Jeff struggled to get back up to his feet. His body felt so weak and it hurt so bad that it made him want to throw up. Blood. He had lost a lot of blood. That was why his body was so weak. All the blood he had lost was either sticking to him or in giant puddles on the cement he was laying on. When he finally managed to get up to his feet, he only took one step before collapsing again. That made the pain flare up so bad that he burst into weak and exhausted tears. He had never hurt so badly than he was now, and he wished the pain would just go away.

"Here pretty pretty. Come on pretty boy. Come play with me."

Jeff whimpered and tried to crawl away from the voice that was only in his head now. Bad people had hurt him. Three men, one woman. They had tortured him for hours, laughing and having so much fun at it. But even though he tried as hard as he could, he could not remember what their faces looked like. He knew they didn't wear masks; he knew he had seen their faces. But when he tried to remember what they looked like, their faces were all black. Either he had blocked them out of his memory (which wouldn't be the first time he had done something like that. Just two years ago he had blocked out seeing who had killed his father), or they had done something to him to make sure he wouldn't remember what they looked like.

But even though he couldn't remember what they looked like, he remembered everything they had done to him. That was what he wished he could forget. The woman had scratched him repeatedly with her razor sharp nails, and she had burned him with fire and acid. The acid had hurt a lot worse than the fire, and she had only laughed at him when he had begged her to stop. The men had beat him with anything and everything they could get their hands on and then they had cut him up with knives, carving him up like a turkey for their own enjoyment.

"So tight…he's a fucking virgin!"

"Wow, who would have guessed that? He looks like a little cockslut."

"Boss, can I have a turn soon?"

"You'll have your turn when I tell you that you can, you fucking putz!"

Jeff sobbed softly. The men had also raped him so many times that he had lost count. They had torn him apart, bled him and degraded him to a level that he had never thought possible. Eventually his throat had gone completely raw from screaming, and he had just cried and tried to beg them to stop hurting him. They didn't though, and the only reason they hadn't killed him was because one of the men had seen something and took off after it. The others got caught up in the excitement and chased after him, leaving Jeff to die in a filthy alley. He wanted to get out of there because he was afraid that they would come back and hurt him again, but he didn't have enough strength to do it on his own. And now he didn't have his cell phone because the bad people destroyed it, so he couldn't call anyone he knew for help. He was all alone, just like he always was.

Why does the universe hate me so much? he asked himself as he kept trying to crawl out of the alley. Why do bad things always happen to me? Honestly, it had been like this since Matt had left him. His older brother had abandoned him five years ago, and the only thing that had been left behind was one letter. Matt had said in the letter that someone bad was after him and he needed to leave to keep Jeff and Gil safe. Jeff, who had only been twelve at the time, didn't understand that at all, and he felt completely abandoned by the older brother he had relied on his entire life.

Jeff groaned and stopped trying to crawl away. As afraid as he was of the people who had hurt him, he just didn't have the strength to keep trying to get away. Breathing heavily, he laid his head down on the ground. The ground below him was filthy and disgusting, but that didn't matter to him at the moment. Maybe he would get lucky for once and die before the bad people came back to hurt him again. It wasn't like anyone would miss him anyway. Matt was gone, his parents were dead and he didn't really have any friends. He was all alone in life, so it was rather poetic that he died alone too. God please, just let me die before the bad people come back. I don't want them to hurt me again. God…so tired…of the pain…can't take it…

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Adam had always loved the night. When he had been human, he used to spend hours just staring up at the stars, enjoying the peace the darkness brought him. And once he had been turned into a vampire, he had been sentenced to stay in the night forever, which had been just fine with him. It wasn't like the sun had done him any favors in the first place.

"Fuck, we need to get back to the house," Jay said. He had been Adam's best friend when they had been alive, and they had remained that way once they had become part of the undead. "Trish was creeping me out earlier by saying all kinds of shit."

Adam raised his eyebrows. Jay getting creeped out by something wasn't unusual. The guy wasn't exactly the bravest son of a bitch in the world. One would think that being something that was usually only seen in horror movies would give the guy a stronger constitution than that, but then again, Jay had always different. "Did she have a vision or something?"

"Yeah. She said something about a war coming and nobody's safe and shit like that. It was all just flashes, so she couldn't give us anything more to go on."

That wasn't unusual. Trish's psychic abilities were limited to visions that were brief, cryptic flashes. Adam had told her several times she needed to try to upgrade them, but then she got all defensive and pissy at him, so he started just leaving the subject alone. The woman was fucking scary when she was angry, and when she got angry, Amy got mad too, and then he usually found himself trying to hide behind Gangrel, pleading with his sire to make the two crazy bitches leave him alone.

"Do you think the others ate yet?" Adam asked, pulling himself out of his own thoughts. "Your dumbass mate gets to be a real jackass when he misses a meal."

Jay glared at him. "Don't you be insulting my Chris! You're just jealous because you don't have a mate."

Adam rolled his eyes. He hated it when Jay got on this subject. "Why do you have to talk about this? Gangrel doesn't have a--"

"Oh he does too!" Jay insisted. "He and Luna are an item, even though they aren't always together. You're the one in our group that's all alone."

Adam groaned. "Why do you have to say it like that? I'm a 330 year old vampire but you make me feel like a loser teenager who can't get a date."

"Maybe it's because you're a loser 330 year old vampire who can't get a date," Jay said innocently.

Adam glared at him.

Jay sighed with an unneeded breath. "Okay, one of these days, you're going to look back on that comment and laugh."

Adam sincerely doubted that, but he didn't get a chance to express that feeling. An overpowering smell made him stop right where he was. It was a combination of blood, fear and death. Somebody was dying in the nearby alley.

Jay stopped walking too. "Dude, do you smell that?"

Adam just walked into the dark alley, trusting Jay to follow him. It didn't take him long to see the person he had smelled. A teenaged boy was naked on the ground, bleeding from different places on his body (including some that was trickling down his thighs). His back and chest were covered in painful looking burns. Someone had tortured the hell out of this boy.

"Fucking hell," Jay muttered. "That's just sick."

Adam agreed with that statement. Even though he killed people to survive, he had never been one to torture any of his victims. "His pulse is getting weaker," he said as he carefully cradled the boy's head in his arms. "We need to do something."

Jay shook his head. "He'll be dead before we ever get him to a hospital. He's got maybe like a minute or two tops."

Adam knew that was true. That was why his current plan didn't involve a hospital. For some reason, he felt a connection with this dying boy and he couldn't let the kid just stay dead. He had to give the boy a second chance.

The boy slowly opened his eyes. He flinched when he saw Adam. "No…please don't…don't hurt me…"

"I'm not going to hurt you," Adam assured him. "My name's Adam and I'm going to save you. Can you tell me your name?"

"Jeff," the boy said. He started fading out again. "Don't want to…I can't…it hurts…"

Adam knew he didn't have any more time to waste. He carefully turned Jeff's head to the side, exposing his neck. He was going to have to remember to very careful. Jeff had lost a lot of blood, so Adam couldn't drink too much of what was left because then Jeff would just die. Inching his face closer and closer to Jeff's jugular, he let his face morph into his vampire visage: yellow eyes, sharp pointy fangs, raised cheekbones and a scrunched up brow that made his face look a lot more hollow than it actually was. He heard Jay mutter something under his breath, but he hadn't been listening close enough to catch what had been said. It didn't matter anyway. He was going to do this whether Jay liked it or not.

Jeff let out a whimper of pain as Adam's fangs pierced his neck, but that was all he was able to do. Adam drank very little, almost not wanting to stop because Jeff was just about the sweetest thing he had ever tasted. But he did stop long enough to cut open his own arm with one of his fangs. "Drink," he told Jeff as he held his arm up to the dying boy's mouth. "Come on, drink for me."

Jeff drank, whimpering as he did so but not stopping until Adam took his arm away. Adam morphed back into his human face and then scooped Jeff up into his arms as he got to his feet. He could hear Jeff take his last breath and the countdown was officially on. They had twenty four hours before Jeff rose again. "Come on," he said to Jay. "Let's get him home. I'm sure the others are waiting for us by now."