Scottie peered from the corner of the room. The few windows told him it was night outside, roughly midnight, he thought. To his right was a large brick fireplace, the fire within slowly dying. It cast an eerie glow on the large bearskin rug before it and sofa beyond the rug. Beside the sofa a nightstand held a lamp, a book and a mug. Behind all of this, toward the opposite corner, were a writing desk and a couple of bookcases scattered along the walls along with a few pictures that he couldn’t quite make out. There were two doors, one immediately to his right and one in the middle of the wall to his left. The door on his left was open and the splintered remains of what seemed to have been a coat rack littered the floor.
He was stuck in the corner, unable to move, helpless to do anything but watch and listen. Moments went by where Scottie could only hear some fight going on outside; the growling, the dull smacking of fists in flesh and the shredding of clothing. If he’d had hands, he would have clenched them.
A great roar tore through the night and Luther’s body suddenly flew through the door, striking the adjacent bookcase and slumping to the floor. The head of the mighty lion lolled at an obscene angle and Scottie suddenly knew exactly what was going on. He had just watched his second friend die at the hands of Vincent.
The imposing figure walked through the door, a three foot long stake of what had once been a coat rack protruding from both front and back of his chest. Vincent gasped as he withdrew it slowly from himself, his red eyes glowing brightly. Scottie saw that Luther had missed his mark by what appeared to be a few inches. Vincent tossed the bloody stake aside and surveyed the room, that red gaze falling to Scottie’s corner. There was a flicker in that gaze and Scottie thought for a moment that Vincent could see him. But Vincent finally turned to the writing desk, approaching it with a limp as his body was healing. For whatever it was worth now, Scottie smiled to see that Vincent had taken his licks for messing with the lion.
Vincent turned on a gas lamp and ran his bloody fingers over some bits of paper on the desk. His eyes suddenly lit up, even brighter still. With the lamp on, Scottie recognized the letter as his own, the warning that Vincent was back and had already killed Alyan. Vincent chuckled coldly as he read the letter over and then searched the desk further. Scottie couldn’t figure out what else the vampire could have wanted when Vincent laughed, picking up the envelope.
Vincent’s glare read over the return address before darting back to the corner. He confirmed Scottie’s fear as he spoke in a clear, sinister tone aimed directly at him, “I’ve found you, Melnik. I should have known you’d have gone back to Babbage. I’m coming for you. And I’m going to tear you apart!” And with that Scottie…
…sat upright in bed, that darkness clouding around him yet again. He must have been struggling in his sleep because Sky, who had been on edge with him, was already awake and holding his hand in hers. He cursed himself silently for not having been more careful. Now he had not only put himself in danger, but Sky and anyone else in town that may cross Vincent’s path on his hunt.
He looked to Sky, that blurry darkness already fading as she came into view. He whispered quietly, “He knows where I am, and he’s coming after me. We don’t have long. You’ve gotta get out of here until I get it sorted.”
She looked a little hurt, breaking his heart further, but then she shot him a playful glare and said, “Excuse me, but have we met? I’m not going anywhere and you know it.”
He smiled weakly and nodded. Yes, he knew she wouldn’t have gone anywhere. He couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or bad thing; if it made the weight more bearable or less. Still, it didn’t matter. The cards had been dealt and there was much to be done before Vincent would arrive.
“So, Plan A. There’s something you’re gonna need to learn…”