The half moon was standing high in the sky, tinted a rare orange, and Johnny knew that it was going to be a good night.
It was shortly after midnight when he pulled onto the parking lot of the club, roaring his engine as he rolled onto the gravel to forewarn any humans who might have stumbled into his way. He steered his Yamaha onto its designated parking spot, dismounting the motorcycle before he pulled off his helmet and gloves to lock them under the seat. Johnny was the last one to arrive. The rest of the staff parking spots were already occupied.
The lot was brimming with patrons, some having stepped out for a cigarette, some clearly in search for a dark corner that they wouldn’t find here. The staff had clear instructions to keep the outside of the club as clean as the inside and as Johnny approached the back door, he could already see a bouncer leaving his spot to follow one of the vampires that was leaving the club. The human hanging from her arm had stars in her eyes that were a little too bright to be natural and Johnny met eyes with his bouncer before nodding.
Jaemin shot him a bright, toothy smile before he disappeared into the back alley the vampire had lead her human into. Johnny didn’t bother looking after him and instead focussed on making his way past the part of the queue that extended from the front doors onto the lot. The vampires in the queue noticed him at once, some going so far as to bow their heads and Johnny moved along quickly. This kind of unusually docile behaviour would tip off some of the humans in the queue and Johnny wanted to be inside before they caught on. He squeezed Jeno’s shoulder as he passed by his second bouncer.
Inside the club, the smell of perfume and human sweat hung heavily in the air, tickling Johnny’s overly sensitive nose as he made his way towards the bar. Yuta was already hard at work, eliciting shrieks of laughter from the group of patrons in front of him as he spun the bottle he was handling in his palm. He pretended to have dropped it before he caught the bottle by the neck and, basking in the cheers he earned for his stunt, poured out the rainbow-coloured liquor inside.
Amused at Yuta’s antics, Johnny allowed his gaze to wander to the side, to the figure that he knew would sit near-hidden on the bar stool closest to the wall. A bottle of untouched B-positive in front of him, Sicheng was watching the bar shenanigans with carefully constructed disinterest, unmoving as long as none of the patrons' hands wandered across the counter to touch the barman. It made Johnny smile.
He didn't play favourites with his progeny, but he did have a soft spot for his first-unborn, all of Sicheng's possessive traits and paranoia included. It were traits that had carried over from Sicheng’s human life, cultivated in a time when Sicheng had been the prince of a kingdom that was long lost and many hands had reached out for the crown on his head. Two human decades surrounded by royal intrigue (and the rapidly growing mass of his loved ones’ corpses that it had brought upon) had left Sicheng with possessive tendencies to last him his undead eternity. So Johnny couldn’t fault him for his overprotective urges. Not when Yuta was so bright and things that held light were so precious to their kind.
Fortunately, Yuta was in on the game, his smile unfaltering as he expertly dodged the hands reaching out to push their tips into the neck line of his mesh shirt and Johnny knew that he could count on the human to prevent any bloodshed from happening tonight. Any unforeseen bloodshed, Johnny corrected himself, as he watched Yuta throw a wink in his lover's direction and Sicheng's eyes flared crimson with hunger.
"Sicheng," Johnny mumbled as he leaned against the bar counter, right next to the women that had occupied Yuta’s time. He was speaking too quietly for the human patrons to hear, but his progeny would.
Sicheng stiffened in his seat, his head tilting to the side while an oblivious Yuta stopped juggling the cocktail shaker in his hands long enough to slide Johnny a bottle of 0-negative.
Johnny picked up his drink, 37 degrees on the dot, and smiled. "Drink some of your blood, you look a little thirsty."
At the other end of the bar, Johnny could see Yukhei emerge from the storage room as if he had been summoned, a crate of craft beer placed on his hip. His remark made Yukhei snort as he began to sort the bottles into the cooler and Sicheng jutted out his lips in the approximation of a pout, but he took a sip of his B-positive and Johnny smiled in the knowledge that there would be no trouble in his club tonight. However much Sicheng struggled to control himself at times, Johnny was his maker and so Sicheng would obey his words.
“Doyoung’s downstairs,” Yukhei informed him when Johnny pushed himself away from the bar and Johnny nodded, sliding the cap of his bottle across the counter for Yukhei to catch.
It was still early so the club wasn’t filled to the brim yet, which also meant that Johnny couldn’t pass through the crowd without drawing attention to himself. The vampires among it knew who he was, of course, paying their respects with averted eyes and small greetings while the humans were tripped up by the shift in the atmosphere he brought upon, their instincts telling them what their conscious minds couldn’t pinpoint. Johnny made sure to stay away from those that stepped towards him instead of away.
Eventually, he made it to the stairs that lead up to the landing of the second floor. Instead of heading for the small, secluded booths that lined the back walls of the mezzanine, he walked past the entrance to the VIP area and went straight ahead, through the door that said Staff Only and down the two flights of stairs that lead into the basement. The fortified door slid open once he had tapped the pass code into the key pad and Johnny was eager to step into the cool, climatized hallway. The air was clean here, lacking the aggressive stench of the perfumes some of the human patrons liked to douse themselves in to attract vampires.
The door at the end of the hallway stood open and Johnny would have raised an eyebrow at that if he hadn’t been able to see Doyoung shuffling around inside of his office. There was a stack of papers in his arms and he spent his time muttering curse words to himself as he struggled to file them away in the cabinets lining the wall behind Johnny’s desk.
“You want a hand with that?”
Doyoung didn’t even bother deigning his words with an answer, his eyes remaining glued to the papers in his hands as he continued to sort them into their rightful places. Johnny let him proceed, sitting down on one of the couches in the centre of the room while Doyoung worked his bureaucracy magic. He had nearly finished his bottle of 0-negative by the time Doyoung joined him, sinking down on the cushions with a sigh. Johnny offered him the rest of his blood, which Doyoung declined with a sneer.
“Were those the reports from last month?”
“Yes, and they were an absolute pain in the ass to put together. I’ve told Yukhei a hundred times to stop writing his tabs on napkins. They get all soggy and disgusting and it’s not like his handwriting was legible in the first place.”
“I think at this point he’s just doing so to irritate you.”
Doyoung let out a huff in response, pulling off his glasses to clean them with the wipe he kept in his shirt pocket. Why Doyoung insisted on wearing the frames despite his perfect vision was a mystery to Johnny even after three-hundred years, but he figured that even the most rational of his progeny was entitled to some rare proclivities.
“He should be grateful I’m tolerating his presence at all. One words from me to Woo and he—” Doyoung’s brows furrowed as he stopped speaking mid-sentence, his eyes glazing over and his head tilting to the side. Familiar with the sight, Johnny set down his empty bottle on the coffee table.
“It’s Jungwoo,” Doyoung explained after a minute, his gaze remaining far away. “He’s asking for you. He wants you to come to the second floor.” The crease between Doyoung’s eyebrows deepened. “There’s someone there.”
Johnny felt his eyebrows rise to the middle of his forehead. Usually, if Jungwoo were to find himself in trouble, he would just ask his maker for help right away and not use Doyoung as a mouthpiece to request Johnny. Which meant that whatever he was dealing with either needed the attention of the Sheriff, or the person was asking for Johnny directly. And both possibilities were unlikely.
Johnny met Doyoung’s eyes and nodded. In the next moment, Doyoung was gone.
He was too concerned about his progeny to waste even a split second while Johnny took the time to pick up his bottle, throw it in the trash and uncrease his slacks before he followed. He knew that Jungwoo wasn’t in real danger. The younger vampire would have called out for all of the clan if that had been the case, so Johnny took his time making his way upstairs. Despite his more human pace, he still took the steps leading upstairs two at a time. He was curious, after all.
Taeyong was in trouble.
Deep, bloody trouble. He winced as he pressed his hand against the small, ragged incisions on his underarm, blood welling up beneath his fingers.
“I swear it wasn’t my fault. The little bitch suddenly attacked me!”
Taeyong backed away from the angry vampire currently trying to get to him, falling onto the bench they had been previously sitting on. The soles of his boots squeaked over the pleather cushioning as he pushed himself as far into the booth as he could.
“Now, that’s just crude.” The club employee currently holding Taeyong’s would-be-murderer back clacked his tongue. He was a vampire too, Taeyong could tell by the bright scarlet colour of his eyes. That, and the fact that he hadn’t been ripped to shreds yet. Taeyong’s assailant was much larger than him, the bulging muscles of the other’s frame making him look almost comically small. Yet, he wasn’t moved a millimetre. “I see that there is a conflict here, but hurling insults at your human will hardly be helpful to resolve it.”
“I’m not his human,” Taeyong managed to get out past the lump in his throat and the club vampire tilted his head backwards to shoot him a bright, fangless smile. The fact that his fangs hadn’t popped out yet showed how little the fight was affecting him and under different circumstances, Taeyong might have had it in him to be impressed.
As it was, he barely managed a gasp when the vampire still trying to get to Taeyong used the opportunity to swing his fist, his arm moving so fast that it blurred in front of Taeyong’s eyes. Before it could do so much as graze the blond vampire’s cheek, it was already caught by another, pale hand.
The third vampire that arrived at Taeyong’s table brought the angry vampire to his knees with a swift kick to the back of his knees and Taeyong winced when he could hear the bones in his assailant’s arm crack under the pressure of his fist being held in place while the rest of his body was forced to the ground. Taeyong’s assailant screamed with the pain of it, but it didn’t seem to faze either of the other two vampires.
“Jungwoo!” the third vampire snapped.
Taeyong’s saviour, Jungwoo, let out a delighted laugh. “Oh, thanks, Doyoung!”
“Where were your eyes when he attacked you?” Doyoung sneered as he looked down at the vampire writing between them. “He almost hurt you!”
“Yeah, I’m not a fan of that, either.”
Where it had been beating rapidly before, Taeyong’s heartbeat seemed to slow down when his eyes caught onto the fourth vampire approaching his booth that night, his body reacting before his mind could catch up. The air left his lungs at once. The vampire was taller than both of the other club employees, dressed in slacks and a dress shirt instead of the employee shirts his clan members were donning. Despite his stature, he was easily weaving his way through the other people lingering in the VIP area and that was partially due to how many of them stepped out of his way.
Taeyong nearly felt his ears pop with how rapidly the atmosphere around him seemed to change and it was Jungwoo’s reaction, more than anything, that tipped him off. Where Jungwoo’s smile had been unfaltering ever since he had arrived at Taeyong’s table, unshaken by both the fight and Doyoung’s sharp words of reprimand, his expression suddenly became somber, sheepish as he lowered his head in a gesture that was way too demure for any vampire.
“What’s going on here?”
“Sorry, boss. A feeding mishap. I heard this one,” Jungwoo tipped the burly vampire still writhing at his feet with the tip of his shoe, “attack his human when I was bussing the table next over and I didn’t know what to do with him.”
“I’m not his human,” Taeyong said, realising only belatedly how stupid of him it was to remind the vampires of his existence. He quickly shrunk back in his seat.
“How fortunate.” Crimson eyes met Taeyong’s as the fourth vampire spoke and Taeyong swallowed, his hand instinctively tightening around the wound on his arm. The vampire’s eyes remained on him for only a second too long before he turned towards Doyoung. “Since this patron of ours doesn’t know how to behave, would you mind taking the trash out?”
“With pleasure.” Doyoung’s mouth pulled into a sharp, fanged smile before he bent down, picked the burly vampire by the scruff of his neck and—quicker than Taeyong’s brain could compute—hauled him out of the VIP area.
“This isn’t fair!” the burly vampire cried out as he was dragged away. “I didn’t attack him! The little bitch came at me first!”
“He’s lying,” Taeyong whispered into the vacuum Doyoung and his assailant left. “He asked to buy me a drink when he saw me sitting alone, but I didn’t know he’d want me to bare my neck for him in return.” Now that the imminent threat to his life was gone, Taeyong could feel the sensation of pain return to his body. He looked down at the wound on his arm, his vision blurring with the sight of the blood. “I tried to tell him I changed my mind, but he wouldn’t listen.”
When he looked up, he found two pairs of gleaming red eyes looking back at him and it was hard not to shrink under the weight of the vampires’ gazes.
“Jungwoo,” the older vampire said and Jungwoo perked up. “Why don’t you go help Yukhei at the bar downstairs? I’ll take care of this.”
Jungwoo’s expression turned from excited to mournful when he seemed to realise he was not going to see how this was going to play out, but he still obeyed, shooting Taeyong another dazzling smile before he, too, was gone.
Taeyong felt his heart slowly but surely pick up pace again when the vampire in front of him leant down, offering Taeyong a hand to help him out of the booth. Taeyong took it, feeling wobbly on his feet once he was standing upright again.
“I apologise for the inconvenience.” The vampire’s voice was smooth, soothing away all of Taeyong’s worries. “Normally we weed out the… unhinged of our kind at the door. I don’t know how he slipped by. Normally, this establishment is absolutely safe for humans.”
“It’s okay.” Taeyong knew his words were belied by the blood running down his arm, but he would have said anything to smooth out the crease between the vampire’s brows. “I’m just worried because now I’m bleeding and…” Taeyong bit the inside of his cheek as he looked around. “This isn’t exactly the best place for an open wound.”
“It isn’t.” The vampire hummed in thought as he let his eyes trail down Taeyong’s body, down to where the wound was pulsing on his arm and Taeyong lost all ability to move. He could see the hunger in the vampire’s eyes. It was weak and hidden well, hidden better than with any other vampire Taeyong had encountered so far, but it was still there. It always would be.
“Of course, you will be safe from now on.” The corner of the vampire’s lips quirked into a smile, a tiny dimple appearing next to his mouth. “If you want to follow me to my office, I’ll help you treat your wound. No one else will approach you as long as you are with me, I promise.”
Taeyong could believe that. He could see it, in the way that no vampire had come over yet to maul him. He could also see that they wanted to, most of the other vampires in the VIP area lingering between shooting him furtive glances to outright staring at the wound on his arm.
Taeyong bit his lip. He thought about how much the crimson of the vampire’s eyes in front of him reminded him of jewels, about how the vampire’s heavy gaze made every single hair on his body stand upright and how Jaehyun would kill him if he ever found out about what Taeyong was going to do in the next moment.
“That would be wonderful, thank you.”
The vampire smiled. “Wonderful,” he echoed and took Taeyong by the hand again. “May I know your name, then?”
“Taeyong,” Taeyong managed. “My name is Taeyong.”
The vampire’s smile broadened. “It’s lovely to meet you, Taeyong. You can call me Johnny.”
Johnny watched in amusement as the human inspected his office. He was exceptionally pretty, even for a human, would have been flawless if it hadn’t been for the slight sheen of sweat on his brow, the distinct scent of desperation clinging to him like one of the vampire-attracting perfumes Johnny loathed. Johnny would have recognised the scent everywhere, and though Taeyong hid well what he was, he couldn’t hide from Johnny.
Johnny wasn’t upset that Taeyong had tried to lie to him. It was something inanely human, their need to make the truth something it wasn’t if it meant that they might feel better about themselves. And Johnny wondered, he wondered who had been the vampire that Taeyong had stumbled upon that had made him like this.
“Is this your first time in a club like this?”
“Yes.” Another lie.
Johnny hummed, sorting through the contents of the first aid kit he had spread out on his desk.
Taeyong’s legs were swinging back and forth where he had perched himself on the table top next to Johnny, his fingers knitting together to hide his impatience. It would have been a good move to hide his true intentions, but Johnny saw it.
He took a cotton swab and doused it in rubbing alcohol before encircling Taeyong’s wrist, positioning his arm until the wound was facing upwards. He could feel Taeyong’s eyes studying his face as he wiped away the blood staining Taeyong’s skin. Licking his lips, he pressed the cotton ball against the wound, eliciting a small hiss from the human.
“No need,” Taeyong breathed out, his pupils dilated when Johnny glanced upwards to meet his eyes.
Johnny wanted to laugh at the way Taeyong’s eyes went wide when he seemed to realise what he was doing. He blinked before he managed to school his expression into something more indifferent, looking up through his eyelashes to gauge whether Johnny had seen. Johnny did him the favour and pretended to be preoccupied with attending to his wound. He would entertain the human’s play for now. Taeyong was still himself enough to pretend, and that meant that it wasn’t too late for him yet.
He let his fingers glide over Taeyong’s pulse point before he tightened his grip and lifted Taeyong’s arm for the both of them to examine. “You need sutures, that imbecile really got you good. I can stitch you up, of course, if you allow me.”
“Is that the only way?”
Johnny bit down on his smile and raised an eyebrow instead, keeping his expression stoic as he stared straight into the human’s eyes.
Taeyong squirmed under the weight his gaze, his thighs pressing together as his scent prickled with a sudden bout of nervousness. “I mean…I’m afraid of needles.”
“No,” Johnny said and revelled in the way Taeyong’s heart rate spiked with the realisation that he had been caught in his lie. “No, Taeyong, you’re not.”
Panic. It was a sweet scent, enticing a more primal part of Johnny’s being, but it was not something he would allow to rise to the surface. Not yet.
“Yes, I am. I—”
“I can tell when you lie, Taeyong.” Johnny smiled as he pressed his free hand against the human’s chest, felt the thundering of his heart for himself. It was such a beautiful sound. “Your heart gives it all away. And I won’t hold it against you, what you said to get here, but I will hold it against you if you insist on treating me like a fool any further. That would be quite impolite, don’t you think?”
“I didn’t mean to do that.”
Johnny hushed him by curling his fingers around his chin, tilting Taeyong’s head upward until they were eye to eye. “You’re not the first fangbanger that walked into my club, Taeyong, and you won’t be the last. You hide it well, better than most, but I can smell it on you. You smell of desperation, of the need to relive what made you feel so good the last time.”
“I’m not desperate, I just need—I’ve held out for such a long time, but nothing compares to it.”
Taeyong’s eyes turned glassy as he allowed the tension to fall from his body, his eyes fixing on Johnny’s mouth as if it was the only thing able to give him peace. And it was.
“Please,” he managed, a pitiful sound now that Taeyong was allowing himself to be honest.
Johnny smiled, allowed his fangs to show. “Is that what you want, little human, my venom for your blood?”
Taeyong nodded, his mouth falling open slightly and it was too good of an invitation to pass up. The scent of blood was too heavy in the air and Johnny just knew that Taeyong would be good, already so pliant beneath his hands.
He spread his palms over Taeyong’s thighs and pushed them apart, stepping in the space between before he cupped Taeyong’s face in his hands. Taeyong’s lips were chapped from how often he had licked over them, but Johnny didn’t mind as he sucked on his bottom lip, lightly grazed his teeth over the soft flesh. Taeyong moaned, scooting forward until he could press his crotch against Johnny’s thigh and Johnny could feel how rapidly Taeyong was getting hard in his jeans.
He pulled away to allow the human to breathe and pressed a kiss to his jaw instead, moving further down to taste the skin of his neck.
“Please,” Taeyong moaned out, his grip tightening around Johnny’s arms. He whined when Johnny moved his lips upwards instead, sealing their mouths back together as he slid a hand down Taeyong’s body. He pressed it against the front of his jeans and the gesture made Taeyong’s hips stutter in their rut against his thigh, a high moan spilling out of his mouth. “F-fuck, Johnny.”
“Tell me what you want, Taeyong.” Johnny let his fingers dance along the line of Taeyong’s zipper. “You have to be honest.”
Taeyong shook his head, his cheeks colouring the loveliest shade of red as he subtly tried to rock his crotch against Johnny’s hand. “Please.”
“Say it, Taeyong, I want to hear you say it.” Johnny thought that this was probably why he didn’t miss the old times as much as other vampires his age. Even without the physical chase, this was still a hunt, still just as thrilling and still as satisfactory.
“I—” Taeyong’s eyes were rimmed with tears when he looked up at Johnny, sweat gathering at his temples and Johnny thought that he looked beautiful, unearthly despite his glaring humanity, “I want your fangs in my neck and your hand down my pants. I want to come while your venoms in my veins and my blood is in yours. Is that what you want to hear?”
Johnny laughed, delighted by the blunt honesty of the words. “Very much so. Thank you for being honest, Taeyong.”
Taeyong looked like he wanted to bite back, a hint of spite in his eyes that Johnny had missed before.
He slotted their mouths back together, roughly pushed his tongue into Taeyong’s mouth while he undid the button on Taeyong’s jeans with one hand. Taeyong moaned around his tongue, obediently lifting his hips so Johnny could slide down his jeans enough that they pooled at his ankles. His breathing stuttered when Johnny pushed his hands into his boxer briefs and Johnny revelled in how warm his body was, how his flesh seemed to sear Johnny’s skin when he wrapped a hand around Taeyong’s length.
“Fuck,” Taeyong stuttered out, his blunt nails digging into Johnny’s biceps as he shifted himself closer. “Fuck, Johnny.”
Johnny pressed an open-mouthed kiss to Taeyong’s cheek before he began to move his hand up and down, easing the slide with the precome dribbling from the head of Taeyong’s cock. Taeyong’s heartbeat was thrumming in Johnny’s ears, causing the back of his neck to prickle with excitement. The scent of arousal clinging to his skin was heady, mixing with the scent of blood already in the air and Johnny felt his fangs elongate.
He grazed them over Taeyong’s pulse point, Taeyong’s hips bucking against his hand. “Fuck! Now, Johnny, do it now!”
Johnny let the urge rising in his chest take over, his vision tinting blood red as he buried his fangs in Taeyong’s neck.
Taeyong cried out, his hips stuttering as he came all over Johnny’s hand and Johnny lost himself in the taste of his blood, hot and perfect on his tongue, quenching the hunger that never went away. There was a more animalistic part of Johnny that urged him to drink on, take as much as he could and lose himself in the euphoric feeling of it all, but he had long since overcome the urge to kill while he fed. Revelling in the steady stream of soft mewls that Taeyong was letting out, Johnny lapped up the blood trickling from the point-shaped incisions that Johnny’s fangs had left, using his saliva to close the wound.
Where Taeyong had been wound tight like a coil before, he was near boneless in Johnny’s embrace now, his eyes drooping as he smiled up at Johnny. “Thank you.”
Johnny shook his head, savouring the taste of iron on his tongue as he picked Taeyong up and walked them over to one of the sofas. Taeyong’s legs wrapped around his waist instinctively, his nose pressing into Johnny’s neck and a part of Johnny couldn’t help but marvel at how good it felt to have the human cling to him like this.
He sat them down gently, keeping Taeyong steady on his lap as he pushed the sweat-slick strands of Taeyong’s fringe out of his eyes for him. “Are you okay?”
“’m fine.” Taeyong yawned, his eyes staying shut for just a second too long before he popped them back open. If Johnny had been breathing still, he might have lost his breath at the smile that bloomed on Taeyong’s face. “Just a little woozy.”
“Let me get you some water.”
Johnny withstood the whine Taeyong let out when he disentangled their limbs and gently laid Taeyong out along the length of the sofa. He pulled up his trousers for him and did the zipper back up before he took a step back. Taeyong’s eyes remained closed when he reached out for Johnny to come back and that was what made Johnny hurry most of all.
Leaving his office at vampire speed, Johnny got a bottle of water from the bar, ignoring the knowing look Doyoung shot him from where he had sat down next to Sicheng. Yukhei was a lot less subtle, whistling while Jungwoo clapped excitedly, amusing the patrons in front of him. The only one who didn’t seem impressed was Sicheng, too entranced watching Yuta suck on a slice of lemon to pay attention to anything else.
“Back to work, all of you,” Johnny gruffed, but didn’t dodge the high-five Yukhei held out for him.
“What’s going on?” Yuta asked as he seemed to realise there was something going on he wasn’t privy to.
“Boss got some straight from the source,” Yukhei informed him while Jungwoo grinned. “A historic occasion!”
Johnny left before Yuta got the idea to ask for a high-five too.
Much to his relief, Taeyong’s eyes were open when he returned to his office. He was lying boneless right where Johnny had left him, his face turned towards the door as he dozed. Johnny helped him to sit upright before he made him drain the water bottle with huge gulps.
Once there was not a drop of water left inside, Johnny took the bottle from his hands and set it down on the couch table. He smiled when Taeyong’s hands found their way into his collar, his lips moving to press against Johnny’s neck.
Johnny rested his hand on the small of Taeyong’s back, granting him better access. Any bruise that Taeyong sucked into his skin wouldn’t last longer than a couple of seconds, but it seemed that the human was still intent on trying. He let Taeyong nibble on his neck until he felt a familiar pressure against his temples and he allowed Doyoung to enter his mind in the way only his progeny could.
Please, do finish up with your snack. There’s some vampire business going on that actually demands the Sheriff’s attention.
Grump, Johnny gave back before he shut Doyoung out of his mind and focussed on the human unsubtly trying to undress him instead. He pulled Taeyong’s hands away from his shirt buttons before he cupped his face, brushing his thumb over the prominent edge of Taeyong’s cheekbone. His face was pale, drained and Johnny couldn’t wait to see it ruddy again.
“I’m blacklisting you for the next two weeks. You’re not allowed to come back to the club until a fortnight has passed.”
Taeyong’s eyes went wide, his lips pushing into a pout. “Why? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, but trust me when I say it’s what you need to do. If you heal well and manage to stay away from any other vampires, you can come back.”
“Will you bite me again then?”
Johnny smiled at the thinly-veiled hope in Taeyong’s eyes. It would take some time, but he could rectify this. Taeyong was exceptionally pretty, after all, and letting him get lost in his addiction would have been a waste.
“Anywhere you want, little human.”
Taeyong’s phone began ringing the moment he stepped onto the bus. It was the last one for the night and so he flashed the driver an apologetic smile as he tapped his card against the scanner, fishing his phone out of his pocket at the same time. With his phone continuing to ring in his hand, he hurried towards the back, letting himself fall onto an empty seat.
He didn’t even bother looking at the caller ID before he pressed the phone to his ear. “Hello, Jaehyun.”
“What the hell, Taeyong?!”
Taeyong winced, holding the speaker away from his ear until Jaehyun lowered his voice to normal volumen. “What the fuck do you think you were doing at that club? Are you out of your mind?”
Taeyong frowned. “How do you know where I went?”
“Renjun helped me ping your phone. The next time you’re trying to sneak out, you should turn off your GPS. But that's not the point. Please, tell me you just went to the Thai place next door and didn't actually spend your night living it up with fucking fangers.”
“I’m sorry, Jae—” Taeyong pushed his free hand into the pocket of his jacket instead, closing his fingers around the small coin in there.
“I really don’t care to hear it.” Jaehyun's tone was harsh. “I want to know what you think you were doing at that club.”
Taeyong felt himself grow somber. He grazed his fingertips over his neck, biting his lip. The venom in his blood was singing, setting every of his nerve endings abuzz and coaxing him back to its source. Taeyong banned the memory of crimson eyes out of his mind before he inhaled. “You know what I was doing, Jaehyun.”
Jaehyun’s voice lost a lot of his colour. “That’s not the way, Taeyong. I told you I will help. You should just trust me and not—not go around spending your time at fanger clubs."
"I'm not doing anything, Jaehyun." Taeyong left no room for argument in his voice, even if he was lying. "And it's late, so you should go to bed now. We'll talk at lunch."
Jaehyun grumbled, but Taeyong could hear him get back into bed, the tell-tale rustling of his sheets giving his friend away. He was about to hang up when Jaehyun spoke up once more, “Was it worth it, at least? Whatever you went there for, did you find it?”
Taeyong pulled his hand out of his pocket and smiled down at the golden coin in his hand. It was about the size of a golf ball, shimmering in the overhead lights of the bus. “Oh, it was definitely worth it.”