Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 71

Vampire Boys Of Summer

71: Devil’s Hole

It was apparent the two vamps had seen us long before Luhan had said anything, but him addressing them without fear must have made their hackles rise. They got up, and the first thing I noticed were how tall they were. They could have been on the high school basketball team. First football jocks, now dribblers, what was next , guys carrying hockey sticks? Girls armed with tennis rackets?

Despite their height, they were new vampires. It was easy to tell by the starving look in their eyes. Maybe they didn’t feed the new ones right away. Perhaps they had to earn their keep before getting their first victim. If so, this made them more dangerous. Hunger and desperation do not mix well together.

One of the guys laughed. “This is what everyone is afraid of? A kid, a hottie, and two lovebirds?”

The other cracked his knuckles as if he preparing to step into a boxing ring. “Only one of them looks tough.” He eyed Chi up and down, lingering on her tight leather pants. “Tough in a I-want-your-sex kind of way, that is.” He took two steps up to her. She drilled two fists into his face.

It was so sudden, nobody had any time to react. Even the other guy was caught off guard. Even more so when Chi gave the second guy a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus. All the wind went out of him, and as he went down, he somehow ended up with a ladies’ bootprint on the back of his head.

There was a rustling sound behind us, and the three thugs who had been flanking us came running out of the brush. Haru turned to face them. These three weren’t vampires, but human servants hypnotized to protect the entrance. He met the first one with a flurry of moves to make a Kung fu instructor throw up his hands and run. This guy didn’t run, but he did fall pretty hard.

Haru ushered me to get behind him, and I noticed Luhan and Chi weren’t coming to help. They were clearing the brush and boards camouflaging the entrance to Devil’s Hole. Once cleared it looked just like I’d imagined: an ominous black hole in the ground, a shaft leading into darkness with no ladder or ropes to hang on to. How in the hell do you get down there, I thought.

Just then, Haru grabbed the second assailant, spun on his heel, and tossed him towards the hole. Luhan made sure he went in. The guy’s screams were horrible and only faded when he hit bottom, which seemed to take some time.

The third attacker tried to get around Haru to grab me. I guess he thought if he could put his hands on the potential queen, he would have some leverage. Leverage maybe, fingers no. When I bit his hand he screamed like I took them all off at the nub. He jerked his hand back and then Haru made him forget his fingers by breaking his nose. He fell backwards, his eyes swimming up in his head. When he landed on the ground I kicked him in the ribs. After all, I knew him. His name was Greg Park and he took my Barbie doll and burned her up with matches back in the fourth grade. Payback may take awhile sometimes, but it eventually catches up.

Chinatsu surveyed the area, making sure for one, the kids back at the cove hadn’t heard the commotion, and two, no one else was coming to investigate or attack. We all gathered around Devil’s Hole. I really didn’t want to go down there the way Haru’s attacker did, but sure enough I didn’t see anything to hold on to. No rungs carved into the rock, or steps leading down, just a dark passage in which you couldn’t see the bottom. You just had to hope it was there.

I sensed Haru beside me, and I turned to him to address my fears. “Don’t worry, “ he said. “Hold on to me.”

I did.

“Don’t look down. Keep your eyes on mine.”

I did.

Then he jumped into the blackness.

Any other time, I would have been screaming, but with my eyes locked on his beautiful dark orbs it felt as if I was just falling further in love and not into a dark pit. I don’t know how long we were in freefall. It was probably just a few moments, but for me it was as if I were falling forever, lost in my lover’s eyes and feeling his protective arms around me. I wrapped my legs around his waist and wished we were home in bed, rather than on a dangerous mission to save my friend and town. His eyes told me so much as we fell. They said he loved me more than anything, greater than anyone, and that I would never have to worry about losing him to someone else. His devotion was forever, just as endless as…We touched ground.

The jolt of Haru landing flat footed jostled me in his arms and his knees buckled briefly before he rose to his full height again, his eyes having never left mine.

“Nora, I want you to know something. If anything should…”

I kissed him. I didn’t want to hear what he was going to say. I knew it was bad and instead wanted to drown myself in all the love and affection I ever wanted from a boy.

“I hate to break up this impromptu make out session,” Chi said in a quiet tone, “But you’re not exactly alone here.”

Both Chi and Luhan had landed beside us, but it wasn’t themselves they were talking about. We were in a tunnel. Dimly lit by candles imbedded in crevasses in the wall. The flickering flames led the way forward. But the candles, nor the tunnel itself, wasn’t much concern. The line of new vampires on either side however were. They stood there motionless, a gauntlet we had to walk through on our way to wherever they wanted us to go. Our plan to catch them by surprise was an obvious failure. They had been waiting for us, and for the time being we were at their mercy.

None of us said a word, but walked down the vampire corridor, Haru and I first, Luhan in the middle, and Chi picking up the rear. I should have been afraid but I wasn’t. Even with the large number lining the walls, I lost count at about forty, I still felt protected from all things. Maybe Haru was creating this calm through some kind of mental process that reinforced my courage because all I knew was that if he weren’t here I would be a wreck and shaking in my shoes.

The corridor took us around a bend and up a slight incline. I could see a brighter light ahead, making me think of near death experiences and how those that had them saw a bright light beckoning them to peace. Of course, I knew peace wasn’t waiting for us. I didn’t know what we would find when we came into that light, but I was willing to bet it wouldn’t be pleasant.

Continue to Ep. 72

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“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 70

Vampire Boys Of Summer

70: Is It Him?

For a little kid, Luhan possessed a mind that was intelligent and sharp. Working off the longitude and latitude he’d memorized, he was able to get us to not only the lake, but the exact cove where Devil’s Hole was located. Along the way, possible strategies were discussed on how to gain the upper hand against a whole vampire army. But the truth of the matter was we were up against impossible odds. The way I saw it, there was only one solution to the whole mess. To give myself over to them to be their queen or whatever. Why in the hell they wanted me I couldn’t understand. What made me special? Was my blood made of gold? What kind of deal would I get for my friends if I willingly….

“You’re not giving yourself to them,” Haru said.

Startled, I looked at him in alarm, and then realized how he could sometimes pick up my thoughts. “I’m sorry. I just don’t see another way out of this. At least this way I can get everyone’s life spared.”

“They aren’t going to spare anyone, baby. They want all of us, Luhan, Chi, and I dead. They have apparently gotten rid of Ryo already. And they probably won’t let Angela go either.”

I began to cry over the helplessness of the situation. “What did you do to them? You haven’t hurt anybody. None of you have. Why do they want you gone?”

“We’re a threat, love. Two vampire clans can’t exist side by side like this for long.”

“Then leave. You guys, pack your stuff and go!”

He shook his head. “I’m not leaving you, Nora. Not ever.”

The tears came even more. “Not even if I want you to?”

He looked at me. “You want me to leave?”

“No! Yes. Oh, I don’t know.I just want everyone to be safe and alive.”

“Then we take out their vampire master. It’s the only way to be safe again.”

“Haru,” Luhan interrupted, “you know what that means don’t you?”

Haru turned his face from mine and glared at the littlest vampire of the clan. “Yes, I do,” he replied quietly.

“What?” I grabbed Haru’s hand. “What does it mean?”

“It means I’ll have to choose between family and blood. Love or honor. Passion or respect.”

“I don’t understand. None of that makes any sense to me.”

“Remember me telling you how we came here? To Chelsea Valley?”

I frowned. I remembered it well. I’d felt like a pawn when he told me. “Yeah, I remember. You said you saw a clipping about my dad attacking that Bram guy. He thought he was a vampire.”

“Right. But do you remember why we were in the area in the first place?”

I had to think about it a moment. “Oh yeah, you said you guys were looking for someone you lost or something…oh….shit…that someone is the vampire master, isn’t it?”

Haru nodded. I thought he was about ready to cry.

“Is he your vampire master? Of your clan, too?”

“Hardly,” Luhan replied for him.

“Well, who is it?” And then I stopped. “Is it…..is it Ryo?”

It sounded kind of ridiculous the moment I said it. But in some manner, I thought I could be right. After all, he had already turned others in town. He was an alpha, able to create other vampires. He had something of a bad attitude, and obviously had had a grudge on Haru for decades. Didn’t they say he had ruined every relationship for Haru since the death of Ryo’s betrothed, Chiyo? It made sense. He’d been after me from the beginning, and then once he realized he couldn’t have me the normal way, then it was time to force me to be queen. Angela was so crazy about him, he could have easily captured her. And it’s not like I knew all his movements, nor did the others. He lived in a house separate from them. He could do his own thing easily. But he had saved me, nursed me back to health. Of course he did, I thought. So I could be queen. But would he have killed one of his own vampire creations, Miss Lazenby, just to keep up the ruse? He seemed genuinely angry about that one, but maybe he had to. Maybe he was just a good actor.

I looked at Haru once more. “It’s him, isn’t it?”

Luhan cleared his throat as if head been listening to my thoughts and was tired of the discussion. “It doesn’t matter who the master is. He has taken your cute friend, and indeed the whole town. Ryo is ryo. Wherever he is, I’m sure he has his own agenda.”

Haru leaned over and kissed me lightly on my lips. “Let’s just wait and see if my hunch is correct. Then we’ll worry about what to do about Ryo. Right now the most important thing is rescuing Angela and stopping them from making their army any bigger.”

“Here comes our chance.” Chi said, and we both leaned forward to look out the front window from the backseat. Even though it had now gotten dark, I could see the water of the cove, the full moon reflecting off its surface. There were a couple cars parked in the grass at the lake’s edge. I couldn’t see anybody around, but Luhan informed me they were out there swimming, save the one couple still in a car making steamy windows.

At first, I thought he’d walk over and investigate, but then he shook his head. “Kids,” Luhan muttered. “Haven’t they seen Friday The 13th?”

I thought to myself I wish this was just some old horror movie. My dad had called them ‘Dead Teenager Flicks’, but this was no trip to the cinema. This was real, and I was starting to get nervous that I may never see the sun rise again. Or set, for that matter.

We all got out of the car. We tried not to make too much noise and alert the partying kids to our presence. It would be best if life just went on for them, oblivious to the danger that existed in a hole in the ground less than 500 yards away.

The vampires led the way through the woods, Chi first, followed by Luhan, with Haru and I picking up the rear. Haru’s hand in mine was reassuring, but so was my dad’s custom made wooden stake in the other. I patted the pocket of my pants, checking to make sure I still had the vial of holy water. The liquid may not have an effect on Asian vampires, but I was banking on the hope it would be a deterrence to American ones.

The trees and brush became thicker camouflage the further we moved away from the car. Along with the night, I could barely see in front of my face. If not for Haru leading me I would have been lost in the woods. Vampires had no trouble seeing in the darkness. To them light and dark were the same. They didn’t stumble over rocks and fallen branches the way I did.

Luhan smiled. “Here we are. Next stop Hell.” He pointed to what appeared to be a dark corner of the night. Devil’s Hole was hidden well from prying eyes. Covered by old railroad ties, thick branches, and a tarp the same color as our surroundings, it would have been near invisible to anyone else. There was only one problem. Two vampires sat on top of it.

“Shit,” I muttered.

“There’s three more flanking us from the rear,” Chi added, with slight amusement.

“Are they all Vamps?” I whispered.

“We’re about to find out.”

Luhan raised a hand. “Um, excuse me, is this where all the kidnapped girls hang out?”

Continue to Ep. 71

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“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 69

Vampire Boys Of Summer

69: Looking For Ryo

After the initial shock, I was overjoyed to see Luhan. I scooped him up in my arms , hugging him close.

“Oh my God, we thought they had you!”

“So did they,” he replied in his true, smug fashion. “But you can keep hugging me. I don’t mind that at all.”

I thought I better set the lecherous little guy down before he pinched my butt. When I said as much he gave me a wink. I thought to myself he might just be the most dangerous vampire boy of all.

Haru and Chi abandoned their search in the wreckage and were beyond happy to see that their companion was okay. Well, except for all the blood, but apparently vampires don’t mind being covered in the stuff. They came over, hugged him, and then we all had a big group hug, relieved over Luhan’s safety. We must have looked strange, embracing among the carnage of the crash with two dead bodies laying in the road. If anyone would have come over the rise, it wouldn’t have been good.

I stood there as Haru and Chi fawned over the little guy some more. I couldn’t help think there was much more to Luhan than meets the eye. He wasn’t just this cute little flamboyant kid. He was dangerous. He apparently took out the two fake cops and caused the crash. He even walked away from it as if nothing had happened.

“We better get out of here,” Haru finally said, mirroring my own thoughts of being discovered.

Luhan looked around, spotted the car, and then frowned. “Where’s Ryo?”

Chi looked down at the dust of the road. “We left him.”

“They got the advantage of all of us, Luhan. We had to leave him. We couldn’t let them get too far away with you. We didn’t know you’d be able…”

“And I wouldn’t have been able to escape if Chi hadn’t smashed their taser. I heard them talking about it and knew they had no way to keep me subdued once the shock wore off.”

He looked at us all. “Thank you for coming after me. But now, we need to go back and get Ryo. We need everyone to take the labyrinth. The way my captors were talking they do have an army, and its growing in numbers day by day, both vampires and human servants.” He started to head for the car. “Right now on our side, there’s only three vampires and one free spirited girl. No offense, Nora.”

“None taken, “ I replied.

We all piled into the car.

“The good news is even in real life the villains don’t know when to shut up.”

“What do you mean?”

“We now know the exact location of the labyrinth. Idiots wouldn’t stop talking about it. They even put it into the Cruiser’s GPS. Longitude and latitude.”

Hearing this was a relief. I mean I had a vague idea where it was at. I’d been to the cove where all the kids swam in summer, and according to my dad it was close by, hidden against a rocky hillside by wooden boards and overgrown brush. Devil’s Hole. I’d always been too scared to go there. That was for adventurous boys and the foolish girls that followed them. Which is exactly how I felt now.

The drive back to my house, where we had first been attacked by the children in the trees, seemed longer this time. Perhaps that was because we weren’t chasing someone anymore. Still, Chi had a heavy driving foot and no one else seemed to be on the road. It was almost dark. We needed to find Ryo and get to Devil’s Hole while we still had light to see the hidden entrance.

Pulling up in the yard, Chi drove across the grass to where we’d last seen Ryo. Our cocky companion was nowhere to be seen, though evidence of the attack remained. Tiny shoes littered the yard, a child’s jacket hung from a tree branch, a World Cup Soccer shirt, extra small and torn in two, lay discarded in a patch of grass. It was all very ominous, and yet there were no bodies. No sign of the children who had leapt from the trees, foaming at the mouth and out for blood. No matter his fate, Ryo would have gotten a few of them and rendered them immobile at the least. But there was no one there. Even the football players, those three hulking thugs, were gone. I’d halfway witnessed their demise at Haru’s hands, and yet it was like a clean up crew had come along and scooped up all the bodies.

“I don’t see him, “ Chi said. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”

“Maybe he took flight,” Haru suggested.

“I cant imagine Ryo running away,” I added.

Luhan walked around the yard, looking for clues like a Scotland Yard inspector investigating a scene of the crime. “Well, he gave them a fight, that’s for sure.” He pointed to a pair of child’s fangs lying in the grass. It looked like they had been pulled right out of the kid’s mouth. “That one learned a harsh lesson. You almost feel sorry for new vamps.”

“Were all the kids vampires?”

He looked at me, shaking his head. “No. I think a few had just been turned. The others appeared to be under control of a stronger vampire.”

“To control that many, you have to be pretty powerful,” Haru replied.

Luhan agreed. “Yeah, this wasn’t some second rate vamp who just got turned in the past year or so. Their master has been doing this a very long time. Possibly as long as us.” He looked at both Haru and Chi who nodded solemnly. “I have a feeling we are going to be faced with some hard choices.”

“I do, too,” said Haru.

I looked at my love. He had a lost, far away look in his eyes. For a moment I wondered if he was thinking of Chiyo, the girl he had accidentally killed all those years ago. Because of love, his whole life had changed to the point he hadn’t even recognized himself as he had once been. I feared that’s what was happening to us now. As a result of our love, bad things were happening. Someone else wanted me as their queen. Ryo was gone, either dead or missing. Angela was being held captive by an army of vampires who probably just wanted to drain her dry. My father was dead. My mother a mess. And the whole town seemed to be under the spell of evil. Was love worth this much? Can you put a price on loving someone, and if so, how high? What does it take before you to say to yourself, this is beautiful and all, but it’s just not worth it?

Continue to Ep. 70

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“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 68

Vampire Boys Of Summer

68: In Pursuit

I heard Haru’s voice in my head. “Get down. Don’t look,” it commanded, and I couldn’t help but obey. I lay on the floorboard and covered my head with my hands.

I heard a snarl, followed by a scream. A loud growling sound, born of rage and enough to chill me to the bone, followed by more screams. A tearing sound, ripping, cracking…even more screaming. Something big hit the back of the car and I dared to look up. There was a thudding sound on the roof and a splatter of blood cascaded across the passenger’s side window. The car rocked again as one of the jock’s bodies came slamming down on the trunk, with Haru attached to his neck. I turned my head and buried my face in the floorboard again. I didn’t want to see what my Haru had become. This was why he didn’t want me to come on a hunt with him. It wasn’t pretty, nor was it the Haru I wanted to know. Still, I loved Haru more than anything, and if I were going to be his girl I would need to accept who and what he was. After all, he wasn’t being brutal and destroying our attackers for no reason. He was doing exactly what he said he would always do: protect me.

Someone yanked open the driver’s front door and got in. They plopped down hard in the seat and began to repeatedly beat the steering wheel. “Shit, shit, shit,” they cried and I realized it was Chi. I heard her tearing up something in the front of the car and I dared to sit up. She was fumbling with wires under the steering column, touching some loose ones together. The car jump started to life, the engine revving under her heavy foot.Chi looked at me in the rear view mirror with fear in her eyes. Her face was streaked with tears. “They got Luhan,” she babbled. “Damn it, we should have known!”

“Should have known what?”

The front passenger door was flung open and Haru got in.

“What the hell happened?” He asked Chi.

“They took Luhan!”

“Drive! We got to get him back!”

Haru looked back at me. His face was covered in blood, but I knew it was not his own.

“What about Ryo?” I asked.

“We can’t help him now. Luhan is more important.”

Chi put the car in gear And we took off after the police car that had taken Luhan. I looked back. Ryo was nowhere to be seen. We may not have always got along but I feared for him. Did the jocks beat him to death? Was he still laying in the grass back there?

Haru looked at me as if he understood my thoughts. “I’m sorry, Nora. There’s no time.” He climbed over the seat to join me in the back. “Listen, I know you think we are being cold to Ryo, but he can handle himself.”

“But…”

“Yeah, I didn’t see him either. But listen, when his time comes he’s not going out under a pile of kids or from a couple aspiring football players. Whatever has happened to him, he’ll rejoin us. But he would want us to get our priorities straight. And right now, the thing to do , the most important thing to do, is get Luhan back.”

Chi took a sharp turn. The wheels screeched on the pavement and Haru slid into me. He put his hands lovingly on my face. I loved the feeling of his palms gentle against my cheeks. Any other time and I would be throwing myself upon his beautiful lips. Again, he sensed my thoughts and kissed me.

“I know you have seen some things today that are hard to take. I never wanted you to see me as anything other than your devoted boyfriend. I don’t want to be a monster to you.”

The image of him, teeth sunk int the neck of the footballer, blood spraying across the window, made me shudder inside, but I tried not to show it. “You’re not a monster, Haru. Never.”

“When the rage overcomes me the bloodlust rises. And when the bloodlust rises, I become something else entirely. Chinatsu has more control, but mine is…crazy.”

An uneasy look must have been on my face because he kissed me again, soft and tender as if to say, there’s no monsters here. “Don’t worry. I’ll never hurt you. Or turn on you in a blind rage. I don’t get that crazy. I will always protect you, Nora. Even from myself, if need be. That I promise you.”

“We should have been protecting Luhan,” Chi said from the driver’s seat.

Haru sighed. “We can’t blame ourselves, Chi. We got distracted, split up and divided. We’ll get Lu back.”

“I can’t believe we got beat by high school football and little kids.”

“We were too confident. It won’t happen again.”

I looked at my Haru. He had a determined look on his face, but beneath that was worry. Perhaps we’d all been bolstered by Ryo’s cocky attitude of revenge and everyone let their guard down. But I knew that was a mistake that wouldn’t be made twice.

“There they are,” Chi said, taking another crazy turn, pouring on the gas so much the back end of the car slid for just a moment. I grabbed the door handle to hold on. Up ahead I could see the police cruiser. It was pouring on the gas too, doing its best to keep a good gap between us.

Haru patted my knee and looked straight ahead. “It’s going to be alright,” he said, but I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or trying to convince himself.

“What if they kill him…?”

“They aren’t going to kill him, Chi,” Haru replied. “They need him alive just as much as we do.”

She nodded and tried to urge the car to go faster. The cruiser still had a lead on us, but it seemed we were closing in.

“I want to know where the hell they got the cops from,” Chi mumbled.

“I don’t know. I just hope they don’t have more than that.”

We took a curve, then another. The hills rolled out before us. “Damn it, they are surging ahead again. We’ll never catch them like this.”

The cruiser went over a small hill. When we topped the rise there were at another hill and going over. Our car left the road, airborne over top of the hill. We landed with a bump and screech of tires and kept going. But they were still gaining ground away from us. They went up another rise.

“Push it,” Haru yelled, and Chi pushed the gas pedal all the way to the floor. We climbed the rise so fast my stomach lurched. Then came the crash. There was the sound of tearing metal, car parts breaking away and scattering across pavement. The tumbling of a vehicle turning end over end on the other side of the hill. The police cruiser was under attack.

We came over the rise and the wreckage lay before us. Though we had just heard the sounds mere seconds ago, it appeared to be all over with in devastating ways. The cruiser was in pieces, debris of metal and fiberglass scattered everywhere.

Chi slammed on the brakes. Haru and I both braced for impact, but our car went into slide and avoided the crash. The vehicle came to a stop right in front of the blue suited officers. He was lying in the road. Arms and legs were twisted in uncomfortable directions, probably broken. His neck was a mass of exposed sinew and blood.

We all jumped out of the car. Haru and Chi ran to the police cruiser, but I hung back. I didn’t know what had happened, but whatever had destroyed their car I didn’t want to mess with. It looked like they had run into an invisible brick wall, for their was nothing else in the road they could have hit.

I watched as both Chi and Haru hurriedly sifted through the wreckage in search of our kidnapped friend. Chi flung a door out of her way. There was a body underneath. It wasn’t our companion. It was the other officer and he seemed to have suffered similar injuries as the first guy. Even from where I stood, I could see his throat also appeared be nothing but a horrible mass of ripped tissue and blood. I put my hand to my mouth to keep from getting sick.

“What’s going on,” asked a voice from beside me. It startled me and I jumped as I turned towards the sound. The figure standing right beside me was also covered in blood. It was on his face, dripping down his shirt, splattered on his pants, and even across his cute purple painted nails. Luhan looked up at me. “Looks like someone made a boo-boo.”

Continue to Ep. 69

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 67

Vampire Boys Of Summer

67: Officers In Blue

The first one came forward. Ryo held his hands up in mock surrender. “Hey big guy, we were just leaving like we were told to. We leave, you return the girl. That’s the deal.”

The guy looked confused at first. It reminded me of someone who is getting instructions through an earpiece. It is was easy to see he wasn’t a vampire. None of these jock guys were. They were human slugs under someone else’s control.

“The deal has changed,” the guy finally said. “You leave. We keep the girl. You don’t die.”

Ryo lowered his hands. “Wow, I’m impressed. You actually strung some words together to make a complete sentence.” He began to applaud.

I wasn’t sure what to do. Haru squeezed my hand as if to say, brace yourself.

I heard the whir of the spinning nunchuck before I saw it. One of the other hulking guys had begun to show off his expertise with the weapon, though he held back to see what Ryo was going to do to their spokesperson.

“You know,” Ryo sighed. “You guys should have brought throwing stars instead.”

Before anyone could even respond, his arm shot out and his open palm connected with the jock’s chest. The force was so hard it nearly knocked the wind out of the guy. It wasn’t designed to harm the boy however. It was merely intended to shove him backwards a few feet, just enough to make him stumble into the path of his friend’s twirling nunchuck. The weapon, essentially two pieces of hard wood connected by a chain, slammed into the guy’s head, which stopped the momentum of everyone.

Ryo ducked and spun around the guy’s now falling body and popped up in front of Mr. Nunchuck. Again, his open palm was Ryo’s weapon of choice and it slammed up and across the bridge of the second assailant’s nose. There was a brief spray of blood, but Ryo ignored and it and charged the third footballer. This guy had the brass knuckles and was a more prepared than his friends had been. He managed to land a blow across Ryo’s cheek. There was a cracking noise and I gasped, thinking the guy had managed to break some bones in Ryo’s face. But the cracking hadn’t come from that. It had come from the fact Ryo had grabbed the guy’s wrist just as his fist had landed the blow. In one swift motion, he snapped the bone. The guy screamed in pain, and Ryo swept his legs out from under him with his foot. All three of the attackers were now on the ground in various degrees of pain.

Ryo stood over them , looking down as they writhed on the ground, moaning from their injuries. “Now, you tell your master….”

The kids dropped from the trees. There were more than we initially thought, and they were all landing either on Ryo or around him. Before he could even react he was buried breath a pile of rabid, foaming at the mouth children.

Chi broke off from our group and charged into the fray. She started pulling the kids off Ryo. I could tell she was trying not to harm them, but it’s hard to avoid injuring others when you are flinging them through the air. I couldn’t believe all this was happening. Just what was the purpose of this whole confrontation. They had to know this wouldn’t stop my friends. Why were they trying to delay us?

Luhan was getting agitated by all this as well, and looked to be ready to join Ryo and Chi, but Haru put a hand on his shoulder. “They can handle this one,” he said. “Let’s get to the car.”

“You’re going to leave them?’ I asked.

“They’ll catch up. We have to keep moving.”

I looked at the melee under the trees. Ryo and Chi were pushing kids away from them the best they could, but once you got three off of you, three more took their place. It was like trying to swat pesky flies at a barbecue.

We moved around them, Haru, Luhan, and I. We ran across the yard, aiming for Haru’s car. It had miraculously survived my driving skills from where we had raced home from the hospital. Hopefully, I t would get us up to the lake before night fully descended.

As we reached the car and Haru threw the rear doors open, I looked back. Ryo and Chi were still under assault, but now they had bigger worries. The football jocks were getting back up and they didn’t look happy.

“Haru?…”

I turned to look at my love, but he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking at the two police officers coming across the yard towards us. They wore blue uniforms and walked with a determined gait. They both had a pair of handcuffs in their hands. One also had what looked like a taser. But what really bothered me were the fact that they were police at all. You see, Chelsea Valley didn’t have a police force. We had sheriffs, and they dressed in tan, not blue.

“Nora, Luhan,” Haru said quietly. “Get in the car.”

I dared another look back at Ryo and Chi. I noticed Ryo had lost his advantage and the three hulks had drove him to the ground and were kicking him in the ribs. Chi was running across the grass towards her. She was screaming something. I thought it sounded like “Trap!”

“Nora Williams,” one of the officers in blue intoned. His voice was menacing and deep.

Luhan came around the car to confront them. It looked almost silly, these two tall policemen being confronted by a guy who looked all of twelve on a good day.

“You can’t take her,” Luhan said.

Both officers smiled and it was scary. They didn’t have fangs or anything, but their mouths looked dingy and dirty, as if they had been napping in a dirt grave for forty years.

“We didn’t come for her,” one of them said, pointing a taser at Luhan. He fired. The electric charge surged through Luhan like a bolt of lightning. The little guy’s body spasmed and he fell to the ground, flopping around on the grass, as the massive amount of electricity passed through him.

I heard a scream and at first thought it was me. But it wasn’t. It was Chinatsu. And she was leaping through the air. She touched down in front of the guy with the taser, smacking it right out of his hands. She grabbed him by the throat and squeezed. He brought a hand up in an attempt to do the same to her, but she was too fast. She caught his wrist before he made contact. For a second she seemed frozen in time, one hand around his throat, the other clenching his wrist, and then her hands moved in opposite directions so fast I barely saw it. But I heard it. The cracking of his wrist bone. The snapping of his neck. He didn’t even have time to scream. He crumbled in a heap at her feet.

The other guy had grabbed the unconscious Luhan, whose body was still twitching through the after effects of the electric shock. He hauled him up and over his shoulder and was breaking into a run for the police cruiser.

Chi snatched up the taser, angrily crushing it in her hand, and then went after him. Haru looked at me as if he were going to leave my side and give chase as well, but then he grabbed me shoving me in the back seat of the car.

“Keep your head down, “ he shouted, shutting the door once I was all the way in. Before doing as he said, I glanced out the window and saw all three of the footballers running towards us. I couldn’t see what had happened to Ryo, but the fact they were now coming after us didn’t bade very well.

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 66

Vampire Boys Of Summer

66: Sentries

Everyone looked at me as I stood there with the wooden stake in my hand. Luhan raised an eyebrow. It was hard to say if he were concerned or impressed. Chi just smirked and Ryo frowned. Haru, however, kissed me.

“Well then, you heard my baby, let’s go.”

“Not yet,” Luhan suggested. “We need to make them believe we are complying with their request. It will make it easier to surprise them if they think we’re leaving Chelsea Valley.”

Ryo’s frown was unchanging. “It will take too much time. Every minute we waste puts Nora’s friend further in danger. Who knows what they are doing to her?”

It made me smile that Ryo was thinking of Angela in all this, but maybe it wasn’t her welfare he was concerned about. Perhaps his concern had more to do with me. I don’t like thinking in such vain ways, but since day one he had done nothing but try to deter me from Haru. Maybe this was yet another attempt to…

“Ryo’s right,” agreed Chi, interrupting my thoughts. “We are losing valuable time. We need to get to the lake and find the labyrinth.”

“They have a lot to answer for. Not just your friend, Nora, but your father as well. And Miss Lazenby. That was like killing my own child. There must be payment.” Ryo turned on his heel and headed for the door.

Luhan didn’t appear to like the fact we were rushing in to things. “Listen Ryo. I understand. I get it. But we need a diversion, a ruse to fool them.”

“Might as well forget the ruse,” Ryo mumbled.

“Why?”

Ryo had walked to the window and peered out. He turned to look at us. “They are watching the house.”

We all joined him to look through the curtains at the outside world. The yard seemed empty. Just grass and trees in the expanse that led over to Haru’s place. “I don’t see anything,” I said.

“Look up,” he said.

I peered up into the sky, but again saw nothing, except the sun starting to make its descent.

“No. The trees.”

At first I didn’t see them. They seemed to blend right in with the scenery. But he was right. We were being watched. They sat perched in the trees, at least half a dozen of them. Girls and boys both. On a normal summer day it would have been no cause for alarm. Just kids being kids , playing in their yard. But this wasn’t their yard, nor was it a normal summer day. And despite what they may have been once, they were children no longer. They were servants dying to please their master, hoping to be rewarded with their first drops of blood.

“Smart move,” sighed Luhan. “Send kids so we won’t harm them.”

“Cowardly move is more like it,” Chi replied.

“What are we going to do?” I asked.

Haru put his arm around me. “Don’t worry, love. They can’t do much to harm us. They are just sentries.”

“That being the case, I think you should deal with them, Luhan. They won’t feel as threatened and their guard will be down.”

Luhan cast Ryo a somewhat baleful glare, as if to say that just because he was in the body of a child didn’t mean he was only capable of small jobs. “What are you impl…..”

Ryo laughed, and considering the circumstances it was a cheerful thing to hear. “Never mind, little guy. I got this. Don’t get ruffled.”

“We should all go down together,” Haru asserted, squeezing my hand. “Don’t give me them the opportunity to divide us. The kids out there. They are meant to be a distraction.”

Ryo snorted. “They should have sent Beyoncé.”

We did as Haru suggested and went outside together. We stood on the porch to see if the kids would make any kind of move from the trees, but they didn’t. As a group we went down the steps and into the yard, intending to go next door and get Haru’s car. They put me in the middle of everyone, so that I was protected on all sides. Haru held my hand to put me at ease, but it was apparent they thought someone might try to snatch me. Within their protective circle, I still didn’t feel as safe as I wanted to. There was something wrong about these children in the trees. As we drew close to them, they began to stir and whisper amongst themselves. It reminded me of birds calling to each other that there was danger coming. Then one of them jumped down from his perch.

He was a little ginger about ten years old. His hair was screaming orange with freckles covering his entire face. He looked like he would have been at home in a breakfast cereal commercial rather than confronting four vampires and their uneasy charge. He stood right in front of us, a smug look on his face.

“Which one of you is Nora?”

“I am,” said Ryo.

The kid laughed and clapped his hands in delight. Another kid threw something down to him and he caught it with one hand. It looked like an article of clothing.

“Just in case you need a reminder,” he said to Ryo. “Of the seriousness of your situation.”

He tossed the garment to Ryo who unfolded the piece. It was a T-shirt dotted with splotches of blood. Across its face the screen printed words read: Babymetal. I recognized it immediately. It was Angela’s. The very same one I had given back to her that day she’d come over to try and spy a vampire boy in my shower.

Ryo knew it too. After all, he had been there. He turned to look at me and tossed the shirt my way. Haru caught it, but wouldn’t let me see the blood.

“I’m surprised you little munchkins could resist the blood. I’d be going crazy about now.”

The ginger kid just smiled. “I have a message….”

“I do too,” Ryo interrupted. “Tell whoever sent you that there’s going to be plenty of blood to go around…namely his own.”

“He said you’d be a smart ass. So let me make it plain. You don’t leave the valley, the girl will suffer a fate worse than death.”

“What would that be? Standing here talking to a little cherub who’s upset cause his momma took his Pokémon Go?”

If Ryo was trying to rile the tree kids up he was off to a good start, because they all started to fidget angrily in the trees. But something was preventing them from going on the attack. Perhaps it was fear of us. Or maybe they were being controlled and held in check by the vampire master himself. In this, Ryo seemed a little sympathetic and he knelt down on one knee in front of the kid.

“Listen to me, and listen well, young friend. Do you go to church?”

The kid nodded.

“Do you know the story of the three wise men? How they went home a different way?”

Again a nod.

“I suggest you do the same. Now, me and my friends, we are going over there and getting in a car and a driving away. Now I don’t want to hurt you, so….”

Ryo stopped. Three figures emerged from behind the trees. How we didn’t notice them before I don’t know, because they towered over the kids. In fact they were huge. Football players I recognized from school. They must have picked the biggest guys of their lot for this job. They looked like three human bulldozers wearing brass knuckles and carrying nunchucks.

Ryo stood. He grinned. “Now this is more like it.”

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 65

Vampire Boys Of Summer

65: Deciphering Icarus

While Ryo was allowed to seethe quietly, I told them about the first part of the conversation, where the caller had demanded I tell them to leave or else. At this, they seemed to confer among themselves just by looking at each other.

“Were not leaving,” Haru said after a moment. “We are going to find them and get Angela back.”

“Then they die,” Ryo asserted.

“Not until we find their master,” Luhan suggested. “Because that wasn’t him. That was a kid.”

Any other time this would have sounded funny coming from him. He was, after all, the shortest, youngest looking vampire of our little group.

“Somebody from school?” I asked.

“I don’t know. You probably would have noticed something off earlier. To be placed with this kind of responsibility and power would take time, unless the master thought they had exceptional potential.”

“Any other bullies at school besides Amanda and her pals?” Ryo asked, still fuming over the recent turn of events.

“No. I can’t think of anyone. No one I have a problem with anyway.”

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “Whoever it is, we’ll find them.”

“We need to act fast or they could kill Angela,” Chi added. “Where would they be keeping her?”

Haru stood up. “The safest place would be in their lair. Wherever they make home. It would be the most protected.”

“Maybe somewhere high up,” I offered weakly.

“Why would you think that?”

“I don’t know. I keep trying to figure out why I keep getting called Icarus. This is like the third time someone has said that to me. My guidance counselor said he was a figure in Greek mythology that was punished for flying too high or something. I was going to ask Miss Lazenby because Miss Thomas suggested I talk to my history teacher about….hey, wait a minute. Do you think she knew already? About Lazenby?”

Luhan nodded thoughtfully. “If she is with them she could have been making a dare she knew would never be achieved. It’s amazing how those under this vampire master’s control like to taunt their adversaries.”

“Icarus made wings to fly,” Chi said. “His father told him not to fly too close to the sun. But he was proud and would not listen. His wings burned and he crashed to the earth.”

“Perhaps he’s saying if you hang too close to vampires….us, I mean…then you’ll burn and die.”

I looked at Haru. “Then it’s a threat, so to speak?”

He nodded. “The question is why does he want us gone?”

“And who is he?” Chi added.

“When you found Bram he didn’t give any clue at all to his identity?” I asked, knowing they had already told me his brain had been scrambled like morning eggs.

“No,” answered Haru. “He was effectively silenced.”

“To keep us from finding his master,” Ryo affirmed.

“So then we have no idea?” I asked, looking at each one of them. It wasn’t lost on me that Chi wouldn’t look at me. I remembered early on, even before my father was killed, she had suggested she might know who it was.

Before my mind could expand on that thought, Luhan spoke up. “No,” he said. “We don’t. But Icarus is the clue. The caller is taunting Nora. Daring her to figure out who he is.” He looked directly at me. “I don’t think he is referring to you as Icarus.”

“Is it a clue to his own identity then?” Haru asked.

Luhan nodded, but then Ryo turned to us all, a look of revelation upon his face. “No,” he said. “It’s the location of his lair. Where he’s been hiding all this time. Icarus may have been best known for flying too close to the sun, but he is associated with something else as well.”

“And what is that?” I asked.

“The labyrinth. His father constructed it, just as he had also constructed the wings for Icarus. Perhaps that tells us two things . First, The master who has come to assemble an army here is merely a pawn of a greater master. Vampire clans follow a chain of command. We may be seeing the creation of several levels of it here, but it doesn’t mean this is where it began.”

“And the other thing?”

“The master we seek is hiding in a labyrinth. It is home to him, and is probably where he holds court….and Angela.”

“I’m a little lost,” I said. “What’s a labyrinth exactly? The only one I’ve heard of is a Jim Henson movie.”

Luhan grinned. “Well you’re halfway to understanding then. In Greek mythology, Daedalus, the father of Icarus, built a huge stone maze to house the Minotaur, a fearsome beast, half man and half bull.”

Haru patted my hand. “I don’t think the beast is what’s important here. Eventually, maybe so, but right now it’s all about the labyrinth. We need to find it.”

Chi shook her head. “I’ve been all around this town since we’ve been here. There’s no maze or labyrinth in Chelsea Valley.”

This seemed to silence everyone, but it gave me the needed moment to think. “You know, maybe there is,” I said.

“Where ?”

“Out by the lake, close to where everyone goes swimming, there’s an old mine shaft. It’s called Devil’s Hole. It’s been sealed off for years. As far as I know, it’s completely blocked, but dad used to tell me how in his college days he and his friends used to go exploring there. I remember because he said it was a maze of shafts, and easy to get lost in. He even said there was a big chamber somewhere in all that where they’d all go and smoke pot.”

“Pot,” Luhan said, a little nostalgic. “I remember that. Couldn’t stand it. I’d go to drink from someone’s neck and bite their earlobe instead. Major vampire impairment.”

“Do you know the precise location of Devil’s Hole?” interjected Haru.

“I’ve never been there. But we can find it.”

“I’m not sure you should go,” he replied.

“I’m a big girl now. I think I’ve shown I can handle myself.”

“These aren’t bullies at school, Nora. These are new vampires. Their lust for blood is uncontrollable. They aren’t like us.”

I looked around the room at my friends. “But they have made it clear they aren’t going to kill me. I’m supposed to be queen or something.”

“Like hell,” Haru said between clenched teeth.

For a moment I reveled in his protectiveness. I know most girls like to get their guys jealous, but there’s nothing hotter than a possessive vampire boy. I couldn’t help but smile inside.

“We all should go,” Chi said. “We’re going to need everyone we can get.” She looked at me and grinned. “Just don’t stake the wrong vampire.”

I smiled. know it was probably the wrong time to think so, but at the moment I wanted to stake Haru to the floor with my body. I’m not sure if Ryo picked up on this thought or if he was just getting impatient, but either way he interrupted my brief, yet very pleasant daydream.

“If The Devil’s Hole has been sealed for years and is no longer in use, how did the master even know it was there? He can’t have been here for very long.”

“Someone told him about it?” Chi suggested.

“Possibly.”

“Or perhaps the master is from Chelsea Valley,” Luhan replied. “He’s been here all this time and no one has known it.”

I shook my head. “I don’t keep up with the news much, but I know we don’t get many disappearances or cattle with loss of blood.”

“He could go elsewhere for his food supply. He’s been biding his time for now, living among everyone here, but now he’s ready to make it vampire army central.”

“Maybe,” said Haru. “But if he wants to take over Chelsea Valley, I think that’s just a stepping stone to something else.”

“Right now we need to focus on Angela,” Chi reminded us. “She’s become an unwilling, and certainly unprepared, pawn in all this.”

“Yeah,” agreed Ryo. “So are we going to the labyrinth or not?”

I walked over to my closet, where minutes earlier Luhan had been inspecting my clothes like an envious diva. I reached into the back of the cluttered space and pulled out my dad’s vampire kit. I slung it on the bed and opened it. I grabbed my dad’s favorite stake and a vial of holy water.

“Yeah, we’re going,” I said.

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 64

Vampire Boys Of Summer

64: Evil On The Cell

Ryo had returned to the window, while the others had fallen into silence, giving him room to himself. But I couldn’t take the quiet. There were still many questions in my head.

“What happened to Angela?”

“She remained at school,” Haru replied. “Then she went home.”

“We have to tell her,” I said.

“Tell her what?”

“About you guys.”

“No way,” Ryo replied.

“She has the right to know what’s going on,” I reasoned.

“Why?”

“Because I’m her best friend. And best friends don’t keep secrets from each other.”

Ryo snorted. “I’ve existed long enough without a best friend. I certainly don’t need one now.”

“Well, I do. Maybe that’s what makes me human, and you’re not.” It got quiet. The sudden silence was like a dark cloud had spilled from my very mouth. I looked around at everyone. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“It’s ok,” Chi replied. “We understand. We lost a lot of things when we became vampires. Even then we didn’t know what we were becoming. We were only wishing to defend our village from…”

“Can Angela keep a secret?” Luhan interrupted.

I nodded, but to be honest I wasn’t sure if she could. Still, I hated hiding so much stuff from her. It had caused enough strain on our friendship.

“I don’t think it’s going to matter before too long,” Haru said. “Everyone is going to know. At least we could prepare her and maybe have another ally.”

Ryo stepped away from the window. “I’ll tell her.”

“No. I will,” I said. I noticed Ryo shot me a look, so I explained. “She’s going to be mad enough for me not telling her sooner.”

He shrugged and turned back to the window.

“It may put her further in danger,” Haru said. “Are you sure this is what you want to do?”

I nodded. “You have all trusted me with your secret. Until now, I haven’t told a soul, not even my own mother. Speaking of which, where is my mom?”

“She insisted life goes on and went to work,” Chi replied. “Haru tried to get her to take some time off to mourn, but she insisted.”

“Does she know what happened at school?”

“Not yet,” answered Luhan. “Oddly enough, no one has called to inform her.”

I shook my head. “That’s strange.”

“They may already have the principal in their pocket.”

“Or my guidance counselor.”

“Whoever their clan leader is, he is powerful,” Chi said. “He’s spreading his influence pretty rapidly. To have lured Lazenby to the boiler room took some doing. After all, She was already under Ryo’s influence.”

Luhan agreed. “He probably has some lieutenants in training or in place already. Only someone moving up in power could have done this. It was possibly someone she never thought to fear before. Maybe another teacher.”

“If they are going after every one connected to us, someone needs to bring my mom home. I don’t care what we tell her, but we need to keep her safe. If they take her, I won’t have any family left.”

“Tomoko is watching over her,” Haru said. “He’ll make sure she is protected.”

I thought back to the attack on the house. What I had seen as I looked back on the stairs, how Tomoko had changed into something dark and terrible to take on the intruders, ensured me mom would be okay. But Angela wouldn’t be. She was alone at home, probably upset that Ryo had carried me off into the sunset.

“I need to call Angela and get this over with,” I said. “Where’s my cell?”

Chi turned around in her chair and picked it up off my desk. “Here,” she said and tossed it to me. I caught it easily, which surprised me somewhat. Usually I couldn’t catch anything except a cold.

I woke the cell up. After telling her the truth, Ang and I would be like sisters sharing a secret you don’t tell your parents. But before I could press her name in my contacts list, the phone rang. The screen came up with her number. “Wow, she’s calling me,” I said and answered it. “Hi Angela, I was just…”

“Ick-uh-rus,” a sinister voice interrupted me. “If you want your friend unchanged and unharmed, tell your toothy friends they are not welcome here. It is time for them to leave or there will be more pain than you can imagine.”

I looked at my vampire friends and put the caller on speaker.

“We have already taken your father,” he continued unaware. “We have also taken your teacher, delicious as she was. Now who do we have to take next?” He hesitated a second. “Perhaps this blond hair morsel who secretly dreams lustful thoughts for a vampire? Her hair is already turning silver from her fear.” He laughed, and if I could I would have bit him through the phone. I looked at both Haru and Ryo. Haru had a fixed grim look on his face. Ryo looked like he could eat someone for dinner. Twice.

“What do you want from me?” I asked the caller.

“You will surrender yourself to us. You should be my queen. It has always been destined, even before they came. So you get rid of them or Angela dies. Then your mom and anyone else I choose.” He laughed again, but there was no mirth in it, only evil promise. Whoever the caller was, they were either completely turned so that none of their human self was left or…

“Are you the master?” I blurted out, suddenly afraid.

“I’m going to be YOUR master,” he chuckled, and for a moment his voice sounded familiar, yet I couldn’t place where I had heard it before.

Ryo couldn’t be quiet any longer. “You’re going to be fucking dead is what you’re going to be,” he snarled.

“Ah, speaker phone. Brilliant, Nora. Tell you what….Ryo, is it?…I’m going to rip this bimbo’s head off and set it on my desk if you don’t go away. Or perhaps I’ll give her the sweet burning taste of fire like I did your little hottie teacher. I shouldn’t have burnt her up so quick, what a waste…”

Before Ryo could respond, the caller hung up. I looked at Ryo, knowing he could explode into a rage any minute now. Instead he walked calmly back to the window, though his very anger seemed to permeate the room. “This isn’t going to be war,” he whispered between clenched teeth. “I’m going to massacre every last one of them.”

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Vampire Boys of Summer (revamped) Ep. 63

Vampire Boys Of Summer

63: A Gathering For Nora

I woke in familiar surroundings. Both of my eyes fluttered open to be greeted to the sight of the Asian rock bands and anime characters of my bedroom walls. Some had been there previously, others looked new, including the sketch I had made of Haru. My computer was on and streaming “Heartache”, a song by the Japanese rock band One Ok Rock. The strange thing about it was I had been dreaming about that very song.

Ryo had been in the dream, healing me as he had done in real life. Except here he was telling me it caused him such pain knowing that would be the only way he could touch me. To have me only in a dream. Perhaps that sounds vain on my part, but one does not control the nature of our dreams. I began to wonder if it was even me in the dream. Maybe I was dreaming I was someone else, like the girl he had liked long ago. The one Haru had accidentally killed while trying to turn her. Before I awoke, Ryo had been leaning over me and saying in a sing song voice, “They say time takes away the pain, but I’m still the same,” directly referencing the song that I awoke to.

Fully awake, I now looked around my bedroom. It was crowded. My beloved Haru, sat on the floor beside my bed, as close to me as he could possibly be without sitting on the bed itself. Chi sat in the chair at my desk, her long legs straddling it in the same way Haru had done on nights he watched me sleep. Luhan was at my closet, rifling through my clothes, nodding his head in approval at some, shaking his head in disagreement over others. Ryo stood at the open window like a statue, his back to me and looking out onto the night. He was definitely one who liked the nocturnal hours because he seemed to be taking in deep breaths of the cool air and exhaling it slowly as if he were practicing some form of vampiric meditation.

“Hi,” I muttered, trying to address them all at once.

Haru got up from the floor and leaned over me, planting a long kiss upon my cheek. “Baby, you’re awake,” he sighed, the relief in his eyes belying his worry. I wasn’t sure but I think it was the first time he had ever called me baby or any other pet name.

“I’m home,” I replied. “I missed you.”

Through I didn’t think my injuries had been that bad before Ryo fixed them, Haru looked on the verge of tears. “I missed you, too.” He wiped a tear that was forming in the corner of his eye. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to watch over you. I never should have made you go to school.”

“You didn’t make me. I wanted to go.”

“You didn’t learn much though, did you?” Said Ryo without turning from the window.

I turned my head in his direction. “I learned nearly everyone is coming under a dark power. I learned, or I suspect , that those who attacked the house last night are new vampires, as none of them showed up for school today in the daylight. I learned it’s never too late to patch things up with your friends and that sometimes help comes from the unlikeliest of places.” I stared at the back of his head, wishing he would turn around and face me. “How’s that for learning, Ryo?”

He shrugged his shoulders but did not turn around. “Whatever.”

Chi spoke up. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help you, Nora. Luhan and I both were distracted and we didn’t realize the attacks would come from humans under the influence.”

I wasn’t going to let her off the hook that easy. “What distracted you?”

“Your teacher, Miss Lazenby.”

“She wasn’t at school today,” I replied, and for a moment it seemed to take her off guard as I caught her in her lie.

Still she smiled graciously and answered me in a tone that was both corrective and regretful. “Yes she was, Nora. But she never made it to class. She was down in the boiler room.”

When I gave her a confused look, Luhan closed my closet door and added, “She was burnt to a crisp.”

I was in shock. Now I knew why Ryo was staring out the window and not saying anything nice to anyone. It was his way of dealing with the loss.

“Someone or something lured her down there before school began,” Chi explained. “Then they lured us down to find her at the exact moment you were assaulted in the cafeteria.”

Luhan shook his head as if he couldn’t believe they fell into the trap. “It served two purposes,” he said. “Get rid of one of our allies and make the way for you to be attacked, possibly even killed if Amanda had succeeded in opening up an artery in your arm.”

I was bewildered by all this. I mean, Amanda Trump was a supreme bitch, no doubt about it, but a murderer? I didn’t think she had the guts to kill someone and I told Luhan so.

“She wasn’t herself. Like Mr Sharp she was controlled by someone else.” Luhan then grinned. “You putting the bite on her woke her up. Good job on that, by the way.” He winked at me. “Too bad Haru saw you first.” He blew me a kiss and I rolled my eyes at the little pervert.

Haru finally spoke up. “We found Bram. Ryo and I. But he wasn’t in condition to speak. Somebody scrambled his mind as if they were eggs in a pan.”

To say this news was also bad was an understatement. Bram was the grocery store clerk my father had attacked, believing him to be a vampire. Over time in the hospital, I think dad abandoned that idea and became convinced that Bram was a servant to a darker evil, a shadow figure he had seen him talking to. Information gleaned from that persuaded him a vampire invasion was coming. From the looks of things, he was right. All these things happening at once seemed carefully orchestrated, lining things up for another attack perhaps. Bram might have been able to give us some answers, but we were too late.

“All he could manage to tell us was that he’d been replaced by a school kid,” Haru continued. “He kept mumbling it over and over. We got the impression this vampire master found a better prospect for his right hand man.”

“Are you thinking Amanda Trump?” I asked.

“She would certainly fit the bill with her capacity for cruelty,” Chi replied.

Ryo finally turned around to face us all. “They didn’t have to kill my servant. I had given her life. Everything she ever aspired to be, I granted her. They took it all away. They took her away.”

I saw tears forming in his eyes, but whether they were out of sorrow or rage I couldn’t tell. The only thing I saw in his eyes was the desire for retribution.

Continue to Ep. 64

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“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 62

Vampire Boys Of Summer

62: Fixing Nora

I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t. It hurt too much. My head, my eye, my whole body felt as if it couldn’t move without sending a wave of pain through me. The shadow got up and walked towards me. Coming into the feeble light, I saw the hairless chest, tattooed and toned, before his face came into view. Ryo, his long black hair covering one eye, tried to smile, but he too seemed to be in some form of pain, or perhaps just indecision.

“Nora,” he spoke softly. “It doesn’t appear you have had a good day.”

I shook my head and looked around the room the best I could. I knew I wasn’t home, or at Haru’s, or even the Winston house where Ryo had taken up residence. The room appeared too feminine and girly for any of those places. Pink and violet dominated the walls. Unicorn artwork and sculpture, interspersed with walls and walls of books filled up the empty spaces. A chandelier was decorated with dangling multi colored streamers giving one the effect a rainbow was overhead.

“Where am I?”

“You’re at my master’s house. Against my better judgement maybe, but we’re just going to have to trust you. “

“You can trust me.”

He frowned. “We’ll see.”

He then reached under my head and carefully removed the pillow I was resting on. As he began to put it on I realized it wasn’t a pillow at all, but his ruffled white lace shirt. He buttoned it halfway and started to roll up the sleeves.

“Why am I here?” I asked .

“It was the safest place to bring you. Move over.”

At first I didn’t understand what he meant, so when I didn’t move, his dark, smoldering eyes met mine. In a low serious voice he whispered, “I need to sit beside you.”

With a little effort, and quite a bit of pain, I slid over so he had room to sit beside my stretched out form on the divan.

“It seems your life is in serious jeopardy,” he said, taking the seat. “Teachers and students alike want you dead, while rookie vampires attack you at Haru’s. I’m sure they know where I live, so this was the best place to take sanctuary. No one knows where we are.” He let that sink in for a moment before continuing. “I didn’t even know until today. The master believes in moving around…often.”

“Is your master here?”

“Yes.” The look on his face told me he had disdain for not being his own master, to having to answer to another.

“Will I meet him?” I asked.

“No.”

“Then why did you bring me here?”

“Nora Williams, you ask a lot of questions of the one who just wants to help you.”

“But why do you want to help me?”

He stumbled over the answer. “Because…I…I believe Haru would want me to.”

I didn’t believe that was his whole reason, but I let it go. “Where is Haru?”

“He’s at your house making sure it is safe for you to go home.”

I closed my eyes. With my father’s passing, I wasn’t expecting things to get so complicated and dangerous. “I didn’t think it was going to be like this, “ I said.

“Things are a lot different for all of us.” He looked at me, a serious gleam in his eye. “Nora, this is going to be weird, but just bear with me.”

He reached out with his open palm and placed it against my bad eye. For a moment it rested there, just long enough for it make me feel uncomfortable, and then I felt the pull. It was a gentle tug at my skin, as if the blood in my body was trying to rise to Ryo’s touch. His hand moved in a slow, circular pattern, moving outward from the area of my eye, then spread even further by drawing straight lines across my face north, south, east, and west. It felt as if something within me was moving with his hand. It was a strange, almost sensual feeling, as if he were a magnet attracting steel, and moving it where he wanted.

“What are you doing?” I asked nervously, a hot flush coming over my body from my face down to my knees.

“I’m manipulating your blood.”

“Why?”

“You got hit pretty hard. Normally there would be a very bad bruise, black all around your eye. I think she popped a few vessels in your face, too. That could leave permanent discoloration, but I’m fixing that.”

“You’re healing me?”

He nodded. “Something like that.”

“Can all of you do that?”

“No. Just the Alpha’s.”

I knew this was his way of saying, if you want to get healed, I’m your only hope. I was glad that he was doing it for me, but I feared what the price would be.

“Where else do you hurt?”

“Nowhere,” I lied. “Just the eye.”

He sighed and gave me a look of exasperation. “Why don’t you want me to help you?”

I was afraid to tell him the truth, but he already knew.

“I’m not going to demand anything of you, Nora. I just want to help. No strings.” He held out his arms and made a show of checking up his sleeves. “See?”

“You’re not that generous.”

“You’d be surprised how generous I can be. Now tell me, where else does it hurt?”

I reached my hand up to touch the back of my head. I winced from the pain, as it pulled the muscles of my arm and shoulder in the process.

“Everywhere then,“ he said with a lecherous wink.

“Ryo…”

Before I could get another word out, he shushed me and put his hands on my head. I felt his long fingers move across my hair, entwining close to the roots, the tips of them touching my skull. There was a slight tug and it was almost exciting. With his fingers in my hair, he leaned so close I could almost feel his breath in my scalp. I closed my eyes and tried to think of other things.

His hands moved down to the back of my neck, across my shoulder and upper back. The whole while I felt the pull. I could imagine the blood flowing inside of me at Ryo’s command. It sent a pleasant chill down my spine and made me catch my breath before it could get away from me. A knot grew in my stomach, an oddly sweet queasiness that embarrassed me. I didn’t want to feel excited by his touch and I demanded my body not to like this.

As if knowing my very thoughts, Ryo’s hands moved from my back to sweep down my arm, the warm rush racing after his fingers. The movement made me shudder in my skin, as his fingertips reached my hand. He stopped and for the very briefest of moments, his fingers laced with mine, before pulling away from me in one sharp motion, breaking the connection with the blood in my body. The hot flush within me threatened to chase after his touch, but the feeling passed.

“See?” He said. “That wasn’t too bad, was it?”

I dared to look at him. He was sweating, as if it had taken a lot of energy to heal me. “No, I guess not,” I replied.

He smiled weakly and sat there a moment, his eyes roaming over his handiwork. His close inspection made me feel a little naked and exposed, but I endured it. He got up and walked over to a bureau, where he picked up a large ornate hand mirror and brought it over to me.

“Go ahead, take a look.”

I took the mirror and inspected my face. I don’t know what I expected, if anything, but I gasped at my reflection. There wasn’t a single trace of bruising. In fact, my face looked as if it had never taken a punch. The skin was unblemished, except for a mark that was left behind by acne in the seventh grade.

“Sorry, I cant do anything about that,” he explained.

“It’s okay. I’m..wow, Ryo..this is amazing.”

He smiled brighter than I’d ever seen him before. “I’m pleased you like it, “ he said. “But this doesn’t mean you can go picking fights all summer, okay?”

I laughed. “Okay. But this time wasn’t my fault.”

“Well, I think the girl will think twice before assaulting you again. Her neck is definitely going to bear a mark. I guess Haru is teaching you well.”

I blushed and realized this was the first time Ryo and I had laughed together. I’m not sure how I felt about that, but at least the tension that had been in the room was now missing.

“Well,” he said, “I sort of lied when I said I expected nothing in return.”

The tension returned and I froze. I should have known. I should never have trusted him.

“Unfortunately, you cannot know where the master lives. I’m sorry, but those are the rules.”

Before I could even reply and say I would never reveal the location, his hand reached towards my chest, and he placed his palm flat against the space between my breasts. I felt nothing but the hot rush through my body, moving like a mixture of electricity and blood, somewhere between pain and pleasure, and then I was in darkness, unaware of my fate.

Continue to Ep. 63

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“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.