A New Beginning

Orithain and Rina

December 2004

The sting of gravel as he was pushed from the open car door barely registered in Curtis Barnesí consciousness because of how much the rest of him hurt. "Really fucked up this time, Kel," he half-laughed, half-sobbed to himself as he struggled to his hands and knees, conscious of the blood pooling beneath him. "Should have listened, should have..." He bit back a whimper as he struggled to his feet, trying to push the intercom button by the gate.

There was a distant buzz, and a voice he didnít recognize answered, but Curt was beyond noticing or caring. "Fucked up bad, Kel," he muttered, gagging as blood ran down his throat. "Didnít listen, forgot rule number one. Sorry..."

His legs gave out and he collapsed at the base of the heavy brick wall.

Alone in the house where he was staying as his own was renovated since Xio, Kel and their rather large extended family had decided to go to a movie which hadnít appealed to him, Ned York frowned at the barely audible murmur that issued from the gate intercom. Picking out Kelís name, he decided to go down and see what was happening. Even if this was some new home invasion tactic, any would-be burglars would be the ones surprised when they found themselves dealing with a pissed off vampire.

It only took a moment for him to reach the gate, and a moment later heíd flowed through it as mist, instantly reforming to kneel beside the bleeding youth. "Dear Lord, what happened?" he gasped.

"You play, you pay," Curt whispered, choking on the blood clogging his throat. "Tell Kel... should have come with them."

Despite never having met the young man busily bleeding to death across his lap, that broken sentence was enough to tell Ned who he was. Heíd heard Kel and the others worrying about the member of their little family who hadnít stayed when they moved in with Xio often enough to realize this had to be Curt.

And he was about to die.

"I can save your life if you want me to," he whispered, knowing how devastated Curtís friends would be if he died. "If you want to become what I am. A vampire." He knew there was very little time left, but it had to be Curtís choice.

Curtís laugh caused bubbles of blood to form on his lips. "Thatís a good one."

"Itís your only hope, child. You are too badly injured for anything else to help you now. Do you wish it?" Ned began to despair of gaining the boyís agreement in time.

"Sure, why not, if you can do it, go for it." Curt gagged again and sagged back, his eyes closing.

It wasnít exactly informed consent, but it was all he had time for. Ned opened his own wrist with his fangs and pressed the wound to Curtís lips. "Drink," he murmured an instant before his mouth closed over Curtís throat, and he began to drink.

Curt gave a low whimper but automatically swallowed the salty fluid in his mouth, feeling a brief pain in his neck as he did so, then a blackness so deep there was no coming up from it.

Ned didnít drink much from the young man, who was so close to death already that more would kill him too quickly for the change to be effected. Instead, he simply held him while Curt sucked hungrily at his wrist, even after losing consciousness. Soon he would wake again, and then Ned could look forward to explaining to the others, sensitive to issues of consent after the recent attack on Angel, which he had heard about even though he hadnít been present, why he had done this.

"Stupid, stupid..." Curt rolled to his side and woke with a start when he didnít feel any pain. "What the hellówhere the hell am I?" he demanded, sitting up and blinking at the brightness of the light in the room.

"In my bedroom," Ned replied, perching on the side of the bed. He kept his distance, imagining Curt would be skittish of strange men after his experiences that night. "I didnít want anyone to freak out if they got back before you woke up and found you in their bed. Theyíve all been worried about you, you know."

"They who and just who the hell are you?" Curt asked, seeming very calm about the whole situation, though somewhere inside him he felt like he should be screaming in terror.

"Iím Ned, and theyíre Kel, Angel, Kitten, Casey and Carly and the rest of your merry band of street walkers. Theyíve been trying to find you. But frankly, Iím glad none of them were home tonight. They didnít need to see the shape you were in. I honestly wasnít sure if there was going to be time to turn you, but I had to try."

Eyes closing as he remembered the pain of last night, Curt drew his knees up under his chin and wrapped his arms around them, shuddering. "How did I get here? I should be..." He looked around at the clean sheets and shook his head. "I was dying; what happened?"

"You donít remember?" Ned asked cautiously. This was something heíd never expected. "You agreed that I should save you." The faintest hint of an English accent flavored his words as he grew worried.

"I remember the gate... and someone thereóyou? You said..." He frowned, trying to remember, then raised a hand to his throat. "You said you were a vampire."

"I am a vampire, and so are you now. Itís not like the movies though, so donít worry about that."

"Oh, glad to hear it." Curtís voice had taken on an edge of hysteria now. "So what do I do? Change into a bat and go find somebody to bite for my dinner now?"

"Sorry, no bats. Best we can manage is mist, which is just thinning ourselves, not changing forms. Calm down, itís not so bad. Iíve managed quite nicely for five centuries."

"Five centuries..." Curtís voice died away at the last, and he bit his lower lip, cursing when what felt like needles pierced his skin. Raising a cautious hand to explore his teeth, he raised dark green eyes to the man sitting beside the bed. "You arenít fucking around, are you?"

The fair-haired man shook his head, sympathy showing in the green eyes that were several shades lighter than the teenagerís. "íFraid not. I know you havenít really had a chance to assimilate this, but give it a chance." He hesitated before adding, "Some of your friends have."

"Who? Why?" Curt put his hands over his face, wondering if he was going to hyperventilate, then realizing he wasnít breathing at all. "Oh fuck, Iím dead, arenít I?"

"Not exactly. Youíre not alive the way you were before, but youíre certainly no corpse. We can still eat and drink for the flavor if we wish, and trust me, sex is even better," Ned chuckled.

Curt lifted his head and looked at the other man, his eyes narrowed. "So thatís the catch, is it? Okay, canít be any worse than last night." He pushed off the covers, idly noting the fact that he was nude. "What do you want?"

"What?! No!" Ned nearly leaped off the bed. "I was speaking in general," he said, his English accent suddenly quite pronounced. "I prefer willing partners, and Iíve never had to resort to dire circumstances to find them."

There was a knock on the door, then a blond man who was clearly related to Ned looked in the room. "Having a problem here, Ned?" he asked, sounding amused.

"He thinks I turned him to tup him!" Ned exclaimed, falling back into the vernacular of his youth.

"Hmm, your fame seems to have preceded you." The newcomer caught sight of the near panic in the fledglingís eyes and took pity on him. "Donít worry, child, Ned wouldnít lay so much as a hand on you, upon his honor. Me on the other hand..." he grinned wickedly and winked. "Perhaps once youíve become accustomed to your new life.

"Oh, where are my manners, Nurse would box my ears." He grinned at Edward as he spoke. "Richard York, PI at your service, though I prefer Rick this lifetime."

Curt stared at the two men, his mouth hanging agape.

"Did I mention that my brother was turned at the same time I was?" Ned sighed. "Five centuries and his favorite pastime is still bedeviling me."

"Everyone needs a hobby," Richard chuckled.

Curt licked his dry lips, still unsure of what to say, and then his empty stomach rumbled.

"Sounds like you need some nourishment," Ned chuckled. "Is anyone back yet, Dickon? He needs human blood not ours."

"Hmmm... I think Kittenís around, Iíll go get her."

"Kitten?" Curt asked. "I canít... bite her! What if I hurt her or worse!"

Ned snickered. "She may jump you when she finds out whatís happened. She likes vampire sex. Poor Angel doesnít get much time alone with Marc."

About to ask who Marc was, Curt just sighed and nodded. "As long as you donít let me hurt her."

"Itíll be more an issue of restraining her enthusiasm. But donít worry, Iíll stay and make sure you donít drink more than you should. You wonít though. We donít need much. And youíre not a killer."

Richard slipped from the room and went in search of Angelís twin, bringing her back without telling her who she was going to be feeding, just that it was a newly turned vampire.

"So, whoís our new houseguest?" Kitten asked, breezing into the room only to stop dead, her eyes widening. "Curt?" An accusing blue gaze turned to Ned. "What have you done?" she breathed in horror.

"Kitten! I thought you knew me better than that," Ned exclaimed, hurt.

"He didnít do anything, Kitten," Curt said, before shrugging. "Well, he did, but it was to keep me alive. I bit off more than I could handle last night and managed to get dumped here more dead than alive."

"Oh Curt!" Kitten ran across the room and wrapped her arms around Curt, holding him close. "Why didnít you stay here with us? Youíd have been safe here."

Curt shook his head helplessly. "It seemed like too good a thing, you know? What everyone wants but never gets. I guess I didnít trust it."

She sighed. "Well, now you know why. After a thousand years or more, you manage to accumulate enough wealth to be able to pick up a few strays."

"Yes, Xioís like us," Ned said, seeing the widening eyes.

"Are there a lot like you..." Curt looked around and swallowed visibly. "Us?í

"Well, weíre not about to take over the world, if thatís what you mean. But yes, there are more than a few of us. Just think of us as an invisible minority." Ned smiled quickly. "And most of the people living in this household are, aside from the servants, and a few like Kitten who want to wait a while."

"I do not!" Kitten exclaimed indignantly, still annoyed that she was getting older than her twin because none of the vampires would turn her yet.

"You may not want to, but youíre going to, little girl," Richard drawled.

"Why would you want to be turned?" Curt asked. "I mean," he cut a glance toward Ned, "in my case I guess itís better than being dead, but thereís nothing wrong with you." He paused and sniffed the air, his eyes growing unfocused, then dropping to the slim column of her neck and the pulse he could see, hear and smell beating beneath her skin.

"Why donít we talk about it later?" Kitten chuckled, crawling onto the bed and settling onto Curtís lap. She leaned her head to one side, offering her neck to him.

Curt looked over at Ned and Rick helplessly. "What do I do?" he asked, his voice thick with hunger.

"Just bite her," Ned said softly, remembering the first time heíd done that. "Youíll know where by instinct. Your fangs will pierce the vein, and youíll drink. When youíre done, lick the marks, and theyíll heal."

"And weíll make sure you donít take too much, though youíll feel full long before then," Rick put in.

"Kitten?" Curt asked, hesitantly managing a smile in response to hers. "Hit me if I hurt you, okay?" Bringing a hand up to the back of her neck, he lowered his head, feeling a stab of hunger that had him lunging to bite her.

Kitten groaned as his fangs sank into her, squirming in his lap as the lust coursed through her. "Iíll hit you if you stop," she moaned, rocking against him.

Curt moaned as the rich, coppery flavor filled his mouth, and he swallowed hungrily, his hands closing around Kitten, pulling her closer.

"Hey, Neddy, I think he likes it," Richard chuckled.

Ned rolled his eyes. "I seem to recall you reacting much the same way to that woman Anne brought back for us that first night, so donít get too smug, little brother."

"It was the first woman other than Anne that either of us had seen in almost a decade; can you blame me?"

When he finally felt a satisfying fullness in his stomach, Curt pulled back, remembering to lick Kittenís neck, watching in amazement as the small holes closed before his eyes. "You feel okay?"

"Mmm, the only thing that would be better would be getting fucked at the same time. That was great."

"Told you so," Ned muttered.

Curt gave a small smile. "Maybe next time, Ďkay?"

Kitten glanced over her shoulder, looking at Ned and Rick. "Somehow I donít think so," she chuckled. "But itís a nice thought."

Ned frowned curiously. "I think youíre giddy, Kitten."

"Iíll bite you next time if you want, little girl," Rick offered, grinning.

Curt licked his lips and sat back, keeping one arm around Kitten, taking comfort in her presence.

"And youíre supposed to be a royal prince?" Kitten jeered.

"We try not to admit that," Ned confided with a chuckle. "Every family has its embarrassing secrets."

"All the result of spending my formative years locked in the Tower with him," Rick replied easily.

"Royalty?" Curt asked, blinking to shake the lethargy feeding had left him with. "Just who are you?"

"The Princes in the Tower," Kitten said eagerly, having read up on them after meeting them. "You know the ones that Richard III of England supposedly killedóand obviously didnítóto take the throne during the War of the Roses? Ned hereís Edward V of England. And Rickís the Duke of York. Or they were five hundred years ago."

Curt looked blankly at her. "Like Prince Charles?" he finally asked.

Ned glanced at Rick. "Do you suppose he means the big-eared one currently alive or that fop Stuart? I want to know just how insulted we should be."

"Iím guessing he means the current one. Seeing as he hasnít heard of us, I doubt heíd know of the other."

"Why arenít you in England then?" Curt finally asked.

"Because weíre five centuries outside the succession so I rather doubt weíll suddenly be called to a coronation. And," Ned added slowly, "it had grown painful to remain there, with so many memories. I remember England as a powerful nation and later as the heart of a vast empire. It is difficult to see my homeland so diminished."

Kitten sat silently, simply leaning against Curt and letting him take comfort from the contact.

Curt felt a pang of sympathy. "Iím sorry," he said quietly.

Rick heard the front door open and the laughter that announced the others had returned. "Shall I get Kel?" he asked, looking from Ned to Curt.

"I think you should get everyone. Theyíll all come when they find out Curtís here anyway," Kitten said, still not moving from her spot on Curtís lap.

"I believe Curt should be up to visitors," Ned agreed.

"Anyone have at least a pair of boxers I can borrow?" Curt asked. It wasnít that he cared about being naked; he just needed some kind of armor against the ĎI told you soísí that were sure to come.

Ned pulled open a drawer and tossed a pair of jeans to Curt. "Sorry, Iíve never been fond of boxers or the like, but these should fit well enough."

"You shoulda come, Ned," Kel called from the landing. "It was a great movie."

"Itís just as well I didnít," Ned replied, stepping away from the door as he was fairly certain there would be a stampede for Curt when the others saw him.

"Neddy has something against Hollywoodís version of olde England, canít imagine why," Rick added, though he doubted anyone heard him due to the general uproar that occurred when the young ones caught sight of the boy on the bed, who had just managed to get the pants on.

"Curt!" Kel charged across the room, Angel on his heels, and caught his friend in a hug, only to gasp and fall back. "My God! How, who?" he sputtered, shocked to realize that Curt was a vampire.

"It was the only way to save his life, Kel," Ned put in quietly, not sure how the volatile young man, very recently turned himself, would take the news.

"You did this, Ned?" Kel asked, slowly turning to face the English vampire, his hand tightening on Curtís shoulder.

"It was either that or leave me lying in a puddle of blood by your front gate for all of you to find when you got back from the movie," Curt said quickly, reaching up and clasping Kelís hand. "Iím aliveóor whatever we areóbecause of him, Kel."

Kitten glanced warily from Kel to Ned, and she slipped off the bed, gathering her friends on the way. They silently left the room, allowing the others to work things out.

Barely acknowledging the departure of the crowd of young humans and vampires, Ned stared at Kel. "Do you really believe that I would turn anyone unwilling?"

Deflating, Kel sank down onto the bed beside Curt. "No," he sighed. "Iím sorry. But..." He looked over his shoulder at Curt. "What the hell happened?"

Curt watched the others leave and Rick follow them out as well. "I bit off more than I could handle earlier," he muttered, hating to admit the truth that now seemed like a distant nightmare. "And it bit back."

"Oh, Curt," Kel sighed. "I warned you about the freaks, that one night youíd be in trouble if you didnít make sure you always had someone with you. I wish youíd stay out of that scene."

Listening to this, Ned frowned. Heíd assumed that this had been an accident or a one-time thing, but it sounded as if Curt made a habit of letting men hurt him.

Curt shrugged, looking away from Kel and finding Ned looking at him. "It pays good; what do you want?"

"You not to get yourself killed. You can stay here, you know. Thereís plenty of room, and you donít have to turn tricks unless you want to. Angel and Kitten are both going to school, and Xio hired a tutor for the rest of us who donít want to go back to school."

"It would also make it easier on you adapting to your new abilities," Ned interjected.

"And what do all of you get out of it?" Curt asked suspiciously. "Itís not like I can be a walking blood bank for anyone now."

"Why do you assume they want something?" Ned asked. "Kel and the others are your friends, and Xioís so wrapped around Kelís finger that heíd give him anything. Of course, that goes both ways."

Kel smiled, a little embarrassed, but he didnít deny Nedís words. "Jealousy will get you nowhere," he muttered.

Ned chuckled. "Iím still young; I have hope of finding my perfect mate. Look how long it took Xio and Derek after all. And my own sire is still alone. But I enjoy watching all you cooing couples."

"I do not coo!" Kel exclaimed in disgust.

Curt looked from one to the other, trying to digest the changes in the dynamics of his formeróand it seemed once-againófamily.

Ned just snickered, making Kel glare at him.

"I donít!"

"Uh huh. Whatever you say, Kel." Ned could see that Curt was looking a bit overwhelmed. "Right now, though, I think we should let Curt get some rest. Heís had a rather eventful night."

"Ya think?" Curt asked wryly. "So where should I stay, anyway?" He looked around the room that very plainly was Nedís and climbed out of the bed, not wanting to deprive the other man of his own space.

"Well, unless you really want to be swarmed by this horde of lunatics," Ned gave Kel a wry glance, and the teenager stuck his tongue out at him, "you can stay here. Bedís plenty big enough for two, and I donít get grabby where Iím not invited."

"You mean this place doesnít have guest rooms?" Curt asked, trying to decide what Ned was getting out of this.

Ned shrugged. "Of course it does, though fewer than there were before so many people moved in. I was just offering you someplace that everyone wasnít likely to troop through all night long, but suit yourself.

"Oh and Kel, would you mind letting Xio know that it looks like Iíll be here a while longer? The house wonít be ready for another few weeks, something about pipes that I didnít really pay attention to."

Chuckling, Kel nodded. "Sure. Though next time you buy a house, you might want to have it inspected before you do."

Ned shrugged again. "It was. But this house is perfect, or it will be once fixed up. I wanted it; I bought it."

"Whatever." Kel pushed to his feet. "I have a gorgeous Roman waiting to sacrifice my ass, so Iím outta here." He smirked. "You staying here, or you want me to show you another room, Curt?" He wanted to stay with his returned friend, but he knew that if he did, the others would come back, and Curt needed time to come to grips with what had happened to himóand Xio really was waiting for him.

Curt paused, then shook his head. He wasnít sure what Ned wanted, but he so wasnít up to telling his story a dozen times tonight. "Iíll stay here, I guess, get some more info on this whole dead thing."

"Kay." Kel waved and was gone, leaving the other two alone.

"So, talk or rest?" Ned asked, sitting down in a comfortable, over-stuffed chair that faced the foot of the bed.

"Talk until I need to rest?" Curt suggested, pulling a pillow to him and rolling over on it so his head was at the foot of the bed and he was lying on his stomach. "I think I need Vampirism for Dummies."

Ned snorted a laugh. "Hopefully Iíll be an acceptable substitute as transforming into a book is not one of our talents. And weíll see how long my voice holds out. So, letís see, first, youíre a vampire." He grinned at Curtís expression. "As I mentioned earlier, we can thin ourselves to mist and seep between the very molecules of a solid object. Sunlight may give you a sunburn a bit more quickly than it used to, but youíll have the same tolerance for light that I inherited from my sire.

"Oh yes, in case you were a fan of Lestat or the like, we are not impotent!"

Curt had to laugh at that. "Considering how much everyone has been talking about fucking around here, I didnít think that was the caseóno way Kitten would want to be turned if it meant you couldnít get off."

He paused, and scratched his chin. "So do we have to eat every day?"

Snickering, Ned agreed, "That young lady does enjoy her pleasures. Whoever mates with her is going to be a very lucky man."

Sobering, he continued, "We can easily go a few days without feeding, but weíll start growing progressively hungrier after about a week or so, and if we were to be starved for too long, we might attack mindlessly. Thatís only in extreme cases, however, after months or years of starvation. Usually we just have a little few days, and we can feed from each other easily. We do need the occasional human blood, but Iíve gone months at a time with only vampire blood."

"Whose?" the question popped out before Curt could stop it.

"My brother and I have often fed off each other, and for a time I only fed from my sire and him when we were traveling in out of the way areas."

"Off your brother? Kinky!"

Nedís face twisted, and he made a sound of disgust. "Just feeding! Heís my brother! Yuck!"

The expression on Nedís face was too much for Curt, and he started laughing, the eveningís events compounding to add a note of almost hysteria to his tone.

Looking disgruntled, Ned frowned at Curt, arms crossed over his chest as he waited for the fit of laughter to pass. However, he was aware of how tightly strung the young man had to be, and he also kept careful watch, ready to intervene if necessary. "Iím so glad I entertain you," he grumbled.

Finally calming somewhat, Curt looked up at Ned, shaking the dark hair from his face to clear his vision. "Sorry, man, just... the look on your face..."

"Harumph." Ned looked down his nose at the still snickering teen. "I repeat, my brother."

"Well, he is pretty hot," Curt mused. "Iíd do him."

"Great, Iím the next thing to a rapist, but my brother gets a freebie. The universe hates me," Ned sighed.

Now Curt looked perplexed. "Hey, man, I know rapists, and you arenít one as far as I can tell. I mean you turned me down earlier."

"But you actually thought I expected payment for helping you," Ned point out, the thought still rankling.

Curt shrugged. "Itís the world I live in; sorry, didnít mean to diss you."

"Used to live in," Ned corrected. "And if nothing else, you get points for uniqueness. No one has ever accused me of that before." He shrugged in turn. "Not that I wouldnít have been interested if you were," he admitted.

Curt frowned, taking a moment to try and figure the convolutions of that statement out. "Thanks, I think," he finally answered.

Ned smiled. "My pleasure. And perhaps someday itíll be mutual. But for now, unless you have more questions, I wouldnít mind getting some rest?"

Curt nodded and gave an involuntary yawn. "So I guess this vamping out thing doesnít mean we can get away from sleeping." As he spoke, he squirmed around so that he was right way on the bed again.

"íFraid not. We can go longer without and need less, but we do still need it. Since we donít spend our days dead in a coffin," Ned added with an expression eloquent of his disgust with the idea.

"Mmm, glad to hear it." Curt yawned again and snuggled up against one of the huge pillows. "íM a night person myself, but that..." another huge yawn, "would suck."

"I have to agree." Ned pulled his shirt off as he got up from the chair and with only his jeans on, stretched out on the bed beside Curt.

"You comfítable like that?" Curtís voice was already heavy with sleep. "Seen naked guys before, so doní worry."

Ned eyed him, then got up long enough to pull his jeans off. "I didnít want to freak you out," he explained as he lay back down.

Giving the other man a lazy once-over, Curt smiled sleepily. "Have to be a lot bigger or barbed or something to do that; Iím the one who did the kink scene, remember?"

"Yeah well, I didnít want you to start thinking again that I expected you to put out as rent or something."

"Nah, I trust it when Kel says itís cool here."

Thinking of Rick and Anne, Ned smiled. "Itís good to have people you can trust like that." He rolled to his side, looking at Curt.

Curt opened his eyes partly and smiled at Rick. "You saved my life; guess I should trust you too." That said, he relaxed into sleep, hugging the pillow close.

Ned watched him a little longer, curiously, before he laid his head down on the pillow and slept as well, promising himself to get to know Curt better the next day.

"Fuck, no... hurt, stop!" Curt sat bolt upright, eyes wide as he remembered what had happened the night before and tried to reconcile it with where he was now.

Ned nearly fell off the bed as he jerked awake, eyes flying to the boy beside him. Instantly realizing what had happened, he didnít try to touch Curt, instead trying to calm him with his voice. "Curt, itís all right; it was just a dream. Youíre safe now."

"Not just a dream, it happened." Curt looked up, his moss green eyes suddenly hardening and darkening. "But I can make them pay now."

Ned stilled. "Yes, you can, but it doesnít help." For a moment his eyes were unfocused as he looked inward at something far distant in space and time. "Youíll probably feel worse afterward because youíll still remember, and youíll remember what you did too."

"But it would stop them from shoving a bottle up some other guyís ass so whereís the problem?"

Ned blinked at him, nonplussed. "You have a very focused way of looking at things. And you may have a point," he admitted.

Curt gave a somewhat cynical smile. "You get gang-banged by twelve guys, you tend to get focused. And no, that wasnít what I agreed to if youíre wondering."

"If thatís what you like, thereís nothing wrong with it. Though as a human, youíd have had to be careful if you had."

"Gee, really?" Curt asked dryly.

"No need for sarcasm, I meant when it was mutually agreed upon and there was no intent to do harm."

"Sorry, not a morning person," Curt yawned. "And yeah, Kel and the others didnít get into it, but it can feel good when itís what you want."

"Well, at least now you donít have to worry about getting hurt."

"Theyíre the ones who had better worry about that."

Ned eyed him warily. "I can understand wanting revenge on the ones who hurt you, but if you start killing indiscriminately, weíll have to stop you. By which I mean other vampires. We donít tolerate renegades."

Curt shook his head, watching Ned somewhat warily. "I didnít mean anyone, Your Majesty; I meant people who deserved it."

"Itís usually best to leave these things to the human justice system. Which isnít to say that we havenít all occasionally interceded, but itís more dangerous in the modern world. Too easy to get caught."

"Do you think the justice system really cares about people like me?"

"If you speak up for yourself, yes. Itís not easy, but it can be done."

Curt rolled to his back and looked up at the ceiling. "Uh huh, tell me another one."

"And an attitude like that and the refusal to even try is why nothing ever gets done," Ned pointed out reasonably.

"Look man, I donít want to argue this early in the morning, okay?" Curt asked. "What I really need is a Coke." Seeing Nedís expression, he rolled his eyes. "Not coke, a Coca-Cola."

Ned still looked appalled. "Thatís disgusting. Soda when you first wake up?"

"Itís better than coffeeóat least when itís hot out. Whoíd want to drink something hot when itís ninety?"

"You may have heard of iced tea, iced coffee, frozen lattes?" Ned asked dryly.

"Those things require ice or money; do I look like I had a lot of either?"

"Does this monstrosity of a house look like itís lacking anything?"

"Well, no." Curt grinned. "So does that mean youíre getting me an iced coffee or frozen latte?"

"It means that Xioís insane, and all you have to do is pick up the phone and press pound one to be connected with the kitchen. I havenít found anything that they havenít been able to come up with, so order anything you want."

Curtís eyes widened. "Caramel. I like caramel."

"I hope you mean in your coffee and not just a bowl full of it. I donít think vampires can get cavities, but Iíd hate to find out I was wrong the hard way."

"Oh, now thatís too fucking funny. I think Iíll go back to sleep now."

"I wouldnít plan on it. Iím sure your friends are just waiting for you to appear so they can pounce on you. On the plus side, a lot of them have their own places now."

Curt sighed and sat up, shaking his hair back out of his face. "Iím almost glad; I donít want to explain how I fucked up to ten different people."

"They care about you," Ned replied softly. "Theyíve been worried about you."

"I donít need anyone..." Curt began before sighing. "Yeah, I really showed everyone that, right?"

"Almost everybody needs somebody. Thereís nothing wrong with wanting family and friends. Iíve been grateful for my brotherís presence for centuries."

"Even if you consider him... yucky?" Curt smiled as he said this.

"That too," Ned laughed. "Heís my little brother, after all. But weíre family, and thatís the most important thing. Youíre lucky in that your whole family, the one you made for yourselves at least, will all be around forever."

"Once Kitten gets turned, that is," Curt murmured, remembering the taste of his friendís living blood on his tongue.

"Oh, Iím sure it wonít be long. Sheís been trying to wheedle someone into doing it since Angel was."

"You included?"

"Of course. Fortunately Iíd been warned so she didnít trick me into it. She just needs to be a little older so that it wonít be a problem for her and young enough that she and Angel still look alike, which is one of her big concerns."

"What happened to Angelóhow did he get turned without Kitten? I mean, they usually did double team tricks."

"I donít think it was a trick. Iím not certain because I wasnít here, and itís not something you like to ask about. But Angel was attacked by a rogue vampire and left. One of the others found him, and Marc became his teacher. They all tracked down the rogue and destroyed him."

"Weird." Curt sat up and pulled his knees up under his chin. "Itís like we attract you or something."

"Huh? You attract who?" Ned asked, not following Curtís logic.

"Whores attract vamps," Curt elaborated.

Ned blinked. "Itís a novel theory. However, none of the rest of us were whores, so far as I know, so it rather falters away from the current crop."

Curt chuckled and looked over at Ned. "So whores are the future of the vampire race?"

"Heaven help us all!"

"I think weíre way past that point."

"Iím afraid youíre right." Ned sighed and shook his head. "I need coffee."

"And Coke," Curt added.

"Knock knock," a voice called from outside the door. "Everyone undead in there?"

"Thatís got to be Rick," Ned groaned. "No one else has that bad a sense of humor."

"You sure you two are related?" Curt asked, just as the door opened.

"Though you two might need a little pick me up," Rick grinned, offering a tray carrying a coffee pot, cups and a bottle of Coke.

"Coke," Ned groaned, eyeing it. "I take it this preference of Curtís is known to his friends." He sat up and reached for the coffee, eager for a cup.

"Kitten threatened to pour it down my throat if I didnít bring it," Rick grinned, eyeing them both. "Hrmmm, one nude, one clothed, bad night for sex, eh?"

Curt reached for the soda and slugged it back. "You do have a sick sense of humor."

"Not all of us feel the need to jump every person we meet, you know, Dickon," Ned retorted over his coffee. "I think Anne should have waited till you were a bit older before turning you, then you wouldnít be a perpetually horny teenager."

"All I know I learned from you, Neddy," Rick laughed.

"Would you mind phrasing that differently?" Ned sighed. "The newborn here has already made a few off-color remarks about brothers sharing blood."

Curt snickered. "Well, Ned told me he lived off you and your sire for a year, what was I supposed to think?"

Rick collapsed against the wall, laughing. "Oh no, Neddyís too proper to think of anything like that; why, he wouldnít even tup our sire when she offered him the chance!"

"I did so!" Ned retorted indignantly. "Eventually," he admitted, chuckling himself.

"Months later," Rick smirked.

"What did she look like?" Curt asked, curious.

"Hmm, a little like the actress Liv Tyler, only prettier," Ned replied, smiling reminiscently.

"And you waited months?" Curt asked, incredulous.

"She was a lady and stood as a parent to us!"

"He was shy," Rick whispered.

Ned lunged off the bed and wrestled his annoying brother to the floor.

Curt watched, slowly starting to laugh, as the brothers fought, combining a variety of moves in an interesting ballet of movements.

During a pause when they were still, Ned looked at Rick. "Heís laughing at us. I think we need to do something about that."

Rick grinned. "Your childe needs a lesson, I do believe."

"Whoa, guys, I didnít mean anything..." Curtís protest was cut off as both brothers leapt onto the bed and tackled him.

"Itís not nice to laugh at your sire," Ned observed, keeping Curt pinned down.

"Even when heís being an idiot?" Curt asked innocently.

Rick snickered. "He does have a point."

"He was laughing at you too, you know," Ned pointed out.

"Heís not my childe."

Ned groaned as he rolled to one side. "Two of you."

"At least heís not laughing at you because of the fact youíre starkers."

Curt looked over at Ned and shook his head. "No, thatís not a laughing matter."

Ned gave his brother a smug smile. "Superiority wins out."

"King for a day," Rick sighed, shaking his head.

"Can I call you Daddy?" Curt smirked.

"Only if you want me to spank you!"

"And you said you werenít kinky."

Rick smirked. "What king wasnít?"

"Donít you have someplace you need to be, baby brother?" Ned demanded, reaching for his coffee again.

"Oh, but this is such fun," Rick pouted, ducking as Ned threw a punch at him. "All right, all right, Iím gone."

"It must be nice having someone who knows you so well," Curt murmured after Rick had left.

"Sometimes. Other times itís like nails on a blackboard."

"And you never do a thing to deserve it, Iím sure."

"Of course not, Iím perfect." Ned smirked at him over his coffee.

Curt slugged back his Coke, relieved when it tasted the same as normal. "Oh, puh-lease!"

"You want something?" Ned asked blandly.


"You said please; I assumed it was the prelude to a request."

"Oh God, you are so out of it," Curt sighed.

Ned just smirked. "If it pleases you to think so."

"Let me guess, you listen to moldy oldies too."

"Actually I prefer techno and metal, though I do admit to liking Celtic music as well."

Curt blinked. "Youíve got to be kidding."

"Hey, Celtic reminds me of home and has a bit of a feel of the music of my youth."

"Sounds like Riverdance to me."

Ned laughed. "So I wonít put on any of my Clannad recordings this morning."

"Not unless you want me puking blood on you."

"Ah well, I have centuries to educate you."

"To like wailing bagpipes over Dashboard Confessional? No way!"

"To like them both. It is possible, you know."

"You like Dashboard Confessional?"

"Yes, Curt, I like Dashboard Confessional. And close your mouth; I really donít need that clear a view of your tonsils."

"Ha ha, very funny," Curt growled, rolling out of bed. "Do you have a shower around here?"

"Try one of the doors in the room. The one that opens and shows clothes is the closet. The other one that leads to a tiled room with porcelain fixtures is the bathroom."

"Oooo really? Iíd never have guessed." Flipping Ned the bird over his shoulder, Curt opened doors until he found the bathroom and vanished inside it.

"I hope you donít take as long in there as Kitten! Iíd like a shower sometime this morning too," Ned called.

"So, do you shower with Kitten often?" Curt yelled, wondering why he was feeling angry over the thought.

"Hardly ever. The girlís a shower hog. Even with the limitless hot water here, I swear sheís managed to use it up."

Curt grinned. "Thatís Kitten. Promise I wonít use as much."

"We could always save water," Ned chuckled.

"Hey, you killed me, whatís left after that? Címon in."

Eyebrows rising in surprise, Ned padded into the large bathroom. "Are you sure? I didnít mean to put you on the spot." He couldnít help his admiring glance.

"No big thing," Curt shrugged as he lathered up his hair. "It is your shower after all."

Ned looked down. "Looks pretty big to me."

Curt snickered. "Never said I wasnít worth what they paid me."

Ned eyed him oddly. "Didnít you ever have sex just for the fun of it?"

"No," Curt answered honestly. "By the time I was interested, I needed the money too much."

Left speechless, Ned only stared at him. "Well, that really sucks. Not to mention that it makes seducing you harder," he finally managed to say.

"Didnít know you were trying. I thought seducing your recent converts was against the vampire rules or something."

"Hell no. Seducing is always allowed. Taking without asking is never allowed."

"So, are you asking?"

"So long as you realize that you can say no and should only say yes if you mean it, yeah, I am." Ned took a step closer.

Curt licked his lower lip, then gave a half smile. "Your brotherís not the only hot one, you know?"

Slowly smiling, Ned started to lower his head to kiss Curt, only to jerk back in surprise at the sudden pounding on the bedroom door.

"Curt! You still in there? Is everything okay?" Kel called, sounding worried.

"Uh, yeah, fine, just taking a shower!" Curt yelled back, biting his lower lip and looking at Ned. "Family."

Rolling his eyes, Ned nodded, understanding fully.

"Are you sure? Do you need anything?" Kel was still at the door.

"Um, no, Iíll be out in a few minutes. Ned said I could borrow some of his clothes until I could get some more."

"Okay," Kel replied reluctantly. "Iíll be down in the kitchen. Ned can show the way if he gets back before youíre ready, or just call. One of us will show you."

"Iím right here, Kel," Ned said dryly.

"But I thought Curt said he was in the shower? Oh. Oh! Sorry!" The sound of rapidly retreating footsteps followed.

Curt giggled. "I thought nothing could shock Kel."

"Pity we didnít get a picture of it." Ned looked at Curt, eyes focusing on his lips, but the moment had been lost. "I suppose we should get downstairs," he sighed.

"Yeah." Curtís expression turned serious again. "Or everyone will be up here looking for me." He ducked his head under the water and took an unnecessary breath. "I meant what I saidóI mean, doing you wouldnít be work, you know?"

"Glad to hear it. And I hope weíll discuss it again sometime when we wonít have a horde of people pounding on the door any moment." Ned stepped out of the shower and started to dry off.

Taking an extra moment to calm down, Curt followed, accepting the large, fluffy towel with a murmured word of thanks and drying off then going back into the bedroom and pulling on the pair of sweatpants Ned offered him. "So who other than people I know are here?"

"Well, Kel and Xio are the only ones who actually live here. But most of the vampires in Boston seem to find their way through this house, so anybody could be here. Um, letís see, Marc and Angel, Carlyís guy JT, Caseyís ex Drel, and Anne might show up. Oh yeah, Tarik, Vandy and Bast sometimes drop in too, and so do Derek and Nick. And then thereís the servants, though they tend to keep to themselves. I think they think weíre weird," Ned said with a chuckle.

"I canít imagine why," Curt said dryly. "But everyoneís happy?"

"Nauseatingly so, at times. True love and all that. Although," Ned admitted, "I probably wouldnít find it so bad if I were one of the ones whoíd found their mate."

"True love? No such thing," Curt scoffed.

Ned shook his head. "Youíll find out for yourself someday. But for now, just watch these people for a while. Youíll see that they really do love each other."

"Watch them, eh?" Curt grinned. "And you say you arenít kinky..."

Laughing, Ned gestured him toward the door. "I didnít mean that! Though some of them would like the idea."

"I knew that," Curt smiled, taking a deep breath before opening the door and facing the day ahead.

"Yes, you would know that about them, wouldnít you." Ned tentatively slung an arm over Curtís shoulders, not sure if heíd allow it.

Accepting the support in the face of what he knew was to come, Curt walked with Ned through the halls to the kitchen where the others were gathered.

"Curt!" It appeared that everyone had stayed the night or possibly simply arrived at daybreak, because all of Curtís friends were there, and they all mobbed him the moment he appeared.

Watching the crowd, Rick walked over to Ned, shaking his head. "It seems your baby is quite popular."

"Itís enough to make me run screaming into the night. Not to mention their very untimely interruptions," Ned grumbled.

"Ooo, big brotherís feeling a bit frustrated, is he?"

Ned growled. "Oh, go soak your head."

Rick smirked. "I did. Kitten was quite obliging last night." He glanced at Ned and pretended shock. "Oh, you meant the other one, sorry, misunderstanding."

Ned groaned and punched him in the arm. "Why oh why wasnít I an only child?"

"Because you would have been bored in the Tower then and pompous beyond all belief."

Growling, Ned lunged at Rick, beginning another of their frequent wrestling matches, only to be brought up short by a glass of cold water thrown in their faces.

"As effective as turning a hose on dogs," Casey said with satisfaction.

Rick sputtered and shook his head before catching the young vampire around the waist and hoisting her onto his shoulder. "Oh, youíre going to pay for that, my dear!"

"Promises, promises," she laughed, sliding her hands down over his ass. "Mmm, nice view."

"Now thatís a lost cause if youíre trying to reform Casey," Ned laughed, getting a chorus of agreement from the others.

Rick smirked and carried Casey out back, past a patently flabbergasted Curt to dump her in the pool, clothes and all.

"Hey! Thatís not what I had in mind!" she sputtered when she surfaced, pushing wet hair out of her face. Catching sight of Curt staring out at them, she waved. "Hey, kid, come on out and join me."

Recovering somewhat, Curt laughed. "I would, but I think Angel has a death grip on me, and I donít want to lose an arm."

"Greedy!" Casey laughed. "You can share him, you know." She swam to the side and held a hand up to Rick for help out.

"I just know youíre going to pull me..." Rick finished the sentence in the pool alongside Casey, shaking his head.

"Itís only fair that if you get me wet, you should be wet too."

"Iíve always thought so," Kitten giggled, coming up on Curtís other side so he ended up with one of the twins on either arm.

Curt snorted. "Kitten, as far as I know, youíre always wet."

"Some things never change," Ned snickered.

"Hey, not my fault Iím hot," Kitten laughed.

"Youíre hot?" Curt asked innocently before hefting Kitten into his arms, surprised at how easy it was, and tossing her in the pool as well.

She barely had time to yelp before she splashed down into the water.

"Hey!" Angel exclaimed, shoving Curt into the water after his twin.

Curt gave a yelp as he went under the water and sucked some into his lungs, then had the strange realization that he didnít need to breathe, and when he surfaced, he wore an intrigued smile.

"Fun, isnít it?" Casey chuckled from where she crouched at the side of the pool. "I did a Connor MacLeod thing myself and walked around on the bottom for a while right after I was turned."

Curt giggled and ducked back under the water, swimming around, entranced by the idea that he didnít need to surface.

"Rick, youíre already wet; fish him out, why donít you," Ned sighed, shaking his head as he watched the young vampire.

Rick snorted. "Heís your get, you get him!"

"But youíre already in the pool. Besides, youíre my brother; youíre supposed to help me out."

"I do help you; I kept them from killing you in New York in 1813, remember?"

Even as he said this, Rick was wading deeper into the water to catch Curt around the waist and haul him to the surface.

"Youíre making His Majesty nervous."

"Huh?" Curt looked over to the poolís edge where Ned was watching them and grinned. "Sorry, that was just really cool."

Ned sighed and shook his head. "Children!" he exclaimed, but he was grinning. "Youíre a vampire, not a merman."

Curt shook his head to get his hair out of his face, still grinning. "Thatís okay, Aquaman was never my thing."

"Good thing. Youíd look like shit in orange," Kitten laughed.

"Fuck you, bitch," Curt sighed, though he was smiling. "Be nice or Iíll bite you."

"Ohh, really?" Kitten smiled and tilted her head to one side, baring her neck. "So what would be not nice? Should I start playing with myself?" she teased, laughing.

"Damn, you have to admire that girl," Rick murmured, chuckling as he watched Nedís frown grow.

"She needs a good spanking," Ned replied, watching her lean toward Curt.

"Sheíd just enjoy it, and you know it."

Curt laughed and ducked Kitten under the water, letting out a strangled yell when the others all jumped in as well and joined in the water fight.

Watching them, Ned shook his head. "Iím seriously considering running for my life. I donít know how Xio lives with them."

"Theyíre like a pack of puppies," Rick nodded. "Adorable, but too much energy." As he said this, he caught Ned off guard and dumped him into the water as well.

"Hey!" Ned had time to yelp indignantly before he splashed into the pool. Surfacing a moment later, he jumped out of the water and started chasing Rick around it.

Pausing in his own water fight, Curt stared at the two brothers, shaking his head. "Are they really five hundred years old?"

"Yup," Kel laughed. "Seventeen and twenty for five hundred years."

"Well, fuck me," Curt murmured. "Think weíll all be like that one day?"

"God, I hope not!" Casey exclaimed. "How lame would that be!"

Rick paused and looked back at Ned. "I do believe the children are calling us children, Neddy."

"I do believe youíre correct, Dickon. We need to so something about it." Ned dove into the pool, landing between Casey and Curt and dragging them both underwater.

Rick launched himself into the pool as well, grabbing Kitten and Kel as he joined the fray, all of them rolling around together in a multi-limbed tangle.

The battle went on for a while, and Ned suddenly found himself with Curt in his arms, their bodies pressed together and their eyes staring, mere inches apart.

"Hey, Dad," Curt murmured, ignoring the others and sliding a hand behind Nedís neck to pull him in for a kiss.

"Brat," Ned breathed against Curtís lips as his mouth opened, allowing Curt to control it.

"Okay, gang, time to go, nothing to see here," Rick announced, shooing the others out of the pool and into the house when he realized that neither Ned nor Curt seemed aware of what was around them any longer.

Ned leaned against the side of the pool, his hands cupping Curtís ass and grinding them together. Feeling the answering hardness against his erection, he groaned and pulled Curt even closer.

"Does everyone always get this turned on by the person who... turned them?" Curt gasped, squirming against Nedís length as the water lapped around them.

"Nope, thatís all us," Ned murmured, nosing through the tangle of wet, dark hair to lick the side of Curtís neck. "Of course, most of us only turn people weíre attracted to, so itís not an issue."

"So... would you have turned me if I wasnít half-dead?"

"Not before we were actually introduced, but... yeah." Ned scraped a fang lightly over the vein, not breaking the skin... yet.

Curt shuddered and arched against Ned again, his hands tightening around the other man. "Yeah?" he whispered, tilting his head to the side, offering his throat to the man who had saved him.

"Oh yeah. Want this for centuries, will never get enough of you," Ned rambled, his attention on what he was doing rather than what he was saying. His fangs pressed a little harder, just barely breaking the skin, and he delicately lapped the blood away, healing the wound at the same time, only to do it all again.

"Whores and vamps," Curt rasped, groaning every time Nedís fangs pierced his skin.

"Vamps and sexy little boys," Ned corrected, kissing him so Curt could taste his own blood in Nedís mouth.

Gasping at the taste, Curt pulled back to look at Ned. "Can I... to you?" he asked, his gaze dropping to Nedís throat.

"Oh fuck yeah!"

Curt grinned and tilted his head to the side, licking his lips then biting down on Nedís neck, shuddering as the rich blood filled his mouth.

Groaning, the blond vampire rocked against him, the pleasure of Curt feeding from him nearly enough to make him come. He fumbled under the water for their jeans, finally just tearing them free. Once the barrier between them was gone, he grasped Curtís thighs, raising them until they wrapped around his waist.

Raising his head, Curt looked at Ned with dilated green eyes. "Fuck me," he rasped, tightening his legs around Nedís waist.

"Thatís the plan," Ned groaned. Too eager for any preliminaries, he hoped the water and Curtís familiarity with getting fucked would be enough. He raised Curt slightly, positioning him, and thrust up as he pulled Curt down.

Curt moaned and let himself relax, feeling Ned fill him and his own cock rub against his sireís stomach.

"Oh God," Ned groaned, nearly overwhelmed by the sensation of sinking into Curt as Curtís fangs sank into him. Unable to hold still, he began thrusting, the buoyancy of the water slowing but not stopping him.

Blood filling his mouth, Curt writhed, tightening his ass on Nedís cock, pleasure filling him like a fire.

"Oh yeah, just like that," Ned murmured, his hands on Curtís buttocks increasing the force of each thrust. He fucked the fledgling, careful not to dislodge Curtís fangs, reveling in the combined sensations.

Curt dug his nails into Nedís back, gulping mouthfuls of blood before throwing his head back and howling as he came, his whole body spasming.

The moment Curt released him, Nedís head whipped around, his own fangs sinking into a vein as he came.

The combination of pleasure and pain drove Curt into another orgasm, and he hung onto Ned, feeling the pulsing in his ass as the other man came. "Oh man..." he muttered.

"That was incredible," Ned groaned, not willing to move yet, his head lolling back against the edge of the pool. "At least centuries."

"Centuries?" Curt asked, sounding confused.

"How long itíll take to explore all the things we can do together."

Curt chuckled and rested his head against Nedís shoulder. "Good thing Iím creative." He looked up, leaning in to kiss Ned, then frowned before breaking into laughter when he saw the crowd at the windows watching them.

"What?" Ned craned his head around to see and slid under the water with a yelp when he saw the crowdóand his brother holding up a poster that said Ď9.8í. "Iím gig to kill him!" he sputtered when he surfaced again.

Curt treaded water, still laughing. "Yeah, that as a nine point nine at least!"

"Argh!" Ned sank back down to the bottom of the pool and thought seriously about staying there.

Swimming down to look at Ned, Curt made faces until the older vampire laughed and surfaced again. "What? Are you saying it wasnít that good?"

"God." Ned grabbed Curt by the back of the neck and pulled him into a kiss. "Iíve never considering scoring!"

"And youíve lived here how long?"

"Some things are just meant to be enjoyed."

"Youíre saying you didnít enjoy it?"

"Of course I enjoyed it! How did I end up on the defensive here?" Ned frowned suspiciously.

Curt chuckled. "I dunno; must be Rickís fault."

"Oh my God, centuries of you two ganging up on me."

Curt flashed a smile full of fangs. "Iíll make it worth your while."

"Suddenly Iím looking forward to my own torment."

"Iím looking forward to the ten point ĎOí."

"Iím planning on going for the bonus points."

Curt chuckled. "Careful, youíre almost cooing."

"I never coo!" Ned bared his fangs.

"You are now!" Rick yelled from the house, causing Curt to break into laughter.

"Thatís it, I am going to kill him." Ned pulled himself out of the pool and stalked toward the house.

"Whatís all that for?" Curt asked, looking up from the book Kitten had given him about the ĎPrinces in the Towerí to see Ned coming in the room they shared carrying several suitcases.

"Weíre running away from home. Or rather to home. My house is ready, so we can get out of here and cut back the sibling visits to no more than once a day instead of once every five minutes."

"Theyíre just looking for new ideas," Curt laughed.

"Ha! Kitten and Casey keep making suggestions that scare me!"

"They really need men of their own; know any?"

"I wish! But since we donít, the next best thing is escape."

Curt sat up and stuck a bookmark between the pages heíd been reading. "So where is this place of yours, anyway?"

Ned stared. "Oh shit, Iíve never taken you to see it." He sat down abruptly. "I didnít even ask if you wanted to go."

"You think I want to stay here at the insane asylum?" Curt asked incredulously. "No way! You turned me; youíre stuck with me!"

Ned chuckled. "I guess I was worrying for nothing. Though weíre not entirely on our own in the cold world. Derek put me on to a sweet deal not far from him, so I picked up an old brownstone."

"Though in dealing with you, old is a relative word." Curt got off the bed and took a suitcase from Nedís hand.

"Iím going to make you eat those words in a thousand years or so." Ned aimed a swat at Curt.

"Iíd rather snack on other things, thanks."

"Whenever you like," Ned replied, grabbing Curt by the nape of the neck and holding him still for a kiss. "Now pack."

Curt stuck his tongue out at the older vampire. "Since when did the designation Ďchildeí turn into servant?"

"Your things," Ned replied patiently, rolling his eyes. "Kings donít pack for mere children."

"Oh, excuse me, Your Highness!" Curt snorted. "Just what is it kings do?"

"Supervise." Ned smirked at him.

Curt threw a pillow at him.

"A challenge!" Ned caught the pillow and leaped at Curt, pummeling him with it.

"Hey, hey!" Curt exclaimed, holding his hands over his head. "Not all of us are trained in bashing people with things!"

"Youíve never had a pillow fight?" Ned stared at him aghast. "That has to be corrected." He pushed a pillow into Curtís hands. "Come on, you know you want to," he urged, holding his arms wide.

Curt stared at Ned strangely. "Of course Iíve had a pillow fight; I just meant you had half a thousand years practice!" With that, he launched himself at Ned, smacking him about the head and shoulders.

"A pillow shark! Weíll see about that." Ned retaliated, directing the fight to back Curt toward the bed.

Feeling the edge of the mattress behind his knees, Curt leapt up and back, landing on the other side of the bed and grinning widely at his achievement. "Cool!"

"Very impressive," Ned praised him, then lunged over the bed to whack him again.

"Agh!" Curt ducked and flailed at Ned, finally reaching around him and giving him a wedgie.

Ned yowled and danced away, jumping around till he managed to fix his clothes. "Oh, you are so going to pay for that!"

"Ooo, gonna get me, you big, bad vampire?" Curt taunted, backing toward the window.

"Gonna nail you," Ned retorted, stalking him.

"Gotta catch me first!" Curt taunted, glancing back toward the window, then managing to turn himself to mist and vanish through the wall.

"Oh, very good," Ned murmured, smiling proudly for an instant before following suit and going in search of his teasing childe-cum-lover.

Sight was useless, as was hearing and scent, but Ned reached out with mind as his own sire had taught him his first night as a vampire and sought the familiar touch of Curtís thoughts.

Inordinately proud of himself, Curt floated through the grounds, trying to listen behind him and almost freaking out when he found himself sailing through a tree.

Ned sensed Curtís reaction and tried to prevent his amusement from spilling over. He remembered his own reaction the first time he passed through something, and Rickís as well; at least Curt hadnít screamed. He moved closer, reaching out, trying to connect with Curt.

Feeling something brush against him, Curt froze, whirling around in an unseen vortex until he realized the presence was Ned, and he calmed somewhat.

"Youíre doing very well," Ned praised. "Now just hold still, and Iíll show you something incredible." He moved to overlap Curt, their diffuse molecules blending and mingling.

The sensation was unlike anything Curt had ever felt before, and he fought the urge to flee at this loss of self. "Whatówhat are you doing?"

"Sharing." But Ned felt Curtís tension and moved away until they were separate again. "We can try that again sometime when you feel ready for it."

"No, go ahead," Curt said quickly. "Now that I know itís coming, Iíll be okay; it just felt sorta weird."

"Think of it as losing your cherry again," Ned laughed.

"Ooo, baby, do me now!"

Laughing, Ned flowed through him again, mixing them completely, feeling as if Curt was stroking every atom of his being.

"This is cool," Curt said after getting used to the sensation. "Really cool, like youíre in me and Iím in you all at the same time."

"Exactly. We can do the same with our thoughts, but I donít think either of us is ready for that."

"Like, be in each othersí heads?"

"Exactly. Itís... intense. Iíve only done it a couple of times."

"With your brother?" Curt asked innocently.

"Once. For about a second. We realized quickly that we loved each other but that was too much. Did it twice with Anne, my sire, but it felt wrong. I love her, but that was more than I wanted to share with her."

"Wow." Curt gave an experimental swirl and rubbed his vaporous body through Nedís. "That sounds intense."

Ned shudderedóor the equivalent for a cloud of mistówith pleasure. "Quick learner," he managed, his thoughts less than coherent just then.

"In some things," Curt answered, feeling very pleased with himself and also very aroused.

"Right now I think bodies would be good," Ned suggested, his mental tone thick with lust.

"Umm, just how do we get separate?"

"You go left and Iíll go right."

Curt was silent a moment. "Your left or mine?"

Ned sighed. "Aim for that big maple tree," he suggested, already starting to move in the opposite direction.

Curt did just that, then concentrated and felt himself reappearing. "So, Dad, howíd I do?" he asked.

"Spectacularly," Ned said, solidifying in front of him and immediately pulling Curt into a kiss, aroused from their blending.

Curt groaned and arched against Nedís body, sliding his arms around the other vampireís waist and grinding against him. "Any chance I can fuck you this time?" he murmured.

"All you ever had to do was ask," Ned replied, returning the pressure and licking Curtís ear.

"Well, I didnít want to impose," Curt grinned.

"I wouldnít call it an imposition. More a delight," Ned murmured, his hands cupping Curtís ass and pulling him even closer.

Curt chuckled even as they managed to drop to the ground. "First time Iíve ever been called that."

"Iíll have to repeat it often then." Ned tore at Curtís clothes, wanting to feel skin against skin.

Groaning, Curt did the same to Nedís clothes, touching, kissing and biting the other manís flesh as it was bared.

Rolling to his back and pulling Curt over him, Ned ravaged Curtís mouth, fangs drawing blood which he licked away. "How do you want me?"

Sitting up, Curt pressed a hand against Nedís chest, holding him in place. "Just like that," he whispered, reaching down to spread Nedís legs around him and tease the entrance to his body.

Ned tightened his knees against Curt, his hips tilting to press harder against the cock rubbing against him. "So take me," he breathed.

"Oh, God..." Curt murmured, pressing forward into the tight grasp of Nedís body.

"Just Ned will do."

Lifting his head, Curt stared incredulously down at the blond. "King complex," he muttered before beginning to move.

Ned just groaned, hips rising to match Curtís rhythm, his hands running up and down Curtís back, nails scratching lightly at the ridges of his spine.

Moaning in pleasure, Curt lowered his head, dragging his fangs along Nedís chest and reaching between them to stroke his cock.

"Oh fuck yeah," Ned gasped, back arching. "Bite me."

Shuddering with lust, Curt reared back and drove his fangs into Nedís throat, swallowing the pulsing blood as he shuddered, giving up trying to keep a slow pace and simply driving into Nedís ass.

Ned gripped his shoulders so hard heíd have crushed the bones of a normal human. "Harder," he growled, one hand grabbing one of Curtís and yanking it up so he could begin drinking Curtís blood as well.

Curt bit down again, driving his fangs into flesh and muscle even as he thrust harder and faster, the pain and pleasure of Ned drinking from him driving rational thought from his mind.

Ned reached for him mentally, wanting to share their pleasure, knowing it couldnít last much longer before both of them would climax.

Curt moaned as he felt Nedís pleasure flood his mind, and he tightened his hand on Nedís cock, jacking him roughly in time with their fucking.

Ned stiffened and yelled, uncaring of who might hear, his body convulsing in a spasm of pleasure. He clenched down on the shaft filling him, muscles rippling.

Tearing his mouth from Nedís throat, Curt gave a shout of completion as he came, flooding Nedís ass with his seed as he continued to move.

Ned pulled his fangs free of Curtís wrist, licking the wounds to heal them and for the last drops of blood. He lay sprawled bonelessly beneath the young man, for the moment utterly sated.

Curt collapsed on top of Ned, squirming until they were both comfortable, then sighing. "Oh yeah, that was a lot better than packing." He snickered. "And you certainly nailed me."

"That comes later," Ned retorted, petting Curtís back. "For now I had fun chasing you till you caught me."

"So we donít have to pack? Oh damn."

"Yes, we have to pack." Ned shook his head, laughing. "Later. This is definitely more important. After all, we can always come back for things."

"Just so long as we donít forget the lube," Curt snickered.

Ned laughed at him. "I didnít notice any a few minutes ago, and I wasnít complaining!"

"More like begging for more."

Ned groaned. "Iíve created a monster."

Curt snorted and smacked Nedís hip. "Are you complaining?"

"Not at the moment. Weíll see when it comes time to move and how much youíve actually packed by then," Ned teased, tangling his fingers in Curtís dark hair and pulling him down into a kiss.

"Royal pain," Curt growled. "Most of the shit is yours."

"Ha! I remember a few shopping sprees that replaced your wardrobe. Which needed it, admittedly, but youíre going to have more than a few boxes yourself."

"Iíll admit that, but you still have more, and I donít even want to think about what you have in storage!"

"Ah, but thatís already packed. The movers will deal with it. And weíll see how much you have in a couple of centuries!"

Curt laughed and got to his feet, stretching. "Fine, fine, weíll go pack all your junk and my little bit, but I expect a treat for this!"

"I thought you just had it," Ned smirked.

Curt stuck his tongue out at the erstwhile king. "Maybe, but I want another one!"

"Greedy child. I like that in a man." Ned chuckled as he finally got up as well and worked the kinks out. "What exactly did you have in mind?" he asked somewhat warily.

"I was thinking you could use some of the wisdom youíve accumulated over the years and surprise me."

"I think I can handle that... after weíre packed and moved. In fact, I think it sounds like something we should take our time over, several days perhaps."

Curt pulled a face. "If we have to wait for it until all your stuff is unpacked, itíll be a year from now!"

"Very funny. Keep it up and Iíll decorate your room with no furniture!"

"My room?"

"Well yeah. I thought youíd want a place to keep your stuff and that was all yours to retreat to when you get pissed off at me."

"Ahh, cool. I just thought you meant, like, to stay in or something."

"That would make sex very difficult."

"True, youíre big, but not that big."

"Then again, I may just lock you in it!"

"Youíd have to catch me first!" Curt yelled, leaping to his feet and racing back toward the mansion, not caring that heíd left his clothes in the woods.

Laughing, Ned gathered up all their clothes and chased after him, determined to get the last word at least once. Back in their room he threw the clothes aside, not caring if they were ruined, and stalked the laughing young man, herding him toward the bed.

"Donít hurt me, your majesty," Curt laughed, falling back onto the bed and wrapping his arms around Ned when the older vampire pounced him. "Iíll be a good body servant."

"If Iíd wanted to do the things I want to do with you to any previous body servants, theyíd have run screaming into the night," Ned chuckled, nipping at Curtís full lower lip. "Then again, you did do that earlier, didnít you?"

Curt blew a raspberry against Nedís neck. "I did not scream, and you didnít make your body servants scream? What kind of prince were you?"

"One who was locked up alone with his brother by the time he was old enough for that sort of thing," Ned replied with a faint, wry smile. "And I guess Iíll just have to try again to make you scream."

"Damn, thereís a horrible thought," Curt chuckled. "But I thought you royals all lost your virginity the minute you could get it up."

"I did," Ned shrugged. "But you know, at thirteen, not so good at making a woman scream. That takes practice."

"Which youíve obviously had plenty of since you now can make men scream tooóor claim you can." Curt snickered. "Just not your brother."

"Yuck! Would you stop with the sexual innuendo about my brother? Thatís disgusting!" Ned made a face at him.

Curt burst into laughter. "But your expression when I do is too funny!"

"And you wonder why I plan to give you your own room as well. Brat!"

"Huh, and here I thought it was some hangover from your royalty dayódidnít those people always sleep in separate beds?"

"Yes, the queen usually had separate rooms where the king would join her when it was time for her to do her wifely duty. That way she wasnít disturbed or in the way when he took the royal mistresses to his bed. You telling me I should have other people in my bed?" Ned grinned down at him.

Curt was silent for a moment, then shrugged. "If you want, you can; itís not like weíre married or something."

Ned froze into stillness, staring at Curt. "I was joking, Curt. Youíre what I want, and I thought you felt the same. Are you saying that you want others?"

"No, I just meant if you wanted..." Curt made a noise of frustration. "I donít know how to do this, okay?"

"There arenít any rules, Curt," Ned said gently. "But I guess I shouldnít have assumed you knew how I felt. I donít want to play games or have separate rooms or other people. I want us, together."

Curt looked up at Ned, for once appearing his age instead of years older. "I like that. A lot."

"I was hoping you would. I know we havenít actually known each other all that long, but Iíve gotten used to having you around." Ned lowered his head to kiss Curt lightly.

Curt smiled wryly. "So Iím comfortable?"

"Well, you do make a good pillow."

"Oh, now thereís a compliment!"

"I also happen to enjoy waking up beside you." Ned combed his fingers through Curtís hair, lightly massaging his scalp.

Curt sighed and leaned into the touch, closing his eyes. "Okay, thatís a better one," he murmured.

"Just like a cat," Ned chuckled, still petting him. "Will you purr for me?"

"I thought we were supposed to be packing?"

"You were just waiting for a chance to say that, werenít you?" Ned laughed as he rolled off Curt and rose to his feet. "So start packing."

Curt threw a pillow at Ned.



"You really bought this place for just you?" Curt asked, nosing around the mostly empty townhouse and shaking his head at the number of rooms.

"Iíll admit itís a little small for the two of us, but I fell in love with it when I saw it," Ned shrugged. "If you think we need more space, we can see about buying one of the adjacent ones and knocking out a wall."

"More space?" Curt turned to stare at Ned, dumbfounded. "Why?"

"Well, it is rather small for more than one person, and I want you to feel comfortable."

"You do remember where I was living before this, right?"

"Good point. Should I shut up and lock some of the rooms to make you feel more at home?" Ned inquired with a perfectly straight face.

"Ass," Curt grumbled, taking some shirts out of one of the boxes and tossing them at Ned.

Ned easily plucked them out of the air and hung them on empty hangers in the closet. "Yours or mine?" he inquired mildly. "Because both are damn near perfect."

Curt groaned and shook his head, giving up trying to win.

Laughing, Ned suddenly tackled him and tumbled them to the floor. "Do you think youíll like it here?" he asked when he finally stopped kissing Curt and raised his head some time later.

"Of course I will; youíre here," Curt answered honestly.

That got him kissed again.

"Meeting you has made it worthwhile having to put up with those crazy people you call a family. Iím glad youíre here."

Curt smiled. "So am I, and no dissing the others, not even Rick, got it?"

"Hey, picking on kid brothers is an older brotherís duty. Heíd be trying to figure out what was wrong with me if I didnít. Hmmm, that would mess with his mind..."

Curt laughed and dropped onto the bed, shooting up again when bells rang underneath it. "What the hell?"

Ned jumped as well, then started swearing. "Iím going to kill him," he snarled, getting down on his hands and knees to peer under the bed.

Flipping over to lift the dust ruffle and stare under the bed at the bells that had been tied to the box spring, Curt snickered. "Let me guess: Rickís house-warming present?"

"My brotherís sense of humor has not changed since he was two!" Ned grumbled, trying to tug the bells free and finally having to crawl under the bed to unfasten them if he wanted to be rid of them without tearing the bed apart.

"Iím almost afraid to see what else heís done," Curt laughed, once Ned had come back out from under the bed, looking disheveled. "But at least there werenít any dust balls under there."

"Your opinion of my housekeeping is heartwarming," Ned replied dryly. "Not to mention that I do employ a cleaning service.

"However, I think you may be right to be afraid," he sighed, looking around warily. "I put nothing beyond Dickon."

"At least the bed didnít collapse under us," Curt observed, snickering.

"Yet," Ned replied repressively, kneeling beside the bed and frowning at it. "Iím tempted to have someone search the house. Heaven only knows what might be waiting for us."

"So we find things when we find them; whatís life without some adventure?" Curt reached out a hand and tousled Nedís perfectly brushed blond hair.

"Donít mess the hair, brat," Ned grumped, catching hold of Curtís arm and tugging him over to the edge of the bed so he could kiss him.

"Why?" Curt laughed against Nedís lips. "No royal hairdresser here to fix it?"

"Iím doomed to be surrounded by brats," Ned sighed. "Keep it up and Iíll make sure your hair stands on end!"

"Well, you promised me a weekend to remember, remember?"

"How could I forget that? I was just hoping not to have my brother involved when the earth moves." Ned shifted up onto the bed, stretching out on top of Curt, and ran his hands through the dark hair, holding his head still.

Curt squirmed, freeing his legs to wrap them around Nedís. "Well, you could have made me hear bells that way," he chuckled, running his hands down Nedís back and under his shirt.

"I prefer to accomplish that on my own," Ned retorted, green eyes staring down into darker green. "But we need to lose the clothes. I much prefer you naked." He unbuttoned Curtís shirt and pushed the sides apart, lowering his head to scrape a fang over a nipple.

Curt laughed before shuddering at the pleasurable pain. "No bringing up little brother when we fuck, I know," he murmured, catching Nedís face and pulling it up to lick his mouth, tasting his own blood on Nedís teeth.

"You have an unhealthy obsession with my brother," Ned observed when the kiss ended. "Try concentrating on me." He pulled his own shirt off over his head, not caring that he was messing up his hair even more, and rocked against Curt, their erections rubbing together though their pants.

Curt pouted even as he squirmed out of his shirt and ran his hands down Nedís broad back again. "Geez, just because I think having both of you doing me would be hot..." He laughed at Nedís outraged expression and kissed him again. "Just kidding, Your Highness."

"That is just wrong," Ned said emphatically, unable to think about his brother in any sexual way even though he knew that that Casey and Carly often shared lovers, and Angel and Kitten were as often to be found in each otherís beds as any other. It was just different for him and Rick. "Yuck!" He grabbed Curt for another kiss to wipe the thought from his mind.

"Poor Neddy," Curt laughed.

"Iím sensing a distinct lack of sympathy here," Ned growled, his green eyes sparkling with mirth.

"Really? And here I am oozing with it."

Ned snorted. "Youíll soon be oozing with something, but it wonít be sympathy." He slid down Nedís body, nipping and lapping the welling droplets of blood to heal each bite as he did. He stripped Curt of his jeans and pulled the bared legs over his shoulders so he could nuzzle at Curtís balls.

Curt groaned and shifted restlessly, his hard cock rubbing against his belly. "More than one thing, I thinkóif you do it right."

"I always aim for perfection," Ned murmured against the sensitive sac before licking it and the soft, smooth skin behind it that he loved to touch.

Curt laughed breathlessly. "Is this my cue to say you are perfect?"

"I wouldnít object." Ned nibbled gently, not breaking the skin this time, and gradually worked his way down until he was lightly tracing the tight ring of muscle with the tip of his tongue, tasting Curt eagerly.

"Fuck, bite me, Ned," Curt rasped, spreading his legs wider and offering himself to his lover.

Ned chuckled, remembering how worried heíd been at first about how Curt would react to the biting involved in vampire sex. Heíd quickly realized that Curtís previous life made him remarkably adaptable in that area, but Ned still loved how much Curt got off on it with no worries about right or wrong. "Pushy bottom," he laughed an instant before he sank his fangs into the tender, sensitive flesh.

"Would you want me any other way?" Curt groaned, digging his fingers into the fine cotton of the sheets and whimpering with pleasure.

"I want you any and every way I can get you," Ned replied, alternately licking and biting Curt, continually healing him and starting the blood flowing again.

"Well, thatís the way you can have me, any damn way we can think of."

"Life is good." Ned raised his head to smirk at Curt along the length of his body, then lowered it again to push his tongue into Curtís hole.

Curt arched up off the mattress and groaned, catching his knees with his hands and pulling them back against his chest to open himself more for Nedís penetration. "God, yes, do it."

Ned stopped what he was doing long enough to point out, "I am doing it." He plunged his tongue in and out of Curtís body until he couldnít wait any longer and knelt between Curtís legs to push into him.

Letting go of his knees, Curt dug his fingers into Nedís back and kissed him hungrily, letting his fangs drag over Nedís tongue then licking the wounds closed.

"Oh yes," Ned groaned, tasting his own blood as Curt played. The lust spiked in him, and he pounded harder into Curt, loving that Curt took it eagerly and demanded more. They were perfect together. "Perfect," he panted.

"Yeah, you are," Curt rasped, pulling back to look up at Ned, his moss-green eyes dark with arousal.

"We are," Ned corrected, slowing to long, deep strokes, groaning as Curt tightened around him, the clinging grasp drawing him even deeper.

"Iím glad it was you." Curt kissed Ned again, this time more gently.

"I wish it had happened differently, but Iím glad weíre together," Ned said around gasps as he thrust into Curt, his light green eyes warm as he gazed at his lover.

Curt nodded as he rocked up under Ned, slipping a hand between them to stroke his own cock. "Canít change the past; learned that long ago."

"Just enjoy the present and future," Ned agreed. His thrust began to speed up again as watching Curt touch himself drove his arousal higher.

"The long, long future," Curt gasped, tightening his hand on his cock and moving with Ned, on the verge of coming. With his free hand, he grabbed Nedís wrist and brought it to his mouth, biting down and gulping the hot blood.

Ned cried and came as he felt Curtís fangs and the spasms around his cock as Curt tightened around him. He barely had the presence of mind to turn his head to the side and bite into Curtís neck, the rich blood pouring into his mouth as he sucked hungrily.

The double impalement drove Curt over the edge, and he came, coating his hand and both their stomachs as he spasmed, his fangs tearing at Nedís wrist in his extremity.

The sensation of Curt biting at him so savagely made another burst of pleasure race through Ned, and he cried out again in a second climax, burying himself balls deep in Curt.

Droplets of blood hit Curt on the face, and he dragged his mind back from the maze of pleasure to see that he had mangled Nedís wrist. "Fuck," he rasped. "Iím sorry." He quickly licked at the jagged tears, healing them.

"In case you missed it, I came again when you did that," Ned chuckled, comfortably sprawled on top of Curt. "No need to apologize for it. In fact, do it again whenever you like."

Curt chuckled weakly at that. "You did? Guess I was a little focused on what I was doing."

"Mmm, I noticed. And I liked it." Ned raised his head to kiss Curt again.

"And you say Iím kinky..."

"You are. I never said I wasnít too." Ned grinned wickedly.

"Idiot," Curt laughed, slapping Nedís ass hard enough to sting.

"Didnít you ever learn to respect your elders?" Ned laughed, brushing his blond hair out of his eyes.

"Only when they look older than me! And donít you ever tell me you donít have the same damn sense of humor as Rick."

Nedís grin grew wider. "Well, he is my brother..."

Curt groaned. "Where are those bells? Iím going to tie them around your throat!"

"And weíre back to being kinky." Ned snickered.

"Are we ever not?"

"Good point. I think itís our thing." Ned rolled to his back and drew Curt with him, settling the dark man on top of him.

Curt pushed up onto his elbows and looked down at Ned, smiling as he traced a fingertip over the blondís smooth chest. "So what are you planning on doing with me the rest of my life?"

"Mmm, plans. Letís see, fucking whenever humanly possible, traveling anywhere we want to go, spending obscene amounts of money dressing you, probably spending a lot of time with my lunatic brother and your crazy friends, more fucking..."

"Damn, sounds just about perfect to meóespecially the fucking part."

"What a shock," Ned laughed, hugging him tightly. "It sounds perfect to me too."





Read Ned's backstory.

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