So, why had Allious tried to depart so suddenly from my life? Why without warning? Why to Colorado? Why the gum wrapper?

Well, I'm not too sure about the gum wrapper, but why to Colorado, and why without warning, that I did know. Allious is one of the high council members of the vampire community. And like any council, it has a main location. For America, it's Washington DC. For vampires, it's Colorado. And like all councils, there are laws, so Allious was one of the judges. It must have been a very serious matter to have all of the members gathered from all corners of the earth. The way it works with the vampire council is that there are usually no warnings if you were to be summoned. You just had to go.

Allious and I met on one of my assignments. I work for the government as a Hunter. A paranormal killer, if you will. Anything not normal, my Pride and Joy take them out. Unless I needed firepower, then Bruno, my .86 rifle took on that job from a distance. I may have been only 23 at the time, but I was raised in a family of Hunters and the unnatural didn't stand a chance once I took on their assignment. My assignments are only for the bad guys that broke the law, that the cops didn't want to handle. Who knew pigs were chickens?

Like any job, my boss, Mason, left a plain tan folder on my usually empty desk. I come into the office, check any messages, sit in my special-order office chair, and open the folder. Another nasty vampire's picture stared up at me with a scowl. Most of the bad vamps didn't have a mug shot, because they're so hard to catch. Sometimes they were unlucky enough to have a criminal record from their human life on file, and included in that record, was a picture. Once the cops figure out they don't want to run after a vampire, they instantly chalk the case up to "Advanced Illusive" and the file gets dropped on the specialist's desk. My desk. Lazy ass doughnut eating... I have a thing against cops, if you can't tell. One rotten apple spoils the bunch, or whatever.

This particular vampire was two years undead. His name was Griffin Hamilton. He was turned at twenty-eight, and his sire was unknown. In the vampire world, the parents were indeed responsible for their children. Whoever sired him would be in trouble, too. Great. I had to find this vamp, and, not only keep him alive long enough to ask questions, but- No. That was the hard part.

Long story short, I found the vamp quickly. He was seen feeding on a stripper in an ally. By the time the cops got to her she was already dead. His human DNA was already in the criminal system for a laundry list of offenses. However, being so young, he wasn't as talented with his new gifts as the older ones, and he was sloppy with his kill.

I had Griffin tied to a thick oak with thick wire rope and a few chains in the woods behind my home. In the start of fall in Orlando, and the air was cool. It was nearing dawn, and I knew he was getting adgitated. I had a cup of goat's blood and held it in front of his face, enough to smell it, but he couldn't get it. For vampires, this was a very hated method, especially if they'd been held captive in my basement for 3 weeks, starving. Their blood rage gets so overwhelming they'll answer any questions you have, just to sate that thirst. Griffin was screaming obscenities at me, growling curses under his breath, thrashing to no avail in his binds. I had but one question.

"Who is your sire?" I asked patiently.

"Fuck off!" He snarled.

I waited. More screaming. More obscenities. I sighed. I'd been out here for hours. Normally I didn't have to take such extreme measures. Normally, after the first week of being starved in my basement, a vamp would say 'Uncle,' but this one was stubborn.

In the midst of Griffin's unrelenting refusal to cooperate, someone cleared their throat. And since it wasn't Griffin, and it wasn't me, my arms crossed, my hands pulled Pride and Joy from their sheaths on my hips, and I took a defensive stance. The glass of blood shattered at my feet as my eyes darted around me, searching for the source of the grunt. I put my back to Griffin, who suddenly silenced. He'd heard it, too.

"Show yourself!" I shouted sternly into the darkness around me. It was a moment before I heard snapping of cables and falling of chains.

"Allious!" Griffin's voice was high-pitched, wheezed, and drenched in terror.

I spun around, my Pride and Joy out and ready for massacre. Then I couldn't move. There, standing next to the oak, with the shredded wire rope and chains at the base, was possibly the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen in my life. Violet eyes held me captive. A porcelain face with perfectly kissable lips was framed with thick burgundy hair that waved just passed the collar of his deep purple dress shirt, which was open and moving in the gentle wind, and exposing the marble-white skin of his perfectly chiseled chest and stomach. A black studded belt held up the black jeans that hid his long legs, but bared the white feet standing in the grass.

It took me a moment to realize that this new addition to our little group was holding Griffin against the tree by his neck, which explained the strain in his voice. The new-comer looked up at Griffin, pushing him a bit higher up on the oak. He might as well have been holding up a feather, with the ease in which he was holding Griffin.

"I've been looking for you, you pathetic little rat," the beautiful man hissed through his teeth. He then turned his face back to me, and smiled kindly and his voice took on a smooth angelic tone. "I apologize for the interruption, my lady," he said with a slight bow, "I have been searching for this pathetic excuse for a vampire, and I thank you for keeping him in one place for me-"

"The fuck are you?" I snapped, suddenly regaining my composure, but not coming out of my defensive stance, never lowering my Pride and Joy from their protective positions. The angel let out a low chuckle so soothing, I nearly dropped them. I gripped them tighter and clamped my jaw shut in determination.

The creature bowed again respectfully. "I am Allious," he said simply.

"Griffin's sire," I realized. He nodded once, keeping his kind smile.

"Unfortunately," he growled, looking back at the young vampire against the tree. I heart a sickening popping noise, and I could see his throat being crushed. But being that vampires don't need to breath, I wasn't worried.

"He's wanted for murder," I explained to Allious, "I have a warrant for his arrest, and, now that I know who sired him, I'll have to place you under arrest as well."

Allious visibly sighed as he lowered Griffin to the ground. "Sit. And do not move if you know what's good for you." He growled. Griffin sat like a good boy. Allious, seeming content with Griffin's position, placed his hands on his hips and looked at the ground as he started to take a step towards me.

"Don't move!" I demanded. Allious froze solid and looked at me with careful eyes. "I said you are both under arrest for the murder of-"

"If I may explain my position, my lady," Allious interrupted me as he held up a graceful white hand. I gave a small nod, allowing it. He lowered his hand and clasped his hands in front of him, arms bent at the elbow. I noted at once that he had many, many years behind him. "Like any race, there are unfortunate mistakes that happen in creation. This," he gestured to a defeated-looking Griffin with one hand, "is one of those incidents. In his infection of my bite, he did not inherit the mysterious link that is between a vampire and his maker."

He paused due to the look of confusion on my face. Griffin was obeying him right now, wasn't he?

Allious continued, as if reading my mind. "He obeys me at this time because he knows the consequences of fleeing me at such close proximity."

I raised an eyebrow.

"I would remove his head from his shoulders," Allious said simply. I could feel that this well-spoken vampire was of no immediate threat, so I relaxed my stance, but kept my Pride and Joy securely in my hands just in case.

"I'm sorry, sir, but it is obvious that you understand the law-"

"Please," he said, "Call me Allious. And yes, my lady, I do understand the present laws."

"Allious," my mouth watered at just saying his name. I cleared my throat. "As you understand, you know why I must place you both under arrest."

"My lady, you have not let me finish my explanation on my position." His eyes softened. Oh he was good.

"Continue, then." I was getting irritated. Allious seemed to pick up on that and spoke quickly.

"Without that link, Griffin refused to obey me. He proceeded to kill two of his siblings and fled my manor. I have been searching for him for over one year, to keep him from killing again. However, as your assignment file notes, I have been unsuccessful." He looked over at Griffin. The young vampire seemed to sink into the ground, whimpering. "That is why, my lady-"

"Angel," I spat. Enough of this lady bullshit.

Allious smiled. "Angel. How truly fitting," he purred. "That is why I thank you for finding him and apologize for his despicable behavior."

I felt my face turn a bright shade of pink. I shoved my Pride and Joy into their sheaths and crossed my arms, pouting. "I need to take him in, then, if you don't mind."

"Begging your pardon, my Angel, but I do. I must punish him for what he has done to my family and the poor young woman that he killed. She had a child, you know, a daughter. Not one year old." He shook his head in shame. "I took it upon myself to see that the little girl will be well cared for."

"What do you mean?" It really was none of my business, but I didn't know the stripper had a baby. They must've been struggling, because in my eyes, no woman should ever have to degrade herself like that, but she must have been truly desperate.

"Let us just say that the young child and her grandparents shall never have to worry about funds again," he said. The sound of his voice wasn't prideful, merely understanding. I nodded and shifted my footing. I was getting tired.

"What will you do to him in punishment?" I asked. I really shouldn't have. I really should have thrown the younger vamp back in my basement until the next night, when he'd be taken to the vamp prison. Personally, I found it redundant. They can't get life in prison, because they don't die. They are fed cold animal blood once a day, and left to sit in their inescapable cells. I think the vamp prison was meant to bore them to death. No pun intended.

"He will spend the next two hundred years confined to a coffin, then he will be executed.'" Allious ignored the whimpering behind him at the base of the oak.

"And what am I supposed to tell my superiors? That I just let him go?" I wanted this night to be over.

Allious shook his head. "I will have it taken care of. By the time you arrive at your desk this evening the matter will have been resolved."

"Why should I trust you?"

"You should not trust me. I only ask you to allow me to do my part as a failed sire, and give punishment to those that deserve such."

I closed my eyes and heaved a heavy sigh. It wouldn't be much different from the vamp prison, I guess. I felt my body sway with fatigue and I opened my eyes. "Fine, Allious but-" I looked around the oak. He and Griffin were nowhere to be seen.

My dreams that day were filled with violet eyes and a silky voice. I slept restlessly through until my alarm woke me at three o' clock in the afternoon. I was in the office by four, checking my messages. On my desk was Hamilton's file. I opened it.

The report was finished.

I pulled my jackets tight around me as I awaited my pick-up. I was surprised at how quickly the sleek silver mercedes pulled up to the curb in front of me. The driver got out to open the door for me. Standing up on my frozen legs, I thanked him swiftly and dove into the car. Warmth! The driver shut my door and returned to his seat behind the wheel. As the car began to move forward, the driver glanced at me in the rear view mirror.

"My name is Nathan and I'll be your driver this morning. Let me know if you would like to stop anywhere, Ms. Chains," Said the driver automatically. I smiled and nodded, leaning my head back against the warm leather seats and closed my eyes. The scent of new car and polished leather filled my nostrils. It was strangely comforting.

We rode in silence for a long while. Only when I woke up to cold wind on my face did I realize I had fallen asleep, and we had arrived at our destination, and Nathan was holding the door open for me. My heart began to pound unnecessarily at the thought of confronting Allious as I stiffly got out of the car. We were in front of a very fancy hotel. I looked up and felt like I was going to fall backwards. A very fancy, very tall hotel.

"Ms. Chains?" Nathan was standing at the entrance to the hotel, holding the door open for me. I smiled and walked through into the overly-decorated lobby. A blanket of warm air once again enveloped me as I followed Nathan the driver to the front desk. The young receptionist looked like she was fresh out of high school, and was wearing a touch too much makeup. "Ms. Chains for room twenty-one-oh-three. Mr. McCoehr is expecting her." Allious was expecting me. Deep breaths.

The receptionist picked up the phone, confirmed the visit with a couple of 'yes sir's, and handed me a key card after hanging up. Nathan turned to me and tipped his hat. "Have a pleasant day, Ms. Chains," he said, and left.

I followed the light traffic of hotel occupants to the elevator clutching the plastic card with both hands. Two men in plain grey business suites and a young woman with a small child on her hip joined me in the small space. One of the men pushed and lit up '10'. The woman coaxed her little one, who looked to be around two years old, to push the '2' button, lighting it up. The little boy laughed with glee. He was adorable in his blue pajamas with brown puppy dogs all over. His brown hair still held traces of bed-head, but I could tell that mom had attempted to tame it. Mom was a little on the fluffy side, her matching brown hair pulled back in a pony tail, wearing a pink tank top and grey sweat pants. I had a feeling the little boy wanted mommy to wear her black and white kitty house shoes while he wore his brown puppy dog ones. As young as mom looked, I could tell she was a good mother.

Hesitantly I reached out to the rows of numbered buttons and pressed '21.' I felt the glances from my elevator mates, but chose to ignore them. The ride up to floor two was filled with the happy singing of the little boy, who was waving his arm around holding a banana. In the other he clutched a stuffed brown puppy dog. It wasn't long before the doors opened to the second floor and the little family exited. The little boy waved 'bye-bye' to the elevator as the doors closed. Typical elevator music broke the silence up to floor ten, when the two business men walked swiftly out in silence, but leaving behind the scent of musky after shave.

I leaned back against the far wall of the elevator and waited out the long ride to the twenty-first floor, recognizing a classical song playing softly from a bronze speaker overhead. The warmth rose with the elevator, and I stripped off my outer jacket, folding it over an arm. The first classical tune ended and another began playing as I felt the elevator slow and come to a stop with a chime. The doors opened and I stepped out swiftly. I was beginning to feel a tad claustrophobic. The doors closed behind me as I looked at the grey plastic sign that pointed me in the direction in which I was trying to go. I turned left and started searching the peach-colored doors to my right and left. The second door from the end of the hall was marked 2103. My destination.