1 Something Wicked?

It was a cool autumn evening, and James Barton was late leaving school. Football practice had run late, and he was last out of the showers. He lived only a mile from school, so most evenings he walked home by familiar streets. But that night, walking by the light of a clear moon, he felt decidedly paranoid. He could feel eyes boring down on him. He picked up his pace, feeling foolish – he was, after all, a big football player. Who would mess with him?

The crackling of a branch behind him drew his attention, but there was nothing there. When he turned around, however, he saw a boy who hadn’t been there before. Standing a good four inches shorter than James, and not possibly a pound over 140, the boy was lean, almost slight, wearing blue jeans and a pale blue shirt. James would have to walk past the tree he was leaning against.

The boy’s eyes locked on him creepily, an unsettling smile playing at his lips. The boy straightened, blocking the sidewalk almost menacingly, but his smile was unwavering, and though he couldn’t possibly pose a threat, James, all of 6’2”, 200 pounds, was unnerved.

Sweeping the black hair from his face, the boy asked, “Where’ve you been, James? I’ve been waiting for you!”

“Who are you?” James asked, stopping maybe ten feet short of the boy.

“Does it matter, cutie?” the mysterious boy asked.

“Fuck yes, it matters! Don’t come any closer!” But the boy moved almost imperceptibly toward James. “Look, I don’t have any problems with you guys, but I’m not into whatever!”

The boy’s eyes penetrated him, looking almost perplexed, but then his smile widened. “No, of course not, big quarterback! Couldn’t possibly fancy your older brother’s best friend, or secretly hope that your camp counselor would make the first move!” James stepped back, feeling violated, his head reeling. “Even now, you’re terrified, but you can’t help but wonder how my flesh would feel in your hands, how you’d feel inside of me.” As the boy spoke, James’s heart raced. “See!” the boy laughed, pointing to the bulge in his sweats. “You’re an open book to me.”

Suddenly harsh, he commanded, “COME HERE!” James knew it was a command he should not accept, but his body moved until he was looming over the boy. Again the boy smiled, now cruelly. “You want to hurt me for this, but you should be thanking me…. But go ahead, take your best shot!”

James felt free again, but looking at the boy’s finely sculpted face, with its scarlet lips and porcelain skin, it felt wrong to mar such beauty. Nevertheless, he had felt the danger and wouldn’t be fooled. With his full power, he pushed out with both arms, just trying to shove the boy away. When his wrists impacted the boy’s chest, however, pain shot up his arms, and the boy just laughed.

“Who are you?” James asked, tearing up in pain.

“Wrong question,” the boy answered with a laugh, reaching out with apparent gentleness and touching a spot high on James’s chest just below the neck, sending a web of agony through his body and causing him to fall to his knees.

“What are you?” James gasped through the pain.

The boy’s smile widened almost inhumanly, obscuring his delicate beauty, he winked with an expression that could have frozen salt-water. “I am your salvation,” he said. Leaning in, he whispered, “Or the master of your worst nightmare!” As his icy lips pressed against the warm skin of James’s forehead, James collapsed to the ground, completely overcome by darkness.

The sun was streaming through his window, when his mom’s voice rang from the bottom of the stairs. “James! Up! School starts in thirty minutes!” James jerked awake in a cold sweat. ‘Was it all a dream?’ he wondered to himself. ‘No … how did I get home last night, if it was a dream? Am I losing my mind?’ Shaking his head and throwing back the sheets, James found he was naked, so he threw on a robe and walked across the hall to quickly rinse off. Then he threw on some clothes and ran downstairs.

“How are you feeling this morning, honey?” Maureen Barton asked, putting a hand on her son’s shoulder. “You were pretty out of it last night.”

“Distracted, I guess, but I’m fine this morning,” he mumbled, but couldn’t remember coming in at all.

“Morning, son,” Phil Barton said as he came in with the paper, tossing it on the table as he filled his coffee.

“Morning, Dad. You gonna make the game this week?” James asked.

“Actually, I already told Claire to clear my calendar for the whole afternoon!” Phil replied.

“Thanks, dad,” he said, walking to the door. “Love you guys!” As he walked out into the light, James squinted uncontrollably. Reaching into his bag, he dug out his sunglasses, which somewhat relieved the pain.

Just before the bell rang, James joined a few of his friends on the way to his first class. “What’s up, James?” Peter Lively called, giving him a weird look.

“Pete,” he nodded, knowing the boy didn’t like it. “Chris,” he added, acknowledging the other boy. Christopher Price wasn’t a football player, and James didn’t really get why Peter put up with the boy following him around all the time. Peter always brushed it off, saying Chris was like a little brother. Chris wasn’t a dweeb or a nerd, he just wasn’t into sports.

They walked into class and Peter gave his latest girlfriend, who was sitting in her usual seat, a quick peck on the cheek before Mrs. Thomason arrived. Peter always seemed to have a new one, ending relationships before they ever got too serious.

Class after class droned on until James finally joined his team for workouts in the weight room.

“Jealous?” one boy asked.

James shook his head, “Sorry, I zoned out. What did you say?”

Steve Lewis, a kicker with the build to match, smiled up from the weight bench. “I asked if you were jealous. You ‘zoned out’ on my package, dude!”

‘Did I actually just get caught scoping the guy out?’ James’s mind screamed. “Nah, I was just trying to decide whether what they say is true?”

“What’s that?” Steve asked, laughing.

“That you’re actually sporting a micropenis!” James retorted.

Steve just laughed. “Yeah, well, if you ever want to see what a real man looks like, just give me a call.”

When they were all finished, James actually approached Steve, who lived two blocks from him. “Hey! Would you mind dropping me at my house?”

“I would, but I’m walking. Hold up, and we can walk together! I’ll give you that demonstration we talked about!” Steve laughed.

“I’ll take a pass on that, but yeah,” James answered, thinking as he eyed the boy’s cut abs that he’d really love that demonstration. He couldn’t look away as Steve bent over to pick up his gear and stuff it in his bag. This was really getting out of hand.

The two jocks chatted as they walked, but James couldn’t help but feel creeped out as they neared the spot—or had it been a dream? He was less sure now. Nerves made James chatter on, but Steve was laughing, so no harm. When they reached his house, James waved and ran inside.

“James!” Maureen called to her son. “You’re late! You’ve kept your tutor waiting!”

Perplexed, he walked to the kitchen, “I don’t have a….” James fell silent; sitting at the table with his mother was the boy. “You,” James said after a long pause.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were having trouble in math?” Maureen insisted.

“He isn’t,” the mystery boy said, smiling sweetly. “He asked me for help before he had any!”

“Good boy,” Maureen said to James. “Now you guys run upstairs and get some work done. Dinner will be ready in about an hour. Can you stay?”

“It would be my pleasure,” the boy said, smiling flatly at James, before standing and walking toward the stairs. “You coming?” he asked with arched eyebrows.

James shook his head and followed, now seriously pissed. Where did this kid get off injecting himself into someone’s life?

Upstairs, James pushed past him and led him to his room. The boy walked in easily, smiling as if they were old friends. He looked, taking it all in. It was a fairly large room, with a double bed and a desk. A guitar leaned against the window and the walls were covered in concert posters and music-themed art. “There’s nothing of the mindless jock in this room! A man, yes…. A musician, yes…. A boneheaded ball-jockey, no! You must be a complete riddle to the others!”

“Others?” James asked, his eyes narrowing.

“Everyone else,” the boy smiled.

“But not to you?” James asked, somewhere between angry and amused.

“No. Well, mostly no…. I just don’t understand why … you do it. Why do you hide … who you are, what you love?” the boy asked.

Throwing himself back on the bed, James sighed. “I could lie to you, I suppose….”

“You could try,” the boy smiled back, authentically.

“I do it to make everyone else happy. My parents, my friends…. They’d all turn on me,” James shrugged.

“For being gay?” the boy asked.

“I’m not,” James began.

The boy sighed disapprovingly. “Riiiight…. Okay, but why hide your love of music? You’d rather be playing or writing music. Instead you spend hours a week out on the field….”

“Mostly my dad,” James replied sadly.

“Hmm,” the boy said, picking up a picture of father and son. “Have you ever tried to talk?”

“I can’t … disappoint him,” James said.

“Maybe you are disappointing him and you just don’t know it because he hides it because he loves you? Maybe his great dream was to have a talented musician for a son,” the boy said with a laugh and a genuine smile.

“You don’t know what it was like,” James responded. Then he cracked a smile too, forgetting they weren’t friends. “Who are you?”

The boy sat at the foot of his bed, and James did not flinch. “My name is Sebastian van der Meer,” he said.

“Why are you doing this?” James asked.

“What is this?” Sebastian replied cryptically.

“Why are you here, with me? Why pretend to be my tutor? Why do all of this?” James asked.

Sebastian smiled again, and put a hand casually on James’s shin. “I can read people’s hearts like books, and your book … was ever so sweet to me….”

James blushed, jumping involuntarily, and averted his eyes as he asked, “I’m sorry but last night you seemed … evil. Tonight, you seem different….”

“I’m sorry about last night,” Sebastian said with a laugh, “but I’ve gotten used to getting what I want by fear or force.”

“What did you do to me last night?” James asked.

“I knocked you out with a bit of ancient martial arts, and brought you home,” Sebastian laughed.

“What are you?” James asked.

“I told you,” Sebastian smiled, his eyelashes batting seductively.

“That’s no answer,” James complained.

“Do you want to know the truth, or would you prefer,” Sebastian asked, trailing off and running his hand up James’s leg to his inner thigh, “to just go with it?” James gasped and grabbed his hand, so soft and cool, and Sebastian thought he was going to stop him for a split second. But James tugged his arm and helped him up onto the bed, taking the boy’s hand and sliding it up under his shirt, over his solid abs. “So warm,” Sebastian whispered.

Sebastian started to remove his shirt, but James stopped him. “The door’s not locked….”

Impatiently, Sebastian waved his hand at the door and James saw the lock turn and engage. He was going to question it, but Sebastian revealed his porcelain smooth torso, which was thin but incredibly ripped, and James fell into silence.

Sebastian knelt by him and grabbed the bottom of James’s shirt, lifting it over his head. Then he straddled the jock’s waist and lowered himself onto James, so they were chest to chest, cool to hot, white to tan. The feeling of their flesh touching so intimately brought a moan to James’s lips, but Sebastian whispered into his ear, “You cannot imagine the pleasures I could show you.” With that, he sucked on James’s earlobe and gently nipped at his neck with his teeth. Then he pulled away, smiling playfully. “Too bad you aren’t, you know, gay….”

Running his hand up Sebastian’s back, James pulled the boy back down on top of him, and Sebastian let him – they both knew he couldn’t if Sebastian didn’t let him – and whispered, “You know better,” licking Sebastian’s neck and smacking his ass. Flipping over so Sebastian was on his back, James kissed his way over the boy’s smooth torso, licking and nibbling at his nipples and tonguing his belly. Sebastian’s moans were no show; he was overtaken by sensations which caught him quite by surprise. Perhaps James WAS the one he had been searching for?

They explored each other’s bodies methodically, then engaged in a heavy make-out and petting session until they were interrupted by James’s mother’s call to dinner. They quickly dressed and straightened themselves before hurrying downstairs. Over dinner, Sebastian made polite conversation with Maureen and Phil. Maureen was completely taken with the beautiful teen, but Phil seemed suspicious of him, perhaps for the same qualities that impressed his wife.

“So how do you boys know each other again?” Phil asked.

“We have a couple of classes together,” Sebastian said, slowly sipping from his water glass.

“Where do you live?” the man asked, his interrogation taking another tack.

“Mulberry Lane,” Sebastian said.

“Hmmm. Nice neighborhood,” Phil responded.

“We like it,” Sebastian said, smiling at James. And so it went. They soon asked to be excused and fled back upstairs for a last moment alone.

“I still want to know what you are,” James said as he closed the door behind them.

Sebastian turned and walked up to him, chest to chest. “Do you really?” James nodded. Sebastian trailed his hand down the boy’s chest and across his jeans softly, making James gasp. “I’m sorry.” He took two steps back and said, “One last chance….” James shook his head, and Sebastian nodded, looking at the floor before snapping his face back to James, who gasped again. Sebastian’s eyes were solid black without any whites, and his mouth was a little distorted. When he spoke again, the reason why became clear. “Do you know what I am?” he asked, revealing an enormous set of fangs.

James nodded slowly, and trembled a little as the small boy stepped toward him again, penetrating him with the black gaze. “Are you afraid?” Sebastian asked, almost with a hiss. His tongue, James could now see, was slightly forked. Frozen in place, James swallowed and nodded stiffly. When Sebastian again put his hand on James’s chest, James felt sharp-tipped claws on the delicate hands. “You should be,” he said, as he took the tip of one of his claws and softly scratched the skin of James’s chest, just below the collar bone, causing the blood to trickle. Sebastian leaned in and licked the wound, tickling it with his forked tongue. As he lapped softly, James again surprised him, moaning and bringing a hand to the back of his head, pulling him tightly into his chest and running his fingers through Sebastian’s hair.

At last, reluctantly, Sebastian pulled away, looking extraordinarily beautiful, more beautiful than before, with a little pink in his white cheeks. “So, what now?” Sebastian asked sincerely, almost hopefully.

Wrapping his arm around the boy’s slim waist, James lifted him off the ground and kissed him with passion, falling on top of him on the bed.

“What a rush!” James whispered.

“James, I need you to understand,” Sebastian said, holding the boy at bay, “you can’t tell anyone about me. If you did, I’d have to kill them….”

Again, what the fragile-looking boy beneath him was rushed back into his brain, overcoming the hormones for the moment. He stroked Sebastian’s face with his fingers and asked, “How many people have you … you know?”

Sebastian looked deep into him before responding, somewhat coldly, “How many chickens, turkeys, cows, and pigs has your diet brought to their end?”

“Hundreds?” James asked.

“Many thousands. I’ve lived … a very long time.” After a pause, noticing that James never stopped his tender stroking, Sebastian continued, “Do understand, feeding doesn’t require killing. For instance, what we just did was very satisfying for me. It wasn’t much, but your life essence is so strong and so powerfully attractive! And often a human servant or two will serve the purpose for years at a time. When I was new, I often hunted, but older vampires prefer to ‘feed and release’ or to take someone on as a minion….”

“Is that what you want from me? To be a servant, a human buffet?” James asked.

Sebastian laughed and put his hand on the big jock’s jaw, before kissing his lips softly. “No! Don’t get me wrong, I’d get no end of pleasure from truly feeding from you, but no, that’s not what I’m looking for….” Sebastian stood and pulled James to his feet. “I need to go….”

James held his hands firmly. “Do you have to?”

“Yes,” Sebastian said.

“When will I see you again?” James asked.

“Soon,” the small boy smiled.

James walked him to the door so his parents would see Sebastian leave. Closing the door behind him, James headed back upstairs, but not before his mom could encourage him to have the boy over again soon. Phil was quick to add, “But not too soon….”

“Phil,” Maureen chided.

Back in his room, James lay down on his bed and stared at the ceiling. “Fuck’s sake!” He’d made out with a guy. Getting jerked off was one thing, but kissing a guy, licking and sucking on his bare skin, letting him nibble your ear. ‘What am I thinking?’ he wondered. ‘Not a guy, a fucking vampire!” It couldn’t be real. He was going to wake up and the nightmare would end and he could go about…. What exactly? Go about his life of playing pretend? Doing everything for others, not really being who or what he was? Back to trying to deceive himself into thinking that his feelings for guys were just a phase? More than once, he’d looked into the mirror and contemplated his own end…. Was that what he was so eager to get back to?

That night, James dreamt he was standing on a vast plain of green grass surrounded by mountains on every side, and Sebastian stood facing him in a suit of blackest armor, his black hair blowing in the breeze, his eyes as dark as empty space. “James,” he said.

“Where are we, Sebastian?”

“One of the many homes I have known. I need to show you: this is what I am,” he said, waving his hand across James’s field of vision. Suddenly the plain was filled with carnage, the stink of blood and rot. Ravens picked the flesh from destroyed bodies. “Across the vast expanse of time, this is what I will be!”

Again Sebastian waved his hand, and they were in a modern city. Sebastian stood by him, but he could see a much dirtier Sebastian standing at the end of an alley, luring an older-looking teen into the shadows. “Our methods may have become less … murderous … but no less brutal,” he observed as he watched himself set upon the strong lad with the viciousness of a beast. When he was finished, he waved his hand across the wound and obscured it, sending the boy out in a daze.

“Is that what you did to me last night?” James asked in his dream.

Sebastian smiled at him, but, at last, said, “No. It was my intention, but … no….”

“Why not?” James asked.

“Because … of all the souls I have searched, yours is the first to arouse in me an old emotion,” Sebastian said.

“What does that mean?” James asked.

“I don’t know! And that is exhilarating,” Sebastian said with a bright smile, uncovering his sharp fangs.

James leaned in. Despite what he had seen, he was inexplicably drawn to the boy, and he kissed him. Not knowing why, he purposefully nicked his lip on a protruding fang and felt Sebastian begin to suck passionately on his lip. The feelings were intense, James felt his orgasm rising, and he sat up in bed, his eyes snapping open, as he climaxed. “Shit,” he muttered, crawling out of bed and using the underwear to wipe himself clean, before pulling on a fresh pair. It was just after three. Short of breath, James sat at his computer and got on the net. He answered a couple of emails from friends he had met in some of his travels, and then got drawn into some research on vampires. Not much, mostly movie shit, but it reminded him of things he wanted to ask Sebastian. Without thinking, he ran his tongue across his lips and winced. There was a little scratch, just where he had dreamed. He looked around carefully, but he was alone. Peculiar.