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Promise of Blood

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"Is God willing to prevent evil but not able?
Then he is not Omnipotent
Is he able but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he able and willing?
Then from whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him god?"
-Epicurus, 341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens


 


It was a dark place. Ruins and magic circles covered the walls. Standing at strategic points were mages. One in particular wore a wide grin on his face as he chanted with the others. His suit, long limbs and angular face, dark eyes, and spiked horned hair, could belong only to one sorcerer, Klarion, the Witch Boy. The chanting grew in crescendo. Ruins glowed and magic bounced against the walls, against stone and iron and flesh.

They sought to awaken a monster.

They aimed to turn a King into a Slave.

But a guest had arrived. He hid in the shadows, where the darkness embraced him, caressing his hair and trailing down his chest. The magic rolled over but never touched. It was blind and stupid and arrogant. It was when the ritual was at its peak that he struck, hard and fast. Like an expert puppet master, he yanked control, fiercely and mercilessly. He wrapped the magic, the intention, around Klarion and squeezed.

The chaos lord shrieked. He wasn’t the only one. The shadows surged forward, held the other mages in place, slowly crushing them.

“Teekl!”, Klarion’s familiar, wasn’t spared. It fought viciously. Klarion’s magic flared around the feline, attempted to shift the small animal but failed.

“My, my…what an annoying pest, scratching at my chamber door…”

The figure shimmers from his dark corner, eyes a glittering crimson. He smiles, face obscured by darkness, and his canines extend inhumanely, sharp and unusually white.

“You!” Klarion screeches, “You’re supposed to have been sleeping! And I-I was to be your master! No fair! No fair! No fair!”

The figure chuckles. “You can’t hide from me. I can smell your fear, little chaos. But you did not seek me out of your own accord. No, that was the desire of another. Tell me.”

For a moment, the dark magician is still and silent. He glances to his familiar and flinches at how exhausted and beaten she is. She glances back and gives the mage an unimpressed and helpless look. Klarion is nothing if not stubborn and spoiled, however, and shakily laughs.

“What’s wrong Dracky? Scared of The Light?” The emphasis doesn’t escape the dark figure’s notice. He moves closer and the magic compressed within the enclosed space becomes thick and congested.

“I do not need fear the sun. Light is no different.” He stops a breath away. “But if you won’t give me what I ask for then I’ll just have to take it.”

Faster than Klarion could expect, powerful jaws clamped down on his neck, razor sharp incisions pierced ageless flesh…and began to drink.

The immortal screamed.

There was no spell, no barrier or shield to defend against a vampire’s feeding. This vampire, in particular, drank for more than to simply satisfy his hunger-he drank for the Witch Boy’s memory. No matter what anyone did, their blood carried within them their genetic memory of life. Life, the experiences one undergoes, leaves an imprint. This is what he craved to find-the memory of who and why. He cared nothing for the pain it caused his prey.

Klarion cursed and wailed in agony. He struggled but succeeded only in tearing open his own wound. Blood splattered on the ground and down their cloths. But he could do nothing as memories bled from his mind, as scene after scene after scene was taken from him.

Abruptly, the vampire tore himself away from the, now, whimpering magician.

“Savage!” the vampire hisses with hate, blood dripping from his chin. “That human has become as bothersome as that Order. And you…”

The vampire glares at Klarion, crimson eyes flashing with disdain and hate.

“You should have better sense than to try my hand.”

With that the vampire placed a hand over the Witch Boy’s chest. The magic tightened its hold as the shadows furled behind the mages. At the sight, the hostages’ struggles renewed. Even Teekl stiffened in the magical binds and Klarion’s face paled further. The shadows moved and shifted aggressively before forming a large black portal. It made no noise. It gave off neither heat nor cold draft. In fact, if one wasn’t directly looking at it, one would have completely missed it.

“Now that you have over stayed your welcome, its time you and your friends went home.” The other mages were thrown into the dark void but as Klarion and his familiar were pulled in, the vampire gave a promise. “And this time you won’t be coming back…any of you.”

With a final shriek Klarion and his familiar follow their accomplices through the darkness. Immediately after, the shadows broke apart, sealing them on the other side. The vampire waves one hand and the shadows again leapt to his command. They leap to the foundations of the walls, in the stones, and tore at them. With a roar, they crack and tear.
The vampire turns to step into a space of shadow and is gone just before the cavern collapses.

When he reappears it is to the interior of a dark elegantly leather-lined designed Rolls Royce. The driver, an immaculately dressed African American with a clean cut beard and driver hat, glanced back at him but his expression gave away no surprise or fear.

“I take it all is well?” His voice is smooth, baritone and cultured. “Or do you require me to make additional arraignments?”

“No, that won’t be necessary.” The vampire, now no longer shielded by darkness, was dressed in a form fitted suit and expertly fixed his expensive gold cufflinks.

“But we do have work to do. It seems certain elements have seen fit to seek out the famed Father of Vampires…Dracula.”

The vampire stretched himself out along the cushioned seats but his driver knew better. He could tell from the way the vampire’s jaw clenched and ticked that he was, in fact, quite angry.

“If its Dracula they want then Dracula they shall receive.”

“Are you sure that is a wise course, Master?”

“Perhaps. Perhaps not.” He gave a dark smirk, “But it’s about time the hunters become the hunted.”


 

Superboy ignored the clattering of sound from the base kitchen.  He didn’t doubt that Megan was busy cooking her heart out.  The clone frowned but busied himself by running his hands over Sphere, his new friend.  Although, the others referred to her as an “it” and a “pet”, he managed to clamp down on his anger.  It helped that Sphere demanded his attention whether it was running his hand along her sides or just mindless talking.  It didn’t matter as long as he was there giving her attention. 

It reminded him about himself…and Superman. 

Everything came back to him, to Superman. 

Superboy was tired of thinking about the Man of Steel.  Sphere knew he was tired.  He knew Sphere knew.  But he didn’t know what to do about it…and neither did she.  So they just sat in the garage, in the dim light and kept each other company. 

This day was different, however.  It had been several weeks since he started school with Megan and taken on the name “Conner Kent”.

He was still adjusting to having two names.  Being Conner Kent wasn’t so hard.  He just had to remind himself not to show his powers.  The entire day was a litany of reminders. No powers. No powers. No powers. No powers. No powers. No powers. Again and again and again until his head ached and his fingers twitched but he managed.  He adapted

Megan hovered for a while but he endured it.  Still endured it, actually.  He didn’t like it, like her watching him.  It made him feel as if he were being studied back at the labs again and that infuriated him.  But he endured and pushed the anger back because of one fundamental fact…

…He was allowed outside. 

Without the team, too.  

He might have to be Conner Kent to do so but it was a minor sacrifice in comparison to the fight to get out of the labs.

So, Conner Kent went to school for the first time. He knew most of everything the other students were being taught but not everything.  There were some things that he obviously didn’t get.  Slang was one of them.  Conner knew there were types of slang, knew its history, and the roots of it all right down to the filth and grime.  But using it and having it used toward him was another matter. 

Talking and being social was also not something he knew how to do.  His first friends he met by beating up and capturing for Cadmus to be used and disposed of.  It wasn’t like he could do the same to a normal human teen…that were most definitely not Robin. 

This day wasn’t like the others.  He’d been listening to the other teens talk about their plans for the Halloween holiday.  Some had been talking about haunted houses and parties.  But what really caught his attention was one student mention how she really wanted to take a trip to New Orleans for the festivals that start a few days early and go on well into early November. It wouldn’t have held his attention except she had unexpectedly turned to him and asked him if he didn’t think it was a great idea to “get away from it all even for a little while”. 

He answered without thinking.  He said yes.

Conner doesn’t say anything out loud.  He doesn’t mention it to anyone else.  But the idea was planted and is there.  It’s been sitting in his head, the idea, and her words, festering and taking shape. 

So, he filled a duffle bag with extra clothes and hid it away inside his personal bathroom.

That was three days ago. 

He lined his bag with all the allowance he’s been given since school started. 

That was two days ago.

No one said anything about how he used the money given to him.  He spent so long following the rules, doing as he is told.  All he’s ever wanted was for Superman-his father in everything except presence-to recognize him, to acknowledge him, tell him he wasn’t a mistake.

But it’s been more than two months since the man turned him away.  Two months of everyone telling him to be patient, to be understanding.  Two months of hearing someone say that the man would come around.  Conner was tired of waiting.  Even more, he was tired of the excuses.

He understood rejection and hate and fear and pain.  But he wanted more. The team and the mentors have done their best but he felt like something is still missing.  That’s not to say he isn’t grateful for all that they’ve given him.  It’s just that they can’t be everything. 

Right now, there feels like there’s a gaping wound in his chest and its eating away at the rest of him and Conner desperately wants to fill it. 

He went back and asked that same girl what she would do if she made it to New Orleans and her answer shouldn’t have affected him but it left his hands shaking.  She didn’t blush or stutter or hesitate.  Her blue eyes gave him a hard searching look then stared him in the eyes and he isn’t sure what she saw but whatever it was made her speak.

“I’d lose myself…” she whispered, “I’d forget everything in the world that mattered to me.  I would sing and dance and scream and cry and curse the world to hell.”

There was a shadow behind her eyes and suddenly, he wished he knew her name.

“I’d drink and laugh like nothing bothers me.  I’d kiss a man, maybe a woman or two.” She gives a careless shrug of her shoulders, “Take a complete stranger to bed and with my heart racing and my blood rushing to my ears, I’d beg for more and more and more until the sun is long gone or just rising. I want to forget all the bad for something good and great and amazing.”

She lowers her gaze, letting her raven colored bangs hide the glassy look of her eyes.  “There’s no cliché about life, no witty quote to describe it…except that you only get one.  Better to live it the best you can than wait for it to end and regret what you didn’t do...”

A heavy silence follows and Conner knows there’s something in her voice, some kind of fear he doesn’t understand.  He felt his inside go cold. 

“You gonna go?” She asked after a beat.

“Yes,” he answered.

“I’ve got enough for a one way ticket,” she looks up, tears in her eyes, “take me with you?”

“Okay,” he agrees, and doesn’t ask her where that ticket will take her.  The smile she gives reaches her eyes.

That was yesterday.

Today is when they leave.

His bag is prepped.  He leaves behind all of his shirts with the familiar S shield.  This wasn’t a trip for Superboy.  It wasn’t a mission or a recon.  This was about escape and forgetting, including everything about Superboy and Cadmus and Project Kr.

Conner Kent was a regular teen who goes to a normal high school.  Today, Conner Kent was going to New Orleans for All Hallows Eve.  He was going to meet a friend at the school and together they were going to head south to Louisiana.  It was a twenty-two hour drive. 

Sphere stops purring beneath her bonded’s touch to give a deep rumble.  Once she is sure she has his attention, she gives one sure chirp, rocks forward to bump the teen gently before rolling back and transforming.  Conner watches in awe as Sphere twitches and shifts and moves parts of herself, changing her shape and hiding parts of her form.  When she stops, it is to a sight Conner is familiar with.  A sleek metallic black and red Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle flashes its headlights at him.  A full black helmet morphs from the body to rest on the seat. 

Conner smiles and rubs the space between the headlights.  Then he turns and heads to his room to grab his duffle.  He doesn’t want to go through the kitchen, so he takes a detour through the medical wing.  It’s longer but he doesn’t have to try to lie to a certain telepath to get away so he doesn’t mind.  The rest of the team won’t make it until nightfall so he has time make it out. 

It doesn’t take him more than fifteen minutes to get his duffle and get back to Sphere.  Then they’re off, Sphere giving a content rumble beneath him.  The sun is just setting, casting the mountain and the city in a glow of oranges, reds, and even purple hues.  Conner takes his time, careful with his speed and makes his way to Happy Harbor High.  When he gets there, the sun has sunk below the horizon and there is a chill in the air.  He parks beneath the school library windows, lifts his visor and starts to whistle.        

Conner isn’t left waiting long.  His hearing picks up the familiar sounds of treads on concrete, sneakers, and an elevated heartbeat.  She rounds the corner in a large hooded sweater, jeans, and a thick scarf around her neck.  There’s a smaller satchel over her shoulder.  The hood of her sweater was up, hiding her face, but even from a distance he could see she was shaking.  He didn’t know if it was from fear or the cold.  He doesn’t ask. 

“You came,” she breathed in relief, “thanks.”

“Yeah.” He takes her bag and secures it to Sphere, gets back in his seat, takes off his helmet and offers it to her. “You ready?”

She takes a deep breath and Conner clenches one of his fists around the bars of the bike at the rattling sound that reaches his ears.  When she draws near, he makes sure not to move.  She takes the helmet, puts it on and sits behind him.  Once she settles, he eases Sphere onto the road and sticks to paths with less light, easily falling back on his own covert training. 

“It’s about twenty-three hours to New Orleans.” He tells her.

“Okay.” And that’s it.  The excitable babble from school is washed away, like someone ripped a mask covering her true face.  He doesn’t push or press her because he knows the worth of secrets, the weight of them. 

They make good time.  Sphere doesn’t need fuel but he stops to let the girl off to stretch her legs and use the restrooms.  He buys several snacks and they stop on the side of the road to eat them before they head off again.  Conner drives the entire way and avoids the tolls.  When she sleeps, Sphere shifts to keep her in place and keep her from falling. 

They arrive in New Orleans mid-morning. 

He pulls into the parking lot of a nearby dinner.  She’s tired but a smile tugs at the corner of her lips and Conner’s glad for it.  When he gets a good look at her face, he picks up the darkening of her left eye and a reddening around her neck.  Conner calms himself knowing that she wasn’t with the one who hurt her.  A waitress is quick to see them.

“Hello darlings!” She smiles and Conner notices the slight roll of her “r” and immediately takes note that while their waitress was no doubt southern born, she probably is native to somewhere further south of Louisiana.

“Ma’ name’s Clare.  Couple coming down fo’ the festival?” she’s an older woman, plump and with strips of grey in her brown hair.

“Siblings, actually.” Conner speaks up as the girl-it was bothering the clone that he still didn’t know her name-ducks her head and stares at her lap. “And, yeah, we’re hoping we made it in time.”

“Oh, well, there’s plenty to do ‘til then.  We got plenty o’ parties, shops, an’ tours, too.  Lots o’ other things durin’ the day like the museum if yur’ interested in that.”

“We need a place to stay.  It was a spur of the moment thing to drive down here.  Know any places?”  He finds it easy to talk when he has to keep attention on himself.

“Plenty o’ places in New Orleans to stay, hun.  Around this time tho’ you need money for something like the Marriot.”

“I’ve got a bunch of savings so money isn’t a problem.  I just figured I’d try to show my sister the best of New Orleans. ” Conner gives a small smile at the idea of the girl being his sister, being his family. 

“Well, how ‘bout I give ya’ a list o’ places when I come back with yo’ order, sound good?”  Clare smiles back.  “So, know what y’all having?”

The two order a hearty breakfast and Clare walks away with a smile.  They don’t have to wait long before Clare returns with arms laden with plates.  Soon, their plates are filled with eggs, bacon, Taylor ham, pancakes, waffles, toasted slices of bread, and a large pitcher of juice.  They eat in silence and about half way through Clare returns to their table and put the list next to Conner.  She happily gives a few extra details about the hotels and motels in the area before heading back to work.

They leave close to an hour later. It doesn’t take long for Conner to get to the Westin New Orleans Canal Hotel in the business district and near the French Quarter.  The girl forgot herself as soon as they pulled into the parking area in the front.  He didn’t bring attention to how obvious her bruises were but he gently took her hand and led her to the desk where Conner could see a woman attendant.  He was sure if he hadn’t turned to the girl and asked if she wanted her own room or share a double the attendant would have called security on him.  He wasn’t sure she still wouldn’t. 

“My dad would have never let me stay here.” She says and leans on his shoulder, her gaze never leaving the massive hall. 

That gave the attendant pause and she turned to look Conner in the eye.  There is a question there and Conner doesn’t know how to answer it.  He finds himself closing his eyes, and sighs deeply.  He suddenly felt tired, too tired to be angry on her behalf and his shoulders unconsciously sag in response.  He quickly opens his eyes and stars back at the attendant.       

“I have cash and...” his voice suddenly trails off.  He doesn’t know what else to say.

“We have a deluxe double room available…” Her fingers flow across the computer, “with two full beds with a full view of the city and the river.  We have a special for seven days for twenty-two hundred dollars.  Does that sound fair?”

When she looks back at him, there is a gleam in her eyes and a gentle smile.  They’ve been given a lot of those.  It was nice.  He rifts through his duffle, counting out the cash before handing it over.  Afterwards everything is a blur.  Sphere is carefully placed within an enclose private parking area and the two teens are ushered into their room with a tour.  Two of the personnel take their bags for them.  The room is massive, clean and decorated lavishly. 

Roughly five hundred feet all around with complete furnishings in the bedroom and sitting room with a telephone and radio on a light mahogany desk, cable channels on a flat-screen TV, and a safe.  The beds were made with all white sheets and comforters with mahogany wood headboards.  It had air conditioning, a fan, and heating.  The bedroom had a pair of sliding doors that opened into the sitting area that was furnished with luxury contemporary sets including a love seat, a long sofa and a backless bench near the wide windows, all done in the same shade of white, gold, and mahogany.  There are free toiletries in a complete bathroom with a bathtub and shower made with white marble and gold trimmings.  There is a minibar (which the concierge of the floor cleaned of alcohol) set up with a coffee machine, and even a wake-up service alongside room service.  There is a book on hotel policy on one of the night stands.  Every room was well lit and with the exception of the bathroom, the other two rooms had wide windows facing the city and the Mississippi river.

This was the room they would spend a week in.  The girl burst out laughing with tears in her eyes.  She turns to Conner, ignoring the other people there, and throws herself at him.  He catches her without any struggle but doesn’t put her down as she sobs her heart out.  There is a litany of ‘thank yous’ from her that he half catches. 

After she calms enough to explore on her own, Conner tips the staff and says nothing as they let themselves out.  He duly ignores the soft gaze they give him and his “sister”.    

“Hey, uhh…” Conner stops himself, unsure.

“Alyssa.  My name is Alyssa Procter.” She keeps her gaze out toward the river.

“Conner Kent.”

“I’m glad I meet you Conner Kent.” She turns to him, a large smile on her face, “I’m gonna go get cleaned up.”

“Sure.  If you want to go out, I can give you some money. Room’s paid for a week.” 

“Okay. Thanks.”

The next few hours fly by, filled with food, clean cloths, and warm beds.  After Alyssa cleans up, she covers her black eye with makeup and her bruised neck with a scarf.  She dresses for a night out on the town.  Conner cleans up also dressing in pair of jeans and a green t-shirt.  When they make their way out, the sun is setting and Conner gives her several hundred before letting her go her own way.  The French Quarter is about a ten to fifteen minute walk and has blocks of shops offering candy, masks, costumes, and other things.  Conner takes Sphere out to Bourbon Street, where almost everyone is dressed up. 

The streets aren’t well lit, leaving majority of everything in shadow.  Conner parked Sphere in a public parking area with good lights before joining the crowd.  There was dancing and singing.  People were drinking, teens and adults, and stands offering food for sale. 

Conner was amazed by everything he saw.  There were killer clowns, dead doll girls, masked ballroom dancers, nurses in stilettos, and he even saw a scarecrow.  There were plenty more, too.  There was the traditional witch and wizard and then the not so traditional.  Some wore miniskirts and clothing that barely covered enough skin to be considered dressed.  The men were no different.

Conner spied more than one werewolf and Frankenstein monster without a shirt.  The night practically oozed with adrenaline and pheromones.  It set his teeth on edge and his fingers twitching.  But it didn’t feel bad.  If he had to say…Conner would guess he felt nervous.  He’s never done something so adventurous.

Suddenly, the teen’s breathing becomes harsh and his palms started to sweat.  The shock that had lain buried creeps upon him, digging into his spine and starts to spread.  I disobeyed orders, he realized.  And he did.  He also took extra care to remain untraceable.  He broke his communicator, avoided cameras with Sphere’s help and even aided a fellow student run away.  All without a single shred of permission.  It was deliberate and delinquent and criminal and selfish and something Superman would never do!-

-the last thought stops Conner mid stride.

Something Superman would never do.

The clone takes a good look around and tries to come up with a reason-a real, solid reason-to leave, to go back.  All he can see are smiling and laughing faces.  A couple share a skull frosted cake, a group takes pictures with someone dressed like a pirate and a vendor offers a giggling pair of cheerleaders a penis shaped candy stick.

He hears Alyssa’s words ringing in his ears, her blackened eye and trembling hands flash across his mind.  Her relieved smile and laugh sooth a painful part of him. Heroes are supposed to protect the innocent, give them the chance to be happy.  But didn’t heroes deserve to be happy, too?  Didn’t Conner Kent-an innocent-deserve happiness?

If Alyssa believed letting go was the way to do it, then he would.  If letting go meant breaking the rules and throwing himself-body and soul-completely into the unknown for even a slim chance, than he’d do it.  Because if Superman wasn’t going to help him and if everyone else was content to wait-for the love of all things, Conner was tired of waiting!- then Conner would try to go it alone.

Better to try than do nothing at all.

With his mind set, Conner starts to move again.  He stumbles into a random party, where people and drinks spill out into the street.  He lets the violent music deafen him and slide into the dance crowd.  Within seconds he was overwhelmed.  He couldn’t hear his own heartbeat or the beating of those around him.  The base vibrated and shook the ground beneath his feet, disorienting him.

He felt lost.  There were too many bodies within the crowd, blocking his view of the way he came in.  It was dark and the lights flashed randomly.  He didn’t know which way to turn or where to go.  Conner felt the first strings of fear pool in his gut.  He wanted this, the teen reminded himself, and started the deep breathing exercises that Black Canary taught him. 

After a few moments the fear began to fade away.  Replacing that fear, was an excitable thrum that raced through the teen’s body.  Slowly, a smile crept its way across the clone’s face. ‘This is what I wanted.’  His body starts to move, to sway, trying to follow the beat of the music.  A near hysterical laugh burst from Conner’s smiling lips.

Suddenly, the crowd surges and pushes Conner back into a hard and chiseled chest.  In the next second, there are hands on him, masculine and daring and wandering.  They pull him backwards into a muscled body, pressing him flush against the stranger’s front.

The teen doesn’t fight back.  His entire mind clouded and intoxicated by the freedom he’s now consciously aware of. There is no such thing as right or wrong.  There is no good or bad.  Just freedom, unadulterated and unsupervised freedom. 

Why shouldn’t he let go?     

Strong hips grind into his backside; firm hands grip his hips, pressing a jean covered hard on into his backside.  Conner’s breathing becomes sharp.  He can feel his body reacting, heat pooling in his gut.  A shiver overtakes his frame, making him tremble and twitch, reacting.  He leans his head back and is hit with a face full of the stranger’s aroused musk.  His hands struggle to find a perch and Conner finds himself reaching back to hold on to the other’s waist.  He loses himself, grinding back into the eager body.  The pair’s movement turn erratic, trying to follow the rhythm of the music and build friction.

They’re breathing becomes irregular.  One of the hands leaves his hip and travels up his shirt to rub one of his nipples through his shirt.  Pleasure shoots through him from the sensitive nub.  It courses from his chest sending blood pumping south.  Conner could feel his own excitement evident by the stiffness rising within his jeans. 

“Ha, aah!” 

The attention takes Conner’s breath away.  In seconds, however, that hand starts to tug on the same nipple, griping Conner through the shirt harshly before pulling and rubbing into his chest.  The clone does nothing to stop the moan from breaking past his lips, the sound lost over the roar of the music.  His sight becomes hazy as every part of him starts to burn.  His gaze turns to the ceiling but he can’t see it.  It was a fight to keep his eyes open but was distracted by the hand moving away from his chest.

Conner whimpers at the loss but he needn’t have worried.  That hand slips underneath his shirt to fondle his other nipple.  His hips push against the one behind him, gyrating on the man’s groin.  A hot mouth licks his ear and the other hand moves from his waist to the front of his jeans.  It massages him through the denim roughly, moving in a circular pattern.  But the pattern falls apart as the other’s pelvis grinds into Conner.  The clone can feel the heavy panting blow across his ear and it turns him on even more, making the heat coiling inside blind him.

“Nn…aah! Ha!” he moans loudly.  There was no need to muffle his voice so Conner didn’t bother trying.

The hand in his shirt moves back to his waist.  The stranger picks up the pace before tearing open the front of his pants and reaching inside to grab Conner’s erection to fondle him ruthlessly. 

“Nghh, ahhaa!” His eyes roll back and his eyelids flutter.

Conner leans heavily against the other man.  The teen throbbed in the stranger’s hand and an inflaming heat started to rush through him.  He couldn’t hear his own voice as the music blared all around him.  Everything was mounting, the heat and the burning and haze.  He couldn’t see anyone else in the crowd.  He lost focus.  There was nothing beyond the stranger’s hand on him, hot and relentless.  Conner’s thoughts dwindle until only that hand existed even as he gyrated back into the other’s crotch in a mockery of a dance.  

He was being pushed closer to the edge.  He didn’t know what would happen but he wanted it.  Pre-cum spilled over into the stranger’s hand, lubricating Conner’s cock and allowing the hand to glide more smoothly along the erect prick.  The hand tightens almost painfully and pumps faster while the hips behind the clone thrust with abandon. 

“Aahh! Hughh!” 

Suddenly, the coiling in his lower belly burst.  His vision disappears. Sound and sight is taken from him as his entire body is drowned in a stifling heat.  Conner doesn’t know how long he stood boneless against the stranger but when he came to; his hand was still inside his pants, milking him.  Conner’s body started to tremble as the burning started to flare again.  Before the teen could say anything there is a roar from above them.

Conner looks up only to be greeted by a cascade of falling water.    

Conner isn’t the only one who reacts.  The stranger jerks away from Conner, swearing loudly.  He isn’t the only one.  Several other people around them share his contempt.  Conner glances at his dance partner; his face is painted with Greek symbols- like a frat boy- with jeans and sneakers.

With the mood ruined and the stranger’s sudden lack of appeal, Conner wanders away.  He staggers outside, legs weak, breathe short but eyes burning brilliantly in the night.  The teen’s gaze wondered about him, about the crowd outside the party, and listlessly moved on without a destination in mind.      

His shirt is soaked through and the chilly breeze brushes against his chest, making his nipples erect and prominent through his, now, wet shirt.  The streets are even more congested with people.  He stumbles and, again, he falls into a masculine body. 

“Sorry.” His voice is hoarse. 

Unaware, Conner’s hand grabs on to a finely tailored suit and uses it as leverage to steady his feet.  Gloved hands hold him close and up right.  A cultured and baritone voice drags his attention from his feet to this new stranger.

“No apology needed.”

Grey-blue eyes pierce Conner’s own alien blue.  The teen feels his breath hitch.  This stranger catches Conner’s attention, immediately.  This time there is no music, no deafening beat to overwhelm his senses.  His insides twist into jittery knots.  The self-induced hazy arousal clears away, leaving the clone with sharp clarity.  Conner doesn’t understand why he suddenly feels so safe when it’s obvious the person in front of him was dangerous.  It was completely illogical and that immediately set alarms off in his head.  He needed to get away. 

Conner pulls away ready to push his way back to Sphere, only to meet resistance.  The stranger doesn’t let him go, instead placing his arms around the teen’s waist and locking him in place.  Conner meets his gaze.  The man is handsome, unquestionably so, with aristocratic features, windblown hair combed back and a pair of fiercely inhuman eyes, the color of fine steel.  The other moves one hand from Conner’s waist to take the clone’s hand and bring it to his lips, a flirtatious smirk gracing the man’s mouth.

“And what is the name of such a…” those bright eyes, rove along Conner’s form. “…captivating creature?”

The man’s voice flows over Conner’s senses like fine silk and before the clone realizes what he’s doing, he’s answering the stranger.

“Conner…Conner Kent.” He says breathlessly, unable to tear his eyes away. “Y-yours?”

“Alexander…” the man purrs, as he brushes his lips against Conner’s captured hand, pulling the teen even closer, until they were a just a breath away. “Alexander Grayson.  It is my utmost pleasure to meet you.”


 

The Beast takes a breath.

Stops...and opens its eyes. It listens. It hears.

"Conner...Conner Kent."

Mine.

Mine.

MINE!


 

 ...And so it begins...