James was surprised when the now young Logan waked him. He looked only

slightly older then the young man James remembered. 'Logan?'

'Yes James?' Logan answered even though he knew the question.

'What happened to you?'

'I fed. I fed off the blood of victims. It has given me back my strength

and youth but now I'm cursed again. It will be three months before I can

see the sun again.'

'Why?'

'Why, because I love a man who needs me and because you need me too.'

'What's going on Logan? You said you would explain it to me.'

'As I said, you're a vampire's bride. Long ago, thousands of years to be

not too precise. The pl4anet was populated by three people: humans,

vampires, and what became know as vampires' brides. Humans were by far the

most populous, brides the fewest in numbers. While the origins of the

Vampires is not know everyone knows how they are created, by the taking and

giving of blood between victim and feeder. The brides were first noticed

in that they attracted vampires like bees to honey. It did not take long

for the vampires to try to turn them. It was then a great surprise that

the brides were immune to a vampires bite. Not only that but the blood of

a bride restored vampires's ability to produce their own blood and not

feed. The vampire world at first celebrated in finding of a cure to their

curse but soon jealousy arose among the clans. There were never enough

brides to meet the demand. While new vampires are easily created, brides

are born. It soon became a problem that the bride's companion would not

allow their brides to take a female lover and have children. No new brides

were being born and while the vampire's blood gave them long life the

violence of our lives cut into their numbers. Within a few generations,

the brides had almost died out. The fighting among the clans grew worse

and the brides suffered for it. When too many of their lovers had been

killed, the brides, in an act of grief, killed themselves. The shock of

loosing their brides ended the fighting between the clans and a cold peace

ensued.

'What does this mean for me.'

'The clans now know of you and the fighting has already begun. All the

lessons we learned from the last war have been thrown out the window. The

strong clans each want you while the weaker ones are selling their support

to the highest bidder. The firm, the firm is like Belgium right before

WWII, its suppose to be neutral but no great power respects its neutrality.

The firm can't protect you. I come from a large clan but not one of the

top five.' Logan said soberly before continuing. 'James... how do you

feel about Jason.'

'I see him as a friend. I know he had feelings for me.'

'James, Jason is a high ranking member of the Vox clan. They are one of

the strongest clans and one of the few that has power in both America and

Europe.'

'Are you saying that his clan has the power to protect my family.'

'Nothing is for certain but if one can, it is one of the few that can.'

'What of my children.'

'I have a plan for that...'

James felt as if he was getting married again. Everyone, including himself

were dressed up in dated formal wear coattails an all. It was going to be

a mixture of betrothal and peace treaty involving all the clans. He knew

he would be taking away some of his children's freedom but at least they

would be safe.

He entered the top floorboard room where the heads of the clans sat around

the circular table. Some seem pleased to see him others though were less

then happy. The balance of power between the clans was at risk. James

only hoped the plan he and Logan set up would solve it.

After bowing his head to the clans, James began. 'A millennium ago the

clans fought over the brides to their destruction. Now my family and I

have appeared and once again the clans have entered into a new cycle of

death. I can not have my family destroyed by your infighting so I have no

choice but take the decision away from you.' James stopped for a moment

before continuing. 'I have accepted the courtship of Jason Vox under

specific terms which his and this allied clans have agreed to.' To this

there was some mumbling but James continued. According to the agreement,

at the time of my death, I will become husband to Jason Vox. It is also

agreed that Will Gather will become husband to Thomas Gilmer. Logan Worth

and his clan will become guardians for my self and the children. In

according to the agreement the Vox, Worth, Gilmer and their ally clans

swear an oath of protection to my family. Any attempt to harm or kidnap a

member of my family will be n act of war against these clans. As you might

of noticed, these clans represent a majority of the strongest clans.'

'What of your children, you can't demand that they never take husbands.' A

voice shouted out followed by supporting grumbles.

James raised a hand to silence them. 'My children... My children and the

generations that follow you will leave alone. After their 18st birthday, a

clan sworn to protecting the family may petition to court my decedents. At

the moment of my sons' deaths they can be claimed and given the CHOICE of

taking a husband. This way my children are given a chance to live their

own lives, and have families.' James did not need to mention 'having more

children' he could tell by the faces of the clans that they understood

this.

While Jason knew ahead what James was going to say, tears were running down

his face. James was going to marry him one day. He knew that they had not

known each other long enough to form the foundation of a strong marriage.

The agreement required that he stay away from James until he was on his

deathbed but Jason planed on writing him often to convince James that he

had made the right decision.

Sixteen years later:

Chris had just gotten his hands on the ball when he saw 260 pounds racing

towards him. He knew he was going to take a hit, he was faster then most

defensive men but the tackle had momentum to his advantage. Chris began

running to the goal knowing the man was close on his tail. He got so close

that Chris felt the tip of his fingers try to grasp him from behind. It

was then that he felt a friend approaching. At that moment he heard a

crunch sound and the man who had been chasing him feel to the ground.

Within seconds he reached the goal, touchdown.

The crowds in the stands rushed thee field. The team had just won the

regional championship. Chris was raised up on his teammates shoulders as

the one who took down the tackle, his best friend David. The two men were

brought together where they preceded to high-five each other.

After they had showered and dressed for a night on the town Chris and David

met up with their pal Josh. Josh like David was a senior while Chris was a

junior. While Chris was younger then they were they always included Chris.

They had been the three musketeers since preschool, best buddies. While

David was the recognized leader of the pack Chris was number two. Where

Josh was David's pal, Chris was David's favorite little brother, at least

that's how it appeared to outsiders. The three of them had joined the boy

scouts together, gotten their eagle together, they seemed to be always

sleeping over at each other's houses. They even had their wisdom teeth

removed at the same time. There was a deep bond of friendship between the

three that was about to get more complicated.

Their plans were to take their girlfriends out to dinner, drop them off

home before going over to Josh's house to spend the night. Dinner was at a

small Italian restaurant with the three of them. Chris was dating Karen,

had been since junior high. They were the schools ideal couple of virtue

for while everyone knew that they loved each other they also knew that they

had kept their virginity intact, a rare feat for today's high school

student. David was on girlfriend number 7 for the year at it was still

only autumn. It seemed that David would date the whole school before he

graduated. Chris had trouble keeping up with the names of them all but

believed that the flavor of the month was Patricia, a girl David had gone

out with once before in his sophomore year

While Chris would sometimes feel sorry for David's dates he knew that no

girl took a date from David seriously. He was more of a free date, a

chance to have some fun not, to form a serious relationship or as serious

as a high school kid can have. He could also understand why girls found

David attractive. He was a blond blue eye all American boy with perfect

pale skin, broad shoulders, flat stomach, and legs that spoke of his off

season soccer play. He had a face that even the mothers found hard to

resist and an earnest smile that gained the fathers' trust.

Josh, on the other hand was the mad scientist of the group, a tall, thin

wiry man with black hair. His well muscled body came from his being a part

of the swim team and David's insistence that the three of them weight train

together but very few people noticed it in part of Josh being shy but also

due to his habit of wearing baggy clothing that hid the body underneath.

Josh rarely dated and when he did it was only because David set it up for

him. From David Josh looked for leadership and guidance. From Chris, Josh

gained a best buddy who gave him emotional support that he badly needed.

Josh came from a broken home. His father had left the family and his

mother turned to the booze, boyfriends, and abuse of Josh in response.

Back in elementary school Chris had gone to his father about the bruises

Josh seemed to always have. Chris's dad had then gone to uncle Logan who

got Josh placed into a rare loving foster home run my a grandmotherly woman

who was now in her early sixties. While grandma Mary as she was called

provided motherly support, Uncle Logan took it upon himself to be the boy's

father figure. He taught Josh how to swim, fish, shave, and drive. He

even bought Josh his car, a forest green jeep that was Josh's pride and

joy. Tonight Josh was without a date but seemed just as happy being with

the gang of friends that meant the most to him.

'Josh I showed my friend Jessica your swim team photo and she's dying to

meet you.' Karen mentioned think Josh was feeling lonely.

Josh's only response was the redness that now shown on his face.'

'Oh Karen you shouldn't embarrass him like that.' Patricia scolded.

'I just don't like seeing you alone Josh.'

'I'm not alone, I'm here with you guys.' Josh weakly defended.

'You know that's not what I mean, your one of the sweetest guys I know, you

just have to let girls to get to know you.'

'That and change your wardrobe.' David laughed, 'You should be proud of

your body, not hiding it.'

'Hey lighten up on Josh, as long as he's happy I like him the way he is.'

Chris defended his pal.

'Here here, David joined in before raising his glass.'

'Are you happy Josh?' Karen asked.

'I couldn't be happier.' Joshed said more energetically then anything he

had said that night before David whispered something in his ear which gave

Josh a giant grin.

'Well I think its time to call it a night.' David quipped

'Oh I know, you guys just want to hurry off to do your own thing.' Patricia

whined.

'When will we be invited over for a sleep over.' Karen added

'When you grow a dick.' Josh said under his breath

'What was that Josh?'

'Nothing.'

After dropping the girls off they piled into Josh's jeep and headed over to

his house.

'You're not unhappy are you Josh?' Chris asked concerned

'No!, Its just... Its just I like things just with the three of us like

when we were young. The girls are nice and all but they don't mean as much

to me as both of you do.'

'I just don't want you to cut yourself short Josh. People like you. I

just wished you could see that.'

'I do but...'

'But?' David prodded.

'I...I...I love you guys. If that makes me a fag so be it but I love you

both. I feel married to both of you. Dating other people just

feels... just feels so wrong, like I'm betraying you by seeing other

people.

By this time the car had stopped on the side of the road. Josh was in

tears, Chris was in shock, but David, cool David looked like he had

expected this statement. 'And we love you too Josh.' David said with

conviction as he lifted Josh's face into a passionate kiss.

For the first time that Chris could remember, Chris felt outside of the

group. While he whole heartedly agreed that he loved both David and Josh,

he did not know that the love of the other's was also physical. This shock

must have shown on his face because David ceased kissing Josh and turned

his gaze on Chris who was in the backseat.

'I'm sorry if we surprised you, I just have felt this way for a long

time... When Josh announced he felt the same way I just had to act on it.'

'How long have you known?'

'I guess forever. I've loved both of you since we meet in preschool. You

all were the friends who became my best friends and now my emotional

loves.'

'Josh?'

'You and David have always been there for me. When my mother was wasted

and my father gone, I could always turn to each of you for support. I've

always felt more attracted to men then women and since y'all meant so much

to me, each of you were my sexual fantasy. I was just too afraid to let

you know. I feared being rejected.'

'We don't reject you Josh we love you too.' David said in support.

'Chris?' Josh looked concerned

'I love you guys, I just... I just don't know if its in this way.' Chris

said with great difficulty.

'Its ok Chris, we're not pressing you to do anything your not comfortable

with. Just know that we love you.

Chris nodded that he understood but he could see the hurt in Josh's face.

He knew that he had hurt them. He wished he knew a way of fixing it.

Grandma Mary knew that something was up when they arrived at the house.

Usually when they came over, they were like a herd of elephants. This time

they were like the walking dead. Mary tried to find out what happened but

Josh and the gang excused themselves to his room.

Because they were over so much, Mary had squeezed in three beds into the

room. Each of them also shared a dresser and a small closet where they

kept cloths. In the bathroom adjoining the room they each had their own

kit of toothbrushes, combs, and deodorant. As soon as they entered the

room, josh went to the bathroom and locked himself in.

After trying to get Josh to open up Chris begged David for help. 'What am

I to do David? He wont talk to me.'

'He'll be alright, its you that I'm worried about. I don't want to loose

you over this.'

'David both of you are my best friends regardless of your sexuality.'

'That's not what I'm talking about and you know it!'

'David?'

'Do you feel any attraction to me and Josh?' David insisted.

'I love both of you.'

'Yes, but can you LOVE us. Make LOVE to us.

Chris just stood in silence.

David walked over to Chris and kissed him on the forehead. 'We will always

love you Chris but I think you need to leave now.'

Those words were the most painful Chris had ever heard in his life. He was

able to hold back the tears long enough to call his father to pick him up

and stumble to his own bed where he cried himself to sleep.

James knew something serious had happened when his son had asked to be

picked up. In their long history, Chris and his friends had never gotten

into a fight that required the other to leave. He knew that come Saturday

morning he would have to have a sit down with his son.

That morning Nathan and Landon both woke up early to eat breakfast and get

to their tennis practice. James waited until 10:00 before going to his

son's room. Chris was a wreck. He was still dressed in the same cloths as

the night before. His eyes were puffy and red from crying while his face

was blotchy.

'Chris, do you want to talk about it.' James said, not even needing to ask

if anything was wrong.

'They're in love with me.' Chris whimpered.

'Yes I know.'

'How?'

'Son, if you stand next to a mirror, you should look at how people look at

you, it tells you a lot about how they feel. Josh always looked at you

like a lovesick puppy. David, well David looked at you like you were his

husband. Both of them love you deeply, I though was never sure if you

shared the same feelings.'

'But I do love them...'

'But not in that way.' James completed

'Chris it is time I told you something. I've have had sex with a man

before also. In fact one day I will marry one.'

'What!?'

'You know your uncle Logan, he and I have a special relationship that got

physical in the past.'

'You mean you're in love with uncle Logan?'

'Yes and no. I love Logan but not in that way. He is more of a fatherly

figure to me.'

'Then who is this man your going to marry.'

'Well that wont happen for a long time but, I'm betrothed to a man named

Jason Vox.'

'Betrothed? Isn't that a little 16th century.'

'Yes it is but its part of our heritage.'

'I don't understand?'

'Chris our family is different. We attract the attention of other men,

special men.'

'What do you mean special men. You mean gay men don't you.'

'The men are gay but they're something else. You notice how your uncle

Logan only shows up at night.'

'Yes, you told me he works nights.'

'Yes he only works nights because he only can work nights. Logan is a

vampire.'

'You're joking, right?' Chris laughed nervously

'No, I'm not.'

'Vampires aren't real!'

'They are and one day you will fall in love with one.'

'NO!'

'I'm sorry son, I did the best I could for you and your brother's but it's

our fate.'

'I don't believe you!' Chris shouted at his father as he left the room.

Chris stayed in his bedroom and was left alone until nightfall when there

was a knock on the door. Chris did not even need to see the person's face

to know it was uncle Logan.

'I heard you were giving you father a hard time.'

'He's lying to me!'

'No, he is not.'

'How can you be a vampire.'

'I just am, look at me Chris.'

Chris looked into Logan's eyes and saw a red glow. 'Its true.'

'Yes'

'All of it?'

'Yes, one day you will fall in love with a vampire, your soul mate.'

'What makes me so special.'

'Come here Chris.'

Chris obeyed and was surprised when Logan grabbed him and pulled him into a

kiss. Something salty and bitter entered his mouth, dripped down his

throat and into his stomach. Soon he felt his veins on fire and his

muscles relax. It was then that he realized that it was blood being feed

to him.

After several minuets Logan released the kiss and laid the relaxed Chris on

the bed. 'Look at yourself in the mirror Chris when your ready then meet

us downstairs.'

Chris rested for several minutes until he rose out of bed; he looked at

himself in the mirror and into his now blue eyes.

Chris slowly walked down the stairs into the den where his father and two

brothers now sat. Each of them had glowing blue eyes.

'Cool bro.' Nathan shouted. 'You can finally get rid of your night light.'

'I don't have a night light jack ass.' Chris retorted before slugging his

brother on the shoulder and plopping down in a chair.

'Cut it out boys.' James said from the dreaded 'dad' chair, the chair that

he always gave his lectures from.

'Where did uncle Logan go.' Landon wondered openly.

'Well feeding all four of us has given him quite an appetite.'

'You mean he's out killing.' Chris said darkly

'Not if he can help it but yes.' James said morosely.

His father's tone gave Chris an insight into his father's view. 'You don't

like them do you?'

'No, I just don't like them hurting and killing that's all. But that's

what we're supposed to solve.'

'What do you mean dad?' Landon asked.

'Our blood is the closest thing to a cure for vampirism. It allows them to

walk in daylight AND keep their strength and powers.'

'Cool!' Nathan whistled

'Yeah you could say that.'

'Why dad do you seem so miffed about it?' asked Nathan

'Because what it means for you all. Your lives while protected by the

vampires are also horse traded by them as well. When I take to my deathbed

they will come for me as they will come for each of you. It was the best I

could do for you all. You will have one mortal life to live as you choose

but then you will have to spend eternity as a bride to the vampires.'

'But you get to live forever.' Nathan said missing his father's point.

'Yes you do but you run the risk of being trapped in a loveless marriage.'

'Do you know who you will marry Dad?'

'Yes I do.'

'Do you hate him?' Chris asked

'No, in fact I love him. It's just that... Nothing in life is guaranteed.

Just because I found love does not mean you will. I just fear that not all

of you will find true love. Living forever without love is as close to

hell on Earth as I can think of.'

'All we need is each other though, right.' Nathan said optimistically

'You mean all you need is Landon, don't you.' Chris smirked

'We're twins, of course we're close.'

'Just sometimes too much.' James said darkly.

An expression of fear and nervousness showed on the twins' faces. 'Dad

your not disappointed with us?' was what they both said at the same time

but everyone knew that what they were saying was 'Dad, do you still love

us?'

James motioned the twins to him and placed a hand on each head. 'I know

both of you are close to each other and while I don't like the idea of what

you two are doing I know each of you do it because you love each other.'

'We're sorry dad.' The two cried.

'It's part of your blood. You two always showed the gift.'

'What gift?' Chris entered the conversation.

'We are all empaths. We are sensitive to other peoples emotions.'

'I never felt that.'

'Yes Chris, I know.'

'Why?'

'Because you were too sensitive. I had Logan teach me how to block your

talents because they were too dangerous for you. If someone died in your

presence you might have been sucked into death with them.'

'What about now?'

'I think its time that I slowly set your gift free. You'll be away at

college soon and I wont be around to block it any more.'

'What do I have to do?'

'Come here.'

Nathan and Landon moved so they were now standing behind their father as

Chris walked to him. 'I know this will sound so preschool to you but you

need to sit on my lap.'

Six foot 3 inch Chris sat on his slightly shorter father. James then

wrapped his arms around him as if he were cradling an infant.

'I remember this.' Chris whispered.

'Yes son I know. As a baby you were always most calm when I held you.'

'I miss this.' Chris was about to say when he felt tears running down his

face but these tears were not of sadness nor not really happiness but of

fulfillment. He felt a door opening in his mind letting in the love his

father and two brother's felt for him. The door was not opened all the way

but allowed a ray of light to enter. He had always known that his family

loved him but now he could actually feel what that love was, feel it in its

pure emotional form. He closed his eyes and rested his head against his

father's neck while his two brothers wrapped their arms around him, forming

a family group hug.

'Its good to have you back Chris.' Landon sighed.

'Its good to be back.' Chris returned.

 

trandar

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