Scottie and Sky stood back to back in the middle of rooftop of Portside Books, their swords unsheathed and their eyes scanning the darkness anxiously. Their blades glinted under the fat moon hanging overhead, his dual silver katanas and her gold scimitar gripped firmly, as if hanging on for dear life. They both listened intently, but it was almost impossible to hear anything between the incessant ticking of clocks and the ambient noises from the Port.
Vincent crouched on top of “To-A-T”, spying the couple below. He’d been watching them for a few nights after finally getting their location from a young fellow unfortunate enough to cross his path. He’d cursed them as he watched their apartment, neither daring to venture out. Scottie knew his weaknesses and was clearly taking advantage of the fact that Vincent couldn’t enter the home of the living. But tonight it seemed they had come out to make their stand. Vincent’s lips curled into a cold smile and he leapt.
Scottie caught sight of the glowing red eyes just before the shadow soared overhead. Vincent landed with a loud thump! on the roof of the bookshop. Even if they hadn’t seen him, he had intentionally distanced himself and made enough noise to draw their attention. He wanted to play before he killed them.
Scottie and Sky turned to face the vampire, who was standing tall in a rather stylish suit just in front of the cannon Scottie had mounted on the roof after the Martian attack. The couple stood apart, leaving room between them to swing their swords and not hit their mate, yet still close enough to be able to assist the one Vincent decided to attack first.
Vincent recognized Scottie’s form, a growl of disgust rumbling through his chest for his old friend. His red glare flicked to the so-called wife. Her shocking crimson locks lifted by the cool spring breeze, her athletic frame bent slightly in an attack position, and a pair of fierce blue eyes fixed on him, piercing him. If looks could kill, he’d be a dead man. Well, deader man, anyway…
They all sized each other up quietly before Vincent laughed humorlessly, breaking the silence. “Well, you’ve done quite well for yourself it would seem, Melnik. You always had a thing for pretty little redheads. Remember those charming dancers at that burlesque club in Paris…”
Scottie stiffened, knowing exactly what Vincent was trying to do. His eyes darted to Sky quickly, who only seemed more irritated with Vincent. Scottie smirked, thinking it would take more than that to shake his wife’s confidence. His smirk was wiped from his face when he realized he might have to answer for that later, if there was a later.
Vincent frowned as his ploy failed and Scottie spoke quietly, “It wasn’t my fault, Vincent. It certainly wasn’t Alyan’s or Luther’s fault. The door was closing. You knew the rules–“
Vincent snarled, starting to pace around the cannon, his hands caressing the cold steel, “You got Daiyu killed. You trapped me in that realm, in that hell! You and Alyan… it’s your fault. Between your ability and Alyan’s wild stories… you two led us and you two tore us apart!”
Scottie sighed heavily. There was no hope of redemption in those shining crimson orbs. Any pleas or attempts to reason would fall on deaf ears and Scottie knew it. If they were to talk, he might as well get some information. “How did you get out, Vincent?”
Vincent grinned, his fangs growing long and shining in the moonlight. Scottie tightened his grip on both swords, knowing Vincent was either about to strike or was greatly amused by something. It turned out to be the latter.
“You don’t know? You can’t feel it?” Vincent stopped and closed his eyes. This simple gesture made it obvious to both Sky and Scottie that Vincent didn’t view either of them as a real threat. Over-confidence, that would come in handy. Vincent’s eyes snapped open again, growling, “No, you can’t feel it here. What is it with this blasted town?” His eyes flicked between Scottie and Sky, the growl turning into a gleeful chuckle, “He’s coming… he’s coming and you won’t even see it until it’s too late. And the funny thing about all of this? It started in Ladora. His harbingers were there and so corrupted the town that they attacked. We fought back and in doing so we too were corrupted. And more harbingers are on their way. I’d bet you’ve got a few here that you aren’t even aware of.”
He had moved around to the front of the cannon now, his hand resting on the barrel. Sky regarded Vincent closely, never taking her eyes off her quarry, but Scottie’s eyes rolled up thoughtfully, processing the information. It was what Vincent had been waiting for.
He put his foot on the parapet and braced himself, gripping the barrel of the cannon and with a grunt he spun around. It was too heavy to lift and throw, but he was able to hold onto it well enough to give it a good swing. His aim was true as he let go, the entire cannon, carriage and all, flew directly between Scottie and Sky. Both jumped and rolled away from each other as the carriage smashed and splintered, the barrel hitting the roof and bouncing end-over-end twice before rolling to the rear parapet.
Scottie hit the ground hard and lost one sword in the crash while Sky had rolled neatly and was rising back to her feet, her golden blade still in hand. But Vincent was right there too, one hand at her throat and the other on her wrist, keeping the sword at bay. He brought his face to hers, their noses nearly touching, giving her no choice but to look into his eyes. Those terrible shining red eyes.
Scottie scrambled to his feet and looked on in horror as Vincent held his wife in a death grip. He gripped his remaining sword tight and was just about to charge.
“Oh no you don’t,” growled Vincent, not turning his stare from Sky, “Come any closer and I snap her pretty little neck. Now, get rid of the weapon.” Scottie stood his ground and, helpless to do anything else, tossed the sword aside. Vincent spoke to her in a soft, soothing voice, “Put the sword down, dear. You don’t need that anymore…”
Sky’s hand relaxed a moment, and then released the scimitar. With the clatter of metal against the rooftop, Vincent sniffed at her, looking her over closely again, “You always knew how to pick ‘em, Melnik. I think I’ll save her for later…” His tone was almost appreciative, causing Scottie’s blood to boil. He clenched his fists as Vincent lowered his voice again and simply commanded her to “Stay”.
Sky swayed on her feet dreamily on her feet as Vincent turned toward Scottie and dashed across the rooftop at such a speed that he was but a blur. He clasped at Scottie’s neck, but was surprised to find hands around his own. Scottie and Vincent stood locked together, Vincent’s burning red eyes wide with wonder at being met with such resistance. He sniffed at the air and whispered hoarsely, “How did I not know?”
Scottie managed a defiant smile even as his own airway was slowly being closed off, looking over Vincent’s shoulder and rasping, “The same reason your parlor tricks don’t work worth a damn. This ‘blasted town’.” With that, Scottie released Vincent’s neck and gripped the lapels of his suit, dropping to one knee while holding Vincent up. The vampire’s red eyes grew even wider, the beginning of “What?” on his lips as a golden blade arced through the air, the scimitar singing as it cleanly sliced through Vincent’s neck. The head went flying, bouncing with several light thuds across the rooftop before rolling to a rest in the corner.
The body was a fountain of blood which Scottie quickly tossed aside, seeing his beloved Sky bringing her sword back up, ready to pounce should the body, or head, or anything else decide to come at her or her husband. Scottie offered her a wide grin as he rose to his feet, approaching his wild-eyed girl and pulling her into his arms. It was over.
But as they embraced on the rooftop, Scottie thought back to what Vincent had said. Was all that talk of someone coming merely a ploy to distract him, or was there truth to Vincent’s claims? He looked down at the body of his one-time friend and wondered if this was just the beginning. Not that it mattered. As long as Sky was by his side he didn’t think there was anything they couldn’t handle.