I quickly paced the lightly lit alleyways of the Westcott District; constantly moving in and out of the street lights. I couldn't find my man, but don't worry, I will. I'm the predator and this monster doesn't stop until he's satisfied. He should have just paid; simple as that. You make a bet; you pay up like a man. This new generation breed has this illogical facade that it's fine betting what you don't have and then act like there won't be consequences for their actions. Humans are quite ridiculous sometimes. Everyday I'm thankful I'm no longer one.

I'm a monster and proud to be one. No reason to be ashamed of what you really are deep down inside. I am what you would call a vampire; a blood sucking creature and let me answer the questions you are already thinking. The answer is no. But you didn't ask? When you have been around as long as me, you start to catch on to a few things and believe me; I've answered these same questions one too many times.

I do not sparkle. Nothing about me is shiny. My reflection does actually appear when I stand in front of a mirror. The sun does not burn me but my skin is much more sensitive and I'm easily susceptible to sunburns.. And garlic? Absolutely love it. Italian food is quite delightful I find. I will devour a basket of garlic bread and not think twice about if you happened to get any or not. And please don't even bother asking about sleeping in a casket. I don't know where that stupid theory came from, but I'm not crawling into some claustrophobic. tiny box. Have you tried Egyptian sheets? There is a reason I have four sets in four different colors.

I guess you could say I'm in a bit of a mood tonight. I don't like when people don't live up to their word and fail to deliver what is promised to me. Tonight is a beautiful night to collect on the dues and believe me, I always collect. I have a perfect record and fully plan on keeping it that way. Reputation is everything in my kind of business.

I turned down a dark alley way. I instantly knew this little cat and mouse game was coming to an end. I could smell the rat and I was closing in. Not because I have an amazing sense of smell being a vampire, because I do, he disgustingly reeked of quite a foul odor. It was an unpleasant smell of body odor and whiskey combination.

The end of the alleyway looked to be the loading and unloading terminal for what appeared to be some machine shop. I honestly didn't care and I wasn't checking for any signs either. It appeared quite dirty but then again we are in the area the commoners refer to as The Slums; everywhere in this place is filth, including the people.

The man I was looking for was easy to spot. A shaking cardboard box meant one of two things: two cats going at it or some drunkard was trying to try his hardest to hide. We both know it's the latter.

"Tommy, are you serious? You think a cardboard box is really the best hiding spot?" I said while shaking my head in disappointment. "How drunk are you that you thought this was possibly the best idea? That a random cardboard box would provide you the most adequate concealment from me finding you?"

"Um…..I'm not all that drunk, like at all," Tommy replied in slurred speech.

"Really? I can smell it leaking from your pores Tommy. This is not the best time to try and drunkenly bullshit your way out of this situation. You will not succeed."

"Um…drunk. Yeah, I'm a little drunk."

"Well, that's obvious. Now take the box off and make your way over to me. I'm here to collect on your debts, Tommy boy."

"But you're invisible. I don't see you," Tommy replied confused.

I sighed, "Tommy, you still have the box over your goddamn head. Take the box off and come over to me."

Tommy attempted to take the box off, but ended up stumbling forward and bumping into a dumpster and fell onto his back. The box flew about three feet to his right. He began to giggle, "That was funny."

I exhaled loudly, "Tommy, get up off your ass and come give me what you owe me."

Tommy slowly sat up, "Geez Falcon, Why are you in such a…um, cat's got my tongue." He broke out in another giggle.

"Tommy, this is the last time I'm going to…" I stopped as I noticed him fall back, hit his head, and knock himself unconscious. "The shit I put up with," I mumbled to myself as I walked over to the drunkard. I rolled him over and pulled out his wallet. The first thing I noticed was the lack of any credit cards. "Tommy boy must have bad credit huh? Banned from all the casinos too I bet," I said as I poked him with the point of my boot and he let out a small moan.

I proceeded to open up the bill flap and grab out all available cash. I count it and then count it a second time to make sure it was right. I exhale loudly once again, "God damn it, Tommy boy. Sixteen dollars! You have a whole sixteen bucks! That would barely cover your taxi ride home." I reached into my coat pocket, pulled out a small notebook, and flipped the cover. I quickly jotted down the total next to Tommy's name. I put the notebook away and pulled out the folded envelope I kept in my back left pocket and insert the small amount of cash.

I tossed his wallet back onto him. "What am I going to do with you? What is it going to be this time? Do I have to take a finger? Will you finally learn then? I don't understand why you just don't learn." I flipped Tommy over, grabbed him by his shirt, and lifted him up with one hand. "You're not even worth my time."

I ungrasped my hand from his, what looked to be a Wal-Mart special, shirt and he instantly fell again. I was about to turn and walk away when I noticed something fly out of his red polo shirt pocket. I reached down to see what it was. It was your average bar napkin folded in half twice over. I unfolded it to fulfill my curiosity. The handwriting was obviously male. It looked so illegible that you would think only a doctor wrote it; probably a dentist. How any pharmacist can ever possibly read those handwritten prescription notes is way beyond my comprehension.

I was having quite the difficulty reading the note as most of the ink was smeared. The only thing I could make out was the number eight before I could hear someone slowly approaching. I folded the note back up and placed it in my coat pocket. They were obviously trying to be sneaky and by my estimation they were on their tippy toes. It was definitely female, wearing flats, and my nose could easily pick up her lavender perfume.

How foolish of someone to think they could just sneak up on a vampire, especially one of my caliber. I chuckled to myself thinking about how ironic it would be to use the same box as a hiding spot when I simply just scolded someone five minutes prior for the exact same thing. I thought my options over and came to the simple conclusion that the best approach was one of just standing there and asking to see what she wanted. Why run when I'm always the scariest thing in the room?

The woman slowly approached the edge and gingerly peaked around the corner. I slowly stepped out of the shadows and made my way towards her. Her eyes quickly became quite wide as she noticed me. She began taking a step back and continued to do so for every step I made in her direction.

I put my hand up to motion her to stop. "Can I help you miss? What is it you're looking for?"

"I think," She paused. "I'm lost."

I smiled, "I would say so. A pretty, young lady such as yourself shouldn't be in these kind of parts especially at this time of night. Is there somewhere I can help you get to?"

A puzzled look came across her face, "I'm not entirely sure. I'm just here visiting and I got separated from my friend."

"I see and where were you last with this friend?" I asked her.

"We were downtown at the Irish pub for drinks and she stepped outside for a cigarette but never came back to the table. I figured I would go looking for her so I left and started walking around. An hour later, I have ended up here and talking to you," she said completely frazzled.

"And what is it you would like my assistance with exactly? Directions? An escort? How about actually trying to find someone lame enough to fall for that bullshit story of yours?"

"What?" she gasped.

"You heard me," I said as I rolled my eyes.

"I assure you, I am not lying to you."

I rolled my eyes, "Really?"

"Most definitely!" She exclaimed.

"Next time you come up and try to feed a lie to someone, make sure your name badge is actually fully put away in your purse. I quickly noticed the edge of it sticking out of your purse the moment you walked up," I said, not amused.

She looked down, noticed it, and stuffed it fully in her purse. I could see she was embarrassed by the look in her eyes but it quickly turned into an angry glare.

"I have also consistently seen your presence at Riley's Bar in town. I vividly remember seeing your face on at least six different occasions when I have spent time in there. So, I'm going to ask again, and this time, don't bullshit me. What is it I can help you with? And why are you here at this time of night?"

She looked left and then right back to me, "I came here to meet up with Tommy. He called me fifteen minutes ago to come meet him here because he said he wanted to show me something. But when I got here, you have obviously found him first." She leaned over to get a better view and looked over in Tommy's direction, "Is he alright?"

I smiled, "He's fine. He just passed out is all. He had bit too much to drink and needs to sleep it off. He'll be good as golden in the morning."

"Do you mind if I go check on him?"

"Why would I care? I must warn you though, if you're plan is really just to go over there to take a few bucks from his pocket, you're a bit too late. I already took care of that. He owes quite a debt with my boss and it's one he will eventually pay off or die trying."

She scoffed, "Why would I care about money? I make enough in tips alone every night. You think I wear this low cut top for no reason?" She cupped her breasts and pushed them up, "I paid almost six grand for these tits. They are truly my moneymaker. I don't need to try and pickpocket middle-aged, divorced men for a couple bucks. I earn my money. I don't need a man to pay my bills."

"How embarrassing of me to call you a lady earlier. I apologize for my assumption," I retorted sarcastically.

She scoffed again, waved her hand in the air, and gave me a dirty look, "Whatever!" She made her way over to Tommy and began searching his pockets. After she finished, she rechecked them again making sure she didn't miss anything. She pulled out his wallet and continued her search there. She came up empty once again. She instantly shouted out in anger, "Where is it?"

I crossed my arms, "Would you like to inform me what exactly it is you're searching for?"

She angrily fired back, "None of your fucking business."

I chuckled to myself, "Now. Now. Now. That's not how a lady should speak."

She glared at me, "Mind your own damn business and don't interrupt mine."

I shrugged, "I think that is an absolute splendid idea. And I am fully on board with that idea but you might want to tell that the guy watching you, to mind his own as well."

"Watching me? Who's watching me?"

I inhaled deeply and pointed my finger to the northern rooftop building where you could see the silhouette of a man with a rifle. "Him," I said.

She turned around and looked up at him, "And who is that?"

"My guess is someone who is after the same exact thing you are. And just a little piece of advice, you might want to run. He is most definitely armed and I'm pretty sure he's not the type of guy who likes to ask questions first," I stated as I slightly tilted my head to the side to let her know I was serious.

A shot suddenly rang out; followed by two more. I felt a bullet pierce my left shoulder. "Son of a bitch," I shouted out as pain swept through my arm. A fourth shot was suddenly fired and I could feel the bullet as it zipped by my right ear; luckily missing my head. I dropped to the ground and quickly crawled to a side wall out of view. Shots five and six were fired; I could hear the woman as she screamed in terror.

"Time to make a decision, Falcon," I said to myself. "Is this bitch really worth saving?" I pondered my options. She let out a scream again. I let out a loud sigh, "Goddamn it, why do I always have to be the hero?"

I reached into my coat pocket for my gun; Old Faithful was always there for me. I loved the feel of chrome underneath my fingertips and my girl shined like a true beauty. I even had her name engraved in the barrel the day I bought her. The moment I discovered her in that old, near bankrupt gun shop, I knew I had to have her. I knew this was the girl who was never going to let me down and she hasn't yet. She was worth every penny. I didn't have to pay six grand for my moneymaker but to me she is absolutely worth it.

I kissed the barrel and whispered, "Let's go sweetie." I quickly turned the corner and took about two steps when I suddenly realized Tommy and the girl were gone. I looked up and the sniper was gone too. Suddenly I was alone and couldn't even find a sign anyone was actually ever here to begin with. I walked over to where Tommy had been passed out. No blood, no fluids, just me in an empty alley with a gunshot wound.

I put my gun away and began to check out my wound but I quickly became interrupted by my cell phone vibrating in my right pants pocket. I reached in my pocket; pulled out my phone, and checked to see who was calling me. My mouth opened slightly and eyes widened in shock as two words pop up on the screen: Loose-Lips Smitty. An old time friend I haven't heard from in a few years and when I did it was usually bad news or some government conspiracy theory he was freaked out about. He acquired the nickname Loose- Lips because whatever he saw or was told to him, he shared with anyone who would give him their ear.

I contemplated my decision and decided to go against my better judgment. I decided to answer. "What can I do for you Smitty? I'm kind of busy right now, make it quick!"

He scoffed, "Nice to hear your voice too, asshole. I'm calling as a courtesy to you. I just got some news from a friend of mine that would interest you dearly."

"A friend huh? A drug dealer, hooker or hobo probably and what would that be?"

"Real classy Falcon," He said in disgust. "It's about your friend Edgar."

"What about him?" I asked. "The last time you called me and mentioned Edgar, his wife had passed away."

"You still keep in contact?" He asked in resigned tone.

I sighed as I was becoming irritated, "Enough with the questions Smitty. I really don't have time for this. Just tell me."

"Always impatient, aren't you Falcon? I see things never change with you."

"What's the news Loose-Lips?" I questioned as I was quickly becoming frustrated.

Smitty paused for a few seconds, "It's his daughter."

"What about her?"

"There was an accident." He paused, "She's didn't make it."

I dropped my head to my chest and hung up the phone, "Looks like I'm headed back to the old stomping grounds of Woodley." I tiredly said to myself but my attention quickly shifted as pain surged through my body, instantly reminding me of my gunshot wound. "Maybe the hospital first and then a strong drink after this hellish night."