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Soulbound ‡ waif

by Wes Leigh

Chapter 4

No man knows till he experiences it, what it is like to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the woman he loves.

-- From Dracula by Bram Stoker

The pale woman smiled and lifted a finger to caress Reggie's cheek. Her nail scratched him slightly as she dragged it across his skin, down the line of his jaw, and underneath to his neck, pausing at the artery throbbing in his throat. She licked her lips and sighed, turning her head slightly to get a better look at the pulsing vessel filled with his life blood. Removing her eyeshades, her eyes seemed to glow and turn red.

Reggie didn't have time to panic. His mind went dark, and he remembered nothing else.

Reggie groaned and rolled onto his side. His eyes fluttered and blinked as he tried to focus on his surroundings. He was lying on the ground, staring at a naked leg next to a bush. The naked leg was hairy, probably belonging to another guy. He lifted his head, noticing for the first time that he had a horrible headache, and saw that the naked leg led to a hairy, nude butt. Groaning again, Reggie tried to sit up, which wasn't easy to do with his head spinning like it was. He wiped his eyes with one hand and looked around him. Unclothed lads were sprawled out in the grass all around. Worthies. The same ones who'd tried to beat him up earlier in the day.

Reggie shook his head to clear away the confusion. Why the fuck were they all nude and covered in cum? He looked down at his own body and saw he was also bare. His cock was soft and his belly sticky. He touched the slimy mess on his stomach and felt certain it was his own cum, though he couldn't recall any of the events causing him to spew all over himself. Judging by how much cum he found, it must have been a hell of a good time.

He looked around him on the grass and saw his clothes scattered here and there. Rolling onto his hands and knees, he scurried around, gathering up his garments.

Moans from the other lads alerted him to the fact that they were beginning to wake up too. He shoved his feet into his pants, not bothering with underpants, and grabbed his shoes. Hopping from foot to foot, he managed to get his shoes on and his arms into the sleeves of his shirt.

The Worthies were struggling to sit up now. Flanders, their leader, was looking around him with a bewildered expression. He saw Reggie a few feet away, struggling to get dressed. "What the …?" Flanders muttered, then seemed to notice his own nakedness for the first time. "What the bloody fucking hell is going on?" Flanders mumbled, glaring at Reggie.

Reggie managed to stumble toward the exit to the garden, with Flanders screaming after him, "We're gonna fucking kill you, you bloody fag!"

Sneaking into a public lavatory, Reggie was able to run a bit of fetid water into a basin and wash most of the cum off his belly and cock. He had to hurry. People kept wandering in while he was trying to bathe, staring at him suspiciously. And there was no explanation he could offer for the mess he found himself in.

Over and over, he asked himself what had happened. He remembered walking into the garden, at the beckoning of the pale lady. He remembered moving along the path into the middle of the garden, where he saw the Worthies, naked and scattered about on the grass. He remembered the pale lady approaching him, touching his face with a fingertip, and smiling with … delight? … pleasure? … satisfaction?

Then nothing more. Darkness. Strange dreams. Dreams of his body convulsing over and over with intense pleasure, of his cock spewing endless streams of cum, of his back arching in the grip of the most powerful orgasms he'd ever had. And throughout the dreams, he sensed the pale lady hovering next to him, her breath caressing his neck, her lips touching him, her teeth sliding along his throat.


That wasn't quite right.

Not her teeth.

Her fangs.

Fangs? He shuddered. Surely he wasn't remembering it correctly, yet his subconscious mind continued to insist that the pale lady's fangs were extended toward his neck the entire time, almost penetrating the skin, but never biting down and piercing into his neck.

He scrubbed the last of the dried cum from the small patch of pubic hair above his cock. He didn't know what the hell had happened that afternoon, but he did know one thing for certain. He wanted it to happen again.

"Where've you been, Reggie?" Zavy asked, looking up when a disheveled Reggie stumbled over and collapsed next to them in the grass.

Reggie shook his head. "Don't wanna talk about it, cousin."

Zavy frowned. That wasn't like Reggie at all. Whenever he got into an adventure of some kind, the first one he told about it was Zavy, usually with Jack eagerly listening in. The three of them kept no secrets from each other. How could they? Sleeping together every night, working together during the day, brawling with Worthies … they were inseparable, so it was completely out of character for Reggie to withdraw from his two closest friends like this.

Jack sat up and stared. "Why are you holding your underpants instead of wearing them?"

Reggie blushed and shoved his undergarments inside his shirt. "I said I don't wanna talk about it."

Zavy sniffed, leaning toward Reggie. The smell of cum was all over the lad, making Zavy grin and nod at Jack. Jack sniffed too, chuckling, but saying nothing.

"It's getting late," Zavy said, glancing at the sun in the sky. "We'd best be heading home." He stood up and offered a hand to Jack, who took it and allowed Zavy to pull him to his feet. Zavy offered his other hand to Reggie. Reggie frowned, but took Zavy's hand. Zavy pulled Reggie up and into a quick hug before his cousin could stop him. Zavy whispered in Reggie's ear, "Love ya', cousin. Whatever's going on."

Reggie pulled back and studied Zavy, then grinned awkwardly and nodded his head. "Love ya' too, cousin."

They walked down the street, side by side, with Zavy's arms draped across the shoulders of the other two. Three best friends, inseparable forever.

As they walked past the families sitting in the hall outside their apartment, they found the same woman holding her two little girls. She nodded gratefully at the three of them. "Mighty grateful I am for what the three of ya' did yesterday," she said as they passed.

Zavy stopped, pausing to think, then nodded his head and reached into a pocket, pulling out his last pence. He handed it to the woman.

Her hand shook as she took the coin. "Bless ya', me boy," she said. "Bless ya'."

She handed to the coin to one of her daughters and asked her to run to the market for a loaf of bread and some milk. The girl scurried away, leaving the mom rocking the other little girl, who was coughing now, a frightening, raspy cough.

The door to their apartment opened. Mum peered out and saw her boys talking to Anne Jacobs, the poor mother who was using the hall outside their apartment as her 'home'. Mum wished she could do more for Anne, but they were barely getting by themselves.

Mum motioned the boys into the apartment. "Pork pies on the counter, me lads. Getting cold waiting on the lot of ya'."

The boys scurried past Mum, hungry and grateful she'd managed to save a little supper for them. Mum waited until they slid by her, then reached down and picked up a blanket she'd left by the door. Glancing around to be sure Crawley was still in the bedroom, she carried the blanket out into the hall and handed it to Anne Jacobs, who looked up with grateful eyes and a sad smile. Mum nodded and headed back inside the apartment, closing the door behind her, shutting out the misery of those less fortunate than herself.

The next day, after working several hours in McCoy's stable, the three boys cut through an alley off Osborne Street, confident they were far enough from Wentworth to be safe.

"So you won't tell us where you were?" Jack asked.

"Or what you were up to?" Zavy added with a smile.

Reggie shook his head. "Right on both counts, lads. Not telling. My affair, not yours."

Zavy gave Reggie a gentle shove. "Maybe next time you come back from one of your affairs, you'll remember to put your underpants on first," he teased.

"And wash up better," Jack added, pinching his nose.

Reggie began to smile. "You're both jealous 'cause I had a sexy time without you."

"Nah," Zavy said, grinning. "We ain't jealous. We're just dying to know what you got yourself up to."

"And who you got it up into!" Jack said, laughing.

"I can't really say," Reggie said, wanting to tell his friends the truth, but afraid to say more. In a way, he was telling the truth. He really couldn't say any more than that, because he couldn't remember anything else about that afternoon.

A body slammed into Reggie, knocking him to the ground. Turning over, he saw the angry face of Flanders staring down at him.

Zavy and Jack were grabbed from behind, each one held securely by two of the larger Worthie boys. Several others trotted over, fists balled up.

Flanders leaned down and grabbed Reggie's shirt in the front, lifting him off the ground as Flanders' arm drew back and his fist crashed down.

All three lads groaned in agony.

Reggie's face was a bloody mess, and he felt certain his nose was broken. He was missing several teeth, and his lips were cut and swollen. It hurt to breathe, making him wonder if he had a broken rib or two.

Zavy hadn't fared much better. His nose was bleeding and he was sure he'd have two black eyes in the morning. He sucked in air, desperately trying to keep from throwing up.

Jack was the worst off of the three. He held his arm against his stomach, eyes squeezed shut in pain. The Worthies had twisted his arm so far behind his back that something had snapped, and now he couldn't move it without experiencing blinding pain.

"Fuck me lads," Reggie groaned, "we've been batty-fanged, that's for damned sure."

Zavy struggled to his feet, checking on Reggie first. Though his face was covered in blood, the bleeding had stopped for the most part.

Reggie looked up at his cousin and shook his head miserably. "You copped a mouse or two, Zavy, that's for certain." Zavy's eyes were already puffy and swollen, and would no doubt be purple soon.

Zavy nodded, touching his cheekbone gingerly. "Ya. No doubt. They'll be a mess in the morning." Turning to Jack, he saw the smaller boy biting his lip to keep from crying out. "Jacko? Chuckaboo, how are you, lad?"

Jack opened his eyes wide in pain. "Me arms twisted right bad, Zavy. I can't move it."

Zavy and Reggie knelt beside Jack, helping him to his feet as carefully as possible. Jack groaned and stumbled. "And me ankle is swelling up too."

With Zavy on one side and Reggie on the other, they supported Jack as best they could, all three stumbling down to the nearest public bathhouse to wash off the blood and lick their wounds.

Jack was able to walk on his ankle with a bit of support on that side, but his shoulder was badly sprained. Reggie's wounds were superficial, except for his ribs. Zavy had only minor cuts and bruises, though his eyes were almost swollen shut by the time they reached their apartment. Climbing the stairs, they all noticed that Anne Jacobs and her two little girls were missing.

The door to their apartment opened and Mum stepped out, her eyes red, her cheeks tear stained. She stared at the three teens and exclaimed, "Dear God in Heaven, what happened to you three?"

"We were jumped by Worthies, Mum," Reggie explained.

Mum shook her head. "Today, of all days, why'd you boys have to get in a brawl?"

"Wasn't much of a brawl," Jack said with a grimace. "Like Reggie said, they jumped us. We didn't stand a chance."

Zavy, alarmed by what Mum had said, asked, "What did ya' mean by that, Mum? Today, of all days?"

She shook her head slowly and sighed, "Anne Jacobs' little girl …"

Zavy pointed at the empty spot in the hallway.

Mum nodded her head sadly. "She didn't make it. Anne is coughing now too, so Crawley made her leave with her other little girl. Don't know where they went. Don't know what'll happen to them. Come on in, boys. I saved a bit of supper for you."

The boys hobbled into the apartment, sitting down to eat a bit of cold meat and bread, which wasn't easy to do with sore lips and missing teeth. The other children stared at them, too frightened to ask any questions.

Mum watched the three eat, then wet a cloth and cleaned up a few bloody spots they'd missed earlier. "I wish you lot would stay away from those Worthies."

Reggie gasped as Mum touched a sore spot on his jaw. "We'd love nothing better, Mum. Believe me, we're trying to steer clear of those shits."

"Language, Reggie," Mum admonished.

"Sorry, Mum," Reggie mumbled.

"We really are avoiding them every chance we get," Zavy added. "For some reason, they had it out for us today." Zavy glanced at Reggie, who looked away, refusing to meet Zavy's eyes.

Reggie had a good guess as to why the Wentworth lads wanted to beat them up, going on what Flanders had said in the pale lady's garden, but that still didn't make it Reggie's fault. Flanders was crazy and didn't need an excuse for beating up Hanbury Street lads.

Mum finished cleaning Reggie's cut lip and stood up, shaking her head in dismay. "Nothing more I can do now. Time will heal or not." She looked at Jack, concerned. His arm was still causing him tremendous pain. Mum searched through a cabinet and pulled out a long strip of cloth. Wrapping it securely around his arm and chest, it kept his wounded limb snug against his body. "Try not to move it," she said, gently touching Jack's nose.

He nodded. "It hurts when I do, Mum. Believe me, I'm keeping as still as I can."

Mum turned to Zavy. "I could use a song, right now, Zavy, me love. My heart is heavy and aching. For living here in Whitechapel, where me boys can't walk the streets without getting mangled. Where sweet, innocent children die in the night, leaving mothers with broken hearts. Where hours are hard and tears too common."

Zavy understood his mum's mood and knew what she needed. He shuffled to the sleeping pallet and reached underneath for his wooden piccolo. Sitting down, he lifted the instrument to his bruised lips and blew. Though soft and sweet, the tune was mournful, like tears silently shed in the dark of night, a song of hearts burdened by a hateful world where unseen forces and angry men struck unexpectedly and without mercy. The song ended in a dying trill, hope lost, asking when comfort would ever be found.

Jack fell asleep with Zavy holding him from behind, their bodies nestled together. They were both so sore that they hadn't felt like doing anything more than cuddling as they fell asleep.

Reggie lay on his back, staring at the ceiling. His thoughts were dark as he dreamed of revenge. Flanders and those fucking Worthies would pay for this. He and his brothers had done nothing to deserve getting beaten so badly, and Flanders was probably behind it all. It wasn't Reggie's fault that Flanders had seen him in the pale lady's garden and assumed Reggie was somehow responsible for the state they'd found themselves in. Reggie didn't know whose fault it was, but he knew it wasn't his doing or Zavy's or Jack's.

He thought again about the pale lady and the touch of her fingertip on his jaw. Though it was all still vague, he thought he remembered one more thing about her touch. His skin seemed to tingle where her finger slid down his jaw, like stepping outside on a cold winter day and feeling a blast of wind whip around a building and strike you in the face.

And as her finger pulled away, the chill was replaced by a fierce heat as his body responded to her touch.

His cock began to swell at the memory, as if it remembered what happened next, though his mind couldn't. He turned his head and saw Zavy breathing deeply, asleep with Jack in his arms. Sitting up slowly, Reggie tried to convince himself that what he was now planning to do was foolish and dangerous, but his throbbing cock overruled his brain. He stood up and gathered his pants, shirt, and shoes. Then, ever so carefully, he stepped over Zavy and Jack and headed for the door. Stopping at the door, he slipped into his clothing and shoes. Then he unlatched the door and crept into the hall.

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