Devil Inside

"…Paul… Hey." Michael muttered, sauntering over to the lively, blonde vampire. Since he was officially apart of the gang, he guessed he'd probably be sticking around for awhile. And it's not like he could just hang with David all the time, so he figured he might as well befriend the other guys—starting with Paul, who seemed to be the friendlier of the bunch.

Paul whipped around, mid-bite of a sandwich, and faced Michael. "Hey Mike! 'Sup, man?" He smiled warmly, still chomping on his hoagie.

Michael somewhat smiled back, sighing inside. He was glad Paul was so nice and didn't hold a grudge against him like he was sure Marco and Dwayne did. "Uhh…I just was wondering...I have some questions, about…'vampire life' I guess. Can I talk to you?"

Swallowing another bite, the tall blonde shrugged. "Sure, dude." He plopped down on a big lounge chair. "Shoot."

Following in pursuit, Michael sat on an old bench. "Well…uh. How exactly do you become a full vampire? …I'm still not too sure if I'll go through with it, but David keeps bringing it up. I guess I'm just kinda curious."

Paul nodded. "You know how, man. It's a two-part process. Step one, drink the blood of a vampire. You already got that covered." He smirked. "Step two, suck human blood, and vuala: Creature of the night."

Michael sighed, feeling defeated. "And that's the only way?"

"As far as I know, yeah." He sensed the newbie's anxiety. "But hey man, don't worry about it. It's not as bad as you think. We all had to do it." He motioned around the pad.

The brunette boy sighed again.

"C'mon Mike, it's not that bad, man." Paul tried to sympathize. "You know what ya oughtta do? Just kill someone you really hate. That way, you don't feel bad."

"Would that really even work?" Michael cocked his head, surprised at the vampire's optimism.

He shrugged again. "That's what I did."

"You did?"

Again, Paul smirked. "Yup. Annihilated this asshole that kept buggin' me. To this day, I don't regret it. I mean, he was trying to kill me anyway…" He talked more to himself now, trailing off.

"Whoa, what?" Michael piped up, now intrigued. "Someone was trying to kill you? Like a serial killer or something?"

Paul's frizzy locks bounced as he shook his head. "Nah, not directly. This guy was gonna force me to enlist in the military and go to war." He let out a dry chuckle. "Didn't sit too well with me, you know?"

A quizzical look made itself onto Michael's face. "War?"

"Yeah, Vietnam."

Another smirk escaped Paul as he watched the other's shock turn into disbelief. Both remained silent for a moment, the slim blonde continuing to munch on his snack.

"Paul, what—" Michael breathed, "—how old are you? When did—how…" He shook his head, trying to focus. Then he looked up, into the blonde's eyes. "What's your story?" The question came out as more of a plea; he was so curious now. How did Paul end up in all of this?

Crossing his arms, the tall bloodsucker sat up, face plastered with an amused smile. "Welp," he began, "I was born September eighth, nineteen-fifty-one, so I guess that makes me…about…" he scrunched his face, doing the math in his head, "thirty…five. Yeah, something like that."

It was hard not to laugh at Michael's reaction—the degree of shock on his face. Paul tried his best to hold it in.

"But—thirty-five?" The brunette gasped. "But you look like you're—"

"Cool, right?" Paul smiled back. It was true, by the looks of him—smooth, tight skin, thick head of hair, bright, youthful eyes—he could barely pass as twenty.

Michael shook his head again. "I don't believe it. How can you be so old?"

With a feigned, hurt expression, Paul laughed aloud. "Hey! I am not old. If anyone's a geezer, it's Dwayne." He laughed again, eyes lighting up. "He's almost eighty."

When Michael didn't respond, his jaw hanging open instead, Paul continued:

"Really dude. When Dave says you'll 'never grow old and never die', he ain't lying. Believe me."

Now with his mouth closed, the younger man shook his head again. This wasn't real. How could it be?

"Dwayne's got a picture of me in the sixties somewhere. I was a hippie." Paul smiled wide, making the peace sign.

"Really?"

Paul nodded, enthusiastically. "Mhm." Then he looked thoughtful for a moment. "In sixty-nine, a couple months after I turned eighteen, I got the draft in the mail…" He looked at the floor now, slightly melancholy. "My father was going to force me to go. So, I ran away with a group of beatniks and never looked back." He looked up again, looking less solemn, with a little hint of pride. "We ended up in San Francisco, which was definitely the coolest place I've ever been to. All the while though, this government guy kept following me, tracking me down. I'm pretty sure my parents' hired him. They hated that I ran." Again, he scrunched his face. "They thought I was betraying America by refusing to join the army—they didn't care that I would be sent to my death—over a war I didn't believe in…" He rambled off, muttering angrily.

Michael looked at the vampire across from him. He felt… sad. That sounded terrible. But he was still curious: "How did you become a vampire—

"Paul." Another voice sounded from across the enormous room. Michael looked around and spotted Dwayne. He leaned against an old, half crumbled pillar, arms crossed and face shrouded in shadow. "Let's go to the boards."

Paul stood and stretched his arms behind his head. "Cool, yeah." Then he turned to Michael. "Ya up for it, Mike?"

Michael glanced over to Dwayne and caught his glare. "N-no. Maybe next time." He turned back to the taller fellow. "Thanks though." He held back a gulp, feeling Dwayne's intense stare.

"Sure thing, bro. Later!" Paul playfully punched the other's shoulder, then made his way over to the dark haired vampire.

Michael let out a sigh after they left. He heard the motors of the bikes roar and fade off.

Still sitting, he wondered to himself—how was Paul turned? Actually, he wanted to know all of their stories. The only person he really knew anything about was Star. They were all human once, and all temporarily stuck in this semi-vampire-limbo that he, Star, and Laddie lived in. He sighed again. His mother and Sam already went through with it. She was living happy with Max now, and Sam was attached to Marco's hip. Still, he wasn't sure if he really wanted this. At least as a half-vampire, he could still weather the sun and survive without blood.

He shook his head, knocking off the thoughts.

Regardless, he was still curious about the others. So he figured he'd go find David and ask him.