My memories finally came into the light, even after I tried to hold them back for so long. Selectively picking and choosing the bad experiences I'd suffered through in order to make this choice of mine seem more worthwhile. More sane. And they hurt. They hurt worse than I ever imagined a memory COULD hurt you. My tears flooded over my eyes, and when Taryn touched my shoulder, I was almost sick with gut wrenching sobs that seemed to come from my very soul. I could hardly speak. "I love you, Taryn....I really REALLY do love you, ok?" I cried. "But......but......"

"You miss your life...." He whispered softly, after kissing me on the forehead. I could only nod, as the tears, already out of control, seemed to get even worse. If that was possible.

"I never told her I loved her, Taryn..." I said. Then, looking up into his eyes, I said, "...My mom...I never told her I loved her in the end." I sniffled while trying to gain enough of my composure to speak rationally. "That last night...the last time I saw her....I was SO mad. Oh God, Taryn...I was just....SO MAD!" He held me tight and tried to keep me together, but I was losing it, and fast. The more I talked, the more it hurt. "I was angry because she was drunk again. Because she let me get beat up. I just....." I sobbed even harder, holding my breath before I began to wail like a baby. "...I came into the house...and I was literally disgusted with the fact that she was too drunk to care. So I left her there. I left her there on the floor to sleep. Then...I just walked out. No note, no explanation...I just left. I never even got the chance to tell her I'd be ok where I was going. No wonder she was so worried about me."

"'s ok. It's ok." Taryn whispered, and began to gently rock back and forth with me in hs arms. I felt myself clutch onto him as though my very grip on reality depended on him being my anchor.

"I wanted to die, Taryn. There was nothing left in my life at all. NOTHING! No love, no family, no support, no life was a constant cycle of intense emotional pain. And I just wanted the pain to STOP, Taryn! I just wanted the pain to stop."

"I know, baby. I know."

I was still attempting to hold back. Still trying to keep as much of this embarrassing weakness inside of myself before letting it all out and breaking down into the pathetic piece of shit the whole damn world always wanted me to be. I needed to be a soldier right now. I needed to get through this. "My dad.....he used to hit me, Taryn....he used to hit me so HARD! He'd yell at me and curse at me...and...he REALLY hurt me, Taryn. He really hurt me. I never understood how he could look at me with such...such....hate in his eyes. He was supposed to be one of the few people in this world who was required to love me. Without that....I was alone. Sometimes....I used to wish that he would just fucking 'murder' me and get it overwith. And other times...I just wanted to be someone else."

"Shhhhh....." Taryn was crying his eyes out as well, but no matter how much it ached inside, I couldn't stop talking. His embrace, his love...knowing that there was *ONE* person in this whole FUCKING WORLD who could POSSIBLY love me and care about me this's the only thing that kept my heart from caving in on itself. Taryn was my very LAST chance at EVER being happy with anyone. EVER! Without him...I'd welcome death with open arms, and gladly slip away into a long sleep that would last forever. No more heartache, no more lonliness, no more rejection, no more pain. Without Taryn to keep the demons at bay...I'd give it all up to finally sleep peacefully for once in my fucked up life. Without the possibility of love...who wouldn't?

"I told Richie...............that I would be there with him, until the very last day." I continued, babbling from one end of a conversation to another. "I promised him...that no matter what...I'd stay with him until the angels came to take him away from me." My entire soul began to bleed out of my eyes, and I gripped onto Taryn even tighter. "He said....that when he died, he was gonna sneak away from Heaven every chance that he got...just to come see me. That he'd dig a hole under the big golden gate so he could escape. He said he'd be there when I graduated high school....and when I found my first girlfriend...and my wedding day...." The words got choked up in my throat, and I had to pause for a second while warm tears ran down my cheeks. "And...when I bought a house.....or when I had kids.......he said he'd be there for me. To hold my hand, and watch over me always. All I had to do was stay by his side until the end." I paused again, my throat burning with anguish "But I didn't, did I? I left him there to die alone. I left him.....just like I left my mom..."

"No, honey. You didn't leave them. You didn't..."

"YES, I DID!!!" I shouted, cutting him off and crying even harder into his shoulder. "And I'm NEVER gonna fucking forgive myself! Not EVER!" Taryn didn't try to argue, he could only rock me back and forth slowly as I got it all out of my system. Finally relieving some of that intense pressure that had been building up for so much of my life. It was time. Time for me to finally bring this to the surface, and cry it out....with a frind that truly cares about me. "Richie....and my mom...I didn't want to hurt them, Taryn. They meant 'everything' to me."

"I know." He said. "I know they did."

I stayed silent for a moment, and let Taryn nearly rock me to sleep in his loving embrace. Then I told him..."My mom...she didn't really start drinking until my dad left. She.....she was really a sweet woman." I started, as the memories continued to flutter back into my mind at random. "You know...there was this one time, when I drew this picture for a contest in the newspaper...and I wanted SO badly to win! I was just a little boy, but I knew that I wanted to have my drawing in the paper. To show her, to show my dad, to show my friends....I dunno...just something to say 'I was here', you know? And that I was recognized as somebody special...even if just for a little while. But....I didn't win. And I was so upset." I almost had to smile through my tears at the memory. "I pouted for three days straight, and couldn't get over it because I tried really really hard to win. I put everything I HAD into that drawing, and not having it win first prize was like a knife in the heart to me. It was like.....they were saying my dad was right. That...I really WAS worthless, and wouldn't amount to anything more than just being some idiot with a stupid dream to be more than he was destined for." My mood brightened a bit, and I opened my teary eyes to look ahead of me. "But my mom...she made it all better. You know? She told me to get my jacket, and she took the drawing, and put it on the passenger side window of her car. And She drove me around the whole neighborhood, even downtown, for an hour and a half...just so everybody could see my drawing, and know that I was her...'special little boy'. And she took me for ice cream...and she said..." I began to cry again, but tried to hold it in. JUST a little bit longer! JUST a bit! "She told me...that no matter what, I should be proud of anything that I could create all on my own. And that prizes don't mean long as I felt good doing it. Those few moments of inspiration, those few days of wishing and anticipating that I would win, would be the most rewarding part of anything that I could ever do. And I loved her for it. I loved her because she was willing to do all that...just for me. Just for some stupid little kid who was pouting over a drawing that probably wasn't that good to begin with." I looked up into Taryn's eyes, and it made my tears stream down with more intensity as I trembled inside. "She taught me to believe in myself...and to believe in what I wanted. She taught me how to dream, Taryn." I said. "You have no idea....NO much it hurts to have that dream beaten out of you on an almost daily basis. To feel like even God Himself doesn't believe in you. You said before that you didn't understand my wanting to jump off of the Pier that night....well that's how you can understand it. It's not some rash act of a desperate soul or a call for help. It's a complete, and total abandonment of everything you feel, Taryn. It's when...everyone you've ever loved or cared about has forgotten you on purpose...and your only hope is to get a temporary fix by repeating the same painful cycle over and over again until your heart finally stops and you realize the truth. That pain is inevitable...and that the so-called good guys lose more often than any of us would ever want to believe."

As Taryn held onto me, I looked down and saw Richie's torn and dmaged picture sitting beside the bed. All I could do was stare at it, and through all of that emotion....I felt the tears stop. Almost as if some barrier had been broken inside of me. And I wiped my cheeks clean. "I'm sorry, Taryn. I'm...ranting and raving...I must sound so stupid."

", you don't sound stupid at all."

I kissed him on the lips, and then glanced back at the picture on the floor. " you mind if to Bryson alone for a few minutes? I really don't feel good, and I think this blood is disagreeing with me or something." I sniffled.

"Sure. Sure, anything. I'll go get him and tell him to come back, ok? You stay here and relax." He laid me back down on the bed, and covered me up, doing what he could to make me feel at least a little bit better. But the second he was outside the trailer door...I popped up out of my sheets! I only had a few minutes, so I'd better make them count.

I pulled on a shirt and stuffed my feet back in my shoes. Then I grabbed the folder, and the picture, and moved to the door to peek out and see if Taryn was on his way back yet. Nope. Good. Now that I had been properly fed, even though I was still a little queasy, my body was working better than ever. In fact, with only a little concentration, I was able to use Dylan's extra to blank out completely in seconds. Probably even more unnoticable than even HE knew how to be. And as I crept outside, closing the door behind me, I blazed a quick trail across the lot to stand behind Dion's truck. None of them had seen me. Even Napolean was blind to my movements. As I saw Taryn and Bryson walk back to the trailer, I sped out again to get a little closer to the front gate. I had to be careful though. I was kicking up dust from moving so fast, and they'd know what was going on if they saw that. I kept my position, and then heard Taryn and Bryson come running out of the trailer door. Shit! Gotta keep moving.

"Did you guys see Justin come through here?" Taryn asked, looking all around. "JUSTIN!!!" He shouted out, trying to call me back.

"Did he mention where he was going?" Bryson asked him.

"NO! He was crying one minute, and then he said he didn't feel well and he wanted to talk to you. That's all I know." I hated to lie to him right then while he was trying to help me. But I had to get out of here tonight, and quickly.

"We've gotta find him." Bryson called out, "Hey Doc! Grab his file out of the truck, we need to comb his usual haunts and see what turns up."

But Taryn stopped him. "You can't."

"We can't? What do you mean we can't?" Taryn didn't want to answer at first, but Bryson worked it out of him. "Taryn...TALK to me. What's going on?"

"Justin...he saw his folder. And I think he took it with him."

"He did WHAT???" Bryson ran his hands through his hair and tried to think. " much did he read?"

"Um...I think pretty much everything, from what I can tell."

"Alright....ok...listen up, you guys. We've got about five and a half hours until daylight. That's plenty of time for him to get into trouble. He's seen his folder, that means he's probably going to try to somehow find a piece of his old life again. Think about all the conversations you've had with him about his human life, think of any details he might have given you. Then head out there. Check the Pier, the lake, anywhere he might go to think. We don't have a lot of time so let's get on this. Ok?"

They all scattered back to the habitats to grab whatever clothes or shoes they would need to hunt me down. And that gave me the perfect opportunity to escape. So I ran along the outside of the gate as stealthily as I could and out into the streets. In the back of my mind, I could hear Taryn trying to send me a mental message. It was so faint, so quiet. He was searching for me, but couldn't get a lock on my location to send it. I shut him out, and kept running. My speed picking up...they wouldn't be able to keep up. I knew that. I was out of there, and I knew exacty where I was headed.

It took me a total of thirty minutes to get there, give or take, and when I had stopped running, I was standing near the parking garage of the hospital. Richie's hospital. As I stood, staring up at the window that I remember as being his room on the 7th floor...a flood of memories came rushing back to me. Of how he and I used to be so incredibly close. How much we meant to one another. The days we sat in that hospital room and tried to hold on to something normal between us. Something real. Or even before that, when we ran these streets together. When life was simpler, and I had a friend who would stand there with me through anything. Now...I wasn't even sure that he was alive. But I knew ONE thing...I WON'T abandon him! After all the running and the fighting and the philosophy I've done in this nocturnal hell...I refuse to let it force me to forget my past! I refuse to lose any more of my humanity to this darkness! I won't do it! I WON'T! If I have to defy GOD Himself...I'm gonna do something right for a change! Much like the situation between Taryn and Rain, I might have forgotten what was important while I was searching for my own happiness...but I am crystal clear right now. And I won't let my best friend die here alone.

Don't you worry, Richie. I'm coming back for you. I won't leave you behind. For once...I'm gonna make things right.

- Thursday -

Through all of Bryson's lectures and lessons, after reading through pages and pages of text and vampire scripture and history, after all the training and all the talking and ALL the stuff I've had to study since I've been born into darkness...I could NEVER have expect this new turn of events. I spent many nights wondering where Justin goes every night, usually sneaking out before I even wake up. I worried what he was doing, what he was up to, what he was thinking. I try to give him as much space as he needs to grow...but I think about him ALL the time! I can't help it. Now I have an idea of why so many secrets were kept from me. Now, at last, I understand.

A 'Mimic' even WRITE that here seems like a mistake! But it's true. Justin just might possibly be the center of one of those golden prophecies all of the vampire scholars read about! A vampire born out of love, who will lead us all to the Vampire Dawn. It doesn't even seem REAL! Perhaps fate does have a plan when it brings two people together. At least it did for us. I have to go back and read up on my Mimic philosophy, but if what I remember is true, then that means Justin has been chosen to bring about a whole new era of thinking for the whole SPECIES! How incredible is THAT?

And yet, when I look into those beautiful blue eyes of his...I don't see the kind of excitement that I thought most people would have had if they had found out they were destined for great things. Instead of joy, or power, or strength...I see 'burden'. I see an increasing weight being brought down on his shoulders, and him struggling to hold it up before his legs snap and it crushes him underneath. Being so close to the idea of being 'more than normal', expected to be more than average like everybody else...I think I get a slightly better understanding of it. Maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be. But Justin can survive this, I know he can. Just so long as he knows I'm right there to carry that burden with him. We all are. And if he'll just let us help him, we can make sure he has what he needs to fulfill his destiny here. Maybe even go beyond it.

I've been in love with Justin for months now, it never decreases, not a bit. And while I may worry about him constantly...I feel that love growing more and more everyday. I'll be there Justin. When no one else is...when it seems like the whole WORLD has turned on you...I'll be there. Always. That's my promise to you, and it's sealed with a kiss.

Are you guys tired??? I'm TIRED! Hehehe! Jesus, this was an exhausting chapter!!! And if you're sore and aching from READING all of this...then you might have some idea how I feel trying to write something HALF this size! ::Giggles:: ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed this chapter as it takes you slightly deeper into the heart of things! Some little things have been cut out, some pretty BIG things have been cut out also. But they will be inserted into the next chapter (Which is sort of a 'chapter between chapters'!) THEN...onto "GFD: Born Of Fire", which will explore the fury of 'Rage'! So be ready...the party's just BEGINNING!!!

Thanks sooo much for reading, and for all of your emails concerning this story! As I try to wind it down to its destructive climax over the next few months, I want to let you know that it was your support that made it possible to keep going! Thank you! This chapter alone took a LONG time to finish and an entire SUMMER just to edit and move stuff around! So please let me know what you think of this damn MONSTROSITY at or feel free to drop by my website at (Don't forget to sign the guestbook!) Take care, and thanks for making this story number ONE!


"Gone >From Daylight: Night Everlasting"

Followed By

"Gone From Daylight: Born Of Fire"!!!