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Disclaimer: I do no own Kurda Smahlt or any other vampire you may recognise. They all belong to the wonderful Darren Shan (who's real name is too long for me to remember!)

I do, however, own Marcus van Kütriht and the main character. They are mine, mine, all mine.

Also, this story will contain sexual and adult references. And an m/m relationship. I mean, this is me we're talking about. I love yaoi. XD

In other words, this is not for the type who hate to read about men liking men. So :P. Flame me for the way I portray these characters and I shall not be pleased.

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Discordant Melody

A Kurda Smahlt Story

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First

Sforzando

Goddamn Right, It's A Beautiful Day

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The life before my vampire years is somewhat hazy to me, a blurred mirage on the horizon of the barren world that is my consciousness. It fades in an out of my memory, never clear, never focused, as if I were viewing it through a camera with a bad lens. But it was there. It is there. I remember that much.

I vaguely remember something about a father who left us, a single, sickly mother, and a hungry baby sister who was forever crying. I think I left home when I was young – fifteen, sixteen – to pursue a career. A career in something… something musical. I wasn't good enough to hit the big time. Actually, I was never really good at anything, except for playing the piano, the guitar, the flute – but, like I said, I wasn't great at it. I was forced to work odd jobs to support myself while I searched for that elusive, non-existent Big Break.

Dock worker by day, piano man by night, playing in a tired old jazz club simply called 'The Sax'.

I remember that because I was working there the day he came. It's the only day I remember vividly in my years before vampirism. Because it was a beautiful day. A damned beautiful day.

Most people would consider a beautiful day to be one of those sunny, warm days with a gentle sea breeze rustling through the trees as they rested at home, enjoying the company of loved ones.

Well, there was a sea breeze on this day, a random day in the year 1976. It wasn't exactly a gentle breeze, though. It was cold and biting, ripping leaves from their branches and whipping at clothes and hair, while heavy black clouds combined with the usual city smog to filter out the afternoon sun. Beyond the docks, lightning flickered out on the open sea.

Rain was coming.

But it wasn't the weather that made me believe it was beautiful. Oh, no, no, no. It was another reason. A very different reason.

I remember my mind being tired from playing piano all the night before. My body was aching from shifting cargo boxes around all day. My ears were ringing from the cutting taunts of my co-workers.

Oh yes. My co-workers. Bruiser, Deadeye Duncan, Joe, Two-Fingers, Fidget and Louis the Squealer. In some ways, I'm grateful for them and their discriminative ways. If it weren't for them, I would have never have met him.

I had signed out for the day, picking up my pay cheque for the past week at the same time. I think I was turning down a dingy alley, pulling up the collar of my coat to block out the cold, when I heard them.

"Hey, fag."

I had nearly forgotten that word. How I hated it.

I turned around slowly to find the mouth of the alley blocked by five or six large men, all muscles, potbellies, hair and testosterone, and about half a brain shared between them. Standing in the middle was the largest one of all, a giant pig of a man imaginatively named 'Bruiser'. He came up with the name himself, obviously. Because he liked to give his victims bruises. Intimidating, wasn't it? I mean, who else in the world wants to have a dog's name?

"What do you want, Bruiser?" I asked tiredly. I wasn't in the mood to put up with them. An ugly sneer spread over his even uglier face as he and his mates stepped toward me menacingly.

"I want you to get your faggy little ass outta here," he growled. "You don't belong."

I took an unsure step back as they advanced. Well, who wouldn't? I was a gangly guy, full of awkward angles and, compared to them, no muscles at all.

"Aren't you going a little over the top here, Bruiser?" I asked, raising my hands defensively. The huge man leaned forward and grabbed me by the front of my jacket. With a simple flex of his biceps, he lifted me up, making my legs dangle loosely in the air. He brought his face close to mine. I even remember the stench of stale alcohol on his breath.

"I don't like fags, McCarthy," he growled, his breath threatening to knock me out. "And you're the faggiest of them all."

"Is that really the only world in your otherwise vast vocabulary?" I asked before I could stop myself. "And how can I be the 'faggiest' if I'm the only one you know – unless you're trying to tell us all something, Bruiser."

As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I would regret them. It was like signing my proverbial death certificate. Being a hopeless wise ass had always had its repercussions.

Confusion flashed in Bruiser's eyes and he dropped me slightly. In that split second, I thought I was going to live.

That hope was soon shattered.

One man, smaller than the rest, leaned forward a little. He was the smartest of the lot, making up about three quarters of the half a brain they all shared, a fidgety man nicknamed – well, Fidget.

"He just insulted ya, Bruiser."

"I know that!" Bruiser spat. He dropped me, and before I had a chance to get my balance – before I even knew what was happening – his fist slammed into my jaw, making me spiral off onto the grimy, stinking ground.

Spluttering, I pulled myself up off of the ground, dripping of things I didn't want to identify. I could taste blood, which I promptly spat out to the side. I quickly checked my teeth by running my tongue over them, just to make sure they were all there. By some stroke of luck, they were.

Vaguely, I was aware of a small group of people passing the alley. They looked towards us, sensed what was happening, and scurried off. They didn't want to get involved. I didn't blame them. I hadn't wanted to get involved either.

Then something happened, something powerful gripped me. Something reckless. It must have been the adrenaline rush of being smashed in the face. Maybe it was my own testosterone kicking in. It could have even been the taste of blood in my mouth. Either way, I couldn't believe what I said next. Even to this day, I can't believe it.

"What?" I asked, grinning. My teeth were stained crimson with blood. Combined with my crazy grin, I must have looked like an escaped madman. "Is that all you got?"

There's just something about that phrase that just gets men fired up. Like a bull to the red cape of the matador, a man will charge at the person who says that sentence, regardless of the consequences. It's like they're gripped in a berserk fit, a frenzy they're not free of until they're dead... or the one they're charging is dead.

Before I had a chance to move out of the way, or to even blink for that matter, he slammed into me with all the shattering force of his incredible bulk. I was sent sprawling onto the ground once more, my body aching even more than normal.

Baying like wolves, the others were upon me, and soon blow after bone-smashing blow was raining down upon my thin body, pain rupturing on every possible unprotected surface.

At one point, I had curled up into a ball, my head cradled between my arms. Some random foot found its way into my back sharply, and I arched, giving out a shout of pain. Other feet then began to dig themselves into my belly, and soon I had rolled over onto my hands and knees and – vomited.

"Look, he's his favourite position!" Someone – Deadeye, I think – cried.

"Ha, on yer hands and knees, yer always like that, aren't ye?" Irish Two-Fingers had cackled.

"Hold 'im up for me, would ya? I don't wanna go screwing that fag up the arse," Bruiser said gruffly.

I felt rough hands grab my arms and pull me to my feet. Whoever it was twisted my arms behind my back hard, making me cry out in pain once more as my shoulders were pulled out of their normal angle of rotation.

Vaguely, I watched as Bruiser positioned himself in front of me, that ugly sneer still on his face. He cracked his knuckles menacingly.

"Well looky here," he said, adopting a Southern drawl. "Our little pal McCarthy 'as gone and gotten 'imself all beat up. Whatever shall we do with him?"

Somehow, I mustered the strength to spit on him. The gob of blood, saliva, vomit and mucus landed across his eyes. He gave an enraged howl, bringing his fist back.

There it was. The trademark finisher. He was going to smash my face into oblivion. The people at the morgue wouldn't even be able to identify me through my dental records.

I closed my eyes and waited for the blow.

It didn't land.

Instead were gasps and an enraged howl.

I opened my eyes.

And couldn't believe what I saw.

Standing in front of me, a little to the left, was a slight young man, his longish blond hair kept back in a loose braid. He wore an old fashioned cap on his head, while a long dark coat was open to reveal his faded blue jumper and plain trousers. He had an almost a bored expression on his face, with only the hint of a frown, his bright blue eyes twinkling dangerously.

He was beautiful.

And not only that – he also held onto Bruiser's shaking wrist as if he were holding back nothing at all.

"It's not nice to play rough with the other children," he said in a soft, unaccented voice. Bruiser boggled at him.

"Blow off, if ya know what's good for you!" Bruiser cried, and pulled his hand back – but it didn't budge. Not even an inch. The blonde man continued to hold on with what looked like no effort at all, and no matter how much Bruiser struggled, he couldn't get his hand free. "Let go of me!"

"Only if you promise to leave this man alone," the blonde said softly. My heart was thudding away in its little cavity, fearing for this strange, beautiful man's safety. Didn't he know who he was messing with? How desperately outnumbered he was?

With another enraged howl, Bruiser threw his other arm forward, intent on smashing the blonde to the ground. But faster than the eye could even see, he reached forward and calmly grabbed his other wrist. The blonde man's mouth twitched in a crooked smile, and he shook his head, almost sadly.

"I did warn you," he said softly. Then he twisted both arms around, so hard and so fast that I didn't understand what had happened until I heard the sickening crunch of breaking bones and Bruiser's ugly scream of pain. The big man collapsed to the ground, and I stared in horror at his lower arms – jagged bits of bone had ripped straight through the skin and were peering up at me, blood staining the white with red as if ran in rivulets down his arm to drip heavily onto the already dirty ground. His hands were facing the wrong way.

Bruiser took one look at his arms, one more look at the blonde man – then stood up and ran away, yelling out obscenities and screaming in pain.

Slowly, the blonde man turned around. The other five who had taken part in my beating were still there. The blonde raised an eyebrow.

"Who's next?" He asked.

Deadeye, Louis, Joe, Fidget and Two-Fingers all exchanged glances. And then, as if deciding as one, they ran after Bruiser, calling for him to wait up.

The blonde man watched them run off, the crooked smile replaced by a somewhat troubled look. Behind him, I swayed on my feet, every part of my body throbbing in pain. The searing pain in my ribcage was the worst – it felt like a blunt, hot knife had been dragged slowly across the bones, several times over. I guessed several of them were broken. That probably explained why I was having trouble breathing.

I groaned, and felt my legs begin to give way, but before I hit the floor, he turned around and caught me, almost tenderly. The world danced around me.

"You poor thing…" I heard him say softly. His fingers gently brushed my eyebrow, which had split open and gushed forth blood when someone's boot kicked it. It was just one of the many injuries on my face "You're bleeding…"

I looked up then, and found myself looking straight into his blue eyes. They were a beautiful blue, a deep, unusual shade of blue that I couldn't name. They were filled with concern.

"Who are you…?" I asked through puffy lips. He smiled softly.

"My name is Kurda. Kurda Smahlt."

I swayed again in his arms, and he made a small, unhappy sound. He bent over and picked me up, lifting me as easily as a rag doll. Instinctively, I wrapped my arms around his neck, nestling my face into the hollow there, acting like a small child even though in reality I was a grown man of twenty-one. He didn't seem to mind, though – Kurda just began walking down the alley, off in some direction that I didn't know.

"Where are you taking me?" I asked in a little voice, enjoying the warmth of his arms.

"To my… place," he said matter-of-factly. "I'm going to patch you up."

And so I was carried off, nestled in the warm arms of a beautiful man as I slipped in and out of consciousness. I didn't notice the searing pain of my ribcage screaming at me, or the puffiness of my face, or even that a heavy rain had begun to fall onto the world. All I noticed was –

Kurda Kurda Smahlt.

It was a beautiful day. A damned beautiful day.

Goddamn right. It was a beautiful day.

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A.N Oh dear. I've started another story. Save me from myself.

But, fear not! This one shall be short! Unlike Steve and Annie's sagas, the end is already in sight for this story! It'll only be seven chapters long. Seven short chapters. Mwuahahahaha!

Oops! I have not said the first name of the main character yet!

Oh well. You'll just have to find that out later, I guess. Hehe.

Whee, I'm sitting outside as I type the end of this story. I have one headphone of my iPod in one ear while the other one dangles off somewhere, so I can vaguely hear the growls of thunder through my music (currently playing 'I Touch Myself' by Jack off Jill). And now… it's beginning to rain. XD YAY!

And by the way – the next chapter for Steve is coming along just fine. I'm about halfway through. I should have it finished in the next two days. Yay!

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Next Chapter:

Second

Harmony

It's Too Late

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"…What… are you, exactly?"

And don't say beautiful, because I know that already.

Kurda smiled, a small, sad thing, as he sat back and crossed his arms.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

I grinned back at him, folding my own arms.

"I'm a musician. I'm meant to be open-minded. Try me."

"Honestly. I can't tell you."

"What, it's not like you're a blood sucking monster, are you?"

Silence.

"…Are you?"

His intent look was my answer. I stared.

"Personally, I prefer the term 'vampire'. It's less… hurtful." He said softly.

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