No, I’m not going to write it all out for you. If you want to know what happened when we got home with the bag of toys, then go download some gay porn. It’s free and plentiful you fucking pervs. It’s time to get on with the story already.
Mike sat in a chair in the corner, his chair tipped back with his feet propped on the desk and his head resting against the wall behind him, eyes closed. Crandall sat next to him, perched on the edge of his chair and watching Ash from the corner of his eye as the dark-haired hunter licked his lips and leaned forward in his seat. His left knee jumped up and down in a rapid staccato beat that even Mike would have a hard time duplicating on a drum and his fingers tapped out a random pattern only he could hear. Dragon, from behind the desk, took in the entire scene with his hands politely folded together over a file of bills he’d just paid.
“We must assume there is more to this than they are telling us,” Dragon said.
“What’s it matter?” Ash stood, paced two short steps to the door, spun and paced back. He dropped back in to his seat with nowhere else to go. “We get a shot at a big one here. He’s old and powerful, and he wants to die.”
“Maybe,” Dragon said.
“Or what?” Crandall asked, his glare on Ash instead of Dragon. “If he wanted to kill us, he could’ve. There were more than enough vampires in that room to destroy us three times over even if you had been there.” His glare slid back to Dragon, but then fell to his fingers twisted together in his lap. What he really wanted to do with his hands sat to his left, pretending to doze. He slapped Mike’s feet, pushing them off of the desk and forcing him to sit up to keep from falling out of the chair as it slammed back down to four legs.
“He’s right,” Mike said. “They’ve had plenty of chances for that.”
“That doesn’t mean there isn’t something else going on.” Ash stood again. “Dragon is right. They have no reason to tell us everything. Only what they think will get us to react, right? That’s all I’d tell us.”
“You’re strung out on too much caffeine,” Crandall grumbled.
“I don’t drink coffee.” Ash paused, staring at Crandall, seemingly waiting for an acknowledgment that wouldn’t come. “Why don’t they kill him themselves?” he asked.
“Supposedly can’t,” Mike mumbled. He put one foot back on the desk and pushed his chair onto two legs again. His eyelids drifted to half-mast.
“Sidney mentioned a prophesy.”
Everyone snapped their mouths shut and stared at Crandall. He looked around and then slumped in his seat, shoulders rounded and eyes downcast.
“Really? They didn’t tell you that last night?” He glared at the floor wishing he’d overslept for once in his life.
“What prophesy?” Mike asked, righting his chair and shifting forward to catch Crandall’s eyes.
“Something about the four of us. Judas thinks that now there are four hunters, his time has come. So–” He shrugged one shoulder. “–I say we give it to him.”
“What else did Sidney say?” Dragon’s voice remained low and calm when everyone else let their anxiety bleed through.
“Nothing. Besides that part about us being off limits to other vampires if we agree to put up an effort.” Crandall flattened his fingers over his thighs. He forced himself to look up and meet Dragon’s gaze. “Can we talk about this while we spar?” He glanced at Ash. “I want to practice. Drill? Whatever I’m supposed to learn.”
Ash nodded and then looked to Dragon for confirmation.
“Sure,” Dragon said. “Let’s change and meet in the Pit.” He rose, but Crandall remained seated while Dragon and Ash headed toward the locker room.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Mike said once they left.
“Me too.” Crandall stood and shut the office door. “But we don’t have a choice either. We have to be prepared for whatever this vampire thinks will help us help him. Like any of us know how to think like a Fang. It’s fucking crazy, Mike, but it’s what we have to do.”
Mike nodded and stood. Crandall stepped closer, pinning him between his body and the chair Mike just vacated. To get away, he’d have to sit down again. Instead, Mike’s eyes darted to the door, closed but unlocked, and then back down to Crandall’s hazel gaze.
“I don’t want to,” Crandall said, “but I will. I’ll do what I need to do to make sure I can watch your back.”
Mike licked his lips and put his arms loosely around Crandall’s shoulders. “I got your back too, man. I swear it.”
Crandall leaned his head on Mike’s shoulder and whispered, “No. No, I’m not, but what choice do I have.”
Up Next: The Gloves Are Off