Kassie, Joseph and Mikey were sitting around the small table in Joseph's room discussing the day's events, when Kassie said, "Drake's here." Seconds later, he was suddenly standing behind Kassie, with his hands resting on her shoulders.
Joseph was sitting directly in front of Kassie. He looked up, nodded his head in greeting at the vampyre and said, "Evening Drac, I mean Drake. You do make a sudden appearance don't you? None of that wimpy fading in and out of the room in a swirl of smoke, or with a swish of the cape, for you."
The vampyre grinned down at Joseph and said, "No I don't smoke. Or swish."
Mikey, who was sitting at one end of the table looked at Kassie and said, "How did you know he was here. You said "Drake's here" a few seconds before he appeared. Was it telepathy?"
Kassie blushed furiously and said, "Not exactly."
Drake looked at Mikey, nodded his head in greeting. Then patted the top of Kassie's head, grinned wickedly at Mikey and said, "My pretty has something even better than telepathy to tell her when I'm near."
Then Drake looked over at the empty chair at the other end of the table. It rose off the floor and floated around the end of the table, then towards him. As it did, he removed his hands from Kassie's shoulders. Her chair scooted over to the right. The empty chair came to rest to the left of and slightly in back off Kassie's chair. The vampyre stepped in front of the chair and sat down. Then chair slid under the table. Drake leaned back in the chair, stretched his legs out under the table, and draped his arm casually around Kassie's shoulders.
Mikey laughed and said, "Damn dude, you give new meaning to the words, take a seat."
Drake lifted his hand from Kassie's shoulder slightly, waved it in a dismissive gesture and said, "A parlor trick even the youngest of my kind can learn."
Joseph said, "Kassie says even the youngest vampyres can also appear at will anywhere they wish as well. So even if this is a young vampyre we are tracking, we will have to watch out for that, if he wind up having to track him at night. She also says the young ones can shape shift at will. So that's another thing we need to consider."
Drake thought for a moment and said, "With the right training, a young vampyre can learn to appear where he wishes, in any form he chooses. But the distances he can cover are limited. Young vampyre's are usually territorial the first few centuries. They can move freely about, in that territory though."
Joseph asked, "What about you?"
"Anytime I wish, I can appear any place on this earth I choose to. Kassie has always, both in this life, and her others, tracked vampyres in their own territory. Usually young ones. She did not know that some of the older ones, can move about freely outside of their own territory."
Joseph looked at Drake and said, "What about you? Where is your territory? Or would you rather not say? I understand if you don't want to reveal that."
Drake looked back at Joseph, shook his head, smiled sadly and said, "I have become a nomad. I have no territory. For the last few hundred centuries I have been moving about mainly in this country."
Then Drake grinned and said, "I had been thinking about taking another gourmet tour of Europe. But then I picked up a book one night, and read one of Kassie's stories. After reading more of her work, and doing a little research on her, I became a devoted fan. I decided to put the plans for the European tour on indefinite hold, and pay her a personal visit. Get to know her better."
Kassie grinned and said, "Translated, that means he was planning on making me a continuing tasty treat." Then giggled and said, "He didn't know I was a true witch though. So he got more of a surprise than he bargained for when he turned up at my full moon ritual the other night."
Drake nodded his head up and down happily and said, "Yes. Kassie is, quite literally, the most pleasant fucking surprise, I've had in many many centuries."
Mikey laughed and said, "Damn dude how long has it been for you?"
Drake replied with a sad smile, "Until Kassie, I have not seen a true witch since the last part of the Spanish Inquisition. I thought they and their magick were gone forever from this earth."
Mikey's eyes widened and he said, "Fuck! No wonder you are so possessive of her!"
Drake grinned and said, "Yes Mikey. When haven't been laid in that long, you tend you get very smitten with the one and only true witch that can effectively ball a blood sucker's brains out."
Mikey grinned and said, "Yeah, I'd be smitten too under those circumstances."
Joseph grinned at the vampyre and said, "Well I guess it will be a long time before you are in the mood to share."
The vampyre grinned back at Joseph coldly and said, "A very long time."
Then said, "But enough idle chatter." Looked down at Kassie he asked, "And what has my pretty been able to glean from the body of the last victim of this other vampyre?"
Kassie looked up at him and said, "Well, I couldn't find out much at all from the body. Or from the clothing and jewelry they found near it. I do think this vampyre is young though. Less than three or four centuries old probably. Fanny Mae says he has many lairs throughout the territory he has staked, no pun intended, for himself. And he apparently never uses the same lair twice in a row. She also tells me he killed his creator."
Drake scowled and said, "That will making tracking him difficult even for me. I cannot connect to his thoughts since I did not personally turn him. Though I suspect one that I turned long ago may be responsible for this creature's existence. But since this vampyre has killed the one that created him, I cannot link to him through his creator, as I normally could."
He stopped, thought for a moment, and said, "I will be able to feel his presence if I get near enough to him. How near I will have to be to him depends on how well he has developed the art of cloaking himself in the presence of other vampyres. And that will depend in part, on who turned him to begin with. But as long as he is in his own territory, I cannot track his movements by reaching out and touching his mind with mine."
Joseph looked at Drake and said, "Will he be able to feel your presence?"
"I can be in the same room with even those that I have turned, and they will not know I am there, unless I wish them to. I mastered fully the art of cloaking myself while in the presence of others of my kind, long long ago."
Then the vampyre grinned coldly and added, "It is one trick that has enabled me to survive for so long. Contrary to popular belief, some of us really have no qualms about killing each other. It is well known among my kind, that I am the oldest and most powerful of them. I have had to learn to deal with several other vampyres over the centuries who have wanted to destroy me, in an effort to absorb my power as they did."
Mikey grinned at Drake and said, "So you are a legend even in the minds of your own kind."
Drake looked at Mikey, nodded his head once and said. "There are those of my kind who believe I am the first vampyre ever created. I suspect, but do not know for sure, that this is correct. All I do know for certain, is that even though I have not turned a mortal in many many centuries, I have yet to meet another vampyre, who's bloodline does not eventually trace back to me."
Joseph looked at Drake thoughtfully and said, "Well what about the vampyre that created you?"
A look of pain, anger and sadness crossed the vampyre's face. He suddenly glanced down at Kassie's bowed head for a moment with a very peculiar narrowed eyed look, then looked back at him and coldly said, "It was not another vampyre that created me."
There was something about the look on the vampyre's face that stopped Joseph from inquiring further about the creation process that resulted in the creature sitting in front of him.
Then Drake looked back down at Kassie's still bowed head, and studied it thoughtfully. He was seeing flashes of the day's events flickering her mind. Seeing and feeling what she had seen and felt when those events were transpiring. He finished scanning her mind then looked at Joseph, and said with a scowl said, "It is worse than I thought. You have a young vampyre here who was taught from the day of his rebirth as a vampyre, by an old master. A very adept old master."
Drake's scowled deepened and he said, "I should know, I taught him all he knew after I turned him ten centuries ago. Fortunately, I didn't teach him all I know. The vampyre you are tracking, is far more dangerous than I had anticipated. That he could kill the master who made him, while he is still so young, surprises even me. And if he knows Kassie is tracking him, you had better be damned glad I am here. No offense to either of you, but quite frankly, you don't stand a snowball's chance in hell without me."
He paused for a moment, grinned a very cold hard grin and said, "But for all his power, and all his knowledge, he is still young. And there are things that even he does not know. Ignorance however, will not be bliss for him."
Kassie looked up at Drake and said, "With a little luck, it will be the death of him." Then pushed her chair back, stood up and said, "I'm going to grab a coke. Be back in a flash." And headed to the small refrigerator in her room.
She was reaching out to open the small refrigerator, when the other vampyre appeared behind her as a gargoyle. The gargoyle wrapped his arms around her, and leaped towards the window.
Suddenly Drake stood up, cried out, "Kassie!", and disappeared from the room. At the sound of the window breaking, Joseph and Mikey rushed into the bedroom. Both men began cursing as they saw Kassie gone, and the curtains blowing through the broken window. Joseph was sprouting a pair of coal black wings on his half demon half human body, as he ran towards it. He leaped towards the broken window, and disappeared out the window.
Mikey pressed his hand against the pocket of his jacket, and yelled into the pocket, "Beam me the fuck to wherever they land Sally." And disappeared from the room.
The moment the other vampyre had grabbed her, Kassie's mind was screaming Drake's true name three times. The vampyre who had grabbed Kassie, also heard that scream. He knew now without a doubt, that the witch he was clutching to him was a true witch. And that she had called the name of another vampyre. But he had never before heard the name she had thrice screamed.
They were over a small clearing in the woods, when the one she called to, suddenly appeared in front of him as much larger, and infinitely darker and more terrible version of the gargoyle shape he had taken. In that split second, the other vampyre knew who the vampyre that had suddenly appeared in front of him was. This was the one that many said was the first vampyre. The one that ultimately bore responsibility for his own creation. The one he held responsible in his own mind, for the creature he himself had become. And he suddenly knew that the witch he now held in his arms, was beloved above all others, by that vampyre.
The vampyre holding Kassie snarled, veered up and to left, sank his teeth in Kassie's throat, jerked his head up, and dropped her.
Even as she began to fall, Drake began to do a rolling dive. He caught her before she had fallen more than a few feet. The terrible gaping wound in her neck began to heal the moment his arms closed around her. As they hurtled towards earth he slowed his descent slightly. He still landed hard and fast on his side. He shielded Kassie's body from harm by taking the force of the fall on that side. He grunted, changed to his usual form, rolled over and placed Kassie gently on the ground. And began to turn, and rise from the ground.
Mikey suddenly appeared at the back of Kassie's still body. He knelt down, placed his fingers on Kassie's bloody throat. He felt a faint pulse, and tried to find where the blood covering her throat and chest was coming from. He could find no wounds on her though.
Joseph and the other vampyre both hurtled towards the three figures on the ground. They landed several feet in front of them. The other vampyre had shifted into the shape of a huge black panther as soon as he had landed. The panther leapt towards Drake. Joseph leapt after the panther. Joseph saw Drake change into a huge grizzly as he rose. And veered to left. He had no intentions of getting caught in the middle of those two.
As Joseph looked on, the panther leapt straight into the arms and teeth of a fifteen foot grizzly bear with a real bad attitude. Before the other vampyre could shape shift into another form, the huge grizzly sunk his teeth into the throat of the panther it now held in the ultimate bear hug. One huge paw was wrapped around the back of the panther, and the other was grasping the panther by the head. Holding that head back so the the bear could more easily get to the panther's throat. The grizzly jerked its huge head up, and blood spurted from the throat of the panther. The grizzly lowered its huge head again, sank its teeth once more into the already healing throat of the panther, and jerked it's head up again.
As the bear was lowering its head for a third bite, its other paw was ripping into the back of the panther. As the grizzly was jerking its head back the third time, his paw was burrowing into the blood soaked back of the panther. Joseph saw the panther's body begin to change into human form. Saw the blood soaked paw of the grizzly withdraw itself from the back of the other vampyre. In that blood soaked paw was the other vampyre's heart. The grizzly threw the now human form down. Threw its huge head back and roared. Then it ate the heart the heart of the other vampyre. While it was still chewing and swallowing that heart, it leaned over, and ripped the head from the body of the other vampyre. Joseph noted with satisfaction it didn't take much to separate the head from the body, since that last bite the bear had taken, had pretty much decapitated the other vampyre anyway.
Then suddenly, the grizzly was gone. And Drake appeared where the grizzly had been. As always, he was elegantly, and much to Joseph's surprise, spotlessly, attired in snug fitting black pants, silver toed black boots, and blood red shirt. In his fist was clenched the head of the other vampyre. Drake strode off a few feet, stopped, then threw his head back, and howled once.
Joseph strode over and knelt down beside Mikey. He looked down at Kassie, and paled at the sight of her blood soaked chest. Then saw the terrible gaping wound he had caught one glimpse of as she had hurtled towards Drake's open arms, was gone. He said in surprise, "Is she alive Mikey?"
Mikey nodded his head and said, "Yeah, she's alive. I don't know where the blood came from. There isn't a mark on her."
Joseph scowled and said, "That mother fucker tore her throat out before he dropped her. I thought for sure the bastard had killed her. Drake must have healed her somehow, as they were diving. "
Mikey's face had darkened when Joseph had told him what the other vampyre had done. Then a cold mean grin came to his face. He looked at Drake standing there holding the other vampyre's head, nodded towards that bleeding head, and said, "Then I am damn glad that is one mother fucking vampyre that ain't going to be starting the rehab program.
Looked at Drake and said, "And I'm even more glad that bastard still standing, came along on this mission."
Then looked at Joseph and said, "From what you say, Kassie would be dead now if he hadn't. I know you don't like the blood sucking son of a bitch, but without him, this mission, could have been Kassie's last."
Just then a huge black wolf came running out of the trees to the left of Drake. He ran straight towards Drake. When he was still several feet away, Drake threw the head towards the wolf. The wolf leaped, caught the head in mid air, landed, then ran into the trees with it. Drake howled once more, then began to turn back towards them.
Joseph watched the wolf run towards the trees, grinned and said, "No that vampyre ain't going to be making it through the rehab program." Then nodded his head towards Drake who was striding towards them, casually picking a piece of the other vampyre's heart out from between his fangs and teeth with neatly trimmed fingernail, and said, "But you know something Mikey, I just might could get to like that blood sucking son of a bitch."
Mikey grinned, nodded his head in agreement and said, "Yeah, you got to admit, the dude really knows how to take a fucking bite out of vampyre crime!"
Drake closed the distance between them, knelt down, gathered Kassie into his arms, and said, "I caught her, and healed the wounds as quickly as I could. But she has still lost quite a bit of blood. She will need that blood replaced."
Then he opened his shirt, drew one of his nails across his chest, and when the blood was flowing, started to bring Kassie's head towards his chest.
Joseph laid his hand on the vampyre's arm and said, "Wait! You don't have to replace it that way."
The vampyre scowled at Joseph and said, "We do not have time to fuck with hospitals and their infernal paperwork. Nor do I think you wish to answer a bunch of questions from the authorities concerning how she came to be in this shape. This will not harm her. Nor will it turn her into a vampyre. It will insure she lives though."
Then he looked at Joseph coldly and said, "Try to stop me again, and it will be your heart I next snack on." And continued to draw Kassie's head towards his chest.
Mikey said, "Before you go trying to rip my pard's heart out for another snack, listen to me for a moment."
The vampyre looked at Mikey as coldly as he had Joseph, and said, "You have 10 seconds. Speak your peace. Make it good though. It may be the last words you ever speak."
Mikey said quickly, "Get her back to the hotel. Take her back to your room. Look, we have a full first aid kit at the hotel, including three pints of the right type of blood for each of us. We can give her a nice sans paperwork, no questions asked transfusion in the privacy of your room."
Drake raised an eyebrow, the cut he had made on his chest closed. The blood that had been flowing from it, seemed to soak back into his own body. Then Drake shape shifted into a dark gargoyle again, and rose into the sky with Kassie in his arms. Mikey pressed his suit pocket and said, "Beam me to my room Sally." And Joseph spread his black wings, and flew after Drake.
When Mikey arrived in his room, he went to the small refrigerator, grabbed three bags of type B blood, snatched up a white box with an red Ankh emblazoned on the top of it, then ran towards Drake's room. The adjoining door flew open as Mikey ran towards it. Kassie was lying on the bed. Drake was sitting on the edge of the bed stroking her hair. Joseph was standing on the other side of the bed.
As Mikey came towards the bed, Drake rose from the bed, and took a couple of steps towards the head of the bed. Turned, then stood and watched as Mikey tossed two of the bags of blood on the bed beside Kassie. He handed one towards Drake and said, "Here hold this up as high as you can." Opened the white box and withdrew a long clear tube with one end clamped shut. He ripped it from it sterilized package, and hooked the tube to the bag of blood. Then reached in the box, withdrew another shorter rubber tube and wrapped it tightly around Kassie's arm just above the elbow. He grabbed a needle out of the box, ripped it from its sterilized package and inserted it into the vein on Kassie's arm, then hooked the tube connected to the bag onto the needle. And removed the clamp.
As the blood began to flow into Kassie's arm, Mikey heard a dark chuckle from Joseph. He looked at Joseph and said, "What's so amusing pard?"
Joseph looked at Mikey, then looked at Drake glaring at him, nodded his head towards Drake and said with a grin, "Well sorry, but the irony of seeing Drake standing there holding that bag of blood up, got to me."
Mikey laughed, and even Drake couldn't suppress the wry grin that came to his face as he thought about what Joseph had said. He looked at Joseph with the wry grin still on his face and said, "Oh you don't know the half of it." Nodded towards the bag of blood he was holding and said, "I noticed when Mikey handed it to me, I own half interest in the blood bank it came from."
Mikey and Joseph laughed. And Joseph said, "Well, I guess that is nice practical little business investment for a vampyre."
When the first bag of blood was empty Mikey, reached for a full bag, took the empty one from Drake's hand, hooked another one to the tube, then handed it to Drake. Drake took that bag, held it up, looked at it for a moment, then let go of the bag. The bag remained suspended in mid air. Then suddenly he was sitting on the bed beside Kassie. As the second bag of blood emptied into her arm, a little color began to slowly return to her ashen face.
When Mikey reached for the third bag of blood it floated past his hand, rose in the air, and hung suspended in mid air by the nearly empty bag of blood. Mikey grinned, unhooked the empty bag, and attached the tube to the full one. By the time the third bag of blood was empty, Kassie was still very pale, but she no longer looked as if she were a lifeless alabaster statue. Mikey removed the needle and tube from her arm, unhooked the longer tube from the empty bag of blood still suspended in mid air. Then watched as the bag dropped to the floor. He placed the rubber tube that had been wrapped around Kassie's arm back into the box, and snapped the lid closed.
Joseph looked at Drake sitting on the edge of the bed tenderly stroking the top of Kassie's head and said, "I saw that son of a bitch rip her throat out just before he dropped her. You healed her somehow, didn't you?"
Drake looked over at Joseph and said, "Yes."
Joseph waited for a further explanation, but Drake was once more watching Kassie's face intently, and stroking the top of her head. Suddenly the sound of fluttering wings could be heard, and Fanny Mae appeared in the room directly above Kassie's head. Drake looked up nodded, and went back to studying Kassie's face.
"Is she going to be okay?" Fanny Mae asked anxiously
The vampyre looked up again said, "Yes." Then went back to studying Kassie's face.
Fanny Mae breathed a sigh of relief, looked at Mikey, then at Joseph and said, "The woods are buzzing with the news of what happened. Though no one is really rejoicing, because the owl who saw it all, said he thought Kassie must dead. He said he saw that other vampyre tear her throat out, then drop her. He said Drake caught her and dived to the ground with her. Then there was a terrible fight between Drake and that other vampyre. The owl said Drake killed the other vampyre, then picked up Kassie and flew towards town with her. Bo Bo and I were on the other side of the woods trying to find the son of a bitch's lair when it happened. I came as soon as I heard."
Joseph said, "Go spread the news that they can truly begin rejoicing." Then he grinned and said, "Tell them the wicked vampyre is one dead mother fucker. And the good witch is alive."
Fanny Mae laughed and said, "Will do! And the woods will truly rejoice over that news!" Then snapped her fingers and said with a frown, "Oh yeah, those two loathsome fucking trolls have disappeared. Bo Bo and some of the elves are looking for them right now."
Drake glanced up at Fanny Mae and said, "I know exactly where those trolls are. I'll deal with those pair very shortly."
Fanny Mae nodded her head at Drake, fluttered her badly tattered wings, and disappeared with a small popping sound.
Mikey grinned and said, "Oh oh, I don't think Headquarters is going to like to how Drake deals with those pair of trolls."
Suddenly the vampyre was standing directly in front of Mikey. Mikey started to step back in surprise but Drake rested his hand on his shoulder, and said in a very cold commanding voice, "Look into my eyes Mikey. Look deeply."
Mikey locked gazes with the vampyre, and Drake said, "Now tell me Mikey, do you see anyone at all in there, who gives a flying fuck, what Headquarters thinks?"
Mikey relaxed, stared into the vampyre's eyes deeply for a few seconds grinned and said, "Well, no I don't." Then started laughing.
The vampyre grinned back at Mikey coldly and said, "I didn't think so."
Joseph chuckled looked down at Drake, who was suddenly sitting on the bed beside Kassie again and thought, "Yep, I might could just get to like this son of bitch."
Mikey stared the at empty space in front of him and blinked in surprise. He looked down and saw Drake once more sitting on the bed beside Kassie, grinned and thought, "I like this son of a bitch. But keeping an eye on him like The Boss wants, sure as hell isn't going to be easy."
Suddenly Drake stopped stroking Kassie's head, nodded his dark head in a way that indicated he was satisfied with something, and suddenly appeared standing at the foot of the bed, looked at Joseph, then Mikey and said, "Kassie will rest peacefully now for the next couple of hours. She will awaken when I return. Meanwhile, I will use that time to feed and deal with a couple of trolls." Then disappeared from the room.
Mikey and Joseph looked at the empty space at the foot of the bed, looked at each other, and grinned. Mikey shook his head and said, "That elegant son of bitch is a fast moving critter, isn't he?"
Joseph grinned and said, "Yeah, he sure as hell is. But for all his elegance and gentleness with Kassie, that is one mean natured son of a bitch when he is pissed."
Mikey grinned back at Joseph and said, "No shit! I'm glad I ain't them fucking trolls."
Joseph grinned and said, "Yeah I was going to insist he at least let us take care of the trolls. But I decided justice might best be served, if I left their fate in his hands."
Mikey laughed and said, "Yeah I got a feeling he's going to be serving their hearts to himself, if not on a silver platter, then from the palm of his own hand, any moment now."
Joseph laughed, nodded his head in agreement and said, "But, Mikey, do yourself a favor, if the son of bitch ever tells you he is going to rip your head off, and eat your fucking heart, run like hell!"
Mikey laughed harder and said, "Bro, that son of a bitch ever tells me that, you won't see nothing but the back of me, running for all I'm worth."
Then Mikey turned serious and said, "And Joe, that ain't entirely a joke. Staking that son of bitch through the heart may very well kill him. But I fear putting that stake in his heart, is not something even we would find easy my friend."
Joseph nodded in agreement and said, "Yeah Mikey, I'm afraid you are right. I'll tell you something else, I'm not one hundred percent sure, simply staking him would kill him. Oh I know he told us it would. And I don't say he was exactly lying, but Joe, I just got a gut feeling he wasn't telling us everything."
Mikey said, "Yeah, I know what you mean. I got a funny feeling too when he said it. Like there was something left unsaid there as well."
Mikey shook his head and continued, "Joe, that elegant son of a bitch is one powerful critter. I think he really is the oldest vampyre on this planet. I'm not even sure if he knows exactly how old he is. And you know something else, I think he is the first true vampyre. I also think he has powers that we can't even begin to fathom."
Joseph nodded his head and said, "Yeah Mikey I'm afraid you are right. We haven't even seen a fraction of what he can do. I'm just damn glad he was on our side tonight. We underestimated that bastard we were tracking too, and it nearly cost Kassie her life."
Mikey looked at Joseph and said, "I feel as bad you do about that. But fuck Joe, we didn't underestimate him, so much as we just didn't know what the fuck we were dealing with. The truth is, we ain't never gone up against a vampyre as powerful and adept that bastard was."
Joseph nodded his head in agreement. Then said thoughtfully, "But think about ho fast and easy Drake took him out."
Mikey looked Joseph in the eye and said, "I have." Then grinned and said, "That is why I don't plan on annoying the son of a bitch anymore than I have too."
Joseph laughed and said, "Good thinking on your part for a change Mikey!"
Mikey grinned and said, "As Kassie would say, I may be blonde, but I ain't that fucking blonde."
Then he looked down at Kassie and said, "Speaking of Kassie, let's let sleeping beauty lay there and rest until her prince of darkness gets back, and me and you grab a beer. And decide how the fuck we are going to handle the son of bitch."
Joseph grinned, nodded his head and said, "Sounds like a plan to me. But I suggest for a start, we handle him very fucking carefully."
Then he laughed and said, "I'll grab us some beers and be back in a flash."
When Joseph returned to the room, Mikey had a couple of chairs pulled
up near the side of the bed. Joseph pulled two of the beers from
the plastic ring of the six pack, tossed one to Mikey,then put the other
four in the small refrigerator.
When the both settled comfortably in their chairs Mikey said, "As bad as Drake is going to want her to, Kassie isn't going to quit the team. And after this fiasco, I don't figure he is going to be apt to leave her fate in our hands on any future missions."
Joseph nodded his head in agreement and said, "Yeah, I don't think Drac is too fucking impressed with us."
Mikey nodded his head then said, "Well, I ain't very fucking impressed with us right now either. But that's beside the point. Like it or not, we are going to have learn to deal with him."
Mikey took a sip of his beer, then continued, "Joe, he ain't going anywhere anytime soon. You can call it lust, love, infatuation or whatever the fuck you want, but whatever it is that cold mean natured bastard feels for Kassie, it runs real deep."
He took another sip of his beer then said, "And I'll tell you something else, him and Kassie go way the fuck back somehow. She knows exactly how far. But for some reason, she is doing her level best to keep it from him."
Joseph looked at Mikey in surprise and said, "You picked up on that too?"
Mikey nodded and said, "Oh yeah. She's covering it real well. But I picked up on it. You and I both know Kassie had said before, that she had some unfinished business to take care of in this life. We also know that business had something to do with somebody she once loved. And still does."
Joseph frowned and said, "Yeah. I know."
Mikey looked at Joseph and said, "Well, I think Drake, is that unfinished business."
Joseph scowled, took a sip of his beer and said, "Yeah, I'm afraid you are right there."
Mikey crushed the empty beer can, tossed it into the trash, stood up and headed for the small refrigerator. He pulled two more beers out, tossed one to Joseph, walked back over to his chair and sat down. Then said, "If I am right, and I'm betting that I am, then we got to figure out how to deal with him on these missions."
Joseph grinned and said, "We could get lucky, and The Boss will talk him into the joining the team."
Mikey grinned back and said, "I wouldn't want to bet on that. Drake don't really strike me as team player. But, maybe Kassie can talk him into it."
Mikey took a sip of his beer then grinned and said, "On the other hand, we may just have to deal with him being a loose cannon on any mission we use Kassie on in the future."
Joseph laughed and said, "Fuck it. I can deal with that. Let's just make sure we keep him pointed in the right direction!"
Mikey laughed, looked at Kassie and said, "Well we need to talk to Kassie about that, and tell her make damn sure the force she is fucking right now, stays with us."
Joseph scowled and said, "I just hope we don't ever see it turn against her."
Mikey nodded his head in agreement, and both men looked at Kassie's sleeping form thoughtfully.