It wasn't a fair fight. The guy was bigger, stronger, and had the element of surprise. I ducked out of the way just in time to avoid being bitten, then sort of spun out of his grip. Whatever I did, it worked. I managed to get away for a moment. I ran towards the house. I wasn't sure what I'd do when I got there, but I figured I'd decide that later. Unfortunately, it didn't come to that. I got maybe five feet before he grabbed me again. He didn't have to chase me; he just sort of glided over to me. I wrestled with him as best I could, moving my neck around as he tried to bite it, but there was no way I could last very long like that. I thought I was done for.
I stuggled as hard as I could to get out of his grip. I used one of my legs to kick his leg out from under him, trying to knock him off balance. He didn't seem to notice. I was out of tricks. I could feel his cold hands on my shoulder and arm, as he pulled me in towards his mouth. I had all but stopped fighting it.
Then suddenly I heard a roar coming from behind him. Two golden, scaly claws grabbed him and pulled him rather forcefully off of me. I broke free, and ran the opposite direction as fast as I could. I turned to look and saw the battle.
My rescuer was about the size and shape of a human, but the resemblance ended there. It was covered in bright, golden scales, with a reptilian head and rows of sharp teeth. Oddly enough, it was wearing human clothing - a blue halter top and jean shorts. It had a lizard-like head with a mane like a lion, except made of very thick strands of hair - almost like tentacles. Two large, leathery wings were folded on its back, and a long tail trailed behind it.
The guy who had attacked me turned to try and escape, but it was too late. The creature opened it's mouth and unleashed a stream of fire on my attacker. The flaming man took off and drifted very quickly away towards the moon.
The creature walked towards me. It moved very gracefully, in a feline sort of way. As it moved, it transformed. The wings sunk into the back, the leather scales flattened themselves into the skin, and the head seemed to morph itself inward. Standing before me, by the time she arrived, was a perfectly normal looking human woman, probably in her mid-twenties. Well, not perfectly normal. Exceptionally beautiful. Her ethnicity was hard to pinpoint - there was definately some Asian, but also hints of Hispanic. She had shoulder-length brown hair, round, full cheeks and a very well-formed body. She was not smiling- in fact, she looked rather upset - but I was so happy to be dealing with an attractive young woman instead of a scaly monster that it didn't seem to matter.
"Umm... thanks?" I offered.
"I warned you not to do any exploring, Skyler," she said contemptuosly. "The enemy doesn't waste time. Now that he knows you're under protection, he'll be sending a more powerful force soon. And I might not be there to help,"
Suddenly it dawned on me to whom I was speaking. "So you're Dragon girl," I said, "It fits,"
"The name's Teresa Willard," she said, holding out her hand, "No 'H'"
"Skyler Woods Brimmer the sixth," I said, then added after a moment, "Although I suspect you already know that,"
"Yes," said Teresa, "I've had my share of dealings with the Brimmer family. Believe me, this was not my first choice of assignment,"
"Who assigned you here?" I asked.
"All in good time," said the woman, "You'll find out soon enough. Right now I have to figure out what to do about you,"
She started walking through the woods. I followed.
"What do you mean?" I asked, when I caught up with her.
"The enemy now knows your location, and probably suspects you're trying to develop your powers," she answered. "Furthermore, he knows you have a fully trained draconic protecting you. Next time it's not gonna be single vampire. It's probably going to be a dragon humter to deal with me and four or five tougher vampires or just general thugs, to make sure you get taken out of the picture. You may have to get away for a while. Is that managable?"
I thought about it. Leaving right now would be darn inconvenient; it was the beginning of a new semester, I'd probably have to make up a bunch of school, and if I didn't take the test soon, my driver's ed credit would expire. In retrospect all that seems pretty insignificant, but at the time, It mattered a lot more.
"I'd rather not," I answered.
"Well, It may prove unavoidable," said Teresa, "But I'll see if I can get you increased protection. Stay on your guard, and try not to be out after dark. And I'd start carrying a wooden stake. A cross necklace wouldn't be a bad idea, either. You go to church?"
This might seem really slow of me, but it wasn't until that moment that I realized I'd been dealing with a vampire. You have to remember, though, that back then we still thought they were extinct - the last vampire was supposed to have perished sixty years ago in the war.
"Usually," I said, "But my dad owns a funeral parlor. There's religious stuff all over the place,"
We came out of the woods by a road. A small blue Mazda was parked on the shoulder.
"Need a ride home?" she asked.
I told her it would be nice, and I climbed in. Teresa reached over, picked up a large trash bag, and threw it in the back. The cars interior smelled heavily of garlic.
"There's some extra stakes in the back," she told me, "I'll get you one before I go. Not that I'm going far,"
"How long have you been following me?" I asked her.
"Since you typed 'Lisa Brimmer' into a search engine and set off our alarms," she answered.
"Why am I important enough to assign someone to watch me?" I asked. "For that matter, why am I important enough to send someone to kill me?"
"Your name makes you important enough," she answered, "There has never been a 'Skyler Woods Brimmer' who didn't cause they enemy major problems. I suspect the thought of getting the next one before he could defend himself would be quite tempting,"
"So my grandfather -" I began, but she cut me off.
"No more questions," she said, "I've already told you more than I'm authorized to. I'll answer your questions once I've cleared them through my superiors,"
"Okay," I said. There was a long silence.
"So what are you allowed to tell me?" I asked.
"Strictly speaking," she answered, "I've already told you too much. You like Journey?"
"What?" I asked, thinking I'd be going on some mystical trip.
"The band," she answered, "Journey. Most of what I have in here is either either techno-punk or Broadway, but you seem like more of an eighties music type to me,"
So there was no more talk of draconics or vampires. The rest of the trip was spent listening to "Don't Stop Believing," and, on Teresa's part, singing along. I got out of the car holding a wooden tent stake and a small bag of garlic, along with a small piece of paper containing her cell phone number. I had had enough excitement for one night, so I crawled into my bed, and went to sleep.