By A Strange Course Of Events by sadie_leona

Summary: During a long-term hunt, David falls for his prey. A battle between impulse and common sense, David must decide what is more important: the love of a girl or the companionship of the boys he’s known for decades.
Categories: Lost Boys, Original Character
Characters: David, Dwayne, OCs: Multiple
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fluff, Romance
Pairing(s): David/Original Character
Warnings: Character Death, Mild Violence
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 12 Completed: No Word count: 17072 Read: 21500 Published: 03 May 2009 Updated: 18 May 2009
Story Notes:
Michael, Star, Laddie, etc. existed, but were defeated. Also, if you kill a vampire’s creator (Max), his fledglings (Lost Boys) are rendered mortal - you don’t have to be a half-vampire. Takes place in current times with tidbits of the past and an epilogue with scenes from future. Point of views switch between David as first person and OC through diary.

I DO NOT OWN ANY RECOGNIZABLE CHARACTERS . . . THIS IS JUST FOR FUN! : - )

1. Chapter 1: David by sadie_leona

2. Chapter 2: Charlotte by sadie_leona

3. Chapter 3: David by sadie_leona

4. Chapter 4: Charlotte by sadie_leona

5. Chapter 5: David by sadie_leona

6. Chapter 6: Charlotte by sadie_leona

7. Chapter 7: Charlotte by sadie_leona

8. Chapter 8: David by sadie_leona

9. Chapter 9: David by sadie_leona

10. Chapter 10: Charlotte by sadie_leona

11. Chapter 11: David by sadie_leona

12. Chapter 12: Charlotte by sadie_leona


Chapter 1: David by sadie_leona

Author's Notes:
I do not own any of the recognizable characters in ANY part of this fanfic. I am just writing this for fun and do not claim ownership of any already owned characters! : )
CHAPTER ONE: DAVID

I gripped the handles of my bike and arched my back, smiling as a few joints popped. No matter how little we slept, we always felt as if we'd been sleeping for years. I turned my head in the wind that swept over my face.

The night was new. The boys surrounded me as we speed down the coast and into town. There was a concert tonight on the beach - some two-bit band - Rinser or Rizer or something like that. Any matter, it was the height of tourists season - money to the local businesses and food to us.

Locals rolled their eyes as we came into town and vacationers bumped their way towards the sidewalks, unaware of the mortal danger that was speeding past them. For some, our faces would be the last thing they see.

A fast moving blue car came into view, blocking our path to the beach. We quickly came upon it, flocking it on all sides are we slid past. It was packed with people and things - more tourists. I wondered if I would see them at all during their stay - probably, since we roamed the boardwalk all night. I then wondered if I would end one of their lives . . . .

I am a vampire. In body, I am merely 20, but in spirit, I am over 80 years old. I was turned by Max Reineir in the forties. We were a small company inside Germany . . . and I mean inside. We were going to kill Hitler and things turned bad - real bad - half of us were gone and the rest of us were going fast. Max was our company captain and I was a mere private. He didn’t seem to buckle under pressure much - I’ve never seen him flinch when facing a grenade - but then, he was as scared as we were. In the end, there were only four of us including Max. And Max said he had a secret - why he wasn’t afraid as we were. He showed us he was a vampire and that he could save us, too. Long story short, we went for it. We cut out after that and I’m not proud of it but we did. We raced back to the States undercover - we were presumed dead while on mission. Georgie Bray, one of the kids that turned with me, branched out after we got back to Jersey. Yes, we all were Jersey kids. But Max wouldn’t let him leave - he would have been too much of a liability - he couldn’t afford to have Georgie spreading our fate. It had to be isolated and must be sanctioned only when needed. Georgie’s dead now. The other kid was Dwayne Deso - my best friend for nearly 80 years now.

I wasn't always proud of what I am. After I had drank Max's blood and I realized what I had to do, I refused what I was. Max had to force me - trick me, actually - to kill my first. I hated him since then and it hasn't changed. But I had to protect his secret - without him, I wouldn't have been given my first and truest brother - Dwayne. Dwayne and I became inseparable friends for the few years we were on our own. Finally we were gifted with Paul, and then a few months later "little" Marco, who we all cared for like a little brother. A while later, with need for a different beat, I kind of fell in love with this girl named Star. It wasn’t love, really, just a raw thing. She was a lonely hippie at the time and was toting around this little kid. We got along for a couple weeks - until Star attracted the attention of a mortal kid, Michael. They fell in love - real love. God, he had this little bothersome brother. His brother had a few friends that insisted they could kill us. Long story short, we fought, we killed, we won. It was back to just Dwayne, Paul, Marco, and I and we were pretty content.

It was just us four for the longest time until we connected with Logan. He was the last boy inducted into our group. And we were pretty satisfied with each other. As a vampire, Logan’s immaturity showed. He often killed in places that were too inhabited and stayed out until minutes before the sun rose. But on this particular night, my anger over little bits that annoyed me disappeared, and I was refreshed by the night. We braked at the Boardwalk, stopping our bikes in the parking lot and angled them towards the beach - and the crowd.

As vampires, we had different hunting preferences. At first, I hunted for revenge, killing off of those who had wronged me when I was still mortal, but now that it was inconvenient to do so (with the fact that I haven‘t aged and all) - we had moved from our original home when it was only Max, Dwayne, Paul, and I - I didn't care. I didn't speak to them before I killed them. I tried to distant myself from them as much as possible. Paul hunted like me. So did Logan, but it was more for the fact that he was ruthless - more so than any of us. He killed to kill - getting nourishment was just an added bonus. I'm sure if he would have stayed mortal he would have been a mass murderer. Dwayne and Marco both liked to converse with their prey first. They liked to kill girls that they would date if they could. Dwayne liked provocative and hard-core girls. Marco liked girls that liked thrills like shooting up or tempting fate on his bike or roller coasters - convenient since Santa Carla was the West Coast's version of Coney Island.

The festivities were in full swing tonight - girls in tight, short skirts and tiny t-shirts, top-less guys in swim trunks, couples making out on benches and corners of beaches. Logan became unsettled, twitching on his motorbike. "Paul," I hissed, nodding my head towards Logan, "Get him out of here before he does it in the god damn open." Paul, who had become Logan's "keeper” and best friend, nodded and pulled Logan off of his bike. They disappeared down the main city street and into the direction of old industrial buildings that were havens for the homeless and druggies - and easy pickings for us. I sighed and got off of my bike and leaned against the handles, watching a band play at the band shell. A few screaming girls passed on roller skates and by reaction, I turned to glance their way. Marco spotted them too and slid off his bike, smiling “later,” following them. Dwayne and I watched the horizon a bit. I boom-box blasted behind me and I turned instinctively.

That's when I saw her.

She was sitting in the back of a pristine navy-blue 2008-something car, looking out of the window with such an analyzing look that I felt as if she knew everything about me already. 'Already' . . . as if I, David, felt she would know everything. Her hair was dark and held in loose pig-tails that fell around her neck, twisting into the hollows of her collar bone. She was white, yet her skin held a light-olive tint. Her face was round and full, her lips large and untainted and shiny. She looked sad and annoyed. As if to prove the point, she let out a heavy sigh, shouting fog onto the window. She cast her gaze on the thick crowd, this time her eyes falling on me. I was tall with wild blonde hair and tattered clothes. Would she, who from first glance seemed good-natured and clean, even glance a second time at my disheveled figure? As predicted, as soon as her eyes met mine, they left. She sighed again and stepped from the car. She was wearing bright teal trainers and blue jeans. She had on an open neon green hoodie and a black tank underneath. She was of average height and curvy build. At first glance she looked maybe twenty, but it was soon noticeable that she was younger - eighteen at the most.

“How long has it been since one of us hunted like gentlemen?” I smiled towards Dwayne, keeping my eyes on the mystery girl. Dwayne turned and followed my gaze.

She locked the car and hugged an '80s-style print bag to her chest. She walked past me, only mere feet away. The breeze caught her perfume and sent it towards me. My breathing quickened, drinking it in - she smelled as if you were standing in the middle of a lush forest in northern Washington. An uncommon scent, but one that made me want the world to pause. I watched her retreating figure as she headed up the Boardwalk.

“Quite a while,” Dwayne smiled, baring his pristine teeth. “Not usually your style, Davy.”

I shrugged. “Just got a feeling I should get to know this one first.” I pushed myself off of the bike and slowly followed her.

“Don’t be having too much fun, now, Davy.” he chortled behind me. Dwayne had an unusual way of talking. When it was just between us, he often switched to an American-Brit-Cockney, the way he was raised.

She walked fast. Her head turned in every direction as she tapped on, magically swaying her curvy but shrinking her body inward if she came too close to someone. A buzzed, middle-aged man knocked into her. He turned and apologized, touching her elbow. She nodded and shrunk away from him, quickening her steps. She stopped at a bench where two adults sat, a boy probably a year older than her, his face turned to the excitement behind him, and a younger, shorter, and fatter girl, her eyes on a group of dark-haired boys mulling about next to a hotdog vendor. I stopped and stood next to a woman reading palms, observing the scene.

She quietly exchanged words with the two adults - her parents - and pointed off towards West Beach. They nodded and she walked away, padding down the Boardwalk and walking further away from the cover of the crowds. Dangerous to do so, girl, I chided her in my mind. I resumed my track again, this time closing the space in between us to a few yards. I could smell her again. She continued to walk until there were only a few people on the Boardwalk. There was so little that she could probably hear my breathing. And considering the look on her face that she was the type to memorize and keep tabs on everything, she would pick up on me quickly. She suddenly stopped and stepped off of the Boardwalk, peering into a thick bush of beach reeds. I brushed past her, my sleeve brushing up against her back. She flinched and stepped into the reeds.

For the longest time, West Beach was our top hunting grounds. Mortals caught on and over a few years the people who frequented there turned from partiers to no one and then - now - it was a hot spot to make out at. I quietly parted the reeds and peered through. The girl was there, seated in the sand. She had taken her sandals off and the waves lapped at her feet. She was running her hands through the little stones that were beneath her. I set a boot in the sand, but pulled back when an overly buff and an overly-tan guy her age with a dog bombarded the beach. He used the old trick - the dog swamped her and he jovially pulled it off, smiling at her.

She smiled at him and they introduced themselves. His name was Cash Roberts, but she talked so quietly I couldn’t catch hers. Roberts stuck himself next to her in the sand, letting the dog roam around. Every so often it would nuzzle the girl with its goopy, spit-ridden snout. She would gently knock the dog back, cringing. It was obvious she didn’t like the smell of wet dog - or the feel of its slime. Roberts finally dragged the dog back, keeping it to his side. They talked for a while, but I couldn’t help but notice the charming smile on the girl’s face. She seemed to be enjoying the encounter. I watched as they headed down the beach towards the populated areas again. I couldn’t help but feel a slight tinge of jealously in my stomach - I never liked being beaten to my prey.

I decided I should probably eat before I was so consumed that I’d accidentally snap the girl’s neck before I could properly analyze her. I vaulted myself off the end of the boardwalk and headed towards the Browns - a higher-end escape for rich college kids. I needed a buzz, anyway.

+++++

It was coming towards the end of the night and I tracked back towards town. The car was gone. I shuddered - what if this was only a stop for them? What if they were miles away, never coming back? The girl had struck something deep inside me, an invisible thread that told me to find out more. I couldn’t help but feeling a little bit lost, something I didn’t usually feel in this state. I sorted out the guy - Cash. He was dancing near the band shell with a willowy blonde. Guess he moved on pretty quickly. Probably looking for someone to put out. Hopefully my girl didn’t. My skin prickled. My girl . . . . Come on, man, get a grip.

When I had first saw her, that clichéd thing happened - like when I saw Josephine. Dear, dear Josephine. She was my wife, torn to pieces when she heard that I’d died. And torn even more when I showed up at our doorstep, thriving in my new lifestyle. She was pregnant at the time, just four months along. I hadn’t been home for nine. I found Johnnie Darlan - my little brother - in our bed. I killed ‘em both, I couldn’t help it. She wasn’t even going to send me a Dear John letter. I loved Josephine - I really, really did. I cried so hard and beat myself up so bad after I did it - but I think because I felt more betrayed than anything. My own brother. I never really loved a woman after that. I’ve made love, yes, but I always ended up killing her afterward. I had no care for life after that.

But this mystery girl. She struck a chord deep within me. I was pulled towards her. At first I thought it was just an instinct to kill

Paul, Logan, and Marco's bikes were gone. Dwayne leaned against his, watching the remaining partiers on the beach. I swung myself onto mine and touched my fingers to my temples. "I've known you long enough to know something is seriously wrong." Dwayne muttered, turning his gaze to me.

“For once, I think I floundered out there.”

“Meaning . . . ?”

I looked up, muttering into the sky and fighting back a laugh. “I think it took eighty-fucking-years for my hormones to kick in.”

“Shall we keep this from the boys, then?” Dwayne had turned his attention to the horizon, the subtlest pinkish glow dancing across the water. I could feel the concern in his words. In the late seventies Dwayne had fallen for a mortal - her name was Betsie Lye. It was a love like mine and Josephine’s. We all knew about it, but we hadn’t realized the consequences or the seriousness. Dwayne was days away from killing himself with agony over the situation - he didn’t want Betsie a vampire, he loved her the human way, but he wanted to be with her always. Max killed her, poor Betsie. That was in Michigan, way up north. They called it a kidnapping and looked for her forever, until maybe 15 years after they finally erected a headstone.

Every few years, Dwayne will up and leave for two weeks and travel back there, visiting where he buried her. It wasn’t anywhere near the cemetery - it was on a bluff, above the Picture Rocks, their favorite spot. I went with him once. It was horrible. He stooped over it, heaving with pent up grief. I never saw such a look of despair. He laid seven calla lilies at the spot - seven for each month he knew her, he said - and then sat next to it for hours, just staring into the dark. Then we went to the cemetery and had a look at her gravestone. He would look at the engraving:

HERE LIES
BETSIE SARAH LYE
LOVED DAUGHTER AND ANGEL
WHO LEFT THIS WORLD
TO BE WITH OUR LORD IN HEAVEN
MAY PEACE FIND HER
MAY 8, 1959 - MAY 10, 1979

and let out a disgusted sigh. “She would have hated that. Bets didn’t believe in that crap. Her parents were big Christians . . . she hated them, too . . . .”

Yes, Dwayne knew the trials of falling for a mortal, but he didn’t ever warn me - to tell me to stop, because I know that he wouldn’t trade those seven months with Betsie Lye for anything. “No,” Dwayne whispered again, his glassy eyes turned away from the prominent pink flirting across the water, “we shan’t tell the boys.”

Chapter 2: Charlotte by sadie_leona

CHAPTER TWO: CHARLOTTE


I sat on the double bed in the room I shared with Tatty. She sat opposite me on hers, ranting. "You weren't even looking for a guy!" she cried. "I was there the whole night making goo-goo eyes at everyone and I got nothing."

"Hmm . . .," I mumbled, looking at the floor. Tatty was not ready to date yet. For one, she looked like an Ompa Lompa . Seriously - she tried going all scene with her hair and it turned out a gross synthetic green and, in anticipation of this trip, she had spray tanned a very chartreuse-orange. And not to mention she was rather short, rather plump, and had an exhausting personality.

"And who was that?!" she huffed, throwing her hands into the air. "I thought I was seeing some hot guys, but that guy. He's like . . . whoa."

"Cash,“ I said, yawning. "He's a local."

She huffed. "Does he have any brothers?" I shrugged as I begun to change into my pajamas. "Great!" she cried.

Great was right, I thought. Cash’s image appeared in my mind. He was overly tall with a mop of curly copper hair and freckly skin. He sent his dog first to see me. Classic trick, I know. Cash was attractive and charming, but I could see through him immediately. I knew that as soon as he left me at the car that he was sorting out another girl. I knew this would be a long, boring trip, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt if I fooled around with Cash . . . or any boy for that matter.

I stretched out in the bed and found a comfortable indent. “I mean, seriously!” I heard Tatty mumble as she switched off the light. I grinned into my pillow.


---


I stretched in the bright, sunny bathroom and stood in front of the large bay window out looking the water. It crashed angrily against the shoreline and up against the mountainous rocks that spotted the horizon. I smiled and squealed inwardly to my excitement about hitting the beach for real. I pulled on my blue and cream bikini and short black shorts and a gray Hanes tank. I slung my hot-pink towel over my shoulder and headed to the beach.

I picked a nice piece of beach behind a dune where I couldn’t be seen directly and laid down, my back to the sun. Not much later did I feel someone plop down beside me.

“Hullo, Nance,” Cash drawled out. He called me by my middle name, as most people had, even after I expressed to him my distaste of the name. I swallowed it and smiled and turned my face into his direction. I decided that I was not going to provoke him in any way except a little harmless flirting. I scooted myself to the edge of the blanket to give him room and he slid on, his belly up. “So, what’s on the agenda today, hmmm?”

“Sitting aimlessly on the beach.” I stretched as far as I could and turned on my side, resting my head on my elbow. While I am “overweight,” I am proportional and lack any rolls. I have big breasts, a squishy stomach, and big hips. Even as a big girl, I had no problem getting a boyfriend or hanging out with the popular boys at school . . . I just didn’t like the latter much. And while at home, on the East Coast, I dressed conservatively and rarely spoke, I let myself open up on this trip. I decided lat night that if I was going to make a fool of myself, I might as well do it where no one knew me. “I don’t know . . . perhaps some carnival rides tonight?”

Cash nodded. “I’m in.”

“I don’t quite remember asking you to join,” I teased, surprised that he would want to hang out with one girl for such a long period of time. I didn’t let that get to me though because when I walked to the beach, I spotted him canoodling with another girl. Yes, this “relationship” would go no farther than canoodling.

“Ah,” he smiled, “but you did. You just don’t remember, dear.” I laughed and leaned over to him, cuddling in next to his chest. I let my eyelids droop and heard Cash’s breathing break into an even, predictable pattern. A hand grasped my hip and we lulled the day away.

Chapter 3: David by sadie_leona

Author's Notes:
WN: Lotte is pronounced LOT-E.
I woke and felt the strange, nervous feeling in my stomach again. I had two options: search for the girl or continue on as I had never seen her, yet her body flashed in my mind, sending shivers down my neck. Something was drawing me to her, something was telling me to go to her. Dwayne and I rode into town as soon as the sun leveled the horizon, the others opting to stay with Logan, who, as a newer vampire, still had a reaction to the littlest ray of sunlight. Pulling into the parking lot, I couldn’t shake the feeling I had. Almost every part of me just wanted to kill the girl.

“Well, Dave-o?” Dwayne asked, switching Harley off and slipping the keys inside his jacket. We hadn’t mentioned anything about last night’s events while in earshot of the boys. Max was on an extended vacation, but we both feared that they would have their own opinions about the matter or let something slip to Max if he were to return unexpected. I shrugged and tapped the speedometer on my baby: my 2009 Cory Ness Victory Vegas Jackpot bike that I had acquired before it even got to the ears of the most avid bike collectors. “Most every part of me wants to kill her.”

“When I first laid eyes on Bets, it was like that.” I sat up straight and listened attentively. He never offered to talk about her. “I had two feelings: hatred and love . . . steadfast for both. I thought about just leaving her alone, but I needed to know what feeling it really was . . . which one of the two it was. Those were the best few months of my life, David,” he confessed. “If I could choose living forever or replaying that time, I could choose in an instant. Even though things didn’t turn out. You’d think there would be this great barrier between us, but she spoke and I was hers. We knew everything about each other instantly.”

I made an unpleased sound and stood, stretching my hands to the sky.

“Are you going to feed first?” Dwayne asked with high curiosity.

I shrugged. “I don‘t know if I can wait . . . . But sometimes after I eat I get so ravenous. Either way I don‘t think it‘ll matter.” I brushed away a spot of dirt from my Victory‘s chromed diamond-shaped head "Are you okay to go it alone?" he asked.

I snorted. "I think I can handle a seventeen-year-old girl."

"That's not what I meant."

"I know - I was being sarcastic you idiot."

"Oh. Do you know what you're going to do?"

I sighed and rubbed my face. "If I avoid her, I will kill myself. If I see her and don't talk to her, I will kill myself. If I talk to her, I'm afraid that things will get. . . out of hand . . . and eventually I‘ll have to kill myself."

Dwayne ran his hand through his shaggy mane. "It's up to you, David," he said, gazing after a couple of miniskirt-clad girls who passed. "You know, we could use a little diversity. Maybe a girl would do us good. Can clean up the Cave a little bit, 'eh?"

I frowned. I hadn't thought about that - not the fact of the cleaning, but of that fact of her joining me in entirety. I would take her in in a heartbeat, but that was being selfish. Would she want it? Would she even survive long enough to have the choice?

"Later," Dwayne said, thumping me on the back.

I watched Dwayne retreat, grateful for his wise-old-man attitude. Dwayne could get as rowdy and irresponsible as the rest of us, but it terms of benefits away from the pack, he was the man to go to. He knew proper manners and, if given the challenge, could operate without fault in the company of mortals for long periods of time. I, myself, was a train wreck. I was a great gang leader. I was not a great boyfriend . . . or human.

----

I spent forty-fucking-minutes looking for her and this is what I fucking get. I cursed aloud and glanced at the two intertwined figures. God fuck it. They were curled up next to each other, a blanket strewn over them, a low, pulsing wave emanating from a nearby radio. I was about to get out of dodge when the girl stirred and stretched before pushing herself away from Cash, who now seems to be my arch nemesis. She curled up at the opposite edge of the blanket and yawned. She had a strange look on her face: a mix of loathing and surprise. Cash awoke as well and pulled the girl towards him, but she resisted, pushing away. Cash tried again, this time pushing his face towards her, his hands running over her. She slapped him and stood, gathering her things. She was muttering something that I couldn’t quite make out, but within minutes she had stormed off, a towel thrown strewn over her arm, a beach bag thrown over her shoulder, and a look of pure disgust plastered on her face. She whipped past me, words fluttering out of her mouth like why I tried and there goes this trip and finally never again.

I didn’t try to mask a grin larger than life. I turned, letting the girl get a while in front of me, before traipsing after her, happier than a boy at Christmas. I followed her around the boardwalk, keeping myself well distance and sometimes other preoccupied, recounting her ability to pick up on even the slightest of changes. She finally stopped at the video store Max still owned, its décor hardly changed. She strode in, giving the videos themselves barely an attention. I decided that now would be the best of times to approach her.

I entered and started to look at DVDs on the opposite rack. As planned, I reached for the same video as she did, our hands colliding. They were hot and damp, as if he anger stemmed from every part of her skin. She sucked in with surprise, probably at my paper-dry, ice-cold hand. I let my hand linger on hers, enjoying the feeling of electricity trickling through my veins.

“I apologize,” I muttered, mustering Dwayne’s sense of manners. Her wild, caught-unawares expression left, a kind smile replacing her lips.

“Sorry,” she said, pulling her hand back with the DVD. She handed it to me. “Here.”

I waved it away and she shrugged, placing it back on the stand. She pulled her tote bag farther up her shoulder and started to walk away.

“Hey, wait,” I said, leaping around the display cases to stand next to her. “I’ve never seen you around before.”

“Got here last night,” she said simply, her eyes wandering. “Summer vacation and all that.”

“Hmm….” I didn’t know quite what to say. I had played this moment fifty thousand times in my head and it wasn’t suppose to go like this. Perhaps just a little bit more controlled and smooth. “Well, you’ve come to the right place.” She chuckled, flipping her head back. I eyed her throat deviously. So easy. So tasty. I mentally shook my head and chided myself.

“Hardly.” She stated it simply. Me being nosy-posy and wanting to hear how she now hates that damn scum-bag of a lifeguard, pushed her.

“Huh. How’s that?”

“I came he- Hey, I don’t even know your name.”

“David,” I introduced myself with my half-grin that the girls loved. I held out my hand, wiggling my fingers.

“Nance,” she said a little reproachfully. Inwardly, I frowned. That wasn’t a good name for her at all. “But that’s my middle name - I’m really Charlotte.” Ah - that’s better. Lotte.

“Then Charlotte you shall be.” I started to inch towards the door. Being inside an establishment owned by my creator always made me skittish - as if he were Big Brother and he could see me right now.

“Good. Never liked Nance anyhow.”

“How about we take this session outside, ‘eh?” I offered, outstretching my hand to the door.

“You sure do move fast,” she half-smiled, half-sighed and shook her head. “I’m not in for that, all right?”

I gave her a look of pure shook. “Why I’d never!” I gave my words an upward twist that showed her that I was joking - the expression, not the words, although I had used a ploy much like it many times before.

Charlotte’s eyes gave a comic roll and she slowly brushed past me, show the only littlest of hesitation to tell me that I was allowed to follow. “What is your hourly rate?” she joked. “Have you lived here your whole life?” She slowly twirled around a light pole - not in a stripper way, but like a kid would in the rain.

“Mostly,” I coughed. I had to fight the urge so hard to tell each and every secret of mine to her. That I’ve been married. That I’ve killed. That I must kill to survive. That I may love her even though I know nothing about her. “Where are you from?”

“Pennsylvania.”

“So why here?” I asked, sitting down on a wrought-iron fence.

“My father decided that we needed a bonding session.” She sat next to me and started to laugh.

“What is it?” I asked, directing this towards her hysterical, drunken-like laugh.

“I don’t even know you!” she confessed, her head kicking back with laughter. “I know nothing yet here I am, ready to pour myself to you.” She leaned in towards me, her back against the bench.

“It happens.” I smiled, pulling out a cigarette from my breast pocket and slipped it between my lips. With my left calf resting against my right thigh, I lit my match on the bottom of my cowboy boots, thinking it would leave Charlotte in awe. I was wrong.

“It would have been more impressive if you would have struck it against your cheek,” she state, looking down her nose at me. “However, that would have ruined your pretty face . . .for a few days, anyway.”

I smirked, but took a long drag on the cancer stick. It was a habit like no other - but I was going to live forever, so I didn’t care. “So, what is your story?” I asked.

“Well,” she said, a much more sober-looking expression on her face, “my father recently started dating a total whore. Us kids are rebelling and now he believes that we need to bond like the Bradys.”

“And I don’t believe it’s going to go well,” I predicted, picking up the obvious from her manner.

“Si, Senor,” she smiled, getting comfortable by slipping on bright yellow hoodie from her tote bag and crossed her legs and arms. She even pouted her plump, glossy lips. She was overwhelmingly irresistible. The blood-sucker in me was so strong that I was mentally beating him down with a Louisville Slugger driven full of rusty, bent-up nails. My throat clenching when she moved too suddenly, her feminine-woodsy scent finding its way to my inner-being. Her body type and personality gave me an inside to how her blood would probably taste: thick, sweet, and undeniably tasty - like flan or crème brulee. She pinched a bug from the tips of her hair and flung it into the grass. “What about you?” she asked, turning her attentions towards me.

“Well . . . Not much to tell really. Just a guy trying to get through life.” I sort of had a panic attack. I didn’t have a job, no parents, no home, nothing that could really prove that I wasn’t just a vagabond without telling her the real, whole truth. I had a lie set, yes, but I didn’t feel like I could fulfill it.

“Where do you work. School? Job?” She prompted me with sincere interest, just as, for some reason, I knew she would.

I took a breath and rattled what I had mentally practiced. “I live in the country - a bit towards Eureka, I guess. I work in an auto-body shop . . . gets the bills paid, you know. No college - barely finished high school.” I felt a bit better that the last part was true.

She nodded her head, “how old are you?”

“20. You?”

“17,” she mumbled.

“I’m old,” I confessed, snuffing my cigarette out against the bottom of my boot and twisted the end and placed it in my jacket pocket for later.

“Whatever,” she breathed, pushing my shoulder gently. She pulled out a BlackBerry-like cell phone and seemed to be checking the time. She uttered something like “damn curfew” and stood. “Well, if I’m to make it back before curfew, I’ve gotta go.”

“This was fun,” I surmised, stretching and standing as well. What should I do? Kiss her? Offer her a ride home? What? “I know we’ve just met and all that good stuff, but do you want a ride home? I’ve got a motorbike and no where to go.”

“That’s all right,” she smiled, her eyes crinkling. “I enjoy the walk.” My heart fell. Was that a rejection? “But maybe we can get together tomorrow, ‘eh? Some rides or something would be fun. I’m sure to be on the beach.”

“I’ve got to work during the day,” I said quickly. “But I’ll be around tomorrow night, for sure.”

“Okay,” Charlotte smiled, “I’ll be looking for you.” And with that she turned and made her way down the road . . . . Down a very dark, unlit road. I will have to talk to her about that.

I sat back down and rendered my breathing even. I tried to analyze what had just happened, but I failed to do it in its entirety. We had just spoke and she seemed like she looked forward to seeing me tomorrow. Correct? I ran her words over in my mind, finding them and replaying them a million times over. Yes. She seemed genuinely happy. The pit of my stomach exploded and I smiled. But it faded as I realized that yes, I had crossed today’s hurdle, but another was coming on its way tomorrow. And fast.

Chapter 4: Charlotte by sadie_leona

It was nearing four in the afternoon and I still hadn't spotted David. I knew he said that he’d be here at night, but I couldn’t shake the feeling he would show up. He was the blonde biker I had seen two days ago. The one I had that aching feeling - the feeling that told me that something was there. I didn’t know it was this. I hadn’t even known him 24 hours and I felt something that I thought was quite impossible - love. I thought it was love. I felt a real raw need for him and puppy love was just too juvenile. My heart was quick-paced and I couldn’t help but think what if I never see him again?

I conjured his image in my mind. I loved everything about him - from the natural, electric-blonde hair that was cut in a edge sort of way to the worn cowboy boots on his feet. His clothing style was on the verge of alternative but he gave it his own kick - he wore a tight white Hanes beneath a black vest and a patchy just-from-a-wreck black leather jacket. His black jeans fit him perfectly - too perfectly. I blushed and pulled at a few strands of hair from behind my ear. I smacked my Cinnament Bigelow lip-shined lips and smiled.

I had walked the Boardwalk all day, getting used to the sights and sounds and memorizing the shops and attractions. I settled on exploring the docks and soon found and interesting dock that extended about fifty yards onto the water.

The sign said condemned, which made me even more interested. I stood precariously on the edge board and took a few steps out. I continued, stepping on the few cross boards that seemed strong enough until I reached the end, the dock shaking and swaying over the water enough to scare me. I sat on the edge and pulled off my flats, letting my feet dangle over the edge. The water came up to the middle of my calves. The seaweed below tickled the bottoms of my feet and I jumped from the sudden tickle, wondering what was beneath the water now, wondering what would like to feast on my toes.

Yawning, I pulled my iPod out of my bag and pushed the ear buds into my ears and set it on random. I hadn’t barely slept last night and walking had tired me. I laid myself over the broken bits of wood and pulled my hood over my head. I knew it was a bad idea, but I closed my eyes. The slapping of the waves against the stands of the dock lulled me . . . .

Chapter 5: David by sadie_leona

I felt sick to my stomach when I woke - I would have to see Charlotte again. I felt like Adam and Charlotte was the Garden of Eden - forbidden, and if I bit from the fruit, disastrous things could - would - happen. Dwayne, Paul, Marco, Logan, and I flocked from the Cave and sped our way into the heart of Santa Carla.

I didn't catch sight of Charlotte in the crowds that we passed. I wanted, in my head, for Charlotte to be frightened of me and refuse to see me again. Yet her eyes told me different. They confirmed the feeling I wanted - and wanted desperately.

Paul and Logan departed towards the residential area of Santa Carla. Marco spotted a group of girls waiting in line for the 'Roll of Thunder' ride and went to go speak to them.

"Later," Dwayne said, thumping me on the back and giving me a meaningful look.

I nodded and leaned against a video game outside a smoothie shop, scanning the crowds for Charlotte's dark head of hair. Maybe she would be sitting on the West Beach as she had yesterday with he-who-must-not-be-named. I walked there but only found a couple making out. Any other day I would have pounced on them like a lion. But today, I only turned away with disgust. I headed for the pier, but she wasn't there, either. I had begun to panic - I hadn't found out where she was staying - what if I had to wait another night to see her? What if she left? Was Santa Carla only a pit-stop?

I headed towards the marina - the only last obvious place she might have been. At first look she wasn't there. I studied the docks that reached out far into the water - there were no dark silhouettes. My eyes scanned the lost dock - a dock that no one ever really ventured onto anymore - it was so dilapidated that if you stepped on the wrong rung, you may was well swim your way back to shore. There was a shape of darkness perched on the direct end - could that be her? But it was immobile - it could very well be a tangle of buoys, not a beautiful teenage girl.

I stepped cautiously onto the dock, using my powers to float above the boards, but not far enough where I might get attention. I was feet from the shape - it was her. She was strewn across one of the few intact sections of boards. She wasn't moving. In panic, I hurried to her side, but was washed over with a heavy wave of relief when I realized she was sleeping.

I smiled to myself and slung myself next to her, tucking my feet beneath me. Charlotte's chest rose and fell in even breaths, the air escaping her pink, full lips. She wore a flowing flower-print shirt that looked as if it came from the sixties, a neon-blue hoodie, and brown capris. Her blue, sailor-like flats were tucked inside her bag and her legs dangled precariously off the edge. Her iPod player was on. A bud had fallen out of the ear and a techno-orchestral sound emanated from it. I pulled it from her pocket, switched it off, and slipped it into her bag.

I silently pulled her wallet from her bag and examined it. According to her driver's license, her name was Charlotte Nance Anka and she lived at 215 West Awneau Street. She was 5'6'' and brown eyes. As far as I could tell, that much was true. I flipped it over and chuckled. She had written on the back in big, angry letters "DO NOT REMOVE ANYTHING FROM ME." I slipped it back in it's pocket and found a bank card, a library card, a membership card to a large book store chain, and various punch cards from book and clothing stores. Apparently she read a lot. She also had her last school I.D. - she went to Cobalshire Preperatory - a couple of coins and a few ones. She also carried a notebook, a novel I've never heard of, car keys, three packs of gum, a glass container of lotion with a high SPF, and a bottle of perfume - "Immortal Fear" to be specific. I chuckled at the name.

I pushed her bag back towards her and reviewed what I had found out. A quiet bookworm, Charlotte "Nance" Anka drove but abhorred organ transplant, went to a prep school, and was skin-cancer conscious. She also was pretty careless with the fact that she was sleeping out in the open and if I didn't care for her, I could have just stolen some very important information - or worse. I shuddered at the thought.

I looked at Charlotte again, her hands looking uncomfortably placed in-between her knees. She was also covered in Goosebumps. I smacked my lips together and pulled my wool trench off and placed it over her, the war medal that I sometimes pinned to it thumped against the wood. I straightened my black t-shirt and short, worn brown leather jacket. I took the cigarette from behind my ear and the lighter from my coat pocket - the one that Charlotte was using - and lit it, taking a long drag and puffed out the spoke in one long, continuous stream.

"I like your earring," I heard a muffled voice say and I turned. Charlotte's eyes were visible over the collar of my coat. She was referring to the one that I wore in my left ear. A dangly thing that all my brothers wore, it was a kind of group symbolism.

"Thanks," I yawned, turning towards her and laying on my back. "Let me guess - you didn't sleep good either?"

Out of the corner of my eye I could see that she shook her head. "New place," she explained. "My bed smelled weird.”

I laughed, a full out guffaw. “I bet you ten bucks the last time someone slept in that bed they were fucking . . . and the sheets haven’t been changed.”

“Gaw! Ew-yuck!” She yelled, thumping me on the chest "Thanks for this, by the way. Mind if I still use it?" She pulled the jacket around her.

I nodded my head and was delighted to see her string her arms through the sleeves and wrapping it like a robe over her. She yawned. "Now I see why you wear this."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you walk around in clothes that make people think you're waiting for a snow storm, despite the raging temps. Don't get me wrong, you look good in these clothes. Very . . . riff-ruffian yet suave at the same time."

I tilted my head and laughed at her. "I've never heard 'riff-ruffian' before!" She laughed with me. We sat in silence for a while, looking at the stars.

Suddenly she yelped. "What time is it?" she squealed, opening her bag for her cell phone. "Shit!"

"What?" I asked, alarmed.

"I'm supposed to be home in fifteen minutes and it takes me a half-hour to get to the cottage from the Boardwalk besides."

"I'll drive you," I offered. She stopped and raised an eyebrow.

"Let me guess," she said with a grin, "you’ve got the motorbike."

"And if I do?" I asked in mock offense. She huffed and slung her bag over her shoulder. "Have you even ever ridden one before?" She shook her head and I laughed. “Well, you fall off and I ain’t pickin’ ya up.”

We slowly made our way to land. Surprisingly, we didn't land in the water. I watched Charlotte walk in my coat - it made me laugh. "You look funny," I stated.

She looked down at herself. "Is it a bad funny?" she asked seriously.

"No, like a girl-wearing-her-boyfriend's-jacket-funny," I teased. I was flirting. I didn't even realize it.

She snickered and hopped forward, my bike in sight. Dwayne was resting against his, his eyes wide. Marco, Paul, and Logan's bikes were still parked, thankfully empty.

"Charlotte, this is my brother, Dwayne, " I said as we walked up to my bike, "Dwayne, this is Charlotte."

"Hello," Dwayne said sweetly. He smiled down at Charlotte, who blushed. She nodded in reply. He had the smoldering bad-guy thing girls loved.

"I'm going to bring her home," I said, stressing my words. "I'll be back."

Dwayne nodded and sat on a bench directly in front of us. "No rush," he grinned.

I smiled down at Charlotte. "Ready?" She nervously nodded. I got on and steadied it, planting my legs firmly on the ground. I waited as she got on behind me, tucking my coat beneath her. She held my waist tightly and I smiled as my body heated to her touch. "Where's your place?" She rattled off the address. "I know where it is," I said, realizing that we had once raided that house. And we killed everyone. I jump-started the bike - a little adjustment I had to make - I couldn‘t deal with the more simpler start button. The engine roared to life and she pressed her face into my back. The deep, guttural chug of my kit mufflers and altered engines making me feel even more excited.

Dwayne waved sarcastically as I backed up and revved it a few times before pressing it into gear and Charlotte's legs pressed against mine. We went forward and she gripped me tighter. We drove for the first few minutes on a straight road but a wide turn was ahead. I slowed so she could hear me. "When I say lean," I yelled, "lean to your right!" I felt her head nod against my back and I smiled, kicking the bike back into gear. The turn neared. "Lean!" I yelled, and she constricted her body against mine, leaning slightly towards the turn. I held my hand over hers and laughed. She squealed as I righted the bike and I felt her laugh.

I slowed the bike as we neared her cottage and turned the engine off in the driveway where the familiar car was parked. Her grip loosened as she took her arms away from my waist and her face lifted from my back. She lifted herself off and stretched. "That was one of the greatest feelings!" she squealed. "I have got to ride that thing again!" I laughed.

"I would like that." I smiled kindly inwardly as the inhuman part of me grinned viciously.

She smiled and set her bag down and pulled off my coat. She stepped forward to hand it over and I grabbed it where he hand was, pulling her forward. I halfway stood to meet her lips. She opened her mouth slightly and I did the same, my lips gliding over hers. She dropped my coat and stepped forward, touching my arm. I let my fingertips find the sides of her face and held her for only a few moments.

I felt something familiar in my throat - thirst - and I pulled back, my pulse racing. If I wanted this to end the way I had wanted, I could do no more. She was beat red and she dropped her hands nervously to her sides. I sat back on my bike, thinking over what I had just done. That was the first time I had really kissed a girl - a girl that I cared about - in seventy years. As a man, I liked the feeling. As a vampire, it scared me to death.

I leaned down and picked up my coat, placing it on my lap. "I have to get inside," Charlotte whispered.

I nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow?" I asked, looking up at her. She nodded.

"I'll be at the beach," she said. "We're going swimming tomorrow, I guess."

I thought for a moment, realizing that she meant during the day. "I can't that early - I've got chores," I lied. "How about nine pm or so? Here? I'll pick you up?"

Charlotte smiled. "Yeah - uhm . . . . Tomorrow then?"

I nodded and kicked the engine on, turning my way back onto the road. She waved goodbye.

Chapter 6: Charlotte by sadie_leona

I watched David speed away, his brilliantly-blonde hair a beacon in the misty night. I bit my lip and grinned happily as I backed into the house . . . and into my father.

"Who was that?" he asked stiffly.

"David," I said, stepping past him and into the kitchen of the cottage.

"David . . . ?"

I frowned to myself as I realized I didn't know his last name. "Just David, Dad. He's a local. He's nice so don't freak out - he just gave me a ride home."

"On his motorbike."

I rolled my eyes and pushed a glass under the tap, filling it with icy water. "Yes, on his motorbike. If he drove a car, would it be different?"

"Don't be such an idiot. You know what I mean. And you know that I do not approve of guys you don't know driving you home! What did you think when you sat on that thing?!"

"God! I wanted to get home before the curfew you set and the only way that could happen would be to get a ride home! I was hanging out with David, and when I mentioned it, he offered! He's a nice guy! You don't know him!"

"And neither do you!" That was truth, actually. "And speaking of curfew," he pointed to the clock above the stove: 11:05, "you're late. You're grounded."

"Dad!" I cried. "You know I was outside before eleven! I know you were watching!"

"I said you're grounded!"

"But I'm going to the boardwalk with David tomorrow night!"

"No, you're not!"

I screamed and tossed my glass in the sink, stomping to the stairs, making as many disapproving sounds as I could.

Chapter 7: Charlotte by sadie_leona

Author's Notes:
Note: I’d like to remind everyone again that Lotte is pronounced LOT-E (in this story, anyway)
The night fell slowly and not much sooner I was sent to my room by my father. I stalked the stairs and immediately started counting the minutes until David showed up. It had been my intention to find his brother, Dwayne, and have him relay the message, but it was a no-go. Even if I had found him, l wasn’t sure what I’d do: I had Jamison with me. Jamison Jacks was my good-for-nothing older brother. I was his charge for the day and it was one of the worst days I had ever experienced. Even though he was barely a year older than I was, he acted like my father.

Then, sure enough, at promptly nine o’clock, the familiar chug of David’s motorbike echoed through my bedroom. I ran to my window and opened it, hoping to tell him of my father’s futile ruling before the boss-man himself could, but I was too late.

“Leave,” my father’s gruff voice wafted through my window. I could hear Jamison snicker from outside the door. Tatty was still in town with my father’s girlfriend.

“I am here to pick up Charlotte,” David explained.

“No you’re not. Nance will not be going anywhere tonight. If I ever see you around my daughter again, your damn bike will be at the bottom of the damn ocean. And you with it”

Even from the height I was at, I could see David’s jaw clench. “Look, padre, I made a date and I intend to keep it so send Lotte out here or I will get her myself.” I was not as surprised at David’s demeanor as I should have been: he was a twenty-year-old biker. He wasn’t going to be peaches n’ cream. Lotte. The nickname rang through my ears. I had never been called that by anyone. Deep down, I felt that David put that in just to show that he had a nickname for me even after I had just met him. It came naturally from David’s lips, making me think that he had said or thought of it before. I smiled, despite the terror I felt for the show in the front yard.

“Get out,” my father said simply. This was a sure sign that he would soon blow.

“Your daughter is nearly 18. You can’t keep me away from her forever.”

“Fuck I can’t,” father shouted and picked up a baseball bat. He headed for David at an alarming speed. My date kick started his bike and tried to leave, but not before the bat collided with a taillight, shattering it.

“Damn it!” David yelled and stopped the bike. “You little bastard!” He barely remembered to put the kickstand down before vaulting his bike and starting at my father. David was feet from my father, who had the bat raised. Even though I couldn’t see it, I know death emanated from his eyes. My father, too the inexperienced, looked menacing and could put up a good fight, but he knew when to stop. He had his share of bar fights, but wouldn’t go much farther than breaking a nose. I realized, however, that David didn’t have that much control - that he didn’t know when to stop.

“David!” I cried from the window. Not in a shocked, get-away-from-my-father type of way, but more in a leave-and-I’ll-talk-to-you-later type of way, if that was possible. David’s eyes flashed towards the window and unclenched his fist. He and my father stood there for a while, chests heaving, before David backed away, his face turned up towards mine. He gave his shattered taillight a look for speeding off the opposite direction of town. The opposite direction of where he lived.

Simultaneously the screen door slammed and Jamison scattered, the door to his room clicking shut. I heard the stair creak - boom! boom! - as my father angrily approached my room. I slipped into the bed and laid on my side, facing away from the door. My door swung open. “Stay the hell away from that freak, Nance, or by god you will be shut out from his family.”

“Umph.” I knew that silence would make him angry, but a half-ass response would make him even angrier.

“Damn it, Charlotte Nance Anka, I thought you knew better. You’re gonna stray away from your studies for that fucking punk? Become a trailer-house-wife with a boat load a kids for that funking punk?”

I sighed heavily, knowing that that silly response was coming. “I don’t need your money.”

“Fuck you don’t.” I could feel him standing right behind me.

“No I don’t,” I whispered, unable to let him get the last word.

Crack! His hand collided with my cheek. It stung like none other. I new he was angry, but I didn’t think he’d go so far as to hit me.

I gathered the blankets under my chin and stayed silent. The door slammed shut a few moments later. I waited before I stripped the blankets away. I pulled on a heavy hoodie and durable shoes. I pulled a neon nylon draw-string bag and filled it with a few necessities - undergarments and pajamas. Some perfume and lotion. I stashed it under the bed and I returned to the bed and covered myself up. I waited for Tatty to return.

-*-

Tatty came back not much later - a few hours. I felt the smell of the boardwalk on her - the sweet cotton candy and the salty popcorn. I pretended I was asleep until she herself was nestled in and my father checked on last time on us by pushed open the door and gazing on us for a real long time. I sat there in the dark for a few minutes before pulling back the blankets and stringing my arms through the thin strings of my pack.

“Where ya goin’?” Tatty mumbled sleepily.

“Tat,” I said kindly, “if you do not say anything about this to father or to Jannine, I will introduce you to Cash’s younger brother. He’s your age and a real catch.”

“Are you going to see him now?” she asked.

“Yes,” I lied. “But please, Tatty, don’t say anything. If father finds out I’m gone tonight, don’t tell him anything. Say you didn’t see anything - I’ll make something up. But if I don’t come back right before morning and he knows I’m gone, tell him I went to the beach. Please?”

“You promise you’ll introduced me to Cash’s brother?”

“Yes, Tatty, I promise.”

“All right, I will.”

“Thanks, Tat, thank you so much!” And for once I was grateful to have her.

-*-

I trotted down the road at a quick but gimpy pace. I had landed awkwardly when I leaped from the roof above my window. It wasn’t a far drop - perhaps 7 or 8 feet, but I was a big girl and not used to leaping from such heights. I could see the glow of the town lights from here. If I couldn’t find David there I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t know how I would get back into the house. I was starting to think this was crazy.

I finally came to the boardwalk and, with a wave of relief, spotted a troupe of bikes clustered together. I didn’t, however, see David’s. My second thought was Dwayne. I studied the groups around the parking lot. There! Dwayne was talking animatedly, his hand caressing a wild-haired girl next to him.

“Dwayne!” I shouted across the lot. I suddenly felt stupid. I had never spoken to Dwayne before, his charming Indian good looks striking me to the bones. Dwayne tipped his head in my direction. He seemed not to recognize me and looked back at the group. “Dwayne!” I shouted again. He looked longer at me this time and seemed to recognize me. He pulled the girl off of him and she gave me a look. He whispered in her ear and she calmed.

“Hey Charlotte,” he smiled, slumbering over to me.

“Have you seen David?” My voice hitched at the end. The night’s events were getting to me and I felt my eyes sting. I beat that emotion down.

“He’s . . . at his house. I’m pretty sure he is. Are you all right?” He glanced at my pack on my back. “Are you going somewhere?”

“I just . . . need to see David.” I felt my bottom lip tremble.

Dwayne’s eyes flickered from my face to the group of bikes - four of them. He glanced at each one. That was odd - he seemed to be counting them. “All right. I can take you there.”

Chapter 8: David by sadie_leona

Author's Notes:
Note: Okay, so, with the times the Lost Boys must upgrade. I had to go along with the idea for the residence of the Lost Boys in the second movie (yes, we all know the second was a crap-shoot, but you can’t deny the fact that living under that building (was it an electric plant??? Or was it an old mine?!) was a good idea). So here’s some extra info: the electrical plant (that’s what I’m going to call it) is on up on a bluff so it still isn’t easy to get there. I’ll make up that when they built the plant they were trying an idea to build it underground but it didn’t work so they left the caves there. Thus, the Lost Boys have a home! Yay for the Lost Boys! Also . . . Warning: gushiness!
I stopped the Victory and nearly let it dump into the gravel. I caught it by the left handle bar and pulled all 650-plus pounds up with one hand. I felt the power surge through my body. I was angry - really angry. I wanted to rip something apart. No - someone.

I had stopped my bike at the Regis Campgrounds. The lots were few and far between and new age freaks frequented the place. I pushed the bike behind a group of bushes and pulled the switchblade form my boot. This wasn’t a feeding. This was going to murder.

I flew to the most secluded of the grounds and found a camper with one man and two women in it. I smiled and released the blade. Pulling open the door, I lithely climbed the stairs. They were sleeping, the glow of the campfire outside dancing against their faces. I plunged the blunt-ended blade into the throat of the nearest woman - a blonde. I hit her just between the two major tendons, straight above her clavicle. Her eyes flashed open, but she couldn’t say a thing. Her arms flew up and grabbed my shoulders, but I was ready for this. I twisted the blade and she died. I watched the blood drip to the floor. I had no lust towards it. I moved on. The couple was next - they slept joined together in the bed at the end of the camper. The girl I just killed, after looking at the man, seemed to be his sister. I covered the girl’s mouth and sliced her throat. The blood seeped up and over the slice, pooling in the white sheets. Only the man was left.

I wiped the blade on the sheets before pocketing it. I pulled the leather riding gloves off my hands and balled my fists. I caught the guy under the chin, sending his head back. He yelled and snapped his eyes open. I stepped back and he doubled over, but pulled himself up. “What the fuck?” he mumbled. He glanced at his wife or girlfriend or lover or whatever and let out a yell. I waited for his attention to turn towards me. He did, but briefly flicked his eyes over his sister sprawled out behind me. “What the fuck did you do?” he screamed and came at me. I was waiting for this. I drew a punch to his kidneys, sending him back on the bed. I pretended this was Charlotte’s father and let my anger sweep through with each pump. Crack! Slap! I hit him over and over until he was barely conscious. I let him get one long, good look at my face before using my elbow to break his neck. I stood there, my chest heaving, as I watched the blood from both bodies collide. Letting out a grunt, I left the camper. I didn’t care to cover my tracks and left. If they were by themselves, it would be a few weeks until their bodies were found. I didn’t care if they were found tomorrow. I didn’t have any fingerprints, anyway - they had long been burned off.


---

I was beside myself with depression and anxiety as I walked the Cave back and forth and forth and back again. I knew I would be seeing Charlotte again, but the thought of not seeing her tonight, tomorrow, or the next day made me tremble. To me, since the day I had first seen her Charlotte had been an obsession. But, since I had kissed her last night and she had returned my feelings, she became a full-on drug. I needed to see her. I groaned and stripped my jacket and clothes off so I was down to my jeans and brilliantly-white Hanes tee. It fit snug against my bicep and was my favorite thing to wear. I groaned again and fell onto the cool, leather couch. I punched the power button on the large stereo system - the ones the DJs used in LA - remote and turned to a hard-rock station. I upped the volume and closed my eyes, letting the music take me . . . .

The music shut off and I squinted my eyes at the perpetrator. Dwayne stood, gazing at me with severe intensity. “Wha?” I asked in a half-ass manner and turned my face towards the back of the couch.

“Someone is here to see you,” he said gruffly.

I cocked an eye at him and he nodded towards the door. I sat up quickly, an acidic feeling churning in my stomach as I realized who it probably was. “Charlotte?” She stood sheepishly at the doorway, dressed in a heavy hoodie, jeans, and trainers. A small but packed bag was strung over her shoulders. The shadow of a bruise was appearing on her left cheek. I knew instantly what had happened, but didn’t know what to say. I sensed my facial expression turn from annoyance from Dwayne’s disturbance to concern.

“I’m sorry,“ I said aloud, knowing that it was my altercation with her father that had caused her pain. That my approaching her was causing her harm. I winced mentally. Charlotte stepped forward and let out a sob, like she had been keeping sorrow and everything else in for all these years, and I opened my arms, enveloping her in what she would later say was the most meaningful embrace. I bent my head to lean it against hers and kicked myself on the inside. Why? Why had I pushed her father so? Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Dwayne leaving through the front door. I made a mental note to thank him later.

“I-I didn’t know what to do, David,” Charlotte chocked against my chest. “I packed a bag and jumped and-”

“You jumped from the roof?” I asked with a hint of laughter, trying to lighten the mood. Charlotte’s crying as frightening me - I hadn’t been around hormones like these in a while, and I wasn’t sure what to do.

She laughed a little, the light twinkling through the tears. I used a thumb to wipe them away. She laughed again and finally looked around, a long, silent, analyzing look. My feet almost fell from under me when I realized that she didn’t know the truth. I had thought, for a moment, that she had and I wouldn’t have to lie or explain everything. . . . What would I say now?

“Oh,” she said, pulling back from me, but keeping hold of my arms. “You live in a cave? . . . .” She stood back farther and turned in a 360, taking it all in from the genuine rock walls to the mini kitchen to the huge entertainment center and to the few beds pushed in the corner that we kept for . . . nostalgia purposes. “This is so cool.” She turned and grinned at me. “David, for a cave this is really, really snazzy!”

“Snazzy?” I mumbled the word as I glanced around myself. Snazzy was the nice leather sofas that took an ass and a half to get down here. Snazzy was the huge flat screen TV and beds. It was a step up from our original Cave, however. If only she new how we really lived, how we barely washed our clothes - once a month we make a “day” out of it - never wash dishes and often walk around in our boxers scratching our balls. We were men without women and acted as such. I shivered at the thought of telling Charlotte that every so often we lured a girl into our Cave - a wanderer who couldn’t tell the difference that we shouldn’t be here. We’d seduce her and let her stay . . . she’d inevitably clean . . . and then we’d kill her. Harsh, but we really, really didn’t like to clean.

Charlotte dropped her bag on the sofa and walked around a bit before settling on one of the two beds. She pulled her feet under her and gazed at me with large, watery doe eyes. I went to her and stretched out behind her on my stomach. I started to rub her back beneath her hoodie.

“What happened?” I asked, guiding her into conversation.

“My mom . . . died last year.” She laughed hollowly. “She killed herself. Ever since then my father’s been . . . distant. He has severe mood swings but mostly rules with an iron fist. We fought and . . . he hit me. This is the first time it has ever happened.” She covered her face with her hands and she started to tremble. I sat up and hugged her from behind. She turned within my grasp and set her head on my shoulder. “I can’t stay there, David, I just can’t. I can’t deal with that shit anymore. I can’t deal with his girlfriend pretending to be my mom. I can’t deal with over-achieving Jamison and annoying Tatiana. I can’t stand hating going home anymore. It seems the house is filled with a vesicant and it just kills me to go in it.” This was probably the longest I had ever heard her speak without pause. She stroked my arm and continued. “I’ll be eighteen in a couple weeks. After that, I don’t care if I have to beg for food, I can’t be supported by them. I just want to be free.”

I ran my fingers through her hair and pulled her even closer. I wasn’t sure what to say - it had been a while since I really cared what I said to a woman. “You can stay here,” I said slowly, giving great consideration to each word. “You can live with me and my brothers.” The thought made me happy, but saying it didn’t feel right - like when you lie - it just didn’t feel right. But I wanted her with me and out of mental - and physical - danger, and this offering was the only thing I could give.

She sighed and thought, her head against my chest, gazing at the large, open room. “Brothers?” she asked after a long while, stressing the “s.” “There are others besides Dwayne?”

I nodded, noticing that she did not give a comment about my statement. “Together, there are five of us.”

“They aren’t your real brothers . . . .” This was a statement, not a question.

“No - they’re not blood related.” In vampire terms we were, but not in mortal terms.

“Aren’t you cold?” she asked interlocking her fingers with mine. I could tell that she was changing the subject - that she had so much shit going on with her family that she didn’t want any drama between us now. She just wanted a safe haven.

“Yes,” I grinned and pulled her to me with a laugh. Charlotte squealed as I pulled her vertical on the bed, pushing my face into her neck, and tickling her middle. She kicked her head back and laughed as I traced the insides of her forearms with the tips of my nails, barely gliding over them and causing goose bumps.

The light mood turned heavy as I leaned my face down to hers and grazed my lips over her jawbone, following it up to her lips. She tilted her head back, letting me draw on her plump bottom lip. Her hips moved against mine and she drew her hands up my sides and ran the tips of her fingers through my scalp. I butterfly kissed down her throat, indulging as I my teeth graze against the skin. I felt Charlotte shiver and I ran my hands up and down her arms. I returned my kisses back to her lips and my hands skirted with the hem of her hoodie, inching them up and over her stomach. I let my hands glide over her tan, doughy, and pleasant stomach before reaching my hands beneath her and up her spine. She gasped at the chilly touch and arched her back.

Charlotte’s lips found my adam’s apple and she brushed her lips against it, her hands pulling at the neck of my t-shirt. My hands glided from her spine to just below her chest and back to her navel. I sighed internally, letting the void of a warm, caring woman fill and spill over ten fold. But I also sighed in misery as I felt the raw need for her blood grow within me. If I wanted to go all the way - and I did - I would have to fill up before . . . . If I wasn’t fully satiated, I would probably end up biting Charlotte . . . and drinking Charlotte . . . and killing Charlotte. I settled the mood back down by slowly lowering the intensity of my actions until we were lazing against one another.

“David?” she smiled, placing a hand on my chest. “What is your last name?”

I chuckled. “Darlan.”

“Hmmm . . . .” She sighed with content and ran her hands through my hair. “What did you call me to my father - the name.”

“Lotte.” I slurred the “t”s so they almost became “d”s.

She let a half smile come to her lips. “I like it.”

“Lotte - do you believe that when certain people meet - people that are meant to be together - that everything is already there. You don‘t have to say anything and that other person just knows?” Charlotte nodded, her eyes closed. “Because it feels like I’ve known you forever,” I confessed in a rush. “I look at you and feel like you know everything about me and I don’t have to explain anything. I see your eyes and they tell me that it’s all right. They tell me that everything horrible I’ve done in the past is forgiven and erased. And that as long as I’m with you, I’ll end up where I need to be and I can just coast . . . .” I let my hand drift in the air, miming me coasting through life.

Charlotte‘s eyes finally opened, revealing they were shiny and wet. “I love you, David Darlan” The words came out in one glorious whisper that made the stars tremble. “I love you like Clint Eastwood liked making westerns - a whole damn lot.”

I snorted at the analogy and rubbed my lips against hers. I opened my mouth and spoke words that I hadn’t said in over 70 years: “I love you, too.”

Chapter 9: David by sadie_leona

Charlotte fell asleep with ease, the leather and glass necklace she wore giving the slightest tink with her every breath. I gazed at her with admiration and love until the familiar prickling of my skin began, letting me know that the sunrise was near. And with the sunrise came the return of my brothers.

I had already decided how I was going to handle this . . . for the moment. I was going to lie and hide it. Even though Max was hundreds of miles away, two of my brothers’ allegiances to the brothers alone, I felt, was not secure enough. Our newest brother, Logan, was still caught up with the new life, and thought Max his hero, since it was Max who had changed him. Paul fused with Logan since the first day he was with us and has since been . . . impressionable upon him. Paul is still a strong brother, but if it was between Max and Logan (as one unit) and Marco, Dwayne, and I, I could be pretty sure who he was going to pick . . . and it wasn’t the later.

I heard the echoes of my brothers long before they entered the door. I hid Charlotte’s bag beneath the bed and covered her up - right up to the top of her head - and leaned away from her in a untrusting way to show the boys I wasn‘t so affectionate. Dwayne, Marco, Paul, and Logan burst through the door in a raucous cloud of alcohol and various illegal substances. Dwayne’s face fell a bit as he spotted me in the corner, but he continued to laugh with the group. Finally, all of them drew attention to me, hooting and joking like a lot of college boys. They were not, however, unaccustomed to seeing seduced, snoozing women in the Cave. They quickly grew bored with me and my “prey” and rooted around the Cave, winding down.

Sleeping Charlotte only had to hold out maybe an hour longer before they themselves were in bed and we could resume our . . . togetherness. But, with horror, Charlotte’s body twitched and her eyes opened. Even though she faced away from them, I was afraid they would notice that she moved and, if it were any other girl, they would want their way with her.

She froze, her eyes wide, her ears perked. I remembered watching her before we spoke, how she was always alert and always watching. She wasn’t the type to flounce around my brothers. Her eyes covered mine with question. Was it all right to speak? To move? I pressed a finger to my lips and shook my head ever so slightly. She understood and her breathing, which had abruptly stopped, returned to a slow, sleeping pattern. She gave me one last look before closing her eyes, waiting.

I sat up and felt Charlotte’s hand close around mine. I turned my head to see her eyes still closed, but her once complacent face now held lines of worry. I gave her fingers a squeeze, noticing for the first time a jade ring on her left ring finger. A family heirloom? I doubted it by the way the silver band glinted in a never-again achievable manufacturer shine. I would have to ask her about it later.

I slipped on an old hoodie that had been discarded on one of the other beds and strolled into the kitchen and grabbed a take-out box of Chinese that had just been brought. I twirled the chopsticks in the noodles absentmindedly, the real, raw hunger beating in the my eardrums. I needed to drink.

“What’s up with the meat, Davy?” Marco sneered playfully. “Not prime enough?” He stepped backwards as he said this, and then turned around, headed straight for Charlotte. I opened my mouth, to yell, but this would have gone against what I wanted. This would let him know that I had feelings for this girl. While the boys, I’m sure, would have left her alone, it was Max I was afraid of. Betsie’s gravestone flashed through my mine. Dwayne’s face, contorted by rage and grief, haunted me.

“Awh, shit, Marco,” Dwayne exclaimed as his take-out box tumbled to the ground, the saucy chicken and rice sliding down Marco’s LPs. Marco turned, inches away from Charlotte, to see what had happened.

“Fuck it,” Marco sighed, comically punching Dwayne in the stomach. “If I wasn’t so beat I’d take you on, asshole.” He and Dwayne cleaned the mess as Logan and Paul finished up a game of Rockband. I felt my stomach knot as a morning breeze wafted through the various cave-pockets, the so very mortal scent curling beneath my nose and playing hell with me. An hour or so later the boys slowly exited the main room, traveling down another hallway to the caverns where we slept vertical. Dwayne pushed the large bottle of blood - my blood - into my hands.

“Before you kill her,” he muttered. He stalked from the room, he, too, exhausted.

I waited a few minutes, my ears perked for the sounds of the retreating boys to totally disappear. I quickly drank from the wine bottle, my blood - stored for emergency purposes - would satisfy me, but it was much like an alcoholic drinking wine coolers - pretty pointless. I stashed it and glugged some soda to hide the taste. I sauntered back towards the bed, a 20 ounce bottle of Dr. Pepper in my hands. I crawled onto the bed and snaked around Charlotte, who had fallen asleep again. She mumbled and cuddled into my chest, her face stuck in the crook of my neck. She glanced up at me, her eyes hooded. I knew that she was too tired to speak, but her look told me she had questions upon questions. I sighed and held her closer, realizing now that this relationship wasn’t even a relationship anymore - it was something so much more.

As I waited for Charlotte to drift back to sleep, I counted out the ways this thing could end. One, I could come to terms with Charlotte being turned vampire. Two, I could be careless and she could end up like Betsie. Three, I could just end it - something I don’t believe either of us could do. And four, I could destroy my family and live the mortal life. Inside, I laughed. I was the man who had everything yet nothing.

Chapter 10: Charlotte by sadie_leona

David was in a deep sleep when I woke. His arms were wrapped around my torso possessively, his head resting against my neck, his lips wisping against my jugular as my body raised and lowered with my breathing. I searched the pitch-black cave with my eyes, the only lights emanating from the alarm clock - it was three in the afternoon - and random lights from the various electronics. I stretched and slid from David’s grasp. I wonder if there was a bathroom around here. I had a sinking suspicion there wasn’t. I fumbled for my bag beneath the bed and pulled out my flashlight. Hmm . . . I’ve never been in a bachelor pad before. I stretched and walked forward.

For a cave, this place was really cool. But who lived in a fucking cave? There was no indoor plumbing. How did the boys seem so clean and smell so . . . not dirty? Well, only David and Dwayne, really - I hadn’t met the rest of them yet. What did they do in the winter for heat? There wasn’t winter here I chided myself. Not like in the North East, anyhow. There was no snow, no icy roads . . . . I flashed the light over the large entertainment system - an LCD TV so large that I couldn’t even touch the edges with my arms spread. All of the gaming systems known to man - PlayStation 2 and 3, Xbox, GameCube, an old-school Nintendo, boxes of games and memory cards . . . . The music system was fit to rival any German club - a turntable and 5-disc CD changer and a boom-box attachment that holds three cassette tapes and numerous hookups for attachments like a 8-track player and an iPod. Records and CDs and cassette tapes littered the floor and shelves and spilled over boxes. A shelf underneath the TV, with slats like ones in fancy kitchens to hold plates, held numerous laptops and cords. On the wall to the right of the entertainment system was a make-shift kitchen with a double-wide fridge full of food and a tray of burners like a hunting camp would have. Dressers of clothing lined the wall to the right of the door. It smelled neutral - nothing I’d stick in a perfume bottle, but nothing that I would have to breathe through my mouth for. I inspected a cupboard and pulled a Rice Chex cereal bar from a wrinkled cardboard box and a bottle of chilly water from the fridge and stretched out on the couch. I turned the TV on and muted it.

Why did David live like this? Where were his parents? If they could afford high-end electronics like this? Why didn’t they rent a proper living space? How could they stand not having running water? Who were the rest of the boys? The questions got the best of me and I switched the TV off and climbed back into bed with David.

“David,” I said, poking him in the side.

“Mmmm,” he mumbled and twitched.

“David,” I said again, louder.

“Huh? Wha? Ermm . . . .” He rolled over and let out a loud, disgusting snore. I sighed and leaned down, giving him a passionate kiss. At first his lips were dead, mine pushing his back and forth, but not before long he fully woke, a low grumble coming from his throat as he snaked a hand around the nape of my neck and squished his lips hungrily against mine. Regretfully, I pushed him away. David sat up with a sleepy look, yawned, and ran his hands through his dirty hair. “What?” he said. “You wake me up like that then push me away?” He grabbed at my waist but I scooted back from his grasp with a smile. A wicked grin came upon his lips and he reached for me again and again I scooted, but this time off of the bed.

“Oomph,” I groaned as my bum hit the stone floor. David chuckled and came after me. I let out a giggle and scuttled away on my hands and knees. He moved quickly and grabbed my thighs, pulling me down. With little effort, he slide my body beneath his and grinded against me. I leaned up and caressed the sides of his face. “David,” I whispered, gazing into his eyes uber- romantically. He chuckled deeply and nuzzled my neck. We laid there for awhile, on the stone floor. “David?” I asked, wondering if he was even awake.

“Hmm?” His lips glided over my jawbone.

“I care about you David.” He sighed with content. “I have . . . questions.” He sighed again, only this time he didn’t seem so happy. He leaned away from me, his eyes watching my lips, waiting. “Who are you?”

Chapter 11: David by sadie_leona

“Who are you?” Charlotte asked me, her brows knitting together.

I gulped, knowing that this conversation was eminent, yet I didn’t know how I was going to handle this. Do I tell her? Do I lie?

Like a fool, I lied . . . sort of. I just left the big thing out.

“David Darlan.” This was a truth. She gazed at me expectantly. “I fell out of favor with my family . . . we all did - my brothers. We are just vagabonds, really. Just drifters.” This was a truth, too. I took her right hand in my left and held it to my lips. I needed her.

“How can you afford such expensive shit. Your bike. All of these electronics. Do you steal them?”

“Some,” I sighed. “Some are just really good connections.” She nodded, seeming to be able to take it.

“What are you going to do when you get older?”

I shrugged. “It really isn’t in our nature to plan long-term.” This, also, was a truth.

“So I take it you’ve never had a successful relationship before.” She ran the length of my neck with her nail, giving me pleasant goose bumps.

I let out a long sigh and ran my hands through her hair. “Not a memorable one, no.” Not since my wife, I whispered, and look how that one turned out.

She bit her lip and closed her eyes. “I want to ask you so many things. Like what is going to happen when I leave? What are we? I can tell you’re not telling me something . . . something big. But I’m too . . . emotionally exhausted to deal with this. I just want a few weeks of bliss.” I leaned across and kissed up her neck. She sighed and huddled against me. I wrapped my arms around her and held her. She fell asleep with ease. I lifted her and carried her back to the bed. I removed her shoes and tucked the blankets around her.

I stood up and felt the gnawing hunger crumple me. I finished off the bottle of blood and felt quenched . . . for now. When dark came again, I would have to feed - and feed heavily.

---X---

I sat stiffly at the edge of the bed, waiting for the sun to settle. Only a few more minutes now and it would be safe to go. Only a few more minutes and my brothers would wake. Charlotte sat next to me changed and fresh - fresh as she could in a place like this. She was still sleepy, her eyes closing every few moments as she tried to not lapse back into sleep.

“Are you sure you should go back?” I asked, picking at crud beneath my thumbnail.

She shrugged. “I think that it would be worse if I waited anymore.”

“Should I stay?” I felt the prickling on the back of my neck - that night was imminent - so I stood, giving her the silent signal it was time to go. She trailed behind me as I walked fast through the dirty hallways.

“God no. Are you serious? I think we’d both be shot. Save yourself, man.” We both chuckled as I opened the dead-bolts to the outside. I opened it like it was my lifeline, letting the moonlight reenergize me to hold me off until I could get some kind of subsidence that wasn’t my beloved.

Charlotte clung to me as I drove her to the cottage, though she was becoming a pro. I pulled into the driveway behind the car to let her off. I gave her a quick hug and kiss, seeing the shadow of her father looking through the window. She had wrote her cell number in Sharpie on my forearm. I was to call tomorrow - hopefully things would quiet down - somewhat, anyway.

I watched as she slowly made her way to the front door. I imagined the shadow, sitting at a table, leaping up and pouncing on Charlotte. I imagined myself storming the place, ripping apart everyone in the house, and riding away with Charlotte behind me, a new vampire, to live out eternity with. I shook my head of my daydream to watch what really was happening, to be ready to go in that house. But no, Charlotte entered the house and stood by the door for a long time. Finally, she sat across from her father. I sighed and backed the bike out, ready for a long night of sedation.

At the boardwalk I befriended a sultry girl who looked like a dime a dozen - all I knew was that she smelled like she tasted so damn good. I was so thirsty I was basically heaving like a rabid dog as I led her to my bike. She, of course, thought this was because we were going to have sex. Haha . . . no. I pulled her on the back of my bike and rode into the darkness.

Chapter 12: Charlotte by sadie_leona

Author's Notes:
Sorry it was kind of moving slow! I was in limbo from one half of the story to the other - just get through this chapter and it’ll pick up! ;)
“I don’t care,” I whispered hoarsely, hot tears stinging in my eyes. “I don’t care if you keep my in this house under lock and key but the moment - the moment - I turn eighteen, I am out of this god-damned house before you can even say anything.” I took a deep breath in as I finished my bravado. This wasn’t entirely for David. David just let me realize what I had to do. No, this was for everything that had happened since my mother died. He glared at me, his lips twitching. I sighed again, feeling another wave of courage coming on.

“Ever since Mom -”

“Don’t bring her into this!”

“Listen! Ever since Mom died you’ve thought that I can’t handle myself - just because I‘m a girl. Well guess what - I can. I may be out gallivanting around with a boy, but I’m not out having sex with him. And if I am? I’m sure as hell not not going to use protection. I’m not going to get pregnant, okay? I’m not your little girl anymore - in a few months I’m going to college and I’m going to be gone. I’m going to be gone doing whatever I please and you can’t stop me. I don’t need your money and I don’t want your money! So you can make this easy or you can make this hard. I’m either walking out of here and I don’t think I’ll ever be back. Or I can stay here and still see David and you’ll have to handle it.”

My father stood abruptly and shoved the chair back towards the table with great force. He stalked up the stairs thought it was barely even nine thirty. He hadn’t given me a direct answer, but I believed that if he would have wanted me out he would have said to get the hell out. I slid from my chair and lithely glided up the stairs, too, and jumped in the shower. I freshened up and pulled on some girlier, more revealing clothes and packed a Dickies checkered backpack with some more clothes and headed for the town. I had a good feeling I’d either see David or Dwayne.

>-=-<

I padded down the road, fighting the urge to run, the creepy feeling from the dark forest and frogs chirping creeping down my spine. I quickened my pace as soon as I had the boardwalk in my sights. I trailed around a few cars and stopped dead in my tracks. I was too shocked to cry. I just stood, gaping.

David rested his hand on the cheek of Venessa, a girl my age who had been to our cottage a few times - we had even hung out at the beach together. She ran with the crowd that Jamison hung out with. That bitch. His lips moved and she was his, just as much as I was. She smiled and ran her hands down his sides and ground her groin against his. He whispered in her ear and she grinned and nodded. They walked towards me but veered to the left. To his bike. She climbed on behind him and they left. My jaw dropped and I felt my bottom lip tremble. I choked back my sob and turned on my heel, retreating, broken, the way I came.

How could I have trusted him? A local partier that lived in a cave? Honestly, what was I thinking? His face shimmered in my mind and I mentally slashed it away. I thought of all I had done and risked and cared for him and felt my face grow hot with anger.

I waited until I felt the creepy chill of the forest to know I was alone before I let out a loud, rocking sob out. I covered my face with my hands and heaved. Soon, the sound of an engine cut through the frogs and the silence. I stood straight and tried to present myself a little bit more together until the speeding bike passed. But the red break light splashing against the blacktop made me stop as the bike made a u-turn. Dwayne shut off the bike and glided next to me. “Charlotte, you ‘kay?”

“Yep,” I snapped curtly and plowed forward.

“No yer not.” I said nothing, keeping my watering eyes on the ground. “What happened?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“What happened?” he asked again, putting down the kickstand of the bike and walking next to me. “Come’n Charlotte, you can tell me.” He stepped in front of me, holding me in place.

“Ask David if you’re so interested, okay?”

He dropped his hands and stepped back from me, a flash of something I couldn’t quite detect had gone through his eyes. “What did he . . . .”

“He was with someone else, okay?” I let a few tears slide down before I continued on walking. Dwayne had a delayed reaction, but he grabbed my forearm, pulling me back.

“Are you sure he was with with her?” he asked seriously. I shook my head to tell him I was finished talking and walked away. “You wanna ride home?” I didn’t bother turning around, but shook my head.



I didn’t sleep that well that night – David had tried to call several times. At first I let him leave a message: Her Lotte, it’s David. Just wondering if you’re still alive. If things aren’t messed up and I can’t get through to you, I’ll be on the boardwalk tomorrow night – meet me there! All right then . . . . Gah! How . . . what? . . . humph! He sounded . . . cheery – not as if he had been with Venessa on impulse and he was calling to apologize. Not like Dwayne had told him that I had seen as he was calling to apologize. I sniffled and hung up. He called a few more times before giving up.

I sat in my room for a while that morning like I was hung over before deciding that one – I wasn’t going to give the satisfaction to my father that he was right and two – I didn’t want to sit like a soppy girlfriend wallowing for the rest of the trip. I brushed out my hair and pulled on a bikini and beaded halter dress, stuffed a few essentials in a burlap tote bag, slipped on some flip-flops, and headed for the door.

“Are you going to see whats-his-name?” my father asked from the washroom doorway.

“Yes,” I lied.

He pulled the keys from his pocket and tossed them to me. “Take the car, please.”

I took the keys and left.



“Well, well, well,” a familiar voice chanted merrily from behind. Cash sat on the back of the bench, his feet dangling down the back. “Been a couple days since I’ve seen you, ‘eh?”

“Yeap,” I said curtly, tracing the horizon, dotted with surfers, with my eyes. After he didn’t speak, I flicked my eyes towards him. He looked down.

“I told you he was bad news,” he muttered, avoiding my eyes.

“You didn’t say a thing about him,” I laughed. “I certainly didn’t hear it.”

“Ah, well, I was going to tell you anyway.” He sat next to me

“Right.” I hunkered down further in the bench, enclosing myself in anger. It was another long moment before Cash spoke again

“What did he do?”

I sighed, examining my nails. “Broke a . . . promise.”

“Ah,” he smiled, “with another girl, ‘eh?”

I nodded.

“He’s with a different girl every night.”

“You’re not helping,” I whispered as my stomach dropped. Cash made a noise and leaned in close to me with an arm around my shoulders.

“I’m always here for ya, babe,” he smiled and knocked his head into mine.
End Notes:
Please review! It makes me happy. XD
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