"Damn it, Mitch. There is no time for you to be screwing around here. Erika is one of the few female agents in the field and I think they'd miss her if she suddenly mysteriously went away. The FBI is a tad protective of their agents and reputation -- even females, believe it or not. They have ignored us running around the world killing and draining various bad boys and the not-so-good girls but they'd have to do something about this." Harry was serious and scary. He wasn't flashing fangs but didn't need to, given his tone.
Erika had paled during Harry's little comment yet stood her ground. I had the cats to protect me but she had nothing but Harry's words. Mitch looked over at Harry obviously considering something. The air was tense and I was unsure of what was going to happen next. But then what had I known lately? Pretty much nothing it seems. I just kept reacting.
Mitch rolled his shoulders and took a step closer to Erika. I stiffened and figured I would aim low and pray there was time to drag him down to the cats' level before I was chomped and discarded. Somehow the chomped part was scarier to me than the discarded aspect. I was pretty sure Mitch could do serious damage to me. From the expression on Harry's face he was uneasy, also.
Then there was a sound it took me a second to process. It was coming from Mitch. It wasn't humming. He was laughing. In fact he was laughing so hard he was nearly doubled over with mirth. Erika's eyes were huge and she looked to Harry for help. Harry smiled and visibly relaxed.
"Damn, Harry, it is good to see you. I won't drain your FBI playmate nor touch your baby vampire here. Besides, from the look of those two wild cats I'd sustain more than a few scratches. Why didn't you tell me she was guarded so well? I rushed down here like a maniac figuring the storm would cause some trouble -- instead I find her well-equipped to deal with nearly anything." Mitch sat on the edge of the bed the cats had been using and was still grinning.
Harry replied, "Well, there is more to the cats than just being Gwendolyn's guardians."
Erika looked very interested now that her life was no longer being bargained for between two master vampires. I was curious what Harry was going to disclose but not overly concerned. I knew the cats were going to help me if they could. I wasn't sure what they could do, but respected their power and abilities more than I did most animals. I hadn't forgotten what happened at the Winters' house.
"You mean that they can take down the hell spawn? Hell, Harry, why do you think I showed up? Not just Art but the cats. They only appear when vampireland is getting revamped, so to speak," here he chuckled at his own wordplay then continued saying, "Harry, when these cats show up things get interesting for the vampires world wide. And they all certainly need to be shaken up."
Again I got the feeling there was more being said beneath the polite conversation, and I wasn't sure I wanted to know what it was. Erika caught my eye and nodded softly. She also felt the undercurrents. We both edged away from the two men and sat on my bed. The cats leaped up and snuggled next to me murmuring more cat speak nonsense that was now somehow more than a bit reassuring.
In a hushed voice Erika asked, "Wait a minute, this is the Mitch we were supposed to be taking her to tomorrow?" She jerked her head at me indicating I was the 'her'.
Her voice was stunned. It wasn't like Mitch was a common name. I guess she hadn't been paying too much attention since she met the vampire and she must have thought 'the' Mitch was going to be some kindly old vampire with loving intentions towards me. Guess we were both wrong on that count. But then thinking about it he certainly could be old; but kindly wasn't on my list of adjectives. Harry was walking a thin line giving me to this vampire. I wasn't sure I would survive it, but that was what I had to do. That was if we ever got out of this motel without me killing the neighbors who were back at it again. The headboard was pounding on the conjoined wall with a decidedly familiar beat. Through the thin wall w could hear Helen moaning again and Ernie was making his excited sex noises.
"Does he ever stop?" Erika whispered with a hint of pink in her cheeks. She was embarrassed yet strangely fascinated.
"Yes, he is pretty quick. But I think this is round six or seven from what I heard." I grimaced my discomfort at the far too intimate knowledge. Erika shook her head in disbelief. "Poor lady."
I nodded, "Worse, it's his wife."
We shared a knowing grin and I tried to keep from laughing.
Mitch and Harry were done with whatever male posturing they had to finish before they could become buddies again. They both looked at us huddled on the bed and smiled at me. I noticed Erika wasn't included in the look. That told me I was in a new exclusive club. Scary.
The phone rang and I went over and picked it up. I wasn't surprised to find Cinda on the other side of the line.
"Hey, where is everybody?" Her voice was definitely Cinda. Misty was firmly pushed deep inside. That was a welcome relief. I was not looking forward to Misty meeting up with Mitch. I knew I had to tell Cinda we were all here. Well, except Art. I wondered at how heavily Erika drugged him and if he was still out.
"Mostly in my room. You want to come over?" I offered.
"Sure!" Cinda hung up without missing a beat. This was going to get interesting.
"Who was that?" Mitch asked.
"Cinda." I simply replied while replacing the handset.
"Okay, so then who is watching Art in all this?" Erika thought to ask. Since she had drugged him I figured it was her call on when Art would wake. I wondered where Art had been left. It sounded like he may have been in Erika's room. I really didn't want to know. Everything about Art made me edgy and angry.
"Good thought. Why don't you go check on him," Harry suggested picking up my thought.
Erika reluctantly shuffled out back into the winter. The snow was still falling and there was a decidedly bitter bite to the wind that howled briefly with the opening and closing of the door. But then it also defused the tension that still lingered in the room. The radiator in the corner cranked up again, making the sounds of heat attempting to reach us. I couldn't feel anything. I wasn't hot or cold -- just worried because Cinda would be here in a few minutes. So I was happy when Harry began to speak fast. There was so much I didn't understand.
"Gwendolyn, Mitch understands the importance of what you need to learn. You have to go with him once this storm blows over and begin to train with him. Since Mitch is here now I won't have to travel up with you, but instead Erika and I will take Cinda back with us to the city. We have some safe houses there and one of them should work for her and Misty. I know Cinda should go with you but it can't work with Mitch. He isn't good with shared bodies." Harry wasn't asking but telling. Part of me trembled with the idea of Cinda being so far from me but my life was changing. I also noted that Art wasn't included in the discussion of what was going to happen. That was telling.
"Okay, so now I just meekly go with Mitch and hope he doesn't decide to kill me?" I was sullen, I do admit. But it did need to be asked.
Harry squirmed a bit then said, "Mitch said he wouldn't kill you without giving me first option."
Oh, that was not reassuring in the least.
So now I had to watch my back with both Mitch and Harry. Great. Just what I needed -- some more pressure. Cinda bounced into the room without a knock saving the boys from explaining anything more. The snow followed her and the cats pressed closer to me. I think I shivered from what the men had revealed not the sudden breeze.
"Oh, wow! You like must be that Mitch guy." Pretending she didn't already know this was somewhat amusing. Cinda was doing her fast talking spiel. Her hair was lightly coated in snow and I thought she looked extremely sweet. Mitch was not buying her act in the least. His face had begun to darken and I could see his fangs peeking out from his straight lined lips.
"So you are going to take Lynn and make her a good vampire not some stupid ass dumb vampire who like kills the wrong people? And like when you kill Art please can I watch? Hey why are your eyes turning that funny yellow color?" She was speaking a mile a minute. Once she mentioned Art I noticed that Mitch began to thicken and grow larger. In response Misty flexed behind Cinda's moss green eye and I grew concerned. Harry caught my glance and began to edge between them.
Erika burst into the room exclaiming, "Art's gone!"
Not a shock in the least to me. Of course he's missing. What else would happen in a snow storm? Now there was some psycho killer out in the general population somewhat drugged and who knew that Harry and I weren't exactly normal humans. Both Harry and Mitch stiffened and looked at each other. Again I knew they were talking in some manner. I nearly could hear them but not quite. Cinda pushed Misty out and said to Erika, "Okay, when did you last see him?"
That was a good question.
She was saved having to answer by the sudden frenzy of noise coming from the next room and my sex-crazed neighbors. It wasn't Helen or Ernie causing the commotion but someone else. The sound of wood splintering and horrified screams were not part of their sex games. Lightning fast we all flew out the door. The cats kept pace with me. The next room door had been already taken off the hinges. We ran into a nightmare. In an instant I saw that Art wasn't alone in terrorizing the couple. He had brought some unfortunately familiar friends with him which explained the damaged doorway.
The cats howled and launched at the two hell spawn. Erika and Cinda stood back while Mitch and Harry began to rip and punch the monsters keeping clear of the cats who were working their biting and claws all over the creatures. That left Art for me. He was trying to hide behind a rather naked Ernie. Helen was frozen up against the headboard the sheet clutched tightly to her chest trying to keep from getting hurt. I could see a vicious mark on her face where Art must have struck her.
I smiled with all my teeth and anger. Ernie gasped and literally yanked Art out from behind him roughly thrusting him to me saying, "Take him, he's evil."