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You know I am there and in!

The soft sound of ceramic gently gliding against smooth granite was instantly followed by the unflattering noise of metal clanking and being discarded with little to no care. Wooden cabinets repeatedly opened and closed loudly, no one else around to complain about the matter as the single occupant fluttered through the kitchen. Dark eyes finally glittered with excitement as her small hands curled around the object of her desire, only a thin bit of cardboard and plastic to keep her from it now. The hider had done a fantastic job of trying to keep her away from these sugary items but no more. A grin tugged at her lips as Vanessa carefully jumped off of the stovetop, brightly patterned socks and all with a box of cereal in hand. Sophie had been on a bit of a health kick again, trying to make sure that everyone in the house kept up well behaved habits or whatever new spiel she was on.

Honestly, she could care less about the healthy option. Who wanted something like plain eggs or flaxseed oatmeal for a Saturday breakfast? Well, probably many people but she sure as hell didn’t. Just a quick rustle of plastic, the tinkling of cereal dropping into her bowl, and splash of milk was all she needed to prepare for the perfect morning. Vanessa found herself with a bowl in one hand and an overly sugary coffee in the other as she made her way up to her room. The television was already set up with Saturday morning cartoons, a tray out so she could enjoy her breakfast in front of it. She found it both a blessing and a curse that her internal clock seemed to wake her up at 6:00 each morning. It gave her time to wake and prepare for the day whether it be a lazy one like this or if it was before a day of school, perhaps even a mission.

That thought pulled a frown from her, feeling a bubble of irritation as she placed each item down before plopping onto her bed and sitting Indian style. The last mission had been a shit show in so many ways. She couldn’t even begin on who did what to start the domino effect that had created the perfect environment for hell but it had happened nonetheless and she would bet money that they hadn’t heard the last of it yet. They hadn’t been flogged which meant something worse was in the works, it was just a matter of when. She shook her head gently, tossing the braided tresses back and forth as she did. That was a problem for another day, right now, it was time to enough herself and relax. With a scoop of her spoon, she positioned herself to take her first bite when the ear splitting and grating alarm of the AP watch echoed out causing her to drop the spoon with a splash. ”For the love of….”, Vaness hissed, trying to hold back a string of curses as she looked at the mess before reaching back to grab the watch off her nightstand.
The glowing wordhad a chill running down her spine.

Vanessa instantly worked to find out the situation. ”HIRAM, what’s happening? Details and status update please.”

”𝙶𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐, 𝙰𝚐𝚎𝚗𝚝. 𝙼𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚢 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚎𝚡𝚎𝚛𝚌𝚒𝚜𝚎 𝚊𝚝 𝟷𝟽𝟶𝟶 𝙲𝚘𝚘𝚕𝚒𝚍𝚐𝚎 𝚁𝚘𝚊𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚂𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚘𝚗 𝚒𝚗 𝚎𝚡𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚕𝚢 𝟸𝟽 𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚞𝚝𝚎𝚜. 𝙵𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚞𝚕𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝚜𝚒𝚐𝚗𝚒𝚏𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜.”

It took her a moment to process, a sigh of frustration settling in as she rubbed her face. ”You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Fantastic, just what I wanted to sign up for today. So much for breakfast...”, she stated before getting to change out her boxer shorts for some jeans and deciding that the band shirt she had worn the night before was good enough. She was already going to be pushing it time wise as she wasn’t the closest to that location. She made sure to grab her gear from the attic space in her closet and headed out at first chance, grabbing her skateboard on the way out of the house. As predicted, she was one of the last few in attendance and barely got to hear an explanation of what they would be doing and who her teammates were. It wasn’t a bad group and she did think they had a chance at least but if her horrible morning was anything to go by, today was not her lucky day. Vanessa had to hope they could turn it around but it meant relying on her team which was not her strong point.

She let someone else play the leadership role, listening to the plans and nodding softly when one was presented by Static. It was a solid idea, especially since they were lacking on the combat side. She could do a decent job in a pinch but not if it was against someone like Aster. Stealth would definitely be the better option here. She didn’t want to have to rely on Wahrheit to be her eyes on the sky or backup but it would be stupid to go at this alone even if she preferred it. She would just have to hope that Static’s plan didn’t blow up in their faces, literally. ”Sounds like as good a plan as any.”, she replied before turning her attention to Wahrheit and glancing at the maps, trying to judge the best location for her to enter the building according to his angle so he could spot her at all times. ”Just make sure to keep your eyes out and let me know the moment you lose sight of me, Wahrheit. Everyone else, watch out for traps and don’t get shot while trying to draw attention. More people down means more of a chance at failure. I have a love for paint but that doesn’t mean I want to spend my weekend scrubbing it.”

Arken & Hana

After hours filled with researching, selecting various herbs from her garden, and scouring the army for appropriate weapons that she was capable of using, Hana found herself in front of three separate cars. She didn’t know which car she would ride in yet but made her way to David’s car to drop off the chosen weapons since she didn’t want to continue to lug them around. It seemed as though the plan was that they would use the truck for transport of those items and would leave the other cars free for people and any extra storage needed. At least that is what she was going to assume since there were already multiple weapons in the back of it that would need to be strapped and tarped. Hana readjusted the two bags that would be going with her on the trip and took a look at the group climbing into or hovering around Calypso’s car, instantly feeling a bit of panic at the thought of climbing in.

The thought of spending three hours in the backseat and pressed in the middle or into the side of the door had her skin crawling. She hated being in cars, they had a way of making her feel trapped and the more people or traffic then the worse it got. It instantly made her reject wanting to be a part of that car for the trip. David’s car was unfortunately a truck which meant compartment wise it would be smaller and if it wasn’t then she didn’t really know him all that well yet so she didn’t want to be tense all trip. That left only one option but she didn’t want to impose if he wasn’t alright with the company. Hana tightened her grip on the straps of her bags and nervously moved over to Arken’s car. She lightly tapped his shoulder and asked softly,”H-Hey Arken, um..would you mind if I rode with you?”

Arken was standing by the open trunk of his car. “Ugh. Why did dad have to come take the Jeep from me and leave me with this ridiculous car that sticks out like a sore thumb…” Arken mumbled. He stared at the matte black muscle car. “How is that practical for me to drive anyways… I feel like I’m going to step on the damn gas too hard and take off towards the moon or something… Such an ostentatious car, especially for a middle-aged man…” Arken sighed, dropping off his duffle bag of clothing items into the empty trunk. “At least dad kept it clean…”

He sighed again, looking around at the rest of his group and how they’re gathering around the cars they seemed to be taking for the trip. David’s car became the de facto equipment car, since everyone piled their gear into the bed of his pickup truck. Arken idly adjusted the leather pouch that hung relatively loosely on the left of his waist. He had tossed the backpack he prepared into the back seat of his car, seemingly assuming that he would be driving alone.

Just as he was about to shut his trunk and get in the car, he felt a light tap on his shoulder. It was Hana, asking if she could ride with him. “Oh. Hi Hana. Uh. Yeah, of course. Here, go ahead and just drop your bags off in the trunk. We should setting off soon anyways. This is my dad’s car. A bit impractical if you ask me, but its what I’ve got at the moment so it’ll have to do.”

The car’s engine and exhaust rumbled softly, giving their conversation a soft background noise amidst the other mumbled conversations happening around them.

”It’s just as good as any other car.” Hana replied absentmindedly as she placed one of her bags into the car while keeping the travel one on her. She figured there would be enough space by her feet to tuck it in there and not have it be in Arken’s way while still being reachable. In all honesty, she had been hoping one of the drivers had a motorcycle or something that wasn’t so enclosed but there was no such luck. She had been saving up to get herself one but with her focus mostly on practice and helping the coven house, she found it impossible to really keep a consistent job. ”Th-Thank you so much for l-letting me ride with you.”, she said before carefully shutting the trunk, figuring they could easily open it back up if anyone else was joining them. Hana let the purr of the engines as well as the multitude of mumbled conversation fill the comfortable silence as they waited for the time when everyone would start to hit the road. She tucked her hands behind her back, rocking on her feet as she tried to think of something to say or not keep it too awkward but what came out was just plain stupid instead. ”The w-weather is nice today isn’t it? Wait, s-sorry...that was dumb, um...h-have you ever been to Baltimore b-before?”

Arken had walked over to the passenger side to open the door for Hana at this point. He was chuckling inwardly at how awkward Hana is being. He thought to himself “You don’t really have to be this gentle with this car. I couldn’t care less if it gets dinged up… Dad took my fucking jeep anyways…” Having swung the door open, Hana would smell a slight tinge of Febreze Fresh Linen and an even fainter smell of Dior Sauvage. Febreze was his father’s air freshener of choice. The Dior cologne was Arken’s scent of choice at the moment. “Oh uh, yeah, no worries. It seems like all the other cars are full anyways. What I’m trying to say is it would be nice to have some company for the drive.” Arken said, waiting by the passenger door.

When Hana would approach, Arken would reach out, placing a hand at the small of her back and guide her into the car that sat slightly lower than ‘normal’. “Watch your head and feet, I’ll close the door for you.” he said with a small smile. Taking a small step back, he gave Hana a moment to get settled into the seat before closing the door for her. Walking over to the driver side, he opened the door and stepped in, casual as you’d like. It was as if they were just going on an easy Sunday drive, and not a potentially deadly mission…

“Ready?” Arken asked idly. He took the brief moment between his question and actually setting off to attach his iPhone to the magnetic vent mount he had on one of the front air vents. The bluetooth soon connected. “Oh, and yeah. The weather is quite nice. Good driving weather this is.” He said with a small smile, not minding the fact that Hana chose the classic ‘Ah, look at the weather’ way to start a conversation. “Um, no, I’ve not been to Baltimore. Thats in Maryland, right? They have good food there I heard…” Arken said idly again. Shifting the car into gear, the engine offered a low growl that betrayed how much power was actually under the hood. As Arken took off, he accelerated smoothly, the car picking up speed effortlessly. A small hum came on through the car’s stereo. “Ah. La Vie En Rose…” He said, in slightly accented French. The song continued to play in the background, in stark contrast to the vehicle they’re in and how Arken usually presents himself...

”A-At least that is s-something to look forward to. I d-don’t know much about Baltimore.” Hana admitted, picking at the frayed bits from the overall shorts. She was actually excited for the mission they had been handed but also extremely worried about what they were taking on. She wasn’t as defenseless as most probably thought but it still worried her that someone would be hurt or that the vampires would be faster than they all could defend. She felt the panicked nerves build but was calmed by the soft hum of music, one she recognized. A gentle smile tugged at her lips,”I love this song though...I, umm, I hope i-it isn’t rude to say but..I didn’t expect you to like this kind o-of music. It’s a nice surprise. Is there any other type of music you enjoy?”

Arken nodded along. “Yeah. Baltimore. Not somewhere I expected myself to be visiting, especially under these circumstances.” Idly picking up the bottle of water nestled in the center cup holder, Arken opened it with the help of his hand that was on the steering wheel and took a small sip from it. ”Oh, um, that bottle of water in the holder by your door is for you if you want it. Arken said. Arken’s gaze would occasionally drift from the road in front of them to Hana, for the briefest moments. He noticed that Hana seems to be playing with her hair a lot. From what he knew, people played with their hair as a nervous tick. Hopefully Hana was nervous about the mission and not about Arken’s drive, which he is keeping rather tame and ruly in her presence.

He instinctively wanted to reach his hand over to try to calm her, thinking that she is nervous. Often, he can’t read minds and doesn’t know that she is actually excited. Would reaching over now be doing too much or stepping over the line? The song that played in the background was heading towards the finale, and Arken was there just thinking up imaginary scenarios and doing a little back and forth dance route with his hand physically. “Um. Haha. Yeah. My music taste is quite varied I guess you could say. I usually just put my stuff on shuffle and let it be. For all I know the next song after this can be some ratchet Drake song or like… My Chemical Romance from back in the day or something.” He said with a small chuckle. The song in the background slowly faded out. After a brief silence, a smooth, droned out synthy bass filled the car. “Ah. See. Its Bad Bunny, and Drake. I went from French to Spanish…” He said, again with a small chuckle. This brief pause from his previous thoughts seemed to have made him forget whatever his inhibitions were and he just reached out and grabbed her hand “Look, I don’t know if you’re nervous or what, but I got you.” He said, bumbling over his words a little…

Hana gave a light chuckle at Arken’s answer that the music could drastically change once the next song rolled around, moving in more of a direction she had visualized him to enjoy. As if the universe had heard him, it changed to not quite the song he had been joking about but hit the nail on the head with one of the artists and she couldn’t help but genuinely laugh at the coincidence. He would know his own playlist well but it tickled her pink nonetheless that it had happened. It helped elevate some of the nerves and stress that was building of the ‘what ifs’ of this mission. She knew it did no good to dwell on those things but sometimes she let her emotions get the better of her or let her nerves get way too frantic. It was only moments after her laughter died down that she felt a hand take her own and she turned her gaze to the only person it could belong, a light blush dusting her cheeks.

Part of it was due to the embarrassment of being caught acting nervous, probably unconsciously doing one of her tell tale ticks and the other was because she felt touched that he had tried to comfort her when it could have been ignored. Hana gave his hand a soft squeeze and gave a soft warm smile.”Thank you, Arken. I g-guess I am nervous...I worry about e-everyone else getting hurt b-but part of me is excited too. I m-mean, this is our first mission so how could I not be a l-little excited that they trust us this much, t-to do something like this. S-Sorry, that probably sounds weird. The Elders practically raised me and…. m-maybe part of my nervousness is not wanting to be a disappointment or fail a-as well as wanting nobody to be hurt.” she said, feeling a bit flustered again talking about it. It also seemed like a huge downer and had her biting her lips a bit. She quickly grabbed the bottle from the door, taking a sip to get herself to stop talking for a moment and gather herself before attempting to speak again. ”B-But enough about that, umm, e-ever play twenty questions? We could give that a try...l-learn a bit more about each other, keep away boredom and what not?”

That one small squeeze Hana offered felt like the world to him. Both in weight and significance. It felt so reassuring but it also felt like the weight and responsibility of the world followed behind it. “There is nothing to be nervous about. Look, the elders know us, or you, better than anyone else other than our parents. They would not have sent us on this mission if they didn’t think we can handle it. Beside, I’m sure you’re a fine witch, fully capable of taking care of yourself and others. On top of that, you have me.” He offered her a small smile and a wink.

The car banked gently left and right, following the curvature of the road. The previous song slowly drew to a close. The next song was another odd one perhaps. “Hm. Sinatra. I guess my playlist is in some sort of mood today…” The familiar crooning of days past filled the car. “Um, I’ve played that, but sure, ask away.” He smiled softly again. Then he mumbled “I-I’d love to get to know you better…” softly.

She smiled brightly, glad that her suggestion had been easily agreed to and started to try to think up a question. She decided to take one of the easier routes and keep away from anything too heavy or awkward. It was always best to start simply, right? Well, that was the logic she was gonna go with for now. The last thing she would want was too serious questions so it seemed fair to do unto others that you would want done unto you. ”Alright, so what is your favorite color?” Hana asked.

Arken noticed that she wasn’t stammering anymore. Thats good, right? Arken made no effort to comment on it, and just let it slip by as if he did not notice. It seems like Hana was more at ease with whatever she may be dealing with. That is definitely an improvement to what she was feeling previously. The previous drew to a close. The next song was a simple jazz song one would likely hear at any number of local cafes that served overpriced drinks and locally sourced baked goods.

Arken took a small sip from the bottle of water in the center cup holder. “Mmm. If I had to pick just one, I’d say red. Normally, I’d ask what yours was but let not keep asking the same questions. Let me see…” Arken said, pausing briefly. pcolor=BFA658] “Ah, this could be fun. What is your favorite spell and what does it do?” [/color] Arken asked. Obviously he is not trying to assess anything related to the mission, but more so he wants to get her to start talking about herself...

”I-I’m not sure if I have a favorite...but I do have some things I’ve been trying to work on! I’ve really been getting into scrying, trying spells to track and location people or items. S-Sadly, it has been hit and miss just like a few other things I’ve been trying to work on.” she answered with a bit of a shrug before taking another sip from her water as she tried to think up a new question. ”Oh, I got one. What is your fondest childhood memory?”

“Ah. Those will definitely come in handy, especially on this mission. We’re being asked to hunt something that easily blends into the shadows as it is. I’m sure you’ll do fine and be very useful during the mission.” Arken said. Taking a sip from his own water, the pair was now passing through the city of Chantilly, VA. “It seems like we’re about half way according to my GPS…” Arken said absentmindedly. “Uh, fondest childhood memory… Probably going to a Yankees game with my dad, one of the last games at the old Yankee stadium. That place, its like the holy grail of baseball…” Arken said with a small chuckle. “I’ll ask one. What do you want to do, or be, after we eventually move out of the coven house?”

”I-If they end up working then i-it could be helpful but if not then at least I can heal. I’m...I’m sure I can find a way to contribute.” She said, feeling very small and doubting herself. She wished she could have as much confidence in herself that Arken seemed to have in her. Hana gave a tiny nod at the mention of where they were. It felt like no time had really passed but they say time flies when you are having fun. At least it wasn’t a silent ride and she was actually managing to speak so thank the stars for small favors. ”That sounds nice. I’ve never been to a sports game but I’m not much of a fan of watching sports. It seems more fun to play.” she said. She frowned a bit at the question and shrugged lightly. ”Honestly, I don’t know. I love painting so maybe I’ll try to be an artist or if that fails maybe a chef since I love to cook. It’s hard to say.” Hana replied. ”My turn, let’s see...hmm..oh, what kind of things do you enjoy doing in your free time?”

“I’m sure you’ll be alright. Trust.” Arken said, almost nonchalantly. It wasn’t that he didn’t care. He definitely did. It was just that he was sure that she would be fine. He wasn’t trying to sound arrogant, or overly sure of himself. In reality, he wasn’t. He didn’t know what they were getting into, he didn’t know how things would turn out, he didn’t know how the mission would end. But, what good is it to doubt anything at this moment? He has the rest of his friends at his back, and he will be at theirs should it be needed. That is all that he needed to believe it.

Of course he doesn’t outright say this to Hana…

“Ah, we have to go. I’ll take you to a baseball game. Maybe in Baltimore. Camden Yards is also a classic baseball stadium...Although the Orioles aren’t all that good… Its fine. You go for the atmosphere anyways. If the teams are good, thats just a bonus.” Arken said with a small chuckle. “And thats just it. We’ll go visit all the sights, sports stadiums and all that. You can paint those too, capture the moment type of thing. Cooking huh. Interesting…” Hearing Hana’s question, Arken smiled softly before replying “Well, what a coincidence. I like cooking as well. Otherwise I don’t really do a whole lot. I like going on hikes and just being out in nature. Maybe thats just because of my magic being so attuned to the outdoors.” Arken said with a small shrug. The pair is now pulling up on the outskirts of Washington D.C. on highway 495. “Oh, its Washington D.C. Maybe we can double back this way when the mission is over for some tourist-y sightseeing…” Arken said with a small chuckle. ”Since you like cooking, my question is when are you cooking for me? Arken asked with a smirk and a small wink should Hana turn to look at him.

”If you say so, but don’t blame me if I only go for the food and to watch the mascots be silly.” she laughed before adding,”It would be fun to maybe sketch and draw somewhere completely new and the sights would be nice to see if we aren’t all exhausted or up to our ears in vampire fights.” There was a soft pause for a moment and Hana found herself glad that she was able to talk without being a stuttering mess. She wanted to feel comfortable with everyone, to be able to trust in everyone and become a real team. This was at least a good start to trying. The really new people would take time, much more than a few hours but she hoped she could have situations like this with each of them.

”Oh you do? We should exchange recipes some time! I agree with you though, hiking and being a part of nature is a good alternative to cooking. It is probably why I go running in the mornings. It must be even more amazing with magic in tune with all that is around you.”, she replied with a gentle smile and looked out the window as Arken spoke of Washington D.C. and talking about doubling back that way after it was all over. ”That isn’t a bad idea, especially if we all don’t get to sightsee in Baltimore!”, she smiled glancing back over to Arken before looking out the window once more. She had almost forgotten the game they were playing until her companion started to ask a question, drawing in her attention. Hana instantly felt a blush on her face and turned away from the window to look at Arken. She started to feel a bubble of nervous energy and tried to take a deep breath but that was little to no help. She blushed deeper, playing with her hair as she spoke, ”W-Well, I don’t know about cooking b-but I actually couldn’t sleep last night s-so I was up baking., I made some c-carrot cake muffins w-with cream cheese frosting a-and brought some as a trip snack, if you wanna t-try them. I-It might be a little messy to eat w-while driving though”

“I mean, what else does one go to a baseball game for?” Arken said, chuckling slightly. It was refreshing to see, and hear, Hana banter with him. He continued, “Oh for sure. I mean, I feel like we should be ok. The vampires aren’t active during the day anyways. We should have some time to unwind a little. All that tension can’t be good for my skin…” Arken said as he made a joking gesture to run his right hand down the right side of his face.

The GPS reminded them that they should be pulling off the highway soon as they approach the outskirts of Baltimore. “Mm. We should be there soon. We’re pulling into Baltimore now. I wonder if the rest of the group are there yet…” Arken idly commented. He also thought about how the hotel situation will play out. No doubt the rooms will be split, but he was more so wondering about the general condition of the rooms. He wasn’t expecting five-star accommodations but at least it won’t be some dingy roadside motel…

“Carrot cake, huh. Sounds really good…” Arken said, glancing over at Hana. Noticing that she was twirling her hair again, he naturally reached out and softly moved her hand. “Stop that.” He said softly. “I’m sure the cake is fine. The fact that you baked it because you couldn’t sleep is a little funny to me though. Let’s share it with the group in the hotel...” Arken said. The car slowly meandered through the street of Baltimore, approaching the prearranged hotel.

Hana nodded softly with a light smile and replied, ”That sounds like a great idea.” She made sure to avoid the strangeness of not being able to sleep, not really wanting to talk about the reason behind it. She mostly just hoped it didn’t happen on the trip while she was surrounded by even more people than usual. She turned her attention out the window, taking in the sights of Baltimore as they made their way to the hotel, not taking long to see the view as they began to approach the hotel.


She grabbed her bags from the car before giving a quick wave goodbye to Arken for now, heading to the room to join the other ladies. She didn’t really care who ended up bunking with her so she just tossed her bags on one of the open beds which was closer to the door than the window and set to work on Calypso’s plan. It took awhile for everyone to get settled but eventually they all had pizza in hand and were calculating with the whole group on the best location to set up a stake out and catch the vampires in the grave robbing act. It would be the perfect time to see how the vampires operated and could potentially lead them to where the vampires were hiding. The obituaries proved to be the most valuable source of information, a woman named Madison Hawkins coming up with clear signs of being bitten even though the ruling by the police was change entirely but that was to be expected since mortals didn’t know the truth of vampires unless they were unfortunate to become one. Her heart hurt for this woman she did not know even though she knew she couldn’t allow herself to think or look at it that way.

. *     ✦ .  ⁺   .. *     ✦ .  ⁺   .. *     ✦ .  ⁺   .. *     ✦ .  ⁺   .. *     ✦ .  ⁺   .

For hours they stood, surrounded by silence and not a single one of them daring to fill the void with speech in fear the vampires were near. They had been switching off on the invisibility spell to cloak the group, Calypso now in control of keeping them from view along with the darkness of the shadows as light of the pathway did not quite reach this place. It seemed to make the polished well maintained tombstones look dreary and made the place which was already so devoid of life even more depressing and boring. Hana couldn’t really say she hoped the vampires would appear but at the same time, it had to be better than waiting around for nothing to happen. They couldn’t have been wrong could they? Maybe they had already dealt with this grave or maybe someone else was of more interest to the vampires? She was about to ask the others their thoughts on maybe scouting out a bit further when two pale looking men appeared, one of them very clearly pointing in their direction at the tombstone they had been observing.

She felt herself tense, carefully glancing to the others in her group and hoping Calypso could keep up the spell. Hana could feel her heart racing frantically and was just praying the vampires’ senses wouldn’t pick up on any of them. The last that they needed was to lose the element of surprise which they had so carefully laid out. She felt herself practically holding her breath, trying to make as little noise as possible while the vampires got closer. They seemed to be getting to work, the shovel out and plunging into the dirt which while not really the happiest things to witness was a much better than them instantly suspecting something was amiss. That hope and relief was instantly dashed though as the one that put shivers down her spine spoke about sensing another presence. She felt panic sink in and looked to the others of the group with large eyes like a deer in headlights or a rabbit spotted by a wolf before preparing to dash. Hana carefully followed Calypso’s lead, trying to keep side stepping and back from the swatting hand.

At the third swat though, she had been just a touch too slow and was harshly pulled into Dmitri’s space which caused her to let out a mostly startled cry but tinged with pain. She was too close for her liking, her wrist locked in a hard icy grip that would most likely bruise but that was far from where her worry was right now. Hana noticed how close her wrist was to his face, those deadly fangs barely a beat away from her skin. She felt frozen for a moment, simply trying to tug from his grasp when the word witches spat from his lips. Her blood instantly ran cold as he didn’t say witch, he had said witches which meant the others could be seen. Hana didn’t have a time to worry about them though as her wrist was viciously yanked even closer to the elder vampire’s mouth. She quickly took her free hand, reaching for the knife at her waist as she knew kicking or fighting without a weapon wouldn’t be the best idea. It hadn’t worked earlier when she struggled and that wasn’t about to change now. At least the distraction from her team was working in her favor for the time being or so she thought.

The moment her hand curled around the handle of the knife was when a sharp pain exploded in her wrist. Her free hand instinctively let go of the knife, shoving at the vampire to pry him off which was futile but her mind wasn’t focused on the fact a weapon would be a benefit but honed in on the pain. Hana had no idea if she screamed more or even how long he had been attached to her wrist but it felt like agony. She felt him trying to pull her other arm away, trying to remove the offending appendage that was interrupting his meal so Hana changed tactics and roughly dug her fingers into his hair at the back of his head, yanking the strands backwards with all of her strength to try and force him away from her wrist.

The position forced the vampire to let go of her wrist, obviously planning to attack her in another way as he grabbed her neck but with her wrist free, she pulled out a chunk of his hair before using her now bloody hand to grab a hold of her knife and take a shot at his heart. Sadly, she was rather at a disadvantage as she was hurt, struggling to breathe as she dangled in the air, and slower from blood loss. Dmitri caught her arm with a sickening grin, her blood still dripping from his mouth but while he was grinning, Hana was glaring. He moved her closer, planning to attack again but paused, a frown appearing on his features as the grass around them started to rapidly wilt and die. Water started to boil and build up from the ground around them, the spark of magic in the air which had him dropping the witch in his grasp to dodge a forceful wave of water. Hana coughed, panting and gasping for air as exhaustion clung to her, blurring the edges of her vision. It wasn’t wise to keep fighting, it was in all the rules when dealing with bites but she knew she had at least an hour if she was lucky before symptoms sunk in. She could try to hold off on using too much magic, stick to guns and support as best she could. There was nowhere for her to run or hide anyway so this was all she could do. She weakly picked herself up and placed the hair she had pulled into her pocket before working to head towards the car so she could get the other part of the group's help and maybe find a better vantage point to snipe the vampires. She didn’t have the energy to deal with her wound right now nor did she have time to stop since the vampires could block her path at any moment.

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Well, I’ve been debating and I might join too XD
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