"Change, vampire! Change shape!"
Standing in the shadows of his mausoleum home, Thyre du Belvoir narrowed his eyes at the distant words.
A figure ran between the moss-covered gravestones, traveling in sweeping serpentines in his direction. In the descending darkness, he caught a hint of a womanly shape.
He watched for another glimpse of her, his nostrils flared. Something malicious and new to his experience hovered behind her, above her. He'd felt the dark force earlier in the evening and smelled the sulfurous odor of it -- before he saw the woman running to him.
He'd waited for it in silence, with his senses alert, seeking. He'd been unable to glean an accurate reading of the dark thing's location. Experience taught him all he could do was allow it to come to him.
And be ready.
Now, he barely drew breath as he strained to see the woman again, to hear her speak again.
Many years had rolled past since he'd sought out his own kind. Other vampires. Other immortals. Matters tended to get complex too fast when living among those of his kind. One of the keys to staying alive and breathing as many centuries as he had was cultivating the lifestyle of a loner.
His self-imposed isolation brought him eternal days stretching on and on with no one but the cemetery spirits, who occasionally asked him for his help, and his music collection for company.
Of late, he'd begun to think of finding a way to end his solitude.
But, damn, that whole walking into the sun thing hadn't worked out at all. Self-preservation had kicked in big time, causing him to dash back to his cave-like sanctuary to care for his burns.
On his big screen TV--he loved technology--the vamps on Buffy reruns went out of this world in a blink, a puff of gray, bloodless mist. He should've known better than to go by any of the myths by now, after all these years of reading and taking in everything in fiction from Polidori's The Vampyre to all of Anne Rice's work. Unfortunately, he had no other Vampire User's Manual.
"Vampire, can you hear me?" the female yelled again.
Moved to action, he swung open the black wrought iron gate in front of him. The hinge gave a groaning squeak.
The last rays of the sun were gone now.
Her rapid movement flashed again out beyond in the falling shadows.
There. He saw her again.
Long, blood-red hair flowed out behind her as she ran, the kind of glorious red hair that had thick lowlights of black streaking through it. He focused his exceptional night vision on her hair. Her running footfalls, her rapid breathing echoed in the silence around him now.
Her supple legs, encased in black jeans, lengthened stride, doubling her pace, fit muscles rippled with each running stride. She was hauling ass.