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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.

8. Chapter 8 - Cuz I'm Bad to the Bone

Rating 3/5   Word Count 2900   Review this Chapter

Chapter Eight: …Cuz’ I’m bad to the bone.

Harley Dobbins drummed his fingers irately on the top of the old rusty metal office desk, the tips of his digits making small dimples in the already fatigued metal. His bright blood-red eyes seemed to be boiling in their sockets, and were focused almost blankly on the wall across the room. In his mind, Dobbins was somewhere else, and it was someplace that didn’t sit well with him at all. He was getting angrier by the second.

He suddenly snarled as his fury simmered over. The Rogue vampire didn’t even notice that his fingers were tapping so hard now in agitation that they were making small holes in the desk’s steel surface.

Theodore “Big T” Parole steepled his long fingers just below his pointed chin and watched his underling growl at the faded old girlie posters covering that very same wall for the fifth time in as many minutes. Emotions fascinated him, and Harley at even the best of times wore his like a sign post for all to see. It was one of the reasons Parole had chosen Dobbins as his current second-in-command of the coven of Hunters, should Harley ever become ambitious and consider betraying his leader, Theodore would see it right away on his face and be able to take steps to eliminate Dobbins.

Right at the moment, something entirely different from ambition had crawled up Harley’s ass and was festering, and Parole knew it wasn’t the scantly clad women on the wall pin-ups that had Dobbins in an uproar.

“Sitting there, growling your fool head off, isn’t going to make things better,” Big T eventually said when watching Dobbins had finally become boring.

Dobbins turned to look at the larger, better dressed, vampire. His gaze on the borderline of being an insubordinate glare because of the dept of his ire.

“Carl was my brother, man,” Harley told him, for like the hundredth time. “We go way back, even before we were changed – before we became hunters, man. It was always me and him, we always had each other’s backs!”

“Except for last Saturday night,” Parole couldn’t resist cruelly adding, but using an inoffensive tone.

Dobbins turned to look at his leader in a blur, the hurt and shamed look on his face couldn’t have been any worse if Big T had actually gotten up and slapped him across the face. Parole was again fascinated by the results of his calculated gibe.

“It wasn’t all my fault, man!” Harley protested gravely. “That bitch… even after we drew first blood on her, it was like she knew what we were gonna do before we did it during the pursuit. That whole thing with the wild goose chase she led us on… it was like she planned it just to separate Carl from the rest of us. She must not have been as wounded as she led us to believe.”

“Even with half her throat tore out, as Simon reported?”

“Hell! I saw Carl bash her brains in myself!” Harley retorted. “Even he was taken by surprise when the damned cattle lover got up and ran. She should have been alive, but down for the count while the pack fed.”

Dobbins’s tone was bluntly defensive.

“No one is blaming you personally for Carl’s loss to the coven,” Theodore soothed, though in truth he couldn’t care less about Harley’s personal feelings, Dobbins was useful to him at the moment, that was the extent of it as far as Parole was concerned. In fact, the entire Hunter coven was expendable as long as they served his needs. He could always make or find new pack members as he required them. “Sometimes we get the prey with no trouble, sometimes we take a loss to get it… it’s the nature of the Hunt. Its who we are and how we’ve always lived.”

Parole paused a moment and then shrugged. “Things change, Harley. Coven members will come and go for one reason or another. They always do,” he added.

The younger vampire shook his head in stubborn denial.

“Not like this, boss,” he responded stubbornly. “We’re the elite predators on the street, Big T! We’re the top of the food chain,” he barked while thumping his chest once with his fist. The blow would have shattered a human’s ribcage, but only made a hollow boom against Dobbins’s. “Going out in a tangle with a human hunter is one thing, but my brother doesn’t get taken out by some cattle-grazing bitch! We couldn’t even find his head, man. I had to burn Carl’s body myself! There ain’t no way there ain’t gonna be pay-back for that!”

Theodore leaned back in his tape-patched executive’s chair and regarded his top soldier. He had fully expected that Dobbins would take this stand over his long time friend’s demise.

“So… what are you going to do, Harley?” he asked levelly, but with some inner great expectation at what emotional response his second-in-command would give him. Vampire nature was almost always predictable, but interesting none-the-less to Parole.

The younger man turned in his seat to better face his leader, his red eyes turning to dull stone with deep emotion. Big T almost smiled, because he knew what Dobbins was going to say before he said it.

“I’m gonna find that bitch. And when I do I’m going to make her wish she’d never been turned. I’m gonna make her wish she’d never been even born as a human.”

“Fine,” Parole said, easing back in his chair, playing the part of the calm and wise leader. “I’m all for that, its the nature of the beast, Harley. And Carl was a good trooper – one of the best, and I agree he didn’t deserve to go out that way. But we can’t effort to have this F-ing up normal business. The Head Honcho paying us the big money isn’t going to want to hear about our personal pack vendetta getting in the way of the business he hired us for. We still have to keep his territory clear of trespassers and see to organizing the lesser Hunter packs Martino assigned to work under us. Our coven needs the free hunting grounds he’s allowing us, beside the monetary support we’re getting. I’ll give you leave to take care of this, and you can take whomever you need from the ranks as long as you’re not pulling them away from something else.

“Martino will do right by us by issuing a blanket death warrant for the bitch, it’s our due under his protection. But even I would prefer it if it was one of our people who took care of business by taking her down. Never let it be known or said among the other covens that we didn’t avenge one of our own… but the main job comes first, you got that? This doesn’t interfere in what Mr. Martino brought us in for.”

Parole gesture around them at the small trash beleaguered office, but also indicating the retired warehouse that had been set aside by their benefactor for their use and housing. “Without him, our coven would still be wandering the road looking for good hunting grounds. We got everything we need here, and we’re getting paid for doing what we’d be doing anyway.”

Dobbins nodded. “Yeah, I got that. Sure thing, boss.”

“Good man, Harley,” The leader praised. “You sure you got a line on the grazer who did this?”

Dobbins nodded.

“I had a taste of her just before she got away,” Harley confirmed. “She gouged Johnny Hush in the eyes and broke free. We chased her, but like I said, it was like she was one-step ahead of us the entire way. Every time we thought we had her trapped, she managed to slip out of it at the very last second. It was weird, like she knew what we were gonna do before we did it. I still think she was somehow faking being as wounded as she looked too, trying to lure us! She had to be! That would have been the only way she could have gotten up on Carl.”

“Carl was the only one of us that was quick enough to stay on her most of the time. You knew him, he was like lightening in the chase. He’d never once lost his prey while on the hunt the entire time I’ve known him, you know? She led us far enough away from the scene of the ambush that the rest of us had to backtrack a few times when the bitch doubled back on her trail and then took to the rooftops. She crisscrossed her scent trail so many times that it took us a little while to figure out she was heading back to that club we first spotted her and the rest of the grazers she was with at. Carl was moving after her so quickly he barely left any signs himself for us to tell which direction they were really headed in. When we finally got to that parking lot, we found what was left of poor Carl in that back of that panel truck, and that grazer bitch was gone. No scent, no blood trail, no nothing… she just disappeared.”

“So you can track her if you cut across her path again?” Big T wanted to know for certain.

“Yeah, like I said, I got a real good taste of her. If I hit her trail somewhere, or get within a mile of her… maybe two miles on a good day. She won’t know I’m coming this time and be able to pull any of her tricks, so I’ll catch her with no problem.”

Parole nodded a single time in agreement.

“I’ll hold you to that then, Harley. Settle this right for Carl and the pack, but make this go away soon.” Big T thought for a moment more, then added, “And make sure its done in such a way that any other cattle-lovers will have second thoughts about screwing with us. I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t let the other prey in the area know who the top predators are in Seattle now.”

Dobbins blinked in surprise at the orders.

“We had singled that bitch out of her herd as the main course that night, because she smelled so damned good for a grazer. Her friends would have just been side dishes if we managed to bring a few of them down as well. Most of the pack was designated to keep them busy while we harvested her, because you did leave a standing order about only killing just what the coven needs to feed from on any one hunt, the rest were to be captured and taken to the Farm if possible. So you’re saying now you want her entire coven done too in this case?” he asked for confirmation.

Dobbins knew that as a general rule, vampires who didn’t hunt humans for the most part lived in large covens, like herd animals. There might be more members in the group than the pack could reasonably use at one feeding, killing more than that would be a waste of game for later hunts, so survivors were rounded up and taken to the lower levels of the warehouse, labeled by the Hunter’s as the Farm, to be stored away for any dry periods. That also helped them fulfill their obligation of keeping Martino’s territory free of intruders at the same time.

That the grazer who killed Carl had come from a group of cattle-lovers was pretty much a given, even if Harley hadn’t already seen the other cattle-lovers with the bitch that night in the nightclub.

Big T grinned. He made the rules for his Hunters; they were his to break if he wished.

“Know of a better way to send a message about our dominance? Of course, if you did manage to capture a few of her coven intact, we could always put them on ice here in the Farm… for nights when the hunting on the streets is poor. Just make sure this bitch and a few of her herd pay hard and messy for what she did to Carl.”

Harley smiled for the first time since Carl’s final death, obviously pleased to be given a free rein by his leader to avenge his fallen best friend.

“Sure thing, boss. It would be a pleasure.”

Parole smiled in return, only his beam was for how easy it had been to manipulate Dobbins.

“Good,” Theodore said, and then he thought of one more minor question to ask of his subordinate. “Are you sure that there was no other definite scents you could clearly make out around the death scene? Someone in her coven might have helped her whack Carl. I don’t want any of our people walking into another waylay like that again, if that’s the case. The question bothers me, only if because I still don’t quite understand how a lone grazer, especially one even trivially wounded, was able to get the best of an experienced hunter like Carl?”

Dobbins shook his head.

“Just her. There was some of her blood in the area, but that don’t mean anything if she had been faking like we thought. The blood trail could have been there just to lure Carl into an ambush she had planned out. That just might be why she led us on such a long chase, to give some of her friends time to set up an ambush of their own. Its also possible we didn’t get a total head count on her coven. The club was packed that night, and there may have been more than just the five of them and the human pet they were toting along.”

“That is a strong possibility,” Big T agreed. “If you can take one of the grazer or the bitch herself alive for a moment, see if you can make them talk first about the true number of the coven. We don’t want any missed leftovers making trouble for us. What else do you know about the scene of Carl’s death?”

“We did find a shattered brick with some of Carl’s blood on it, so we figure that the grazer, or one of her friends, used it to attack him. The back of the panel truck we found his torso in was flooded with Carl’s blood, so there wasn’t much in the way of clues there. It must have been when he was stunned that they took his head off. The rest of the parking lot and the truck smelled like any number of different humans. The place is crawling with them most of the time as would be expected.”

“No other vampires?” Parole asked.

“No, nothing definite… only her for sure.”

Big T frowned at the statement.

“What exactly do you mean by, ‘nothing definite’?” he inquired. “Either you’re sure or you’re not?”

Harley fidgeted a bit; he didn’t like having half-answers for his coven leader. In his view, a good Second in a hunting coven always had absolute positive answers for his leader as much as possible if the pack was to be a successful one.

“There was nothing else that was clearly one of us outside our hunters and the girl,” he restated. “But there was something a little weird there.”

“Like what?”

“Just an strange scent,” Harley supplied. “It wasn’t really vampire. It was more like a human, but like no human I’ve ever run across.”

“Moonchild?” Theodore offered, sitting up in his chair as he waited for an answer.

Dobbins shook his head,

“No, not a Were,” he replied. “I know what a Were smells like. You never forget that once you scent one of those dogs! This wasn’t an animal; it was human, but different. I put it down to maybe being some human foreigner. Someone just off the banana boat, maybe? You know how strange some of them can smell when they live on a different diet than the locals do.”

“That’s possible,” Parole agreed, while rubbing his chin in thought.

“The strange scent was all over the panel truck, so I figure the owner probably hired a immigrant under the table to drive it, maybe load it or something. Anyway, there’s no way a freakin’ human could have been a threat to Carl. A human would barely have been a snack for Carl, if he even would have bothered with one. It had to be that bitch that’s responsible. Her and maybe a few of her grazer herd.”

Big T had to agree with the assessment. No human in modern existence would ever be a match even for a grazer vamp – none!

“I suppose you’re right on that account,” he concluded. “Forget about the smelly human then, it was probably nothing. Go find the girl and her coven and put paid to what they did to our soldier – our friend, Carl. Get it done as quickly as you can. We have plenty of other work to do for our sponsor ahead of us in the next few weeks.”

“Right away, boss,” Harley said as he got up and left the office. He felt better, now that he had his leader’s blessing, and was free to seek vengeance for his fallen comrade and friend.