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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 84

Vampire Boys Of Summer

84: While I Was Out

I dropped the letter opener and reached for my neck. I was hoping with the death of Colin that the place where he’d bitten me would be miraculously gone. But it wasn’t. It was still there. His mark. Did this mean after all I’d been through I was queen anyway? Was I going to become a vampire now? Or had he been a beta like Haru, and my wound would end up killing me the way Haru had accidentally killed his first love hundreds of years ago?

I looked at Haru with pain and horror in my eyes. My legs gave out and he caught me. I began to cry. Wouldn’t it be the cruelty of fate to defeat the one who had caused us so much pain, and then be defeated myself because of a bloody hickey?

He smiled. As always, my thoughts must have slipped into his because he said, “Hickey. That’s funny.” He kissed me softly on the lips, preventing me from asking what was so funny about it. In the end it didn’t matter. Before I passed out, I remembered thinking at least I’m here. At least I have this moment. I have my Haru.

When I came to, there was motion. At first I thought I was reliving the memory of Ryo carrying me down the street, then I thought I was in a boat bobbing serenely on the lake’s surface. The reality was I was in Haru’s car, bouncing down the dirt road with Chi behind the wheel. Well, Chi and Luhan actually, because when I managed to sit up from where my head lay in Haru’s lap in the backseat, I saw Luhan sitting on Chi’s lap behind the wheel. He was steering the car and she was working the petals. I realized he wasn’t tall enough to drive it by himself, but it made me wonder about the nature of their relationship. In the caverns when he had come to her rescue, she had called him ‘Master.’ Yet he had called her ‘sister.’ Did this mean he saw her as an equal, or had they been siblings in the ages before they became vampires? I looked over at Haru for answers. He just smiled and shrugged.

I returned my gaze to Chi. The wound in her throat was still there, but it now looked cauterized, as if someone had taken a hot flame to the skin and burned it shut. As beautiful as she was, I knew the imperfection would be a glaring reminder of her sacrifice for me. Someone was always paying the price because of Nora Williams, and this saddened me.

Haru reached over and grasped my hand, giving it a little squeeze, as if to tell me everything was going to be alright. I’m not sure I believed him. I looked next to us. Ryo and Angela also occupied the backseat. My bestie was sleeping or passed out, I couldn’t quite tell. Her head lay over on Ryo’s shoulder, and he had an arm around her protectively. His eyes were also closed, but from the rise and fall of his chest I could tell he was okay. I smiled, wondering what this would mean for them. I feared Angela wouldn’t be the same girl after her ordeal, and that we would never have our playfully snappy, yet Intelligent conversations again.

Ryo opened his eyes. Perhaps my thoughts had been too loud. He kissed Angela’s forehead and ran his fingers through her silver shorn hair. I couldn’t help but smile. But my happiness faded when I turned towards Haru. He also bore lasting scars of having to help me all the time. There was an angry red ring around his neck from where it had been in a noose for so long as he hung from the cavern’s ceiling at Colin’s sick whim. Colin. It pained me that I had to kill him. He had been okay and innocent once. A nerdy kid who didn’t do anything but aggravate the snot out of you, following you around like a lost puppy. But he had changed. Became something sadistic and evil. I had no choice. He had been responsible for my dad’s death. Or at least partly responsible. He may have been under orders, but he was still complicit in the deed. He had tortured Angela to the point of death, tried to kill all of us at one point or another. Hell, he’d even bit me in an effort to turn me into…

I reached up to my neck. I could feel the teeth marks he’d left in my skin. The gaping congealed wound. Mine hadn’t been cauterized like Chi’s. Perhaps they would get Ryo to heal mine, as he did once before when I was injured at the hands of the Trumps. So why not heal Chi’s too?

“Shhh, “ whispered Haru beside me. “You are thinking too much.” Then he smiled and took my face in both his hands. His kiss was warm and enticing and I couldn’t help thinking how I wanted to be with him now this very instant. “I know, “ he confessed. “Me too.”

I smiled and lay my head back down on his lap as we continued down the road. Chi reached over and turned on the radio. It was tuned to a rock station that began to play “If you want blood, you got it,” by AC-DC. “Nope, I don’t think so,” she said, and changed the station.

As we arrived back in town it was already mid day. I assumed we’d been in the cavern and labyrinth all night. I had been unconscious when Haru had put me in one of the boats and sailed us out through the hidden channel the vampire army had used to bring their captives in. When I began to wonder about the humans down there, Luhan informed me that because of my actions twenty-seven had made it out. I was pleased with this, but I wished there had been more. Twenty-seven meant there were still some down in the caverns with the remains of the vampire army. When I started to protest this, Ryo cut me off.

“We need to regroup and be more prepared next time,” he said.

“Next time?”

“My father will not take this so easily,” Haru answered. “…the damage we inflicted on his army. Unless all this has been a distraction for bigger things.”

“He will want retribution for the death of his lieutenant,” Ryo added.

“So it’s not over?” I asked, tears welling up in my eyes.

Haru hung his head. “No. We barely escaped.”

“We did accomplish what we set out to do,” Ryo chimed. It was odd that he’d be the one trying to bring in a ray of hope. “We rescued Angela.” He looked down at her as she slept peacefully against him.

“And your father’s death is avenged,” Chi threw out there. “We put a real hurting on the army that was being built. He’s going to need more recruits before he tries anything again.”

“What about the people we saved? Where are they now?”

“If I did my job right,” Luhan said, “they are confused as hell.”

“You wiped their memory?”

“Not all the way. But enough to keep them wondering if they just had a vivid dream. Of course, those still down in the caverns, I couldn’t do anything about them. I hate to say it, but they are either dead or vampires by now.”

I shook my head. Chelsea Valley would never be the same again. Despite this, the streets didn’t look any different. Shops were open. Kids were outside playing. Life went on oblivious to what happened the night before. There were an unusual number of people missing, yes, but no one seemed overly concerned. It was as if someone, Luhan maybe, had brought a fog over the whole town and it’s citizens. That made me wonder about mom. Had she been okay through this ordeal? How was she coping with the loss of dad? I knew she had been left in Tomoko’s care, and I trusted him with her life. He was a good man. I still hadn’t forgotten how he and the jigsaw man had saved my life when we….

“His name is Kaito,” Haru said.

“Haru! You need to stay out of my head.”

He gave me a teasing look. “Why? Is there something you don’t want me to know?”

I purposely sent a thought his way.

“Oh….really?”

I smiled. “Really.”

“Well then…good thing we are almost home.”

We both laughed at our secret little thoughts. Of course, when you are riding in a car with vampires, nothing is secret anyway. Ryo grinned. Chi smirked. Luhan giggled. And Angela slept on….

Continue toEp. 85 (last chapter!)

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

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 27

Vampire Boys Of Summer

27: Vampires 101

My room was quiet. I had the music on low. I was streaming j-pop through my laptop. Currently playing was a song by Mr. Children called “Be Strong.” I don’t think that was the actual title, but they did say those words in choice points throughout the tune. I’m sure it had some cool sounding Japanese name, but I didn’t have time to look it up. I was too busy researching vampire lore. I had so many questions about these vampire boys that I didn’t know where to turn. Websites on Japanese folklore and legends weren’t much help. I even tried looking up Japanese history sites to find out if anything significant had happened in 1281. I didn’t think I’d find anything about vampires. The only thing I saw was something about the Mongols invading Japan and getting repelled. This was in the age of Shoguns and samurai clans. But nobody sucking blood and sleeping in coffins.

The sun had long sunk behind the mountains, but it was still warm in my room. We didn’t have central air. We had AC downstairs and in mom’s room, but not in mine. I had a ceiling fan over my bed. Set up in one corner was a standing fan that oscillated back and forth, but all it gave you was a momentary breeze before continuing on its cycle. My palms were getting sweaty from typing on my laptop’s keypad. I was contemplating taking off my shirt to lounge around in my bra, when I heard a whoosh sound close to my window. I looked over and saw Ryo sitting in the windowsill.

“You know,“ he said, his voice a soft baritone, “you can’t always believe what you read on the net. A lot of false information if you’re looking up politics, religion, or vampires.”

“Don’t you ever come into a girl’s room the normal way?”

“This is normal for me,“ he answered, with a teasing grin. I noticed he too was sweating in the heat. His shirt was half unbuttoned. I could see the perspiration on his throat and collarbone, and it was starting to stir my imagination. I must have blushed a little, because he climbed out of the window and sauntered towards me. His slow movements may have been intended to be sensual, but it reminded me more of a big cat stalking its prey.

“What do you want, Ryo?” I asked, getting nervous.

He stopped beside me and knelt down beside the chair. “I want to help you.”

“Help me with what?”

“Vampires 101.”

I leaned back in my chair and relaxed a little. “You’ll answer my vampire questions?”

“If I can.”

I nodded and got my first question ready. The one that bugged me the most. “Okay, how is it you guys can walk around in the day, no problem?”

“Well, personally I hate daylight. It can’t hurt me unless I haven’t fed in a while though. Oh my, I just let out one of my great secrets. Now you know that if you starve me you can kill me with the sun. I guess I’m just going to have to trust you.” He put his hand on my leg. I didn’t move it away.

“But the others? Haru? Chinatsu? Luhan?”

He raised an eyebrow, as if he were surprised I had figured them all to be vampires. He sighed. “They love the sun a little too much I’m afraid.”

“But it doesn’t hurt them.”

“Their bodies have had a long time to adjust. You know, humans have evolved over time. If you look back, what maybe just seventy years, you’ll see the women had smaller feet, were shorter, and…” He looked me up and down, his eyes lingering a little longer on my chest area than I liked. “…developed much slower.” He took his hand off my leg. “So, wouldn’t it seem likely vampires would change over time as well? We have been vampires for like over 800 years. That’s a long time to just stand still. The short answer to your question is we have learned to tolerate the sunlight. It is still very uncomfortable, but as long as you feed before spending a considerable amount of time in the daylight, you’ll be okay. I’ve only seen a few of us that have incinerated in the sun.”

“So, you do have to drink blood?”

“Yes of course. Evolution doesn’t cover that little fact.”

“How often?”

“It’s different for the individual. I have to drink every three to four days, but I like to do it more than that. It’s just hard to find willing participants.” He looked at me, a curious look on his face. “You interested?”

“No,“ I answered.

“Aww, too bad. Well, the night is still young. There are other ways I could indulge myself.”

“I bet,“ I said, trying not to watch where his eyes lingered. “But you haven’t answered all my questions.”

“I never said I would answer them all; I just said I would help.” He shrugged. “I guess I thought we could exchange information of sorts. Tit for tat, as they say.”

“What kind of information could I give you?”

He licked his bottom lip as he contemplated how to answer. He stood up and began to unbutton the rest of his shirt.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Don’t you think it’s getting warmer in here?” His shirt hit the floor, and I was graced with the sight of his sweaty, toned upper body. Across his chest, the tattoo that read ‘Loveless’ almost seemed to glisten. His muscles were taut; if I’d thrown a punch at his hard abs it would have broken my hand. But he was right; it was getting warmer in my room. Literally. It felt like someone had turned up the heat. I wondered if vampires had the power to control a room’s temperature. If so, and it got any warmer, I would soon be half naked myself. I tried to push that thought far back into my mind where it belonged.

“Do you sleep in a coffin?” I blurted out, trying to keep him from reading my mind or getting dangerous ideas.

“Nope,“ he said, moving over to my bed where he promptly sat down. “I sleep in a bed.” He lay back and stretched, his muscles pulled even tighter by the action. “Usually not my own.”

Subtlety wasn’t one of Ryo’s traits. He was like the guy who knows he’s hot, so he prances around like an underwear model in a girl’s locker room. He just knows it’s a matter of time before someone reaches out in fascination. I myself tried not to look at him. I turned back to my laptop in an attempt to concentrate on something else.

“You know it’s rude, even for a human, to ignore animal attraction.”

“Sorry, I’m not attracted to animals,“ I said, my voice cracking a little. I heard him laugh under his breath.

“But you’re attracted to me,“ he said. “I can smell it.”

“Smell what?” I asked, alarmed.

“Fear. Temptation. Curiosity. Desire. All these have distinctive scents to a vampire. How’s that for a little 101?” He rolled over on his side and propped himself up on one elbow. “Don’t you feel it?”

I shook my head. “No. N..No I don’t.”

“I think you do.” He got up. “That’s the feeling of sin.” He stepped closer. “It’s already in your mind. Now, we only have to wait for your body to catch up.” He knelt by my chair again. “You’ve wanted me from the moment you first saw me.”

I had enough presence of mind left to know he had it wrong. It was he who had wanted me from the beginning. And everything he had been doing up until now was to get to this moment. Typical guy, really. Except the vampire within him had some intense mental powers as well, giving him an irresistible sense of persuasion that was hard to fight.

The thing is I did want him. I wanted to touch him, kiss him, taste his skin, his blood, his mouth. These thoughts were so overwhelming that I felt like my very mind was being violated. I opened my desk drawer, as he placed his hand on my calf and began to slide it up my leg. I pulled out the razor blade I used for cutting. I knew cutting him wouldn’t break the spell. It probably wouldn’t even faze him. But I didn’t need to. I needed to faze me. With one hand I flicked open the razor and dragged it across my leg just inches above where his hand was. This was one time when I wasn’t numb to the pain. It shot through my leg and up to the nerve center in my brain. With a gasp, I winced and dropped the razor, shoving my chair back from the desk. The sudden movement and the breaking of his hypnotic chain made him jump to his feet and retreat. But only for a moment. Something came over his eyes and I swore it was death…

Ep. 28

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 23

Vampire Boys Of Summer

23: Friends By Association

I sat in the guidance counselor’s office awaiting my turn. When we arrived, Chinatsu had marched right into the inner office and declared in a loud, cheery voice, “I did it,” which I’m sure threw Miss Thomas off her guidance game. I looked over at Angela, who raised both eyebrows and made a gesture that let me know she thought our new friend was crazy. When she emerged from the room, Chi was feigning sadness with a drawn down frown, but as she passed by me she gave a thumbs up and said, “I got summer school, too! Isn’t that killer?!”

At first I thought, who uses phrases like ‘killer’ these days? Certainly no one in rural America. She looked Asian, and the fact that I just recently met two Asian guys, my mind was screaming she was of the same family. Did that mean she was a vampire, too? And how in the hell were they all walking around in the daytime like all they had to worry about was a light sunburn?

“Cool,” I replied, as she headed towards the hall. She threw her hand up in a wave and smiled so bright you‘d think she was advertising for a toothpaste commercial.

Miss Thomas poked her head out of her office and saw me. “Ah, Miss Williams, come on in.“ I got up while Angela fumbled with her cellphone . I knew she was watching YouTube videos, probably some new Korean boy band. BTS, EXO, NCT, or some such.

“Have we made a decision?” Thomas asked, as I sat down in front of her desk.

“Yes, Ma’m. I’ll do the summer school.”

She clapped her hands together. “That’s great, Nora. I know you can pull your grades together with this. You are a smart girl.”

“Thank you.”

She opened her desk drawer and pulled out a folder. She rummaged through the papers it held, making sure everything was there, and then handed it over. “You’ll find everything you need to know right here. You won’t be alone. Several students will be attending this summer. Just concentrate on your work and we’ll see you pass this grade.”

I took the folder and got up to go.

“Question, Nora.”

I looked at her and waited for it.

“Do you know the young lady who was here before you? The tall Japanese girl?”

“Yes, I suppose so. Her name is Chinatsu.”

She paused a moment as if turning over information in her head. “Hmm, okay,“ she finally said. “Something about her seemed strange.”

“Like what, Miss Thomas?”

She shook her head. “Oh, I don’t know. She just seemed to be playing at this. Like she doesn’t really want to go to school, but has to.” She paused for a beat. “Oh well, since you know her, please tell her that study is important, and nothing goes further than a good education. “

“Yes, I will. Thank you.”

Angela was out in the hall getting impatient. We had first period together and it was getting late. We both ran down the hall to our class. If I thought the beating of Amanda Trump would be the only highlight of the day, I was mistaken, for something bizarre awaited us in our first class.

Odd enough, I have never done well in World History. Until a certain thousand year old vampire showed up, I didn’t even think much about it. It was just a class to try and breeze through the best I could. Angela didn’t do too bad in it. That’s one thing I could say about her: boy crazy or not, she got excellent grades in every class she was in. No summer school for her.

When we both strolled into history class, word had already spread about Amanda Trump. A lot of people were in awe of Chinatsu’s knockout punch, but there were still a lot of students who were concerned about the famous Trump retaliation. Many were saying Chi was going to have one messed up face when Amanda was done with her.

Angela and I had our seats next to each other by the window. We tried to get there without anyone saying anything, but because Chi had come to my defense, it was assumed we were best friends. Everyone reasoned that the Trumps were going to ruin me so bad no one would ever associate with me again. I hadn’t thought of that. It was becoming clear it might have been better for me to take an ass kicking from Amanda.

A couple girls we knew kept looking at us in the same way people looked at car accidents. It was a little awkward, but I had to keep a brave face about me. I wondered if people would have behaved this way if Chinatsu had this class. Other kids were snickering behind their hands in almost anticipation of the upcoming slaughter. But everything went silent when the door slammed and a feminine voice cleared its throat. “Front and center,“ it said.

Continue to Ep. 24

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 21

Vampire Boys Of Summer

21: Daddy Dream

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 any 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 Asian vampire boys? And what did my father have to do with it ? 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 own 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 doesn’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?”

Next Episode is Here

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

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Revamped) Ep. 20

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped)

20: Ryo

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 tight 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. “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, 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 little 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.

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

Ghost Boy Blues 17

Seventeen

Assistant Principal Deaner is behind his desk. His office is sparse, much lighter than I imagined. There’s only a few pictures on the wall, mostly of his family. There are no awards certificates, no educational recognitions, not even a diploma. The place screams humility.

It is my first time in this office. In my life I never had to get summoned here, which is pretty good, I suppose. You only come to Deaner’s office if you are in trouble or something bad has happened. One look at his face and the way in which he eyes Anne tells me today it is the latter. Before he opens his mouth, I know this visit isn’t to go over her academic record, no matter how promising it looks.

“Miss Taynor, please have a seat,” he says, offering her a chair in front of his desk. She does as he says, carefully folding her skirt under her. She glances at Miss Watkins, who sits down in a chair next to her. The guidance counselor reaches over and pats Anne’s hand in a gesture of reassurance. I find myself getting nervous about what is to come.

Deaner sits in his own chair behind the desk and folds his hands in his lap. “I have some unfortunate news,” he says. “There has been an accident.”

Anne pushes a lock of hair away from her face. “What kind of accident?”

He clears his throat. He seems to be a little uncomfortable with this. “It’s your mother. She’s…”

“Is she dead?”

Her response surprises them. Assistant Principal and Guidance Counselor look at each other, neither one quite sure how to answer.

After some hesitation, Deaner manages to reply. “Um, no. But she is hospitalized.”

“Not life threatening,” Miss Watkins adds. “Your aunt is on the way to pick you up.”

I’m looking at Anne now. Her eyes are tearing up, but she doesn’t seem ready to let them fall in front of the adults. I want to go to her. Wrap my arms around her and convince her she can cry on my shoulder if she needs to. But I know that’s impossible, unless I take over one of these adults and then try to console her. I think that will be just a little too creepy for her though.

“Why isn’t Jeremy picking me up?”

If the question throws me off, it seems to throw off the adults even more. They look at each other and the distress I see on both their faces tells me the answer before they speak it.

“He’s being detained by police,” Deaner answers. “They are questioning him about the incident.”

I notice they don’t give any detail about what has happened, but Anne doesn’t appear bothered by the omission. It almost seems that whatever happened, it was expected. And though I’ve never heard of this Jeremy person before, I can take a guess. Dad. Stepdad. Her mom’s boyfriend. I know it’s not a sibling, because she’s an only child. You learn these kind of things when you are obsessed with someone.

“The incident,” Anne says flatly. “What exactly happened?”

“Um, they’re not sure yet, “ replies Deaner. “We can’t really say…”

“Is there anything you wish to tell us?” Miss Watkins interjected. “It can be confidential if you wish.”

“No, not really. I mean, I knew one day he’d hurt her. That’s what he did, right?”

“We don’t know. All we’ve been told is she has some facial injuries. She apparently called police and then told them that she walked into a door during their argument.”

Anne scowls. “Of course she did.”

The Assistant Principal rifles through some papers on his desk. I know he isn’t looking for anything. He’s just nervous. “Well, take all the time off you need, Anne. If you need a couple of days, or even more….”

“No, I’ll be in school tomorrow. They aren’t going to ruin my education too.”

I’m seeing a new side of my dream girl I have never seen before. Angry and determined. Anne has always been a good student. Exemplary I’d say. She gets good grades, treats teachers and other students with respect. I can see her being valedictorian or prom queen easily. But here in the office, she is letting her guard down and showing a side of herself no one else gets to see. And though it throws the adults off, it adheres me to her more.

“You know, she’s not the first person he’s hurt,” she says, and for a moment I wonder if she is saying this for Deaner and Watkins’ benefit, or her own. “If they don’t do something, she won’t be the last either.”

“I’m sure the investigators will do their best to get to the bottom of things.”

Anne just nods her head. I know she doesn’t believe that. Things have apparently been bad at home a long time. She wears one face at school, and it’s not the same as the one her family sees. All this time I have thought her a charmed girl, leading this perfect little life of joy and happiness. Until now, I’d never even seen a frown on her face, much less anger or resentment. But here it is. Behind Anne’s walls, the rest of her world is crumbling. I wish I could have seen this side of the wall sooner. I know it wouldn’t change things. I’d still be unnoticed, an unknown and unseen admirer, but maybe in life, I could have done something for her. I don’t know what, but something to let her know that on this side of her wall she was not alone. Her problem is a lot like mine used to be. Except mine didn’t run me over; hers did.

Now where in the hell did that come from?

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“Ghost Boy Blues” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 18

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18: About The Stars

Haru sat in the deck chair. He slid it next to mine and we both tilted our heads 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 prove my point, I got brave and leaned towards him. I 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 sixteen 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.

Continue to Ep. 19

 

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson.