Why did every fight with a vampire end up like this? On the back street of some loner city in the middle of nowhere with a ripe, bludgeoned body to burn on the asphalt?
Forest green eyes scaled the area, alert and on the lookout for any car coming down the never-ending street. A blanket of dark ashen clouds began rolling in, and the roar of the wind deafened his ears. Antsy with paranoia, Zeke shifted on the sleek, black hood of the car.
Aidyn stood in the grass, the passenger door of the car left wide open as he fumbled with his phone, raising it to the sky, and struggling to get a signal. Then he shoved it in his pocket with an annoyed look on his face. The rough gust blew back his thick, raven hair. Zeke watched his emerald gaze flicker to the funnel cloud dipping out of the rippled clouds above them, heading for the wheaten Kansas plains.
Their brother was always changing the beautiful weather--ruining it. The unimaginable power he held lead to sudden shifts in climate due to his rapid shifts of rage. Oh, yes, the many variations of anger that he went through daily.
"You know what? It's our house. We shouldn't have to call him and tell him we're coming." Aidyn sighed and scrubbed his face.
Zeke nodded at his words and glanced over to his other brother, whose huge fists continued to bash a blonde body builder's face in. He had him pinned to the blacktop of the deserted back road as he struck him repeatedly. The vampire was already dead. Zeke was sure of it. If he wasn't, then he wouldn't live much longer with his brains smeared across the pavement.
Always with the blood, the guts, the flesh, the gore. Sure, he needed some of that to stay fit and healthy, but did he really need the rest? His brother lived day to day digging his fingers into another's skin and bones.
Blood soaked Dom's hands as he stood from his victim, his tall height declaring him a dark, brooding giant. He smirked at the dead body, relishing some sort of high off it like he always did.
Killing vampires; his number one drug. His hobby.
The dead idiot had picked the wrong man to mess with. Back at the bar, the vampire had started trouble.
There was no reason for him to get in Damian's face, other than the fact that he thought he was a bad-ass who could take on a way bigger guy than him. Dom had proved the man damn sure couldn't. Hopefully, in his next life he wouldn't be such a dick. A few drops of blood stained his carved face. He walked back up to the car, his devilish grin still intact.
"The fuck you starin' at?" Damian's timber voice growled as his soulless, ebony stare glowed with hell-fire.
Zeke lightly shook his head, the long black strands of his hair bouncing back and forth. "Nothing."
He never stood up to his brother, knowing that any small argument could throw him over the edge. Dom pulled off his black shirt and wiped his face and hands with it as he leaned back against the door.
"My phone's not working out here in bum-fuck nowhere. He's just gonna have to be left surprised." Aidyn stretched, and then dove in the front seat of the '70 Dodge Challenger parked on the side of the road.
"Goddamn potholes are gonna ruin my tires," Damian mumbled to himself.
The basketball-sized holes that lined the street aimed to destroy. Zeke slid off the hood and went around the car.
"Why's he in Tennessee?" he asked, climbing in behind Aidyn's seat.
"He said he has business to attend to-whatever the hell that means." Aidyn reached in his pocket and slid out a sandwich-bag filled with white powder.
He dipped his finger in and lifted the dust, carefully placing it on the inner skin between his thumb and index finger. He snorted it and gave a light shake of his head. Doing blow and going to the twitching world of Wonderland had become his daily routine.
Idiot, Zeke thought to himself.
"Why do I go anywhere with you guys?" Zeke stared at the burning body on the road. "Damian just wants to beat the fuck out of people. And you-you just snort coke up your nose all day." He watched Damian light a cigarette as he stood over the roasting corpse. "I don't know what I'm doing here. Sometimes, I think I should end it all. Be done with everything for once."
And he meant that. The voice in his head was telling him to do so, flooding his mind with perfect ideas and opportunities on how to go successfully about it.
"Stop talking like that. We. Are. All. Good. To. Go," his brother said, sniffling.
He had a point. There was still beer to be chugged.
"Just wait 'til the world runs out of beer," he muttered and grabbed a bottle off the seat next to him.
"And Pokémon games."
And Pokémon. Until then, he'd be satisfied. Popping the cap, he threw it out the window, it barely missing Damian as he stalked back up to the car.
"You're something the darkness will feed upon in the years to come, so it's best I end it before it even begins. Something evil is within your path. A brick of temptation from the chosen one and you will beckon to its call, because you are a woman and you are weak," he preached as if he'd just read the words right out of the bible. "It has to be this way. The almighty has told the queen that you must be destroyed."
She stared at the older brown-headed man as if he'd lost his mind, which he obviously had. Her six-year-old eyes watched as he drew a long knife from his duffel bag. With a hard jerk of her hair, he pulled her head back exposing her neck and--
Jade's mind flew back to reality, realizing that she hadn't heard a word Jason had said.
"Huh?" she asked blankly.
They were sitting in his new canary yellow Mustang in a Wal-Mart parking lot, waiting for her sister to get out of the store. Erika just had to have her precious gummy bears to snack on.
The car revved up as her sister came out of the entrance of the store. Her short and choppy, vibrant red hair blew in the wind as she struggled to carry a big bucket of gummy bears in her arms.
The girl needed to be slapped. She'd never eat all of those damn bears. Jade noticed that the woman also forgot to get her cupcakes.
Eh . . . Her selfishness has yet to cease. Jade pushed her long dark brown curls out of her eyes.
"I said, I'm not taking you to your dorms." Jason bit his lip as he scowled at her. "You guys are gonna stay at my house."
"Ya know, if you said that to any other girl, they'd think you were kidnapping them." Her freckled face scrunched up.
He ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair, roughly wiping it out of his gold eyes. "I promised your mom I'd look after y'all."
She sighed, shaking her head. "I knew you had somethin' up your sleeve."
People were always messing up her plans.
"This is just ghetto," she huffed as she opened up her door and scooted the seat forward so her sister could squeeze in.
Just a few seconds of having the door open and the sweltering heat was already pouring into the car.
Erika plopped down in the back seat. "Look at all me gummies!" she exclaimed, hugging the bucket with joy.
"That's great for you, but where the hell are my cupcakes?" Jade turned in her seat, crossing her arms over her chest as she looked back her sister.
Her sister's flawless pale face stared back at her as if she were dumb.
"So that's what I forgot . . ." Her sister closed her honey brown eyes. "Sorry, I saw the bears and forgot about the cupcakes." She shrugged.
Never depend on anyone. Now her poor cupcakes were gonna get eaten by some other fat slob with grubby hands. What a shame.
"Did you hear where douche-bag here is taking us?" Jade asked, wanting her sister to say yes, so she could strangle her.
I dare you to say . . .
"Yep!" Erika bounced on the seat. "So glad I don't have to worry about sharing a bathroom with three-thousand other menstruating women."
Well, that was kind of a nice touch, but Jade was wanting a new experience with different people. Some kind of an adventure whether she enjoyed it or not. And moving into a dorm and going to college in Greeneville, Tennessee was supposed to be that new adventure. Plans seemed to have changed though.
"I'm going to strangle you now."
Erika frowned. "That's not nice. You should be thanking me. I got us out of having to share a room."
"Whatever." Jade settled in her seat and buckled up her seat belt before blondie had a fit.
She pressed her forehead to window and made a face at a young couple that they passed by as they backed out of the parking space.
She could feel Jason giving her a wary look as he drove, hoping she'd fall into his trap of staying with him and not running off. Lucky for him, she didn't know anyone in Tennessee, so there was nowhere for her to run to.
"Your mom's pretty worried about you." Jason's eyes grew sad. "Just . . . please, promise me that you'll at least try to stay at the house."
"Sure, why not?"
She sat up in the seat and reached behind her to grab some gummy bears out of Erika's ginormous bucket. Flickering her gaze to Jason, she glared at his pretty features. In the twelve years she'd known him, his face hadn't aged a day and never would. His gold eyes were still the same vibrant color they'd always been. The light pale skin highlighted his high cheekbones, while dark shadows under his eyes showed he hadn't had a good sleep in a long time.
Better have cable.
Jade started munching on a mouth full of bears.
Eight hours later, she was tapping her hands against the dashboard, hitting it to the beat of the song playing in her mind, while the car made a sharp turn off of the long stretch of highway and onto a narrow dirt road tightly nestled between the woods. The dark, bumpy trail reminded her of those horror movies where the hillbilly, incest cannibals would jump out with their axes and chop the innocent victims up. But she wasn't innocent, so she had nothing to worry about. Plus, there were two other people in the car that would serve as perfect distractions as she'd successfully get away.
Where exactly was this house? It looked like the dust trail overflowing with green shrubs and vines didn't end for miles.
Peering into the trees, Jade saw something tall and black trudging through the mud of a low-lying trench. She did a double take and noted that the hooded thing was carrying a sickle in its gloved hands.
Oh joy, there's one of the flesh-eating hillbillies now.
Just what she wanted to see: her thoughts come to life.
Palm to nose. Palm to nose, she repeated the death move in her head.
Did that thing even have a nose? Back-tracking; perhaps there was a spoon in the car. She knew how to use a spoon with deadly force and take a man down.
She glanced back at her sister, wondering if she'd seen the thing. The girl was lying in a contorted way in the back seat, her arms still tightly wrapped around her big bucket of gummy bears as she kept biting at the air in her sleep. Erika stirred, smacking her lips loudly as she repositioned herself in the seat, her foot popping Jade on the side of the head as she did. Biting back the urge to break Erika's toe, she looked back out at the woods to see the hooded man but to her dismay he was gone, as if he disappeared into thin air.
The road seemed endless, getting steeper and steeper as they drove. When the mansion came into view Jade's eyes grew wide. The house and scenery that surrounded it was amazing. Beyond words, even.
"Holy--" Jade cut herself off as she turned her head towards Jason. "You didn't say you lived in a mansion?"
He shrugged, smirking with cocky pride.
The five-story Victorian styled mansion was enveloped in rich dark colors of brick. Columns made of gray stone graced the wraparound porch, and the dirt road they were on turned into a tar paved driveway that led around the house that was abounding in woods. A waterfall hung in the background on the right, its perfect flow almost surreal. Chrysanthemums of white and roses of different colors bloomed in the bushes that were pressed against the mansion's sides. Other pink and purple flowers grew in the trees that encircled the house. The nature that surrounded the place was, no doubt, very much alive. One large, lone balcony stood out on the fifth floor and a couple other small balconies were on the floors below.
After unpacking all of their stuff from the car, they headed up the steps of the house. Inside, Jade stood stunned by the beauty the house had, it matched the outside completely. It was just as huge, magnificent, and full of life.
"It should be illegal to be this rich," Jade mumbled as she slowly spun around, letting all the features melt into her mind.
The tiles of the floor were polished emerald and the walls were a glossy dark wood. Down the hall was a large dining-room where a long brown table sat with eighteen chairs wrapped around it, like it were a table made for a king. The massive staircase near the bar-room twirled all the way up to the roof like a castle. She couldn't deny that the house made her feel like a princess.
She didn't care for it too much, made her feel spoiled. Although, she was glad it wasn't an old, broken down house like she imagined it would be.
Her sister came in through the front door just as stunned as she was.
"Whoa." Erika's mouth dropped open in amazement. "Please say you have Cheetos? Because everything in my world would be perfect, if I only had a bag of Cheetos.
Jason's eyebrow arched. "Uh, no."
"Dammit," her sister said disappointed.
He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out four silver keys. "Um, I'm not really sure which ones which, but you guys got all day to figure it out."
"So organized." Jade batted her eyelashes as he handed her them.
One key had her name imprinted on it, while the other had the address of the house. She gave the other two to her sister and hoped she had enough brains to figure out which one opened her room door. Her stomach growled, trying to make itself known to the outside world that it was starving and needed food.
"Maranda put a pack of cookies on your bed," Jason said.
Without another thought, Jade raced up the stairs as fast as she could with her three duffel bags tripping her along the way. Erika was right on her tail, chasing her up the staircase. When they reached the top floor, they stopped and waited for their erratic breathing to slow as they looked up and down the hall.
Who would ever make so many steps? They needed to be shot. Several times.
Jade looked to the left of the corridor and saw that it broke off into three other hallways. The other end of the corridor was exactly the same, making six hallways to confuse them with.
"How many freaking halls can there be on one floor?" Jade asked rhetorically as she peered down each of the six corridors.
"Go to your right. It's the hall farthest left!" Jason called out from below.
As if that made sense.
Jade shook her head. "That's not confusing at all."
Erika's room was the first door on the right with a slip of paper attached to her door knob that had her name on it. Jade kept searching for hers down the long hall, of course hers had to be the last door on the left.
As she opened her door, she could barely believe her eyes as she saw the enormous room. It was the size of her house, if not bigger.
She was expecting a little window, instead, the entire wall was a glass window that overlooked the waterfall. In front of the window was a giant jet tub that could fit at least ten people in it. The walls were baby powder blue, and her king-sized bed was against the left wall dressed in silky baby blue and black covers, piled with cute pillows. Two bed side tables held candles and incense instead of lamps, while a sixty inch flat plasma screen TV lined the wall across from her bed. Under it one long dresser stood, waiting to be filled with her clothes.
Ooh, she thought to herself like it was candy as she grinned.
She threw her bag onto the bed and went to the dresser to stare up at the massive TV. Who knew life could be so grand? She'd always been too poor to afford anything else other than the clothes on her back that her mother had worked so hard for.
Jade pivoted and hopped over to the bed to plop onto it. It bounced her like a heavenly cloud with its softness, the silk covers smelling of sweet mint and berries. She could get used to it; the entire high-and-mighty life that consisted of butlers and cooks to wait on you. Ah, rich people and their stuck up ways.
She loved it.
Aidyn wanted to stop off at a gas station, considering that Zeke drank all the beer they had. While he went inside, Damian sat in the car. His eyes would not stay open for nothing. They kept closing, and he'd flash them open again, only for them to flutter back down. Finally he gave in, closing his eyes for just a moment, he laid his head back against the seat, drifting into and out of sleep.
Zeke was in the woods like he had been three years before. Blood covered him as he sat on the ground, naked, cradling the dead girl who laid deathly still in his arms. Except the girl's hair was dark brown instead of blonde. And then Damian realized it wasn't Zeke sitting there holding the girl . . . but himself.
Damian's head snapped up as Aidyn opened the car door.
"I got two packs this time. So if the alcoholic decides he wants to drink an entire case again, he won't leave us empty-handed." Aidyn threw the cases on the floor as he was about to get in, but paused. "I gotta piss. I'll be back."
Slamming the door, he ran across the street and into the woods.
"Had the dream again, didn't you?" Zeke's rough voice broke the silence.
Not answering, Damian stared out of the windshield, hoping his brother would let it go.
His brother always had to get into his business, always trying to tell him what he should and shouldn't do. Fucker pissed him off about that. He knew what he wanted to do--what he should do; kill Zeke.
"Why don't you go to sleep when we get back to the house and find out what it means?" The bad thing for Damian was that every time he had that dream, so did Zeke.
Their minds were linked by some strange force. He guessed it was a brotherly connection that nobody else had, because his other brother, Aidyn, didn't have to worry about anybody seeing his dreams. Lucky bastard.
"Mind your business." Damian sucked his teeth as he tapped his foot on the gas pedal, wishing Aidyn would hurry up.
His brother was quiet for a moment. "I hope you and Aidyn find out what it's like. And I hope it tears you apart on the inside, 'til your nothing."
Yeah, killing him was looking better every damn second. He brought that sob-story shit up every chance he got.
Damian was about to turn around and choke his brother when Aidyn opened the door and jumped in.
"It never felt so good to piss." Aidyn laughed as he got comfortable. He looked at his brothers and seemed to realize he'd missed something while he was gone. "What the hell's wrong with you guys?"
Zeke retorted, "Nothing."
At least he knew to keep his mouth shut.
Damian revved the car up, the engine becoming a big roar as they got back on the road.
The blade etched itself into her skin, drawing a diagonal line from under her left earlobe down to almost the base of her throat. Slashing her jugular deep. But not deep enough.
She fell limp to the cold, leaf covered ground as he released her hair from his grip. Jade lied there for what seemed like forever, listening to the crunching of the leaves under her father's feet fade and watched as the low dark clouds passed quickly by in the sky. She closed her eyes as a rough wind blew the tree branches above. Light raindrops started to pat her face like cold, soft, small fingertips.
Her lids fluttered open when she felt two strong arms lift her out of the leaves.
Strange gold eyes stared down at her. The face seemed almost alien as her vision blurred and distorted his features. His mouth moved but the sound of his voice was drowned out by the ringing in her ears. The soft rain suddenly became heavy, pouring down as he carried her through the mud. The storm clouds seemed to linger over her with such irony.
Opening her eyes, Jade blinked from the burning memory that would forever be lodged in her mind. She took a sip from the glass of soda that sat in front of her. The dining hall table wasn't too crowded, it's not like it could be with the size of it. Just a few people sat talking amongst each other, laughing and carrying on. She eyed each of them and knew who all of them were. Marcus, the douche, sat across from her talking about a piece of ass he scored, his disheveled, black hair shined in the dim light of the room as his piercing silver eyes gleamed with pride. He was slightly tan for a vampire, but none-the-less cute with a couple tattoos here and there, a nice lip ring. If it wasn't for his asshole attitude, she'd like him. His redheaded sister, Lily, sat beside him shaking her head to the obnoxious poppy-cock coming out of his mouth.
Yes, poppy-cock. The word suited him well, not to mention Jade liked the word herself.
Lily was quiet most of the time, but when she spoke she was usually pretty determined to get what she wanted. The two were pretty old or so she'd heard. Jason said something about more than five centuries, so she put that as pretty damn old in her book.
Well, she didn't really have a book but if she did that would go in there. Man, she needed to make a book. Imagine the crap that would go in it.
Eh, vampires and their strange abilities. They didn't harbor some whacked out vulnerability to sun, in fact most of them loved it. Like Lily, she was always one for tanning. Of course they all had to drink a little bit of human blood here and there to survive eternally, but it was nothing too extreme.
Um, they were pretty sneaky. But that was about it.
Pff, vampires: overrated.
Maranda came out of the kitchen holding a pan of cookies that the cook, Doodle, had made. She sat them right in front of Jade, probably guessing that she would be the only one to tear the cookies apart. Delicious, precious chocolate chip cookies, how she loved thee.
"Chow 'em down, sensei," Maranda said as she took a seat at the head of the table.
"Will do, grass-hopper." Jade took a cookie and started munching on it.
She felt like she was being watched and looked up to see green eyes staring at her.
"What are you lookin' at, hobo?" she asked Tristan as he sat, idly watching her eat the cookie.
He shook his head, his shaggy, dark brown hair getting in his eyes. "You never change, do you?"
"What's so good about changing?"