The Lank home looked just as Xochitl had left it. She paid the little cab driver with the unpronounceable name, including his big tip, and watched the vehicle drive away before approaching the house. Rather than go to the front door, she opened the side gate and stepped quietly up to a kitchen window. Looking inside, she didn’t see Novelyne or either of the Lanks, but nothing seemed out of place. She continued on. The Lanks had a beautifully landscaped back yard, with a large pool fed by a waterfall. Just as Xochitl was rounding the back corner of the house, she heard a noise from across the yard. She dropped to her knees.
At the back edge of the yard was a garden shed, and right beside that was a metal gate in the cinder block wall that surrounded the property. As she watched, the gate opened just wide enough to admit a person, and one after the other, three passed through. The last closed the gate behind him. They crossed toward the house, stepping past the waterfall and into the light streaming out from the large double-paned windows. All three men appeared to be in their late twenties or early thirties. All three had pistols, two still had them in their belt holsters; one carried his in his left hand. This meant they wouldn’t be vampires. Vampires didn’t need to carry firearms.
“Freeze,” said Xochitl from her kneeling position.
The man with the gun raised it and fired. The bullet whizzed by close enough to her head that it brushed her hair. She shot him twice in the chest. Without pause, she shot the second man twice above his right eye. He hadn’t quite reached the hand grip of his weapon. The third man had. He managed to raise it halfway before she shot him twice, one bullet hitting lower than intended, a gut shot, but the second right through the heart.
Xochitl stood up before she realized that the first man was still standing. He had two bullet holes through his chest, but he raised his gun again. She shot him twice in the face and then emptied her clip into his body. Though he staggered backwards, he still didn’t go down. A growl brought her attention to his face. It had a grotesque hole in the forehead, but that wasn’t the most disturbing thing about it. It had shifted to the face of the blood-sucking fiend, with long fangs and yellow eyes. Alright, so don’t make generalizations. Vampires might carry guns after all.
The vampire fired his pistol twice more and Xochitl felt a burning pain shoot through her right side. Casting the gun aside, he leapt at her. She darted forward spinning into a flying back kick, making contact with his face, and sending a stream of blood and brains from the hole in his head in an arc across the back yard. He hardly seemed to notice. Grabbing her foot from the air, he threw her down, knocking the wind from her lungs.