Lucibelle adjusted her cap and walked down the street, looking for the one person that did not belong. Only one of the normal-looking pedestrians at such late hour was the one she was looking for, and the bastard knew how to make himself almost invisible if you were not looking.
It was his power, after all, and he was well-paid for doing what he did best - being a sneaky son-of-a-bitch. He was infuriating and had an ego problem, that is if you wanted to get information from him. In exchange he asked for something as valuable, sometimes money, sometimes a kiss, and sometimes a favour. He was unpredictable, too. She hated unpredictability.
The girl stopped by a traffic light, breathing deeply as something in her gut told her that he was indeed in the zone, as her informant assured her. It wasn't easy either, to find that vampire. He didn't like to be found so he usually hid in crowded places, clubs and museums and the sporadic university. Blend in, hide in plain sight, it was how his power worked. His face morphed into other people's, making you unable to focus on him directly, or even remember if he was there at all.
Lucy's mouth twitched when she followed her instincts and went into the nightclub by the backdoor, used to do that because her young body had always been an obstacle to get into places. It was in moments like this that she wished she was turned at an older age, somewhere in her twenties or something; but she was aware that back then being fifteen was more than enough. Enough to be sold to the highest bidder, she thought bitterly. Enough to be married away for money.
Distant and blurred memories of her past life passed through her mind; her faceless parents when they said their goodbyes as she got in her carriage, destined to an uncertain future with a man doubling her age. She remembered clearly that man's hands on her shoulders, his smile, the way he licked his lips in anticipation. Can't wait for us to be married, his whisper still haunted her.
But that man was dead. Of course, he didn't get to marry her but married another poor girl, which was too scared to retaliate her parents, and paying a large sum of money for her. When Lucy learned what he did she was already what she was now, and asked Jonathan to help her free that poor soul before she resorted to killing herself to escape her destiny, as she did.
She remembered with a smile how the girl was mysteriously accepted in a rich girl's academy, to further develop her studies, barely a few days after her husband's sudden and mysterious death.
"Who got you inside here?" a voice woke her from her memories and made her focus on the man in front of her. He was holding a drink and looked a bit red from the alcohol, but his eyes seemed honestly concerned about finding a teenager in a nightclub past midnight.
"I'm here to find someone," she smiled softly and proceeded to walk past him. That man was of no use to her anyways. He was simply human.
This time she focused on the task at hand and actively searched for people of her kind, anyone, so that they could tell her that the bastard was there and she hadn't lost her precious time with this.
"... why is she here?" she got the end of a conversation in whispers, immediately catching her attention. She turned to where the voices came to her ears and saw a vampire watching her with a tiny frown. Lucy smiled and let her powers come to the surface, her eyes shining in a redish golden shade for a second, unseen by the rest of the humans in the place.
She was recognized. Of course she was. Her power wasn't common and legends of the fire demon traveled the world since the last war, where elders had to bite their tongues and admit that a young vampire had saved them from anhilitation.
"What do you want?" the young vampire in question heard a voice, but couldn't locate the source. It was him. "What have you come for?"
"Information." He chuckled.
"Like everybody else."
Lucy smirked. "But I have what not many have."
"And that is?"
She took a breath, searching with her eyes for the vampire she needed to punch in the face. "Information."
"I find it difficult for you to have something that interest me."
"Maybe I do, but if you don't stop hiding you won't ever know," she smiled, sure about her words. If that vampire had to die for a weakness, it was curiosity. And greediness.
"Damn you, fire demon," his voice sounded much nearer, and a man materialized in front of her. Well, not really "materialize", but she was made aware that he was there in front of her. She blinked the daze away, glad to finally be able to see him as he deactivated his power.
She looked up and fixed her eyes on his impossibly white eyes, planting her feet on the floor. "I won't talk if they are here," she made a gesture at his followers, who were still in a corner of the lounging area of the club.
"I hope your bargain is worth it. I was having a good night," he dismissed them without even looking and waited for them to be the only vampires in hearing range. "Talk."
"Petunia is dead," he lifted his eyebrows.
"She's been out of the radar for a while. How am I going to believe you?"
"You can guess, but I won't tell you. If you want to check yourself, be my guest and search for her corpse."
The vampire narrowed his eyes, trying to scare her into submission, but Lucibelle had encountered this kind of vampire plenty of times in her life. Also, she was older than him. In their culture, age was power and she could kill him before he could even touch her. But she wasn't as confident about his companions, so she chose to simply stay firm and hope her fame was enough to get her out of the situation.
The man sighed, his shoulders sagging and the air between them becoming less tense. Lucibelle smirked, knowing she had won.
"Okay, I'll bite the bait," the vampire sighed. "What do you want to know? You know the drill, give back something as valuable. But," he stopped her as she was going to speak. "If you ever think about getting away without payment, I know you can't deal with all of us."
Lucy blinked slowly. It wasn't like she would simply run away from this, she wasn't that kind of person, but the vampire had no way of knowing that. The girl smiled. "I won't."
The informant nodded.
"I want to know who's involved in any kind of underground recruiting. Clubs, tribes, sects… any kind of weirdo you know of." Lucy stated over the noise from the party around them.
"That's not an easy request," the informant's eyebrows were up in his hairline.
"I'll give you detailed information about Petunia and how she died. I promise it won't disappoint."
The other vampire seemed to think it for a moment, one hand on his angular chin, his incredibly white eyes narrowing. Vampires were capable of storing a lot of information, but that didn't mean that clear details would be remembered - everydays distractions and tons of similar experiences kind of overlap once you lived long enough.
But this man's job was to register everything and deliver the information, for a fair price. He sighed, combing back a lock of his long dark brown hair in place with his fingers.
"Sure," he shrugged. Lucibelle let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding. "The guy you are looking for is named Thomas."
"Thomas," she repeated, waiting for more.
The informant groaned in exasperation. "He had been asking around trying to convince people to join him. It didn't look sketchy at all, he was a nice guy let me tell you, and he said that he only wanted to create a network of newly bitten vampires."
"And you know this because…?"
The vampire smirked. "Too many questions, too little payment, girl. But!" he interrupted the teenager. "I'm in a good mood today and I lose nothing by telling you that he approached me the other night. He asked me to say what I told you if I found someone who could look interested in the idea."
"How about you?" she asked, the other vampire already shaking his head, a bitter smile in his lips.
"It seems I'm just 'too old' for this secret project."
William woke up next morning feeling like his mouth had turned into cotton. His head hurt like hell and his back wasn't exactly collaborating to bring up his mood, as it ached in muscles he didn't know existed. For a brief moment he had a flashback from when he did a road trip overseas with his family and the hotel was simply awful. Until now, nothing compared to that very moment.
He blinked as his eyes adjusted to the bright light, the events of the previous night, even if it was still considered night, came back to him. He was in Elizabeth's house, in her room, in her bed. Something in his chest did a painful flip, almost making him forget how everything hurt.
She was nowhere to be seen, of course. She might had thought that forcing him to hastily move out of his house was intrusive enough for twenty-four hours, as she usually just jumped from a window when she visited him. He missed it, the simplicity of that fact, even if her last visit had been barely ten days earlier. Then she had gone to that trip abroad and -
And she was different now. Serious. She was not playing - not that he was saying that she had been playing with him all this time -, she was seriously considering… well, dating him? Being emotionally involved?
No. Not love him. Love was a big word and he was aware how heavy it could be. He could do "emotionally involved"; heck, he could even deal with fuckbuddy if it came to that, damned be his heart for getting all flustered by things that could not even happen.
He sighed, knowing that it didn't matter that much. This was not about love or what she felt about him or if she just wanted a new human pet. They mentioned a war and more attacks, and somehow he got involved in it like some kind of epic novel about dragons and mythical worlds. The only difference was that he was only human, he was a nobody, he was just -
A knock on the door brought him back to the waking world.
"Hey," it was Elizabeth. "Can I go in?"
As she entered the room it amazed him once more how… well, beautiful she was and how natural it seemed for her to be. She wasn't vain, but she didn't hide ner natural beauty or was ashamed of what she was. In fact, she was wearing a t-shirt saying "bite me" on the front. She had mentioned it was one of her favourites.
She wasn't wearing make-up and her hair was once again the smooth dark brown he was used to, so probably she had redyed her hair as he slept. She was normal looking, but nothing in her was "simple". She wasn't simple. Period.
She was a frigging vampire, after all.
"How are you today?"
"I feel like a car run over me ten times and left me to die there," Will cracked his neck trying to prove his point. "Did I sleep for too long? What time is it?"
She smiled. "It's almost sunset, vampire freak."
"Wow," his eyebrows went to his hairline in surprise. "Really?"
Instead of an answer, Elizabeth opened the room's thick starred curtains and revealed an orange sky. It was weird watching the sun go down and feel refreshed and ready to face a new day. Was this how it was for vampires? He always wondered that when his sleeping schedules were reverted for any reason. Not that he allowed it to happen often - he wasn't a night person.
The human turned back to her, a comment about how close he was to being what she was on his lips; but the smile froze when he saw that she wasn't smiling anymore and her brows were almost touching with worry.
"Is everything okay?" he moved aside on the bed as an invitation for her to sit besides him.
"I don't know," she answered, approaching the bed and getting comfortable on it. "A… friend just called and the news aren't good."
"What's the matter?" Should he put a hand on her shoulder? He didn't know if it was a good idea, but he did so anyways. Elizabeth tensed for a second but relaxed to the touch.
"She… uh… I created her," the vampire turned to look at him with a sad smile. "But that's not the only thing. Actually we are in pretty good terms. I think she would like you and everything."
"I see," he tried to conjure up something to say.
"Anyways! She called me to say that someone tried to recruit her into a sect. Or something like that."
"Yeah. She said it was some guy named Thomas. He insisted it was just a club for young vampires or something like that. A network of some kind."
Will frowned. "It sounds innocent enough to me. How is this a sect?"
"Vampires don't 'just' try to meet new people. We aren't very social…" she pondered for a moment. "We make friends and bond and everything. But it's like, with time, you simply forget how to be human."
"And to behave like them," he completed for her. It made sense - if you have to spend decades alone in the end you forget how to coexist with other people.
"The thing is, he was super interested in her to join. He never mentioned my name, but somehow it was like he knew who created her. And he needed my friend to join."
"But why is that important? Who's your creator." Will shuffled on the bed into a more comfortable position.
"Because the older the vampire that bites you, the more powerful you'll be. If you are created by an old vampire is very probable that you'll get some neat powers. Not always, but it's pretty common."
He thought about it for a minute. "So Lucy and Jonathan…?"
"Yeah, that's probably why she has fire powers. It depends on more stuff, of course." She sighed and tried to smile despite the situation. Then, the vampire slapped her knees and got up with energy, lending him a hand to help him out of the bed. "Anyways, what do you want to do today?"