War and OrderWillow Rose
Three Months Before the Halloween Block-Party
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In Cold Blood
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Copyright Willow Rose 2018
Published by BUOY MEDIA LLC
All rights reserved.
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No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.
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This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
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Cover design by Juan Villar Padron,
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Special thanks to my editor Janell Parque
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Three Months Before the Halloween Block-Party
Restaurant La Chair et le Sang was a quaint little place in the heart of Paris. It was located on a small side-street near the Champs Élyssées, down a small alley, where only a few knew of its existence. To enter, you'd have to know the password and give it to the doorman upon knocking on the dark door.
For Delia and Kieran Pritchard, it was a must to visit this exclusive restaurant whenever they were in Paris, and it was always something to look forward to for the two of them.
"What are today's specialties?" Delia said as the waiter gave them the menus. She glanced at her husband, smiling lovingly. It had been so long since they had been on a trip, just the two of them.
"We got a redhead from Russia. Flown in this morning. Fresh catch," the waiter said.
"Ah, I had the redhead last time I was here," she said. "They have an aftertaste I am not too fond of. Any blondes?"
The waiter smiled. "You're in luck. Just got a shipment from Denmark. Finest quality."
Delia shrieked in excitement. "Oh, I love blondes. Especially from Scandinavia. They're so fresh-tasting."
"Only the best for my love," Kieran said.
"What types do you have?" Delia asked.
Delia looked disappointed. "Ah."
Kieran cleared his throat, then discreetly planted a bill in the waiter's hand. The waiter smiled superiorly.
"I think I might be able to find some AB. We just got one from Switzerland. Would that be of interest?"
Kieran looked at Delia, then handed the waiter another bill. "How about some Rhesus Null?"
The waiter looked at the bill, then cleared his throat. "Sir…that is very difficult to get. Impossible even. It's only shared by forty-five people on this earth."
Kieran handed him yet another bill, and the waiter took it, looking dazzled at the amount on it. Then he bowed politely and backed away from their table with the words, "I'll see what I can do, Monsieur."
The waiter left, and Delia gave him an impressed look. "The golden-blood, huh? Someone is in a good mood?"
Kieran smiled. "I sure am. Why wouldn't I be? Things are going well, our new investments especially, and our son is finally settling down."
Delia touched her glass gently and looked down. There really was reason to be celebrating. After the little mishap with that girl, Stacy, their son seemed to have gotten his life back on track. The girl they had found for him was from a good family, even though the parents were quite young and even though the girl was still human. Delia couldn't wait for her to become part of their family as soon as she turned eighteen. Getting her son to marry a girl had been on her agenda for decades, maybe even a century now. But since he had lost the girl they had all thought he would end up marrying, he had refused to settle down and had been partying and living the bachelor's life for so long that she was beginning to fear he would never settle down. But finally, it seemed to be happening. Finally, they could breathe with a little relief again.
Their waiter returned, looking slightly flustered.
"I…Monsieur, Madame, I am happy to announce that we have found some Rhesus Null. It will take about fifteen minutes to have it delivered from London, but it is on its way as we speak. Anything else I can tempt you with while you wait? A little taste of some AB negative? I would recommend the brunette from Germany. I had some of her last night myself, and it was quite spectacular."
"German? With all the sauerkraut they eat, I’ve heard their blood taste too acidic," Delia said.
"How about an aged full-bodied African-American? We have one in the back with the lowest count of white blood cells I have ever tasted.” He kissed his fingers. "It is sublime."
"That sounds great," Kieran said. "I haven't had any African-American for a very long time. Sounds good enough to sweeten the wait."
Delia nodded. "Yes, let's do that."
She was rolled in. Alice blinked her eyes as the ceiling rushed by above her. She felt dizzy and had no idea where she was. She tried to sit up but couldn't move. Her body was strapped down, and all she could move were her fingers. Above her, she spotted the face of a man in a white shirt and bowtie. He seemed to be the one who was pushing her across the room. The lights above blinded her as she was rushed forward.
What's going on? Am I in the hospital?
Alice tried to say something. She wanted to ask the man where she was and where he was taking her, but she couldn't speak. She couldn't even move her lips.
Panic erupted inside of her as no words left her mouth. She
tried to remember what had happened to her and, little by little, it came back. She had been sitting in her kitchen in London, eating her soup when it happened. She had recently been discharged from the hospital after a car accident and was still not back at work because of the concussion. She had been lucky, they said, but she didn't really feel very lucky. She had been thinking about the accident when she heard them drive up into her street outside her window. A white van came flying down with the door wide open, and two men jumped out. Alice stared at them, wondering what was going on as they approached her building and soon knocked on her door.
"Alice Hart?" they asked.
She peeked at them through the peephole, then realized one of them was her doctor from the hospital. She hadn't recognized him at first since he wasn't wearing his white coat, but it was definitely him. So, she opened the door. Of course, she did. He might have something important to tell her. Right?
"Doctor Evans? Is something wrong?"
The doctor smiled an odd smile and the man with him placed a hood over her head, and that was the last thing she remembered.
The rolling stopped, and now she was staring at the ceiling. It certainly didn't look like any hospital, and the stretcher she was lying on didn't feel like any stretcher she had been on before. She turned her head slightly and looked around. She saw many faces. People were sitting at tables, dining and chatting, laughing. There was the sound of soft piano music in the air.
Am I in a restaurant? What am I doing in a restaurant?
Hands were on her body and straps were loosened, then she was helped to sit up. A couple, a gorgeous couple, sitting at a table, looked at her in admiration. The woman clasped her hands.
"Rhesus Null," the waiter said, presenting her.
Alice wrinkled her forehead as the couple started clapping and the entire room soon chimed in. The woman in front of her couldn't take her eyes off her.
"And she's not sedated?" The man asked. "Or persuaded?"
The waiter shook his head. "Non, monsieur. We do not use that here. Spoils the experience, in my opinion. We only added a hint of persuasion directed at the part of the brain that controls her vocal chords, just to make sure she doesn’t complain and ruin the enjoyment of the feast." The waiter bowed. "Bon appétit."
"Excellent," the man said. He looked at his wife. "You go first, my love."
What the heck is this?
Everything was screaming inside of Alice, and she tried as hard as she could to vocalize it, but she couldn't. No matter how much she opened her mouth or tried to force the words out, she couldn't speak or even scream.
What is this place? Who are those people and why are they looking at me in that way? What's happening to their faces, to their eyes, and to their…to their…teeth?
Oh, dear God, have mercy on me!
It was painful, but Alice couldn't scream. Instead, she squirmed in pain while the woman's teeth penetrated her skin so deeply it felt almost impossible. Alice felt sweat spring to her forehead as the blood was sucked out of her. She whimpered on the inside and screamed for help, but little did it help. Soon, a sort of daze enveloped her, and she felt herself grow weaker. Her surroundings turned gray and hazy. Next, she felt disoriented, and it was like the room around her was spinning. She found that she couldn't even try and resist anymore; she could do nothing but let it happen. She was too exhausted even to panic anymore.
That was when it happened. Alice watched it but wasn't really sure if it was just a dream, if it was all just some odd and very surreal dream or if it was, in fact, real. She saw the doors open to the restaurant and then heard the screams, as a flock of even stranger men appeared, all dangling along on very long skinny legs and round stomachs.
How many they were, she couldn't tell, but there were enough. And, best of all, they made the woman pull out her long, nasty fangs from Alice's skin and let Alice's body slide back onto the table, where she lay for a few minutes, just listening to the screaming. She was certain she saw bats flying above her head, and some of them were hiding under the ceiling, and then she was pretty sure she heard a bunch of vacuum cleaners being turned on, but that just seemed a little too far off. After a few minutes, she was able to lift her head and look up to see one of the men approaching the woman that had her fangs planted in Alice's neck earlier. The woman hissed loudly at him as he came closer. Her husband sprang in front of her.
"You have no right to come here," he said. "We have a truce, remember?"
The odd spider-like man nodded, smiling. "Yesss, we did. But not anymore. You vampires have been protected for too long. We have been looking the other way for centuries, but you broke the truce. You started this war."
And with those words, he lifted his vacuum cleaner thingy and pointed it at the man. The woman screamed and ran for her life, while the man couldn't move. Alice stared at him, her head tilted, wondering if she was going to wake up soon. It looked like a part of the man was sucked out of him and into the strange machine and, seconds later, the body of him fell to the ground, completely deflated.
The spider-like man told one of his men to go after the woman while he approached Alice. Alice smiled at him and wanted to thank him for liberating her from what she believed had to be certain death, but she still could not speak.
The man examined her closely, especially her neck, then stepped back.
Thank you, she tried to say, realizing it might not be a dream after all. Thank you so much. You saved my life. You're a hero.
She moved her mouth, but still, no words left her mouth. The man who had run after the woman returned.
Her liberator, her savior stomped his feet. "Search for her. Search everywhere! You hear me?"
His friend hurried away, holding onto his hat on his round head as he staggered out of the restaurant. Alice felt better now, slowly regaining her strength, but she could still not say a word. Instead, she smiled blissfully, to let her savior know how grateful she was for being saved.
The spider-like man smiled back just as blissfully just before he pulled out a gun and shot her with a, "Sorry, not sorry. You've seen too much."
"Breakfast is ready," my mom yelled.
Veronika and I rushed downstairs, doing our very best not to be late. Since my mess up at Jazmine's sleepover a few weeks ago, I had been in the doghouse with my mom, and I was trying hard to please her in any way I could.
"Yay. Cauliflower bread," I said as she pulled it out of the oven. "I love your cauliflower bread."
My mom gave me a look, then placed a piece on a plate in front of me. I ate it and drank my dandelion and blueberry smoothie. It tasted like vomit, and I had to swallow slowly in order not to barf. I smiled after every sip and made mmm sounds, then looked at Veronika who was fighting to drink hers.
She was still staying with us, and I was getting very fond of having her nearby. I was keeping a close eye on her and not leaving her alone with my cousins or my brother. I wasn't sure about my parents and what their plans were, but it seemed like they weren't talking about killing her or getting rid of her anymore. Not since Mr. Aran from number three disappeared overnight one night. No one had seen him for at least two weeks, and that made my parents breathe more freely, and I could tell my mom's mood was getting better each day. I had even overheard a meeting between the moms in the street—except Jazmine's mom because she was still in jail, of course—where they talked about him and wondered if he could really have left. His bike and his things were still at the house, but no one had been in or out for a very long time, and they seemed to come to the conclusion that he might have gone away on another assignment or maybe even left for good. No one dared to fully believe he was actually gone, but as the days passed, the air seemed to be getting lighter and lighter in my house, and people were smiling a little more in the street when I met them. The calmness had returned to our little neighborhood.
I took a bite of the bread, then notice
d a pile of papers lying next to my plate.
"What's this?" I asked.
My mom turned to look at me. "Registration papers."
I swallowed. "For school?"
She nodded. "Yes. You're going back. It's too much work for me. I’ve been neglecting my company, and it needs me back full-time."
I almost choked on the piece of cauliflower bread in my mouth. I couldn't believe my eyes or my ears for that matter. Was it really true?
"You start Monday," she said, cutting up some carrots and serving them for Veronika and me to nibble on.
I looked at her. "What about Veronika?"
My mother sighed. "I’m signing her up too. She's starting fifth grade at your old school, Shadow Hills Elementary. I can't take care of her either. Plus, she needs schooling. At least till they find somewhere else for her."
I sipped my vomit-tasting smoothie, completely forgetting how bad it tasted, then started to cough. I looked at the papers next to me with my name on them, my heart pounding in my chest. I was going back to school?