Different World | Chapter Seven
Word count: 2500+
Date posted: July 23, 2021
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Note: I am literally vibrating with how excited I am to finally get into the tension of this fic. We’re going in deep, folks! Also, this is around the halfway point!! It’s unlikely that I am going to format the fic any differently than I already have it in my outline, so we’re around halfway done, boyos!
You let out a small scream when Marko placed his hands forcefully on your shoulders and yelled close to your ear.
“Marko,” you hollered as you allowed Laddie to climb off of you. Marko howled with laughter, seeing as his mission to scare you was a success.
“What, are you scared of little ‘ole me?” You smiled but shook your head.
“Hate to break it to you, bud, but you aren’t the scariest thing out tonight; David is.” Paul guffawed at what overheard, offended that he was not the topic of your conversation. He shook his head violently, shaking off the rest of both the adrenaline high and literal high that he got from the hunt. His already-messy head of hair became much fluffier.
“You're scared of me?” David stopped for a moment before passing you. You did not give him the time of day and answer his empty question; he knew he was unnerving. “We're friends, right? Isn’t that what you said?” You also knew that he wanted you to answer and you refused to feed his ever-growing ego. Asshole.
Dwayne approached you and nodded towards where the bikes were parked.
“Let’s go,” he said, waiting for you to start walking before he did.
“Are we heading back,” you pried. It was still pretty early in the night.
“Yeah. We’re just going to hang in the cave tonight.” You shrugged and breathed in the refreshing ocean air.
“Fine with me.”
When you returned to the hotel, it was not the quiet night that you expected it to be. Everyone seemed on edge and was trying their best to distract themselves. Of course, you had been thrown into the mixer; there was not much privacy in the case. You tried to take a step back as best you could, not wanting to get involved in their internal dilemmas in the midst of dealing with your own time-dimensional-traveler-person problems, but no dice; your attention seemed like the distraction they craved. Maybe it was because they expected something from you as their resident, human distractor. Dinner was tense that night.
The chaos did not end for you when everyone had gone to bed. The lack of sleep was driving you insane. For some reason, you were still unable to completely switch to sleeping during the day, even though you have been in Santa Carla long enough for you to get used to it. During the first couple of days, you had tolerated it, but almost a month has now passed and it was becoming maddening and you noticed how you were more irate. You were able to eventually fall asleep, but it was not enough to sustain you during the night. You constantly felt as if you were dragging around a mass of limbs as the exhaustion occasionally got the best of you.
As the sun dipped below the horizon into the next night, you could feel tension brewing between everyone. You arrived at the boardwalk on Paul's bike.
And you arrived with a mission. This was not going to be a night where you wander around for hours to find something to entertain yourself with or tolerate the hijinks of four vampires with the maturity level of a pubescent twelve year-old—some more than others—but a night where you planned to leave with another eventual addition to your group. You could feel and hear your heart pounding as the bikes’ engines quieted.
“You scared,” Marko questioned as turned his head to look at you on Paul’s bike. "Need someone to keep you safe?" You crossed your arms. He expected you to say something sarcastic or witty, to break the serious atmosphere, but you merely looked at him bitterly before looking out into the crowd. You knew he was just trying to lighten the somber mood, but you could not bring yourself to help him; the pit in your stomach was too prevalent to be ignored. You licked your lips nervously. Paul turned and put his arm around your waist.
“I got you, babe.” For once, Paul seemed genuine. Well, he was always genuine, but this felt less like flirting and more like a statement that he meant wholeheartedly. It made you feel somewhat better, if only for a moment. You slipped out of his arms and stood, scanning the people.
“David, please tell me that there is a plan,” you begged as he walked up beside you.
“The plan is for Star to be a lure. He already took an interest in her, so this should be a piece of cake.” You glance at Star, worried. For a moment, you thought about offering to take her place, but you stayed quiet.
“And if this cake doesn’t rise?” For a moment, David had to think. This man had clearly never baked a cake before in his undead life, but he got the gist of what you were saying.
“It’ll rise.” While his usual cocky air annoyed you to no end, it read as confidence at this moment and was enough to allow you to relax your shoulders.
The safest thing to do was to not damage the plot any more than you already have. And if that means you must shake your leg nervously as you wait for Star’s return, so be it. You could not risk flipping the story on its head by changing anything major for the sake of your survival.
You gave Star a reassuring smile, which she returned, seeing how nervous you were. Hell, they were all nervous, though none of them would admit to it; they had a reputation to uphold around these parts and would not dare look the slightest bit vulnerable.
Star departed, on her way to find the guy she had bumped into the night before, and you stayed behind with the boys. You wondered about how she was going to use his regard towards her to her advantage. With a heavy sigh, you sat up on the railing and hung your head. God, you were so tired.
“I meant it, you know.” Paul leaned against the railing, putting his weight on one elbow and facing you. You looked up at him and raised an eyebrow.
“When I said that I’ve got you.” You nodded, giving him an appreciative smile. “You looked scared.” You exhaled.
“Thank you, Paul. And I know. There is no need to go all serious on me.” You leaned in closer to him with a smirk. “Not a hot look for you.” His laid-back smugness returned with your joke, though you were sure that he took it at least somewhat seriously. He smiled and put his arm around your waist once again before stepping closer. You did not push him away this time.
“Good.” You scoffed and broke the meaningful eye contact between you, but leaned into him, resting your elbow and chin on his head. Your eyes grew droopier; it was harder to stay awake the longer you waited. Paul hoisted himself up and sat next to you. You rested your head on his shoulder.
“Do you mind?”
“Nope!” You closed your eyes, resting them in the darkness behind your eyelids. You squirmed a bit before you were comfortable and securely leaning against him. Paul’s arm held you closer to make sure you would not fall back if you ended up dozing off. And dozing off, you did.
Paul shook you awake.
“Rise and shine, sugar,” he breathed out. He was being coy, as usual, but there was a certain urgency in his voice that interested you. When you saw where he and the others were looking towards, you quickly shook the remaining sleepiness off; Star had found your target. You jumped down and stepped forward before mumbling under your breath,
“It’s showtime.” You threw your leg over Paul’s bike and sat behind him, quickly wrapping your arms around his waist and propping your feet up off of the ground.
The boys approached Star and her new friend on their intentionally roaring bikes. Dwayne took it upon himself to ride past them and in front of the red motorcycle that the guy was sitting on, effectively blocking him off and preventing him from escaping. You admired the bike when it came in your direct line of sight; she was a beauty. Now, that’s a bike I would not mind taking for a spin. It was not as if you did not enjoy riding on the boys’ bikes, but it was hard to ignore that beautiful scarlet color.
“Where are you going, Star,” David asked, seeing as she was previously preparing to climb on.
“For a ride,” she answered, avoiding eye contact with David at all costs. Even though this was mostly staged, she was still frightened by the intensity of David’s stare. “This is Michael.” The name had clicked for you and you could finally associate his irritatingly familiar face with a name. I remember now; his name is Michael. What was his last name? I remember he had one. Elliot? Emerson? Michael reached an inviting hand out to Star and said,
“Let’s go.” He tried to give her a suave smile, but it would be best described as awkward in a charming way.
“Star,” David called out to her once again, getting impatient and giving her a warning stare. You side-eyed him, his controlling nature over Star bothering you. There was a stare-off between the three of them before Star caved and climbed on David’s bike. Michael looked defeated, like a kicked puppy. It was easy to tell that this bad-boy persona of his was fabricated and not his usual style. Seeing Star the night before with the black-clad vampires probably sparked the inspiration for his new look, leather jacket and all.
Paul chuckled, which forced your hand to smack him lightly on the back of his messy blond head. You felt bad for Michael; he did not need salt being rubbed into the wound and the boys have decided that if they were going to turn Michael into a vampire, they were going to do it their way, mockery included. Paul whined a bit and Marko snickered at him, but a quick, menacing glare and a harsh “cut it out” escaping from your pursed lips was enough for them to get their head on straight and focus on the task at hand.
“You know where Hudson’s Bluff is?” David put forward as Star slipped on her jacket and pulled her hair out from under it. “Overlookin’ the point?” Michael rolled his eyes, scoffing, knowing where this conversation was leading towards.
“I can’t beat your bike,” Michael said clearly, which you admired. He was intimidated, sure, but he at least faked his strong stance. He seemed like the type to play it smart and safe, but unfortunately had a bit of pride.
“You don’t have to beat me, Michael; you just have to try and keep up.” David revved his engine, signaling to the others that it was go-time and trying to push Michael's buttons.
“Ready, sweetcheeks,” Paul asked loudly.
“Yeah,” you responded, yelling over the ambient sounds of the boardwalk, not paying too much attention to him as you worriedly looked between everyone.
David turned and drove off, followed by you and Paul, Marko, and, lastly, Dwayne and Laddie. You let out a small gasp as Paul drove sloppily down the stairs to the beach, but your tight grip around his middle kept you stable. You looked back to see if Michael was following, which he was. He hesitated at the top of the stairs, but made the plunge and drove down them, faltering at the bottom before catching himself. This whole ordeal was not within his comfort zone at all.
Weaving through the innocent beach-goers, they laughed and yelled, making whatever loud sounds they could and having the time of their lives. You also let out a few chuckles as you rested your chin on Paul’s shoulder, having become more used to their reckless driving. Whether the bike-safety strickler in you could admit or not, riding with them was a fun time.
Marko had sped past you, which Paul took as a challenge.
“Not going to let him beat us,” Paul exclaimed as he also went faster. You hollered,
“Hell no!” Paul cackled loudly, surprised that you were going along with his antics. Usually, you would reprimand him for being reckless or, "unbelievably stupid," as you called him before. In his words, you, “always have your panties in a twist.”
“There you go!” As you almost reached Marko, you had to weave around a beach fire, but still was able to meet Marko’s right side.
“Are you trying to pass me,” Marko yelled over the roaring winds.
“That’s exactly what we’re tryin’ to do, man,” Paul responded.
“Gonna leave your ass in the dust, Marko!” Before Marko could respond to your taunt, Paul made sure to keep your promise and leave him in the dust and made it to under the boardwalk. You could barely hear Marko yelling something and laughing, but it was nothing coherent. You laughed along with Paul.
You had practically memorized the route to Hudson’s Bluff, but you were sure that it had never been this hazy. You entered the foggy terrain, unable to see far in front of you. You felt antsy as everyone grew quiet and the only sounds were coming from the bikes and the wind whistling past you. You could vaguely hear the crashing waves.
“Paul, be careful,” you shouted over it all. “I don’t like this!”
“You don’t like anything fun!” You scoffed.
“I’m human, jackass! I can still die in a motorcycle accident or by driving off of the cliff!” You sharply inhaled when he came to a sudden stop, taking in the sight of Michael’s bike on its side and him on the rocky edge of the cliff. You could hear the roaring waves at the bottom and they were not being nice tonight as if they knew the events that were going to occur amongst this group of friends. Paul, Marko, and you were quick to climb off and run towards Michael when he aggressively stumbled to his feet and tried to pick a fight with David. "Oh no," you mumbled. Star shrieked,
“No!” Michael punched David square in the face, which made you gulp nervously and watch as everyone stilled. You knew the attack probably did not affect David at all, but it could still be David's tipping point to calling it quits and murdering Michael then and there. Luckily for Michael, David had more patience than that.
“Just you,” Michael challenged, being pulled away by Dwayne and Marko. He pushed past them. Come on, just you!” David lifted his head, unbothered. “Come on, just you.” You jogged over to Star, careful with your footing.
“Star, are you alright?” You checked, trying to stay quiet, but it was difficult over all of the noise. You held onto her free arm protectively. She swallowed, trying to keep her hair out of her face.
“Yes,” she declared, only sparing you a glance before looking back at the scene before her. You did the same but did not let go.
“How far are you willing to go, Michael?” Everyone took a pause. Michael did not know what David meant and chose not to answer with more than a confused yet challenging expression. You heard another large wave crashing into the side of the cliff as your grip on Star's upper arm tightened slightly. She put a gentle hand on yours, silently reminding you that it was okay. They needed Michael to appease their sire.
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