Kane follows right behind her as I lead us into the kitchen. He never lets her get more than an arm’s length away.

“Good, because I like the sound of that.” I might not be able to have a family of my own, but I’m going to cherish the one I do have.

Two

Valen

It’s late and the sun has already set. I’m getting closer to the city, but this doesn’t feel like any other hunt I’ve been on before. Something is off, but I can’t put my finger on what it is.

I’ve hunted vampires since I was old enough to hold a weapon. My father comes from a long line of hunters and we pass down our knowledge from one generation to the next. There are vampires in this world that are only looking to destroy it. They hurt innocent people and kill anyone who gets in their way. It’s my job to take out those threats and eradicate the world of their evil. There have been whispers of a coven inside the city living amongst humans. It’s unheard of for the most part, and I’m anxious to get my eyes on them.

I don’t know much about their ways, but normally they are loners that like to keep to themselves. They usually live in hills away from people, or deep in the forest—places people don’t go. They don’t need much to survive, they just have to stay out of the sun. From what I’ve been taught, they don’t eat and they don’t need to drink the blood of humans to stay alive. It’s nothing like the movies I watched as a kid, which kind of disappointed me at the time. When I got older I found out that they’re not immortal but can live up to two hundred years without a mate. I’ve never killed a mated couple before, so I don’t know if they’re rare or just good at going undetected.

Growing up, this wasn’t my dream. When my father began to train me to do this, I thought about all the other boys I knew who had no idea vampires were a real thing. I had to keep the secret as I learned how to hunt and track these creatures. I was raised alone by my father, so I had no one else to turn to. When he died a few years ago I thought about giving it up. But I’m known as the best slayer now that he’s gone and I have to think about future generations after me. I don’t have a wife or children, and I worry what will happen to our family legacy if I die. Will that be the end of our slayer line?

The only thing I have in my life is hunting vampires. I’m not proud that I’ve killed another creature, but my father believed that they are an evil plague on this world, just like his father before him believed. I’m supposed to carry on this tradition, but I have my own convictions. Those that I have killed I knew were bad and they had what was coming. I don’t regret what I’ve done, but I’ve never had a restful night of sleep.

Over the years I’ve become cold and distant, which is why I’ve never been able to form a relationship with anyone. Maybe that’s the difference between my father and me? He loved what he did and he was able to have a family. When my mother died, I was all he had left. I can’t help but wonder if she had lived, would I have been given a choice to find my own way?

When I get to the city I park my truck downtown and pull out my phone. I check over the coded messages that were sent to me from my slayer informant and see what information they have for me. He says that there have been rumors of a coven living nearby and recently there was a string of murders close to the area. I listened to the news on the way in and it seems like it could be a vampire, but it could also easily be a psycho human on a killing spree.

I took out two vampires close to here a few weeks ago. They were picking off random humans and torturing them for sport. I killed both of them without a hint of guilt, but the murders in the city didn’t stop.

When I get out of the truck I’m knocked back against it as a couple of kids in costumes run by. It puzzles me for a second until I remember the date. I never got to celebrate Halloween as a kid. My father thought it was a foolish holiday and only romanticized the monsters around us. He was a cold man who didn’t believe in coddling children, but he was kind to me.

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