The hell spawn were still moaning and groaning their thoughts of hatred and chaos. I saw that Ernie had instantly grasped that sheer size and the drunken ability to win a bar fight wouldn't help him in this particular situation. With Art hiding behind his back Ernie was well aware that he was in the middle of the fray. He knew instinctively we were inhuman and somehow wrong but wanted no argument with us. To his credit he hadn't hit Helen but tried to protect her when these creatures burst into their room. I could now see that Art had found something sharp and a line of blood along Ernie's side proved how desperately he had tried to help his wife. That saved Ernie from my wrath. Art really had nowhere to turn.
He was barely able to stand but still he had a hunting knife pointed at me. I wondered where he had found that and then knew that he had stolen it before Erika had drugged him. Ernie had been lucky when moving Art that he hadn't sustained another wound. I stiffened noticing I was wrong. Ernie was now holding his left hand over his right forearm where a slash was now filling with blood. The scent of freshly spilling blood was intoxicating and distracted me quite a bit. Sure Art had gotten a swipe in, but Ernie was tough and just joined his wife on the bed away from the combatants. That was a smart move on his part. Art wasn't looking too good but then he didn't have long for this world. The battle behind me was filled with brutally vicious thuds and muffled wet sounds. Since both Harry and Mitch were literally at my back I wasn't overly worried about the hell spawn getting near me. The cats were hissing and growling in an extremely scary tone. I saw Erika launch out of the room followed closely by Cinda. I dismissed them with a mere thought that was what humans should do when we fought. Run.
I don't think Helen or Ernie could actually move. They were too stunned by the horrors in their room. I was between Art and their bed and still smiling. I know my fangs were out since I wanted them out. I also really wanted to tear Art apart and drink him dead. Since Harry and Mitch were busy I figured it was my job now. A tingling sensation was running down my spine and I turned to see the smaller monster was near me. I recognized it from the spot on its head where there was a hole from the missing ear I had torn off when we last did battle with the hell spawn. I guess when Art summoned them up or let them in or whatever it was that he did to get them here, it meant that they came as we had last seen them -- granted before we blew them back to hell. They were familiar yet there was something different about them. Okay so there was still that toxic yellow sort of orange miasma around them, but also unbelievable amounts of fury. It dawned on me that they were no longer fearful of me or the other two vampires who were fighting them so viciously. They were as absolutely insane as Art.
But then Art didn't have any fears either.
Not anymore. Whatever traces of fears he had in the past few days were erased now. It was like the Art from town was long gone and the station wagon driving Art had fallen by the wayside after he got drugged. Something happened to him when he woke from Erika's extra special milk. The side effect was giving him more anger than fear, and somehow he learned how to pull the hell spawn out of the depths where we had blown them back to after they tried to kill us, and tried to drag me with them. It wasn't like I stopped to ask them what their intentions were, but they pretty much wanted to snag me that was a fact. We had just fought them at the Winters' house with all we had and tossed them into the house as Erika set off the bombs. Stupidly I had assumed that all the physical damage and the explosive charges that went off had pretty much disappeared these things. Obviously I was wrong. But then since they were supernatural and pretty much unnatural, it did give me the clue that maybe a simple beating and bombing was not terminal. Not something I was going to forget anytime soon, that was for sure.
That reminded me that Artie boy was the reason they had found me again.
"Get away from me, bitch," Art, charming as ever, snarled out waving that knife at me. I could see the blood from Ernie on the tip and slowly a drip fell. I unconsciously followed the drop with my eyes and licked my lips. The prickling of my fangs made me look back up at Art. He had tried to back up and found he was up against the closet.
"Why Art? Don't you want me anymore?" I whispered. Something in my eyes made him hesitate. He still wasn't afraid of me but that hesitation was all I needed. I flexed and stretched and instantly was pinning him up against the closed closet doors. My right hand was literally lifting him from the ground while my left was free to defend anything he would do. The knife was still in his hand and pointed at my chest. His other hand was clawing at my hand trying to rip it off his throat so he could breathe.
"You think you can cut me faster than I can tear your throat out?" I laughed. It was a pretty ugly laugh. Something flashed behind his eyes. It wasn't fear but hunger. The sick side of Art was challenged by my simply being alive. He wanted to stab me with more than just the knife. And that simple thought gave him the energy to slash at me. His mistake. My free hand caught the fist holding the knife and snapped his wrist. Gee, it was the same hand I had damaged earlier. He turned white and passed out. The knife clattered uselessly to the ground. My hand had tightened a bit too much and I felt something pop in his neck. Oops. I hadn't meant to do that but let him fall slack to the ground.
When Art went unconscious -- maybe even dead, I couldn't tell yet -- I saw both Mitch and Harry slam each of their hell spawn into the floor and through completely. And just like that both the hell spawn were gone. The two cats gave out loud tormented inhuman cries of anger at being denied their spoils. They were both fluffed out as much as I had ever seen and they muttered softly in cat tones protesting the missing prey. Erika and Cinda burst back into the room each carrying something. At a glance I saw that Erika had her squirt gun in one hand and her real gun in the other. While Cinda had something that puzzled me for minute before I figured out what it was. She had the ice bucket from my room. I gathered it was full of water, a bit of the holy water tossed in for good measure -- sanctifying the mix. From Cinda's grim expression I knew I was correct. They had made a bucket of holy water along with real the weapons.
Part of my mind went into full defense mode. My teeth were pushing hard for a vein in neck or two. I was instinctively aware that the only monsters left in the room were Harry, Mitch and me. I guess Art could be considered a monster of sorts but I don't think holy water would do much for him or to him other than wake him up if I hadn't already killed him. Yet I wasn't as sure what harm it would cause me. After all I hadn't got the rule book on vampires and only had late night movies to go on for my information. Somehow I doubted the black and white pictures from Hollywood had the whole vampire-human equation quite right, since I had been around sun and hadn't flared up and turned into dust. But who knows? And I didn't want to find out the hard way that I was highly allergic to holy water.
Harry took charge walking close to Erika with his eyes drilling into her face. She shook and looked at him until I swore the irises disappeared and all that remained were pitch black pupils filling her white eyes. It was like a movie.
"Sire, I thought," she trailed off as he got closer. Soon she was nervously licking her lips and twitching. Whatever he had done to her was pretty strong. She was fighting her natural instinct for dominance and losing. Yet Cinda was the one with the bucket of fun. I didn't have a clue how to dominate her like Harry did Erika. But then Mitch was still here and I didn't have to. He whipped to her side and eased the water filled ice bucket out of Cinda's hands saying, "Thanks, just what I needed."
I jumped back as he doused Art with the ice water. I saw they had mixed ice and water. Art sputtered and gasped. Ok, so I hadn't killed him. Didn't know yet if that was good or not.
Nothing splashed on me, so I still wasn't sure if the holy water would have burned me like Hollywood always showed in their late night movies. I grew up on those movies and some of what I had garnered over the years still pushed me a bit. I knew that it was fiction but still I was angered by the reaction but it was automatic. I had no idea if that water would work against me but was pretty sure there were some truths out there about what did harm me. I had to let Mitch teach me how to be a vampire.
Cinda laughed, "Hey, Mitch, that was for those two hell spawn!"
Mitch smiled and said, "They seem to have left for now. We can always have Erika make more."
Erika smiled and had yet to put away her guns. Either of them. But then Harry was still standing so close to Erika she didn't even try to raise her weapons.
"She broke my hand," Art whined. Then he moved or I should say tried to move and nearly fainted again. His unbroken hand went to his throat and he said, "Damn, I think my collar bone too!"
Okay so now I knew what that popping sound was. Not as bad as if I had cracked his spine. But if I had the chance again I would have to remember to aim higher.
Ernie and Helen were doing the best impression of statues that I had ever seen outside a museum and I caught a slight flutter of their pulse and was drawn to them. Turning I remarked aloud to Harry, "Hey, can you wipe these two clean?"
They both began to shiver in fear. I drank their emotions in automatically and felt no regrets. Harry nodded to me and said, "Consider it done." Both he and Mitch went to Ernie and Helen and began to focus. Erika had the gun trained on Art; he wasn't going anywhere.
That reminded me that I had to learn how they did the vampire mind game too. It definitely would come in handy. Cinda looked like she had a few questions, but quickly decided it wasn't the right moment. That was a good call on her part. As I watched, both vampires were close to their prey but they weren't putting their fangs into Helen or Ernie. They were right in front of them and talking softly. It was intense and I was still feeling the adrenaline flooding my body and nearly bounced up and down with the spare energy. It was unnerving to watch the couple just go slack and begin to nod to whatever they were hearing.
A few minutes more and they both slumped down and looked like they fell asleep. At least there wasn't any more blood. They were going to have a hard time explaining the door but at least they were still alive. Not like that was something I had been seeing a lot of lately. Pretty much everyone who came into contact with us was either part of our group or history. That couldn't keep happening without someone figuring out we were the common denominator.
Harry pulled up the bed sheet and went to Art huddled against the closet. Art was still holding his wrist and trying to look tough. He wasn't convincing anyone but he kept the pose anyways.
"What are you going to do, Harry? Stare at me until I become stupid?" Art snarled. I could see he really wasn't afraid of Harry. He incorrectly thought that Harry had intended to just forgive and make him forget. Mitch walked up and pulled back his foot. He kicked Art hard in the ribs. Art didn't even wince. But then I saw his eyes flicker. He actually had thought he was going to beat these vampires after all he had seen.
Talk about being terminally stupid. Art just didn't get it. He was so used to being the predator he failed to see he was now simply prey.