Destiny’s place was a wreck. We took the essentials, and she started staying with Elias and I. He’s brought plenty of women to the apartment before, but I think he’s a little jealous. She doesn’t just hang around and eat things. She’s bought things for the place too, and she isn’t afraid to have conversations with Elias the way his, acquittances, are with me. She also doesn’t confine herself to my bedroom while I wander the apart trying to find a way to make her leave. Even now she’s sitting on the couch as I rest my head in her lap.  

“You two are really in love? Like, love, love, lalala love,” Elias jokes as he’s crosses the room.

“Yeah, it’s love” she continues to play in my hair, twisting and untwisting strands.

“You should try it,” I joke.

“Do I look like Joe,” Elias laughs to himself.

“I don’t get it,” Destiny chimes in.

“I don’t wanna be a playa no more,” Elias sings off key as he closes the door behind him.

“I wish I had a brother like him,” Destiny laughs.

“Do you have any brothers?”

“Sort of.”

“What’s that mean?”

“They’re not really family. I mean, they’re family, but not family. It’s hard to explain.”

“Then just explain, you’ve never told me anything about your past.”

“You don’t want to hear that.”

“Hey, I didn’t want to be a vampire yet, but here we are,” that was low. “What I mean is. I don’t know what I mean. I was trying to say I wanted to learn more about your family.”

“Where do we start?”

“Your childhood.”

“Okay. I’m telling you, this isn’t enjoyable.”

“I beat Oblivion with a rusty iron dagger. I don’t know what enjoyable means.”

“I don’t know what that sentence means.”

“We need to play some games together, but don’t change the topic.”

She ponders where to start for a moment. She doesn’t look like this is a painful memory but something tells me to hold her hand. Even now, it surprises me that she isn’t cold as I wrap my . Are Adze even vampires? I mean, there’s vampire stuff, but the other stuff I’m supposed to be able to do now, wild. I suppose I have centuries to work on that topic.

“So, I don’t know my parents. My real parents anyway. I was adopted by a couple, really wonderful on the outside. Kind of wealthy, but inside the house, things were bad. I won’t lie to you, they used to beat the crap out of me and the other kids.”

“I can tell you aren’t talking about a belt or whatever mom had handy at the time.”

“No, they were terrible.”

“Let’s leave it at that.”

“College was my escape. I barely got in, and I was so happy. I thought I would be free from all of it, but I was just really depressed and I didn’t know how to connect with people. All I knew was violence and abandonment. I would just hide from people the moment they said something that set me off or always be prepared to run from a fight.”

“You’re a real fighter now.”

“Well, I wasn’t then. After college I was just working jobs to get by. I was doing anything I could to stay away from going back to the people that raised me. I used to have scars, that I would touch to remind me why I couldn’t go back.”

“What happened to the scars,” I’ve never seen any on her body.

“When you become a vampire, the only permanent scars are usually magic in nature. That’s why you’re not split from your navel to neck anymore.”

“Was it that bad?”

“Yeah, you looked like a poorly gutted fish.”

“But I’m better now,” I force a smile. “Thanks to you.”


“Alright, you dropped out. What happened after that?”

“I worked some bad jobs, trying to find a way to keep the money coming in. I heard about this old lady way out in the swamps doing rituals that could help.”

“You didn’t go, did you?”

“I did. That’s when I met Granny, I don’t know what her real name is. Anyway, I found out they were vampires and I became obsessed with them, or one guy in particular.”

“He turn you?”

“Nah, Adze have to go through trials, study and can only turn after they’re 25. I had to study for two years before I knew enough to go through with it.”

“Can you not turn if you don't go through trials?”

“No, the ritual is the only part that matters. Blood, magic, pain and death, all that good stuff.”

“Then why go through the trials?”

“Old fashioned. I’m not sure the trials mean anything. In the past it was supposed to be like guardians reaching out to you or something. They’re supposed to be your guides in the new life.”

“Maybe gods,” I interrupt.

“I don’t see why it couldn’t be,” she shrugs. “Anyway, I become Adze, and start living on their compound.”  

She’s telling me about all the things they got up to. Robbing, running scams based on magic and all of that. Now I’m wondering if I did go through the three trials. I did the whole find a way back home thing, the debate then the trial. Are those supposed to be my guardians? She mentioned the shared consciousness, are they my way in? I don’t know how to ask her without sounding stupid. I remember her mentioning a shared conciseness of Adze who had died that she could tap into for information. I wonder if I’d be able to tap into that and speak with the gods who guided me. I feel like I sound crazy, glad I’m not saying any of this out loud.  

“Why do you always say Adze instead of vampire,” I interrupt her.  

“Because there’s six types of vampire, but I don’t really think we’re all vampires. Adze were supposed to be shape shifters, we don’t have stories about the first vampire. Strigoi and Nachazeher,” she stumbles on the word still and I giggle. “I don’t hear you trying to pronounce it.”

“And you won’t,” I smile at her.

“Anyway, I think they’re more spirits of vengeance, maybe even demon than vampire. The Dhampir, are hybrids. We’re all vampires because we drink blood, but we're all kind of different. Does that make sense?”

“Yeah, I got it. So what happened with Granny,” I turn us back towards the story.

“She kicked me out, or I left. I had sex with one of her other family members. Keep in mind this isn’t incest, we’re not really family.”

“Same guy that brought you in?”

“Yeah, same guy.”

“So you moved to Chicago?”

“No, I met Chloe and started working for her family. Small jobs here and there. Steal this, kill that. Nothing I wasn’t already doing. I actually was able to survive Katrina because of their air tight bunkers and supplies. Still, I overheard some of the higher ups. They said there was no Southern hospitality for niggas, magical or otherwise. I don’t know why I was surprised. Many of them had been confederate soldiers. I guess I thought Chloe had made them turn over a new leaf by bringing me around. Clearly a feud started, I killed a few of them, they tried to kill me. I vanished with some of their heirlooms, tossed them in the Grand Canyon before I finally made it here to Chicago.”

“So when did you start taking up bounty hunting and other jobs.”

“While I was on the run, I needed cash. An old Elf asked for help, paid nicely, told me how to get more work.”

“One more question,” I have to know.

“Where you and Chloe a couple?”

“Can you handle the truth?”

“I can handle it,” I put on my tough voice.

“We dated, I was curious. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t my thing. On the other hand, it was totally her thing. Sure, the sex was great in a technical sense, but there just wasn’t any connection there. Do you know what I mean?”

“I’ve only had sex with you.”

“But there’s a connection. We just, know each other. It’s almost like you’re part of me.”

“I think I get what you’re saying.”

“Right, there wasn’t any of that with her. It was just going through the motions. But for her, this was everything. I put some distance between us, and that’s what started the feud.”

“So, her marriage was probably a surprise.”

“Yeah, but like I said. Those primeval vamps are old, really old. Everyone should try it once for a decade or century, but you better not stick with it, that’s their logic. They’ll have an assistant for 200 years, share beds and be closer than couples. But, if someone finds out they’re gay, it’s a duel,” she jokes.

“You have a sick sense of humor.”

“I’m planting the seeds for me watching you get that work down the line.”

“I’ll pass.”

“That’s not what your family said,” she jokes.

“Whatever,” I roll my eyes and she plants a kiss on my forehead. “You think The Marson family will come after you.”

“Hell yeah,” I’m noticing she’s been a lot more relaxed and loose with her speech now. “I caused too much trouble. I hired some help for your rescue mission. Had to loot the mansion to cover the bill. They’re going to be super mad,” she laughs.

“Why is that funny.”

“Because you’re Adze now, and that means I can be a little more reckless.”

“Why does that mean you can be more reckless?”

“Because I don’t have to worry about you dying in a fight now.”

“I’m okay if you still worry about me, but we can totally just move and not fight anymore.”

“You really think they’ll just leave us alone? I’ve waged war on them, full out war, twice. First with the Wererats, now with the twenty vampire hunters I hired. I’ve destroyed dozens of their operations, robbed them of money and artifacts. They won’t take it lying down.”

“They don’t have to take it lying down, but we down. But we don’t need to bring war to our front door either.”

“You think they’ll just let us go?”


“Your optimism and stupidity are contagious,” this time she kisses my lips.  


I don't usually do supplemental content, but in this case, I wanted to give a slim outline of Destiny's life up until now.

1995 - Destiny finishes high school (18yo)

1997 - Destiny drops out of college (20)

1999 - Destiny meets Granny (21)

2000 - Destiny Dead Parents (22)

2001 - Destiny meets Granny (23)

2002 - Destiny Vamp (25)

2004 - Ousted by Granny (27)

2005 - Katrina survives with Chloe (destiny is 28)

2006 - Splits with Chloe throws stone in Lake Lanier moves to Chicago

2007 - Retrograde (Destiny is 30)


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