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   Chapter 6 Stand-Off

Stolen Souls (boy x boy) By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 8703

Updated: 2018-01-21 23:43


"I'm not a vampire." I blink my heavy eyes, tilting my head to the side with a light shake of my head, batting my lashes as if sleepiness is something you get stuck in your eye and can paw away. Turns out that's not how sleep works.

The girl smirks, maybe thinking I'm trying to flirt. I don't care what she thinks. The wee hours of morning have already slid in, washing the day in a low, heavenly glow. Glimpses of pink and blue slip through the tattered yellow blinds. I try to stare at it, to ignore the gun. "I don't drink blood, I don't have fangs. You're in my house and I wanna sleep." Looking up, pink lines criss-cross my wrists, scars where my splattered parts found their way back, sewn together like Frankenstein's. I swallow.

"You're undead, hon." The girl smiles, her teeth crooked and white. I stiffen, trying not to squirm, my back so straight it aches. I need my coffee fix. Everything's better with coffee.

"Undead?" Undead is such a weird word, a paradox in itself, really. If you're undead, then you're alive, because you're not dead, but that clearly isn't what the girl is talking about. She's talking about zombies and vampires. Stuff I'm not. With the politest smile I can muster, I say, "So is someone shocked back to life with an AED. I haven't the slightest idea what you mean, miss. The door is behind me. It's early and I'd like you to leave."'

Boom. The words are sharp when they leave my mouth, cutting at the corners and almost growled out with a polite smile. Word-smash, right there. That's how you ask someone with a gun to the back of your neck to leave. And I haven't even fainted yet, so I suppose that's a bonus.

I shoot a look at the couch, the green cushions wrinkled and sagging. I have so much cleaning to do here, sheet changing, dusting, I even promised to paint over the trim, which is already turning yellow with age, and these Syn guys are cutting into my time. They haven't an idea of how much of a nuisance they are.

A few kids actually laugh, milling around the living room, kicking through the shattered frames and picture albums on the floor. My jaw tightens. This is my home, and here they are, destroying my stuff. And I can't do anything to stop it.

"Cute." The girl says, crouching to my height just so she can pinch my cheek. I glare, trying not to shiver, river water dripping down the back of my shirt. My eyes flit down. My collar's red, all red with my blood. I realize that I must look a little vampire-esque, with all the blood on me, and I yank away from the girl. It stings. Thwup-thwup-thwup goes the ceiling fan blades, p

ut up, " she says.

"Make me, " I say back.

"Jack?"

I duck. That happens sometimes, my body reacting before my brain does. I duck and roll, trembling in puddles of my own freezing sweat. The bullet flies, an explosion of sound that knocks my hearing out with a high-pitched ring. I'm aware of people stamping around me, racing out of the apartment.

I'm curled on the foyer floor in a trembling ball, for the second time tonight rough hands yanks me up, something dusty that smells faintly like lemon cleaner shoved in my mouth. This time, I don't babble gratefully for my life, I scream, and flail, and kick. When I was little, I used to watch the rodeos when they came on TV, marveling at the cowboys and their beautiful horses. There was one competition, where the cowboys and cowgirls rode broncs, unbroken horses that fought them like hell.

So I make like one of those, kicking and struggling until their hands slip away from mine. I tear free, paw, and spit the rag out. It plays like a dream, a daze. My hearing phasing in and out, in and out, I hear the police sirens, and the Syn kids split. Stampedes of them, eyes wide, voices high, and strides quick. With a weak smile, I wonder if Syndicate has as much of a hold on the police as they want us to believe.

Kite ducks off the couch, rolling like a little gymnast. "Shiro?"

Roslyn still has the guy. She unwraps the cord, shrugs, and motions toward the door. He jumps over me and disappears. "So, " Roslyn says, clapping her hands together and settling on the couch. "'The hell do they think you're a vampire, Shiro?"

But I hardly hear her. I'm done. Finished. I quit. I roll on my side, close my eyes, and slip into the deepest, darkest sleep imaginable.

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