“So, this is the Slayer. I never would have expected it. I’m surprised you didn’t use any of your abilities on me,” Julia said. I glared at her, but wasn’t ready to indulge her in any kind of conversation. Even though we had bonded over tragedy we weren’t anywhere near close to calling each other friends and I certainly wasn’t ready to have her involved in this secret. My mind was wild with thoughts about how she had arrived here. When I first saw her I thought she might have actually figured it out somehow, but the first thing she said to me discounted that possibility. The only other explanation wasn’t something I wanted to consider.
Arthur was calm, as always, and he spoke quietly and softly.
“I assume this is the Julia that you have told me about?” he asked.
I nodded, and was annoyed that he hadn’t answered my question. “Why is she here?” I demanded.
Julia was the one who answered.
“It turns out that my mother was a Slayer, and Arthur here was kind enough to get in touch with me and tell me of my destiny. I always knew there was something special about me.”
“No,” I gasped. Arthur shifted his glance between the two of us and sighed.
“Elsa, come with me, let me speak with you in private.” He rose from his seat and nodded towards Julia, before escorting me by the arm to another room.
“This is madness. She can’t be a Slayer. She just can’t!”
“It’s true, she is, and I’m the only watcher in the area. I know this is going to be difficult for you given what you’ve told me, and I can certainly tell that she’s a little…rough around the edges. But for the sake of the cause we must try and get along.” I shook my head. I was just about ready to blow my top and tell him everything wrong with that idea, but he continued speaking. “Just think of the positives. You’ve been complaining that we’ve been outnumbered. Two Slayers is a much more formidable prospect than one. We might actually be able to take the fight to the vampires as you want, but you’ll need to work as a team. Whatever your differences are, you’re going to have to put them aside. There are some things that are more important. You know that the fight we’re in is bigger than all of us. We d
on’t have control over who becomes a Slayer, all we can do is help guide them. It’s my job, and it’s yours too. You can show her everything she needs to know. As you said, it’s better to learn from a Slayer.”
“You want me to teach her?”
“Take her out on patrol. Show her what she needs to do. When she’s ready we can take on the vampires and take the fight to them. This might be exactly what we needed. I don’t think anything happens by accident. It’s fortunate that she was over here instead of in Europe with her family, although some Slayers do end up sending their children away in case danger befalls them. I imagine that’s what her mother did.” His tone turned gentler. “Remember how confusing a time this was when you discovered your abilities. It’s all new to her and she’s going to need help to adjust. She deserves our compassion.”
I huffed, knowing that he was right. I would have given anything to have someone to talk to when I first discovered my abilities. Having Arthur there was a help, but there were some things he simply didn’t understand. I breathed deeply and tried to calm myself, getting ready for the moment when I had to explain to Julia all the nuances of being a Slayer.
“Are you ready to go back in there?” Arthur asked. “I’ve explained the history to her and the importance of this fight we’re in. She seems to be quite confident that she can handle herself.”
“I’m sure she is,” I said through gritted teeth, but I nodded and entered the room to talk to her.
“There is something else,” he added. “Julia here is descended from the very first Slayer.”
I rolled my eyes. Of course she is, I thought. It wouldn’t be Julia without her having some kind of special, sacred link that put her above anyone else. I had to remind myself of what she was going through, but when I returned to the room and saw her sitting in the chair as though she owned the place it was difficult for me to reconcile this Julia with the one I’d spent time with in her room, the one who was vulnerable and fragile.
“So, you’ve been keeping secrets?” she teased, with an arched eyebrow.
“Yes, and you have to keep this secret too. No telling Angelica and the others,” I replied. Julia waved her hand dismissively.
“Just tell me what I can do,” she asked. I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. I looked over to Arthur, who gave me an encouraging nod. All I wanted to do was swim in the memories of the evening, to lose myself in thoughts of lust and pleasure and relive the moments where my three boys had given themselves to me, but instead I was stuck training Julia.
“You can kill vampires. We have heightened senses, agility, strength, and stamina. Our duty is to guard the world against evil and protect the innocent,” I said.
“And how is that going?”
I glanced at Arthur, but didn’t reply. I didn’t want Julia to get the sense that I was a failure. She already had an air of superiority about her. The last thing I wanted was to feed that.
Arthur and I spent the next couple of hours telling her about the different types of vampire and how they could be killed. We showed her the different types of weapons in her arsenal, and talked a little bit about the mythology behind the Slayers. I had heard it all before, but it was interesting to hear it again as Arthur became passionate. It was easy to think of him as a tired old man who was only interested in his books, but he had given his life to this cause when he didn’t need to. People like Julia and I didn’t have a choice. We were born into the bloodlines and given the blessing of the Slayer, but Arthur volunteered and took it upon himself to educate and guide Slayers into the world. It was easy to forget just how much he had given up in life to help me.
Julia listened inattentively. She didn’t seem too bothered about the whole thing and I was surprised, because when I had learned about all this stuff it had been mind-blowing. It was as though a cloak had been lifted from the world and I was given a new perspective on everything. Seeing the truth filled me with wonder, and I knew I would never be the same again, but Julia checked her nails and didn’t seem bothered at all.
The dawn sun rose and since it was the weekend we didn’t have any classes at the academy, which was good and bad. I was thankful I didn’t have to spend more time with Julia at the academy, but I was disappointed I couldn’t see Adam, Josh, and Troy. I wanted to talk to them about the previous night and where we went from here. But I had my own duties to perform and Julia needed training, so we arranged for her to come back that night and train with us. As she left I turned to Arthur and groaned.
“I don’t think you realize exactly how much trouble we’re in for,” I said.
His eyes twinkled as he looked back at me. “If I can handle training you, I can handle training anyone,” he said. I shook my head because his confidence was misplaced. There was no way I was as difficult as Julia.