I guess the sunset hit at about 7:30 that night, but the few hours in between that and the time I woke up were endless. The ticking of the second hand that little clock would have driven me insane had it kept that annoyingly slow rhythm going for another minute.

Taryn slept like the dead. I'm sure we all did. It's sort of like a vampire's hibernation from sun up to sundown. But something about watching him sleep filled me with such a peaceful feeling inside. And I wouldn't be able to look at those slightly parted red lips of hs without leaning over to kiss them delicately. It brought a rush to me that my heart couldn't explain. In fact, it seemed almost insulting to even try. God he was beautiful. Even when he was motionless, still like a piece of fine art. I could stare at any part of him for ten minutes and remain focused on every amazing detail. What an intricate group of craftsmen the angels must have been when they created this sweet boy. As I waited for him to wake up, I sat next to him, and softly brushed my fingertips through his hair. The reddish brown strands would slip through my fingers like warm summer sand at the beach, and I continued to pet and caress him until I felt the breath gradually return to his body.

Taryn sighed in such a sexy way as a seductive smile spread across his lips. "Mmmm...hey there, early bird." He said with a small moan entering into his whispered voice.

I leaned forward to kiss his lips before speaking. "I thought you were gonna sleep the night away, slacker." I grinned.

"And let you grope and fondle me in my sleep? I don't think so." The glow in his green eyes kept me thirsty for another kiss, and another. I could lay next to him all night long like this, without ever needing another activity outside of admiring the beauty of my love.

We heard some car doors shutting outside in the lot as some of the others woke up and began to mill around. Taryn rolled over on top of me, gazed into my eyes, and bent forward to rub his nose playfully against mine. "Come on, let's get out of here." He smiled.

"Awww...do we have to? I just...let me lay here with you a few minutes. Let me love you in private for a little bit longer." Taryn gave me a sweet peck on my lips, and pushed his hips into me, grinding slowly. I reached up with both hands, and ran my fingers through the loosley hanging locks of hair as he looked down on me with more love in his eyes than was humanly bearable. I then allowed my hands to slide down the smooth muscles of his back, and down to hold the spongy cheeks of his ass. They were so smooth. My fingers wept with appreciation for the chance to hold them, my palms blessed with the softness of his skin. And we french kissed each other until we were both too breathless to go on. Rolling back and forth with Taryn freed me from the weight of any thought or problem that I had ever experienced, and I hope that I am able to make him feel half the love he gives me in return.

Eventually, we heard everyone else outside talking and goofing around. So we decided to get out of bed and go outside. I ruffled through some of my clothes to find something to wear. I almost wish I had brought more stuff with me. I saw Taryn get up, an erection poking out the front of his boxers, and walk up behind me to reach over my shoulder to get something to wear too. I let my hand 'accidently' rub across the front of his tent and kept him from reaching his shirt. He giggled with the contact to his sensitive tip, "Hehehe...what are you up to?"

"Wait your turn." I said, my back to him, and blocking our little makeshift closet. He tried to reach over my shoulder again, and I stopped him. "NO...wait your turn!" I laughed as he struggled to find an opening. He cheated by pinching my butt extra hard and squirmed past me. "OW! No FAIR!" We wrestled a bit standing up until I had him pinned against the wall.

He grinned at me, both of us breathing hard, and he said, "I love you, Justin."

"I'm not falling for it." Then I looked down and saw that Taryn had somehow snaked his way out of the front of his boxers, his hardness poking through. Calling to me. I slid down to my knees, just giving it two or three long, slow sucks before tucking it neatly back into his underwear. Letting the taste of him bring life into my mouth. I got dressed first, and sat on the bed to put my shoes on as Taryn buttoned up his shirt.

"Taryn..." I said, a wicked grin on my face.


"I saw him."

"Taryn looked over at me, puzzled. "Saw who?"

"Comicality...I saw him." The look on his face was priceless. His eyes and mouth got wider and wider until I was beginning to wonder if they'd stop before his head exploded.

"YOU WHAT??? You're SHITTING me, right??? OMIGOD! Are...are you ok? What did he do? What did he say?" Taryn was so excited that he popped out of his boxers again! He rushed over to sit next to me and begged me for details.

I reached down to lovingly tuck him back into his boxers again, making sure to rub it a few times once inside. "Did I ever tell you, that out of all the boxers you have, this is my favorite pair?" I grinned.

He smacked my hand and said, "Put that down! C'mon! Tell me what happened!" He was bouncing around like a 10 year old, it was so cute.

"Well, he didn't tell me much actually. But he said that we'll meet again. And I think he mentioned something about training me! Actually TRAINING me! Dude, I think he's going to teach me some really cool stuff if I can get him to stand still long enough!" I said.

Taryn hugged me tightly around the neck. "Oh wow! Awww dude, this is AWESOME! I knew you were special from the moment I saw you! This is so cool! I love you! Oh Jenna is going to freak! And Dion..."

I stopped him. "Oh no...wait wait. I can't. I mean, I'm supposed to be keeping all this very low key for now. So we can't tell them until I figure things out a bit. But I wanted you to know." And I did, it felt good to be able to share some of these things with him. I hope to fill him in on all of my secrets soon. And then...I'll be free of them. For good.

"Ok, I understand. I'm just so happy for you, Justy." Taryn let go from his hug, and kissed me on the cheek with a smile. Then...he said something that caught me a bit off guard. "Wow...so you were finally able to catch Chad this time, huh? I can't imagine how you worked that out."

"Um...yeah..." I said.

"What? What's wrong?" Taryn asked.

I stopped for a second, it seemed like such a little thing, but I asked anyway. "How did you know?"

"Know about what?"

"How did you know about Chad? I didn't say anything about Chad." I replied.

Taryn grinned a bit and said, "You said just last night that you were going to see him, didn't you?"

"No...I said I was going to see Tim last night. I just happened to bump into Chad by accident."

"Oh, well...it's a good thing you did." Taryn fidgeted a bit, and got up to finish getting dressed without saying another word.

I saw him hurry to put on his pants and fasten them up quickly. "Taryn...?" I started, but he grabbed his shoes and carried them out of the door in his hands.

"I'll meet you outside, babe." And he left. I backtracked through my entire conversation to see if Chad's name had come up, if maybe I had mentioned him last night when I came home, if I had whispered it in my sleep. But I hadn't, and it made me wonder if maybe I was just being silly, or if something was hidden behind the eyes of the sweet boy who was laying next to me just a few seconds before.

I walked out of the van to mingle around a bit in the yard with the rest. Bryson usually had some minor chores for us to do to keep our area clean. Well...clean for an abandoned junkyard, anyway. Chores that he was now including me in. Most of the time, we would talk in small clusters of two or three on nights like this when we didn't go out. Even though Trevor was a regular at the club, and Michael was quick to follow him wherever he went. How Bernie kept getting them in at the back door without getting in trouble was beyond me. But they kept going back, looking for some fun.

As I walked over to see what Dion was up to, Dylan crossed my path and gave me his usual shy greeting. "Are you going out tonight?" He asked.

"No. Just going to see what Dion was up to. C'mon, he'll be happy to see you too." I said, but Dylan turned white as a sheet.

"That's ok. Go ahead. Say hello for me...but don't tell him I said that. K? Oh wait..I guess you'd have to, wouldn't you? Ok, tell him...um...hello." And with that, he scattered off to his 'home' and shut the door. He was cute even when he was being a freak about it.

"Hey Dion." I said.

"What's up kid? How are you feelng these days?" He asked, pointing to my shirt.

"Oh...it's all gone. See?" I lifted my shirt to show him the smooth surface of my skin where a would-be fatal scar should have been. There wasn't a trace of it left. Although, when my first victim had stabbed me there, I thought I was a goner. Immortality or no immortality...it's just not cool to see yourself all cut up and bleeding. "That is just so cool. There isn't even a mark."

"Nice! Looks like the feeding actually did you some good then. It took you forever to heal the last time." Dion whistled, and Napolean trotted over to lay down at his side. He petted the dog affectionately and let the pooch lick his face out of appreciation. Then, he asked me, "So...where'd you go last night?"

"Oh, just out for a while. I wanted to explore a little bit is all." I lied.

"Really? So...where did you explore to? I mean, have you found yourself a little spot or something?"

"No, not really. Just....out." Something in the way Dion was asking me seemed more like, I don't know, an interrogation than just a simple question.

"You sure? I mean, you could tell me if you were hiding out somewhere, you know?" He persisted.

"Nowhere specific. Just out." Dion looked into my eyes for a moment, and then smiled, putting his hand on my shoulder. "Ok. Just asking, bud."

"Look...I'm going to check on Taryn, ok?" I needed to ask him some questions.

"Sure. He was over at Rain's place, but the two of them went off somewhere a few minutes ago. Not sure where though."

"Alright. Thanks." I walked over to Rain's sleeping place, what looked like a used ambulance. I knocked at the back door to see if I could get her attention, but she didn't answer. Maybe they would be back after an hour or so. Who knows?

"Did you tell him?" Came a voice from behind me. It scared the living shit out of me at first. I jumped and turned to see Dylan looking at me.

"Oh...I'm sorry dude. I wasn't thinking." I said, and he looked disappointed.

"Oh. Well, that's ok." He said, and bashfully pushed some of the hair out of his eyes. "Next time." He started to walk away, but I knew that 'vibe'. The nervousness, the concern...it had my suspicions up a bit. It was like...I just knew. I could feel it inside.

"You like him, don't you?" I said with a big smile. And he turned around fast to shut me up. He looked all around us to see if anybody heard, and then hurriedly dragged me off to a secluded corner of the lot.

"Shhhh! What did you say THAT for? What makes you think..." But I stopped him.

"Ooooh! You like him a LOT!" I giggled and he put his hand over my mouth, blushing furiously.

"STOP! He'll hear you!" He whispered loudly in his ear.

"Awww....I think that's so sweet. You should tell him, he'd be so honored." I smirked.

"NO! We can't tell him that! And besides...I don't like him anyway. Not like that. I mean...he's cute and all, but I don't...I'm not..." Dylan began stutterng and babbling worse than I had ever seen, and I couldn't help but snicker outloud as he tried to defend himself. He had this look on his face like a young puppy does when he knocks over that vase in the living room and breaks it. It was adorable, not to mention hilarious. He KNEW he was caught, and just gave in. "Shit. Am I that obvious?"

I tried to reassure him, "No. Not really." He sighed outloud and leaned back against on of the junk heaps next to us.

"He didn't say anything, did he? I must look like such an idiot to him. I don't mean to be all nervous and tongue tied, it just sort of happens. You know? I'm not all lovey dovey or anything....I just think...I think he's really cool, you know? And...beautiful. I wish he had been the one to turn me. That would have been perfect." Dylan looked down at his feet as usual, but he was smiling. "I remember being drawn in by him the first day that I got here. He was sooo sweet to me. We would talk all night long, even before Bryson let me go anywhere by myself, and just...blew me away. The way he thinks, the way he speaks...there's something so attractive about it all. Nobody sees things the way he does, and I love that about him. It's so unique."

I'm not exactly sure how I phrased the question, but I basically asked Dylan what he felt inside. The look of surprise on his face, that look of confusion while searching for the words, made me wonder if anyone else in the lot had ever really taken the time to ask before. And once he collected his thoughts, he spent the next 15 minutes telling me everything that Dion meant to him in the time that he had been a part of the group. I mean, except for me, as far as being born into darkness and new to the whole vampire existence, Dylan was still the 'baby' of the family. And I don't think he was ever confident enough to really express himself to many of the others. So when the floodgates opened and he spoke for 15 minutes straight without hardly taking a breath, I felt good for having given him the opportunity. This boy had it bad. I remember having crushes before, and none of them were this detailed. "So you really DO like him, huh?" I asked.

He blushed instantly. "Yeah...I s'pose."

"Sooo...? Why don't you say something?" I wasn't sure how to go about saying something to another boy myself, but with Dion I imagine it must be much easier than someone he hardly knew.

"I can't. He's not gonna like ME, I'm just a kid to him. I mean...what do I have to offer someone like that."

"You." I answered.

"Yeah, well...it's not that easy."

"Dylan all you have to do is talk to him. A little bit at the time. You don't have to walk over there and scream 'I love you' in his ear, but you can't just sit in a corner and do nothing. He likes you Dylan, he just doesn't know you is all."

I saw Dylan's eyes open up as he looked over my shoulder, and he said, "Oh...my...God..."

"Well THAT'S not much of a welcome squirt." Said the voice behind me. I looked over my shoulder and saw a boy that I had never seen before. He looked to only be 12 or 13 years old, with an eyebrow piercing and blond hair that was dyed with a rainbow colored array of streaks. His eyes were dark brown and his smile, while beautifully wicked, was extremely charming indeed. Dylan's mouth hung open, and then I heard other voices from the lot, join in as they caught sight of the newcomer.

"Holy shit...the prodigal son has returned." Bryson said, and then, with a smile...he walked over and gave the boy a nice long hug. The boy's skinny and slender frame looking so frail in comparison with the rest of us. He looked even more boyish than Kid unless you really took a good look at him. "It's good to see you, Gyro."

"I told you I'd be back from time to time." He said, "My friends are taking good care of me Bryson. There's no need for you to worry."

I leaned over and whispered to Dylan, "Who is that?"

"That's Gyro. He used to live here with us a while ago. But he found someone and now he lives with them instead, but he drops in once in a while. I haven't seen him for a long long time." Dylan whispered back.

"Ahhhh..." I looked just past them and Saw Taryn and Rain coming back from their little excursion from the lot. And Taryn's eyes lit up too when he saw Gyro standing in the middle of the lot.

"GRYO?" He said, and ran up to leap into his arms and give him a back breaking hug. But as I looked on, I noticed that Rain hadn't moved. I stood up, and walked over to see what was going on, and Taryn grinned happily. "Gyro, I want you to meet somebody. This is Justin. This is my boyfriend." He grinned happily.

"Boyfriend? Hehehe, you SEE Bryson? I told you from the first day Trevor brought him here that he was a 'candy boy'!" Gyro stuck out his hand, showing no disrespect, and said, "Pleased to meet you man."

"Hi..." I shook his hand and he looked over to see Rain staring at him from the shadows.

"How's it going sis?" Gyro said with a smile. But Rain just walked back to her car, climbed in, and closed the door.

"She doesn't seem to happy to see you." Bryson replied.

"Is she ever?" Gyro never lost his smile, and he set down a plastic garbage bag with some clothes and stuff inside. "I thought I might stick around for a few days, if you'll have me."

"No problem, Gyro. You know you're always welcome." Bryson picked up his bag for him and swung it over his shoulder.

"Solar! I sure hope that Max fixed the roof and windshield of the van this time."

But Bryson stopped him, "Actually...he DID. But the van is no longer...um...vacant." He smiled in our direction, and Gyro giggled in response.

"Ohhh...I see. You guys need room for the 'freaky freaky'! Gotchya. Well, you could always do me a HUGE favor and set me up in JENNA's spot. Mmmmm!" I saw Jenna blush a bit and turn to walk away. "Awww, come on baby, don't be that way. I was just kidding. Sort of." Some other people came out to give him hugs and catch up on old times while I listened with great interest. It seems Gyro has travelled quite a bit and he had an addictive party streak in him too. I liked that. But when Trevor and Michael finally crawled out of bed to come join us, no doubt after a rough sex session in bed, he didn't seem to happy to see our new friend at all. Not upset, just not happy.

"Welcome home." He said.

Gyro just smiled and said, "I'm NOT home. I'm on vacation."

"You're always on vacation. I thought you would have found yourself some roots by now."

"I did. Remember? And since you didn't ask, Stacy is doing just fine." Their eyes met, and I saw Trevor smile weakly and give Gyro a hug.

"Of course she is. She's got you." He said. The vibe between the two of them created a strange tension in the air around the rest of us. We all waited for a moment of silence to pass before Trevor took Michael's hand and kissed it. "I guess we're BOTH happy now, aren't we?" And with that, Trevor led Michael away from the group.

On the way past me, Michael purposely bumped into me, and then looked over his shoulder to say, unconvincingly, "Sorry." The look in his eyes was one of contempt, and it was the first time I had ever really felt him aiming it in my direction.

"We're going to the club, I suppose we'll see you there?" Trevor said, never once turning around, or stopping to hear an answer.

"I never miss a party." Gyro replied. "Any of you guys coming?"

Most refused, some weren't even out of their beds yet, but a big part of me wanted to go. Besides, the club was a lot of fun when I went in. Then, Gyro asked, "Where the heck is Jun? Did he wander off tonight?"

Bryson looked over at me for a split second, for whatever reason, and then said, "He's resting in the old taxi to the left. He...uh...has an injury for tonight. Nothing major." Jun had an injury? When did this happen?

"That boy is ALWAYS getting hurt. I honestly think he's accident prone, you know? I'm gonna go say hello, and then I'm off." Gyro smiled and walked over to see Jun in his 'habitat'. And I followed behind him to give Jun my regrets for whatever he had done to himself THIS time. Besides, I was curious as to what it was. Gyro pulled on the car door handle but all the doors were locked. He truned to me and said, "Unfortunately, Jun has to lock himself in here every night. He has a tendency to sleepwalk, on occassion. And sleepwalking in daylight is NOT a good thing for a vampire, you know?" He cupped his hands over his mouth and screamed into the window of the car, "HEY JUN!"

"Who is it?"

"Who do you THINK? Open up and quit being a hermit!" Gyro grinned at me. He seemed to really love the attention he got from the others. He must have had a lot of good stories to tell.

Jun unlocked the back door, and I stood to the side of it as he opened it up. "Awwww Gyro! You WOULD come back when I couldn't walk!" Jun whined with a smile.

"Well that's like eleven months of the year, so it was bound to happen eventually. What the hell did you DO to yourself dude?"

"Arrrgh! I was out 'chasing' last night, running and pushing myself harder than I should have." I still don't think Jun could see me on the side, but I leaned forward to see his leg. He got quiet immediately. "Hey Justin. Didn't see ya."

"Looks pretty bad. The leg, I mean. You gonna be ok?" I said.

"Nah...it's no big deal. I'll be good as new tomorrow. Just need some time to recover is all." Jun covered his leg back up and laid back against the car window.

"Well...I was going to head on over to the club tonight, pay everybody a visit. It's been a while. I take it you're not up for dancing tonight?" Gyro grinned.

"Hardee-har. Just GO already, party boy! Do a shot of something potent for me, will ya?"

"You know I will." Gyro leaned in and gave Jun a hug, but before leaving, he took a playful slug at Jun's sore leg, and quickly shut the door before Jun could scream! Gyro started giggling as he heard a string of swears coming from inside Jun's prison for the evening. I couldn't help but smile myself. "Say kid, you wanna join me? Big fun, good times? What do ya say?" He had only met me, and he was actually inviting me OUT? He was the coolest! I think I liked him already.

"Yeah, sure. I'm game." I replied, and he slung a friendly arm ovr my shoulder and carried me out towards the fence with him. I wanted Taryn to come along too, but he seemed to have made himself scarce again, and I wasn't exactly sure where to even begin looking. Besides, it looked like Gyro had a party to go to, and he was in a rush to get there before he missed anything. Bryson waved to us, and warned Gyro not to 'corrupt' me TOO badly while we were gone. And we headed out into the streets.

While out walking and talking with this boy, who was basically a stranger to me before tonight, I found myself drawn to the level of confidence that he kept about him the entire time. He was incredibly friendly, wildly entertaining, funny, smart...it was as though he had no problems whatsoever saying what was on his mind. He never worried about saying something stupid, he never felt out of place, he never guarded his feelings or kept secrets. He was just...one of those people who are so comfortable with themselves that there's enough self confidence for the both of you. It was actually kinda cool. With the exception of Taryn, he was one of the only people that made me feel like I could do no wrong. Where being silly was welcomed and talking about my feelings was encouraged. It almost made me wish that he was staying around for a bit longer than a few days.

"...and we were all SOOO drunk, that we were too disoriented to actually CATCH the guy, right? And he's running, and he's running, and we're chasing him...BAM! He runs himself RIGHT into a brick wall! And we were all starving and ready to feed, but the fact that he had hit the wall so hard was so funny that we couldn't stop laughing long enough to actually 'do the deed'! So, after about five minutes of laughing until I had tears in my eyes, we thank him for the laugh, and let him go. Anybody who can make us laugh that hard deserved to be spared, you know?" It was like the tenth story he had told me, and it was awesome how he made being a vampire be so...normal. He was very accepting of this lifestyle. He could talk about it, joke about it, make even the drinking of human blood...all seem 'ok' in a sense. He made it just a natural part of our whole existence.

"That's so cool that you let him get away, dude." I said with a giggle.

"Cool my ASS! The guy runs away at top speed, turns the corner, and runs into ANOTHER hungry vampire who just happens to be on the prowl in the same area that we were in that night. So he gets whacked anyway! Too bad, I liked that guy." Gyro's smile was contagious beyond belief, I loved it. We laughed for a bit, and I figured I had to ask him something that was on my mind.

"Can I ask you something?"

"Sure, go ahead. Shoot."

"Why did you leave? I mean, I heard that you used to stay with everybody at the lot once. What made you take off?" Gyro smiled a bit, and I was glad that he was willing to tell me.

"Well...to be honest...it just wasn't for me." He said simply.

"How so?"

"Justin, they're an awesome bunch of guys, they really are. I love them to death, and when I needed them, they were always there for me, and vice versa. It's just...I needed something more. I was different from them, my idea of fun and life and friends and love was just a whole other perspective that they didn't fit. So...when I found a group of people that shared my interests a bit more completely...I made a choice, and I left. I still come back when I can though and say hello. They mean so much to me."

"But they just couldn't give you what you were looking for?" I asked, curious as to what else there was to offer someone lke him.

"I like parties, Justin. I like being mobile. I drink, I occassionally smoke weed, and I've hardly been one for too much of the philosophical mindbenders. Life is happening right now, all around me, and I just want to enjoy it. I want to dance and play and have lots of sex and then drink with my friends until we're all ready to pass out for the night. Somehow, I think most of them would frown on stuff like that." Gyro turned the corner, and I saw the alley leading up to the club. "Like Bryson, for example. I would never ask him to come to the club with us. He doesn't like smoke, he doesn't drink, he doesn't like loud music, he doesn't dance, he just...he would hate it. And that would make ME hate it the whole time I was there, you know what I'm saying? I love him something awful, but we're different breeds in that respect. Me personally? I need the adrenaline of life." He grinned at me as we got to the door, and he knocked loudly. "Not that I don't understand him. I just as much a fish out of water in his element as he is in mine. I just couldn't be the 'fish out of water' ALL the time anymore. I needed people who would vibe with me on a different level. And so did he. We found our different circles, and stuck to them. Still managing to cross paths every now and then. He's still like a bg brother to me though, no matter what."

The door opened, and I saw Bernie standing there, cigar half hanging out of his mouth and the same bitter scowl on his face that he always had. "Great! What the fuck are you kids doing to me huh?" He grumbled.

"C'mon, I KNOW you want to let us in Bernie!" Gyro smiled.

"Actually, no, I don't! The last time you was here, some guy caught you in the bathroom with a 35 year old broad, getting it on like you was at the fucking prom! You know how hard it was to get him to not call the police? I doubt I can explain a supposed 13 year old having sex with a trick old enough to be his mother."

"ANCIENT history, bro. I won't do it again, I swear. I've got a GIRLFRIEND now, remember?" Bernie looked at us with an evil touch of suspicion, not wanting to give in. But he always did, I don't even know why he made us go through the hassle. "Please?" Gyro said, using his child like looks to make an impact. I was amazed at how quickly he could change back into the mindset of a young boy so fast. It was definitely something that he had practiced before. "It's my birthday..." Gyro added.

"Shut up! GO! Go go go! I'm already going to hell anyway, no need to plead for a parole. But if ANYTHING jumps off tonight that's gonna bring me even a HINT of trouble..." Bernie started, but Gyro was already pushing me inside before he could change his mind.

"No problem, captain! I'll be an angel. Promise." He smiled. And as soon as he entered the door behind me, Gyro said, "For the record...that 'lady' approached ME! I was merely a victim in her attempt to sleep with a minor. And furthermore..."

"INSIDE! NOW!" Bernie pushed us the rest of the way in, and slammed the door shut.

The music began to surround us as soon as we entered the hallway. Bouncing off of the walls and sending vibes strong enough to make our bones shake. We opened the door at the end of the hall, and the flood of music splashed through both of us, pounding away harder than ever. I was really beginning to love this place.

"GYRO? My GOD! How ARE you dude?" Said someone off to the side of us. Gyro smiled and greeted him with a handshake and a hug.

"Oh wow! Long time, no see, babe!" Said a lady sitting at the bar as we passed it. Gyro gave her a kiss on the cheek and said hello.

And more, and more, and more. It seemed as though everyone in that place knew Gyro from one place or another. It was like being with some kind of rave royalty, and something about that made me walk a little taller that night. His importance automatically made me feel important too, and once he started introducing me to the people he knew, it made me feel even better. People started shaking my hand, smiling in my direction, asking me to dance, offering to get me a drink...it was awesome. Gyro and I made our way through the crowd, and he spoke to me over his shoulder, "Always remember, Justin..." he turned slightly to put an arm over my shoulder and speak into my ear, "No matter where you go in this world, always leave an impression. Make yourself known, stick out. Don't ever settle for just being another face in the crowd. We all determine our own sense of 'celebrity', got it?" I giggled a bit and nodded my head with pride. "Fame is all about fun, fake smiles, and free shit. You'd be surprised hom much influence a little familiarity can buy you." And Gyro waved his hand at one of the cocktail waiters, who looked back as though he had seen a ghost. He smiled knowingly, and cleared off a table for us especially, I assume, giving away someone elses space without a second thought. "See what I mean? C'mon!"

Gyro hugged the cocktail waiter and, like everyone else, he knew him by name. It was only a short conversation before he left to get us a few free drinks and 'anything we wanted from the menu', as he so nicely put it. "Um...dude, I really don't have any cash just yet..." I said.

"Don't sweat it. Whatever they don't give us for free tonight, I'll take care of it. Cool? You just worry about letting loose a little bit tonight. I'm sure Bryson is keeping you pretty locked down back there at the lot. The first four or five months with that bunch are always the hardest. But you stick with them...they'll do right by you, kid."

"I'm not going anywhere. I LOVE it there! Much better than...you know...my old life."

"I hear ya man." Gyro replied. "But don't ever forget where you came from. No matter what your life was like, no matter how bad you think it was or what struggles you had to face or how old you get in the many MANY years to come...always remember your experiences. Cherish them dude. Because, good or bad, they made you who you are. It's the foundation that supports your present and builds your future."

I let it sink in a bit, and then smiled at Gyro with a weird look on my face. I should be learning not to trust my eyes as far as this world is concerned, but hearing this coming from the mouth of a 13 year old boy looked strange, to say the least. "I thought you didn't go in for this philosophical stuff?" I said.

"I have my moments." He giggled.

"So let me ask you something." I inquired.

"Fire away."

"Exactly how old are you?" There wasn't even a way for me to guess at this point.

"Old enough to drink. And so are you." He said, avoiding the question and making a place on the table to put drinks as our cocktail came back over with a tray. He sat two multi colored drinks next to us, and two shot glasses. The liquid in the shot glasses was a bright, yellowish, color. I didn't LOOK as though it could do that much damage. That's when Gyro handed it to me, and raised it up to clink with mine in a toast. "To eternal youth!" He smiled, winking at me and letting me know that he had no intention of answering my question.

I took the shot down in one gulp, the same way Trevor taught me that night when we came here to dance. My eyes must have flown open a mile wide, making Gyro crack up and have to hold his stomach as I ached from the burning liquid traveling down my esophagus and into my stomach. I swear, it felt like I had swallowed hot lava and chased it with shards of broken glass! I opened my mouth and fanned both of my hands in front of it, trying to cool my tonsils off. "What...what the HELL...WAS that???" I panted.

"Hahaha! We vampires call it a 'sunburn'. Bacardi 151, vodka, splash of lemon juice. Hehehehe! I'm sorry dude, I should have warned you."

"Yeah, well if that's what a sunburn is going to feel like, then I'll be staying as far away from the dawn as possible!" I coughed a little bit, and drank a little of the other drink he fixed for us. It was a LOT smoother, and cooler, making me gulp it down pretty fast.

"Hey hey...slow down there, partner. You're not a Kennedy. I would rather you walk out of here on your own two feet." He grinned, carefully pulling the glass from my lips.

"Well, well, well...I believe that's the first time I've ever seen you pull a glass AWAY from someone's lips, Gyro." We both looked up to see Trevor and Michael standing over our table.

"Trevor, old buddy, old pal. It's always so good to see you." He then looked over at Michael, "And I see you brought an 'attachment' with you." Michael sneered a bit in his direction, and the tension at the table seemed to double with each second that ticked by. "So, are you two gonna join us, or what?" I was amazed that Gyro could keep a smile on his face, even when he was obviously being given a cold shoulder.

"I doubt it. My boyfriend and I have better things to do." Trevor said, and began to walk away.

"Yeah, well don't get caught doing 'better things' in the bathroom, ok? I promised Bernie we'd be good tonight!" Gyro said over his shoulder as they moved away from the table and into the crowd. Trevor had Michael's hand in his, and led him through the sea of people to get away from us. "That kid is never gonna let go." Gyro said, taking a sip of his drink.

"What is it with you two, anyway? If I may ask." I said.

"Bottom line? He hates the fact that I like girls."

"What's that got to do with anything?"

"Nothing...unless he just so happens to be in love with the one person he can't have." I looked Gyro in the eye, and suddenly understood the conflict. Hell, I've been there myself many times in my life. Taryn was the first possibility that I've ever had for a boyfriend. Before that, I was alone, and not looking to ever be anything else. Somehow, I never pictured Trevor being 'in love' with anybody before. Gyro continued, "We would hang out every now and then, played games, talked a lot...we were friends. It was fun. Then...he told me how he felt. I mean, he knew I was straight, and he knew I cared about him...just not in that way. Well, I broke it to him as easy as I could and hoped that we could stay friends. But I guess he didn't want that. Trevor began shying away from me, never wanted to talk, never wanted to even look me in the eye...he got angry. Then, one night, I happened to find a girl who made me feel so complete inside that I knew I wanted to spend forever with her. She agreed to crossover, we shared our love, and that was that. Trevor pretty much disowned me after that." He said.

I looked over at Trevor, sitting on the other end of the dancefloor with Michael talking to him...but Trevor kept glancing over at our table, and I could tell that he still felt the sting of losing someone he cared about. I wish I could explain it, but I could 'feel' a slight trace of the anguish that Trevor was feeling just from eye contact. It was as though my body analyzed his emotions, and imitated it through my own body to let me know what he was feeling. I think that I might have accidently absorbed some of Trevor's extra while kissing in that alley. My body and mind just incorporated it into its own list of characteristics. And for just a split second, I knew the pain he was going through, just to see Gyro again.

"He tried agan with Taryn, who WAS homosexual...he made sure of that when he chose him. Taryn was hurt, and alone...he needed an answer. Trevor gave him that answer, and also found someone that could hopefully take my place. Somehow...I always knew that Taryn wasn't going to be satisfied with just being 'Trevor's boyfriend'. He had to learn, to grow, to explore. Taryn was a free spirit that Trevor couldn't put on a leash and lead around by the dick the way he does Michael over there." Gyro took another drink, and I felt that small ache of misery hit the pit of my stomach, meaning that Trevor was looking over again. I could tell without even lifting my head.

"I don't know Michael that well." I said.

"Oh, don't get me wrong. He's a nice guy and all, and I really hope that they can be very happy someday together. But to be totally honest, Trevor is holding onto to something that's convenient and low maintenance and sucks him off whenever he needs to feel good. But deep down, I know he's searching for something more. When he realizes that, there are going to be 360 degrees of hurt feelings floating around that place. I just wish he would listen to me long enough to understand that."

There was another pulse of sadness that ran through me again, but this time, there was a second pulse. And angry one, that felt like a warm sensation in my chest, and began to burn hotter and hotter as it spread to my arms. I felt my teeth grind together involuntarily, and I suddenly took notice of the fact that my fists were balled up. My arm muscles were tightened, almost uncomfortable so, and I wasn't even aware of it until recently. When I looked back over at the table, Trevor was still looking over...and so was Michael. I stood up from my seat, and a wave of dizzyness hit me as the drinks took their effect on me. "Whoah...powerful stuff." I said.

"You leaving?" Gyro asked.

"Yeah, I think I need some air or something." I didn't know what was happening, but suddenly I started getting emotional pulses from everywhere in the room. Sadness, excitement, lust, fear...it was a bit much. My mind wasn't exactly used to this new ability uite yet,andI wanted to get out of there before I exploded from the overload. Ever since that night when I hunted for the first time, things have been acting all on their own, instinctively, and I wasn't sure that I could contain it as well as I could before.

"You sure? I can get us another shot if you want."

"NO!!! That's quite alright! BELIEVE me!" I shouted.

"Suit yourself. I'm staying out until the place closes if I can. So...I guess I'll see you tomorrow night then?" Gyro asked.

"Yeah, sounds good. We'll come back tomorrow. I just need to get some quiet time away from things for a little while."

Gyro smiled at me slyly, and took another sip of his drink as he said, "Quiet time, huh? Well...you let me know if you run into anyone we know, will ya?" He grinned.

"Huh? Like who?"

"Who knows? But I'm willing to bet you are going to run into somebody. I guarantee it." I started to ask more about what he was talking about, when two twin girls came over to say hello to him and started a conversation. So I turned around confused and left.