What would you do if you turned eighteen, with your whole life ahead of you, only to find out you were a dhampir, destined to spend your nights hunting vampires? Would you accept your fate, or walk away? Galen faces that decision, and makes the right choice.
By the time he's twenty-five, he's an expert at what he does. Then fate intervenes when a powerful elf emerges who wants to rule the world. Will Galen, with the help of his father Rénald, a loup garou named Marc, and two elves, Ian and Ewan, be able to foil the rogue elf's plan? And, in the process, can Galen find true love ... without dying before that happens?
Galen got lucky and found a parking space only two blocks from the cathedral. As he walked toward it, he found he was scanning the area for anyone who seemed -- strange. "Of course half the people who hang around here at this time of night are strange," he said under his breath.
When the cathedral came into view, he moved quickly across Colfax, wondering if Luc was there -- or if he really would show. Luc was -- standing by the front steps -- and Galen joined him.
Without preamble, as he began to walk east up Colfax, Luc said, "This is a prime hunting ground for them, given the fact dealers, prostitutes and the homeless hang around the area."
"And hello to you, too," Galen replied.
Luc glanced at him momentarily, smiling slightly. "Sorry. When I'm on the hunt I tend to focus on what I'm doing."
For the next half hour or so, Luc led the way up and down various alleys between Colfax and Sixteenth. Galen realized he was seeing a part of the city he didn't know existed -- all dark squalor and depravity. He stayed close to Luc while they walked past people buying, selling, and using drugs. Too often, in Galen's opinion, they came upon johns being serviced kids barely into their teens. In no case did they pay Galen and Luc the least bit of attention.
It was getting late, and Galen was about to tell Luc he'd had it with his tour of the circles of hell, when Luc turned down another alley and came to a halt. He pointed, putting a finger to his lips to caution Galen to be silent.
Ahead of them, halfway down the alley, Galen saw a dark shape. For a second it vanished, only to reappear farther down the alley by a pair of what Galen though were homeless people, huddled by a dumpster. The figure stood, looking down at the pair, then grabbed one of them, hauling him to his feet. There was a muffled cry of surprise before the figure -- Galen now saw it was a man -- took shape in the darkness of the alley. The man gripped his victim's chin, forcing his head back.
Seconds later, Luc was beside them, holding, much to Galen's shock, a short sword that glimmered in the dim light from the street. With one swift movement, Luc swung the sword, separating the attacker's head from his body. Instantly the attacker disintegrated. As Galen watched, Luc said something to the two homeless people, locking his gaze on each one as he spoke.
"Now do you believe?" Luc said, appearing at Galen's side again.
"I ..." was all Galen could say while he tried to assimilate what had happened.
"One vampire bites the dust -- and becomes dust," Luc told him with a dry smile.
"They couldn't see him until it was too late?" Galen asked.
"Nope. No one but the two of us knew he was there."
"That's ... I'm having a hard time believing ..."
"That what you saw really happened?"
"Yeah. Where the hell did the sword come from? You didn't have it a minute ago."
"This?" Luc reached over his shoulder. When he brought his hand back into view he was holding his sword. "It's invisible, as is the sheath, until I need it."
"Nice trick." Galen held out his hand and Luc gave him the sword. "It's definitely real enough."
"What? You thought it was a figment of your imagination?"
"Honestly, if I wasn't holding it, and hadn't seen you decapitate the vampire and him turn to dust, I'd think I was high on some of the drugs they sell around here. Hell, maybe I am."
"No, Galen, this is all real. Vampires are real. And so are we -- you and I."
"Fearless vampire hunters?" Galen's shivered. "This is… How did I…?"
"Are you ready to leave?" Luc asked.
"Unless you're planning on finding more of them, hell yes."
"It's not like the city is teeming with them. Or at least not with ones who are killers," Luc told him as they left the alley. "In this day and age, most vampires are baggers."
"Are what?" Galen asked, still trying to come to grips with the fact he now believed everything Luc had told him.
"They get their blood in bags, from blood banks set up specifically for them. Oh, don't go looking for one. They don't have signs over the doors. But they do exist."
"I suppose it's a good thing they do." Galen shuddered. "How the hell am I going to tell Mom?"
"I would suggest you don't," Luc told him dryly.
"Yeah. She might freak."
"So now what?"
"Now, you go home. Tomorrow, we'll get together again and I'll take you to meet my mentor."