Benjamin huddled next to the door of the old barn, listening for the sound of galloping footsteps. He shivered as he rubbed his upper arms with his hands. Ten minutes ago, he had been nice and warm in a tent, getting his shirt yanked off by his gorgeous lover, and now he was hiding from some kind of rabid creature. This was definitely the last time he would ever suggest going camping so close to a full moon.
The sound of crickets was the only noise coming from the woods. Benjamin hadn’t had time to see what the creature was when it had attacked. There had only been a snarl and then something trying to shred the tent. Thomas had tried to chase after the creature. Whatever it was, it seemed to be spooked by vampires.READ MORE
Benjamin was just thinking of using his astral projection power, one of three he could call upon without an incantation, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He spun around, fist aimed to strike, when a hand came up and stopped his. It was Thomas, standing tall and partially concealed by the black trench coat, t-shirt and jeans he was wearing.
Benjamin uncurled his fist and hugged Thomas. “Damn! You scared the hell out of me! Did you find whatever it was?”
Thomas flashed a bright smile. “I did, and I took care of it, too. It was a werewolf.”
Benjamin groaned. “There seem to be a lot of werewolves around lately. Last month, there were about a dozen people who claimed they’d been chased by giant wolf-like creatures.”
“Well, we know it’s not Todd, because he’s cooped up in his cage.”
“True,” Benjamin said, rubbing his chin. “However, that first werewolf Kenda and I came across at NAU disappeared months ago. It’s entirely possible the guy has been running loose every full moon since and turning people.”
“Oh, great. So he turned two friends, and they turned two, and so on, and so on.” Thomas looked around. “I think it’s safe to go back to the campsite now.”
“So you killed the werewolf?”
“Had to decapitate it. We didn’t pack any silver bullets with us.”
Thomas smiled and put his hand on Benjamin’s arm. The sensation stung. Thomas pulled his hand away, looked at it and held it up. There was blood on it.
“Benjamin, baby, you didn’t get bit by that thing, did you?”
Benjamin shook his head. “No. As I was running into the barn, my arm scraped against a rusty nail on the wall. I only need a tetanus shot, not a silver bullet.”
Thomas sighed and smiled. “Thank God. There’s only room in this relationship for one eternally damned creature of the night. Besides, you’re shaggy enough with you letting your hair grow out.” Thomas ran his hand through Benjamin’s strawberry red hair, which had not been cut in months.
“I just wanted to see how I looked with longer hair,” Benjamin said as he and Thomas started walking back to the campsite. “If you really think it looks bad, I can go see the barber when we get back home.”
“It’s fine, sweetie. It’s just new. You kept your hair short for the first eight years we were together, but now that it’s growing out, it just takes some adapting.” Thomas undid the leather tie that confined his own long, blonde mane. “Besides, I never said there was only room for one man with long hair in this relationship.”
“I’m not sure I want my hair to grow quite as long as yours, but I kind of like not having it look like I work in some corporate office.”
“Long or short, your hair is beautiful.” Thomas stopped and pulled Benjamin close to him. “Just as beautiful as the rest of you.”
“Smooth talker,” Benjamin said before Thomas devoured his lips. Despite the chill in the air, Benjamin felt incredibly warm at that moment. He always felt warm in Thomas’s arms. Even though vampires, by nature, felt cold to the touch, Benjamin always felt snug next to his lover.
A branch snapped. Benjamin’s eyes, which had been closed while Thomas’ tongue had been making the rounds, sprung open and stared right into Thomas’ green eyes, which were lit up with worry. Their lips parted, and Thomas whispered, “Duck.”
On instinct, Benjamin hit the ground and felt something fly over him. He looked up to see Thomas rolling on the ground with another werewolf.
“What is this? Did we set our tent up in the middle of a werewolf convention?” Benjamin asked aloud as he jumped back to his feet.
Thomas struck the werewolf, knocking him away. It turned toward him, snarling fiercely. Benjamin knew he had to do something before it tried to attack Thomas again, so he conjured up a fireball and threw it at the werewolf. With a shriek, the werewolf disintegrated.
Pointing at the scorch mark on the ground where the werewolf used to be, Benjamin said, “I think we should probably return to the safety of our home. This is starting to get ugly.”
That’s when Benjamin noticed that Thomas’ gaze was elsewhere, specifically the hill behind him. “Stay here,” Thomas said as his eyes glowed red and he ran past Benjamin.
Benjamin turned toward the hill and saw a shadow take off in the opposite direction. He watched as Thomas made gigantic leaps, something his vampire strength helped to accomplish. Benjamin was about to continue back to the campsite when he got an idea. Perhaps if he used his astral projection abilities to confuse the person—or thing—Thomas was pursuing, it would be caught off guard long enough for the vampire to catch up.
Benjamin closed his eyes to send his astral self into the night, but instead of the sensation of his spirit being pulled out of his body, it felt like his whole body was shifting forward. He opened his eyes just in time to see the forest path he’d been standing on fade away and be replaced with the other pathway higher on the hill.
Holy shit! he thought. Did I just teleport up the hill?
Benjamin did not have time to ponder this, as the mysterious entity was booking it up the hill—and straight at him. He only had time to thrust his hands out as a defensive gesture before the two of them collided and rolled down the side of the hill. They came to a stop at the base, and by the time Benjamin was able to struggle to his feet, the creature was gone.
“Benjamin! Are you all right?”
Benjamin looked back up the hill and saw Thomas standing at the spot where he and the creature collided. Thomas leapt into the air and landed a few feet from Benjamin with a loud thud.
“That thing didn’t hurt you, did it?” Thomas asked.
Benjamin shook his head. “Aside from rolling down a hillside with sharp rocks, I think I’m fine. How about you?”
“I’m all right. Of course, I didn’t collide with… What the hell was that, anyway?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t get a good look at it before it plowed into me like a bus. Besides, I think we have a bigger problem than mystery creatures in the woods.”
Thomas did a double take. “By the way, how did you get up there, anyway? There was only that one path leading up the hill.”
“I… um, I… I teleported.”
Thomas’ face brightened. “Oh, baby! You have a new power? That’s awesome! I’m so happy for you.”
“Don’t be. There’s something wrong. I shouldn’t have the ability to teleport.”
“What makes you say that?”
“My mother had the power of teleportation.”
“Well, that explains it. You simply inherited the power…” Thomas’ face fell. “Oh.”
“Yeah, ‘oh.’ By the mystical order of things, I’m only supposed to inherit one power from each of my parents. The pyrokinesis came from my father, and I already had the power of astral projection from my mother. How the hell did I obtain the power to teleport?”
Thomas looked around nervously. “We should probably get out of here.”
“Agreed. If my mystical energies have gone all wonky, then we need…”
“No. We should leave because I smell more werewolves heading this way. Two, possibly three.”
Benjamin bristled. “Run!”
Thomas and Benjamin bolted through the woods. Soon, Benjamin’s Jeep came into view. Benjamin knew better than to try and collect the stuff from the campsite. It would be wiser to come back in daylight to scoop up what was left and see if there were any clues about the mystery creature.
However, getting inside the Jeep would be more of a challenge, as a werewolf leapt between them and the vehicle. It lunged at Benjamin, and in a panic, he held up his arms in front of his face to soften the blow.
The blow never came. Benjamin opened his eyes and realized he was standing on the hood of his Jeep. I must have teleported again, he thought. He looked back at where he stood and saw Thomas facing the werewolf, which looked like it was trying to regain its balance. Benjamin quickly jumped off the hood and climbed inside his vehicle. As he started it, he saw Thomas dodging the werewolf’s lunges. Benjamin threw the Jeep into gear and drove straight at the werewolf, which had about half a second to look surprised before the vehicle crashed into it. A painful yelp was all the werewolf could utter before it rolled up on the hood, shattered the windshield and flew over the roof and behind the Jeep.
Thomas jumped inside and pointed toward the road. “Go! Gogogogogogogogogo.”
Benjamin spun the Jeep around and headed to the main road. He could feel his blood racing. He wasn’t sure if it was because of the adrenaline rush or the new power coursing through him. All he knew was he didn’t feel right.
“I think we both agree we’re never camping in that spot again,” Thomas said, deadpan.COLLAPSE