The overhang of the roof was slight, so I landed and knelt, leaning upside down in front of the window. Sighing, I remembered they’d insisted on a secret knock.
One tap. Two rapid taps. Three taps to finish. I heard the window lock grind as it was undone, and the pane of glass opened outward. I slid off the roof and glided into the room.
“Did anyone see you?” Edgar had been hitting the garlic. His breath reeked in my ear. He also had a cross in his vest pocket, and a stake in his hands as he stood behind me.
“No.” I growled. A light touch for me was heavy to a mortal and I knocked the stake from his hands. “Quit being a moron.”
“It’s protection, man!” Edgar growled back, fumbling for any other charm or weapon that might ward me off.
I rolled my eyes and smirked. “If I wanted you dead, you’d already be six feet down. But instead I offered you a deal.”
Edgar looked at Alan. Alan wore a blank expression. He wasn’t down with this whole idea and I knew it. But Edgar was the brawn in this two-some, and I knew what buttons to push.
“Look, boys.” I dropped my tone, kicking in a bit of neutral bullshit I knew would ease them off the hair trigger. “I offered, you accepted. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less. You can walk away at any time.” I smiled. My most charming smile I could muster, it came with ease. They weren’t going to walk away.
“Edgar…” Alan grunted. “I don’t like this. Working with one of… one of them…”
Edgar sighed in exasperation. “Bro! We need the money! Without the money we can’t make the rent and we’re already behind.”
“Dad will find the money!”
I waited, watching the Frog brothers argue. No need to force the issue. Patience is a virtue of mine.
Edgar crossed the room to his brother, laying his hand on Alan’s shoulder. “Dude, he won’t. There’s not enough time. It’s our time, our chance to start providing and being the bread winners in this family!”
Alan didn’t looked convinced what so ever. He eyed me, a dark sneer on his face and upper lip curled in disgust. I kept my smile in place. He turned back to Edgar, placing his hand on his brother’s shoulder in the matching gesture.
“Only this once. Never again.” Edgar nodded tightly. Alan turned back to me. “And if you ever try this again, I’ll stake your ass so fast…”
“No worries. I won’t ever be making this kind of a deal again. It’s a one time thing.” I held up my hands, making an effort to restore the conversation at hand. “Our mutual disgust of one another is still fully intact. You both make my skin crawl.”
“Likewise.” Edgar rumbled.
I smirked, flashing my fangs ever so slightly. Taking a crinkled envelope slowly from my coat pocket in order not to spook them, I opened it and pulled out the green stack of bills. Shoving some junk off the dresser top, I counted it out in front of the brothers.
“8…9…1000. Exactly the amount we agreed upon. No more no less.” I left it laying there, ten crisp one hundred dollar bills. The brothers both had eyes as big as saucers. Probably more money then they’d ever seen in one place in their lifetimes.
Edgar of course made the first move, hesitating at first then striding over and scooping up the cash. He counted it again silently then handed it to Alan for another count.
“It’s all here.” Alan murmured when he finished.
Edgar nodded. “All right. When and where?”
I eyed the room, looking for a chair. There was one, loaded with clothes and comic books. “Mind if I sit down?” I didn’t wait for an answer, just shoved the crap to the already messy floor and sat down. The Frogs stayed standing, Alan with the wad of bills clutched tightly in his hand.
“You know where our cave is.” I began. They nodded in unison. “Michael, you know… what’s his name’s brother…”
“Sam.” Alan supplied. I nodded.
“Yes.” I grinned. “Michael will be coming after us. I’ve sent Star to make a warning, as well as plea for help. She should have delivered it by now. I suspect somehow he’ll come there earliest he can. Michael wants Star so bad he can taste it. Stupid bleeding heart romantic moron he is.”
“And how do we come in?” Edgar frowned, his brow knitting together.
“No doubt Sam will be involved.” I grinned as the phone rang. Alan reached over and answered.
“The Frog Brothers.” He blinked in surprise. “Sam?” I smirked and dipped my head to hide the surge of excitement. It was all falling into place! Edgar stared at me while Alan took the call. After a few minutes he hung up wordlessly.
“Well?” I raised a brow.
“Sam wants us to come with him and Michael tomorrow as official vampire hunters.” Alan spoke only to Edgar. “Says it’s real important we stake their blood-sucking asses and help his brother save the girl.”
I snorted in disgust and really wanted a smoke, but I also knew no trace of my visit here could be detected. The Frog brothers turned their attentions back to me.
“Exactly. And you’re going to go. You won’t pass this up.” I continued the plan. “Nothing will be out of the ordinary. You’ll act like your moronic military selves, and load heavy with weaponry for show, and be the general little bad asses you pretend to be.”
Edgar’s lip was curled now at my descriptions, but he didn’t press it. “Then what?”
“There’s a opening at the top of the wall, on right side of the cave from the entrance. Eventually go in that tunnel and continue on down. It’s a narrow tunnel but you’ll fit. We’ll be down in the chamber.”
“To ambush us?!” Alan growled, picking up yet another one of the many stakes that littered the brothers’ bedroom. Edgar grabbed his brother’s forearm.
“Some vampire hunters you are.” I growled. “We’ll be asleep, jackass! We won’t even hear you coming. It’ll be the day time!” Alan glared and snarled at me, but backed off. He still continued to grip the stake though.
Edgar looked at me. “Which one of you is getting the stake again?”
“The smallest one of you, the blonde?” I nodded.
“You know him by his jacket and blonde curls.” I kept my voice like ice.
Alan sneered at me. “You are so low, such a traitor. Having one of your own killed!”
I shrugged, but I couldn’t keep the anger from my voice. “A small sacrifice is sometimes necessary for the good of all! If Marko knew, he’d accept his fate without question. I have to bring Michael into the Boys. That’s it. I have no other choice!” I almost bit my lip, but I calmed myself. It was true; Marko would have willingly sacrificed himself if that were required. All the Boys would. But I knew only Marko slept close enough to the wall, and was the smallest of us all. He was the only one the Frog brothers could remotely handle. As much as I hated the whole plan, I couldn’t stand in the way.
“All right, we stake Marko. What happens after?”
“We’ll react. There’s no two ways around that. A death of a vampire, especially in the same pack, will affect the rest. But you won’t be harmed.”
“How can you assure us?” Alan growled.
I looked at Alan, locked his gaze with mine. “You will not be harmed. It would be useless and run against the other plans laid down. The object here is to secure Michael. Not kill you idiots.” Alan backed up a step and stayed silent. “We’ll just do that some other night.” I flashed both a terrifying grin that sent chills up their spines.
“All right. We’re done here.” Edgar moved to the window and pushed it fully open. “We know what you want done, we know which one of you, and we have the payment. Get out, David.”
I rose from the chair and stretched. My trench coat brushed the heels of my boots as I strode to the window. I grinned at the Frogs, teeth sharp and white in the dim light of all the twinkle lights. “Pleasure doing business with you, boys.”
Climbing up onto the sill I stepped out into the air, into the open, and flew off like a bird of prey searching for its next kill.