Coming Up Empty

Falcon began his search after checking in on the old man. The woman was obviously scared and that would make it easier to track her. However, he also knew that there were vampires looking for women like her. If he didn't find her fast, her life could be in danger.

He followed her scent into the forest, hoping to find her quickly. However, five miles from the stream, he lost her. It was a gradual loss of scent, but sudden. He looked at the ground, but there were no signs of a struggle, and no indication she was picked up and carried away. This confused him. He followed the scent to an oddly shaped tree. There were no signs a vampire was within, and she was far too inexperienced to know how to blend.

"Where are you?" he asked aloud to the trees.

He then shifted into a barn owl and took flight.


Melana ran hard and fast, her legs burned, she didn't know how long she had run but the time she got to a stream she was all dirty and scratched up. She washed herself slightly in the stream, she knew she was in the middle of nowhere in the woods, the fact that she could see so well bothered her when she knew she should not be able too.

The fact that she just attacked that poor man had her in shock and fear claimed her mind. She didn't know what was happening to her but she did know she would find out before she hurt anyone else " got will be ok.." she said laying down underneath a tree bt the stream. She took out her cell phone and was grateful she had service, she dialed the number for the local police "hello yes I want to report attack" she said and continued to give the police the address of the cabin she had been at "yes...I dont know what attacked him...well I do but..ok it was.." but her phoned beeped and cut the call. She looked at it and saw that it had died, she sighed and hoped the man would be ok. She curled up and hugged herself, she felt herself drift into a heavy sleep, her last thought was that nothing could hurt her as she slept.


Amara waited with Nicolas and Lara. Her family was to return from a tour around Brazil today. Andor was still off hunting, and her lifemate was continuing his show with his assistant. There had been no word on whether they would show up at the ranch or not.

"Am I still not ready?" she asked. "Even with the training my father gave me?"

"Not yet," said Nicolas.

She sighed. Her father had put aside so much time to train with her, to teach her everything he knew, and it still wasn't enough. Will it ever be enough?

stop sulking Amera and come help me...mother is getting all weepy and you know how that bothers me Andor said in her mind

Andor?! Amera said, launching into the air. When did you get back?!

Slow down and scan, Amera, scolded Nicolas.

thats not important right now, hurry and come save me she has started calling me her little boy and you know what that means he said in a sarcastic tone

Amera sent him the impression of chills going down her spin and said Great. My ETA is three minutes. Nicolas is with me. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Dad has helped train me, which was amazing, and the De La Cruz brothers trained me, but still, they say I'm still not ready.

We are coming up on the town and you need to shield yourself from view, Nicolas said in exasperation.

its your mentality hurry here come the tears and you know im not good with them! he said stubbornly. When they finally saw Andor and his mother she was hugging him to her "you will always be my little boy Andor...dont forget have a strong heart and a good mind dont lose them and be safe...promise me!" she cried

Amera went to her mother and gently pried her off of Andor. You were away too long, Andor, she said. She has never been this upset before. How often did you contact her?

The air around Amera changed. A calming aroma filled the camp site. Her mother slowly went from hysterical weeping to quiet sobs.

"We know we will always be your babies, mom," Amera said in a soothing tone. "You need to calm down or you will make yourself sick. Sit down, breath, and then talk. When you get worked up, we worry about you."

She sat down and made them both sit beside her "do you remember when you two were little, Amera was so upset because Andor didn't want her to take baths with her anymore because she always wanted to play with his favorite bath toy" she said chuckling "even after we got you the same bath toy it still wasn't not good enough and when we asked you why you said because it was not Andors" She said with a bittersweet smile and suddenly hugged them both "you two must stick together ok, promise me you will always love and care and look out for one another" she said in a sobbing tone.

"mom...your choking me" Andor said in a gasping tone to which she loosened her grip

The aroma filled the camp once more, letting Tempest calm down enough to quit strangling them, and said, "I wanted a lot of things that were Andor's because he seemed to always get the best stuff. But I know now that wasn't the case. He got rewarded when he did good, and I was jealous. I'm trying to work on that, really. And, once my training is done, of course I would like to hunt along side Andor. I hope that it will make it easier on him."

"What is going on?" Nicolas asked Darius in a whisper. "It's as if hundreds of candles have been lit, but there isn't a single one here. There isn't even a fire."

"Its Amera..." Andor said moving away from his mother only for her to grab his hand "She use to do it in her sleep when we were kids..." he said like it was no big deal "Thats why I told you guys not to let her train as a hunter but for a healer" he said shrugging

"What do you mean?" Amera asked. "I'm not doing anything. I'm just trying to keep mom calmed down so she doesn't go into hysterics. Last time she did, she had to go to ground for two days before she could see us again. And I don't want to be a healer. You know that. Why are you suddenly saying this now?"

"because its the truth Amera....your emotionally tired to a great gift which will make you a good healer but not a good hunter, you have to shut off your emotions in battle and you are incapable of doing that and to be honest I prefer it that way, your too kind hearted to be a hunter AMera and so I waited for you to see that yourself but you still refuse too. If you became a huter you will either get yourself killed or someone around you or both. But you could be a great healer which is just as important as being a hunter" he said in a calm tone

The aroma changed. Growls erupted from some of the men, suddenly on alert. Tears burned in Amera's eyes that she refused to let fall. Anger boiled inside her. She stood up, shaking.

"Calm down, Amera," Nicolas cautioned.

"I hate you," she said quietly, but her voice grew louder. "I hate you! I want to be a hunter! I want to help give mom and dad the rest they deserve! Why can't I do that?! How is sitting around, waiting for someone to be injured a noble cause?! It isn't! I want to protect people, fight for those who can't, and be a shield when they need it!" Her tears started to fall, and the aroma started to change so that everyone started cry as well. "Why can't I be a hunter too? If I'm a healer, I can't be there to protect you or anyone else. What real use would I be if I can't prevent vampires from killing? I can't stay behind and let you take all the risk, Andor. I have to become a hunter so I don't lose you."

"What do you mean, Amera?" Nicolas asked, sensing they finally came to the truth.

"Dad is always out hunting vampires," Amera cried. "And he always comes back wounded. There were times he would go to ground and I didn't know if he would ever come back. And when Andor started training... Every day, I had waking dreams of seeing him, dead, laying on the ground, and I was always unable to stop it from happening because I didn't know how to fight. I couldn't save him." She fell to her knees, hugging herself as her tears became rivers. "I couldn't save him."

"some people can't be saved" Andor stated simply "its how our people live, but at this moment we have more hunters then we have healers, did you ever think of that? if we had more healers maybe our injured hunters could be saved more and be healed quicker to keep fighting, healers are just as important as hunters, stop trying to be something you are not Amera...look what happened when you encountered that vampire, you froze in fear and your actions got people hurt, but look how you comforted mom and affected everyone here. You will never be a hunter Amera but that does not mean you will not be able to help" he said plainly and stood up "the longer you take being childish and trying to be something your not the longer our people have to go without the comfort you can provide them, I will never hunt with you even if you manage to pass your test so if your reasoning for being a hunter is for me its pointless" he said and started to walk away

"I know," she said, not looking up. "I went looking for trouble to keep you from having to hunt, and got the exact opposite of my intentions. Part of me knows you are right, Andor. But... I can't help feeling that, if I did hunt vampires, I can stop you from having to make the kill and keep you safe. Is it so wrong to want my brother to be safe?"

"Not at all," said Nicolas. "You just went about it the wrong way." He turned to Darius. "I have told Zacarias everything. He suggests that she go study under Francesca or Shea. Amera is a good fighter, but her heart is never really in it. She always hesitates to make the killing blow, and it's easy to see she feels sorrow for those she is battling. She is a liability on the battlefield. However, because she does know how to fight, if need be, she can step up and protect those of our people who can't."

"But..." Amera started to say, looking at Nicolas.

"Or, as you yourself are a healer, you could train her," continued Nicolas. "That way, she is protected and you can continue bonding with her. I notice a vast improvement in her ability to fight after you trained with her. It may not have been enough to make her a hunter, but teaching her to heal others may be just what she needs."

"Do it, Darius," Tempest said. "I want at least one of my babies with me."

Darius thought for a moment and then said "me and Andor both will do it, I will take over Andors training and Amera's" He said knowing it would make tempest happy to have them both close.

"FIne but I'm not staying in the same room with her like when we were kids...she snores," he said disappearing and telling his parents he will meet them at home

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