I barely noticed the rain as it slithered across my skin and through my hair as I sped through the forest. My electric blue eyes scanning ahead for the danger I knew followed not far behind.
My comrades, Rigel and Nathan followed close behind. Sunglasses shaded their eyes despite the clouds and endless rain, their short, dark hair was slicked back, and their long black leather trench coats flapped behind them as we ran.
“Cosmina,” Rigel said, his voice stable and calm, “They gain ground.”
I glanced behind me, my vision traveling farther into the dark forest behind us, and finally spotting the mist-like shadows that trailed us.
I brought my vision back, and turned forward again. “Shit,” I muttered.
Anger filled every fiber of my being. It was against all my better judgment and training to run, though I knew we could not defeat them. Not even us, our master’s strongest Dealers
Even though we were the oldest and most experienced of all of Dragos’ Dealers, we knew there was always that possibility of death, and we were always ready to accept it, and here we were, running from it.
We were Death Dealers. We walked in the shadow of death, and that’s where we fought, killing our ‘hearts’ and fighting only with our duty in mind. Feelings were useless, and emotions were only a hindrance. We were not made to love, we were not made to live happily. We were made to kill, and for nothing else.
The moment we were made, we were sworn to an eternity of servitude towards our master. In the beginning, we hadn’t liked what we were made to do, but we quickly learned that if we didn’t kill our opponents first, they would kill us. It was either destroy, or be destroyed.
Though we had been a team for nearly a hundred and ten years, Rigel, Nathan and I were nothing more than partners.
Our partners were not there to be our friends, they were there for numbers and strength only. If one fell, the others continued.
Under Dragos, there were only three rules: Don’t die, don’t let your comrades die, and complete the mission successfully. Though, we soon found that the second rule only applied to those who bore the clan crests, such as Rigel, Nathan and I did, and that meant that if one of Dragos’ other servants had to die for one of us to live, then so be it.
I was the first of my team to be created, and only because I was what was left of Costel Covinus’s line. Rigel had been next, because of his heritage from the line of Fane Vesuvius, and Nathan had been last, and because of his lineage as being the direct descendent of Marcus Maragos.
Costel Covinus, Fane Vesuvius, Marcus Maragos, and Dragos Dracula had been the very first vampires to walk the Earth, and our race has dramatically changed because of Marcus’s betrayal.
“Cosmina, they come closer,” Rigel warned. I didn’t have to look to know they were following. I could feel them. That was one my abilities as a Covinus. I could feel the aura of everyone and everything I met, but this particular creature had a cold slick feel that made my stomach turn, and my fingers tense. They were unlike anything I had ever experienced.
“Perhaps we should try and hide ourselves in hopes they will not pursue further,” Nathan suggested.
I stopped dead on a branch, and spun to face him all in one fluid, split-second movement. “No!” I snarled. “I agreed to run, but I refuse to hide. Go ahead and flee, cling to your pathetic life like the coward you have always been,” I said, my voice dangerously low
“Will you hide and protect yourself in an act of selfishness, or will you stand with your team for the honor of your master?” I asked, my eyes boring into his through his sunglasses.
He was silent for a moment. “I will do as you wish,” he said, his voice wavering just the slightest bit. Nathan Maragos was never as good at killiling his emotions and Rigel and I were, and Rigel was the best out of us all. Even my emotions got the best of me, my anger most of the time.
“Cosmina, they’re coming,” Rigel said, his calm eyes looking down at me. I didn’t look back, I stared into the dark forest, my deep black eyes flooding ice blue. “Let them come. They will kill us, or we will kill them. Either way, this ends tonight. We run no longer.”