"What are you!"

Robert de Valicourt stared at the large-barreled weapon aimed directly at his heart and held back a whimper. Having just come back to life, he had no desire to do so again in mere moments. Dying was so...unsettling. "Robert de Valicourt, at your service."

"Not who! What are you?"

Oh, dear. This was going to end well, or end bloody. Was it too much to wish for 'well'? "I'm an Immortal. We are completely harmless," he hastened to add when he saw the finger tighten on the trigger. The lad's nails were atrocious. "Except to each other. And only when that's necessary. You know, I hear manicures are very manly these days again. About time, don't you think?"

Well, he must have said something right. The gun was lowered and the young man backed away. "So you've come back from the dead, too. Join the club," the man said with a sigh, swiftly placing his gun down the back of his pants. That seemed a little rash.

"You're not Immortal," Robert replied with a frown. There was no--what had Gina called it--yes, no warning beacon emanating from this one.

"Nah, I'm just righteous. A righteous man," he said bitterly.

"Excuse me?" Robert questioned politely.

"Angels, dude. I was 'gripped tight and raised from perdition' by a frickin' angel. Hallelujah!"

Robert cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, sir, but there are no such things as angels."

The man snorted. "Yeah, and two minutes ago, I didn't think there were such things as Immortals."

That was an excellent point. "Does this mean I have to rejoin the Church?"

Laughter. "Only if you want to hang around with dicks."

He didn't entirely understand the man's comment, but from the derision in his voice, it wasn't kindly. "I suppose that's something I don't want to do. Thank you for the warning."

"Sure. And I guess I don't have to warn you about the dangers of hanging around vampires." He kicked at the body laying nearby in the dark alleyway that led to Gina's favorite park.

My killer, Robert thought belatedly. "A vampire you say?" He was starting to feel like he'd just been born yesterday.


The young man picked up the head of his attacker and Robert shuddered. Beheading was a bit too close for comfort. He felt inside his coat for his sword. It was there. What had his savior used? "You chopped off his head? How...fortunate."

"Never hunt vampires without a good hatchet nearby. Only way you know they're really dead."

So Immortals had something in common with vampires. It didn't exactly engender a feeling of fellowship in him. "So you've come across their kind before?"

"Sure. See?" The vampire's lips were peeled back to reveal what could only be called fangs.

"Vampires drink blood?" he asked, just to make sure. He received a nod in return. "If he wanted to drink my blood, why did he kill me? Do they often kill their victim before snacking?" Robert's hand moved to his neck to make sure there wasn't a mark; neck wounds could be tricky.

"No, dead man's blood is toxic to them. Something must've gone wrong."

The words triggered Robert's memory. The man--um, vampire--really hadn't killed him. The vampire just jumped out at him and, startled, he'd stumbled. His ankle had wrenched, he'd fallen to the tarmac, and then there had been a sharp pain in his head like...Yes, there it was. A bloody broken brick. He'd managed to kill himself. How embarrassing. "I'm sure accidents happen all the time," he said neutrally.

"Vampires are like humans--there's always an idiot in the mix."

And also among Immortals. He'd just give Gina the "dead" part and leave the "how" to her imagination. "What are you doing now?" The man had taken a large plastic garbage bag from his jacket pocket.

"Getting rid of the evidence. I'll dump him in the river just beyond the dam. They'll think he got caught up in the machinery."

Robert nodded. He'd had to dispose of a body or two in his day. "Need some help? Perhaps you could use a partner if you do this sort of thing often."

"I had--have--a partner. I was on my way to meet him when I stopped in the dinner out by the state road and heard of the vamp trouble."

"Meet him? You don't do this together all the time?"

The man grimaced and Robert couldn't tell whether it was from what he'd asked or from the state of the vampire's ears. There were rather large rings inserted into the lobes. Highly unattractive in his opinion.

"We went out separate ways for a while. Thanks," his rescuer said as Robert grabbed the bag to make it easier to slide the body into it. "He had this demon girlfriend that led him astray and I sorta lost trust in him, you know?"

"Am I to take it the girlfriend was literally a demon?" The man looked at him as if it was a stupid question. Perhaps it was. "Is he with the girlfriend now?"

"Oh, no. I shanked her skanky ass a while back."

Holding on to one end of the bag, Robert followed the gentleman over to a shiny black car parked at the opposite end of the alley. "How wonderful! I have a friend with a 1965 Thunderbird. It also has a large trunk."

"Yeah, it comes in handy sometimes. So, you good? Need a lift somewhere?"

"I'm meeting my wife in the park. It reminds us of our residence in Italy. Or is it the one in Spain?"

"Cool. She one of your kind?"

Robert nodded his head and smiled. "We've been married for over three centuries."

"Geez, she must be some woman."

"She is indeed! I know she would love to meet you, to thank you for saving me from the vampire."

"Sorry, I gotta roll. Just stay aware when you're by yourself in unknown territory, okay?"

"Thank you. That's something I should've already known. Here, let me--" He reached in his pocket for his money clip.

"It's okay, dude. I don't do this for the cash." He laughed. "If I did, I'd have stopped long ago."

"Then accept this as funds for getting your hatchet re-honed."

"Whatever. Take care of yourself and your wife."

"And you do the same--what is your name?"

"Dean Winchester."

"Like the rif--"

"Yeah, man, like I haven't heard that one. Good luck in living, dude."

Robert watched the car peel away, then turned when he felt his wife approaching.

"Robert, whatever are you doing over here when I distinctly remember telling you to meet me at the bench by the pond."

He greeted her with a gentle kiss. "Gina, my love, you will never believe what just happened, how such an ordinary day could turn so fluidly into an extraordinary one! Let me tell you about my new friend, Dean Winchester..."