“Idle hearts and idle dreams. The darkness outside and the light between!” The words blasted as Demetrius began the next part of the song.
“Oh, my God! Isn’t Demetrius the best?!” Samantha shouted, jumping up and down while screaming.
Demetrius was dancing on stage. He wore black leather chaps and a black vest with nothing under it. This bared most of his chest and abs for his audience to see. His well-oiled body shimmered with glitter in the stage light and his ear piercing shined. A fire erupted behind him as he jumped towards the crowd, gyrating his hips.
“And it’s all for you!”
The chorus of screaming teenage girls reached an all-time high. I covered my ears, certain that the noise ensured I’d need a hearing aid by the age of forty. Samantha noticed me covering my ears and jabbed me in the side.
“Lighten up!” She yelled over the crowd. “You should be glad you’re out of the house.”
“I am. I don’t know how you talked my mom into ending my grounding a day early!”
“Well, I’m special,” Samantha grinned at me. “Just stop playing naked twister with your brother. Or if you do, don’t get caught.”
“He’s my half-brother, and he’s adopted. Why am I even defending myself? It’s not what it looks like!”
Samantha shrugged. “I’m just saying. I knew you were kinky with some of the fan fiction you buy from me, but I didn’t think you were about family fun.”
“This coming from the girl whose first kiss came from her cousin.”
Samantha stuck her tongue out at me. “Well, my pet beagle wasn’t in the mood.”
The two of us giggled. That helped my mood a little. The last week had been a nightmare. The uncomfortable atmosphere that had transpired after I put some clothes on was unbearable. My mom had given me an uncomfortable talk about how when she was a girl, she had urges to experiment too. Alex also got a bit of the berating for failing to be the big sister and letting it happen. Between the three of us, we were able to explain an assortment of accidents that led to the event happening. I still ended up grounded for a week.
After mom grounded me, Daltom had moved into the last empty guest room in our oversized house. I had Alex to relay messages to me. One by one, all the boys in my life went to check on me in my exile. While mom intercepted them, she had quite a bit of fun having long conversations with each of the boys in excess. Alex wouldn’t tell me what was said while I was stuck up in my room, but the words “chastity of my daughter” were used a lot. Alex assured me she vouched for me in those circumstances, but I wondered about the usefulness of her word.
“Let my darkness consume you!”
“You know, Alex loves Demetrius. He’ll be so jealous we went without him.” I spoke before I was able to stop myself.
“Alex, the hawtness boy is in love with a boy popstar? He did always seem a little fruity. Him being gay makes so much sense.”
I frowned, deciding not to correct her assumption. It was better this way.
“Let your light consume … me!”
The song ended to more shrill cries of adoring fans; Demetrians, as the fangirls called themselves.
I leaned towards my friend. “Samantha, you’re drooling.”
She wiped her chin, giving me a ‘butt out while I’m having my fun’ gaze, which caused me to chuckle. The fangirls were more entertaining than the concert. I heard one girl encapsulating the group of teens talking about her prize souvenir. She had a Kleenex that she swore Demetrius had used to wipe his sweat off. I shivered at the idea. I wondered how much his used jockstrap would go for. On that note, Samantha had propositioned me to acquire certain personal items from my H club friends not too long ago. I refused her, of course, but the implications of her request were now starting to dawn on me.
“Hello, my sweet little minions. It’s been great playing in my hometown.”
That was Demetrius talking up on the stage. He liked to call girls his little minions. His whole shtick was a cross between an emo and a pop singer. He wore dark clothing, slick black gelled hair, and had tan-less white skin. He even wore fangs sometimes. Most of his songs were about darkness and love. He had pulled off his vest now and was dangling it over the stage. Several girls seemed primed to have him throw it out into the audience. I hoped he had the decency not to, as it was likely to cause a riot.
Samantha slapped my chest several times with the back of her hand as she stared up at the stage with an expression of awe covering her face.
“What is it?” I hissed.
“It’s starting. He’s going to do it. He’s going to do it!” She was still hitting me with her hand, but I figured she had forgotten it was even there.
“So, what?” I snapped, grabbing her hand to stop it.
“He’ll pick a girl from the audience and she gets the royal treatment in his changing room.”
“That sounds a little pedo to me; everyone here’s a teenager.”
“He’s only seventeen himself. Besides, Demetrius would never force himself on a girl!” Samantha seemed to have a little anger in her voice that I would even imply that.
“Tonight, one lucky girl will have the chance to go backstage with one of her friends and meet me personally!” Demetrius declared on stage.
Another shrill cry of teenage girls. I’d need that hearing aid by the time I was thirty now.
“And the lucky winner by completely random drawing is … Jane Averygail.”
There was a collective sigh as people cried out in sorrow at not having been selected. Samantha started screaming and bouncing, her hands on both of my shoulders.
“This is Jane, this is Jane! We’re coming; don’t forget us!”
This isn’t fair. I thought, looking up at the stage in disbelief as the boy winked in my direction before breaking off into his final song.
I tried to be a good daughter. I tried to treat people like they wanted to be treated. I always ate my vegetables. Why was it always me? Wait; was that why Samantha invited me to this in the first place? She realized that I always seemed to end up with the guy and so she brought me along? That evil woman. Still, I’d be late if I went backstage. Mom told me to head home as soon as the concert let out.
“Samantha, I don’t think this is a good idea.”
Samantha spun me around, pure malevolence in her eyes. “You don’t screw this up for me, bitch. I will cut you.”
“Samantha? You’re hurting my shoulders a little, Samantha. Samantha?”
The look on Samantha’s face turned feverish. I did have some dangerous friends; and I wasn’t talking about the werewolf or the demons.
“Alright, we’ll go!” I threw up my hands.
Samantha laughed, turning me back, and pushing me forward like a shield through the crowds of angry teenagers who wished they had been picked. At any moment, I was expecting to get shivved. Relax, Jane, this is a pop concert, not a prison.
Samantha pulled me into a side hallway and led me down the path leading to the backstage with a sense of familiarity like she had memorized the route. An intimidating security guard looked me up and down as the pair of us approached.
“Are you the Jane girl?” he asked in a deep voice.
“Yes, she is,” Samantha answered, “and I’m her plus one!”
The guard sneered. “Yeah, he’s been waiting for you.”
There was something very ominous about the way he said those words, but with Samantha next to me bubbling with excitement, I decided to not say any more. The result might be her punishing me in ways I might regret. I didn’t know what kind of tortures my friend could devise. Based on some fanfictions she had written of late, I’m sure it’d be painful and would prevent us from ever being able to look each other in the eyes again.
The guard moved aside and, once again, Samantha was dragging me into the next room. It was a large area with a table full of a broad assortment of untouched food, several couches, and a big screen TV. The room seemed to be decorated with Demetrius in mind. Dark swaths of fabric and several antique candles on stands were laid out across the room. I figured it was supposed to be gothic and edgy.
The door opened at the other end and Demetrius walked in from the stage. He didn’t have his vest with him. I supposed some lucky girl was walking home with it. He had a towel on and was wiping the sweat from his face. As he walked closer to me, Samantha grabbed my shoulder as if she was having a heart attack. That wasn’t the part that worried me. What did worry me was the growing sense of familiarity emanating from this man. I had met him before, but I couldn’t put my finger on where or how.
“Well, hello, Jane. It’s great having a chance to meet you like this. I’m glad you chose to come to the concert. Did you enjoy it?”
Before I could respond, Samantha pushed in front of me, moving up to the familiar pop star. “Mr. Demetrius, I have to say I am your biggest fan. The biggest fan ever. I love you. I’m in love with you. Are you single? Do you have any naughty piercings? Can you read my fan fiction about you? No, of course, you don’t want to read that. Can you sign my breasts? I suppose that’s inappropriate. How about my butt? I’m not asking that because I want to show you anything inapprop-”
Demetrius smiled throughout her entire barrage before lifting one finger and putting it over her lips. Samantha stopped, letting out a small whimper. Demetrius leaned forward, placing a gentle kiss on her forehead. Samantha’s jaw went slack, and she started letting out an elongated moan. He backed away, eyeballing her for a second before turning to look at me.
The familiarity he was emanating reached a crescendo. “I recognize you from somewhere, don’t I?”
“Yes, but your friend appears to be foaming at the mouth.”
“Forget her, she’ll get over it. Who are you?”
Samantha’s eyes rolled back into her head and she fell back, collapsing to the ground with a solid thud.
“Oh, my God! Your friend just passed out unconscious.”
“She does that; ignore her. Why are you so familiar to me?”
My unintended scrutiny unnerved the pop star a bit, as he gave a nervous smile and put a hand up to his hair, slicking it back. The way he looked when he did it, doubtful and unsure of himself, stirred my memory even more. I recognized that face. It was the face of a man far less muscular and well-oiled who lived in a dark room and wanted to die.
The boy broke out into a giant smile. “I knew I couldn’t pull one on you!”
“Oh, my God. Victor; you’re a teen pop star?”
Victor laughed, twirling around in front of me. “It looks good on me, doesn’t it? I know, a little too bright and upbeat, but I try to keep it dark and vampire-like. Can’t forget my roots now, can I?”
By roots, he meant the first time I had met him. The event was still a bit of a blur to me, but what I took out of it was that it involved time-traveling to the 50s with my hot, adopted half-brother to facilitate the signing of a peace treaty between angels and demons. It had been an… informative experience for me. Specifically, I discovered that my own meddling in the past might be why I had so many demons, angels, werewolves, and ghosts interested in me in the present. Victor would be the vampire of the group, although when I last saw him a half-century prior he was moody, dark, and a tad suicidal.
“Oh, wow! I never imagined you’d accomplish so much!”
“Oh, well, with fifty years of prep time, I started going to the gym. A night gym, of course. Gained some muscle mass, started doing the beauty treatment. Wandered around for a while as a vagrant. Learned to use a variety of instruments. After that, I joined KISS for a while.”
“Yeah, the heavy metal band that wears all the makeup. Did that for a while, but they got a little too extreme. Scared me away from them.”
“KISS was too extreme for an immortal vampire?”
“Well, they wanted me to bite the head off a chicken.” Victor shook his head in disgust. “Now, I may be an immortal blood-sucking monster, but murdering a defenseless chicken for entertainment is too far.”
“Sounds like you have a good sense of morality.”
“Exactly. I was like, now I’ll eat a rat or a small puppy just like the next guy. A vampire needs to eat after all …”
“Okay, now you’re oversharing.”
“But I’m not going to suck a used tampon on stage.”
“Yeah, definitely oversharing.”
“Well, anyway, I went low for a while after I ditched them. Eventually, the boy bands started to hit the scene. I popped out a few hit singles and here I am!”
I was in the middle of a nod when an idea occurred to me. “Your first hit single was ‘Jane’s Dilemma’?”
That stopped Demetrius’ barrage of words in its tracks. He looked down sheepishly before giving me a slow nod.
“And that song is based on everything I told you?”
Demetrius hesitated a second before nodding once again.
“And in the end of that song, Jane gets with you …”
Demetrius did not respond this time, instead giving me a blank look.
Demetrius let out a long, drawn breath before answering. “Jane, in the last fifty years, I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve been with a lot of women. However; always in the back of my heart, I felt unsatisfied. I felt incomplete. I felt like half of a vampire. Do you want to know why that is, Jane?”
“It’s you, Jane.”
“You did drugs in the 70s, didn’t you?”
“I’m serious, Jane. No matter who I was with, no matter what I tried, I always missed you. You filled a hole in my heart when you visited me those fifty years ago. When that time traveler of yours took you away, I was lost. However, I waited. I waited years to be with you. I’ve waited all the way up to now.”
“Why don’t I like the way this is sounding?”
“Jane, in my current identity, I am only a seventeen-year-old boy. I’ve talked with my manager and I will be transferring to your school effective immediately. I’ve even talked your club advisor into letting me join the H club of yours.”
“Mr. Xavier let you join the H club?” I grimaced.
“Let me? Not a bit. He even tried to do a partial possession thing to force me to leave. Ghosts.” Victor chuckled. “They act like they can walk over anyone, but you’d have to be an idiot, practically brain-dead for a ghost to take you over.”
“Suddenly, why he possessed Alex makes so much sense.”
“What was that?”
“Oh, nothing,” I deflected before sighing. “Victor, we barely know each other.”
“That’s the thing, Jane. I know everything about you. I’ve checked up on you your entire life. I even met your mom for a brief period.”
“Victor,” I pinched my nose, fearing the next question. “Please tell me you didn’t sleep with my mother.”
The vampire froze for a second before speaking. “Yeah, I can say I didn’t sleep with your mom.”
“Victor, why did you emphasize it when you said ‘sleep’?”
“Okay, we were drunk!”
“I assure you, we didn’t get past second base. Besides, that was like six years before you were even conceived. It isn’t cheating if you don’t exist yet. I haven’t slept with anyone, your mother included, since you have been born. I swear it.”
“I promise, Jane.”
Why did I even care if he promised? I wasn’t going to go out with him. This was just all kinds of messed up. It was the final straw. I was done. No more boys would enter my life, supernatural or otherwise. I would take the eight I had already acquired and cut my losses. This was it; I was done.
“Is … your friend going to be okay?”
I looked down at Samantha. She was still unconscious, although her eyelids were open. Her eyes were rolled so far up that all I could see were the whites.
“She’ll be fine. It looks like she is still breathing.”
“This kind of thing happen often?”
“A few years back, I took her to a Bieber concert. She tried to force herself past a security guard twice her size to get to him. Ended up being beaten down by a three-hundred-pound former wrestler until I convinced him that she was a thirteen-year-old girl and it wouldn’t look good on the news.”
“Wow.” Victor shook his head in amazement. “Hey, do you want to draw stuff all over her body with a magic marker?”
I smirked. “I would love to.”