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May 20, 2024

Night Time 49

By Lydia Manx

Harry stopped Mitch from kicking Art again by simply saying, "Enough."

Personally I could have watched Mitch kick Art around the room for a week and not minded a bit. Art was one sick man and nothing he said could save him now. I had seen enough inside his head to know that he wasn't redeemable. Was it right that Harry, Mitch and I had become the judge, jury and executioners? I don't know but I certainly had no concerns we were making some tragic error. After all, I had seen what Art had done inside his head. It wasn't some fantasy that he had brutalized so many. It was fact. Harry and his FBI coworkers had stalked him over the country. The bodies hadn't all been found from what I could tell. Nevertheless Mitch was more than ready to help just on our say so. But then I had a feeling he wasn't as picky about morality or judging his victims. I thought he was very scary, and yet Art didn't seem to even see that Mitch really wanted to kill him.

We did have to get it out of the neighbor's room, that was a given. Harry agreed as he said, "Pick up what you can and wipe off everything with the bathroom towels. Cinda, make sure you bring that damn ice bucket. No need to point straight back to us. Erika, you can use your cuffs, bring Art back to my room. We need to get this show on the road."

I watched a smile sneak over Art's face. He thought he was going to be part of the road trip. His smirk disappeared when Erika slapped the steel over his injured wrist. He sucked in his breath and swore under his breath. Whatever he said was less then complimentary and Erika simply tightened the other piece of metal over his other hand and the ratcheting sound indicated how many clicks she used on his good hand. From the tight line of his lips I could tell it was extremely painful. I thought it wasn't enough. I still was sorry I hadn't snapped his neck when I had the chance.

Cinda and Harry actually put the room somewhat back into order while I collected the cats and wiped where I remembered touching or seeing someone touching. I was finding a certain relaxation in the simple act of cleaning. A snore from Ernie reminded me of the two human witnesses.

But then I immediately knew Harry had wiped their memories well, because Ernie's hand automatically reached over and cupped his wife's breast. She grumbled and pushed his hand away saying, "Hell, give me some sleep!" They both curled back and went into a deeper dream cycle. They definitely hadn't a clue we were still in their room much less we had ever been in their room.

I pretty much thought the broken door would be a dead giveaway that something had gone seriously wrong.

Harry caught the look on my face and whispered to me, "I made Ernie think that he did it in a drunken stumbling accident when coming back from the bar. Also Helen 'saw' it so she will pay for damages at the front desk, and then be able get him to stop drinking until he's numb."

Harry definitely had a good idea. Creative use of his vampiric gifts I thought, slightly enviously. Art, I knew, wouldn't be treated so kindly by Harry or Mitch. Hell, if I had half a chance I would punch his ticket. Somehow I gathered they both wouldn't let me have that chance. I had got too close to completing that little task the last time I literally had Art in my hands. Hopefully I wouldn't live to regret it.

"Okay, Art, time to get you over to Harry's room." Erika roughly dragged Art backwards out of the door while keeping away from his kicking feet. Somehow it was beginning to dawn on Art that maybe he wasn't going with us all. I figured he would be in the trunk of whatever vehicle Mitch had traveled through the storm down here to meet us. The snow was still swirling around and visibility was less than inches. The drive out of town ought to be interesting. I already knew I would be in Mitch's car, and now it sure appeared that Art would be in the trunk at the least. Dead or alive was anybody's guess at this point. I was pretty sure dead from Harry's face.

Cinda followed Erika as she was dragging Art into the snow filled doorway. I watched them and figured I wouldn't ever see Art alive again. There was something final in how they moved that telegraphed Art's demise. I would never know exactly how he was killed. He pretty much was a done deal. As Mitch grinned over at me with a very predatory smile and then followed Cinda closely I knew I was right. Admittedly I was very happy to see that Cinda hadn't let Misty seep through her persona when Mitch was in the room. I figured that Mitch definitely wouldn't understand that arrangement. In fact the more I thought about it Cinda would quickly join Art in the trunk if Misty snapped out and played with the vampires present. From Harry's quick glance over at me that was a correct assessment of the problems running around the room.

My life certainly wasn't going any smoother as a vampire than it had as a human. I did wonder how Art dragged the hell spawn out to play. They took a real intense interest in me, I noticed. It wasn't a good sort of notice, either. Thankfully, the cats were around to help.

"Call the cats and let's head over to get your stuff okay?" Harry broke into my thoughts.

"I doubt they come when called, Harry. They are cats." I replied while making a clicking sound for attention to Banshee and El Diablo. To my shock they looked up at me. Shrugging I asked, "You want to go with me?" Feeling stupid talking to the upturned fur faces but they stood and went to the doorway. Biting back a chuckle I went back to my room to pack like Harry had suggested.

Once I had tossed everything into the bag I asked, "Harry, where am I going to put the cats?"

He laughed and said, "Don't worry about them. They will meet you at Mitch's car once you are ready to leave. Won't you two?"

Now it was his turn to talk with the cats. They meowed a reply I took to be a "yes" as they turned tail and walked back into the snow-filled corridor outside the room. I shut the door behind us all, and found it sounded pretty final. No turning back now.

We walked to his room quietly.

Before he opened the door Harry stopped short saying, "You can stay with me. I will figure out a way to fix it all."

His tone was soft and his eyes were drilling into mine.

"Harry, thanks, but we both know I need to learn from Mitch. As long as he doesn't kill me I should be okay." I didn't laugh because I was being serious.

His hands framed me as he said, "No, he can't kill you."

"Yes, Harry, he can and will if he thinks he can get away with it. Mitch watches out for only Mitch." I knew this with a passion.

Harry was quiet for a minute then softly agreed, "True. But here," he fished out something from his coat, "take this." I saw he had given me a business card with some number written on it.

I dryly laughed, "I doubt I will have enough time to actually find a phone and give you a call before Mitch will snap my neck or do whatever it is that kills us."

"I have faith in you, Gwendolyn. You will call me if you need help, and I know with the cats by your side you will be able to outsmart Mitch if he gets to be a problem." He was confident.

"Harry, you're giving me permission to harm Mitch if I have to?" I was more than a little amazed.

"Do what you have to in order to come back to me. You are part of my family now." With that Harry opened the door.

They had already removed Art. I glanced quickly around and saw that Erika was ruffled slightly and Cinda holding a piece of ice to her head.

"Art tried to escape." Erika said pointing out the obvious. It didn't look like he went very far. Mitch was smiling showing his fangs. He wasn't as polite in his draining. I could see flecks of blood on his face and clothing. He didn't seem to care. He looked like a large lion that had just pulled down an injured stag. Cinda was a bit green around the gills so it hadn't been pretty.

"Mitch, in front of witnesses? Are you stupid?" Harry was not happy, but at the same time what else could we expect from Art. There was no way he was going to go gently into the night. Or in his case now he was probably the trunk of Mitch's car.

"Harry, you know it had to be done. Besides, this will make the trip home with Gwendolyn far less noisy. And we need to hit the road. We can't stay here much longer. There is another storm heading this way and we need to be far away when everyone begins to dig out." Mitch licked his lips, his fangs receded and he was ready to take me.

And I had to go with him. I looked over at Erika and Cinda and simply left. I had Harry's card and the comfort of my cats. Mitch caught up with me as I got to the stop of the stairs. Harry walked inside the room and shut the door, letting me go. Mitch tried to cup my elbow with his hand. Angrily I yanked my arm from his grasp. The motion sent me down the staircase with Mitch entangled with me. All I saw was ass and elbows going down the stairs with fluffy patches of snow to soften the glances off the steps. I face planted next to Mitch into the snow. What a way to start my new life.

I shrugged off Mitch's half hearted attempt to help me up. This didn't look like a good start, but then he had been next to me in the snow. Brushing off the rest of the snow I picked up my bag and headed off with Mitch.

-- Lydia Manx

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-07-24
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