Going straight, even when descending to cross streets, at least I didn’t have to worry about how to get back. I concentrated on my senses. This thing was running in a straight line; it was either stupid or trying to lure me into something and I bet on the latter.
Five blocks then six. Finally eight and nine before it slowed down and then stopped. Odd, I couldn’t sense any other creatures. What was it doing?
The building it stopped on was short – only two stories. I could see the entire roof but the creature itself hid behind the mechanicals. Weird, no others to be seen or sensed. I waited a moment until I was sure, then leapt from my third story vantage onto the roof. I drew Gwen and walked carefully to where I knew the creature was hiding.
Behind the giant A/C unit, I found my prey. A female, whimpering in fear, cowered beside the cowling, holding on for dear life. What the heck? The vampire I’d sensed in Mr Jenkins apartment was undoubtedly male and it sure wasn’t this afraid of slayers. This was a grey female – not the black male I’d sensed before. A pseudomodern but a weak one – what the heck was going on here?
“What did you want at that building?” I asked, holding Gwen at the ready.
It eyed the sword fearfully, “Nothing, Slayer, nothing! I was told to wait there and run if a slayer came. I did as I was told!” it wailed pitifully.
“By whom?” I demanded.
“Who is that?”
“Our master’s steward, Slayer.”
Great, a steward can be a human or a creature. “What is he?”
“Where is he?”
“I don’t know, Slayer. He looked in that window and ran when the other slayer came out. He told me to wait on the other roof until a slayer actually chased me so I did.”
Two of them but I’d only sense one? This was getting more confusing by the second. Wait, if I hadn’t sense the first one…
Just in time, I glanced around to see a male vampire trying to hit me with a very big pipe. I dodged and came around with Gwen. I felt Gwen get a bite but he transformed and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The female took that as her cue to run. I wasn’t about to toss a sword with a difficult to detect vampire nearby so I let the female go. Odds were that ‘Mycroft’ would deal far more harshly with her than I was going to.
I put my back to the cowling and tried to sense the creature. Nothing, it was like nothing was there. A sound, a scratch, maybe, caught my ear and I brought Gwen around fast, once again getting enough to know I’d hit but the creature withdrawing before I got any real teeth into him. This thing was fast, lots faster than the norm.
Well, I couldn’t stay here. I looked for a better spot and decided to reture to the three story building to the north of this one. I swung toward my right flank as I darted toward the other building. I felt something sting from the left and swung to meet it. This time it disappeared before I could get Gwen to it. I felt the warm trickle of blood from the wound in my side but ignored it. It would hurt like heck in the morning but at the moment I couldn’t feel it.
The instant I was close enough, I leapt for the other rooftop. I felt something hit my back but not hard. This thing was toying with me!
On the third story roof, I had a couple good corners to make use of where the stairwell came up. I threw myself into one and help Gwen defensively. I drew Grace and waited. I listened but there was no sound. I let my senses reach out but nothing seemed to be there.
I debated my options but ‘wait and see’ was the only one that didn’t involve exposing myself again. After an hour, I let myself go into sleepwalking. All slayers can do it. I was pretty sure this thing was long gone but I couldn’t know it. Once creature might be able to conceal itself so perfectly, but I doubted it had friends since I couldn’t sense any. No need to risk more injury just yet. I slept for another half hour. No attack.
I sheathed Grace against her protests and left the corner. Nothing. I started back to my street, not nearly as fast as I’d gotten here. Nine blocks, and a whole lot of climbing later, I was looking at Jack’s building again. I couldn’t sense a thing. it was quiet now.
Flustered and angry with myself for being drawn in so easily, I went home. I was asleep the instant I locked our door. Being able to sleepwalk at will has a few advantages.
They just don’t help a lot the next morning when you wake up sore and tired and with holes in places you aren’t supposed to have holes. I crawled to the bath and dressed the wound. It was minor – no need to get Mama to look at it. I checked my back in the mirror – that bruise would be gone by midday. Another good thing about being a slayer – creature inflicted wounds heal very quickly no matter what they were inflicted with. Doesn’t make being hit by a pipe a good thing by any means, though.
I got ready for school and went to breakfast. My parents didn’t need to be told what I’d done last night – they could read it on my face.
“Busy night?” Daddy tried to sound casual.
I nodded. “Kinda. Do we have any Alaga left?”
Mama got the syrup from the pantry and I made swirls in it with butter for my biscuit. Syrup on a biscuit – nothing like good food to make the day better.
On the bus, I jotted a few notes in my notebook to ask Mr Ethan about. Now, I’m no genius but this was past weird and into suspicious territory. That male had set me up but then played around like he wasn’t terribly interested in killing me. Something powerful enough to mess with a fully emerged slayer should have had no proble killing an emerging slayer – so what ehe heck was this thing actually trying to do?
I closed the notebook and my eyes. My little brain had enough to worry about with Intro to Logic – I wasn’t gonna solve this enigma now.