We spent last night with the three of us in the same hotel room. Isaac slept as if he had actually done something other than ride in the car and annoy Sampson. This is a game to him because he hasn’t picked up on how serious Sampson is, compared to his normal personality anyway. I read through more of Destiny’s diary, familiarizing myself with some fighting techniques for daggers. She had torn pages from some other books and taped them in her diary. When I reached the section, it folded out in four different directions; turning one page to five. I suppose she thought it would be important for me to keep learning and improving my skills. It’s funny, she just wanted me to give in at the end, but left me all the tools to keep fighting. While I study Sampson stares out into the darkness, looking at everything and nothing all at once. The entire night, neither of us slept. I felt like if I slept, he’d run off and do something stupid.

I don’t think it mattered because we’re riding around Magnolia right now. We’ve been at it for at least the last two hours. He says we should familiarize ourselves with the area our trial will take place in. But I’ve been on enough stakeouts with Destiny to know when we’re looking for something, or somebody. He’s looking for a specific person. He seems to spend most of his time focused on drug deals. It’s a little marijuana being sold on a few corners, nothing to worry about. Still, he’s watching the dealers hard, the addicts harder.

“Got one,” Sampson mumbles.

“What,” Isaac asks.

“Watch the car,” Isaac parks and gets out the car.

I watch as he approaches a dealer, I recognize the scent. No, I have to be mistaken, my mind is playing tricks on me. I watch as Sampson says a few words, purposely hushed and gravely so I can’t hear. The dealer takes a swing, no a swipe at Sampson. Sampson dodges, but the dealer takes off running while he recovers.

“Watch the car,” I yell at Isaac as I exit.

I run past Sampson and after the dealer. Sampson is yelling for me to get in the car but I’m not giving up the chase. His speed adds a third mark to my checklist. We cut down an alley, out of view of spectators. I summon one of my nightmares and take a wild throw at his leg, I miss wildly, but it draws his attention.

“Watch out rookie,” Sampson yells.

I duck as he goes over my head, bouncing off a chain-link fence, and then a concrete wall before landing on the dealer. I catch up as Sampson throws a flurry of punches. He wipes his knuckles clean of blood on the unconscious dealer’s shirt before standing with a smile.

“All that fancy knife throwing shit can’t add up to this real shit,” he laughs.

“Yeah, you got me.”

“I told you watch the car.”

“Yeah, but then you decided to chase a werewolf alone.”

“He’s a fledgling, can’t even turn without the moon. But good job spotting it.”

“What are we going to do with him?”

“Kidnap and torture,” he laughs. “Make sure he doesn’t get up,” I’m going to get the car.

I put my finger under his nose just to make sure he’s breathing, but he doesn’t wake up. It’s only then that I realize how young this guy is. Just wisps of patchy facial hair. He can’t be any older than twenty. Probably got potential to do something better with his life than selling drugs. It’s not my place to judge others on how they survive, but it makes me sad. The Impala backs into the alley slowly, Isaac looks through the back window in horror until Sampson opens the trunk and blocks his view. That’s probably a normal reaction to all this, but I’ve seen and done some crazy stuff. Sampson works fast, zip ties on the arms and legs, not that it’ll do much against a werewolf, but follow protocol. Garbage bags already line the inside of his trunk, not sure when he did that. We wrap our victim in more garbage bags and toss him in the trunk before pulling off.

“What are we doing,” Isaac nearly yells as we pick up speed leaving the area.

“Getting some information,” Sampson responds. “We’re going to torture him to learn what I need to know.”

“I don’t think we need to go that far, he’s a kid,” I point out.

“A kid that’s already indebted to a werewolf and thrown away any future he has. This is an intervention for him. If we just let him keep selling who knows, he might graduate to murder. But, we fuck him up one good time, and he learns a lesson,” Sampson sounds so blunt about it all.

I ponder on his explanation for a moment, it makes sense. Maybe, but I think there’s other ways to educate than violence. Screams come from the trunk, our future victim is awake. Sampson reaches into a CD case at a red light. He pulls out a bootleg CD labeled Mista Don’t Play and jumps to track 8 before turning the music up to max. As a vampire, it’s almost deafening, and I can’t imagine it’s any different as a human, or a werewolf, but the sound is covered and Sampson is almost dancing. I’ve never seen him like this, almost as if he’s having fun with this whole thing.


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