Davy opened his eyes and moaned from the pain in his shoulder. During his struggle with his captors, one had plunged a dagger into his shoulder.
"He's awake," he heard a voice call, but in the darkness it was difficult to make out anything but the dim forms surrounding him.
"Good," came another voice. Davy's chin was suddenly gripped, his head tilted up. "Well, MacLaren, you led us a merry chase, but the run is over."
Davy shook his head as best he could. "Ma... MacLaren? No... m-my name is Jones! David Jones!"
Laughter rang out and Davy was released. "Deny all you want, MacLaren when the sun arises, your true identity will be revealed!"
Davy frowned. "I don't like the sound o'that..."
After a few moments came the cry "The sun is up! Full daylight!"
"Very well!" The gloating voice ordered. "Open the shades!"
Shades suddenly were raised. Light poured into the room from three huge windows, striking Davy from three angles. He closed his eyes against the dazzling bright.
Davy then heard gasps of astonishment. "The... the sunlight is not harming him!" a female voice cried.
He opened his eyes, but had to shut them again for the brightness. The sun was shining directly into his eyes and it was painful.
"Here," he heard another female voice say, and darkness descended as a blindfold was tied around his face. "Is that better?"
"Much," he whispered. "Thank you."
"Get away from him," a male voice snarled. A hand was suddenly tangled in Davy's hair, jerking his head up. Two fingers dug roughly into his neck. "His heart beats!" the voice cried. "This isn't MacLaren he is alive!"
Micky stepped back and smiled at his handiwork. He'd taken large black plastic bags and taped them over the window in the downstairs bedroom so no sunlight could get in.
Micky turned and smiled at the vampyre who sat on Peter's bed. "Here you go MacLaren, is it?"
The shorter man smiled. "MacLaren, aye."
"Well then, MacLaren, you can crash here till dark."
Peter sank onto the bed beside MacLaren. "Will you be all right in here?"
"There's no sunlight. I'll be fine." He rubbed his stomach. "Though I am hungry."
"Mike's taking care of that," Micky reported. "He's friends with a butcher here in town. He's gone to collect some blood for you..." He frowned. "It... is okay, isn't it? That it's not..."
"Not human blood?" MacLaren smiled. "I prefer animal blood. When my son was murdered, I.... I killed his murderer. I drained him of every drop of blood he possessed." He sighed. "It was so against what William would have wanted.... I became so disgusted with myself that I swore never to drink human blood again."
"And you've kept that vow, you told me," Peter said.
MacLaren smiled. "Aye.... I have." Then he frowned. "Only... what will your friend tell his butcher friend? Blood is no ordinary request."
"It was simple," Mike said as he came into the room and closed the door behind him. "I told him Micky needed it for an experiment he was running."
"Hey!" Micky chided as Peter grinned.
Mike reached a tall glass full of thick red liquid to MacLaren. "There's more," he said. "I put it in the refrigerator."
MacLaren smiled as he sipped the liquid. It was, indeed, animal blood. "Thank you, Michael."
Mike gave a small nod and a tiny smile and moved to sit on MacLaren's other side, staring at Davy's bed. "That's Davy's blood, isn't it?"
MacLaren shrugged, swallowing a huge swig before he answered. "It's human, yes. But I can't tell if it's David's or not."
"And this?" Micky hefted the ornate dagger.
"The symbol of my enemies," MacLaren hissed.
"You've said that before," Peter said.
"Yeah, man " Micky asked, sitting on the foot of Davy's bed. "But who are your enemies?"
MacLaren drained the glass and wiped his mouth, then hefted the glass and looked through it at Mike. "You said there was more?" At Mike's nod, he nodded as well. "Later, I think..."
"MacLaren...." Peter half-whined.
The shorter man scowled as he set the glass down. "They call themselves Shakharii. They've been a thorn in my side for centuries. They're a group of vampyre hunters. The mantle is passed down from father to son, mother to daughter... and they especially want me destroyed."
"Why you?" Micky asked.
"Because I'm one of the oldest existing vampyres."
The three mortals shot glances at each other. Before either could ask, MacLaren said simply, "I was born six hundred years ago in what today is called Scotland."
"And are there any... older than you?" Mike asked.
"Aye," he breathed. "One o'our number saw the Blessed One crucified." He sighed. "But I am the oldest one on this continent. And that's why the Shakharii want me especially."
"Makes sense," Micky sighed. "Kill the oldest and work their way down."
"And that's why they nabbed Davy," Mike finished. "Because he looks like you."
MacLaren nodded. "Now all we have to do is find where they have him .... no mean feat, that...."
Peter went to the living room, calling over his shoulder, "Shakharii... that name sounds familiar..." He returned with the phone book. "You will not believe this..."
"What?" Mike asked.
For answer, Peter lay the book down on Davy's nightstand and jabbed his finger on an advertisement in the yellow pages.
Davy's eyes widened as he gaped at the young woman that had befriended him. "You advertised in the bloody phone book?"
She smiled at him not a cruel one, but a pleased one. "Yeah it seemed the easiest way for it to find us, since it comes here every October."
"That's four times you've called this MacLaren fella an it'," Davy pointed out, testing the ropes that held him to the chair and finding them giving slightly. "Why do you call im that?"
"It's a vampyre," she said, moving to him and untying the once-blindfold that she'd slid to the top of his head once the sun no longer shone in his face. "I and those like me are sworn to destroy it."
"Why? What's e done to you?"
She blinked at him incredulously. "It's a vampyre," she repeated.
"That wasn't my question," Davy said evenly.
She blinked at him and her mouth worked, but nothing emerged.
"All right," Davy said. "Let me tell you what this MacLaren did to me."
She leaned forward eagerly, her eyes alight. "It turned your wife or sister like it, didn't it? And thus you would join us?"
"Geesh, lady you are out there!" Davy groaned. "No, he didn't. As a matter of fact, he saved me life."
She flinched as if struck. "What ?"
"Untie me right and." Davy said. "You'll see the proof of what I'm about to tell you."
Warily, she complied and took his hand in hers. "See that star-shaped mark on the back?" he asked. At her nod and gentle touch of it, he went on, "I was stung by a jellyfish. Now turn my hand over."
She did and the double puncture marks on his wrist were revealed. She did a violent double-take and gaped at Davy.
"That's right," he said, smiling. "Your evil entity sucked the poison out of my system and none of my blood."
"But...." she stammered, paling. But...."
Peter entered the downstairs bedroom and grinned as he looked at the figure tucked into his own bed. Chuckling, he shook his head.
Apparently being a vampyre did not stop one from loud snoring.
Peter walked over and gently shook the thin shoulder. "MacLaren..." he whispered, "Wake up."
A hiss filled his ears and he suddenly found himself on his back, being held down by MacLaren, who glared at him with glowing eyes and dropped fangs.
Peter lay his hands on the vampyre's shoulders and cried, "It's me, MacLaren! Peter!"
He blinked, awareness coming into his eyes. "P...Peter?" He sat up, his fangs retracting and his eyes fading to brown. "Oh, Peter.... and I swore I wouldn't..."
"It's all right," Peter assured him, sitting up. "You were still dreaming I forgive you."
MacLaren blinked, and then shook his head. "You are a unique individual, Peter Tork."
"No, I'm not," Peter said, standing up. "I'm just me." He dusted his pants off. "The sun's setting."
MacLaren nodded. "Good. I'll be out soon.... uhm, is that blood still in the refrigerator?"
"Last time I checked."
"Good. Then I won't go hungry." He smiled and moved to the window, pulling down the black plastic and watching the sun set. "Gather the others," he said finally. "We need to formulate a plan of attack."
Davy looked from one captor to another as he surreptitiously untied the last knot holding his arms to the chair. The head of the captors had ordered his legs untied a half hour ago, to restore circulation.
Then they had gotten so busy plotting a sneak attack on the Pad, they'd forgotten to retie Davy.
Davy shivered suddenly. These people claimed MacLaren was evil; but every time they plotted, Davy felt a noticeable chill. He had a feeling he know who the evil ones were.
The girl who had befriended him knelt beside him. "How are you holding up?" she whispered.
"I've been kidnapped, stabbed, tied up, and now I'm watching your people plot to attack my friends," he snarled. "I'm fine."
She smiled. "Julie."
"My name. It's Julie."
"How'd you get mixed up in this, anyway?"
She sighed and put her hand on his. Her eyes widened as she registered he was untied, but he turned pleading eyes to her and she nodded. Leaving him free, she said, "I'm not really sure, now. They took me in after I ran away.... loved me...."
"But they want to kill MacLaren."
"Destroy," Julie corrected. "Not kill. You can't kill something that's not alive not human."
Davy leaned down and whispered, "In my opinion, MacLaren seems more human than a bunch of your friends here."
Julie opened her mouth to retort, but was interrupted by glass breaking. Heads snapped around to see MacLaren crash through the window, eyes glowing and fangs down. Davy's eyes grew huge as he saw the vampyre held Peter! The vampyre dropped Peter, who somersaulted easily to his feet "How does he do that?" Davy wandered idly and glided to the other side of the room.
Guns were suddenly drawn and trained both on MacLaren and on Peter. "I see you brought a vampyre friend," the leader snarled, training his gun on Peter. "These fire wooden bullets, our nemesis Watch your friend crumble to dust!"
Mike appeared as if from nowhere, slamming into the leader and sending his aim wild. Micky appeared from another direction, slamming into another goon.
"Protect us!" the leader screamed. Guns went flying as MacLaren and Peter joined the fray. "Fire!" the leader barked. "Fire!"
Davy shot from his chair and dashed toward the leader.
A single shot rang out and everybody froze. Davy turned to see Julie standing there, gun smoking, staring wide-eyed at him. "Ju....lie...." he gasped out, looking down at himself.
"Davy!" the rest of the Monkees screamed as Davy collapsed, a red stain spreading along the right side of his chest.
Julie shook. She lowered the gun, sobbing. "I... I was just aiming to scare... it went off..."
Micky took the gun and took her in his arms, trying to calm her.
The leader began to gloat about "thus will all vampyres perish" on and on and on until MacLaren struck him on top of the head, knocking him out.
The other Shakharii, except for the sobbing Julie, ran once their leader was down. "Typical," Mike and MacLaren snorted in unison, then grinned at each other and chuckled.
Peter's anguished scream cut through the relief of their winning. He was on his knees beside Davy, trying to staunch the blood. "Come on, Davy," he screeched. "Don't you do this!"
Micky moved out of the room, pulling Julie with him, to call both the police and an ambulance.
Peter fumbled for a pulse. "His heart's beating," he reported. "It's bea No! No, don't stop, damn it! Don't stop!"
Before anyone could move, Peter grabbed the collar of the yellow eight-button shirt Davy wore and ripped it completely down the front. He made a fist and slammed it into Davy's chest, then began a rhythmic pushing, stopping after five of them to blow a breath into Davy's mouth.
"Come on," Peter hissed as Mike knelt on Davy's other side, taking over the breaths while Peter compressed. "Come on! I won't let you die! Breathe!"
As he did another round of compressions, Peter's voice rose to a shout. "I'm not gonna lose someone else I care about! Not the way I lost Carolyn... not the way I lost MIKE!"
Mike blew into Davy's mouth, and then frowned. "What ?"
"Not you," Peter gasped, compressing until a hand landed on his shoulder.
"We'll take over now," a new voice said as the young man in the ambulance scrubs pulled Peter aside and began CPR himself.
Peter skidded back against the wall, watching with huge eyes as Davy was stabilized and loaded into the ambulance.
Mike came and sat beside him as the leader was put into the same ambulance and Micky returned with Julie. He asked Peter only four words: "Who's Carolyn and Mike?"
Peter leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes. In an infinitely weary voice, he sighed, "My wife..... and my son."
"What?" both gasped, and then Micky added, "You have a son?"
"Had a son." Peter seemed to have aged ten years. "He's dead. So is Carolyn."
"Peter... man...." Mike breathed. "How...."
Peter reached up a hand. MacLaren took it and hauled him to his feet. As Mike climbed to his, a policeman came in. "Is this the shooter?" he asked, pointing at Julie.
"Yeah," Mike said. "It's her ----"
"but we're not pressing charges," Peter said.
All eyes snapped to him. "What?" the five others gasped.
"I witnessed it," Peter said. "The gun went off accidentally, not like " Pain flared in Peter's face as memories consumed him for a moment.
"You'll still need to give a statement, ma'am," the policeman said, leading Julie away.
"Peter..." Mike said. "About "
Peter shook his head. "Let's get Davy okay, then I'll tell you. I'll tell you everything."
After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor emerged from the ER exam room. "For David Jones?" she asked.
Peter shot to his feet. The other waiting three clustered behind him. "We're them," Peter said.
The doctor sighed. "The bullet went right through his body. It punctured his right lung, which subsequently collapsed." Seeing their eyes close in spontaneous fear and grief, she hastened to add, "But whoever did CPR till the paramedics arrived saved his life. He's on a respirator and will be for a few more days, till his lung heals. The bullet shattered two ribs, and we've taped him up. Right now, he is sedated to prevent his fighting the tube."
"Doc," Peter asked suddenly. "Will he be all right?"
"Eventually yes. He'll have trouble with his ribs for a few weeks and his lungs for about that long but at the end of that time, except for some new scars and quite a story to tell he'll be just fine."
Peter's eyes closed and he sagged from sheer relief. MacLaren supported him till his rubbery knees could hold him again.
It seemed really strange to be at home while Davy was sedated in the hospital, Peter reflected as he sat on his bed, bouncing one of Davy's shoes idly against it.
They'd returned home after the nurse had practically thrown them out. Micky turned from the window, where he was replacing the black plastic before sunrise. "Okay," he called. "It's ready!"
MacLaren came in and sighed. "Why?" he asked, sinking onto Davy's bed.
"Why what?" Mike asked, coming in behind the vampyre and closing the door after him.
"Why did you ask me to stay here?"
"Do you have anywhere else to go?" Mike asked, sitting beside him.
MacLaren looked at him. "No... but...."
"Well, then," Mike said matter-of-factly.
MacLaren hissed, dropping his fangs as he glared at Mike. "This is why I ask!" he snarled. "I'm not one of you I'm a vampyre! Doesn't that matter to you?"
"Okay," Micky said, coming to sit beside Peter, turning on the light as he did so. "Tell us this will you hurt us?"
MacLaren shook his head, retracting the fangs.
"Well, then," Peter said gently. "You saved Davy before, and you have shown yourself nothing but a friend to us. There's your answer."
MacLaren sighed and then smiled, shaking his head. "You are the most unique group of individuals I've ever met."
The three smiled, Peter's slightly distracted. Mike's smile faded and he cleared his throat. "Ah... Peter?"
Peter studied his friend's face for a moment, then dropped his eyes and sighed. "Her name was Carolyn Daniels." Another sigh erupted as he went on:
"We were inseparable even as small kids. She was my inspiration, my heart... she supported me through anything and everything...We... we became lovers at sixteen. We didn't plan to, it just... happened." Smiling tightly at Micky's expression, he said, "No, I'm not innocent. She was my first..." the smile faded. "My last... When she told me she was pregnant... I think my heart stopped.
"We left Connecticut and moved to New York. We lied about our ages and got married. I supported us by bussing tables and occasionally playing... by waitering..." He smiled, tears pooling in his eyes.
"My son.... Michael Jason... was born on my eighteenth birthday. I told Carolyn she'd given me the best present in the world... She was a good mother I've never seen anyone love a child so much..."
Peter suddenly sobbed, and the tears began to flow. "It... it was a week before Christmas... They... they went to the bank ... to c-c-cash my paycheck... and it was r-robbed..." He ran his hands through his hair. "The c-cops called the families of the h-hostages... They shoved her out... w-with Mike in her arms..."
A sob wracked him and he cried, "They sh-shot her in the back! R-Right in front of me! It... it lodged in the ba-baby..." He laid his head in his hands, muffling the next words slightly. "They t-told me she was ki-killed instantly... didn't suffer... but Mi-Mike... my b-boy held on... for thr-three hours before he di-died..."
Peter suddenly gained his feet and smashed both fists into the bedroom door. "I lost my en-entire family because some ba-bastard thought the c-cops weren't moving fast enough!"
The three were shocked into silent immobility by the story. Peter stood by the doorway, aching fists clenching and unclenching, struggling to regain control.
Mike licked his lips as he stood and walked over, laying a hand on Peter's shoulder after a couple of false starts. "Peter... man, why'd ya keep all this inside? Why the dumb-blond routine?"
"It just seemed... easier," Peter said softly. "So easy to just coast... to be taken care of, to play dumb and deny my past..."
"Better that than chemically dulling it?" MacLaren asked.
Micky looked confused. "What are you talking about? Peter won't even touch aspirin!"
"I can't," Peter said. "I fought my way out of a drug habit."
Mike released him and took a step backward from sheer surprise. Micky's jaw slammed open. "A... A wh-what?" Micky gasped.
Peter ran a hand over his forehead, which suddenly ached. "I tried to forget Carolyn and Mike ... by burying the pain for three years with booze, pot and downers. I'd only been clean a few weeks when I met Davy, and then you guys."
They gaped wordlessly at him until MacLaren lay a hand on each of their shoulders. "He is more than he seems as are we all."
The pair nodded, then Mike asked, "Were you afraid we wouldn't like you if we knew the truth?"
"Especially about the drugs," Peter confirmed. "And now you know why I call you Michael'. It's too painful to call you Mike'."
"I dig," he said softly. "Don't worry our feelings haven't changed. If anything, we respect you more cause you went through Hades and back and you're still sane!"
Peter looked from one to the other and smiled as the acceptance bloomed in their faces. "Thanks," he sniffled, wiping the last of the tears.
Mike laid his hand back on Peter's shoulder. "No more dumb-blond', okay? We'll help you deal if you'll let us."
Peter studied Mike's face for a moment, and then wrapped his arms around his friend. "Thanks," he whispered. "I'm gonna take you up on that."
Mike looked embarrassed. Awkwardly, he petted Peter's back with one hand as the other hung limply at his side. "See that you do," he mock-scolded.
After a moment, Peter released him, scrubbing at the tear marks on his cheeks.
MacLaren sighed. "As soon as the sun goes down, I'll be on my way."
"What?" the three chorused.
The small man looked at each of them. "I came here to mourn. This town was where my son was murdered, and I come here each October to remember. My mourning period is over, and I'll be moving on out of your lives again."
"You don't have to do that," Micky said.
MacLaren frowned. "You know what I am. As long as I stay here, I risk a repeat of what happened the last few nights. Why would you care to even risk that?"
"Because you're our friend," Peter said.
"Yes, but "
Peter moved and laid both his hands on the vampyre's shoulders. "Because you're our friend," he repeated, as if that were enough.
Maybe, MacLaren thought with a slight smile, maybe it is enough. Friends....something I've lacked for centuries...
Mike cleared his throat. "Well, if you're gonna stay for at least the day, I think I'd best pay another visit to the butcher. Wouldn't do to have our guest goin' hungry... You comin', Mick?"
Micky shook his head. "I think I'll go surfing instead ... clear my head awhile. Peter?"
"No..." Peter said with a small smile. "I don't feel like doing much of anything right now."
"We dig," Micky said. "You're welcome to join either of us if you change your mind."
"I know," Peter said, sitting back on the bed. "I'll take you up on it later. Right now, I just... need to recover a little."
Micky squeezed his shoulder as they left the room.
Peter sighed. "You don't have to leave," he said gently. "You can stay at least till Davy gets home."
MacLaren smiled slightly. "Thank you," he said. "Perhaps I shall. I've yet to make up my mind."
"Well, whatever you decide, you'll always be welcome here." Peter sighed. "Odd, how much you and I have in common. We both had major secrets; we've both lost sons..."
"We've something else in common as well," MacLaren said, sitting beside him and smiling.
"Oh?" Peter asked, meeting his eyes. Adopting MacLaren's Scots accent, he asked, "An' what would that be?"
MacLaren's smile became a full-fledged grin. "My first name is Peter."
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