Vampire Dating Agency: The Finale (4 page)

BOOK: Vampire Dating Agency: The Finale
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CHAPTER
FOURTEEN

 

 

There was no dream. No imagining. No
faraway place her mind had traveled to in between the sip of poison, and her
awakening here.

She was on a
bed. Just a mattress and a pillow. No covers.

She sat up
and lifted her legs off the edge of it. Her bare feet touched the floor.
Someone had taken her shoes off. To the far right she could see there was a
curtain. It covered the entire wall.

In the
ceiling above she could see there was a camera mounted.

There was a
mobile phone in the middle of the floor.

“It’s starting,”
Haley whispered. “You’re revealing yourself to me…”

She forced
herself up and took a step across the room. She felt light headed. But at the
same time she doubted she’d been asleep for very long.

The phone on
the ground was vibrating.

Haley looked
up the camera, watching it, as if it were about to move.

Keeping her
eyes on it she walked over to the phone, crouched down, and took the call.

Static.
Rustling.

“Haley.”

Just one
word.

One word
undisguised.

No
synthesizers. No anonymity.

This was
real.

“Haley, are
you there?”

“Hello,” Haley
said softly. She walked over to the bed and sat down. “This is Brock, isn’t
it?”

“Yes,” he
answered. “This is Brock.”

Haley leaned
back against the wall. “I should have realized. I should have seen through
you.”

“Haley. Tell
me what you’re thinking. What you’re feeling. Everything.”

Haley shook
her head. “I don’t know if I care anymore. That’s what I’m thinking.”

“What don’t
you care about?”

“You.”

“Even after …
even after all I’ve done for you.”

“Is that
supposed to be a joke?”

A pause.

“Yes,” Brock
said.

“Well. Okay.
What happens now?”

More silence.
She thought she could hear someone in the background on his end.

“Haley, stand
up.”

“So you are
watching then?”

“Just stand
up.”

Haley stood.

“Do you see
the curtain?”

“I’m not
blind.”

“Take it
down.”

Haley looked
at it, irritated. “Or what?”

Silence.

Her eyebrows
narrowed. “
Or what
?”

“You knew you
were coming here. You knew you were going to play one last game with me. I
promise after this, it will all be over.”

Haley thought
of some things she might like to say.

But none of
them reflected her malice enough.

She walked
slowly towards the curtain.

Brock
remained silent.

She reached
up.

And pulled it
down.

 

CHAPTER
FIFTEEN

 

 

It was around somewhere a year after the
night Cresh had been killed, that Riley McCormick had been brought in by the
Centre of Paranormal Investigation. Luna Evans had been at the table, but she
wasn’t yet in a senior role. Meanwhile Riley hadn’t had contact with them since
the fall out and didn’t have one clue why she’d been brought in or what they
wanted from her.

“According to
our records, your benefits are due to run out next month, Ms. McCormick,” one
of the staffers said. “We were wondering if you had lined yourself up with some
suitable work, or if perhaps you were still looking?”

“I’ll get
by,” Riley said. “One way or another.”

“Yes, we know
that you’re resourceful. We were wondering if you would be interested in a
casual job here. Some good old fashioned undercover work.”

“That was never
really my thing,” Riley said. “Luna should’ve told you that.”

“Actually,
Ms. Evans recommended you very highly. Certainly more than … Jason Freelaw …
and Dino Hinch…”

“Alright, I’m
listening,” Riley said. “What kind of undercover work did you have in mind?”

“We want you
to tail a particular vampire that has come to our attention. We believe him to
be the true mastermind behind the killings that took place a year ago, and one
you have an acquaintance with…”

“Oh really?
And which vampire would that be?”

“The Count.
Or should we say the New Count, Brock Ferns.”

 

CHAPTER
SIXTEEN

 

 

The updates to Brock ran in progress:

 

Kendra is
here. She’s talking to Dino.

 

Someone’s
wiped out Luna and her whole team. The Count???

 

The Count is
here. I can see him.

 

How do I
engage?

 

Brock wrote
back:
Attack him.

Riley put the
phone away. As she did so, she noticed Jason half peering over her shoulder.

“Hey,” Riley
hissed, backing away from him. “Don’t perv.”

“Whose name
was that? Was it Brock’s?” he demanded.

“Different
Brock.”

Riley hurried
away from him and stuck to the crowd as it formed a circle around the Count. Dino
and Nadine were both standing in the centre, while Jason moved in by the edge.

“I hope you
all are prepared to hear what I have to say,” the Count said. “Otherwise we’ll
have to deal with things in a much more unpleasant way.”

“Why should
we?!” Dino shouted. “You’re a fucking murderer!”

“Unfortunately
that might be true,” the Count said. “But I didn’t kill any of your people. I
was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Set up, if you will.”

“Bullshit,”
Nadine sneered. “Prepare to die!”

She ran at
the Count, Dino just behind her.

But as they
reached him another figure dropped from the sky and landed in the space between
them. Riley had to move round to get a better view.

It was
Kendra.

“If you want
him, you have to get through me first.”

Dino and
Nadine looked at each other.

“You traitor
bitch, Kendra,” Jason called out from the cusp of the circle.

“Don’t you
want to know who the
real
traitor is?” the Count called back. “I always
knew who she was, but it wasn’t till tonight that I saw proof of it with my own
eyes.”

Riley began
to feel sick.

She left the
circle and began walking away down the road, hoping no one would notice.

“Come on,
Dino,” Nadine said. “You’re done listening to this shit, aren’t you?”

“Hey!” Jason
shouted. “Riley? Where are you going?”

Riley glanced
back. “I’m really sorry. I have to go.”

“I don’t
believe this –”

She looked
again to see Jason following her.

“What’s going
on with this?” Dino demanded. “Are you saying one of us killed Luna? Are you
saying – that it was Riley?”

Kendra looked
back to the Count.

“If you know
what’s good for you, Riley, you’ll stop running now,” Kendra shouted.

Jason had
already gotten hold of her.

“Where are
you going?” he asked, flustered.

“Stop it,”
Riley resisted. “Let go.”

“Tell me it’s
not you,” he said. “Please tell me. After … all we’ve been through…”

Riley winced.
“I don’t want to lie to you,” she said.

“You fucking
bitch,” Jason sobbed. “How could you? What’s the matter with–?”

“Jason,
listen to me now,” the Count called. “I didn’t kill your family. And neither
did Riley.”

“But she’s
still a traitor, isn’t she?”

“No,” the
Count said putting a hand on Kendra’s shoulder. “No, she isn’t a traitor at all.”

He moved
Kendra to one side as he moved forward.

“The true
traitor is the same as it was from the very beginning. The same as when I told
Dermott her true identity before he died. The true traitor, is Nadine Blue.”

 

CHAPTER
SEVENTEEN

 

 

Blue. It was the color of fire. The
color of lies and deception. He had laid it out for her this way – the green
and red doors to either side of it, fading away into the background. He was
here, centre stage. He was waiting for her to open the door.

“Describe
what you see,” Brock said on the other side of the phone. “Describe what’s
behind the curtain.”

“Why? Don’t
you already know what’s there?”

“Describe
it.”

Haley sighed.
“Three doors. Three colors. Green, Blue and Red. The same color of the initial
three suspects. Not that I’m sure that has any significance now.”

“Patience,
please,” Brock said tonelessly. “I need you to focus.”

“Right.”

“Each of
those doors represents a choice for you. Two of the doors will lead you to
rooms that are empty. You will be able to find your way back to the social
affair. And I won’t bother you again tonight. The mystery will remain unsolved
for you.”

“And the
other door?”

“Should you
select the correct door, you will find me standing on the other side of it. And
this thing between us … can end tonight.”

“Yeah. How
about I open all three doors and take a peak before going in? What are you
going to do then?”

Silence on
Brock’s end.

“The other
doors will lock as the first one is opened. You can only make one choice.”

“I’m assuming
this is a trick question though, right? I know what color you are. Are you
telling me you’re behind your color?”

Another
pause.

“That’s for
you to decide,” Brock said. “Remember our conversation earlier if in doubt. And
remember always, that I –”

He cut out.

“Hello?”
Haley asked.

She looked
down at the phone.

Disconnected.

She pursed
her lips together and tossed it behind her, letting it break on the ground.

Blue.

Green. Red.

She was
tempted to just not think about it and walk through the Blue door. If anything
made sense, he had to be on the other side of it. If seeing him now was that
important to her anyway.

Yet, she
hesitated.

She felt as
if she was being manipulated somehow.

Blue was too
obvious. That’s why it was in the centre.

He wanted her
to pick the Blue.

And he wanted
her to lose, right?

Haley looked
up at the camera in the ceiling. That was there for a reason. He wanted to see
this.

He wanted to
see her sweat.

“Fucking
asshole,” Haley cursed.

She put her
hand to the Blue door. This was the one. This felt right. Except, for that
other thing.

She looked to
the other two doors.

She took a
step to the left and stood in front of the Green door.

This door had
absolutely nothing to do with Brock. But then perhaps there were other people
out there. People she hadn’t considered. People who were carrying this old flag

“No,” Haley
said shaking her head. “This has already been eliminated. This is done.”

She walked
back across passing the blue door.

She stood in
front of the Red.

This had been
the Count’s color.

Brock was the
new Count, he’d taken over the Vampire Dating Agency – perhaps he was trying to
transition over…

Bit of a
stretch.

But then who
knew how his pathetic mind worked?

Haley shook
her head, dissatisfied. She moved back to the centre of the room and looked at
all three doors.

“What’s
stopping you?” she asked, staring at the blue door. “Are you afraid of it
really being him?”

She knew it
was him.

It had to be.

She’d just
been talking to him for fuck’s sake!

“But what if
it wasn’t,” Haley whispered. “What if he still loved me after all this time?
What if he never had anything to do with this? What if he was just being
impersonated or … what if the real killer was making him say those things?”

Her mind
flashed with pain.

Who was lying
to themselves now?

She took a
step back towards the blue door.

It was
pulsating.

Vibrating.

The colors
were swirling around all over it.

Magic … was
in the air…

Remember…

Remember our
conversation earlier…

Remember, how
I always…

Will.

Love.

You.

Haley’s eyes
widened. She could feel him. She could feel the killer.

She knew
exactly what he wanted her to do.

Hiding behind
masks. And voice synthesizers.

And black
feathers.

She could see
him.

She knew who
he was.

Haley chose a
door…

BOOK: Vampire Dating Agency: The Finale
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