The Curse Of The Eclipsium (The Midnight People 1)

In the fantasy world of Riarkum, where powerful yet dangerous 'midnight people' live hidden away from human civilization, the crew of the Eclipsium have been cursed with vampirism for over a century. When Ander Zavien is rescued from his execution by the ships mysterious Quarter-Master 'Ransom', he is pulled into the center of a violent conflict between those who are willing to sacrifice everything to reverse their curse, and the order of night-hunters set on destroying it entirely.
As his own blood hangs in the balance, he seeks out the truth of why these creatures of night are fighting to keep him alive, and why they call him 'Firstblood.'

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1. Chapter 1 - Midnights Heart

Half a mile from the coast of Zafflen, The Eclipsium ship lay concealed behind a cove built of rock and gemstone, awaiting the return of their quarter-master. And standing on a bloodstained wooden stage with his head hung, a boy named Anderson Zavien awaited his death.

Ransom Coulder peered over the sea of people surrounding the execution with narrowed eyes, clenching his fists in frustration. The Zafflen gallows; notorious, and hardy. They had been built during the Soundering war for Tordan's prisoners, elaborately designed for mass executions, and now they executed many at a time.

But today, only one boy stood on the platform, dressed in rags that hung off his thin frame.

Clothes lines dangled between the balconies of houses on either side of the crowded street, decorating the white alley with splashes of somber colour, and obscuring Ransoms view.

He stretched on his toes, and could just see the noose over the heads of countless anticipating strangers. With a tense arm, he ran a hand back through his unruling hair angrily and groaned.

"It's him." He said, wiping a single bead of sweat from his temple and relaxing noticeably. He fixed his calculating gaze on the boy.

He was led by two guards on either side of him, his hands bound with rope at his front and his head hung low. His face was obscured by a head of thick auburn hair falling in curls and waves but it was him, for sure. He could almost smell it.

Finally.

"Coulder.." Davelynn hissed, keeping her voice low. "Please, hold back while we work out a plan."

Ransom looked at her, and tried not to look as irritated as he felt. "We cannot just stand here, Davelynn." He muttered.

A woman stood beside them glanced at them curiously, and he leaned in slightly closer, lowering his voice to a whisper. "I don't want to cut things too close."

Davelynn narrowed her emerald green eyes at him a moment, then relaxed, heaving a sigh. "Do you expect me to put my neck on the line, now? Because you and the Cap have a hunch that petty thief is the first-blood?"

Ransom worked to un-tense his shoulders. "No.." He breathed through tightly gritted teeth. He glanced sidewardly at two guards, cut off by the sea of people on either side of him. Then above him at the clothes line dotted with clothing. He leaned in closer still, and wrapped a hand around Davelynns wrist. "Just mine. Get to the North of the island, the boat is close by on the black beach. I'll see you soon."

Before Davelynn could open her mouth, her eyes widening in realization, Ransom grabbed the line above his head and hoisted himself up, feeling his shoulder wrench. He groaned in pain but swung his feet over, balancing seated on the line and knocking two pairs of men's trousers to the spectators below.

Heads turned fast, eyes widening in alarm at him.

"What the hell?"

"Why in Staras name-?"

He slid along a little and grabbed the nearest balcony railing, wobbling slightly as he stood on the narrow rope. He gasped with a known exhilaration, his head snapping up, and swung himself over so that he was standing balanced on the rusted metal railing. It shifted a couple of inches back, making him hiss between his teeth.

"Get him!" A woman shrieked. The crowd burst into uproar, staring up at Ransom and pointing.

Ransom glanced down at Davelynn, who stood looking back at him in disapproval. She shook her head, sighing.

The two guards shoved their way past her, toward the doorway of the house he was clinging to.

"Damn.." Ransom muttered. He looked around frantically, and spotted his escape. He clambered over to the balcony, placing his feet on an unstable looking wooden side table and latching onto to some piping attached to the rooftop.

He inhaled deeply, looking up at the distance to jump. And he hoisted himself again.

In a swift movement he swung his legs up, quick-stepping up the wall, and swung one leg over onto the fragile pipe ledge. He lifted his other and knelt on the rooftiles.

Below him, he heard the chatter of the guards and their heavy footsteps close to the archway. Ransom half scrambled up, measuring the time between him and his capture, and bolted, running along the rooftops.

For once the tightly packed streets of Zafflen presented a significant benefit for a man who preferred shadow.

He reached the end of his makeshift road and stared down, the edge of the roof tiles only an inch from the toes of his boots. An executioner stood by the switch that would open up the floor and choke Ander, though even he was distracted by the commotion he had caused.

A noose dangled from the wooden frame above his head. Still, the boy kept his head down, his face concealed by a mane of tousled dark hair. He glanced up only briefly, and his tired eyes sparked.

Ransom glanced around him again, eyes searching. A small platoon of unarmed guards were attempting to barge their way through the crowd in the streets below him, to where they anticipated he was going to jump to. No. He thought. I can't be quite so predictable.

Ransom stepped onto the piping, bracing himself. The imperial guards below had positioned themselves around his landing plot, restricting his movement. He saw another emerge from the balcony he'd climbed from, a flash of white out of the corner of his eye boosted by the second who stood beneath him.

He clenched his fists, and pulled out the miniature crossbow he'd concealed beneath his coat. It was a pathetic weapon, but it would have to do.

With a heavy sigh between gritted teeth, he aimed at a carriage on the adjacent street to his. The street was blocked off for public execution purposes by a couple of pieces of wood, nailed together pathetically. This would aid him.

Suddenly, a woman in the crowd cried out in horror at the sight of his weapon.

"Great." Ransom muttered, hesitating. They think I'm going to hurt them. Ironic!

He aimed cautiously, practiced, and shot straight through the reins of the horse that pulled the carriage, feeling a slight kick up his arm. The slim rope snapped instantly, and the carriage came to an abrupt halt. His bolt had embedded itself in the thatched roof of the house opposite.

The mule neighed loudly, bucking, then powered on toward the wooden border of the streets at the sight of freedom. It tore through the border easily, powerful enough to rip it in two. He slid his small bow of ebony back into the recesses of his jacket, hooking it into a pocket with satisfaction, then looked down for the nearest ledge that left space between him and the persistent guards waiting below. He spotted the small balcony, and jumped. Then, waiting for the perfect moment, he jumped again just a little infront of the horse.

He braced himself for impact, and landed backwards on the saddle with a light thump.

Ransom blinked fast, gasping at the realization of his success. Members of the crowd screamed and parted for his newly acquired steed, forming a road to Ander.

Ander stared at him through his fringe, skinny neck extended as the executioner hurriedly took hold of the noose. His eyes were wide with shock at the display.

Ransom grabbed hold of the saddle and stood uneasily, trying to maintain balance. Then leapt to the executioners stage. For a moment he powered through the air toward the boy, then, grabbing Ander around the shoulders with one arm and the noose with the other, he yanked with all his power and momentum until it came free from its frame, snapping off a great chunk of the frames wood.

Ander fell sideways with him, almost falling off the staging onto the beach behind the hanging site. Guards rushed forward through the roaring crowd, and Ransom hurriedly drew his bow again. He shot at the wooden frame the noose had dangled from, five times to be safe, and the already weakened structure snapped.

The wood caved and piled before them with a great thud, creating a rising cloud of dust and debree.

Ander wriggled back upon being released, his large hazel eyes wide and frantic. His hands were tied still, leaving him awkwardly positioned and struggling. "H-How did you do that? Why did you do that?"

Ransom grimaced and followed, the two crawling backwards off the staging into the sand. "Let's save the exposition for when your life isn't endangered. Move."

"Pull it apart!" Somebody cried from the other side. Chants of "get them!" echoed amongst the guards.

Ransom stood quickly, and yanked Ander to his feet by the scruff of his shirt. The boy looked alarmed, gasping for breath and spluttering as he did. He gestured to the mounds of rocks scattered around the sandy stretch, to one in particular.

"Get up, run to the rocks over there."

"My.. My hands are bound." Ander managed to snap, struggling to straighten. Ransom narrowed his eyes impatiently and pulled a dagger from his opposite sleeve, cutting the rope around Anders slender wrists. "Do as I say." He growled out.

Anders rescuer stood at maybe 6 foot, a head of slightly outgrown dark brown hair falling into a fringe over a long scar just emerging from beneath it, and completely masking one eye. He was dressed oddly in a knee length dark red coat, with black leather fastenings clasped together. Beneath was a white baggy shirt with a neck tie, adorned with a jagged red stone on a chain.

Ander stared a moment, panting for breath. "Please.. Who are you?"

"We can deal with pleasantries later! You run or you die." Ransom stressed, looking Ander sternly in the eye.

He hesitated a moment, then turned and ran to the boulder he had gestured, kicking up sand and stones as he went.

For a moment Ransom examined the pile of wood blocking them from the street below, knowing it would not last long, then turned and followed after Ander.  

 

***  

 

"Why didn't you just kill them all? You have a bow, and a knife-"

"Eclipsium pirates avoid killing civilians unless it is absolutely necessary." Ransom cut him off, kneeling beside him in the rocks. He nodded sidewardly toward one of the boulders to their side. "We do not have long, and my shoulder is temporarily wounded. Move that rock."

Ander scowled. "You say you're a pirate, so why should I trust you?"

"Because, I just saved your scrawny neck." Ransom said calmly.

Ander glared a moment longer, then began to push it, groaning. He leaned all his weight against it, forcing it to budge. Ransom leaned on it backwards, too, helping.

It tumbled back after a few moments, exposing a great hole in the ground. The edges were perfectly rounded, like the tunnel had been caved out by hand.

Ander looked at it skeptically, "What the hell is this?"

"Didn't I say, exposition later? I suggest you climb inside." Ransom retorted.

Ander looked at it again, a vein popped on his forehead from anxiety, and he admitted to himself that he had no other option. He clambered down into the hole.

With a light thud and a cloud of dust he hit the ground, landing on his feet but immediately falling onto his knees. He coughed at the sand in the air, frowning and squinting as his eyes adjusted to the stuffy, dimly lit space.

A couple of meters or so above him, he heard Ransom grunt with pain as he rolled the boulder back over the dull light ahead of them, engulfing the cavern in pitch black, like an untimely eclipse. Ransom landed beside him, light and agile, but Ander could barely see the glint of his eyes.

For a moment, silence fell. "Stay, very quiet..." Ransom breathed.

Ander reached out and found what he guessed was an elbow. "Where-"

"Shh.." The elbow shifted and Ransom wrapped a hand over his mouth. "Quiet!" He hissed.

Ander pulled his head back stubbornly. "For Staras sake, tell me where we are first!"

"All you need to know, if that we are not particularly safe here, firstblood. If these people are to discover your identity-"

"-Excuse me? Firstblood?" Ander frowned deeply.

Ransoms forehead furrowed. "We, uh, we cannot talk about this here. For now, do not use your true name. Use mine. You will be Ransom Coulder. You are the quarter-master of a pirate ship named the Eclipsium." Ransom ordered quickly, his lips close to Anders ear. "At least until we are free of this place."

Ander stared hard at the outline of him, then gave a slight nod, despite knowing he wouldn't see it. "Forgive me.. But what kind of a name is Ransom? A nickname?"

"Whatever bemuses you. Take it for now, they may recognize your name if my hunch is correct.. And you may survive longer if they think you're of relative importance."

"But, you say you are a pirate?" He asked cautiously, wracked with disbelief. "You're lying.. Pirates don't help anyone but themselves."

Ransom said nothing, and the silence chilled him. For a moment, Ander wasn't sure he was still there. Until there was a sudden orange light contouring his porcelain skin, and Ander could just make out a long scar lining from his eye to his cheekbone. He relaxed noticeably.

"Newblood!" A mans deep, rumbling voice seemed to reverberate between the walls of a cavern suddenly lit behind them. It was a small cave like room with a table just by the entrance they had emerged, a narrow tunnel leading off from one end. On the table was a pair of gamblers dice.

Both Ransom and Anders heads snapped around to face a giant. The man stood at well over six feet, layered in slabs of muscle, and dressed in a torn sack shirt and patched trousers. A single slim gold chain dangled from his neck. The bright colour contrasted with his sheet white skin.

The man stepped forward, and with a furious scowl, grabbed Ransom by the scruff of his collar. Ransom gritted his teeth tight from pain, a thud reverberating through his shoulder blade. "Where is the damn thing?" The man growled out, voice hoarse. "I knows' an Eclipsium pirate when I sees' one!"

"Release him!" Ander snapped, scrambling to Ransoms aid. He pushed hard on the mans arm, but had little effect. He just glared at him, then bared his teeth threateningly in a very animalistic way.

Ander noted that his canines were pointed, almost as though they could tear flesh.

The man swung his arm back and sent Ander flying. He hit the furthest wall, and pain shot up his back. "Ah!" He gasped out. "H-Hell.."

"Stop.." Ransom managed, choking. His face was red, his neck edging on purple, as the giant mans meaty fist enclosed around his windpipe tight. Ander looked up in shock, frantically. What had Ransom done to anger such a person?

Well, he thought. He is a pirate if he is truthful. But a pirate who didn't even draw his weapon to the guards who would have shot him without remorse..

He struggled to his feet, the flat of his back throbbing dully where he had hit the wall. And he stepped forward. "Let my captain go!" He snapped.

The man hesitated a moment, like he'd been knocked dizzy. Then abruptly dropped Ransom, who fell to his knees clutching at his reddened throat.

"Aye.." The man said slowly. He seemed embarrassed, clearing his throat. "My apologies... I guessed you was' jus' another pirate."

Ander worked up his best scowl. "You were mistaken, then."

With a glare that could melt through steel, Ransom looked at him. He stood slowly, scowling at Ander a moment with his back turned to the man. Then he caught on with the act.

He turned swiftly on his heel, and straightened his black military coat authoritatively. For a moment, a thin silver chain concealed under his white pirate sleeve shirt caught the light. "You make quite the introduction..." He began, in a practiced tone of ignorant eloquence. "I don't care for your name, though, I suppose you care for mine. I am Captain Hunter of the Eclipsium, and this is my quarter-master, Ransom Coulder."

His acting seemed flawless; like he had studied the true captains ins and outs for a long time. It caught Ander off guard. Ransom already sounded very unlike he imagined a pirate would, however. Articulate, with a very faint accent that seemed Sparish. It gave his words a natural purr-like ring.

"Uh.. With all due respect, cap'n... Eclipsium pirates carry 'em shiny jewels on 'em, they do." The man said. He spoke of the jewels in an almost hungry, wanting tone.

Ransoms act faltered a moment, as he hesitated. He thumbed the edge of his coat. "You are referring to... The ruby of midnight, are you not?"

"Rubies, cap'n." He repeated stupidly. "Ruby would mean jus' one. Rubies-"

"That's quite enough, Quill." Came an articulate voice from behind them. Three more men emerged through the tunnel. One, the man who had spoken, seemed to lead. He wore the same styled coat as Ransom, the detailing a symbol of considerable importance. His hair, a very light blonde, was outgrown and reached his chest, several longer strands braided to the small of his back. His eyes contrasted, a harsh and unnatural green, but his skin was chalky white as the others. Anders olive complexion seemed very out of place, as if he was stood among the dead.

The man now known as Quill stepped aside, ducking his head as one of lesser importance would.

"I hear tell, that a pirate captain has graced us with his presence." The newest speaker said eloquently, with a smile so polite it seemed mocking. His eyes fixed on Ransom, " Hunter."

He held his gaze a second, then his head turned sideways to Ander quickly, his smile flickering. His left eye twitched oddly a moment. "And, his first mate."

Ander frowned, on edge. The man turned back to Ransom after a moment more of uncomfortable staring, then stepped forward, extending a dainty hand. "I am Drake Lavia. My partners are Thatcher and Yukami."

The Frimarian looking man named Yukami glanced at Ander, he too seemingly captivated for a moment. Ander testingly narrowed his eyes, and Yukami looked away slowly.

Ransom returned the courteous smile. "Only three?"

"The rest of our clan reside deeper in the tunnel system. We welcome you to settle here? Assuming you are indeed in hiding?" Drake continued. His seemingly solid well-mannered exterior was chilling.

Ransoms act flickered again. "In fact yes, we await the return of our ship nearby. We plan on setting sail again when dawn breaks. I'm sure, as men like us yourselves-"

"You land-dwellers are very unlike us." Thatcher snapped.

Yukami and Drake both looked at him, a flicker of impatience crossing Drakes features for the first time, before turning back to Ransom again. "My apologies... But indeed, our days in the moonlight were abandoned as our regular lives were. I'm sure you understand the way of the curse."

Anders eyes widened at the word, but he didn't speak up. He drew his full lips into a thin line.

Ransom nodded slowly. "Of course. We accept your offer of temporary residence."

"We would appreciate a word with you as well, Captain.. I would like to remind you that my memory is rather hazy of my old life, though. We are somewhat shockingly older than we look." Drake gave a rather tricky smile.

Ander had heard the term 'curse' in stories of pirates before, but never put forward so bluntly. Like it was a physical, doubtless fact of existence. He stared hard at Ransom, trying his best not to appear as daunted as he felt.

Drake gestured toward the tunnel entrance, lit by a dull, flickering miners lamp. "This way, Captain."  

 

***  

 

The tunnel system was long and elaborate. Through each entry was a room shared by two, and several larger rooms where men sat around drinking ale from large iron casks or around small tables, congregating and gambling. Ander tensed noticeably watching them.

Ransom touched Ander's shoulder for attention, and gave him a stern, commanding look; before he disappeared beside Drake into a room with a rough edged makeshift door. They were closely flanked by Yukami and Thatcher, with Quill was respectively a few steps behind - who closed the door once they were all inside. Ander barely had a chance to peer inside the other room before he was left alone, the space eerily quiet save for the occasional echoing laugh reverberating down the tunnel.

He sighed heavily. Disgruntled at being left alone, he glanced about the cramped bed quarters he had been left in. It seemed abandoned, the few pieces of furniture coated in a thick layer of dust and joined by cobwebs. Straight across the narrow tunnel from his empty doorway was the room Ransom had been taken to, and there was no way in hell he was gonna sit there like a helpless child, waiting on his return. He seriously doubted Ransom was the sort of man to let words fall from his mouth like a gossiping girl the moment he was able - if he wanted information, he would have to get it himself.

Rising again with that in mind, Ander looked left and right, then moved swiftly across the narrow tunnel hallway. The mud thankfully muffled his footsteps, so it was easy for him to simply stand and and press his ear to the wood.

.

"-The ruby of Midnight is the Eclipsium's property. I'm afraid I have no duty to aid you," He heard Ransom say. There was a quiet chuckle at that from Drake.

"But you do, my good man. Not as a pirate, but as a vampire. We are a dying breed after the attack on the clan.. You understand the drawbacks of our hallowed curse."

Ander's heart pounded hard at the word. His eyes widened, but his pupils shrunk. Vampire? No. No, it had to be code for something..

He leaned further into the door.

"Drake," Ransom said stiffly, "We are pirates, first and foremost. To us, vampirism is just a slight.. complication. We chose long ago to shun our curse, live on as the free men we always were. You, respectfully, chose the opposite. That was your choice, you cannot come to me now seeking to reverse that decision."

There was a pause. Even without context, Ander understood why arguing with that would be difficult.  "Indeed," Drake said calmly, though with an edge of something else. "Quill; escort Captain Hunter to his chambers. He will be dorming with his first mate."

Ander turned now, feeling suddenly very dizzy, and stepped back into his room at once. Vampires? Were these people insane?

The door swung back, Quill leaning his large frame clumsily against it to let the men pass. Ransom nodded respectively to Drake, before turning and stepping back into the room beside Ander without once meeting his eyes.

The four men, or whatever the hell they were, continued down the tunnel and vanished around a corner.

Ransom sighed, finally looking up at him, and sat down exhaustedly on the mattress opposite. His face was blank. "Ransom," he started, "from your face I assume you did the exact opposite of what I instructed?"

"Don't screw with me. They're gone, so my name is Ander. You have a hell of a lot of explaining to do! Or maybe you missed out the fact that you're some sort of.. creature, on top of a bloody pirate?" Ander snapped. 

Ransom narrowed dark eyes back at him. "Do not use the context of 'hell' in that way. You know nothing of it!" He spat. He leaned in, so Ander could see the detailing of his scar concealed by his hair. 

"Ander... " Ransom said slowly, in a quieter, softer tone. "My ship, the Eclipsium.. We aren't what you could call ordinary men and women. I will explain this to you, but I have to ask that you keep an open mind.. Or you will dub me as insane and run screaming. Can you do that?"

"Perhaps.." Ander murmured. There was a smile on Ransom's face for maybe quarter of a second.

"Good.. 100 years ago, the crew began travelling across the four main midnight tribes spread across the known world. These tribes consist of half human, half demon creatures."

"Demons?"

"You heard me correctly. If you're Staraniun, you may hear echoed 'spawn of the faithless' or 'unholy princes,' but they aren't quite so theatrical. And there are more or them than you would like to consider.. You needn't be alrmed, hey actually appear like you and me. These people simply found it difficult to live among human society, because of the gifts and weaknesses they posessed, and so they fled to the islands centuries ago; divided by their particular affliction. There was the vampiric clan, the mage coven, the shifter tribe, and the drifter tribe." Ransom paused, leaning his elbow on the drawer beside him. It  took every bone in Ander's body not to object or pry further, so he just swallowed hard.

"The Eclipsium gambled with the shifters of the North and befriended them. The pirates would gamble for gold every time, whereas the shifters would want necessities, the things they lacked in the far corners of the world. They were peaceful people, and handed over their gold without complaint when the pirates won.

They, then moved onto the mages. Their covens are extremely intellectual, influenced by human cities. They are carved into the stone inside waterfalls and mountains where their magic can be concealed; but their nature is rather cunning. The mages played their tricky games, gambled with them, and the pirates won regardless; but knew better than to tempt their wavering friendship. They left with the simple promise of a favour, rather than gold.

The drifters were next. They feared the crew, being people of kindness and peace like the shifters. With the main power to render themselves invisible, they are weak, but masters of disguise. Impossible to hunt. They asked for supplies as did the shifters. But the men took their gold, too.

The ship then reached the midnight clan of vampires. They weren't welcoming as the others. It wasn't a game of entertainment for them, or even for gain. They saw the crew, humans, as enemies. Captain Hunter, the real Hunter, again asked for gold, but they took advantage of his young ignorance. The crew gambled with their very souls."

He trailed off a moment, looking down. Annoyance crossed Ander's features. "Their souls? As in.. Their actual souls? Why do such a foolish thing?"

"They craved gold, blinded by material things, and confident they would win. But the vampires cunning outweighed even that of the mages. Hunter lost, and one by one, the crew were turned into these creatures as penance. Forced to consume their blood, become one of then.. Immortal, with a thirst for the lifeforce of others. What flows in their veins.. They shared their terrible curse of vampirism, a price none could ever have anticipated. Gamblers dice, as you can imagine, are a symbol of bad luck to us now."

Ander looked up at him, blinking hard. It was too much to take in. Too much. "They couldn't just kill you?"

"That would have been letting us off.." He almost scoffed.

Ander shook his head at that, but didn't press it. "What are these, 'midnight rubies,' everyone seems so concerned about then?"

"You see.. After they stepped outside the vampires cavern, Captain Hunters wife was immediately reduced to ash. She split and crumbled only moments after exposure to the beams that struck the entrance. That was when they discovered that their vampirism had made them creatures of night, doomed to be burned alive by the suns touch. And the Captain hated the curse with a fiery passion, for what it had done to his beloved. They sailed by night to the coven, where the mages gifted them their favour at last; the midnight heart. Or the ruby of midnight, whatever you'd like to call it.

Though along the way, half of the crew ran away. They chose to accept their curse, to welcome its gifts rather than its setbacks. The rest of them split the ruby, putting each fragment on a chain.

As long as we wear these enchanted necklaces, the curses most devastating effects are held at bay. However, we still thirst for blood; we are able to walk in daylight as humans can." He recounted.

Ander glanced at the chain just showing under Ransoms shirt. He had tucked it away before Quill arrived. "That chain... Is that a fragment?" He asked inquisitively.

Ransom took the necklace from around his neck, pulling the small ruby from beneath his shirt. The gem glistened crimson red, and when he handed it over, Ander held it as though it were extremely breakable in his filfthy hands. He was momentarily captivated.

Ransom then took it back, tucking it under his shirt. "Yes, it is quite beautiful. But it is black magic known as soulstis - capable of being used to raise the dead. There is a persons own energy within the pieces, probably dead now."

Ander shook his head fast, like doing so could undo what he had learned. "I'm not sure I want to know how it got there.. How am I involved in this, anyway? You never even told me why you saved me - or why you called me 'firstblood?'"

"..You do not know?"

Ander quirked his head, blank faced.

Ransom stared at him for a few seconds, then sighed shortly. He leaned forward, pulling off his boots, then kicked his feet up and lay back on his bed. "I'm tired."

"No, you are putting it off!" Ander snapped. "I need to know, Ransom!"

"I will explain in the morning, this has been a lot to take in and we both need sleep. Now, rest." He breathed. He shut his eyes.

Ander looked irritated. "How can I trust you will?"

Ransom sighed again and opened one eye, "Haven't I already told you my ships deepest darkest backstory? Your own is simply a more strenuously personal matter. One I don't wish to delve into in the dead of night."

He shut it again and turned so his back was to Ander, not bothering to pull a sheet over himself. Ander lay down with a deep sigh, his back twinging with a dull pain, and he buried himself under his covers. "Who knew vampires sleep.." He mumbled.

He heard Ransoms dull chuckle in response. "Recreationally."

 

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