• A message. A prophecy:

    “You have a cruel and tainted soul and it is by that that you have survived thus far. But beware; for it won’t protect you for long. Your life will be ended soon. ‘Tis a demon who will kill you…A vampire’s blade will be stained with your blood and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.”

    I’ve never had much belief in such things but it worried me. The police can’t be involved, or everything will be ruined. I’ve decided to hire a mercenary, one from the guild, to act as my bodyguard. Preferably one who specializes in vampires…

    Chapter 1

    Lily stared out the window of her apartment while she tied her scarlet hair in a braid. She closed her eyes and smiled, enjoying the warm, morning sunlight streaming through the glass.

    An image of blood and sleepless nights flew through her head. Her smile faded. Sunlight. She had almost lost everything. If she hadn’t gotten so lucky, she wouldn’t be here right now. Standing in the sun. Enjoying the gentle warmth. Yeah, things could’ve been a lot different…

    Her thoughts trailed off as she finished braiding her hair. She jumped as she heard a musical ringtone suddenly coming from the kitchen behind her. She smiled at the song; one that her beloved older brother had given her in the form of a music box on her sixth birthday. She skipped over to the counter, where her cell phone was charging, and quickly pressed the answer button before the phone stopped ringing.

    “Hello?” she sang to the tune.

    “Uh…Is this Lily Jade?” said a female voice.


    “This is the Mercenary Guild.” said the lady. “We just got a job that suits your area of expertise. It involves guarding someone who believes he is being targeted by a vampire. The client is located in Melcowe. Interested?”

    “A vampire?” Lily asked. The dark memory tinkered back to the edge of her mind.

    “Yes,” the lady confirmed. “I’m afraid I can’t give out much more than that unless you take the job.”

    “Okay, I’ll take it,” Lily said. “Tell me more.”


    The room was pitch black; not a speck of light shone through the thick dark curtains covering the windows of the apartment. Everything was quiet and still. The only sound came from the soft breathing of the young man in the bed. He was in a very deep sleep despite it being late morning.

    Then, the silent atmosphere was shattered as his cell phone rang. The man groaned and turned over placing a pillow over his head. By now, though, it was too late: he was awake…and he could still hear the damn phone.

    “Dammit…!” The young man slowly sat up in the bed and turned his head to where the annoying sound was coming from. His phone was perched on a coffee table on the other side of the room. Too far away…The man debated whether or not to throw his pillow at it. The action might help him feel better, and if he was lucky the phone would hit the floor and stop ringing…

    Nah, too much effort.

    The young man reluctantly pushed himself off the bed and made his way across the room.

    If this is a sales call someone is going to die, he thought as he answered the phone.

    “What?” he demanded.

    “Well, you’re not very polite, are you?” asked a smooth voice from the phone.

    “No, I’m not,” the young man answered annoyed. “Who the hell are you?”

    “You may call me Mr. Collins. I’ve called to discuss a business proposition with you, Mr. Barthel,” he said calmly. Superiority leaked from his words.

    The young man rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand and sighed. “A client. Great…” he mumbled.

    “I’m sorry, what was that?”


    “Well, then. Let’s get on to business, Adrian- May I call you Adrian?” asked Mr. Collins.

    “No,” said Adrian bluntly. He leaned his back on the wall the coffee table was pushed up against. He ran his free hand through his hair and tilted his head back. He was starting to get a headache. “Are you familiar with my terms and rates?” he asked.

    “I can’t say that I am.” replied Mr. Collins. “However, you come highly recommended and your target will be a challenge to eliminate. I’m willing to pay triple whatever your hiring rate is. I’ll discuss further details once you have decided to take the job.”

    Adrian closed his eyes and thought for a moment. He didn’t like this guy. He was an a**. Then again, a job was a job and this one would pay well.

    “You said your name was Collins?” asked Adrian.

    “Yes, that’s correct.” He replied.

    “I don’t take jobs dealing with demons.”

    “There is no problem, then. Is there anything else?”


    “So, you accept?”


    “Wonderful! I would like to discuss the details with you personally. Meet me at the Carson Subway Station in Melcowe a week from now. I’ll text you the exact time in three days. I look forward to working with you, Mr. Barthel.”

    Adrian hung up and dropped the phone back on the table. “Just shut the hell up…” he mumbled as he grabbed a dark shirt hanging off the wooden chair near his computer desk. As he walked by the window pulling his shirt on, his arm brushed the curtain. Adrian winced and stumbled away from the small ray of light that broke through the darkness. He rubbed his sore eyes and tried to blink away the spots that now danced in his vision. His head was still pounding and now he had a meeting with an overconfident, condescending b*****d. Today was not his day.

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