"So, uh, can I come in?" Sara asked Kyle after a moment had passed.
"Sure," Kyle responded, stepping back so that Sara could walk through the door. Sara walked past Kyle, noticing that his body was in an odd state somewhere between tense and relaxed, and into his living room. Putting her overnight bag on the floor, she turned back to Kyle, who was now leaning against the doorway to the living room with his arms folded across his chest.
"My dad has been given the usual story for when I stay over here," she explained, "And Chloe is willing to say that I slept at her house if anyone asks."
She noticed Kyle's gaze shift to the overnight bag.
"Oh, don't worry," she told him, "I just have the usual stuff in there. You know: change of clothes, PJ's, toothbrush, etc. General overnight gear." She swallowed as Kyle continued to study her.
'What's he thinking?' she wondered.
"How was the shopping trip?" Kyle asked her, a knowing look in his eye.
"Oh, it was fun," Sara said brightly, "Jasmine found the dress she was wanting; Chloe bought a pair of shoes, again; Jenna and I bought several books; the boys found some really cool stuff at the sports store they went to, you should have gone with them."
"And what else happened?" Kyle asked her raising an eyebrow.
"Well, there were these guys who herded us into this alley after we left the jewelry store at the strip mall on 56th street," Sara said, watching Kyle's face intently, "They were getting a little rowdy, but then this other guy in all black with a mask came and killed them all. Except for their leader, he grabbed me and ran off, the guy in black chasing after him. My captor got into a beat up car and drove away the guy in black running after the car. My captor eventually lost him and got on the interstate. Then the guy in black landed on the roof of the car and came in through the passenger side window, causing my captor to drive across the median into opposing traffic. The guy in black killed my captor and saved me, it was all really cool."
"Interestingly enough," Sara continued, "the guy in black was you. You then did this weird thing with a cell phone, threw me on your back, and ran me back to the girls. Then you disappeared and these big men in dark clothing came up to us and did funny things with Chloe, Jenna, and Jasmine. They were about to do the same thing to me when the leader, the biggest guy, stopped them and asked me if I wanted to have my memory re-written?"
She raised her eyebrow at Kyle who appeared to be having a hard time not laughing.
"I declined, and they left," Sara finished, "The girls and I finished shopping. We swung past my house for a moment for me to get my stuff and then we came here to drop me off. So here I am, here for the night. Got an extra bed?"
Kyle looked at her for a moment, then asked, "So I'm guessing you want a bit of an explanation from me about what happened tonight?"
Sara gave an exaggerated sigh, rolling her eyes. "If you have to," she told him.
Kyle couldn't hold it back any longer. He threw his head back and laughed so hard he had to grab hold of the doorway for support.
"Might I ask what you find so funny?" Sara asked him, walking up to him and standing with her face looking up into his, only a few inches apart.
"The way you said everything reminded me of Ann," Kyle explained as he wiped a tear from his eye, "I could have sworn that she was standing in front of me saying that numerous times there."
Sara grinned. She had hoped that Kyle would still be Kyle when she came over. Right now she just wanted him to tell her what was going on, but she still wanted to have her crazy boyfriend in the end. She figured that even if he was a radioactive failed government science experiment that had somehow gotten loose she would still love him.
Kyle stopped laughing and looked back down at her.
"Tell me," he asked, "do you have any ideas for who or what I am?"
"Well…," Sara started, 'Great, all I have is silly ideas from comic books. Well those are probably as good as any,' she took a deep breath and exhaled, "Are you some sort of government science project that didn't go right or you're from another planet and you being on Earth gives you superhuman abilities?"
Kyle chuckled at her. "Going to the comic books for answers, eh?" he joked with her, "I'll be the first to admit, many comic books hit far closer to the truth than people are led to believe, but you hit the wrong comic books."
He started walking toward the wall on his right, her left. "As you probably have already notice," he said, "I am not entirely like other people. I have large amounts of physical endurance coupled with physical strength. I am rather strong for my size. I also am incredibly graceful."
He stopped at the wall and looked up at the ceiling. "There are also a few other aspects you have noticed," he continued, "High School or even life itself doesn't seem to challenge me very much. I am smart enough sometimes that it appears like I have done this same activity more than once before. In the two years that you have known me I haven't seemed to have aged a day. It would indeed appear that I am more than human."
He stepped onto the wall as he said this.
Sara's eyes opened wide as Kyle walked up the wall and stepped onto the ceiling.
"The men that attacked you just a little while ago were also more than human," he continued, "They didn't feel pain in the usual ways, they were far stronger, and when they died they slowly smoldered until their bodies resembled a little pile of ash."
Sara was beginning to think she knew where Kyle was going with his explanation now, but it made no sense! Those sorts of creatures didn't exist! Did they?
Kyle stepped onto the opposing wall that he had walked up and walked down it to the floor. When he reached Sara he turned to her and looked her in the eye. Sara wondered what he saw in them. Fear? Anxiety? She hoped neither emotion was present in her appearance, but she wasn't sure.
"So do you have a new theory on what I am?" Kyle asked her.
Sara blinked, she did but she didn't want to say it to him. It sort of embarrassed her just thinking about the possibility that it was true.
Kyle sighed at her silence. "What you're thinking is correct, Sara," he told her, "I am, what you would call, a vampire."
"You're a vampire?" Sara asked, a note of hysteria in her voice.
Kyle grinned at her, showing her his fangs, "Indeed I am," he told her, "Have been since the year seventeen hundred and forty-one."
Sara gave a small laugh, walking over to the couch and sitting down. Kyle sat on the couch facing hers, a small coffee table separated them from each other.
"Just how old are you?" Sara asked, holding her head in her hands.
"I was born in 1723," Kyle told her, "My brother James was born two years earlier in the year 1721, and Ann was born a year after me in 1724."
"Wait," Sara looked up at Kyle, "Ann is younger than you? I thought she was your twin?"
"That's what I've been telling people," Kyle said, smiling a bit, "My siblings and I have a great deal of fun seeing just what we can get people to believe. Ann has passed for a twenty-one year old college student before, even though her physical age appearance is that of a girl who is just about to turn seventeen."
"Wow," Sara breathed.
"Since you know of the existence of vampires," Kyle said, leaning back, "I should probably give you a complete explanation for them. Or at least as complete a one as I can give you. A good deal of what you know about vampires from movies and books is actually quite true. They have to live off the blood of the living to survive, most can't go out in sunlight…"
"What do you mean most?" Sara asked.
"Older stronger vampires sometimes develop enough power to withstand the light of day," Kyle explained, "As you have seen many times, I have been out in broad daylight, survived, and I have just told you that I am a vampire."
"Continuing with what I was saying," Kyle said, "To avoid confusion I will list of the various strength levels of a vampire and tell you the strengths and weaknesses of each." He got up from the couch, "This is going to take a while, want anything to eat? Drink?"
'A sandwich would be nice, and some tea,' thought Sara.
Kyle smiled, 'This will be fun,' he thought to himself, and he walked into the kitchen before Sara could say what she had just thought out loud.
Coming back a moment later with her mental request, he put the sandwich and glass of tea down on the coffee table in front of her. He had a bottle of refreshment for himself. Sara stared at him in a disbelieving manner for a moment before picking up her sandwich and taking a bite.
"How'd you do that?" she asked him.
"I can read your mind if I have eye contact with you," Kyle explained opening his bottle, the smell of the cool blood inside made his mouth water. He took a quick draught from the bottle and put the cap back on it.
"Alright, vampires," he said, "James and I usually use a five level categorization system. This makes it easy for us to keep track of things, seeing as there are actually only around three and a half to four billion humans on the planet instead of the six and a half that people are lead to believe."
"There are that many vampires?" Sara asked, raising an eyebrow at Kyle.
"No, there are only around two hundred thousand vampires worldwide," Kyle told her opening his bottle again, "However, there are a great number of other supernatural creatures in existence as well."
"The system my brother and use to classify vampires is based off of making things easy so some of the names are a little corny or seem a little unusual I guess," Kyle continued, "The first level is a Basic Vampire or what we call a Wraith. This is because the longer an individual stays at this beginning level the more "crude" or "demonic evil" they become. Eventually they just turn into a mindless killing machine, so weak minded that stronger vampires are known to take control of them and force them into servitude."
"It has the "traditional" vampiric strengths and weaknesses: Inhuman strength, inhuman speed, "immortal" if you will, though that just means that it can't die on its own. As for its weaknesses, the traditional as well: sunlight will cause it to smolder and burn to ash, religious faith will ward it off, any religion might I add not just Christianity, a stake to the heart, wooden or silver, will kill it, and the removal of its head will also end its life."
"What about garlic?" Sara asked, sipping her tea.
"That superstition stems from the fact that the plant has a very potent smell and vampires have an acute sense of smell," Kyle said, taking a drink from his bottle, "there is no weakness there, unless you count overpowering a vampires senses to be a weakness."
Sara nodded, apparently mulling over what Kyle had told her. "So this is the weakest level?" she asked him.
"Yes," he answered her, "The next level is what we call and Intermediate Vampire. I've been trying to come up with a better name for it for the better half of the last century but with no luck."
"The Intermediate Vampire is stronger than a Wraith, but not too much stronger. Then again, there is variation in all the levels. An Intermediate Vampire can be physically stronger than a vampire in the next strength level, but the vampire in the next strength level is still "stronger" than the Intermediate."
Kyle chuckled, remembering an old memory from the past. In 1837, James had come across an Intermediate Vampire who tried to kill him. The Intermediate was much larger than James and was far stronger than he was with pure brute, physical strength; but James, being the level above the Intermediate, toyed with the vampire for a few moments before ripping it to shreds.
"As for its weaknesses," he said to Sara, "an Intermediate Vampire doesn't have as severe a reaction to sunlight as a Wraith does. It will burn slower, so can be in sunlight for short periods of time without dying, but it needs to get out of the sunlight or it will die. As far as religion, there is less of an effect on an individual at this level. Intermediates can carry around symbols of their religion if they choose but it is difficult for them to enter a place of great spirituality or holiness."
"An Intermediate also heals at a faster rate than a Wraith does. And, if the vampire consumes enough blood, animal or human it doesn't matter, it can re-attach or even re-grow a severed limb. Though if you cut off its head, that is still the end of the vampire."
"What about some of those other characteristics that vampires have in the books?" Sara asked, "Like having to sleep in a coffin with the soil from their birth place in the bottom, or being unable to cross running water."
"Pure superstition to make humans feel safer," Kyle told her, "and many vampires through the ages have actually acted upon those superstitions to solidify the seeming "validity" of the belief. It's only because we have very long lives and it takes a bit to entertain us after a while."
"Is that why you're here?" Sara asked, "You wanted to entertain yourself?"
"Yes and no," Kyle said hesitantly, 'How do I say this?,' he thought, "I'm here because trying to act like a normal human is a challenge, and it gives me a break from my duties at James' organization."
"You mean you already work for your brother?" Sara asked.
Kyle laughed, "Sara, I'm 285 years old. I've been "working" for my brother for the past hundred and thirty of them. I should say "working with" instead of "working for", I help James run the organization, along with Ann."
"And what about me?" Sara asked softly, "where do I fall in all of this?"
Kyle leaned forward gazing intently at Sara. After a moment she looked up at him, giving him eye contact. "You were something I wasn't entirely expecting," Kyle said in a low voice, just loud enough for Sara to hear it, "Everything that I told you about how you make me feel, I don't need to have something to keep me active, I can just be me, to an extent, is completely true. I've been fighting with myself for a few weeks now over how I should handle our relationship. Whether I should tell you about what I am, or if I should try and cleanly break ties with you."
"Before you get upset," Kyle quickly said as Sara opened her mouth, "I decided that I would tell you because I felt that I would break your heart if I severed the relationship and I knew that I would destroy mine."
Sara appeared to choke back a couple tears. She rose from the couch, walked around the coffee table, slid in next to Kyle on his couch and hugged him tightly to her.
"Thank you," she said softly, "because I definitely love you."
Kyle felt a brief swell of emotions, then wrapped his arms gently around her.
"I know," he said just as softly, "I love you too. And that's why this decision has been so hard for me to make. I destroy both our lives if I end our relationship, but I put you in danger by preserving it."
"How am I in danger?" Sara asked looking up at him, their faces inches apart from each other.
Kyle took the opportunity to sweep down and kiss her at that moment. He listened to her heart beat harder, her breathing become uneven, felt her melt into his muscular frame. She opened her mouth, inviting him in. Kyle paused for a moment, if he accepted he could bite her and he didn't want that to happen, but it was what she wanted, and he wanted for that matter.
He threw his caution to the wind and accepted her invitation, his tongue entering her mouth, playing with hers. Sara began to lay back on the couch and Kyle let her pull him down on top of her. They pulled their legs up onto the couch, fully lying on it. Kyle braced his arms on either side of Sara, keeping his weight off of her. Sara ran her hands down Kyle muscled back, feeling his muscles as he shifted slightly.
Kyle broke their kiss, and kissed his way down her chin to her neck, smiling to himself as she extended her neck allowing him more access to her skin. Sara's breath hitched as Kyle found a sensitive spot on her neck, lingering there before breathing softly on her as he returned to her mouth.
Kissing her again, he raised her up off the couch, rolling over so that she was now the one on top. Sara straddled Kyle's waist, pulling back to catch her breath for a moment. She ran her fingers lightly down Kyle's chest to his six pack abs.
'God he's perfect,' Kyle heard Sara's thought as he glanced into her eyes, he smiled at her, chuckling softly.
"Some scientists' say that perfection is actually a weakness, or a bad spot," he said softly, "There's nowhere to go once you reach perfection, no more room for imagination. I would hardly call myself perfect, Sara."
"Then you're close enough for my standards," Sara whispered, leaning back down and gave him a mind numbing kiss. Kyle smirked into Sara's kisses, grasping her head and massaging her scalp. Sara couldn't hold the soft moans back as Kyle worked his hands in her soft hair.
After a few more minutes of kissing and touching, Kyle sat back up, pulling Sara into his lap.
"I did that for a number of reasons," he explained, "One, because it felt like the right thing to do at the moment," they grinned at each other for a moment, "Two, because I wanted to show you and myself that it wasn't a danger for us to have this kind of intimate relationship with each other. With me as a vampire, I am far stronger than you as a human. Compared to me you are incredibly fragile and I have to be rather careful with you at times so as to not cause you harm."
"I guess that's why you were so gentle with me during the early parts of our relationship," Sara stated, smiling happily, she giggled, "Kyle, you still have three more types of vampires to tell me about."
"So I do," Kyle grinned lying back on the couch, Sara snuggling into him.
"After Intermediate Vampire, we have the Master Levels," Kyle continued his explanation, "The weakest of the Master Levels is the 3rd Level Master. Vampires reach this level through an understanding of their nature and their body, though sometimes demonic arts are used to gain power quickly. For those vampires, religion returns to being a completely intolerable concept. For vampires who chose a more natural path, religion is whatever they wish it to be. James went to Seminary once and became an ordained minister."
"3rd Level Masters have a great deal of physical strength and endurance, I have seen one lift an SUV over its head with relative ease. By this level, sunlight is no longer a great threat, though it still stings to have it touch your bare flesh. Healing and the regeneration of limbs is much faster at this level, in the upper range of the level vampires can almost regenerate limbs instantaneously. On top of that, if a 3rd Level Master Vampire has assistance, in other words blood, they can be revived if there is loss of the head and heart. If one of those is present, the other can be regenerated. A resistance to silver also begins at this level."
"Next we have (can you guess?) the 2nd Level Master. When a vampire gets to the stronger regions of this level they can no longer be killed by the traditional means. A supernatural force must kill them, whether it is vampiric or something else. The vampire also begins to gain abilities, like transforming into a mist or fog or even a swarm of bats. Sunlight has no affect on 2nd Level Masters at all, I don't even think they can get sunburned."
"Usually an individual this strong has been a vampire for quite some time, at least say, seventy maybe eighty years. Therefore, vampires tend to have developed little eccentric behaviors to keep themselves from going mad. Imagine, staying the same relative age for seventy years, watching the people around you slowly aging, your friends dying, and yet you endure. For some, vampirism is their own personal Hell after awhile."
"A 2nd Level Master is almost unimaginably strong," Kyle said, "Thankfully only around five-to-ten percent of all vampires ever reach that level. They say that a 2nd Level Master exists in two realities: the one of the living and the one beyond the living."
"But it doesn't stop there," Kyle continued, "There is one more level beyond this one: 1st Level Master. A true Nosferatu, which is a more traditional term for such a creature. Anything that a 2nd Level Master can do, a 1st Level Master can do to the nth degree. Rumor has it that the only way to obtain such power is if an already existing Master passes it down to you."
"Have you ever met one of these vampires?" Sara asked, shivering a little. Kyle hugged her tighter.
"No I have not," he said, "But I've heard legends that Count Dracula is such a vampire, and that there can be only one Nosferatu in existence at a time."
"What would a person do with that kind of power?" Sara wondered.
"I wouldn't know," Kyle admitted, "I'm not that strong."
The two of them looked at each other, and suddenly burst out laughing. That had been the first time Kyle had ever mentioned the limit to what his abilities were. They laughed for a moment relishing the break in the tension that filled the air while Kyle explained the nature of the strongest of vampires. Kyle looked over at the clock, eyes opening as he did so.
"Hot Damn!" he exclaimed, "Two-thirty in the morning. We need to find you a bed."
"Kyle, wait," Sara said, placing her hand on his chest, "I was thinking that, if it is ok with you, I slept in your bed tonight. With you in it with me."
Kyle raised an eyebrow at his girlfriend, "Are you trying to imply something?" he asked her.
Sara blushed bright red, "No, Kyle, get your mind out of the gutter!"
"Well, yours is also in the gutter if you know what I'm thinking you're implying," Kyle sniggered.
Sara glared playfully at him, "Kyle," she said, pretending to be serious, "I was saying that just because we don't feel like having sex with each other just yet, doesn't mean that we can't sleep together."
Kyle nodded, still grinning, "I'll let you get ready, call me when you're in bed, I'm going to finish my little snack here," he pointed to the bottle he had been drinking out of on the coffee table.
"Alright," Sara agreed, getting up and taking her overnight bag in the direction of his bedroom.
Kyle watched her walk to his room and shut the door. He sighed and picked up his bottle, drinking from it. He had told her so much, yet there was still so much more he had left to tell her. He stared at his the back of his hand for a moment, then watched as the muscles in his arm pushed three sterling silver coated titanium claw-like blade out of his hand.
"And just how will I explain this to her?" he said to himself. He retracted the claws and finished his drink, rinsing out the bottle and putting it in the recycling.
"Kyle," he heard Sara call, "I'm done."
He walked out of his kitchen and to his bedroom. Pushing the door open, he revealed Sara, clad in a pair of short athletic shorts and a tank top. He had seen her in her bikini several times so this wasn't the most scantily clad he had ever seen Sara, but somehow her being dressed like this, in his bedroom on top of that, was slightly…arousing.
He pushed the desires to the back of his mind, walking up to Sara and pulling her into a hug, which she burrowed into. Kyle wasn't a large male, but he was still larger than Sara was. Kyle scooped her up, walked over to his bed, sat down and rolled onto the mattress. Pulling the light sheet over them, he looked down at Sara.
"Your heart is beating rather fast for a person trying to go to sleep," he told her.
"I know, it's just that I'm in bed with my boyfriend," Sara squealed quietly, "I've never done anything like this before."
"If it makes you feel better neither have I," Kyle told her.
Sara looked at him with her mouth gaping slightly. "You mean you're a two hundred and eighty-five year old virgin?!" she asked incredulously.
"I never said I hadn't ever had sex with someone before now," Kyle calmly said, "I've just never slept in the same bed with someone before. There's a bit of a difference."
"I'll take your word for it," Sara yawned, "I'm tired, but I'm not sleepy. That doesn't even make sense."
"Actually it does," Kyle said, "You feel tired, but you don't feel like falling asleep. Not quite the same as the analogy I just told you but it resembles it, sort of."
Sara giggled, "So what was your first time like?" she asked him. "I think that's a story for later," Kyle told her, "Now is the time for sleep, especially for the human who needs it more."
"But I can't fall asleep," Sara whined, "I'm too excited!"
"Easily fixed," Kyle told her, looking into her eyes, "Sleep." he commanded her.
"Yes," Sara murmured, "sleep…now…" Her eyes fluttered shut and she fell into a blissful sleep. Kyle smiled and hugged her gently to him.
"I love you, Sara White," he whispered softly. He couldn't quite make it out, which was impressive considering his hearing, but he thought he could hear "I love you too, Kyle Moor" being whispered from Sara's lips.
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