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It's there. In my blood. Beckoning me to go just a little bit further. With so much pain going on outside of this trailer...so much agony...so many tears...the shadows welcome me with open arms. A sanctuary. A temporary place to hide from the misery.
The darkness in me tells me that I am strong. That I am wise. That I am in control. It is not the fact that it lies...but the fact that the darkness cares enough to lie that strokes my ego and causes it to flare out on all sides. A spiritual rainbow glow that I display like a proud peacock on the stroll. It seduces me with every whisper. I can feel it...submerged deeply underneath my skin. My heart pumps it swiftly through my veins...giving me a rush. I have to close my eyes....just to ride out the sensation without an insane smirk spreading across my lips.
I only wanted to take a moment to avoid the horror of what happened tonight. But now? Now I think....I want to stay in the dark for a while.
In my mind's eye, I see flashes of Alec being knocked to the floor. I can feel my fingernails twitch as I remembered how orgasmicit felt to drag them across his soft flesh, and slice through it with ease. I raised my fingers to my mouth, and sucked them between my lips...the slight tang of blood still staining their once gleaming white surface as my taste buds came alive with the flavor. I could feel my fangs slowly slide down from my gums as my eyes returned to their crimson glow. I love having that boy bleed for me. Our connection...as violent as it was...also came with a feeling of intimacy tonight. We were strong. Taking strength from each other as we tangled over the life of my beautiful Taryn. Our spirits melted into one another. A division of spirit. A communion with the shadows, where we both served as priest and recipient. Perhaps a piece of him was imprinted on me as well. Or perhaps...the demonic side of me was always there to begin with. Maybe Rage didn't implant it....maybe he just awakened it.
You know...I was never a violent person before. The world made me this way. I was designed to harbor aggression and then use it when it was most appropriate. I didn't ask for my father to beat me, or the kids at school to fire spitballs at me. I didn't ask to be a Mimic, or have Raiders attack our camp, or have 'Rage' suddenly show up to go after the boy I love. No...I didn't ask for this. It was put in the way of my progression on purpose. This is my test. It's what fate has planned for me. Or as Dylan would say...what GOD has planned for me. Beating down my enemies is the only way I'm going to evolve. Kill or be killed. I'm tired of being the one to suffer. Look at all the marvelous power that I have just 'dancing' on my fingertips. The only thing stopping me from taking over this whole block, this city, hell...maybe the WORLD...is the fact that I choose to let them continue with their pointless existence. Do you have any idea how GOOD that feels. To finally rise from the dirt they kicked over me...to an elevated position where I could look down on them and see them for the meaningless sacks of meat that they are? It's euphoric. An overload of the senses. Even the gods among men who walk in darkness are destined to bow before me. Who could stand against me? What weakness could I possibly have? I have more extras inside me than they could ever hope to defend against..and once I learn them all...I'll be unstoppable. I'll be able to take my place among the greatest of our species...and dictate the future of our kind to a point where the world will be a better place. Even if it has to be done with violence...this path cannot continue to draw more followers. It's time I stopped it. It's time I made things right. With or without their consent.
It's what a true god does. It's what a true god IS.
A light tap on the door as it opens.
Taryn slowly peeks his head in to see if I'm alright. His gentle beauty is almost enough to break the trance, but not quite. I silence my whispering voice and look back at him out of the corner of my eye. "Are you alright?" He asks. I want to answer...but I don't. So Taryn comes in and shuts the door. It looks as though Rain has been working her magic again, as much of the scarring on his throat has been healed. Except for a small patch where Alec's nails had punctured him deeply. Bryson covered it with a bandage and connected it with some tape from the first aid kit in Doc's truck. "Justin...I know what you're thinking, and it's not your fault, ok. None of it. Dion's just...he's hurting right now. That's all. He didn't mean it."
The pain was returning. Along with visions of Dylan being brutally stabbed...over and over again. I'll never forget the look in Dylan's teary eyes when he realized what had happened to him. I didn't like this feeling. Worshipping the power is better. Much better. Why is Taryn doing this? I don't want to think right now. I don't want to feel.
"Justy, please talk to me. Please?" Taryn said, softly sitting next to me on the mattress and taking a hold of my hand.
"I could have saved him. I could have saved all of you. But I was afraid." I said. "Afraid to give myself over to the very thing that I was meant to do."
"We were ALL scared. All of us. We couldn't have been prepared for what happened..."
"We didn't have to be prepared for anything. I'm strong enough. I KNOW I'm strong enough." I turned to look him in the eyes for a moment, but forced myself to turn away only seconds later. There was a weakness in me that those lovely emerald eyes could uncover with every moment of contact. "I should have done more. I should have been more powerful." As if triggered by my own words, another vision of Dylan's heart being punctured ripped through my weary mind, accompanied by the sickening sound of the pipe being forced out of his back...covered in blood. "Arrgghhh!!!" I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes tightly, banging on the sides of my head with my fists. Why won't the images go away? Why are they getting worse now that Taryn is around?
"Get out of our head! We should have been stronger! We should have been 'one'!"
"We who?" Taryn asked, worrying himself to death over what was going on.
"We...not...not 'we', but...'I'. I should have been...I could have..."
Tears dripped down from Taryn's eyes, and he got on his knees on the mattress to maneuver himself behind me, hugging me tenderly around my shoulders. "Awww, Justin, there was nothing you could do, baby. Nothing that ANY of us could have done. You risked your life to fight for us..."
"And what good did it do?" I asked. "Dion's right. Dylan's gonna die, and it's all my fault. All of it. I led you into a trap." I felt Taryn's kiss on my cheek, moistened with a few stray tears...but it brought me no comfort. For the first time, his affection only made me feel worse inside. My reflection in the mirror was right...Rage was right...
My angel's love is a weakness.
There was a silence that fell between us, and when I felt my tears running warmly down my cheeks, I sat up straight and fought to keep my balance. I felt like a traitor, using Dion's extra to quell the turbulent emotions inside of me...especially when he was outside, his eyes burning with pain and hatred for the things that I allowed to happen. But I had a desperate need to sink back into the darkness. I was afraid. Afraid that if I really gave in and let my heart truly express the horror of the situation...the sadness would certainly overwhelm me. I doubt I'd survive it. Hiding from it was my only option.
Taryn gave me a squeeze, and rested his chin lightly on my shoulder. His long reddish brown locks sweeping gently past my cheek. He always smelled so good. Like warm vanilla, mixed with the scent of fresh cut roses. His beauty was wordless, but I was always compelled to try to define it anyway. He attempted to change the subject slightly. I assume to get my mind off of my guilt.
"Jeremy said that he had some equipment back at his lab. It's not...fully rebuilt yet, but he thinks he has enough to keep Richie stable for the time being." He said, just above a whisper.
"Good to hear." I replied. Deadpan. My voice sounded as if it had no emotion in it at all. Had I gone too deep? Would it even matter? Something about Taryn's touch kept trying to 'pull' me back into a painful reality that I didn't want to face. So despite his soothing gestures...I continued to pull back.
"Justin?" He asked...his voice trembling.
"My brother, Alec...." He almost didn't dare say it aloud. "...Is he...? Did you...?"
It began with this emotional 'pinch' of sorts. As if the darker side of me was insulted that Taryn would wish anything other than death on the boy who had caused us all so much pain. But I suppressed it as best as I could. "Did I kill him?" Taryn was silent, so I put his mind at ease. "I don't think so. In fact...I'm pretty sure that we'll be seeing him again in the future. He has unfinished business...and so do I."
"He has a reason to hate me as much as he does, Justin. He...."
"Don't. I already know." I said. "I can sense it. There's a part of him in my head. And I can't seem to get him out." I closed my eyes, and I could practically feel Alec's anger yearning to reach another boiling point. And Taryn's pain was causing my emotions to let go again. More weakness. More confusion. I shrugged Taryn off of my shoulders and moved away from his embrace. "I lost a lot of blood tonight. I can already feel the trembles coming back to me. I'll need to feed soon."
"Maybe you should rest for a few days first. Just to heal up and get your mind right again."
"Are you saying that I'm not right in the head?" I said it with an accusatory tone, but I didn't really mean to. Or...then again, maybe I did. My thoughts were so twisted at the moment. "You think I'm going crazy?"
"Don't be ridiculous. I didn't say that." He replied, but I searched his eyes for deception anyway. I looked away, now standing up to pace back and forth in our small space.
"I could have fought harder." I said. "I could have stopped this."
"Justin, I told you..."
"It was an accident..."
"You can't save everybody..."
"No...no...NO...*NO*...NO!!!" I felt my feelings slipping away from me, and I angrily pounded my fist on the wall. I'm not sure what energy began to run through me, but a bunch of the small objects in our trailer were suddenly lifted into the air...where they hovered for a few seconds before dropping back down to the floor. My hands were shaking...and the look on Taryn's face was one of fear. My God, he could level me with the sparkling tears in those big green eyes. I was so lost. "I'm...I'm sorry..."
Taryn got up and held my face in his hands while he looked me in the eye. "Baby...come on, we can get through this. Both of us. Together." He kissed my lips, but I was quick to turn my head and reject it. "We're gonna do everything we can to help Dylan. Doc is reaching out to see if he can find ANY vampire healers in the city that might be able to give us an answer. Jeremy is gonna see if he's got any facilities that could help. Even Gyro's gonna go through all of his club contacts to see if they know anybody who specializes in this kinda thing. Baby, we're trying..."
"Trying isn't GOOD enough!" I said, holding the anger steady, where it wouldn't turn into an unexpected tantrum. "You don't understand, Taryn...I had a chance to AVOID this, but I didn't. I didn't fight at my full potential, don't you understand? I LET Dylan die, I let my friends get hurt, I let YOU get hurt. I shouldn't have been holding back." I reached up to take a hold of Taryn's hands and bring them down from my face...but I kept a hold of them anyway. "I'm never going to hold back again. Do you hear me? I'm stronger than this, there's no WAY he could have beaten me. I'm a fucking act of GOD in darkness....and I restrained myself because I was afraid of going too far. Afraid of losing my mind. But that's all over now, Taryn."
Taryn's eyes changed their expression. "What...what do you mean that's all over now?"
"Don't you see? I feel like...I uncovered something tonight. Something was suddenly understood." I could feel my pulse beginning to race as the line between 'me' and the 'other me' began to blur. An excitement. A connection. Something unphased by weakness. Unphased by love. "It's growing, Taryn. The extras are becoming more powerful than I ever could have imagined. I'm learning more and more all the time."
"You have to slow down, Justin. You know what happens when you lose control."
"But I'm not GONNA lose control. I'm GAINING control. If I can just...find out how to harness this energy and use it to full purpose...I can change things, Taryn. I mean...maybe this is a part of what I'm supposed to do. Maybe this is what I need to learn to bring the world my message."
"Your message?" Taryn asked. "Justin, what are you thinking about doing?"
My eyes seemed to darken, and my heart wasn't far behind. "When I become 'complete'...when there is no one left to challenge me...they'll HAVE to listen. The whole WORLD, both in daylight and in darkness, will be forced to understand. I can give them the Vampire Dawn and they won't have any choice but to accept it."
"It's not about force and control. I don't fully understand the Vampire Dawn concept any more than anyone else. But it's gotta be more than your personal beliefs being made into law and pushed onto the backs of other people. There's no 'awareness' in that." Taryn said as I began to pace again. "You can't just use your powers to get what you want. that's not why you were blessed with the gift."
"Ohhh, heh...let me tell you something about being 'blessed with this gift'. It came from YEARS of suffering, torture, and unbelievable PAIN. It came from me being beaten and defeated by people who were ALWAYS bigger than me. ALWAYS stronger than me. It came from a lifetime of being bullied and abused and abandoned. It came from me watching the best friend I ever had waste away to nothing right in front of my eyes. This 'blessing' was given to me because I was forced to spend my life being HELPLESS! Helpless and ALONE!!!" I snarled, balling my fists up. But then an evil smirk slid across my lips. "But I'm not helpless anymore, Taryn. Now *I'M* the strong one. Now...*I'M* the one in control." I turned my palms up, and let small flames burn brightly in each hand. "You see? I'm gaining more and more extras by the day. The more I absorb, the more powerful I become. I want to share this feeling with you, Taryn. I guarantee you, there's nothing else like it."
"This isn't like you at all..." Taryn sobbed.
"You're right. It's BETTER than me. Better than what I was before. No more 'accidents', baby. No more being scared. No more running. No more pain. Soon...I'll be worshipped as a full fledged prophet...and you will be the cherished prince at my side. I'll take care of you ALL. I'll make it so we never have to lose anyone ever again."
The energies within seemed to come alive with a spark. You see???? The more I give into them, the more powerful they become. I control the extras...the extras don't control me. All I need is more practice. More balance. If I can just submit without fear, without restraint...I'll become unbeatable. An immortal warrior worthy of being the 'chosen one'.
The sensation ran through me, head to toe, and I reached out to old onto Taryn's slim shoulders. He was soooo beautiful. So very beautiful. "I'll make you see, Taryn. I'll make all of them see." I hugged him close, but he seemed almost limp in my arms. As though he was suddenly being hugged by a total stranger. I know that he can't see what I see now. He doesn't know about the prophecy and the inevitable fate that is certain to come for him if I'm not there to protect him. But none of that matters anymore. For once...I'm not helpless. And it's about time the rest of the world got the memo. "I know you're confused, baby...but one day soon, you'll understand why I'm doing this. You'll see the circles the same way that I do, and it'll all make sense."
"What circles? Justin, what are you doing?" He attempted to wiggle his way out of my arms, but I just held him tight. That gentle fragrance of his...mmmmm, it was driving me wild. His skin was so soft. His lips so moist. Holding him like this...having him squirm in my arms...it felt good. "Justin! Justin...stop it!" I planted a long kiss on the side of his neck, and pushed my hips forward as my hardness began to swell to full length. It had been so long since we had been intimate. I wanted him. I needed him. Why is he fighting me?
"I love you, Taryn..." I said, struggling to hold him still while I kissed him on the lips.
"Let me go!"
"Tell me you love me, first. Come on. Say it." I grinned, kissing his cheek as he turned his head away from me. "Hehehe, come on now...say it!"
"NO! LET ME GO!!! JUSTIN!!!!" He couldn't break away from me. I was too strong. WAY too strong. This is what it will be like from now on. This is what it feels like to have power. To have control. "Justin...please???" Tears ran out of his eyes, and he started to fight even harder to get away from me. What was he doing? I was just trying to LOVE him! Doesn't he love me back? Doesn't he want to make me happy?
He started to curse and kick at my legs and stomp on my feet in order to break my hold on him. He got an arm free to push my face back, and that is when I started to get angry. "What are you DOING??? STOP IT!!!" I snarled. I pinned his arms down at his sides and roughly pushed Taryn back onto the mattress. From the inside of my mind...it was almost like I wasn't there. Like a scene from a bad horror flick. But the darkness won. The darkness always wins.
I climbed on top of Taryn, forcing his legs open to grind into his body, crotch to crotch. I was almost getting a slight sexual thrill from his panicked thrashing to get me off of him. His young sapling muscles gyrating beneath me, creating a passionate friction between us. I loved his smooth, pale, skin. It was so warm. So unbelievably rich in its creamy texture. Thoughts of us naked ran through my mind...with me forcing my hardness in between those immaculate lips of his. Sawing it back and forth over his tongue, feeling myself completely enveloped in his warmth. If only I could get his pants off from this position. If only I could flip him over and grind into those round bubble teen cheeks of his. And enter his tightness as it nursed lovingly at the hard flesh invading him. Pushing in and out until I found my release. My angel. My pure...sweet...angel.
"STOP IT!!! Please....STOP IT!!!" Taryn screamed, his face wrinkled up with the most painful expression. It wasn't until I reached up to clamp my hand over his mouth to shut him the fuck up.....that I saw those bright green eyes again. The horror. The utter shock. What was I doing? No...this is wrong! This is all WRONG! My mind exploded with an inner turmoil that fought just hard enough to get me to let Taryn go and jump back off the mattress. I was terrified. Humiliated. But it only lasted a few seconds before the 'other me' took hold...and the promise of irresistible power came to claim me once again.
"What's WRONG with you???" Taryn cried. "What are you doing?"
"I'm trying to spend some time with you. I'm trying to share the gift..." I said, my anger returning as quickly as it appeared in the first place.
"You need HELP, Justin!"
"I don't need help. I need you."
"I've never seen you like this before. Something's wrong."
"Well you're my boyfriend, right Taryn?" I said with a cold stare. "If you're not FUCKING me, then what good are you?"
Perhaps my lack of emotion had cut me off from the moment...but to be totally honest, I had never seen Taryn so hurt. So completely destroyed inside. I think that his heart literally broke in two. And the dazzling glow of his eyes...nearly faded to black. With only a constant stream of tears to give them purpose. "I don't even know who you ARE right now..." He sniffled. "Get out." I stood there for a moment, trying to recover a bit more of my sanity. At least enough to beg him to accept the greatest apology of my young life. But my emotions wouldn't obey me. Not at all. "GET OUT!!!" He shouted, and with my head held low, I wiped my eyes and left. Leaving Taryn to curl up on the mattress by himself and cry his eyes out in the dark.
I don't need this! ANY of this! He's JEALOUS!!! They're ALL jealous!!! They WISH they had my power! They *WISH* they could be the chosen one! That's why they hate me! That's why they reject me! And blame me for everything! They're not my friends! They've ALWAYS been out to get me! Every last one of them! I'm not going to be their little 'guinea pig' anymore. I'm strong enough to go out on my own. I can handle this all by myself. I don't NEED their help. They don't know what the hell they're doing anyway. How can they possibly hope to help a highly superior vampire like me?
I slammed the door to the trailer shut, and started to march for the front gate of the lot. Fuck Taryn! Fuck EVERYBODY in this bullshit abandoned junkyard! The hatred welling up inside me was tangling my stomach up in knots to the point where it hard to breath. I wanted to punch a hole in something. I wanted to DESTROY something. I wanted people to love me...but if fear and violence is all they understand...then so be it. I can provide them that service too. Sometimes...love isn't enough.
Then...as if triggered by some darker emotion inside of me...I saw a flash in my mind. A vision. An event that was quickly heading towards the end of its circle. I couldn't quite make out what it was, as it simply appeared out of nowhere...but as the mental picture became less hazy...I could clearly see, what appeared to be, a 'man' chained to a wall. I didn't recognize him at all, but he had been severely beaten. Cut. Almost completely drained of his blood supply. Not quite human. A vampire perhaps? I couldn't really tell. I saw a blurred figure run past me, and heard the sound of a sonic blast in the background. Lit candles. And underground tunnel. And a vampire sitting in a throne made of pure gold.
The images were confusing to me, and I attempted to get some clarity on what I was seeing. But before I was able to pick out any other important details...I was abruptly snapped out of my fantasy.
I was walking through the lot, when I saw Dion approaching me swiftly from the side. The second he saw me, he made a beeline to cut me off. Still lost in the fog of my other self, I just kept walking. Not even looking him in the eye. I said, "I'm not in the mood for this right now. So just back off."
But before the words even left my mouth, I was completely blindsided by a HARD left hook to my chin! And I fell, face first, into the dirt...a cloud of dust rising up around me from the impact. I didn't even have time to put my hands out to break the fall.
Dion stood over me as I came to my senses. And an uncontrollable rage came over me instantly. I clutched the dirt in my fists, and I looked back at Dion over my shoulder...my eyes turning blood red. My fangs extending to their full length from my gums as my killer instincts were forced into play.
"You think I'm just gonna let you walk out of here and pretend this isn't happening, you piece of SHIT??? No chance!" He said.
This was Dion. My friend. My best friend here at the lot. The one who had always taken care of me. The one who always did everything he could to protect me. From the ringing in my ears and the pain in my jaw...I take it those days are over.
"Trust me, Dion...you DON'T wanna do this." I warned him, staring him down. Feeling the anger breaking down all of the barriers that I had put up to hold it in.
"You think we're SCARED of you, Justin! But we're not! At least *I'M* not!" He said, giving me a shove.
"DON'T! Stop while you're ahead!"
"How am I ahead? Huh?" He gritted his teeth, staring at me with enough hatred to last me the rest of my life. Only memories of my father could even come close to the fury that I saw in his chocolate brown eyes. "You set us up, and you RUINED the only thing that I had in this world that made this darkness bearable!!! So how am I ahead???" He shouted. "You're gonna fix this! And you're gonna fucking fix it NOW!"
"You're out of your league. I suggest you leave it alone." I said. I am NOT going to be bullied anymore. I am far from helpless! The old Justin is gone now! Anybody that has a problem with me should be prepared to put their money where their fucking mouth is!
"Get up! Big warrior? You're nothing but a fucking punk! GET UP!!!!"
I stood up on my feet, and with a grin I said, "We're all hurting in our own ways, Dion." It was a low blow. A cheap shot. But what could he do to me. He's another 'accident' waiting to happen as far as the great Vampire Mimic is concerned.
"You think this is a GAME?"
"Not at all. But I should warn you....I'm not holding back anymore."
"Nobody is asking you to." He said.
"Nobody is going to make a victim out of me ever again...." I said, taking a stance and digging my feet into the dirt beneath me.
That's when Dion replied with, "And this time...I'm not just 'sparring'." He took a stance of his own, ready to fight. "You and me...we're DONE! Let's se what you've got, pretty boy."