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Wednesday, Dec 06, 2023
Worlds Of Lesbian Fiction

The Vampire Hunter

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The Vampire Hunter - Chapter 3

Clark watched the windows through her binoculars. She'd counted at least ten servants within the building, but there was no way to know if there were more out of sight in the basement. She could feel the sleeping vampires were very close. She put her binoculars away and then prepared herself. She clicked on her shoulder mike.

"Get ready," she whispered.

Another minute went by as she waited for only she knew what. It was just this sense that 'now' was the right time. A figure walked past one of the windows and she knew it was now or never.

"Go," she hissed.

She jumped up and over the waist-high fence she'd been crouched behind and ran for the building even as she gave the command, her feet pounding hard on the dry packed dirt. Dale was coming in from her left, Debbie on her right, and she knew Jason would be running in from the other side of the warehouse, though she couldn't see him because her line of sight was blocked by the building itself.

A few feet from the window and she could see the suddenly alarmed faces of the servants beginning to scramble. She ducked her head and threw her body, shoulder first, into the window. She rolled as she landed and came up shooting.

She tried to aim for legs and shoulders. Servants were only humans after all and some of them could be rehabilitated after serving a nice long prison sentence. But when they started returning fire on her and her teammates, all bets were off.

A quick recount showed her that there were actually a total of fifteen slaves in the expansive room. She'd taken down three in the first five seconds after her entrance and her team members had taken out a combined total of eight a few moments later. Now it was down to four servants and they were hunkered down behind a couch and firing at her exposed teammates.

"Take cover!" she yelled at them. She'd thrown herself behind a metal cabinet after her initial attack and was sending intermittent shots at the group behind the couch to try to keep their heads down while her people found shelter.

Jason crawled behind the upended furniture to sidle up to her behind the cabinet.

"Are we having fun yet?" he grinned.

"Oh, yeah, lovin' every minute of it," Clark drawled. "Think you can get over to that table and cover me while I take 'em out from the right?"

"I'll get D 'n' D to cover us and take left." He crawled away before she could argue. On second thought, she realized it was a better plan.

Clark waited until she saw Dale and Deb take their places behind the round wooden table that had gotten knocked over during the first part of the fight. She got a nod from Deb and then held up her fist so that Jason could see it. Clark nodded back to Debbie and she and Dale began firing at the couch. Clark dropped her fist and jerked her index finger twice in the direction of the couch to indicate they were on.

Jason half stood and then rolled from behind his sheltering furniture just as Clark jumped up from her own cover and fired into the huddled group of servants. It was all over in a matter of seconds.

"Alright, find the basement."

They started a search of the room and finally found a trapdoor that lead down into the cellar. Clark went first, then Jason, then Deb, and finally Dale. Clark lit one of her torches. Most Hunters used flashlights, and Clark did keep one with her for emergencies, but she'd found there were many uses a flaming torch could provide that a flashlight just couldn't.

The cellar was huge. It easily ran for several building lengths beyond the warehouse's boundaries on all sides. The others had all pulled out their high-powered flashlights and Clark looked around at her team members. She could feel the strange thrill that went through her body when she was so close to so many vampires.

"Jason, take the left side, I'll take the right. Dale, you back up Jase, and Deb you cover me. If you find a tunnel, mine it. And remember, if it moves, it dies. No questions asked."

Jason nodded and turned and walked out of the perimeter of Clark's torchlight, Dale following him a few steps behind. Clark put away her guns and pulled out a long wooden spike. Her torch in her left hand and her stake in her right, she started off to find a vampire to kill. Deb stayed several feet behind and off to Clark's left to keep her own line of sight clear in case she had to shoot down an attacker.

They moved slowly through the cellar, taking their circle of light with them and leaving darkness behind. Then, Clark saw it, the beginning of the catacombs. The first body length hole was at about waist height and it was empty. Clark studied the dirt in the light given off by her torch and then sniffed at it. There hadn't been a vampire in that tomb for several months.

She moved on to the next one and it was empty, too. The third one, however, was quite full. There was enough room for one person, or demon of Hell, to crawl into the space and get comfortable, but there was no way she'd have enough room to drive her stake through the creature's heart. She would have to pull the thing out by its ankles first and then kill it.

She laid her torch on the ground. The new shadows that were cast from the change in lighting were rather creepy, but Clark hardly noticed. She put the spike into one of the custom made loops on her 'hunting' belt and then grasped the boots around the ankles of the sleeping vampire.

Clark pulled powerfully and quickly and, in just a couple of seconds, had the surprised vampire thumping onto the ground. Faster than was really humanly possible, Clark pulled the stake from her belt and slammed it home into the creature's heart. He didn't make a sound.

Clark pulled out several more stakes from her backpack and slipped them into her belt loops. She picked up the torch again and continued forward after checking behind her to make sure Debbie was still with her. She got a nod and the two went to the next alcove.

Jason had just finished with his own kill when he came across a slight dip in the dirt wall's surface. A little scraping with the butt of his fresh stake revealed a metal door. He pushed it open and shined his flashlight down the narrow passageway.

"Looks like an escape tunnel to me," Dale commented.

Jason nodded. He motioned for Dale to turn around and unzipped his pack. He pulled out two grenades and a length of fishing wire. A few minutes later and the passageway was booby-trapped. The two men continued on their way.

Clark pulled out her third victim and slammed her stake down onto its chest while it tried to get away. The wooden stake hit something solid and glanced off to the side. The vampire managed to roll away and stood up to face her attacker.

She opened her shirt and pulled out a square piece of metal and threw it on the ground at Clark's feet.

"Bet you weren't expecting that, huh?" she taunted.

Clark grinned. The idiot had just given up her only means of protection against Clark's stakes. She turned her head slightly and spoke to Deb over her left shoulder.

"Cover me, but don't interfere. I wanna have some fun."

Then she leveled her predator's grin at the vampire and tossed her torch a few feet to her left. "Bring it on," she snarled at the vampire.

The vampire was a little put off by the ease with which this woman regarded her. There was cockiness and then there was confidence. This woman exuded confidence. But she was a vampire and no mere mortal was going to get the best of her.

She used her supernatural abilities to move quickly into the woman's space, but somehow the woman was ready for her and blocked her lunge. She jumped back to give herself room to move and time to think.

"You'll have to do better than that, hellspawn," Clark taunted her.

Then Clark went on the offensive and moved her considerable bulk much faster than the vampire was expecting. She whipped the butt of her spike across the vampire's jaw and then spun around to give her crescent kick more power, landing the heel of her right boot in the same place her spike had been moments before.

Clark danced back and waited. The surprised look on the vampire's face almost made her laugh out loud.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"The name's Dana Clark. Maybe you've heard of me?"

Normally, Clark was very humble. She hated the way everyone tried to make her into some kind of hero. She didn't feel like a hero and was very uncomfortable with the praise she received from her fellow Hunters and the general public. But when she was on the job, she thoroughly enjoyed making her kills aware of exactly who was about to end their reign of terror.

Clark saw the look of fear pass over the vampire's face and grinned even wider. The vampire was about to bolt, but Clark got in her way and took the opening that was given her during the brief distraction. She plunged the stake into the vampire's chest and felt the warm blood spill over her fingers and arms as the creature fell to the ground, taking Clark with her.

Clark rolled the inanimate corpse off her body and got to her feet. She was covered in gore, but didn't pay attention to it. She picked up the torch and reached to her belt and pulled out another spike. Debbie just shook her head and followed the incredible woman.

There were a few more empty alcoves and then they came to the end of the wall. They turned to follow the new wall in front of them and then Clark heard a masculine scream and took off running. Debbie was hot on her heels.

Jason was on the ground; his throat had been ripped out. Dale was backed up against the wall, the vampire feeding at his neck. Clark stopped and took in the scene lying before her. She threw down the torch and unconsciously fell into a fighting stance as she moved forward to attack the beast consuming her teammate's blood.

The vampire stopped feeding when he realized he had an audience. He turned around and let Dale slide down the wall in a crumpled heap. His eyes were practically glowing with the power of fresh blood flowing through his veins.

As soon as Dale's body was out of the way, Debbie pumped her full clip into the creature's chest. The immediate loss of blood sent him to his knees and Clark took the opportunity to body slam him back into the ground. She tried to stab her weapon into his chest, but his hand came up and grabbed her wrist. She felt the bones in her wrist snap and the spike fell from her grasp.

He powered her up and over and landed on top of her. Another second and he would have his fangs sunk into her neck. Then she felt him stiffen and a strange look came over his face, half disbelief, half fear. He looked down and Clark looked down, too, to see the point of a stake sticking out of his chest.

Clark looked over his shoulder and saw Debbie with both hands still on the shaft of the stake. She pushed it down hard again and it sunk another inch. The vampire twitched once and then fell to the side.

Clark pried the dead vampire's fingers off her broken wrist and got unsteadily to her feet. She looked at Debbie. The woman appeared calm, but Clark knew she was in shock by the way she kept staring at Jason's body.

"Hey. Thanks for saving my life."

"No problem," Debbie said emotionlessly.

Clark shuffled over to Dale's body and checked for a pulse with her good hand. There was nothing. She looked up at Debbie who was still staring at Jason's body. She stood up and ambled over to the young woman.

"Come on. Let's go radio for cleanup."

She nudged Debbie and gestured for her to start walking. She picked up the barely burning torch and caught up to her side. They walked back to their cars in silence. Clark called for a cleanup crew and then leaned against the hood of her car next to Debbie, holding her broken wrist and staring at the building they'd just trashed.

"At least they went in the line of duty. I think that's how both of them wanted it to be," Clark offered.

Debbie looked over at her. "I think I need to find a new line of work," she said tiredly.

Clark's eyes widened in alarm. "You should give it a few days before making that kind of decision. You're still in shock."

"No, I'm thinking pretty clearly," Deb argued.

"Oh yeah? Then why haven't you asked me why I'm holding my wrist?" she grinned.

Debbie's eyes finally seemed to focus and she looked down at the way Clark was cradling her right wrist in her left hand.

"Oh, shit, are you okay? What happened?"

"Bastard grabbed my wrist," Clark spoke through the pain that she was becoming more and more aware of.

"Shit, you should have said something," Deb admonished her.

"Nothing you can do about it. Once cleanup gets here, I'll go to the hospital and get it set. Hurts like a bitch, though," Clark said.

"I'll bet."

A few minutes later, the cleanup crew arrived and took over the oddly peaceful scene. Debbie promised to hang around and make sure everything was taken care of while Clark went to the ER.

Clark's wrist was set and cast after several hours of waiting in the aptly named waiting room and she went home with another prescription for Tylenol with codeine. She called into the precinct to make sure they knew what was going on and then settled back into her couch to do a little reading.

She tended towards historical documentaries on vampirism and the walking dead, along with folktales concerning the same. After blazing through the latest Vampire Journal, she got up and went to her computer. She needed to write up what she'd learned from Gabrielle and send it to the VHA's Learning Center. The information would be added to the growing database of knowledge controlled by the VHA.

However, she decided it could wait. If she sent the information now, her alliance with the leader of the vampires would be discovered. Instead, she uploaded the document to one of her storage sites and set it up to send the document as e-mail to the VHA in one week. She would make sure to log on again before the deadline and change the send date. If she were killed, then the information would still get to the VHA.

With that done, she looked at the clock. It was after eight and she realized she was starving. She needed to eat anyway to take the Tylenol with codeine. Taking that stuff on an empty stomach was not a good idea.

Clark shut down her computer and fixed herself a meal of steak and a baked potato. She scooped out the potato, a real hassle with only one good hand to work with, and added cheese, salt, pepper, a little butter, and chives and then stuffed it all back into the potato skin and let it cook for a little while longer. Ever since she'd had her first twice-baked potato, she'd decided there was simply no other way to eat the things.

She sat down and flipped on her TV. There really wasn't anything good on, but she needed something to occupy her mind while she ate. A half hour later, she was done with her meal and flicked off the TV with the remote. She'd downed two Tylenol halfway through her dinner and was now waiting for the things to take effect.

She let her head fall back against the top of the couch. Her mind was drifting when she felt the sudden presence of a vampire near. She opened her eyes and looked around at the deathly silent living room. Her eyes landed on Gabrielle sitting in the leather recliner on her right, her black cloak folded around her body so that only her head was uncovered.

"You're hurt," Gabrielle said.

"How the hell did you get in here?" Clark ignored the statement.

"The usual way; through the front door. You forgot to lock it when you came in. I guess you were a little distracted from the pain."

"Get out," Clark grunted and let her head fall back again.

For some reason, she was taking perverse pleasure in taunting this particular vampire. She knew exposing her neck like that was like offering a steak to a dog. It was basically irresistible. And yet, she was sure Gabrielle wouldn't hurt her, wouldn't even try. Clark tried not to analyze that thought beyond the idea that Gabrielle needed her to kill the other vampires.

Gabrielle felt herself leaning forward and her fangs grew to their full length before she was able to get control of herself. She could almost feel Clark's skin parting for her, releasing its life-giving blood to her, her lips catching and sucking it into her throat.

This was completely different from what she usually felt when presented with taking the life of her prey. When she went on the hunt, it was all business. She didn't relish the kill the way others of her kind seemed to. When she took a life, she was simply feeding her need to live. She chose prey that were abusive and vile in their lives to ease her conscience. She'd been doing that since after her first kill with only a few exceptions. She'd had several thousand years to analyze her behavior and didn't try to deny it anymore.

"I'm sorry for the loss of your friends. They were good people," Gabrielle offered quietly.

"What would you know about good people? Fucking vampire," Clark mumbled the words as a curse.

"I know the pain my kind has caused you is... unforgivable. I wish you could see me as just me, instead of as part of a single group. I really don't appreciate the stereotype, though I do understand it," she said calmly.

"Are you trying to say you want to be friends?" Clark asked incredulously, finally lifting her head to stare at the vampire.

Gabrielle smiled. No, that would be way too much to ask at this point, Gabrielle thought to herself. "I'm saying I'd like for you to stop blaming me personally for what happened to your family."

Clark let her eyes close and rested her head back again. "I'll think about it," she mumbled.

Gabrielle's eyes glazed over as she stared at the re-exposed neck. There were things she wanted to do that had nothing to do with being a vampire and everything to do with being a woman. She continued to sit there and closed her eyes as fantasies played out in her mind's eye.

Several minutes later, Clark raised her head again and turned to look at the vampire sitting in her recliner in her living room in her house. It was unreal. In any other circumstance, she would be engaged in a life or death struggle with the monster, but then, she couldn't really think of Gabrielle as a monster.

She studied the vampire's face while it was unaware of her examination. Gabrielle's short hair was a light blonde, but Clark could see reddish highlights that she knew would shine spectacularly in the sun. Of course, if Gabrielle ever stood in the sun, she'd burst into flames and writhe around on the ground in agonizing pain until she died.

Clark stared at the creamy white complexion and bright red full lips of the vampire. Gabrielle was quite simply beautiful. She knew the brightness of her lips was probably due to Gabrielle having fed before coming for her visit. She realized the idea didn't make her nauseous the way it usually did when she was faced with other recently fed vampires. In fact, knowing Gabrielle's choices for dinner, she actually felt a sense of relief that another rapist was permanently off the streets.

Clark shook her head. She couldn't afford to have those kinds of thoughts about a vampire. The other thoughts were even worse. Like wondering what it would be like to kiss those lips. She tried to think about the fact that those lips had tasted blood not very long ago and that helped to bring her degree of disgust up to a respectable level again.

"Why did you come here?" Clark asked.

Gabrielle opened her eyes and focused on Clark. "You were hurt. I wanted to make sure you were okay." The words were out before she could stop them. She could see the anger and disbelief flare across Clark's features and hurried to fix her mistake. "How will you be able to hunt with a broken wrist?" She hoped that was enough. It seemed to be, as Clark's features resettled themselves into their natural smugness.

"I won't. I'm going to have to take a few weeks off, mandatory leave of absence, until my wrist heals. It'll be at least three weeks before they let me go back to work."

"Oh," Gabrielle said.

Three weeks normally wasn't a very long time to her. It was a blink of an eye compared to the length of her life, but things were coming to a head and she needed to move as quickly as possible. She had let things go too far and time was not on her side anymore.

"So, I'll see you in three weeks," Clark told her. It was a not so subtle hint to leave.

"I don't suppose you'd let me heal you," Gabrielle commented.

Clark's head snapped around and she pinned Gabrielle with her eyes. "Heal me? What are you talking about?"

"I could heal your wrist, if you let me. You would have to pretend it was still broken and remain on your leave of absence, but you would then be able to continue hunting. You'd just have to work alone."

Clark stared at her in disbelief. There was nothing in the records of the VHA to suggest that vampires had any kind of special healing abilities. At least, not any that could be used on someone other than themselves. Vampires were famous for being nearly indestructible, save their weaknesses for a stake through the heart, sunlight, and fire, and could heal themselves of serious wounds in a matter of hours. Even cutting off their heads had no lasting effects; they simply grew another one while the old one disintegrated into a fine dust.

"How?" Clark asked warily.

"Don't worry, it doesn't involve you drinking my blood or anything like that. I just have to concentrate on the cells of the bones and put them back the way they're supposed to be. Your scientists would liken it to a combination of telekinesis and genetic manipulation. It will hurt a little, but nothing much above the dull ache you're feeling right now."

Clark thought it over. She didn't like the idea of having to lie to her boss or anyone else. But she also knew that she didn't want to be laid up for three weeks. There were vampires that needed to be killed. That settled it.

"Alright, what do I have to do?" she asked.

Gabrielle smiled slightly. "Just sit there and try not to move too much."

Gabrielle stood gracefully and moved to sit next to her. Clark's first instinct was to bolt, but she checked herself and made her body remain on the couch. Gabrielle held out her hand from within her cloak and Clark warily placed her casted arm in Gabrielle's grasp.

Gabrielle closed her eyes and Clark watched as Gabrielle's fangs grew to their full length. They easily extended an inch past her lower lip, pressing into the skin covering her chin. It was fascinating to watch. As Gabrielle concentrated, the fangs retracted and extended in a strange rhythm that only Gabrielle could hear.

Clark felt a soft tingling sensation in her wrist and looked down. She couldn't see anything, of course. She was tired from the long day and went back to her resting position with her head against the back of the couch.

The next thing she knew, Clark felt tugging on her cast. Clark opened her eyes and looked down to see what Gabrielle was trying to do. Gabrielle had an extended fingernail cutting through the plaster and cotton lining of the cast. A few more inches and she had completely cut through one side of the cast. She pried the cast apart slightly and slid it off Clark's arm. Clark tentatively flexed her fingers and then rolled her wrist.

"How does it feel?"


Clark decided it wasn't necessary to mention that her wrist felt better than it had since she was twenty and had broken it the first time during a similar altercation with a vampire who had taken offense at her attempt to stake him.

"Good. I healed the previous breaks while I was at it. If you give me a little time to recover, I can do the same for your other old injuries."

"No, that's alright. I'm fine."

Gabrielle decided a different tactic was necessary.

"You need to be in top condition if you're going to be flying solo for the next few weeks. The vampires you'll be hunting are old. Not nearly as old as me, but old enough to cause you problems if you're not at peak performance."

Clark glowered at her. She really didn't like the idea of Gabrielle tinkering with her body, but she knew the vampire was right. She needed to be at her best. She nodded and resigned herself to her fate.

Gabrielle stood. "I'll be back in an hour."

She walked slowly out of the room and Clark heard the front door open and close. She knew where Gabrielle was going. She was replenishing herself. No, she's going to go brutally murder someone, stop using euphemisms, Clark admonished herself.

She got up and flexed her hand again. It felt really good. She picked up the ceremonial silver stake that rested on a crystal stand above the fireplace.

It was easy to tell that Clark rarely used the fireplace by the position of the furniture. The couch faced the TV/entertainment center. There was a low wooden coffee table in front of the couch and a black leather recliner sat to the right of the couch. The fireplace was set into the wall to the left of the couch and looked like an afterthought in the room's design.

Clark twirled the silver stake through her fingers, then flipped it into the air and caught it with her left hand. She twirled it again and transferred it, still twirling, back to her right hand. She brought her hands behind her back and continued the twirling, transferring it once again to her left hand, then tossed it into the air and caught it behind her back with her right hand. She ended the little performance with the stake in an overhand stabbing position.

She put the silver stake back on its stand. Graves had given it to her when she'd reached a decade with the VHA. Now, she was finishing up her twelfth year. It was hard to believe how drastically her life had changed after her family had been murdered.

She'd been eighteen. In a few months, she would have packed off to go to college. Instead, she'd woken up to hear her mother screaming and her fourteen-year-old brother running down the hall to see what was going on. Her father had already been dead by that point. Her mother's screams had abruptly stopped and then her brother's had started. She'd rushed down the hall and found her brother being consumed by a vampire.

She could still remember the look in her brother's eyes as he felt his life's blood draining out of him. She'd screamed a war cry and charged the large beast, slamming into his body. She'd bounced off of him as they hit the floor. It was sheer luck that she found the broken chair her brother had attempted to use to get the creature off their mother. When she'd turned around with the broken chair leg in her hands, the vampire had charged her and impaled himself on the makeshift stake.

She didn't really remember much after that. The police had arrived to find her standing outside with the bodies of her parents and brother lined up on the front lawn and the dead vampire off to the side. She'd held another leg from the broken chair and the house was on fire. The officers had chalked it up to shock. She had apparently set the fire and then had attempted to save her family by dragging them outside.

The psychologists she'd been sent to had had a field day with that and the fact that she had also dragged the dead vampire out, supposedly signifying a subconscious guilt and feelings of remorse. That was the last session she'd gone to. She'd then gotten certified with the VHA so that she could legally kill all the vampires she came across.

Clark wiped at her eyes. They were moist, but no tears had fallen over her family for a very long time. She turned away from the mantle and ran into a pair of startling eyes. They were green and blue with flecks of brown and even a little orange.

Gabrielle seemed to take a step back even though she didn't move. Clark got a grip on her emotions and just stood there. There was no way in hell she was going to back down from her convictions when it came to vampires. They all deserved to die. She was just using Gabrielle until she stopped providing her with the information she needed to kill other vampires.

Gabrielle tried to pull herself back to give the woman some emotional space. Whatever she'd been thinking about, and Gabrielle had a few guesses, had caused her to lose her precious control. Gabrielle felt an overwhelming desire to hold the tall woman, but she didn't give in to it. She knew it wouldn't be appreciated.

"Whenever you're ready," Gabrielle said, wondering if Clark picked up on her double meaning.

Clark nodded and sat down on the couch. Gabrielle took her place next to her and closed her eyes to feel through the woman's body for imperfections, injuries that had healed as well as they possibly could, but had still left scars to mark their place.

There were a lot. Gabrielle took her time with each one, feeling the genetic code and pushing the cells into their naturally pristine condition. She noticed a tiny abnormality in a few cells in Clark's left breast and quickly repaired the tissue. She moved on to Clark's torso and reknitted the bones of her ribs. She'd broken every single one at various points in her life.

It was nearly four hours later when Gabrielle finished with the last of the old injuries. Clark had fallen asleep and Gabrielle reached up to stroke away some of the long dark tresses that had fallen across her face. Clark's breathing remained regular and Gabrielle watched the sleeping woman for another minute.

"I hope one day you will see me and not the demon," she whispered.

Gabrielle eased herself off the couch and turned off the lights, then left through the front door. She locked the door behind her with a gentle push from her mind on the tumblers in the door and headed out into the night.

Clark opened her eyes. A single tear traveled down her right cheek.

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