“You really don’t have to do this,” Aiden said, as he tried to stand and put his hands on Jon’s shoulders, and held him at bay.
Jon merely smirked and returned the favor.
Just as he thought, it was only a few seconds before Aiden was done. Jon straightened his back and smiled.
Aiden’s cheeks, already flushed, went redder.
“I’m sorry,” Aiden said.
He grabbed his shirt and put it on as Jon stood before him, still nude.
“Why are you apologizing,” Jon said, “That, to me is the highest compliment to my skill and ability.”
Aiden chuckled. “Sure, that’s what it means. Not at all that I am a man-boy.”
Jon waved a hand and batted the harsh words out of the air.
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
Jon put on his boxer-brief underwear.
“Do you want something to eat?”
Aiden paused, his pants at his knees.
“I was thinking about going home. I don’t need anything.”
“Oh,” jon said, “Okay. Well, you’re also welcome to hang here for a little bit. Maybe watch some tv. Wait and see if my audience shows up for the show. If he doesn’t then we cancel.”
Aiden smiled and buttoned his pants.
“Tempting,” he said, “But I think I’m going to split.”
Aiden slid as quick as he could into his shoes. He always hated the awkward banter after the whole thing. It was worse for him because he never knew whether he should stay or go. That’s why he had made his mind up a long time ago, it’s better to just leave. He took what he needed and their transaction was complete. There was no sense in trying to make something out of nothing, and even if it turned into more how would that even work? He was cursed, since birth, before he was even conceived. His family line was blighted since Lucipher’s rebellion.
As Jon, bustled around his tiny kitchen, Aiden was half out the door.
“Later,” he said, flashing a furtive smile.
He shut the door and was halfway down the hall before Jon could reply.
He pulled out his phone and texted his brother Gavin Knuth.
“Where you at ho?” His fingers tapped out. Right as he was about to slip it back into his pocket the alert chime of a single bell sounded.
“Take a wild fuckin guess,” gavin had sent back.
Aiden smiled at the screen and slid the phone back into his pocket and headed down the stairs to the first floor, where he hailed a cab.
Sitting in the back he closed his eyes and breathed. He could feel Jon’s human essence, or what some would say soul, pulsing through his cold veins, sending tiny sparks of electricity through his body. He could feel himself stirring back to life and he loved it. It was irritating and exhilarating all at once. It felt like he wanted to run a mile in under a minute, or punch through a brick wall, but that was just the initial high. He had learned to not act on the instinct to overindulge in unnecessary activity. He’d use it up and have to find another to fill the hunger. While that was fine when he was in his early twenties, pushing thirty-three he wasn’t ready for the endless hunt. Or the fact that while he was some form of the undead, he was dead to most in the gay community.
The yellow cab dropped him off adjacent to the alleyway where Rogue was located. His usual haunt. It was the only place in New York that was made for him and his ilk, the damned.
As he walked inside he found it almost empty, apart from the bar-tender Lag, a sixty-year old ghoul, with long beard and dark skin. He busied himself counting the cash in the til, while behind him, moping over a half-empty pint of lager was Gavin. His unruly mop of hair hung wild around his face, illuminated by his phone.
Aiden slid onto the barstool next to his brother.
“I take it things aren’t going well?” Aiden said.
“Of course not,” Gavin said. He dropped his phone and took a swig of his.
Lag turned and regarded Aiden, who pointed at the pint and held up two fingers. Without a word the bartender brought two glasses filled to the top.
“You know, I’m really tired of this modern age woman who is okay with meeting up with dudes, but then ghosts him.”
“Isn’t that what you want?”
“Fuck, no,” Gavin slapped a hand onto the bar. “I want to find fucking love.”
“That’s not something awarded to us, Gav.”
“I don’t give a shit. I’m tired of this ‘cursed’ bull shit we’re peddled every day. I don’t believe my life is stuck to this endless parade of women. I want a wife. I want kids. I am so lonely.”
“You get that’s never going to be our life, right?”
“Maybe not for you.”
“Do you really want to further this along? You’d really want to make another incubus or a succubus?”
“We could adopt.”
Aiden rolled his eyes.
“I thought Dya was the girl. We were hitting it off and then,” Gavin cut his hand through the air, “She just disappeared. It’s the same fucking story. Either they come in hot and heavy and freak me out or they get scared and fade into digital obscurity.”
“I’m sorry,” Aiden said. He put an arm around his brother’s shoulder, and rested his head.
“I know what I am, what we get out of life but, I want more. We’re deserving of love, Aid.”
“Ya, but at what cost.”
“Here we go with the fucking common sense.”
“I don’t want to ruin your dream, I think we deserve better and we will, but you have to take into account we don’t get to have love. Never. A long term relationship only ends with the one you love turning into a hollow, soulless shell.”
“That’s only if you fuck.”
“Could you have that kind of relationship?”
“I get sex isn’t everything, but for us it kind of is. If we want to live at least.”
“Sometimes I think Erik had the right idea.” Gavin put a finger gun to his head and pulled the invisible trigger.
“Don’t say that. Please. You know how much his death almost killed mom.”
“Dad, almost killed mom.”
Aiden frowned and pulled his arm away from his brother.
“Sorry,” Gavin said. “I’m just in a mood. What’d you do tonight?”
Aiden shrugged and shook his head.
The two sat in silence.
Aiden wasn’t ready to tell his brother about his escapades. It nearly killed him when he found out that his little brother was a big ‘ol ‘mo in the first place.
The bar door slammed open and in strolled in Keisha, dressed head to toe in white.
“Whats going on, bitches,” she said, making a direct line to Aiden.
She wrapped him in a warm hug and took the spot next to him at the bar. Gesturing to Lag for drink of her own.
“How’re you this fine evening?” Aiden said, resting his chin on the palm of his hand.
“Tonight was the tits,” she said, “Trish, Angelica, and I all went out to High Bar for a few favors and a dance. It was incredible. The lads were gorgeous and honey I was beating them off. Well, not literally.”
“What mortal can avoid your mystique.”
“No one, my love.” She raised her eyebrows and winked.
The girl looked around Aiden at Gavin.
“Whats wrong with him? Lovesick moping again?”
“Oh, piss off, Gav. Go do something else. Do someone else. You’re tears are wasted. Have some fucking fun, you’re fucking immortal for Christ sake. I mean, oops,” Keisha put a hand over her mouth and smiled mischeviously.
Then the woman pulled up her small bag, dangling on a thin strap, and plopped it down onto the bar with a thud, whereupon she dug through it to find a cigarette. She pulled it out, lit it, got one drag before Lag turned around, grabbed it from her lips and tossed in the trash.
“You’re no fun.”
“I don’t want to lose my license,” Lag said, returning to his business, which had evolved into the scores in the sports section of the times.
“You’re not going to fucking believe who I ran into tonight?” Keisha said.
Aiden raised his eyebrows.
“A mob of fucking angels.”
“No way,” Aiden gasped. “Where?”
“At High Bar!”
“What were they doing there?”
“Fuck if I know. They showed up and me and the lasses got the fuck out of there. I don’t want to be around those schmarmy douchebags. Grinning with their perfect fucking teeth. Butter wouldn’t melt.”
Gavin leaned forward to peer around his brother, brushing his hair behind his ear.
“I heard tales that the angels are gearing up.”
Both Aiden and Keisha stared back perplexed.
“For the rapture? Judgment day.”
“Please, they’ve been saying that one since this ridiculous country was founded. Don’t tell me you’re buying into it.”
Gavin shrugged and sat back to return to mope.
Aiden stared forward. He had heard from his grandfather once tell them that when the angels arrived to start the rapture it was their time to end. It was foreseen by some ancient angelic deity that the winner of the war of souls would be God, and he would finally bring down his retribution upon Lucipher for bringing about the rebellion. He could still hear his grandfather groan and say “if he was so powerful in the first place why didn’t he just end him then and there. God is all about the show. The pomp and circumstance. He’s a fraud.”
He was doubly damned, at least maybe being a sexual soul sucker he could be forgiven by penance or sacrifice. But nothing could ever wash away the sin of choice to choose his life as a gay man, or at least that was what he had been peddled in his youth. There was nothing worse than the shame faith and religion brought to those unlike them. Their message was one about conformity and obedience. The damned were those of freedom and mistakes. Yet they were damned.
These worries were nothing to concern himself with. Like Keisha had said, it was rumored to happen every decade for as long as time had existed. It was just brought up every millennia to revamp God’s failing hold over human kind, and to bring about the fear in the damned.
“Where’d you go, love?” Keisha put a hand on Aiden’s shoulder.
He smiled and shook his head.
“thinking about cock again?”
“Jesus, Keisha,” gavin growled.
“Oh, fuckin come down from your high horse, you dick. You’re a goddamn incubus.”