Isaac made short work of the boat ride back to the Barbados docks. Charlotte had remained quiet, and let the sounds of the ocean slapping up against the boat's hull wash over her. Her companion was quiet, too, and didn't find it necessary to fill the silence. That was rare among humans as a rule. She enjoyed the waves dancing in the distance while Isaac made his way to the island.
The stars pushed to edge of the sea and the deep waters seemed to consume everything. There weren't any signs of life in the waters that Charlotte could detect. It was as if everything was a little further away than it should have been. It was that time between dusk and dawn that souls were lost and won. The ocean swallowed all her secrets, with no signs of the earlier dumped humans. And even though Charlotte knew there were fish swimming beneath them and that the men were still trying to reach shore before something larger found them or their energy failed, the ocean seemed empty. The offshore dumping of the pirate sailors would result in some sort of trash hitting the sand sooner or later, but for that slice of time it was just a speeding boat with Isaac and Charlotte. Claude's ship was long out of sight. She breathed in deeply and let her body relax.
Once they were back at the docks, another depth to the man who called himself Isaac came into play as he said, "Okay, Shadow Lady, be careful out there. The entire island isn't exactly safe and easy going as she seems. There is a desperate underbelly to this old girl and she has a very nasty bite."
His smile was knowing and his mind shut. He wasn't exactly saying what he was, but he did seem to have an idea what she was. Laughing again Charlotte leaped off the small craft before he was fully to the dock and said, "Thanks for the warning, Isaac. I may have to look into those areas a bit closer."
His answering laughter tickled at Charlotte somewhere deep in the pit of her stomach. There was something other than human mocking her now that she was out of reach on the planks. He didn't tie up but let his boat drift a bit further away from her.
"I am glad to have met you. Make sure you tell Kenyon hello from Isaac when you meet up again. Give him all my best." Then his face flashed pure fury, "And let him know I will be back for what he owes me."
A plume of water flew behind the creature called Isaac as he piloted away from a stunned Charlotte. Kenyon had left his legacy of torture and pain all over the world. Usually she knew his victims. Isaac hadn't registered on her consciousness in any manner. She knew she'd never met him before he had dropped Babette at Claude's ship. Yet an icy finger of 'what if' snaked down her spine as it dawned on her that he had known exactly who she was when she got on his small boat. In fact, it nagged at her that he may have even known she was out there. That wasn't a comfortable thought to Charlotte at all. Shaking off that feeling, she shrugged; it wasn't like she was going to jump into the sea to swim out and ask Isaac more questions. He was going to be Kenyon's problem not hers.
As the night began to escape she went to the nearby street and pushed the button on the key fob for the alarm to the dead pirate Kyle's car. Nothing flickered lights or beeped tones so she went to another street and pushed the deactivator button again for the car alarm. Not a sound so she continued crisscrossing away slowly street by street from the docks. It was nearly dawn and she was less attentive to her surroundings then she should have been.
"My, my! Ding-ding-ding! Lookie here, boys, we have ourselves a winner." A hoarse cough and the sound of phlegm loosening marked the male as a heavy smoker.
As if she needed a further demonstration his cigarette smoke was blown straight into her face just as there was an answering bleat from one of the cars. She couldn't see which car because of the tall man who stood in front of her blocking her view of the street not to mention the nicotine cloud. The street was ill-lit and the moon had darted behind a cloud. She could see that he was a little less than six feet tall and somewhat chubby. But he was obviously the ringleader of the other two young men leering at her, one on each side. Dark hair lay flat and oily on his scalp, he was unshaven and somewhat drunk. Hell, 'somewhat' nothing -- he was pretty much plastered into another level of reality. Not a good one either. Charlotte found the underbelly of the island without any effort.
"You're in my way. Step out of my path and maybe I won't hurt you," she snarled -- why did the idiots always show up right before morning? Was there like some sort of club for stupid that let out at four a.m.? It was getting too close to dawn and she was really exhausted. Normally she would have played a bit more with the boys but bedtime was pushing at her. She wanted to be safe in her room and just put the whole sea episode far behind her.
Her comment triggered the usual laughter and juvenile shoving amongst the shared-brain boys. How three humans shared a single brain was often a mystery to her but definitely part of the reality she often saw in mob situations and fans. They kept laughing and nudging each other. Hissing she grabbed the one closest and snapped his wrist. So, the wrist had been holding a small four inch blade. That aside, it fell with a clatter to the sidewalk. She kicked it away automatically while finishing the motion. The kid followed the skittering knife as she shoved him down. He stayed on the sidewalk. Then she whipped her left palm upwards and into sidekick number two's throat. He uttered some weird sounds and stumbled away from Charlotte and the leader. His Adam's apple bobbed up and down while he retched out his pain and sobbed his confusion. He fell to his knees on the ground vomiting out some of the liquid refreshments he had gulped down for the past six or seven hours. Two down.
"You are still here?" She grinned flashing her teeth. No fangs yet, but still the smile made him audibly gulp. Shakily he hauled out his knife, a bit larger than the first boy's, and waved it somewhat menacingly. She casually slapped it out of his hand and laughed, "So you are staying to play with me?" She laughed, delighted by the volunteer squad. These boys weren't tepid like most of the islanders she had found but full of testosterone and stupidity which was always a tasty combination. He wasn't afraid of her but he would do.
His pals were on the ground groaning and rolling around a bit. Neither of them made the effort to move or get up when she brushed by them and shoved the idiot in front of her off the sidewalk into the gutter. His feet stumbled in the muck and he half slipped. The alcohol was fueling his mood and his cigarette was hanging by a paper thin layer of dry skin to his lower lip.
Charlotte had to hand it to him, he really did think he was going to pounce her. How he thought he was man enough amazed her but also amused her. She laughed again. He winced and puffed up larger and obviously, he thought, in a menacing manner. The smoke from his cigarette was blown into her face yet again.
"Fucking A, Bitch, I am still here," he slurred. That cigarette taunted Charlotte and she looked down to both of his friends. They were curled into tight throbbing balls focused on their own pain. They didn't even look up when she growled softly. Her growls usually invoked terror and trembling.
She slapped the cigarette out of his face and leaped up, fanging in to his neck lightning fast. Her legs wrapped midway around his frame, her white arms wrapped tightly around his large shoulders; clinging to his back, she enjoyed the rich coppery blood flowing from his neck, and with her body she pushed deeper into his body. He shuddered and trembled. She kept sucking while mentally fucking his brain over -- that ought to teach him to prey on women. She stopped before he was dead and jumped off, laughing. What she launched into his brain was a vampiric worm. She gave him empathy for women and an understanding of how women felt. Vulnerable and needy at the same time -- just part of what she gifted him. The man was doomed. Never would he be able to simply rape or screw a lady and simply walk off. Now he would feel empathy for the girl and know what it felt like. He shuddered and moaned. It wasn't with pleasure. The glassy eyed gaze was all the reward she needed.
"Oh, baby, you are so not worth the trouble. Leave women alone! The next one might not stop as soon as I did." Charlotte laughed. Her fangs receded and she licked her lips.
She leaned in and asked, "What's your name?"
"Trip," he mumbled, still reeling from the blood loss.
"Nice, real name?" Just in case she had to come back and reinforce her mental push.
"Samuel Tyler, the Third."
"Okay, Sammy, you rape any more women or even cross against the traffic lights, I will come back and nail you. Not that way," she laughed, "More along the lines of literally with a hammer and roofing nails. You hearing me?"
He gulped and slowly nodded. Charlotte tapped him on the face and he hung his head in shame. Her imprint was deep and layered. Being a vampire more than a few decades had definite advantages. She had learned a few tricks. Shoving past him she clicked the button on the key fob and discovered the car Kyle had left behind when he went a-pillaging. The lights and beeps lead her to a nice sedan. The pirate had taste, she had to hand that to him. It was a mid-sized car with a clean paint job. She hopped inside and wasn't overly surprised to hear reggae music booming out from the stereo system.
Once she had adjusted the seat and mirrors she headed to her hotel. She wanted to keep the cops off her tail, and Kyle's car left abandoned wouldn't have gone unnoticed for long. She parked on the street where the hotel was located near a large tree. No signs were posted so she figured a week or two before the car would be considered abandoned. To keep things interesting she left the keys in the ignition after wiping off her fingerprints. She even remembered the mirror and seat toggle. A quick swipe on the door she was good. She quickly walked back to her hotel. She really needed to crash for a few hours.
Charlotte woke nearly at dusk. She had been exhausted. The light on her phone was blinking red. She hadn't even heard the phone ring. Reluctantly she dialed into the voice mail to hear the manager's voice. The call was to tell her she had a free massage at the spa courtesy of her travel agent. Relieved she went down to enjoy the finer things available at the hotel. That was more along the lines of a vacation in her opinion!
Soon the staff was done massaging her body and rubbing exotic oils into her skin. She headed back to her room relaxed and happy. Finally she was enjoying the fruits of her labor. Okay, of the vampire stalkers' labor, but it was hers now!
Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-11-06