Chapter 1: Three Clashes to Love
More than five hundred years in this world and you realize how boring existing is if you don’t have something to do. Kongpob Suthiluck knew this better than most. He had watched rulers crumble, wars tear apart the country, treaties that brought tentative peace, and thousands of people pass by his eyes. The human condition in all its variances continued to fascinate him as he chose to mingle among the masses but never had he felt a true connection to anyone. His own kind was far less interesting to him and tended to keep themselves apart from those they considered as lesser beings, which included everyone else on the planet.
The rumors, folklore, and (in more recent times) the horror movies made by the humans, separated that gap even further… although, Kongpob could often be found among the audiences with amusement twinkling in his crimson brown eyes over what the humans believed. So much of it is far off the mark. Vampirism is a race not a disease that you can catch (you won’t suddenly grow fangs if you’re bitten). They don’t burst into flames or turn to ash in sunlight (although a nasty sunburn isn’t out of the question with their pale complexions). A stake through the heart will kill anyone, not just vampires (duh!). They certainly are not the forsaken (thank you very much) and many follow a religion. While the thirst for blood is no joke, only the craziest would try to drink a human (have you seen what the majority of modern humans eat? *shudder*). Most are quite happy eating extremely rare cooked meat. Don’t even start on the whole turning into a bat thing (let’s see you try to transform your butt into something the size of a baseball)! The superhuman strength, allure, and extremely prolonged life span are the only things in those stories that are actually correct… that and the sexy, good looks.
In this lifetime, this era, Kong has chosen to go back to school. It had been decades since he had set foot in a place of higher learning and was curious how things had changed in his absence. On a campus tour before the start of the new school year, Kongpob had been amused to see his own portrait still gracing one of the walls in the large university library. It had been painted almost a century earlier by a very talented artist whose name had been long forgotten. Their guide had paused for some time in front of it, staring between the likeness and the soon-to-be freshman student in her group.
“Ancestor, p’Tok.” Smirking, Kongpob answered the unasked question.
“It’s an unbelievable similarity. You could be twins.” His eyes were quite wide but he accepted the short explanation. “It’s pleasure to meet the descendant of one of our university founders. Welcome.”
The rest of the tour was uneventful and Kongpob was pleased to see that most of the original buildings are still used today and well maintained. Many new structures had been added, including a large sports complex and several student housing dorms. One of those dorms included his own single occupant accommodations. He found it inconvenient to live in his large house outside of town so had opted to rent a place on campus, preferably without roommates who might start to ask questions.
As the tour ended back at the administrative building, Kongpob stood close to one of the young men that had toured with him. He was pleasant and soft-spoken with a handsome face and a timid nature. Giving a friendly smile, Kong introduced himself and asked if he’d like to go for a coffee. After a long hesitation, the other agreed and said his name was Aim.
They found a nice café just off campus and grabbed a corner table after ordering their drinks. Kongpob studied the man as they chatted and decided that he would be perfect. With a slight touch and focusing his will, it was easy to implant the false memories. Aim didn’t even realize anything had happened when he snapped awake and became much more open and animated when talking as if he was sitting with his closest friend in the world. That was exactly what Kongpob wanted him to believe. It wasn’t really replacing his memories, more like editing them to include Kong. People tend to accept you more easily if there is already someone at your side to vouch for you.
They parted ways shortly afterwards with a promise to meet up on campus on their first day. Aim gave his “best friend” an affectionate hug. Shaking his head, he pulled away and gave a dramatic shiver.
“Why are you always such an ice-cube, ai’Kong? I think you need to find your own personal sun to keep from freezing solid.” Aim laughed at his own joke and turned to walk away with a wave. “See ya later.”
“Bye.” Chuckling, Kongpob watched his new friend leave before heading home himself.
A month later finds Kongpob and Aim sitting among the newest crop of first years as the second year seniors welcome them with crazy songs and playful games. Strapped around each new student’s neck was a white card with their name and student code written on it. Just as one of the pretty senior girls pulled Kong up to join in the antics, a loud bang filled the room from the door being thrown open and crashing against the wall, startling everyone.
A long line of guys dressed in jeans with black tee shirts and red over-shirts filed into the room. With serious expressions, they spread out in the front on the stage and the second years quickly moved to the side to get out of the way. In the center, stood one of the cutest people Kongpob had ever seen, not that he was moved by such. It was just an observation.
The man wasn’t very tall with black hair that was overly shaggy and a stern face as he looked over the crowd. A single silver earring looped around his left earlobe and glistened in the light. Overall, he should look like an unkept beast but that wasn’t what Kong saw at all. Glancing to his left and right, Kongpob noticed he was probably the only one that found the pint-sized senior adorable. The rest of the freshmen looked terrified which amused Kong. There was no reason to fear this person. Kongpob knew evil when he saw it and this senior was nowhere close to being evil, maybe a little grumpy but not evil.
The guy introduced himself as Arthit, a third year senior and head hazer, in a loud voice that carried to all corners of the cheer room. When he held up the gear and started talking about SOTUS, Kong had a hard time controlling his laughter. No one in this whole university knew the meaning behind SOTUS as well as he did. He’s the one who created it in an attempt to help new students quickly acclimate to the new school, new rules, and new people.
Arthit continued and gave them a task to complete. One thousand signatures from seniors in one week. Back when Kong had helped found this university there hadn’t been even a thousand students in the entire school. Panic washed over the first years and Kongpob found himself raising his hand to protest, not the assignment but the time limit. Really, getting the signatures was a good way to meet the seniors and learn the way around campus but the deadline was ridiculous, most people are not that outgoing or courageous to be able to go up to a thousand strangers in a week.
Of course, the request for more time was harshly shot down and needlessly mocked by the head hazer. This raised Kong’s ire and he challenged the hazer back, asking if he could accomplish this task. The head hazer glared at him and forbade him from asking another question. The beastly Arthit, who was still somehow cute in Kongpob’s eyes, proclaimed that his word is an order that must be obeyed. To maintain his façade as a new first year, Kongpob was forced to acknowledge the senior and sit back down.
Small, maroon red books to collect the signatures were handed out by the second years after the hazers left. Unintentionally, Kongpob had impressed several of his classmates and a few of the guys around him praised his bravery after introducing themselves.
The next meeting between Kong and the head hazer was even worse. It was lunchtime and Kongpob had just entered the cafeteria when he spotted Aim. Knowing the boy to be very shy and not wanting him to be forced into doing this, Kong offered to help him collect the signatures for his book. He felt he owed the boy for messing with his memories. Aim wasn’t too sure about letting him do the task but a look a relief flitted across his face when the book was taken out of his hands.
Kongpob hadn’t gone five steps when he was stopped by two seniors in red Engineering shirts offering to sign his book. The natural allure of his kind was hard to resist and the pages of his book filled quickly as more and more people stopped him. He didn’t have to ask for any and none questioned when he held out a second book to also be signed.
“Kongpob 0062!” An easily recognizable voice called out his name as he was walking by, stopping Kong in his tracks as he looked over at the head hazer. He had a feeling this wasn’t going to be good and he was right as the senior expressed his displeasure at Kong helping Aim get signatures. Technically, they never said how to get the signatures and Arthit did not appreciate Kong pointing that out.
In a strange turn, Arthit seemed to relax and asked if Kong had gotten his signature yet, which he hadn’t. Kong didn’t think the senior would give it if he asked so he didn’t bother. Kongpob handed over the small book to Arthit who sat down at a nearby table with some of the other hazers. They all were looking at Arthit in amusement, wondering what their leader had planned for his annoying 0062.
Kongpob didn’t have long to wait before he found out what the duplicitous man had planned for him. The order would have had normal freshies shaking in their shoes or running away. The head hazer had thought he had won but he didn’t know that Kongpob wasn’t an ordinary freshman. Straightening his shoulders, Kongpob gracefully jumped up onto the table indicated and shouted in a loud and clear voice.
“I like men! I like men! I like men!” With a contemptuous look back at the hazers, he jumped down and stopped by ten different men on his way back to ask the same question, his voice unwavering. “Will you be my boyfriend?”
A few of those men looked ready to accept his offer as they gazed at his pale handsome features. The allure pulled at their hearts. Kong didn’t wait long enough to get an answer from any of them before heading to the next until he made it back to Arthit. The task didn’t bother Kong in the least as he had never limited who he could love because of gender. When you live long enough, you know that it’s the heart that matters, a person’s soul, not the outer package.
The head hazer congratulated him and handed back the notebooks which Kong found he still hadn’t signed. Laughing at his supposed victory, Arthit said he had never agreed to sign it. He smirked and whispered close to Kong’s ear that he could help him find a skirt to wear. Kongpob held his breath as the senior stood near, trying to control his urge to lash out at the warm body.
Arthit went back to the group of seniors and sat down in amusement, leaving Kongpob standing there stewing in his own fury. This is not how SOTUS was supposed to be. This is not what he envisioned his precious system to become over the years. It was never meant to be a tool to ridicule and terrorize new students. It has been warped.
The third time Kongpob clashed with the head hazer had him turning the tables on the volatile man. It started with a simple act of kindness on Kong’s part. Arthit’s lecture had a sensitive girl next to him in tears so Kong passed her his clean, white handkerchief. For some unknown reason, this ticked off the senior and he decided to blame the whole year’s perceived wrong-doing on Kong.
Arthit didn’t stop there, he held the gear necklace aloft in front of Kongpob’s face and said that they wouldn’t be awarded the cherished symbol of their faculty if he didn’t think they were worthy juniors. He asked what Kong would do if he didn’t give him the gear. Without an immediate answer, Arthit turned away pleased with how things were going until Kong spoke up.
“I’ll just steal it.” Kongpob had enough of the senior’s attitude. If he wasn’t going show any respect or consideration to the first years, Kong wasn’t going to give any in return.
“Come again!” Turning back around, Arthit retraced his steps to stare at Kong incredulously.
“If you don’t give me this gear, I’ll just steal it from you.” Without a doubt, he could do exactly as he threatened. The other hazers look at each other in confusion, not believing that this first year had the balls to say something like that to their infamously short-tempered leader.
“How will you steal it?” The head hazer was infuriated and took a step closer, getting in Kong’s face.
As the darkly handsome Kongpob leaned closer to answer him, the intoxicating smell of this human filled him and the urge to taste was nearly overwhelming. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt such a strong pull. This innocent soul was far too tempting to be merely human. Just who is Arthit, really?
“I will make you mine.” The words left his mouth without violation as he was surrounded by delicious scent. Straightening up to clear his senses, Kongpob looks Arthit directly in the eyes. “They say whatever belongs to your lover, is also yours. If I make you mine, then your gear is also mine.”
Kongpob watched as Arthit’s temper flared up with his words. With a snarl, the hazer grabbed him by the shirt front and raised his fist, ready to punch the deadly calm face. Kong didn’t flinch or look away. Another hazer by the name of Knott, a muscular guy who never seems to lose his cool, pulled his friend back before anything happened.
“That takes a lot of guts, Kongpob, but that’s good.” Pointing his finger in my face, Arthit growls at me. “I will see if you can do as you said or not.”
Walking up to the front, the head hazer regained some of his composure and stated again that he’s still in charge as he still has the gear with him. Shouting out Kong’s name and number, he gave him a physical punishment since he wasn’t allowed to hit the freshie like he wanted. Two hundred squats. It was more than a bit extreme but didn’t bother Kongpob who could do ten times that without breaking a sweat.
As he rhythmically bent his knees and popped back up, Kongpob studied the hazer, taking in every detail. Before, he had thought the man to be cute but he had to modify that opinion after seeing Arthit truly angry. In that moment, as the hazer gripped him close, Kongpob thought the senior wasn’t cute at all. In that moment, with the man’s intoxicating scent spinning through the air, Kongpob thought he was gorgeous. He was hooked and he knew Arthit felt it, too, whether he would admit it or not.
For the first time in his five hundred and twenty-six years, Kongpob thought about giving up his title to settle among the humans permanently. For the first time, he felt he had found someone he could give everything to, unconditionally. For the first time, he felt being the Blood Prince of the Vampires was more a burden than a blessing. A vampire prince cannot have a human as his soulmate. It was forbidden.
One more look at Arthit and Kongpob didn’t care if it was forbidden.
Really was not planning to write this but my girl, Daisy, begged me while giving me the puppy stare with those beautiful eyes of hers. Oppa caved. Folded like a deck of cards. I should have been working on my other updates and, instead, I give you this. My own SOTUS version vampire story. I’m almost afraid to ask for opinions… but I’m going to anyway. That’s just how I roll.
So, lay it on me, what do you think?