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Created from: Mishap's Works
Anita came rushing home from work quickly followed by Jean-Claude and Richard. I had called her in tears after receiving Dr. Lillian's call. She had contacted the other two.
I had my face buried in her neck clutching her like there was no tomorrow. “What are we going to do?” my voice muffled. “How can we tell him that he is going to die?” I sobbed. I felt like screaming.
Richard spoke from behind me. “He doesn't have to die.”
I pulled away from Anita and turned to face him. “What do you mean he doesn't have to die?” I questioned. “There's no cure. AIDS is always fatal in the end.”
“Not for lycanthropes it isn't.” he stated flatly.
“Richard you are the last person I would have expected to suggest that we infect Brad with lycanthropy.” Anita came up behind me and placed her hand comfortingly on my shoulder as she spoke.
“I may hate my beast and everything that goes with it, but I would never suggest that death is a better choice.” He paused. “Especially with a boy as promising and as intelligent as Brad.'
Jean-Claude entered the discussion for the first time addressing Richard. “The boy has gotten to you as well, mon ami.” I saw an expression of sadness pass over Jean-Claude's usually expressionless face. “I have not felt so alive in centuries as I do in his company. It would truly be a tragedy for such as he to die so young.”
I could feel hope start to blossom in my chest. We could save him. Before I got too carried away with this Anita spoke again. “It would have to be his choice.”
“I agree.” Said Richard. “He must be given the chance to decide for himself.”
“I would offer to bring him over as a vampire, but he is too young.” Jean-Claude added. “He deserves to grow up and become a man and as a vampire that would never happen. He would always carry the appearance of a child and I would not have that for him.”
It was decided that when Brad got back from shopping with Zane and Cherry that we would break the news to him. I was not looking forward to it
They tumbled in through the front door laughing and scattering packages everywhere. Zane and Cherry came to a halt picking up on the tension in the room and at the sight of Anita, Richard and Jean-Claude waiting. Seeing the members of the triumvirate together was unusual enough these days, but with the high levels of anxiety it was almost scary and I didn't blame them a bit for being wary.
“Brad we need to speak to you.” Said Anita calmly.
“What's up?” he replied. “Has my teacher been telling on me again.” He joked the smile slowly fading from his face as he took in the serious expression on our faces. “Is something wrong?”
I walked over to Brad placing my arm around his shoulder and gently guiding him to the couch to sit. I sat besides him and took his hand in mine. Brad and I had developed our relationship to that of brothers rather than a parental one. I had asked for permission to be the one to break the news. Nobody had objected, after all who wants to be the bearer of bad new?
I turned his face to mine and said. “Dr. Lillian called today the results of your tests are back. The results aren't good.” That had to be the understatement of the year. I took a deep breath and gave him the news. “She ran the test twice to make sure Brad. I am so sorry to have to tell you that you are HIV positive.”
Brad just looked at me as if he didn't comprehend what I said. I watched as the realization hit him and the horror of the situation sank in. “NO!” he screamed jumping to his feet. I quickly wrapped my arms around him as he screamed and cried.
“Brad listen to me there maybe a way out of this.” I said shaking him gently to get his attention.
“Don't lie to me, Nathaniel.” He sobbed. “I'm not stupid.
“We know you aren't stupid, Brad.” Said Anita coming closer to rest her hand on his head. “You know I wouldn't lie to you. Lycanthropes don't die from viruses. She stated.
“W…What?” brad questioned wiping his tears on his sleeve as he turned to face her.
“I am sure Cherry has told you how she grew a new leg after she became a Wereleopard.” She said looking into Brad's red and swollen eyes.
“Y...yes, she d…did.” He stuttered still breathing hard from the emotional storm that had erupted earlier. “What's that got to do with me?”
Richard stepped forward. “If you become a lycanthrope, and it has to be your choice, you would not die from any disease.”
“So if I was a Werewolf I wouldn't have AIDS anymore? He questioned and I could feel the hope suddenly vibrating through his body.
“Yes, but you wouldn't have to be a Werewolf. You could be a Wererat, a Wereleopard, a Weretiger or even a Werehyena, although I wouldn't recommend it.” He said trying to give all the options. “You wouldn't like their Oba, he's a little odd.”
Brad was silent, you could almost see the wheels turning as he thought about it. “Would it hurt?” he asked.
“Not in your case.” Anita spoke. “We talked to Dr. Lillian and she said that if you decide to become a lycanthrope she could use a simple injection to infect you. That way there would be no doubt and no pain.”
He laughed a little bitterly. “There really isn't much choice.”
I said. “You could choose to wait awhile and see if they come up with a cure.”
“A cure?' he said sarcastically. “What a joke. Don't you realize that no one, not ever has cured a virus. They have found vaccines, but no cures never.”
I stared helplessly at him unable to give him any comfort. “Maybe you should sleep on it. You have time to think about it and make your decision.”
“I have made my decision.' He said. “The only question left is what will I choose to become.” With that he stalked off to his bedroom and slammed the door.
I spent the next few hours pacing the living room until Anita chased me outside. So I continued my pacing outside as the night passed ever so slowly. Close to dawn I heard Brad window open and he slipped out.
“I've watched you pacing all night.” He said coming to stand next to me. “Why are you so worried?”
I sat down on the dew-drenched grass and tried to explain. “You have become the little brother I always wanted, but never had. I am afraid you will be stubborn and I will have to watch you die. I am afraid that you will become a lycanthrope and hate me. Either way I would lose you and that's the last thing I would ever want to happen.”
Brad sat next to me silent for some time. “You don't have to worry that I will hate you, Nathaniel. You are the first person to treat me as if I mattered for a very long time.” He paused as if he'd said too much then he continued. “I want you to know that. That's why I've made my decision to become a Wereleopard like you. I don't want to be separated from you.”
I couldn't help myself. I wrapped my arms around him and proceeded to cry all over him. “Hey man take it easy you'll get me wet.” He said with a pale ghost of his usual face splitting grin as he returned my embrace.
We walked to the deck only to find the others who had waited throughout the night with us. We were enfolded in a group hug that held all the warmth and affection that you could want. There was no need to tell them of his decision they had heard it themselves.
“I can't say that I am not sorry to hear that you won't be a Werewolf.” Richard said with a watery smile. “I can understand your reasons though.”
Everyone chuckled at that and as if it was a signal our nightlong watch finally broke up. With Jean-Claude and Richard heading to their respective homes. The rest of us went to bed to catch a few hours of well-deserved rest.