A new face in town just could be a harbinger of trouble to come in the fight against the renegades.
The next morning, a knock came at the door, and he snapped awake. He saw the clock, and realized that he had overslept by about a half-hour. It was a school day, and he had to be up. “Jean-Claude, you don’t want to miss breakfast! Time to get up!” said Karin, wondering why he was not ready to go. He saw Yuriya look at him, smiling, and she gave him a kiss. She did not want him to go, but he knew he would have no excuse, and lying was not a part of his character. “Think of that as a down payment,” he said, returning the smile, and he got up to prepare for the day. She said, “I’ll be looking for the balance tonight,” as she was curled up in the sheets, lying on her side, with an arm and leg sticking out. “Just make sure you slip out before Fumio wakes up. I don’t know if anyone was expecting this so soon.”
She winked as she watched him get on a robe and head for the bathroom to prepare. She then lay there in afterglow, on top of the world. She never expected her life to be this good.
Meanwhile, Jean-Claude was fired up. It was soon time for the monthly feed, but he felt like he could run a marathon. The girl had breathed the breath of life into him, and he was ready to attack the day. He did not so much go through the morning rituals as much as he was dancing his way through it. He came back and began to dress, just as Yuriya was bringing herself around. She then said, “I may wait a week or two, but I’ll be putting in my two weeks with Julian soon. With your money, I won’t need to work anymore.”
“Are you happy with being the happy homemaker?” he asked.
“For you, I’d do anything?” she said, with a dreamy look in her eyes.
“Oh really!” he said, “We’re going to have to find out about that tonight!” and his eyebrows pumped up and down. She gave him a playful shove as she got into her own dress. She then asked, “Will I be living here?”
“Henry’s going to be having a house built for us up here,” he said, “All I have to do is offset the expenses that this would incur, and we’re all set!”
He grabbed his books as she kissed him, and said, “Take care, baby,” and gave him a kiss good-bye.
He danced into the kitchen, singing a “good morning” to Karin and Kenta. She could not believe how much energy he had, and said, “Wow! What got into you?”
He wanted to say, but he just said, “Let’s just say that a certain someone can get my blood going!”
Karin knew that could only refer to Yuriya, and she said, “Is it because she accepted your hand in marriage?”
He rolled his eyes, knowing the full story, and he said, “Well, that has a lot to do with it!”
“Good!” she said, “So I guess you’re ready for breakfast?”
“And how!” he said, and dove into his meal.
“Gee,” she said, “You would think you won last night, the way you’re acting.”
“In a sense, I did,” he said, continuing to eat.
“What happens now?” she then asked.
“Your dad said that he would be putting a house up here for her and I,” he said, “All I need to do is to take care of the expenses it would make, and that would be that.”
“Anjou would love to hear that,” said Karin, “She already feels safe with you here, and this would make her feel out of this world.”
“Yeah, about that,” he said, getting a bit concerned, “She has really shown an attachment to me. I mean, that’s fine, and all, but, she gets really close. If I weren’t mistaken, it almost seems as if she wanted to be more than my sister. If that were the case, I would believe she would be jealous of my situation. She even slipped into my bed the other day because Maki was here. I don’t understand.”
As they went out, Karin was stewing on this, and then he said, “You do know how early vampires betroth, right?”
“What do you mean?” he asked, not liking where this was going.
“When a vampire awakens,” she said, “a vampire is considered an adult, and can even be considered for marriage at that point.”
Jean-Claude was shocked at this, and he said, “Let me tell you: this really is a different world for the vampire!”
“That would be considered perverted to humans, depending on how old the people are,” said Kenta.
“Not for this world,” said Karin.
“Even if we had been put together, which I would consider a might disturbing,” said Jean-Claude, “I don’t know how this could be allowed, considering that I am sterile.”
“I think Anjou knows this as well,” she said, “and had it been different, you two would be man and wife right now.”
Jean-Claude shivered at the thought. “We would call that ‘robbing the cradle’ where I come from.”
“I think that having you like it is is enough for her,” she said.
“Do you think your father will betroth her soon?” he asked.
“Not likely,” said Karin, “because there are not many prospects right now.”
“I hope your father has enough sense to wait,” said Jean-Claude.
The school day went as well as could be expected, except that Jean-Claude saw the announcement for open ice hockey tryouts. When he saw that, the others saw that glint in his eye, and it almost looked evil. They did not know what that was about, but they would soon learn. Jean-Claude excused himself from the others however, because he said it was time for his “monthly obligation.” Everyone understood what that meant, and each one almost felt sorry for the individual on the wrong side of the law that runs into him. However, some almost wanted to see some nut enter Julian’s and try to rip it off at that time of the month, just to watch Jean-Claude rip him a new one. Later on, he was on the rooftop, having Bruce on his shoulder, with Brownie and Ricardo not far behind. As he made his way along, he saw in interesting sight. It seemed that a vampire he had never seen had made a feed, and she was conversing with another vampire. He figured that it warranted more investigation. He descended to the lowest fire escape in the alley below to see what was going on. When he got there, it seemed to be normal vampire behavior. Yet, because they were both so young, he figured that, at that time of night, trouble might find them, he could make it an early night and be able to go back and see what kind of things his new spouse was “cooking up.” However, one of them, who had shoulder length reddish brown hair, and who was quite attractive, turned her nose to the air. He knew that she must have been noticing his scent, and because he did not know their intentions, he thought it would be good to retreat to the roofs and follow from there. Yet, just before he could even flinch, she was right beside him saying, “May I ask who you are.”
“Nimble little minx, isn't she," he thought, "Her blood abilities must be honed to perfection.” He was grateful for the dark and for the scarf about his face. Not knowing her intentions, it could be trouble later on if she figured out who he was. He slowly looked over at her and said, attempting to keep an air of mystery, “Very good: not many are able to sneak up on me like that. However, I don't sense my taste in you, so I think it’s safe to assume that I can say something about myself. I'm looking for punks, renegade vampire abominations, muggers, and dope dealers, anything evil into which I can my fangs...renegades mostly. Odd to see someone like you and your friend there in this part of town, though, so I figured you might just, how does one say, 'rustle up some grub' for me. You were in no danger...from me, anyway. Who am I? A hero to some and a nightmare to others.”
“Thank you for the quaint explanation, but I did ask your name,” she asserted.
“I must be doing something wrong tonight, or else neither of you would have snuck up on me like that,” he said, frustrated his cover was blown.
“Okay, for now, just call me D'amphile,” he said, “and I don't think I'm going to find anything here.”
He was about to leave, but he saw the look in her eye, and said, “Wait,” and with that, a large brown bat landed on her shoulder. He then said, “If you need me, link through him, and call me, I will hear.”
He summoned Bruce back, who took a perch once again on his shoulder, and he said, "With that, I'm hungry, and there has to be some kind of action in this city tonight," and he prepared to leave.
Chiyuki smiled, and said, “Do as you like; I have no intentions of harming you.”
Neko appeared on Chiyuki's shoulder and hissed at the bat on her other shoulder.
“Please forgive Neko; she is quite temperamental and very possessive.” Chiyuki said apologetically.
“You know how cats and mice are, even if it is a flying mouse,” he said, with a smirk on his face, (though it was hidden beneath the scarf.) “I can just have Brownie here tail you.”
He thought for a moment, and then said, “You're probably curious to my interest in insuring your safety,” yet then he pondered for a moment, and then said, “However, if you knew from whom this comes, you may refuse it—hence the secrets.”
“My safety, I can assure you that I am quite capable of taking care of myself, and I don't need help from anyone." she said, "How can you protect me when you can't catch me?”
He chuckled, and said, “Catch you?”
In the blink of an eye, he was on the ground, and said, “I wouldn’t worry...” and in the next instant, he was on the roof, “I can keep up...” in a flash, he was standing next on the ground, “...with any vampire..” and then he was on the fire escape above her, “...because if I could not...” and he was right behind her, and tapped her on the head, “...I wouldn't be out her doing this.”
He was then sitting on the fire escape stairs in front of her, saying, “My mentors taught me well. I just don't like making a whole lot of show, because it spends precious blood. Even if you don't need protection, if you see trouble, a mugging, attempted rape, a robbery, something like that, that is what I am more interested in anyway. However, a renegade would be icing on the cake. I just want to get it done early, because I have...things to do tomorrow morning, and I don't want to be dragging.”
“You’re much slower then you brag; and if you want blood, I can attract the villains to me like it was nothing, especially the rapist.” She said with a flip of her hair.
He smiled under the scarf, and said, “You have my attention! I hope he's crawling with evil; I like it spicy sometimes. After tonight, I guarantee, he'll never rape again!”
Chiyuki nodded and then was gone, suddenly a high-pitched scream was heard, and Chiyuki returned with a man dressed as a hobo tucked under her arm, she threw it at him, “Enjoy,” she said.
“Thank you! Be sure to wipe her mind,” he said, and then turned his attention to the man, and said, as his eyes glowed yellow, “As for you, you'd better be glad I didn't catch you, because it would be much worse for you than it's going to be!”
With that, he pulled down his scarf with his fangs extended, and growled as he sank in his fangs. The man then screamed like a woman at the horrible sight of his enraged face. After about three minutes or so, he pulled out with a roar of delight. He took the unconscious mass and heaved it against the wall. After this was done, he went over and extended his hand over the man. The body began to glow yellow, and he was insuring that, if he broke anything, it was healed. He then said, “All you will remember of tonight is pain, whenever you even think about what you attempted, and pain and horror shall rack your entire body from head to toe any time you even think to force yourself on another woman like that ever again!”
When he stopped, he looked at her and said, "Thank you. I have school tomorrow, and I wasn't looking for this to be an all-night operation. I must say, though, you made it easy for me. Normally I have to rough them up a bit, or I go after a group. Maybe I can get a good night sleep.”
He thought for a minute, and said, “My name's Jean-Claude. And you?”
“Chiyuki Tanaka.” she said, introducing herself.
“Greetings, Tanaka-san,” he said, “I assume then you are familiar with the Marker family?” as he slipped his scarf back onto his face.
“I know of them, but that is it,” she said smiling, “Their Daughter interest me, she has a power I am interested in.”
She then said, “And you don't have to call me Tanaka-san, you can just call me Chiyuki or any other nickname you come up with.”
“I'm the foreigner here,” he said, “and I must remember my manners. Anyway, do they know you are in the city? If not, worry not. I live in that house, and I can talk to the chief for you. You would have no problems then. We have a good rapport.”
He stopped, and thought, “Wait a minute: which daughter do you refer to? Believe me, they both interest me, and for different reasons. One could be the key to me and my beau.”
She spoke quietly, “Karin Makka is the one who interests me. She is the fountain of fertility for which all vampires search.”
“As long as that is it," he said, "I heard about the civil war that almost erupted over her. Yet, now, there is a group of Renegades out there that have something more sinister in mind. They believe that her blood, mixed with certain herbs and chemicals can turn them into gods, and they desire global conquest in this way. Of course, none of this is true, but, even though it is not, that would not stop them from trying to obtain her. I am pledged to her safety, and the safety of her family. As I hunt for them, I also seek the safety of all here.”
“I simply want her to bite me so I can help continue the vampires,” she said.
“Has he been holding her back?” he asked, “I can understand with the limited circumstances that I have described how he might be a bit reluctant, but, would there be another reason he has not expressed?”
He then thought for a moment, and said, “Or has it been Calera or Elda?”
“What?” she said furrowing her brow in a cute, feminine way.
“What I mean is, has he not been so generous, or has the council been sending you along to meet him?” he asked, “I haven't heard anything about the process of getting this blood out. I know he bottles any excess and sends it to the council. I'm surprised they did not tell you. I just need to know, because, if everything is good, I can introduce you to her. There are no troubles, at least, that I know of. She's in my class, after all.”
Chiyuki chuckled, “No, the Council is not too found of me,” Neko nodding in agreement.
“If my mentors in the states had not briefed the council before I arrived, they would not be too fond of me either,” he said, “I am just thankful that things turned out the way they did. Because of all that happened, I now have more of a family that had ever been taken from me. I love them all, especially Corn Muffin. She's like my shadow.”
“Do you...have a mate?” Chiyuki asked, innocently.
“Well...” he trailed off, knowing that, if he told her everything, she may flee before he could help her. He then said, “There is one, but, she, like me, has a similar problem—we cannot have offspring, as far as we know. That's what I was saying about Karin in relation to me.”
He hoped desperately that he did not have to reveal everything. There was no telling how she would react. He only hoped that his nervousness was not showing on the little of his face that was revealed, or that her vampire senses would not detect it. She went up and poked him on the nose, and said smiling, “I do not fear nor hate you because of who you are.”
He then began to wonder just how much she did know. He decided that he would take a chance. If it were well, then fine, but if not, she would leave, and that would just be another that avoided him. “I am a d'amphile--half human, half vampire. That means I am quite sterile. The only hope that me and...well...this one in particular have is Karin. They have not tested it on us yet, and I don't know how long it would be before testing that fertility would be in the picture. Besides, outside of you, (if I catch the hint,) there would be none that would take me anyway, and she would be the only one.”
Chiyuki giggled and said, “I don't care about the outside world, I abandoned it just as my creator abandoned me.”
“Your creator?” he asked, confused, “Now I am lost!”
“There are more to vampires then just birthed,” she explained, “There is a way to create vampires, and my creator left me for dead as soon as I was made.”
“I had been told that this was a myth,” he said, “I mean, all I know is that vampires just want to live in peace. No wonder there is such fear in the human world about vampires draining people dry, doing bad things, and so forth. Is this something that can happen, but is forbidden because of the paranoia and fear in the human world? I could understand if it were, considering the mere fight for survival. This would make meshing the two world together more difficult.”
She chuckled and said smiling, “You don't have to worry about him: I killed him.”
Now he knew that she had to have been around a bit, because something like this would have made waves wherever it happened. He filed that away, and said, “Well, if it is forbidden,” he said, “then that means a couple of things: one, those kind of vampires need to be added to the list of renegades, and two, this makes stopping what I spoke about earlier that much more important. If they ever figure it out, then what they intend would make matters far worse.”
He thought for a moment, and said, “If only James had not died, he would have taken you in. He wasn't like others, he loved everyone, and I do mean everyone! He could have told us more of this kind of thing. As for me, I don't hate the outside world, but I do feel sorry for it. I know what some renegade vigilantes did to my family, but I learned early on how to love the person, not the group. If I did get bitter, then they who did what they did to my mom, dad, and grandfather, win. One thing is for sure: I would make sure that nothing like that ever happened again if I am able. No one needs to go through that!”
Chiyuki smiled, and said, “Vampires like me are genetic dead ends as well. So it is important I find Karin Makka-san.”
‘Are you saying that you are undead?” he said, his heart breaking for the poor girl, “If that is the case, you need to meet Henry, and I do mean Henry. However, I would have to arrange that. I think Karin is working a Julian’s tomorrow night. I normally hang out there, do homework, and kibitz with friends, and they join us after. My...” (he trailed off, thought for a moment,) “...my significant other works there as well. You could meet them all. There is an inner circle of humans, though, that knows the truth, so don't worry about exposure if it is just the inner group and us. Perhaps you could meet Henry through her. It would be a good start. You look young enough to the point where you would slip in without problem. Trust me, the world is not like what it was in ancient of days, and with me and my friends, you have nothing to fear.”
Chiyuki stared at him a little untrusting, and said, frowning, “Humans? How could humans know?”
“If I were to tell you,” he said, now more serious, “could you keep it a secret? There are reasons they know, and they are good ones. As I said, it's not the same world as it was. Hey, I am surprised that we don't all just move to New York City. No one really cares who or what you are there. Everyone knows how to mind his or her own business. I mean, you could walk down the street, fully vamped out, looking like Bela Lugosi, and no one would say a crying word.”
“Humph, the Americas!” she said with malice.
“Hey,” he said, a bit offended, “I am American--Franco-American to be exact, of French Canadian heritage! Besides, this is New York City I'm talking about here—it's like its own nation anyway. It is also the place where I have seen vampires have the most peace, because of the freedoms there. Remember, it was vampires, not humans, which killed my folks. I digress. Anyway, can you keep it a secret about what I will tell you of why humans know?”
“Yes, I will,” she said, and added angrily, “And I hate the Americas because that is where I was created.”
Paying the last comment no mind, he said, “Okay, here it goes: first, there is Kenta. He is Karin's boyfriend, blood doll, and because of that, g'hul. I have been teaching him about using certain abilities because of the vampire blood running in him. He loves her dearly, and volunteers his neck if she needs a release, and there is nowhere else that she can. If she does not, she has some massive nosebleeds! That could be fatal for her if it were enough! He stumbled across it one day, and, instead of freaking out, took the time to care for her, clean up her and the mess, and told no one. He became so trustworthy that he was assigned by Henry to watch her in the day when they could not, (she's a day walker like me.) Maki is Karin's best friend, and she was Corn Muffin's first feed. However, Karin was there, and because of the difficulty, wiping her mind was forgotten. However, everything is smoothed over, and all three are even closer now. Then there is Wiener Sinclair, a hunter that has seen the error of his ways, and now is allied with Henry, and myself, in our fight against the threat that currently exists. Then there is Yukiko, and she was someone that the group of us, along with Wiener's granddad, and Ren, we rescued from renegades. From what you have told me, we may have even saved her from being vamped herself. She is now in the fold. Other than that, that is it. They're all cool about things. Moreover, to me, it represents how things could be. Education and the right among of care do wonders for stopping persecution. Fear is merely ignorance in a state of panic. Kill ignorance; kill fear, and the hate that goes with it.”
“Wow that’s a lot; though I think Kenta should get a reward of some kind,” she said, scratching the back of her head.
“If I had my way,” he said, looking off into the distance, “I would have a world where all humans were ‘cool with it,’ and what happened to us would never happen again.”
He thought for a moment, and then said, “Come tomorrow: I think you would be quite welcome. Look out for Maki, though, she is all girl, and wants to make friends with the whole world!”
As a token of trust, he took off his hat and scarf so she could look at him better, then took his saber, and gave her a proper salute with it, saying, “If ever needed, my sword is yours,” and he resheathed it.
“If I had my way, I would be able to have kids, and I would be normal,” she said frowning.
“That, I cannot fix,” he said, “So, be there tomorrow night at about 7 P.M., and I'll introduce you. I'll make sure Karin knows well in advance. You will find friends. Who knows? Maybe she could slip something to you that night, if it is that time of the month for her. I'm just saying...”
Chiyuki nodded and smiled at him before she started to leave, saying, “See you tomorrow.”
“I will see you then,” he said, and went his way, after summoning back Brownie.
Chiyuki went to go home, the sun was coming up soon, and she really wanted just to think.
Jean-Claude went back home, where Yuriya was waiting. She had been gone, and had come back, knowing that she would be looking for her husband. He was pleased to see that the house had already been begun. However, he noticed that her few belongings were in the house now, and he asked, “What’s all this?”
“Henry asked me earlier, ‘You haven’t moved in yet? Shouldn’t you be with your husband?’ and that settled it. Thus, no more secrets,” she said smiling.
That made him feel more comfortable, knowing that he did not have to sneak, and it almost felt normal to see her there. He then said, “It seems so weird. I mean, it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
She sauntered up, and said, “You are so used to the human rites of passage, aren’t you? Don’t worry: you may feel you are violating some taboo, but, trust me, you have not done anything wrong.”
She then said, “Don’ worry, I’ll help you get over it!”
With that, she got in close, opened his shirt, took a whiff, and said, “Hmm, you’re all sweaty!”
She then got a glint in her eye as she looked up at him, saying, “And that's just the way I like it!”
She let out a playful growl as she wheeled him around and fell on the bed, with her on top. With what he would soon be dealing with, coupled with this, it was going to be a real interesting time for a while.