65. In Harm’s Way
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"Hi mom, we're home!" I called out as me and Nina led the others inside.

It was about four in the afternoon and we'd all come straight over from school, except for the two college students. They'd be along in another half hour or so.

Mom called back, "Hi Cass, hi Nina! I'm working, but I wouldn't complain if you girls want to come in here and greet your mom in person. You don't have to shout through the house you know?"

That made me smile, while Nina blushed. Paige smiled too, while Melanie smirked and Cerys looked a little awkward. And Kaylee just frowned slightly, like she was obviously still uptight that me and my folks welcomed Nina into our family.

"Why don't you all get comfortable in the living-room?" I suggested. "Me and Nina will go let our mom know you're here, then we can grab drinks for everyone while we're waiting for Brooke and Melody."

Our friends all agreed, then Nina followed me as the two of us went into mom's home office. I gave mom a hug but my little sister was still a bit shy and reluctant about that sort of thing. She just stood nearby and blushed as she quietly greeted her.

"I take it your friends are here as well?" mom asked after the hugs and hellos were over. "I can hear them in the living-room."

I nodded, "Yeah, it's more Club Luna stuff. I hope you don't mind? Brooke and Melody are coming over from college soon too. We might all be going back out again later too? It depends."

Mom frowned, "Let me guess, there's a vampire in town? That's why you were asking me about them last week?"

"Two vampires actually," I replied. "And two victims so far."

She sighed, "You girls be careful. All of you. Vampires are strong and fast, but Nina I believe you're stronger and faster. Both of you should be immune to their auras, but your friends probably won't be."

"We'll be careful," Nina replied in a quiet but surprisingly confident tone. "I'll look out for the others too."

I got the feeling mom didn't really like us doing this stuff, but I was glad she wasn't trying to stop us or talk us out of it. Though technically I was an adult now, and Nina was an adult about eighty times over, so I figured that's why mom didn't bother to argue about it.

She got back to her work while me and my little sister grabbed some cans of soda and bottles of water, then we joined the others in the living-room. The six of us talked a bit, or four of us talked while Nina and Melanie played one of our video games, as we all waited for the others.

Brooke and Melody arrived at about a quarter to five. They were both driving, but parked on the road so the driveway wasn't full when mum got home. I got some more cola for them both then when everyone was ready we all started to talk about the vampires again.

Melanie and Cerys reviewed what they found first thing in the morning, including the vape pen that one of the vamps had dropped or thrown away. Brooke was confident she could use that to find them, but then our newest club member raised a pretty good point.

"So after we find them, what exactly are we going to do with them?" Melody asked.

Kaylee insisted, "We need to get them to leave town or something."

"How though?" the shape-shifter asked. "We have no idea how powerful they really are. What do we do if they refuse to leave? Or worse, if they decide to attack us?"

Melanie looked to Nina and asked, "Does your demonic magic work on vampires? And how does demonic strength compare to vampire strength?"

Before she could respond Paige stated, "We really don't want this to turn into a fight. But I suppose we should be prepared for the worst, considering these guys have already attacked two people out in public spaces."

My little sister replied quietly, "Demonic magic should affect just about anything. As far as I know, the only things naturally resistant to my magic would be strong gods and powerful angels. Like our parents."

"What about strength?" Melody asked. "Do demons have supernatural strength? And how's that compare to vamps?"

"What about werewolf strength?" our wolfgirl added. "Would I be a match for them in a fight?"

Nina shook her head, "I don't know how werewolves compare to vampires. And I've never fought a vampire, but our mom says I should be stronger."

Brooke said, "So we definitely want to avoid a fist-fight. If they get violent, it sounds like our best bet is to subdue them with sleep spells. And we know both Nina and Cass can do that."

Paige asked, "Cerys are you still retired, or can we rely on your spells too?"

The young blonde sighed, "Still retired. I probably shouldn't even be here, but..."

"She's with me," Melanie stated as she slipped an arm around her girlfriend's waist.

Melody frowned, "Feel free to tell me it's none of my business Cerys, but can I ask what the retirement stuff is all about? Can you still use magic, or did something happen that took away your powers?"

The wolfgirl looked like she was about to answer but Cerys responded first.

"Last month I got a grade three concussion and ended up in hospital for a few days," she said quietly. "Since then I've been having constant headaches and dizziness and a few other problems like that, which can make it hard to concentrate. So I haven't tried using any magic, because I don't want to risk messing something up and hurting myself or anyone else."

It was obvious from the surprised and worried looks on everyone's faces that I wasn't the only one who didn't know Cerys was still suffering. Considering more than a month had passed since she was hurt I was sure we all assumed she was mostly ok by now.

The shape-shifter winced, "Damn. I'm sorry Cerys. So what happened, did you get in a car accident or something?"

The young blonde shook her head, "I'd rather not talk about it. Anyways we're supposed to be dealing with the vampires, not me and my medical problems."

"Ok Cerys," Paige said. "Sorry you're still dealing with that stuff. Back on the subject of the vampires, we're hoping to avoid any kind of conflict. But if it comes to that, then we're relying on Nina and Cass for sleep spells to knock them out."

Melanie asked, "Then what? Our plan seems to be ask them nicely to leave town, and if they refuse or try and attack then we knock them out. Then what do we do with a couple unconscious vampires?"

Nobody seemed to have an answer to that, and for a few seconds we were all just quietly looking around at each other. I was almost surprised that Kaylee didn't use it as an excuse to mention May Hawthorne again, since it was exactly the sort of thing we'd have turned over to our former sponsor if she was still around.

Finally Paige decided, "We'll deal with that if and when it happens. For now let's hope we can reason with them, since that's our main goal."

Brooke added, "We have to find them first. Melanie, can I have that vape pen you and Cerys found this morning?"

The wolfgirl nodded and unzipped a pocket on her backpack. She pulled out a small round object wrapped up in a sheet of paper, then handed it to the tall blonde.

Our former club leader thanked her, and got a folded-up map from her own backpack. She spread the map out on the living-room floor, then sat crosslegged in front of it. The rest of us watched quietly as she carefully unwrapped the disposable vape pen and placed it on the map in the very middle.

Our former club leader was obviously using some variant of the spell I used last November to find Kaylee when the witch hunter kidnapped everyone. The main difference was the anchor object was just sitting on the map instead of hanging over it like a pendulum. Melody and Nina both seemed very curious as they watched Brooke start to cast. Not that there was much to see, unless you were me and could see magic.

Some faint purple flickered around the vape pen, before it spread out and sort of flashed outwards across the map. Then it concentrated at a point off the highway just north-east of town. The magic got brighter until a visible glow appeared, so everyone else could see it too.

"That's it," Brooke stated as she ended her spell. "The person who owned this vape is at that location right now."

Paige added, "That's a motel. It's just off the highway, on the east side."

Melody asked, "Are we all heading over there? And once we get there, how will we know which room they're in?"

"I'll be able to track them right to their door," Melanie stated. "Just get me within a hundred meters or so."

Our club leader suggested, "I think we should go while it's still daylight out. Brooke, Melody, if you two can both drive we'll split up and go over in two cars. Then I guess we just march up to their door and ask to have a word with them."

The two older girls agreed, and I let mom know that we were heading out. I added, "I'll text or something, but we might all grab dinner or something while we're out? So you and mum can have a nice quiet dinner without us."

"Be careful Cass," mom replied. "Text me or your mum if you need us."

"I will, thanks!" I smiled as I hurried outside to catch up with the others.

Kaylee, Melanie, and Cerys were all getting into Melody's little compact car, while Paige and Nina were already in Brooke's car. One of the back doors was open and waiting, so I climbed in and sat next to my little sister. Then when everyone was ready, we all set out.

Brooke took the lead for the fairly short drive, while Melody followed. It only took us four or five minutes to reach the highway, then another minute or two and we were there. The motel was a long two-story building with an office in the middle and eight or nine rooms to either side.

The parking lot was mostly empty, but Brooke picked a spot way off in the corner well away from the building and the handful of other cars. And a moment later Melody pulled into the spot beside us. Then all eight of us got out and gathered together beside the two vehicles.

"Melanie?" Paige asked once we were all together. "I'll stick with you, and Nina I'd like you to stay with us as well. The rest of you hold back for a bit till I signal."

It felt awkward for five of us to be standing around the parking lot of the little motel, but then it was probably just as awkward to follow Melanie around while she sniffed the air. The worst thing was it was still broad daylight, and we were right next to the highway. So everybody driving past could see us.

Brooke was obviously thinking along similar lines as she pointed out quietly, "Anyone in the motel who happens to look out their window is going to see us. I wonder how vampire hearing is? Or vamp vision?"

"Their eyes are sensitive to the sunlight," I said. "They probably have the curtains drawn. They might even still be in bed, waiting for sunset."

The tall blonde nodded, "Right. Thanks for reminding me, Cass."

By that point Melanie had already found the vampires' car, it was parked towards the north end of the building. And the wolfgirl pointed at the door to the unit almost directly in front of the car, so it was clear she'd found our vampires. The unit's curtains were drawn so we couldn't see anything inside, but that was pretty much expected. Then Paige motioned the rest of us over, but also indicated that we should stay quiet as we approached.

"I'm going to knock at the door and ask to speak to them," Paige quietly informed the rest of us. "Cass, Melanie, Nina, I'd like you three with me to back me up. Just incase they freak out or get violent. Cass and Nina will be ready with their sleep magic, Melanie you're the muscle. The rest of you please stay back, and out of sight from the door and windows."

Brooke frowned, "You're putting yourself in harm's way Paige. Be careful, ok?"

"I will," our club leader replied. "It's my responsibility though, so I have to be up front."

Melody asked quietly, "What about the rest of us? We're all spectators?"

Paige nodded, "Unless you have some specific skill or ability that's going to be useful dealing with a pair of vampires, then yes. Stand by, watch for trouble. I suppose if anyone sees anything we should know about, speak up."

"Like vampires trying to sneak away out the back while we're standing around up front," Kaylee pointed out. "Or normal folks come to see what's going on."

"We should have had this conversation at Cass's place. The longer we stand here talking the better the chance they'll notice us," Melanie stated quietly.

"Good point," Paige agreed. "Let's do this now."

She started moving for the door, with me and Melanie and Nina following. The other four girls moved off to the side, Brooke and Melody were watching our backs while Kaylee and Cerys kept watch over the parking lot and the other motel units to either side of us.

"Hello?" Paige called loudly as she knocked on the motel room door, "Mitch, James, we know you're in there. Open up, we need to talk."

To my left Melanie shifted into her wolfgirl form and her tall furry ears twitched while her tail swished from side to side. She half-whispered, "They're moving. Someone's coming to the door."

A moment later we heard the sound of someone fumbling with the locks, then the door was pulled open part-way. Just inside the door was a half-naked young man, wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts and dark sunglasses. I recognized him as the one of the two vampires, he was the taller one with dark hair.

His head turned slightly from side to side as he looked at the four of us, while I noticed some very subtle twitches of his nose. Then he frowned, "What exactly are you people? And what do you want with us?"

Paige responded in a strong confident voice, "We protect this town from supernatural threats, and we're here to talk to you about the recent vampire attacks."

He stared at the four of us for another second or two, then glanced over his shoulder and stated "You're not gonna believe this Mitch. It looks like the Scooby Gang's here to see us, but they're all a bunch of teenage girls."

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