The next class day was not as hard as Shark thought. Taurus didn’t show up to class and Shark felt like he could teach the way he used to. Happily. He noticed that Spencer had become quite close to Chelsea. Whenever they did partner activities, he chose her or she chose him. Harley always chose Curtis for some reason and the others alternated regularly to try and figure out different maneuvers for the different styles people had. Shark was preparing them for Gateway and showed them more techniques. It was always good to have allies during that time. The atmosphere, the situation, friends were what you needed to keep your sanity.
Shark dismissed the class and a few students stayed after and talk to him about the games at the end of the year. Unlike most colleges where the physical education classes were only a semester, East Gate made them for two semesters since the games were at the end of the year. Those who wanted to test their abilities were allowed to enter. Especially those who wanted to go into any type of guarding career such as military ambassadors, soldiers of kingdoms, etc. The winner also got a statue of them put in the Alley Port Hall of Fame which was an underground award section for students who showed off the most skill. Shark walked out of Alley Port and ran into someone he hated.
“Mr. Azera, why were you not in class?” Shark asked walking up to him. He looked at Shark puzzled.
“What are you talking about?” he asked as Shark stared at him.
“Taurus, don’t play dumb,” Shark said as the man shook his head and laughed.
“Mr. Axel, I want to go home!” a little boy said pulling on Axel’s leg. Shark looked at him closely. He had sandy blonde hair and big blue eyes. He wore tan cargo pants, a white graphic tee, and red flip flops.
“Way to get the kid involved,” Shark said applauding his stealth. Axel picked up the little boy. He flipped his black hair out of his eyes. Axel kept his light purple eyes on Shark as Taurus came by wearing a black hoodie and black skinny jeans. He smiled at his brother.
“Axel, when are we getting food? I’m starving and need to feed,” Taurus asked as Shark turned his attention to Taurus. “Professor...what an unpleasant surprise. I was trying to avoid you as much as possible today,” Taurus said as Shark frowned.
“There’s two of you?” he asked as Axel nodded.
“My name’s Axel Azera,” Axel said as Shark threw him a fake smile.
“Axel I’m hungry,” the little boy whined as Axel rolled his eyes. He sighed and rubbed his head.
“Alright. We’ll stop by somewhere and get food,” Axel said as the little boy clapped his tiny hands.
“I want Miss Julie! I want Miss Julie!” he shouted over and over as Axel’s body hardened.
“OK,” he said quickly. He turned his attention back to his brother and Shark.
“I have better things to do than come to your class. I already know what I want to do for this Gateway thing. The goal is to be the last one standing right? I don’t need your help trying to teach me how to fight when I’ve been fighting all my life,” Taurus said as Axel sighed angrily. He hated it when he brother didn’t want to succeed in school to get a good job to help support the children that they were raising.
“I’ll be in the car. Don’t take forever we’ve got to pick the others up from school,” Axel said walking away from them. He kissed Noah on the forehead. “You sleepy bud? It’s way past your bedtime,” Axel said as Noah put his head on Axel’s shoulder and watched Taurus grow smaller and smaller. He slightly closed his eyes.
“Yeah. But I’m hungry,” he said quietly gripping Axel’s collar.
“If you have any intents on passing this class and doing well in your life, then you’ll come to make it up,” Shark grunted as Taurus smirked.
“I said I have better things to do. Plus I already know your dumb techniques,” Taurus said turning to leave. Shark grabbed Taurus’ arm to see if he really knew. He swung and Shark blocked.
“Obviously not,” Shark said as Axel turned around to see if Taurus was coming yet and noticed that he had attempted to hit Shark. Shark rebounded and extended his arm. Axel ran up to them to stop Taurus from getting hit. He put Noah down just as Shark’s fist connected with Taurus’ cheek. The ring on Shark’s finger sliced Taurus’ cheek. Axel screamed. Shark looked at him frightened. Axel put his hand to his bleeding cheek.
“Wha?” Shark said as Axel glared at him. “I didn’t touch you,” Shark said as Axel showed his bloody fingers to Shark. Shark had the most confused look on his face. “I hit him though,” Shark said pointing to Taurus as Axel rubbed his cheek.
“When you break skin on him, I get the effects and vise-versa. We’re blood bonded,” Axel said angrily. He took the backpack off and opened it. He had multiple vials of blood in it. Shark looked as Axel sorted through the vials.
“Why do you have so much blood?” Shark asked as Axel pulled out a black vial.
“Is it any of your business?” Axel asked angrily taking a sip from the vial. His cheek healed and then Taurus’ healed. The reason why Axel drank blood instead of letting his body heal naturally is because it sped up the process in case the injury is more critical. It just became a force of habit to go straight for the backpack. “If you ever touch my brother, I will beat the fu—” Axel started, but Taurus hit him on the arm. He flicked his head towards Noah who looked afraid of the whole situation. His sleepy eyes were wide as he stared at Axel. Axel sighed and gave a fake smile to Shark. “Good day professor. I advise you to keep your hands off my brother,” Axel said picking up Noah again and walking away. Noah closed his eyes and was already asleep when Axel put him in his car seat. He got in the driver’s side while Taurus sat in the passenger.
“You want to tell me what happened back there?” Axel asked as Taurus looked out the window. Axel drove to the high school to pick up his adopted teenage kids, Terrence, Blair, and Russell. Terrence Fisher was an African-American necromancer with black dreadlocks that had been pulled behind his head in a loose ponytail. He had quite an athletic build. Blair Starr was a necromancer as well with quite a rebellious side. She had been experimenting with hair colors so a section of her hair was hot pink while the rest of it was black. Russell Butler was the quiet nerd studier. He had brown hair and hazel eyes. He was very skinny. He was an augur so he spent a ton of time alone and he didn’t mind at all. They had stayed for an after school activity.
“I don’t think I need to tell you things you already know the answer to,” Taurus said quietly putting his hand on his chin.
“Taurus do you not understand that we need the money? We can barely afford for both of us to go to this school at the same time. Why are you skipping classes?” Axel asked angrily as Terrence opened the door.
“Does it matter!?” Taurus yelled as Russell climbed in. He sat close to Noah and covered his ears with a green light.
“Guys, keep it down,” Russell said as Taurus looked back at him. He didn’t know that Noah had fallen asleep.
“I’m not gonna let this slide. How would mom and dad feel if they knew you weren’t trying your best to succeed?” Axel commented as the whole car fell silent. Taurus had this intense glare on his face.
“Don’t you dare use mom and dad against me!” Taurus shouted as Blair laid her head on Terrence’s shoulder. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close.
“I’m not using them against you, I’m just asking you a question,” Axel said as they pulled into the drive through of Hemo Vodinó. During the day, between 7am and 10pm, it was open for humans, but between 10pm and 530am it was open to the vampires and other supernatural creatures. If children were ever present and they were not supernatural creatures, blood food was not able to be ordered. The restaurant used different words for ‘blood’ and ‘beef’ to draw in customers, at least those who didn’t know what it meant.
“Hello and welcome to Hemo Vodinó. May I take your order?” a woman said as Axel looked over the menu.
“Can I get a chicken nugget kids meal?” Axel started and then looked at the teens in the back. “What do you guys want?” he asked as Russell released the pressure he held on Noah’s ears.
“Can I have the number 7?” Russell asked as Axel reached in his pocket. He only had a $20. Just great, it wouldn’t be enough for him and Taurus to get food. Again. Like always, they’d have to find another source of nourishment
“I want a number 1,” Terrence said as Blair lifted her head off his shoulder.
“Can I get a number 11?” she asked as Axel belayed it all to the intercom box.
“That’ll be $20.21 pull to the next window,” she said as Axel drove around.
“Taurus help me find 21 cents,” Axel said frantically looking around the car. Axel pulled up to the window. “Sorry we’re looking for the 21 cents,” he said nervously. The woman at the window smiled patiently at them.
“Julie! Your boyfriend’s here!” she said as Julie came to the window. Her mahogany hair was pulled into a low ponytail.
“Hey. You guys are here late,” Julie said rubbing the back of her neck.
“Yeah, we ran into an unexpected problem with a teacher,” Axel said as she smiled at him.
“My shift is over in about 10 minutes. If you want to wait,” she said causing Axel to smile.
“Sure we can wait,” he said as Taurus sighed. Blair put her head back on Terrence’s shoulder and Russell leaned his head back on the seat and closed his eyes. They all had had a long day so they were really tired. After about 10 minutes, Julie came out. Axel got out of the car and grabbed her hand. He led her to a tree and pressed her body against it. Julie grabbed him and put her hands around his neck as he pressed his lips to hers. He deepened the kiss as he ran his hands down her cheeks. She clasped his back. They kissed quickly as if they were in a hurry or something. Axel finally broke the kiss to breathe when she heard his fangs click as he closed his mouth.
“I know you’re hungry. Just feed,” she said tilting her head slightly to the side. Axel placed his lips on her neck and bit into it. She clenched his waist with each drag. Axel hadn’t fed for about two days so it was hard for him to stop himself the moment her blood entered his mouth. Julie kept Axel firmly pressed against her as his hand snaked around her lower back. He kept his other hand gripped behind her neck. Julie kept one hand on his back and the other on the back of his head. After a moment Julie gripped Axel’s bicep for support as she became a little light headed. Axel felt the flow of her blood slow down. Her pulse became light as he pulled his head away from her. Her eyes fluttered as she stared at Axel a smile on her lips.
“Thank you,” he whispered as she handed him the food they ordered. “We didn’t pay for this yet,” Axel said as she shook her head. She wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth.
“It’s on the house as usual,” she said as his face became downcast. “What’s the matter? It was only 21 cents,” she said as he grabbed her hand.
“I don’t want you to get in trouble for giving us free food,” he said as she shook her head.
“I’m sure my boss won’t mind. You guys should head home. I can tell you’re all tired,” she said as he kissed her. He forced his tongue into her mouth and ran his hands over her head. Taurus honked on the horn.
“HURRY THE HELL UP!” Taurus shouted out the window as Axel broke away from Julie.
“Thanks again,” Axel said quickly kissing her cheek and getting into the car. He handed the food to Terrence who tore into the bag looking for his order. He handed the bag to Blair letting her sift through before handing the bag to Russell. He pulled out the small box at the bottom that contained five chicken nuggets, a packet of apple slices and caramel, and chocolate milk. Russell opened the box and tapped Noah on the shoulder.
“Noah. Noah wake up,” Russell said as Noah stirred. He took the nugget and held it in his mouth. His eyes started closing again. “Chew it,” he said as Noah’s little jaw moved up and down. Russell made sure that Noah finished eating his food before letting him drift back to sleep.