Ordinary Life (of a Blood Sucking Night-Crawler)

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Blood-Thirsty for Vengeance

“Aaron,” the boy was taken out of his deep sleep by the mention of his name. He kept his eyes closed and attempted to ignore the voice. “Babe, come on.” The female voice said in a louder tone, in between frequent yawns. “It’s time to get up.” At this point, Aaron had been ripped from his slumber, but he still refused to open his eyes. He heard footsteps walking towards him as a bright light suddenly flashed through his eyelids. The boy groaned and turned away. The girl sighed. Aaron was finally forced awake as he felt a sudden weight fall on top of him.

Opening his exhausted azure eyes, his vision was flooded with wavy, auburn hair. As he moved the ponytail out of his face, he saw Emi, in her school uniform, laying on top of his covers. She looked up at him with a tired smile. “I thought you actually liked getting up early?” She teased with a playful kiss. “I’m jet lagged. It’s still yesterday at home.” Aaron replied with a yawn of his own. Emi sighed as she buried her head in his blanket. “I don’t blame you,” her voice was muffled. “I’m tired too, and hungry.” She waited for his response. After seconds of silence, she lifted her head to meet his blue eyes. Emi’s greenish, brownish orbs pleaded with the intensity of a small puppy. “You want me to make breakfast?” The edges of her rosy lips curved up into a small smile. “Please.” “then you actually have to get off me.” The girl laid her head back on his chest. “No, I’m good. Besides, you’re warm.” He gave her a half smile as he attempted to move the girl off him, with no avail. Emilia simply sprawled her body out further on the bed, making herself as comfy as possible. “Now, this is what men are for.” Emi teased as she placed her head on his shoulder, a thing she often does. However, as she rested herself on the nook of his neck, the scent of blood wafted into the boy’s nostrils. He could feel her heart beating against his chest and hear her blood rushing through her veins. He felt his own heart start to race; his head was filled with the same thoughts, repeating over and over again.

Aaron jumped from the bed, quickly but gently as not to hurt Emi. “Aaron, are you ok?” She asked, concerned by his strange behavior. He turned back to her. “Yeah, sorry. I’m just...really thirsty.” Emilia seemed confused by his answer, but simply shrugged and laid back in bed. He walked over to the kitchen, filled a cup with water, and proceeded to gulp it down as quickly as possible. It didn’t do much to satisfy his thirst, but it would have to do. Aaron then opened the fridge to see what he could make. Fortunately, Emi had stocked it yesterday. He took what he could and spread out the contents across the countertop. The boy split the stove into two sections, he started working on breakfast on the left and the right he reserved for lunch.

The food took awhile to prepare and cook, but eventually Aaron tied the ends of Emi’s bento box together and placed it on the table, next to two plates of pancakes. As the boy turned back to face the room, he saw his uniform hanging from a coat hook. The uniform was similar to what Alex was wearing that night, consisting of a navy jacket with white trimming, a white under shirt with grey dress pants, and a blue tie with black and blue stripes. Looking at the clock, he realized that he probably should start getting ready for his first day. He slipped on the pants and jacket before attempting to wake Emilia. He sat on the edge of the bed and shook the girl’s shoulder. “Em, I made breakfast, but you have to eat it quickly or we’ll be late.” The amber haired girl jumped from her lying position at the sound of food. She quickened her pace to the table and sat down. Aaron joined her. “Pancakes?” The edges of her lips curved into a smile. “You’re awesome.” The boy smiled back. “Mm-hm. I also made you lunch, it’s in the bento box there.” Emi tilted her head in confusion when she only saw one lunchbox. “Did you not make anything for yourself?” “There wasn’t enough food for both of us.” He stood and draped his bag over his shoulder. “I’ll buy something. Now, let’s go, we’re kinda late already.” “Right, right. Hold on.” Emi said, stuffing her mouth full of pancakes before following Aaron out the door.

Emilia walked through the lecture hall. Both of her hands were occupied, her right was busy holding the map and her left was intertwined with Aaron’s, who walked behind her. It was a weird position to be in, but it was the only way to get through the hallway that was jam packed with new students, all lost and confused. “Where are we going?!” The boy had to scream over the endless cacophony of voices that filled the passageway. The crowd dispersed enough for them to walk side by side. Aaron glanced over Emi’s shoulder at the map in her hand. “Um, I think it’s up ahead.” The raven haired boy looked around, trying to find his bearings. As he scanned the chaos, his eyes locked with someone familiar. Somehow, from several feet away, he recognized a boy with a mop of blonde hair and crystal blue eyes. Next to him, was a taller girl with long blue hair and chocolate brown eyes. Her arm was wrapped around the arm of the boy and they both stared at Aaron with an eerie intensity.

Confused and a little creeped out by why Tarje and Natsumi were following him, he turned to his girlfriend, who stood by the edge of the stream of people. “Well, this is where we part.” Emi gestured to the large open door to her right. “What do you mean?” She glared up at him. “We’re in different classes, which you would know if you actually went to orientation.” Aaron gave her an apologetic smile. “Right.” The boy quickly got distracted as he glanced back to Alex’s friends sitting on a bench across the hall. Wearing identical uniforms, they looked like anyone else walking through the hallway. No one would assume they were anything unusual. However, a shiver went down the boy’s spine as the blue haired girl gazed up from her phone to him. She gave Aaron a small grin, but that didn’t erase the ominous feeling in the back of his mind. “Hey,” Emilia pulled her boyfriend back to reality with a kiss. “Are you ok?” “Of course.” He wrapped his arms around her for a parting hug. Emi quickly coiled around his waist before departing to her class. As she disappeared behind the door, Aaron realized he had no idea where he was going. “Wait, Emi!” He waited a moment for her to reappear, but that never happened. “Damnit, I’m lost.” He said to himself.

“Your homeroom is A-103.” Aaron jumped at the sudden sleep deprived voice that radiated from behind him. Over his shoulder was Tarje, his baby blue eyes were duller than they were before. He didn’t seem like he wanted to be here. Natsumi, on the other hand, was rather relaxed, with light brown eyes and a small smile. “Morning Aaron.” “What the hell are you guys doing here?” The blonde-haired boy sighed, “we’ve been assigned to keep an eye on you.” “By Alex?” They both nodded. “Who else did you expect?” Aaron sighed, “I guess you’re right.” Just then, the sound of a bell rang throughout the hall. “Come on,” Tarje wrapped his arm around the British boy’s shoulder. “You’re gonna be late.”

As the walked into the A-103 lecture hall, Aaron stopped to admire just how ornate the room was. The hall itself had sloped levels of long, wooden desks, much like bleachers at a football game, that faced a podium on the bottom level. Behind the podium was a large chalkboard. The right wall held several columns of wooden framed windows that faced the center courtyard. Carved symbols circled the old chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. This place was definitely old. The desks were completely full of tired first years as they all blankly stared towards the professor. She was, fortunately, facing away from the class, allowing the three students to quickly and quietly slip into the first desks they could find.

“Alright students,” the light gossip that floated through the air was silenced as the teacher turned to face her new class with a bright smile. “Let’s cut the chatter. Class has officially begun.” The students directed their attention to a tall woman with long, dark red hair that fell over her chocolate brown eyes. Her thin form was wrapped in a white blouse and a knee long, black shirt. She scanned the room, memorizing her students’ expressions, when her gaze stopped at the top level of the lecture hall. Her smile dropped as her eyes locked with Aaron and his companions. The boy looked to either side and found the same glare on both Tarje and Natsumi’s faces as their eyes met with the professor. Her smile appeared just as quickly as it vanished and she spun on her heels to face the chalkboard behind her. While the teacher was writing on the board, the raven haired boy scooted closer to his blonde counterpart. “What was that about? Do you know her?” “Let’s just say that all of the teachers are very aware of who’s human and who’s not.” It was Natsumi that answered his question. “She knows we don’t belong here.” Tarje finished his partner’s thought. Aaron sighed and rested his head on his hand as his vision began to wander. “You know, you wouldn’t get in trouble if you would just leave me alone.” “Nice try, but you’re not getting out of this that easily,” Tarje leaned back in his chair and placed his feet on the table. The boy’s unnaturally blue eyes glared back at the blonde. “We’ve been told to keep an eye on you so that’s what we’re gonna do.” The raven haired sighed at the boy’s insistence. Aaron turned back to the professor, who had written her name on the board. “My name is Sasaco Hara and I’ll be your teacher for the remainder of your first year here at Verde-Trinity High School. I’m also the Sun Dorm’s guidance counselor,” she glanced back to the suspicious students on the upper level. “So, if you need anything, feel free to stop by my office.” She smiled and directed her attention towards the entire class.

The professor droned on like another other teacher did. At this point, Aaron rested his head on the desk as he pleaded with every god he could think of to get him out of this agonizing class. He stared at the clock face as he silently encouraged it to go faster. He’d been sitting in this place for nearly 40 minutes and the light that shone in from the windows started to physically hurt. It wasn’t the blaring heat he felt when he was faced with direct sunlight, but still, the sickening warmth gave him a headache. He closed his eyes in order to ease the pain that throbbed in his temples. “It’s so bright...” He whispered to himself. He close his eyes and started to drifted off. However, he was soon awakened by a loud, muffled thud, as if something was sliding closer to him, mixed with the sound of squeaking metal, accompanied by surprised gasps and screams. Aaron bolted awake just in time to see the large and extremely heavy velvet drapes slide closed by themselves. A pit of unease formed in his stomach as he tried to find a rational explanation as to why the curtains, which were probably impossible to pull close without an entire group of people, could just slide on their own. The rest of the class was clearly thinking the same thing, judging by their faces of shock and the eerily silent atmosphere. Mrs. Hara went to inspect the malfunctioning curtains with mild curiosity. However, her charming smile faded to confusion and suspicion. This would be impossible to see to a normal person, as the teacher was facing away from most of her students. Aaron, however, could somehow see her expression just fine, even though he was the sitting the furthest away from her. Mrs. Hara turned, her face rigid. “So, is anyone going to admit to closing the drapes?” There was silence from the students. She put a hand on her hips. “Come on, it’s the first day. Let’s try to behave.” A student in the front, a girl with dark brown hair that reached her hips, raised her hand. “Ma’am, Isn’t it kind of far-fetched to think that a student pulled those curtains shut without any of us seeing them? I mean, aren’t those things pretty heavy? Doesn’t it take multiple people to pull those things shut?” She said with an English accent. The teacher crossed her arms. “Who else do you suppose did this, Abigail?” She asked the student, known as Abigail. Her and Mrs. Hara seemed to know each other. “Eh...well...” Abigail tried to come up with explanation, but failed and sat back down in an embarrassed silence. As the professor asked her pupil that question, Aaron could see Tarje’s pure blue eyes glaring at him with suspicion. “Why are you staring at me like that?” He continued his eerie gaze for a few seconds before turning back to the teacher, “nothing.” The boy returned the suspicion. “Did you do that?” “Do what?” Aaron’s voice dropped to a whispered. “The curtains, you idiot. Did you move them?” Tarje seemed confused by his accusations. “Why would you think that?” The boy sighed, letting his English-French accent come through with his frustration. “I saw Alex control blood with his mind. I know you guys have powers.” “Neither of us has telekinesis or any other ability that gives us the power to move things with our minds.” Both the boys turned to Natsumi, who now had a worn manga in her hands. Her voice was very matter-of-factly and held untold wisdom. Aaron turned back to the class, which had continued it’s session, and laid his tired mind back onto the warm, wooden desk. Though he had no idea who or what moved the drapes, he was relieved that the pain was gone. “I wonder who does have that power, then.” He said as he closed his eyes once again. Tarje and Natsumi looked at each other, they both contemplated what to say. The blonde wanted to tell him, but the blue headed girl waved him off. “Forget it, he’ll figure it out eventually.”

Aaron Van Roosen was rudely awakened by the deafening screech of the bell, that might possibly have been the loudest thing he had ever heard. As he lifted his head, he was greeted with the soft face of his teacher. The sudden image made him jump. “Tired, are we?” She crossed her arms like she was mad, but she held a bright smile. Aaron bowed his head apologetically. “Yeah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to fall asleep.” He stood to see Tarje and Natsumi waiting behind the professor. Mrs. Hara’s smile widened. “I understand. It is the first day, after all. I’m sure you’re still adjusting.” “Yeah, you could say that.” He replied. “A little advice: If you want to graduate, try not to fall asleep in every class.” Aaron smiled at her playful attitude. “I’ll remember that. Thank you.” Mrs. Sasaco Hara looked to his companions and her tone turned a lot more serious. “Now, what exactly are you two doing here?” They both became squeamish and refused to make direct eye contact, something Aaron had never seen from them before. He had to be honest, it was kind of amusing. “We don’t mean to intrude Ma’am,” Natsumi said, politely as possible. “We were just visiting our friend, Aaron.” She gestured to the boy with messy, raven hair and vivid cobalt eyes. The teacher turned to face him. “Is this true?” “Um...” Aaron looked over the professor’s shoulder to Tarje, who gave the boy a murderous glare. Knowing what he was, his threatening gaze really freaked him out. He looked back to Mrs. Hara, “yes, Ma’am.” She nodded. “Mrs. Hara?” Natsumi asked. “I hope it’s ok if we visit him...every day.” The teacher seemed confused. “What about sleep? Aren’t your classes at night?” “We don’t mind.” That was clearly a lie, but she seemed to buy it. “I guess that’s alright, you seem like responsible kids. Just...be sure to behave yourselves, I don’t want a couple of upperclassmen causing trouble here.” Natsumi and Tarje bowed to respect the professor’s authority. “Thank you, Ma’am.” Natsumi and Tarje quickly walked out the door, dragging the freshman with them.

As the three walked into the lunchroom, they found the hall completely packed with rowdy students and the line to buy lunch was all the way out the door, even though the store was on the opposite side of the long hall. The boy sighed at the chaos. “Dammit, I’m not gonna be able to eat, am I?” Natsumi nudged him, “I got plenty of food. I’d be happy to share.” She gestured to the lunchbox that hung from her bent arm.“Oh, ok. Thanks.” Tarje, who had scanned the room for open seats, turned to them. “I guess we gotta go outside.” They all looked at each other, anxious about the journey. Aaron peered out a window to the bright, warm day. Not a single cloud was in the sky. Just seeing the beams of light made his skin instinctually sore. “Do we have to?” The boy usually loved the spring sun, but remembering how much it hurt to stand directly in it, he’d much rather have rain. “You’ll be fine. It’s not like you’re gonna burst into flames.” Aaron turned back to see Tarje wearing a hat and sunglasses. Natsumi was holding her own hat with an umbrella hanging from her arm. “Well yeah, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt...a lot.” “Here.” The girl placed her sunhat atop his head and covered his azure eyes with mint tinted sunglasses. “You look adorable,” she said with a smile. Aaron responded with a sharp glare. Natsumi simply giggled and opened her umbrella, “come on boys.” She opened the door and ventured into the blazing, spring day.

Natsumi found a nice, secluded place under a large cherry blossom, the condensed mold of flowers provided the perfect cover from the relentless sun. She closed the black umbrella and sat on the ground, her back leaning against the trunk. She was joined by Aaron and Tarje. The teal tinted hair of the girl swayed gently in the breeze as she opened her lunchbox. When the seal was broken, the smell of blood immediately wafted into the boy’s nostrils. His stomach tightened into a knot. It felt like he hadn’t eaten in years. His indigo eyes flashed red for half a second as a thermos full of warm, red liquid was removed from the bag. The girl smiled, “someone’s hungry.” Aaron glared at her and moved so he was on the other side of the tree. He held his torso as his hunger worsened. He tried his best to ignore it and forget the blood he was smelling, but it was all he could think about. His crimson eyes became brighter and brighter with each attempt. “Hey,” Natsumi slid towards him, a cap full of blood in her hands. The pain grew as she came closer. Eyes glowing with the intensity of fledgling hunger, he tried tried to look away. The girl moved the cup into his view. “Come on, you haven’t eaten since yesterday. Drinking blood won’t hurt you and I promise it’s not human. It’s cow, I think.” The boy met her gaze with confusion. Natsumi shrugged, “yeah, I know it’s weird, but vampires aren’t allowed to drink human blood on campus. Besides, this way, you won’t have as much of a problem avoiding human blood.” As much as he wanted to refuse, Aaron took the thermos in his hands. The metal was warm, soothing. The boy was hesitant at first, but he eventually put his lips to edge of the cup. His hand tipped the cap upwards, causing the contents to fall towards him. However, he resisted enough to clamp his mouth shut, even though he felt his teeth sharpen, protract out of his gums and pierce his bottom lip. Tarje sighed as he watched the boy struggle. He grabbed Aaron’s hand and forcefully pushed the cup full of blood into his mouth. As the first gulp of red ran down his throat, his will was gone and he couldn’t stop himself from consuming the rest of the blood. “I don’t know why you’re trying to resist the hunger, it’s not like you can reverse what happened to you.” Tarje turned back to his side of the trunk and used his chopsticks to scoop rice into his mouth. Natsumi glared at the blonde. She was the furthest away from him so her gaze passed by Aaron, who was in the middle. “Can you quit the sarcastic attitude?” She attempted to whisper over the boy’s head, but Aaron could hear everything. “He already said he doesn’t want to be changed and your dumbass isn’t helping him deal with this situation.” Tarje stood. From the fire that swirled in his crystal eyes, it was clear he was not amused. “Sugar coating it isn’t gonna help either.” His tone was the same level of mad whisper-screaming as his female counterpart. At this point, there were both standing, arguing over Aaron’s head. He looked up to meet their glares. “You do know I can hear you guys, right?” Neither responded.

As Tarje locked his eyes with Natsumi, he saw a figure staring at them from a distance. The boy tilted his head to the side so he could get a better look at their watcher. From across the courtyard, he saw red-headed boy with an intense scowl in his sharp lavender eyes. He wore a high school uniform, identical Aaron and Tarje’s, except for the color of the blazer, which was red instead of blue. “Looks like we have a second year stalker,” his tone became suddenly serious and protective. Aaron stood to see who Tarje was staring at. “How can you tell?” The crystal blue eyes of the blonde-haired boy held a fiery gaze. “Did you not go to orientation? The four classes are color coded. Blue, red, white, and black. That red jacket means he’s a sophomore.” Aaron’s royal blue eyes darkened to match his scowl. “I couldn’t go to orientation because I fucking died.” The aura around the boy thickened to a suffocating fog. Tarje crossed his arms. He kept his guard up, but he was surprised how much the boy’s power got to his emotions. Natsumi, who was keeping an eye on their unwanted guest, sighed at how childish the boys were being. She took both their hands in her own, which broke the gaze they had with each other. The girl smiled as Aaron and Tarje looked at her in confusion. “Tarje, let’s not talk about that, you know it’s a sensitive topic,” she turned to the raven boy. “And Aaron, try not to kill my partner. I kinda need him.” Natsumi turned back to the mysterious redhead, a shiver went her spine as she saw his malicious grin. “Come on.” Still holding their hands, she pulled the boys into the blazing sunlight and back inside the Sun Dorm lecture hall.

Confused and blinded by the sudden agonizing heat, Aaron didn’t notice the blue haired Natsumi drag him into the middle of the crowded hallway. He rubbed his sore eyes before inspecting the reason why she had stopped. Over the heads of the students, the boy saw a group of sophomores standing near the exist to the building. The few red jackets greatly contrasted the sea of blue that was the freshman population, who all flooded towards their dorms in unison. Soon, the passageway was empty, besides a few groups of friends and teachers hanging out on the edge of the hallway.

The one in the middle of the red jacket gang, a short girl with blonde hair that fell down her back, threw an eerie smile and menaced glare at Natsumi, Tarje, and, by association, Aaron. Her greenish eyes flashed a bright scarlet. The blonde at Natsumi’s side leaned in to whisper in her ear. “Probably a good time to put up a barrier.” She nodded and pulled a small, glass pyramid out of her pocket. Confused, the British boy looked from her clenched fist, containing the transparent pyramid to her eyes, which held a swirling wave of emotions. Looking straight at the threats ahead of her, she let go of her geometric crystal. As soon as it hit the ground, it expanded. Aaron watched in panic as the glass walls phased through Natsumi, Tarje, and even himself. The group across from them were also unaffected and unfazed by the impossible magic being performed. The boy turned to the pair of professors, who were exchanging banter directly behind them. A wall of glass, seemingly from the pyramid, had formed right in the middle of the hallway, blocking it off completely. Despite this, Aaron saw the teachers conversing like nothing happened. They didn’t acknowledge the glass structure at all, almost like they couldn’t see it.

“Of course the prince’s exemplars would be cowardice enough to put up a barrier,” laughed the blonde haired girl. Now that Aaron was looking in their direction, he recognized the redhead from courtyard standing just behind her. “What did you say?” Tarje growled in such malicious way that Aaron took a step away from him. As he did so, he noticed his bright blue eyes were replaced by glowing crimson. Natsumi casually grabbed ahold of his shoulder. “Relax, pretty boy. It’s not like you can murder them on campus. Besides, it wouldn’t make a difference. These parasites only multiply.” “Look at the bastard, talking down to us, like you have the right.” The blonde sophomore giggled to the red-haired boy next to her. “Excuse me?” Natsumi seemed genuinely offended, which was a first from what Aaron had seen. The girl seemed to enjoy her resentment as she turned to the redhead. “Rai, show her where she belongs.” The red head, Rai, grinned as his image quickly faded from view.

Aaron’s blueish orbs widened as the boy disappeared before his eyes. He was frozen as he felt the entire world come to a halt. That was, until he heard something behind him. Aaron turned in time to see Natsumi race passed him. Her hand faded to a light blue/turquoise color and her fingers elongated into long, sharp, crystalized points. Natsumi’s fingertips, which were now needles of quartz, pierced into the redhead’s arm. Shock passed through the boy’s violet eyes. The blue-haired girl smiled. “You seemed surprised that an exemplar could keep up with you.” She mocked. The boy responded with a glare. He threw a punch towards her, but she nonchalantly halted the force with her other hand. Now that the sophomore was immobilized, Natsumi connected her boot with his chest, the impact of which propelled his body against the barrier.

“Get away from him!” The blonde girl from before yelled as she raced towards the companions, ribbons of electricity sparked around her fingertips. Tarje stepped out in front of Natsumi and Aaron. He raised his palm and the British boy watched as the moisture in the air condensed into orbs of floating water around him. They quickly rocketed to their attacker, changing forms to shards of icicles mid flight. The blonde sophomore was stopped by a hailstorm of ice that jabbed into her arms and legs. She hissed from the pain and stumbled her weight from one foot to another. However, she found that couldn’t move as a cold, numbing feeling ran up her body. Natsumi took this as her chance to get close to her. The blue-haired girl ran up to the blonde sophomore and pushed her chiseled skin through her chest. The pressure caused blood to spill out of the girl’s open mouth. The blonde girl gasped for breath as a shaking agony filled her body. Tarje tapped Natsumi on the shoulder and she stepped back. As he walked up to the sophomore, she looked up in horror to the disgust and anger that swirled in his glowing eyes. A water dispenser, which stood against the wood paneled wall, suddenly fell to the ground. It’s contents, instead of spilling out onto the floor, coiled around the girl and froze her in the air.

Natsumi noticed a small, white ID card fall out of the girl’s pocket. She picked it up to examine it. “Hanako Tanaka, age 14, Night student.” “Tanaka? Really?” Tarje asked, curiously. The blue-haired girl looked to the blonde sophomore they had captured. “Yeah, looks like their family finally decided to dispute their disagreements with the rest of the faction. Am I right?” Natsumi turned to Hanako for answers, but she simply glared silently. “What exactly does any of that mean?” Aaron, who was watching rather timidly from the back of the group, asked as confusion occupied his mind. “Who are these people and why did they attack us?” He walked towards where Natsumi and Tarje were standing, but he stopped as he felt an arm wrap around his torso. The boy froze when he saw the edge of a blade slip between his shoulders. Aaron looked down to see a silver knife held by a kevlar gloved hand. “Is that how you brainwash your fledglings? Avoid telling them about all the lives the paragon has taken, enslaved, and abused?” Red hair and bright glowing eyes appeared over the boy’s shoulder. Rai’s glare was directed to Tarje. “I can’t believe that a Nystrom child would work for such a monster knowing what he’s done to your family.” The blonde crossed his arms and returned the glare. “You seem to have a childlike understanding of what happened. Do you not remember the chaos the nation was in before the Tepes faction unified us?” The vampire sneered at him, exposing his razor-sharp, pointed fangs. “You call slavery unifying?!” In his anger, Rai pushed the knife across Aaron’s throat. A painful cry escaped his mouth as he grabbed the Rai’s arm and attempted to push the blade away from him. This only caused the sophomore to sink the dagger deeper into his pale skin. Aaron’s blue eyes lit up as the acid-like burning sensation inflamed his nerves. The air around him became dense with an ominous feeling of anger. Natsumi turned to scowl at Tarje. “Don’t bait him, you idiot. He has Aaron.” In response, Tarje looked casually to the stacked wooden framed windows just to the left of them. She followed his gaze without words. Almost every pain of glass had a web of radial fractures that had not been there previously. Her chocolate eyes returned to him for understanding, but he only smiled. Tarje directed his attention back to Rai. “Slavery is a bold word when all Alex and his father did was save your family from destruction.” Anger radiated from the red-haired boy’s body as his lavender eyes glowed with hatred. His shaking hands drove the blade deeper as the silver ate away at Aaron’s flesh. He tried to keep himself straight and his eyes focused, but his vision began to blur. The air around his body darkened to visible clouds of black smoke. Creaking could be heard in the floorboards and the ceiling as the wood bowed from an invisible force. The glass screeched as cracks continued through its surface. “Saved us?! They took our home! Our land! My friends and family died in that siege! How dare you say that they saved us!” The atmosphere around the boy he was holding hostage became so toxic that Natsumi and Tarje could only see his slitted, scarlet eyes. The blue-haired girl quickly glared back at her partner at how stupid this idea was. When her vision returned to Aaron, she noticed a shift in his personality. Instead of fear and pain, that swirled through his azure orbs only seconds beforehand, she found only anger.

Aaron wrapped his fingers around the blade of the silver knife. His movements were steady, as if he didn’t feel pain eating away at his hand. Rai’s glowing eyes widened. He was shocked that he was suddenly losing strength against the boy. In a moment of animalistic defense, he ripped his fangs through the fledgling’s neck. Whatever held Aaron together before then snapped and the walls all gave way at once. The windows from either side of the hallway fractured, blowing glass into the corridor. The wooden walls cracked and bend. The ceiling caved inward and the wood rafters came crashing down on the red head boy. Rai screamed as several beams of timber pierced through his arms, legs, and torso, as if they were targeting him.

Natsumi and Tarje shield their eyes from the flying debris. When they looked back to the scene, what they saw shocked them. An eerie, unnatural blackened wind circled the fledgling. The air was so thick that it obscured his body. The blue-haired Japanese girl walked closer, her footsteps were light and cautious. Her blonde-haired companion followed close behind, looking around as he did so. The place was a mess. Fragments of glass and splintered wood was strewn across the ground. There was now a gaping hole in the ceiling and all the rafters had caved into the lower level. Tarje was relieved that Natsumi’s barrier was still active, or else this would be quite a mess to clean up. As his blueish eyes scanned the extent of the damage, he felt his body collide with warm fabric and long strands of hair. He looked up to see his partner had stopped. “Natsumi, what the hell-” His voice was quickly shushed as the girl’s dark eyes shifted to glare at him. “What?” He responded. Natsumi crouched so that Tarje could see what she was gesturing to. An unsettling feeling formed a pit in his stomach as he examined Aaron’s body. His freshman uniform was torn and tattered. His skin was slightly grey. His was on his knees and was virtually unresponsive. He didn’t look around or acknowledged them in any way, despite his haunting crimson eyes being open. One would assume that he was dead, if Natsumi and Tarje couldn’t hear his heartbeat. It was indeed beating, but far faster than it should be. It was almost like he was in shock. “Aaron?” Natsumi asked the husk of the boy. Her voice was soft, gentle, but even so, he didn’t respond. She looked up to Tarje with eyes of great concern. His gaze moved from her to the body behind her. That was when he realized something. “Natsumi, look, a beam is sticking through his leg.” She turned and immediately found what he was talking about. A long rafter of timber, which had been ripped through the ceiling due to Aaron’s power, had impaled through the boy’s hamstrings and was laying on the other side. Natsumi then saw that the edges of the log were painted in silver. “Shit. Tarje, there’s silver-” “I see it.” He kneeled down to help her move it. As soon as their fingers touched the glittering paint, their nerves exploded with pain. They moved the beam, only slightly, before having to put it down. That small adjustment caused a cry of agony to escape the mouth of the boy as pain shot up his leg. The gale of darkness became agitated and the ground rumbled. The wooden floor panels splintered in two and the crack ran down the hallway. Natsumi dropped the timbered log as hands burned. “Ow.” She said as she blew air over her fingertips. “We’re going to have do this another way.” Tarje nodded as he watched the paneled floor slowly bend outwards. He seemed to be the only one who noticed this. “We have to be careful.” Her bright pigtails tilted to the side in confusion. “Any particular reason why?” She asked as she stood by him. The blonde gestured to the destruction. “Look around. All of this is because of him.” Natsumi sighed. “Lighten up, it’s not like this is his fault.” “I’m pretty sure it is.” She rolled her eyes at Tarje’s stubbornness. “Make yourself useful and split this log for me so we get Aaron back to himself and go home already.” The blonde-haired Norwegian simply crossed his arms as a ribbon of water rose from the tipped dispenser and spiraled around his body. The strip of liquid whipped towards the timbered panel, it hardened to ice as it collided into the wood surface, cutting the rafter in two. Next, it was time to deal with the part of the beam piercing through the boy’s femoral artery. “Now for the hard part.”

Natsumi prematurely flinched as her pale, peach colored skin mutated to a sapphire tone. Her fingers solidified to its crystalline form. “You sure this is gonna work?” Tarje asked over her shoulder. The blue-haired girl simply shrugged, “one way to find out.” Natsumi took a deep inhale, before grabbing hold of the silver laced wood pillar. Almost immediately, her palms inflamed with a stinging pain. She ignored the sorenesses running up her forearms and pulled the beam out of Aaron’s leg with one swift motion. The boy screamed as the poison paint scraped through his tendons. A gust of ebony exploded from Aaron’s body as the hallway shook. Cracks spread out from under his knees and ran up the walls. The ceiling gave way as pillars, bricks, and slabs of timber slammed into the level below. Natsumi and Tarje had to sidestep closer to Aaron to keep from being buried. When the room became steady, they turned to check on the fledgling to see a tall student with dark bangs and amber eyes. The boy was wearing an identical uniform, except for the jacket and the tie, which was black and red respectively. In his arms, was Aaron.

“Alex.” The Japanese girl smiled. “About time you showed up.” Tarje stood next to Natsumi, brushing dust from his school uniform. “I’m sorry it took me so long.” Alex said as he examined the condition of the unconscious teen. Blood was spewing from the gash in his leg and showed no sign of healing. That wasn’t the only thing that caught his eye. As he scanned Aaron’s body, he noticed his blue, freshman jacket was in tatters. Through a tear in the sleeve, Alex saw a swirling pattern on the boy’s inner region of his right arm.

“Alexandru Tepes.” A mysterious, pained voice laughed. Natsumi and Tarje turned to glare at the red head, who had been silent for several minutes. Alex looked up to the vampire, whose limbs had been impaled by several wooden rafters. Rai gave him a menacing smile as his own blood dripped from his lips. “I should’ve known he was one of yours. I can smell that corrupted power running through his veins-” He was cut short as the blonde Norwegian’s elbow connected with their captive’s cheek. “Shut up, already.” Rai Tanaka forcefully exhaled as his lavender eyes glared down at Tarje. The reddish eyes of Alex lowered to slits of suspicion. He shifted Aaron to one hand and prepared to confront this stranger, when he heard a quiet groan of pain from the boy he was holding in his arms. He looked down to see his eyes were still closed, but he could sense him starting to stir. “Tarje, Natsumi, can you take care of these students?” They both nodded. “Wait!” They turned back to Rai, who was attempting to break free of his wooden restraints. “You finally get here and you just throw us to your exemplars?!” He looked to his partner, Hanako, who was still trapped inside a pillar of ice. “You can’t just ignore us like you have for the last thousand years!” Tarje gestured silently to the redhead student and Alex nodded in reply. The block of ice that confined the blonde sophomore melted and her sleeping body fell to the ground. The liquid rose and funneled towards Tarje, before solidifying in his hands. With a swift motion, Rai’s body went limp. Alexandru bit down on his thumb. As the blood dripped from his fingertips, the beads of red changed directions, careening into the beams that held the unconscious body of Rai Tanaka. Such a force cut the timbered pillars in half. The boy fell to the ground.

Now that Alex was no longer distracted, he turned his attention back to Aaron, specifically the design embedded into his skin. Curious, he removed the boy’s jacket and the pattern became more apparent. On his inner arm was a tattoo of a lavish sword with folded, angelic wings, that took up the majority of his lower forearm. The color was black and it felt like something other than ink. The design gave him an ominous feeling of deja vu, but he couldn’t think of a reason why. “That’s a nice tattoo. Though, he’s a little young to get something so permanent.” He looked up to see Natsumi, crouching next to him. He nodded. “The design looks familiar, but I can’t remember where I’ve seen it before.” The blue-haired girl pulled her phone from her pocket. “I’ll take a picture of it and we can look it up later.” “Nat, can you help me out here?” She turned to see Tarje carrying Rai. He was gesturing to Hanako at his feet. “Right, I’m coming.” She stood and straightened her skirt. She looked back to Alex and Aaron, who was still unconscious. Her gaze dropped to the laceration in his leg. “Is he gonna be ok?” The boy smiled at her concern. “He’ll be fine. I’ll take care of him while you’re gone.” “Natsumi, come on.” Natsumi glared at her blonde counterpart. “I get it. Hold on.” She held out her hand and the barrier’s glass walls collapsed in on themselves. They shrunk into a small, crystal pyramid in her hand. She looked around at the perfectly pristine hallway of the Locus Solis lecture hall. The building was now empty, but it didn’t seem like any time had passed. Natsumi shoved the glass miniature into her pocket and helped Tarje carry the blacked out sophomores out of the building.

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