A loud knock at the door startled Isabelle awake.
She must have fallen asleep after having her long hot shower, as she was still towel-clad and the TV was still on but was on some strange early morning shopping programme.
Izzie yawned and stretched before forcing herself to get up.
She glanced at the time on her phone and saw that it was only eight in the morning.
Who the hell would be bothering her at this time?
She swung open the door, not caring that she was still just wearing a towel.
Jake was standing on the other side of the door, his smile faded a little when he saw what she was wearing.
"Did I - come at a bad time?" he stuttered a little.
"Yeah, actually," she folded her arms across her chest, really unimpressed with his presence, "I was sleeping. You know, you did only drop me off here like four hours ago."
"Sorry," he gave her a sympathetic smile, but then held up a brown envelope that she hadn't noticed he'd been holding.
Isabelle let out a deep groan at the mere sight of it.
Right now she just wanted to slam the door in Jake's face and pretend she never saw it, but she knew it was no use.
"Come in," she sighed, stepping to the side to allow him access.
Jake sat in the living room while Izzie went to get dressed. Not feeling up to actually greeting the day just yet she just threw on her green flannel pyjama pants and a black tank top, ready to jump back in bed at a moment's notice.
Entering the living room again, she plonked herself next to Jake on the couch and hugged a cushion to her chest mentally preparing herself for the next assignment.
"You know I wouldn't have come -" Jake started to try and apologise, but Izzie was too tired for him to be beating around the bush and she cut him off.
"Don't care, just get to the point," she stated abruptly.
Jake flinched a little at her words, usually she would have felt a little guilty as Jake was one of her only friends, but right now she just couldn't handle his blabbering.
He hesitated, fiddling with the envelope in his hands as he seemed to be contemplating what to say.
"You aren't going to like it," is what he finally settled on.
"Jake!" she groaned in exasperation, "Just open the damn thing and show me!"
Jake swallowed hard but did as he was asked and expertly opened the seal in one swift motion.
Jake was the son of the head slayer, so he always got a little more insight on what was going on.
That meant he already knew what was in the envelope, but he wasn't allowed to tell her, she had to look at the documents.
It was stupid really, but she respected her boss and if that's what he wished then so be it.
Jake pulled out the paperwork and handed it to her.
She all but snatched it off of him, getting impatient with him.
Her eyes skimmed over it quickly but stopped dead when they landed on the name printed in bold letters at the top.
"Are you kidding me!" she cried, staring at the paperwork in front of her with wide eyes.
"I said you wouldn't like it," Jake breathed.
"No, I do like it," she corrected him, "He's really trusting me with this?" she questioned in disbelief.
"You're one of our best," Jake smiled half-heartedly, but there was something in his eyes that told her he wasn't entirely happy about it.
"Buuuut -?" she probed.
Jake sighed, knowing that she had seen right through him again, "I just - you know - I -"
"You just what?" she probed again, feeling herself getting more agitated by the second.
Jake tussled his dark hair as he yet again searched for the right words. One of Jake's flaws in her opinion was his inability to articulate his thoughts, especially when she was grumpy and in need of sleep.
"Don't you think it's a bit - dangerous," he pretty much whispered the last part, knowing she would blow up.
And he was right.
"Dangerous!" she snapped, "This just proves he believes in my ability and I am actually being recognized for the amazing work I do! And you're worried that it's dangerous"
"Izzie, you know I didn't mean it like that" he tried to defend himself, holding his hands up on surrender, "You're my friend and Cassius is a -"
"A high priority target that we've been after for a while," she finished.
"A very powerful vampire," he took her hand in his and looked her with pleading eyes, "I'm not saying you can't handle him, Izzie, I'm not. But I just want you to really think about it, you've never dealt with a noble pureblood vampire before. If you decide not to do it, I can speak to my father -"
Izzie pulled her hand away from Jake, "That won't be necessary," she said coldly, a little hurt by how much he was doubting her right now.
She couldn't carry on this conversation the way things were going. She'd end up saying something that could possibly ruin her friendship with Jake, and as angry as she was, she didn't really want that.
Although one thing she wouldn't do was tolerate him speaking this way.
This was the sort of assignment she'd been waiting for, a chance to show her boss, Mr Francis Wells himself, Jake's father, that she could be more than just the run-of-the-mill slayer.
She might even be able to nudge her way into the elite team from this assignment, which had always been a dream of hers.
"I think you should go, Jake," she tried to soften her tone, "I'm tired and I have a lot of paperwork to read."
The hurt look on Jake's face did make her feel guilty this time, but he needed to know he'd crossed the line.
This is what she'd been working towards since she had started training to be a hunter.
As her friend, she thought he'd understand that.
Hell, she thought he'd be happy for her as surely he was working towards the same goal, if not higher with his father being the head of the whole operation.
"I'll call you later," she offered him a small smile as he reached the door.
He tried to return the favour, but the hurt was still there, "I'll talk to you later," and with that, he shut the door.
As the door clicked shut Izzie let out a big sigh and collapsed back into the couch feeling completely drained.
She hadn't meant to be so short with Jake, he was a good guy and genuinely cared for her, he was just a little overprotective at times.
They'd been friends for years now; they were so close that they may as well be siblings. They'd worked together on a lot of assignments in the early days while they were training. They were actually quite the team, it was a shame they didn't get to work together more often.
Izzie let out another deep sigh before looking back down at the paperwork. She felt tired just thinking about it.
This assignment was going to be a lot of work, thankfully there seemed to be a list of his frequent haunts, though it seemed he had no pattern, so catching him would take precision and good timing... and a whole heap of luck.
One thing was for sure though; she was going to need her strength for this one.
She would have to put in some extra training and definitely catch up on her sleep.
She let out a massive yawn that made her head hurt.
The paperwork could wait.
She would get a quick bite to eat and then sleep the rest of the day and then come back refreshed to formulate a plan of attack.
She rose from the couch, scuffling her slippers across the laminate floor as she made her way to the kitchen. After staring blankly into the cupboards for a few minutes, she realised that her appetite wasn't as big as she'd originally thought.
It was probably from the lingering taste of that disgusting bloodsucker's tongue in her mouth.
Just the thought made her feel ill, and she reminded herself to brush her teeth another twelve times before bed.
With her appetite waning even further she just opted for a couple of slices of toast with a Nutella coating.
Not exactly healthy, but anything with Nutella on always went down smooth.
Once she was done, she made her way to the bathroom, and brushed her teeth with vigour, silently contemplating washing her mouth out with bleach but obviously deciding against it.
Finally, she got into the bedroom, her king-size bed looked so inviting, clad in silky soft blue sheets.
She didn't hesitate to slither under the covers and wriggle herself down into a comfy position.
Sleep wasn't far away; her eyes grew heavy as soon as her head touched the pillow.
The last thought on her mind before passed over into the dream world.
Cassius Lockwood.Patriarch of the notorious pureblood vampire family.A prime target for the hunters for many years.He was ruthless.Domineering.An overall psychopath.He had recently managed to worm his way into the good graces of the two most powerful vampire families.The Redfern and Blackwell's.Which was really bad news for... well... anyone that wasn't a vampire.The slayers know that their plan was to eradicate any other supernatural species so that they reigned supreme.Which was fine, saved the slayers a lot of work in a way, but they then wanted to enslave humanity.Literally use people like cattle; maybe keep some as servants to them.That was what they were fighting hard to stop.Bringing down Cassius Lockwood could be the first move in knocking down the Redfern and Blackwell families. Cassius had more influence in the human world, as he has business deals left, right and centre with dif
"He was right there!" Izzie exclaimed as she popped another piece of popcorn into her mouth.They'd made it back to her place, and were sat on her couch with their movie time snacks. The movie was yet to be picked but the snacks were going down well. "I know he was," Jake sighed, dunking a marshmallow into his hot chocolate and letting it sit to melt, "But why? Why was he right there? Where were his guards? Why the hell was he shopping for himself?"The questions were valid, and there didn't seem to be a logical answer to any of them.Izzie didn't understand any of it. His presence at the supermarket went against nearly everything she had read about in his paperwork.He was far too rich and powerful to be going out anywhere without guards, let alone to a lowly supermarket."I don't know," she said, with the excited glint in her eye that he knew all too well "but we're going to find out." "Well, we aren't right now," he argued, "What film
"Sorry, sir," Darius held up his hands and rose from his seat, motioning for his guards to move away, "No disrespect intended."Then he walked away.He fucking walked away!They were so close to the plan coming together.Izzie swung around, ready to clout whoever it was right in the face.She froze as her eyes locked with the eyes like steel.Cassius Lockwood stood before her, towering over her, and looking less than impressed.Her target.Was right here.Looking her in the face.His face was hard and unreadable as he looked over her.Then without another word, he turned and walked away.Now her own target was walking away!What the hell was happening?"What's going on? Where did he go?" she heard Jake's voice come through the earpiece, shocking her with its sudden intrusion.She didn't respond.She was very aware that she could possibly be being watched.She glanced across to wh
"What the hell happened?" Jake hissed angrily as she caught up with her outside the entrance to the club.Izzie just shook her head.She supposed she should feel guilty for getting distracted and just leaving Jake, but it was for good reason. She had thought she had her target... she had also thought wrong and made a huge mess of things.Beloved.The word just seemed to circle her mind, popping up in every thought she had.It couldn't be true.He was just trying to get himself out of a bad situation, and it had worked.He'd gotten away.No one had ever gotten away from her.Never.She always prided herself on that fact.Now in one single night, she had lost two targets in quick succession."Izzie!" Jake pretty much shouted and she realised he'd still be speaking but she hadn't heard a single word of what he was saying.They were walking back to the car."Sorry," she mumbled, feeling a little guilty,
A few days had passed since Izzie and Jake's conversation.The whole Beloved thing was still playing on her mind, but not as much as it had been. She had spent the last few days at home, catching up on sleep and re-reading Cassius Snr's file. She also had taken the time to get her much needed housework done. She had been neglecting it for work, but with laundry piling up and a sink full of dirty dishes she had decided it was time she tackled that.She had done her best to keep her mind off of Cassius, but he kept sneaking back in when she let her guard down.Why did he hav
Everything seemed to happen at once.The far window of the living room shattered, showering the room in glass as a black figure dove through, rolling to an elegant crouched stop on the floor. Izzie was already moving away from the wall, out of reach, drawing both her daggers from their sheaths and dropping into a defensive position.She met the gaze of her intruder. Two murderous red eyes locked with hers. His face was twisted into a gruesome snarl as he bared his
The drive to Jake's wasn't exactly long, but it felt like an eternity as she kept watch out the window, looking for any lurking glowing eyes.All of the stuff she felt she needed was packed up in a single suitcase in the back, along with her trusty weapons bag.She'd only packed clothes for a few days tops, one pair of pyjamas and a few essential toiletries.She didn't exactly plan on moving into Jake's house, so she packed light.Jake had tried to convince her to br
A few days had passed and she had settled in well living with Jake. It was actually quite nice living with her best friend, the only argument they'd had was what they were going to eat each night.Though Izzie had been adamant about only stays for a few days, she didn't exactly feel ready to go home just yet, so had asked Jake if she could extend her stay for a few more days.He had been ecstatic and agreed almost immediately.She got the feeling that Jake was quite lonely, which saddened her.