Author's Notes at the end of the chapter

ONE

Jackie shut the ledger, took the money and threw it into the safe. She shut it, locked it, and heaved a sigh when the clock chimed eleven at night.

Finished. Finally!

"I need a bath." She moaned, knowing there would be no time for a long soak when she got home since her mother put her on the morning shift. She looked out the shop window, passed the hanging crystal balls and stuffed pixies, cotton ball snowflakes were highlighted by yellow streetlamps as they fell lazily to the earth.

It hadn't been doing that a few minutes ago. Jackie groaned again.

She had to walk in that.

She snatched the remote to flick off the little TV. The voices in the black box were no longer soothing in the silence and she didn't want to hear them anymore. But the next words of the news anchors stopped her.

...Allegations of Feral vampires in Griffon City.

Jackie stopped, her blood running cold. Feral Vampires? One was rare enough but the fact that there could be several made her spine tingle.

...GCPD are investigating any possible leads, but have not issued a warning to Griffon City citizens.

The screen turned to an image of the police chief addressing a room full of reporters, answering questions to the wild pack. Jackie paid no mind to him, but she did focus on Mike Carter standing behind him.

He had a calm and cool aura focused under a black cowboy hat and strengthened by the bulging muscles under his dark suit as he surveyed the people flashing cameras and jabbering out questions in front of him.

Jackie breathed a sigh. If Mike thought there was no cause for concern then she knew any reports of Feral Vampires was probably just some kids making prank calls.

She reached down next to the display of fake shrunken heads and grabbed a bottle of garlic spray from the box behind the counter. She slipped it into her purse.

"Just to be safe." She muttered.

She flicked the TV off, shut out the lights and bundled herself in her cotton lined denim jacket, scarf, and mitts before locking the front door to Patty's Potions N' More and heading home.

"I need a car." She said, watching her breath make steam in the air as she walked. With nothing better to do she tried blowing steam rings in the air. It didn't work.

She walked three blocks with her head down against the wind before a loud bang ripped through her silence. Jackie stopped, afraid to move, and heard male grunting and scuffling.

It was close. She spun and the sight of man flying out of an alley across the street and landing on top of his head with a deathly crack greeted her.

She screamed and grabbed her mouth to stop from making more noise. She ran for him after her legs could move again. She knelt into the snowy street, blood soaked through the top of his hood and he was still. With shaking hands she grabbed his shoulder, turned him over and launched back to her feet when she saw his face. Her glasses nearly fell from her nose.

His eyes were open, but they were entirely black, no whites or even blood vessels could be seen. His skin was a bluish gray and his head was hairless. His mouth hung open at a twisted angle and she could see the overgrown teeth pointing jaggedly out of his mouth in rows.

Like shark teeth.

A Feral Vampire.

He was dead. She breathed a sigh of relief and nearly fell over, but the sound of something large colliding with a dumpster in the same alley from whence this Vamp came, followed by an inhumane wail, had her fumbling for her garlic spray.

She held the spray directly out, her finger on the button even though no one stood in front of her.

"Oh, God. I'm going to kill you, Mike." She tried to tell herself to run, but the feral Vamp was dead, someone could be injured in there, or being eaten by more of them.

"Hello?" She stepped over the Vamp to have a look inside the space and inhaled sharply at the sight of three more feral Vamps laying in the snow, but two more were still standing. They surrounded what could only be a normal Vampire with the way he'd handled four Feral Vamps. A woman lay face down in the snow behind him.

He was protecting her. His girlfriend, or wife? Maybe, but his chest rose and fell quickly, and a sloppy punch easily dodged by one of the Feral's told her that the fight with the previous four had tired him out. He wouldn't win against the last two.

They still didn't see her.

Jackie ran forward, her feet moving without thinking and her spray pointed outwards. The two Ferals heard her and turned too late and she let them both have a mouthful of garlic.

Twin piercing screams, like dying birds, ripped through the air. The garlic worked like acid and burned through the head of the one Vamp who took the biggest shot while the other scaled

the brick building behind him like Spider-man and fled. His screams disappeared into the night.

Jackie breathed deeply. Her lungs burned but the run through the alley was a short one. A hysterical laugh bubbled inside of her for the completely stupid thing she did, but she clamped her lips shut and held it back. The man she'd helped knelt in front of his possible girlfriend, Jackie couldn't see what he did.

"Is she okay?"

"She'll live."

Jackie blinked at the stiff response. Not a girlfriend then. If they'd been a couple he might have shown a little more worry than that.

He didn't turn to look at her. She leaned over a little but she couldn't even see his face because of the grey hood.

"Do you have a cell phone with you?" He asked.

"No, I left it at home." She didn't want to tell him that she didn't own one. She was probably the last woman in the world to not have one, but her mother was adamant that she not have one. Said they decreased a witch's magical ability, not that Jackie had much of that to begin with.

"We need to get her to a doctor. My place isn't far from here, we can take her there and I'll call an ambulance."

His back shook as he chuckled, and he stood to his full height. A head taller than she was, at least six foot two.

Jackie stepped away, realizing that the warning bells in her head were still going off. She wished she hadn't told him she had no cell.

Even if he was a normal Vamp, or just a person with a lot of strength, that didn't make him the good guy. He could easily have been fighting with those Ferals for who could have the right to drink from the still unconscious woman.

"Actually, it's probably a bad idea to move her, you should stay with her and I'll get the help." She turned to run without giving him a chance to respond, but he grabbed her with inhuman speed and all but threw her against the cold brick wall.

She punched and struggled but his clawed fingers pierced her denim jacket, and she screamed and wriggled harder.

"Stop it, stop struggling! I don't want to hurt you!"

She did stop, her weak attacks weren't fazing him anyway, and she looked up at him.

She saw his face under the hood and forgot about the pain in her arms. His fangs were out, but the rest of his teeth were in the beginning stages of growing outward in points like the shark teeth of the other Feral in the street, his eyes, also like that Feral, were black, but still surrounded by the whites.

His face twisted and his fangs lengthened, slurring his speech. "I'm so sorry for this."

She would not let him drink from her!

She reached her hands up and grabbed both of his ears and, clenching them tight in her fingers, pulled his mouth to her lips and kissed him.

His claws left her arms and his shock froze him. Jackie could feel her magic pulsing through him, felt the heat return to his flesh, the sharp teeth and fangs behind his lips being reduced to their normal size. Because her eyes were still open, as they stared at each other, she watched the black in his eyes diminish until they were of their proper size and surrounded by a golden brown.

He shoved away from her and fell back into the snow. He still backed away from her as though she were the one to trap him.

They watched each other for movement, neither moving. He finally brought his unclawed fingers up to touch his lips, then his teeth with his thumb. He looked at his hands, turning them about to see the normal color of his flesh and normal sized fingernails before running his hands through his head of thick brunette hair, his grin stretching the limits of his high cheekbones and showing her his perfect teeth.

Her cheeks heated and heart pumped just a little faster. He was really cute.

Jackie had to shake herself. Wait a minute. What?

She grabbed her purse and ran. She ran while he was still distracted and didn't stop until she got to her apartment and had the door locked behind her.

Then she realized that she left that woman in the alley with that dangerous man. "Oh God." She ran for her phone and dialed 911, told the girl on the other end what happened and where to send the ambulance and the police, then she called Mike.

He picked up his phone on the second ring. "Carter."

"Mike! Listen, I saw on the news about the Vampires-"

"Try not to worry so much about that. We're looking into it now and if there's any reason to think it's true the public will-"

"It's true."

He said nothing for some seconds. "What?"

"I saw them today, attacking a woman and ... some guy in an alley."

His voice became ten times more alert, she could see him in her mind sitting up straighter and leaning into the phone. "Oh my God, are you alright? You weren't bitten or anything were you?"

"No, I'm fine," The punctures in her arms itched but she knew that in itself wouldn't turn her into a Vampire. "I just got scratched was all."

"Thank God."

"I just called an ambulance for that girl, you should be getting buzzed about it any minute now, so I need to ask you a few questions before you head out."

"Yeah sure. You sure you're okay? I can go to your place and say I'm questioning the witness, which wouldn't even be lying."

She breathed deeply, his lawful voice calming her, making her feel safe. She was in her apartment, the door was locked, and a cop was on the other end of the phone. Nothing could touch her now, but she would still rather be alone. "I'm good, you don't have to come over. But I was just wondering, do Feral Vampires talk?"

"What? Well, no. I heard they can, there's nothing wrong with their vocal cords, but they just don't. They do all their talking telepathically."

So he wasn't Feral. The impression she got when she saw him in those few seconds before he was about to bite her was that he was a Vampire in the process of turning Feral, but he looked a little too human when she finished kissing him. "Okay, and, can anything cure a Feral Vampire?"

He sighed, the worry drained entirely out of his voice. "Where's this going?"

"Nowhere, I just wanted to know."

"Did you do anything while you were there? That other guy you were talking about, if he's a Vamp and he's turning, you need to tell me so he can see a doctor."

She should have known he'd catch on that something was wrong, but she didn't know how to say what she needed to say without sounding crazy. "I kissed him."

"You what?"

"Obviously not anything like that! Look, he looked like he was going to bite me, but he also looked like he was about to turn, so I grabbed him and kissed him."

He sighed, and she could picture him rubbing his eyes with a fist. "I know you can heal people like that but you cannot cure Vampirism with your lips."

She was standing and pacing and pacing now in her excitement. The cord of the phone tangling itself around her. "I know but that's the thing, I think I did."

Now she pictured him sitting up straight again. "What? Damnit, I'm getting the call. Are any cops on their way to your place?"

"I wanted to stay anonymous."

"Okay good, I'll talk to you myself when I get the chance. You sure you were only scratched?"

A flare of annoyance rose inside her. "I'm sure! I think I'd know whether I was bit or not."

"Well you did kiss the guy, I needed to be sure."

She heard the jealousy in his voice and tried to tone herself down. "I'll get myself checked out right after work tomorrow."

"Pat can't take your shift?"

Jackie opened her mouth but then quickly shut it again. Saying that her mother wouldn't be able to take the shift so Jackie could go to the hospital wouldn't sound so great, especially since the woman only had a cold.

"I call her and ask."

"Good, lock your doors and windows, clean any cuts you might have. ...Good night."

She knew there was more he wanted to say about her welfare, and to her since she knew about his feelings, and it made her nervous and guilty. "...Good night."

Jackie hung up the phone and went to the bathroom and did as Mike said, cleaning the punctures in her arms, brushed her teeth, washed her face, put her glasses on the nightstand and flopped into bed with her clothes still on.

To Be Continued…

A.N: This story takes place before Must Be A Full Moon, and is in the same Universe, though there is only a vague mentioning of

the Shepard's and Evey is the only character to make an appearance. The story is already finished but is going through a few more drafts, and it will be updated daily unless something happens that prevents me from doing so (Example: Medical emergency, I work a double shift, or I forget) which shouldn't happen anyway. Thanks for reading, hope you like what you see so far.