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A young girl had been trussed up inside the wall. She was barely alive. Her arms stretched out, her mouth bound, and she had been stripped of any clothes. She could not have been older than twelve.
Steopa turned his head. Teodor reached up to the girl's wrist. She had been bound up with barbed wire. Amanda stifled a cry behind him.
“She is very close to death,” Steopa said in a very low voice.
The girl's eyes were vacant. She did not even know they were there.
“Amanda, check the outer door,” Teodor said.
“Just do it.”
Amanda walked away. Teodor nodded. Steopa slit the girl's throat with his claws.
“Can you do anything for her?” Amanda asked, across the room.
“She's gone,” Teodor said.
He glanced at Steopa. Steopa wiped the blood off his fingers before Amanda saw.
“They harm children.” Steopa said, his eyes turned red.
“Death will come fast for them.”
Teodor heard Amanda take in a shuddering breath. He turned around. “It had to be done.”
“They know we are here,” Steopa said.
“No need to sneak in,” Teodor said.
Amanda howled. She ran out the door. Teodor caught up with her on the street. Amanda had her nose down on the street, following a scent.
Teodor caught the scent as well, TJ's scent. The scent was old, but strong enough to follow. The path went straight to the old cider warehouse. Shadows darkened along the sides of the street. Teodor glanced up, Steopa had not gone to the roof. Teodor glanced around and saw Steopa between two buildings.
Amanda nipped Teodor's back leg. He spun around. Amanda nudged him. Teodor saw the shadows creep over the ground and come closer to them. Teodor yipped and ran. Amanda took off with him. She pressed on ahead. The icy chill of the shadows hit the back of Teodor's leg. Teodor ran forward. He shook off the shadow's grip. Amanda yipped again. The shadows flowed over her.
Steopa appeared in the shadows, he roared. He flung his arms around. The shadows moved away.
“Go!” he shouted.
Teodor ran. Amanda stumbled and righted herself. The cider warehouse loomed a few yards ahead. Teodor jumped. He hit a wall.
He could not see the wall. Teodor skidded on the street and picked himself up. Amanda stopped herself in time. She was sniffed the ground. Hitting the invisible barrier with her shoulders. Steopa came up to the barrier. He slammed his fist against it.
“Cowards!” he yelled.
Teodor looked around, there were no trees around. “What could we throw?”
The shadows bubbled up behind them. Amanda turned around and growled. Steopa felt along the invisible wall, glancing over his shoulder at the shadows. Teodor growled. The shadows were becoming solid.
He saw a concrete formed garbage can along the street. He ran up to it and tried to lifted it on his shoulder. Steopa grabbed it out of Teodor's hand and threw it into the barrier. The can sailed through. Steopa jumped after it. Amanda bounded inside. Teodor jumped and hit the barrier. It hadn't closed all the way. He had to scramble through the closing hole. The tip of his foot got caught. Steopa yanked him into the barrier.
The shadows hit the barrier and could not enter. Teodor smiled. “Let's find them.”
He heard breathing and heartbeats on the inside of the cider warehouse. Amanda sniffed around the ground, as the shadows pressed themselves against the barrier and flowed upwards.
TJ's scent became stronger and sharper. Fear. Teodor followed the scent until he found a door.
Steopa joined him. “I might not be able to enter,” he said.
“I'll make someone invite you in,” Teodor said.
Steopa struck the door. It broke the door frame and crashed inwards. Steopa stepped inside and nodded to Teodor. Amanda followed a few feet behind.
“They got the hammer,” the voice belonged to the man that had attacked them by the blood store.
“Hurry! They got through that other barrier,” another man said. This voice had a slight southern twang to it.
Amanda patted off down a side hallway. Steopa motioned to Teodor to take another. Teodor sniffed the floor.
They were in the office part of the warehouse. Down the main hall, would be the entrance to the cider floor. The place reeked of apples and vinegar. Teodor sniffed, keeping his ear trained to he conversation.
“TJ,” the southerner said. “You should have kept your mouth shut.”
“That vampire killed my girl in front of me!” TJ screamed. “I was scared.”
“You weren't scared. You will be.”
Teodor found a window at the top of a doorway. In his hybrid form it wasn't hard for him to look through the broken glass. The scene on the main store floor, could have chilled Teodor, but he had seen his brothers 'playing' the same way.
TJ had been bound in the center of the room. His hand tied to a hook that hung from the ceiling on a rusted chain. His naked body already shown signs of some torture. Fresh burn marks on his chest. The skin on his back had been lacerated by a whip.
A slender man, not much larger than Teodor when he was in his human form, uncoiled a whip. The barbs were tinged with blood. “I seem to remember, Bobby, that we told his one not to speak to anyone,” the slender man said. He had the southern accent.
Peter? Teodor thought.
The large dark haired man, the same one that had attacked them in the other building, grinned and laid down a large ornate knife on a table. “I remember that too.”
“You told them,” Peter said. “You get to stop them.”
TJ gasped, then cried out. “How?”
Peter chuckled and snapped the whip. “A little more blood from you, boy, and we can call her here.”
“NO!” TJ screamed.