FIC: "Say Hello to the Night"
AUTHOR: Mistress Marilyn
camelotslash-2 at qwest.net
DATE: Started in 1986 / Finished December 31, 2004
FANDOM: 'The Lost Boys'
PAIRING: David / Michael (Kiefer Sutherland; Jason Patric)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own 'em. They belong to Warner Bros., Joel Schumacher, to the respective actors, and to the ages. This is a work of a fan, done for no remuneration save the satisfaction of the work.
WARNINGS: Slash, but nothing graphic
SUMMARY: David and Michael wrestle with their own personal demons.
DEDICATION: To our former friend, Debbie, who was part of the magic for a little while, at least.
AUTHOR NOTES: Playing with different POVs here. David was always my favorite -- I spent several months walking in his shoes (and even wearing that hairdo)!
"Say hello to the night!
Lost in the shadows--
Say hello to the night!
Lost in the loneliness . . .
Say hello to the night!
Lost in the shadows--
No one knows . . . "
-- Lou Gramm
Immortality can mean many things. It can refer to enduring fame, such as that experienced by great artists or writers. It might speak of ancient warriors and distant gods. Elite Persian soldiers were called Immortals. The term is even used for rock musicians and baseball players.
But there is a kind of immortal that has fueled the imaginative fire of man for centuries, all the while keeping him fearfully clinging to the sunlight and the symbols of his gods for possible protection.
For the vampire, immortality means perpetual life after death. And that perpetual life is one of perpetual night, as nature demands a twilight existence as payment for this gift of immortality.
Farewell to the light.
* * * * * * * * * *
Something was tickling his face. He was barely conscious of the feeling. He twitched his nose, once, twice, but the tickling continued. The tickling, along with the reflexive action of the twitch, was slowly waking him up.
His eyes popped open. His mouth followed suit. Everything was black. Dirt fell into his eyes and mouth. He started to sputter, gasping. He almost screamed. Then he calmed, slowly. There was no reason to gasp or cry out. He was in the dirt, buried beneath the ground. He was all right. He could get out.
Slowly he moved his trapped arms, sifting strong fingers through the tightly packaged dirt, clawing a trail with long, hard nails. His senses were returning. He knew he was at least six and a half feet under -- a well-dug grave. Someone, he mused, had been thorough.
But not thorough enough.
The tickling on his face continued. He resisted the urge to waste effort on stopping whatever creature crawled over his skin. It was probably nothing more than a potato bug or a small worm. It would find nothing to feed on here. Beneath the blackness, a smile spread across his face; more dirt fell into his mouth. He breathed it out forcefully.
Slowly his body rose toward the surface of the earth. It took a great amount of strength, and he was weak . . . very weak. Still, he would make it. All that was required was patience and time. And he had all the time in the world.
He had risen nearly six inches when his weakness overcame him. His fingers stopped, his arms grew heavy, his smile faded. His eyes shut, dirt straining at the corners. He had to sleep. It must be past his bedtime.
* * * * * * * * * *
Michael Emerson sat on the beach, staring out at the ocean, not really seeing it. His thoughts were confused, so he had shut them off. He was becoming expert at these self-induced stupors. No one seemed to notice, and it saved him having to remember unpleasant things. Beside him, his younger brother Sam sat reading a comic book. Michael was barely aware of him.
School would start in little more than a week; this thought sometimes rose to the surface. Michael had no interest in school, no desire to face the natural awkwardness of meeting new people, melding in with a new crowd. Since the events of the past two weeks, he doubted he could ever successfully blend with any group, be it one of normal people, or one of --
"What is it with you?" Sam asked. "You look like you've been mainlining nerve gas!"
Michael mentally shook himself; he should have known better than to assume Sam didn't sense his strange mood. He seemed to know him better than anyone. After all, his little brother had really saved his life . . . saved his eternal life, his soul.
Michael curled his lips in a nearly imperceptible smile. "Sorry, Bro. I'm a little out of it."
Sam's blue eyes looked serious. "It's those bad dreams, right? I know you've been having trouble sleeping."
Michael nodded, just a little surprised. "Right, bad dreams."
Sam looked out at the water for a minute, then braved a glance back in Michael's direction. "You know, if you were a more -- well, a more normal person, you could go to a shrink and figure this all out. As it is, though . . . I guess you'd be committed before you could work anything out."
"That's for sure," Michael agreed, really smiling now. "There aren't too many people I can talk to about this."
"What about that Star? Can't you talk to her? I mean, she was -- well, she was one of them, just like you. Maybe she's having bad dreams, too."
Michael thought about Star, the exotic beauty whom had captured his imagination, his passion . . . and nearly his soul. The first time he had seen her, she had taken his breath away. He had been ready to follow her to the ends of the earth, had nearly followed her to the end of his known existence. Now Star was just a normal, beautiful girl, with a sweet, sad smile and huge dark eyes. Michael still felt a tug of fondness for her, but his original fascination had faded. Now she was more like a former comrade-in-arms, a close sister. He couldn't imagine ever reliving the unbelievably intimate, passionate moments they had shared. After all, those moments could never be repeated. They hadn't been . . . normal.
He shook his head. No, he couldn't tell Star. Not about the dreams. He couldn't tell anyone -- not Sam, not his mother. Because the dreams weren't bad. What was really bothering him now was that the dreams were good, so good. Like the memory of the power coursing through his body, the strength in his arms, the ability to lift up and fly, for God's sake! And, the incredible sparks and bittersweet sensations of the sexual interlude that he, the Michael-creature, and she, the Star-creature, had shared. It was this, erotically drawn out and expanded in his dreams, that kept him thrashing in the night, awakening with a throbbing erection again and again, until even a sea of spent semen artificially induced had not completely drained him. It was as endless as the lapping waves of the ocean, he thought. And as pointless. After all, the ocean's waves did nothing but erode the earth, unless you counted an occasional deposit of a wet surfer on the beach. Michael felt like he, too, was being slowly eroded.
He closed his eyes, shutting Sam out. The only time he seemed to enjoy a peaceful sleep was during the day. There was something disquieting in that. But, it probably meant nothing.
* * * * * * * * * *
How many nights had he been crawling out? How much weaker could he get and still be able to push on? Was he getting closer to the surface now -- was he almost free? His senses were blurred. He could hardly hold back the remembered human need to cry out at his imprisonment. His mind and body were nearly weak enough to allow a sense of claustrophobia to overcome him. But, of course, it would not. Nothing would overcome him. Not now.
When the first fingernail scraped the surface of the earth, he was almost unaware of it. Then his hand pressed through and he felt the unmistakable cool pressure of air replace the flat, warm pressure of the earth. Sudden strength awakened in him, and he thrust upward. In a few moments he was free.
He stood up cautiously, moving from a crouch to an upright position. His eyes strained into the darkness around him. Although there was little moonlight, things were very clear. He saw surrounding trees and overgrowth; he had obviously been buried up in the deserted hills above Santa Carla.
He reached his hand to his chest. He ran his fingers inside the rents of clothing to the skin inside, smooth and intact. He was filthy, covered with dark brown dirt, stinking of the grave, his white-blonde hair matted, his golden-tinged eyes glowing through a grimy face. But he was free. Free! And his chest was healed and unmarked, his strong, untouched heart still steadily pumping.
He let his head fall back a little as he shouted out a laugh. As weak as he was, as disgustingly unkempt, he was still alive. He knew it could not end so quickly, so ignominiously. The industrious hands that dug his grave could put him out of sight, but not out of mind. He was back -- in fact, he had never been gone.
Slowly putting one foot in front of the other, David began to walk down the mountain in search of food.
* * * * * * * * * *
For the third time that night, Michael thrashed himself awake. Sweat drenched his long hair; he tasted salt on his lips. His body ached dully -- especially his swollen penis. He wanted to holler in frustration. This couldn't go on much longer. He knew he'd go crazy if it kept up. He climbed out of bed shakily, determined he was not going to beat off this time. He'd take a cold shower and stay up -- he refused to go back to sleep and have more of the confusing dreams.
Michael banged his knee against the doorframe as he walked from his dark bedroom into the bathroom he shared with his brother. He cursed under his breath, hoping he hadn't awakened Sam. He noticed the door to Sam's room was cracked open -- probably this was his little brother's access to 'keep an eye on him' at night. He carefully shut the door before climbing into the new bathtub/shower stall and closing the plexiglas door. Then he turned on the water.
Michael shivered as the icy water touched him. He remembered all too well when even the coldest water had burned his skin, leaving angry red welts. The shower cleared his head and shrank his erection. In a moment he climbed out, clutching a towel to his dripping body.
"What's goin' on, Bro?" asked Sam from the doorway. "You okay?"
Michael turned, startled, glaring through the dark at his brother. "I just can't sleep," he snapped. "Go back to bed."
"Okay," Sam answered uncertainly. "If you need anything, let me know."
Michael threw the towel down in frustration. "Like what?" he said to no one in particular. "An exorcism?"
* * * * * * * * * *
David drank slowly from the paper Coke cup; as usual his kill had been quick and brutal -- as brutal as his waning strength would allow. The victim had been young, but utterly wasted on some chemical. The meal, thus, was slightly tainted. But David reveled in that now, enjoying the mixture of tastes he was able to identify, feeling a seeping numbness from the drug his meal ticket had ingested, probably heroin. There was a time once when David had tasted heroin's effects in a more conventional way, when he had snorted the powder on a regular basis, eschewing the needle. But that was in The Past.
David continued to sip from the Coke cup as he walked, stronger now, toward Hudson's Bluff. The night air was cooled by the proximity of the Pacific Ocean, but the ground held enough of the August heat to warm David's bare feet. He had discarded the worst of his torn and soiled clothing and planned on making a trip the next night to one of Santa Carla's clothing stores that boasted leather and suede and designer jeans. Tonight he would finish feeding and cleaning up. But first he needed to survey his territory.
The old stairs down the bluff to the ancient hotel-within-a-cave that had housed him for so long were a little more difficult for David to maneuver in his rather weakened and drugged state. However, within a few moments he was standing in the lobby of his own Atlantis, lighting a lamp with flint. It didn't take much light for him to clearly see his old home.
David sensed no one else. He called out the names of his two friends, Dwayne and Paul, thinking they might have survived and returned. There was no answer, as he had expected there wouldn't be. Dwayne and Paul were destroyed -- gone. What about Max? Was he, too, destroyed? Somehow David was sure Max, their leader, was gone, as well. In the past nights up on the hill, buried beneath the dirt, David's mind had reached to only one person -- had known for certain of the existence of only one presence that had been connected to their group. Michael Emerson.
Michael Emerson, the boy who had joined him, then killed him. Michael, who couldn't see beyond Star, the girl-bait David had sent for him. Michael, who couldn't stomach the sight of blood, even when he craved to taste it. Michael, who couldn't think beyond his stupid brother and his inane mother. Michael, Michael!
Instead of rage, David sensed a strange sadness welling in him. He drained the last of his dinner and tossed the cup into the fire he had built. The last drops of blood sizzled as the cup imploded. David stared into the fire, feeling a tear trickle down his cheek.
They had been called The Lost Boys. They were the special ones, hand-picked, awesome, beautiful. Now he was the last. He was completely alone. His friends had been vanquished by a handful of little boys. But he was far more foolish. He had nearly been destroyed by his own Chosen One.
Too bad Michael hadn't given his offer a chance. Too bad he hadn't allowed himself to feel the power, the ecstasy, the joy of their total separateness, the unique strength. Michael had never got beyond the nausea, the pain, the initial hurtfulness of new sensations and sensitivities. Michael, David knew, had the potential to go as far as he had -- to taste it all. But Michael had only tasted a little and turned back.
David understood his mistake. Michael was not a Lost Boy; he had a home and family. Although his father had evidently turned out to be a typical one -- a useless bastard -- it seemed he had not beat and mistreated his son enough to arouse the true hatred of adulthood necessary to become a Lost Boy. And although the mother was obviously cloying and innocuous, she seemed to have avoided complete emotional deprivation of her sons, as they still harbored some sentiment for her. The drive to stay young and find a life outside the constraints of normal humankind had not been strong enough in Michael. David had misjudged him.
David squatted down, the heavy scent of rich earth still clinging to him and flaring his nostrils. Even though it was barely three a.m., he felt weary -- the effect of the heroin, no doubt, coupled with the long struggle out of the grave. It would take a few nights of feeding and moving in the world before he would be strong again. He knew he needed to fetch water and clean himself before he slept, but he hesitated, still brooding. He could not stay here. This place was known. He would have to find another place. Deep in the cave, Marco's body lay in a congealed mess. David wondered if he could stay through even one day in the former lair of The Lost Boys.
David's squinted blue eyes, deceivingly innocent, wandered around the walls of his old home. He loved his Atlantis. It angered him to give it up, but again the anger would barely flare, like a match too wet to strike. His overlying sadness blunted other emotions. He had been betrayed again, but this time by his own kind, by someone young and uncorrupted by the social and economic pressures that destroy the souls of most people as they age. Before his enemies had been more conventional -- his parents, his teachers, the fascist authority who ruled the lives of the young and insulted their intelligence or potential for intelligence with their counter-productive rules. They left him disillusioned and drifting; he couldn't accept the accepted forms of mistreatment that supposedly fell within the laws of Church and State. David had rejected both, learning over time to hate. Now he felt confused, not knowing how to adjust his personal philosophy with the latest circumstances.
David stood up. He considered lighting a joint and mellowing out, but decided against it. Mellowness was not what was called for here. He needed to drop the melancholy of his mood and make some plans. He needed to consider his new life, new place, perhaps new town. He needed to consider his possible revenge. But first he needed to clean the shit out of his hair.
He walked to the mouth of the cave and out on the rocks. He thought about plunging down into the Pacific, completely cleansing himself with the salt and sea water. But he knew he was too weak to stand the intense sensation. As it was, it would take patience and control to even stroke the liquid across his flesh.
Still, it would be unbelievably sensual, he knew.
If only Michael had stayed around long enough to experience some of the sensual pleasures of their state. David knew Michael had fucked Star here in the cave; he could smell the very spot. But that had been such a small taste of the banquet! If he, David, had only had the opportunity to show Michael just a little more, he could never have turned away, mother and brother and apple pie aside! Something in Michael, David sensed, was the same as he -- the same potential was there. And Michael had almost become the same creature.
David couldn't help smiling, thinking of the name the uninitiated fools put on him. Vampire. The term held the same negative connotations of 'teenager' and 'gang,' with none of the true beauty and power of his state. Labels were the eternal cheat of the ignorant and lazy, summing up someone without ever allowing for insight. David had dealt with labels all his life. "Slow." "Troubled." "Difficult." "Rebellious." "Strange."
David didn't mind one connotation most people associated with that ridiculous word, however. Fear. Fear was a powerful thing in itself. David enjoyed evoking fear in people; he fed on the emotion of his victims as much as the liquid sustenance. Something in him needed to give back a little of what he had choked on long enough growing up.
Call me a vampire, fuckers, if it helps to explain me away. But not if it helps to destroy me. With that thought, David went to fetch water.
* * * * * * * * * *
Michael sat on the porch, staring out at the darkness. The night held a certain fascination for him, remembering what it was like to feel more powerful at night, to feel more alive. How ironic is it to feel more alive the closer you get to dead, he thought. He knew he had come damn close to dead -- or un-dead -- and he knew he was lucky to be 'back to normal.' So why was he experiencing so many doubts and emotions he couldn't explain? He should be relieved and happy, reveling in the sunlight, swimming and eating everything in sight. How long was it going to take before he could shake off this obsession? The vampires were destroyed; his grandfather had buried their remains far from civilization and deep in the earth. It was time to forget about it.
Still, he couldn't help remembering things, reliving things, fantasizing things he had never experienced. He remembered the face of the leader of The Lost Boys, David, as he handed him the Chinese food in that fantastic cave off Hudson's Bluff. David had hypnotized him, quickly, efficiently. There had been none of the elaborate arm gestures of a Bela Lugosi -- David's suggestions had come naturally and easily. He remembered, vaguely, the feeling of David's arms, catching him and easing him down through the fog off that railroad trestle. He had re-created this moment many times in his dreams, elaborating on it.
There were many things he remembered . . . especially the sex. The pulsing heat of his groin, the incredible power of his sexuality, the unbelievable sensation of the burning semen flowing copiously, like a priapic fountain.
In his re-creations of the sex, Michael's dreams were especially confused. Sometimes he was huddled with Star, reliving the sweet heat of being inside her body. But often he was surrounded by all The Lost Boys, stroking, being touched, scorching one another with their internal heat. And most often he was with David alone -- David, smiling, catching him in his arms, carrying him to a crevice of the cave and making him feel things it was impossible for a human to feel . . . or even to dream.
Michael dropped his head in his hands, remembering. Sometimes he thought he was going crazy, would end up in a rubber room somewhere, weaving baskets. He wanted to free himself from these fears, along with the memories and elaborate fantasies, but he had no idea where to begin. Sometimes when he awakened from a particularly heated dream, he wanted to rush out, naked and rampant, and climb the hill to David's resting place. It was a crazed impulse, but it was difficult to shake off. More difficult, he thought, almost amused, to jerk off. He would develop calluses on his hand at this rate -- not to mention the abuse to his penis, albeit 'self-abuse.'
Maybe what he needed was a change of scene. He wondered if his mother could be convinced that living in Santa Carla was too painful for him. He knew she would never consider going back to Phoenix, but maybe they could all -- his grandfather included -- pack up and find another home!
Still . . . did he really want to leave Santa Carla? In a way, he really liked the place, sensed a great potential here.
He gave a huge sigh. It made no sense at all.
Michael stood up, frustrated and unhappy. There was no one who could help him, no one who understood. He couldn't think of any way to straighten out his own head. So he walked out behind the house where his family was already long asleep to where he had secreted his special stash. He picked out a long, fat joint and walked into the trees to light up. It might be considered a cop-out by some, but it was the only relief from insanity he could find. After half a joint -- or maybe the whole thing -- he would mellow out enough to get some real sleep. But of course, it would be dawn before long, and that would help, since daylight still seemed to act on him like a glass of warm milk.
Michael sat down on a stump and took a long drag. At this rate he'd end up a pot-head, but at least he wouldn't have to explain it to men in white suits -- just his mom.
Michael scowled at that thought. Nothing is ever perfect.
* * * * * * * * * *
David pressed his nose to the place where Michael and Star had been. Although time had passed, the scent was still strong to him. He could pick out both individuals, but he concentrated on the heady smell of the young man. He knew the scent well by now, having been close to Michael enough times to memorize it. This, of course, was a little different, more earthy, more sensual than normal. David breathed it deeply, enjoying it. He smiled to himself. Even the fact Michael had betrayed him did not stop him from enjoying this strange action.
He stretched out on his face on the spot, pulling a cover over him. He was used to a darker place to sleep than this one, as well as a safer one, but he would chance it. He wriggled a little, finding a comfortable hollow to rest his erection. He didn't consider the idea of masturbating. Masturbation was an act of frustrated mortal boys, beaten down by their parents and their insipid, teasing girlfriends. Although The Lost Boys were no longer with him to share the pleasures of their other-worldly state, David would not lower himself to relieve his need like an ignorant human. He would sleep with an erection and possibly dream of some forbidden ecstasy -- forbidden to the uninitiated, that is. And he would wake with that erection, knowing it would make feeding a much more satisfying experience.
Tomorrow night he had many important things to do, and his sexual arousal would add to all of them.
* * * * * * * * * *
Michael nearly stumbled as he made his way back to the house. He hoped his mother wouldn't wake up and confront him; she would surely smell the scent of weed clinging to his skin and hair. But he didn't care overmuch. Smoking the joint had left him more than mellow; it had emptied him of emotion altogether. And, thankfully, it had managed to extinguish his perpetual sexual arousal.
He didn't give a shit. Not about the world or his family or about school which was due to start in just a few days. In fact, Michael couldn't think of one thing worth living for.
Something inside told Michael he was headed for trouble; he was like the subject of an old-style after-school special about the dangers of teenage depression and the high risk of suicide. But he just didn't care. If he could feel, he knew he would feel alone and lonely. Better to experience nothing at all.
The only sense he had now was a sense of loss. He had lost an opportunity for something. He could have been better, could have influenced others to be better.
He had lost his own chance for immortality and he had stolen David's.
He climbed the stairs to his bedroom, walked in his room and dropped on his face on the bed, willing sleep to come.
* * * * * * * * * *
The next night found David stronger, both physically and emotionally. He spent the first hours of twilight feeding, indulging himself in a certain excess, having no comrades with which he needed to share the kill. He was covered in blood at the end of his frenzied activity, once more needing to wash and refresh himself.
Then he went shopping, entering several closed shops, bypassing their clumsy alarms, carefully choosing items of denim and leather and several pieces of silver jewelry.
When he was finished, he wished he could see his own reflection in the dressing room mirror of one of the shops. He knew he was nearly restored to his former radiance, and he wished he could present himself to Michael Emerson as he was now, intact, reborn, immortal once again.
His thoughts did not stray for long from Michael, his near-destroyer. As his melancholy had dissipated, he had started to spend more time contemplating his possible revenge. Surely there would be time to taste his enemy's shock and fear at his resurrection, to feed on his dreadful recognition of inevitable doom and to finally drink of his thick, warm blood. He ran the scenario over and over in his mind, elaborating on the fulfilling fantasy each time. It was absolutely necessary if David were to leave Santa Carla with a clear mind and an awakened spirit that his plan find fruition.
He had to see Michael again.
His supernatural gifts were within easy reach. He raised himself from the earth without trouble and soared through the dark skies over Santa Carla out toward the vast ocean and back to the hills above the town. When he passed under the railroad bridge where he and his friends once hung to wait for the vibration of passing trains to knock them loose and send them free falling into mock oblivion like suicidal, cordless bungee-jumpers, he noticed a dark form clinging to the wooden struts.
Without slowing for an instant, he knew it was Michael.
* * * * * * * * * *
"You gotta pull it together, Bro," Sam had said. "You were a vampire for a while. Now you're turning into a zombie!"
Michael had given his kid brother a sardonic smile as he pulled himself out of bed in the late afternoon. "Very funny," he responded without enthusiasm, his lethargy reminiscent of the early days of his transformation to vampirism.
"Mom is gonna call a shrink," Sam confided. "I heard her tell Grandpa."
Michael had left the house without speaking to anyone else, not interested in food or even his stash of dope. His dreams had been relentlessly chaotic, full of sensual images involving night and blood and the vampire, David. For a while, he had found himself thrusting his pulsating pelvis against the warm hip of a man with limpid eyes and shining, dark hair, a man he later recognized as Jim Morrison of The Doors. Unfulfilled and still driven with need, he had mounted his motorcycle and gone speeding across the bluff, careening off the cliff and out into the air, where he had risen toward the full moon like a twisted version of the boy in the movie 'E.T.'
And beside him he had seen the glowing face of David.
When he woke, he was more tired than when he finally went to bed -- tired in body and spirit.
He walked away from his grandfather's house without looking back, heading into the hills above Santa Carla. He didn't allow himself to think about where he was going or what he would do when he got there.
When he reached the railroad bridge, he smiled. Here was the spot where he had first felt the real power of the vampire, when he had hung beside The Lost Boys as a train thundered overhead, gripping the shaking slats until his strength gave way and he fell into the night, only to rise again in David's arms. He could still feel the firmness and the security of that embrace, while he remembered the elation at the sensation of falling and then flight. He clearly saw that striking, pale face so close to his and the spiky, white-blonde hair fluttering in the wind. The long, dark coat ballooned around them as they slowly descended, finally, to the sandy bluff.
This time David would not be there to catch him.
Michael kept his mind blank as he lowered himself on the bridge. He didn't want to picture his mother's horrified face or his brother's angry tears. If there were a way to simply disappear in a puff of smoke, he would choose it. But this was where his wandering had led him, and this was the perfect place.
He took hold of a wooden plank and then let his body fall, already hearing the whistle of an approaching train. Within minutes, perhaps seconds, he would feel the bridge start to quake and quiver, and the roaring sound of the train would deafen him to his own scream as he lost his grip.
The thread of his life was about to break.
* * * * * * * * * *
David didn't even think as he saw Michael let go. He streaked to a spot just beneath the falling body and reached up to catch it. He closed Michael's limp form in his arms, overcoming the force of gravity with his superhuman will. Then he slowly dropped to earth, clutching his treasured cargo to his chest.
Michael's face wore a mask of disbelief as he came to his senses and stared into David's eyes.
"You! It's not possible."
David arched his eyebrow. "And yet, here I am."
"I must be dead," Michael said.
Michael shook his head. "This is another damned dream!"
"Were you planning on killing yourself?" David asked with interest. "Or did you want me to save you again?"
Michael's eyes filled with tears. "I couldn't live with what I did," he said. "I didn't want to go back to what I was."
David felt a warm sensation flood him, like the tingling infusion from a deep drink of the night's first kill. The possibilities of this moment overwhelmed him for an instant, and he felt as though he might inadvertently levitate, his body rising with his awakened spirits. He was face to face with the Chosen One, and there was no more need for pretense or trickery.
Awareness was on both their faces.
"I don't know how you survived, but I know I want to be with you," Michael said in a breathy voice. "I want you, David."
David pulled Michael forward and once again enclosed him in a tight embrace. He pressed his face close and allowed his mouth to linger on Michael's full lips before lowering to his neck and barely breaking the tender skin with one sharp upper tooth, all the while stroking the face he found so beautiful with his left hand. The precious, sweet taste of Michael's blood lingered on his tongue when he pulled back, taking a deep breath.
"This time there can be no lies between us," David said gravely. "It will be you and me, Michael."
"It's all I want," Michael said. "I know it now."
"What about your family and your life?"
Michael shrugged. "I've spent the past few days doing nothing but try to find a way to live in this world, telling myself I needed to put them first and think of everything I put them through." He paused, his eyes glassy. "But I don't want to live in their world anymore. And eventually they'll be okay with that. I'll send them a note or something. I'll tell them I'm going away for a while to try to get my head straight."
"They'll never stop looking for you."
Sighing, Michael said, "We'll have to go away."
"I already decided to leave Santa Carla. I think I'd like to go to New Orleans and see if Anne Rice is more than just an eccentric woman with erotic fantasies. Maybe we'll find Others like us there."
Michael really smiled for the first time in days. "Even if we don't, it will be a great party!"
"Yes," David agreed. "The world is ours. At least after dark."
His face again serious, Michael reached toward David. "You'll have to teach me, David. Teach me to kill."
David's eyes and skin seemed to glow in his newfound excitement. "I have so many things to show you. Not just killing, Michael. Even better things. Wonderful things."
Michael watched him expectantly.
"Wait until I show you how vampires fuck," David said.
"I want to start now. Give me your blood, David, and make me like you."
David reached out to the mortal Michael, ready to lead him once more toward the cave under the cliff. There they would have the privacy necessary to share the magical communion of immortality. And now there would be no subterfuge, no mesmerism save shared passion.
This time Michael was ready. David took his hand.
"Say hello to the night," David said.