The boys each took turns going into the small motel bathroom. Making sure that their once innocent faces were cleaned and set back in order. That all traces of blood and gore had been wiped clean from their ruby lips, and their clothes held only minor traces of the dirty deed that had just taken place.
Brice took an especially long time. Hoping to scrub the stain from his face. Praying that the bitter taste of salty blood would eventually be washed from his tongue. He was slightly disgusted by his reflection. He was finally getting used to hunting for donors on his own in the city...but there was something unnaturally brutal about pack hunting. Something specifically savage that turned the whole act into more of a nightmare than usual. And yet, his guilt was nearly drowned out by the exhilarating flow of adrenaline packed blood surging through his veins. He hadn't realized how very hungry he was until his system began 'gobbling up' the life liquids of the man lying dead on the floor just on the other side of that bathroom door. Bryce was practically 'glowing' with nourishment. His breaths were deeper, his eyes glowing an even brighter shade of spearmint green. It felt good inside. Sooooo very good. It was a dark side of himself that he didn't want to acknowledge...but a side that was now, nonetheless...satisfied.
Bryce came back into the room, astonished at what a 'mess' they had made of the place in such a short amount of time. Ferris was already distancing himself from Simi once again, sticking close to Elijah while keeping 85% of his back to the young boy at all times. Jayzon was fixing his hair, and Angelo was practically giving himself an orgasm by model posing in front of the mirror.
"Man, check it out..." Vincent said with a sarcastic laugh. He pointed to one of the fresh corpses in the room, who was sporting a rather stiff erection, even post-mortem. "...I think the old perv actually got off on being eaten alive. Can you believe that?"
Elijah looked over at Angelo with a raised eyebrow. "Angelo? Was that you?"
"Guiltyyyyy! Hehehe!" He smiled. "Hey, like I said, I thought he was kinda cute. I figured I might as well give him a proper send off, you know? A few heightened fantasies to lull him to sleep."
"Why can't you just feed like normal people, fruitcake?" Vincent grunted.
"Don't hate me because I'm the flavor of the month. If you put down the macho act long enough to sample my wares, I might be able to change your mind on the whole 'gay' thing."
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?"
"What can I say, Vince...you look like a mouthful. And I find that VERY sexy." Angelo replied, finally peeling himself away from the mirror. "Besides, if I convert you to the pink side, I win a free toaster."
"What, no bananas and broomsticks? What kind of gay club do YOU belong to?"
"The kind would line up for a long sensuous suck on whatever it is you're hiding in those pants, sweetheart. Or um....is there a reason you hide it so well?" Vincent frowned up and gave Angelo the finger. "Awwww, don't worry baby. We can't ALL be batting a thousand down there. Bulges can be deceiving."
Jayzon gave Vincent a smirk. "Actually, you know...the average size for an adult penis is between 5.5 and 6.3 inches long. So if you're that size or bigger, you have nothing to be ashamed of." He began to giggle a bit, but Vincent made a quick movement with the rise of his fist, causing Jayzon to flinch.
"Just make sure you little butt sniffers have all your shit together so we can blow this joint. Don't leave ANYTHING!" Vincent said.
Angelo whined, "It's a waste of a hotel room, don't you think?"
"Whatever. I mean...they've already paid for it, right? Why not clean off a bed, watch some TV...enjoy the good life for a while?"
Ferris asked, "You call thisthe 'good' life, Angelo?"
"Better than some old wood cabin campground, sure."
That got Elijah's attention, and he turned his scarred face in Angelo's direction to give him a stern look. "That old wooden campground is our home. Or have you forgotten that?"
Angelo instantly lost his smile, and backed down with any further comments. "Sorry, Elijah."
Elijah looked over at Ferris, who had slightly opened the motel room door to listen to the level of silence outside. Just in case. "Anything but of order out there, Ferris?"
"Nope. Quiet as a tomb." Ferris flipped his emo fringe out of his eyes and added, "I guess the guy staying a couple of doors down didn't hear a thing. Lucky for him."
"Then I suggest we make ourselves a memory before this mess comes under the spotlight of any unwanted attention." Elijah stated, then looking Bryce deeply in his eyes as he smoothed out the front of his short. More of an after effect of being covered in blood than an act of vanity...but Elijah found it to be cute either way. "No need to change a thing, Bryce. You couldn't be more beautiful." Bryce bashfully shrugged away from him, and attempted to hide his expression behind the locks of his long blond hair. And he latched on to his Fletcher to head towards the door, putting some distance between them all. Elijah knew that tonight wouldn't be the night. A forward pass at this young angel tonight might cause more friction than arousal at this point. But he'll learn. He grow to love and respect him as the others do. In due time...the love will present itself. It is inevitable. As far as Elijah was concerned...the dominant provider of the group...ALWAYS gets what he wants. He's keeping young Bryce alive, giving him food, giving him shelter. He owes him more than his divine presence. Elijah can't wait to collect.
Until then, he knows that Ferris will be charged up still from his feeding, and will gladly service him as he works through his feelings for young Simi. Elijah knows how to take advantage of a guilt free experiences between those two. He's pleasured them both on occasion, and received the ultimate pleasure in return. One could say that they both express what they feel for each other through him. And that will have to suffice, until he gets what he wants from Bryce himself.
"C'mon. Let's move out." He said, and no one questioned him. The bodies and carnage left behind...that was a problem for the police to handle now. Just so long as Jayzon remembered to do his job and marked the motel off of Route 33 on their local map of places to hunt when they got back to camp. Just to make sure that they didn't strike anywhere near there for the next three months or so. These acts had to be carried out a certain distance from one another. The last thing they needed was a criminal investigation pinning down their location.
The boys made their way back up the hill. Bryce and Fletcher were bringing up the rear, still shaking a bit from what they had done. They continued to look back at the deadly silent motel room...a few streaks of blood splashed on the curtain. Hardly enough to notice from a distance...unless you knew to look for them. Jayzon slowed down a bit as they reached the hill's peak, and took notice of their discomfort. "What's with you?" He asked Bryce.
"Nothing." He answered, but the others turned around, noticing the regret in the tone of his voice. "Really. It's nothing. It's just..." He turned to Angelo and Ferris, "When you picked them out...I mean...were those guys back there really...bad guys?" He asked. "I didn't sense any real malicious intent in them at all."
Angelo smirked at him. "Who said anything about them being bad guys? Hehehe, I was just hungry. They disappear, and I get to stay young and beautiful for another 30 days. What's the difference?"
"Yeah, lighten up, kid." Vincent added. "Don't act like you don't feel a lot better than before we went in there."
Simi teased him with, "Yeah! Besides, we happen to LIKE feeding before we get all craaaaaazzzzy and out of control like your boy, Fletcher, over there! Hehehe!"
Fletcher immediately lowered his head in shame while some of the others giggled at the joke. Bryce put a hand on his shoulder, but it did little to comfort him.
Fletcher and Bryce had become inseparable over the past few years, but Fletcher was always a bit squeamish about hunting. Always waiting until he was nearly insane with the thirst before going out to find a donor of his own. Forcing himself to 'fast' until the last minute, each and every time. But it was an unexpected bloodlust that forced Fletcher to leave the city for good...and carry his companion, Bryce, with him. Feeding on another vampire, especially one that worked as a private messenger for the Elders, was a serious offense. Had they remained in the city...assassins would have come for them both. Fletcher's mistake was one that could not be taken back. Not ever again. And they would remain on the run forever if they remained in the Elder's jurisdiction. Coming out to the mountains and woods to hide was their only option. And even that came with a certain risk of exposure. Fletcher couldn't help himself...he was too far gone. Lost in the thirst. But he was stuck with the guilt of his actions for the rest of eternity. Hoping that time, indeed, would heal all wounds.
"Give the pipsqueak a break." Vincent grinned. "Don't let 'em push your buttons, curly. They're just jealous." Then he patted Fletcher on the shoulder and asked him, "So what does a vampire dignitary taste like, anyway? I'm sure he gets the finest selection of rich blood to fill his veins. Hehehe, must have been like fine wine, drinking like the Elders do."
"Back off, ok?" Bryce spoke up, but with a weak voice. Knowing that he'd hardly be able to do much more than bleed if Vincent were to take a swing at him. Luckily, he kept his good spirits.
"Chill out, kid. I'm just giving his little premature balls a yank. Nothing for him to get all sensitive about." Vincent said, and tussled Fletcher's curls a bit before moving on. "I don't know about you guys, but I feel like finding me a nice 'townie' girl and screwing her silly. Who's with me?" The rest of the group moaned, and Vincent blew them off. "Sigh..what is this world coming to when the straight guy is in the minority? Alright, fuck it...you go right, I'll go left. See you sissies at dawn."
Vincent went his own way. Possibly back to the festival for the girls he was looking for. But as the others headed nonchalantly back to their campground to spend the rest of their night in darkness...Bryce dragged behind him a heavy heart.
How does one who repeatedly takes human life to survive...balance a stable concept of humanity? Where does one draw the line where morality is concerned? It is a vampire inner turmoil that may never be solved.
But thinking back to the boy on that hill top that night...that one human boy with such a profound sadness in his heart...a painful beauty that truly struck a chord deep within just to look into his emotion packed eyes...
Bryce began to wonder if he had a soul worth saving. Something that this boy would find alluring. Something that could take him away from all this darkness and death...
...If only for a moment.
"PAYTON!!!" Rocky shouted, grabbing the boy roughly by the shoulders and giggling as Payton tensed up from the shock of it. "Wake up! You look like your mind is drifting away on us again."
Payton attempted to shift his thoughts away from the troubles at home. He was an expert at not letting his true feelings show on the surface for all to see. He has never been one to 'wear his heart on his sleeve'. And ye...those same disturbing thoughts had a way of slowly creeping back in when he was given a moment for his mind to wander.
As the group of teens walked down the winding road, the path getting darker and darker as they traveled further from the lights of the town festival, the ruckus they were making seemed to be even more invasive to Payton's ears. As though they were disturbing the peace and quiet of the forest itself. Still, there was comfort in their protective little circle of maniacs. Now being joined by two others, Anoki and Reggie, there was a total number of nine. Always tight knit. Always traveling in unison as though they were practically handcuffed to one another. Payton was amazed at how quickly he fell into the same habits as they did.
Anoki was quite possibly the most quiet out of the bunch. A Native American boy of about 15 years of age, with shoulder length black hair, and silky smooth skin that had been turned a deep shade of gold from the Summer sun. There was no doubt that he was a beautiful boy, but his most enchanting feature was the color his eyes. A light bluish grey tint, unlike anything Payton had ever seen before. Whenever Anoki looked at him, he felt a spot of weakness in the very center of his being, and he was unable to turn away. Payton made sure to avoid Anoki most of the time, as it was harder to keep his secret when those eyes were staring back at him. Especially when accompanied by his smile and soft dimples.
Reggie was equally gorgeous, but a bit more obnoxious in the personality department. He's what one would call a compulsive liar. And a liar for no real reason, other than it made his personal view of the world more interesting. Reggie was 14, with spectacular blue eyes that almost seemed to glow in the dark when you looked at them. He had short, dark blond locks, with a few stray half curled bangs that hung down over his forehead. Reggie, while just as carefree and rambunctious as the rest of the group, had one major issue that he just couldn't seem to get over. He did NOT like being touched. Not by anyone outside of his little family of misfits, anyway. Payton hadn't crossed that barrier yet. He made the mistake of accidentally bumping into Reggie some time during the festival, and he nearly flipped out. It wasn't a phobia so much as it was a truly negative reaction to the idea that someone had invaded his personal space. How could someone so incredibly CUTE...be so untouchable? That's a real torture for anybody that had to stare at his boyish good looks from afar and fight the incredible temptation to get closer. Touching him is all someone would be able to think about, once he was in arms reach.
Payton watched as Natalia took a hold of Rocky's flask, and took a sip from it. Rocky instantly gave her a nasty look and snatched it back from her. "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?"
"Chill. It's not like I gave you cooties or anything. I'm just thirsty." She replied.
"If you're thirsty, I've gotta bladder full of piss for you to sip on, slapper." He took a healthy swig as the other shared a smile between each other. Payton could never really tell if Rocky and Natalia really hated each other, or if it was just another game that they liked to play. The hostility seemed real enough, but their constant companionship made an outspoken rivalry unnecessary.
Murphy took a hold of me and pulled me closer. "Don't you go investing any emotion into those two. One of these days they'll duke it out and we'll see what's what. Until then...we'll enjoy the fireworks from a distance. Right?" Payton nodded, but didn't quite understand. For such an inseparable group of teens, they didn't seemed to display the level of brotherhood that Payton had once expected. Sometimes...it was almost as if they had been 'thrown' together at random...forced to tangle their lives with one another against their will. Payton couldn't deny that there was something 'off' about this strange new fellowship of his, but something within him compelled him to turn a blind eye to it all. Perhaps it was the overwhelming feeling of 'acceptance' after such a harsh and judgemental period in his life. Perhaps it was his hormones flying out of control, gazing upon the bodies and faces of the incredibly sexy boys surrounding him. Or maybe it was something else. Maybe it was just the fact that they were all just insane enough to mask and overpower the growing insanity that he felt within his own heart. How 'abnormal' could he be in a group of juvenile delinquents with less to lose than he did by being so outrageous in their behavior? The only limitations they had in this life were the ones that Payton imagined in his own head. If he had revealed those self imposed limitations to his current 'company'...he was almost sure that they would do all they could to break through that barrier and take their actions further than Payton was willing to go. They just had that vibe to them.
Payton thought back to a boy that he knew last year in a juvenile detention center back home. His name was Jeff, and he had been locked up for arson. He was what most people would call a 'rotten apple' in the bunch. Came from a family of six kids, him being the youngest. He was a really cute guy, well built...gorgeous eyes. But he had a dark personality that kept even the closest of friends at arms length at all time. He was one of the only people in the world that Payton would describe as downright 'evil'. Jeff enjoyed the awful thing he did. He was convinced that he could do anything he wanted to, and never once feel any guilt, nor would he have to face any of the consequences.
Being adopted into this new family of trouble makers was no different. If anything...the concept was enhanced.
Anoki spoke up, his smooth, but slightly higher than normal, boyish voice singing a son softly in my ear. "The old mechanic's station is just down the road. You guys feel like rolling by?"
Reggie said, "Fuck yeah! Let's go!" He exchanged a fist-over-fist pound with Bear as he geared himself up to head out to the old place.
Payton asked, "Wait...you mean the one right off of the road? The old shack with the big fence around it?"
"That's the one." Murphy smiled. "Right under the full moon. Just off the beaten path that you laid out for us tonight, cutie pie."
"You coming?" Rocky asked.
Payton felt as though it was getting a bit late, and knowing that the old shack was closed for the night meant that their visit would only lead to more trouble. After all that his mother has recently been through, another ride home in a police car would pretty much push her over the edge. "You know, it's getting to be kinda dark out here..."
"Funny...I can see just fine." Natalia said with a raised eyebrow. A simple look from her could make someone feel so small sometimes.
"Aren't you worried about getting in trouble with your parents?" Payton asked.
Anoki laughed. "Parents....riiiiight."
"But...the mechanic must've gone home by now. Isn't it gonna be closed? Like with chains and locked fences and stuff?"
Reggie wrinkled his forehead slightly. "All these questions and more to be answered on the next episode of 'Who Gives A Fuck'. C'mon, let's just go already. These mosquitoes are pissing me off."
Bear slapped Payton on the back of the shoulders, his massive hand knocking him forward a step and a half. "Don't you go playing chicken on us, now! If you have to think twice about it, then you're not drinking enough."
Payton could feel his will collapsing under the crushing power of peer pressure. No matter what, it was always going to be a vote of nine against one. Even when the others disagree, they agree. It was insane.
He sighed to himself, and his soft brown hair fell down into his eyes as he lowered his head slightly. He had been in this position before. He knew the cost of not listening to the little voice in his head. He didn't need more damn trouble...but...if he goes with them...he wouldn't have to actually do anything 'bad', would he?
He looked up slightly to see Murphy giving him a sly grin, beckoning him with just a tilt of his head. And before the words, "Fine, I'll go." could roll off of the tip of his tongue, Rocky was rushing to his side with another brotherly one armed hug. He gave Payton a noogie on the top of his head and practically forced the boy to walk forward with the group by practically maintaining a tight headlock with his muscular arm.
"I think I like this kid." Rocky smiled, and even though he was still a bit apprehensive about the whole thing...Payton couldn't help but smile.
Also...give a peek to the original two series that SPAWNED this story! "Gone From Daylight" and "Savage Moon"!!! Enjoy!