Blood Chapter 38

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If Erkan wanted to go outside but not risk danger from vampires, he could actually do that any day. However, he wasn’t awake during much of the day… and it wasn’t just vampires that might be watching for him. Marconi and his men were humans, and it was possible there were others working for the Nervettis as well. Likewise, it was possible they had werewolves or other supernaturals who could function during the day working with them.

Sure, if he was attacked in the middle of the day they would more than likely catch the culprit, but that wouldn’t do Erkan much good if he died. Just because he hadn’t died yet didn’t mean anything. He’d been lucky no vital organs had taken much damage when he was shot, and Vittore wasn’t actually trying to kill him the first time. 

Not going out was starting to get to Erkan. He ended up spending all his time practicing wards that he could place around his apartment once he got a new one. Optimally it wouldn’t be found out and he wouldn’t need them, but it wasn’t something he would bet on. Wards that directly prevented intrusion by fortifying the structure of doors and windows were useful, but not sufficient. Eventually they would run out of energy and someone would break through. 

Active defenses were needed to synergize with the other parts. Someone could keep ramming a door or hitting a window- as long as they were reinforced with only moderate amounts of blood magic- but if they had to suffer an attack every time they did so it would be a different story.

The question then became what sort of things he could do to attack. If someone had a blood magic circle on them, he could actually thing of numerous very horrible things to do. However, since they weren’t likely to stand still while a circle was drawn on them, he’d have to go with effects that worked off of adjacency. Any sort of memory manipulation was not going to work. Without being there personally, at best he could make them forget a few minutes… at which point they would find themselves still next to his apartment, probably with the same plan to break in fresh in their mind. 

On the more violent end, it wouldn’t be too hard to jostle the blood in their brain in such a way to cause anything from a concussion to death. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t have the option to control that for each individual, unless he was present and watching. He didn’t really want to kill anyone… or at least, he didn’t want to kill anyone on accident. Before he could try something like that he would need to be more familiar with creating exceptions and the sensitivity of what would set off the wards. He didn’t want to kill random burglars, though he also didn’t exactly wish them well. More importantly, he didn’t want to hurt someone who comes to knock on the door legitimately, or in the case of an apartment instead of a condo, a landlord coming to check in. Actually, a landlord would be a problem because most people wouldn’t be happy with blood magic runes carved into the structure of their building- or even on something attached. Erkan wondered if he could get a supernatural landlord that he could explain things to.

Nico’s condo used more than just a couple type of wards. There were actually mental compulsions that affected a long distance, making it difficult to watch the apartment directly. With that and all the other pieces, Nico went through a lot of blood to power the wards, even when they didn’t really get activated to prevent an intruder. Hopefully he got a bulk discount- even if he made good money and had family money as well.

—–

Nico felt and smelled the people watching his condo. The only reason he hadn’t dealt with them already was because while the Nervetti family didn’t want to get into a war, neither did anyone else. That said, they had been around long enough- and there were rules about involving normal people in supernatural business. The regular cops hadn’t done anything about them because they’d hit a snag with some informants or something. Nico had waited long enough for them to detangle themselves, but it seemed he was just going to have to force the issue. 

The first man never knew what was coming. Nico walked quietly up behind him and reached out a hand, fingers coming to grasp the man’s neck from behind, touching right on either carotid artery. The man jerked and then fell unconscious as blood flow stopped momentarily. Nico cuffed him and moved on.

The second man suffered much the same fate, as Nico moved through the dark alleyways behind them, staying out of the light from the street lamps that he didn’t need. The third man just barely heard him coming, turning around and firing blindly into the darkness. Nico flinched but twisted the man’s arm behind his back, once again using blood magic to knock him unconscious. A single silver bullet probably wouldn’t kill him, but it wasn’t fun. A handful would mean real trouble.

With a gun fired, cops would probably soon be on the way even if he didn’t do anything… but Nico made a call himself, to make sure people he trusted would show up. That included Detective Simmons, who was turning into a very useful go-between for supernatural and natural police relations.

Nico hurried to gather up the three, making sure their guns were on prominent display. He considered firing off some shots from the other guns, but he still had fingerprints and that would probably just make things more complicated. If Detective Simmons hurried, he would be able to decide what was best.

Nico stood in the shadows, pouring out a bit of blood onto the ground to form a magic circle he hoped he wouldn’t need. Once the men were properly arrested and got back to the station, he would have another job to do. Maybe the next night, since it was getting close to morning. Either way, it could wait. It wasn’t like men died so easily in police custody. If three men really died, it would be grounds for a huge sweeping investigation of the department that would assuredly cause untold trouble for any corrupt cops. He could counter any supernatural involvement as well, or if there was something during the day there were others for that.

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