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Strange Things Happen (In the Dead of Night)

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Adam felt like he was on the brink of death. He trudges out of the small corner convenience store he works at Wednesday and Saturday nights, and sighs in relief as the cold November air cools his sweaty face. Adam knows he needs to be more alert at night, especially when he’s in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. He keeps ahold of his backpack and walks down the street.

 

Despite it being midnight, Adam has two assignments he needs to finish by his eight am class tomorrow morning, then he has a five hour lab, then he walks to the campus library to work. After that he’s free for a night, then he can sleep.

 

He relaxes into the busy sidewalk, and calculates how much sleep he might be able to get tonight. He needs to finish his bio lab and notes, that’ll take a good hour and a half, then he needs to finish five pages for his History essay, which’ll take around two hours, give or take how much he’ll get distracted.

 

He was tired, but it’d be worth it in the end. He’d dreamt of leaving his hometown in Virginia; he did that. He wanted to get into an Ivy League; he did that. He wanted to pass his classes with flying colors; he’s working to do that.

 

If he gets around three hours of sleep, he’ll be fine. He ducks his head down when he nears the club that is next to his rundown apartment building. He’s been living there since August and he’s starting the get used to hearing the shitty music all night. Luckily it doesn’t bother him when he’s studying.

 

He puts his hands in his pockets, his right hand finding his silver brass knuckles that he always has on him for precaution and walks a little bit faster. He ignores the drunk club-goers who bump into him as he places his fingers to fit into his brass knuckles and grips it hard.

 

He sighs in relief as he turns down into the alley to get to the stairs that he takes up to his room. He stops at the first of the steps to find the keys in his bag and is about to climb up but he freezes.

 

He tries to drown out the music of the club and he hears it to his right.

 

Footsteps walking down the alley towards him.

 

It could be nothing, but the way his hair stands up and the goosebumps that raise on his skin, Adam knows it isn’t nothing. His exhaustion is long gone. Now he’s fully awake and alert. He doesn’t acknowledge whoever it is. He starts humming and digs through his bag some more, finding the vial of Dead Man’s Blood and a syringe, trying to keep his heart rate normal.

 

He hears the monster come closer and Adam hurries to put the needle into the vial to fill it with the blood and quickly pockets it. The steps stop behind him and Adam waits.

 

“Hi there, handsome,” A low voice says into the night. Adam has to suppress a shiver at the deep, sultry voice.

 

Adam gasps out, spinning on his heels and puts a hand to his chest, feigning fright. He widens his eyes and swallows hard. The man is about two inches taller clad in black. Black leather jacket and black skinny jeans with black combat boots. His face is stunning with pale skin, sharp cheekbones, and a mouth twisted into a hungry smirk. He has a black beanie on over his ears and he has a silver eyebrow piercing glinting in the moonlight.

 

“Sorry to startle you,” he says, his arms raised in a placating, innocent manner.

 

Adam laughs shakily, ducking his head shyly. “It- it’s quite alright. It’s just late and there’s a lot of scary people out tonight.”

 

The man hums and nods his head in agreement, taking a step closer. “That’s very true. It’s very important to watch your surroundings. You don’t know what’s out there.”

 

Adam forces his face to show nothing, fights the scowl trying to break through. In the little light there, Adam can see how black the man’s eyes are. Adam guesses he hasn’t fed in about a week and Adam is probably the easiest target in this empty alleyway for the monster to feast on.

 

“So,” Adam says, clearing his throat. “Were you at that club?”

 

The man shakes his head slow, his tongue peeking out the lick his bottom lip as he roams Adam’s face. “Just out for a walk. Feeling a bit restless.” He stalks closer to Adam until he’s blocking his way to escape. His only escape is up the stairs now. Adam bits his lip, feeling his pulse skyrocket. Adam sees the man’s eyes darken, his smile growing more menacing as Adam knows he can hear the beat of his heart. “Glad I came out tonight,” The man places long fingers up to his chin, tilting his head up to reveal his neck. Adam tenses, slowly finding the syringe in his left pocket. “You’re awfully pretty,” he whispers, nosing along Adams jaw. Adam bites his lip to keep any noises from spilling out of his mouth.

 

“W-wait,” Adam says breathlessly, his head clouding. The man looks up with a teasing glint in his dark eyes. Adam takes a moment to blink out of his haze. He grips the syringe and takes it out of his pocket. “At least take me out on a date first.”

 

The man laughs, dark and beautiful. This time, Adam can’t help but shiver. “I don’t think we’ll have time for that, I’m afraid,” he says as he cups Adam’s face, stroking his bottom lip with his thumb.

 

Adam hums, pouting his lip. “I suppose you’re right.”

 

And with that, he jabs the syringe in the man's right thigh and injects the Dead Man’s Blood into the vampire’s body.

 

The monster howls in pain, and Adam quickly shoves him back so he topples and falls. His beanie is off his head, and Adam sees the neatly shaven buzz cut of dark hair.

 

He really is hot.It’s a shame he’s a disgusting monster.

 

Adam slides his brass knuckles on his fingers and circles the vampire. He’s knelt down in pain, and Adam could hear him growling lowly. “Have you ever been injected with Dead Man’s Blood before?” Adam asks, keeping a careful eye on the crouched man.

 

When Adam doesn’t hear an answer, he continues. “With the amount of blood I put into your system, you’ll feel weak, slow, for a good five hours or so. It’s like a poison to you,” Adam sighs and walks up to the man, kicking his arm to get his attention. The vampire looks up with anger, such black hatred in his dark eyes. He hisses, and Adam scowls in disgust and his elongated teeth. “But don’t worry, you’ll be dead before those hours are up.”

 

The vampire tries to get up, but moans quietly in pain. Adam tuts and shakes his head. “Don’t try to fight, darling, I’ll make it a quick death for you.” The man growls and lunges at Adam’s legs, but Adam side steps him quickly.

 

“Who the fuck are you?” The vampire snaps, gnashing his teeth at Adam from the ground.

 

Adam smirks, and crouches down near the monster. “My name is Adam Parrish,” Adam gives a mock-friendly wave. “Full time college student, part time blood-sucker hunter.”

 

“Fuck you,” The vampire spits out.

 

Adam chuckles. “Sucks to be you right now, huh?” Adam snorts, looking imploringly at the man. “Get it? Sucks to be you?” Adam waits to see if the vampire gets it, but when he continues to glare, Adam sighs. “It’s a vampire pun. Why does no one laugh at that.”

 

“Are you really telling jokes right fucking now?” The man stares increduly at Adam. “My fucking God. Kill me now, I won’t even fight you, I never want to hear shit like that ever again.”

 

“I’m offended, really. But sure,” Adam stands up straight again, holding up his finger. “Just wait right there. I’ll go get my blade.”

 

The vampire flashes his teeth. “Oh sure, I’ll just lay right here. Take your time.”

 

Adam nods and goes to get his bag, pulling out his blade. “This is, like, the easiest job I’ve ever had. You’re really pleasant, so thanks for that, I guess.”

 

He goes to turn around, gasps as the vampire lunges at him so that they’re both crashing to the cement. Adam grunts the vampire knees him in the gut. “And you’re the worst fucking hunter I’ve encountered.” The vampire spits out as he straddles Adam’s thighs and grabs his wrists, pinning him down. “But, there’s something about you, Adam Parrish.”

 

Adam curls his lip and tries to pry his arms free. “Are you always this fucking flirty with your kills?”

 

The vampire shakes his head, shrugging. “No, like I said, you’re somethin’ special.” He leans down until they’re nearly nose to nose. “My name’s Ronan, by the way.”

 

“Well, if it makes you feel better, you’re somethin’ else, too, Ronan ,” Adam gasps out, his gaze stuck on the man’s sharp teeth curled in a predatory smile. “You would have been long dead by now.” Adam grunts as he bucks up from under the vampire, getting his right leg free and kneeing him in the groin.

 

“You’re weak. You can’t win this fight,” Adam says, annoyed, as he sees the vampire crawl away from him. Adam gets up and kicks him hard in the stomach. He gasps out and rolls onto his back. This time Adam straddles him, taking the pale face in both hands. “I’ve been hunting since I was seventeen,” Adam says. He adjusts the knuckles on his hands and raises a fist. “Started in Virginia, my hometown.” His first punch makes a sickening bone-cracking sound. Ronan bucks and yelps as blood gushes out of his nose. “Now I’m in the city for school.” The second punch lands at his jaw. “So much more of you here.”

 

“Thanks for the history lesson,” Ronan moans, turning his face to spit out blood. Adam punches him in the nose again and ignores the shout of pain from Ronan. He gets up on shaky legs, and grabs his fallen blade.

 

He grips the handle and watches the changes in emotion that changes in Ronan’s expression. From pain to anger to fear as he sees the blade. “It’s been a fun time, don’t you think? But I’ve wasted enough time on you,” Adam says, lowering the blade to his neck. “I’ve still got homework to do.”

 

He raises the blade as he looks into the monster’s eyes. “Bye,” Adam says. He’s about to lower his blade onto the vampire’s neck, ending him, but he looks up when he hears an animalistic growl from back toward the alley.

 

He was too busy dealing with Ronan that he didn’t notice anyone else enter the darkened alleyway.

 

He sees the black shadow and he can’t brace himself for the body slamming into him. He can’t breathe for many seconds and he think his ribs will definitely bruise with the force of that tackle. His eyes widen and he’s surely going to die when he’s pinned down by strong arms and a hand grabs his face tilting up his head. He opens his eyes to see another vampire with his lips curled, teeth elongated as he leans in.

 

He knows he’s going to die when he feels the warm breath on his neck and then

 

Then the body is off of him and Adam gasps, sitting up quickly and gathers himself, ready for another fight.

 

He doesn’t expect for the new incomer to be checking on Ronan. “Ronan, my God. Are you alright?” The man says, worry evident in his voice.

 

Adam stands up carefully, wincing at the pain in his ribs. Sensing his movement, the new vampire looks over his shoulder.

 

This one is dressed in sweatpants and an old, ratty t-shirt. It’s as if he just got out of bed. He has black frames on his face and his eyebrows are furrowed. “Please. Let us go.”

 

Adam’s jaw drops. “ What? ” This guy is...begging to be let go? This is the weirdest encounter Adam has ever had.

 

The vampire stands up. “Ronan, he hasn’t been home in awhile. He’d never hunt humans, I swear. We don’t kill.He just hasn’t eaten in awhile, I’m guessing. He’s not in his right mind.”

 

Adam doesn’t really know what to say. Okay, sure have a nice night, you two. Or, just don’t let me catch you two crazy kids feasting on someone.

 

The vampire steps up, hands in fists. “I really don’t want to fight you, but I will if you make me,” His voice goes deeper, his eyes go darker. “We’ll leave you alone.

 

Adam crosses his arms. “I’m a hunter, it’s what I do. I can’t be giving out second chances to every blood sucker I meet.”

 

The vampire nods, as if he totally understands. “Yes, but we do not kill. Listen, I’m Gansey, this is Ronan.” Ronan groans from his place on the ground. “We’re students. Like you, yes? I understand your hate for our kind, but we aren’t like the majority of vampire.”

 

Adam scowls and starts stepping closer to Gansey. “Like I believe that.”

 

Gansey raises his hands. “Please. My girlfriend, she’s a nurse. And a human,” he adds. Adam’s eyes widen. A human infatuated with a monster. His stomach drops. “She gets us bags of blood to sustain us. So we don’t have to kill.”

 

“When's the last time you fed on a human?” Adam questions. He doesn’t know why, but Adam knows that Gansey is telling the truth. There’s something telling Adam to shut up and trust him.

 

Gansey thinks for a moment. “Not for almost sixty years. I promise you. Ronan hasn’t for at least fifty. We’ve been together since I found him and I know he hasn’t.”

 

Ronan groans again, tugging on Gansey’s pants and Gansey crouches down with a frown. Ronan mumbles something and Gansey looks up at Adam. “Please, I have to get him home. He’s hungry and weak.”

 

Adam checks the time on his watch and curses under his breath. It’s late. And Adam still has homework. “Go,” He says, his voice hard. “I don’t want to see you two again.”

 

Gansey nods and gives Adam a grateful smile. He scoops Ronan into his arms. “Thank you,” Gansey says quietly.

 

Adam scowls and looks to Ronan, who looks pitiful and bloodied in Ganseys arms, and is staring at him with dazed eyes. Before Gansey flees into the night, Ronan raises an arm and sticks his middle finger out at Adam.

 

Adam can’t help but snort.

 

When they’re gone, Adam goes to the side of the building and rests against it, dropping his blade and rubbing his palms against his eyes. His exhaustion is back, and all he wants is to jump into his shitty mattress and sleep for a week, but he knows it’s impossible.

 

He stays outside for a few minutes more before lugging himself and his belongings up the three flights of stairs until he reaches his room. Dropping his bag on his bed, he goes to his small bathroom.

 

He sheds his shirt and checks his chest and ribs. He’s bruising already and he groans but it’s not the worst injury he’s ever sustained so he moves on to the shower and turns the water on. He’ll shower, then he’ll eat some saltine crackers he has and get down to his assignments.

 

Then maybe he can sleep. It’s gonna be a long night.