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Meanwhile upstairs, Bartholomew crept to the door to Priscilla’s room and pressed an ear to it, trying to hear anything he could as the music from below grew louder. About then he felt a hand grab his collar and pull him back away from the door. Spinning around he saw Yvonne staring at him, green eyes blazing. “Damn you Bartholomew! Come along now. Leave those two alone and find your own partner.” she said through clenched teeth.

Gliding forward, Ian approached the parlor and foyer area where they were gathered and came silently out into the light seeking the leader of the coven. A female near the far wall saw him first and her mouth suddenly froze in an open position as her eyes widened in disbelief while the others sang on. Ian had only seen eight of them up to now so two vampires were unaccounted for besides the six that he knew were upstairs in the bedrooms, but it was too late to turn back.

He leveled both pistols and fired just an instant after the female vampire screamed, hitting two males in their heads. They dropped and began to twitch and flail about as pandemonium broke loose. The vampires bellowed and screeched in surprise and fear as he continued forward, snap-kicking one female nearest him in her stomach and driving her back into the lap of a male on the sofa who was trying to rise. It was as if a lion had been dropped into a pack of hyenas as everybody shrank back in terror, trying to get away from the hooded black-clad figure.

Yvonne turned from admonishing Bartholomew in shock and leapt to the handrail overlooking the foyer just in time to look down and see the entire coven backing toward the staircase in terror, even as they shouted and screamed curses.

Ian had dropped both pistols the second he had fired them and already had the other two out and was seeking targets. In seconds he had shot two more of the males in their heads, who joined their fellows, twitching and flopping about on the floor. Leaping forward he drew his short sword in a blur and lopped off the heads of those four even as the others had just started to realize that he was alone. Some were turning and looking frantically for swords as others had pulled out knives and were even now massing, but not yet daring to move toward him.

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