Vampire Boys Of Summer
78: Into The Fray
Ryo stood, dark and terrible. He looked down at his nakedness, then at a new vampire who lay injured and moaning at his feet. He reached down and grabbed the man, hauling him to his feet, lifting him by one hand so he was level to his eyes.
“Next time you wish to sink a man to the bottom of a lake, make sure he cannot chew through the chain.”
He dropped the man back down, and took a step forward. There were still some pockets of fighting through the cavern. Ryo’s arrival hadn’t disrupted everything. Chi was being held down by a group that were finding it hard to keep a hold on her. So they began breaking her fingers one by one. Luhan was having a hard time keeping his attackers at bay himself, and at least one of them had a stake in his hand. Ryo looked to the stage where Haru was swinging back and forth on his noose trying to break free of his bonds. Then his eyes lit on mine, and for a moment I thought something passed between Ryo and I. Call it an understanding, if you will. An understanding that said I would be Haru’s queen and none other. As if sharing that look with us, Colin resumed his mad screaming. “Kill them all!”
This was all the army needed to hear. Four of them grabbed the naked Ryo, pulling him as fast as they could into the shadows, snapping their hungry jaws at him. There was the sound of rending flesh and screams of terror from the darkness and then silence. When Ryo emerged from the shadows, he was wearing one of their pants and licking blood off his fingers.
He was surveying the room as six more came at him, three on either side. If they thought their numbers would overwhelm him, they were mistaken. Using one body as a shield, he worked his way through them one by one until the remaining five lay in the floor. Not one of them had a cut. He had simply rendered them immobile and unconscious. He discarded his vampire shield into the fray and headed to where Luhan was under siege.
While I was standing there watching, someone grabbed my arm. Members of the army had mounted the stage and now one of them had me in his grip. I grabbed him and spun, pushing him in Haru’s direction. Haru, in mid swing from his hangman’s rope, wrapped his legs around the man’s neck and twisted. There was a loud snap and the attacker went down. Another reached for me. I ducked under his arms and punched him as hard as I could in the ribs. I’ve never been a fighter, but desperate times are cause for unladylike behavior.
The air escaped my attacker, and I spun behind him, shoving him in Haru’s direction as well. Snap! He put another down with a twist of his legs. If I could keep shoving guys Haru’s way maybe we could hold them off awhile.
When the next attack came it was unexpected. A board left behind by the labyrinth builders hit me in the side of my head. It wasn’t me who spun this time, but the world. Darkness threatened to overcome me as I collapsed to the stage. Colin stood over me, that mad grin searing into my brain.
“Sometimes the Queen needs to know her place,” he cackled. Dancing around my prone form like Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he tossed his head back, singing at the top of his voice, “Ding Dong, you’re all going to die! All going to die! Going to die! To die!…ack!”
He had gotten too close to Haru. My lover’s legs wrapped around his neck and hauled him into the air. He couldn’t quite choke him as he’d done the others, but he held him place long enough for me to get to my feet. I picked up the board Colin had hit me with and moved towards them.
I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Ryo had made it to Luhan and was dispatching his attackers as fast they came. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be distracted, and it cost me the fight. Three girls grabbed me and pinned me to the ground, liberating me of my weapon. They didn’t attack me any further but just held me there so I couldn’t help anyone.
“Get off of me,” I screamed, as I saw two vampire boys run across the stage and pull Colin out of Haru’s clutches. Our fight was over. More and more of the vamp army were mounting the stage and forming a protective barrier. From my spot on the ground, I saw why. Luhan and Ryo had decimated all their attackers. They lay in heaps around them, as if the two were Samurai warriors of old who had just defended a village from a marauding band of bandits. Ryo, wearing the blood of others, bowed on one knee before Luhan. And though I couldn’t hear it said from that far away, I read his lips as they uttered solemnly, “Master.”
More and more of the vampire army abandoned their positions and took up new ones in front of the stage, creating a wall of bloodlust and hunger. I was yanked to my feet just in time to see Ryo and Luhan rescue Chi from those that had been torturing her. She looked like a mess and I noticed her fingers were all twisted at odd angles as if each one had been broken. Most of her attackers had fled the fury and onslaught of Luhan and Ryo, but a few brave ones decided to get some more action in. Chi shook her hands as if she were trying to fling dust off or shake them awake. She held her hands up so they could see. Her fingers now looked normal, unbroken. She balled her hands into fists and launched herself at them. They didn’t have a chance. Within seconds, and in a flurry of almost poetic movement, the ones who had opted to stay were now meeting the ground close and personal.
The three of them, Chi, Luhan, and Ryo, turned their attention to the stage and the regrouped army that protected it. This line of defense was larger than it seemed when it was spread out in the cavern. Now it looked to be fifty or more. Not all of them were vampires. Some were servants who were still human, but under mental control of either Colin or his as yet unseen master, I wasn’t sure.
Haru had stopped swinging on the end of his noose. No longer gagging from the tight rope around his neck, his body had now gotten used to the discomfort, but he still hung there helpless. No one got close to him. They knew better.
The girls who had pinned me to the ground had been relieved of that duty and were now posted at Colin’s side for added protection. But I didn’t stand alone. I was guarded and held at knifepoint by Miss Thomas, who wasn’t very pleased that her dogs had not returned from the labyrinth.
And Angela, poor Angela, was still under the watchful eyes of the two vampire girls who supported her between them. One of them had even begun to drink blood out of my friend’s arm. Angela showed no reaction. She was gone, lost somewhere in her own head.
Luhan, standing in front of the vampire wall, cleared his throat to be heard. “Let our friends go, “ he demanded, then looked to either side of the hall. “Let them go, too.” I had forgotten, but when we arrived from the labyrinth, there had been two lines of humans, apparently ready for turning, and awaiting their place along the wall.
Colin looked at our leader, an incredulous look on his face. “That’s a tall order for one so short.” He let out a laugh and his vampire minions joined in as if on cue.
“One shouldn’t laugh at their own jokes, young man,” Luhan replied.
Colin grew serious. “Okay, well how about this? No.” He took a tentative step forward. “You and your clan have lost. I have this fool of a vampire, Haru. I have his helpless yet achingly beautiful lover, Nora. I have this sweet tasty blood vessel called Angela. I have…”
“You have fifteen seconds to release her,” Ryo interrupted.
“Excuse me? I don’t think anyone was…”
“You have to be kidding me. Angela? You want her? Oh man, this is rich!”
“I mean, I understand you and Haru are rivals, and Nora doesn’t like you much, but to choose this pitiful, pitiful excuse for a teenager…”
“Wait, wait,” Colin laughed, holding up his hands in mock surrender. “She’s ours now. Nobody wanted her. So we took her. I took her. She’s mine.”
Ryo quit counting. “Wrong. She’s mine.”
Colin looked at Angela, leaning in close as if inspecting her, and shook his head. “Nope, she’s not marked. There’s no claim on her. If you wanted her so bad, you certainly didn’t mark her so.”
“She marked me. In her secret thoughts, she lay claim to me.”
I looked over at Angela. For a moment, I thought saw something on her face. A teardrop joined by another. A trace of emotion in her eyes. Ryo had noticed her after all. She wasn’t a bothersome lovesick girl chasing a boy who would never want her. All this time, despite his previous actions and words, he had wanted her, too.
Continue to Ep. 79
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“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved