“It matters,” Julian said through gritted teeth, deciding delicacy was no longer in the cards, “because I am a vampire hunter. Within that room is a vampire, who may have already started to feed on a young lady, and - as vexing as you’ve been - I’d rather not see you become nourishment for the undead.” Julian reached for her elbow, trying to steer her away from the doors. “Now, if you could kindly make yourself scarce - or better yet, go fetch the house guards - I can be about my business and perhaps save a life tonight.”
His bluntness did not have the anticipated effect on the young woman. He knew it wasn’t as if she was going to faint dead away at the news - she seemed to be made of stronger stuff than that - but he had expected a gasp, a little paling of the skin, and maybe an apology for being an interfering piece of baggage and a promise to let him get on with his work.
Instead, he got an eye roll.
An eye roll.
“Oh, well, if it’s just a vampire,” she said airily, “I don’t think I’ll have a problem. You may sit this one out, my lord.”
Julian thought he could be forgiven for what happened next, given the state of utter bafflement her words briefly put him into, though no one at his club would have let him forget it if they had witnessed it.
The woman tugged her arm out of his grasp and, in a swirl of skirts, danced out of his way in two quick, easy steps. Before Julian could comprehend what she was doing, she’d grasped the handle of the door, thrown it open, and ducked inside without so much as another word to him.
Miss Hinchcliffe lay on the floor in a puddle of pink silk in the middle of the room, blood dripping from two gashes in her neck. Her diamond necklace had been torn from her person, the gems scattered on the floor and glowing in the candlelight. She was pale, but not overly so, and she was breathing, which was all Julian had hoped for. He’d need to attend to her once he killed the vampire to prevent her shock from becoming too great.
And the vampire?
Somehow, in the scant minutes she’d managed to get out of his sight, his mystery woman had managed to pull the vampire off of Miss Hinchcliffe, drag it over to one of the nearby vanities where she had, judging by the shards of glass everywhere, smashed its head into a mirror, before pinning it - thrashing and snaring and spitting like mad - to the counter.
With one arm.
Julian knew exactly what kind of strength it took to take down a vampire that had new blood in its system, and the woman in red didn’t even looked strained by the effort. With her free hand, she reached up and pulled her hair piece free, sending her brown hair rolling down her back in waves. The hair piece, Julian noted with dawning horror, was made of wood.
“Oh, shut it, you,” she told the vampire as it hissed some insult at her and, without further ado, plunged the sharp end of the hair piece into the creature’s chest.
I’m caught up to yesterday’s word court goal (this seems to be a running theme…) and I gotta go grill some things at a friend’s house because ‘murica. Hopefully I’ll be able to write the other 2Kish when I get home.