So, from today and every week henceforth (I always wanted an excuse to use that word) I will post a short story based on the series or a deleted scene from one of the books. We’ll start with a scene from Demons of the Guilded. In this scene, we meet a member of the infamous Dray family. They are a family that has been hunting vampires for generations. They are ruthless from birth.
This scene takes place after Lillas leaves Captain Lenshrader. Jossus was supposed to be waiting for her in the lobby, but was running a little late. She then gets into a fight with Druis Dray, a man whom she’d faced before. They are evenly matched fighters and end up caught in an elevator trying to kill each other.
I deleted this scene because I didn’t want to introduce too many new families/people. Druis, one of his sisters Merris, and one of their nieces Zoe make an appearance in book two. We find out a little more about them as the series goes on.
ENTER THE DRAY
Lillas had reactivated one of the elevators. The elevator welcomed her to the first floor with a ding and automated door service. And a gift. Albeit one she could have lived without.
It was a golden ring. Beautiful rune tattoos decorated its body. The edge was lined with uncut diamond powder. It was a ring made for only one purpose. To sever one body part from another. In this case, Lillas’s head from her neck.
As far as lives go, if cats have nine, Lillas Mehkinnan definitely had a pride’s worth. The ring entered the elevator on an incline, just barely missing the tip of the demon hunter’s head. It would, however, get a second chance. And a third, and a forth.
The ring bounced around the elevator like it was in a pinball machine. Lillas ducked lower and lower, holding her arms out against the sides to keep steady while trying to think of some clever way to get that damn thing out of this box with her. Every time the ring went over her head she ducked a little lower. The noise it made as it hit the sides echoed in the hunter’s ears.
Lillas had gotten as low to the ground as she could. She almost hit panic mode when the ring clipped off the tip of her middle finger. Her hand was next, but the ring bounced one more time at an angle that sent it out of the doors and back to its owner.
Band-aids. The single greatest invention in human history. Effective. Inexpensive. Portable. Due to the nature of her life, Lillas had gotten into the habit of carrying a few band-aids in her back pocket. It was just her luck that the band-aids were on the left side of her body and it was her left hand that was injured.
After some twisting and maneuvering, Lillas managed to get a band-aid out of her pocket. Her breathing heavy from pain, she unwrapped the adhesive and stuck it over her wound. The pad got soaked with blood as soon as she placed it on her finger.
“You don’t really think that’s gonna work, do you?”
Lillas let out an aggravated sigh as she pushed herself to her feet. There was only one person in the world she knew who used a weapon like that. And she was as excited to see him as a cat to a snake.
He lifted her hand and helped her to her feet. Studying her non-mortal injury, he said, “It was supposed to be your head.”
“Well, your aim’s always sucked,” she said.
He smiled and said, “No, you’re just shorter than I remember.”
She didn’t say anything, but her look said, “Really?”
Fast as lightening, Lillas grabbed the blade off her side and swung it at Druis’ neck. But Druis, after seven years of fighting the demon hunter, knew his opponent very well. He caught her blade in his ring and dislodged it from her grip. She sent a fist flying to his face. He blocked her attack and sent one of his own to her face. She ducked, moved to his side then hit him in the back.
The contact forced them to switch positions, putting him in the elevator and her in the elevator doorway. He spun and went for a back-handed fist to her jaw. She blocked then took the opportunity to elbow him in his jaw. Then she stomped him in his chest, kicking him into the elevators back wall. He recovered quickly enough to push himself off the wall and land a punch squarely in her jaw. She spun around 360 degrees. When she returned to face Druis she had Spiral touched to his forehead. Which would have been great except he had a blade touched to her vocal cords.
“What’re you doing here, Druis?” Lillas asked. “Your family got kicked out.”
“Well, like we said then, there would come a day when they would need Dray.”
“Oh, puh-lease. What is that, your motto? Who thought that dumb shit up? You?”
“Ha haa. No. My father.”
“Yeah, well, your father’s an idiot.”
“Yeah, well, I’d say the same about yours, but you wouldn’t know one way or the other.”
“Oh, ho.” That was a low blow. She didn’t even have to tell him for him to know it.
They swiped each other’s hands out of their faces. Lillas head-butted him in the nose, breaking it. He pimp-slapped her, which would be leaving a bruise.
Druis and Lillas looked at each other like they had never met before.
“You slapped me?” Lillas asked, tilting her head up to meet his 6-foot height in his blue eyes.
Druis sniffed back some blood then wiped at his nose. “You head-butted me.”
The doors to the stairs broke open. More than fifteen officers rushed out with guns ready. They yelled, “Stop!” when they saw Lillas at the elevator. She dove inside, pushed the button to close the doors, then cut the power.
She could hear someone pushing on the button outside to try to get the doors to open. When they wouldn’t open a man yelled, “Lillas Mehkinnan. We know you’re in there. Open the doors or we will fire inside.”
When she didn’t answer, Druis asked, “What the hell are you doing? You’re going to get us both killed.”
She scoffed. “Since when are you afraid to die?”
“I’m not. I just don’t wanna die with you.”
She looked him in the eyes. “Which brings me to my next question. Why are you here? Why are you at GCPD?”
He smiled mischievously. “You know, when they asked us to come find you, I immediately said I’d take the 14th precinct. I knew you’d be here eventually. My next stop was going to be county.”
“Oh, funny,” she said sarcastically, noting his subtle jibe.
“Yeah. That’s what all the ladies say.”
“Yeah. Funny-looking is not the same thing.”
“Right. You know, you should feel honored, species traitor. The city brought my whole family back just to hunt you. After you escaped from S.W.A.T with that reaver friend of yours, they didn’t think their officers would be able to find you. So, they called us. So, you see, you’ve just locked yourself in an elevator with the man hired to kill you.”
And, this shit just got real.
Outside the door, Lillas and Druis heard a lot of scuffling. That noise was followed by the sound of a drill hitting metal. Lillas looked the door up and down. Her eyes sparkled blue and white then the drill noise stopped.
“The drill just died,” someone yelled. “We need a new drill.”
Lillas and Druis gave each other the eyes of enemies. “Are we doing this?” Druis asked.
“Let’s do it.”
Before Druis even saw her move, he had a knife implanted in his shoulder. He yelped as she hopped up and got into her fighter’s stance. In response he cracked her in the chin with a whip so fast she felt like she had been hit with thin air. Blood gushed from her wound. Normally, it would already be healing. But the bastard used a golden whip. Since Lillas was allergic to gold, the metal hindered the healing process. Not to mention the fact that it stung like a mo fo. She turned to the side as she held her injury with her hand, trying to keep pressure on it. Meanwhile, he pulled the knife out of his shoulder and stood up.
Outside of the elevator officers heard a lot of booming and banging around. It sounded exactly like what it was. Two jokers in an elevator, beating the shit out of each other. There were grunts, hollers, and moans among the bangs and booms that rocked the elevator. Then, after a few minutes, there was quiet.
The cops waited breathlessly for the doors to open. They had no idea which of the two would still be standing. They were aware that Druis Dray was hanging around the precinct awaiting Lillas’s return. They guessed that that’s who was in there with her. Knowing what they knew about Druis, the vampire hunter, they knew the fight could go either way.
After a moment of waiting, the second elevator started moving. They watched. Then, “It’s on the fourth floor!” one of the officers yelled. “Move it!!!” They took off up the stairs to intercept Lillas or whoever was getting off on the fourth floor.
Meanwhile, Lillas, expecting that the police were going to come for her and therefore split their ranks, climbed out of the elevator. She dropped back into elevator one, where Druis lay in a heap, injured and unconscious. She pulled Spiral and aimed it at his head. She thought long and hard about pulling that trigger. “But if I did, I’d have to explain to Evera why I debased myself by shooting an unconscious man. Even if he is a maggot.”
She opened the doors. As soon as the double doors pulled back, Lillas saw nothing but the black holes of pistol mouths. She sighed. “Aren’t you guys supposed to be upstairs?”
“Lillas Mehkinnan?” a woman yelled. “Drop your weapon. And put your hands in the air.”
Lillas could have done what they asked and completely threw them off their game. But as she looked past them through the front doors, she could see how late it was getting. Fucking Jossus still wasn’t back yet to get her. She sighed. She really didn’t have time to shoot it out with the cops. Guess she would just have to cheat.
Wind swirled around the officers, blowing their hair in their faces and completely disorienting them. Then that wind blew them off balance. Then off their feet. A few more blasts of wind and they couldn’t even get a good hold on their weapons.
Seizing the opportunity, Lillas ran for the door. But she got a nasty surprise on her way. A rope wrapped around her neck, then yanked her back. She hit the ground so hard she nearly lost her breath. Apparently, Druis had awakened during her air assault on the police.
She was choking before she hit the ground. But when she hit the ground, she choked even more. The gold rope aggravated her skin. She could feel the blisters swelling. Her skin was boiling. She hollered like her neck was on fire then reached for the rope. She sent a volt of electricity streaming to Druis. It knocked him back into the elevator doors, which had already closed.
The officers on the floor were regaining their footing. The officers who had been sent on a wild goose chase through the five top floors were back. She was still on the floor, trying to unravel the rope before it caused any permanent scarring. All guns were pointed at her. And she was pissed. Where the fuck was Jossus?
“Aaaah, is this a bad time?”
All of the officers turned and pointed their guns at the random male voice.
Jossus moved to Lillas’s side and put his arms around her. Before the officers could react, he moved them outside to the sidewalk. He helped her to her feet, then moved them to the top of a building, far away from the precinct.
“Where the fuck have you been, Jossus?” Lillas yelled, punching him in the arm after dusting herself off. “Look at me!”
He looked her up and down. She had blood and tears all over her clothes. Her hair was a mess. And she had cuts on her face that were sure to leave scars. “Damn, Mik. Who fucked you up?”
He inhaled sharply. “I didn’t know they were back.”
“Yeah. They’re back!”
“Oh, well, when you see what I have for you back at Ev’s, I think you’ll be hard pressed to keep a grudge against me for this.”
Lillas glared at him. “Jossus, I swear to God if it’s not spectacular, and I just went through all this bullshit for no reason, you and I are gonna fight!”