Chapter 2:

The darkness closed in around us as Alice and I escorted Caline to her next class. There was no moon tonight and the stars were completely obscured by shapeless clouds in the sky in such that the only light in the twisted, labyrinth like building came from the scant flickering torches which cast an eerie glow; a fearful light that truly did not abate the heavy darkness. Silence engulfed and crushed the senses while instilling fear in every heart, sometimes, even to jittery terror, and yet the silence still remained. The massive oak doors swung out without a sound and stood wide like jaws before us, and everyone passed through in an instant, not wanting to be lost on the inside of the dreaded and terrifying building.

The night air outside the building we found was even worse. The utter silence remained even harsher than before save for a single call of one raven piercing the shadows causing everyone to tremble. Fear filled the air making it thick and reeking of sweat. Shadows were cast by the faint attempts at light through the windows which drove most of us to a form of madness. The grass was smashed under our feet and a twig snapped, causing everyone to jump.

Yes we are all Vampires and Doskai and thrive in the night, but this was tainted. There was something evil happening this night, and everyone… everyone… was screaming on the inside and trying to get their useless muscles to allow them to flee. But they kept stepping cautiously along the grass, staying clear of the trees or other shadowy objects.

Alice and I stood dutifully on either side of Caline, but both of our muscles were tensed and ready to spring at the first sign of danger. The silence remained as the group neared the next building. Our shadows lengthened and flickered causing the people next to me to appear disfigured and grotesque. We were now thirty feet from the safety of the brightly lit building when a scream sounded from the front of the group. More screams followed and a bloodcurdling screech echoed around the buildings. A thick swarm of something moved quickly across the grounds towards us. My left arm snaked around Caline's waist and my feet pressed into the ground ready to spring. To me it was just a blur. Doskai can see and hear better than Vampires but my senses were always a little worse than most Doskai. Alice had extremely good eyesight especially at night. Alice narrowed her eyes, peering at the swarm and then dropped into her developed fighting stance.

"It's the Brisques. Don't wait for me."

Alice became almost a blur as she sprinted forward and met the swarm. I lost sight of her as she was enveloped and lost to the blackness. I told Caline to hold on, turned, and sprang in the opposite direction of the Brisques. It was my pride and duty to protect Caline, but in thus it meant I had to leave Alice to whatever fate befell her. I had to move fast if I wanted to be able to protect her and I had to devote every ounce of my control to move away from the horrid shapes. Indeed to move at all as the night still bore down around me, seemingly only strengthened by the presence of the evil Vampires. I turned my head back to watch the students get ripped apart by the renegade Vampires. They had no chance. The Vampires at the Academy were not trained to fight and had no experienced guardians near them for protection. Two Brisques split off from the rest of the pack and began moving after Caline and I at speeds I could never match. I set Caline down and faced the two enemies that now entered my close vision allowing me to see them clearly. They were deformed and purely white. They weren't merely pale, but far beyond that to being truly whitewashed. Except for their hair which was matted and stringy and pitch black. I noticed that their skin was wet and their fangs were two inches long with four inch long claws.

I braced myself and leapt at the first Brisque who bowled me backwards with four slashes on my chest from his claws. I landed on my feet and noticed something on the middle claw of the creature I was facing. Pierced, right through, was the sigil of the Cortems. That sigil never left Alice's throat. I noticed the blood that was not my own around the sigil. A rage filled me and my three marks seared and I moved at a speed faster than the Brisque could react to. I placed my right hand on his face and it exploded in my grip. My mental link with Caline went blank and I screamed in pain as claws ripped into my back.

My eyes snapped open as I crashed into the ground from my bed. I just laid there for a moment as I caught my breath. I stood shakily and walked into the bathroom where I ran my head under some cool water. It had only been a dream. It was nothing more than an idle fantasy of my brain. Dreams could be a cause of alarm in the Vampire community, but almost never from a Doskai. I checked my clock as I dried my face and saw that it was about two twenty in the afternoon. It was the middle of the Day Class's session. There had to be some good party going on somewhere. I pulled on my usual jeans and black dress shirt that I personally ripped at the elbow and tied my hair back which revealed the fang of an alleged Dragon dangling from my left ear. Dragons were supposed to have existed thousands of years ago and then died off. The remnants, claws and teeth and such, were used as objects of power. I'm not sure I believed in them. My mom had given it to me. Well that was what I was told at least. I didn't remember her giving me anything. I hardly remembered much about her at all. Just glimpses of her from the first six years of my life. I could remember our house though. It had been large with two stories and a basement. It had been destroyed in a fire and my mother had perished in it saving me in the process.

I slowly opened my door and crept down the hall to another specific room. I slipped inside and quickly closed the door behind me. This room was always kept vacant. The administrators thought that someone slept in here, but in reality, we used it to post all the parties that were happening throughout the days and weeks. It had been the same room since long before I ever came to the Academy so it made sense that it was still here. There was one in each of the Dorms for the Night Class with a list on the wall of each. I checked the list on the wall and looked till I found an over eighteen party that hadn't started yet. It'd be my first one since I was now twenty two and I had left when I was sixteen. I had only heard stories about them before I left and never actually attended one. The party started at three in the Female Vampire's Dorm and would continue for a couple of hours. I checked out the window to make sure there was no one in sight and leapt the two stories to the ground in the shadow of the equipment shed next to my dorm. Jumping a few stories was no harm to Doskai or Vampires. A human would have been instantly killed or at least broken many bones, but Doskai and Vampires could fall much further without harm. I checked again and noticed a few humans about sitting on benches, but all of them had their backs to the dorms except for one couple who had their sides turned, but I didn't think I had to worry about them. I ran to the shadow of the next building and paused for a moment before moving to the next. I had to be careful moving around the grounds as I was supposed to stay in my room till I was collected the next evening and if I was caught then I would be placed under constant surveillance and maybe even a guard. Well that was what would happen to anyone. I hoped there wasn't a kill on sight order for me. It was made more difficult by the fact that the Male Doskai Dorms and the Female Vampire Dorms were the two furthest buildings from each other. All the Dorms were spread out around the property to try and discourage sneaking out to visit each other. It never worked, but the administrators didn't need to know that. After a few more jaunts, I was under the roof at the entrance of the Female Doskai Dorm. I was about ready to dart to the Female Vampire's Dorm when the handle turned beside me. My claws extended in a heartbeat and I leapt to grab onto the metal ceiling. I hung there upside down hoping that whoever opened the door would either be a student, or a faculty member that wouldn't look up. The door opened and out walked Alice in a white tank top that barely went a few inches past her bra and a mini skirt. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a single braid that hung down past the belt she wore above her skirt. In my eyes, and in the eyes of most the guys at the school, she was good looking enough to receive the nickname of sex on legs. I personally saw her as both sexy and beautiful. There was only one person that I saw as more beautiful than her and that was Caline. I loved both of them and it had for many years been a contest in my mind as to who I would one day spend my life with. I had never interacted sexually with Caline or Alice and though I had wished to many times, I had never gotten up the courage for the long commitment with either of them. But I couldn't think about that with them as protecting Caline had to be my first responsibility. Maybe one day though I would be able to settle down with one or both of them.

Once the door to the dorm had closed behind Alice I spoke her name and then dropped down. Alice turned quickly obviously thinking I was a teacher that had caught her, but seeing that it was me, relaxed immediately. I was the first to speak.

"What are you doing out here?"

"I was on my way to get you and sneak you to the party in the Female Vampire's Dorm, but it seems like you did that fine on your own. I just wish I could have gotten out sooner."

I laughed and she did too as we turned and ran the rest of the way to the Female Vampire Dorm. Caline was never much one for parties so she wouldn't be at the party and I knew I had to see her that day. So once we had snuck past the sleeping teacher that was supposed to be on duty watching, Alice and I split up temporarily and while Alice went to try and get a few more friends to join us for the party, I went to Caline's room. I knocked gently on her door to no answer. I pulled out a key that I had made six years ago and silently opened Caline's door. She lay on her bed, back to the door, breathing evenly and deeply. I crept over to her bed and sat on the edge. I began to gently stroke Caline's hair and just look at her. I had developed the bond with her seven years ago and we had only grown closer. I knew that I would be her Guardian Doskai. I wouldn't become a Warrior Doskai and I would refuse to protect anyone else. I was truly in love with her. It was the one thing that I kept to myself and completely blocked over the bond. I wasn't sure if I would ever tell her how much she meant to me, but maybe someday I would. Where did Alice fall though? Was she ahead of Caline in my mind or was she equal to her? Where would it all lead us? I glanced up briefly up to the clock next to Caline's bed and was startled to find that I had been sitting there for more than fifteen minutes. I had to get back to Alice for the party. I gently placed and tender and loving kiss on Caline's cheek and carefully stood and closed the door to her room behind me. To anyone that didn't share a bond with Caline, she would have appeared tranquil and asleep. To me, she was restless and tired, but very much awake the entire time.

I moved through the halls silently while closing the connection with Caline so as to not accidentally send her images from the party and hopefully allow her some sleep and rest. I met up with Alice just outside the room of the party where she was leaning against a wall waiting for me. When we had both proved to the vampire that opened the door that we were indeed over eighteen, we stepped in and were immediately blown away.