Yang Yoseob was absolutely certain he didn’t deserve this. He was an average senior in college, working part time in a coffee shop to pay for tuition. He was a good son, helping his parents with their restaurant when he was home on the weekends. He was nice to his noona; he didn’t tease her like other little brothers did. He helped his friends whenever they needed him. He always followed the rules, never broke any laws. The most extreme thing he’d ever done in his short 23 years was when he dyed his hair blonde last week.
Yang Yoseob was just a normal citizen in Seoul. There was nothing, in his opinion, special about him. He didn’t deserve to be chased through the park on his way home. He didn’t deserve to be hunted by a vampire.
Yoseob had just finished his closing shift at the coffee shop when his phone started ringing. He sighed as he saw “Kiki” flash across the screen.
Lee Kikwang was Yoseob’s best friend since middle school. They were now roommates attending the same university. Yoseob loved Kikwang like a blood relative, but sometimes he was a little too needy, especially when he was “sick”.
“Yoboseyo?” Yoseob answered his phone while struggling with his bag and trying to lock the front door to the shop.
“Seobie!” came the whine from the other end of the line. “I still don’t feel good!”
“Mianhae Kikwang. I’ll be home in half an hour. I just got off.”
“We don’t have any more cough syrup! And I want some ice cream! Will you get me some?” Kikwang coughed for added emphasis and to make sure Yoseob felt bad for him.
It worked. “Sure Kwangie. What flavor do you want?”
“Chocolate, with brownie chunks!” Kikwang sounded much better already.
“Arasso. I’ll be home as soon as I can.”
“Thanks Seobie!” Kikwang ended the call with a click.
Yoseob sighed again as he put his cell in his pocket. Hoisting his backpack up, he set of in search of a 24-hour market.
Yoseob left the market with cough syrup and ice cream safely tucked into his backpack. He sent a quick text to Kikwang letting him know he’d be home in 20 minutes.
It was fairly late and Yoseob didn’t want to bother walking to the nearest bus stop, it would be faster to just walk home. He decided to cut through the local park, not something he would normally do. The park wasn’t well lit at night and it didn’t have the most favorable people in it. But he was tired and it would be quicker to go through it than around it. It couldn’t hurt this one time.
Yoseob had been walking in the park for only a few minutes when he felt like maybe he’d made a wrong choice. He felt like he was being watched and he could swear he heard footsteps following him. But every time he looked over his shoulder, there was nothing there.
It’s just your imagination. There’s nothing there.
After five minutes, he felt like he was going crazy. Finally he stopped and turned around.
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
When no answer came, Yoseob decided he was just too tired and needed to get home to sleep. As he was about to turn around, a figure emerged from the shadows. Yoseob nearly screamed in shock.
As the figure started walking toward him, Yoseob could tell that it was a slim young man, maybe a few years older than him. He was wearing dark blue jeans, slung low on his hips. He had a tight black shirt on and a long sleeved black jacket over it. Yoseob found this odd as it was a hot and humid night in June. The man also had on a necklace that appeared to be an artistic rendition of teeth.
The man stopped walking when he was several feet in front of Yoseob. He was fairly good looking, dark brown hair, brown eyes, full lips. But the most striking thing about the man was how pale his skin was; it looked as though he’d never been in the sunlight.
The man stared at him with a slight grin on his face. Yoseob was starting to get nervous. He wanted to turn around and walk away, but his parents raised him with manners. Maybe the man just wanted to know what time it was.
“Can I help you?” Yoseob asked, trying to keep his voice steady.
The man’s grin turned into a smirk. “Oh yes. You’re going to help me more than you know.” His voice was smooth with a slight lisp.
“Wha, what do you mean?” Yoseob’s voice was starting to shake a little. There was something about this man that was beginning to scare him.
“You see, I’m rather hungry. I haven’t eaten all week. I came to the park not expecting to find much. No one here usually fits my tastes.” The man was moving closer as he spoke. “Imagine my surprise and delight when you showed up. I could smell you clear across the park.”
“Smell me?” Yoseob was really getting nervous. Every step he took backwards, the man took two forwards.
“Yes, smell you. You smell delicious.” The man was now inches in front of Yoseob. “Don’t worry. I’ll be quick. You won’t feel a thing.”
With that declaration, the man smiled wide. Yoseob noticed his canines were long and sharp, gleaming in the moonlight.
As the man made a grab for his arm, Yoseob turned and ran.
“Run little one. I like the chase.” The man grinned to himself.
Yoseob couldn’t believe it! Vampires weren’t real, they didn’t exist. They were creatures in books, made up to scare people, or, more recently, to be the object of every teenage girl’s fantasy.
Maybe he was being pranked. That man could just be some weirdo with fake teeth.
They looked pretty real.
Whatever the case, Yoseob wasn’t taking any chances. He was going to run all the way home if he had too.
He was 100 yards from the exit of the park when he nearly ran into the stranger. Yoseob didn’t know how the man had gotten in front of him so fast, but he wasn’t going to stick around to find out. As he went to spin around, he tripped and fell backwards.
The man had him pinned down in seconds. Strong hands held his arms above his head. “You didn’t get very far, did you?” The man was leering at Yoseob.
“Please don’t hurt me! I won’t tell anyone about this. Just let me go!” Yoseob was getting slightly hysterical. He tried to wiggle out of the man’s grasp, but he was too strong.
“I can’t let you go. I already said that I’m hungry and now I’ve got you right were I want you,” the stranger said as he lend closer to Yoseob’s neck.
“Please! Don’t!” Yoseob practically screamed. He tried bucking his hips, but the man was like an unmovable rock.
“This will only hurt for a moment,” the man whispered as his lips ghosted over Yoseob’s neck.
Yoseob shut his eyes, waiting for the feel of teeth sinking into his neck. He felt the man’s lips settle on his skin. He could feel the smooth edges of the man’s teeth. Just as Yoseob sucked in one last breath, he heard footsteps next to his head.
“Junhyung! Get your filthy mouth off the human!” came a deep voice from above Yoseob.
The mouth slowly left his neck and Yoseob opened his eyes. There was a man standing over them with a gun pointed at the stranger’s, Junhyung’s, chest.
“Filthy? That’s rich, coming from you Doojoon,” Junhyung sneered, as he slowly let go of Yoseob’s wrists and stood up.
Another man that Yoseob hadn’t even seen came and helped him to his feet. He held onto the man’s arm for a moment longer than necessary, he wasn’t sure his legs could support him.
Without taking his eyes off Junhyung, the man named Doojoon asked “Are you alright? Did his teeth puncture your skin?”
Yoseob let go of the second man’s arm and reached trembling fingers to his neck. “No. No, I don’t think they did.”
“Good. Now, Junhyung, you know you aren’t allowed to hunt for another week. And even then, this part of Seoul is off limits until next year.”
“It couldn’t be helped Doojoon. I’m hungry and surely you can smell how delicious his blood is,” Junhyung’s eyes flicked to Yoseob.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” Doojoon’s voice was cold, his glare fierce.
“Oh, I don’t? Still trying to pretend your human then? All of your little hunter friends believe your God’s gift, but do any of them know what you truly are?”
Doojoon lunged forward and shoved the barrel of his gun into Junhyung’s chest, directly above his heart. “This is the third time you’ve broken the law. If I had it my way, you’d be dead right now. Unfortunately, you scumbags have the right to a trail. So I’ll have to save that pleasure until after you’ve been tried.”
The smirk never left Junhyung’s face, but his eyes turned cold and narrowed. “The problem with this whole scenario of yours is that you’re under the impression you’ll be able to catch me and take me in. With those ‘special’ abilities of yours, I doubt even you will be able to accomplish that, Doojoon.”
“Dongwoon, get your cuffs out and come bind this animal,” Doojoon said to the second man.
Dongwoon took what looked like ordinary hand cuffs out of his back pocket and left Yoseob’s side. The second Dongwoon had his back turned to him, Yoseob started taking small steps backward.
Dongwoon got behind Junhyung and was about to put the first cuff on his wrist, when the vampire lashed out and knocked the gun from Doojoon’s hand. Dongwoon grabbed Junhyung from behind and Doojoon landed a punch to his face.
During the ensuing scuffle, Yoseob turned around and ran as fast as he possibly could. As much as he wanted to see the vampire bound, he wasn’t going to stick around to see it happen.
Junhyung was able to get out of Dongwoon’s grip and the two hunters were now circling around the vampire.
“It’s cute that you think you can overpower me, but I’ve lost interest in you two. My dinner is gone, so I think I’ll be leaving now,” Junhyung taunted the hunters.
In the split second that Doojoon looked behind his shoulder for the human, Junhyung landed a punch to his face that knocked him to the ground. Before he was even able to get up, the vampire had kicked Dongwoon in the stomach so hard he was doubled over. Then he was gone in a flash.
“Shit!” Doojoon yelled as he got up. “Damn that human! Why did he run off?”
Dongwoon stood up straight and wheezed “I don’t know but we have to go after him. Junhyung has his scent and that boy will be dead within an hour.”
“Great, just great. We can only hope that he’ll go get Hyunseung first before going after the human. Junhyung knows we will be after him and he won’t risk loosing the human twice,” Doojoon replied as he touched the deep gash on his cheek.
Dongwoon reached out for his face, but Doojoon stepped back. “Don’t worry. You know it’ll heal. Did he break any of your ribs?”
“No, but it hurt like hell,” Dongwoon grinned. “Do you have the boy’s scent? Can you follow it?”
Doojoon gave him an icy glare.
“I’m sorry Doojoon, but you know that’s the only way we’re going to find him.”
“I know. Sorry. I just hate having Junhyung shove it in my face.”
Dongwoon watched as Doojoon closed his eyes and sniffed the ground were the boy had been and then turned his nose into the night air.
“Come on. This way,” Doojoon took off running and Dongwoon followed.
Yoseob was sure he’d never run so hard in his life. His lungs felt like they were on fire and his legs felt like jelly, but he pushed on. He wasn’t going to stop until he was safely locked in his apartment.
He was hoping this was all a nightmare; that he would wake up any moment, tucked into bed, listening to the soft snores of Kikwang from the next room. But deep down, he knew this was real, he was never going to forget the last half hour’s events.
Yoseob finally rounded the corner to his street and sprinted the last 50 yards to his apartment building. Once inside, he ran for the stairs and took them two at a time to the second floor. He jogged down the hall to apartment 206. Yoseob stopped at the door and fumbled in his pocket for the key. He got the key in the lock, opened the door, and then slammed it shut behind him.
“Hyung? Why did you slam the door? You’ll wake the entire building!” came Kikwang’s voice from the kitchen.
Kikwang came into the living room and saw a pale, dirty, sweaty Yoseob leaning against the door. His eyes were closed and his chest was rising and falling rapidly, like he’d just run a marathon.
“Seobie, are you alright? What happened?” Kikwang’s voice was laced with concern as he made his way toward Yoseob.
Kikwang reached out and placed his hand on Yoseob’s forehead. Yoseob’s eyes flew open as he let out a scream.
“Oh my god, Kikwang! You scared the shit out of me!”
“I’m sorry Hyung. But I’ve been talking to you for the last couple of minutes. What happened to you? Why are you so jumpy?”
Yoseob brushed past Kikwang and flopped onto the couch. Kikwang sat down beside him. “You wouldn’t believe me. I don’t even know if <i>I</i> believe me! I think I just need to go to bed and forget this whole night ever happened.”
“Well, if you don’t feel like talking,” Kikwang began, but a noise from the kitchen made him stop.
Both boys stared at each other and then turned back toward the kitchen and gasped as two men dressed in black pants and black wife beaters stepped into the living room. They were both wearing utility belts; guns and handcuffs in plane sight.
In the light, Yoseob was able to see their features clearly. The one he thought was named Doojoon was extremely handsome: strong features, full lips, pierced ears, slightly taller than himself. His hair was black and spiked. He was sporting a gash on his cheek that looked like it was almost healed, caked with dried blood. His companion was the same height as Doojoon. He had light brown, shaggy hair. He was also handsome, his looks almost foreign.
After his split second assessment, Yoseob jumped to his feet. “What the hell are you doing here? Why did you follow me?”
Doojoon scowled. “There’s no time to explain. We need to leave right now.”
“No way. I’m not going anywhere with you! Get out of my house!”
“I don’t think you understand the severity of the situation you’re in, human. The vampire that attacked you tonight is one of the most dangerous vampires in Seoul. We need to get you out of here before he shows up, which could be any second now,” Doojoon replied as he advanced toward Yoseob.
“Does someone care to explain to me what the hell is going on?” Yoseob, Doojoon, and Dongwoon turned to look at Kikwang as if they’d forgotten he was there.
“Well, hello there. I’m Dongwoon. And you are…?” Dongwoon asked as he stepped closer to Kikwang, smirking as he went.
Kikwang took a step back and swallowed. “I’m…”
“Don’t answer him! Look, I don’t care what kind of game you guys are playing, but I want you to leave right now, before I call the police! And besides, I don’t even know your names! Why would I go anywhere with you?”
Doojoon was losing his patience. “My name is Doojoon and that’s Dongwoon. There, happy? Can we go now?”
“I already told you, I’m …” Yoseob’s sentence was cut short when Doojoon grabbed him by the arms and shoved him against the wall. Doojoon released his arms and placed his hands on either side of Yoseob’s face. He leaned in close and stared into Yoseob’s eyes.
“Fine. You want the truth? Here it is. Junhyung, the vampire that attacked you, is the leader of the coven of vampires here in Seoul. He is the strongest and fastest there is. He has your scent and he isn’t going to stop until he has you. When you ran from the park, you left a trail. My guess is that he’s gone to get Hyunseung, his mate and second in command, before coming for you here. He isn’t going to lose you a second time. If it was just Junhyung, Dongwoon and I might be able to protect you. But with Hyunseung, we don’t stand a chance. You’ll be dead, and so will your friend.”
Doojoon could see it in Yoseob’s eyes as he began to believe what he was saying. Leaning a bit closer, Doojoon whispered “Believe it or not, your lives are now in danger. The way your blood smells, I’m surprised you’ve never been attacked before.” With one final glare, Doojoon shoved himself away from the wall.
“Well, there’s no tension there at all.” Dongwoon grinned.
“Shut it, Dongwoon. I’m giving you two 5 minutes to get some clothes packed and be back here in the living room, or we are going to bodily carry you out of here. Is that clear?”
Yoseob stared at Doojoon for a few seconds before nodding. He grabbed Kikwang by the arm and started dragging him down the hallway.
“But Seobie! I don’t want…” Kikwang’s voice trailed off as they left.
“That was a very good show Doojoon. Very scary. I sure wouldn’t want to be ‘bodily’ carried out of here by you!” Dongwoon was trying not to laugh.
“I said shut it. I had to threaten him or he wouldn’t listen to me.”
“Are you sure that’s not just an excuse for you shoving him against a wall? I know he’s your type, what with the cute, round face and all, but I don’t think now is the most appropriate time to try and get some action,” Dongwoon’s smile was making his eyes disappear.
“Oh please. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Besides, you’re the one that was leering at his friend,” Doojoon was trying to stay grumpy.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. I could see it on your face the second we stepped into the room. And don’t think I didn’t notice you smelling him.”
Doojoon opened his mouth to reply but Yoseob and Kikwang came back into the room, both holding backpacks. Yoseob had changed out of his dirty clothes into a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt that had ‘Swagger’ written on it. Kikwang was out of his pajamas and in a pair of jeans and a white polo with a little red heart on it.
“Ok. We’re ready,” Yoseob quietly said.
“Not really,” Kikwang mumbled.
“Ah! Don’t worry Kikwang!” Dongwoon put an arm around Kikwang’s shoulder. “I’ll protect you! No harm will befall you whilst I am here.”
Kikwang looked annoyed and Yoseob snorted.
“Knock it off Dongwoon. We need to get moving,” Doojoon said while moving toward the front door, Yoseob following behind.
“Just trying to diffuse the tension,” Dongwoon replied.
Kikwang shrugged Dongwoon’s arm off and trailed behind Yoseob.
They walked down stairs and outside in silence. Once outside, Doojoon took the lead, turning left and heading down the street. Yoseob and Kikwang were walking side by side behind him while Dongwoon brought up the rear. They walked like that for several blocks.
Finally Yoseob spoke, “I have questions and I want them answered.”
“Of course you do,” Doojoon said over his shoulder. “But I’m not answering them until we are back at headquarters.”
“You should just answer them now Doojoon,” Dongwoon piped up from the back.
“You really think we should talk about this, out here in the open?” Doojoon questioned.
“I think he has a right to know,” Dongwoon said with a shrug.
Sighing, Doojoon gave in. “Fine, I’ll answer your questions. Walk beside me so I’m not talking over my shoulder.”
Yoseob threw a look at Kikwang, then left the spot at his side. A grinning Dongwoon immediately filled the empty space.
Yoseob adjusted his pace to match Doojoon’s, then stared at him out of the corner of his eye.
“Ask away,” Doojoon said without looking at Yoseob.
“So, vampires. Really?”
“Are they like vampires in the legends?”
“Pretty much,” Doojoon said. “They can’t go out in sunlight. They don’t like garlic. Holy water burns them. However, they can enter a home without permission.”
“How do you kill them?” Yoseob asked.
“Wooden stake to the heart. Beheading works as well.”
“But in the park, you had a gun pointed at Junhyung.”
“We have special bullets made out of wood,” Dongwoon smirked.
“And those handcuffs, would they actually restrain a vampire?”
“The handcuffs are made using holy water. The cuffs themselves wouldn’t hold a vampire. But the holy water burns them, makes them weaker,” Doojoon explained.
“The whole conversation you had in the park was confusing,” Yoseob said.
“I’m sure it was,” Doojoon replied. “Here’s the short version. Vampires have been on this earth for almost as long as humans have. In the beginning, there weren’t very many, hunters were able to get read of them easily. About 200 years ago, the vampires started getting smart. They knew they would be extinct if they didn’t do something about it. They started hiding more, breeding more, and changing humans.”
“See, vampires didn’t used to like changing humans. They relied on breeding alone to keep their species going. They thought humans-turned-vampires were weak, impure,” Dongwoon added.
“Exactly. So, they’re numbers grew rapidly. There just weren’t enough hunters to kill them all. Pretty soon, the vampires were everywhere, changing and feeding as they pleased. Hunters knew they were going to fail, until one hunter decided to experiment by injecting vampire blood into his body. Naturally, other hunters were disgusted, until they saw that he was stronger, faster, and more effective.”
“After that, it was the norm for hunters to get vampire blood injections,” Dongwoon chimed in.
“Soon enough, hunters were able to kill more and more vampires. The vampire elders decided enough of their kind had been killed. The elders decided to make a deal with the hunters, knowing hunters despised injecting vampire blood, they knew an agreement would be met. So, fifty years ago, laws were put into place. Every vampire had to register. They were no longer allowed to change humans. They could breed, if they wished, to keep their species going. And limits were placed on when vampires could hunt and feed.”
“Vampires are only allowed to hunt and feed on one human per month,” Dongwoon said.
“Right. The laws on vampire hunting are different in every city. Here in Seoul, we have 25 districts. Every month, the hunting grounds for the vampires change districts. This means that hunting only happens in a district every two years. That way, fewer suspicions are raised. In exchange for their cooperation, we don’t kill them. Except, of course, if they break a certain number of laws. If a vampire breaks the law three times, they are put on trail. Found guilty, the vampire is sentenced to death.”
“Three strikes and you’re out,” Dongwoon grinned.
“Are vampires usually found guilty?” Kikwang asked.
“Almost always,” Dongwoon answered.
“So, Junhyung attacking me tonight was his third strike?” Yoseob questioned Doojoon.
“Yes,” Doojoon said. “Junhyung is a very old vampire. He was around before the laws were made. I’m actually surprised he made it this long without breaking more laws. Then again, it’s likely he’s been breaking the law and we just don’t know about. Like I said, he’s the leader of the coven here in Seoul. He’s very powerful and most vampires fear him. I’m not looking forward to trying to catch him.”
They all feel silent, lost in their own thoughts. Yoseob couldn’t believe he’d gotten mixed up in something like this. He could have lived the rest of his life happily without knowing of the existence of vampires. Heaving a sigh, Yoseob remembered another thing he wanted to ask about.
“Um… Doojoon, what did Junhyung mean when he said you were still pretending to be human?” Yoseob asked tentatively.
“Uh oh,” Dongwoon muttered.
Doojoon stopped dead in his tracks and turned to Yoseob with a fierce glare. “That is none of your business. Bring it up again and I will kill you myself.” With that, he turned around and walked off, leaving a stunned Yoseob in his wake.
“What the hell is that guy’s problem?” Kikwang practically shouted.
“Don’t worry about him,” Dongwoon said as he came up behind Kikwang and Yoseob. “It’s a sensitive topic for him. Fret not,” he continued while putting his arms around their shoulders. “He wouldn’t actually kill you.”
“No, he wouldn’t. But I will,” came a soft voice behind them.
The three of them whipped around to see Junhyung standing there smirking. Slightly behind Junhyung, another vampire was standing, with light orange-ish hair and feminine features.
“Junhyung, nice to see you again. And good evening there, Hyunseung,” Dongwoon tried to sound cheery, but Yoseob could tell he was nervous.
“Enough with the pleasantries Dongwoon. I want that human. And look, you’ve brought another one along. Hyunseung, I’m sure, would like to feed this evening as well,” Junhyung replied, smirk growing.
Dongwoon pushed Yoseob and Kikwang behind him, trying to shield them from the vampires. “Sorry, but you can’t have them. You know the laws. Now if you’ll come quietly with me to headquarters that would be fantastic.”
Junhyung laughed out loud and Hyunseung’s blank face showed amusement. “You know I’m not going to do that,” he said while advancing on them. “And you can’t make me, especially without your half breed partner.”
Dongwoon pulled his gun out and pointed it at Junhyung as the vampire continued towards them, Hyunseung right behind him.
“I will shoot you,” Dongwoon glared.
Before Junhyung could take another step closer, Doojoon came out of nowhere and threw holy water all over the vampires. They both reeled back, hissing in pain.
“Run!” Doojoon grabbed Yoseob’s hand and ran; Dongwoon did the same with Kikwang.
They ran as fast as they could for what felt like miles before Yoseob couldn’t take anymore. He wrenched his arm out of Doojoon’s grasp and came to a halt. “We have to stop,” he panted. “I can’t run anymore.”
“Same here,” Kikwang gasped.
Doojoon looked annoyed for a moment, before agreeing. He looked at their surroundings then headed for an abandoned building that appeared to be an old hotel. “This way,” he said. The others sighed in relief and followed him.
The hotel was several stories high. The front was made entirely of big panes of glass; most of the windows were broken. There were barely any lights on this deserted street, making the building seem even more eerie in the dark.
“Perfect way to end the night,” Kikwang grumbled as they entered.
“Alright, listen up,” Doojoon said once they were all inside the lobby. “There’s only an hour left until sunrise. We just need to hold them off until then.”
“Right. And how exactly are we going to do that?” Yoseob asked.
Dongwoon glanced at Yoseob then Doojoon before saying, “You know what you have to do.”
“I know what you’re thinking Dongwoon, but I’m not doing it,” Doojoon glared.
“Doojoon! We’ll all be killed! You know you have to,” Dongwoon shouted.
The hunters glared at each other for several moments before Doojoon sighed in defeat. “I know. Come on, there should be a kitchen back here. A walk-in refrigerator would be a good place to hide.” He walked behind a check in desk and the others followed.
“What was that all about?” Yoseob questioned Dongwoon.
“He’ll explain it,” Dongwoon answered.
They entered the kitchen and headed toward the back. A large steel door was slightly ajar. Doojoon opened it and peered inside. “This’ll work. Dongwoon, stand guard. The second you see them, shout. Kikwang, I want you to get into the refrigerator. I need to speak with Yoseob.”
Kikwang stared at Doojoon then Yoseob. “Hurt him and I’ll kill you,” Kikwang glared at Doojoon before getting into the fridge and closing the door.
Yoseob turned to Doojoon and saw an interesting mix of emotions on his face: sadness, anger, fear. “What is it?” he asked.
“I don’t have time to explain everything right now. But I can tell you this: I’m half vampire,” Doojoon stared at Yoseob with apprehension.
Yoseob was shocked. But then things started clicking into place. “Still trying to pretend your human then? All of your little hunter friends believe your God’s gift, but do any of them know what you truly are?” “And you can’t make me, especially without your half breed partner.”
“But, I don’t…”
“I told you there’s no time. I’ll explain everything if we get out of this mess,” Doojoon said. “What I need from you now is a favor.” He pulled a knife from his belt and stepped closer to Yoseob.
“What favor?” Yoseob was getting nervous.
“Trust me, I wouldn’t do this, but it’ll help save our lives.” He stepped closer again.
“Okay,” Yoseob said, taking a small step back. “What are you going to do?”
“I need to drink your blood,” Doojoon stated, looking upset. “Just a little bit. It will help make me stronger, faster.” His eyes looked sad.
Yoseob gasped, looking from the knife to Doojoon’s face. He couldn’t believe Doojoon just said that. There was no way he was letting <i>anyone</i> suck his blood, not even the sexy hunter standing before him. But then he starting thinking about what Doojoon had said. Maybe it would be alright, just this once, if it would save their lives.
“Fine,” he said, taking a step closer to Doojoon.
Doojoon looked relieved. “Alright, give me your arm.”
Yoseob held out his left arm and Doojoon took it gently in his hand. He raised the knife and placed it on the inside of Yoseob’s forearm. “This will sting.”
Yoseob shut his eyes and sucked in a breath as the knife cut into his flesh. He opened them again to see blood trickling down his arm. Doojoon put the knife back in his belt and stared at Yoseob one more time. Finally he lowered his mouth to Yoseob’s arm. Yoseob shivered at the contact but gasped as Doojoon began sucking.
It was an odd sensation, the feeling of his blood being drawn into Doojoon’s mouth. There was some pain at first, but now it almost felt pleasurable. Doojoon’s other arm came up and held onto Yoseob’s elbow, his grip tightening. The more Doojoon sucked, the more Yoseob was sure it was pleasure he was feeling. He didn’t want Doojoon to stop.
Yoseob brought his other hand up and rested it on the back Doojoon’s head, his fingers playing with the soft hair. He closed his eyes, relishing in the feeling of Doojoon’s mouth, the feeling of his hair. After a moment, Yoseob began feeling light headed. He opened his eyes and found Dongwoon staring at them.
“Shit,” he heard Dongwoon mumble as he began walking towards them.
Yoseob looked down at Doojoon again, snapping out of his trance as he began swaying on his feet. He tried to pull his arm out of Doojoon’s grasp, but the hands just tightened. Starting to panic, Yoseob pulled harder. Doojoon growled, not releasing his hold.
“Shit!” Dongwoon cursed again. “Doojoon stop! That’s enough.” He came up behind Doojoon and tried pulling his arms off Yoseob. Doojoon growled again and kicked out at Dongwoon.
Dongwoon threw himself on Doojoon’s back, grabbing at his arms.
“Doojoon, stop! Please! You’re killing me!” Yoseob shouted, feeling weaker.
Finally coming to his senses, Doojoon stopped sucking and pulled his mouth off Yoseob’s arm. Dongwoon slide of Doojoon’s back and pulled him away from Yoseob.
Doojoon raised his face and stared Yoseob in the eyes. There was blood around his mouth and a wild look in his eyes, but his face held nothing but disgust at what he’d done. Wiping at his mouth Doojoon turned away from Yoseob, but not before he saw the look of horror that flashed across his features.
“I’m so sorry, I don’t…” Doojoon’s voice trailed off as he put his hands over his face.
Dongwoon ripped part of his shirt off and wrapped it tight around Yoseob’s arm. “Are you okay?” he whispered.
“I think so,” Yoseob replied, slightly dazed. “I just feel a little light headed.”
“Come on,” Dongwoon said as he led Yoseob to the refrigerator. He opened the door to Kikwang standing there anxiously.
“What took so long?” he asked. “And what the hell happened to your arm? Why are you so pale?” Kikwang’s voice rose as he questioned Yoseob.
Yoseob looked over his shoulder to see Doojoon tense up. He looked back at the angry look on Kikwang’s face. “It’s nothing. Come on,” he said as Dongwoon closed the steel door behind them.
Kikwang flipped his cell phone open so they would have some light. “It’s not 'nothing'! He hurt you! What the hell happened?”
“I’ll tell you later. What time is it?” Yoseob sighed, laying his head against the wall.
Kikwang didn’t want to drop the subject but he knew Yoseob wasn’t going to talk until he was ready. “It’s 4:50. The sun should be up in half an hour.”
“Good. I just want this night to be over,” Yoseob replied. He was feeling conflicted. He knew his life was just seriously close to being snuffed out. And yet, he didn’t feel angry. In fact, he wanted to feel Doojoon’s mouth on his skin once more. Sighing again, he closed his eyes.
Back in the kitchen, Dongwoon sighed and walked over to Doojoon. He place his hand on his partner’s back. “What was that Doojoon?”
Straightening up, Doojoon turned to face Dongwoon. Dongwoon almost gasped at the look of grief and disgust on Doojoon’s face.
“I don’t know Dongwoon. I couldn’t stop myself. I’ve finally turned into the monster I always feared I’d become,” Doojoon whispered.
“You aren’t a monster. You just lost control, that’s all,” Dongwoon tried to reassure his best friend. “We’ll talk about this later. Right now we need to focus on keeping ourselves alive. How do you feel?”
“Different,” Doojoon answered, still looking upset. “But you’re right. I need to focus. We’ve still got 30 minutes until we’re in the clear.”
Just then, they heard a noise outside the kitchen. Drawing their guns, the quietly went to the door. Through the window, they could see Junhyung and Hyunseung entering the lobby.
“Damn,” Doojoon whispered. “I think we should go out there, lead them away from Yoseob and Kikwang. And there’s more room to fight out there.”
Dongwoon nodded. When the vampires had their backs turned to the kitchen, they slipped out. As silently as they could, they walked towards the vampires. For all Junhyung would know, the hunters could have come from the back door, the kitchen, or the stairs. Doojoon was hopping they could keep the vampires distracted long enough to keep them from sniffing their way into the kitchen.
“Well darn. You guys found us,” Doojoon said as they closed in on the vampires.
Junhyung and Hyunseung turned to face them. Junhyung looked annoyed. “I’m done playing with you hunters. I want what’s mine and you won’t stop me.”
“Still upset about that holy water? Sorry, my hand slipped,” Doojoon replied with a smirk.
Junhyung’s scowl deepened and Hyunseung was starting to look mad. Suddenly Junhyung’s face changed. He looked confused, then intrigued, then seriously pissed. “You drank from the human,” Junhyung hissed.
“Maybe,” Doojoon answered. He knew he had to keep the vampire talking, keep him from realizing what time it was.
“So, the golden boy finally gave in,” Junhyung replied, still looking angry. “Did you enjoy it? I’m sure he was delicious.”
Doojoon’s face hardened, the grip on his gun tightening.
“You did!” Junhyung threw his head back and laughed. “I’m sure your fellow hunters will just love knowing what you’ve done.”
Doojoon knew he was being goaded. But he was getting really angry. The vampire was hitting too close to the truth.
“Let’s stop talking and just finish them Jun,” Hyunseung finally spoke in a soft voice. “I’m hungry and the sun is going to be up soon.”
“Alright Seungie. You’re right,” Junhyung said, placing a tender hand on Hyunseung’s cheek. “You can take Dongwoon. Doojoon is all mine.”
Hyunseung nodded and advanced towards Dongwoon. Doojoon and Dongwoon shared a final look, then moved away from each other.
In a flash, Hyunseung moved toward Dongwoon. Dongwoon fired a shot that hit the vampire’s arm. Hyunseung hissed, but kept moving forward.
Doojoon didn’t have time to watch his partner as Junhyung advanced on him. He fired his gun, but Junhyung easily dodged the bullet. Doojoon empty his entire clip, but Junhyung kept coming.
“Good,” Junhyung said. “Now we get to fight the real way.”
Junhyung swung his fist a Doojoon’s face. Doojoon dodged, and swung back. His fist connected with the vampire’s face, sending him back a few steps. Junhyung lunged forward, tackling Doojoon to the ground. The vampire had the hunter pinned and rained punches down on his face. Doojoon blocked them as best he could.
Junhyung raised his fist for another punch, but Doojoon sent a punch to the vampire’s gut, then his face. As Junhyung reeled back, Doojoon was able to shove him off and get to his feet. Doojoon aimed a kick at the vampire’s side, but Junhyung was on his feet and circling him in a flash.
“I see the human’s blood gave you strength,” Junhyung spat.
“Maybe,” Doojoon said again, wiping blood from the corner of his mouth. “Or maybe I’ve always been this strong and you’ve just never noticed.”
“Bullshit!” the vampire shouted. “I’ll kill you for drinking from him! Nobody touches what’s mine!”
Just then, a loud crash drew their attention to Hyunseung and Dongwoon. Hyunseung had just sent Dongwoon flying through the staircase banister. Dongwoon didn’t get back up. Satisfied with his work, Hyunseung made his way toward Junhyung.
“Still toying with him?” Hyunseung asked while putting a hand on Junhyung’s arm.
“The human’s blood as made him stronger,” Junhyung seethed.
“We can finish him together, my love,” Hyunseung replied, caressing Junhyung’s arm.
“NO!” Junhyung shouted. Hyunseung took his hand back. “I will finish him myself. I will feel his blood spill onto my hands.”
Doojoon worried a moment about his partner before Junhyung lunged at him again. The vampire wrapped his hands around the hunter’s neck, intent on squeezing the life out of him. Doojoon grabbed the hands, trying to pry them from his neck. When that failed, Doojoon tried punching the vampire, but he was unmovable.
His vision began to blur, but Doojoon knew he needed to stay conscious a little bit longer. He could see light starting to pour in through the broken windows. Junhyung squeezed his neck harder, as if sensing his thoughts.
As his vision began to tunnel, Doojoon heard a shout behind him. That foolish human he thought, as he saw a blurry Yoseob come rushing out of the kitchen, followed by a terrified looking Kikwang.
“Let him go! Please!” Yoseob pleaded. “You can have me. Just please don’t kill him!”
“No,” Doojoon struggled to say, but it came out as a wheeze.
“You’d sacrifice your life to save his?” Junhyung questioned.
“No one needs to die for me,” Yoseob replied.
Junhyung turned his gaze to Doojoon then back to the human. “Very well,” he said as he dropped Doojoon to the ground.
Doojoon sucked in much needed air. “No,” he rasped out. He tried to get up, but Junhyung kicked him in the ribs then punched him in the face.
As Junhyung made his way to Yoseob, Hyunseung started, “Jun, the sun…”
“Be quiet Hyunseung. I’ll be done here in a moment,” Junhyung cut him off.
Yoseob took a few fearful steps back and bumped into Kikwang. Both boys stared behind the approaching Junhyung and nervous looking Hyunseung to see rays of light crawling across the floor as the sun rose higher in the sky. Yoseob knew what he had to do as he stared at Doojoon on the floor and their eyes connected.
“Seung, come get this other human out of the way,” Junhyung said, eyes firmly locked on Yoseob.
Hyunseung did as he was told. He brushed past Junhyung, grabbed Kikwang’s arm, and wrenched him away from Yoseob. Kikwang yelped in pain and tried to pry his arm out of the vampire’s grip. Hyunseung pulled the struggling human off to the side.
As Junhyung took another step towards him, Yoseob too several back, heading towards the stair case. He saw Doojoon quietly stand up behind the vampires. Off to the side, he noticed Dongwoon slowly getting up as well. Taking one final step back, Yoseob stopped and squared his shoulders.
“That’s a good little human,” Junhyung smirked. “Accept your fate.” He closed in on Yoseob and grabbed the back of his neck, yanking him forward.
As Yoseob felt Junhyung’s breath on his skin, he saw the sun’s rays almost touching Hyunseung’s back. He saw Doojoon approaching Junhyung. He saw Dongwoon quietly stepping behind Hyunseung. He saw the fear in his best friend’s eyes. Yoseob tried to send Kikwang a reassuring smile, but he had covered his eyes, not wanting to see the closest thing he had to a brother be killed.
Just as Yoseob felt Junhyung’s mouth on his neck once again, Doojoon shouted “Now!”
In a split second, Doojoon wrenched Yoseob away from Junhyung and shoved the vampire under the staircase. Dongwoon grabbed a surprised Hyunseung and wrestled to get him under the stairs as well.
Junhyung was cursing and fighting against Doojoon while the hunter struggled to keep him down. Dongwoon finally got Hyunseung under the stairs and both hunters stepped back. Junhyung got up and tried to run after Doojoon but stopped when he finally realized what had happened.
In his desire obsessed mind, Junhyung had failed to see the sun’s light making its way into the hotel. The entire lobby was flooded with daylight. The only place in shadow was under the staircase, where the hunters shoved them.
“Damn you Doojoon!” Junhyung screamed. “You will pay for this!”
Yoseob stepped back to stand next to Kikwang. Doojoon and Dongwoon made their way towards them. Dongwoon was limping and holding his side. He had blood trickling from a gash above his right eye. Doojoon had blood on his face, but it appeared as though he didn’t have any injuries.
“Are you alright?” Doojoon asked as he stopped in front of Yoseob.
“I think I should be asking you that,” Yoseob replied. “You’re the one that just had the crap kicked out of him by a vampire.”
“I didn’t have the crap kicked out of me!” Doojoon said. “I was just killing time, waiting for the sun.”
“Sure you were,” Yoseob grinned.
Doojoon grinned back.
“I’m going to kill you all!” Junhyung was still ragging behind them.
“I’m glad you guys are flirting and all, but I’m in immense amounts of pain over here,” Dongwoon whined.
“We weren’t flirting!” Doojoon and Yoseob yelled at the same time, both blushing.
“Sure you weren’t,” Kikwang rolled his eyes. “Come on Dongwoon. Let’s get out of here.”
Dongwoon put his arm around Kikwang’s shoulder as they made their way slowly towards the exit.
Doojoon and Yoseob looked back at each other and then over toward Junhyung and Hyunseung. Junhyung was seething. Hyunseung was standing beside him, trying to calm him down.
“This isn’t over Doojoon! When I get out of here, I am coming straight for you!” Junhyung screamed.
“You’re welcome to do that. I’ll be at headquarters. You know where to find me,” Doojoon replied in a calm voice. He turned to leave.
“I will have you human, mark my words,” Junhyung hissed at Yoseob.
Yoseob sent him a final glare, then turned to leave as well. “So, what now?” he asked Doojoon, once he’d caught up to him.
“We get back to headquarters, make sure Dongwoon isn’t going to die on us,” Doojoon answered.
“I heard that!” Dongwoon yelled over his shoulder as they all made their way down the street.
Doojoon chuckled and turned back to face Yoseob. His eyes were looking at Doojoon with a million questions.
Sighing, Doojoon said, “I know you want to know more. I know you have questions. I know things need to be explained. Let’s get to headquarters and then we can talk.”
Yoseob nodded. He looked down at his bandaged arm and bit his lip. Doojoon saw were Yoseob’s eyes were looking and sighed once again. They really did have a lot to talk about.
Doojoon knew they were out of danger, for now. But Junhyung was persistent; he would follow through on his threats. He knew they had a long road ahead of them.
Pushing those thoughts aside, Doojoon threw his arm around Yoseob’s shoulders. “Come on. Let’s go help Kikwang. Poor guy looks like Dongwoon is crushing him.”
Yoseob laughed for the first time since he met the hunters.