Mikey comes to stay.
Me and Bob stayed up late that night discussing his time up north as the most feared and sought after vampire hunter around. We talked about Mikey and how Bob had met him. Turns out that Bob did a bit of undercover work in his time. One time he got a job on a farm owned by a bunch of vampires. The farm was a cover for an underground vampire market selling bottles of human blood, ancient relics and the occasional live human to be kept as a slave or to be drunk later by their new owners.
While he was there he met a farm hand by the name of Peter who had uncovered the vampires long before the news had reached Bob. Bob allowed Peter to be his sidekick. Peter went on to have a child, named Mikey, who went on to be a vampire hunter just like his Dad. Peter died not long ago but Bob and Mikey stayed in touch. Mikey staked his first vampire at the age of ten. Needless to say that when Bob told me he’d be coming down in a few days I became incredibly intrigued.
At 3 we finally went to bed. Bob stopped over at mine as he did many nights. I slept on the sofa and he had my bed. As soon as I lay down I fell into dreams of the mysterious Mikey and the adventure we’d soon be facing together. Not once did I see Frank’s face in my dreams, I never do, even though he’s always there just out of sight, I suppose it’s because I don’t know him any more. Bob’s right, I need to let him go.
I spend the next few days cutting peoples hair at the salon and keeping up appearances. I spend the nights either discussing tactics with Bob at my flat or trying to worm more information out of the vampire, whose name was eventually found to be Ray, back at headquarters.
Before I know it Bob is knocking on my front door telling me to prepare myself for a guest. “What? You didn’t say he’d be staying here!” I say looking around my tiny flat in disbelief. There is hairdresser and vampire hunter paraphernalia lying around all over the place. Plus all the debris of living a double life, ie a lot of empty coffee cups.
“He won’t mind, seriously. Just like, pick up some of the underwear.” I blush and set about making the place inhabitable for male guests. Just as I’m stuffing the rest of my scissors into a tray there’s a knock at the door.
“I’ll get it.” Bob smiles and wheels over to the door. I hear the two greet each other and catch up briefly. Out of nervousness more than kind-heartedness I flick the kettle on and set about making 3 cups of coffee.
“Hey. I’m Mikey. I think I’m staying here with you?” A slightly nasal sounding voice says from behind me. I turn around and come face to face with maybe the most self assured person I’ve ever met.
“Kat.” I reply. “Have some coffee.” I hand him one of the steaming cups and walk past him back into the living area of the flat. Bob’s sat at the table going over the sheet of notes and plans we’d written up the previous night.
“What you doing?” I ask, setting his coffee next to him and joining him.
“Just trying to see any holes in the plan.”
“Oh, I have one of them.”
“Go on.” He probes. Mikey joins us and looks on in interest.
“Well we know we can get in because Ray can ‘capture’ us and send us there but they’re bound to drug us or something while we’re in there to stop us rebelling. Any one, vampire hunter or not, is going to object to being held captive by a bunch of bloodsucking monsters.”
“Well if I’m drugged up to my eyeballs then I’m not going to be able to fight. Similarly if I have to go without food for an indefinite amount of time, because that’s bound to be how they’ll drug us, then I’ll be weaker than usual too.”
“I’m guessing you have an idea?”
“Hell yeah.” I smile. “I’m thinking that we get Ray to get us in there and then try to get himself a job working where ever we’re kept ASAP. If he can get a job looking over the captives then we would be made but if we can just have him inside the house then it’ll make life easier. He could potentially sneak us clean food or at least decrease the amount of drugs given to us if not completely skip drugging us.”
“It’s risky, are you sure he wouldn’t just turn his back on you?”
“I’m sure. I’ve gotten to know him over the past few days and found a few things out about him. Let’s just say that he won’t exactly be heartbroken to see the Lamia fall.”
“Oh yeah, something about slavery?”
“Yep… Erm have you filled Mikey in on the plan?” I ask, realising that Mikey was trying to read our sheet of tactics upside down as we talked.
“Yeah I told him all about it and he came up with a few good ideas. One of which you’ve just told us and another was that you should go in at different times, to make it less suspicious. Also that while you’re there you should try to get the other captives to help you out, explain the situation to them and rally them up into an army of sorts. You may need back up.”
“Ok. Sounds good. But I’m thinking these people are going to be pretty traumatized and us telling them fantastical tales of vampires isn’t going to improve their mental states.”
“We can paint over those bits. Just say they’re a mad gang who practice vampirism. We don’t have to say they actually are vampires.” Mikey explains as if I’m 3.
“Makes sense.” I reluctantly agree.
“I was also thinking that we should go hunting together beforehand to get used to the way each other think and to recognise each others strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn’t want to wait until we get there to realise that you can’t stake them if you’re facing them or something pathetic.”
I raise an eyebrow at Bob who just looks troubled. “I can assure you Mr Way that I have no such disposition. But if you want us to go out together then fine. Tomorrow night? I hear there’s an ambush on that old warehouse at the other end of town?” I direct this last bit at Bob who nods and swallows obviously afraid of the tension already building up between me and Mikey. I can almost hear him calculating in his brain how much potential our bad relationship has to ruin this mission.
“Well I have work again in the morning so if you two boys don’t mind I’m going to get a few hours kip.” Bob nods and moves away from the table as if to leave.
“You can stay if you want to catch up with Mikey.” I offer but he shakes his head.
“If you two are going out tomorrow I’m going to have to nip over to headquarters to get all the stats.”
“Ok. Well. Don’t stay up too late.” He smiles and me and I yawn good bye before walking over to the bathroom and starting to get ready for bed.
“You work?” Mikey asks me. He’s stood in the doorway of the bathroom, I’d forgotten to shut the door, and I’m bent over the sink with toothpaste painting a clown smile on my face.
“I need money to pay the rent you know.”
“Why don’t you just steal the vamps money? They have a rather ridiculous habit of carrying large quantities of gold.”
“I might be a killer but I’m not a thief.” I scowl wondering how he could even consider doing that.
“I love your moral logic.” He responds sarcastically and then leaves.
I swill my mouth out and rinse my face quickly then follow him. “What so you’d rather that I lived in some run down shit hole and lived off of dead people’s money than having a job and a life and being able to afford a semi decent home?”
“It’s what I do.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do things.”
“Well… I am the best.”
“We’ll see.” I say coldly and shut my bedroom door on him. The last thing I need right now is some stuck up arrogant hunter who was obviously too far up his own arse to see clearly living in my flat with me, doing my job with me, watching every move I make. I shut off the lights and rest my head on my cold pillow hoping that tonight I would finally have a Frank free night.