The Cactus Killer – Chapter 3

No small talk today people, we will save that for tomorrow’s post!  Now grab your coffee, latte, or hot chocolate and get ready for the next Chapter in Vic’s adventures.

Chapter 3

My dad had given me quite the headache. After hours of questions and his own personal opinions, he finally signed off on the idea. It was important because he was the leader of the Red wolves and if he did not and I went against him, it would mean banishment. Dad was hardheaded but he saw the reasoning to stop this guy now before our community was affected.

In our culture, the community was the most important thing. No wolf, not even the Alpha, was bigger than the community as a whole. With all three packs taking up residence here and the fact that both Chaz and Archibald were on the same page showed that importance.

To give it some perspective, when the town was first established many years ago, it was just a small Red wolf colony. It didn’t take long for the Blacks and Silvers to find us and want to settle away from humans as well. The Reds agreed and soon a pact was made between all three as a way to keep the peace. Each clan would get a vote on matters that affected the community and if it wasn’t a full agreement, then nothing was to be done. It wasn’t often that all three ever agreed on anything.

I was out on my back deck grilling up a steak and drinking a beer. Sunday was my day off anyway, so even without the added stress of the vampire’s proposal, I would have drank a longneck or two. The steak was sizzling nice, so I took an opportunity to sit down and let the evening breeze calm me.

I live in one of the smaller subdivisions only minutes from the town center. I originally picked this house due to the low HOA fees. After a few years of living here, this place turned into home. I just finished building the deck and was contemplating adding a pool.

“Would you like some company?”

My eyes snapped open and standing on my deck was Elizabeth. Not only did she not register on the old nose, but she had made no sound either. “I would ask how you snuck up on me, but I feel it has something to do with being older than dirt.”

“Not many would say such things, but coming from you, one might think that was flirting. Yes, I can mask myself well; even you would not be able to detect me if I did not want you to.”

It looked like she had been out for a run, wearing workout clothes and sneakers. With her five inch heels gone, she was now a more appropriate height. Werewolves tend to be on the shorter, stockier side, so just like everything else, I was a bit different there too. At five-eleven and more lean than muscular, I was one of the taller people in Full Moon. “I never say no to good company, so pull up a seat. Just one rule though…”

“And what might that be, sheriff?”

“No shop talk here. I’m not the sheriff back here, just Vic Inglewood.”

She was good company. We didn’t talk about anything other than ourselves. I got the impression from her that she was very lonely. That was something I could understand. Most in Full Moon were pleasant to me if not downright nice. The problem is I’m the sheriff and I’m not your standard wolf. Most of the girls in the Red pack were worried if they tried to start a family with me that any kids would end up with my condition. It was a legitimate fear and one I respected. When I told Elizabeth that, she didn’t seem to understand.

“Why would you stay here, Vic if you do not have a chance for your own happiness?”

“Well, my family lives here and if I wasn’t here to keep this town in line, who would?”

“You should not sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of the others.”

I got what she said, but I called her crap on it. “Aren’t you just as lonely as I am? I might be from a little town, but I know how the world works.”

“Most vampires stay away from me. Certain reputations come with my title and my age. Unlike you, I am much too entrenched to change my path. Do not make the same mistakes I have.”

After that, we switched over to more pleasant conversations like baseball. I was surprised by how much she knew about the sport. Living in the southwest, it turned out we shared a love of Diamondbacks.

“After this is all over, you should come with me to a game. Being the head of a territory comes with certain perks, like box seats to any sporting event I want.”

“Shut the front door! You could get me into the luxury boxes for a game?”

“Of course, it would be nothing for me to call in a favor. My main office is only fifteen minutes from the stadium. I know plenty of people in town who owe me and could make it happen.”

“In that case lady, you got yourself a deal. I accept this case and after we put this scumbag away, me and you are going to a baseball game!”

“You drive a hard bargain. If I would have known it was this easy, I would have said something much sooner. As you said, let us put this scumbag away and then we will have a date at the ballpark!”

It didn’t escape me that she called it a date. Just how lonely was this woman? Anyway, the rest of the evening kept the pleasant touch and by eleven pm, I was ready to call it a night. I didn’t know if and when Elizabeth slept, but I offered her a spot on the pull-out couch in the living room. She politely declined and said she had some other things to do before she left tomorrow afternoon.

“Meet me at that lovely little diner you took me to tomorrow at noon. We will go over more there, once you are back on the clock.” She winked at me and waved farewell.

I went back in my house and hit the sack. It didn’t take long for me to fall right to sleep. I was in the middle of a very pleasant dream involving Elizabeth and I attending game seven of the World Series when I was rudely interrupted by my phone.

“Sheriff Inglewood here.” I wasn’t sure if that came out coherent, but at one thirty in the morning it was the best I could do.

“Vic, I’m so sorry to wake you!” It was Billy. “But you need to get down to the hospital quick. The lady vampire who was here to see you today has been attacked and is in critical condition!”

Wasting no time, I told Billy I’d see him soon. I got dressed and grabbed my gun. I had a bad feeling about this. It was a quick drive through town to the hospital. I flashed my badge and one of the nurses led me to the room. Elizabeth was a mess, but she was still alive.

“Billy, is she responsive?”

“Barely, she lost a lot of blood, but so far she has reacted poorly to any werewolf blood transfusion. I think she needs to feed on a human!” He whispered that last part like it was some taboo subject.

“Doctor, can you wake her?” He shook his head yes and I turned to Billy. “We can’t let her die, no way no how. Go down to the station and inform the mayor and DA of the situation. I will stay here and oversee the operation.”

With Billy gone and Elizabeth finally coming to, I also asked the doctor to leave. He started to protest but I told him I had a plan and it wasn’t going to be pretty. It dawned on him what I was planning to do and he said he would be right outside should I need immediate attention.

“Elizabeth, are you there?”

“Vic…” She started coughing up more blood.

“Don’t talk okay? Just do what I say. I’m going to put my arm down and I need you to take what you can. You aren’t dying on my watch.”

Before she had time to say no, I put my forearm in front of her mouth. Instincts must have taken over and her fangs latched on. I wish I could say it didn’t hurt and I took it like a man, but it hurt like hell. The only good thing is I wasn’t conscious very long. After a few minutes, I too must have lost enough blood and blacked out.

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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/jcroston2 (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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