Her son was always a little strange. Awkward. Careful around new people. Distrusting, careful, but never a deranged cannibal. She had hopped, prayed that her biggest mistake wouldn't affect the only thing she managed to make good in life. Her husband called her earlier complaining that James was failing school. That they had no money. That she was a failure. James didn't love her. She knew that. Her relationship with her son was strained and violent. But he cared enough to protect her when his step father threw blows and screamed at her all night long. Something about that touched her, though she'd never admit it. And now, she never would. The sound of groceries dropping on the floor is the only thing that awakens the nearly feral vampire from his feast. The instant he spots her, the nineteen year old drops the severed arm of his dead stepfather, gaping at her in horror at what he's done. “You...” She stares at him like he’s done something horrible. And really, he has. “What are you?” “I don’t know...” blood dribbles down his mouth as he rolls back up to face her. There’s something in his eyes she’s never seen before- a hunger. Something's changed in her son. Something she's never expected. She knew what Neegan was, she knew what he was doing to her...but her own child? "Get away from me." "Mom-' "GET AWAY FROM ME!" She hurls a shoe at him, then a book, then a suitcase. Whatever is near her. It took merely days to get his things together, what little there were, and leave. James hasn't seen his mother in nearly twelve years.
He spends the next ten years homeless. Ten years he was given food by an older man who worked for a deli. He would sneak out meats and bread, something to hopefully help the man living in the dumpster. But he was still hungry. He would feed only every once in a while, focused on keeping himself from breaking any laws or being noticed by anyone. Except for the kind man who helped him out. He felt like he owed him in some way and wished he could have done something. One night, the man invites him over for dinner, offering him a place to sleep. By this time he hasn't fed in weeks. He's skinny, gaunt, nearly feral looking. Something about his ding eyes and sharp teeth make him look terrifying. But his friend saw past that. He wanted to help. The poor man just wanted to help. "Here, kid. Have a jacket," it's a few sizes too big for him. He accepts it with a smile, but the moment he looks into the man's eyes he can see everything. Hear his heartbeat. There's a sudden clarity to his instincts that he can easily figure out a way to kill him and make it painless. He doesn't want to. He'll do everything in his power not to. But something is killing him inside and he hates it.
"Sorry for what son? What's-" he never finishes. James is already ripping his throat out, swallowing the bits of blood and flesh. The man screams, his cries turned into blood-gurgled whines. His hunger scares him, even as he feeds right now. How many more innocent people will he hurt. God, what is he doing to do... Suddenly, his feed is interrupted by the feeling of cold steel on the back of his head.
"Easy, bloodsucker," the man standing behind him has a funny accent, not quite British, but from the UK. "Put down the hand and we'll talk, a'ight? C'mon, away from the body." He does as he's told, silently dropping the limb. His face is permanently frozen in fear, his lips petrified in an "o".
"What do you want?" James asks, raising his hands above his head. "I'm not...I don't kill..."
"Then ah, explain that, yeah?" The stranger points to the body. "Look, kid, yer killin' shit. My boss hates vamps, y'know. So I gotta cut yer head off and then serve it to him in ona those fancy ass dinner plates dressed as a French maid," he laughs, finding that hysterical. "Unless you wanna make a deal."
He eyes the fake Englishman.
"What do you want?"
"I need someone to clean up my mess. My husband, poor man, he does most of that but I know he can't forever. I'm always busy. You clean up, you get fed, and maybe I teach ya a thing 'er two. Howsat?" He eyes this stranger with curiosity. Take the Hunter's offer, or die. Well, shit. This would be easy.
"Why spare me?"
"I like being diff'rent sometimes," he laughs again. "Fight me about it. C'mon. I got a couple of dealers to shoot. You ever hold a sniper rifle before?"
"Well, clean up your mess there, and we'll talk. Deal?"
James looks between the man and the body, sighing.
Mick grins right at him, his coffee stained teeth almost as sharp as his wit. "Brilliant. Let's get to work, shall we?"