Deja Vu

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Chapter 7

“Matt, are you alright?” Jaise asked me and rested a hand on my right shoulder. I grabbed it firmly and began to tremble. “I think so.” I choked out. Ashlee wrapped her arms around me. “What happened to you?” She demanded. “It’s not easy to explain,” I said, my breathing still wild. “Hey, you don’t have to explain anything right now. Just rest and relax.” Jaise said glaring at Ashlee. “He’s right. I’m sorry. I was just so worried about you. Don’t scare us like that!”

I laughed weakly and said, “I’ll try my best.” Then she kissed me passionately. A soft knock came on the door, and we all looked to see Liam and Julie enter the room. “Matt, it’s good to see that you’re awake. Will you stop scaring these two like this? I mean even for vampires, you’re going to put them in an early grave.” Liam said and laughed. We all laughed a little and Julie rolled her eyes and gave me a smile. “How are you feeling?” She asked me. “I’m fine Julie, thank you. I just feel a little weak and hungry.” I told them. “Speaking of hungry, when was the last time you two fed?” Liam asked. Ashlee and Jaise glanced at each other for a fraction of a second.

“I thought so. You two need to get some blood and food.” Liam ordered. “Don’t worry guys. We will watch over him.” Julie said. I glanced at Julie and instantly felt a cold feeling. “Uh, Jaise? Would you mind helping me so I can get something to eat as well? I think that would help me.” He gave me a curious look and nodded. I grabbed a hold of Ashlee’s hand and dragged her out of the room as well. She didn’t know what was going on, but the smirk on her face said she didn’t mind. I could sense that Julie grew angry and annoyed. But, she didn’t say anything.

We passed Rayne in the hall, and she smiled at each of us in turn, except for Julie. She gave her a frown and then shook my hand. “I hope you’re feeling well.” I nodded, and I felt the piece of paper in my hand. She gave Julie one last fleeting look before walking passed us. Ashlee then dragged me into the cafeteria, and we sat down at the corner table. Someone came walking up to us. “So, you’re the special guests that Rayne said would be eating here today.” A teenage boy said with a cold tone. He has short dark red hair and cold gray-blue eyes. He was skinny, but, with a good physique.

“Is there a problem?” Liam asked. “Oh, yes. We don’t like outsiders on this ship. We invited a bunch of people over before in good faith and they have betrayed. They were all slaughtered! You all need to leave!” He hissed and then walked away. A younger looking kid walked up. “You don’t have to worry about him.” This kid looked a little bigger than the other one but wasn’t as built or tall. He had short blond hair. “We will leave as soon as we can,” I said. “It doesn’t matter. Rayne has given you a pass. Ryan will bring you food soon. Just relax and eat.” He said and got up and walked away.

Ryan came back with a platter of food and set it down in front of us. He placed a thick looking beef stew in front of one in front of Julie and me. Then he placed a steak in front of Liam and Jaise and a small pork roast in front of Ashlee with some potatoes and corn. Julie looked at her stew and gave it a scornful look. I smirked. Ashlee gave it an appraising look. “Why don’t we switch?” She suggested to Julie. “I couldn’t ask you to do that.” Liam sighed. “How about we split it?” Ashlee sighed. “No. I’ll just eat it.” Julie said. Before she could take a bite of the stew, Liam had grabbed the bowl and placed the steak in front of her.

“Liam, what are you doing?” Julie demanded. “Sacrificing a good meal for my girlfriend,” He replied with a smile. Julie just sighed and then cut into the steak. She took a bite of it and swallowed, and made a strange face. “What’s the matter?” I asked her. Liam looked up at her with concern. “I don’t know. Something tastes off about this.” She took another bite, and Ashlee took a bite of her roast. She gave the same look. “What’s going on?” Jaise demanded. I took a bite of the stew and Jaise, and Liam gave me a scared look. “This doesn’t taste that bad,”

I informed them. Liam and Jaise took a bite of their food, and they said the same thing. The girls took a couple more bites and then said, “I feel like I’m going to be sick.” They got up to leave, but before they could get halfway to the door, they collapsed right there on the floor. This pink and golden fluids started to pour from their eyes, nose and ears.

“Help!” Liam and I screamed, and we rushed towards the girls. No one moved. Anger and fear coursed through me. No one made a move, but they all looked scared and some had indifference on their faces. Rayne came walking in and demanded, “What’s with the shouting?” Then she saw us all huddled on the ground. “Oh, dear God. That’s Hydra Meltin.” Rayne said in fear and shock. “Hydra Meltin?” Jaise asked. “Yes, it’s an ancient poison used to kill vampires. They’re only a couple vampires besides the council who knows how to cure this poison.

If it’s left unchecked, the victim will suffer unbearable pain, and their minor organs would slowly start to heat up, boil and then melt. The last thing to stop would be the heart and lungs.” She said. Anger coursed through me. I have never felt a rage like this. I turned to see where Ryan stood, and he sat and talked to a friend, but he seemed to be fidgeting. I stormed over to him and snapped, “Why did you poison them with Hydra Meltin?!” He turned to me and glared. “I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about kid.” He hissed back.

I wasn’t going to believe that. “You think I’m stupid?” I demanded. “Actually, yes. You’re what? Fifteen? You don’t know anything! You think I’d defy Rayne’s wishes and poison a vampire?” He snapped. Rayne was by us in a flash. “Ryan? What’s going on?” She asked. He shook his head. “I don’t know, and I would appreciate it if you kept your vampire prodigy pet on a leash.” He hissed and then walked away. I grabbed his arm in a vice death grip. “Let go of me!” He snapped and tried to yank his arm back. “No, because of what you did tonight. They are dying!” I said filled with rage and grief.

“Matt, we don’t have time for this,” Rayne said. She came over to the others and tried to use her healing magic, but it only seemed to make things worse. “Do you think I care about your little slut of a girlfriend?” He demanded and walked on. I have never felt anger as strong as I did right then. I grabbed him by the wrist and yanked him back. “What the fuck is wrong with you?” He demanded and in response, I hit him as hard as I could on the nose. I heard this sickening snap, and he went flying across the room. No one breathed for a moment after that. “Matt?” Jaise asked.

“Where did you get super strength?” Liam demanded, but a coughing fit from Julie took his attention. “We don’t have a lot of time. They’re going to die soon.” Rayne told us. “Don’t you have a cure?!” Jaise asked. “I don’t have it. The council kicked me out as I was researching it. I wasn’t doing any illegal experiments, but people found some forged documents that proved I was slaughtering vampires by the thousands. Even though, all I was doing was using blood samples. I infected some blood with the virus and tried to find cures.” She explained.

“So, they falsely accused you of killing vampires, and they didn’t listen to your side of the story?” Liam demanded. She nodded. “So, because of their fucking stupidity and high pathetic and pacifist ass? We get to lose our friends?!” Jaise said standing up. I sprinted over to where Ryan was struggling to his feet. Blood is running from his nose. “I’m going to kill you,” He said in a calm frenzy. I didn’t even respond. He punched, kicked and attacked. But, I was able to block, counter and duck under his blows. I brought my right arm up to block him and then spun around, grabbing his arm and twisting.

He screamed and grunted. “You can’t beat me!” I noticed something odd about his hair. A diamond streak colored his hair. “How are you, a human, able to subdue me?!” He demanded in a scream. I was wondering the same thing. I slammed him up against the wall. “Matt?” Liam asked. I turned to look at him. “Why are your eyes glowing purple?” Jaise asked. Liam gave me a stunned look. “Purple?” I asked. I slammed Ryan into the wall and then let go of him. I walked back to where the others stood. I froze right in front of where Julie and Ashlee lay dying. Something snapped inside me. “Rayne, you need wolfsbane, infected panda bear blood, zebra tears and caffeine to make a cure.”

I said and then blinked and shook my head. “What just happened?” I asked. Everyone stared at Jaise and me said, “You just went all psychotic super strength and gave Rayne the cure for the disease.” Jaise told me. “The creepy thing? A human just went vampiric on a vampire and had a nice shadow of violet for eyes for a moment in time.” Ashlee said staring at me with a stunned look. “You know? The good thing is that I have the ingredients that we need. I’ll mix them together.” Rayne said. “You have to do it in the right way. I don’t know how I know. But, I will show you how.” I told her, and I followed her quickly to the storage locker.

I walked her through the process and even though it took a while, we felt more relaxed and secure because we finally have the cure. We barely had enough though for the two of them, but with a little bit of healing magic, they should be able to recover without difficulty. We rushed back to the cafeteria and then gave them the cure. Rayne had healed Ryan and then gave the cure with a little bit of healing, Julie and Ashlee stopped leaking fluids and then they took a gasp of breath and shuddered. Liam wrapped his arms around Julie, and I wrapped mine around Ashlee and held her tightly.

“Are you okay?!” I asked holding her tightly. “I think so,” She said weakly. I picked her up and then carried her back to my room. I don’t know where I got the strength from, but it seemed like she wasn’t all that heavy. I gently laid her down on the bed and then told her to get some sleep. “Matt, wait.” I turned to her. “Please, don’t go.” She said and started coughing violently. “You’re not okay. Whatever damage the poison did to you, it’s still happening.” I said and then rushed over to her side. “No, the poison is out. But, what it did is still affecting me. However, my body should be able to fight it.”

I knew she told me that so I wouldn’t worry. It wasn’t working, though. I climbed into the bed with her and gently slid my arm under her and around her shoulders. She brought her head up and laid it on my chest. We cuddled for quite some time and after a while, I realized that she had fallen asleep. I smiled. I just laid there, listening to the sound of her quiet, gentle breathing. Matt, if you would like to listen to some quiet music, there’s a zoom in the drawer next to you.

We also have a pair of wireless headphones, but its new technology. Four ear pieces, instead of two. I heard Rayne say and then quickly withdrew. I found what she was talking about and then scrolled through the music. There was a lot of instrumental music on here, but I was a fan of all kinds. So, I plugged in the connector to the headsets and then placed them into our ears. I put the music on a quiet and then leaned back against the headboard. I turned the music up just a tad bit and then closed my eyes.

The next thing I knew, someone was shaking me violently, and Ashlee was screaming and fidgeting. I snapped awake and took out the headset. “What the hell?!” I snapped and then noticed Ashlee freaking out next to me. I gently scooped her up in my arms. “It’s okay. Calm down.” I cooed to her, and I held her tightly to me. After a while and talking calmly to her, she finally managed to relax, but she stayed asleep. “What’s the matter with you?” I snapped at Jaise. “Look, I’m sorry to bother you. But, you know you can’t have her in the bedroom with you. Rayne will…”

He never got to finish, because someone interrupted him. “Rayne won’t mind, because I trust him. It’s not like he’s going to have sex on my boat. So, I gave them permission.” She said, and before Jaise could say anything, she dragged him out and closed the door. I tried to ease back on the bed, but Ashlee started to freak out again. “Hey, calm down. You’re safe.” I said, and it seemed that my voice reassured her. But, holding her wasn’t enough anymore. I noticed. What could I do? I didn’t know. Then I got an idea that I didn’t know if it would work, but I was willing to try anything. I said to her, “I know we’ve barely known each other for very long. But, I think this is love. I feel like I love you.” And then I started to sing “Through the Years” by Kenny Rogers.

At a certain part in the song, she grew more relaxed and snuggled closer to me. I sighed and thought, at least, she’s relaxed. That was all I wanted. A soft knock came on the door a bit later. Liam walked in quietly and asked, “How is she?” I nodded. “She seems to be doing better. How’s Julie?” Liam smiled. “She’s fine. She’s up and moving around now. Is Ashlee being plagued by dreams or something?” He asked me. I frowned. “Yes,” I said simply.

“I think I can help with that,” Julie said walking in the room. She leaned over Ashlee and said, “She looks at peace. Does that have anything to do with the song that was playing?” She asked. Liam frowned and looked around. “I don’t hear or see any radio.” Julie grew confused and eyed the room as well. I laughed awkwardly and said, “Maybe you heard the zoom?” They both looked at it and smiled. “Yeah, that has to be it. It isn’t like you sing, right?” I laughed and said, “Riiiiight. Anyways. Where’s Jaise?” Liam looked at the door, and Jaise entered. “So, who was playing? Kenny Rogers?”

“Who’s Kenny Rogers?” Julie asked. “You don’t know one of the biggest country singers of the age?” Jaise asked in feinted offense. Liam and Julie looked at each other. I winked at Jaise and said, “Well, even people who listen to rap know who he is. I can’t believe that you don’t know who Kenny Rogers is, and Rap is an insult to the music genius!” Liam and Julie looked back and forth between us. “Hey! It isn’t our fault we grew up listening to good music!” Jaise and I froze and stared. “I didn’t mean that.” Liam amended. “You didn’t? It sounded like you did.” We all turned to see Ashlee struggle to sit up.

“Are you okay?” I asked, and I tried to help her. “Yeah. I think so.” She said. “Here,” Julie said, resting a hand on her shoulder. I could feel a warmth radiate out of her, and Ashlee sucked in a breath. Julie lets go, and Ashlee seemed to be glowing. “How do you feel now?” Julie asked. She seemed pale. “I’m fine, but what about you?” Ashlee asked. “Oh, I’ll be fine. I’m just not up to full strength. Liam, everyone. I think I’m going to lie down for a bit.” She gave Ashlee an odd look before leaving the room. We all nodded, and then I kissed Ashlee, and said I would be right back.

I followed Julie and asked, “Is there somewhere we can go where they can’t overhear us?” She gave me a dark look. “Matt, I know what you’re going to ask, but I can’t,” She said. “Julie, please!” I don’t know what made her change her mind. It could be my tone or my expression. But, she sighed and grabbed my hand. I don’t know where she took me, but we were standing in the middle of a dark forest with only the moon shining down on us. “Matt, do you want to know?” She asked. “Yes! You gave her a look that was concerned, fearful and strange. What was it that…”

The look she gave me chilled me to the bone. “I didn’t heal her. I only slowed it down. I don’t know what it is. But, for some reason, her body should be fighting it off and destroying it. We are immune to diseases. Well, long lasting ones. We can’t get STD’s, or diabetes or cancer. Nothing humans can get. And if a human has it and is turned into a vampire, then they will be cured completely. Not even a trace. But, for some reason. Her body isn’t fighting off whatever she has.” Julie explained. “How long does she have?” I asked. She shook her head. “I don’t know. It doesn’t seem to be affecting her out right. But, from what I sensed. It’s dark.”

I looked at the moon for a minute. “Do you think she’s aware of it?” I asked. Julie gave me a dark stare. “Yes, I’m sure she knows. But, we don’t. Not officially, so don’t go to her and tell her you to know!” She snapped. I sighed and nodded. “I won’t. But, how do I keep something like this a secret from her? I don’t know how to pretend not to know something. Not about people I care about. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t normally get close to people, you know?” She nodded. “I get it; I do. But, she needs you now more than ever. I have never seen her grow close to anyone before. Not like this.” I gave her a shocked look. “What do you mean?” She looked away.

“Well, it’s true that she’s not innocent in the strictest sense. But, she’s an awesome person and a loyal and dear friend. But, her last boyfriend? Well, he’s an asshole. Hardcore dick. You’ll meet him soon enough.” She told me. “I will?” I asked. “Yeah, don’t worry. After this, we are going to make our way to the school. It’s there that you’ll choose to either leave a human or join a vampire.” I stood stunned. “You mean I have a choice?” She laughed. “Of course.” But, then her expression turned dark. “Of course, you will have your memory wiped, and you won’t remember any of this and you won’t know us.”

I stared at her with a blank look. “I won’t know any of you? Not even Jaise?” I asked. I could tell that is not what she expected me to ask. “No, we can’t have humans knowing about us. If the council found out that you knew, and we weren’t with you, they would kill you.” I glared. “I thought you guys were good.” I snapped. “We are, but we aren’t perfect. I don’t agree with that rule. So, what if they find out about us. We can virtually pass as humans. The only difference is the strength, speed, immortality, magic. We are harder to kill. But, otherwise, could you tell us about what we were? Or at least as different? Or did you think we were just humans with colored hair? Be honest.”

I thought about it for a minute. “To be honest, I thought you were just humans with colored hairs. I thought there was something off about you. But, I just assumed you were weird humans.” I said with a shrug. Julie smiled. “See? There’s no difference. We even need human food.” She told me. “But, there’s the living forever and magic and the need to consume blood every once in a while. I think humans could get the strength and even the living forever. Over time, even the magic because they’re some humans who claim to be witches.” I told her.

“Well, some are legit.” I gave her a droll look, and she laughed. “But, I think it would be the blood drinking that others would have a problem with,” I told her. “But, what about you? You’ve stayed next to Ashlee alone. Even if she’s not up to full strength, she can overpower you and feed on your or kill you during the ‘heat of the moment’, but you don’t fear her.” She told me. “Did you just use a line from ‘Heat of the Moment’ by Asia?” I asked. She nodded. “Well, we’ve never had a heat of the moment, moment,” I told her and blushed.

She only smiled, and I could tell she wasn’t going to make fun of me for it. “Well, you will. I can see that you two are serious about each other.” I nodded and sighed. “We should probably be getting back. I’m sure by now they know we aren’t on the ship.” She said. I nodded and then I found myself in the hallway. “Where the hell have you been?” Jaise demanded. “Oh, I asked a friendly evil vampire to take me sightseeing. He was very nice about it. Of course, now I have to do anal.” Jaise just glared at me with fire in his eyes.

“Okay, smartass.” I grinned at him to the point where he couldn’t stay mad at me. He gave me a half smile. “I was talking to Julie about something. It’s nothing to be concerned over. I swear.” I told him. I walked towards the room when I heard him mumble, “That’s when something is majorly wrong.” I glanced at him and said, “Not this time. I’d tell you if something was the matter.” He studied me for a moment and then smiled. “Well, if it related to you. Unless you’re not telling me something that isn’t about you.” I cocked my head to the side and smiled.

“Nope, when it’s time. People will know. But, not before.” Then I entered the room and closed the door. I climbed in next to Ashlee, and she scooted over to me and rested her head on my chest. I can’t remember the last time I ever felt so at peace. I slipped my arm under her and rested my hand on her shoulder. She snuggled up closer to me and smiled in her sleep. I fell asleep and woke up late in the morning when she moved. I sighed and stretched and smiled when I saw her.

“Hey, babe. You okay?” I asked. “She brightly smiled at me and said, “Yeah, I feel lot better now. But, where did you go with Julie?” She asked. “Oh, I had a couple concerns about the vampire people, and I didn’t want Jaise to know what I was asking. I get the slight impression that he’s afraid I won’t join you. I do want to, but I’m afraid.” She smiled at me and then pulled me up out of bed and then wrapped her arms around my waist and pulled me close to her. “What’s the occasion?” I asked.

She smiled and told me, “You’re reason enough to smile. Your genuine heart is more than I could have hoped for in a boyfriend.” She said and rested her head on me. I grinned and kissed the top of her head. “I’m not that special,” I said softly. “Oh, but you are. No one else has ever stayed with me like you have.” I couldn’t believe the praise I was getting. “Ashlee, why would you want a human?” She looked at me with a wicked glare, and I could see lightning flashing in her eyes. “You need to see yourself worth more than you do. Do you honestly think that we care about whether we date a human or a vampire?”

I looked at her and said, “Well, isn’t that important? I mean you’d have to be careful with a human.” I said. She gently slapped me. It was only hard enough to slightly sting. “Yeah, you’re right. We have to be careful. But, we are capable of controlling ourselves enough not to kill your mortals. If I were to have slapped her normally, you’d have a broken neck. But, I can control myself. If you’re that worried about me hurting you, then maybe you should find someone else!” She said and went to storm off, but I grabbed her wrist, and she didn’t try to fight me.

“That came out all wrong. All I meant was what could you possibly see in me? I’m weak, human, unimportant, and socially inept.” I told her. She rolled her eyes. “I don’t give a fuck about that. You’re special, kind, and caring. You put me above your comfort. Don’t for a second think I didn’t hear the song you sang to me.” She said and then tossed me gently on the bed. She climbed on top of me and kissed me deeply. We stayed at it for a while, and then I tensed for a moment when I felt her hands unzip my fly and stroked my member through my boxers.

“Uh, Ashlee?” I choked out. She grinned at me. “What’s the matter? You don’t like this?” She asked. I nodded and gasped, “Of course I do. But, I don’t know…” She nodded and stopped rubbing me. “I understand. You don’t want to.” She told me. “Oh, I do. But, I don’t want to rush it. I’m sorry. You’re very beautiful and arousing. I just….” I couldn’t finish. She smiled and gave me another kiss on the lips before climbing off of me and laying on my left with her head on my chest.

“You don’t have to apologize for that. If you’re not ready, then you’re not ready. Of course, we’ve already almost made it to third base before. So, I was kind of hoping to make it a little further. Get you comfortable with fooling around.” She said with a light chuckle. I blushed and smiled. “Yeah, and I don’t regret it. But, I want this to be special for us when it finally happens.” Of course, I couldn’t shake the feeling like someone, or something was preventing me from going all the way. It was almost like some shadow in the back of my mind was telling me not to. But, that had just to be my imagination. She winked and told me, “It’s no big deal. When you’re ready, it’ll happen. I’m not trying to pressure you. It’s just hard for me. But, I’m not going to try and force you into it.”

“Well, at some point, you’re going to want to hold me down and take me,” I said with a shy chuckle. “I kind of already do. But, I’m not raping you.” I blinked at her. “Who said anything about…” I started. She gave me a droll look. “Oh, yes of course.” I said and gave her an awkward smile. She got out of bed and pulled me along with her. A knock came on the door. “Yeah?” I called. Jaise entered, and he lit up when he saw us. I didn’t know if this was a good or bad thing. “What’s up?” I asked him. “We are almost home!” he said excitedly. Ashlee started to light up with the news as well.

But, soon her excitement faded away when she looked at me. “Matt, you…” She started. “What? I don’t have a home. Not anymore. I don’t think I ever truly did. But, I’m glad for you for finally getting home after all this time.” I replied trying to be happy for them, but I couldn’t feel anything at this moment. I guess anxious and nervous. “I’m sorry Matt. I know you lost everything. I shouldn’t have….” I raised my hand to stop him. “You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m sorry I can’t be happier for you. I’ll try. You should be excited about finally going home after everything that’s happened. Who knows? I may fit in and once I join you, well, I will find a home with you right?” I asked.

He just studied me for a moment. “You’re going to join us?” He asked cautiously. “I’m leaning towards it. It doesn’t seem like as bad life as people would think. I mean you’ve seen what happens to people who get turned on most of the books, and shows. But, you guys? You don’t have nearly half the weakness.” I commented. Jaise and Ashlee grinned. “No, but we do have different types of weakness. I mean poisons if left unchecked can kill us.

Our bodies will fight it off for the most part. But, some are fast acting, and they can’t fight something they don’t know.” I just gave him a look. “You talk as if our bodies are conscious and alive,” I replied. “They are. They fight off infections and give us the chance to live. How aren’t they alive?” Ashlee asked. I just shook my head. “I don’t know. I never really thought about it. I guess until recently, I never thought of myself as alive. So, how could I think of my body as the same?” Jaise gave me a saddened look. “But, don’t let me get you down, man!” I said with a smile. “You’re serious about joining us, though?” He asked.

“Do you think I’ll be able to find a place among you?” I wondered. “I’m sure you will. No one has ever been alone in our school. Usually, people find friends or groups that they have a lot in common. If anything, you still have us.” She said. I smiled and nodded. “So, when do we arrive?” I asked. “Well, it’s still going to be some time. But, we are getting close. The school remains hidden behind a mountain that encases it and the only known way though is by this underground tunnel. It’s has a lot of enchantments and spells protecting it against evil vampires.” Jaise explained. “The Ferol?” I asked. He nodded.

“You don’t have to worry. The school has been protected and shielded from shadow and darkness.” Ashlee told me. I smiled. “Oh, I’m sure it is.” I said and held her close to me. Jaise smirked and said, “I’m going to talk to Rayne. We will be landing somewhere soon. Then we will make our way to the school entrance.” Then he left and Ashlee went to grab a shower. She turned on the water and after a few minutes, I heard the water splash a little. I went to the room that Julie and her shared and asked about clothes. Julie smirked. “What did you do?” She asked with a wicked grin.

“N-nothing,” I said, “she’s in the shower. I figured she could use a fresh pair of clothes. When did we get clothes to wear?” I asked. Julie laughed. “Calm down. Don’t get your blood pressure up. Rayne had some clothes brought to us. You probably got some as well.” She explained and went to the dresser on the right side. She handed me a small stack of clothes and I thanked her for it. She nodded and then I walked back to the room that I would be in sleeping. I slowly opened the door and slipped the clothes onto the sink without looking at the shower.

I closed the door and turned around and saw Liam glaring at me. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” He snapped at me. “I…I…I was g-getting clothes from her room. She forgot to get a change of clothes, and I thought I would slip it in the bathroom for her. I set it on the sink and….” I couldn’t finish because he slammed me against the wall with vines. “Spying on your girlfriend isn’t cool man!” He spat at me. “I wasn’t spying!” I choked out. He hissed at me. “I don’t believe you. I saw you!” The door burst open, and Ashlee stepped out with soap still in her hair and a towel wrapped around her waist.

“What the fuck is going on?!” She shouted. “I found you a peeping Tom!” Liam snarled. “Oh?!” She said glaring at me. I gave her a panicked and fear-stricken look. “I..I wasn’t…” I tried to say, but Liam shook me, and I went quiet. Ashlee rushed up to me. “I got this,” She said. Liam let go, and I dropped to the floor. But, Ashlee picked me up and held me a couple feet off the floor. “Liam, you may go. I’ll punish him in my “own” way.” She told him.

He sneered and left the room, closing the door. Ashlee tossed me across the room onto the bed. She focused and dropped to her knees. Then this electric current encased the room. “Well, that should stop any eavesdroppers,” She said. “Ashlee, I swear…” She raised a hand to silence me. “You don’t get to talk. I’m going to finish this shower. You. Don’t. Get. To. Move.” And the look she gave me was with pure rage. I remained locked in place for fear. She went to the bathroom and closed the door.

I don’t know how much time passed before she came out, but I could feel my muscles locking up. But, I still didn’t even move. I barely breathed and then Ashlee came out wearing the clothes I gave her and gave me a cold look. “So, how are we going to rectify this situation?” She demanded. “Ashlee, I swear I wasn’t…” The look she gave me made me stop mid-sentence. She just shook her head and then looked at the door. I don’t know what she saw, and it gave me the chills.

“You know? I thought you were better than that! I thought you were good. But, you’re just like the fucking rest!” She snapped at me. I felt pain, and I felt like I was the lowest piece of trash on the planet and then she looked towards the door again and walked over to it. “Ashlee,” I said my voice is cracking. “No, I don’t want to hear it. That is enough!” She snarled, and the lightning around us seemed to grow more intense and my hairs seemed to be standing on end. “If you’re going to kill me, then go ahead! If you think I’m such a horrible person, then, please. End it. I can’t stand you thinking I’ such a horrible person!”

She glared and gave me a cold stare. But, this time, it wasn’t working. I climbed out of bed. I walked over to her. “No, stay away. I’ll fucking kill you.” She gave the door a quick glance and then turned her attention fully to me. “Ashlee, I don’t think you’re going to hurt me,” I said quietly. “You don’t know a damn thing me, freak!” She hissed. I froze. “What?” I asked stunned. “I said, you don’t know a thing. You’re a freak, weak, and human. I should have locked the door. God, what was I thinking?”

I couldn’t process everything. I didn’t know where this was happening. What did I do? I didn’t know, but I guess I should just leave. “Look, if you don’t want me anymore, I’ll leave. I know I’m a loner and a loser. So, I’ll just leave now.” I said and walked towards the door. “Oh, is that what you think? I haven’t even punished you yet!” She said, and a dark yellow streak of lightning came out of nowhere and struck me in the chest. I went flying to the far end of the room and crashed into the wall hard. I felt the concrete crack and then I fell to the floor.

I raised my head to look at Ashlee with blurry vision, and I could taste blood in my mouth. “What are-?” I couldn’t finish asking, because she rushed at me and picked me up by the throat, choking me. “You are going to die now. I think it’s high time that you pay. We need only the four of us. We don’t need a fifth wheel. I may go after Jaise. He’s ready and willing.” I could see the cold hard lightning behind her eyes, and I felt the tears swell up in my eyes.

“Go ahead. I don’t want my heart anymore. If this is how you’re going to treat it, then I-.” She stopped me with a deep kiss and wiped her mouth off after. I was too stunned to move or say anything. She put her fingers to her lips and then she let me go. I landed with a soft thud on the floor, and instantly a roaring pain coursed its way through my body. I doubled over in pain and Ashlee looked at me in a scared way. I just lay there doubled over and pulled my knees to my chest. It helped with the pain. Ashlee kneeled over me, and I tried to flinch away from her. But, she held me down and then forced my mouth open.

Then she poured this sour tasting liquid down my throat. I snapped my eyes open and grew restless and scared. God, she’s trying to poison me! I screamed in silence, and no one would know that I was dying until it was too late. Then she took a sharp looking knife and cut her wrist. She dripped some blood down my throat and pain roared like pouring gasoline on a fire. I couldn’t hold it back, and I screamed from the pain. She tried to comfort me. But, it wasn’t enough.

Whatever she did was seriously hurting me. “Matt, you’re going to be okay,” She said, and I could hear tears in her voice. What was she saying? She just tried to kill me! The door burst open, and Jaise stormed in. I felt a searing heat and Ashlee went flying across the room. I couldn’t see everything that happened, and I didn’t know what hit Ashlee, but the pain grew worse. I tried to roll over, and I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. Everything came in and out of focus. “What the fuck Ashlee?!” He screamed at her.

“Jaise, you don’t understand. Matt is going to be fine. He’s…” She tried to explain. “I don’t give a shit. I couldn’t hear everything that was going on. But, I heard his scream. You’re trying to kill him. Why!? What did he do to you?” He demanded. “He didn’t do anything. Please, let me explain!” She begged. “No, if he survives and wants to listen. I’ll listen. I thought you cared about him!” I could hear the emotion in his voice, and then another wave pain shot through me. I screamed again. Jaise was right beside me then. “Matt, hold on. Please!” He begged me.

“Julie!” He shouted. She appeared in the doorway then, but I could see a cold look in her eyes. “I’m sorry Jaise,” even though she didn’t sound sorry, “But, I can’t help him.” She turned to walk away. “I thought he was your friend!? I thought we were friends!” Jaise shouted, his voice cracking. She turned towards me and said, “We are. Liam considers you to be his closest friend. His brother but the human is nothing to him. What are they? But, weak, and fragile. Look at him!” Julie demanded. Then she vanished, and Rayne took her place. “Please, heal him!” Jaise begged her. She gave him a sharp look. “You love him.”

Jaise didn’t hesitate. “I do, he’s my cousin. He’s one of the only family I have left. So, please!” She nodded and rested a hand on me, but I didn’t feel anything from her. “Jaise, he’s going to be-.” I felt another blast of heat and saw Ashlee hit the far wall, and the fire consumed her and she screamed in pain. I couldn’t speak. The pain was too much. “What’s wrong?” Jaise asked. “I can’t heal him as he’ already being healed, but it’s the hard way.” Jaise didn’t know what she was talking about because he snapped. “What the hell do you mean?”

She said calmly, “if a vampire isn’t with the healing magic, he or she can still heal a vampire or human by giving the wounded person the potion that tastes sour and looks like sour milk. With this and the vampire’s blood, the wounded could be healed. But, it’s a painful process as you’re seeing.” She replied. “So, he’s going to be fine?” Jaise asked. “Well, there’s risk. I won’t deny that. But, he should be, yes.” She told him. Jaise let up on hurting Ashlee, but she couldn’t move. The fire taxed her too much. The pain started to subside, and I could move slowly again.

“Matt, take it easy.” I turned to Jaise and gave him a tight hug. He hugged me back awkwardly and then gently pushed me away. “We should be going,” He said. “Matt, please.” Ashlee choked. I turned to her, and I felt completely heartbroken and like I was going to be sick. “I’m sorry. I had no choice. I was never going to let you be in danger. I had to; please let me explain.” She said shakily climbing to her feet.

“I don’t know how. I don’t know how I can listen to whatever excuse you have. I would love to believe you had a good reason. But, everything you said? What did you? I can forgive you trying to kill me. The lightning to the chest. But, the words you said?” I felt tears coming on, and I could barely keep myself steady. “I don’t know how to forgive that.” I said, and she started to weep. “I’m sorry, I am. I had to-.” She started. “No, I don’t…I can’t hear this right now. I just can’t. Please. Stop.” I told her and then I turned to Jaise. “When can we leave?” I asked. “Right now,” He said. “Wouldn’t you like some food and some time to heal?” Rayne asked. “No, I think the sooner I leave, the better for all of us. But, I want to thank you for everything. I won’t forget it.” I told her.

She smiled at me and then Just grabbed my arm, and we ended up instantly in a deep forest, and I found our camping gear already there. “You’ve been planning this?” I asked him. He nodded. “I wanted a backup plan. I didn’t know what we were going to be facing. But, I didn’t think it would be just us.” I frowned and took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry for all of this. I don’t know what to say, but if I weren’t here, this wouldn’t have happened.” I said and slid down next to a tree and put my back to it. He stared at it. “Matt, this isn’t your fault. Who knows what the outcome would have been.” He told me.

“So, you think that Liam, Julie, and Ashlee would be here, with you now, on a different path?” I asked. “It’s possible,” He told me. “Well, I’m not going to argue with you. But, I just hope we can all work this out.” I said quietly. “You think it will be that easy? Julie turned her back on me! After promising to watch out for you. Liam turned his back on me! Both were supposed to be my friend and they set up your death. I don’t know how they could have done something like that. I don’t know how they could have just worked out everything to get you dead. And Ashlee, she promised to fight for you. To keep you safe. But, she tried to kill you and healed you painfully. I don’t think working it out with them is going to help matters. I don’t think it’s going to be that easy.” He hissed.

“So, you just want to give up on them?” I asked him. “No! I don’t. But, for right now. We can’t worry about them and only about getting you to that school. Who knows what’s out here, or who knows what’s going to happen. I can’t protect you forever.” He said, and he sounded exhausted. I frowned at him. “I’m sorry.” He glared, “For what?” He asked. “For putting you through all this. Why don’t you get some sleep? I’ll take first watch. If you wanted to do that.” He sighed and told me, “You don’t have to be sorry for what’s going on.” He said. “Oh, but I do. If I were already back at the school and became a vampire, you wouldn’t have to worry about me so much.” I told him. He grinned.

“You don’t know anything about me do you? I will worry twice as hard when you’ve joined us.” He told me. I frowned. “Why?” I asked. “Well, the biggest thing is whether you’re going to survive the change. But, it’s more than that. It does not know what kind of vampire you’re going to become. Or what you want to be. It’s also the fact that some vampires based on personality or tests and skills they have naturally, or some they’ve picked up in training, become leaders. That isn’t always a good thing. I’ve seen good hearted people who wouldn’t hurt anyone intentionally snap. Vampires get PTSD. We end up with a severe case. It’s not exactly the same. But, with the magic and fighting. It can mess with even our minds.”

I never knew. “So, you’re not afraid of me becoming a vampire truly. But, what I may be forced to do or what I may end up doing?” I asked. He nodded. “Well, we can’t worry about something that may or may not be known yet or hasn’t come to pass. You never know. I may end up just one of those weak vampires without magic.” I replied. “But, you’ve heard your fate. You know the path you’re going to take right? All the paths have some common results. So, if you were some powerful vampire in these paths, then you would be the same in this.” He told me.

“Yes, but I didn’t choose the path I’m taking. I took two tests with that trial and based on the results from both trials I’ve seen; they gave me one they thought would be best based on what the results were. But, I couldn’t find out any information. So, this path may be completely different than what I saw first. I may not even be destined to become a so high and mighty vampire.” I told him. “Do you believe that?” He asked. “I don’t honestly know. But, I’m just following this path as best as I can. I wasn’t expecting this, however.” I admitted. “Nor was I. But, I don’t know any way we could have avoided this,” He mentioned.

“No, but hoping it all works out. I get the impression that we haven’t seen the end of them. Whether good or bad. They will be back in our lives, and we are going to need them.” I told him. “How do you know that?” He asked. “I can’t explain it. It’s like this feeling I get.” I tried to explain. He sighed and looked up at the stars. “So, what now?” I asked. “Now? We try to get some sleep.” He said as he went around putting up the tents. “What about a lookout?” I asked.

“We won’t need one. These woods are enchanted.” He told me. “They are?” I asked in shock. “Yeah. Vampires aren’t the only freaks in this world. Witches exist as well, as well do warlocks.” He explained to me. “So, we have witches here?” I asked him feeling a little uneasy. He was able to sense it, though. “Oh, you don’t have to worry. They are friends of mine. Powerful and a little unpredictable. But, they are good and know we aren’t going to mess with the balance. All you have to do is respect their homes or their lifestyle. They choose to live like this. They care about the forests and are protective about it.” He told me.

“I’m not one to judge someone based on how they are forced to or how they choose to live,” I said to no one in particular. Jaise didn’t respond, and when he got the first tent up, he started working on the second one. “Jaise?” He didn’t look at me. I sighed. I walked into the woods and answered a call of nature. I felt something watching me. I finished quickly and then turned around. I nearly jumped out of my skin and took in a deep breath. “You don’t have to be afraid.” A young man said.

He looked to be in his late twenties, with perfect light skin, layered raven black wavy hair that fell to his shoulders at the back. He wore black leather pants and a black leather trench coat that didn’t cover his chest or stomach, and it didn’t have sleeves. His bright green eyes seemed to shine in the night. “You must be Jaise’s cousin?” He asked. “Y-yes. I’m Matt.” The guy didn’t smile. He just continued to stare at me. I didn’t get the hostile vibe from him. But, it wasn’t overly friendly. The moon began to illuminate the area, and I saw the man in a different way. He didn’t have as light a complexion as I thought. But, I did notice some tattoos. They looked to be in some strange symbols.

Swirling waves that looked to be in a spiral. And what seemed to be an eagle flying through it went down his arm. And around his neck, I saw the web with a giant spider in it. I couldn’t tell what the spider was and then his chest seemed to fill out with details and tattoos. I saw a giant pine tree that looked twisted and bent around what appeared to be a giant mountain with a lake around it and the moon shining brightly down and an owl in the tree, a squirrel running around and a snake crawling up the trunk. Each tattoo seemed to have a different light around it.

It seemed that the swirling tattoo was wind, and the eagle was flying through it, and it appeared so lifelike. Everything seemed to be so real. The colors and tones all looked real. “What are you staring at?” He asked me. “Your tattoos! They seem to be so real.” I told him. The lights around his ink seemed to blaze brightly then. And I felt myself being slammed into the tree I was next to. Some unknown force was holding me. “How are you able to see them? Only pure witches and warlocks and even some vampires have been able to see them. You’re only a mortal.” I tried to speak, but I couldn’t find my voice.

“I ask again! How are you able to see them?!” I shook my head. “I don’t know!” I said. “I don’t believe you. What vile magic are you using?!” He demanded. “Lexx, let him go.” The man turned and I saw this flaming red haired woman with an awesome figure! She has curves in all the right places wearing this low cut leather blood red and golden armor that just covered the chest.

It left the stomach open. Thick leather, gloves and almost knee high boots. The leather skirt fell to her knees and was attached to a chain and a pouch that was so black, it looked like a void. She wore a thick heavy wool cloak that fell just short of the ground, dyed to look like it was literally made from blood. I could see tattoos on her as well. Where Lexx’s colors were bright and seemed to represent life.

Hers seemed to represent death. Her tattoos around her neck appeared to be bones. From animals, humans, and even some exoskeletons from insects. Covering her arm, was a sleeve that looked like a tree you would see in fall. Brown, yellow, and red leaves falling from it, but hanging from the branches were skeletons and rotting bodies. Pooling on the ground was drying blood. Her stomach held a dark pink and gray skeleton, wearing a forest green robe.

In his hand, he wielded a twelve-foot scythe that seemed to be made out of thick onyx with a dark purple skull with golden eyes. “What’s that skeleton doing?” I asked pointing at her stomach. She just gave me a blank look and said, “He’s doing nothing you need to be concerned about. The lights from both their tattoos seemed to shine and glow. “Are tattoo’s supposed to do that?” I asked. They both rolled their eyes. “I’m sorry for upsetting you. But, I just want to know things. I’m a curious person. I’m really sorry.” I said.

They both gave me a shocked look. “Wow, most humans are uncaring or spoiled little brats,” Lexx said. “Analyze, you know we are not supposed to discuss this with mortals. I don’t even know how he’s able to see them.” He said. She studied me for a moment. “Yes, but what? Would you wish to kill him?” My heart began to beat rapidly then. What? I thought Jaise said that they were friends. “Well, I don’t want to make his cousin mad,” Lexx said. She rolled her eyes and glared. “Since when did you care about vampire feelings?” She demanded.

“I don’t. But, he’s not a typical vampire. His magic is a lot stronger than a normal vampire.” He said. “But, that’s all he is. He’s not a royal vampire. He’s not even that old. Your magic half used is enough to equal his power.” She told him. That wasn’t good. “Just kill him. Jaise will be better off without him.” I couldn’t argue with that. But, I wonder how he would feel? Why wasn’t I more worried about dying? Wasn’t my heart racing a moment ago? “Matt!?” I heard Jaise call.

“Do it quickly!” Analyze hissed. Lexx focused for a moment. Then he opened his eyes and they seemed to look sharper and more focused. The owl in the tree moved and flexed its wings. Why was it moving? I wondered. Then the owl poked out from his skin and peeled away. It flew straight at me. The eagle and the other animals seemed to follow. But, it wasn’t just one of each. It was dozens of them and they charged me. The animals bit and scratched.

Blood slowly pooled out and I tried to fight them off, but I couldn’t do much. These animals were a lot stronger than they appeared. “You probably don’t think that we pose much of a threat to vampires. But, this is just a level one spell.” Lexx said. I dropped to my knees. “Matt!” I heard Jaise shout. I couldn’t call out to let him know where I was. Harkel? Where are you? Zolem? I tried to see what was happening, but with the owls and eagles and spiders crawling on and attacking my face, I couldn’t see much.

“I think you should just give up now,” Lexx called out to me. Something sank its claws or teeth deep into the inside of my leg, and I screamed loudly. A huge hawk attacked and covered my face, stifling my scream. “Matt!” His voice sounded so close. “Jaise, what a pleasant surprise. I figured you wouldn’t abandon your cousin. No matter how annoying he became.” Analyze said approvingly. “Well, you’ve known me for a while. You didn’t think I would just sit back and watch as you betray us, did you?” He asked. “Well, for your own safety.

I hoped your own survival instincts would kind of win out. But, it seems you have a death wish just like he does.” My cousin looked confused, annoyed and acted like he couldn’t believe what was being said. He looked at me and saw most of the animals backing off, but they came back with a vengeance. He twirled his finger really fast, and a fire spiral leaped out and struck the animals. They let out a screech so shrill that it hurt everyone’s ears. Lexx bellowed in pain. “You’re killing them!” He yelled over the dying animals. The fires didn’t let up, though. He burned away the insects that seemed to come out of nowhere and the spiders.

I didn’t even know that bugs were attacking me. I dropped forward onto my hands. I kept that position, shaking violently and trembling, breathing heavily. “Are you okay?” He asked. I couldn’t answer him. “You’re going to pay.” Jaise warned. Analyze laughed and Lexx smirked through the pain. Then the girl went to step forward, but Lexx stopped her. “No, this is my fight,” He said. She nodded. Jaise stopped his spell and the fire faded away.

I saw through the blood and pain that Lexx had all the animals back. But, he never tried to summon them. “I think it’s time to show you, vampire, why we are so feared!” he hollered. He closed his eyes and then began to glow brightly. All the tattoos seemed to glow more intensely and then he raised a palm. A green aura started to build and then it shot out like a beam of light. Jaise raised a fire barrier. Lexx’s spell seemed to grow and build. Jaise increased his own spell, but it wasn’t enough. The woman laughed.

“Jaise?” I asked. He used all his concentration on his spell. It increased and blazed so brightly that I thought the forest would catch fire. “You know? I’ve never liked fire users.” Lexx told him. “Why didn’t we kill them before?” She asked. “I’ve killed five vampires before. Jaise was the only one who helped me. The last forest I guarded. He jumped in and absorbed the fire so it didn’t spread. But, this time? He overstayed his welcome. He’s not important anymore.”

The fire spell burst forward and increased and Jaise started to be drenched in sweat. I didn’t know what to do to help him. But, I didn’t have any magic. I had some freak moments, but I knew it was random based on strong emotions. But, I felt so weak. I slowly climbed to my feet. “Matt, you need to run.” My cousin told me. “No, I’m not going to leave you,” I said. “Fool. If you stay. You’re going to die! Run!” I saw movement from the other side and Lexx raised his other hand. “No!” I screamed and charged towards him. Whatever spell he was using now struck me in the chest. I went flying and landed hard on my back. The sky turned above me and I had the wind knocked out of me.

I gasped for breath and rolled on my side. “Damn kid got in the way of a killing blow,” Analyse muttered. “Don’t worry. He won’t be interfering again.” I climbed to my feet and stumbled forward. He raised his arm again and I barely jumped in the way of the blast again. This time, I didn’t get sent so far. I still landed hard and my sides ached with a piercing pain. “Damn it,” Lexx swore. He readied another strike. I made it in time to get hit again. But, it just knocked me back one step. I was so battered and bruised, though, that it still sent every joint and nerve in me screaming.

“Why is the spell getting weaker?” Analyse asked. “It’s only devastating the first use. After that, it gets weaker. When someone is on the verge of death, no matter what power level it is, it will still kill them, though. But, not it’s useless to even on Jaise. I had no idea humans could be so persistent.” The green beam didn’t seem to faze me, though. Was it only damaging based on the spell user’s target? I wondered. I stumbled towards Lexx and Analyse got in the way. “Oh, see. I hope you didn’t about stopping him. Your cousin is going to die. But, you have to contend with me.”

I didn’t have a chance in beating her. She flicked her fingers and shadows seemed to move from nowhere. “Furis! Help!” In a flash, someone stood over me with two giant long swords. “It’s about bloody time you called upon me!” He snarled. “I thought you could jump in at any time?” I demanded. “Normally, I could. But, something was preventing me until you called.” He said obviously frustrated. “You think this shadow warrior is going to help you?” She demanded. I took a quick glance at Jaise, and he was standing now. “I don’t know. But, he’s never let me down before.”

I told her. She glared at me and she looked over at her partner. He was drenched in sweat as well and he was shaking. My cousin looked steady and his power only seemed to be growing stronger. “What’s taking so long?!” Analyse asked him. “I don’t know! He’s stronger than I first thought.” He shouted. “Damn.” Furis went into a wild attack. Shadows attacked and he slashed and hacked away. He was too fast for them. They couldn’t breach his defense. Then he burst out laughing. “I haven’t had this much fun in so long!” He said. The fire spread further up the green beam and Lexx struggled to regain control. Jaise seemed to have gained the upper hand.

His fire spread up the green light and consumed lexx’s hands and then moved up to his arm. He started to scream and he broke the concentration. Furis was holding his own, but I don’t think he was going to win out in the end. Who knows what kind of powers she had. I got the feeling that she is stronger than her ally. Lexx tried to fight the flames, but it didn’t work. Jaise kept up his attack and I could see that he was growing weak, but he wasn’t stopping.

Finally, he launched a fire spell that broke through the little defense that Lexx built. The fire shot through his chest and burned away his heart and lungs. He dropped to the ground in a folded up mess. Analyse grew really pissed off. “You killed him!” She screamed and it pierced the forest. She started to pulse with this dark pulsing aura and then she channeled it through her arms. She then slammed her hands onto the ground. I don’t know what she was doing, but it couldn’t have been good. Jaise tried to stumble towards us. But, he was far too weak. He almost made it to me when the ground started to split open and he knocked back. He jumped from crack to crack until he found a solid piece of land.

Then skeletal paws and hands started to grab hold of the ground and pull themselves up. Animals of all kinds reached the surface and stepped out onto the ground. “You can call the undead!?” I heard Jaise shout. Analyse laughed maniacally. “Yes! And all the animals you killed?! They are coming back! Oh, and guess what? They’re not alone!” She shrieked with an evil glee in her eyes. Jaise looked at her in confusion. But, then I noticed Lexx’s body and I paled.

“Matt, do you know what she’s-.” He didn’t need to finish the sentence. He saw what I was looking at and he grew pale as well. “You can’t be serious!?” He shouted. She laughed again and this evil cold blue light shot out of the earth and encased the body of her partner. “Now, you are going to see what a truly powerful witch can do! You’ve seen witches in the movies right? Well, we are nothing like them, weaklings. You were so impressed with Hermione? HA! She’s a party trick expert in comparison.” She boasted. The undead stumbled towards Jaise and I couldn’t do anything to help him. I turned around to find myself face to face with my own undead horde.

“I think you know that you’re going to die right?” She asked. I am so not ready to die yet! Furis jumped around and knocked skeletons apart and hacked up zombies. But, they just seemed to reform. “How do you beat these things?” He asked. I don’t think he was too concerned about his safety. He couldn’t die by these things. But, I could. He then shot out a string of shadow and lifted me into the nearest tree. “Hey, he needs to die!” Furis turned towards Analyse and laughed. “Not right now he doesn’t.” I blinked at him. Was that some kind of foreboding moment? I wondered. She only hissed.

“Kill them!” She commanded. “You know I can’t tire out right?” Furis asked innocently. He slashed and stuck. Body parts went flying and as I watched the battle, I soon saw why he made that comment. It wasn’t really noticeable, but every time the undead put themselves back together, it took a little bit of her magic. They could fight as long as she gave them strength. “I’m stronger than you think. I can go on for years. Now, that Lexx has risen from the dead, I can feed on his magical energy. Do you know what becomes of a witch who has risen as the undead?” She asked.

“No, but I’m afraid to find out,” I called down. “They become Lyches. Their magical energy is limitless. So, they repair themselves and can fuel me!” Something came to me then. “It’s the darkest magic known to witches. That magic is forbidden, but it’s the most powerful form of Shadow.” She looked actually impressed at me. “How do you know this shit?!” Jaise called from his fight with the undead. He kicked and punched, but they were scoring too many hits, and he was so weak. Jaise, save your strength man. Don’t talk.

“You know a lot for a mortal,” She said. Truth is, I don’t know how I knew that. It just kind of came to me. The undead had Jaise pinned down and even though he kicked and struggled, he couldn’t break free. Furis hacked and slashed, but he couldn’t make any headway. Lexx walked over to where Jaise lay. “I think…You are in need…Of some payback.” He said slurring the words. “Oh, what? Did I hurt your feelings?” Jaise asked.

Lexx roared and attacked. The undead moved out of the way, but some weren’t fast enough. He batted them away and picked up Jaise. “I’m going to enjoy killing you. You will join Analyse’s army. I always wondered what you get when a witch raises a vampire.” He slurred. “You know? That’s not a bad idea.” She said with a wicked smile. “Furis, help him!” He looked up at me with a raised eyebrow. Then rushed off. “What the hell?!” She demanded.

Furis bull rushed Lexx and sent him sprawling and Jaise landed awkwardly and I heard this sickening snap. He ground his teeth tightly together and looked like he was about to scream. But, he kept it in check. Lexx, and I don’t know how he did this, blasted Furis with some dark vines and he was obliterated. “NO!” I screamed. Furis was so strong and he was destroyed in seconds. I didn’t understand what happened. A sharp pain struck me in the chest and I couldn’t keep my grip on the tree and I fell to the ground. I slowly pushed myself up. Analyse knelt down in front of me. “You know you’re all going to die right?” She asked again.

“You know? I find it annoying when people sound like a bleeding broken record.” I admitted to her. “If you’re going to kill someone. Just do it, and stop talking them to death. Oh, did you know that your breath is horrible?” She smacked me hard and I sprawled and fell hard on the ground. “I think it’s time to end this like you wish.” Lexx jammed his fist into Jaise’s chest and he screamed out. I looked at him in horror. “Rip out his heart and consume his power.”

A flash of white light blasted out and struck everything. The undead except for Lexx was incinerated and turned into a pile of dust. He was knocked back though and released Jaise’s heart. I tried to stand, but I couldn’t move. Breathing became labored, and my heart was beating wildly in my chest. “Who dares interfere?!” Analyse shouted. “Oh, I think you know. You were promised to keep the peace. Regardless. These twos are off limits and yet you’re trying to kill them.” It couldn’t be. Jason?! I glanced up and Jason was walking towards us. “You? The prince of vampires is protecting these two? Why? You hired us to kill him!” Analyse shouted.

“Yes, but that was before. I gave you a perfectly clear message. I was revoking my death orders. You both knew that, though.” He said. He walked up to me and crouched down next to me. He glanced back up at her and smirked. “I know you’re debating on attacking me. You think your little Lych warrior is going to beat me?” He asked. “Oh, so you think you can fight a Lych?” Jason laughed. “Oh, see I don’t have to. I have something better.”

We all gave him a blank look. “Lexx, kill him,” Analyse said lazily. Jason shook his head. “Kid, are mortals really this stupid?” I just blinked at him. “You don’t remember being human?” I asked him. He stared at me like he was seeing me for the first time. “Not really. It’s been so long.” He told me. “Well, no. Most of us aren’t this gullible. But, we do have some of our moments where we have bad judgments.” I explained. He actually smiled and it didn’t look sinister. Lexx attacked Jason with his full strength and Jason blocked, countered, and dodged his attack. Jason gave him an uppercut and then a back flip with a low to high kick. Lexx grunted then started to glow.

He spread his hands out and a blast of dark energy shot out in a swirling beam. Blues, yellows, greens and reds sparkled in the dark beam. Jason just gave it a look and spread both hands out in a wide arc. The beam struck in front of him. But, some barrier prevented the Lych’s spell from reaching. The blast caused our hair to fly backward and Jason didn’t even seem to be affected by the magic. “You don’t think you’re going to be able to win this fight, my prince, do you?” She sneered.

“Oh, I have every intention of winning. I don’t know how you expect to win. You actually conceive of the foolish notion of surviving this battle?” He asked. “I plan on winning. I am a dark witch! Humans call us Necromancer’s!” She proclaimed. “Is that supposed to impress me?” He asked. She glared at him. He increased her power. The spell blasted out like a concentrated waterfall and I actually saw Jason struggle a bit.

“I see my pet is slowly getting the upper hand.” I could tell Jason wasn’t sure how he was so strong. “You know? You still can’t beat me. I can’t let you win.” He said with a determined tone. He closed his eyes and the spell he used grew larger and as the spell the Lych used began to grow as well. I could see that both spells were growing and increasing in power and actually see the barrier grow in density. Jason seemed to grow more relaxed. “More power Lexx!” He grunted and blasted Jason with both hands. The barrier shook and rattled.

I thought it was growing to break, but he only empowered it more. “Jason, the thing is going to explode!” Jaise stumbled towards me and I caught him before he hit the ground. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t protect you.” He gasped out. “You’re not the one to blame,” I told him. Jason glanced back at us. “Jaise, you took out one of the most powerful warlocks in the world. You shouldn’t beat yourself up.” Jason told him. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Why was he fighting for us and giving us encouragement? I didn’t understand this. Jaise seemed to be thinking the same thing. “I was told to give you a break until you’ve chosen your path, Matt. That’s what I’m going to do. Your group is untouchable until you’ve become a vampire.”

So, that was it. Jaise wretched onto the ground and I patted his back. “Jaise, take it easy will you?” I suggested. “I’m sorry. I just don’t… (puked again) feel good.” He said gasping for breath. Jason waved his hand around in an arc and then moved. The barrier stayed in place, but he was moving towards Analyse. “You think your spell is going to last?” She demanded. “Oh, I think it will. She conjured up shadow bolts by clenching her hand open and then tossed it at him. He deflected it with a small white light that he held in his palm. He almost reached her, but she was quicker than she looked.

He kept deflecting her attacks. But, he couldn’t seem to get an upper hand on her. Then she shot a dark pulsing globe into the ground. Jason looked at it wide eyed. “What’s the matter? The prince has never seen that spell before?” She taunted. “Oh, I’ve seen it. But, I didn’t believe I would see someone stupid enough to use it!” He snapped. She glowered at him and then reached her hand out towards it like she was grabbing something. Then she gestured like she was raising something out of the earth and the ground began to rumble.

“What’s she doing?” I asked. “Something that’s going to kill us all,” Jason answered me. “Why did I ask?” Jaise laughed. “Well, you’re a curious kid,” He said and ended up in a coughing fit. I shook my head. “What do you need?” He just stared at me. “I could use some blood. But, we don’t have anyone hear.” He told me. “What about me?” I offered. “I’m not taking blood from my cousin!” He said horrified. “Will it help you?” I asked him. He gave me a side glance and nodded reluctantly. “Then drink. Just don’t drain me.” I said. I tilted my neck back, but he grabbed my wrist.

He sank his teeth into it and fed on me. My heart started to beat like a jackrabbit and I began to breathe heavily. He stopped after a minute or two and I didn’t feel much different, but he looked like he gained his strength back tenfold. “Wow, virgin blood is powerful.” Then he looked like he was going to be sick again. “Did I really just say that?” I gave him an appalled look. “You better not tell anyone about that. When I become a vampire, I’ll kick your butt.” I threatened. “We will see,” He said with a smirk.

Jason was finally closing in on her and she slipped up. He dodged and ducked under her attacks and rolled towards her to the left. Then after he deflected to shadow bolts, he vanished and reappeared behind her. He grabbed her by the throat and started to choke her. “This is for betraying me. This is for almost killing them, and this is for giving me this foolish chase.” He said and then sank his teeth into her neck. She screamed and struggled against him.

But, he was far stronger than her and she fell limply in his arms as he fed on her. He tossed her lifeless body to the ground and then looked at us with blood on his lips. Lexx was still casting the spell. “Oh, Jacob!” Jason called. The Lych God appeared then and looked at Jason like he was insane. “What?” He snapped. “We have another one for you.” Storm clouds formed around Jacob and even I could sense his power. “You dare command me?!” He screamed. “I’m not commanding,” Jason said.

“I don’t take orders from anyone. The bitch is dead! I’m free!” Lexx screamed in delight. Oh, I don’t think he knows the rules yet. I thought. “Oh, kid. You are a fool if you think that. You follow my orders now.” Jacob said. Lexx glared at him. “Who the fuck are you?” Jacob sneered and even Jason backed away from him. “Oh, I’m the Lych God. I’m someone you don’t want to enrage.” He told him. Derek appeared next to him and wrapped his arms around Jacob’s waist.

“Oh, my god! My god is a fag?! Oh, this isn’t going to work. I kill homos. They should be wiped off the planet!” Jacob glared at him and sent a dark bolt of lightning out. It struck Lexx in the chest and he was lifted off his feet. He slammed into a nearby tree and caused it to fall. “I think you should really watch your mouth. They aren’t fags.” Jason said coldly. I looked at him in shock. “You aren’t homophobic?” I asked. He glared and rolled his eyes. Why should I be? Other people’s love lives aren’t my concern. Why should I control how others find happiness?” He asked.

Derek walked over to me and asked, “How are you?” I smiled up at him and said, “I think I’ll…” I ended up in a coughing fit and he knelt down next to me. “You are bleeding internally.” He said and rested a palm on my shoulders. Instantly I felt a warm light spreading through me and my strength returned and I could move and stretch. After a couple minutes, he stopped and I stood up. “Thanks, man.” I said and hugged him.

I fearfully glanced at Jacob, but he wasn’t even paying attention. He turned towards Jason. “Why are all the new Lyches these days so damn free and high-spirited? I don’t like this. What happened to the good old days where they all listened and feared their superiors?” He asked. Jason shrugged. “I ask myself that all the time with the new vampires.” Jason and Jacob laughed. “Oh, enough with this!” Lexx snapped and he launched an icy cold sharp spear at Derek. I stepped in the way and Jaise blasted it with a powerful fire spell and melted it. The only thing I got hit with was lukewarm water. “You both stepped in front and protected Derek,” Jacob said.

“Well, yeah,” I said. Jaise smirked. “Don’t step in the way of a big ice spear thrown by a psychotic Lych again,” He ordered. “What about a crazed vampire?” I wondered. “Especially that!” He said mortified. Jason put his palm to his forehead and shook his head. “Well, I think we are done here,” He said. “Oh, not quite. What’s your name?” Jacob asked. “Lexx,” He said cockily. “Good, Lexx. Your soul is mine.” He said and then snapped his fingers. The dull light that I saw around Lexx faded out and he just looked like a gray walking corpse.

He tried to cast another spell, but Jacob was ready for it. He waved his hand lazily around and his spells fizzled out. “You didn’t think I’m a god for no reason do you? Your magic comes from me. You’re helpless now.” Lexx bellowed out and charged. He slammed into Jacob, but only ended up getting thrown back by a powerful explosion. Dirt, grass, and the wind threw him back onto the ground. “What?” He asked in shock. “I told you. You can’t beat me. I’ve had thousands of Lych’s attack me. Guess who is still standing?” He asked in a tone that gave the answer.

“You alone aren’t going to be powerful enough to stop me. He launched a dark shadow bolt and it went straight through Lexx’s chest. He screamed and crumpled to the ground. He still moved though and managed to crawl towards us. “Oh, come now. I’ve never seen someone so persistent before.” A blast of flames lashed out and he screamed in a panicked rage. He rolled around on the ground, trying to put the fire out. “I’m guessing stop, drop and roll won’t work here?” I asked. Everyone looked at me and burst out laughing.

Even Jacob cracked a smile. “Um, no,” He said with a chuckle. “Those are unholy flames,” Derek said. I looked at them and noticed that the flames had dark tendrils floating and squirming around in them. They began to burn brighter and brighter. It was too much to keep looking at them. I had to look away, and I heard Jacob say over the roar of the fire, “Well, he did have a lot of magical power didn’t he? I haven’t seen the fire grow this bright for thousands of years.” Jason just sighed. “Am I needed for anything else, or may I go?”

Jacob looked at him and then us. “Oh, please go. You’re bothering me with your presence. As for you two, though.” He said. I gulped and then looked at him. “I owe you two favors now. Don’t think we haven’t forgotten that you rescued Derek from the underwater prison.” I couldn’t speak. It was like I lost the words. Luckily, Jaise was able to. “It’s not a big deal. But, if you want to repay us, then I think Matt here can find a way. Knowing him, though, it won’t be a ridiculous request.”

Jacob eyed me questioningly. “I think I already know what he wants for the first favor. But, he’s afraid of asking because he doesn’t want to sound selfish. But, Matt. There’s nothing wrong with asking for yourself every now and again.” Jacob told me. “I just don’t like asking for myself is all, but in this case, I think I’ll make an exception,” I told him. “So, you want me to find out what happened to your friends and why they acted like they did? Why they tried to kill you and why your girlfriend did what she did?” He asked. “Yes, unless you think it too trivial to you, then I’ll come up with something else.”

Jacob sighed. “Matt, we owe you. Is this what you want?” I nodded. “Then don’t fret. It won’t be too hard to find the answers. But, how soon do you want them?” He asked. I shrug and said, “Um, I’ll call on you when I’m ready.” He smiled. “Good, I’ll leave it up to you. Leave it to a god, and you’ll end up waiting for hundreds of years.” He said laughing. Then he snapped his fingers and Lexx vanished and so did Analyse’s body. Then Derek and he faded out. “Well, I guess it’s time for me to go,” Jason said. “Wait.” Jaise said. Jason looked at him.

“Thank you. I know you and we have a lot of differences and you’ve tried to kill us on more than one occasion. But, I have to thank you. It means a lot that in spite of everything, you’ve come to help.” Jason looked shocked. Then he focused on Jaise. “Well, you’re welcome. But, you fear how your cousin feels about all this don’t you?” Jaise looked scared and gave me a quick look. “You can read minds?” I asked. “Most people yes. Some are easier than others.” He told me and then deeply started to focus on me.

“But, no matter how hard I try. I can’t read yours. It’s like you are closed off to me. I don’t know why, though.” He admitted. “It might have something to with the destiny I have been given,” I told him. “Oh, it’s possible, and no doubt it will come to light soon enough. But, we have to get you to the school. Jaise, I’m sure you know the way. You should be strong enough to handle anything the tunnels have.” He told him. “You know about them?” My cousin asked confused. “Yes, I used to go there. Even my magic isn’t strong enough to break through the defenses, though. And the tunnels keep moving around, so I don’t know the exact location. But, I’m sure you two should be fine and the magic should allow you both to enter.” Then he vanished.

“We did never get any sleep.” Jaise said with a long yawn. I laughed. “Is there a place in the tunnels that we could sleep in?” I asked. He thought about it for a moment. “Actually yes. There’s a safe room there. It has supplies and food that is regularly checked.” I gave him a blank look. “It’s checked?” I asked. “Yes, once a week a ‘tunnel watcher’ is charged with making reports on any cracks and checking the storage of foods.

“This way, we don’t have spoiled foods,” He explained. “What about the trials? Or whatever you were talking about. Jason mentioned it as well.” He laughed. “I don’t think they’re any more trials. People used to have to go through them. The biggest trial we may have to overcome is the guardian.” I gave him a droll look. “Oh, and I’m sure that’s going to be so easy with one vampire and a skinny human. What? Are you supposed to fight him with tooth and fire, while I sarcasm him to death?” Jaise gave me a droll glare in return. “If you have more comebacks like that? I’m sure he’ll drop dead in no time.” I smirked.

“Well, what the hell are we waiting for!?” Jaise shook his head. He motioned for me to follow him and he led me around a corner in the woods and as the sun broke out across the sky, we made our way to a mountain pass. “Is this where it is?” I asked. He nodded. He made a zigzag motion in the air with fire and then drew an arrow through it, followed by a circle, triangle, and an octagon. He swiped his hands through it and it morphed and changed into a giant spider.

“What the hell is that?” I asked. “Wow, two swear words in under two hours. That’s a record.” Jaise said approvingly. “Technically, it’s the same word just said twice. So, it only counts as one. And seeing as how technically a hell is a place. It’s not considered bad language.” Jaise stared at me for a moment. “Are we talking the place where you go when you die? I thought that place wasn’t proven to exist.” He said. I smirked. “No, Hell is a village in Norway. So, it’s a place and is not cursing.” He just gave me a blank look. “How do you know this shit?” He asked. “That’s swearing.” I said and then turned back the flaming arachnid. “Why do you have a flaming spider?” He laughed. “If you knew what it was, then why did you ask?” I rolled my eyes. “Well, you knew what I meant when I asked. Also, how else would you phrase it when you first see something unorthodox?” I demanded. “After everything you’ve been through in the past couple months, this is the strangest thing you’ve seen?” He wondered.

Well, he had me there. “I guess not. But, still. What’s it for?” He turned back towards the fire spider. “The first time we leave through these gates, we have to create a sigil. A symbol based on what we like and with our element. Think of it as a key. Once the tunnel entrance detects a pattern, the magic in it registers and confirms the identity to the person.” Jaise explained. “But, wouldn’t another fire user be able to copy the key you’re using?” I asked.

“I admire your curiosity,” He said smiling at me, “but no. You see, magic also leaves something like a fingerprint. So, even if another fire user knew what to use and where to go. They wouldn’t be able to get it because the magic wouldn’t link up to me.” He told me. “Oh, so it’s a magical digital scanner.” Jaise smiled. “Exactly.” He pushed the fire spider into the wall and I heard it groan and rumble a bit. “Is that normal?” I asked. He frowned at it. “No, not really. Usually, it just reveals the path and we walk right in.” He told me.

Well, that sounded good. What the heck? I wondered. Then a door sized part of the rock fizzed away and Jaise started to walk towards it, but I grabbed his arm. “What’s the matter?” He asked. “Something isn’t right,” I told him. He looked at the door and me. “Well, you’ve been pretty accurate so far. So, what is wrong?” He asked. “I don’t know. I wish I did. But, whatever is down there, it knows we are here and it’s ready to kill us the second we enter.”

He just gave me a sideways look. “You know? I’ve had it with people trying to kill us. If they want us dead, then they better prepare for death themselves.” Jaise snapped. “So, you want me to go first? Draw them out?” I asked. He gave me a cold look. “No, because knowing you, you’ll have your heart ripped out and then they’ll make me eat it.” I blinked innocently at him. “You don’t think my heart will taste good?” He hissed at me and then stormed down the steps.

“Don’t move!” He shouted. “Yeah, I’ll just remain here to be picked off by some strange evil vampire. Maybe they’ll rape me, have their way and drain me?” I mutter. “Well, they will have one hell of a time won’t they?” He called back and then silence followed. I glared at the entrance. But, after a few minutes, I couldn’t hear anything. “Jaise?” I called down to him. I walked to the step entrance and looked down. Everything was pitch black and I didn’t see or hear anything. “Jaise?” I called again. Still nothing. I was growing anxious and my heart was pounding.

Did the guardian or something kill him? Oh god. I had to find out what was going on. I had to check up on him. I couldn’t let him fight this alone. We’ve only survived this long because we had each other. But, I was the weakest link. Now, I was the thing that was going to get my cousin killed. I couldn’t let him face this threat alone. Was this how Bella felt in Twilight? I mean I’ve never watched the movies, and I skimmed the books. But, I got the gist of it. I don’t want to be one of those human liabilities you read about in these supernatural stories. I want to be someone who’s special, important and can hold their own.

I slowly walked down the steps and then everything was lost in darkness. The door vanished and the only thing flickering with light was a torch at the other end of the hallway. But, I could barely see it. I felt something watching me, but they were making no moves on me yet. I wondered why. Everything in me was screaming to call out for Jaise, but something was telling me to keep quiet. But, I doubted that it would be useful. Something knew I was here and was toying with me. I made it halfway down the hall, I guessed before something happened.

I heard this piercing howl and the dripping sound. I couldn’t see what was dripping. But, as I took a couple more steps, I slipped and fell on the wall. I braced myself against it and felt the liquid coat it and I caught my balance. I pulled my hand away and rubbed my fingers together. It was a sticky substance. I continued walking until my vision started to blur. What was going on here? I wondered. Then something moved. I looked up and saw this tall slim, winged figure floating down to me. Torches lit up all around me.

“So, you’ve come to my domain. Humans aren’t permitted here anymore. Humans die in these tunnels.” It said. “Why?” I asked. My legs locked up and I couldn’t move. I dropped to my knees and my breathing became labored. “Humans are the species that is going to die out. Vampires need superior blood. Your kind is so weak.” It said. I saw his face. He looked like he had a bad case of acne with cracked stained teeth when he smiled. His snowy white wings were coated in some thick orange sap and his body looked a little scrawny. “Where’s Jaise?” I asked.

“Is that who you’re worried about? Oh, once you’re dead. He’ll be free to leave.” The guardian said. I knew it had to be him. “Where is he?” I demanded. “Why do you care? Your life is about to end.” He said. “I care because the last thing I want to be concerned about is my own self-perseverance. Where is he?” Breathing and talking were becoming harder and harder. “You still shouldn’t worry about him. I have no intention of harming him. He’s going to be on his way soon.” The guardian said. “What makes you think he won’t try and eventually succeed in killing you…for my death.” I choked out.

“That would be foolish. He’s a vampire. You’re human.” I laughed weakly. “I’m his cousin.” The guardian paused for a moment. He turned to stare somewhere. “He’s your cousin?” He asked. “Really? How is it that a vampire has a human cousin?” I don’t know who he was speaking to. But, whatever it was, I don’t think he liked the answer. “Impossible! He can’t be chosen for anything special. I mean look at him.”

That pissed me off, and I don’t know where the anger came from. I guess I was getting really tired of people looking down on me. For people thinking, I wouldn’t amount to anything. And for people not believing I could handle the situation and just trust, respect, and believe in me. I know I don’t believe in myself all that much. But, I’m trying. It’s not easy. But, this…thing…he was the final straw. I snapped. I lost all control and I felt a power course through me. I saw everything in a light purple and the guardian was glowing in a purple so dark, he was almost black.

I saw someone locked into the ceiling and their glow was neon violet. “Is that Jaise?” I asked in a voice that was loud, but still my own. “What does it matter? You’re going to-.” He never finished speaking. “Silence.” I commanded and the guardian shut up right away. He tried to speak, but couldn’t. I gained control back and it wasn’t hard. I floated up to the ceiling and then fire burst from my fingers. The sticky slime melted away and Jaise fell out. I caught him.

I brought him back to the ground. I could feel the effects of whatever the slime was fade from my system. Whatever power I was feeling, seemed to be burning it away. “How?” Jaise asked. “I don’t know. But, now. What to do with him?” I asked looking at the guardian. He broke free of my silencing spell. “You think you’re strong enough to fight me?!” He bellowed. I pushed Jaise away and floated up where he hovered. “I don’t know. Care to give it a go?” He gave me a strange look. “You’re not the same human who came in here are you? I don’t know what happened, but you’ve changed in a short time.” I laughed and the sound echoed around us. “You’re right. I’m not simple Matt anymore.” I told him and Jaise took in a deep breath of air.

“Who are you?” The guardian demanded. “You surely haven’t forgotten the Prince of Atlantis have you?” I heard Zolem’s voice. The guardian froze. “You’re giving this human power?” He asked in fear. “Yes, let them pass or else,” He said. The guardian looked at us and sighed. “Very well. Enter. Zolem, I hope you know what you’re doing! He’s only human!” A booming laughter that almost knocked us to the ground followed that statement.

“So were you, until I made you the protector of the vampires. If you weren’t such a racist prick. Maybe you’d find a friend among the other guardians.” And on that note, we booked it towards the exit. The doorway opened and we walked up a large set of stairs. “So, where are heading to?” I asked. “It’s a peaceful place. But, it does have its excitement as well. You’ll understand when the time comes. Its weather controlled.” He explained to me. “Oh, so you can make whatever weather you want wherever you want?” I asked. “Yeah, normally we don’t though. It can affect much about how we complete our jobs.” He told me. “I can understand that. But, you get your own rooms right?” I asked.

He smiled. “Yes, you can do whatever you want in your room. First, you have to grant the power of a vampire.” I nodded. We walked up the steps and the sun blinded me for a moment. When I got used to the light, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. An enormous castle loomed ahead of us. It looked larger than what they described of Hogwarts. And that’s saying a lot! I thought. “I know. It’s huge. But, you get used to the size.” Jaise told me. I shook my head. “How? I mean, how do you find your way?” I asked.

“It’s really easy. They’re maps lined up along the walls that will tell you how to get to the different wings of the castle. And the people who have been here for years knows the place like the back of their hand. Most will be able to help you. Besides, you don’t have to worry about finding anything right now. Follow me. I’ll show you around.” He told me. “Where are we going?” I asked. “We are heading to the Headmistress. She’s going to want to meet you.” He told me. We walked across the courtyard and by a huge tree with some vampires standing and sitting next to it. “Ah, Jaise! Is this the famous cousin you went to find?” A man in his early twenties asked.

“Yes. Why?” Jaise sounded exasperated. “He doesn’t look like much.” Anger coursed through me. A dark purple bolt of lightning shot out of nowhere. It hit him square in the chest and sent him back a couple steps. “I think you should be careful who you insult.” Jaise told him. “He’s only ‘human’ after all.” We walked on by with him laughing. “I probably shouldn’t have done that,” I said out loud. “Oh, I found it bloody marvelous.” Jaise admitted.

“Some people here are bullies. They think because they’ve been here a while, they rule the school. And they also think that just because you have more power, you shouldn’t lead and you should fall in line. But, that’s not the way it works around here.” He admitted. “So, seniority doesn’t mean anything?” I asked. “Oh, sure. And usually, a vampire of ten years will be stronger than a vampire of one. But, sometimes a new vampire will be more powerful. It just depends on the ancient being and circumstances.” He explained. “Ah, we are almost there. Are you ready?” He asked. “No,” I admitted. He laughed. “Well, it’s probably normal to feel that way.”

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