Night Life... Derek's Story | Teen Ink

Night Life... Derek's Story

January 29, 2011
By KellyAnnnn PLATINUM, middle island, New York
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KellyAnnnn PLATINUM, Middle Island, New York
23 articles 1 photo 3 comments

Author's note: A friend of mine inspires some of the characters a while ago and I just started to write for fun. I never expected it to turn into a full novel like this and I'm far from finished with the whole story. I have created 3 parts to this tale and I really hope someone can tell me what they think of this first part.

The author's comments:
The beginning up to where I put the stars and "Eleven Years Earlier" was meant to be a flash forward and it was in italics when I typed it not meant to be a definite part of the first chapter. I just added the timing in recently and the beginning is a long flashback for the first few chapters.

I stumbled down the street clutching the bullet wound in my chest. I had to warn her. That girl. I had to war that girl that she was going to die. The girl that looked so much like Heather was going to die. I walked faster feeling my life slowly coming to an end. The hole in my chest was taking everything out of me. I had to reach that girl. I had to save her. I couldn't’t let Heather die again.

Fatigue took over my body then. I felt myself wobbling in my thick parka. I could see her house ahead and the girl was walking down the street with her thick, brown curls pulled back in a pony tail. She looked in my direction and a flash of horror crossed her face. I felt myself lose balance and I fell.

“Excuse me? Excuse me, are you ok?” the girl called over. She sprinted to my side when I couldn't’t answer her. She grabbed my slightly twitching arm and went to feel for a pulse. I knew she wouldn’t find one. The dead have no pulse.

She pulled down the zipper on my coat and pulled it off. Her panicked mood eyes lit up in horror at the sight of my bare chest but I had so little time left that I had to warn her.

“You’re in serious danger.”
That was what I wanted to say, but the words never came. The girl’s face was horrified and tears flooded down her tan cheeks. I could feel death coming for me again.

It was like light filled my whole body. A strange feeling of being lifted came over me and light surrounded my body.


Eleven Years Earlier

“I’m sorry, Donny. There is no chance they survived that crash.” The police officer was saying to my Uncle. “Being as you are his only family, you are next in line for guardianship. If you refuse, of course Derek will be sent to foster care.”

I was only about five at the time, but I knew what was going on. My parents were gone. They lost control of their car and drove off a cliff. I was also aware that I was going to have a hard life ahead of me.

My Uncle Donny was always the fun uncle. He had the big backyard to play in and he always seemed to get the fun toys. At the time, I didn’t mind living there at all. In fact, I wanted it. If I only knew then how much I would regret that decision for the rest of my life, I never would have made it.

Of course, being my only family, Donny felt obligated to take me in. At first, everything was fine. Then Donny met Desiree. Desiree was a dark woman, very pretty and very kind. I never disliked her and she even treated me like her own son and her nephew, James quickly became my best friend. The problem came with her actual son, Steve. Steve had a lot of anger issues as well as control issues. We would be playing a board game and if he was not dominating everything, he would throw a huge temper tantrum, knocking the game to the floor. As we grew older, Donny grew to favor Steve for their many similarities in anger, ambition and determination. I was the black sheep of the family. Ironic how I was the only actual blood relative though.

I did not know what Donny really was until around my ninth birthday. Donny was in a business meeting with a young police officer and I was unfortunate enough to have the curiosity of a nine year old so I listened.

“What do you mean you don’t have access to the evidence files? What am I paying you for if you can't even cover up the death of a single low status coffee importer? He was nearly bankrupt, I did him a justice by putting the poor soul down early.” Donny was angry yet still making crude jokes. Even though I was only a child, I knew what they were talking about. I scrambled up from my hiding place and fled to find someone to talk to.

“Des? Des I need to ask you something.” I announced as I walked up to her, “What exactly does Uncle Donny do for a living?”

Desiree sat numbly, saying nothing.


She looked struck cold at the question. “Well, Derek, you uncle is a very successful coffee importer.” She said robotically.

“I know that. Why does he have to kill people though? If that’s what a coffee importer does, I don’t wanna be one.

Desiree looked into my eyes for the first time, horrified. “Kill people? Derek how do you know that?”

I was confused by her fear at the time. “I heard Uncle Donny talking to a police officer about covering up a murder.”

Desiree couldn't’t speak for a minute. A tear ran down her face. “You’re so young. I knew having you live here would be bad. I knew he would find a way to corrupt you, I just didn’t know he’d do it so soon. Derek, you’re uncle can be a very good man if he tries. He just does a lot of bad and dangerous things. I need you to do something for me, Derek. I need you to always be careful. Always watch your back. from here on out, you are always going to be in danger.”

That was the last time I saw Desiree alive.


“So now you know.” Donny was sitting in his chair, drinking. The curtains were closed tight over the huge bay windows, making the room seem dark and ominous. A sinister shadow was cast over Donny’s face. Chills ran up my spine and I nodded.

“What exactly is it that you know?” his voice was cold.

“I know that you kill people.” I answered him, trying to sound as brave as possible.

“What I do is so much more than that, Derek. I have created one of the largest empires on this hemisphere. The name Diavolo is known, worldwide. I help people when they’ve made mistakes and need a new life. I have more power than you could ever even dream of, nephew. With so much power, I am destined to make enemies. I cannot sit silently when someone raises a hand against me. I must retaliate. Bloodshed is only a fraction of what my life, and my line of work, brings. A very small, necessary, part of life. And now you, being family, are bound to my secrets. Give me your left hand.

I held out my hand, confused and grasped my wrist and sliced my palm.

“Repeat after me. ‘I swear on my own blood.’”

“I swear on my own blood,” my voice was shaking as I said it and blood was welling up in my palm.

“‘That I will raise neither hand, nor word, nor will against my blood brothers.’”

I repeated as instructed.

“Till death do our oath be set in stone.”

“Till death do our oath be set in stone.”
Something in my stomach dropped like a ton of bricks. Donny slit his own palm and shook my hand, mixing our blood. We were bound till death and nothing would ever be the same again.

Five Years later

“Hi, my name’s Heather, what’s yours?” The short girl smiled, extending a hand to shake. It was the first day of fourth grade and everyone was dressed up. Heather was wearing a light blue dress which complimented her tan skin and her thick, curly brown hair was loose like a lion’s mane.

“Derek. My name is Derek Cross.” I took her hand and smiled. This was my first day of public school. Steve and I were pulled out of private school after questions popped up about the gash on my palm.

“What happened to your hand?” Heather asked, worried.

“Oh, I was cooking with my uncle and a knife slipped. I tried to catch it but caught the blade.” Even at nine years old, I could still lie flawlessly. It must have been a hereditary trait because Heather bought it instantly.

Consequently, this was my first friend with no connections to Donny Diavolo whatsoever.

“Derek!” I heard a familiar voice by the door. I turned to see James’s blond hair gleaming as bright as his smile. James hasn’t come around as much since Desiree disappeared. “Since when are you in public school?”

“I’ll tell you later, class is starting.” I said as I sat between James and Heather.
Recess came and James all but ambushed me. “Hey, Man, what’s going on?”

“Nothing, the school asked too many questions for Uncle Donny so Steve and I got transferred.

“Donny has a serious problem with questions.” James mumbled, “He still never strikes me as the paternal type. He wasn’t all that sympathetic when Aunt Des disappeared.”

“He just lost his wife, James. Some people handle things differently than others.” I defended my uncle. That was all part of being a Diavolo; covering up the murder of a woman killed by her own husband.
“I guess you’re right,” James said just as Heather walked up.

“Right about what?” she asked innocently. James glared at her with his eyes screaming ‘who the hell are you?’

“Heather, this is my best friend since forever, James.” I intervened, “James, this is Heather, she’s in our class.”

“Hey.” James greeted shortly then turned back to me with an annoyed expression.

“You guys wanna play basketball with me?” Heather asked us, dribbling a ball she found abandoned on the ground.

James turned back to her, confused. “I thought girls played jump rope or dress up. Do you even know how to play basketball?” Heather looked at him, forcing down irritation before turning and shooting the ball into the basket from half way across the court.

“That answer your question?”

“This girl is awesome, definitely!” James exclaimed, losing all annoyance of this short, tan, brunette girl.

“I’m in!” I laughed.

This moment would always be scarred into my memory. This was the moment Heather, James and I became best friends. Forever.

My entire body ached like no tomorrow, worst of all my head. That kinda thing happens after having a bookshelf fall on top of you.

“Jeez, how did this happen again?” Heather asked, worried, while holding an ice pack on my head and checking quickly for fractures. Her mother was a nurse.

“Fell down the stairs.” I replied calmly, ignoring James’s look in the corner of my eye. He knew this was Donny’s work. He knew Donny would get so angry that he’d punish me for something I did. Even if I didn’t do anything that terrible, he’d punish me. I couldn’t do anything about it and neither could James. As my technical cousin, he was also bound to a blood oath.

“How did you fall again, Derek?”

“I thought I heard the phone ring and I ran downstairs to check because I didn’t think Donny was home then my sock slipped and down I went.” I told her for the third time that day. At first I thought she was catching onto my lie, but fortunately she believed my story every time I told it. I should seriously get an Oscar for my acting.

Heather laughed. “You are so accident prone! One week you slip in the shower and have a bump on your head the size of a baseball, another time you have a gash on your palm from cooking, a broken nose from slipping and a broken ankle from falling off the roof. I can go on, Derek.”

I felt terrible about lying to Heather. She had been my best friend for four years now, along with James. She was naive at times though. It was probably because she didn’t expect me to lie to her, being her best friend and all. Well, that just made me feel a hell of a lot worse.

“Yeah, I know. Donny said my mom was always a klutz too.” I laughed, but my laugh came out hollow.

“Did they ever find out what happened to them? You’re parents, I mean.” Heather asked.

Anger welled through me. I knew exactly what happened. My father threatened to turn Donny in to keep his family safe and Donny made sure he kept quiet. My mother’s death was a terrible accident that came along with it. “No, they never found out. it’s a cold case, they dropped the investigation years ago.

Well what do you think happened, man?” James finally joined the conversation. I could tell he was ticked about me lying to Heather for the last four years. James has known since we were about ten. I dropped a glass plate on the floor and it broke. James accidentally walked in on Donny beating me to the ground with a bat.

“I wish I knew. I was with you the night they disappeared, remember? I don’t even know where they were going.” I had all the stories stored in my memory. Sometimes I even lost track of what was real or not. Not that it really mattered, it was often easier to lie when you lived that lie. If you made yourself believe that lie, then eventually, that lie will become your life and lying becomes easier than ever.

Heather picked up my wrist and it flared with pain. Definitely broken but I help in my outburst and only flinched. “That hurt?” she asked, moving my wrist around gently. Pain sparked through my whole body like bolts of lightning. I swear I would have started crying if I could.

“No more than everything else.” I lied badly. She twisted it a little more and I let out a cry of pain. “Are you sure? It looks like it hurts quite a bit more.” She got me. Putting down my wrist, she went inside to get another ice pack.

“Why do you keep lying to her, Derek?” James whispered so Heather couldn’t hear.

“You know damn well why I can't tell her anything. I’m under oath and so are you.”

“You have to find some way to tell her somehow, Derek, or I will for you.”

I began to yell, “NO! you can’t-”

“Can't what?” Heather said, coming up behind me, causing me to jump and swear loudly. She put the ice pack firmly on my wrist.

“Jesus Heather! Do you have to be so damn quiet?!” I yell, shaking slightly.

“Apparently if I ever wanna know something anymore,” she mumbled, not intending me to hear. “Sorry.

“It’s ‘k but jeez! You’re like a freaking ninja or something!” I laughed to take pressure off the situation. Heather and James eased off a bit and laughed too.

“I got you an ace bandage while I was inside too.” Heather said while she started wrapping it around my wrist. “You’re still gonna have to get this checked out you know.”

“Yeah, I know. Don’t I always?” I asked her with an innocent face.

“No. As a matter of fact, you never do. I know, my mom is a nurse at the hospital.

“Awe, can’t you trust me? You know I’m a big strong man.”

“Yeah, a big strong man that slipped down off a roof and broke his wrist.”

“Hey, the roof is slippery!”
Heather stood silent for a second. “How did you break your wrist, Derek?”

I sat silently, dumbstruck. Under other circumstances I would have to give her credit for catching on to my lie. Only this time, she found out that I was lying about something that I couldn’t tell her. And she wanted to know what it was.

“Derek, how did you break your wrist?” she repeated. I continued to sit silently, unable to say anything.

“James?” she asked, determined. I shot him a look and he sat silently as well. “Is anyone going to tell me what is going on?”

“Heather,” I started slowly, “I told you three times already. I fell down the stairs.”
Heather looked at me. “You’re lying.” She turned to walk away and I grabbed her shoulder with my good hand.

“No, Heather, don’t go.” I pleaded. She shook off my hand and spoke without turning around.

“Why should I stick around and listen to more of your lies? I have listened to them and played along for you for four years now. I thought I was your best friend, yet you don’t tell me anything. When you decide you wanna tell me the truth for once, you know where to find me.” Her voice started cracking towards the end and with that, she sprinted out of my backyard.

I was left standing there dumbfounded with James. She knew all along. Heather wasn’t the naïve girl we always gave her credit for.

“Why couldn’t you just tell her the truth?” James asked me in a robotic, monotone voice.

“You know damn well why, James. And you know you can't tell her either. We’re bound for like eternity.” I reminded him of the blood oath.


“What are we going to tell Heather?” James asked me the next morning as we walked to school. My broken wrist was wrapped in a crude splint.

“I don’t know. I think I’m just going to tell her the truth; that I can't tell her.” I replied.
We walked to our first class together. We had first period gym together. Greeeeat.

“Why don’t you try quarterback and throw with your other arm?” One of my classmates suggested.

“Or running back? We’ll avoid passing to you, just stay out of the way.” Another suggested. I took that option. I loved to run.

We lined up with the whole play set. I was going to run like a bat out of hell while the ball went somewhere else. Great play.

“HIKE!” With that I took off. I sprinted across the field so fast I swear I must have been a blur or something. Unfortunately, I didn’t see Steve barreling towards me until it was too late.

I hit the ground, landing completely on my left hand. I heard something crack and pain shot through me once again and I screamed and yelled and swore my head off. James brought me to the school nurse, tears running down my face from the pain. They had me take off the bandages, which was immensely painful and difficult. James had to help me. The bottom bandages were died red with blood so I wasn’t entirely surprised to see a shard of white bone protruding from the skin. The nurse dropped the ice pack she was carrying over and ran to the phone to call an ambulance.

The first thing I was when I woke up was a dancing elf. At least that’s what I remember. I was so drugged up on pain medication; I’m surprised I didn’t see El Chupacabra waving around a Mexican flag.

There was an extra weight on my wrist when I could feel my senses coming back to me. I lifted my arm up so I could see a huge white cast on my broken wrist. Heather and James already took it upon themselves to sign it while I was out cold. I moaned. A cast was the last thing I wanted.

“You’re awake? Good, how do you feel?” A nurse asked from the foot of my bed, putting down my charts. Familiarity waved through me.

“Hey, Mrs. Gonzalez. I’m just peachy. I think I’m gonna go run a marathon now.” I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm. Heather’s mom laughed.

“Maybe you should let the anesthetics wear off first, Derek.” She said, “Once they do and your uncle comes to pick you up, you’re free to go.”

“Ah, sweet freedom,” I mused, dropping my head into the pillow. I looked up to see my monitors and IVs all beeping and stuff. I let out another moan just as Heather and James walked in.

“How are you doing, Derek?” Heather asked.

“Well, I’m hooked up to so many stupid machines, I feel like a freaking cyborg!” I complained. “Still wonder why I never like going to the hospital?”

“Hey, if you turn into a cyborg, can you shoot stuff out of your cast or something?” James asked, amused.

“James, come here for a sec, I wanna tell you something.” He walked over and I struck him right on the side of the head with my cast. I might grow a liking to it eventually. Probably not though.

“OW! What was that for?!” He yelled and a nurse popped in to tell him to keep it down.

“For being stupid.” I laughed. Heather started laughing too. Even James chimed in after a moment. Then Mrs. Gonzalez walked back in.

“Your uncle called and he’s on his way to get you. Do you mind if I ask you a couple questions before you’re released so you can be fully checked out?” There was a police officer behind her and my stomach flew up to my throat.

“Umm, yeah, no problem. Ask away.” I replied.

“How did you break your wrist?”

“I was tackled playing football this morning and fell on it.”

“Your X-rays show two fractures on your wrist.” Mrs. Gonzalez stated, reading off my charts. “One of them is only a small, hairline fracture, but it does not correspond with the injury you got this morning. Do you remember where you got that one?”

I fought to keep my composure as the police officer watched me intently. I answered slowly, thinking back to remember so I didn’t mess up my story this time. “That might have been from when I fell down the stairs yesterday. I thought it was just badly sprained so I didn’t bother coming in.” For a moment, I thought the police officer knew I was lying. He looked at me sternly one last time before moving out to the hall.

“Oh, ok then. That should be all.” Nurse Gonzalez got up to leave the room. “Get dressed, your uncle should be here shortly. I’ll give these to your doctor so he can clear you and you’re free to go.”

I got up and stretched. The bulky cast on my arm was going to be annoying for the next six months at least. James handed me my clothes and helped me get dressed in the bathroom while Heather waited patiently outside. I still didn’t know what to tell her. I’m surprised she was even talking to me.

Donny checked me out and I got in the back seat between Heather and James. Steve turned around from the front seat to smirk at me and I glared at him so coldly he turned around quick.

“Will someone like to explain to me what happened today?” He asked with a voice full of power.

“Derek is a terrible football player and got tackled.” Steve sneered.

“Yeah, by you. I didn’t even have the ball, that should have been a foul!” I argued.

“QUIET!” Donny thundered, “Derek, you need to watch your back better in gym, I don’t have time to be running to the emergency room like this. I’m a busy man. You know that.”

Heather opened her mouth to argue but I put up an arm silently to stop her. she shot me an annoyed look that said ‘What the hell is his problem, Derek?’

The hospital was only a five minute ride from the house, but it felt like an hour in the tense, silent car.

“You still owe me an explanation, Derek.” Heather was relentless. We were sitting in the old swing set in the back yard.

“I would tell you. You have every right to know. But I can't. I am so sorry.” I answered her, avoiding her colorful eyes. They would change to match her mood. Right now I could feel them as a piercing icy blue staring at me.

“It was a blood oath, wasn’t it?” Heather’s voice sounded different. Like she just dropped a naïve façade and she knew everything. She always had. “All those years ago, that cut on your palm; that was from a blood oath, am I right?” My head shot up to meet her icy blue eyes. How did she know?

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Heather continued at my silence. “Then it’s safe to assume James is part of the blood oath as well, correct?” She looked at James, who also said nothing but the look on his face screamed ‘yes’.

“Then I get it. You can't tell me.” Heather said simply.

“How do you know all this?” I asked quietly.

“You think you’re the only one with secrets? Please, I knew you were lying since the cooking accident story. What I don’t know is why. What is going on that you keep lying to me, Derek?” I remained silent.

“James?” Heather shot a piercing look through him and I saw his face start to melt in her gaze. Panic welled in the pit of my stomach.

“I’m sorry, Heather. It’s just too dangerous.” James whispered at last and I exhaled. Heather was persistent though.

“I am your best friend,” Heather said to both of us, “You know you can trust me. Why don’t you?”

“It’s not about trust, Heather. For one if you knew anything about a blood oath, you’d know we can't tell you. Another, secrets like these are secrets for a reason. People aren’t meant to know about them.” I explained in a low voice, almost menacing. I wanted to scare her now. I wanted her to be scared away for her own good.

“It’s not working, Derek.” Heather said calmly without breaking eye contact.

“What isn’t?”

“You’re not scaring me away.” Heather whispered. I didn’t know what to say.

“He’s not trying to scare you away, Heather,” James said, “He’s being serious and so am I. We physically can't tell you anything.”

“Ok, but I can tell you what happened, can't I? Let me guess?”

“No. Do you really think a blood oath is the only reason we can't tell you?” I whispered, exasperated, “Donny is the only family I have, Heather. I have nowhere else to go. These secrets are not what you think they are. Not even a blood oath will keep you safe. It hasn’t even kept me safe.”

“But it would show you that you trust me, won’t it?”

“Not enough for me to risk your life. No, Heather.”

“Derek, I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself. How bad can it possibly be?”

“Never even ask that, Heather.” James jumped in with a grim voice.

“Now you’re probably just being overdramatic.”

“Heather! This is a bad idea. That’s saying something coming from me.” James insisted.

“He’s right, Heather. There is a lot you just don’t understand.” I pleaded.

“Well, why don’t you both just start explaining then?”

“Are we really going to go around in circles like this? We cannot tell you. The end. Story over. Final line. Curtain closed. Did I miss anything?” I asked.

“Finite?” James suggested.

“That too.” I said lightly. Heather did not go along with the attempted mood change.

“Derek, I’ve gone along with your lies for years. I have never once complained before or even let on that I knew you were both lying to me. Haven’t I earned a little trust yet? Don’t I get a little respect rather than your condescending remarks over whether or not I’m able to handle the truth?” Heather challenged. That caught both James and I off guard.

“I suppose you have a point,” I started slowly, “But that doesn’t change the fact that we physically can't tell you.”

“I know that. I said before that I’ll tell you my theories. You tell me if I’m hot or cold.” Heather grinned. She looked so innocent but sounded so wise. It made my stomach churn with confusion.

“Fine,” I said reluctantly, “Go ahead.”

“Did Donny do all this to you? The cut palm? The broken wrist? Everything else… was that all Donny?” Heather whispered as her eyes darkened to a serious shade of green. I didn’t know what to say. She was dead on. “Hot or cold?”

“Red hot.” I whispered, barely audible.

“Derek, there are things you can do about this. People you can talk to. Donny can finally be put away and you’ll be safe-”

“Safe where?” I interrupted. “I have no other family, nowhere to go. Even if I did find somewhere and was able to tell someone what’s been going on, it won’t do anything. And keep your voice down; if he hears us we are all dead.”

“He might be violent, but you don’t have to be afraid. Eventually he’s gonna get caught and locked up. He can't actually hurt us.”

“Yes, he can actually hurt us,” James said, “And yes, he can get away with it.”

“How? That only happens on TV or in movies.” Heather was in denial. I could tell she knew what was going on but she wouldn’t accept it. “People who kill people are caught and arrested.”

“That is only TV and movies.” James said, “If Donny Diavolo was going to get caught, he would have gotten arrested for the murder of Jenny and Eric Cross.”

“Or for the murder of Desiree Derias-Diavolo.” I added in a grim tone. Heather’s eyes grew wide. She never guessed that.

“Derek, you’re not saying Donny can actually kill us, right?” Heather forced out through an impending panic attack.

“Yes, he can.” James answered her calmly, looking straight into her bright green eyes, with a ring of orange-gold coming from the pupil. “Uncle Donny is a really powerful man, Heather. You need to understand that. He will do whatever he deems necessary to get what he wants. He always wins.”

And so, Heather was bound just as tightly as James and I to the life of lies and secrets.

James’s mother was the most nurturing and caring person in both James’s life as well as my own. She was like my own mother. When she died, I knew everything was going to change again. And as usual, it changed for the worse. James’s father was a heavy drinker and a gambling addict. He would sometimes leave for days at a time with most of the family’s money and come home completely ragged and broke. Alexandra Derias would often provide a buffer for them. She used to have a steady job, a clear head, and she was always full of forgiveness and care. Now she was gone leaving James and his father to fend for themselves. It’s not like no one saw this coming, of course. Alexandra had been really sick for a while; longer than most people suspected because she was a master at putting her own pain aside for others. And she was so full of life. The only people who knew how bad Alexandra was were her family. Understandably, the last several months had been a hard time for the Derias family. To no surprise, Donny Diavolo used this pain and weakness to accomplish his own agenda- to recruit a sixteen year old boy into a life of organized crime. Heather begged and pleaded to James for him to get out while he still could, but her pleas went to closed ears. “You can get a job anywhere! This is not the answer, James. You know Donny cannot be trusted. Look at what he’s done to Derek!” This was Heather’s daily argument and every time James would look into her worries, orange and green eyes with the most sincere and sober expression and answer her steadily every time. “Heather, I’ve been looking for a job for over a year. No one else will hire me, I’ve tried. I have to support my father and myself now. There is no other option. I have to do this, I’m sorry.” The funeral itself was symbolic. You could tell who was close to Alexandra just by looking around. Everyone was stricken by the loss. You could tell that the people who showed their pain the most were the most distant to her. They had been filled with false hope because she dared not reveal her illness to anyone. That hope was crushed by her death. They had been taken off guard while the rest of us had the opportunity to put ourselves together beforehand. “I’m so sorry for your loss,” A distant voice said somewhere. That is a line I’ve heard far too many times that day. It made absolutely no sense. What are they sorry for? They didn’t cause Alexandra’s death. Just then a short, tan blond walked over to me. She looked young from a distance but a closer look revealed a number of wrinkles creasing her face. Her running makeup highlighted them and probably aged her a few more years than she needed. “I am terribly sorry for your loss,” She blubbered. Sympathy turned to annoyance within me. “What are you sorry for? It’s not like you’re the reason she died. Instead of being sorry, why don’t you say ‘hey, are you ok?’ or ‘hey, how are you doing?’ That Would make a lot more sense dontcha think?” I wanted to say that. I wanted to say it so badly that my mouth was open, ready to snap. I didn’t, of course. That was just plain messed up. I was ashamed I’d even thought of it. I simply nodded and turned away. Suddenly I felt extremely lonely. It’s not bad enough I almost snapped at poor mourners, I had no real relation to Alexandra. She wasn’t my mother. I didn’t even have a mother. I didn’t even have a real family. I suddenly needed Heather and James. They were the closest thing I had to a family. What happened next though is difficult to explain. It was the beginning of the end, I guess. I made my way through a crowd of black clad friends and family members until I found Heather and James, but they didn’t see me as I started walking towards them. Something felt wrong and I slowed, picking up parts of their conversation. “James, are you sure you can't get out of this? You know just as much as I do that this is a lose-lose situation.” Heather was saying desperately. I’ve heard this argument before and was just about to turn around and let them have it when something caught my eye. “I have no winning solution this time, Heather.” James said calmly, taking a sip out of a glass half filled with some amber liquid. Whiskey? No, he wouldn’t. James isn’t that stupid, right? I thought to myself as I stopped dead near a tall pillar and watched the scene unfold. “What is that, James?” Heather was asking slowly, trying to see the glass. “Are you drinking?!” Tell me you’re not drinking! You know how I feel about underage drinking! Derek too! Where is he? He would lose it if he saw this!” I was, too. Anger was welling up inside me watching as James threw his life away like this. The next thing James did shocked me more than anything. It wasn’t even James anymore. He calmly finished his drink and put down the glass, wobbling ever so slightly. Was he drunk? My head was spinning. How much did he drink? Heather was still going on about all the mistakes he could make. “You father is an alcoholic! You might-” Then James kissed her. He kissed her right on the mouth as if just to shut her up. That’s when I finally lost it and intervened. “What the hell did I just miss?” I asked, truly confused. Heather broke away from James and pushed herself over three feet away, almost guilty. She looked so confused. Her eyes were a cloudy shade of green, blue, gray, yellow, and so many others, all mixed together. She looked from James to me and back, completely unsure of what to say so she just kept silent. That wasn’t much like her at all. James just shrugged; another glass of whisky had materialized in his hand. I snatched the glass and threw it across the room, smashing it on the opposite wall. Thankfully, no one else was in that room. “What the hell are you thinking, James?! Drinking? At your own mother’s funeral no less?” I was pissed. “And what did I just walk up to? This is Heather! You know, our best friend? Not some wh**e walking down the street!” James stood there, completely drunk, staring at me, Heather, and his empty hand registering what just happened. After about a minute of his drunken stupor, a horrified expression took over his face. His head shot up and back and forth between Heather and me. “I-I don’t know. Uncle Donny gave me this drink while we were talking and- and I liked it so I had another. All the bad things seemed to just melt away. Everything seemed better then Heather got upset and she was yelling and I don’t know, I guess I just wanted her to shut up for a minute. God I’m so stupid…” James trailed off, sinking to the floor and clutching his head. He was fighting so hard against the tears that came, but last and sat on the floor, sobbing. That was the very beginning of James’s downward smile; the fall of my blood brother and best friend and the rise of a monster.

The months that passed Alexandra’s funeral were hard and painful. James began working for Donny more and more. Although he told himself he was only doing it because he needed the money, Heather and I began to suspect that he actually liked feeling above the law.

And being Donny’s new apprentice, that’s exactly what he is.

A certain darkness started following James. He was drinking. He claimed he was not his father and he could definitely hold his liquor, but James drank and drank until he was drunk enough to fall on the floor and pass out, drunk.

He started breaking petty rules. He sprayed graffiti on walls and under bridges. It was usually vulgar even though it was out of sight. He shoplifted frequently just for fun. Donny paid him more than enough to pay for the things he stole, but he stole them anyway just for the rush.

These small crimes began to escalate. The graffiti began to be more prominent. He would even dare to spray buildings in broad daylight. The shoplifting went as far as grand theft auto. Yet he still got away with everything. People began to think of him as “the new Diavolo”. On top of that, he started hanging out with Steve more and more, becoming worse and worse.

He began to smoke. I never actually saw him smoke, but he always smelled like smoke. It was on his clothes and his breath and you could usually tell a smoker when you see one. He wouldn’t run as much in gym. Only a year earlier, James and I were practically the star athletes. Now he could barely run a lap around the track without huffing and puffing not even half way around.

On top of that, the guy I knew that never really dated went through a new girl every other week. He even boasted his sexual conquests at the embarrassment of the poor girls he seduced. James was becoming a monster. He knew this too. He knew it and he liked it.

Heather was becoming a nervous wreck. She acted kind of like everyone’s guardian. She would reprimand James for his stupidity all the time. It was actually terrifying. Even James had to fold and act like a model citizen whenever Heather was around. I had no hope in hell of becoming a sudden rebel.

“Where the hell were you, James? We planned to meet at the movie theater an hour ago! Please tell me you weren’t out throwing your life away.” Heather said one day as James walked up. James looked smug until he met her brilliant green eyes. His smugness melted and apologies flew from his mouth.

“I am so sorry, guys. I just got caught up in work-” James started. I could tell he was lying though. No one could lie to a master liar.

“Now do you mean caught up actually working for Donny or caught up in the sheets with, oh what is this one’s name? Mimi?” I cut him off, aggravated. A smug look flashed in his face, confirming my accusation.

“We weren’t stuck, we were otherwise distracted.” These were nothing compared to the normal types of disgusting, vulgar comments that James would come up with. It made him seem like a completely different person from the boy I grew up with. That boy that I shared my blood with.

“What the hell is your problem, James?!” Heather yelled, horrified by his comment. James’s face grew remorseful and apologetic and he didn’t speak anymore. Heather didn’t say anything either so I cut in, talking mostly to Heather than James, but intending for him to hear every ice cold word as I thrust it at him like icicles.

“That’s not James, Heather. I don’t know who the hell that is, but that’s not James. That’s not our best friend and that is not my brother.” I said this with the coldest, hardest expression. It even felt like my heart had actually frozen over. With that I walked away from both of them, forgetting about the movie. Heather hesitated, but followed me as well, leaving James alone and broken in the movie theater parking lot. The funny thing about broken people though, when they put themselves back together, though never the same, they become harder and stronger than before. They become a whole new person filled with spite and hate. I understood that fine. I just really wished Heather would have understood that before it was too late.


“I’m really worried about James, Derek. I haven’t heard from him in three days now!” Heather was always worried about something. James hadn’t talked to either of us since that day at the movie theater.

“James changed, Heather. He isn’t the same person. He is losing control to Donny now. The hell with him for stepping aside and letting Donny take control.” I felt bad about saying that, but I meant it. James was a different person now. I didn’t want anything to do with this new James. Nothing at all.

“You don’t have a high view of people, do you, Derek?” Heather asked, eyeing me quizzically.

“Nope. I’ve watched enough people be corrupted to know better now. Eventually you’ll understand. James is lost to us now.” Damn I was pessimistic. Well, I had every right to be.

“You know, not everyone is good or bad. People can change. You got to believe that a little don’t you?” Heather was looking into my eyes with big, bright, almost childish blue eyes.

“I’ll believe it if I ever see it, Heather.” I responded soberly. Just then, we heard a loud crash from downstairs. Heather jumped about a foot in the air before dragging me downstairs with her to investigate.

James was back. He was in Donny’s living room drunk as hell. There was an old antique lamp shattered on the floor next to him.

“Heatherrrr,” he drawled, frightened at the sight of us in the door way. “This iz not what it lookss like.” He was starting to cry. Damn he was drunk!

“James,” Heather approached him slowly, “calm down. You just need to calm down and everything will be fine.”

“NOOOO!” he roared, stumbling back as Heather approached. “Nothing is gawna bee fine! Get the hell away from me!” I suddenly had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Everything seemed to happen so fast because I was frozen, unable to help at all. James bent down and picked up a shard of the broken lamp. He stumbled slightly and cut his lower leg.

“James!” I yelled, still unable to move. He didn’t even look at me. He was focused on Heather’s cautiously approaching figure.

“James, put that down before you hurt yourself.” Heather spoke softly, as though trying to calm a child. “James listen to me. Put that down.” She inched closer and closer, cornering James at the far end of the room. I finally was able to move again and I made my way over to them as fast as I could, but it was too late. James lunged at Heather with the glass shard in hand.

The ride to the Emergency room was extremely tense. James and I were cramped in the corner of the ambulance while Heather lay on the stretcher, surrounded by paramedics. James sobered up quickly as the entire scene took place and we watched Heather lay on the living room floor bleeding from a deep gash on her side. By the time the paramedics arrived, Heather was unconscious and both James and I were covered in her blood trying to revive her.

“What the hell is wrong with me?” James said to me, tears streaming down his face. He looked completely torn apart. Anybody else would have forgiven him. Heather would have comforted him in a heartbeat. I’m not Heather.

I was pissed.

“You tell me.” I hissed at him, “No, I take that back. Don’t you dare talk to me. I swear to God, James, if anything happens to her because of your idiocy, I will never forgive you.” We didn’t talk for the rest of the short ride or after it. I sat quietly and watched my best friend, bleeding and unconscious, lie on that stretcher.

Heather was rushed directly into surgery at the hospital. There was so much blood, she needed stitches desperately.

James and I sat in the waiting room for what felt like hours. Every now and then I’d sneak a glance at his distressed expression and anger would well up inside me. This was all his fault.

I caught a glimpse of a nurse talking to Mrs. Gonzalez after an hour or so. Mrs. Gonzalez just got off duty and was still in her scrubs. She had no idea what was going on before then. I felt sympathy and guilt for bringing Heather so close to the violence that got her so badly hurt. I was wrong before. This was all my fault, not James’s.

As soon as the other nurse finished talking quietly, Mrs. Gonzalez collapsed to the floor. She cried and cried until she started to convulse. More doctors came to calm her down but she was so hysterical that the knot in my stomach grew. That is how I found out Heather was dead.

“Derek, James, get in the car now.” Donny’s authoritarian voice came from behind me. I couldn’t move. My eyes were fixed on Mrs. Gonzalez as one of the doctors gave her a sedative. “Derek, now.” I don’t even know what I was thinking, still. I followed Donny and James wordlessly.


Donny’s living room was eerily quiet after everything. The olive green carpet where Heather had lied was covered in a sheet to cover the blood. The smell was everywhere, though. Thick and irony and nauseating.

“Heather’s accident was very unfortunate. But other than that, no one needs to know what happened. She fell on a broken lamp.” Donny was laying down the law, quick to do damage control as always. “Derek? Derek, are you listening to me?” I couldn’t actually register everything he was saying at the time. Anger and hatred welled up inside me.

“Heather,” I was choking the words out, “Heather was a human being. She was my friend. She was James’s friend. She deserves justice in the very least!”

“She lost that right by getting herself killed in my house. James, you are to say nothing without my attorney present am I understood?” James nodded. He said so little since the ambulance ride that I might as well have forgotten his voice.

“No! You can't stop me! I’ll go to-” The words got stuck in my mouth like someone was actually grabbing my tongue and stopping me. “I’ll testify aga-” The anger and fear relished as I realized I actually could not threaten Donny Diavolo, but I kept trying. “Heather did not deserve to die! The two of you do!” I screamed, tears threatening every minute. I probably looked hysterical.

Donny chuckled and I felt a lump form in my throat. “Now, Derek, you know you can't do that,” he said, raising his hand with a wicked smile, “‘I swear on my own blood that I will raise neither hand nor word nor will against my blood brothers’.” He quoted the blood oath from so long ago almost mockingly and it made me sick. “Though I am not sure I trust you anymore, nephew.” He slowly drew his gun and laughed to himself.

Time froze. I froze. Donny and James just froze in front of me. I could see every detail in Donny’s face. He was in his mid-forties with a few small wrinkles on his tan face. I had that tan skin tone. I never realized how much I did actually look like him before. His black hair was slicked back smoothly and his eyes were completely insane. The look in his face as he pointed the pistol at me was inhuman. There was no way around it, the man getting ready to shoot me was mentally ill.

“You’re crazy. You’re absolutely insane! You can't do that. You took the blood oath too!” I stood completely still. I can't remember if I was trying to stand up to my uncle or if I was just paralyzed with fear.

“Oh, but I am not raising a hand to you, am I Derek? I am raising my gun.” He said with gleeful malice.

“You wouldn’t shoot me. I’m your own nephew. You’re only sister’s only kid!” I tried to call his bluff, or stall for time at least and maybe, just maybe, James would go for help. That was a lot of trust to put on the person who just killed my best friend though.

“I never was painfully fond of my sister. That’s why I had no problem getting her killed in the first place along with her good for nothing husband.” That was all it took to make me snap and lose control.

“You monster!” I roared and lunged for Donny and the gun. It was stupid but I didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything anymore. And Donny pulled the trigger.

Some of the last things I remember were all a blur. Donny was laughing, completely insane. It was like a witches cackle. James was staring, shocked and guilt stricken. He had the chance to save me but he stood there and watched me die. The soft, olive green rug I landed on smelled like a dog. Since when did we have a dog?

There was a hole in my chest-literally. As I lied there dying I had to respect the irony of the situation. I had no friends left, no family, nowhere to go, and I was just shot point blank in the chest by my own mentally deranged uncle. Is that a way to go or what?

After a minute or so of clinging to life I could feel my body shutting down. I had nothing to live for so why bother? I don’t even know why I hung on for that long. If Donny, my only family, hated me enough to actually shoot and kill me, then what was the point of hanging on at all? Eventually I just started letting go and I shut my eyes and released my soul.

I died.


“Hey, you ok man? What are you doing in the woods so late?” I heard the voice and had no idea where I was. Slowly, cautiously, I opened my eyes.

Deep blue eyes gleamed into mine intensely. “You understand English? Umm Hola? Sorry I’m not very bilingual.”

I slowly raised myself to sit against a tree and I looked around trying to remember where I was or how I’d gotten there. “Where am I?”

“Are you wasted or something?” She started asking when I looked into her eyes again. She took out her small flashlight and shined it directly in my eyes.

“Oh. My. God.” She said slowly.

“What the hell are you doing? Get that thing out of my eyes!” I yelled before she threw herself on top of me and covered my mouth. I pushed her off harder than I intended and she landed in a blond heap about three feet away.

“Who the hell are you? Where am I? What is going on?” I hissed out a stream of questions now cautious of being too loud. The blond girl took her time getting up and dusting herself off before answering me.

“My name’s Lucinda. Lucinda Grey, call me Lucy if you wish. You’re in the middle of the woods. Why? I don’t know, if you recall I asked you that. As for what’s going on, well that’s really complicated.

“I’ve lived my whole life in a complicated state. Try me.”

“Lived being the key word. Dude, you’re dead.” My eyes widened.

“What do you mean dead, Lucy? I think you’re the one who’s wasted or something.”

She glared at me. I was rude, I know that, but seriously? Dead? Then I remembered. I remembered everything. The hospital. Heather. James. Donny.

He shot me in cold blood.

I remembered the manic look in his eyes. I remembered falling to the ground in what felt like slow motion. I remembered every little detail and immediately wished I hadn’t.

“OK, listen what’s-your-name. I ha-” I got up next to Lucy and cut her off mid-sentence.

“Derek. My name is Derek Cross. Sorry for snapping I’m just really freaking out right now, my uncle just-” I stopped myself quickly. My head was cloudy and I almost just told this girl that my completely deranged uncle wanted me dead. “So am I like a ghost or something?”

Lucy gave me a look like she knew exactly what I was going to say but let it go. Her expression softened. “Not exactly, Derek. You’re a different breed of ghosts so to speak. You’re a Night Person. What I don’t know is why?”

“What do you mean why?”

“Well,” Lucy was having a hard time explaining this, “Only certain people from certain families are destined to become Night People…” She trailed off.

“Explain?” I asked casually.

“It doesn’t matter. Anyway, Night People can pretty much be alive and kicking at night from sundown to sunrise. They can communicate with the living. They can live, breathe, eat and drink like a living person. They are vulnerable like a living person.”

“Umm, ok then. So you’re dead too then?” I asked innocently. This girl sounded completely delusional.

“No, I’m alive.”

“Then how do you know so much about these Night People? How do you even know that I am one?” I asked her intensely. She must have been on something, I thought.

Lucy got up and started walking out of the woods, beckoning me to join her. For the first time, I noticed how tall she was. Not as tall as me, but not that far off. Taller than most girls. She looked right around my age too. The way she dressed reminded me of a gypsy.

“Come with me, there is something I need you to see.”

I followed Lucy though the trees and stumbled on a fresh pile of dirt on the ground. It took me a moment to realize that the fresh pile of dirt was a fresh grave. My grave, whispered a tiny voice in my head.

“I really am dead,” I said, feeling for the first time, actually dead.

“And here I thought you believed me before. Come on, the sun is going to come up soon and you need to meet someone else first.” Lucy quickly led me further into the woods and we came to a beautiful, rustic cabin. It looked old and small but comfy. Not what I expected.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“This is my grandmother’s cabin. I live with her here. She can explain what happened to you a whole lot better than I can. My Grandmother is one of the witched who created the Night People in the first place.” Lucy led me in with a suggestive smirk when my eyes widened at the word ‘witch’.

The inside of the cabin looked like an antique sale. Everything seemed to be made of wood. Sitting in a rocking chair near the fireplace was an elderly woman. At least, she seemed elderly by the way she held herself. She seemed to radiate wisdom. But this woman looked no older than any average forty year old. She had long, shiny black hair and not a spot of gray in her roots.

“Lucinda, you are back. And who is this, may I ask?” The woman’s voice was slow and ancient and her smile was warm.

“Grandmother, this is Derek. He is a Night Person. A new Night Person. I was hoping you could explain his, er, situation better. Derek, this is my grandmother, Miranda Grey.”

“Nice to meet you, Ms. Grey,” I said nervously

“Oh, nonsense,” Miranda Grey turned to me, “Please do not be so formal, just call me Miranda. You may stay here as long as you wish but there are important things I need to explain before the sun rises. When it does, you will no longer be able to communicate with a normal mortal anymore. We will not be able to see you anymore. Soon, we shall help you become accustomed to the world of the Night People, but until then you should rest.” I turned to go and she stopped me.

“One more thing, Derek. Every Night Person has a purpose. A more specific reason as to why they were chosen. You, my dear, may have a very important purpose. We shall see in time. You may go now.” She dismissed me and Lucy showed me the spare bedroom. It was cozy, like the rest of the cabin, and I collapsed on the bed and fell asleep.

The author's comments:
This is NOT the end I'm going to add more chapters as I finish them completely.

“Good morning!” An unfamiliar voice rang over my head. I opened my eyes very slowly and saw a bright red-headed girl leaning over me, smiling. I jumped back and leaned against the headboard, making no sound at all. Lucy and Miranda were nowhere to be found.

“Who are you?!” I yelled. “Where’s Lucy and Miranda?”

“They can’t hear you.” Another voice came from near the door. A beam of light pointed at the boy in the doorway. Dressed in all black, he was as dark as the girl was light.

“The sun’s out still.” The girl explained, still smiling, “Lucy and Grandmother can’t see you when the sun’s out.”

“Only we can.” The boy finished.

“That still doesn’t answer my question. Who the hell are you?” I looked deeply into their matching green eyes.

“I’m Nick,” The dark boy answered, “This ditz is my sister, Michelle. We can see you obviously.”

“We’re Lucy’s cousins.” Michelle smiled, “We’re witches too, but different.”

“We’re necromancers.” Nick smirked, “We see dead people.”

“Well, isn’t that nice?” I mused, finally getting up.

“We’ve never got to see a real Night Person before!” Michelle exclaimed, clearly having a hard time controlling her excitement.

“We’re supposed to be the only people who can see you in sunlight.” Nick explained but smirked again and added, “We can also raise the dead as zombies and control them.” I felt a chill run down my spine.

Michelle slapped his arm playfully. “But we don’t. It’s against Grandmother’s rules and it’s cruel. We only talk to the dead.

“So where are Lucy and Miranda if I may ask?” I inquired slowly.

“Downstairs, putting dinner away.” Michelle answered.

“Dinner? What time is it?”

“About ten minutes to sundown. You’ve been asleep for days though. Dying must have really worn you out, huh?” Nick answered. I saw the dim light slowly fading from the window.

“How did you die anyway?” Michelle blurted out like it was the one question she just couldn’t hold in anymore.

“Excuse me?” I asked in shock.

“Sorry about her, she gets curious.” Nick apologized. “But I can't lie, I’m kinda curious too.”

“I- it’s a really long, complicated story.” I answered. I decided not to tell anyone what really happened to me. It was just too much.

“Complication is part of a necromancers’ job, Derek.” Nick said, “Can you imagine being out with some chick and having to explain why you saw her dead great aunt?”

“I can honestly say I don’t know how that feels, Nick.” I laughed, warming up to the necromancers more.

“So what happened?” Lucy appeared in the hallway.

“Well it doesn’t matter I’ve decided I want to take care of this myself. You have to promise not to do or say anything,” I said, looking each one of them in the eyes, “Accept what I tell you and that’s it.”

“Well I guess that’s only fair. You are aware you can't tell anyone about us. No one at all can know what we are, obviously.” Lucy said, drilling her light blue eyes into my cold, dead gray ones.

The eyes of a Night Person.

“Yeah you have a point. It was a car accident. A drunk driver flying down the street and I got in the way and BANG. I was dead.”

“A car accident?” Lucy repeated skeptically.

“Yeah, hit and run. Never caught the guy as far as I know.”

“I see.”

“Michelle? Nick? Your ride is here. It is time to go.” Miranda called from downstairs. Nick and Michelle got up, said their goodbyes and left. Lucy stayed and we were alone in the spare room.

“Do you wanna go for a walk or something?” Lucy asked.

I hesitated. It was obvious she didn’t believe a word I said. But what else was I going to do with the night? “Sure.”

Lucy led me silently out to the woods. We walked through a tangle of leaves and vines till we came to a clearing. In the clearing, if you could really call it that, was a huge tree that made every other tree in the woods look like saplings in comparison. In the giant tree was a tree house.

Inside the tree house, it looked mystical. And it also looked completely normal. There were pictures and posters on the walls and a battery powered radio. Right next to the radio was a thick ancient leather-bound book and some candles along with other ‘witchy’ things for lack of a better word.

“This is where I really grew up. This place kept all my secrets safe. The only overlap between my two lives. No one knows about it. Not Nick or Michelle or even my grandmother. Not even my best friend knows about it. She doesn’t know about any of this. It’s all some big family secret.”

“Well, at least you have a best friend. Secrets or not.” I said, letting the darkness control my mood.

“Everyone has best friends. You had two.” Lucy said confidently. The last sentence sounded very different though. It sounded knowing, almost as if another person spoke in her voice. I spun around to meet her eyes and saw the distant look on her face end and she looked at me intently. “Take off your shirt.”

“Excuse me?” I can't remember a girl ever saying that to me. At least not alone like this.

“You heard me,” Lucy brought her face right up to mine standing as tall as she could. “Shirt. Off.” She pointed at me then to the wooden tree house floor.

“Why?” I asked, looking directly into her eyes which were level to mine. Lucy brought her face even closer to mine and her lips brushed against mine when she whispered, “Well then why don’t you tell me who shot you? I want to see your bullet wound, Derek. May I?”

Shock pierced through me but I covered it up expertly. “What bullet wound? What are you talking about, Lucy?”

“I’m talking about the bullet wound that caused your death, Cross.”

“I already told you. I was hit by a car. That’s how I died.”

“You’re lying. You may be a flawless liar to anyone else but did you forget I’m a witch? You can't lie to me. Now take your shirt off.”

That’s when I did something purely on instinct. Lucy was so close to me that our lips were already touching when we spoke. I put my arms around her waist loosely so she had room to flee then I pressed my lips against hers.

She didn’t pull away like I expected her too. She put her hands on my chest but let them rest there, not pushing away. Then she tightened her fingers and kissed me back until I forgot what we were doing. Suddenly she stopped and stood back, looking at me.

“Now will you tell me who shot you, Derek?” Lucy smirked at me.

Instinctively I looked down at my unbuttoned shirt and my bare chest with a huge black blemish on it. It wasn’t a bullet hole but it looked like a big black birth mark on my chest where Donny had shot me. I looked up at Lucy and she looked back at me with a satisfied smirk.

I clapped slowly. “Our first kiss and you already got my shirt off. Nice job, Goldilocks.”

Lucy blushed beneath her sly expression. “You’re not answering my question, Cross.”

“Well maybe that’s because it’s not meant to be answered.” I looked away again as the mood in the tree house darkened. Lucy wrapped her arms around me and leaned her head on my chest. I hugged her back and rested my chin on her head. We stayed completely silent for some time and just held on to each other.

“What happened to you, Derek? You can trust me you know.” Lucy whispered in my arms.

“I know.” I whispered back. And I meant it. I felt inside that I could trust Lucy, but I would never risk her life. “It’s him I don’t trust.”

“Who?” I froze. I said too much and let my guard down.

“No one. Don’t worry about it.” I whispered just as I saw a beam of sunlight shine into the tree house. Lucy’s face looked up to meet mine and I saw those bright blue eyes were red from crying and new tears were about to fall. More sunlight leaked in from the window and I couldn’t feel Lucy around me anymore. Her arms went right through my body as I faded into the sunlight.

“Derek? Ok, just go back to the cabin, I can't see or hear you right now. I really need to talk to you later, just please go now.” Lucy said as she slowly backed herself in a corner.

I wanted to go. I almost did. Then Lucy broke down. She was crying and screaming and throwing things across the tree house. A silver dagger flew right through me and stuck into the wall behind me. Finally she curled up in the corner making herself really small and just cried.

I left then. She needed to be alone.

I walked around for a little bit. My head was spinning after the whole scene with Lucy. I left the woods and started to roam the streets for a while. It felt wrong though.

It felt wrong not to feel the sunlight warm your skin. It felt wrong not to feel the breeze from the passing cars. It felt wrong not to be afraid of death anymore. It all felt wrong and I wanted it to stop. I wanted to feel right.

Calmly, I walked to the interstate. I stepped onto the pavement only inches away from speeding cars. I felt the satisfying thrill of adrenaline rush through me.

I could still feel fear.

Slowly carefully, I stepped my way across the first lane of traffic without getting hit. I stood there waiting for the wind from the cars to tug at me. I felt nothing. Then I crossed the next lane of traffic and stood on the line between westbound cars and eastbound cars. I still felt nothing.

Resentment surged through me. I felt nothing again and slowly walked back to the side of the street. I didn’t pay attention to the huge truck speeding my way. It ran right through me with a force that knocked me to the ground in a giant gust of wind. It was exhilarating to feel the wind rushing through my hair once again.

Excited, I got back to my feet and looked into oncoming traffic.

“What are you doing in the middle of the road?!” The scream came from the side of the road and caused me to jump out of the way of the Ford pickup that was headed straight for me. I looked in the direction of the voice and saw a skinny girl with wild, curly red hair staring at me, horrified. I rushed across the street to get a better look at her. The girl stared directly at me and her gray eyes followed my every movement. She definitely saw me.

“I was perfectly fine, you know,” I told her.

“You didn’t look perfectly fine! You looked like you were going to get hit by a truck at any time! I don’t know how you didn’t yet!” The redhead was frantic. “Are you suicidal? I know someplace that can help you.”

“I wouldn’t have died.” I told her calmly. “You probably wouldn’t have either.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” The red headed Night Peron cried.

“What’s your name?” I asked casually, clearly frustrating the red head.

“Victoria. But you didn’t answer my question!”

“My name’s Derek. What are you doing on the interstate?”

“I- I have no idea…” Victoria trailed off, confused.

“What’s the very last thing you remember?”

“I’m not sure. I think it might have been a dream but I don’t know.” Victoria frowned. She looked scared and stressed but at the same time trying so hard to hide it. Like a little rabbit trying to be ready to face off to a lion.

“Well, what was it? Maybe I can help you explain it.” I said softly to comfort her.

“Ok well I was with my friend, Amber, last night- like I said I might have been dreaming- and we snuck out to get matching belly button piercings and see a midnight premier at the movies. We got drunk, or at least I got drunk, and we were walking back afterwards and Amber looked upset so I tried asking her what was wrong. She mumbles something I couldn’t quite understand and then-” Victoria cut off and I could tell she was starting to lose her composure. She took a couple deep breaths and continues talking, “Amber pushed me into the street and I fell on my back. A car came and ran over my stomach, flattening it. Then I woke up on the side of the street instead of my bed so I figured I was sleepwalking last night. That’s when I saw you. do you mind telling me what the hell you were doing out there, Derek?”

“First off, you’re saying you just woke up? You think that was all just a dream last night?” I asked her.

“That’s what I said.” Victoria replied impatiently.

“Can I see your belly button piercing?” I asked innocently. Victoria shot me a look like I was crazy but shrugged and pulled her shirt up just over her belly button. Her eyes widened at the huge black blemish covering her abdomen.

“OH, MY GOD! OH, MY GOD! What happened to me?! Derek, what did you do to me? What happened?!” Victoria was in hysterics and tears started flooding out of her eyes. I caught her by the shoulders and held her tightly until she calmed down.

“Calm down, Victoria,” I said trying to soothe her, “Come with me, I know someone that can help you better than I can.” I led her to the cabin in the woods.

“What are we doing here?”

“Just come on, I have some good friends in here.” I led her through the wooden door and into the living room of the cabin. Leaving her there, I went to see if Nick and Michelle were around but only found Lucy and Miranda talking in the kitchen.

“I thought only witches could be Night People?” Lucy was saying.

“They are…” Miranda frowned.

“Derek is a witch then?”

“No. He is not a witch or anything related to us. I would have sensed it. You would have sensed it.”

“What is he then, Grandmother?” Lucy said in a low voice.

“He is important.” Miranda said confidently.

“What do you mean?”

“He has a purpose.”

“What is it?”

“I have no idea.” Miranda mused.

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This book has 3 comments.

on Jun. 6 2011 at 2:10 pm
BreakingInside BRONZE, Pinson, Alabama
4 articles 0 photos 29 comments
I LOVE this!!!! Im excited to read more

on Feb. 1 2011 at 6:04 pm
KellyAnnnn PLATINUM, Middle Island, New York
23 articles 1 photo 3 comments
Yes actually I am planning 2 more books to come after this from 2 other points of view (:

on Feb. 1 2011 at 4:23 pm
Timekeeper DIAMOND, Cary, North Carolina
62 articles 0 photos 569 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A guy walks up to me and asks 'What's Punk?'. So I kick over a garbage can and say 'That's punk!'. So he kicks over a garbage can and says 'That's Punk'?, and I say 'No that's trendy'!"- Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day

The Derek's Story subtitle implies we will see more from other's this true? I can't wait.


Please check out my novel SuperNOVA and leave your thoughts on it. Thanks :D