April 10th, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
“What?” David stared at Tanya as his brain tried to process what she’d said.
“You really had no idea did you,” Tanya asked. “I though perhaps Marie might have told you. She followed Uncle Miles once.”
“Dad was a werewolf?” David thought about that and his eyes widened as he realised the implications. “Silver! He was killed by silver wasn’t he?”
“Yes. We aren’t sure yet if a hunter got him or if it was just a stupid accident, but it’s looking more and more like it was a hunter. But he had no bites or scratches and the Order believes that myth about it being a contagion. No one should have suspected him.” She must have seen the surprise on his face because she grinned. “Werewolves are born not made.”
“Er,” David said then remembered what Meredith had said when Tanya had said she had somewhere to be. “That werewolf hunter, Meredith, I think she knows about you.”
“Yes,” Tanya agreed. “I noticed that. I think Merry and I are due for a talk about just how she recognises werewolves and a few other things. It’s getting just a little unnerving. But she ‘s not planning to kill me.”
“How do you know?” David asked sceptically.
“Because she wouldn’t have said that if she did. Knowing a hunter is on to you is half the battle and Meredith knows that.” She leaned back in her chair. “So are you satisfied.”
“Enough that I’m not going to call the doctor,” He said then added curiously. “Did she really see her mother?”
“Probably not. Karen died when she was just a little girl. It’s possible that she’s seeing a ghost but I think she’s just delirious.”
“I see.” He looked at her thoughtfully.
“What is it?” she asked gently and he realised she could probably guess what he was about to ask.
“You’re a spy aren’t you?” He winced at how that sounded. “Sorry, that’s not nice, let me rephrase it.”
“Don’t bother. It’s a little harsh but not inaccurate. Not that I don’t hunt vampires. I do and I’m good at it. I just make very sure of my ground before I do. Are you going to turn me in.”
“Quite apart from the fact that I wouldn’t turn you in anyway let me ask the blatantly obvious. How would I do it. I don’t have a way to contact anyone in the Order except you.”
She laughed wryly. “See, yet another security hole. No way to warn anyone if your superior goes traitor. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only member of the Council with at least illicit contacts. And speaking of illicit contacts, who was that last night?”
“Ah.” He frowned at her. “That was you last night?” He didn’t wait for a reply. “I was going to talk to you about it, but I kind of got distracted by Anna collapsing.” He stared into the black depths of his coffee. “She’s… I don’t know what to make of her. She saved my life last night, but she also seems to be playing games with my head.” He gave her a quick run down of his experiences with Leisa and showed her the rosary she had returned to him. When he finished she sat in silence for a while, obviously deep in thought.
“Well, she doesn’t want you dead,” she said finally. “I’m certain of that much. I don’t think she’s looking to turn you into a vampire either.”
“No,” he agreed. “My gut says it’s rather the opposite actually.”
“I think she’s trying to educate you.” Tanya tossed the rosary from hand to hand. “This is totally unofficial of course, but I think you should open a dialogue with her.”
“You mean talk to her? But the rules… well I already broke the rules but it was an unusual situation. I didn’t really have much choice.”
“Bother the rules. Almost every hunter has done it at some point, I’m pretty sure that some of them do it to gloat. No one admits of course.”
“That… that’s horrible,” he said.
“Very,” she agreed.
“Tan, I know you aren’t evil, but do you really think some vampires aren’t?”
She tilted her head and smiled at him. “I don’t think, I know, as surely as I know some werewolves are.”
“You know some vampires who aren’t evil?”
“Well I haven’t had occasion to speak to many, but yes, I’ve met non-evil vampires.”
“Doesn’t the fact that they are dead phase you at all?” he asked.
“It would if it was true, but it’s more complicated than that. I’d never seen it until Marie but if you watch a vampire carefully they don’t die even though everything seems to shut down. There’s no rigor mortis and the body cools abnormally.”
“But they don’t breathe, how can they be alive?”
“Actually they do, just not very often. Probably less than a seal. Watch one sometime.”
“Well they should be dead. I’m reaching, aren’t I? It’s just that…”
“That you can’t bear the idea of killing something alive and sentient?” Tanya asked. “Take it from me a lot of vampires do need killing. There’s no other way to stop the evil ones.”
“But how do you know which ones?” he asked plaintively.
“By watching them carefully, Dave. If it bothers you stick to the zombie ones. They really do need cleaning up. Have you thought about my suggestion?”
“You mean about talking to Leisa? I want to but I’m still scared even though she saved me, and I’m not sure how to approach her.”
Tanya was about to reply when they both heard Anna yelling.