Part 2

Mickey didn't like it at all, he hadn't heard a sound to indicate that the door had opened and closed since he had searched the room. It was as though Borza had materialized out of the dusty air in the room. He was a huge man, broad shouldered and well over six feet tall. Mickey raised his gun, feeling the butt slippery against his palm.

"Stand right there and keep your hands where I can see them."

"Why? I don't intend to harm you, Mr. Kostmayer."

"How do you know my name?"

"I know everything about you and your partner, Robert McCall."

"How?" Mickey was dismayed to detect a slight quaver in his voice. The air of evil that Borza exuded was overpowering.

"My employer, the KGB, pays me well to rid them of troublesome enemies."

"I thought you said you weren't going to harm me?" Mickey couldn't believe he was still talking to this guy. Every instinct told him to blow the bastard away, right here, right now, but something was affecting his thinking - he couldn't seem to make his finger tighten on the trigger.

Borza smiled at him then and Mickey saw the fangs. At once his insides turned to water and he believed.

Borza's smile grew wider at the change in Mickey's expression. "Good, good. I see you know of me and my kind. You and your mentor are going to join me. I will take your lives so that you may be reborn to eternal life." Borza moved closer, and still Mickey could not shoot.

"I have studied you in the weeks you have been following me and I arranged this meeting especially for you both. I wanted you to undergo the Change here in this house - the house where I was Changed over three hundred years ago. Then, together, we can challenge the world."

"What if I don't want to be like you?" Mickey swallowed hard, his mouth was so dry he could barely utter those few words.

Borza laughed, "You don't have the choice, young one. You are mine now. In time you will come to love the strength and power. I am sure of it."

"Don't bet on it." Mickey muttered under his breath.

Calling on all his resolve he made himself move away from Borza. He had to warn McCall. If necessary he would go back out the window. Before he had gone half a yard, Borza was in front of him. The question of how he could move so damn fast came and went in Mickey mind without the hope of an answer. He lifted the gun again, fighting with his reluctant fingers to pull the trigger. Borza looked on his feeble efforts with disdain before knocking the gun away. It slipped out of Mickey's hand and skittered away across the floor.

Abandoning the weapon, Mickey dodged and tried to go past Borza - he had to get out the door - but Borza was after him in an instant. Yanked backward into the room Mickey struggled futilely. Borza was just too strong.

Not being known for giving up, Mickey continued to fight until Borza picked him up and threw him bodily against the wall. Mickey's head hit the wall and, dazed by the impact, he crumpled into a limp heap. He stayed that way until Borza hauled him to his feet and, with one massive hand pressed against his chest, pinned him to the wall.

Finding it hard to breath with the weight on his chest and hoping Borza couldn't feel the way his whole body was trembling with fear, Mickey refused to meet the vampire's eyes. He concentrated instead on a point in the middle of Borza's chest.

"Look at me," Borza whispered.

Mickey found the voice and words strangely compelling and it took a massive effort to keep his eyes focused downwards.

"I said look at me."

There was a harder snap to the voice now and it was even more difficult to ignore the compulsion to lift his head.

"You will look at me."

Mickey felt his chin lifting, and of its own volition his gaze moved higher until eye contact was made. Borza's eyes bored into his and the last of Mickey's resistance was torn from him. He stood there, unable to move or do anything to warn McCall. Or to save himself.

Mickey knew exactly what was happening to him but was powerless to prevent it as Borza extended a hand and caressed his neck. Borza's beguiling smile made Mickey's soul cry out in terror. Not being able to move at all to protect himself - that feeling of helplessness - horrified Mickey.

"Oh yes - you must be transformed. There is a darkness and a violence in you that cries out for it." Borza looked at Mickey, and touched his flesh again, "So warm and vibrant and with such spirit..." Borza murmured softly. "Your fear is so invigorating, I will savor it slowly as I savor your beauty."

Mickey felt Borza's cold fingers brush his hair away from his neck and smooth out his shirt collar. "The scent of you and your life's blood," Borza whispered directly into Mickey's ear, "it is impossible to resist." Then dead fingers pressed against the vein in his neck.

Borza filled both his hands with Mickey's hair and now, totally in charge, he tilted Mickey's head back to just the right angle. Mickey heard him sigh, "so perfect," as he bit down.

There was a sharp pain as Borza's fangs sank into his neck and jugular vein. Mickey felt himself blacking out. Just before he plummeted into the darkness he thought he heard the sound of glass breaking downstairs.

Mickey's last, faint cry of warning didn't reach outside the room.




Robert stood outside the great house and waited for Mickey to appear. The night was saved from pitch darkness by a full moon that glowed behind the haze of the damp, fog-filled air.

The moonlight glinted off something small and metallic, lying on the ground a few feet away. Robert walked over to look and saw a gold cross and chain. It was lying beside the drainpipe Mickey had climbed and Robert recognized it at once. The cross had been a gift from Mickey's family when he first went to sea. His mother had gotten the cross blessed by the bishop in the belief that it would keep her son safe in Vietnam. He picked it up and slipped it into his pocket. Robert knew how much Mickey cared for the cross, he would be pleased it hadn't been lost. Although Kostmayer refused to admit it, he was a religious man, in his own way.

Robert started to shiver slightly in his greatcoat. Where was the lad? The first fingers of anxiety started to clutch at his heart. Robert knew that feeling well; It always told him he had been waiting too long and that it was time for him to act.

Robert saw that his only way into the mansion was a small high window just to his left. It was made of stained glass and Robert knew he would have to break it to gain entry. Grasping a decorative piece of masonry about six feet up on the building, Robert used the strength of his arms to climb up until he was perched birdlike on the sill. He pulled his head into his coat and held his arms in front of his face for protection. Balancing his weight on the sill, he pushed backwards and then flung his body at the window. He went flying through the glass and emerged unscathed except for the searing pain of the already torn flesh of his thigh.

Knowing he had made enough noise to wake the dead, Robert hastened to get his bearings straight and his gun at the ready. Not a sound was heard from the large house in answer to his resounding entrance.

He waited, almost holding his breath for some response but was greeted with nothing but silence. He looked at the large room that surrounded and dwarfed him. The room was barely lit by a few flickering gas lamps and held more shadows than lighted places.

"What the devil?" he murmured out loud.

End of part 2...



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