“Should I give him my blood too?” Bobby sniffled and wiped at his nose.
“No, my blood is stronger,” Jack said. “He will be fine. I promise.”
“Oh my god.” I let out a massive sigh of relief and ran my hand through my hair.
Milo had just had the shit seriously beaten out of him because of me, because I wouldn’t let Jane’s death go. It made me want to throw up, but when I remembered how Jane had felt when she died, I knew I couldn’t stop.
“So.” Jack turned to look at me, his voice cool and even. “What the hell have you been doing?”
After I got Milo comfortable in his room, I left Bobby to care for him, and I went downstairs to where Jack and Ezra waited for me. Jack had gotten dressed and paced the living room. The patio door was still wide open, letting in a cold wind and the morning sunlight. Some snow had drifted into the house, but nobody seemed to notice or mind.
I sat down on the couch, and Ezra sat on the chair across from me. Even though he knew what I’d been up to, the fact that I’d failed to mention the vampire hunters was a pretty big deal. Jack refused to sit down, and instead paced the room with his arms crossed over his chest.
“What do you guys want to know?” I asked, swallowing hard.
“Tell me everything,” Jack said simply.
Taking a deep breath, I started from the beginning. I even told them about things they knew, like how I’d felt so helpless after the lycan attacked and I vowed to never feel that way again. I told them how it felt when I bit Jane, and how sad and lonely she was. How she called me from rehab and told me that was the only time she’d felt like someone cared about her.
I even told them what I’d learned from Peter, and how I felt her die. And about how I had decided I would stop the monster that had killed her almost right away, and everything I had done to find him. How I’d taken Bobby along with me, and he was the only one who knew exactly what I’d been doing.
Once I began talking, it all poured out of me, and I couldn’t stop. I’d hated keeping this all from Jack, and I wanted him to know.
“And that’s everything,” I said at the end, staring up at them, and Jack stopped pacing.
When I told him everything I’d learned about the killer, all the information I had to help me catch him, I had been hoping he would get excited too, he’d want to join in the hunt.
But then I saw the way he looked at me. His blue eyes were like ice still, and he kept his emotions locked away from me, shoved down so deep, I could only feel him buzzing, like a livewire.
“Why didn’t you tell me about the hunters?” Ezra asked, and I was relieved he spoke first.
“I don’t know. I didn’t…” I shook my head. “I thought you’d try to stop me if you knew.”
“That’s exactly why you should’ve told me.” He sighed and leaned back. “I never should’ve told you anything. You’re clearly not mature enough to handle any of this.”
“That’s not fair!” I shouted. “How was I supposed to know they’d track me down like that? Who the hell are they, anyway? And what did they mean when they asked if I was part of the ‘movement?’”
“They’re vampire hunters. They keep order, by any means necessary.” Ezra rubbed his hands together and looked down at the floor. “It’s my fault they’re here.”
“What? Did you call them?” I asked.
“No, I talked to the Commissioner after you asked me about the branding,” Ezra sighed. “I told him I thought it might be a vampire. So he called in the hunters. They usually work for humans, dispatching of a problem people can’t.”
“So the police hired them?” I furrowed my brow. “But… I thought they weren’t getting paid.”
“I’m sure they are getting paid to catch the serial killer, but I think they’re freelancing, too.” Ezra glanced up at Jack, who had yet to say anything, and he leaned forward. “There is a movement among vampires to stop hiding. It’s not a large movement. Most of us are content to live the way we do because it is much simpler. If people knew we existed, they’d hunt us, and even if they didn’t kill us, it would be irritating.”
“You mean like on True Blood?” I asked. “Where vampires ‘come out of the coffin’ and we all live as equals? Or try to, anyway?”
“No. These vampires don’t want to be equal. They want to rule humans,” Ezra said. “Humans are our food, and some vampires think they should be treated as such. Branded and kept in pens like cattle.” He lowered his eyes, shifting in the chair. “The hunters wouldn’t be out of a job, necessarily, but they would have less work. Most of what they do is keeping the peace for humans or keeping vampires a secret.”
“Okay. So I get why they were so pissed about me because they thought I was working with the ‘movement’ to put them out of a job. But why did they care about Daisy?” I asked.
“Child vampires are unstable and volatile. Let one loose for a day, and the whole world would know about vampires,” Ezra said. “And Mae let her loose in Australia.”
“How did they even find about that?” I asked.
“Word travels,” he shrugged. “The Commissioner might’ve mentioned something about the missing child, and it’s common knowledge that Mae has moved out. Vampires have a lot of time on their hands to gossip.”
“The hunters think she did that to attract attention,” I said as it dawned on me. “And if everyone learned about vampires that way, with the serial killer and a crazy murderous child, humans would be terrified. They’ll want to hunt us down and kill us, and that would give the ‘movement’ of vampires all the ammo they would need to round up the humans and turn them into cattle.”
“Exactly,” Ezra said. “The hunters are trying to stop that from happening. In this case, they are helping.”
“But they’re assholes!” I yelled and gestured upstairs. “They broke into our house, beat us up, threatened our lives! That’s the good guys?”
“Alice, there are no good guys,” Ezra said, giving me a hard look. “We’re vampires, and no matter what we do or strive for, that fact doesn’t change. We aren’t the good guys.”
“Yeah, I’m starting to figure that out.” I bit my lip and leaned back on the couch.