THE BEGINNING OF THE END
He looked hungrily at the young man on the other side of the room. The very beauty of the youth showed that he was at the very beginning of the best part of his all-to-short mortal life. He was dressed, as were most of the others in the room, in the casual and all too common streetwise manner of his generation. It was only by his stance and his manner that this subject of curiosity showed that he was very raw in the ways of the world that this bar and its numerous back rooms represented.
Stray thoughts entered his mind. This man-child would more than likely drink far too much and enter into the unsavoury, and after some soul searching, all to apparently dangerous activities with any one or possibly a number of the men in this place. All of whom where easily old enough to have been his father
He caught the enquiring glance with his own burning gaze. It happened suddenly and without warning, as the lad glanced up from under the long fringe that spilled down over the upper part of his face and ended just past the bridge of his nose. Jason's heart gave a slight start at the bestial calm and icy coldness in the depths of the eyes. The raw, naked power of it almost slammed him back against the wall, held there like a specimen on a card.
Jason smiled an uneasy smile and shifted his position to a more open and non-defensive posture. If Jason had not known better, he would have sworn the man in black was actually hunting him, the way he had seen larger predators slowly wear down their prey in so many nature documentaries.
He returned to the surface, raising slowly from these inner reflections. The stranger still stared across the room, a room made warm and slightly musky by the close proximity of so many men. Jason raised his glass, in silent salute to the dark stranger, a little too enthusiastically. Some of the pale gold and icy fluid spilled over the lip of the large glass and as it ran through his fingers it gave a slight chill, however nowhere near the chill of the shiver which ran through his whole being as when he looked up from the small accident, and full on into the face of his pursuer.
"You have what I want, and whether you give it willing or not, know now that I will take it". The tones of the voice were rich and cultured, thick with an accent that Jason could not quite give a place of origin.
The strength in the stranger's body was overpoweringly apparent just from his stance and his facial expression. The words of his short speech seemed almost an afterthought in comparison. So over-awing was his presence that all Jason could do was to nod dumbly, his body seemed to lose its own will. His left arm drifted slowly down his side until it hung slackly. The glass clutched in his left hand, now completely devoid of any former interest it may have held, slipped from his grasp and smashed noisily on the floor. In a place such as this, no one even took the time to glance in his direction as the glass struck the floor it burst in to dozens of pieces. The beer splashed over his boots and soaked steadily into the left leg of his jeans.
The stranger's movements were so fast that Jason did not actually see him move. It was not until he felt the firm grip on the back of his neck and the moist, warm, probing tongue pass between his own lips and begin to explore him, that he realised what the stranger had been talking about. He felt suddenly that he could not breathe, while the stranger still kept kissing him long and deep. He tried to push him away, but his limbs simply failed to respond to his brain's summons to action.
The stranger's other hand brushed lightly across the surface of Jason's leather jacket and dove furtively underneath to pinch his right nipple, somewhat viciously, through the white cotton tee-shirt. Jason's lungs contracted involuntarily, the electric shock of pain arching across his chest, vainly trying to draw breath. His head was spinning at the lack of oxygen, while his lungs burned with an unnatural heat. Finally his vision began to swim and as the stranger pulled back, breaking their bond, he passed out and collapsed into the strong arms that embraced him.
The stranger lifted Jason effortlessly with one hand and settled him across his right shoulder. Jason hung limply, his hair ruffled by a slight breeze that crossed the room, his face pale and lifeless. The burly leather clad barman blinked and for a moment a puzzled look crossed his face. Then he shrugged his shoulders, shook his head as if to clear the cobwebs from his brain and served the next guy at the bar, who had already had enough to drink. Nobody had noticed the stranger and his prey simply fading away.
Jason coughed and nearly choked on his own spittle, his head jerking forward as he regained consciousness. He felt the sweat trickle through his hair and run the length of his broad naked back. If the stranger had not stripped him completely then the suffocating warmth of the room would have been unbearable. Jason went to run his fingers through his sweat-soaked hair and found that his arms were completely immobilised. He was held by broad leather straps to a large T-shaped cross, which hung suspended in the middle of the room. Jason could not fully see the boundaries of the room as the floor disappeared into darkness in all directions. Except directly in front of him where set into the facing wall was a enormous stone baronial fireplace that was ablaze with a huge log fire.
The crackling of the fire was broken only by the clicking sound of the stranger's jackboots on the stone floor, echoing about the chamber. He stepped up to Jason and ran a leather-gloved hand over the taught, smooth flesh of his neck, chest and stomach. The stranger could smell the richness of the fear that emanated from Jason's naked form. He breathed deeply, drawing in the scent and growing almost giddy with the lust it inspired.
Jason flinched at the touch and his involuntary movement set the cross swaying. The stranger reached out one hand to steady the cross, the hand blurred and the solid leather-clad mass slammed into the side of Jason's face as the stranger slapped him viciously. The blow stung Jason's tender unseasoned flesh and raised an ugly red welt. Burning hot tears crept from the corners of Jason's eyes and left glistening trails down his cheeks. He bit into his bottom lip to stifle the scream that leapt up from his chest. The stranger raised his hand again, this time lifting his fingers to Jason's quivering lips. Confusion creased Jason's brow and then he understood. He pursed his lips and kissed the cool leather covering the hand held in front of him. The stranger smiled at the youth's quick mind and sudden understanding.
Jason's tongue crept forth and licked at the leather tentatively, not entirely sure whether this act on his part would be punished or rewarded. The stranger lifted his hand from Jason's still probing tongue, and ran the moistened leather-clad fingers through his hair. His hands moved swiftly to release Jason's naked form from its bondage. Still weakened by the stiffness in his muscles, Jason fell heavily. He never struck the cold, hard stone floor, instead he was scooped up in the forcefully muscular arms of the stranger. One arm encircled his waist, pulling him hard up against the strangers dark form, the other hand cradled the back of his head and with an almost imperceptible movement brought Jason's lips toward his own. Concentrating on the sweet smell of the stranger's breath, the shock of the iciness of his lips was such that Jason tried to recoil from their cold caress.
The stranger's hand held firm and their lips locked tight, he drew in the warmth of Jason's breath, letting it wash through his own being. Jason tasted something unusual, something he had not tasted for a long time. It was sweet and hot. It flowed into his mouth and ran down his throat, filling him with both cold fear and boundless energy at the same time. As he swallowed for the third time, he recognised the taste. It was his own blood. The stranger had bitten Jason's bottom lip as they kissed.
The kiss lasted too long and Jason's head began to swim as his lungs craved air. The stranger broke the bond and licked the sweat from Jason's cheek. His tongue burned a trail of icy fire down the side of Jason's face. He nibbled playfully at Jason's ear as his tongue continued to blaze its freezing trail down the side of his neck. So enraptured was Jason by the moment, by this intimate forging of their souls into one, that he never felt the sharp pain that should have accompanied the stranger's elongated, hard, steel teeth plunging into the vulnerable softness of his throat.
Jason gagged, his whole form twitched so violently that he very nearly fell from the stranger's grasp. This was the moment, it was now or never that the dark trick was to be performed or Jason would simply wither and die. The stranger's head snapped back, separating his mouth from the still throbbing artery. His teeth glinting in the shifting firelight. Great gushes of blood spilled from the wound and ran quickly down the side of Jason's naked form to splash soundlessly to the unyielding floor below. Jason drew a staggered shuddering breath and looked up drunkenly in to the stranger's eyes, which had narrowed. The irises were now a golden yellow with fine vertical slits for pupils.
"This I give you now. I give you for all eternity, to last you beyond time itself."
These words spun lazily through Jason's mind, even though the stranger had not spoken. The steely grip on the back of his neck forced Jason's lips to a small, almost imperceptible, wound on the side of the stranger's own thick, muscular neck. Jason's lips were dry and cracked, his tongue beginning to swell with thirst. He sucked weakly at first, but as he tasted the sweet nectar that flowed forth he drew the liquid from its font with more force.
The stranger gasped, the sharp intake of breath that most humans would associate with pain or pleasure. He thrust sharply and with great force to separate them. Jason's body dropped the small distance to the floor below and lay still. He twitched, his body contracting and recoiling as it was racked with convulsions. He turned his head to one side and vomited. Jason felt cold. Oh so terribly cold, as though his heart had turned to stone and the blood in his veins was now no more than liquid ice. His lungs seemed to have hardened and he could not draw breath. He panicked and tried to stand, but barely managed to raise himself to his knees. A million colored lights flashed before his eyes and he could not help but be terrified when he saw the almost mocking smile on the face of the stranger. This was the last image that was burned into the mind that was called human by other men.
The room was hot and musky, but he didn't feel it. No more than he needed the liquid that passed fleetingly over his lips from the glass in his hand. His whole attention was fixed on the half naked, young, tight-bodied redhead dancing lithely on the table in the middle of the room.
The music stopped suddenly and the kid stared about him dazed and angry at being brutally withdrawn from the private world that had been his. Drunk on life and adrenalin, he moved to jump down from the table. His feet suddenly seemed too big to control, he stumbled and toppled from his self-chosen stage. He would have fallen very hard to the concrete floor below if Jason had not steadied him. Their gazes locked and the redhead was in yet another world, his arms hung limply at his sides and it was the beginning of his end.
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