“Where are we going?” Sam asked his older brother Michael as they walked briskly along the boardwalk.
“Nowhere…” Michael answered vaguely.
Sam exchanged an amused look with their sister Bella who was walking beside him.
“Then what’s the rush?” Sam pushed as Bella tried not to giggle. “You’re chasing that girl, why don’t you just admit it? We’re at the mercy of your sex glands!”
Michael paused to look at his snickering younger siblings in mild irritation. “Don’t you two have something better to do than follow me around all night?”
“As a matter of fact, I do,” Sam replied, his attention already stolen by a large comic book store.
“And you?” Michael asked Bella as Sam wandered off.
“Nope, you’re stuck with me.” Bella grinned and Michael sighed.
“Okay, come on.”
They kept walking, Bella eventually catching sight of the girl and young boy from before and snickering again.
“You totally are following her aren’t you? Not afraid I’ll cramp your style?”
“Well, I did try and get rid of you…” He smiled wryly at his sister, not noticing that the girl he was following had stopped until he had almost walked into her.
“Were you following me?” She asked directly and Bella almost stuffed a fist in her mouth to stop herself laughing loudly, as Michael unsuccessfully tried to flounder his way out of it.
His mojo was completely blown when Sam came running up, telling them that mom was waiting for them, and Bella just about died in laughter as the mystery girl sweetly told Michael it had been nice talking to him.
They headed back to the car while Michael argued with their mom, and then asked for five more minutes before dashing off into the crowd. Bella shrugged and followed him, not entirely sure why, but feeling a strange urge to.
She caught up with Michael as he came to halt a short distance away from a small group of what looked like bikers, and stood beside him watching as both the girl and younger boy joined the quartet of four good looking males.
About to make a sarcastic comment to Michael, Bella’s words died in her throat when the girl looked back, smiling prettily. As if sensing something, the four males’ eyes also snapped toward them and Bella found herself locking eyes with one of them.
The tallest of the four, he was dressed all in black, with light blond hair cut short on top and icy blue eyes that raked over her interestedly.
A tingle spread from her head down to her toes at his blatant appraisal of her, and she blushed, watching his lips twitch up into an amused smile.
One of the others said something and he turned, finally breaking their gaze to reply, before getting onto his bike along with the others.
The girl smiled at Michael again from the back of one of the bikes and Bella was pinned with one last intense stare before the whole group peeled away in a roar of engines.
It was the next night and Bella had once again tagged along with Michael, much to his annoyance. Though at least it was far less annoying than if Sam had been with them too.
Bella had even helped him pick up his new leather jacket, in return for him buying her a new jacket too anyway. He had to admit she had good taste for being his little sister though. He liked the jacket he was now wearing, and the black military style cargo jacket she’d chosen for herself suited her.
Now they were walking along and taking in the sights and sounds. Michael hadn’t admitted that he was looking out for the same girl again, but Bella knew he was. If she was honest, she was kind of watching out for the same group again too.
The way he had looked at her… she shivered lightly at the memory. It had been like she could feel his eyes moving over her.
Coming out of her thoughts, she grinned as she realised they’d stopped beside an ear piercing concession and Michael was watching with curiosity.
“It’s a rip off.” A soft feminine voice said from behind them and Bella and Michael both turned to see the girl from the night before standing right behind them.
“If you want your ear pierced, I’ll do it.”
She started walking, leaving Michael no option but to follow. Bella wondered if she should just let them go alone, but the girl looked back and smiled encouragingly at her.
They exchanged names as they walked, the girl introducing herself as Star as she asked if Bella and Michael were new to the area.
As they reached Michael’s bike, he asked Star if she wanted to get something to eat and Bella started feeling really uncomfortable. When it came to a single bike, three was definitely a crowd and she didn’t want to blow her brother’s chances, no matter how much he irritated her at times.
Just as she opened her mouth to suggest that she would leave them to it and find her own way home, she was cut off by the roar of approaching bikes.
Her heart felt like it was going to jump up in her throat as the four bikes pulled up nearby, the same icy eyes looking her over again, making her shiver.
“Who are your friends, Star?” He asked suddenly, his gaze flicking to Star and Michael before coming back to rest on her.
“This is Michael… and Bella.”
There was a long moment of silence, then his lips twitched up into a half smile. “I’m David.”
He pointed out the others one at a time as he introduced them. “Dwayne… Paul… and Marko… behind Dwayne is Laddie.”
They all nodded briefly except Laddie, who grinned and waved.
“You know where Hudson’s Bluff is? Overlooking the point?”
“I can’t beat your bike… and I won’t race with my little sister around.”
“You don’t have to beat me, just try and keep up,” He looked around his companions with a smirk, “And we’ll keep your sister safe…”
Amid the chuckling from the other three, David threw Star a loaded look and she nodded in response, quietly getting on the back of Paul’s bike.
“Come on Michael, ride with us…” David cajoled, smiling in triumph when Michael made his way to his bike and swung a leg over it.
“Hold on a minute, ‘little sister’…” David called out as Bella went to follow her brother. “You can ride with me.”
It felt like she was in some sort of dream as they raced along the night-time beach, her hair flying out behind them while they dodged the surf and scattered campfires.
Then they reached a more deserted stretch and sped up even more, making her wrap her arms tighter around David’s waist and press herself into his back. She felt surprisingly safe though, somehow knowing he could handle the speed with ease.
A part of her was shocked at her actions, plastering herself to a complete stranger as they raced over the sand. Yet a larger, darker part of her enjoyed the rush, the adventure of it. Having her arms around someone that only had to look at her to make her tingle was a definite thrill.
She was a little disappointed when the ride ended, David pulling up sharply at the cliff edge and making her squeal. Michael had been fuming, ready to go for David until Bella had to stop him, telling him that she was fine.
He had calmed down after a few moments and then they had followed the boys down into a cave that had once been a hotel lobby until an earthquake had made the ground swallow it up.
Now it was their home, David told them with pride, slinging a lazy arm over Bella’s shoulders as she looked around the cave in fascination. She flushed when he pulled her into his side, steering her towards one of the couches and sitting down with her.
Smirking as he watched Star tentatively eyeing Michael, David turned to the others. “Marko… food.”
Marko nodded at the demand, turning and leaving quietly.
“I want to go.” Star suddenly said to Michael.
“No… stick around,” David said, his arm tightening minutely around Bella. “We’re just getting to know each other… and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to leave Bella here all alone with us… not before we’re properly acquainted.”
Bella suppressed a soft whimper at David’s suggestive tone and he smirked knowingly.
Michael settled into a seat and tried not to comment as a joint Paul had lit made its way to Bella’s hand. She looked at him warily and as he pretended not to see her, smoked a little of it before passing it to David.
She didn’t say much as Paul and Dwayne joked loudly and Star sat talking quietly with Michael. Every so often she would swear she could feel David’s gaze burning into her, and each time she would flush lightly, her heart speeding up.
Finally, she looked up and met his eyes, shivering under his intense stare. The moment was broken though by the others whooping as Marko arrived with Chinese takeout and Bella quickly dug into the box she was given, grateful for the distraction.
Head a little fuzzy from the strong weed she had just smoked, she watched confused, and if she was honest more than a little amused, as David somehow convinced her brother he was eating maggots and not rice.
Watching as Michael then refused a box of noodles thinking they were worms, she glanced warily down at her own takeout box, relieved to see it was still actual food, and not anything that moved or squirmed.
“Sorry about that.” David apologized, though Bella didn’t think he sounded sorry at all.
David waved Marko over a moment later, whispering in his ear while Marko leaned down in between them, his face right next to hers. Throwing her a quick grin and a wink, Marko straightened up and disappeared, reappearing a moment later with an old looking bottle, decorated with metal and stones.
Bella brushed off the odd feeling in the pit of her stomach as a side effect of the smoking and just watched curiously as David opened the bottle and took a swig, momentarily closing his eyes in pleasure.
Then he turned to her, holding the bottle out.
“Ladies first, little Bella. Drink some of this… be one of us.”
“Hey.” Michael protested and David fixed him with a stare.
“So little sister isn’t allowed to party like big brother then?”
“I do what I want.” Bella scoffed and took the proffered bottle, lifting it to her lips and drinking.
The taste burst over her tongue and she almost moaned at the flavour. Warmth flooded her, the world instantly getting a little grey around the edges.
She was vaguely aware of David taking the bottle and offering it to Michael. The girl, Star, protested, and Bella thought she heard her say it was blood, but Michael just laughed her off and drunk it. Bella knew there was no way he would want to be outdone by his little sister.
Then the hooting and hollering started, Marko, Paul and Dwayne all shouting their approval as Michael smiled dazedly. David was quiet though and Bella turned to look at him, wondering why.
“So… how do you feel?” He asked as their eyes met.
“Pretty damn good,” Bella answered with a slightly dopey smile.
“Good.” Was David’s only response, before he moved, ducking his head to brush his lips over hers.
Feeling her respond he pulled away, only to tug her onto his lap and kiss the hell out of her. He nipped her bottom lip, and when she gasped his tongue tangled with hers, exploring her mouth while his hands gripped her hips, pulling her down against him.
Bella broke away to breath, moaning softly as he trailed down and sucked on her pulse point… then froze at the sudden round of obnoxious catcalls.
David smirked, allowing Bella to slide off his lap onto the couch next to him and ignoring the daggers Michael was glaring at him. Glancing up at a battered clock on the wall, he grinned suddenly.
“Time we were leaving anyway boys… and girl… train’s coming.”
The ride to the bridge passed in a blur for Bella, nothing but the wind rushing by and having her arms around David’s lean body really registering.
She listened quietly while the boys joked, her brother being the butt of most of it, as they walked onto the bridge, stopping about halfway across.
“You’ll need to trust me now,” David told Bella lowly as he pulled her off to one side, feeling gratified when thanks to the haze from the blood she just nodded. “Okay.”
He crouched down slightly, his back to her. “Jump up, hold on tight no matter what, and don’t be frightened.”
Michael looked at them oddly as they re-joined the group but before he could say anything was distracted by Marko moving to the side of the bridge. At David’s signal, he jumped, followed by Paul and then Dwayne.
“Come with us, Michael,” David said, following the others over the side before Michael could stop him.
“No!” Michael shouted as Bella disappeared from view. He scrambled to the edge and looked over, a wave of relief swallowing him up as he saw Bella, still wrapped around David who was hanging from the bridge supports with the others.
“Michael Emerson… come on down…” David called up, then watched with amusement as Michael awkwardly climbed down to join them.
“Okay there, little Bella?” David quietly asked over his shoulder, feeling her nod in response. “Remember, hold on to me no matter what.”
A train rattled overhead shook the bridge, and the boys laughed and whooped when it rattled the bars they were hanging onto. Though she didn’t enjoy seeing Michael so scared, Bella had a feeling that there was more than met the eye going on, and felt surprisingly calm about it.
Paul was the first to fall, letting go while the train was still passing, then Marko and Dwayne quickly followed, disappearing into the fog below.
“Michael, you’re one of us. Let go.” David shouted over the noise.
“And do what?” Michael shouted back, terrified.
“You are one of us, Michael…” David looked back over his shoulder, “And so are you, Bella.”
Then meeting Michael’s eyes one last time, David let go.
The train continued, finally passing by, and in the quiet that followed Michael could hear the boys calling his name, telling him to let go. His fingers slipping… he had no choice but to follow them down into the fog.
~*~ fin ~*~