Paulek awoke as the sun was sinking into the early night sky, something sharp and pointed was poking into his lower lip, he could also feel the thin thread of something warm running down his chin, it took a few seconds for the realisation to sink in, his fangs, finally his fangs had shown themselves, not quite as he expected but never the less they were there but, how the hell did he retract them back into his gums like Pavlik had done, Paulek lay still and tried to think, as he did so, the heady aroma of fresh baked pie came to his nostrils.

Paulek lifted his head and looked into the open eyes of Hawk, as the boy stood by the door.

“Uhm, evening Hawk, do you know how I can get these things back in my jaw?”

“I...uhm... think so, Pavlik said you just had to think them in and out, he told me the first time I saw them and it scared the shit out of me.”

Hawk gave a little giggle at the use of language, although he was no stranger to it, to his ear in front of Paulek, it seemed strange.

Paulek did as was suggested; within seconds he could feel the pressure on his upper gums as the fangs moved back to hide away, the feeling of discomfort stayed with him for a while longer as he tried to adjust.

Hawk looked tired and a little lonely.

“Are you ok Hawk?”

“Yeah, well sort of, damn it Paulek, I just miss Pavlik so much, he tries to come and visit but he has to go before the sun comes up and I wake up alone again, I hate that fucking Baron for what he did to him.”

Paulek’s sharper than normal eye sight watched the thin thread of a tear fall down Hawk’s cheek, it still confused him a little that two boys could feel so much for each other and yet, he could also sympathise with them, it was hard to understand all the new things he was learning, suddenly he remembered he had to go back to see Sergei.

Paulek jumped from the table top, forgetting he was as naked as the day he had been born, it took a few seconds before he caught on as to why Hawk was staring at him in such a way, Paulek looked down to where Hawk’s eyes were looking, even for a new blood drinker, the blush that spread across his young cheeks felt like fire on his face, no one, not even his little brother, had seen him without clothes and now his boyhood was hard and erect like never before, Paulek quickly tried to place his hands over the throbbing boy hood.

Hawk gave a soft giggle and then turned away, muttering a softly spoken “sorry” as he left the room, Paulek quickly donned the rough clothes of the last few days, they still aggravated his skin but there was nothing else to wear and he couldn’t walk through the town in his birthday suit even though there was a curfew in effect.

Paulek watched hawk yawn and then shake his head to clear away the tiredness that was creeping over him.

“I have to go and talk to Sergei, will you be alright tonight?”

“Yes, thanks, I’ll leave some animal blood for you when you get back, you may like to try it and a little more blood won’t do you any harm.”

“Where will you get that from?”

“From your pony of course, I put it out in the stable out back when I brought you here, it’s been out there all this time.”

“You did, thank you, I had forgotten all about my gear with all that’s been going on.”

“Ok, now you go and see Sergei, I’ll be ok till you get back.”

Paulek smiled his thanks and left the young boy to get some sleep, the street outside was quiet and a faint hint of mist curled around the darker places along the way, even with the light mist, Paulek had no trouble seeing his way, he also noticed he had no need to stop and check where he was going, his mind seemed to just know the way, he was to learn over the next few months that his mind did a lot of things like remembering directions without thought as well as naturally reading thoughts of humans and his ears were always alert to strange sounds.

As Paulek got closer to the Marshals hut, he also noticed that it had no lights on, he also remembered that it had been the same last night, with his extra sight he now saw everything as though it was late dusk although it was a dark moonless night, his new sight was an advantage, something he had never been able to do before, this new life might have some benefits after all, the only thing worrying him was the upcoming need for human blood, maybe he could just live on animal blood and never have to kill a human, it was something he would ask Sergei, As he thought the name, he felt a sharp tap on his shoulder, spinning around he saw the large Marshal standing behind him.

“Well, well, well, you’re up and about early, that’s good, have your fangs come out yet?”

“Yes, they were out this morning, they’re still a bit tender though.”

“That’s normal, in an hour or so you won’t even know they’re there, for a new blood everything takes a little longer until you’re used to it all.”

“How old are you Paulek?”

“Fourteen Sergei, my brother is only twelve, that’s why I’m worried about him and what that Baron might be doing to him.”

“Well for the moment, there’s not a lot you can do, look, tonight I’m going to take you out to the gate so you can get to know Jorge, he’s a funny one but a very good fighter and that’s something you will want to know about one day.”

“Ok, I suppose your right; I really want to get my brother back from that man.”

Paulek followed the larger man towards the front gate, as they neared the closed gate, Paulek found it easy to pick out the guard in the shadows, he was not as tall or broad as Sergei but he projected an inner strength that should not be taken lightly, Sergei did the introductions and then explained what had happened to Paulek and asked Jorge to look after him and teach him what he could.

Jorge said very little but looked Paulek up and down as though he was his next meal, when he spoke his voice was course and rough like sharp pebbles on the road.

“Yah know anything bout fightin?”

“No, I’ve never had to fight; we lived way out on a farm almost alone.”

“Hurumph, well better get started then, here boy hold this.”

Jorge passed a thin sword at Paulek; Paulek grasped it firmly and was surprised at its weight.

“Now, that little pig sticker should be ok for you, lets try some thrusts and parries, you stand beside me and follow what I do.”

Paulek stepped to the side of Jorge as the man took a long heavy looking sword from the scabbard on his belt, it was more than twice the size of the one he held, with an ease of long practice, Jorge began to make slashes and parries while Paulek tried as best he could to follow his ever move, it was the foot work that he found hardest as he had to look down each time to see where he was stepping.

“Look sonny, do you know where your feet are?”

“Uhm, yes.”

“Right, your feet is on the end of your legs, where you move your legs, your feet will go, no need to look at them, just feel the sword, your feet will follow, now lets do it again, you got good co-ordination for a boy, now high right to low left, good, now low left to high right, cross over, high left to low right, now you got it boy, keep going, move your feet.”

The two shadows moved and swayed in the darkness, unseen by any of the townsmen, before long Paulek was almost keeping up with Jorge as the older man sped up a little more each time Paulek caught up to his flashing blade, to a human eye it looked to be one large and one small shadow twirling effortlessly in the night, Paulek had no idea how fast he was moving until, finally, Jorge called a halt to their practice.

“You done well boy, for your first time, now you got to come every night and we can practice, you’ll be good enough in a while, then I can show you some things no others know about, might give you an advantage when it comes to it.”

“Thank you Mister Jorge, I won’t forget what you’ve taught me.”

“Just Jorge boy, and I know you won’t forget, not our way to forget things boy, you just keep it up and in no time you’ll be one of the best swordsmen I ever seen.”

Paulek felt the heat in his cheeks, he had never been told he was good at something, the praise went a long way to make him more determined to do everything right by Jorge.

Paulek gave Jorge a final wave as he un-erringly made his way back to the small shed where the Marshal was waiting for him.

“Well boy, how did it go with Jorge?”

“Great, I had no idea how hard it was to learn swords and things.”

“Well, like I said, he’s the best to learn from, if anyone can get you ready for that bloody Baron, it’s Jorge, now you better get off home before the suns up, oh by the way, I got something for you.”

It was the first time that Paulek noticed the lightening of the sky, sunrise was not far off, they had been practicing for hours and he didn’t even feel tired, Paulek watched as Sergei disappeared into the hut to soon return with a black cloth draped over his arm, opening it out, Sergei said.

“Thought you may like this instead of those old clothes, I know how they grate on the skin, got this here one made by my boys, try it on and see what you think.”

Paulek looked around for any prying eyes, he was not about to show the world his small boyhood.

“No need to worry, no one but us is out this time of morning, you’ll find it more comfortable if you go bare underneath.”

With his cheeks warming up, Paulek slowly stripped off his smock and pulled on the long black clothing, it was some what like a coat and a smock, it was in a black colour and had buttons all the way from his ankles up to his neck, its silken softness was so new to his skin that he could feel his boyhood rising already, once it was buttoned up to his chin, he bent over and released his rough trousers to fall on the ground at his feet, the smooth silkiness caressed his skin like nothing he had felt before, as he looked up to thank Sergei, he realised that all three of the men wore a similar garment, the new freedom gave him a feeling almost of sexual delight.

Paulek looked up adoringly at Sergei.

“Thank you, thank you so much, I don’t know how much longer I could have worn those old clothes, I think I’ll give them to Hawk, he seems to have so little of his own, you said your boys, do you have a wife?”

“That’d be right kindly of you, I’m sure he will make good use of them, no I don’t have a wife, the boys are mine, three I made and two others are waifs that came to me and watch over us during the day, I’ll take you home one night and you can meet them, now you better get going, the suns only minutes away so hurry, us three have to get out as well, the day Marshals will be here any minute.”

Paulek waved and turned to run for his temporary home with Hawk, as he rushed in the door the sun sent the first rays over the far off hills, Paulek slammed the door and turned to see a worried Hawk looking at him with bleary eyes.

“You better not cut it that fine again Paulek, hey you got some new clothes, did Sergei give it too you?”

“Yes, he said I would like it better than my old ones, which reminds me, would you like them, I know they’re not new but you might like to have some spare clothes one day.”

Paulek was surprised by the single tear that fell from Hawks eye, slowly the boy reached out and took Paulek’s old clothes.

“Thank you Paulek, it means I can finally have a change, these ones are all I’ve got, when I wash them I have to stay naked until they’re dry, sometimes I have to wear them wet if it rains for a long time.”

Paulek stepped up to Hawk and reached his arms around the boy and hugged him tightly.

“You’re very welcome Hawk, if it hadn’t been for you I would be dead now, I owe you my life, such as it is, if there’s anything else I can do for you, just ask, I owe you so much.”

Paulek felt and heard the soft sniffle as Hawk pulled back and looked him in the eye.

“There’s only one thing I would like.”

“Tell me and I’ll try to get it for you.”

Paulek watched as tears began to fall freely down the boy’s cheek.

“I want my Pavlik back here with me, I know it’s not as easy as that, but I miss him so much.”

Paulek pulled Hawk into another long warm hug, as he did so, a large open mouthed yawn overtook him, the new day was having its effect on his body.

“I have to go and lay down before I fall over.”

“Ok, how do you feel, I have the extra blood for you over here.”

Hawk gave Paulek the wooden bowl of still warm blood from the pony, Paulek quickly finished it and then staggered to his table top to sleep, as soon as his body hit the table top he was sleeping the sleep of the dead, from the doorway, Hawk watched with admiration in his eyes, the gentleness of this new boy had made him once again think about joining them so he could be with his Pavlik.

Something was disturbing Paulek’s sleep, he instinctively knew that it was not yet fully dark so it had to be something else, opening his eyes he was at first, totally disoriented, he was not on the table but was lying in some sort of narrow curved passage, the heavy smell of old smoke surrounded him, had it not been for his new sight and smell abilities, he would have at any other time panicked.

Paulek let his eyes adjust, he saw that he was in what at first looked like a narrow tunnel, then it came to him, he was lying in one of the old disused ovens, it was the sounds from outside that had awoken him, carefully using his still new abilities he searched his immediate surroundings outside the enclosed oven, there was the strong comfortable smell of fresh pastry, the smell he associated with Hawk, overlaying that was another new smell, that of old garlic and the heavy smell of copper, someone new was in the old bakery.

Paulek’s sharp ears picked up the sudden whimper and grunt of someone being hurt, the copper smell increased as he heard a sudden shout of pain and then another loud thump and slap, Paulek could wait no longer, even as he felt a little weak from the last of the daylight, his instincts told him that Little Hawk was in danger, from somewhere deep inside he found the strength to fully wake and move from the bonds of the death sleep.

With his new sight, Paulek looked down between his feet, the metal door of the oven was not fully closed, easing down, he touched the door with his bare toes and pushed it silently open, the heavy smell of copper and old garlic filled the room around him, another loud cry brought him to action, with a swiftness he was still getting used to, he was out of the oven and standing at the door of the cooking room and looking into the main room, what he saw bought a madness to him that he had never felt before.

Standing over the limp body of Hawk was a very large man, he was almost as big as Sergei but was covered in thick black hair, his large flaccid manhood was covered in a little blood and semen, on the bed below him lay a naked Hawk, he was barely conscious, from between his thin legs dribbled semen mixed with blood, his torso was a mass of fresh bruises and both eyes were already blackening, his nose and lips were bleeding profusely and two teeth were missing from his jaw, Paulek felt the rush of hatred envelope his conscious though as he took in the scene in a split second.

The large man was lifting his closed fist again to strike at the limp boy, Paulek’s eyes turned red and his blood began to boil in a rage he had never known, with a speed that no human could ever be capable of, Paulek leapt forward, with consummate ease, his new fangs sprang from his gums and he was latched onto the back of the huge man, while his first strike was not perfect, some instinct told him where to place his fangs for the most effect, suddenly his mouth was filled with the hot boiling blood and his very heart began to sing as he was filled with the new power.

Paulek hardly felt the resistance of the big man, it was as though he was playing with a small girls toy doll, his inhuman strength easily held the man to the floor as he began to drain him, it was not until after the event that Paulek even thought about his actions, the need and desire to protect little Hawk had sent him into instinctual action.

As the large man was drained, Paulek got images from the mans mind, it was, he soon found out, part of what they were, the images he got made him even more determined that this brute, the Captain of the town Marshals, would never see life again, when the man was drained and his last breath left his body, Paulek, with a casualness that belied his size and normal demeanour, threw the remains of the man into the bake room, he would dispose of the body later in the night when there were no humans around, for now his immediate worry was for the beaten and raped Hawk.

Paulek went to where the small boy lay, he was in a mess and now well into unconsciousness, Paulek heard the boys heart flutter unevenly, he knew this was not good, but had no idea what to do, he couldn’t let Hawk die after all the he and Pavlik had done for him, the fresh hot blood he had drunk sang in his veins, a sudden memory came to mind, Pavlik had said that he had given Hawk a few drops of his blood when he was hurt, Paulek could try the same.

Paulek looked around the room and found a small sharp knife, without thought he cut a thin line in his forearm and watched as a thin trail of blood oozed out, he then went to Hawk and rested the open cut on the boys mouth until a few drops had worked their way into the boys mouth, Paulek heard a few seconds later that Hawks heart settled a little and he sighted with relief, now he needed help, but from who, he knew no one here except for Sergei and his two friends and, it was still too light outside to be able to run for them.

Suddenly, Paulek’s head spun around to look at the door as a soft tapping sound came to his sharp hearing, the faint smell of apples filled his nostrils as again a soft tapping on the old wooden door, Paulek went carefully to the door and eased it open only a crack so that the last of the dying sunlight would not settle on him.

Through the partially open door, Paulek saw a young teen of about sixteen, he had a tawny skin and dark flashing eyes, perfect white teeth and his head was topped with the blackest shiny hair Paulek had ever seen.

“I am Mislo, I have been sent by Sergei, quickly let me in I can help until the sun sets.”

Paulek stepped back into the shadows and let the young teen enter, the boy immediately closed the door tightly and turned towards the where Hawk lay on the bed, Mislo gave the large body in the corner barely a glance, his concern was now fully on Hawk, Paulek stood back and watched as the teen went to work trying to wash and clean the smaller boy laying on the bed.

After a little time, Mislo looked up at Paulek with sad eyes.

“I can’t save him, that bastard captain did too much damage.”

“He was meant too.” Paulek replied.

“What do you mean? Why was he meant to die, no don’t bother just now, he should last until my Master Sergei can come to him, there is only one way to save him now and you are too young to do it, I don’t know how he has lived this long?”

“I gave him some of my blood.”

“Oh my sainted mother, how much, if you gave him too much he will die for sure.”

“Only a few drops, his heart was dying, I had to do something.”

“Only A few drops, well that’s a good thing, it will hold him until help comes.”

“Who are you, why are you here?”

“I told you my name, I am a servant of Master Sergei, he sent me when he felt your distress.”

“He knows?”

“Of course he knows, Master Sergei, even in his death sleep, knows everything that is going on.”

“If he knows what’s going on then why didn’t he know about the reason for this attack on Hawk.”

“I think they must have kept this secret well hidden, but now it’s out in the open, there will be changes made in this town.”

“Can you tell me more about yourself while we wait?”

“Certainly, you know my name, I am Roma, my people have been charged with protecting your race for centuries, it is our destiny, we are also known as The Travellers, we go where ever you go, when you see one of us you will know that there are some of you close by, see, look here.”

Mislo showed his forearm to Paulek, on the back of his wrist was a small black tattoo of a sword, its blade was facing downward and was in the shape of a flame; Paulek nodded and looked back into the young face expectantly.

“When you see this mark on any boy or man, it means we are serving one of your kind, if you see this mark then you know you can be safe with them, if there is no mark then you trust no one, now what to do with the piece of shit Captain.”

“Don’t worry, it is my mess, I will clean it up when it is dark.”

“You won’t have to worry, Master Sergei will take care of everything, you smell as though you are well fed now, you should not need to feed for a number of weeks, you are Paulek, is that right? My Master told me about you, do you want one of us to come and protect you from the day, I have a young cousin that is looking to serve?”

“I...I don’t know, what would Sergei think?”

“He would say it is a good idea, especially now that you will not have the protection of this young one.”

“But I can’t pay him; I have nothing but what you see.”

“Do not bother yourself with that, Master Sergei will explain it all too you when he arrives, so, would you like my cousin to come, he is very nice looking and is strong for his age, he would be a good protector for you.”

Paulek could not help letting a smile come to his lips as the young teen in front of him looked up with an innocent but devious look on his face and a smile on his soft lips, his eyes flashed and there was an underlying current of sexuality about the look, Paulek thought no more about it but instead looked back at Mislo and said.

“Ok, if I like him then he can look after me, where is he, will it take long for him to get here?”

“For me, he is five days away but, for Master Sergei or one of his friends, they could have him here later tonight, it is for Master Sergei to say, Ha, here he comes.”

As Mislo finished speaking, Paulek felt the soft rush of air and Sergei was standing in the room beside the bed, Mislo bowed his head and moved back, Sergei barely glanced at the dead Captain as he took in the scene.

“Well young Paulek, you don’t do things by halves, well done, how did you wake up in time, no, never mind, you did and that’s all that’s important, now our little friend here, there’s only one thing I can do too help him I’m afraid, I will have to make him or he will die, hmm, I smell your blood in him, how much did you give him?”

“Only a few drops, his heart was dying and I had too do something to help him or Pavlik would never forgive me.”

“Don’t worry; you did well, now I suppose there is nothing else to do.”

Paulek watched as Sergei leant down over the still boy, he heard him speak softly to the unconscious Hawk.

“I’m sorry little one but I have no choice if we want to save you for Pavlik.”

Sergei struck quickly but tenderly into the main vein in Hawks neck, after the boy paled almost until death, Sergei then easily slit his wrist with a long sharp thumb nail and let his blood drain slowly into the open mouth of the struggling boy, once a large amount had been dribbled into Hawk, Sergei stood up and looked at Paulek.

“Now you know how it is done but, you will not be able to make one of us until you are perhaps one century old, before that you will only kill them, you will know when it can be done, it is another instinct we have, now then, did my little gossip tell you about finding a protector, now that Hawk is made you will have no one to protect you during the daylight hours and that, is very dangerous for us.”

“Yes, he mentioned a cousin, have the Roma always protected the likes of us?”

“Yes, always, they are the outcasts to humans but to us they are looked upon as the saviours, they are a very honourable people and their duty to us has never been broken, while I am away getting this boy, Mislo can tell you some of their history and then you will understand our faith in them, now then my little gossip monger, who did you think would be good for Paulek?”

“Master, I thought that Tito, would be right for him, he is now old enough and I am sure he would love to be taken into service.”

“Where is he now then?”

“The last I heard they were camped at Wannasee, they should still be there, I’m sure they have not yet finished fleecing the townies yet.”

This last was said with a broad smile on Mislo’s face, Paulek began to see why the Roma were not liked by Humans but could also pick up a certain devil may care attitude in Mislo’s words.

“Right, you both wait here while I go and find this boy, Mislo, help Paulek settle young Hawk inside, it’s going to be a long five days for him.”

“Yes Master Sergei, it shall be done as you ask.”

“Cut the sarcasm little gossip monger, I’ll attend to you when I return.”

Paulek watched as a huge smile lit up Mislo’s face, his young teen body almost shaking with joy at some hidden thought, with that said, Sergei disappeared as quickly and easily as he had arrived.

“Well, what do we do now?” Paulek asked the still grinning teen.

“let’s get the little Hawk into the other room, we have to chain him down while the change takes place, when he awakens he will have to feed immediately but, I’m sure that my Master has already thought of that, I wonder who he has selected for that duty, never mind, let’s get him settled and we can talk while we wait for my cousin, I hope you like him, he’s very sexy you know.”

The last statement was said with some undertone of sexuality to it, for now Paulek could not quite know why it was said, after all , head never been with a woman let alone a man and while he had the normal urges of any teen boy, he had not decided which he liked, it had never come to his mind although, he did at times think of some faceless boy when he was pleasuring himself in the woods, far away from prying eyes, but, that was before he was what he was now, perhaps things had changed as his blood had changed.

It was easier than he thought to pick up the limp body of Hawk and carry him into the bakery kitchen, once Hawk was placed on the table, Mislo looked around until he found the chains that had held Paulek to the table, with consummate ease and practice, Mislo had Hawk bound to the table and padlocked, he then covered the boy with the old blanket and led Paulek back into the front room, with little thought, Mislo went to the prone body of the Captain and began searching his pockets, also with practiced ease, finally he gave a soft grunt and lifted up a heavy purse.

“This is yours, he won’t need it anymore and you’ll have expenses when Tito gets here.”

Mislo tossed the heavy purse to Paulek, there were a lot of coins in it, Paulek felt a little uncomfortable holding the dead mans purse, the same man he had just killed not long ago, with a frown on his face as he tried to work out what was right and what was wrong, he suddenly came to the realisation that he had little else, he was now one of another type of being, the old human laws no longer held him in check, suddenly new and exciting thoughts came into his mind as he sat looking at the worn, heavy purse, Paulek shook his head to clear his mind, there would be time for more thought later, for now he had a story to listen too.

“So Mislo, are you going to tell me about your people?”

“Ah yes, the ancestors, well a long time ago, in the country of Romania, we were the lowest of the peasants, whenever something went wrong my people got the blame, Lords, Dukes and even the King, blamed us for everything, when they wanted to make an example to the good citizens, they would hang a few of us and tell the good people that next time it could be them.”

Mislo took a deep breath and Paulek noticed what looked like a small tear in the boy’s eyes as he thought back to his ancestors.

“After many years of this, my ancestors decided that they could easily be destroyed if they did not move but, when they started to move around, they found that their reputation as vagabonds and trouble makers, went before them, then, one night, they were camped outside a large town, the guards at the gate refused to let them enter and stay inside their walls, it was a time of upheaval and very dangerous to be without protection, especially at night, thieves and brigands were everywhere.”

Mislo stopped to take breath and let his thoughts go far back to the old days of his people being hunted from one place to the next, he then took another deep breath and continued.

“Now, during that first night, a large band of brigands saw the small camp, it was easy pickings for their number so they attacked, unfortunately for them, they had not bargained on someone being in the same place at the same time, can you guess who that someone was?”

“Uhm, not Sergei? How long ago was this?”

“It was about seven generations ago, perhaps two hundred years, yes, it was Sergei, he was out hunting for his next meal, when he saw what was going on, he immediately attacked the brigands, he didn’t leave a single one alive, twenty full grown men fell as quick as water over a cliff, my people could not believe what they had seen, all bowed to him, expecting him to do the same to him, instead he asked them to stand, when they told him their story he offered them a way to keep their honour.”

Mislo paused for everything to sink in, Paulek waited with held breath, it would mean that Sergei, who looked to be no more than a man in his prime of thirty or so years, was in fact more than a century or two old, Paulek waited for Mislo to continue.

“When the elders asked what his price was, Sergei told them that, if they served his kind for all time when called upon, he and any like him, would protect and honour the people, they would never be refused entry to his or his peoples house as long as they would allow some of their number to serve him, the elders agreed and, from that day to this and beyond, we serve when called upon, it is a service for life and we are proud to do it, sometimes, when we have a good Master, he will make us and we can join you, it is what holds us together, you protect us from the humans and we protect you during the day from the same common enemy.”

As Paulek let the facts of the story sink in, he heard a faint noise not far away, his senses were now growing hourly as he ley his new body adjust to its abilities, the faint smell of a spiciness mixed with the older copper smell he now associated with Sergei, filled his nostrils, Sergei had returned as was with anew person, the spicy smell seemed to grow on Paulek and, for some unknown reason, his boyhood began to quickly inflate, that spiciness was having an effect on him that head not anticipated, he saw, from the corner of his eye, Mislo give him a look of understanding then turn away and look toward the door.

Within seconds, Sergei was standing in the door, beside him was the most beautiful teen boy Paulek thought he had ever seen, the heady smell of spice filled his nostrils until he could hardly breath, not that his kind needed too but, as yet Paulek had not found that out, the teen took all of his concentration to such an extent that Sergei’s first words were not even heard until said for a second time.

“This is Tito, I see you have no problems accepting him then.”

The last was said with a huge smile on Sergei’s face, with little effort he pushed Tito forward, the teen went to his knees in front of Paulek, his black shiny hair on the floor as he bowed low.

“Well Paulek, do you like you new protector?”

The laughter in Sergei’s voice was easily apparent as Paulek looked at the back of the teens head, all he could think of was the flash of beauty he had seen before the teen went to the floor in his low bow.


“That must mean yes, well now let’s get him tied to you, shall we?”


“Good, that’s settled, now Tito, stand up in front of your new Master.”

Tito rose and stood in front of Paulek, he was a good two inches taller than the diminutive drinker of blood but the power in the smaller boy radiated out like a furnace, Tito’s blood nearly boiled as he saw the boy in front of him, his very life’s core wanted to serve this boy with all he had, he would not fail him, ever.

“Now, Tito, do you vow to serve your new Master, Paulek, with the honour of your ancestors, with the very strength of your arm and to give your life if it is asked for, to protect and serve none but Master Paulek?”

“I...I do, with all my body, I will serve him.” Tito stammered out as he looked into the deep eyes of his new Master, he only hoped that the boy before him would accept him, he had wanted for so long to find a drinker of blood to serve and, to find one so young and so beautiful was his dream come true.

“Good, now Paulek, do you take this Roma boy, Tito, to be you protector for all time, to care for him and protect him from wrong by others, no matter the cost?”


“Good, now Tito, hold out your right arm, Paulek, extend the nail on your forefinger and form a sharp point.”

Sergei waited while Paulek found the way to make his finger nail sharp and pointed, this took a few minutes as Paulek did not until then even know he could do such a thing, once the nail was well formed, Sergei continued.

“Now Paulek, take Tito’s arm and make the design the same as one on my little gossip here, Mislo show him so he can copy it, you have to go deep enough to draw blood.”

Nervously, Paulek took Tito’s arm and pressed quite hard until the blood showed and then he began to make the same drawing of the flaming sword, Tito held his breath but never uttered a sound as the sword was drawn on his bare flesh, as the blood oozed out of the completed mark, Sergei told Paulek what to do next.

“Now Paulek, cut your own arm a little and draw blood, when you have enough, rub it into the wound then feed Tito four drops into his mouth, that’s so any will recognise that he is taken as one of ours, it will also make it easy for you to find him no matter how far away he is, it’s like an animal leaving its scent on a tree to mark it’s territory, no other drinker of blood will violate him.”

Paulek followed the instructions and, as soon as his blood touched the open wound on Tito’s arm, it healed and the mark turned as black as coal, it was almost a copy of the black tattoo on Mislo’s arm, Tito grabbed Paulek’s hand and kissed it deeply, he then went to Paulek’s side and stood glowing with pride, he had been accepted, his dreams had come true, he was now a Protector and his family could now tell others of the Roma, with pride, that they had a son in service, Tito felt satisfied, he was now where he always wanted to be, the fact that his Master was also very young and very beautiful also helped.

“Well that’s that, you will have to get Tito a sharp dagger and a sword, no leave that too me, you can pay for it from your new purse when I come back, Tito will also need some clothes and don’t forget he has to eat, he will look after that side of things during the day, it may be best of you give him a little money each day for his needs, when you run out let me know, now I have to get this little gossip monger home and pay his price for his good work.” Without another word, Sergei lifted the large guard Captain and threw him over one shoulder as though he weighed no more than a small baby, turning he pulled Mislo into his side and was gone leaving Tito and Paulek alone in the small room.

Paulek noticed that he was feeling tired, with a sudden realisation, he knew that the new dawn was coming, it had been a long night but he had not noticed the time pass, there had been too much going on, he also now noticed that Tito’s head was nodding towards sleep, the boy had had a long night as well but he had also been awake all of the previous day.

“You need to sleep Tito as do I, the sun will be up soon.”

“No Master, I can’t sleep now, I have to stay up to protect you during the day, it is my duty now, I will stay awake until you are with us again tonight.”

“But you are nearly dead on your feet, you need sleep.”

“No Master, it is my duty, I can’t let sleep overcome me until you are safe, if you can let me have a few coins I will find something to eat and some clothes while you sleep, I will bar the door to keep you safe.”

Paulek thought for a few moments, then it hit him, he had the perfect place to sleep and remain out of sight, signalling Tito to follow him, he led him back into the kitchen, Hawk lay as though dead on the table, the thick chains holding him in place as he began to struggle in the first of the fever of change, Tito went to stand beside Hawk’s body, lowering himself a little, he took a deep sniff of the boy on the table then straightened up with a shocked look on his face.

“Master, you have sired a son already, but I thought it was impossible for one so young.”

“No Tito, you have it wrong, he was made by Sergei not I.”

“No, no, Master, he has your smell about him, he is your son, you have made him, he has the soft scent of fresh cut hay, it is your scent, I can just detect that older copper smell of Master Sergei but yours is the dominant one, he is your first son, congratulations Master.”

“But how can that be, I only gave him three drops when he was dying.”

“Was that before or after Master Sergei made him?”

“Well, just before, he was so ill and I was worried he would die.”

“Then that’s it, you gave him the first blood, it is always the dominant blood even though he was made by another he is still looked upon forever as your son, your first made.”

The excitement and pride in Tito’s voice said it all, Paulek found it strange to think that he had a son and had not even laid with a woman, this new world was surely very strange, he yawned again and then went to the oven he had been hidden in by Hawk last night, opening the door he slipped inside and smiled at Tito as the boy watched him.

“Just close the door but do not close the latch, I want to be able to get out in a hurry if I need too, keep the outer door closed so no one can see hawk, you take the other bed outside and keep the main door locked after you have eaten.”

“Yes Master Paulek, it shall be as you ask, good night, I will see you when you awaken, I’ll not let you down Master.”

Tito closed the oven door and then the outer door to the kitchen, the rest of the day, after using as little money as possible, he didn’t want to be a wastrel with his Master’s money, he selected a basic meal and a few new clothes that he would need, Tito sat on the floor with the outside door locked and barred, he rested his back against the door and ate his light meal, each time he felt as though he was nodding off after his very long night, he would start awake and then jump or run around the little room to stay awake, when the night came and he heard the first stirrings of his Master, poor Tito looked as though he was about to collapse from exhaustion, but, he had kept his word to his New master, he had not slept and he had protected him from all harm, through his exhaustion he glowed with pride, tomorrow would be easier as he would be allowed to sleep all night long while his Master did what the drinkers did at night.

Paulek eased himself out of the oven, it was quite comfortable although his new long black clothes now looked the worse for wear, he would need to have them washed, he could smell the blood and sweat on the long coat, going to the door he was greeted by the long drawn and tired, but beaming face of Tito, the boy looked as though he would collapse any minute, without thought, Paulek reached up and touched the soft cheek of Tito, it was like a caress and brought and instant blush to Tito’s cheeks.

“Thank you Tito, now go and rest, I’ll be ok now, you did very well, did you get some food and some clothes?”

“Thank you Master Paulek, yes I have eaten and I have some new breeches and a new smock, I think you should leave your coat with me in the morning, I will have it cleaned and dry when you awaken next time.”

“Yes, a good idea, thank you again Tito, now go and get some rest, I’ll talk to you in the morning.”

With the last of his failing strength, Tito made it to the small bed in the corner, Paulek suppressed the sudden urge that came over him, too climb into the bed with the dark haired boy, his own boyhood stood at attention like it had never been before, he resisted the thought, the boy needed rest, his boy needed rest, the new realisation hit him again, he had a servant, and a new son, and he was not yet fifteen, what a strange world he had fallen into, the sudden though of his little brother came to his mind and his thoughts turned to revenge, he had a lot to learn and not much time to learn it, Paulek put all other thoughts from his mind, he had to go and practice with Jorge, that was now his only desire, he had to get his little brother back.



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