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She let the darkness embrace her as gravity took hold, knowing with an increasingly sense of hopelessness, that this was finally it. The end. 

Until a warm hand, slightly slippery with blood, grabbed onto her wrist and yanked her back. The force sent a stab of pain up her already aching arm and she opened her eyes, bewildered. She could smell blood and sweat. A small wooden cross hung on a leather cord a few inches in front of her nose.

You ok?” said a voice. Caelan’s voice. 

She nodded weakly, mind reeling. Caelan had saved her… but how? He had been fighting for his life… Hadn’t he? How had he got there so fast?

“Let’s go,” came the voice again and she felt another tug on her arm as he started trying to lead her away. “Let’s go!” he repeated.

She followed him, running as if half asleep - down the landing, around and down the steps and then to the grand front doors, which Caelan practically ripped open. They burst out on to the street.

Immediately the city nosies sprung up around them; shouting, tapping, yelling, slamming… The sounds grated against Mila’s already sore head. She tried taking a gulp of cool air to soothe the pain, but found herself inhaling smoky fumes. 

“Come on,” she heard Caelan mutter as he started to lead her away, his hand still holding hers firmly.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” she replied irritably, ignoring her protesting limbs. The night air was starting to bring her back to her senses. She heard Caelan chuckle quietly in reply. 

A few minutes and several dark alleys later, they finally stopped walking. Mila took a deep breath, her eyes closed, trying to clear her head. When she opened them Caelan was holding out her knife. She took it gratefully, gave it a quick wipe on her jacket sleeve and sheathed it, scowling. Damion still had her other knife, she remembered. 

“How’s your head?” Caelan asked. He looked concerned. 

“I’ll live,” she replied gruffly, staring at him. Several things were occurring to her at once. Firstly, he was, for once, hatless. Secondly, and much more importantly, he barely had a scratch on him. Sure, his face, hands and front were splattered with blood, but it wasn’t his. His clothing was all intact. Hers, on the other hand…

She groaned to herself. Her trousers were ripped from where the fallen vamp had grabbed at her neck, and blood was starting to ooze out from where his sharp nails had broken through her skin. Her right wrist was also bleeding from where Damion had dug his nails into her. She touched her hand to her throbbing jaw gingerly. That was going to be one wonderful bruise.

“You got both those vamps?” she found herself saying.

“Yep.” He saw her confused expression and shrugged. “Got lucky I guess. Thanks for the knife, by the way. Probably would have been a goner otherwise.”

“No problem.” Suddenly she looked up at him, angrily. “Although you wouldn’t’ve had to have been fighting for your life if you hadn’t come swanning in, all guns blazing, in the first place.”


“We had a truce. You only went and broke it. They probably thought you were with me, and that I’d double crossed them.”

He frowned. “A truce? Why?”

She sighed. “The woman you, so very kindly, shot in the face was the not-completely-dead-after-all Mrs Leroy. Apparently she and ginger are, or rather were, in love. They ran off together, leaving the husband assuming the vamp had just eaten her.”

“That’s…” He frowned. “Unexpected.”

“I know. They were offering me money to leave them alone.”

He froze. “Were you going to take it?” he asked.

“No!” She paused. “And that’s none of your business anyway.”

He glared at her. “Look, I’m sorry, but see it from my point of view. I tracked the vamps to that building, and when I arrived and saw you about to be ripped to shreds by blondie. I could have just killed ginger and taken the cash. I was defending you. The least you could do is thank me.”

“Thanks,” she said grudgingly

“You’re welcome.”

Mila sighed. Her head was still hurting horribly. “What do we do now then?” she found herself saying.

“Not sure,” he replied. “We’ll have to track down ginger and thingy and try again.”

“Seth and Damion,” she corrected with a small chuckle.

“Seth, Damion, whatever,” he said distractedly

“What I want to know,” she said thoughtfully, “is why Seth and Damion didn’t kill us. When we were running for the door they could easily have got us - they weren't hurt too badly, not for vamps anyway.”

Caelan shrugged. “Maybe they were waiting for their minions to do it for them. Didn’t want to risk getting hurt any more than they already had.”

“Maybe… But why would they run away?” There was something wrong about the whole picture. Damion’s behaviour… There was something off about him.

She frowned. “Damion knew you,” she remembered.

“Apparently so,” he replied neutrally

And that was another thing that was off. Caelan. How the hell had he gotten to her so quickly? How had he managed to fight off those vampires and emerge so unscathed? She could have convinced herself that his speed from before was a product of her being hit over the head, but that couldn’t account for everything. Something was up with him. 

On the other hand, he had saved her life. 

Mila sighed again. “I’ve been thinking,” she said. “I know before we agreed it would be better to go our separate ways, but clearly that isn’t going to happen. We’re going to keep running into each other. Maybe we should just work together.”

He frowned. “I thought you didn’t like trusting mysterious strangers.”

“I didn’t say I trusted you.” In fact, she most certainly didn’t. “But if we work together we might be able to get this business over with quicker.”

“And then we can go back to never seeing each other again,” he said with a small smile.


He paused, debating. “I don’t know,” he said slowly.

“Look, I’m not saying you have to trust me either,” she added. “Not entirely anyway. But Seth is going to be extra pissed off now that you’ve killed his girlfriend. Together we might be able to take him out, but separately…”

“It could get messy.” Caelan raised an eyebrow. “And the bounty?”

The inevitable question. “We split it.”

He thought it through for a good twenty seconds, plenty of time for Mila to start to question what the hell she was doing. Sure, they’d run into each other again anyway. Sure, it would probably get the job done quicker. Sure, Seth was going to be extra pissed off and difficult to deal with. I didn’t say trust was part of the deal, she reminded herself. The other reason she hardly wanted to admit. Caelan had secrets, she knew that already, but now there was a chance that he was something else entirely, something much more than human. And there was a part of her desperately wanted to know what.

“Fine,” he said eventually, holding out a bloodstained hand. “We work together to kill ginger and thingy, then split the fee.” 

She took his hand and shook it firmly.




Submitted: January 18, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Amy R. Beckett. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:


Charleen Langley (ClaireBearandMyrnin)

This is getting pretty interesting.

Wed, February 3rd, 2016 7:55am


Caelan is certainly a mystery!

Wed, April 13th, 2016 12:59am


Hmm... I'm intrigued to how this all plays out. And I wanna know what Caelan is hiding!

Sun, May 29th, 2016 2:42pm


So does Mila, haha ;)

Thanks for reading!

Sun, May 29th, 2016 7:45am


Officially now working together, they sure make a good team. I wonder what is going on with Caelan?

Mon, June 20th, 2016 12:17pm


Yes, he's certainly a bit of a mystery.... for the moment at least

Mon, June 20th, 2016 5:17am

A. K.Taylor

Whew! Mila rescued by the super ultra fast human, Caelan. Well, maybe not so human. I have a strong idea of what he is but I'd rather not give it away here. Let's just say, I've watched and read about enough vampire stories that the connection is a high possibility for something I know about.

Other than some punctuation and one action sequence mistake bleeding over from the last chapter, this was a well thought out scene. The questions and intrigue are starting to build the narrative a bit more here which is good. I'll be happy when we see the reveal of Caelan's mysterious past/heritage. It's clear he isn't a normal human. If, he's human at all.

Good work on building into the next chapter also. I do want to point out one thing that begs a question though. Your chapter lengths seem a bit short for this type of story. Is that intentional for the site or do you intend to combine some together for possible publication later? Just a thought.

Wed, January 9th, 2019 4:24am


Yes the shorter chapter lengths are intentional (although I know they also aren't necessarily that consistent!) - I think briefer chapters work better for posting online, as well as giving me more achievable goals when I'm actually writing. If I were to think about publishing I'd certainly combine at least some of the chapters. Thanks for the comments, glad you're enjoying it :-)

Wed, January 9th, 2019 3:48am


A good chapter, I enjoyed the interaction. I am wondering about how injured she's supposed to be... at the end of the last chapter it seemed she was barely able to stay conscious - would she be able to function this well so soon after? I know she's isn't human either, but nothing is mentioned about healing or anything.

Wed, January 30th, 2019 4:25am


Thanks for reading! She does have some enhanced healing abilities, but I'll certainly look into making sure everything makes sense with how injured she should be...

Wed, January 30th, 2019 3:06am

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