The day was warm, a new school year and everything was going great I was in the normal first day of school high feeling. Unlike the other 10,000 students here I enjoy the learning process. All the classes I wanted and everyone had another familiar face in the classroom. JR year was going to be fabulous.
I followed the normal school routine of class bell class bell. I was sitting through class after class feeling like an inmate, just putting in his amount of time. Then the heavenly lunch bell rang. Who was I going to be this year? My best friend Victor and Lucius are in another lunch so I was quite alone in the cafeteria. This is a new feeling for me, loneliness. I normally have so many friends seems like Van and Lucius take up most of my time these days. I decided to sit with some familiar faces because maybe best friends need other friends too. The people sitting around the cafeteria are chilling and talking waiting to go back to class to either text or sleep because no one gives their attention to the actual lesson.
I sat next to a girl with dark black hair whose name is Kristine she introduced me to the other “Goth/Rejects” around the table. Some of them I already knew from classes last year. Tina, a heavy guy who is always found sitting with his best friend Jeffie. Jhon was a tall kid without much taste and sitting on his lap was Katarina. When it seemed like all was going great a guy at the table behind me stood upon the table and said in a loud voice, “Everyone needs to clap”! The tables started clapping immediately and in bewilderment, I began clapping as well. He stood up on the table and said in the same commanding voice, “We the Others would like to extend an invitation to Joyce and welcome her to sit at our tables”. Then an administrator came by and told him to get down and stay seated for the remainder of the lunch period. This aroused giggles and I was slightly embarrassed as I stood to take a bow. When the bell rang we, all said goodbye and trudged off to our next class. Everyone else was complaining while I stayed silent because like I said school is the highlight of my day.
When I finally got home around 3:00 I slung my bags into a chair and watched mindless T.V. Around 5:00 I heard the phone ring since I know everyone else is too lazy to answer I got up from the couch and answered. It is my old friend Josh from middle school, “You wanna go out?” This is very out of the blue and I am a bit reluctant to answer. I mean he hated me in middle school and I didn’t exactly like him. Once you got past his face; my thoughts stopped when I thought of his face. I remember why I had hard feelings. He is like a god in motion. That person that makes running in gym clothes appears sexy. I answered him “Sure what the hell. Where are we headed?”
“A party.” He replied with hesitation I didn’t hear.
“Kool, what time?” I asked trying to keep my voice down because mom was trying to hear what I had to say. She is always being nosy and trying to interrupt my plans. Plus I was nervous that the hottest guy ever was asking me out. I am past swooning.
“Like 9:00 I wanna make sure my parents are asleep first.” He replied smoothly in a deep rich voice.
“Kay see ya then” I hung up the phone in a hurry and went upstairs dragging my brat sister with me. She yelled and asked me in very impolite terms what I was doing. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing! I am so giddy that I forgot to think about anything. This is not normal behavior from me, maybe Lizzy. “Lizzy, I am going to a party tonight will you be able to cover for me?” She smiled that you owe me forever smile and answered said: “If you drive me to my Boy Friend’s house and tell mom you are going to hang with me at a movie?” “OK Lizzy, I’ll do it for you if you help me.” “Sure” I ran her out of my room as I nervously got ready. What do people were to late night party’s?
I dressed in a hurry wearing a black Tripp dress styled after old military outfits with red accents to its midnight color. It hugged my 5-foot body just right. I prefer to accent my emerald eyes instead of hiding them under tons of makeup, so I put on some black eyeliner and red lip gloss. My hair is always wild and curly nothing was going to tame it, so I let the curls drape over my left eye and pushed the other side up with a rolled red bandana. The bandana would act as a cool rag if it got too hot. I may have issues with my body but I must say, tonight I looked damn good.
That’s the thing about me I deceive myself into having a high self-esteem. To anyone else I am vain, but Van and I know different. Van was the one who caught me dumping lunches and dinners in the trash. He cares so much but never once has he had the balls to ask me out. Enough about him I am not a sappy teen falling for her hot BFF who won’t look at her! I have a date tonight. I grabbed my hooker boots and left the house as quietly as I could.
He pulled up at 8:59 in a Chevy Cavalier that looked as if it had seen better days. I was stunned when I looked into his face. His light misty blue eyes met mine and it set my heart to beating in my chest.
When I finally found the nerve to talk he was already pulling away from my street. “So where are we going?” “You’ll see”, his eyes glittered with mischief and his voice soothed that tight feeling in my stomach. The rest of the ride was quiet except for the radio which played nothing memorable. When we pulled up to the party there wasn’t room to park on the street. Luckily we found a car pulling out so he parked only a few houses down.
The party had spilled onto the lawn. He turned to me and said in his rich voice “Stay close to me and don’t wander off I don’t know everyone here and I am not sure how we will fair against them.” He started to get out and I stopped him. “I have one question for you before I go to this party, friend.” My voice was shaking and I hoped he didn’t notice. “Why did you call me to go with you?” He laughed a deep melody that was something to hear. “Why not? You are always happy and you are the sexiest woman I have met in a long time. I am hoping to remove the friend in your statement by the end of tonight.” After he had finished Talking he grabbed my hand and whisked me into the yard crowded with people.
We entered the yard and I was bombarded with people way older than us and a feeling of danger mixed with my already overloaded nerves. Maybe that was the fact that my stomach was flipping at going out with hotness and I am not sure how well I handled liquor yet. I don’t truly think I am in any danger. Many of them greeted Josh by name that followed by a very odd handshake. This handshake reminded me of kindergarten when a secret handshake was all you needed to get into a group. The image made me giggle and my nerves released a little.
A guy with shoulder length golden blond hair and green eyes came to greet us on the steps. I guess he is the host. “Hey, Josh my man I thought you weren’t coming, but not unpleased that you did show up.” Then the man turned to me and was beside me with his arm around my waist a little tighter than comfortable. “This young morsel is more tantalizing than the others you have been bringing to us what is she 0 or AB negative?” his voice was filled with longing and something else. I shuttered and he smiled then frowned at my face. I am taken aback maybe there is something wrong with me or maybe the major zit I hid with cover up is showing. I don’t know but he was looking quite repulsed. I am a little hurt by this man’s repulsion and confused.
Then he turned to Josh. His face is no longer playful and his light green eyes have turned to forest green with anger. “Joshua Brian, How dare you bring an unintelligent human into our mists?” He yelled. I opened my mouth to say how unhappy I was at being called unintelligent? Especially after the repulsed gaze, he gave me! I am very insulted and pissed because of the slander coming from this man’s mouth. I am far more advanced than my age would let onto. When he turned to me and a frown creased his lips the angry retort was swallowed back. This man could insult me all he wanted. I didn’t realize it right away, but I was afraid and suddenly found myself calculating what I could do if I was stuck in a jam. There are too many people here to run and truly if this man is angry all I could do is play the innocent. Unless the people gathered are indifferent to this argument. Then I may just be able to slip away. That seemed unlikely though. As these and other plans ran through my head Josh and the man were speaking.
“She has no idea who I am what we are even a hint of fear for what might be. You disgrace me young one, come back when she knows all she see’s.” His voice swelled louder than I thought humanly possible. Josh fell to his knees in front of this man as if he was a slave to his will and said in a hushed tone, “Xavier, Please I was going to tell her after the party and after she had met the gang so I may bring her as my own, but I see the error of my ways and will inform her immediately.” The man with green eyes held Josh’s blue gaze for a while and then said in a low tone so I could barely hear it, “Dear boy it is ok, but please do not think I am overly angry with you this girl’s fate was in our hands. If I or any other came tonight with lust upon us she would not have lived to see her next birthday and you would have that blood on your lips for eternities.”
Josh got off his knees shakily and said in a blank tone “Joyce, I am taking you home with me and you shall know everything.” We walked to his car and drove to the north end of town when I smelt fire.
Josh muttered something unpleasant and speed up to breakneck speeds. We were in the rich end of town and someone’s house was on fire. We tore down a long driveway when I noticed the house on fire was the house we were going to. He stopped the car and turned to me. “Joyce I have some instructions for you. Please follow them carefully.” I nodded and he proceeded to tell me his directions.
“You must stay in the car do not call the police. If anything or anyone comes near the car hit the gas and don’t worry about if you hit it or injure it just get away from the shit head. If I do not return in about twenty minutes go back to Xavier’s house. He will handle things from there.” His face was serious as if he was going to go inside or something stupid like that. I looked toward the burning building and when I turned back to face him, he was gone. Quickly I looked to the open front door and the tall figure going inside. I tried not to panic, but I did. Oddly enough I don’t panic like freak out. I become detached from my body like my emotions don’t matter. I don’t know if it is normal but I know it keeps me safe. I began thinking about the reactions I could be having and what he said. Calling the police sounds logical but how do I tell them that when I got here the place was already alight. What do I say that would appease them? They would call my mom. Endgame, police are out of the question.
The smoke is heavy now and the neighbors are going to notice soon. I guess he is a crazy man. I waited for fifteen minutes as directed. I pulled the car into gear when a man stepped out from the house. I think it was a man. It moved slowly and I could tell it was in pain like a baby bird that has lost its ability to fly.
The surprise came when it got into the car beside me and started to speak in rasping tones, “Please Joyce drive somewhere dark and I will repay you greatly.” I sat and thought for a moment. I was hardly in the position to argue strange things are happening and I didn’t want to get him into more trouble than necessary. I thought for a long while using the detached feeling to my advantage. Where do the hell you find a place like that in my hometown, though? “I have no idea where to take you.” Honesty is the best policy after all. He wheezed this time and I just caught Xavier’s name.
I drove back to the man with the angry emerald eyes. I have no idea why I didn’t take him to the hospital. Perhaps it is an instinct that told me to do what Josh asked or what I thought he asked. Perhaps angry eye is a doctor and Josh doesn’t have insurance?
When I arrived Xavier looked pleased as I exited the car. I unrolled the bandanna and pulled it over my head to keep the hair from my eyes as I drug Joshes body out of the car. He laughed and said, “Yeah it can have that kind of…” He stopped and looked at what was in my hands. I spoke so quickly I could hardly know what I was saying but Xavier knew and I had a feeling he was the man to tell. When I had finished my tale of this crazy charcoal man named Josh
he started giving orders. “Nightmare, Jacob, and Tony get Josh to the dungeon give him O negative that should rouse him enough to get some information, be gentle. Brenna please escorts Miss. Joyce to my room and give her another set of clothing and be nice she has been through a lot. I will siphon information from her when I get upstairs. This could be a long night. Everyone move.” His voice was calm and I think I would like him.
I followed Brenna to a giant old wooden door. She moved with lethal grace and was a little distressing disquieting. She strolled into the huge room that was hidden by the wooden door. The decorator must have been female because the room held subtle touches of femininity over the masculine look. I was surprised at the size of the room though because a king sized bed looked small in this the room. It was colored in neutral browns and accented with deep burgundy trim.
Once inside of the huge room Brenna was right behind me. She stopped so I could see her face and said with annoyance “If there is anything I can do for you ask now while I am here.” I thought and could think of nothing I needed but facts. “Thank you for the hospitality.” She turned to leave and said coolly “It’s not my call X has this house and he asked me to do this. Clothes are in the dresser.” She pointed to the large dresser and left me.
She left and I was alone in a strange house and mom would be worried. MOM!! I looked to the nightstand for a clock. It is eleven sharp my mother is going to kill me. Lizzy would have told them by now normally I am in by ten. My worry and nerves just went up like a thousand fold!
I lay upon the soft bed and sighed. I was never going to get any sleep here. I got to my feet and paced the room.
What the hell is going on?
Where the hell am I?
Where is Josh? I need the answers he promised.
Who are these people?
“GOD HELP ME!” I wanted to scream the phrase but I whispered it to myself and was surprised when the door opened and Xavier walked in. Maybe, I would be able to get some answers now. I opened my mouth, but quickly shut it when I looked at his face. He looked older than he had before. He sighed loudly and said in a low worn voice, “I know you have many questions, but I must ask you to refrain and ask Josh when he comes to see you. Until that point I want you to stay here.”
What do I say to this tired worn out man standing opposite to me? His face was so young but those eyes were older than I could imagine. His green eyes pleaded with me. Now I understand why Victor got upset when I looked at him with pleading eyes. “Ok, but I will need to call my mother.” He looked like the thought had never crossed his mind. “Yes, you can use my phone.” He pulled out a navy blue razor from his back pocket and with it, a dagger fell out. It had a small dagger with the characters “永遠不會忘記” written across it. I handed the dagger to him and he handed the phone to me. I dialed the house number and in three rings Lizzy picked up. “Hello” she said in a quivering voice. I took a breath to calm my frazzled nerves. “Hey Lizzy” I smiled at the thought that this would be her one day calling in a drunken haze wanting me to pick her up. She started shouting in my ear “Joyce I am never doing this again Mom is mad and Dad is so worried. I am so sorry but I had to tell them when it got too late.” I sighed this was all giving me a headache. “Lizzy give the phone to mom please.”
I could hear the phone being passed from person to person. “Joyce are you ok? I am worried sick.” I tried to slur my words because this all depended on the fact that I can act drunk or sober when I wanted to.“Yess, Mom I am fine.” Now was the yelling the part I didn’t want to happen because I am sure this man I hardly know would not want to hear my parents tirade about irresponsible daughters. “Where are you Joyce I will come picking you up? Are you drunk?” She wasn’t yelling but she was mad as hell. It’s when parents are calm that a child truly needs to worry about the reaction. “Mom I am sorry I am going to stay at Brenna’s house tonight her Dad said he give me a ride home in the morning and we can talk then I am so close to passing out that I think it would be best for me just to rest a little.” She was thinking and I could just hear her brain frying on all of the anger inside her. I can’t really blame her, though.
“Why not just come home, darling?” She sounded scared for me. I also could understand that. This is when that detachment is helpful also. It gives me a clear head to speak with my parents. I almost laughed aloud at the fact that this was a normal teen to parent conversation. “Mom by the time you get here I would be passed out and then I would need to be carried into the house and all. I am safe here and not driving or walking around drunk.” She sighed and I could almost feel my father’s frustration over the line because he couldn’t hear me talking. “Ok honey, I will see you tomorrow just don’t expect me to go easy on you because you have a hangover.” “Bye mom loves you” I hung up because I didn’t want her to change her mind anytime soon. I held out the phone to Xavier. He took it and then was silent for a long time.
“Look Joyce I can’t tell you everything but I can say Josh will explain and ask you to think on all of the possibilities. Meanwhile get some sleep. You can find adequate clothing in the wardrobe.” He turned and left to god knows where.
I found a pair of flannel sweat pants and a tee shirt. I took a quick shower and dressed. I don’t know why but Xavier made me feel safe. I laid down positive I would not fall asleep, but when my head hit the goose feather pillows I dozed off quickly. The last thought I had was about where X was sleeping tonight.