Deja Vu

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Chapter 10

I walked out into the courtyard. Everyone was gone and then I saw two people approach. I felt nervous and my heart started to pound, but I soon saw it was Jason and Ran. “Matt, welcome. I’m so glad you decided to come.” She said. I nodded. “So, before we begin. I want you to know that I’m truly sorry. I guess the main reason that I wanted to kill you was because I didn’t want to share the power given to me. But, here I should have known better.

No two vampires can have the same ancient being. I should have known better.” Jason said. “So, you need to know how sorry I am.” He said and I could tell that he really meant it. “I do know how sorry you are. After you saved me from the witches, I got that vibe from you. But, there’s one thing I want in return so there can be forgiveness.” I tell him. “What would that be?” He asked. “I want your help in the battle that is to come. I want your aid. I have a feeling that you’re working for the Ferol. I want your aid, though. I have a feeling we are going to need all the vampires in the end if we are to win this war.” I tell him.

He thinks about it for a minute. “Well, I do owe you. So, fine. You have yourself a spy. But, just so you know. It’s a big risk you ask of me.” I grinned. “Well, you owe me a big favor. That’s why I told you we would be even.” He nodded. “You’re quite devious when you want to be.” He praised me. “I like to think it is being crafty and strategic.” He laughed and Ran asked, “So, do we begin?” I nodded. “Good, follow me.” She told us and we followed her into the small area on the left side of the castle.

Trees surrounded us and I realized it stretched out and we were at the entrance to a forest that surrounded the entire school. “Dang, this place is big,” I said. Ran smiled, and you’re going to be a part of a whole new world. Are you ready?” She asked. “What do you I have to do?” I asked them. “It’s simple,” Jason said picking something off the ground, “Take this and when I tell you to, take a drink.” I grabbed a hold of the chalice. Ran nodded. She stood to face me, and Jason stood behind me. Both of them started to chant some strange language. I couldn’t understand it, but a glowing energy field surrounded me. I couldn’t make out what color it was, but it reminded me of silver.

The chanting picked up and became faster. It felt like the ground was spinning. “Hey, what’s going on?” I asked. They continued to chant. I grew dizzy and dropped to my knees. “Matt, don’t fight it.” I turned to see a boy about thirteen. Raven hair that covered his ears and curled and spiked at the top. His bright green eyes stared at me. He looked so young and innocent. “Who are you?” I asked. He smiled. “Zolem didn’t tell you who I was?” The boy asked. I shook my head. He smiled at me, revealing straight, perfect white teeth. He walked up to me and knelt next to me.

“You don’t need to fight. This is what you wanted isn’t it?” He asked. I nodded. “Yes, but I’m growing dizzy,” I tell him. “Your instincts are going to be your downfall. Let all your fears go. Let all your doubts go. Trust in me. I’m Gideon.” He said and gave me a reassuring smile. I focused and took in a deep breath. Instantly, I felt relaxed and at peace. My dizziness went away and I stood up feeling strong. “See? You don’t need to fight the ritual. It’s here to grant you power and strength. You just have to accept whatever happens. Your life isn’t in danger. You’ve been chosen to join the ranks of the ‘undead’ and now you will have the power you need.”

I nodded and focused on their chant. I closed my eyes and listened carefully. As I listened to their words, I soon realized that they weren’t speaking a different language. Or if they were, I could understand them. They were saying, “Ancient spirit, grant him eternal power. Let him fight his enemies. Let him win. Let him have the strength for a new life. Give him the power to protect himself. Ancient power, God of vampires. I beseech thee. Allow him to join our ranks. Allow him into our family.”

I kept listening and soon it sounded like it was music. They seemed to be singing and then I felt this sucking sound. I opened my eyes and a small vortex formed in front of me. “This is the portal I need to join with you. Do you accept my power? Do you accept me to join you?” Gideon asked. I said, “Yes! I wish you to join me. Aid me, please! Support me!” Gideon smiled and then stepped right on me. I felt him inside me and then joined with my soul. The energy field around me intensified and I could feel and hear the static energy from it. I looked into the woods, and before it was pitch black over in the distance. Now, I could see deer and rabbits.

“You see the animals don’t you?” Ran asked me. “Yeah, I didn’t know your eyesight was this good.” I gasped. Jason laughed. I went to take a step towards them, but found myself rushing and I had a rabbit in my hands. “Wow, calm it down a little,” Ran told me. I didn’t even know I had the rabbit in my hands until it was too late. “I don’t want the animal,” I said, freaking out. “Matt, listen to me. Focus on my voice.” She said. Jason was as still as a statue. I focused on her. “

Good, now gently put the rabbit down. You don’t want to hurt it do you?” She asked. I shook my head quickly. “Okay, so put it down nice and slow.” I slowly squatted down and I set it on the ground. The rabbit gave me a scared look and hopped off. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened.” I admitted. “We do. It’s completely normal. We are going to help you learn the basics of being a vampire. You still breathe and all that. So, that’s not a problem. But, you’re a lot stronger and faster than you originally were. So, you need a little lesson on how to move without using that unexpectedly.” She said.

“Don’t worry though. We were all the same, way. The only problem with us is that we are royal. We have royal powers in us.” Jason said. “That’s true. The rules are a little different for us. Just go with us, and we will get you help get you some self-control.” I nodded and for three hours, I listened to them and I did everything they asked. After a while, I didn’t have any more instinctive outbursts. I heard the sound of leaves snap and I said, “Was that footstep?” Jason and Ran nodded.

“You can tell the difference between human and animal steps. That’s good.” She said. Then she pointed to a tree. I leaped from the highest branch and freaked out for a second. How the heck was I able to do that? And how was I going to get down? “Who are you two?” I heard a female voice asked. “Oh, we are just nomads passing through.” I heard Jason say. “Really? Who were you talking to?” She asked. I saw that she was a red head with a lime green streak in her hair. Ran looked at Jason.

“Were we talking to anyone?” She asked him. “I don’t think so. Do you have any invisible friends around here?” He countered her question. She shook her head. “No, not that I know of,” She replied. “I don’t believe you. I heard a second male voice.” The woman said. She looked to be of mid-forties and her skin slightly wrinkled. “I know you have someone else here.” She said looking around and then glanced up. I knew she saw me right away and attacked me with a powerful spell.

I saw these thick rocky vines shoot out towards me and I fell from the tree. I don’t know how I managed it, but I landed on my feet in a crouch. I stood and the vines came around me, but they never touched me. I freaked out and jumped back. But, soon saw that the magic didn’t faze me. It was like the spell bounced off me from a barrier of some kind. “Who are you?” She asked. “Someone that doesn’t concern you.” I said and stepped behind Jason. “A freak vampire who’s afraid to fight?” She accused. “No, he’s new and he doesn’t concern you,” Jason said with some edge in his voice.

“I think Jaina should hear about this.” I froze at that name. “Jaina?” I asked. “Isn’t she supposed to be locked up?” Jason asked. “Yes, but somehow she got free,” Ran said. “Yes, and I think it’s time to finally finish what I started.” She said and I turned around. She grabbed me by the throat and picked me up, choking me. “You aren’t worth the energy it takes to snap your neck. But, I think I’ll manage it all the same.” I glared at her and anger coursed through me. I took my right hand and grabbed her by the throat and with my left, I grabbed her wrist twisted it and she cried out in pain.

I landed quietly on my feet and I glared with a dark stare. “I’m so tired of being bullied by you and the others! You think you have power over me? You think you’re going to win out against me? You think I’m going to sit in a corner crying? I don’t think so! You’re going to suffer unimaginable pain! You’re going to pay for everything you have done to me!” I shouted and my voice echoed all around me. I also heard Gideon’s voice mixed with my own. Jaina gave me a feared look. “You don’t have the strength to beat me. You’re still weak.” Her voice cracked. “We will see.” I hissed.

I saw dark threads coming at me, but like the vines from the woman. All they did was a circle around me and then bounce off. They vanished in a puff of smoke. “What the hell is going on?!” She screamed. I felt a fire building up inside me, but before I could use it, she disappeared. The woman tried to vanish as well, but Jason punched a fist through her heart and she gasped and coughed up blood. “Who are you?” Even through the pain, she glared at me. “Someone who wants him dead.” She said and without hesitating, Jason ripped out her heart. “Matt, I think it’s time you go back to the castle and into the throne room,” Ran told me. “How will I know where it is?” I asked.

They both smiled. “Let your ancient being guide you. He’s a royal soul. He was born with that kind of knowledge. So, all you have to do is follow the feeling and you’ll end up right where you need to be.” Jason said. I nodded and jogged out of the forest. I made it to the steps and up to the glass doors. I saw that I looked exactly the same. But, I looked more confident, and my hair had a slightly different element to it. A neon purple streak appeared. It almost seemed to be glowing. Then a thought rushed through my mind. If Harkil gave Ran power. How come they didn’t know about Gideon? Or the ancient being I received? I guess it was questioned for later.

“Well, I guess this is the start of a new me,” I told myself. I walked in through the doors and found no one around. I walked up the grand staircase and heard voices up another story. I climbed the stairs even more and then I heard what was being said. “…He attacked me! He is some strange vampire. I don’t know. He didn’t follow the rules of what we established here. I think he’s a traitor and he infiltrated us to become a vampire and tricked Zach into giving him power.”

I heard Jaina say. “Why should we believe you?” I heard Sally say. “It’s the truth. Look.” I heard strange sounds being played over speakers. “Well, it seems, at least, some of what she said is true. But, being that she’s an escaped prisoner… I don’t know if we can fully trust her.” I was right outside the door now. “Hey, who are you?” I turned to see a large vampire approach me and he had a diamond streak. He attacked me, but I was able to anticipate his moves and I countered, blocked and rolled out of the way. He rushed me and I grabbed him, flipped and kicked him through the doors.

He went flying all the way to the large throne at the end of the room and it had to be at least one hundred feet and slid across the floor. I strolled in casually. “So, you think to be telling lies about me Jaina?” I asked her. She paled at the sight of me. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. But, I am not lying.” She said, her voice rising. “Really?” I asked her. Jolene and a bunch of other vampires charged me. Rage flared through me and a gust of wind sent them flying across the room. I kept walking. One jumped at me, but I caught him by the throat and snapped his neck. I tossed him aside. “You know? I have actually decided on something. I wanted to be a vampire to help you all. But, now? You can kiss my fucking ass! I don’t give a shit about you.”

“I’ve never heard him swear before.” I heard Liam say. I whipped around and glared at him. He froze at my look and then I kept walking towards the council. They all jumped up in front of me. “You better not try to kill anyone. I won’t allow it.” Zeke said. “Oh? Won’t you? I am not here to kill anyone. But, those who have wronged me. The only people I want dead are Jaina, Brandon Slater, and Jolene Dart!” Gasps rang throughout the room. “Jolene?” Jaise asked standing up.

“Yes!” I screamed. Everyone dropped to their knees and covered their ears. A small leak of blood escaped their ears and they all groaned as they stood back up. “What became of you?” I heard someone say. I turned to them and it was a young boy. “What?” I asked him. “I heard you were a nice, quiet kid. Not some psycho on a power trip.” I frowned. “I’m not here to rule or harm you. I just want justice for what happened to me. Besides, I haven’t killed them have I?” I demanded of him. “No, I guess not.” He muttered and sat back down. I turned around to see vampire guards. I recognized two of them as the ones who locked me up.

“I think you two need to back off,” I warned. Both of them removed their helmets and two large men in their late fifties stood staring at me. Scars and wrinkles covered their faces and neck. “You think you can beat us?” The one on the left asked. “I don’t know. But, are you willing to find out?” I wondered about them. They rushed at me, and I ducked low and flipped one over. I jumped up and grabbed the other by the hand as he went to grab me. I flipped him as I rolled and sent him flying into the far wall. Other guards charged me and I countered and blocked them.

We punched, kicked and spun around countering and fighting. Others jumped in and a full on scale battle erupted around me. I sent vampires flying and punched them. They attacked me with magic, but I seemed to be immune to their attacks. “How are you not affected by magic?” Someone asked.

“I don’t know. It may have something to do with the ancient being in me.” I said as I ducked below a punch. “So, you’re cheating?” Rage flooded through me again and an arc of lightning bolt shot out and stuck my target in the chest. “Oh, so you’re a lightning user?” Jaina asked. I grinned. She launched a barrage of shadow bolts at me. As they approached, they seemed to gain a face and snapped at me. Instinct made me spread out a hand and a white aura spread out and the bolts fizzed out.

“Holy?!” Sally said in shock. “How in the hell can he have two elements?” I got the feeling that I had more surprises than that in store. More vampires rushed me and unsheathed their swords. I ducked and rolled out of the way. I didn’t have anything to fight them with, but as I did a back flip and I saw an ax on the high wall. I stopped and spun to counter them. I brought the vampire’s sword in at my side and punched them hard.

They went sent back and I grabbed the hilt and I flipped it in the air and jumped into the air and to the far wall. I landed in a crouch on the beam and then leaped to the Ax. I grabbed it in mid flip and jumped backward onto the ground and spun around to block two different weapons at me. A third snuck in and went straight through my chest. I yelped and somehow held my position. The blade jammed through me further. Blood began to puddle on the ground and I unleashed a flaming barrage against them. They all went flying backward I leaped to the top of the throne.

“You think you have the power to stop me. But, I’m not going to let you push me around anymore! I won’t let you control me. I’m done with you!” I shouted at them. “You can’t beat us all.” The vampires that I set on fire managed to put it out, but they were severely burned and it would take some time before they would heal. “I don’t need to,” I said simply. They all rushed me, but a blinding peacock array of lights bounced them back. A man in his late teens appeared with rainbow hair.

He looked chiseled and like a model. “Oh, what has the vampire people become?” He asked in a deep majestic voice. “Who are you?” Someone asked. “Zach. God of vampires.” He said. No one seemed willing to believe him. “Why would a god have a common name?” I heard Liam ask. He smiled and then I heard his voice from the doorway. “Well, it’s quite simple. I was on a different planet along this one. I was granted the power of a god. Now, I rule over you. I’m the one who is prayed to when a human becomes a vampire. I’m the one who chooses who succeeds and who doesn’t.”

Everyone looked at both the Zach’s. “How are you able to do that?” A girl asked. Then Zach appeared on the beams in the ceiling. And over against the far right wall and in the back far corner of the left. “I can be wherever I want to be. I am a God!” He said loudly and his voice made us all drop to our knees. “Defy me and I’ll destroy you all!” He said to us. “What happened to free will?” I heard someone ask in fear. “You’ve been given free will. But, if you act out against me. You’ll pay the price. I don’t take insults well. I don’t appreciate the disrespect. Except for in this instance, I don’t care what you guys do to each other. But, now I’m stepping in.” He said.

Then the other forms of him vanished. The only one that stayed was the one in front of the door. The one in front of me turned and addressed the council. “Do you have anything to report?” He asked them. Marty stepped forward. “We fought to protect him. But, we couldn’t. Everything we did wasn’t good enough. I don’t know how, but the people trying to kill him escaped and went after him. But, we didn’t authorize his transformation. So, punishment needs to be given.” He said confidently. I just rolled my eyes at him. I can’t remember the last time I felt so confident.

The look Zach gave him made Marty withdrawal to the corner. “Punishment? Ah, yes. Did He break the rules, right? Just like he supposedly broke the rules just for basically existing. For being in this school. Well, you see. That’s where I have a problem with your rules. I don’t remember you ever agreeing that it’s illegal for a human to be in this school. I don’t recall it ever being a crime to want to join the vampire world. We have security lined up in case a human isn’t going to be one of us. But, killing? I don’t recall that one being an option unless in dire circumstances. But, a defenseless boy? Yeah, he broke the rules all right.” His tone was thick with sarcasm.

“Does that mean he agrees with us?” A girl asked. Everyone groaned. Zach just shook his head in disbelief. “If you harm him for being a vampire, or bogus charges, I’ll turn this school into a creator. I swear it.” “No,” I told him. He turned around. “Excuse me?” He snapped. “You won’t need to. I’ll destroy them myself. I won’t be in this school. I won’t allow them to bring me down. I won’t allow them to keep me down. I’m going to leave and I don’t know where I’ll go. But, I will find someplace to be.” I said.

I stepped down from the silver throne and walked towards the crowd. “Very well. Just know I’m with you.” He said and then vanished. I walked towards the exit and I heard Ashlee say, “You can’t leave Matt. Where will you go?” I turned to look at her and my voice shook. “I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m not going to ask you to come with. But, I refuse to remain here.” I said and then turned away. I walked down the steps towards the door. “Wait!” Ashlee shouted at me. I stopped and turned towards her with tears in my eyes. “Ashlee, you don’t want to come with me. I know you don’t. You want to remain here.” I replied. “I want to be with you. I don’t care where it is.” She replied.

My phone chimed in my pocket. I pulled it out. It was a message from Nexus. If you would like to take her with. Then be thy guest. All you have to do is imagine my command deck. “What?” She asked. “I know where we can go. Do you trust me?” I asked her. She smiled and without hesitation, “Yes!” I closed my eyes and imagined the inside of the submarine.

I heard Ashlee gasp and when I opened my eyes, I found myself on the command deck. The machines and computers were fully operational. “Welcome,” Nexus said to us. She gasped out in shock. “Where’s Nex?” I asked. “Oh, he’s preparing your room.” Then he glanced at me and frowned. “Um, I think you need some new clothes,” He told me. “Yeah, magic isn’t kind to the fabric. Red lights and alarms blared around me. “You were attacked?” He asked with an icy calm tone.

“It’s fine. I’m good.” I told him. He turned off the alarms and calmed down. “Well, I guess the important thing is that you’re safe and here. You also may come and go as you please. The device I gave you not only works as a phone or a communicator. It also acts as a teleportation device. But, it only works to bring you back here.” Nexus told me. I nodded. “This is amazing!” Ashlee said. “Thank you. Matt, I want to let you know, that I’ve done some redecorating. I think you’ll find it comfortable.” He told me.

“Is this supposed to be a war vessel or a transport? You’ve never told me.” I told him. “No, but I did say once you became a vampire, you will know the truth about me. Well, you’re a vampire. So, here is the truth.” He said and then motioned for me to sit down. I nodded and Ashlee sat on my lap and cuddled up to my chest. He smiled and then Nex appeared. When he saw me, he grinned. “Welcome back,” He said brightly. Then he noticed Ashlee and beamed. “You must be Ashlee?” He asked. She tensed up a little but felt that I was completely relaxed.

“Yes, I am,” She told him. He smiled and said, “You were going to fill him in?” He asked Nexus. “Yes, of course. Matt, there’s a lot to tell you. So, here it is. There’s the planet that exists along next to ours. It’s a planet of dreams. If you know how you could bend the wills of the planet and anything you imagine could come to pass. They have creatures from movies, and shows, video games and even card games. All come to live in this world. All manners of creatures live on this planet. The first vampire the gods created. He actually aided the gods you know today. Jacob, Derek, Laurentia. Zach. All were humans who were granted power.

They became gods for the role they played in saving the planet and the earth. But, the one thing that they didn’t count on is the vampire made a bad choice in who he decided to change. Zach annihilated them and gave Laurentia and Coda the power to choose one human on earth power as a vampire. They chose a very kind person. A wise person who wasn’t noble, or wealthy. Someone who wasn’t corrupted by politics and power.”

“I don’t understand. Why would Zach allow these two other gods the choice of who would become a vampire?” I asked. “I guess he didn’t trust his own opinions. He was doubting himself for a time. So, I think he thought it would be best to take any potential blame away from himself.” He explained. I glanced at Ashlee and she looked utterly confused. “What happened to the first vampire? Was he destroyed as well?” She asked. “No, he was imprisoned, though.

He was punished for eternity. He… Well, let’s just say that when he comes back….if he comes back. I don’t think he’s going to be too happy with helping the world. But, he was a good guy. So, I think all that would have to happen is that he would need a reminder. However, the human that replaced him wasn’t all that good. He was a little primitive. A little off. It also kind of affected the ancient being, Nergal. Now any vampire that he chooses gets a little off and primitive.” I nodded, but I didn’t fully understand.

I was confused by all of this. “Why are you telling me all this?” I asked. “It’s simple. The first human that the gods gave power to on earth were also granted this vessel. He was to shape this sub into whatever he wished to be. I was to follow his orders. Whichever he asked me. But, he vanished. He was taken, and I had to remain hidden or fear is destroyed. Although, it wasn’t a complete waste of time. I soon found out that a descendant of that vampire would find me and fulfill his mission in his or her own way.” Ashlee gasped. “You think I’m that person?” I asked him.

“We know you are. A strand of hair remained on the clothes we gave you. We checked it just to see and found that your DNA is almost an exact match to his. We aren’t trying to spy on you or anything. We aren’t trying to invade your privacy either. We wanted to make sure and we are positive that you are a descendant of the vampire on earth. Now, how would you like to use this vehicle?” Nex asked me. “I don’t know. But, I think, for now, I would just like a play to live comfortably and be safe. Where people won’t find me and won’t try to kill me.” I said.

“Oh, we can definitely arrange that. Nex will even show you to the captains quarters. I think you’ll find them quite nice.” Nexus said. “You said there was a lot of information. Did you intend to say it all?” Ashlee asked him. “Well, I did plan on telling everything to you. But, I don’t think it’s necessary to mention it all at once. I told you the biggest part. You’re a descendant of the original vampire on earth. So, you inherited this vehicle. You may do with me what you will.

I just hope you make good use of me. Good, evil. It’s all the same to me. But, don’t waste me. I’ve been sitting down here for so long.” I actually felt bad for him. “Oh, I don’t plan on abandoning you. You’ve been nice to me and haven’t tried to use me for your own personal gain. There’s nothing wrong with wanting company, though.” I told him when I saw that he started to speak. He closed his mouth quickly.

“I do have something to ask,” I said. “Anything you wish, I will answer,” Nexus said. “Is there a library where I could look at? That war that was fought when the gods were human is intriguing. I would like to access the records and read about the history of the planet.” I told him. “Of course. But, that can wait. We do have an archive library. Once you have eaten, showered and rested, you may check it out.

If you insist you may do it now. But, I think you would like some quiet, alone time?” He said looking at us. “Well, I would like a shower and a change of clothes,” Ashlee said. I smiled and agreed. “Follow me then,” Nex replied. We walked down two ladders and three decks, and went to the other end of the sub and up three more ladders and down the hallway towards the command deck and the hallway only went half way. At the end was a door that opened up to see a huge room with a gigantic bed. A huge screen TV sat above the iron oak dresser and I couldn’t tell the size, but it had to be bigger than a sixty inch at the very least.

“We’ve formatted the room to your age. So, all game systems have been stored in the locker over there.” Nex pointed. I walked over to open it. I gasped and my breath caught in my throat. “Is this every single game council in the entire world?” I demanded. “Yes, I formatted them to have digital access to all the games ever created. Each time a new game is released, it gets automatically downloaded. Hook up the game and all you have to do is ask me and I will automatically play it for you. Whatever game you want. If you’d like to switch it, just say the word and I’ll switch it for you.”

I nodded with a smile on my face. “Also, the controllers are wireless and they have a limitless battery supply. The PlayStation three and four are instantly hooked up to the internet and every television show and movie are all downloaded and just like the games, all you have to do is ask.” He told me. “Matt, if you think you’re going to play games all day long, you’re surely mistaken,” Ashlee warned me. “Well, I never intended to play them alone,” I said to her. She blinked at me in shock.

“Wait, what?” She wondered. “I never planned on playing alone. I would really like you to play with me and we could have something in common. I know you probably aren’t much of a gamer. But, I would like for you to play with me. Quality time and all that. But, I don’t plan on playing all the time. I’m sure there’re a lot of activities to do here.” She smiled, “Oh, I can think of a few.” I felt my cheeks heat up. “I think it’s time to give you some time alone,” Nex said. “Oh, I’m just kidding, sort of. And you’re right. I’m not much of a gamer.

However, if you really plan on letting me join you in a gaming exercise, then I will be more than willing to try and learn and play with you.” I smiled at that. “I’m glad. I love games. I just haven’t had a lot of experience with them. But, I heard Tom say that they were a lot more fun when you had someone to play with.” I told her. “He had girlfriends play with him?” She asked. “I don’t know. But, he had a lot of his buddies. They even played online.” I explained. “Well, I don’t think I would want to play online right away. I think I would like to get to know what I would be doing first.”

“Oh, totally. I don’t want to look like a dummy online.” I said laughing. She smirked. “Well, I will leave you two alone. I’ll engage privacy mode. But, one last thing before I go. You both have a large supply of clothes on the dresser there. And in that one,” He said pointing, “Is a bunch of pajamas.” Then he left and closed the door. “Do you think we are going to be in danger down here?” I asked. “I highly doubt it. If the sub has the technology to create the games and everything like he did, I doubt his defenses are limited. Besides, does anyone know about him?” She asked me. “No, not as far as I can tell,” I admitted with a smile. “Well, then I wouldn’t worry.” She walked to the shower.

“I’ll go first and then you. Grab the clothes you want and change in there. I’ll change here while you are in the shower.” I nodded and kissed her before letting her go. She was in the shower for quite some time and I went through the giant wardrobe. I opened it and grabbed a black silk sleeveless shirt, and pants. I walked over to the dresser under the TV and found a pair of boxers and a pair of socks. I walked over to the door paneling and clicked it and a holographic keyboard appeared.

“What would you like to listen to today?” A male robotic voice asked. “Something peaceful, with good instrumental and not well known.” I said and I doubted that it would work. “Searching.” I stepped away from the paneling and then I heard, “Found.” Music began playing over the speakers. It sounded like I was listening with studio headphones on. The sound was beautiful and it wasn’t too loud either. I smiled and walked around the room until Ashlee stepped out with a towel wrapped around her tightly. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She looked smoking!

“Matt, I think it’s your turn,” She said when I didn’t move or say anything. “Um, yes. Of course.” I said and I felt the heat rise to my face. I grabbed my clothes and walked into the bathroom. I heard her say, “I like the music as well.” I smiled and turned on the water. Full on a cold and took off my clothes. I found a door panel in the wall that was labeled “men” and after I took out the belt and wallet and off the shoes, I tossed all the clothes down the chute. I needed a cold shower. I don’t know why my body was responded so quickly to her. But, I needed to get it under control.

I stepped into the shower and started to shiver right away. After a few minutes, my ‘excitement’ faded away and I slowly turned the water to really warm. I started washing my hair and working my way down. I didn’t realize how dirty I was, and I know why Ashlee took so long. I was a lot worse off than her. So, it would take me a lot longer. I finally finished as the water started to turn cold and even at the hottest setting, it was becoming cold. I turned it off and grabbed a towel hanging on the wall rack.

I used it and dried off my hair. I put on my clothes quickly and tossed the towel down the chute. When I stepped out, Ashlee took the towel and tossed hers down the other one. “So, now what do we do?” She asked. “I don’t know. Whatever you want to do, I’ll be okay with that.” I said to her. She gave me a strange look. “Whatever I would like to do?” She asked. I took a deep breath. “Yeah, babe. Whatever you’d like to do.” I said in a high voice. She walked over to me and gave me a deep kiss. She rubbed her hands down my chest and kissed me and held me tightly.

She then tossed me on the bed and climbed on top of me. She gave me another kiss and slipped her hands under my shirt. “Well, you said you would do anything I ask right?” I nodded weakly. She smiled and gave me another peck on the lips. “But, it’s not the time for that.” I took a shaky breath. “What? Are you sure? I’m willing.” I told her. She smiled genuinely at me. “Matt, there’s a difference between being physically ready and emotionally ready. You’re scared out of your mind. You just say you’re ready because I want to.” I blinked. “You don’t think I could handle it?” I asked and turned away from her. She rested a hand on my shoulder.

“It isn’t that. I don’t want you to regret anything. I know you probably wouldn’t at first. But, you’d start to think about it and then you would feel like you were forced into something. I don’t want you to feel like you were pressured.” She told me. “I don’t know why you would think I would feel like I was pressured,” I said. “It’s because how tense you are. A lot of people get nervous their first time. Guys or girls. But, you are downright afraid. I think it’s because you think I’ll leave you after. Is that right?” She asked me.

I didn’t say anything and she sighed. “That’s what I thought. I want you to know that I won’t. But, I need you to be sure of that. I need you to know that on some level. I’m not going anywhere. Well, maybe to the bathroom or to find something to eat. But, when we make love. I’m not going back to one of the assholes I dated. You’ve been the kindest and most caring person I’ve ever met. Please, don’t shut me out and don’t think that I’m just going to turn away from you.” She told me with a hand on my shoulder. “That’s the thing. I know you won’t.

Deep down, I know you’ll be right next to when I wake up. But, some irrational fear that I have been saying you will walk away and I don’t know how to shut that off.” I told her and my head fell. I felt tears start to fall. She wrapped her arms around me. “All you have to do is conquer those fears. You said you know I won’t go anywhere, right? So, how would you defeat those demons?” She asked. “I don’t know. I guess by trying.” I said. I turned to her and she wiped the tears from my eyes. “Yes, when you’re ready.” She mentioned and then went over to the games. She grabbed a PlayStation system and hooked it up. Then she walked over to the locker, grabbed two controllers and came back to me.

She climbed next to me on the bed and we scooted all the way to the headboard. I noticed something small on the table next to me. I clicked it and then typed in the game I wanted to play. I looked at Ashlee. “We are going to play ’Dead Island,” I said. “As you wish.” The first or second?” She wondered. “First,” I said. “You got it.” The game started to load and we chose multiplayer. Then we chose our characters. She played Xian Mei. I chose Sam B. We went out and annihilated the zombies there and I was shocked at how fast we began to level up. We did the quests on the island and explored the entire area. We didn’t sell anything.

With the two of us working together, it was a piece of cake to break through the zombie lines and when one got pinned down or hurt. The other one was able to break them off and help out. We walked up the street to the lifeguard station and entered. That was one big zombie! I forgot how much a pain these big guys were. Mercenaries, I believed they were called. We jumped around him and hacked and slashed. Ashlee was almost dead, and I told her to back up and try to find something to heal herself with. I jumped out of the way and almost got killed myself and then she came back in the fight with a high slash of her machete and the thug lost his head.

She leveled up and I came close. We high fived and then we entered the doorway and clicked on our flashlights. We slaughtered the zombies there and spent fifteen dollars out of the vending machine. Yeah, it was a waste of money, but we needed health. Once it was clear, we made it to the second floor and cleared that out as well. The survivors made it over and more quests sprung out. I checked the phone and it was two in the morning. Ashlee saw that “I think it’s time we go to bed.” She said. I nodded. “I really don’t want to, though,” I told her. She grinned at me. “We always have tomorrow and the next day,” She said. She gave me a kiss and I nodded.

“Matt, how is it you sleep at night?” Nexus asked. “Excuse me?” I asked confused. “Sorry, I am only asking if you sleep with a fan or anything. Some people do.” He clarified. “Oh, yeah. I used to have a fan when I slept a while ago. But, I haven’t had one in a long time. I wouldn’t mind one again. That is if you don’t mind.” I told Ashlee. “Nope, as long as it’s blowing on you. I don’t care.” I faced the far wall and Ashlee snuggled up next to me.

Nexus created a fan from something and he turned it on medium. The breeze was nice and refreshing and even Ashlee liked it. I blocked most of it and we fell asleep quickly. The dream was peaceful. I woke up some time later and found Ashlee leaning against the wall. “So, what did I do?” She smiled at me. “You didn’t do anything. It’s what you said last night.” I stared at her in confusion. “Of course, you wouldn’t know what you said. You were sleeping. But, you said you loved me and that I was the best thing that happened to you.” I smirked.

“Well, I guess I can’t keep my mouth shut. Since when did I start talking in my sleep?” I wondered. “Um, Matt, ever since I met you, you were talking in your sleep.” I paled. “What?” She asked. “Who knows what I said while I was living with John,” I told her. “Matt, according to recent brain waves. You didn’t start to sleep talking until after you left his home. Also, it only happens when you have either an intense good or bad dream.” Nexus told me.

I sighed and took in a relaxing breath. “Well, that makes me feel a lot better,” I said. She chuckled and walked over to me. She climbed into bed and wrapped her arms around me. We grabbed the controllers and played for a little while longer. I don’t know how much time passed, but when we stopped in a safe zone, our stomachs were growling loudly. “I think it’s time to get something to eat,” Ashlee said. “Go ahead. I’m used to going hungry. I’m okay.” Ashlee looked like she wanted to argue with me, but she never got the chance. “If you don’t get your ass to the cafeteria, I’ll have Nex drag you there,” Nexus said with hostility. I blinked and gave a blank look.

“Was I just threatened by the sub?” I asked. “Oh, yes,” She said with a laugh. “I guess I can’t argue with that then.” I said and climbed out of bed. We both stood facing away from each other and she went to the dresser on the other side of the room away from the door and grabbed clothes. I went to the one in front of the bed and grabbed a pair of jeans and a shirt with a spider on it that looked like it was waving at me. “Nexus? Is this the same shirt that Jaise bought me earlier?” I asked. “No, not exactly. But, similar. I copied it from the wardrobe that was given to you and I created another copy of it.”

I nodded and asked, “What happened to the original?” He took a little while to answer. “I’m afraid they burned the original.” Ashlee and I looked at each other. “Well, it’s only a shirt that I bought from a pathetic vampire who pretended to be with the humans becoming a part of the vampire world, and she lied about all of that. So, I don’t care about those clothes. They were nice, but made by a terrible lying wench.” I replied coldly. Ashlee gave me a concerned look. “You’re supposed to be the forgiving one.” I glared. “I was the kind hearted and forgiving type. Now? I’m the tired of being tortured and almost killed and holding a vendetta type.” She gave me a worried look.

“Matt, I don’t want to have you become some dark and twisted form of your former self. I want you to be someone who I found and fell in love with. Please, don’t turn into a jerk.” She said. I jumped out of bed and faced her. “I am not going to be a jerk! I just can’t forgive someone anymore for what they did to me.” I told them. “I don’t want you to forgive. Or even to forget. But, I want you to understand that you can’t let the darkness consume you. We don’t know the power you have inside you. We also don’t know what threats await you now that you’re one of the powerful vampires of legend.”

I just stared at her blankly. “I don’t know what to say and I don’t know what you want me to say. But, I’ll try to do what I can. But, I don’t know how easy it’s going to be to forgive.” I told her. “Well, all you have to try and when we go back to the others, we need you to have an open mind. We can’t have you execute everyone for what they did. The leaders should be punished. I am not going to deny they don’t. But, the others? The followers? They don’t need to be punished. They just need to be put in their place. You are the only one who can.” She told me.

“I don’t have ties to that school like the rest of you. I don’t have any business ordering them around or forcing them to follow me.” She just shrugged. “You don’t have to order them or force them into anything. But, I have a feeling that a lot of the vampires would now follow you. All you have to do is give them a chance to prove themselves. Not all of them were a part of the attack on your life. Not all of them wanted your death.” She explained to me. Well, she was right about that. But, how am I to figure out who’s the one who was against me and who wasn’t? I mean it wasn’t like any of them actually stood up for me but for a small few.

I sighed. “I know that. But…” “No, buts. You have to trust in them. We can stay here for a while and relax and remain safe. But, we can’t remain here forever.” She told me. “Well, technically you could. I have a molecule generator that can make food. So, in reality, you could live here indefinitely. Plus, I can sympathize enough blood for ten thousand vampires. I think I the two of you would be very comfortable here.” Nexus said. I raised my eyebrow at her and she glared at me.

“Nexus, I don’t like technicalities!” Ashlee snapped. “Sorry.” He said and I laughed and snorted. “Matt….” She gave me a warning look. I sobered right away. “Sorry. I just found it funny. I needed a laugh after everything. But, I am not planning on being here forever. Just long enough to get a good rest in.” She smiled at me and pushed into me. “I know. We will stay here as long as you’d like. But, I won’t like it if you want to hide down here.” She said to me.

“I have no intention of hiding out here. Just a temporary vacation.” I told her. We dressed and then left the bedroom. “Just continue down the hall and one level. Go to the right and follow it to the end and you’ll come to the cafeteria. Just go to the machine and type in everything you want with explicit detail. Or simply explain what you want.” We made it to the cafeteria and I found a place where I couldn’t believe. The room was gigantic but elaborate. The giant long tables were covered with a fancy white tablecloth.

The chairs were cushioned and every table and chair was resting on a plush looking light carpet. “Is this a cafeteria or a restaurant?” I asked. Nexus laughed. “Well, we thought you would like it if it wasn’t some cheap fast food place. Do you see the paneling on the wall?” He asked. “Yes,” I told him. “That’s the vending machine. There will be a hologram keyboard that appears when you push the green button and then asks for whatever you want.” He told me. “Nexus? Would you be willing to give us some privacy?” I asked.

“Oh, sure. No problem. Privacy mode engaged.” A thin see through plastic door closed shut and fans overhead automatically turned on. “I guess it’s to keep it from getting too hot in here,” I said. “Yeah, but the doors are see through,” She said. I smiled and walked over to them. A panel on the wall indicated that I could change the door color, so I chose a solid yellow and violet color. She grinned and I asked her, “Would you be interesting in a surprise dinner?” She looked at me in shock. “What do you mean surprise?” I gave her a half smiled look. “Well, I did a lot of cooking at home and I would like to show you some of my ideas,” I told her.

She only smiled and went to sit at a corner booth away from the doors and then said, “By all means. I’m willing to try anything new.” I chuckled and went to the machine. I was nervous. Every time I cooked for my family, they always found something to complain about. But, when I cooked for people down the street they loved it. So, I never know how people are going to react. I chose a marinated in garlic butter pork chop with pepper, on baked cheesy bread with red, and yellow peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese. Homemade mozzarella, deli Swiss, Colby jack, and parmesan cheese mashed potatoes.

Then I told the machine that I would like corn and baked beans. I typed in as the hamburger was being ground up, to add real chopped up onions, bell peppers, pepper, and garlic and crushed red peppers. I then had the machine bake strips of chicken with seasoning salt, and pepper, with barbecue sauce. I had it fry up some bacon in peppered oil and once everything was done, I had it chop up the bacon, chicken, and hamburger into little chunks and make the baked beans. Now, it was time to work on the dessert. I chose a recipe from my mother. It was a homemade cake.

But, I chose a lemon and strawberry cake. I had the machine make from scratch butterscotch pudding and recess mint ice cream. I layered the pudding between half one cake and the other. And I put the ice cream on the next layer and then I created orange frosting by having squeezed orange juice with vanilla frosting blended together. Everything looked like it was what I wanted. Now, I only hope that it was good enough. Now, I wondered what to drink. I gave Ashlee a quick glance, but she wasn’t looking in this direction.

I chose for Ashlee, a strawberry margarita. And I chose a chocolate margarita. A small note appeared on the screen. “I know you’re not twenty-one yet. But, I’ll let it slide this time. ;). I laughed quietly and I felt Ashlee’s gaze on me. Another message appeared saying that it would be between twenty minutes to half an hour. I went back to Ashlee and sat down. “So, what have you planned for this night?” She asked me trying to figure what I did with a stern look. “Well, you said you’d be okay with a surprise. So, that’s what I intend on it being.” I said with a wink. She grinned.

“There was a time where I felt like you would tell me out of being nervous. But, I can see you already have a confidence boost. I like it. You needed this.” She said to me. “Well, I doubt I am where I should be. But, I do feel stronger and more confident with myself. I think the fight in the throne room helped. I mean, all the fights up to that point, I lost and almost died. I had to have you all protect me. But, then? I was able to win all on my own. I didn’t need anyone to protect me for a change and it felt amazing.” I admitted to her. She only smiled. “Well, it shows and I couldn’t be prouder of you. I am glad you don’t need anyone to fight for you anymore. But, don’t let get over confident. You’re not invincible.”

I looked at her. “I know.” I sighed. She only shook her head and rested her hands on mine. “Don’t let me deflate your confidence. Trust in yourself. I just don’t want you thinking you can do everything on your own. Or more importantly, I don’t want you to think that you need to do everything on your own.” I smiled lightly at her. “I won’t. I promise.” She leaned in and kissed me. “So, what are we going to do?” I ask. “Well, that depends on what you’re asking?” She gave me a sly smile. “With the other vampires,” I stated. “Is that really what you want to talk about?” She countered.

“No, because I don’t care for the lot of them. I just can’t see us being very happy down here too long.” I said. “No, probably not. But, are you sure you want to face the others?” I didn’t know, so I just shrugged. She smirked. “Well, you’re right about one thing. We can’t stay down here forever. Well, technically we could. But, we would go insane and we don’t know what the fate of the earth would be if we did.” She said. “You’re right.” She looked away for a second. “Now, what is it you want?” She wondered.

“Well, I did want to find a nice girl, have sex, have a dozen kids and die old and wrinkled with knowing that I had some awesome grandchildren out there.” She rolled her eyes. “But, now. I’m good with living forever, knowing that I can still have kids at some point with an awesome woman next to me who’s going to live forever.” She gave me an unblinking stare. “Well, I would say that’s a good answer, but I sensed a lot of sarcasm in it.” I laughed. “The tone may have sarcasm in it, but what I said didn’t. It was what I wanted. And now, it’s what I want to just be with you and together we can face anything.” She squeezed my hand.

Then I smelled something delicious coming towards us and when I looked, two large platters of food floated over to us. Ashlee blinked and stared wide eyed. The platters floated by us at table level with large dishes of food on them. “Did you make all of this?” She asked in shock. “Well, technically Nexus made this, but this is all my idea and something I have always wanted to try. But, yes. It’s something I would make on my own. But, I figured by having Nexus do it all, it would get done a lot faster.”

She only shook her head and smiled. I stood up and gave her a sandwich, some corn, beans, potatoes and handed her the martini. She couldn’t believe how much food was here. I scooped some food onto my plate and grabbed the chocolate martini. I didn’t know if it was a girly drink and I didn’t know if it would affect me. But, heck. I didn’t care. I started to eat slowly and I found that it tasted great. Ashlee hadn’t dug in yet. “Is something wrong?” I asked concerned. “No, no. It’s not anything that’s wrong. But, it looks so good. I don’t know. I’ve never eaten anything that smells or looks so good.”

I felt a small bit of pride, but I was still skeptical. “Well, I have had people eat my foods and tell me it tasted good and then I had a lot of people say it tasted like garbage. So, I don’t know what people say it’s going to taste like.” I said to her. She took a bite of the potatoes and then the sandwich. Her eyes lit up and she chewed and swallowed. “Oh my god!” She said. “Was it bad?” I asked depressed. “Holy shit. No! It was delicious! It was amazing!” She said stoked. She ate some of the beans and corn and then we both finished our first meal.

After that, we went back for seconds and even mixed the foods together. We ended up feeling full and I said, “What are we going to do about dessert?” She blinked at me. “Oh, goodness. What did you make?” The other platter removed its lid and the giant cake appeared. “Holy crap!” She stated with excitement. “So, you’ve made some room?” I asked with a grin. She nodded and then we both got up and cut a piece of cake. We sat back down and ate in silence. I couldn’t believe how it turned out. There was enough food here to feed three dozen people.

“What are you going to do with all this? Even if we get fat, we couldn’t eat all of this food.” She said. I chuckled. “I think we should invite some people.” She blinked. “Well, who?” She wondered. “I was thinking Jaise, Liam, Julie. Even some other people who would be willing to come with us. But, how do we get a message out?” I asked aloud. Then it hit me. “I actually have the means to get a hold of them, and I don’t think there’s a way they could track the phone unless I want them to,” I explained.

“Well, why not?” She said. “I think we can put the food away where it won’t go bad for a day or two,” I said. Ashlee moaned. “I’m so full,” She complained. I laughed. “But, it was so damn good. You really have a calling for cooking.” I smiled and then I asked, “So, what now?” She stood up and inactivated privacy mode. “Nexus? Is there a way to keep this food from going badly for a while?” I asked.

“Of course Matt. I can freeze it in time with a generated spell. So, it could last indefinitely.” He explained. “Would you please until we ask for it?” Nex appeared. “Of course. Anything you ask for, you shall have.” I just shook my head. “I don’t want to use you.” Nex only smiled at me. “Treat me like a crew member and friend. But, if you need something, let me know.” I nodded. The platters vanished and he said then, “You know you don’t have to save this batch. I could make it again at any time and it’s not actually a waste.” “I’m not going to throw that food out when it’s still good. You made it for me. So, we are going to finish it before making it again or other foods. I don’t like wasting.”

He only shook his head. “Very well. But, that’s weird. Not too many people think that way.” He said. “Oh, there’s a lot of people that don’t like to waste foods. All that needs to be known is that they’re not skinny or maybe they are a little obsessive.” He nodded and then walked to the table. “Oh, I’ll wash those,” I said. “No, you won’t. You, go and have fun. My job is to take care of the ship and needs of the crew.” I just sighed and left.

I met up with Ashlee outside and we went back to the bedroom and then I said, “Darn, hold on. I want to check something. I’ll be right back okay?” I told Ashlee. She smiled and nodded. I walked all the way to command and then asked Nexus to put privacy mode on the command room against others from listening to our conversation. “What’s up Matt?” He asked appearing in a holographic form. “I was wondering. Do you know how to kill vampires? DO you know the knowledge of how to create the stakes to fight them?”

“Oh, I can make them. I just need the elements that the vampires have. You need to channel the elements for me to trap them and imbue the stakes with that power. I’ll explain how stakes work later.” He told me. I nodded. “How much power do you need?” I asked. “It depends on how many stakes you need,” He told me. I closed my eyes and focused the power inside me. I felt my left hand heat up with a warm, healing light. And my right-hand glow with a powerful flame. I kept the spell up until Nexus said that he had enough for twenty stakes per element.

Then I channeled lightning and water. After twenty minutes, he had enough for the same amount. “Matt, I think you have done enough today. We don’t know what toll this is going to have on you. Please, don’t push yourself.” Nexus told me. “I want to make sure that I can protect those that I need to keep safe. I won’t stop until I have enough to start out with.” I said to him. He didn’t argue, but I could tell he wasn’t happy. I did then shadow and earth. He got enough and it took an hour to that point. I couldn’t hold the magic very long.

“You need to stop. You can do the final two elements tomorrow or in a couple days after you’ve rested.” I didn’t and I cast ice and air. I forced myself to hold the spells and even though it took almost two hours, Nexus got enough to make twenty stakes from both elements. I dropped to my knees, sweating and breathing heavily. “I think you pushed yourself too hard on that. But, I admit that it was needed. You should have weapons to protect yourself. But, you haven’t forgotten about the chests have you?” I looked confused. “Chests? I don’t-.“ Then I realized what he was talking about.

“Oh, yes.” I said and told him, “Well, in a few days. I’m in no rush to do that.” He smiled and said, “Of course.” He said and vanished, releasing the lock on the door. Ashlee stood there with her arms crossed and looked at me. She looked like she was going to snap at me until I took a step towards her and stumbled. She barely caught me before I fell to the ground. “What did you do?” She asked. “I’ll tell you whether I’m sure you won’t kill me for doing it,” I said to her. “I’ll kill you if you don’t tell me.” She threatened. “I…I had a project done. But, please. Not now.” I said.

“I think it would be best if you allow him to rest before drilling him on questions,” Nexus told her. She nodded and helped me to the bedroom. She helped me get changed and then I climbed in and rested my head on the pillow and I asked for the fan. It was put on medium and I started to shake and tremble and sweat poured down my face and drenched my shirt that started to stick to my chest. “Matt!” She yelled and then wiped her palm on me in shock and confusion. I shook violently and I couldn’t control it or my breathing. “I’m sorry,” I said in a shaky voice. “Apologize later.

Apologize when I kick your ass when you get all better. Once I figure out what’s the matter with you, that is.” She muttered. “He seems to be suffering from magical deficiency,” Nexus told us. “Is that even a thing?” Ashlee asked. “Yes. Am I sure your teachers warned you about the use of too much magic? Well, this is the effects of such a thing. If the human or vampire uses too much magical energy too fast, they could burn themselves up. They wouldn’t combust or anything. But, their hearts would beat to the point of bursting and literally explode and the organs shrivel and cause all the bones to shatter.”

“How does all that damage happen with magical overload?” Ashlee asked. “Well, once the body can’t keep the energy level from going critical, one last burst of energy escapes and destroys the organs. That’s one of the final reasons why the body dies after the heart starts to explode. If it wasn’t for that last burst of energy, it would only seem like a major heart attack, but the person would survive and it would eventually heal if the person was a vampire.” He explained. “But, since the magic causes the heart to explode, there’s no chance to heal.” I stammer out.

“Yes, he got lucky. He’s only suffering through a withdrawal of energy. First signs of symptoms. But, other than that he’s okay. All he needs is a little rest and he should be fine.” Ashlee placed a hand on my forehead and gasped, “He’s burning up!” A light blue light seemed to scan me and then Nexus said, “He does have an unusually high temperature. I can’t figure out why, though.” Nexus said. “Is there any way to get his fever down?” Ashlee asked. “Yes, but I don’t know if it will work. I’ll give it a try.” Nex appeared with a small ice pack. “Matt, this is enchanted. I am not just an android. I have some other skills as well.” He said and placed it on my forehead.

The cold felt amazing and I shivered. “I don’t know if he likes it,” Ashlee commented. “I do. It feels really nice.” I mumbled and buried my head into the pillow with the ice pack pressing into me. I couldn’t sleep fully and I heard the conversation around me. But, only bits and pieces of it. I couldn’t keep track of everything, and I don’t know how much time passed, but what I did hear wasn’t something I cared to hear. “What is going to happen to him?” Ashlee asked. “…know. It seems like his fever is getting worse. I sense that it’s one hundred and eight now. So, if he doesn’t get….”

There was nothing for a while. “I don’t like this Nexus. He’s so clammy and I it feels like he’s on…..” “……Well, there’s nothing I can do. I gave him antibiotics and I gave him something to cool him down. For some reason, his body isn’t…” The next thing I heard is, “What do you suggest we do? We can’t let him…” “What would you like me to? I can’t cast complete spells and I can’t work….” I dozed off then and the dream was all scrambled. All I saw was a bunch of dancing puppets and hula hooping zebra’s. Jump roping elephants eating an ice cream cone being held with their tusks.

I woke up gasping for breath and sweat covered me. It felt like I was sticking to the bed and I was drowning. The door opened and Ashlee walked in. “Matt, how are you feeling?” She asked me. I couldn’t speak. I tried and pain racked through me. It felt like ten thousand needles were piercing my body all over. I shook and trembled. “Matt?” She asked and came to me. “His fever spiked higher than last night. He’s over one fifteen.” Nexus said. “He’ll die if this keeps up!” Ashlee screamed. Nexus didn’t say anything and their voices seemed to be coming from a far off place.

“I could heal myself. Maybe with a holy wand and a magical white hat?” I asked in a squeaky voice. “I think he’s delusional.” Ashlee said and I commented, “Delusional? No. NO! I’m sorry! I can’t stop this! Please, don’t hurt me! Please end this pain!” I screamed. I collapsed against the pillow and I felt my body violently shake and I screamed in pain. Ashlee tried to hold me down to stop me from the convulsions. But, something snapped in me. A pain so intense flooded through me and I screamed and coughed up blood.

“What’s happening to me?” I gasped. I turned on my side and had another coughing fit where I spit out blood. “He’s dying! What the hell is going on?” Ashlee demanded. I couldn’t answer due to the blood I was vomiting up. My body was convulsing uncontrollably and I couldn’t stop. The fever spiked even more and I felt like my insides were being melted. “Gideon! What is going on?” I asked. “Matt, you’re no match to be my host. So, I have come to kick you out of the way. But, since I can’t do it alone, I have someone in mind that has the power to do that.

Although, I really did like you. I don’t think you are worthy of my power anymore.” I couldn’t believe it. Zolem promised me. Now, everyone even the one person he swore couldn’t have betrayed me. What is it with this world? What did I do to deserve this kind of pain? “Zach! What in the world is going on?” Of course, I didn’t get an answer. The pain raked through me and the convulsions spread through my muscles and I literally felt them attacking my heart, lungs, and other organs.

I felt them start to turn to jelly, and then all the pain just stopped. My body slowly healed and I tensed up, expecting another coughing fit with blood shooting out. But, it didn’t and I felt my fever break. I felt drenched in sweat, but the pain was going away and I could move again. I could feel my body fighting to heal the damage. “Matt? How are you feeling?” Ashlee asked me. “I don’t know. But, I never want to go through that ever again.” I gasped for breath and then I climbed out of bed. I still felt overheated, but not burning up. “Well, Matt. I think it’s time for you to take a cool shower and truly cool off, oh and if you go through that again; I’ll find out why and who did that and make them pay.” Ashlee warned.

“Let it go,” I told her. “I told you that you’re the forgiving one. I hold the grudges.” She told me. I nodded and I stumbled towards the bathroom. “Matt, take it slow.” I made it and closed the door and took off the shirt and pants. I leaned against the door for a moment. I caught my breath and then went to turn on the water to cool. I removed my underwear and tossed them down the chute and then climbed into the shower. The water reminded me of a spring rain. Nice and cool, but not cold, refreshing. I took the longest shower and washed all the sweat from me and I thoroughly cleaned my body and washed my hair.

I don’t know how long I was there, but Nexus said, “Matt, you’ve been in here for half an hour. Is everything okay?” He asked. I opened the shower curtain and Nexus appeared in a hologram form. He didn’t look around. Just looked me directly in the eyes. “Sorry, I just wanted to not feel so sweaty and sticky. I’m done and I’ll be out in a moment.” I told him and turned off the water. I stepped out and wrapped a towel around my waist. I stepped out of the bathroom and walked over to the dresser. “Matt.” Ashlee called to me and I turned around holding the towel around me.

“Well, speak what you will. I’m getting dressed.” I said with a smirk. I grabbed some clothes and walked over to the bed. “I just want to make sure you’re okay,” She said to me. I pulled my underwear up under the towel and then removed that. “I’m okay. I am. I just need some rest and not near death experiences. I just want this to end.” I said. “So do I; I don’t like seeing you go through this!” I just nodded at her. “I would like to call Jaise and a few others,” I mentioned.

“Go ahead. How long have we been down here?” I asked. “Five days. You’ve been in and out for three and a half.” Nexus said. “How about a couple more days just us and then we call them? It hasn’t been a fully relaxing time down here.” I commented and Ashlee agreed. We removed the blankets and sheets from the bed and put them in a basket in the corner. “Nex will be by shortly to take and wash them. I tossed the pillowcase and pillows in them as well. A floating orb came by and started lightly spraying the bed down. “What’s it doing?” I asked.

“Cleaning the bed. It’s removing the stains and the odor. It’s also refitting it so it’s not lumpy or the feathers inside are evenly spaced out. They’re no springs in it.” Nexus explained. Nex appeared and went to a small closet by the far wall. He pulled out a set for the bed and put them on. Golden sheets, pillows, blankets, and a comforter. He put them all on the bed and then went to grab the dirty ones. “I’m sorry for the mess,” I told him. He only smiled lightly. “It’s no problem. As long as you’re alive, it makes no matter on how much laundry I have to do.”

“I am willing to do some of the work you know?” I suggested to him. “Well, if when your friends come, I may take you up on that,” He said walking out. The door closed behind him and we jumped in bed together and turned on the game system. We played Dead Island for the day and well into the night. The next couple of days passed quickly and we played games and ate simply. By the time I realized it, a week had gone by and we were watching television shows we haven’t seen in a while or before and we were caught up on a lot. We didn’t sleep much. On the seventh day, we even played dancing instrumental music and we danced like fools.

We laughed and danced around the entire sub. Then I used the phone Nexus gave me and called Jaise. “Matt, where the hell have you been?” He snapped. “Well, I’ve been in a well hidden and safe place. Away from the common pains, death threats, and attacks on me, and I have been relaxing and enjoying the time here. Minus the moment when I thought I was going to die.” I didn’t feel like it was needed to say that my ancient being was trying to betray me.

“Well, where are you? I can come and get you.” He told me. “I want you to come, but I don’t need saving. I actually would like you and the others to come and join us,” And I paused for a moment because I heard him take in a sharp breath, “Jaise, I would like you to bring Liam and Julie. Is there others you could trust?” I asked. “Well, yes. But, do you want me to bring them?” He asked. “Only if you can trust them without question. But, otherwise just the two of them.” I replied.

“Very well. Where are you?” He asked. “Nexus, send him the coordinates and allow him in.” I said and Jaise asked, “Who the hell is that?” I laughed. “You will meet him when you arrive. I’ll see you soon.” He sighed heavily and said, “Alright. See ya cuz.” “Bye, Jaise.” And then I hung up. “Are you sure this is a good idea?” Ashlee asked. “You don’t want them here?” I asked. “It’s not that. You didn’t tell him about your near death episode. You didn’t explain to him what happened.” I just shook my head.

“I don’t plan on keeping it from him. I just felt like he deserves to know face to face.” She couldn’t argue with that and within the hours, Jaise, Liam, and Julie were standing in the hallway by the airlock. Ashlee and I met them and they looked surprised to see us and where they were. “So, this is where you’ve been hiding out.” Jaise said. “Yeah, I needed some time alone. And that’s why I left.

I didn’t know if I could keep it up. Stay strong at the school, so I knew I had to leave. Please, understand that.” I told him. He frowned and looked at me in confusion. “I do get that, but you felt like you had to leave without telling us. Without letting me know. I don’t know what you feared from me. I know I have a temper and all that. But, I don’t think I’m misunderstanding.” He told me. “No, it wasn’t that. I’m sorry. It wasn’t anything against you. I wasn’t thinking clearly and I just needed someone next to me. There’s something that she can give me or help me with than others can.” Liam and Julie seemed to understand, but Jaise only glared.

“May I speak to you for a moment alone?” He asked. “Come on man. Let it go.” Liam said. “No, I just want to ask him a question in private.” I nodded and then took him to the command deck. “Nexus, privacy mode.” I said and the beep told me that it was engaged. “So, what did you want to talk to me about?” He just paced the deck. “Matt, did you sleep with her?” I blushed a deep, dark scarlet. “W-what?” I stammered. “I want to know if you slept with her,” He repeated.

“No, but I don’t think that’s any of your business.” I hissed. “Matt, I am not trying to embarrass you or hurt you. I know you care for Ashlee. I do. But, I want you to know that this is a big step and I want you to be sure that you’re ready for this. Also, there’s something you need to know about her.” I blinked and just stared steadily at him. “She has some unknown disease. If you sleep with her, you’ll acquire it as well. I don’t know how vampires get it, but an old boyfriend of hers had it. It’s spread by sex.” I paled a bit, but asked, “What kind of sex?” He just stared. “Any. Well, oral probably wouldn’t bother you. But, intercourse would. Somehow vampire’s cures don’t work on it.”

I just sighed and looked at him. “Jaise, I’m not ready for sex yet. Just because you, and Liam are experienced. That doesn’t give you the right to judge me and think that you can tell me how to live my life.” I said and went to the door. “That’s NOT what I am trying to do. I am only looking out for you! Please, don’t twist everything I say around.” I took a deep breath. “I don’t mean to. But, it’s just so hard not to out of some defense mechanism. Okay, I do understand. Sorry, I just sometimes get the feeling that you don’t trust me to make the right choice. That you think I’m going to jump on the bed with the first pretty girl. Don’t you trust me?” I asked.

“It isn’t that I don’t trust you. It’s that I don’t know what kind of disease this is that she has. I don’t know why she’s not telling you about it. But, I worry about you and her. However, you’re my first priority. I just want to make sure you’re okay.” I nodded. “True, and we haven’t been together a year at least, but it has been a few months and with everything we’ve been through, I think it kind of sped up the process. And she’s never tried to push me into sex. Even as a human, she never tried to hold me down and take me. She respected me. But, there’s one thing you should know that I didn’t want to tell you over the phone.”

He gave me an anxious look. “What I didn’t tell you on the phone is that something happened to me is that I almost died. I don’t know what it was. It seems clear that it wasn’t an excessive use of magic. Something was trying to kill me and Gideon, my ancient being was betraying me. He still might be. Or something is strong enough to control him.” I explained. “That’s not possible. Once they are linked to your soul, they can’t betray you. They can’t do you harm. It would hurt them as well.” He told me. “Well, I would believe you if he didn’t tell me that he was forsaking me. He flat out told me that he was going to find someone worthy of his power and he was killing me off.” I told him coldly. Why couldn’t people just believe me?! “Have you tried talking to him?” He asked calmly. “No, but I guess that I should.” He nodded. “Gideon?” I called.

The young boy appeared in front of me with a concerned look on his face. “Matt? Is something wrong? You seem nervous about talking to me and I sensed some concerns about me?” I took a deep breath. “So, I want to know why you said you were trying to kill me off. I am sorry for whatever I did, but let me know what it was.” He gave me a concerned look. “I didn’t try to kill you. You haven’t done anything. Where is this coming from?” Zolem told me he was little naïve. But, he didn’t sound naïve now. What was happening? “I asked for you when I was almost dying. It was when the fever was spiking and I called for you but when you appeared, it wasn’t to help me.

You told me that I wasn’t worthy of your power and that you were going to find someone else to replace me or something to that effect.” I stated. His look turned confused. “I really don’t know what you’re saying. I wouldn’t betray you. I remember you being sick and you calling to me. But, our conversation was different than that.” I glared at him. “I recall it fairly well.” I hissed. “As do I.” Gideon countered. “Gideon, I know what you said to me. I’ll quote you: “Matt, you’re no match to be my host. So, I have come to kick you out of the way. But, since I can’t do it alone, I have someone in mind that has the power to do that. Although, I really did like you. I don’t think you are worthy of my power anymore.”

He only blinked at me. “I never said that. I said, ‘Matt, you’re no match to fight this threat. So, I have come to try and kick it out of the way. But, since I can’t do it alone, I have someone in mind that has the power to do that. I do really like you, and you are worthy of my power, I need to find help my power isn’t enough anymore.’” I blinked at him. “Are you serious? I swear I heard…” I just shook my head. “I don’t recall….” I pressed my hand to my forehead.

“Matt, you were sick and confused. You don’t know what you heard. I promise you. I’m on your side and you have nothing to fear from me.” He said and then vanished. “Jaise looked at me in confusion. “So, I guess I was wrong and delusional,” I muttered. He chuckled. “It’s okay, and I’m sure he understands.” “I do. And I don’t hold it against you.” I heard Gideon say. “I am sorry. I’ll learn to trust you.” I walked the door and before I opened it, I turned to Jaise and asked, “Is there anything else I should answer?” “Nope, I think we talked about everything. Just be careful.” He said to me.

I nodded and then I opened the door. We walked back to the others and Ashlee was laughing at something Julie said. Her face lit up when she saw me. I walked over to her and wrapped my arms around her. “So, I hope you don’t mind. But, I did invite someone to meet us here later.” Jaise admitted. “Who?” I asked. “Carly. She’s a nice girl. You can trust her.” He told us. “Well, I did say if there’s anyone you can trust. I just don’t want a lot of people here.

Only people who are one hundred percent trustworthy.” He nodded and said, “You have my word. She’s a good person. If she brings anyone, you’ll have no problem with whoever she brings.” He said. “We do have a sitting room. They’re games and movies to play and watch.” Nexus informed us. “Where at?” I asked. “Bottom deck, in the front. There’s even surround sound set up around the room.” He stated and we started off to where he told us. “Nexus, when Carly shows up, direct them to where we are,” I commanded. “As you wish.”

We made it to the giant sitting room and the screen was almost the size of a movie theater. “So, what is the plan here?” Julie asked. “How about a game night? We could all play a multiplayer game?” Jaise suggested. “Carly is almost to you,” Nexus mentioned. Then a short haired blond with smooth ivory skin and an athletic build came through the door. She had a nice figure, but she seemed a little slim. She smiled shyly and walked over and sat down next to Jaise. Liam and Julie were on the small couch on the left of the room and Ashlee sat in the chair on the right.

I sat down next to her and rested my arm on her shoulders. “What are we going to play?” Liam asked. “What about left four dead?” Ashlee asked. Everyone but Jaise and Carly grew excited about that. “You don’t want to play?” I asked them. “I’ve never really did well with that game.” Jaise said. “I’ve never been much of a gamer,” Carly admitted. “How about you give it a chance, what do you say?” Ashlee told her kindly. “Well, are you all going to join in as well?” She asked. “Oh, yes,” He said full-heartedly.

We brought out the game systems and we turned them on. They were already hooked up and we put in the games. The Carly chose Rochelle and Ashlee chose Zoey. I took Coach, Jaise chose Francis, Liam chose Billy and Julie chose Ellis. We started to play and even though we were playing two different games, somehow we were allowed to join up and work together. Almost like a crossover between the games and we were surrounded by hundreds of zombies, but we blasted through them together and completed all objectives.

We charged through the final mission and slaughtered zombies and the other creatures that went to kill us. We beat the first area that they gave us and then went to the second. By the time we were in the third act, eight hours passed and we realized that we needed to get something to eat. “What do you have to eat around here?” Jaise asked. “Well, actually we have something to eat. A lot of somethings. I made a special dinner the other day and we have a lot of leftovers. Are you interested?” I asked. Everyone nodded. “I’ll bring it right to you,” Nexus said.

Three minutes later, the two platters from Ashlee and my dinner floated into with plates and silverware. I removed the platter lids and everyone gasped. “You made this?” Liam asked in shock. “Not physically. But, these were my ideas. I used Nexus’ technology and typed everything for him to do. He created all of this within half an hour. Please, dig in.” I said. We all started scooping food out and by the time everyone had seconds or thirds, the food was gone. People devoured the cake and the platters were floating empty. “Thank you Nexus,” I said.

“You’re welcome.” Everyone sat back down and snuggled close together. “So, I think we should be going to bed soon,” Julie suggested. “Yeah, I agree. We all need to get some sleep. There’s plenty of time to have some fun.” Carly said. “Liam and Julie? You’ll be showed where you’re going to be sleeping by Nex. Jaise? I’ll show where you and Carly will be staying.” I said. They nodded and we all got up to leave. Nex met us at the door and he motioned for Liam and Julie to follow him.

Jaise and Carly followed me with Ashlee holding my hand. We went back towards our room and pointed to a room close to us. “I think that one would be a good one,” I said. He opened the door and Carly gasped. Jaise stood in the doorway wide-eyed. The room was almost as large as mine. The bed the same style and the carpet a deep red. “I hope you find the room comfortable,” I told him with a smile. They both nodded and then entered the room.

The door closed and we walked to our own room. “So, did you tell him everything?” She asked me when we closed the door. “Yes, I filled him completely in. He wasn’t very happy with the news. But, there wasn’t anything that could be done, since it was already done and over with. But, I don’t think he’s believing me when I said that I’m okay. I get the feeling that he thinks there’s going to be another attack on my life. But, how can I be sure? I don’t even know if it was an attack, or if it was a sickness that happened to be using too much magic. I can’t even be sure one way or the other.” I told her.

“There’s only one way to be sure. But, you won’t like the answer when it comes.” She said. “I know. If I get sick, then I will know that there’s to be another attack on my life. But, if it never happens, or if we figure out what is wrong and cure me, then we’ll have nothing to worry about. We changed and then went to bed. The night was restless and I wasn’t the only one who had difficulty sleeping. But, Nexus and Nex made us all a giant breakfast and had us meet in front of my room and then I showed them where to go.

We ate a giant feast of cinnamon toast, apple buttered French toast and waffles. Maple honeyed pancakes. Scrambled and sunny side up eggs with fried bacon, sausage and hash browns. Freshly squeezed orange juice and apple cider. We ate quietly, enjoying the food that he prepared for us. Nex brought out a large tray with six large glasses of a red liquid. “Blood, I know you need it. So, here you all go.” I didn’t even pay attention to Carly’s streak, and it was red. I guess that makes sense why Jaise was smitten with her.

She was really nice as well and I began to feel warm. I wiped my forehead with a napkin. “Matt?” Ashlee asked me. “I’m fine.” I said, but I wasn’t believing it. “You look like before.” She said and everyone turned towards me. “No, this is different.” I said and I left. I walked back to the room and into the bathroom. “Matt, you’re experiencing the same symptoms as before. I don’t think you should be moving around too much. It seems to be spiking the fever that you shouldn’t have.” I heard Nexus tell me. I closed the door and took off my clothes.

I turned on the shower to complete freezing. In a matter of minutes, small ice cycles started to form around the bathroom and I climbed in. The water started off too cold to handle, but after only a few seconds, that changed. It turned t cold and then cool. After a few minutes, I barely even noticed the cold and it felt nuke warm. “Matt, that temperature isn’t even survivable!” I heard Nexus tell me. “I need it colder!” I shouted. The small thermometer on the wall said negative fifty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. It was climbing steadily and the bathroom turned into a small glacier.

But, I still didn’t feel it at all. I was still burning up. “Colder!” I pleaded. “I can’t get any colder than this or the pipes are going to burst and it will cause a flooding that I won’t be able to stop,” He said sadly. I turned off the water and wrapped a towel around my waist. I walked out of the bathroom and Jaise and Ashlee was there staring at me wide eyed. “Matt, you’re burning up.” Jaise said simply. “Yes.” That was all I could manage to get out. I stumbled over to the bed and sat down. I felt like I was being held inches over lava and my skin was going to melt off.

I screamed and blood came pooling out of my mouth. I coughed and gasped and spit out blood. I could feel my insides melting and turning to jelly again and I fell the floor. “Julie!” Ashlee and Jaise shrieked. It almost reminded me of a Banshee. She came running in and gasped. I couldn’t see anything and all I knew was that I was wretching up more blood. I tried to breathe and I couldn’t. Then I felt myself slowly floating away. But, I was still near my body. What was happening? I wondered.

“Matt, you can’t die on me!” Ashlee shrieked. If Julie was trying to heal me, I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t tell and the only thing I knew was that I was standing over my own body. I was watching everyone rush around me and I stopped breathing. Julie stood up shakily and she was covered in blood from touching me. “I’m sorry,” She said. It sounded like her voice was echoing around me. “He’s dead,” She said quietly. Jaise and Ashlee didn’t move. “No, no. He can’t be dead. It’s just not possible.” Liam walked over to Jaise and placed a hand on his shoulder. My cousin didn’t even move. “I’m sorry,” He said. “No, he isn’t dead. He can’t be!” Jaise screamed.

“I’m terribly sorry. But-.” Nexus began and then my body gasped and convulsed for a moment before breathing heavily. But, it wasn’t me inside it. I couldn’t tell who it was. But, I felt a pure evil. An unadulterated coldness. Whoever was controlling me; they didn’t want to be known. Julie gave me a strange look, but other than that. She didn’t say anything. “Matt!? Matt!” Ashlee screamed and wrapped her arms around me. “That’s not me!” I shouted, but no one heard me. “Matt, are you okay?” Nexus asked. “Yes, I am fine.” This was going to get confusing. I thought. Ashlee gave me an odd look. “Are you sure?” She asked tears running down her face. My body nodded and he gently wiped them away.

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