“Remember how I told you dawn could be worse than nightfall? More frightening?” Sabine sat at the end of the bed, towel wrapped around her, shower smells of floral and balsam a clinging aura.
“Yeah, I do. Seems like a long time ago,” John was dressed, looking clean and neat in his sweats. He tried not to look at Sabine too long.
“Well, it can be. Especially when the Hunt calls you.”
She stood up and took a pair of shorts and a tank top to the bathroom and shut the door, leaving John to his thoughts. He sighed and closed his eyes.
When he opened them, Sabine was staring at him, leaning close, nose almost touching his. “Creepy, right?”
John jumped. “W-what was that? How did you get out here so fast?”
“You fell asleep, Soldier.” Sabine laughed and handed him a mug full of coffee. “It’s noon. You’ve been out for six hours.”
“Fuck me, what happened to dawn?” He took the mug from her and drank it. “Here I thought you were gonna tell me you were a monster all along.”
Sabine grinned. “Well, I am. Didn’t say I wasn’t, did I?”
John’s face fell. “Tell me that’s a joke.”
“It is a joke. A joke on me, a joke on you. But I’m not really a monster. I’m a monster to the monsters. So are you.” She reached down to the bottom of her nightstand and pulled out a photo album. “Here, have a look.”
John took it from her. It must have been about a hundred years old. Maybe older. Not a bit of plastic on it, except for pages added in the back. He opened it.
A small child, about two, sitting on presumably her mother’s lap. Dark hair and eyes and a serious face gazed out at him. A gaze he’d been acquainted with not ten minutes ago.
“I was born in 1875. That photograph was taken in 1877. I had to sit still for an hour. Nana Boudreaux gave me a tonic to make me sedate.”
John’s eyes narrowed as he thumbed through the pages. The pictures weren’t fake, that much he could tell. Some were Dauggerotypes of people who looked like Sabine, and some were holding Sabine as a baby. The same people, not much older than they’d been in the other photos. “What is this?”
Sabine sat down. “You’re a hunter, John. A genetic anomaly that’s seen exceptionally rarely. As long as I’ve been alive, there were only five on the whole planet. I thought I was the only one left.” She barked a laugh. “Kinda glad I’m not.”
to be concluded …
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