I sat across from Roxy, the coffee table separating us. She stared at me with a challenging glint in her eyes, like she often did, but this time I felt less cockiness in her aura; and more determination and natural confidence.
I reached forward and pushed a glass of human blood forward, lifting an eyebrow as I sat back and carefully assessed her reaction. Her muscles twitched slightly and she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, but she remained seated and unmoving.
“Very good.” I praised, standing up and keeping my expression blank and my mood detached. I wouldn’t teach her how to hide her emotion; that was something I always needed to read in her, but she didn’t have to know how much of a struggle it was for me to keep this seriousness about me for the past two weeks. But sure enough, she’s become incredibly obedient in a short amount of time.
I stood behind her and leaned over the couch, dipping my index finger in the blood. I slowly brought it to her arm and spread the liquid up the length of her arm. I felt her shiver and heard her fangs extend, as they should have; but again, she made no movements.
“It’s hard, it’s so hard.” Her voice quaked.
“I know.” I responded in understanding. I wanted so badly to kiss her, to touch her, but I couldn’t. Not here, not yet. We still were not together. I snapped my fingers and in walked a dazed and hypnotized young woman I picked up at a club in Maui earlier that evening.
She smiled and sat down across from Roxy, her eyes blank. ”I’m going to snap her back into reality.” I informed, “You need to glamour her into a painless state, and then feed from her without killing her. Just like we practiced on the animals.”
Roxy shook her head slowly, “I-I don’t think I can, Master.”
“You have ten minutes.” I caught the gaze of the woman and ended her glamoured state. Her eyes widened and once she laid eyes on us she began to scream. I stood back and watched as she stood up and ran.
“Nine minutes, Roxanne.” I stated.
Roxy stood up and sprinted after the woman, catching her in record time with perfect accuracy. Clearly, her practice had been working. This was our last night in the Hana Rainforest, and her first time using a human. If she couldn’t successfully pass this, then she would be too unstable to go back to Los Angeles.
Soon, I saw her dragging the woman back into the bungalow. She threw her onto the couch and pinned the struggling human down as she tried to gain eye contact. ”Oh God her pulse, her heart is racing!” Roxy cried out to me desperately.
No, I would not step in yet.
“PLEASE GET OFF ME!!! PLEASE!!” The woman screamed and cried, “I LOVE YOUR MUSIC, PLEASE I’M SUCH A HUGE FAN!!” She begged.
“Look at me you stupid bitch!” Roxy demanded. The woman hesitantly glanced up at her, tears streaming down her face, and I watched as she relaxed under Roxy’s grip and a dopey grin spread across her lips as she sighed happily.
“I—I d-did it!” She exclaimed, looking back at me as the woman lay there as if she was in Heaven.
“Five minutes.” I walked over and sat across from them. I gestured to the woman, “Feed.”
Roxy swallowed and turned back to the woman, her lower lip quivering.
“How do you feel?” I asked the mystery woman whose pulse was right underneath my fingers that were curled gently around her neck.
“Nice.” She said airily.
I felt nervous about what I was about to do. What if I couldn’t stop? I had trained on animals, not humans! The time was ticking by in my head, and I knew that my Master…well, that Bruno…
God, I couldn’t even get that term out of my own thoughts now…how were we ever supposed to go back to a normal relationship again?
…I knew that Bruno would keep me here if I didn’t pass these last few trials. I needed to get back to California, I needed to see Kenji face to face. He did this to me, and damn it if he couldn’t tell me why, then I wanted to kill him with my own two hands.
Anger, I had to push that anger back or I would kill this woman.
“Three…minutes…” Bruno said. I looked over at him as he sat on the couch, his arms crossed across his chest.
In a way…I was thankful he had become this way for me. I didn’t realize how much I had taken over our relationship until he put me back into check, and I would never have expected such hardcore dedication out of him.
Pushing those thoughts aside, I looked down at the woman. ”You feel amazing.”
“You are numb to pain.”
“I don’t feel anything.” She giggled.
I lowered my face to her neck, which was a far cry from the vicious way I used to attack before. I closed my eyes as I listened to her blood flow. With careful precision, I bit into her vein and felt that surge of energy through me that happened whenever blood touched my tongue, spreading over my taste buds, running down the back of my throat and sating me like a five course meal does for a human.
She moaned softly and I tried to ignore that as I drank more and more. I wanted to stop a few seconds ago, but I found it severely difficult, if not impossible, to pull away.
“Thirty seconds, and her pulse is slowing.” Bruno announced.
Quick Roxy, think, think, think.
You need to get back to California so you can live a semi-normal life.
You need to be around real fucking people.
Or you will stake yourself in isolation.
I quickly began to picture Bruno and Leilani together. Yes…yes, this would work. I pictured him pressing her against the wall, kissing her lips passionately, running his fingers through her long, thick hair.
She pushed him onto the bed and climbed atop him, pulling her shirt off and grinding her body against his while he held her waist and flipped her over, caressing her all over as he pulls her tight jeans off her slender legs—
“Agh!” I pulled myself away from the woman and spat out the extra blood, I was so thoroughly disgusted with the vision that played in my head.
Bruno looked impressed as he nodded. ”Close the wounds and you’ll be done.”
I leaned down and licked the puncture marks until they disappeared. The woman rolled over on the couch and giggled into a pillow. ”Have I passed?” I asked hopefully.
“You have one more test. Get dressed.”
Not every person is suitable to be a vampire.
The two worst kinds of humans to turn are:
& the mentally disturbed
But JongHo felt a sense of loyalty that he owed to his descendent. They were connected by blood after all. Of course, he had no time to guide the young man throughout his journey in the afterlife. That was where his kindness ended. He simply owed him a favor that he granted after finding out the miserable human had attempted suicide.
So now not only was Kenji a vampire; but his inability to properly train, and his confusion, his severe hunger, and overpowering guilt classified him as a hundred and ten percent batshit crazy.
He watched from the nearby trees as Phil walked into his home. Kenji kept a watchful eye on the lights that were turned on in the home before he lunged for the window and clung to the sill, breaking the lock with his bare hands and pushing it open. He climbed inside.
He had to get rid of Phil, because in Kenji’s warped sense of reality, everyone connected to Bruno and Roxanne were out to get him.
Phil came into the bedroom that Kenji stood in. He jumped and grabbed his chest, “Whoa man, what are you doing in here?!” He asked.
Kenji quickly grabbed Phil and sunk his fangs into the man’s neck. Phil kicked and struggled, trying to yell, but he was nothing against the strength of a raging newborn vampire. Soon, he passed out.
When Kenji was sure that Phil was no longer a threat, he hoisted him over his shoulder and sped off through the backstreets to his home. He entered from the backdoor and went straight down to the basement.
“No…no not Phil too…” Eric breathed, tied up and chained on the floor as he sat against the wall. ”Kenji, why are you doing this?!”
“SHUT UP! Kenji snapped, his eyes widening.
Phil groaned, beginning to come to, but severely weakened by his loss of blood. He felt himself being tied up and handcuffed and soon he was being dragged across the floor. He blinked, his vision in vertigo.
“E-Eric?” He rasped, looking around the cold, dark basement. ”Ryan?…Kam?…Phred? Ari? Oh God…wh-what’s going on? Ouch!” He yelped as Kenji tightened his constraints.
Finally the vampire backed up and looked at his display of people. ”I—I w-will kill you…if you say a-anything.” He said to them all.
“Anything about what Kenji? You just abducted us and we don’t even know why! We were there for you in the hospital when you tried to kill yourself, we love you man. Is this how you vampires really are?!” Eric demanded angrily, still trying to use his strength to burst out of his constraints…but it was no use. Ryan had stopped trying a long time ago, and if those two couldn’t break free…it was hopeless for anyone else.
“What if it is?” Kenji sneered. ”T-this is how it s-should be!”
“Man please just let me eat somethin’, I’m gonna die down here.” Kam begged.
“We’re dirty, bloody, and being held hostage by a crazy fucking vampire and you’re worried about food?!” Phredley tilted his body over so he could look at Kam. ”Really?!”
Kam shrugged as he leaned against the wall, “Well he ain’t gonna let us out, least he can do is feed us.”
Though Kenji had little to no emotional connection at this stage in his brain, something in him triggered a droplet of sympathy. “I…I suppose…youshould eat…”
“Ohhhhhhh my God I want to kill you so bad right now.” Ryan groaned as he lay on the cement floor staring at the ceiling. He had been trying to contain his anger for the longest time but the more he laid there and assessed the insanity of the situation, the more pissed off he became.
Kenji’s eye twitched. ”SHUT UP!”
“NO YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP KENJI I SWEAR TO GOD IF I GET OUT OF THIS I WILL GET THE BIGGEST FUCKIN STAKE I CAN FIND AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS, DOWN YOUR THROAT, THEN IN YOUR HEART!” Ryan waddled on the ground angrily as he yelled. Kenji vamped over to him and gripped his throat.
“Say it again…I fucking dare you.” Kenji’s eyes read severe mental instability.
“Don’t bro, just let it go.” Ari pleaded.
“If I get out of this…I-will-kill-you.” Ryan stated, “Now go ahead and kill me, please.”
Kenji snarled, trying to contain his anger. But he wouldn’t give him the pleasure of death. No, Kenji had to suffer through this life, so he was going to force everyone else to suffer. Instead, he picked Ryan up and threw him across the room.
He landed against the wall and slid down slowly, going unconscious.
“KENJI STOP IT!” Phil yelled. ”Why’s he doing this?!” He asked the others.
“Say anything and I will kill you all.” Kenji said. He narrowed his eyes as he looked around, “I’m missing…Jam…James…Dwayne…” He vamped out of the basement and double locked the door.
It was silent for a few moments before Kam spoke up.
“We gon’ die y’all.” he said, “I hope ya’ll know Jesus.”
“Master…” I looked over at Bruno in disbelief as he shut the vehicle off. ”No…”
He reached in his pocket and handed me my wedding ring. ”If you pass this, we’ll leave tomorrow evening.”
“But…isn’t this where-“
“Yes. We’re going to pay her a visit. I need to test your ability to handle anger, is there a problem?”
I gulped and glanced down at my hands as I slipped the ring onto my finger. “No, Master.”
“You know…” He reached over and touched my cheek, “I could get used to you calling me that when this is all over…in a…different kind of setting.” I glanced over at him, but he got out of the truck promptly, leaving me no lingering glances, no time to look into his eyes and feel a rush. Just his comment ringing in my ears.
I followed suit and we walked to the back door of the club. Paparazzi were there on instant, they had already be awaiting our arrival. They yelled all kinds of things and snapped picture after picture.
“Are you two getting a divorce?”
“Bruno, how is your vampire life going?”
“It’s going great man.” Bruno responded, to my surprise; but we continued walking.
“Roxanne, are you back to attack Leilani again?”
“Roxanne! Are you a lesbian?”
“Bruno, is it true that Leilani had your child?”
“Hey, hey, hey.” Bruno stopped our path and the paparazzi were even thrown off at that point and their bulb flashes slowed. ”Why do you guys always ask inappropriate questions? If you want an answer, ask something normal.” He said. A flashbulb went off oddly close to his face and he pushed the camera away. I noticed a puff of smoke came off the side of his face.
“Bruno, the light…it can burn us from camera flashes too?” I asked in shock. It wasn’t enough to damage him much more than a tiny burn that went away within seconds; but I noticed it.
“The people wanna know the details, we gotta ask.”
“Don’t touch my camera man.”
“Don’t shove your camera in my face, man.” Bruno responded.
Another camera man, probably trying to get a reaction, shoved a camera mere inches from my face and snapped it. I hissed and shied away, but I felt no pain. I carefully touched my face, sure that would have caused a burn…they were closer than when they had snapped Bruno!
“B-Bruno…my face…” I said miraculously. He touched my skin carefully and then looked at me, his eyes wide.
“Rox, I think you…I think you have the gene for daywalking!” He exclaimed.
Bulbs really started going off.
This was the wrong place to have this moment.
Bruno rushed me inside of the Vida Salsera, but as soon as we were in the VIP, he grasped me by my shoulders and looked upon me with the happiest expression I had seen in him within the past couple of weeks. ”What if you can daywalk? Do you know what that means?”
“I don’t know…but God I didn’t realize how much I had missed the sunlight for the past month until now!” I said excitedly, but a realization poured upon me and my enthusiasm lowered, “Wait…what about…you?”
He lifted his fedora, running his hand through his hair before putting it back on. ”I’m still waiting on our scientists to find a way for vampires like me to get out there. Don’t worry about me, we have a whole eternity to find that out. For now, you can enjoy yourself in the sunlight…but I wanna be safe about it, we’ll have to talk to Jason when we get back.”
I smiled, “Alright.” I wondered…if possibly this had to do with my previous Medium skills? Perhaps they were still there…I couldn’t lie, I would feel a lot more powerful and safer if they were. I would experiment when I got back to California.
If I even survived this night good enough to go back to California at all.
He took my hand and led me back towards the bar. I could feel people’s eyes on us as we took our seats. Once Leilani noticed she sighed softly, throwing a towel over her shoulder and coming down to us.
“I don’t have any blood.” She said.
“We didn’t come for that.” Bruno replied, “Just to…enjoy the atmosphere.” He said with a smile.
I felt a fire burning in my veins, and I curled my hand into a fist, trying to contain myself.
“Is there gonna be an awkward elephant in the room or what?” Leilani now addressed me.
“Hi.” I said through gritted teeth as I refused to make eye contact. I felt Bruno’s hand on my knee and I knew this wasn’t the right way to pass this stupid test. So I looked up at her. ”Hi.” I repeated.
“I never wanted to screw with your relationship—”
“Then why did you come to Puerto Rico?” I snapped.
She quirked a brow, “I’m trying to be cool here…to respect you.”
“Then respect my space and back up.” I growled.
“Hey.” Bruno interjected. I looked at him and immediately went back down to the respect level I was supposed to remain at.
“You knew there would be issues, you like seeing girls fight over you huh?” Leilani said in a teasing tone to Bruno as she lightly shoved his chest. Just seeing her hands on him almost made me blurt out again, but I struggled to contain myself.
Bruno shrugged, “I mean, it’s not a bad thing…well for me at least.” He joked, “Nah, I don’t want anyone fighting, this is just a chill place for us to be cool.”
The band started playing up another song and Bruno took my hand, “Wanna dance?” He asked.
I closed my eyes and sighed, letting go of my feelings. ”Sure.” I finally said when I opened them again. ”Yes.” I confirmed.
Bruno led me out to the VIP dance floor and began to do a little salsa step with me. I actually found myself enjoying it; forgetting we were vampires for that moment. I let the music take me, and there weren’t many people in the VIP, so we had privacy. He spun me out and then back into his arms as I shook my hips. ”Guess what?” He asked in my ear as we swayed together.
“We’re going back to California tomorrow.”
Little did I know, I was about to walk into a much bigger mess than anything I could have done in Maui…