The man was holding his arms tightly around himself as the cold rain beat against his skin.
A car sped by through a puddle that had formed on the street, splashing water up on the sidewalk. He had to jump against the wall to avoid getting even more soaked than he already was. The water still splashed onto the leg of his designer jeans and he mumbled something under his breath before continuing down the sidewalk.
It wasn't his usual route, but it was the quickest way to get to his apartment complex. He wasn't used to all the rain that beat down on Boston, compared to the sunny California weather where he had grown up. But he wanted to get as far away from his family as he possibly could, so going to school in Boston had been his best bet.
He turned off down an alley and started to slow his pace. The buildings rising up around him had somewhat slowed down the rain so he didn't feel the need to walk as fast. He looked around when he caught a movement out of the corner of his eye, only to see a rat run from behind a dumpster and into a crevice in the building opposite it.
"Smart one, Ryan. Just wander down a dark alley in the middle of the night, " he mumbled as he watched the rat disappear into the building.
He got past the dumpster when he thought he saw something else move. He ignored it figuring that it was just another rat or a cat or something. Which was quickly chased away when he heard the consistent thumping of footsteps behind him.
But when he turned around, nobody was behind him. He looked around for a minute in the direction that he had come and when nobody showed up he turned to continue on his way and stopped dead in his tracks.
There was a man standing not ten feet in front of him. He was very good-looking man with long shoulder length hair that he had assumed was brown, even though it had taken on a black appearance from the rain. He was wearing a tee and blue jeans, but what had caught his attention the most were the man's eyes.
He had never seen anything as fascinating as the man's eyes before. They were ember colored, yet red at the same time. It was very hard to explain, even harder to look at. It was like they were constantly changing yet staying the same.
"Hello," he mumbled kind of hoarsely. He still couldn't take his eyes off the man's eyes. When the man said nothing, he clutched his arms even closer to his body and took another step forward.
The man didn't move.
"Can I help you?" he whispered this time.
"I believe that you can," the other man said. His voice was very strange too. It was smooth and very precise. Very formal. "I'm looking for someone, about your height. He should be about nineteen now."
"I don't know anybody here. I'm new to town," he shrugged his shoulders and started forward again. The man still didn't move.
"I'm sorry to hear that," he flashed his white teeth. Ryan thought that he had caught a glimpse of something strange about the man's teeth, but he didn't see them long enough to make any conclusions.
"I'm sorry I couldn't help you, uh, sir."
"Maybe you can help me," he pursed his lips. "I'm starving; do you know any good places to eat?" He never did take his eyes off Ryan the entire time he was talking.
"Well, there is a nice bar down the street a ways, they serve food all night," he turned to point in the right direction when he felt the man's hand on his wrist. He had gotten to him in a speed that a normal person would have never been able to accomplish.
"Actually, I was thinking that right here would be a very satisfying meal."
Ryan turned to see the man grinning again. This time he was able to see the man's teeth very clearly. What he hadn't caught earlier was the pair of prolonged canines that protruded from the man’s jaw.
He tried to pull away, but he couldn't free his wrist from the man's grip. He was inhumanly strong. Before he could say anything, he felt the sharp jolt of pain as the man's jaw clenched down on his neck.
* * * * *
The rain hadn’t let up as I pulled my suitcase over and set it by the front door.
Dr. and Mrs. Foster had planned to drive me to the airport. It was the closest thing they could do to send me off to school seeing as how Edward University had sent me a plane ticket. I would have liked it better if they were able to take me to the school themselves, at least then I would have been able to spend more time with them. The last two weeks seemed like they disappeared in no time at all. It always seemed to go like that. When you want time to go fast, it goes slow; when you want time to go slow, it goes fast. Time is funny like that. Well, not exactly funny, more like annoying. But then again, you can't always get what you want.
"What do you want for your last breakfast?" Mrs. Foster had caught me right after I got out of the shower. I checked the clock, it was like four-thirty. My plane left at seven.
"I don't care," I had told her. I really wasn't all that hungry; my nerves were all built up so my appetite was almost completely gone. But I knew that she would have wanted to fix me one last meal before I would be off to school, so I would force down as much as I could.
"You're a lot of help!" she giggled.
"Yep," I smiled as I opened the door and joined her in the hall.
"I have some biscuits," she twisted her mouth as she thought. "I could make some sausage gravy." She rushed down the hall as if she was in a hurry.
"Sounds good," I mumbled. I didn't know if she had heard me. But I really didn't care. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get my suitcase down the stairs when Dr. Foster came up behind me and stood for a second.
"Would you like some help with that?" he smiled.
"Er, yeah. If you don't mind," I returned the smile; trying to make it the most sincere smile I could possible force out.
He turned the suitcase over without much effort and laid it on its side. I gave him a funny look and then it donned on me what he was planning to do. I rolled my eyes; he was such a kid sometimes!
"Fore!" he yelled and bumped the suitcase with the side of his foot and it slid down the stairs, hitting the wall with a thud. "That's how it's done."
"It's the Foster way," I chuckled as I started down the stairs.
"That's right," he followed behind me. "Sooner or later you'll figure it out."
"I hope so," I whispered so that he couldn't hear me. I wasn't exactly referring to the Foster way, but he didn't need to know that. It was my problem and I didn't want to drag either of them into it.
When we got to the dining room, Mrs. Foster was setting plates on the table. "What was that bang?" she glanced at me and then looked at Dr. Foster, waiting for an answer.
"Adam's suitcase fell down the stairs," he flashed a smile. I nodded in agreement.
"Oh," she glared at him for a second, reading right through his lie. She had that strange power, knowing when somebody was lying or not. I'm pretty sure it scared Dr. Foster; he was always coming up with a quick-witted response when it came to making excuses for the Foster way. Sometimes they were so far in outer space they made me laugh so hard it hurt. "You better not have broken anything or your derriere is going to become very close friends with my right foot!"
"As opposed to your left?" Dr. Foster joked, getting the evil eye from Mrs. Foster. "Oh, lighten up Martha, it's me we are talking about," he play punched my shoulder.
"That's what I'm afraid of," she mumbled as she made her way back to the kitchen to finish breakfast.
We ate breakfast slowly. The entire time I was forcing myself to enjoy the last meal with the Fosters and leave my thoughts about all the things that had happened in the past few weeks to the side. It was easier said than done. Every once in a while a stray thought would find it's way to my mind. But for the most part it went pretty well. I was able to laugh when I was supposed to and nod my head when it was necessary, without much effort.
We all piled into Dr. Foster's BMW. I don't know how he had gotten the suitcase into the car and I probably didn't want to know. At least I didn't pack anything valuable or breakable in there, it wouldn't have survived the trip down the stairs, let alone Dr. Foster getting it into the car.
The rain still hadn't let up, but it wasn't as heavy as it had been a few hours prior.
The drive to the airport was pretty smooth except for one incident when Dr. Foster was forced to slam on the breaks as a man ran out in front of us. I watched him run the rest of the way across the street. He kind of intrigued me.
He had long shoulder length dark hair and a very handsome face. He was tall and wearing a tee and blue jeans. But what had caught my attention from the very first moment I saw him was his eyes. They were a kind of red, but I really didn't know how to describe them.
I watched him for a few moments until the car started to go forward again with the rest of the traffic that had been forced to stop. Horns honked in protest even though the incident had already passed. I had thought that it was strange that the man didn't even seem effected by what he had caused.
We made it to a red light when I saw him again. I watched him closely. Actually I was just waiting for him to make another dart across the street into the moving traffic. He just stood there, not exactly looking anywhere.
Then suddenly, as if he felt me staring at him, he looked my direction. Locking his eyes on mine. I didn't exactly know what I felt at that moment. But for some reason, it felt like I knew who he was. I'd never seen him before, but I had that feeling that we had met.
The light must have turned green because the car continued forward. I looked back and his eyes were still locked on the car. He soon disappeared behind the cars that sped up to fill in the space.
One more thing to add to the list of strange things that happened to me. Maybe I would find the answers at Edward University. Even that was a long shot.