Blood Red Passion: The Yearning

Can you feel my pulse beneath your fingers?

beating out a rhythm that says,

I yearn for your kiss all over me,

aching to feel your lips upon my skin,

teasing me with what is sure to come,

the piercing of my flesh

as you drink those loving drops of me.

Crimson upon your tongue,

the lifeblood of eternal lovers,

seeking, ever seeking,

the immortal coil,

that are two bodies twisting, entwining,

in the darkness many dread,

but that we embrace.

Can you feel my pulse beneath your fingers?

my blood, my love calling out to you,

begging to feel your lips upon my skin,

yearning, always yearning for your kiss.

By Paul D. Aronson.

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Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 9


Chapter 9: Truths And Dares

The new vampire boy wasn’t as beautiful as Haru, but a girl wouldn’t throw rocks at him either. He was tall and toned, dressed in a white lace ruffled shirt and black leather pants. I could tell how toned he was by how tightly his shirt fit, his chest and abs straining against the fabric, as if trying to pop buttons off the front. He had long black hair with a purple streak flowing through his bangs. His eyes were so dark I could barely see them, and when he smiled, his lips seemed to curl back instead of parting naturally. “Hello,“ he said.

I stepped back a little. “Um…hi.”

“Beautiful night, isn’t it?”

I looked back over my shoulder to see if Haru was still in the deck chair. He wasn’t. Whoever this guy was, I was on my own.

“Uh yeah, but it’s a school night and my parents are expecting me to come through the door any minute.”

He smiled, but it wasn’t a very warm one. it was the kind of gesture that said, I know you’re lying. In fact, his whole demeanor made me think he already knew everything about me and my family. “Of course they are,“ he replied. “If I had such a beautiful daughter I’d be keeping tabs, too.”

“Well, I have to go. Nice meeting you..um…”

“I’m Ryo.”

I froze. Haru’s cousin. The one with the tattoo. The one who had been in my room.

A look of genuine concern seemed to flash across his face. “What’s the matter? You look like you just saw a snake.”

“I think I have.” For once, I wished I had something to defend myself with, but my vampire kit was in my closet. I had nothing to ward off evil, not even a crucifix. But I couldn’t show my weakness. “You were in my room,“ I said. “Took a picture of your chest with my cell. Who knows what else you were doing?”

“Sorry about that,“ he answered, putting his hands up in feigned surrender. “I’ve been told I have too much of a dramatic flair.”

“Dramatic flair? You broke into my house. My room. You probably watched me in the shower, too.”

I could tell my temper was flaring because he backed up. I’m not saying he was scared of me; he was just surprised I wasn’t some juvenile wallflower he could toy with.

“No, I didn’t watch you there. I do have some manners. But yes, I came into your room uninvited. I couldn’t help it.”

“Why?”

“I saw you from across the street.”

“Mrs. Winston’s?”

He nodded. “I’d seen you earlier that day and I was….captivated.”

“Captivated?”

He laughed, and it was one of those chuckles that meant, can you believe this chick? “Come on, you’ve got to know it,“ he said.

“Know what?”

He looked at me with his dark eyes. Some people, when they look at you in conversation, their eyes don’t stay on you constantly. They dart here or there, momentarily breaking the connection. Ryo wasn’t like that at all. He never took his eyes away from mine, and it took everything within me to keep my eyes on his, for his gaze was intense, the kind that either makes a girl melt or uncomfortable. I wasn’t about to let him see me melt, though with his rugged frame and good looks it was hard to concentrate on resistance. If allowed, I think Ryo could make any girl’s thoughts descend into sexual places that I really shouldn’t discuss.

“You know you are very beautiful,” he replied, and the way the words flowed off his tongue it sounded real. Angela at this point would have probably screamed, ‘Take me!’ but I still had enough willpower to be angry rather than seduced.

“Is that why you came into my room?” I demanded. “To spy on me and my beauty?” I said the last word a little sarcastic.

“No. I came to your room to know you.” He stepped a little closer and never taking his eyes off me. “I walked around, looking at things, taking in details, so I could learn a litte more about you. “

“You could have just asked and I would have told you.”

“Yes, I know. But there’s something unique and mysterious about a girl’s room. a touch of the forbidden. A glimpse at a young girl’s longing for affection.”

That was it for me. This vampire dude was a creeper. “Right now I’m longing for you to leave me alone.”

He ignored me with a condescending smile. “I’ve lived long enough to recognize loneliness and feelings of being..loveless.”

“You might be loveless, but I’m not.”

Again, his stare, but this time his eyes left me to trail down my body. For a moment, his stare locked on my legs, and despite wearing jeans I suddenly felt naked. “Is that why you cut yourself?” he asked.

I gave him a hard stare. He knew more about me than I wanted him to. Either that, or he had been spying on me more than I thought, which made me feel angry and violated. “Look…” I began, but he held up his hands again.

“I didn’t come here to fight,“ he confessed.

“Then why did you come here?”

“To tell you the truth about my cousin Haru.”

I didn’t say anything. I’d seen this kind of behavior in boys since fifth grade. Girls might like a little competition in the romance department, but guys seemed to get their thrill by trying to undercut the other guy. It usually came down to name calling, and that’s why Ryo’s opening statement threw me off.

“He likes you,“ he said. “A lot.”

“How do you…”

“But the last girl he loved, he took her life. Without thinking, without batting an eyelash.” He snapped his fingers and it made a loud pop. “Snuffed her out just like that.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“You don’t have to. The truth doesn’t change based on your belief.” For a moment I thought tears were going to come from his fathomless eyes, but he bit his lip so hard it drew blood. In a quick expression of what he was, he sucked the blood from his lip back into his mouth. “Someone once said to me, guard your heart wisely, for sometimes it is easily deceived and doomed to destruction.”

I didn’t know how to respond to that, but I guess it wasn’t necessary, because he turned to go. He took a couple steps and then stopped. He didn’t turn around, but I heard him say, “The girl who said that is dead to me now. A product of her own fate at the hands of Haru.” He hung his head, and then looked over his shoulder at me. “Be careful, little diamond. Do not shine so brightly that you attract death. He wears a pretty face.”

I watched him walk away. His gait was still haughty and confident, but his posture was wounded, as if somehow my mere presence had broken through his defenses and revealed how vulnerable he really was. If I hadn’t been bothered over how he had been the intruder in my room I probably would have cried for him. Instead, I turned to my house and went home. I cast a last look back to see him disappear in the shadows surrounding Mrs. Winston’s house. I looked over to Haru’s house. All the lights were off and there was no one to be seen.

Lying in bed, I tried to turn over all the events of the day in my head, but it was too much. Sensory overload. So much had been said from both Haru and Ryo that their voices in my memory began to sound like the other, until I was having trouble remembering who said what. When sleep came, it arrived heavy, but not heavy enough to stop the dreams of the Jigsaw man.

The jigsaw man was working another puzzle, its images constantly moving across the face of the pieces. This time it was not a scene completely alien to me, but was set in a familiar place. The school Auditorium. Like it was during school events, it depicted a crowded room populated by students and faculty alike. But instead of kids lounging around waiting for an assembly, they were lined up in rows heading to the front of the stage. It reminded me of a manufacturing line where parts were sent down a conveyor belt to be assembled further or completely taken apart. Or perhaps bleating lambs awaiting their own slaughter. The slaughter was taking place on the stage where vampires awaited to suck the blood out of everyone. A special line was set aside for the female students, and at the head of it stood two boys I recognized, Haru and Ryo. They appeared to be fighting over who got which girl coming up the line. At the head of the line was Amanda Trump smiling triumphantly, her neck bared for my vampire boys.

The jigsaw man looked at me and tried to speak. The garbled sound wasn’t anything I could recognize. In frustration, he made gestures to try to convey to me the message within the dream, but it was no use. Without a voice, his other methods fell flat. He pointed at something within the puzzle, a man suspended on a cross, bleeding to death right there on the stage. No one paid him any mind, nor did a vampire drink from the blood that poured from this man’s wounds. It was like he was tainted, and that to drink from him would dishonor them all. The man was my father.

When I jolted awake and called out, it wasn’t my dad’s name I called for, but my mom’s. Even my subconscious knew he wasn’t here. Mom may as well have not been there either, because she didn’t come. I lay in bed, bathed in sweat, my oversized Black Butler t-shirt clinging to me as if I’d been left out in the rain. My cell went off and I nearly screamed. Looking at the clock beside my bed, I saw it was two AM. Who would be calling at this hour? I got out of bed and retrieved my cell from its charger. I woke it up and the first message on my screen said I had missed a call. I opened up the call log and saw an unknown number with a voicemail waiting. I listened to the message. It was nothing but silence with a little bit of crackling static. Then a faraway voice asked, “Hello? Nora?” I recognized the caller instantly. It was Haru. I deleted the message.

“You vampire boys need to leave me alone,“ I muttered and returned to bed. Dreams of the jigsaw man left me alone for the rest of the night.

The next morning on my way to school, the dream of the night before returned to my thoughts. What did it all mean? Was I, or indeed the whole school, in danger from the vampire boys? And what did my dad have to do with anything? Before I left the house, I left a note for my mom on the refrigerator. “I’m going to go see dad this weekend,”it read. It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. You couldn’t ask mom for things because then she’d argue with you or try to talk you out of it. However, if you just came out and said what you were going to do, then she’d do it. Didn’t make much sense sometimes, but that was mom for you.

Another thing that didn’t make sense about the dream was that within the macabre puzzle I didn’t see myself nor Angela. Other students I had recognized. Amanda Trump had been at the head of the line. But where were we? And what did the Trumps have to do with anything?

And then, there was Haru and Ryo. In the puzzle images they appeared to be fighting over something as they stood at the head of the line of female students. Was this something they did in every place they lived? Fight over girls and try to collect the best ones? If so, they shouldn’t fight over me, that’s for sure. I mean, I didn’t consider myself a member of ‘hit by the ugly stick’ club, but I wasn’t the kind of girl that guys fought over either. That’s just great, I had been wishing for a boyfriend all school year long, and suddenly I got two smoking hot Asian guys who may or may not be trying to hit on me.

When I got to school Angela seemed surprised. Not because she didn’t expect to see me, but because it was the first time I’d ridden my school bus in like four months. “You sick?” she asked, nearly sprinting up to me.

“Nah, I’m okay. Just thought I’d ride this morning. I was up late last night.”

She grinned. “Oh my, what, or should I say who, kept you up?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” I teased.

“Yes, I would.”

“Haru,” I said. “I was talking to Haru.”

She gave me a mock shameful look. “You dirty girl. If it was me I would have been doing more than talking.”

“Who’s the dirty one then?” I laughed.

“Sooooo…what did you talk about?”

“Um, mostly about stars and stuff.”

“Stars? He didn’t look like a science geek.”

“Oh, he’s not,“ I replied. “But he has some deep thoughts about them.”

“Romantic ones?”

“I suppose so. He didn’t….”

“Well, well, well…” a taunting voice said, sidling up alongside of us as we entered the school. “If it isn’t miss ‘I think I’m hot shit’ herself?”

We both turned, but there was no need. We knew it was Amanda Trump. She had that particular tone to her voice that always cried out bitch. Chrissie and Kari were both at her side as if they were attached by an umbilical cord. They all wore short skirts which were half an inch away from breaking school dress code. They also wore matching tops that were at least one size too small, guaranteeing that the entire male population would notice their assets.

Amanda flung back her hair as if it were her weapon. I always thought she had beautiful hair, but for me all the beauty stopped there. Though there were a lot of girls who worshipped the ground she walked on and longed to be part of her circle, I wasn’t one of them, and never would be. She always made that clear. Today would be no different.

“I saw you walking home with Haru like you were the queen of the school,” Amanda said. “Bet you think you’re better than everyone else now.”

“No, I don’t think that,“ I replied.

“Good, cause you’re not. We didn’t even see you at his party the other night. We were invited; Guess your invitation got lost.”

“I don’t do parties.” I could feel my voice was getting smaller, preparing myself for the old Trump verbal beat down.

“Oh, that’s right. Ever since you got caught kissing a girl and doing the Katy Perry you’ve been hiding your head in the sand.”

These were fighting words. Or at least that’s how I felt she was baiting me. I could see the look in her eye. She wanted to shame me beyond measure. She knew she had me if I threw the first punch. She was more athletic, more experienced, and deadlier if she could get the attention of a crowd. And that’s what she was getting. I could see them out of the corner of my eye almost forming a circle around us. I had to get out of there before the gap could be closed. I tried going around Amanda, but she stepped in front of me, a daring look in her eye.

“You’ll never have Haru, bitch,“ she spat. “You can walk home with him all you want, but his hands will be all over me long before he even wonders about yours.”

Her friends laughed and half the crowd followed suit. I looked away from her, because if I made eye contact I knew I would want to lash out and blacken one. I noticed everyone was having a laugh at my expense. Some hollered, some clapped and tried to egg her on. A boy with curly blond hair dressed in a woman’s blouse rolled his eyes, as if to say aren’t you going to do anything, girlfriend? I didn’t know who he was.

“I don’t want to fight you, Amanda,” I said, attempting to get around her again.

“It’s the only way you’ll get out of this circle,“ she gloated. “I’m going to kick your ass and then go get me some Haru to decorate my bedroom with. When I’ve had him once, he won’t look at you twice.” She drew her hand back so fast I didn’t see it coming. Her open palm came across in an arc towards my face. I was going to get bitch slapped just because I was Nora Williams. But her hand never met my face. Instead it met another. Someone, at first I thought it was Angela, had stepped between us.

This other girl took the fury of the slap. Her head reeled to one side, her long black hair whipping through the air and brushing my face. She recovered quickly, snapping back around to face Amanda. She didn’t slap her back, but instead leaned up close to her. “One more move and no one’s going to look at you all,“ she said in a hushed tone, so low only Amanda and I could hear it. Amanda stepped back a step, but recovered her attitude quickly.

“Who the hell do you think you are, slut?” she reared her hand back again. “Don’t you know who…”

The girl punched her in the face. Amanda’s head snapped back and she hit the ground, out cold.

The other Trumps looked at each other like they couldn’t believe it. A hush came over the hallway. The girl, tall and apparently a lot more athletic than Amanda, looked around the room as if daring someone to say something. No one did, though I thought the curly headed girly boy opened his mouth to speak but thought better of it. Chrissie and Kari bent down and tried to revive Amanda. She finally came to, but you could tell she was dazed and couldn’t see straight. It also looked like she might have had a broken nose. This made me smile a little inside.

The girl who saved my butt turned to me and said, “Hi, I’m Chinatsu, but you can call me Chi.”

“Um, hi…and thanks.”

“No problem. The new girl in school always needs to assert herself, so I look for the baddest ass I can find and then stomp her. It makes things easier.”

Angela finally came out of her silence to remind the girl there was only a week of school left.

“Well damn,” the girl said, as if she had never considered that. “Okay, well, maybe she’ll remember the ass kicking when she comes back next year. Or better yet, maybe I can kick it again this summer.”

I almost had to laugh at this, because by appearance alone the girl didn’t look like a brawler; she looked like a fashion model for the Japanese version of Glamour magazine. But I held the laughter in just in case she didn’t have the same sense of humor.

“Can any of you show me where the guidance counselor’s office is at?” Chi asked. “Might as well turn myself in and take the punishment.”

“I have to go there myself,“ I said. “ I got handed summer school. But you don’t have to turn yourself in. After what you did to Trump no one would snitch on you.”

She shrugged. “I know, but to be honest I like people to know these loud mouth bitches just didn’t slip and fall into my fist.” With a devilish grin, she added, “But it sure is a great way to meet new friends.” She put one arm around my shoulder and the other around Angela’s. “Man, I should have got here earlier in the year…”
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Blood Red Passion: Nocturnal Lovers

The mist lay like a falling blanket across the fields 

As I walked out into the night’s first hour,

Though my world was in its turmoil, the air was so still,

And I felt that first rush of power;

For the moon was now my lover, the night was her kiss,

Her body wrapped like silk around me,

I never thought I would know such ecstatic bliss,

I never thought I would open my eyes to see,

Her pale skin beneath my black fingernails,

Her vein pulsing beneath my trembling lips,

Off in the distance I hear the tolling of bells,

As her blood ever so silently drips

Onto my tongue to give me sweet life,

Denied to me when I walked as a man,

And one day soon she’ll be my nocturnal wife,

A beloved vampire beneath my hands,

The mist lay like a falling blanket across the fields,

And we lay there on the cold frozen ground,

The heat of our bodies, the quake of our flesh

Will bring us by night back around.

By Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Blood Red Passion: More Than Mortal

​Often I have thought this,

should I await her to come to me

or just sit here in dread anticipation

of the morning sun? 
I foolishly believed that with this power

Would come the perfection of love,

but I will always be imperfect;

immortality changes nothing. 
I could give her the very world,

every joy, every pleasure, every dream,

and yet it still won’t change what I am –

a monster in her eyes.
I shouldn’t have told her how I felt

or of my dreams and nightmares,

never should have showed her the thirst

that even I cannot quench.
But still here I am in want,

desiring her so, needing her to want me,

not because I’m a vampire,

but because she loves me

more than mortal life itself.

By Paul D Aronson.

Blood Red Passion: For Liliana 

Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong here

In this great big emptiness of me,    

 And all I want to do is run to you,

To melt into your touch,

Where I am the safest

And most loved that I have ever been.
If I could wrap my body around you,
Sink into your youthful warmth,

I know the world would begin spinning

And we would clutch and cry,

And tremble and shake,

Holding on for dear life so we can’t be

Thrown from this maddening spin.
And it’s then I want to scream

In the penultimate expression of joy,

Your name, my name, to the heavens,

Not carved into a tree,

But into our whole realm of existence,

And we’ll be as stars glowing in the night sky,

The one star completely whole

That everyone wishes upon

When they pray for love.
When I’m with you we are deities,

Grander than vampires,

Everlasting, forever eternal,

Intimate with the night and with each other

Until the dawn comes.
And when we awake,

still we lucidly dream,

To bask in the sun,

Run through the day,

Lie in the tall grass

and make love,

with our clothes beneath us,

The trees above us,

And the truest of loves inside us 

forever.

By Paul D Aronson.

Blood Red Passion : Poetry & Verse For Vampires & Lovers (Foreword) 

​Note:

The following pages were passed on to me by a troubled gentleman, Peter Marsh, who had spent much of his life as the caretaker of Red Gate Cemetery, an old graveyard in the oldest corner of the city that served as the final resting place of notable local figures, most importantly, the poet Nikolai, and his beloved wife, The lady Liliana. Mr. Marsh was convinced in his feeble aging mind that the pair were once star-crossed lovers who were cursed by Gypsies to be vampires. The validity of such an outrageous claim is in question, despite the fact that when I checked their burial vault (which he had bought and paid for) in the old mausoleum I found nothing there, not even a coffin. When I confronted Peter with this he just smiled and handed me these pages, supposedly written by Nicolai, the poet vampire. To Peter this is proof of their existence. To others, it may just be proof he is lonely, mad and delusional. To me however, I think it means they are still out there somewhere, restless lovers seeking their peace and place in the world. I present these pages and the poetry and prose contained within to you as fact, but take from it what you will. Truth, after all is stranger than fiction…

Paul D. Aronson

April 13, 2016

Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 8


Chapter 8: Stars & Scars

Haru sat in the deck chair. He had slid it over next to mine and we both had our heads tilted back, looking up at the stars. The night was clear and the whole sky seemed to be filled with those tiny points of light.

“You know what I like about the stars?” he asked.

I turned my head to look at him. “No. What?”

“They seem fixed. In place. Unchanging. But the truth is, they are moving. Never standing still. Sometimes they die out. Sometimes they collide with other stars.” He looked at me and smiled. “Sometimes they fall. And other times, they shine so bright they illuminate everything around them.” He returned his gaze heavenward. “In essence, I suppose they are a lot like us. Sometimes when I look at them, I think of other people in the world looking at them too. People who are filled with happiness, or suffering without hope; people falling in love, or falling out of it. I sometimes want to put myself in their place just to experience what they do.“ He paused, as if thinking that over. “And yet, all I really want is to know that somewhere, someday, we’ll all be together like this huge cluster of stars in the sky, shining for someone else’s amusement and joy.”

“That’s pretty deep stuff, “ I said, not really knowing how to respond.

His face had a wistful smile. “Yeah, I guess it is.”

“You must have been watching the stars a long time.”

“About thirty minutes before you came out, “ he replied.

“No, I mean, being a vampire, you must have watched the stars for years.” I couldn’t believe I called him a vampire to his face. It sounded weird coming out my mouth.

“Is that your way of trying to get my age out of me?” he asked.

“Perhaps.”

He sighed. “Every year for me has been the same as the last. I have seen countless summers come and go. I forget the time.”

“You don’t want to tell me?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

He looked at me and the smile he was able to muster was sad. “You will find it difficult to be my friend. I am too old.”

I put my hand lightly on his arm. “Look, when I realized what you were, I was bothered by the fact you were probably a lot older than me. It is kind of creepy when you think about it, but when I see you with my eyes, I see what’s on the outside, and your outside says you’re forever seventeen. So it doesn’t bother me.”

“After a while it will.”

“Perhaps. But right now it doesn’t.” To bravely prove my point, I leaned towards him and rested my head on his shoulder. “I don’t care how old you are. All I know is I feel special when I’m with you.”

“You are special.”

“How do you know?”

“What?”

“How do you know I’m special?”

This has always been my trick question, the one that would trip all the boys up. It usually stopped them in their tracks, and in their hesitation to answer they would lose heart. It really wasn’t a trick; it was more of a challenge. I had always hated when boys used the “you’re special” card, thinking that’s all girls wanted to hear. Their answers always fell short. Haru’s was a little unexpected.

“I know you’re special because you’re changing me.”

“Changing you?”

“Yes. It has been a long time since I’ve had a real friend.”

“But we just met last night.”

“And I’ve changed a lot since then.”

“How?”

“Well…I…You…do you treat every guy this way?”

I was taken aback. “Excuse me?”

“When a guy tries to be nice to you, or pays you a compliment, or just tries to tell you that you’re a beautiful person…do you always question it?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Why? Don’t you trust them, or is it true that you just don’t like boys?”

I was stunned. It wasn’t the fact he said what he did; it was the fact he’d been here maybe a day or two and already the rumor had reached him. “You don’t have to be my friend,” I said and got up to walk away. He got up, too.

“I do want to be your friend. That’s the whole point. But you don’t trust me enough for that. You question everything there is about me.”

I looked at him. “You’re a vampire.”

“So? You’re a fifteen year old white girl from the suburbs. What’s that got to do with it?”

“I don’t kill people for their blood or turn them into other vampires.”

“Ouch, that stings. But it’s also ignorant, because I don’t do either of those.”

I looked at him, surprised. “You don’t drink blood?”

“You didn’t say that. You said I kill people for their blood. I don’t take human life. And I don’t turn anyone into vampires either.”

I didn’t know what to say. How could I respond to that? All I could do was make light of what he was. “You don’t sound much like vampires I’ve heard of.”

“Good. I don’t want to be.”

A silence hung between us for a moment. I was at a loss for words. Finally he spoke. “Until today, I had nothing to look forward to. Even moving to a new town didn’t bring me any kind of hope or anticipation. Then the other night I saw you in your window watching me. And last night, I found myself hoping you would watch me again. But you didn’t. Instead you came over. It may not have went that well, but this morning I found myself desiring to see you again. So I came to your school because I didn’t want to wait for tonight. And after tonight, I know I will find myself looking forward to seeing you the next time. That’s how you are special. You have a spell over me and it took you only two days.”

I was nearly breathless. “Wow. Well, I don’t know what to say.”

“Say what you feel.”

“I don’t know how I feel. I mean, maybe vampires get attached this quickly, but humans don’t.” It was a lie, but I was hoping he couldn’t tell that. “I mean, I like you and all, and I did look forward to seeing you tonight, but…”

He cocked his head. “But…?”

“Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re trying to say, but this is moving too fast for me.”

He nodded his head. He didn’t seem disappointed. In fact, he looked like a guy who had heard that excuse many times over. “I’m sorry. Like I said, each day is like the one before it for me. Time just isn’t the same for us. You say it’s been a day or two, but for me I feel like I’ve known you for…for a very long time.” He bowed his head in much the same way in the Asian movies when the character is either bestowing honor or asking forgiveness. “Forgive me if I act too familiar or overstep my bounds. I don’t mean to make you uneasy or uncomfortable.”

“It’s okay. I know I have a problem with trusting people and believing what they say. It’s just that I’ve been lied to so many times.”

“I understand. I won’t lie to you.”

“That could be a lie itself.”

He sighed, almost in exasperation. “Interesting point of view.” Looking skyward, he seemed to be seeking the next line in our conversation within the stars themselves. I looked up with him just in time to see a star streak across the horizon and fall behind the mountains.

“Hey, there you go. You can always wish on that star that people won’t lie to you anymore. “

“No, I wouldn’t wish that,“ I replied.

He turned his head to look at me. “Oh. What would you wish then?”

“If I tell you I won’t get it.”

He sighed and returned his gaze to the stars.

“I don’t know why I can’t trust people.”

“Scars.”

“Huh?”

“Scars. Sometimes hurt can heal, but there is always a scar left over.”

I thought of my legs. All the scars from the cutting I had done. They weren’t super horrible, but if I wore a skirt too far up the leg I’m sure people would stare. Personally I thought I looked ugly in dresses, and the cutting scars didn’t help.

For a moment, I thought Haru had read my exact thoughts because he continued on with, “until someone comes along and takes them away.”

“Takes what away?” I asked, already knowing what he meant.

“Scars.”

I looked down. “Some scars can’t be removed. Either they have been there too long or the wound keeps scabbing over.”

He nodded and pursed his lips. “Pretty smart for someone who has had only fifteen summers to think about it.” He paused for a moment and flipped a blond lock off his forehead. I didn’t say anything but just admired the gracefulness of the action. Then he turned to me and repeated it by brushing one of the dark locks away from my eye. “Here is where you’re special,“ he said. “I trust you.”

I didn’t know what he was getting at. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. When he opened them he was looking right at me as if he wanted to climb inside my soul. “I’ve had every summer since 1281 to think about the scars we leave.”

My mouth must have dropped so low it scraped ground. “1281?” I nearly screamed. “Holy shit! You’re kidding, right? This is another one of your just kidding moments.”

He shook his head and I knew he was telling the truth. No wonder his eyes looked like he understood everything around him. He was nearly a thousand years old. “Oh my god, this can’t be happening,” I cried. “No, no, no.”

I ran my fingers nervously through my hair and turned in circles, just looking for a place I could run to. He was a lot older than I had been thinking. And I mean a lot. This was beyond creepy; it was downright disturbing. Hot Asian boy moves in next door. Not only is he gorgeous, but he’s also a vampire. And to top it all off he’s old enough to be my great great great something or another.

“I can’t deal with this,“ I said, panic written all over my face. Hell, he’d probably been married two dozen times at the very least. I don’t know why, but it was at this moment I decided to cry. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it was just something that happened. Overwhelmed with everything, my world crumbled around me. If he had broken down in front of me earlier, then I had come apart at the seams. And unknown to me, he was the only one who could hold me together.

The moment the tears hit my cheek his arms were around me. Despite him being the reason for all this, I collapsed into his embrace and sobbed against his chest. He didn’t attempt to do anything more than hold me. His arms were gentle and comforting and I thought I heard him sniffing my hair, but to be honest, it was probably the sound of my own sobs.

We stood there like that for a long time; me caught in the safety of his affectionate grasp, He standing stark still, a sentinel to guard me and my fragile heart. “I’m sorry,“ he finally whispered. In that moment, I think he knew that no matter what, I was lost to him, and he a forbidden thing for me to want and desire. As my tears started afresh, my thought was that Romeo and Juliet had it easy.

Walking across the yard and heading home, I thought to myself sometimes I didn’t get Haru. Part of me had wanted to, but what he had told me tonight was a definite game changer. Sure, he was the best piece of eye candy that Chelsea Valley had ever seen, and there were things about him that were endearing; things that most girls wish their boyfriends were. But was that enough to overcome the obstacles that lay before our friendship? There were some strange, mysterious things at work with Haru, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about them.

As I moved among the trees away from his house, I knew he was still on the porch, standing by the deck chairs, watching me walk away. He had let me go easy enough when my body language told him my cry-fest was over. When I said I had to go because it was a school night, he didn’t protest; he just backed off and said that he hoped to see me tomorrow. I didn’t commit to that, but something within me said I’d like to see him too. Still, I tried to tell myself it wasn’t like I wanted to see him every waking moment. He wasn’t my boyfriend, and I hadn’t fallen so crazy for him I would do anything to be by his side. That was stupid. Oh, is that why you went jumping through the trees to get to him tonight, my little inner voice teased.

Maybe Haru knew something I didn’t. Certainly he had to know he was irresistible to a girl. Would he use that to his advantage? No, I don’t think so. When he was holding me, comforting me, there was nothing like it. It was pure, real, and honest. It wasn’t using or lying. I could feel it in the shudders that went through me. At first, I thought it was a reaction to my sobs, but it wasn’t. It was me wanting him to hold me forever.

Suddenly, something came out from behind a tree and blocked my path. I stopped short. I would have jumped clear out of my skin and screamed, but it wasn’t a scary figure at all. It was another beautiful vampire boy…
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.