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[FIC] les miserables ;((prologue

Title: les miserables Author: Quilla a.k.a tempo Genre: AU/Drama/Romance/Fantasy/Tragedy Rating: NC-17. Vampirism. Yaoi. Mature themes/situations. Authors Notes: I wasnt really planning on writing this xD; I made a graphic of the same title a long while back, but I liked the concept too much to just keep it at that. So I decided to turn it into a fic. :) With this fic, what I wanted to do was take a different spin on the "vampire", and show another side of them. Instead of focussing on the blood and gore, and all that good stuff, I wanted to focus on the fact that it's a love story and the more emotional aspects of things. :) Also, even though the fic is yaoi-centered, I didn't want the focus to necessarily be on the yaoi. But more so, on the story, itself. I wanted the yaoi to just simply be another element in the story :) With all that said, I hope you like it :) And thanks for clicking! :D <3

Graphics: (all graphics were made by me ^^) ;book cover ;fic poster ;promo pic 01 ;promo pic 02


}prologue::The Black Rose _________

Rose petal ... two petals ... three petals ... fall, the wind softly whispering them to safety. There, at her feet, lay a small dark pile of the remnants of forsakenness. Once they touched the ground, they were left only to return to the earth that they had came from. Time would show no remorse, as it watched them slowly fade and wither away. Their colour would turn from a once rich resonant black, to a dull ashen of grey, reduced to nothing but meaningless ashes caught up in the breath of existence. She felt slight pity for them. These roses were always the most difficult to sell. After all, no one wanted to purchase a bouquet of black roses. It was taboo, they say. Who had ever heard of receiving a black rose as a gift? It is said that they are cursed, touched by death, thus giving it its black colour. To give a person something so dark and malevolent would be looked upon as wrong and immoral. Yet still, she continued to sell them. Displaying them proudly in her quaint little shop, and in its windows, she was determined to show the beauty of the black rose to the world outside. All they needed was some convincing. Smiling to herself, she decided to let the rose speak for itself. For who else better is there to tell ones own story? Sitting on a white rustic bench, in her quiet garden, one autumns eve, the woman held in her hand a single black rose. She brought it up closer to the moonlight, the pearl of the sky bathing it in its glow. She allowed her deep chestnut eyes to take in the rose, admiring each petal, each leaf, and each subtle drop of dew that lined its splendour. It was a rare beauty, something one-of-a-kind. She was a bounty hunter, and this find, her greatest treasure, was this rose. Never had she seen a specimen more beautiful. Bringing the flower back down to her, she looked into the petals adoringly, but with a hint

of pity reflected in her eyes. Reaching one of her slender fingers toward it, she carefully plucked out one of the petals, and watched it sail softly to the ground, carried by the cool nights breeze. She plucked out another, and then another, until the rose stood barren against the paleness of her hand. What makes the rose? She thought curiously to herself. Is it the petals? Without its petals, the rose is simply a stem, just like every other flower. She frowned. Well then, if that was the case, why must all flowers be called differently? Why must we judge them by their petals, if the same green stem holds them all together? A rose is simply just a name. And by any other name, it is still a name. So where, then, does the meaning of the rose lie? Does it lie in the flower? Or ... in the name? The woman got up from the bench, and walked over to her fresh shrub of black roses to pick another. She looked at the rose, seeing it for what it truly was: beautiful. She smiled at her greatest treasure, despite the way the world shunned it. The world outside would continue to judge it, setting up prejudices and biases against it. No one ever buys a black rose, because of the fear that surrounds it. It is cursed, and will bring bad luck, they would continue to say. A look of pity swept across the womans face, as she looked desolately into the flower. No one ever takes a minute to stop and smell the roses. No one would ever dare gaze into it and see it for its beauty, for what it is: a child of nature. But yet, she was fascinated by it. There was something so mysterious, yet enchanting about the black rose: its petals, soft, silken, beautiful Her breath caught in her throat, as she suddenly felt cold hands take her. Without warning, a sharp, white-hot pain pierced through her neck, as the rose fell gracefully from her hand. It was cold.

As the moments passed, she slowly began to feel weak, drained, and somewhat somnolent. She felt a warm liquid trickling its way down the side of her neck, her eyes slowly becoming heavier. Those same cold hands still remained caged around her, burning into her skin. There was nothing more she could do to stop ither body simply did not have the strength anymore. The gentle sound of the crickets song began to fade, the darkness of the night blending into her vision. Everything in her sight steadily began to blur into one another; all the vibrant colours of her garden now became one huge swirl of nothingness. She turned her eyes one last time to look at the single black rose that fell from her hand. It truly was beautiful. ;chapter 1((Hints of Scarlet _________

The greatest kings would willingly die to savour just the smallest taste of immortality. Such a thing would be remarkable. Imagine, a life that was to be lived forever. Oh, what a magnificent power to be bestowed with! One no longer fears the dreaded hand of death, and as a king, you are left in power for all eternity. Yes, what a truly wondrous gift that must be. But power turns the greatest of kings into fools. Power is no better than the hand of death, itself. It seduces you, leaving you drunk and heady with its sweet fragrances of temptation. Smiling upon you, luring you in with its innocent-cloaked allureonly to choke you with that same sweet fragrance it enticed you with. Its smile vanishes into a smirk of malice, revealing its true hideousness. How ironic, for that true form of power is now reflected in you. But they fail to understand. Power corrupts any soul it touches, filling it with greed and voraciousness. Yes. What power to be bestowed with, indeed. Ah, my foolish kings. But in their eyes, I would be the foolish one for wanting the complete opposite. Why would I give up being for all eternity, to die a nameless death, vanishing off the face of the Earth? Because I do not belong here.

Life is meant for the living, those whose purpose here is to truly live. To breathe, knowing that you are alive. To look to the sun, smiling, knowing that a new day is upon you. To look to the moon, bathed in its sacred night. To see the living things of this world, and know that you are sharing thisall of thistogether. I am here only to take away what is so rightfully meant to remain in place. Every living thing has been given risen life by a power I dare not disturb. Here on this earth, I am no longer of the living yet, I do not belong amongst the dead. The life I live now is something close to an unlife, for I am neither living, nor dead. And so, in this life I live this one in which I may have been, not necessarily living, but I suppose more so, existing in order to continue to do so, I must selfishly take away that virgin lifethat innocent lifethat is still yet to be lived. Quite unfair, is it not? And, you see, because of this my kind are hated amongst the living. They spit out our name, like that of a fatal poison. Vampire I do not blame them, nor will I ever. They possess every right in the world to hate me. But, I suppose what hurts me the most is that I once was human. However, that life is now gone, ended many, many years ago. How long ago, you ask? I, myself, am not sure. Strangely the only thing I still possess from it is the ability to feelwhich my kind cannot. They are incapable of such a thing. It is almost preposterous, in their eyes. The thought of it absolutely ridiculous. Yet still, here I am, blatantly defying their ways. For, they are absolutely ridiculous, preposterous in my eyes. Or perhaps I only say that because I know of no other way? Ignorance and arrogance go hand-in-hand, they always say. Sometimes, when I am alone, like this I wonder ... what would it have been like if I were dead? Would I have been happier? Sometimes I think about the hundreds of souls I have taken, those souls that are now

lost almost needlessly. Would they still have been here today if not for me? The earth would have been happier. She would smile more yes. Yes, she would definitely smile more. For, she would no longer have to cradle the endless amounts of corpses, tainting her enlivening beauty. She would no longer awaken to the sight of death or close her eyes to it, each night. She would not cry as often; her raindrop tears would cease if only for a moment, to remember that it was not always like this. Yes she would definitely smile more. I turned my jaded eyes from the sparkling nighttime city landscape below, to the ever-watchful moon in the blackened sky above. As I sat there alone, amongst the abandoned rooftops, a heavy feeling of despondence slightly mixed with guilt, washed its way over me. She smiled back at me, the pearl of the sky as her tiny stars took gentle watch over everything below her, granting a moments peace to the sacred night.

This midterms gonna kill me. Jung Yunho lazily yawned to himself that night, as he walked out of his university campus library. He was a second year university student, attending Gyeongju University, majoring in Communications. The campus was large and exceptionally beautiful, lined and decorated with lush plants and verdant greenery. As many buildings as there were, the landscapers tried to preserve as much nature as they possibly could; nature was alive and well in this place. But it was especially now, at night, that Yunho appreciated its true beauty. The moons soft glow would gently illuminate the silhouettes of the trees; the stars would playfully peek out from behind their abundant canopies; he would listen to the melodic sound of the crickets night song against the worlds silence. The cool early autumns breeze would blow every now and then, picking up the leaves in a swirl of orange and brown. Yunho walked out of the library building, and into the peaceful quiet of the night, as he began to make his way home. He lived on his own in an apartment just down the street from campus. As of late, hed been spending some of his nights at the university library, as to prepare for his upcoming

midtermswhich he wasnt too happy about. Hed been up since about five that morning, and it was now around ten at night. Ten oclock pm would be considered early to head home, on a Friday night, for most of the student population. Not with clubs and bars across the city hosting all-ages events and ladies get in free till midnight, oh heavens, no. Yunho was one of the very few students who at least pretended to have his priorities straight. His classes were a lot tougher this year, and the professors were hardly any help. And so, he spent his nights in the library, studying till it hurt to read. And then, hed get ready to head home. However Time had a different plan for the dark-haired boy, that night. Just as he was walking on his way through the campus grounds, at that moment, he saw a figure slowly emerging from the shadowsand it was headed in his direction. It came out from behind the building a ways away in front of him, holding onto it for support. Yunho curiously watched it, limping its way towards him with its head hung low, trudging and almost appearing to trip over its own feet. Yunho slowed his pace, gradually coming to a stop, to watch the ailing figure continue to dazedly make its way towards him. His eyes widened, as he suddenly saw it drop to the ground. Hey! Yunho called to it, as he ran over towards the building to get to the darkened figure. The figure remained lying face down, on their stomach, its arms at either side. Dropping his bag on the ground beside them, Yunho knelt down beside the person, and carefully tried to roll them over onto their back. You okay? He asked it worriedly, as he lifted the figure up to a sitting position, holding them, and placing his arm against its back for support. He hoped, whoever they were, that they were still breathing. Quickly trying to check for vital signs, he looked down into the persons face. Can y-you But unable to utter another word, his voice trailed off, as his eyes remained transfixed with the person in his arms. Absolute awe. That was the only way to describe the state that Yunho was in, at that moment. He caught his breath, as his dark brown eyes gazed in wonder at the persons features:

Their skin was eloquently pale, almost of a ghost-whitehowever, not quite. It had a fair liking to porcelain. Fair, untainted porcelain, seemingly smooth to the touch. Lustrous, raven-coloured hair fell stunningly against their delicate face, falling elegantly across darkened eyes. Long, dark lashes, gracefully enclosed them. Yunhos eyes travelled down the persons face, reaching their supple lips; full, and slightly parted, kissed with hints of scarlet and splashes of ruby. Their chest sharply rose and fell with each shallow breath it took. Hauntingly beautiful. One was reminded of those two words, whenever such eyes were laid upon this one. At first, Yunho had trouble distinguishing whether or not this person was male or female. For they seemed slightly androgynous... but nevertheless, undoubtedly male. He appeared to be young. He didnt seem any older than Yunho himself was, and wondered if maybe he was a student that attended the university. He had been wandering here on campus, after all. Yunho frowned, slightly. But what was he doing out here this late? Even still... Yunho felt himself almost fascinated by this person. The more he gazed into his face, the more he would find himself seemingly being pulled in by this mysterious young man. Something about him just took hold of Yunho, and Yunho wasnt sure if he was willing to let go. Not just yet. However, despite how pale the boy was against the night, he still seemed somewhat darkened against it. He was dressed in black clothing from head to toe, covered with the light fabric of a long black coat; a silver chain, accenting his neck. The boy seemed so fragile there in Yunhos arms that he was almost afraid that he might hurt him by holding on too tightly. Leaving his ominous clothing, Yunho turned his eyes to look into his face, once more. There was an air of mystery about him that intrigued Yunho, as he watched him, appearing to be in a sound sleep, in his arms. Who was he? What was he doing out here? Did he need help? Yunho looked longingly into his face, wondering if he was okay. The poor thing; he seemed so tired At that moment, the boys body slightly began to stir, but his eyes still

remained closed. He had felt a presenceand it was warm, something he hadnt felt in a while. It was comforting to him, and he wanted to feel it. He needed to feel it. Subconsciously, he slowly began to draw nearer to the warmth, slightly moving his body closer, to lean into Yunhos chest, resting himself comfortably against the body next to his own. He gently slowed his own breathing, as to better hear the movements around him: He could sense a heartbeat, thumping wildly in the cage of the other bodys chest. He gasped, slightly. A heartbeat. Yes yes, this is what he was looking for. And of course, where there was a heartbeat There was blood. Something he so desperately needed. He had waned himself off of the vital fluid for a bit over a few days, now. But for an opportunity such as this to arise, how could he refuse? It had seemed like forever since that warm, sweet liquid passed through his pining lips. Forever was so long ago oh, what he would give to taste it once more. Just once more. That was all he needed, all he craved. After all, what was the harm of just one small taste; of one scanty sip ? The heart next to him began to pump faster and faster still, and it was slowly driving him mad with lust. He craved it. With every fibre of his being, he needed it. He needed this blood, as his breaths gradually began to quicken and become shallower, minute drops of sweat lining the brow of his forehead. He needed this blood he needed it His eyes still closed and still in Yunhos protective hold, he subconsciously began to lift his body up closer, bringing his lips towards Yunhos exposed neck. His acute sense of hearing picked up the rabid pulse of Yunhos aorta, as it pumped madly under the skin of his neck. Yunho felt slightly apprehensive, as he felt the boys warm breath begin to caress him, softly. Yet still... he didnt pull away. A jolt of electricity passed through his body, as he felt the moistness of the

boys tongue slide teasingly across the exposed skin of his neck. As if being lulled into a tranquil sleep, Yunho felt his eyelids slowly becoming heavier. They were slowly beginning to close, as he let out a faint sigh, subtly exposing more of his neck to the boys probing tongue. The boy continued to desperately lick and nip at the sensitive patch of skin, a low growl softly escaping his lips. "But, no. You musn't." He stopped. That voice, he remembered that voice. Somewhere in his mind, the soft and sweet trill of a child. Why did he keep hearing it? ... Why was she stopping him? As much as he needed this boy's blood, he couldnt go any further. He didnt understand. Why? Slowly opening his eyes, he reluctantly brought his face away from Yunhos neck, and looked up into the surprised boys face. He looked into Yunhos eyes, as Yunho dazedly looked back into hissomewhat entranced. Just to match his delicate face, the boys eyes were exceptionally beautiful. Elegantly shaped, and doe-like, coloured with hues of the richest and darkest of browns. They shone like two orbs, caught in the moons bashful glow. But as beautiful as they were, they revealed a hidden sadness, a longing torment. Yunho instinctively felt pity for him as he gazed into those eyes of his. As the boy looked into Yunhos eyes, a wave of confusion filled his own. Why this one? Still enrapt in deep puzzlement, and feeling he could not do much else, without a word, the boy reluctantly broke out of Yunhos protective hold, somehow finding the strength to get up and run away from him. Wait! Yunho called after him, as he got to his feet. Come back! He watched the boy vanish deeper and deeper into the night, until shadow had completely overtaken him. Yunho watched the last place his eyes had seen him, an air of forlornness taking over his features. Would he ever see him again? He didnt even catch his name "Be careful."

"Huh?" Yunho turned around, slightly startled. ... Funny. He thought he had heard someone; the voice of a little girl. But contrary to his thoughts, there was nothing there but shadows and hidden moonlight. What a strange combination.

;chapter 2((A Little More Skin _________ Yunho lay there, asleep in his bed, the night gently wrapping its serene blanket of quiet over him. He had been completely worn out from the days events, and wished to seek refuge in the peaceful dark of the night. He lived on his own, in a single-bedroom apartment, a comfortable walking distance away from the university. The place was fairly small, yet roomy. Cramped, but surprisingly comfortablejust perfect for his tastes. It was somewhat of a nice change from living in a rather large house, most of his life, with his family. His apartment was almost like his own little space in the world, as he gathered up his newfound fragments of freedom. He treasured his independence, and found that it was here that he truly did feel most at home. That night, he came into his apartment somewhat disorientated, almost tripping over his own shoes, as he lazily kicked them off his feet. Despite what was in front of him, his scattered thoughts lay elsewhere They lay with that boy. No matter how hard he tried to block him out, or push him away, Yunho couldnt seem to get that face out of his mind. He was truly in awe when he had seen him. He was perfect, like a beautiful painting, shining with lustre and beauty. If that was the case, he would have been painted with only the finest selects of brushes, to capture every single breathtaking detail. The canvas would have had to have been flawless, not a single smudge nor imperfection of the surface should dare ruin this priceless piece of artwork. And of course, the mind that he was created from surely had to belong to one of a passionate artisan. One in which everything his subtle paintbrush touches would come alive, and breathe with the vivid intensity of life.

The fact that he was male did not matter at all to Yunhohe was completely intoxicated with his beauty. His eyes had never been laid upon a person more picturesque as that boy. He emanated with an enigmatic aura that enticed Yunho, completely drawing him in. The boy had almost seemed to be cloaked in an ethereal shadow of mystery; subtly darkened, and virtually seemed to blend in with the furtive shadows of the night. Amongst all of this, however, he still seemed so weak, and so fragile. There in Yunhos arms, he felt as if he was cradling a lost young child, desperately trying to find their way home. In that sense, he felt pity for the boy. And yet, he was still so beautiful, the afterglow of the moon gracefully illuminating his pale, porcelain-like skin. He reminded Yunho of a delicate flower He could still feel the warm slickness of the boys tongue still lingering, teasingly, along the side of his neck. Yunho released a despondent sigh, as he brought his fingers up to his neck, to touch the last place he had felt him. He could still feel him there. Forgetting all reasoning, he became rapt in his senses, reliving the slow, gentle movements of the boys tongue, his warm breath softly caressing his skin. The very thought of him had left Yunhos whole being in a daze. He had been given just a scanty sip of the unattainable, and it had left him desperately thirsting for more. He opened his eyes, a look of desolation washing over his vision. Yunho wished he could see him again. Just once more. Or at least know the name of the one who had left him to darkness. And in darkness he remained, quietly asleep in his bed, the sheer white curtains lazily flowing in the light winds. They parted to reveal the screen door leading outside to the large balcony, standing at the buildings edge, overlooking the sparkling nighttime city landscape below. The door was left open, the wispy curtains dancing about in the nights breeze. The silver-like moonlight flowed through the curtains, spilling light into the open corners of the room, leaving the rest, untouched, to shadow. But suddenly, the unsuspecting shadows began to grow darker and become larger, spilling over into one another, as they sensed another presence about to enter the room. The sheer curtains hid the reflection of a darkened figure, slowly approaching the open screen door. The

curtains parted to reveal a slender hand reach up, delicately pulling them aside. The hand pushed past the curtains, entering the room, followed by the arm and the body of whom it belonged to: It was that same boy that Yunho had found earlier that night. He watched him leave the campus grounds, and had followed him to his nearby apartment. Against the night, he was dressed completely in black from head to toe. Raven-coloured hair fell gracefully across ominous dark eyes, as he stared at the figure of the person on the bed in front of him. Yunho was now soundly sleeping; half-covered in tousled navy blue sheets, thrown haphazardly across his body. Standing a couple of feet away from the bed, the boy could see that Yunho was only partially clothed, donning nothing but baggy, grey-coloured sweatpants; a barren chest, lay exposed to the moonlight. The boy tilted his head to the side, as he leisurely grazed his eyes up and down Yunhos body, his gaze studying the sleeping boys intense features. His body was strong, and sturdily built. But these were unlike muscles that would have been gained from rigorous workouts in the gym, three nights a week. The boy could tell he had the physique of a fighter, built upon years and years of martial arts training. The boy was impressed. His eyes ardently grazed over Yunhos partly exposed figure, a refined smirk playing devilishly across his lips. It had been a while since he had last fed. He licked his fangs, hungrily, as his eyes travelled up the boys body, to his aptly revealed neck. He then craftily took a step closer to the bed. Another. And then another. He stopped, once his knees were comfortably pressed up against the soft mattress. With the grace of a feather, he slowly lowered himself onto the bed, before crawling up to stay beside Yunho. He stopped when he had reached the other boys waist, and slowly pushed himself up to sit on his knees. He looked into Yunhos face, now able to see his features more clearly than from before. Just to match his body, his features, too, were intense, rigid, and strong. Thick, dark eyebrows lay positioned above a pair of deep,

focussed eyes. Lips, slightly broad, would warm up into an inviting smile, if the time was right. The boy smiled at him, as he brought up a slender hand to place against his neck. His fingertips deftly found Yunhos pulsating aorta, before beginning to slide curiously down his neck, feeling the smoothness of the sleeping boys skin. His fingers daintily traced a line from his collarbone, leaving feathery light touches across his chest. Gentle breathing from the sleeping boy, and his deep, steadied breaths would move the other boys fingertips up and down. Up and down, as they moved slowly, delicately tracing the contours of the other boys chest. His fingertips then began to make their way down Yunhos well-toned torso, stopping just above his sweatpants. He smirked as he entwined the drawstring artfully around his finger. I shall have some fun with you tonight. He whispered to him, his voice sensual, yet raspy, flowing out of his lips like a syrupy mixture of milk and honey. He then lazily let his fingertips find their way up the boys skin, softly caressing his body as he made his way up, until he reached the side of Yunhos face, gently stroking the other boys jaw line. At that moment, he felt Yunhos body begin to stirhe had sensed another presence. The other boys eyes madly darted about from underneath his eyelids, a low groan sounding behind closed lips. He began to open his eyes, slowly at first, as to adjust to the environment around him. Steadily, his blurry vision revealed an obscure darkened image, slightly hovering over him. He furrowed his eyebrows, and frowned slightly, as he waited for his sight to come into focus. His eyes abruptly widened the instant he recognized who it was. You! He exclaimed, almost breathless, promptly sitting up to face him properly. The boy immediately released his hand from the side of Yunhos face, upon his awakening. He sat there, staring, almost blankly, back at Yunho. He said nothing. Somewhat confused, Yunho wasted no time in trying to talk to him. How did you Shh. The boy placed a finger gently against Yunhos lips, instantly silencing him. Yunho stared back at the other boy, in indefinite

surprise, feeling almost overwhelmed by the subtle hypnotic look of his darkened eyes. Something in them caused Yunhos body to slowly fall into somewhat of a lax, as he slowly released the tense breath his body was holding back, as it faintly warmed the other boys finger that lay gently against his lips. He stared back into the beauty of the other boys dark eyes; staring back, almost mesmerized enticed by their alluring beauty. He could not help it, nor could he fight it. Yunho wasnt sure if he wanted to fight iteven if he could. He just couldnt bring himself to do it. He couldnt. They were so beautiful Yunho, completely intoxicated by the gaze in the mysterious boys eyes, hardly had time to react, when the boy closed the space between them, capturing Yunhos lips in a soft kiss. The other boys fingers, finding their way from Yunhos face, back down to his side once again. The boy let his lips linger in the kiss for a moment or so, familiarizing himself with this exciting new taste along his lips. It wasnt long before he, rather daringly, leaned in further to kiss the other boy again. This time, slightly parting his lips, as he deepened the kiss, claiming Yunhos lips, fervently. Giving into the other boy, almost upon instinct, Yunho was open to his actions, as he compliantly returned the kiss. He almost felt himself in a state of idyllic euphoria, as he kissed the other boy back, indulging himself in the amazing feel of the other boys lips against his own. The boys lips were silken as rose petals, as Yunho felt their velvety softness fervidly caressing his lips. Oh, how he missed those lips, as he remembered earlier that night, the feeling of them lightly grazing over his neck Just then, slightly interrupting Yunhos thoughts, the warm slickness of the boys tongue slyly slipped out of his mouth. He teasingly began running it along Yunhos bottom lip, silently beckoning him to open. Lost in this new sensation, Yunho submissively accepted, as he parted his lips, the moistness of the other boys tongue ardently meeting his own. He tasted him, as their tongues slid against each other, back and forth in a zealous manner. Passionately exploring and caressing the others, laden with lust. Not once breaking the kiss, the boy slowly laid Yunho back down onto the bed, the dark brown strands of Yunhos hair becoming lost in the

softness of the pillow underneath him. His lips then left Yunhos, briefly, before taking his bottom lip between his teeth, and fervidly suckling on it. He smirked faintly into the kiss, as he heard the echo of a soft moan gently escape Yunhos lips. He then released the succulent piece of flesh, only to plant passionate, fleeting butterfly kisses fervently against them. Rapt in the feel of the boys silken lips, Yunho did not notice the delicately probing fingers snaking their way down his body, softly caressing his sides. Finally, as skin met skin, as the other boy felt Yunho shudder under his touch. He cheekily slid a thumb up to his chest, to maddeningly tease Yunhos nipple. He felt a placid sigh seep through Yunhos mouth, the warmth of his breath softly caressing his rose-petal lips. At that, the boy slightly smirked into the kiss, his lips never once leaving the other boys. He then let his fingertips continue their audacious wandering, finding their place, once again, just above Yunhos sweatpants. His smooth fingertips softly crept their way past the waistband, as he felt Yunhos body faintly quiver in pleasant surprise. He slowly reached in, and over-took Yunhos unsuspecting member. The other boy moaned loudly at this, breaking the kiss, bucking his hips forward into the boys grasp. The boys hand squeezed Yunhos semi-hard length teasingly, before beginning a strong, swift beat that brought Yunho to a full erection. Once there, Yunho could no longer contain his noises of excitement, as he gasped, moaned, crooned and writhed beneath the boys maddening grasp. Looking down into Yunhos face, the raven-haired boy seductively bit his lip, as he watched Yunhos face become deep and flushed with each intimate touch. Hand still incessantly working Yunhos member, the boy descended towards him, his lips devouring the tender flesh of his neck. Planting fervent kisses, before fervidly suckling on the sensitive patches of skin, as he licked and tasted the other boy with a desperate fury. There against him, with his face buried in the crook of his neck, he could feel the blood rushing madly throughout Yunhos body. His blood passageways dilated, temptingly, as Yunho became more and more aroused with each passing moment. This is what he wanted. By seducing him, Yunhos heart rate would triple, causing more blood

to flow throughout his body. The young vampire needed as much as he could possibly get, without killing too many people. So he sometimes opted to the seduction of his victims, replacing the pain with pleasuremaking it as painless as possible. It would hurt only for a little while. Only for a little while The boy moaned softly, still suckling and nipping lustfully at Yunhos neck, as his lust for the other boys blood became stronger. He worked Yunho incessantly, stroking and pumping his member, brushing its tip every now and then in an infuriatingly teasing manner, causing a desperate moan to escape the other boys lips. It was almost time. The boy could feel Yunhos body beginning to tense up, the pressure building in his lower region feeling almost unbearable. The boy could not hold it back any longerhe needed this blood, and he needed it now. Licking and nipping at Yunhos neck, he almost felt as if he could taste his blood. So sweet so warm. He was almost there; he could feel it. Almost there. This time, he would push through. Yes. This time. He was almost there. Just a little more skin. Just a little more skin But just as he was about to sink his teeth into Yunhos neck "Brother," The whisper of a soft, yet desperate plea. "Please stop." There she was again, that voice in his head. What did she want? ... Somewhat frustrated, the boy let go of Yunhos member, and reluctantly pulled away from his neck; sitting up and away from him. Yunho, who had been left on the brink of release, was a little more than just simply confused at this point. He arduously sat up, and looked at the boy on the bed in front of him, a little confused. Why did he stop? The boy, feeling almost defeated, quickly tried to get off the bed to leave Yunho. But Yunho abruptly stopped him, as he reached out to him, grabbing his arm to pull him back. Please dont go He begged him, with pleading eyes, his voice echoing hints of desperation.

The boy spoke to him; his tone, showing faint hints of remorse. I cannot stay. He said to Yunho, gently. All the while, trying to free his arm from Yunhos hold. I beg of you, leave me. He pleaded to the other boy. Waitwho are you? You neednt worry Unexpectedly, the phone rang. Startled, Yunho turned over to look at it on his desk by the wall beside him, its bright red light flashing amongst the darkness, in time with the ringing. He let out a slight sigh of annoyance, before looking back at the boy in front of him. He stared, confused, at the emptiness ahead of himthe boy was nowhere to be found. Downcast, he looked over at his screen door, the sheer white curtains flailing about in the cool nights breeze, kissed by moonlight. A feeling of melancholy swept over him, as he continued to gaze longingly at the curtains. The phone still kept ringing. Grumbling just a little, Yunho got off the bedwith much effortand reluctantly picked up the phone. Hello? He groaned. Whyd you pick up? Yunho was confused. However, only for a moment, after realizing whom the voice belonged to. It was Park Yoochun, one of his friends from school. Still confused, becausesimply putthis was Yoochun, he answered, what? Youre home? Yeah. Yunho slowly answered, as if it was one of the most obvious things ever. What the hell for? I Its Friday, and you live five minutes away from a bar!

Yunho rolled his eyes, however not the least bit surprised. Yep, this was definitely Yoochun. Get ready. He told him. Well pick you up in ten minutes. And with that, he hung up. Yunhos eyes widened, as he heard the click, followed by the dreaded sound of the dial tone. Ten minutes ? The receiver still attached to his ear, he looked down at the obvious bulge in his sweatpants. Fuck.

;chapter 3((Empty-handed _________

Took your sweet time, didnt you? Yunhos eyes immediately turned to the place where the unsuspecting voice had come from. After taking more than just a few minutes to get ready, he came down to the lobby of the apartment building. There, waiting outside at the front, was Yoochuns packed red convertible waiting for him. How he would actually fit in there, he didnt know. But theyd work something out, they always did. Shim Changmin sat comfortably in the back, by the door on the right, smirking cheekily back at Yunho. Impatiently next to him sat Choi Sohyun, and Kim Junsu slightly fidgeting right next to her. Lee Mijin sat peacefully in the passengers seat, with Yoochun humming away merrily to the tunes of his CDs blasting through the car radio. He sat there idly, tapping his fingers to the beat on the steering wheel. All heads simultaneously turned to Yunho at the sound of Changmins outburst.

Shut up, Min. Yunho told him offhandedly through a hidden smile, climbing into the car, as Changmin let out a satisfied chuckle. To make room for Yunho, Sohyun reluctantly inched her way over to sit on Junsus lap, and Changmin moved over to sit in the middle. Junsu scowled silently to himself, as Sohyuns presence made itself unnecessarily known to his lap. Still humming to himself, Yoochun turned the key in the ignition and started the car once again, before pulling out of the premises. After another bout of cursing under his breath, Junsu quickly turned his head over to Yunho, upon having remembered something. Yunho, did you do your Economics? He asked hurriedly, a slight hint of hope echoing in his voice. Yeah. Did you finish it? Yeah. C-can I borrow it? Wheres yours? Yunho asked, with somewhat a mild air of concern. Not done, obviously. Mijin added in, with a slight giggle in her tone, upon hearing Junsus more than desperate pleas. Hey. Junsu said, as he glumly turned his head to face Mijins direction. I wouldve been done before if someone Emphasizing someone, he turned to look back up at Sohyun, frowning at her. didnt keep the TV onloud as fucking helllast night. Look, it was a good show, okay? Sohyun said, returning his same resentful look back down to him. Everyone in the car immediately let out a dismal sigh, as they prepared to weather themselves for the storm. Slightly shaking their heads, they all knew what was coming. These two could go on for days, if the need to eat and sleep were not apparent. But, heywho said that would actually stop them? Rolling their eyes, all the passengers in the carexcept for Junsu and Sohyun, of coursetried their hardest to ignore the inevitable. And off they went again.

But, you know the library closes at eleven, and thats when I was doing my work No one said you couldnt have done it before. Sohyun heatedly retorted, her eyes in a sharp glare with the other boy. Like yesterday before? Okay, well, bitch, its my work; I can do it whenever the hell I want to And you chose a bad time! And who are you calling a bitch, asswipe? The only one in here. Bitch. Junsu added, rhetorically. And what, you just had to watch TV right then and there? Like, you couldnt live without pressing the power button? I can press it if I damn well want to, Junshit! She shot back at him. Its not like Ill buy a drink to the first person that shuts up. Yoochun stated, verbally voicing everyone elses thoughts; his voice, being about a level higher than the two reigning voices in the car. Both Junsu and Sohyun immediately stopped their arguing. Mijin tucked a strand of her dark brown hair behind her ear, and let out a concerned sigh. You know, I really dont get why you two live together. She wondered aloud, turning her head slightly over her seat. Her eyes rested upon the bitter two, still frowning at the back. Youre the two most incompatible people in the world. And your dorms not all that big either A sincere look of worry gradually overtook her face. Sohyun gracefully diverted her gaze away from Junsus to look out at the moving street beside her. Well, if the stupid residence staff didnt accidentally put my name under the co-ed dorm option, She began, with a slight hiss in her voice. I wouldnt be stuck with this thing. Youof all peopleshouldn't be complaining. Junsu retorted, getting on the defensive, as he looked up at the shorter girl on his lap in irritation. I mean, look what Im stuck with! He, too, diverted his gaze away from the girl on his lap. Sohyun simply kissed her teeth at the strawberry blond-haired boy, before

unzipping her beige-coloured leather handbag, aptly ignoring the boy she was sitting on. She began looking through the little bag, tossing over and searching through various items, in search for one. You guys Changmin began, tiredly, referring to Junsu and Sohyun. seriously. He sighed, feeling he could not do much else. Dismissing the situation with an offhanded smile, Mijin turned her head once again to the front, and looked up into the rear-view mirror ahead of her. Reflected in the mirror was Sohyun rummaging busily through her purse, and Mijin gasped slightly in surprise. She turned around in her seat once more to face her. Soh, you got any lip gloss? Im all out. She asked the girl, wearing a slight pout. Mhmm! She nodded quickly at Mijin, before looking back down into her purse. Quaintly removing the lolly-pink coloured tube, she freely gave it to the dark-haired girl in front of her. Mijin smiled her thanks, before proceeding to apply the pink colour to her lips, with the aide of her compact mirror. After a few moments of constant searching through her purse, Sohyun smiled in satisfaction to herself, as she reached for the object she was looking for. Out of her beige-coloured handbag, she pulled out a neatly wrapped black rosewrapped in black satinand excitedly removed it of its precious cloth. Stuffing the piece of satin back into her purse, she took the, now revealed, black rose and elegantly adjusted it in her long, coppercoloured hair. She brought out her mirror, looking into it, making sure the positioning of the flower was just perfect. Changmin, curiosity having gotten the best of him, looked over to the girl beside him, wondering what she was doing. He spotted her fixing her hair and stared through a frown at the foreign object she was attending to. Whats that? He jerked his head slightly, referring to her head. This? She looked over to him, pointing to the flower. She smiled at him. Its a black rose. She looked back into her mirror, adjusting it, before saying, My boyfriend got it for me when he was in town yesterday. The tones in the car flattened harshly within seconds. Even the radio that was blasting Yoochuns American hip-hop CDs seemed to quiet down, as to listen to the overbearing silence. Everyones eyes shifted uncomfortably from one another, aimlessly to the floor, or nervously at their feet.

Yoochun looked up, slightly, into the rear-view mirror, the top of Sohyuns head just barely visible, but clear enough for his eyes to see the detested flower peeking out shyly through her hair. Just as the reflection of its petals met his gaze in the mirror, he felt memories of an ice-coldness seep through him; memories that were yet far too soon to be forgotten. A tiny shiver began to tingle its way along his spine, his gaze still caught on the flowers reflection. He narrowed his eyes resentfully at the black-coloured rose seeking refuge in the strands of his friends hair. But Junsu stared uneasily, at the flower atop Sohyuns head. arent those things His voice trailed off, as his eyes, still taken by the black rose, widened in a choked fear. Ah, the black rose. He had heard stories about itnone of them being, at all, particularly pleasant. In fact, they all ended in tragedy. Why on earth would Sohyun bring something like that out in the open? Junsu continued to look dreadfully, almost in fear, at the black of its petals. His mouth ran dry. Cursed? She finished off for him, looked down at the other boy with a raised eyebrowclearly not phased by any of this. Tch. I dont believe in that stuff. She dismissed him, looking back into her mirror, admiring the rose. My mom didnt believe in it either. All eyes and attention were turned onto Yoochun at the mention of those words. The young man spoke up, quietly, his gaze strongly focussed on the road. His fingers tightly gripped upon the steering wheel. A distant look swept across his face like an overcast shadow, an expression of seriousness hardening his features. Lowly, he spoke: She was obsessed with those things. Mijins eyes reflected an empathic pity, as she continued to gaze over at Yoochun beside her. The other boys chestnut brown eyes remained focussed solidly on the road ahead of him.

Yunho you okay? The group had arrived at the bar, and were met with crowds of thrill-seeking and alcohol-pining students. It was a Friday night, and what better way was there to end the week than a night out at "Seung's"? It was the local bar, closest to the university, and everyone appeared to be having a good time. The music was great, food was amazing, and of course, the drinks were unrivalled and like no other. Exotic blends of this, tropical melanges of that, everything to tickle the night-goers fancy. Everyone appeared to be having a good timeexcept for one. He sat at the table with his friend, his fingers tapping sporadically against his glass, his eyes staring lifelessly into his drink. Snapped out of his thoughts, he looked up at the boy in front of him, upon hearing his voice. Huh? Yoochun looked into his face, as he opened his mouth, once again to speak. You there? Yunho stared blankly at him for a moment or twobefore his mind flung him back to the environment around him. Oh! Yeah Im Still thinking about those mid-terms, huh? He asked him, a little unimpressed. The other boy laughed slightly, mostly out of nervousness. Oh, mid-terms, indeed. Yeah, kinda. He answered, awkwardly. Yoochun simply stared at him, an air of blankness sweeping over his face. Dude, youre stressed. He concluded, simply. Im not stressed. Yes, you are, Yunho. Yoochun told him, without room for question. Its not normal for a guy to be quiet when youre surrounded by good music, hot girls, food, drinks more hot girls Yoochun And youre thinking about mid-terms? Yunho honestly, now. Yoochun looked across at the other boy, disapprovingly. Whats wrong with just not

worrying so much about life so much? Yunho frowned at Yoochun, finding himself slightly confused by his spiel. Yunho began to wonder at the strength of alcohol in the other boys drink out of four. I mean Yoochun continued on, almost distantly. Whats the point, you know? Its not like you can really fix it. Yeah, we like to think we can cause oh my God, Im superman, you know? We can just do anything. He frowned a little before continuing, a look of thoughtfulness in his eyes. But you cant. cause you just cant fix everything. No matter how bad you want to some things are just like that. Some things are just gone for good. And youll never get them back Yunho was quiet as he watched the young man in front of him. Even though he could tell that his friend was a bit more than just a little tipsy there was some sort of distant truth echoing about his words. Faintly but he could hear it, all the same. Yoochuns eyes were darkened for a moment, staring ahead of him into nothing, really. Another moment or so passed by, before he shook his head, releasing himself from his slight trance. He let out a nervous chuckle, before reaching over to his drink, bringing the glass to his lips. Yunho watched with concern as he downed the entire drink in one go. Despite the liquid being gone, Yoochun still held the glass at his lips, chestnut-brown eyes gazing over the rim, the nothingness catching his eye. He smiled for a moment, lowering his glass to the table. Stress. He started again. Who needs it, huh? He looked up at Yunho, before reaching over towards another glass filled with a blue-coloured concoction. He looked down into the cool liquid, his fingers curling up protectively around the glass. Thats why were here. He brought his glass up, clinking it with Yunhos in a cheers. Drink up, my friend. He brought his glass to his lips and tipped it, allowing the cool, blue liquid to pass through his lips. Yoochun was more than just a casual drinker, so much, that it would cause Yunho to worry for him, sometimes. For all the years he had known him, Yoochun was never seriously much for alcohol, as unbelievable as it may seem. But he noticed that it was only up until a year ago that he observed a change in his friends drinking habits. And every time he would ask about his drinking, Yoochun would jokingly brush it off, like there was no problem, as he continued to wear that same carefree smile of his. Yunho wondered if,

maybe, he was drinking to drown something out? Or someone ? A pitied smile took over Yunhos face, as he looked over at Yoochun, heartily engaged in his drink. He let out a slight sigh. Ah, the life of university students.

Amongst the shadows, she hurried on. Amongst the shadows, she walked. Amongst the shadows, she waited, a surreal sort of light radiating behind her cobalt-coloured eyes. Smiling, she stroked the silkiness of a black rose petal, the flower held safely in her tiny hands. "We will find him." She whispered softly to the rose, an air of reassurance in her quiet voice. Her gaze then left the blackness of its petals, as she turned her eyes to look up at the raven, circling the night skies above her. Quoth the raven, she would sing to him. And nevermore.

The evening of fun with his friends was overfor him, anyway. And Yunho had decided to head for home. Reluctantly letting him go, they bade him a "good night", and he headed on his way. He walked through the busy streets on his way to his nearby apartment, the streetlights softly illuminating his darkened path. That night, despite him being with his friends, all he could think about was that guy. Would he ever see him again? He desperately wished he didnt leave. He had already lost him once, and he didnt want to lose him again. A distant feeling of melancholy washed over him, as the moon took careful watch over his footsteps. He wanted to see him again. But, then again, what were the odds? He was lucky he had even seen him again that same night. Lucky, indeed. He smirked to himself, as he kept walking on his way. He didnt even catch his name. That mysterious boy had simply toyed with

Yunho, then left him with nothing. Nothing but the feel of his gentle touch, and his feathery light caresses across his skin. Nothing but the sensation of his warm breath, snaking its way over his skin, leaving pleasant tingles of surprise here and there. Nothing but the feeling of his silken, rose-petal lips, brushing lightly against his own. He smiled to himself. The bastard.

;chapter 4((Brother Sun, Sister Moon _________

Twice! Twice, now, you had the chance to take that boys bloodand you let him go! You let him go! Holding him forcefully by the neck, he released his tight grasp, hurling the young vampire painfully against a thick willow tree. They were surrounded by the dark shadows of the deep forest, a sliver of moonlight touching through wherever its silver fingers could reach, softly bringing light to the deepest, darkest depths of the quiet woods. The raven-haired boy sat shaken, at the base of the large tree where he was thrown, his breaths laboured and uneven. A trickle of blood ran, fearfully, down his rose-petal lips. He slowly brought a hand up to it, his pale fingertips gently wiping away his blood. He turned his eyes to the red-coloured stain now smeared along his fingers, as he shakily looked up at the tall, dark man ahead of him. The mans fangs, threatening to bare themselves behind cold, thin lips; the breeze, running its fingers slowly, through his long, platinum-blond coloured hair. Black eyes, and a powerful gaze, burned deep into the young vampires heart, as he stared back at the man, a look of anguish reflecting in the boys eyes. He parted his lips slowly, his voice low, and hoarse. I couldn't. The boy began, timidly. I His voice trailed offthe look in the mans eyes instantly silencing him. He looked at the young vampire, almost revolted, a clear look of disgust displayed across his face. Look at you. He huffed. Weak. Pathetic. His words, spitting daggers at the boy, as he spoke. He looked the young

vampire up and down, slightly sneering at him, before opening his mouth to speak once again. When did you last feed? I-I was just about to, Sire* I did not ask you when you were going to feed. The man, Minwoo, spat at him. I asked you when you last fed. The boy greatly hesitated before telling him. He nervously broke his gaze with the man, staring timidly at the brown earth beside him. He opened his lips, slowly, Three nights ago, Sire. Three nights. Minwoo repeated, aptly mocking him. He looked at the boy; an air of morbid curiosity darkening his already blackened eyes. I wonder He began. do you not thirst, young Jaejoong? The boy looked up at the man, slowly making his way over to him, his eyes instantly narrowing. He wore his lips, tight, in a stubborn frown. Minwoo smirked, gradually getting closer with each passing footstep. Do you no longer lust for the sweet taste of human blood? He was now in front of the boy, at the base of the old willow tree. He knelt down in front of him, his dark eyes laughing menacingly at the other boy, as he continued to taunt him. He brought a slender hand up to Jaejoongs face, a thumb brushing lightly over the boys full, silken lips, softly caressing them. He smirked devilishly at the young vampire. Does it no longer have the need to pass through your pining lips Jaejoong immediately tore his face away from his Sires touch, his eyes reluctantly facing the brown earth beneath him once again. His lust battled ragingly within him, heeding the words spoken by Minwoo. His eyes, revealed a hidden look of painful acquiescence for he knew Minwoo was right. His Sire smirked at him, satisfyingly. You can only be without blood for so long, Jaejoong. He warned him, carefully. You know what the consequences are if Yes. Jaejoong bitterly spoke up. I know. Hmph. The man huffed at him. Im not quite sure you do. At that moment, his eyes narrowed wickedly at the young vampire in front of him. Perhaps I did not take enough of your blood the first time

The boy instantly turned his gaze to meet Minwoos, his eyes mirroring the look in the mans eyes, instantly stopping him. Minwoo smirked. Remember, childe**, He began, slowly getting to his feet, revealing his full height to the boy beneath him. Your very existence is in my power. Lest we forget He told him, menacingly; Jaejoongs glare still upon him, unwavering. I saved your life. At those words, the harsh look in Jaejoongs eyes slowly began to vanish, becoming replaced with an air of remorse, as it slowly painted its way across his waiflike features. Reminding himself of what Minwoo had just told him, he brought a hand up to his neck, feeling what his Sire had left with him from a time long ago. He frowned. Id rather you left me to die. He spoke, his voice low and laden with hints of regret. The man huffed at the boy. Abandoned and bloodied by that creek where no one could hear your pitiful cries? He asked, looking down at him, a refined smirk playing devilishly across his face. Choking and gasping for any breath of air, no matter how small, your failing lungs could possibly grasp Anythings better than this! Jaejoong shot back at him. He looked away from Minwoo, his raven hair shadowing his eyes. I might as well be dead. This life is just as empty as your hollow heart. Minwoo looked at the young vampire, silently brooding to himself. Sighing, he once again knelt down in front of him, as he peered longingly into the boys face. Reaching a slender hand up, he lightly caressed his pale skin, feeling the smoothness of his porcelain cheek under his fingertips. He smiled to himself. Ah, but who am I to allow such beauty to go to waste? Jaejoong remained silent, his eyes still shadowed by the raven colour of his hair, falling delicately against his face. Surely, I could not just leave you there to die. The man continued. Especially in such a horrific way as that. Someone like you is not befitting of such a death. His eyes then took on a gentle look laced with pity, somewhat softening the hardness of his black eyes. No He began, gently. not you. Jaejoong remained silent.

Minwoos smirk slowly found its way back to his face, dismissing the subtle look of compassion shown earlier. He looked at the young vampire. I suppose you need blood. He told him. If I remember clearly, you have not fed have you not? Jaejoong remained silent. The man released his hand from the boys face, as he got to his feet once more. Looking down at the boy, he extended his hand to Jaejoong. Come. He ordered. The boy looked up at his Sire, hatred burning silently in his eyes. He reluctantly took Minwoos outstretched hand, rising from his place at the base of the large tree. Both vampires walked off silently into the night, the moon stealthily covering up their path of footsteps left behind.

The waves of the sea washed up peacefully against the shore of the waterfront, that Monday evening. The brother sun had just recently bade goodbye to this part of the world, allowing the sister moon to take over the sky. Her tiny stars following her, together they lit up the sky, smiling softly down at the Earth below. Their glow gently sent crystals of light to dance upon each serene wave that flowed with the tides of the sea. At the dock of the waterfront, sat Yunho, calmly watching the seas gentle tides. The nights cool breezes encircled him protectively, as his focussed eyes scanned the far reaches of the crystal sea. Im sorry for leaving so suddenly. Startled, and almost slipping off the edge of the dock, Yunho immediately got to his feet, turning around to face the direction in which the voice had come from. Yunhos breath caught in his throat, upon seeing whom it was. It was that same boy from a few nights ago. But how? Yunhos eyes widened in surprisehe thought he would never see him again. But, he had to admit: he found it odd, the way he always kept finding him. And of course, even sneaking into his apartment that night, and Standing at his full height, he wasnt much taller than Yunho, himself, was. Perhaps about several inches shorter, but other than that, they were both relatively the same height. The boy stood somewhat nervously, as he stared

back at Yunho. His hands were shoved uncomfortably in the pockets of his thin, long black coat, his silver chain catching the glimpse of the moonlight. He looked back at Yunho, slight anxiousness reflecting in his large brown eyes, as his lips parted slightly. There was somewhere I had to be. Yunhos tongue caught in his mouth, trapped behind his teeth, as he stared in awe at the boy ahead of him. That was all he couldve readily done at the time; Yunho was absolutely rendered speechless. He truly was beautiful. The raven-haired boy looked down slightly, smiling somewhat coyly, for a moment, before looking back up at Yunho. I hope I had not frightened you. Oh, no! No, I was Yunho began, somewhat slurring over his words, and over his thoughts, but his eyes never once leaving the boy in front of him. He stared back, almost dazedly at the raven-haired boy standing there. I was hoping Id see you again. The boy looked back at Yunho, with a look that sort of said, Is that so? A slight smile played delicately across his lips. I-I mean Yunho looked down slightly, faintly embarrassed, smiling nervously to himself. I didnt He looked back up at the boy, a bit more composed than he was a few moments ago. catch your name last time. The boy smiled sweetly at Yunho, his eyes brightening up as the moonlight caught them. I am Jaejoong. Yunho. He told Jaejoong, through a gentle smile. Well Yunho The boy began, fairly uneasily, as he stared back, still a little nervous, at the other boy. I wanted to thank you for helping me that night. Oh, dont worry about it. He said to him, a friendly smile worn on his face. He shrugged, a little. Im sure anyone else wouldve done the same. But you were there. Jaejoong told Yunho, slightly puzzled, as he was only referring to Yunho and Yunho alone. He wasnt quite sure as to why he would have mentioned anyone else doing the same. I wanted to thank you. He told him, emphasizing you.

Oh. Yunho said, slightly unsure of what the boy meant. No problem. He smiled back, anyway. And Jaejoong began, somewhat apprehensively. I also wanted to apologize For what? Yunho asked him, clearly uncertain of what Jaejoong was referring to. Jaejoong smiled, a bit shyly, before saying, For leaving you there, in your bedroom unfinished. He added, a subtle mischievous glint revealing itself in his eyes. That was quite rude of me. There was an awkward silence between the two, as Yunho instantly figured out what Jaejoong was talking about. He remembered that night, having to take a quick trip to the bathroom, before heading out to meet his friends. Jaejoong looked down, slyly smiling to himself, a little. Ah, so he did remember. After the awkwardness of the moment had passed, Jaejoong began again. Well, anyway, um He began, rather quickly, breaking the uncomfortable silence. It is late, I should be on my way. He quickly turned around to leave, until Wait! Yunho called out to him. Jaejoong stopped abruptly in his tracks, slowly turning around once again to face Yunho. The boy looked back at him, a faint look of fear disguised in the young vampires dark eyes. He stood where he was, as he waited for what the other boy was about to say. Yunho, quickly needed just a few more words to form a sentence, or just anything at allhe didnt want Jaejoong to leave again. He stared dumbfounded at the boy for a moment, before saying, Do you like the sea? Jaejoong, somewhat confused by Yunhos sudden question, answered, IIts rather calming to look at, yes. He began, still unsurely. Before long, however, a smile slowly began to find its way upon his features. He walked closer to the edge of the dock, to stand beside Yunho. He gazed ahead of him into the crystal sea in front of them. He smiled, a little. I adore the way the waves break the pictures of the soft moonlight upon its surface, scattering each shard of light to the far reaches of the sea. He

then turned his eyes to look below them, watching the waters splash at the seas edge. And then bringing them back to the shore, sharing its wealth for all to see. The passing of a moment went by, before he sat down, hugging his knees to his chest, as he focussed his eyes calmly on the changing tides. As we admire the crystals of light, sent down from the moonour sister. He looked up above them, at the moon, the pearl of the sky reflected deep in the darkness of his eyes. He turned his gaze back down to the waters below, as Yunho sat down beside him. Its beautiful. Jaejoong breathed out, in wonder, his eyes intently focussed on the deep waters. Yeah. Yunho said, looking beside him to Jaejoong, watching the moon softly illuminate his waiflike features. Beautiful. He whispered, as he continued to gaze in wonder at the boy beside him. His eyes travelled down Jaejoongs face, resting upon soft, silken lips. Yunho let out an inward sigh, as he remembered the feeling of those lips against his skin. Gliding against it, and showering him with the feel of silken rose-petals, lightly feathering across his skin. Of a taste so sweet, a saccharine of one he could only imagine. Oh, how he wished he could feel those lips against his once more. Just once more Without knowing it, Yunho was subconsciously leaning closer to Jaejoong all the whilecompletely lost in his own thoughts, completely intoxicated in the enticing allure of the other boy. Suddenly, he snapped out of his thoughts, upon remembering where he was. He quickly pulled away from him, looking back at the sea, just like Jaejoong was the whole time. He quicklyand somewhat, nervouslyregained his composure. Its beautiful, isnt it? He continued. But after a moment or so a subtle dejectedness found its way across his features. Not a lot of people I know are really into just sitting here and watching water Jaejoong looked at him, studying the distant look cast across the other boys face. He noticed that there was a sort of emptiness to the way he spoke. The raven-haired boy frowned, slightly. You sound unhappy. Yunho turned to look at him, somewhat shocked by the other boys statement. I do? Jaejoong nodded. Yes. He told him. You sound weary overwrought He explained further. and somewhat stressed. Yunho couldnt help but laugh at the other boywhich confused Jaejoong,

greatly. For, the raven-haired boy surely did not see any humour in what he had just told him. You sound just like a friend of mine. Yunho explained, through a smile. The other boys eyes lit up, strangely, at the mention of those words. A friend of yours? Yeah. Yunho told him. Hes always saying how stressed out I am, how I think too much, how I work too much, how I need to lighten up He paused for a moment, as he looked back to the splashing waters, once more. I guess I guess cause Im always stressing out over everything I never really notice how stressed out I really am. After a while, he turned to Jaejoong, once again. Do I really sound that tired? Jaejoong, once again, nodded. You do. He said. But are you sure that you are tired, necessarily? Or are you just unhappy? Yunho looked at Jaejoong, somewhat speechless. Well I His voice trailed off, unsure of what he should say. I never really thought about that before. Have you not? The other boy asked him, curiously. He smiled. Ah, then I suppose you are not thinking enough then, are you? Yunho was quiet as he listened to Jaejoongs words; almost intrigued by the way he spoke. Jaejoong looked at him, with a subtle curiousness. What makes you happy? The other boy then slowly began to look away from Jaejoong, as the sounds of the splashing waters caught his ear. He turned to look at the sea, beckoning to the night, as he saw the waves scatter themselves across the deep blue. Simple things. He began. Like this At this, he jerked his head in the direction of the waters. Like all of this; everything around us. Sometimes, theres just so much going on, that we forget just how beautiful everything is. Just the little things thats all we really need. He then wore a distant smile, across his lips. Like the sea I could watch the sea for hours. Oh, so this was what made him happy. Jaejoong thought that perhaps this was the reason he was out here: to find contentment. But was it really as

simple as he made it seem to be? Surely, there was much more to it than just that. Truth be told, it was quite difficult for Jaejoong to simply realize there was such a thing called 'happiness', for his eyes were jaded and had seen far too much. However, he had noticed that sitting here with Yunho, simply just watching the waters he had felt almost at peace. A peace, he had almost long since forgotten. Perhaps then he had not yet seen everything? Perhaps, there was still far much more to learn, far much more to see? Are you out most nights? Jaejoong asked Yunho, curiously. Like this, watching the sea? Pretty much, yeah. Yunho answered, his eyes still on the dark waters. Or if Im not here, Im just kinda walking around. He explained. He paused for a bit, his eyes taking on somewhat of a downcast look. Though the police advised us not to. What with all these vampire attacks and shit. Jaejoongs eyes immediately widened, as he slowly began to look away from Yunhoalmost guiltily. He stared down beside him, somewhat uncomfortably, at the wooden dock they sat upon. He said nothing. The look of downcast shown in Yunhos eyes quickly disappeared, as he turned his eyes from the sea, to look at the silver moon that lay hung in the sky. He wore a warm smile upon his face. But I dont really care. He started. I mean the moons just as much theirs as it is ours. Theyve been around forever. He shrugged, before saying. I dont ever remember a time when we dont hear about them. Jaejoong wordlessly turned back to look at Yunho beside him. It kinda sucks, though. Yunho said, slightly half-smiling; his gaze slipping from the moon, down to the sea. Weve been living in fear all our lives. He smirked to himself. Youd think wed be used to it by now. Jaejoong looked at Yunho a moment longer, before returning his gaze to join the sea. Ironic, isnt it? Yeah. Yunho answered, as both boys sat there silently watching the waves. It was quiet between the both of them for several moments; the only sound being those of the crashing waves.

So, do you go to Gyeongju? He turned to the raven-haired boy, a slight hint of hope echoing in his voice. G-Gyeongju? Jaejoong stammered, as he turned to look at Yunho, who wore an expectant smile upon his face. University? Yeah. No. Jaejoong answered him. He turned his gaze to the splashing waves of the sea. I do not attend school. Oh. Yunho said, slightly disappointed, but trying his best not to show it. He then smiled a little, not too long after. So you were just walking around campus for the hell of it? He laughed, slightly. Jaejoong, too, chuckled a little, looking down away from Yunho, in somewhat a coy manner. But, youre okay now, though, right? Yunho asked the boy, his voice brimmed with gentle concern. Cause you, like fainted when I found you. Yes, Im perfectly fine now. Jaejoong smiled, turning back to look at Yunho, once again. You neednt worry. Yunho looked at him. Thats the second time youve said that. A smile slowly unfurled against his lips. Said what? Jaejoong asked, the faintness of worry ringing throughout his words. Yunho laughed slightly. You neednt worry. He explained. No one really says that much anymore. He continued, through a slightly curious smile. Are you from around here? W-Why do you ask? Jaejoong asked, very much worried at this point. I dunno, theres just Yunho began, somewhat trying to pinpoint exactly what he was getting at. something about the way you talk. Its poetic. He smiled, a little. You sound like something out of my Shakespeare texts. You read his works? Jaejoong asked him, his eyes instantly brightening up.

Mhmm. Yunho nodded. Im studying them. Im taking a minor in English, and Shakespeares one of the authors were studying right now. He explained to the raven-haired boy, who sat staring at him in a subtle, fascinated wonder. A lot of the students think his stuffs boring, but Im a really big fan of his work. He admitted, smiling somewhat shyly. Yes. Jaejoong agreed enthusiastically, smiling back at him. He was very talented, and wrote some remarkable scripts in his time. He turned his eyes to look at the sea and sky ahead of them, a look of wonder filling his eyes. The power of words never ceases to amaze me. One can say so much by saying so little. Yeah. Yunho, too, turned to look at the sea ahead of him, joining Jaejoongs gaze. One of the He was abruptly interrupted by a yawn, before continuing. greatest writers of our time. Jaejoong nodded, in agreement. A comfortable silence joined the two, as they sat there watching the waves crashing onto the shore. The raven-haired boy then turned his head slightly, to face the other, eager to talk to him some more and ask him more questions. But, he pouted slightly, as Yunho once again took another yawnmuch larger than the first. Are you tired? He reluctantly asked him, clearly not wanting to leave the other boys company. Yunho smiled at Jaejoong, as he wiped the tears from his eyes, as a result of the yawning. Yeah, a little. He told him. Ive been up since about four this morning. The young vampires eyes immediately widened upon that statement, as he stared, shocked, back at Yunho. D-Do you not sleep? Yunho laughed at the boys naivety. Sleep no longer exists when youre in Uni. He explained to him. Its like, Sleep? The fucks that? He sighed, a little. Ive got mid-terms to study for and it just sucks. He stretched, and shook his head, lightly. Jaejoong smiled gently, at him. So you should probably be on your way, then? The other boy frowned, slightly out of reluctance, before saying, Yeah. I

got class tomorrow morning. Jaejoong looked down at his feet. And youll need your sleep. He told him, forlornly. Yunho sighed, stubbornly. I guess. Neither of them ready to get up and leave just yet, both boys sat at the waterfronts dock, just a bit longer. The soft light of the moon, taking careful watch over everything below her. The tiny stars, doing their part of lighting the night sky, shining as brilliantly as they were able; the sister moon smiled gently at them. The dark, velvety blanket of navy veiled the Earth, surrounding it in a breathtaking nighttime landscape. At the edge of this sky, the sea flowed, catching shards of crystal moonlight; the waves dancing back and forth from the starry horizon, to the sandy shore. The gentle night breezes encircled both boys protectively, the pearl of the sky reflecting deep in the dark brown of their eyes. Yunho turned to Jaejoong. Actually Yunho began. whats one less Pop culture lecture? Yunho asked him, voicing his thoughts aloud. Jaejoong turned his eyes over to look at him. I mean He continued, as he thought. Ive got the whole year, right? Right. Satisfied, he turned his eyes back to the dark waters, once again. Jaejoong couldnt help but smile at Yunhos decision, as he, too, turned his eyes to the sea, meeting the other boys gaze at the splashing waters ahead of them.

;chapter 5((Kissing Death _________ Youre busy? What the fuckyoure always busy! Yoochun called Yunho up, that Thursday night, hoping for his best friend to join them for another night out. However, this wasnt one of their joyride escapades; this was to celebrate the end of mid-terms, because they were all happy that they were all finally over and done with. The group were all gathered, once again at Mijins dorm, waiting impatiently by

the phone, for Yoochun to deliver the good, or most likely, bad news. Changmin sat on the bed, flipping carelessly through TV channels, the remote dangling lazily from his hand, a tired expression worn on the youngest boys features. An over-exaggerated look of disappointment animated Yoochuns face, the phone attached loosely to his ear. Look, man, Im sorry. Yunho began, his tone, slightly apologetic. He brought his free hand up, scratching the back of his neck, as he looked about the dimness of his room, nervously. But I got His voice trailed off, as his eyes stopped their uneasy wandering, landing on the face Jaejoong standing a few feet away from him. He looked back at him, almost pleadingly, as he searched his face for an answer. The vampire boy chuckled, hushing his laughter, as to not be heard over the phone. A look of excitement painted his features, as his eyes brightened against the dim room. He opened his mouth slowly, whispering ever so quietly, homework. Homework. Yunho repeated, aptly telling Yoochun over the phone. Homework? Yoochun repeated, as well, his voice dripping with utter disbelief. Yunhos spirits sunk. Yunho, how the hell do you have homework? Yoochun asked him, clearly unimpressed. We both have the same classes, the same assignmentsand hey, even Im done. And you know Im slack as hell. Yeah, well Yunho paused, trying once again to think of another excuse he could use on his friend. I wanna make sure my assignments are A-worthy. Like they always are? There was no response on the other end. Yoochun sighed, pitifully. Dude. He began, tiredly. Its nine PM. Will it kill you to live a little? Just a little? Look, I cant, okay? Yunho told him, somewhat ruefully. Im busy, I got homework, Ill talk to you later, Yoochun, okay? kay. Bye. And with that, he hung up the phone. Upon hearing the dial tone, Yoochun, too, clicked off his cell-phone, an abrupt frown worn upon his face. The eyes of the others in the room preyed upon him instantly, ready to pounce on the first word to escape

his mouth. Yoochun parted his lips. Hes not coming. A loud groan sounded in unison, throughout the room. Again? Sohyun whined, clearly fed up with annoyance. Isnt this, like the second straight week he turned us down? Junsu wondered aloud, to the group. Yoochun, what does he do that hes always so busy, anyway? Maybe he doesnt like us anymore. said Changmin, through an overexaggerated pout. Or Mijin piped up, bringing a new thought to the group. maybe hes got himself a girlfriend? she suggested. Oh yeah, that too. Sohyun agreed. But I dunno. With his busy schedule and all, he probably wouldnt even have time to squeeze her in, since he seems to have forgotten his friends are still aliveI miss Yunho. She ended in a pout. But think about it, you guys. Mijin continued, trying to strike up just the slightest bit of morale. I mean, every night, hes always busyall of a suddenditches us cause maybe hes spending time with someone else ? There was a thoughtful silence throughout Mijins dorm room, for a few moments. Everyone remained contemplating and conjuring up their own thoughts in their minds. However, this moment of quiet was broken all too soon by the impatient voice of Yoochun. kay, you guys, Im waiting in the car. He began to make his way over to the door. The line-up at Elixirs crazy on Thursday nights, and Im not about to take my sweet time, so Once he reached the door, he extended his arm towards the knob, turning it, and pulling the door open. whos coming? The others immediately got up. Changmin turned off the television. Yoochun smirked satisfyingly to himself. Thats what I thought.

Jaejoong brought a hand up to his chest, and gasped teasingly in mock shock at Yunhos actions, his tart mouth in a perfect O. Youre terrible, lying to your friends like that! He told Yunho, impishly. Yeah, and whose idea was it? The other boy cheekily asked, as he turned to sift through his adjacent closet, his lips unfurling roguishly in a subtle half-smile. Jaejoong pouted at him. Youre so mean to me. He then turned away from Yunho, his pout blossoming into a sweet smile. Yunho laughed at his playfulness, as he searched through rows of shirts. Jaejoong curiously wandered his way around Yunhos darkened bedroom that Yunho had darkened just for him. Jaejoong was curious, and so he asked Yunho if he could see where he lived. Yunho agreed, excited about having someone overespecially this someone, again. But before that, he told Yunho that he was sensitive to light, and had somewhat of an allergy to it. He did not want to explain any further than that. Yunho taking special notice of this, and not wanting to hurt Jaejoong, made sure to turn all of the lights off. He left the only source of light to be the soft, crystal glow of the moon, filtering through the sheerness of white curtain. The young vampire walked about from Yunhos desk by the far wall, looking at all of his papers and books sprawled out over the table. His eyes suddenly caught sight of the bookshelf in the corner of the room, by the open screen door. The darkness of his eyes began to brighten and light up in wonder, as he rushed over to the revealed shelf of books. He gasped in a sort of child-like wonder, as his eyes travelled from one book to the next. He marvelled at all the titles, and the artwork on the covers, as he picked them from the shelf one-by-one, flipping through, admiring the wispiness of the pages turned. He picked up another bookand felt the spark in his eyes dulling, instantly. He looked at the cover: It was a book by the author Anne Rice. He stared blankly at the book, his dead fingers grasping lifelessly onto the hardcover. You read Anne Rice? He asked Yunho, his gaze never once faltering from the book.

Yeah! Yunho called to him, from his closet, practically buried in clothes. He stepped out of the closet, a couple of shirts in his hands, and set them on his bed. I love her books. But Jaejoong began, with much uneasiness. He paused for a moment, his voice somewhat of a low whisper. she writes about vampires. He turned to Yunho with large, nervous eyes. Does she not? She does. Yunho answered, as he finally made up his mind, and put on a brown zip-up hoodie over his white-coloured sleeveless shirt. He ruffled his hair a little. But He paused for a while, and stared ahead of him at the window. I dunno. Theres just something about them. Her novels fascinate me. He smiled, slightly to himself. I know, I know, Im weird. I read about vamps. His smile grew slightly wider, allowing a faint laugh to escape his lips. However, he stopped, a slight look of sombreness hardening his strong features. His gaze lowered slightly, as he stared into nothing. I just think theyre really misunderstood. He turned to Jaejoong, the young vampire staring intently back at him. You know? His mind clearly elsewhere, the other boy nodded slightly, his transient gaze breaking from Yunhos. He stared quietly at the floor by Yunhos feet, his eyes reflecting a hollowed emptiness. Yunho reached over to grab his keys from their spot beside the phone, as he made his way over to his bedroom door. He turned to Jaejoong, before entering the living room. He gave a friendly smile to the other boy. Ready to go? Jaejoong quickly snapped out of his thoughts, upon hearing Yunhos voice. He turned to him, and quickly smiled back at the other boy. Yes. Yes, lets go.

The two took another one of their walks that night, walking through the busy streets of the city, and then taking a peaceful stroll through the park, seeing all the sights and sounds that the enchanting night had to offer. This had become a frequent activity for the two, each night more enjoyable than the last. They had grown to be fond of each

others company, as they walked side-by-side, fulfilling conversations and amiable laughter echoing around them. They continued on their way through the park, the canopies of the trees creating vast umbrellas of shadow around them. The further they kept walking, the less and less moonlight that would surround them. They found themselves walking through the deepest part of the park, where the moon did not hesitate to leave untouched. The darkness of shadows ruled this place, and light dare not enter, for it would be trespassingand light did not belong here. Just up ahead of them, just about several feet away, was a clearing. Their eyes saw a single ray of the moons silver light cut through the thick leaves of the trees, finding its way to the earth below. Touched by this sliver of soft light, visibly abandoned was a single shrub of black roses, isolated amongst the trees. These were strange plants, needing moonlight to grow and not the sun Jaejoong stared blankly at them. Yunho, curiosity having gotten the best of him, slowly began to walk over to them, leaving Jaejoong at the spot he stood. His footsteps were careful, almost precise, as he stayed alert, keeping his guard. He edged closer and closer to the reviled shrub, gradually diminishing the distance between himself and the roses. He had never been so close to them before. And there they stood, unmoving, as they had for centuries. No one dared enter this part of the park, for the fear of being in the presence of the cursed. And so, it had been left untouched, unmoved, as it is now, as it had been for years and years past. Despite the fear surrounding the detested flowers, Yunho couldnt help but feel drawn to them. The closer he got to them, the more he was able to see their delicate beauty. He was in awe of the way the glow of the moon would bathe each petal; how it would brighten the crystal drops of dew that lined each flower. Their petals were of a rich, resonant black; velvety undertones singing their lament of desolation. Yunho, almost able to hear their cries, instinctively felt pity for them, gazing into their petals, as he became closer, and closer still. He reached an arm out, just barely reaching, to try and pluck one of the roses. Wanting to feel them, and become closer to them, he closed the distance between them, his fingers softly grazing a black rose. He plucked it out of the shrub, and brought it up closer to him. Jaejoong walked up beside Yunho, and watched as he gazed sorrowfully into the flower. After a moment or so, Yunho finally spoke. You know He began, his eyes never once leaving the black rose.

I kinda feel sorry for these things. Why so? Jaejoong asked curiously, looking into his face. Yunho sighed. The world hates these flowers almost blindly. But see, He brought the rose closer to Jaejoong, as he continued. When you look at it its just a rose. The same as any other rose. Jaejoong smirked to himself. Im afraid not everyone shares that same sentiment. He began, his voice echoing hints of dejection. As others always say, its a black rose: Hated, cursed, evil People are always afraid of what they dont understand. Yunho told him, gently. He then returned his gaze once more to the black rose he held in his hand. Its different. And so people will always judge it. He explained to the other boy. They just go by stuff other people say without ever seeing it for themselves. He continued to stare at the rose a bit longer, before showing it once again to Jaejoong. Look at it. He said. What do you see? Somewhat hesitant, Jaejoong did as he was told, and looked into the petals of the flower. What did he see? I see something thats been an outcast for all of its existence. He began, desolately. Something thats never truly been understood. He paused for a moment, his eyes darkening, as he stared lifelessly into the black rose. Something crying out for acceptance. Yunhos eyes widened, slightly, in amazement. Wow. He breathed out. You saw all that? Jaejoong nodded. Yunho smiled gently at him. You know what I see? Jaejoong turned his heavy eyes to look up at Yunho, anticipating what he had to say. What? Yunho smiled, as he looked back into the rose. I see a flower. He began. No different than any other flower. The only thing that sets it apart, is that this one looks like its got a story to tell. He explained to Jaejoong. I mean, its distinct almost fascinating. With this one, He aptly felt the black roses silken petals. you cant get the whole story on first glance. Its mysterious, and draws you in for more. Theres always more to something than meets the eyebut thats only

if youre willing to look. And when I look at this black rose He gazed into the flower, admiring its splendour. I see a rare beauty, something one-of-a-kind. He then turned his eyes over to Jaejoong, a heartfelt look of longing battling in the dark brown of his eyes, as he looked at the raven-haired boy. Kinda like you. Jaejoongs own eyes immediately lit up, as his whole face brightened up, a cheeky smile unfurling against his lips. Jung Yunho He began, a mischievous glint playing wickedly in his eyes. are you flirting with me? Yunho smiled a little, as he subtly looked away from Jaejoongs prying eyes. Well, I dunno. He said care freely, as he turned back to look at the raven-haired boy, once again. I mean, why would I be flirting with you? Because you are. Jaejoong replied, half-smiling at the other boy, looking him dead in the eye. Yunho smirked. Look, if I actually was, He began. You would know. Jaejoong smiled audaciously at Yunho, his voice just above a whisper, somewhat taunting the other boy. And how would I know? He took a step closer to him, aptly presenting a challenge to Yunho. Taking note of the look in Jaejoongs eyes, and always up for a challenge, Yunho leaned in closer to the other boy. He slowly, but daringly, diminished the space between them, before placing a tender kiss upon Jaejoongs cheek, his lips leisurely grazing over the smooth of the raven-haired boys porcelain skin. Yunho then pulled back, only to be met with a pouting Jaejoongclearly unimpressed. Sad. He began, slightly turning his gaze from him. And here I was actually expecting something. What? Yunho laughed at the boys reaction. That was pathetic. Jaejoong told him matter-of-factly, as he turned to face him. You should have told me you werent serious. He looked away from Yunho once again, teasing him with that same cheeky halfsmile of his. Yunho smiled at Jaejoong, before reaching a free hand up to the other boys face. He tenderly cupped Jaejoongs cheek, as he gently tilted

his head to face him, locking their gazes once more. He caressed the raven-haired boys cheek softly, feeling the delicate smoothness of his skin against his fingertips. He then let his thumb travel leisurely, brushing over the fullness of Jaejoongs silken, rose-petal lips, admiring the hints of scarlet, and splashes of ruby that were all too familiar to him. Slowly closing the space between them, Yunho softly pressed his lips to Jaejoongs, binding him in a soft, gentle kiss.

Somewhere in a distant shadow, she smiled. "He is right, you know."

;chapter 6((Hurt Like You _________

"Who are you?" She smiled. "Please, just tell me who you are." Again, a smile. "What do you want with me?" ... "Do I... did I know you?" ... "Should I know you?" ... "A name. Something--anything. Please, just--" "Shh." She softly silenced him, putting a finger delicately to her lips. Once more, she smiled at him. Her cobalt-coloured eyes twinkling merrily, as she

spoke to him. "My name is--"

You were with him again. Jaejoong stopped dead in his tracks upon hearing his voice. After leaving Yunho at his apartment, the raven-haired boy walked aimlessly though the night, through the isolated parts of the city, keeping himself craftily hidden in the protective shadows of the hours of darkness. Trying to make himself seem somewhat inconspicuous, and to distance himself as far away as possible from the pleasure-seeking humans exuberantly roaming the night. As his footsteps reluctantly ceased their wandering, he sighed in annoyance, slightly rolling his eyes. An impatient Minwoo stood glaring daggers down the young vampires back a few feet behind him, his eyes mirroring the darkness of the shadows that surrounded them. The boy let out a slightly exasperated sigh. What business is it of yours? He asked his Sire, not bothering to turn around. Minwoo scoffed at him, disapprovingly, staring at the young vampire ahead of him, almost in disbelief. I do not understand why you deliberately insist on concerning yourself in their meaningless affairs. He said, shaking his head in scornfulness. I have told you countless times before. It is useless attaching yourself to themyou are no longer like them. He told Jaejoong, forebodingly. We feed on them, Jaejoong. We are above them, as they are below us. Jaejoong refused to utter a word to him, his back still facing his Sire. So I suggest you remember what you are, His Sire told him, aptly warning the boy. And remember what he is I know very well of what I am. Jaejoong spun around, before narrowing his eyes in a subtle glare with Minwoo. I was what he is Just then, his voice trailed off, his glare softening, as his gaze lowered itself to the ground at their feet. He stared at the brown and orange leaves scattering themselves across the earth, the wind softly whisking them away, leaving them on their own, defenceless, through the shadows. His eyes slowly began to dull over, the dark brown becoming almost glassy, as he continued to stare at the lifegiving ground below them. until you did this to me.

Hmph. Minwoo scowled at the young vampire. You were merely moments away from death. Just as all mortals are. Jaejoong continued to stare below him, watching Minwoos footsteps take him further and further into the darkened night. The silence around them engulfed the sound of his Sires footsteps, until they could no longer be heard. He looked up ahead of him, seeing nothing but trees and moonlight. He followed the moonbeams up to the black sky hovering over him, leading his eyes to the moon that lay hung in the sky. And for the first time in years, wished he could see the sun.

"How long will you be gone, this time?" His hand stopped, frozen to the doorknob at his arm's length. The copperhaired girl's query stirred a tide of unanswered questions within him. This was simply another to add to their tumultuous ocean. "Dunno." He answered simply, his back facing her, giving her an uninterrupted view of his metallic-blue coloured hair. "I'll come back, when I come back." She stared worriedly at him, through her large brown eyes. Not as bright this time, but more so dulled in a worn-out fashion. She couldn't help but to let that subtle pout take over her lips, once again. She was used to its regular visits, having came so many times before. Like a fading battlecry, she said to him, "I love you." A smirk found his way to his lips. And then a silence. Followed by a plain "I know."

He stood, once more, at the balcony that had become all but too familiar to him, an open screen door awaiting his presence. However, the usual sheer white curtains were pulled back, this time, allowing the nighttime view of the city to be seen. Through this screen door, sat a busied Yunho at his desk, deeply engaged in his texts and papers, for an upcoming assignment due at the end of the week. Every so often, his eyes would lift from the papers, and

up to his laptop screen, using the Internet as a vital aide. Click, click click. His eyes would return to the books, once again. As Jaejoong looked through the door, he felt a slight twinge of worry, for Yunho seemed so busy. However, there was something eating away at Jaejoong, that if he felt he did not tell Yunho, it would gnaw away at him, completely: Himself. The two had been seeing each other for a bit over a couple of weeks now, and Jaejoong still had not yet revealed the truth about himself to Yunho. Part of him wanted to, for the sake of honesty and trust in their relationship. However, a part of him did not, for the fear of losing Yunho to societys practices. Suppose if he was to tell him, Yunho might have been so shocked and upset that he was with the most unholy and detested of things, a vampire, that he would no longer want anything to do with him. And he didnt want that. But, he wanted to be with this human, and he knew he could only hide his true identity from him for so long. Whether he liked it or not, he needed to tell him. Bringing a hand up to his face, his fingertips carefully wiped away the freshly spilt blood smeared along his lips. He had only fed several moments before, his first in about a couple of days. He brought his hand down, and stared at the red stain tarnishing his pale fingertips. Running the pungent liquid through his fingers, he could almost feel the blood seeping into his skin. He felt life, if only for a moment. But, that moment, alone, wasnt nearly enough. He wanted more. So much more He looked ahead of him to the open screen door; Yunho, completely oblivious, on the other side. Mustering up all of the courage he had, he tentatively took a few steps towards the door, and stopped until he was just in front of it. He could not go any further, due to the fact that Yunho had the light on, and the light would hurt Jaejoong. He brought a hand up, knocking gently against the window. Yunho? Yunho immediately looked up from his work, upon hearing Jaejoongs voice. Dropping his pen, he turned his head to the door, and smiled at the young vampire peering in. Suddenly, he gasped. Wait! Just a sec He jumped up from his chair, rushing over to the light-switch by the bedroom door. He flicked it, shutting the light off, and went over to let Jaejoong into the room. Jaejoong smiled at Yunho, making his way over, and they kissed in greeting.

You know, you could always buzz me from downstairs. Yunho suggested to the other boy, as Jaejoong stepped, somewhat uncomfortably into the room. Yunho laughed. You dont always gotta come through the balcony Thats what I came to talk to you about. Jaejoong told him, slight nervousness echoing through his words. Yunho looked at the boy, a little confused. The buzzers broken? Jaejoong smiled. No, no, its um He began, clearly unsure of what he should say. He quickly racked his brain for words, or thoughts, or just something, anything. But nothing seemed to work. Yunho waited in anticipation for what Jaejoong was about to say. He listened and waited, intently for Jaejoong to speak. After the passing of several quiet moments, slight agitation was slowly taking over the young vampire, and it was beginning to become somewhat obvious. He stood there in front of Yunho, fidgeting with his fingers, before slowly lowering his gaze to meet the floor. He smiled a little, as to hide his overshadowing nervousness. He parted his lips. Im afraid Im not quite sure how to begin saying this It was now Yunhos turn to be worried, as he looked with concern into the other boys face. Is everything okay ? Jaejoong said nothing for a few moments, which just worried Yunho even more. What had happened? Was everything alright? Or on the other side, maybe he really shouldnt hear this? As Yunhos pit of worry grew, Jaejoongs burden of tentativeness became greater. Doubt stood looming menacingly over Jaejoongs head, pulling him back, stopping him. He mentally shook it away, and continued on, with great effort, with the words he should say. He slowly looked back up at Yunho, a subtle anxiety reflecting in the brown of his eyes. You recall my telling you of my allergy to light? Yeah. Yunho answered, slowly, somewhat bracing himself for what would come next. Well Jaejoong began, his gaze returning once again to the floor. you see He paused, hesitance still ringing in the back of his mind. He tried his

hardest to ignore it, and continued on. its more than just a mere allergy. He told him. Much more than that. Yunho was pretty much scared at this point. He really did wish Jaejoong would hurry and tell him what was wrong, instead of dragging it on in this way; it was making Yunho deathly nervous. But he also didnt want to rush the other boy, and wanted him to take his time to get his words across. And so, he listened, patiently. Yunho Jaejoong began, his gaze still with the floor at their feet. Im The phone rang. The tension immediately broken, Yunho sighed in slight annoyance. He gave Jaejoong an apologetic look. Hold on, Jae, just a sec. He quickly went over to the phone, and picked it up, hushing it of its ringing. Hello? Well, well, well. The voice on the other end smirked satisfyingly to himself, as he put all of his instant messenger windows, all nine of them, on hold. Various texts, and papers remained busily sprawled all over his desk, as he sat working away in his dorm room. He picked up a pen, and began twirling it lazily with his fingers. Look who finally decided to pick upYunho. The other boy laughed, slightly nervously. Oh, hey, Yoochun The hell happened to you? Yoochun asked, as he dropped the pen back on the table. He frowned slightly, traces of dejection revealing themselves through his features. Havent heard from you in the longest time. He paused. Thought you died, or something. There was a brief silence afterwards, until Yoochun once again broke it, a slight nervous smile etching its way onto his face. Just callin to make sure youre still alive. His voice was now laced with a gentle concern, and an almost compassionate tone. Is everything okay? Yeah, everythings fine. Yunho answered him, as casually as possible. You sure? Yeah, Im sure. If you say so. Yoochun shrugged.

It was quiet between them for a few moments, after that. Yunho had still not yet said anything to Yoochun, partly because he wasnt sure of what else he couldve said. At times, he found it hard to talk to the other boy, despite the length of time that they had known each other. Yoochun and Yunho were best friendsthat, they were. They had known each other all through high school, and Yunho was the very first friend that Yoochun had made there. They did everything together, and got along exceptionally well. But you see, over time, things change. People change. As they grew older, extreme differences in their characters had somewhat pushed them apart. Yunho was the focussed one, always busied, who pretty much kept to himself. Yoochun, on the other hand, had become quite the social butterfly, and called on Yunho, pretty much if no one else was doing anything that weekend. Those weekends came few and far between. They knew that they were no longer as close as they used to be, but there was something there that both boys still desperately wanted to hold on to. More than anything So, howve you been? Yoochun asked, aptly breaking the silence once more. Good, The other boy answered, before turning his eyes over to Jaejoong, who stood somewhat nervously a few feet away from him. Jaethere was still something that the raven-haired boy was waiting to say to him. But um He paused, his eyes still upon the young vampire. do you think you could call back later? Jaejoong looked up at Yunho, with large worried eyes. Yoochun, not really expecting Yunhos sudden question, slowly answered, Okay, but Yunho? Jaejoong was beginning to get a little impatient, and wished the other boy would hurry with his phone call. He called out to him, in a voice louder than he should have. Through the other end of the line, Yoochun had heard another voice, an instant morbid curiosity beginning to take over him. Who was that? He asked Yunho, his eyes slightly narrowing. No one. Yunho quickly blurted out, trying to cover up Jaejoongs voice. Yoochun raised an eyebrow in scepticism. Im pretty sure I heard someone, Yunho. He began slowly, trying to disguise the growing jealousy rising in his

voice. He parted his lips, suspiciously. Whos over there? No one. Yunho tried to answer as composed as he possibly could, while lying through his teeth to his best friend. Just a friend. A friend, huh? Yoochun asked, his voice dripping with envy and distrust, clearly beginning to become evident in his tone. So whyd you try to deny it when I asked? I didnt What kind of friend? Yoochuns whole demeanour disappeared completely, a devious smile slowly unfurling against his lips. Yunho got himself a girl? That why you been so busy all the time? He laughed. Look, its just Cmon, man, you can tell me. Its not She hot? Yoochun asked, his smile playing devilishly across his face. Yunho thought for a moment at those words. He then smirked a little, to himself. Yeah, you could say that. Then, Yoochun started to become a little interested. Is she, now? He asked him, curiously. Hmm. So are we ever gonna meet this hot girlfriend of yours, thats like taking up all your time? Yunhos eyes widened a little, at that. W-Why would you wanna meet her? Yoochun laughed. What, you think Im gonna steal her away from you? He asked him, slightly amused. But hey, if she cant help herself, I mean Thats not gonna happen. Yunho said simply, aptly stopping him. Says you. Yoochun smirked, satisfyingly. He then laughed. Okay, fine, Ill leave you alone. Ill talk to you later, Yunho. Yeah, later, Chun. Yunho hung up, as did Yoochun, leaving Yoochun alone in his dorm, once again. He sighed. The only light being a desk lamp that

stood atop the messy desk. He needed to be alone, this time, as to work on that assignment due at the end of the week. He looked at the papers sprawled all over his desk, and what he had typed up so far on his laptop screen. Hed be done soon enough; these things never took him long to finish, anyway. Yet still, he stared blankly into the papers in front of him, not really wanting to do much else. It comforted him, in this strange sort of way. His chestnut brown eyes then turned to the window, as he looked ahead of him into the nighttime autumn landscape. He watched as the wind gently plucked the still remaining leaves from the weeping trees; the leaves, hanging onto whatever life left they could possibly grasp. The night disguised all of the colours of the season, the oranges, the browns, the very few greens. Everything remained black, grey, and blue to the eyes of the untrained. He stared ahead of him, into it, his eyes slowly beginning to fill with a dull emptiness. He frowned. This season always left him that familiar taste of the bittersweet. Some of his fondest memories were in autumn. And yet As he watched the leaves continue to fall, continue to leave the only life they had ever known, he was filled with contempt. He hated the way nature worked, as he watched the leaves still continue to fall. Only when he was alone like thisonly when he was reminded that there was no one else in the world here beside himis when they would start to come: Memories. Memories of an ice-coldness, seeping their way through him. And yet, his eyes continued to stare out ahead of him into the night outside of his window. He hated autumn. Frustrated with all of this, he got up from his desk, and walked over to his fridge. He hated when it had to come to this. Absently peering in, he reached for the first thing his hand could touch: a bottle of vodka. He grabbed a hold of it. It was cold. He supposed it could do, for now. He brought it out of the fridge, closing the door behind him, before walking over to the large window. He slowly dropped to the floor, resting his head against the wall for support. Twisting off the bottle cap, he dropped it somewhere beside him, bringing the bottle to his lips. He tipped it, allowing the coolness of the clear poison to pass through his lips, numbing him as it made its way down. This would work, only for now. He would feel absolutely nothing, only for now. He brought the bottle away from his lips, as he blankly stared ahead of him into nothing. I miss you. He said to no one in particular. He thought he would be over this by now. It had already been close to a year He closed his eyes, exhaling deeply. A single tear, falling discreetly down his


Yunho turned to Jaejoong, as he smiled, sheepishly. Sorry about that. He began. Y-You were saying? Jaejoong looked up at him. Y-Yes, um He paused, allowing another silence to join them, once again. After hearing both Yunho and Yoochuns conversation over the phoneeven though he only heard one side of ithe could still sense their closeness with each other. Jaejoong somewhat felt as if he was intruding, seeing that he was the one that ended the conversation. Perhaps if he had not come to see Yunho at that moment, the two would have probably still continued with their talk over the phone. Jaejoong almost felt a little guilty. maybe now is not the most fitting time to say this Yunho looked at Jaejoong. Well, He started. it must be important. I mean He shrugged. You came all the way here to tell me. And you seem kinda bent up about it He noticed Jaejoong had been worried and nervous about the whole thing, all the while. Jaejoong said nothing. Is it important? Yunho asked him, curiously. Jaejoong slowly nodded, in answer. Very much so. Yunho smiled, gently. Im listening. He told him. Jaejoong guiltily looked away from Yunho, bringing his focus, once again to the floor. He spoke, his voice barely audible, just a bit over a whisper. I almost wish you werent. Yunho smiled at the other boy. Aw, tell me. He took a step closer to him, and tilted his head to the side, to get a better look into Jaejoongs face. What is it? Doubt was looming dangerously low over Jaejoong, and he was contemplating whether or not he should tell Yunho the truth. Part of him wanted to, but that same part that held him back was now beginning to overshadow his reasoning. They could both still continue on in this way couldnt they? Without Yunho ever knowing a thing. It wouldnt hurt him

would it? A quiet sombreness began to make its way over Jaejoong, as he stood there, in deep thought. A hesitant nervousness was eating its way through him, leaving holes wherever it was able. Was he willing to lose all of this? Yunho? Everything? Several moments had passed by, and Jaejoong still had not yet said a word. This was worrying Yunho even more. How serious was what Jaejoong had to tell him, that he could not bring himself to do it? Jae? He began, softly. Jaejoong said nothing. What is it? Yunho asked slowly, somewhat afraid of what Jaejoong was thinking. Jaejoong, too, was afraid to keep going, that incessant darkening of doubt holding him back. He slowly opened his mouth, but no sound came out Yunho saw the fear in Jaejoongs eyes, and began to panic. He grabbed Jaejoong by the shoulders, shaking him, in attempt to snap him out of it. Jae, whats wrong? Im sorry! Jaejoong immediately looked into Yunhos eyes, fear now evidently shown. He slowly opened his mouth, once again. Im Youre what? Yunho asked him, more softly this time, his hands, gently on Jaejoongs shoulders. Jaejoong looked up at Yunho, fear and worry intertwining themselves in his large dark brown eyes. He parted his lips, slowly. A vampire. He could only manage to whisper. I am one of them.

;chapter 7((Smoky Mirror _________

You remember now do you not? Come nowwas it really that long ago?

You remember, as she anxiously tucked her deep-cherry coloured hair behind her ear, before crossing her arms and picking up her pace, in a hurry to get home that night. The wind had picked up slightly, as it drew mini cyclones of leaves around her feet. They whisked about, whipping their way throughout the night air. She kept her head down, and tried to avoid anything that may distract her, as she solely kept her focus on arriving at home. She swiftly brought her hand up, to look at the watch on her wrist. Just about five minutes more. She sighed exasperatedly, as she hurriedly continued on her way. She hated walking home, especially through a place as dark and secluded as this. Unfortunately, she left her bus tickets at home, she had no car, no ride, and there was no other way she could get back home but to walk. The fastest way she could get home from school was to go through the woods that lined the campus. It was a tremendous risk, considering how dangerous it could be. Or who could be lurking. Just the thought of it terrified her. This year alone, there had already been sixty-two reported vampire-related deathsand those were just the reported. Dozens of deaths go unreported; the body is never found, and the loved ones closure is never reached. It was sad to think about; the many lives that had been lost, almost needlessly. And the many that would continue to be lost She shivered a little, as she continued on her way, a twig snapping under her foot. She would soon approach the end of the woods; just a little farther to go, just a little farther to go. She brushed past small bushes and the thick branches of the trees, as she briskly made her way through the forest, the crystal shards of moonlight subtly breaking through the canopies. The only sound around her was the crickets gentle night song, and the wind, that remained whispering throughout the leaves of the trees; whispering so softly ever so quietly moving without a sound. She frowned. Something didnt feel right to her. She felt a slight wariness, as if she was being watched. Was she alone? She slowed her pace somewhat, hushing the noise of the leaves crunching below her feet, as to better hear the sounds around her. Suddenly, her breath caught in her throat, as she heard the snap of a twig behind her.

She stopped. The faint crunching of the leaves under her feet was no more. Her breathing slowed, allowing the nervous echo of her erratic heartbeat to ring throughout her ears. Her eyes widened in anticipation, as her palms grew cold, and clammy against the suede of her jacket. She swallowed hard, as if to push down the overwhelming sense of fear that was gradually beginning to take over her. Almost whimpering, she slowly started to turn around, almost dreading what might have been behind her with each subtle movement The girl immediately let out a deep sigh of relief, as she faced what was behind her: A squirrel. It stood staring at her, almost frozen, the moonlight glinting off its dark beady eyes. Then, it twitched, before running away to scamper up a nearby tree. The girl rolled her eyes, a slight smirk appearing over her lips, as she turned around to continue on her way. She gasped. There, a few feet in front of her, stood a darkened figure, obscured by the shadows of the night. The only thing her eyes could detect was a shiny object around the figures neck, the moonlight gracefully catching it. Her mouth went dry, as she continued to stare helplessly at the darkened figure ahead of her. A million thoughts raced through her head, but only one cried out clearly to her, as she continued to stare at the figure. Was it a? No. It couldnt be. Could it? Her eyes still on the obscured figure, she tried to take a step back, but it was as if her own leg weighed a ton. She could not move, as she remained there frozen to the ground, frozen by fear. The last thing she would ever hear: the bloodcurdling cry of her own scream. A soul is lost. A life is ended.

A tear is shed. But, by whom? He slowly knelt down on the earth below him, as he gazed into the face of the dead girls body; the soft moonlight, delicately catching the silver chain around his neck. She would be nameless to him now, and will remain that way forever. His vision had now cleared, his rising wave of bloodlust having ebbed. He could see clearer now. Much clearer, as he still continued to stare at the dead girl beside him. He gingerly reached a hand up to her face, and cupped her cheek against the paleness of his hand. His eyes reflected a quiet fear, drowned out with sorrow. He wondered to himself. What would she have been like? What would she have become? What made her happy? What made her smile? He moved his hand up to her forehead, as he softly brushed aside the stray strands of her deep cherry-coloured hair, stained with her own blood. He couldnt help but let a single tear fall from the corner of his darkened eyes. Then another and then another. His tears streamed silently down his face, until his whole body was racked with gentle sobs. His crystal tears fell from his face onto her eyes, then onto her cherry lips, only to roll down the side of her face, losing themselves in the strands of her hair. Hey! He stopped, and quickly turned his head over to the place the booming voice had come from. There, a ways away behind him was a man, seemingly elderly, but not the least bit fragile. He stared with his powerful gaze into the darkness ahead of him at the darkened figure. He took a few steps closer to get a better look, but before he got too close, the figure got up, quickly disappearing into the night. The man frowned, completely not expecting it to leave as fast as it did. Still, he kept on, steadily approaching the other figure lying on the ground. But just as he was about a few feet in front of ithe stopped. His eyes landed ahead of him upon the body of a young woman, tears streaked down her face. Tonight, this city falls victim once again to another vampire attack, the eighteenth reported so far this month. Its latest victim, 20-yearold Kang Eunah, a Gyeongju University student, was found dead at about nine-fifty pm. 62-year-old Ahn Taehoon found her body in a secluded wooded area, just around the outskirts of the Gyeongju University campus. No word yet on the whereabouts of the vampires,

but police are issuing a state of high alert, and urging the community to be on extreme caution. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

Was it really that long ago? Yunho stared at the raven-haired boy in front of him. That was all he couldve done, at the time. It had taken more than just a few moments for him to register in his mind what Jaejoong had just said to him. He almost wanted to believe that perhaps he had heard the other boy wrong. But judging by the worried look on his lovers face, Yunho had heard perfectly. He had heard perfectly Completely speechless, his gaze slowly began to lower from Jaejoongs distraught eyes to the floor, until finally, away from him. His hands slipped from the young vampires shoulders, moving with him, as he took a subtle step back. And then another, until his feet dazedly found his bed behind him. He could do nothing else, but to let his legs give in, and sit back on his bed; his mind, left scattered in a disarray of disbelief. Jaejoong was worried, so much to the point, that he was beginning to feel tears painfully stinging the back of his eyes. As he felt Yunho part from him, leaving Jaejoong standing there alone, Jaejoong felt it on a much larger scale. What if he was slowly losing Yunho? He stubbornly blinked the tears away. It cant end this way; he didnt want it to end this way. He reached out to Yunho, Im sorry, I should have told you from the very beginning. Its just He paused, trying to gather his words, as he looked apprehensively over at the other boy. He spoke, his voice somewhat shaky. I-I wasnt sure how you would react. There was a brief silence. Yunho was far too shocked to say anything further, let alone even look up at Jaejoong. He kept his gaze idly focussed with the floor beneath him. Still, Jaejoong kept on. But now after getting to know you, He began, trying to gain Yunhos attention. Ive come to realize that youre different. Youre not like everyone else He felt his voice break, as he saw no single response from the other boy. And I feel I can trust you.

Another silence. This one, far heavier than the last. Yunho still had not looked up once at Jaejoong, his face hidden completely from the young vampire. Jaejoong continued to gaze at him, expectantly. What was Yunho thinking? Why wasnt he saying anything? Was he angry? As the silence continued to mercilessly drag on, it continued to eat away at the raven-haired boy, leaving him hopeless, defenceless. Im sorry. Jaejoong told him, his voice laced with a tender compassion, as he desperately summoned any ounce of strength he had left, to fight the tears burning the back of his eyes. Yunho said nothing. Jaejoong let out a broken sigh, barely audible, as a tear fought its way through his dark lashes. So that was it, then. That was it. He looked ahead of him at Yunho, still sitting quietly on his bed. It seemed as if the words spoken though Jaejoongs lips, were left only to fade and wither away in the air about them, barely echoing before they reached Yunho. He didnt want it to end like this In defeat, he slowly turned around to leave, as he faced the open screen door ahead of him, the sheer white curtains flailing about carelessly with the nights breeze. But just as he was about to leave, Yunho quickly called out to him. Why did you come back that night? Jaejoong stopped. He turned around to face the other boy, somewhat confused. He stared back at Yunho, who now looked up at him, a blank look masking whatever emotion the other boy was desperately trying to hold back. Huh? That night Yunho began, a suspicious undertone echoing in his voice. about a month ago, at the waterfront, why did you come back? Jaejoong stared, a little frightened, back at Yunho. He shyly turned away from him, and stared at the ends of the white curtains that stood flailing about before him. He said nothing. Yunho got up, and began to make his way over to Jaejoong, who stood worried, by the screen door. You knew I was human and that youre a vampire, and you feed on us He began, when he came to stand

about a couple feet away from him. His gaze locked steadily with Jaejoong. The raven-haired boy stood there, not uttering a word. Why did you come back that night? Why did you see me again? Silence. I mean, youve been with me this long, yet you havent taken my blood. Why? Jaejoong said nothing. If it was someone else, wouldnt you have killed them by now? Yunho questioned him, his tone slightly darkening. Jaejoong cringed at his words, if only a little. Why are you keeping me alive? He demanded. Jaejoong sighed, inwardly. The words were still kept, caught behind his teeth. All he had to do was just utter them. That was all he had to do. Yet still, he couldnt bring himself to do it. Not just yet. Yunho hated when Jaejoong got like this. He desperately wanted to know what the other boy was thinking, or at least, in some way, answer him. The silence he continued to deftly place after Yunhos words was irritating, and somewhat frustrating. But he supposed he couldnt put too much blame on him. After all, it wasnt his fault Jaejoong, why did you see me again? He asked the young vampire, his voice softening, showing hints of desperation. The raven-haired boy slowly turned around to face Yunho, his eyes displaying reflections of hurt. He stared at Yunho in front of him with large, darkened eyes, as he parted his lips, slowly. Because I could not kill you. He told Yunho, softly. And I wanted to know why. It was now Yunhos turn to be confused, as he looked back at Jaejoong in front of him. He frowned, slightly, as he waited for the young vampire to continue. Jaejoong sighed to himself. That day we first met, on your university campus, He began. I had not fed in three nights. I was terribly weak fatigued my thirst, insatiable. And there you were exactly what I needed. He smiled at the other boy, in this morbid sort of way. That warm, fresh blood that would make me whole, once again. I bite you, drink it, and there: jobs done. Simple enough, is it

not? He then turned his gaze to the door, staring at the nighttime landscape outside of Yunhos balcony. He paused for a moment. I thought so, too. But with you He began again, his eyes taking on somewhat of a heartfelt look. It wasnt so. Something was stopping meI couldnt take your life." A pause. "... Perhaps it was an extreme pang of guilt I felt? He wondered aloud to himself, as he tilted his head to the side, in thought. He shrugged. Whatever it was, it puzzled me. And yet intrigued me in this strange sort of way. For once, nothing was stopping me from taking another humans blood. My lust for it was at its peak, and my body incessantly hungered for it. Nothing would stop me from it. But yet you did. He explained to Yunho, as he turned to face him, once again. A slight curiousness sparked in the other boys eyes, as he listened intently as Jaejoong continued. And it puzzled me. I would wonder, why you? Why you? What makes you so different? Thats why I saw you again. Jaejoong told him, gently. And Ive come to realize that you are different. He then delicately brought a hand up to Yunhos face, tenderly cupping the dark-haired boys cheek, softly caressing it with the smooth of his thumb. He stared with longing eyes at the boy in front of him, as he smiled a little. Youre unlike the rest of them and you know that. He told him, gently. I saw it in you: youre accepting, forgiving youre the only one who seems to understand. And I deeply treasured that in you. Yunho warmly smiled back at Jaejoong, as he, too, reached his hand up to tenderly stroke Jaejoongs hand that lay comfortably against the side of his face. You dont care what other people say or how other people think. Jaejoong said to him, softly. Youre just you, and only you. And I love you for that. Yunho looked back into Jaejoongs eyes, losing himself in the richness in the dark of brown. The wispy beams of moonlight delicately caught them, his own eyes, reflecting a gentle understanding, almost seeing it mirrored in the eyes of the young vampire. Jaejoong then leaned up a little, to brush his lips lightly over the other boys. He lovingly grazed over them, before capturing them in a tender, sweet kiss, feeling the warmth of the other boys lips against his own.

Yunho slowly let his hand fall from Jaejoongs touch against his face, to hold the raven-haired boy at his waist. He kissed him back, pouring his emotion and understanding into the kiss, desperate for Jaejoong to feel it. He moved his lips compassionately over the young vampires, tasting the one that was his. A saccharine so sweet, of one he could only imagine Placing one last kiss upon Yunhos lips, Jaejoong stopped and pulled away, leaving Yunho almost hungry for more. He looked back at the other boy with concerned eyes, a bit of a pout formed over his lips. Still mad at me? He asked the dark-haired boy, hoping to get the answer he was looking for. Yunho thought a little, as he stared back into the darkness of Jaejoong's eyes. Their subtle hypnotic look was calming, and somewhat serene, as he watched the shards of moonlight reflecting, oh so gracefully, against the dark brown. ... Even if I was, He began after a moment of soundlessness. I dont think I'd really have a reason to be. How come? Jaejoong asked him, curiously. Yunho was quiet for a second, before answering him. His mind, in somewhat of a slight daze. With an unsure confidence, he spoke to the young vampire. "... 'Cause I can't change what you are." Jaejoong looked back at him. "You are what you are... and I can't change that." He said, a little more to himself, than to Jaejoong. He then paused for a moment, to look back at back at the young vampire. He thought to himself. But there was one thing that he could change. ... He smiled. But Im okay with it. You are? The young vampire asked, a little surprised. Yunho nodded. So Jaejoong began, still a little bit unsure. it does not bother you that Im ? Yunho smirked, slightly amusedly. Jae, I love you for who you are not what you are. He told him. I mean, yeah, you're... a vampire..." He paused, a faint ringing of doubt echoing somewhere deep in his

mind. He ignored it, as he continued on. "... But I loved you before I knew, didn't I?" He asked the other boy. "Why should that change anything? ... I mean, it's not like you, yourself, changed." He smiled, a little. "You're still that same Jaejoong I'm completely nuts over." The young vampire laughed at those words. Slowly, Yunho then reached a hand up to softly brush Jaejoongs raven-coloured strands away from his eyes, and let his hand fall delicately down to the young vampires cheek. He then leaned down a bit, to place a tender kiss upon Jaejoongs forehead. He leaned back, and smiled at him. Thats all that matters. Jaejoong, too, returned the smile, happy in his lovers understanding. Yunho stopped, as he took a minute to look at Jaejoong. When the other boy had told him that he was a vampire, Yunho almost didnt believe him. Physically, Jaejoong looked just like any other guy you would find on the street. He would have never guessed. However, Jaejoong emitted this strange, somewhat enigmatic aura. Yunho couldnt quite describe it. But there was something about Jaejoong that had always fascinated him, leaving him almost mesmerized... But still, he seemed just like any other person; just like any other.

The thick air of the nightclub was dizzying, in its heat. The fervent tension, fast-pasted and eclectic, remained vigilant in the air, brazenly grinding against the many forms of itself. It lay a mist of sweat amongst the audaciousness of the glistening bodies moving about below. He eyed her, carefully, his Siren of the night. Just for tonight. Hidden in the darkness of a corner, the shadows dusting his metallic-blue coloured hair, he watched as her body swayed to the hypnotic beat; the intoxicating music surrounding them. It filled their senses, overflowing their cups past the brim, with a taste as smooth as a fine Vermouth. His dark eyes ran themselves over, and across her voluptuous body, intensely; memorizing every curve, and every spot of skin that would sound an alarm. His mouth watered in anticipation--he could almost taste her. Quite the showy little nymph, she was.

What was that? Had she caught him looking? Her face lit up with a mischevious smirk, as her caramel-coloured eyes met the darkness of his own, from across the floor. Her smouldering gaze caught him, and him alone, oblivious to the other pleasureseekers surrounding them. So... he likes what he sees, does he? Keeping the pages turning, she kept up with the beat; her gaze slowly leaving him. Her body, in tune with the melodious dance, made him forget the lyrics blaring through the sound system. She conveyed her own message with the slow, tantalizing movements of her hips. She smiled, a little. After all, she had an audience which needed entertaining. Best not to let him down. As if in some sort of trance, his eyes were held captive. It was difficult to refuse the seduction, leaving him drunk and heady with its sweet fragrances of temptation. The vehement haze surrounding them further adding to it, as he felt a subtle short of breath, his eyes still transfixed on her alluring form. This was the one, he thought satisfyingly to himself. He thought nothing of the young woman he had promised himself to, just a couple of months before. Promises are made to be broken, after all. A devilish glint danced about in his eyes, as he eyed her carefully, his Siren of the night. Just for tonight.

If you dont mind me asking howd you become a vampire? Jaejoong looked beside him, towards a curious Yunho, sitting with him on the bed. He let his gaze lower, slightly, as he stared somewhat blankly ahead of him. And paused for a moment... thinking. He, himself, had pondered upon this question far too many a time in the past. And every single time, he would be given the same answer: nothing. I do not remember. He told Yunho, after several moments of soundlessness. He looked down, a hollowed emptiness reflected in the

dark brown of his eyes. I remember nothing of it. A slight smirk carefully began to take over his lips. "My mind is a complete blank, as far back as I can see. And even then, I still see nothing." Yunhos expression softened, somewhat, to a sincere look of condolence, as he looked back into Jaejoongs face. So, you... can't remember a thing at all that happened to you? He asked. Jaejoong shook his head, his gaze still transiently ahead of him. Not a thing. He answered. "As far back as I can see, my own life--before this life... is a complete blank." He told him. "The only thing I can scarcely remember, is simply the fact that I was human. If only for a little while." He smiled, weakly. The slight spark in his eyes dulled over once again, as Yunho watched only faint traces of that smile, across his lips, slowly begin to fade away, dispersing amongst the darkness that blanketed him. ... All I know is that I was bitten. ... Right here. He brought a hand up to his neck, brushing his hair aside, and pushing down the collar of his long black jacket. There, at the exposed area of skin on his neck, was a vampire bite; two holes burned callously into his skin. Yunho looked at Jaejoongs bite curiously, almost in wonder at it. It amazed him how this same bite was the cause of death to so many people, the main reason of hundreds of lost souls, and yet this boy was still alive by it. It almost seemed as if he had cheated death. In an eerie sort of way Yunho was impressed by it. He gingerly reached a hand up to the young vampires neck, and let his fingers gently graze over the bite, feeling the roughness of hardened scar tissue. Does it still hurt? He asked, in concern. Jaejoong shook his head, slightly. Not at first, no. He answered, his voice low, echoing hints of a faded despondency. But it hurts now His voice trailed off, his eyes revealing a hollowed emptiness. His gaze, locked idly with the floor. Yunho let his fingertips graze over the other boys neck just a bit longer; on this spot of roughness that tainted the porcelain-like smoothness of the young vampires body. He let his fingertips glide over it, then a little further down, as he softly stroked his neck. Boldly, he then leaned in a bit closer, letting his lips softly brush over the boys neck, just grazing over his bite. Jaejoong gasped as he felt Yunhos warm breath caressing his neck softly. Just then, his eyes widened slightly, as he felt Yunho place a

tender kiss upon the bite on Jaejoongs neck. That kiss resonated from the young vampires neck, to somewhere deep down inside of him, awakening something within him cursed to be forever dormant. For a human to kiss a vampires bite was something utterly unspeakable, far worse than any mortal sin. It was sometimes compared by ethicists to the theory of an angel making love to the devilit was wrong and iniquitous, denounced by all parts. This matter was no different. It was believed that for a human to make any sort of physical contact with the forbidden scar, their soul would be lost, tainted for all eternity. For a living creature to touch the skin of the undead, especially the bite of a vampire the thought of it was absolutely unimaginable, dismissed without thought. But yet Jaejoongs eyes slowly began to close, as he revealed more of his neck to Yunhos coveting lips. Each kiss placed, echoed a longing more desiring than the last. A sigh slowly seeped through his lips, as he felt Yunhos moist tongue gently flick every now and then over the exposed skin of his neck, aptly teasing his bite. Jaejoong smirked inwardly to himself. This human truly was different than all the others. Yunho slowly rose up from the boys neck, Jaejoongs eyes instantly fluttering open. Yunho smirked at the vampire boy, whose cheeks were slightly flushed. Still hurts? Jaejoong nodded, cheekily, an innocent pout formed over his lips. Yunho smiled at him, and leaned in to place another kiss upon Jaejoongs lips, one to which Jaejoong favourably returned. The young vampires kisses were laced with a tender compassion, as he moved his mouth eagerly against the other boys, eager to taste him, and to feel him. Yunho loved it, indulging himself in the sweet, silken feel of Jaejoongs velvety lips, as he tasted them, feeling their gentle suppleness against his own. Yunho then slyly slipped his tongue out of his mouth, running the tip of it ever so lightly across Jaejoongs bottom lip, teasingly. Jaejoong responded, slightly parting his lips to allow Yunhos tongue entrance. The other boy playfully slipped his tongue in Jaejoongs mouth, then quickly darted it out again, just before it touched the young vampires tongue; causing a tiny frustrated whine to sound through Jaejoongs lips. Yunho smiled at that, before ardently slipping his tongue into Jaejoongs mouth once again, this time, meeting the vampire boys.

Their tongues slid and glided past each other, softly caressing the others, laced with a mutual passion. Their tongues, danced back and forth in the wet recesses of their mouths, fervently exploring new crevices, savouring new tastes. They brushed, and thrust against each other; teased, and taunted one another in a feverish manner. Butterfly kisses, stolen, every now and then. A soft moan sounded through Jaejoongs lips, as Yunho slowly began to break the kiss, his tongue still left lingering on Jaejoongs lips. He slowly drew his tongue back into his mouth, and looked hungrily into Jaejoongs eyes. The look in Yunhos eyes alone was enough to cause another moan to escape the young vampires lips, once again, as Jaejoong bit his bottom lip, looking back somewhat helplessly into Yunhos dark brown eyes. The other boy smiled impishly at this, and brought his lips closer to Jaejoongs. Yunho bit the young vampires bottom lip, drawing it slowly away from his teeth, before, himself, taking it between his own teeth and fervently suckling on the succulent piece of flesh. Jaejoong made a sound akin to a pleading whine, as he brought a hand up to the side of Yunhos face, pulling him closer. Their kiss not once breaking, Yunho reached up to Jaejoongs shoulder, and began to free Jaejoong of his long, black coat. Jaejoong reluctantly broke the kiss, in order to help remove the garment faster. Finally, he wriggled free of the atrocious thing, and tossed it somewhere over the side of the bed. Yunho immediately descended towards the young vampires lips again, claiming them, hungrily. Yunhos hand reached up under Jaejoongs black shirt, running his fingers lightly across his abdomen, softly caressing the vampire boys porcelain skin. He smiled into the kiss, as he felt Jaejoong shudder under his touch. He swiftly broke the kiss, and began to slowly lift the shirt off of Jaejoongs body, Jaejoong lifting his arms to help remove it, as well. Yunho leaned down towards the young vampires torso, tenderly kissing the exposed skin as more and more of his body was revealed to him. A placid sigh escaped Jaejoongs lips, as Yunho gently laid Jaejoong back onto the bed, the other boys tongue now teasingly sliding itself across his skin. Jaejoong gasped, as he felt Yunhos tongue encircling a rather sensitive nipple. His tongue mercilessly flicked it, before slightly nibbling on the pebble-like flesh, as Jaejoong threw his head back and arched his body, in response, wanting as much contact as he could possibly get. But he wanted to feel more. He looked down at Yunhos body, still

covered with his white sleeveless shirtthe piece of fabric separating them. Still enrapt in the feeling of Yunhos tongue snaking its way across his chest, Jaejoong let his hands fall on the other boys hips, before reaching the hem of his white shirt. He began to lift it up, and Yunho reluctantly ceased his lavishing of the other boys body. Yunho, now kneeling on his knees, with Jaejoong sitting up a little, helped Yunho lift the shirt up and over his head, tossing it, too, over the side of the bed. Once the garment was removed, Yunho leaned down, claiming the young vampires lips once again, in a searing, passionate kiss. Jaejoong returned the kiss, twofold, as he cupped Yunhos face in his hands. His lips then left Yunhos, leaving a trail of light kisses along the side of his face, leading towards his neck; a hand slowly dropping from the side of Yunhos face, leaving feathery touches down his welltoned body. Jaejoong suckled fervidly on the sensitive patches of skin on the other boys neck, causing a low groan to escape Yunhos lips. Making his way down his neck, Jaejoong planted warm butterfly kisses down Yunhos collarbone and shoulders, his hand still teasingly roaming the other boys body. His lips then grazed lightly down Yunhos chest, stopping at the proximity of an erect nipple. He slipped his tongue out of his mouth, the warm wetness teasing the sensitive skin around the pebble-like flesh. Yunho threw his head back as he felt the young vampires tongue finally make that sweet contact with his nipple, a soft moan seeping through his lips, as he entangled his fingers in the raven-coloured strands of Jaejoongs hair. Jaejoong kissed, licked and nibbled just a little on the other boys nipple, his tongue still teasingly encircling it. He let his roaming hand delicately make its way to Yunhos other nipple, rubbing and gently tugging at the pebble-like flesh, causing moans of delight to escape Yunhos lips. Jaejoong then released the pebble-like flesh from his tongue, and kneeled up to Yunhos height. He gently pushed the other boy back onto the bed, and laid him on his back. Jaejoong then lifted Yunhos arms over his head, and placed his hands in his, as he leaned in closer to claim Yunhos lips once more. As he parted his lips, deepening the kiss, he slowly began to glide his hands along the underside of Yunhos arms, bringing his feathery touches to trace along the contours of Yunhos chest, causing the other boy to sigh into Jaejoongs mouth. The young vampire then released Yunhos lips, and descended further down Yunhos body, planting passionate, fleeting butterfly kisses down his abdomen. He let his tongue slide just a bit further down towards Yunhos navel, tasting his skin as he went. He then slyly let his tongue

roll around Yunhos navel, occasionally dipping in, causing a placid sigh to escape Yunhos lips. Jaejoong kissed the sensitive area tenderly, before moving down the side of Yunhos body towards his cut lines. As he let the warm moistness of his tongue tease the crease between his torso and thigh, he let a free hand saunter up Yunhos body, leaving feathery light caresses across his skin. The raven-haired boy continued on his way, his lips stopping once again at the drawstring of Yunhos sweatpants. He smirked to himself, a little, before lifting his lips to capture the string between his teeth. He gently tugged at it, undoing the knot, and slid both his sweatpants and boxers off with ease. He took a moment to admire Yunho, completely revealed to him. He smiled at the other boy, before reaching out to his body, leaving feathery light touches across his skin. He then smiled to himself, and delicately with his index finger, began to trace things across Yunhos abdomen. Guess. He whispered seductively to the dark-haired boy lying in front of him. Guess? Yunho repeated, somewhat confused, as he stared up at Jaejoong. Mhmm. The young vampire nodded, before continuing to explain further. I will spell out a word here. He then let his fingertips graze lightly over the boys abdomen. If you get it right I have to do what the word says. He told him. Do you understand? Yunho nodded, his eyes never once leaving the other boys. Jaejoong let out a sly smile, and began to proceed with his little game. He let his fingertips slowly trace a letter on the other boys torso, then let his eyes travel back up to Yunhos. Guess. Um Yunho thought, reliving the way in which Jaejoongs fingertips feathered across his skin. Finally, a letter came to mind. S? Jaejoong smiled happily as he got the answer he was looking for. Alright, another. He began to trace another letter, and then looked back up at Yunho, awaiting his response. Yunho thought for a moment, trying to guess the next letter. U? Jaejoong gasped, happily. Ah, very good! He exclaimed. Okay, this

is the next one. He traced another letter across Yunhos abdomen, and waited in anticipation for Yunho to guess. Yunho smiled, deviously. C. Jaejoong nodded. Now heres the last letter. He traced the final letter delicately across Yunhos body, and smiled up at him, waiting for Yunhos answer. Yunho smirked, as he told Jaejoong the last letter. K. Jaejoong smiled deviously, as he brought a hand down, his fingertips beginning to teasingly stroke Yunhos hardened member, a deep sigh escaping Yunhos lips. Jaejoong ran his silken fingertips maddeningly over the sensitive organ, driving Yunho absolutely insane with lust. Jaejoong then wrapped his fingers around Yunhos throbbing need, making a fist around him, covering his head. He then slid his hand down, slowly, allowing Yunhos head to penetrate his fist. After enough of Yunhos head was visible through Jaejoongs fist, he descended towards Yunhos aching member, his eyes never once leaving Yunhos. Yunho watched as Jaejoongs lips were just touches away from his tip. The vampire boy, feeling he had teased Yunho enough, allowed his tongue to slip out of his mouth, and softly licked the slit of Yunhos member. Flicking it every now and then, before finally taking Yunho completely in his mouth. Yunho couldnt help but buck up against the other boys actions. His fingers immediately entangled themselves in the silky strands of Jaejoongs raven-coloured hair, pushing his head further onto his aching member. Yunho moaned without inhibition, panting and groaning the young vampires name like a broken record. He lifted his hips, as if trying to gain more contact, despite the fact that he was nearly completely engulfed in the raven-haired boys mouth. Jaejoong sped up suddenly, his bobbing becoming erratic before, dramatically slowing his pace, the friction driving Yunho absolutely insane. He then let go of Yunhos saliva-slick arousal, using his tongue to teasingly flick the tip of the other boys member. He slid his warm, wet tongue along the sides of Yunhos arousal, before taking the other boy, once again, in his mouth. He began to hum a bit, moaning slightly, as he bobbed his head, thoroughly lavishing Yunhos member with his mouth. Yunho made a sound akin to a whimpering cry, as he felt the warmth of Jaejoongs mouth leave his aching member. Jaejoong wasted no time in kissing his way back up Yunhos body, to his desperately

awaiting lips. Yunho leaned up, cupping Jaejoongs face in his hand, pulling him into a heatedly passionate kiss; their tongues and teeth clashing fervidly in their nearly overflowing lust for each other. Yunho switched their positions, as he now remained hovering over Jaejoong beneath him. He hungrily descended towards the vampire boy, showering his face with passionate kisses, and lavishing his body with gentle, soft caresses. Momentarily breaking the kiss, he wasted no time in relieving Jaejoong of his jeans, sliding them off his body with ease. He then claimed Jaejoongs lips once more, binding him in a searing, lustful kiss. He allowed his free hand to roam the young vampires body, feeling the smoothness of his porcelain-like skin against his pining fingertips. His other hand lay gently cupped against the vampire boys face. He caressed the other boys sides, occasionally dipping lower to stroke his abdomen, causing Jaejoong to sigh into Yunho's mouth. Yunhos lips then left Jaejoongs, as he planted kisses down the side of his face, against his rosy-flushed cheek. "You're so beautiful." Yunho whispered against him, in-between his showering of kisses, as his lips made their way down towards Jaejoong's neck. His lips, finding the smooth skin, he began sucking on the bite on Jaejoongs neckwhich he found to be extremely sensitive. The young vampire writhed, and crooned beneath him, a moan escaping his rose-petal lips. Yunhos fingers continued their wandering, finding themselves comfortably at Jaejoongs entrance. Then slowly, as to not hurt Jaejoong, he slid a finger in at first, then another, and proceeded to make a scissoring action with his fingers, stretching the other boy. Jaejoong winced slightly in discomfort, as he withdrew himself from Yunhos kisses along his neck. Yunho looked into his face, almost worried. He didnt want to cause Jaejoong any pain... The young vampire looked back up into Yunhos face again, seeing his slightly hurt expression. Not wanting to alarm Yunho, he gave him a reassuring smile, telling him to proceed. To encourage him, Jaejoong leaned up, placing a kiss upon Yunhos lips. A little more confident this time, Yunho kissed Jaejoong back, carefully sliding both of his fingers out of Jaejoong. His lips never once leaving the other boys, Yunho slowly began to penetrate Jaejoong. As Yunho entered the other boy, even through

closed eyes, his vision turned white around the edges at the sudden overwhelming pleasure that took over him. Holding back a loud moan, Yunho waited until he was fully encased in Jaejoongs warmth, before pulling out almost completely in a controlled, swift motion. Pausing for a split second, he then plunged back inside of Jaejoongs warm body. The young vampire instantly moaned, abruptly breaking the kiss once more. He was unable to stop himself as the most amazing feeling of pleasure shot through his entire body, making him push back onto the other boy, wanting more. Yunho shivered and groaned before repeating the process, this time with Jaejoong thrusting his body back to meet him, their speed gradually increasing, as they drowned in an overflowing sea of passion. Yunhos breath was laboured, and his thrusts became more and more erratic as he felt himself approaching release. He let one hand wander down between their bodies to Jaejoongs neglected length and began to pump it, trying to keep up with his wild and irregular thrusting. Jaejoong let out moan after moan; each pleasure-filled thrust, every penetration, every touch, or pant seemed to be magnified by indescribable and overwhelming lust passing between them. Steamy moans and sounds of pleasure floated throughout the air, mixing and intertwining themselves with each other, in a symphony of passion, both boys at the center of it all. Jaejoong lifted himself up a bit, grazing his lips up towards Yunho's neck, licking and suckling on the sensitive patches of skin. Yunho moaned at this, as he thrust into Jaejoong faster and faster. The young vampire then wrapped his arms around the other boy, grabbing his buttocks, pulling Yunho deeper inside of him, wanting to feel him and only him. He glared ahead of him into the darkness of the night that surrounded them. And only him.

;chapter 8((Gone Astray _________

Amorous whispers of I love you, and doting promises, were still left lingering about the room, that night. Echoing against the corners of the walls, reverberating against the ceiling, only to come back to them, once again. The words remained drifting about and around them, before falling victim to gravity, as they softly sailed down to the two

lovers below. Their soft wispiness surrounded the two, falling as a gentle mist, gracefully sprinkling across their bare skin. A serene tranquility enclosed them, shutting out anything and everything that had to do with the world outside of the window. For, they were all that mattered. All that mattered, as they held each other close, lost in the others warm embrace. Gentle, sweet kisses were treasured like drops of Venus from the starry sky, riches known only to ones heart. Tender, soft caresses, although mild and mellifluous to the ear, sing choruses of a passionate mantra, cascading with ardour. Yunho brought his lips once again to Jaejoongs neck, comfortably nuzzling it. The young vampires hand deftly found its way to the other boys nape, fingers instantly becoming entangled in the soft strands of Yunhos dark brown hair. He allowed the other boy to completely fill his senses, softly breathing in his scent. He smiled to himself. He smelled good. He then closed his eyes, immersing himself in the feeling of Yunhos coveting lips, planting light butterfly kisses along the side of his neck; indulging himself in the sensation of the other boys breath caressing him softly. He was so warm. Jaejoong held Yunho, treasuring the other boys skin underneath his fingertips, his feathery light touches softly stroking his back. He placed a gentle kiss on Yunhos bare shoulder, before resting his head against the other boys body. He leisurely let his eyes wander over Yunhos shoulder, and past the navy blue-coloured sheets, on the bed that they sat upon, to the other side of the room. There, his eyes landed upon the wispy beams of moonlight, filtrating through the sheerness of the white curtains. He felt a sort of peace as he watched the delicate fabric sway about with the nights breezeone in which he had not felt for the longest time. Looking as far back in his mind as he was able, he could not remember a time ever being so content. Yunho had changed his life completely, and everything in this precious still of time seemed perfect. Just perfect. He let out an inward blissful sigh, as he continued to watch the curtains. Oh, how he wished he could steal this moment, to somehow make it last as long as possible. Then, they could stay this way forever couldnt they? He thought about it, as he closed his eyes once again, burying his head in Yunhos shoulder. He was so warm. Jaejoong lifted his head up slightly, his lips now comfortably placed on

the side of Yunhos neck. He carefully slowed his breathing, allowing a faint soundlessness to come between himself and the other boy. He wanted to forget everything and everyone else. No one else mattered, nothing else existed; it was just himself and Yunho. Just himself and Yunho He was so warm. Slowly arising from this soundlessness, Jaejoong could hear the rhythmic pulse of Yunhos heartbeat, as it echoed in his neck. A sort of blankness washed over the young vampires eyes, as he stared impassively at the skin on Yunhos neck. Forever the word seeped faintly through his lips, but still quieting itself from the other boys ears. They could stay this way couldnt they? Just himself and Yunhono one else mattered anymore. No one else mattered anymore. He was so warm Jaejoong listened to the sound of Yunhos blood, as it madly rushed throughout his body. The sound, magnifying itself almost tenfold, echoed painfully through the young vampire. The moments agonizingly drew on, Jaejoongs rose-petal lips hovering dangerously close to Yunhos aorta Unknowingly, his dark pupils steadily began to dilate, his hold on the other boy becoming somewhat desperate. He slowly parted his lips, his fangs threatening to bare themselves from their hidden crevices. Forever wont hurt, he told himself, as his lips gradually drew closer to Yunhos neck. I promise, it wont hurt Yunho felt something along the side of his neck, something other than the silken feel of the young vampires lips. It troubled him. Why had Jaejoong become so quiet? His eyes suddenly widened at the piercing pain at his neck. Jaejoong! Snapped back to reality, Jaejoong gasped in alarm, quickly tearing himself away from Yunhos neck. He looked helplessly into the other boys eyes, begging him for forgiveness. Im sorry! I did not mean toI was just His voice trailed off, shame lowering his gaze from Yunhos eyes. He looked away from the other boy, visibly shaken. He trembled as the thought occurred to him: he had almost bit Yunho The other boy couldnt help but look back at the raven-haired boy in front of him, almost out of pity. He felt sorry for the young vampire, and knew that it wasnt his fault. He let out a gentle sigh, bordering

the lines of sympathy and compassion. Yunho then realized, that if they were ever going to make this work, he would need to come to terms with Jaejoongs nature. He was a vampire. And like all vampires, he had the insatiable desire to feed. He had absolutely no control over that, and he understood that. And here, on the other hand, Yunho was human, filled with bloodwith life; something Jaejoong so desperately craved. An earnest look of compassion reflected in his eyes, as he looked back at the young vampire. Jaejoong had once again taken on that persona of a lost, young child. Confused. Uncertain. Perhaps, a little scared. Yunho reached out to him, gently taking the young vampire into his arms. Jaejoong held onto him, gravely, burying his head in the other boys chest. Yunho tried his best to comfort the raven-haired boywho still sat somewhat shakenas he held him in the protective fortress of his arms. He stared out ahead of them to the window, to the world outside As he continued to hold the young vampire in his arms, Yunho smirked slightly to himself. Jaejoong was right: He was the only one that seemed to understand. He then looked back down at the vampire boy, placing a kiss atop his head of raven hair. He was safe, only in here. All the while, the sheer white curtains flailed about with the gentle nights breeze.

She has cancer. Sohyuns eyes immediately widened, as she let out a horrified gasp, bringing both of her hands immediately to her face, covering her mouth. Oh my God, no She whispered through her fingers, as she stared in disbelief at the TV screen. Both Sohyun and Junsu were at home in their dorm, that afternoon, neither of them having any classes that day. One would think that a day off from school would be a good thing, but in the case of these two mismatched roommates, it was far from it. Yes, far from it, indeed. Sohyun was getting her daily Drama Fix that afternoon, her large brown eyes remaining glued to the TV screen in front of her. Actually, she was until Junsu came up from behind her, snatching the remote control.

Sorry, Soh. He changed the channel off of Sohyuns beloved drama, and switched it to something he actually cared about: X-Man. The copper-haired girl instantly twitched, silently fuming. She whipped her head around to face the boy on their couch, beside herwho she just noticed had streaked his hair red and black. Hed most likely done it himself, due to the fact that his hair was still wetand he had left the light on in the bathroom; another thing that annoyed her. Although, she had to admit, the new hairstyle complimented him, but that still didnt change the fact that he was taking up some of her precious drama-watching time. Um, Junshit. She began, her glare not once wavering. What the hell? Do you honestly mind? Junsu sat, still watching the TV, completely unfazed by the other girl. Not at all, no. He answered her absently, his eyes still on the screen. This just made Sohyun tick even more. But couldnt you see that I was kinda watching that? Yeah, actually, I did. At this, the red-haired boy wore a simple smile, as he turned around to face the girlwho still sat glaring death at him. But now, He began, matter-of-factly. I kinda need to watch this, too. He gave her a sweet smile, and turned back around to face the TV screen. Sohyun continued to glare at Junsu, somehow trying to burn a hole through his thick head, in hopes she would succeed. She blinked. Okay, you dont need to watch it. She began in a darkened tone. You just feel like being a prick for no reason, and pissing me off. Who, me? Junsu turned over to look at Sohyun once more, a look of innocence painted over his features. Never. He shook his head slightly, before returning his attention, once again, to the TV screen. The other girl continued to glare at the red-haired boy, almost in disbelief. Was he being this annoying on purpose or was he really this annoying? She let out a frustrated sigh, and frowned at the TV. Her eyes were clearly unimpressed, as she looked at the events being played back on the screen. Its a re-run. She drawled in a monotone. The red-haired boy carelessly shrugged. Its a good episode.

Sohyun blinked. But you saw it already. She spoke in her same drawl. My drama comes on only once a weekand unlike X-Man they dont repeat it! Yeah. Junsu sighed, almost out of pity. Almost, being the key word. He turned his eyes back over to Sohyun beside him, and looked at her with an extreme look of mock-pity, to almost seem as if he cared. Sucks, huh? Sohyun instantly began glowering the other boy with her piercing eyes. Who exactly did he think he was? You She continued to stare at him in disbelief, Junsus look of mock-pity still cast annoyingly over his face. ugh! Feeling she could no longer deal with him anymore, she got up from the couch, storming her way over to the kitchen. Love you, too, Sohyunnie! Go die! Junsu let out a satisfied chuckle, as he laughed at Sohyuns frustration. Still smiling, he turned back to the TV to watch X-Man, once again. Sohyun frowned as she rummaged about through the kitchen, looking for the one thing that would make everything better again: cheesecake. She absolutely loved the stuffit being her number one comfort food and was hoping for just a little nibble to somewhat calm her down. Living with Junsu would only accomplish the complete opposite. She looked about from one cupboard to the next, from drawer to drawer, even trying the fridge, but she still couldnt find it. She furrowed her brow in confusion, as she opened up the fridge door one more time, peering into its cold depths in search of her beloved dessert. Have you seen my slice of cheesecake? She asked, her question directed towards Junsu. The red-haired boys eyes momentarily left the TV screen, as he turned around to face her. Oh, was that yours? He asked, innocently. She twitched. She slowly brought her head out of the fridge, closing the door, and turned around to face him, who sat staring at her with large, bewildered eyes. She spoke, Yes, it was mine. Her glare, slowly returning. Where is it? Junsu slowly looked away from her, slight guilt written across his face. I ate it. He said, slowly.

You idiot, that was my cheesecake! Sohyun practically screamed at him. I bought it, I was gonna eat that! Who told you, you could touch it?! Well His voice trailed off. Sohyun stood there, fuming. well?! A brief moment of wordlessness came between the both of them, both Junsu and Sohyun still not yet having said a word. Junsu remained quiet, as Sohyun remained furious. She continued to glare at the redhaired boy, waiting for some sort of answer. Finally he spoke, somewhat exasperated, as he rolled his eyes. What the hellits just frigging cheesecake! Well, it was my frigging cheesecake! She spat at him. You damn prick. Didnt anyone ever tell you not to take things that dont belong to you? And on she rambled. Junsu let out a frustrated sigh, after she kept going on for at least another minute, or two. How she could never run out of things to say never ceased to amaze him. But now was not the time for him to be impressed by all this: he was missing X-Man. Are you done? He asked the copper-haired girl, tiredly. Youre ruining the show. No, as a matter of fact, Im not done. She told him, sharply. So, while youre still listening, like you should be And on she went. Junsu zoned out after about eight seconds, while Sohyun continued on rambling. This had become routine, and he had somewhat become accustomed to it by now. But it still didnt make it any less annoying. He sighed. You know, I really dont get how the hell your boyfriend puts up with you. Dont you fucking talk about my boyfriend I was talking about you, dumbass! Who the hell do you Her cell phone rang, instantly silencing their quarrel. Sohyun grumbled slightly. Who is it? She walked over to her desk on the far side of the room, opposite Junsus. The dorm was slightly large, divided in two: One half of the room belonged to Junsu,

the other half to Sohyun. The only common space they shared was down the middle, where there was a couch, coffee table and TV, and a kitchenette suite a ways away behind it. Once she reached her desk, Sohyun picked up her phone, and brought it up closer to her face, reading the caller ID. She smiled as she recognized the number: it was one of her good friends, Jo Joohee. Flipping open the phone, she brought it to her ear, and answered it. Aw, hey, Joo. Whats up? All the while, Junsu turned around to face her, listening in to their conversation, like the good roommate he was. Joohee, on the other line, smiled somewhat nervously, as she spoke. Hey! Um, listen Hyunnie um Sohyun, still expecting her to continue on with the rest of her sentence, impatiently prodded her. Um? Look. Joohee began again, as she tucked her short brown hair behind her ear. You might wanna sit down for this The copper-haired girl frowned in confusion. Whats wrong? There was a slight pause in their conversation, before Joohee spoke again, somewhat apologetically. I-I really dont mean to be the bringer of bad news and all, but She trailed off. Sohyun was now starting to become a little worried, as she listened to what it was her friend was telling her. Something bad happened? She spoke up, somewhat fretfully. Yeah. Joohee stated, the best she could. Really bad. Sohyun said nothing, as she kept the phone close to her ear. And waited But, you have to know, cause she She? Eunah. At that name, Sohyuns eyes widened in fear. What about Eunah? She asked slowly, each word leaving her lips, dripping with an overwhelming sense of dread. What happened?

Joohee said nothing for a while, almost afraid to deliver the news to Sohyun. She couldnt do it. It would break the poor girls heart Tell me shes okay? The copper-haired girl asked her friend, desperation hinting in her voice. So you really didnt hear, then? Hear what? Sohyun asked, her voice slightly shrill, and frantic. What was I supposed to hear? Tell me! Whats going on with Eunah? She asked of Joohee, rather exasperatedly. Joohee was now finding it hard to fight the tears that were burning the back of her eyes, almost wishing that she didnt have to tell this to her friend. She knew it would break the other girls heart, and Joohee almost didnt have the heart to tell her. But she had to. Slowly, she spoke to her. She was killed. It was at that exact moment, Sohyun felt everything in her become drained with lifelessness. Her usually bright brown eyes had dulled, somewhat glassing over; her hand holding the phone to her ear, threatening to fall, bringing the tiny phone down with it. She felt as if some force had just knocked the wind out of her, it was just that hard to breathe. Kang Eunah. That name would not so easily be forgotten from the copper-haired girls mind. Both Sohyun and Eunah had grown up together, and had known each other since they were merely seven years old. The two were extremely close, almost like sisters. She didnt think she could ever bare losing her, and almost did not want to believe what Joohee was telling her. What? She asked quietly, her voice echoing disbelief. Joohee couldnt help but to finally let her tears flow. One by one, they slowly streamed down her freshly made-up face, her mascara leaving streams of black down her rosy cheeks. Im sorry. I know how much she meant to you, and how close you two were Sohyun could no longer hear her. The other girls voice had become somewhat distanteverything had. She could no longer hear much of anything. All she was left with was her minds silence, telling her of a harsh, cold reality. And to that she listened. Junsu, curiously watching Sohyun this whole time, noticed her extreme change in disposition. She almost appeared to have lost the colour in her cheeks, as she stared almost vacantly ahead of her into nothing.

He then noticed her eyes. They took on a dull appearance, lifeless, almost glassy. Was she crying? Soh? He began, genuinely concerned. Sohyun said nothing. She inertly kept the phone to her ear, blankly nodding every now and then; her head, low. Junsu troubled by her sudden unresponsiveness, quickly got up and walked over to her. She still kept her head low, as she stared blankly out at the floor in front of her. Thank you. She whispered quietly, her voice, hoarse, as she slowly shut off her phone. Just as slow, she placed it on her desk behind her, not bothering to turn around, as she stared sorrowfully ahead of her. Junsu looked into the other girls face; worry clearly written across his own. She dropped to the floor. Alarmed, Junsu quickly knelt down on the floor beside her, as he looked desperately into the other girls face. Soh, what happened? He asked the copper-haired girl, worriedly, gently shaking her arm, urging her to answer him. He was hoping that if maybe he shook her arm long enough, she would get annoyed at him, snapping her out of her inane trance. It truly did scare him to see her this way. W-What did she say? He paused for a moment, studying her face, her large brown eyes Why are you crying? Sohyun did not hesitate to let the tears fall from her eyes, her gaze lifting to stare ahead of her, and no longer at the floor. She opened her mouth to speak, her voice barely above a whisper. My best friendof twelve years was killed. Bit by a vamp. She let out a shaky sigh, as she slowly shook her head, her tears, relentless. Twelve long years done. Just like that just like that. Her voice subtly broke, as her tears continued to flow, racking the girls body with gentle sobs. Junsu looked at the copper-haired girl, a sincere look of pity reflected in his eyes. For once in their whole time of living together, he felt sorry for the poor girl. He had never seen Sohyun like this before, and it troubled him to see her so. For, now, she seemed weak, but had always seemingly appeared to be so tough. She was scared, which was odd for him to see, because she appeared to never be afraid of anything, nothing at all. And now, she seemed so vulnerable

Watching her cry, Junsu almost felt his heart break. This was unfair even to Sohyun. Wanting to help her, he gingerly reached out to the other girl, and held her, consoling her the only way he could. Sohyun responded helplessly to Junsus actions, being able to do nothing else, and leaned on him, as her body became overtook with gentle sobbing. He didnt know what to say. He couldnt tell the weeping girl that everything was okay, because it simply wasnt. So, he did all he could do: He said nothing. He said nothing and continued to comfort her. Gently rubbing her arm, as she cried into his shoulder. After a few moments of incessant tears, Sohyun blinked, trying to look about through her blurry eyes. Once they came into focus, and her crying had somewhat ceased, she remembered in her mind something of not too long ago The black rose. That same black rose given to her by her boyfriend, which she so cherished. Everything around it seemed to fade, the rose, in all its colourlessness, being the only thing her eyes would see. It seemed so beautiful at the time he gave it to her. She didnt want to believe all the hoaxes and sayings about its cursed nature. She was just simply in love with the way it looked. It was gorgeous, exquisite, positively stunninghow could she have been so blind? She narrowed her piercing eyes wickedly, as the image of the reviled plant formed in her mind. It did this to Eunah. To her.

Sohyun didnt come to class today, huh? Yoochun asked Junsu the next day, at school. They were at one of the many cafes on campus, typical hotspots for the students to go to on their breaks and between classes. Both boys, along with Changmin (who sat happily with an extra-large plate of French fries, and three slices of pizza), Yunho and Mijin were gathered around a table, their food lining their textbooks. The group of friends were without one, however, that day. The vivacious Sohyun was missing from their circle, and it worried them.

Nah. Shes at home. The red-haired boy answered, absently stirring his iced cappuccino with the spoon-like straw. He carelessly swished it around in the large plastic cupcaring nothing for it, really. He just needed something to busy himself with, as he stared into the drink. His thoughts lay clearly elsewhere. Yoochun looked at him, slightly weirded out by his response. It was definitely the last thing he was expecting. You really seem to care, this time. Well, I have to care, I mean He paused, his emotions preventing him from thinking too clearly. Somewhat sure of what he should say, he began again. her best friend got bit by a vamp. Wouldnt you care? He asked the other boy, sitting opposite of him. Well, yeah, but, Yoochun began to answer. I dont hate her, like you do. Junsu pouted, slightly. I know, but shes only human His voice trailed off, as he once again became filled with worry. He felt so sorry for Sohyun. How bad is she? Mijin asked, curiously, from her place beside Changmin, happily engaged in his food. Pretty bad. The red-haired boy told her. I mean she was actually nice to me this morning. At that, Changmin almost choked on a fry, as he looked up at Junsu, in horror. Like she smiled at me, and everything. Junsu continued, fretfully. At those words, everyone at the table stared wide-eyed, in disbelief, at the red-haired boy. Damn, I hope shes okay. Changmin said aloud, fear evidently shown in his voice. Yeah. Yunho agreed. I mean Soh doesnt just smile at you. Exactly! Junsu exclaimed, somewhat flustered. Thats why its creeping the hell outta me! Like you guys what if shes so depressed and bent up about the whole thing that At this, he leaned

in a bit closer to them, his voice low, as he whispered. she commits suicide? Junsu! Yoochun rolled his eyes at him. What? I mean, thats always a possibility! The red-haired boy frantically pointed out. Like I dont think you get how serious this is! Just like Yunho said, Sohyun doesnt just smile at me, okay? She frigging hates me! I mean dont I have reason to be worried? Youre just overreacting, Junsu. Mijin told him, matter-of-factly. You never know, I mean now that her best friends been killed maybe shes just appreciating life a bit more? I dont know. She shrugged, after some thought. But still. Junsu frowned. Im worried about her. We all are. Yunho told him, comfortingly. But dont worry too much, shell be fine. Shes a tough girl, shell get through it. Despite the assurance in Yunhos words, Junsu still found himself fretting over the copper-haired girl. He couldnt help it. He was genuinely worried and concerned for her sake. It scared him to see her this depressed. He even purposely tried annoying her, just to see if she would notice. But her responses were always the same: Nothing. In that sense, he missed Sohyun. As much as she, too, would get on his nerves, he still missed her, and wished things were back to the way they used to be. Their chaotic order was something he had become accustomed to, and somewhat comfortable with. Unconventional, yes, but that was them. And he missed it. He knew, of course, the source of this whole ordeal, the main source of everyones tragic plights: vampires. If it were not for that vampire that had killed Eunah, perhaps Sohyun would have been okay again. And none of this would have happened. Sohyun would have been happy. His eyes slightly narrowed, as he stared into his iced cappuccino. I hate vamps. Yoochun smirked. Dont we all? Seriously. Mijin agreed. These attacks are just getting ridiculous. I know! Changmin added, exasperatedly, after setting down his soda. And the governments just like, Oh, were doing the best we can,

were implementing our regime at full force, our top priority is to protect the people in this country from the threat of vampires, blah blah blah, and a bunch of other bullshit. He huffed, disapprovingly. People are still dying. Theyre not doing anything, cause its not working. And theres so many of them, now. Mijin pointed out. Hundreds. And the government cant keep track of all of them. But they got some, though. They did? Junsu asked, looking at Yoochun. Yeah. He answered, stately. What do they do with them, anyway? Mijin asked him. Do they just kill them or something? Yoochun thought for a while. You know, I honestly dont know. He smiled, somewhat nervously. I dont think anyone really knows for sure, all that shits classified. He informed them. He then sat back in his chair, and thought for a while, as he stared at his half-eaten burger in front of him. A strange glint danced about in his eyes. But you know what I think they should do with them? There was a brief pause, as everyone looked over to him, listening to what he had to say. He began. It starts with a kinda Neo-Hitler approach to things; let em know whos boss. Any of them that the government captures they stuff em in a torture chamber, filled with holy water, and wooden stakes. Lots of wooden stakes. Then, we torture them mercilessly. Just like how theyve done to us all these years. He thought for a while. I propose they make some kinda machine. They stick the vamp on the thingand stab them with a hella lot of wooden stakes. Like vampire pin-cushions. He laughed a little, at that. Wed stab them anywhere and everywhere, their so-called hearts the most. Of course, this would all happen in daylight. You know, when theyre most vulnerable; when theyre weak helpless defenceless. To let them know what its like to feel pain. He smirked, before continuing. Wed put em back in their place. Itd be like Let this be a warning to all you vampires. You dont stand a fucking chance. At those last words, he let out another laugh, this one slow and sardonic.

Yoochun, you scare me. Junsu piped up. Yoochun did nothing else, but smile saccharinely at the red-haired boy in front of him. Junsu quickly hid his face, in fear. Dont smile He whined. Yoochun smirked at him, laughing just a little. How can you say that? All heads immediately turned over to the source of the voice: Yunho. All eyes were rested uncomfortably on him, as was Yoochuns. Seriously, that shits just uncalled for. Yunho told him, his eyes slightly narrowing at the other boy. Uncalled for? Yoochun repeated, unimpressed. Tch. And them slaughtering us isnt? But its not like they do it for no reason. Yoochun looked at him, almost in repulsion. So you think theyre justified in killing hundreds of innocent people? I didnt say they were justified to So whatre you saying, then? Im saying, Yunho began, somewhat irritated. That you cant just go off saying stuff like that. Two wrongs dont make a fucking right. And you have no right patronizing these vampires. You keep talkin all this shit about them, but how do you know that theyre all like that? I mean, yeah, we hear about the ones that go on rampages and killing spreesbut those are just the ones we hear about. What about the ones we dont? Why Yoochun began, a clear look of disgust displayed across his features. are you defending them all of a sudden like you support them, or something? I dont support themand I never said I did. Yunho told him sharply, however, uneasily.

So then what the fucks your problem? Your attitude. Yunho aptly told him. Thats my problem. I mean, have you ever even experienced a vampire incident? I dont get where you base all this shit upon, goin on thinking you can play God whenever you fucking want to. Yoochun looked back at Yunho, a heated glare obscuring his eyes. That, amongst one other thing. One other thing, that threatened to fall from the corner of his dark lashes, threatening to kill his pride. He quickly dismissed the whole situation. You know whatforget it. He grabbed his books, and got up angrily from the table, as the rest of them watched him leave the cafe. It was silent at the table for a few moments, everyone staring apprehensively from Yoochun to Yunho. Yunho said nothing, as he avoided their stares, keeping his gaze away from them. For, there was nothing else to say. He picked up his soda, bringing the drink to his lips. Changmin stared at him. kay, Yunho, that was uncalled for. He told him, almost warningly. You really didnt need to say that. Yeah, well, I did. Yunho answered, setting his drink down, as he turned to look over at him. But seriously, though, you really shouldnt have said that. Mijin warned him, carefully. He looked at her. Okay. But he shouldnt have said all that shit, either. But why do you care, though? Junsu asked him, slightly confused. Theyre vampires. Everyone hates them. Yunho said nothing, returning his gaze back down to his soda, absently swishing it around in the large plastic cup. I mean, when you think about it The red-haired boy continued. once theyre gone, so are all our problems. Another silence joined the group, once again.

At least for Yoochun, anyway. Mijin sighed. Im surprised hes still letting it get to him. Im kinda worried for him, too Letting what get to him? Yunho asked her, confused. She turned to him, almost surprised. You dont know? He looked at her, the same look of confusion still cast across his face. Dont know what? About his Mom? That she died? Yeah, but he didnt tell you how she died? Yunho shook his head, slowly. No. He didnt? Changmin asked, clearly shocked. I dunno, I guess not. Yunho shrugged, slightly unsure. But you two are so close. Junsu pointed out, as he frowned in confusion. I thought he wouldve told you Told me what? Yunho asked, slightly exasperated. Last year Mijin began. His Mom was bit by a vamp. Thats why he hates them so much, cause they killed his Mom. She explained. He told us, She paused for a second, to jerk her head slightly, towards Changmin and Junsu. that night after you left. Remember? You said you were gonna head home. She reminded him. He was really close with her, and kinda went into depression when she died. He told us hes still not completely over it yet, but it kinda helped him a bit that night by actually telling someone about it. She smiled, somewhat distantly. Ever since then, hes hated completely loathed vampires. All of them. Especially the one that killed her. He told us about the night his Mom got bitand he saw the vampire. He remembers him as clear as anything. He said he had like black hair, that stopped at about his shoulders. He was wearing all black and he was pale really pale Yunho almost listened on in disbelief as Mijin told him the description of the vampire that took Yoochuns mothers life. It sounded almost

exactly like Jaejoong. It fit the young vampires description perfectly. Only one thing was missing for him to be sure Did he have a silver chain around his neck? Yunho asked her, curiously, yet nervously at the same time. Yeah, I remember Yoochun saying something about a silver chain. Changmin answered for her, having thought of the answer first. He then looked at Yunho, a little suspiciously. Why do you ask? He asked him slowly, his face in a slight frown. Yunhos eyes widened a little at that questionit had caught him offguard. He quickly made something up as an excuse for why he would ask such a thing. Oh, cause He started off. I heard they wore those sometimes Oh. Changmin nodded, somewhat satisfied at his answer. He then turned his eyes away from Yunho, and back down to his food and Yoochuns, that was left there, unfinished Yunho thought quietly to himself, shutting out everything and everyone else around him. Was it really Jaejoong that killed Yoochuns mother? Or just a coincidence that the vampire described sounded like him? He stared at the fizzy drink, bubbling softly, in his large plastic cup. Why would Yoochun not tell him about his mothers death, especially leaving out such an important detail? He brought the drink to his lips once again, tasting the synthetic sweetness. Guess they werent so close, after all.

;chapter 9((Shards of Glass _________

He savoured in the feeling of each drop of the youths warm blood trickling down his cold lips, as he callously slaked his hunger. In a clash of teeth and skin, flesh is ripped, exposing the early death of life below the tangible surface. Life continued to pour out of the failing youth, draining him little by little with each passing moment. The platinum blond-haired vampire hungrily took in draught after draught, savouring every drop of the warm liquid that would seep into his undead body. Tasting the salted sweetness, as it ran

deliciously across his lipsthe youths mouth, gaping open, screaming in horrified silence. The world had betrayed him. The shadows of the night completely engulfed them, almost as if to hide this ill-fated lapse from the rest of the uncaring world. The hours of darkness carelessly stood watch, as yet another soul was taken from the earth that night. The vampire, Minwoo, slowly rose up from the side of the youths neck, getting a better look into the young mans face. He was seemingly young. Perhaps in his early to mid twenties, but no more than that. Ah, but what did it matter to him? For now, he was simply one less gone, one less human to worry about. The young mans false blue eyes, coloured contacts covering his native brown, stared up blankly at the night sky above him, in defeat, as they subtly glassed over. Hollow. Empty. Ah, but what did it matter to him? The vampire smirked at the, now dead, youth that lay forgotten. A gaunt hand lay clutched up against the young mans neck, feeling his dead pulse. Minwoo parted his blood-stained lips, as he spoke in somewhat of a sinister drawl to the dead body. You are all mistaken. He began, as he gracefully tilted his head to the side; strands of the white-blond falling across his face, covering a darkened eye. All so sadly mistaken. And the sad thing isyou never seem to learn from your mistakes. He continued. And judging by your deaths, youve made hundreds. He sighed, in mock pity. Oh, so sadly, sadly mistaken. He frowned a little at the dead youths body, almost in dissatisfaction, before continuing on. I find it quite difficult to understand your blind logic. It puzzles me. Yet, it appears to make at least some sense to all of you. But, why? Even a fool could see past the flaws in your oh-so-magnificent scheme. He paused, as he took a moment to stare at the dead body, as if awaiting some sort of answer. Tell me something. He began, again. Why is it that when one of youa humanslaughters an animal, it is alright? It is forgivable. There is absolutely no err in your actions, none at all, whatsoever. For it is for your survival, to feed. Which, I admit, would be quite understandable, yes. After all, you need to survive. But yet when a vampire kills a humanin order to survive, in order to feed it is wrong. It is considered an evil act. A sin to take another humans life. It is immoral cold ruthless. For, one of your kind has been killed. It is unforgivable, inconceivable. But why? His grip on the dead

bodys neck slowly growing tighter, diminishing any ounce of life the body may have still possessed, as his words dripped with the essence of his vengeance. Are humans not also, in some way, animals that need to feed? Just like any other? Just like the ones you continue to mercilessly slaughter? Arent we all struggling for survival in this same deplorable world? What makes you so different from us, from everything else? What makes you so high and mighty, that you feel the need to look down upon those that are unlike you? He sneered at the dead body, in disgust. Human beings: the most foolish of all creation. Always placing your pitiful selves upon pedestals; monuments; monarchs, built by human hands. Only to be destroyed by human hands. Whats one more life taken, whether it be by a vampire or by your own kind? He scoffed. Hmph. High and mighty, indeed. You are all slowly killing yourselves, one by one. And yet, you feel you have the right of control over us? He narrowed his eyes in contempt at the dead human bodyat all of themat every human being that would soon find their death at his hand. It was only a matter of time. You are no better. Corrupt and confused thats all you are.

The days still relentlessly dragged on, showing no signs of mercy in the dormitory of Kim Junsu and Choi Sohyun. The death of the girls childhood friend had brought an unusual, almost unbearable quietness to the usually loud dorm. The echoes of bitter disagreements, and frustrated arguments could no longer be heard, the last words having faded away, only to disappear into silences. She no longer smiled as much as she used to, distant laughter cheekily playing across her face. She rarely spoke, her voice echoing volumes of soundlessness. Her once bright eyes, having dulled, would blankly stare about at the world around her. She had become somewhat indifferent to her surroundings, for they had now been changed. Something was missing. Something was gone. And what was worse it would never come back. It would never come back. It deeply hurt Junsu to see her this way, a pity-filled sympathy brimming his childlike brown eyes, as he would continue to watch over Sohyun. He never truly did realize how much he would miss her constant nagging about anything and everything, until it was no more. He had become so used to it,

it had begun to seem like the norm, as he casually took it for granted. But now, he could no longer hear it. Quietness had filled their dorm, and it made him slightly nervous, somewhat uncomfortable. Even purposely trying to annoy Sohyun did not give him that usual response he so desperately wanted to see. Instead, all she would do was gently smile at him and nothing more; her heart bleeding inside, in a silent grievance. It truly did hurt him to see her this way He sat idly in his Biology lecture that afternoon, not really paying attention to the professor, or to the quietly chattering students around him, as he carelessly scribbled down the notes on the large screen at the front of the lecture hall. He shivered a little; it was quite cold in that large room. Why the fans were still working at full force in mid-autumn, was completely beyond him. He paused for a moment, wrapping his grey zip-up hoodie tighter around his shoulders. Securing the pen once again in his hand, he continued to scribble away at his notes. Something about plant structure. Hed read it up a bit more once he got back home. He sighed a little, as he looked up from his notes, and back up at the screen again but stopped at what he saw. It was a diagram of a perfectly labelled rose; arrows and things pointed to it, depicting the certain parts and structures that the students needed to know. Not that that really mattered to him, of course. What really caught his attention was the rose, itself He remembered about a month ago, the day Sohyuns boyfriend came into town to see her. That was probably the happiest Junsu had ever seen the copper-haired girl in a while. She loved her boyfriend more than anything, and she was gushing and all aglow when he came for a visit. On his last night here, Junsu remembered him giving her a gift, something to remember him by before the next time they could see each other again. She smiled in anticipationshe always loved getting presentsas he reached into his pocket. He gently pulled out a small package, neatly wrapped in elegant black satin. Her eyes widened in wonder, as she let out an astonished gasp of surprise, as she stared at the precious little box. Giggling, she gratefully took it from him, and carefully opened up the package; unwrapping the silken black cloth, and opening up the raven-coloured velvet box. Her large brown eyes lit in wonder, as she gazed upon the exquisiteness of a black rose. She breathed out, in awe. Its beautiful Beautiful, yes. But cursed. He had heard stories of the black rose, its beauty being of a cursed nature. And it had been given to Sohyun. Junsu wondered

if perhaps, maybe, it was the rose that caused such an unfortunate incident in her life? After all, it was believed to bring death But if her boyfriend so loved her, and if she so loved him, why would he give her such a gift? He frowned. What did he mean by it, exactly? And then poor Sohyun, absolutely in love with the flowers beauty He didnt notice when the crowds of students began making their way towards the exit doors. The sound of hundreds of rustling feet had somewhat brought him back to reality, as he dazedly put away his books, stuffing them in his bag. He stood up, swung the bag over his shoulder, and made his way out of the row, towards the very-much-occupied doors at the back. That was his last class for the day, and he was about to head home, when his feet subtly opposed him. He wasnt ready to go back to the dorm, just yet. Even as he was leaving, he couldnt stop thinking about that black rose he wanted to know more about it. Was it really the curse of the black rose that had brought this upon Sohyun? What would happen to her? He needed to know. For her sake.

He stopped in front of the building, reading the sign to make sure this was the right place. Garden of Eden. Floral Services. Yep, this was it. This was the only shop that still existed which sold black roses. He thought, for sure, hed find his answers in here. Mustering up all the courage he could, he walked up to the door, pushing it open, the twinkling sound of chimes singing his welcome. As he stepped in, his eyes were immediately drawn to all of the vibrant colours that lay all around him. The shop was beautifully decorated with flowers and vines, all the different colours painting a floral landscape right there in the dainty little shop. It was somewhat small, but possessed a very welcoming atmosphere, and Junsu felt almost at ease as his footsteps took him further into the shop. He spotted a woman near the back a ways away from him busily tending to a

bouquet of assorted flowers. He needed to speak with an employee, and thought that maybe she worked here. He called out to her. Excuse me? Slightly startled, the woman immediately stopped her tending of the flowers, and turned around to find the source of the voice. She saw a young redhaired boy, standing in the middle of shop looking back at her with slightly nervous eyes. A customer. A bright smile quickly took over her face, delicate minute wrinkles at the corner of her eyes, as she looked back at the boy a distance away from her. Oh! Yes, yes, how may I help you? She quickly asked him, hurrying her way over. I was Is there a particular type of flower youre looking for? She asked him, cheerfully. Junsu simply stared back down at the short woman, somewhat unsure of what he should say. He parted his lips, slowly. Actually, I Something romantic? Commemorative? She looked up at him, excitedly prodding him on. The woman then walked over to the side of the shop, leaving Junsu standing there, confused. She quickly rushed back to him, holding a couple of bouquets in her arms. Try the orchids, or the chrysanthemums! But, I only need a The woman sniffed loudly in the bouquets, as she let out a blissful sigh. Ah, lovely. She smiled, admiring the flowers. Theyre quite a find. These ones are exceptionally gorgeous. I just Quite difficult to find during this time of year. She continued, somewhat thoughtfully. She looked back down into their petals, adoringly. Its amazing how well theyve grown. But The colour; absolutely exquisite. She smiled back up at him, merrily. Im sure youll find these very

Lady! Junsu interrupted her, somewhat frustrated. He didnt need flowers, and felt this woman was just wasting his time. I just need to talk to you for a minute. The woman blinked at him. She stared up at him blankly for a moment or so, before looking back somewhat dejectedly into the bouquets of flowers she held. Well She said, a little disappointed, as she slowly walked over to a nearby display. Since we must go about it so rudely She delicately placed the flowers onto the display. Junsu felt a little bad for the woman; he didnt mean to upset her. But he really didnt want any flowers. He wasnt sure of any other way he couldve possibly said that. Im sorry. He told her, through an apologetic tone. I just needed some help. He explained. And I thought, you being a florist and all you might be able to help me. Yes, well, um The short woman gracefully dusted herself of, as she spoke to him slightly more composed this time. She looked up at him, giving him a sincere, welcoming smile. How may I be of service to you? Junsu looked back down at the cheerful woman, somewhat nervously. How was he going to say this? Then again, this shop sold them, so he supposed it was okay to just come right out and ask. He swallowed hard, before asking her. I was wondering if you knew anything about the black rose. The short womans cheerful disposition slowly began to wither, as her smile gradually faded off her round face. Her eyes widened in shock, as she stared back at Junsu, almost in fear. Junsu looked back at the woman, clearly worried. Did he say it wrong? Then again, how else was he supposed to say that he needed to know about the black rose without actually saying, he needed to know about the black rose? He stared back at her nervously, as he waited for some sort of response from the short woman. After a few moments, she slowly lowered her gaze, as she let out a shaky sigh. She then walked past Junsu, towards the door, as her hand approached the OPEN sign. Quickly flipping it around to CLOSED, she walked back over to the confused red-haired boy. Follow me. She told him, as she began to make her way towards the back of the shop. Junsu, doing as he was told, followed the woman to the back of the shop,

stopping at a locked hidden door. The woman reluctantly reached out to the security lock, but stopped just before her fingers could graze it. She turned back to look up at Junsu behind her, almost worriedly. Have you ever seen one? She asked him. A black rose? Junsu nodded in response. Yeah. The woman then pursed her lips, looking back up at the red-haired boy. You realize you are taking a tremendous risk asking this, you know? Junsu looked back at her, somewhat guiltily. I know. But I need to know about it. He told her, determinedly. A friend of mine might be in trouble She looked up at him, pity slowly reflecting in her eyes. With a sigh, she slowly turned back to the door, as she reached up for the security lock once again. After typing in the code, she opened the door, revealing a darkened room. She stepped into it, Junsu following closely behind her. She then turned on a nearby light-switch, a dim light flooding the room, as she went to close the door behind them. She continued on into the room, with Junsu following her. It was used mainly for storage, Junsu could tell. There were boxes and things lying around everywhere, neatly organized. The two of them then stopped, having reaching a large glass display case. Inside of it, were about a half dozen bouquets of black roses. These are all of the black roses that were kept on display in the store. She explained to him, as Junsu looked up in a frightened wonder at the reviled plants. We had to take them out about a year ago due to unfortunate circumstances Like what? Junsu asked her, curiously. The woman hesitated before continuing. The owner, who was also the founder of this shop, She began. was killed unfortunately. She explained, as she stared at the roses. Some say it was the curse of the black rose that had led her to her demise. At those words, Junsu looked back at the woman, worry evidently shown in his brown eyes. She looked back over to him, a cheerful smile across her face. Well, then. She began, again. What did you want to know?

And so, the woman began to tell Junsu of the black rose; trying to explain the best she could the phenomena about the hated flower to the red-haired boy. Its a unique type of plant, just as they all are. She told him. But the black rose stands out in a class all its own. Its structure, for one, is extremely unusual. Unlike most plants, it does not undergo photosynthesis, capturing its energy from the sun. Instead, it reaps energy from the moonlight, which is quite strange. She furrowed her brow, in confusion. It detests the sun, and cannot readily survive in daylight. They need darkness. Which is why it is most common to find them in dark, secluded areas. She took a sigh, as she thought to herself. Lets see, now. Um Junsu was a little puzzled. So He began, unsurely. theyre black, cause theyre always in the dark? Well The woman began to explain. They lack a sufficient amount of the pigment, chlorophyll, which most plants tend to usually have. The black rose instead has a pigment, sciliphyll, which gives it its black colour. She continued to explain. Studies have been donecountless studies and no one really knows, for sure, why there is a difference of pigment. I suppose due to adaptation over the years, the plant no longer had a need for chlorophyll, so it must have simply stopped producing it. She shrugged, in thought. I suppose itll be left as another one of botanys greatest mysteries. Junsu listened intently to her every word, as he learned more and more about the black rose. But, she still didnt explain its curse to him. It confused the red-haired boy. So the rose is different, but how does that make it cursed? He asked her. Where did the curse come from? The woman gave him a gentle smile. No one knows. She told him. The black rose is a specimen that will forever be shrouded in mystery. She paused for a moment, a slight darkness beginning to take over her features. Although, its curse is one of a fatal nature. Fatal? Junsu repeated, in fear. The woman nodded, sombrely. Yes. You see the black rose is said to be touched, even bred, by the hand of death, itself. She explained to him. It is a bringer of death, and will bring bad luck or even ultimately, death, to the person it comes in contact with. Some say, it depends on how close you

become to it. But She stopped, as she turned to look at the display case. She smiled at the roses, in pity. the thing about the black rose, She began. its exceptionally beautiful. It really is an exquisite work of art, and some find it hard not to be drawn into it by its beauty. The smile slowly faded from her lips, as her gaze slipped from the roses, to the space, blankly in front of her. But it is in that temptation, in that allure that separates the person from life or death. Junsu looked back at the woman, fear clearly shown in his childlike brown eyes. The woman then thought back in her mind, recollecting something from years and years past. She smiled to herself. There is a storyyou may have heard of it about a boy born in the presence of the black rose. She proceeded to tell him. Now, this was not any time recently. It was about perhaps the late 1800s, if I have my facts correct. She smiled, nervously. He was cursed from birth. Some even call him the black rose. For just like the black rose he was beautiful. But of a cursed beauty. Just like the rose, he was believed to bring death, because of the black roses curse upon him. She paused. Most now refer to his story as the story of the demon child. Which I believe is quite unfair to him. She frowned, slightly. From what I read, he was a very sweet boy. Wouldnt dare hurt a thing. And yet he was hated. She sighed, as she shook her head. Poor child. Junsu, curiosity having sparked in him, wanted to know more about this boy she was speaking of. What happened to him? He asked. Well She answered. some say, he was murdered. Others say he fled from his attackers She stopped for a moment, a hidden darkness slightly shadowing her eyes. Few say he still lives to this very day. Upon that statement, the red-haired boy immediately frowned. How? He asked the woman, clearly confused. That was so long ago, I mean, he mustve died by now. She slowly looked up at him, a slightly eerie smile gradually taking over her lips, her minute wrinkles daintily lining the corners of her eyes. She looked back at him. Im one of those who believes he still lives. She told him, furtively. But he lives now, only partly. She told the red-haired boy. Only partly.

The sky wept that afternoon. It displayed its current state of sadness to the world below it. Im still here, it would continue to say. Im still here

Yunho sat alone on the floor by his screen door, the shadows of the raindrops falling quietly against his skin. He needed to think. He had not spoken with Yoochun since their argument that day, two days ago, at that cafe on campus. He had been thinking this whole time, sorting out thoughts, throwing away old ones, those that were no longer relevant to him anymore. But most importantly Hed been thinking about Jaejoong. Yunho was now beginning to have some doubts about the young vampire. He couldnt help it. The others were making him think. Was it really Jaejoong that killed Yoochuns mother? The raven-haired boy now seemed almost like the divider between himself and Yoochun. One on hand, Yoochun was his best friend, and he meant a lot to Yunho. And by accepting Jaejoong, hed feel guilty over Yoochun. But by accepting Yoochun, hed risk losing Jaejoong. In his heart, he truly did not want to believe that it was the raven-haired boy. He would never do that would he? But then again, he had almost bit Yunho. And he wouldve probably killed him, if Yunho hadnt stopped him. After he did, Jaejoong looked lost and confused. Maybe even a little scared. He couldnt help but pity him in some way. He knows that Jaejoong is a vampire, and has no control over his bloodlust. For, that is what he is. And Yunho understood that. But at the same time Jaejoong seemed so innocent. No. It couldnt have been him. There must have been other pale-skinned vampires out there with shoulder-length black hair, black clothing and a silver chain around their necks. There must have been, right? There are hundreds of vampires. Why should he just assume it was Jaejoong? There was always a chance it wasnt. It couldnt have been him. He loved the young vampire too much to put him at fault. It wasnt his fault, and he refused to believe it was his fault. He

knew Jaejoong, and he knew that Jaejoong couldnt have done it. He would never just cold-heartedly take another lifehe wasn't like that. He cares too much to hurt another person in that way. For when Jaejoong had confessed what he truly was to Yunho, he only did it because he loved him. And regardless of what could have happened, he did not want to hurt him. That is the Jaejoong he knew; the Jaejoong he loved. He knew Jaejoong he knew him. Didnt he? After all, Yunho loved him for who he was. But He turned his heavy eyes over to the screen door, as he gazed to the world outside, hoping in his heart, that his words would somehow distantly echo to the other boy. Who are you? An image of the young vampires face began to form in his mind. A picturesque image, of silken raven hair falling delicately across a visage of a porcelain pale. Large eyes, hauntingly beautiful, coloured with hues of the richest of darkest of browns. Lips, full, kissed with those hints of scarlet and splashes of ruby that he knew all too well. A gentle smile, known to Yunho, and Yunho alone. The soft whispers that would come from those lips, I love you The picture of Jaejoong in his mind was one of perfection; completely unlike the others thoughts. Yet still, Yunho could no longer help but to wonder who was he? Yunho didnt understand; he was so sure he knew.

;chapter 10((Stillness of Time _________

A place, frozen in time. The clockwork, ever so intricate. Gears, locks, springs and things prove useful. But our fingertips are much too big.

We would simply destroy the delicate beauty of it all. The clock may have stopped, but it is not broken. The pendulum still swings. Watch the hands slowly tick tock turn back. Hmm. Perhaps our fingertips could fare well with this. Gently now, push back the hands there you go just like that. Now, hold it there. Perfect. Wait! He stopped, the sudden pressure at his arm forcing him to stay where he was, and turn around to face the dark-haired girl, standing in the doorway behind him. Slightly confused, he parted his lips. What is it? He asked. The girl looked back up at him, a strange glint shining in the back of her brown, orb-like eyes. Meet me at Seungs parking lot tomorrow night, she told him. I know someone who can help you. What do you mean? She smirked slightly, a mischievous grin playing across her glimmering, lolly-pink-coloured lips. Clearly, you want that vampire killed, dont you? She asked him, tauntingly. And hundreds more? He said nothing, as he continued to calculate the other girls intentions in his mind. She can help you, the girl began again. She can help us. But, Mij Just meet me at Seungs tomorrow night at ten oclock. Ill explain the rest then, she told him in closing, as she gently let go of his arm. Goodnight she smiled at him. Yoochun. And now release.

It was about seven pm that evening, the days now drastically cutting themselves short. Much shorter now, as the moon hung itself, clearly visible in the blackened sky. If you scanned its far reaches, you could

see there was not a single star in sight. Not one. Not tonight. The days were gradually getting chilly, as well. It was about seven pm on this cold night, on this blackened eve. Jaejoong was over, once again, at Yunhos that night. He enjoyed spending as much time as he could with the other boy; the two would continue to have lengthy conversations, amiable laughter, and the more-often-than-not make-out session between them. Things were running seemingly smoothly between the two lovers, and they were perfectly happy with each other. Perfectly happy, until Yunho started getting thoughts. These thoughts would sometimes cloud the dark-haired boys reasoning, and he would become so engulfed in them, that he would sometimes not notice the effervescent young vampire vying for his attention. Jaejoong frowned. He placed a hand on the other boys shoulder, shaking him gently. Yunho? Huh? Immediately snapped out of his inane trance, he turned his head over to look at the raven-haired boy, who sat comfortably on his bed, beside him. Jaejoong leaned forward, resting his chin delicately upon Yunhos shoulder, as he looked playfully into the other boys eyes. He smiled, a little. Someones out of it tonight. Oh. Yunho laughed, somewhat nervously, as to not alarm Jaejoong. Sorry, Jae. He told the other boy, through a sheepish smile. Jaejoong, however, did not return the smile, and instead looked at Yunho with a worried expression across his waiflike features. Is something wrong? He asked him, gently, as he tilted his head to rest on the other boys shoulder. His eyes, still remained looking up at him. Youve been quite distracted these past few days. Yunho slowly turned his gaze from the other boy, bringing his eyes to rest upon the dim floor ahead of him. He felt slightly guilty, for Jaejoong was right. He had been more than just a little distracted over these past few daysall because of Jaejoong. They had put thoughts into his head. The others were making him think

Do you want to talk about it? The raven-haired boy asked, as he tilted his head, to allow his chin to once again rest on Yunhos shoulder. He wrapped his arms comfortably around the other boys waist, as he looked into his face, caringly. Yunho thought for a moment. He wanted to talk about it more than anything. It would do him no good keeping his thoughts quelled up inside of him. Yeah, I do, actually. He told Jaejoong, after a few moments of wordlessness; his gaze still locked transiently with the floor. Jaejoong waited, as he listened patiently for Yunho to speak. As much as he knew how much Jaejoong hated it when he brought up this question, he felt he needed to ask it, anyway. He needed to know. Exhaling a little, almost bracing himself for what might come, he slowly parted his lips. Why did you come back, that night? He turned his eyes to rest upon Jaejoongs, once more. The vampire boy stared at him, almost blankly. He then sighed in slight annoyance, rolling his eyes a little, releasing himself and his hold from the other boy. Why are you bringing this up again? Because I need to know. Yes, and Ive already told you my answer when you asked me before. Yunho looked away from him, faint guilt written across his features. I know, but But, what? Jaejoong asked him, gently. A pause. Yunho knew exactly what he wanted to tell Jaejoong, but the only problem was getting the words across. He felt he couldnt do it. But he knew if he didnt ask him, it would only continue to eat away at him. After the quiet passing of a few moments, Yunho turned his gaze, a little more confidently this time, onto Jaejoong, as he spoke again. You almost bit me, Jae. He told the young vampire, sombrely. And if I didnt stop you, you wouldve killed me. Didnt you tell me that you couldnt take my life, because something was stopping you? He asked him, a sceptic undertone ringing throughout his words. Yet, nothing was stopping you then, wasnt there?

Jaejoong looked back at Yunho, a slight frown worn across his face. He said nothing. Yunho let out a shattered sigh, not being able to hold back this one thought anymore: Jaejoongare you only with me because Im human? At that one question alone, Jaejoong almost felt the wind knocked out of him, completely. A clear look of shock immediately found its way across the young vampires features, as he stared back at the other boy, almost in disbelief. Yunho Are you with me just for my blood? The other boy continued to interrogate him. Is that the only thing that youre ultimately after, cause you couldnt get it the first time? Yunhos words hurt Jaejoong far more than he had ever hoped them to, far more than he had ever wanted them to. Each one, was almost like a blow to the face, shattering, leaving Jaejoong completely hurt and broken, dispirited deep inside. The raven-haired boy looked back at Yunho in absolute disbelief, as he slowly shook his head. I dont believe you. He told him, his voice subdued and somewhat shaky. I really dont. He paused for a moment, as he continued to stare dejectedly, back at Yunho. Is that honestly what you think of me? Guilt beginning to weigh down on him, Yunho could barely look into Jaejoongs disheartened eyes. He slowly lowered his gaze from the other boy, resting his eyes idly with the floor beside them. You think Im with you, only to one day, satisfy my bloodlustis that it; is that what you think? I dont know what to think anymore. Yunho turned his eyes over to Jaejoong again, as he spoke, slightly exasperated. Im tired of thinking, I just He trailed off, somehow trying to gather his thoughts, in his mind that was left in disarray. He sighed. I just want to hear the truth. He looked at Jaejoong, desperation fighting in the dark brown of his eyes. He stopped for a moment, before continuing. I love you, Jaejoong. He told the raven-haired boy, genuinely. But I need to know that youre not just making me believe you love me, too, just to You dont trust me. Jaejoong voiced aloud, his darkened eyes

staring lifelessly back into Yunhos. Is that what this is about? Yunho was tongue-tied for a couple of moments, somehow trying to think of an answer in which he could respond to the other boy, to somehow reason with him. Its not that I dont trust you Then, what is it, then? Yunho felt an even larger pang of guilt, for he could not deny his mistrust just yet, and prove the other boy wrong. He was still so terribly confused. He could only look back at Jaejoong, staring back at him almost in defeat. The young vampire stared wordlessly at Yunho, in complete disbelief of the other boy. He couldnt believe him. He just simply could not believe him. So now, after all this time Jaejoong couldnt bare it. Without another thought, he slowly began to rise from his place on the bed, beside the other boy. You know, I really did think you were different from all of them Jaejoong And I trusted you, because I thought you were! As each of his spoken words continually left his lips, so did a piece of the young vampires heart, as he stared crestfallen at the other boy. I gave you my trust, Yunho! And this is how you repay it back to me? He asked of the other boy, who now stood in front of Jaejoong, having risen from his place on the bed. Jaejoongs words echoed deep into Yunhos heart, the reverberations becoming daggers, as each word Jaejoong spoke left his rose-petal lips; echoing one by one. Yunho looked back at the raven-haired boy, somewhat helplessly. Jae, Im sorry And I am, too. With those last words, the young vampire turned away from Yunho, as he began making his way towards the sheerness of the white curtains at the end of the room. Jaejoong! Yunho called out to him. The other boy ignored him, as he slipped through the sheer fabric, and through the coolness of the open screen door.

Jaejoong, wait! Yunho hurried after him, but as soon as he got to his balcony, much to his discontent, Jaejoong was nowhere to be found. It was too late; he was already gone. Yunho looked about in confusion, wondering how he disappeared so quickly The phone rang. Yunho let out an annoyed growl, as he heard the ringing of his phone. Who the fuck is that? He groaned, as he reluctantly dragged his way over to the phone. He picked it up, hushing it of its unwelcome ringing. Hello? Hey. Its me. Yunhos spirits instantly sunk, as he let out an inward exasperated sigh. Of all the times to have called, this truly was the worst. Yoochun kay, before you say anything Yoochun began, instantly quieting Yunho. just hear me out, okay? Yunho reluctantly stayed on the line. But the urge to hang up was just so tempting A moment or so passed by, and the other boy let out a tired sigh. Im sorry. He began, truthfully. I said shit I shouldnt have said I offended youand I know youre pissed off at me, cause, one, He stated. You blocked me on MSN. And I know you did, cause you were talking to Junsu while I was talking to Junsu, and you werent online on my list, but you were on hisso dont try to deny it. He told him. Two you didnt respond to any of my messages I left on your phone s. Plural. Your cell, and your home phone, and I know that, because Mijin left a message on your phone, and you called her back but you didnt call me back. So dont try to deny that, either. He said. And yeah. Youre pissed at me, and I completely understand that. But again, Im really sorry. He told Yunho, through an honest apologetic tone. Yunho understood Yoochuns position, and he knew it was taking a lot for him to call and actually apologize to Yunho, Yoochun being as stubborn as Yoochun was. Okay, but And if you still dont believe me, Yoochun interrupted, eager to receive his friends forgiveness. how bout I make it up to you? He suggested. How does an all-expense paid trip down to Elixir sound

to you? Free liquor and food, my treat, just the two of us. Whaddya say? Yunho didnt answer him for a few moments. If it werent for the timing, Yunho would have wholeheartedly agreed to go with him. He wanted to make up with his best friend again, and talk to him. But He looked once again at the open screen door, the sheer white curtains flailing about in the nights breeze, almost seeming to call out to him. As he watched their wispiness swaying back and forth, side-toside all he could think about was Jaejoong. His mind was still with the young vampire, and he wanted to find him. He needed to talk to him somehow. Yunho looked back to the phone, as he guiltily parted his lips. Look, Yoochun, Im sorry, but Im gonna have to pass on that one, okay? He told him, ruefully. Theres something really important that I gotta deal with right now. Ill talk to you later. And with that, he hung up. The sound of the dial tone was almost like a severe blow to the face to the other boy, Yunhos words still echoing on the other line. He scoffed. Important? He repeated, almost sneering. Tch. Kinda like our friendship, huh, Yunho? He began to dial another number. What the fuck ever. After dialling, he put the phone back to his ear. Cant say I didnt try Changmin pressed the pause button on his PS2 controller, setting it down, as he went over to the phone on his bookshelf. He picked it up, instantly silencing it of its ringing. Hello? Changmin, my good man! Yoochun began, jovially. You busy? Um Changmin thought for a bit, as he looked over at the game on the TV screen that he put on pause. not really Good. Yoochun smiled. See you in five minutes. Click. Changmin stood there in slight confusion, still on the line, as the sound of the dial tone began ringing through his ears. Okay.

Yunho, having thrown on just a grey-coloured hoodie over his t-shirt and jeans, stepped out into the chilliness of the cool early November night. He walked out of the apartment building, the bright glow of the streetlights lighting his path. But just as he was about to completely make his way off of the premises, his feet came to a halt as he saw a figure leaning against a post, by the sidewalk. It was Jaejoong. He was staring blankly at the road across from him, and the few cars that would go driving by. The street was quiet, sometimes deserted, for very few cars passed this way. The road here was never busy. Yunho quickly made his way over to the other boy, stopping when he was about a couple of feet in front of him. Jae, what are you doing over here? Yunho asked him, with genuine concern. Someone might see you. Jaejoong hadnt bothered looking up at Yunho. He smiled, bitterly. That was the whole point. He spoke in somewhat of a drawl, as he focussed his eyes solidly with the ground beside him. And besides, He began. Let them see me. Ive nothing to hide. Yunho let out a quiet sigh. He knew, in some backwards way, that Jaejoong was talking about him. He looked at the young vampire, an air of remorse written across his features. Jaejoong, Im sorry I know. The young vampire interrupted him, somewhat rudely, his gaze still on the earth below their feet. I believed you when you told me that the first time. Yunho was now a little frustrated with the raven-haired boy. He was trying his best to apologize and somehow explain himself, but he felt as if Jaejoong would not let him. Jae Why dont you trust me? Jaejoong finally looked up at Yunho, but now, Yunho almost wished that he didnt. That same disheartened look began to reveal itself once more in the vampire boys eyes, and Yunho couldnt take it: for he was the one that caused it. Jaejoong parted his lips to speak, again. Do you honestly believe Ive been lying to you this whole time? Yunho, not wanting Jaejoong to hurt anymore, tried to use this opportunity to talk with him. He spoke to the other boy, his tone

gentle and sincere. Look, its not that I dont trust you, okay? I want to trust you. More than anything, I want to trust you. So, whats stopping you, then? Everyone! Yunho told him, his emotions clearly beginning to take over him. He was terribly confused about the whole thing from before, and Jaejoong just seemed to be making it worse by blaming him. He was already unsure, already uncertain, he just didnt know anymore. okay, everyone is stopping me, everyone is making me think, everyone is making me doubt you. Jaejoong looked back at Yunho, slightly disappointed. So you believe them over me? His darkened eyes, now displaying reflections of hurt. Yunho almost winced at the pain he saw reflected in the other boys eyes. Its not like that, I Yunhos voice trailed off, that same feeling of defeat washing over him, engulfing him in a wave of his own downfall. Jaejoong looked away from Yunho, shaking his head, as he scoffed slightly. I suppose I cant put too much blame on you. He shrugged. You are one of them, after all. Human. Yunho said nothing. Just like Im a vampire. Jaejoong continued, as he looked back up at him. I prey on your kind. And for what its worth every life that Ive ever taken, every life that Ive ever ended was not done so, intentionallyIm not like that. He told him, carefully. If there was a way for me to satisfy my thirst, without hurting another living soul, then I would gladly take it. But, there isnt. He looked back at Yunho, his eyes revealing a hollowed emptiness. And yes, I almost bit you. And I wouldve killed you, if you hadnt have stopped me. He told him, his voice just shy of a whisper. But I was ashamed of what I did. I was not proud of it at all, in any way. He looked away from Yunho, his transient gaze returning once again to the ground. I never am. Yunho said nothing, as he listened earnestly to every word that Jaejoong spoke to him. But I suppose I, alone, cant make you believe me. Since everyone

is still stopping you. He said this to Yunho, almost dejectedly. Several moments of wordlessness passed between the two, each engaged in their own thoughts. Yunho felt bad for ever doubting Jaejoong in the first place. He knew the world was wrong about him, but he still couldnt help but think. But doubt. To somehow prove them wrong. He knew Jaejoong was not like the other vampires, but he just needed some sort of confirmation. He didnt mean to hurt him, but at least now, Yunho knew. He knew what he had known all along. He stared longingly into the vampire boys face, whose gaze was still one with the ground. He stared longingly into the face of the one he loved. He stared longingly into the face of the vampire, Jaejoong. His Jaejoong. So, what do you want to do, then? Jaejoong asked him, his darkened eyes still focussed on the ground beside them. Yunho told him, through a heartfelt and genuine tone. I want to be with you. He began, gently. I want to trust you, I want to believe you. Cause youre all that matters to me. Jaejoong said nothing. I want to forget what everyone says. He continued to tell him. But stopped, before he said anything else. For, a new thought began to form in his mind and I want you to help me forget. Surprised at those last words, Jaejoong looked up at Yunho, seeing a desperate seriousness in the other boy that he had never really seen before. Something about those words intrigued him but only because they frightened him, at the same time

Uh Yoochun? Both Changmin and Yoochun arrived at the local campus bar, Elixir, having the quote-unquote time of their lives, as promised by Yoochun. Instead, they sat there in almost complete silence, being bored as anything. Changmin couldnt help but to feel just a little bit ripped-off. Is there a reason you called me out here?

Of course. Yoochun answered, pompously, staring ahead of him into nothing. For an all-expense paid, fun night out, care-of Yoochun. What else could possibly be better? I dunno, maybe you could work on the fun part? Yoochun instantly glared at him. Changmins eyes widened in fear, and he immediately backed down. Just a suggestion. He mumbled. Yoochuns glare wavered not too long after, and he returned his gaze back down into his untouched drink. Changmin began, again. You just seem kinda quiet. So, I thought He laughed. Yoochun brought his eyes over at the other boy once again, only this time not with an accompanied glare, but with a raised eyebrow and somewhat a look of one who was severely disturbed. The younger boy noticed the look, and instantly stopped laughing. He blinked. I-Its my phone. He explained, uneasily. He reached into the pocket of his jeans. Its on vibrate, and I put it in my pocket, and it was tickling my leg, andanyways. He awkwardly ended his explanation, and flipped open the phone, bringing it to his ear. Hello? Several minutes passed by, and Changmin still remained chatting happily away on his phone, partly for the opportunity of finally having something to do. Yoochun had to admit: this was pretty boring. The only reason he wanted to come here, was because he was hoping he could talk with Yunho. But since he was busy again, Yoochun decided to come anyway, just to quiet his ego. Are you fucking serious?! Changmin practically screamed into his phone, the largest grin Yoochun had ever seen, plastered across the younger boys face. His eyes lit up with glee, for a reason only known to Changmin. Hold on a secYoochun, Changmin turned his attention over to the other boy beside him. Sorry, man, I gotta go; something came up. He began to get up from his seat. Ill talk to you later, kay? Or Ill see you in class tomorrow! He then turned his attention back to his phone,

as he made his way out of the bar, whilst chatting away. Okay, and ? Yoochun frowned, as he saw Changmin leave. Why was everyone ditching him today? First Yunho, now Changmin. Yunho. He tried apologizing to the bastard, but it almost seemed as if he didnt even care. After all, there was something far more important that he had to deal with; far more important than them. Them, being: himself and Yunho. He frowned, slightly dolefully. There was always something he had to deal with. It was like he never had time for them anymore. He smirked. Or just didnt care for them anymore. But, he didnt want Yunho to stay angry with him. That was why he invited him out. He was hoping for a chance for them to just sit together, and talk. Thats all he wanted to do: just talk. He let out a tired sigh. He decided to head over to Yunhos instead; this place was starting to suck, anyway. Hopefully whatever business hes dealing with, hes dealt with, already. Yoochun really wanted to talk to him. He missed his best friend.

The streetlights flashed on overhead, as he drove underneath them, one by one. One by one, getting closer to his destination. He was almost there. He turned into the quiet street that Yunhos apartment building was located at, the street, practically deserted. However, a sight up ahead of him, under an approaching lamppost, caught his eye. He slowed down, as he approached two people from a distance. One of them, he recognized as Yunho. Well, isnt this interesting? He slowly pulled over to the side of the road, under the safe protection of the shadow of a large tree. He turned off the engine, and sat there watching, with somewhat of a morbid curiosity. He smirked. So much for being busy. He then frowned a bit, as he brought his attention to the person standing in front of him. Who were they? Yoochun tried leaning forward in his seat, almost as if to get a better look into the persons face. But he couldnt seethey were looking down. He was just about

to start the car up again, to move forward a little, when the person looked up. Yoochun froze. That face. He recognized that face But it was not only you, Yoochun, that recognized it was it? For, time remembers it, as well. Now. Just as we did before use your fingertips. Push back the handsbut gently, now. We do not want to break this delicate piece of clockwork, now do we? Gentle, gentle yes. Now, hold it there. Perfect. Yoochun walked into the simple nighttime majesty of his mothers beloved garden. He was looking for her. He had just returned home, and found the house, unusually empty. Thinking that his mother was in her garden, he walked out of the house and out back into her little menagerie, hoping to find her there. He had just unlocked the gate but stopped suddenly. He stood there, frozen in shock, at what he saw before him. Into the garden The moonlight softly revealed his mothers bloodied body, and another darkened figure hovering over her. Yoochun looked on in bewilderment. What the fuck? Startled, the figure looked up at him. Yoochun looked back into the face of the person that was staring back at him. His skin was pale dreadfully pale, almost of a ghost-white, but yet, not quite. It seemed more of a resemblance to porcelain. Smooth, untainted porcelain. The moonlight caught a silver chain worn around his neck, as it gleamed, ingenuously. Raven-coloured hair framed his delicate visage, as it fell ominously over his darkened eyes. But not darkened enough for Yoochun to see the evident fear that was battling within them. Full lips, hinted with scarlet and splashed with ruby, parted to reveal a trail of blood trickling down his chin, against the paleness of his porcelain-like skin. His mothers blood. Vampire He breathed out, in hatred.

I am sorry. The vampire told him, through a worried, apologetic tone. He looked back at the other person ahead of him, almost frightened. What the fuck have you done?! Please forgive me. The vampire begged of him. Yoochun reached into his pocket, bringing out his prized possession: a vampistol, loaded with razor sharp, 8mm wooden stakes. He aimed it right at its heart. You fucking killed her! You misunderstand Yoochun shot him. Or did he? He was confused. He looked at the spot where he once saw him, but instead found no one there. The only thing that his eyes could see, was the dead body of his mother, that lay there on the life-giving earth that she once so loved. Panting, he slowly walked up to his mothers body, and saw no one beside her. No one, nothing except for a black rose, lying innocently by her hand. And release. Yoochun looked ahead of him from his car, at the person he saw with Yunho. That face was the face he saw on the night of his mothers death, the face belonging to the vampire who took his mothers life. He couldnt believe it. Yoochun sneered, vengefully. And what was it doing with Yunho? Yunho appeared to be talking to it, almost gently. Yoochun watched on in confusion, as he saw Yunho gently bring a hand up to the side of the vampires face, cupping it in his hand. Yoochun didnt understand; what the fuck was going on? Yoochun nearly choked, his eyes widening, as he saw Yunho lean down to kiss the vampire. A billion thoughts and emotions raced through his head at that moment he saw them kiss. Switching back and forth between feelings of shock, betrayal, confusion, anger, hatred. The constant switching, almost confusing his mind; disillusioning him. He felt almost sick to his stomach. Yoochun looked back at the wretched sight before him. Yunho. How could he? His best friend Hes with them. He voiced out, almost in disbelief of his own words.

But then again, this explained a lot. At least now he knew why Yunho was so angry with him to begin with. He did support them. The liar. Yoochun smirked. I knew it. Yoochun was now disgusted by him. He could no longer witness this anymore. He didnt know what to think, he just needed to get out of there. Turning the key in the ignition once again, he revved up his car, as he sped away into the night, blinded by betrayal. The sudden noise of the speeding car startled Yunho, and he abruptly broke the kiss, turning his head to the place the sound had come from. Jaejoong looked up at him, worriedly. Whats wrong? Still looking at the road, Yunho answered him. Nothing. It was just a car.

Junsu? Huh? The red-haired boy turned around, slightly startled by the other girls voice. He turned around from his computer, to look at Sohyun sitting on her bed, clutching her large, stuffed Pucca doll. She looked back at Junsu with tired eyes. I was wondering if you were doing anything this Sunday. She asked him, quietly. He shook his head, slightly confused. No, why? Well She began, as she buried her chin into the large, stuffed doll. Eunahs funeral service is this Sunday and I wanted to know, if you wanted to come with me. She paused for a moment, frowning a little. I called Haejoon up to know if he was free. I called him, like, a bajillion times and hes not returning any of my callsmy bastard of a boyfriendso yeah. She explained. And if he couldnt go then I really wanted you to be there with me. She looked down, slightly. Youve helped me more than he ever has. Junsu looked at Sohyun, smiling somewhat bashfully at those last

words. He nodded, with a smile. Sure. Ill go with you. The copper-haired girl looked up at him, her face lighting up in a way that Junsu could only remember. It made him so happy to see her smile again You will? She asked him, excitedly. Junsu nodded. Mhmm. Sohyun looked back at him, and the look she gave Junsu suddenly worried him: she looked like she was going to cry. But before he could say anything, she spoke. Youre really sweet, Junsu. She told him. I know Ive probably been the biggest bitch to you this whole time and even now, you still put up with me. She laughed, slightly. She then looked up at him with a heartfelt look in her eyes. Without another word, she dropped her Pucca doll on her bed, and went over to Junsu at the other side of the room. Much to his surpriseshe gave him a hug. Thank you. She whispered softly to him, her words pushing through the strands of his red-coloured hair, to land sweetly upon his ears. Junsu hugged the shorter girl back, as he held her warmly, tightly almost protectively. He felt that if he were to let go she would disappear. At that moment, in their embrace, he silently prayed that nothing would happen to her. Her life may have been touched by the black rose, but at that moment, he prayed to every divine being for the curse to spare her. Just this once, he resounded to his heart. Just this once she was taken from us by the unholiest of thou: a vampire; a bringer of death. By its hands, she was given death. But now as we lay her in the earth, as we lay her to rest she is givennot death but life a life eternal. One free of strife, affliction, pain and need. Let us rejoice! For her suffering has come to an end. The wrong has been set right, she has been purified anew, cleansed given a clean slate, if you will. She has been sent to an eternal paradise, one in which the vampire shall never see. Not once shall its eyes ever be laid upon its splendour. Let us rejoice! For she is now free. The body of Kang Eunah was laid into the earth. Junsu looked over beside him, down at Sohyun who stood staring

woefully at the dead girls casket. He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze, as he whispered gently to her. Itll be okay. She looked up at him. Smiling, she squeezed his hand gently in return, before returning her gaze back to her friends final resting place. A fair distance behind them, hidden by those who came also to pay their respects was none other than Haejoon; a young lady, by his side. She noticed him staring at Sohyun this whole time, with somewhat of a look of satisfaction across his face. She immediately frowned. Haejoonie, She began, as she looked up at the dark-haired boy, his hair frosted with metallic-blue. Who is she? Haejoon turned to look at her. Who? The girl next to him attemptedbut to no availto hide her evergrowing state of jealousy. A suspicious undertone, echoing in her voice. That girl you keep staring at. The one up there with the long, orangeish hair? Oh, her? He jerked his head slightly, in Sohyuns direction. He smirked. You dont need to worry about her. He told her, as he turned his eyes over to the girl beside him, once again. Shes no one. He then leaned down, to nuzzle the girls neck, affectionately. No one, at all.
;chapter 11((Movement in the Green _________

There was no other choice, but to run. The soft glow of the moon briskly lighted their path over the hilly terrain, as they moved desperately, trying to seek safety. Their village had been ridden by Death; vampires having came, mercilessly killing everything in their path. The sounds and sights of death were alive and well, that night. Not wanting to fall victim to them, they salvagedand sacrificedeverything they could and left it all behind. A young woman, with a face fair, yet fatigued, ran fearfully through the night; her husband by her side, as well as her older sister and brother-in-law. With nothing but the clothes and garments on their backs, and the tiny possessions they could carry, they trekked through the hours of darkness,

hoping to find refuge in a nearby village. Her breath was slowly beginning to leave her, escaping more and more with each pant after heavy pant. Dizzied and faint by the shadows in the deep forest running beside her, she allowed her legs to give way underneath her, as she stopped, falling to the ground in a subsided weakness. Soojung! Her husband immediately stopped, as he turned around to look upon his fatigued wife, in alarm. He quickly bent down to kneel on the ground beside her, as he looked worriedly in her face. The others, too, had stopped to see what was the matter. Soojung, are you alright? He asked in a frightened panic. No more. The young woman shook her head tiredly, her long raven hair matted to her forehead with drops of cold sweat. She struggled to catch her breath. Please, no more. Her older sister looked upon her with a strong hint of pity in her eyes. She too knelt down beside the younger woman, and spoke gently to her. Come now, Soojung, it is just over the valley. We are nearly there. Soojung with tears steadily beginning to brim her dark lashes, could only shake her head weakly. Hosuk, the young womans brother-in-law, gave a somewhat remorseful sigh. Soojung, we cannot stop now. He told her. Who knows how quickly the vampires may have moved? We must press on. Clearly limp with exhaustion, she told him. I cannot. She said, painfully. I beg of you, please, we must stop. Please. She begged to him, clutching her belly, gravely. The young womans sister noticed this, as she watched Soojung stiffly continue to clutch her pregnant belly. Is it the baby? With discomfort, she could only nod, her breaths becoming shallower. Yes. The other womans eyes widened in alarm, as she stared at her younger sister, who was now clearly in pain. Oh, good heavens. She whispered, worriedly. The baby? Soojungs husband asked, in surprise.

Now? Are you sure? Hosuk asked her, bewilderment echoing in his tone. Yes. Soojung cringed, clutching her belly tighter. Her husband looked upon her with compassion reflecting in his eyes. He then gently took her hand, and began to stroke it softly, trying to comfort her the best he could. Oh dear Soojungs sister began to look about frantically. She stopped once her eyes rested nervously on her brother-in-law. Woohyun! She called to him. Stay behind her for support. Allow her to lean against you. Woohyun, quickly doing as he was instructed, hurriedly got behind his distressed wife, allowing her to rest against him. He gently squeezed her hand, as she feebly returned the adoring gesture. Hosuk rolled his eyes, somewhat irritably. Chaejung, this is madness. He told his wife. We cannot deliver this baby right this moment; the vampires may be on the move! Suppose they find us here, what then? Chaejung slowly turned around to face her husband, with nothing but determination across her features. Then, they find us. She said to him, quietly. Hosuk, Soojung is my sister. I refuse to see her in pain. If you deliver this baby, the vampires will smell the scent of her blood would you rather her be killed? Chaejung! Woohyun called out to her, as he noticed Soojungs condition beginning to get worse. Startled by this, the other woman quickly turned to her younger sister, and began to examine her with her eyes. After a moment or so, she looked into Soojungs face, which had now turned to an almost porcelain pale. Do you feel the baby coming? She asked her, gently. Unable to do nothing else, Soojung simply nodded her head, as a tear escaped the corner of her long, dark lashes. Her older sister looked at her, a little confused. Have the contractions ceased already? She asked, mostly to herself, voicing the thoughts in her head aloud. It is not normal for them to end so quickly In that case, can we make haste?

Hosuk, please! Chaejung said to him, somewhat annoyed. At that moment, Soojung let out a painful cry. Alarmed, Chaejung turned back to her sister, visibly anguished. She gently lay a hand on her belly, as she looked caringly into her face. Soojung, how close is it? I do not know. She whimpered, gentle sobs choking on her words. But I want to push it out. Slowly nodding, Chaejung released her hand. Alright She then began to take off the brown-coloured scarf she wore around her neck, and brought it out to hold underneath Soojung, to take the baby. Now, she began, firmly. when you are ready push. After a few agonizing pushes, and endless streams of tears a baby was brought into the world. Soojung and Woohyun looked on at the little child in wonder, as Chaejung cleaned it with a handkerchief, before quickly wrapping it up in her scarf. She smiled gently at the little thing, as it cried and fussed about, continuously. She then turned her gaze on to her younger sister and brother-in-law, as they looked at the little bundle with eager eyes. Chaejung smiled at them. Very good, dear sister. She leaned over to Soojung, to place the baby in its mothers arms. You have given birth to a son. Soojung curiously held the tiny infant in her arms, as she smiled at him tiredly, yet radiantly. The baby was now beginning to calm down, no longer crying as much as it used to, feeling warmth and safeness in these familiar arms. The couple marvelled at his innocent features, his soft raven-coloured hair, his rosy cheeks his remarkably pale skin. Woohyun Soojung whispered quietly, her eyes still lovingly transfixed on the baby in her arms. he is beautiful. Yes. Her husband agreed, through a gentle smile. He then leaned down to kiss Soojungs forehead. Just as you are. They all continued to gaze in wonder at the little baby, eyes all softening as they stared at its innocent form. But yet there was something so profound about this tiny infant, something that seemed to just emit from him. They could not quite understand what, but there was definitely something different about this child. Something very different

Jaejoong. The young woman said to the child, as she stared adoringly into his face. We shall call him Jaejoong. Woohyun gave a proud smile to the tiny baby. Jaejoong, it is. The wispiness of the grey clouds that craftily hid the moon in the sky, slowly began to part, revealing the nights pearl. Ever so carefully, almost seemingly precisely calculated, a sliver of moonlight cut through the leaves of the canopy, to land down to the earth below. It spilled light into the unsuspecting shadows, instantly abolishing them to softly illuminate a watchful shrub of black roses, just scarcely several feet away. Hosuk looked about, somewhat distracted by the sudden odd filtration of light. The moons soft glow drew his eyes to its subtle location, as they rested upon the reviled shrub in horror. His voice, somewhat hoarse, he shakily called to his wife. Chaejung What is the matter, Hosuk? She turned up to look at him, and noticed the fearful expression on her husbands face. Now filled with concern, she followed his gazemirroring it, as her eyes locked with the revealed shrub of black roses. Unable to speak, she let out a terrifying gasp. Startled by this, Soojung looked up from the baby in her arms, towards her older sister. She took note of the worried expression she saw across her face, and was instantly troubled. Sister, what is it? Look. Hosuk answered for her, as he pointed to the black roses, not far off. Almost afraid of what she might see, the young woman reluctantly looked over to the direction Hosuk was pointing to. Her eyes widened in terror, as she saw them: The cursed black roses. Her child was born amongst their presence Her clutch on the baby slowly grew more desperate, as she continued to stare at them. She held him, as if he might be taken from her at any moment Woohyun simply stared on in shock, fear steadily beginning to write itself across his features. Chaejung lowered her gaze from the hated flowers, to look back down to the innocent baby in Soojungs arms. Her eyes instantly washed over with pity.

Oh, dear God, no Realizing her sisters fear, Soojung too, looked down at the baby Jaejoong, who was now soundly sleeping. Apprehensively, she quickly looked up from him, and stared frantically into her sisters face. Chaejung! Chaejung looked up at the younger woman in remorse, as Soojung looked back at her, terribly worried. She then looked back down into Jaejoongs face, through ruefully tinted eyes, as she watched him sleep so innocently Quietly, she spoke to her sister: He must never know, Soojung. She told her, carefully. Soojung, then looked down at the baby Jaejoong. He must never know Hosuk turned his gaze once more upon the black roses, before looking again at the tiny baby. His eyes, narrowing at him in contempt.

You made it. Just half a moment after locking his car door, Yoochun turned around at the sound of the voice. A voice, all too familiar to him, as he saw the dark-haired Mijin walking over to him from the other side of the parking lot. It was about half-past ten, that night. Yoochun drove down to Seungs parking lot, like Mijin had requested of him the night before. He was curious as to what this was all about, but at the same time, didnt really want to be here. An ominous chill whispered its way through the breeze, the coolness of the night nipping subtly at his cheeks. She approached him innocuously, a playful smile across her lips. I was wondering when youd get here. She told him through that same playful smile of hers, as she slowly slipped her arms around his waist, leaning closer to him. Thought you ditched me, or something. What is it, Mijin? He asked the girl, slightly annoyed. Well, she began, curtly. Like I told you before theres someone I think you should meet. Someone that could help you.

Yoochun frowned a little. Who? He asked her, wondering just who it was she could be referring to. Mijin simply smiled back at him. She then turned her head to look at an isolated jet black-coloured car, several feet away, beside them. Yoochun curiously followed the other girls gaze, interested in what had just suddenly taken her interest. His eyes landed upon the car, softly ghosted with the limelight of a nearby lamppost, a fair distance away. At that moment, as if on cue, someone stepped out of the drivers side, shutting the door behind them. They began to make their way over to where Yoochun and Mijin were standing. The dark-haired girl slowly released her arms off of the other boy. Yoochun, She began, once the other person had reached a satisfying distance. This is Haejoon. Hes a member of Emised. Emised? A slayer faction. Haejoon explained with a half smile, the light from the lampposts subtly revealing the metallic blue colour of his hair. Were an underground group that specializes in the killing of vampires. You mean, like the police? Yoochun asked him, faintly confused. At that, Haejoon let out a haughty laugh. Not anything like the police, no. He told him, aptly dismissing the question. If they handled things just half as good as the way we do At this, he paused for a moment, looking Yoochun dead in the eye. He stared at Yoochun, with eyes of utmost patience, almost as if he was waiting for something. The other boy began to inwardly shift a little under his scrutinizing gaze, his eyes slightly diverting away from him. After a moment, Haejoon began again. your mother might still be alive. At those words, Yoochuns eyes instantly narrowed at the other boy. What do you know about her? Haejoon gave him a reassuring smile, now having caught his attention. Mijin, here, told me a bit about your story. She made the right choice bringing you here tonight, and you made an excellent one having listened to her. He told him, casually impressed. He then gave him that same half smile he revealed

earlier. Youre lucky to have a friend like her that actually cares. At that, Yoochun looked at the other boy, his eyes reflecting a faint suspicion. There was something about those words that made him feel extremely uneasy. Haejoon, on the other hand, simply smirked back at him, almost as if he was expecting such a reaction. After the tense passing of a quiet moment, Yoochun turned his attention back onto Mijin. Are you part of Emised? The dark-haired girl nodded in reply. Mhmm. And I have been for about two years, now. She continued to explain. However, she paused for a moment, before continuing. I was almost killed by a vampire. But Haejoon saved my life. She jerked her head towards the blue-haired boy. It almost bit me-until he shot it with his vampistol. If he hadnt have been there that night I wouldnt be here talking to you, right now. She shrugged, a little. He told me about Emised, and what it could offer me: safety protection a family, if I needed it. All the members in Emised have all been touched, in one way or another, by a vampire. Thats what gives us the edge over the governments supposed fool-proof tactics: we have actual experience to draw upon. Thats right. Haejoon agreed. And from what Mijins told me about you it looks like youd fit right in. He concluded, satisfyingly. So whaddya say? Yoochun said nothing for a few moments, still trying to think all of this over. Part of him was curious yet part of him didnt trust this Haejoon character. Not at all. The other boy shrugged. What do you gotta lose that you havent lost already? Still need some more convincing? Haejoon asked again. He smirked. Shell definitely get to you. Well go to her and you can see for yourself. With those words, he began to head towards his awaiting jet-black coloured car. Yoochun stood there, confused. Her? The leader of Emised, Mijin explained. Jang Nari. With a sweet smile, she began to make her way over to Haejoons car.

Their augmenting footsteps led them farther and farther away from the darkhaired boy. Each footstep, subtly imposing a question to his mind. But how to answer that question was far greater a task. Should he follow or should he stay? What would await him if he was to follow, and what would pass him by, if he were to remain herewhere he was? Where he was, left with nothing but the faint traces of opportunity lingering about in the air around him. This was what he wanted. Was it not? Morbid curiosity seeming to have gotten the best of him, Yoochun began to follow them, cautiously diminishing the distance covered by their footsteps. Soon enough, he met up with them at Haejoons car. Youll love Jang; shes cool. Haejoon told him, as he opened up the door to the drivers side. Mijin opened up the passenger door, and comfortably welcomed herself to a seat, as Yoochun opened up a back door, climbing warily into the car. Welcome aboard, Yoochun. Haejoon started up the car, and began to pull out of the deserted parking lot. Welcome aboard.

It was just a little past sundown. The last remnants of day could still be seen on the horizon, but now only as faded greys and blues. In the heart of these woods, the only home to this lone shrub of black roses, he would wait in a sleep unknown to humans. This part of the woods held great meaning to him. He knew this, for he felt it deep in his heart. Something about this place would always call to him, drawing him back; like a mother calling out to her child He desperately needed to feed, but he wanted to see him again. He missed the other boy, and longed for him. Yunho.

Just about to step foot out of his resting place, he unsuspectingly heard a voice pierce the soundlessness around him: And where are we off to? It startled him somewhat, causing him to stop. The sun has barely set, and you are all eager and ready to leave your haven. It was the voice of his Sire. Why so hasty? Jaejoong said nothing. Minwoo smirked at him. Off to see our precious human lover? He then scowled, as his face took on a look of disgust. You long for attachment that desperately? Jaejoong sighed, somewhat annoyed. I long for a lot of things my dear Sire. He said the last part in a bitter tone. Youfortunatelynot being one of them. At that, the other vampire let out an amused laugh. Ah, childe. He began. My poor, naive stupid childe. You have absolutely no idea what you are getting yourself into. Being on this Earth, all these years, have you learned nothing? Well, that all depends, doesnt it? At this, Jaejoong turned around to face him. What should I have learned? That this life is absolutely meaningless and empty? That we sacrifice everything, to gain everything, and yet in the end, we have absolutely nothing? That this is simply all there is to it? He asked of his Sire. If thats the case then, no. I have learned nothing. He paused for a moment. From you, at least. Minwoo looked back at the young vampire, his darkened eyes narrowing in confusion. From the hundreds, thousandsmaybe even tens of thousands of people that may despise me, Jaejoong began, looking his Sire dead in the eye. There is always one that I can count on to accept me. Me, as I am. Hes taught me things that you never could. Showed me things that, my whole life, youd tried to keep hidden from me. Hes made me believe that theyre not all the same. Just as how they believe that our kind are all the same. He told him. A drop of blood is only worth that moment. Once that moment

leaves you, you are left with nothing, once again. Its just our temporary solution to our immortal problem. We crave so much more; we yearn for so much more. We crave life, Sire. Dont you see? We envy them. Immortality is worthlessa life is worthlesswithout meaning to it. And hes showed me that meaning Why must you be so naive? Jaejoong frowned at that, staring at his Sire in slight puzzlement. Exactly how long do you think this will last? Hmm? Exactly how long? Enlighten me, Im curious. Minwoo asked of him, in a sour tone. You fail to remember that he is mortal, and one day, he will die. One day, he will leave you. Jaejoong said nothing, as he wore his lips tight in a stubborn frown. Do you truly believe that this human fell in love with you, simply because of you? Minwoo continued. You do realize that you do not exactly look like the average person. How are you so sure that it is not your cursed beauty he fell in love with? He smirked. You are an exquisite work of art, young Jaejoong. A rare find, so rare. Your little lover perhaps just believes he got lucky. After all, it is not everyday you find someone as enchanting as yourself. Jaejoong no longer wanted to hear anymore. Youre lying. He told him, narrowing his eyes at the other vampire, in hatred. Hes not But am I, now? Minwoo sneered at him. Your precious human is simply toying with you to satisfy his lust. He began to walk closer to the young vampire, his shadow draping over Jaejoong. Then again, would you blame him? He was now standing directly in front of the raven-haired boy, as he leered maliciously at him. He then reached a gaunt hand up against the young vampires face, caressing the boys cheek underneath the smooth of his thumb, admiring the porcelain-like softness. For such a lovely creature to enter ones life I would say Lady Luck is quite the seductress wouldnt you agree? Jaejoong said nothing to Minwoo. He stayed silent, as he slowly lowered his gaze from his Sire to meet the fallen leaves on the earth. And once he satisfies his lust, he too will leave you He then slowly began

to withdraw his hand from Jaejoongs face, before taking a few steps back, his shadow slowly lifting from the young vampire. once again with nothing. Just as you are. The raven-haired boy was quiet for a few moments. I dont believe you. He said softly, his gaze returning to the other vampire. His eyes reflecting a silent contempt, as he stared back at his Sire. You dont know him, hes nothing like that. He cares about who I am; he loves me for who I am. Nothing else matters to him and thats all that matters to me. He told him, the look in his eyes faintly softening. I dont have to feel hated, I dont have to feel judged, I dont have to feel what I am. I can forget all of that. When Im with him, Im simply Jaejoong, and thats all I want to be. For once, I am happy. I am happy when Im with him, cause hes the only one who makes me forget Now, why on earth would you want to do something like that? Minwoo asked him, plainly. Jaejoong was confused. His Sire smirked at him. Ah, but I suppose I should not be too surprised. For this is so characteristic of your nature. That is just like you, is it not? Always running away. He then paused for a moment, as he stared at the young vampire. But from whom, I wonder? Yes, that is the question. What or who are you running away from? Jaejoong did nothing, but stare helplessly back at his Sire. Oh, come now, you must remember, Minwoo inquired, incredulously. What had happened to you in your former life? Jaejoong looked back at his Sire, somewhat oppressed, the dark brown of his eyes seeming to darken themselves even further. In a hushed voice, laden with faint hints of regret, he spoke to him. You very well know, that I dont remember a thing that happened to me, before all of this. Minwoo simply smiled at him. Well then allow me to refresh your memory. He told him, his voice taunting the young vampire, in a snide tone. What was it, some odd years ago?

That night, he ran. As fast as he was able to, he ran. As fast as his legs would carry him he ran. He had no other choice, but to run. Yes, run. Run away as fast as you can. But no matter how far you run, you will never be able to escape yourself. Never. Steadily, but surely, they were gaining on him. His breath slowly leaving him, with each pant after heavy pant he needed to think. He had to lose them, somehow. You are the demon child, the one that is spoken of. Run. Run as fast as you can. His breath was laboured, his vision, blurred. The landscape seemed to be all one huge blur of nothingnesshed been running for so long. But yet, he didnt understand. Why was this happening? Why were they doing this? Your entire village has turned against you. You now have no one, no one at all. They hate you; they want you killed. Yet who was the centre of all of this? Who revealed your deepest, most darkest secret? It was someone you believed you could trust. Who was it, now? Do you remember him, your dear Uncle Hosuk? He had betrayed you since that fateful night of your birth. He could hear them faintly now, they were still after him. But how much longer could he continue on like this? He was beginning to tire. You are as good as dead to them, hunting you like the creature you are. Make it worth their while. With each stride of footsteps, Jaejoong felt himself being taken farther and farther away from the only home he had ever known. He was slowly leaving behind the only mother and father he had ever loved; the only family he had ever known. He didnt understand. He did nothing wrong You were born amongst them: the evil the death the cursed. They told youhe told you you shall not be allowed to live. He tripped and fell, landing painfully in the dirt. Quickly, he tried to get up and brush himself off. Hoping that his legs would still carry him, he had to keep going. He needed to run. They will kill you if you are not fast enough. Why dont you simply just send

death upon them? My lovely black rose? Jaejoong stopped. Just up ahead, amongst the shadows, he could make out a large willow tree. Deciding upon it, he made a run for it, and hid safely behind its trunk. His heart beat wildly in the cage of his chest. His breath laboriously struggled to keep up with him, as he waited. What for? He, himself, wasnt sure. They are at fair distance now, sniffing around like dogs. The scent of death is one that cannot be so easily hidden. Be careful. His heart was beating so rapidly, that he could almost feel it leap up into his throat every now and then. The sound of his own heartbeat echoed painfully throughout him, the sound of his own blood rushing to his ears, almost deafening him. He stood where he was and waited, silently fearing for his life. If they found himthat was it. He was done for. He stood absolutely no chance: They were dangerously armed with torches, swords and firearms. While he was cloaked with the shadow of death. He feared what may await him just beyond this moment. Not far off, he could make out the edge of the woods amongst the darkness. A thought formed in his mind. If he could somehow make it over there, without being seen or heard, he would be free. He could lose them. Be careful. Bracing himself, Jaejoong slowly edged himself away from the tree. Even slower, he began to tiptoe ever so quietly across the grass, keeping himself as hidden in the shadows as possible. It was working. He was so close to the edge of the woods, he was almost tempted to run right in. But no; the risk of being heard would be far too high. Slowly, he kept on. The gang of men were just about ready to retreat. Without a kill, they were ready to head back to the village. Just about ready, until one of them turned around to look at the large willow tree, in hopes of somehow still finding something. However something near the woods caught his eye. He spotted a movement in the green. Quickly he shouted out, There! Jaejoongs breath caught in his throat, as he felt the pain of a bullet pierce into his back. It knocked him off course, as he felt himself falling down into the woods, down its small rocky valley, and tumbling painfully towards the stony creek. An arm had broken as a result of the agonizing fall, as well as suffering

various cuts and bruises all over his body; his blood, telling him of their exact locations. The gang of men looked down into the woods, and saw the ravenhaired boy, fallen. They cheered rowdily amongst themselves, cursing him, all the same. Moments passed, and their voices could no longer be heard, leaving Jaejoong lying wounded by the creek. His senses were slowly fading. The bullet had pierced his right lung, and it was gradually filling up with blood. He choked on the fluid, the metallic taste of the liquid filling his mouth. He could hardly breathe, as he desperately gasped and gaped for air. His forearm arm throbbed from the broken bone, the pain ringing to all parts of his body. His head had banged against one of the little boulders by the creek, giving him the most horrible headache imaginable. His whole body was weak and drained. The nights cool breezes would blow over his cuts, the open air stinging them, painfully. He didnt understand what he had done to be lying here in a state such as this. What did they mean he was born amongst them? Amongst who? Amongst what? Was it the roses? He groaned. His whole body ached with a pain he couldve never imagined. He didnt understand. He did nothing wrong. Nothing wrong. He didnt deserve this, he didnt deserve to die here. It wasnt fair. Just then, from what he could still see, there was a figure walking about up ahead. In one final attempt for life, he used up every ounce of his diminishing strength he had left to call out to them

He smelled blood. Just freshly spilt. How thoughtful. He could sense it coming from the creek, and began to make his way over to it. Once there, he saw a figure lying on the ground, by a boulder. Becoming closer to it, he could see it a bit more clearly: it was a young man. Not old at all, in fact, he seemed fairly young. He was bloodied yet, he was still alive. Frowning, he walked a bit more closer to him. He thought he had heard him say something. Jaejoong arduously sat up, to look up at the man in front of him. From what he was still able to make out, the man had long platinum blond-coloured hair, and a very thin frame. He was tall, and seemed darkened somewhat, almost appearing to blend in with the nights furtive shadows. There was something about him that made Jaejoong seem very uneasy, but he was desperate for

help. In a hoarse voice, he called out to him. Help me I do not want to die. Please, sir I beg of you, help me He coughed, more of his blood filling his mouth, choking him. The man smiled at this. Although Jaejoong was unsure of the intent of his smile, for the shadows had kept his face hidden from him. The man slowly began to kneel down beside the raven-haired boy. He examined the injured youth with his eyes, uncovering every last wound, every drop of blood. Looking into his face, he could see the boy was barely hanging on to life. Several minutes more he would surely die. He reached a gaunt hand up to his face, and delicately brushed his silken raven strands of hair away from his eyes. Seeing his face fully, he couldnt help but stare back at him, somewhat entranced. For he was unlike anything he had ever laid his eyes upon. In all his years of roaming the earth, not once had his eyes been laid upon one of such magnificent splendour. Even through his scars and wounds, he could see fair skin, of an eloquent pale, slightly resembling creamy porcelain; large, doeshaped eyes, coloured with hues of the darkest, most richest of browns; a delicate visage, framed with raven hair, most lustrous; lips, full and hinted with scarlet, and splashed with ruby The man couldnt help but smile. The boy was beautiful. Moving his fingers away from the boys hair, his fingertips slowly caressed their way down his cheek, until they rested upon his lips, moistened with his own blood. Craving just a little of something so sweet, he brought his face closer to the raven-haired boys slowly covering the youths lips with his own. He indulged himself in the pure taste of the boys blood running across his lips. They were of a rose-petal silkiness; the velvety smoothness of the boys lips alone was enough to put him in a state of idyllic euphoria. Wanting more, he pushed his tongue past the youngers lips, plunging into his mouth, tasting him and his warm blood, boldly and thoroughly. How sad, for this one to simply just go to waste. Perhaps he could help grant this boys wish and his own. The man pulled away from the youth, tasting the blood lingering across his cold, thin lips, as he looked back at the raven-haired boy. Jaejoong looked back at him, through confused eyes. He smiled maliciously at the boy. Unfortunate, little one. Unfortunate, indeed.

And of course, you remember who it was that tried to kill you? Humans. Your precious humans. Your own kind. Ironic, the way this world works, is it not? As much as you may love them, they hate you. And they will always hate you. May it have been in this life or your former one. There is no escaping yourself. You are who you are, Jaejoong: Cursed. A bringer of death, touched by the hand of death, itself. You can only keep running away from yourself for so long, childe. Sooner or later, you will tire just as we all do.

Jaejoong looked ahead of him, into his haven. There, isolated amongst the world, was that same shrub of black roses. There they stood, unmoving, as they had for centuries. No one dared enter this part of the woods, for the fear of being in the presence of the cursed. And so, it had been left untouched, unmoved, as it is now, as it had been for years and years past. The young vampire slowly began to walk over to them. The closer he got to them the more he was able to see their delicate beauty. It almost seemed like magic, the way the glow of the moon would bathe each petal; how it would brighten the crystal drops of dew that lined each flower. Their petals were of a rich, resonant black, velvety undertones singing their lament of

desolation. Jaejoong, almost able to hear their cries, instinctively felt pity for them, gazing into their petals, as he became closer, and closer still. He closed the distance between them his fingers softly grazing a black rose. He stood there, and just sort of ran the petals through his fingertips, for a while. They were silken soft beautiful. He then plucked it out of the shrub, bringing it up closer for his eyes to see. He stared blankly into the black rose. It was a spitting image of himself.

;chapter 12((Commanding A Raven Army _________

Stealthily on foot, we race from shadow to shadow. Quickly, now, time is at a minimum. Time is of the essence. A second dropped, is a second gonequick! Make haste to recover. With the vague reflections of ourselves at our heels, we hurry on. We move forward. But dont look back. The shadows might disappear Listen! Carefully, now. the black rose is said to be touched, even bred, by the hand of death, itself. It is a bringer of death, and will bring bad luck or even ultimately, death, to the person it comes in contact with. Some say, it depends on how close you become to it. But the thing about the black rose its exceptionally beautiful. It really is an exquisite work of art, and some find it hard not to be drawn into it by its beauty. But it is in that temptation, in that allure that separates the person from life or death. We must hurry on.

His eyes continued to trace over his reviled namesake. The dark brown of his eyes memorizing, and intensely studying, each and every tiny feature it so possessed. It was almost like gazing upon the looking glass, seeing your very own reflection mirrored in the foreignness of the mock crystal. Creating an image that seemed so familiar, but at the same time so unknown. It angered him, in a way, just how much he had in common with this darkened flower. His whole life appeared to have simply been telling its story. Repeating it word for word, it seemed. Or rather, their story. Was he being selfish? Then again, they were both stolen from, pick-pocketed unfairly. Both equally left with nothing. He hated it. There, there, young Jaejoong. Minwoo had walked up from behind him, his overshadowing presence draping over the young vampire. It slightly choked Jaejoong, as he hated whenever the older man was this close to him. He could almost feel the crassness of the other vampires breath against his neck. He flinched, a little. Minwoo began delicately running his cold, gaunt fingers, through the silken strands of Jaejoongs raven-coloured hair. He spoke to him, almost in a coaxing tone, All is not lost. Because it was never found to begin with. His Sire let out an almost tired sigh, slightly shattered. Chil Why are you telling me all this now? Jaejoong turned his head slightly, to face him. His eyes, sheathed with a subdued anguish. It would have been better if I didnt know at all. Minwoo watched the young vampire turn away from him once again, the light of the moon subtly glinting off of his hair. Ignorance, my dear boy, leads to arrogance. He told him, coolly. And you have much much of it. Jaejoong said nothing. And after all, His Sire continued. You, of all people, should know who you are should you not? At that moment, he snatched the rose out of Jaejoongs hand. The young vampire let out a tiny cry, as he recoiled from

the cut to his fingers, from a thorn along the roses stem. Minwoo smirked, as he gazed into the flower. Fascinating creatures, are they not? Still nursing the broken skin, Jaejoong said nothing, as he turned his head to look at his Sire. So delicate, he twirled the rose around between his fingers. Exquisite their beauty, unmatched. Just then, a devious smirk crept its way onto his lips. Yet, deadly. Quite so, in fact. Like a poison a poison so sweet, death almost feels a luxury. He paused for a moment, as he turned his darkened gaze onto the raven-haired boy. Does it not remind you of someoneyou thought you knew? Leave me alone, Minwoo. Jaejoong tiredly turned away from his Sire, to stare into his shadowed haven, all around him. A frown abruptly took over the older mans face, as he looked at the young vampires back. Let him go, Jaejoong. He then threw the black rose onto the earth, at Jaejoongs feet. Jaejoong watched as the delicate flower made contact with the brown-coloured earth below, a discarded silken petal crushing beneath its weight. His Sire spoke to him again. There is no need wasting your emotions on a mere mortal. Theyre only wasted if they arent given back, in return. You still fail to understand, dont you? Minwoo asked him, somewhat incredulously. The boy is mortal. You know their kind; here one moment, gone the next. Jaejoong said nothing, his back still facing the older vampire. Very fickle things. Untrustworthy, as they are. His Sire continued. But yet you are in love with one. He stated, almost in disbelief of those words. You have blindly given all of your love, trust and faith to something that will only end up leaving you. To something that will only end up hurting you. But from where does the pain come, dear childe? Minwoo asked of him. From the thought of leaving? Or from the very notion of having to erase

them from your life, completely? Once he leaves you, he is gone. He is no more. And the two of you will never meet again. You will no longer see him. He is utterly, entirely, and extremely gone. Forever. While you remain here. The only comfort, being the pain from all of those longing memories. But what happens when that pain becomes too much? What happens when that pain becomes so overbearing, that you give up hope, and simply cannot stand for it, anymore? What happens when reality deals your naive mind a cruel blow: he is never coming back? Minwoo continued to stare at the young vampire ahead of him, noticing his figure slowly becoming tense. Yet still, he refused to face him, his back remaining towards the other vampire. ... You are cursed, young Jaejoong. Born in the presence of the black rose. Born to bring an ill-fate to any mortal who comes in your presence." A satisfied smirk found its way upon his lips, as his gaze remained upon the raven-haired boy. "... Born into the life of a vampire, commanding Death at your hand. This is your curse." ... "One day, Jaejoong, the boy will die. By your hand... the boy will die. He told him forebodingly, as he slowly began advancing towards the young vampire. You can only deny yourself for so long, childe. And one day... he will leave you. He stopped, when there was just shy of an inch of space between them. Carefully, he leaned down towards the side of Jaejoongs face, bringing his cold, thin lips to rest at the raven-haired boys ear. In a low whisper, he spoke to him. But I will never leave you. Jaejoongs eyes widened slightly, as he let out an inward gasp at those words. My dear boy Minwoo slowly began grazing his hands up the sides of Jaejoongs arms, stopping once he had reached the boys shoulders. He then

began to lightly massage them; Jaejoong feeling the gauntness of his fingertips, through the light material of his black coat. He shivered slightly, feeling Minwoos ice-like lips still against his earlobe. Why must you live in a fleeting moment His lips began to delicately tease their way down the other boys ear, till they reached the bite on his neck, he had so kindly given to him, so many years ago. Minwoo whispered gently against Jaejoongs neck, his breath running its way across the bite. and regret it, the moment it leaves you?

And you were close with her, huh? It mustve been tough. Yeah, well you gotta deal. cause thats all were good for. The two had been driving in Haejoons car for a while, that night. Simply just driving, with no immediate destination on the horizon. Simply just drifting along a sea of endless road. They werent at all sure of exactly where they were heading, but it gave them a strange sense of security to just keep the car moving. The lights flashed on overhead, one by one, as they neared some limitless end. So, what about this Code Caedo? Haejoon asked Yoochun beside him, his eyes diverting from the dark road ahead of them, if just for one moment. You sure about it? Sure, and then some. Yoochun answered, somewhat grimly. But, you know Jang wont call a Code Caedo unless youre pretty fuckin sure Im pretty fuckin sure. You saw it? Yeah. Haejoon simply shrugged, as he let the other boy win this one. Alright. He turned his attention back to the shifting asphalt beneath them. We just gotta wait and see what Jang says.

A few moments passed, a somewhat comfortable silence drifted around the car, neither of the two having said a word to each other. The radio was off, because neither one of them felt like turning it on. The only sound for those few moments was the gentle hum of the engine. And nothing more. Haejoon looked over at Yoochun, staring out the window beside him. A sort of vacant, nearly expressionless, look was cast across the brown-haired boys face. Haejoon felt, what others refer to as, a little tiny twinge of pityif it was there, at all. He frowned, slightly. Hey. Relax. Yoochun looked at the metallic blue-haired boy for a second, before looking ahead of him, slight apology written across his features. Haejoon let out an inward sigh, as he brought his gaze back to the road ahead. He then jerked his head towards the car drawer in front of Yoochuns seat. Open that up. Help yourself. Yoochun curiously looked towards Haejoon, who had his eyes focussed on the road. He then looked down towards the drawer in front of him that he was referring to, and curiously reached out to it. He pulled the latch, and it opened with ease. Inside, there were at least a dozen cigarette packs Yoochuns favourite brand, too. He smirked, a little. The guy had good taste. Theres a lighter on the left side. The blue-haired boy told him. Knock yourself out. Yoochun laughed at that, and Haejoon smiled.

Yunho pushed the SET button on his clock radio, making sure itd wake him up for 7:15 the next morning. He had a seminar at eight oclockthat hed rather not go tobut it was best to at least show up. Donned in a grey t-shirt and sweatpants ensemble, he was just about ready to hop into bed. He turned around, leaving his dresserwhen he saw Jaejoong standing over by the screen door. Yunho was startled, to say the least. The door was closed; how did he get in? His thoughts were interrupted when the raven-haired boy called out to him, while quickly making his way over. He wrapped his arms around Yunhos neck, appearing to almost be holding onto the other boy for dear life.

Whoa, whoa Yunho was a bit taken aback by this, slightly losing his footing. He regained his composure, only to feel Jaejoongs body almost quivering against his own. His hold, becoming more and more desperate. At this, Yunho immediately sensed something was the matter. Jae, whats wrong? Jaejoong slowly let go, gradually releasing his arms; his hands, falling gently upon Yunhos waist. Yunho looked upon the young vampire, bringing his hands up to gently cup the raven-haired boys face. Jaejoong could sense a hint of alarm in Yunhos eyes, as his gaze met the other boys. Yunho breathed out, in slight shock, My God, youre so pale Make love to me, Yunho. Yunho looked back at Jaejoong, somewhat surprised. Huh? Please A glassy layer slowly began to form over the rich dark brown of the young vampires eyes. I need to know this is real. As Yunho continued to stare into that look in Jaejoongs eyes, he felt himself overcome with a strong wave of compassion. His eyes searched the other boys dreadfully pale face, trying to find some sort of clue as to what the raven-haired boy meant by this. Jaejoong Please, Yunho The young vampires eyes continued to cut deep into the other boys heart. I need to know this is real He then leaned his head against Yunhos shoulder; Yunhos hands leaving the vampires face. Jaejoong then whispered, softly. I need to know this is real Yunho said nothing, as he slowly brought his arms around Jaejoong, wrapping them around the raven-haired boy, protectively. He looked over to the screen door, the moonlight silently glinting off the glass. The moonbeams, themselves, completely unaware of this sudden penetration, as they landed upon unknowing floor. It was quiet for a moment. He then looked down towards Jaejoongs head of raven hair against his shoulder. He was confused, somewhat. What exactly did Jaejoong mean by this? Something must have happened, that would cause such a stir in the

young vampire. But if this would calm his tormented spirit, if just for one moment Bringing a hand up and under the young vampires chin, Yunho gently tilted his head up towards him. Jaejoongs large, doe-like eyes looked up at him, reflecting a sort of pleading to the other boy. Yunho then slowly leaned down his lips softly meeting those of silken rose petals.

It was the first snowfall, that night. Tiny flakes of snow crystal sailed about in the air, carried away by the cool nights breezes. A soft glisten lay across the city, a pure and innocent sheen of stars and snow. The hustle and bustle of the late-night was quite apparent, the busybodies of the dark hours running to and fro. And of course, the underlying threat of vampires was alive and well. No place for a little child to be roaming about. So, what are you doing out here, I wonder? A shadowed bird flies around overhead, circling a little one, protectively. It lets out a shrill caw, shielding and warning the little one of any danger. We wouldnt want anything to harm her, now would we? A young girl, seemingly ten years of age, as white as the snow crunching under feet, made her way through the night. Her shadowed guardian, a raven, flew about overhead, protecting her. It was rather chilly that night; a soft, white woollen coat was worn around her tiny figure, in a promise to keep the cold out. The snow continued to crunch underneath her white boots, with each step of her tiny feet. She removed her hood (it was getting quite warm under there), revealing a head of long white-blonde hair, and a pair of cobalt-coloured eyes, staring out at the night ahead of her. As she continued on, she looked down caringly at the black rose she held in her hands. Are you cold? She asked the blackened flower. It is rather cold out tonight, is it not? She frowned a little, but a radiant smile took over her face, soon enough. Do not worry. She told the flower. We are almost near. Tiny footprints followed the young girl from behind, as she continued on her way. Every now and then, she would stroke the silkiness of a black rose petal, almost in anticipation. There was something there, there just had to be

Make haste, Quoth. She called gently to the raven, losing speed overhead. We must find brother. He cannot be far, now. We are almost close She looked down into the black rose, once again; her eyes shining in almost surreal manner, as she stared into the darkness of its petals. I can feel it. She stopped. Something did not feel quite right. She looked up overhead, and noticed her raven was no longer following her. Frowning, she turned around, and spotted it still hovering over a street sign they had just passed. Slightly irritated, she went over to it. Quoth! What are you doing? I told you, we must She stopped, noticing that the raven was not listening to her. There was something in this street that had caught its attention Curious, the girl turned her gaze towards the shadowed road, and she, too, felt what the raven was feeling. There was definitely something in these deep, dark depths of shadow. Would it lead them to brother? She wasnt sure. But there was definitely something here. They needed to follow it. Let us go. She whispered anxiously to the raven overhead, still clutching the black rose, as she took the first step into the darkened street. Funny how this was the only one in which the lampposts were not working in. But that didnt bother her. She wasnt afraid of the shadows. Despite what was lurking. Someone had noticed the little girls presence, and would make sure that it went unnoticed. An obscured figure stepped out from behind the young girl, watching her every movement, her every footstep, her every whim. Hey there, little girl. Startled, the child turned around upon hearing the voice, her raven still flying, overhead. Ahead of her, she saw what she made out to be a man, a much taller and much older man. Even with the darkness keeping him in obscurity, she could still sense disguised malicious intent. What are you doing out here so late? He asked her, gently. Somewhat hesitant, she replied him. I am looking for my brother. Are you, now? She could feel him approaching, and becoming closer. He was right in front of her, now, and she could feel his overbearing presence draping over her. Should she feel threatened? Her raven had not warned her

Why dont you come with me? He asked her, again. I can help you find your brother. He was kneeling down to her height, now. The glint of his irises appeared warm and inviting. Yet, the girl felt a strange sort of coldness about them. Unsure of exactly what she should say, she decided to try an old tactic. Mommy says not to go anywhere with strangers. She could sense a smile across his face. A seemingly warm smile, but she also sensed otherwise. Im not a stranger. At that moment, her breath caught in her throat, as she felt his hand creep its way up the side of her face. Sweetheart, Im your friend. He told her gently, his rough hand softly stroking her cheek. She heard the cry of her raven overhead, and immediately knew she was in danger. Her cobalt eyes stared ahead at him coldly; a surreal, yet strange sort of light radiating behind them. Come on, now, The man began again, his hand dropping from her face, to take her by the hand. I wont bite. At those words, an eerie smile crept its way across the little girls lips, as she stared into the darkness that cloaked the man in front of her. But, I will. The man was confused, as he looked at the child. What do you mean, little He was cut off, as he felt the girl lunge towards himrazor-sharp fangs biting into his neck.

Caedo, Caedo, Caedo. I dont just use that term, loosely, you know. She told him, impatiently. I know. So, why should I call a Caedo? She asked, as she brought the cigarette to her lips. Yoochun looked ahead at his boss, Jang Nari, or just simply: Jang. She sat behind her desk at the Emised headquarters, a cigarette attached to her

slender fingers. The place was an underground warehouse that they fixed up, spruced up, and souped up. It was quite high-tech for an underground organization. Yoochun had sometimes wondered just where they got the money to fund for all of this. When Mijin and Haejoon had first brought him to meet her, he was expecting someone a lot older. In fact, Jang was just about their age. Perhaps a year older, like Haejoon was, but they were all relatively the same age. She sat at her desk impatiently, wearing her signature dark eye-make up, her russetcoloured hair in a stylish bobcut, stopping just below her chin. She had asked him just why she should call a Caedo; the top, most expensive, and all-out assassination code for a vampirewhich was hardly ever used. Not even in the most emergency of emergency cases. For this newbie to ask her to call a Code Caedo, he had better convince her, and convince her good. For his sake. Yoochun parted his lips, as he spoke. cause I think I got a new lead for you. Jang raised an eyebrow at Yoochun, curiously. She then sat back in her chair, as she crossed her legs. Amuse me, darling. She gave him the go-ahead, as she brought the cigarette deftly to her lips. Ever heard of the Black Rose? He began. Jang seemed to have frozen solid, at the mention of that name. She blinked at him. Wait, do you mean the flower The vampire. Yoochun told her. Now, she was getting interested. Im listening. To the general public, the "black rose" was simply known as the reviled cursed flower. But to those who knew just a bit more, it was known as the legendary cursed vampire. Having now gotten her undivided attention, Yoochun began again. I did some research on my own, asked a few questions here and there, spoke with a few people found out a bit about the vampire. He paused for a moment before continuing. And I think Ive found him. Jang raised an eyebrow at him, in amusement. She smirked, slightly.

Somehow, this whole situation seemed laughable. She then leaned over her desk, towards him. Youve got nothing. I got this. Just then, he brought something out of his jeans pocket, and threw it out onto the desk in front of her. Her eyes widened when she saw a black rose. And not just from that shop downtown. Yoochun added. Jang looked up at him. Like I said, I did some research. Got this one right from the haven, itself. Jang couldnt help but to allow a smile to cross her face. Not a snide smile, but a genuine one. She even laughed slightly, shaking her head. Youre somethin else, Yoochun. Careful now, or I might have to promote you. Yoochun smiled, at that. She then looked at him, thoughtfully. So, whats in it for you? Why this one? I know this one all too well. He told her. Its taken way too much from me Just then, his mind stumbled into thought; stumbling back to the thoughts and memories of his beloved mother; stumbling back to the thoughts of his best friend, Yunho. It had taken way too much. So, I thought I should give something back. Vendetta? She asked him. Yoochun looked at her. He nodded his head, slightly. Yeah, you could say that. Jang nodded, understandingly. Quite a big catch, though. I mean, this isnt just any vampire. Its kinda the Black Rose the famed demon child. Fuck, we could go down in history for this Yoochun shrugged. Sos that Caedo enough for you? Jang looked up at him. She then smiled, deviously. Thats Caedo enough for me.

All was quiet to him, save for the sound of Yunhos rhythmic heartbeat. The other boy lay on his back, eyes looking up at the ceiling, while Jaejoong lay on his side, snug against the warm body of the other boy. His head rested against Yunhos barren chest, his raven-coloured hair, spilling out onto the other boys bare skin. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump Jaejoong listened morosely to that beat that was holding Yunho together. Should it ever stop Oh, that fragile, fickle heartbeat. In a way, Jaejoong almost didnt want to hear it, anymore. Because if he did, it would only remind him of his lovers mortality. It would only remind him, that he only has so much time left. His life, slowly leaving with each subtle beat of his heart. He didnt want to believe his Sire. When did he ever? But now, ironically, more than ever he appeared to be right. Yunho was mortal, and Jaejoong was not. The young vampire had never wanted to curse his existence, as much as he did now, lying here with the one that meant so much to him. Oh, so much to him. It wasnt fair. Jaejoong closed his eyes, unable to shut out the voice of his Sire; that loud, penetrating boom in the back of his mind that just wouldnt go away. One day, he will die. One day, he will leave you. he will die One day, he will leave you. he will leave you

he will die One day Jaejoong couldnt bare it. The fact that Yunho, the one he loved more than anything, would eventually die, leaving him alone just as he always was. Once this fleeting moment in his time has passed, it will be no more. Nevermore, left only to throw shattered caution to the wind, and sail away along the deep hints of regret. And forever forever is such a long time. But yet how would forever seem like if he was to spend it with Yunho? What if he was to make Yunho one of them? One of him? A vampire. He could have his lover for all eternity. They would be happy right? Yes. Yes, they would be happy. So why do you not smile at this, Jaejoong? What is troubling you? Is this not what you want? He wanted this more than anything. Oh, how easy it would be to make Yunho a vampire. How happy he would be to have his love, forever at his side. Oh, how selfish he would be for making him leave all of this behind. Making him sacrifice the one thing that Jaejoong, himself, craved the most: life. Oh, how much Yunho would be giving up. Was Jaejoong really worth it? Was the life of a vampire really worth it? That sort of pain that he lived with, day after day for him to inflict that onto another, onto one that he loves No. Yunho deserves much better than that. No human being should ever have to go through the life that he, himself, is doomed to forever lead. Especially not Yunho; never Yunho. He deserves so much better than that. He deserves so much better

he deserves so much better. He deserves everything the vampire can never have: happiness. He deserves fulfillment. He deserves life. He deserves everything that Jaejoong can never give him, because of what he is The young vampire now felt like a dark cloud looming above the other boy. After all, he is the Black Rose; a bringer of ill-fate and death. A curse. A vampire... In a way, he didnt understand Yunho. How could this human possibly love him? How could this human possibly be happy with himwhen he deserves so much better? So much better than poor little Death, tapping softly on his shoulder Yunho frowned at an odd feeling across his chest. It felt like liquid; some sort of tiny drop of liquid across his chest. He looked down, and saw Jaejoongs body almost appear to be trembling. Jae, whats wrong? You cold? It is rather cold out tonight, is it not? Jaejoong slowly began to lift himself from his place beside Yunho, and Yunho now being able to see the raven-haired boys face clearly, saw that he was crying. The young vampire looked back down at Yunho, noticing the worried expression on the other boys face, as Yunho quickly sat up. Im sorry. He told the other boy genuinely, despite the shakiness of his voice. For what? Yunho asked, a little confused. What do you gotta be sorry for? He reached a hand up to the raven-haired boys face, gently wiping his tears away. Jaejoong paused for a moment, looking back at Yunho in front of him, the one that meant so much to him. Because I love you. Jaejoong told him, in a voice just barely above a whisper. And Im sorry. Yunho almost flinched at the pain he saw in Jaejoongs eyes. Yunho was

confusedwhat exactly was he talking about? Im sorry. He said again, another tear fighting its way out from the corner of his dark lashes. Something wasnt right. Yunho felt an odd presence in the room, something almost stifling. He didnt know what it was, but he knew for sure, that he didnt like it. It was an unnerving feeling, causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand on end. It was some strange sort of static feeling, the most peculiar sort of electricity hed ever felt. He looked around the room, prepared for anything. Suddenly, he caught something from the corner of his eye: a shadow from one of the corners of his room began to spill over into another shadow, not too far off. And then into another, and into another. All the shadows in the room all combined together, leaving the brightness of the moons soft glow to take over. The blanket of darkness crept its way up from the floor and onto the bedand it was gradually approaching Jaejoong Im sorry Yunho watched on in alarm, as the shadow rose up from the bed, and onto the young vampire, blanketing him. Yunho tried to stop it, calling out to Jaejoong, reaching out towards himbut it was too late. Covering the raven-haired boy, little by little, he was completely engulfed in shadows. Until suddenly ... they dispersed, back into their original locations, shadowing the room, once again. Only darkness there and nothing more.

;chapter 13((Precautious and Pretentious _________

The moonlight was agreeing with her, that night. In an almost mutual accord, it offered that simple yet elegant beauty that she so longed for. This perfection, she called it. And oh, such perfection, indeed. She smiled, as her

chestnut-brown eyes uncovered each new flower, bathed in the shower of moonlight. The afterglow softly ghosted its way across her skin. Enter here, the simple nighttime majesty of his mothers garden. To think, the many wonders one can do with their own two hands. From the soil towards the sky, uprooted a world of verdant wonder, lush with the vibrant colours of nature. With her hand as the paintbrush, she dips across and over her pallet of lilacs, daisies, tulips, snowdrops and black roses. Ah, the black rose. Despite the flowers colourlessness, it had a way of catching her eye. Perhaps it was the manner, in which, the drops of dew would gracefully adorn each velvet-like petal? Or maybe it was its quiet mysteriousness, as it remained silently watching and waiting? Or perhaps it was just the enigmatic aura of its haunting, yet mesmerizing beauty? Whichever it was, it was silently calling out to her. With just a look of the eyes, it draws the paintbrush nearer to its contemptible form, desperately wanting just a stroke of the delicate bristles. Desperately wanting to plant itself in the mind of the artisan, and create beautygorgeous masterpieces, flawless in all their wonder. Its shade giving the subtle hues, subtle undertones, which every painting needs. And so, the artisan understands this. Bringing the paintbrush closer to this elusive spot on her pallet, she dips a bristle or two, just lightly dabbing at first. Just lightly dabbing. Thoughts begin streaming through her mind, ideas of new creation. There were just so many choices, so many decisions. Which to take? Which to choose? She could always just start with a Her thoughts are interrupted, if just for one moment. The black roses pull had somewhat released her, and she felt her eyes being led to a place at the corner of her eye. There, several feet away, was a sight most curious, yet intriguing. Amongst the shadows of a nearby tree, stood a small figure clad in the softest, purest white the womans eyes had ever seen. Almost like a light amongst the darkness, the figure stood there, her long white-blonde hair falling sweetly down the sides of her face. Her cobalt-coloured eyes were placed solely on the woman ahead of her, and she stared back at the womanalmost worriedly. His mother looked back at the little girl, somewhat confused. What was her

business here? Or perhaps she is lost? Fairly hesitantly, she parted her lips to speak to the strange girl. Can I help Be careful. The woman frowned. Be careful? What on earth was she talking about? And how did she Just as quickly as it captured the woman, the little girls stare abruptly left her. The shine of her cobalt eyes was now directed towards a spot, just above the womans shoulder. The young ones eyes were quite taken with whatever had caught her attention, and the woman could see a spark of curiousness about them. Having got the best of her, the woman too, turned her head to see what the fuss was about. She slowly turned her gaze over her shoulder, and allowed her eyes to lead the way. But much to her disappointment, there was nothing out of the usual there. It was simply her garden all about her, splotched with the same usual shadows, from the same usual trees, and the same usual flora. She frowned. She then turned her head back to the little girl, to ask her what she had seen. However the girl was nowhere to be found. She had disappeared just as quickly as she had appeared, in the first place. How odd. The womans eyes darted all about her, trying to uncover the little girl. She wouldnt be hard to find, after all; she was dressed all in white. Yet even still, the woman could not find her. Relinquishing the chase, she decided against the little game of hide-andseek, and resumed her tending to the black roses. The roses subtle beauty filled her eyes, as she gazed upon them in wonder. Her fingers daintily stroked the softness of a petal, and she smiled. Reaching further down, she took hold of its stem, careful to avoid the sharp thorns lining it either side. Then with a firm tug, she plucked the rose from its place at the shrub, and brought it closer to her. Content with it, and with the rose safely in her hand, she walked over to sit on her white, rustic bench in the middle of her garden. She brought the rose up, closer to the moonlight, as the pearl of the sky bathed it in its glow. Allowing her deep chestnut eyes to take in the rose, she admired each petal, each leaf, and each subtle drop of dew that lined its splendour. It was a rare beauty, something one-of-a-kind. She was a bounty hunter, and this find,

her greatest treasure, was this rose. Never had she seen a specimen more beautiful. Never. Oh, how she was fascinated by it. For there was something so mysterious, yet enchanting about the black rose. Its petals, soft silken beautiful Her breath caught in her throat, as she suddenly felt pulled back, cold hands taking her. A moment had barely ceased to pass, before a sharp white-hot pain pierced her neck. The black rose fell gracefully from her hand, carried by an ominous breeze. It was cold.

So, what do you want to do, then? Jaejoong asked him, his darkened eyes still focussed on the ground beside them. Yunho told him, through a heartfelt and genuine tone. I want to be with you. He began, gently. I want to trust you, I want to believe you. Cause youre all that matters to me. Jaejoong said nothing. I want to forget what everyone says. He continued to tell him. But stopped, before he said anything else. For, a new thought began to form in his mind and I want you to help me forget. Surprised at those last words, Jaejoong looked up at Yunho, seeing a desperate seriousness in the other boy that he had never really seen before. Something about those words intrigued him but only because they frightened him, at the same time What do you mean by that? Jaejoong asked the other boy, somewhat dreading the answer he would receive. Yunho parted his lips, and began to say something to him. Those words, oh how familiar they seemed. Yes yes, those words were spoken to him, once. He remembered those same words being spoken to him, by the other boy. But yet, he could not recall them. Strange it almost felt as if he had lived this moment before

Jaejoong looked up into Yunhos dark eyes, somewhat desperately. What had he said? Why could he not remember? Yunhos lips were moving avidly, talking to him, yet not a single sound was coming out. There was a deafening silence about them, a discrete heaviness. Jaejoong continued to look up at Yunho, but his eyes werent as clear to him, anymore. They appeared softer, duller, the other boys face almost losing contrast. The young vampire could feel his eyelids slowly becoming heavier. A tranquil lull came about them, and he could not seem to ignore it. Yunho felt so distant from him, now; so very far away. The light complexion of his face, the darkness of his hair, the deepness of his eyes all appeared to blur into one another. The mesh of colours it didnt matter to him, anymore. Reverie. All around him was a sea of placid reverie. And all he could do, was allow himself to just drown in it; to simply give in to this cataleptic perception. Peace, such a such a quiet peace. So very ... Amongst the darkness, she sat. Amongst the darkness, she waited. Nothing but blackness surrounded her, yet she felt the least bit wary. In fact, she felt quite at ease and quite comfortable here. She filled the shadowy expanse with gentle humming, and the sing-song of nonsensical words. Contentedly, she held in her hands a single black rose. She smiled at it, her cobalt-eyes twinkling merrily. Stringing together mismatched words in the tune of a song, she brought a finger up to the flower, and began to softly stroke the petals. She loved the velvety feel of them, sliding across her fingers ever so delicately. But it seemed she had pulled a little too hard, this time. She gasped in horror, as she watched one of the roses petals sail softly to the ground, at her feet. Jaejoong closed his eyes, and felt himself being pulled downwards, by a force he could not explain. Yet, he didnt fight it. It was so comforting to him, that he couldnt help but to just let himself go. Falling, downward and downward on into his shadow, at his feet. He didnt know how long he had been falling, but once he could open his eyes, he could see much clearer now, and his surroundings were all in

focus. Or so he thought. For if he was able to see anything, he could not tell. There was nothing but darkness, as far as his eyes could see. Complete and total blackness surrounded him. All he could decipher was the ground in which he lay upon. It seemed stable enough. He tried to moveand he could. He sat up with ease; nothing appeared to be broken. Yet, he frowned a little. If he had fallen, where did he fall from? And why wasnt he hurt? He gasped a little, as a worry came into his mind. Where was Yunho? That last thing he remembered was Wake up. That voice. It was that voice again. Jaejoong looked all around him, trying to find the source of the voice. But to no surprise, all his eyes were met with was darkness and shadows. Jaejoong frowned. Where was it coming from? You cannot stay here forever. Just then, like a light amongst the dark, something caught his eye. He turned his head over his right shoulder, and saw about several feet awaywas a little girl. Jaejoong frowned. A strange little girl, at that. She was sitting on the ground, just as he was, looking somewhat curiously at him. Her cobalt-coloured eyes studied him intensely, and as strange as they looked, they did not worry Jaejoong. Her eyes appeared somewhat soft and comforting. Just like him, her skin too, was of a ghostly pale, her whiteblonde hair further adding to her complexion. She was dressed in a white woollen coat, with matching white boots. In her hands, the young vampire spotted a solitary black rose. He stared blankly at the flower, and wondered what business she had with itof all things.

Haejoon doesnt come by much anymore, does he? Well, Sohyun began, as she stirred her latte, idly. Theres a reason for that. Oh?

We broke up. Junsu was quiet for a moment or so, somewhat thoughtful. Perhaps he shouldnt have brought up the subject. A bit nervously, he offered a sympathetic Sorry to hear about that. The copper-haired girl simply shrugged it off. Yeah, well what can you do? She said, slightly airily. Things just werent working out anymore. But, you liked him, didnt you? Sohyun nodded, somewhat absently, staring at the latte on the table, in front of her. Yeah. I mean, he was a great guytill he turned into a total asshole. She said the last part, with a bit of a sour tone. Junsu offered a feeble smile. Whatever. She instantly perked up, wearing a light, carefree smile across her face. Its over, its over. And with that, she brought the warm drink up to her lips, and took a hearty sip. The strawberry-blond smiled a little, at just how quickly the other girl dismissed the whole situation. Perhaps it was better for him to have not brought it up. Clearly, she wanted to forget about it. Which could end up being a good thing, for him. The two were at the mall that afternoon, sharing lattes and cappuccinos at small cafe. Both were free for the rest of the dayand both were equally bored. In their once battleground of a dorm-room, one could barely hear even an echo of an argument or dispute. Despite the way they would constantly verbally fight, the two now got along exceptionally well. Sohyun had found a friend in Junsu, and he in her. Of course, there were still squabbles every now and then, but they would always end in smiles. Or ice cream. Yet as many happy moments as there were, Junsu always felt an overpowering sense of dread. Sometimes he would look at Sohyun, loving her smile but in the back of his mind, something was always telling him that he couldnt quite explain it. But it definitely wasnt a good feeling. And it overcame him with worry and doubt, and almost a fear for her safety. He treasured that smile more than anything

Somewhat hesitantly, he asked her, Do you still have that black rose he gave you? At that, Sohyun lit up. Yeah, I do, actually. She laughed, a little. I thought I lost it. The damn thing was in Yoochuns car. Just then, a frown subtly took over her lips. Although, he wasnt too happy to find it there. Tch. Who would be? Junsu asked her, the least bit surprised. Youre the only crazy enough to carry that thing around. He brought his cappuccino to his lips. Okay, honestly Sohyun began, a slight annoyance to her tone. I dont see what the big deal is. Its cursed! Its fake! She pointed out, practically. A hoax. A load of BS that someone just felt like stringing together, one day. So then, how do you explain all those people dying? Coincidence. She smiled happily, as she brought her latte to her lips. Junsu stared at her, unconvinced. He said nothing. Noticing his stare, Sohyun looked up at Junsu from her latte. She frowned at him. What? She said. Im not saying that you shouldnt believe in the curse, or whatever. If you do, then whatever. She took another sip of her drink, as she looked outside, absently, at the people walking by with various shopping bags in tow. Slowly, the look in Junsus eyes began to soften to that familiar look of worry, as he kept his gaze on Sohyun. It was more than just the curse, itself. No, its just His voice trailed off. It was so much more than that The copper-haired girl brought her gaze back over to him, and looked back at him somewhat confused. What? Junsu didnt say anything at first. Instead, he just sat there, quiet and thinking. A moment or two had passed, and he said to her, Promise me youll be careful.

Sohyun blinked at him. Junsu Please? A hint of desperation pleaded through that single word. I He struggled to find the right words to say, and to somehow make sense of his thoughts to the other girl. But all he could seem to tell her was, just be careful okay? The copper-haired girl looked back at Junsu, noticing that worried look cast across his faceagain. She had seen so many times before, but this time, there was something different about it. Something that really made her want to listen, and heed his words. Yet, she settled with a sigh. Telling him, You worry too much. Dont. At that, she wore a playful smirk, and somewhat mocking him said, okay? Junsu said nothing.

Love! He did it out of love! Who says he did it out of love? There were other motives for killing her, you know. Love is just a played out, tired, worn-out cliche used by writers, poets and storytellers, when theres nothing to write about anymore. Now, thats just the talk of someone whos single, bitter because of it, and has nothing at all planned for this weekend. What you talkin aboutnothin planned for this weekend? You see the SBS line-up? Yeah, it looks awesome! Things gonna perform. Thing? That new duo. Remember Oh yeah, them! Their songs so effin good. Its gonna be hot. Theyre hot.

Hot like If you all dont mind, She began, attempting to raise her voices a couple decibels higher than the reigning voices in the room. I believe we were discussing themes in Right, A Roses Thorn. Oh, yeah Sorry, Miss. Thats alright. She began again, after successfully composing her seminar class. Lets just try to focus a bit, right now on this. Everyone nodded, and the discussion resumed, as normal. That same afternoon, Yunho and Changmin found themselves in a Film Studies seminar, with about fifteen other students who would much rather be out, than in. The discussion was held on a screenplay that was in the works, based on a novel titled, A Roses Thorn. And of course, nothing was ever just for interests sake: there was an essay to be written on it, due in about two weeks time. The seminar leader, Miss Kim, began again. This screenplayoriginally a novel by David Fletcheris based around a humans love for a vampire. Now why do you think the screenplay writer decided to carry on with this script? Why release a film of this nature? Any thoughts? Ideas? A thoughtful quietness followed, as all the students began thinking. Well A girl spoke up, trying to somehow gather her thoughts, before speaking further. I think that in well first of all, writing the story was a pretty big thing, all its own. I mean, nothing like that had ever been written about before. And yeah, especially something of a taboo-ish nature. I think Fletcher was going for shock value. And by turning the novel into a movie, it would bring about the controversy it started, when the book was first released. And no publicity is ever bad publicity. People would wanna see whats going on. Brings in the audiences, brings in the money. I think thats what they were both going for; both the author and the screenplay writer. Miss Kim nodded, as she took in all the young woman had said. Interesting

way of looking at it, YeonHee. So, youre saying that its all for show? Just to rake in the cash? Pretty much, yeah. Miss Kim nodded again. Good, good. Any other ideas? She looked around at the students, waiting for someone to speak up. Changmin awoke with a bit of a start, as he heard Yunhos voice, beside him. The other boy parted his lips, as he began to speak. I think well, Im gonna completely disagree with YeonHee. At that, the other girl looked over at him, curious as to what he had to say. I dont think its for shock value, necessarily, Yunho continued. But more as an eye-opener. I think Fletcher wanted to show just how universal love is, and the many forms it takes. It knows no boundaries, no barriers, no limits nothing. It could be between a man and a woman, a boy and his dog, a mother and her child a human and a vampire. It doesnt matter. And I think thats the message he was trying to get across: It doesnt matter. I guess he chose such an extreme example, like a vampire and a human, to kinda emphasize his point a lot more. And of course, the shock value would be there, cause it involves a vampire. Theres always issues with vampires, and fear surrounding them. He paused for a moment. But yeah, thats what I think. And the screenplay writer probably shares the authors views, and chose to make a film adaptation. If the room was quiet before, it was definitely silent now. In fact, everyone was paying attention. But, not to Miss Kimto Yunho. Everyone was a little weirded out by his response, to say the least, including Changmin. The other boy was now wide awake, and staring with wide eyes at Yunho, beside him. No one said a word. Breaking the somewhat uncomfortable silence, Miss Kim spoke up. IInteresting answer, Yunho. Thank you. She paused for a moment, looking away from him, and around at the other students. Anyone have anything else to add? Silence. Alright, then. Well continue. Miss Kim looked down at her papers in front of her, tucking a loose one underneath the others. Clearing her throat, she

looked up at the students again. So as the story progresses, we see the love between both the vampire and human, deepen. So much to the point that the humanthe young woman, Sestinabecomes almost blinded by the love she has for the vampire. They say love is blind, so Yes, very true, SungHoon. And more so, in this case. Sestina becomes so intoxicatedor infatuated, you could saywith her love for the vampire, that it seems to blind her. And it is ironic that she did not see her own demise coming, despite the warnings given to her by others. As well as the dangers of vampires, themselves. She wouldnt hear it. She was blindly risking her life, blinded by love. For who killed her, in the end? The vampire. Exactly. She continued. The one she loved the most, and treasured more than anything, was the one that killed her. As the vampire said, Oh, how sweet is the blood. A taste of which I cannot deny. To a vampire, blood is everything. Even Sestinas love could not compare. Ironic, isnt it? One then begins to wonder, whether or not the vampire really loved hereven though he told her he did." But why did he kill her? A voice spoke up. I never really got that. I mean yeah, didnt he love her? Or was he just using her? Well Miss Kim began. He is a vampire, isnt he? And we, unfortunately, are their prey. Once that thirst for blood becomes apparent, they see nothing else. And the creatures feel no remorse for those they kill But what if they do? All eyes turned uncomfortably to Yunho, once again. Changmin squirmed in his seat. Well, that would be a most unusual case. Miss Kim told the dark-haired boy, factually. They lose their ability to feel when they become vampires. They cant have it, because they would not be able to feed, otherwise. They would all die of guilt.

The bus door slid itself open, greeting the awaiting passengers with the view of a grumpy bus driver. It was late afternoon, early evening, and the sun was just beginning to set, leaving the sky patterned with the aftermath of day. There was a small crowd at bus number one-seventy-one, at the campus transit terminal. Everyone was eager to get home, and get the day over with. Yunho, included. Sliding their tickets into the machine, they piled on the bus, one by one. Yunho walked on into the bus, to the unoccupied seats at the back. The entire back-end of the bus was strangely empty, considering how busy this route usually was. But it didnt matter to him, just then. He was tired, and wanted to go home. He flopped onto a seat on the side of the bus, and stared at the window across from him. Just a view of the campus at first, then as the bus began to pull out, it changed to a shifting gallery of downtown scenery. Some passing moments later, and the bus came to a stop, letting another passenger on board. Yunho wasnt paying attention, and instead kept his eyes focussed lazily on the window. There was a billboard not far off, and for the sake of boredom, attempted to read it. His view was interrupted, however, by a small girl that came and sat directly in front of the window. She sat down neatly and tidily, dusting off her white coat, and looked across at Yunho, before folding her hands onto her lap. Yunho noticed her staring at him with her peculiar cobalt-coloured eyes, and frowned. Clearly, this child didnt know that it was rude to stare. Her gaze had not once left him, and it was beginning to annoy the other boy. He looked away from her, kind of hoping she would get the hint. He instead, resorted to looking out the window beside him, as he watched the scenery change with the moving bus. They just rounded one of the malls, andJunsu told him he would be there that afternoon, with Sohyun. He needed to call him once he got home. Or Sohyun, whoever picked up the phone first. It never ceased to amaze him how Have you seen brother? Yunhos thoughts were interrupted, as he looked back at the little girl in front of him, who had still kept her gaze on him. He frowned, a little. Was she talking to him? No, cant say I have. He answered her, awkwardly.

A patient look took over her eyes, as she said to him, Oh, but you have. You know him. Yunho looked at the girl, confused. She simply stared back at him, with the utmost patience. Yunho could even see the twinkling of a smile, in her eyes. The other boy slowly looked away from her again, and brought his attention back to the adjacent window. The landscapes were becoming more and more familiar; his stop was coming up. Grateful for an escape from this uncomfortable situation, he pushed the stop button behind him. He picked up his bag, swinging it over his shoulder, and started heading towards the back door. Be careful. Huh? Now standing by the door, Yunho turned around somewhat startled, to face the strange girl, once again. He looked at her, with a look of uncertainty about his features. The girl said nothing more, and simply stared blankly back at Yunho ahead of her. However, that twinkling in her eyes had disappeared, and Yunho felt a strange, yet ominous chill as he looked back into the cobalt of her eyes. He recognized this feelingand didnt like it, one bit. It was similar to that strange sort of static electricity he felt, in his room with Jaejoong, that night. Its stifling presence had filled the room, and somehow caused Jaejoong to disappear right before his eyes. He had not seen the young vampire, since then. Unknowingly, he felt his eyes narrow in a subtle glare at the little girl, sitting patiently ahead from him. Hey, kid! You gonna get off my bus, or what? The voice of the grumpy bus driver immediately flung Yunho back to his surroundings. He quickly looked over to him at the front of the bus, and at the passengers looking at himrather impatiently. Somewhat absently, he spoke. Yeah, Im leaving. Just a sec His voice trailed off, as he turned his gaze back to the little girl behind him. Although, this time there was no little girl.

;chapter 14((Dusky Twilight _________

Tick tock You remember this do you not? My dear boy Minwoo slowly began grazing his hands up the sides of Jaejoongs arms, stopping once he had reached the boys shoulders. He then began to lightly massage them. Jaejoong could feel the unwelcome gauntness of his fingertips, through the light material of his black coat. He shivered slightly, feeling Minwoos ice-like lips still against his earlobe. Why must you live in a fleeting moment The older mans lips began to delicately tease their way down the other boys ear, till they reached the bite on his neck, he had so kindly given to him so many years ago. Minwoo whispered gently against Jaejoongs neck, his breath running its way across the bite. and regret it, the moment it leaves you? The raven-haired boy said nothing, those last words echoing through him, as his eyes reflected deep pools of uncertainty. He stared out into the night ahead of him, believing he could almost see the trembling bodies of water before him desperately wanting to make them real. Before long, he began to feel their watery presence against the rich, dark brown of his eyes. The earthy hue became trapped behind mirror upon tiny mirror. Each mirror, vaguely reflecting one drop of water in that trembling pool. Just one--and only one--out of seemingly hundreds, or thousands, of droplets. Jaejoong stood there, his body tense and confused, almost as if frozen by the coldness of his Sires lips. Hmm? His Sire mused, his lips still grazing leisurely over the bite. The cold flesh of his lips, subtly admiring this sort of Death, by his design. Foolish, is it not? The older man then let out a slow, malicious smirk against the skin of Jaejoongs neck before slyly slipping his tongue out of his mouth, flicking it ardently over the hardened scar tissue. The wanton of that gesture was enough to send Jaejoong over the edge. Feeling a wave of disgust rise above his confusion, he forcefully

squirmed out of Minwoos grasp. Quickly, he turned around to face him, uncertainty still blinding the young vampire. No. He told his Sire, but even Jaejoong found himself doubting his thoughts. Attempting to mask the unsure tone of his voice, he told Minwoo again, Y-Youre wrong But, am I now? Minwoo asked of him, that same smirk still playing devilishly across his face. Jaejoong looked back at him, wanting so desperately to not believe these words spoken to him; so desperately trying to not take his words for truth. But there was just something about them that he could not seem to ignore, to push away. Both his thoughts, and his Sires words, were battling against each other, waging war in the disarrayed battleground of his mind. He was just so terribly lost and confused, standing there amongst it all. The young vampire felt his gaze lower from the older man, one of his feet subtly taking a wary step back. Another and then another, until his entire being was withdrawing. From where? From whom? He was not sure. But the pace began to quicken, faster and faster still. Until finally, the shadows of the night completely engulfed all he could see around him. Minwoo watched the young vampire, until his eyes could no longer see him. The darkness picked up the traces of a smirk, slowly fading from the mans lips. A chill whispered its way through the mid-December night air, delicately pushing a stray strand of platinum-blond coloured hair, away from his face. His gaze then lowered subtly, to the black rose he had thrown carelessly at Jaejoongs feet. The flower remained there, against the dirt and broken twigs, seemingly frightened and all alone. Minwoo took a few steps closer to it, his eloquent footsteps diminishing the space between the two figures. He then crouched upon the ground, bringing himself down to its level; the black material of his coat, gracefully fanning out underneath him. Looking at the rose with longing dormant in his eyes, he reached a gaunt hand towards it, capturing the delicate flower between his fingertips. He brought it up closer for his eyes to see, allowing a single sliver of moonlight to bathe the petals. Admiring natures wondrous craftsmanship, he twirled the rose slowly between his fingers.

What a lovely parallel, this was. Oh, how much they had in common, the boy and the rose: both shrouded in darkness; both of such magnificent splendour; both able to will Death at their very hand both utterly and exceptionally beautiful. Pity, it was. You will be mine. He stated to the black rose, without question. Lest we forget Suddenly, the mans eyes began to further darken themselves, almost blending into the furtive shadows of the night. In a somewhat ominous tone, he spoke you belong to me. Somewhere behind a nearby tree, a gasp was heard. The strange little girl in white was hidden safely behind the shadow of a tree, eyes widened and afraid at the man ahead of her. I must warn brother. She whispered aloud worriedly, to herself. Unfortunately for the girl, her voice did not go unnoticed. Almost immediately, Minwoo snapped his attention towards a spot behind him. His darkened eyes suspiciously scanned the surroundings, as his eyebrows gathered together in a furrow above his eyes. He thought he had heard something She had been noticed. Steadily, but surely, panic began to rise in the young girl. She felt his eyes in her directionupon her. Such cold, malevolent eyes. Minwoo rose from the ground, and began advancing towards this one solitary tree. Its trunk was grand in stature, its lifespan reaching well into the centuries--but it was not its size that caught the mans eye. There was something there, and he could sense it. Something almost human. The girls face was drastically losing colour, as she felt the sensation of panic being replaced with an overwhelming sense of fear. Her eyes, still on the ever-approaching man, as he neared her hiding place, getting closer and closer with each step. Fretfully, she breathed out, I need a shadow. Her eyes anxiously darted about the enclosed space she was trapped in; hoping the cobalt of her eyes could uncover an escape, or somethinganything. A wave of relief washed over her, as she spotted a shadow to her right,

just scarcely hidden behind a sliver of moonlight. Deciding upon it, she turned her gaze once more towards the approaching maneven closer than he was before. Slowly, she reached her right hand towards the shadow behind her and waited. Minwoo reached the tree at last, quickly using an arm to clear the shrub, blocking his path. His eyes ferociously scanned the darkened area, all about its trunkleft and rightand much to his disappointment there was nothing there. Nothing, but a solitary sliver of moonlight. Oh, come now. I know you remember

Oh my God. Sohyun limped her way into the dorm, with a much more energetic Junsu following close behind her. Having seemed to ignore it on her way in, Junsu took the liberty of shutting the door himself. The two had just returned from a much needed study break; a trip to one of the local malls, downtown. They spent the past hour or so, simply just window-shopping, before relaxing in a quaint little cafe. Opting, of course, for the warmth of lattes and cappuccinos against the nippiness of the wintry air. However, as soon as the last drop of cappuccino was sipped and done, so was the leisureliness of their time. And so, time resumed, as normal. I am so exhausted. The copper-haired girl leaned against a nearby wall, as she struggled to remove a boot. Junsu stood by the door, frowning, as he watched her. But we didnt even buy anything. Sohyun whipped her head around, and gave him one of the most incredulous looks Junsu thought he had ever seen from her. She stared at him for a few moments silently, before frenetically pointing to her feetdecked in heeled, leather boots. Something Junsu wasnt quite familiar with wearing. She let out an aggravated sigh, as she finally succeeded in kicking the boot off of her foot. I am never wearing these things, again. The other boy cheerfully laughed, and let out a Sucks to be you,

before walking on into their dorm. Sohyun gave him a sardonic smirk, as Junsu went over to hang up his car keys, just around the corner. Letting out a tired sigh, and with both feet finally free from her shoes, she disappeared into the adjacent bathroom. A red flashing light, followed by a sharp beep, caught the strawberryblonds attention. He turned from his keys on the wall, to the center of the dorm room. There, just vying for attention, was their dorm phone, stationed at the coffee table. He eagerly made his way over, and peeked at the caller ID screen. Twelve missed calls? Damn. Junsu let out an amused laugh. We were only gone for an hour. Junsu, who called? It was Sohyun, having emerged from the bathroom, all ready to flop onto her bed. The other boy simply shrugged. Dunno. Ill check it later. He then turned from the phone, making his way towards Sohyuns bed on the other side of the room. Or you can check it if you want. Nah. The copper-haired girl sat up lazily, stretching a little. They can wait. Junsu had finally reached the other girls bed, flopped himself onto it, and lay comfortably next to Sohyun. The copper-haired girl couldnt help but laugh at his antics, as she tried to roll him off. Get off my bed, you loser. No. Junsu told her in a childish whine, resisting the other girls pushes. Its nice over here. A playful smile crept its way onto his face, as he lay there on his side, facing the wall, away from her. The sheets, thrown haphazardly across the double bed, were pleasingly comfortable, and Junsu felt quite homely, there. Sohyun once again laughed at the other boy, deciding that she might as well give up. There was just no winning, with this one. She then let out a little bit of a sigh, and flopped over him. The two stayed in that position for a while; with Junsu comfortably on his side, facing the wall, and Sohyun snug behind him, chin resting on his shoulder. Lazily, the copper-haired girl brought a free arm up, and onto the other boys shoulder, holding him almost protectively. Her

dainty fingertips idly grazed over the soft, cottony material of his longsleeved shirt. The two, said nothing to each otherfor once; amiable conversations and laughter taking a bit of a hold. They just lay there, on the girls bed, simply enjoying the warmth of each others company. Sohyun couldnt help but to let a content smile overcome her face, as she lay there, snug with the other boy. She even closed her eyes a little, as she took a deep breath, taking in the moment as well as the scent of her brand-new shampoo, she recently bought. The smile slowly began to leave her face, replacing itself with a slight frown. She leaned her face closer to his hair and sniffed. Again, another frown. You used my shampoo. At those words, Junsus body immediately tensed up. His eyes widened slightly, as they darted from one corner to the other, in an anxious fashion. There was quite a delayed pause, as Sohyun carefully raised a thin eyebrow at the other boy. Yeah. He answered, awkwardly. Sohyuns frown disappeared into a smile, as she let out a snort. Turd. Junsu let out a nervous chuckle, as Sohyun kept on with her giggling. He couldnt help it; the shampoo smelled amazing. Eventually, the laughter had ebbed, and the peaceful quietness carried on, as it had just moments before. A blissful sigh seeped through the copper-haired girls lips, as the moments continued on. Her bright, brown eyes languidly wandered over the other boys figure, stopping at an outstretched hand, comfortably on the mattress. Her eyes were fixated on it for a while, as she admired the form of his hand. Covered with surprisingly soft skin (she made a mental note to figure out his secret, later), they were as gentle as they were strong. Very protective, those hands were. They had the ability to make her feel safe, protected and maybe even...? They were warm. A warmth that she loved to feel, over and over again. And even now. Somewhat hesitantly, her hand slowly released his shoulder, sliding its way further down his arm. A bit nervously now, she brought her hand over to Junsus, pressed up comfortably against the bed. Slowlyand

a bit to Junsus surpriseshe slipped her fingers in between his, gently intertwining them. This time, it was Junsu who felt a smile taking over his face. Still a bit surprised, but the smile completely took over, soon enough. He ran his thumb sweetly over the other girls fingers, as he felt her face snug against the crook of his neck. And for that moment that was all they really needed. Of course, that was all they needed, until a certain loud BEEP from a certain phone, interrupted the peacefulness. Junsu let out a fairly aggravated sigh. I should probably check the messages, now. He began, rather reluctantly. Even more so, he started to rise from the bed. They might be impo No! Sohyun tightened her grip on the other boy, somewhat forcing him back down to the bed. Junsu was confused a bit, to say the least. The other girl, now content with the situation, snuggled up once more, behind the strawberry-blond. Its nice over here. Slowly, but surely, another smile overtook Junsus face. Perhaps the other girl was right; those people can wait. They werent important right now, after all. Deciding upon it, he relaxed a bit, allowing the other girl to ease up on him, once more. All was quiet once again, and all was blissfully peaceful. That is, until a stomach growl was heardfrom Sohyun. She frowned. But the kitchens starting to look nice, too. She grinned a bit sheepishly, as she let go of Junsu, and began to rise from her spot on the bed. Leaving Junsu alone on the bed, she made her way towards the kitchenette. You hungry? She asked him, over her shoulder. Y-Yeah, kinda. Junsu answered, somewhat flustered, as he sat up. The other girl smiled, at him. Good. Ill cook us up something really good And with that, she began rushing around the kitchen, in an excited manner; noisily opening up cupboards, slamming drawers, and raiding the refrigerator. and juicy, and fattening Junsu laughed slightly, as he watched her busily hurrying about the kitchen. He wasnt about to deny that he did not like the closeness the two had just previously shared, earlier and almost wished she didnt get up.

Within the past month or so, they had become a lot closer than they once were. A lot closer, by far. But moments ago, it appeared to be more intimate, in a way. Was there anything behind it? A mutual feeling, of some sort? He couldnt say that he did not like the feeling of her body against his own. He couldnt help but feel that it felt right. He wasnt exactly sure, but he knew that he felt something there. Something different, that was not there before. Before he even got the chance to get lost in the sheer bliss of it all, that familiar dark cloud began to loom anxiously over Junsu; clouding his thoughts with doubt. What he and Sohyun had just sharedor what they could possibly share how long will it all last? He frowned a little, at that thought. In a strange sort of way, he hated becoming this close to Sohyun. For, the closer he seemed to get to her, the farther she seemed to be. He had been running towards her for so long, and yet, she still seemed so very far away. In the distance, she sat in Nights shadowy meadow, admiring the beauty of a delicate flower. Her fingertips would softly stroke each petal, the velvety texture running along her skin. She would look up every now and then, smiling pleasantly at him, the moonlight kissing her sweet face. All the while, he looked dreadfully at the flower in her hand: the black rose petals were still falling Junsu? Huh? The other boy was abruptly thrown back to reality, as he turned his gaze over to Sohyun in the kitchen. The redhead had an apron thrown over her clothes, a cooking spoon in one hand, while the other was balanced impatiently on her hip. She smiled at him. I said, do you want yours extra spicy? Junsu thought for a moment. No. I-I mean, yeah. He answered, nervously. Yeah, sure. He smiled, at her. Sohyun gave him a toothy grin, before happily bounding off towards a cabinet. The other boys gaze lowered from the other girl, for a moment, to meet transiently with the hardwood floor. As the scents of the kitchen began to waft around the room, Junsu thought just how hungry was

he, really?

Excuse me! Excuse me, Mrs. Lee? The short, middle-aged woman turned around at the mention of her name. Stopping her tending to the bouquet of forget-me-nots, she smiled at the person she saw. Her minute wrinkles, lining the corner of her twinkling eyes. Oh, hello Junsu, dear. Hi. The strawberry-blond returned the womans smile, as he headed over to her, walking further into the shop. He had returned, that same night, to Garden of Eden to speak to the florist once again. He had taken it upon himself to visit the woman, from time-to-time. She was very cheerful, and always offered a smile, whenever she could. As well as an open ear and open mind, to listen. She lived alone with her husband, in a more quiet part of town. All the hustle and bustle of the city was not quite his thing, she had told him. They had only one child: a son, about Junsus age. He too, was off in University. And so, the woman had no trouble getting along with the other boy. In a way, Junsu reminded her of her son. His name is Junho. She had told him, once before. She let out a hearty chuckle. He looks a bit like you; both have the same smile and everything! You two could probably pass for brothers. Junsu had left Sohyun, that nightmuch to her disappointment. She was really hoping they could eat together. But Junsu promised that he would be back soon, and that he had needed to talk to someone, right away. You cant just use the phone? Junsu didnt quite remember what he had told her, but he ended it with an apology, a Save some for me, okay? and he was out the door. And there he stood, in front of Mrs. Lee, somewhat breathless due to the speed that he arrived here. Mrs. Lee, I need your help. He asked of her, earnestly. Oh, Im sorry, dear. The woman replied, regrettably. But, Im just closing up shop.

I know, but Can it wait till first thing, tomorrow morning? She asked him, curiously. Well Ill book you in for seven-thirty AM, sharp. With a smile, she walked over to the front-desk, and opened up her appointment book. Grabbing a nearby pen, she jotted down the information. Nice, bright and early. But Ah, is this for your lady-friend? The woman drawled, looking up at him, with a sly sort of smile. I just Junsu stopped, as he replayed her question in his mind. Who? The redhead. She answered, smiling. Sohyun, I believe you told me? Feisty girl, she is. The woman let out a hearty chuckle. But a sweet one, at that. A sheepish smile found its way onto Junsus faceas well as a not-soobvious tinge of pink. N-No His eyes widened, nervously. I mean, yeah! I mean He gave a nervous giggle, as Mrs. Lee once again wore that same, sly smile. were not together. He finished, with much effort. At that, Mrs. Lee looked at Junsu with a look of genuine surprise. Really? She asked him, in sheer disbelief. And then, a smile. My goodness, the way you two carry on, youd think you were newlyweds! The strawberry-blond let out a nervous chuckle, as his slight blush deepened even further. The woman smiled at him, before returning once again to her appointment book. Alright dear, Ill book you in for tomorrow morning, at She paused for a moment, as she double-checked something. Satisfied, she continued. seven-thirty AM Actually, I needed to talk to you right now.

At those words, the woman looked up at him. Well, now, why didnt you say so? Junsus expression immediately turned blank. What did she think he was trying to do, this whole time? Cheerfully, she closed up her appointment book, and put the pen away. In that case, dear, well take a walk and you can tell me all about it, hmm? She asked him with a smile, before quickly heading over to her coat and scarf, hung by the wall. Junsu walked with Mrs. Lee over to her car, which was parked in the parking lot, a block behind the shop. A light snowfall dusted the streets, as the first lamppost lighted up. It wasnt quite nightfall just yet, for the moon had not yet agreed. And so, the sky was left overcast with the remnants of day, with twilight splotching between the scattered clouds. Im scared that Junsu began, somewhat uneasily, with hands shoved awkwardly in his jacket pockets. okayso she got a black rose from her ex-boyfriend, right? Why on Earth would he do such a thing? Mrs. Lee asked Junsu, with a ring of alarm in her voice. I dunno. He answered, truthfully. I thought about that, too. And ever since she got the rose, shed been crazy over it. Like He paused for a moment. she just wouldnt leave it alone. There was this one time where wed almost gotten rid of it, but it just keeps coming back. And Im afraid that the curse mightve gotten to her, cause The woman looked up at him, a softened look in her eyes. I just wanna know will she be okay? He asked the woman, worriedly; that same frightened look reflecting in his eyes once more. Mrs. Lee was quiet for a several moments, not a single word escaping her lips. She then let out a tired sigh. Well if left alone she will not. She told him, most forebodingly. However there may be a way to help her. At that notion, Junsu immediately lit up. Really? H-How? What do I

gotta do? And so, the woman began. They call it The Burning of the Sun. She told him. What must be done is to place the black rose, which laid the curse, in the sun. The rose will burn and wither, along with the curse, itself. That is the only way the curse may be lifted. Remember what I told you before? The black rose cannot readily survive in daylight, and only in the dark. Once the last petal has burnt, the person will have no memory of the rose ever enteringand thus, taintingtheir life. She continued. For if they were to remember, the image of the rose itself, would be on their mind, leaving them susceptible to the curse. They would still remember the elegance and beauty of its alluring form. Junsu waited until she had spoken the last word. So, thats it? Theres nothing else to do, or? No, dear, thats all. She answered him with a smile. Excited, Junsu exclaimed a Great! But, be warned. At that, the short woman stopped dead in her trac ks. She looked ahead at Junsu, who had walked a few steps farther, unbeknownst to the womans sudden stop. Junsu noticed the woman no longer beside him, and became confused. He turned around, and saw her standing there behind him. He frowned, a little. There was something strange about her eyes, as she stared back at him with an almost ominous gaze. She began again, her voice low. The black rose has immeasurable power. You must be careful not to be drawn into it, by its beautyso very careful! She warned him, gravely. For once you are it will be too late. A silence passed between the two, as the chill air nipped at Junsus cheeks. His eyes still focussed warily on the woman ahead. Steadily, the strange coldness in the womans eyes slowly began to dissipate, melting into that familiar warmth she easily possessed. She parted her lips, to say something further to himbut stopped. Junsu

frowned at her actions, somewhat confused. A weak smile crept its way onto her lips, as her gaze lowered to the snow collecting at their feet. She then let out a shattered sigh, dismissing her earlier thought. Now was not the appropriate time to tell him this, she thought to herself. Oh, we are only but human. And know not of what we know. Quietly and skilfully, he picked the lock to the room with his key. Hoping the other girl wasnt too upset with him, he opened up the door, ready to make the biggest apology he had ever needed to make. But to his surprise, the room was dark. Closing the door behind him, he brought up a hand towards the wall, flicking on a nearby lightswitch. He frowned. Not only had it been dark, but the dorm was empty as well. Strange. Where did Sohyun go, at this time? Junsu shrugged. It didnt matter, just then, anyway. He tried not to worry himself with it too much, because now he could do what he set out to do. He walked on further into the roomstill looking around, making sure he was the only one in here. Once he was sure, he quickly headed over to Sohyuns side of the roomand furiously began searching through her things. Where was the rose? Where could she possibly have kept it? He searched from drawer to drawer, box to box, cabinet to cabinet still, nothing. Somewhat frustrated, he began looking again. Maybe he missed a spot, or he wasnt looking hard enough. Where was the damn thing? He needed to get rid of it, and fast! He pulled open a drawer he had missed, the first timeonly to reveal panties. Junsu stopped. What, cant find yours? Startledand almost letting out a bit of a yelpJunsu jumped up. He turned around towards the source of the voice, attempting to force the drawer closed. There, leaning against the bathroom doorwith the biggest and most

satisfied smirk anyone had ever seenwas none other than the copper-haired, Choi Sohyun. She was decked in her sleeping clothes: a grey tank-top, and grey baggy sweatpants. Her straight, just-brushed, copper-coloured hair dangled freely about her shoulders, stopping just above her elbows. Junsu gulped as she sauntered her way over. This was going to be a lot harder than he thought. Still wearing that same cheeky smile on her face, she stood beside Junsu, and effortlessly moved him aside. Reaching up to the drawer, she opened it up, and took out a couple of panties. She turned around, holding them up for thenow, red-facedJunsu to see. So, she inquired, curiously. Did you lose a bikini, or a G-string?

Jaejoongs eyes left the black rose in the girls hand, and let his eyes wander about this shadowy expanse he was entrapped in. Where am I? He asked the girl, his eyes still focused on his dark surroundings. You are in a shadow. She answered him, quaintly. I know, but The young vampires gaze tired with the nothingness, and brought his eyes back down to the little girl. I wasnt trying to get here. The child cocked her head to the side, and stared at him, curiously. Do you ever know where you are going? Jaejoong looked at her, confused at the question. What did she mean by that? The little girl simply sighed, shaking her head. Always running. Running here, running there, running everywhere! She exclaimed, animatedly. Do you not tire, brother? The raven-haired boy frowned, at that. Why do you call me brother? He asked her, almost sneering at the question. Who are you? I have no sisters. The girl smiled back at him, slightly giggling. You should know me better than anyone else! She told him, surprisingly. She then paused, for a moment, musing. Or do you? A childish giggle sounded

through her lips, as Jaejoong stared at her helplessly confused. Were very similar, you and I. So much, in fact, that we could even be the same person! Isnt that strange? Jaejoong said nothing. His perplexed stare was answer enough. Still, the girl continued. Just like you, I can walk the shadows. Just call me a shadow-walker of sorts. I have the power to teleport through shadows, as you do. Just going in one, and coming out of another. She explained to him. And Im not afraid of the dark. No, sir! Not me. She shook her head, proudly. The young vampire parted his lips, in question. But you cannot walk the shadows, unless You are a vampire. She finished off for him. Yes, I know. At that, Jaejoong looked at her, rather suspiciously. So, are you one? The child shrugged. Maybe. Maybe not. The strangeness of this girl was beginning to annoy Jaejoongif he was not annoyed, already. Yet still, he sat there, simply staring at her, not saying a word. I brought you here. The girl began, again. You were trying to leave that boys room, that nighttwo-and-a-half weeks ago, in factusing the shadows. But instead, I brought you here. You were here sleeping quite a long time, brother. Almost three weeks! For a moment there, I thought you would never wake up! She giggled. You must have really liked your dream, about you and that boy you like so much. At the lamppost, was it? I cant remember. She frowned, as Jaejoong looked at her, curiously. You wanted to leave him that night I brought you here, and go far, far away. But it didnt quite work, did it? Do you know why? She leaned closer to him, her bright cobalt eyes shining surreally at him. Jaejoong shook his head, dubiously. No. She smiled at him. Because I intercepted your shadow! She exclaimed. Ive been looking for you a long time, dear brother. Me and Quoth, my raven, had been travelling for a long time, and from far, far awaybut not too farto see you. We bumped into a bit of trouble to find you, though, didnt we, Quoth? She looked up at the raven,

flying protectively overhead. Quoth let out a shrill caw! The girl nodded. Mhmm. A scary man tried to hurt us, but I got rid of him. She stated, proudly. Quoth stopped in front of a shadowed street, and we used the shadows there to find you. Turns out, you were using the exact same one! She laughed, at that. And so we waited here, until we felt your energy, and brought you in. Thats why youre here. But, why did you bring me here? Jaejoong questioned. Because I wanted to see you, at least once. Before I fade away The raven-haired boy noticed a change in the girls tone. It sounded almost saddened. He looked at her, with a pitied curiousness about his eyes. What do you mean? He asked her, gently. Exactly what I said. Her smile returned, even brighter. But, I dont understand what you said. Well, thats because you dont understand anything! Jaejoong wore an expression of puzzlement, at that answer. He was confused as to how her personality could change so drastically, so suddenly. Noticing the confusion upon his features, the girl giggled. Youre funny, brother. She told him, with a smile still playing across her face. I will definitely miss you. Where are you going? The child gave him a simple, yet sweet smile; her cobalt eyes, twinkling. Away. She answered him, almost wispily. You do not need me, anymore. And after you let me go, you will never hear me, or see me, again. She shrugged. You had to let me go, sometime. You are a vampire, after all. It would seem improper for me to still be around you. Offering a weak smile, she looked down into the petals of the black rose, that she held gravely in her hands. You no longer need me. The

shadows in your heart are growing, and I will not last much longer. In your dark existence, I am but your little candle; the only source of light and goodness, and the last that you held on to. All vampires are like this, and we are born from your creation. We are the Lost Children; the Inculpatus. The good counterpart, you could say, of a vampire. When you are created, we are born, deep into your mind. I would talk to you. Remember? We are almost like a conscience, but in a living form. There are many others, like me; as many as there are vampires in the world. We serve as your last link to the human world, before your souls are forever lost, and you become a Vamplenus; a full vampire. The candle will have burnt out, and your soul is nothing but darkness. But Im not afraid of the dark, remember? She looked up at Jaejoong, giving him an encouraging smile. And once you become a Vamplenus, you will no longer need me. This human-like soul, thats holding you back. We can only see our vampire, when our service is complete. And once you have seen us, we must fade away; forever. You see, most vampires immediately lose their humanistic ability to feel, or a conscience, once they become a vampire. This is because they have seen their Inculpatus, the moment they are bitten. Somewhere in a shadow of their mind, the vampire sees themjust for an instant. Just one look is all it really takes. However I wanted to meet you. She then looked back at him, her eyes almost motherly. She looked upon the raven-haired boy, in a way that a mother would look upon her child. She smiled, warmly. You were always just as much human, as you are vampire. A tired sigh then escaped her lips, as a frown slowly replaced her smile. Yet, I cant help but feel that this life was not meant for you. For us Jaejoong looked back silently at the young girl, with heavy eyes. From the moment she was created, she knew what her fate would be. And she simply accepted it. For some reason, this bothered Jaejoong and he didnt quite understand why. In this strange sort of way, she was dying for Jaejoong. But yet, was it really such an honourable cause? Sheall of the Inculpatuswere dying to allow these vampires to cause pain to others; to turn on a kind that they were once part of. Somehow, this did not seem right to Jaejoong. It was almost unfair. And they are only children. He didnt understand why they had to get mixed up and involved in all of this. They did nothing wrong, they never have. They are children, after all; the most innocent of all

humanity. Yet ironic enough, children are always the first to suffer. Why should this girl be any exception? Because she was a part of him? If so, her innocence had died far too long ago. Indeed, she was ready to leave. And now, the fact that Jaejoong was becoming the one thing, that he had harboured such hate for, began to anger him. It all seemed in vain, in the end. All the love he had for humans, that need to be a part of them again, and that attachment he wanted so desperately it all seemed like such a waste of emotion, now. He smirked. They are only wasted if they are not given back, in return. He said those same words, once. How poignant. The child then got up from her place, and walked closer to Jaejoong who sat several feet away from her. She closed the gap between them, and sat on the ground there, beside him. Tell me a story, brother. She asked, calmly. A story? Jaejoong looked over to the girl beside him, as her cobaltcoloured eyes shone, intensely. But, dont start at the beginning. She told him. Start from the part where you learn of your past, and what you really are. Of what it is that you can do and what it is that you cannot do. Start with him. Him. Jaejoong repeated, almost lifelessly. Just the thought of him made his being grow weary. Yunho. Yes. She prodded on, excitedly. Yes, tell me all about it. You always did have the most interesting stories. She smiled, girlishly. A smirk crept its way onto his lips, as he diverted his gaze away from her. Im not so sure if you could call it interesting, as you would ironic. He said, sourly. She smiled, with a shrug. Irony makes for a great story. He turned his gaze over to her, and looked at her curiously excited expression. Letting out a tired sigh, he allowed his eyes to wander out ahead of him, as he looked to the nothingness to be his Muse. Well He began. for once everything seemed okay. For once, I could call my life complete. As empty as it had been for years and years before, it had come to a point where it actually felt whole. Nothing was missing, you know? He made me feel that way. Like I belonged, like I

was loved like everything was okay. Yunho? The girl asked, with a curious smile. Jaejoong smiled, slightly. Yes. Yunho. He was human; mortal. Everything my kind stands againstyet stands upon. But, I didnt care. I loved him, and I thought that would be it. And that nothing else would matter, anymore. I loved him, and he loved me. Nothing else would matter. And my Sire. He continued, somewhat incredulously. He told me of my past, and of what I really am. He told me of the black rose, and the curse that it has upon me. It was the curse that brought me to become a vampire. I have been cursed since my birth, and it was the rose that led me to an ill-fate, such as this. My curse is that I am to lead the life of a vampire, commanding Death at my accord. He paused for a moment. But even now, the curse refuses to leave me. And whats worse, I lay it upon mortalswithout even realizing it! My Sire told me it is my appearance that draws mortals towards me. Like the black rose, I put some sort of pull on them; a fascination of sorts. And I, myself, am not even aware of it. Anything they say, do, think, or just anything is all the curses doing. Its not genuine. Its simply just a spell that theyre under, that are making them say things or do things that they normally wouldnt, otherwise. Almost like being hypnotized, or in some sort of trance. However, it doesnt just go one way. Its undeniably fatal towards mortals, as they are the only ones capable of being affected. Once they become entrapped in the curse, its too late. They will die an untimely death by the black roses accord. The young girl looked at Jaejoong, with saddened eyes. He spoke with a depressed heaviness about his voice, and his eyes seemed dull even among the shadows. Still, she continued to listen. My Sire told me that this human was not really in love with me, and rather it was all a figment of my imagination. It never truly existed. But I didnt want to believe him. I mean, do you blame me? He asked, somewhat exasperated. After hearing all these things, it was just I couldnt bear it. I was uncertain, and my Sire was putting thoughts into my head, confusing me. But, I had to go to him, the human, and see this for myself. But part of me didnt want to see it. Part of me

wanted to be blissfully ignorant, as I always was. Yet, part of me knew this was for the better. I had to make sure that it was real; that our love, and all that we shared, truly was. I knew the whole time that he was mortaland I am not. But, my ignorant stubbornness would not let me see a thing. The black rose curse only affects mortals. But I thought, it could still be real, couldnt it? Or love; it felt so real. I thought to myself, maybe I could turn him into a vampire? The curse brings Death, but I could turn him into a vampire, and then he wouldnt have to die! But, how selfish of me, that wouldve been. Yes, I could have him for all eternity, forever at my side He smirked. But, then Id be no better than my Sire. He would be giving up so much. Hed be giving up the one thing that I, myself, crave the most: life. I began to think, am I really worth it? Is any of it worth it, really? And in the end, our love was not real. It would seem such an empty victory. Id only be fooling myself. The girl noticed a smile appear across Jaejoongs waiflike features. If only for a moment, she sensed a faint happiness about him. And such a warm soul. He began, with a smile. He really isnt like the others. Slowly, faint traces of that smile began to disperse, losing themselves in the darkness that surrounded him. Or maybe he was. But Ill never know. He deserves so much better. So much more than what I can give him. He deserves better than Deathbetter than me. He never really knew me after all, didnt he? It was all in vain. He will die a death that he did not deserve, thanks to me and theres nothing I can do to save him. A slight glassiness began to form over Jaejoongs eyes, misery weighing heavily upon them. In a low voice, he told her. Ill be alone, again. Jut as I always was, and forever will be. He began to get angry. Why did I ever see him again, to begin with? He growled. I shouldve just left him be. He paused for a moment, gathering up his jumbled thoughts and emotions. Smirking to himself, he said, Or better yet it wouldve been better if I had never met him, at all. But he knew, deep inside, that this was not so. His anger slowly began to subside, as he softened with a shattered sigh. I just He trailed

off, his voice steadily on the verge of breaking. I just wanted to know what it was like to feel loved you know? I wanted to experience the feeling of being acceptedjust once. All my life, Id been hated, and never found that one person who just seems to understand. I wanted to feel lovebut not like this. He scowled, slightly. I wanted it to go both ways; to be genuine and true. And not just a lie. He said the last part, bitterly. The young girl looked at him, through concerned eyes. I left him that night, in hopes of never seeing him again. He told her, truthfully. And I never want to see him, again. Im better off alone, anyway. He stopped for several moments, listening to the deafening silence surrounding them. He listened also to his thoughts, his true emotionsthose, of which, he could not deny. He parted his lips slowly, to speak. Yet still... he began, softly. I love him. The girl remained quiet, truly touched by the young vampires story. Despite a lifetime of hate and prejudice, the only thing that seemed to matter to him was love. As long as there was love in his life, there was happiness. And he felt that with Yunho. All he truly wanted was to be loved. But, little did he know She slowly closed her eyes, the twinkling of her cobalt-coloured eyes gradually dulling. In a voice barely above a whisper, she spoke to the raven-haired boy. There was never anyone to save; nothing ever to be done. There Her eyes suddenly opened, and she sat there staring at a spot above themalmost frightened. It was starting to fade the shadow was starting to fade! She was almost out of time Jaejoong noticed her sudden behaviour, and her gaze that was locked with the expanse, above them. There was something there that seemed to catch her attentionquite gravely. Curious, Jaejoong turned his head, following her gaze, behind him. There, they saw the shadow beginning to disperse, giving a clear view of the early moon hanging in the twilight sky. But just then, the girl remembered something: she had to warn Jaejoong of Minwoo, for his intentions were not as they seemed. She had seen them earlier that night, and overheard Minwoos words. The older vampire hated humans, and simply wanted Jaejoong all to himself. Which, of course, meant removing Yunho from the pictureby any means possible. Even if it means that Minwoo has to tell Jaejoong that Yunho does not love him, and the curse will be Yunhos end. When, in fact, Yunho

She had to tell Jaejoong, before she faded away! Do not believe all that he tells you. He? Jaejoong turned around to face the girl, but was instead met with the dusky view of a shadowed alleyway. Sitting against a wall, he saw garbage and litter lining the space, either side; melting snow leaving a calm glisten over the stray papers and plastic. The young vampires eyes scanned the alleyway, but the girl was nowhere to be found. Just like the shadow, she too, had completely faded away. Just as she had promised. Jaejoong frowned, to himself. Her last words still echoed about his ears. Who could she have possibly meant? Yunho?

Yoochun this is ridiculous. Haejoon stated. You cant just walk down the street, and bump into the Black Rose. It doesnt work that way. How many times have I told you to just trust me? Yoochun told the older boy tiredly, that same evening. Seriously, I know what Im doing. Now, come on. And with that, he shut his car door, and headed into the darkness of a nearby forest. The car was parked along the side of a lonely road; the place was practically abandoned. All that stood here, was the mysteriousness of a forestthat no one dared enter. Black Rose Forest, it was called by most. Its dubbed name was due to its inhabitants. Here grew the last surviving black roses, as well as another famous Black Rose. Yoochun was convinced that this was the Haven of the legendary vampire; or as most known him as, the Demon Child. Born in the presence of the cursed flower, the boy faced a life of hatred, cruelty and pain. Some say that he still serves his eternal sentence, to this day. Those some are those that know him as the vampire; the Black Rose. Mijin offered a feeble smile to Haejoon, before heading off, and catching up to Yoochun. The blue-haired boy simply stood there, speechless.

He gave an aggravated sigh. Last time I checked, we were taking orders from Jangnot from a fucking newb. He reluctantly hurried ahead, to join them. This is so unprofessional. They tiptoed carefully through the trees, keeping their eyes open and being prepared, for anything. It wasnt quite nightfall just yet, for the moon had not yet agreed. And so, the sky was left overcast with the remnants of day, with twilight splotching between the scattered clouds. But underneath the thick canopy of the trees, it made no difference. It wouldnt to them, of course. But to a vampire, it made the world of difference. And Yoochun knew this. He knew it, quite well. For, just as Yoochun predicted there he was. They stopped. In a silent agreement amongst the three, Yoochun reached into his jacket pocket, taking hold of a tranquire gun. Carefully, he brought it out of his pocket and took aim. With a smirk, he said. Night-night, vampire.

;chapter 15((The Awakening _________

Junsu what are we doing again? I told you, Changmin. Came the strawberry-blonds muffled reply. He had managed to free his head from the overstuffed armoire, and carelessly threw a shirt back in, that had found solace atop his shoulder. Were looking for Sohyuns black rose. And indeed, they were. It was nearing six oclock in the evening, and the redhead had left their dorm, roughly half an hour ago, to attend a night class. The darkness of night was fast approaching, at this time of yearas well as the infectious spirit of the holiday season. The joyous month of December was upon them, and the radiant sparkle of the nighttime city was taking notice of this, responding accordingly.

Sohyun had called Junsu earlier, telling him that she would be stopping to get some fast food, on the way home. However, her suspicions found the phone call much too quick, for her liking. Do you want anythi Oh no, Im good. You sure Absolutely! Dont worry about me; have fun at lecture! Junsu paused, as his bright facade of a grin slowly slipped into a frown. He thought, for a moment, about those words he had just spoken to the other girl. Or, as much fun as you can possibly have, with three hours of Philosophy. An amused laugh sounded from the other end. Thats true. Phils bores me to tears Awesome! Ill see you when you get back, kay? But, I Later! Click. Abrupt? Perhaps a little. But either way, the other girl was gone and out of the dormitory. This couldnt have been any more perfect for Junsu, and he was almost squealing at the welcome precision, of it all. Still encouraged by his talk with Mrs. Lee from the night before, he was determined to find Sohyuns black rose, and to somehow break the curse. He was desperate to help the other girl, and was very much relieved to discover that there was something he could do. Now that Sohyun was gone for the time being, Junsu saw this as an opportunity to scavenge the room. The rose had to have been in there, somewhere! He hoped. He had called a couple of his closest friendsJung Yunho and Shim Changminover, explaining to them what he had learnt. Deciding to give it a try, he was also hoping that Yoochun could help them, as well. But it was steadily becoming harder to get a hold of the other boy. He had called him numerous times, only to be met with the same answering machine message. Discouraged, he would try again another

time. And even then, still no response. Not a call back, acknowledgementnothing. He had even stopped seeing him, as often as he used to; they didnt run into each other as they sometimes would. After telling the other two about this, he was surprised to learn that it was not only him that was receiving a bit of a cold shoulder, from their friend. The others had noticed it, too. He was slowly becoming more distant from them, and it was on extremely rare occasions that they would ever see the other boy. If they ever did see him, it was always a very quick reunion. Each and every time, he would leave suddenly, saying there was somewhere he had to be. In a way, this saddened Junsu. He missed Yoochun, and always did look up to him, as a friend. He didnt understand what caused his peculiar change of behaviour. And neither did Yunho. The last time he had ever really talked to Yoochun, was that one time last month. After their fight, the other boy was calling to apologize and make it up to himand Yunho had somewhat turned him down. Albeit it had a negative effect on Yoochun, and Yunho thought of that. He had tried getting in touch with the other boybut this time, Yunho would do the apologizing. However, no such luck. Yoochun had failed to return his calls, or even get back to him. That was the last he had heard from his best friend. Are you serious? Yunho asked the blond, in disbelief. Apparently, simply just looking for this rose was not as easy as Junsu had thought it would be. Yunho found himself uncomfortably trapped in a waisthigh pile of clothing. Junsu, were never gonna find it, in all this stuff. Changmin laughed, as he struggled to closeyet againanother bursting drawer. You guys need to learn to throw things away. I mean, how are you so sure its even in this room? Yunho asked, his tone beginning to show hints of fading hope. He was now swimming through the piles of clothing, searchingliterallyfrom pocket to pocket. Junsu was quiet, for a moment. He had even stopped his zealous probing of the armoire in front of him, as his once busied hands, came to a standstill. In his hands, he was still holding onto a single article of clothing: one of the many printed tees that Sohyun would wear. The cottony fabric was soft, and he found himself gently running the material through his fingers. A slight hopelessness found its way into his eyes, as he stared into the shirt, in his hands. Slowly, he parted his

lips, letting out in a subdued voice, cause its gotta be. The other two boys gradually stopped their frenzied searching, and turned to look at the strawberry-blond, seeming so small against the grand oak of the armoire. Neither of them said a word, for the time being. An understanding pity washed over their eyes, as they looked on at their friend. You still scared for Sohyun, huh? Changmin asked, his tone echoing his sympathy. Junsu slowly gave nod, his gaze still on the shirt he held. Yeah. It was quiet for a few moments, everyone agreeing to a mutual silence. The younger boy spoke again. How much longer do you think shes got? He asked Junsu, but hehimselfnot really wanting to know the answer. The blond shrugged, helplessly. I dunno. He answered, somewhat defeated. But I know for sure, its not long. Changmin nodded. So, we gotta find it now before its too late Dont say that! Yunho was slightly shocked, but not surprised, at the volatile way in which Junsu answered Changmin. With the blonds attention now on the other boy, Changmin found himself almost regretting his previous words. He didnt mean to anger Junsu; that was the last thing he had wanted to do. But just as quickly as his anger overtook, it left, feeling much remorse. The blond flashed the younger boy an apologetic look, before throwing the shirt aside. Well find it, okay? He told them, softly. He then turned back to the armoire, his hands probing about its depths, once more. Well find it. The other two followed suit, and began searching about the cluttered room, once again. They began tossing things over, turning things inside-out, all in an effort to help the girl that was so dear to them. So, when we do find it, Yunho began, amidst his searching. What do we do with it? Well, Junsu, once again, wrestled himself out of the armoire. He

shook his head a little, before using a hand to move his hair away from his eyes. We gotta burn it in the sun. He explained to the other boy. Changmin stopped his scavenging, and turned around to listen to the other boy, as well. Mrs. Lee, the florist she told me that the only way to lift the curse, is to put the rose that laid the curse, in the sun. He shrugged. I guess just exposing it, to it. cause they cant survive in sunlight, right? Theyre nocturnal, in a way. I guess that makes sense. The younger boy nodded. Yeah, but we gotta find it, first. Yunho reminded him, before digging his arms into the endless piles of clothing, again. Changmin let out a slight chuckle, and resumed his searching, as well. True. Yunho sifted through the clothes, one by one, making sure not to miss anything. He sighed, a little. Junsu and Sohyun were amazingly good shoppers. He had never seen so many clothesat one timein his entire life. This would definitely take him well into the night. He was just lucky that he wasnt working the next day, or had any classes the next morning. He really did want to help Junsu. After all, Sohyun was a friend of his, too. The other girl had What was this? Amongst the clothes, Yunhos hand brushed against something solid for once. And it was most definitely not fabric. It felt hard wooden. Was it the rose? Junsu had told them that it was in a small, black velvet box. Perhaps this was it? Not wanting to jump to conclusions just yet, he reached further into the pile of clothes, and grabbed a hold onto the foreign object. No, dont look in there! Huh? Changmin wasnt expecting Junsus sudden outburst, and he turned to the blond, somewhat confused. Meanwhile, Junsu immediately dropped whatever he was holding, and rose from his place at the floor, as he quicklyand with much effortmade his way over to him.

The younger boy, however, failed to see the harm in looking through yet, another, drawer. And so, despite Junsus morbid facial expression, he turned around to face the drawer, and pulled it open only to reveal panties. Changmins eyes lit up subtly, as he looked curiously into the contents of the drawer. Score. Idiot. Junsu had finally made his way over. At least respect the girls privacy. With that, he tiredly shut the drawer. Flabbergasted, the younger boy replied, I was only Junsu? Yeah? The blonds attention immediately turned from Changmin, to Yunho. Whats this? The other boy had ended his fishing around through the clothes, and foundnot the rosebut instead, a hardcover book. He held it up, looking with curiosity at its front and back covers. The book jacket was attractively designed, primarily consisting of greys, reds and blacks. The title was most curious, as well. It read, Son of the Dark: The Story of the Demon Child. Oh! The strawberry-blond gave a sheepish smile. Its a book I borrowed from the library, downtown. He then welcomed himself to a seat, as he sat on one of the nearby sofas. Changmin, who was become interested in what was happening, took a seat close by, as well. Junsu continued. Mrs. Lee told me about that story of the Demon Child. I thought it was really interesting, and I wanted to know more about him. As Junsu continued to explain, Yunho found himself compelled to look through the book. He opened it up, and began flipping through pages, absorbing the written word, as Junsu continued on. So, Im doing some research. A smile found its way to his lips. I borrowed a few books on him, and was reading through. Its awesome, cause he actually existed, you know? And all the stories now, that are going around Junsu kept on with his story, but Yunho found himself engrossed in the one he held, in his hands. Word by word, Junsus voice began to

gradually fade away. Slowly but surely, his fascination with the book began to rise. His eyes fervently skimmed over facts, excerpts and history about the famed Demon Child. He had heard so many stories of him, while growing up, but never really knew which were fact or fiction. Or whether or not, he really was just a story, and actually did not exist. But one fact that everyone knew for sure: the childs name had been forgotten to history. A boy, born in the presence of the black rose; a boy, cursed from birth. Loved for the demonsand the demons, alonehe is a curse to all mortal men. For just like the rose, if there is a soul to be damned, he will damn it. If there is a heart to be painted black, he will smear it with the darkest of inks. A bad omen, he is. Of the worst kind. But yet does all of this hold true? A boy, misunderstood and hated by society; a boy, wrongly punished for an ill-fated crime. Loved for heand he, alonehe is a curse, to none other than himself. Yunhos eyes stopped their meticulous scanning, once they reached a photo. Imprinted in the book, was a true and authentic portrait of the Demon Child, himself. It was an olden-type photo, washed in black and white. It almost seemed as if the photograph was taken against the boys will; there was a frown upon his lips, and somewhat of a torment in his eyes. A tiny line of print was written underneath the photo, dating it back to 1902. Estimated age was 16 years. The boys face was young and did look like that of a teenagers. But Yunho found it odd, that there was something recognizable in his face. For surely, he had never seen the Demon Child in his life, but there was definite familiarity in this photo in this boy in this face. Those mysterious doe-shaped eyeshe had seen them before. He knew he had Not really sure why, but an urge overcame him, telling him to whisper out the name, Jaejoong? Huh? Junsu was confused at Yunhos interruption. Unbeknownst to Yunho, the strawberry-blond haired boy was still explaining his story. Snapped back to reality, he looked upon the confusion placed aptly upon the other boys features. Quickly, he blurted out a, N-Nothing.

Satisfied with that, Junsu continued on. Yunho looked once again, into that face in the pages. He frowned. Contradictory to what he had just said, there was definitely something there.

Whats his state? His awareness is heightening. Sensory receptors are receiving their appropriate signals. A pair of darkened brown eyes slowly began to open, their surroundings becoming more into focus. Or were they? For once again, everything was dark. But, white fuzzy blurs of movement could still be seen, and sensed. He had wanted to see more and somehow bring everything to a sharper focus, but he could not. He became aware of the weakness in his body, and its incessant hunger for the taste of blood. He needed its strength. He needed his strength. It had been too long, since he had last tasted the pungent liquidfar too long. He needed his strength. He needed its strength. Heart-rate is quickening. Blood vessels dilating. His breathing was beginning to come in short breaths, each one fainter than the last. Slowly but surely, he could feel drops of cold sweat lining his forehead, matting his limp raven-coloured hair, to the sides of his face. Where was he? The last thing he remembered was a shadowed alley, and the pain of the twilight. The remnants of sun were still scattered throughout the sky, and it was gradually weakening him. Despite the dangers, he used a shadow to take him to the safeness of his haven. But, this was foolish of him. To walk the shadows, it draws upon ones energy. Having been unconscious for a few weekshe had learnt from herhe did not have nearly the safe amount of energy that he needed. Blood was so welcoming to him, now. Oh, how he needed it He did remember arriving at his haven, but in a severely dazed state.

He remembers the protective darkness of the shadows surrounding him, shielding him from the deathly twilight. He remembers falling to his knees, as the willow trees began to tauntingly spin themselves around him. He remembers the dizziness and light-headedness, and the strange voices. But most disturbing of all, he could very much recall the sensation of pain; a refined, sharpened pain. He Speech may be possible. His vision began to clear up, as he felt his eyes becoming aware of their focus. His body was steadily becoming more aware of its surroundingsand of what was surrounding him. At that moment, he tried to move his arms and his legs, but found he could not. They seemed to be held back by something, keeping them immobile in this position he was in. He could sense he was upright, and appeared to be standing. However, he could not feel any ground beneath his feet. His arms, he could feel, were raised at his sides, and were held there somehow. His legs were together, side-by-side, but almost seemed to be bound together. Picturing all of this in his mind, he could gather that he was in some sort of a T position, being held by something. But what? And where was he? A wave of panic began to rise within him Suddenly, a strong beam of white light shone upon him, illuminating the darkness he was engulfed in. But the light was so strong, that he could hardly see a thing. It pierced, not only the darkness, but his vision as well. The light was extremely dangerous to him, and he could feel whatever strength he had left, slowly diminishing. It was weakening him. His breaths became shallower, and shallower still. A solitary bead of ice-cold sweat trickled its way down his forehead, descending further down, rolling off the tip of his nose. He could feel it leave him. He could feel the light burning him. A tinge of discomfort tingled its place, at a spot across his barren chest. He could feel it burn Aqua levels dropping. May be reaching a state of dehydration Body not responding to UV light.

Ferrous levels insufficient lung capacity decreasing! Quick! Infuse him with the Oxyloacetate! An agonizing scream left his lips, as he felt his body surging with a pain, most unbearable. There was something foreign wreaking havoc in his body, causing him an immense amount of discomfort. After several painful moments, his screaming had ceased, leaving his body positively drained. A tired groan sounded through his lips, before his head weakly fell forward. His eyelids became heavier, threatening to close themselves once more. The light remained, ever bearing down upon him. State is stabilizing. But, in a stable condition? The man looked upon the vampire ahead of him, taking a moment to study his current state. Its hard to say, as of now. Give the Oxyloacetate a few more minutes. Keep him monitored. Yes, sir. Carrying out their orders, the group of doctors and scientists monitored the young vampire, from their stations outside the room. This section of their laboratory consisted of an examining room that held the specimen in study, and a control room, in which they would use their computers and special equipment, to run tests on said specimen. Separated by a door and a glass window, the team of doctors carried out their study of the vampire known to them as BR. In the control room, were several highly-trained doctors, and specialized scientists. All were at their own separate computers, and monitoring stations, that were attached to a certain tube and would give certain injections. These tubes were connected to needles, which had been injected in specific spots on the vampires torso and arms.

His shirt had been removed, to allow easier access to these locations. The vampire was strapped to a T-shaped machine they called, the Crucis, held up approximately three feet off of the ground. The lights were completely turned off in the examining room, save for a strong beam of UV light, being projected directly above the vampire. All of this was strictly for sedation purposes. Because of the strength of the UV rays being transmitted, all of the staff were advised to wear protective gear and clothing: specialized gloves, goggles, and coats. A few of the doctors were in the examining room, monitoring the vampire and replacing the tubes and needles attached to him, when needed. The head doctor, who was carrying the entire study, exited the room and made his way over to the intercom, in the control room. Lowering his facemask, he pushed a button on the intercom, before speaking into it. Pre-testing is complete, Jang. You may see him, now. The large, metal doors of the laboratory opened, and in walked Jang, followed closely by Yoochun. She had just been given the okay to head down to the laboratory and see the vampire, but not without bringing Yoochun along. He was the one who brought him in, after all. They moved through several corridors, making their way to the designated ward. Wow. She breathed out, in amazement. I still cant believe you got him. The Black Rose! Imagine that Yeah Yoochun said, in a distant voice. His mind, still engaged in his thoughts, and not really on the changing rooms and environments around him. Imagine that. The two entered through a last set of double doors, and were greeted by the head doctor, awaiting their arrival. He walked over to them, a welcoming smile upon his face. Ah! Ms. Jangand Mr. Park. Just in time. He ushered them into another room, leading into the control room. How is he? Jang asked curiously, as they made their way further in. Well, he was quite easy to sedate, considering the state he was in. He told them, reassuringly. Very weakened; blood pressure extremely

low. Good. She smirked, satisfied. The bastard didnt kill anyone on his way here, then. Finally, the three stood at the glass window, looking on into the examining room, at the vampire. All the doctors having left, he was now the only one in the room. The room was still very much dark; the only light being provided from the UV ray. He was in the middle of the room, strapped to the Crucis, with the strong light illuminating him. His head was hung low, and he appeared to be asleep. Either that, or extremely weakened, with his skin, dreadfully pale. His, once lustrous, raven hair was now limp and lifeless, matted crudely to the sides of his face. He was without a shirt, and had several needles injected into his skin. All the tubing, attached to the Crucis, and powered by the monitors in the control room. He was hooked up to a various number of machines; some for monitoring his state, others for injecting him with different types of medication and chemicals. All of this was for sedation and studying purposes. There he is. The head doctor told them, proudly. The Black Rose, himself. Yoochun and Jang stared on, as the head doctor continued. The infamous legendary vampire. Or as most know him as, the Demon Child. Very, very few know him by his alter ego. The two are not commonly linked, and society sees them as two different people. They still believe the Demon Child died, long ago. He paused for a moment, a smile overtaking his face. Born in the year 1886, and bitten in 1906. Making him, roughly, at his twentieth year. He sighed, a little. Immortality is a wonder, isnt it? Hes still kept his youthfulness for well over a century Yoochun looked at the vampire, as he remained idly asleep. There was somewhat of a bittersweet air, to this moment. For one, he finally had the vampire that he so hated, in his hands. But yet after this momentthen what? She was still gone. They both were. So, is it true then, what they say? Jang asked the head doctor. Is he really the embodiment of the black rose curse? The doctor paused for a moment, thinking. He wasnt quite sure of

how to put his words together. Yesand no. He answered, truthfully. You see, according to researchers and historians, that fact is only half true. He is indeed cursed by the black rose, having been exposed to it, from birth. And possessing the same sort of qualities as the flowereven in his human life. He pointed out. For example, he was very much allergic to sunlight, and was always a mysterious child. He almost seemed to have a darkened aura, about him; very reserved, and kept mostly to himself. Somewhat shy, he was. He knew he was different from the rest of the children, but he never did know why. His allergy to sunlight caused him to stay indoors, most of his life, and he had been home-schooled, as a result. So, interaction with other people was fairly difficult for him. And of course, the cursed beauty he possessed. Despite being male, his facial features are strikingly feminine. He let out a bit of a smirk. The work of some form of witchcraft, you could say. Or in this case, the black roses curse. Despite all of this, however, he is not a curse to anyone; mortal or vampire. The only creatures or organisms capable of laying the black roses curse, is the black rose, itself. There is no other substitute. This boy was only believed to be cursed, because of the circumstances. But he is, indeed, not. So, you have nothing to worry about, Ms. Jang. But, the curse did, however, bring him to his untimely demise. He continued. As it should. It will bring bad luck, and ultimately death or demise, to those it comes in contact with. Anyone who dies at the hand of this vampirewho was not exposed to the black rose, the flowerwill die naturally from the Vampires Lure, and not from the curse. But if it was the rose that brought this upon them, well A look of sorrow hinted its way across Yoochuns features. His mother Jang noticed Yoochuns quiet behaviour, and looked over at him, beside her. Concern reflected in her eyes, as she watched the other boy. She knew that the capture of this vampire was extremely important to him, more so, on an emotional level; one that she could never really understand. I want to go in, and see him. Yoochun asked the head doctor, his eyes still on the vampire ahead of him. Im afraid thats not possible I said: I want to go in and see him. His voice was low, and his gaze

rested subtly on the head doctor beside him. Feeling a sense of defeat, the other man turned from Yoochun. Very well. He walked over to a screen, a few feet away, and began to type something on a keyboard. A loud beep sounded, and the UV light in the examining room had shut off. The room was now lit with its regular fluorescent light, and the doctor turned to face Yoochun, once again. You may enter. Yoochun turned away from him again, and walked over to the door, leading to the examining room. All the doctors, scientists, as well as Jang, watched him curiously as he walked up to the vampire on the Crucis. He stared up into the vampires face, with a blank look about his eyes. It appeared the vampire was no longer asleep, and was approaching consciousness. Weakly, he raised his head, to look down at Yoochun who stood slightly below him. A faint sense of fear stirred within the raven-haired boy, as he recognized the face he saw ahead of him. It was that same face that he had met with, a bit over a year ago Their eyes met, in this strange gamble of fate. Yoochun smirked. So, youre the Black Rose, huh? He asked him, in a snide tone. The legendary vampire the Demon Child. The one everyone loves to hate. He slowly began pacing around the vampire, as he scanned him up and down. Not lookin so tough, now, are you? He stopped, as he looked the raven-haired boy straight in the face. The vampire lowered his eyes, subtly avoiding the other boys gaze. Sad. I was kinda hopin for a bit more of a fight. Yoochun shrugged. Either way, youre still on the losing side. I guess thats all that really matters. The young vampire slowly parted his lips, trying to speak to the other boy, with much effort. His voice was weak and hoarse, barely above a whisper. I didnt mean to hurt you Oh, now, you didnt mean to hurt me? Yoochun spat at him. Now, when the damage is already done? The raven-haired boy remained quiet. Youre too late. Yoochun told him, forebodingly. Way too late.

The vampire slowly looked up, to face him. I cant stay long, Yoochun started again, with a faint hint of regret in his voice. But I just want to let you know that Im not sorry, for whats gonna happen to you. And frankly, I couldnt give a damn. A worried look took over the raven-haired boys face, at those words. Youve overstayed your welcome, vampire. The other boy stated, in a low voice. So, Ill just be seeing you, out the door. And with that, he turned on his heel to leave. Ill make sure to lock it on your way out, this time Yoochun! He stopped. A frown made its way to his lips, as he began to turn around, facing the young vampire. How did he know his name? His eyes darkened themselves, settling on a glare with the raven-haired vampire. What? He asked him, in an annoyed tone. Somewhat hesitant, the vampire began. I dont know if this will mean anything later on A pause. but, I truly am sorry. Yoochun looked at him, through sceptical eyes. I did not choose to kill your mother. He continued, again. If I could bring her back, she would be here, right now; with you. Its most unfortunate that shes not. My condolences to you. The other boy was confused. This vampire actually cared? How? Why? Yet still, something told him not to trust his words Strange enough, a faint smile lit up the young vampires face. Yoochun saw, if just for a moment, that beauty that he so possessed. Cursed but beauty, nonetheless. The vampire began, again. From the very short time I had known her, I could tell she was a very kindred spirit. She loved nature and the world around her. Very appreciative of the beauty she saw in everything, and everyone. Her garden even showed this. Indeed, it did. Yoochun remembered just how beautiful her garden was. It was a world of verdant wonder, alive with the vivid colours of life. She treasured it, and all the creatures that grew from it. Affectionately, she referred to them as, the children of nature. Her

children. And she loved each and every one of them, so. Every type of flower, she had. The vampire continued. From the daisies, to the black roses And thats what killed her. He looked the raven-haired boy directly in the eye, as he said this. The young vampire remained quiet; his smile, quickly erasing itself from his face. Those black roses, she loved them more than anything. They were the ones she loved the most. Of course, she remembered the rest of them, taking care of them as she saw fit. But it was the damn black rose that stole her heartand her away from me. She was completely taken by them. He smirked, a little. But, isnt it ironic? How those you love the most, will eventually lead you to your end? He said this ominously, to the vampire. You may not realize this but he brought you here. The raven-haired boy was confused. What did he mean by this? Weor, excuse meI wouldve never captured you, if not for him. He shrugged, as the young vampires confusion rose even higher. In a way, I guess I owe the guy. At that, Yoochun let out a sardonic laugh. And you loved him, didnt you? Satisfied, he then turned around to leave the examining room. Doesnt love just suck, sometimes? With the young vampire alone in the examining room, Yoochun returned back to the control room. The doctors resumed their work at their stations, closely monitored by the scientists. The head doctor and Jang looked over at Yoochun, curiously. The other boy walked in, and went over to the head doctor. He discreetly whispered something to him, in which the doctor replied with a firm nod. With that, he left the ward. Jang watched the door he left from, for a moment. He left in somewhat of a hurry, considering they had both come here together. She frowned. What did he say to you? she asked the doctor, enquiringly. He said: he wanted the vampire killed, as soon as possible. He told her, accordingly. Jang nodded slowly, in understanding, as her eyes gravitated towards the glass window. Well, then whenever youre ready, you can start

with the scans. Giving him a parting nod, she dismissed herself and left the control room. The head doctor acknowledged her orders, and turned back to the team, awaiting their orders. With an encouraging nod, he told them. Lets begin. And so, the team began with their scanning of the vampire. Before the elimination of each one, a study was carried out. It was a well-known fact, that not all vampires can be killed in the same way. In order to work at maximum efficiency, it was necessary to gather as much information on the vampire as possible. This would determine the most appropriate method to dispose of the vampire. So once again, the fluorescent lights turned off, the UV light turned on, and the protective gear was worn. The raven-haired boy could, once again, feel that heavy ambience of tranquility take over him. His eyelids began to droop, but with all the strength he could muster, he forced his eyes to stay open. He wanted to fight all of this; he hated being treated, in this way. He could feel the presence of those people again, surrounding him like vultures. And then, he felt the pain, once more; the pain from a multitude of syringes, needles, tubes and things, injecting into his worn-out skin. From each one, he could feel a surge of something different, something unwelcome. His body, with all the strength he could muster, tried to fight this. He hated being treated, in this way. He hated it. Why was the light so strong? Biorhythms? How are his biorhythms blood cells do not respond to the and sodium levels are becoming increasingly low. Very odd for a Vamplenus-type. Has he reached the Vamplenus stage, already? The head doctor asked, surprisingly. He then walked over to a scientists monitor, at the corner of the control room. Where are the results of the VAT scans? I must examine them.

At the ZY3, sir. The team continued on, with their tests. The young vampires breathing was becoming increasingly shallower; his body was starting to reject all of these strange substances being injected into him. His mind was in complete disarray, and the light was ever weakening him. Yet, even through all of this, he couldnt seem to shake those last words left with him, from Yoochun. And still echoing in the back of his mind, if not faintly, were the words of his Inculpatus. Do not believe all that he tells you! The frantic nature of her words, were alarming to him. What did she mean? He was quite sure she meant Yunho. Who else could she possibly have been referring to? Who else could Yoochun have possibly been referring to? Lymphatic nodes respond well to treatment. Do they? The head doctor enquired. Continue, as needed. It was then, that he felt another surge of pain. A tortured scream sounded through his lips, and he couldve sworn he had blanked out, for a moment. The pain rushed to all parts of his body, throbbing through his limbs, relentlessly. What seemed to be a lifetime had passed, before the pain subsided. His breathing was ragged, and his body fell faint with weakness. The doctors watched all of these reactions curiously, jotting things down on their computers, talking amongst themselves, all the while. He felt hurt. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. The reason he was here, the reason he was being hurt like this was because of So, from what they say Yunho. He really did not love the young vampire, then? All he had tried to save, it was all in a futile attempt; all for nothing. Liesall of it. Each and every single word was simply just a spoken lie. Shall we proceed with the potassium levels? Have they been treated with one part sulphuric acid? He supposed it served him right, for thinking he can ever be anything more than unloved. He had been hated all of his lifewhy should

anything ever change? Another surge of pain. This one, breaking him, and ripping him out from the inside. Tearing through him ruthlessly, and voraciously, caring nothing for the shards and pieces, lying scattered along the way. Why were they doing this to him; causing him so much pain? And he still didnt understand. Yunho was the reason he was here? But why would Yunho do this? Why would he want to hurt him, in this way? The young vampire loved the other boyhow could he do this to him? Yunho was cursed, was he not? Was he aware of what he had doneand still, purposely done it? Yet, even still He supposed he deserved it. He could hear them, now. More words. They were becoming much fainter. Muffled whispers, so far away. All he could hear now, was his shallow, ragged breathing, and his disarrayed thoughts. Telling him that nothing will ever change. And this hurts him, even more than this brutal torture, put upon him. He could feel it, now. More pain. But, you see, this time He couldnt feel it, at all. Ultraviolet rays on high. Monitoring biorhythms. He should have never gotten close to Yunhoto anyone. He smirked, a little. Hell never make that same mistake again. The doctor in charge of the biorhythm monitor, looked at the sudden change on her screen, very much confused. Almost in disbelief of her own words, she spoke. Body not responding At that moment, the team of doctors and scientists immediately stopped what they were doing. They all looked over at their fellow doctor, in surprise. Some remained vaguely confused. The head doctor

was no exception. Quickly leaving his station, he rushed over to the biorhythm monitor, hoping his eyes could prove the doctor wrong. What do you mean? Still very much in disbelief, and trying to comprehend what may have happened, she said to him. Its a flat line, sir. All the doctors looked around at each other, nervously. A specimen had never once produced a flat line, in all their case studiesespecially one as important as this. They were all extremely worried, and began to talk anxiously among themselves. Somehow trying to restore order, the head doctor promptly began giving out orders. Check his heart-rate! Neurological state! DNA profileanything! Hopelessly, he looked around at the frantic room. His darting eyes stopped once he reached a doctor, by the glass window. Inject him with Propycyclic acid! Quickly, the doctor nodded, and began typing in commands at his computer. He watched as one of the needles attached to the vampire, activated itself. All was quiet. The team worriedly looked to the vampire, waiting for something to happen. But still, no sign of response. The vampires head was hung low as it had been before, and not a single limb in his body had moved. He appeared deathly stoic, and did not move or flinch a muscle. Perhaps we overdid it, sir? The head doctor stared at the young vampire, a look of incredulity upon his face. The creature couldnt be dead yet; it was not possible. The data collection from the scans was still incomplete! In a desperate attempt, he rushed about the control room, from computer to monitor and back again. The doctors watched on worriedly, as he frantically pushed buttons, touched screens, typed in commandsanything to receive a response. He didnt understand how it could have resulted in this, so soon. The Black Rose was within their reach, and now

He stopped. The frenetic nature of his actions seemed wasted, and he knew he was simply holding onto false hope. As a doctor, a man of science, this would have been one of the greatest accomplishments in his entire career! The fall of the Black Rose But in this way, it seemed a failure. An accident. For, he was killed during the testing stages. This would only prove that his team was incompetent, and unable to handle such a task. Needless to say, he was disappointed. One of the scientists looked upon the head doctor, with much worry and concern. This project had meant so much to him; to all of them. It was a bit discouraging for it to simply end this way. Sighing, he looked through the glass window at the Black Roseand notices something. He deemed it as his eyes simply playing tricks on him. But looking again, he couldve sworn he saw the vampires fingers on his right hand move! But just as quickly as he had seen them movethey stopped. The scientist frowned. It was at that moment that, the raven-haired boy began to slowly look up. The scientist was stunned at this, and looked on ahead, speechless. He was still alive! Their project would not go to ruins, after all! But before he had time to relish in this discovery, there was something more. He noticed a change in the vampires face, even from the distance he was seeing him at. Despite the UV light, his face appeared strangely palereven more so, than before. A lifeless, ghostly pale coloured his skin, and his eyes seemed darkermuch darker, than he remembered them. Much too dark, for his own liking. They appeared frightening to the scientist, having completely lost that once gentle look that they had so possessed. Just then, he felt a chill of an ice-coldness tingle its way down his spine. The vampires eyes deadlocked with his own. There was something terrifyingly sinister in that look he gave him; something that made the very hairs on the back of his neck, stand on end. He could feel the colour being drained from his cheeks, and the icy veil of fear draping over him. His breath caught in his throat, trapped in a silent scream. Completely immobilized with fear, all he could do was

The vampire smirked, at him: A deliciously slow, leering smirk. And then Pitch blackness. All the power in the laboratory had mysteriously shut off, and was lost from everything. The computers were offline, as well as the system, monitors and lights. Everything was a different shade of black. Panic began to rise in the ward: all of the doctors moving about, and talking frantically. What was happening? What was going on? Where was the power? What else was affected? At that moment, shattered glass was heardfollowed very closely, by a piercing scream. Anxiety and panic intertwined throughout the stale air, combining with each other, and rising higher and higher still. A crescendo of alarm sounded; the doctors and scientists were blindly tripping over equipment, as well as each other, in a hurry to flee all of this, somehow. More screams mixed with the scent of blood. One, after the other Poor doctors and scientists. With all the constant tests, and foreign chemicals, they had no idea the scope of what they had just done. But sadly, whats done is done, and cannot be undone. And this will stay with them, for the rest of their mortal lives. There was a carnage-filled bloodbath, that night, one in which they would never forget. Jaejoongthe Black Rosenow controlled by his lust for blood, ruthlessly took one life, after another. It came to a point where he no longer felt any sort of remorse for the bodies he recklessly threw aside. Deftly groping through the dark, one after anoter, the faces began to blur into each other; the tone of each scream composed a grotesque symphony, his heart racing to each note. For these bodies were inhabitants of this world: the same world that had been so cold and so cruel to him. And all of his life, they simply stood watch and let it all happen--doing absolutely nothing to stop it. He began to hate it. All of it. An uprising of hatred formed in his heart, directed at the world--and those within it. All the love he had harboured for them, these humans, and that incessant hungering need to be a part of them again, no longer mattered to him.

And oh, how sweet is the blood: a taste in which he could not deny. He knew this would happen. It would happen to all vampires, eventually. That hunger for the pungent fluid can only be ignored, for so long. Denying themselves can only be done, for so long. Running from themselves can only be done, for so long. Because you see, sooner or later, they will catch up to themselves. And once, they do The scent of the warm liquid was so rejuvenating to him, now. A dormant spark awakened behind his eyes, and each kill just ignited another fire. More. He was thirsty for more.
;chapter 16((Deaths Prelude _________

He was too late. He should have done something more; there had to have been something more he could have done. His memory haunts him with images of wasted chances and wasted efforts, each of them futile in their own right. It was too late. The sands had given up, and all he could do was simply watch the other slip through his fingers, like each silken raven strand of hair. A blanket of black shadow wrapped itself around the other, but all he could remember were those eyes and their caged torment. A deep anguish veiled each glassy drop of liquid crystal. Those tears burned deep within him, washing over and polishing his chalice of regret. He admired it with a melancholy air, as he watched the golden cup gleam softly against the moonlight. What had happened to him? Why did he leave? What had taken him away? Why was he crying? An immense feeling of sorrow began to rise within him. It had been so long since he had last seen his love. His heart yearned for the other in a way he could not describe. Empty touches, vacant kisses, and hollow whispers lined the space. It felt so cold there without him. He needed to feel him again.

And then, there was the strange, peculiar little girl in white. He remembered her sparkling, bright blue eyes, long white-blonde hair, and skin as pale as the snow. She looked as soft and gentle as a snowflake, a lone shard of purity, carried by a tranquil breeze, lightly falling to the frozen earth below. Their eyes had met once, a while ago. When his gaze rested upon her, he felt that same stiflingalmost chokingfeeling that occurred before the other had disappeared. This was quite unlike the calmness of her perceived presence, so this troubled him. It was a most bizarre phenomenon: a nervewracking current of static electricity ran through the air, faintly tingling his skin. It made him feel quite uneasy; it was somewhat dizzying. But he didnt understand. What did it mean? Who was she? And why did he feel like hed seen those eyes before? He looked back into the pages of the open hardcover book, peering wholeheartedly into the face of the Demon Child. He found himself still baffled by his likeness to Jaejoong; he looked so much like him. But no. Perhaps it was mere coincidence. It was possible, of course, that they could just resemble each other. There was no need for him to jump to conclusions, such as these. He just missed him, that was all. That was all there was to it; there was nothing more to it than that. Yet He turned his attention onto Junsu, who sat on the floor a short distance beside him. The strawberry-blond was talking avidly with Changmin over something, and both were doing a more than decent job of drowning out the television. Non-stop music videos came streaming from the television set as a backdrop against the taut silence. However, the silence was now well past gone, and there were only the two chattering young men to thank for that. Junsu? Yeah? He turned his head over to Yunho at the sound of his name. Changmin, whose curiosity got the best of him, turned in his chair and placed his attention on the other boy as well, wondering what he had to say. The Demon Child, Yunho began, slowly. Hes dead, isnt he? To that, Junsu responded with a nod. He died in 1906, according to the books. Theres no other records of him after that date. So, theres no way hed still be alive, right? The strawberry-blond chuckled, slightly. No, not really; hes kinda dead, Yunho. He told him, quite bluntly. But then, he paused, rethinking what he had just said. Not too long afterwards, his cheery expression subtly faded into one of thoughtfulness. But

A curious frown found its way to Changmins features, as he watched Junsu pondering something quietly to himself. Yunho became interested in his thoughts, as well. The other boy thought back to what the kind-hearted florist had told him. Mrs. Lees words sounded strange to him at first, and they still did. To this day, he could not make sense of them, and, for some reason, this severely troubled him. Well he began, still in deep thought. she told me that some people still believe hes alivewhich I think is weird, but He shrugged it off, carelessly. She said those believers believe that he lives only partly or something. I dunno what she meant by that. He shook his head, finishing his explanation. However, feeling slightly more confused than he had when he began. This sole thought sparked Yunhos curiosity. Partly, huh? With this newfound information, he turned his gaze, once again, to the open pages of the book, eyeing them carefully. Mhmm. Junsu nodded, in confirmation. He then turned to the stray suitcase opened up in front of him and tossed in an old pair of jeans. Another, in which, he made a mental note to throw away. Perhaps Yunho was right: they really needed to get rid of some of this stuff. It was quiet for a few moments, each one engrossed in his thoughts. The only other sound was the music from the TV pouring into the room, filling the silent void. Changmin, unsatisfied, arched an eyebrow before leaning back into his chair. That is weird. He voiced aloud, referring to Junsus words. You know? The strawberry-blonde chortled as he struggled to zip up the bulging suitcase. I have no idea what she was talking about. Probably just a Junsu continued on with his words, the phrases spewing out like wildfire, while Yunho sat there thinking long and hard about what the other boy had said. The undertones of this one idea began to fill him with a kindling hope or something like it. His thoughts began racing through his mind, picking up speed, colliding against each other, yet mildly unsure of their individual destinations. This will lead to what, will lead to this, will. he was not sure. Partly. What could that mean? He grasped the books cover tightly, his eyebrows furrowed together in thought. The dark brown of his eyes scanned the aged photos of the Demon Child, meticulously. He took note of the elegant facial structure, saddened expression and those eyes. Those captivating, stunningly beautiful eyes: distant orbs of a dark brown richness, illuminated

with the moons accord. And those same eyes seemed all but too familiar to him. That one solitary idea had reduced itself to a relentless echo reverberating from one thought to another. Partly like a vampire? Like the one that he knew? Like the one that he loved? He looked longingly into the boys face trapped in the turgid paper, silently begging his lips to reveal an answer.

One would have to admit that even the wind would be deemed envious. On a cold winters night, so sweet and so cold, such as this, what other being is as swift? What other presence is half as cunning, nipping its way from crevice to tiny crevice? The icy wind could only seethe in silent envy, as it watched him move stealthily through the night air, a dank whisper amongst empty voices. It is quietand unsuspecting. The moon hangs low, watching on inquisitively. His fingertips feel the warmth of human flesh, and trace the course of fervent blood. Ah, if only he could feel A soundless scream pierces the night; the stars slowly begin to weep, as the first body slowly begins to fall. It drops to the earth in a dormant thud, laying there, condemned to being reduced to memory. A light snowfall dusts the sky, and they mourn for what is lost. The shadows nod in silent agreement. Sheltering the child of Death, they warmly blanket him and furtively whisk away.

Goddamn, Im hungry. Changmin dropped the box he was diligently searching through, and got up from his chair. He stretched a little, before walking off towards the direction of the dorms kitchenette suite. Junsu, Im gonna make friends with your fridge, kay? Whatever. The other boy answered, but clearly more involved in searching through another set of drawers. The night continued on, as it should, yet Junsu found himself gradually beginning to get frustrated. The three had nearly searched every corner, nook and cranny of the dorm roomand still continued on, empty-handed. It had been three hourswhere on earth was

the rose? Just dont touch the cheesecake! He called back to Changmin. Its Sohyuns. Just at the mention of that word alone, Changmin immediately stopped in his tracks, and spun aroundwith the hugest grin Junsu thought he had ever seen. The younger boys eyes literally lighted up. Cheesecake? Changmin! kay, fine. Disappointed, and much less enthusiastic, Changmin continued on his way to the kitchenette. This earned a laugh from Yunho. It was a big accomplishment, having succeeded in distracting him from the book he held in his hands, even if or a moment. Despite Junsus pleas, he had been strangely fixated on it since hed picked it up. Junsu frowned, as his impatient gaze deftly found the other boy still sitting amidst a pile of stray clothing. His hands still remained gravely clutching onto the Son of the Dark book. Junsu watched his interest leave Changmin and inevitably return to the book yet again. The strawberry-blond found it strange, and a bit curious, how Yunho was so engrossed in it. Although it definitely was an interesting tale, no question, there was an odd look in Yunhos eyes that proved something significant. Exactly what was he thinking? Junsu cocked his head to the side in thought, as he studied the other boy, questioningly. Unexpectedly, a loud, piercing BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! sounded from the television. Startled, all three boys turned their heads to the source of the unwelcome sound. Then suddenly, another alarm soundedthis one belonging to the building. It was a dreadful BUZZ, and the three found themselves almost wincing at the awful noise. Both Yunho and Junsu turned to the TV screen, which now showed a much different sight than it had before. Changmin, with a slice of Sohyuns cheesecake, peeked out from the kitchenette suite to join the others gazes at the TV screen. All three watched on in silence. The BUZZ of the buildings alarm was relentless, and quite soon after, there was commotion heard outside in the halls. Overlapping voices and the sound of tens of anxious feet running up and down the hallways filled the building, and still the alarm kept on. Trying their best to ignore it, the three boys stood close to the television, their eyes glazing over it in a feared anticipation. The screen showed a view of a darkened newsroom, with a polite and proper anchorwoman addressing the cameras. She gave a firm nod before parting her lips nervously to speak. We apologize for the inconvenience. She began in a bold yet timorous tone of voice. We have breaking news just in of a malicious vampire terrorizing the central district of Seoul

Thats us. Junsu breathed out in disbelief, his eyes still sharply focussed on the anchorwoman. police are strongly advising all residents of the central district to stay indoors and to not leave for any reason. They have issued a Code Black Code Black?! Changmin stared wide-eyed at the screen, as she continued. the city under an extremely high state of emergency At that moment, a booming voice was heard over the intercom outside in the hall: To all residents, please evacuate your rooms immediately and proceed to the Underground Shelter. We are under a Code Black, please evacuate your rooms immediately and proceed to the Underground Shelter. We are under a Code Black. All residents, evacuate your rooms immediately Changmin dropped the cheesecake and ran over to the door. He quickly unlocked it, swinging it open, and peered into the commotion occurring just outside of the room. There were several campus security guards, with flashlights and walkie-talkies in tow, giving out orders, while trying to restore calmness to the residents, escorting them towards the stairs and elevators. The floors head resident was hurriedly rushing from room to room, making sure everyone got out safely. It would be a shame if someone had been left behind. Changmin! Come over herelook at this! Leaving the door, he hurried over after hearing Yunhos voice. His eyes traced over every corner of the screen in a morbid disbelief, as he took in all the bloodied carnage being showed before him. There have always been attacks, but one of this magnitude There was just no way. This couldnt be happening. I repeat, the anchorwoman continued, while the flashing images and live video from helicopters above the city continued to play in another part of the screen beside her. The streetlights illuminated pathways of destruction: there were bloodied roads and buildings, with ambulances, fire-trucks and police cars lining them either side. It was absolute chaos. Judging from the overwhelming amount of damage, there had to have been more than one vampire involved in all of this. No sole vampire could have caused this much damage. It was absolute madness. All residents must stay indoors and do not leave for any reason. I repeat Just then, a painful knot formed in Junsus stomach, as he remembered something. His eyes slowly began to widen, the tinge of pink gradually losing

itself from his cheeks. Sohyun. Yunho and Changmin instantly turned to look at Junsu. There was an indescribable air of dread about him, as his eyes continued to stare transiently at the screen. Sohyunshes still out there! But shes in class, isnt she? Yunho asked, concern evident in his tone. She was done a half-hour ago. Junsu answered, somewhat shakily. I doubt she actually stayed the whole three hours. So, shes on her way back? Junsu slowly shook his head, his gaze lowering itself from the blaring TV screen, as he remembered her earlier phone call. She told me she was gonna get something to eat He was quiet for a few moments, his head down, slightly. The other two looked on worriedly, while the commotion continued on outside. The head resident would be here soon; it was just a matter of time before she came knocking through the door. Junsu gasped, his eyes upon the screen again. What if shes there, right now? You guys, something might happen to her! Whoa, whoa, Junsucalm down. Changmin reassured him the best he could. Look, well try calling her, okay? Find out where she is. Shes got her cellphone, right? Yunho asked the strawberry-blond, as he darted for the dorm room phone. When does she not have her cellphone? Junsu hastily dialled the other girls phone number, before placing the phone against his ear. He waited Yunho and Changmin watched in anxious anticipation, as Junsu waited on the line. All the while, the newscast would repeat itself over and over again, while the alarm and panic perpetually sounded, and the security guards shouted out their orders. Discouraged, Junsus face slumped. Her phones on, but shes not picking up. Try again. Changmin urged him. Once more, Junsu dialled. Once more, he put the phone to his ear and waited

The tension in the room that night was more than enough. Yunho worriedly looked on, as Junsu stood fretting by the phone. The only thing the other boy needed was to hear the sound of her voice and know that she was okay. Yet still, he stood there, listening and waiting. Yunho looked away from Junsu, his gaze finding the book once more. He looked into the photos of the Demon Child then once again to the TV screen. He thought for a moment. His eyes hurriedly left the screen, and returned again to the Demon Child. The face in the pages returned his gaze, staring up at him, sorrowfully. If he could somehow transcend time and this eternal prison he was trapped in, he would tell him. He would tell him everything. He would start right from the beginning, not missing a single detail. He wouldve stopped it before it started, beginning fresh anew with a clean slate, pure and untouched. He owed him that much, at least. Yunho let out an informed sigh, his hold on the cover becoming increasingly determined. He was sure now. He was sure. I think I know where Sohyun might be.

This is all but too familiar to you; this, you are sure. We step again into the darkened night, against an ominous winter wind. Its icy vengeance whips its way past you, nipping brusquely at your cheeks. The sights are cold and immovable; a reddened sheath covers the chaos. Its translucency is not to be questioned, and its presence not to be ignored. A cold, pungent scent now fills the air, welcoming the nights visitor. Amidst all of this, we close our eyes and bring our cold fingers to our lips, praying that the warmth of breath will reach them. The tall, darkened man looked on into this sight with bitter disdain. There was an odd chill tunnelling through the air, making him feel somewhat uneasy. He stood in a residential park, in the heart of the weakened central district. His eyes scanned and surveyed the city around him, visibly crumbling at his feet. The wind disrupts his long, platinum-blond coloured hair, moving it about his shoulders, wildly. Callous black eyes gazed on in contempt at what he saw before him. This was not right. This is not what he had wanted to accomplishhe had to bring the boy to his senses. Your love for them will be your end. He recognizes this, however; it is not alien to him and, in fact, he had somewhat expected something like this to happen. He had warned the boy of

it several times, but he was far more aware of the young mans stubbornness, as well. The childe absolutely hated listening to him, and on more than one occasion, defied him deliberately. But now, it had consumed him. He had always warned the boy to not get attached to humans; he was no longer one of them. Yet, he insisted on protecting them. The man could have laughed at the foolishness of the thought. It was preposterous! A vampire protecting and even harbouring love for humansit was absolutely preposterous. But yet, enter the childe. Naive little thing, he was. Purposely waning himself off of the crude liquid as if he could survive without it. But the vampire knows far better than that; the body will always find a way of telling him. And this was, indeed, quite the message. For if the vampire does not feed for more than a week, the mind and body subside: he will enter a monstrous stage, mercilessly killing and destroying everything in his path. The sweet scent of blood is all that matters to him. It is the point where bloodlust completely blinds the vampire, and he will see nothing else. His strength will almost triple, as a distinct sort of adrenaline rushes through the undead body. Blood oh, how sweet is the blood. But chaos of this tumultuous magnitude was not normal, not at all. Something else was affecting it Minwoo continued to gaze at the bloodbath of a city the boy had created, pitying the reckless chaos. Why, hello, dear Sire. At that voice, Minwoo instantly turned around, facing the shadowed trees. There, standing a fair distance away was none other than the raven-haired Jaejoong. A smirk was worn across his lips, as he began to saunter his way over. Fancy meeting you here. Minwoo was taken aback. He took a second look at the boy slowly advancing towards him, just to make sure that it indeed was Jaejoong, for he definitely would have not known otherwise. The gentleness that he had always come to expect from the boy seemed to have disappeared altogether. The furtive shadows worked craftily upon his face, darkening him; his skin, of a once creamy porcelain, seemed to have faded to a sickly pale. There was a menacing air about himMinwoo frowned. Something was lost. That quiet spark of innocence in his eyes had dulled, leaving them just as pools for blackened shadow. Minwoos breath caught in his throat, almost instinctively. His Inculpatus had faded away What has become of you? He cautiously asked the raven-haired boy still approaching him.

Jaejoong gave a haughty laugh, his dark eyes sneering at the man. What has become of me? He repeated, snidely. Im disappointed in you, Sire. They were scarcely several feet apart now, and Jaejoong continued to slowly approach the older vampire. The blood is being spilt, the cries are being heardlisten to them! Oh, how torturous it all is! He exclaimed rather flamboyantly. Look at the love being lostlook, look! Watch it all just fade away He stopped once he was just shy of two feet in front of his Sire, who stood eyeing him, strangely. Jaejoongs lips curled into a thoughtful halfsmile, as he looked up directly into Minwoos eyes. Is this not what youve always wanted? Without giving the older man a chance to answer, Jaejoong diminished the space between them even further, his gaze still locked with Minwoos. The older vampire was on his guard, his eyes still locked with the young vampires, not once faltering. A warm smile overtook Jaejoongs lips, and for a moment, Minwoo saw a flash of that exquisite beauty that the boy so possessed. His eyes emitted a softened gentleness that pleasingly lit up his face. The raven strands of his hair fell so perfectly, framing his delicate visage like that of a painting. A painting, given life by an artisan, with strokes from only the finest selects of brushes. His lush, scarlet-kissed lips, to the eyes alone, seemed as smooth as a luxury velvet. So soft, the boy seemed. And so sweet Am I The young vampire began, as he reached an elegant hand to the side of Minwoos face, his intense gaze not once faltering. The softness of his fingertips, silken to the touch, gently caressed the older mans jawline, as he lightly ran his fingertips across the mans skin. not what youve always wanted? Minwoo noticed a strange glint in Jaejoongs eyes, as he said those words. But before he could ponder it, he felt the boys lips upon his own. They were strangely cold, yet there was an odd lingering warmth about them. Choosing not to fight it, Minwoo closed his eyes, succumbing to the young mans actions, and ardently returned the kiss. The raven-haired boy left slow, tantalizing kisses, showering the older mans lips with the feel of silken rose petals. He let Minwoo hungrily claim his lips, the older man tasting them, feeling their gentle suppleness against his own. All the while, the young vampires hand still remained cupped against the side of Minwoos face. Slowly, he let his fingertips tease their way down the side of his neck, playfully resting them there. Minwoo, intoxicated from the fervour of the kiss, did not at all expect what would come next. Abruptly, his eyes snapped openat a sharp pain along his neck. But it was not only there. He felt the pain slowly emanating from his neck to all the parts of his body. It began to spread, proliferating wildlyit

began to consume him. And there was nothing he could do to stop it. Nothing at all he could do, but to subside and let it engulf him completely. At this, Jaejoong slowly pulled away from the kiss. Upon looking into the face of his Sire, he began to smile sardonically. He watched the life begin to drain from the blackness of Minwoos eyeshis hand still innocently at his neck. Jaejoong held him there as he continued to watch the mans body slowly lowering itself to the ground. The smile on his lips soon faded, replacing itself with a vicious glare. Im done listening to you. He said in a low voice to the dying vampire. He then callously threw the, now lifeless, body onto the frozen earth at his feet. It collided with the dead leaves and twigs, lodged haphazardly into the snow. I belong to no one. With that, he swiftly turned from the dead vampire and began to walk away. The shadows nodded in their silent agreement, and proceeded to cover up his path of footsteps left behind.

What the hell, is it ready yet? Im kinda hungry, and Id like to go home tonight, if thats okay with you. Im sorry, Miss. It wont be ready for another ten minutes. Why the fuck are you people still in business? Does it really take that long to bake a fucking pizza? I dont understand. Sohyun angrily stormed her way over to a corner of the deserted pizza shop downtown, and huffed her way into a seat. She tapped her manicured fingernails on the table, irritably. Prior to this, she had been arguing with a worker for the past forty-minutes which, on her terms, was completely justified. She looked at the clock hung on the wall ahead of her: it read 10:43 pm. Her jaw dropped in disbelief. She was supposed to be home an hour ago! She let out a grumble. The worker, unexpectedly, walked back into the kitchen again. This only caused more fuming from Sohyun. Ugh, forget it. She got up, swung her bag over her shoulder, and headed for the door. She called back a Keep the change! to the timid cashier, before heading out. Just then, the worker came out of the kitchen with a pizza box in hand, all ready to give to Sohyun. He frowned as he scanned the empty shop. Whered she go? The copper-haired girl made her way briskly down a lamp-lit street. Shivering slightly, she fixed her scarf around her neck; it was rather cold out that night. Letting out a tired sigh, she said to herself: At least I can always count on

my cheesecake. As she continued on her way, she couldnt help but notice a strange sort of tension in the air. She frowned. Something didnt feel quite right

If he was unsure of what he was trying to do, the other two were as good as lost. All three of them were in the dormitory buildings elevator, and headed not to the Underground Shelter like they were supposed to, but instead to the underground parking lot where Yunhos car was parked. I cannot believe Im agreeing to this. Changmin said for the fifth time that night. I really, really cant. Look, I know this doesnt make any sense Damn straight. but just trust me, okay? Yunho asked them again for the eighth time that night. It was going to be a long ride down. Junsu was still apprehensive on the whole matter and did not look directly at Yunho. His uncertainty caused him to stare doubtfully at the elevator floor, instead of at his reassuring friend. Changmin said nothing on the matter either. This disappointed Yunho. Come on, you guys. He pleaded to them, dispiritedly. Junsu wanted to say something to him, but hesitated before speaking. I just He trailed off, interrupted by a disturbed pause. I dont know about this, Yunho. Do you trust me? The other boy asked, with a grave tone in his voice. At that, Junsu looked at him. Well, yeah, but Then, lets go. The next thing they knew, all three of them were in Yunhos car and driving out of the Universitys premises. Junsu sat apprehensively in the passengers seat next to Yunho, and Changmin was silently scowling to himself in the back. All was quiet. Yunho, although he dragged the other two out here, was not entirely sure of

what he was trying to do. Even worse, he was unsure of exactly what he was going to do, but he knew in his heart that he had to do something. Through the car windows, they could feel the ominous chill in the air about them. It was odd, and it just caused Junsu to become even more worried than he already was. He squirmed a little in his seat, as he stared out at the bleak atmosphere outside the window. I dont like this. Same here. Changmin grumpily agreed. Yunho, what are we doing? He turned his head to face the other boy at the drivers seat. Meanwhile, Yunhos eyes were focussed steadily and immovably on the darkened road ahead. He said nothing. Junsu caught the silence, and turned his head to face him. He looked at him for a moment, eyeing the other boy, suspiciously. Yunho, answer him. Try as hard as he might, Yunho could not readily think of an answer that would satisfy Junsu. He wanted to tell himboth of themjust exactly what they were doing out here. And what he was trying to do. But he couldnt. Not just yet. Junsus eyes were still upon Yunho, and the other boy could feel his steadying gaze. Junsu, as kind and friendly as he was, had a temper that Yunho was thankful enough to not be well-acquainted with. Yet slowly but surely, he could feel Junsus look on him transform from just a simple suspicion to a full-out glare. You dont even know what youre doing? The strawberry-blond asked him, incredulously, his voice raising. You mean, were just out here pointlessly risking our lives? Youre gonna get us killed! Yunhos eyes, though he did not look over at Junsu, showed that the other boys questions and accusations were beginning to annoy him. However, he remained quiet, still saying nothing. At this response, Junsu surprisingly did not become angrier. In fact, his eyes began to fill with a treacherous fear, as he looked upon Yunho. Timorously, he asked him, Thats it, isnt it? Yunho could only sigh. He hesitated for a few moments, and felt the tension in the car rise to an unnecessary amount after a short while. Deciding this had stretched out long enough, he told them, I think I know where Sohyun might be. Changmin and Junsu were quiet, as they listened on earnestly to what Yunho had to say. I know this all sounds crazy, he began, tiredly, but just trust me okay?

He turned his head over to Junsu beside him, a look of pleading apparent in his eyes. Junsu noticed the sincerity in that look, and remembered that he wanted to help Sohyun just as much as Junsu himself did. And wanting only for the other girl to be safe he gave a slow nod. Changmin was still a tad bit doubtful, but he did trust Yunho. He offered his agreement, as well. Satisfied, Yunho turned back to the road and continued on. The streetlights flashed on overhead as the snowflakes continued to silently fall. Yunho paused for a moment. You ever heard of the Black Rose? Changmin furrowed his eyebrows. The flower? The vampire. Yunho answered. Junsu frowned at that answer. But thats just a story. Its real.

He awoke, breathing in the damp smell of cement. His nose had bruised upon it, and he felt the painful sting of open air to prove it. He wanted so badly to lift his head up from the ground, but the instant he tried, he recoiled from an excruciating ache in his neck. The sudden start caused his body to release a violent cough, and he winced at the pain that resulted in his chest. His breathing came out ragged and heavy, and he struggled to catch his breath. With his heavy-lidded eyes, he looked around him, beyond the cement floor that he lay face-down upon. He gave a slight smirk as he remembered his surroundings. Just before he blacked out, he was attacked by that vampire; the one that he taunted. He couldnt help it; it was in his nature. The damn thing looked so helpless and pathetic up on that Crucis. That was why he did not understand where all that strength came from. He had just left the control room, and the next thing he knew, the power in the whole Emised building had shut off. Then, there were screams, bloodcurdling screams. Countless of them, just coming one after the other. It was horrifying. Before he knew it, he was being thrown into a wall at a terrifying speed. It knocked the wind out of him. Then, it all went black.

Judging from his present state of bruises, cuts, and all, the vampire did more damage to his sorry carcass when he had blacked out. He sneered. The fucking coward. And now, he found himself in a darkened part of Emised. The power had gone out in this sector. Nothing but pitch-blackness enclosed the space, save for a softened beam of moonlight filtering in through a crack in the cement wall. He couldve laughed if he wasnt in so much pain; it almost felt as if he was in a jail cell. His body felt dizzy and faint, his limbs aching all over. He breathed in a littlewhich proved to be not the wisest of ideas. His ragged, uneven breathing caused another violent cough to escape his lips, and he groaned at the resulting pain in his chest. He struggled to breathe in a way that would not cause such a cough, but he found it hard to breathe His eyelids began to get heavier, and the sole beam of moonlight appeared to get larger. He frowned at this, finding the sensation quite odd. In the back of his mind, all he could clearly rememberas clear as anythingwere those eyes. The coldness of that vampires eyes was unreal. He found himself almost shivering at the thought. Just then, a solitary trickle of a liquid began to make its way down his forehead, rolling off the tip of his nose. Another. And then, another. Curious as to what it was, he weakly brought a hand up to feel for it. His fingers uncovered a wet spot at the top of his head, just above his hairline, but close to his forehead. His fingers were now moist with the liquid, and he brought his hand down to eye level to investigate it. However, it was much too dark for him to see anything, so he gingerly brought a finger to his lips and tasted it. It was blood. His blood. The shock of that account caused him to draw a breath, releasing yet another violent, hacking cough. But it was not followed with simply chest pains, this time. He continually let out cough after agonizing cougheach one bringing blood. Each one bringing more than the last. After what seemed like an excruciating eternity, the coughing fit had finally ended. However, his chest was left terribly sore and his breathing even more ragged and uneven than before. He forcefully shut his eyes, trying to shut out the pain, only to let out more forceful coughs. More blood.

He let out a distressing groan. It hurt to breathe Its funny. They say, those you love the most will eventually lead you to your end. Behind his closed chestnut-brown eyes, he could see the reason he was here, and it all made sense to him: He could see his mother. A feeing of elation took over him as he saw her gentle smile. He missed seeing her pretty eyes light up like that. He could smell the flowers. She always did love nature and all the creatures within it. Her garden was a world of verdant wonder, lush with the vibrant colours of nature. From the soil towards the sky He could feel her warmth. That soothing quality that she so possessed seemed to just emanate from her, boundlessly. It was warm and he could feel it. Yet Its funny. They say, those you love the most will eventually lead you to your end. Well. He smiled. A single teardrop fell quietly down his bruised cheek, left only to silently dissolve into the cement below. He ends here.

;chapter 17((The Ruins of Arcana _________ All of the lights in the florists quaint, little shop were turned off, leaving each crevice and flower petal to be touched with the darkness of shadow. The only source of light in the room was from the moons pale glow penetrating through the shops large windows. The pearl of the sky was hanged quietly on this ill-omened eve. The crumbling city on the other side was under the watchfulness of a Code Black, the highest level of a vampire warning; it meant

extreme danger. All of the residents in the city were advised to remain indoors and to not leave, at all, for any reason whatsoever. There was a small radio atop a back shelf that was kept on, amidst the irises, tuned to the urgent newscast that had been an underscore to the turmoil. It was dulled to a faint quietness, giving light noise to the small, darkened shop. The mild-spirited shopkeeper, Mrs. Lee, stood fretfully by the large window at the front, where the black roses were once displayed a year and some months ago by the previous faithful shopkeeper. However, she had long since passed. And now, Mrs. Lee stood at that same window, her eyes peering out anxiously into the streets. So, he has found love, she began, and love has turned against him. She brought her gaze from the failing streetlights, yellow caution tapes, and scattered police cars to the vast expanse of sky hovering above the city. There was not a single star in sight. A deepened feeling of worry seeped its way through her, as she let out a distressed sigh. Parting her lips, she strung some words together in the form of a familiar melancholy tune, one that had been embedded deep into the norms of folklore: The black rose petals are falling from a darkened sky The black rose petals are falling into your demise Love will lead to the end of all Death will come to us in nightfall The black rose petals are falling from a darkened sky The black rose petals are falling into your demise. She was quiet for a few moments, letting the buzz of the radio fill the silent void once again. All was quiet, until she spoke the words Love will be the end of him. Love will be the end of us all.

I cant believe you. He said to the other young man beside him, his own voice echoing tenors of disbelief. I cant fucking believe you.

Distractedly gripping the steering wheel, Yunho tried the hardest he could to keep his eyes focussed on the road and chaotic traffic that faced themeven after what had just happened. In order for the other two to understand his still-being-constructed plan of finding Sohyun, he had to tell both Junsu and Changmin of his involvement with a vampire, named Jaejoong. It was, by far, not an easy task, and he struggled effortlessly in finding ways of how he could tell them. Yet, finally, he did. He was so nerve-wracked that he could hardly remember in what order of events he had told them, or which details he might have missed. But it was all done and said, and judging the circumstances, far too late to turn back. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of tension in the car at that moment, and Junsu wasnt taking the situation too lightly. Yunho, there's not a single day that goes by in which someone isn't slaughtered by a vampire, not a single one. Junsu lectured on. They're the sole cause of all the fear in our lives, all the misery in our lives. And you're with a vampirewhat the fuck are you thinking? His anger steadily began to rise with each passing moment. Yunho pursed his lips, saying nothing, as his eyes were kept idly focussed on the road. You're with themand you hid this from us! Junsu continued, hotly. How do we knowhow do I know that I can trust you? You've hid this from us; what else could you possibly be hiding, I wonder? I mean, you keep telling us you know where SoHyun is. His suspicions began to flare, as he locked his gaze upon Yunho in a snide glare. I bet you do know where she is, huh? He questioned him, bitingly. And youve known this whole time What the fuck, Junsu? Yunho sharply turned his eyes onto the other beside him, meeting his glare head-on. You're acting as if I'm the one who's responsible for all this Um, Yunho, the road. Piped up a scared Changmin from the back, as he noticed Yunhos attentions were now fully distracted. You might as well be. Junsu sneered at the driver beside him. You're fucking one of them; what's stopping you from getting with the rest of them? Yunhos felt himself fill up with enragement from each accusation that

left Junsus lips. His narrowed his eyes, dangerously, at the young man beside him, who sat not once faltering. Don't fucking piss me off, Junsu, or I'll Or youll what? Junsu spat, mockingly, at Yunho. Get your vampire twink on my ass? Yunho, the road! Changmin shouted. At that instant, both Yunho and Junsu immediately broke their heated gaze, turning their eyes abruptly towards the windshield in front of them. All three passengers widened their eyes in fear as they gazed upon two pairs of blinding headlights, coming at them from the left and straight ahead. Out of instinct, Yunho hastilyand quite dangerouslyswerved the car towards the right, throwing all three of them out of their seats a little. All that was heard was the screeching of tires, as the car did a 180-degree turnbut Yunho managed to get the vehicle under control. The car had finally stopped and ended up on the sidewalk, away from traffic, before bumping intoas well as dentinga stop sign behind it. That would be, yet, another thing for the police to scramble to get fixed tonight. The other two cars involved sent curse-filled honks towards Yunho, before driving off, each continuing on their way without a scratch. Changmins chest rose and fell repeatedly, and rather quickly, as he leaned over to sit up straight, once more. Clearly, arguing is getting us nowhere. He began, very much out of breath. In fact, it almost got us killed. The other two could, at least, agree on that, as they both struggled to catch their breath and recover from that far-too-close of a call. Yunho spoke up a tad bit remorsefully, panting as well. You guys okay? A Yeah came from Changmin at the back, who sat rubbing his neck, gently. He was afraid he might have suffered a slight case of whiplash from the manoeuvre Yunho just performed. I think. He added with a bit of a grimace. Slowly, and a bit cautiously, Yunho turned his attention onto the strawberry-blond in the passenger seat, beside him. Junsu?

Junsu sat still, not looking at the other young man. His eyes were transiently rested upon the windshield ahead of him. Looking at him, Yunho could tell he was visibly shaken. At last, Junsu decided to acknowledge his query, as he parted his lips. I dunno. He said, flatly. Besides almost getting hit by two cars I guess getting stabbed in the back by someone you thought you knew kinda hurts, too, but He shrugged, carelessly. Ill get over it. The last part was spoken in a bitter, sarcastic undertone. With that, Junsu dismissed Yunho, as he turned his head over to the window beside him, peering out, nonchalantly. Changmin looked on at the two in front of him, worriedly. His hand slowly began to stop its massaging of his neck, and slid down carefully to his lap. He was quiet, as he gazed on at the two. Even though his gaze had since left him, Yunho kept his eyes intently upon Junsu. His expression began to soften further, as he released a repentant sigh. Look, Im sorry, okay? He told Junsu, with a genuine air of remorse about his tone. I know I should've said something, I meando you blame me for not telling you? Both Changmin, as well as Junsu, remained quiet. Junsus eyes were still upon the crumbling cityscape beside him. I don't expect you guys to understand. Yunho told them, regretfully. Yet, it was the truth. Yunho loved Jaejoong, and Junsu simply did not understand. It didnt make sense at all to the strawberry-blond; how could a human love a vampire? However, it was not only Junsu that shared that sentiment; it was far too common a belief for Junsu, alone, to follow. It was simply the norm. It wasnt only Junsu who did not understand; no one did. No one understood, at all. Yunho knew that Jaejoong was not like the other vampires, but no one would understand that. All they need to see is the vampire, and they are satisfied. They refuse to see anything else. Not just you guys. He explained further to them. I don't expect anyone to understand. Yeah, but Junsu finally turned his gaze over to Yunho. The strawberry blonds hurt was now cast clearly upon his face. I dont understand, Yunho. He looked back at his friend with eyes reflecting deep pools of disbelief. H-He's a vampire. How... ? His voice trailed off.

And he, Yunho began, might lead us to Sohyun. At those words, Junsu said nothing. His gaze stayed with Yunhos for a few moments more, before leaving the young man, and turning to look, idly, at the floor. So Changmin began, in an attempt to break the silence, as well as to uncover more of Yunhos intentions. You think he's the Black Rose? He's gotta be. Yunho told him, somewhat certain. I mean, everything kinda adds up. He lives only partly like a vampire does; they're not alive, but they're not really dead either. He paused for a moment. ... He's beautiful At that, Junsu cringed to himself, unbeknownst to Yunho. The driver furrowed his eyebrows in thought. And his speech. He said, at last. He talks in this strange sort of dialect you don't hear much anymore. From what I've studied, it sounds late Victorian-styled, and that date fits with the Black Rose, or... Demon Child, 'cause he lived in the Victorian era. There's gotta be a connection there somehow. But, how do you know that he'll lead us to Sohyun? Changmin asked again, not entirely convinced. What makes you so sure? I mean... what makes you think that Sohyun's even with him? Clearly, Changmin, he's up to something. Junsu said, bitterly. Yunho flashed an irritated look towards Junsus direction, but the other boy didnt see it, due to his eyes stubbornly facing the other direction. Changmin frowned. How do you know that she's with Jaejoong? What if she's with another vampire or another group of vampiresor hasn't even been captured, at all? What if she's not with him? The younger mans words caused a stirring of thoughts within Yunho, as his gaze left Junsu to fall upon the steering wheel, in front of him. He wished he could explain it, but Yunho just knew. He knew that, somehow, finding Jaejoong would help them find Sohyun. He just had this feeling. Still, as certain as he might have been, Yunho still found himself quite confused. Memories of that last night with Jaejoong still haunted and plagued his mind. Why did the young vampire disappear? Why was he crying? What was troubling him? And now, a question that

Yunho so desperately wanted an answer to, could he possibly have something to do with thisall this chaos? Was this what he was trying to tell him of, that night he disappeared? That... he just might be the Black Rose? The Demon Child? The one that is spoken of? He remembers, so clearly, that he was apologizing for being in love with Yunho. Was this the reason? Did he know that this would happen? And Sohyun still remained, unknowingly, under the black roses curse. She would be drawn to him... wouldn't she? Or perhaps, she wont be ? It made sense to Yunho at first, but now, he was not so sure. Before, it seemed to him a sort of intuition, a gut feeling. As he saw the face in the book, something just called out to him. He called out to him. But if Jaejoong truly was the Black Rose, would that mean that Yunho was cursed, as well? Was Jaejoong able to lay the curse just as the black rose does? That feeling that he got while looking at the face in the book, telling him to find Jaejoong... was that the curses doing? Or was that his longing for the young vampire? He wasnt sure anymore No. He wasnt cursedhe couldnt be. What if Yunho was making a horrible mistake? But then again, there was still the possibility that Jaejoong was not the Black Rose. To be sure, Yunho had to find him. And Sohyun for Junsus sake, as well as his. He had to see for himself, to be completely sure. Then, shes not with him. He said as an answer to Changmin. Then, we die. Junsu told Changmin, cynically. Yunho was now quite fed up with Junsus attitude. Turning to him, he said, Look, if you don't wanna find Sohyun, that's cool. I'll just Can we stop with the arguing, you two?! Silenced by the younger mans outburst, Yunho and Junsu promptly ended their fighting. Still very much irritated, however, they turned to each of their respective windows, staring out adamantly towards the street. From the back, he began again. We really don't have time to be arguing over thisJunsu, if you want, we can kill Yunho later. But now, we have to worry about finding SoHyun. Okay? He asked of them,

exasperatedly. Can we just... put our differences aside for just a few minutes, and concentrate on what's important here? In a silent, yet mutual, agreement, the verbal attacks had somewhat ceased. It was quiet in the car for a while longer. Both Junsu and Yunho were still not looking at each other, however, and Changmin remained perhaps a tad bit too hopeful in the back. Unsuspectingly, Junsu turned his head over to look at Yunho, beside him. In a reluctant voice, he asked, So, what are we trying to do, Yunho? The young man looked back, only to be met with a faint distrust lingering about Junsus eyes. Despite the fact that the faintness may grow larger, his eyes left Junsus gaze to rest upon the windshield in front of him. Were gonna find Jaejoong. Yunho told the strawberryblond. And through him, we might find Sohyun. There was a slight pause, as he hesitated to continue. Im not sure how but I have an idea of where we could look. In this bloodied, tumultuous chaos, what place would a vampire call home? Changmins brow furrowed, in thought. "Bloodied, tumultuous chaos..." That was a quotation from David Fletcher's novel, A Rose's Thorn. Changmin recognized the wordplay because he and Yunho had read the book for their Film Studies class. In accordance to the author's words, he parted his lips and suggested, The haven? To that answer, Yunho replied with an affirmative nod. He reached forward for the key and turned it in the ignition, starting up the car. Adjusting the mirrors and things, he began to ready himself to pull out. The haven. And with that, the car was back onto the road. Junsu couldnt help but to look warily out the window, watching the changing scenery crumble as they passed.

Her wits struggled to keep up with her, as she ran fearfully through the streets. The only thing on her mind was to get out of here, out of this reddened chaos. Everywhere she looked, she saw a different shade of destruction. It was absolutely horrifying. She had to get out of here; she needed to get home. She needed to get back to Junsu.

At times, she looked to the other boy almost as a protector. He would protect her and keep her safeaway from all of this. She mentally cursed herself for going to that pizza shop. It wasnt as if there was no other food back in the dorm, or anywhere else on campus. But that shop was, supposedly, the best pizza in town, and she felt like pizza tonight. And now, here she was, running through the streets of the central district, terrified for her life. The vampire could appear at any moment! She had been told by crazy, wits-eaten folk with shellshock. The poor fools experienced a brush with the hand of Death, or saw one of their own being snatched from them before their very eyesand survived to tell the tale. Lingering, half-crazed on the streets, she would find them. He just appears and disappears before you know itjust like that! Hell come out of thin air, and its too late. Dont look into his eyes! Others would say. Or you damned well be staring into the eyes of the Devil! Hes a demon! Fear him, he is a demon! She ran quickly into a darkened street; the lampposts in this one had malfunctioned. The poor thing had been running for so long, and was still so far away from home. Her cell phone, which had been on vibrate before, no longer had service. She wasnt surprised, considering the chaotic circumstances, but it wasnt, at all, welcoming, either. For now, she couldnt call for a taxi or any other means of transport. The busses had stopped running, as well, and she hadnt seen a single one along the way. She stopped in the middle of the street, falling to her knees, as she struggled to catch her breath. Cold sweat, imitating the snow beneath her, trickled its way down the side of her face, matting a few stray strands of copper-coloured hair to the flushed skin. Her chest sharply rose and fell with each heaving breath she took, as her mind toiled to collect itself from the disarray. At that moment, her eyes abruptly widened, and she felt herself, on instinct, inhale a sharp breathas she felt a cold hand come out from behind her, tightly covering her mouth and nose, muffling her scream. She found herself trembling and gaping in horrified silence, as the hand slowly uncovered her mouth, and began leisurely trailing its way

down her neck, to rest upon her shoulder. Warm breath began to tickle her earlobe, followed by a voice; sensual, yet raspy, it flowed into her ear like a syrupy mixture of milk and honey. Scream for me. It spoke to her. The hand, once again, found its way up to her neck. Let me know you like this.

The snow. So pure, so white, and so innocent. Its naive coldness knows nothing of the world in which it lofts down towards. Sailing through the sky, landing upon the earth, it is content in knowing it has found a home. But a single drop of blood spilt onto the earth threatens to spoil this. It shall touch a tiny snow crystal, which, in turn, touches another and another. The drop of blood melts the snow crystals, and the warmth will cause it to spread. It lies with the snow, covering it, drenching it in blood. It has tainted the white purity. The snow crystals gather, looking upon this; they mourn for what is lost. The reddened snow looks up at the sky whence it came, and sees that it is suffocating. And the wind has been lost in a haze.

The car had been driving along, making its way towards a hidden destination. But the strangeness of a darkened, untouched road caught the eye of the driver. It was very odd, indeed, because there were emergency vehicles and police cars everywhere elsebut not here. A morbid sort of curiosity overtook him, as he found himself slowing the car to a full stop. Junsu was confused by this. He began looking around, peering the best that he was able into the dark. Whyd you stop? His eyes ceased their meandering, resting upon Yunho at his side.

Yunho ignored Junsus question and Changmins growing curiosity. Instead, he found his interest quite taken by this darkened street. He seemed to be staring curiously at something along it, a fair distance away. Both Junsu and Changmin noticed this and joined his gaze, as well, wondering what it was that had so caught the young mans eye. To their surprise, the hum of the car engine was no more, as Yunho turned it off. Reaching for the handle, he opened up the car door, stepping out of the vehicle. He did not close the door behind him, however, and left it open, as he stood staring ahead of him towards the street. The chill of a cold breeze seeped its way into the car, disrupting the settled warmth. Changmin was left rather confused by Yunhos actions. He leaned towards Junsus seat in the front. Whats going on? Tch. Youre asking me? Junsu replied, equally as lost. He moved over slightly, leaned into Yunhos empty seat, trying to get the young mans attention. Yun Theres something over there. Yunho replied, his eyes still transfixed upon the street ahead. At that, both Changmin and Junsu were immediately quietedalmost to the point of fear. Their eyes met, exchanging fearful looks. There was something over there? Was it human? Both waited in silence, pits of dread steadily forming in their stomachs. Im gonna go and see what it is. Yunho decided. He was just about to close the car door, when And you're just gonna leave us here? Yunho turned to the source of the voice, Junsu. What if something happens? The strawberry-blond continued, with a slight ring of alarm in his words. Before long, his tone began to soften, no longer bearing the harshness that it displayed earlier. Almost caringly, he said to Yunho, We should go with you.

Yunho found himself a little surprised at Junsus words, almost touched. A slight smile came over his lips, as he nodded at the other boy. Okay. At that, he turned to Changmin sitting at the back. You coming? The younger man instantly began removing his seatbelt in a somewhat acquiescent manner. Like I have a choice. The three young men left the car, and cautiously made their way into the forgotten street, heading towards the spot that caught Yunhos attention. They found the darkness quite and odd and peculiar, not to mention eerie. The streetlights were out completely; they must have malfunctioned. The only light was from the pale moon, which had been sentenced to hang in the sky. The street was oddly deserted. For one, there was not a single police car, or soul, in sight. Police were dispatched to almost every inch of the central district, and it was hard to move a foot in the city without hearing the blaring of sirens on this night. And yet, there was not a single person on this street. Still, the three walked on, mindful of their footsteps. They reached a point where Yunho quietly signalled for the two of them to stop; hed go on ahead. There was much protest from Junsu, but in the end, he gave up and allowed Yunho to go on alone. He and Changmin were to remain where they were. And so, Yunho went on, almost tiptoeing. He continued in this way for a while, his quiet footsteps pushing him farther and farther away from his friends behind him. But just up ahead, as he had thought, there seemed to be what looked like a figure, crouching over on the ground. Changmin and Junsu watched on, fretfully, as Yunho took a couple of steps closer to the obscured figure. E-Excuse me? He timidly asked. The figure slowly began to turn its body towards Yunho. The young mans eyes widened as he recognized the face. It was Jaejoong. A trickle of blood seeped out, boldly, from the corner of his sardonic smile, worn wickedly across his face, accenting the sickly pale of his skin. And now that his body had been turned around, Yunho was given far too clear of a view of what the young vampire was crouching over:

Sohyuns dead body. However, Yunhos eyes did not bear witness to this alone. Another pair of eyes did, as well, that widened up in horror as he looked upon the scene ahead of him. Sohyun! Forgetting all reasoning, Junsu hurriedly began to run over to her. Junsu, wait! Changmin was stunned at what he was seeing as well, but he quickly pulled the other boy back. Let me go! The strawberry-blond fought and struggled in Changmins grasp, but the younger mans height gave him an unwanted disadvantage. Let me go! Angered tears streaked their way down Junsus cheeks, as he looked upon the girls still form. That thing killed her! He yelled, violently, his tears still fighting their way from his lashes. Vehemently, he struggled to wrestle himself out of Changmins hold. It fucking killed her! Yunho could do nothing else but stare dumbfounded in disbelief at the sight he saw before him. He was in complete and total shock. Here, he saw the love of his lifehovering over the dead, bloodied body of a dear friend. He was torn between emotions. And Jaejoong's eyes... they were so coldhe could hardly recognize them. The coldness of his eyes was unreal... The raven-haired vampire looked up at Yunho, with a dark, menacing smile and cryptic look about his eyes. In a voice, almost sweet, and laden with echoes of faded innocence, he said to his lover, I knew youd come.

;chapter 18((Sestinas Love _________ He was losing the gamethis much, he could tell. The rules had been explained and laid out for him, albeit rather brashly, but he understood them, nonetheless. But this, however, was unexplained, unexpected. It was almost unfair. Whoever devised the game plan had failed to inform him of this one element. It frustrated him, to say the least. Everything had been going so well. But now, he stood there, positively lost and confused as he looked upon the young vampire staring up at him, maliciously. Clearly, he had a better idea of

these unmentioned happenstances. The soundness of this thought appeared to affirm itself, echoing through the raven-haired boys last few words, I knew youd come. Those words spread, unrelenting, through Yunhos mind, searing a path of ash and wildfire. The heat was soon extinguished, however, by the coldness in the vampires eyes, the last of the dwindling embers having burnt out. A callous smirk slowly unfurled itself against his rose-petal lips. At that exact moment was when everything went dark. Yunhos eyes widened as he found himself entrapped in a thick blanket of darkness. The sights of the shadowed street had vanished, and even the mournful cries of his friends had ceased to sound. Confused, he turned around, looking all around him, but his eyes only revealed the same nothingness that they were shown before. Silence and shadow lay around him, intertwining amongst one another, creating a blackened opaqueness. What was going on? Where was everyone? Where was Jaejoong? His eyes battled, incessantly, through the dark, desperately trying to seek out even the tiniest glimmer of something familiar, something with which he could pierce the overpowering darkness. He began to feel his feet take a couple of steps forward, slow at first, then gradually pick up speed. He forced himself to run, his eyes blindly groping about as he ran through the vast expanse of shadow. Each thud of a footstep was snatched up and dissolved in the murky air, disintegrating into the silence falling hard upon him. He frantically searched this way and that, even hoping to pick up the dim blare of a police siren off in the distance. But everythingand everyonewas gone. He was solely alone here. The faintest feeling of panic began to stir within him at this thought, causing him to stop. He felt the thought lower itself, seemingly crushing him where he stood. He was alone, completely and utterly alone. Feeling he could not take much more of this, he let out a frustrated growl, his eyes irritably scanning the infinite darkness that surrounded him. Where was he? But then a glimmer. Just at the corner of his eye, Yunho could have sworn he saw a white light. A curious frown overtook his lips, as he turned around to inspect this. Fully turned around, he could see, standing not too far off, that strange little girl in white. Yunho frowned as his eyes took sight of her small figure, remembering their previous encounter from not too long ago. How did she get here? She stood as straight as a pole where she was, a fair distance away, with both arms tensely at her sides. Her surreally lit, cobalt-coloured

eyes stared on at Yunho, looking at him rather apprehensively. Turn away. She told him in a quiet, timorous voice. Yunho could only look back at her in confusion. What did she mean? Warn your warmth to turn away. She told him once more. Her voice was small and shaky, yet it emitted a sure sort of confidence. Yunho looked at her, still helplessly confused. I dont understand. At Yunhos reply, the girls noticeably tense demeanour began to soften. The look of worry that animated her face had melted into one of warmth and care; her arms followed suit, relaxing, gently, at her sides. She gave Yunho a pitied smile before looking away from him and towards the darkness that enclosed them. I do not expect you to. She said with an air of understanding. You see, here, she gestured at the space around them. The cold finds solace. It is welcomed by the arms of the shadowas am I. For, of sugar and ice It was with those words that Yunho noticed a change in her tone. There was an undertone to them now, much fouler and darker than he had heard before. He found himself subtly narrowing his eyes at the child, noticing a strange glint in her cobalt eyes. I am made. She whispered, girlishly. And with that, she was gone; faded, once more. The spot where she stood remained vacant for just a moment, perhaps less, before allowing none other than Jaejoong to appear in her place. Yunhos eyes widened, in surprise, as he looked upon the raven-haired boy. I am made, the young vampire said in a hushed whisper. Yunho called out to Jaejoong and started to advance towards himbut the vampire quickly disappeared with a smirk before Yunho could reach out to him, leaving him alone, once again. Yunho stood there, baffled and disappointed. Whats gotten into him? A haughty laugh pierced the thick silence; Yunho recognized it as belonging to Jaejoong. He quickly turned around, hoping to spot the source of the voicebut to no avail. Defeated, he shouted out, Jaejoong, where are you? Im right here, love. His voice remained as a melodious ringing throughout Yunhos ears, urging him to look behind him. Turning around, he saw, not Jaejoong, but a forest. Odd, considering he was trapped in a never-ending space of darkness just

moments before. He turned his head up towards the dense gathering of foliage at the canopy. Soft beams of moonlight filtered their way through the leaves and branches, landing softly upon the dirt and scattered twigs at his feet. It was night-time. There was a hushed sort of calm tingling his skin, evident in the light breezes that would gently whisper through the trees. Amongst the lulling feeling, he also felt a dispersed tension. A conflict had just occurred, and he was feeling the warmth of its aftermath. Deciding to explore this change of scenery, he walked on further into this forest. The fallen leaves and overturned earth crunched underneath his shoes, as he made his way further and further in. He heard the scamper of a squirrel every once in a while, or the hooting of a watchful owl. The creatures looked on at this human, warily, not sure if they should feel threatened or comforted by his presence. The moon would decide, for the skys pearl very often would. The creatures of the nocturne were very worried on this night, indeed. Strange sounds, they heard, and violent ones, at that. Loud, angry, and vehement voicestens of themcame barricading along the forests edge. They were human sounds: unfamiliar, and at the same time, quite recognizable to their alert ears. They carried fire. And one of them had been hurt. The creatures looked on at the stray human falling down the rocky hill. The hill was small and not very high, but this human appeared to be in pain; and every sharp rock, stone, and pebble was felt along his fragile body. He stopped once he had reached the bottoma boulder had broken his fall. Amongst other things, they had noticed. Then, it was quiet. The creatures looked on in fear at the human. But yet, they could not help but to unmask the pity hidden in their eyes. The poor thing was barely breathing, and he almost appeared to be broken, with his head leaned against his shoulder. They watched on in silence, wary of any others that might approach them. That was when they saw him walk closer. It was another one, they thought. They watched this one very carefully. He was not violent like the other ones, and he was not broken like this one. The creatures took note of the worried look across the humans face, and watched as he bent down to kneel beside the broken one. He gazed upon the person lying at the base of the boulder, almost wincing at the amount of blood seeping through the clothing. What was once a white cotton shirt was now smeared with brown patches of dirt and torn, exposing various cuts and bruises across the arms and torso. The brown slacks that were worn were not in the best condition, either. They, too, had rips and had

been patched with marks of dirt. The feet were barefoot, and with close inspection, a blister was found on the underside of the right foot. Yunho looked on in pity at the mans state, and was surprised that he was still breathing; the injuries that were suffered were enormous. Judging by his clothing and physique, Yunho concluded that the person was male. He appeared to be young, and Yunho wondered just what happened that would lead up to this. He also found the clothing that the man wore to be slightly odd. It was very much old-fashioned, which caused Yunho to wonder just where he was, exactly. He decided to get a better look at the mans face to help distinguish what part of the world he might be in. But the moment his eyes were laid upon the face, a bewildered familiarity shot through him. This was Jaejoong. The features that he possessedthis was definitely Jaejoong. But how? Yunho looked upon the young man, absolutely speechless. A jumble of thoughts bombarded his head, but he did not know which one to think first. What happened to him? Who did this? How did he get here? He was so close to death Death. Yunho paused for a moment, a subtle thought creeping into his mind, brushing aside the others with ease. Wait a second He looked into Jaejoongs face once more, but this time, he truly recognized it. Not because it was Jaejoong, but because he had seen this face somewhere before. And this revelation frightened him. For, at that moment, he realized just whom he was staring at: he was looking straight into the face of the Demon Child. It was exactly the face in the book. He had always suspected the resemblance ever since he looked at the photo. And now seeing him here, in actuality, this thought was confirmed. A tad bit older, of course, but it was undoubtedly him. Undoubtedly Jaejoong. Its you. Yunho breathed out, completely taken aback. A peculiar smile formed across his lips; the taste of irony was not settling very well with Yunho. He found himself laughing a little, out of spite, as he continued to gaze upon the weakened boy lying beside him. Ah, just as beautiful as ever. For some reason, this added a tinge of bittersweet to the irony running across his lips. Its been you the whole time, hasnt it, Jae? He knew the other man could not respond, but he felt a sort of contentment with that notion. He reached a hand over to gently touch Jaejoongs facebut his hand passed right through him. What the? He instantly recoiled his hand, looking at it in shock. He quickly turned his eyes onto Jaejoong, almost as if the other man would reveal an answer. Suddenly, he heard the crunching of footsteps. They were barely audible at

first. But now they were becoming louder, approaching faster and faster still. He was still in a strange place, and afraid of whom it might be, he regrettably got up and left Jaejoongs side, rushing to hide behind the safeness of a massive tree trunk. He peeked out from its side and looked towards Jaejoong. He stood there, watching the scene observantly. The footsteps continued on, and Yunho could sense that the person was very close by. A couple of moments passed, and the footsteps revealed the one approaching. Yunho was startled to see that it was the same girl in white. Her feet, covered in white boots, ceased their movement as soon as she stopped in front of Jaejoong. She looked down at him with a blank look in her cobalt eyes. He had to admit: it was spectacular watching the young child. She was like a soft, white light against the darkness of the shadows. A lone shard of purity, she seemed; the girl almost appeared to be glowing. She reminded Yunho of a star embedded in the velvety expanse of blackened sky. Just then, she slowly turned her head towards the tree trunk, looking at Yunho straight in the eye. Yunho caught the girls stare, apprehensively. How did she know he was there? The child parted her lips, slowly. She, then, said to Yunho: Be careful. Yunhos eyes widened, as he felt himself being pulled back, further and further backthen downwardsby a force that he could not explain. He was falling. Falling. Down into the darkness, whence he came. Have you found me yet? Where are you? Look a little harder. When he landed, he was atop a moist stretch of grass. Just like the forest, the setting was also at night. While he was adjusting himself to the new surroundings, he felt slightly groggy, as if he had just awakened from sleep. He shook his head a little, and began to inspect the scenery from the ground he lay upon. To the right of him, he saw a pair of feet, clad in black suede boots. He frowned at this. With his eyes, he followed the boots up to a pair of legs, but only seeing as far as the thin black coat that the person wore. Curiosity overtook him, causing him to rise from the blades of grass, and stand up at

his full height. He looked to his right at the person beside himin surprise. Jaejoong! He exclaimed. But Jaejoong did not hear him. Instead, his dark eyes were solidly focussed on a spot straight ahead of him. Yunho was confused. Did Jaejoong not hear him? Jae He attempted to nudge the raven-haired boy on his shoulder to get his attention, but his arm passed right through him, just like the last time. This greatly puzzled Yunho. Why was this happening? He brought his hand up closer to his face, looking at it, at first in surprise, and then donning a look of moroseness. He dropped his arm back down to his side before allowing his gaze to rest upon Jaejoong. He couldnt help but to look at the other boy in defeat. Feeling he could not do much else, he joined Jaejoongs steady gaze, but was stunned at what he saw. Several feet away from them sat Yoochuns mother. They were in her garden, beautifully tended, with rustic gates, fences, and archways. She was sitting atop her white rustic bench that was placed in the center of her garden. On either side of the bench, there were small patches of tulips, circled with emerald and jade. The womans back was turned to them, and she sat blissfully admiring a black rose, twirling the flower back and forth between her dainty fingertips. She looked so content, so pretty, so serene, but Shes dead. Yunho thought aloud. How am I seeing herwhats going on? He asked Jaejoong, beside him. The young vampire, once again, said nothing. Instead, Yunho noticed a strange glint dancing about his eyes. Without a moments notice, Jaejoong swept past Yunho, walking through the other man as if he was not even there, towards Yoochuns unsuspecting mother. The woman sat blissfully unaware, still doting upon the black rose between her fingertips. Yunho watched with a feeling of dread as Jaejoong steadily approached Yoochuns mother. His eyes widened in alarm. Jae, what are you doing? But Jaejoong did not respond. He grabbed the woman, forcefully, startling her with his vice-like grip. Something was wrong. Hastily, Yunho left the spot he stood at and started to run towards the white bench. Jaejoong! However, it was too late. In an instant, Jaejoong sank his fangs deep into the womans neck. She barely had the time to scream. Yunho stopped dead in his tracks, his feet, frozen to the ground, in shock. Jaejoong He could only manage to watch on, perturbed, as the raven-

haired vampire feasted on the womans blood. He had never in his life seen a vampire attack before. Of course, he had heard of themhow could he have not? The attacks plagued their day-to-day lives, relentlessly. But, never, had he once witnessed one for himself. Never had he seen the severing of flesh and skin, or the crude smell of human blood exposed. Never did he think he would ever see it. Now that he had seen it, he desperately wished he had not. It was absolutely grotesque. And Jaejoong continued to drink the blood, in a feverish manner. Dazedly, Yunho began to take a couple of steps back. Then another. And another. Soon, he found himself retreating from the bloodied scene, slowly backing away. He could not believe what he was seeing. So that was how it happened: Jaejoong had killed Yoochuns mother. This young vampire was the one responsible; Yoochun had gone through hell because of him. He and his mother were so very close, and he loved her, dearly, with all of his heart. By killing his mother, Jaejoong also drained the life of his best friend. And Jaejoong his eyes were so cold At last, the vampire stopped. He released his grip, and the woman fell feebly to the ground. Her chestnut-coloured eyes glassed over, and her lips froze together in a rueful smile. All the while, the black rose, which she so loved, lay innocently by her lifeless hand. Yunho watched the blood of Yoochuns mother run boldly down Jaejoongs chin; the young vampire was locked in a heated stare with the blackened flower. It was all too much. Yunho closed his eyes. He did not want to see anymore. But Yunho, love, we're making such progress. Don't you want to see how the story ends? I just want to see you. Tsk tsk. You shouldn't read ahead, or you'll ruin the story. And that wouldn't be any fun. Yunho reluctantly opened his eyes, not wanting to see what would be shown to him. But most importantly, not wanting to ruin this image he had of Jaejoong. As soon as his vision cleared up, he found that he was standing in a familiar part of the city: the woods that lined the Gyeongju University campus. He recognized a park sign, stating the name of these woods, and a map to help the lost find their way. He had walked these woods a few times before, out of leisure; it was gorgeous in the springtime. A bloodcurdling scream disrupted his thoughts, flinging his mind back to the current surroundings. Out of instinct, he turned to face the direction the

scream had come from. Listening carefully, he could hear the slight rustling of leaves somewhere not too far off. It was too dark to see anything, but his nose picked up the faint scent of blood Fearing the worst, he turned away and started to run, blindly tripping over stray branches in an attempt to flee somehow. However, his feet came to a sudden stop upon the sight of a darkened figure up ahead. There was a solitary beam of moonlight a few feet in front of the figure, obscuring Yunhos view. He frowned. Just then, the figure slowly began to approach Yunho. He stood there, rather apprehensive, as the figure drew closer with each passing moment. It wasnt long before it stepped into the moonbeam, revealing the face of Jaejoong freshly spilt blood moistening his lips. He continued to approach Yunho, a devilish smile painted across those rose-petal lips. Yunho felt somewhat anxious as Jaejoong continued towards him. Was this real? Was Jaejoong actually seeing him? The young vampire walked right up to Yunho, not even giving him a moment to think, before claiming his lips in a belligerent kiss. Yunhos eyes instantly closed. He could feel the warmth radiating from Jaejoongthis wasnt an illusion. This was real. So real that Yunho could even taste the blood along Jaejoongs lips In his mind, Yunho saw a girl. She looked about his age, with long, cherrycoloured hair, and she was walking through these same woods. But then, she looked up at something, in fear. In an instant a shadow draped over her. And then a bloodcurdling scream was heard. At the same moment that Yunho heard her scream, his eyes immediately snapped open. That familiar darkness enveloped him once again, and Jaejoong was nowhere to be found. That was Eunah. Sohyun's best friendyou killed her, too ... As he remembered Sohyun, that lively, vivacious young woman, he felt himself overcome with a pang of grief. The beginnings of a tear started to well up in his eyes. He stubbornly closed his eyes, and the teardrop fellbut he opened them, and he found himself in a building of some sort. It was dark, and the air had gone stale from the rank stench of panic and tension A loud groan sounded upon impact. His body had been thrown forcefully against a cement wall, knocking the wind out of him. Yunho turned to the sudden disruption, and gasped as he saw Jaejoong attacking Yoochun. The young vampire looked ragged and maddened; Yunho could only watch on

helplessly as he delivered blow after painful blow to Yoochun. He sent the other man flying into an adjacent wall, painfully colliding with it, before dropping to the floor in a thud. Yunho became sickened, seeing Jaejoong continuously heave Yoochun up and haul him across the room, with such force, that Yunho found himself flinching. There was a crazed look in the vampires dark eyes, as he continued to attack the other man. Then, it all stopped. All Yunho could see now was Yoochun lying on his stomach, all alone, in a cement room. Not far off was a sliver of moonlight, filtrating through a crack in one of the walls. Yoochun was in obvious, terrible pain, barely breathing. Yunhos eyes softened at his wounded form. He walked over to Yoochun, and once he reached him, he knelt down at his side. He reached out to him, gingerly, not at all certain whether or not his touch would go through. But, it did. He ran his fingertips caringly along the side of Yoochuns face, feeling the prick of a cut, or the tenderness of a bruise. Whats he done to you? There was a melancholy air to his query, which was spoken in a saddened disbelief. Gathered from what he had seen, the vampire he loved had killed Yoochuns mother. This went on to hurt Yoochun emotionally, at first, and now, seemingly, to the brink of death. He killed Eunah. This went on to cause Sohyun an immense amount of grief. The grief she endured affected Junsu. If that was not enough, he went on to kill Sohyun. All of these people were, in some way, people that he cared about. The frightening thing about these vampire attacks and killings was that they affected everyone. They did not just occur in a vacuum of some sort; they were real, and one could feel their reverberations and aftermath in those around them. He felt guilty. For some reason, he felt like he was partly responsible for all of this; he felt as if he had let this all happen, and he did nothing at all to stop it. He had slept with the enemy and loved him, too. Im sorry, Yoochun. He whispered, genuinely, to his friend. Im so, so sorry. Yunho knew that Jaejoong was a vampire, and he needed to kill to live but, as he looked upon his best friend, it somehow did not seem fair, anymore Suddenly, the sliver of light from the crack in the wall began to grow larger. Yunho found the light distracting, to say the least, and looked towards it. Standing there was the little girl in white. Yunhos eyes subconsciously narrowed at her. He felt a tinge of resentment as he looked upon her

innocent form. Come. She ordered. There is still more to see. Yunho diverted his gaze from her, looking instead to Yoochun. I don't want to see it anymore. He told her in a low voice. The child was stunned at his words, her mouth forming a perfect O. But, you must! She exclaimed. Do you not wish to see him? She surely meant Jaejoong, of course. Yunho had wanted to see him, but now he was not so sure. He said nothing, leaving the girl to her fretting. The little girls spirits were instantly dampened. Its a shame. A moody frown overtook her small mouth. But just as quickly as her spirits sunk, they rose just as quick with a spark of felicity. She smiled. Brother always did have the most interesting stories. Yunho promptly looked towards the young girl, a look of disgust written across his features. Is that what this isa story? She shrugged, innocently. Isn't everything a story? Yunho was silent. A strange glow danced behind the childs eyes, and she stared at Yunho through cobalt-tinted eyes. Have you found him yet? Once again, Yunho did not reply. His gaze left the girl, once more, and rested upon Yoochun. To that, the child responded with a smile. Well, then, we must continue. The smile still lighting up her face, she closed her eyes, and at once, the moonlight flooded the room, engulfing it a bright whiteness. The light only got stronger, and Yunho found it hard to keep his eyes open. If he were not careful, the light would have burnt his cornea. Quickly, he brought an arm up, using it as a shield for his eyes. Does the light hurt your eyes? He heard the girl ask. Try looking for a shadow. Following her sound advice, Yunho closed his eyesand saw the crumbling central district of the city. He could see Jaejoong paving a path of bloodshed and destruction. He moved about, stealthily, slaughtering everything and everyone in sight. Drop of blood, after drop of blood; dead body, after dead bodyJaejoong almost seemed to be enjoying this. Yunho shook his head, in horror. How could he?

Then, it all ceased and was no more. The city had faded and the sounds had quieted to a harsh silence; that same blackness surrounded him once more. Confused, he opened his eyes. Instead of the vast expanse of darkness, everything appeared to be a different shade of red. He was once again at the heart of the crimson chaos. But strangely, the city appeared to be deserted. There was not a single police car or emergency vehicle, and he found the absence of blaring sirens somewhat disturbing. The half-witted people fleeing the streets had vanished, the dead bodies had disappearedthere was positively no sign of human life. All that remained were the residues of carnage. Yunho walked amongst this, the path that Jaejoong paved. He saw dried blood smeared along the sides of buildings and vacant streets; there were buildings up in flames, with thick towers of smoke hovering overhead; the streetlights and traffic lights were broken, and live wires and cables lined them, haphazardly; he saw cars in various automobile accidents cluttered across the streetswith not a single person inside. The city took on the appearance of a ghost town. He walked further on, disturbed at the sights around him. How could Jaejoong have done all of this? Everything just His pace slowed somewhat, as he noticed someone up ahead. Ah, so he wasnt alone in this place. He quickened his pace, curious as to who the person was. It was slightly unnerving for him, being the only soul walking about. Once he was close enough, he recognized the person, once again, as Jaejoong. His back was turned towards Yunho, and he was looking up at the sky. However, Yunho felt a bit of uneasiness as he looked upon the young vampire. That mysterious aura about him that had once so enticed Yunho was filling him with hesitance. His footsteps, no longer as eager as they had been moments before, slowed their movements, before coming to a full stop about several feet away. He looked on at Jaejoong, cautiously. You still haven't found him yet, have you? Yunho was taken off guard by Jaejoongs sudden question. Not yet ready to speak, he said nothing. Picking up on the silence, the young vampire continued with a heavy sigh. Pity. His eyes tired of the murky sky, and he lowered his gaze to stare out ahead of him. He waited here all this time just to see you. Yunho looked on at the raven-haired boy, somewhat forlornly, yet still apprehensive. He frowned, finding Jaejoongs speech a little awkward, as well.

He was talking in the strangest manner. Do you know why you cannot find him? Jaejoong asked again. At this, Yunho stared on in confusion at Jaejoong, whose back was still turned towards him. What are you talking about? You're hereIm looking right at you, Jae. You're standing right in front of me. The raven-haired boy raised an eyebrow. Are you sure about that? Appearances can be very deceiving, love. With that, he turned around to face Yunho. And so, their gazes met. However, Yunho almost felt his shoulders slump, as he stared back at the beautiful young man. He was sure that he felt a tinge of heartbreak, as well, if not just a little. For even though he was looking straight at Jaejoong, and he knew that, yes, it was Jaejoong that he was gazing upon he almost did not recognize him. Physically, it was him, but he seemed so changed, now, so different. His whole demeanour appeared to have changed completely. There was something so cold about it, so foreign, so unfamiliar. Looking into the dark brown of those eyes, Yunho instinctively knew that those were clearly not his lovers eyes. This was not the Jaejoong he knew, the Jaejoong that he loved. A crest had fallen, and he hardly knew the person that was staring back at him He knew that you would not like the images you have seen, the part of himself that he had tried to keep hidden from you. The young vampire began, gently. But before I brought you here, before you had seen everything... your heart had not changed. He paused for a moment, a look of perplexity in his eyes. Was Yunho not cursed, after all? His love for Jaejoong truly was? And it was genuine, very much so. The raven-haired boy studied Yunho, and try as he might, he could not sense the black rose curse around him, at all. A part of him released a tense breath and was very much relieved at this discovery. A slight smile overtook his lips. That would've made him very happy. He began, after a while. Jaejoonghe would've been very happy, knowing that the one he loved still, indeed, loved him... Yunho looked on at this Jaejoong, longingly. What happened to him? An earnest plea underlay his tone. Why are you doing all of this? Jaejoong looked away, his lips still in the same smile. The answer is simple, love. ... He thought otherwise. Yunho frowned. Otherwise? Yes. Jaejoong answered. He began to think that... perhaps you did not love him as he thought you did. This answer troubled Yunho.

Perhaps it was all just a lieand you had deceived him. The young vampire continued, his gaze transfixed on a burning building in the distance. Every moment that you two had spent together, each and every spoken word that left his lips, perhaps it was all in vain. He'd never think that. Oh? Jaejoong broke his gaze with the shambled building to look over at Yunho. An eyebrow was raised in contest. And how are you so sure of this? How are you so sure that he didnt think that, not even once? Because we all know that appearances are very, very deceiving. He stopped for a moment, a subtle thought forming in his mind. Or perhaps he's the one who has deceived you? Yunho did not, at all, appreciate these strange head games that were being played upon him. He hesitated before answering. After the passing of a moment, he offered an I don't believe you And why not? Jaejoong challenged. My word is far better than his. Or would you rather trust a liar? If anyone's a liar, it's you. Ah, ah, ah~ Jaejoong raised a hand up, wagging his index finger at the other man, as if scolding him for his naughtiness. Don't be so hasty to draw conclusions, love. You'll miss important details in the rush to completion. Yunho was quieted by that response, watching Jaejoongs hand fall to his side, once more. The young vampire gave Yunho a leering smirk. You think you're so clever. You've got us all figured out, haven't you? The book of vampires is one that you feel you've mastered, completely. ... But blood is thicker than water, love, far thicker. Did you honestly think that the fountain wouldn't run dry? He told him, snidely. Yunho found he was unable to answer. He stared back at Jaejoong, his cluttered thoughts colliding against each other, fighting a battle of dominance in his mind. You loved him more than you ought have. Jaejoong warned him, testily. And you trusted him far more than you should any vampire. Doing that, alone, you've made a grave mistake. It was silent between the two for several moments. Jaejoong looked towards Yunho with resentful eyes, while Yunho looked upon Jaejoong in angered disbelief, his last few words wreaking havoc in his thoughts. After all that

they had been through, how could he just say that? You know what, maybe I did, Jaejoong. He spoke up. And maybe I'm stupid for doing it, too. You're a vampire, and... maybe I made the biggest mistake thinking that you could ever be more than what you are. Jaejoong rolled his eyes, in aggravation. You're wasting your time And maybe I made the most foolish mistake ever for trying to reach out to you. Yunho continued, ardently. I'm an idiot 'cause I wanted to trust you. I wanted to look past all of this and see you for Jaejoong, the person that you are He can't hear you, Yunho You were human before you were a vampire! Oh, will you just let it go? Jaejoong snapped at him. Yunho was instantly silenced at his outburst, although still feeling very much angered and upset. He grit his teeth, as Jaejoong continued again. He thought otherwise, he stopped loving you, he doesn't love younot anymore. So, it's another broken promise. You're not the first to have your heart broken, Yunho. He said this to him in a considerably hurtful manner. You can either believe what I'm telling you, or you can just ask Jaejoong yourself. But tell me, where is he? You've been looking for him this whole time and did not find him. Instead, what have you found? Nothing. You've found absolute, utter nothing. The anger slowly began to dissipate, and Yunho felt it replaced with an air of loss. It hurt him even more to think that every spoken word that left Jaejoongs lips echoed tenors of truthundeniable, complete, unchallengeable truth Where is the vampire boy that you loved, Yunho? Jaejoong continued, in a taunting manner; his voice was slightly raised. Did you find him amongst the humans he killed and carelessly threw aside? Did you see him amidst the blackened pools of blood? Did you find him here at the center of all this chaosthe chaos he constructed from his own selfish, bleeding madness? Yunho found he could say nothing. All he could do was look back at Jaejoong, in defeat. He had lost the game ... You cannot find me. He made a point to look Yunho dead in the eye, as he said this. I am lost from you... forever, Yunho. Two naked bodies lay entangled with one another. A sheer, white curtain

enclosed the amorous space, keeping the lovers entrapped in sweet rapture. Deep, passionate kisses were treasured like drops of melting snow, riches known only to a broken heart... Jaejoong slowly began advancing towards Yunho. And forever... The young vampire left a trail of instructed kisses from Yunhos lips, down towards the warm skin of his neck. His lips ravished the sensitive skin before making their way down to the bare shoulder, and then down along Yunhos chest, tasting his lovers skin as he went. The moist of his tongue made contact with an erect nipple, and Yunho buried his fingers in the silken locks of Jaejoongs raven hair. He wanted to taste those lips again. As instructed, Jaejoong kissed his way up, slowly, to Yunhos awaiting lips. ... forever is such a long time. Jaejoong bit hard into the flesh of Yunhos bottom lipbut Yunho did not feel any pain. A trickle of his own bleed seeped from his wounded lip into his dry mouth. But, yet... The raven-haired boy drew his face away from Yunhos, and looked down into the face of his human lover. He saw the life drain from Yunhos eyes, and a lone teardrop falling quietly down the side of his face. ... how would forever seem like... Jaejoong smiled, caringly, at him and gently wiped the tear away. ... if I was to spend it... Helpless confusion lingered about Yunhos dying eyes. Jaejoong whispered to him, Sleep well, love. ... with you? Jaejoong stood just inches away from Yunho. He looked the other man in the eye, analyzing the dark brown that was once so similar to his own. He smirked. This was not an illusion. This was real. So real that Yunho could only feel a washed-over sense of regret, when Jaejoongs fangs plunged deep into the side of his neck.

He could no longer, but he did love him at a time. A time when he could see a human being, not by the blood that would sustain him, but by the love he would garner for him. He remembers that he loved him. But that was all: the fact that he did remember. He could no longer love the human in the way he had done before and he felt something close to remorse over it. Once more, he found his fingertips running themselves lightly across the side of Yunhos face, caressing the dead skin. All the while, Yunho continued to stare up at his lover through lifeless eyes, glassed over by a strange gamble of fate. Jaejoongs touch was gentle, and he felt comforted by the skin underneath his fingertips. FIN.

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