From Trick To Treat
Copyright © 2015, 2016 by Jeikor
Copyright © 2015, 2016 by Jeikor
"You'll do what we say or we'll toss you in the river and see if you can make shore before you go under."
"No! No! Please! I don't swim that good!" came the frantic pleas of what sounded like a young boy.
"Then you'll do what we want?" spoke the same rough voice from before.
"No! I can't," pleaded the boy in a quieter voice. "Please, let me go."
"We'll let you go alright," said a second oily voice, the kind that makes you sick to your stomach when you hear it. "Right into the river. Now do what we said."
"I can't," the boy whispered desperately. "N-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!" The wail split the night and the sound moved closer to the river bank.
Zane and Zander looked at each other and gave a curt nod. Zander tossed his backpack and eased back into the river with no sound. Zane carried the packs further up the bank moving towards the voices. When he found a little ledge Zane carefully placed the backpacks on it and moved quicker yet silently to where he could hear a struggle.
Just as Zane reached the top of the bank he saw the three owners of the voices. There was a young boy of about ten or eleven with jet black hair and green eyes being held by two older teenagers both with maroon-dyed hair.
The two thugs swung the boy back preparing to toss him into the mighty Mississippi. His scream split the night. Zane geared up to top speed but still climbing the steep bank he couldn't reach them in time. The boy was launched in a low arch toward the river still screaming as he went.
Zane barreled into the nearest teenager knocking him on his butt, however, that alerted the second one to his presence. He swung at Zane who ducked under it and got in a defensive position. The guy kept trying to punch Zane who blocked and dodged while keeping an occasional eye on the downed teen.
Zane had heard the splash of the raven-haired boy hitting the water after he piled into the first thug. While evading the attacks of the second he heard a faint, "Got him," from the river. It was Zander letting him know the boy was now safe.
Through playing around now, Zane ducked under a wild punch and instead of moving away he stepped toward his assailant jabbing him hard in the solar plexus. The blonde vampire followed that with a vicious knife hand blow to the base of his skull knocking him out cold.
Just then, the first maroon-headed teen stirred and tried to push himself off the ground. In a few quick strides Zane was in front of him and kicked the teen under the chin hard enough to flip him onto his back rendering him unconscious.
About then Zander appearing laboring up the bank with the green-eyed boy on his back. Zane hurried over to help pull them the rest of the way up.
"Thanks, Zane," said Zander as he set the boy down. "This is Thomas. Thomas, this is my best friend, Zane."
"Hey," greeted Thomas his eyes glued to the inert bodies of his attackers. "Why don't you just say he's your boyfriend? Did you really knock both of them out? Wow!"
The Z's exchanged astonished then worried looks.
"Uh, Thomas, can you read minds?" Zane finally asked.
"No. Not yet anyway," he answered still staring at the downed bodies. "I'm an empath. I can feel that you are closer than just best friends. How'd you take out both of them? You're barely bigger than my brother and he's thirteen."
Zander took Thomas by the shoulders turning him around to get a good look now that there was more light. His gasp as he looked into Thomas' face was drowned out by the command from a figure shrouded by the bright light behind him.
"Get away from my brother!"
Before anyone could utter another word, Zane felt a build-up of force and just managed to throw a shield in front of the three of them. It still caused him to stumble back a couple of steps.
"Duncan! No!" Thomas yelled at his older brother. "They saved me!"
Duncan stepped forward where he could be seen, "You sure, Thomas?"
"Can't you tell?"
"I know you mean it," replied Duncan coming closer. "But I can't read them and they blocked my push."
As Zane and Zander watched the newcomer emerge, they found he was an older version of Thomas, black hair and green eyes included.
"You're a full telepath?" Zander asked taking a good look at the young teen.
"Yeah," Duncan answered relaxing as he felt no threat. "Dad's teaching me more though."
The four guys came together and there were simultaneous gasps from three of them as they got a close look at one another. Three green-eyed youths couldn't believe how much alike they looked. Zander had already had his shock when he saw Thomas in the light just as Duncan arrived.
"Yeah," Zander chuckled watching the other three's reactions. "They could be your cousins, Zane."
"Except for the blonde hair you could be our older brother," Thomas pointed out in wonder.
"You blocked the mental push, didn't you?" guessed Duncan. "Dad'll want to meet you."
"Hopefully, it will distract him from the fact that we're out of the house right now," added Thomas. "Not that I was given a choice."
"I warned Dad," Duncan said shaking his head.
"Well, let's get you two home before these two wake up." stated Zane herding the brothers in front of him. "And yes, Duncan, I blocked you."
After a quick thought from Zane, Zander ran back for their backpacks and joined the group as the brothers led them to their house.
Thomas and Duncan took them to a faded blue cottage style house on the edge of a neighborhood of small to medium older homes. The door opened as they started through the yard revealing a middle-aged adult version of the two boys. The only difference being the gray hair starting to show along the temples.
The man stepped to the edge of the porch with a look of intense concentration on his face. Suddenly Zane and Zander grimaced and grabbed their heads in pain as someone tried to force their way past the vampires' defenses.
"Dad! Stop!" yelled Duncan when he realized what his dad was doing. "They're not enemies!"
Just then an immense feeling of calm settled over everyone in the yard and house. Thomas began to sway back and forth then fell backwards exhausted. Fortunately, Zander had recovered enough to notice what was happening and caught the boy before he hit the ground.
All animosity was forgotten as everyone rushed to make sure Thomas was okay. His dad felt the concern for Thomas coming from the two teens and relaxed a little as he led the way into the small house and the boys' shared bedroom.
Zander carefully laid him down on the indicated bed next to the open window then moved back to allow his dad to check him over. As his dad perched on the edge of the bed Thomas' eyes fluttered open and a groan escaped his lips.
"That was quite an effort, son," the boys' dad spoke gently. "I am proud of the field you generated but you overdid it and that would be bad to do in the wrong circumstances."
"Sorry, dad. But I couldn't let you hurt them. They saved me from Brutus and Cletus, " explained Thomas before bolting upright in a panic. "Where are they? You didn't . . ."
"We 're right here," answered Zander and Zane together. Zander continued, "Why did you stop? You probably could have gotten us when we were distracted by Thomas' collapse."
"Two reasons; one, I could feel your concern for Thomas evidenced by you catching him so he didn't get hurt,' answered their dad. "two, Thomas just projected the strongest field he's ever attempted to protect you."
As he gave reason number two Duncan and Thomas' dad laid his hand on Thomas' shoulder and finally noticed that his clothes were soaking wet.
"How did you get wet?" The man looked around as he spoke and saw that Zane and Zander were also dripping water from the only clothes they had on.
"Brutus and Cletus threw me in the river and Zander pulled me out," answered Thomas.
"Sorry, sir," Zane said apologetically. "I couldn't get up the bank fast enough to stop them."
"Did they throw you in too?
"No, sir," answered Zane. "Zander and I had just swam across the river. By the way, I'm Zane."
The dad looked in disbelief for a moment then shook his head as he introduced himself, "I'm Beldane Renoldo. I can feel the truth in you but neither of you looks strong enough to have swam the Mississippi."
"Dad, Zane also took out both Brutus and Cletus. They were still out when I got there," Duncan added.
"There must be a story there," Beldane stated standing up again. "But first let's get you boys out of these wet clothes. Do you two have dry undies?"
"Yes, sir," replied Zander. "Our backpacks are waterproof."
"Good! Duncan, since you're dry would you gather everyone's wet stuff and bring it to the laundry room?" Beldane asked his older son.
"Sure thing, dad," answered Duncan readily. "Besides, they don't have much for me to carry."
This set Thomas to giggling which in turn started Duncan giggling and before long the whole group had the giggles. When they had finally stopped, Thomas asked his dad to make hot chocolate for all of them.
Zane and Zander spoke at once, "You don't have to go to any trouble for us; we'll be fine."
"It's no trouble and it will give us something to do while we listen to your story," Beldane replied then added, "if you're willing to share it."
The two vampires nodded their agreement to tell the family their story.
"Okay. Everybody get dried and we'll meet at the kitchen table," directed Beldane.
It was decided by the boys that since they were all guys they could all change in the bedroom to save time. Soon the three wet ones were in dry clothes and Thomas led them to the kitchen where they met Duncan who had finished putting the wet clothes in the dryer. In less than five minutes everyone was seated at the table with a steaming mug in front of them.
Everyone took a couple of careful sips of the hot chocolate before Zane received a go-ahead from Zander to start telling the Renoldos about them. There were some skeptical looks in spite of their truthsense when Zane told them he and Zander were vampires. However, a quick drop of the fangs put all doubts to rest.
Beldane and Duncan were wary and moved away from the Z's but Thomas' response was a single, exuberant, "Cool!" After a moment the other two realized that if the teens had meant any harm they could have already done it.
Together Zane and Zander told how they had met and how Zane had to be turned to save his life. They also confirmed Thomas' guess that they were more than just best friends. They also told about their life with Master Kwon and the training they went through. The two teen vampires concluded with an explanation of their current quest.
Beldane leaned back in his chair seemingly lost in thought. His sons were bursting with questions but held back knowing their dad was coming to an important decision. After a few minutes he rose from his chair.
"Excuse me," he muttered as he left the room.
Zane and Zander looked at the two boys questioningly but they just shrugged their shoulders not having a clue what was going on.
Ten minutes later Beldane returned with a good-sized, extremely old book and placed it carefully on the kitchen table. Duncan and Thomas gasped when they saw what their dad had brought. They had never seen him bring this book out with anyone other than family around.
"You mentioned a Rinaldo when you were telling us about yourselves," started Beldane quietly. "I'm pretty sure it's the same one we get our last name from. The spelling got changed over the years. We are his descendants and I'm quite sure you are too, Zane. With those green eyes you have to be."
"Yes, I am. From my mom," stated Zane just as quietly. "She left when I was a little younger than Duncan."
"My wife left us about two years after Thomas was born," relayed Beldane with a glance at his sons. "I think she was also related to Rinaldo. She had the look anyway."
"You look a lot like Rinaldo," interjected Zander. Seeing the shocked looks he explained, "I've been sixteen for over four hundred years. I actually knew, lived with and was taught by Rinaldo."
Three pair of curious eyes turned toward Zane who laughed at the way they all turned exactly together.
"I've been sixteen for only eighteen years now."
"Oh," Thomas uttered with a crestfallen face. "I hoped you might be our brother but I guess not."
"I can make you my honorary brother," said Zane with a kind, gentle smile.
Thomas' face brightened instantly, "Thanks!"
"My wife, their mother, apparently did have another child before we met," stated Beldane thoughtfully. "As she was leaving she said, 'I can't stand to look at these two any more than the other one.' Then out the door she went and we haven't seen her since."
'Why would she say that a- . . .," started Zane when he was interrupted by Zander loud exclamation.
"Oh!" Zander had switched sights and was staring at their auras.
Zane did the same and his mouth gaped as he looked at two bright green auras surrounding the boys. "Those must be the brightest auras of goodness ever!"
"I've only seen one brighter," Zander avowed his gaze switching to Zane.
"Who? Rinaldo?" Zane wondered.
Beldane cleared his throat and spoke, "Let's get back to why I brought out this book. It was written by Rinaldo originally and has been added to down the ages by various family members as it was passed from generation to generation."
"Dad? Are you really gonna show them your book of magic?" asked Duncan wide-eyed. "You swore never to reveal it again after mom stole the one with dark magic."
"I know, son, but . . ."
"Dark magic!" Zander all but yelled interrupting Beldane.
"What did she look like?" Zane demanded immediately after Zander's outburst.
"She tried wiping my memory when she left," Beldane explained. "Let me try to send an image from my mind. It might be clearer that way."
The Z's agreed and opened their minds to the Romani mage with caution.
Both vampires were astonished and dismayed at the image they received.
"That's the same dark hair and olive skin silhouette we've gotten two different times from Rogue vampires! That's the one calling herself Rinaldo's Bane!"
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