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The Immortal Rules

By @choppedmint

Story 13

Claire and Shane had a young child, only about a year old, called Megan. Eve and Michael had one who was almost nine years old called Allision. It was the second relationship that caused Sam to do a double take.

Because Michael was a vampire. Sam had never considered the fact that, in Morganville, there might be a marriage between the two species.

Myrnin had bundled him up and walked him there. The excess of layers confused Sam because it was full on night outside. It wasn’t like the sun was going to rise any second now. Maybe Myrnin was just worried. But either way, they were in the doorway of the Glass House and Claire was staring at him, eyes narrowed just a bit as if she wasn’t sure what to do with him. The introductions had gone around, but she wasn’t leaving the doorway until she could confirm something. “He’s eaten, right?” She’d ordered Allision deeper into the House went she’d first seen the feathered hat that belonged to Myrnin. Allison had looked confused and a bit scared at the firmness in Claire’s voice, but she still moved. Myrnin seemed at ease with the whole thing.

“Of course, he has, Claire. I wouldn’t have brought him here if he hadn’t.”

Claire finally stepped aside and said, “Fine. You can come in.” And Myrnin skipped over the threshold like he owned the place. Sam followed with a bit of a slower step, until he felt a sort of … it was like he’d passed through something. But the feeling faded as soon as he entered, still shuffling awkwardly. He’d take any excuse he could to get out of the lab.

Claire walked him and Myrnin down the hallway, which Shane had already taken to put Megan to bed. The house showed all sighs that there were several people living in it. Michael hadn’t moved away from the door, but he smiled a bit as Sam passed, and Sam tried not to blush for staring. Because how did a vampire live in a house with several humans? He could hear every heart beat and against all logic it made him jumpy.

Myrnin’s one and only employee led them toward the sitting room, where she waved at the couch like she wasn’t sure if she should even invite them in at all. Her face was scrunched up in a look that Sam couldn’t really place, but it made him nervous.

Myrnin took the couch, crossing one leg over the other and looking very comfortable. “Just came by for a visit,” he said cheerfully. “How are you Claire?” Claire shrugged. “You talked to me on Friday. When did you think things had changed, Myrnin?”

There was innocence over every feature on Myrnin’s face and he shrugged. Sam blinked up at Claire, having half sat down on the edge of the couch’s armrest and seemed to understand that Claire was used to this. It wasn’t like it wasn’t obvious why the vampires were here. 

“Want me to get Eve?” she asked. Michael had been leaning in the doorway, looking amused with it all. “No, no,” said Myrnin. “No need to get Steve.” No one bothered to correct him misnaming her and Sam opened him mouth for a second, but didn’t get that far.

“I,” continued Myrnin. “Was actually hoping that Samuel could spend the night here?” he was looking over at Michael now. The vampire looked surprised and had to point out, “Where would we put him, Myrnin?” There wasn’t anything about the fact that there had been no warning either. Maybe this was just the usual Myrnin … everything.

“The couch is rather comfy and I see no reason why that shouldn’t be good enough.” Sam himself wanted to protest because he’d heard nothing about ‘spending the night’ when the conversation had started about him coming here. It seemed very unfair that he didn’t get a say in this. And he really would have said something if he thought even for a moment that Myrnin would listen to him. But instead he watched around him as choices were made for and about him and that was just how everything went from Myrnin siting on the couch to him being a sort of fixture in the Glass House, sitting awkwardly on the same arm rest as the two (relatively synchronize) families moved around him.

Allison eyed him with interest whenever she passed through. Sometimes to hastily grab coloring supplies off the floor or once to reach almost directly behind the couch to grab a stuffed rabbit that she clutched to her chest like she expected him to steal it. She whispered to her father almost directly outside the door. “Why is he here?” And Michael hadn’t verbally answered, so Sam couldn’t tell why the girl had dropped the subject, but he assumed it had involved a bit of a shrug and her being told at a later time not to bug the situation. It was what he’d have done.

Eve had come over, introduced herself, asked if he’d like anything and the fact she was sorry Myrnin wasn’t much of a listener. She might have stayed around longer, maybe long enough for Sam to ask what exactly he could do, but Allison had gotten into something and she’d hurriedly had to move away.

It was Shane that finally got Sam to do something and this was when Allison had finally been caught, put to bed, and the house had completed calming down for the night.

“Sorry about all the scrambling around,” he said, flopping down on the couch. “Weren’t trying to ignore you.” He smiled a bit wanly. Sam wondered if the man knew how to handle children or if he was still learning. It seemed like Megan was his only kid and probably was going to stay that way. It had taken over an hour for her to stop crying and Shane still looked frazzled.

“It’s fine,” said Sam. “You didn’t ask for me to be here.” Shane nodded his head as if to agree that this was true, but leaned down and pulled a box out from under the couch. “Micky doesn’t really sleep at night. What about you?” He cast a look out of the corner of his eye.

Sam shook his head. “No, I sleep at night.”

“Ah,” said Sam, looking down at the game in what might have been disappointment. “Well, I’ve got these around, since I don’t know how long you want to stay up. I assume you know how to work these?” he pointed at the games in the box. Sam gave the man a smile. “Yeah. I do.”

“Good, good,” mumbled Shane. “I’m sure Eve will toss you a few blankets on her way upstairs. Ignore the skull and cross bones on them. It’s just her style.” He seemed to find this more of a joke than Sam got, but the boy nodded anyway. 

And then Shane was standing up and the house drifted further into silence. He was right. Eve did toss him a blanket and two pillows before she drifted out of sight of the living room entrance way. Sam saw no further sight of Claire or Michael, though he thought he heard the latter in the kitchen.

Sam’s shoulders sagged and he really wasn’t sure what else he could do, even though he wanted to do anything other than sleep. But what other options did he have?

So, he tossed the pillows randomly at the other end of the couch, pulled off his shoes, and laid down.

There wasn’t a night that he didn’t have bad dreams. Because of this most nights he didn’t sleep at all. And when you were forced to curl up in a bed and pretend to sleep even though your body was already beyond its limits meant that he did, in fact, have to give into sleep. He tried, he really did, to keep his eyes open and everything functioning within his brain, but slowly it all shut down.

He only jerked awake a couple seconds later, rolling off the couch and stumbling in the direction of the windows, checking that they were closed. They were. And at that point he was already sleep muddled enough just to faceplant right back into the couch again. The dreams came anyway. Unpleasant ones.

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