What would you do if you awoke from a coma to discover you could sense vampires? Burke didn't believe such creatures existed until it happened to him. Horrified, but accepting what he now knew was the truth, he vowed to eliminate them, destroying any who he could tell were not benign.
Vampire Reynaud has been charged by his King to find the person they've dubbed The Hunter and end his existence before he kills more of their kind. The problem is, how can he find one human in the masses living in New Orleans? It turned out to be easier than he anticipated, although he didn't know it until events transpired that revealed his new, human, friend was the also The Hunter.
Will the saying opposites attract prove true, or will these two men who have begun to care for each other be torn apart by their differences?
"How the hell do I find one special human in this mass of humanity?" Reynaud said under his breath as he surveyed the throngs of people wandering up and down Bourbon Street Friday night.
It was well after midnight and he had been at it, cruising the Quarter, from the moment the sun had gone down. He'd seen enough humans misbehaving -- primarily because of their propensity to drink the night away -- to make him glad he was no longer one of them. He hadn't been since his turning soon after arriving in the New World from France in the late sixteen-hundreds. He had been part of an expeditionary force, ending up at the encampment known as 'Port Bayou St. Jean'. There, he had met and fallen in love with Jean de Bellisle, who would soon become his Sire in order to save his life after a battle against the natives who populated the area.
Finding out that Jean was a vampire had been a shock, but not an insurmountable one because Reynaud did love him. What was almost insurmountable was Jean vanishing soon after Reynaud's obligatory year with him was up. A year during which Jean taught his Child what it took to exist as a vampire. While devastated at the loss of his lover, Reynaud had no choice but to continue on. He had witnessed the founding of Nouvelle-Orleans a few years later, becoming one of its unknown citizens. Then he had met Antoine, who had taken him under his wing. Despite the fact that he was thousands of years older than Reynaud, the two vampires had bonded, forming a friendship which had lasted through the years. When Antoine had become the King of the territory -- which was comprised of Vieux Carré or the French Quarter, and everything between it and the western edge the Garden District, including the Central City -- he had made Reynaud his second-in-command.
They had weathered many crises in the ensuing years but none as strange as the one they were facing at the moment.
Are you even out and hunting tonight? Given what little they knew of The Hunter's habits, Reynaud was fairly certain he had to be. Finding him, however, was another thing. His plan was to approach someone and lure them to a dark corner or hidden courtyard, making it appear as if he was going to feed from them. If he was lucky, and he hadn't been so far, The Hunter would see him and follow. All Reynaud needed was a glimpse of the man before vanishing -- hopefully without getting shot in the process.
That hadn't happened. No one had followed him during his four attempts this evening. He had released his supposed prey, wiping their memories of him first.
"Fuck it," he grumbled. "This is an exercise in futility." A necessary one, he knew, but still frustrating.
Deciding it was time to get off the street and relax for a while, he changed directions, heading to Dauphine Street and a two-story gay club he liked in the Quarter,. Beautiful men, perhaps dancing with one. Not that he would do more than that. Humans were not safe when it came to hooking up. They wanted to know more than he was willing to reveal -- such as why he would only be available after dark. Keeping the existence of vampires a secret was not only a necessity; it was the law, set down by the vampire council thousands of years ago and followed to this day. A rogue who broke it was summarily executed, along with any human who knew what they were and threatened to reveal their presence.
The main room of the club was alive with sound and activity. He stopped at the bar long enough to order a glass of wine then headed upstairs to what was called The Pub. He got lucky, finding a just vacated table on the outside balcony where he could watch both the street and the men mingling or dancing in the pub's interior. He could have remained inside but he enjoyed being out there in the fresh air, away from the odiferous, crowded streets where he had spent most of the night.
Leaning back, he sipped his wine while comparing the merits of several lone men seated at the bar. None piqued his interest enough to want to ask them to dance, but he could wait. Who knows who might walk in, and I'll miss them because I was too impatient to stay?