Blood & Roses:Warriors of the Krieger(4)By: Theresa Hissong
The Krieger have been around for thousands of years. Up until eight years ago, they were silent protectors. Now they are in the same ranks as human police and military, patrolling beside their mortal counterparts. Human authorities rely on the Krieger to keep our kind in check.
I set the alarm on my beautiful baby and followed Lydia through the back door.
Waitresses were milling around the storage room, preparing for tonight. It was Tuesday; our busiest night of the week. The bartenders carried cases of booze from the locker to stock the two bars we had. Vampires can drink alcohol, but of course cannot eat. Trust me; I tried a slice of apple pie once. Even though Lydia warned me, and as I said before, I was sick for days.
My overhead costs are low and my profit high; no need for the health department to stop by and check the food either. Plus, not many of us can stand the smell of human food. So it’s a win-win situation.
I take pride in my business; everyone knows and respects that. Fights and humans are not tolerated. Other clubs who allow humans are filthy, sex driven disasters waiting to happen. Horny vampires and intoxicated humans don’t mix. Violence, rape and drug use are the main attractions; when that happens, bars get shut down and the owners pay such hefty fines, they can no longer operate.
Doors opened right on queue; exactly eight o’clock. The staff were in position and I plopped myself at the bar, Lydia on my right. Jackson, the bartender at the East bar, slid us over two Jack and Cokes. I glanced at Thomas, at the West bar, and he nodded.
We had just swiveled around to watch the incoming patrons when Lydia sucked in a deep breath. I knew that sound like I knew the whisper of my own voice. She had spotted a good looking man. I lifted my eyes, searching for the reason for her infatuation and froze.
“Bloody hell!” I gasped.
“No kidding,” she sighed. “Would you look at that?”
“Dragus,” Ashby paused as he walked into my office. “We have reports that Adam Castillo was seen in that vampire club called Nights, down by the river.”
“Gather everyone up and we will go talk to the owner.” The vampire in question had been reported as a Lycanthrope attack victim. We’d been following his trail of victims over the past week, seven deaths, three humans and four vampires. All were drained of blood and most of their flesh had been eaten; typical of a vampire-werewolf hybrid attack.
I grabbed my cell phone, keys to the Hummer and a picture of the suspect, placing it in my back pocket. Ashby gathered Rowland and the twins, Powle and Bastian; they were waiting for me in the front lobby.
“While I talk to the owner, I want you to question the employees. Get anything you can from them. Afterward, we will patrol the area.” It was my job as Head Krieger for Port Royal, to command the troops.
I had been commissioned to this job about two years ago. Before that I was Head Krieger in Valencia, Spain for twenty years. The queen had personally requested that I be transferred to Port Royal.
The United States was starting to have a larger amount of our kind moving to the country. Their tax laws were a little more lenient than other countries. The government here even set up blood donor areas at their local Red Cross centers. Due to the amount of new vampire citizens, more Krieger were needed to police their cities.
“Alright, let’s go,” Rowland laughed. “I’m completely bored.”
They followed me out into the parking lot. The government issued Hummer sat in the first spot by the door. The night was eerily quiet and quite cold. Just a few days into the new year and we had our hands full.
There were five of us, with more recruits in training. With all of this activity, I needed more men. At this point, we were stretched thin. There was almost no down time between calls about these damn Lycans.
It has been about a hundred years or so since I dealt with Lycanthrope attacks. In Russia, I had organized a group to extinguish a small attack on the vampire community. It took only a few months to eradicate and destroy all of them. Now it looks like we may be dealing with another round. Our objective was to destroy anyone and anything related to them. They’re considered dangerous and unstable. This was something we needed to keep out of the public eye. If the humans saw how Lycans actually behaved, then God only knows how they would react. We could be looking at an all-out apocalypse. Trigger happy humans would kill anyone who looked even remotely like a vampire or a slathering hybrid. Hell, some humans could pass for the latter.