Grim Hunt

by Sora Junko (空 純子)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/74574.html)

This is the fourth (holy cow!) story in the Grim series. You may want to read the previous chapters before reading this one, but this story does stand on its own.

Grim Disguise
Grim Haunting
A Grim Christmas Carol

The hard shaft was smooth in Sebastian’s hand and a bit slick as he shifted his grip. He switched hands and rubbed his palm down his thigh.

“You nervous?”

James Grim’s voice was soft, but he spoke nearly into Sebastian’s ear, nearly making the boy jump out of his skin. Hot breath tickled his earlobe.

“No,” he lied, his voice a little high and strained.

James chuckled softly and only confirmed to Sebastian that he wasn’t hiding his fear very well.

“Good,” James said. “There’s nothing to be afraid of, kid. I’ll be right there with you all the way. You trust me, right?”

At that, Sebastian smiled faintly and turned, giving James a quick kiss. The vampire grumbled, but ruffled Sebastian’s hair affectionately all the same and he found himself relaxing.

“Of course I trust you. Is it time yet? Can we do it now?”

James glanced over his shoulder. “Sun’s coming up. It’s about time.”

Sebastian shifted the wooden stake back into his right hand and nodded. “I’m ready. Let’s kill some vampires.”

James chuckled again and slipped past him, out of the alley where they’d been waiting and over to the doorway of the little house on the opposite side of the street. Sebastian followed closely, his heart in his throat and his hands sweating and turning the stake slick once again.

A light snow was falling from the sky and their feet left fresh prints in the sugar coating on the cobblestone street. The air was January crisp, enhancing the absolute silence all around them. Sebastian couldn’t even hear a single dog bark, or the small noises of early risers.

He wasn’t surprised by that, but it still heightened his tension.

The neighbourhood was all but abandoned, houses left empty for blocks in all directions. Most people could do nothing about a vampire infestation in their midst and often had no choice but to move out rather than rely on the thin protections of garlic and faith.

That was why the Vatican employed vampire hunters like James Grim. The fact that James was also a vampire himself mattered little, so long as the infestation was dealt with decisively and with as little collateral damage as possible. Sebastian had long ago recognized that while James had a monster inside him, James himself was a good man.

The trouble was convincing James of that.

Sebastian had been following James around Europe ever since the hunter rescued him from a vampire nest in France, but it was only recently that the vampire started to look at him as less of an inconvenient hanger-on and more of a companion. He had even – finally – begun to train him.

Tonight was his first real lesson. Apparently it was going to be trial by fire. Literally, if things got out of hand and James had to use the accelerant he’d hidden in one of the many pockets of his long black coat.

They had arrived at the door and James reached for the knob. It was locked, of course, and the vampire grunted with displeasure. “Time to look for a window to break,” he said. “They’ll be in the basement, probably, so we just have to hope they don’t hear.”

“What if they do hear?” Sebastian asked, reaching out to catch the sleeve of James’ coat before the taller man could head away.

“Well, then things could get interesting,” James said wryly. “But don’t worry, I do this all the time.”

Sebastian grinned and let go of James’ sleeve. “How about we do something different this time?” he suggested. Under James’ disbelieving gaze, he fished a couple of twisted pieces of wire out of his pocket and went to work on the lock. It was a simple thing, and soon it disengaged with a click.

James made a soft, surprised noise, and Sebastian grinned, opening the door and letting it swing open with a faint creaking sound.

“Where did you learn to do that?” James whispered, moving past Sebastian again and through the doorway.

“The same place I learned to pick pockets,” Sebastian whispered back. “All part of trying not to starve on the streets.”

That earned a grunt from James and they moved through the house in search of a door to the cellar.

The stairs down to the basement creaked under James’ weight. Following James down the rickety steps, Sebastian winced at every sound. His hand crept upwards and curled around his mother’s cross, hanging as always from its chain around his neck. The vampire-repelling bracelets James had given him for Christmas were a comforting weight around both wrists, as well.

Soon they had reached the floor of the basement. It was hard-packed dirt, smooth and dry and a little soft under Sebastian’s shoes. It was pitch black, and Sebastian stared around nervously for a moment before an impatient noise from James reminded him that they’d anticipated this. Quickly, he fumbled for the small hand-lamp he’d secreted in his pocket.

A moment later the small halogen flashlight illuminated a small wine cellar. The racks of wine had been removed, and replaced by four large wooden boxes. Four coffins.

Four vampires.

“I thought there were only two,” Sebastian whispered, near panic. The light reflected on the curved, polished surface of the lids. They were a dark mahogany, seeming almost to absorb the light and return only a pittance.

“Keep cool,” James said sharply. He reached into his coat and pulled out a stake. “If we do this fast, they’ll never know what hit them. I can handle this many. If you want to go back up and wait, it’s fine.”

James’ doubts dismissed Sebastian’s panic better than any reassurance could. He pushed the terror aside and firmed his grip on the stake. “No,” he said grimly. “I can do this, James. Please don’t send me upstairs.”

The vampire turned and gave him a long, searching look, his eyes glittering in the light from the flashlight. Of course, alone James wouldn’t have any need of such a thing. But Sebastian was only human.

A special human – a shapeshifter – but human nonetheless.

“Okay,” James said finally. “You go to that end, and work your way towards me. We each take two. Be quick.”

Brightening, Sebastian darted to the far left coffin, while James walked over to the far right. Sebastian set the flashlight down on the floor, turned upwards to illuminate the area and approached the coffin.

Now was the moment. Sebastian’s heart hammered in his chest as he reached out and lifted the lid of the coffin. It moved easily, without a single squeak in the well-oiled hinges.

The interior was lined with satin, a crisp white that glowed under the flashlight. The vampire in the coffin looked like a fresh, preserved corpse, resting in perfect repose. He had been young when he contracted the virus, and long lashes rested against cheeks that had never felt the touch of a razor.

Some part of Sebastian’s brain reminded him sharply to be quick and he lifted the stake, bringing it down to rest over the other boy’s heart. He retrieved the hammer hanging from his belt, and tested it against the stake, preparing to strike.

Then, for the space of a few heartbeats, he hesitated. Vampires are evil. I’ve always hated them, ever since they killed my parents, he thought, staring down at the waxy face of the young vampire. He looked the same age as he was, still in his teens.

But James isn’t like that.

This nest is so vicious it’s caused everyone in three blocks to flee their homes!

From across the room, there was a horrific crunching sound as James drove a wooden stake through the chest of a vampire. Still Sebastian stared at the stake in his own hand, watched the tip dimple the vampire’s skin.

But he’s so young. What if he’s just being forced? What if he just doesn’t know how to act like a person instead of a monster?

Sebastian realized gradually that the vampire’s eyes were open. His heart nearly stopped as their eyes met.

“Uh…”

That was all he got out before a hand shot up out of the coffin and clamped into the collar of his shirt. The vampire twisted hard, and tugged Sebastian downwards, and he realized that he couldn’t breathe.

The stake slipped out of Sebastian’s grip as he struggled, clattering to the floor. He reached for his cross, but it was fouled in his shirt, caught under the fabric and impossible to pull out as long as the vampire had a grip on his collar. His lips moved, but no cries for help emerged. He could feel the blood pounding in his ears and saw the vampire’s mouth open, the fangs poised to strike.

Sebastian raised the hammer and struck almost blindly at the vampire, but with a flick of a hand, the vampire knocked Sebastian’s hand aside before it could connect. Black sparks were beginning to flash across Sebastian’s vision and so far as he could tell James had no idea that anything was wrong. The open lid of the coffin cut off his view of the rest of the room.

Then a memory of James’ words came back to him. ” Everyone knows about crosses, and vampires know how to get around them. But no one’ll expect that.”

Mouth open in a soundless scream of terror, Sebastian brought one hand around to the other and pushed in the gems on both bracelets. Tiny bits of metal in the shape of crosses popped out of the seemingly solid gold bracelets, and he desperately pressed his wrists against the arm of the vampire.

The sizzling sound of cooking flesh was overwhelmed by the loud hiss of pain as the vampire released him. Sebastian threw himself backwards in panic and a jolt went through his body as he landed on his rump on the dirt floor. Miraculously, he still had his hammer in his hand, and the flashlight hadn’t been knocked over.

“Kid! Are you okay over there?” James exclaimed, then there was a smack and a grunt of pain. Sebastian couldn’t see what was happening, but it sounded like James had run into troubles of his own.

The young vampire Sebastian had been hesitating over killing was sitting up in the coffin. He looked a bit groggy, shaking his head, and the spots on his arms where the small metal crosses had touched him were an angry red.

He turned to look down at Sebastian on the floor and smiled as he started to climb out of the coffin.

Sebastian scooted away another few inches and hit a wall. The stone was hard and cold against his back, even through the coat he was wearing. “L-look, I know you’re really mad,” he said, his voice coming out as a croak from the abuse his throat had taken. “I understand. I do. But it doesn’t have to be like this.”

The sounds of battle went on at the other side of the room, but on this side of the coffin, Sebastian and his vampire were in their own little world. Somehow, even the gunshot that rang out a moment later seemed far away. Maybe it was because it was so hard to hear over the sound of Sebastian’s heart beating a mile a minute.

“What doesn’t have to be like this?” the vampire asked, stepping out of the coffin and dropping to his knees in a graceful, liquid motion.

“We don’t have to kill each other,” Sebastian said desperately. “Did they just turn you? You don’t have to be a monster, you know. The other guy over there – he’s a vampire, too. He’s good, like he was when he was human. You can do it, too!”

The vampire stared at him for a few moments, then threw back his head and laughed. “Oh you little morsel. You’re very new at this, aren’t you?”

Sebastian could feel the rest of his blood draining out of his face at the chilling sound of that laughter. “M-my first real hunt,” he admitted softly.

The vampire began to crawl towards Sebastian, taking his time. “Then you should know that I am not what you think in the romantic corners of your heart, child. I am over three hundred years old. If I ever wanted to stop being a monster, the time is long past for that.”

He touched Sebastian’s ankle and the shapeshifter pulled it back with a squeal of fear, drawing his knees up to his chest.

“The three children your friend is killing are only a few of those I’ve created,” the vampire purred. “And perhaps, if you are very lucky, you’ll be next. Of course, you’ll die with the others at the hands of your friend, and I’ll be long gone.”

“Th-the sun…” Sebastian whimpered. The vampire was so close now, he could feel his hot breath on his face.

“You really think I’m that stupid?” the vampire whispered. “I have an escape route planned, of course. Unlike you, I am not that young and foolish.”

As the vampire leaned in for the kill, something broke inside of Sebastian. No, he thought, with a sudden clarity. Not again.

Grabbing the chain of his cross, he drew it up out of his shirt in a single motion, and punched the vampire in the throat with it clenched in his fist.

The sharp edges of the cross dug into his palm as the punch connected, but the vampire flew back as if it had been struck by a sledgehammer. Sebastian sprang forward before he could stop to think about what he was doing. He snatched up the stake from the floor as the vampire slumped against the side of the coffin and drove it as hard as he could against the vampire’s chest.

Drawing back his other arm, he slammed the hammer into the head of the stake as hard as he could.

If he’d thought about doing it, it would never have worked. Somehow, the hammer connected perfectly, and the sharpened stake punched straight through the vampire’s breastbone and into his heart.

The vampire gave a loud shriek, then seemed to wilt, his eyes closing with a kind of finality. A drift of ash sifted from his face and slowly the entire body seemed to fold in on itself as it began to disintegrate.

Gasping for breath, horrified at what he’d done and still feeling the after-effects of terror, Sebastian climbed shakily to his feet.

Then someone came at him out of the dark and he raised the hammer with a scream.

“Sebastian!” James grabbed his wrist, then instantly let go with a hiss of pain.

It snapped him out of it, though, and Sebastian blinked stupidly at his friend. “James? What happened? Is it over?” he asked, hearing the tremble in his own voice.

“It’s over. I got the other three while you were dealing with this one,” James said, nodding.

“Oh thank the Lord and Jesus,” Sebastian prayed, seeing James flinch. The hammer dropped from his nerveless fingers and he crumpled to his knees on the floor.

James was down next to him in an instant. “Hey, hey are you okay?” the older man asked worriedly. Sebastian could scarcely hear him through his relief.

Maybe I’m not cut out for this, he thought. The thought made him want to burst into tears. He rubbed his face, and his hand came away wet, but not with water. He stared for a moment, realizing that blood had sprayed from the vampire when he staked him, and he hadn’t even noticed.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “That was so bad.”

James laughed softly. “You did better than I did the first time, kid. You killed it – that’s the important thing.”

Sebastian forced himself to turn his head and look at what was left of the vampire he’d killed. It really seemed like an ‘it’ now, just a drift of ash and some clothes. He really had been pretty old, like he said.

“Really? You let the first one get away?”

“Well, not the first one,” James said, and there was an odd note in his voice. “But I’ve let some get away, sure. Shit happens. Come on, let’s get out of here.”

Despite his words, James didn’t reach for him as he normally might have, either to pull him to his feet or simply urge him to move faster. Sebastian wondered if it was because he was bristling with gold crosses, or if James was worried how he’d react if he was touched.

Feeling guilty, he looked down and began pushing the little crosses back into his bracelets.

“Sebastian,” James said, his tone growing more urgent. “You don’t have to worry about that now. They’re dead. We can leave.”

“Hush,” Sebastian murmured, popping the last one into place. With a feeling akin to reverence, he lifted the cross hanging around his neck and slipped it back into his shirt.

Then he turned and threw himself into James’ arms.

James made a yelping sound in surprise, catching him easily, but rocking back with the force of the impact. “Hey!” he exclaimed, but Sebastian didn’t let him get anything more out.

With a desperation that was completely uncontrolled, Sebastian sought James’ lips with his own. He kissed the older man so hard he could feel the shape of James’ fangs through their lips, wrapping his arms around James’ neck and clinging with all he was worth.

James was stiff for a moment, startled, but it wasn’t long before he returned the kiss with a sharp, possessive growl.

Sebastian felt himself being borne to the floor as James thrust his tongue into his mouth. He sucked on it gladly, spreading his legs for James to slide between them. He didn’t care that this was a bit sick – that the body of the monster he’d just killed was lying only inches away.

Somehow, this was what he wanted. What he desperately, so desperately, needed.

And it seemed James wanted it just as badly.

James pulled back slightly and Sebastian lifted up, making a soft noise of need as he sought another kiss. James gripped his shoulders and pushed him back down to the floor. “Did it hurt you?” he asked, his voice a low rumble of barely-leashed anger.

Sebastian shook his head quickly. “No, he didn’t get the chance. Please, James.”

“Good,” James murmured. “I didn’t think I could smell your blood amidst his stink. But I wasn’t sure.”

For a moment, Sebastian was horror-struck all over again. Had the vampire done something to make him undesirable?

Then James lowered his head again, but instead of kissing him, his tongue flickered against Sebastian’s cheek. Sebastian held very still as James cleaned the blood from his face in a way that was both disturbingly animalistic and at the same time possessive and strangely erotic.

Before James was quite done, Sebastian’s hands began to wander. He unzipped James’ fly and drew his member from his pants, stroking it to full hardness. There wasn’t much he needed to do. Almost at the first touch, James’ cock swelled and lengthened to full arousal, hard and hot in Sebastian’s hand.

James growled, nuzzling against Sebastian’s neck. His teeth scraped, but didn’t break the skin. “You really want to do that here?”

Despite his question, the older man’s hands were tugging at Sebastian’s clothing, opening his fly and pulling at the waistband of his pants. Sebastian lifted his hips to help him.

“Yes,” Sebastian pleaded softly, his fingers pulling harder at James’ cock. “I don’t care where. Just please, do it.”

“You don’t have to fucking beg,” James muttered, but Sebastian could hear the pleasure in his voice regardless.

“I know,” Sebastian whispered, smiling as fangs prickled lightly against his skin again.

James almost always bitched and moaned, but Sebastian had been travelling with James long enough now to know what he liked. It was always such a fine line to walk, but Sebastian was getting better at it, and James hadn’t been biting him nearly as often since Christmas.

Stripped of his pants, Sebastian spread his legs even wider, drawing his knees up slightly.

“Christ in heaven,” James said. “We don’t even have anything, kid. I don’t keep lube in my goddamned pockets when I’m hunting–”

“Don’t stop,” Sebastian begged. “Please.”

Giving a put-upon noise, James lifted his head long enough to stick two of his fingers into his mouth. The fingers went in stained with red and came out shiny with saliva. It was a poor substitute for lubricant, but Sebastian couldn’t care less.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” James said softly, then wormed both fingers deep into Sebastian’s body.

Despite his best efforts, Sebastian couldn’t stop a soft whimper of discomfort from escaping his lips. He reached up with his free hand and curled his fingers in James’ long black hair, pulling him back down into a kiss as he squirmed and his body took its sweet time in adjusting.

And for all of James’ worry, it was clear he wasn’t any more inclined to wait than Sebastian was. Long before Sebastian had fully relaxed, James pulled his fingers free and shifted until his cock was pressing hard against his entrance. Sebastian squeezed his eyes shut tight, taking short, sharp breaths as he struggled to relax. James bit hard at Sebastian’s lips, drawing blood and then kissing him deeply and hungrily as he pushed slowly into Sebastian’s body.

The pain was deep and intense for a moment. For a moment, it seemed they had gone too fast, and Sebastian cried out as it peaked. Then it began to ease and Sebastian realized that James had stopped, buried deep inside him. He trembled, stretched to the breaking point, as James literally feasted on his lips and waited impatiently for Sebastian to relax.

It seemed to take forever, but finally Sebastian forced himself to nod. “Do it,” he whispered. “I’m okay.”

The first thrust was almost as painful as the original penetration, but the pain swiftly diminished as his body stretched to accommodate James’ girth and precome slicked the passage just enough to ease the friction to bearable levels. Soon the sharp, pained breaths coming from Sebastian’s chest transformed to rapid pants of pleasure and he clawed at James’ back, rocking up into each thrust.

James slipped a hand between them, stroking Sebastian’s cock hard and fast.

“You…Sebastian…” the vampire murmured as the pace of his thrusts increased and Sebastian writhed helplessly on the packed dirt floor.

“W-what?” Sebastian gasped, opening his eyes and looking up at James. The vampire’s eyes were closed, his eyebrows pinched in concentration.

Then James opened his eyes. “You’re mine,” he growled. “And I’ll kill anyone who tries to take you like it tried to take you.”

Sebastian’s mind reeled, and all he could do was nod in confused acceptance. “Yours,” he gasped.

James bucked against him, grunting aloud as he climaxed. The pace of his stroking hand increased, and Sebastian cried out helplessly, the odd exchange flying right out of his head as his own orgasm hit him almost out of nowhere.

Pleasure slammed through his body and he clung hard to James as they both rocked together to their completion. As the waves crested and subsided, Sebastian collapsed to the floor bonelessly, gasping for air.

He only lay there for a moment, however, before James wrapped his arms around him and pulled him up and against his chest. Still impaled on James’ softening cock, Sebastian found himself sitting straight up, his head tucked under James’ chin.

“James?” Sebastian whispered when he could speak.

The only response was a wordless grunt.

Sebastian opened his mouth a few times, discarding a few possibilities. But what did you say?

Did you really mean it when you said I was yours?

What does that mean, anyway?

Finally he just shook his head and relaxed against the older man. “Nothing.”

All he really knew was that, whatever James had meant, it made him feel safe. To Sebastian, it meant that he belonged.

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