Sunday, May 22, 2016

61: At the Center of it All – Pt. 2

“Come on,” Derrick said standing and taking Victoria by the hand.

“Where are we going?”

“To my place. You want answers and I think I know how to get them.”

“What is this?” Victoria asked, peering through the glass of the door in Derrick’s basement. “Derrick? We can’t…”

“We can and we will,” he said, pushing through the door and into the room. The man dangling from the wall looked up at the sound of footsteps approaching.

“Let me out of here.”

“You’re not going anywhere until we get some answers.”

“Then you might as well kill me now,” the man spat back. “I’ll never talk!”

“We’ll see about that.” Derrick moved towards a table set up near the door. Pulling back a small green cloth, he methodically slid his fingers across the stainless steel equipment meticulously laid out on a surgical napkin before making a selection. The blade of the scalpel glinted in the flickering fluorescent light and the cultist’s eyes widened in fear as he strode towards him.

“No, Derrick, I can’t let you do this,” Victoria said, stopping him as he closed in on the shackled cultist. A smile formed on the man’s face and he laughed as the vampire backed away. “It wasn’t you that psycho tried to kill. I’ll do it,” she stated firmly, taking the scalpel from his hand. The smile quickly faded from the man’s face as he felt the burn of the blade sink viciously and fast into his stomach. 

He yelled, the sound of it echoing around the room. Derrick stood back, a little impressed albeit a little afraid watching Victoria take charge of torturing their prisoner. Fire blazed in her eyes as she watched the man jerk back, fearing another stab to the gut. But instead of lunging into him again, she dropped the penknife and pressed a hand to his wound. Pain jolted through him as the laceration healed beneath her touch and a tear fell from the man’s eyes.

Victoria backed up and the cultist glanced down at the spot the blade penetrated his skin and let out a breath. “Now that you know what I can do, let’s talk about what you can do for me.” 

“What…do you want?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I want to know who sent you after me.”

“No. I give you that I’m dead either way.”

“Hmm. Sounds like you need a little more incentive,” Derrick said inching closer. “What do you say we kick it up a notch?” He grinned and Victoria saw the fleeting look in his eyes as his inner demon flickered briefly.

“DERRICK, DON’T!” Victoria shouted, but his fangs had already pierced the neck of the uncooperative cultist. The man screamed as Derrick’s venom seeped into his veins, roasting him from the inside out. Blood squirted and ran down the side of the man’s neck, trickling down and over his chest before dripping at his feet. Victoria watched in shock as Derrick’s red eyes burned brighter and brighter. When he finally pulled away, blood dripped down his face onto his shirt and he turned to her with a smile. “Derrick?”

“Relax, Victoria, I’m still me,” he said, spitting a mouthful of blood to the floor.

“What the hell were you thinking?”

“In five minutes, ask him,” he replied before exiting the room. With a final look towards their captive, she swiftly chased after him.

“Derrick?” she called his name, striding briskly behind him trying to catch up. “DERRICK!”

“WHAT?!” he shouted in return.

“Give me your hand.”

“That’s not necessary, Victoria.”

“It is for my peace of mind. Now please, Derrick, don’t make me ask again.” She waited with her hand extended for him to comply. With a sigh, he edged forward, placing his hand in hers. Victoria encircled his hand, closed her eyes and began invoking. “Vade, daemonia. Dimattam anima vestra ad infernum. Exsolvo.” 

They watched as a black cloud snaked out of his mouth, wafted momentarily above his head and vanished into thin air. “Can you maybe warn me before you do something stupid like that again?”

“Oh you mean sort of like you warned me before running off half-cocked into the middle of a trap in the dead of night?” he retorted. “I thought reckless behavior was tonight’s theme. I was just following your lead.”

“Alright, Derrick, I get it. It was foolish of me to not mention the meeting at the park. I just thought…well I knew you’d try and stop me.”

“You’re damn right I would have! I felt it was a trap from the moment you mentioned it but I still tagged along because despite my best efforts I knew you wouldn’t have listened. Victoria, I know you’re growing more and more in your powers and you may feel invincible but the truth of the matter is you’re not. No matter how indestructible you feel, no matter how impervious your best protection spell may be there will always be someone bigger, badder and stronger that will come along and test you.”

“Like tonight.”

“Exactly,” he sighed and pulled her closer. “I don’t mean to scold you like some child but it’s the only way I can get through to you. I love that you’re exploring your magic but you have me and you have Mike, we’re here for a reason. Use us.”

“Right,” she breathed and dropped her head to his shoulder. “So. What now?”

“Now we see how well my plan worked. That toxin has to be raging hell inside our little friend and I’m sure he’ll be begging for relief. Let’s see if it’s loosened his lips any.”

“Water…please…” the cultist stammered, trying to lift his head high enough to look at Derrick.

“Water is for good little boys and girls only,” he teased, kneeling in front of him. “Tell us what we want to know and maybe you’ll get yourself a glass of water. If not, I’ll stand here and watch as your organs liquefy and you start bleeding from every orifice.”

“Rowan,” the cultist mumbled, nearly sobbing as the pain worsened.

“Excuse me?” Derrick asked, unsure of what he’d heard. “Come again?”

“ROWAN!” he shouted, dropping his head to his chest. “He sent us after the girl.”

“You mean Victoria?”

“Yes. He wanted to test her.”

“Test me?” Victoria repeated and moved closer. “Test me for what?”

“Water, please.”

“No. Answers now, water later. Is Rowan responsible for what happened to the woman in the park? The one in the raincoat.”


“And that jogger?”

“She was hexed. I don’t know. He had some friend of his help. All I know is he wanted to see how you’d react to her death.”

“Are you saying he’s been behind these murders the whole time?”

“No. The park was a copycat. We don’t know who’s responsible for the previous murders. We were told to make it look like the others to draw you out. I’m not really a cultist. My name is Jerry, Jerry Harrell. I’m just an initiate.”

“An initiate? What’s that?” Victoria asked, gazing at Derrick.

“An initiate is a human, aware of our kind, who…for the lack of a better term, pledges, to be turned,” Derrick answered, turning to her with a frown. “Victoria, I know what this is about.”

“Well do you mind filling me in?”

Taking her by the arm, Derrick led Victoria from the room, shutting the door behind him. “The witch trials.”

“You mean Salem?”

“No. Every five years there is a tournament of sorts held for newly minted magical beings. It’s been going on for maybe the last century. The Keepers have been searching for someone capable of preventing the Cult of the Damned from summoning the Destroyer.”

“That’s what you told me when we first met.”


“So we’re coming full circle. Rowan is in town for me?”


“And you’ve known this since the day he popped into Dante’s.”


“Don’t,” she said, waving off his attempt to apologize or offer up an excuse. “So what do we do now?”

“Now, I need you to keep your plans with Aria.”

“What? You’ve got to be kidding me! Not three hours ago I murdered someone in cold blood, Derrick! And now when we’re finally on to something you expect me to what? Pretend as though everything is normal and have lunch with Aria?”

“Yes, Victoria, that’s exactly what I want you to do.”

“Oh. I get it. You need me out of the way. So while I’m out with Mike’s future wife, what are you going to be doing?”

“Taking care of an old friend.”

“I want to be there for that.”

“No. It’s best you stay as far away from this as possible.” Victoria started to say something but Derrick gave her a look and added, “Please.”

“Fine. But none of this ‘in the dark’ bullshit. I want to know everything that’s happening, Derrick. I mean it.”

“I promise. I’ll call you when I know more.”

“What about him?” she asked, referring to the man still chained to Derrick’s wall.

“I’ll take care of him.” The words had an ominous feel to them, but Victoria hesitated to ask what exactly Derrick’s plans were. Instead she nodded, thanked him and started upstairs.


*Author’s note: “Vade, daemonia. Dimattam anima vestra ad infernum.  Exsolvo” means “Go demons. I release your soul to hell. Release” in Latin.*



  1. OMG why are you confusing me??? Rowan, witch trials, so much going on!!! I'm with Vik, I don't want to be kept in the dark either. I want to know what the hell is going on. LOL

    I did think it was funny that Vik had the nerve to try and 'scold' Derrick on being reckless after what she did and has done in the past. I'm glad he called her on that. He's a 400+ year on vampire that's pretty damn immune to almost everything, and she's, well not, so yeah the same rules don't apply no matter how independent and badass she wants to think she is. hahaha I hope what Derrick said got through to her this time and she'll cut back on this kick ass, ask questions later behavior. It'll get her or both of them hurt or killed.

    Happy to see an update!!! This made my day.

    1. Hmm? What? Me? I'd never! Derrick has made a promise to let her know and he'll keep it. He'll have to if he doesn't want to lose her again.

      Yeah Victoria has a way about her. Hopefully this last excursion into danger will teach her to use caution. Hopefully. Derrick has the ability to survive these things. She has to practice more to become anywhere his equal.

      It was great being able to work on these stories. Hopefully the next won't take as long but...stuff always happens :(

      Thank you for reading :)

  2. That initiate didn't stand a chance of keeping his secrets between Victoria and Derrick.

    Rowan testing Vik. Ugh. That is SO not good. Watching Derrick confront Rowan should make a hell of a chapter to read, though. I can't wait!