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Angels & Devils

Seattle has been invaded by covens of Rogue Vampires - vampires who hunt and prey upon other vampires. Bella and the Cullen siblings are in Seattle for a rare night out on the town. They are attacked by Rogues, and Alice Cullen is lost in the ambush. The family fears the worse, believing that Alice is dead. Alice awakens with no memory of who she is, where she is or how she came to be there. She also has no clue that's she's fallen into the hands of an old enemy to her kind. A half-vampire who once waged a 50-year long war of vengeance against all vampires. A enemy so vicious that the Volturi had dubbed him with the name, "Lucifer", and who was long since believed to be dead himself.

This is my first Twilight Fanfic. It is currently posted in part to the FanFiction.Net site under the same pen name, and has 52 chapters up. There is still a few hundred more pages that are written and waiting to go. I decided to post this to a few fanfic sites to see what feedback I can get from the experts. This story has some violence, language, and minor adult situations (not too descriptive or vulgar - I tried to keep in mind how SM handled such things in writing.) so I guess this would need a "R" rating. Thanks.

6. Chapter 6 - Highway to Hell

Rating 3/5   Word Count 4066   Review this Chapter

Chapter Six: Highway to Hell

I'm rolling thunder, pouring rain
I'm coming on like a hurricane
My lightning's flashing across the sky
You're only young but you're gonna die

…Hell’s Bells

Within an hour I left my place just within the limits of small suburb of Beacon Hill, and head further north until I hit Interstate Route 5, and then into Seattle again. Just about an hour later, I found the little shop I was looking for, tucked into a row of older building on the west side of the city, along Western Avenue.

It had been well over twenty-five years since I’d last visited there, and the place had certainly seen much better days.

The sign in the door’s dirty window said the place didn’t open until 10am, and seeing it was just before 9am, I didn’t feel like waiting over an hour.

Besides, the current owner wasn’t actually all that interested in selling what the shop was originally intended to sell, so I wasn’t all that concerned with being a good and proper customer.

I ducked down the trash-strewn alleyway on the building’s eastside, and found the side entrance I remembered being there. The door was old, but the knob was almost shiny new… and of course locked.

That didn’t present much of a problem for me.

I just turned the doorknob until the cylinder pins in it’s cheap lock caused it to stop, and then gradually added more pressure until I felt the inner workings of the knob shatter. The door still would not open, so I assumed it was also held by a deadbolt. My tactile senses are much sharper than the average human’s, and a few seconds of running my fingertips up and down the edge of the door gave me a rough idea of where the deadbolt was located.

A quick hard smack with the flat of my hand in the area of the second lock tore the bolt from the doorframe with very little sound.

I loved being a half-vampire sometimes!

I pushed open the door and it creaked slightly on rusted hinges. I entered the long dark hallway that I could recall from older and better days. The passage way was now cluttered with old boxes and cases of empty beer bottles, along with some other items that I’d rather not think about.

And that’s beside the stacks of what could only be stolen property that was waiting to be hawked at some pawnshop… or possibly sold out of the trunk of some car.

The smell of the place had even changed. Where once there was the sometimes pleasant odor of herbs and incense, now there was only the sour reek of spoiling food, stale beer and old smoke, all underscoring a somewhat leaky septic pipe somewhere in the building.

I shook my head in growing disgust while the tails of my leather duster kicked up actual dust as I moved down the hallway to what use to be the storefront’s back room office.

My old friends would be turning in their graves if they saw what their descendants had done to their beloved family business.

Ahead of me, I could hear the sounds of a TV playing low, and occasionally someone murmuring in the background. Knowing what I did of the new owner, I was surprised anyone was even up at this hour of the morning. I didn’t need to have a super-sensitive nose to now smell the bodies in need of a shower coming from the room already, and believe me, this was quickly becoming one of those times I regretted having heightened senses.

The stench of old marijuana in the office gave that of the unwashed people a run for their money.

The door before me was opened just a crack, the dancing light of the TV flickered in the crease.

There wasn’t much else to do but try to breathe through my mouth as much as possible and make an entrance at this point, so I pushed the door open.

“Knock, knock!” I said as these hinges also made a slight creepy creak.

Before me watching a small color TV, and sitting in an old overstuffed chair that I barely recognized – because the last time I had seen it, it was almost brand new – was a slender young black man with dreadlocks that reached down passed his shoulders.

At the sound of my voice, he dropped the cigarette he had be holding in his lose fingers to the floor. My eyes tracked it for a second as it hit the ground, and I vaguely wondered if it would start a fire there in all the trash on the floor. I briefly considered that being burnt to the ground might actually be a fitting funeral for my old friend’s business.

I stepped further into the office, and could now see an even bigger black man rousting himself from sleep on a torn-up couch in the corner of the litter filled room.

“Who da hell’ ar’ you, mon?” the slender guy said angrily, as he turned to face me.

“A old preferred customer,” I replied with a polite smile.

“To hell’ ya say, Whit’bread. I never saw you before… and we’re closed now, mon!” he continued in that irritating false Jamaican accent.

I smiled again in decreasing tolerance, and took several more steps toward him, while ignoring the big guy who was just now sitting up on the couch, looking from me, then to his friend, and back to me again. Obviously the big fella waiting for his companion to tell him what he should do about me.

“I doubt you keep the regular store hours now, so I let myself in,” I told him. “And you can knock off the fake Jamaican accent, Jerome. I know for a fact that while your grandfather and father were from the Caribbean, you’ve never left Seattle.”

If he was shocked that I knew his name, and that he was faking the inflection, he didn’t show it much. You learned on the streets to keep a poker face no matter what, and Jerome seemed to have perfected that skill.

Instead of being shaken, young Mr. Walker got all defensive.

“It’s Haitian, mon… and what the hell do you know?” he shouted. “Now get your pasty white ass outta here, before I have my homeboy beat you to death.”

I tisked and shook my head. “Not until after we finish our business, Jerome,” I replied.

“Screw you!” he spat, and then turned to his lanky. “Take care of him, mon,” he told his muscle with a wild wave in my general direction.

Like a faithful pet unleashed to do his master’s bidding, the big brute roared and charged me from the couch. I have to give him this much, for a big guy he was pretty quick on his feet.

He reached for me with hands the size of Easter hams. I targeted the nerve centers on the insides of each of his wrists with the outer edge of my hand, and a quick double slap later, I was sure I left both of his limbs completely numb from mid-forearm to finger tips.

I didn’t give him much time to enjoy the new tingly feeling as I palmed his face with my other hand and threw him back toward the couch.

This was pretty tame compared to what I use to do to some humans, back in the days after my vampire hunting time, when I occasionally set right a few wrongs that came my way.

Still, the big guy sailed through the air, hit the wall above the sofa hard, and then flopped down into the seat again. He looked pretty rattled at the moment, and I doubted he was going to be much more trouble.

At least, he wouldn’t be any further trouble if he had a once of common sense.

“Sit,” I told him in a firm commanding tone anyway… just in case I’d misjudged the level of his intelligence.

I turned back to Jerome just in time to see his eyes pretty much bugging out of his skull, I was fairly sure he wasn’t believing what he’d just seen. But that was another reason why I’d done it.

“Now, where were we?” I asked pleasantly. Then I saw Walker’s eyes dart to a rusty old .38 special snub-nose pistol laying on the table by the chair he had been sitting in. “Oh, please don’t,” I said as I read his intent quite clearly.

He went for it anyway.

I’m not vampire fast, but fast enough. To Jerome I probably covered the short distance in the blink of an eye and prevented him from reaching the gun. I grabbed him by his wrist and applied just enough torque to the joint to make him stand up on his tiptoes. A very common martial arts hold with no half-vampire strength required to apply it for the desired immediate results.

Jerome pretty much screamed like a girl at that. I let him yell for a moment, while I took the opportunity to step on the small fire his dropped cigarette had started on the floor after all.

After playing fireman, I picked up the gun Jerome had been foolishly reaching for with my free hand. I found it was an old Charter Arms Undercover .38. With practiced eased, I thumbed the cylinder latch open and swung the five-shot cylinder out to dump the mismatched rounds onto the floor. I really didn’t have a need for a gun, but I had grown up around them and I do like them. It stung the enthusiast in me to see the poor shape this one was in.

“You need to take better care of your firearms, Jerome,” I chastised him, as I set the now empty piece back on the cluttered table.

“Please! Please don’t hurt me!” he plead, all trace of his accent gone now. “What do you want? Take anything you want, just don’t hurt me, man!”

I hissed in disgust and dropped his wrist. Before he could recover I seized him by the throat and lifted him a few inches into the air because I felt I further needed to press my point across.

“I’m not here to hurt you, Jerome… at least not yet,” I nearly growled. “But you can avoid all that by being of assistance to me… and you are going to help me.”

He nodded his head in agreement, as best he could manage, and then I gave him a break and slammed him down on the desk and pinned him there, only because knowing his nature, I still felt that I truly hadn’t made my intention crystal clear to him just yet.

Jerome wasn’t what anyone would call an ‘upstanding citizen’. In fact, he was pretty much a low-level drug dealer, Fence, and thief, and you know its normal for them to not have much in the way of honest business scruples.

“Whatever you want, man! Just tell me… who you are and what you want,” Jerome promised.

“Ah! I’m glad to see we’re communicating much better now,” I told him, then paused a moment to look around the office I use to know so well. Within a few seconds I was somewhat amazed to find what I was looking for.

I let go of his throat and flashed him a warning finger. “Stay there and don’t move.”

He swallowed hard and nodded, plainly too frightened to defy me for the moment.

I went to the far wall, and reached up to remove the old photograph that was hanging there. Seeing it immediately brought back old memories of better days.

I brought it back over to the desk and Jerome, having to wipe a thick layer of dust from the glass front that had turned the photo into a rough blur as I did.

“This is who I am,” I told him as I held up the photograph before his eyes.

“What?” he asked in bewilderment. “That’s some old picture of my gramps and my dad when he was little. What’s that suppose to tell me?”

Annoyed, I reached over and delivered a stinging slap to his forehead.

“Hey!” he exclaimed in mild pain, rubbing at his head.

“Look closer!” I demanded in a harsh tone.

This time he did, and he actually studied the picture for a few minutes. Then something clicked inside his drug-slowed mind, and he suddenly began looking from the photo to me and back to the photo again.

“The white dude in the picture… its you!” he exclaimed. “But… that can’t be possible! That photo has got to be over 60-years-old!”

I smiled. I was finally getting somewhere.

“Oh, believe it, chuckles,” I said to him.

I had first rolled through Seattle back in the late 1930’s, when my war on vampires was still running at full bore. I had come here on specific business, to discover the town was a vampire hotspot even then. By then, I had as little in common with the human race as I did with vampires. It was something of a mystery how I came to notice a young black man and his family struggling to start a business in a time when minorities weren’t very welcomed in most places, and black owned business were almost unheard of.

Add to those difficulties that organized crime was present and thriving even here, the law wasn’t inclined to help a man of color who had problems with the mob, and the law tended to look away on those accounts.

Jerome’s great-grandfather gave me some assistance with my purpose for coming to Seattle; in return I stepped in and had some words with the local mob boss. When our talked was ignored, I removed the problem – permanently.

In those days I could be cold and ruthless, and I had by then seen enough of the world to know that evil did come in other forms beside vampiric. What I had left behind me was so horrid that the police themselves covered the massacre up, and not a word leaked out about it to the public. Afterwards, the mob itself left certain types of business in the area alone… mostly for superstitious reasons I heard.

I admit… I also came out with something for this side work. I had been confiscating what valuable assets I could get my hands on during my war with vamps, after all, I had to live and fund my cause just like anyone else. The haul I made from eradicating a branch of organized crime still partially supports me in my quieter days, even after deducting what I left with Jerome’s great-grandfather as a punitive repayment for what these same people did to him and his family.

Afterwards, for the next generation or two, Jerome’s family had been stoic allies whenever I needed them, as I found myself increasing drawn back to the Seattle area time-and-time again in my everlasting quest for vengeance. The Walkers remained so, up until my faked death in the late 50’s… and for a short time afterwards.

Jerome shook his head in denial at the evidence before him.

“This has to be some sort of trick,” he cried.

I was getting more annoyed with this piss-ant by the moment – so unlike his forefathers. So I grinned and let him see my fangs grow.

“Do I look like I’m fooling?” I asked in a low hiss.

“Holy shit! Holy God!” Jerome squeaked, and then tried to make himself part of the desk by attempting to push his back through it.

“I can assure you, god has nothing to do with me,” I said, “You’re family however… owes me some favors. Perhaps you recall your father and grandfather speaking about a man they called Archer, don’t you?” I could only hope they had told this boy about me, even though his great-grandfather and grandfather both vowed that they would never let their family forget what I had done for them.

Surprisingly, Jerome nodded.

“Gramps and dad, use to tell stories about this guy who helped out Gramp’s father during the prohibition days… and later helped my Gramps when he had some other troubles. He would never say what it was, but him and dad always told me that if a man called Archer ever showed up and asked for help, I was suppose to give it to him without question. I always thought they were just stories, and that was all. And let me tell you… I’m having trouble believing this shit… even if I am seeing it with my own eyes!”

“Well, now you know different,” I said, while letting him go. “Your grand-sires being who they were lived in a different world from the everyday mundane. They knew what I was, and had no problem believing in creatures like me. And now… I’m here to collect on that favor your family owes me,” I added with a new subtle smile, that I’m sure Jerome was grateful for because it didn’t show my teeth.

“Okay… Okay,” Jerome said, holding up both hands as he tried to sit up. I let him rise so we could better talk like civilized people. “I don’t care who or what you are! Just tell me what you want so I can get you the hell out of my crib, man. So what is it? Crack? Weed? Big ‘H’? I can get Coke… or even some Ho’s no one will miss if you want to do that Dracula thing.”

Now he had to go and piss me off again.

“None of that,” I growled menacingly, “And if I ever hear about you trafficking in human lives, Jerome… I’ll kill you myself as another favor to your Grandfathers. Do you understand that clearly?”

“Sure! Sure… no offense meant, Bro! I just know people who know people, know what I’m sayin’? I don’t get into the streetwalkers myself. Competitions way too tough in that gig, ya know?”

“Good for you,” I told him mordantly. “Now… what I want from you. Your great-grandfather and your grandfather were Houngans; they started this store to supply the other praticioners of Vodou religions in the area with the supplies and artifacts they needed.”

“What? That? Bunch of crazy people! Shaking chicken bones and practicing hocus pocus,” Jerome muttered.

“And now you use it as a front to sell drugs and stolen property,” I continued. “I personally don’t care what you do as far as that goes. What I want to know is if you still have a reliable vendor for animal blood for blood rites?”

He blinked, startled at that, and then cracked a grin. I could see he was getting ready to make a wise crack about my canine teeth and my supposed diet. I growled low in my throat to let him know that I really wouldn’t have been amused if he said it.

Lucky for young Walker, he could take a hint and kept his mouth shut.

“Yeah, I still have a couple of sources on the books… for appearance purposes. And some of the crazies still come here looking for freaked-up things, so we sell it to them if we got it,” he informed me. “What kind of… blood do you want?”

“Cattle, perferably fresh as possible.”

“I can get that with no problem. I have a connection down at a slaughter house for that stuff. How much you want?”

“I want two gallons to start with. But I want at least a gallon of it delieved every morning after to an address I will give you. Remember it has to be no more than two hours old when its picked up, or it will be no good to me.”

Jerome smiled. Making deals was something he was comfortable with.

“I can do that,” he promised.

I wrote down my address on a slip of paper from his desk, and then handed it to him along with several hundred dollar bills.

“Hire someone clean to make the delivery. I don’t want to see you or any of your regular people around the address I’ve given you. If I do, I’ll kill them and then come for you and do the same. Are we clear on that?”

“Yeah, man… we’re good,” he said while counting the money I’d given him. “If you’re there, you won’t catch me within five miles of that place. Ah… no offense, man.”

“None taken,” I said with a cold smile. “Its absolutely inperative that the blood be fresh,” I reminded him. “Don’t screw with me on this, or I’ll take what your family owes me out of your veins instead.”

“Yeah, I kinda figured that was the deal with this Dawn of the Dead shit, man,” Jerome said.

I twisted my lips up in annoyance.

“That’s Zombies,” I corrected.

“Whatever… its all the same F’ed up shit, man,” Walker added, then continued, “No problem on the shipping gig . With what you gave me here, I can get you what you want and someone to deliver it daily for the next six months.”

“It should only be for several weeks. You can keep whatever you don’t use.”

He looked surprised at that.

“But I expect total discresion on this matter also,” I added.

He made a locking and throwing away the key motion over his mouth.

“My lips are sealed, man. Who’d believe this freaking crap anyway? When you want the first of this stuff sent to you?”

“Today, as soon as possible. Tell them to leave it on the front porch by the door and then depart the area right away. They hang around – they die. Then you pay even worse than they do. Got that?”

“Yeah, I said I did, man. It’ll be there like you want,” Jerome promised.

I smiled, but with no humor again. “Then our business is concluded,” I said.

I turned to walk out the same way I’d come in, but he stopped me with a question.

“Hey, man!” he called, and waited for me to face him again. “After all this time… why you back knockin’ on my crib’s door?”

“Circumstances require it, and that’s all you need to know,” I informed him. He held up both his hands to say he had no problem with my curt answer. “Any other questions?” I asked cooly.

“Just one… I know what… you’re suppose to be,” Jerome started. “I don’t freaking half believe it, but hell, in this place, I’ve seen weirder characters than you walk in, so I should. But how the hell is it that you’re walking around in the day time? Isn’t that against the rules or something?”

Instead of being annoyed further, I chuckled.

“Don’t believe everything you hear or see, Jerome. Just keep in mind that I can visit you anytime I get the urge and we’ll get along fine.”

“Right, man… okay,” he agreed.

I almost turned to leave again, but paused a moment, remembering the last time I had stood in that office so long ago. And remembering the three generations of men that I had once thought of as the closest things I had to friends.

“Jerome,” I said, and he looked at me with inquiring eyes. “This business you’re in… your father and grand sires, wouldn’t have approved of it. They were good and honest men.”

Jerome seemed to think it over for a few seconds and then shrugged.

“I guess you got that right… but it’s a sign of the times, my man,” he said. “Things change and you gotta do what you can to make a dollar. It’s a hard world and you gotta survive anyway you can. You shouldn’t have a problem understanding that,” he told me, and I knew that given what I was, he assumed I preyed upon humans for my own survival. “I gotta live too, know what I’m sayin’?” he concluded.

I slowly nodded. “I guess I do,” I replied with a hint of sadness, and then left the building.

I had other places to visit yet this morning, and slightly more difficult tasks ahead of me yet before I could go home. This had only been the first stop of many, to see if I could acquire all the things I would need to help Angel.