Alexander looked around the hotel and suppressed a groan. It was beginning to seem like a wild goose chase. It seemed highly unlikely for any vampire hunter to be in a place as remote as this. It was equally improbable for one as successful as Hawthorn to be taking a break and that too in a place like this.
Vampire hunters, he knew from experience, were tough, tenacious and not in the habit of taking vacations unless it was in the vicinity of some unfortunate and unsuspecting vampire. Yet, his informant had been positive. Alexander frowned and cursed the chance that had caused him to be out of the country when the call came.
The message had been to his personal number and had he been there, he could have asked Barry for a description of Hawthorn. That Barry had not been seen or heard from since was proof enough that he had come across Hawthorn. Alexander was not too upset over Barry’s death, but he certainly wished Barry’s message had been more coherent. From the garbled message, he was able to understand that Barry has seen Hawthorn at New York airport about to board a flight to this place for a vacation.
Wild goose chase or not, Alexander was certainly not going to ignore it. But he did wish that Barry had included a description of Hawthorn. As it was, Hawthorn could be anyone from the interested tourist standing at the corner gazing at a map of the island, from the sober looking man reading a newspaper to the half naked young man clad only in a towel flirting with the reception clerk. Or even, as unlikely as it may seem, the attractive brunette who was manning the reception.
The young man who was flirting with the receptionist turned, took a couple of steps and then turned back again. Alexander decided that nothing was to be gained by standing there at the entrance. He strode purposefully towards the front desk. The young man turned then and all but bumped into him.
“Excuse me,” muttered the young man, not meeting Alexander’s eye. Alexander felt amused at the stranger’s obvious embarrassment.
“It’s all right,” he said as the stranger brushed past him and all but ran to the lift. Alexander caught a whiff of a scent that made him frown. He knew that scent, though at the moment he could not place it. It was familiar but he could not remember where he had known it.
“How may I help you, sir?” asked the reception clerk and her smile seemed a bit forced. Alexander realized he was still frowning and smoothed his features into a smile. Time enough to worry about that young man, he decided. Besides, he was here for Hawthorn. He could not afford to get sidetracked.
Alexander was still frowning a bit as he walked into the lift. It had only then occurred to him that though he would not be able to know Hawthorn, the vampire hunter would almost certainly know who he was. Even if Hawthorn did not know who exactly he was, he was certain to recognize him as a vampire. Vampire hunters had a sixth sense where vampires were concerned and Hawthorn’s record showed him to be possessed of a seventh, eighth and ninth sense as well.
There was not, to his knowledge, a single vampire who had survived an encounter with Hawthorn. Even those like Barry, who had come across him accidentally had not lived to tell the tale. It was the most fortunate of chances that Barry could make that phone call before Hawthorn got him. Hawthorn was beginning to seriously annoy Alexander.
But having to hunt for Hawthorn was certainly going to relieve his tedium at being in a sleepy place like this.