Blackrose gasped. She covered her mouth. Kai showed no sign of acknowledging the noise.
“I have the power to enter your dreams, your heart, and your mind. I hunger for love, Mike. I thrive on it.”
Kai’s smile faded. He stared into Mike’s eyes. Kai pounced on Mike and bit into his neck. He ripped the flesh clean off the bone and swallowed. Mike fell to the floor, dead. The poor lad didn’t even have time to scream. The other three boys, however, did.
“But I can live off human flesh too.” The incubus’s eyes fell on the panicking children. The boys screamed and cried, but their bodies didn’t move. Kai released an otherworldly roar. It sounded much like a lion’s roar melded with a crow’s cry. The incubus tackled the boys and tore their hearts out to feast. Splatter blood consumed the room and a red pool gathered at the monster’s feet.
Walter’s gag reflex kicked in. He dry heaved and coughed up blood.
Kai snapped his head up. Gabe, Blackrose, and Walter’s eyes widened like a deer in head lights. Gabe started to hyperventilate. Blackrose grabbed the boys and started to run. “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!
Kai stepped out from a corner in front of them. His clothes were soaked in blood. “You weren’t supposed to see that, Gabe.”
“You murdered them,” Gabe swatched the blood dripping from Kai’s lips. “You ate them!”
“All for you, Gabe. I would do anything for you.”
“Why would I want that?!”
“For your happiness. They bullied you.”
“That’s not the way to do it.”
Kai cocked his head, “But they will no longer bother you. This is proof that I am here for you.”
“I don’t want a friend like you.” Gabe helped support Walter’s weight. “I’ve got to help my real friend home.” Gabe surprised himself with how calmly he was talking. He glanced at Blackrose.
“I’m disappointed, Gabe. They aren’t your real friends. I’m all you need.”
“I don’t need a monster for a friend.”
“Look at the guts on you. When did you turn into such a badass?” Walter laughed until he started coughing and hacking blood.
“Not now, Walt,” Gabe whispered. He worried Walt was becoming hysterical.
Kai smiled. The creepy way his lips formed around his teeth made the three teens step back instinctively. “You summoned this monster, Gabe. You and that bag of bones you call a friend. We are bonded. You are mine.”
The pieces clicked. Gabe scoffed. “You’re the one making him sick, aren’t you?”
“What?” Walter tried to stand straight but stumbled back. “How is this bastard making me feel like this?”
“An incubus is not of this… physical world. We need an anchor to remain. To do that, I need energy. Life.” Kaither looked down at Walter. “I must have his life energy until I have eaten enough from human to stay materialized in this world.”
“What if you don’t?”
“Then he will die while I live.”
The three froze. Gabe pushed Walter behind him. “I won’t let that happen.”
A devil’s tail appeared. Kai flipped his dark hair back and looked down at the three. “Such a pity. I dislike your resistance. We could be firm friends, Gabe.” He focused on Walter and Blackrose. “Perhaps these two are the problem. For some reason, you think they free you from your loneliness.”
Kai smirked. “But people always leave, right, Gabe?”
Gabe grew quiet. Blackrose came to his side. “But sometimes, they come back.”
Kai’s smirk faded. “Is that so?”
“He’s not alone anymore.”
A snarl escaped Kai’s lips. “You’re right. I’m here.” Kai lunged toward her. Gabe threw himself between. The two tumbled to the floor. “Blackrose! Run!”
Blackrose and Walter ran up the basement stairs.
“They won’t escape.” Kai jumped to his feet.
Gabe grabbed Kai’s ankle. “Leave them alone!”
“Let me go, Gabe.”
“Then you give me no choice.” Kai tapped Gabe’s forehead. A blinding light filled Gabe’s vision. He felt like he was thrown into a pool of water. His chest constricted like he was drowning. “Sleep.”
Cold air pricked Gabe’s skin. He stood in the same velvety blackness as his dream last night. It felt different this time. He felt trapped.
Gabe held his hand out only to feel nothing. There was nothing but cold in this abyss; and emptiness.
His voice echoed in the abyss. No one was around. He knew that. He could feel it in his soul. He was alone.
“So dark. So alone.” Kai materialized out of the darkness. “This is your deepest fear, Gabe.”
“How are you able to do this?”
“I’ve told you. We are bonded. I know all of your fears. I can dive into your subconscious and I can force you to relive your darkest pains.
Kai snapped his fingers. An ebony-skinned hand ran down Kai’s shoulder. A dark-toned woman stepped out from behind. Her curly hair gently fell onto her shoulders.
Kai stroked her cheek. “She is beautiful.”
“Don’t touch her.”
“A shame she is not your real mother.” Kai looked past Gabe.
Gabe turned to see his real mother standing behind him. His breath caught in his throat. He reached out to touch her. He had only seen pictures of her.
“Your real mother died giving birth to you. She was the first one who knew that you were a plague among the humans. And so she escaped. She allowed herself to slip into that peaceful sleep because it meant not having to care for you.”
“Those are lies.” Gabe couldn’t help the tears building up in his eyes.
“You are the reason your father is in prison too. You killed your mother and he was devastated. Taking care of you, dealing with his guilt, and living in this unforgiving world left him no choice. He became a thief to make ends meet.” Kai smiled. “But all thieves get caught eventually.”
“You blamed yourself for both of their misfortunes. And you were right. You’re a curse. Even your adoptive father paid the price.”
“That was an accident. His car flipped.”
“Because you ran away and he went out to search for you.”
Tears ran down Gabe’s cheeks. “Stop it.”
“You know people get hurt around you. It’s why you always chose to stay alone. Anyone who gets close to you gets hurt. Your friendship with Walter ended because you caused his misfortune. And you knew it. He may have put up defensive barriers around you, but you went away because you knew he would only get hurt more if you stayed.”
“It’s not true.”
“People always leave is really people always get hurt around me.” Kai slowly approached Gabe. “But I won’t. I see the light in you. I will never leave. You can’t hurt me.”
“I will. I want to.”
“There is nothing you can do.”
“None of this real.”
Kai put his hand on Gabe’s shoulder. “I am here.”
Gabe covered his ears and closed his eyes. “No! I hate you! I reject you! Hear me, Kaither! I reject you!”
“Ready or not, here I come.”
Blackrose and Walter ran down the hall. They pushed through the crowded halls. “Everyone! Run!”
A girl screamed.
Blackrose looked back. Blood had splattered over a set of lockers. The hall turned into a stampede as kids ran from source. Blackrose met Kai’s wild eyes. The incubus bit down on his victim. He threw the corpse aside and made his way toward them.
Kai grabbed another student and tore into him. “I will feed on you all and remain in this world.”
The herd of students knocked Blackrose and Walter onto the ground. They were kicked and stepped on. Kai stood over them.
“Please…” Walter begged, “Don’t eat us.”
Kai picked Walter off the ground. “Don’t worry. You’re of no concern.” He tossed Walter aside.
Blackrose dragged herself a few feet away. “Gabe…”
“My only concern is to get this thorn out of Gabe’s life.” Kai opened his mouth. Blackrose stared at the razor-sharp teeth.
Kai stopped. He spun around.
Gabe walked confidently toward them. “You will not harm her, Kai.”
Kai roared. His otherworldly scream echoed through the hall.
“I figured it out, Kai. You can no longer harm anyone.”
Walter tried to pick himself up. “What’s going on?”
“Names have power, right? Every time you called someone’s name, you seemed to have some kind of control over them. Knowing someone’s name givesgive you power over them. But the same is true to you. If someone knows your name, then they control you too.”
Kai chuckled. “Yet it has not worked for you.”
A smug smile came to Gabe’s lips. “I never called you by your name. But you had to tell me. It’s part of our bond. We must know each other’s name. You told me last night.” Kai grew quiet. “So I banish you now. You will return to wherever you came from and you will never return.”
“Don’t do this, Gabe.” Fear filled Kai’s eyes. “I beg you, don’t return me to the darkness.”
“But it’s where you thrive. So return there. Starting right now, I banish you, Kaither, from this world!”
A blinding light flashed throughout the hall.
The light dissipated. Gabe walked over to Blackrose and helped her to her feet. “Hi.”
Blackrose smiled. “You really are a magnet for the strange.”
“A little help over here, lovebirds?” Walter groaned.
Gabe and Blackrose helped Walter up. They stared at the carnage left. The school now looked like a slaughterhouse.
“What’s going to happen now,” Blackrose asked. “How do we explain this?”
Gabe smiled. “I think whatever happens, we’ll be able to handle it. Together.”
“Nah, I think I’m going to go back to ignoring you,” Walter joked.
Gabe smacked his arm. “Seriously, I couldn’t have done it without you two.”
Blackrose shrugged. “Seemed like you had it all handled.”
“No. Because with you two around I wasn’t alone. I was stronger than I had ever been.”
“Well, this team happened to stop a monster. I think we all earned a well-deserved rest.”
I think after a good night’s rest, I will be up and about in no time,” Walter said. “In other words, let’s get the hell out of here and head home.” He looked at Gabe and Blackrose and smiled. “Together.”
Gabe scoffed. “Oh please, you just want us to help carry you home.”
“Damn straight. Let’s go.”