It’s been five years since my misadventure with Chris. He moved a year later, but never asked for that ‘favor’, so I thought I was clear. Well, I was wrong.
I’m twenty-two now and I’ve changed a lot. Let me catch you up.
When I told my parents I refused to go to college, or at least immediately, they kicked me out of the house. I was eighteen and they just sent me on my way with nothing but the meager amount of cash I had and whatever I could fit into a bag.
For a while, I stayed with a buddy of mine, got a job, and ate the cheapest stuff I could find to save up some cash. Now I’ve got a steady job as a manager at a nearby grocery store and I’m in my own apartment. Everything was normal for those years. Excluding the fact that I knew vampires existed, which is enough to make you paranoid.
Anyway, this is when Chris came back into the picture.
It was a pretty usual night. I came home from work late, grabbed a microwaveable dinner from the freezer, and watched TV for a bit. That was interrupted when a loud bang came from my bedroom, like something hitting the wall very hard.
As you can imagine, I figured someone had broken in and was probably trying to rob me. I grabbed the baseball bat I keep in the front closet and went to investigate, grabbing my cell phone just in case police were necessary. After learning about Chris and knowing what was out there, simple human robbers were nothing.
The bat I kept at the ready, and carefully proceeded to walked towards my room. I tried to keep my heart and breathing at an even pace, but adrenaline prevented that. At least my breaths weren’t audible and the TV was still playing, which might cover my footsteps a little.
My door was open. A figure, just a black silhouette in this lighting, stood in the doorway. They didn’t move as I went towards them, so I figured they must’ve been turned around. I raised the bat and slowly walked towards the figure, heart beating so fast I could hear the blood in my ears.
“Well,” a familiar voice said, “At least you’re trying this time.”
I blinked, lowering the bat, mind tugged back to those years ago. “Chris?” He moved, turning around, not that I could see that at the time.
“Long time no see.” I could just hear the grin in his voice.
“What the hell?” My mind was still trying to process what was going on.
“What? Not glad to see me?”
“Why are you here?” I already knew, but like I said, I was still shocked. This was the first time I’d seen him in the last four years. Why now?
“Hmm. Right to business then? Okay, okay. Remember that favor I told you you’d owe me?”
“How in hell could I forget?” I replied dryly.
“I’ve come to collect.”
Suspiciously, I asked, “What do you want?”
“Oh, nothing much. Except for your services.”
“Services? Like what?”
“Your food’s getting cold. Why don’t we go and sit and talk about this?”
Without a word to him, I just walked back towards the living room area of my apartment. I sat down on the couch, muting the TV and leaning the bat against the side of the couch. Chris was already sitting in one of the fold-up chairs I keep leaned against the wall.
He, of course, looked exactly the same. Except his eyes. They weren’t red the way I’d seen when he’d broken into my room. They were blue-green. His hair was the same too, still wavy brown and looking perpetually messy. The skin I could see was smooth, like a child’s, and looked white in the televisions dim light. He wore jeans, a grey tee, and Converse. All in all, he still looked like a typical, albeit a very pale, young man.
“Now will you tell me what kind of services you’re expecting?”
“I need a guardian for a while.”
“Yeah. I’ve run into a bit of trouble with a group that hunts my kind and I just need someone who can keep an eye on, well, me while I’m vulnerable.”
“And what am I supposed to do about my job? You know, my form of income? Look, I know I owe you, but—”
“Perhaps, if this goes well, I might hire you full time.” He suddenly looked half-way serious.
I didn’t know what to say to that. I tried to think of something to say, but couldn’t. I think my mouth was open a little. Eventually, I shook that off.
“How do you even know you can trust me?”
“I don’t yet. But it’s better than being undefended. I’m tired during the day, exhausted really. I’m a deep sleeper. It’s the only time those hunters could come after me. I need help.”
“Why don’t you just kill ‘em? Don’t they do that in the movies?” Great. Now I’m suggesting murder.
He wrinkled his nose, presumably in disgust. “Movies are wrong about a lot of things. And I told you, I’m not like that. Some of my kind would kill them, but I don’t like that.”
“So instead you just run away? Hide? Some sense of honor and pride you have.”
His eyes narrowed, becoming slightly red. “Don’t talk to me of honor or pride. Both are stupid qualities if you ask me.”
His face had twisted up and I couldn’t tell what emotion it was. He looked down at the floor, red eyes gleaming brightly.
“Honor is what gets people killed for no reason. Honor is what breeds those idiots out there that are hunting me. Pride becomes vanity. Jealousy. Hatred. I can’t stand the men, or women, that kill because honor or pride dictates that they must. Don’t pass it off as something else. Face it; you kill because you wanted to.”
He was beginning to scare me. As those sentences had progressed, those red eyes of his had begun to flare.
“Chris?” It came out as a trembling whisper.
He blinked rapidly and looked back up at me. A bead of blood ran down his face from his right eye and there was a pinkish shine to his eyes. With a start, I realized that was a shine of tears.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get so caught up.” He let out a long breath, wiping the bloody tear from his face. I watched, fascinated, as it slowly sank back into his skin. “I’ve lived for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of horrible things done in the name of those two things you mentioned.”
Wanting to get off this topic, I said, “What would me guarding you entail?”
Recognizing my change of subject, he smiled as he answered, “Nothing much. You’d come to my home and pretty much just keep an eye on things. Check out suspicious noises, answer the door when someone knocks, maybe do a few chores to make it seem normal.”
“Sounds like servitude to me.”
“It’s only for a few days. Then I might just hire you, if you’d want the job.”
“And that sounds less like a favor and more like a job opportunity.”
He smirked. “Maybe I’ll ask for a bit of blood every now and again.” I shivered.
“Don’t get creepy.”
“I like to be indiscriminate about my feeding. You’ve still got your mind in the movies, don’t ya? Think all I do is pick on beautiful young virgin girls? Come on, that’s just rude. Besides, it’s not like it’s a sexual thing. Do humans have to make everything about that?”
“No!” he laughed, “We lose that kind of lust. Which often times makes us seem bisexual to humans.”
“When really you just…aren’t sexual?”
“Exactly. So anyway, are you going to do this job or not?”
He was right. I owed him, in a way. He hadn’t called the police on me, and he hadn’t eaten me. I stole from him. It was his right, I guess.
Sighing, rubbing my face with my hands, I answered, “Fine.”
“Great. Pack a bag. I’ll wait downstairs for ya.”
He got up and so did I. His eyes, I noticed, had gone back to being blue-green.
As he was heading towards the door, at human speed, I told him, “Just to let you know, your timing suck.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just hurry up. Those hunters might have followed me here.”
I threw the remains of my dinner away, no longer hungry, shut the TV off, and went to pack a bag. It wasn’t the first time I’d packed in a hurry.
I met Chris just outside the door to my building and we walked silently to his car. It wasn’t flashy or anything, just a regular car. It was black.
The car ride was quiet and weird. He took me out of town and to some old place between a ton of fields of corn and nowhere. It took nearly an hour to get to this wonderful, horror-like setting.
I knew it was one of those century old farmhouses and thought it was pretty cool. A barn, looking really beat, stood a few hundred feet from the back of the house and the acres of land seemed to stretch forever. Trees were on either side of the house and covered much of what lay beyond that barn. The drive up the dirt path to the house was bumpy.
“So this is where you’ve been for the past few years?”
“Yeah, you like it?”
“You’ve got the attic room.”
“Oh, fantastic. Aren’t those usually haunted, or somethin’ like that?”
“Mine’s not. Anymore.”
“Ghosts are real?”
“A lot of things are real. I’ll have to tell you about it some time.”
“Not sure if I want to know.”
“Hey, what if I get attacked? By your new friends?”
“It won’t get to that point. If you see them coming, just wake me up. That’s all I want from you. I can defend us. My problem is that if I were by myself, I wouldn’t wake up and they’d probably just cut me to pieces, or lock me up for torture.”
We were heading to the door by this point. From the outside, the house looked abandoned. When he opened the door, however, I saw that it looked far more lived in than his previous home.
The last time I’d been in one of his houses, he’d had literally nothing out. Now, there was proper furniture, photos of people, knick-knacks, books, DVDs, and stuff lying around. The kitchen had a microwave, a toaster, and food.
“Last time, you didn’t have anything out. What’s up with this?”
Chris looked a little surprised and told me, “I feel more comfortable here. I didn’t like the last place so much. Too many people around me all the time. Made me nervous. I kept my stuff in storage since I knew I probably wouldn’t be there long.”
“You lived next door to us for almost six years.”
“Yeah. And I’ve lived for nearly three hundred years. Six years is nothing.”
“Wait, wait. Three hundred years? Holy hell.” His only response was a chuckle.
We ascended some stairs, came to the second floor, which had a bathroom and two bedrooms, and then went on up to the third floor. It was the attic.
The room itself was huge. A large window was curtained with black, but was otherwise untouched, unlike the windows of the last house. There was a bed and a dresser, black blankets and grey sheets folded neatly on the bed. A fairly large television sat on the dresser, facing the bed.
“I’ve been looking for a new guardian for a while,” he told me while I examined the room.
“What happened to the old one?”
“A family emergency. His mother was diagnosed with cancer.”
“So where are you sleeping?”
“The cellar. It’s nice and cool and dark. Speaking of which, here’s the key.” He handed the key to me. “I keep the door locked during the day while I sleep, so if you need help or those hunters come, use the key.”
“Wonderful. Can I ask you something?”
“What would you do if I were to ask you for a blood donation? Right now?”
“Could I say no?”
“I’d say no anyway.”
“And I’d say too bad.”
That was the first time I was ever bitten by a vampire. It was strange. He just suddenly was holding me, one arm around me, locking my own arms against my sides, and the other holding the back of my head. It was a good thing he was holding me, otherwise I would have probably collapsed.
I gasped when I realized what had happened, tried to push at him out of instinct, but there was pain when I struggled. I stopped struggling almost immediately. Since the room was so quiet, all that could be heard was the sound of Chris swallowing my blood. Do you know how disturbing, and disgusting, that is?
It didn’t last long. His teeth left my throat and I slumped, almost falling, dizzy from the sudden loss of blood and the fact that he’d just attacked me. He looked me in the eye, holding me by the shoulders to keep me upright. I was surprised to see worry in his eyes.
“You all right? I only took a little. I haven’t fed in three nights, so I thought I should take this as an opportunity to show you what my feedings are like. You okay?”
“F-fine,” I stuttered, weakly walking over to the bed. I laughed. “That was the strangest thing a man has ever done to me.”
“Oh, fantastic. Now you’re getting hysterical on me. I’ll be back with some water. Need any help getting the bed put right? No? Look at me please. You need any help? I’ll be right back then. Sorry you’re so dizzy.”
I got to making the bed, and when Chris got back, I was already laying down, half asleep. He handed me the glass of water, which I drained very quickly.
“You should sleep now,” he told me.
“Aren’t I supposed to be guarding you, or somethin’ like that?”
“Yes, but you should sleep. It’s still several hours until dawn. Just sleep. There’ll be stuff for you to eat when you wake up.” He went to leave. I had one last thing to ask him.
“Why’s that ring so important to you? The one I stole?”
He smiled at me. “It belonged to my maker. She was killed. She gave it to me before she died.” His hand had come up to rest on the ring through his shirt. Still smiling, he left. I was almost immediately asleep.
There will be a part 3 to this with a bit of action in it. I just need to write it. :P Not sure if I'm completely satisfied with it, but is any writer?
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