is on the goddamn roof! I dematerialize to the roof, where I find him boarding the helicopter without a care in the world. I wish I had a rocket launcher to blow that bitch clean out of the sky. He turns to face me as the copter ascends and blows me a kiss. “It has been years Nicole! My haven’t you changed? Well, it was great but I have some other businesses to attend, oh and one more thing…” One of his men pulled an unconscious body from the backseat and dangled the very familiar young man out so that I may see him. “I don’t know how you fit into any of this, but from what I have heard you have been a very busy vampire. You should come work for me.” “How about I just ram a spear up your ass and watch you choke on the handle?” I spit. He laughs heartily as if that was the best laugh he had in a long time. “You know you have changed?! You’re no longer that pathetic little girl I met that day your bitch ass father tried to run off with what was mine. And did I tell you that your mother’s pussy was the best I ever had?” I wish I could recall what happens next but I cannot. I black out. The last thing I remember is lunging onto the helicopter, and forcing my way inside. I suppose that is what he wanted to happen because I was punched square in the face by one of his henchmen. There is not much room in a four seater copter to do much damage, and I could hear his maniacal laughter in the background as I fought two of his men, werewolves with a vengeance. I managed to pull out my 9mm and shoot one in the face at point blank range, and it was a disgusting sight to watch his face literally melt off. “As much as I would like to catch up on old times, I have an empire to run. Tell Rio I will be seeing him soon,” Lucas says in the background as I bite a chunk out the neck of his second minion. I didn’t notice that he had been looming behind me until he grabbed me by my collar and yanked me out of the helicopter and into the air sending me on a 20,000 foot drop to what was likely a very painful death. As I began my plummet I realize that the young man was none other than Kevin. Fear, and something else I had not felt in over 20 years: remorse. As Kevin’s unconscious body continued to dangle outside of the helicopter’s doorway while the pilot guides it off into the horizon, I continue my descent.  I don’t even have time to poof myself out of midair because I hit the ground hard, like a meteor. I am instantly consumed with the agonizing pain of every bone in my body shattering on impact.

I failed you mommy.

I failed you Lindsay.

Daddy you can still kiss my ass.

Kevin, I am sorry.

I welcome the darkness that surrounds me, and I hope that I am not awakened to the fiery pits of hell and brimstone.


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