Tales of a Night Walker
By Bert McKenzie
Copyright 2010

Chapter 17

"Wake up, love," a voice said softly.  I rolled over and found Jeff lying
next to him.  He was naked.

"Mmm, I could wake up every morning to that smile," I said as I stretched.

Jeff chuckled.  "I hate to disappoint you but it is evening.  We need to be
up and moving."

"Has the sun set?  What time is it?" I asked as I got up and looked for
clothes.

"It is 6:00.  The sun won't set for another 12 or 13 minutes.  And I think
we will have a little bit of time after that.  Where ever Armand is, he
can't get here too quickly unless he lives next door."

"Then let me jump in the shower and we'll be off.  But before I do, I want
to make a quick call.  We need to find transportation."  I grabbed the
phone and called Kelly.  She had always been willing to do me a favor when
I needed one.  "Hi sweetie," I said when she answered.  Her greeting was
somewhat skeptical.  I replied, "Okay, now that you mention it, I do need a
favor."

Fifteen minutes later the sun had set and we were ready to go.  "Come on,
our ride's here," I called.  I heard the horn and looked out to see Kelly's
white station wagon parked in the lot.  I turned and was surprised to see
Jeff with a cooler and a couple of suitcases.  "I packed some clothes for
you and the rest of the pig's blood you had in your refrigerator.  We don't
know how dangerous this place will be to come back to.  We may have to stay
away for a while."

I took two of the bags from him and held the door.  "What makes you think
he'll find my apartment?"

"Your name, the phone book, my scent when he checks it out.  It would not
be hard."

"And you think a hotel will be safer?"  I wasn't so sure of this.

"For a little while anyway.  I'm not planning on letting him hunt us.  I'm
planning on hunting him."  Jeff had a grim determination as he hefted the
cooler down the stairs.

Kelly jumped out and opened the back of the wagon.  "So what are you moving
for?" she asked.

"It's just a precaution," I explained.  "Jeff is convinced that whoever is
doing the murders is targeting him.  After all they framed him pretty good,
Sunday."

She shook her head.  "And what about Mary Jo?  The murderer went to some
length to make sure Jeff got off, by killing her."

"Does everyone know about this?" Jeff asked as we all climbed into Kelly's
station wagon.

"Well, Harriet has a big mouth and you know how people gossip," she
answered.  We drove to the Ramada Inn high rise and checked in.  Jeff was a
little uncomfortable because of the windows, but with the drapes pulled it
would probably be fine.  Kelly carried one suitcase to help us move in, but
I knew she was just being nosey.  "What's in the cooler?" she asked.
"Don't you trust their food here?"

"I'm on a special diet," Jeff replied smoothly and put the cooler down
beside the small hotel room refrigerator.  He wouldn't move the bottles
over to the fridge until Kelly was gone.  That was one more piece of gossip
we didn't need.

"I'm so glad you guys are a couple.  You really go so well together.  I can
feel the sympathetic vibrations from you.  This is just what Frank needed,"
she told Jeff as I shoved the bags into the little closet.

"You feel vibrations?" Jeff asked.

"Oh yes, your auras are pulsating in harmony."  I stifled a laugh.  "But
Jeff, there is something about your aura, it has a totally different shape
and look to it.  It looks more like the aura of a wild animal than a
person.  You aren't a werewolf, are you?"  At this I laughed out loud.
Jeff just shook his head no and smiled politely.  She scowled at me.
"Frank doesn't believe in anything non-material.  I just don't see how he
can be so creative artistically and so close minded."

"Oh, I'm doing my best to open his mind a bit," Jeff said with a chuckle.

"So where do we go from here?" Kelly asked.

"How about back to Jeff's house so I can pick up my car," I suggested.

"And that will be a good place to start looking," Jeff said.

"Looking?" Kelly and I both asked at the same time.

"For Ar...for our killer," he replied.

"I don't think that's such a good idea," I said.

"You should leave that to the police," Kelly agreed.

"If someone is out there and looking for me, the best defense is a strong
offence." Jeff told us.  "And I plan to start offending.  Now let us go."

We had no real choice.  As frightened as I was of Jeff's crazy ex-lover, I
was more frightened not to do something.  We had to find the guy and
eliminate him or we would always be looking over our shoulders, waiting for
him to strike.  Jeff had pointed out to me that although as a vampire he
was pretty invulnerable, as a human I was the weak link.  Armand could kill
me easily and would do so just to hurt Jeff.

"I really wish you would let me check the cards for you before you do
this," Kelly was saying as we descended the elevator.  "It's always best to
have a good idea of what to expect before you go jumping into something
dangerous."

"Oh, I know what to expect," Jeff said grimly.

We drove to Auburn and Kelly pulled up behind my car in front of Jeff's
house.  "Let's just get in the car and go back to the hotel," I suggested.
"It is getting a little late.  We could get a fresh start on this
tomorrow."

"No!" Jeff said harshly.  He started up the steps to his door.  We two
humans followed him.  He was on his porch before he realized we were there.
He turned around and told us to go wait at the car.

"No way.  If you're going in there, I'm going with you."

Kelly nodded.  "You two aren't leaving me here alone."

Jeff opened the door cautiously and sniffed.  He stepped inside and sniffed
again.  He then flipped on the light switch, flooding the entry way with
light.  All three of us stepped in.  "No one is here," he said
matter-of-factly.

"You sure?" I asked nervously as I reached up and touched the back of my
head.  It was still tender from where the guy hit me the previous night.

"Oh yes."  He quickly looked through the house while Kelly and I waited in
the living room.

"It doesn't look like anyone has been here," Jeff said to me with a knowing
look.  We both knew someone had been there the night before, but couldn't
very well tell Kelly that we had been abducted and locked up.  That might
start too many questions.  And we certainly didn't want anyone asking about
the man at the warehouse that Jeff had taken care of that morning.  "I'll
grab some more of my clothes.  You two can wait here.  I won't be a
minute."  He ran up the stairs to his bedroom.

"Okay, Frank, level with me," Kelly said as soon as Jeff was gone.  "You
know something more about all this than you are saying.  What is going on?"
I tried to act totally innocent with my best 'who me?' expression.  "Is
your boyfriend a dark wizard?"

"Don't be ridiculous," I scoffed.

"There's something different about him and I can't quite place my finger on
it.  I don't think he has elfin blood.  Yet there is something not quite
human about him, something dark."  I started to get very nervous.  Kelly,
in all her flakiness was actually hitting close to the mark.  "He's not
evil, but I can sense he has a dark side and he's trying to keep it hidden.
I don't know what it is, but I'll figure it out," she said.

Kelly suddenly got up and started walking through the house.  "Where are
you going?" I asked, jumping up and following here.  "Come back here.  Jeff
said to wait in the living room."

"I need something to drink," she said as she walked into the kitchen.  I
raced after her.  Before I could stop her, she pulled open the fridge and
there on the shelf were still two bottles of shiny red liquid.  Unlike me,
she didn't think they were tomato juice at all.  "Blood!" she said almost
triumphantly.  "I was right.  He's a ..."

"Vampire," Jeff finished her sentence from the door.

She turned and reached up to grab her throat, as if in protection.  "But
you're not the only one," she said with instant insight.

"Very good," Jeff acknowledged.  "But I do wish you weren't so
inquisitive."

"Because now you have to kill me," she said backing up to the kitchen
counter.

"No," he said with a chuckle.  "But the more people who know, the more
dangerous it becomes, for me..."  He glanced over at me.  "And for those I
care about."

"You're not going to bite me?" she asked curiously, almost sounding
disappointed.

"He's not that kind of a vampire," I said, trying to defend my lover.

"Oh don't be silly," Kelly snapped.  "What other kind of a vampire is
there?  He's got a whole refrigerator full of blood."

"Two bottles do not make a whole refrigerator.  And it's pig's blood.  He's
a vegetarian."

Kelly gave me a dirty look.  "Pigs are not vegetables."  Then she reached
out and slugged me in the arm.

"Ow, what was that for?"

"You cast a vampire to play my son?"

"Well he's a really good actor."

"Of course he is, he's pretending to be a human."

Jeff stepped forward, gently putting a hand on each or our shoulders.
"While this bickering is very cute in a human sort of way, I think we need
to be moving on before the not-so-nice vampire comes to find us here."

Both of us humans shut up.  Kelly looked at Jeff for a long minute, and
then nodded quickly.  We found an old paper grocery bag under the sink.
Kelly helped pack the bottled blood in the bag while Jeff ran to the front
door to check and make sure we were still safe.  Kelly took the blood and I
grabbed the bag with Jeff's extra clothes and we ran to the front door, out
of the house and down the steps to her station wagon.

"He threatened to kill more people from the theatre," Jeff said as he and I
climbed in my car.  "I think maybe that would be a good idea for a place
for me to start looking."

"But what will you do if you find him?" I asked.

"I will have to kill him."

"How?  You said vampires are practically indestructible."

"I'll have to improvise," he said with a smile.

Kelly followed us to the theatre.  "Kelly, thank you for your help, and
your trust," Jeff said to her.  "And you, love, go back to the hotel and
wait for me."

"No, I'm coming with you!" I insisted.

"No, you are not.  It's much too dangerous."

"I'm not afraid."

He looked at me intensely, his eyes glowing with that eerie iridescence in
the half dark of the theatre parking lot.  "You should be.  And if you are
not, I'm afraid for you."  He reached out to touch my cheek, or so I
thought.  Then everything went black.

Later in the hotel parking lot, Kelly woke me up and told me that Jeff had
done a Mr. Spock on me.  "It was so cool," she said.  "He just pinched your
neck and you passed out.  He said it was a relatively harmless technique of
shutting off blood to your brain for a second.  I told him it was just like
Mr. Spock on TV and he said, 'where do you think they got the idea?'"

I did not find it 'so cool.'  In fact I was furious and wanted her to drive
right back to the theatre, but she refused.  She said Jeff promised he
really would get all vampire-scary on her if she didn't do like he said and
take me back to the hotel.  So we took our grocery bag and suitcase and
went inside and up to the room.  Kelly whipped out a tarot deck from her
purse and began to lay out the cards on a coffee table in the hotel room.
"Please," I said, in frustration.  "Do you have to do that mumbo jumbo?"

"I'm trying to help out in the only way I know how," she replied, then
gasped.

"What?" I asked, looking at the brightly colored cards.

She pointed to three of the little pictures.  "This means danger, and this
means possible death."  She looked again and sad, "This means captivity.  I
don't like the looks of this at all."

"But what does it all mean together?" I asked.

"Well taken together it could mean the dangerous captivity of a dead man,"
she replied.

"Oh that's helpful.  How do you keep a dead man captive?"

"Well technically, dead man could mean Jeff," she theorized.

"Oh shit.  We've got to go back and help him."

"We've got to call Harriet," Kelly said, reaching for the phone.  "Maybe
she can send the police back to the theatre on some pretence of examining
it for clues or something.  If they get there they might be able to stop
whatever the bad vampire has in mind for Jeff."  She reached for the phone
and began dialing.  After a moment, Kelly began speaking in the phone.
"Harriet, it's Kelly I just... What?"  She suddenly looked concerned,
catching my attention.  "Calm down, Harriet, I can't understand you...He
did what?...When?...Did you call the police?...Okay, just stay calm.  I'm
sure it will be alright."  She hung up with a worried look on her face.

"What is it?" I demanded.

"It's Buddy.  He's missing."

"Oh no!"  I had known Buddy as long as I've been in town.  He was the first
person I met at the theatre after I was hired.  He had stage managed and
crewed just about every show we did in the last few years.  "What do you
mean missing?"

"Harriet got a phone call.  Some man with a French accent said he had
Buddy.  He told her to contact Jeff and tell him to go to the theatre if
she wanted Buddy to live."

"The theatre!  Then it was a trap!"

Kelly nodded.  "Apparently so.  She has called the police and they were on
their way there, but she called Buddy's house and he wasn't there.  Buddy's
girlfriend told her he went out to the grocery store almost two hours ago
and hadn't come home.  She was beginning to get worried."

"We've got to go back to the theatre and help Jeff."

"No," Kelly said.  "He's a vampire.  He has all sorts of special and
supernatural talents and senses.  He'll know it's a trap and he won't fall
for it.  You've got to trust him and let him have his chance to take care
of this his way."

"I'm not going to wait all night," I said angrily.

Kelly looked at me with that motherly stare.  "Yes you are.  We'll sit here
and wait for Jeff to contact us.  If we don't hear from him by dawn, then
we'll go looking for him.  He'll have to find a coffin to hide in."

I groaned.  I could see that she was a bit misinformed about real vampires.

The night seemed to last forever.  Kelly was able to fall asleep but I
spent the night awake.  I was so worried about my lover that I couldn't
think of closing my eyes.  I watched some TV and did a lot of pacing.  I
must have looked out the window two dozen times, but never saw any evidence
of Jeff.  Kelly said she gave him my car keys so he could drive back when
he had finished his job.  But by three in the morning I was pretty sure
things must have gone badly.  I had all manner of imaginative scenarios
from where Jeff was in mortal peril to Jeff deciding he wanted a vampire
lover and running off with Armand to Transylvania.  The only problem was, I
would be unable to help him out of any of them.  What could a mere human do
against an army of the undead?  Of course we only had evidence of one, and
a hint that there might be a leader behind him, but that didn't matter to
my fertile imagination.

At 5:00 o'clock I woke Kelly.  She stumbled into the bathroom and freshened
herself a bit, and then came back to join me.  "I don't know what we can
do," I whined.  "It's late and we haven't heard a thing.  He must be in
trouble, but what can we do?  We don't even know where to look."

"We're not entirely unarmed," Kelly replied.  She pulled out her tarot deck
again and asked me to shuffle the cards.

"This is silly," I said.

"You found out that vampires exist, but you don't believe in magic?"  She
looked at me with a raised eyebrow.  Her words reminded me of something I
had said to Jeff just a few nights ago when we discussed the possibility of
ghosts.  What could it hurt?  I took the cards and shuffled.  "Concentrate,
while you shuffle," she ordered firmly.

"On what?"

"On Jeff.  What is going on with him?"

I tried to picture my lover in my mind.  I saw his smiling face, his blond
hair, his glow-in-the-dark green eyes.  Tears came to my eyes.  I shuffled
the cards and handed them back to her.  She quickly laid them out on the
bed where she sat.  I looked at the colorful pictures but they meant
nothing to me.  She nodded and made curious "Um hmmm" sounds.

"Well what do you see?" I asked, unable to take any more of it.

"It didn't go as he had planned.  I think he is in trouble."

"But he's alive?" I said more than asked.

She glanced up with an odd look.  "He's a vampire.  He hasn't been alive
for God knows how many centuries."

"Fine, have it your way," I sighed.  "He's still undead?"

"I think so, but it doesn't look good.  This evil vampire character will be
out of the picture by daylight, but I still see Jeff in peril."

"Well that settles it, then," I said.  "We have to find him and rescue
him."

"Yes, I suppose so."

"Then let's go."  I was on my feet and at the door, ready to dash off to
save my lover.  Kelly rose and put away her tarot deck.  She shook her
head.  "We don't even know where to go."

"We'll start where he started, at the theatre."

The sky was growing light as we drove toward Auburn.  We pulled up to the
theatre and quickly slipped inside.  "Jeff!" I called out but my voice just
echoed back at me from the empty lobby.  Kelly ran to the house doors and
opened them, shouting his name into the dark theatre room.  I found the
emergency house light switch and turned them on so we could see to make our
way backstage.  "Jeff!" we continued to call, but only silence greeted us.
There was no sign of him anywhere.  I checked the scene shop and design
office, as well as the grid, the light gallery and the orchestra pit.
Kelly took the dressing rooms, green room, costume shop and under the house
storage area.  He was not to be found.  We went back to the lobby and
upstairs to the offices but there was no sign of him in my office, the
president's office, the conference room or anywhere in the light booth or
other upstairs areas.  I looked out the window from my office and saw the
parking lot bathed in early morning sunlight.

"Kelly, the sun is up.  He may be really in trouble if he isn't in the dark
somewhere."

"Let's check his house," she suggested.  "I don't know where else to look
around here."

We ran back down the stairs and out the front door to the station wagon,
and then drove the three blocks to Jeff's house.  I ran up the steps to his
porch and tried the door.  It swung open.  "He doesn't lock his door?"
Kelly asked.  We went all through the house and never found any sign of
him.  I collapsed on the couch, tears easily coming to my eyes.  "Don't
fall apart now, Frank," Kelly said sternly.  "Think.  It's up to you.
Where else could he be?"  She told him to sit very still and concentrate.
Close my eyes.  I started to protest, but she was very determined.  I sat
as she suggested and she pulled up a chair, taking my hands in hers.
"Think about Jeff," she said calmly.  "Where is he?" she asked.

I suddenly had an idea.  "There was that warehouse in Topeka," I said.

"Warehouse?"  I quickly told her about our getting caught a couple of
nights ago and waking up in the empty warehouse on the riverfront.  I
closed my eyes and tried as she suggested.  Suddenly a picture leapt into
my mind.  Jeff, chained to a wall, outside, the sun slowly approaching him.
I didn't even realize I was describing it as I was seeing it.  "Where?"
Kelly said again.

"Topeka, by the river."

Suddenly she was pulling me to my feet and breaking the trance.  "Let's go,
I don't think we have much time to lose."

We ran to the station wagon and started back to Topeka.  It was a good
twenty minute drive, and then another fifteen across town to the riverside
district.  "Guide me to this warehouse," Kelly suggested.  That was at
least as good as any place to start.  I remembered the street from when I
had ordered the taxi.  We drove right to it.  "Come on," I said, jumping
out of the car and running to the door.  I yanked it open and ran into the
office where we had waited for the cab.  The body of the man Jeff killed
was gone.  It just looked like any other deserted office.  We opened the
door into the warehouse but it too was empty.  Even the cage where we were
held as prisoners was gone.

"Sit down and concentrate," Kelly said as we returned to the office.  I sat
in a chair by the windows and closed my eyes, trying to picture Jeff.  He
seemed really close.  I could see the sun getting closer to him and the
strange look on his face.  It almost seemed to be resignation or
acceptance.  No!  I would not let him give up.

"He's in an alley, somewhere close by," I said.  By now it was approaching
11:00 in the morning.  We dashed out and jumped back in the Kelly's car.
She began to drive down the alley between the warehouse and surrounding
buildings.  Nothing.  Then she turned the street and headed back into the
next alley.

"Stop!" I yelled.  "There."  Two of the old, deserted buildings rose up
forming a small cul-de-sac off of the alley.  We jumped out of the vehicle
and ran to it.  Looking down the alley, I spotted him.  Jeff was chained to
the far wall at the end of the short alleyway.  His arms were stretched
out, each hand shackled to an iron ring in the building.  The sun was
beginning to shine into the little canyon made by the buildings.  It was
already lighting up the wall to his right and rapidly approaching his
chained hand.  In a matter of minutes it would catch him and begin to burn
him.  We ran down the alleyway to where he was held captive.

"Go away," he said as I ran to him, throwing my arms around him.  "Go away,
I don't want you to see this."  He was struggling against the chains and
the sun was only a foot from him.

"We're gonna get you out of this," I said.

"You can't.  You can't break the chains and despite your skill with hair
pins there isn't time to pick the locks."

"But I came prepared," Kelly said behind me.  I turned and saw that she was
holding a chisel and a small sledge hammer in her hands.

"Smart thinking," I told her and grabbed the chisel.  I held it against the
lock on the manacle.

"You sure you want to hold that?" she asked.  "If I miss and hit your
hand..."

"Just don't miss," I said and closed my eyes as she swung the sledge.
There was a loud clunk and the chisel flew from my hand with a terrible
stinging sensation, but the lock popped open.  Jeff pulled his hand free,
and then moved further away from the burning sunshine.  I picked up the
chisel from where it fell and held it to the lock on his left wrist.  Again
Kelly swung the hammer and the lock popped open.  Jeff all but fell into my
arms.

I kissed him but he pushed me away.  "Don't," he said and he fell back from
me into the shadow of the building.  A low growl came from his throat.

"Oh," I said, suddenly aware of the problem.  He was weak with hunger.
"Hang on and we'll get you back to the hotel where there are bottles..."
But he was shaking his head and growling.

"I don't think there's time," Kelly said and reached into her purse.  "But
once again I've come prepared."  She pulled out a bottle of pig's blood
that she had apparently grabbed before we left the hotel.  With an animal
snarl, Jeff jumped up, tearing it from her hand and yanking the top off.
He quickly downed the contents, draining the bottle, then tossing it aside.
It took him a moment, but then we could see him reaffirming his control
over himself.  He began to breathe again and the expression on his face
seemed more composed and less feral.

I crouched down beside where he sat against the building.  "Are you okay?"
I asked, gently reaching out and touching his shoulder.  There was a
coldness there, more than just the body temperature.  He seemed withdrawn.

"No," he said.  "I don't think I'll ever be okay, until they are gone."

"Oh no!" Kelly gasped.

"What is it?" I asked.

She was standing in the sunlight at the other side of the alley, looking
down at something in the gutter.  She turned to me with tears in her eyes.
"Buddy," she said in a choked sob.

"It was Armand," Jeff said calmly.  "He killed Buddy right in front of me.
He told me if I submitted and did as they said, he would let Buddy go.  I
allowed him to chain me to the wall thinking that he would keep his word.
Then once I was immobilized, he ... bit... I had to watch Buddy die."

"Oh my God," I said, putting my arm around him.

"They had a plan.  If I was found before the sun got me, the police would
think I killed Buddy.  And any way you look at it, the sun was sure to get
me, either in the custody of the police, or here as it hit my chained
body."

I looked up to see the sun shining down right where Jeff had been trapped.
"Speaking of the sun," I said, noticing how narrow the bit of shade was
growing, "I think we should try and get back to the car."

"What about Buddy?" Kelly asked.

Jeff still seemed in a bit of a fog, so I took charge.  "We can't do
anything for him now.  We'll call the police later, an anonymous tip.
Meanwhile we've got to get back to the hotel."

"There's too much sun," Jeff said weakly, leaning against the wall as it
seemed to creep closer to him.

"The hell there is," Kelly suddenly said, snapping out of her inaction.
She ran down the alleyway and jumped in the station wagon.  With a squeal
of rubber, she turned it and barreled down the narrow gap between the
buildings, screeching the tires as she slammed the brakes next to us.  I
jumped up and pulled the back door open.  "There's a blanked there," she
said.  I pulled it out and helped Jeff climb in, throwing the blanket over
him.  "Make sure he's completely covered," Kelly said, as if I didn't know
to do that.  Once he was secure on the floor of the back, buried under a
thick wool blanket, and I was back in the front passenger seat, she slammed
the car in reverse and drove back out of the small space and into the alley
proper.  Then she slammed the transmission into drive and headed back
toward the hotel.

"Hey, slow down," I cautioned her.  "We don't want to get stopped with a
smoldering vampire in the back."

"Right," she agreed.  "What is that smell?" she questioned.

"Kind of like burnt caramel?" I asked.

"Yeah."

"That's me," a voice came from the back.

Kelly was able to drive under the hotel canopy providing shade for Jeff to
slip out from under the blanket.  I helped him into the cool lobby while
Kelly parked.  We regrouped in the hotel room.  Jeff took a long, cool
shower and changed, then came out and sat down with another bottle of his
liquid food.

"It was awful," he told us.  "Armand let Buddy believe he would go free,
and then the fiend ripped his throat open.  He drank some of it, but
spilled a lot unnecessarily.  He did that because he knew I hadn't fed in a
while.  He did it to torture me.  Then they drove off."

"They?" I asked.  "Was it Armand and his henchmen, or did you find out who
his 'leader' was?"

Jeff nodded, a far away look in his eyes.  "I found out.  Yes I found out
who was giving the orders."  He looked up at me with a pained look on his
face.  "It is Jefferson Smythe the second.  It is my biological father."

For a moment we just sat in stunned silence.  Then Kelly broke in.  "Your
father is a vampire too?  I didn't know that was hereditary."

"No," Jeff said, finally showing a grim smile, a smile that didn't reach
his eyes.  "I would guess the vampire who brought me across, did the same
to my father.  But the man is quite insane.  He wants to destroy me.  He
never liked me much while we were living and his feelings seem to have
intensified now that we're whatever we are."

"And Armand goes along with this."  I was at a loss to understand it.

"Armand is weak.  He needs a strong hand.  My father provides that.  He was
always a powerful man.  His change seems to have increased his sense of
power.  That's why he had Rudolph killed all those years ago.  He wanted to
seize the power that my friend had.  He's quite upset that we have defied
him.  He won't be happy that I got away again.  Armand may suffer for that
mistake."

"Serves the asshole right," Kelly muttered.

"Who was Rudolph?" I asked but Jeff seemed lost in his own memories.
"Well, we have your father and Armand here," I said, trying to bring him
back around to our time.  "All we need is your ex-fianc‚."

"No worries there," Jeff replied.  "I asked Armand what had happened to
Felicity.  I hoped maybe the thought of his sister would calm him, bring
him to his senses and that he'd release me.  He just giggled and told me
she was burned in the sun for helping me escape him several years ago."

"Burned in the sun?" Kelly asked.  "Was this guy's sister a vampire too?
So it does run in the family?"

"Armand tried to bring her over, but didn't do a very good job of it," Jeff
explained.  "She was technically a vampire, but she had the mind of a
child.  About twenty years ago Armand caught me, but Felicity helped me
escape.  Apparently my father was so upset that I got away, that he chained
her outside where the sunlight would get her, just like he did me last
night.  He and Armand watched from a protected place and saw her burn up."

"He killed his own sister?"  I mused.

"Well what do we do now?" Kelly asked.

"We are going to get some sleep," Jeff said.  "I suggest you do the same,
you've had a long night and busy morning."

"There is a cast get-together at Harry's tonight," Kelly reminded us.

"I don't feel much like a party," I replied.  "We've lost George, Steve,
Mary Jo and now Buddy."

"At times like this, I think it's even more important that we get together
to support each other," Kelly said.  "And don't forget, we have a brush up
rehearsal tomorrow night before our performances on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday.  You'll have to replace Steve on stage, or at least make
adjustments for him.  And you'll need to find someone else to call cues
backstage now that Buddy's gone."

"Maybe it would be best to cancel the rest of the run," I suggested.

"No," Kelly argued.  "Too many people have given their lives.  You want
those stinking vampires to win?  No offense Jeff."

"None taken," he said softly.

"Okay, we'll see you tonight at 8:00," I replied.

"And Kelly," Jeff said, standing up and walking to her.  He wrapped his
arms around her, giving her a big hug.  "Thanks for saving my...life, such
as it is."

"What's a mother for?" she quipped.

 

 

 

 

 

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