Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Moments Later
Faith and Mia sat on the couch watching Vi and Janet playing pool.
“What do you think Ken’s doing right now?” Mia suddenly asked, looking over at the other slayer.
Faith shrugged and scratched her neck nervously. “Don’t know, but whatever it is, I’m sure she’s probably enjoying herself.”
“Yeah,” Mia smiled. “There’s only one thing Kennedy loves more than slaying.”
Faith chuckled, shaking her head. “Yeah, but she’s halfway across the globe, all alone with Kadin, holed up in a motel somewhere.” She suddenly stopped smiling and looked over to see the uncomfortable expression on Mia’s face. “Damn, Mia,” Faith said, turning towards the other woman. “Sometimes my mouth overloads my brain. You know I didn’t mean it like that. Ken would never do anything to hurt you.”
Mia sighed and looked down at her nails. “You know, Faith, I really want to believe that.” She paused and looked back up at her. “But…lately, I just don’t.”
“Hey,” Faith said, reaching over to place a gentle hand on the woman’s shoulder. “Kennedy loves you. She’s a very passionate person. A lot of the time, she thinks with her heart instead of her head.”
Mia sighed. “Yeah…that’s what I’m afraid of.”
Sofitel Hotel – Suite 310 – Same Time
Kennedy kissed Kadin deeply, their shared moans echoing through the silent room.
The hunter had one hand on Kennedy’s hip, the other woven tightly in her dark hair. The slayer had one hand on the bed next to Kadin’s head, the other roaming her right side.
The moment was suddenly broken when Kadin flinched from the kiss, gasping from the sharp pain shooting through her side. Kennedy looked down at her, confused.
“What? What is it?” she asked breathlessly.
Kadin closed her eyes and grit her teeth. “Nothing. I’m fine.”
“You sure don’t look so fine. Was it something I did?”
The hunter took in a deep breath and started to push her way from under the slayer. Kennedy fell back onto the bed, staring at Kadin intently. She watched as the other woman painfully sat up, her hand instantly moving to grip her right side.
“Kadin,” Kennedy said, sitting up next to her. “What’s wrong with your side?”
“I told you, nothing.”
“Yeah, well, I ain’t convinced,” Kennedy said matter-of-factly. “Let me see.” She reached to touch Kadin’s side, but the woman flinched away from her touch. Kennedy sighed. “Please don’t make me make you.”
Kadin looked over to meet the slayer’s resolve face. She sighed and slowly dropped her hand from her side. Kennedy reached out and lifted Kadin’s shirt to reveal a huge white bandage, running nearly the entire length of the hunter’s right side.
“Kadin,” she whispered. “What the hell happened to you? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Tell you what exactly?” the hunter replied, anger entering her tone. “That I got my ass kicked by some second-rate vampire? You already know that. Besides, it’s not something I’m real proud of.”
Kadin stood up swiftly, the sound of crunching glass resounding from beneath her heavy boot. She lifted her foot and paused for a moment, staring down at the picture, then slowly bent down to pick up the smashed frame.
“What is it?” Kennedy asked anxiously.
Kadin looked up at her silently. She glanced down at the broken frame in her hand before extending it out to the slayer.
Kennedy took the mangled frame from her hand and dropped her eyes to the photograph within.
“Oh,” she breathed. “I forgot I put that in there.”
“Sorry,” Kadin said, motioning to the broken frame.
“It’s okay,” Kennedy assured her, still staring down at the picture. “It’s still fixable.”
The hunter stood, staring down at the still slayer. After a long moment, she cleared her throat. “Um, I think I better go.”
She watched as Kennedy just continued to stare down at the broken picture in her hand silently. “Yeah,” Kennedy whispered, as Kadin slipped from the room.
The slayer sat motionless on the bed, staring down at the broken glass covering the distorted picture of her and Mia. She lifted her hand and ran the tip of her index finger over the image of her girlfriend’s face.
A sudden feeling of guilt welled up inside her and she closed her eyes, letting out a long, deep breath. “Dammit Mia.”
Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Later
Faith sunk the eight ball into the corner pocket and grinned. “That’s game.”
Vi reached into her pocket. “Yeah, yeah,” she grumbled, pulling the bills out and handing them to Faith.
The elder slayer accepted them with a cocky smirk. “Best outta five?”
“Are you kidding?” Vi asked rhetorically. “If I keep this up, I’ll be dipping into my grandkids’ college fund.” She shook her head and walked over to where Janet was idly playing darts solo.
“Hey, wanna play?” Vi nodded to the board. Janet looked over at the redhead and threw a dart without looking. It landed in a perfect bull’s eye.
“I give up!” Vi shouted, throwing her arms in the air.
Faith looked over at Janet and smiled, the younger slayer blushing slightly.
“Poor Vi,” Faith chuckled, placing the pool stick back in the rack. She turned back to the table, nearly plowing into Mia.
“Going?” Faith repeated with a raised brow. “Going where, exactly?”
“To Bucharest,” Mia answered, but Faith still looked completely lost. “To follow Kennedy. That’s where she went with Kadin.”
“Mia,” Faith sighed, walking to the other side of the table. She placed her hands on the edge and gave the other slayer a long look. “Do you really think that’s the best idea?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?”
“You mean, besides the fact that you going there would give Slick the impression that you don’t trust her?”
“She already has that impression, but that’s not why,” Mia protested weakly. “She might really need my help. This Drachen guy sounds pretty tough.”
“Who you tryin’ to convince here?”
Mia just looked down at her hands, her shoulders slumping slightly.
“Look, Mia,” Faith said, walking back around to where the woman was standing. “As far as your relationship with Slick goes, well, that’s really none of my damn business. Besides, relationships aren’t really my specialty. My batting average ain’t so high on that one.” Mia looked up, a small smile on her face. “But, I can tell you one thing. Kennedy’s my best friend, and besides you, I know what goes on in that head of hers more than anyone.”
“No,” Mia interrupted. “You’re wrong about that.”
“What you just said,” Mia nodded. “I don’t know what goes on in Kennedy’s head. I mean, I thought I did…I wish I did, but I just don’t know what makes her…tick.”
“Sure you do,” Faith assured her, “If you didn’t, she wouldn’t be warming your sheets at night, or serving you breakfast in bed.”
“How did…” Mia looked surprised.
Faith just smiled. “Word travels fast in this place, but that’s not the point.”
“What is the point?” Mia asked, exasperated.
“My point is,” Faith reached out and took the other slayer by the shoulders, “Kennedy loves you, and to her, that makes you the center of the universe.”
“Really?” Mia challenged. “Is that why she’s currently in another country with a woman that so obviously has the hots for her, even after I made it perfectly clear I didn’t want her to go?”
“Kadin…has the hots for Slick?” Faith asked, confused.
Mia rolled her eyes and sighed. “Oh come on. That whole lonely and helpless bit? Just a clever diversionary tactic to get her alone, in a hotel, thousands of miles away from anyone or anything that could remotely remind her of me.”
“How can you be so sure?”
Mia shrugged. “It’s what I would do.”
Bucharest, Romania – Dark Cave – Moments Later
Drachen sat perched on his extravagant throne, his hand cupping his chin in thought. His eyes remained focused straight ahead, unblinking.
“Master?” The robed man appeared from the dark entrance. “Sorry to disturb you, Sire, but we just received word that Van Helsing and her companion have just entered Bucharest.”
“They’ve been here for hours,” Drachen replied calmly. “Find whatever source relayed this information and kill it…a lot.”
“Sire?” the robed man asked. Drachen flew from his chair and had a hand around the man’s throat before he could even blink. The age-old vampire lifted the man into the air, his eyes burning a deep, blood red.
“Are you opposing me?” he growled, his fangs bared.
The servant gasped for air. “No…no Sire. It will be…done.”
Drachen instantly dropped the man and morphed back into his human visage. “Good. I do not like to be opposed. Makes me…cranky.”
“Sire.” The servant bowed and quickly left the cave.
Drachen slowly walked over and took his place back on the throne. He stared into the darkness, a sinister smile soon appearing on his face.
“Soon, I will have your power as well.”
He lifted a hand into the air and motioned over his shoulder. A young, beautiful woman stepped from the shadows and sensually made her way over to the vampire. He smiled as she climbed onto his lap, gazing deeply into his eyes.
“But for now,” he whispered as he ran a hand over the woman’s neck. He continued the gentle caress for a few moments, but it soon turned violent as he grabbed the woman roughly and pulled her into him. “I’m hungry.” His features morphed into those of the undead and he bared his fangs, sinking them deeply into the woman’s neck.
The woman cried out in pain, vainly struggling against the vampire’s grasp, as he pulled her life into himself and drank.
Sofitel Hotel – Suite 309 – Dusk
Kadin sat on the bed, polishing her crossbow. Her hair was down and still damp from her recent shower.
A sudden knock at the door caused her to stop mid-polish and look over.
“It’s open,” she called out before thinking.
The door slowly crept open and Kennedy’s head peered around the corner.
“Hey,” she said slowly stepping inside, “I just came by to go over the plan. You know, that little thing we need to stay alive.”
Kadin smiled and dropped the crossbow onto the bed beside her. “Yeah, I was just gonna call you about that.”
“Call me?” Kennedy repeated with a raised brow. “What? Now I don’t even rate an up close and personal anymore?”
“I think we’ve gotten just about as up close and personal as I’d like,” Kadin mumbled.
“I heard that,” Kennedy retorted, walking over to take a seat next to the hunter.
“Right,” Kadin nodded. “Slayer hearing.”
“Yep. Works real well when we fight the baddies. They can’t sneak up on ya that way – not to mention the added bonus of picking up on a snide remark or two.”
“I’m sorry,” the hunter sighed, “I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Yeah, ya did.”
“Okay, I did,” Kadin admitted. “But we don’t have time for that right now. One of us might not make it through the night.”
“Then that’s exactly why we need to discuss it…now.”
“I’m no good with this, okay?” Kadin said, jumping to her feet. “Mushy feelings and intimate conversations are just not my thing.”
“Intimate?” The slayer repeated. “Is that what we are?”
“Well, what happened earlier sure wasn’t a friendly ‘Gee, thanks for saving my life’.”
“No,” Kennedy said, shaking her head. “It wasn’t.”
“I know, but the thing is, I’m not sure what it was. I mean you said it yourself, you’ve got a girlfriend…and I ain’t exactly the poster child for stability here.”
Kennedy slowly rose to her feet, staring deeply into Kadin’s eyes. “I’m not sure what it was either…but I do know that I haven’t felt that way since Wil…in a very long time.”
“Well, I wouldn’t analyze it too much,” Kadin said, shrugging. “Chalk it up to adrenaline, fear, desperation. We just got caught up in the moment.”
Kennedy stared at the other woman for a long moment. “If that’s all that it was,” she began, slowly walking over to stand directly in front of Kadin. She looked up into her eyes, and spoke very softly. “Then why do I want to do it again?”
Kadin’s heart pounded in her ears as she stared at the slayer. “Is…is that a bad thing?”
Kennedy took a step back and sighed. “Right now, yes.”
“It is a bad thing, Kadin. A very very bad thing.” Kennedy watched as Kadin’s expression grew cold. “And it can never happen again.”
“What?” Kadin asked, venom dripping from her voice. “Mere mortal Kadin not good enough for the almighty, superior Kresnik?”
“No,” Kennedy shook her head, “That’s not it at all.”
“Well, why don’t you enlighten me then?”
“I have a girlfriend, Kadin,” Kennedy answered. “I love her, and if she ever found out about what just happened…”
“I know,” Kadin finished, her expression sullen.
“Kadin,” The slayer breathed, stepping up to her once again. “I’m going to say something to you that I swore I’d never say to anyone as long as I lived.” She paused a moment, before barely managing to force the words from her mouth. “Let’s just be friends.”
The hunter stared down at her for a long moment before slowly nodding. “Yeah, we can just pretend it never happened.”
“We both know that’s not true,” Kennedy whispered, stepping back. “Besides, I don’t think I’ll ever forget a kiss like that,” she added with a light smile.
“It was alright,” Kadin shrugged, earning a raised eyebrow from the slayer. “Okay, it was freakin’ phenomenal.”
“It was…but I made a promise to someone else. ” Kennedy’s smile grew for a moment, her eyes falling to the floor.
“I know,” Kadin said sympathetically.
“Speaking of which, in the spirit of getting back home safe, there’s something else we need to discuss,” she continued hesitantly, “What are we really walking into here?” She finished, bringing her eyes back to Kadin’s.
The hunter let out a long breath and nodded. “There’s not much to really tell you.”
“Okay, then let’s start with how did you end up looking like a punching bag?”
“I honestly don’t know what more to say.” Kadin shook her head. “He chased me, he caught me, we fought and I won.”
“You call that winning?” Kennedy asked, motioning towards Kadin’s heavily bandaged side.
“I didn’t say it was a crushing victory but I’m still standing here. So yeah, I think that constitutes a victory.”
“At what cost, Kadin?”
“Whatever it takes, Kennedy,” the hunter answered sternly.
“And what about after?” the slayer retorted. “What if there were more?”
“Then I woulda killed them too.”
“Oh yeah?” Kennedy said, stepping up and poking Kadin in her injured side. The hunter doubled over in pain, gripping her aching ribs tightly. “What were you gonna do? Pass out from the pain and hope they tripped over you to land on a pointy stick?”
“I coulda taken ’em,” Kadin breathed, still gripping her side tightly.
“I know you’re smarter than that Kadin.”
The hunter sighed and hobbled her way over to sit on the bed. She adjusted herself with a grimace and then dropped her hands to her lap. “It’s just…I’ve never ran from anything in my life. My father taught me that as long as you believe in yourself, nothing’s impossible.”
“Your father sounds like a smart man,” the slayer nodded.
“The smartest,” Kadin added. “But he also taught me that having courage meant knowing when to fight and when to run to fight another day.”
“I’m liking this guy more and more.” Kennedy smiled.
“Yeah, he was the best,” Kadin smiled. “And he woulda liked you too.”
“And what about tonight? What would he tell you to do?”
Kadin breathed deeply before replying. “He would say to sit this one out. Let the Kresnik handle it. Give my body time to mend.”
“And I will, Kadin. I promise, I won’t let them hurt you.”
Kadin chuckled. “That’s just the thing, Kennedy. They’ve hurt me more than any punch ever could. They’ve taken away my ability to fight. Ridding the world of those things is what I do…it’s my birthright; my life.” Kennedy looked at her and sighed. “I don’t want your pity,” Kadin whispered.
“I don’t pity you, Kadin. If anything, I admire you. You’ve spent your whole life looking evil dead in the face, and yet…you’ve still kept your humanity.”
“Well, don’t give me too much credit. I think we both remember that little incident at Christmas,” Kadin reminded her.
“Everyone’s felt the need for vengeance at some point in their lives. The important thing is, you let your compassion for human life override that. There’s nothing more humane than that.”
“Well, we ain’t dealin’ with humans now,” Kadin added. “And I’m telling you Kennedy, if you want to survive tonight…you’re going to have to forget any shred of humanity you may have.”
“Is this Drachen guy really that bad?”
“I don’t know what you’ve faced in your life, Kennedy, but I can tell you this…there is not a life form on this planet that has ever faced Drachen and lived to tell the tale.”
“Well, he’s never faced a Chosen One and a Kresnik,” Kennedy answered. “And I really don’t like to lose. So, what about this plan of yours?”
“It’s pretty simple really,” Kadin nodded. “If you wanna attract the shark…you gotta put a little blood in the water.”
“You’re not serious?” Kennedy asked. “You’re gonna use yourself as bait?”
“You got a better idea?”
“I’m sure we can come up with something. With enough time…”
“Time is the one thing we don’t have,” Kadin nodded to the window. The slayer looked over to see the last rays of the sunset fading. “He’ll send his minions as soon as the sun’s down. With me like this, we’ll never be able to take them all on.”
Kennedy looked back at Kadin and sighed. “And if I’m down and out…”
“There won’t be anything standing between Drachen and my blood.”
“Okay then,” Kennedy said, folding her arms over her chest. “Where do you wanna do this?”
“There’s a lake behind this hotel. It leads into a forest with plenty of open space.”
“Are you sure about this?” Kennedy asked, one last time.
“I told you before, Kennedy,” Kadin answered. “Whatever it takes. If it means sacrificing my life to rid the world of this evil bastard…then so be it.”
“Something else your father taught you?” Kennedy asked with a light smile, which Kadin returned.
“There are things in this world bigger than my own existence. Like the existence of humanity.”
“It’s too bad I never got to meet him,” Kennedy shrugged. “He sounds like he was a very wise man. Probably coulda taught me a thing or two.”
“Yeah, well…” Kadin trailed off.
“So, why don’t we get this thing started?”
“I’m ready if you are,” Kadin answered, slowly rising to her feet. “I’ll just need a few minutes.” She said, reaching out to pull her vest from the back of a nearby chair.
Kennedy nodded. “Okay, I’ll meet you in the lobby in five.” She walked over to the door and placed her hand on the knob, pausing to look back over her shoulder. “And Kadin?”
The hunter looked over from fastening her vest. “Whatever happens tonight, I just want you to know…I got no regrets.”
Kadin smiled. “Me either.”
“Okay, I’ll see you downstairs.”
Kadin nodded and Kennedy quickly left the room. The hunter let out a long sigh and shook her head before continuing to get ready.
Sofitel Hotel – Suite 309 Door – Same Time
Kennedy’s hand rested on the doorknob as she stared at the three elaborate numbers marking the door.
Her fingers started to flex, but she jerked her hand back and dropped it to her side. She stood there for a moment longer, then sighed and shook her head. She turned and quickly walked away.
Sofitel Hotel – Lobby – Ten Minutes Later
Kadin leaned against the wall beside the elevator, her arms folded and her head resting back.
The desk clerk kept stealing glances, smiling when she saw the hunter looking back at her. Kadin just shook her head with an amused grin.
The sound of the elevator suddenly beeped and the doors opened to reveal a completely leather-clad slayer.
“Wow,” Kadin said breathlessly.
“It’s a little trick I learned from Faith. If they can’t grab you, they can’t bite you.”
“And nothing’s harder to grab than tight leather,” Kadin added with a smile.
“Exactly,” Kennedy finished.
“It’s a good theory,” Kadin continued, as the two women made their way to the lobby doors. “But…how the hell can you fight in that?”
Kennedy smiled. “That’s another neat little trick I learned from Faith,” she answered, reaching out to pull open the doors.
“Which is?” Kadin inquired.
“Be one with the leather,” Kennedy grinned. Kadin rolled her eyes. Both women laughed as they exited the hotel.
The desk clerk watched intently as the two women left through the front doors. She watched for another moment, to make sure they were gone, before reaching over to pick up the phone. She dialed a number quickly and waited. When the sound of a deep voice answered on the other end, she smiled.
“They just left, be ready.”
She placed the receiver back down with a sinister smile. Her eyes blinked a deep black before returning to normal.
Bucharest – Deep Woods – Evening
Kennedy came to a stop in the middle of a clearing. She dropped the bag of weapons at her feet and turned to Kadin. “Okay, it’s time for you to hide.”
Kadin started to protest, but Kennedy raised a hand. “We’re not gonna get into this now. This isn’t about your ability as a fighter. This is about staying alive. So go. Now.” The slayer pointed to a nearby cave and Kadin relented.
“Fine, but if I see even one of those things in the open,” Kadin said as she turned for the cave. “I’m gonna…” The words died in her throat when she came face to face with one of the minions.
“You’re gonna what?” he growled, smiling.
“Kadin, get down!” Kennedy shouted from behind her. The hunter dropped to her stomach and immediately groaned from the impact. Looking up she watched Kennedy flying over her head, landing a drop kick right in the vampire’s chest.
The vampire flew back and crashed into a tree, the wood shattering under the force. Splinters and broken debris flew from all angles, as the tree started to crack and fall. The vampire lay slumped on the ground under the falling trunk.
Kadin was just pushing herself to her feet when the falling tree caught her attention. She barely managed to jump out of the way as the heavy trunk crashed down to the ground. She looked over at Kennedy, breathing heavily. The slayer smiled. “Oops.”
The sound of creaking lumber broke through the silence. Both women slowly turned their heads to the other end of the fallen tree. They watched raptly as the large log started to move up and down.
“What the…” Kennedy whispered, just as the log exploded and the vampire flew into the air. He landed on his feet directly in front of her.
“My turn,” he said with a menacing grin. He reached out and grabbed Kennedy by the arms. With a massive growl he lifted her into the air and threw her across the clearing. She smashed back-first into a large boulder and slumped to the ground, motionless.
The vampire licked his lips and laughed evilly as he turned his attention to the monster hunter. Kadin’s eyes were glued on the still form of the fallen slayer. “Kennedy.”
“Well, that was fun,” the minion taunted, as he took slow, deliberate steps over to the distraught woman. He reached down and lifted her up by the front of her vest. Kadin stared into his golden eyes, hatred radiating from her every fiber.
“Aw, don’t look so sad,” the vampire laughed. “The Sire will make her like us. Then she will live forever.”
“She’d rather die,” Kadin spat. “And so would I.”
“That can be arranged too,” the vampire growled. He bared his fangs and leaned in towards the hunter’s neck. Kadin closed her eyes and waited for the piercing pain. It didn’t come. Her eyes popped open and she stared into the glazed look of the vampire.
The minion had a strange expression on his face. He stumbled back slightly and they both looked down at his chest, a shiny silver-tipped stake protruding from his heart. He looked back up to see the smug look on Kadin’s face. “You really shouldn’t have pissed her off.”
The vampire growled and exploded into dust.
Kadin fell to the ground with a hard thud and looked up into Kennedy’s smiling face.
“You okay?” she asked, reaching down to help the other woman to her feet.
“You sure took your sweet time on that one,” Kadin complained, dusting off her pants.
“Sorry, he kinda caught me off guard, and that really hurt,” the slayer whined, rolling her shoulders.
“That’s okay. He’s fertilizer now.” Kadin smiled.
“Bravo, my dear.” The sound of clapping suddenly resounded throughout the small clearing, slowly growing closer.
“What the hell?” Kennedy said, looking around.
“Drachen,” Kadin breathed.
The vampire suddenly appeared, perched on the top of the boulder. He placed his hands at his sides and smiled. “I must give you credit. That is the quickest work anyone has ever made of one of my minions.”
“Yeah?” Kennedy challenged, stepping between Kadin and the vampire. “Well, why don’t you bring your ancient ass down here and we’ll see if I can set a new record with you?”
Drachen laughed heartily. “You are a fiery one. After all these years, a worthy adversary.”
“Bring it on, Grandpa,” Kennedy taunted. She wiggled her fingers to motion him over.
“Uh…Kennedy?” Kadin said, tugging on the slayer’s jacket. “What about them?”
Kennedy turned to see a half dozen minions lined up along the back of the clearing. They slowly started to move in, trapping the two women in the center.
“Damn,” Kennedy whispered. She turned to Kadin, deadpan. “For the record, this is where having slayer backup might have helped.”
“I’ll distract them, you get Drachen.”
“Really?” Kennedy asked, looking over at Kadin in disbelief. “You’re taking on these vamps alone?”
“Look, we don’t really have a choice. I can’t beat Drachen, and you can’t be two places at once.”
Kennedy looked around at the six circling vampires and then back to Kadin.
“You know I’m right,” the hunter said.
The slayer relented. “Fine, but if we get killed…I’m kicking your ass.”
Kadin smiled. “Deal.”
Kennedy returned the smile and nodded towards the vamps. She charged and hit the first two with a quick swipe left and then right to their hearts, instantly turning them to dust. That left just four for Kadin. “Be careful,” she advised the hunter.
Kadin smirked; then charged.
Kennedy turned to the ancient vampire still perched on the boulder, smiling down at her amused. “Looks like it’s just you and me,” she said. “Whadda ya say I show you why I’m the Chosen One?”
Drachen smiled and slowly rose to his feet. He flexed his fingers, his pupils turning a deep red.
Kennedy planted her feet and waited for his attack.
Meanwhile, with her adrenaline pumping, Kadin flew into the line of vampires, knocking three from their feet while she threw her stake, dusting the fourth. She quickly rolled and leapt back to her feet. She removed her duster and threw it away. She pulled another silver stake from one of the holsters on her vest and smiled.
On the other side of the clearing, Drachen let out a thundering growl and leapt into the air. Kennedy stepped back, watching the vaulting vampire as he twisted in the air and landed directly behind her. She turned just in time to receive a hard backhand to the jaw, knocking her across the clearing. She slammed again into the same boulder.
Drachen smiled and slowly stalked up to the fallen slayer. “You remind me of a hunter I killed many centuries ago,” he said as he approached. “She too was fighting for the life of another…and she too failed.” He lifted his boot to smash Kennedy’s head, but the slayer suddenly sat up, reaching out to grab him by the ankle.
“You talk too much.” The slayer jerked his leg hard, slamming the vampire face first into the boulder.
Kennedy flipped to her feet and grabbed him by the collar, slamming him back onto the ground. She pulled her favorite wooden stake from her boot and slammed it into his chest.
Drachen’s eyes clouded over…and then he smiled.
“You’ll have to do better than that.” He reached up and grabbed Kennedy by the front of her shirt, slinging her over his head.
The slayer skidded across the ground and came to a stop a few feet away. She looked up through the cloud of dust to see Drachen slowly rising back to his feet. He turned to face her and slowly pulled the stake from his chest, tossing it away carelessly.
Kennedy groaned. “God, not another one. Fine, next one in your chest is silver, you bloodsucker.”
Nearby, Kadin slammed her fist into the second vampire’s face, still holding the first in a headlock. He stumbled back and growled before charging her again. She flipped backwards, shoving the first vampire at him and landing on a nearby stump. The two minions fell to the ground and the one on the bottom exploded, making Kadin smile.
The smile was quickly wiped from her face as another charged her from the side, slamming into her injured ribs.
She moaned in pain as the vampire struggled to regain his balance too. Kadin swept her legs out and knocked him to the ground. She reached into her vest, pulled the stake from her pocket and slammed it into his chest, dusting him instantly.
“One to go,” she mumbled through the pain. Before she could regain her footing, she was lifted into the air. She looked down at the vampire’s glowing eyes and sighed. “Damn.”
The minion growled and slung her through the air. She smashed into another tree painfully. She fell to the ground, gripping her aching side.
“I really hate trees.” The sound of approaching footsteps echoed through her ringing ears. “Please hurry, Kennedy,” she whispered as she was lifted into the air once again.
At that moment, Kennedy was slowly pushing herself to her feet, her eyes locked with Drachen’s. “What the hell are you?”
The ancient vampire smiled and motioned through the air with his hand. “I am Drachen…son of Vladimus, destined to rule all of existence.”
“So why don’t you? Leave Kadin out of it.”
The vampire laughed. “My dear, she is the key. It runs through her veins, it beats in her heart.”
“Kadin’s blood? That’s the key?”
“Yes,” Drachen nodded, slowly starting to circle Kennedy. “She is the last true blood Van Helsing.”
“I see. If you suck her dry, you become this all powerful uber vamp capable of global domination. But you’re forgetting about one thing,” Kennedy remarked.
“And what might that be?”
The slayer smiled. “Me.” She charged forward and landed a hard right against the vampire’s temple. He stumbled back but remained on his feet. She swung at him again, but he easily dodged, bringing his fist up hard against her ribs. The sound of cracking bone echoed through the clearing.
Drachen lifted her up and laughed. “I love the sound of agony.”
“Yeah?” Kennedy breathed. She drew her head back and head butted the vampire with all her strength. He dropped her and fell backwards, blood flowing from his broken nose. “How’s agony feel?” she rasped, gripping her broken ribs.
Drachen let out a massive growl, wiping the river of blood from his nose. “For that…you will suffer.”
“Oh, like I haven’t heard that before,” Kennedy wise-cracked.
Drachen charged the slayer, fangs bared. Kennedy anticipated the move, leapt into the air and twisted her body in a flip. She kicked off a nearby tree and reversed her path, slamming into the stunned vampire with a heavy boot in the back. She landed on her feet and smiled down at the fallen vamp. “I thought you were this big bad evil, but you’re more like a rabid dog.”
Drachen’s eyes burned with fury. “Enough!” he shouted.
He placed his hands under his body and pushed himself to his feet. He took a moment to brush off the front of his shirt before turning back to the slayer.
“You have become of no use to me, slayer,” he said menacingly. “I wanted to make you the leader of my servants, you would have known unimaginable power…but now, I will hold your heart in my hand as it beats its last.”
“Sorry, you’re not my type,” Kennedy said, reaching behind her to pull the silver-tipped stake from her belt loop. “Besides, I don’t give my heart to just anyone.”
“Then I shall take it.” Drachen charged forward once again. Kennedy sidestepped the attack and grabbed the vampire by his arm.
“It’s not yours to take,” she answered. She lifted her right knee and brought it up into his chest, hard. She tried to flip him over, but the vampire grabbed her behind the knee and pulled her legs from under her. She fell back hard against the ground, the coppery taste of her own blood flooding into her mouth.
Her eyes grew wide and she barely managed to dodge Drachen’s boot as it crashed down, aimed directly for her head.
The slayer rolled away onto her stomach, lifted the stake by her shoulder, and waited.
Kadin slammed back against another tree, blood running from her left temple and a new gash under her right eye. She took long, labored breaths, gripped the stake tightly to her chest. She blinked the blood and sweat out of her eyes, bringing the blurry image of the last vampire slowly approaching her into focus
“What’s the matter, hunter?” The minion laughed as he stopped right in front of Kadin. “You’re not gonna pass out on me are you? Where’s the fun in that?”
Kadin appeared as if she was trying to form a witty come back, but found her voice suddenly gone. She stumbled forward into the vampire and fell to her knees. She blinked a few times and then fell over onto her face.
The vampire laughed and bent down to lift her up. His boot got wedged between her legs and he started to tumble forward, landed chest first on the broken stump and instantly turned to dust.
“On second thought, I love trees,” Kadin coughed from her prone position.
Drachen stalked up to Kennedy and bent down to crouch beside her.
“Slayer?” he called, but Kennedy remained motionless. The vampire reached out to turn her over.
Kennedy smiled. She quickly spun around and embedded the ornate, silver-tipped stake deeply into his chest. Drachen let out a surprised gasp, his eyes falling to his chest. He stumbled back to his feet, gripping the protruding object between his hands.
Kennedy quickly flipped to her feet and watched as the color started to drain from the vampire’s body. The red slowly faded from his eyes, replaced with an empty blackness. He stared at Kennedy, mouth agape. He gripped the stake tightly and screamed before exploding into dust.
The slayer shielded her eyes until the dust settled and Drachen was no more.
Bucharest – Deep Woods – Moments Later
Kennedy came to a running halt beside the fallen monster hunter. She dropped to her knees and pulled her into her lap, checking for a pulse.
She let out a deep breath and relaxed at the weak thump she felt just under the flesh of Kadin’s neck. She started to chuckle lightly as she clung to the other woman. She sighed and looked around.
“Where the hell am I?” Kadin asked.
“Planet Earth,” Kennedy teased.
“Is he gone?” Kadin asked.
“Yeah, a big dust bunny now. Of course it would have been helpful to know I needed this weapon,” she said as she handed Kadin back her silver-tipped stake.
“I didn’t say I knew all of the prophecy,” Kadin said, managing a small grin. “But I’m glad you figured it out.”
Kennedy grinned in response and shook her head. “Come on. Let’s get you to a doctor,” she said, helping Kadin to her feet.
Bucharest Airport – Airplane – Next Morning
Kennedy sat in her seat, staring out the window silently.
“Would all passengers please fasten your seatbelts. We will be taking off very shortly, and as always, thank you for flying with Air International.”
Kennedy reached down and pulled the belt over her lap. She fastened it and dropped her head back against the seat, closing her eyes.
Bucharest Airport – Waiting Area – Same Time
Kadin stood at the huge glass window, looking out at the runway. She leaned against the wall as she stared at one plane in particular. Her newly acquired injuries were bandaged and bruising around the edges.
Her eyes remained glued to the plane as it slowly started to advance down the runway. She followed it with her eyes until it disappeared into the sky.
She reached up and placed a gentle hand on the glass. She stood there a moment longer before picking up her bag and disappearing into the busy airport crowd.
Watchers Council – Kennedy’s Apartment – Late Evening
Kennedy slid her key into the lock and slowly pushed the door open. She eased into the apartment and dropped her bag by the coat rack, sliding out of her jacket and hanging it up.
“Kennedy?” Mia’s voice came from the couch. The dozing slayer picked her head up and looked over the arm. “Is that you?”
Kennedy nodded and threw her keys onto the counter. “Yeah, it’s me.”
Mia jumped to her feet and rushed into the brunette’s arms. “I missed you.” She whispered, hugging the woman back gently.
Kennedy closed her eyes and let out a silent breath. “Mia,” she said carefully, grabbing the woman by the arms and pushing her back.
Mia looked into her lover’s eyes. “What is it?”
Kennedy gazed deeply into Mia’s eyes. “I, uh, I missed you too.”
The slayer returned to the embrace, her eyes open as she stroked her girlfriend’s short hair.
Fade to Black
End of Unfinished Business
Next on Watchers…
Giles is determined to marry Becca before their baby comes, but Murphy’s Law gets in the way, not to mention literally everyone’s relatives.
Click here to read “Chapel of Love” now!