The sun set and at the same instant, Reginald rose from his coffin.
Time to go forth and discover this new town. Time to feed. Time to seduce and create offspring... and time to search for a mate. He fervently hoped he would find a lover here... someone to assist him and be a companion to him. Surely, he had waited long enough.
It was time.
So much to do, and yet a mere twelve hours in which to do it!
Yet this was the way of the vampire... the hours of nightfall left only limited time, but he would make it suffice.
He always had.
“I do not always deal in death...” Reginald murmured to his latest victim. "No, I will deal for you this night a new life. An immortal life, if you will only embrace it.”
So speaking, he sank his fangs into the blond man’s neck and watched gleefully as he Turned.
When the change was complete, the newly formed vampire looked at his hands, ran them over his chest, then reached up and felt his fangs.
“What...what have you done to me...?” he asked, but he didn’t sound fearful... he, instead, sounded full of wonder. Reginald was encouraged.
“I have made you my eldest son.” he told him, embracing him. “And you shall always be at my right hand. What is your name, my child?”
“Loki,” said the newly created vampire. “Loki Beaker.”
“How do you feel, Loki?”
“I feel...” Loki stopped and considered. “I feel invincible!” He bared his fangs and hissed.
Reginald laughed. “You are, my son. You are! So long as you fear the dawn and remember the sunlight will turn you to ash. Also, you must remember to feed... Which,” Reginald said hungrily, “is something I need to do as well. Come with me, my son... learn the art of the hunt!”
Five residents of Strangetown met their demise that night as the vampires sated their hunger, among them Loki’s wife Circe and another longtime resident, General Buzz Grunt.
Reginald drained the General himself... it was a challenge to subdue such strong quarry, and the adrenaline added a flavor to the blood that Reginald rather enjoyed.
No matter, he thought. There is time.
Such a thing could not be taken lightly, and he would know the right woman immediately, if she should ever cross his path.
Lazlo opened the newspaper and stared in shock at the blaring black headline. Wide-eyed, he ran into the house where his brothers were finishing their breakfast. Charity was nearby, feeding a bottle to Xena.
Lazlo frantically waved the paper at them.
“You have to hear this!” he cried. “Listen! “Mysterious Deaths in Strangetown Baffle Authorities. Five residents of Strangetown were found dead in their homes early this morning, including single father General Buzz Grunt, who leaves behind three sons, and registered nurse Circe Beaker,” Lazlo looked over the rim of the paper at the shocked faces.
Pascal looked incredulous, Vidcund looked ready to pass out, and Charity closed her eyes, cuddled the baby, and whispered, “Those poor orphaned boys...”
Lazlo swallowed hard and continued to read from the article. “Although the exact reason for the deaths is not clear at present, the preliminary reports indicate the primary cause appears to be from bleeding to death. However, Sargent Larry Mace, the first officer on the scene, stated there was no evidence of hemorrhage or any bloodshed around the bodies -- ”
“That’s enough.” Charity interrupted quietly, her eyes on Orion, who had wandered into the room. “The walls have ears.” She picked the child up and carried him into another room while the three brothers continued to sit at the table in horror.
“My God.” Vidcund said quietly, as Pascal took the paper from Lazlo and read the article himself. “Buzz...and Circe.” Vidcund wiped a hand over his eyes. “I would have never wished this on them. Never.”
“It says here that the coroner did find two small punctures on the necks of all the victims,” Pascal mused. “But right now, they don’t think that insignificant of a wound could cause such severe bloodlessness in the entire body. It says that all the major blood vessels were completely collapsed, yet no blood anywhere to be found at the scenes...?”
Vidcund looked slightly green. “That doesn’t make sense,” he said. “That much blood doesn’t just disappear.”
“I know, I know...” Pascal said, shaking his head. “There’s something very odd going on, and whatever it is, it’s not good.”
“That’s an understatement.” Lazlo agreed. "Well, guys, I gotta head off to work... maybe someone will know something about all this down at the lab."
Vidcund found himself worrying about Charity. Why, he couldn’t exactly say. The victims were of all different genders and ages, he mused. Nothing to indicate Charity would be in any greater danger than the rest of us. So why am I so worried about her?
All he knew was if anything happened to her he didn’t know what he would do. Although he’d only known her for a short time, she’d already made an indelible mark on his heart, and whatever was happening, he knew he’d do anything in his power to protect her.
I only wish I knew from what, he thought fervently, and picked up the newspaper to read the article once more.
To Be Continued