Raven's Blood

By: Starken Dark Feathers

Author's Notes: Thank you all for the outstanding support you give me. I deeply appreciate you taking the time to read this, and sticking with it, even if the updating is going a little slow. And thank you for giving me the correct category to put this story in, it means a lot. And now, without a further adieu, I present chapter eight.

For the first time in what seemed to be decades, Ryan felt warmth. Not a physical warmth, for he was constantly bathed in that. This was an emotional warmth; a smiling face, not familiar, but he felt no evil present.

No evil...

It was almost a concept Ryan couldn't come to grasp. Even if it was in dream, he saw that smiling face, and somehow his pained burden felt lighter. That smile, that seemingly sincere smile, brought a sense of normality into his mind.

Somehow.

But then he was jostled awake, and that smiling, unfamiliar face, became the face of Gabriel. His worst nightmare come true.

Ryan's body ached with sex. Gabriel had been hard on him as of late, because he used other lovers less and less frequently. Now, all of his focus was on Ryan, and his malnourished, weak form. His insides were pained and sore, and his muscles strained and tired.

"My kitten..." whispered the naked Gabriel, his head cocked to the side, sitting on the foot of Ryan's bed. "Are you hurting much now? Well, good. I suppose you should be." The petite man leaned in. "Do you feel no remorse for what you have done to my family line? Let me hear you beg your apologies."

Ryan, covered to his waist in bed sheets, cast a wavering glare to his captor. "I only regret that I hadn't killed you, too. We were called friends once before, but as monsters. Monsters aren't capable of friendship, and I'm not a monster anymore. You can go bathe in your precious blood all you want, but I will have no part of it," he answered bitterly, retaliation boiling in his soul.

Gabriel's eyes flashed crimson, but the color died out quickly. More and more often, Gabriel was becoming less strict with Ryan. It was a relief, but worrisome, too. "I'd be more careful in the words you speak, traitor," growled Gabriel. He smiled smugly, turning his nose up indignantly. "I had a little present for you. Shame that you're just as you struggled not to be; a meaningless sex toy, with no intelligence whatsoever."

Ryan's blue eyes shifted suspiciously. "Present?" he asked, his curiosity accidentally evident. "I'm not sure you understand the meaning of that word, Gabriel. In fact, I know you don't."

"Oh?" asked the young vampire, a smirk playing across his lips. From under the bed, Gabriel pulled out an instrument. It was long and black, shiny and new.

Sitting in a stunned silence, Ryan finally spoke. "T-that's my...b- bass," he whispered, his stomach feeling sick. His performance bass was someplace where only the spirits knew of, but this was his real bass...the one he used at home.

Gabriel knew where he lived.

"Pretty little thing isn't it?" he asked coolly, plucking a thick string. "I personally prefer playing more...orchestrated instruments, but whatever you play is fine with me. Wouldn't you like to have this back?" There was a mocking look in his gray eyes.

Ryan's eyes couldn't help but stay glued to the bass. That was his passion; music. He loved to sing and play, it helped him stay happy. Seeing such a sacred thing in such a spoiled place ruined the bass. It simply did not belong in a torture room. The bassist could feel the instrument in his mind as he mentally examined familiar chords.

"Do you want it back?" teased Gabriel, slightly annoyed that Ryan seemed lost within his own thoughts. The captured looked to his captor for a brief moment, then slightly nodded his head.

"Perfect," replied the small man, enunciating the word crucially. "I ask for one thing in return. Just one simple thing." Ryan could not keep his urge to hold the bass out of his eyes, so Gabriel smiled coyly. "I want you to take my body. I want you inside of me, not me inside of you. I need that feeling, like old times."

Ryan's face flushed. He gripped the sheets, his eyes clenched shut. He finally nodded his head. He had to have the bass. He needed it. It was the one thing that could keep him sane.

"Good. I knew you'd cooperate," Gabriel said with a quiet sigh. He put the bass onto the floor, then looked to Ryan, his eyes eager. "Now, shall we begin?"

***

Erin and Andrika were walking as fast as they possibly could. There were many people outside, enjoying the crisp autumn weather, and Erin made a great effort to refrain from making eye contact with any of them. His stomach was tied into a thousand knots, each knot getting tighter with every stare he received.

"What if they think we did it?" he blurted out suddenly. Andrika gave him a cold look. Erin looked away, embarrassed. "I mean, the people on the street. They keep...staring."

Andrika sighed, rolling her eyes. "Look, kid, you're freaking out. We're fine. They don't even know about it yet. And I'd know if there was a camera in the café, and there wasn't. I'm sorry so many of your kind died, but, just get over it..." her voice trailed off as her train of thought came back to her.

The image of Devon and Spike played over and over in her mind, and no matter how hard she tried, it wouldn't leave her. Devon was a friend; an odd friend of many years. She never fully understood him or his intentions, but now she wasn't so sure that she wanted to. And Spike...there was something about him. His dark aura. Andrika knew that he worked hard at living with humans; refraining from his urges as a vampire. He was strong.

"Here we are," came Erin's weak voice. Andrika, awaken from her thoughts, came to see they stood in front of a medium-class apartment building. She gave him a nod of acknowledgment, and they entered the building and made their way to the fourth floor.

The apartment building seemed pretty average; white paneled walls in the hallways, blue carpet, lots of doors...nothing out of the ordinary. When they reached Erin's door, he didn't look so well. His small hands shook with the effort of getting his key from his pocket. When the door was unlocked, they walked into the apartment.

The main room had a beige colored carpet which didn't look too dirty. The furnace was radiating heat, and above it was a couple photographs of two young men. Andrika recognized them as Erin and Spike. There was a small TV, with a couch and some chairs littered around it. The kitchen begun where the carpet ended, and had a small table with only two chairs, and cream colored appliances. There was a small window above the sink, but it was drawn over by short curtains. Two archways that led to bedrooms branched off from the main room, which hosted the television.

Walking towards the furnace, Andrika went to examine the pictures. Erin always seemed somewhat...disheveled. "Spike told me he really liked you, but he never said you guys lived together. Weird," she called over her shoulder.

Erin plopped down onto the couch, turning on the TV with the remote control. His posture was incredibly slumped, and his eyes seemed only half opened. A game show blared from the television.

Andrika turned around, eyeing him suspiciously. "Are you alright? You look kind of...dead," he said, her voice barely above a whisper .Erin turned off the TV, his head to the side.

"Please, get me something to eat. I haven't eaten in days. I'm gonna faint again," he said in a moan. His voice sounded like a plea. Andrika was about to object, but she saw how frail this boy was.

A little frustrated, she searched through the cupboards and made a peanut butter sandwich. She wasn't used to human food, but she paid enough attention to human culture to at least know some simple dishes. She placed the meager meal on Erin's lap.

Immediately, Erin ripped into the sandwich as if it were his means of living. Andrika raised an eyebrow. When he was finished, he offered an explanation. "I've been too scared to come back here for days. I haven't slept or eaten, and it's biting cold out there," he said, his eyes, again, half closed. "I thought...he would hurt me."

Andrika sat beside Erin, shaking her head. "You mean Spike?" The young man only nodded his head. Andrika smiled weakly. "No, no. Spike would never hurt you. He...loves you. He told me so himself. But, as you know by now, he's not like you. He's a vampire."

Erin did not say a word, so Andrika continued.

"Vampires aren't like all that stuff you see on TV. They don't sleep in coffins, they can go out in the daylight, then can eat human food, they're not repelled by garlic or crosses, they can see their reflection..." she sighed. "It's just human fairytale. Vampires live in an underground, secret society. They live like a lot of humans, but they have a thirst for blood, and are more with nature. They have strong instincts, and strength. They live forever. I am a vampire. Spike is a vampire." She took a breath. "Ryan, too, was once a vampire."

She felt Erin's body go limp beside her. When she thought about it, Ryan and Spike were probably like family to Erin. And he had just been told his family were vampires. Poor humans. They really had no idea.

"W-w-will Spike be okay?" Erin finally choked out, after minutes of silence. "I mean, he just disappeared, and that big guy was really giving it to him...please don't tell me he's gonna get killed!"

Andrika shook her head. "Vampire fights are brutal. They come with rage and bloodlust, very dangerous thing when put together. I can't tell you if he'll die or not," she said with a sigh.

Erin just shook his head. They sat, quiet for a few moments, when Erin took off his large, hooded sweatshirt. He was sweating, even though it was still quite chilly in the apartment. His face was pale and he was breathing heavily.

"I think you're sick," whispered Andrika, not looking to him. Vampires didn't get sick, so it was very obvious when somebody around them had a virus.

Erin stood up in front of his guest. "I think I need some rest," he whispered, wiping his eyes. His thick black eyeliner smudged. Andrika's eyes were drawn to his bare upper body.

Erin seemed to be beyond frail in his baggy clothing. It was true that he was tiny, but his stomach was toned, with the outlines of abs. His chest, too, was toned. His arms were thin but somehow slightly muscular, too, as if he had been working out. He had little chest hair, but a trail of chestnut hair started under his bellybutton, and continued below his baggy pants.

Andrika looked to him with interest. "So what are your feelings for Spike, Erin? I really am quite interested to know." She raised a single, black eyebrow. "I want you to know that he's crazy for you. He's in a world that's much different than his own, so he can be by you."

Erin looked to her awkwardly, and cast his gaze elsewhere. "I..." he stammered, "I just don't know. I really don't, Andrika. Please don't..."

"Please don't what?!" demanded Andrika, feeling unreleased anger in the pit of her stomach. "You know how much pain it takes for a vampire to give up blood, and to eat human food? It's sickening to our stomachs. It's like eating vomit. And here Spike is, giving up his own race for you, and you're not even going to give it any thought?!" Erin was trembling under her leer. He looked very unwell.

"It's just...it's just..." Erin mumbled, his fists clenched in effort. "I don't know if I like guys!" he blurted. He kept his eyes on his feet as he felt Andrika appraise him. She sighed.

"Look," she said softly. "I can help you with that. Have you ever been with a woman? Or a man?"

Erin shook his head, his long hair sticking to the sweat on his face. "I wouldn't know what to do. I don't know if I like girls, and I don't know if I like guys. I just...don't know."

Andrika stared at him hard. "Look at me," she said in a stern tone. Timidly gazing up from the floor, Erin gave a huge effort for his eyes to remain focused on Andrika's. "You need to gather up your wits, boy. Humans don't live long. I can teach you as much as I can. To see if you like women, you are going to have sex with me."

Erin look to her, incredulous and wide-eyed. His jaw dropped. "Andrika!" he cried.

"It's Drika," she snapped in correction. She stood up, her hands on her curvy hips. "Listen to me, Erin. I know you don't like the idea of this, but in the end, it will help you sort out your feelings for Spike. Do you got that?"

Erin's plump lower limp almost quivered, but he silently nodded his head. "But Drika..." he whispered. "I've never done this before. I'm so nervous."

Andrika smiled at him, her cherry lips radiating. "This will be fun and educational, Erin. Very fun." The boy looked a little more at ease.

As he led her to his small, dark bedroom, his hands were shaking with nervousness. She winked at him as she began to unclothe herself. "I'll take it easy on you." Erin just nodded his head.

End of Chapter

To be Continued.

Thank you for reading, and I encourage you to review. I truly do appreciate it.