A few days later Aurelia seemed to laugh randomly “whats so funny?” Rees asked and she answered “I dont know it just seems so much easier and faster to make this journey now but I suppose I have a true sense of direction. I’m also not curiously exploring and I think any potential monsters are terrified of just your presence Rees”
‘dad is pretty scary if you don’t know him, heck, Brynmor is too. He’s just not as scary as dad’ Pretoria remarked and Brynmor added “yeah. I’ve scared plenty without even meaning to. Dad is purposefully putting out a dont fuck with my family vibe”
“Your mother doesn’t need any stress.” He picked her up again and she kissed his cheek, relaxing against him afterward. It didn’t bring Rees a lot of comfort when the next day Aurelia said “I’m no longer familiar with this place. I didn’t come this way” Brynmor was the quick voice of positivity for his father “but we’re still fine. Between us three nothing is going to touch mom”
“He’s right dad” Pretoria chimed in for more assurance. A few hours more and Rees heard jingling “bells” he whispered and everyone stopped. “It could just be another traveler” Aurelia whispered and Rees pulled her close. They walked slower, more carefully and just as Rees feared, an arrow zipped past them. Rees could tell they were poisoned tipped and before Rees could even say anything Pretoria had taken Aurelia and gone up the highest tree she could find. The boys could fight, Pretoria would make sure nothing happend to Aurelia or the baby. It was Brynmor that made the grim realization first that they were vampire hunters “dad, you’re not a monster, remember that. Don’t you dare go psycho on us. We kill only if we’re forced. We’re just knocking them out if we can okay dad…dad…you promise me. Moms up in the trees, she’ll see you”
Rees didn’t answer but he didn’t have much time to. The hunters were there, four of them “vampires, we werent even hunting right now. Weren’t there some females a second ago” Rees growled, fighting down his rage so he wouldn’t lose himself “we aren’t hurting anybody”
“and you’re a racist asshole” The man pulled out a sword and moved to swing at Brynmor but Rees had him around the throat first. He wanted to crush his windpipe, he could do it in a second but he wasn’t a monster, he wouldn’t let them make him into one. He squeezed, wanting to make him pass out. Brynmor began keeping the others with him away from Rees until the hunter laid asleep on the ground. Three more were left and he noticed his son already had a wound from keeping the others at bay.