Chapter 1 - Aaron: A Vampire Hunter's Tale Book 1

Killarney, Ireland, 1840

Kian O'Braonain was the best friend anyone in the world could ever have. He could run as fast as lightening, climb like a cat, and hit a bird with a stone from twenty yards. While Aaron seldom had a chance to play with his friend now that he was older and had more responsibility, his Ma usually didn’t mind if he walked home with Kian after mass, and the boys would spend several hours running around the base of Torc Mountain, tossing stones in the lake, or running through the village scaring the chickens and the cows.

Today was a bit different. Last night, there had been several taken from various homes around Killarney, and though the village was rather large as such towns went, the numbers were starting to dwindle. Not only were people being taken in the night by the Dark Ones, rumor had it that some of those who had been claimed were members of the Order, ones that were supposed to be left alone according to the agreement. Aaron heard the whispers, not only from the adults in his own home, but from behind hands in the market, in church, and as he and Kian made their way through the village. The weight of worry rested over Killarney like a woolen blanket, and despite their need to revel in the freedom of a few hours’ break from chores, Aaron did not feel like giving chase to his best friend that day.

“I suppose you’ve heard what they’re all whispering about,” Kian said, sitting down next to Aaron on a large stone which was part of the ruins of an ancient castle they often came to explore.

“Yeah,” Aaron muttered, his hands folded in front of him. “I’ve been hearing it for a while, but… do you think it’s true? The agreement is over?”

Kian shrugged. “I don’t know. I ne’er hear my ma or da say two words about it. All I know is what my grandma told me before she passed away—not to worry because I am of Hunter stock, whatever that implies.”

“Right,” Aaron nodded. He wasn’t sure either. “And my granddad insists we’ve nothing to worry about either. But I’m not so sure.”

Kian scratched the back of his blond head. Aaron had always thought it was odd that his hair was so fair. He didn’t look like many other people he knew. He wondered if that had anything at all to do with the agreement or the Hunter stock he spoke of. “I don’t suppose there’s much we can do about it anyway. I’ve heard that once they get ahold of you, all you can do is pray that God takes you good and quick.”

Aaron shuddered at the thought. “But what if they turn ya, and you don’t go to God right away? Then what?” he asked.

n’t be turned. Only the others, the ones without the agr

a said that Seana O’Malley was turned just last week, and she’s been thinkin’ she was

tossing it nowhere in particular. “I think the O’Malley’s weren’t ever really part of the ag

d out, thinking of all the people he knew from church and town who were

aid. “I mean, there must be some reas

o me that everyone should be able to go to bed at night without thinkin’

better protect themselves,” Kian replied, dismissively

rger sections of land, and those people were considered a bit more important, whether they were others or not. The land was hilly with lots of little rocks, and Aaron could remember how he’d helped his granddad gather the stones when he’d first started tilling the land up several year

s still uneasy about the rise in deaths and turnings at the hands of the Dark Ones recently. Despite what Kian’s grandma or his own granddad said, Aaron was apprehensive, and not just for h

ed him and pointed to the yard near Renny O’Malley’s house, who happened to be her

ven-and-a-half years. Though she wasn’t but nine, her green eyes twinkled, and her smile made his heart catch in his chest. She had long red hair that fell down her ba

you going to say hello?” Kian asked, nudging him har

alley, and she raised her hand slightly in recognition before she smiled in return, whic

orming across his face. “One glimpse of Ai

d was true. “I guess I just can’t help it,” he replied, runni

her someday,” Kian teas

w the sooner he married Aislyn, the better. He’d do anything he could to protect her from the Dark Ones. Of course, being only eleven and a half, he w