No I didn't abandon this story,
but after being gone for three weeks I've had a lot to do. Now I'm
getting ready to go back to school. Yikes! So I'm sorry for
taking so long to get my act together. But what I really need to
apologize for is the last chapter. I was rushed and so I didn't have
time to really make it what I wanted. As a result it was confusing
and bizarre and I'm not happy with it at all. Now that that's over
with, let's get on with part five. I promise it will be a lot better!
This story is a work of fiction. It
is not meant to imply anything about the sexuality of the characters in
it. If you shouldn't read this then you probably will anyway, but
for the record I'm telling you not to.
The Darker Path- Part Five
There is an ancient feeling to the city of Rome
nestled in Italy's hills. It is old in a way that American cities
can not touch. Ruins from a long dead civilization stand side by
side with modern buildings. The stately cathedrals overlook wide
squares filled with fountains and statues made with a degree of skill and
artistry that man forgot hundreds of years ago. The Coliseum dwarfs
everything around it Here in one of the oldest cities on the planet
I had tracked Regan.
When I left New York I had no clear idea of where
I was going. Intuition sent me to London where I met my first real
vampires, aside from Regan. The Kin, as they insisted on being called
knew me on sight and were more than hospitable. I spent a week in
London enjoying the "culture." But they could not or would not tell
me where their master was. So I took my leave and headed to Paris.
There I found more of the Kin. Again they made me feel welcome.
And if they were slightly more arrogant then their peers in Britain, it
was easily overlook for the excellence of the cuisine. The French,
apparently drink enough of that fantastic wine that it sweetens their blood.
But I only spent three days in Paris. They too could tell me nothing
of Regan's whereabouts.
I went to Amsterdam for two days and then to Munich.
In both cities I found the Kin most accommodating and also completely useless.
By the time my search had reached the two week mark however I had begun
to recognize my intuition as something more. What really suprised
me about my visits was that Regan had also visited each of those cities,
in the same order as I did. It seemed as though I could track him.
Like a bloodhound on the trail I followed him through Nice, Vienna, and
finally to Rome. I could feel him there. My search had gone
on for over three weeks now, but I knew the end was near. I would
find Regan in Rome and I would have the answers I needed.
"He's not coming back."
"You heard me Justin."
"How do you know?"
"He's been gone for three weeks. Look I know
you cared about him but you need to get over it. I mean come on,
you only knew the guy for a couple of days. How attached could you
possibly be to him?"
More than you think Josh. He knew Zack
would come back to him. And when he did Justin would find a way to
make up for his behavior. He still couldn't remember exactly what
happened, but it must have been his fault. That was why Zack left,
but he would come back. Please God, let him come back! He
has to feel some part of what I feel for him. Please!
"Hey, let's go get some lunch. My treat."
"Yeah ok, let me change my shirt."
Actually JC had taken it pretty well when Justin
came out to the group. They all had. It had gone a lot better
than he expected, but he hadn't had much of a choice in telling them anyway.
Between JC's constant nagging about what was bothering him and Lance's
not so subtle hints that he'd feel better if he got it off his chest he'd
thought he was going to explode. After the way he had acted with
Zack they had all suspected anyway. None of them understood why he
was so upset about Zack leaving though. No one could understand.
Justin didn't fully understand it himself. He finished changing and
walked out to his living room to meet JC. Together they walked out
of the house and towards JC's car.
"I talked to Nick today."
"Yeah. He wanted to know how you were."
"And what did you tell him?"
"And that is?"
JC stopped in the middle of getting in his car and
looked right at Justin.
"That I'm worried about you. That your not
eating properly or getting enough sleep."
"Thanks a lot JC. It'll probably be all over
the news tomorrow."
"Justin you know Nick wouldn't do that. He
was really worried about you."
"I've hardly talked to him since the VMA's last
"Well you've both been busy but anyway I told him
he should stop by and see you since you're both in town..."
"JC are you trying to fix me up," Justin asked heatedly.
"No, not really. I just thought it might be
good for you to talk to..."
"You listen to me Josh! I do NOT want to be
fixed up with anyone especially by you. I guess this means you told
him I'm gay?"
"No, I didn't...well not really. We just got
to talking and he sort of asked and..."
"Oh that's just perfect! Want to borrow my
cell phone and call Entertainment Tonight next? Or MTV? Carson
Daily would have a field day with this!"
"Justin I'm only trying to help!"
"Well forget it. I don't need or want your
help. And I don't really want to go to lunch with you either, so
why don't you just get lost."
"Justin, wait! I'm sorry!"
"Not right now. Just leave me alone.
I am fine!"
Or I will be as soon as Zack gets back.
And it was with that thought in his head that he slammed the door in his
friend's face and collapsed on the couch in tears.
The light was fading by the time I finally halted
in front of a tall house in one of the newer parts of the city. Newer
of course being relative, this particular house had probably stood for
over two hundred years. It was a grand thing of marble and polished
wood. The house sat back away from the street on a private lot that
was larger than most this close to the center of the city. Tall trees
obscured it from the view of passersby. In truth it was large enough
to easily be considered a mansion, if not a castle. Ornate columns
and carvings decorated the exterior, as if trying to make up for the lack
I knocked on the enormous double doors at the front
of the house. I was half expecting them to open with an ominous creek
and no one in sight to move them, like in the old horror movies.
I was pleasantly suprised when I was greeted by a short, wiry little man
with a heavy Austrian accent.
"Good evening young master. Please come in.
You are expected."
Without waiting for me to say anything he turned
and motioned for me to follow him into the house. The interior was
even more ornate than the outside, with paintings decorating every wall
and layers of gilt sparkling everywhere. It was as if a piece of
the Renaissance, or perhaps and even earlier time had been preserved or
duplicated exactly. Most of the artwork looked quite old as did much
of the furniture. For normal human eyes all of this would have been
difficult to see. There were no windows to let in outside light,
only a few dim lamps.
I took all of this in as I followed the little man
deeper into the house. He led me down several staircases and through
winding passages. As we went down the ceilings started to get lower
and the lamps gave way to candles. The last of the artwork disappeared
and finally we were walking down a corridor of plain stone. It was
still polished marble, but not nearly so well finished as in the upper
levels. At last we came to a wide room with no visible ceiling.
The light of the candles vanished into the darkness a good twenty feet
up. All around were other corridors like the one I had come from
opened onto this room. I could see balconies higher up that seemed
to have more passages behind them. In the middle of the room was
a large platform of solid, unadorned stone. There was an enormous
chair on the platform that seemed to have been carved from the same stone.
It looked like it was growing out of the platform. And standing in
front of that chair was Regan.
"So you have come at last Adrian. I've been
expecting you for some time now."
"My name is Zack."
"As you wish my son."
"Don't call me that either. I have questions
for you Regan and I expect them to be answered. Now."
"No doubt you have many questions and they will
all be answered in good time. But for now I'm sure your journey has
left you fatigued. Perhaps you would like to refresh yourself?
I will see you again shortly."
"I won't be put off Regan. I want answers
"And you will have them. In a very short time.
But I have another pressing matter than must be attended to first.
Nathan will show you to your room."
I opened my mouth to renew my protest and closed
it again quickly. For the first time I noticed that Regan and I were
not alone. Of course there was the wiry butler, that had to be Nathan.
But there were others. On the balconies, in the dark corridors.
Slowly and silently they were filling the room. Remaining out of
the light. I could see the gleam of candlelight on eyes and the dim
silouhettes of shapes moving in the darkness. Human shapes, not quite
human eyes. But there were other things there too. Shapes of
things that I had never seen and never wished to even dream of. And
there were eyes to go with those shapes too. Eyes that seemed to
swallow the light instead of reflecting it. Creatures of nightmare,
perhaps nightmares made flesh. Things to make the bravest man's blood
run cold. Before I knew what was happening I was following Nathan
quickly back in the direction that I came. It was all I could do
not to run.
Sometime later I found myself resting comfortably
in a large padded armchair trying to regain my composure. The "room"
Nathan had shown me to was more like an apartment. It consisted of
the living room I was sitting in now, an enormous bedroom and a bathroom
that seemed to have been carved from a solid piece of marble. The
whole thing was ornate enough for a king. A knock at the door drew
my attention back to reality and before I could answer it opened to reveal
one of the most beautiful young men I had ever seen. His hair was
light brown and his skin was deeply tanned. He had big green eyes
which were rare for these parts. He wore a white jumpsuit tight enough
to have been spandex, except that it looked like cotton. It was extremely
thin and revealed a smooth, chiseled chest and a whole lot more.
He was very well endowed for someone who couldn't have been more than 18.
"I was sent because the Lord thought you might be
hungry," he said as he kneeled gracefully in front of me.
"Well I suppose I could eat something...wait a minute,
when you say hungry do you mean..."
"I was sent by the Lord so that you can feed on
me. It is my honor to serve the son of the Lord of the Nosferatu."
The reverence in his voice made me want to throw
"Get up off the floor. I don't work like that."
To my suprise he shrank down even lower and grabbed
my hand. His voice held an edge of desperation and he seemed on the
verge of tears.
"Please my lord, I'm sorry if I don't please you.
The Lord commanded that the most beautiful of us be sent to you and they
chose me, but I am not good enough. I am so sorry, but please give
me a chance. I will try to do better."
I sat there in shock and starred as he continued
to grovel before me. He was genuinely distressed that I didn't want
to suck the blood out of him.
"Stop that. You don't have to...oh damn it.
I'm sorry, you haven't displeased me. You are...very beautiful."
He stopped immediately and sat up. His eyes
shinned with either relief or pleasure at the compliment. I wasn't
sure which was worse.
"Thank you my lord. Then you will allow me
to serve you?"
"Yes," I sighed.
And I received yet another shock as he began striping
off my clothes. I didn't stop him though. The sensations he
was producing in my body didn't leave much room for protests. I simply
relaxed and let nature take its course.
The doorbell rang again, pulling Justin out of the
pleasant forgetfulness of his napping. Grumbling, he climbed off
the couch and wrenched the door open. He immediately wished he hadn't.
Nick Carter stood in front of him, eyes wide in suprise, hand stopping
in the motion of knocking on the door.
"Justin. Hi! I was just getting ready
to leave. I didn't think you were here."
Should have stayed on the couch. Should
have ignored the doorbell.
"Hi Nick. What do you want?"
"Oh. I was in the neighborhood and I thought
I'd stop by y'know."
"Uh huh. And I'm sure this little visit wouldn't
have anything to do with you talking to JC would it?"
Nick blushed and tried to stammer something, but
Justin pushed on. Best to get this out of the way quickly.
"Look Nick, I don't know who the hell you think
you are, but I know why you're here so don't go playing all innocent."
Nick tried to interrupt, but Justin didn't let him.
"I am not looking for anyone right now and even
if I was it wouldn't be you. Thanks for your concern though," he
Nick looked like someone had just stabbed him.
His voice quivered when he spoke.
"I...I just wanted to help," he said softly.
Waves of guilt washed over Justin. Nick was
the only Backstreet Boy who had ever been very nice to him and he didn't
deserve to be treated like this. After all it was really JC's fault,
not his. Nick was walking back to his car clearly struggling not
to cry before he got there.
"Wait Nick. I'm sorry. Please don't
By the time Regan arrived I was sitting alone in
the dark. My head still spun with the sensations the boy had created.
I could still taste his sweet blood on my lips too. Regan had not
bothered to knock, he simply came in and closed the door behind him.
"I trust you are feeling more relaxed now?"
"I am. Are all your servants so... forward?"
"You don't approve? I can't see why.
I should think you of all people would appreciate this. Instead of
preying on the innocent here we have servants. They are sort of like
"You are sick. How do you get away with treating
people like livestock?"
"They are raised by the Kin. Bred for beauty,
skill, and flavor. It's no different that what humans do with cows
and horses. Why does it bother you so much?"
"I just have a real problem with treating people
like farm animals."
"So you would rather treat them like deer?
To be hunted for sport?"
"No, I...I don't know. I didn't come here
to get into a debate with you. I have questions and I need them answered."
"Very well. What is it you wish to know?"
"First, what was that I saw below? What were
you doing down there?"
"Ah that was a gathering of the Kin. I am
their lord and from that council my commands are carried out around the
world. I would have thought you would have figured that out."
"What about those...things."
"Most of the tales that humans tell about "monsters"
are based somewhat on fact. Many of their so called monsters are
members of the Kin. But there are other things out there that no
human has ever lived to tell of. They are the unseen fear that man
feels in the darkness. The eyes that watch from the shadows.
I can't tell you more and leave your sanity intact. Not now that
you've seen enough to believe me. Best to leave it that something
are better left in the shadows. Was there something else?"
I shivered and took a moment to compose myself.
I tried not to think about the eyes in the dark.
"Yes. I need to learn to learn better control
over myself. You said I would be able to feed only when I wanted
and only as much as I wanted. But that's not how it is. I have
to feed. If I go more than two nights without blood I can't stop
myself on the third night. It just takes over. Why?"
"Actually I lied when I said you could control it
or stop yourself. You can't," he said simply.
"What! Why the hell did you lie to me?"
"Isn't it obvious? I wanted to make this way
seem as attractive as possible so that you wouldn't refuse. Surely
you know this is the right way. You can't possibly regret your decision."
"Of course I regret it! That was why I came!
I want to stop. I can't... I've met someone that I don't want
to bring into this world."
"You're in love," he said disgustedly. "You
cling to your humanity and because of it you've fallen in love. Don't
you understand boy? You are more than human now. You are better.
More perfect. Why do you cling to that which is clearly inferior?"
"Because I hate what I've become," I yelled.
"I hate what I do to people and I hate myself for enjoying it! And
because I won't do it to Justin!"
"Justin? Ah yes, I thought it might be him.
There is no need to get upset. I have a simple solution to your little
"Oh really? And what might that be?"
"You don't really know what happens to those that
you feed on do you?"
"No, they just are gone. I assume they go
back to there lives. Obviously they don't remember what happened.
Or if they do no one believes them."
"No child. Not for you. When a Nosferatu
feeds on a human that is about what happens, if they don't lose too much
blood. But for you it is different. Why do you think I have
gone to so much trouble for you? Why do you think you are so special?
Not for being my son, though that means much to the Kin. It is because
of your human blood. Because you are half human when you feed on
a human it allows you to connect in a way that a Nosferatu can not.
Something of what you are transfers to them, it is like a seed that is
planted. In time it grows and eventually they become full Nosferatu."
"How does that solve my problem? That just
makes it worse!"
"I thought you would have inherited more of my intelligence.
Don't you see? All you need to do is feed on this boy and he will
be yours forever. I will see to that."
"No, I wont do that to him! I wont condemn
him to this life."
"Suit yourself. It changes nothing for me.
You will still fulfill my needs."
"You still do not understand? Very well.
Before you there hasn't been a new Nosferatu in 300 years. We can
not reproduce as easily as humans. That is why I need you.
Now you will swell our ranks. In a few years, no more than fifty
I think, I will have the numbers I need."
"The numbers you need for what?"
"Long ago I was a great king. I held vast
lands under my power and humans paid tribute in blood. For a hundred
years and more I reined. Until a boy with a shinning sword in his
hand and a wizard in his pocket took it away. Many of my people were
killed in that war. And the Nosferatu have never recovered.
I have long since taken my revenge against Arthur, but I have never regained
my kingdom. Now with your help I will. And this time I mean
to have all the world."
"You're insane! You really think I'm going
to help you with that?"
"You have no choice. All I have to do is sit
back and wait. If you don't cooperate I may need to wait a little
longer, but in time my goal will still be achieved. You know you
can't control you're lust for blood. And I'll wager by this point
you've tried sheepsblood or some such nonsense and figured out that it
just isn't the same. Why fight it?"
"You...you're wrong. I will learn to control
it. And if I can't...then I'll kill myself."
That earned a snort from Regan.
"Have you tried? You are nearly as hard to
kill as a true Nosferatu by this point. You can't very well drive
a stake through you're own heart, and there's not much short of that that
will do the job."
"I will beat you," I managed through gritted teeth.
"God help me I will."
"God? God wont help you anymore. God
has no mercy for us. If you do die only the fires of Hell await you.
And Lucifer has little mercy for those who are weak and foolish enough
to take their own lives."
"I will find a way. And now I am leaving."
"As you wish. But wouldn't you be more comfortable
staying the night?"
"No. I can't stand to be here another minute."
"Very well. I will have a car take you to
the airport. I assume you will be returning to the United States?"
"Let me caution you on one thing more. Beware
of love, it is dangerous. You will find you charms ineffective on
those who are truly in love. That includes those who are in love
"That's good to know. It does explain a lot
and it proves you can be beaten."
"Think carefully about what you do my son.
One way or another you will serve my will. Much better for you if
you give in and enjoy your life."
I didn't say anything else. I didn't know
what to say. I will find a way. I have to find a way.
"And you haven't seen him since then?"
"No. But he'll come back. I know he
Justin sat on the couch facing Nick across the living
room. He had never intended to tell him about Zack but Nick was so
easy to talk to. He just listened never tried to criticize Justin
or tell him to do something else the way JC did.
"If he cares about you half as much as you care
about him Justin I'm sure he will."
"Thanks Nick. It's nice to hear that from
someone else. Even if you don't mean it."
"Hey you never know what can happen in life."
"Yeah you never know. Y'know, I never did
get lunch. You hungry?"
"Good let's go get some food."
You never know what can happen.
And that's the end of Part Five. I hope this
clears up a lot of what's been going on. I think it adds a few new
questions too though. Hey, I gotta keep it interesting. E-mail
me and let me know what you think at email@example.com.