Ramon walked down the darkened street with a huge grin on his face. This has been simultaneously the best and most scary day of his life. It had all started when his best friend Shane had invited him over to his house after Shane's swim practice.
When they got to his house, Shane was acting all sorts of shy, which was unusual for him. Ramon and Shane had been best friends since Ramon first started to attend school here last year. Ever since his parents had died, Ramon had been shuffled from group home to group home. He had just turned twelve when he'd moved here, and the first day he met Shane.
Shane was almost his exact opposite. Ramon was dark and had long hair, while Shane was very light skinned, and had short blond hair. Ramon was a book worm, and rather shy, where as Shane was very athletic, and outgoing. Ramon was an orphan who had nothing, where as Shane was from a rather wealthy family, who wanted for nothing. They were a match of opposites made in heaven.
Ramon couldn't help but smile a goofy smile as he thought about what had happened that afternoon. Shane had kissed him. He had always tried to hide his feelings from Shane thinking the boy couldn't possibly like him the way Ramon liked Shane. It just wasn't possible. But then Shane had looked into his eyes, and slowly they moved forward and then, electricity as Shane touched his lips to Ramon's.
"Hey there kid... Isn't it a little late for you to be out on your own?" A voice said from behind him, and Ramon didn't bother looking over his shoulder... he just started to run. The tone in the man's voice told him all he needed to know. He'd lived in rough neighborhoods enough to know that he needed to run, and run fast.
He rounded and corner, and slammed into something that felt like a brick wall. Ramon landed on his butt and tried to back away as he was clearing the cobwebs. When he could focus his eyes again, he was starring into the eyes of a demon. At least that's the first thing Ramon thought when he saw the glowing red eyes. "Where you running to so fast?" The man said with humor in his voice.
"Please... please don't hurt me." Ramon said as he struggled to his feet. As soon as he could, he turned and tried to run again, but the demon man was too fast. The next thing Ramon knew, the man had him by the throat, and slammed him into the wall.
The man got real close to Ramon's face and snarled as Ramon struggled to get free. "Oh no kid... you ain't getting away just yet." His face got closer to Ramon's as the boy started to black out. The last thing he heard was the man's lust filled voice. "I ain't even begun to hurt you yet."
Shane was on cloud nine when he got up the next morning. The boy he had wanted for a long time, he finally got the courage up to tell. Not only that, but Ramon kissed him back. When he woke up the day after that magical night, he still couldn't wipe the smile off his face.
He ran down the stairs, ready for school, and nearly flew into the kitchen where his mother was putting his breakfast on the table. He walked up to her and gave her a huge hug, which she took with a grin. "Someone's really happy this morning. I would almost think you're exciting about going to school. It couldn't have anything to do with your new boyfriend would it?" She asked with a smirk.
"MOM!!!" Shane cried out as his face burned a bright red.
"What? I'm not allowed to be happy when my son gets his first boyfriend?" Hope Borrows laughed out.
Shane couldn't help it. He knew he had the greatest parents in the world, and this just helped prove it. He wrapped her in another hug, then sat down to eat his breakfast. As soon as he was done, he was out the door, on his bike, and pedaling fast to get to school. He knew Ramon would be there early as he hated being in the group home any more then he had to, so as soon as they let him leave, he was gone.
Shane thought about how unfair it was. Here he was, with the worlds greatest parents, a nice home, an older brother that loved him, and being honest with himself, he never really wanted for anything. Then there was Ramon... who never knew who his father was, but knew his mother was a junky. He got taken from her when he was young, and then shuffled from group home to group home. He'd never really had parents that loved him or anything like that. He almost always wore hand me downs from the older kids in the homes. At times Shane wanted to cry at how unfair life had been to his boyfriend.
When he got to school, Shane locked up his bike, and then almost ran to the spot that he and Ramon had been meeting before school for the past several weeks. He was disappointed when Ramon wasn't there waiting for him, so he sat down on the small bench and waited. After ten minutes, Shane couldn't help but start to worry. It was ten minutes to eight, and Ramon had never gotten here later then seven thirty.
By the time the first bell rung, Shane was really nervous. He pulled out his cell and called a number Ramon gave him, but told him not to call if he could help it. "Hello, Saint Vincent's home for Children, How may I help you?" The nasally voice answered from the other end of Shane's cell phone.
"Ummm, Yes, I was wondering if Ramon Harrison was there." Shane asked hesitantly.
"I'm sorry, he's not. He didn't come back last night. The cops are out looking for him, however, since he's a runaway now, he probably won't be back." The lady said before just hanging up the phone. Not that Shane could have responded anyways. He was sitting there stunned... 'He didn't come back last night...'
That didn't make sense. If Ramon was going to run away, he wouldn't have done it with out letting Shane know, especially after what mom and dad had told them. Ramon said he loved him... he wouldn't do that!
Shane was shaking with fear as he dialed another number. "Shane? What's wrong? Why aren't you in class?" His father's worried voice answered Shane's call.
Fighting back the tears, Shane stuttered into the phone. "Ramon didn't come to school... the home says he ran away. He wouldn't run away! Not with out telling me!"
"Calm down son." Cedric Borrows said with calm authority. "I want you to go to the schools office, and let them know I am going to pick you up. I'll be there in ten minutes. Okay?"
"Okay... hurry Daddy... He's in trouble... I just know he is!" Shane said as he started running into the school.
Ramon moaned as he slowly woke up. His entire body hurt and for several moments, he didn't know where he was. He raised his head slightly and looked out across a large dim room lit by hundreds of candles. He tried to move but couldn't. He tried to speak, but he was gagged. Through the fuzziness of his mind, he realized that he was vertical, but he wasn't standing. He looked down and noticed that his feet were tied to a piece of wood. He looked to his right arm, and realization dawned on him as he quickly looked to his left arm. Both were tied, and he knew.. he was tied to some sort of cross...naked. He let his head fall as tears started to drip from his eyes. Just as his life was looking good...
He heard someone moan to his left, and his head snapped that way. It was hard to see the person but he could barely make out someone, a younger boy from the looks of it, who was also tied to a cross. Ramon could see the fear in the little boy's eyes, and sure it matched his own.
Not able to look at the young boy any longer, he looked to his right and screamed into the gag. Next to him was another cross with another naked boy, only this one was older then the young boy, but still younger then Ramon. This boy was dead though. There was blood pooled under him, bloody marks all over his chest, and he wasn't just tied to the cross... he was nailed!
Now he knew what was going to happen to him. He wept bitter tears. All he could think about was the fact that he had someone who said he loved him. Parents that said they wanted him. He was so close to having his dream, and now... now this. How could life be so cruel?
He let his mind drift back to when he was kissing Shane. He'd never felt anything like it. Yeah he was hard as a rock, but it was different. It was love. He was with the person he loved, and he'd never felt as good as he had at that moment. They were lost in their first kiss, when they heard a throat clear.
They jumped apart and looked towards the door. Ramon was sure he was dead, but he couldn't help but think that Shane's blush was so cute. Shane's parents were both smiling at the two boys, when Shane's dad, Cedric, decided to take pity on the boys. "Don't worry guys. You're not in trouble, although I think your mother might be upset because she didn't have her camera."
Shane blushed even harder, and Ramon was stunned. What stunned him even more was when Shane reached out and took his hand... in full view of his parents. "We were going to wait to tell you this, but now seems like a good time." Shane's dad said as he looked towards mom, and got a nod. "Boys, today your mother and I filed the paperwork to formally adopt Ramon."
Shane started jumping up and down, and hugging his parents, but Ramon just stood there shocked. It couldn't be. All of his dreams were coming true, all at the same time. It just wasn't possible.
Ramon relived those moments over and over as the hours passed. He finally had it all, and now... now he just knew he was going to end up like the kid nailed to the cross next to him.
Shane was pacing when his father came through the door to the office. Shane loved his father to death, but he was just a insurance agent. Shane wasn't sure what he could do to try and find Ramon, but as soon as he saw his father standing there, Shane flew into his arms. "There's something wrong daddy.. I just know it!"
Cedric's heart was breaking as he held his sobbing son. "Don't worry Shane, we'll find him." Cedric sighed Shane out of school then took him home. Neither spoke as they drove home, but once they got inside, Hope was there and the moment she pulled Shane into a hug, the boy started sobbing again. Shane didn't see the look that she gave her husband, which is a good thing. With out a word, Cedric walked out of the living room, and into his study, where he shut, and locked the door. He had some phone calls to make, and Hope would make sure that Shane didn't get involved.
Several hours later, Cedric looked up as a key was inserted into the door to his study, then it opened. He saw his wife standing there with Shane no where to be seen. Hope walked in, shutting and locking the door behind her, then sat down in the chair opposite Cedric's desk. "I gave Shane something to help him sleep, he really needed it. I also called Greyson... He's on his way home."
Cedric nodded thinking of his eldest son, and what he could do to help locate Ramon. "I called the police, and they're treating it as a run away. They say because he's from a group home, that more then likely he's run away. They won't do anything." He said with a shake of his head.
Hope cursed in disgust, then looked her husband in the eyes. "You do what you have to do to get our boy back!" She stood up and stalked to the door where she turned around and met his eyes again. "I'm going to go make some calls myself. Between both of us, we'll find him."
The look she flashed at him said it all. Times like this reminded him why his wife was more feared than him. He picked up his phone and started making some calls.
Somehow Ramon had fallen asleep, but was woken up when someone threw a pail of water in his face. He was sputtering as his eyes flew open. Looking around, he saw the room was much the same, except now there were five other people in the room. The guy who grabbed him last night, and four others, kids his age. Ramon was filled with terror as he saw that each one of the five had glowing yellow eyes.
The man walked up to Ramon and looked him dead in the eyes before he spoke. "Tonight you're going to find out what hell is really like." He stepped back and motioned to the other guys in the room.
With out a word, they went up to the little boy that was tied to the cross next to Ramon and started untieing him. The man spoke again, so softly that Ramon could barely hear him. "The boy's name is Luke. He's eight years old. His mom was a school teacher and his dad was an accountant. He had two older brothers, ages eleven and fourteen." The man's eyes flashed red and Ramon watched as fangs dropped from his upper jaw. "He got to watch as my boys had them for a snack." He wiped his mouth to get rid of the saliva that was dripping down his chin. "The middle brother, all of eleven years old, was such a sweet tasting snack."
Ramon didn't even realize it as his bladder let go. No nightmare could have ever prepared him for what was happening right now. And it was about to get even worse. "I'm gonna make a deal with you. I know you want to get out of here so you can go back to your precious boyfriend, and you're new family. You can walk out of here any time you want, all you have to do is take this knife, and slit Luke's throat."
Ramon's eyes were wild with fear as the man slowly caressed Ramon's cheek with the blade of the knife. Slowly the man moved the knife till the blade was under the piece of cloth that was gagging Ramon, then with a yank slit the material letting the gag fall. "So what's it going to be Ramon. Are you going to take the offer to walk out of here and back into the arms of your new loving boyfriend?"
Tears were pouring down his face as he shook his head no. He couldn't kill someone. "Aww.... that's such a shame. You know. I've played this game many times in the past, and no one has made it past the first night before they would beg me to let them kill someone else. Lets see how much it takes for you, shall we?" Ramon screamed as he felt the knife part the skin on the very tender inside part of his thigh.
It seemed like hours had passed to Ramon. His voice was almost gone from all the screaming he did, as time after time, the man would cut into his flesh. Every so often, the man would stop and ask Ramon if he was ready to make the pain stop. Was he ready to do what he needed to so he could go home to his boy friend. But Ramon always shook his head no.
In the fog of pain he would watch as the other kids in the room would come up and lick the blood off of his body. They were laughing as they would lick him clean, from head to toe, only to back off so the man could cut him again.
Hours this went on, or so Ramon thought. There couldn't have been a single place on his entire body that wasn't bleeding. The worst had been when the man had cut his penis. Ramon blacked out after that, but was slapped back to the here and now.
Ramon didn't have the strength to fight as they untied him from the cross and took him to the table next to where little Luke was laying. As they were strapping him down to the table, Ramon's eyes met Luke's. The innocence in those deep blue eyes gave Ramon the strength to go on. He didn't know how long he could last, but he knew he would never be able to hurt this boy. Ramon gave him a small smile, then turned his head to look up towards the ceiling.
He spent the next few minutes gathering his resolve, knowing that worse things were sure to come. He was weak from the loose of blood, and knew that he only had to hold out a little longer, then he would have lost so much blood that he would die. He wept bitter tears knowing he would never hold Shane again, but knew deep down that Shane would understand Ramon's decision to allow himself to die, instead of the small boy next to him.
The man asked his question again, and this time Ramon couldn't just simply shake his head no. This time he looked the man straight in his glowing yellow eyes, worked his mouth till he was ready, then spit in the man's face. Mere seconds later Ramon was screaming again.
Shane screamed as he bolted upright in his bed. He was panting as the door to his room was thrown open and his father came running into the room, looking around with a wild eyed look. Seeing nothing in the room but his son, he rushed over and pulled the boy into a hug, just as Shane's mom ran into the room. She didn't hesitate, she ran over and joined the hug. "He's hurt!" Shane cried. "Someone's cutting him."
Shane pulled back and looked at his father. "Someone's hurting him bad. Daddy you gotta help him!"
Cedric knew there was more to this world then he could see with just his eyes. At first he thought that Shane was just having a nightmare, but as he looked into his boys eyes, he knew it was more then that. "I will son, but you gotta tell me how you know whats happening to him."
Shame dropped his eyes to the bed, and in a whispered voice told his parents his darkest secret. "Ramy and I have sometimes been able to feel each other, especially if one of us is scared, or hurt."
Cedric sat back stunned, his gears were turning as Hope pulled Shane into her chest. "Do you know where he's at now?" She asked gently.
"Sort of..." Shane stuttered out. "I mean I don't know exactly where he's at, but I know he's that way." Shane raised his arm and pointed. "He further away then when he was at the group home, but not real far."
Hope did some quick calculations in her head and then spoke to Cedric. "I think he's gotta be in the warehouse section of town. I'll get Shane ready, you get us some people."
"But Hope..." Cedric didn't get anything else out as the glare she sent his way silenced anything he might have said.
Ten minutes later, Shane walked down to the living room. Hope had taken her son into the bathroom and made him take a quick shower. Normally he would have been mortified to have her see him naked, but right then, it didn't seem to matter much.
When he got out of the shower she was standing there holding a large fluffy towel open for him. Just like when he was younger, he walked into her embrace as she wrapped the towel around him. As she gently dried him off she started talking. "Shane honey, a lot of things are gonna happen tonight that may seem strange to you. I need you to just go with the flow, and trust your father and I. When this is all over with we'll explain everything, I promise." She turned him to face her and they're eyes met. He searched her eyes for a few moments, then nodded.
"Good. While you were getting cleaned up, I layed out some cloths for you. I want you to go get dressed, then meet us in the living room. Okay?" Again Shane nodded, turned to leave but she stopped him. Leaning down to kiss him on the forehead, she spoke softly. "Don't worry Shane... we'll get him back."
As if in a trance, Shane walked back to his room clothed in just a towel. Saw the cloths laid out on his bed, all black, and smiled slightly. Quickly he got dressed and ran down the steps. He stopped dead at the bottom of the steps and just stared.
In the living room were five kids, all around his age, or maybe a little older, standing around talking to his father. They hadn't noticed him yet, so he listened in to what they were saying.
"We're sure it's him?" One of the kids asked, and Shane almost took a step back at the pure hatred that was put into the word 'him'.
Cedric stopped loading the gun he had in his hand and looked at the boy. "Of course we're not 100% sure, but everything fits." The man paused for a second, squatted down so he could look the boy in the eyes and spoke softly to him, yet in a voice full of command that Shane had never heard before. "Even if it isn't, you all will be doing me a big favor. You know me well enough to know I always pay back my debts. This is my son here, and I am not pulling any punches here."
Cedric stood back up and looked around at all the kids in the room. "Each and every one of you have been where Ramon is right now. Even if it isn't the asshole we're looking for, I'll be willing to bet he knows where to find you're 'friend'."
Shane couldn't help but gasp audibly when he saw what happened to the smallest and probably the youngest of the boys in the room. As Shane watched the small boy's eyes turned blood red, and long fangs dropped from the roof of his mouth.
All eyes turned on him as he tried to back up a few steps. Before he could stop himself he was speaking. "Those eyes... Ramon's seen those eyes..."
Before he could do anything else, Cedric had quickly moved to Shane, knelt down and pulled his son into a tight hug. "It's okay Shane, these guys are here to help. Please just trust me on this one okay?"
Shane hesitantly nodded so Cedric gave him another squeeze then stood back up. That's when Shane noticed the first boy had walked over towards him. He was maybe a year or two older then Shane, and had a really friendly face and a smile. Not really knowing why, but Shane knew he could trust this boy. When the boy started to speak, Shane couldn't help but want to answer all the boy's questions.
"Shane, My name is Roger. Cedric said you can see what's going on with Ramon, is that true?"
Shane nodded hesitantly, "You.. you don't think that's weird?"
The boy gave Shane a very gentle smile which put the younger boy's fears at ease. "Shane, when you've seen some of the things I have, nothing is weird anymore." Roger put his arm around Shane and led him over to the sofa, where he sat down and pulled Shane to sit next to him.
"I need you to do something for me Shane. I need you to think about what this man looks like. The man that has Ramon, can you tell me what he looks like?" Roger's voice was almost hypnotic and it drew Shane in.
Slowly, Shane closed his eyes and started to think about Ramon. He stifled a cry of pain as he felt the knife being dragged across Ramon's skin. Shane was able to look through his love's eyes but all he could see was blackness. Ramon's eyes were clenched shut as he cried out in unimaginable pain. Shane took a deep breath, then pushed hard, 'Ramon... It's Shane. We're coming to get you, but I need you're help.'
'SHANE! Oh God help.. it hurts!' Ramon cried back through their link.
Tears were streaming down Shane's eyes as he tried to siphon off some of the pain Ramon was feeling, but he couldn't do much. Struggling to keep himself on topic. 'Ramy... I know it's hard, but I need you to look at the guy that's hurting you. I need to know what he looks like.'
Slowly Ramon pushed aside the pain long enough to open his eyes. Slowly his head turned and suddenly Shane got a good look at the red glowing eyes and the face at Ramon's torturer. Shane barely heard it, but Roger and every kid in the room either stiffened or started to actually growl as soon as Shane was able to see the man's face. Roger quickly got them calmed down and whispered into Shane's ear. "Tell Ramon we're going to get him. He just needs to hold on a bit longer."
Shane passed the message along and could hear the desperation in Ramon's voice. 'Hurry Shane... Oh God hurry. It hurts so bad!'
When Shane wiped the tears out of his eyes, he found he was being help by his mother and father. He just sat there and absorbed the love he was wrapped in, but finally he knew he had to break the hug so he could go help save Ramon.
Ramon was dead, he knew it. No matter what happened, he was dieing. Shane's voice couldn't have been real. They had talked like that before, but no one could save him now. Ramon had no clue how long it had been going on, but he knew he couldn't survive much longer.
He felt his legs lifted in the air, he felt himself almost folded in half, and then a burning pain in his backside, but he didn't even scream. He had nothing left to scream with. His biggest regret was that he'd never get to see Shane again. The one person he loved with all his heart, and he'd never get to see him again. The tears that fell now weren't from pain, or from what was happening to his body, truthfully he could barely feel it anymore. No, the tears that fell now came from knowing that he'd never be bale to tell Shane how much he really loved him. He'd never get to kiss those ruby red lips again. He'd never be able to give himself fully to the boy he loved. He didn't feel it when his head got roughly pushed to the side, nor when the man's fangs ripped into his neck.
His eyes fell on Luke, and he couldn't help but smile. The boy was screaming and crying, but stopped when their eyes met. Ramon smiled one more time as he felt his eyes grow heavy, the last thing he would see on this earth would be the eyes of a young boy who was filled with love, not some demon that was filled with the purest of evil.
As his eyes closed for the last time, Ramon thought he heard a crash in the distance, but it didn't matter now. Nothing mattered anymore. "I love you Shane..." was the last words that crossed his lips as Ramon's world went black.
Shane got in the car, and was lost during the entire drive. Roger was sitting next to him, and he vaguely remembered his father telling Roger that his only job was to make sure that Shane stayed safe. Absently Shane would respond to their questions about which way Ramon was, and how far.
The next thing Shane knew, the car stopped and people started to get out. "Come on Shane." Roger said, and Shane had to shake his head to focus on what was going on. He couldn't help but worry about Ramon, but he didn't dare 'look in' on his lover.
Looking around Shane knew that he was in a bad part of town, but what really surprised him was all the kids around. It looked like he was standing in the middle of a street gang. Roger put a hand on his shoulder, and led him to stand in the middle of the group of kids. Shane realized ten that Roger was the leader of this gang, because the moment he held up his hand, the group went silent.
"You all know why we're here. Cedric and Hope Borrows have demanded that they come along, since this is their adopted son that 'Shithead' Took this time. Also, this is their other son Shane, He's coming with, because he can tell where the other boy, Ramon, is at. I don't think I have to tell you what will happen if any of these three get hurt."
Shane was looking around totally confused, not sure why his family was so important to these... people. He still wasn't sure what was going on, but every single one of these kids had glowing yellow eyes. His eyes fell on the youngest kid in the group, he couldn't have been more then ten or eleven, and as their eyes met, the kid smiled at him. 'Don't worry Shane, we'll get him back, just stay behind me okay?' The boy's voice sounded in his head and Shane was shocked. He'd never heard anyone else talk to him like that, well except for Ramon.
"Here's the plan..." Roger said after making sure he had everyone's attention. "As soon as Shane picks out the building, we go in hard and fast. Knowing 'Shithead" the way we all do, you all know we only have one shot at this, and we gotta make it fast. Some of us have been looking forward to this night for more then twenty years... lets not blow it." The group got a bit animated at this, and Roger had to hold his hand up to get their attention again.
"Last we knew, he had five others with him, so watch out for them. Once we know where Ramon is at..." Roger looked at the little kid that had talked to Shane and pointed at him. "We'll follow Hurricane in, as he knocks on the front door. Make sure to stay behind him. There's also another kid in there from what Shane told us, a young kid, maybe seven or eight. The little kid and Ramon are the primary targets in here, make sure they stay safe. Anyone else in the room gets killed... permanent like."
Before Roger could say anything else, Hope broke in. "Except for the man that took Ramon... he does NOT die this evening." No one dared to argue with her especially with the look she was giving to all of them.
Roger broke the tension by looking down at Shane. "Okay Shane, this is you're show. Lead the way, and when we get there, please stay back."
Shane nodded, and it took everything he had to not ask the thousands of questions that were running through his mind at that point. Instead of asking, he started walking. He knew Ramon was close, now they just had to find him.
They walked though the maze of warehouses for almost ten minutes, before Shane stopped in front of one. "There... he's in..." He couldn't complete his sentence as a pain greater then anything he'd ever felt before ripped though his mind. Shane dropped to his knees not even being able to scream.
Suddenly his mother had his arms around him, hauling Shane back to his feet. "Hurry! He's dieing!" Shane barely got out. He tried to wipe away the tears that were streaming down his face. He heard rather then saw Roger give the order. "GO! Quick, get in there!"
Shane's vision cleared just in time to see the young boy, the one Roger called 'hurricane' grin and nod. His eyes flashed from yellow to blood red and he started running towards the building. Shane had never seen anyone run so fast, and just before he hit the side of the building, he lowered his shoulder and the next thing Shane knew, he was almost thrown to the ground as the shock wave from the little kid hitting the side of building almost blew him over.
The next thing he knew, kids were rushing towards the building as fast as they could. Roger had actually picked Shane up, and the next thing the boy knew, he was through the opening that 'Hurricane' had made.
Shane couldn't believe his eyes as he saw the little kid running towards a group of people on the far side of the warehouse. The room was lit by hundreds or thousands of candles. There were three large crosses in the back of the room one of them had a someone hanging on it, who was thrashing around.
As they got closer, Shane saw Ramon lying on a table with someone on top of him. It only took a second to know that the naked man was fucking his sweet Ramon, but what was even worse was the man pulled back and looked in shock at the group running towards him, there was blood, Ramon's blood, all over the mans face and mouth.
Shane heard himself scream as 'Hurricane' was the first one to reach the people that were watching as Ramon was raped. Shane watched in awe as the little kid flipped himself over the older kid, grabbing the kid's head as he flew over top. When 'Hurricane' hit the ground, he pulled with all his might, and the older kid flipped over the little boy's shoulder. What Shane saw next made the scream die in his throat. Instead of letting go so the older kid could fly a ways away, 'hurricane' yanked back as hard as he could. The kids body went flying one way, while 'hurricane' held onto his head.
'Hurricane' never slowed, he dropped the kids head, and continued running right towards the man on top of Ramon. The man had just jumped off the table that he was on when 'hurricane' hit him, and hit him hard. The two flew over top of the table that Ramon was laying on, and before they hit the ground almost ten feet away, 'hurricane' had already hit the man several times.
Unfortunately for the little boy, the man was able to shrug off all the blows, and the next thing Shane saw, the boy went flying through the air. He slammed into one of the crosses breaking the thing into a million pieces. Before the last piece of wood hit the floor, the kid was back up and rushing towards 'Asshole' as fast as he could.
All around Shane, the fighting was brutal and intense, but he only had one thing on his mind, Ramon. Breaking free from Roger, Shane ran towards the table that Ramon was laying on. Before he got half way there, one of the bad guys, a kid about fourteen stepped in front of him. Shane stopped dead in his tracks as the kid bared his fangs.
Shane heard something 'whoosh' by his head, and suddenly a wicked looking curved blade was sticking out of the kids chest, piecing him through the heart. Shane glanced over his shoulder and was stunned to see his mother standing there with another blade in her hand, having just thrown it's twin to save her son.
Both she and Shane's father rushed over to him as he turned and ran towards Ramon. The tears started anew when he saw the condition Ramon was in. there wasn't an inch of the boy's body that wasn't covered in blood. Shane went to grab up Ramon, but was stopped as his mother pulled him into her. "Don't touch him, we don't know how badly he's hurt."
Hope cursed and pulled Shane down behind the table, just as the guy who had hurt Ramon went flying over head, followed closely by 'Hurricane'. As they stood back up, Shane's eyes finally saw Luke. The little boy was laying there naked, tied to the table, but it didn't look like he'd been hurt at all.
Shane reached out to the boy, who started shaking his head. "Don't worry about me. Help him, he saved my life!" Hope reached down and used her knife to cut the ropes that were holding the boy down, then gathered him up in her arms.
As Hope was helping Luke, Cedric was screaming for Roger. Once Roger got there, he took one look at Ramon and cursed. Shane looked up to see what was going on, and his eyes fell on two of the other kids trying to pull 'Hurricane' off the man. The young boy had beaten the man into a bloody pulp, and had no intention of stopping.
He was trying to fight off the two boys and get back to the man when Roger's voice echoed through out the warehouse. "HANK! We need you!"
The boy stopped struggling and looked over at Roger. Muttering a curse himself, the young boy ran over and immediately started looking over Ramon. He put his hand on Ramon's chest, closed his eyes, and concentrated. Nothing happened.
He looked up, first at Roger, then at Shane, then his eyes feel on Cedric and Hope. "Sorry... there's nothing I can do unless..."
Cedric looked at Hope who simply said "Do it!"
"Do what?" Shane asked. "You gotta do something!" Shane was desperate, and crying now.
Roger nodded to the family then turned back to Hank. "You heal him, I'll turn him."
Hank's eyes were focused on the boy laying on the table in front of him, after a second of saying nothing, he looked up and met Roger's eyes. "No..." Before anyone could say anything else, he looked down at Ramon and then back up. "I'll turn him."
The room feel silent except for the gasps of shock from many of the vampires there. With out saying another word, Hank ripped his own wrist open with his fangs, then pressed it to Ramon's mouth. At the same time, he placed his other hand on Ramon's chest. Shane watched in horrid fascination as, at first nothing happened, but then he saw Ramon start to drink. "Come on boy drink!" Hank said under his breath, as he closed his eyes. Suddenly Ramon's wounds started to close up.
Several seconds later, Ramon was still drinking greedily from Hank's wrist, and the hand on Ramon's chest was glowing brighter and brighter as his wounds started to heal. Hank was in obvious pain as he pushed harder and harder to heal all of Ramon's wounds. Finally with a scream of pain that echoed through out the entire building, Hank fell to the floor.
'A Vampire... Ramon's a vampire..." Shane repeated over and over in his mind. The last three days had been some of the hardest of his young life. On the up side, if you could call it that, Shane had learned a lot about his family. It seems that his father wasn't an insurance sales man at all. In fact, as it was explained to him, his dad was the most powerful human in the country as far as the Vampires were concerned. He ran all their business interests, and kept them making money. Not only that, but Shane's uncle Derrick was actually one of the members of the great Vampire council.
Then there was Hank. The kid had not left Ramon's side since they got Ramon back to their house. Since Shane wouldn't leave either, it gave them plenty of time to talk. Shane was shocked to learn that Hank has actually been a vampire for just over twenty years. Hank did have Shane in stitches as he talked about how much it sucked to never be able to actually enter puberty.
Of course, after thinking about it, Shane realized that, even though the eleven year old looking boy was making light of it, it really had to be bad being stuck in the body of an eleven year old. Hank really was the only one that Shane felt comfortable enough to talk to about what Ramon would be like when he woke up. He blushed brightly when Hank assured him that Ramon would be fully 'functional'.
The biggest shock had come the morning after the brought Ramon home. Grayson, Shane's older brother, had made it home from college, and the four of them sat down and talked.
Grayson hadn't been home more then twenty minutes when they all sat down around the kitchen table. Hope had put a pot of coffee in the middle of the table, as well as a pitcher of water. She'd also brought out a tray of cheese and crackers, although no one expected to be very hungry.
Cedric took a sip of his coffee, put his cup down and looked around the table, before his eyes settled on Shane. "Shane. First of all, I know your life has been turned upside down by the events of the last day, and for that I am so deeply sorry." While it was something that Shane had never really done before he interrupted his father.
"Dad, I know there's a lot going on that I don't know anything about, but what I do know is this. Ramon would have gotten taken by that... man... no matter what. But it was the fact that you knew people who could help that saved him. I don't blame you, and I know Ramon won't either."
Cedric smiled at Shane, a great weight had been removed from his shoulders. "Thank you son. Now though, we have a lot to talk about. We were going to wait till you were sixteen, like we did with Grayson, but obviously we can't anymore." He took another sip of his coffee but before he could go on, Grayson decided to break the tension a bit.
"Don't worry Shane. He was this way when he and mom told me. For someone so big and powerful, he can never seem to pluck the courage to just tell us this stuff with out trying to beat around the bush!" That got the result he wanted as all four of them started to laugh.
"Your right Gray, I think it's past the point of trying to drop this on Shane gently. What do you think Shane?" Cedric said with a pained smile.
"Yeah dad, I think the cats mostly out of the bag now. I mean I'm sure there's things you could, and probably will tell me that will surprise me, but, don't worry. If what you tell me means I can help Ramon out, then I need to know." Shane was very emphatic with what he said, although part of his was really wondering if he really wanted to know.
"Ramon is so lucky to have your love." Grayson said, and for a moment, Shane was worried about how his brother would take knowing that Shane was gay. But he didn't need to worry, the love an affection Shane saw in his brothers eyes said it all.
"Thanks bro, I was worried how you guys would take it... you know... me being gay." Shane blushed a bit and dropped his eyes to the table.
"Shane... do NOT drop your eyes!" Hope said with conviction. "We're your family, and no matter WHAT, we will always love you. I don't want you to EVER be ashamed to love someone. I don't care if it's a boy, a girl or a damned hamster!" That got laughter from everyone. "But seriously, you never have to be ashamed to be who you are. Okay?"
Shane smiled with tears falling. "Thanks mom." Was all he needed to say. Never before had he felt the kind of love he felt at that moment. He knew deep down inside, nothing could ever happen to make his parents not love him.
Cedric took another sip of his coffee the tension truly gone form the room. He was hoping, since this would be the second time they had to tell a son of there's all about their family history, that it would be easier. Of course, not having to convince Shane that vampires really did exist, was half the battle anyways.
For the next several hours, Cedric, then Hope explained how both of their families had been involved with vampires for as far back as histories were kept. Several members of both families were even groomed to become a vampire. That's when Shane found out that his favorite uncle Derrick was actually Cedric's great great uncle, and was well over a hundred years old.
Cedric then went into how Vampire society was made up, and exactly what he did for them. He also was sure to impress upon Shane that he didn't have to worry about vampires hurting him. Not only because of Cedric's position, but also because of who his uncle was, Shane was on a 'do not touch' list.
Hope jumped into explain that once a month, she would include a bit of Uncle Derrick's blood into something that they ate. It was that small amount of blood that made it so other vampires could 'smell' that Shane was protected by a very powerful vampire.
Shane couldn't help himself. "You know I always wondered why I hated when you cooked chili!" Everyone laughed, but then a thought hit Shane which made his laughter die. "Why didn't you do that for Ramon?"
Hope's smiled faded just like everyone elses. "I did, but what we've been able to figure out is that the bastard that grabbed Ramon didn't care. Hell he may have grabbed him BECAUSE he was marked."
Then Cedric got serious again. "There's one other thing I wanted to talk to you boys about. That's Luke."
Hope took over at that point. "You're father did some checking, and what Luke said is true, the boy was made to watch as his entire family was killed by those assholes. Unfortunately he doesn't really have any other family who could take care of him."
Shane didn't give them a chance to say anything as he jumped in. "Then we'll have to take care of him. You guys are adopting Ramon, how hard would it be to adopt Luke as well?"
Both Hope and Cedric smiled. "We were hoping you would see things like that." Cedric said. "I put in the paperwork earlier today. But just to let you two know, Luke had a bit of a breakdown so he's visiting some friends of mine that will help him get over things quickly. Hopefully by the time he gets all healed up mentally, Ramon will be awake."
For hours they talked, they didn't hold anything back from Shane, even when they may have wanted to. By the time Shane went to bed that night, he knew more about vampires, then most vampires did. When they were done, Shane was about to head up to his room to go to bed, when Grayson stopped him. "Shane, no offense, but I don't think you want to sleep in the same bed as Ramon right now. Why don't you share my bed like we used to when you had a nightmare. I think we could both use it, plus I want to know more about this boy who stole my brothers heart."
Grayson threw his arm over Shane's shoulder, and guided him upstairs as Shane started talking a mile a minute about how great Ramon was. Less then five minutes into it, Grayson thought to himself, 'yup he's got it bad...' Grayson was very happy for his little brother, but was worried about how Ramon being a vampire would affect his brothers feelings towards Ramon.
Shane was sitting next to his bed, where Ramon was still sleeping. The sun was getting ready to set when Cedric came into the room. Earlier in the day, Shane, Grayson, Cedric and Hope had gently and lovingly gave Ramon a sponge bath, making sure that when he woke up, he was as clean as he could be. Shane was worried how Ramon would take the fact that, even though Hank had been able to heal most of his wounds, Ramon still had a few raised scars on his chest. The biggest one was in the shape of a pentagram, and it covered most of his upper chest.
"Don't worry Shane, he'll be alright. But I need to talk to you about something okay?" Cedric said, and Shane grew concerned because of the tone in his father's voice.
"Whats wrong dad?"
"Well if everything goes well, Ramon's gonna wake up some time tonight." Seeing Shane nod, he pushed on. "Well, to be honest, as much as I know you want to be, you can't be here when he does."
"Why not?!" Shane almost whined.
"Because, to be blunt, he's going to be very hungry..." Cedric saw realization dawn on Shane's face, but then his stubborn streak flared up.
"Ramon won't hurt me, he loves me."
"I know he loves you Shane, but you gotta realize, when a vampire gets THAT hungry, it doesn't matter if they love you or hate you, they can only think about one thing. It's a survival mechanism. They need to feed, and they will go for what ever source of human blood they can find." Cedric had sat down next to Shane and had pulled him into a hug. "I know it's hard, but try to think of it this way. When Ramon gets like that, it's not really Ramon in control. He would never hurt you, but hes not really in control at that point."
Shane was fighting back the tears. What his father said made sense, no matter how badly it hurt. He wanted for nothing more then to be the first thing that Ramon saw when he woke up. He wanted Ramon to know that he was there for him no matter what. "So... so what are we going to do?"
Cedric sighed. Shane had made him promise that he wouldn't hide anything form him when it came to Ramon, so he wouldn't. "Hank and I talked it over last night. I'm going to take Ramon down to the garage, Grayson has already moved the cars out, and then we're all going to go out. Hank went out and got someone last night, someone he caught trying to rape a woman, and brought him back here. As soon as he wakes up, Hank will be in the garage and make sure that the rapist is there and waiting for Ramon to wake up. As soon as Ramon wakes up, feeds, and cleans up, Hank will call us, so we can come home. While they're waiting, Hank will explain a few things that Ramon needs to know right away. Then when we get home, we'll all sit down and explain things to Ramon." Shane was about to butt in, but Cedric stopped him. "Don't worry it won't take long, and we'll make sure you two have some time to spend alone. You just have to realize that Ramon is a vampire now, as much as you may want it, there will be things that you can't do with or for him."
It was hard for Shane to accept, but he knew his father was doing what he thought was best, and Shane had to admit that his father knew more about this kind of thing then he did. Reluctantly, Shane nodded in agreement. "Okay, what do I need to do.
"Grab a shower, and get dressed. It's Friday night, so I figured we could go to the midnight bowling down at Stike-O-Rama. I figure by the time they close, Ramon should be awake and ready for us to come home." His heart wasn't in it, but Shane did as he was asked anyways.
Being an athletic kid, Shane usually did pretty well at the bowling alley, but tonight, he was doing horrible, not that anyone said anything about it. They knew his mind wasn't really in it, and truthfully neither were theirs.
It was just past midnight when Cedric's phone rang. The entire family stopped and looked as Cedric frantically grabbed the phone off his belt. "Yes?"
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as Cedric's body relaxed and he started to smile. "We'll be right there." He said after a few moments, then shut his phone. He didn't say a word as everyone started to change their shoes to leave.
The drive home was silent, and they made the normal twenty minute trip in ten. When they got there, Cedric was only slightly surprised to see the garage door open and many of the kids that had helped rescue Ramon were there waiting.
Shane was out of the car in a flash, and went tearing into the house. Cedric was right behind him, but flashed a curious look at Roger, who simply shrugged. "One of our brothers woke tonight... do you think we'd miss it?"
Cedric smiled and nodded at Roger as he passed him following Shane into the house. When he found his son, he was standing there staring at Ramon who had his longish black hair hanging in front of his face. The boy was wearing only a pair of running shorts and his bronzed skin was glistening from a recent shower. The only thing that could be seen behind the wall of hair was bright yellow eyes.
Shane, with tears falling down his face, rushed to Ramon, and pulled the slightly taller boy into a tight embrace.
Shane held Ramon's hand as they walked into his bedroom. Shane pulled him to the middle of the room, then turned around and pulled him into a tight hug. "I was so worried about you..." Shane started to cry.
Before Ramon could say anything, the radio that had been playing silently in the background grew a bit louder as the DJ's voice came over the speakers. "And now for a song going out to all the kids that are having a hard time, Kyle says to listen to the song and know it's true."
Shane turned to silence the radio when Ramon caught his arms, just as the first keyboard notes were being played. "Don't... let it play." He spoke softly as he pulled Shane back into the hug.
As the female singer started up, Ramon's voice joined in. His now yellow eyes never left the sapphire blue of Shane's.
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody's searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me
Ramon's voice lifted Shane's heart in such a way that he couldn't help but join in while his love sang. Their eyes never left the others, and while they sang to each other, nothing but love and understanding passed between them.
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I'll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all
As the music continued to play, Shane stepped forward, and wrapped his arms around the slightly taller boy. Laying his head on Ramon's shoulder, Shane knew that no matter what came at them, their love was strong enough to survive.
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I'll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all
As they came to the last lines of the song, they both pulled back, and sang to each other, their eyes never parting. They both knew that their lives were going to be hard, but in the last words of the song, they both made a promise that would bind them for life.
After Ramon and Shane had gone upstairs to Shane's bedroom, most of the other half life vampires left to go do their own thing. Leaving only Cedric, Hope, Hank, Roger and Grayson sitting in the living room talking about what would happen now. They'd been talking for almost an hour when they heard a knock at the front door. Both Hank and Roger looked towards the door, then as one, their eyes went wide in absolute shock. Cedric had started to rise to his feet when Hank grabbed his arm. Whispering in shock, and a bit of fear, Hank looked up at Cedric and whispered, "It's him!"
"Him who?" Cedric asked starting to get worried.
"The half life that took out the entire council! They say he's over two thousand years old!" Hank was whispering in fear, Roger couldn't even speak yet.
Hope stood up and put her hand on Cedric's shoulder, "Go answer the door. We have nothing to fear from him."
Cedric gave his wife a long stare as another knock was heard. She only nodded her head. Cedric sighed and started for the door. He'd learned long ago to trust his wife, and he wasn't going to stop now. He did wonder why he saw her walking quickly to her study, but knew he needed to focus on what was outside the door.
He took a deep breath as his hand reached for the door knob. When the door opened, he wasn't expecting to see what he saw. Cedric was not a small man by any stretch, but he was only looking into the chest of the person standing at the door.
He took a step back and then looked up. When he finally met the huge man's yellow eyes, he was surprised to not see death in them. Instead he saw amusement, and that's when a voice came from behind the huge man. "Samson, there is no reason to scare the poor man."
Cedric saw the man, Samson, move a bit to the side, and for a moment Cedric was confused until he looked down. He couldn't get over the dichotomy of seeing these two next to each other. The huge man that towered over him, and then a kid, he didn't look any older the Hank, who was only ten when he was turned.
"I must apologize for Samson," the little boy said with a smile, "he has a habit of trying to scare people." The boy looked so young, but Cedric could tell by the boy's eyes, that he was older, much older. "I must ask your forgiveness for showing up unannounced like this, but we thought that perhaps we could be of some assistance to you."
Cedric found himself slightly off kilter at the moment. He had been dealing with Vampires his entire adult life, yet never had he felt as small as he did at that moment. The boy in front of him was not trying to intimidate, but Cedric had seen old vampires in the past, and they just had this 'presence' about them. A presence that spoke of many years and much knowledge, not to mention power. The very small boy in front of him had a 'presence' like none he had even seen or felt before.
It took all of his willpower to snap himself out of it. But with a shake of his head to clear it, Cedric stepped back from the doorway, and with a motion, invited them in. "Please, won't you come inside."
With a smile, the small boy moved past Samson, and followed Cedric into the house, leading his small, five person group. When they entered the living room, Cedric was surprised to see both Roger and Hank had taken a knee. It was well known that the street kids did not bow to the vampire council in the area, and these kids especially had always done what they could to defy the council. To see them kneeling as this group entered the room was shocking to Cedric.
Cedric turned and looked at the small child, and for the first time got to take a good look at him, and those with him. It was an eclectic group, there was, of course, the huge mountain of a man, Samson, who was now standing directly behind the small boy. To Samson's right was a mid-teen girl, and next to her was a teen boy, who Cedric could tell was a recent change. From what Cedric knew of vampires, he could tell the boy had only recently fed for the first time.
But then Cedric's eyes feel on the boy who was standing right next to the small boy. This kid was casually leaning up against a staff in his hand, and was just as human as Cedric was. Finally his eyes fell back on those of the small boy. When their eyes met, Cedric finally put together, not only who this small boy was, but why the two other vampire boys in the room were kneeling to someone who they had never met.
Cedric found himself falling to his own knees in shock. His 'uncle' had told him the story of what had happened in the council chambers, but he never thought that he would be face to face with the Vampire of legend.
The young boy rolled his eyes, but smiled. "I see it has finally occurred to you who exactly I am. But please, let me put a name to the stories you have been told. My name is Runihora, and these are my companions." He went through and introduced Samson, Jennifer, Duncan and Colt. When he was done, he rolled his eyes again as he never once saw any of the three kneeling raise their eyes enough to even see who was who.
Taking a deep breath, he walked over to stand in front of the two vampire half lifes, and sighed as he looked back to his group. Colt gave him a nod, and a half smile. Turning back, he spoke softly to the two before him. "Are either one of you pledging yourself to my service?" He asked very gently.
Both boys looked up to Runi with fear in their eyes. They did not know what to expect now. He knew that neither one of them wanted to, but both were too afraid to defy him. Runi sank to his knees in front of them, and spoke very softly. He needed to make sure that the humans in the room heard him, but he also had to keep his voice very gentle. "I know that neither of you want to, and I am not demanding it. I was not asking for any reason other than the only ones who should kneel to me, or anyone else, is if they serve that person. As neither of you serve me, nor do you wish to, then you need not kneel."
Runi stood, and offered his hands to both boys. Hesitantly they both took his hands, and Runi pulled them to their feet before speaking again. Only this time there was a sharp edge to his tone. "While both of you may be what is now known as half lifes, that does not now, nor shall it ever mean you are less. You are your own person, both of you. Do not EVER bow to someone who has not earned it. A true leader must earn the respect of his followers, not simply demand it because they can."
Both of the boys nodded, and Runi could tell that his words had the effect he had hoped. They both stood a bit straighter and with more pride in their stance than he had seen since he walked into the room. Runi figured he might as well go for broke here. "I would also ask of you a favor if I may." He waited for both boys to nod before his continued. "I find myself disturbed with the way I am seeing those who are called half life being treated. It will change. What I ask is that you spread the word around, that if any are being mistreated, they may come to me, and I will offer them succor." Both of the boys looked to each other in confusion, not really knowing what Runi meant.
A loud exaggerated sigh came from Colt who walked over towards the group of vampires. "What Runi is trying to say is this... Kindly spread the word around, if any of the half lifes need help, all they have to do is ask us, and they'll get the help they need. Runi will be making it known that we will no longer tolerate half lifes being looked down on, being mistreated, or any other bullshit, simply because of how old they were when they were turned."
Runi nodded with a smile as Colt turned and walked over to Cedric. Runi couldn't help but grin at the change that had come over Colt in the last week since he had known him. The quiet, shy boy that he had rescued had been replaced by someone who was unafraid and very outgoing. He watched as his lover stood in front of the man, and then reached out and brought Cedric to his feet. "And you, you do not need to kneel either. We came here to offer our help in finding the boy that had been taken from you." Before he could say any more, a woman walked into the room, carrying a large bundle wrapped in heavy cloth.
She made her way right for Runi, with out saying a word. She fell to her knees in front of him, and handed the bundle to him. With a sigh, he reached his hands out for it. When she started to speak, Colt almost feel on his ass as he heard the words that she uttered. Through the link that Runi had created for them, every single one of the Hawks had learned the dialect of Ancient Egyptian that Runi grew up with. It was reasoned that no one would be able to understand it, so it gave them a way to talk with out others being able to listen in. However, this woman, this HUMAN woman was speaking in the same version of Egyptian that Runi taught them. If that wasn't shock enough, the words that she spoke was enough to make Runi literally fall on his ass in shock.
"The time that was spoken of in legend and dream as come. The Anpu Mdjai stand ready to assist you my Lord, and Liege. It is time for you to take up the mantle as head of the family once more." She smiled as she was now eye to eye with Runi who was holding the bundle in his lap.
She slowly reached behind her and withdrew yet another object covered in cloth. This one being about three feet in length. She laid it out in front of Runi and then began to carefully draw the cloth back. As she was uncovering what ever it was under the cloth, she again spoke. "Through out the ages we were there. The Anpu Mdjai never died out, the Anpu Mdjai were always there to serve. Just as you were there for your Pharaoh, we were there for you." As her words died out, she finished uncovering what Colt saw was a VERY old, weirdly curved sword. As soon as the sword was visible, Colt heard something he never thought he would hear before. Runi started to sob as he reached his hand out to touch the blade.