Castle Roland

Nightfall: Full Moon

by Roland

In Progress

Chapter 3

Published: 11 Jul 16

Nightfall: Full Moon

Copyright © 2016 by Roland
All Rights Reserved

Habit kicked in immediately when Devin woke. He didn't move, or stretch, or even open his eyes. As far as the rest of the world was concerned, he was still asleep. He learned to do this so he had a few minutes to remember what might have happened before he fell asleep, but also to start to figure out if he was safe wherever he was at.

He heard voices, voices that brought back the events of the previous evening. He remembered being approached by a couple of decent looking guys that offered to let him crash at their place, for some 'favors'. He'd been on the streets long enough to not only know what they meant, but also to have done just about anything that could be done. While he didn't really like everything that he's had to do, it was better than always being cold and hungry.

While he thought the guys were nice enough, it was one of the few times that guys were able to trick him. Devin was proud of his ability to read people, but no matter how good he was, there were always people out there that could trick you, and they did.

He was really getting worried when he saw two other kids, both about his age, intervene. Then one of the guys punched him hard in the stomach, so he wouldn't run away. Had he actually had anything in his stomach at that point, he would have lost it, but one of the things he'd learned on the streets is to always pay attention to what's going on around you. So even though he was retching and in pain, he still watched what happened. Devin knew immediately what he was watching. He'd seen a lot of weird things on the streets, and knew what he was seeing this time. The kid that moved faster than he should have been able to. The other kid that was stronger than possible.

The thing that made it all the more real though was the kid that jumped down from the rooftops, and then pulled out swords to fight against seven other guys. Yeah, he knew what they were, sort of. And now he lay in a very comfortable bed, with the first two boys talking in the same room.

"So when do you think he'll wake up?" The second boy said softly.

"Lugh said it should be soon." The other boy replied, and that's when Devin decided to make his presence known. It really wouldn't do any good to keep pretending.

"I'm awake." Devin said while slowly moving all his limbs, trying to figure out just how bad he was hurt. He knew his chest and stomach hurt, but he needed to figure out if anything else was. Thankfully he was able to stretch out fully with only the aches and pains he was expecting.

"How are you feeling?" The first boy asked, and Devin was finally able to get a good look at the boy. He looked to be about fourteen or fifteen, light black skin, black hair, but surprisingly, radiant green eyes, that seemed to pull Devin into them.

It took a moment for Devin to get over the eyes before he was able to answer. "Like I got beat up…" He answered, then made the mistake of trying to chuckle. His ribs then protested bad enough to make him wince. When he was able to open his eyes, and clear the tears of pain, he was able to see the other boy quickly leave the room, while the first boy came even closer to the bed.

"Don't try to do too much. Lugh said you're pretty beat up inside."

"Yeah." Devin said with a shrug. "I'm pretty used to it." He paused looking down at the blanket that was covering him, then up at the boy again. "Thanks."

"You're welcome." The boy said with a radiant smile. "My name's Bryan by the way. You're Devin right?"

Devin just nodded as he laid back trying to make himself somewhat more comfortable. "Don't worry, Jared just went to get Lugh. He'll be able to give you something for the pain."

"Thanks, it's not too bad though." Devin said, just as the door was opening.

"Why don't you let me be the judge of that young man." Lugh said as he walked into the room, his ever present smile, firmly in place.

Devin got a worried look on his face, which caused Lugh to change directions, instead of going over to the bed, he decided to sit in a chair that was a bit away from the bed. He saw Devin relax quickly, and filed away that he would have to keep his distance from the boy for a little while. "Why don't you tell me how you're feeling, any pain… well pain that you're not expecting to be there?"

"No…" Devin responded, then looked around. "What are you guys gonna do with me?"

"That's up to you." Lugh said quickly. "You can leave at any time, or you can stay here till you get better, then leave, or… well whatever you want really."

"Are you gonna… make me like you?" He asked slowly, causing shock to show on all three faces.

"What do you mean?" Lugh asked quickly, but with a sinking feeling in his stomach.

"You know… whatever it is that you guys are. I saw what you guys did during the fight, and that other kid, the one with the swords. He jumped down from the roof, and was gonna take on seven guys." Devin said quickly, trying to get it out before he lost his nerve. "And you know, well I've seen stuff on the streets. I know what you guys are…" He trailed off as he waited to see what was going to happen next.

Both Bryan and Jared looked to Lugh to see what he would do. For his part, Lugh kept his face impassive as he leaned forward in his seat. "And what is it that you think we are?"

Devin looked around at all three of them before he spoke in a quiet voice. "You're gonna make me say it ain't ya?"

"Well, you seem to think you know what we are, but you haven't said what you think we are, so how can we know if you are right or not?" Lugh said in a very reasonable voice, which caused Devin to sigh loudly.

"Fine." He started, yet he hesitated, thinking to himself that he would sound really stupid if he was wrong. Finally though he worked up the nerve. "You guys are Vampires!" He said in a rush.

Lugh sat back in his seat, but still his face was unreadable. "And what if we are?"

"Well." Devin was really sweating now, but he was gonna see it through. The man hadn't said that he was wrong. "Well, I was kinda wondering what I would have to do to become like you guys."

"What?" Bryan exclaimed in complete shock, while Jared's jaw hung open. Devin tried to slide back in his bed to get away from Bryan's outburst, but that only caused his injured ribs to scream in protest. When Bryan saw the pain on Devin's face, he quickly moved towards the bed to help the boy. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." He said softly as he helped Devin sit up in the bed.

Once Devin was comfortable again, Lugh spoke. "Bryan, Jared, why don't you let Devin and I speak privately for a few minutes?" Bryan and Jared both looked at Lugh, then to Devin. They could both see how uncomfortable Devin was, but they also trusted Lugh.

It was Jared that moved first, but instead of heading to the door, he moved over and patted Devin on the shoulder. "Don't worry Devin, I trust Lugh, with my life. You'll be in good hands." Devin looked at Bryan who nodded in agreement, then he nodded himself.

"Thanks." He said simply and watched as both boys left the room.

Just as Bryan was about to close the door, Lugh spoke up. "Would you two gather the family, I think we'll need to have a talk after we're done here." Getting a nod from Bryan, Lugh sighed and turned his attention back to Devin, and met the boy's eyes. "First off, please understand, that no one here will hurt you, no matter what happens. Okay?"

Devin searched Lugh's eyes to see if the man was trying to trick him, but all he saw was honesty and compassion, something Devin wasn't too used to seeing in a man's eyes. Finally though, he nodded. "Good." Lugh said with a smile. "Yes, we are Vampires. But I have to ask, how did you find out about us, and why would you want to become one of us?"

Devin was quiet for a moment as he looked off into space before he answered. "I got kicked out of my house about two years ago when my dad found out about… well it was something he didn't like. Didn't like it enough to where he beat me up, then threw me out. I snuck back into the house after everyone went to bed and was able to grab enough cash to get a bus ticket to Philly. When I got here it was the middle of the night. Walking away from the station, I looked down an alleyway and saw one guy bent over another. He must have heard me gasp or something because he looked up, and that's when I saw the red eyes and the fangs dripping blood. I ran like hell, and I guess he was too busy… eating… to chase me. Since then though, I've been watching and seen guys like you a couple times since then."

"I see." Lugh said simply. Inside though he was worrying about the Scavengers. 'They were becoming a major problem if normal people were able to find out about us'. At least Lugh assumed it was a Scavenger. "And my other question? Why would you want to become one of us? Obviously you're smart enough to have at least a basic understanding of what would have to happen, and what it would mean for the rest of your life, which could be much longer than what you'd normally have."

Devin was looking at the blankets that were over him for several moments, and Lugh let him have the time he needed. Finally when he looked up, he met Lugh's eyes with his own tear-filled eyes. "I don't wanna be afraid anymore." He said softly. "I don't wanna have to worry about which john is going to… do more than I want him to. I don't wanna have to worry about if I'm going to survive to see the next day, or when I'm going to get something to eat next. I don't wanna have to sift through dumpsters hoping that someone threw away something I can eat. I just…. I just don't want to be what I am anymore."

Lugh was nodding as Devin spoke. When the boy had finished, Lugh stood up and slowly moved towards the bed. When he got next to it he sat down, and opened his arms. It only took a moment's hesitation before Devin moved into those strong arms. Yeah it hurt, but Devin hadn't been held like this for a long time. In an instant, all the pain and fear he'd been carrying around inside himself came out as he cried in Lugh's arms. Minutes later, Devin cried himself out, and Lugh gently laid the boy back in the bed, and arranged the covers around him once again. "We'll work something out." Lugh said softly to the sleeping boy before standing from the bed and turning around.

He wasn't really surprised to see Hank standing there looking at him. "You know he'll get turned one way or another?" Hank asked softly.

"Yeah I know." Lugh responded simply before he led Hank from the room, gently closing the door on his way out.

When Devin woke back up he was surprised that he was alone. He was also surprised that he hadn't slept very long. Slowly he sat back up in the bed, ignoring the pain in his ribs. Once he was seated he slid his legs over the side of the bed and sat up straight. It took him almost a full minute to get the pain under control enough to where he could move again. When he looked down he noticed that he wasn't wearing his shirt, but instead his ribs were wrapped with bandages. He was thankful though that he was still wearing his jeans, as they were the last pair of good ones he had.

He took a deep breath, then gritted his teeth as he stood up. The pain took his breath away, and it was then that he knew that he had at least one broken rib. The last time he'd felt pain like this was when his father had beat him up before tossing him out. It took him several moments before he was able to take a step, and was happy to know that he wasn't hurt worse than he already knew. As long as he was careful he should be able to handle the broken ribs easy enough. Lord knows it was better than some of the other pain he's had to deal with.

Slowly and carefully he moved over to the door, and slowly opened it. The first thing he heard was a girl's voice. "Lugh, none of us had a choice, and I really don't think that if we had, any of us would have chosen this life. I really think we need to say no to this kid."

Devin stopped with only the door half open, but someone must have noticed as he heard a boy's voice speak up. "You may as well come out here Devin."

When he opened the door the entire way, he saw what could have been the living room of any house. Only this one was full of kids around his age, and the one man, Lugh. He tried to smile, but it faltered when he saw stoney looks directed back at him, at least until his eyes fell on Bryan and Jared. Both boys smiled back at him. Bryan even got to his feet and walked over to him. "Why don't you sit where I was. I can stand better than you can." Devin let Bryan help him over to the chair he had been sitting on, then moved to stand against the wall.

"Hello again Devin." Lugh said with a smile. "I guess the first thing that we should do is introduce you to everyone here. Again I want you to know that no one here is gonna hurt you, okay?"

"Well unless he eats any of Hank's cooking." One of the kids said which caused a laugh out of everyone there, and broke the tension that was filling up the room.

"Hey! My cooking's just fine." A black haired boy, and from what Devin could tell, the youngest boy in the room said with a grin. "Especially once Jazz taught me this wonderful thing called the internet and how to order pizza!"

"Yeah but really… peppers on a pizza… what were you thinking? The only thing that should ever go on a pizza is meat… and lots of it." The first boy said with a grin.

"Children!" Lugh tried to sound serious, but failed miserably. However, Hank's plan of easing the tension worked. "I swear, some of you are older than I am…"

"You mean you're all Vampires?" Devin asked before he realized that he had spoken, then blushed deeply.

"Yup!" Jared said with a grin. "However, if you ask any of us to say 'I vant to suck your blood'… someone's gonna hit you... hard."

Devin started to laugh, but groaned in pain instead. "Please… don't make me laugh." He wheezed out through the pain, still trying not to laugh at the bad joke.

"Okay, let's get the introductions out of the way." Lugh said once Devin calmed down enough. "Even though Devin's not one of us yet, since he knows about us, I think it would be proper to do the normal style of introduction." Lugh said to everyone, then looked at Devin. "As you know, my name is Lugh. I was turned when I was forty, which was five years ago."

Bryan jumped in next. "I'm Bryan, I was fifteen when I was turned, six years ago."

"I'm Jared, I was turned a little more than five months ago, so technically I'm still fourteen."

"Jennifer." A blonde haired girl said. "I was seventeen when I was turned, seven years ago."

"I'm Jazz." Said the slightly chubby, black haired boy. "Sixteen, twelve years ago."

"Everyone calls me Alex. I was eighteen, and that was four years ago." Devin looked at the red haired girl and nodded.

"Decker." Spoke up a smaller boy. "Fifteen when I was turned, nine years ago."

"Connie." The last girl spoke up. "Seventeen, and that was… ummm… thirty-two years ago now."

"Wow! You're old!" Decker said with a grin that got him hit hard in the shoulder.

"Not as old as the old man over there!" She said with a giggle as she pointed to Hank.

For his part, Hank just shook his head and laughed. "Connie, I've told you before, I won't tell anyone how old I really am. Just know that I'm old enough to know better…"

Everyone there joined in on the obvious ritualistic saying. "But still don't!"

"Yup!" Hank grinned as he turned to Devin. "I was thirteen when I was turned, and let's just say, it was a LONG time ago…"

"Okay…" Devin said with a smile of his own, he really wanted to ask, but could tell it wouldn't get him anywhere. After a moment of silence, Lugh spoke up.

"I do believe you're the only one left." He said to Devin.

"Oh yeah." He said suddenly somewhat nervous. "Well as he said, my name's Devin. Umm, and I'm fifteen, soon to be sixteen though." He rushed to add the end for some reason.

"Okay." Lugh said as he stood up. "Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, I think we need to talk about what it is that you want Devin." He walked over and knelt before the now somewhat frightened boy. "We've all agreed you can stay here if you want. At this point, though, there is no one here that is either able, or willing, to turn you into a Vampire. Unlike what you see in the movies, it's not easy to make one of us, and not every Vampire can do it. However, when you've been with us a while, and you still want to become one of us, one of those that can will, or we will find someone else who can and is willing. Does that sound fair?"

"Ummm… I guess." Devin said simultaneously sad and relieved. "Will I be able to go and get my stuff at some point?"

"Of course, when you're healed enough. Or if you are willing you can tell one of us where it's at and we'll go get it. Tomorrow I'm gonna take Jared with me to hit the mall. While we're there, we'll get you some more clothing. Please let us know if there is anything you really want. While none of us are rich, we do well enough to support ourselves, plus get some extras when we want."

Devin wasn't sure what came over him, but suddenly he couldn't stop the tears from falling from his eyes, and the sobs that wracked his body. Jared though knew exactly what it was, and moved over to embrace the boy quickly. It had been a long time since Devin felt something like this. He wasn't ready to put it to words, but the seed had been sown.

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