It’s cold. It’s wet. The lightning is striking and there are heavy feet thundering through a dead forest. Gideon’s breath was fast and panicked with the speed of her run, her clothes were getting torn by painful branches reaching out to capture her in their thorny grips. The full crimson moon above glared down behind Gideon and a dark, familiar shadow slowly rose up in front of her, covering her own.
She sped up to a sprint despite her protesting muscles and something rose up in the back of her throat as the cold wind ran a chill down her back. She doesn’t know how long she’d been running now, she was given a head start of ten whole seconds, how was that fair? She had lost her coat and all of her weapons to the trees as she ran through in panic. The shadow in front of her got bigger.
And then she tripped on a tree root.
Face down in the mud she heard a low hum of a laugh.
“I’ve enjoyed this dance, Nav,” the voice behind said, “I thought it would have lasted longer though, a shame.” Gideon tried to get up but grunted when she found her knee complained more than she could bear. Freezing hands snaked their way over her shoulders and laced arms wound themselves around her taut as she came cheek-to-cheek with the vampire Harrowhark Nonagesimus leaning over her from behind.
“You should have listened to your mother,” she hissed into Gideon’s ear. Like ice on her skin, Gideon felt the fabric of her turtle neck sweater get pulled from her neck and one hand get a vice grip of her jaw as she was paralysed under this predator, panting and whining at the pain in her knee.
Harrowhark bore her fangs, thin like a snake’s, and raked them somewhat gently over the sensitive, prickled skin at the side of Gideon’s neck before speaking again; “I suppose the family business finally ends with you, Griddle. No more promising hunters around, we’ll finally be able to have some peace.”
“F-fuck you, Nonagesimus. Just get it over with already,” Gideon growled, she wouldn’t admit to herself that her shivering was from fear and not the rain.
Gideon Nav, the last leader of a small group of vampire hunters, the last good hunter at that, was about to die at her arch enemy’s hand - or teeth I suppose. She had been hunting vampires since she had turned 14, taught to fight and assassinate by her mother Wake, the last commander of the troupe. She had watched first-hand as her mother and several other former hunters were sucked dry on a big mission to kill the Vampire King. Harrow was there too, she had chased Gideon out of that castle as a warning and let her live to tell the tale of the troupe’s massacre.
They had played the same chasing game ever since, whenever they had met again, both of them giving each other head starts of varying amounts of minutes, but Gideon supposes Harrow had finally become bored enough to want to finally finish the job, give an end to their dance that neither is sure who started.
She could feel Harrow’s body pressed against her back as her head was moved to the side for her and Harrow pricked her teeth into Gideon’s flesh. A couple of sickening pops resounded in her head as the sign that Harrow had broken skin and she felt the strangly sweet sensation of suckling on her neck and her blood being forcibly drawn out of the wounds. An involuntary groan escaped her throat as she quickly became light headed. She looked up at the sky for one final time before her eyes started to flutter closed. Were those birds?
“HARROWHARK NONAGESIMUS!” A voice boomed across the sky cutting through the rain and Harrow tore away from Gideon’s neck, letting her fall back to the mud.
“Lord! What are you-” Before Gideon closed her eyes completely, those things she thought were birds squelched together in front of her into a human form walking towards them.
“Step away. She is still needed-”
Gideon wouldn’t get to hear the rest as she blacked out.