God, he hates Montana.
Especially during the winter.
All the snow, all the white. Not to mention, it's cold. Very. Very cold. How do you know if the temperature drops if the temperature IS cold? Not to mention, his little beauty had to be switched out for a truck with studded tires. Thankfully, he wasn't hunting ghosts. Apparently even they knew it was too damn cold to come out and decided to go hibernate for the winter in Montana…. well, the entire midwest, really.
There was reports of a Rugaru running around. It starts innocently enough. They're like sleeper agents. They sleep until something wakes them. Anyone can be a Rugaru, that's the scary part. It's all in the genes. The initial report was that there was a man who had ordered a little too much food, then snapped at the waitress at the restaurant. After he realized what happened, the man ran. Since then, he's been sighted in the woods hunting animal hunters. So far, two have died. But, that's the hunter news reel. People think it's some kind of strange serial killer who has a thing against hunters.
Tomorrow, he starts the investigation. But for now, it's time to rest. Checking into the motel, he doesn't bother hiding his identity. There was no need, his family had enough pull with multiple agencies that he would never be flagged. Taking his motel key, he walks back to his door and opens it up to step in.
Ah, Glorious heat….
Tobias fucking Karlsen. The name is burned into her memory; she's obsessed and she knows it. The very last time she'd heard from Clayton – her often distant but no less loved older brother – he'd mentioned that he was bumming around the country with Tobias Karlsen, and that if anything ever happened to him she should look this Tobias up. And then, he'd just hung up. It was a such a strange thing for her generally secretive brother to say that she'd never forgotten it.
When he'd died not even a month later, Taylor recalled that last conversation and did a little looking into it, using all the resources and skills she'd gained since becoming a hunter. What she'd discovered was that death and Tobias Karlsen seemed well acquainted. She leapt to the – perfectly logical, in her mind – conclusion then and there that this Karlsen character must have murdered Clay. And she shifted gears from hunting monsters and other things that hid in the shadows, to hunting one particular human that was easily as bad as the monsters she hunted down. This Karlsen was just one more monster to put down.
She sits in a tiny cafe in some stupid little down in Montana, one hand wrapped gratefully around the warmth of a cup of coffee while the other checks an alert on her phone. She'd set the trace over a month ago, and had been slowly closing in on him as he moved around seemingly at random. He always seemed drawn to death, and she had finally decided to take a chance and try to get ahead of him. The deaths of hunters – and she was almost amused by the irony – had drawn her here, and she was hoping it would draw him here as well. The alert on her phone finally proved her right.
Tobias Karlsen had just checked into a hotel in town, and – as often seemed to be the case – he didn't even bother trying to hide his tracks. Not for the first time, she was grateful for her background in computers and networks before she'd been drawn into the hunting life.
Abandoning her coffee, she rose and hurried out of the cafe. A glace at her phone to confirm the hotel made her smirk, since it was the very same hotel she'd checked into just that morning. The hotel just across the street from the cafe. As she crossed the street, her eyes roved the parking lot, looking for the car registered to Tobias Karlsen, but she didn't see anything resembling it. In fact, there was only her beat up old red Blazer, a little Yugo – seriously, did people still even drive those things? - and a truck.
Scowling, she went to her truck and climbed inside, and decided to wait and watch a bit while deciding what to do next.
truck was an old beat up black ford. Probably from the 70's when they
were made of steel. It had been further modified to be a little
heavier. Especially since it had to deal with the snow. Tobias was
aware that someone was hunting him. But, he had bigger things to be
concerned about. Setting up his base of operations, he pins a map of
the area on the wall then starts tracing where the initial attack
happened. The grocery store sightings, and finally where the two
hunters died. There was no point in trying to track this thing in the
dark, that was a suicide mission. Especially going out into the
woods. Tobias was good, but not that good.
Walking over to the window, he pulls the curtain back just enough to see if the person who'd been following him was in their truck. Tugging it back closed, he walks over to the phone to make an order for two pizzas. One was to be made to a truck in the parking lot, a red blazer and the other to the motel room he was staying in. Since he didn't want the pizza that was going to be delivered to her to go to waste, he orders her just a simple pepperoni pizza, and himself a large double cheese ham, bacon and sausage goodness.
This time, he was going to pay in cash and used a false name for delivery.
Oh yeah, he'd been leaving tracks for whoever was hunting him to come find him. So now, the hunter has become the hunted.
About 15 minutes later, a car rolls into the parking lot with the local pizza store sign on its roof. Parking next to Tobias, the young man steps out of the car and grabs the pizza bag. Walking over to Tobias' room, he knocks on the door. Tobias makes sure to stand just out of sight of Taylor. This wasn't his first rodeo. When the pizza guy was done with Tobias, instead of going back into his car he walks over to Taylor and knocks on her window.
"'scuse me, Miss? I have a pizza here for you. The guy in the room says you'll probably need it. It's pretty cold out here, should keep you warm. It's already paid for and everything." saying as the pizza guy waited for her to take the pizza.
Taylor was blowing on her hands and silently cursing having forgone gloves in favour of mobility since her hands weren't going to be all that flexible if they were half frozen. She stopped, her lips pursed almost against the hands clenched up to her mouth when a new vehicle pulled into the lot. She watched it pull into a space next to the old truck, waiting to see where the delivery would be made. Unable to see the occupant of the room the delivery was made to, she sighed and went back to blowing on her hands in an effort to warm them.
But when that delivery guy didn't go back to his car, her eyes narrowed suspiciously. He started her way, and Taylor reached for the pistol she'd set on the seat beside her, careful to keep it out of sight when the guy came over and knocked on her window, though she held it at the ready. She rolled down the window, the delivery guy's voice becoming clearer as she did so. What the hell, was all she could think. “Uh,” she started to reply, even as she eyed him warily before deciding he was probably exactly what he appeared to be, “yeah, okay. Thanks.” Taylor took the pizza from the man awkwardly with her right hand – her off-hand, because she refused to let go of her gun just to be on the safe side – and pulled it into the Blazer's window before tossing it carelessly onto the passenger seat.
She stared at the poor guy, giving him her best cold glare, until he shrugged and went back to his car and left. Then Taylor yanked the handle, shoved open the door, and slipped out of the truck. She slammed the door and stalked over to the room the first pizza delivery had been made to, her expression growing darker with each step, and her pistol held at her side.
Remembering herself and bringing her anger in check, she approached the door carefully, flexing her elbow to bring the gun up to rest at the ready just above her shoulder. She knew better than to just stand in front of the door in the line of fire, so she stood at the side of the door jamb instead, and then reached out to knock loudly on the door. When he came to the door – and she was by now convinced Karlsen was behind that door, she was ready to point the pistol at him and get some kind of explanation from him for murdering her brother before she took him out like the monster he was.
she knocked loudly on the door, Tobias didn't answer it right away.
Instead, he opened the pizza box to admire what he got. "This is
a mighty good looking pizza. I hate Montana. But I love this pizza."
picking up a slice, he devours it easily and grins. "The door is
unlocked." saying loudly, enough for her to hear him. Now it was
time to face whoever this hunter was. Of course, Tobias wasn't
exactly going to just let her walk in with the gun, so he devised a
little trap for her. This all banking on the fact that she was going
to walk in with her gun up.
If she did, well, she'd hit the trip wire he set up. Not enough to trip her, but when she broke it. A giant heavy cargo net would drop down on top of her. Surely this would probably antagonize her even more. "You know. I'm trying to be a nice guy here. But with your banging and following me, it's irking me a little. I figured. 'Hey. I bet this person is cold. It's cold here in Montana. I bet a pizza would go a long way. With it being warm, and the outside being cold, and all.'" saying as he moved his hands, his back to her for a moment as he finished his delicious slice of pizza heaven.
"It's actually good pizza. So, if you're not going to eat it. I'll go get it and bring it back in. I really don't mind eating second day pizza." turning around as he talks, he walks over to her in the cargo net and kneels down. It was one of those heavy duty cargo nets. Used for trapping monsters, or, in this case. A pretty girl trying to get the scoop on him. The net itself was around 50-60lbs. It was a bitch to set up, but thankfully it cooperated with him this time.
"You don't need this." saying as he placed his foot on her wrist in order to get her to let her gun go, if she does, he'll slide a hand under to pull it out and tuck it in the back of his jeans. Letting her wrist go, he looks at her. "I'm going to let you out. But, you need to make me a promise. No trying to hurt me, or take your gun back. You'll get your toys when you behave. Capisce?" if she agreed, he'd tug the net off her and wait to see what she does.
She can hear his voice, but not quite what he was actually saying. She was just about to knock again, when his voice – louder this time – drifted out to her. 'The door is unlocked.' She thought about it a minute, then decided any idiot foolish enough to leave his hotel room door unlocked deserved what was coming to him anyway. Still, she was cautious as she turned the doorknob and pushed open the door. She waited just a moment, still tucked behind the door jamb, just to see what happened. When nothing did, she whipped around the door frame, fully prepared to shoot first – somewhere non-lethal, for now – and ask questions later, if need be.
And that was when she found herself crushed to the floor beneath the weight of some kind of net, almost before she'd realized what happened. Ignoring his pointless blathering, she struggled against the weight of the net, but she had trouble finding the leverage to lift it off of herself enough to get free, as it was easily around half her own weight. Her struggles ceased when he moved over and stepped on the wrist she'd been maneuvering around so that she could aim and fire at him, the gun slipping from her hand as the compressed nerves refused to cooperate.
“Fuck you,” she spat at him, rich brown eyes glaring up at him. He removed his foot from her wrist, and she twisted it a little to get feeling back into her fingertips. “Fine, whatever. No trying to hurt you.” When she got her gun back, there wouldn't be any trying. She'd put a bullet between his eyes, and be happier for it. But she had enough self-control to avoid letting those thoughts show.
He yanked the heavy net away, with her pushing it from beneath just to hurry it along. When that task was accomplished, she sat up and took a few deep breaths before shoving herself to stand, with the aid of the door jamb behind her. Taylor looked the man standing before her over, her first real look at him outside of a DMV photo she'd dug up during her search.
Outside her sheer hatred of the man, she could appreciate he was...pretty built, and taller than she'd realized; then again, she was barely five feet four inches, so most men seemed to tower over her. Of course, this assessment was purely for tactical reasons. She wouldn't be able to overpower him, so she'd have to trick or manipulate him.
“Tobias Karlsen, right” she finally said, her voice flat, making it clear that it wasn't really a question. She folded her arms over her chest, eyes that practically radiated hatred locking with his. “Serial killer. Nutcase who just loves to follow death around. Do you do it because it's easier to hide your own kills? Or is it just because it's a thrill?” Her eyes dropped from his then, her hands fisting up at her sides as anger and grief warred and she fought to control it. “Clay fucking deserved better than what you gave him, you bastard” he finally said, her voice now barely above a broken-sounding whisper.
when she said he was a serial killer, and a nut case. That death
follows him around. When she mentioned Clay, he furrowed his brows
and placed the piece of pizza down. "How do you know Clay?"
asking, curious as he wipes his hands off on a napkin. "And I'm
not sure you know exactly the full story. So, how about you tell me
what you know, and I'll tell you what I know, and we can end this
little anger issue you have towards me." turning to face her, he
crosses his arms across his chest and watches her. "Because I'm
pretty sure you don't know anything about me, or what I do."
Uncrossing his arms, he walks over to the bed to sit down. Tobias pulls her gun out, clears the chamber of its bullet and then pulls the clip out, popping the bullets onto his hand and tucks them away into his jean pockets. "You can have this back now." saying as he popped the clip back in and tossed it back to her. Judging from what she was wearing, he doubted she carried an extra clip with her, figuring she either didn't need it, or had no place to put it. "How about you have a seat there, and we'll discuss this like two rational adults." grinning as he leans back on the bed. "or, two consenting adults." grinning still, he looks at the bed, then back to her. She was pretty little thing, something he wouldn't mind putting his hands on, that much was for sure.
What he got instead was the nastiest glare he ever had seen. Most women don't give him that glare, then again, he's flirty with most. Taylor wasn't in the mood for flirting, that much was obvious. "Clay was a Hunter. Not the kind that goes out into the woods and shoots deer. The kind that hunts things that go bump in the night. You see, me and Clay were partners." pressing his lips together, he looks down for a moment. "We were hunting a poltergeist in Missouri when he got caught off guard by a death echo and the poltergeist used it to kill him. Flung him across the room like a rag doll into a fire place and then burned him alive."
It was obvious that Tobias didn't like talking about it. Somehow, he knew that Taylor would know what he was talking about it. Call it hunter's intuition. "I had to salt and burn his body before he could become something else. I eventually killed the Poltergeist, but not before it took three more lives." three lives he would never be able to take back.
"I'm not a serial killer. I'm a hunter, Like Clay."
Yeah, no way was she going to relax around him, let alone have a seat and get comfortable. Taylor didn't believe him, and she sure as hell had no intention of trading stories with him. What the fuck, did he think this was band camp or some shit? Still, after some hesitation and a glare that could kill if that were actually possible, she did step over to take her gun back from him. She'd been so intent on confronting him that she'd left her extra magazines in the truck's glove box, something she was silently cursing herself for. It was a stupid move, and on a proper hunt it could have gotten her killed.
She stepped back from Karlsen after taking the pistol and sliding it into her pants, tucking it securely between the waistband and the small of her back. Folding her arms over her chest again, she listened to him tell his story, while turning over in her mind making a break for the door. All thoughts of escape fled her mind when he spoke of Clay, her goofy big brother Clay, being a hunter.
“You're lying. You...you've got to be lying to me,” she muttered in a tone that had lost all bite. Feeling decidedly unsteady, she moved to the bed and sank down as far from him as she could manage while sharing the space.
There was no way. Just no fucking way. Clay hadn't even believed her when she'd tried to tell him she was certain she'd seen a wolf woman take their brother – her twin – Tony a few years back. No, Clay had insisted to her over and over that she'd imagined it in her panic. None of it made any sense to her. Yet, if that was the case, how did he know so much about things most people didn't even believe?
She turned to look at Tobias, finding it hard to let go of the anger she'd held onto ever since she'd learned her brother's burnt remains had been found in a shallow grave, the body only able to be identified at first because of the half-melted wreck of a pocket watch found with the remains – the watch left to him by their father that he'd always carried with him. She couldn't believe he wasn't responsible for Clay's death in some way. Or, maybe, she just didn't want to believe it. But...everything he said just fit too well.
“Clay's.. Clay was my brother,” she finally admitted. “My older brother. I never knew he was a hunter.” She hesitated, running her hands through her auburn hair as she considered her words. “All this time, even after Tony...son of a bitch lied to me.” She stood suddenly, moving toward the door, but then stopped and turned to look again at Tobias. “I guess...can we just forget this happened then?” She still wasn't sure she could trust him, or even that she fully believed his story. But enough of it fit that she was, maybe, willing to give it a chance.
her work through all her emotions, he shakes his head. "You can
leave if you want, but I am working a case here. I'm guessing you're
a hunter. Like me, like your brothers." it was making sense now.
"Taylor, right? Clay talked about you. Mostly good things.
Didn't mention how good looking you were though." grinning at
her. "I could use a little help on this. I'm hunting a Rugaru."
pointing to the map. "Also, have some pizza. It's SO good. I
mean, holy shit its amazing." standing up, he walks over to the
map. "I was going to go hunt for it at first light. Don't want
to be caught in the woods in the dark with it. Figure the light would
be the best way.
Maybe the snow will even slow it down some. Doubt it though."
Moving over to the coffee pot, he fills it up and pours in the coffee grains from the free pouches you get and wait for it to start brewing. "Anyway. I figure it's somewhere in the woods north near the grocery store. It's where I was going to start looking. I could use a hand or two." once the coffee was done brewing, he'd grab one of the papercups, pour him a cup and then pour her one. Even if she didn't want it. Tobias would hand it to her, then walk over to the still warm pizza.
"You know what those are?" asking as he picked up a piece of pizza and took a bite of it, then turned his back to her to look at the map. "And there ain't no forgettin' bout you trying to come in here and kill me. Next time you do something like that. I will kill you." there was no second thought, he didn't traipse over his words. They were exact and meaningful. "I'm willing to give you this one chance. You are Clay's sister, so I know some of that pain in the ass stubbornness runs in your blood. I'm sorry you had to find out about Clay's death from a shallow grave. But, I can't exactly take him to the morgue and have the first of kin notified. You know?"
"For what its worth. I feel responsible for what happened. Every single goddamn day."
She rolled her eyes at his pitiful attempt at flirtation, but let it pass unremarked. “Brother,” she corrected absently, her attention already on his mention of a rugaru. Vaguely, she finished,“Tony wasn't involved. He's sorta what got me into it.” She was already drifting over to the map up on the wall that he'd indicated, gaze darting over the markings on it which clearly must indicate sightings.
Taylor was nodding agreement to his plans, her mind seeking out what little she actually knew about rugaru weaknesses, since she'd never encountered one herself. Her eyes still fixed on the map, she took the coffee, distantly grateful for the warmth as she cupped it with both hands. “Yeah, gotta burn 'em. I've never seen one myself, though.”
His next words took her by surprise after his seeming friendliness. Though, she realized immediately that she should have known better. Tobias was a hunter, and he was still alive; there had to be more to him than just flirting and an appreciation for pizza. She glanced over from the map to his back, unwilling to acknowledge his words – his regret – out loud, though she filed it away to think on later, when she didn't have to deal with him while she did so. Besides, it was just too similar to the still raw wound she carried around in her guilt at not yet finding and killing the thing that took Tony away.
Taylor took a cautious sip of her coffee, her nose wrinkling a bit. Same old crappy coffee as in every other crappy hotel room on Earth. “So..you got a real plan for this rugaru, or are you just gonna make it up as you go along?” As she spoke, she stepped forward until she was beside him, carefully keeping her eyes on the map. “I mean, if it's lurking around in the middle of the woods, in all that snow, the fire part might get a little tricky. It's possible even a rugaru knows how to stop, drop, and roll.” The faintest of smiles tugs at the corners of her lips.
have sort of a plan. Oil and Fire. Even the snow won't put that out.
Unless you have something better in mind?" asking as he stares
at the map. Letting his eyes trace over the area he was going to look
for. "There's not much to really plan for except how to kill it
in the snow." gesturing to the outside as he finishes up his
pizza and then drowns the rest of his terrible coffee "The woods
are thick in that area and heavy with hunters. There's a lot of deer
in the area. A lot of natural salt and water in the area. Perfect for
deer." if she doesn't take another piece, he closes the pizza
box and tosses the coffee cup into the trash.
Walking over to the bed, he takes his boots off and climbs onto it, leaning back against the headboard. Patting the seat next to him, he invites her over. "I also have other tools to bring it down. Nets, Machete's. How long have you been hunting?" asking as he glances over at her. She looked a lot like Clay. The same lips, hair, eyes. Though, Taylor was of course much more feminine. Tobias didn't know anything but hunting, having been homeschooled and started hunting when he was 11 years old. When he was 16, instead of going out on dates with pretty girls, he was busy flushing out vampire nests with his father and grandfather.
Tobias put to sleep those that would crawl around in the dark. Even if it meant doing what others couldn't do. Having had to put down his grandfather when his own father couldn't. That was a story for another day though.
She nodded slowly, finding no fault in his plan. Oil would make the fire stick long enough to really take hold, even if the rugaru was thrashing around in a snowbank. “Sounds good, I guess,” Taylor replied with a shrug. “I've only read a bit about them, and it sounds like you know what you're doing.”
When Tobias started to move around the room, she let her eyes follow him, studying him with the same intensity she'd given to the map just moments before. “Actively hunting? About four years now, I guess.” She went silent, trying to decide if the answer she'd given was even honest. Or, for that matter, if she actually cared about giving him an honest answer.
Clay had trusted this man; that was a point in his favour. Clay had lied to her and even tried to convince her she'd seen something other than what she'd really seen when she'd nearly died and Tony had been taken; that was a point against Clay, but she couldn't decide if that was enough to negate the point she'd mentally awarded Tobias or not. Absently, her hand came up to rest against her abdomen, where the ugly scars still remained from the mauling at the claws of the werewolf that took her twin.
“I was hunting a werewolf for about eight, though. Still am. Then I learned there was more out there than just werewolves. Started hunting everything I ran across while I was looking for that bitch.” As she spoke, she'd given in and, after setting her still mostly full cup of coffee down on next to the pizza box, moved over to the bed. She settled on the end of it facing him rather than next to Tobias where he'd indicated, pulling her legs up and crossing them comfortably and easily.
“Can I ask you a question? Well, maybe a couple?” She attempts a smile, but lets it drop when she realizes it probably came across as more vulnerable than she cared to show to him. “Clay. How... Well, how did you two meet? Was he...a good hunter?” In truth, she was just hungry to hear anything at all Tobias had to say about him. That Clay had been a hunter was still something she was having a hard time fitting into her view of him, even though he'd become distant after he graduated high school and moved out while she and Tony were still in middle school.
was a very good hunter. One of the best, he was a complete natural."
crossing his feet at his ankles. He leans back against the headboard.
"We met on a hunt, there was this werewolf that he'd been
chasing for a couple years. It killed a close friend of his, and he
was never able to quite to get the image out of his mind. If it
wasn't for him, the werewolf would have killed me. Dead to rights.
From there, we forged a friendship, and for the next few years we
partnered up on various missions. Found out that the werewolf he
killed wasn't the one we were looking for." shrugging as he
poked at the blanket that he sat under.
"Clay spoke of you and your brother a few times. We didn't get much into the way of family. For as much time we spent together, we didn't really know each other. I know it sounds strange. But, its true. For example, I come from a long line of hunters. My whole family was involved in it. Both sides, my mother and fathers. I was home schooled and taught how to hunt at an early age. I never told him that. But, I did trusted him with my life. I wouldn't think twice about wading into battle with him. He was my brother in arms." glancing down.
"I wish I had gotten to know him. Though, I think he had a falling out with his family and that's why he didn't speak to them. Something about being free and doing what he wanted, not what they wanted him to do." looking at her, he smiles. "If it's any consolation. Clay did love you. He did love his family, even if he never said so."
Taylor sat and listened, taking it all in. It was like she was hearing about a stranger, not the older brother who had taken her and Tony to the park as little kids, not the teenager she'd looked up to until he'd nearly vanished from their lives. It was strange for her to think that all that time, he'd somehow learned what was out there waiting in the darkness, and had never told her. All those phone calls where Clay had talked about traveling around the country, meeting new people and seeing new things, and he was really fighting monsters and ghosts and all the other things that go bump in the night. All those post cards she could tell had been bought from the lobbies of crappy motels, they must have come from times he was on hunts.
Her attention sharpened when Tobias mentioned his family, his upbringing. She wasn't even sure what to say, so she said nothing about it. But Taylor wondered how anyone could want to raise a child to hunt, to expose them to the horrors that were out there. Then again, Clay had lied to her, and she'd been so angry at him for it for such a long time. She started, slowly, to accept that maybe her brother hadn't lied to her to deny her the truth, but in hopes of keeping her away from this life. It still hurt, and probably always would, but that at least fit with the Clay she remembered from childhood, always looking out for his younger siblings, even when it sometimes got him in trouble.
“Thank you...Tobias,” she finally replied after several moments of silence where she just wasn't sure what to say to him. “It does help, a little at least.” She paused, looking for all the world like she was trying to come to a decision. Then, with a small nod, she smiled at him. It was a small smile, and her lips quivered a bit, but it was genuine. “Clay...and Tony. For awhile, they were my whole world. After our parents were killed in a crash, they... They were all I had. When Tony was taken, And Clay was just so distant.. I decided to try to find the thing that took Tony. Clay told me over and over that I'd imagined it. A werewolf, some bitch. She gutted me and left me for dead, but she took Tony. And Clay just keep telling me I imagined it, that it had to have been some burglar or something.” She sighed, and shrugged. “I guess he probably knew the whole time.”
down for a moment. "We tell people lies because most of them
can't handle what's really out there. Werewolves, Ghosts, Vampires.
That's just the tip of it. Your brother by telling you that you
didn't see anything, he was just protecting you from this life."
gesturing "This life, you never have a home. You can never start
a family, you can't settle down. Your friends are few and far
between, and the other friends you have, you've buried because this
life got the best of them." taking a sigh, he pushes his hand
through his hair. "I didn't choose this life. It was thrust upon
me. I mean, I get why my family does this. People out there need
saving." shrugging, it was true.
"I'm sorry you lost your brother, Taylor. And If I could bring him back, and take his place? I'd do it in a heartbeat." pulling himself off the bed, he wanders back to the map. "I've been to every state at least twice. Even Alaska and Hawaii. I've crossed both borders and I went to Europe to hunt down a monster. It's how I got this." saying as he lifted his shirt up and turned his back to her. She'd see cuts, deep gouging cuts from something very sharp. "Her name is Natalia, as far as I can tell. She's the mother to half the natural born werewolves in North America. She's the one who killed Tony. Clay was obsessed with her. After Clay died, I got a lead to Norway. If it wasn't for some local hunters in the area, I'd be dead."
Licking his lips.
"I don't know what happened to her after that. She's not quite an alpha. But she's old, and damn strong."
Her fists clenched up in her lap, her expression darkening. “She needs to die. Tobias, she needs to die...after she tells me what she did with Tony.” Her eyes slipped closed as she tried to get control of the rage building within her. When she opened them again, looking up to him, there was only the barest hint of her rage and grief left showing within them. “She didn't just kill him like she tried to do with me. I want to know why she took him instead of just killing him. I want...” Taylor hesitated, swallowing past the lump trying to build in her throat, before continuing, “I need to know where he is.”
Unable to sit still any longer, she slipped her legs off the bed and rose to begin pacing restlessly. “I've had to teach myself, mostly. I don't have your experience, your advantages, your background. I have my pistol, a machete, and a childhood filled with being a hacker and computer nerd.” She came to a stop, standing near him, eyes meeting his once more. “Tobias...would you help me learn to be good enough to find that bitch and take her down?”
up, he looks down at her. "Taylor. This isn't the life for
anybody. But, if this is what you want. I'll help you however I can
in tracking and taking her down. First, we have something else to
take care of. There's a town that's being terrorized by Wendigo."
reaching up, he touches her cheek for a moment. "But, if you
stick with me. We'll run into her again, and find your brother, and
then kill her. Deal?" grinning down at her as his thumb rubs her
cheek softly. "You should go ahead and get some rest. We're
leaving as soon as daylight hits." saying as he pulls his hand
away and walks with her towards the door. A grin sliding across his
lips as he looks her over. "I mean, Unless you want to stay the
night and work on getting to know me better." smirking, he
wasn't being -completely- serious.
Tobias liked her attitude, and she was something nice to look at.
"After this, we're headed down south to a small town in Louisiana." grinning as he opens the door to let her out. Once the door closes behind her, Tobias would go back to looking at his map before getting ready for bed himself.
Looking up at him, Taylor flinched slightly at his touch, but allowed it purely because she hadn't had any real connection with anyone since the incident with the werewolf bitch. There was no way she was ready to really let down her guard and allow this man past her carefully built up walls. But, maybe, just for a moment, she could let herself pretend she could have something normal in her life again. Even if that bit of normal was something as simple as letting someone actually touch her without trying to attack him.
“Yeah, the...monster,” she said absently, walking to the door with him. “Right. I'll be ready.” She didn't bother to even acknowledge his not-so-subtle hint, aside from a smirk. “I'll see you in the morning, Tobias.” She hesitated at the door, turning to look up at him. “Try not to catch any more strange women in a net tonight, huh?” Her smirk grew and she turned and walked out, heading to her truck to pick grab her things and go to her room to grab a little sleep before dawn. Though, she suspected, she was far more likely to lay awake all night than to actually sleep. She had a lot to think about.
was up and ready the minute the sun broke over the horizon. Walking
out of his room, he walks over to where she was staying and pounded
on the door. "Up and at em, Taylor. We got a monster for us to
catch." there was a thought about picking her lock, but he
thought better against it and waited. It was still dark out, but the
horizon was bright with the first morning light. It was going to take
time for them to get into position to find the Wendigo.
If she was going to start hunting with him, then she was going to have to learn to get up at obscene hours of the morning, go days without having any touch with civilization and even go camping in the woods if they needed to. Banging on her door once more, he'd check his watch. "You got 10 minutes to meet me at my truck. If you take any longer, you will get no breakfast." well, 'breakfast' was a burrito at a small drive through spot a few miles from here.
Moving from the door, he walks over to his truck and slips into it. Everything he needed was in the truck. Turning it on, he leans back slightly and watches her door as she comes out a few minutes later. She was probably up this whole time. There was something he didn't tell her though, it was what Clay told him before he died. That it now fell onto Tobias to watch out for her. And this was the only way he knew how.
"How do you kill a vampire?" asking as he glanced over at her when she climbs into his truck.
She was awake, sitting on her bed when he came knocking at the door to her room. Her gear was already packed up, what little she had, and waiting beside the door. All she had to do was grab her coat. Her pistol was tucked into the back of her jeans again, a fresh magazine in it to replace the one Tobias had taken from her. It hadn't been hard to be ready, since she hadn't actually slept at all. Not that skipping a night's sleep – or even a couple nights' sleep – was all that unusual for her these days. But, she'd decided she wasn't going to just jump when he commanded, either; she might want his help, but that didn't make her his bitch. At least, not unless the situation warranted it. She might be stubborn but she wasn't stupid.
He banged again, and she nearly laughed at what was, really, an empty threat since breakfast wasn't something she'd bothered with since hitting the road. What limited – and usually pretty gross – offerings there generally were made it not worth the bother. With a sigh, she stood and slipped on her leather coat. Grabbing her backpack from beside the door, Taylor yanked open the door to her room, stepping out into the cold morning air.
She stopped for a moment, silently cursing the cold as her breath misted up in a white cloud around her face. Lowering her head, she trudged to the truck Tobias was now sitting in, the engine running. Well, maybe at least it would be warm. Maybe, she thought, looking the old truck over before yanking open the door and pulling her small frame up into it.
“Chop off the damn thing's head,” she murmured absently, but without hesitation. Turning to look at him as she settled her backpack on the floorboard between her legs,she studied him for a moment. “So, is this how this is going to go, I'm going to get quizzed like I'm in grade school or some shit?” She turned away then to stare out the windshield and pulled the door shut with a slam and a grunt that could have been from effort, and could as easily have been from pure irritation.