March 6th, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Chapter Nine Part Three
David’s mind was in a whirl as he rode his motorbike home from Tanya’s that evening. He was riding slower than normal because he knew that he was distracted and that he fortunate that the roads were quiet at this time of night.
He was thinking about if Meredith was right and if he should talk to Tanya about the problems he was having with Leisa? The way she had reacted to Anna’s problem suggested that she would not freak out if he did, at least. And to be honest he could not even imagine Tanya freaking about anything. But she had enough to worry about with Anna’s problem. He did not want to add to her problems when there was littleâ€“
He broke off from his train of thought at the sight of a lone figure standing boldly in the middle of the road in the short lonely stretch bounded by the park and the allotments. He swerved, intending to go around him but his instincts screamed at him that that was what the other wanted and he was in grave danger. He carried on up on to the pavement and hit the accelerator. As he speeded up he glanced back and realised the other was running after him with inhuman speed. This was not good!
He changed tack and slammed on the brakes, stopping the motorbike violently and killing the engine. Only his trained hunter reflexes allowed him to leap clear of the bike and grab his crucifix from his bag. He turned around to face his pursuer, whom he could now sense was the one who had been attacking Anna, and flung the silver crucifix up between them. He was not at all certain that it would work. Leisa had been unphased by the rosary he had hung up in her car after all. But this vampire seemed troubled. He flinched back from the crucifix and hissed in shock. Then he started moving around obvious trying to flank David. David pivoted around to keep the crucifix between but he knew that if the vampire used his supernatural speed he would not have time to react.
David froze for a moment and waited, then as the vampire closed in on him he whirled around at the last minute as fast as he could and slammed the heavy crucifix into the vampire’s face as hard as he could as if it were a club. His assailant was caught by surprise and David was rewarded by a scream, and the sound and stench of sizzling flesh. The vampire staggered backwards and David saw that the crucifix had seared its impression into his cheek and by the looks of it the blow had shattered his cheekbone and nose. David smirked to himself. He might be about to die, he would not be able to get away with that trick twice, but at least he had marked the bastard. He took advantage of his opponent distraction and grabbed his hunting bag. This one clearly did not like holy things, if he could get his flask of holy water perhaps he couldâ€“
Holy things? David managed not to turn to look up the hill towards Saint Theresa’s church only with difficulty. If this vampire didn’t like holy things, he certainly wouldn’t like holy ground. But the couple of hundred yards to the church might as well be ten miles for the chances he had of outrunning a vampire, and it would certainly be locked at this time of night, wouldn’t it. He started backing up the road towards the church, still holding the crucifix. The vampire clutched at his face and mumbled something David could not quite catch under his breath. It sounded angry though.
A moment later he rushed at David with all his speed. David could barely make him out, so fast was he moving but his psychic instincts took over and guided his hand because somehow his flailing attempts at defense connected again and the vampire fell back again holding his face, but this time the crucifix was wrenched from his grip in the melee and scittered across the tarmac and out of reach. Damn!
David turned to run, even though he knew that it was useless and the other would surely catch him now. But then someone grabbed him and dragged him along with them even faster than his assailant vampire could run. So fast everything seemed blurred. Then for just a moment everything went cold and grey.
When his vision cleared only moments later he was sitting on the floor inside Saint Teresa’s. David shook his head in confusion and glanced back at the doors which were firmly shut, somehow he was sure they had not been opened when they entered. Then he turned, unwillingly, to look at his rescuer. Somehow he was not surprised to see that it was Leisa who was leaning casually against one of the pillars smiling at him.
“That,” she said after a long moment. “Was far too close. You shouldn’t be out after dark alone until he is been dealt with.”
“I-” David began as he tried to rise and then he realised that his legs were starting to give way as soon as he did. He grabbed on to one of the pew backs for support. “Buh.”
“Hey, be careful.” She looped an arm around his waist and helped him to one of the pews to sit down. “Take it gently. You’ve had a bad few minutes and humans tend to get a bit wonky when a vampire mists with them. You’ll be okay in a minute.” She looked towards the doors. “He is still out there, which means that he did not recognise me. That’s good. On the bad side, it’s full moon tonight and moonlight heals the bloodline Ragnar is part of so that damage you inflicted won’t last long.” She paused and gave him another warm smile. “But you were pretty damned impressive, David, whacking him like that. The wounds will heal but he’ll remember the pain for quite some time.”
Leisa paused while she waited for David to collect his thoughts and looked around the shadowy confines of Saint Theresa’s. It had been a long time since she had been in an unlit church after dark and she sometimes forgot just how beautiful an experience it could be to feel the hum of holy ground beneath her feet and to bask in the warm golden glow which emenated from the tabernacle.
“Y-you saved me?” David’s soft question broke her out of her reverential contemplation.
“Yes, of course I did, you’re a good kid – and Ragnar is an evil bastard.”
“A-and he is still out there?” David asked nervously.
“Oh, yes. I can feel him pacing about just outside the gates. He knows that we’re in here, but he can’t come after us.”
“Why not?” David asked.
Leisa gave him a long look.”That’s a very silly question, David,” she sighed. “He can’t come in because he is evil and this is holy ground.”
“But you don’t seem to be having a problem being here.” he said.
Leisa laughed softly at that. “Yeah, well, I know you find this hard to believe but I am not evil. At least not by his definition apparently.” She nodded towards the crucifix which hung over the altar. “Or that’s my surmise. We don’t really know why some of us have problems with artefacts of some religions. But Ragnar will be very angry about this. Not only did you escape him but he hates being reminded that someone apparently doesn’t approve of him and his ideology. Fortunately his bloodline is severely weakened by the sun, so he’ll leave when it rises and we can get out of here. We’re lucky it’s summer.”
“I see. He’ll try again, won’t he?” David said.
“I am sure that he will. That’s why I want you to be careful-” She broke off as an unearthly howl sounded nearby and made the hairs on her arms rise up.
“W-what was that?” David asked.
“Well, it might just be a dog that’s been spooked by something,” she said doubtfully. “But it doesn’t sound or feel like one, and like I said it is full moon.”
“You think it’s a werewolf?” he asked.
“It certainly sounds like one.” She paused. “This could be a good thing. Ragnar hates and fears werewolves in equal measure. He may well flee if it is one of them.”
“Why would a werewolf be out there?” he asked.
Leisa shrugged. “It’s full moon and there’s always been quite a few werewolves in Haventon. I expect they gather in the park.” She gave him an amused look. “Surely that doesn’t surprise you.”
“Oh, of course.” He paused as the howl sounded again even closer. Leisa reached out and took a peek at Ragnar’s mind. As she had expected he had come to the conclusion it was a werewolf as well, and he was very unhappy about it.
A/N: Keep an eye out Thursday evening for the post announcing the start of the Dragon Wars Saga Presale!