The town was bustling with activity despite the hour. Eric made his way down the street, skirting in the shadows of the tall buildings. A thousand years of living on the fringes of society will do that to someone like him. He didn’t have to hide anymore, but it was ingrained in his DNA, in the blood that flowed through his veins, in his very bones. He was born to be a predator, and no amount of civil posturing would change that fact.
No one knew his true age, but they sensed his menacing power as they passed him on the street. They gasped and parted like the red sea to make way for him as he noiselessly moved along the walk, his mane of golden hair contrasting with his dark leather trench coat. He was decked out in black leathers, from his boots to his gloves, and he looked like trouble straight from hell.
A man jumped out of his way as he moved along. Eric grunted hoarsely as he passed by, giving the man a look of pure danger with his piercing silver-blue eyes, an otherworldly shade that bespoke of his deadly origins.
He was bigger than the humans, most males of his kind were, but he was exceptionally huge even for a vampire. They knew him for what he was the moment they laid eyes on his massive form. The average height of a male vampire was six and a half feet, but he stood at an amazing six feet eight inches. Males of his race were truly giants in every sense of the word, which never made hunting in the old days easy for them.
It was different for the females, being the size of humans. All females were turned by a male mate, not born. Children of his race were always male. The females were their rock and their life. The males were built to protect their mates, bred for battle, protection, and they were the delivers of death and destruction. You did not want to piss one off.
A black BMW pulled up on the street beside Eric. Right on time. Taking a quick look around, he opened the back door and slid in the backseat.
The hooded figure beside him sat silently without saying a word, but Eric knew what this summons was about.
The car moved along the street and Eric looked out of his window over the Southern Alaskan horizon, beyond the snow swept mountains that skirted the city. He spotted his clan’s symbol in the sky—The Taurion Constellation. How fitting. He was bull-headed like most of the brothers of his clan. It was no surprise that the starlit heavens swayed most of the beliefs and lore of vampires. They spent their existence under the stars and moon, in a never ending feud as the twelve clans struggled for power and domination.
“Any news?” The dark hooded figure shifted slightly across from him but did not turn to face him.
Eric looked forward, following suit. “We have searched and the results have been fruitless.”
“We need the one.”
“I know,” Eric said, clenching his jaw.
Eric struggled to keep his fangs from sliding out. He was not used to being given orders in such a way and he had a nasty temper. “The Company is going to conduct a test of all human employees.”
“They’ll be suspicious.”
“We’ll tell them that it is to increase production and proffer promotion opportunities for those not meeting their full potential.”
“Interesting, could be profitable even if we don’t find the one.”
There was a long silence between the two.
The figure began to speak again. “The summit of the clan is in ten days. You are now our leader and must represent the Taurion. If one of the other clans gets their hands on the one before us…”
His words trailed off. They both knew the risk if that happened.
“I never wanted to be our leader,” Eric said, his heart feeling heavy.
The figure lowered his hood and faced Eric, causing him to shift uncomfortably. “I chose you to lead our clan because I have faith in you. You will not fail us, brother.”
“How can you be so sure?” Eric’s eyes shifted to the vampire beside him. He was nearly as big as Eric, but his long mahogany hair and midnight eyes gave him a harsh look.
“Because if you do not, brother, our race is doomed,” the figure said in reverence. “You are ready. I am of no more use to you. May the stars guide your way.”
“Manse, you cannot…” Eric said, his eyes widening.
The figure raised his hand to silence Eric. “You have your destiny. I have mine. I have led our clan for 2 millennia. Now is your time. Our brothers have pledged their allegiance to you now.”
“Where will you go?”
“Concern yourself not with my fate. Keep the course, find the one.”
The car stopped and Eric slowly jerked the door open and got out. He slammed it and watched as the vehicle sped away.
Eric’s magnificent hair blew in the cold Alaskan breeze that swept down over the mountains in the distance. He pulled his trench coat tighter around his wide shoulders. It was a common misconception that vampires liked the cold. They hated it. They were warm blooded creatures who breathed with blood flowing through their veins just as humans were.
The only reason they lived in this god forsaken winter wasteland was because it was dark six months of the year. The city had humans but his race called it The Northern City of the Taurion. When spring came they would make their way south to the Southern Taurion home in one of the warmer regions of Antarctica.
The freedom to be outside all hours of the day and night gave vampires a new sense of security and power that they had never experienced before. The brutally cold environment was a small price to pay for the safety away from the sun.
Another thing Eric hated was humans. Most vampires were not as prejudice as he was, but he had suffered terribly at their hands during his existence.
Squeezing his lids tightly shut he slumped his shoulders in defeat. Most of his brothers were mated by the age of two hundred, forced into the pull, but he fought it. He was destined to be alone for eternity, seething in his hatred.
He had damn good reason to hate those bastards. His parents were murdered by humans. He remembers like yesterday how he was taken by a band of Roman travelers as a child and put on display like a freak show at the gladiator games. They would pull the curtain off of his cage and let the sun hit his skin. The human spectators would laugh and squeal in delight as he caught fire, the high pitched screams of a child in agony drowned out by the applauding and heckling. The water they doused him with would control the flames and wash away his tears. As he grew his Taurion strength manifested despite the fact he had never had blood. He should have been dead, but the human food sustained him throughout childhood, as it did all vampire children. He slaughtered his human masters and found his clan. He was like a wild animal but Manse took him in as his own son and taught him the ways of the Taurion.
Eric shook his head to rid himself of the memory and made his way down Twelfth Street. With new purpose in his step, he hurried along the walk towards The Company headquarters, determined to find the one.
Sookie Stackhouse spilled her coffee in her lap when the cell phone rang. Driving through morning rush hour was the worst, and the storm that hit before dawn wasn’t helping her situation.
“Hold on,” she grumbled, reaching for a napkin she had thrown in the passenger seat. She peered back through the window and looked up at the sky. Dark clouds were billowing overhead and heavy tears were beating down on the windshield, giving the wipers a run for their money.
After patting her lap down, switching off the radio, and dodging a Honda that swerved in her lane, she pressed the phone back to her ear. Thank god she was blessed with a mind for multi-tasking, but that didn’t prevent her from cursing. “Sam, what’s up?”
“Sookie, you okay?” Sam asked. “Hang on. Arlene, fax over the paperwork to the Alaska office. I’m back. Hey Sookie, I need you to get down to the center asap.”
“I’m on my way. What’s going on, Sam? Is something going on with Alaska?”
“The Company is hosting some sort of vampire meeting in Dallas in ten days. Gonna have big wigs with fangs from all over the world here before too long. Not sure why they don’t do it up North but they have our center bending over backwards to get things ready. Hold up. No, Arlene, call Hotel Camilla and reserve 120 rooms, they should have barriers on the windows of all their suites from the old days. Yea, call the Hilton too. They’ll need to install the barriers on another 100 rooms just in case Camilla fills up.” He came back to the phone. “Anyway, that’s not why I’m calling. You’ve been assigned a new case. Found him out in Ft. Worth early this morning.”
“We haven’t had a new case in months. How did he survive this long?”
He sighed in the phone. “He’s in pretty bad shape. Half starved and not talking.”
“We’re guessing about six or seven. I’ll show you his work up when you get here and introduce you to him.”
“Alright Sam,” Sookie said with a sad voice. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
She hung up the cell and stared out of the window, her lips pressed tight. She had only been a social worker for The Company for about nine months. In that time she had worked a dozen cases, placing orphans with the four remaining Werewolf packs in Texas. Each case broke her heart.
She never understood why a vampire run organization such as the Company would help Werewolves, even if it was a government organization, but she suspected it was a public relations maneuver.
Humans were still pissed at the vampires for what happened to the Weres. Humans blamed vampires. Vampires blamed Weres. Weres blamed everyone. It was a twisted mess and humans were scrambling to set things right and try to make up for their mistakes.
The Second Great War, everyone called it, but it was more like a slaughter. Her generation was responsible for one of the greatest shames in human history and it only ended about a year ago.
It all started with the vampires about a hundred years ago in The First Great War. The world was shocked to learn that vampires had been living among them. And naturally, humans being the suspicious race they were who didn’t easily accept those who were different struck first.
The war was over in a matter of months. The vampires were swift and decisive and more organized then they had ever imagined. When it was over, the vampires could have just as easily enslaved the entirety of the human race, but they didn’t. They maintained that they only wished to live along side humans peacefully with equal rights. And somehow they had managed to bring the war to a close with little causality on both sides.
Yep, one hundred years and the world had finally gotten its shit together. Humans and Vampires were an integral part of all aspects of society.
Humans live pretty much like they did before the war. They have jobs, education, health care, and commerce. The biggest difference is the vampires are now deeply ingrained within the government, along with humans. Many laws were changed, and violence against vampires carries a heavy penalty.
So a few years back humans were shocked to learn that not only were there vampires, but there were also Werewolves. Talk about the shock of a lifetime.
Sookie looked at a billboard on the highway as she drove. It read ‘Equal rights for Werewolves!!!’ in big blue letters.
She wiped a tear away from her face. Her brother was dead because of what went down with the Werewolves. She missed Jason. She missed his goofy smile and his love for life. She tried to push the memories away but she couldn’t.
Determined to not make the same mistake again, humans were ready to accept Werewolves into the fray of civilized society. A hundred years of living with vampires makes one tolerant that way.
Unfortunately, vampires had a different agenda. With the backing of millions of dollars, they started a propaganda campaign to convince humans that Werewolves were nothing more than savage animals that resembled a sentient life form some of the time. They convinced them that their human form was a way to prey on unsuspecting civilized folk, told them that they lived in strange cults called packs, and ate human children for fun.
It didn’t take long for lynch mobs to start forming. The vampires were successful in their social engineering and conditioning of the human race. Money and power have a way in going hand in hand with control.
Turns out, Werewolves and vampires have a long history of bloodshed and violence. They were natural enemies and vampires were using humans as a tool to rid themselves of a race they hated.
So the killing started again, but this time vampires and humans were working together for a common goal.
About a year ago a tech savvy pack of Werewolves hacked the public access channel and aired a special they had been filming which was sort of like a reality piece, chronicling the daily lives and struggles of their people.
The humans were shocked.
The suffering and slaughter reaped tore a nation of hearts apart. They saw Werewolf children crying in despair over dead parents. The special focused on the stories of several young Werewolves. One was a five year old boy named Caden who told the camera he didn’t understand why humans hated him so much and killed his mommy, daddy, and sister. Another was a teenager named Blade who spent his days in their version of a classroom learning math and literature. He had a severed arm from an attack by a group of humans who murdered his pack. He went home everyday alone, and slept under the stars, tears flowing down his face because he was utterly and completely traumatized for life.
The humans mourned.
Humans were angry at the vampires for making them believe that Werewolves were nothing more than savage creatures. They were just like them, only in tune more with nature and the Earth.
The vampires responded with their own special showing Werewolves corning vampire children in dark alley ways and other nefarious activities.
But it was too late and humans were tired of being manipulated in an age-old war that pre-dated their civilization.
The people rose up and demanded that Werewolves were given equal rights and protection under the law.
So here they were, in the aftermath of one of the bloodiest eras in human history, first vampires, and then Werewolves.
They still had a lot of repairing between the races to do and even vampires seemed willing to make a mends.
That’s where people like Sookie came in. Her job at The Company was to place orphaned Werewolf pups with families who had a pack and who would love them and give them a new home. The new case Sam spoke of, that would be an orphan needing placement, but it had become harder and harder to place the pups. Many packs just didn’t have the ability to feed any more mouths.
Sookie glanced out of her side window at the dismal landscape as she pulled off the highway. Most of the city of Dallas was in ruins from The First Great War. Vampires didn’t much live around there anymore though. They preferred to live closer to the poles where the sun didn’t shine during the winter season.