The day after Christmas dawned slowly, the light filtering through snow and ice that weighted down the trees. The cabin was chilly when Rafaela awoke. Gathering a blanket around her, she walked to the living room. The fire was still banked. She stoked it carefully and went to dress.
There was no sign of Dirk anywhere. He hadn’t even left a note. He was gone without a word. Angry, she banged around the kitchen, fixing herself a meal. She hadn’t expected him to stay forever, but she’d hoped for more than a couple of days.
“Why should I have expected more?” she fussed as she turned on the gas stove. “He never stays put. Always moving around. Was he afraid I’d get tired of him and kill him in his sleep? Oh, wait! He never sleeps! Next time I see the bastard, I’ll skewer him.” She gestured with the chef’s knife she was using to cut up an onion for her omelet.
The whisper of a sound reached her ears. It might have been an animal on the roof, but she doubted it. Never one to take a chance, she ran to the bedroom and opened her weapon’s locker. She grabbed a variety of weapons before sealing it shut once more. Four stakes went on a belt around her waist. A gun with silver bullets was in her hand. Most people thought silver was only for werewolves, but she’d learned a long time ago that vampires didn’t like it either. It didn’t kill them, but it slowed them down. The last weapon was a strap of knives across her chest. Each was edged with silver. She grabbed one, holding it in her left hand, the automatic pistol in her right.
The sound repeated several times as she armed herself, and she knew someone prowled the roof, hoping for a way in. The only thing protecting her was the law that a vampire couldn’t enter without permission. However, vampires could use humans. They could enter and drive her outside where she would be fair game. A loud thump in the living room heralded the arrival of one or more minions. Rafaela sensed their presence. Sniffing the air, she caught the scent of three, but there could be more. If they found her in the bedroom, she’d be cornered. Preferring to choose her own ground, she moved stealthily from the bedroom, glad that the kitchen was between her and the living room.
Voices reached her ears. Were they complete idiots? Talking to one another? Either that, or they were confident that she couldn’t defend herself. One of them moved to the front door. If he thought he could invite the vampires in, he was dead wrong. She was sole owner of the house. Then, she remembered the way that Dirk had gotten around that law. The property could be rented. If one of the minions had paid a rental fee. . . . She didn’t allow herself to complete that thought.
The voices drew closer. Rafaela shrugged her shoulders and rolled her head to loosen tight muscles. Standing her ground, her back to the bedroom wall, she maneuvered so she had access to the back door, should she need it. She took her fighting stance and waited.
The first around the corner from the living room to the kitchen, was a tall, blond man with dark eyes. The way was narrow, partially blocked by the end of the bar, which was adjacent to the bathroom door. The door opened out, stopping before it hit the wall. They had to come at her one at a time—unless one of them got the bright idea to vault over the bar. She rather hoped they wouldn’t.
The blond vampire stopped when he saw her. His fangs descended and his eyes turned black. “She’s here,” he hissed. He tried to push the door out of his way.
Smiling, Rafaela swung her knife, slicing across his throat. Gagging, he staggered back, into the path of the next vampire. The small, Asian woman shoved him aside as she advanced, climbing over his bleeding body. She didn’t even stop to see how he was, leaving him to die or recover. She took a fighting stance as well, eyeing the gun in Rafaela’s hand.
“That pea shooter won’t hurt me,” she bragged. “Bring it on, bitch.”
Aiming quickly, Rafaela fired, hitting the Asian woman in the chest. The bullet knocked her back, but didn’t hurt her.
“Chest shots are for pussies,” the woman snarled as she lunged at Rafaela.
“So are Kevlar vests,” Rafaela countered. She holstered her gun as the woman advanced, backing into the kitchen, she drew another knife.
“Nice try, sweetie,” the vampire said. “That won’t hurt me.” She jumped at Rafaela, blocking the Hunter’s arms as quickly as she swung.
Another vampire came around the corner. Rafaela threw the silver knife at him, catching him in the chest. He hadn’t been as smart as his companion, and he fell with the handle quivering above his heart. The Asian woman hissed, lunging toward the Hunter once more.
Instead of a knife, Rafaela took a stake from her belt. She fought with the blade, bringing the stake into play as the furious woman advanced. She kicked and punched at Rafaela relentlessly. The feisty Hunter got a few good slices in. The vampire slid in her own blood. Snarling, she leaped across the kitchen, fangs bared, in a last effort to tackle Rafaela. Her foot slipped, throwing off her timing. Rafaela dodged, bringing the stake down and around. She caught the vampire in the back with the stake and sliced off her head.
The blond vampire had recovered enough to try to stand, but he too, slid in his own blood. Foregoing the knife, Rafaela grabbed up the cast iron skillet she’d been using to prepare her breakfast. With a metallic thunk, she hit him in the face. He fell back, tripped over the downed woman and landed on the floor. Rafaela finished him with another stake. The third vampire had removed the knife from his chest, but staggered as the silver sickened him. Rafaela finished him quickly with another stake.
Sounds of fighting reached her ears as she cut off the other two vampires heads. What was going on in her living room? Were the humans fighting one another? She glanced around the corner, only to find total chaos. A whirling, spinning figure leaped around the living room, jumping over furniture and knocking people down. Two were already on the floor, the third barely keeping his feet. Blood soaked her rag rugs and seeped into the cracks in the wooden floor.
© Dellani Oakes 2105