Chapter 3


That night, Vlad stood before his open window, letting the cool air caress his skin. The summer months were slowly giving way to autumn and the nights had developed a chill that made lying under a comforter far more enjoyable. Wet hair tickled the back of his neck as a small breeze passed. Vlad lifted a hand to run his fingers through the locks that now only reached his collar.

Leaving the doors to the balcony open, he returned to his bed and shed his bathrobe, throwing it onto a nearby chair. He slipped under the covers, relishing the crisp, icy feel of sheets not yet warmed by a human body.

What a marvelous day it had been. Falling asleep in this mansion would not be hard any longer now that there was another sharing his loneliness. A fitting end would be for Vlad to drift lazily into a deep, dreamless sleep...

...but he was not that fortunate.

A hot dream on a cool night. Vlad tossed and turned, waking occasionally and willing his stubborn arousal to dissipate. He just couldn't seem to shake the feeling of ghostly fingers upon his skin. Vlad's eyes opened when he came to a sudden realization. He wasn't imagining or dreaming anything. There was a ghost in this room taunting him.

"What are you doing in my bedchambers, Daniel?" Vlad said quietly, his voice demanding an explanation. A small laugh echoed in the room.

"I always thought you were too proper to sleep naked. Then again, I suppose there was never anyone to see you." The boy returned to visibility, sitting cross-legged on the edge of Vlad's bed. He crawled over to the man, leaning over him in a suggestive manner. "Change into your ghost half," he ordered.

"Daniel I am not even going to ask what you think you are doing. You are going to leave my room right now and in the morning we will not speak of this," Vlad answered, finally coming to terms with what was happening.

"You're not very hairy...for a man your age," the ghost above him whispered, not even listening, "But your body is impressive. I've always wondered what you looked like without your clothes..." he laid a hand on Vlad's bare chest and the older man shivered.

"Stop, Daniel. This behavior is unacceptable," he caught the boy's hand before it could snake below the covers and take hold of his stiff erection. "Return to your room at once!"

"No." Danny said simply, "Not until you transform." He wore a wicked grin, and his body exuded an unmistakable sexual atmosphere. Vlad was unsure if he should feel anger or pity. Was the boy drunk? Had that one glass of wine been too much? He gave the boy a hard stare. If Danny wanted to see his other half so badly then he would oblige...and then punish him for this breach of the rules.

No sooner than the black rings had appeared, the ghost boy was upon him, hands splayed across his chest and his hips grinding into Vlad's. A thick blanket might have separated their bodies, but Vlad could not help but shudder when he felt that pleasant weight upon his aching arousal. A feeling overcame him and before he even knew what he was doing, he rose up and slammed the boy onto his back, hands grappling with that damn skintight suit. They laid there, breathing heavily.

"Hello Plasmius," Danny said, letting out an appreciative noise as he drew their bodies closer. Vlad, still stunned with what he had just done, attempted to calm his rising urge to take the boy beneath him. "Don't make this complicated, Vladdie. I want you. You obviously want me. That's all there is to it."

"Insolent brat! You don't know what I want. You think you can sneak in here, toy with me a bit, and then just expect me to...violate you? I see you as a son, Daniel," Vlad growled in his face.

"Oh well that is a problem, isn't it? You want a son, but you see, as much as you try to tell yourself otherwise, I am not a boy anymore." He slipped his arms around the older man's neck and slid his tongue along the older man's jawline. Vlad clamped his mouth shut and turned away with a disgusted scowl. No, he was right. No mere boy could possibly provoke this kind of reaction from his body

"But you're wrong, Plasmius," the younger ghost continued in a husky whisper, "I don't simply want to have sex with you. I want to join with you."

"Join? As in 'become one'?" Vlad was no idiot. He knew what 'joining' meant to ghosts, and it had never before interested him. "Have you lost your mind, Daniel?" The boy could not know what he was saying. He was inebriated...delusional...

"Just think," the boy breathed, dragging his fingers through Vlad's hair, "With your powers and my powers combined, we can rule the ghost zone, the earth, and the entire universe." He taunted the older man, heat radiating off of his lithe body as nails raked over sensitive areas. His short, impatient panting reminded Vlad that of how very aroused the boy was.

This is sinful... Vlad's conscience reminded him, even as his own hands crept up and rested heavily upon the boy's hips. He hadn't had this sort of contact with anyone in decades. What cruel fate was this that Daniel had to be the one gazing up at him with those needy eyes...whispering tantalizing words in his ear?

What a naughty child....

Vlad's senses returned to him, breaking through the lust that clouded his mind. He backhanded the boy with no remorse, taking hold of the neck of his costume and dragging him off of the bed.

"I wasn't aware that world domination was on your to-do list, Daniel. And while I'm flattered, really, that you have finally started to see things my way, I'm afraid I must decline. I enjoy pleasures of the flesh too much to give up my humanity. Joining is out of the question." Vlad responded, bringing the smaller ghost up to his height. Danny squirmed in his grasp.

"You can refuse me tonight, but this isn't the end. If you truly love me, Vlad, you will do something to ease my suffering," Danny responded as he fiercely gripped the arm holding him. The smile twisted on his face was anything but innocent and his body language suggested that he was nothing more than an animal in heat.

"You may be my precious protege, but love?" Vlad chuckled darkly, "Baby steps, child. As for your...suffering...I believe I have just the cure for you, my dear boy," Vlad responded, dragging the ghost to the adjoining bathroom. He turned the shower water to cold and threw the boy into the glass encasement, watching for a moment as the icy spray soaked his hair and clothes. "I'll give you some privacy, but I want you out in ten minutes." He slammed the door. On the other side, he collapsed against it.

Such situations called for more liquor in order to gain sense of them. Vlad returned to his human form, smoothing his tousled silver hair and sighing deeply. He draped his bath robe over his shoulders once again and left to hunt down another bottle of wine.

The will to walk back up the stairs only came to him once his head was sufficiently spinning. How on earth should he go about reprimanding the boy for such actions? Had he been planning it all along or had he simply acted on an impulse? Could this all be a part of some plot to further humiliate him? Vlad Masters was not about to be played a fool. Daniel was a cub toying with an old lion. Cubs needed to learn their place.

Nearly half an hour had passed and the shower was still running. Vlad had no qualms with forcing the boy from his bathroom. It was late, and Vlad was still hoping to get in a few hours of sleep.

Inside he was met with the pitiful form of the boy huddled in the cold shower. White hair had returned to black and the skintight costume had been replaced with ordinary nightclothes, both of which were drenched and plastered to his skin. Vlad shut off the spray, but the boy remained slumped over and unmoving.

"Come out, Daniel." There was no answer. "I'll have no more of this, do you understand?" Again, he was met with silence. Vlad opened the glass door and took hold of the boy's arm, intending to roughly pull him to his feet. It became apparent that his Daniel was unconscious.

"Foolish boy," the elder man muttered under his breath as he bent down and stripped the wet clothes off the boy's body. He then gathered the teen into his arms and relocated him onto his own exceedingly large bed. Vlad would simply find another room to sleep in.

Pulling the covers up to the boy's chin, Vlad silently amused himself by thinking he liked Daniel best like this. Obnoxious mouth shut and completely dependent on his care. He allowed himself something of an affectionate pet to his new ward's damp hair. A chance like this might never present itself again.

Pausing at the door to switch off the lights, Vlad gazed back upon the boy's innocent, slumbering face.

"Sweet dreams, Daniel," he sighed reluctantly.


"What kind of sick game are you playing with me, Vlad!?" Daniel shouted as he stormed through the doors of the breakfast room. He was fully clothed, and seemed to have returned to his same old self. He also seemed to have re-packed all of his things, judging from the bag over his shoulder. The sun had long since risen.

"It seems to me that you were doing all of the playing last night, Daniel," Vlad answered, unamused.

"WHAT the hell did you do to me last night?! I find myself lying naked in your bed this morning and no memory of how I got there. What did you slip me, you sorry, pathetic, perverted old man!"

That stirred some of Vlad's anger. He stood, his napkin falling onto the table. Really? The boy remembered nothing? And now he was to be blamed?

"Don't flatter yourself you stupid boy," Vlad's voice was icy, "I never had any intention of fornicating with my own son. Nothing happened to you last night, so I suggest you calm down and let me explain."

He gestured to the chair across from him and Danny reluctantly sat in it with an annoyed huff. No memory? Had he really been that drunk? Perhaps there was another explanation. For now, Vlad had the perfect lie prepared.

"You failed to inform me that you have a sleepwalking problem Daniel. Imagine how surprised I was when you barged into my room in the middle of the night and decided to make use of my shower with your pajamas still on."

"That's a load of bullshit."

"Would you care to check the surveillance cameras? They will show you that you left your own room and entered mine completely of your own will." Luckily, Vlad had chosen not to install a camera inside his own room.

Danny finally shut his mouth and stared at the plate of bacon in front of him with an annoyed scowl. He picked up his fork and tossed his bag to the side. That was it? No more fight? Vlad was strangely curious now. He returned to reading his paper but continued to glance at Danny over the pages.

"I don't trust you," Danny finally said.

"Nor should you, my dear boy. Trust is for children. Anyone has the potential to stab you in the back. For now, all I ask is that you obey," Vlad responded. "In time, perhaps we can form some sort of understanding." Danny shifted the eggs around on the plate.

"So what's on the agenda today? Are you going to dress me in a suit and have me follow around at the office?" he did not sound too excited at the prospect. To be young.

"Good heavens, no," replied Vlad, "I pay people to work in the office for me. My job, I guess you can say, is primarily networking." He turned the page of his newspaper.

"Like computers?" asked Danny, confused. Silly boy.

"No, not exactly. I attend parties and soirees, high class sports events, car shows and fashion shows...all for the purpose of meeting other well connected people and expanding my web of influence."

"Sounds hard," Danny snorted.

"It is much harder than you'd think, Daniel. I don't need to tell you, however, because you will be finding out soon enough anyway. How do you feel about Polo?"

"Ehh my friends and I would play in the pool sometimes..."

"No, child. The sport on horses," Vlad could not help the condescending chuckled that left his mouth, "There's a game today. I would like it very much if you would accompany me."

"As your son?" Danny asked, an eyebrow raised skeptically.

"Naturally," Vlad smiled, "You won't have to do much. Just smile and observe. Learn these people. Learn their language and you can become a player on their chessboard."

"Your pawn, you mean," Danny said, catching on.

"I wouldn't say that," Vlad replied, nonchalantly eyes glazing over a few of the more important articles, "'Queen' would be a more appropriate piece. I can't sacrifice you quite so easily, Daniel. You are far too precious."

"Eww," was all the boy responded with. Vlad was uncertain if he was complaining about the food or about being called "precious". Then, unbidden, a thought entered his head from the night before.

If you truly love me...

He did. He really did. He loved Daniel so much that his heart ached and he could not deny it. But there was a line that needed to be drawn. They were father and son, Vlad told himself firmly. It was going to stay that way.

Unfortunately, no one knew better than Vlad that both the future and the darkness held many mysteries...