Brook eyed the wall and growled under his breath. A voice pipped up at the back of his mind that he shouldn’t have let Fern out of his sight. He whacked the wall with his palms and felt stinging spiralling along his skin. Scrapping his nails down the bricks, he stood up tall and with one easy jump, landed on top of the wall.
Looking out over the countryside, he sniffed the air and caught Fern’s scent on the breeze. Jumping down the side, he landed in a patch of over grown grass that looked like it had already been flattened once that night. Tugging the collar of his jacket up, he walked along the edge of the road. His boots sink into the soft soil and a rain shower dripped down above him.
Brook grumped to himself and picked up the pace. There was no way she could have wandered off so far, but she had been gone two or three hours now. He jogged towards the neighbouring farm, feeling wetter every minute. He paused and sniffed the air as the rain was fast distributing Fern’s scent.
‘Fern!’ he called, ‘come back!’
He listened to the wind carry off his voice and retuning without her’s upon it. Shaking the water from his hair, he walked on, scanning the hedgerows and the empty grassy fields. The smell of wet soil and plants filled his nose. He tried to breathe through them and keep Fern’s scent in his lungs.
Picking up his pace, he went into a jog then into a run. The road slammed against his boots as he followed the twist and turns that divided the farmland. A feeling of dread sank into his stomach, but he fought it away. What could happen to her out here? There was no one and nothing around.
A few minutes later the signpost for the For Sale notice came up and he stood beside it. Looking around, he roamed the area for a few minutes but didn’t spot her. Sniffing around like a hunting dog gave him only a whiff of a scent. The rain was fast destroying the trail. He reached out and tried to pick up the scent of his blood with her. That got a better result and he stepped into a patch of hedgerow off to the side.
She had been here. He sniffed some of the spiky leaves then pushed his way through. Stepping against a wooden and wire fence, he looked over a ploughed up field. It didn’t look like Fern had gone that way. Back tracking, Brook thought she might have turned back around, heading home again. He paused and crouched down, she hadn’t been alone.
Growling, he scratched his fingers over the tarmac road the brought them to his nose. Breathing in, he smelt the fading scent of a male vampire. The image of Dacian flicked into his head, but as he took another sniff, Brook knew it didn’t belong him. No, this vampire was older. He rubbed his fingers together feeling dampness and grit against his skin.
Standing up, he began tracking again, but half way home, Fern’s and the mystery vampire’s scent seemed to disappear. He turned about and about again, desperately trying to pick up anything. The rain came down harder, bouncing off the road and splashing up. A trickle of water trailed down one side, escaping the boggy rise.
Brook swept his hair back, cast his eyes around for a last look then rushed home. Vanishing through both gates, he went to the front door and slipped inside. Taking off and abandoning all his wet clothes and shoes, he walked through the darkened house. Going into each room he turned on and off the lights, smelt the air and looked carefully around. Nothing was out of place, no one else had been here and Fern was still missing.
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