At eleven fifty I quietly got out of bed and snuck out of the room so I wouldn't wake Beylie. She had no idea I was going to see Ryker and the Dark Siders and I planned to keep it that way. I quietly closed the door after myself and ran down the hall. Tonight the Enchanted Hall looked like a midevil chamber with stone walls and the only light coming from fire lit torches. Fitting.
I reached the stairs and tip toed down them but stopped on the bottom one. There was a night woman sitting at the desk by the door watching for students out of bed. Students like me. I put my black hood up and waited until she was turned away then bolted out the door, quietly closing it behind me. Hopefully she wouldn't get too suspicious of the cool breeze that just hit her. Once outside, all I had to do was make it to the gardens without being caught by one of the campus guards and I'd be fine.
But first, I had to find the gardens.
I wondered blindly across campus, hoping my black hoodie would hide me a little bit in the darkness. I got nervous when I passed one of the lamps but I somehow managed not to get caught. And finally I found the gardens. All the Dark Siders were there just like Ryker had promised. They sat in a circle with a few candles set in the middle of them so they could see. I pushed my hood down and stepped closer. One of the twins noticed me first.
"Min? What are you doing here?"
Ryker looked up and one of his half smiled played on his lips. "I invited her. Come sit Min."
I walked around the circle without saying a word and sat beside him. Annabelle sat on the opposite side of the circle by Misty and she had a sneer painted on her face. She looked away from Ryker and I and spoke to Misty in a low tone. Misty rolled her eyes at whatever Annabelle was telling her.
"So Ryker," Misty pushed Annabelle away. "Mind telling us why we're out here at midnight? I mean I realize it's Friday and we don't have school tomorrow but I'm frickin' tired."
"Min had some questions I believe she wanted answered about us."
"I did?" I asked. I knew I did but I had really only wanted to ask Ryker about it. Not his entire clan.
He just nodded calmly. "Ask away."
I looked around at the faces surrounding me, each dimly lit by the candles. "Well... I guess my first qustion is that I want to know how you become a Dark Sider."
Annabelle snorted. "Why, so you can join us?"
"I never said that."
"Annabelle grow up." One twin said. I still had no clue how to tell them apart. "It's simple, Min. Sex."
"Yeah. You know, it's where the guy takes his porsche and park it in the womans garage then wiggles it around so it fits just right and finally lets the exhaust out."
"Thank you for that lovely mental image Matt." Jayk said from across the circle.
"Man stop mixing me up for my brother. I'm Erik."
"Oh dear God, no one cares."
"He's just messing wiht you Jayk. He really is Matt." Misty said, coming to Jayk's rescue. Jayk held up his middle fingers, one for each twin. They laughed.
I looked up at Ryker for an explanation but he just shrugged. "They act like idiots about it but they tell the truth. We have to have sex in order to become or to change someone into a Dark Sider."
"Oh... Who was the first Dark Sider?"
"Who changed you?"
Ryker refused to answer.
"Don't expect an answer to that question any time soon, Min. He's like a closed book with a lock on it and no one can find the key." one twin said.
"Yeah we've tried to get him to tell us but he's really secretive about his life." The other twin told me.
"So then who came second?"
"Annabelle." Ryker said, making me jump. I hadn't been expecting him to answer. "Then she changed the twins, one of them changed Misty and Misty changed Jayk."
"How long ago?"
Ryker thought about that a moment and I could see him calculating it in his mind. "Lets see... Annabelle was changed two years ago. The twins just last year, Misty a couple months later and Jayk was, what? Three, four weeks ago?"
"Something like that." Jayk said.
"What about you?"
Ryker refused to answer again. I was starting to realize he wasn't going to answer anything about himself or his life.
"Never mind. So what do you have to do exactly? Besides just have sex."
"Oh, Min, you would hate it." Annabelle told me. "Once you and whoever you decide to do it with, are connected, he has to drive a stake through your heart so it stops beating. Then he ejaculates into you which is what keeps you alive. Once his sperm leaves your system, you die."
I gulped and scooted away. "Re... Really?"
"No Min. Not at all." Ryker wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me into his lap where I rested agianst his warm chest. "Annabelle, if you're just going to be a bitch because I broke up with you, you can get the hell out of here."
She rolled her big, brown eyes. "Whatever."
"Do you want to know what we really had to do to be changed, Min?"
Ryker kissed my head, a gesture that made its way down to my heart and made it start pounding. "First we have to have all the Dark Siders around us. We have sex and as soon as we join the other Dark Siders stand in a circle around us, holdng hands and chant 'renascentis. Factus inter nos' which is Latin for 'be reborn. Become among us'. They continue to chant for a full minute then we pull apart and by the next morning, the person who was changed is a Dark Sider."
"That's all? No side affects or anything?"
"None." Ryker pulled me closer and whisper in my ear, "But I want you Min. I lied to you Earlier about last night. I was out but only until about midnight. Then I went back to my room and went into your dreams."
"You lied to me?" I whispered back to him.
He wrapped his arms around my waist. "Yes and I am sorry. But I want you, Min. I want to change you so we can be together."
I gasped at his request. Change me? Now? We had only just met not that long ago and he wanted to change me to a Dark Sider so we could date? I couldn't. I'd just made friends and I didn't want to loose them all. Not now and not like this. "I can't Ryker... I can't loose the friends I have. They're too important to me."
"I understand." He started to release me and I realized I'd almost forgotten that I was in his arms. I felt right there. Like his chest was made to hold my body.
"Wait," I stopped his arms from releasing me any further. "We can still be together."
"I can't be with a good girl, Min. Everyone is already terrified of me enough."
"Honestly, I really don't care about that Ryker." Then I did the unthinkable. I planted my lips right on top of his. He didn't pull away as I expected though. Instead he just rewrapped his arms around me and kissed me back. I heard Misty say awe and the guys kind of mumble some ews. I heard nothing from Annabelle.
Ryker and I pulled away after a minute and I smiled dorkily at him. He chuckled and held me to him. Soon, I was sound asleep in the warm comfort of his arms.
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