It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Talys had caught a plane and a taxi to Forks as soon as Liéra had called him to tell him she was on holiday in this town, and ask him to come and join her and her family. Weird, he thought when the taxi brought him here, Lara doesn't usually pick such secluded towns. Lara Saltei, née Legard, was more the kind of woman who loved big cities. Even stranger since it was a long way from Brussels to here, and both Lara' daughters — Liéra and her sister Delphine — didn't quite like plane travels.

The taxi dropped Talys at the house Lara was renting. The young man knocked on the door, to no avail. He tried the doorknob and noticed Lara hadn't locked the door. Weirder and weirder. Talys opened his bag and picked the harness holding the sheaths for his twin blades, before putting it on. The twin swords — which, ironically, were very different from each other — were hidden deeper in the bag, but he took them as well, not caring about the mess he was making, and placed them in their sheaths, on his back. Holding weapons so ostensibly could get him in trouble with the US police, but he'd rather be ready.

"Liéra ? Dell ? Mrs Legard ?" Lara used her maiden name since her husband had died. "Anyone here ?"

No answer came, but Talys did hear a noise coming from upstairs. He climbed the steps, careful to not make any more noise than he already had. I wish I had someone to cover my back. Once up the stairs, he heard the source of the noise — one of the rooms. Unsheathing his right-hand sword, he opened the door with his other hand.

The room was a simple bedroom. If a bedroom is simple when the bed is broken in two and the walls and floor are covered in dust and blood. If a bedroom is simple when, through the other door — apparently leading to a bathroom — you glimpse that girl you like and her family, bound and gagged. If a bedroom is simple when an old man dressed like the Pope and holding the ferula, was in it, flashing a vicious smile at you.

"Who are you ?" Talys couldn't help but ask.

The old man didn't pay him any attention, and made a gesture with his hands. Both doors slammed, revealing two men who had hidden behind them. Both in their early twenties, one with light brown hair and one with black hair, both with pale skins and amber eyes. Both very muscly, too — so much so they ceased to be fit and were outright freaks. Their demeaning was quite menacing. Two unarmed man and an old geezer, those are reasonable odds, Talys thought while drawing his second blade from its sheath.

The old man finally spoke. "We learned you had joined a group of people calling themselves snarkers, Talys… That is bad. That is against God's will. And we have to punish you for that."

Talys smirked. More religious freaks. "Seriously ? You know who I am and you still want to fight me ? I'd be impressed by your courage if it wasn't stupid."

The light-haired man laughed. "He doesn't know who we are, it appears. The old man's the Pope, in case you didn't notice. He can work miracles. Literally. And we're vampires. Let me show you." He jumped on Talys, who greeted him with a stab. The man gasped in pain, but backpedaled, apparently unharmed.

"I've fought vampires before. Why don't you transform ?"

The light-haired man seemed angered by this. "Those weren't true vampires, they were demon spawns who pretended to be vampires !" He attacked again, but Talys evaded and slashed him with both swords. The so-called vampire howled in pain, then turned to the other man. "Emmet ! Why aren't you helping ?"

The black-haired man shrugged. "You killed me once, Edward. It's unpleasant. I don't want to experience it again."

Edward shook his head. "He needs fire to kill you ! Do you see fire somewhere on him ? No ! 'Cause our plan is perfect ! Now move your ass and do the killing !"

Emmet did apparently not agree. They kept arguing. All the while, Talys moved slowly towards the Pope. As he was almost within the reach of his sword, the old man noticed him.

"You think I'm defenseless ? Feel the wrath of the Popestick !" He waved his ferula towards Talys ; the staff emitted a force field. Caught by surprise, Talys was thrown across the room — far from the arguing vampires, luckily.

The Pope is using magic ? Are you kidding me ? On the plus side, he wasn't the strongest guy Talys had fought. On the down side… Actually, there wasn't a down side. Talys got back on his feet, grinning.

"That's your miracle ? I've seen better. Hell, I've done better." He ran towards the Pope, who waved the staff again. This time, however, Talys was ready ; he didn't even stop, focused as his mother had taught him, then unleashed the accumulated energy. The force field vanished, and Talys reached the Pope without trouble. A slash and a stab later, the Pope was a corpse on the ground and Talys was facing the vampires.

Edward was gazing at the young man, in shock. "Impossible ! The Pope's miracles ! How'd you…"

Talys sighed. "When you hear a badass boast, you listen, then you run. Your turn, now. You said we needed fire to kill you ? That's feasible." The vampire charged at him, however, faster than he'd expected, and knocked Talys to the ground, before grabbing the swords out of his hands and throwing them away. Edward tried to bite him, but Talys held him back. He felt he wouldn't hold for too long, though — the vampire was a lot stronger than he was. With his other hand, he searched the ground, and found what he was looking for — the Pope's ferula. Grabbing it, he channeled a spell to lift Edward in the air for a second, giving himself time to get back on his feet.

"So, you call it the Popestick, uh ? That gives me an idea." Talys stabbed Edward right in the ass, then channeled his energy through the staff, making the vampire burst into flames.

Talys turned to the other vampire. "You didn't do anything. Open the doors and go, and I'll let you live."

Emmet didn't even take time to think ; he nodded and ran to do what Talys had asked. The young man sheathed his swords, went to the bathroom and freed the girls. Liéra explained to him they hadn't decided to go on holiday here — they had been attacked in Seattle, where they were actually staying, and the vampires had taken the defenseless Lara hostage to force Liéra and Dell to give up on fighting.

As they made their way out of the house, they crossed path with a girl of Talys' age, with very long red hair and eyes that might be blue or green. Her bosom was unusually big — so much it seemed to trouble her when she was walking. For some reason she wore what was probably supposed to be a wedding dress and had a ballerina's shoes — the shoes were the color of blood, and her way of walking was so far from a ballerina's grace that it made Talys think she'd killed the shoes' rightful owners to get them. When she saw them, she let out a shrieking sound and start screaming at them. So loudly Talys and the girls had to cover their ear to protect their eardrums from imploding.

"You killed Ward and the Pope ? What the fuck, we're good Christians, how could you win ! I'll pray that God smites you. And since Edward has left this world, I'm sure he IS God now, so he'll definitely do it ! Then he'll take me in the sky, we'll have a baby, and our baby will be Jesus because he's the son of God and…"

Her rant stopped suddenly and she fell on the ground, two daggers piercing her heart and her eye. Liéra was standing next to her ; she had improvised ear plugs by tearing some of her top's fabric and had faced the strange girl's wrath.

Talys ran up to her and hugged her tightly. "Thanks."

She smiled. "Now we're even."

And they left in the sunset, never to be bothered again by the vampires.


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