"There is absolutely. No. Way. You are putting that in there!"

"Yes I am!"

"No you're not."

"Yes I am so shut the fuck up!"

"I will not have that evil stuff in my house!"

"Deal with it."

"Get it out! It is practically criminal"




"DO IT!"





"Fuck off."


"NO! I'm out of here."

Oh – yeah. That's basically the story of my life. I am the worst person ever to enter this town. Seriously – you'd think I was a murderer of something with the way that people talk about me. Stupid close-minded town. I never did anything THAT bad. So maybe I burned a few sheds down and stuff but so what? They're only covering up for the fact that they hate me because I'm gay. Yeah I'm gay. Get over it or get out. Anyway I just stormed out of my house in the middle of a fight with my parents so now I'm screwed – if I say I'm leaving then I have to stay out for at least the rest of the night while they cool off. Now you might be wondering where I'm going to go, after all I'm only a naïve nineteen year old who's so lazy he took a year out before leaving for college so I don't have an apartment or a car or anything and this isn't exactly a big enough town to have a motel or something like that. Well I'm going to Rayn's.

Rayn is the towns other anti-Christ gay boy root-of-all-evil. As a consequence of that (and the fact that we get along amazingly) we are the BEST of friends but, despite certain people's belief to the contrary, we are NOT dating – he's not my type and he thinks the same about me. We just do each other favours from time to time. Rayn (short for Rayner like his father) Elisson, aka Rainbow, is awesome. He lives in a tree. He isn't a hippie mind you. See when he was fifteen he got fed up of fighting with his parents about money and got a job – three actually: a paper round before school, a shop after school and a café in the evenings. However because he was working so much he didn't have time to spend any of his money and so after six months of three wages and his regular allowance had accumulated rather a lot. Now Rayn is a little smarter than most people, instead of spending all his money on junk he brought one of those expensive wooden summer houses that all of the rich people keep in their yards. Then, being Rayn and being rather odd, he proceeded to assemble it in the overgrown tree at the bottom of his garden. He now lives in his summer house even, for some stupid reason, in winter and only goes back indoors once of twice a day for food and hot water. So now whenever anything goes wrong for me I go and stay in Rayn's tree with him.

It's freaking dark out tonight. I keep falling in pot-holes. Yeah – we have pot-holes big enough to fall in, that's how crap our town is. So now I'm wandering along musing about how lucky I am to be getting out of this stupid place next month, I'm going to some music and art college that's miles away. It'll be awesome – my only guilt is that poor old Rayn is going to be stuck here without me. That's when I see the car. Don't get me wrong, out towns not that backwards, we do HAVE cars but this car isn't from round here. It's green and battered and dirty but it was obviously expensive once. There's a person scrambling around searching for something in the trunk. Have I ever mentioned I'm a nosy bugger at times?

"Hey you!"

The person looked up sharply, narrowly avoiding hitting his head. "What?"

Ouch – that tone was so icy I think I just got cold burn. Definitely a guy though – no chick could have a voice that deep.

"What are you doing?"

"What's it to you?! Nobody in this snobby little town has any authority over me – got it?!"

Ah – I get it. He thinks I'm one of the normal people come to chase him away – that means he isn't a normal and in a town like this that makes him better than most people by default.

"Chill man," I say stepping into the light, "I'm not here to warn you away from anybody's white picket fence but you gotta be in trouble if you're stopped there."

He's looking at me; I can tell me the angle of his head. I grin a little. No sane person would dream of accusing me of being a snobby little townsperson after seeing me.

"I reckon I've got a flat tyre or summat but I can't do owt about checking in thins light," he remarks, his tone much lighter now he knows I'm not about to have a go. He steps away from the car and the light hits him too. I let my eyes skim over him – analysing and judging.

Hmmm… he's quite tall and muscular in a gymnastic sort of way (which is good because body-builder looks are ugly). He's nicely dressed in heavy leather boots that go almost to his knees, black jeans and a blood red shirt that's topped off with a battered black jacket. He's got pale skin and a sharp face. His hair is black with red streaks and matched well with his outfit and, more oddly, his eyes which are a dark reddish colour presumably due to the wonders of colour contacts. And yes – I am checking him out. The results – hotness, hotness and more hotness. Unfortunately he's also screaming not my type – too much alpha-male in him for me to be comfortable with dating him, I'd bet he'd be a good fuck though.

"Hard luck," I shrug, pulling my gaze from him, "Whatcha gonna do?"

"Any boarding places around here?" he asks hopefully but his frown shows that he already knows the answer.

"Not in a place like this."


Now I feel bad, he looks all sad and emo. My fifty-seventh biggest weakness.

"Seriously, don't get me wrong I'd offer you a place at mine but I can't go back there right now…" I give him my friendliest look of pity (I usually use it on Rayn when he's getting a lot of hard luck) and shrug my shoulders.

"It's cool mate – I get it."

He returns to the car with a faint and forced smile and a wave and I continue along my way. For about five steps.

"Hang about – I've got a solution after all," I yell. I can see him jump out of the corner of my eye as he turns to look at me again.

"Seriously," he insists, "I'm alright, I'll crash in the car till sun up."

"Nah – come with me," I demand, grabbing his arm, "Rayn won't care – he's cool like that."

"It's cool," I say tugging him along s I begin to walk, "Rayn won't mind me bringing someone else – the more the merrier!"

He shoots me a doubtful look when I say that but it's true – any friend of mine is a friend of Rayn's and anybody half-way decent has the potential to be my friend – this guy is way more that half decent.

"So – what's your name?" I blurt out, "Might as well find out while we walk."

The guy chuckles, I'm not dragging his arm anymore, he's consented to match my pace and is actually half a stride ahead of me now, "You're right, it probably is best to find that sort of thing out. I'm Seth Winters – who are you?"

He say's it with a tone of joking formality that makes me grin, "I'm Nath Jones."

"Nath? Unusual sort of name," he remarks, raising his eyebrows at me as we pass under another lamppost

"Short of Nathaniel," I sigh back.

"AH – so how old are you Nath – twenty?"

"Close – nineteen actually."

"Ah nearly right then – I figured you might be younger than me," he laughs, "Got I couldn't be nineteen again, too much hassle to fuck around with fake-id's every single time you try to buy drink," he comments.

"OH – you're twenty-one then?"

"Thank god."

I laugh.

"So where exactly are we going again?" he asks a few moments later.

"My mates," I shrug, "I always go to Rayn's when there's trouble at home – he lives in his parents' back yard and pretty much does as he pleases now."

"Cool – your age then?" he asks.

"A bit younger, it's a couple of months till his birthday but too close for it to matter. We're nearly there now."

He nods and we come to a stop out side a large white picket fenced house. I can see him pull a face. I unlatch the gate and walk through – not bothering to close it behind me. We skim around the side of the house and walk to the bottom of the stupidly long garden. As we reach the base of the tree I lift a stone from the ground and chuck it hard at the door. It's the easiest way too get Rayn to hear it. A moment later the door slides open and a ladder is lowered down. I grin at the rather surprised looking Seth and pull myself up.

I love Rayn's tree-house – it's awesome. It's real wood and dead-rustic looking but it's full of cushions and blankets and posters and books and allsorts of crap. It also never gets cold due to the rather flash battery powered heater that Rayn keeps running almost constantly.

Seth steps through the door and I yank the larder up behind him and shut the door. I can see the awe on his face as he looks around the room. I glance about and spot Rayn half-buried in a pile of cushions in the corner.

"OI – RAINBOW. Meet Seth," I yell, making him jump slightly, "Seth, this is Rayn."

Rayn pulls himself from the pile of soft things and looks Seth up and down. Yes – Rayn and I do check out every guy we meet. The difference is that Rayn, unlike me, really likes what he sees. It's a shame Rayn doesn't go on looks alone because I could just shove them together if he did – I mean they'd be happy because everybody likes to get some, and it'd be cheaper than buying porn and seriously hot to watch– fortunately if Seth is anything like how he was on the way over here around Rayn then might just be Rayn's type personality wise too - and that would really make everybody happy. But only if Seth'll consent.

I glance hopefully at Seth and grin because Seth is eying up Rayn.

The thing is that Rayn isn't very finicky about his appearance especially when in his tree and as consequence he's currently wearing skinny jeans that cling tighter than spandex, battered pink converse and an very oversized t-shirt that is hanging so far off of his shoulder that it completely reveals all of the skin of his pale collar bone and shoulder in a rather risqué and tempting way. This combined with his tiny body, pale skin and lilac hair gives him a painfully alluring appearance that even I (somebody who is more than used to it and has had him on more than one occasion) struggle to resist.

I really wish Rayn wasn't so out of it right now because by the time he's got his brain into gear Seth will have regained his composure and the fun will be ruined. Seth who is currently staring at Rayn in a way that makes it torturously obvious that he wants nothing more than to fuck Rayn into the nearest surface until he's screaming. But Rayn just smiles vaguely and sits down on a nearer cushion.

"You must be Rayn," Seth commented, failing miserably at trying to hide the lust in his voice - he practically moaned Rayn's name, "Your friend, Nath, said it'd be okay for me to come here. My car's playing up and I can't get enough light to sort it so I'm stuck for the night."

"You're acceptable."

I snort – classic Rayn weirdness there, I turn to Seth, "That's Rayn's way of saying you look like you're one of us so your cool."

Seth nods and sits gingerly down on a beanbag. I pull up an inflatable chair.

"SO!" I announce in an attempt to begin a conversation.

"So what?" Seth replies only semi-seriously. Rayn chuckles.

The thing about my amazingly awful conversation starters is that they actually work. Twenty minutes later we're deep in conversation and know each other a hell of a lot better which seems to have made Seth a lot more comfortable – we've also got Rayn to surrender us a couple of cans of larger from his mini-fridge.

"So that's why the welcome to town sign is neon pink!" Rayn finishes with a laugh – now far more awake than before.

"Wow – you two are a decadent pair – I like your style," Seth laughed.

"Decadent?" I ask – what? I'm not stupid but I'm not a know it all either.

"Don't mind him," Rayn remarks to Seth, "He's an idiot."

"No I'm not - Rayn's crazy!" I shout defensively

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

"Am not!"

"You are - you talk to yourself all the time!"

"I deliver soliloquies."


"Are you serious?"

"Yes Seth – he is so insane that he talks to himself."

"I don't talk to myself."

"I think the idea of somebody giving random soliloquies is kinda cute."

Rayn smiles and I laugh. Seth is flirting so obviously but he won't get anywhere. Rayn is a very blunt person and he only understands bluntness. If I was Seth I'd just grab him and molest him to get the point across – he'd enjoy it. He's just as attracted to Seth as Seth is to him.

"Hey – what do you guys think of the Incubus rumours that are going around?" Seth remarked suddenly nervous.

"What are you on about?"

Seth rolled his eyes but remained vaguely tense, "This really is a back-water town isn't it?"

"Yeah," I retort, "And we hate it so tell us about the rumours!"

Seth frowned, "See, in a lot of places, people are saying, and this is just rumours mind, that a group of Incubus are running around the country."

"I thought Incubus were a band?" I muttered, "Are they something else too?"

"Yeah, apparently they're a group of fallen angels that have turned into demons and then go around raping people as they sleep and feeding off of their auras," he whispered, with the air of somebody telling a horror story, "Of course those were just a way people explained unwanted pregnancies and sexual experiences hundreds of years ago. But suddenly after years of them being considered a stupid old fashioned myth people are suddenly talking about them again, saying that they've been stalking the streets targeting young people and following them home and watching them until they sleep and then raping them. People are regularly claiming to be Incubus victims again; it's strange because there hasn't been a series of regular claims for centauries."

"Whoa…" I can't help but take him seriously, there's something about him that makes him seem believable, like he knows what he's talking about. The whole thing was garbled and probably could have been describe a lot better but Seth telling it was just so believable it was weirdly ominous.

"I want to meet one."

I turn my head so fast that I think I heard my neck snap. I can see Seth staring at Rayn with an expression of utter shock.

"What are you on about Rayn, that's insanity – why would you want to be raped by some random demon?"

"It'd be interesting," Rayn relied, unbothered, "I think I'd enjoy it and even if I didn't it'd be interesting. I wouldn't be scared of one feeding off of my aura; it can't be fatal if so many people have survived to make claims. Anyway demons fall into two stereotypes: horrible, deformed, devil monsters; and sexy, powerful, dark, kinky sex-gods. If they're walking the street they can't be the first kind, they'd draw too much attention."

I can feel my jaw drop a little more, any further and it'll fall off. I turn to Seth expecting a similar look of utter surprise to have taken residence on hiss face and I'm not disappointed, I am, how're, surprised to see that under the shock it a look of something between pride and happiness. How odd.

I look back to Rayn, I can see what he's getting at, and demons are probably like sex with Seth, probably not my thing but perfectly suited to Rayn and hey, what's wrong with a bit of xenophilia anyway?

SO I do the most obvious thing, the one thing I always do when I'm here and like to save for Rayn's more annoying moments – I chuck a cushion at his face.

Rayn, as per usual, throws on back. Although being rather scrawny it hits me with considerably less force. So I throw another one even harder – it ricochets off of his head and hits Seth. I through another at full force and nearly manage to know him over. Yes – this is how I deal with things – what can I say, pillow fights are amazing!


Although Seth is looking at us like we're completely insane.

"Vat iz vong?" Rayn drawls doing, for no apparent reason, a rather terrible impersonation of a vampire.

"You're – you're very strange," Seth commented hesitantly, "And nothing's wrong I just don't understand why you're throwing cushions at each other – it's a bit pointless."

I glance briefly at Rayn, catching his eye, we're thinking the same thing – how can he not know?!

Rayn chucks a cushion at Seth and laughs manically, "GROVEL BEFORE THE AWESOMENESS OF PILLOW FIGHTS!"

I nod fiercely, "They are truly the king of all actions."

"Positively god-like."

"The best idea that has been had."

"It's the only sport in the world that's safe, fun AND aggressive!"

"It's a great way to vent anger."

"Or to piss people off."

"Immensely enjoyable."

"Painfully amusing."

"Delightfully hurtful."

Seth is now laughing vociferously along with us now and seems to be accepting out reasoning as he joins in the comments.

"Fabulously cruel."

"Beautifully violent."

"Wonderfully brilliant."

"Brilliantly wonderful."


That was out of line. Rayn is DEAD-MEAT!












Silence. Comfortable, relaxed, happy, it's-the-early-hours-the-morning-but-who-cares friendly silence as we lie across the floor exhausted, me on the right, Rayn in the middle and Seth on the left comfortable and safe.

"That was fun."

I laugh at Seth's surprised tone of voice as he sits up. He fits me and Rayn so well. I'm starting to think I'd want him and Rayn together even if they didn't let me watch – it'd certainly relieve my guilt of leaving Rayn alone when I leave and I'd have actually done something right for once if they did.

"I'm knackered now," yawns Rayn, "Go to sleep now."

"And if I don't want to?"

Rayn frowns cutely, Seth is staring at him again, and I laugh at Rayn's reaction to my words because he really is sincerely tired.

I flick the switch on the main torch and leave us in the dim glow of the secondary lamp that vaguely reminds me of mood lighting. We lay in silence breathing quietly as we all fall asleep.


My eyes snap open – I never was able to sleep through loud noises. I look around – Seth is leaving.

"Where are you going?"

He jumps with another crash and gapes at me, "Oh shit. I – I…"

"Come back here, sit and tell me," I state, "I'm not awake enough for dramatics."

Seth looks a me baffled and walks hesitantly over and sits tentatively on a cushion to my left – he's shaking.

"You'll think I'm a psychopath," he mutters, "I can explain but you won't get it, you can't underst-"

"Don't tell me I won't get it because I know I won't – I don't get much. The crucial fact is that I won't care either so you CAN explain. And there isn't anything wrong with a bit of apparent craziness."

"You won't believe me," he insists.

"Oh trust me I'll believe anything," I retort, "This is getting stupid. If it's true you can tell me you're an alien and you're planning to kill us so you can practise you taxidermy skills on out corpses I will believe you and be okay with it so just get on with it."

He looks at me like I'm insane and sighs, "You know what I told you about Incubus earlier?"

"Yeah. They're those demons that rape people and feed off of their auras and that Rayn thinks are sexy."

"What would you do if I told you that I know for a fact that they exist?"

"You're one aren't you?"

He stared at me in shock.

"How…? How did you…?"

I sigh, "I'm stupid not oblivious. Facts might kill my brain but I can read people as easy as breathing. They way you talked about them like you knew what you were talking about and the way you didn't really make complete sense when talking about them were too contradictory. Between that and the fact that you just randomly threw the subject into the conversation made me really suspicious. Also red eyes aren't human and if they were just colour contacts you eyes would look sore from sleeping in them."

He looks at me for a few minutes, "Woah – that's perceptive."

"Yeah – so why are you leaving?"

He frowned, "I came to this town craving some prey – the craving's been getting worse since I've gotten here. I only forced myself to fall asleep because I couldn't face answering the questions you'd ask if I didn't," he was really spilling his guts now, "I'm only even explaining it to you because you're both great people but prey is more important and being in a room with two attractive people and their auras in, especially one as enticing as him," he gestured at Rayn, "It just sends me over the edge,"

"So you want to deal with that craving?" I remark idly as I stand up and stretch out the crick in my neck.

"Yes so I need to leave right now. If you keep arguing with me I won't come back and you'll have to explain why you've 'scared me off' – do you really want to have to do that?" he retorts desperately.

"No because I wouldn't say I'd 'scared you off' if I was in that situation, I'd just say I didn't know and I was asleep," I reply with a smirk, "Anyway Rayn knows everything I know. I woke him and told him what I thought while you were sleeping."

His eyes widen with a rush of all kinds of different emotions and rake over Rayn's sleeping form, I can't help but notice that his shaking has gotten worse – is he losing control? Actually – that might be vampires I'm thinking of.

"Why do you need to leave?" I ask moving discretely between him and the door.

"I told you – I have to leave, I came to this town searching for some prey."

"But do you really need to?" I've got my hands on the handle now.

"Of course I need prey!" he snaps.

I smirk at him, "I know. But do you need to leave?"

He doesn't have time to acknowledge what I've said before I'm out of the door and fumbling with the external padlock. By the time he gotten to the door and started trying to open it's far too late. He is stuck in there. Just him and Rayn.

I'm not a sadist – I haven't just abandoned my sleeping best friend in a tree house with a random rapist who will most likely lose control. I have left my consenting best friend in his tree house with a gorgeous Incubus who might just give my friend what he wants. Now I just have to wait and pray that this works out the way it's supposed to.

I'm thinking it is working if the moans I'm hearing mean anything like what I think they do. Yeah moans already – that's how good I am at paring people up.

"You'd better call me you know!"

"I will, I swear."

"Call us. Or you'll suffer!"

"Relax; I'll call you both twice a day each and tell you about every little detail of my boring little life, there's no need for such cold and heartless threats. I thought we were friends."

"Friends? With you? No way – we just felt sorry for you. And whilst that's a wonderfully kind offer twice a day is overboard. We need some time without you on the phone as well you know."

"Oh of course, I forgot, well of course not twice a day then, after all I wouldn't dream of wanting to intrude on your alone time," I laugh wriggling my eyebrows suggestively.

"Damn right!" Seth replied, running his tongue along the side of Rayn's ear, "We don't need your crazy insane 'news' getting in the way of my entertainment."

I laugh and Rayn flushes slightly and ducks away from Seth before kissing him quickly on the lips. I smile – I usually hate sappy shit but those two just work together. Not to mention the fact that it makes me feel far more comfortable about leaving now I know that Rayn won't be stuck in this crappy little town on his own – Seth is apparently a lot richer than his car implies and has decided to but them an abandoned lighthouse somewhere so that they can live together – I can only imagine what else he's planning on doing there. I've already threatened Seth with a slow and painful death if he lets anything bad happen to Rayn or his aura.

It's good though – to know that your friends are happy. It makes you feel that you can be happy to without having to feel pity or concern for them (not that I ever let Rayn get in the way of my happiness) but it's still a nice feeling. Especially when you know you cause that happiness.

Maybe it isn't my place to feel superiority but I can't help believe that when I decided to bring a bottle of lube into my parents house I might well have changed more that just one life for the better.