So, Thursday comes and I finally talk to Mr Ethan. My first class isn’t until one on Thursday so Mr Ethan called at ten. I told him what had happened and all that I got from Arnie. I even told him my suspicion, well, idea, that Jack might be the emerging slayer. I was hoping he’d tell me it was stupid but no, he tells me it’s a real possibility. Drat.
He was in Ontario helping with something there. Guide slayers are exceptionally busy, so the Mistress told me, so it’s no surprise he had other things to attend to. He promised to come by as soon as he was back in town, whenever that happened to be. He advised me to stay close as I could, especially at night.
Emerging slayers are at their most vulnerable – but that doesn’t make them wimps. During the day even an emerging slayer can take a creature or two. It’s rare for creatures to work together, much less gang up, so the real danger is at night when a creature can overpower an emerging slayer.
As I put the phone back in its cradle, it occurred to me that being just across the street meant I was in the right place again. I sighed, wishing I’d been in the right place the night Mr Jenkins needed me.
I started gathering up my stuff and another thought occurred to me. If Jack were the emerging slayer could that have been why I didn’t ‘happen’ to be where I was needed, because another slayer was already here? But if so, why didn’t Jack respond sooner? Concealment is only a big thing to normal people – it isn’t usually much of a problem for even weak slayers. Was Jack weak or was that concealment somehow stronger than normal?
This time I grabbed a notebook and jotted down my questions for Mr Ethan. I’d never even thought about how strong concealment might be or if it could be adjusted before. Swinging my backpack on my shoulder and hollering bye, I jogged out the front door. For a fully emerged slayer, I still had a lot to learn.
Jack was helping pack some car. We exchanged waves as I hurried to the stop. I hadn’t gotten to see him much since Sunday and I was regretting it already. Even if there was never to be an ‘us’ he was still a neat guy and fun to be around. I sighed as I swung into my bus seat. So much to sort out….
I got to see Jack briefly on Saturday when I went out on the stoop trying to clear my head from my ‘Intro to Logic’ homework. Most of the Jenkins kids were now gone or leaving today, he mentioned. I silently hoped that would mean he might have enough time to ask me out, assuming he wanted to, of course.
Jack was called away to help carrying something and Donna, his sister, took his spot on our stoop. We chatted some until she got around to telling me what was really on her mind. It’s a girl thing – sometimes we can just tell when another girl has something important to say.
"So, John told me you said you thought Jack m,ight possibly like to have Mr J’s bayonet…" She said, biting her lip nervously.
"Close enough – he asked if Inoticed anything. Why? Was it wrong of me?"
She shook her head emphaticly, "Oh, no, not at all. But John and the rest decided to give it to Kevin and John didn’t want you to be angry or anything…"
I shrugged, "Why should I be? I told him I didn’t know for sure and honestly, I was really surprised he asked me, of all people."
Donna smiled knowingly, "Oh, that’s no surprise. But they gave Jack Mr J’s old jacket – Jack always thought it was cool when we were kids. Kevin and Mr J were closer; Kevin was the only one besides John that knew Mr J actually named that thing. You’d have to have known Mr J but believe me, it came as a surprise when John mentioned it." She got up, "I just wanted to let you know and make sure it was okay."
I nodded, "Sure. I understand."
I watched her leave before getting up to go tackle the rest of my homework. So Arnie had a new home. Good, I knew he’d like that and I’d know where to go looking for him when the time came. Arnie would have his chance to taste vampire blood if I ever got the slightest chance of slaying that savage corpse.
I didn’t set foot outside once we got home from church on Sunday. the house was pretty well settled except for my new room on the second floor. Painters had been in earlier in the week and it was now a sunny yellow. The tile guys had redone the floor and it was finally dry. Mama had done enough getting all that done – I was determined to move in on my own. Except for Daddy helping with the bigger furniture, that was just what I did.
Of course, it was almost ten before i finished and could turn in. Mama came up and said good night and Daddy hollered up the stair. I hollered back and climbed into bed. Prayers said and lights out. I was sound asleep in no time.
Then suddenly, I wasn’t. Sometimes slayers sleep walk through the early part of a hunt. I awoke fully as I was tugging on my jacket. I took the back stair three at a time and raced down the hall to the front door. This time of night, it wouldn’t matter if someone saw me since it wouldn’t be likely to be someone I knew. I flew down the step and across the street then down the alley to the south of Jack’s building. I hit the fire escape behind it and climbed to the top. I couldn’t see my prey but I knew which way it had gone. Stupid vampire, heading south over the rooftops, huh?
Without a thought, I raced after it. Tonight, it was going to be slain.