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|This is what I'd say is my first ever story I've written. Which of course it isn't but it's the first ever short story I wrote merely for pleasure and wasn't written in school. It's a background for a character of mine in Werewolf: The Apocalypse the role-playing game. I wanted a character who had depth and wasn't there to beat everything up. I wrote it three or four years ago, have attempted to remove the World of Darkness terminology but I can't say I've done it completely. Well read, and judge for yourself. |
The other side of the story, from Leith's point of view, is still being written, but may one day also see the light of day (if you pardon the pun).
A WEREWOLF'S TALE
(yeah I know it's a bad pun but this is my life story after all)
You know life's bad when you're a werewolf and your best buddy just happens to be a vampire. Well us humans get used to these things, we have to it's a case of adapt or go mad. I've been mad so now it's time to adapt. I say "us humans" 'cause that's what we all are deep down, isn't it?
Me, being a werewolf, I was brought up as human for the first sixteen years of my life. I still am human I guess, after all isn't being human more a frame of mind rather than being simply genetic. Leith, my best friend, is even more humane than me, or any other humans I've met. He's kind, caring, considerate, compassionate, has a dislike of violence and is forever remorseful about his feeding habits. It's ironic really that he used to be a vegetarian before he got into the blood drinking biz. He's also far more enthusiastic about saving the environment than I am, and werewolves try to tell me that all vampires are evil sick fiends who care about nothing but themselves. Sometimes I wonder if god didn't screw everything up in making me the werewolf and him the vampire, it probably should have been the other way around.
Well anyway I'm digressing so I'd better get back to the point. I'm writing this as a record of my past so I can look back on it when I'm older. As a lover of our English language I'm supposed to be into this sort of thing, however I much prefer the spoken word to the written so it's not my fault if this isn't that great. I'm also secretly hoping that someone will get their hands on this and publish it. That would be great. I can see it now, Gabriel Winters world famous author and pop star extraordinaire. Gabriel Winters, that's me by the way. Named after some angel dude, lucky me. Actually if I'm being truthful I think maybe the main reason I'm writing this is for Leith to read it but well I'll get to that later. Well better get back to the point.
From an early age I've never really felt as if I belonged anywhere. Maybe it's just all part and parcel of being adopted, or it might simply be because I happen to turn into a big hairy monster in my spare time, either way I've always felt as if I didn't quite fit in.
The first four years of my life I can only vaguely remember. I think that my parents (that's my adoptive parents and not my real ones in case you were wondering) used to be there for me though. Then my mother fell pregnant and all my parents' time and energy went to planning for the baby. I felt neglected at the time, but now I don't really blame them after all they had always longed for a child of their own and now they had one why would they need me.
When my sister, Innocence, was born they spent even less time with me. Still she seemed the perfect child and I was not, and anyway I loved her as much as they did so it didn't really matter. I was glad that they were letting me stay around. Soon after her birth we moved away from my homeland, Ireland, to America, the land of opportunity. I hated it there.
I went to school when I was old enough and was immediately ridiculed by my classmates. Children can be cruel to anyone who is even slightly different and with my white hair, near purple eyes and faint Irish accent I was a prime target for their abuse. I hated school and it hated me, that was until Leith moved in next door.
With the dark good looks of his American-Indian father, Leith was and is almost a direct contrast to my own fairness. He was friendly and outgoing compared to my own introvertness and yet for some unknown reason he did his best to befriend me. The kids at school seemed to love him, I didn't blame them, after all he is the most incredibly perfect person I have ever met. All the children flocked to him and I guess some of his popularity must have rubbed off on me. Having friends at school made life seem more bearable.
I still didn't like the work though. There are only two subjects at school that I truly enjoy. One is music which I practically live and breathe, something that Leith has in common with me, and the other is languages, I've always had a fascination with the spoken word. Other classes, however, I tend to daydream my way through much to my teachers annoyance. Leith, on the other hand, is annoyingly good at everything. Well not annoyingly.
Years passed and the terrible teens hit me, hard. I started hanging out with a group of older guys from school, they were complete jerks but I didn't realise this at the time. I guess I was flattered that the most elite clique in school wanted me around. Of all the things, in all the world, I've wanted, the most important to me, is to feel as if I belong, to be loved and needed. It still is.
I started drinking alcohol, not because I enjoyed it, at least at first, but because it was the socially acceptable thing. Then there were the women. It was the socially acceptable thing to date them too. One after the other or at the same time. It didn't matter, it just helped prove you were a "real" man and not gay. Well anyway god protect you if you were gay and my so called friends found out. I guess that's the main reason why Leith and I drifted apart. There were rumours aplenty that he preferred men and well I was hanging around with a bunch of homophobes.
Then with the women came the sex. I used them for sex and looking back, much as I hate to admit it, I guess they were doing the same. The relationships never lasted long but with my good looks (it's a fact I look good I'm not boasting, it must be something about the long white hair and deep purple eyes) I was never short of other women.
My life began to spiral slowly downwards. I began to skip school and go joy-riding and steal from shopping malls, then finally Leith snapped. He came up to me in front of all my supposed friends and told me exactly what he thought of me in not so pleasant words. He told me that I was ruining my life, that before I knew it the police would catch me and lock me away. That if I carried on I'd be a drugged up loser like the rest of them. It must have been difficult for him to say this in front of the most popular guys in school (the rumours about his sexuality had left him with hardly any friends despite his previous popularity). My friends laughed at him.
Leith stood there for a few minutes looking me straight in the eyes as if searching for something. I met his glare, then he seemed to silently plead with me to leave them. I gave him an apologetic look and hoped he'd understand why I was staying. A look of hurt washed over his face. I felt guilty but still I stood by them and watched Leith walk away. They started talking about what a jerk he was. I stood there silently wondering exactly why I'd just told my best friend to get lost. But deep down I knew. In my desperate search of belonging Leith doesn't really count. He's always accepted me, but he is after all only one person, and I wish to have as many friends as possible.
I spend another fortnight with my so called friends, slowly but surely finding all their faults but still I don't want to leave. Then one day I managed to overhear them laughing at me and insulting me. I fled not wishing to hear any more of their comments. These guys had never been my friends. They had never even liked me. I felt terrible, used.
I ran home tears streaming from my face. Leith approached me when I got to my house, he must have been sitting in his garden or something. He asked me what was wrong and I ended up telling him. He said not to worry, that they were only a bunch of thugs. After hours of talking he finally made things seem a lot better. He never mentioned my rejection of him but I got the feeling that it hurt him a lot. Together we managed to patch up our friendship and the shambles that was my life.
My old friends were not too happy about my decision to leave their group in favour of Leith. They would shout abuse at me and beat me whenever they saw me, which was generally every day. If they couldn't find me then they would hunt me down and the beating would be twice as bad.
Then there were the nightmares. I'd had them before, just after my sister was born, at the time my parents had thought I was simply attention seeking and had ignored me until, eventually, the dreams had disappeared. It seemed that now they were back with a vengeance. They were dreadful, and although I cannot remember what they were about, I can remember waking drenched in sweat and screaming.
My parents were totally unsympathetic, they told me to stop taking whatever drugs I was taking and I'd be fine. Innocence was slightly more sympathetic and asked where I got the drugs from. She seemed disappointed when I insisted I wasn't taking any. None of my family believed that I was not taking, never had taken, and did not ever plan to take, any drugs.
My life seemed like hell on earth. I could go nowhere without being terrorised. I had no friends with the exception of Leith. The teachers at school kept giving me a hard time, telling me that I was stupid. I hated life. It appeared to be only getting worse. I wanted my parents to love me, to notice me. I wanted friends. I wanted to be loved and needed by all. It didn't look as if this would ever happen. In a moment of total desperation I slit my wrists.
They blood poured out, it gushed everywhere, I began to get scared, frightened, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to die but I was too much of a fool to shout for help. It didn't look as if anyone would turn up to save me. I didn't really want to die, only wanted my parents to realise what a mess I was in. They probably wouldn't even miss me. Blood continued to flow everywhere. It seemed as if I was drenched in it by now. I felt extremely faint, just wanted to sleep. I began drifting to and from unconsciousness. When finally my bedroom door did open it was Leith and not my parents standing there. I think he screamed. He then began trying desperately to stop the bleeding. The last thing I remember before finally surrendering myself to the darkness of oblivion is my mother walking in to the room.
I awoke in hospital. My mother kept telling me how stupid I had been. That I could have died. I thought that that was the entire point. My father didn't say much just that if I had had any problems I should have talked to him. As if he would have had the time to listen. Innocence asked me if it had hurt much and other such details. I ignored them all. They talked in front of me about sending me to a shrink. It was obvious they weren't going to help me themselves. They arranged some appointments with a psychiatrist and soon I got to go home. Life would continue as usual.
Leith was the only one that tried to make my life better. He kept asking me why I had tried suicide. I never answered. Somehow he managed to get the group of jerks to leave me alone. He also, knowing of my need for popularity, suggested that we start up a band with two babes he had recently met. As I said before I love music and so agreed.
He introduced me to the two babes and they were gorgeous. Leith was already dating Jessica, the brunette and kept trying to match make the blonde, Lissa, and me. However I wasn't really looking for a relationship at the time.
The band hit it off. We were good and we were popular, if I do say so myself. I loved the crowds and the attention and they loved me when I was singing. I couldn't imagine a greater feeling than being adored by all those people. The main thing that made the band I guess was my own and Leith's singing, and his guitar playing. The girls were only mediocre at what they did.
That aside much to Leith's delight I soon found myself falling for Lissa, and she fell for me. To this day I still think she is the most intelligent, beautiful and witty woman I have ever met. She was great fun to be with, we used to do the craziest things together. We never had anything physical. She kept me at a distance most of the time and maybe that was part of her appeal. I had already had the physical with a heap of woman that I had never loved. Wouldn't true love mean that we could wait until the moment was special. At the time I thought what I felt for her was true love, maybe though it was simply lust. I don't think so though. Months flew by like weeks. Finally I could say I felt as if I belonged somewhere.
Then god had to go and screw everything up. Even after everything that has happened I still believe in god. I may not like him but I still believe in him.
For the entire month previously both Leith and myself had felt like we were being watched and the feeling was even more intense when we were performing. It was definitely not paranoia. The girls were feeling it too but to a much lesser degree.
Every one of our gigs in that month had a single common factor; a young dark haired man with piercing blue eyes sitting, just watching us. Dressed in an expensive black suit, he definitely didn't look like he fitted in with the rest of the crowd. He unnerved me. Leith tried to talk to him a few times but he always managed to disappear before Leith had the chance. Finally we decided the only thing we could do was ignore him and hope he went away. He didn't.
Then there was the record deal. A small record company had offered us a contract, promised to help us make it big. Real big. I wanted to grab the chance, Leith, however, did not. He said we should finish school first. I hated school, I wanted to accept their offer now before they withdrew it.
So Leith and I were sitting in the back of Jessica's car arguing over the contract again, much to the two girls annoyance. Any other day Lissa would have been in the back with me but that day she had decided to sit in the front and leave us to argue. Jessica was driving. She'd had too much to drink. We all had. She turned round to tell us to stop arguing and the car crashed.
Pain washed over my body like water. I felt like I would drown in it but didn't. I remained conscious. I looked around the car. There was blood and glass everywhere. Lissa was groaning in pain. Leith and Jessica were out cold. Dead? I didn't want to think about it.
Instinct told me I had to get them out of the car. Common sense said leave them in case they had broken bones and I did more damage moving them. Instinct took over. I felt myself grow stronger, the pain subsided, I grabbed Leith's body and dragged him from the car, virtually tearing the door off in the process.
I left him lying on the pavement a fair distance away from the car, then turned and went back to rescue Lissa and Jessica. Halfway back I stopped and glanced back. I'll never forgive myself for doing so. I wish I could turn back the clock. I can't, and so every time I go over what happened it happens the same way.
I glanced back and saw the dark haired man, who had been watching us, crouched over Leith's body with blood dripping from his wrist. He looked at me, fangs gleaming white in the streetlights. He smiled slightly then hissed. His face contorted into a bestial mask of hideousness, like something from one of my nightmares. I collapsed to the ground in terror, sobbing uncontrollably, I felt my new found strength leave me, then gradually I slipped into the welcoming arms of unconsciousness.
I awoke in hospital and in that cold, sterile environment was told my three friends had died in the crash. The car had exploded killing them and yes Leith had been in the car at the time. I figured I must have dreamed the events after the crash. I sank into the icy depths of despair. Everything I had ever cared about in my life was now gone and I was to blame. My life now seemed meaningless. I kept having the nightmares only they were worse. Far worse. Then there were the hallucinations, or so everyone thought. I kept thinking I was turning into a wolf, or a wolf man or something. I thought I was going crazy. It got to the stage that I couldn't tell the difference between my dreams and reality. My parents sent me to the psychiatrist again who this time put me on drugs. They made things worse. I started having horrific visions of others worlds. I stopped taking the drugs. The visions didn't go away. Then Leith came to visit me and I knew I had finally flipped. Leith was dead
Only he wasn't, not really. He kept trying to tell me that he'd been changed into a vampire by the dark haired man just after the crash. He would have probably died otherwise. I knew I was mad, I tried to ignore him only I couldn't. He seemed so real.
He kept visiting me and talking to me despite the fact that I wasn't listening. My parents talked of sending me to a mental institution and I fled from home. I started living on the streets. I had no idea how to survive and didn't really care if I didn't. No one attacked me though. Leith says it's because I looked practically feral. If not for him I would have probably died. He brought me food and companionship. I gave him nothing in return. Actually that's not true, I gave him his only anchor to his previous life.
Slowly but surely he helped me regain my sanity. He loaned me money so I could rent a flat. He was loaded now. The guy who had changed him into a vampire was filthy rich. Used to be a famous artist or something and loved giving Leith gifts of money and stuff.
Then one day some werewolves tried to grab me. I was terrified. I shifted to wolf form on instinct and fled, probably would have made it too if not for that damned mirror. The moment I looked in it I felt myself slipping to that other world again. I was so disorientated there that they managed to catch up. I tried to fight back, scratched a few of them, but eventually they managed to drag me away kicking and screaming.
When I was finally calm a woman approached me and told me she was my grandmother. Said she had been looking for me for years. She'd known that her son had a child but didn't know anything else. My people were a tribe of werewolves. I was one of them. I didn't believe her. She told me a little about werewolves then said that my father, her son, was a cruel man. That my mother had never wanted me. Both me true parents were dead now. I didn't believe her about anything. I didn't want to. I surrendered myself to the madness again.
Time passed. I don't know long it was until my sanity returned again. Perhaps it never has and this world I live in is crafted only from fantasies in my head. But I daren't think that way. As soon as I was capable I fled from the other werewolves to find Leith. I didn't think they'd like the idea of me consorting with a creature, who was in their eyes, evil incarnate.
I found Leith. He was having as much problems fitting into vampire society as I was having with the were-folk. His creator was dead and he was doing his best to stay alive.
When he asked me where I had been I told him the truth. The whole truth. He looked shocked but accepted it unquestioningly. Turns out vampires hate us as much as we hate them. It seemed like neither of our people would accept our friendship. Well even though blood is supposedly thicker than water I figured what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them. I wasn't throwing away over ten years of friendship just because my new family didn't like Leith.
We decided sharing an apartment would probably be the most practical thing to do after all we both claimed to have very little money and what we did have would probably run out fairly quick if we were renting two places to live. Our close proximity to each other would probably make it easier for either of our people to discover our friendship but then it would also mean we would be able to give each other protection against them.
Leith also suggested we start up the band again. I thought that it would bring back too many painful memories, that it would bring unwanted attention to us but finally I agreed. We needed a source of money and this was the only thing legal I knew how to do. Besides the idea of hiding from our people in the open appealed to me. Our music became a lot more haunting, more beautiful and it had depth and pain it had never had before.
One night, after our show, we were walking back to our apartment. Leith had some guy on his arm who he was probably planning on feeding from. They were acting like a regular pair of lovebirds. I was doing my best not to play gooseberry and probably failing miserably. I was just about to make my excuses and leave when two figures stepped out of the shadows.
One was a rotting corpse of a creature, hideously ugly and reeking of decay. It's eyes glowed demonic red in the dark. The other was a tall woman who would have been attractive if not for the fact that she was covered head to toe in tattoos and seemed to be pierced wherever possible.
"Great," Leith muttered sarcastically eyes wide with terror as he gazed upon them. I looked at the two creatures that I guessed were vampires. They were blocking our way. Still we could always go back down the alleyway.
"So Leith, think you can kill us like you killed our creator," the woman hissed.
"I never killed Antonio," he protested backing away from the duo.
"Yeah, right," her voice dripped with sarcasm.
"He killed himself. It wasn't my fault. He just wanted to see the sun rise. I tried to talk him out of it only he wouldn't listen to me. Said now I was there to carry on his memory he didn't need to be around any more. I pleaded with him, I begged him. I didn't want to be left on my own. I tried to do everything I could but I failed. I failed him. I didn't kill him though." Tears of blood welled in his eyes at the memory.
"Antonio would never have killed himself. He loved life too much. Have you told your two mortal friends what you are?" she said with malice. She obviously thought I was human, good. It meant I had the element of surprise if they attacked.
When Leith did not answer she said to us, "Leith is one of us, a vampire, and now we will have to kill all three of you." The guy with Leith moved away slowly, he wasn't sure whether or not to believe them.
"Spare them, it's me you want," Leith said.
"Shut up. We'll kill who we want to. Nostromo," she said turning to her beastly companion, "we shall feed well tonight. Leave the white haired beautiful one though. He would be nice as a doting servant."
I stifled the growl rising in my throat and readied myself to shift to true werewolf form. There was a moment of complete silence.
The woman drew a knife from her boot, it glinted silver in the moonlight. I prayed it wasn't real silver. She moved towards Leith blindingly fast, he screamed in agony, her companion moved towards him slower. I felt my blood boil. They were hurting my best friend. I was angry and like the Incredible Hulk it's not good to get me angry. I shapechanged then charged. I grabbed the woman and threw her at a wall. Moving far faster than she had, I began tearing into her with my claws and teeth. I could taste her blood but all it did was fuel my anger. When I finally realised she wasn't moving I flew at the other guy, who was pummelling Leith with his fists. Leith crumpled to the ground. I tore the walking corpse to shreds then shifted to human form. Leiths friend had fled.
I walked over to Leith and examined him. He looked in a bad way. Despite the fact he wasn't breathing and had no heartbeat he slowly sat up. He looked terrible. A thought struck me. He probably needed blood. Well if he wanted some I could give him mine. I walked over to the now crumbling corpse of the woman, no not woman she was a monster. Never human. Well I walked over to her and relieved her of her knife. It wasn't silver.
I walked back over to Leith and sat beside him offering him my wrist. I'm sure my meaning was clear. He shook his head. I was positive he needed the blood though. I used the knife to scratch my wrist. Blood welled to the surface. Leith seemed to be doing everything he could to ignore me. I offered him my wrist again. He sighed then accepted.
Nothing could have prepared me for the sensations that flooded through my body. Such ecstasy, such indescribable pleasure. Words fail me. I can barely comprehend the feelings let alone describe them. All I need say is that all the pleasurable experiences I had had in the past seemed pale in comparison. He's my best friend, he's not supposed to do that to me, but he was and it was incredible. I didn't want it to stop but too soon it did leaving me slightly faint and exhilarated at the same time. Leith looked better, all his wounds and bruises had healed.
"Wow," I kept muttering, totally lost for words.
"Well I hope you're bloody happy," he said not explaining what he meant. He began looking around then walked off. I caught up. He did his very best to snap at me at every single opportunity. I was on too much of a high to notice or care that he was acting very strangely.
We got back without further incident. I sat down and half watched TV most of my attention though went on trying not to throw myself into his arms and ask for more. Leith paced the room like a caged animal insulting me whenever he could be bothered. Finally he realised I wasn't listening to him and stormed out the room. I slowly began to drift asleep to the drone of the television.
When I awoke it was early evening. Due to Leiths sleeping habits I've also developed a nocturnal lifestyle. I went through to his room to see if he was awake yet. He wasn't there. This worried me. There was still enough sun in the sky to mean he couldn't have already left. He must not have returned after leaving last night. I prayed he was alright. If anything happened to him it would be my fault. How could I forgive myself and after what happened with Lissa... I could have saved her if I hadn't looked back. If I hadn't been arguing then she would still be alive. If I'd insisted we take a taxi. If I'd grabbed her instead of Leith. Only I was glad that Leith was the one that I had saved.
Leith must have been really pissed off at me to have risked the sunlight rather than return here. I felt extremely guilty. I should have done something to help him last night. Maybe other vampires had arrived to kill him. I was worried sick. He had been acting strange the previous night, ever since after the fight. Maybe the fight had effected him some way. Maybe it was my blood.
It's ironic really that the most pleasurable thing in the world is to have your blood drained by a cold, undead, blood sucker. Not that Leith is evil. From what I've heard the others of my kind go in for pleasure in a big way. They get their kicks from sex, drink and drugs. Me I'm so sick and twisted that all that I can think of is having my blood drained again. I hate myself. I must be evil incarnate but I don't care. I long for the pleasure to engulf me a second time. It was probably my evil blood that made Leith act the way he did.
I wait for him to return. I can think of nothing else. I wait for hours and he doesn't come back. I hope he's alright. I hope he's still alive.
Days pass, I don't eat, hardly sleep, I have trouble concentrating on anything other than him. I feel myself tumbling into the depths of despair but can do nothing to stop myself.
Then finally he walks in the door, cool and calm. I look at him, I feel desire overwhelm me and realise, quite suddenly, that I love him.
He looks at me as if oblivious to my new revelation. Of course he is it's not as if he is a bloody mind reader.
My heart starts pounding, I'm surprised he can't hear it. I long to hold him in my arms and tell him how I feel, but I don't dare. You see one of the earliest things Leith told me about being a vampire is that they don't feel love, they don't feel anything but the hunger for blood. I believed him. The hunger overrides the need for all other things including love. To tell him how I feel could ruin our friendship. I don't want to lose him completely so I keep quiet.
I keep telling myself that I'm not gay, I know I'm not. I like women, not guys. The idea of sleeping with a guy revolts me but at this moment it's all I can think of. Gay people are strange, weird, social misfits, outcasts, people to be laughed at and ridiculed. I'm none of those things. I want to fit in. I'm normal, not somebody who likes pink and dresses and stuff. Who's into make-up and woman things.
I don't like guys, I like women, love them, lust after them, all your normal male things. I'm a normal male. Haven't I slept with enough women to prove that I'm straight only I can't stop thinking about how attractive Leith's looking at the moment and how, if he asked me I'd probably jump right into bed with him.
God says gays are unnatural, it's against everything in the bible. I believe in god, he's screwed up my life so much but I've done my best to believe in him. I've tried my best to be good, only it's so difficult. I don't want to go to hell. I'm not gay, god wouldn't screw up my life by doing that to me, making me gay. He's done enough to ruin my life as it is.
Leith's my best friend of course I feel something for him. Platonic love, that's it, I try and kid myself. I see him just as a friend. That's all. Only it's not. I still can't ignore the fact that I'm feeling very attracted to him. I try to, but I can't.
He says he's sorry for what happened all those nights ago. Says he guesses werewolf blood just doesn't agree with him. I laugh lightly, however inside I'm crying. I start to ask him about that night, he cuts me short, says he's not proud of what he did, that some things happened that shouldn't have. He makes it clear, if not directly, that he will never drink my blood again. I am disappointed, upset. I long for the feeling of ecstasy he brought to me.
He asks me if I'm alright and I foolishly answer yes. I can't tell him I want him so badly and feel as if my heart is going to burst.
We spend the rest of the night talking about everything and nothing. Then finally it begins to get early. He gets up to go to his room. I long to join him there and know I can't. As he opens the door he looks back at me, thinks I don't notice but I do. He looks gorgeous. The look on his face is that of a man desperately in love. With me? I don't know. I wish I did.
Days pass. We play music at a few places. I immerse myself in the music, in my singing. It's the only way I can cope. I manage to lose myself in the music for a while but then the music stops. I have trouble hearing it, not of course with my ears they work fine enough, but with my soul.
Then I do something I swore to myself I would never do, I start taking illegal drugs in the search for pleasure. They do very little for me. I stop taking them. I don't see the point. I try alcohol, again with the same lack of result. It helps me forget though. Then I have sex with as many women as I can find willing, sex is nowhere near as pleasurable as it was. I don't try men, I'm not attracted to them. I'm not gay. I love Leith and am physically attracted to him however other guys just don't do it for me. I know I'm not gay.
One night I see Innocence. She's in the same pub as I am. I can't believe my eyes she's only thirteen and is sitting at a table, with a sort of glazed look in her eyes, opposite some guy who's talking to her, she giggles. He looks around thirty, probably older, there's something about him I don't like. He seems slimy. I want to drag him away from my sister but don't dare, in human form I'm not that tough, especially since I've not been eating or sleeping well recently. I go up to their table and sit down next to Innocence. The guy glares at me from across the table, I shift to near wolf-man and growl at him. He freaks and runs. Innocence doesn't notice. She's still giggling. I suggest to her that we leave. She giggles. I don't think she recognises me. I help her out of the pub and call a taxi to get us back to my apartment. She comes with me quite willingly.
When we get to the apartment Leith is there composing music. He helps me to put her on my bed. If he is surprised that she is here he says nothing. When we leave my room Leith mutters "she's pregnant." I wonder if I've misheard him. She's only a kid, she can't be pregnant.
I stare at him in disbelief. He's so attractive. He's wearing his long black hair tied back for a change. His brown eyes look soulful. I want him so badly. "How do you know?" I ask because I feel the question is expected of me, not because I want to.
He shrugs then says "it's a kind of magic". I believe him. It wouldn't surprise me if he had magic. There's so little I know about vampires.
"What are we going to do about her?" I ask.
"She stays here," he replies as if I was stupid to even think of asking that question. There are only two bedrooms in the house. Three of us living here will be a problem. I wonder if he'll let me share his room. I know that he wont. I'll be stuck with the couch. I don't care, much.
"Are you sure she's pregnant?"
She confirms this when she wakes up. She doesn't know who the father is, some sleaze bag, I guess. She seems surprised to see Leith alive but doesn't say anything about it. She tells us that she ran away from home shortly after I did because it was boring. She wanted some excitement. I can't believe it. She had a great life and left it all behind because she was bored. She turned to prostitution as her only way of getting money. I feel sick at the thought. We do our best to comfort her. She doesn't want to go back to her parents, she is too proud to admit that she was wrong so we say she can stay.
She stays at our flat and plays keyboard in our band. I never knew she was so good. We make a large amounts of money quite quickly. Get offered a contract but turn it down. If Innocence thinks anything of our strange sleeping habits she says nothing. We don't enlighten her on Leiths "condition".
When we make enough money she suggests we move to New York. It should be easier to get bookings there, however an apartment for three will be costly. Leith reveals that he has a small amount of cash left over from his days of living with Antonio. He isn't that keen on moving though. We eventually convince him to. His small amount of money turns out to be enough to buy a three bedroomed house. He never told me he had so much hidden away. He said I never asked.
We move to a larger city. I don't like it much, it smells. Innocence loves it though. We get many bookings for our band. Our music however seems to be getting too commercialised. Leith and Innocence disagree. They're beginning to become great friends. I feel jealous. I think they're falling in love. I hate myself for resenting their happiness. I want him so badly and know I can't have him. It's tearing me apart. I can't bear to be around them. It's a month till the baby's due.
I write a note to Leith saying I'm leaving. They wont need me around. I take nothing. In wolf form I need nothing. I leave. I know I should say goodbye personally but am too scared that if I see him again I'll change my mind. I need to get away.
I roam the city as a wolf. It's a new experience for me. I enjoy the freedom but still feel the need to belong. I spend a lot of time thinking.
The werewolves are my people. If I try hard enough I can belong with them. I need a pack to run with. A group of people who understand me and have been through what I have been through (well similar things). I resolve myself to join a pack. I will have to find one first. I don't know how but I will try. About four weeks have passed since I left. I decide to return to see how Leith and Innocence are before I begin my search. I return home.
I look through the window to the living room and am shocked. Leith is sitting on the sofa crying blood red tears. He looks nothing like the capable young man I know him to be and everything like a frightened young boy. I hear a baby screaming in the background. Innocence's child more than likely. My own niece or nephew.
Leith ignores the baby. It continues to howl. I look around for a way to get in. A window is open. By coincidence it is my bedrooms. I manage to scramble through. I shift to human form. It feels slightly strange to be back in my natural form. I throw on some clothes then go to quiet the baby. Leith doesn't pay me any attention. I find out what's wrong with her and make it right to the best of my abilities. I lay her down again and she quickly goes to sleep.
When I go back to Leith he is staring into space but has stopped sobbing. His face is streaked with the red of his tears. I long to comfort him.
"How are you?" I ask. As soon as the words are out I know it is a stupid question. I can see he looks terrible.
He answers it anyway with the lie, "fine". I tell him he's lying and he changes the subject like he always does. "So did you find what you were looking for?"
I had never told him I was looking for anything but I guess I had been. Looking for the answer of how to belong. I think I have found it. I'm about to tell him so, then stop. Throughout the years he has been there for me, now it is my turn to be there for him. I don't know how but I'll try. I wont let him distract me from helping him this time though.
I ignore his question and say to him, "tell me what's wrong, please?" It dawns on me that despite over ten years of friendship I know very little about his true feelings about things. He has always kept them hidden, pretended everything was alright so he wouldn't worry me.
I realise this approach would not work. "Where's Innocence?"
"She died last week giving birth." His voice is totally devoid of emotion. At the news I almost break down. I don't though, I need to be strong. There will be time for grief later.
Leith is shaking. "I couldn't save her. I'm sorry. She was your sister. I know how much she meant to you." He seems about to burst into tears again. I sit next to him. I feel awkward. I want to do something for him but don't know what. "I'm sorry."
"It wasn't your fault," I reply.
"It was... you see I didn't get her to hospital on time. I should have called for an ambulance. I should have..." He seems very distressed.
"It doesn't matter," I reply softly. I want to comfort him. After a few minutes thought I put my arms around him. He lets me. I hold close and he begins to sob and so, eventually, do I.
When there are no tears left I ask him "what about the child?"
He looks really guilty. "I... I... I sort of took her from the hospital. I thought you'd be mad if she went to a home or they had her adopted."
"You kidnapped her?" I say it more harshly than I mean it.
"No... yes, but I couldn't bear to leave her there. I didn't think it would be what you wanted, what Innocence would want. I know it was a mistake now though. I spend the entire day unconscious and have to find blood during the night. It's not as if I can care for her. I don't think I can cope." He's about to burst into tears again.
"Sssh, if that's the problem then we can return her to the hospital."
"NO!" I am surprised by the ferocity in his voice.
I sigh, "why not? It would solve all your problems."
"It wouldn't. I love her, she's all I've got left. I wont give her up."
"Leith, what do you mean?" I ask foolishly.
"Innocence is dead. Jessica, Lissa even Antonio they're all dead. I can never go back home to my family. You plan to leave again, don't deny it, I can see it in your eyes. The child is all I have left. I wont give her up."
"Kidnapping is against the law," I mutter.
"I'm dead, I can't break the law, I technically don't exist." He seems to have a point.
"What will you do with her then?"
"You..." he begins, I can guess what he is about to say. I'm tempted to agree but realise if I am ever to find a pack a child will severely hinder me.
I shake my head. "Surely you have someone else who can help."
"You," he mutters again.
I sigh. "You could always contact a nanny agency or something. If you use your supernatural charm I'm sure you wouldn't even have to pay."
"Gabriel, I'd much rather you..." I really wish to agree but you see if I agree I'll be awake all day and by night time will be too tired to spend any time with Leith. That and I need to find a pack, somewhere I can truly belong.
"I can't. It's either go with my idea or find a better one."
He starts sobbing again. It's breaking my heart. "Leith, I'll look in on the two of you from time to time. I'll make sure you get a decent nanny to look after her. It's just I need to discover more of my kind. Find out who I really am."
He nods, seems to understand. "I'll phone up tomorrow night," he says about getting some help.
"I'll contact them when you are sleeping. Now what's Baby's name."
"She doesn't have one."
"You'd better think of one then. After all you are virtually her father." He smiles slightly. Vampires can't have kids. They don't need to. The idea of being a father seems to appeal to Leith. I had never thought it would, after all he's the same age as me, virtually a kid himself.
"Give me time and she'll have one. Something beautiful and special."
It's good to see him happier. He looks gorgeous when he's smiling. I realise he's still in my arms. I could easily take advantage of the situation but don't.
"So what about the other vampires in the city? Have you met any of them yet?"
From the look on his face I can guess what his answer will be. "I've seen them. They are evil, twisted bastards." There is real malice in his voice. "They either do not know, or do not care that I am in the city. I hope it is they don't care because otherwise they may try and kill me if they see me."
So here was not a nice place for a good blood sucker. He may need protection. I think of talking my pack, once I find them, into helping him but then change my mind. They are more than likely to rip him and me to shreds themselves. I'm definitely going to have to look out for him and Baby.
"I missed you," he says out of the blue. I'm surprised. I look at him, our eyes meet, I'm still holding him, I long to kiss him, for a moment I'm convinced he feels the same way, we look into each others eyes, then the moment passes. Damn.
It leaves me wondering what exactly are his feelings for me. I wish I knew. I wish I could read minds.
"It's going to be getting light soon," he says, "I'd better get going." There's still plenty of time left till sunrise. At least half an hour. He pulls away and gets up. I realise I'm covered in blood. His tears.
He goes to his room, waits a few minutes then returns. He stands there watching me. He looks incredibly sexy. I shouldn't be thinking that at a time like this but I don't care.
He gestures for me to follow him into his room. I can't believe it. I must be reading the signs wrong. Baby starts crying as if right on cue. It's my escape. I take it, gladly. I go to her to see what is wrong. When I turn round again Leith is gone.
After sorting Baby out, I go to the bathroom and wash, then plan to go to my room to get a little sleep. On the way there I trip over a pile of books. They go flying everywhere. I pick myself up then look at the books. They're a pile of diaries. Leith's I can guess from the handwriting inside. I close it, then begin putting the diaries back in a pile, then stop.
I had said earlier that I wished to read his mind. This would be the perfect way to do so. It would also be the perfect way to prove what an untrustworthy swine I am. There must be at least ten years worth of diaries here. I sort them out in chronological order. I hope it's the way Leith had them. For half an hour I do my best to resist the temptation, then finally I give in, pick up the first and begin to read.
I finish reading them all. I'm surprised at what I've read. There's one diary left. I go looking for it guessing it's in his room. I pray he doesn't wake up and at the same time hope he does so he can realise what a bastard I am. I find it lying on the bedside table then retreat to the light of the living room. I read this one then sit and contemplate what I've just read.
I pick up the phone book and call some child care agency. I do my best to sort things out over the phone. They want me to go in and see them, so I keep trying until I find someone in the newspaper instead. She sounds young but is willing to come round tomorrow night to see if she wants the job. We'll sort out details then. No Leith will sort out the details I plan to be gone by then.
I go over in my head what I've just read again. Leith sees me as a kindred spirit, has done so since the first day we met. Inside he's as lonely as I am, probably lonelier, only unlike me he is not willing to change who he is to get friends. His capable exterior is just a front, from what I've read he is a terrified child who longs for acceptance. He used to be bullied worse than me at school but he tried not to let me know. He was too good at hiding his feelings. He's loved me for the past five years, hates himself for it but can't help it. He thinks I'm homophobic, or at least did so. He's unsure now. He was probably right about my homophobia. He and Jessica were just friends, though they tried to make it appear otherwise. He and Innocence were also just friends. I read every single thing wrong between them, I was so overcome with jealousy that I resented the fact that Leith could care for anyone other than me.
He's only ever loved me, no one else. He told his first girlfriend that he was unsure of his feelings for her. She took the break up badly. It was she that spread the rumours about his sexuality, no decision from himself. He never saw the point of denying the rumours, by this time he had accepted his feelings for me, and figured there was no point denying the truth. He hated the way people treated him because of what he is.
He blames himself for the deaths of Innocence, Jessica and Lissa, and for the death of his sire. Antonio, from what Leith writes had been following us for a while, he planned on changing one of us into a vampire. When the car crashed he found the decision made for him. The vampire in charge of the city wasn't too happy but let Leith live after hearing his music. Leith doesn't like vampire society, turns out each city has a secret society of vampires in it, controlling all the mortals lives. Leith thinks this is immoral and wont take part in it. He's separated himself off from the rest of his kind. He's far more alone that I have ever been.
He wishes he was a werewolf instead. I think he'd probably make an excellent one, but as I said at the beginning, god really screwed up. Leith loves me. That's the most important thing of all that I have read. I can hardly believe it.
I put all the diaries back then talk to Baby for a while. As babies go she sure is ugly. I can't help thinking that. I check the fridge for baby milk and realise we've virtually run out. I get changed, make sure she's alright and go out to buy some more. By the time I get back she's crying again. The day continues uneventfully.
Then Leith gets up. We make small talk. I tell him I'll be leaving tonight. He looks upset. I tell him about the girl I asked to come round tomorrow evening. He doesn't seem too bothered. He asks me when I'll be back and I say I don't know. The conversation continues along those sort of lines. He leaves for half an hour, to get some blood I imagine. I sit about watching TV wondering whether I should leave now while he's gone. It would make things easier on both of us. I start thinking of the reasons why I can't tell him how I feel and come up with too many.
He returns and I tell him I'm going now, that I'll keep in touch if I can. That I may even have to leave the city to find a pack that will have me. He begs me to stay at least until tomorrow night. I shake my head. He puts forward a convincing argument involving Baby about why I should stay. He's right I probably should stay until we get someone to care for her during the day but my pride wont allow me to admit this. I'll come back when it's light to make sure she's alright.
I go to the front door and open it. I plan to leave in wolf form but can't open doors that way. I say goodbye to Leith and prepare myself for changing shape. He embraces me and tells me to look after myself. I reply that I will. I take one last look at him and finally, at long last, my willpower snaps. We end up kissing. The front door gets shut again and I spend the rest of the night in his arms. I will not cheapen the experience by putting it down on paper.
I awaken in Leith's arms, he's sleeping the sleep of the damned. I feel as if this is where I belong but know it can't be. Grudgingly I get up. I could probably do with some more sleep but know if I don't leave today then I never will.
I go through to my own room and pick up the diary Leith gave me as a Christmas present. I haven't written anything in it. I have never seen the point of writing my thoughts down on paper, until now. I ignore the dates and begin writing this.
As well as being a record (if admittedly rather brief) of my life, I guess I'm also writing this to make up to Leith. To explain my actions to him, if not right now. I plan on leaving this lying somewhere in my room. If he chooses to read it I hope that will somehow atone me for having read all his diaries, and for the note I'm about to write him.
I half hope he reads this because what I'm writing in the note will surely destroy our friendship and his love for me. I plan on telling him I've been using him, that I don't care for him at all and never have done so. I'll do my best to insult him in every way possible in the note. I pray this will force him into finding some new friends, that is of course he doesn't read this and realise it is all a lie. Maybe I should hide this in my room instead of leaving it just lying.
The note is necessary, it will force Leith to leave me behind. I hate to do it, but it is essential. You see a relationship between us will not work. He's a vampire, he'll live forever, me I can live for a handful of decades if lucky. He'll have to watch me grow old and die. Could he live looking like a teenager watching me become twenty, thirty, forty, fifty even sixty years old? I will age and die, while he will be the same, look the same. Even if he can live with that I don't think I could.
Then there is the thing that if I don't leave the note, he may come looking for me. Better for him to hate me and start a new life, after all that's what I plan to do. I could always stay with Leith, forget the pack, but Leith is only one person. I want lots of friends, to be loved by all, not one. I want to know more about my people, to fit in. Leith's very nature makes him the solitary type, he does not do well around people, he's too terrified of being rejected. Werewolves would definitely reject him. They'd reject me too if they knew about him and my feelings for him. I don't want to be rejected. A werewolf and a vampire, it wont work. I still love him. I can't have both him and a pack. I've chosen the pack.
I wish last night had never happened, it would have made things so much easier. Made it easier for me to get over my feelings for him. It's probably only lust I'm feeling, or confusion, after all how can I love him, a guy. I'm not gay, with time my feelings for him should fade. It's probably not real love. I'm mistaking platonic love for the sexual kind. That's it, it sounds right. Gays are unnatural, they are damned, not normal. I want to go back to being normal. With time I should be able to. Well as normal as a werewolf can be. Loving a guy is not normal. I don't love him though. Don't even lust after him. He's my friend, that's all. Nice and simple really. I feel pleased at this decision. Everything's sorted out.
I write the note and leave it in his room, convincing myself that what I'm doing is for the best. Now, more than any time before, I know I need to find a pack. I catch a glimpse of Leiths sleeping body as I leave the room. He looks happy, in love. He's never going to forgive me. I feel regret. I don't really want to hurt him. He looks so beautiful, just lying there. I've been kidding myself, I do still love him, even more for last night. I pray my love will fade otherwise it is going to hurt too much to stay away. I will check in on them from time to time, just to ease my conscience. Make sure Leith and Baby are alright. Whether I let Leith see me though is another matter.
I don't want him to hate me but I know he must. A relationship between us will not work. I know I keep repeating myself but I must emphasise this point. I need to convince myself this is true, I only partially believe myself. I love him, he loves me what more do we need? This thought keeps tugging at the back of my mind. The note will make Leith hate me and so stop me returning to him. With time he will forget about me and make new friends. With time I will do the same. I hope.
This is all I have left to write. I'll wait until dusk before leaving and then I will leave through my window as a wolf. The way I came in. Where I will go after I leave I have no idea but clichéd as this may sound I have a feeling that this is not the end but only the beginning.
|Bone White, Blood Red||Sleeping Beauty (Part 2)|
|Other Worlds||All Worlds|
|First Day of Life|