It takes David almost dangerously too long to realize that it's not Star's petty morality that causes Michael to hold back. Star is persuasive but she's not that good. It's Michael younger brother that makes him reluctant to embrace the wildness within himself. It's a loyalty that all of his boys possess but what angers David is that Michael's loyalty is directed at someone other than David.
Normally in a situation like this, he'd just rip Michael's throat out and bury his mistake in the ocean. He's done it before and he's sure he'll do it again. But this time Max is involved. Insane Max who wants to give his boys a mother. Star had failed when it came to influencing the boys so now Max thinks an undead mother in the form of Lucy Emerson will save them. As if they need saving but then again Max wants some picture perfect ideal family as if they were the Addams family or the Munsters.
It's a pain in the ass but David is bound by complicated magic. If this is what Max wants then it's his job to pull Michael away from Star.
* * *
He can sense the boy's unease. And for a moment he despises the game that he has to play. He's a fucking predator, a monster, and the boy standing in front of him is his prey. Yet he has to play the nursemaid. But the boy surprises him.
"I know what you are."
The words are spoken with a casual defiance. He can see why Michael doesn't want to leave his brother behind.
"What am I?" David asks with a vicious smirk.
He knows what the boy will say. Some variation of how he's a punk, a ne'er-do-well .He's heard it far too many times for it mean anything.
The word comes out confidently and strong, which causes David to look at the boy. He's afraid but he's not terrified. He's afraid as if he's stumbled across a wild bear but he's not pissing his pants in terror. The boy's brother is clueless as to what David is. Michael's sweet baby brother has apparently seen through his facade. David growls.
"Michael doesn't know," Sam tells him. "But I do."
"What of it, boy?" David asks with a sneer.
"Leave my brother alone or else I'll kill you."
David laughs. This clever boy thinks that he can kill him. Before the boy react, David reaches out and grabs him by the throat as fast and deadly as a viper.
"Brave little fool," David tells him. "I have no intention of letting Michael go."
His face shifts from human to vampire but Sam doesn't react. Normally it's enough. He lets Sam go and the boy's hands don't even go to his throat instead he stands there full of bravado.
"Leave my brother alone," Sam repeats himself.
It must hurt his throat to speak and there's a part of him that can admire the boy. If he had found him first, David doesn't doubt that he'd make a perfect vampire.
Before David can react, Sam is moving and then his face is in pain - blinding, white hot pain - and he struggles with the boy, pushing him away as the boy tries to pull him closer. David outweighs him and he finally manages to shove the boy away. Sam's back hits the brick wall and he grunts. An object clatters to the ground and David kicks the silver cross underneath the dumpster before the boy can recover. He wants to tear the boy apart for this but the boy stays still, supported by the wall as he gasps for breath.
David advances forward until they're standing toe to toe. He grips the boy's right wrist with one hand and with the other, he grabs him by the chin, forcing him to look up into David's eyes.
"I'll leave your brother alone," David tells him.
"Good," Sam says.
David smirks in response. As if it'll be that easy. As if he'd let this mortal boy walk away after what he's done.
"For a price."
Sam holds his ground and he doesn't flinch as David tightens his hold on him.
"You for him."
There's a moment when he thinks that Sam will fold, that he'll give in and let David have his brother. (It's far too late for that but Sam doesn't need to know that.)
"Fine," Sam finally says. "Me for Michael."
David smirks and pulls Sam up by his wrist and chin. The boy grunts in pain but before he can do anything else, David is kissing him. It's all fangs and teeth, a battle for dominance until David's fangs threaten to slice through Sam's tongue. The boy stills and David smiles. He's going to have fun breaking this one.
He lets go and Sam slumps against the wall again. He wants nothing more than to feed Sam his blood but he needs to let his boys know that things have changed. He might have agreed to let Michael be but he doubts the boys will be so willing to do so. And even if they were, it's too late. Michael has consumed Max's blood.
"I mean it," Sam says. "Leave Michael alone. You and your gang."
"I don't tell my boys what to do," David tells him. "They might want to have fun with Michael."
"Then I'll kill you," Sam tells him. "All I have to do is kill the head vampire and your hold over my brother is done."
If only it were that simple. David snarls when Sam moves. He pins the boy back to the wall.
"Whatever you think you know, you better forget it. You're mine and it's far too late for your brother."
David lets him go and then leaves. He's given far too much away but there's too much at stake. It seems like the boy knows far too much about their kind and if any of them want to live, they'll need to move quick. David doubts that either Sam or Michael will put up a fight if their mother is a vampire.
He's almost gone when he hears the boy whispers.
"I mean it, leave my brother alone."
David is going to enjoy breaking the boy. But first Max needs to move up his plans. Apparently he won't have time to do things with Lucy with as much finesse as he'd like. But it's either he speeds up his pet project or he abandons the idea of a mother for his boys. And once things with Lucy are done, then Michael and Sam will follow. It's not fool proof but he doubts that either boy would be so willing to hurt their mother, vampire or otherwise.
Chapter 2: Left in the dark with fear and blindness
After his confrontation with David, Sam doesn't know how to cope. He has no one to turn to for help or guidance.
The title comes from Chalk Circle's song "This Mourning."
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
He's bruised all over his body and for the first time in his life, he has no one to turn to. There's no one to help him. He had been trying to save his brother but he's pretty sure that he's only made thinks worse. In the cold light of the early morning, he thinks that he should have convinced the Frog brothers to work with him,. It would have been easy to convince them to not stake Michael. Instead he had to tackle this problem by himself and now he has a pissed off vampire gunning for him and if the Frog brothers find out, they'll probably be going after him and his brother.
Sam flinches as he sinks down into the scalding hot bath water. He misses the shower in the bathroom back home in Phoenix that he and Michael had shared. Actually, he just misses Phoenix plain and simple. He'd be willing to go back to the months of Mom and Dad constantly fighting if it meant that Santa Carla had never happened. If only it were that easy.
The hot water burns his skin and the tiny little cuts that seem to cover his entire body. Yet at the same time, it seems to ease his muscles. For a moment, he sighs as he feels the clean water wash over his skin. Then the moment is gone and Sam doubts that he can wash the shame off. He had liked it when David had kissed him,. Even as he had fought the vampire and the kiss, Sam's body had responded to David and his dominance. And he knows that he's a fucking monster - what kind of freak enjoys being savagely kissed by a psychopath who wants to kills his brother?
He pushes the thoughts away and starts go scrub at his skin, trying to remove the memory of David's hands on his skin along with the shame and disgust. Once again, Sam realizes that he has no one to turn. It's not as if he can burden either his mother or his grandfather with this. Nor can he tell Michael about how stupid he was. He can't help but wonder if Michael even wants to be saved. Maybe Michael wants to join the legion of the shit-sucking undead. And maybe Sam just put himself in danger and attracted the attention of an evil vampire for no reason. And maybe he should have just let the Frog brothers kill his brother.
He tries not to sob. And then there's a sharp knock on the door that causes him to flinch and it makes him well aware of every single ache and pain in his body. He looks at the door and tries to figure out if he's safe. His mother is out on a date with her boss, his grandfather is out courting the lovely Widow Johnson with some horrifying taxidermy and Michael is out with Star. Can vampires enter his home without an invite? Did someone inadvertently invite David and his gang into the house?
"Sammy are you okay?" Michael calls out.
Sam sighs in relief. Sure is his brother is on his way to becoming a card carrying member of the undead but right now Michael is still his brother
"Yeah," Sam replies.
It's an oddly mundane question but he can do the mundane right now. It's a lot easier than anything else.
"Out with her boss," Sam says. "She told me to tell you that you were supposed to watch me. And that she'll talk to you when she gets home."
"For Christ's sake, you're not a kid anymore," Michael angrily says.
"Yeah I told her that," Sam replies.
But he wonders if Michael was home like their mother had wanted him to be, if Sam would have snuck down to town and confronted David. He has a hundred questions that all start with some variation of what if. Sam is sure that by the end of the night, he'll have a thousand more.
"You gonna be long?" Michael asks.
"No, I'm just getting out in a minute," Sam tells him.
'Good, Mom apparently left us some lasagne in the oven. We should eat some,"
Sam wonders if Michael knows how late it is. Eating is the last thing on his mind but if Michael wants to play at normalcy, then Sam can give him that. Especially when he thinks that he's probably made everything worse.
* * *
In the morning, he gets dressed in loose, baggy clothes that will cover him up and not make him hurt too much. His neck is a ring of bruises so he uses some cover up make up that he had nicked from some girl back in Phoenix. He clumsily manages to hide the marks that David's leather-clad fingers had made. The other bruises, he can pass off as the result of Michael and him roughhousing if his mother sees him. The ones around his neck he can't pass off because they're just too obvious and the last thing he wants to do is involve his mother in this mess.
He's not sure what he needs to do next but he suspects that the Frog brothers might be the best place to start, even if they are a pair of nut jobs. Clearly, he can't do this on his own. And his brother can't cope with what's going on. It's a start and hopefully he can salvage things and not make them worse yet again.
There's a part of him that wonders if he should go to the Frog brothers or if he should just submit to whatever David wants. He knows that he's in over his head but he can't help but think that the Frog brothers, despite their bravado, just want to play at being vampire hunters and maybe even Rambo. Sam doubts they have any real experience and if he brings them in, it might just cause more damage while creating a much bigger mess.
He stares in the mirror as he covers up the last bruise and he presses his finger into the mark, wincing with the feel of the pain that seems to cause a shiver to run up his spine. He drops the stick of cover up and presses his fingers against more the marks. He pants at the feel of desire. He shuts his eyes at his reflection.
He's a fucking monster.
The way that he feels is what makes him decide to stop this. He doesn't care about the mess that going to the Frog brother is going to make. Sam just wants everything to back to normal as much as possible.
I am not really sure if I am going to continue this or not.