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Eric Yorkie, The Van Helsing of Forks

Summary:
Vampires have come to Forks, and only one person can possibly stop them. That would be me. I am Eric Yorkie, the Van Helsing of Forks. The True Adventures of a Vampire Hunter. A Twilight AU JokesonJane made this awesome banner


Notes:
I don't own Twilight.


8. Chapter 8 Where Things Get Serious

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4138   Review this Chapter

Don't think because they're quiet and friendly that vampires might be harmless. Their evil will strike when you least expect it. –From The Diary of a Vampire Hunter by Eric Yorkie

(*)(*)(*)

I get up the next morning thinking, Well, it's official. Forks is being overrun by vampires. We've got one resident coven, and more vampires are arriving as evidenced by the redhead and her boyfriend of last night. How do I warn people? How do I get them to believe me? I'm the only one in the whole town aware of the danger.

I look at myself in the mirror as I'm trying to get my bangs to fall right. My mother made me get a haircut last week, and it screwed the wave all up. I suppose you have to be a vampire to have perfect hair. Except if you're Jasper. He's had some weird dos; like, I don't even know what's going on with his hair.

I keep combing at the bangs with my fingers, willing my hair to behave. It certainly would be great to have allies because I'm not going to be able to take out all the vampires by myself. Christ, what a waste of time Vampire Hunters turned out to be. Solomon Kane−what a joke. Seeing him slip in that werewolf shit, though, was almost worth the hassle.

How can I trip up the Cullens and make them expose themselves? My eyes fall on the Swiss army knife that I keep on my dresser. There's one way I can think of, but it involves considerable sacrifice on my part, so I'll stash that idea away for the time being.

In the meantime, the new vampires streaming into town are a definite threat. That redhead was bad business, for sure. Hot, yes, but evil, distinctly evil. How many more vampires are going to be showing up? Are they going to have some kind of bloodsuckers' convention here? Forks, Home of the Undead. Need a bite? Come to Forks. I look into the mirror with my steeliest expression. Not while I'm alive.

I head downstairs for breakfast. Danny's already at the table while Mom's putting together eggs and toast. I give Danny a hug and get a toothy grin from him. "Good morning, Eric," he says, smiling widely.

"Good morning, pal," I say as I grab the Cheerios. I need to warn my mother somehow. "Mom, be sure and keep Danny out of the woods. I heard Chief Swan say there's been talk of wolves around the woods." Not true, but she needs some reason, and there are werewolves around.

"Of course." She turns around to point a spoon at me. "You stay out of there, too. The radio says there's a fire up by the Calawah River fork."

I wasn't too far from there last night, and I wonder if those new vampires had anything to do with it. When I get to school, everybody's buzzing about the forest fire. Tyler is giving odds that it turns into a disaster like the big fire of 1951 where they evacuated the whole town. Mike, for one, is praying we're evacuated, as our Medieval project is due on Thursday, and he hasn't even started.

Personally, I'm betting on the redhead and her boyfriend; the fire started not far from where we ran across them, and you could tell those vamps were bad-ass. I'm not too surprised when the Cullens aren't in school. They're probably all out worshipping Satan or something with the new vamps. Maybe they're even giving the goth kids in Port Angeles a thrill by showing up in their parents' basement hang-outs. It was a sunny day, so they wouldn't have shown up regardless. But it isn't until lunch that I realize Bella isn't in school either.

I sit down at our usual table where Ben, Angela and Jessica are already scarfing down their lunch. It strikes me, as I watch, them how clueless they are. This past weekend they went to a dance, and I went vampire hunting. Maybe not successfully, but still, it makes me feel a million years old. It's tough carrying the weight of these secrets. "Where's Bella?" I ask, surprised she isn't around.

"She didn't come to school this morning," Angela says, picking at her salad. "Here, you want this?" she asks Ben, shoving her pudding his way.

"Sure," Ben says, accepting it eagerly.

My stomach sinks at the news that Bella's not here. "Is she sick? Did you speak to her?" I ask.

"I called her yesterday afternoon," Jessica says, running her spoon around the dessert cup. "She sounded fine to me." That would have been before Edward lured her into the woods.

"Has anyone spoken to her since?" There is a note of desperation in my voice that even Ben picks up on. Yesterday, Edward took Bella where the deadliest sort of vampires were. I hope to Christ the forest fire wasn't created from some kind of sacrificial rite, but it makes so much sense. The only thing that could convince me otherwise is seeing Bella herself, whole and sane. Well, mostly sane. Having a vampire boyfriend shouldn't really get you nominated for the Mental Health Hall of Fame.

The three of them exchange glances with each other. Jessica scoffs. "She probably didn't feel like coming today. Maybe she's going hiking with the Cullens." There's an unmistakable note of bitterness in Jessica's voice. I can barely control my eye-roll; she should be counting her frigging blessings that she's not involved with the Cullens.

Angela, ever the peacemaker, speaks up. "Or maybe she just doesn't feel good."

Carrying a tray, Mike straddles a chair. "Who doesn't feel good?" He sets the tray on the table and starts opening the first of three milk cartons.

"Bella's not here today," Ben explains.

"She's not?" Mike asks. "Let's give her a call and see how she is then." He whips out a cell phone from his pocket and starts dialing a number.

"She doesn't have a cell phone, you know," Jessica says, barely able to hide her jealously that Mike is calling Bella.

Mike holds his phone away from his ear. "I'm calling their house."

Jessica sits back in her chair sulkily while Ben shrugs. "She's sick. What's the big deal?"

"I don't think she's sick," I say in a low voice.

"Well, what do you think?" Ben asks, matching my conspiratorial tone.

"I think the Cullens made her disappear," I say, unwilling to insinuate more until I know I won't be laughed at. For a moment, I wish that redheaded vampire chick would show up at school and change a few minds about what is and what is not realistic. This would certainly be easier if vampires were just a little more cooperative in proving their existence.

"No answer at their house," Mike says, snapping his cell phone shut.

"What are you talking about, Eric?" Angela asks, genuinely perplexed.

"Yeah, what the hell are you talking about?" Mike demands.

Around the table, four sets of eyes want answers from me. I shift uncomfortably in my seat. "Listen, you guys. I just don't think the Cullens are the people next door everyone thinks they are."

"No shit, they're as freaky as they come," Ben says, but I can tell none of them are buying the idea that the Cullens might have anything to do with Bella being gone. People will not believe the evidence right in front of their eyes until it smacks them across the face."But saying they did something to Bella, well, that's a pretty hefty accusation."

"You're going to accuse Doctor Cullen?" Angela asks, frowning in concern. "But he's a doctor."

Ben reaches across the table to lay his hand on my forehead. "He doesn't feel feverish," he jokes as I slap his hand away.

Mike takes a big bite out of his sandwich. "You, my friend," he says, pointing his sandwich at me, "have been watching too much Scooby-Doo."

A chorus of laughter breaks out. I know when I'm fighting a losing battle, but I have to make one more attempt. "So, then where is she?" I demand, speaking of Bella.

"Probably at home on the sofa," Jessica says dismissively before the subject moves on to the fight Tyler and Adam had gotten into at the Sadie Hawkins dance.

Later as we're leaving the cafeteria, Angela comes up behind me. "I'll call the Swans tonight, Eric," she says sympathetically. "Charlie will be home then, if Bella won't pick up."

I look deep into her eyes. There isn't any taunting in them. "Thanks. I just…" I trail off, uncertain how to say scared I am for Bella without seeming wimpy.

Angela puts her hand on my arm. "You're a good friend, Eric."

I am a good friend. Not good enough, though.

(*)(*)(*)

Angela meets me in the parking lot on Tuesday morning. "I spoke to Charlie Swan last night," she tells me as we walk slowly toward the school.

"What did he say?" I ask.

"He said Bella came home Sunday yelling about what a jerk Edward Cullen was and how she was going to move back to Phoenix. She threw some things in her truck and took off."

I look at her, astonished. "And he let her? The Chief of Police just lets his seventeen-year-old daughter get in a shitbox truck to drive across country on a freaking whim?"

"I know," she says, frowning. "He doesn't seem like a very responsible father, does he?"

There's an understatement. Cripes, if I got in a truck to drive across country on a freaking whim, my parents would have such a cow, we'd be eating beef for a year. No wonder Bella fell under a vampire spell; she was probably starved for male attention. I wonder if he even looked up from the basketball game as she was headed out the door. But it certainly seems like a ballsy thing for Bella to do, uncharacteristically so. "Do you really think she would do something like that?"

"Bella's pretty independent, but that's pretty radical, even for her," she says, concerned.

"It just doesn't make sense," I say, trying to puzzle it out. Angela takes off for class, but I linger a bit longer in the courtyard trying to figure this out. Bella and Edward are getting tight, and the Cullen family wants it to happen−I remember what Emmett and Jasper said in the bathroom. Then there was what Bella said herself when I confronted her after Biology on Friday. "I'd do anything for him."

Would that include lying to her father and taking off so she could become his meal? Lover? Queen? Any or all of the above? Sure, it would. Just like that Dracula movie, Bella can play Winona Ryder to Edward's Gary Oldman. I can see him in a top hat and blue glasses. He'll just need to grow his fingernails out.

So, it has started. The disappearances have begun. How long before whoever is next vanishes?

Up to this point, I have been treating this like a game; me versus the Cullens. Sure, they were vampires, and somehow I was going to out them. The driving around town with Solomon was just spitting into the wind; even he didn't take it seriously. It was like playing in a video game−you keep trying, and then if you lose, you just come back with another life. No big deal.

But things have just gotten serious. Serious and possibly deadly. For all my suspicions about the Cullens, half of me liked that it might be true just for the sheer excitement, but part of me never entirely, deeply, down in my soul, believed it. Having vamps in Forks would have been the most sensational thing that's ever happened in this boring, rainy, dull neck of the woods. Talk about it being out of character; hell, it would have broken the monotony and brought some glamour, some life to what is basically just another small, sleepy town in America. I wanted to race around Forks with a crossbow like some hero in a comic or movie. Foolish kid that I was, I wanted it to be true.

But there was also a large corner of my heart that doubted, at least for a while. There had been a part of me that was hoping it wouldn't really be true, that instead of something evil like vampires, the Cullens were superheroes or angels or something spectacular. But now I realize how stupid I've been.

There are vampires in Forks, and this is not just a child's game anymore.

There is evil, and people will be killed.

I can't do this alone.

The next day after school, I ride my bike over to the funeral home. I find my dad in the office doing paperwork, his tie loosened and his suit jacket over the back of his chair.

He looks up as I close the door behind me. "Hey, son."

"Hi, Dad." I sit down in the seat across from his desk and clasp my hands.

He looks at me for a moment, then leans back in his chair. He's getting slightly gray around his temples; it stands out from the brown of the rest of his hair. I've never really noticed the gray before, and it hits me: he's getting older. He's always seemed impossible strong and confident, helping the grieving families deal with their loss. I see now he's vulnerable in a way I'd never realized before, that he's not immune to time, and one day in the future he won't be here. It makes me uncomfortable, and something in my belly does a flip.

He's always given me time to express myself. He is slow and deliberate in his speech, a good quality for a funeral director, I suppose. He sighs. "Nice day out there."

"Yeah," I say, wondering how I can tell him what I've come to say.

He gets out of his chair and walks over to the windows, peering through the blinds. "One time we could use rain, and it's nowhere to be found."

I look at him, uncomprehending.

"Rain? The fire out by the Calawah?" He raises his eyebrows.

"Oh, right." My eyes fall to the floor; the rug is brown and gold with specks of blue in it.

He comes back to his chair, sits in it and rubs the wooden arms with his hands. "So, what's on your mind?"

I glance briefly at him before gazing back at the floor. "I think something bad has happened to Bella."

"Bella? Bella Swan? Charlie's daughter?"

I nodded, trying to swallow the large lump stuck in my throat.

"What makes you think that?"

"She's gone, and the Cullens haven't been around. She was with them Sunday night, but now she's not in school."

"What do you mean, she's gone? And the Cullens? Why would they have anything to do with it?"

Tears start to form in my eyes. "Oh, Dad. The Cullens are not who everybody thinks they are."

It's time to 'fess up, and I know it. It starts to all come out in a rush. "That guy who spent the night with us? He's not Mike's cousin. He's a vampire hunter−well, he was supposed to be, but he was a big fake−he didn't even believe there were vampires until we ran across them in the woods−and then he all got pissed off when he stepped in the werewolf crap, and he ran off 'cause it was too scary even for him. No one believes me, but the Cullens are vampires, I know it, and I'm sure they've taken Bella." I stop for breath and swipe at my eyes. God, I'm such a tool. If only I'd acted earlier, more forcefully, Bella would be here.

My father is looking at me like he wants to believe me, but he can't trust what he's hearing. "You think the Cullens are vampires? You think they've hurt Bella?"

I nod with my chin trembling. "I know it sounds crazy, but something is wrong, terribly wrong."

My father comes around the desk, and I stand to meet him. He gathers me in his arms like I'm a child, and his arms around me have never felt more comforting, more real. I hold on to his waist with all my might and press my head against his chest. I've never loved him more than I do right now, and I am so relieved to stop carrying this secret alone and to tell him.

"It's okay, Eric," he murmurs. "It's going to be okay."

I really hope so.

The next day after dinner, he pulls me aside. "I want you to know I spoke with Charlie Swan this afternoon."

"What did he say?"

"He said Bella was hurt, but she's in the hospital in Phoenix, and she's going to be okay."

"Is she hurt bad? How?"

"She fell down some stairs and through a window. Broke an arm and some ribs. Her mother is flying in to be with her. Edward and Dr. Cullen were already down there, trying to convince her to come back to Forks."

My heart sinks as I search his face and realize he doesn't believe what I'd told him. He's looking at me, and I can tell he's a bit scared. But it's not because he's worried about the Cullens being monsters; he's worried his son is. He puts a hand on my shoulder, peering into my face. "You can't honestly believe the Cullens−Doctor Cullen−would hurt Bella?"

"Dad," I plead. "I don't know what to believe, but some really strange things have been happening, and these weird people are coming into town and−"

"Eric. Bella had an accident. These things happen all the time."

"But, you haven't seen−"

His eyebrows turn down, and I can tell he's nearing his limit. "That's enough. This fascination with vampires has gone on too long."

"Dad!" I plead. "You don't realize the danger we're in−the whole town. They could be back at any moment!"

"Stop it! You've lied to your mother and me, and for what? A sci-fi fantasy? Another one of your games?" I hate the look in his eyes. He's so disappointed in me, but he's worried for me too. "No computer for you this next week, and you're grounded this weekend."

"No," I say, shaking my head. Tears are starting to form in my eyes. "I swear, it's all true. Give me a chance to prove it."

"No computer," he repeats. "I'll be taking the power cord."

"This is so unfair!" I yell to his back as he heads out of the room.

"And no working on that-" he waves his hand, "vampire game thing." He shoots me a look before he leaves.

Now I know Van Helsing didn't have to put up with this shit.

(*)(*)(*)

The weekend comes and goes while I mope around the house. Sunday comes, and I go to Newton's store with my mother. I'm surprised by the traffic there. Firefighter groups from around the state and even farther are coming in; the fire seems to be a bigger deal than I thought. Clusters of men in groups of three and four are browsing the aisles, debating purchases and hitting the bakery counter. I even hear a strong Southern accent in one group. Occasionally when the wind blows the right way, you can get a whiff of wood smoke.

We leave Newton's after getting the stuff my Mom needs. Danny is pushing the cart out to the car, and Mom and I are trailing him when I see Jasper's Camaro pull into the parking lot. Jasper, Alice, and Esme get out, talking and laughing with each other as they walk toward the store.

Jasper catches my eyes, nods and grins. He nudges Esme and Alice. They smile and wave, but I just turn away and keep walking. So the Cullens are back from wherever they went. It would have been too much to hope that they're moving the coven elsewhere when there're still so many unsuspecting souls in Forks to dine on. I watch Jasper's back as he escorts the two ladies into the store. At the last minute, he grins wickedly at me over his shoulder before going through the automatic doors. Yeah, I can just see him nomming on somebody like Mrs. Cole.

"Eric! When you going to learn to pay attention?" My mother's yelling at me. "Put the bags in the back, please."

"Sure, Mom." I sigh as I grab the bags. Someday. Someday, they'll all know I was right.

It's on Monday that the hammer hits home. The worst happens−the beginning of the event that totally changes the course of my life. And it strikes at my family in our most vulnerable spot.

Like any other day, I come home from school and throw my backpack by the door. There's a snack set out on the counter with a note from my mom that she had to go to Port Angeles, and my sister would be getting Danny. For the first hour or so, I use the solo time at home to dig out the power cord for my computer from my dad's desk and catch up on my Facebook and stuff. I put it back after a while, because I suspect people will be coming home soon, but five o'clock comes and goes, and no one shows up.

It isn't until almost six that my sister shows up. I wander out to the kitchen when she comes in.

"Hey, twerp," she says, grabbing a can from the refrigerator. "What's up?"

"Where's Danny?" I ask. She should have met him at the bus stop out on 101, where our dirt road meets the highway.

She freezes, and for the first time I see fear in her eyes. "Didn't you get my text?"

"What text? My phone's been lost for a week."

Her eyes get real big. "I texted you to get Danny. I promised rides for a week."

"I never got it," I whisper.

The two of us stare at each other, shocked into stillness. Danny is missing.

"Check the road," Jen says, and the two of us are running out of the door, down the steps and along the road. I don't want to stop and think about what might have happened to him; I just need to have him back home now.

"Danny! Danny!" we both call as we run. The road is dirt, rocky and rutted, and long shadows stretch across it. The sun is setting behind the trees, and it will be dark soon. "Danny!"

We are halfway down the road, when Jen starts to slow down. She's panting and holding her side. "Why didn't he just come home?"

"Danny!" I call. I whirl, suddenly angry. "Why didn't you just get him like you were supposed to?"

She ignores me for the moment. "I can't believe the bus driver would just let him out without one of us there."

That stops me. "Maybe they left a message."

She's bent over with her hands on her knees, breathing hard. "Let me go back and check. You keep looking," Jen says, before turning and jogging back toward the house, holding her side.

I run another hundred yards down the road, calling Danny's name. With each step, I am getting more and more scared for Danny, but when I run across a brown pile of cloth, my heart jumps into my throat. I fall to my knees in the dirt beside it and pick it up.

It's Danny's jacket, and I gasp with the sudden searing pain running through my chest. I clutch the jacket to me, whispering, "Danny." Above me the sky is getting darker and darker. I stand up and yell his name, louder than I have ever yelled in my life, so that it echoes back to me. There is no sound, other than the slight whispering of leaves rubbing together in the mild breeze. God, please, whatever You want, just have him be safe, have him show up.

I'm running further down the road, when I see the path that branches off toward what used to be my grandfather's house. Remembering how interested Danny was in it, I veer off down the path, the branches of the bushes reaching out to tear at me. Calling Danny's name, whipping through the woods, I burst into the clearing to where the ruins are. But it is quiet and still, silent as a grave.

Danny is missing. Why didn't he come home? His jacket was on our road; he must have been on his way.

Unless something or someone stopped him.

Thanks for sticking with me.