[center]2: The Hunt.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 22:00[/center]
I don't know what's coming over me. I'm overly excited for so much as a friendly drink. New friend? Maybe that's it. It's been a while since I've met a new face.
I slipped on my Calvins and rummaged through the closet for something decent. I stopped on a pair of Abercrombie shorts and black shirt. Awful dressy for a Wednesday night. I knew it was in the lower fifties out (cold for Southern California this early in the evening), but I didn't care. It was almost like a spell that put me on autopilot from there on. A very fast autopilot. Whatever the reason, it couldn't have been 5 minutes before I was already in my brand new 2006 yellow-with-black-racing-stripes Camaro, squealing out of the complex.
It was only a five minute drive to The Hunt. Lots of parking spaces were abandoned… It seemed almost dead from the outside. I parked in the first spot beside the building, wiggled the gearshift, applied the parking brake, and killed the Camaro. I felt an odd need to gussy up in the rear view mirror before stepping out. The door slammed, echoing through the rain. I got a sudden whoosh of uneasiness; the place looked closed. I walked around to the entrance, and out the door stepped a giant… Well, at least six-foot-two.
"You expected?" he grunted.
"Uh. Yeah. Jack Mitchell." What kind of place is this? 'You expected?' Really?
"Jack is waiting for you. Inside, to the right."
I eyed him for a moment. I couldn't figure it out, but something was really off about him. I nodded and entered.
I was greeted by awesome music upon opening the doors to the main bar. Sounded a lot better inside than it looked from outside. The bartender smiled and waved from across the room. I gave my usual 'peace' sign and grinned. Looking further back, I saw a familiar face gazing back at me. It was strange… Jack's eyes looked as though they were glowing green… And stranger still, that glow turned me on, almost as if they ignited a fire within my veins. I walked across the bar. It was packed!
It wasn't until I was halfway through the bar when I realized something: all the bar's patrons', bartenders', waitresses', and dancers' eyes seemed to glow. I pegged it on the blacklights, thinking little of it. "Jack Mitchell?"
Jack looked the same as I had remembered. Very fit. You could see his muscles outlined in his tight-fitting grey shirt. He even still wore the same black ski hat.
"Kaedan! I figured you wouldn't want to lose out on a free round of drinks. Glad to finally meet you after six years." He motioned to the drink in front of him, raising his own.
"Hell no. What'd you order?" I asked as I gulped down a taste.
"That's just a normal Long Island," he announced almost begrudgingly.
I looked at him inquisitively. "Contrary to your 'not normal' Long Island?"
"Yep." He took a sip.
Oooookay then. "So do I kick your ass in pool now or later?" I taunted.
"Sit down, relax a minute! The rain'll be waiting for you when you leave, no rush! It's only ten thirty. We just got here."
"Alright, cool." I took another gulp. It was damn good.
This time, I could say he was actually staring at me for certain, jade eyes peering into my soul. He said nothing for an eternity, it felt… And, oddly, I was OK with it. Normally I'd have started rambling.
I hated to admit it to myself, but Jack was HOT as HELL. I'd never pegged myself so much as even bisexual, but damn. He was sultry. I felt my palms starting to sweat, my heart rate increasing. The longer we fixated on each other, the hotter he seemed. His jawline was as though it was crafted by an expert stonemason. Perfect angles, his facial hair trimmed in a thin chinstrap outlining this feature. He hadn't even one blemish on his pale, smooth skin. His lips were narrow… and inviting. His chest would make any woman wet with lust and man hard with envy instantly; his pectorals bulged in that shirt, the V-neck giving me a glimpse of well-groomed dark, short chest hair.
I raised my glass to take another drink to find that it was already empty. Being as entranced as I was, a cube of ice slid out of the glass and down my throat. I choked, coughing the cause into Jack's lap. He burst out laughing. At least he's got a sense of humor…
As he kicked back in his chair, I couldn't help but notice that his four canine teeth were abnormally long… and pointy. Again, I don't know why, but I found this extremely sexy. It seemed like he was perfect.
Jack finished his bout of laughter and joked, "You know how to start a conversation, all right."
I smirked sheepishly. "Yeah, well you're not big on conversation either. Are you gonna like suck my blood out with those fangs of yours?"
The room quieted instantly. The denizens shuffled to glare my direction. I felt every blood cell flee from my face in fear. I wouldn't have been surprised if every single person in the bar was staring at me.
Jack scoffed quietly at me, shooting a dirty look, then burst out laughing, louder than before. Whatever just happened, this seemed to neutralize the damage. The bar returned to its former friendly, non-judgmental atmosphere. I was lost for words. The fuck have I gotten myself in to?!
He quieted and chugged the remainder of his drink. He peered at me, narrowing his left eye damningly. His face softened. He smiled. "I really should have explained a bit before inviting you out here. It’s my fault. Want to go someplace else? I don't want you feeling uncomfortable, though I realize it's probably too late for that…"
"I'm good, man, but wanna clue me in? What the fuck did I say to make them do that?" I asked, subtly motioning toward everyone else in the bar.
"Yeah. That's only fair." His voice quieted to a mere whisper. "Just don't say 'blood' or 'vampire' here. We don't really take kindly to the latter term, and some of them are hungry after their daily sleep. See, this is equivalent to about your lunch time for us."
Whut. We? Us? We who? We you? We me? We them? Wha-wha? I became befuddled.
Jack grinned kindly. "I know man, I should have told you beforehand. Don't think me different just because I'm 'undead' as you'd call it." His voice quieted again. "Oh, and if you want to say 'the V word', please replace it with third-shift-worker or late-night-partier or something like that… be creative. Some of them—particularly Derek" —he motioned toward a man at the far end of the bar—"hate the term, thanks to the movie industry. It's a racial slur. Other than that, be yourself! We're socially no different."
I returned to my senses, enlightened by his speech, though still uneasy. "Ok, you're not shitting me… you're seriously a va—yama-pomma-llama… 'third-shifter'? If you get my drift."
"Yep." Jack motioned for the waitress. "I'll get you a second round to make up to you. Sound good?"
"As long as I get to kick your ass."
"My ass is all yours, stud. Bring it on."
I didn't know how to take that. He came across as a gay vampire right there. Whatever, free booze. I'll deal.
The waitress gently sat our drinks down in front of us, smiled cheerfully, and pranced away, boobs bouncing beautifully. Jack lifted his glass, took a sip, and stood from his seat. He grinned at me. "Well, what're you waiting for? Grab your drink and bring it to the pool room so I can show you what skill is."
Aww, hell no he did not just challenge me! He's going down. I raised an eyebrow, shooting a smirk his way, but the smirk vanished as I realized the problem I was now facing… I had a branch stabbing my shorts from the inside, screaming to escape them, and it wasn't taking 'no' for an answer.
Apparently Jack was oblivious to this—thank the fucking gods—but I could tell from his inquisitive expression that he knew something was up… not realizing it was me. "Something wrong, Kaedan? Did your chair swallow you, or are you backing down?" He grinned softly.
Now that I knew what he was, I couldn't stop glancing at his teeth as he smiled or laughed. Those fangs were so… natural looking on him. They didn't make his lips protrude or even make a slight hint they even existed while his mouth was closed. And his teeth were a brilliant white that I only thought existed in movies, supplementing his pale, though somehow synchronously tanned, skin. I had this feeling that I'd be learning a lot more about vampires in the near future… More like an urge to learn about them… Particularly Jack. Everything I had ever heard in mythology had pegged vampires as these blood-crazed animals, constantly lusting for life essence, yet here I am in a Vampo-Bar with an old classmate having a blast like I would anywhere else—even counting in the disruptions I'd caused.
"Fuck no I'm not backing down. I told you I was gonna own you." I hesitated a moment, then swiftly shoved my right hand into my shorts, grabbed my dick, and thrusted it down into my pant leg. Shit. Whatever. We're guys. We get rocks at random times. And it SUCKS!
I leapt from the chair, snatched my drink (which was impossibly better than the one just before), and playfully shoved Jack in the butt toward the tables… finding that he had the tightest glutes I'd ever laid hands on. He laughed, going along with my lead.
And then it drowned me. I was already buzzing hardcore, after one drink plus a gulp of the second. Those Long Islands were the SHIT! I want their mix recipe. I grinned demonically.
I shoved his crotch into the corner of the table—on accident, I swear—and bent him over the bed of the pool table. I could hear him snickering at me… Pretty sure he knew about my sudden disability. He rolled over and stood erect, instantly making eye contact with me. Those eyes… those glimmering jade eyes… they pierced my heart and soul like I'd never felt. I felt euphoria gazing into them.
Jack chortled. "I see you've calmed down quite a bit. I'm glad, though I wish it didn't have to be because you're a lightweight!" He mocked.
"Dude, you are going down. Rack 'em up. My shot."
He hesitated a moment, maintaining his posture and primordial gaze. He stepped closer to me, breaking eye contact. His eyes drifted down my chest, paused a moment, and returned to mine. He raised an eyebrow, giving me that sultry grin again. "I see what your fuss was all about." He winked slyly, turned to the table and began racking up the billiards.
I looked down at my crotch and felt my face become an oven. Come ON man, not fair! Go the fuck DOWN, not further UP! Jesus Christ. He's gonna think I'm some queer horndog. I turned to face the wall, adjusted my package AGAIN, and attempted to regain what composure I had left. I grabbed my drink from the nearby table and took a refreshing swig. Much better.
I rejoined Jack, pool stick in hand. He eyed me. "You all good? Can’t imagine what it's like to get a boner in front of a stranger. Must be mortifying!" He jested.
"Dude, seriously? You've never had that issue? You're a lie." I grabbed my stick and chalked the tip. "So how good are you?"
"How good am I?" He guffawed. "Well, what a blunt question. You'll just have to find out yourself." He took aim with his cue, slowly raising is eyes up from his aim to me, without moving his head from his posture. That glare almost set me over the edge. I could only see the lower semicircle of his vibrant emeralds, smirking at me in some way.
Balls went spinning in every direction; a perfect break… and he wasn't even looking at the table! My jaw dropped. There goes the 3-Ball, left corner… 5, left center… 2, right corner… There goes the 7. And the 6… And somehow, my stripes were barely moved from the center.
The 1 and 8 balls slowed their dizzying spins… with the 1 cozy against the corner pocket, itching to roll in, and the 8 lining majestically behind it, lining up with the beckoning pocket. He tapped his cue on the stone floor, leaned his face over his hands on it, and gave me an unexplainable look… Almost like he was saying Do you give up, or do you want to humiliate yourself?, but in a charismatic, almost romantic tone.
Whoa, whoa, whoa—not almost like he was saying—he said it to me without moving his lips. I swear he did. I heard it. It wasn't my imagination. Am I that drunk? I glared at him for a moment, expressionless. I raised my glass and took a massive swig, eyes unfaltering.
Jack grinned softly, walking to the corner pocket. Skillfully, he whipped his cue behind him, bent backward over the table, and aimed his cue sharply at the 8-ball. "Corner pocket," he chimed. Snapping his right arm to the left, the ebon sphere rocketed from the cue's tip, slamming 1 into the hole, instantly following after. I totally didn't have a chance.
He leaned backward and lied on the pool table, grinning upside-down at me across the table. His shirt rose slightly to reveal a beautifully groomed, thick trail of hair leading downward. My gaze followed it. "Two out of three?" he chortled.
I stared at his crotch—slightly bulging—and gulped the remainder of my drink. I'm supposed to play pool when I see two out of three of him? The hell is in these drinks...? I wonder what's in those pants... "Naw, man, I'm good. So, uh... you got a girl?"
Maaaaaaaaaan, what the fuck am I thinking, asking shit like that? I blanched and stared at my sandals, shuffling them ever so slightly in self-loathing. I felt him stand up and turn toward me. I sheepishly glanced up at him, meeting an inquisitive, soft gaze. "Nah," he responded gently.
He rose from the pool table, adjusting his shirt to perfect his look, hiding the treasure trail, and walked around the table, stopping a foot in front of me. I could feel him analyzing my entire body, starting with my face, descending my torso, pausing at my waist, my crotch, then slowly back up to meet my eyes. "I tend to prefer the more... masculine type." He winked innocently and gently jabbed my shoulder with a fist.