Right now, all I wanted was home.
“Della, let me look at you!” Mama held me out at arm’s length in Baggage Claim. “We need to put some meat on your bones. They’re obviously working you too hard.”
“I’m fine, Mom, really…” At five-foot-six and lean, I currently resembled a tall gymnast, like those girls on the college teams. They’ve grown into height and curves, but the power’s still there. I never wore make-up when I’d just be sweatin’ it off, so I still had the face of a kid.
“Your hair’s shorter, too. Who cut it?”
“Ma…” My braid stopped just past that knob on the spine above my shoulder blades. You learned quick that Sensei would use a ponytail or free hair against you, so most of the girls had short hair. I wrapped mine into a tight bun when I sparred. Mama always liked my hair down to my waist, though.
We had dinner and hung out, watching a Christmas movie, then she went to bed. When I lay down, I couldn’t fall asleep. My body was used to being exhausted at night and I’d done little more than sit the last twelve hours.
“Screw it.” I changed into active gear and snuck out my window, a hood pulled over my auburn hair.
Hunting in Guthrie this time was different. For one, the night was creeping below freezing. For two, I’d just thought of it as hunting.
Didn’t expect to find anything, really, but the practice made me feel alive. Anticipation, like waiting to blow out the candles, but darker.
They would fear me. If I did find a demon, I knew it would be toast tonight.
But no such luck.
When my nose lost feeling, I went home and climbed into my warm bed. Time here was precious.
The people we save look at us like we’re superheroes, or guardian angels, but we bleed.
And sometimes, we even die.
Della thought she was a normal sixteen-year-old until the night she met a vampire behind a drugstore and discovered a deadly power. Now The Agency wants to recruit her, but who are they, and where does this power come from? How do you choose between a destiny to save the world, and the people you love?