So, our adopted daughter Tabitha has been kidnapped, and my husband Frank and I are waiting for the call.

At least we think she’s been kidnapped. Her Gucci bag, her women’s size Christian Louboutin shoes, and a favorite large diamond necklace are missing. She’s up to something.

I can see her in the park outside our expensive gated community. A kid who looks about seven, sitting on a park bench alone in the middle of the night. Those diamonds shining, legs crossed, dangling the bright red soles of those too-large Louboutin women’s shoes, advertising she’s from money. That’s my kid.

“Mike,” Frank says. “Will she be okay?”

Frank’s a worrier. I figure how could she not be, okay? She’s a frigging vampire. Yes, she can be killed by stakes, fire, and maybe a few other things we don’t know about. But while she appears to be just a seven-year-old kid, she’s been around and has more survival skills than either Frank or I. And when you’re a pair of enforcers for Big Mortimer Stern, like we are, you’ve got to be sharp and skilled, or else you end up dead.

Nodding to Frank, I hold out my cell. “We should get a call soon.”

“What if we don’t?”

That’s Frank. Muscles like a bodybuilder, the gentlest lover I’ve ever known, but the most vicious beast you might imagine if someone threatens our daughter.

You might wonder how Frank and I have become fathers for a young vampire.

We both always liked kids. But adoption didn’t seem to be in the cards for us. Not necessarily because we’re gay. Because we work for Big Mortimer. None of us want strangers analyzing our financial status.

Frank is from this place called Cole County, which has a well-deserved reputation for being full of supernatural happenings.

One time when we were dating, another bulky guy with long hair trailing down his back and a beard that exploded over his chest raced into the bar and said Frank’s family needed him for an emergency.

Frank had kept it vague, but when I had asked him, he said his family ran a funeral home up in Cole County.

An undertaking emergency? I’d thought. But I stopped Frank before they ran out and said I’d help him, because I was a good friend, and I already loved this big guy.

I soon found out what an undertaking emergency could be in Cole County.

Frank’s family makes sure the dead — or undead — stay dead. And they were after a coven of vampires.

Tabitha was one of them. A vampire, but seven years old. Scared, alone, and frightened. Do monsters cry tears of blood when they’re frightened by big men with stakes? They sure do. Frank and I decided no stakes for Tabitha. So we became parents.

We obtain blood from legal options for Tabitha. She doesn’t have to hunt on her own. But sometimes, well, sometimes a girl just has to have fun. She knows who to pick.

I’m thinking that now, as I stare at my phone and hear Mike’s heavy breathing. Okay, I’m not that calm. What if she ran into vampire hunters, not just the usual creep?

I’m as relieved as Frank when my cell rings.

The kidnapper makes his demand.

Frank squeezes my arm.

Time for our move. Proof of life, I suppose, or whatever you call it, for vampires. “Put her on,” I say.

I can’t help but smile when I hear her squeaky, fake, frightened little girl voice. “Daddy Mike,” Tabitha says. “They’re bad men. Is it okay?”

“It’s okay, baby,” I shout as they snatch the phone away.

“We want…” the voice says, and then there’s nothing but screaming as Tabitha goes to town, and I can guess by now all they really want is to be somewhere else.

Frank holds my hand as Tabitha gives me the address. Soon our little girl will be home. We always pick her up. Of course, we know she can fly, but we don’t want her in the air alone just yet.

Ed Kratz is a retired computer specialist who has been published in Daily Science Fiction, Bards & Sages Quarterly and a few other places.

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