Teya woke in a fright. Was everything she witnessed just a bad dream? She couldn’t stop the pounding in her head or the fast rhythm of her heart. She looked around noticing she was not at the frat house or in her apartment. She then saw the blonde from last night sitting next to the window as if soaking up the afternoon sun. Teya wanted to scream, but she knew screaming would be pointless. She tried to remain calm.
“Are you keeping me here for the others to come get me?” she asked, her voice cracking. Only his eyes looked at her as he responded; his head continued to face the window.
“I would’ve killed you last night if that were the case. You fainted,” he replied. Teya held her head.
“What are you?” she asked. Ken smirked.
“I can tell you are afraid. You saw them last night, didn’t you? Monsters, that’s what they are. Vampires,” he replied. Teya looked confused.
“I thought vampires couldn’t be in the daylight?” she asked. Ken remained quiet. His arm remained perched on his knee, and his foot was resting on the windowsill. “You’re not like them, are you? But I saw you jump up to the balcony. You have the same speed and unearthly presence. What are you?”
Ken slowly rose to his feet and walked towards Teya, trying not to alarm her. Before he could control himself, he stumbled weakly. Teya moved towards him hesitantly, but everything in her nature reached out to him. She reached for his shoulder as he crouched with one knee on the ground. He grabbed her wrist quickly, and the hot liquid flowing through her veins called to him. That was the part of himself he hated. He pushed her away.
“Just leave,” he said. His voice was raspy and raw. His vampire organs craved blood but he had to resist. He would never harm a human. Not the part of himself he wished to fully become. Teya looked shocked at his response.
“I’m sorry. I was just trying to help,” she said. Ken leaned against the bed.
“Don’t. I’m dangerous. I am half-vampire. Your blood is calling to me,” he said. Teya swallowed her fear.
“So you are still human? Is that why you’re weaker now?” she asked. Ken sighed.
“You’re persistent aren’t you?” he replied. Teya wrapped her arms around herself for comfort, slowly sitting on the ground with her knees touching her chest.
“I’m afraid. The only way for me calm myself is to understand what it is I’m afraid of,” she said, her voice cracking. “I can’t go home, can I? The police will be swarming the campus.”
“Tell the police the truth. You don’t know anything. If you tell them about Allen and Salina, they will hunt you down and kill you. Either that, or the police will think you are crazy. You don’t want to get involved,” he told her. Tears fell down her cheeks.
“I have nowhere else to go,” she cried.
“There could be worse things,” Ken said; with such sadness that more tears fell down Teya’s face. “You’re alive. Allen wouldn’t hesitate to kill if he found out about you.”
Teya shivered. “Is he the leader or something? He looked so evil. I saw what he did to Leslie. He tore her apart.”
Ken shifted his weight to his other leg uncomfortably. The mentioning of Allen had put him on edge.
“Allen is nothing to fuck with. He is ancient, and he has no heart or soul. He won’t hesitate to kill anyone,” he said, standing abruptly. He unbuttoned his shirt and removed it with one smooth motion. Teya gasped and turned away before her blush revealed itself on her face. Ken smirked.
“Are you alright?” he teased.
“Yes,” she replied shyly. Ken walked over to and squatted in so they were face-to-face. Teya met his gaze. His deep-blue eyes pierced her light brown ones. A huge mistake, because now she was lost.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispered. Even his voice pierced her skin, causing her to shiver. He grabbed her shaking hands and placed them over his beating heart. It was only after she got over the fact her hands were touching his smooth pectorals that she felt something odd. There was a slow rhythm, almost like his heart was failing.
“Your heart beat is”
“The human organs are slowly being consumed by the vampire’s hunger,” he interrupted, releasing her hands and standing up.
“What do you eat, then?” Teya asked, following him into the kitchen as he put on his shirt.
“Fruits and veggies on a good day, nothing else is sustaining enough for me at the moment. The older I grow, the weaker I become. I may even die.”
“No, don’t say that. You should just stay away from Allen and any other vampire, and try something else.”
“I wish it was that easy, but it isn’t,” he whispered, leaning against the counter.
“Do you do this often?” she asked, snapping Ken out of his trance.
“Save women and bring them back to your place?”
Ken smiled. She was straightforward, even in her fear. “Not jealous are you?” he teased.
“No! Of course not! Just wondering if you were some kind of superhero or something, rescuing damsels in distress?” she quickly retorted, walking around the kitchen and touching the cabinets as if studying the material. Ken found himself admiring her, engulfing her intoxicating scent. It was more than just her blood calling to him. Ken realized it had been awhile since he’d been this close to a person. She smelled wild and pure. Ken’s heart began to beat a little bit faster.
“The sun will be setting soon. You should go. I’ll call you a cab. It’ll be harder for them to track you this way,” Ken said, grabbing his cell phone.
“Them?” Teya asked, looking worried. “There’s more than just Allen and Salina?”
Ken nodded. “Lots more. This is why we can’t see each other again. I’m sorry I’ve brought you this far.”
Teya wanted to protest, but she knew he was right. This was dangerous. They couldn’t be friends. The cab honked outside twenty minutes later as they sat in silence for a while. Ken opened the door for her without saying a word. Teya grabbed his hand and kissed him on the cheek bravely.
“Thank you,” she said. He watched her hop into the cab and drive away into the sunset. The spot on his jaw where she’d kissed him burned from her soft lips. Ken groaned in frustration and stepped back into his apartment of loneliness. He paced the room until darkness fell. The moon was high in the sky. He sucked in a huge breath, trying to prepare himself for what was to come once he left the comfort of his home to the hell on the other side of town.
The abandoned house on the other side of town, where no one dared to enter or even drive by due to rumors of its haunting, was where the vampires slept. The house truly was haunted to Ken. There was much dread in the house. He’d lived in the house for as long as he could remember. There were no happy times – only training and fear. No love, no childhood, only hatred for Allen, every second he was in his presence. He blamed his father for this oppression, and had grown to hate him as well.
He walked into the house just before they rose from their coffins to feed and terrorize. Ken sat at the old table with a bottle of water. His mind was not focused. He was as still as a statue as he stared into the depths of darkness. His cheek still burned, even though he made sure to clean his face. Her scent was still embedded in his nose, wheezing its way through his thoughts. The bottle was suddenly knocked across the room by a powerful force, taking out the table as well. Ken only moved his eyes to stare at the attacker. He was thinking clearly now, and he noticed everything in his surroundings.
“I don’t understand why you drink that human crap, Ken,” Salina said, folding her arms. A low growl rumbled in Ken’s chest. Allen entered the room, fixing his tie. Ken never looked back at him, but he knew he was there. He could always sense that dark, brooding aura. Bile rose in his stomach in disgust.
“Yes, Ken, it’s very like you to cater to that weak side of you. You know I don’t allow any of that in my house,” Allen said, speaking fairly normal. There was no anger or forceful tone in his voice. He didn’t beat him this time for disobeying. Something was up. Allen was in a good mood, and that meant destruction to all. Allen’s good mood caused explosions and thousands of dead bodies. Ken stood up, with no rush in his movements. He walked right by Allen, heading for the door. Allen stopped him by grabbing his shoulders. Ken and Allen stood face-to-face, both at 6’4 and made of pure muscle. They stared into each other’s eyes, neither flinching, both deadly. Ken’s shoulder felt like maggots crawling.
“You smell sweet,” Allen taunted, sniffing the air.
“The woman I fed on last night,” Ken lied, trying to keep his heart from beating too loudly. He suddenly felt scared for Teya, but kept his voice and emotions numb. Allen squeezed Ken’s shoulder until it cracked. Ken didn’t flinch. As always, he took the pain.
“You didn’t kill her, did you?” Allen asked. Ken’s eyes glinted with menace, and he pushed Allen’s arm away forcefully.
“Leave it alone,” he growled, grinding his teeth.
“You are so weak. You shame me,” Allen snarled, crouching to attack.
“Stop it!” A woman with a Spanish accent cried, who walked into the kitchen. “What’s going on in here?”
“Stay out of this, Rosa. This piece of shit is so weak, he let a human bitch go,” Allen roared. Rosa looked over at Ken who turned away from her.
“Allen, go feed with Salina. I’ll take care of Ken,” she said. Allen straightened up before the only person who could stand up to him without consequence. He fixed his clothes in the proper way sophisticated men did before speaking.
“Let’s go, Salina,” he said, never taking his eyes off Ken. “I’ll deal with you when I get back.” He walked away, feeling Ken’s eyes burning his back as he left.
“Ken, stop taunting him,” Rosa said. Ken shook his head.
“I can’t be here anymore Rosa. I hate him. I hate this.” He kicked the already-broken table. “I’m leaving.”
“I won’t stop you. I don’t blame you, either,” she said. Ken looked back at her now. She smiled and grabbed his cheeks. “You are growing up so fast. Allen knows he won’t be able to control you for long. That’s why he has been so hard on you lately. Just give it time, ok?”
Without another word, Ken walked right past her and into the night. His first thought was Teya. He knew the police would be questioning her. He also knew the vampire hunters would be on the move.
Ken stopped walking when he reached the street corner. He knew someone was following him. “Come on out, boys. I know you’ve been following me since I left Park Avenue. A man soon jumped out the trees, while several others slowly exposed themselves around him.
“Well, well, well. Isn’t it too late to try and impress me? We’ve been fighting since I was little, Rod, and even then I kicked your ass,” Ken said. The one who had jumped out the tree laughed. He was skinny, but he had enough muscles to make due. He was tall and lanky, with short, black hair that lacked structure. He was shirtless, with a long chain going down his chest. He was the best thug in the neighborhood, or at least he wanted to be.
“Oh, it’s Little Shithead Ken. It’s been a long time. I remember how small you used to be. Looks like Little Shithead grew up,” Rod said, and his gang laughed. Ken placed each one of them in his mind, even the ones hiding in the darkness. He could see them perfectly.
“Leave, Rodney. I don’t want to hurt any of you,” Ken threatened calmly while the other vampires snarled and growled. Ken wasn’t fazed. He knew how weak this vampire gang really was. They were just pawns desperate to join Allen’s crusade. Idiots. A vampire to Ken’s left shifted his position. Ken didn’t flinch. Only his eyes moved, tracking him with vampire-like speed. It was then that the one towards the front ran full force at Ken, obviously thinking him distracted. Meanwhile, the one from behind ran up as well. Ken smirked.
“Ok, then.” With a speed much greater than theirs, Ken grabbed the man behind him and swung him around into the guy in front. More vampires attacked as Ken expertly flipped into the air, kicking one in the chin air midway. He landed on the attackers’ neck and twisted his foot until it cracked. He quickly tilted his head to the right, just in time to dodge Rodney’s chain. He turned around to meet Rodney head on.
The pawns began to attack before he could reach Rodney. He placed his hand on the first attacker’s head and twisted until his neck broke. As the second approached, he crouched down and prepared a huge uppercut to the attacker’s ribs. The blow sent the pawn flying across the field, smashing a tree on his way down. Rodney was next, and he was shaking as Ken approached.
“How? You aren’t even full-blooded!” he screamed. Ken popped his neck while rotating his shoulders.
“I can be human and still kick your ass. Don’t you know who I stay with? Compared to him, your hits are like kittens pawing my face,” Ken replied, landing a kick to Rodney’s shinbone. Rodney screamed as the bone cracked and dislocated.
“Fuck you, Ken! You little shit!” he called out. Ken ignored him as he began to walk away.
“That’s big shit to you,” he replied, and continued his walk down the street.
Teya sat nervously at the table of her dorm apartment, trying to keep her story as believable as possible for the police officer.
“Please give us a call, Miss Daniels, if you remember anything or see anything out of the normal,” they told her. Teya nodded and escorted the men to the door. There were two more at the door when she got there, waiting for the police officers to leave.
“Hi, Miss Daniels. I’m VA Inspector Ross, and this is my partner, Markees,” he said, introducing his partner. “We heard about your friend.”
Teya crossed her arms, staying safely in her apartment. “I’ve told the police everything I know, and it’s getting late. Can you guys come back another time?”
She started to shut the door, but Inspector Ross held it open.
“We need to talk to you now, Miss Daniels. This can’t wait,” he said. Teya gulped as they let themselves in.
“I’m sorry, who are you guys again?” she asked. Ross flashed his badge, and Teya gasped.
“Vampire Affairs?” As scared as she was, the simple thought of a whole police force dedicated to vampires seemed silly, even if she knew the truth.
“Vampires exist, Miss Daniels,” Markees stated. “And we know that your friend’s murder was no accident. She was one of the fifty poor college souls drained of blood last night. You had to have seen something.”
Teya sat on her couch, her legs becoming shaky.
“I didn’t. I’m sorry,” she said, running a shaky hand through her hair.
“Do you remember a face at that party that didn’t belong there? Anything you can remember would help us,” Markees said. Teya looked at him. She could tell he was the good cop in this scenario.
“I must’ve passed out from the alcohol. When I woke up, I learned my best friend was dead,” she said. Tears began to fall from her eyes. Ross grabbed her and began to shake.
“Stop lying! You’re trying to protect those bastards! They are murders!” he screamed, until Markees grabbed his arm.
“Enough, Ross. She’s already shaken up. Let’s call it a night and try again later.”
Ross released Teya from his grip. “We’ll be in touch,” he threatened, before turning and walking out the door.
“I’m sorry about him. He can be a bit on edge when it comes to catching these sick bastards. Be careful, Miss Daniels,” Markees said. He bowed lightly and walked out the door as well.
“Damn that man,” a voice said. Teya jumped out of her skin. She turned around to see Ken in her bedroom doorway.
“Oh my God! How the hell did you get in here?” she screamed. Ken reached out to comfort her.
“I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Well, that went as planned, didn’t it?” she asked, raising her voice as the stray tears continued falling from her face.
“Just sit down, please. Your heart is beating way too fast,” he begged. She wanted to argue, but he was right – she did need to sit down. Her head was spinning out of control, just like her life.
“What are you doing here? I didn’t rat you out, if that’s what you think. I told the police I didn’t know anything,” she said. Ken nodded, and he noticed her voice was straining to return to normal. God, he just wanted to grab her and comfort her. He had a strong impulse to hold her small frame close to his body. He remained standing, hoping to keep her calm.
“I heard the whole conversation. You did good,” he said. “He shouldn’t have touched you. The bastard.” She looked over at him, still holding her hand over her breast, hoping to rest her heart. That simple gesture caused a breath to leave Ken’s lungs, and he felt his groin grew hard, which was odd. Ken had so much control that he couldn’t afford to lose, but this woman just looked at him and he felt himself growing weak. She wasn’t even trying. Dear God, imagine if she did try. He would lose all control and have his way with her on the couch.
“How did you get in here?” she asked again, bringing him out his thoughts. He nodded towards her bedroom. “Your balcony is open,” he stated, rather simply. Teya got up instantly and walked to her room. A cold wind shivered down her spine from paranoia. She walked out into the cold night, staring in disbelief. She was on the sixth floor. The ground seemed so far down, she couldn’t believe that he’d climbed.
“You climbed?” her voice was a whisper, talking to herself in disbelief.
“No,” he replied, startling her. Once again, she jumped, this time almost falling off the balcony until a strong arm grabbed her.
“Do you ever make a sound?” she gasped, trying to relax.
“On occasion,” he replied, examining her arm. Anger fueled through him like fire. “He shouldn’t have touched you.” He tried not to snarl, but he couldn’t help himself as he reiterated back to Ross. He gently tugged her inside the house and closed the door behind him. Teya held where Ross grabbed her.
“It’s nothing. I just bruise easily,” she explained. Ken walked closer to Teya, trying to avoid any physical connection. She backed away from him, further and further until she hit the wall. He gently grabbed her arm and pressed his face close to it, memorizing the scent in his brain. A low growl escaped his throat.
“It was that fucking asshole,” he stated.
“You know him?” Teya said, watching as Ken rose to his full height, towering over her 5’6 frame.
“Yes, I knew he would show up. He’s the vampire hunters’ leader. He’s been tracking us for years. He has a vendetta against all things vampire. Based on some of the vampires out there, I don’t blame him. But he had no business touching you,” he said. Teya winced at his furious tone, licking her dry lips.
“He hasn’t killed humans, has he?” she asked. Ken noticed the fear in her voice. He backed away to give her space, and to calm himself. Disgust clenched his gut, and he couldn’t seem to stop the anger.
“Ross is as ruthless as he is dangerous. He will kill anything and anyone in order to destroy a vampire. Yes, even humans.” Teya gulped.
“I think he knew I was lying. What if he comes after me?” she asked. Her legs gave out, and she stumbled onto the floor. “First Allen and now Ross. You probably should’ve killed me back at the frat house.”
Ken squatted in front of her. “Ross isn’t anyone you should concern yourself with. He won’t touch you again, not with the police so close. He has limits. He shouldn’t have touched you, though.” His concern made Teya smile. “I’ll handle Allen,” he added. The room was quiet for a while.
“You lied to me, by the way,” she said. Ken looked startled.
“Yeah, you did, Mr. ‘We Shouldn’t See Each Other Again, It’s Too Dangerous,’” she teased. Ken placed his hand on his chin thoughtfully.
“I said that?” he asked. Teya laughed.
“The one and only. I was hoping to at least get the name of my hero. You never told me,” she replied. Ken rubbed a nervous hand through his blonde hair.
“It’s Ken Santanna,” he said. She held her hand out for him to shake.
“I’m Teya Daniels.”
Ken smiled and accepted the human gesture. Her small hands seem to fit so perfectly in his giant palms. Afraid of any more intimacy, he jerked away awkwardly.
“I should go,” he said. Before Ken could speed off, Teya grabbed his arm.
“Is this how it will be for now? You leaving, swearing to never to talk to me again, and then the next day you pop up?” she asked. Ken couldn’t help but admit she was right. He would see her again. Planned on it, actually. He just couldn’t get close to anyone. He was too afraid to ruin it. He had no excuse to check on her tonight. The police questioning her was important to protect the vampires, who he didn’t give a damn about, but something else had pulled her to him like nothing else ever had.
“I’m terrified, Ken. This new world is strange to me. I can’t conquer it alone,” she confessed. Ken’s heart melted. The pleading look in her eyes warmed him. “Don’t run away this time.”
He sighed before replying, “Ok. I’ll stay until you fall asleep.” She smiled, almost overwhelmed by the information.
“I’ll get dressed for bed then,” she said, turning away and gathering up some clothes.
“I’ll just be a second,” she said. Ken smiled and nodded. The thought of Teya naked in the bathroom sent a fire through him like never before. The years of control he’d accumulated were eroding away whenever he was around this woman. He looked around her bedroom and noticed a picture of her with Leslie on her dresser. They looked close, happy and sisterly. He hated that Allen had taken Leslie away from her. He could’ve stopped him if he hadn’t been so cowardly. He just wasn’t strong enough to stop him. Not yet.
Teya rested her back against the bathroom door. Her body was not her own. She was doing and feeling things she hadn’t in a long time. Why now? She thought. Why him? It had been a stressful day, what with the police hanging around the apartment, questioning her at every hour; and of course she was thinking about her murdered friend. Was she so lonely that she was falling into the arms of any man?
Not just any man – a handsome specimen of a vampire man. She covered her face, trying to give herself a pep talk to go back into the bedroom and control herself. Having reassured herself, she finally managed to change her clothes and walk out of the bathroom.
Ken sat on her bed, holding the picture of her and Leslie. As she came out, he looked up at her, immediately undressing her with his eyes. His control was really fading. The cami-strap top she wore snuggled her B cup breasts close, while her shorts showcased areas of her legs Ken desired to explore.
“I’m sorry about your friend. I should’ve stopped him,” he said, standing back up to place the picture on the dresser. Teya walked over to him. She placed her hand on his chest bravely, startling him. Even through the shirt, Ken felt the warmth of her hand pressed against his chest. It burned like the kiss.
“What are you...?” he started to ask, gritting his teeth to remain in control.
“It feels like your heart is healthier now,” she replied sweetly.
Oh yes, blood was definitely flowing now, and causing a long-lost friend to rise.
“I’m not as weak at night,” he finally managed to say without giving anything away. Teya let her hand fall to her side. She had no idea why she wanted to check on him, but she was worried about him. This wasn’t who she was, though. She’d just lost her best friend, and was grieving like a slut. She wanted Ken in more ways than one, but she wasn’t the type to just give herself so freely.
That’s why her ex had cheated on her. She shouldn’t want him – he was dangerous. He could’ve been coaxing her for his vampire friends to feed on. But when she looked up at him, face-to-face, she didn’t see a man capable of killing. He looked like he felt he was truly guilty for her death.
“Can I get you something to drink?” she asked. She needed to break the mesmerizing spell he was placing on her. Ken smiled wickedly and followed her towards the kitchen. She turned back, embarrassed. “No, I meant like water or wine, or something like that,” she corrected. Ken burst into laughter. The sound was raspy and new.
“I know what you meant. Yes, I would like some red wine,” he replied. Teya nodded and opened the fridge to bring out a bottle of red wine. She poured the glasses and handed one to Ken. He nodded his thanks, and held his glass up to toast with her.
“So what do you study here at the university?” he asked after taking a long sip of wine.
“Medical billing. I actually work at the hospital down the street through an internship. It’s something to pay the bills in the dorm, now that I have to pay them by myself,” she replied. There was a long silence.
“I’m truly sorry about your friend. Allen is ruthless and evil beyond belief.” That was all Ken could say to comfort her. He’d felt completely helpless watching Allen and Salina suck the life out of her friend, and out of those other students. Ken watched Teya walk back to her bedroom and lay against the headboard.
“Allen and Salina go out every night killing?” she asked. The thought made her sick to her stomach. Ken sighed and looked out the balcony to avoid her gaze.
“For centuries now,” he replied. He didn’t want to see her reaction, but he couldn’t help but turn to her. She was afraid, but not of him. That was a strange relief.
“Someone should stop them. Maybe the vampire hunters could? That Ross guy looks equipped enough,” she conjectured. Ken walked back towards her, wanting the closeness of the warmth she radiated.
“I can’t give up the others without giving up myself. Even if they bought my half-human side, Allen would likely escape and kill me himself. Either way, I would be dead,” he replied. Teya pouted, and Ken’s cock jerked and hardened even more. He wanted to kiss her lips until her pout was swollen with desire, moaning his name. He buried that image away in the back of his brain.
“Is Allen stronger than other vampires?” she asked, wanting this devil to have some kind of flaw. “Someone besides you? Maybe a group of vampires can take him?”
Ken laughed softly, and replied, “Trust me; you are the only human who wants to plot an attack on Allen. No one else would be that stupid. Allen is ancient in his ways.”
Teya opened her mouth to speak, but took a long sip of her red wine to stop herself from saying the wrong thing. Sometimes her curiosity got the best of her, and she didn’t want this to be one of those times.
“You’re literally shaking from his cruelty. Let’s change the subject,” he said, placing the comforter over her body. “I want to know more about you, Miss Daniels.” He rubbed her cheek gently trying to soothe her.
Honestly, he was trying to prevent her from packing up and running away once he left. Even though he wouldn’t blame her, if that’s what she wanted. He looked into Teya’s brown eyes, staring right into her soul. His hand lingered on her arms, barely touching her, but the connection was strong all the same.
Her warmth engulfed him. He was addicted to her, as weird as that was. His hand went up to her shoulder then to her exposed neck, and finally stopped at her cheek. It was the lightest touch, but Teya still shivered in anticipation. She arranged her body on the bed so she was facing him and leaned in closer.
She bravely placed her hands on his cheeks, and Ken held his breath. He couldn’t afford to lose control, but this woman was throwing years of training out the window. His cock begged for attention, becoming uncomfortably large inside his jeans.
“You need to rest now, Teya,” he said, clearing his throat because his voice was so husky. He left a kiss on her forehead and reached for his red wine. Disappointed and confused with herself, Teya agreed, and tugged herself back into the bed comfortably.
“I’ll take your dishes to the kitchen and let myself out. Just sleep now,” he told her. Teya nodded sleepily as he walked in the kitchen with the glasses. As he placed them in the sink, he heard the TV’s low rumblings in the living room with a breaking news report.
“A cruise ship headed for Hawaii today was attacked by almost one thousand of its passengers. No one knows what could’ve caused such a tragedy.”
“Allen’s good mood,” Ken scoffed. He shook his head and walked back into Teya’s room. She was already fast asleep. He smiled as he looked down upon her. As promised, he left through the balcony and into the cold night air.