We were friends since the day we were born, or rather since the day I was born. You were just one month older than me, yet it seemed to make such a difference. I (and everyone else) always thought you as the more mature one. Why you wanted to be friends with an idiot like me is anyone's guess. But you were a great friend. All the times we spent together, at my house or yours, playing those silly games that little boys like to engage in, teasing the younger girls that went to our school. You helped me out in school as well. All those times when we spent all night revising together and all the time you gave up to tutor me, as I never seemed to understand anything.

Naturally, you grew up faster than me. It frightened me at first, listening to strange music in your sparsely lit bedroom, you telling me all these weird stories and beliefs. My parents did not really approve, yours didn't either, but they said we were just kids, that we would grow out of it. We never did.

I was the more rebellious one, the one who was always getting into trouble and deliberately not doing what anyone in a position of authority told me to do. Even knowing this, is still seemed odd that I was the one who took charge when I decided that we should both get a tattoo. You were reluctant, as you knew your parents would flip, but I didn't really care. I literally dragged you down to the town centre and into a dirty looking shop in a seedy alleyway. You livened up once we got there, and the Celtic-style band that was inked across our upper arms, marked us for eternity and acted as a bond between us, strengthening our friendship. And that might have been all it was, just friendship, if the owner hadn't looked at you in *that* way.

You were good looking even then, as a growing 16 year old, but you never seemed to realise it, not even when the girls from school would whisper in corners and then blush when you looked their way. I suppose it was slightly understandable that the owner of the place would try and make a pass at you, but it angered me. What *right* did he have? He was some old man, how dare he even look at you, the pervert! I was determined to show him that you were mine, so I kissed you. On the lips. In front of him and anyone else in the tattoo parlour that was by now gaping at us. We left the place, and you laughed, a clear healthy sound. I don't know what you thought of the incident, you never mentioned it. I never thought of myself as a homosexual, nor you. We had both had girlfriends in the past, even though relationships in your early teens never seem to account for much.

As predicted, your parents went mad when they eventually saw the tattoo. Mine were more lenient, but what more could they expect from their tearaway son?

Years continued to pass, and our friendship continued to grow. We made new friends, away from the small village where we were brought up. Dangerous friends, who haunted dark places, introducing us to a world that you told me about but we had never yet entered. Our parents did not quite know what we were doing, and I'm glad they didn't, otherwise they would never have let us spend nights away from our homes.

I remember nights spent on a dirty old mattress in an old cellar in a disused house. Bloodstains on the walls mixed with broken glass on the floor. The atmosphere seemed saturated with filth and evil, and the stench was one of charnel houses, but we loved it. I remember us two lying next to each other. You were talking about something and playing around with a knife that you were holding in your hand. I watched mesmerised as you trailed the point along the thumb of your left hand, splitting the skin open and releasing the crimson red blood inside. I held your wrist in my hand, and let my tongue lick up the trickle running down your finger. The taste of blood was metallic, like licking a copper wire. I should have been sickened, but somehow it satisfied me, knowing it was your blood inside me. Another bond, another link. My sky blue eyes looked up to meet your cerulean blue eyes. You gave me a nod of approval, and continued to watch the movements of my mouth on your thumb, all the time with a small smile on your face. When I was finished, you pulled me into your arms, and I felt your hard, warm body against mine, and I knew it was right. Clothes were quickly removed, and soon my hands were roaming over your alabaster silk skin, eager to touch you everywhere I could. Your touch on me was electric, and I was soon hard. Like I had done before, my lips met yours in a hungry, passionate kiss. My long blond hair fell over my shoulders, and mixed with your long, black hair, which was pooling around your face on the ground below. You broke the kiss and turned over, offering yourself to me. It didn't take long for me to come, and soon you were filled with my seed, the ultimate union. I lay in your arms that night, not caring what tomorrow would bring, or even if it would arrive. I had you, that was good enough for me.

Tomorrow did come though, along with many others. We continued to spend time in abandoned houses, the ruins of castles, anywhere that spoke of death and desolation. You would push me up against cold stone walls, and run your razor sharp teeth over my neck. It scared me a little, but I knew you would never harm me, and the slight feeling of fear, only added to the erotic sensations I would experience.

But time passes and spares no mercy. As we grew older, we seemed to grow more distant. The nights we spent together lessened off until we would only see each other by day. We never spoke about the old times. Maybe you wanted to. I don't know. We each made new friends, and began to hang out with them instead of with each other. Mine were loud, always looking for a good time. Yours were quiet and more intellectual. The things you talked about with them were very different to the things you used to talk about with me. During the times that I did spend time with you and your friends, I was never able to follow your discussions. I suppose you never felt comfortable with my friends when you would join us at the bar.

I married, you found a girlfriend. Childhood romances never last. But, sometimes, as I would lie in my bed at night, or when I noticed the tattoo circling my arm, I would think of you. I still wanted you then, but I never admitted it, not even to myself. I wonder if you felt the same way. You certainly didn't show it if you did.

I went away for a holiday. I went to Spain with my wife. It was a sunny, vibrant place, the antithesis of everything we used to stand for. I would have never gone anywhere like that with you.

I called you before I left to say goodbye. A short, two-minute conversation on the phone, and that was it. I wish I had said more, I wish I had done more, but words are so easy to say. Actions are harder to do.

When I got home, I knew something was wrong. There was a heavy feeling in my heart. The explanation was to come when I received a phone call from my mother. She told me to sit down, and then broke the news. You had died.

Your death was caused by a car crash. Well... ironically enough, it wasn't the actual crash that killed you. You were thrown clean though the windshield, and away from the burning wreckage of the car. But you were thrown over the edge of a cliff. How long did you fall for? What were your final thoughts? Were you even conscious at that point? The pathologist said you had snapped your spine, and would not have died painfully, as you were unable to feel anything. That didn't offer me any consolation.

I let my wife hold me in bed that night, but found no comfort in her embrace. I wanted you to hold me. You, who was both pure and evil at the same time. A paradox, but it seemed perfect. My hand touched the band inked on my flesh. A small reminder of you, and more meaningful than the countless photos scattered throughout my flat.

Your family did not bury you straight away. You were laid out on a stone slab in the vault of the chapel, surrounded by wreaths of flowers and white candles that gave of a ghostly light. I visited you there one night. Lifting back the diaphanous veil that covered you, I gazed at you for one last time. You were still beautiful, as the cruelty of death hadn't taken away your looks yet. A few scars were scattered randomly across your ivory skin, and I missed the intense stare from your sapphire eyes, but to me, you were faultless. I laid a kiss on your cold, blue lips, and wished you back from the dead, but the night had claimed you and who was I to fight it? (Though I would have given of my life to save yours.)

Your funeral came and went. People cried, your girlfriend, now your wife stared woodenly into the distance. She loved you, and wanted your children. Her dream was now never to be realised. The finality of the sound of soil hitting your coffin made me want to run away and cry, but I couldn't. I had to remain strong for the others around me, but later on I cried. In the privacy of my room, when my wife was out, I just couldn't stop the tears from falling.

So here I am now, sitting on the edge of my bed in my room. It is true what they say. You only realise how much you love someone when you lose them. I love you, I did and I always will. I wish that could have been more obvious in the later years of our lives, but there is no point in speculating over events that have already occurred. Anyway, I already have our future sorted out, as you will not, cannot join me, I'll have to join you. There's a knife lying next to me on the bed. It's yours and it's flecked with stains of your blood. Not that you can see them now, as my own scarlet red offering has covered it. One cut to my wrist was all it took. I feel faint now, but I am happy. Soon I will join you; soon I will have stop contemplating life without you.

The darkness is beckoning to me, drawing me in with shadow-covered wings. My darling, I am coming!