Revenge is not sweet.
Of course it isn't. How could it be? It's sticky and wet and salty with just a hint of a metallic twang. It's the blood that clings to my skin, my hair, my clothes - and my knives. It's the foreign taste in my mouth that makes me wonder how vampires live on this stuff. It's the smile on my face as I bend to stare closer at Fearless Leader's girlfriend's unseeing face. Eien told me once there's enough blood in the human body to paint a small room. You would have to be a lot more careful extracting it than I just was to do that then, I guess. She never knew what hit her though; that was my one small gift to her. A pittance I suppose, but nothing more than she deserved.
I can hear screaming behind me and I turn to face the noise. William H. Macy and his girlfriend stand behind me; the shriek is coming from her lips. As the sound dies out, he speaks, "What happened?"
I debate between lying and just blurting out the truth when the fiancee takes the question from me. "Isn't it obvious? She found her like that." That's not what her eyes say. She knows, or she thinks she knows. She's convicted me in her eyes, and to her, that's all that matters. And wouldn't you know it? For once, she's right.
Fearless Leader's eyes are suspiciously bright but still dry. She doesn't even take the time to mourn her girlfriend. Instead, she opts to enter the room and grab me by the hair and drag me to the door. Damn, I knew I should have cut it; it's bad enough Eien likes to do that with Fearless Leader starting it too. With a rough jerk of her arm, she tosses me in the direction of the fiancee, William H. Macy, and his girlfriend. "Start looking. Their leader has to be here somewhere." She points a sharp fingernail at the fiancee. "You're with me." She nods at William H. Macy and his girlfriend. "You two together. Don't get split up." Not a word to me. Big surprise. Oh well, it works even better for my plan.
I watch them wander off, Macy and his girlfriend sending worried glances over their shoulders to me, before turning myself and heading off. A soft scuffling sound draws my attention, and seconds later, a figure drops into my view. I act on instinct, slamming a forearm across the top of its chest and raising a dagger as a clear threat. "Jason," I greet in a voice far more friendly than my actions would betray, "nice of you to drop in. Where's Eien?"
He grins, showing broad hints of fang. "He's following the two you wanted us to spare."
I nod. "Let's go then." I turn and start in that direction.
Jason's hand on my elbow holds me in check. "Eien says you're loyal to us, that you won't betray us too. Is that true?"
I glance at him over my shoulder. "I'm not doing this for you. I don't give a damn about your cause." I smile, and I know it's threatening. "I'm doing this for myself - and for Eien. The rest is incidental. Now, let's get this dealt with. I'm ready for this whole bloody mess to be over and done with."
"No more than we are." The disgust in his voice is plain. Yeah, they still don't like me being around Eien. It's not like I love him or anything, but he saved my life once, eight months ago. I'd either be dead or the undead now if not for him, so what he asks me to do, I will. And if it means it helps my own revenge, even better. "Let's get this over with."
I track across the floor, quiet but not nearly as silent as the vampire behind me and the vampire I'm looking for. There are William H. Macy and his girlfriend, and in the shadows on our side of them is Eien. I'd have missed him in the dark if it weren't for his eyes. I slip over to him and kneel at his side. "They're down one," I whisper without preamble.
"Where's their leader?"
I gesture to the side furtively. "She went in that direction. The fiancee's with her." I bite my lip, eyeing the two humans before us. "They're both heavily armed. I know I saw a couple of guns, crosses, maybe holy water -"
His fingers grab my chin in a gentle grip that I know I can't break, and he turns my face so that I'm looking at him. "Weapons or not, they're still only human. I am not. Don't worry."
I smile slightly. "You know I'm not going to stop." My eyes dart towards the two humans once again. "Let me get them out of the way before we go after the other two."
He nods once, and I climb to my feet and step out of hiding, approaching Macy and his girlfriend on silent feet. When I'm finally only a step or so behind them, she turns and starts, a hand flying over her heart. "You scared me," she complains in a whisper.
I have to hold back a wince. I definitely had not wanted them to realize I was there. Even Fearless Leader's girlfriend hadn't realized I was behind her till I'd had the knife in her the first or second time. "Sorry." I try to sound polite, maybe even like I mean the word, but it falls flat on my ears. "I heard something over here and came to check it out."
She turns, glancing around. "Do you think they might be over here?" William H. Macy joins her in looking about warily.
While their attention is elsewhere, I slide my knives out of their sheaths, reversing them in my hands so the blades lay along my forearms. I will have to time this just right. Which one is the bigger threat to me and will need to be dropped first? Probably Macy; he outweighs me by a good hundred pounds or so. I suck a deep breath in and let my hand fly.
The hilt of the dagger catches him hard on the back of the head, and he crumples to the ground. His girlfriend whirls to face me, already dropping in a defensive crouch. "What the -? What are you doing?"
Better make this good. Oh, who am I kidding? "Keeping you alive, you idiot. Either stay here with him and be quiet, or I'll knock you out too."
Confusion is clear on her face as she puzzles over my words. I can actually watch the light bulb go off in her mind as the answer comes to her. "You sold us out!"
I guess now is the time to be as evil as people seem to think I am. "No. Selling you out implies I got money, and apparently you're not even worth that." Now that's a bold-faced lie; Eien had offered me money originally, before he found out about my beef with them, before he found out I'd do this for free; but she doesn't need to know that. Vampires are nothing if not pragmatic, I've found.
"Why? Why would you do this to us?"
I can see it in her eyes, the feeling of betrayal. I'll be damned; at least, this one cares enough still to feel deceived. Guess I'm pulling this off better than I'd been expecting to. Maybe, if I live through this, I should pursue a career in acting. That's a pretty big 'if' though, so I'm not holding my breath on that new job yet. "I don't know. Why did you guys work me over back then? Why did you guys call me in to help fight the vamps last year - then leave me to them? Why didn't you guys come when I was captured eight months ago?"
Surprise blinks across her face again. "You were captured?"
I snort inelegantly. This part, at least, is not faked. "As if you didn't know." She shakes her head in denial, and something in her eyes makes me realize... she did not know. That alone makes me start babbling, a past-time I used to be well-known for but now only do when I'm nervous or confused. "The vamps grab me eight months ago. Sent a ransom to Fearless Leader." I nod in the woman's general direction, or at least the direction she'd started off in earlier. "Only she refused it completely. Hells, she sent the note back to them in pieces, along with the message 'Kill her and save me the trouble'." Her eyes water slightly, and all I can see in them is pity, something I've never liked seeing applied to myself. Not that this level of anger makes me any less babbly; it's always when I get to the final, quiet stage that you need worry. Only Eien has ever seen it, though it was directed at Fearless Leader. "It's not like it was that bad. The vamps were real polite hosts: kept the beatings to a minimum, at least two good meals a day. Finally they realized they could recruit me to help them with their revenge, and I joined up willingly. Eagerly, even."
Might as well lay it on thick while I'm laying it. Have to make sure I continue to keep Eien's name out of it while I'm going though. "You and your friends made my life a living hell. I'm going to make theirs a dead one."
She starts slightly. "'Theirs'?" She looks a bit puzzled. "But... back there... you killed her, didn't you?"
"Fearless Leader's girl? Yeah, I did." I glance at the unconscious man on the ground. If I let this carry on much longer, he'll be waking up - and I can't guarantee I'll be able to put him down so gently next time. "You and him haven't been too bad, though, and he wasn't around for the raid a year ago. We're willing to spare you both. But, since we have to make sure you don't interfere..."
I let my words trail off, flipping my knives back and forth, before darting forward with a kick aimed towards her stomach. She blocks it, as I knew she would, but doesn't take the expected punch. And I had been going to give it to her as a freebie, something to make her feel better about knocked out while the others die. I turn slightly on my heel and drive my elbow into her solar plexus. She goes down silently.
I turn towards where Eien and Jason were waiting. "All clear," I say softly, barely more than a whisper. They hear it anyway and step forward.
"Nice job," Eien states as he steps over Macy's unconscious form. It takes all my willpower not to beam as he speaks. Eien gives compliments about as often as Fearless Leader gives me hearty handshakes, and I'm choosing to accept those two words as a compliment.
"Took long enough," grumbles Jason, and I have to resist the urge to stick my tongue out at him. Eien's second-in-command he might be, but ours is a mutual hatred. I hate him, he hates me, and it's because we're both jealous of the other's time with Eien. We both only want what's best for him, and we're apparently going to kill each other in the pursuit of that.
Note to self: if I live through this, I must propose a menage a trois between Eien, Jason, and me, if only to see if vamps can blush. I bet I can get Jason to turn some interesting colors if they can.
"Let's get this over with. I don't want to be here the rest of the night with these bitches." I flip the standard knives back into their sheaths then reach behind my back for my final knife, and I place in Eien's hand. "As promised, the knife to cut her heart out with. Let's hunt them down."
First draft & revision: 06 August 2004
And there it is, the end of the Que Sera Sera trilogy. Kind of a non-ending, isn't it? Once upon a time, when I was first starting to write on the internet, I had the title "The Queen of Cliffhangers". I'm reclaiming it as of now.
Really, what this non-ending does is allow each reader to choose their own ending. In my mind, our unnamed protagonist finishes off her revenge and has a wet and wild threesome with Eien and Jason. But the way it is now, you can apply your own opinion and decide what happens from here.
Does she live? Does she complete her revenge? Is there wild monkey sex? It's up to you, dear readers. Have fun.
Finally, this was originally based on a very strange dream I had back in January 2004. I decided to continue the series into a trilogy rather than take my anger out on the person Fearless Leader is based on, due to her actions to a friend of mine.