Mercy Thompson


Mercy Thompson Book 2 - Page 56

"Who was Stefan's maker?"

" Marsilia. But Stefan never had to play slave as the rest of us did." There was sheer envy in his voice as he said, "He was never a thrall. It happens sometimes, but such vampires are always killed upon their first rising. Any other vampire would have killed Stefan as soon as it was apparent that he wasn't under their control, but Marsilia was in love. He gave her an oath of obedience, though, and to my certain knowledge, he never broke it." He looked out at the night sky.

Abruptly, he shut my door. "Go home and go to sleep while you still can."

"Did Marsilia make you too?" I asked, turning the key in the ignition.


Damn it, I thought, this was so stupid. I didn't know anything about vampires and I was going to bring down one who had taken out two vampires and a pair of werewolves? I might as well shoot myself in the head right now. It would save time and effort.

"Good night, Andre," I told him and drove out of Stefan's driveway.

I was tired enough to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I dreamed of Stefan's poor menagerie, doomed, if Rachel was to be believed, by Stefan's death. I dreamed of Stefan driving his bus with that silly stuffed Scooby Doo perched in the passenger seat. I dreamed he tried to tell me something but I couldn't hear it over the noise.

I rolled over and buried my head under the pillow but the noise continued. It wasn't my alarm. I could go back to sleep. I was tired enough that even dreaming of dead people was preferable to being awake. After all, Stefan was as dead and gone when I was awake as when I was sleeping.

It wasn't a really loud sound. If it had been less irregular, I think I could have ignored it.

Scritch. Scritch  -  scritch.

It was coming from my window near the bed. It sounded like the rosebush that had grown outside of the window of my mother's home in Portland. Sometimes it would brush against the house at night and scare me. I wasn't sixteen anymore. There was no one but me who could get up, go outside, and move whatever it was so I could go to sleep.

I pulled the pillow tighter over my ears. But there was no blocking the noise. Then I thought- Stefan?

In an instant I was fully awake. I threw the pillow on the floor, sat up in a rush, and turned to press my face up against the window and look out.

But there was someone's face already pressed up against the window. Someone who wasn't Stefan.

Gleaming iridescent eyes stared at me through the glass, not six inches from my own. I shrieked Samuel's name and jumped out of bed, away from the window. It wasn't until I was crouched and shaking in the center of my bedroom floor before I remembered that Samuel was still over at Adam's.

The face didn't move. He'd pressed so hard against the glass his nose and lips were distorted, though I had no trouble recognizing Littleton. He licked the glass, then tilted his head and made the sound that had drawn me from my sleep. His fang left a white mark as he scored the glass with it.

There were a lot of little white marks, I noticed. He'd been there for a long time, watching me as I slept. It gave me the creeps, as did the realization that unless he was very, very tall, he was hanging in the air.

All my guns were locked in the stupid safe. There was no way I could get to them before he could burst through the window. Not that I was sure a gun would have any effect on a vampire anyway.

It took me a long time to remember that he couldn't get into my home without an invitation. Somehow that belief wasn't as reassuring as it ought to have been with him staring at me through a thin pane of glass.

Abruptly, he pulled away from the window and dropped out of sight. I listened, but I couldn't hear anything. After a long while, I accepted that he was gone.

I wasn't going to be able to sleep on that bed though, not unless I pulled it away from the window. My head was throbbing from lack of sleep and I staggered into the bathroom and got out some aspirin and gulped them down.

I stared at myself in the mirror, looking pale and colorless in the darkness.

"Well," I said. "Now you know where he is, why aren't you out tracking him?"

I sneered at my cowardly face, but some of the effect was lost in the darkness so I reached over and flipped the light switch.

Nothing happened.

I flipped it twice more. "Stupid trailer." The breakers often switched off on their own  -  someday I was going to have to rewire the trailer.

The breaker box was on the other side of the trailer, past the big windows in the living room and the smaller one in the kitchen. The one in the kitchen didn't have a curtain.

"Fearless vampire hunter my aching butt," I muttered, knowing I was too thoroughly spooked to go and reset the breaker unarmed. Stalking out of the bathroom, I opened the gun safe. I left the pistols in favor of the Marlin 444 rifle which I loaded with silver-though I didn't know if the silver would do any more harm to a vampire than regular lead. They certainly wouldn't do less.

At any rate, the Marlin would give me enough confidence to go back to sleep.

I shoved the finger-long bullets into the gun impatiently. If those things could stop an elephant, I had to believe they'd make a vampire sit up and take notice too.

I knew I shouldn't turn on the bedroom light. In the unlikely event that Littleton was still here, it would ruin my night vision and it would silhouette me in the light, making me a good target if Littleton the vampire and sorcerer decided to use a gun-unlikely considering how much he'd enjoyed killing that poor maid slowly. I wasn't enough of a threat to deprive him of that much fun.

I hit the bedroom switch next to the bathroom door, anyway. Nothing happened. The bedroom and the bathroom were on different circuits, they couldn't both be thrown at the same time. Had Littleton cut the power to the trailer?