Author: Laurence Spencer PM
Alex goes off to college, not expecting much. His roommate Casey leads him into parties, nothing out of the normal. Except for when people aren't human and are set to kill. M/M.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Fantasy - Chapters: 7 - Words: 17,947 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 01-06-12 - Published: 12-26-11 - id: 2982682
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Alex hopped down the stairs with a backpack over his shoulder. He landed at the bottom of the flight and went into the kitchen to see his mother. She ducked around, looking in cabinets.
"Alex, where did my salt shaker go? You know, that cute little cow one I got?" She asked.
Alex shrugged and readjusted his backpack. "Mom, I'm going."
She spun around instantly, pinning him with her eyes. "You don't have to leave for another hour! What are you talking about? You're not leaving yet."
"I need to count in traffic," Alex protested, trying to calm the butterflies in his stomach. He was going to college. It would be his first time away from home.
Raised in seclusion, they lived two hours from the nearest town. Years ago, Alex's father had gotten a job that he was able to telecommute from. He had moved the family up a mountain, buying a seasonal winter house to live in. Alex had received all of his schooling from his mother up until middle school, when he started to go into the town for school.
Going to college six ours away was as far as he had been from his parents. He was scared but excited. Finally he wouldn't have his mother's ramblings of how things disappeared in their house. She would be lonely, but maybe that would force her out of the house more.
"Oh fine," she agreed. She called down her husband from his office and the family sat down to breakfast.
She complained about how her omelets weren't quite right without any salt. Alex chuckled and his father rolled his eyes. Once they finished, Alex waited impatiently by the door as his parent's stalled. They took time to clean up, put everything away, and freshen up.
His mother started crying as soon as she hugged him, reminding him of the rules. "No parties. No drinking. No drugs. Don't stay up late. Call me!"
Alex grunted at his mother's over protectiveness—or it might have just been regular protectiveness, he wasn't sure.
"No trouble," his father stated and gave a stiff one-armed hug. He wouldn't cry.
Alex nodded dutifully. Everything his parents heard about in college horror stories… those weren't his thing. He was just content to be a hermit, locked up in a dorm room either studying or goofing off on the computer. They had even bought him a new, fancy laptop that they knew would keep him entertained. And it had a web-cam for chats with them.
He finally got out of the door and away from his mother's grasp. Alex folded his six-foot tall frame down into his little car, one of those tiny little compact cars. As if to rub it in, the car was about as old as he was—eighteen. His parents tried to convince him the car was younger than that though. They said it was only fifteen.
Alex waved at them through the windshield and backed down the drive. It was a steep climb down onto a beat-up paved road, and two hours until the next town. From there, it was only three and a half hours by high way to the city.
He gawped from his car, even at a distance. The first word that came to mind was dirty. This wouldn't be the crisp, clean mountain air he was used to. Smoke stacks rose high in the air, with smoke billowing out and turning the air above the city brown. It was all one giant, unmoving cloud of pollution as no good wind had come in to blow it all away.
As he got closer, the buildings got taller. Most were bland concrete and windows. The city seemed overcast, even though he had just been in the sun hours ago. He got lost on his way to the campus. He didn't trust the people walking the streets to help with directions.
Finally, turning onto a street so thankfully labeled University Street, Alex found where he was supposed to be. He parked in a student lot and started to unload bags from the car. It wasn't the actual school, but the campus dorms. The school was four blocks away.
The dorm building was fat and squat—two stories tall but long. The blinds of the rooms looked old, faded brown from the sun. The inside walls were grey, and the carpet flat from years of feet. He found his room, small and rectangular. There were two small single beds, one of which he took. There was one window with the blinds drawn shut. There were two small closets by the ends of the beds, and that was all there was to the room.
Alex sat down on his bed. Okay. The dorm maybe looked a little worse than it had looked online, but that was okay. He did not want to go home already. He did not want to go home already. If he kept repeating it, it might come true.
He unpacked some and waited for his absent roommate to make an appearance. Finally another boy stumbled in, laughing and loud. It made Alex cringe, but he turned to smile and introduce himself anyways.
"Hi, I'm Alex," he said and held out a hand.
His blond roommate stared for a moment before sobering up. "I'm Casey," he answered but looked at the offered hand like it would bite.
Alex withdrew his hand awkwardly, wondering when manners died.
"You're not from around here, are you?" Casey nailed it.
"Well, technically…" Alex trailed off unsurely. "I live six hours away, still in state, just… in the middle of no where." Saying he wasn't from around made him feel like a tourist. Maybe he was, but he liked to think since he was on in-state tuition he was 'from around here'.
"Nice," Casey chuckled playfully. "Well, no matter. I'll introduce you to people."
But Alex didn't want to meet people. Not that he would say that. He had a feeling Casey would be the one introducing him to all the trouble his parents warned him to stay away from.
And it was true.
A week later, after the first classes had passed, Alex was ready to hole up for the weekend and do his version of socializing. Chat rooms galore. Casey wouldn't let that happen.
"You need to get out, get some fresh air in you!" Casey exclaimed, trying to persuade.
"This air isn't fresh. I know what fresh air is," Alex complained from his cocoon of bed sheets, laptop on his lap.
"Please? Come on. It's just a party. It's not even on campus. Some responsible adult owns the building," Casey pleaded.
"You have friends, go with them," Alex scowled and burrowed deeper into his ball.
Casey groaned and threw his hands up. "yes, but… hell! I need you! How does that work?"
"You need me?" Alex echoed disbelievingly. "I hardly doubt you'll die without me."
"No," Casey turned serious. "Christ, you're blind. Have you thought nothing of the girls that have been talking to you?"
"Girls…? Oh, like Debra," Alex smiled fondly. "She's nice."
"Code for she's got big breasts!" Casey shrieked. "Go take a look in the f*cking mirror! You're like honey to girls. I'm not going to get laid if you don't come."
Alex almost wanted to put a play on those last words, but he didn't. He turned to stare at Casey. "I don't want to go to a party."
"I'll buy you a f*cking video game," Casey said.
"Which one?" Alex narrowed his eyes. If he was going to fail college, it would be because of a video game, not parties. He was sure of it.
"Hell if I know! I'll take you to a store tomorrow. At this rate, I bet you're one of those nerdy virgins," Casey said and yanked Alex out from his covers.
Though Alex wouldn't help Casey's case, he was in fact a virgin, though not for the nerd in him. More for the lived in the middle of nowhere with not a lot of girls around, part.
Casey helped him get dressed in better clothes than just sweats. He put some gel into Alex's short black hair and tousled it. It bugged Alex to have it purposefully look messy, but he didn't say anything. Casey seemed satisfied and fixed his own blond hair up, while Alex tried to look at himself in the mirror.
Leather jacket over a black shirt, with black fitted jeans. All of it was borrowed from Casey, who was roughly the same height as well.
With that, Alex drove them to the party. Since he was refusing to drink, he was the driver. Casey insisted they play music on the way, making Alex's shoddy car speakers sound even worse.
Finally they got to the loft building. The street was lined with cars, though Alex didn't know if all of them were for the party. People were going inside, and that's where Casey headed for. They took an elevator up to the top floor and emerged into someone's loft.
Loud. Alex began to huddle, shrugging his shoulders up to his ears as if that would help any. His eyes stung against some of the sickly sweet smelling smoke in the air. People bumped and shoved against him as he followed Casey, now feeling like a puppy. He followed eagerly, not wanting to get lost.
Casey went around and started talking to people. He introduced Alex to girls. Alex got phone numbers. Casey said that all phone numbers were to be handed over in the morning. Alex didn't mind that—he didn't want anyone that came to parties like this.
Casey bounced excitedly through the crowd. Even though he was pretending to know what he was doing, this was in fact his first college party as well. He led back towards a folding table filled with food and drink. All the cups were open, setting off warnings for Alex. What if something was spiked? He wasn't drinking anything.
He looked around uneasily as Casey helped himself. Alex stopped over a man lurking in the corner, surveying the party. The man had to be the owner, though he didn't look older than maybe twenty-five. He dressed old, though. A white turtleneck sweater and black dress pants that hung over his slim legs. His black hair was parted on the side and tucked behind his ears.
Finally, Alex realized that the man's blue eyes were fixing on him. Alex knew to look away, that he was being rude, but he was stuck.
Something wasn't right.
His mouth felt suddenly dry as the man stood up from his corner and sauntered over. He seemed… interested. Alex didn't want this guy's attention, he realized. What adult let kid's drink alcohol in his place? Soon the man was invading Alex's personal space bubble. Alex wanted to back away, but couldn't do so without seeming rude.
The man was maybe two inches taller and used that to crowd and lean over Alex. "Well hello," the man greeted in a tone that could only be described as creepy.
Alex swallowed hard and looked to Casey to help. Casey came over and introduced himself to the man. The man in turn was named Izzy. What kind of guy had a name like that?
Alex felt relief swamp him as Casey started to hog the attention. He chatted up Izzy, talking constantly, while the older man just listened with some weird smile.
Alex couldn't help but stare now. Izzy had high cheekbones with pale skin firm on his face. His chin was angular, and his nose sharp. Long, dark eyelashes framed his cold blue eyes. His skin didn't have a single crease in it, it seemed—no worry lines on his forehead or between his eyebrows, no crows feet, no laugh lines.
He wasn't right. Something was wrong with him. Alex continued to stare.
Izzy shifted, and Alex swore it looked like he was glowing. There was some halo of light around his whole body for a few moments before it faded away.
It was the smoke in the air. It had to be the smoke in the air.
"Listen, I have a personal stash of drinks," Izzy proposed to Casey. "And I like you. You want a crack at some?"
Casey broke out into a grin at the special treatment. Special treatment that was screaming for Alex to run. He needed to get away. Something was giving him a headache now, something telling him not to trust.
Only Casey agreed. Izzy wrapped an arm around Casey's waist, and looked back at Alex. "Are you coming too?"
Alex wanted to say no. He wanted to get out of there. Something wasn't… but he couldn't just abandon Casey. Casey was his ticket in, and while misguided, had been nice.
"Alright," Alex finally croaked out.
He followed Izzy and a tipsy Casey further into the loft. They went into a side room that was locked, and Izzy opened it with a key. Inside were shelves lined with bottles and cases.
Alex swallowed hard. None of them were familiar—none of them were even labeled. That couldn't be right. Wine, hard liquor… all of it came with labels.
"Do you want any?" Izzy asked, already having poured Casey a tumbler of some pinkish looking liquid.
"No," Alex answered instantly, wanting to tell Casey no too.
But it was too late. His roommate threw back the tumbler, and in one gulp the pink drink was down his throat. "Woha," Casey exclaimed, blinking dazedly. "That's really sweet. It tastes like candy."
Izzy just nodded, smiling, while Alex waited for something to happen. He waited for it to be a poison, waited for Casey to start vomiting or screaming as he died. But nothing happened. He just asked for another glass. Izzy poured it without another word.
"This stuff is really good," Casey said again, looking to Alex. "It tastes like candy strawberries or something. It doesn't taste like alcohol at all! You should try it, Alex." Casey stumbled over to a plush couch and plopped down. Izzy followed, cuddling up against the blond.
Alex shook his head quickly, eyes fixed on Izzy. There was that glow again. What was it? Maybe Alex was getting second hand high from all of the smoke. Was that possible? He hoped it was.
"Holy sh*t," Casey said in glee. "The lights look amazing!" now he was looking up at the ceiling, at the bright florescent lights of the room.
"Do they now?" Izzy teased, chuckling. He didn't seem as enthralled by the lights though. He finally poured himself a glass of the pink brew and tipped it back. How harmful could it be if he was drinking it too?
Alex relaxed, but only slightly.
"Alex you're glowing," Casey remarked in awe. "Do you know that?"
Something had to be wrong with that drink. Alex scowled and said nothing. It was time to step up and get Casey out of here. It had been time to do that a while ago, but now things were getting kind of… weird.
"Tell me, Alex, where did you live before?" Izzy asked.
Alex didn't want to answer, didn't want this man to know him. But Izzy knew something already.
"None of your business," Alex spat out at the man.
Izzy shrugged and went back to fawning over his new toy. "You want some more?"
"No," Alex barked, making Casey jump.
"What? Why? You're not my mother!" Casey screamed.
Alex stormed over and tried to pull Casey out of the chair. Alex wasn't as strong as he liked to think, and Casey didn't budge. He clutched onto the chair, looking defiant. "I'm an adult now. You can't make me do anything!"
Alex sighed, frustrated. He wanted to get out and save his own skin. But then what? He could see it—tomorrow the news would be that Casey was dead. Then Alex would have to speak up, have to explain why he didn't do anything to save his roommate.
"Casey I swear to god if you don't come with me I will call your mother." As weak as it seemed, Casey straightened right back up.
"But you can't, she made me promise no parties!" Casey whined.
"So come on," Alex beckoned.
Now Izzy didn't look too happy—his lure of… strange drinks had been outsmarted by a promise to a mother.
Casey tumbled off the couch, peeling himself away from Izzy. "I'm sorry, Izzy," he said softly. Alex had to go over and help Casey stand. He helped to haul Casey out of the room. He took one last look over his shoulder at Izzy.
That glow was back, brighter, as his lips were pressed tightly in anger. His blue eyes were narrow, and something about them looked… wrong.
That was the word Alex had been trying to place.