So here it is, i'll be actually writing more over my X-MAS BREAK!!!! lol hope you guys are getting better christmas weather then me :/
Kyle had to do a double take as if he had imagined the people around the fire. Duke was known for going very far but even this seemed a bit out there for him. "Seriously?" he asked in a little voice, watching as two figures in the blotchy darkness around a fire waved at the truck.
"Do you not want to be here?" Duke asked in a concerned voice, "I can drive you home if you don't want to see them. I did kinda spring this up on you out of nowhere, I wouldn't blame you."
"No I'm fine with it, I just didn't see it coming," Kyle admitted in an anxious loud voice. "How long are we going to stay though?"
"I was kind of thinking you could sleep over," Duke admitted, "It's not like I'm not driving back to school tomorrow too." He hit Kyle shoulder, "And it's not like I'm not your ride anyway."
Kyle looked at Duke like he was crazy, "Are you nuts? I don't want to ruin your family time." He shot out, genuinely nervous about both the family and the concept of sleeping with a family who would help set up capture the flag for their knife wielding son...he didn't think they were dangerous per say just...different.
"Relax, you won't ruin anything, they want to meet you anyways. Plus you see that cabin?" He asked pointing at the very large wood cabin, to which Kyle nodded, "My dad insisted on getting one with an extra bed for my good friend," Duke noted, "We have it for the whole weekend so you might as well stay."
Kyle felt his stomach churn, "Really?" he asked weakly, a bit sickened by the idea of Duke's family spending money on him, "He didn't have to do that..." he mumbled.
"I told him you'd say that, but I won't spoil his response to that excuse." Duke replied energetic as usual. But he noticed how much Kyle seemed to cower, he genuinely wasn't used to any kind of attention and he was a bit frightened by it. It was strange to see Kyle melt and squirm under the idea of money being spent on him when he dealt with worse shit in his own home. He hated to see Kyle so out of it and put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. "Hey...if you really want to leave I can take you home." he said in a lower voice, "I didn't know you'd be so anxious I'm sorry."
"No, no, I'm a big boy I can handle this..." Kyle said, clearly still nervous, "I wouldn't want to waste your dad's money or kindness."
"Really Kyle don't feel obligated, I was actually trying to guilt you into anything," Duke pressed.
Kyle didn't want to talk about it anymore, in truth he loved everything about this idea except that his dad had spent more money...He would have been fine with a couch or sleeping bag. The family themselves were also intimidating, but if he could handle Duke he could handle any crazy personality. Kyle opened the car door without answering and Duke followed suit.
"Glad you guys could make it!" A man's voice rang out with a youthful vigour Kyle more than half expected from Duke's father. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree after all; Duke didn't become that loud and energetic overnight. "Pop a squat boys, we're about to make Smores."
Kyle didn't realize it until Duke started lightly pushing his back and guiding him but he had been walking very slowly towards the large illuminating flames. There were folding chairs set up all around; the two that were empty were side by side.
A women with long brown hair that could only be Duke's mother stood before the two made it "Hello sweetie!" she greeted like Kyle was an old friend and not a stranger to her. She was tall like Duke but lithe and beautiful even in the fire light, or maybe it was just magnified by the dancing flames. Kyle didn't fail to notice she wore a very similar coat to the ones he and Duke were wearing.
Duke's guiding hand left Kyle and he was embraced by the women, "Kyle right?" she asked, "I'm so glad you could make it, Duke has spoken very highly of you. I'm so glad he made a friend so fast."
Honestly Kyle had no idea how to respond the sudden, overwhelming and warm greeting. "Umm..." he started, not even sure if he should have hugged her back. "It's nice to meet you to ma'am."
The two younger kids who had to be his brother and sister laughed a little, making the mother flash at them, "At least he has manners unlike you animals!" she chided in a joking tone and turned back to Kyle, and now guiding him to the fire.
She sat him next to Duke and herself, "I'm Claire Grey," she said sitting him down, this is my husband Desmond Grey, you know Duke, and this is Anthony and Brianna." She introduced everyone. Kyle nodded to each and gave a little wave nervous as hell. It was Mr Grey that stood first, giving Kyle a massive hand to shake.
"Hello Kyle," he said simply but with the same goofy grin he came to know and love. Mr Grey had short cut black hair and a shadow of a beard. He was a big guy like his son, muscular but not built like a profession athlete as much as one who just worked out casually. His handshake was firm and his hands engulfed Kyle's. The boy kept his poise though as much as he could, this man spent money on him without ever meeting him...
"Kyle, nice to meet you Sir," Kyle choked out.
This time it was turn for Mr Grey to laugh at him, "Oh no need for anything fancy, Desmond will do fine, but if it really bugs you then I'm Mr Grey Kyle, not sir."
Kyle nodded on instinct, "Sorry about that."
The man smiled again, "You do apologize a lot," he noted.
"Dad," Duke said simply, giving him a look that said, 'really?'
"Sorry, sorry, I forgot I'm not supposed to talk to your friends, I'm supposed to sit like a grouch in the corner."
"That's all I ask," Duke replied, taking a stick from a bundle at the side of his chair and passed a small bundle to his dad, "You ready for smores?" he asked.
Kyle nodded, eventually getting a stick and a marshmallow, all the while telling himself he could do this and they were just people...
Eventually Kyle calmed down, the night dragging on with simple small talk around the fire, roasting of various foods from marshmallows and hot dogs, to entire sandwiches which made the cheese melt just right.
Duke's family was easy to figure out like he was. His dad was basically a carbon copy of Duke; or in actuality it was visi-versa but still, he was a goof. Always cracking jokes, had the same smile and laugh, and continued to ask if Kyle was comfortable or trying to include him in conversation. Mrs Grey was a very homely woman, always asking questions and telling little stories from either her shows or her books. Kyle soon realized it was because she had very few friends with the family always moving, but she was a very happy woman if a little too peppy sometimes.
Brianna was quiet but kind. When she spoke she was asking Kyle questions or telling a little joke but went right back to being quiet until the next time she found a place to add her two cents. Brianna could not have been much older than fourteen if her way of talking had anything to say about it. Kyle could have left a very rich man if he had a nickel every time she used the words, 'like,' 'so,' or an abbreviation like, 'OMG' in a real sentence.
The only one that concerned Kyle was Anthony. Duke's brother had spent the whole night silent as the grave. Every time Kyle looked at him he was looking away from Kyle and staring emptily into the flames. It was strange because no one seemed to point it out even though the family was loud, either that or they were ignoring it for some reason.
But eventually the fire began to die down, and not that the people at Old Oaks would have cared but the Grey's decided to head inside; after all school was the next day and it was past midnight. The inside of the large cabin seemed even bigger than Kyle had feared. There was a full kitchen in the posh building, a living room with a fairly large TV, three bedrooms on the first floor, two bathrooms and a ladder that lead up to a large cubby in ceiling that had another pair of beds.
Everyone but Kyle changed out of their jeans and into night ware much to Mrs Grey's horror. "You didn't tell him to bring clothes Duke?!" she seemed so offended.
"It wouldn't have been much of a secret if I asked him to bring pyjamas mom." He said simply.
"Still," she persisted, "Kyle dear are you sure you don't just want some sweat pants or something? Jeans can't be comfortable to sleep in surely."
Kyle laughed a little at how much she made it a big deal, "I'm fine thank you Mrs Grey honest. I'm still trying to get over the fact you guys are letting me stay over actually," he admitted.
"Oh don't be silly, and friend of my little Dukie is a friend of our family," she assured.
"MOM! Really?" Duke shouted from the ladder to the little annex cubby space, he was absolutely appalled, "That nickname! Seriously?!" Kyle couldn't help but laugh a little as hard as he might try not to, and he didn't try that hard.
She winked at Kyle, "I think I've tortured him enough, go head up to bed. I'll have breakfast ready for you guys in the morning. I'm certain Duke didn't have you bring you school stuff either."
Kyle smiled and wished her a goodnight and thanked her for about the millionth time that evening. He climbed up the ladder to the strange cubby you would only find in such a cabin. The area itself wasn't that big, both being so tall Kyle and Duke had to crouch in the low area, but it had beds with oversized cabin blankets and overly soft, overly fluffed pillows. The two beds were separated by a simple nightstand with a clock like at a motel, and the lamp beside it was dim, casting just enough light to see the bed, but not enough to say, read a book comfortably.
Duke was just in boxers and a plain white tee shirt scooting into his bed and leaning over to mess with the clock, "So what did you think?" he asked as Kyle made his way over to the bed.
"Think of what?" Kyle asked, removing his socks and the two layers over his own tee shirt.
"My family you goof," Duke said, "What else would I be talking about?"
"I don't know," Kyle snapped, getting in bed, "The cabin or something or...shut up. They were nice," he answered, "I see where you get it from."
Duke went, "HA!" in a really fake kind-of-laugh, "Yeah craziness kind of runs in our veins." He stated the obvious, rubbing his eyes, "But you just thought they were good? Come on you gotta give me more than that."
"What else should I say?" Kyle asked, "I guess everything was fine, but Anthony kept staring awkwardly and didn't say a single word," he tossed in, "Do you want me to talk smack about for family? Because I can't, that was the only thing that was weird."
Duke nodded, "Anthony is a solitary dude, and he doesn't like new people so it'll take some time before he will even introduce himself."
Kyle stared at the ceiling and said in a very flat voice, "Will you be around long enough for that to happen?"
Duke sighed after a moment, "I hope so...let's get some sleep," he said clicking off the light.
The lanky boy could not believe how tired he was and how easy it was to fall asleep with his head full of worry, but then again, it was a long day in a long week and he needed rest, he did have a date tomorrow after all.
Kyle awoke to a hand covering his mouth and stifling his screams. The annex was surprisingly well lit in the morning and Anthony stood over him with that glare in his eyes. Kyle stared up at him in a panic and tried to throw his hand off but failed at every attempt. Anthony had to be only a few years younger than Kyle and Duke, but he was strong and had his dad's black hair and piercing blue eyes. Finally the boy put a single finger over his lips as a way to tell him to be quiet.
Kyle complied and was guided by Anthony silently to the end of the cubby. At a quick glance Duke wasn't in his bed. Kyle tried to ask where Duke was but his voice refused to work. He tried to ask why he could not speak, but asking that was impossible and stupid to even attempt.
With that, Anthony pushed Kyle off the ledge, and even on the way down he was silently screaming to no one. He hit the floor which was impossibly far down with a mighty bang and looked up at his assailant. But Anthony wasn't there anymore; he was already down on the main floor standing over Kyle.
Kyle was genuinely afraid now instead of just pissed. He watched in a sick horror as Anthony's face warped and cracked, his ears expanded, his arms and legs gaining impossible muscle and hair. It was like a scene from a horror movie as Kyle's body refused to move. He watched in absolute terror as the creepy boy slowly became a ferocious monster. Fangs burst forth from a now elongated canine face, clothes ripped, and when the transformation seemed to end, a long terrible howl erupted from its throat.
Then the beast struck. The last thing Kyle saw were a pair of golden wolf's eyes before he closed his own eyes in fear.
Kyle awoke from the nightmare with a loud gasp covered in a cold sweat. It had been the most vivid dream he had had in a long time, so vivid it almost still seemed real in his semi consciousness. He looked over at the clock and swore under his breath, he had not even been asleep for an hour but the terror had his heart beating too fast for him to calm down and try at it again. The place was so unknown, when he thought about it he didn't even know where the bathroom was to go take a leak and splash some water on his face.
Duke shuffled in his sleep to his left letting out a pitiful little groan, "What time is it?" he asked almost entirely still asleep. Kyle didn't respond so he could let the guy sleep like he couldn't, no use in them both being miserable the next day. After a moment and when the feeling of his heart being in his throat left he carefully and silently as possible crept towards the ladder, incredibly thankful that there was still lamps on in the living room below to guide him safely to the ground.
No one else appeared to be up and for good reason at this hour. The boy made his way to the hall where the other bedrooms were and hopefully the bathroom. He thanked whoever was watching over him again that the bathroom door was open and made his way without having to check each and every door in the hall.
He did his business and stared at himself in the sink. He looked exhausted and mentally destroyed, at least compared to the Grey's...He realized only when looking at them all night that he looked so much more spent. They had youthful vigour and energy and spirit and he looked like death. His eyes were dark and slightly hollow looking, his skin even looked paler but it could have just have been his self-esteem kicking him while he was down. With a sigh he splashed water in his face and went to return to Duke and his room.
It was hard to think of himself as anything decent when compared to one of the greatest families he had ever met. He loved them all, Anthony excluded; even Brianna had made him laugh a little, obviously shy even if it was just around him.
He shut off the light and entered the hall, Anthony standing at the end of it with his deep stare piercing Kyle immediately who stumbled back a bit on the remains of his nightmare induced freak out. "You scared me," Kyle laughed a little, Anthony not even seeming the least bit affected by the little side note.
"Who do you think we are?" He asked his voice surprisingly gruff for someone his age and size.
The question caught Kyle off guard who was just shocked Anthony had spoken at all, "What do you mean?"
The other Grey rolled his eyes, "What do you think we do for a living? What has Duke told you about us?"
It was a strange question, an oddly disconnected one. Anthony reminded Kyle of the first night he met Duke, the odd feel of excitement and terror, the strange sense of needing to reply. "I still don't understand," he admitted, "He just told me your names and why you guys move around so much and where you have been." It was a bit sudden to realize that's all he really knew about Duke aside from personal stuff, he summed up the topics he knew about in a single sentence.
"That," Anthony shot out, "What did he tell you? I'm curious because if he told you the truth you wouldn't be here right now."
Kyle's face pinched together a bit confused, he had just woken up after all, and even after that single hour his mind was a bit muddled, "I don't understand."
The boy smiled, "You humans never understand, you never want to believe, you are so caught up in what 'can' be true that you overlook what is actually true." Anthony paused but saw Kyle was still in the dark, "Let me guess, my dad's job keeps us moving, my mom stays at home, he has not told you where he was born or how my dad makes enough money for this little camp out to be a casual thing," he started, "He disappears randomly, won't let you look in some kind of bag or box, has not actually been seen walking into wherever he claims we live. He gave you a coat too, I saw it earlier, has your head been hurting lately? Does wearing that thing make you comfortable?"
He was right on every point, everything you could possibly question was pointed out, and in the vast majority of strange things that were mentioned he felt stupid for never wondering why there was so much wrong with Duke as a whole. "What are you saying exactly?" he wondered aloud, "Why tell me this? What could explain all those things?"
Anthony grinned, "I've already showed you that stupid, we're monsters. We travel town to town under a guise; Duke is the only one of us that bothers participating in the real world anymore. Brianna and I gave up school entirely, I've already passed most classes any high school has to offer, and Brianna got a near perfect score on the SAT's under a false name. When it comes to night time we all go out and play, hunting or whooping around the forest.
"And then there's Duke, always wanting human friends to call his own, always leaving them, always lying to them, hurting them." Kyle wanted to stop him but couldn't bring himself to do it. Anthony's words were terrifying him with their ridiculousness. "It's cruel, it's like picking up a stray dog, feeding it, grooming it, making it love you, and leaving it where you found it."
"What are you saying?!" Kyle asked louder then he meant to. "Are you trying to tell me you guys are actually monsters in disguise, that's stupid, who would believe that? Why even try to get me to believe that?"
"To help!" Anthony burst, obviously louder then he intended, "Get out while you can, never see my brother again and you'll be better for it. He says you are resistant to his power so escape while you're still so lucky!"
"This is ridiculous, I'm going to bed," Kyle informed him, "If you have any other scary stories I'd save them for the next fire." He informed Anthony, passing by him and heading up the ladder, still tired and still in need of the large warm bed, his mind finally calmed enough to even contemplate sleep.
"You humans are so stupid," he spat, "You remind me why I gave up on you, I don't know how Duke can stand it."
Kyle was very sick of hearing Anthony speak and wished very much that he had never spoken in the first place, "If you don't like me just say it and stop acting all superior," he said from the ladder.
Anthony gave him a rebellious look and talked like he would to slow child, "I. Don't. Like. You. I wish Duke had never dragged such a sorry person in here. I wish you would leave, and I wish you could comprehend how vastly superior I am, to you." He offered a little smile, "Happy?"
"Not really no," Kyle admitted, "Now if you don't mind I'm going to bed, I suggest you do the same."
Anthony smiled, "Are you threatening me?" He had the same overpowering aura Duke had, the same one that made Kyle just want to walk away and not fight, but he had to power through it for his own sake.
"Yeah, I am," Kyle challenged, "Go to bed and leave me the hell alone like you were earlier you creep. I don't want to be mean to Duke's family, but you are kind of an ass. And now you're suggesting I'm in a house of monsters, I'm not three. You might just want attention, but I don't want to have to give it to you." Anthony looked genuinely shocked, the first emotion he really wore.
"You heard me. Leave me the hell alone." Kyle stated.
The two stared at each other for a long time, Kyle nervous about this. The last time he confronted anyone it got him chased by a crazy with a knife, hopefully this would have better results, or at least ones not so messed up.
"I guess you are resistant," Anthony noted, "I'll give you props for not cowering beneath me like a mutt right now." He turned to walk away, "Night Kyle."
The guest wasn't sure what happened, but after a moment he realized it didn't matter at the present time, he was tired as all hell and needed to sleep. He climbed back up the ladder and then into bed, Duke rolling over again, "What was all that noise?" he asked sleepily.
Kyle didn't answer again, waiting for, and smiling when he heard Duke's familiar snores. He couldn't have answered if he wanted too; he wasn't sure what had happened himself...