James’s Note: Home is where the heart is. When you’re a Witcher Man, it’s also where the magical weapons are. I thought a lot in the early days of this story about how Daniel would defend his home. Pursued by vampiric killers, we’ll have to see if his defenses are enough.
I glanced at Israel, not taking my eyes off the road. “Alright, shit’s about to get real, and we don’t have a lot of time.”
I slammed my foot down on the accelerator and the Mini lept to answer the challenge.
Israel looked out the back window, watching us pull suddenly ahead of the following van. “It looks like we’ve got one van on our tail, and probably another back there somewhere. I can tell it’s a hit squad, and considering they know who you are, I’m betting it’s a mix of vampires and humans. There’s just one thing I can’t tell that will determine how screwed we are.”
I nodded. I was thinking the same thing. “Whether or not Anna’s with them.”
Normally a master vampire like her wouldn’t be caught undead on a simple assasination mission, but there was nothing normal about this situation.
I tore down the tree-lined highway, past houses and fields. We were going so fast when I crossed the bridge over a seasonal creek that my Mini got a respectable amount of air. Israel was hanging on for dear life, but to his credit, made no comment.
I knew the hit squad in hot pursuit would not be something easy to deal with. I’m even man enough to admit to a certain looseness in the bowels at the thought of having to fight a van full of vampires, the least of which would be about as powerful as Israel. If Anna herself was with them, however, then we were screwed at a level worthy of epic greek poetry.
“I hope you’ve got a plan, Daniel.” I noticed he was using my first name now. Most of the people I encounter in my work just call me Witcher Man. Seeing as it currently looked like we stood an excellent chance of dying together, I figured us being on a first-name basis was entirely appropriate.
“As a matter of fact I do. We’re almost to my place. When I stop the car, I’m going to take off running. Stay close to me. As long as Anna’s not with them, they probably won’t get through the defenses on my property.”
“And if she is with them?”
“Then prayer would absolutely be in order.”
The mini hit my driveway at a truly epic speed, gravel flying in a giant rooster tail. The wrought iron gate swung open just in time to admit us. I was so glad I had added that little enchantment. It worked better than an electric gate opener. The gate slammed shut behind us.
At the gate, you could see the Hedge that ringed my property heading off in either direction. That was my first line of defense.
I thought briefly about heading for the house. My house has its own defenses, and If this were anything less than a high priority vampiric hit squad, I would just hunker down and fend them off with a combination of magical warding and firepower. Unfortunately, even my house’s warding wouldn’t stand up to the kind of vampiric might they were going to bring to bear. I needed something stronger, something deadlier.
Instead of making for the house, we sped around the side and headed to the back. I slid the car to a stop in front of the berm that marked the outside of my food forest.
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“Home is where the weapons are.” Someone’s getting a cross-stitch for his birthday.
I would be totally down with that.
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