Nothing To Be Afraid Of

Is It Time For Local Vampire, Simon London, To Face Some Facts?

Summer, Year 3
Sweating profusely, Simon stood up and stretched his aching muscles. The intense workouts he’d been doing lately were catching up and for the first time, he wondered if he’d overdone it a bit on the machines. He was meeting with Caleb and Lillith that evening at Deep Purple and he really wanted to look good. He and Caleb were hoping to get some answers out of Lillith regarding her relationship with Will.

Unfortunately, as soon as Simon arrived, he witnessed Will drinking from one of the local teenagers. Simon’s eyes widened; he recognised the teenager. It was Christopher Valentine, his neighbour and former Uni dormmate Ryan’s younger brother.
“Leave him alone!” Simon cried as he flew at Will and knocked him away from Christopher.

“What the hell?” Will’s eyes widened angrily and he grabbed Simon by the throat. “Mind your own business!”
“Leave the boy alone!” Simon croaked. The two fought and struggled for several minutes until Will dropped Simon to the ground.
Laughing, Will transformed into a bat and flew into the lounge. The gathered crowd began to disperse.
Simon stayed where he was. The rage he was feeling hadn’t abated but was mixed with the shame. He could see one pair of boots in his eyeline and tried hard to ignore them.

“He’s gone,” Caleb said softly. He crouched down and helped Simon to his feet. “He went inside and took his little supporters with him.”
“What about the boy?” Simon glanced around. “Christopher. Where is he?”
“I got him home.” Caleb smiled. “I don’t think he’ll remember much. Will didn’t get much chance and he’s a sloppy drinker. Chris will be fine.” Caleb’s face straightened and he stared at Simon. “Are you all right?”
Simon nodded. “I’m fine.”
“I was worried.” It was almost a whisper and if Simon hadn’t seen Caleb’s lips move, he probably would have thought he was hearing things. “I thought he was going to kill you.”
It was only then that Simon realised Caleb was holding his hand.

Slicing through the water, Simon used ever ounce of willpower to stop thinking about the previous night. It was taking a lot more willpower than he possessed and so far, not even swimming briskly was working for him. Every time his mind stopped focusing on his exercise, the image of Caleb’s face and the feeling of his hand came back in full colour, every perfect detail recalled with great clarity. It was very distracting.
No more distracting than the knowledge that the two were going to dinner that night. Simon couldn’t even remember whose idea that had been.

As the evening approached, Simon started to feel a little nervous. He’d checked the forecast for Windenburg and it was likely to be cloudy, which was great news for a couple of vampires. He spent the latter part of the afternoon preening himself in front of the mirror in his bedroom.

“Thanks for coming,” Caleb started, nervously. “I wasn’t sure…”
“…if I felt the same,” Simon finished for him. He smiled. “Yeah, I think I do. I’ve been ignoring it for a while…”
“…for the same reasons.” Both laughed. The relief was palpable and the atmosphere eased significantly as the evening went on. They talked, drank and ate, drinking in each other’s company, now that they knew they could.

“Can I stay with you for a while?” Caleb ventured, later that evening. They were curled up on Simon’s bed and talking. “I’m not sure I want to be in the same house as Lillith.”
“I don’t see why not.” Simon smiled up at him. “Is it that bad at home?”
Caleb nodded and bit his lip. A small droplet of blood trickled down to his chin. Simon watched it, mesmerised. “Yeah. She wants Will to move in with her and after last night…”
Simon didn’t give Caleb the chance to finish. The temptation was finally too great.

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