One: Thatch Eli and Evan Kilkenny
The door creaked loudly as it opened into the dark, windowless cell. His footsteps echoed in the shadows.
*TAP* *TAP* *TAP*
The soles of his alligator shoes made a skidding noise across the dusty floor as he stopped in front of the boy. He growled quietly as he stirred, waking from his ten year coma. His hands and feet were chained, positioning him upright against the cold cement wall. They rattled as the boy tried desperately to move his limbs. The light from the open door shone dimly on the boy’s body. The years had been kind to him. The boy was beautiful in every aspect, despite his starved look. The man cupped his small chin and helped the boy’s gaze flow upward.
“Are you awake, child?”
The boy stared at him through limp, lifeless sapphire eyes. The man seemed charming in his formal black suit. The collar of his white shirt was slightly undone, revealing the white, slender neck he so proudly displayed. The boy couldn’t help but glance at it but then his gaze fixed on the wicked, green eyes that pierced his core, demanding an answer to the man’s question. Still weak from years of fatigue and hunger, the boy managed to give him a weak nod. The man smiled softly.
“Are you hungry?” he asked, his voice low yet strong. The boy stared at the man’s neck again. It was pale white, soft, and… appetizing. He nodded again.
“What do you want to eat? Bread? Eggs? Meat?”
He nodded again. The man let out a small chuckle, “What do you crave, child?”
The boy’s voice was tender as the words slipped from his lips, “Meat… Flesh…”
The man followed the boy’s gaze and snickered. He pulled back his collar and moved closer to the boy, “Take it,” he whispered into his ear, “Take my flesh. In exchange, you will be my tool, my weapon. Your life will belong to me. Do you understand child?”
The man felt the boy’s hair brush against the line of his jaw as he accepted quietly.
“Good boy. You may feed, but only a little.”
As if a switch clicked, the boy's teeth begun to ache for the flesh. He bared his fangs, his breath hot against the man’s neck. The man grunted as the boy’s teeth tore his skin. A moment later, he pulled away and withdrew a handkerchief from his pocket. He wiped the boy’s mouth clean of loose flesh and blood.
“Can you remember your name?” the man asked gently. The boy shook his head. The man chuckled silently, amused at how little the boy knew about himself.
“Your name is Thatch Eli.”
“Thatch…Eli…?” the boy repeated.
“That’s right,” the man said, tracing Thatch’s bottom lip with his thumb.
“Who… are you?” Thatch asked.
The darkness traced the line of a new smile, a smile that etched fear and questionable admiration into Thatch’s heart and made the hairs on his neck stand on end.
“To you, Thatch, I am,” he said as his hands combed through Thatch’s silky, black hair, “your food source, your protector, and the one you will protect. You live only to serve me, to please me in any way I want you to. I am the bright light that guides you and the inescapable darkness that holds you.”
Thatch gazed into his green eyes, “What is your name…?”
Another grin, “Evan. Evan Kilkenny.”
“That’s right, Thatch.”
Evan pushed the button on his cufflink, releasing Thatch from his chains. He fell to the ground, dust gathering in his face. Evan helped him up and threw his blazer over him to cover his body. Thatch gripped Evan’s shoulder for support, his legs still too weak to function on their own. He looked up at the hole he made in Evan’s neck.
“I need more,” he said softly as he reached to touch the wound. Evan wrapped his arm around Thatch’s waist as they walked toward the door.
“You’ll have to wait till I regenerate. I’m afraid you even bit into the marrow of my spine. I said you could only have a little,” he said in a mocking tone.
Thatch felt the shame in his face surface and dropped his hand. Evan sighed and lifted his hand to Thatch’s lips. Thatch looked up in astonishment.
“You’ll need it for your eyes. It’s pretty bright outside. Just the blood though and that’s it. If you take more than that I’ll punish you.”
Thatch smiled gratefully and took a little blood to restore his eyesight to its original state. They walked out into the lit hall way and up the narrow staircase to the Haven. The room was florid with large landscapes and statues from the Renaissance and cherub murals covered the walls of the high archways. A sensation ran up and down Thatch’s spine as the scent of burning wax and cinnamon made its way into his nose.
“What… is this place?” he asked as he stared at the cherubs.
“This,” Evan said quietly, “is Haven. It used to be a church but several years ago it was converted into a home for the Kilkenny family.”
Thatch looked at him, his sapphires beaming with curiosity, “Family?”
Evan smiled faintly, “Don’t worry about that part. It’s just you and I in this place.”
Thatch stared at the tiled floor, still leaning against Evan for support. Slowly, his senses were returning and he noticed, for the first time, how broad and sturdy Evan’s shoulders were. He observed Evan more closely in the dim light of the scented candles. From their earlier conversation, when he repeatedly referred to him as “child”, he knew that Evan had to be considerably older than him, yet his face was vibrant and young. His hair was two inches away from his shoulders, wavy, and brown and his face held an intense demeanor, but his eyes... turned soft each time he looked at Thatch, glowing with a delicate feeling that he couldn't name.
\"Is there something on my face?\" Evan asked, noticing the intent look Thatch wore as he studied him more. Before uttering a response, Thatch's fingertips floated to the lining of Evan's jaw, resting there softly.
Evan stared at the curious look Thatch had as his slender hand rested on his face, touching carefully as if he was afraid Evan might break. The hand traced the lining of his jaw and then down to the wound in his neck that was slowly restoring itself.
\"Does it... Did I hurt you?\" Thatch asked as his fingers trailed around the wound. His bright eyes grew dull as shame began to ruin his beautiful face.
\"No, it doesn't,\" he reassured him quietly, \"I've almost regenerated all of the lost tissue. I'll be fine.\"
Evan grasped Thatch's hand and moved it away from the wound. Thatch looked confused as Evan smiled at him. He studied Evan a bit longer and directed his attention to the full-body mirror standing in the center of the room. Steadily, he leaned away from Evan on his own feet and clutched the blazer as he walked toward the mirror. He shrugged it off and examined his own reflection. His body was beaten, bloody, and bandaged. He unwrapped the bandages covering his right arm, revealing light green marks that seemed to twist and swirl around his entire body. He turned away from the mirror and toward Evan. He raised Evan's sleeve and checked his arm for any marks. There was nothing to be seen.
\"What am I...?\" he asked as he stared back at the marks on his own arm.
Evan sighed and placed his hand gently on Thatch's head , \"Let's get you cleaned up first. You've missed a lot in the past ten years.\"
© Copyright 2017 Minami Tsubaki. All rights reserved.
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