Loved, p.23
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       Loved, p.23
 

         Part #2 of The Vampire Journals series by Morgan Rice
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Chapter Twenty-Three

  As Sam stood there, facing his father, his heart sank. He couldn't believe it. While he'd been disappointed by the trailer park, by the mobile home, by the unkempt surroundings, nothing had prepared him for his disappointment upon seeing his Dad. All of his dreams came crashing down at once.

  His dad was a short, thin, frail man, maybe in his 50s, balding badly, with long stringy hair that draped down over one side of his head. He hadn't shaved in days, and it looked like he'd slept in his clothes. His skin was covered in warts, and scarred by bad acne. He had small, beady black eyes, which darted about in his head. He stared back at Sam, looking not unlike a rat. In fact, his entire aura exuded sleaze. And he reeked. He probably hadn't bathed in days.

  He looked nothing like Sam. And he looked nothing like the Dad that Sam had imagined he'd come from.

  Sam couldn't fathom how he possibly had come from such a human being. He felt worse about himself than he ever had.

  Maybe he had the wrong address. He prayed that was the case.

  Please, God, let it not be him.

  "Sam?" the man suddenly asked.

  With that word, that confirmation that he was indeed at the right address, Sam's heart completely sank. It was him.

  Sam tried to find his words. "Um, like, are you. . . "

  "Your dad?" he said, trying to smile, revealing rows of small, orange teeth. "That's right. "

  The man looked from Sam over to Samantha, looking her up and down. He licked his lips.

  "I thought you were coming alone?" he asked Sam, looking at Samantha as he said it.

  "I. . . " Sam began, "well, I, um. . . "

  "Who's this?" he asked, still staring at her.

  "This is Samantha," Sam said, finally. "She's my. . . " Sam trailed off, not quite knowing what to call her.

  "Girlfriend," Samantha filled in for him, graciously.

  Sam was grateful that she had. And he loved the sound of that term, especially coming from her.

  "All right, well. . . " the man said, trailing off. He turned his back and walked inside.

  Sam and Samantha looked at each other, both caught off guard by his odd welcome. Neither of them knew what to make of it. Was that an invitation to come inside?

  Sam stepped tentatively inside, Samantha close behind.

  Before she closed the door, she looked both ways carefully, and then closed the door firmly and locked it.

  *

  Samantha surveyed the small, darkened mobile home. The blinds were all drawn, and the room was lit only by a small lamp in the corner. It was a nice sunny day, but you'd never know it in here. It was a gloomy home, and packed with clutter.

  The instant she'd met this man, Samantha had sensed that he was not one of them, not a vampire. She would have known. This told her that Sam's father was not the vampire - that his mother was. That they had been searching for the wrong line of his lineage. They were wasting their time with this man - unless he could lead them to Sam's real mom.

  She could see the obvious disappointment on Sam's face, and she actually felt sorry for him. She couldn't remember how long it had been since she'd actually felt sorry for a human, and she chided herself. This kid was really throwing her off guard.

  "So, well. . . " the man began, obviously socially awkward. He paced around his place, barely looking at them. "What are you drinking?" he finally asked. "Want a beer?"

  Sam paused. "Um, like. . . whatever is fine," he said.

  The man went to his tiny kitchen, and returned shortly with two tall cans of warm Schlitz. He set them down on the coffee table. Neither Sam nor Samantha touched them.

  She could see Sam standing there, fidgeting, and that he didn't know what to say. And that his Dad didn't, either.

  An awkward silence fell over the room. Something was very odd. His dad didn't seem that happy to see them. Either that, or he was just very socially awkward.

  Samantha looked around, surveying what she could see of the place. There was clutter everywhere, and it was completely unkempt. Empty soda cans littered the floor, alongside stacks of newspapers and magazines. There was a small desk in the far corner, and she could see his laptop was open.

  Samantha sensed something, and she used her vampire vision to zoom in, across the room, onto the details of the screen. She could see that he was logged on to Facebook. And under a different account name.

  "So, like, did you tell anyone you were coming to visit?" his Dad finally asked.

  Sam stared back at him, puzzled. "Uh, like - "

  "Like did you tell your mom you're coming to see me?"

  "No," Sam answered. "I haven't talked to her in a while. This was all, like, spur of the moment. I just thought, like, it would be cool to meet. "

  The man nodded. He seemed to relax a bit.

  "Well good, yeah," the man said. He reached into his pocket and took a crumpled packet of cigarettes and lit one. He dragged on it, filling the small room with smoke. "So, like, what are you guys into?"

  Sam and Samantha exchanged a glance, not sure what he meant.

  "Um, like. . . what do you mean?" Sam asked.

  Samantha turned back to the laptop, and zoomed in again on the Facebook page. Something about it was bothering her. She looked closely, at the entire screen, and could see that there were several tabs open up at once. All on Facebook. And all under different user names.

  His Dad must have seen her looking, because at that moment, he suddenly walked over and shut his laptop. He turned back to them.

  "I mean," he said, "you guys, like. . . are you having sex with each other?" he asked.

  Samantha saw him suddenly reach over and grab something off the table.

  She looked over and saw the confusion on Sam's face, and then saw the anger starting to cloud over it.

  At that moment, she realized. This was not his Dad at all. It was an imposter. An internet predator. A pedophile. Luring people in on Facebook. Fishing for different kids. Waiting for someone to come along like Sam, someone desperate, just eager enough to be willing to believe this might be his Dad.

  The man was quick. Before Samantha could react, he had grabbed a large kitchen knife, darted across the room, and grabbed Sam in a chokehold from behind. He held the huge knife tightly against Sam's throat, pushing into it hard enough to almost draw blood.

  Sam's eyes watered over in shock and pain.

  "Make a move, and he's dead," the man said to Samantha, in a fierce voice.

  This was an interesting situation for Samantha. Given that this man was not Sam's father, she had no more business here, and was just wasting her time. She could just walk out and let Sam die. It wouldn't make a difference. This was the only lead he'd had, and now Sam was useless to her.

  But there was something that made her hesitate. A spark of something she was starting to feel for the kid. She couldn't believe it, but a part of her was actually starting to care about him. And if there was anything she hated more than humans, it was human creeps like this guy. No, she couldn't just walk out.

  "Get down on your knees and take off your shirt," the man ordered Samantha in a dark, steely voice, as he held the knife to Sam's throat.

  Sam tried to squirm, but the man held even more tightly, starting to draw a bit of blood.

  Samantha could kill the man at any time. But the problem was, he held the knife so tightly, she didn't want to see him kill Sam. She couldn't make any rash moves.

  Samantha dropped to her knees, raised her hands, and slowly removed her shirt, revealing her bra.

  She looked up and saw the creep's eyes light up, his disgusting grin, ear to ear. He reached out and pointed his knife at her.

  "Your bra," he ordered.

  Sam must have seen his chance, because at that moment, he moved with admirable speed for a human. He reached up and grabbed the creep's wrist, struggling with all he had.

  But the creep was strong
. Years of preying on kids had probably built a wiry strength into his frame, had probably prepared him for things like this. As Sam struggled, the creep broke free and sliced Sam's cheek, drawing blood.

  Sam screamed out in pain, raising his hands to his cheek. Blood was everywhere.

  The creep then pulled the knife back and Samantha could see that he was preparing to plunge it into Sam's chest.

  Samantha broke into action. She suddenly leapt across the room, catching the knife in midair and yanking the creep's arm back with enough force to tear it from its socket.

  The creep screeched and dropped the knife.

  Samantha, not done, reached over, and with her superhuman strength, grabbed his neck and twisted it in one swift motion, breaking it and killing him.

  The man slumped, lifeless, to the floor.

  Samantha, still coursing with rage, looked over and saw that Sam stood there, eyes wide open, in shock, staring at her. He was so surprised, he looked oblivious to the pain he was in. She was sure he had never witnessed anything like that in his life. And probably never would again.

  He had tried, he had really tried, to save her. Even with the knife on his throat. No one had made a gesture for her like that in centuries.

  Maybe she would keep him alive, after all.

 
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