The fire roared between us. Eight of us sat around the fire, waiting for the last one to return. It was annoying to wait your turn, but it was for our own safety. The one must not be able to find us, so we minimised the risk of her, or her friends, finding us by feeding one by one.
It was boring nowadays. However weak Kryss was, he did make things happen. He took control. We didn't even know our own enemies as well as we'd like. And here we were, bickering like children around the fire.
"I don't like hiding in the shadows like this."
"What's keeping him, he should be back by now?"
"He's going out for a midnight snack. Heh."
"You should go out as well, buy some humor, extra braincells, hold the tongue."
"Shut up or I'll smack you one."
"Yeah, come on, it's not like you can touch me."
"Oh yeah? Watch me!"
"Watch you do what? Stumble into the fire?"
It was getting worse and worse, I guess we were all getting on each others nerves. We were just threads flapping loose, rebels without a cause and stuck in a dirty old building. Wasting time, wasting blood. Why couldn't we just bring someone here and just drink them dry or torture them a little? That's what I wanted to know.
"He's back... Finally."
But something was wrong, there was blood all over him and he looked as if he'd been in a fight. Odd, as even a strong human wouldn't be able to take us on. Had he met? No, it couldn't have been.
"What have you done, try to eat a pack of wolves?"
He fell down, obviously having used most of his strength to even get here. The smartest two of us shut the others up and cleared some space around him. They checked his body for obvious wounds but he appeared to be alright, just exhausted.
"Alright, tell us what happened."
The wounded took a moment for some deep breaths. "It was her, the one who took Kryss. I was just feeding on a girl, having fun, when she barged right in and dragged me away from her neck. It was a tough fight, and I almost won. But I knew I had to tell you guys, so I came right back here. Fortunately, the girl was too far gone already, so she died in her arms."
We looked at each other, he was probably exaggerating his own part in this. His body was obviously quite hurt, there was no way he would have won against Her. But it didn't matter. This was the first sight we had of her in a long time.
Someone else expressed my thoughts quite nicely. "In other words, you got beaten up, played dead and fled at your first chance."
The wounded scowled but didn't refute it. Most of us grinned a little, that was more like the truth and we all knew it. But of course, as fun as it was pointing out the weaknesses of someone, even one of us, there were more pressing matters to attend to.
One spoke. "So, we have been spotted, it is time to move on. Tomorrow night we will all search the city for her. Take extra care that you cannot be seen, we know she can fly. You", looking at the wounded one, "stay here and tell us where all of this happened."
We all nodded, this was more like it, this sounded like a plan.
"What should we do if we find her."
"Nothing, don't be noticed and come back here if you know where she's staying."
One whined. "Do we have to? I mean, wouldn't it be easier to just get rid of her first thing?"
The other smiled. "Look at him, want to end up like that? We're not all as strong as she is, I'm not even sure the strongest one is. We'll have to work together if we want to take her down."
About half of us sighed, I guess we didn't really like to admit that someone was stronger than one of us.
"No more feeding tonight, stay low. We'll search tomorrow early evening and make a plan depending on what we find."
Four of us hadn't fed yet tonight...
"You can't be serious!"
"I had to wait for this?!"
"But I'm hungry..."
"I need my fix and I'm going to get it."
"No! We will wait, all of us. This is not just for me, but for all of us. If we can get rid of her, we're free to roam the city again. A night's patience isn't too much to ask, is it?"
He grinned. "But you four do need to feed. It won't be much, but find a homeless guy or something that won't be missed and bring him here. We'll have a little party."
This suggestion was obviously well received by all the others, especially the four still in need of feeding. It appeared things are changing again.