The natives paid me no mind as I weaved in and out of the masses of humans. Their blood types all mixed to create a delicious aroma of life; I wiped the corners of my mouth to ensure that I wasn’t drooling.
A blanket of large lanterns lit up the long stretch of street that features local music, crafts, foods and trinkets. You could spot the tourists as their flash bulbs went off like fireworks every five seconds or so. I should have snatched one of them up but I was on a mission.
I had to find him.
The last scent I had picked up from him lead me from the Dark Village to this festive event. I could smell his blood; it was tainted with metal and death. Someone or something was torturing him. I could only imagine what he was going through.
I stopped alongside a food vendor; she offered a small cup of noodles ladled with a dark broth as she spoke in her native tongue. She was telling me to take the food and that I looked famished. Little did this woman know that the food that I needed was not in that bowl but in her veins. I declined the food with a wave of my hand and suddenly I felt a flash pass through me.
It was electric and hot; I would have blamed it on a nearby tourist but when I found one, his plump self was on his third bowl of fried rice. Suddenly, the flash hit me again and I saw his face.
“Mina…” his voice was whisper and I felt it against my ear. I turned around but found nothing. A third flash struck me in the chest. I saw his face, his body and his jade green eyes. I sucked in the cool night air as I saw him several feet ahead of me. He was draped in black from head to toe but his eyes, they went right through me.
“Alex?” I called. I started walking toward him but he turned and walked through the crowd. I quickened my pace, pushing my way through the crowd and keeping an eye on him. “Alex, wait!” He didn’t turn back to look at me but his pace seemed faster than. “Alex.”
He made his way through the crowd congestion under the lights then slipped into a patch of darkness where the street festivities were nonexistent. I followed him into the abyss and stood still. I tried to capture his dead like scent again; it was present…he was close.
“Alex?” I shouted into the dark. I turned in a complete circle, letting my eyes adjust to the lack of light. “Alex? Al…”
Something sharped teased my spinal column.
“You should have stayed in the States…” a raspy voice hissed. “I could kill you right here and no one would care. Your body will burn quicker than kindle.”
“Where’s Alex?” I asked. The voice chuckled against my ear. I cringed at the close contact.
“Why are you so concerned about that pile of flesh? He’s not ready to be turned, trust me…I know. You need someone who has what it takes to be your…” he paused and I heard him inhale deep before he finished his sentence, “equal…”
I pushed away from the stranger and turned to face him head on. Even in the darkness, I could make out his pale, olive skin, blood red eyes and porcelain white fangs. He smiled when ours met then he bowed graciously.
“At least we meet, Mina.”
“Who are you?” I questioned. He stood up straight, his smile still present as he moved closer to me. His demeanor now was like day compared to his previous threat.
“My name is Jax Statham. Let me say that it’s an honor to meet the woman who killed Maxim.” He reached for my hand but I pulled away. His smile stretched across his face as if by force.
“What do you want from me?” I asked. The strain in his smile softened.
“That depends…” he trailed off.
“What you will do for the man you love.”