The canyons were filled with heavy fog and shadows; it didn't slow me in the least as I made my way, blood-soaked, back to my basement stash of future meals. I toyed with the notion of leaving them there a few days to marinate in their own juices for the violence they personally had perpetrated against so many girls and women damaged by the encounters. Though from what I read off Bob's blood and inside his head I wasn't sure any of those women still existed. It had taken him many years and not just the ones the boys had harmed -- other innocents were what I'd also seen in his mind -- that was what he'd done in his haste at times, he'd made some mistakes and killed others, not that it registered as an error but in his mind just a 'delay of game' which was how he thought of women. He killed with little to no regard. That he'd stalked and killed the wrong victims just didn't register much less matter to Bob.
As it was, we women were all just pieces on a board game to be used, abused, and put away broken -- eventually dead. Okay -- so he didn't know that some of us 'women' bit back -- I have to say that he sure as hell learned that lesson the hard way. He'd thought that the boys were waiting for him in the abandoned fort and he'd have his taste, then in the future make me another unsolved murder mystery. Also stuffed into his mental blood-soaked darkness were elaborate plans for future slayings that would've played out rather well in any sociopath's playbook. Even as I killed him, he was anticipating the moment it would all flip around and he'd begin to enact his revenge for making him worry even a second. He was still convinced it was an elaborate game that I had somehow staged just to fuck with him. In his mind he figured I must have somehow drugged him. He tried to figure out what kind of meds I used as he mentally he jumped through exotic drugs he knew of, he kept trying to place what it was I must have slipped him unnoticed. His own damaged sociopathy made such an idea normal, almost expected in his world. Hell, he was right, had I known the depths of what he'd been doing on and off for decades I would have prolonged his death and screwed with him like he'd done to his many victims. I've never claimed to be nice.
A sliver of moonlight broke through the fog just enough for me to see my clothing was spattered heavily with dead Bob. Not pretty, but not unusual for a vampire, but definitely an inconvenience. Once I'd returned to the house where I'd sneakily built my basement 'get away' I slinked into the overgrown backyard and made my way to the hidden doorway to the basement. From the entrance I turned to the south and tapped until I heard the soft thump of empty space; it was there that I opened another panel where I had a backpack with clean, spare clothes. Like I'd said, not unusual for me -- my hunts were really hard on the wardrobe. I hesitated and re-thought about changing out of my bloody outfit into something fresh.
Looking down at my gory clothes it dawned on me that my current attire would be a plus in more than one way -- less clothing to change out of again after I dealt with William and Pauly, adding in it was a visual stimulant for them. They'd had plenty of time to discuss and rearrange the facts before them. Nodding in agreement to my private battle, I stuffed the duffle bag back to where I'd stored it and slid the board back in place for now.
Smiling at the coming games I went through the door silently, not triggering any of the motion sensors -- they could be avoided if you knew where they were, and I did -- slowly I made my way into the basement down the steps making sure to avoid the ones that intentionally squeaked. I was on the bottom step unseen by the two men in the cages. They were both lounging on the thin mattresses atop the single beds bolted into the walls looking actually quite comfortable. No screaming or protesting but kicking back and chattering about their lives. They were discussing a local club they often picked up their victims and how after they got free -- something they both figured was going to happen despite having met me -- they'd decided that they'd take some time to convince Bob it was time to fish in that pond. Pauly was talking big about how he'd go first for a change, because he'd put up with this bullshit, indicating at the bars on my basement prison.
It dawned on me he was blaming me for his current situation. In fact, it was on me that he was caged, but also now it was my fault that these jerks had even went after me. William was laughing and telling Pauly that he'd get sloppy seconds and be happy like always. Pauly grumbled and told William to fuck off. Yeah, advanced conversational skills.
I was certain that I could've sat there for hours and they would've kept circling back and repeating the same bullshit until dawn broke, but I wasn't in the mood. Bob's blood was rocking me into a high, the kind we vampires could get with heavy blood intake. Slowly I walked into the room allowing the motion lights to back shadow me until I hit a section on the floor that squeaked from my deliberately placed step and suddenly, they noticed me. No longer back lit they could see I didn't look the same.
William gasped and said, "What the fuck happened to you, bitch?"
Again, with name calling. I hissed through fangs, "Oh this little blood stain? I think it's from Fred. Oh, wait, maybe it's from Bob?" Like either of them had a clue. Dumbfounded neither offered an opinion on my bloody clothes. I smiled again and waited for them to catch up.
Pauly was first, "Wait, what?"
William sprang up from the cot and yelled, "No fucking way."
"Way." I said and moved closer. "And assholes, it's Bethany not Bitch. Or Miss Bethany if need be. One more time that other word escapes either of your filthy mouths I'll remove a few teeth with a hammer. We clear?" I pointed over to a closed cupboard along a wall indicating possible tools were available to me while hidden from their view. It was empty but they had no way of knowing that fact. The notion that there were tools available they could've used to escape the basement taunted them. I had to love the 'what if' arguments people could easily be led to believe when cornered.
Pauly sobbed out, "Yes, Miss Bethany."
William's eyes went huge and he stammered, "Yes, Bethany."
I looked at the two men torn at which one would screw up first, my bet was on Pauly to be honest. I didn't want to have to haul both of their asses out of the basement dead, so it was time to play with their heads.
Vampire mesmerism is vastly overrated; I have to say that after years, even centuries of manipulation, it really was mental politics and out and out lying involved in the trick. All said and if done properly, I'd learned that with the human beings we tormented, often it was less a case of vampire who mesmerized the person as it was that we'd just broken them and the tiny lack of will left them so it appeared that we owned his or her soul. Humans broke far easier than you'd think. Bob's own mental gymnastics had made him resistant to mental mesmerism because he'd used it to torture and kill over his lifetime. I really wish that I'd had more hours with him before I'd killed him but shrugged at the spilt blood. He was fairly different than the usual budding sociopaths I'd come across in my decades. His control had been impressive -- until it wasn't.
William lifted his gaze to mine and softly asked, "Miss Bethany, what do you want from us?"
I paced the floor and took my time answering his sincere question. What did I want? Not to have had a crappy day followed by an even crappier night? Hmmm, I wanted to be back in my place relaxing to some tunes and reading a hardcover novel uninterrupted. I could go on listing things that weren't going to happen since Fred bashed into me hours ago, forever rearranging the molecules in all of our lives. My silence stretched,
making them both grow concerned and nervous, but I didn't feel compelled to fill the dead air until I figured out my best maneuver. Finally, I let out a deep sigh and spun towards them both and stepped closer, yet out of physical reach of either man. I stopped in front of Pauly figuring he was the weakest of the two men. I took a deep unnecessary breath and closed the gap between us meeting his eyes directly. I was careful to keep my fangs somewhat hidden and connected to his thoughts softly. William saw how close I was to his companion and began to protest. Without turning I said, "Sit down William and wait your turn." I admit to using my vampiric voice which is persuasive; laden with the knowledge and blood from feeding off Bob helped push him to his ass on the cot silent.
Tapping my lips with my right forefinger, I decided a course of action. It would take some pushing and pulling on my part, but I was loaded for bear and in a very keen hunting state of mind. Stakes were higher the deeper I delved into this pack of hyenas and I wasn't quite ready to let any of it go. Girls who just wanted to have 'fun' shouldn't be drugged and forcibly raped because a half dozen scumbags hadn't gotten caught by the local humans. I was fully invested now that I realized the depth of depravity they had been joyfully playing at in the city I currently called my home. Color me the local neighborhood watch -- without all the stupid meetings, of course.
Standing now in front of the cage, Pauly began to tremble at my direct scrutiny and my talent slid deeper into his thoughts without him even knowing I was a part of him. I kept easing in and out of his thoughts sketching new ideas and placing false memories along the way. Soon Pauly stopped quivering and walked unasked back to the cot. I went to William's cell and did the same mental games finding he was a deeper man but just as screwed up as the rest of his crew. To my surprise I found out that William had been following Bob for over a year and knew precisely what his boss was up to with the now dead women. As I'd recently discovered, Bob's hidden psychopathy had twisted and turned him down a path rarely traveled. After the guys assaulted and raped various ladies Bob would play clean-up crew and murder the women later.
William had noticed a few years ago that his boss was acting strangely and decided to explore what was happening on his own. That led him to the discovery Bob was a raging sociopath killing the women the guys had played with in the past. Beyond the snatching women off streets, out of clubs or bars drugged for their personal pleasure. Instead of heading straight to the cops he elected a different course of action. He had started his own peep show. He filmed Bob using both digital cameras and a high end photographic set up. He downloaded the personally edited pieces on the Dark Web in a pay-per-view location with all the faces electronically blurred to protect the bad boys -- he played with the notion of leaving the women visible but actually figured out that could possibly bounce back and trap him if it was ever discovered by the police. His additions to the web blended well as it was a quagmire of depravity and vile actors off stage that liked his work. He was paid in the current coin of the realm -- bitcoin. Bob would've flipped out had he known how well William was supplementing his lifestyle with Bob's dark soul.
Soon William was just as complacent as Pauly waiting for me on his cot. I resisted sighing as both men didn't give a flying crap if I sighed much less breathed. They weren't in any condition to even notice my lack of respiration but after centuries of faking human behavior it was fairly automatic. Call it my protective coloring in the wild of humanity.