“Kiss me,” he said, but Joseph knew it was pointless. There was no way Eliza crushed on him, the way he crushed on her. Still, he practiced what he would say just in case she forgot what a dweeb he was. “Kiss me,” he said again. The mirror said nothing.
Love Is The Darkest Art
A Dramione fanfic serial
Draco and Hermione hadn’t spoken for weeks. Not in public anyway. And certainly not nicely if others were around. Though they had been threatened with harsh punishment upon their nighttime return to Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall interceded on their behalf, declaring for all to hear that Hogsmead could get quite confusing to navigate, and a wrong turn down a dark alley could get you lost easily. Dolores Umbridge didn’t agree with this defense until Snape spoke up on Draco’s behalf with the explanation he had asked the Slytherin student to pick up some items for him and then failed to give him proper directions. Eventually, it was Dumbledore’s arrival, asking Hermione if she had delivered the letter to his brother for him, that got her off the hook. When she replied confused, “Um, no…I’m sorry,” he smiled.
“Oh well,” he said. “I’m sorry that my task got you lost.”
After that, Dolores put on a show of being annoyed, despite knowing it was she who had sent Draco to Hogsmead in the first place. Eventually, the whole incident was forgotten, though Ron and Harry both picked on Hermione for having to ride on the night bus with Malfoy.
“That must have bern torture,” Weasley said.
“Absolute,” Hermione lied.
In the days following, both Draco and she made up tales about each other to keep anyone from finding out they had spent the whole day and part of the evening together. “He smells like a wet river rat,” Hermione declared over lunch in the Great Hall one day, to which Luna Lovegood remarked, “He reminds me more of a Blibbering Humdinger.” To which nearly everyone rolled their eyes. After all, no one had ever seen most of the creatures Luna talked about.
Draco was just as insulting when he told everyone at his table that Hermione had foul breath comparable to an unbathed mountain troll. Both Crabbe and Goyle laughed loudly, but Pansy Parkinson seemed suspicious. “How do you know what her breath is like?”
He looked at his Slytherin classmate and scowled. “Because she was breathing all over me, duh…”
Unconvinced, Pansy pouted. “Why?”
Now Draco rolled his eyes. “Because she likes me, you idiot.”
Now everyone laughed. Goyle fell out of his chair even. No one even suspected Draco’s last statement had been the truth. Such was the beauty of having been enemies for years. Of course, calling Pansy an idiot in front of everyone had its own effect, and the girl got up crying and fled the room.
Crabbe leaned close to Draco and whispered, “Now, she likes you.”
Draco looked after the departing Pansy and shook his head. Girls. You needed an open pensieve to even know what they were thinking half the time.
In between studies, Hermione pondered what to tell Harry and Ron, if anything. The fact that Death Eaters had come to attack her, and do God-knows-what after, bothered her greatly. It had been suggested Voldemort staged the attempt in order to get to Harry, so didn’t he deserve to know something? But if she said anything then he’d know that she and Draco getting lost in Hogsmead was more than just blind coincidence. So she didn’t say anything. Harry already knew Voldemort was trying to get to him. That was no secret ,to him or his inner circle. Even if the rest of the school didn’t. She tried to justify in her head the reasons behind her silence, and it all boiled down to her desire to keep Draco a secret from everyone. but that in itself posed questions. How far would she be willing to go to keep others from finding out?
This question plagued her for the next few days as both she and Draco eased their way back into their roles of prefects. Hermione, true to herself, used the position to try and help others and steer them in the right direction, while Draco took the opportunity to hold his position at Hogwarts over everyone else’s head. it bothered Hermione that he seemed unchanged by their times together. Perhaps it was really good acting in secret keeping, a role he was playing to avoid suspicion, but day by day she asked herself which was he acting. Which was the real Draco? The one she knew when they were alone together, or the one that aggravated and ridiculed students, most particular her own friends?
Sitting in her room one evening after dinner, she contemplated this over a shoe. It was Draco’s, left behind in the greenhouse as he’d made his secret escape when Luna and Neville had almost caught them. She thought it had been some really quick thinking that had prompted him to leave it behind when he slipped away under his invisibility cloak. After all, it gave her an excuse, though a flimsy one, for being under a table in the greenhouse. Why she never gave it back to him, she wasn’t quite sure. Part of her reasoned, “well, he never asked for it.” Another part told her she had kept it as a souvenir of her first serious, and intimate, love. But how serious was it? She’d heard it said before somewhere that the greatest love was one in which you’d lay your life down to protect the other. With all their secrecy, just how far was she willing to go in her admiration? How could she have the greatest love and yet never tell a soul? She turned the shoe over in her hands, thinking of Draco and she, of where they’d be in ten years. A fleeting thought escaped her that made her blush. A bedroom, dishevelled blankets, an older she and Draco in their underwear curled up together after having made love. Their face flushed, but smiling. Their bodies aglow, glistening sweat across his bare chest. Her fingers tracing lines in the moisture of his skin, wanting him again and again and….
“Hey, whose shoe?” somebody asked, shocking her out of her imaginings and into the real world. It startled her so much she nearly flung Draco’s footwear into the corner. She spun towards the voice.
“Ginny! Oh my, you scared me!”
“I see that. Sorry.” She took a few steps toward the shoe. Hermione was faster and snatched it up off the floor.
Ginny wrinkled her brow. “What are you doing with a boy’s shoe?”
Hermione looked at it in her hand. “Um, I found it outside our door.” She turned it over nervously, hoping Ginny wouldn’t discover who it belonged to. It wasnt like anyone spent much time checking out Draco’s feet. “I was just getting ready to take it to McGonagall,” she said. “Let her sort it out.”
“You dont have to do that,” Ginny replied. “Filch is tight out in the hall. You know he’ll find out what stupid boy can’t keep his shoes on.”
Hermione laughed. “That’s for sure.” She slid past Ginny, not daring to look at her for fear she’d see the truth in her eyes. “Be right back.” She hefted the shoe in her other hand and went out the door. Going down the stairs that seperated Gryffindor girls from boys, she walked briskly through her house’s common room and into the hall. She glanced behind her, wondering if Ginny had followed. She sighed in relief when she saw she hadn’t. Then she collided into someone so hard it nearly knocked them both down.
“Slow down, Granger,” Draco sneered. “Before I recommend points be taken from you.” He saw the shoe in her hand. She saw his sidekicks Crabbe and Goyle by his side.”You have something of mine it seems.” He reached out and snatched the shoe out of her hand. He stepped closer to her, a menacing look on his face. “It’s my heart,” he muttered low so only she could hear.
“What?” Hermione asked. She had heard him exactly, but part if her wanted to hear it again, only louder and in front of his friends.
He didn’t fall for it. Instead, he turned to his buddies, waved the shoe, and exclaimed, “See boys, I told you she had an insane crush on me.”
At first, she thought he’d gone on and told them. That he’d let their secret out to someone, but then she realized he was playing the game again. The “let’s pretend we’re enemies still” ruse.
“You wish,” she came back at him. “I’d rather crush on…Peeves.”
“Oh God, Granger that is just too gross.” Goyle and Crabbe guffawed. “You need me to take you to the infirmary?”
She looked hard at him, her eyes not leaving his own. “Yes I think you might have to. I’m suddenly not feeling well.” She made a gesture as if she were going to throw up. She put her hand over her mouth, and both Crabbe and Goyle backed up.
“Go get McGonagall,” he commanded them, and like dutiful servants that obeyed, running off down the hall. Anything to get away from a possibly hurling girl. Draco grabbed Hermione by the arm. “You better come with me. You look like you might faint any minute. Don’t hurl on my feet.”
He dragged her in the opposite direction of Goyle and Crabbe. “Madam Pomfrey is going to want to get a look at you.” Around the corner, out of sight of everyone else, he pushed her against the wall. “And I want to look at you too,” he said in a hushed tone.
Hermione smiled, her fake sickness vanishing in an instant. She grabbed the sides of his face with her hands and pulled him to her. Their lips collided, fulll of want and hungry for affection.
“I’ve missed you,” Draco whispered against her tongue. A thrill of excitement went through her. She wanted to say she felt empty and alone without him, but she didn’t. Instead, she welcomed his mouth so fully against her own, onlookers, had there been any, would have thought someone had thrown a “two become one” charm at them.
Love Is The Darkest Art
A Dramione fanfic serial
The afternoon skies were producing dark clouds. Rain was building up but had yet to let loose its torrent. Draco carried Hermione across the field next to Hagrid’s hut and into the woods. He had to get her to someplace secluded where she could breathe again and they could relax. He hoped the trees and their thick leaves would keep the coming storm off of them. The wind was picking up way too fast and he felt the first few sprinkles of rain.
Cradling her with one arm, he reached out with his other. “Accio parasol,” he commanded and an umbrella appeared in his hand. He hoped his mother Narcissa didn’t mind, as it was hers, but it was the only one he could conjure in his mind at the moment. He flicked the umbrella open, but before he could get it over their heads, the wind caught it and carried it off into the sky. After a moment, watching the umbrella change direction in the air he realized his mother had enchanted it to return to her in the event it was lost.
Draco readjusted carrying Hermione in his arms and she looked up at him. Her eyes were rimmed red from her tears and there was a look of fear in her pupils. It wasn’t a fear of him, but of losing him. She could have swore that before he had picked her up he had said he must let her go. She opened her mouth to say something about it, but then the skies opened sending the storm down upon them with fury.
He set her down. “Come on, run,” he said and he led her deeper into the dark wood. He took her hand and wrapped his fingers around hers as they sought some form of shelter under the canopy of trees. Unfortunately, they were already drenched, hair wet and matted against their faces, clothes soaked through and shoes filled up with rain as if they were teacups.
“Accio tent!” Hermione shouted with a wave of her wand, and a small tent appeared. It was one she had seen in the window of a shop in Diagon Alley. Normally she would have considered this an act of theft, and therefore wrong, but perhaps her association with Malfoy was wearing off on her too. It’s only borrowing, she told herself, as Draco used his own wand to draw the tree branches closer to conceal it.
They scrambled inside and landed on the mossy ground, as the tent had no floor, just sides and its sharply angled roof.
“Where in the world did that come from?” Draco exclaimed, crawling towards the tent’s open flap to get a better view of the storm.
“I dont know,” Hermione sighed. “But I’m drenched.”
He turned to look at her. “So am I, but you have a way of looking beautiful in any sort of weather.”
She blushed. ‘Draco, I….”
He pulled out his wand and pointed it at her. She froze. “This may be uncomfortable, but necessary,” he said. Before she could pull out her own wand to defend herself he uttered a few words low in his voice and a rush of hot air hit her. It wasn’t enough to knock her back, but the heat that emanated in a stream from the tip of his wand was still intrusive. Waving it just inches away from her, he traced the lines of her body as if he were a sculptor trying to capture every curve to memory. And though it was mildly erotic, the slow meticulous motion of his hand, he never touched her, but instead let the warmth of the charm dry her wet clothes while she wore them.
Down her body he allowed his wand to work, moving over her stomach, down her legs, and ending at her shoes.
“Turn,” he commanded,and as she did he dried her back and hood, moving up to her head to dry her hair just as easily as if he were Hogwarts personal hairdresser.
“Close your eyes” he said, and waved the wand over her face, gently drying cheeks, chin, eyebrows, and nose. After he moved it over her lips, he placed his own mouth softly against hers, letting it linger for a few moments. “Don’t want your lips getting too dry,” he explained with a sly smile.
Hermione finally relaxed and looked at his wand as he moved it across his own body in the same sort of fashion. “I thought you were going to hurt me,” she said with a heavy sigh.
“I thought maybe Umbridge…”
“Don’t worry about her. We are still a secret for now.”
“Just what is our secret, Draco? I don’t understand what is happening to us…I don’t think anyone could understand this…”
He smiled. “No one has to. Not even us. Sometimes you just want what you want. And you hope the rest just falls into place.”
“But I’m so confused. I don’t know what I want.”
He reached out his hand and touched her cheek. “It’s okay. We’re not supposed to know. All I know in all this is I can’t stay away from you. I can’t bear the thought of not getting lost in your eyes anymore.”
“Draco, Umbridge saw us. Neville almost saw us. If we continue this …”
“If? There is no if for me, Hermione. There is only you, me, and to hell with anyone else.”
She shook her head. “But why? For years you have hated me.”
“Is that what you think? I never hated you, Granger. Jealous, envious maybe. Hell I was a kid when we met. I didn’t know how to express the fact I liked you. All I knew how to do was pick on you. But now I know how to express my strange, new emotions. Maybe I’m growing up, or just growing into you. Either way, I never hated you. In fact, quite the opposite. Hermione, I…”
She put her open hand over his mouth. “Don’t Draco, dont you say it. If you say it, I will ..”
She let her unfinished sentence hang in the air, as Draco gently removed her hand from his mouth.
“Okay, I won’t say it. But that doesn’t mean I won’t feel it.”
Hermione blinked back the tears that were starting to form around her eyes again. “We shouldn’t feel this way. We shouldn’t be here…not together like…”
He kissed her. Perhaps it was his way of telling her to stop rambling and shut up. Or maybe it was because he did feel something. That all those years he had picked on her was like a boy on a playground pulling the little girl’s pigtails because he liked her. No matter the reason, his lips were warm against hers, causing Hermione to forget her confusions and uncertainties.
She allowed herself to sink into his arms and he pulled her close. His mouth opened against hers and she responded with the very longings she would deny, wrapping herself around him and letting their kiss carry them far from the storm, the cold, the very impossibility of this moment.
They remained like that for awhile, so close if one had seen them they would have thought them one entity, instead of two. Lips melted hot against the other, tongues twisted pleasantly, exchanging breath for breath. Eyes opened and closed with their competing heartbeats. When both managed to open at once, they caught the adoring gaze of the other and renewed their amorous fervor. The real world, such as it was, swam around their heads, while within their intimate kisses all that existed was this fantasy, breathing life into them like never before.
Eventually however, it was breath they needed and their lips parted so that he could whisper her name, “Hermione Jean…”
She looked at him surprised. “You know my middle name?”
He smiled. “Always.” Though it had never been revealed in his presence, nor had anyone spoke it before like that, it was apparent he’d paid more interest in her than she ever imagined.
“Say it again.”
“To hell with breathing,” she said and kissed him again. He lifted her and she wrapped her legs around his waist, so that she were slightly above him, kissing down to him and his upturned face. She put both palms against his cheeks, cradling his face in her hands, as his own held her aloft from her bottom. She either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
A crack of thunder erupted in the distance, but it didn’t startle or concern them. The resounding echo of the rain against the tent sounded out the time that escaped them. And yet, if they’d been listening to anything other than their own sighs and whispers, they would have heard voices calling from somewhere out in the wood, “Hermione, Hermione!”
Love Is The Darkest Art
A Dramione Fan Fic Serial
Draco Malfoy shoved his way out of the library. Rounding the corner he let out a long baited breath. Leaning against the wall, he looked at the palm of his hand, discerning the place Hermione’s lips had been against it as he held her mouth shut. He closed his eyes for a moment and he could almost see her image behind his eyelids. He shook his head as if he were trying to dislodge the thought from his mind. He opened his eyes just in time to see Neville leaving the library, a couple of books in his hands. Normally, Draco would have done something. Made fun of him, tripped him up, something. But instead he let him pass by unmolested. Once the boy was out of sight, Draco clenched his fists and returned to the library.
Hermione was gone. She wasn’t where he left her. He checked a few nearby aisles and there was no sign of her. This puzzled the Slytherin boy. She hadn’t left by the main doors. He’d been standing there. How did she manage to evade him? The answer was simple. She still had to be in the library. Somewhere.
He made his way back to the front desk. Perhaps she was checking out some books or something. But no one was at the desk. Even Madam Pince was gone. This made no sense at all. And so Draco wandered up and down the aisles. He thought of calling out her name, or at least whispering it. But he thought if someone else heard him they would wonder why he was calling her name. So instead he moved silently among the shelves, trying to catch a glimpse of where she’d disappeared to.
After some time he gave up. He returned to the divination aisle where he’d first found her. He started scanning the shelves though he knew Umbridge had removed a large number of books from the section.
“What were you looking for?” he mumbled to himself.
Just then there was movement to his left. It startled him, but he didn’t jump. After all it was Hermione. At last. With a toss of her brown hair she walked down the aisle towards him.
“You know,” she said, “the next time you come looking for me…”
“I wasn’t looking for you.”
She smirked. “Okay then, next time we meet..”
“This wasn’t a meeting.” Then he smirked back. He was better at it than she. “I don’t even like you, Granger.”
“And I like you even less,” she replied quietly.
He nodded, taking a step closer. So close there were only inches between them. “Then let’s keep it that way,” he agreed.
Before she could make another retort, he kissed her, full yet light on the lips. Hermione closed her eyes and let it settle there. This wasn’t the first time he’d kissed her, but it was the longest, his lips barely leaving hers before pressing them once again, his mouth pleasantly parting with hers, tongues briefly touching as he took her into his embrace, one hand touching her cheek, the other resting lightly on her throat.
Hermione wrapped her arms around his waist, gently pulling him to her so that even air couldn’t pass between their bodies. She leaned her face into his hand and imagined his long fingers lingering on her forever. The fact they were in the library seemed to fall away from her, replaced with the single thought of floating on clouds high up in a starry night sky, two lovers entwined in the darkness where no one could see.
Draco pulled himself slowly from her kiss. “You know I adore you, right?” When she nodded, he added, “No matter what I say in front of others, you are my true magic, mudblood.”
She smiled. While it seemed an insult to call her that in public, in private it meant something different to her. It was about her uniqueness, the strange, unexplainable blending of their two souls, one of purety, the other of fault.
“I…,” she tried to say. “I..I am so…”
“Shhhh,” he whispered and kissed her again. She couldn’t help but melt against him, the silence in the library contrasting with the steady, overpowering thrum of their hearts keeping time against the other.
TO BE CONTINUED?
Paul’s note: My apologies this part is so short. I’ll do better next time 😉
Vampire Boys Of Summer
59: The Odd Miss Thomas
Miss Thomas regained her composure and began to take charge, telling the students to go on to their classes, now that the excitement was over. Then she approached us, her eyes taking in Chi in a suspicious manner.
“Thank you, young lady,” she said. “That was some quick thinking and a very brave thing to do. I don’t believe we have been properly introduced. What’s your name?”
This threw me off a bit. Hadn’t she met Chi in her office the other day when the Japanese girl had broken Amanda Trump’s nose? Had she forgotten that quickly? Chi herself didn’t register any surprise, as if this was normal behavior among adults she had met. Instead, she put on her most gracious smile. “I just started last week. I’m Chinatsu, but my friends call me Chi. You can call me Chi, too.”
I didn’t know if she used some kind of vampiric hypnosis, but her response and tone seemed to take the suspicion right out of the guidance counselor.
“Oh well, thank you for your assistance in handling….” She looked at the unconscious Mr. Sharp, who was now being lifted from the ground by the two teachers.
“No problem,” Chi replied. “It’s surprising what you pick up after eight hundred years of high school.”
I didn’t know if she was making a crack at the middle aged Miss Thomas or poking fun at her own experience as one of the undead, but either way, everyone couldn’t help but laugh. It was especially good for me having feared for my life just minutes ago.
If I thought the rest of the school day would be without event, I was mistaken. After the bizarre attack from the math teacher, Chinatsu wandered off down the hall, and Mrs Thomas went back to her office, leaving Angela and I alone. We watched the other students eye us warily and go to their classes.
“That was a good kick,” I told Angela.
She grinned. “I don’t know what came over me. Good thing I’m not in his class.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
“I don’t know what’s weirder, him eating a rat or trying to attack you. What’s he have against you anyway?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. I didn’t say as much, but I felt it was connected to last night’s assault. That’s not what puzzled me though. It was the few words he said to me. Ick-uh-rus. This wasn’t the first occasion I’d heard it, but this time It had sounded almost derogatory. Was he calling me a name, or was it a code word, a clue to the vampire master’s identity? What did Ick-uh-rus even mean anyway? And why did he say soon it would be my turn? My turn for what? The slave and master thing didn’t sound too promising either. After all, I didn’t think he was talking about Fifty Shades Of Grey.
“Things are definitely getting strange in Chelsea Valley,” Angela said, as we headed to our classes. Her Spanish Class was on the second floor so we climbed the stairs, neither of us very anxious to get there.
“What do you mean, strange?” I asked.
“Just people. Acting all funky and weird and shit. Guys hanging outside my house.”
I stopped. “What?”
She shook her head. “Yeah. Last night there were like three guys sitting on the low wall across the street. Just chilling. They kept looking up at my house like Lana Del Rey lived there or something. I looked out the window one time and they even waved at me. I shot them the finger and they all laughed.”
“Do you know who they were?”
“No, never seen them before. They were older, like college guys or something. Normally, I’d find that inviting, but last night it was creepy. The last time I looked out they had come off the wall and were in the middle of the street. Then this other guy came walking down the street and they took off. I guess they didn’t want anyone but me to notice them. Bunch of freaks.”
“Yeah, that’s freaky.” I wanted to tell her what had happened to me but I couldn’t. I felt like I would regret it later, but I had to keep my silence.
“But hey, my night was nowhere as bad as yours,” Ang added.
“What do you mean?”
“You know, your dad.”
I hung my head. “Yeah, it doesn’t get much worse than that.”
But actually it does. A worse notion is an invasion of evil vampires taking over the school and all of Chelsea Valley. I was hoping that Haru and Ryo were having some luck today finding Bram.
While Angela was stuck in Spanish Class, I had to endure Art. Normally it was one of my favorite classes, but I couldn’t quite concentrate on the assignment. The class was halfway over when Miss Thomas came looking for me and asked that I accompany her to her office.
Once there, we sat for a few moments in silence, her at her desk, me in the sofa chair across from it. Finally, she sighed.
“I am so sorry about your father, Nora. You and your mother have my deepest sympathies.”
“If there’s anything I can do…”
“No, I think we’re okay,” I said , trying to head her off from the typical spate of condolences that come at time likes this.
She nodded her head and seemed to be contemplating saying anything further. She picked up a pen and nervously twirled it between her fingers. After a moment, she set it down and said what was really on her mind.
“Mr. Sharp has been taken into police custody. He will be taken to the hospital to be evaluated. Detectives will want to question you eventually, I imagine. Are you okay with that? “
“Yeah, no problem.”
“The school will have to notify your mother as to what happened. But before we do, is there anything you’d like to tell me? Something the school should know?”
“You don’t know why Mr. Sharp attacked you?”
“No. He’s not even one of my teachers. I’ve never spoken to him or acknowledged him in any way before. I mean, I know who he is. He’s a popular teacher, but I wasn’t aware he knew me.”
“So what exactly happened?”
“Angela and I were walking down the hall. We saw some people outside the classroom and when we got there and looked in, he was at his desk foaming at the mouth. Then he got up and attacked me.”
She nodded, picked up her pen and jotted something down on a notepad in front of her.
“Did he say anything to you ?”
“No, mam,” I lied . I didn’t think she’d understand any of his words to me. There was no point in divulging them to anyone except my Asian vampire friends.
She made another note. “Are you sure?”
She sighed as if she knew I was lying. “Anything else unusual about him?”
“Eating a rat isn’t unusual?”
I didn’t look at her. Instead I tried focusing my attention at the window, wishing I could will myself out of the room.
“Look, Nora. You can talk to me. It’s okay. You can trust me.”
I wasn’t so sure about that. I mean, could I really trust her enough to say there were vampires in Chelsea Valley? No, I didn’t think so. It was best that the less she knew, the better off she would be. Ignorance is bliss.
“I know the things you go through as a teenager,” she continued. “I was there myself once. I know that the culture may be different than when I grew up, but the feelings are the same. I will understand anything you tell me and try my best to help you through it.”
I doubted very seriously she’d understand anything I was going through, but I decided to go out on a limb.
“What does Ick-uh-rus mean?” I asked .
This threw her off big time. “Excuse me?”
“The words, Ick-Uh-Rus. What does it mean?”
She still seemed thrown off, as if she couldn’t understand what my question had to do with anything, let alone teen insecurities or problems.
“Well…um….Icarus I believe, if this is what you are referring to…he was a figure in Greek Mythology. He flew too close to the sun. Um, I never was much into mythology myself. Perhaps you should ask your history teacher about it. I believe they may….”
“Okay, thank you,” I replied, heading her off from rambling even further. I didn’t think she’d be much help, but she had asked for me to talk, so there you go.
I got up from my chair. “Is that all? Can I go back to class now?”
“Yes, that’s it for now. I’ll talk to your mom about the incident soon.”
I didn’t know if she meant it as a threat, but it didn’t scare me half as much as the thought of evil vampires running up and down the halls.
“Okay, I’ll tell her,” I replied, and headed for the door.
I stopped, but only half turned to her. “Yes?”
“See you in summer school.”
I didn’t know it, but it would be the last time we’d have a somewhat friendly conversation.
Continue to Ep. 60
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.
Vampire Boys Of Summer
58: Rabid Teacher Day
I did make it for the last day of school, but I was a little late. Time may stand still sometimes, but it speeds to catch up eventually. Because of that, I missed the bus. I could have gotten mom to take me, but Haru offered to give me a ride. I don’t think he was worried I would run into trouble on the way. I think he just thought it was the gentleman’s thing to do. He may have embraced a modern attitude about some things, but he still had this old world way of thought. I really liked that about him. It was a quality that no one else had, not even Ryo.
Haru kissed me when we pulled up in front of school and told me I didn’t really have to be there if I didn’t want to. We could just as easily go back home. He seemed to understand the dilemma of going to classes the morning after a parent has died.
“No,” I told him. “I need to do this. Dad wouldn’t want me to be sitting around and moping. He’d want to me to be preparing for the invasion he was talking about. We need to know if anything else happened last night and if any of the others involved in the attack show up for school.”
He smiled and nodded. “You always impress me, Nora. Your resilience and strength is to be commended.”
“I wouldn’t be strong without you,” I replied, getting out of the car. I walked around to the driver’s side and leaned inside his window. “A kiss for luck, please.”
He obliged me, his lips full upon my own. With Haru’s kisses I felt like I could face anything. But it made me wonder what he was going to face.
“What are you going to do today?” I asked.
“Ryo and I are going grocery shopping.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Grocery shopping?”
“Yes. It’s time to find that Bram guy your dad was talking about. It all started with that confrontation. If we can find him, maybe we can find the one behind your father’s killing and the attack on you.”
“Please be careful.”
“I will. Say hello to Angela for me.”
Angela. In all the madness of last night, I had forgotten about her. Last time we had spoke it hadn’t ended on good terms. I hadn’t wanted her to go see Ryo, but she had misunderstood my reasons. I had to admit now I thought my reasons had been stupid. I just wanted to protect her, but I should have stayed out of her attempts at a love life. Maybe I was jealous in a way. Maybe for once I had wanted to be the one to have a boyfriend, and for her to be the loner. I needed to stop being selfish and let her do as she wanted. She’d find out Ryo was a vampire soon enough. How she handled that when the time comes would be up to her.
I smiled at Haru. “I’ll tell her hi, but I don’t know if she’ll show up today. She’s notorious for skipping.”
“I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that.” He turned his head towards the school and nodded.
I followed his gaze and saw Angela come out the front doors to stand at the top of the stairs, as if she had been waiting for me to arrive. I gave Haru a quick kiss and walked around the car to start up the walk towards her. She came down the steps, a sympathetic look on her face. At first there were no words, just a hug followed by tears. I cried in her long blond hair, and she in turn wet the side of my cheek.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “Mom saw it on the news this morning.”
I didn’t know what to say. “Thank you,” was all I could come up with.
“I should have been there for you,” she continued.
I pulled away from her. “I should have been there for you, too,” I replied, wiping my tears with the back of my hand. “I was a jerk to you the other day. I’m sorry.”
“I was a bigger jerk,” she replied. “Forgive me?”
“Forgive me first.”
“No, you forgive me first,” she insisted.
“Uh-uh, you first.”
She grinned. “No way, bitch. Forgive me first.”
We both laughed at our playful argument and knew there was no forgiveness necessary. We’d always be besties. Nothing was going to change that, not even boys.
Entering school together, we both noticed something was off. I mean we knew it was the last day of school, and some of our peers and classmates would be trying to start summer break early, but there was now a large number of students that were absent. I felt I knew the reason for this, but I couldn’t confide in Angela about it, bestie or not. I had promised Haru I’d keep their secrets.
The first ones we noticed missing were the football team. Of course, I knew that at least some of them had been part of last night’s attack on Haru’s house, but today the whole team was absent, including the coach and his assistant.
“That’s weird,” Angela said, and at first I thought she was talking about the jocks, but she pointed down the hall to Mr. Sharp’s math class. A bunch of students were standing out in the hall talking in curious, worried tones, strange bewildered looks on their faces. A few of them, girls mostly, looked like they would hurl up their breakfast any moment. We hurried down the hall to see what was happening.
Maneuvering through the crowd in the doorway, I managed to get a look inside the room. Mr. Sharp sat behind his desk. On your average day he was a well dressed, perfectly groomed kind of man. Suit, tie, clean shaven, not a hair out of place. Young and good looking, he was popular with the female students. Today however, he was different. He looked rough. Clothes disheveled, hair a mess as if he had pulled clumps of it out, unshaven beard with what looked to be bits of food clumped in it. But perhaps it wasn’t food in the normal sense, for he sat there with a half eaten rat hanging out of his mouth, gnawing on it like a ravenous, rabies infested dog.
“Oh My God,” Angela whispered under her breath, coming up alongside me. “What the hell is wrong with him?”
“I don’t know,” I muttered in reply, but all I could think of was Renfield in Dracula. Had Mr. Sharp been turned into a vampire’s servant? Or was this the ugly process of turning into a bloodsucker? First rats, then humans?
As if he knew my thoughts, the math teacher looked up and made eye contact. His pupils clouded over and a slow grin began to spread across his face. “Nora,” he garbled, his voice sounding like he was drowning in water.
“Uh oh,” I said and backed out of the doorway, just as he leaped on top of his desk. With a big gulp, he swallowed the rest of the rat and jumped off the desktop, heading for me. Students screamed and bolted in every direction. He came out into the hallway, snarling and foaming at the mouth. Angela shoved me out of the way and snarled back at him, like you would a dog that had run out of its yard to chase you on your bike. He was distracted long enough for me to get my back pack off and swing it at him. Laden with books, it connected with his head. The force was enough to knock him off his feet. He nearly did a somersault on his way to the floor. Angela took several steps towards him, her short black skirt swirling about her legs. She put a well placed kick right in his groin, and while it may have slowed him down, he soon recovered and was getting to his feet again.
“Ick-uh-rus,” he growled in a tone of contempt, pushing her to the side and launching himself towards me again. This time however, he was taken down by two teachers who had come running up the hallway. They tackled him and pinned him to the floor. He writhed and squirmed in their grasp, snapping his teeth at them. I figured it wouldn’t be long before he was up again and coming for me. The teachers were strong, but there was no holding a madman. He needed a sedative and I didn’t think the school nurse had anything like that. Still, she came running, along with our guidance counselor, Miss Thomas.
“What is going on here?!”
I turned to answer Miss Thomas, and the rabid math teacher broke free. Flinging the other teachers from him as if they were fifty pound weaklings, he was at me before I even knew it. He grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me. “Soon it will be your turn,” he snarled in a low voice only I could hear. “You will be the slave, groveling at the feet of my master.”
“Your master is a coward,” a voice said from behind him. Before anybody knew what was happening, the speaker wrapped their arms around Sharp’s head and squeezed. His eyes started to roll up in his head and he let me go. Chi tightened her grip, enfolding him within her arms so much you could barely see his face. You could almost hear the air escaping his body in a gasp for breath. Within seconds his body went limp and he collapsed in her arms. She eased him to the ground where he lay still and unconscious. Chi wiped her hands on her skin tight leather pants and with a toss of her long shimmering tresses said, “You’re getting to be high maintenance, Nora.”
Everyone in the hallway was stunned. Rendered mute, they all just stared at Chinatsu, until finally she shrugged and explained with a playful smirk, “I watch wrestling on the weekends.”
Continue to Ep. 59
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.
Vampire Boys Of Summer
57: The Truth About Dad
I don’t know how long I was out but when I awoke, I was naked and back home under the covers in my own bed. At first I thought I had been dreaming the whole thing, for when I opened my eyes I saw that Haru was straddling the chair at my desk watching me. He smiled.
“Welcome back,” he said. “I thought I was going to have to wake you. It’s only a couple more hours until school.”
I raised a hand to my head. I had something of a migraine with the smell of blood still in my nostrils. “It’s the last day. I could skip.”
He nodded. “Yes, you could.” He got up and walked over to the bed. “But it might be a good idea to go. Keep up appearances and maybe see who is who. I’m curious to know if anyone knows what happened last night.”
“I’m not sure myself.”
He sat down on the bed beside me. “Nora, I am sorry.”
“Sorry for what?”
“I wasn’t here to protect you as promised. They split us up on purpose, hoping my uncles were too weak to defend anyone.”
I had to laugh. I didn’t think his uncles were weak in any shape or form. If anything, they were downright terrifying.
“What do you mean split us up?”
“The trail of victims was designed to lead us out of town, all the way to the asylum. They knew we’d never get back in time when we realized it had been a ruse.”
“A ruse? Do you mean there wasn’t a trail of dead victims?”
He shook his head. “No, there was. But there was no reason for it, other than to lure us away. Well, except for the last victim.”
He didn’t have to say who that was. The bodies had led them all the way to the asylum. And to my father.
Haru hung his head. “I am sorry. He didn’t deserve to die like that.”
“To die like what?”
He looked away. “Never mind that. Chi will accompany you to school. Luhan will be there too. They won’t let anything happen.”
“Tell me, Haru.”
“Tell you what?”
“How my father died. The hospital said he hung himself. What really happened?”
He hesitated a moment and then kissed my cheek. Perhaps he thought it would bring comfort.
“Please,” I pleaded. “I have to know.”
Haru looked like he was about to cry. He barely knew my father. The tears he was fighting wasn’t for him though. They were for me. He took a deep breath and then told me the truth.
“He was hung. But he didn’t do it himself. They strung him up.”
“Yes. I’m sorry.”
“It wasn’t you or your family,” I replied. I moved closer to him on the bed and the covers fell away. My nakedness didn’t bother me. “I guess dad was right. They were coming for him.”
Haru took me in his arms and I lay my head on his shoulder. The closeness cried for his comfort and I let the tears come.
“It’s okay,” he whispered, and his voice was soothing and resolute. I knew he was right. It would be okay. Maybe not right now, but soon. “We’ll find them,” he promised.
“What happened to the ones who attacked your house?”
“Most of them fled. Probably back to their master. There were a few casualties, but you already know that.”
“Yes,” I agreed, remembering the vampires in my room and their horrible fates.
“My uncles held their own. I knew they would.”
“I hope they weren’t the ones who brought me home and got me naked.”
I could feel his smile against my cheek. “No, that was me. Sorry, but I had to burn your clothes. They were covered in blood and stuff.”
I closed my eyes on the thought of exploding Jake and Blondie with Jigsaw Man’s fangs crunching through his skull. I shivered and Haru’s lips kissed my neck. It calmed my nerves and relaxed me to the point where he too could have bit and drank from me. But he didn’t. He just held me close and rocked me in his arms until it was time for school.
As I dressed for school, Haru gave me the rest of the details of my father’s murder. After all, that’s what it was. Cold, calculated murder designed to send the message: Those who hunt vampires will die. They had strung up my father in his room, looped the rope up through the ceiling and wrapped it around the heating duct. According to Haru, they had also bit him in the neck and wrists in order to bleed him out, but they didn’t drink his blood. This made me think of my jigsaw man dream days ago with dad hanging on a cross in the school auditorium. In the vision, vampires had drunk from the students but wouldn’t touch his blood, as if it would leave a bad taste in their mouths. It was then I thought of Mom in a dead sleep having some of her blood sucked out by Jake.
“Where’s my mother?”
“She’s okay,” Haru replied. “Tomoko stitched her up. Told her she took a fall.”
“How do you pass off vampire bites as a fall?”
Haru grinned. “My uncle’s powers of persuasion are unmatched.”
He didn’t need to explain further. If Ryo could almost get into my head and make me do and feel things, then the older vampires probably had it honed to an art.
“She won’t become a vampire, will she?”
Haru raised an eyebrow, as if to say, what’s wrong with being a vampire, and then smiled. “No, she’ll still be human. They didn’t take enough blood from her. She might be physically weak for awhile, but it will pass. I can’t say the same for her attacker.”
I shuddered at the memory of Jake exploding when the vampire poison had passed to him through my mother’s blood.
“You should shudder for Ryo,” Haru said. “He’s the one who had to clean up the mess.”
“Not your fault, Nora. You’re not the one who sent them after you.”
“We don’t know yet. Finding the master of a vampire clan is not always easy.”
I looked at him. “Well, they found your uncle Tomoko easy enough.”
He smirked. “He’s not the master of our clan.”
I was surprised. “Can I ask who is?”
He hesitated a moment, as if weighing his options. “It’s best you don’t know. The name could be coaxed out of you by your father’s killers, and then we’d all be in jeopardy.”
I was disappointed he couldn’t trust me with this, but I understood. I sat on the edge of my bed and laced up my Chucks. I wondered what in the hell I was doing. I mean, dad had just been killed by vampires and I was getting ready to trudge off to school as if it were nothing. I wasn’t even sure if mother would let me out the door considering the circumstances. She wasn’t aware I had bad bloodsuckers after me, but despite that I needed time to mourn. Everyone who has ever lost someone knows it takes time before you can move beyond the death and carry on. Perhaps Haru had seen so much of it that it was just another day to him. Maybe death didn’t faze him or his kind for they had cheated it.
I tried to tell him how I was feeling. He seemed sympathetic to my feelings of loss, but he did take mild exception to how I perceived his family. “We didn’t cheat death. No one does. It catches up to us all one day.”
“Your vampirism doesn’t give you immortality?”
“It gives us the illusion of it. I will die someday, of this I’m sure. Perhaps it may be at the hands of enemies, or maybe even my own, but the truth is no one lives forever. Through our curse, death is held at bay, and we live longer than humanity should allow, but God will not be mocked. Our judgement will come eventually.”
I didn’t know what to say. I guess I assumed Haru, Ryo, and the others were eternal creatures. To know they would all die one day made me sadder than I had been before.
“Oh don’t fret for us, Nora. In this sense we are just like you and want to live life to the fullest.” He approached me on the bed and knelt in front of me. He took my hand in his. “I’d like to live mine with you, if you don’t mind.”
My breath caught in my throat. There’s a certain tone that overcomes his voice when he is talking of romantic things. I can’t explain it, but it sends a rush through me, a warmth that courses through my body, making me want his kisses more than anything.
“I want that, too,” I whispered. I closed my eyes and welcomed his gentle kiss. Going to school was forgotten. You see, time stands still for lovers, even if they are on the brink of their own destruction.
Continue to Ep. 58
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.