Castle Roland

From Trick to Treat Book 1

by Jeikor


Chapter 9

Published: 24 Sept 15

From Trick To Treat
Copyright © 2015 by Jeikor


Zander recognized the voice. "Graemar?"

Graemar grunted in pain and the boy nearly collapsed as Zane's eyes glowed green.

"Zane! Stop! This is a friend!" Zander grunted too as he thrust his thoughts at Zane to get him to stop.

"Wow! Alexander your friend is powerful!" Graemar remarked as he shook the fuzziness from his mind. Then he turned to the boy making sure he was alright. "Marko, are you okay?"

The boy slowly nodded as tears ran down his face. Coming to his senses Zane fell to his knees in front of the boy and hugged him.

"I'm so sorry, Marko. I didn't mean to hurt you." Zane was nearly in tears himself.

"Zane is new to his power and doesn't know his own strength yet," explained Zander.

"Ah! I see. Well, let's go in the house where it's more comfortable and we can have introductions all around. Oh, and it's Grayson now. Grayson Reynolds." Grayson led the way to the house.

As part of his apology Zane put Marko on his shoulders and carried him to the house as he giggled.

Once inside the house Zander started the introductions as they sat at the kitchen table with drinks. All the drinks were red in color except that Marko's was just Kool-Aid.

"I go by Zander now and when I use a last name I also use Reynolds." Grinning at Grayson he continued, "This is Zane Hill, my boyfriend and newly turned vampire. As you discovered he is learning the Romani magic taught to us by Rinaldo."

"Yes, we noticed. I also noticed you used a mind connection with him you didn't do before." Grayson looked questioning at Zander.

"Yeah, Zane has opened some of the spells for me I couldn't do back then."

Zane jumped into the conversation. "I'm sorry for that in the shed. I felt you all probe and pushed back. I guess I used a backhoe when a shovel would have worked better."

"It was a surprise. That's for sure!" remarked Grayson chuckling now.

Zane quickly continued with his thoughts, "But I felt a probe from both of you and he isn't a vampire." Zane pointed at Marko sipping his drink next to him.

Surprised Zander looked from Zane to Marko to Grayson.

"No, he isn't. You picked that up quickly too." Grayson sighed. "This is a tale you really do need to hear. Especially if you go around using Romani powers and spells. Zander, you've got to get him trained fast I'm afraid."

They all took a sip from their glasses as Grayson gathered his thoughts to begin Marko's story.

"First, and this is a reminder for you, Zander, I was trained by Rinaldo to hunt down Rogues. Vampires that are out of control, being too conspicuous or killing Romani mages. I have had very little work for the past two hundred years but something or someone is stirring up new Rogues again."

Zander nodded his understanding and Zane was intrigued but he felt sadness coming from Marko.

"Can we move somewhere a little more casual and comfortable?" asked Zane still looking at the curly headed boy.

Grayson saw where Zane's attention was and readily agreed moving everyone to the den to continue the tale. Entering the den Zane saw a huge fluffy chair that would be perfect for comforting Marko. So he scooped him up and leapt across the room landing squarely in the middle of his chosen seat. This elicited a squeal followed by a fit of giggles from Marko and belly laughs with shaking heads from the other two.

With everyone settled in Grayson resumed the story. "Two Rogues came to my attention and I began to track them but they were very slippery. It was hard to stay with them and sometimes I would find their kills just hours or less afterwards. I kept at it and soon was closing in on them. I finally caught up with them but still I was late."

At this Marko pressed into Zane's side and blonde vampire wrapped his arm around the boy's shoulders. Zander was on the edge of his seat waiting.

"I got there just as they finished with Marko's parents and then they started toward Marko. Their advance slowed the closer they got to Marko and I realized why they targeted this family. Marko was using Romani magic trying to repel them but at only eight years old he wasn't strong enough. I used a spell similar to what you did in the shed and shoved them away from Marko."

The ten year olds head was buried in Zane's side at this point and the teen had both arms wrapped around his new bud. Grayson gave Zane a small, grateful smile and went on.

"The Rogues didn't take the hint and went after Marko again. I was able to paralyze one with another spell but the other almost had Marko in his grasp. The struggle became very violent and unfortunately Marko witnessed all of it. He had some very bad dreams for a long time at the children's home. I hung around making sure he was safe. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and applied to adopt Marko myself. As soon as I tried to put him to bed in his own room he would have a nightmare. For several months he slept in my bed. Do you know how hard it is for a vampire to have to lay still night after night when you don't need to sleep?"

Marko peeked out from Zane's grasp with a sheepish grin and relaxed a bit.

"It wasn't until after I started teaching him more Romani spells that he was able to sleep on his own. It turns out that he has Romani blood but not from Rinaldo's line. Now your friend there all snuggled up with my son he could be straight from Rinaldo himself with those eyes and the power he's shown."

"Well, actually, you're right. Before he sent me off Rinaldo gave me one last task. Protect and aid his descendants. One in particular. The last couple hundred years I had forgotten then I came across Zane in a small town. Even though I didn't remember it then I was still struck by those eyes and his aura is just as green and bright."

"Yeah," agreed Marko. "I was drawn to him even before I saw him. I could feel him in the shed."

That statement brought everyone to a standstill. Grayson looked at Zane, concentrated a moment then said, "You're right, Marko! There is a pull from him like the gravitational pull of a planet. Haven't you noticed it, Zander?"

"I wasn't using much of my training when we met and then I thought it just because I was falling for him. But I did always want to be around him."

"That's why I stayed so close to him during the story. It felt comfortable and safe to be next to him. It still does." Marko added while holding Zane's arm wrapped around him.

"Well, then. Why don't the two of you get more acquainted while Zander helps me in the kitchen. We can get caught up while I make supper for Marko."

While getting out pans Grayson started off the conversation. "You've heard how I ended up with a human son. Why don't you tell me how you ended up with a boyfriend. A newly turned boyfriend at that. Last time I talked to you, you were never going to try to turn anyone again after the disaster with that girl."

"Yeah, about that," Zander slowly started talking. "It wasn't long after I tried turning the girl that I discovered the problem. It wasn't a girl I wanted; I'm gay."

"Well, duh! Kinda got that when you introduced him as your boyfriend," chuckled Grayson as he continued moving around the kitchen. "Must've been quite a conversation with yourself on that one."

"It took a 'few' years to come to terms with. Like about a hundred, I think." Zander gave a little chuckle of his own. "I looked at boys for several years trying to decide what kind I liked but none seemed just right. So I kept moving and looking until this August. I was hurrying through this small town with no intentions of stopping when I noticed a group gathered around one kid smaller than the others. He managed to get away and almost ran into me as he rushed down the sidewalk."

Zander paused as he remembered that fateful day.

"Go on!" urged Grayson standing at the stove stirring a pot of pasta. "What happened?"

"Nothing right then. He looked up as he passed and I was hit with the sight of those emerald green eyes. I quickly flipped vision and was greeted with an equally green and bright aura. I couldn't leave without finding out who he was. I basically stalked him for weeks. Even went back to school and got in almost all his classes. You should have seen how shitty his life was. He got picked on at school, had to hide from his dad and the only decent meal he got was lunch at school. Yet despite all that his aura was still as green as a baby's."

"So, did you fall in love with him or his aura?" asked Grayson as he set the pot of pasta aside and started on the sauce.

"Both! I mean how can you not fall for someone who maintains such goodness in the face of extreme trials. Plus he's really cute and sexy, too. Oh, and smart! We ended up doing most of our projects together. I would bring him food to our meetings saying the restaurant gave me too much. I'm sure he thought it strange that it was always happening that way but he was too hungry to risk saying so. I love taking care of him."

"Okay, but how did the turning him come about?" Grayson queried as he set aside the sauce and retrieved some grilled chicken from the fridge to heat.

"All his problems came to a head as Halloween approached. His main tormentor who used to be his best friend started threatening to hurt him come Halloween. His dad was getting worse the more he drank. Until on Halloween his dad had come home early and caught Zane in his room. He beat Zane pretty bad but he managed to get out and head for the cave he hid in. I was waiting to keep watch over him as usual but he didn't show. Then I smelled his blood on the air and tore off through the woods. Donnie and his thugs had caught Zane on the trail and beat him until he was limp. Then they stripped him and were gonna rape him. I knocked Donnie about ten or fifteen feet and bared my fangs at the others. They took the hint."

"By this time Zane was unconscious and barely breathing. I picked him as gently as I could, carried him to his cave and laid him on his blanket. He woke up then and saw my fangs but told me he didn't care. Then he whispered with what I thought would be his last breath that he loved me." Zander had to pause to regain his composure and Grayson quickly bridged the distance between them to wrap him in a hug.

Zander returned the hug and finished, "I knew I had to try in spite of my last attempt. Thankfully it worked. I guess wanting it really badly helped."

Grayson patted the teen's back then grabbed a plate from the cabinet. He placed a helping of pasta and some grilled chicken then covered it with a white sauce.

"Marko's dinner is ready. Let's go see what the boys are up to. It's been awfully quiet in there for two boys supposedly getting to know one another."

"Oh no!" groaned Zander. "Surely he didn't. How fast were you planning to teach Marko Romani magic?"

"Why do you ask?" worried Grayson. "They haven't had time to do very much."

"If Zane did the mind sharing that he's done with me then Marko probably knows everything Zane does now and vice versus."

They found the pair sitting cross-legged on the floor with their knees touching, hands resting on their on legs and foreheads together. At first they didn't seem to notice the arrival of the two old friends. Then . . .

'Hi, Dad! Guess what Zane taught me!' Marko was bursting with excitement.

'Whew!' thought Grayson, 'everything seems okay.' Then he stumbled as he realized that Marko's lips hadn't moved when those words hit his mind.

Knowing what the stumble meant Zander groaned, "Zane!"

'What?' Zane sent his by thought as well since that was all they had been using for quite a while.

"How much did you pass to him? . . . And use your voice." Zander answered just a bit exasperated.

"Pretty much everything. He's going to need your help, Grayson, to understand and process some of it." answered Zane calmly. "Anything beyond his strength will be blocked until he can use it and he will need practice on some things to build his strength."

"You took those precautions? Why not just wait 'til later?" asked Grayson feeling a little better about it.

"Yes, they were necessary because I could see he wasn't ready for everything. I had to give it all to him now because you all will need it and we might not be back when you do." Zane answered while rising to his feet then pulling Marko up. "I hope we can hang around here a while though."

Zander didn't miss the look Zane gave him as he made his last statement. "Yes, we can. I had planned on staying in this city a while before we ran into Grayson. Now we definitely are staying put for as long as we dare and we can run back forth to visit often."

Zander stepped behind Zane and wrapped his arms around him. "But right now, Marko's dinner is ready and it is getting dark out so we need to head to the city. Bye Marko! Good to see you again, Grayson!"

"It was good meeting you both," said Zane as he shook hands with Grayson then hugged Marko tight.

Then out the door they went.

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