Behind the Magic
The Tarheel Writer
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Rated PG 13+
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The grand home stood ominously in front of them. It's once gleaming white marble walls, were now dingy and covered in vines. Daniel immediately sensed the evil that seemed to pulse through the air. Bad things had happened here and bad things leave their mark. The home appeared vacant. The gardens and lawn were unkempt and there were no vehicles in the drive. Daniel watched Ceenta close his eyes and take it all in. He watched as the years of experience came into play. Daniel knew that Ceenta was using his vampire awareness. Although Daniel's experience with this talent was barely at the novice level, he was able to feel the evil that permeated the very air that he breathed. As Ceenta's eyes opened, he started toward a side door without a word. Don was at his side.
Will and Daniel followed them through the door. Will's wand was drawn and he gripped it tightly in anticipation. It was cool and damp inside as they made their way down the stone staircase. The air smelled of mold ... rank and rancid. And Daniel noticed the evil in the air had stepped up a notch or two. Flickering torches on the wall illuminated their way while casting strange shadows on the stone walls. Will looked over at Daniel.
"Get your wand out," he whispered. Daniel smiled.
"Don't need it anymore. Vampire power," Daniel whispered back. Will raised an eyebrow in skepticism but then grinned and nodded. After a few more steps he once again turned to Daniel.
"Do we know where we're going?" Daniel shrugged then spoke to Ceenta.
"Ceenta. Do you know where Starr is?" Daniel asked whispering. Ceenta turned and smiled.
"I sense his presence. Not much longer now." Daniel nodded and they continued down the staircase. The stone steps were smooth as if they had been in use for thousands of years. Daniel wondered silently about the people who had walked the steps before him. A few moments later they came to a door. Ceenta gently put his hand on the molded wood and closed his eyes. Seconds later his eyes snapped open and his expression turned to anger. He tried to open the door, but it was locked tight. Ceenta stood back a few feet from the door and raised his hand. He pointed a single finger. The door creaked loudly, shuddered slightly, then fell back onto the floor with a resounding slam, sending up a cloud of dust in the process. Ceenta quickly entered the room followed by Don, Daniel and finally Will. They raced across the room to the unconscious figure hanging from shackles. Ceenta took a deep breath. He looked at the figure's tortured back. The welts oozed blood and traces of salt clung to the torn tissue. Don broke down in tears. Ceenta reached up to open the shackles.
"Wait a tick, I'll help," offered Daniel. "Come on, Will." The two boys gently held Starr around his waist and lifted him, easing the pressure on the shackles. Ceenta quickly opened them and held Starr's arms as they carefully lowered him to the floor. He moaned in agony and Don's sobs became even worse. They put Starr on his side to prevent his back from being injured anymore. Don moved quickly. He sat down on the floor and held Starr's head in his lap.
"Oh my God no! I'm so sorry, Starr!" Don sobbed loudly. A noise from across the room grabbed everyone's attention. Ceenta looked up and saw the evil sneer on the man's face and the wand pointing threateningly.
"My master thought you might try something stupid like this. He left orders for me to keep you here until he returns. He wants to deal with you himself," the man said coldly.
"Rigescere!" yelled Will. The man suddenly stiffened and fell to the floor. Ceenta turned and looked at Will with wonder. The young man stood in a defensive stance, his wand still pointed in the direction of the unconscious man.
"Remind me to never question taking you along again," he said with a grin. Will relaxed a bit and smiled back then walked over to the man. He grabbed some rope from the corner and tied him up securely. He walked back over and watched as Ceenta knelt down beside Starr. Don looked at his lover with tear stained and pleading eyes. Ceenta smiled gently and nodded slightly at his love. Then he carefully and methodically passed his hands over Starr's back.
"Medeor," he spoke softly. Right before everyone's eyes, the wounds slowly started to disappear. "Medeor," Ceenta spoke again softly. Moments later there were no signs of injury on Starr's back. The boy slowly regained consciousness and rolled over.
Will got his first look at Starr and openly gasped at the boy's beauty. His heart immediately went out to him. Will dropped to his knees and gently put his hand on Starr's chest.
"You're safe now," Will spoke quietly. Tears rolled down Starr's face as he looked at the people who had saved him. Don was still sobbing quietly.
"Don, it's ok now. Please don't cry," Starr said. Will stood up and offered his hand. Starr took it and Will pulled him to his feet. Starr turned and pulled Don to his feet and then took him into his arms and hugged him fiercely. Ceenta stumbled slightly getting up and Will steadied him by grabbing his arm.
"That always drains me," he said slowly.
"I've never seen anything like that before," remarked Will. Ceenta grinned.
"Old family secret."
"I don't mean to break up this party, but we should be leaving as soon as possible." Ceenta looked at Daniel and nodded.
"Don, time to get out of here," Ceenta said to his lover who was still embracing Starr. Daniel and Will led the group up the staircase ... Daniel with his vampire awareness at full tilt and Will with his wand clutched tightly. Don and Ceenta followed behind helping a very weak Starr.
The long flowing linen curtains stirred slightly in the breeze. They lightly grazed the hand polished marble floor. It was dark in the room, but the gold fixtures glinted ever so slightly in the light of the full moon shining brightly outside. At the center of the room was a large ornate canopy bed. Sheer linen covered its frame and protected the very small figure that was sleeping contentedly, snuggled down in the silk sheets.
The Algerian climate was hot for August, but the gentle winds cooled the parched earth. The rains of winter were all but a memory. The house faced east along the waterfront of Algiers in the shadow of the Martyr's Monument. The old city of Algiers is one of the worst to be found on North Africa. It you want to see a real slum, this is the place. It continues to be one of the most dangerous places for foreigners to visit. Entering the old city is often called suicidal.
From amidst the cluttered streets of the old city, a group of men made their way toward the waterfront. Their mission was of the utmost importance to their cause. This one act would propel them from fighting with knives and chains to fighting with RPG's and M-16's. Their mission, if successful, would take them from the slums of Algiers, to the opulent homes along the waterfront. The mission, when first presented, sounded like a one way trip to death, but when the prize of victory was dangled in front of the men, they eagerly agreed.
The teenage boy was restless. He kicked his legs and pushed the soft silk sheet from his sleek frame allowing the evening breeze to caress his smooth skin. He dreamed of his father and the day they had spent together. Allaoua and his father Hamid had spent the day on jet skies on El Djazair Bay. Miles and miles of exotic beaches surround the bay while great mountains rise into to blue sky that is only mirrored by the blue of the water. The father and son had screamed across the bay on the jet skies laughing and enjoying the closeness only a father and son can do.
The young teenager rolled over onto his stomach and pulled the silk covered pillow to his chest, caressing it and feeling comfort in its softness. It was the last comfort he would enjoy for quite some time as rough hands covered his mouth and grabbed his arms and legs. The unexpected slap across his face brought tears to his eyes, but his covered mouth muffled his cries. Fourteen years of protected living did little to prepare the boy for the brutalities of men on a mission ... men with needs ... men with lust for smooth and pure skin.
Will's conscious mind was in turmoil. On one hand, his mind told him that he was straight ... he liked girls. On the other hand ... he could not help but feel something when he looked at Starr. The feelings were confusing and caused the boy to feel nervous. There were new feelings coursing through his body and he had no idea how to handle them. Will sat in the big comfy upholstered chair and gazed at the interaction between Starr and Don. It was pretty obvious that Don cared a great deal for Starr, in a fatherly kind of way. Since Malin had thrown Starr out, Don and Ceenta had taken him under their wing and seen to it that he continued with school and had a place to stay. Will watched the muscles move in Starr's arms. He looked at the long black hair sway gently with each movement. Then Will found himself captivated by the bright green eyes as they glanced his way.
"What the hell is happening to me?" Will thought to himself. "I like girls, damn it!" Will fought with himself over the strange feelings that could not be denied.
"Will." He heard his name, but didn't acknowledge it. He was too deep in thought. "Will!" The voice rang out in his ears and he looked to see where it had come from.
"You're pretty quiet. Are you all right?" asked Daniel.
"Umm, yeah. I'm fine."
"Can you do me a favor?"
"Can you find Tom for me? I need to know he's all right. I'm really worried about him."
"Not to worry, Daniel. I'll check up on him and see what's going on. He was pretty upset."
"I could go with you," said Starr. Will snapped his head around and was once again captivated by the piercing green eyes. "Ceenta can be, ah, intimidating if you don't know him and I'm sure I could convince Tom that he's cool. I had a bit of a problem with the whole vampire thing at first, but it doesn't bother me at all now."
"That's a great idea, Starr," said Daniel. "I don't want to lose Tom over this."
"Glad to do it, mate. So, what do you think, Will?" Will gazed at the creamy smooth complexion, the soft black hair and the cute pug nose. The strange feelings were slowly taking over and it scared him. But at the same time, those feelings made him feel good.
"Do you want me to go with you to see Tom?"
"Ah, yeah. That'd be great."
"This meeting is called to order," Governor Downing said. The murmuring quieted down as he began to speak. "I think everyone knows why this meeting has been called. This whole Ceenta thing is starting to get out of control. He thinks he's more important than us and walks around like he's Merlin himself." The other governors nodded in agreement. "Something has to be done."
"I heard he's become very good friends with Daniel Radcliffe," one of the other governors said.
"Fag! Now he's shagging boys!"
"Well, I heard he turned Daniel into a vampire."
"That's what I heard."
"Gentlemen, this can not be allowed to continue," Governor Downing said loudly. "We have to do something to show this pompous ass who's in charge. I think we should send a contingent to meet with him and explain our position. Any volunteers?" The room was suddenly very quiet.
"Why don't we send law enforcement and let them deal with him?"
"We tried that and he sent them away." An argument erupted in the governor's chamber and the shouts reached a fever pitch. Derrick and Keith from law enforcement stood just outside the door. They looked at each other and silently nodded. They moved silently down the hall and into a private office.
"I can't believe it," said Derrick.
"I know. They're really scared of Ceenta."
"They're just a bunch of old homophobic arseholes."
"Derrick, we've got to warn Ceenta. I'm afraid the governors are going to end up doing something really stupid."
Hidden deep within the slums that make up the old central city of Algiers, a young boy sat in the darkness. His once flawless smooth skin was now covered in bruises and small cuts. As he softly sobbed in the blackness, he pulled his knees up to his chest and clutched them tightly. The concrete walls of the small room he was in were cold to the touch, but he stayed close to them. Huddled in the corner, he kept asking himself what was going on and why these men were hurting him.
The door suddenly opened and the boy cowered back tightly into the corner. Rough hands picked him up and led him outside. He glanced up to see the full moon again before being pushed into the trunk of a car. The lid slammed shut. The motor came to life and he felt the car moving, stopping occasionally, turning corners and finally coming to a complete stop. The motor was switched off and he heard doors opening. Two men pulled him from the trunk and led him to a small boat. He was put in a seat and told to stay quiet. While the men talked quietly with a third man, the boy trembled with fright. Kidnapping was not in his vocabulary and the thought never entered his mind. He remained entirely clueless as to what was happening. He only knew he wanted to go home.
The third man got into the boat and started the engine. The other men helped untie the ropes. Soon the small boat was slipping through the black waters of El Djazair Bay. It seemed strange that thoughts of the day before spent with his father on these very waters should enter his mind at that moment, but it did give him some comfort. The small boat pulled up beside a huge freighter. The man quickly tied the boat up and roughly pushed the young boy toward the steps hanging from the ship's side. He was escorted up to the deck then quickly taken below and taken into a cabin. The man leered at him.
"You stay here and keep quiet if you know what's good for you," he man said coldly.
"Why are you doing this?" The resounding slap across his face gave the boy the answer he didn't want.
"I said to keep quiet," the man said harshly. Then the man grinned. "You behave yourself and I'll show you how nice I can be," he said as he rubbed his rough hands over the smooth skin on the boy's thigh. "And I can be very nice," he chuckled. The man suddenly got up, left the cabin and slammed the door shut. Allaoua sat back on the bunk and rubbed his face; the sting from the slap still sharp. A single tear rolled down his innocent face. It was followed shortly by another. He trembled slightly. All he knew was that he wanted to go home. Hate entered his thoughts. Hate toward the men doing this to him. Fear and hate fueled adrenaline. He narrowed his eyes and felt emotion rise within him to levels he had never known before. Balling his right hand into a fist, he shook it at the door. The metal hatch-like door to the cabin immediately blew off its hinges and crashed onto the floor of the corridor.
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