Bernie's Pageant is a strip club, I'm not sure what else I would have expected. There's a large black truck parked in front, the kind police SWAT teams use during a raid to transport a bunch of guys. I'm sure this is the right place when I witness people running out in groups. Even the security is running from the chaos. I fight my way through the crowd to get inside. I spot Destiny right away. She's got a few bullet wounds that seem to have been patched.

Instead of guns like before our attackers are holding swords and daggers now. They've shed the combat suits and suddenly they seem more like a gang than an elite strike force. I know Destiny is upset I'm here, but I wasn't going to let her go out like this. Usually, I'd have faith in her but they seem to have something that can legitimately hurt her. With my body mostly recovered I don't waste any time launching an attack with my nightmares.

Mom always said she didn't want her daughters dancing on a pole, but surprise, it was me. It's also less dancing and more, watch out for the big sword. The vampire I'm fighting is swinging it with both hands when it's clear she doesn't need to. A small fire breaks out in the kitchen setting off the fire alarm and the sprinklers. Everyone is momentarily stunned by the sound, it's a pain for human ears but down right demonic on ours. Someone flings their sword and silences the blaring from the alarm, to everyone's relief. There's a brief moment where we all laugh as the water sprays around us and we look at the mess of the club we've made.

The silence is ended when Destiny stabs one of the taskforce through the chest with his own sword. I take that as a cue to boot the woman I'm fighting from the stage and drop down for a quick kill. We're outnumbered, but we're staying alive by moving around. It won't last, I'm getting tired, and Destiny is injured. I wish I could use the smoke as some kind of diversion, but they see through it just as well as we do.

Firefighters seemed shocked to see people as they entire in search of the flame. I push the vampire I'm fighting as hard as I can into the firefighters. I'm sure they'll start trying to drag the others out to rescue them, but I'm more worried they'll just kill the firefighters. I use the noise to snatch Destiny's hand and run through back door. We rush through the locker room being followed by two or three. I knock over lockers, tables and everything I can to keep them away. The room was already beginning to flood now there's glitter in the air mixing with the water from the sprinklers, thongs floating and lockers turned into dams.

Outside, Destiny tries to go the opposite direction without saying anything but I refuse to let her go. She doesn't fight at all when I pull her around front towards the car. Mayhem picks up again when gunshots go off. Back to the guns, what kind of vampires are these? I feel a slight sting, almost like a bee, then an intense burning sensation in my arm. I glance down to see a hole in my bicep, I've been shot. I thought adrenaline was supposed to make this painless, I want to vomit.

"Don't stop running, the bullet passed through. You'll be fine," Destiny finally speaks up.

That’s all the medicine I need to keep moving. The gunshots have caused most people to scramble, but it lets us pull out of the parking lot unseen. I’ve still got their earpiece and they’re not sure which way we went. That’ll buy us some time.

“So, paralyzing lipstick, where did you pick that up,” I try to break the silence.

“We need to get out of the city.”

“They’ll be waiting for us at the exits. We should find somewhere to hide for now.”

“Doesn’t matter, those are Death Shadows. They’ll catch us. That’s why you need to abandon me.”

“Who are the Death Shadows”

“A team of exterminators made up of members from the most wealthy and dominant vampire houses. I heard you killed Adam Locke, these are his siblings.”

 “Then we’ll just have to exterminate the whole family.”

“You just aren’t getting it Bluebird. They backed me into a corner, you can fly away without me. But this is the end for me.”

“I said I was with you until death when I married you. If this is your end, it’s mine too. Unfortunately for you, I don’t intend to just hold still and die, so I’m going to keep fighting until the end. You’ve been dragging me along all this time, now I’m dragging you along.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Takes one to know one.”

My stupid joke forces her to look away and crack a smile. I know we’re not in the best of situations, but luck has always managed to be on our side. I’m hoping now isn’t any different because I don’t have a plan other than get out of the city as fast as possible.


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