Coming home from the old church was an exercise in control. It seemed like the very essence of sex was everywhere. The entire city was 'alive' with it. It was in every face, every twist of the hips, every hidden thought in the minds of the humans around us. I could feel it, see it, breathe it. And yet...instead of being amazed by the frustrated me. I felt this burning anger rising to a peak the longer I was around them, and it made me want to hurt them. To 'take' my sex from them by force, and rip their restraint apart from the inside, before they were able to give it to anyone else. Once you take their body from them, they are yours forever. They'll never leave you. The rush in that was sickening...but it electrified me in ways that I couldn't even begin to explain.

My last victim was so forming a bond with every inch of me. I could feel his life force adjusting to its newly acquired space. And I found myself targeting many people on the street as we made our way back home. Men, women, young and old. It wasn't like I was fighting it either. It was literally a part of me. Mixing itself with my own thoughts and desires so flawlessly that it didn't even feel like another presence this time. He really must have been a bastard.

I know that Jun had to sense the change in me. Did he expect it? Is he ignoring it? If I wanted him...I could have him, you know? He can fight, but he won't be able to beat me. Not with all that I know now. I'd devour him whole. And his body would be mine too. He'd never forget. Never.

My mind didn't really begin to clear itself until we were both approaching the front gate. Jun was talking to me about tonight's practices and the meditation exercises we needed to start with, but I tuned most of it out. His boyish voice and delicate frame were only making things worse for me. Stirring up my unwanted lust even more than I wanted to notice. However, my sobering moment came when we got to the front gate of the lot, and I saw Napolean still waiting there for his master. His belly against the ground, his chin lowered between his outstretched paws, sad eyes looking up at us as we walked up. Dion hadn't returned. And I'm willing to bet that means Taryn and Dylan haven't come back yet either. I knelt down in front of Napolean, nd gave his floppy ears a quick rub, but he hardly moved. He let out a high pitched whimper, and gave my hand a quick lick for my satisfaction...but his heart was hardly in it.

"You sense it too...don't ya, boy?" I sighed, and gave him a comforting pat before getting back up on my feet. "I don't like this, Jun. This doesn't sit right with me at all."

He looked around for a moment, and whispered, "Actually...this is kinda strange. To be honest, Taryn's the only one Bryson never worries about when it comes to making it home before daylight. Not any more." He came closer to me, and he whispered, "Listen...we'll do a couple of meditations here in the lot, just for show. Then I'll tell him we're going out for a while to practice in the park. You and me can look for Taryn and the others ourselves. Who knows? Maybe you'll be in tune with him enough to give us that extra bit of luck we need to find him. K?"

"I...I should really be out looking now...I can't just leave him out there to get hurt or worse..."

"I KNOW! I know...ok? I don't want him hurt either. But Bryson wants you to know this stuff. And, frankly, I do too. Listen, you've just fed for the third time. That means your vampire 'puberty' is over. You're going to be dealing with things on a whole new level now, and you're not gonna know what to do." Jun saw the stress in my eyes, and attempted to calm me. "I understand that you want Taryn to be safe. We ALL do. We've been seeing you two trade loving glances and dreamy sighs since the first night he brought you here. We're not blind to the fact that you're worried about this, and we know it's important. But...Justin, you've got a LOT of ground to cover in a VERY short time, and we've got to start now. This is where things become really dangerous for you, and whatever mistakes you make from here on out are going to be BIG. You've got to at least have some basic practices down in case things go nutty on you in the near future. And considering the fact that any and all information concerning a vampire of your caliber is either hidden away, obscured in folklore, or forbidden to read...we're all stuck trying to wing it. Hell, even if we were lucky enough to find a 'vampire mimic handbook', it would be based on facts and theories that are CENTURIES old. So you're gonna have to bear with us while we try to get this right, ok?"

I looked back out at the front gate, wondering if maybe I could just catch a glimpse of him. Just a glimpse of my angel, and I'd be alright. But all I saw was darkness. Without him....all I EVER saw was darkness.

"How long do we have to fake it before Bryson let's us go?" I asked.

"We're not gonna FAKE anything, Justin. But if you give it a little effort, I'm sure that he'll let us bounce out of here without asking too many questions."

"Jun..." I whined, but he stopped me.

"JUST for a little bit, and then we go! Alright?" He asked. I pouted stubbornly for a second or two, and he asked again. "OK???"

"Alright. Fine. But when we go out, we STAY out until I find him! No excuses!" I told him.

"Deal." He led the way back into the center of the lot, and Bryson looked up to see me clean, freshly changed, and well fed. He nodded in approval, but watched my eyes for any shaky emotions I might be holding back from him at that moment. I was never one to easily accept my role in someone elses murder. I held back every time, and always had a mounain of guilt on my shoulders afterwards. much as I hate to say it, it felt good to have it be over. To not worry about the thirst, or the hunger pains. To not have the impending doom of it lurking over me every second that I was awake. The faster I did it, the faster I could get it off of my conscience and begin the art of suppressing it into a chamber of memories that I could work hard to forget. My God...I really was beginning to get used to this, aren't I?

My body was still tingling from head to toe, the adrenaline levels of my donor still running on high from the shock of being attacked. I was alive with an energy that made me feel totally reborn, more now than ever before. As my body adjusted to the new blood type, I felt a little bit light headed, but it passed quickly. All that was left was this infinite feeling of nourishment. A more than satisfying meal that electrified the senses and relaxed the mind. I could find myself finding a whole new balance, physically, mentally, spiritually...and only small traces of the man I killed were left behind.

As Jun walked back to his car to grab a few things for our excercise, Trevor took the opportunity to approach me. I could feel the confident swagger in his stride before I even caught sight of him, and knew that he was looking to intensify my guilt with a couple of choice taunts and phrases. But I didn't feel all that bad this time. It might have just been some of that alternate personality coming through, but...when Trevor came near, I faced him with a smile.

"Well, well...look who's all clean and sparkly again." He said with a crooked smirk. "Tell me, was it somebody we know?"

"No. Not hardly." I delivered the same grin, and refused to let him penetrate my emotions with his little game.

"Too bad. You know, they say the rush is ten times greater when you feed on someone you know. To be one with the essence of somebody you've shared a piece of your life with...mmmmm, imagine. You should try it some time."

I saw a subtle flash before my eyes, almost as if my mind had taken a mental photograph of him, and just like with the others on the street, Trevor's undeniable sexuality became visible to me all at once. That irresistable urge to have him was forced upon me in an instant. The shine of his soft blond hair, those smooth delectible lips, and piercing eyes. I could almost smell the aroma of freshly produced pheromones, radiating from the surface of his blemish free skin. It was especially strong in the nape of his neck. A place I was tempted to press my lips to, while inhaling that intoxicating scent even further. "Maybe some other time." I told him. "Or maybe...I'm still hungry...for something else."

Trevor's smile had changed, and grew wider. He scanned my desires, and I allowed him to do so. I let him invade me, and see all of the sexual delights that were holding me so close to him at that moment. My first kill had once thrust us together in a passionate embrace that nearly became my biggest mistake...and I know that he remembered that. He remembers kissing me, holding me...'touching' me. And while I only moved close enough for us to stare at one another eye to eye, neither one of us willing to back down, the transfer of desire between him and I was almost enough to inspire an orgasm of its own. Thoughts of taking him deep into my mouth, my tongue snaking its way around his sensitive shaft. Our bodies grinding sensually as my hands held tightly to his perfectly shaped ass. I could feel it. I could see it reflected in his eyes. And I was tempted to see if he was able to make good on his promises of a wild experience. Finally, after a short silence between us, Trevor leaned forward, and whispered, "You know...I think I'm gonna like the new you, Justin."

I whispered back, my lips lightly touching his earlobe, "I think I am too."

"Am I interrupting something?" Jun came back, and was staring at us confused. He could practically feel the heat between us, and I was thankful for the intrusion. My sexual attitudes dulled themselves, and my mind attempted to get back into focus. I took a step or two back from Trevor, and lowered my eyes. I didn't try to defend anything, I simply turned and left him there with that smug grin on his face. Jun was quick to follow me. "You alright?"

"It was nothing. Just some weirdness, that's all."

He took a closer look at me. "It's your donor, isn't it?"

"What? No. I'm fine." I said, but he knew better than that. "I mean...I dunno. I guess so. Everyhing I see is....'sex'. I can't help it."

"Consider yourself lucky, dude. When I had my third feeding, it was some truck driver from Kentucky. All I could think about was chewing tobacco, screwing morbidly obese waitresses, and had the same Garth Brooks song stuck in my head for a week and a half!" He grinned. "But don't worry, it'll mellow out soon. Two or three days tops. You know, in the old days, vampires used to think that it was the soul of their donor, holding on to its essence for as long as it could before passing on. They used to believe that they were literally being 'haunted' by their victims. Turns out that it's really just a mental drain of their emotions and memories that we pick up on as we're feeding. It's all in your head. It'll fade once your body evens out again. Just don't do anything you'll regret before then, got it?" I nodded, and looked back at Trevor, who was still watching from a corner. I think the idea of corrupting me excited him. He didn't want me for any other reason than he wasn't supposed to have me. And even as I saw Michael return to the lot and sit at his side, he kept his gaze fixed on me. Probably thinking of how to use this new opportunity to his advantage.

Jun took me to a spot that was away from the others, but still visible from Bryson's truck. Afterall, we wanted him to actually 'see' us practicing. I hope this wouldn't be for too long. I just wanted to get out of here and start my search. But for now...I'll play this Jun's way. Sigh...please let Taryn be alright! Please, God!

My tensions began to build all over again, my worries starting to take full control again, and Jun could see it in my eyes. "Hey, you still with me? I told you...we do this for a little while, and then we can go. Alright? Just give this some attention right now."

"I'm....I'm trying, ok?"

"Good. Because I need your full involvement if we're going to start in on this." He said, and he stood in front of me in a small clearing. I watched him take a thin piece of cloth, and wrap it around our wrists...his right hand and mine, binding us together. "When you go into trance, I want you to concentrate on the ribbon, and try to dull it down enough so that you'll be able to bring me in with you. Ok?"

" do I do that?"

"Just take your time and feel yourself out. Don't worry, you'll do fine." He assured me. "Now....follow my movements." He raised his hand slowly, and then stretched it out to the side, with my wrist still attached. "Don't tighten up. Loosen your arm. Like this." He shook my arm a bit, and then continue to move back and forth in slow motion. Side to side, forward and backward, up and down. I attempted to follow his gestures, but he kept telling me that my muscles were too tense. "Don't force the movement. Just follow. Feel the motions in my wrist, and let your arm glide softly into you feel it change direction." He said. " you're getting it. Slowly. That's it. Don't move your feet. Just your arm. Our movements are unified by the binding cloth. Feel it. Know it. Good. Now close your eyes." I did as he said, and was amazed that I could still follow his motions without looking. In fact, it became even easier. "Ok, now, I want you to enter trance. Find your focus, slowly, and keep concentrating on our connection. Physically, the movement will continue, but you won't notice it at all. Mind and body will be separated entirely, and it'll help to relax."

"So this is what you do in the lot all the time?"

"Well...mine is a bit more complex, but yes, that's the idea. To exist in two places at once, mentally and physically, without losing control over either side. Being able to discover balance between them." He said. "Now, clear your mind, and slowly work yourself into focus."

Almost instantly, I could feel the rest of the world melting away, and my inner visions got darker as my focus got stronger. "I think it's working." I said. "What am I suposed to think about?"

It was then that Jun told me, "I want you to go back, and think about your father."

The world of focus was suddenly disrupted. It brightened up again and I was quickly thrown out of my trance. I opened my eyes and saw Jun open his to see what had happened. "I thought I told you....I don't wanna think about him."


"NO!!!" I said, pulling my hand back and trying to untie the cloth holding us together. "That's off limits and it's none of your business!"

"This is something you have to deal with. I'm sorry, but if you want to learn control,this is where we start. This is what has to be done."

"I agree." Came a voice from behind us, and I turned to see Bryson standing not far away from us, leaning up against a car, watching.

I felt betrayed. I didn't need this. I didn't need them digging into my past. I did't want to dig into it myself. "I don't see what my father has to do with ANY of this. Why is that even an issue?"

"It's important, Justin..."

"WHY???" I shouted at Bryson, and yanked again to get my hand loose, but Jun held us together. "What the fuck is this? I thought you were supposed to be teaching me how to use my powers!"

"I am." Jun told me.

"Then WHY are you asking questions about my father? What the fuck does he have to do with anything?"

Bryson stepped forward. "So you don't want to discuss your father?"


"You don't even want to think about him?"

"FUCK NO!!!"

"Why not?"


"Because what, Justin?" Bryson asked calmly. "Certainly you have a better answer than that.

"Because that heartless son of a bitch beat the living SHIT out of me on a daily basis for most of my fucking LIFE! And when he got tired of using me for a punching bag, he just up and LEFT! That's why!"

"And how does that make you feel, Justin?"

"How do you THINK it makes me feel?!?!?!" I shouted.

"You tell me." Bryson was so calm, but determined to get a direct answer.

"It makes me fucking ANGRY!!!"

"Angry! Good! What else?"

"WHAT???" I asked him.

"What ELSE, Justin? What else do you feel?" He asked in return. I was....lost. What was he doing? There was a pause, and Bryson continued. "Thoughts of your father, your past...they make you angry. What else? Confused? Sad, maybe? Afraid? Hurt? Abandoned?"

I stood silent for a moment, not moving. Then I said, "I just...don't understand why I have to think about him again."

"Justin...your abilities...are deeply rooted in your subconscious right now. They're there, waiting. And the only way for you to trigger those abilities is through emotion. Whatever you've got hidden away is directly linked to the strongest emotions you have. And when you least expect it, they are going to self activate and follow whatever path you give them." Bryson moved even closer to look me in the eye. "Do the words 'angry'...and 'confused'...and 'scared'...sound like the kind of feelings you want these powerful extras to connect to?" I didn't speak. Why does he want me to back there. I don't wanna go back! I can't! But Bryson was right. Most of the time, things just 'happen' around me without having any idea what I'm doing. I don't know how to turn them on or off, and even though I'm learning little by little to control the ones I'm most familiar with...I still don't have the foggiest idea how to use these things when I need them the most. Bryson told me, "Sometimes, the only way to fix who you to fix what you were. Don't let your past hardships define your future choices. We need you to start over. And I'm not saying that's easy, not for any of us. But you are holding on to a lot of leftover suffering and we need to deal with it before it shows up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do you understand?"

My eyes stayed focused on my shoes, my mind and body not prepared to dive back into my past so easily. It's not something that I usually do on cue like this. But once I felt Jun's hand begin to slowly move again...I knew that he wanted me to try. Jun said, "You don't have anything to be afraid of, ok? It's just the truth. You can't face it and run from it at the same time."

Bryson gave me a pat on the shoulder, allowing us to continue. He told Jun, "I am going out for a while. Doc has to feed, and we're short on people to go with him. I want to be there just in case. But I'll be back soon. K?" I was hoping that meant that Jun and I could go out looking for Taryn right away now that Bryson was leaving the lot. However, when Jun's hand motions began again, I knew that he had no plans of letting me off the hook so easily. So...instead of fighting it any further, I closed my eyes, and I followed his lead. I let him take me back there...where I didn't belong.

The trance came over me even faster than before, and just as Jun said, my movements seemed to disappear completely, and I found myself standing in a void. No air, no light, no sound. Just darkness. Was I still moving? Am I as separated as he said I would be? Is he even watching? It was then that I felt a quivering sensation in my stomach, and I had the taste of blood in my mouth. The quiver became an ache, and as I ran my tongue over my bottom lip, I felt that it had been split in two. My eye had been blackened, my arms bruised and battered beyond belief. My shirt had been ripped, and there were cuts and scrapes on my arm. I remembered it so vividly, that pain. That agony. There were beer cans littering the floor of my house, but I semed to be standing there alone. It was as if I could smell his stench lingering in the air. I could still hear the hateful sound of his voice echoing off of the walls. His very presence was everywhere.

At first, I shut my eyes tight, hoping the vision would disappear. But when I opened them again, everything remained the same. The air was stale, and my body had been beaten so badly that I was afraid to move. I saw our living room coffee table had been turned over, and there were dents in my bedroom door. I remember this. It was a day when I had gotten so scared of him that I actually ran from his beating and attempted to hide in my room. I thought that he was going to break that door down and murder me for sure that day. It was, quite possibly, one of the worst beatings that I had ever gotten from him. And I could still feel my heart racing from the terror of it all.

I'm not sure what had happened exactly, but I reached down and grabbed my wrist, as I felt a sensation wash over it. As though Jun and I were no longer bonded. Like he had suddenly left me to wander alone in this nightmare. I looked around me, hoping to see some hint of him still standing there in front of me...but there was no sight of him. "Hello?" I said, and heard an almost infinite echo of my voice, but no answer. I stepped forward, feeling the broken glass of a mirror crack under my shoes. I remembered that as well. The day he pulled a mirror down on my head. I remember heard the crash, seeing the blood drip from my scalp, and literally thinking that I was dead. DEAD! I remembered seeing my palm as I held it up in front of my face, and it was completely red. Glass shards at my feet...I remember. "Hello?" I asked again, and felt nothing. I didn't like this. I did't like this at all! I wanted out! I wanted out of here NOW!

I tried to shut off the focus, but it wouldn't fade! I closed my eyes tightly and concentrated on going home...but the vision remained. It was then that I heard footsteps. HIS footsteps. I knew them well. Their weight, their pace, their speed. I could hear them clearly coming from behind me, crackling over the debris in the room. But when I turned around, the location switched, and they were still behind me. No matter which way I turned, which way I looked, the footsteps were always behind my line of sight. An empty beer can was kicked across the floor, and my breathing quickened. Get me out of here! FUCKING LET ME OUT!!!!

I felt his breath at the back of my neck, and the rage that it stirred inside of me was unparalleled by any other emotion I've ever felt. His hands moved to rest on my shoulders, and the squeezed tightly, as the anger got choked up in the back of my throat. My fists balled themselves up so tightly, my teeth clenched so viciously...I'd murder the whole world just to dig my claws into this man. And just as the horrific disgust that I had for this man was about to reach its boiling point, the fog of my trance began to lift. It actually started to obey my commands as my emotional mindstate went beyond my control. However...what I found on the other side of my trance...was not what I was expecting.

Things became clearer, little by little, and my vision began to dissipate like a thin cloud of smoke. Sounds also began to merge with my reality again, and I heard an awful commotion coming from the left of me. It was hard to shake my focus before it had eased me back into the physical world, but the blurry images before me seemed panicked, frenzied, alert. I could feel their fear, and their tension. Something was wrong. Very wrong. Jun had disconnected himself from my wrist, and I was standing there alone. Finally, I snapped out of it completely, and quickly turned to see Dion and Dylan on the ground in the center of the lot with the others around them. How long had I been under? What had happened? Is Taryn with them??? IS HE???

I ran over as quickly as possible, nearly pushing everyone else out of the way! What I saw nearly caused me to explode into hysterics! Dion had been hurt....BADLY! Dylan was even worse off, his ankle had been broken, along with one of his arms. They were bruised all over, and I imagined that it was much much worse before last night's sleep cycle healed some of their wounds. It seemed that Trevor, Michael, Jenna, and Jun, were the only ones left in the lot at the time. And when they saw me approach, they began to look away. ALL of them....they just began to look away!!! WHY??? What are they not telling me???

I didn't want to see my friends hurt, not Dion and Dylan, and that goes without saying. But they KNEW what I was looking for! They knew what my major concern was! And they weren't telling me!

Jenna felt the fear building up inside of me so fast that she could hardly get a grip on it before she began to shake as well. In a worried voice, she stood up and came to my side. "Justin? Justin, honey, we need you to take a few deep breaths, and try to relax, ok?"

"Fuck a 'deep breath', where's Taryn?" I said, unable to take my yes off of the twisted scene in front of me. Jenna tried to put a comforting arm on my shoulder, but I pushed it away. I'm not looking for comfort right now, I want answers. "Where is he?" I said, stepping closer. "What happened? Where's Taryn?" I asked again. They lowered their eyes, and I shouted, "DON'T YOU LOOK AWAY FROM ME!!!! WHERE IS HE?!?!?!"

Jun got up this time, hoping to calm me down. Even Trevor and Michael seemed concerned. "Remember to focus, Justin. Don't let your abilities get out of hand..."

"I'll rip this whole goddamn lot apart if you don't give me some fucking answers, and I'm talking RIGHT NOW! Where is he?"

Dion looked up into my eyes, a look of shame on his face, and he said, "They took him."

"Took him? WHO took him? What happened? What are you talking about, 'they took him'?"

"We were ambushed at the laundromat. It was like they knew we'd be there. I tried to fight them off, but there were too may of them. Justin, I swear to you, I did everything that I could, but..." I don't think I had ever seen Dion so distressed. He sat behind Dylan on the ground, holding him in his arms as Dylan sobbed softly into his shoulder. "...They were scavengers, Justin. The ones from the subway. They took him. And they mentioned your name."

All of that fear, all of that heard those words and began to burn. Like ignited rocket fuel, the hatred rushed through my veins like bolts of lightning, and my entire world turned black before my very eyes.

Dion said, "They made sure to injure us to the point where we wouldn't be able to walk home before dawn. We found a secure place to sleep in a nearby store that's closed on the weekends, and tried to heal up enough to come home tonight. Dylan here is still in bad shape though. He still can't walk on his own." Dylan crawled into Dion's arms even deeper, and he leaned down to kiss his boyfriend's cheek.

"We've got to find out where they took him, and get him back here." Jenna said. "Don't worry, Justin. We'll make sure that we find him. And we'll bring him home safe, ok?" She looked over to Trevor and Michael, "You two grab something that we can use to defend ourselves with. Jun, I'm definitely going to need your help, on this one."

Trevor and Michael got up to go back to their habitat, as did Jenna, but I didn't move. I was so full of anger that I thought I would send a shockwave of destruction in all directions if I took so much as a step out of that spot. Jun held onto Dylan's broken ankle, and felt another break or two further up his leg. "Ok....Dylan? Your leg is kinda healing the wrong way, and I'm gonna have to reset it, alright?"

"What does that mean?" He sniffled helplessly.

"It means...that this is gonna hurt a little bit, but by tomorrow night, you should at least be able to walk again without help." He took a hold of the ankle gently, and poor little Dylan did what he could to brace himself for the pain while Dion held him tight in his loving embrace. "You ready?" Dylan held his breath, and then nodded. With a sharp yank and a twist, Jun cracked the broken leg and ankle into place again, and Dylan screamed out loud as tears poured down his cheeks. Dion kissed him again and again, wishing that he could take his pain away. "I'll see if I can get you something to use as a splint for tonight, ok?" Jun got up and hurried to look for something in the junkyard that would help.

Dion looked up at me, and he saw the fire in my eyes. "I'm sorry, Justin. I fought with everything I had. I swear to you...we did everything we could."

My anger wouldn't allow me to stand still. Not for a moment longer. Through gritted teeth, I said, "What did they say?"

Dion warned me, "Justin, don't even think about it. Ok? We're going to find him. ALL of us! Together! I noticed that they made it a point not to hurt him too badly when they grabbed him. So, I'm sure he's ok."

But I only asked again, "What...did they say?"

Dylan and Dion looked at one another for a moment, and Dylan answered softly. "They said you were 'late'. And that it was just 'business'."

Business? Business? "That's all I needed to know. I know exactly where to find him." I said. "Tell the others that I'll be home before dawn. And Taryn will be here with me."

Dion tried to stop me. "Justin, wait! Don't do this! You're not in the right frame of mind. You have no idea what these people are capable of."

"They have no idea what I'M capable of."

"Just calm down, stop and think. Take us with you. We can help."

"You're in no shape to fight, Dion. Not like I can."

"Then at least take Jenna and Jun with you!"

"They're not ready."

"And you are?" Dion asked. He was trying to stall me until the others returned, and I could respect that. But I knew what I had to do.

"Tonight...I'm ready for anything." I told him. "I swore to him that I would protect him with my life. And I'm going to do just that. No one is ever going to take him away from me. Business or otherwise."

"You can't do this, you hear me? This is DANGEROUS!" Dion pleaded.

And Dylan chimed in, "We don't want you to get hurt. Just wait for Bryson to come home. He'll know what to do."

"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dylan." I said, feeling the rage swelling up into a tight knot.

"How do you know that you'll be able to find him? How do you we know that you'll even come back alive?" Dylan whined.

And I simply told him, "I guess you'll just have to have faith. Won't you?" With that, I leaned forward, and with what I remembered of Bryson's extra and Rain's, I touched his broken leg and took as much of the pain out as my abilities would allow. It wasn't healed, not by any means, but it was enough to bring him a little comfort. I converted the physical trauma into emotional pain, which only made the anger inside burn hotter than ever before. And with freshly retrieved visions of my father and my past swirling so close to the surface, I was ready to rip this city apart. "Expect me before dawn."

Dion gave one last ditch attempt. "This is SUICIDE! Do you hear me?"

"So be it."

"I'm NOT going to lose you both to some blind anger and a bad choice! Wait for someone to help you!"

"I've been 'waiting' for someone to help me for too long, Dion. It's time I took a stand on my own." I told him. "Think about it...if it was Dylan out there, hurt and alone, right now....what would you do?" He sat there silent, feeling the tears of his true love soaking into his shirt, shivering from what was left of the pain. The look in his eyes told me everything I needed to know, and I trusted him to give me an appropiate window to escape. I could always count on Dion to understand. Always. "Don't worry. I'll be sure to hurt them good for you both."

I began to walk away, readying Dylan's extra to mask my exit from the lot. But Dion asked me, "Wait! How will we find you when it's over?"

"Just follow the smoke." I replied. "And the trail of bodies from everyone who dares to stand in the way.

There was no more to be said. And in an instant, I was gone. By the time the others realized it, it would be too late to follow me. I had to perform miracles tonight, and they'd only get in the way. It's as much for their safety as it is Taryn's. No more restrictions on what I can do. I had work to do.

I hit the streets hard! If I had stepped any harder, the concrete blocks of the sidewalk would have cracked helplessly beneath my feet. My energies had gotten so riled up that I was literally radiating an intense heat from my body in all directions. In fact, as small shreds of paper from the alleys swirled around me, I saw them getting synged and turning black at the edges. It took some effort to pull the energy back enough to walk past the few humans I crossed paths with undetected. But I knew that they could tell that I was beyond the point of 'describable anger'!

I *TOLD* him not to touch him!!!


There was no way to gauge the level of utter hatred churning in the pit of my stomach like a cancer. With every single step, my muscles tightened into a more complex knot. I could almost hear the fibers tweaking, like an old rope getting ready to snap with any added pressure. My mind was full of pleasant thoughts, framed by a wall of fire. I remembered seeing Taryn's glowing eyes for the first time...their beauty captivating my heart with their supernatural glow. I remembered his words, his touch, his kiss...and how he gave me an alternative. He saved me. He brought me out of the murky depths of a life that I no longer wanted, and made me into something more. Something better. And he did it all with the warmth of his loving embrace. That beauty was never meant to be touched. Never meant to be tainted. NEVER meant to be taken away! And as long as I have breath in my lungs and a closed fist...I swear on every fucking INCH of my life...that I will protect him from harm! I will RIP this world to PIECES! I will shatter mountains, burn the sky, and evaporate OCEANS, if I have to...but I assure you that my better half WILL be coming home with me tonight! Even if I have to beat down the devil himself to do it!

The lights of the city were beginning to thin out as I traveled further West, the skyline fading back into the distance. And I found myself in, what seemed like, familiar territory. But not quite where we were before. I could see the old hill in the background, with the lone convenience store sitting at the top. A very deceptive front to what was going on underground. Secluded enough to hide their operation from the eyes of anyone who didn't realize what it really was. But I remembered where it was. I remembered it easily. Doc's small amount of training taught me how to find those supposed trivial bits of information in the back of my mind and dredge them up for further use. I memorized every step that Dion, Gyro, and I had taken that first night. And I traced them right back to where I needed to be. But this time, I headed towards a series of old warehouses in the vicinity. Taryn's presence was strong there. I could feel it. Was he sending me a message? I couldn't tell. But I could feel my emotions being pulled in that direction. And as I got closer, my knuckles began to crack. The time had come....

...To show this world of darkness just what kind of punishment is involved from angering their newly appointed 'prophet'.

The alley was extra dark. Not a working streetlight in sight. Only a lone red bulb over the door leading to the entrance. But to a vampire's eyes, it wasn't hard to navigate. I'm sure that they counted on that. The brick walls on either side of the alley were spread apart about as wide as four lane traffic, plenty of room to move in. Even with dumpsters and trash on either side of the place. And the door leading to Taryn...was about a city block ahead of me. That was all I needed to know.

I came around the corner, nothing breaking my stride. The heated emotions within me had reached an all time high, and as I felt small tingles of my angel in most predatory instincts clouded over me. My eyes turned blood red, and I saw the sight of four vampires standing in the middle of the alley not far from me, sharing swigs out of a bottle of liquor.

They hadn't paid me any atention yet, but they will soon. I wasn't hiding. There was no sneaking past them. No invisible tricks. No alternate side entrances or quick escapes. I wanted them to see me. I want them to FEEL it! I need them to suffer for every minute that I've been away from the love of my life! I'm coming for Taryn, and I'll lay waste to any son of a BITCH who stands in my way! Game time is definitely over! I approached and was actually able to see their faces, I noticed a familiar grin. VERY familiar. These weren't just your ordinary, every day, vampire thugs. They were scavengers. The SAME scavengers that attacked me in the subway! The same ones that hurt Taryn before! The same ones that I saw in the IceZone! Just as Dion said. Were they working for him now? Did he send them after my boyfriend? Were they the ones who gave him th information he needed to find us? They were right there in front of me...laughing. Having a good time. Enjoying the night as though they had done nothing wrong. I could sense Taryn's essence all over them. They were in contact with him. They struggled with him. Hurt him. Heard him scream and took pleasure from his cries. I never once slowed down my pace. I kept walking forward, waiting for them to notice me. I was anxious to have them see me at first. EAGER, even! But even though I was hoping to take a lot of enjoyment from ripping these assholes to pieces with my bare hands...I could already feel Dion's extra taking full effect on my emotions as a whole. It was like having a dimmer switch on my very soul, darkening until there was no light left. No discretion, no restraint, no mercy. And yet...somehow...I could still feel the rage surging in my arms and legs. My teeth were still tightly clenched, my fists balled up until my knuckles were white, my footstep firm and focused. I was only 50 feet away.

It was then that they saw me. All four of them. I could sense more entities than just them though. There were at least six or seven more hiding out in the shadows behind them. Scavengers always travel in packs, just like last time. But it wasn't any of my concern. My only mission was to get to Taryn. If they know what's good for them, they'll step aside and let me do my job without interference.

"Heyyyyy....LOOK, you guys! Blast from the past!" The main boy cackled. "What's up, little boy? You get lost or something?"

I could never forget his face. I could never forget the feel of him sinking his long fangs into the side of my neck as I tried to fight him off in that subway. The sickening feeling of helplessness...the useless struggle against his assault. It reminded me of my father, and the way he used to beat me mercilessly for almost an hour on Sundays. Just to vent out his frustrations from the week. I could almost see the image of my father's abuse in his fucking smug grin, and it only made me walk towards them faster.

"Ooooh, look out, boys! Hahaha! I think he's mad!" One of them shouted, and the four of them lined up across the alley, ready to stop me. If only I had the emotional ability to smile. I was hoping that they'd challenge me. I would have begged them for the challenge, in fact. I feel as though I've been waiting for this my whole life. This wasn't some sudden outburst at some high school bully, or a matter of self defense. No.....this was calm. Collected. A direct attack on a number of targets. And for the first time ever...I wasn't afraid. More importantly, I wasn't being asked to hold back.

I didn't say a word. I simply kept walking, my eyes focused on the door behind them at the other end of the alley. Nothing else mattered. "Whatchya looking for, fag boy? Huh?" One of them laughed. But I didn't answer. I simply kept moving forward.

"Don't ya got anything to say to us, geek? Hehehe, you might as well say SOMETHING! Because we're NOT gonna let you through that door!" I remained silent. I was almost close enough to them now for the game to begin. I simply...moved forward.

As I got even closer to them, approaching their position, their supposed leader stepped forward to stop me. "You want your boyfriend, sissy? Huh? Is that it?" He said. But I only continued to move forward. "Hehehe, alright kid, you wanna tangle with us again? Fine by me!" He grinned. And then, just as I got within strinking range of him and his buddies, he added, "Welcome to your next beat down, FAGGOT!!!"

But he hardly got the words out of his fucking mouth! My arm shot out at the speed of light, and the base of my palm connected HARD to the bridge of his nose...breaking it instantly! The impact of the blow knocked him back so fast that he nearly broke his neck, and his legs lifted up from the ground as his body fell backwards, as if in slow motion. He landed on his shoulder blades before any other part of him touched the ground, and I saw a glimpse of his friends faces as they suddenly realized that this was NOT the same little 14 year old boy that they beat up in that subway a few months ago. I was much, MUCH, more this time...and was too late for them to run!

My energies were completely off the charts this time around! And the felt 'good'! It felt like an explosion of the senses! And I was JUST getting started!

I didn't give the others much time to think, I was reached out to grab the wrist of the scavenger on the left, and twisted it up at a harsh angle, breaking it nearly in HALF! Bones broke, shooting out of the skin, and puncturing his main artery as blood sprayed out of his wound like a firehose! He screamed out in pain, but he only had a few seconds before I forced my elbow hard into his throat, and then hit him hard enough in the chin to make him bite off a chunk of his own tongue! I saw the bloody piece fly forward, and caught it in my hand as I closed my fist again and punched him in the chest hard enough to knock him to the ground as well. The third henchman attempted to swing at my head, now that he realized what was happening, but I caught his fist in my hand, and with a simple maneuver, I got underneath his arm, and broke his arm over my shoulder, bending the elbow completely in the other direction. It wasn't like the sickening feeling that I first felt in the fighting arena. This was amazing! Feeling the strength in my arms. The sensation was unimaginable! I could literally feel the brittle bones breaking over my shoulder, giving me a pleasureable chill, like feeling chunks of ice crack under your feet while you walk.

The scavenger dropped down to the ground, as I swung my leg around to trip up the third member of their gang. He fell sideways, onto his shoulder, and I jumped up to stomp down on his chest, practically 'crushing' it under my weight. The fourth scavenger came towards me quickly, but my arms blocked every shot, and then reached forward to tightly pinch his cheek. My fingers dug so deeply into his face, that he thought his flesh was about to be ripped from his skull. I held him there for a moment, and then let go once his cheek turned dark purple from the bruise...only to deliver a spin kick that sent him spinning multiple times into the trash! And then, without any effort at all...I popped the collar up on my jacket, and I moved forward.

Someone else jumped down behind me, and wrapped their arms around me, but it took nothing to reach up and twist his index fingers to the breaking point, making him holler out in pain. My face never changed its expression. The mission was simple...reach the door, open it, save Taryn. Nothing else mattered. Not even the lives of these fucking degenerates who DARED to stand between me and my love! To hell with a vampire scripture...he's MINE!

I let the scavenger's fingers go, just to spin around and deliver several harsh blows to his face and chest, knocking him back into the trash where he came from. Three more showed up, and even with Dion's extra being fully functional....the anger and joy managed to pierce through the curtain of emotionless fire. I remained ready! Focused! Concentrating on my goal, and my goal only! Bring me more! I'm READY this time!

By now the leader of their pathetic little team actually had the audacity to get up on his feet behind me. He opened a cell phone and called his boss inide the building. I never stopped pressing on, but I listened to what he said. I could pick up the sound easily. He said, "Soren...he's here! The fucking KID, he's here! He just fucking broke my nose!" I don't know what Soren told him, but he hung up the phone and rushed towards me. Is THIS his only defense against me? I hope not. Because I haven't even broken a sweat yet.

A vampire charged me from the side, but nearly dislocated his shoulder against my side when I didn't budge an inch. It was as if my body had become as sold as concrete, my feet firmly planted on the concrete. I looked down at him and grabbed him by the hair, pulling him off of me. I sensed the main scavenger swinging from behind, and spun around to block it, striking him across the face seconds later. I tossed the first one into a wall, and pulled their leaders hed back. "Don't worry, pretty boy, you'll get your turn next!" And I kicked him back to the ground. As his buddy recovered, I allowed him to give me his best shot. stood back and watched as his hands swung wildly at me, hoping to connect. I barely had to block at all. Most of his punches were way off. So I let him tire himself out...and when he stopped to catch his breath...I grabbed his arm, and winked at him as I nearly tore it from its socket! I heard it snap, I heard tendons rip, muscles stretched beyond their limit...and the limp arm fell to his side. But I still used a low kick to brutally break his leg at the kneecap, just for added effect. And I let him fall to the ground in tears. Then....I moved forward!

Nothing was going to stop me from reaching that door!

Some idiotic thug attempted to hit me from the side, but I humiliated him by knocking his hand away, and then kicking his right leg up from under him, catching it in my arms. He attempted to get away from me, and I allowed him to struggle for a moment or two, before grabbing his foot, and turning it backwards on his leg, breaking the ankle in the most horrific way possible. He nearly threw up from the agony. And when he hit the ground, I twisted his leg, and broke it again. Then I pulled it back and broke it again. Then I folded it over my knee and broke it AGAIN! By the time I was finished, he was crying like a baby. How many sleep cycles would it tak to fix THAT, I wonder? I dropped his now useless appendage to the ground...and I moved FORWARD!

There were two more vampires in that alley, and they were foolish enough to charge at me. Thinking that the both of them together against just one opponent would give them the advantage. Hehehe, amusing. They approached me at top speed, growling at me with their fangs lowered. They attacked with everything they had, and I blocked and dodged every single blow on both sides. Are they 'kidding' me? I felt Dion's extra covering almost everything in my mind, but somehow...the mixture of Trevor's and Jenna's abilities allowed certain emotions to get through. But were they my own, or just a reflection of what my opponents were feeling. I'm not sure, but as the fight continued on, getting more fierce by the moment, my anger got more and more out of control. I could feel the fury of my father's temper sitting at the forefront of my actions, and my rage turned into something so intense that I didn't know if I'd EVER be able to shut it off!

They kept fighting, but only succeeded in pissing me off even more. And when I felt another small surge of fear coming from Taryn's beacon...I knew that I was done playing around with these punks! I ducked under one of their kicks and spun around him to elbow him hard enough to literally burst a kidney. Then, grabbing him hard by the FACE, I swung him around and angrily slammed his head into the side of a brick wall...denting them inward as blood splashed out on both sides. The back of his head split open like a ripe melon, and he left a long smear of blood on the bricks as his eyes rolled back, and he slid down to the ground. I was breathing hard, heat burning up the trash around me, small fires starting in the garbage on both sides of the alley. I stared at the leftover scavenger, and the horror in his eyes brought an evil grin to my lips. I stepped towards him as he stepped back, and he attempted to make a run for it. But thanks to Chad...I'll never be outrun ever again. He barely got ten steps away before I was standing in front of him...and I crossed my hands across his face! My left hand on the upper part of his face, my right hand on the lower....and with a quick and savage jerk...I pulled his skull and his jaw in two different directions! He couldn't even scream. His jaw had been broken and completely ripped out of the socket, and the rest of his head was facing the other way. I used a harsh kick to his chest to knock him to the ground as he prayed to for the shock of it all to numb the pain. No such luck...not for you. Lay there and take it asshole!

With all of his friends dispatched, I made sure to return to the leader of the pack. The most familiar face of them all. Ohhhh, how I have been waiting for this moment. My vision deepened in color until it was almost black, and I felt my fangs grow an inch or two longer than they ever had before. Almost scraping my lower gums with their razor sharp point. I approached him quickly as he staggered to his feet...and I wrapped my fingers around his throat, pushing him back against the wall and lifted him up off of his feet. He kicked and struggled to get away, but I held him steady.

"WHERE IS HE?!?!?!" I shouted!

"Fuck you, halflife!!!"

I squeezed harder, and his adam's apple almost burst from the pressure. He choked and gasped in pain, and I felt a thick acid solution being released through my palm, burning his skin as I held him there. "Exactly how many times do you think I'm willing to ask you this question before I snap your neck like a breadstick??? HUH???" I squeezed harder, and then felt an electric current shoot up my arm and go straight into his brain, making him buzz and twitch in my deathgrip! "Where is Taryn???" He couldn't answer, he couldn't even breathe. "TELL ME!!!" I screamed! I mentally invaded his mind, but this time, there was no subtle 'push'. No hidden exploration. I used my mind reading ability like a fucking battering ram and ripped a hole in his thoughts as the agonizing pain hit him without mercy! He shrieked outloud as the combination of torture methods overwhelmed him from every angle.

I searchd swiftly through his memories, crumbling up what I didn't need like wads of wasted scratch paper! And it HURT him! I could feel his suffering, and it was intense. BUT I kept charging through the halls of his mind, wrecking everything that I didn't find useful, until I finally found something useful. I saw them taking Taryn, hurting Dylan, beating up Dion...and then I saw Taryn being tied up and kept in a room on the second floor of this very building. He was still in one piece, but he was calling out for me. He needed my help. And as I watched this in the thoughts of this fucking bastard, my rage brned the image to ashes, and I nearly electrocuted him into a state of unconsciousness.

But I decided to leave him awake. Just long enough to let him know what was coming. "You hurt him. My boyfriend. My angel. You put your DISGUSTING fucking hands on him...for MONEY! And look what it got you? You hurt the most beautiful boy that I've ever known. You caused bodily harm and stress to my friends. And your pathetic existence has worn out its welcome as far as I'm concerned." But just as I lowered him down enough to let his feet touch the ground, I added. "But...above everything also hurt me once, a long time ago. You took advantage of someone smaller and weaker than you, and made the mistake of showing your face again afterwards. Well, guess what? I believe that I owe you a bite. And I ALWAYS pay my debts!"

And without another word, I viciously jumped forward, and I sank my fangs as DEEP into the fucker's neck as I possibly could! They were in all the way to the gums, the residue from my acid solution lightly stinging my lips. Even though my body had already been satisfied tonight, my fangs began to do their job, and sucked hungrily at the main artery in his neck. Oh, how he wailed. He screamed like a BITCH once I got lodged in, but my anger took it a step further, and I kept biting down until my fangs had ripped open the teeth holes even further. His blood was so different from human blood. The taste was different. It was 'used', 'second hand', but exciting just the same. It lit up my world and my tongue moved forward to lick up some of the excess running down to his chest. His hands began to shake violently, and he attempted to push my head away, but I only bit deeper into is flesh. Until my teeth finally connected underneath his skin, and I tore a HUGE chunk of flesh and muscle out of his neck. He screamed out in agonizing pain and fell backwards on the ground, as I rudely spit the chunk of flesh back in his face. "Hurts...don't it?"

It felt good to see their near lifeless bodies squirming in agony on the ground before me. I had never been so pleased. And with a lifetime's worth of anger still filling me up inside, I looked towards the outside door, and began moving forward again. Don't worry, Soren......I'll save the 'flashy' stuff just for you. Believe me...I'm just getting warmed up.