Consumed

by Meame Kannouteki (目飴 官能的)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/192072.html)

He woke up with a cock in his mouth, a splitting headache, a chill the size of Antarctica, and the singular wish that he was dead. Joshua Aoki had really fucked up this time, and that was saying a lot. It was one thing falling for a shiny, charming vampire once when he’d been seventeen, but something else entirely falling into his arms again three years after the first time he’d almost been killed by his vengeful maker and ex-lover.

That very same vampire was the one currently straddling Joshua’s naked chest, almost gently forcing a cold, hard dick through his formerly unconscious lips. Alexander was smirking at him even now, relishing in taking something from Oliver, something that his little pet cherished above all else in the world.

“That’s it, nothing to save you now. No use fighting back. You know this is all you’re good for, anyway. You know this is all he wanted you for in the first place. Suck it,” Alexander hissed at him, fangs bared as he examined Joshua as if he wasn’t a person at all, but instead a huge plate of cheese fries.

It was disgusting. Joshua suddenly felt nauseous as he came to more fully, his gag reflex kicking in, his limbs flailing, trying to push away the monster taking advantage of him.

“Tsk, tsk….” Alexander’s English accent put an odd, disconcerting spin to everything he said, as did his dismissive, superior tone. In the blink of an eye, the vampire had Joshua’s arms pinned over his head and was again forcing his dick past Joshua’s lips, taking advantage of his scream as he gripped Joshua’s wrist tight enough to break it.

“There, there, pet.” Alexander was nearing sugary sweet now, smiling down at Joshua with faux fondness. “We mustn’t misbehave, or else we will be punished. Understood?”

The only thing Joshua understood was that he was hurting too much to argue. He could feel the bones of his broken wrist scraping together, and it was agonizing.

Help me, he thought, knowing that Oliver wouldn’t hear him. He’s going to kill me… again.

Joshua had to focus on something, anything, else. Inevitably, his thoughts turned to Oliver – how they’d met, how they’d parted, how they’d met again, and how much Joshua wished Oliver was here right now.

Joshua had first met Oliver Vogel while still in high school. Twelve months of lessons and practice and begging his parents for a motorcycle – please please please, it would make him so cool, he’d be responsible, he swore! – and he’d finally gotten his license and also received a bike with a ribbon around the handlebars for his seventeenth birthday.

It was on the way home from his part time job at the mall late one night that he’d met – or rather, hit – Oliver.

The streets of San Jose’s suburbs were usually virtually empty once you managed to get off the freeway, but it was just Joshua’s luck, as well as his curse, that he would end up hitting a pedestrian.

Though Joshua hadn’t known it at the time, it wasn’t his fault. The fault, he would later be assured, was all Oliver’s. He’d been under the same impression that Joshua had – that the streets at this time of night weren’t dangerous, that he could handle zooming around on the way to his own job as a night time security guard at Public Storage. Oliver wasn’t on a vehicle, so there was no discernible noise, just a sudden rush of wind replacing the area where he’d just been, a low “whoosh” since Oliver’s speed was approaching that of sound itself. He certainly hadn’t been visible, either, and despite Oliver’s excellent reflexes, he couldn’t manage to avoid Joshua hitting him.

The crash ended up hurting Joshua and his bike far more than it hurt Oliver.

Oliver, being a creature of the night, one of the living dead – in short, a vampire – was indestructible save for burning or a stake through the heart. A little bike accident, being hit at forty miles an hour by a one-thousand-pound deathmobile plus rider, was about as irritating as a bee sting to him. He fell to the asphalt, rubbed his head, and squinted to see how the rider of the bike had fared.

Joshua had ended up sprawled several feet away, near the center of the road, bleeding from the head profusely, inches from death.

“Damn it…” hissed Oliver. He made his way to the boy – he looked young, maybe about the same age as Oliver had been when he’d been turned. His long-ish dark brown hair hung about his face, sticky with blood that Oliver could smell and practically taste. The boy hadn’t even been wearing a helmet….

Oliver hadn’t fed for several days, but now was not the time to be tempted by all the fresh blood before him. He was no monster, he was more civilized than that. He was going to help this boy. He could already feel the boy’s pulse fading, his heartbeat becoming erratic. Quickly, he unsheathed his fangs and bit his own wrist, hissing with the pain of it. Few things could actually hurt a vampire, but the fangs of other vampires and one’s own fangs were a couple of those things. He let Joshua take his blood into his unresponsive mouth.

The healing properties of vampire blood were not something that Oliver had ever experimented with in his nearly fifty years among the undead, but he’d heard tell of rumors from the few underworld allies he had, and he had only to hope that this worked. At any rate, the wound on Oliver’s wrist was already closing and healing over, but the wounds on Joshua’s body also seemed to be fading. He’d stopped bleeding, and his pulse had regularized itself. Seconds later, the boy opened confused brown eyes and began to sit up of his own accord.

Oliver breathed a sigh of relief. He’d killed enough people in his time, and he’d ended up regretting each one. He definitely didn’t want to be at fault for killing this boy, too. It had been almost twenty years since his last kill, after all. That was a record that Oliver wanted to keep.

“What… happened?” Joshua asked, staring from Oliver to his wrecked bike to his own hands, which were still wet with blood. “What the…?” And then back to the bike. “My bike… ah, man….”

Oliver raised an eyebrow at the other boy. “Your bike,” he repeated flatly. “Is that seriously all you have to say? Is that all you care about? Why not ask why you’re covered in blood but apparently healthy as a horse, hm? Why not wonder just how it is you survived that crash? Is the bike’s condition more important than your own life?”

Oliver couldn’t help it. He’d risked a lot, here. Granted, it was mostly to clear his own conscience, but having someone he’d deliberately saved be so clueless and selfish and concerned for a mechanical object hit his anger buttons.

Joshua stared at his savior after that outburst. He was just a boy – nothing too peculiar about him, save for his pale skin and eyes that even in the light of the streetlights he could tell were a beautiful shade of blue-green. His hair was plain and brown but styled nicely backward in a way that reminded Joshua of the nineteen-fifties television shows he’d sometimes caught on TV Land when nothing else was on. He was thin, if maybe a little chubby around around the cheeks, and spoke with a voice a little higher than you’d imagine in a boy who looked about seventeen, like not only had his voice not changed yet, but possibly it might never change at all.

Joshua had an odd feeling about this boy, but he was too curious about Oliver’s bitter interrogation and how he’d ended up here alive to think on it further.

“All right, I’ll bite,” he said, lips quirking up in a shy smile. “What happened? How am I alive? And who are you, anyway? My name’s Josh. Joshua Aoki.”

Oliver’s anger faded the moment Joshua smiled. Who could be angry at someone like that? So awkwardly cute, so utterly clueless. He sighed, looking away. “It’s not safe here. I’ll explain once we get off the road. I don’t want you hit twice, you might actually die the second time.” Oliver stood up, offering Joshua his hand, which Joshua stared at for only a second or two before accepting. “My name is Oliver Vogel, and long story short, I’m a vampire.”

The explanation, from that point on, had boggled Joshua’s mind.

Vampires lived among humans as creatures of the night, they had super human speed and strength and were impossibly hard to kill. Most of them were mean sons of bitches, like the vampire who had made Oliver forty-seven years ago, claiming that Oliver was his and his alone, that he wanted him for all eternity.

“That sounds really gay,” Joshua had commented.

Oliver just rolled his eyes. “It was. Extremely. Alexander was my first kiss, my first… everything. I thought I loved him, but he was just using me. I kept his secret until the day he killed me and brought me back as a vampire. He tried to make me like him in other ways, too – he made me kill people, made me walk in the sunlight just to see how it felt….” Oliver winced, looking away at a nearby streetlight, imagining in that moment that it was the sun. “It feels horrible, like you’re burning alive. And considering he’d already killed me once, I never forgave him for that or any of the rest of it.”

“The rest of it?”

Oliver went silent, apparently not willing or able to elaborate on that point. Joshua quickly changed subjects. “But like… you aren’t hanging around with him anymore, are you? You seem like an okay person, saving my life and all. Okay for a vampire, but also okay for, you know, anyone else… I bet the average bystander wouldn’t have even noticed!”

“Yeah… I broke away from him after a few lousy, miserable years. By the time the war – Vietnam, I mean – was over, I was almost able to stop killing. Sometimes I’d sadly… go overboard. It was typical, apparently, for a young vampire, but I’ve always prided myself on my brilliant self-control. I haven’t killed anyone since about 1992, before you were probably born. I wasn’t about to leave you to die tonight and mar that record.” Oliver was smiling, so Joshua wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. He sure hoped he was joking. Joshua mirrored the smile with his own.

“Anyway….” Oliver sighed, running one hand through his styled hair, glancing at Joshua out of the corner of his eye. “That’s the gist of it. My blood healed you, vampires exist, most of them are crazy, case in point my batshit insane three-hundred-year-old ex-boyfriend.” Oliver smiled bitterly, resting his head on one hand. “Oh, and I nearly forgot – Alexander is still obsessed with me, to the point where he tracks me down no matter where I go. I have to move somewhere new every year or two. Don’t worry, though, you should be safe being around me…. I’ve only been here for two months.”

“Uh… I should?” Joshua wasn’t sure what that had to do with anything.

Oliver gave him a blank stare, then frowned. It wasn’t every day he explained these kinds of things to random humans. In fact, it was almost never. But like he’d told Joshua, it probably didn’t matter. As long as they parted ways after this, they’d be fine. Alexander would never know about Joshua.

“Yeah,” Oliver continued. “You should be fine. It’s just… he often announces his presence to me with a ‘gift’ or two. For example, I had these neighbors in Chicago once – the cutest little six-year-old girls. Twins. I’d say hi to them as I came in from work early in the morning as they left for the bus stop. Alexander broke into their apartment, cut off the head of their mother, drained the two of them dry, and left the girls on my living room sofa.” His voice had gone somber. If his heart still beat, Oliver was sure he’d feel it breaking.

Joshua just stared at him, unsure what to say. What did you even say to that? How could you say anything? He felt utterly overwhelmed. “Whoa… that’s….”

“Horrible. Inhuman.” Oliver met Joshua’s eyes, his expression unreadable. “That’s what vampires are. I’m technically no different. I just cling to my humanity more than most. Still, because of Alexander, you’d do well to avoid me. And avoid the rest of us, too, if you can. Forget we even exist.” With a sigh, Oliver stood. “I’m late for work.”

“Work?” Unsure what else to say to that, and what it meant that he didn’t particularly want Oliver to go and never to see him again, Joshua jumped at the chance to question him further, even about something as mundane as this. “Bad-ass vampire dudes like yourself still have to work?”

Oliver rolled his eyes. “How else am I going to afford my next apartment lease and alias papers when I inevitably have to move again?”

Joshua wasn’t sure what to say to that. Or to any of this. He opened his mouth briefly only to close it again. When he did speak, it was unplanned and frankly pretty lame. “Right. Sorry. Thanks for… you know. Saving me, I guess. I’ll try not to get killed or anything. Make it worth your while.”

Lame as Joshua was sure it sounded, Oliver actually smiled back at him. “Here’s a hint, if you want to repay me – if you’re gonna ride a death trap, at least wear a helmet.” Almost playfully, Oliver knocked Joshua on the head. They both laughed, though Joshua was late to it, so surprised was he that Oliver was joking with him after all this.

“So, um… I know you said it’s dangerous to be around you. And I don’t want to end up like those little girls, like, at all…. But, uh….” Joshua bit his lip before continuing, not even sure if he should be asking this. He just knew that he wanted to, and he wanted to see Oliver again. “Is there any chance at all I can see you again? ‘Cause you’re a pretty cool guy.”

Translation: “You saved my life after I crashed into you with my bike and didn’t even laugh at me or call me a moron and you sort of laugh at my jokes and even though you look at me like I’m an idiot sometimes, I think for some reason you really care, at least a little, so please don’t leave and never talk to me again because there is literally no one in my life right now who does that.”

Oliver’s expression softened further and the tension that was nearly always surrounding his eyes even lifted momentarily. He pulled out a business card.

Jason Steele
Public Storage Security

Along the bottom of the card was a phone number and the location of the storage facility where Oliver worked. “That’s my current alias. You don’t have to call me that in person, but if you end up calling me while I’m at work, ask for Jason, okay? If you… need anything stored, give me a call. Or if you need something else. But please, don’t just call for no reason, all right?”

Joshua took the card, grinning from ear to ear and pocketing it in his jeans, patting it just to make sure it was safe. “Of course! Storage! Right. I’ll… uh, maybe give you a call, then.”

Oliver nodded once. “Keep in mind, though, Joshua – I can’t guarantee your safety. As much as I wish I could, I can’t.”

That made Joshua’s spirits plummet quite effectively. “Well… I already almost died once. But that’s no reason to stop living, right?”

It was just something he said randomly out of lack of anything better to say, but Oliver seemed pleased to hear it.

“That’s right. Take care, anyway, though.”

And with that, Oliver was gone.

“Not long now… oh yes, suck it, get it nice and wet,” Alexander told him. He’d managed to pin Joshua’s hands with one hand while the other held his face, mocking gentleness and care that Joshua knew he didn’t feel, could never feel. Alexander fucked his mouth while Joshua tried hard not to gag – every time he did, Alexander squeezed his broken wrist again and Joshua saw stars. He didn’t bother trying to stem his tears – they were falling unbidden and he knew he’d never be able to stop them, even if Alexander did seem to relish them a little too much. In fact, his entire face was wet with tears and spit and a hint of precome. Alexander rubbed it all in, the saliva and the tears and all of it, smirking down at Joshua’s sightless eyes, trying to catch them as if he’d prefer they converse instead of Joshua unwillingly suck his dick. “Oh, fuck… I see why Ollie likes you so much, now. You’re not even trying and you suck like a bloody pro, don’t you? Can’t really see what else he sees in you, fucking oriental bitch.” He scowled, cruel grey eyes narrowing at Joshua with only a small portion of the spite and loathing he’d show toward someone whom he actually disliked. Joshua was clearly nothing but an offensive piece of furniture to him. Ugly drapes. A plastic slip-cover. Lime green cabinets. Offensive but easily ignored. “What’s your blood taste like, then? Mind if I have a few bites, love?”

Why he was even asking, Joshua had no clue. The only good thing about this was that he’d finally taken his cock from Joshua’s mouth. Joshua took the opportunity to cough once and finally breathe. His throat ached, his head was still hurting like a bitch from the blow Alexander had given it, and his wrist hurt even more as Alexander once again squeezed it.

“Shut up,” he hissed, perfectly disgusted by Joshua now that the happy feelings from having his dick in the young man’s mouth were long gone. His fangs came out, and his nose wrinkled as he examined another mark on Joshua’s neck, in an area where a typical t-shirt could conceal it. “I see he feeds on you quite regularly. Oliver should really learn how to share. Probably comes of being an only child, poor chap.”

“No….” Joshua managed, his voice hoarse from screaming and the more vulgar activities he’d been forced into tonight. He didn’t want to be bitten, not by Alexander. He knew Alexander didn’t have the fine control that Oliver had, the moral code that dictated that after taking a pint, he should stop. “Don’t….”

Alexander laughed, and in an instant the searing pain of his wrist, his throat, and his head was nothing compared to the feeling of fangs in his neck.

It only hurt this bad if the human was unwilling, Oliver had told him once. He’d likened an unwilling bite to sexual assault.

Now Joshua knew what he’d meant.

The first time Oliver bit Joshua, it was roughly three months after they’d met. They’d had a few successful “dates” under their belts, though Joshua hesitated to call them that. They might have made plans and hung out, but they weren’t really dating. They might have kissed toward the end of the last “date”, but they weren’t dating. Joshua was too cool to actually be gay, for one thing. Or at least, that was what he preferred people to believe. Even though no one knew about the two of them – both for Joshua’s continued safety’s sake and for Joshua’s continued sanity’s sake – Joshua still hesitated to call it what it really was.

Being a little gay was one thing, but being a little gay for a vampire was totally different.

“So… what’s it like, biting people?” Joshua was feeling morbidly curious again, similar to the time he’d asked Oliver to describe in vivid detail what Alexander looked like, in case he ever saw him creeping around his house.

“Honestly?” Oliver tilted his head, giving up watching the TV screen in front of them as he stared up at the other boy, who was currently holding him with one arm wrapped around his shoulders, a parody of protectiveness that was directly opposite of how things really were. Joshua had grown another inch since he’d met Oliver, and now towered over him by a whole two inches now. It was easy for Joshua to forget that Oliver was both older, wiser, and far more powerful than he was by varying degrees. Joshua felt him move and looked down, admiring those eyes of his. You didn’t see eyes like that very often among the kids at Joshua’s school, at least half of whom were Asian and among the other half… well. None of them looked like Oliver, all pale skin and 50’s movie star hair and antiquated fashion sense and eyes that looked like miniature oceans. It was hard not to feel protective towards him, he seemed so small. “Imagine being hungry all the time. Then imagine that everyone around you is literally edible and tastes like your favorite food. Even when you eat your fill, that hunger never really goes away….” Oliver’s expression became distant. “It’s terrible. It sucks – no pun intended.”

Joshua considered that for a moment, not hesitating to kiss Oliver’s forehead in a way that he hoped was at least a little comforting. Compared to being a vampire, being human was actually pretty okay, he figured. He managed to coax a smile from Oliver, and considered the kiss to be a victory. “Yeah… dude, that really sounds like it sucks. Does it hurt? Not for you, I mean. For the human?”

Oliver bit his lip, returning his gaze to the television. They were at Oliver’s apartment tonight. Joshua’s parents thought he was sleeping over at a friend’s house. Technically, he was. They just didn’t know that he was… ugh, sort of “dating” said friend and that said friend was a creature of the night. But, details….

“It does. If I can make eye contract, calm them down…. Vampires are capable of a form of hypnosis. It’s useful in making sure our prey don’t escape or cry out. If I can do that, they gasp but generally stay quiet. If I can’t manage it, they’ll scream in agony.” Oliver’s body seemed to tighten beside him, and Joshua instinctively wrapped his arm tighter around him, rubbing his upper arm. “I hate it when that happens. It doesn’t happen often, not any more, but it’s always nice if you’re able to hypnotize them. They barely remember afterwards. It saves me having to knock them out in an alleyway somewhere.” Joshua felt Oliver sigh then, and kissed his friend’s temple. Oliver’s skin was always a little cool to the touch. Joshua did his best not to think about that. He didn’t look or smell dead, and that was all Joshua cared about.

“So… what if I said I wanted you to try to drink my blood? You’re always hungry, right? Even right now? So you must want to.” It was a logical enough assumption to make, so Joshua didn’t expect the reaction that simple question got him. Oliver jerked away from him, horrified.

“I can’t do that to someone I actually know and like,” he hissed. There was a darkness in his blue eyes, but also a fear. “I can’t do that to you, especially!”

“But….” Joshua hesitated, not sure if he really wanted to argue this point or not. After a few moments, he decided to press on. At the very least, he’d begin to understand Oliver better if he pressed the issue, and at best… well, he might get bitten, which sounded like pretty much the coolest thing ever, aside from sex. And he wasn’t sure if he was ready for that. “You know how to stop, right? And if you like me, you’ll definitely wanna stop. And I’m offering. Just take a little, and I’ll put band-aids on over the holes. No big deal. I want to know first hand what it’s like. And I don’t want you hypnotizing me, either. I’ll stay calm without it, because I know you.” He smiled, then, feeling oddly affectionate as he reached for Oliver’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “And I trust you.”

Oliver sat at the other end of the couch, looking at Joshua and their conjoined hands as if he had never seen such a stupid human being before and as if their hands in that moment were deeply offensive to him and also possibly to God himself. Joshua tried to laugh through it, but Oliver raised his free hand and gave him a pointed look.

“Wait. First of all, I need to say… you are the single most idiotic human being I’ve ever come across in my seventy years on this earth,” Oliver admitted dryly, still glaring at him in a way that made Joshua deflate slightly, to the point where he almost took his hand away. Oliver gripped it again before he could pull away, though. “However… you’re right. I don’t think I could possibly hurt you. I’m far too invested in your safety. I really lo– um, like you a lot, so…. It really should be fine.” Oliver forced a smile, but refused to meet Joshua’s eyes. “It’s just…. It really is a constant fight. I don’t think you understand it. Actually, I hope you never do.”

Joshua nodded slowly. He understood, at least a little. “So… do you wanna make out first?” He smirked, pulling Oliver closer by the hand as he leaned in toward him, catching his friend behind the neck with a few fingers in his soft brown hair, effectively mussing it up nicely in the back. Sometimes he wanted Oliver to go au naturale for once. He was cute with his hair and his button up shirts and khaki pants, sure, but he looked like a grandpa at worst and a film star at best, and either way he felt like someone or something unattainable and forbidden. Joshua just wanted him to look like a kid his age, for once, selfish as that was.

Oliver’s lips quirked into a smile. Their kissing started off shy and inexperienced, but eventually Oliver’s fangs came out – quite literally, as well as figuratively. He accidentally grazed Joshua’s lips occasionally during the more heated kisses, then proceeded to suck on them with a strength that almost hurt. It felt like Oliver was trying to suck his lips straight off his face, at times, but Oliver’s needy moans as he sucked at the tiny traces of blood on Joshua’s lips made him feel just as, if not more, needy. Those noises had him hard almost immediately, much to his shame. Oliver had moved on from his lips to place kisses and gentle bites with his incisors along Joshua’s jaw, making his way to his neck.

When Oliver spoke, his voice was just a tad deeper than usual. If Joshua closed his eyes – which was definitely tempting, so he did – Oliver sounded almost like an entirely different person. Joshua shivered, feeling his breath on his neck as Oliver spoke. “Ready? You really want this? Because… and don’t hate me, but… I don’t think I could stop now even if you didn’t.”

There was something about that, the way he’d worded it or the way he’d said it or the need behind it or how desirable it made Joshua feel, or all of that, but there was something about it that made Joshua unable to answer except to shudder and bare his neck, drawing Oliver closer with both hands – one at his hip, one still at the back of his head.

Oliver didn’t need any more permission to continue – or indeed, any permission at all. The fangs going in felt like two knives, and Joshua’s whole body seemed to tighten, pulling Oliver closer out of instinct. His grip on him loosened when he felt the blood begin to flow, a surreal feeling that should have been alarming, but there was Oliver, lapping it up. His tongue was lukewarm at best and somehow soothing, especially over the twin wounds his fangs had made. Joshua exhaled slowly as the pain faded and something else entirely replaced it. He groaned. It felt like he was being give then world’s hottest, most intensely eye-opening hickey in the world.

“Fuck…” he muttered, closing his eyes and focusing on the sucking, wet, sharply intense feeling. This was definitely not helping his hard-on one bit. Oliver could probably feel it, too. He sort of wanted to die, though he didn’t know why. If Oliver wanted to have sex, he could definitely initiate that right now and Joshua wouldn’t put up a fight or say no or even really regret it later on. He felt too good to regret much of anything. Still, it was a little embarrassing. He was getting his blood sucked and that was doing nothing to keep him from getting hard.

Oliver eased up on him though, until eventually he was just breathing hard and licking and kissing along Joshua’s neck. “Are you okay…?” he breathed. There was still that hint of deepness, of danger, to Oliver’s voice. It made it all too easy for Joshua to pull Oliver’s head back. He was surprised to see that Oliver’s eyes were almost crossed, as if he was having trouble focusing. He didn’t know if he should attribute that to the recent feeding or if maybe Oliver was just as affected… ah, sexually, as he was.

“I’m great. Ol… that was amazing. Kind of like how I imagine sex going, but more bloody and I’m still–” Joshua made the mistake of looking down, and Oliver’s eyes followed. He didn’t seem surprised, though. In fact, he was smirking.

“Imagine what it’d be like during sex,” he offered almost casually. Joshua felt his cheeks going warm. Apparently he still had enough blood left to blush.

“Is that something you want to do…?” Joshua asked in a manner he hoped was casual enough.

Oliver’s sad smile and answering “Maybe,” were all he got that night, however. Joshua ended up falling asleep with Oliver in his arms. When the sun came up and Oliver retreated into the coffin-like bed he preferred to keep him safe from the sun, Joshua ended up missing his presence at his side when he finally woke up.

Joshua woke up again. He must have passed out, either from the pain or the blood loss or a combination of both. He felt disoriented – shouldn’t he be dead? Alexander did mean to kill him, didn’t he?

It was then that he noted a foul taste in his mouth – an unmistakable mixture of blood and come. Joshua retched involuntarily – so that’s what had been done to him after he’d passed out. Vampires shot empty loads and couldn’t get humans pregnant, Oliver had mentioned once, but inevitably their come was tinted with the blood of their victims. Joshua did his best to spit the taste out of his mouth, but it wouldn’t go away. Shaking, now, he noted that he was now tied up tightly at the wrists and ankles, discarded like last week’s trash in the corner of a dark room – probably a basement, given the floor below him seemed to be made of concrete.

At least he was alone. Joshua dared to close his eyes, falling asleep fitfully, still waiting but losing any hope that Oliver would find him.

There had been another time he’d fallen asleep and woken up so disoriented and panicked and sick that he’d wished he was dead.

One night, just a few weeks after Joshua had been bitten for the first time, Joshua woke up to Oliver’s apartment on fire and Oliver nowhere to be seen. Joshua nearly hacked up a lung, the smoke was so thick and hot that it began cooking him from the inside as well as the outside. He made his way to the main hallway, flames lapping at his heels, and stumbled down the stairs, finally passing out and falling half a storey, where the firefighters found him.

Alexander’s doing, he knew. How else could he explain it? Oliver wouldn’t just leave him there to burn, if it was a random fire. He painted the scene in his head while in the hospital, completely unaware how true to life it actually was.

When Joshua fell asleep with his head resting on Oliver’s shoulder after a long night out followed by a long night in sitting and talking about things, Oliver began playing with Joshua’s hair, fixing all the pieces of it that were out of place. The fondness he felt for Joshua had grown immeasurably over the past few months, and no matter how often or how forcefully Oliver had insisted that being around him was dangerous, Joshua refused to listen and refused to keep away from him. The truly sad thing was that Oliver was too selfishly invested in seeing Joshua to push matters.

He’d regret that, though. Immediately, as was the case.

Alexander began laughing first. That was the first thing he heard. Oliver froze at the sound of it, it was so cold. There were a lot of horrible memories attached to Alexander, and Oliver wanted nothing more than for his maker to meet the true death, but Oliver’s killing him himself would be an affront to vampire law. He was nowhere near strong enough, either. Alexander fed regularly and had several hundred years on Oliver, while Oliver was merely seventy years old and only fed when he needed to.

“Well aren’t you two cute.” When Alexander stepped in, apparently from the shadows, he was smiling coldly in addition to laughing. The stubble along his face made him look darker and more deadly, and his shoulder-length hair, just a few shades lighter than Joshua’s, framed his face menacingly. He looked every inch of the insane serial killer he was, having avoided playing around with his appearance and attempting to make himself presentable since he’d successfully courted Oliver back in ’64.

Oliver’s jaw clenched at the memory. He had seen Alexander only a few times since then, and each time he did Alexander appeared more and more deranged while Oliver appeared more and more passable as a human being. Right here, right now, it was no different. He was the one who legitimately cared for the person of his affections. Alexander just liked to pretend he gave a shit about Oliver. In fact, Oliver knew, it was simply that his pride would not accept being rejected and defeated by his own vampire progeny.

“Go away, Alexander. Leave.” Oliver had one arm protectively around Joshua’s shoulders, but his attention was on Alexander and Alexander alone. His maker wasn’t moving, however. For all intents and purposes, it seemed like he just wanted to have a little chit-chat.

“No, thank you, Ollie,” he grinned. “I’d rather not go. Not without you, at least.”

That didn’t come as a surprise. Oliver toyed with the idea of leaving Joshua here, where it was safe, and leaving with Alexander just long enough for his human boyfriend to escape and for himself and Alexander to high tail it out of San Jose, out of California, and possibly out of the States altogether before Oliver gave his maker the slip yet again. He feared what would happen to him in that time, however. What horrible things would Alexander manipulate him into doing? How much of his humanity, which he’d fought so hard to preserve, would Alexander have the chance to erode away?

No. He was too afraid, at least for now.

“What do you want?” Oliver hissed, unsheathing his fangs. He wasn’t looking for a fight here, but if it came to it….

“You.”

Also not surprising. They seemed to be at a stalemate, though Oliver knew Alexander well enough to expect that he had more up his sleeve than this, or else he wouldn’t have come here at all. Slowly, Alexander’s crazy smile faded, and he feigned a look of pity as he examined Joshua. “It’s a real pity, though. Your human is fairly cute, as far as they come, anyway. Nothing but a child, really. I’m not sure what you see in him beyond his blood and his moderately pleasing looks, poppet….”

“That is none of your business,” Oliver growled, a split second from jumping up, pouncing Alexander, and going for his throat. Stay rational, he had to remind himself. Stay sharp. Oliver swallowed his rage and spoke again, doing his best to approximate indifference. “But if you really must know, he doesn’t really appeal to me that much.” If he could get Alexander to believe that, maybe he’d leave Joshua alone.

His maker just laughed. “Really? That’s not what it seems like from here. You look at him like he’s your prize kitten, ribbon around his neck and everything. It’s actually pretty sickening, seeing what you two get up to. Lots of kissing and handjobs, is that right? Please tell me you’ve fucked before and I’ve just missed it. It’s been weeks since you fed on him, too! I can’t believe I raised such a wimpy biscuit of a vampire. All the other vampires talk about their kids and how they recently tore the throat out of some babies, and I just can’t say a word, because my little ray of sunshine is pretending to be something he’s not and raiding blood banks instead. You’re an embarrassment, Oliver, but there’s hope for you yet. Come back. I’ll even let you keep your prize kitten. Maybe we can even change him together, become a merry little trio, just us three, wouldn’t that be splendid?”

Oliver’s jaw was clenched so tightly that it would certainly hurt if he were human. A quick glance at Joshua revealed he was still sleeping. At least Alexander wasn’t speaking so loudly that it would be likely to wake him. Oliver tried to imagine a changed Joshua, a Joshua whose heart no longer beat, whose only hunger was for blood, whose innocent humanity was stripped from him just as Oliver’s had been.

In a flash, Oliver recalled being pinned down in the backseat of Alexander’s car. Alex had been kissing him. All of this had been so wrong, but it felt so right. Surely there was a sort of “wrong” that could also be considered “right”? After all, it had never been like this with girls. His and Alexander’s bodies fit together nicely. He had liked how heavy and strong Alexander felt when he pinned him to the car seat, kissing his neck.

And then there was screaming – Oliver’s screaming. There was blood. Pain, everywhere. He had been sucked dry, died, and was brought back with the power of Alexander’s own blood. Only semi-conscious, Oliver could never been completely sure, but he was sure Alexander had done things to his body while he’d been dead that most certainly were not the right kind of wrong.

Oliver sucked in a deep breath. He couldn’t let that happen to Joshua. No one deserved this fate, and no one deserved the fate of having Alexander in their life. He really would have to leave with Alexander, and hope that he left Joshua alone. It was either that or fight, and Oliver had to go with the option that had the highest chance of success.

“I’ll go with you,” Oliver breathed, staring now not at Alexander or at Joshua but at the floor. It was just easier that way. Slowly, he stood up, leaving Joshua sleeping but propped up against a pillow instead of his own body. Vaguely, Oliver realized he’d never see Joshua again, but for once he was strong enough in that moment to let him go. He should have done so sooner, but he’d counted on having more time before Alexander’s inevitable catching up actually occurred.

He tried to hide his disgust as Alexander took Oliver’s hand in his and led him straight out of his own apartment. He hadn’t had time to grab anything – no spare clothes, no toiletries, nothing. More importantly, though, he hadn’t had time to say goodbye to Joshua. His human boyfriend would wake up alone and confused in the morning, and this time there would be no Oliver sleeping the day away in his coffin, no text messages from him while Joshua was still in class, no… nothing. It would be as if Oliver had never existed in Joshua’s life, save for the fading scar of Oliver’s bite on his neck and Joshua’s own memories.

They were climbing silently down the apartment building’s stairwell when Oliver finally smelled it. At first he thought he might be imagining it, however once attuned to it, his keen senses identified it for what it was – a faint burning smell, like someone had burned popcorn and set off the building’s smoke alarm, only different. Oliver’s eyes widened, and he attempted to spring free from Alexander’s side, only for the older vampire to hold him at his side quite firmly.

“What’s wrong, pet? You never really liked him that much anyway, didn’t you say as much?”

The building-wide fire alarm began ringing, and Oliver might as well have been trapped in concrete for all he wasn’t moving in the direction he desperately wished he was moving in.

He’d failed Joshua. His no-kill record was tarnished and in the worst way possible. He didn’t even register Alexander’s pulling his struggling body out the door and away from the scene of the crime. He barely noticed when Alexander picked him up bodily and ran at a speed that approximated the speed of sound away from the burning apartment building, leaving nothing behind but fire and smoke and Oliver’s sorrow.

The next year spent with Alexander was beyond words. Oliver did things he hated simply because he didn’t know what else to do. Intellectually, he knew he should try to leave Alexander again, but for the longest time the desire to was no longer present. There was a certain amount of escape in allowing himself to become a monster for a time, and it was only when Oliver realized that this was Alexander’s intent all along, to break him so he’d submit to Alexander’s will, that Oliver decided that enough was enough.

He ended up running away again, saying goodbye to everything he knew – his distant past, his recent history with Joshua, and the future he could’ve had if only his life was a fairy tale and not a horror story.

Joshua had survived, a fact that Oliver hadn’t realized until years later. Over two years and Oliver had regained some semblance of his sanity. Feeling Joshua’s presence again through their blood bond, created when a vampire shares blood with a human, was almost enough to break it again, though.

He could feel Joshua, but not see him. He could almost smell him in the night air… but was he insane? Was he simply imagining it? Was it really him or was it wishful thinking on Oliver’s part yet again? He spent weeks trying to figure it out, but soon enough he didn’t have to simply wonder anymore. Joshua was right there, toting a backpack and listening to his MP3 player, waiting for his subway train just past sundown after a long night studying in NYU’s undergrad library.

If Oliver’s heart still beat, it would have stopped.

Joshua’s whole life could be summed up thoroughly by the following:

Wake up. Feel pain. Things happen. Terrible things. Pass out or fall asleep. Wake up. Realize worse things had happened while asleep. Have even more deplorable things happen while awake. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

He wasn’t sure how long he’d been there, but he did know that all his hope was now gone.

Even remembering wasn’t doing much good anymore. It wasn’t helping – if anything, it made things worse.

Still, he couldn’t just stop. He had to cling to something or he’d end up losing himself to the darkness and to Alexander instead, and he couldn’t bear the thought of allowing that.

Joshua had gotten a pretty decent scholarship to NYU to study at their Institute of Recorded Music, a career path that his rather traditional parents hadn’t approved of, but hey – he’d earned this and he was paying his own way. It was his life, and after having nearly died twice in the space of a few months before his senior year college application process began, he felt he was entitled to doing whatever the hell he wanted with it.

Joshua hadn’t expected to hear a familiar voice that night in the train station. Most of his friends lived on campus, and he was the only oddball who had to take a train across town to crash. He barely heard him through his headphones, but there it was – his name, said in a strangely familiar and unique voice….

It couldn’t be. But it was, when Joshua finally turned around to face him. There he was, Oliver Vogel, relatively unchanged, fifties movie star hair still gleaming in the lamplight, still dressed like he was a particularly flashy and fashionable old man in his blazer, bow-tie, button down, and – surprisingly! – plaid pants and a pair of boots that revealed that he actually sort of knew what he was doing with this outfit. He was making a statement, though what kind Joshua didn’t know or particularly care. First and foremost in his mind was shock.

“O-Oliver?” Joshua stared at him as if he might disappear if he looked away, slowly taking his headphones off. Oliver was hiding part of his face, staring back with a mixture of despair and relief that made Joshua want to wrap him up in a hug. He still looked not a day over seventeen, despite the careful attention he paid to his appearance. Joshua had grown a bit more into his tall, lanky frame, gained a bit of weight in the form of muscle, and changed his hair a bit. His own personal style didn’t make a statement – it simply screamed “I’m a college student, and probably an artsy one”. He still wore reading glasses, thick-rimmed red ones that he thought made him look both cooler and smarter than he actually was. Nervously, Joshua rubbed at his neck. “H-Hey, man. Are you okay…?”

He didn’t stop to think how strange it must be for Oliver to see him after three years of assuming he’d died in the apartment fire Alexander had set up. “You’re alive,” Oliver practically squeaked.

“Uh… yeah. Bad case of carbon monoxide poisoning and some burns, but….” Joshua shrugged, suddenly unable to meet Oliver’s eyes. “I made it through. It’s not that easy to kill me, I guess.”

Oliver wanted to cry. So he wasn’t crazy after all. So he really had been sensing Joshua’s presence. “Joshua… I’m so sorry. So sorry for what happened. I… I’m glad you’re all right. I never wanted to leave, he sort of manipulated me into it. I was just trying to lure him away, but then I smelled the fire…. I tried to go back, but he wouldn’t let me. I thought you were dead. I thought it was my fault.”

Joshua made a sound, raising one hand up to silence Oliver. “Dude, I know. I know you didn’t mean for it to happen, but it’s not your fault, and as far as I’m concerned it’s in the past. Doesn’t matter. I knew you wouldn’t leave me to burn like that. Don’t worry about it.”

“And you knew-” Oliver’s lips quirked into a smile, like the happiness just couldn’t be contained any longer, despite the fact that he wanted to cry as well. “Of course you did. Can I…?” He extended his arms out, miming a hug. “I’ll leave you alone afterward, I swear, I just….”

Joshua laughed, not hesitating for a moment before pulling his former boyfriend – that’s what he’d been, they’d been dating after all, and Joshua was sort of gay, too, he could admit that three years down the line – into a tight bear hug. Joshua inhaled, smelling a scent that was still familiar after all those years. “Yeah, you can hug me, man. You can do a whole lot more than that, too.” Smirking, he pulled back just enough to meet Oliver’s eyes. He was staring up at him, confusion marring his otherwise overjoyed expression. Joshua spared a moment to look around the station – they were the only ones around. It couldn’t hurt. He leaned down and without hesitation kissed Oliver once, a brush of lips against lips. He followed that up with something deeper, pressing his way gently against Oliver’s lips, then, as if it was as natural to him as breathing, slipping past them. Oliver’s mouth was cool as ever. Most people would have found that odd, but considering the majority of Joshua’s kissing had occurred with this boy right here, he tended to find kissing anyone who wasn’t cooler to the touch than him a little weird.

He supposed he’d never really gotten over Oliver – and how could he, when he’d been inexplicably gone from his life so suddenly? He’d tried dating other people, but knowing Oliver was out there and suspecting that he hadn’t meant to leave Joshua meant that it felt almost like cheating when he got with other people. Other than a casual friends-with-benefits kind of thing he had going with his friend Monica, Joshua was a free man. But not anymore. Now that Oliver was back in his life, Joshua was dead set on keeping him there.

It began when Joshua pulled him closer by the lower back, hands casually slipping down to Oliver’s ass as they kissed and waited for Joshua’s train, and it continued as they stole kisses in their empty train car, and finally it began to climax when Joshua led Oliver into his modest little studio apartment, insisting he take a seat on the bed. There wasn’t really anywhere else to sit, so Oliver complied.

Joshua plopped down beside him and smirked. “I’d ask to get you something to drink, but… I figure we should wait. Isn’t that technically me?” He laughed at his own joke, but suddenly Oliver seemed a bit closed off. He was avoiding Joshua’s eyes and paying far too much attention to his hands. “Hey… what’s up?”

Oliver sighed, closing his eyes. “I thought you were dead for three years, Joshua. I… haven’t been having wet dreams about you since that night. I mean, obviously you have… about me. But I just… I don’t know if I can.”

Joshua frowned. That hurt a surprising amount. “That’s… that’s not all I’ve been doing! Excuse me for being happy to see you and for… still wanting you and stuff!”

Oliver just shook his head, collapsing in on himself as he ran his hands through his perfectly styled hair. “I’m glad you do, don’t get me wrong, Joshua, but come on! How many hints do you need that you really would be better off without me and my… crazy psycho stalker from hell?”

That sobered Joshua up a bit. “You mean… he’s still after you?”

“Of course he is! Unless either of us dies, that’s how it’s always going to be for all eternity. One endless game of cat and mouse with an increasingly disturbing body count.” Oliver had to make Joshua see reason. He had to convince him that he didn’t actually want Oliver. He had to make him understand, because if he didn’t, what had happened three years ago would repeat again. And more immediately, he’d probably give in and do whatever it was that Joshua had taken him here to do.

Joshua was silent for a few long moments. Oliver did have a point, but his motto was no different. He was going to live his life the way he wanted to live it. Not for somebody else. Not for fear or somebody else. Maybe he was an idiot, but he wanted to at least be a brave idiot. Joshua gripped Oliver’s shoulder, pulling him up so he was facing him again. He took his glasses off and set them aside, so that the only thing in between their faces was the air they were breathing. “Listen to me. I’m not going to say I don’t care, because I do. I want to live. But I also believe in you. And I believe in me. I think we’ll be okay. We’ll be more subtle about it this time. And when I finish college in two years, I’ll move around with you. Oliver, I don’t want to have to lose you again. And I’m pretty damn sure you don’t want to lose me again either.”

Oliver sat in silence, eyes not quite focused. God damn it. Why did he have to find the sweetest, bravest, stupidest boy in the world and go and fall for him? He had absolutely no control over the words he was about to say. They just came out. “I love you,” Oliver breathed.

That made Joshua’s chest shake with laughter, but the smile that accompanied the laugh was probably the most beautiful thing he’d seen today since spotting Joshua at the station. Probably the most beautiful thing he’d seen in years, since the last time he’d watched Joshua fall asleep on his shoulder. “I love you too, man. I’m just mad that you got to say it first. I’m gonna have to surprise you with another ‘I love you’ later.”

“I am surprisingly all right with that. But despite being in love with you, I would also like to let you know that you are the biggest damn idiot I’ve ever met and if anything happens to you because of what we’re saying right now and what I imagine we’re about to do–”

“Have sex?”

Oliver nearly tripped over his own sentence at that interruption. “Yes, shut up.”

“So we’re really going to?” Joshua seemed just as shocked as Oliver was.

“Oh my god. Yes. Why not? It’s a bit overdue, don’t you think? At any rate, as I was saying, if anything happens to you because of this I am never going to forgive myself.” He paused, extending one finger and placing it over Joshua’s lips, effectively shushing him. “However…. I am also never forgiving Alexander. I will kill him. Fuck vampire law.”

Joshua wasn’t sure if it was Oliver’s sentiment, the finger he was using to shush him,or the way he so casually used the word “fuck”, but he was soon smiling again, pulling Oliver’s finger from his lips, and pushing him down onto the bed, pinning him as their lips met again and he explored both Oliver’s mouth and his own feelings. It just went to show how highly Oliver regarded him, that in the worst-case scenario he would actually go as batshit insane as vampires were allowed to go against their own kind. Joshua straddled Oliver’s hips, grinding down on top of him teasingly. He’d only ever been with Oliver and Monica for anything sexual like this, but that only served to make this feel more natural. Handjobs were one thing, but he wanted nothing more than for the two of them to go all the way tonight. He hadn’t been ready at seventeen but he was more than ready now at age twenty.

Joshua stripped Oliver of his shirt, a difficult task thanks to all the buttons and the bow tie, only breaking their kiss momentarily before leaning back down for more. Oliver seemed to have a similar idea of his own, though, and pulled Joshua’s t-shirt over his own head while Joshua laughed. “You have it easy. I dress like a normal person.”

“I’m not a normal person though….” Oliver teased. His fangs came out in an instant. “Thought you knew that. Thought you liked it.”

Joshua only laughed again. “So… um, are there any diseases you’ll run the risk of passing on to me if we fuck? Specifically….” He ran his fingers down from Oliver’s chest to the hem of his pants, then back up again. “If you fuck me?”

Oliver was more than ready to roll his eyes at the question and respond sarcastically with a, “Yes, you’ll become a vampire if we have sex. Surprise! Still want to do it?” but Joshua’s clarification surprised him. “Me? Um. But you’re taller….”

Joshua’s eyes were wrinkling at the corners, he was so amused. “No, really, I am? Never noticed, shorty. But that doesn’t matter. Your cock’s bigger.”

“It’s longer, not… bigger,” Oliver clarified unnecessarily out of lack of anything better to say.

“Whatever, man. The important thing here isn’t who’s taller or bigger or older or more macho or whatever, it’s that I want it. I want you up there. I’ve watched a lot of gay porn after I figured I was at least half gay, so like… I know how it goes and I’ve got the supplies.” Joshua got up quickly, searching for his lube. He probably wouldn’t need the condoms, it wasn’t like vampires could pass on anything but vampirism, and he somehow doubted that being undead was an STD or everyone would’ve been vampires by now.

He threw the bottle of lube on the bed, where Oliver picked it up and examined it, a frown on his face even as Joshua stripped himself of his jeans and underwear. He wasn’t all that impressive, naked. Still a little gawky with teenage proportions, and not quite enough meat on his bones even though he totally had started working out last year to build up muscle. He had virtually no ass and his cock wasn’t anything to write home about, but he hadn’t received any complaints about it from the two people he’d gotten intimate with in his life so far, so that was something. Joshua sat down beside Oliver, kissing along his jaw for a few moments before realizing that something was up. “Hey…” he whispered softly near Oliver’s ear, rubbing his boy’s back soothingly. “What’s up, man? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Oliver swallowed before looking out of the corner of his eye at Joshua. “It’s nothing. It… makes sense, though. I didn’t know you could use something like this. Alexander never–” His voice seemed to catch, and Joshua’s eyes widened as he experienced a very profound Oh Shit moment.

“Oh… shit, dude… you guys… oh my god. Of course you two did it. What a sick fuck. I swear, if he wasn’t like three hundred years old and virtually untouchable, I’d kick his ass myself.” Joshua growled, taking the lube from Oliver immediately and setting it aside again in favor of giving him an awkward one-armed hug. There was silence for a long while. Joshua only spoke when he felt Oliver sigh, beginning to relax into the hug as well as hug him back. His cool skin was refreshing, so Joshua pulled him even closer. “But yeah… you’re supposed to lubricate it, be really careful. Do a lot of foreplay and take it slow. I’m really sorry, Ol. I was so sure you’d be ready for this since you’re practically four times my age but if you’re not–”

“No.” The protest was soft, but firm. Oliver pulled away and locked eyes with Joshua before placing a single kiss to his lips. “That’s not it. It’s not a problem. This is going to be different from those other times. The way I feel around you is different. I’m not afraid. Plus, with me in control…” He smiled, shrugging his shoulders with a hint of a tease at the tip of his tongue. “It should go fine, because I could never hurt you.”

“Except when you bite me, but that doesn’t really count because it ends up feeling great in the end. Just like this will, I promise. Let me handle this, all right, dude? I’ve… kinda done it before. He uncapped the lube and poured some on his fingers, leaning back on the bed in order to spread his legs and stick his middle finger straight up his ass with a sigh.

To be honest, Oliver wasn’t sure what to do. He was transfixed and reassured, but he felt like a casual observer. To start, he shed his the rest of his clothes and carefully folded them while not taking his eyes off of Joshua. He didn’t trust himself to do what Joshua was doing, but he was well aware of how to kiss him and tease him, so Oliver simply rested at Joshua’s side, one hand tweaking at his nipples and drawing a low moan from Joshua’s throat while the other kept his head propped up so he could observe him properly. Oliver leaned down to kiss him every time Joshua began stretching himself to the point of discomfort, hoping to partially drown out any pain or weirdness he was feeling with a kiss. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Joshua relaxed and pulled his fingers from his ass, glancing up at Oliver with needy eyes. “I’m ready. Put more of the lube on your cock and start fucking me.”

Oliver smiled slowly. “You’re really greedy, you know that?”

Joshua just rolled his eyes, spreading his legs out further for Oliver as he settled between his legs and slicked himself up, positioning the head of his cock at Joshua’s entrance, not pushing in just yet. “Greedy? Me? I’m gonna let you take my butt-virginity because I love you. And then I’m gonna let you bite me while you do it, so I don’t really see how I’m being greedy here.”

Oliver froze. And then he seemed to almost shiver and lick his fangs. “…You’d let me do that?”

Joshua reached up, cupping Oliver’s face with one hand and guiding him into another kiss, while the other guided his hips down, effectively encouraging Oliver to begin pressing inside of him. “I’d do anything for you, Ol,” he admitted.

Oliver’s cock in his ass was a tight fit, but not excruciating. Joshua simply relaxed and waited for it to start feeling good. Just as soon as he thought it wasn’t so bad, Oliver pressed further in. He knew to be slow, though, and he was extremely conscious of Joshua’s discomfort. How could he not be, after what Joshua had learned Alexander had done to him?

Oliver sighed as he rested his face in Joshua’s neck. “Good?”

“Good.”

Joshua felt Oliver kissing his neck – the same place that he’d bit before, all those years ago. He felt a shiver run through him, and tightened the grip his legs had around Oliver, pushing him inside of him even deeper by a fraction of an inch and causing Joshua to moan. “Feels so good… do it. Move. Bite me. Do it all, Oliver, fuck….”

Oliver did not need to be told twice. He moved with inhuman speed, sinking his teeth into Joshua’s neck and thrusting his hips at the same time. He wasn’t sure which caused Joshua to yell out, but he supposed it didn’t matter because soon his partner was relaxing beneath him, save for his shaky hands reaching up and around him, touching him where he could but mostly just trying to draw him closer when they were already about as close as they could get, with Oliver’s dick up Joshua’s ass and Joshua’s blood giving Oliver life. Oliver had never felt anything so intense, as if two separate hungers were being satiated at once. He reached a hand between them and gripped Joshua’s cock, pumping it in rhythm with his thrusts. It didn’t particularly surprise him when Joshua came first – the endorphins from sex plus Oliver’s sucking his blood had certainly done their job. Joshua came hard, tensing below him and crying out, closing his eyes as if he’d like nothing more than to die of the pleasure he was sharing with Oliver.

Oliver felt the sticky hotness of Joshua’s come along both their stomachs and his own hand and used that hand to spread it along Joshua’s stomach, an unintentionally obscene gesture that made Joshua moan once more. “Fuck. Fuck… I swear to god, you are… the best. Mmm, keep going, harder….”

“If you insist,” Oliver hissed, taking his lips from Joshua’s bloody neck briefly in order to speak, then lapping up the escaped blood as he increased his pace, letting loose to a certain degree. He knew he couldn’t let go all the way or he might hurt Joshua, but a pace that exceeded that of a normal human being without straying into the realm of painfully uncomfortable was what he was aiming for. Joshua cried out again, still just as sensitive as he’d been before he came. Oliver noted with some interest that he wasn’t getting any less hard, or even very tired, so he grabbed him again with his hand, now even stickier with come than it had been before, and pumped Joshua’s cock at a speed that exceeded all expectations. In his fervor, he ended up forgetting himself for a few moments and sucking at Joshua’s neck longer and harder than he’d originally intended, draining him of an amount of blood Joshua would definitely be feeling for a day or two by the time he too came, shuddering and hard, deep in Joshua’s ass.

As Oliver pulled away, examining his long-lost boyfriend for any sign that he’d hated what had just happened, he was not surprised to find that Joshua seemed, if anything, ready for more. “D-Don’t stop… need to… come again, please, I was so close.”

Oliver’s breath caught. Joshua was so freaking beautiful like this, hair mussed, skin hot and shining with sweat, blood still leaking but starting to clot near the wounds at his neck, skin just a shade paler than it had been before. Oliver nuzzled his cheek with his own, kissing the pulse point on Joshua’s neck, just above where he’d bit him. His hand returned to Joshua’s cock, still rock-hard with arousal. “Like this? I thought you said you weren’t greedy…?”

“Hnn… yes, god like that. And shut up, I’m allowed… to be….” He gasped, throwing his head back as Oliver stroked him.

Joshua had never felt so alive before. Oliver’s speed, his mouth at his neck, sucking the life right out of him, the way he came twice in the space of ten minutes, the way his throat was wrecked and sore thanks to how vocal he’d been about how much he’d enjoyed himself… all of it was so surreal, and some of it was even dangerous.

And yet he felt alive. He trusted Oliver. He loved Oliver.

“Oliver only kept you around as long as he did because you’re a halfway decent fuck and an easy source of blood,” Alexander told him. Joshua hung from the ceiling by his wrists, and below him was a bucket. The backs of his knees had been cut open, and gravity caused the blood to fall in bright red lines down his calves and feet, pooling at his toes before it dropped, bit by bit, into the bucket. “Just like I’m doing now, in fact.”

He was going to bleed to death, and Alexander was going to lick that bucket clean. This was it. It was the end for him.

His only comfort as the world once again began to fade was that he didn’t believe a single fucking god-damned word that bastard was telling him.

Not one.

In the years since he’d escaped Alexander the first time, Oliver had been doing more than just running away – he’d also been amassing allies. This was hardly something that had come up in conversation with Joshua, so he couldn’t have known. Oliver had remained relatively optimistic in his belief that he wouldn’t need to call upon his various allies across the world any time soon. He only had a few, after all. A few decades of gathering other vampires who hated the dirt Alexander walked on had granted him less than a dozen like-minded vampires that Oliver felt he could trust. Only a quarter were available to him on such short notice, too.

It took two nights, but finally Oliver was ready. He hoped he wasn’t too late, but at the same time he knew Alexander. He knew Joshua wouldn’t be dead yet. Abused, humiliated, raped… he shuddered to think it, but probably yes to all of the above. But not dead. Oliver had of course been tempted to track Joshua and Alexander down by himself, but he knew that he stood next to no chance alone.

Joshua would be okay, though. They had a small army on their side, and thankfully, one of them was excellent at tracking.

“I can follow the scent of anyone, human or vampire. And since we’re looking for one of each…” Yasmin had told him, winking one heavily made-up eye in Oliver’s direction. She had about a hundred and fifty years on Oliver. Having been something of a shadowy figure in her human life, specifically a full-time prostitute and part-time information broker, she had developed those skills acutely in her afterlife. Her hate for Alexander stemmed from Alexander’s hatred of women, of all things. Oliver wasn’t about to question her motives, however – she was about to prove herself incredibly useful. “Leave it to me.”

And so, Oliver had. Alexander hadn’t covered his tracks that effectively, however. He wanted to be found – not immediately, but eventually. Yasmin only took the better part of an hour tracking him down, but that time added to the time Oliver had spent tracking Yasmin and the others down added up to too much time overall, in his opinion. Oliver gave the signal to the others to head out.

George, a large man older than both Yasmin and Alexander, was actually a countryman of Alexander’s. The two of them had crossed paths in the past while living and hunting in England far too often, and though George possessed a large amount of strength, he was nowhere near as vicious and mad as Alexander. His methods of murder were merciful. He disapproved of playing with one’s prey, and the two had come to arms several times in the past and also more recently. Oliver hadn’t had to do much to convince George that a collaborative attempt to take down Alexander would be prudent. In fact, his reaction had been something akin to, “About damn time, lad!” Knuckle-cracking had also occurred, though Oliver winced to recall it.

And then there was Tobias, who was something like an uncle to Oliver. He and Alexander had both been created by the same vampire, and unfortunately Tobias was just as insane as his “brother”, though in a completely different way. He reminded Oliver of what he himself would have become if he’d spent a significant amount of time under Alexander’s watch – closed off, unresponsive, and despondent. Apparently their maker had been just as insane as the both of them combined, having cultivated Alexander’s cruelty as well as Tobias’s paranoia, antisocial behavior, and mild sociopathic tendencies. Oliver made a point to keep a close eye on Tobias during this mission – though he knew the man would be a powerful asset in a fight, Oliver also knew he’d be just as likely to attack an ally as he would an enemy.

Yasmin had tracked Alexander to an old house in Queens. The house was in ill repair, and in front was a for sale sign that looked several years old. Oliver parked the car across the street from it. His nerves were on edge, and he had to let go of the steering wheel out of fear he’d somehow end up breaking it with the force of his grip.

“It’s all right, love,” Yasmin said, her voice sickly sweet as she rubbed Oliver’s arm in a way that Oliver was sure she meant to be soothing but just felt awkward. “Your maker will finally meet his maker once we’re through with him, isn’t that right?” She turned to the other two men in the backseat.

George propped up his crossbow, armed with thick wooden bows meant to stake Alexander straight through the heart and grunted. “He’ll meet death by my hand.”

“Goin’ to kill that bastard,” Tobias added. He was armed with nothing but his bare hands, but he was intimidating enough without a crossbow or stakes. Dark eyes scanned the house across the street, summing it up. “Kill everyone in that house.” Tobias’s lips curled into a smile that would have made lesser men piss their pants. Thankfully, however, Oliver did not possess that particular bodily function anymore.

“Uh… not everyone, remember. You leave the human boy alone.” Oliver clarified, looking to each of his allies in turn. “Got that?”

“Mm-hmm, don’t worry. If you’re going to be worrying about something, worry about staying safe yourself, yeah?” Yasmin smirked, opening the door and readying her stakes. “You’re the youngest one here, Ollie. Why not leave the real fighting to us professionals?”

Sighing, Oliver opened his own door. The sad thing was, they were right. Even when Oliver let loose completely, he was no match to his allies in skill, speed, or technique. He was a planner. The general. Except his allies didn’t trust him enough to take that role, either.

“Just do it like we planned,” Oliver repeated darkly.

The plan was simple: they would come in from two separate locations simultaneously: Yasmin and Tobias from a basement window and Oliver and George from a second floor window courtesy of a conveniently placed tree. The group going in from the basement were responsible for the basement floor, finding Alexander if he was there and killing him as well as finding Joshua and getting him out of this place. The group going in from the second floor was responsible for the same thing, except their priority was the bedrooms. They would then meet on the ground floor, on the extreme off chance Alexander was torturing Joshua from the comfort of his own living room. Knowing Alexander, however, he was conducting his torture somewhere dark and dismal – a heavily curtained bedroom or the basement made the most sense.

The team took their places. Yasmin chose a window directly under the tree Oliver and George were climbing and waited for them to assume their positions before giving the signal. On three:

One. Two. Three.

CRASH!

Two windows broke at the same time, and Oliver scurried into the house without a thought in the world apart from, Save Joshua. End Alexander.

Alexander simply watched as his little pet human bled out, deeply amused and incredibly hungry. Honestly, who bothered to keep their humans alive as long as Oliver had? Alexander had barely managed two days without getting bored and deciding to bleed Joshua out slowly, collecting the blood in a bucket for later enjoyment. Like an impatient child told he must leave his birthday cake alone until the party, however, he couldn’t help extending his index finger and running it hungrily up Joshua’s leg, collecting a fair bit of blood at the tip like frosting, which he placed into his mouth and greedily sucked.

“Mmm… I can’t wait for you to die, boy. I can’t wait to see Ollie’s face when he sees your corpse, all bloodied up and well-fucked,” he commented idly, giving the dying boy a smile. It wouldn’t be long now. He’d continued to cut more wounds into Joshua’s legs, since the others stubbornly ended up coagulating prematurely. There were four rows of them, now, on each leg, and Joshua looked pale as a vampire himself, hardly able to keep his eyes open and focused.

“Fuck… you…” he managed, barely breathing yet still able to say what he needed to say. Unfortunately, Alexander ate fuck yous as well as small children for breakfast, and he wasn’t even a bit fazed. He’d just started to laugh when he heard the sound of breaking glass from across the room, jumping to attention immediately and instinctively grabbing the very knife he’d used to cut Joshua up.

Through the window came first Yasmin, then his good old little brother, Tobias. Charming. A bitch and a madman come to visit. He barely had time to ponder what on earth their purpose could be before he was already dodging Yasmin and her twin wooden stakes. God, she was quick. And not even a hello. Stupid mannerless whore. Alexander twisted away, only to meet Tobias instead. Growling, he sent his brother flying across the basement with a good punch to the gut as Yasmin recovered and managed to stab her stake into him from behind – thankfully a good three inches or so from his heart, though the wound stung regardless. It was her turn, however. With inhuman speed, Alexander slapped her clear across the face, avoided yet another attack from his brother, and pulled Yasmin’s stake from his back, swinging it around and jabbing it without mercy straight into Yasmin’s ribcage as he pinned her to the brick wall of the basement. She dissolved right before his eyes. Good fucking riddance.

All of this happened in the space of about five seconds.

Seeing that he was now alone and that his accomplice had met the true death, Tobias seemed to hesitate and weigh his options. Alexander removed the stake from the dried bones and dust that used to be Yasmin and casually twirled it in one hand. They were moving at a more human pace, now, sizing each other up.

“Bravo, dear brother,” Alexander smiled. “I see you’ve finally got the balls to try to assassinate me, though why now of all times, I can’t ima–”

Oh. What if Oliver had…

But no. It was just the two of them, wasn’t it?

“I… can’t imagine!” He finished, a maniacal smile on his face that was mirrored by the cold, blank expression of Tobias’s.

“It’s not funny. Hate you.” Tobias murmured. “Want you dead. Good ‘n dead.”

Alexander sighed. Tobias really was a simple chap – why on earth Ulric had decided to turn him in the first place, Alexander didn’t know. Ulric had already turned Alexander; what more could he want in an offspring?

He simply waited for his brother to make his move – he knew how Tobias fought. This wasn’t the first time they’d tried to off each other, though most of the other times Alexander had been under the impression it was done solely for the sake of fun. Clearly not anymore! How discouraging. And speaking of discouraging, was his own little vampire barking mad as well as a coward? Sending a whore and his dimwitted, delirious brother after him instead of coming himself to save his adorable little human? He’d expected better of Oliver.

When Tobias attacked, he was ready. The stalemate was over, as were their childish games from before. Alexander noted immediately that Tobias’s attacks had significantly more power behind them. He’d approve, if the little blighter wasn’t set on sending his sharpened wooden stick straight through his heart. In their scuffle, they bumped into Joshua, sending the boy careening to the floor, knocking the bucket full of his blood straight over and causing the floor to get messy and slippery. The air was thick with the scent of human blood, distracting them both but distracting Tobias more. Alexander finally managed to get Tobias to drop his stake, and looked straight into his little brother’s unblinking brown eyes as he slipped his own stake straight through Tobias’s heart.

Two down, none to go, and no celebratory drink. Not unless he wanted to lick the blood from the floor like a common dog.

He hadn’t been expecting George and Oliver, though. They ran down the stairs at breakneck speed, and Alexander barely had time to mutter, “Oh, bugger,” before a wooden arrow from George’s crossbow hit him straight through the heart and he, too, became dust.

Oliver didn’t have time to grieve the loss of Yasmin and Tobias. Not with Joshua on the floor, bruised and looking as if he wasn’t even breathing. His shoes slipped in the pool of Joshua’s blood – blood that Joshua had given him in the past, blood that you most certainly didn’t take from him the way Alexander had. That blood was precious, and to see it all over the concrete floor of the old basement made Oliver’s heart hurt in ways he’d never imagined it could hurt.

“Joshua,” he whispered, kneeling down to check his pulse and breathing. Still there. Hanging on by a loose thread, but still there. In a panic, Oliver raised his wrist to his mouth and bit down, only to have George grab it.

“Wait.”

“What do you mean, wait? He doesn’t have much time. Let go! I need to heal him!” Oliver argued, pulling his arm out from George’s strong grip with sheer willpower alone. “I’m not letting him die! He doesn’t deserve this!”

“He also doesn’t deserve to become vampire,” George told him calmly, his thick eyebrows narrowing as he stared Oliver down.

“What…?”

“That’s what will happen. He’s been drained nearly bloodless. There is a chance that feeding him vampire blood will bring about the change. There is an equally probable chance that he will simply die if an attempt at healing is made. You have three choices, lad – the first is to let him die right here and right now.” Oliver made to argue but George simply held one hand up to indicate that he wasn’t done. “The second is to try to heal him as he is now and risk a few possible outcomes. If he’s sufficiently bloodless, he may become vampire. If not, if there is enough of his own blood left, he is fated to die regardless. Or… the third choice, and the one that offers significantly more certainty… you can bite him, drain him completely, and then give him your blood, ensuring that he becomes vampire and lives to see another day… or rather, another night.”

Oliver’s mind was reeling. He didn’t understand. “Why can’t I just give him my blood now? I don’t understand! What are you even talking about?”

“I’ve seen it done before. If the human has even the slightest bit of their own blood in their veins, the change is more difficult and the human may die. It’s best to drain them completely and then attempt it.” As he explained, George was level-headed. It was good that he was, too, because Oliver certainly wasn’t and he needed one person in this damn room not to panic.

The choice, once everything was explained to him, was not as obvious as one might think. Living as a vampire was not really living. It changed you, in several ways, from the human being you were before. He didn’t want that for Joshua. But Oliver did know one thing, and that was that Oliver deserved to decide on his own whether he lived as a vampire or died. The only way Joshua wold get to make that choice was if Oliver artificially extended his life by changing him.

He took a deep breath, nodding once at George, who stood up and turned away, minding the brick wall of the basement while, stifling a sob, Oliver bent down and drained the one person in the world who meant the most to him of all of the rest of the blood struggling to move through his veins. It took a startling short amount of time before Joshua’s heart stopped. Oliver forced his own blood into Joshua’s dead mouth and carried him himself into the abandoned house’s small backyard, burying Joshua’s body until he could rise anew at next nightfall.

He felt like the most despicable creature ever to live. Oliver just hoped Joshua wouldn’t hate him for this. He placed a kiss to the tips of his fingers, before placing those same fingers directly on the dirt covering Joshua’s shallow grave. “I love you. Still. I hope some part of you can still love me.”

There were more flashbacks, and not just of Oliver this time.

His parents featured prominently, and school friends from kindergarten to his junior year of college. Aunts and uncles, grandparents and deceased friends seemed to greet him briefly before kissing him goodbye again. He seemed to exist in a state of nothingness for the longest time.

And then he felt the hunger. And with it he felt a new, dangerous energy awaken within him.

He flashed back to Alexander – what had he done to him? It was with a panic that he woke up after sunset the next day, pushing up through the dirt and breathing heavily, even though he didn’t really need air anymore.

He didn’t need air.

He was a vampire.

And there was Oliver. And there were explanations. And there were dry tears and a hug and there was a large man there that Joshua didn’t recognize, but he didn’t smell like food so Joshua didn’t really care if he was around or not. He accepted the explanations easily enough, was disappointed that Oliver hadn’t managed to find him sooner, but grateful that at least he hadn’t given up on him like he’d started to think toward the end. There would be a bit of bitterness between them for some time yet, but there was a good helping of love thrown in, too, so Joshua figured he’d be able to forgive Oliver with time.

He was immortal. He had all the time in the world.

The hunger was gnawing at him from the inside, though, until it came to the point where he could think of nothing else.

“That’s really great and all….” Joshua interjected in the middle of Oliver, once again, telling him that it was okay if he hated him and would have preferred to die, he could probably kill him right now if Joshua wanted him to, or actually he’d probably have George kill him because there was no way he could have Joshua’s blood on his hands in that way again, he just couldn’t. Joshua just raised his hands, trying to get his stupid boyfriend to shut the hell up already. “But seriously, shut up. I get it. You care. You did this out of a sense of wanting to preserve my life so I could choose for myself what I wanted, right? Well… what I want right now, really bad, is to sink these new fangs into something juicy, okay? I’m freakin’ hungry!”

Oliver quieted, staring at Joshua with wide eyes and his mouth ajar.

And then he burst out laughing.

“Seriously! Where’s the nearest Vampire Burger King?”

Yeah. They were going to be okay. With a bit of work, and a lot of understanding, and once they found some vampire fast food, so to speak, they would be okay.

For eternity.

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