Seduction of Evil
AJ McLean surveyed the group of people gathered backstage. He and the four other Backstreet Boys had just finished their concert that night, and now it was time for the usual meet and greet that occurred after each of their concerts. As always, most of the fans there were young girls, their eyes wide with the anticipation of meeting their idols.
AJ’s eyes skimmed across the group of girls, not pausing to look closely at any of them… until his eyes rested on one girl. She stood in a shadowy corner of the room, distanced from the other girls.
AJ stared at her, unable to take his eyes off of her, struck by her extraordinary looks. She had long black hair that cascaded straight down her back, stopping at her waist. Her eyes were soulful and dark, almost black, while her skin was like that of a porcelain doll, clear and pale. Her uncommon, yet striking beauty enchanted him, and he could think of nothing else besides her. He had to meet her.
As the meet and greet began, AJ sat beside Brian, Nick, Howie, and Kevin at a long table, ready to sign autographs for the line that had formed. AJ watched for the dark-haired beauty, who looked to be in her late teens or early twenties, about his age. He found that she was the last one in line.
Finally, the line had shortened, and the girl AJ had been gazing at the whole time stepped up to him.
“Hello,” she said, smiling a seductive half-smile.
“Hi,” AJ said, grinning in wonderment up at her. “What’s your name?”
“It is Nastassia,” she replied.
AJ then noticed her accent. It sounded sort of British, but slightly different. He couldn’t place it.
“Nastassia? Wow, I’ve never known anyone with that name before,” he said.
She made that same half-smile. “Do you like it?” she asked.
“I love it. It’s a beautiful name… perfect for a beautiful girl like you.” AJ smiled his sexiest, most charming smile.
“Oh?” Nastassia asked, arching a perfectly shaped eyebrow. “Well, I thank you, Mr. McLean.”
Mr. McLean? That’s weird, AJ thought. He never got fans calling him Mr. McLean. “Call me AJ,” he said, smiling again at her.
“AJ,” she said, her voice barely a whisper. The sound of his name on her lips sent shivers down AJ’s spine.
“Do you have anything for me to sign?” AJ asked, realizing she was empty-handed.
“No,” Nastassia replied, her dark eyes boring into his. “It’s not your autograph that I want.”
AJ’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. “Well, well,” he said, eyeing her seductively. Most fans weren’t this blatant with him. He opened his mouth to speak again, but suddenly, the lights flickered, then went out completely, leaving the room pitch black.
A few of the girls screamed, their high-pitched voices piercing AJ’s eardrums. He pushed back his chair and stood up, looking blindly around the room, unable to make out anything.
Suddenly, he sensed someone come up right behind him. He felt warm breath on the back of his neck and light fingertips touching his shoulders.
“AJ,” came a soft voice. It was distinctively Nastassia’s.
“Nastassia,” he whispered back. “You okay?”
“I’m fine,” she replied slowly, her long nails running through his hair. He felt her lean close to him from behind, her hands caressing his shoulders and face. He could smell her sweet perfume and feel her breath against his cheek. Then he felt her lips on the side of his neck, as she planted tender kisses on it.
AJ stood still in the darkness, savoring Natassia’s gentle touch as she stroked his face, still kissing up and down his neck.
Around him, people inched blindly around, and girls whimpered, but AJ noticed none of it, all his senses fixed on the bold, seductive beauty beside him.
He felt a slight prick on his neck, as her lips brushed over it. And then, she retracted from him, her lips leaving his neck, her hands pulling away from his face.
“Nastassia?” he asked, confused.
The lights came back on all at once, nearly blinding AJ, whose eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Squinting, he glanced around, looking for Nastassia. To his surprise, she was nowhere to be found.
“Hey, Howie?” he asked, turning to Howie, who stood nearest to him. “Where did that girl go?”
“Which one, Aje? There’s tons of girls in here?” Howie asked, motioning to all the people still standing in the room.
“The gorgeous one with the long black hair. She was just here a second ago,” AJ replied.
“Oh yeah, I know who you mean. But I don’t see her anywhere,” Howie said, surveying the room.
“I know. Neither do I. But where could she disappear to all of a sudden?” AJ wondered aloud.
Howie shrugged, turning to a young girl holding a camera. As he posed with her for a picture, AJ stood still, glancing in every direction, looking for Nastassia. But as the meet and greet drew to a close, he had still not found her and was not sure that he ever would again.
AJ jerked awake as the bus hit a bump the next afternoon. He looked around, disoriented, squinting at the light coming through the bus windows.
“Hey, look who’s awake,” Brian announced.
“Gosh, Bone, you’ve been asleep all day,” Howie commented.
“What time is it?” AJ asked, rubbing his eyes.
“Around three,” Kevin said.
“Jeez,” AJ replied. He never slept that late. “I must have been really tired.”
“I’ll say,” Howie agreed.
AJ shrugged, yawning. He realized he was still tired, even after sleeping so many hours.
“Still tired?” Kevin asked, noticing AJ’s yawn.
“Yeah, actually, I am,” AJ murmured.
“Are you coming down with something?” Kevin asked in concern.
AJ shrugged. “Maybe.”
“You look like shit, dude,” Nick commented, studying AJ’s pale face.
AJ glared at Nick, but didn’t have the strength to retaliate.
“Well, at least we don’t have another concert until tomorrow night,” Brian pointed out, trying to avoid an argument between the two youngest Backstreet Boys. “You can go to bed early tonight.”
“Yeah,” AJ said, relieved. He knew he wouldn’t feel up to performing that night. “Hey, where’s my sunglasses at? The glare’s killing me.”
The other four guys exchanged glances. What glare? Howie wondered, looking out the window. The day was overcast, and the sun wasn’t even out.
“There’s a pair over there,” Howie said, pointing to the table, where a pair of black sunglasses lay. Maybe AJ’s eyes were just sensitive to the light because he had just woken up.
“Thanks, D,” AJ muttered, staggering over to the table and putting on the sunglasses. His aching eyes immediately felt better. But he did not. He was just so tired and weak feeling all of a sudden.
“I’m gonna lie back down,” AJ said, flopping back down on his bunk, not even bothering to remove his sunglasses. Within minutes, he was sound asleep again.
“Guys, I think something’s wrong with AJ,” Kevin said the next morning, glancing at AJ, who lay sleeping in his bunk. He had been asleep since the afternoon before, not even waking up for supper. He looked so run down that none of them had had the heart to wake him.
“Yeah, I know,” Brian agreed. “He looks horrible.”
“What caused it though?” Nick asked. “I mean, he was perfectly fine at the last concert. He wasn’t sick at all.”
“It must have just come on suddenly,” Brian said with a shrug.
“Do you think he should perform tonight?” Howie asked, studying his best friend.
Kevin shrugged. “I guess we’ll have to wait and see how he is tonight. Maybe it’s just a twenty four hour thing that will be gone by the time he wakes up.
“I hope so,” Howie said.
Kevin, Nick, and Brian nodded, all hoping that nothing serious was wrong with their friend.
By the time the bus was pulling up to the arena, it was late afternoon, and the cloudy sky was already darkening.
AJ woke up feeling a hundred percent better than before. The fatigue he had suffered from before was gone, replaced by hunger.
“Can we get something to eat before we have to get ready? I’m hungry,” he whined to Kevin, as they carried their bags backstage.
“Sure, go ahead. You must be starving. You haven’t eaten all day,” Kevin said.
AJ nodded, feeling ravenous. But when he got to the table backstage where their refreshments had been set up, he felt oddly disappointed. Here sat a table full of the food he usually loved eating before concerts, and just minutes ago, he had been starving.
Actually, he still felt starving, but none of the food looked good to him. In fact, just looking at it made his stomach churn with nausea. He had another craving, but he was unsure what it was for. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
“Something wrong with the food, Aje?” Brian asked, coming up beside him. “I thought you were starving.”
“I dunno, I guess not. I feel kinda sick to my stomach right now,” AJ murmured, puzzled. He shrugged and turned away from the table, leaving Brian to watch him walk away in confusion.
“What is up with him?” Nick asked, the next afternoon, as he watched AJ sleeping. “I mean, he was fine last night at the concert, but now he’s sick again. He’s been asleep all day.”
“Yeah, and when was the last time he ate?” Brian asked, confused. “I haven’t seen him eat anything in days!”
“No, he ate last night when we got to the arena,” Kevin replied. “Remember, he was complaining about how hungry he was.”
“I know, but he never ate,” Brian said. “I saw him standing at the food table, and he said he had lost his appetite and that he felt sick to his stomach.”
“This isn’t good,” Howie moaned.
“I know. I think we should take him to see a doctor,” Kevin said. “This is no twenty four hour flu.”
They nodded in agreement.
“But what about the concert tonight?” Nick asked.
“We’ll see how he’s feeling tonight,” Kevin said.
They nodded, hoping AJ would be better by that night.
Again that afternoon, AJ awoke feeling revived. Kevin let him perform at the concert, hoping this would be the end of his mysterious ailment.
After the concert and meet and greet, AJ still felt good, but the feeling of hunger had returned. Yet, still, he didn’t feel like eating anything.
He tried to eat one of the Big Macs that had been set out, yet it tasted strangely disgusting to him. AJ threw it away and sighed in despair. What was wrong with him?
AJ was jerked out of a sound sleep by someone shaking him. “Go away,” he murmured, not even opening his eyes.
“AJ, wake up,” he heard Kevin’s voice order.
AJ sighed and opened his eyes, only to shut them again, gasping in pain.
“Aje? What’s the matter?” Kevin demanded, his voice rising in concern.
“The light! Close the damn curtains!” AJ hissed, squeezing his eyes closed to keep out the sunlight that flooded through the bus windows.
Confused and taken back by AJ’s outburst, Kevin motioned to the other guys to pull the curtains closed. They did so immediately, dimming the interior of the bus.
AJ tentatively opened his eyes. His eyeballs still seemed to ache, and he felt once again exhausted.
“You okay?” Kevin asked.
AJ shook his head. “I feel like shit again,” he said.
Kevin sighed. “That’s it, AJ, you’re going to a doctor,” he announced. “Our next concert is in Chicago, and when we get there, we’re taking you straight to the hospital to get checked out.”
AJ scowled, but he did not protest. He was worried about himself too. Things weren’t right, and he knew it.
“Well, Mr. McLean, I think I have a diagnosis for you,” said Dr. Mannschaft, the doctor who had examined AJ at the hospital in Chicago where the guys had brought him.
“What is it?” AJ asked warily.
“You’re suffering from a rare form of anemia, which is a condition that reduces the number of red blood cells being produced, making you fatigued all the time,” Dr. Mannschaft explained.
AJ’s eyes widened. That sounded bad. “How serious is it?” he asked.
“Don’t worry, Mr. McLean, it’s not as bad as it sounds. This can be cured with blood transfusions and iron pills, both of which you will be receiving,” Dr. Mannschaft said. “But in order for you to receive the transfusions, you’ll need to be checked into the hospital?”
“You mean I have to stay here?” AJ cried. “How long?”
“Maybe a few days,” the doctor replied regrettably. “I’d like to run some more tests on you. Anemia can be caused by some other more serious conditions. I just want to make sure nothing else is wrong with you.”
AJ’s heart sunk. “Okay,” he said dully. “I’ll stay.”
Dr. Mannschaft nodded. “I’ll admit you and get you started on iron pills immediately. You’ll receive a blood transfusion later.”
“Can you send my friends in?” AJ asked. “They’re right outside.”
“Certainly,” Dr. Mannschaft said with a nod. “Be back soon.”
He left the room, and moments later, in came Howie, Brian, Nick, and Kevin.
“So, what’s up with you, Bone?” Brian asked casually.
AJ sighed and began to relay what his doctor had just told him.
Late that night, there was a knock on AJ’s door. Surprisingly, as late as it was, AJ was wide awake and feeling much better than he had earlier.
“Come in,” he called, curious to see who it could be at this hour at night. He knew the other guys had checked into a hotel for the night.
The door opened, and in walked a woman. The room was dark, so it was hard for AJ to get a good look at her. When he did, he gasped.
Sure enough, there she was, the beautiful girl who had captured his heart three nights earlier and then disappeared on him. But now, here she was again.
“Hello, AJ,” she said in her lilting accent.
“How did you know I was here?” AJ asked.
“I have my ways,” she said with a mysterious smile.
“Well, where’d you go the other night?” he wondered.
Her smile grew wider. “That’s a secret,” she said softly. “I have many secrets.”
AJ studied her, utterly confused. She was so mysterious. “Like what kind of secrets?” he asked.
She snickered. “Don’t you know by now?” she asked.
“Uh… no,” AJ replied, even more confused than before. He didn’t know anything about this girl.
“I liked you from the moment I set eyes on you, AJ,” she said. “Back when I was young, there were no men around like you. You’re special.”
AJ just stared at her in awe.
“I wanted to be with you,” she continued.
“I… I liked you too,” AJ stammered, unsure of what to say. He had liked her, but he wasn’t so sure anymore. She was ending up to be a lot weirder than he thought.
“That’s good,” Nastassia said, smiling. “Because we’re going to be together for a long time.”
“What do you mean?” AJ asked, his heart pounding in fear. Why did she suddenly sound so evil.
“Oh, AJ, AJ. Are you really that naïve?” Nastassia asked, as if she were scolding him. When he didn’t reply, she continued, “Don’t you know what I am?”
AJ continued to stare at her in shock. What did she mean, “what I am?” AJ was growing more and more scared by the minute.
“Look at yourself,” Nastassia said, shoving a small mirror in AJ’s face.
AJ gazed into it and gasped. He had the mirror held right up to his face, yet he couldn’t see himself in it.
He glanced up at Nastassia in shock, gasping in horror when he saw her. Her coal black eyes had taken a red glow, and sharp fangs had formed in her mouth.
“No way,” AJ gasped. “You’re, you’re a-“
“An immortal,” she finished. “A vampire. And now, so are you.” She smiled evilly.
AJ’s mouth dropped open. “No-“
“Yes. Your transformation is complete,” Nastassia said.
AJ ran his tongue over his teeth. He gasped when he felt pointed fangs in his own mouth.
His hand drifted to his neck, and he drew it back in shock when he touched two raised bumps. His eyes drifted up to meet Nastassia’s.
“Yes, those are bite marks,” she confirmed. “I’m surprised you just now noticed.”
AJ shook his head in disbelief. “But how-“ he started, and then the realization hit him. The meet and greet, when the lights had gone out. Nastassia had been kissing his neck, or so he thought. He recalled feeling a slight prick and realized that that was when she had bit him, sucking his blood and changing him into one of her kind. “Oh, my God,” he whispered.
“Don’t be so upset,” she said. “It’s not that bad. When you’re a vampire, you get to live forever. I’ve been living for over three hundred years now. And can you believe I’ve never found the right man? Well, finally, after all these years, I have.”
AJ’s eyes widened.
“Yes, AJ, it’s you. You’re the only one I want, and now we can be together forever,” Nastassia said, her eyes gleaming.
“No way,” AJ said, his voice low. “Get away from me.”
She snickered. “Don’t you know you’re never supposed to invite a vampire in? Obviously not, cause you did, and now I’m here.”
“No, go away!” he shouted.
“Hush now. You’re just upset because you’re hungry. Am I right?”
AJ suddenly felt sick to his stomach. He realized he was hungry. Very hungry. And he now realized what he had been craving for those few days. Blood.
“I have to drink blood?” he asked, his voice wavering.
“Of course,” she said. “It’s all vampires can drink.”
“Oh, no,” he moaned, burying his head in his hands. “Please, no.”
“It’s not so bad,” she said. “You drink people’s blood, and then they become vampires too. Either that, or you drink so much that you kill them. Whichever way you prefer. It’s a great way to make friends that last forever and ever.”
“I… I can’t do that,” he said. “I can’t kill anyone, or turn them into vampires.”
“You have to,” she said, her dark eyes boring into him. “Even if you don’t want to. But don’t worry, eventually you’ll get so desperate, it won’t even feel wrong to you. It will become natural.”
“Please go away now,” AJ said, his voice faltering.
Her cold eyes softened. “Okay,” she relented. “But I’ll be back.”
With that warning, she left the room, leaving AJ to endure the shock and horror she had bestowed upon him.
“Hey, Bone, how you feeling this morning?” Howie asked cheerfully, strolling into AJ’s room.
AJ was sitting in darkness. Howie started to flip on the light, but AJ cried out, “Don’t!”
“How come?” Howie asked, confused.
“My eyes are really sensitive to light,” AJ said. “Probably something with the anemia,” he lied.
“Oh,” Howie said. “Sorry.”
AJ said nothing in return. Instead, he gazed at Howie with longing. He felt so hungry, and now that he knew what is was he was hungry for, he wanted it. Badly. He wanted, no, needed, blood. And that was exactly what Howie was a source of.
AJ licked his lips hungrily. Suddenly, he realized what he was doing and shuddered. Was he actually contemplating sucking blood from someone, let alone his best friend?? AJ shook his head in despair. Nastassia said that when the craving became bad enough, he would act on it, not even realizing it was wrong. He knew he had to fight it though. He couldn’t let that happen, especially not with one of his friends.
“Aje?” Howie’s voice interrupted AJ’s disturbing thoughts. “You okay?”
It was unbearable. “Howie, I’m really tired. I think I just want to go back to bed,” AJ said.
“Oh. Okay. Well, do you want me to leave then?” Howie asked.
Yes! AJ’s mind screamed. “Yeah. Sorry, it’s just that I’m so tired,” AJ explained. And hungry too!
“It’s okay, Bone. I’ll see you later, okay?” Howie asked, smiling.
“Sure,” AJ said, forcing a smile back. “See ya.”
Howie nodded and left the room.
AJ collapsed back against his pillows and sighed miserably. He knew he was not going to be able to hold out much longer without blood, a vampire’s source of energy.
“Is it just me, or does it seem like AJ’s just getting worse?” Kevin asked a few days later.
The guys had cancelled all their concerts that week, for AJ was still in the hospital and didn’t seem to be getting better at all. Plus, he never wanted them to come see him, insisting that he needed to rest.
“I know,” Howie agreed. “He’s so pale and sickly looking, and he looks exhausted, even though he sleeps all the time. And as soon as I come to visit, he wants me to leave.”
He looked depressed, and the others didn’t blame him. They didn’t understand AJ’s behavior any better than Howie did, and it was depressing them all.
“Hey, guys, read this,” Nick said suddenly, looking up from the book he was reading. It was some book about monsters that he had gotten at a local library.
Brian took the book from him and started to skim down the page. It was talking about vampires.
“Cool, Nick,” he muttered absently.
“No, read it!” Nick insisted.
Brian’s eyebrows raised at Nick’s sudden outburst, but he turned back to the book and began to read about the characteristics about vampires. As he read, he suddenly realized why Nick was having him read it. Many of these characteristics were similar to the symptoms of AJ’s anemia.
“Uh… Nick, are you thinking what I think you’re thinking?” Brian asked, trying not to laugh at Nick’s serious expression.
“Guys, I think AJ’s a vampire,” Nick said.
Howie and Kevin exchanged glances and stared at Nick, shocked to see that he looked dead serious.
Brian could no longer hold back his laughter. He began to laugh heartily, gasping for air.
Howie and Kevin chuckled too.
“Guys, I’m serious!” Nick cried in frustration. “Look at this stuff! Pale skin, sleeps during day, sensitivity to light, fatigue… It’s just like AJ!”
“Nick, buddy, there’s no such thing as vampires,” Kevin said gently, trying to keep his own laughter under control. Nick could be so gullible at times.
“Fine. When we get to the hospital to see him, check his neck. I bet you ten bucks there’ll be two bite marks there,” Nick huffed.
“Okay, Nick. Whatever,” Brian said, snickering.
Nick glared at him and stalked out of the room.
AJ tossed and turned in bed, unable to sleep.
He had done it. He had bitten someone and sucked their blood. It had been so easy. They had fallen asleep in his room, and the whole time he had sucked their blood, they hadn’t woken up. They didn’t know it had even happened. But soon they would. That person would soon transform into a vampire, all because of him.
And he was still so hungry. The craving for human blood was so strong, he knew he wouldn’t be able to hold back much longer. Every time someone came into the room, it was all he could do to not grab them and bite their necks.
I can’t live like this, AJ thought desperately. It’s only been a few days, and I’m going to live forever like this. I can’t do that. I can’t let myself. I have to do something.
But what could he do? There was no way he could change back into a human. He either had to live forever as a vampire… or kill himself. But how would he kill himself? He thought back to what he had seen in movies and remembered that the only thing that would kill vampires was sunlight, fire, or a wooden stake through the heart.
AJ knew he could never set himself on fire or plunge a stake through his chest. But if he went out into the sun, would he then die? It sounded horrible, but death seemed to be a better alternative than living forever as a blood-drinking killer.
It only took a few minutes for AJ to make up his mind. He got out of bed and went to the window, which had heavy curtains drown across it to keep out the sunlight. He took a deep breath, and pulled back the curtains. His eyes burned with the light, but nothing happened.
He then realized it was pouring rain outside. The sun was nowhere to be found.
“Damnit,” AJ cursed. Now what was he going to do?
Immediately, the stake came into mind. If he put a stake through his heart, it would hurt, but it would also be over quickly. He knew he couldn’t wait for the sun to come out the next day. He had to end his life now, before the craving for blood took over his mind.
But where would he get a stake?
Upon glancing out the window again, AJ noticed a wooden fence going around the hospital courtyard, outside his window. Bingo.
Without a second thought, AJ opened the window and hoisted himself over the ledge. His room was on the first floor, so it was a short drop to the ground below. AJ ran through the rain to the fence. He began to kick it with all his strength, finally breaking one of the fence posts. Since the ground was soft and muddy, it was not hard to yank the broken post out of the ground. He was relieved to see that it had a sharp, pointed edge. Perfect.
AJ took a deep breath, pointing the post towards him. He aimed it straight at his chest, and, determined to end his misery, shoved it as hard as he could into his flesh.
The pain was excruciating. AJ’s chest burned, as if it were on fire. He felt like his whole body was going to explode. His heart beat wildly in his ears, as he screamed in sheer torture. But suddenly, the pain left him, and everything went black, as his limp body fell to the wet ground.
Later that afternoon, Brian, Nick, Kevin, and Howie stood around the hospital morgue, where AJ’s body had been taken.
They had received a call from the hospital just minutes earlier, telling them to come to the hospital immediately. Upon arrival, Dr. Mannschaft had sadly explained that AJ had been found in the courtyard, a stake through his heart.
The guys had all been shocked and stricken with grief. The police had come and told them that it looked like suicide.
They couldn’t believe that though. Why would AJ kill himself? And why would he do it with a wooden stake? None of it added up.
Now they stood around his limp body, crying softly.
“Guys,” Nick said suddenly.
They all looked up, unable to speak.
“Look,” Nick said, pointing at AJ.
They came around to his side of the gurney that AJ lay on to see what he was looking at. When they saw what he was pointing to, they gasped.
On the side of AJ’s neck were two round bite marks.
“No, no way,” Brian said, backing away from the site. “Nick…”
“I told you,” Nick said, looking at Brian through teary eyes.
“Nick, that’s not possible. Those are just mosquito bites or something,” Howie insisted.
“Oh yeah? Did you get bitten by a mosquito lately too?” Nick asked.
“Huh?” Howie asked.
“Cause… uh… you’ve got some on your neck too,” Nick said, his voice beginning to shake as he realized what he was saying.
“What?!” Howie cried, his fingers immediately drifting to his neck. He gasped in shock as he found himself fingering two raised bumps. “No way…” He shook his head vigorously.
“See for yourself,” Nick said, motioning to a stainless steel cabinet on the other side of the room.
Howie hurried to it, desperate to get a look at the bumps on his neck. But when gazed into the reflective stainless steel, he gasped in horror. He had no reflection.
Howie suddenly felt faint. And tired. And very, very hungry…
Seduction of Evil Ó 2001 by Julie