He's an old-fashioned chivalrous werewolf from a doomed world. She's a hard-bitten bisexual lawyer who hides her beauty behind a pair of thick-framed spectacles. They fight crime! (from theyfightcrime.org)
“Frederick, you don't have to hold the door open for me,” she snapped, stepping out of the car. She shut the door hard, nearly slamming his fingers.
Frederick grunted and shrugged. “Sorry, Selene, that's just what I'm used to, where I'm from.”
“Maybe that's why your world is dying, everyone's too stuck in the past.” she said, piercing eyes glaring behind her thick glasses.
“You're one cold bitch,” he snarled, glaring back.
“Somebody has to be,” she replied and started walking up the path to the house.
He grumbled to himself, following. “What are we doing here anyways?”
“Mary Andrews is a single woman living alone on the third floor. She's been threatened.”
“Why didn't she go to the police?”
“It was the police who threatened her. That's why she called us.”
He grunted, surprised. “Nice cops in your world,” he muttered.
She gave him a scowl before buzzing the third floor.
“Who is it?” A tentative voice spoke through the speaker.
“It's Selene and my partner, Frederick. We spoke on the phone.”
The door clicked and Selene opened it. They walked past faded paint and up creaking stairs. Selene knocked at the door and it opened a few inches. A woman with frazzled blond hair and wide eyes stared past a silver chain that held the door.
“Sorry,” she said quickly. “Had to be sure...” she closed the door and unhooked the chain.
Frederick felt anger building within him and kept it buried. It would not do to change now. He took a deep breath. The woman's face had looked bruised and battered.
Mary opened the door and welcomed them in. A shabby place, the door opened into the living room. A red ikea couch sat in front of a big box television. A doorway led into a cramped kitchen and another hallway beyond.
“I don't have much but...you can sit on the couch. I just made some coffee...” Mary's voice trembled ever so slightly.
Frederick cut Selene off. “Coffee would be great,” he said with a smile.
Selene scowled as Mary went into the kitchen.
“We need to put her at ease,” he said in a low voice, sitting on the couch.
Selene didn't respond, which told Frederick she knew he was right.
He noticed her watching Mary in the kitchen. Though the woman wore loose sweatpants and a sweatshirt, her body was still noticeable. Fredrick noticed Selene watching the woman with interest.
“Hey,” he said. “We've got a job to do.”
She turned away. “Just because your mind's always in the gutter does not mean...” she muttered to herself.
He could hear Mary in the kitchen, getting out mugs and filling them up. He listened for anything else, a sign of someone else there. He heard nothing.
She brought in three mugs of steaming coffee and set them on the dusty glass coffee table. She hesitated. “I'm sorry, I forgot to ask if you wanted crea-”
“It's fine,” Selene said, taking a cup. She even managed to crack a smile, though it looked more menacing than comforting.
At least she was trying, Frederick thought. “Thank you, ma'am. Please, sit,” he said, motioning to a faded blue lazyboy chair.
Mary sat, taking a cup for herself and sipping at it. She looked down into the black liquid.
“What happened?” Selene asked.
Mary gulped. She sipped at her coffee.
Frederick followed her example. It tasted burnt but he didn't mind. Something smelled...wrong. It seemed to come from the kitchen. Mary kept glancing that way.
“I saw...something. I-I wasn't even sure I believed it until...” She took a deep breath. “I should hurry, in case he wakes up....”
“Someone's here?” Selene asked, eyes widening.
Frederick frowned. With his ears, he'd be able to hear someone even just breathing in the bedroom. That, along with the smell...”Vampire,” he growled, standing.
Selene put a hand on his arm.
He looked down, muscles tensing.
“Sit,” she said.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He could feel the change, feel the beast wanting to come out. Not now. He sat and looked at Mary. “I...apologize.”
“No need,” Mary whispered. “I saw a police man...in uniform. He was in an alleyway and he...he bit this girl right on the neck. She bled everywhere and he...it looked like he was drinking it. I wouldn't have believed it if...if they hadn't shown up last night. They...threatened me. One...stayed over.” She gave a shuddering breath. “He's still here. They all think...think I'm too scared to do or say anything...” She looked down at the coffee cup shaking in her hands.
“You're braver than you know,” Selene said. “To call us and meet us with one still here? That takes courage.”
“I just want them out of my life,” Mary said. “I don't have much to pay you...”
Selene frowned but Frederick shook his head. “Whatever you can give will be enough.” Selene gave him a look but Frederick didn't care. They couldn't leave this woman to be preyed on by blood-sucking leeches. He stood up.
“Do you have garlic?”
In a few minutes, Frederick stood next to the bed. Curtains covered the windows, making the room dark. A pale naked man lay on the bed, sleeping.
“Get ready,” Frederick said.
Selene stood next a window, hand on the curtain. Mary waited in the living room, just to be safe.
Frederick held chopped garlic in his hand. He opened the sleeping man's mouth and shoved the garlic inside.
The man screamed into Fredrick's palms, his eyes wide. Smoke seeped out from between Frederick's fingers.
The man struggled, grasping at Frederick's arms but unable to move them. Vampires were weak in the day time.
“Shut up,” Frederick said.
The man stopped shrieking, whimpering instead.
“You're going to tell us where your nest is.”
The man nodded.
Frederick pulled his hand away.
The man spat out the garlic into the bed, dry heaving and spitting up blood. The man wiped his mouth and glared. “You're going to pay for that,” he hissed. “You don't know who-”
Selene threw the curtain back. Sunlight poured onto the man.
He shrieked, curling up, body beginning to smoke. It smelled toxic, like rotting burning flesh.
Selene pulled the curtain into place, blocking out the sun.
The screaming died down. The vampire shivered.
Frederick gripped the man by the throat. “Where is your nest?”
The man's eyes widened in realization. “You're one of them,” he gasped. “A Beast...”
Frederick's grip tightened. “Where. Is. Your. Nest.”
“24 Lexington st,” the man choked out.
Frederick looked at Selene and nodded.
Selene opened the curtain while Frederick held the vampire down until he was gone.
“Mary,” Frederick called, leaving the bedroom.
Selene watched where the vampire lay, now only ashes, and took a deep breath before following her partner.
“You need to leave,” Frederick said. “Is there anywhere you can go? Friends, family, the farther away the better. Hopefully, only for a couple days.”
Mary licked her lips, wringing her hands. “My-my mothers. It's two hours from here.”
“Good. Pack a bag and go there, as soon as you can.”
“What-What's going on?”
Frederick gripped her wrists gently. “The man in your bedroom is gone. He will not hurt you again. The others are still out there. Until we take care of them, you need to go somewhere safe.”
Back in the car, Frederick sat in the driver's seat. He turned on the car and put the gear in drive when Selene gripped his wrist.
He turned to her and noticed she was shaking. Her eyes were wide behind her glasses.
“Fred, tell me what the fuck is going on.”
He'd never seen her like this, without her tough exterior. “I told you about vampires.”
She threw up her hands. “No. You said there were such things where you came from. You never said anything about them being here.”
“I didn't know.”
She shook her head and looked away. “I've swallowed a lot of shit, Fred. I can accept some of it. That you're a werewolf, well, I've seen it with my own eyes. That you come from another world, like mine but with shapeshifters and vampires? That's a tall order but I can take it. But these...vampires? Here? Killing and drinking blood?” She shook her head again. “It's out of a fucking nightmare.”
Frederick turned to her. “If you're scared, I get it. If you want out, I understand,” he said in a soft voice. He knew exactly what he was doing.
She gave a fierce glare. “I am not afraid,” she snapped. “And if you think you're going to get rid of me that easy...” She stopped, making a noise of frustration. “I know what you're doing.”
He smirked. “You going soft on me, Selene?”
“Never. Just tell me everything.”
He shrugged and spoke as he drove. “I told you most everything. I do not know how I came here, only that I am here. It is similar to my own world...only more alive. It was the vampires that doomed my home. They are monsters who only live to feed and feast upon the living until there is nothing left. They perpetuate their numbers with a single bite. That is why my home dies, overrun by them. I had hoped never to see them again. To find them here...and as police officers? It bodes ill.”
Selene pulled out the pistol she kept in a shoulder holster underneath her business suit. She checked the ammo and snapped the clip back in. Back to business. Nothing disturbed her for long. On the outside, at least. “Well, let's fucking kill them then.”
He pulled up to a ratty two-story house, dulled yellow paint and windows covered by cardboard.
“They'll have guards.”
“Vampires are slow and weak during the day. It's when they sleep. That's why the one back there was so easy to handle. This is their nest for the day. They wouldn't leave themselves undefended.”
“Who would guard a fucking blood-sucking vampire?”
“They find people, give them a taste of their blood, sweeter than any drug. One taste and the human's addicted for life. We called them the Devoted.” Frederick looked at his partner. “I didn't think you'd be so keen on killing them. Figured you'd want to get evidence against them, get them arrested, follow the law, you being a lawyer and all.”
“I know what things the Law can take handle. Blood-sucking vampires from another world ain't one of those things.”
Frederick nodded. “Let's get on with it, then.”
Selene slipped the gun into her purse as she got out of the car.
They walked up to the door and Frederick pounded on it. The sun hung high in the sky, not long after noon.
The knob turned and the door opened a couple inches, chain near the top cinching tight. A haggard face peered out.
Frederick saw red in the man's eyes and knew.
“Who the fuck are you?” The man asked.
Frederick threw his shoulder into the door, busting the chain off. It caught the man square in the nose, knocking him back. Frederick charged inside, grabbing the man and shoving him against the nearest wall.
“How many?” Frederick growled.
The man grunted, stunned.
Footsteps in the hall. A man turned the corner wearing only sweatpants but holding an uzi and swinging it up in their direction.
Selene was quicker. The gun kicked in her hand, gunshots ringing in the air. The man fell before he could fire a shot.
“Cops are going to be here quick after that,” Selene said, her eyes on the fallen man.
“Forget him, he's barely human.” Frederick gripped the man's head in his hands and slammed it against the wall until he collapsed. Frederick growled, changing. Fur sprouted all over. He grew taller, muscles bulging, face mutating into the visage of a wolf.
More footsteps. Frederick could hear them, tell where they were and where they were going.
“One from that way, two from the kitchen.” Frederick growled around long fangs. He went to the kitchen.
Two men came, pistols in hand. They fired, bad shaky shots but a couple hit Frederick. He didn't notice. He charged them, grabbing one in each clawed hand and hurling them against the wall. A couple quick movements, claws tearing open throats and guts and the Devoted fell, dying.
He heard a couple shots from Selene and a short burst of return fire. He found her and another dead man next to the stairs.
“We go up,” he growled. He heard no movement on the ground floor.
She nodded. Her eyes were wide with shock but she moved with ease, unhindered. It would hinder her later, he knew. Killing humans, even wretches beyond saving.
He headed up first, his ears twitching. He heard movement but it was slow. Bedsheets moving. The Devoted were dead, that only left the vampires.
They went to each bedroom. The men within struggled to stand and fight. Frederick ripped them apart. Selene kept an eye out. Sirens could be heard when they entered the last bedroom.
“Wait,” Selene said.
Frederick hesitated. The man before them stood, eyes half-closed, lips peeled back revealing fangs.
“What is it?” Frederick snarled.
“I recognize him,” Selene said. “Fuck, he works for Marlon.”
Marlon, the local crime boss, involved with vampires. Marlon hissed.
Frederick bit through his neck and let him vanish to ashes. “Let's go.” They rushed back through the home, now filled with bloody corpses and piles of ash. They raced to the car, Selene to the driver's seat.
Frederick compacted his large self into the passenger seat and changed back to human. He grabbed a black bag from the back as Selene took off, flashing lights in the rear view mirror.
“They're not following,” Selene said and smirked. “Will you put on some fucking clothes?”
“Working on it,” Frederick replied with a grin. He pulled sweatpants and a sweatshirt out of the bag and put them on.
They drove in silence for a few moments, the adrenaline burst fading, the realization of what they had just done hitting home.
“Marlon and vampires...” Selene said. “Does that mean what I think it means?”
“Either the vampires are infesting organized crime or the crime boss himself is a vampire....who knows. It's not good.”
“No, it's fucking not.”
“It'd make sense though. Vampires like to insinuate themselves into the local organizations. Government, the police, positions of power. Organized crime has a lot of power.”
“Shit,” she swore. “This is big.”
“Yes,” he said. “It is.”
“This is a big fucking job.”
“And we're the only ones who can do it.”