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   Chapter 14 White Van

Stolen Souls (boy x boy) By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 10053

Updated: 2018-01-22 19:23

This time, when I fall, I don't crack or splatter. I turn and hit the ground on my feet. I even do a little roll on my heels and tumble back on my butt. Nothing broken, just sore.

Incredible, that's what I am. The coolest geek you'll ever meet, and don't you forget it. I lower Jules and tuck my bloody scissors in my boot. Sanitary? No. Frees my hands? Yup. We're on a sidewalk. The windows behind me glow with a lavish yellow light, bright and teasing as Jules grows colder in my arms.

"What do I do now, Jules?" My arms are leaden now. The pain in me is coiled up deep to be experienced longer and in fuller detail later, when I'm not running for my life to save Jules. Jules who can't be dead. Really dead.

And then I hear it, a sound like a sigh.


Again, a wheeze this time.


I sling him down, my head against his chest, listening for the telltale thump of his heart. My fingers clasp around his wrist. My fingers twitch to feel the thud of his pulse under his cold, clammy skin. Silence. Completely and utterly.

"You can't be dead. Can't be really dead. Please, please, please don't be dead." I've started begging him again. And praying, mostly praying, my words a pathetic Frankenstein of the beautiful prayers my mother taught me bouncing me on her knee that skim like poetry off my tongue and "Oh, crap! God, help me, now, please. Jules is a good kid. And I don't know if I can do this, you know? I don't think I'm all that incredible or Wonder Shiro-y. I think I'm in pain."

Sometimes I don't know how God deals with me. But I'm holding hope He isn't face-palming down at me from in the clouds.

I've gotta get Jules to Sirius and Kath. That's it. They'd know what to do.

I sling both his arms over my shoulders and press his hands into my stern so I wear him like a human harness. The sidewalk is empty, and I stumble to the curb. Car after car, glittering in the starlight. I huff and puff, not enough air left in my lungs to wheeze, my shoulders aching and Jules' feet dragging. Sirius and Kath are here. They would know the danger, they'd have to.

What if I have to go back up into the party to find them? Not like I can just call an ambulance. To EMTs, a dead guy is just a dead guy. I squeeze his frigid hands to keep him from falling. "Sirius! Kath!" I'm listening for an idling engine, anything for a sign of them. I drag myself down the curb, peering into every car window, searching desperately. "Guys!"

A door creaks. I whip around, my feet throbbing after stumbling the entire block with Jules on my back. I have to blink a few times to make out the van. It's a luxury thing, tall and white with a glittering Mercedes logo over the license plate. I didn't even think white vans came in a luxury setting. I always imagined them old, dirty, and dented, with maybe a screaming child pounding on the door from the inside for good measure.

Two sets of legs dangle, kicking in the shadows of the doors. Shouts carry in the distance. I swallow

y, just a hint of yellow hair and a white, raised arm. She makes a shaky sigh, a sound like a squeak.

"Can't do it, " she says. "Just can't."

Sirius looks up thoughtfully, hand still cupped over the lower half of my face, smothering me. I'm still struggling, but slower now. Just a bit of rocking, maybe a bit of twitching in the arms pinioned at my sides. "Well, no, you can't. Evan would not be happy to have the last of her son killed, would she?"

"But it's what we do. It's what we're supposed to do. He's already dead."

"Perhaps." I squirm to say something, get out a little 'mph!', but nothing comes out. I am drenched with sweat, still shaking, weak. I can't save him. Can't even try. It makes me sick, hurt. "But we could use him still." The man's voice is so soft, thoughtful. "See how long someone can live with their soul torn away. See the extent of their power—"

"Existence without a soul will be torture."

"We don't know that."

My head swims. Their soul torn away? I want to think they're talking metaphorical, but I don't. Because I'm starting to realize these guys are very, very literal. From the vampires to me being dead. My energy has left me in a swampy, exhausted haze. I limpen under the man and ease my breathing so it's soft and slow.

"Fine, then." Kath stands up, ducks her head. She slams the van doors behind me, my heart caught up in my throat. I draw up a breath, the man digging his grips in tighter, as if he knows how badly I'm searching for a way out. My hands have begun to shake.

If you're so smart, Shiro, why can't you get out of this creepy white van you willingly climbed into? If you're so smart, Shiro, why is Jules dead?

The man lifts his hand from my face. I raise my head only to have it slammed back down again, the back of my neck bashed into the aluminum floor, my brains mush in the leftovers of my skull.

My vision swirls into sashes of stars and darkness. I drop out of consciousness, but you already knew that, didn't you?

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