While Aaren’s cohorts investigated the dilapidated warehouse and the corpse of Dacre Rosu. His body stopped suddenly. The surrounding voices echoed from a distant tunnel and his mind traveled further down the rabbit hole. The last thing he saw was Raizo and Royal, dousing the butcher shop with gasoline. Raizo took out a zippo lighter from his coat pocket.
He turned to Aaren. “We’re ready.”
Aaren didn’t acknowledge him.
That night as a child, he escaped the clutches of darkness. The touch of death. As Drake dragged him from beneath the bed, Aaren shrilled, kicking and thrashing against Drake’s iron grip before ripping the silver cross from his neck. He wrapped it around his fist and struck Drake across the jaw. He seized the moment and stood, nearly losing his balance before darting out his parent’s bedroom. Drake’s monstrous growl echoed down to the first floor of the flat.
He crashed through the open door and slammed it behind him. Then he hollered for help as he ran through the projects. He could barely see his hands in front of him, running blindly through the dark. House lights extinguished for the night and people slammed shut their doors and windows.
His lungs and legs felt like they were on fire. Aaren lost track of just how far he had run. He stopped for a break, almost falling over from exhaustion. He looked up to see a house. A two-story Victorian house with three front windows that resembled a face. He ran to the back door and pounded against it.
Aaren’s pre-pubescent voice broke as he yelled: “HELP ME PLEASE! ANYONE! HE’S GOING TO KILL ME-!”
“It’s not polite to yell,” a voice quipped.
Terror strangled Aaren like chains. His legs trembled, and he wet himself: a warm wash running down his legs. Somehow, he turned his head. Drake sat in a lawn chair in the yard, legs crossed and blue eyes blazing. A pink flamingo stood between him and Aaren; its small wheel creaking from a light wind. Aaren looked at Drake, then to the door. The house didn’t make a sound.
Drake wore a smirk and sat up. He sauntered towards Aaren. His skin was ungodly pale. Aaren thought he was the model he saw on billboards when he ventured into town. A part of his body felt compelled to approach Drake the longer he stared at him. Aaren succumbed to the deep blue wells of Drake’s eyes.
He heard a voice in the likeness of his mother that said: “Aaren, run…”
He pivoted off a foot and darted for the propane tank resting near the porch. Drake tilted his head and stopped mid-stride. With a hurl, Aaren smashed through the glass door and ran into the house. He fell to the floor, cutting his knee on the glass. He was in the kitchen. Drake stopped just at the door’s threshold, his face aloof.
Through terror, Aaren found it humorous. He chuckled. “What are you going to do, mate? You need an invitation to get in!”
Drake shook his head and wore a triumphant smile. He stepped through the door and leaned against the counter on his left.
“Abandoned. You didn’t do your homework, Aaren. You really think I’m a vampire?”
Aaren jumped, his body shaking. “Then- then what are you?”
Before Aaren could turn and run, he found himself strangled and his feet off the ground. Drake lifted him with one hand and tossed the poor lad outside. Aaren’s body rolled, toppling over a grill and chair. He groaned in pain. The sensation of his right arm no longer existed. He opened his eyes and saw Drake kneeling beside him.
“I’m not a vampire,” he said. “I’m something much worse… You took something from me Aaren. Now, I’m going to take something from you. The scarab. Where is it?”
Aaren reached into his hoodie and pulled out a small metallic object. A golden scarab that reflected in the moonlight. Drake took it and eyed it curiously before stuffing it in his jeans. Aaren got a closer look of his countenance. Blood painted the sides of Drake’s mouth like a Glasgow smile. The blood of his parents and sister whom he devoured. Surely he was next. Instead, Drake extended a finger. His claw grew and dug into his forehead.
“We’re all a slave to something Aaren,” he told him. “I, to eternity. You to your vengeance. Your vendetta. If you survive, then fester your hatred. Despise me. Loath me. Do what you must. Then, when you have enough hatred. Come and find me…”
He carved a brand into Aaren’s forehead, much like the one he wore on his chest. Then he slit his own palm, drawing fresh blood and bringing it to Aaren’s mouth. Aaren shied away and stifled a scream as Drake covered his mouth. He consumed Drake’s blood and the harder he fought; the more Drake squeezed. It was over in an instant and he took a revitalizing breath and gasped.
Drake was gone, and a sudden chill tore through his body. What came next was perhaps the most excruciating moment of his life…
Aaren shook his head. Raizo stood before him. The warehouse was ablaze. Large fires cackled and smoked filled the room. Royal emptied the last gallon of gasoline before tossing it into the fire. Aaren placed a hand on his mask. The mark on his forehead pulsated, burning and throbbing.
He came to his senses. “Raizo,” he said. “Drake was definitely here…”
When Drake awakened, the first thing he saw was Lyn lying by his side, naked. She opened her eyes and smiled, her full breasts pressed against him. He sat up and studied the unfamiliar room. Classical music reverberated from the floor below. He turned to Lyn, his face puzzled. Bandages and gauze covered his body along with an IV that pumped blood into his arm. Lyn rubbed the horrific scars and burns that adorned his chest.
“You’re that girl,” he said. “Why are you naked?” He peeked under the sheets. “Why am I naked?”
Lyn chuckled and traced his lips with a finger. “Because you and I have a spirit bond. If I sleep with you naked, my warmth speeds up your healing. Although, there is a faster way…”
Drake raised a brow. “Which is?”
Lyn wore a predatory expression. “By making love…”
His face turned a hundred shades of red. He looked away but felt Lyn wrap a hand around his thick cock and kissed his chiseled abdomen, going lower with each kiss. He tried to push her away, but she dived under the sheets. Drake gasped, and his body recoiled. Then he relaxed and placed a hand over her head as she pleasured him. What happened next was carnal, insatiable, and climatic.
Lyn moaned in pleasure, screaming, and the bed rumbled. The ballerinas in the floor below looked up, perplexed. Godfrey was mopping the floors and shared a glance with Kalen. Kalen took a sip of liquid courage from his flask and shrugged. The assistant coach Hester rushed to the sound system to turn up the music.
She scurried back to the other ballerinas. “Let’s continue ladies!”