"Is that hair on those girl's legs?!"
Blair's voice was barely above a whisper as he stared, mouth agape, at Rania's legs as she walked toward us. She was wearing black, red-chained shorts that exposed her hairy legs. Blair grabbed my shoulder in shock. "That...is so....fucking....gross!"
"Its fine," I assured him, "She won't eat you."
"Hey!" Rania yelled towards us. She sped up into a jog.
I lifted a hand with a smile. Blair practically scampered behind me when she reached us.
"Who's the boy?"
Rania put her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side, looking behind me. Her newly dyed black hair fell over her face. She'd streaked it purple and red.
"Like the streaks," I said. I moved to the side, exposing Blair. “This is Blair. Blair, this is my friend Rania, but you can call her Kuma."
"'Bear'?" Blair looked confused, he turned to me. I nodded.
"Exhibit A." Rania called out, sticking her leg out into the sunlight. Blair looked sick.
"I like your hair," he blurted out, averting his eyes from her legs.
"Th-thanks?" Rania's eyes glanced at me.
"Why do you two keep looking at me?"
"Hey!" I hear Kyle call out. I leave Rania and Blair with the awkward silence and run toward him.
I hug his waist while he cups my head, giving each other a peck. He puts his arm around me as we walk back toward them.
"I see he's seen her legs." He whispers.
Kyle couldn't help but snicker as we got closer. Blair had been trying desperately to keep from staring at Rania's legs.
"You must be Blair," Kyle said, trying not to laugh. He extended a hand, "Nice to meet you."
"Charmed," Blair takes his hand, "So you're the yaoi freak boyfriend I've heard about?"
Within seconds, Blair and Kyle had turned into bosom buddies. Words like uke, digits and hardcore lemons were used frequently. Apart from me, Rania was confused.
"What the hell are they talking about?" She asks me while they walk ahead.
I shake my head, too weirded out by the Blair and Kyle's closeness to tell her.
Seeing how it was the summer. The state fair was in town. We'd decided to go there. While waiting in line for tickets, Blair took a hiatus from yaoi talk to go to the bathroom.
Rania laughed as he ran off in the direction of a cute boy. "I wonder if he knows there aren’t any bathrooms around here. Just porta-potties."
Kyle snickered absently, looking off into space. I look at him, questioning. "You okay?"
He flinched, gave a surprised glance and nodded. "Yeah, I'm cool."
I cocked an eyebrow. Before I could inquire more a large scream of eww and that was so gross came flying toward us in the form of Blair, his bright blue hair swinging frantically. He had gelled it up into a mohawk. Blair held his hands out in front of him, pushing out as he talked.
"They don't have bathrooms here, they have these...these--"
"Porta-potties! They're called porta-potties!"
We all flinched when Kyle snapped at him. Blair stuck his hands into his supertight jeans and stared at the ground.
After looking at Blair's apologetic face, I whirled in Kyle direction. "Kyle...”
He'd walked off into the crowd, his ponytail swinging. I put up a finger to a still shocked Rania and Blair. "I'll be right back."
I chased after him. What the hell is his problem? I thought as I caught up. I called after him, but he couldn't hear me.
I kept running through the crowd. "Kyle, hey! Wait up!"
I was through the crowd, between a lemonade stand and a cart selling elephant ears. I reached for Kyle's back before he could get any further away. As soon as my nails had contact, they sunk into him and forced him in my direction. "What the fuck, man! What the hell is wrong with you now?! Why did you--"
A half second later, I was on the ground. Someone had crashed into me. My neck began to hurt. "You okay?"
Kyle was leaning over me, pulling me off the ground. As soon as I could hold myself alone, I angrily pulled from him.
"What the hell is up?!"
"Nothing," he answered blankly, looking around. I felt myself getting more pissed by the second.
"Nothing?! Kyle, you just snapped at Blair and stormed off. There is something up with you! What the hell are you looking at?"
He shook his head. My hands began to ball into fists. What the fuck...?
My cell phone began to ring. It was Rania. I flicked it open.
"Hold on a minute, Kuma."
I grabbed Kyle's arm and yanked him behind a cart away from the crowd. When we found a bench, I put the phone back to my ear.
"I gotta go. My mom's called me and said I had to come home."
I gave a sigh in frustration. Why was I getting so mad?
"Okay, fine. Where's Blair?"
"He left to go look for you guys. He said you couldn't find him in an hour, make your way towards the porta-potties."
I hung up the phone and glared at Kyle, who was now staring at the fireworks in the distance.
"Rania had to go home. Blair's looking for us. Come on."
He slowly got up from the bench. He looked at me, nervous.
I rolled my eyes and made my way towards the crowd. Not really caring whether or not Kyle followed.
We found Blair standing by a teddy bear stand.
"You’re bleeding." He said pointing to my neck.
I took a finger to my neck. It stung a little. I scanned my hand and found a load of blood on my fingers. At the sight of it, I got a little nauseous.
"What the hell are you doing?! What's going on?!"
"Calm down, you're splashing water everywhere!"
"Would you get that flashlight outta my face?"
I knocked the flashlight out of my hands and watched the bulb go out with a flash, coating the room in darkness. With a click, the light flicked on, with Kyle's face appearing in front of me, a good three feet from the switch.
"You didn't flinch," he whispered, “That’s weird."
I shrugged, "Maybe I'm used to it now," I looked around from the chair I was sitting," Why are we in your basement? What happened to Blair? What happened?" My hair flew into my face as I looked at Kyle; I hadn't noticed it'd grown that long.
He walked past me towards a dirty sink attached to a grayish-black cemented wall. Next to it was a rusted metal table with a bottle of alcohol and a tissue roll on it. I cocked an eyebrow, and then remembered the cut on my neck. I raised a hand to it. It'd seemed smaller.
"You notice that?"
I rose my head up at him. "Notice what?"
He lifted his head and put his hands on his hips, staring at the wall. "The cut. It's smaller."
My eyes grew wide and fell to the ground.
"You did, huh?" Kyle had turned and was making his way towards me. He crouched down until his eye level with me.
"Kyle," I started, my voice shaky, "What's going on? What happened to me?"
"You passed out at the fair. Blair'd started freaking out. I told him you were a bit sensitive when it came to bloodshed and that you'd call him in the morning. I brought you back to my house, while cleaning your cut I'd noticed it was already healing, and that's when I knew."
I shot up from the chair, suddenly frantic. "You're fucking crazy!" I started towards the doorway, "There is no way that I'm..."
My eyes found the mirror by the doorway. "What the?"
My hair had grown to my chest, several of my teeth had sharpened to points, and my cut had become a small slit. I raised my hand only to find my nails had doubled in length. My mouth began to shiver.
I watched Kyle's reflection rise and slowly walk towards me.
I turned to him, overcome with fear. "Kyle, I...I can't..."
My stomach began to churn and grind. Before I got to scream blood began to spill through my lips. At once, I was nauseous again. Kyle reached me just as my knees gave out, easing me onto the wall. He kneeled down next to me, wiping my mouth expertly.
"Next time, try to stick your stomach out. It lessens the fatigue."
My eyes shot open in another dose of shock. My head, suddenly heavy, fell back against the wall. "How did this happen, Kyle?"
"The only way for a human to get infected with the Lyccan gene," he replied, still wiping, "Is for someone who already has Lyccan blood to deliberately break the skin. Whether or not you'll survive is the question."
"Sur-Survive?" I stuttered.
He stopped wiping and had a seat by me, taking my hand in his. He brought it to his lips and held it. My eyes linked with his.
"You're turning Trace," his voice was low but clear, “In this process, you can lose your humanity if you're not careful."
I shuddered beneath his words. "No...I can't...you're half-Lyccan and you're fine, so I'm gonna be --"
"Listen to me!” He screamed, his voice growing stern, “This blood is like a virus! It can turn you into a murderous monster if you let it! I’m not gonna lose you to this, do you hear me?!”
I shivered out a nod, wondering if it was really me who could go insane.
“So...who did I get it from?”
“I don’t know,” He stood up again and headed to the table, “But I’m gonna find out.”
He walked back to me with a blood stained glass shard in his hand. “Sniff this.”
“This is the blood that I got off your cut. Your senses are heightening; becoming more profound. I want you to know what your blood really smells like.”
I scooted a little bit towards it, breathing it in slowly.
“That’s it. Now...”
He turned the shard on its clean side and jabbed it into his finger, “Sniff this.”
This time I inhaled slower, really taking the smell in. Weirdly, Kyle’s blood smelled different from mine; more appealing and alluring. I inhaled it again, this time faster. I felt myself get more lost in its aroma. I sniffed again. And again. And again. My mouth began to levitate towards the shard licking the tip.
It tasted sweet and tangy. I licked again harder, then threw head back, my tongue plastered to the roof of my mouth.
“Fuck! I cut myself!”
Kyle sighed and stood up. He walked over to the sink and threw the shard down the drain.
“You did that shit on purpose, didn’t you?!”
Kyle turned around and leaned against the sink, his hands gripping the rim. The silence was beginning to anger me. Without thinking, I shot up and before I knew it I’d taken Kyle by the collar and was holding him to my face.
“What the hell is your problem?!” I screamed at him.
I blinked and almost fell over at the sight of my empty hands. That little bastard, I thought. I turned for the door, and an angry punch sent my flying onto the chair, the back of my head colliding with the unforgiving concrete.
“You’re the fucking problem!” I hear him scream.
I rose from the floor. My mouth and head were throbbing, but I was too infuriated to pay attention. I lunged at him. He stepped back and soon I was falling face first in front of the doorway, with, now, a throbbing nose. I grabbed the wall and brought myself to my knees and felt my nose. It wasn’t broken.
“Trace,” I hear him say behind me, his voice pleading, “You’ve gotta fight this, okay? It won’t be long until your skin starts to grow fur and the cuts begin to disappear in seconds.”
His arms pulled me up, then embraced me from behind. I could feel his head rest against my neck. “I can’t lose you.” I exhaled, and took a hand to his, clouds of anger evaporating into fearful tears.
“You won’t. I promise.”