I spend the night walking the dark streets of Eden. The Eternal city of vampire seemed so peaceful. You would never think that there was a shortage of blood and that the people were suffering. Right now it was the perfect beautiful city that I knew so long ago.
It reminded me of when I was young.
100 years ago I'd lost the love of my life.
100 years ago I'd lost myself.
I walk the streets until I make myself back to my apartment. It's late as hell. The red sky is still red but I've walked until I'm sleepy. As I get to my apartment I see Justice sitting outside the room. He has his back pressed up against the wall.
“You stood me up,” Justice tells me.
I shake my head at that moment, “Have you been waiting here this whole time?”
“Of course. We had a date. Remember?”
I sigh at that moment. I'd spent the night with his father. I'd spent the night walking around the city thinking about his father after the fact. Nero had a way of getting a hold of me. He had a way of never letting go.
“Listen it's not a good time,” I say at that moment trying to get past him and into the room.
Justice blocks the door, grabs my chin and holds my face aggressively towards the light, “Have you been crying?”
“It's been a long night.”
“Where have you been?” he asks.
Justice is looking at the tuxedo I'm wearing. It's clear I've been out. He has this concerned look on his face at this moment. God---he reminded me of his father. There was no reason that someone should be this beautiful.
Maybe that's why I
Maybe that's why I start crying in his arms like a fucking child.
I don't think I've ever cried that much in my life. I cry so much that I find myself in my bedroom. I guess Justice took my key and opened my door. He's put me on my bed and he's surrounded me with his warm embrace allowing me to cry like a child. There is a sadness in me.
And before I know I'm telling Justice everything that happened that night. As everything spills out he listens to me the whole time. I probably don't even make sense between sobs and weakness.
“You probably think I'm weak as fuck,” I tell him.
“I'm young but I know love doesn't make you weak,” Justice tells me, “It matters to you. It matters how your story ends.”
“You're probably the last person that wants to hear about this,” I tell him.
I can't believe I'm being so rude crying on a boy talking about another boy. Not only another boy at that. I'm talking to Justice about his father Nero.
“He won't leave Aiden—-not for me. People are scared of me because of who my mother is.”
“I'm not scared of you,”Justice responds.
Justice eyes are
just as piercing as his father. In my weakness my heart starts to
throb. I'm so scared of the fact that I may never be with Nero
again. What if Justice is the next best thing? What if Justice is
standing here looking at me and he is the answer to all my issues.
He's right here in front of my face.
I lean forward. I kiss Justice on his lips. He's lips are so fucking soft. They are so kissable. I don't now what makes me reach down and grab his dick as I shove my tongue down his throat. I massage Justice's dick under his pants, feeling him get harder and harder.
I pull at the fly of his pants, getting my hand through the zipper and feeling the warm skin underneath my palm. I feel his dick moisten with precum at that moment.
Justice pulls back.
“I thought you wanted this?” I ask Justice.
“I do,” he responds, “I really do but not like this. You are sitting here in your feelings and you're about to do something you're going to regret. I don't want you to regret me.”
There is something really powerful about him when he says that. For the first time I don't look at Justice like a child who just wanted to fuck me to get back at a father who was too hard on him. He actually seems like a grown man right now. He seems like someone who actually knows what he wants and what he is willing to do or not do to get it.
“I told him about you and Aiden,” I admit.
Justice sighs. He bites his lip for a minute.
“It's ok. I think me and my father have to have that conversation at some point anyway,” Justice explains and crosses his arms, “I'm more worried about you right now. Are you ok Santos?”
“What do you mean?”
“All of this has to have an emotional toll on you,” Justice explains, “I may not know you as much as everyone else here does but I'm concerned. I don't want you to lose yourself to this.”
I was already lost. I was already defeated. I was sitting in the dark and I was changed forever.
It was far too late.
“I'm ok,” I tell Justice.
I smile. What I really want to tell him was that I was screaming for help inside. But I wanted to let him know that it was too late for me. He couldn't save me.
Nero clears the desks in his chambers of everything on it. The clash of books, lamps and even a computer causes his guards to run into the room.
“GET OUT!” he screams at them.
His anger is getting the best of him. He punches a hole in a wall at that moment. This wasn't cheap walls either. The castle was made with solid walls. He's fists are bleeding out but he couldn't care less.
The meeting with Santos wasn't what he was expecting. He was happy to see him at first. Everytime he saw Santos all those feelings came back. He'd expected to hold him by his hand and talk gently to him. He expected to do what lovers did. He was still in love. That wouldn't change. Santos was taken away from him once and he thought he'd never see Santos again. The days had gone so long. 100 years might as well have been a million. Nero had thought so many times of ending this immortality. A lifetime without Santos was no lifetime at all. That's what he thought. He'd never see his love again...until he did. Santos was right here and there were all these things he'd wished he told him before. And instead of saying all of those things word vomit just came out.
The dinner with Santos had gone all the way left. He figured he would get Santos back in line but Santos wasn't having it. Santos was pushing back and truth is he couldn't blame Santos. Santos was bitter and the bitterness showed.
Nero wasn't angry
with Santos. That wasn't why he was mad. He expected resistance
from Santos but he didn't expect Santos to reveal the truth about
His husband Aiden was sleeping with Justice.
Regardless of the fact that Aiden wasn't Santos didn't matter. Sure he didn't think Aiden was his soulmate or anything like that but he had love for Aiden. Aiden had become such a close friend to him in all these years. Aiden and Milan were his backbone. One was in jail and he'd just found out the other one was sleeping with his son. Nero paced the room angrily.
How had he missed
all of this?
“Sir...” the guard Sinclair is at the door.
“I don't want
to be bothered,” Nero tells him, “What part of that don't
you people understand?”
“I understand sir. I'll tell your son that he needs to come back.”
“Justice is standing outside. He'd like to speak to you.”
Nero could feel his heart getting heavy. Maybe this wasn't the best time to talk to Aiden now that he was upset.
By the time Sinclair leaves to bring Justice back in the room Nero is wrapping up his bleeding fists. Justice walks in glances at the fist and then glances back at Nero. People said they looked alike but Nero didn't see it. Every time he saw Justice he saw the human woman who he'd left Eden to have Justice with. Back then it was normal for vampires to leave Eden to have children with human women. He looked just like her. She was a beautiful suburban white woman named Allison. 17 years ago they'd made love. She'd gone into madness when Nero impregnated her and left. She was even more upset when her son Justice was taken away from her at the age of 17.
Justice stares at him he can see her eyes. The same defiant eyes full of pain.
“I never loved
your mother,” Nero breaks out almost immediately staring at his
son, “I seduced her. I told her I loved her. Everyone does,
but I never really did. I couldn't have been in love with Allison.
You know that?”
Justice crosses his arms. Defiant. Just like Allison.
“Is there a
reason you're talking about my human mother?” Justice asks,
“I'm not a child anymore. I could care less if you loved her
“There's a point I'm trying to make. I couldn't love Allison because I was in love with Santos. But you know that. Don't you.”
Justice was getting his point.
“Did you? If
you loved Santos so much then why marry Aiden.”
Nero gets up. For a moment he swears he is going to run over and knock the shit out of his son. It takes everything to hold him back.
“Its not the same.”
“Clearly you don't love Aiden. And I know that. He knows that. That's why I fucked him,” Justice responds.
Nero looks at Justice and it's clear how Justice feels. There is a hatred in his eyes that he can't understand.
“Why do you hate me so much? I've given you everything,” Nero explains.
“Do you know
how hard it is to have a father who never grows old?” Justice
responds and smiles, “You constantly are looking down on me
like I'm less than you.”
“You are LESS than me. I'm your father, regardless if I look old or not,” Nero responds.
“We'll see about that. I don't hate you father. But I am my own man. I just have the same tastes as you do.”
Justice laughs. It's a broken laugh.
this is a joke?”
Justice shakes his head, “No. I wasn't laughing when you decided to ask Santos out JUST so that I couldn't go out with him. That is the real spiteful thing and you actually ask me if I hate you?”
Nero walks up to Justice. He's slow. He stare Justice in his eyes. He sees the resentment there. He should be shocked by it. Maybe it is a thing of kings. He resented his father the same way until the day that his father went into his slumber. He'd hated King Arie for years and now like winding stairs they circle around. Going up. Going down but always going in the same direction.
Hatred from son to father.
Nero realizes this
and he isn't going to back down, “Justice. Be serious. You're
my son literally. I love you. But you can't be me. You just can't
take my place. I have to give it to you. It's something my father
taught me. And I'll teach you. Santos can't love you because he's
in love with me.”
“So what are you so worried about?” Justice squints, “If you're so sure about then why are you such a cockblocker.”
“Watch your mouth.”
“You're scared,” Justice responds, “You're scared that you've pushed Santos to a place you can't get him out of. And you know what? Tonight I held him in my arms and I comforted him. And it may take a minute but he'll get over you. And I'll be right there.”
That's when it happens.
Nero slaps the dog shit out of Justice.
Justice falls to the ground at that moment. And at that moment when Justice looks up at his father from the ground Nero realizes that he's just made a mistake. He's just stopped patronizing his son and actually made his son feel like he was an actual threat to him.
Justice is smiling with a blood lip from the ground.
goes,” Justice says looking at his lip, “And all this
time I thought there was a blood drought.”
Nero shakes his head, “Take Aiden. I don't need him. Eden needs him.”
“Have sex with him all you want, just don't let anyone find out about it. He needs to be my king---for now. But if you touch Santos----you'll learn there is something much more terrifying than a Thirst son.”
With that Justice gets up, brushes himself off and bows, “Goodnight, King Nero.”
Nero stares at him watching his son be defiant right to his face and wearing his bloody lip as a badge of honor that he's officially gained some ground with his father.
Maybe Justice wanted the throne.
Even worse...what if Justice really wanted Santos?
His own son was becoming his worst enemy and he didn't know how to deal with him. Justice was defiant and sooner or later he'd have to teach him who was the father and who was the son.
“All this training is damn annoying. When can we go out hunting for Thirsts?” Lucca asks rolling his eyes after a kickboxing session with Coco.
“If there is a
Thirst around we'll know,” Justice responds, “You need to
“Be careful what you wish for,” Aiden tells Lucca, “You haven't fought a real thirst before.”
“None of us have,” Lucca responds, “How we going to know unless we fight one.”
“He has...” Coco acknowledges.
She points over to me. I'm sitting at the edge of the table.
“That wasn't a real one,” Aiden blows me off.
I don't know what he means by that but it seems to be the same sort of thing that Coco was saying. What the fuck was a real thirst if what I fought wasn't one?
“It was close
enough,” Camilla adds in, “How'd you do it, AB? How'd
you kill it?”
“Is that what I am now? AB?”
“Lilith's spawn, the darkest, rogue prince...pick your title,” Camilla adds in.
“How about the Camilla slapper?” I ask her.
“Relax,” Justice says grabbing me and pulling me away from the other team.
He holds me there for a second. I can see Camilla, Aiden and Lucca giving me weird looks. They are struggling with this.
“Are you sure?” Justice asks me, “You are letting Camilla of all people get under your skin. You can't be OK. Maybe you should take some time off from the team. Personal time, you know?”
The way Justice is pulling me off to the side like this is really confusing. This guy was really tryign to take control of everyone and measure dicks or something. I could tell that he wanted to be in charge but it's kind of embarrassing how he was going about it. Was he trying to have some sort of Come To Jesus moment with me?
“And why would I take personal time off?” I ask him.
“I just want to make sure that you are OK,” Justice explains, “I know you're going through a lot. And I'm worried about you after you broke down last night.”
“Last night was a mistake,” I tell him.
I'd cried in Justice's arm. I cried about goddam Nero. I never felt so weak in my life. How stupid could I be? I spent the rest of the night thinking about what I had done. I had told Justice way too much about how I was feeling when it came to Nero. I told him entirely too much.
“I told you I didn't want to be a regret,” Justice explains.
“Well then maybe you should stop treating me like I'm some wounded bird. I'm stronger than you know.”
“I'm not doubting you,” Justice explains, “I'm just concerned. Can't I be concerned with you?”
I walk away at that moment. I'm angry. Armando is staring at me as I walk past him. He doesn't say anything to me though. I doubt he would but I can feel his eyes watching me. His eyes are suspicious as fuck. He's probably wondering what Justice had to talk to pull me aside about.
I'm in the locker room. I hadn't been sparring with the others. Partially it's because I don't want to show them my strength. None of them had seen it yet...except Milan when I killed his guards. They might have assumed from me killing the Thirst. Truth was I didn't want them to know what I was capable of. I wanted them to have their guards down.
As I walk to my locker I realize that Justice has left his locker open.
I don't waste time to open his locker and start digging through. What if he left a Lucky One. He had the red necklace and I needed it.
“What are you
I turn to see Aiden.
He's standing there watching me.
“Nothing,” I respond.
Aiden looks like
he's about to keep asking me about me digging in Justice's locker but
something else seems to be no his mind, “So this morning the
Vampire Paparazzi published a picture.”
Aiden throws the tabloid at my feet. I pick it up. It is a picture of me and King Nero having dinner. The highlight under the picture reads, 'The King's New Affair. Or should we Say Old Affair'. It's from last night.
“What is this you confronting me?” I ask.
“I'm not an idiot. I know he loves you. And I know you love him. You chose him over me,” Aiden responds at that moment.
I look at Aiden,
“Well you won in the long run so what is this conversation
“He didn't come to bed last night.”
“So you told him, didn't you?” Aiden asks.
I turn to him. I
cross my arms, “Yes. Yes I told Nero what you and Justice have
been up to. I told him what I knew.”
That's when Aiden does something I don't expect.
He shakes his head, “I was so scared. I figured you did when I found out. So I went to him earlier today. I wanted to talk to him about it but before I could even start he stopped me. You know what he said?”
“Nero asked me to continue what I'm doing and to continue helping be the best example of a king. A better example than he was.”
I'm shocked. Truthfully I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe I was expecting Nero to divorce Aiden. Maybe I was expecting Nero to bury AIDEN alive the same way his father had done me. I was expecting a punishment. I was expecting something. I wasn't expecting Nero to just turn around and thank Aiden like it meant nothing.
I pretend like this doesn't bother me even though it does. I can't let Aiden know how upset I am. I put the fakest smile on possible.
“Congratulations. You're marriage is stronger than ever because you are fucking your husband's son,” I respond.
“This may not
be a marriage made in stars but we have one thing in common,”
Aiden explains, “Nero and I are in love with Eden. We'll do
anything for it.”
My sarcasm couldn't be any more fierce, “Real patriots living a lie like that.”
“You need to stay away from my husband.”
“So am I,” I respond, “But how about you tell your husband to stay away from me. For some reason he always seems to find his way back.”
This pisses Aiden off even more. I mean he should have expected the dinner last night wasn't exactly my idea. Him threatening me to stay away from Nero wasn't going to work if it was Nero who always went out of his way to get in contact with me. Aiden doesn't seem to get that though. The look in his eyes is one of extreme disappointment. I wonder if he just expects the emotions between Nero and I to just go away.
“I'm not going
to keep warning you,” Aiden responds, “Regardless of how
betrayed you feel I never stopped loving you...just like Nero. I'm
begging you. Stay out of my marriage.”
“You call that begging?” I ask him, “You can do better than that...”
Aiden is outraged. He runs over to me and slams me into the dresser, “Who do you think you're talking to little boy? I'm the KING of Eden.”
“I can kill you right now if I wanted to.”
I stare at Aiden. My eyes get black as night. He's watching it happening right before him.
“This isn't what you want,” I warn Aiden.
My hands circle around his wrists. His wrists fails to hold me. He falls to the ground kicking away from me all of a sudden with wide eyes. I'm looking at him. I start moving towards him.
Just as I approach him someone storms into locker room.
My eyes return to normal. I take a step back away from Aiden. Aiden gets up off the floor. He stares at me for a second and Justice looks at the both of us wondering what is going on. I was so close to losing control just now. Justice may just have saved Aiden's life and doesn't even know it.
“What is it?” Aiden asks Justice.
“Found one what?”
“A thirst has been reported...in Chain Center Park.”
I don't know why my heart is beating hard. We are all in the back of a van. We are all dressed in black. We all have our pistols out with the silver bullets and stakes tied to our side. No one is talking. There is a sense of urgency as a siren is going on outside of the van. Coco is driving and Camilla is sitting next to her. The guys are all in the back. I'm sitting between Armando and Lucca. Aiden is across from me staring at me.
“Ok so this is
our first Thirst,” Justice explains, “All of you are very
capable. I'm going to need everyone to remain calm and follow
orders. The people of Eden are looking to us. The safety of
citizens comes first.”
Justice has on some black shades. This guy really thinks this is some Black Ops mission or something like that. The rest of us are quiet as Coco races through the streets.
We arrive at Chain Center Park. I'd never been to this park but supposedly from overhearing Lucca it's the most popular park in Eden. It's where all the vampire familys come to have blood picnics and walk their dogs. Yes, I guess Eden had dogs too.
The doors open in the back of the van. The guys run out immediately being lead surprsingly by Armando. Truthfully I think they feel much safer following him than Justice.
“Are you ok?”
Justice asks me.
“Why wouldn't I be?”
This is the leadership experience that Justice is missing. His team has already left the van being lead by someone else but he still wants to have a fucking heart to heart with me.
“Listen I just worry about you,” Justice explains.
“I'll be fine,” I tell him.
I don't waste time with the kid any longer. I leave the van at that moment. It's pouring down rain from the red sky. There is chaos around us as I see dozens of citizens running from something. They are causing some sort of stampede tripping and falling over each other as they run.
It's not hard to see where the thirst must be. Just walk towards where everyone is running from.
Justice struggles to get his way to the front of the team.
“Everyone stay calm and follow my lead,” Justice tells everyone.
“Boy if you
don't hurry up and FIND the goddam Thirst,” Aiden tells him,
“We've had enough instruction.”
The others seem to agree with Aiden and honestly though it hurts to say I kind of too. Justice is making it seem like he's not nervous but him going over protocol and telling us to stay calm over and over was just making it seem like he wasn't the one that was calm.
I realize Armando
has broken out of the group. He has a pistol in his hand and has
already started to track across the grass towards where there looks
like some trees and where everyone seem to be running away from.
The guy has no fear at all.
“ARMANDO!” Justice demands, “Wait. That's an order!”
The rest of us are right behind Justice as he tries desperately to catch up to my father. We make our way into the park. All of a sudden it gets really quiet.
I feel a chill come up my spine. The trees have made this place seem so much darker than what it was.
“Oh my god...” Camilla states.
I realize what she is referring to. There is a trail of dead bodies. The bodies aren't just dead. These vampires have been mutilated. Their bodies have been fed on. Fear travels through me and I stop in my tracks. There is a head one place and a body another place. There is a man completely missing half of his stomach.
There is a darkness all around us.
My heart beats, harder and faster. My legs feel like glue as I walk forward.
to die,” I hear Camilla saying, “We're all going to
The darkness is spreading and I realize why it's become so dark. It has come over us. This...thing. It's different from what I've seen in the room.
It's wings spread out. They are bat wings but one wing is about the size of a fucking bus. The body is a fury black...grotesque form. The face is an outstretched form of mass with bloody fangs that remind me of some sort of anaconda. The eyes are missing completely gone from the body of this monster.
There is a smell all around us. It's the smell of death.
My mouth gets dry. It stares at us somehow without eyes. The darkness has come from gigantic wings stretched over us.
I can hardly talk as I look at this...this massive fucking thing in front of me, “What...the...fuck...is...that?”
Coco looks over at me, “You said you fought a Thirst before. That's not the case. That was a newborn thirst you fought. This is the reality. This is what a Thirst really looks like.”
And at that moment I know that not all of us are going to leave here alive.
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