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The streets were dark and empty, but Leo hadn’t really expected much, very few people actually had the guts to go out after sunset after all. Most usually just stayed inside locked behind steel doors and heavy locks, some would barricade themselves in basements and underground barracks until sunrise the next morning. Of course Leo wasn’t one of those people.

Down the street, right passed the Froyo store, movie theatre and arcade. Leo still remembers the one time he was forced to duck away and pick the lock on the arcades doors. Adam was with him at the time, they were both injured with no way to escape. Both knowing that running any further wouldn’t do them much good, especially since they were both so painfully exhausted. Leo picked the lock and they hid inside, crawling in behind the video games against the furthest wall of the store. Thankfully they weren’t found out and even though the silent alarm was tripped, police didn’t show up till the next morning to investigate since no one, not even the authorities were stupid enough to go out after dark.

At five o’clock the city went on lock down, anyone outside after five was doing so at their own risk.

Leo kept running huffing out panting breaths, the silver stakes attached to the inside of his jacket clinked softly as he ran while the weapons in his holsters thumped none too gently against his back and against his sides. His mission’s suit was stained with dark spatters of green and black, sickly slathers across his chest and on his arms, a little bit on the side of his head from the dwergies he managed to kill in the lair. But for the moment Leo didn’t care

He was feeling a lot of things right at that moment.

Shock, anxiety, fear-one might even call complete and total utter terror he was feeling a lot of that-but more than anything Leo felt elated. Excited, exhilarated and all because of one simple fact

‘I killed a bride.’

He killed one of Dracula’s brides.

After months of fighting and hiding in fear they managed to kill one of the brides, but more than anything else, Leo’s the one that drove the stake through Aleera’s heart. Leo never seemed like much of a threat, despite the dwergies that he’s managed to kill since the vampires first appeared so when he got cornered by the brides after sneaking into one of Dracula’s hide outs Verona and Marishka left him to the mercy of their sister. Aleera insisted that she be allowed to kill him because of the fact that he’s been the most irritating little thorn in their side and also the fact that she hadn’t fed in a while. They left her thinking that Leo would be an easy kill and in all honesty Leo was sure that he wouldn’t make it out of the lair alive, but he actually did it. He caught the vampire off guard by using his bionic arm to fire an energy blast at her before moving quickly to drive a silver stake right through her heart. Aleera screamed, letting out a blood chilling screech as her body disintegrated and turned to dust right before him. Before he had time to celebrate however he heard Marishka and Verona echo their sister’s cries of agony as they turned back to avenge her at which point he realized that it was time to leave.

He passed Adam, Bree, Chase, Spin, Sebastian and Taylor in his escape. They were occupied with Dracula’s other minions and barely noticed the boy run right passed them, there were few words spoken before Leo had to start running again since the minions and brides weren’t the only thing that they had to be worried about.

“After the boy, rip him to shreds!”

That’s the last thing that Leo heard before the snapping of chains rang through the air and he heard an ear bursting growl before Sebastian told him to run.

And so now, he’s running.

Around a corner and down the street.

It was a full moon and the clouds were hanging sparsely in the air. Moving together and pulling apart along with the wind causing them to cover the moon before revealing it every few seconds and every few seconds Leo would hear a scream of pain before terrifying growl. As he ran Leo could hear something coming up fast behind him, moving so fast he knew that he wouldn’t be able to outrun it and he started frantically looking for someplace to hide.

Marishka sent the werewolf after him, Leo knew she did and he was completely terrified of what might happen if the beast actually caught him.

They aren’t really sure what it looks like, it always moved too fast and they never even got close enough to see it. Every time the beast was released Van Helsing would insist that he would take care of it before ordering them to leave. He said that werewolves are deadly, driven by no reason or will other than the will of their master.

“If you see a werewolf; run. Don’t fight don’t try to be a hero; just run and don’t stop.”

Leo could almost hear Van Helsing’s voice in his head, but he couldn’t run not anymore. He’s already injured and exhausted from his fight with Aleera at this point he’ll end up passing out from exhaustion before the werewolf even gets to him.

He needs a place to hide.

Another turn and Leo sighed when he saw an alley up ahead.

It wasn’t much but he didn’t have any other options.

The teen turned left into the alley and immediately ducked down between a trash can and a stack of boxers up against the wall. Leo was panting hard, moving down as far as he could pulling his legs up against his chest to make himself as small as possible. It smelled horrible there, Leo’s pretty sure there’s a dead cat rotting against his side where he hid beside the wall, that and the stench of garbage from the trashcan was enough to have him blowing chunks but in a way he was also grateful for the smell. Hopefully it can help disguise his scent so the werewolf won’t pick up on it.

The werewolf was close, Leo ducked down a little more, biting back a hiss as his arm and chest continued to ache from Aleera grabbing him and throwing him across the room like a ragdoll. Thankfully it didn’t hurt too much not with the adrenalin still coursing hard and fast through his veins. Some of his ribs are broken and his arm is dislocated but there wasn’t much he could do about it not when-

A loud growl.

Leo could see a large shadow against the opposite wall. The werewolf was up on the roof of the building he was cowering against. Leo swallowed hard and stopped breathing, hoping against hope that it wouldn’t find him. When the creature suddenly let out a loud howl, causing Leo to cringe but still hold his breath when the shadow moved seeming to leap from one building to the next.

Leo waited for a few moments when nothing but silence reached his ears and he let out the breath he’d been holding in a heavy sigh.

“That was close.”

The moment however was short lived when a figure suddenly dropped down right in front of him and Leo froze when the creature before him gave a low growl as it slowly rose up on its hind legs and turned towards him. He had grey black and white fur with bright amber eyes that glared at him while the wolf’s mouth pulled back to expose long sharp teeth gleaming in the sparse lighting that spilt into the alley way.

It was huge, now Leo understands why Gabriel insisted on going after it himself. Adam, Bree and Chase might have stood a chance since they have bionics but even with his arm Leo…

Leo would have been… is going to be toast.

Swallowing hard and trying to ignore the ache his broken ribs caused in his chest along with the aching arm; he shifted a bit to the side a bit as he spoke,

“Good doggy, nice doggy.”

At first the creature only seemed to watch as he shifted away and for a moment Leo thought that he might actually be able to slip past the wolf creature only for the beast to snap and growl at him. He hit the ground hard when the wolf suddenly swiped its large paw at him with so much force the air was knocked right out of him and he went tumbling into the open alley right into a muddy puddle, away from the trash where he sat hidden.

Silver lining?

His arm got popped right back into place.

The boy groaned as he rolled over onto his side ignoring the way the dirty water seeped into his clothes, gripping his chest tight when the creature let out another low rumbling growl as it slowly crawled over him.

“Shit shit shit, this is gonna hurt, this is gonna hurt.” Leo said but somehow even as he feared the oncoming pain he couldn’t help but stare as the creature stalked over him.

Hey, if he’s gonna die anyway at least he’ll die seeing something severely cool.

The beast stopped with one of its front paws on the ground beside his head while the other rested on his right shoulder holding tight as it pinned him to the ground with its claws digging right through his leather jacket and shirt, leaving bleeding wounds on his skin and its hind legs on either side of his legs as it leaned down and the growling grew even louder. Leo flinched away and gagged at the smell of blood and road kill on the beasts breath and couldn’t help but speak despite the situation.

“Agh, ever heard of a mouthwash?”

And then almost as if it could understand him the creature lifted him up by the shoulder it had clutched in its paw and slammed him back down again.

“Ow! I’m joking, I’m joking! You don’t need to smell minty fresh.”

The creature seemed to let out a lower growl that somehow sounded less threatening and Leo guessed that he was doing something right, although all he was doing was lying perfectly still. The beast leaned down closer, seeming to take a few short sniffs near Leo’s collar and along the side of his neck and the boy just lay still despite the wet cold of its muzzle that he could feel along his skin. All the way around his throat, Leo prayed that it wouldn’t suddenly start ripping before moving up over his face until the creature pulled back, staring at him as it took heavy breaths for two agonizingly long minutes and Leo gulped as he spoke.

“Uhm, s-so are we good? Can I go now or-“

Suddenly the creature let out an ear bursting growl and Leo cringed, shutting his eyes as he lifted his left arm to shield himself and he frantically screeched.

“I don’t know what I did, but I’m sorry!” the boy said as the creature continued to growl only for that growl to rise into a howl and Leo frowned since it sounded like the creature was in pain. Leo opened his eyes and looked up over his arm to see a horrifying sight.

The wolf was tearing itself apart, ripping clumps of its fur and skin and Leo could do nothing but stare as it seemed to grow… smaller?

More flesh and fur, the wolf’s claws receded and its teeth grew smaller. Paws turned into hands and feet and the tail disappeared. Bright amber eyes turned into piercing green and what little fur wasn’t ripped out was left on his head. Shaggy raven hair fell around his shoulders and with a five o’clock shadow around his jaw.

He was also very very naked.

Leo felt himself flush but still just stared at the man above him, now on his knees straddling his waist as he took heavy panting breaths sounding like he couldn’t breathe and briefly Leo’s eyes darted up to the night sky and he noticed that the full moon was covered by the thick heavy rainclouds in the sky. But he only had a moment for that thought when the man suddenly collapsed on top of him.

“Ow, O.K there goes the other rib.” Leo said as he tried to sit up the man was lying on top of him with his full weight; he was still having trouble breathing. Leo used all his strength to sit up with the man still in his arms, it was awkward since he was taller and a had a little more muscle mass than Leo did, not to mention the injuries he still had all over his body and the fact that the wolf man wasn’t wearing any clothes but the boy still managed to sit up with the man’s head on his shoulder.

“Uhm, hey are you O.K?”

The man didn’t answer him and his body seemed to tense as he let out a scream and Leo’s eyes went wide at the sight of bones pushing at the man’s skin from the inside, like something inside was desperately trying to break through.

“În cazul în care este-este sora mea.”

Leo frowned, “What?”

“Anna, where is my sister?” the man gasped out before his jaw suddenly locked tight with a groan, “Is-Is she safe?”

“Anna? No I don’t know an Anna, unless you mean one of Dracula’s brides?”

“No…not-AHHH!” the man suddenly screamed as his back arched back in pain and Leo jumped before glancing back up at the cloud covered moon when it all suddenly clicked. The man’s eyes rolled back into the back of his head and Leo’s went wide as he frantically tried to keep a hold of the man and patted his face to keep him awake.

“Nonononono, no. Stay with me, you’re the only thing between me and an all you can eat wolf buffet.” Leo said as he leaned over the man and tried to get them to make eye contact. “C’mon open your eyes, focus on me. C’mon just-just tell me your name.”

The man writhed in his grasp with a groan of pain, “Velkan… Velkan Valleri-AH!”

“That’s a start.” Leo said taking a deep breath to stop himself from panicking as he patted the man’s face again, “Velkan, focus, open your eyes.”

The man tensed as pain seemed to rock through him and forced his eyes open to look up at the boy.

Velkan stilled.

Leo gave a sigh, “Good, now you work for Dracula right, you know his plan? Do you know how to beat him, how do we kill him?”

The man said nothing, just stared back at him and suddenly for a moment his body seemed absolutely calm, “Cine esti?”

“If we’re going to do this we need to speak the same language.” Leo deadpanned and the man just stared back as he asked, “Who-who are you?”

“I’m-" Leo hesitated, what if telling the strange wolf man his real name was a bad idea, then again does it really matter either way? Dracula already knows everything about them so what’s the harm in telling the guy his name. The important thing is finding out what Dracula’s weakness is, a little cooperation can’t hurt.

“My name is Leo.”

“Leu.” The man said carefully and Leo shrugged, “Close enough. Tell me how to beat Dracula.”

“You can’t.” the man said calmly in what Leo suddenly realized was a very heavy accent, maybe German or Russian, as he lifted a shaky hand up towards Leo’s cheek and Leo absently took it and set it back at the man’s side, “What do you mean we can’t, there has to be a way, no one’s invincible.”

“Neither is he.”

“Then what do you mean by we can’t defeat him?”

“Only a werewolf can defeat him. A werewolf’s bite is poisonous to him.” Velkan said and Leo frowned. “That doesn’t make any sense, if a werewolf is the only thing that can beat him then why would he bring you back to life-“

“Leu.” Velkan whispered as he let his fingers glide across the boy’s cheek, Leo just rolled his eyes, “Yup, that’s my name. Tell me why Dracula brought you back to life, if you could kill him.”

“Micul meu Leu.” His hand went around the teen’s neck to pull him close and Leo just stared in confusion, “What’re you-“

Leo’s eyes went wide when Velkan closed the distance between them in a soft kiss and he immediately pulled back to break it, “Whoa, what was-“

The boy was silenced when Velkan kissed him again, pulling Leo close to deepen it as he moved forward and Leo gasped when his back hit the ground.

Right at that moment, Leo was feeling a lot of things.

Firstly shock, because you know, a strange wolf man is kissing him.

Next fear, since he couldn’t be sure when the wolf man would suddenly decide to turn back and he really didn’t want them to be in this particular position when he did.

Confusion, because again, a strange wolf man is kissing him.

A little bit of disgust because he smells like wet dog, blood and road kill, not even mentioning the taste of blood on his tongue.

And lastly…

Lastly.

Leo wasn’t sure what that feeling was, whatever it was had him wrapping his arms around the older man’s neck to pull him close and moan into the kiss despite the shock, fear, confusion and disgust he felt. Completely ignoring the way the weapon strapped to the inside of his jacket on his back started digging into him.

The hand around the back of his neck slid down to the front, giving a brief squeeze that made Leo’s pulse jump and he tensed as he let out a gasp just when Velkan broke the kiss. The man was breathing hard as he stared down at the boy and Leo’s eyes darted back up to the sky before they went wide when he saw the clouds move to reveal the light of the full moon.

Velkan tensed above him and his eyes rolled into the back of his head.

“ARGH!”

“Oh c’mon!” Leo screeched as he tried to squirm out from under the other man, but the hand around his throat grew bigger and furrier. Claws grew out of the finger tips and Velkan’s skin ripped apart bit by bit until the white and grey wolf was left behind.

Leo struggled to breathe as the creature’s bright amber eyes zoned in on him and it let out a low growl, leaning down even closer as its long tongue came out to lick its muzzle. Leo struggled against the hold around his neck, grabbing at the furry arm that had him pinned only for the other one to move up towards his left shoulder.

Leo screamed when the wolf’s claws dug into his clothes, simultaneously dragging scratch marks onto his skin when his jacket and shirt were ripped apart, silver stakes and daggers scattered onto the dirty alley in loud clinks. Leo made to reach for one when the wolf opened its mouth to drag its tongue down the side of his face all the way to his neck and Leo’s eyes went wide.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

On some days, Gabriel hates them.

He hates them for bringing him back to life, for taking away his eternal slumber, his final time of rest and bringing him back to the land of the living. He hates how mere children are now all that’s left in the fight against the unholy power of Dracula and his brides. He hates how stupid the big one is, how vain the girl is, how arrogant the little one is and how self-absorbed the smart one is. He hates how he has to work with them because no one else is capable of defeating this threat. He hates how stupidly loyal and brave they are. He hates how they’re always so eager to defend one another, love one another and die for one another.

On other days he feels sorry for them.

Sorry for the fact that their mother was killed by Dracula two months before they brought him back to life. Sorry for the fact that the big one didn’t smile as often as he did since he was forced to watch Marishka kill an innocent child right in front of him. Sorry that the girl cut her hair into a short pixie cut after Verona used her hair to hold her back when they kidnapped an old man to feed before just tossing her aside. Sorry that the smart one, once worked himself into a near coma looking for a cure to help their mother from the vampire curse. Sorry for the smallest one, who’s leg became so damaged that they needed to be replaced with bionics, who managed to kill one of the brides only to pay for it when they took away his mother one final time.

They’re just kids.

They shouldn’t be going through everything that they’re going through.

If the order was still in operation, the church would have been appalled at the notion of children fighting against supernatural threats; then again they might have loved the idea of having such impressionable minds to mold into the perfect weapons to serve the church.

One year ago, a man by the name of Viktor Krane made a very very stupid mistake, when he somehow managed to find Dracula’s castle and brought the man back to life. The Davenports aren’t exactly sure what Viktor thought he could achieve by doing this, although Douglas hinted that he might have been looking for a way to strengthen their bionics by using vampire DNA. Obviously his plan backfired in a big way and the vampire ended up taking over control of not only all of Viktor’s assets but Viktor’s bionic army as well. Although Dracula mostly just used them as livestock once he managed to get Viktor to bring back his brides.

After that the evil scientist was disposed of and his bionic army was dealt with in the same manor, only a few of them escaped.

Sebastian, Taylor, Tank, Spin and Lexi.

The bionic teens managed to escape and find the Davenports, tell them about what happened and of course at first they were reluctant to trust them. But after the first few murders started showing up in the news and they actually met Count Dracula for the first time any and all trust issues resolved and put away to be dealt with on a day when they weren’t facing an immortal bloodsucking threat.

Gabriel wasn’t revived until a few months later, after Douglas Davenport made a trip to the Vatican and found an old legend in their archives about a bounty hunter that hunted the forces of evil and darkness.

They found the place where he was buried, took his remains and thanks to some help from Sebastian managed to recreate the same reincarnation ritual that Viktor used to bring back Dracula. Unfortunately by that time, they’d already had some casualties.

Tasha was turned by Dracula before she was taken away by his brides a year later. Lexi died during a fight with Aleera that left her bones mangled and her body drained dry. Tank was killed while he was trying to protect Tasha from Dracula when he found out where the Davenports were hiding.

Now he’s here in this modern time in the modern world.

Dracula had been wreaking all kinds of havoc on the mortal world having decided not to try and keep his murdering ways a secret in the town of Mission Creek. The bionic children that they didn’t kill were turned and sent out into other cities and towns all across the country, hence the government shut downs every night at sundown.

The vampires couldn’t be caught, couldn’t be restrained or killed, so they didn’t really have any other choices than to just take cover and try to ride it out at night every night.

Davenport and his kids had been doing well in handling the outbreak, taking out bionic vampires and fighting off Dracula and his brides whenever it was necessary, it wasn’t until Dracula revived a werewolf that things took a turn for the worst and Douglas decided to finally put that research he learned from the Vatican to use and bring Gabriel back to life.

Again Gabriel hadn’t been pleased, but they needed help and he made a vow both to the order and to Anna that he would kill Dracula, wouldn’t that include making sure that he stayed dead as well?

Unfortunately for Gabriel there were some unforeseen circumstances that made things considerably harder than he first thought they would be.

“Let me go!”

A complication in the form of a five foot nothing squirt with way too much attitude for his own good.

“Ow!” the boy hissed as Gabriel let go of his arm and he started rubbing on the spot where he was held only to jump when the older man shut the door to his room with a slam.

“What in God’s name were you thinking?! Have you completely lost your mind?!” Gabriel growled as he yanked off his hat and threw it down onto the bed before doing the same with his coat.

The Davenports tried to give him one of their bionic suits, give him a more updated wardrobe so he wouldn’t stick out any more than he already was, but the older man refused. If he’s going to come back to life when he doesn’t want to then he’s going to wear what he wants to wear.

“I told you to stick close, stay with the team.” Gabriel hissed as he glared at the boy stepping closer to him as he spoke, “We can’t afford to lose any more people, I thought you learned that after what happened to Sebastian.”

Leo flinched back, Sebastian was a soft spot for him.

They split up into teams of two to go through an abandoned building they heard was housing a bunch of vampire bionic teens that used the spot to take their kill and feed. Leo went with Sebastian, they got split up and Sebastian ended up getting caught in the building’s basement alone with none other than Marishka who had deemed Leo’s mother insufficient payment for Aleera’s death. So she tried to kill Sebastian as well but only succeeded in turning him.

He’s alive and he still works with them in the fight against Dracula, but Leo felt guilty about the whole ordeal so when the thirst started to overwhelm him Leo started letting Sebastian feed off of him whenever he got hungry. That caused a whole new set of complications that they hadn’t anticipated. Feeding is personal, especially when the vampire makes the conscious decision to feed from his prey and not kill it, over and over and over again.

Sebastian ended up marking Leo, which caused a new set of problems with Dracula’s pet werewolf since he suddenly started getting more vicious than he was before.

“I wasn’t alone when I went into the vault,” Leo said still rubbing his wrist as he spoke, “Sebastian was with me-“

“And you put both of your lives at risk.” Gabriel hissed and Leo took a deep breath, “We both agreed that the risk was worth it.”

“The risk was worth-“

“Dracula has a cure.” Leo said finally and Van Helsing paused as the boy stepped closer, “He has a cure for the werewolf’s curse, if he has one for werewolves then he has to have one for vampirism right?”

“Leo-“

“Even if he doesn’t.” Leo interrupted with another step forward and this time Gabriel couldn’t help but take one back, “If we can get the werewolf cure to Big D, Douglas and Chase they could figure out a way to make one.”

Gabriel said nothing for a moment, just stared at the boy before he spoke, “How did you find out about the cure?”

“How did-…” Leo started incredulously when something flashed across his eyes and he just stared back, “Wait a minute, did you know there was a cure?”

“How did you find out about it?”

“Velkan told me. He said he saw it.” Leo growled out with a glare and Gabriel hissed “And you took his word for it? Leo how could you be so naïve?”

“Well apparently my naivety paid off since a cure exists, then again you already knew that. Exactly when were you planning on telling us?!”

Gabriel sighed but didn’t look away as he spoke, “There was nothing to tell.”

“Nothing to te-“

“Back in my time yes, Dracula had a cure but I couldn’t be sure that he’d still have one in this time as well.”

“Why wouldn’t he have a cure, he brought back a werewolf, he needs to have a cure.” Leo said taking off his own jacket to toss onto the chair beside the desk near the window Gabriel just watched him, “Velkan told you about that as well.”

“Well it’s not like you’re telling us anything are you?” Leo said looking right into the older man’s eyes when he said it and Gabriel’s jaw clenched, “Did he tell you about his sister Anna? About how he almost killed her in his werewolf form, how he betrayed her because Dracula controlled his mind? You need to stay away from him Leo.”

“Velkan wouldn’t hurt me.”

“And what about the wolf? Are you sure that he wouldn’t hurt you either?” Gabriel said stepping closer to grab Leo’s arm and turn him back when the boy turned away, “Have you forgotten what it almost did to you, what it would have done if I hadn’t arrived when I did the first time you met.”

Leo yanked his arm loose, “No I haven’t forgotten.”

“So you just don’t care.”

“No, I know he didn’t mean it, he couldn’t help himself it was the werewolf not Velkan-“

“Leo wake up! The werewolf is Velkan Valerious. They’re one in the same.”

“You said that they weren’t the same.” Leo said stepping forward, “You said that the monster and the man aren’t the same. That the man is as much of a victim of the monster as anyone else that the monster hurts or kills-“

“I also told you that when the curse takes over and the monster catches a scent of its next kill it doesn’t matter either way.”  Gabriel hissed right in the boy’s face and Leo tensed, “He has no control over himself, for all you know, Dracula is using him to feed you all of this information.”

“Are you saying that the cure isn’t real? That Dracula can’t be killed by a werewolf.”

Gabriel pulled back, “I’m saying the fact that Velkan is a werewolf and hasn’t been able to kill Dracula proves that you need to be more careful.”

“Why didn’t you tell us that Dracula had a cure?” Leo asked again, “And don’t say you didn’t think he had one cause we both know that’s a lie.”

Gabriel turned back towards the bed, “We don’t need a cure right now, what we need is a wolf with the will to kill Dracula. Without Velkan we have no wolf.”

“Is that why you insist on going after him?” Leo asked as he stepped forward towards the bed, “You’re trying to get him to bite you aren’t you?”

Gabriel let out a heavy sigh when Leo spoke again, “He won’t do it you know.”

The hunter gave a humorless snort, “How do you know that?”

“He has more control over himself now.”

“He’s a mindless beast under Dracula’s control.”

“No he’s not. I saw him tonight, I talked to him-“

“Kissed him? Touched him?” Gabriel said suddenly spinning around and Leo stumbled back in surprise at the sudden movement and the words that the hunter spoke, “Those stolen moments when the full moon is covered by the clouds don’t mean anything boy. When it comes down to it when Dracula gives the order for his pet to rip out your throat it won’t hesitate before raising its claw to strike the fatal blow. The fact that you’re his mate makes no difference. There is no way to save him; you need to make peace with that.”

Leo’s jaw clenched along with his hands down at his sides, “Just because you murdered Anna doesn’t mean that Velkan will do the same with me.”

Gabriel froze and the room dropped into silence, Leo’s eyes widened like he couldn’t believe the words that came out of his own mouth but the boy just looked away and made to leave the room, “Sebastian’s waiting for me downstairs-“

Gabriel grabbed his arm to stop him short, “How do you know about Anna?”

“What’s the point in telling you when you’ll just end up lying and denying it?”

The hunter’s hand tightened around Leo’s arm the boy bit back a wince of pain, “Leo-“

“Let me go.” Leo said clearly looking right into the older man’s eyes, showing that ever annoying present courage. Van Helsing sighed; he could almost hear Carl’s voice somewhere in the back of his head telling him how terrible he was with people.

“I’m sorry.”

“Douglas found a journal in the Vatican. It was written by a friar named Carl and he detailed the Dracula hunt in it. He said that you killed Dracula and ended up killing the princess as well, but it didn’t say how. Velkan told me about his sister, the rest was easy to guess.” Leo said glancing up at the older man for a moment, “So you were a werewolf too?”

Gabriel didn’t answer him as he let go of the boy’s arm and sat down on the bed as Leo continued, “What happened?”

“After I killed Dracula then I killed her, less than a second after she managed to give me the cure to save me.” Van Helsing said as he looked up at Leo with a humorless smile, “In the eyes of the wolf it didn’t matter who was in front of me, whether it was her or evil’s spawn it didn’t make a difference. They were both the exact same thing, prey. That’s why you need to stay away from him, no matter what you think he might feel for you he is still a monster. Even if he truly does love you, love won’t stop him from taking your life. You can’t save him.”

Leo sighed, “I have to try, this isn’t just about Velkan. If we can get this cure we can cure Sebastian and my mom and everyone else that Dracula and his brides have turned.”

“What if you can’t cure them, what happens then?”

“I-I don’t know.” Leo said as he started towards the door, “But I know I won’t give up on them.”

The door closed after Leo left the room and Gabriel fell back on the bed.

God, sometimes he hates them.

Hates them with every fiber of his being.

The big stupid one, the vain girl, the smart self-absorbed one and especially the arrogant little one.

But he made a vow, both to Anna and the order. He promised to kill Dracula and make sure he stayed dead. Besides, he doesn’t hate them all the time.

Sometimes he feels… something else.

It was…endearing how they treated him. How they were always so quick to jump to his defense even in the face of danger. How the big one tried to cheer him up sometimes despite the fact that he rarely ever smiled anymore. How the girl insisted on dressing him and cut his hair despite the fact that she barely ever paid any attention to her own. How the smart one was relentless in his attempts to show him exactly how that infernal contraption called a cellphone worked. How the little one tried to teach him how to dance mere hours after he woke up from the procedure to implant bionics in his leg.

Gabriel cares about them… to a certain degree. He certainly didn’t want to see any of them hurt but he also knows that in the end, even if they managed to kill Dracula, most of them won’t survive; some of them will be hurt beyond repair. He’s made peace with that.

That’s why, when the time comes he won’t hesitate to drive a stake through Velkan’s heart. He’s a threat to their cause, a puppet under Dracula’s control. No matter what Leo thinks, he cannot be trusted.

The memory of Gabriel holding Anna’s lifeless body in his arms as the cure took effect and he reclaimed his human form came back to him and he shut his eyes tight, trying to will the memory away. He won’t let that happen to anyone else.

With time, the boy will forget and he’ll move on with his life. According to the rules of the order, his mission only ended when all supernatural and dark threats were neutralized. This time that includes Velkan Valerious.

Once Dracula is gone, once his family is safe Leo will see that it was all for the best.

One more deep breath, Gabriel opened his eyes.

Tonight they will rest, tomorrow the Valerious blood line will finally be laid to rest.

The End