When I awoke on Saturday morning, I was alone. Haru was not there. I knew he had been when I drifted off to sleep, and I could only assume he watched me for a while as I slept. I guess he had gotten tired and went on home. I stretched and woke up my cellphone. No messages, no calls. Typical life for me. I often wondered what it would be like to be real popular, but in a way I was glad I wasn’t. At least this way there wasn’t someone always demanding my attention. I could take my time getting dressed , go downstairs and fix a light breakfast, all without someone calling to say, “Let’s hang.”
I thought I had heard mom in the kitchen, but when I got down there she was gone. I assumed she was avoiding me, because she didn’t want to feel guilty. The truth was, she should feel guilty, and not over me either. She should feel guilty for dad, for not wanting to visit him when she has the chance. Before I had much time to dwell on it, or even wonder where mom was, Haru arrived. He let himself in the back door, but I didn’t mind. He could make himself at home here in any shape or form, as far I was concerned.
“Hey gorgeous,” he said, wrapping me in his arms for a hug. I smiled. This was nice. Not just the embrace, but being called a cute name. No one ever used a pet name for me before. “Sleep okay?”
“Yeah. How long did you stay?”
“I was here most of the night. I used your shower again, hope you don’t mind.”
“No, not at all.”
The hug ended and he kissed me lightly on the cheek. I could feel his hair graze my face and it reminded me to ask him a question that had been at the front of my mind ever since we’d made out the other night.
“So, what’s the deal with your hair?” I asked.
“Your hair. When we first met it was pale blond, almost white. But the other night when we were kissing in your back yard it changed to my hair color.”
“You noticed that, huh?”
“Yeah. So what’s that about?”
“You don’t like it?”
“Oh, no, I like it. It’s just normally people don’t change their hair color without dye or a trip to the salon.”
He laughed. “Well, I couldn’t wait for all that. I needed to be like you.”
“You changed hair color because of me?”
“I wanted to be like…how do you say it? One and the same?”
I blushed. “You don’t have to be like me, Haru. I like you the way you are. You don’t have to change.”
“I know. But it was time. And speaking of which, isn’t it time for a road trip?”
I smiled. “Yes it is. Thanks for offering to take me, Haru. That means a lot.”
He leaned close. “I’m glad to do it.” He kissed my cheek. “I’ll wait for you outside.”
“No waiting. Let’s go,“ I said and followed him out the door. I didn’t yell for Mom to say goodbye or anything. Let her live with her own guilty ass.
I didn’t know what Haru would be driving, but the Hyundai was a little unexpected. After all, in all the vampire movies, videos, and books I had read, the vamps always had hot cars. Something flashy, sleek, fast, like one of those cars out of The Fast & the Furious. Not a gray tone Hyundai four door with dings and dents in the side. Seeing the slight damage, I began to wonder if it was safe to be going riding with him. But the fact he held the door open for me, and even strapped my seat belt, made all that worry pointless. He had to be the only guy I knew who could make putting your seat belt on feel sensuous. With his gentle hands pulling the belt and strapping it across my chest, his fingers making sure there were no twists in the fabric, even down to the slow click as he slid the buckle into place, I almost felt this was something like being undressed with the eyes. It was uncomfortable, but in a very nice and blushing kind of way.
Sliding into the driver’s seat, he took the same care in fastening himself in and it kind of disappointed me. He started the car and looked over at me. “I hope you know the way,“ he said.
I pulled out my cellphone. “GPS,“ I replied with a grin, and pulled up the bookmarked destination. “Just tell me when you are ready to start.”
He put his hand on my leg. “Ready,“ he said in a low voice. I felt the nerve in my leg jump, as if it were responding to his touch. Leaning over, he kissed a bare spot on my neck. “Set.” I felt the butterflies returning. His lips grazed my ear lobe and I closed my eyes. “Go,“ he whispered.
I pressed the start button on the GPS and heard it direct us to go down the street. I leaned forward in my seat as his mouth found the back of my neck, and it sent chills all over me. His lips did not leave my skin, but I felt the car moving, slowly rolling out the driveway and onto the pavement. The car did a slight lurch as we went down the road, and I wondered how he could drive with his playful mouth sucking at the nape of my neck. I made a low noise in my throat and the GPS said to turn right, so I did, my lips so desperate for Haru that I turned in my seat and nearly forced his mouth on mine. I braced myself for the crash, as I was sure we were going to hit something, but we never did. We rolled down the road, and then realizing he hadn’t followed the GPS’ directions, he pulled his face away and checked out the street before making the next right to get back on track. We both settled in our seats, feeling a little lighter, and smiling somewhat bigger than when we’d first got in the car.
“How far away is it?” he asked.
“Um, we should be there in about an hour. Maybe ninety minutes.”
“Cool. You want some tunes?”
“Yeah, that would be awesome. What you got?”
“CD’s are in the visor. Pick something out.”
I pulled the visor down and saw there were about a dozen CD’s in a binder strapped to it. I didn’t spend too much time looking through them, because Angela once told me guys want you to be more interested in them than their music collection. So I just grabbed one and slid it out of the binder. Before I put it in the deck, I glanced to see what it was. Across the surface of it were emblazoned the words “Keeper of the Flame.”Just under it, in bolder letters, was what I assumed was the name of the band, “The Hiatus.” I had never heard of them to be honest, but I slid it in the deck anyway. I really wanted to know all I could about Haru. Not just the romantic side of him, but all his likes and dislikes, his preferences in music, food, movies, books, everything. I never thought I’d meet someone I wanted to just drown myself in; to know all there was to know about them until they felt like my second skin. But here I was, with Haru driving down the road, listening to The Hiatus and trying to figure out where to catalogue this memory.
The CD itself sounded pretty good, and I cranked it up. It reminded me of early emo, but with a J-rock edge. “That one is called Thirst, “ Haru explained. “But my absolute favorite is the next track.”
I didn’t hesitate, but pressed the skip button on the deck so his song would come on. He started nodding his head, and rocking back and forth to the music. “This one is called Something Ever After,” he said.
I smiled. Just the title alone revealed Haru’s hopes and dreams to me. He was sensual, charismatic, an insatiable romantic who wanted a love just as forever as his vampirism. Or at least that’s what I hoped.
To Be Continued…
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.