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What I Hide Reminds Me

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"It's the husband," Tina says, jabbing a finger at her iPad. "It's always the husband."

"Oh, come on," Blaine replies, laughing at her insistence. "He's such a nice guy."

"That is exactly why it's him," she counters, tossing up a hand in frustration at his apparent inability to see what is so very obvious to her. "Besides, he slept with her sister."

"Before they were dating; that doesn't even count, and it doesn't make him a murderer, geez."

"Lunch at the taco truck says that it's the husband."

"I see your angle," Blaine replies, smirking. "You've got a deal." He taps the iPad, pausing the television show that they've been watching. "We should keep an eye on the door."

She sighs. "It's been a long week. Besides, it's just past four thirty; the rush is over."

Can't deny that, Blaine thinks, and thank goodness. They'd had no less than six unidentifieds and one volatile who'd done serious damage to the counter and the security doors before the police had arrived with their chemical spray and herded the poor guy off into custody.

Working the graveyard shift at a blood service center in downtown Columbus, Ohio is a job that could never be called boring. It's not that the vamps can't go out during the day—the fact that they can is one of the reasons why they've been able to hide for as long as they have—but that they are strongest at night. They tend to do their business and socializing between dusk and dawn, and getting free blood at the center is often the first stop for many of them.

Coming on later in the evening means that Blaine usually sees the more mature vamps—those who can wait, those who prefer to avoid the younger crowd that shows up as soon as the sun goes down. The downside to this is that he also sees, at times, the unpredictable ones, the ones who aren't regulars, the ones who wander in at all hours of the night, and between himself and Tina they've racked up plenty of crazy stories to tell.

"I'm going to start tossing the expired blood," he announces, patting her on the shoulder.

"Bless you," she sighs. It's not a fun task and they usually playfully bully each other when it comes to deciding whose turn it is, despite the fact that she's his boss and could assign the task to him if she wanted to.

He stops to use the bathroom and adjust his scrubs—the logo of a pair of elongated canines with one drop of blood hanging from the left tooth stands out in sharp relief against the starched paleness of the white shirt. His identification and security credentials announcing him as a medical student and blood center employee hang from the breast pocket. His carefully gelled hair has seen better days; curls are springing up around his ears and the curved shape over the top has several unattractive dents in it. He can't bring himself to bother wetting and reshaping it this late in his shift. Even though he has no one in particular to impress, he takes his appearance very seriously and would normally fuss with it no matter the hour, but Tina is right. It has been a hell of a week.

It always is, he supposes. They're only the second blood center to open up in the city, and the program itself is only five years young. There's still so much that they don't know about vampires and even less that they know about how to properly serve them. On the job training can be wonderfully educational in that regard, but also unpredictable and sometimes exhausting.

"Blaine?" Tina sticks her head into the small back room where they take their breaks. "Can you make sure that we get the AB neg front and center for the morning shift? I had one today. Don't go crazy but at least two packets, just in case."

"Oh, wow, really? Okay." He keeps that in mind as he starts disposing of the expired packets and counting the fresh ones.

Three hours later, he and Tina walk each other to their cars. Per security protocols, after seeing each other out of the parking lot, they'll call each other when they are safely home behind locked doors. Vampire-on-human violence is at an all time low since the Outing, but it's not uncommon for blood center workers to become the target of hunger-related attacks, especially close to dawn.

Blaine is half-asleep by the time he gets home, Tina's voice a soothing hum over the phone as he shrugs out of his scrubs and falls face-first into bed. He usually spends those last few moments before he falls asleep contemplating how much working the night shift has done to destroy his social life. Thank goodness for Tina, whose boyfriend and parents have gone out of their way to make him feel like a part of their family. Tina works full time at the center (she'd graduated last year), so everyone in her life is used to the schedule, whereas Blaine is doing the summer program for experience, money, and school credits while he works toward a degree in porphyrical (vampire) medicine.

"Mom's making your favorite today," she says.

"Same time as always?"

"Yep."

"I'll be there. You're awesome. Mom's awesome."

She laughs. "Goodnight."

"'Night, Tina."

He's asleep before he even ends the call.

*

Kurt is grateful for one thing at the moment, and that is that his life had waited to fall apart completely until the summer. It's not as if he has to worry about dying of exposure, but who the hell wants to run away in the middle of an Ohio winter? After all, he still feels the cold. As it is he's touch and go in terms of coping, covered in someone else's blood and stuffing a bag full of his belongings while his aunt and uncle watch television downstairs.

They have no idea what's happened.

Truth be told, it's already beginning to fragment in his own mind, breaking down into a series of flashing images and sharp, high-pitched noises. The smell of sweat and fear and blood, always blood, forever blood. The muscle memory of struggle, of grasping and tearing.

No one tells you that being a vampire doesn't actually make a damned bit of difference when it comes to self-hatred. Or doubt. Or fear. Or loneliness. It doesn't bring your parents back from the grave. It doesn't make your relatives who took you in out of obligation love you. It doesn't make you straight. It doesn't prepare you to deal with being psychologically tormented on a weekly basis by an asshole who hates you in lieu of hating himself because it's easier, because you're there and he knows that you can't touch him without getting in trouble. It doesn't prepare you for blacking out and waking up to a body on the choir room floor and knowing without knowing how you know that you have killed someone and that at any moment you'll be discovered and that's it, it's over. Your entire pathetic life, such as it is, is over. It wasn't much of a life to begin with, but at least it was yours and maybe it might have been something, some day.

Murder is murder is murder, no matter that he'd been defending himself.

No one would believe that he'd allowed himself to be restrained and injured, not when he has such strength. No one would believe that David had gotten a hold of the chemical spray that the cops use to temporarily weaken vamps and had used it on him. No one would believe it because Kurt had come out of it physically unharmed, because while he'd killed David he'd taken his blood and all the injuries that he had sustained had healed, and all the bonds that had held him had been broken in the struggle.

His aunt and uncle wouldn't speak in his defense. They'd be embarrassed but happy to be rid of him, and they'd write him off as a bad egg well disposed of within the month.

Running is his only option now. He has enough money for bus fare and a couple of days on the road. That's as far as his plan can take him and, in a twisted way, he's almost thankful that he's going to be able to accomplish at least that.

He's a nineteen year old high school senior who looks the same as he had when he was sixteen and turned into a vampire: like a boy. His powers are as undeveloped as he is, his knowledge of vampire nature limited to whatever he has managed to gather from the Internet and school guidance counselors. No one had any sympathy for him when he was turned and he sincerely doubts that they will now that he has human blood on his hands.

He stops for a brief moment before he leaves, taking in the sparseness of his tiny bedroom. It's frightening how little time it has taken to gather up the few things that matter to him. Frightening how little space these items take up in his bag. Such a small life, crammed into an even smaller space.

He listens to the television playing downstairs. It's loud through the thin walls of his aunt and uncle's home. A laugh track plays, hinting at a sitcom. He wonders how long it will take them to realize that he'd never come back after the graduation ceremony.

Hell, at least he received his diploma. He laughs, and somewhere in between gasps the laugh turns into a sob, and he spends the last few moments that he has gathering toiletries from the bathroom (he'd almost forgotten them entirely, which just goes to show how messed up he is at the moment) and crying like an idiot. He pauses to wash his face and hands clean; he'd love to wash all of the blood off, but he doesn't want to risk them hearing the shower turn on and, besides that, he simply doesn't have the time. They'll discover David's body soon. There were still staff present when it had happened, somewhere in the building or on the grounds. It won't be long now.

The last thing that he does before leaving the neighborhood is toss his vampire identification card in a garbage can several blocks from his house. The garbage will be picked up tomorrow and with any lucky no one will ever find it. He has no idea what he'll do for blood while he travels (no card, no blood at the center), but he's pushed it to a few dry days before and he can do it again if he has to.

*

Tina gently nudges Blaine when the door opens. Security cameras give them full views of every inch of the public space that the vampires might occupy inside the center, but he and Tina make a habit out of taking the extra step to communicate with each other, mostly when a particularly strung-out looking vamp comes in.

There's a shatter-resistant re-enforced glass wall between the counter and them, and it isn't until the vampire is right up against it that Blaine can get a good look at him.

Blaine has seen vamps in every state from starving to overfed, from listless to hyped up, but he's never seen one look so completely lost before. The slender young man on the other side of the glass is not only underfed but exhausted. His hair is limp and there are dark circles around his eyes. He's clutching a coat around his torso as if it were armor, eyes glancing blindly off of the shapes around him. The fact that he's cold on a warm night like this speaks volumes. It doesn't take a medical student to tell that he's in bad shape.

Blaine steps up to the microphone. "Hello," he says. "May I see your ID card, please?"

"I don't, um, I don't have one," comes the scratchy reply. Beyond a tiredness in the tone, it's a lovely voice; high-pitched, breathy, and delicate.

Blaine nods. "Okay. Well, I can't give you a full serving as an unregistered individual, but I can give you an emergency ration, as long as you're willing to be tested for type, give me all of your information and a photograph tonight."

Without testing the vampire for blood type and getting as much information as he can provide, Blaine is not technically permitted to give him blood at all. They do have synthetic blood as a last ditch offering, but this is not public knowledge—it's still in the experimental stages—and while it is Tina's call whether or not to give Blaine permission to offer it, they've never done so unless a vamp was on the edge of losing consciousness.

The young man's eyes go wild for a second and then instantly calm again. "Th-thank you, anyway, I—that's not possible." He trembles and clutches his coat tighter around himself. It's clear that the effort it takes for him to do this—to be polite and leave when he can probably smell the blood on the premises—is monumental.

"Wait," Blaine calls.

Tina glances at Blaine out of the corner of her eye. The vampire freezes halfway to the lobby, swinging his tired eyes back to the glass partition. The ugly, yellow light coming down from the ceiling fixtures makes him look even sicker than he probably is.

Blaine turns off the microphone so that he and Tina can speak privately. They're alone on duty and there are no other vampires waiting for blood—it's almost six in the morning.

"I want to see him," he says. "He's not going to last much longer."

"Blaine," she sighs. "We have to track their consumption. We have to be able to identify them if they're going to be on public assistance. We have to feed them the correct blood type. We can't just serve every vamp that walks in off the street. And you can't run him through all the red tape without an identity."

"We still have those portable testing supplies, right? The manual ones, not the ones connected to the network?" They'd gone digital shortly after the program had been established, and all the older testing supplies and records keeping had been retired before they had even had a chance to collect dust.

She stares at him, hard. "Yes, we do."

"And we have synthetic stores. I can just do a quick test and give him something to keep him going, it doesn't even have to come from the blood stock."

"What's got you so worked up over this kid? You've never—"

He blushes. "I just—don't want to see him collapse somewhere. He'll end up in jail, and you know what they do to unregistered vamps once they get them into the system." There is still so much prejudice against them, despite the fact that they don't deserve it, in Blaine's opinion.

"Alright," she replies, tapping the pen that she's holding against the clipboard in her arms. "But only because it's shift change and I'd really like to get home on time. Mike's off today." She smiles, rolling her eyes at herself. "It's kind of crazy that we consider getting to sleep together for a few hours to be the best date ever."

Blaine grins, squeezing her arm. "Not crazy. You're the best. We'll be in examination room two, okay?" He motions. "And you'll ditch the footage after?"

She leans over and brings the security camera for that room into sharper resolution. "After. But I'll be watching you guys."

"Thanks." He turns the microphone back on. "Excuse me, sir? To your right there's a door. Go inside and have a seat in room number two. I'll be with you shortly."

The man's whole form seems to shudder, but he goes. He probably thinks that he's going to be asked to sit through an interrogation only to be told that they can't help him.

Blaine takes a deep breath and gathers up the items that he needs.

*

The examination room is essentially just a closet with the same reinforced glass and exchange drawer as the front counter, only much smaller.

"Could you, um, remove your jacket, please?" He smiles. "I just have to make sure that you're not concealing anything. Standard procedure, nothing personal."

The vampire quivers on his feet as he complies. Underneath he's wearing drab clothing, muted colors, average style, nothing that speaks to personality at all. He's thin, but it's difficult to tell whether that's the result of hunger or nature; vampires don't really show starvation the way that humans do.

"Would you prefer to stand?" Blaine asks. He hasn't collapsed into the chair on his side of the partition yet. He's probably not sure if he'd be able to rise again.

"Yes, please," he replies.

"Okay." Blaine exhales. "I'd appreciate it if you would at least tell me your first name. Think of it as a gesture of trust between us."

A faint laugh lights those blue-green eyes for one heartbreaking moment. "I guess it really doesn't matter in the long run." He blinks, wobbling on his feet. "Kurt. My name is Kurt."

"I'm Blaine," he replies. "It's nice to meet you, Kurt. Thank you."

He sets the testing kit on the table. The synthetic blood packets are in his pocket; Kurt can probably smell them, but there's no call to reveal them yet. He might react out of a survival instinct and Blaine would rather it not come to that, more for Kurt's dignity than his own safety, which is more or less guaranteed by the glass.

"This is a testing kit that will tell me which blood type is the best match for your nutritional needs," he explains. "We typically do a lot more testing for informational purposes, and I would—really appreciate it if you would come back for that some other time, but for now let's just get you stable, okay?"

Kurt frowns. “Why are you doing this? Making an exception for me?"

"I don't like seeing people suffer when I have the ability to help them," Blaine says, softly, letting their eyes meet.

"Thank you," Kurt replies, seeming at a loss, shrinking in on himself.

Blaine clears his throat. "I'll need a blood sample. Just put it back in the drawer and press the button when you're done."

It's akin to the blood glucose test that a diabetic uses; a spring-loaded device to prick the skin and an absorbent strip to take the sample. He explains this to Kurt. It's done quickly, and Blaine plugs the strip into the machine and waits. It takes several minutes, as it's one of the older models.

"B positive," he announces, smiling. Nice and common. That's good. (Also, his own blood type, but he doesn't tell Kurt that.) He reaches into his pocket and finds the correct packet.

Kurt's pupils go from slits to circles. It's so fast that Blaine actually pauses, letting out a breath that he hadn't even realized he'd taken in. Kurt frowns, closing his lips tightly around the fangs that Blaine knows are probably beginning to lengthen at the sight of the blood, synthetic though it may be.

He smiles reassuringly, passing the blood packet over. "This is pretty self-explanatory. Synthetic, so you're not taking an actual donation away from us. And it's a full ration." He catches Kurt's wandering eyes again. "But please—if you can. Come back. Let us help you, okay? You can come here once a day to eat, and I promise you that the real stuff tastes much better." He's trying for a smile with that last bit.

Kurt's cheeks darken. "I—"

"Not that I'd know, I mean, I've—heard," Blaine adds, feeling his own face grow warm in response to Kurt staring at him as if he's never seen a human before.

"Thank you, again," Kurt says, clutching the blood packet. "May I do this alone?"

Most vampires would just rip into it without a moment's hesitation, starved or not; how odd, Blaine thinks. "Of course. You can leave when you're done. The doors will lock behind you."

When he's back on the employee side, he allows himself to lean against a wall and close his eyes. He's shaking and flustered and he isn't even sure why, really. Something about Kurt, about their exchange, had just rattled him. He forces it out of his mind. Most likely he'll never see Kurt again, and there are thousands of vampires out there to worry about.

*

It tastes like crayons. In the state that Kurt is currently in, dirty and tired and alone and starving, the thought actually makes him laugh until he cries.

Crayons.

He sucks the plastic packet dry and then, when he's on the verge of managing to throw it away, he rips it open and licks it clean. It's not a happy moment for him, but then again he can't remember the last happy moment he'd had, so that isn't saying much.

And his mind supplies, that isn't entirely true. That doctor had been nice. His chest aches.

He wanders, which is what he has been doing for the last five days. Five days in this city and no where to go. Surprise, surprise, homeless shelters and everything like them are all "vampires not allowed" because the city doesn't have the money to put security measures in place to protect humans from their strength yet.

The synthetic blood may not have tasted very good, but it certainly improves the way that he feels, at least physically. His muscles stop aching for the first time in days. He can see without blurry spots and walk without stopping every few minutes. His back straightens. It's—not enough, and he can already feel the hunger closing back in, but it's better than he's felt since he left Lima and all it had cost him was his pride and first name. He's been in darker places.

David's panicked, angry face flashes in front of his eyes and he stops, gasping, clutching his coat to his body for lack of anything else to hold. He stops in the doorway of a shop to catch his breath. There's a vampire logo on the door—which isn't odd, really, they're everywhere now, both in graffiti and to indicate blood centers and vampire-friendly businesses and also on the news when some vampire legislation is being discussed, but this one is different. It's got a drop of stylized blood coming from the right fang, not the left, and the color of the blood droplet is darker, closer to the real color of oxidized blood than the fire engine red of the official logo. He wonders what the significance of that is.

The sign above it reads "Mi Corazón Sangrante". The words waver in front of his eyes. Now that he's sitting, standing back up seems impossible. He curls up in the doorway, wraps his arms around his knees, and falls shakily into sleep.

*

"He's about as appealing as fat free cheese," are the next words that he hears.

There's a woman standing in the doorway staring down at him. All he can see of her is a pair of dangerously tall heels and brown ankles.

"I don't know," says her companion, who is standing next to her. "He's kind of pretty under all that emo and street grime." Her voice is husky, like a smoker's.

Kurt tenses, his defenses falling neatly into place. "Commentary is not necessary. I'm going."

"Wait," calls the woman who'd compared him to cheese, stepping out onto the sidewalk. She's stunning. Dark hair, brown skin, flashing eyes. She's wearing a slinky red dress that hugs her body from bosom to knee. "You over eighteen?"

"What—what does that have to do with anything?"

"Over eighteen?" she repeats, talking slowly, as if he were a child. "New to the city? Only been a vamp a few years at most? Lost, alone, friendless? About to cry me a river? Dios mio, I am this close to falling asleep; you are that boring."

The other woman steps up beside her, smiling. "What she means to ask is, do you need a place to crash?"

"Yes," he admits, but he shakes his head even as he says it. "You don't know me. I don't know you."

"My girl here has a soft heart," the dark-haired woman says. "And, let's be real; you're obviously out of other options."

She's right. He's desperate. These things don't make this any better of an idea, but beggars can't be choosers.

He follows them inside.

*

"You're thinking about him, aren't you?" Cooper asks, spinning his tennis racket.

"I can't help it," Blaine replies, shielding his eyes from the sun with his water bottle. "It's the ones who I only see once that drive me crazy. Did they make it? Did they leave the city? Are they in the system, are they dead, are they just—forgotten? What if they had family?"

"I'd help you if I could, little brother, but it's not like we're a hive mind or anything," Cooper replies.

Blaine smiles. "I know. I didn't—I don't talk about him with you because I think that you hold the answers. Tina is just tired of hearing it and I don't want to discuss the details with too many people."

Cooper stands and Blaine follows. They take their places on the tennis court and begin lazily exchanging volleys.

Blaine tries to lose himself in the exertion, but it's difficult; his mind keeps floating back toward work, school, and his reasons for wanting to become what is slowly, jokingly beginning to be referred to as a "vampire doctor".

After another set or two, Cooper calls a halt. "I've got to get going," he says. "I'm meeting Jenn for lunch."

Blaine waggles his eyebrows.

"Oh, shut up," Cooper says, smirking, slinging an arm around his shoulders as they walk to the changing rooms. Once they're there, Cooper nudges him. "Hey. This isn't—I know that I've asked before, but I have to ask again. This isn't about Mom, is it? You latching onto these individual faces. I don't want you to get lost in a crusade. She wouldn't've wanted that for you."

Blaine frowns. "No. I just—really want to help people, that's all."

"Thank god one of us gives a crap," Cooper sighs, and Blaine laughs, hugging him around the waist.

The truth is that it really isn't about their mother, at least not entirely. Yes, Blaine had been as devastated as expected when they'd tried and failed to turn her into a vampire to save her from the cancer that had been eating her alive. Scientific understanding of vampirism had been so new then; they couldn't've known that the experiment would not only fail to save her but end up being the thing that killed her. Blaine keeps telling himself that she suffered less than she would have had the cancer taken its time to stop her organ functions slowly. Most days, the sentiment falls just short of making him feel any better.

Since then Blaine has been consumed with a desire to make a difference in the field, to provide the world at large with answers that might save people or, at the very least, help people to understand the vampires that they share the world with.

*

The kitchen at the back of the club smells permanently of garlic, which Kurt finds ironic in a nod to nostalgia sort of way.

His "sleeping the daylight away" had turned into two days of swimming choppily in and out of a slumber so deep that it had felt more like a coma than anything else. Quinn—the lighter-haired woman—had woken him up twice and fed him a packet of blood each time. Real blood. It had certainly done the trick, and on the third day Kurt wakes up and doesn't feel the urge to go immediately back to sleep.

Every night after that they gather in the kitchen—the two women speak Spanish interspersed oddly with English phrases, smoke, drink blood laced with anti-coagulant from shot glasses, and generally ignore him.

One evening after about a week of this repetitive ritual, curiosity gets the better of him and he asks, "What—what are your names?"

"Santana," the dark-haired woman answers, blowing out a stream of smoke across the small, greasy table. "This is Quinn." She grinds her cigarette stub into an ashtray and tosses her hair back over her shoulders, motioning to her companion. "And you are?"

"Kurt."

Quinn licks blood from the corner of her mouth and exchanges a look with Santana before leaning closer to Kurt. "Well, then. Aren't we all just chummy pals."

"I can't pay you for anything," Kurt says awkwardly into the silence. "I mean, the blood, the room, I—I spent all of my money getting here."

"Let me guess," Santana says, looking supremely unimpressed, "you can't tell us where you came from or why you ran you away, because bad things will happen if you do."

He frowns. "I appreciate you taking me in and feeding me, but if you're just going to be rude in response to every damned thing I say, I can leave." He doesn't intend to start out his new life as he carried on in his old one—by allowing himself to be bullied.

She smiles, slow and sweet. "Kitty has claws. Me gusta." She lights another cigarette. "Let me break it down for you, gato blanco. The sign on the door, the reverse blood drop, means that this is an establishment where human folk come to get their suck on, safe and sound. They pay a handsome price for the service. Sometimes money, sometimes money and blood donations. It's all legal, and it's all consensual. It keeps us clothed and fed and everybody wins." She puffs, coughs, then goes on, "I gots plenty of house rules, but I'm not going to waste my breath spitting them unless you're interested in joining our little gang."

He stares at her as if she'd just offered him a position plucking chickens.

She interprets this as haggling or ignorance, apparently, because she rolls her eyes in response to the look on his face. "Look. I need a twink up in this joint. I'm bleeding—pardon the pun—gay dudes left right and center because I'm not selling what they're looking to buy. It's just a nibble but when they pay for a nibble they want to cuddle up to a hot young male thing, comprende?"

"H-how do you know I'm—"

"Come the fuck on, kid," she sighs.

Okay. So he's never been what you'd call subtle.

"What would I have to do?" he asks.

"Drink their blood. We'll teach you exactly how it's done. In and out in fifteen minutes; they get happy, you get fed, and they leave cash. Some of our regulars donate, like I said, and the blood goes to the house or the blood centers if we get a surplus. We've got security guards. We've got a licensed phlebotomist—her name is Mercedes—on the premises during business hours. We donate to fucking charity so that maybe one day we'll all be able to sit in a circle holding hands and sing Kumbaya or some hippie shit like that. I let Quinn handle the social justice crusade portion of our little operation, can you tell?" She smiles a little viciously. "We own the building, so there's also a room for you, just to sleep—you'd have to share a bathroom and this kitchen."

Kurt is a bit overwhelmed by all of this information. That some humans enjoy the rush of being bitten and losing blood isn't a secret; it's a rather overdone trope in books and on television, actually. He'd just had no idea that they'd be willing to pay for it, that it could be so organized and clinical. Then again, he's probably just hesitating because he'd never even fed off of a human until David.

Flash of red and white and David's screaming, again, and blood, so much blood, red and sticky and smelling off because it had just been too much for too long, swallowing and swallowing and swallowing and feeling like a lit torch glowing in unforgivingly thick darkness, wondering if this is what it is supposed to feel like, so much power.

He blinks, jolting hard in his seat. He swallows heavily. "I—I'd have to be trained quite a bit. I've only ever fed on a human once and it was—a mistake."

"He screams suburbia," Santana says to Quinn out of the corner of her mouth.

"So do half of the babies that come through here," Quinn replies, shrugging at them both. "Look, we're not just going to throw you into a locked room with a human and a napkin and a straw and bid you bon appetit. You'll sit in with another vamp until we're sure that you can pull it off solo. For now, you can greet the customers up front and help Mercedes with the donations. Legit business is a lot of work." She sighs, obviously longing for the days when she'd been able to enjoy illicit business.

"And Mama needs a little vacay," Santana adds, finishing off her drink.

Parts of the offer freak him out—others seem too good to be true. But what it really comes down to is that he has nowhere else to go, and they all know it.

"I'd need fake papers," he says. "Fake everything. I can't use my old surname."

"Oh, baby," Santana croons. "That ain't no thang."

"Welcome to My Bleeding Heart," Quinn says, grinning and shaking his hand.

*

"I think you made it up," Tina says, swinging their linked arms together as they walk to their cars that evening. "You just don't want to share a shift with him."

Blaine laughs and cringes all at once, reaching for his car keys. "As much as I find myself incapable of denying the sentiment, I really do have a seminar to attend. It's not mandatory but it's the first applied pharmacological conference in my field and I've been looking forward to it for weeks, I'll have you know."

"It should be interesting. Manning is going to be there. She's had some success in the early trials for—" She stops mid-sentence, staring at their cars parked side by side. "Blaine."

He looks—and there between the cars stands Kurt, the vampire who had stumbled so blearily into the center several weeks ago. Blaine wouldn't recognize him if it weren't for the shape and slope of his body which, he has to admit, had been memorable.

"Kurt?"

"Hello," Kurt replies, his voice steady and friendly.

He's okay. Blaine feels something unravel inside his chest, a tension that he hadn't even been aware of still carrying. A blush crawls up the back of his neck when he realizes that he's staring.

"You're looking much better," he says. "Um. I mean, you—seem well, I'm—so glad."

Tina is still tense beside him, but there isn't anything to worry about, in Blaine's opinion; he only considers vamps to be a threat when they're hungry. Otherwise, he likes to view them just as he would any other stranger: cautiously, but not fearfully.

Kurt is wearing black trousers and a purple dress shirt, looking warm and comfortable in the temperate evening air. His hair is styled high in a carefully arranged sweep, and his skin is glowing white and healthy. He's smiling, just a little, the corner of one side of his mouth turned up.

Blaine exhales. "Um." He lowers his voice. "Tina, could you...?"

"Are you sure about this?" she whispers.

"He's fine. I'm fine."

She nods, giving a little parting wave to them both. "Call me, okay?"

"Sure," Blaine answers, eyes still on Kurt.

When they're blessedly, completely alone, he finds that he hasn't a smart word to say. His chest feels as if it's been wrapped up in steel bands and his throat is closed up. He's not even sure why he's reacting to this guy so extremely; there's just something about Kurt that makes him want to either act out passionately or else run and hide. Maybe one and then the other, because he's surely about to make an ass out of himself right now.

Kurt smiles, holding his hands up. "Unarmed. I'll take off my shirt if necessary, but if you are going to ask me to do that I'll have to insist that we take this indoors."

Blaine laughs at the joke. "No. I don't think that will be necessary."

Kurt takes a few steps towards him. "I wanted to thank you again for what you did for me. I mean, I'm not living the high life yet, but you kept me moving, and I've made some friends. Things are looking up and that's all down to you, so. Thank you."

Blaine's chest fills with the satisfaction of a job well done, but also with a more personal interest that he can't justify. It's just that he doesn't seem able to stop looking Kurt up and down, as politely as he can manage, memorizing the shape of his face and neck and shoulders, the way that his pants hug his thighs, the high pointy ends of his ears and—

"You're welcome," he replies, still smiling. "I just did what I thought was the right thing to do."

"Are you, uh, a doctor, then?" Kurt asks.

"I'm in school learning to be one, yes," he replies. "I'm studying to be sort of a—" He wants to use the technical term but is afraid that it will make him sound pretentious. "Sort of a vampire doctor, I suppose you could say? I, um, it's a lot to do with drugs, to be honest." He laughs, feeling stupid all of the sudden. "But I really prefer to work with people one on one. I—I haven't decided exactly where I want to focus my efforts yet."

"Wow. That's—I've never heard of that before."

"It's new," Blaine explains. "I mean, everything to do with vampires is new. But especially this. We've only just started to scratch the surface of the science behind it all."

"That's really amazing, I mean—I got the impression that anything you were involved in would be." Kurt swallows, takes a few more steps to close the distance between them. "I'm working on my ID so that I can register and—do everything correctly." He smiles lopsidedly.

Blaine can feel the warmth of him, so close. "That's great. You said you made some friends. Did you, um, find a job, or...?"

"You could say that," Kurt answers, cheeks pink.

Blaine allows himself to really look at Kurt, as he would any patient. He's obviously been getting a steady supply of blood, and Blaine isn't going to question that—there are plenty of willing donors to be had, especially for young vampires whose powers aren't so developed that they scare people off. With a blush he adds silently, especially for the attractive ones.

"Can I—can I ask you a personal question? It's kind of a medical curiosity."

Kurt licks his lips. "That depends. But go on."

"How old were you when you were turned and—how much time has passed since?"

"I was sixteen," Kurt answers, not seeing the harm in sharing that. "It's been three years. I'm nineteen—you know, technically."

"That's—I'm really interested in the aging question." Blaine stares, enthralled, at Kurt up close, so pale, so sharp, so young. "I mean, we've already proven that you do age—it's just so slow that it's almost unnoticeable. But the degree to which it slows differs from vampire to vampire and even then it's effected by any number of conditions." And he's doing it again. He slams his mouth shut, feeling heat pound in his cheeks. "I'm kind of a nerd," he explains, breathlessly.

Kurt giggles. "I think it's adorable."

God, the way that his eyes light up when he smiles like that, dimples deepening, crooked teeth showing, crow's feet crinkling. Blaine can't breathe, it's so—

"Do you always work this shift?" Kurt asks, then rushes to add, "I only ask because I'd like you to do my registration. I—it's going to be under a different name. I realize that that's cheating, but—"

"As long as you're only going to register here and let me handle your rationing, I'm willing to let it slide," Blaine replies. He shouldn't. It's terribly unprofessional. But he can't take it back now. "If you have the paperwork to back it up, I'll work with you."

Kurt smiles, straightening as he reaches out a hand. "I'll come by when I have everything. Thank you."

Blaine meets him in the middle. He lightly shakes Kurt's hand, shivering at the way it feels in his, warm and strong. Theoretically he knows just how much power is lurking behind that grip—it's just that he's never had cause to make the observation personal before. With Kurt, he can't seem to stop making it personal.

"I'll see you then," he whispers, eyes locked with Kurt's, cheeks flaming red.

"Um, yes. That's—good night," Kurt says, looking just as flustered.

*

"A lot of it is instinct," Quinn says, without looking up from her laptop. Her fingers are flying at a supernatural pace, so fast that Kurt is amazed that the keys haven't started to fly off.

He's going to observe his first customer visit today, and he's nervous as hell. He's spent the last few weeks escorting people all over the building, helping with paperwork, and getting lessons in anatomy and blood drawing from Mercedes, but there's really nothing to prepare you for this kind of thing, as Santana so often likes to remind him.

"I mean, when you're feeding, it's good to know the technical yada yada, don't get me wrong—it's good to eliminate as much trial and error as possible ahead of time. But when you're doing it—when you're doing it, Kurt, it's just right. It's what we're built for. Who the hell knows how or why but, honestly, the strength and the youth and the vitality and the speed are all kickass, yes, but the only time that I feel truly myself is when I'm feeding off of a human."

Kurt squirms, propping his toes up on the little stool in front of him. He's been giving himself a pedicure while they've been talking. It's the last step in cleaning himself up, if you don't count putting on the outfit that Santana had asked him to wear.

"I just don't like the idea of being a—predator?" He sighs. "But I guess it doesn't have to be that way."

"It's not always like that," she says. "Like any intimacy, it can be—perfunctory, sexless. Like a doctor's visit. Or it can be just for pleasure, like sex without attachment. Or it can be everything all at once, like with a lover. It's—it can be a lot of things. It depends on your intentions. And your partner."

"And when it's not consensual?"

She frowns. "Then it's rape." She stares at him over the top of her laptop. "And it can kill so easily. They'll fight you, of course, but the killing part is quiet because you just overwhelm them. They go out like little candles, snuffed—" She pinches her fingers together. "A little hiss and a sag and they're just meat." She wets her lips. "Santana once told me that you never really understand your nature until that happens, until you prove to yourself how lethal you can be, and how easy it is to lose control. I don't know if that's true, but—we all come to understand ourselves in time, I think. Just be smart. That's all you can do. It's not that much different than the way that humans figure themselves out."

"But ever since turning I don't feel things the way that I did before," Kurt says, taking in everything she's saying but unable to put this specific thought aside. "It's almost like, as time goes by these little gaps start forming. I used to be unable to imagine feeding off of a human, and then suddenly I just—could. I used to be sickened by violence, and then suddenly I started to have dreams of nothing but—and sometimes, sometimes when I think of taking life I—there's just no reaction. Or, there is one, but it's only because I force it." Even now, the trauma of killing David has receded to mere panic. He wonders if in a year he'll even be effected by it at all.

"There's a lot of talk about that," Quinn replies. "About how we can and do disconnect because in a more medieval world we'd be hunting them, wouldn't we? But that's not this world. I think—we have to find a balance. I think being happy is more important than understanding every little thing the moment that we want to."

Kurt wonders if that's why she is so obviously crazy about Santana, who is the very embodiment of pleasure before business—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that she's very good at turning pleasure into business.

He smiles, tilts his head at Quinn and then wiggles his toes, which are now painted with a clear nail polish and looking fabulous, if he does say so himself. "I like your mind, Fabray," he says, and winks at her when she laughs. "Alright. I'm going to put my evening gown on."

She smiles at him. "Go get 'em, tiger."

*

Blaine smiles at Kurt through the glass and takes the items that Kurt has brought as proof of identification from the drawer.

"How was your seminar?" Kurt asks.

He laughs, self-consciously and then just happily, shuffling the papers. "I think you're the only person who's asked." He swallows, looking sideways and then directly at Kurt, his mouth a happy purse. "It was excellent. Just, landmark, I mean, the first of its kind and—there were so many amazing minds there, so much back and forth. It was kind of a mess at times but it was thrilling. I think—I'm just feeling really good about the future, I guess."

Kurt's face is soft with secondhand happiness. "That sounds amazing. To have that kind of passion must be—I'm jealous." He puts his chin in his hands.

"Are you not planning on pursuing anything at the moment, or...?" Blaine blushes. It's a fairly personal question.

"I was a singer and a performer in high school before I was turned," Kurt answers.

It's not really an answer. Blaine senses a long, painful story there and, though he's curious, he also has no desire to overstep any farther than he already has. He wishes that he could put a hand on Kurt's to comfort him, but the glass prevents it. Kurt stares back at him, eyes soft with gratitude for his respectful silence, and the feeling doubles and triples and his heart thuds painfully in his chest.

"Let me, um, make some copies, get you into the computer, so that I can print up your card," he babbles, and rushes into the back office.

"You okay?" Tina asks, when they pass each other.

"Yeah. Stressful night," he answers, evading her just a little bit.

Before long he's got a little glossy card with a fake name and Kurt's picture on it in his hot hands, and he delivers it to Kurt with a smile. "Do you know roughly what time you'll make a habit of coming in?"

"How is midnight for you?" Kurt asks, almost cheekily.

He laughs, high-pitched and sudden and so very, very smitten. "Oh. That's—perfect."

*

Now that Kurt has an identification card, there is no reason to see him in the examination room. Blaine passes over the blood as he would to any vampire, though he keeps fidgeting, smoothing down his scrub top and adjusting the back of his hair nervously.

They've danced around each other for weeks now. Midnight on the dot, small talk through the glass, Tina smirking knowingly as she handles the other exchange window.

Kurt smiles at him as if he hangs the moon. He knows that it's silly—they're obviously interested in one another, but Blaine just isn't sure about how it might pan out. He knows nothing about Kurt aside from a variety of details that speak to no larger picture. He knows that Kurt must be in some kind of trouble or else he wouldn't've shown up at the center the way he had.

This is something that always seems to happen to Blaine—attraction coming before understanding, and the disappointment that occurs when he realizes that most of what drew him to someone had nothing to do with reality and everything to do with wishful thinking. Blaine is a hopeless romantic. He's fallen in love several times, far too quickly, only to be completely disillusioned once he's actually got to know the object of his affections. The problem is, he believes too easily that people are as perfect as he knows they can or should be, and no matter how many times he's proven wrong he still keeps falling.

Ten to one Kurt will turn out to be just another failed attempt, but knowing that has never stopped Blaine from giving people a chance before.

They're a few minutes into a conversation about Columbus nightlife when Tina pokes him in the side as she walks past. She gives him a look that clearly says you are at work, you realize and he straightens up, clearing his throat.

"Look, um, we could continue this conversation when I get off, if you'd like," he says, trying not to sound too eager.

Almost at the same time, Kurt asks, "May I take you to breakfast later?"

They look at each other and laugh, eyes skidding sideways and cheeks flushing pink. Blaine steadies himself. "I'd like that." He'll have to sacrifice a little sleep, but he's more than willing to do so.

"I'll meet you in the parking lot?"

"Sure, that's—that would be perfect."

"Oh my god," Tina whines when they're alone again.

Blaine's heart is racing and he knows that he's grinning like an idiot. He punches the air and does a little spin and then freezes, grabbing Tina's shoulders. "He asked me out."

"I hope you know what you're doing," she says, smirking. "But I can't blame you. He's gorgeous."

*

"I had a feeling you were going to be a pancake man," Kurt says, crossing his legs.

Blaine is cutting his blueberry pancakes into pieces and carefully eating them small bite by small bite. "I, um, it's really weird to be eating with someone who isn't." He smiles, sipping his orange juice. "One day the synthetic blood will be so much more beneficial, and they'll serve it everywhere. It'll be so different then."

"Do you not have any vampire friends or family?" Kurt asks.

"My brother is," Blaine answers. "Other than that, not really. This isn't really the best impression to make, I guess, but I don't really have many friends outside of school and work. My hours make a social life impossible for my human friends, and—I don't have many vampire ones."

Kurt's face is so pale staring at him over the table. "Business over pleasure?"

"Not really," Blaine replies. "I'm just a hermit. I'm the kind of guy who likes textbooks, so—you can take that however you like."

Kurt laughs. "Have you always been interested in medicine?"

"God, no," he answers, wiping his fingers on a napkin. "I was—a performer, just like you. I even went to college to study the dramatic arts."

"Why the change of heart?"

Blaine's throat closes up. He wets his lips and lowers his voice. "My mom got really sick." He forces a smile. "It's a long, depressing story."

"My parents died when I was eight. Car crash." Kurt's face closes off for just a second, a flash of discomfort so keen that Blaine wants to reach across the table and touch him. "My aunt and uncle raised me—and they made it very clear that they had no desire to take on the job. I also have long, depressing stories to tell." His eyes are a little glassy. He looks away, shredding a strip of straw paper between his fingers.

"So, there are tragic elements to our dramas," Blaine says, smiling. "This is okay, right?"

Kurt's face is guarded, but he nods. "I'm fine with it if you are."

"There's, um," Blaine begins, trying to think how to phrase it. He's been working up to this since they sat down, and now the segue seems so heavy-handed. "The Columbus opera is putting on The Magic Flute. It's one of my favorites. I haven't—I wanted to ask you if you would like to accompany me this Saturday?"

Kurt's cheeks go pink. He bites his lip in for a moment, then releases it. "I'd love to."

*

What are they going to talk about if Kurt can't talk about himself?

This is the thought that keeps running through his head as he counts off the days until the weekend. It's the thought that absorbs him even as he takes customers, one after the other, men of every age, size, race, and creed. He's waiting for one of them to present a challenge or do something to take him out of his own head. He could use the distraction. It isn't until he actually ends up with a good looking guy close to his own age that he finds what he's been looking for. The customer is short and dark-haired and has a nice smile and okay—he sort of reminds Kurt of Blaine, if he's being honest.

He sits on the couch in the visiting room and Kurt sits next to him and goes through the standard procedure of disinfecting the spot that he wants bitten. They've already done all the talking they have to do in regards to the rules, and the testing that needed to be done to make sure that he's clean had been done downstairs.

"Could I put my arm around you?" he asks politely.

Kurt wants to hesitate but doesn't. "Sure." Warm, soft touch at his lower back, hooking around the other side of his hip. He shivers. He's never been touched like that before. It's not uncomfortable, but it is new. He swallows heavily, hiding his face in the boy's shoulder, letting his breath come faster.

The customer begins to whimper and Kurt—Kurt grows excited. It's like a switch is flipped; one moment he's trapped inside of his own head and the next he's fighting a racing pulse and mouthing wetly across the boy's shoulder. The almost innocent way that his shirt is tugged down around his upper arm drives Kurt insane.

"Oh," the boy moans, and that—

Kurt makes a noise and kisses his neck. He draws on the skin and stares closely, finding the vein, finding the safe spot, god, he has to do this correctly but it's so hard to think when he can hear the boy's heartbeat and feel the heat coming off of his skin and the thrill coursing through him. This guy is anticipating him, is aching for him. He can smell everything—the sweat and the arousal and just a little bit of fear, and his fingers are twitching and his throat is clamping up and he needs this boy, he needs his blood and his pleasure, and he needs it now. His fangs drop from his upper gum line and he feels them touch his lower lip.

"Please," the boy moans, and that's it, he can't wait.

He holds the boy's face still with one strong hand and bites down—he stiffens, and god there is just something so sexy about that first stab of overwhelming pain that makes them go rigid—and it's clean. Kurt's teeth are as sharp as surgical tools, and all it takes is one smooth insertion to break the skin and the vein and he immediately withdraws them. Doing that allows the blood to gush and gush it does, filling his mouth in jerky, slow spurts. He drinks without wasting any, not allowing so much as a drop to escape.

It's like free-floating in electricity-charged water. Weightless, ecstatic, alive. In so many ways it's thoughtless; he just swallows, and it's everything without him needing to do a single thing to encourage it, life and warmth and taste and body and completion. Quinn had been right. This is what they're made to do.

He can feel the boy twitching and sobbing against his fingertips, against his side. The boy's hand is closed tightly around the back of his shirt and Kurt gently strokes his face, his neck, his shoulder to calm him as he writhes where he sits, enjoyment in every tense line of his body.

Kurt pulls away when he begins to go limp, tonguing quickly around the edges of his mouth to keep the blood from dripping. The blood around the puncture marks is already congealing.

He is breathing heavily and his pupils are fully dilated and his heart is still racing. God, he—it feels so good. "Alright?" he asks, raspy and overwhelmed.

"Y-yes, thank you," the boy replies, still out of breath.

They're not encouraged to chat with the customers too much or linger afterward. It can be awkward and it's not part of the transaction and never has been. He takes care of the wound and leaves the boy with the usual—extra bandages and anti-septic, an iron supplement, a business card, a post-biting treatment guide, and a receipt.

Back in his room he lies on his bed and allows himself to float—drinking blood leaves him feeling a bit high, but it's never—it's never done this before and he's not quite sure how to feel. He stares down at the erection tenting his black dress slacks and groans. It's embarrassing and ridiculous. He tongues the coppery salt from the roof of his mouth and a tingle flickers across his body, and when he strokes a hand down over himself it's not the boy from the appointment who he's thinking about.

*

"I really think that Pamina stole the stage," Kurt insists, swerving them sideways around a couple walking a dog.

"I dunno, I thought the coloratura soprano had some great moments," Blaine counters.

"But they were just moments," Kurt replies, rolling his eyes fondly. "There is something to be said for a consistent performance."

They've been going back and forth about their favorite scenes from the opera for blocks now. It had been so amazing—the theater and the lighting and the costumes and the voices, the color and the sound and the choreography. The intermission and the overpriced drinks and Blaine's hand on his lower back and the way they'd held hands all through the second act.

It's only when the conversation slows that Kurt realizes where he's leading them, and the beauty of the evening fractures.

So innocent when Blaine had asked, "Do you live close? Can I walk you home?"

Blaine's car is in the shop and they'd met at the theater. Blaine hadn't asked if he'd driven himself; it's obvious that Kurt isn't stable enough financially to have a car yet. He'd agreed without thinking, and now he's leading Blaine right back to not only the place where he lives but the place where he works.

Will Blaine understand the significance of the mark on the door? If he does, will he ask if Kurt works there or just lives there? And will Kurt tell him the truth or not? There are already so many unspoken things between them; Kurt doesn't want to add to that pile with a flat-out lie and yet—he can't help it, he's a little embarrassed. He holds his breath when they stop in front of the building.

Blaine looks at the front door and then at Kurt. "Your place?"

Kurt bites his lip and nods. "I had a wonderful time. It's been so long since I've—okay, so this is like the second time I've actually got to see a real show in a real theater. It was magic. You—just, thank you for a lovely evening." But he can see that Blaine's eyes are lingering on the reverse vampire symbol, and he can't stop the words, "I work here. It's—not so bad."

"You didn't have to share that with me if you didn't want to," Blaine says, looking overcome by some intense emotion, but exactly which emotion Kurt can't tell. Dread wells up in his chest.

He frowns. "Do you—does it bother you?"

Please don't judge me. Please don't hate me.

Blaine slumps, released from whatever shock had frozen him in place. "Oh, god. Oh god no, Kurt. No. I just—worry. Sometimes these places aren't safe, aren't—clean, and—"

"They're really strict, actually, about all that," Kurt says, feeling the inches between them as if they were miles. He wants to reach out. He wants to be touched by Blaine so badly right now. "They're really nice people."

Blaine is staring at him, wide-eyed. "You don't need the blood from the center at all, then."

This brings Kurt up short. It isn't what he'd expected to hear next. He'd expected to have to defend himself, to have to break down the negative impressions of him already inevitably forming in Blaine's mind.

"No." He reaches out, gently grasps Blaine's hand in his. "I had other reasons for wanting to be there."

The tentative smile that spreads across Blaine's face at that confession breaks like a sunrise. He exhales all of the breath in his lungs and closes the distance between them, cupping Kurt's face in his free hand. He thumbs Kurt's cheekbone, breathes warm across Kurt's skin.

"God, Kurt," he sighs, bringing the pad of his thumb to Kurt's bottom lip.

"I have no idea what I'm doing," Kurt gasps out. "I've never done this."

"Never? Never dated, never...?" Blaine's confused eyes search his, nothing judgmental in them.

"Never. Never been—" Kurt stops talking, unable to continue. Blaine is so close.

"—kissed?" Blaine asks, breathless as he leans in and presses their lips together.

"Never," Kurt inhales sharply, bending to seal the kiss.

Blaine cradles Kurt's face between his hands. He leans up on his toes and tugs Kurt down into his mouth again, holding him close as the bright red light of the droplet of blood on the vampire's fang logo glows behind them.

*

Blaine spends half a Saturday cleaning his apartment the first time that he invites Kurt over.

It's a weird situation for him—normally he'd be bouncing off the walls, excited about preparing something fancy for them to eat but, in lieu of the call for that, he'd suggested instead that they marathon something cheesy and awful that he has on DVR. They've been doing the romantic but somewhat impersonal dating thing for a while now, and he kind of just wants to slow down and maybe get some more intimate conversation going.

At some point in between dusting a bookshelf and dancing to the radio a thought occurs to him. His blood type is Kurt's ideal nutritional match—would it be crazy to draw some for him before their date and then offer that in place of human food? Blaine has everything that he'd need to do it in the apartment, even the liquid used to prevent the blood from coagulating. He calls Cooper when he fails to decide the matter for himself.

"It's rare that any vamp would turn that down. But offering your own blood is kind of personal," Cooper says.

"I really, really like this guy," Blaine replies.

"You do? Good god, I had no idea. I am completely in the dark in regards to this topic. You haven't been talking about him nonstop for weeks so how would I ever know this? Blaine, why do you not communicate with me anymore? I am offended and I am hanging up on you."

He laughs. "Okay. I get it."

"No, really. I am going to hang up on you. But—I say go for it."

He juggles the idea all morning, but finally he has to make a decision; he'll need at least an hour or two to recover from losing enough blood to fill even a minute portion of a champagne flute (don't judge him; he's not going to toss one of those plastic packs at Kurt), even with the supplement he has on hand that he can take to help the recovery along. He rationalizes that it isn't the first time he's made a donation, and if he wusses out he can always just not offer it to Kurt.

By the time that Kurt arrives he's suitably dressed—designer jeans, cardigan, bow tie all in place—and recovered from the blood loss almost completely. There is perhaps a slight, sleepy sparkle in his eye, but it's nothing that Kurt would notice.

Kurt is wearing fitted black pants and a red dress shirt with a black tie. His hair is carefully swept up and he's glowing. Blaine intends to compliment him, but all of the sudden he has an armful of Kurt and the words die between their lips.

When they break apart with a damp smack, he sighs, "Hello."

Kurt grins. "Hi."

"Come in."

Blaine's apartment is in a nice neighborhood, but it isn't what one would call upscale. He's thankful that the money left to him by his mother had been more than enough to pay both his tuition and rent on something modest. But the sad truth is that he's not home much and when he is he's typically sleeping. He wishes he were home to enjoy it more, or to put more effort into the décor.

"Wow," Kurt says, laughing. "God, this is palatial compared to the space I have." He smiles, doing a little turn in the center of the living room. "Not that I'm complaining, of course."

"I am very lucky to have this place," Blaine admits. "When my mother passed she left me an inheritance. Otherwise I'd be shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the broke med students."

Kurt tilts his head. "Were you close?"

"In our own way," he replies, motioning for Kurt to join him on the couch. "She um, she had cancer of the bile duct—it's—well, it's fairly rare. Toward the end they offered to try turning her, to see if they could at least stop her kidneys and liver from shutting down, give the chemo more time to work, but. It was too much. This was before it became common knowledge that turning doesn't heal existing conditions." He sits, leaving space between them. "Well. I sure know how to open up a romantic evening, don't I?"

Kurt's eyebrows are drawn together in sympathy. He puts a hand on Blaine's knee. "God, no, Blaine. I want to know everything about you."

"What about you, you said your aunt and uncle raised you...?"

"If you can call it that," Kurt says, eyes going darker.

"Is that why you left right after graduation?"

"Um, yes. Exactly. I had to get away and I—I didn't want to go to the local community college, it would've just been high school part two, only worse. I ran out of options." He shrugs. "They would have wanted me out as soon as college became an option, anyway, so I just cut to the chase."

"I'm sorry you had such a miserable time," Blaine says softly, scooting closer.

"I'm having a pretty good summer, so we can postpone the pity party for now," Kurt answers, the muscles of his face relaxing again.

Blaine thinks about the wine glass he has waiting in the cooler beside the kitchen table. He clears his throat. "Um, obviously I—are you hungry?"

Kurt's eyes go very, very wide.

"I drew some blood earlier," Blaine says into the now incredibly awkward silence. "I'm the right type. You don't have to drink it, of course, I just wanted to offer you something."

"That's very thoughtful of you," Kurt says, still looking stunned. "I'd—yes, please."

Blaine starts up the recording on the television while Kurt drinks. He tries not to stare, but it's difficult—Kurt is tipping the dark red of Blaine's blood from the rim of the glass into his mouth with careful little draws. The inside of his lips are stained and he keeps licking out and fluttering his eyelids unconsciously and—Blaine's face burns. There's just something about that that makes his belly cinch tight with arousal. A part of him passing into Kurt, nourishing Kurt, it's just—more intimate than anything sexual that he could imagine them doing together.

He takes the glass away when Kurt is done, and tries not to be too obvious about noticing the way that the blood changes him. He's flushed and his pupils have dilated and he's breathing off-rhythm. He looks blissful. He looks—sexy. No—sexual. He always looks sexy to Blaine, but right now it's the difference between the thought of something and the action of doing it, written clearly across his features.

"May I go clean up?" Kurt asks.

"Second door to the left," he replies.

When Kurt returns they settle in front of the television, trading jabs and jokes about Blaine's selection. Blaine puts an arm around Kurt and Kurt scoots low to cuddle against his chest, tucking his head just under Blaine's chin. It's a lovely feeling, made even lovelier by the fact that it's not awkward at all. Being close to Kurt just feels right.

At a certain point he realizes that Kurt is watching him and not the television. Kurt's pupils are still a little wide and his lips parted slightly. Blaine can't resist sliding a hand up along the back of Kurt's head, feeling the bristle of hair running against the grain. He traces the skin below Kurt's hairline and applies just the slightest pressure to bring them closer together. The look on Kurt's face could only be described as relieved when their lips meet.

"It was yours? Really?" Kurt asks in between kisses, sliding up onto his knees.

"One hundred percent organic fresh-squeezed me," Blaine answers, trailing his lips across Kurt's jawline. Kurt tilts his head and Blaine takes that as an invitation to explore, pressing kisses from the hinge of his jaw to the softest part of his throat where he can feel Kurt's pulse hammering against his skin.

"You tasted good," Kurt says, laughing. "Is that weird to say?"

Blaine gently tongues the pulse beneath his lips. "You taste good, too." God, he could linger here forever; Kurt's throat, Kurt's shoulders, Kurt's collarbone, all so impossibly beautiful.

"Oh," Kurt whines.

He licks a stripe across Kurt's collarbone, pausing to drop a kiss between the ridges. "Please tell me if I'm making you uncomfortable," he whispers, sinking his fingers deeper into Kurt's hair.

"I don't think uncomfortable is how I'd describe it," Kurt breathes.

And there it is again, that subtle throb of contained strength as Kurt's arms go around him. He knows that Kurt could crush him if he lost control of himself. The sensation that results from that knowledge skirts the line between fear and excitement so neatly that it's almost too much of both.

He kisses up the other side of Kurt's throat and jaw, finding and tugging an earlobe between his teeth, then rubbing it back and forth with his tongue.

"God," Kurt moans.

They've been so careful. They've taken things so slowly, hands above the waist, never letting things get too heated—but this is the first time that they've been completely alone in private (brief trips up to Kurt's small bedroom at the blood club hardly count, what with the voices and music coming through the walls and Santana knocking on the door every ten minutes as if concerned for Kurt's virtue) and it's hard not to want more.

"You feel so good," Blaine whispers, biting at Kurt's shoulder. He kisses Kurt again, twisting his soft hair between his fingers—and flinches, all at once, pain flaring hot and sudden across his mouth. His lip is bleeding.

Kurt blinks and pulls away. "Oh, my god. Sorry. My—" His fangs are distended.

Blaine whimpers, before he even realizes where it's coming from. "It's okay. I'm fine, we'll—cool off?"

Kurt is staring at his bloody lip. It's no worse than a paper cut but it hurts and it's bleeding freely. Their eyes meet again and Blaine breathes out, slow and careful. He stares at the elongated canines, unable to stop himself; they're just longer, sharper versions of normal human canines and he knows it's silly to find them attractive, but there's just something about them—

Kurt drags a thumb across his lip, smearing the blood. He kisses Blaine's bottom lip, then sucks it in, careful to keep it ahead of his teeth. Blaine shudders, warmth rushing across his skin and arousal clamping persistently in other very awake and interested places. Kurt is licking the cut clean, soft breathy noises cresting low in his throat.

God, the way that feels—

"We don't have to cool off," Kurt says, nudging their noses together. "Unless I have sufficiently freaked you out."

Apparently not, Blaine thinks, a little surprised at his reaction. "Do—do that again?"

Kurt closes his lips and sucks, drawing until it hurts. Blaine lets it go on for several seconds after that, shaking with the way that the pain lashes down his body and seems to take over completely. He's beginning to get hard. The cut on his lip is throbbing in time with his heartbeat. His head is spinning. He stares at Kurt again, shaking, and wonders when Kurt's arms had come around him so tightly?

Kurt shivers and pulls away. Their foreheads touch. "I—need a second, if—if we're going to stop this before it goes any farther.”

"Me too," Blaine admits. They're both pretty far gone and it had happened so fast.

"The blood, it—makes me kind of uninhibited? I don't want to make an ass out of myself in front of you." He exhales heavily, smiling. "I guess I'm doing that already. I just have no idea what I'm doing, and I like you so much, Blaine, I—“

"No," Blaine replies, stroking his fingers down Kurt's back. Kurt's hard, slender, warm back. Kurt's fangs are still so very there; he can't stop looking at them. "You're worth taking the time for, Kurt. I don't want to rush any of our firsts. I like you, too. So much."

"Okay," Kurt breathes, blushing pink.

*

Santana comes to get Kurt for dinner, which she hasn't done in a while. When they sit down to their glasses she slides a cellphone across the table.

"This is for you, okay? I'm tired of having to shout to get your attention, it is both boring and a waste of my valuable time." She knocks back a swallow of blood. "Also I really enjoy the idea of having you at my literal beck and call, and fully intend to interrupt you and the hobbit's carnal relations whenever possible."

"Thanks," he replies, smirking. "Um, is there a limit on minutes or texts or whatever?"

"Don't worry your pretty little head," she replies, crossing her legs.

"I—could it be tracked?" He looks away as he asks this.

She slowly puts down her glass. The low light in the kitchen slants sideways across her profile, making her brown eyes go clear from a particular angle. Her hair tumbles over her shoulders as she leans closer to him. "I'm not stupid. And if anyone comes looking I have no fucking clue who you are, and you know where the back door is."

"It's not just about me anymore, I—"

"I know," she mumbles, waving a hand dismissively. "El doctor. Whatever you got, baby, you better work it—you wanna keep him close, huh?"

"He's amazing," Kurt sighs. "He really cares and he likes me and he's—so romantic and smart and hot."

"I'm eating. Please. Spare me."

He laughs. He plays with a napkin, watching shadows dance around the candles on the table. "To be honest, he's being a little too—gentlemanly. I'm not sure how to let him know that I want more when he's being so sweet about going slow."

"Dios mio," she sighs. "Don't play the blushing virgin. Tell him what you want. Take control of your fucking desires, okay? Be that shit. Trust me, it's the only way to live." She motions crudely. "Maybe he just needs the information worked in through that dome of hair gel."

He points at her. "Don't make fun. I think it's adorable."

They drink in silence for a while. She smokes a cigarette.

"I won't ask for details, mostly because I don't really care," she begins, her face a red and brown smudge through the halo of cigarette smoke around her. "But it was bad, wasn't it?" Her voice is even; no condescension, no mockery, no curiosity.

"Yes," he replies.

He's intentionally avoided the news since he arrived, both online and on the television, and only in the last few days has he even begun to consider reading the papers. He doesn't expect to see anything, but he hasn't been willing to chance it until now. Every day the act fades, grows softer and less real in his mind; the memories are still there, every smelly, violent second of them, but it's like viewing his own life through frosted glass at a distance. It just isn't what it had been at the time. It happened to him but it isn't happening to him anymore.

She nods, blowing smoke. "It's a good thing you've got yourself a sugar daddy then, isn't it?"

He rolls his eyes.

*

"When the first manuals came out, they were still warning us to arm ourselves with wooden crosses and silver," Blaine says, tossing his pencil and scrubbing two hands through his hair. "Some of the literature is still that outdated. How are we supposed to work with this garbage?"

He's sitting at Tina's kitchen table, swallowing mouthfuls of food in between violent jags of scribbling. They're working on one of Blaine's summer assignments together—she'd been educated for human medicine and only recently switched to vampire medicine so most of the experience she has is hands-on, which is often more helpful than the textbooks.

"And half of the rules that the center has in place are completely ridiculous," he goes on, pushes his reading glasses higher on his nose. "Don't even get me started on the healing properties nonsense that's going around the hospital forum this week. You know they're still doing start-up trials on that synthetic cancer drug? When Liz told me I almost crapped my pants. The foundation of the proposal has as many holes as it does words and you know they're going to exploit—"

"It'll be years before any of this makes sense in the larger scheme of things," Tina says wearily, tapping away on her laptop. "Don't be too critical. You never know what will come out of those trials."

"I know, I know. I just want—I want to understand it all now. I want to educate everyone now and it drives me crazy that they don't see the huge logical flaws in their proposals."

"You have to choose, Blaine. You can't go into research and treat them hands on, not full time."

He lets his head down on folded arms, sighing. "I know. I'm just exhausted. Between seminars, schoolwork, and the center I barely have any time for myself."

She smirks. "You forgot to mention someone."

He takes a pull off of his beer bottle and eats another dumpling. "I'm not kissing and telling."

"Oh, come on. Come on. Have you...?"

He scrunches up his face. "No. God, we've only been dating for a month."

She raises an eyebrow. "Sweet zombie Jesus, you're old-fashioned."

"Nothing wrong with that."

"No, there's not," she sighs. "But they do say that it's—amazing."

"What, sex? Yes, I have had it. Thanks, Tay-Tay."

She laughs. "No, sex with vamps. All that strength and stamina. You're going to tell me that you haven't thought about it?" She grins. "He could like, bench press you for hours, the implications alone are—"

He blushes, shifting food around on his plate, and cuts her off, "I have. Of course I have, I just—want it to be right."

"You're a good guy," she says, smiling at him, and then she winks. "You've also got way more self control than I do. I would've climbed that like a tree on the third date."

He laughs, side-eyeing her. "I'm watching you, Tina Cohen-Chang."

*

"Blaine!" Kurt shouts from about a block away. There's a blur, and then he is standing right in front of Blaine, grinning. It's something that he's never done before, that blazing speed trick, and Blaine laughs, surprised.

"Hey, you," he chirps, dragging Kurt close and kissing him. "I finally managed to get you out into the sunlight. Are you going to be okay?" he asks as they walk.

"It's sort of like—you know when you don't sleep well and you just kind of feel off for the rest of the day? Like that. It's not severe or anything. No worries." He kisses Blaine's cheek.

They do the rounds at the Bicentennial Park, spending the majority of their time in the flower gardens, and then they take a walk along the Promenade where they sit at the fountain. The breeze provides a welcome break from the afternoon heat. Blaine eats a quick snack at the cafe.

"I wish you could join me," he says, smiling.

Kurt bends to his ear and whispers, "I dunno, you look pretty appetizing."

He's kidding, but Blaine feels the innuendo all the way to his toes. He's not sure if Kurt is referring to a literal meal of his blood or a carnal nibble, but either way his body seems very interested. He tamps the feeling down—it's so hard to not think about Kurt that way now that they spend a good portion of their time together making out.

They walk across the Town Street Prow and look at the river for a while and then loop back around and out of the park.

"There are actually several other parks, one even bigger than this," Blaine says. "I'm just really partial to the fountains."

"Plenty of time to see it all," Kurt replies, threading their fingers together.

*

It's not a long ride to the German pub, despite the traffic.

"They have a summer ale here that they brew themselves," Blaine says, giddy as a boy as he slides into their booth at the back of the bar—it's relatively empty at this time of day, but has a pretty healthy lunch crowd gathering. "It's amazing." He orders one, and the meat platter that he orders to go with it arrives not long after.

Kurt spends twenty minutes watching, amused, as Blaine devours the platter and knocks back two of the ales. His little belly swells against the tight waistband of his jeans in a ridiculous fashion, and Kurt can't help but laugh.

"You are the cutest thing that I have ever seen," he sighs, chin in his hands.

"You're only saying that because I've gone a few hours without talking about pharmacology or the X-Men."

Kurt crosses his eyes playfully and smirks. "You have bratwurst on your sleeve."

"Oh, geez." Blaine pulls a Tide stick out of his messenger bag and goes at the stain.

"What don't you have in there?" Kurt asks. He's seen Blaine pull everything from a mini-sewing kit to a flashlight out of that bag.

"Kitchen sink," Blaine answers. "That's in the car."

Kurt giggles, then gives in and just stares some more, heart in his eyes. He's really no good at resisting Blaine's old-fashioned charm.

"We could hit up that art gallery," Blaine offers offhandedly as they pull back into traffic. "The showing is on for another hour or so. Or there's the movies. Or the revival theater."

They're holding hands over the center console and Kurt turns them so that his is on top. He inhales, the breathes out, "Could we maybe go back to your place?"

Please get what I'm saying, he thinks desperately. He doesn't want to come off as either ungrateful for the lovely day or too forward, but he's been ready for a while now and he doesn't want to lose his nerve.

Blaine stares at him through the rear view mirror, smiling. "Okay."

His heart pounds all the way up to Blaine's apartment and the click of the door closing behind them causes it to skip a beat. He's nervous and yet, at the same time, his skin is hot and his clothing feels tight and itchy against his skin and he just wants. He wants to put his hands on his gorgeous, compact, tight-bodied boyfriend so badly that he can feel the urge contort his fingers.

Blaine toes off his shoes and turns to look at Kurt over his shoulder, a spray of red high across his cheeks and his eyes very wide and very wet. He murmurs, husky but unsure, "Shower?"

Oh my god you can't just say that.

Kurt has no idea how much of a fool he looks standing there so aroused that it hurts, fingers curled into fists, chest heaving. "God, yes."

Blaine catches him around the waist in the hallway outside of the bathroom and Kurt reaches for him in return, hands on his shoulders and then around the back of his neck, pulling him up into kisses that start out soft and go hard within moments, tongue and teeth dancing around moans that die before they are born. It takes every bit of focus Kurt has to keep his fangs tucked away.

He pins Blaine against the wall just beside the bathroom door, forcing fingers through the cracks in his hair gel and turning his head up and back. His lips find the softness of Blaine's throat and then the hard ridge of his Adam's apple. He tugs Blaine's button-up from the waistband of his jeans and endures a full-body shiver when Blaine lets him undo the buttons one by one before shrugging out of the shirt. His undershirt follows and then they pause, Kurt's lips hovering over his, fingertips poised just above the button on his jeans.

"Want to see you," he breathes, "all of you. Is that okay?"

"Of course," Blaine answers, "god, yes, Kurt, anything you want, honey, anything—"

He tongues the corner of his mouth, undoing the button and zipper and peeling the material down. He holds his breath as he crouches; Blaine's body is smooth and hairless from waxing except for a very faint trail of hair that ends at the waistband of his briefs, which—leave nothing to the imagination. Kurt kisses his belly. He curls the briefs off, trying not to react visibly as Blaine's cock rises just a little—he's not fully hard yet. Kurt stands, shaking, and sighs into another kiss.

"Can we start the shower up before I—reciprocate?" Blaine's eyes take Kurt in from head to toe.

Kurt blushes. "Sure."

Inside the bathroom Blaine fiddles with the hot and cold settings then and finally, finally returns to Kurt's side, wetting his lips as he puts his hands on Kurt's hips. He kisses Kurt's neck and gently undoes the buttons on his shirt.

"You are stunning," he whispers, pushing the slightly sweaty cloth off of Kurt's shoulders. His fingers trace the exposed skin, savoring it with a touch, kissing along Kurt's chest as his hand finds the laces that are holding Kurt's pale yellow pants closed. He picks them loose one by one, and then flattens his hand over the bulge that's straining against them.

Kurt writhes forward, breath leaving his lungs in a rush. "Blaine."

"Will you let me take care of you?" he asks, stroking Kurt's erection through the laces. "Let me make you feel good?"

The urge to move, to do something is so overwhelming that Kurt has to clamp down on every muscle. Part of him just wants to grab Blaine and pin him against something and ravish him, but that's not—not what all of him wants. The part that matters today, the part that is really Kurt, young inexperienced Kurt, the Kurt that has only ever had violence done to his body, wants Blaine to gently pick him apart instead, layer by layer.

"Please," he moans. "Please touch me, please—"

Blaine works the skin-tight pants and underwear off of Kurt's legs and then draws him into the shower.

The water feels heavenly after a grimy, sweaty day outside in the heat. Blaine has it just barely above tepid, which is perfect. They soap up quickly and separately but can't stop staring at each other's bodies. Blaine is hard now and Kurt wants to touch him so badly, but he's also very glad to have this chance to peak—it's a pressure-free review that gives him the time he needs to calm down about both his nudity and their nudity.

But once they've rinsed off it's Blaine that guides his back against the cool tile, Blaine that holds him and kisses him and suckles his nipples to rosy, hard peaks before licking water from his stomach and sinking to his knees.

"Oh, god, oh—I—"

Blaine sucks a kiss into his hip, eyes on his. "May I...?"

"Please." His cock is embarrassingly vertical, straining tight and shiny at the head and Blaine kneels up higher and—licks at it, kisses it, then just wraps his lips around it and sinks all the way down in one swallow. "Oh my god."

The noise as he swallows and then rises, wet and sucking, is too much; Kurt can't control the snap of his hips, a wordless reply. Blaine finds a rhythm, his tongue and lips settling into sharing the task, and Kurt has to close his eyes and just focus on not coming instantly because that mouth. Those plump, rosy lips and that sweet, eager tongue and god, he is doomed, so doomed—if this is the first blowjob he's not sure he's going to survive the rest.

He's gasping and laughing, overwhelmed and vibrating as Blaine's slick dark head bobs and bobs and bobs. It feels so ridiculously good.

"I'm—going to—" His fingers settle on Blaine's hair.

Blaine pauses long enough to say in a husky voice, "I know," before wrapping his fist back around Kurt's cock and closing his mouth around the head hungrily.

"Oh, god," he growls, feeling strength surge in his hands and holding it back as he cups Blaine's head and pushes forward and comes so hard that it almost hurts.

Slick, noisy swallowing, and then Blaine pulls off, gasping in a breath and licking his friction-burned lips.

"Bed," Kurt moans, not caring that he sounds like a dying whale. "Bed, please."

They kiss and towel off the whole way, Blaine teasing him, "I had no idea that I'd make that much of a dent in your stamina."

"Not that," Kurt growls, grabbing Blaine around the waist and—actually just lifting him and depositing him on the bed in one smooth motion. "Just need more of you.”

Blaine stares, stunned, leaning back on his hands.

"Um," Kurt says, standing there with a towel around his waist, his long, pale body freckled with water droplets. The setting sun is coming in through the windows. "Was that not okay?"

Sometimes he forgets that he can just do that.

"That was very okay," Blaine rasps, eyes raking over Kurt's body. "Lose the towel?" he asks roughly.

Kurt swallows and drops it, blush-painted from his cheeks to his chest as Blaine stares at him, eyes roaming slowly, deliberately over his body.

"Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?" His cock is as hard as it was when they'd gone into the shower, arching back toward his belly button. As he stares at Kurt, the head grows wet and smears a streak just under his bellybutton. Kurt's mouth goes dry. "Do you have any idea how much you turn me on? God, Kurt."

After a beat of silence, Kurt kneels on the floor between Blaine's knees. He could respond, he could ask, he could talk about how he's never done this before, but none of that feels right and Blaine already knows all of that.

So he just reaches out and wraps his fist around Blaine's erection; it's shorter and thicker than his and has this odd taper—he adjusts his wrist and grip and begins slowly pumping it.

"Oh, oh god Kurt, baby, this is going to be over so fast if you keep doing that," Blaine moans.

"I can go slower."

"Nothing to do with that. It's just you—you on me, touching me, fantasized about this so many times, just your hand, your beautiful hands, making me feel so good."

Kurt blushes, feeling a rush of pleasure at the idea that being himself, being here and doing this is enough to make Blaine happy. It's not so scary when he knows without a doubt that he is enough, that what he wants is enough, that no matter what he does or doesn't do Blaine will be satisfied with him. The approval is—like a drug, almost, making his head spin. He's never felt such a thing from anyone or anything before.

He kisses along Blaine's inner thighs as his hand explores; it's really quite something, the bumps and ridges and the way the head tapers, and he allows his fingertips to find each shape, to trace and press into the slit just a little, then fall back and find the shaft. He kisses as high as Blaine's balls and gently licks across them, just testing the waters. They're smooth and crinkly and so delicate.

He is beginning to realize just how long it has been since he first realized that he was gay and began fantasizing about this, a man in his hand, under his mouth, the way a man would smell and sound and feel, so good, so right. And not just any man now but this man; it's as if they were carved to fit curve to curve, end to end.

Blaine is writhing on the bed, his cock sliding in and out of Kurt's fist. His smooth belly—slightly rounded at the stomach, a tiny little roll that jiggles when Blaine breathes and moves that for some reason drives Kurt crazy—heaving as he gasps and breathes and whines. He's up on his elbows, watching Kurt touch him in a pool of blurred orange sunset.

Kurt begins to pull faster. The give of Blaine's silky, hard cock is so perfect.

"Honey," Blaine whimpers. "I'm close."

"It's okay," Kurt replies breathlessly, "it's okay just—let go, I want you to—"

His whole body tenses and then his hips begin pumping, pistoning his cock in and out of Kurt's fist, and then there's—come everywhere, gushing lazily over Kurt's knuckles and then spurting hard and high over Blaine's chest and belly.

God, Kurt did that.

He licks across the back of his hand, shivering, body aching with arousal, unaware that he's being watched until Blaine groans at the sight.

"Salty," he murmurs.

Blaine is shaking, cock still pulsing on his stomach as it shrinks and softens. He shifts up onto the bed fully and holds out a hand. "Come here?"

Kurt crawls along the sheets, heedless of his cock which is on its way to full hardness again. Touching Blaine had just been so fucking hot; he can't say that he's surprised.

He straddles Blaine's waist and bends down to kiss him.

Blaine's hand finds him. "God, so soon—"

"Can't help it," Kurt whines, rutting down into the pressure.

"I am not complaining," Blaine replies. "Not sore?"

"No, I'm fine." He kisses Blaine's neck, Blaine's chest, Blaine's face. "I just want your hands on me. I just want you."

Blaine rolls them over so that Kurt is under him, folding their bodies close together. It's the first time that they've really relaxed all day; Blaine takes his time mapping Kurt's face and shoulders with his mouth before slowly shifting down.

"What do you want, honey?" He licks a stripe across Kurt's hip. "My mouth?"

"Please, yes." Kurt can't breathe, the image of Blaine down there between his legs is too much. The promise of having that wet, soft, swollen mouth around him again makes his cock twitch on his stomach. He cards his fingers through Blaine's hair. "Please, s-suck me again."

Saying that has the desired effect; Blaine groans and tongues Kurt's cock into his mouth and down, down, down he goes, making Kurt's eyes roll back. Kurt's fingers tighten in his hair as he settles into a rhythm.

It's completely different, doing it this way. Blaine is warm and a little damp from the shower and so relaxed sprawled between Kurt's thighs; Kurt lets the bed support his body fully, as well, and there's just something lazier about this second time. He isn't ready to explode after just a minute or two, and Blaine not only finds a pace that he hadn't managed to find before but also seems to just go loose, letting Kurt deep into his mouth and once or twice even into his throat.

His face is a mask of arousal and concentration, as if sucking Kurt is the beginning, middle, and end of his current universe. He's so focused, so clearly in love with this that Kurt can't even begin to cope with it.

And god, the noises. The wet, sucking noises that come from Blaine taking him so thoughtlessly, so easily. It's all that Kurt can hear above the pounding of his heart.

He spreads his legs wide and folds his knees a little, surprised when Blaine cups the backs of his thighs, then the swell of his backside, pulling him in deeper.

"Blaine," Kurt gasps. He feels Blaine's throat close around him again and again. "Oh god stop I can't—" But he doesn't, or he won't, and Kurt comes down Blaine's throat with a sob.

Blaine stays down there for a short while, licking until it's too much and Kurt has to beg him to stop. He crawls, grinning, up the bed and settles next to Kurt.

"Okay?"

"Dead," Kurt sighs, closing his eyes. His muscles are still twitching everywhere and he's forgotten what it feels like to breathe evenly. When he can actually imagine mobility again he rolls onto his side, curling his arms around Blaine and hugging him close. "That was—amazing."

"Which, the first or the second?" Blaine asks cheekily.

Kurt swats him, laughing. "Bad." He kisses him. "Everything. This whole day. You. Thank you for making it special."

"Thank you for being with me," Blaine says, tangling his fingers in Kurt's hair. "I don't think I've ever been this happy." His voice catches on happy and Kurt's throat closes up.

*

Blaine attends a medical conference in New York not long after. It's a three day commitment, one that he's been anticipating all summer. He's giving a presentation on the effects of the consumption of substance-laced human blood in vampires, focusing specifically on accelerants. It's a hot topic this year; a study had been published in early January that had made some very out there claims and the medical journals have been tossing it back and forth since. A lot of Blaine's research has focused on this, so he had been a natural to fill in one of the discussion slots.

He doesn't think that he and Kurt are quite ready for a weekend away together. It's too soon, and Kurt would be so bored; Blaine is going to be with colleagues when he isn't speaking or attending talks, and they'd never get to do anything together. So he doesn't ask, and when Kurt smiles and shrugs and kisses him goodbye, he figures that it's not the end of the world to have a few days apart. They've been in each other's pockets so deeply lately. He knows that it's getting serious for him but isn't quite sure about Kurt. There's a wall there that he hasn't been able to scale.

Alone in New York in his hotel room at night after he's said goodnight to Kurt over the phone, he takes the time to really think about them.

There's no need to say that Blaine has never met anyone like Kurt before; someone who fits him as if they were made for him. Someone who shares many of his passions but also has their own. Someone who appreciates the things about him that even he doesn't care for. Someone who he can imagine sharing his life with on a long term basis.

The most shocking thing about it all is how—not shocking it is. Being with Kurt is the most natural thing in the world. He can't remember life before Kurt. He doesn't want to. The bliss that he feels when he thinks of Kurt is like a warm blanket on a cold night. Just a day or two away from him has created a physical longing for him in Blaine, like a muscle that won't stop spasming.

On the last night of the conference he calls Tina to check in and touch base about work and the first thing he says once business is taken care of is, "I think I'm falling for Kurt."

"Oh, sweetie," she croons.

"It's never felt like this, I mean I thought I knew, I have tried so many time with so many guys and I just," Blaine breaks off, frustrated. "But now it's all—ugh. Being away from him has made me realize how much I've come to want him around."

"It's going really well, right? The feeling is totally mutual, I'm sure."

Blaine falls silent for a moment. "I think he feels strongly for me. But there's—there's something there. Something he's—hiding. I can tell. We've never discussed why he arrived in Columbus basically a homeless person with no friends and no plan. Something drove him here and I don't think the reason he gave me is the whole story."

"Here's a dumb suggestion." And by dumb she means smart. "Ask him."

"I don't want to scare him away."

"If it's bad enough for him to have lied to you about it, then you might not want to be with him, right? So ask now, before you get in any deeper."

She's right. But it's the last thing on his mind when he returns home.

He leaves Kurt a message with his estimated arrival time, hoping that Kurt will be available to come over for dinner if not to stay the night. He has tomorrow off and he fully intends to make use of tonight to remind Kurt of everything he'd been missing while they were apart.

The thought is all that keeps him going on his way home from the airport, but he certainly doesn't expect to find Kurt sitting outside of his apartment door when he finally arrives, bags weighing his weary arms down.

"Kurt?" He drops the luggage thoughtlessly, emotion surging up inside of his chest.

Kurt is dressed in a swath of bright colors and black boots. In the time that it takes Blaine to say Kurt's name he blurs supernaturally fast at Blaine—it's a weird sensation, being charged at that speed and swept up into Kurt's arms, circled, lifted up off the floor and then suddenly ground to a halt as Kurt's arms wrap around him.

"Blaine," Kurt breathes, as if it's the only word in his vocabulary. Blaine's legs are around his waist and he is holding Blaine up without a single ounce of effort.

"Did you get my—"

"Um, yes. But I was already here." Kurt's voice is rough. He lifts his head from Blaine's neck, breathing out harshly.

All thoughts of confronting Kurt about his past vanish as they kiss. The effort to hold back Kurt's strength is obvious in the trembling of his muscles. His kisses are so hard that they bruise, and Blaine can feel the bumps against his lip where his fangs are trying to press down.

A thrill courses through Blaine and he threads his fingers through Kurt's hair. It's so odd being held up this way without the other person tiring. He shudders, Kurt's tongue in his mouth. He tentatively traces the fang bumps along Kurt's gum line with the tip of his tongue.

Kurt growls, low and cat-like, and pulls back sharply. "Don't. That—god."

"Did I hurt you?"

"The opposite," Kurt breathes. His pupils are dilating, leaving just a sliver of color ringing a sea of black. "I'm okay, just—that does something to me, I can't even describe it."

"Let's get inside," Blaine says, dropping his legs—and only then does Kurt let him go. He hadn't realized how tight and close Kurt had been holding him until he's released and can feel the bruises already forming. He bites his lip, cheeks darkening.

Kurt crowds him back against the door the moment they're through, and the combined weight of their bodies slams it shut. Kurt hovers over him, fingers at the back of his skull and legs trapping his body between the door and himself. He kisses Blaine until neither of them can breathe properly, and Blaine finds the fangs again with his tongue.

"Blaine," Kurt whimpers.

He can't help but smile; he knows that he's being a tease. "Missed you so much."

He doesn't often focus on the things that make Kurt different than him, but there is just something about the way that Kurt loses control when he gets excited that makes Blaine's heart race. Something about a young man who looks as if a stiff wind could knock him over but in reality could probably pick him up and toss him around like a rag doll; is liking that weird? If so, Blaine is happy to be called weird.

"I missed you too," Kurt breathes, palming Blaine's jaw and kissing along his neck. "Thought about you the whole time." He shivers, laving his tongue over Blaine's collarbone and then back up to where his neck and shoulder meet. Blaine's skin tingles and then goes gradually numb—not to the point of completeness, just enough to tingle as if the surface has fallen asleep.

"Kurt—Kurt, that—"

"I know," Kurt whispers. "I can't help it." He swallows. "I mean, it only happens when I—when—sorry. Just, missed you."

"You—you can."

Heat pounds in Blaine's cheeks.

Kurt goes still, panting against his skin. "What?"

"You can, if you want," Blaine repeats. His body is aching all of the sudden, for something new, for something more, for something they haven't done yet. He can feel his cock slowly filling—it has been since they started kissing, but now it's fully awake and interested in more—against the front of his jeans. "You can."

"Have you ever—"

"No," Blaine answers. It's impossible to think clearly with Kurt holding him against the door, with Kurt's head bent over his neck like that. He's so hard that his jeans are starting to hurt; the angle at which he's risen against them is uncomfortable, but he can't move. "Please." The anticipation is like ants beneath his skin, crawling and crawling and crawling. "Please, Kurt."

Kurt kisses the half-numbed skin just inches off of Blaine's neck. His fangs are fully distended now and Blaine can feel them, a smooth pass of teeth as they drift across his skin. The need to feel the pain that he knows he'll be forced to take, to feel opened, to feel his blood run past Kurt's eager lips is sudden, gripping him like a vise. Kurt can and will drink from his body, Blaine can let him, this is a thing that they can do together.

"You can," he repeats, in a daze now. He's dizzy. "I want you to. Want to take care of you, please. Do it." His hands are shaking so hard that he can't even maintain a grip on Kurt's waist but it doesn't matter; Kurt is supporting him.

"God," Kurt breathes, shaking, his lips damp as they pass over Blaine's shoulder again and again. "Ever since you—that night with the wine glass I—god, I've dreamed of your blood so many times—"

"Please," Blaine hisses, arousal pounding through his body. "Do it. Do it."

Kurt's hands are—so hard when they hold him, now. One cups his head and the other finds the middle of his back and clamps down. It's different. It's Kurt knowing that when he bites down Blaine is going to thrash, at least a little, it's the prelude to sensations that Blaine won't be able to get away from. Kurt is going to hold him still and make him take it. Blaine whimpers, anticipation making his muscles tense up.

It doesn't hurt as much as it would without the numbing, but it still aches when Kurt bites down, a deep, penetrating pain that he can feel in his bones as the fangs sink into his flesh and dig in hard. They withdraw seconds later, Kurt sobbing and closing his lips around the wound. Blaine thrashes, twitching and whining and hurting.

Once the first wave passes he can't help rubbing against Kurt; the pain of the bite is like the throb of an extra pulse beneath his skin, and he's so hot and it feels good, like a hand on his cock only everywhere at once. He lets Kurt's thigh between his and rocks up into Kurt's long, hard leg. He's so hard and Kurt is like a wall against him, unmovable yet supportive. He loses himself in rubbing off on Kurt, and just before he can call out he feels himself tense; he comes in his pants with a choked off sob, riding the high as he soaks his underwear.

And then the blood loss starts to assert itself. He goes slowly limp, numbing cold and panicky heat flashing in alternating waves across his skin, a sensation that's only made worse by his post-orgasmic state. Kurt is still swallowing, small noises cresting in his throat as he drinks. Black spots swim behind Blaine's eyes and he starts to sink, Kurt the only thing holding him up now.

Kurt gasps and forces himself to stop; there's blood on his lips and chin and Blaine stares at the color, so vivid against his pale skin, eyelids fluttering.

He's so tired all of the sudden. This is his last thought before he passes out.

He wakes up an undetermined amount of time later, in bed. Kurt must have washed him because he's clean all over and wearing his favorite pajamas (a pair of sweatpants that he's had since high school and an OSU t-shirt worn so thoroughly that there are holes under the arms) in bed. He feels like he's been run over by a freight train but in a good, sexually satisfied muscle burn kind of way. Kurt is lying between his legs, cheek on his stomach.

"Hey," he breathes, concern and affection in his tone.

"Hey," Blaine answers.

"Take this," Kurt says, fumbling on the bed for a small handful of pills. Restoratives, iron, a vitamin—standard stuff, all of which Blaine recognizes, all of which they've discussed before. He knocks them back with a swallow of water and then lies down, boneless.

"Thanks." He smiles, eyes closed. Feeling Kurt warm against him has settled him in ways that nothing else could. And—there's something about the blood loss, too. He feels unstrung and content, and it had—felt good, which he hadn't expected.

But it's not just the physical. Feeding Kurt has left him with a sense of purpose and well-being that he had not considered before today. It's—like an extra bond that's only possible because he is a human and Kurt is a vampire. It's another thing to tie them together, to make them need each other just a little bit more.

"How are you feeling?" Kurt asks, propping his chin up on Blaine's belly. "I thought maybe I went too far."

"I'm okay." The restoratives are prescription strength and begin to work immediately. "I don't think the passing out will happen again. I was just—it was my first time."

Kurt's cheeks go pink. "I've never felt that level of—response before." He lowers his voice, which has gone rough again, and traces shapes across Blaine's chest with his fingers. "You came so fast." He turns a blushing cheek against Blaine's belly. "Your whole body was shaking."

Blaine inhales, feeling his pulse stutter. "It felt amazing for me, too." He exhales. "I feel so loose right now. Like after a massage or a hot shower."

"It's not just like losing blood," Kurt says. "Santana tried to explain it to me once. That it's—there are all sorts of effects that our saliva has on your bodies. I guess you already know all this, huh?"

"Mm," Blaine hums, carding his fingers through Kurt's hair. His brain is feeling just as lazy as the rest of him right now.

The hand that Kurt has resting on Blaine's thigh slides between them. His thumb rubs along the inner softness. It inches up slowly, and Blaine can't help but smile.

"Honey, I am definitely done, in that regard. At least for a while." His smile is slow and teasing. "But if you'd like to come up here..." He tilts his head, tongue passing over his bottom lip. "There's a part of you that I haven't reunited with yet." Kurt spreads out next to him but he shakes his head, brushing his lips across Kurt's ear and whispering, "Kneel over my chest?"

"Oh," Kurt breathes.

Blaine is so relaxed, he feels as if he could do anything right now. When Kurt settles with one knee on either side of his torso, he shifts lower. Kurt is down to pajamas as well—just how late is it?—and so all Blaine has to do is encourage him to take his tank top off and—

"God, look at you."

—then curl his shorts down off of his sharp hips. His beautiful cock bobs in the air, damp at the tip and flushed, curving upward. Blaine's mouth actually waters at the sight.

"Put your hands on the headboard." Kurt does, and Blaine slides his lips over his teeth and then wraps them around the head of Kurt's cock. He hums, an immediate hunger rising up in him for more of the salty flesh. When Kurt doesn't move, he pulls off and says, "Come on, you can. You can use my mouth, okay?"

"Oh, god, Blaine, I—"

And this time when Blaine puts his mouth back where it belongs, Kurt begins thrusting forward, short jabs that change Blaine's intended angle, poke Blaine's cheeks from the inside, and even find the roof of his mouth several times before they decide on a rhythm. He sucks greedily, loving every pass of Kurt's cock over his tongue, loving every tangy drop of pre-come that dissolves there.

Kurt over him, heavy and long, thighs flexing as he slowly gives into it, as he begins fucking Blaine's mouth, his balls tapping Blaine's chin with every thrust. Feels so good, his throat and jaw are so relaxed, and Kurt seems to get past his concern about pushing deeper when Blaine proves that he has no trouble taking it.

And then the wet, sucking noise that fills the air when Kurt finds his throat—Blaine whimpers, digging his fingers into Kurt's buttocks and holding him there. Eventually, Kurt pulls back and Blaine sucks in a breath.

"God," Kurt hisses. "So good at that, oh my god."

"Love you in my mouth," Blaine breathes, mouthing the glistening, swollen tip. "Love the way you taste." He arches his neck. "Come on. Want it, come on—don't stop." He wraps his fingers back around Kurt's buttocks and tugs.

Kurt uses one hand to guide himself back between Blaine's lips. He exhales, head falling back. "I'm close, god, I'm so close. W-wait."

Blaine squeezes his balls gently, then traces two fingers across the space between his cheeks. Kurt freezes. "Let me...?"

"What—"

"It'll feel so good."

"In—inside?"

"Not yet, just—spread a little for me?" Blaine presses two fingertips to the space just behind Kurt's balls and begins rubbing circles. "Relax, okay?"

"Oh," Kurt breathes. "oh, Blaine." He whimpers as Blaine strokes him there. "Blaine. Blaine, that—oh, god, I'm going to—" Blaine fists Kurt's cock and pushes against the spot, fast and firm. "Shit. Shit, shit, shit."

"Yeah," Blaine breathes, jacking him harder. "Yeah, feels good, I know, feels so good, huh?" He's so aroused watching Kurt fall apart that he thinks he might be ready for another go sooner than he'd anticipated. "When we—when I'm inside of you, sweetie, I'll be—touching you there, I'll make you feel so good, I promise—I'll fill you up so well."

Kurt gasps. "C-coming—"

He shoots long stripes of white all over Blaine's chin and mouth, shaking, flushed, bent over him as if his body can't handle the intensity. He twitches for a long time after he comes, eyes open and staring at Blaine's face.

"Oh god, sorry."

"Not a problem." Blaine licks at the corner of his mouth, grinning. "I am so glad that you were here to completely derail my romantic-night-in plans."

Kurt frowns, curling up against Blaine's side as he cleans himself off. "I didn't mean to."

"No, I—I meant that." He smiles, tipping their noses together and then their lips, breathing contentedly into a kiss. "I missed this as much as I missed you." He glances sideways sheepishly. "Okay, I missed you more than just this. But." He slides an arm around Kurt's waist. "I have off tomorrow, if you don't have plans. We could catch a movie or something. Interested?"

"I have a few appointments, but they're all late at night," Kurt replies, yawning as he tucks their limbs together and buries his face in Blaine's curls.

Blaine has a lot of material from the conference to sort, format, and distribute, but it can wait one day. He closes his eyes and lets the comforting warmth of Kurt's body lull him to sleep.

*

Kurt stares down at the plate of food on the counter and frowns. He—thinks that this is good, but it's been years since he's cooked or even really noticed regular food, and he can't taste it (human food both going down and inevitably, rapidly back up again isn't pleasant).

He wanders through the bedroom, mentally preparing the excuse that he's looking for his socks in order to justify watching Blaine sleep. He's beautiful when he's that deep under, looking years younger than he is, content and dreaming. Kurt smiles at him, feeling emotion flood his throat and chest.

God, he is—so head over heels, it's not even remotely funny.

He sits on the bed, pressing a kiss to the side of Blaine's head. "Blaine?"

"Mmph," comes the muttered response.

"Blaine," he repeats, grinning. "Bacon."

"Good morning," Blaine replies, grinning.

"Oh, I see how it is."

"It is bacon, this is true. The messenger isn't bad, either," he answers, rolling over and gathering Kurt into his arms. "I could get used to this."

"Your breakfast is getting cold," Kurt whispers, touching their noses together.

Blaine kisses him, voice sleep-rough and warm. "Can I be your breakfast instead?"

Kurt groans. "Eat. You need it; you're tired, you've lost blood, and your stomach is empty—hands!"

Blaine pulls away, smiling. "Okay, okay. I give up." He scrunches his face up. "For now."

Kurt watches Blaine eat the eggs and bacon and fruit and juice that he'd set out, a silly smile on his face. He watches television after that, half paying attention and half getting lost in thoughts of last night, while Blaine showers and catches up on a few work-related emails and voice mails. Blaine joins him on the couch when he's done, two arms eagerly reaching for him.

"I can go, if you need to work," he says, cuddling up to Blaine's chest.

"Nah. Just had to take care of a few things that I should have last night."

"How—how often can we, um, do that?" Kurt asks, embarrassed.

He is doing everything that he can to not look at the mark on Blaine's neck; it's a faint set of teeth marks, top and bottom, with two dark punctures where the canines had broken the skin, but more than that it's a ring of bruises in varying collars where Kurt had sucked so hard that it had broken the blood vessels beneath Blaine's skin in the rough shape of his mouth. It sends a protective, possessive urge rushing through Kurt. He reaches out and thumbs it softly. Blaine shivers, licking his lips.

"The general school of thought is no more than twice a month," he answers. "But with the access that I have to prescription strength restoratives? We could probably manage once a week without too many side effects. I'm your preferred blood type, so that helps; you can take less and it would be just as good for you."

Kurt can feel his gums tingle at the thought of doing it again. God, he already wants it, and that's just—not possible. He smiles instead of saying anything too revealing and tangles their fingers together.

"Tell me about your conference," he says, and Blaine grins.

*

"Really?" Tina asks, flat and dry.

"What?" Blaine counters.

"A turtleneck?"

He usually wears them under his long-sleeved scrubs in the winter. When the concealer hadn't quite done the job that morning he'd had to resort to drastic measures. He deflates under Tina's scrutiny.

"I was cold?"

"You didn't," she breathes. She sounds delighted.

He'd really hoped that he might make it through lunch without her noticing (he's not sure what he'd pinned that hope on; she's been casting him curious glances all morning). "Tina, come on—"

"Tell me everything! Come on, some of us aren't dating a Cullen."

"Okay, just for that, your oreos are forfeit. Hand them over."

Sighing, she passes him the packet of cookies. "So just tell me something. Was it awful, did it hurt, are you okay?"

He's blushing already.

He can't tell her that it had felt amazing in ways that blood loss should not have. He can't tell her that he'd come in his pants like a thirteen-year-old riding Kurt's thigh. He can't tell her that the moment it was done he'd felt bonded to Kurt in a way that he had never imagined he could be. He can't tell her that he'd spent the entire day after ducking glances at the bite mark whenever he'd passed a mirror or a reflective surface. He can't tell her that the moment that Kurt had gone home he'd sat on the sofa and touched and pressed the mark until he'd gotten so hard that he had no choice but to jerk off to make the urgency subside. He can't tell her that he's already marked next week on the calendar so that he knows exactly when they can safely do it again.

"It was nice," is all he says, smiling into his soup cup. "It was just really nice."

The second person he can't seem to avoid in regards to discussing Kurt is Cooper, who has finally seemed to notice how long they've been dating and how giddy Blaine is all the time, because he breaks down and asks over the phone one evening, "So when do I get to meet this blood sucker?"

"Coop," Blaine sighs.

"How come I haven't met him yet?" He lowers his voice dramatically. "Was he in some terrible accident before being turned and is now forever a burnt, twisted Phantom of the Opera mess?"

"It hasn't been that long. I don't want you scaring him off."

"It's been a couple of months; you've never had a boyfriend longer than that, so this one has to be special. You're glowing. I am nauseous. This means that it's time."

The logistics of Cooper and Kurt being in the same room make his head spin. He knows that Cooper can be a little overwhelming, and he knows that Kurt often responds to that sort of personality by being as sassy as he can be, and Cooper would probably see that as a challenge and then they'd try to out-sass each other, and—oh, god, he should buy drop cloths, because this is going to get messy.

"Okay," he relents. "I'll ask Kurt how he feels about it. But I'm not promising anything. If he's not eager, the answer is no."

*

He's dressed for work in full scrubs, sitting on the couch in the living room doing a last minute round of email replies with a granola bar hanging out of his mouth when his phone buzzes.

i'm passing by, you on your way to work already?

He replies, nope, not yet

can i come up? im outside

It's odd for Kurt to just show up, but he tells him to come on up anyway. It'll definitely put a smile on his face for the rest of the night; the vampires of downtown Columbus will be better served, he thinks.

"It's open," he calls when Kurt knocks.

Kurt shrugs off a light jacket as he crosses the room. He's wearing a rather tight pair of dark wash jeans and a shirt with sleeves that cut off mid-bicep in a very tantalizing way. It's tight across the shoulders and hikes up enough to show skin when he flexes his arms above his head.

"Hey," he breathes, sliding down into Blaine's lap when Blaine has his laptop safely set aside.

Blaine kind of can't stop gawking. Kurt's hair is gelled up into wavy heights and he looks—god, he looks ridiculously sexy.

"Hey," he replies, claiming a kiss. "Hot date?"

Kurt smirks. "I've been waiting to get you before work for days. You always look so good in your scrubs."

He goes right for neck kisses, lips passing over the faded mark at the apex of Blaine's neck and shoulder in a purposeful way. This is universally acknowledged as a sex button in their relationship, and Blaine breathes out slowly to control his reaction.

It's unfair how quickly Kurt's warm, slender body can undo every bit of resolve that he has to maintain his strict, personal schedule.

"God, Kurt, I have work in an hour—"

"Mm," Kurt hums in reply, one hand between them, slowly rubbing him through his loose scrub pants. Kurt's breath is warm against his lips. "I have been thinking about you all day." He lowers his voice even farther, spreading the shape of Blaine's thickening shaft between his fingers. "About touching you, making you—come." The kiss is wet, full of tongue. "Please, let me make you come."

"H-honey—"

"I'll be quick," Kurt breathes, sliding to his knees on the floor. "I'll catch all the mess." His eyes sparkle with sultry intention, tongue out against his plump, pink lower lip, fingers stroking up and down Blaine's thighs. He's trembling, and seeing him that eager is too much for Blaine to resist.

"Okay." He bites back a noise when Kurt leans over to nuzzle and kiss him through his pants. "Oh, so okay." He lets his head tip back, one hand finding its way into Kurt's hair.

It only occurs to him when Kurt tugs his cock out of the front of his boxers and over the waistband of his scrubs that they've never done this—it's always been the other way around. It's not really something that Blaine keeps tabs on, the give and take, because it doesn't matter to him what they do together so long as it's mutual and enjoyable, but—Kurt's tongue and mouth being that close bring him up short.

"Blaine?"

He must've tensed. Sometimes it's impossible to hide things from your vampire boyfriend.

"First time," Blaine breathes, stroking Kurt's jaw.

"Tell me if I do something wrong," Kurt says simply, and then licks a broad stripe over the head of Blaine's cock, ending the discussion.

"Oh, god." A bead of fluid swells at his slit, dripping down the head. Kurt licks it away.

Thankfully, there are no fang teeth involved. It's just wet licks and kisses in the beginning, Kurt exploring the tip and then the shaft, smearing saliva with his fingers and palm and then finally, finally his mouth comes down around Blaine. The sight of those pale cheeks hollowing around his cock is enough to make his fingers twist involuntarily in Kurt's hair.

And then Kurt starts bobbing, up and down, up and down, all tongue and jagged breathing in and out of his nose, and Blaine loses it; his hips begin rocking into it and his breathing goes off completely. Heat floods every inch of him under his clothes, sweat prickling up just underneath that, and it's hopeless to try and stay still inside of that hungry mouth.

"Feels so good," he moans. "God, just like that. Use your hand, okay? Just—like that, oh, god, yes." His breath stutters. In the past, boyfriends have always stop-starting blowing him, either to breathe or wipe their chins or readjust, but Kurt just sucks and strokes, an endless loop of mouth and hand, and Blaine gets there a hell of a lot faster than he figured he might. "Y-you don't have to—I'm—"

And he just goes faster, and then—faster, his head an unnatural blur in Blaine's lap. It's a little scary but that doesn't stop Blaine from coming suddenly in his mouth with a surprised cry.

He's still panting when he asks, "Is that going to make you sick?"

Kurt laughs, forehead on his knee. "I guess we'll see? I don't think so, though. It's not enough to really do anything." There's come smeared across the corner of his mouth.

Blaine swipes at it with his thumb, only to have his finger sucked in between Kurt's lips. He slowly withdraws it, Kurt's pursed mouth clinging to it the entire way. He shivers and huffs out a breath. "God, that was—amazing, thank you."

"I'm so glad you feel that way because then you won't be mad at me for making you late for work?" Kurt chews his lip.

"Oh, geez." Blaine looks at the clock and he is indeed going to be a little late, even if he gets in his car right now. "I'll text Tina. Don't worry about it."

Kurt tucks him back into his pants neatly; absolved, he doesn't look nearly as concerned.

*

"I think you're going to want to see this," Quinn says quietly to him one evening in between customers, sliding an Ohio newspaper clipping over to him. "It was online, too. Not sure about television, I didn't check."

It's a missing persons bulletin on the police blotter, and it's for him. But it's not calling him out as a criminal or saying that he's dangerous, it's just—saying that he's missing. It lists the day of graduation as the last known date that he had been seen and gives a few details about his appearance and where to send information if anyone has seen him.

"Someone is looking for you," she says, sitting on the chair across from his bed. "But it's not for charges. I looked into it. I know I shouldn't have, but—you work for us, Kurt, and I had to know what we might need to prepare for."

He's embarrassed. Upset, too, but—mostly embarrassed. He probably should have been more honest with them. Safely hiding in their company has slowly encouraged him to trust them.

"There are—no charges, no warrant, nothing?"

"No. And even if they were completely covering it up to keep you from going deeper into hiding, beyond my means to check, they wouldn't bother to phrase it this way for the public, they wouldn't use this as the vehicle. They don't care about vamps' civil rights much. They'd arrest you and throw you behind bars if they thought you'd stolen a candy bar." She shrugs. "The broadcast is weeks old and they're still running it across state-wide media. Someone cares about you, Kurt. And whatever it is you did, no one has figured it out yet."

"But that doesn't mean that they wouldn't, if they were to question me and put all the pieces together," he answers, shoving the grimy paper across the bed and putting his face in his hands.

He's tired. He hasn't seen Blaine for a couple of days and he's just agitated; every time they go more than a day or so without being close he fills up with anxiety. His last customer had been difficult. He's having dinner with Blaine and his brother this weekend and he wants to make a good impression—Cooper is a huge part of Blaine's life and Kurt knows how important it is to them both that Cooper like him—but he has no idea how he can make a good impression when all of this is lurking just behind every one of his waking thoughts, poisoning every gesture with dishonesty and selective truthfulness.

If Blaine knew. If Blaine knew that he'd killed, that he'd fled, that David—while completely guilty of his own trespasses—has parents and friends who still have no idea exactly what happened to him and why, who are going to grieve forever over their loss, over their violent and unexpected loss, what would Blaine think of him?

If Blaine knew. Blaine, who cares about everyone. Who stops on the street to talk to homeless people and buy them coffee. Who treats every single vampire that comes through his center the same, no matter how they treat him. Who can't go down to the local animal shelter to rescue a dog or cat because if he did he'd end up taking them all home because he could never leave one behind. Who donates to twelve different charities despite the fact that he will be broke when he graduates, most likely, the money he'd inherited from his mother just enough to cover living expenses and tuition. Blaine, who is the epitome of goodness, of seeing the best in everyone, of giving second and third and fourth chances.

What would he think of Kurt if he knew?

Quinn sits next to him, head tilted. "You haven't told him."

Kurt bites his lip. Tears burn behind his eyes, but he doesn't want to cry in front of her. "No." His voice is thick with self-loathing.

"You really love him," she says, sounding a little surprised.

"Do you think—" He shudders, curling his arms around himself. "Do you think that if I were older, if I had been a vampire longer, that I would—wouldn't've been able to love him?"

"I think we disconnect from the things that we want to disconnect from, Kurt," she says. "We have the capacity to withdraw from trauma, from unpleasant things, from acts that warp humans irrevocably, but—we can love just as completely as they can, when we choose to. The problem is, is that when it's a human we love, it can get complicated." She frowns. "If you aren't careful, you can really hurt them. And I don't mean just physically."

He stares at her, suddenly curious. "Did you...?"

She blinks, looking away. "There was a guy, once. I—I haven't spoken to him since."

"I'm sorry," he says.

"It was for the best," she replies, recovering quickly. "I met Santana because it didn't work out, and—I'm happy here. I'm happy with her."

"I am, too," Kurt says, smiling, and puts a hand on her arm. "Thank you—I would never have looked into this on my own, and if something does happen at least I'll be prepared."

"Don't mention it," she says from the doorway. "I mean that literally; don't mention it. I'd never hear the end of it."

He smiles, nodding.

*

"Do you think this color is too much? I should've gone with basic black, I just—it felt like I was going to a funeral, and—"

Blaine smiles, stroking the back of Kurt's neck. "You look great. Stop worrying. Cooper and Jenn are going to love you."

Kurt paces, little blurs of supernatural speed at each turn of his heels. Blaine worries about the integrity of his living room carpet and, as if Kurt can read his mind, he shifts over onto the hardwood.

"How do you know? He's a lawyer and she's a veterinarian and I suck blood for a living," Kurt huffs, biting at his lip until it's bloody—it heals almost instantly, so he keeps doing it. "What are we going to talk about, what am I going to say, oh my god."

Blaine smooths the lint roller over his jacket one last time and then takes Kurt's hands in his, heart in his eyes. "You're going to talk about how you came to Columbus to start a new life after high school." He kisses Kurt's knuckles, one by one. "You're going to talk about how you met a goofball with a disturbingly large comic book collection who seduced you with science. You're going to talk about how you have made him very happy and how he hopes that you are as crazy about him as he is about you."

Kurt swallows thickly. "Blaine, I—"

The buzzer for the downstairs door goes off, and Blaine smiles. "Later?"

"Sure," Kurt breathes.

Kurt hangs back as Cooper and Jenn exchange hugs and small talk at the door, but it's not long before Blaine guides them into the living room.

"Kurt, this is my brother Cooper and his girlfriend, Jenn. Cooper, Jenn, this is my boyfriend, Kurt."

Cooper gives Kurt a long, hard once over, but then spoils the effect entirely by sweeping him up into a back-clapping hug. "It's about damned time," he says, putting Kurt at arm's length again. "Does the height difference negate the cradle robbing?"

Jenn puts a hand over her face, sighing.

Blaine grumbles. "Cooper." He knows very well that Kurt and Blaine are only a few years apart in age, despite Kurt's outward appearance to the contrary.

"Oh, man, I am just messing with you," he says to Kurt, who looks like he would prefer death over this moment in time. "Sorry, I had to. You're adorable. Come on, let's eat. I've got some donations stored up, brought them along. What's your poison?" He slings an arm around Kurt's shoulder.

"Um, B pos," Kurt replies, eyes still a little wide.

They sit at the table, Blaine and Jenn chatting quietly.

"I'll get our food," he says to her. "Coop, is the temperature okay or do you need me to warm it up?" Cooper hands over a little cooler bag filled with half a dozen or so donation blood packets.

"Do you take it cold, Kurt?"

"Sometimes. Warm is fine tonight. Thanks," he says, smiling at Blaine.

"Warm for me, too, then," Cooper says.

Jenn follows Blaine into the kitchen.

"That's a good sign, isn't it? He doesn't bother teasing if he doesn't approve," she says, helping Blaine collect the food that's been warming in the oven. The table is already set.

Blaine smiles, hugging her again, just because she deserves it for being the sister he never had. As medical professionals and music lovers they've always enjoyed an easy, friendly relationship, and he's very grateful that they'd all managed to clear an evening to get together. It would've been oddly stilted if only Cooper had been able to make it; Jenn has become such an important member of their little family.

"He has been pacing all afternoon," Blaine whispers. "He's really sensitive about himself. Sometimes I have a hard time talking about it with him because the way I see him isn't the way he sees himself."

"You wear your heart on your sleeve." She balances the salad bowl with some utensils. "Him, not so much. Is it—getting serious?"

Blaine tastes the soup on the stove to make sure it's not under-salted. He frowns thoughtfully. "You know the funny part about that? It—always has been. Serious. From the minute I met him. I don't know in what way exactly, but—it was never just—casual. Never."

She grins, her short brown hair bobbing around her face. "Oh, god, you're totally done for."

"What?" he asks, smiling teasingly.

"Them's forever words," she says in a put-on Southern accent, eyebrows waggling.

"Alright. Food, dining room. You've teased me enough,” he says, smiling.

Blaine is surprised to find Cooper and Kurt engaged in rapid conversation. They arrange the food and Blaine pours the blood and adds the anti-coagulant. Cooper takes his thoughtlessly but Blaine brings Kurt's to his side and sits next to him, tangling their free hands while they eat with the others.

"I had no idea you were involved in that case," Kurt is saying. "I followed it in the news for weeks. It was better than reality television."

"It was even better behind the scene and I will say—the personal bets that I collected on after totally outweighed the actual compensation," Cooper says, laughing. "Er, you know. Friendly wagers, nothing of monetary value, of course."

"Of course," Kurt says, smiling, eyes flashing.

Blaine eats slowly, looking back and forth between them.

They like each other.

He feels instantly and irrationally jealous. He doesn't even think that Cooper liked him until he was twenty. He almost laughs, sharing a look with Jenn that says, well, so much for worrying about that.

They discuss a variety of things as the evening passes—Cooper's his legal career, Jenn's animal hospital, Blaine's time in the lab last semester, Kurt's search for a decent performing arts program that might accept a late admission, and then back around to little things like the food and Blaine's apartment, which leads to a question about living arrangements that makes them blush and fumble.

"And why not? With the price of living in this city, it makes sense," Cooper insists, wiping blood from his lips and setting his glass down.

Kurt's fingers twitch across Blaine's knee under the table and Blaine puts his right hand on Kurt's thigh in return. The mutual touch calms him down. "Kurt is really settled where he is, and I'm hardly ever here, so—for now it's fine. Right, honey?”

Jenn strokes a hand over Cooper's arm. "They're young. Stop meddling."

"Who's meddling? I am guiding. I'm an older brother, it's my duty."

"No, it's okay," Kurt says, surprising Blaine. "Blaine is lucky to have such an invested family. Speaking of that. How did you two meet?"

"Oh, god," Jenn sighs.

"Let me tell it," Cooper says.

She waves her hands in defeat.

"So I had this case that required me to spend a lot of time with a client who had a lust for cats. I mean, it was off the charts. Blah blah blah lots of legal mumbo jumbo, what's important here is that this lady fell so in love with me that she declared herself to be my step-grandma, essentially. And after I won the case for her she insisted that I take one of these kittens that her favorite cat had just given birth to. She said it was meant to be. She named the little thing after me. I couldn't say no, even though, let me tell you—I am not a cat person." He grins, waving his hands. "Shocker. So—I took it, and yes I called it It because I just couldn't—you know, call it Cooper. But It slowly grew on me."

"He'd like you to think that he didn't love that cat but he loved that cat," Jenn interjects smugly.

"Shh, dramatic flow, no interruptions," Cooper chants. "So even though I refused to call it Cooper and kept calling it It, okay, yes—I kind of liked It after a while. And then one night I found It vomiting blood, and I was devastated. Freaked out, called every animal hospital I could and the only all night facility was—"

"Mine," Jenn fills in.

"She stayed up with me and that cat all night," Cooper says.

"He didn't make it," she says, frowning.

"Yeah. He was a tough little bugger, like his dad, but—there was nothing she could do."

"Oh," Kurt sighs, chin on his hands, eyes wide. "Poor little guy."

"So there I am in my sweats, grief-stricken, I mean this was a moment, and—"

"I asked him out like a total creeper," Jenn announces proudly.

"It was kind of creepy. Sorry about your cat, cuppa coffee?"

"Oh my god, I was not that bad," she replies, swatting him. "You were just so jumpy because you thought I hadn't figured out that you were a vampire, as if that matters."

Blaine watches Kurt watch them, and something in his heart aches. Kurt looks deeply touched by their slightly urban, sarcastic romantic tale. "That's actually kind of sweet."

After some time, Cooper stands and starts clearing the table. "Give me a hand, Blaine?"

They disappear into the kitchen together, leaving Jenn and Kurt to talk. Cooper can speed through dish loading about ten times faster than he can, so Blaine just sits on the counter and watches him go for it. He waits. He knows that he's about to get grilled for something; Cooper always has something to say.

He isn't surprised when Cooper touches the collar of his shirt, nudging the cloth aside. "He's feeding off of you?"

There is still a mark (they do it too often for there not to be, now), and Blaine's shirt isn't really hiding it. "Don't start."

"I just want to make sure you're okay," Cooper replies. "I know you probably know more about it than I do, but you can't blame me for worrying."

"We're safe, we're fine, it's fine," he says. He smiles, touching Cooper's arm. "Thanks. But—really, we know what we're doing." He blushes. Feeding doesn't have to be a sexual thing, but Cooper knows him too well—he doesn't do things by half, and intimacy is probably the only path by which he'd invite that sort of thing into his life.

"He doesn't talk about himself much," Cooper observes.

"He's been through a lot," Blaine says. "He's—kind of starting over."

"Just be careful, Squirt. I see the way that you look at each other. Try not to hurt each other, okay?"

Blaine hugs Cooper around the waist, sighing. "I'm going to try my hardest to not let that happen."

*

After Cooper and Jenn leave—with many long hugs exchanged between all four of them—Kurt collapses onto the couch, legs and arms all going in different directions.

"I am such a kid," he declares, groaning. "I might as well have been drawing on the table with crayons the entire time. What is it with your family and big amazing impressive success?"

Blaine laughs, but not unkindly. Kurt looks so crestfallen. He sits on the couch and drags Kurt into his lap.

"They adored you. They did. Trust me, you haven't seen them when they dislike someone. It's like the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park; two velociraptors, one on either side of you."

Kurt laughs but grows serious immediately after, dropping his face onto Blaine's shoulder. "I want you to be proud of me when you introduce me to people, and I don't know how you can be when I'm not proud of myself."

What to say to that? Blaine wraps his arms around Kurt and settles on the first thing that comes to his mind.

"I love you."

Kurt stiffens. His eyes glaze over.

"I love how strong and determined you are. I love that you feel so much. I love that things are sacred to you; you don't compromise. You're a fighter. And despite everything you've been through, you're here, right now, sharing your life with me, making me feel like the luckiest guy in the world."

"You don't know everything about me," Kurt gasps, tears welling but not spilling, sounding just as miserable as he is elated by Blaine's declaration. "But I—I love you, too. I am so—so in love with you." The tears fall, despite obvious effort to hold them back.

Blaine kisses him, thumbing them away. "When you're ready to tell me more, I'm here, okay?"

Underneath it all, though, he's worried—hell, he's scared shitless.

What hasn't Kurt told him?

*

The problem is, Kurt can be single-minded. When he wants and is given permission to act on that want, he kind of has an issue with stopping—this is what happens when you go from a life of denial to the arms of a man who gives you everything, makes you feel simultaneously safe and desired.

There are times when he thinks that Blaine is about to stop him, to say no you don't have to, or let's do something else, or let me take care of you, but then there's Blaine in his adorable scrub top patterned with lobsters, Blaine with his tanned skin and his bright honey eyes and his neck that—all biting jokes aside—is begging to be kissed and suckled every minute of every day. Blaine with his reading glasses and textbooks and tired little feet. Blaine who blushes and loses his breath every time that Kurt comes near. Blaine whose blood tastes so sweet.

And he's all Kurt's.

"Baby," Blaine gasps, one evening after they come home from the movies. Kurt had pushed Blaine over the arm of the couch before he'd even had time to kick off his shoes, and now his pants are open and Kurt is on his knees on the carpet. "Stop, stop, stop."

Kurt pulls off wetly, licking his mouth. "Sorry, yes?"

"You've unbalanced the scales a little," Blaine says, smiling. "I love your mouth on me, but let me—let me do something for you, okay?"

Kurt blushes. He knows what he wants, but he's not sure of the language. "Um. If I—can I do something that will lead to—you doing something for me?"

He thumbs Blaine's belly, unable to stop his eyes from drifting over Blaine's tiny waist and flared hips and muscular legs.

He can both hear Blaine's heartbeat thump faster and smell the blood rushing through his veins at the same time. "What did you have in mind?"

"I want to, um, explore a little more?"

He trails his fingers down along Blaine's ass, and hopes that the message is clear enough. He can't bring himself to say—those words just yet. He's well on his way; he's made leaps and bounds along the path to acting on his desires, but verbalizing them is something else. The acts always feel wonderful with Blaine, but the words are still so crude when he tries to say them.

Blaine blushes and sucks his bottom lip in. He looks almost innocent for a moment, his hands tightening around the arm of the couch, his throat bobbing with a reflexive swallow.

Kurt kisses the flat of his hip. "Only if you want to."

"Can we—" He strokes the back of Kurt's neck. "Bed, first?"

Kurt is relieved. He'd thought that Blaine might request a shower, and a base urge deep inside of Kurt does not want to taste soap right now. He can smell Blaine, can smell the musk of his body and of his arousal, neither offensive, just natural and human and masculine and Kurt wants to taste it.

He stops Blaine at the foot of the bed and slowly begins undressing him. The bow tie is first, unraveled with careful motions. Then the vest and the shirt below it, Blaine's wide shoulders begging for kisses as they're revealed.

Blaine huffs a breath harshly, clasping Kurt's waist. "God, Kurt."

Just as wanting for attention are Blaine's chest and ribs and belly, which go rough with goosebumps when Kurt licks across them. He nudges Blaine to sit on the bed and they crawl toward the center together, Kurt's mouth dragging damply down Blaine's belly as Blaine shucks the remainder of his clothes.

It's always a pleasant surprise, how quickly he can reduce Blaine to gibberish.

"God," Blaine gasps, messing Kurt's hair as Kurt's mouth travels inward, finding softer hair at his inner thigh. "Thought about this all day. Your skin and your—body—and your hands." He's shaking.

Kurt can't claim innocence, at least not entirely; they'd ended their usual date day Saturday at the movies and Kurt had left his hand on Blaine the entire time, either on his knee or thigh or around his shoulders, and there had been several quiet moments when he'd snuggled close and buried his face in Blaine's neck. He hadn't done anything intentionally sexual, but he hadn't given Blaine any space at all and, as they've discovered, that's more or less all it takes to get them going.

Kurt feels the instability bleed over to him from every point at which they're touching. He licks hungrily over Blaine's cock, cupping the backs of his thighs. He nuzzles down to the base, lapping at Blaine's balls.

"Kurt, I—"

They haven't discussed going farther. Kurt can sense Blaine's hesitation both naturally and supernaturally; he understands it, but he wants to make Blaine feel good more than anything else right now. He wants to touch and taste and he wants to feel Blaine come apart around him and he can't even explain it—he hasn't even had this done to himself, how can he want to do it to someone else so badly?

To give them a moment, he rises on his knees and sheds his clothing slowly, piece by piece, watching Blaine watch him. He drops his eyes only when Blaine's gaze settles on the bulge tenting his briefs.

God, Blaine makes him feel so sexy. Powerful. Confident. The way his eyes go wet and wanting every time that Kurt initiates, every time that Kurt pushes for something new—

Kurt tugs behind Blaine's knees, encouraging them to bend and then lift, exposing Blaine's ass to the air. He kisses one up-turned knee. He kisses down the inside of Blaine's thigh, stroking his balls in one hand and then pressing them up and out of the way.

"Kurt," Blaine whimpers brokenly.

Kurt's voice is rough—almost a growl—when he asks, "Can smell you, you're so—have to taste you, can I? Can I put my mouth down there, please?"

"Oh, god, yes, yes, yes—" Blaine's hands flutter. "There's—stuff, bedside drawer."

Kurt blurs to get there and back within the space of a heartbeat. He doesn't want to waste a second. He doesn't want to think too much about lubricant and condoms just yet, though he knows he'll be glad that he stopped to gather the necessities sooner rather than later when the time comes to use them.

Blaine looks so wanton there on the bed, his body a compact human buffet that Kurt wants to sample in so many ways that he can't even begin to catalog them.

He presses wet kisses down the back of one thigh and then all the way to his prize, which he greets with the gentle brush of his fingertips. He presses his lips to the skin behind Blaine's balls, exhaling. He has no clue what he's doing, but—there are only a few things to do, he guesses.

Blaine pants, scrubbing his fingers through Kurt's hair. "Please," he gasps, twisting. "Please, please, more. Want you there so bad."

The way he smells. It's not even just clean sweat and Blaine smell and sex smell—it's the way that all of those scents combine. It makes Kurt's body throb. It makes him feel as if this will never be enough, that having Blaine over and over again would never be enough.

A lifetime wouldn't be enough. A vampire's lifetime wouldn't be enough.

He spreads Blaine's cheeks apart and licks across his quivering hole.

Fuck, the way he tastes. Salty and tangy and—

"Kurt," Blaine moans. His whole body is trembling and the muscles in his thighs are twitching.

Kurt dives in again, sucking kisses into the wrinkled skin. Blaine's taste is so concentrated here, sharp and earthy, and Kurt's mouth floods with saliva. His cock is throbbing against the bed and he has to actively tear his attention away from the demand; this becomes a much simpler task when Blaine starts to babble and thrust down against his tongue.

"Inside," Blaine gasps after a long while of kisses and licks. "Inside me, inside me, Kurt, okay? Oh, oh god—"

"Taste so good," Kurt murmurs, holding Blaine open. It's trickier than he thought, breaching that ring of muscle. He has to be careful; if he applies the force that he might haphazardly use in other situations he could hurt Blaine. Still, he doesn't stop pushing until half of his tongue is buried inside.

Where an average human might have trouble with cramping in the tongue and jaw doing this Kurt doesn't, and it's easy to settle into a rhythm, using his chin to set the angle and thrusting his tongue in and out, in and out, while he fingers and kisses and sucks the sensitive skin around the rim. Blaine is a mess in record time, reduced to nothing more than gasps and whines, his pelvis writhing desperately in search of better friction.

Kurt comes up for air only when there's so much spit and Blaine is so loose that he feels any more will just push Blaine into useless over-sensitivity.

"Um," he breathes, painfully aroused. Blaine's cock is plum red at the tip, leaking all over his belly. It throbs as it lies there, edged by his balls which have grown swollen and tight. "God, you—you look so good, all spread out like this for me."

"God," Blaine breathes, staring down at him, red-faced and sweating. "I—I've never—no one has ever—not like that, oh, my god."

Kurt grins wildly at him, feeling eager and accomplished. "More?"

"Fingers," Blaine pants. "Lube and fingers, please. If you are okay with that."

"Okay" is an understatement. He tilts his head, watches Blaine for a moment. He's so beautiful, so perfect, that sometimes Kurt wonders how he got so lucky.

He squeezes out a handful of cool lubricant, heart pounding. It's messy and unfamiliar. "Would it be, um, easier, on your stomach?"

Blaine exhales heavily as the pad of Kurt's thumb begins rubbing slow circles around his hole. "M-maybe but—I want—" He stops, mouth dropping open at a particularly well-aimed stroke. "Want to watch."

Kurt shivers. "Oh."

He trades his thumb for his middle finger and slowly goes from rubbing to pressing and then, after a moment has passed, sinking inside wetly, knuckle by knuckle, turning the digit and crooking it—doing so feels natural—until it's as far as it can go.

"Oh," Blaine whimpers. "Up. Up, sort of—up and in."

Kurt doesn't say anything. He corrects his angle. He's nervous. He doesn't want to hurt Blaine and he doesn't want to miss the spot entirely and he—god, he just wants to do this right. Nothing about it is as simple as, oh here it is, or oh that's how fast I should go.

Blaine breathes heavily but otherwise says nothing as Kurt begins working his finger in and out, in and out. Kurt isn't exactly sure what he's looking for, or what reaction he's waiting for, but he'll keep going until Blaine tells him otherwise.

He finds it with just two knuckles on the backslide; Blaine gasps and tenses.

"Th-there?" Kurt asks. He hadn't even realized what he'd touched.

"Shorter presses, just—" He finds it again, and Blaine jerks. "Oh!"

"Whoa," Kurt breathes, watching Blaine's cock jump and spit a bead of clear fluid.

"You figured that out way faster than I thought you would," Blaine breathes, sounding wrecked. "I'm not going to last very long if you keep doing that."

Kurt changes his angle, presses deeper and lower. "I can avoid it," he announces roughly. "I can—do this instead."

"God, honey." Blaine clenches around his finger.

He speeds up again, listening to the low wet suck of Blaine's body trying to keep him inside. God, it's so hot, the way that sounds, the way that Blaine's body arches, asking for more.

"Another?"

"No," Blaine answers, licking spit from the corner of his mouth. "Want—you. Want you inside of me, on top of me, come, come kiss me?"

He crawls up Blaine's body and settles over him, chest to chest and pelvis to pelvis, shuddering all over at the warmth—they're both radiating heat. Blaine's mouth is like a gift after so much time spent alone down there between his legs, and it all seems to just come together, Blaine's limbs around him and their bodies slotted together so perfectly. It's natural to settle there at the junction of his thigh and groin, to feel him beg with his body for more contact. Kurt loves being this close, loves the way that Blaine's face shows everything that he's feeling, so raw and open and desperate.

"Love you," he whispers, thumbing Blaine's swollen mouth. "Love you, love you so much." More; he needs more of this, more of Blaine's ecstasy. He pushes his underwear off, shivering when his cock rises against his belly.

"God, I love you, too." He kisses Kurt's neck, lips and tongue everywhere along Kurt's jaw and throat and shoulder. His hand slides between their bellies, finds Kurt's cock aching and slick. Kurt hisses. Blaine whispers, stroking him, "Want you inside of me." His other hand squeezes Kurt's buttocks, guiding Kurt's pelvis between his thighs.

"Blaine," Kurt whimpers, thrusting inside the damp circle of his fist. "S-stop, I—I'm ready."

"Yes, god yes," Blaine answers, fumbling for the condom. Putting it on is inelegant and embarrassing, but that's Blaine's hand rolling down the latex, Blaine's hand squeezing him, stroking him, slicking him up, and—and guiding him down, never breaking eye contact.

Kurt takes over once he's trapped in between those plush cheeks, rolling his hips and pressing forward. This too isn't as smooth as he'd expected it to be; he wriggles a bit too much for his own liking, but finally Blaine's body gives and he sinks into the tightest, hottest sheath that he has ever felt.

"Oh," he whimpers, grasping Blaine's jaw and kissing him. "Oh, god."

"Come on," Blaine answers, motion steeling his back as he rocks up. "Come on, I'm—I'm so stretched, you won't hurt me."

That Kurt doesn't have to stop for rest definitely works toward concealing the fact that he has never done this and has no idea what he's doing, not really. He can just sort of—do whatever Blaine asks for, faster or harder or slower or change angle, while mostly focusing on kissing the soft, wet mouth below his and trying not to come every time Blaine's ass drags down the shaft of his cock like a fist with a heartbeat and a heat source all its own.

He wants to remember Blaine's face this first time. He wants to be able to look back and recall the way that Blaine's eyelids had fluttered, the way that his mouth had fallen open, the way that his eyes had glittered hungrily as he'd chased his own pleasure.

And somewhere in the middle he realizes—despite how roughly he's fucking into Blaine, despite Blaine twisting and sobbing and rutting against his belly—that their eyes never seem to stray far from each other's faces, that they're both thinking the same thing.

He's—they're together, moving together, he's inside of Blaine and they are one tangled mess of warm and wet and skin and they're one person, those are Blaine's fingernails scratching red marks down his back, those are Blaine's heels digging into his lower back, that is Blaine's impossibly tight ass pulsing around his cock, Blaine's human sweat smell tracked all over him like it's in the air around them as well as on their skin. That's Blaine's pulse racing, the smell of Blaine's blood rushing rushing rushing excitedly through his veins.

God, Kurt wants to bite. He wants to bite so badly, just a little bite, just a few sips, just to feel the backlash of pain and pleasure through the blood, he wants—he knows that it will bring them closer, that it will somehow complete this circuit that they've started building.

He blinks hazily into Blaine's lust-blown pupils, hips grinding back and forth. "Blaine—"

"Bite," Blaine answers, their nose tips touching. "My shoulder, do it on my—"

Kurt almost loses it then and there and has to stop thrusting to back down. "O-oh, god." He breathes frantically. He's never lasted this long, never even tried to. He licks over a soft spot on Blaine's shoulder, finding what he's looking for; it only takes a moment to encourage the fangs to come down and by then Blaine is whimpering, staring at them and licking over his mouth and rocking around Kurt's cock.

"Please, now, now, okay, just—need you to, need to feel you, need you to hurt me, please—"

"Just breathe, okay? Just—"

He waits for some amount of calming down and then he bites—Blaine bucks up against him with a cry and he holds Blaine down by his arms, letting go only when he retracts his teeth and begins to suck. It's a shallow, superficial break, and it only allows for a few swallows before the coagulant kicks in, but that's okay. Blaine is already overwhelmed and Kurt doesn't want this to be over yet.

He reaches between them, somehow managing to thrust, suck, and pull Blaine's cock all at the same time. He's reeling; the intimacy of the drinking combined with Blaine's body's reaction—it's like an echo, Blaine's pleasure right there in front of him and Blaine's pleasure singing through the blood—is almost too much. Kurt is already so close. His head is swimming from the blood, from being able to feel Blaine's unfiltered ecstasy, which is making everything shimmer and shift in front of his eyes.

"I'm going to come," Blaine sobs, fucking up into Kurt's hand and then back down around his cock. "I'm going to, I can't—don't stop—Kurt—"

God, he is so open, so wet, the noise of Kurt pushing into him is almost obscene.

Kurt pulls off Blaine's shoulder and stares at the red blood that drips sluggishly from the punctures. He thrusts up between Blaine's legs, hard, working his cock deeper, letting Blaine grind down against him, but mostly he focuses on stroking Blaine, and in short order is rewarded with a warm gush of come over his fingers.

Blaine's eyes roll back. His whole body tenses at once—muscles corded up and standing out everywhere—and he's trembling, jerking, spurting wetly, over and over.

Kurt reattaches himself to the bite marks and sucks. He can't resist.

Blaine spits over his fist again, crying out. "Kurt."

Kurt swivels his hips—so tight, oh god—and keeps licking at the bite, and Blaine's cock continues to give up its wetness, weaker and weaker until he's just shuddering and throbbing damply against Kurt's fingers.

The blood has stopped completely and so Kurt pulls away, mouth stained. His fangs sink back into his gums and he exhales, reeling. He's still dizzy—he hasn't come yet but it feels as if his body has been put through its paces.

Blaine kisses across his lips and Kurt jerks—he's still bloody—but Blaine's tongue is there, undeterred, licking his own blood off of Kurt's mouth.

"You don't have to—"

Blaine's voice is raspy and low. "I like it," he whispers, sounding almost guilty. "I like—I like the way it hurts, I like the way it looks, I like the way it tastes. I—is that wrong, I—"

"No, god, no, nothing you want is wrong, don't ever," Kurt pants, trying to focus. He needs to come so badly—his balls are aching and if he moves he's just going to spill placidly into the condom and he doesn't want it to be an afterthought like that.

Blaine is still trembling, though he hadn't lost much blood. He nudges their faces together and curls his pelvis upward, dragging the tight clench of his body around Kurt's pulsing cock.

"Oh," Kurt whines.

"Can't believe you're still—" He sounds a little bit in awe.

"If I so much as breathe too deeply I'm going to, um, instantly," Kurt says, so on edge that even talking about it isn't helping.

The warmth coming off of Blaine's skin and from his breath ghosts intimately over Kurt's face. His voice is so low, so husky when he says, "It's okay." He licks across Kurt's lips and then inside, kissing him deeply, filling his mouth with tongue. It's so close between them. "Come inside of me, sweetheart." His fingers smooth across Kurt's sweaty, overheated cheeks.

"Oh, god," Kurt whispers, grasping Blaine's sweaty shoulders and pushing as far as he can go; it takes three thrusts for him to fall apart, sobbing into the sweaty curve of Blaine's wounded shoulder; the smell of the blood pushes him over even harder. Blaine helps him subtly get rid of the messy condom once he's able to move again, and then they collapse into each other's arms.

"Your shoulder." Kurt notices it as he's holding Blaine. "Do you have first aid stuff?"

"Same drawer," Blaine says. His weary head is already on the pillow, hair breaking free from the gel in tufts and curls, mouth curled into a satiated smile. He looks blissful.

Kurt smiles giddily through cleaning the bite marks and bandaging them. He ducks his face against Blaine's chest when it's done.

"Hey," Blaine breathes, eyelids dipping. "I see you hiding that smile. That is against the rule."

"The no hiding smiles rule?"

"Yep, that one."

Kurt props his chin up on Blaine's chest. "Noted." He smiles, brushing wavy, damp curls off of Blaine's forehead. "Did you—did you want to do that the other way around the first time? I—I know we didn't talk about it much."

"Whatever vague idea I had," Blaine says, softly, "I am so glad that you took us here tonight." He blushes. "I—I loved it."

Kurt bites his lip. "Okay." He grins. He laughs, joy bubbling up in his chest.

Blaine's fingers are restless, touching Kurt's bare skin everywhere. "You were wonderful."

"I don't deserve you." Kurt stares at him. He feels naked in front of the bright beam of Blaine's love. How could he ever possibly be the man that Blaine thinks he is?

"Shh," Blaine whispers, rolling them over so that they're side by side and can breathe a little easier. "Stay?"

Kurt nods, and sinks into Blaine's arms under the covers. It takes him longer than it should to fall asleep.

*

Mercedes bends over to pluck another grape from the bowl on the bedside table. Kurt adjusts so that the highlight foils in her hair aren't disturbed by the movement.

He lowers his voice, grinning shyly as he says, "So he had one of his textbooks open on the table while we ate and, I mean while he ate, which is totally normal. But he kept looking at me in between pages. He's not usually so distracted when he's working, so I thought maybe he'd be interested in, you know, blowing it off a little—"

"Kurt," Mercedes breathes, scandalized.

"Can you blame me? You've met him. He's—" Kurt blushes, fanning himself with his gloved hands.

"Dreamier than dreamy. I know. Go on."

"He starts talking about bones, skeletal structure, all that. And then he asks me, do you know how many bones there are in the human body? And I say yes, but I don't know them all by name or like, exactly which is where. And he looks at me and says, I'd be happy to teach you."

"Good lord," Mercedes drawls, shaking her head. "Let me guess: he didn't mean out of the textbook."

"Oh, god, did he ever not mean out of the textbook," Kurt answers, face glowing bright red, a laugh tumbling bright and full from his parted lips. "It took hours. By the end I don't think I even remembered my own name."

"Damn," she replies, while he fusses with her hair. "All the good ones are taken." She smiles playfully. "Or play for the other team."

"Oh, shut up," he replies, smiling. "Sam is crazy about you and he is most definitely not gay. Despite the hair." He makes a face. "And my clearly nonfunctional gaydar."

"Hush. And sure, if we could ever figure out what we both want," she sighs.

"You will," Kurt says. "I have faith."

His phone rings. It takes him a second to remove the messy glove and put the phone to his ear. It's Blaine.

"Hey," he answers, breathless as he always is when he hears Blaine's voice.

"Hey," Blaine replies. "I hate to cancel this early, but I may not be able to make dinner tonight."

"Dinner" here defined as an hour they sometimes spend together, usually around midnight, in the parking lot of the blood center, often just making out like teenagers in the backseat of Blaine's car. Kurt has also taken to bringing Blaine food because he almost never takes the time to pack something for himself.

"Aw, what's up?" Kurt asks, while Mercedes listens.

"There was a break-in at the center this morning in between shifts," Blaine says. "We're going to be on and off with the police all day, and they want to shut the place down for investigation. We have to reroute all the vampires to the center uptown and it's going to be a complete mess. I have to stay. I have to call in volunteers, actually, just to handle it all. I won't be able to take a break. Might not even be able to answer my phone or text."

Panic flashes through Kurt's body like a slap. "Um. Was anything stolen, or...?"

"I, uh, I can't say, Kurt, sorry, it's—protocol." Meaning, he'll fill Kurt in later when no one is listening.

"That's okay," he replies. "Just—drop me a text when you can? So I know you're okay."

"I will," Blaine says, sounding more like himself. "I love you."

"I love you, too," Kurt answers, and hangs up.

"Everything okay?" Mercedes asks.

"I think so," Kurt lies, dread rolling through him in waves.

*

It's twelve hours before he hears from Blaine again, and only then to get the news that he's going to catch a few hours of sleep on cot in the back room of the center before he gets right back to it. Support staff is being flown in, but it may take another full day to get them up to speed and Tina needs Blaine to assist with that.

In the end it's three days before Blaine is allowed to go home.

Kurt spends those three days taking extra clients and panicking. The surplus of human blood in his body winds him up in a way that probably isn't good for the situation; when he takes in too much blood he feels things too keenly and since his primary emotion at the moment is fear—

He asks Quinn to look into the incident at the center.

"Aware of it already," she says. "They contacted us asking us to donate to the uptown center instead."

"We donate to them on a regular basis?" Kurt asks.

"Yes," she answers. "How do you think that Santana found out about your boyfriend so quickly?" She smiles playfully. "They didn't say anything about what happened, of course. Just asked us to reroute our usual donation due to the facility being 'closed for maintenance'. I poked around a little after; the rep that called was our usual contact but it seemed odd to me, the way that he phrased the request."

"Is he local? Would he have first-hand information?"

"No, all the official back and forth is at the corporate level. They're based out of Dallas. But—like I was saying, I looked into it."

"And?" Kurt urges, biting the inside of his cheek until it bleeds.

"Single intruder, male, a vampire judging by the way he tore the place up. No other description. I don't think they know anything yet, to be honest."

"Blood stolen?" he asks, brain whirling a hundred miles an hour. That would make sense. It happens all the time, vampires trying to brute force their way into blood centers; the attempts are rarely successful because it's typically the younger, more desperate ones who attempt it and they are rarely smart or strong enough to get past the security measures.

Please let it be just that, he thinks.

"No," Quinn replies, sounding suspicious. "That's the most interesting part. No blood was stolen or consumed. The vampire went for the computers and presumably didn't find what he was looking for because after that he searched and destroyed the hard copy records room."

Fuck, Kurt thinks.

Quinn reads his expression like an open book. "Are you trying to tell me that this has something to do with you, kid? If you know something, fess up now."

"N-no, I—no." He stares off into space, thinking of Blaine's safety. It's the only thing that matters to him right now, ranked well above how in the dark Blaine still is about his past. "I don't want it to be about me. But I can't tell you for sure that it isn't."

She sighs. "I'll keep digging."

*

"On my way," Blaine says. Over the phone his voice is barely a scratch above a whisper, and Kurt worries.

"I'm coming over," he says.

"I'm just going to sleep. Don't worry about me, honey. I'll call you in the morning."

Kurt holds his breath for a long, wounded moment. They haven't seen each other in days. Does Blaine like to be alone when he's exhausted, or does he really not want to see Kurt?

"Let me take care of you," Kurt says. He can't remember ever wanting to do that for anyone but himself before Blaine; the urge both surprises and warms him. "You take care of me all the time, you take care of everyone, please let me—"

"I'm sorry. I—as long as you're happy to listen to me snore, you're welcome to come over." His voice softens. "I want you there. I've missed you so much."

Kurt gets to Blaine's apartment before Blaine does, but not before stopping to pick up some groceries on the way. He has them put away in seconds, then thinks about what else he can do before Blaine arrives.

He sets out a clean towel and a fresh razor in case Blaine wants to shower and shave. He takes out a pair of pajamas and Blaine's favorite underwear. He waters Blaine's plants and sets the mail neatly on his desk.

Out of ideas after that, he strips down to his briefs and crawls into Blaine's bed. He doesn't want Blaine to think of entertaining him or feeding him or anything, so maybe he'll even go to sleep before even gets home.

He's halfway there when the door opens; his ears perk at the sound of steps down in the foyer but fall just as quickly when he catches Blaine's scent. He doesn't move, content to lie still as Blaine comes inside, locks the door behind him, crosses the apartment and comes into the bedroom, kicks off his shoes and shrugs out of his jacket, trailing sleepily toward the bed. It's a testament to Blaine's exhaustion that he doesn't stop to throw his clothes into the hamper and instead just wiggles out of each piece and lets them fall as they will.

Kurt watches, eyes wide in the darkness of the bedroom, as Blaine's naked form takes shape between the shadows.

He breathes, "Hey."

"Shh," Kurt replies, kneeling at the end of the bed and helping Blaine into the clean underwear. "Come to bed."

Blaine crawls into his arms and falls asleep almost instantly.

Kurt wakes up early the next morning and is halfway through fixing Blaine's favorite granola/yogurt/fruit combination when Blaine shuffles sleepily into the kitchen and wraps two arms around his waist from behind. He presses his face to the back of Kurt's neck and snuffles, pulling Kurt back against his body.

"Orange or apple-cranberry?" Kurt asks. "I bought both."

"Come back to bed," Blaine murmurs huskily, kissing down Kurt's neck.

"Breakfast," Kurt says, though his stomach dips.

Blaine's right hand splays across his belly and then slides into his underwear, cupping him eagerly. "Come back to bed," he repeats, grinding a morning erection that couldn't be more obvious against Kurt's ass.

"Oh," Kurt breathes.

*

It's been a nightmare of a week. Blaine feels well and truly run through the mill, thousands of details buzzing inside of his skull like angry flies. He'd talked to so many law enforcement officers and federal blood distribution managers that he would be quite happy to never speak again, which is a first for him. His whole personal schedule and the remainder of his summer at the center has been tossed up in the air, and the panic that he knows he's going to feel when it hits home just how much of his life is going to have to be reordered is something that he is not looking forward to.

But for now—just for the next day or two—he doesn't have to think about any of it. Tina had shoved him out of her and Mike's apartment and told him in no uncertain terms that if she heard from him before Monday she would personally have his business phone turned off.

The moment that he has Kurt back in bed he doesn't have to think about anything besides losing himself in every inch of his beautiful boyfriend. He'd showered and eaten at Tina's before coming home, so the temptation of either breakfast or a hot shower is simply not enough to keep him from Kurt a moment longer.

God, he had missed Kurt. The separation had felt like a limb slowly going numb until he couldn't feel it. It had felt like blood gone from his veins with no promise of replenishment. It had felt like empty spaces inside of his chest cavity unable to be filled by anything else. The promise of comfort in Kurt's arms had been all that had kept him going toward the end of the ordeal.

After they undress he rolls Kurt underneath him and kisses him until they are both breathing heavily. Kurt smiles and Blaine feels his face heat up as he licks his way into first one dimple and then the other, ending with a deep kiss that sends his tongue past Kurt's lips.

He loves that Kurt is slender and longer than him. He loves that Kurt is paler than him, loves the freckles that dot his overall perfection like drops of bittersweet dark chocolate in cold vanilla ice cream. He loves the way that Kurt's limbs twine around him when they're like this, holding him close and taking him, just for a little while, out of the whirlwind that his life has become.

Kurt gasps when Blaine sucks a nipple between his lips. "Oh."

"Missed you so much," he murmurs, tracing freckle after freckle across Kurt's ribs. Kurt arches into him higher the lower he goes so that by the time he's nipping his way across a hip bone, Kurt's ass is off the bed.

"Please," Kurt whimpers.

He lowers his mouth hungrily around Kurt's flesh, sucking hard with no hint of a tease. Kurt is already leaking pre-come and when Blaine pulls off he pushes up, desperate for more.

Blaine smiles, licking his way down Kurt's swollen, vein-ribbed shaft. "Missed me too?"

"You have no idea," Kurt says. "Don't stop."

He doesn't want to stop making Kurt feel good, but he also doesn't want to stop looking at him, either; it's silly, but drinking in Kurt's body visually has always been one of his favorite things to do. It's an inaction that can do no wrong, his eyes mapping the beautiful milk-white dips and curves of Kurt's forever sixteen-year-old body, loving the places where he is still curved and soft as much as he loves the places where he had begun to lengthen and grow willowy.

Kurt slides a bare, creamy leg around his torso and he bends lower, scattering kisses across Kurt's thighs. He nibbles all the way down to Kurt's knees and licks at the soft spot behind the joint, recalling with excitement the time when he'd counted every bone in Kurt's body with his lips. He smiles, locking gazes with Kurt, and it's obvious that they are both thinking about the same thing.

"I'm happy to repeat the lesson if it's slipped your mind," Blaine murmurs, dragging his tongue down Kurt's calf. He traces Kurt's ankle bone with his lips, then the upper arch of his foot, and then finds the space between his big toe and the smaller one just next to it.

Kurt inhales sharply, eyes going dark.

"I remember it very well," he forces out, hips churning. His cock stands over his belly, bobbing eagerly. Blaine kisses his way back up, nuzzling his face in between Kurt's legs.

"Can—" Kurt starts and then stops, licking his lips.

Blaine gives him time, kissing back up to the curve of his neck and then on to his ear, letting their bodies line up again. "Mm?" He kisses Kurt's mouth, thrilling at the instant, intense connection that snaps between them when their lips meet.

Kurt's other leg curls around him, drawing his pelvis up higher. "Can you—" His cheeks go pink. "All—all the way?"

Blaine chest twinges with affection. He retrieves the lubricant and a condom from the bedside table and then wraps himself around Kurt again. "Want to try a different position than last time?" He sits up, straddling Kurt's hips.

This is obviously not what Kurt has in mind. His face remains that soft, blushing pink, and his eyes glow a startling shade of green. He looks young and wanting and Blaine's heart skips a beat.

His fingers slide along Blaine's pelvis and continue down, wrapping around Blaine's erection. He squeezes and pulls, making Blaine inhale sharply. His thumb traces the swollen, still-dry head, then teases the sensitive spot underneath.

"Can we, um, switch?" Kurt asks, eyelashes low over a demure gaze.

Oh, god.

"Yes," Blaine breathes, closing his eyes when Kurt's fist begins moving around him. "God, of course."

In a sudden blur of supernatural movement Kurt flips them, landing neatly over Blaine's thighs and smiling like a kid in a candy store. "Really? It's okay?"

"So okay," Blaine replies, half in awe and half turned on. His head spins from the motion, but he is more than happy to let Kurt do whatever makes him comfortable. He curls his hands around Kurt's slender waist, breathing in sharply when Kurt guides his hands lower, encouraging them down along the divide between his cheeks. The way that Kurt's round, full ass swells up toward the dip of his lower back is sinful; Blaine can't help but trace the contour.

He's much more ready than Blaine thought he might be for this. Blaine steadies himself and slicks his fingers discreetly while Kurt gets comfortable over his pelvis, watching him with bright eyes. He's shaking, and his cock is throbbing visibly.

"Blaine," he whines when Blaine's fingers don't go where he wants them to go. "Touch me there."

His pelvis squirms, and Blaine tries not to overreact—the slow twist of his slender, pale body is unbearably erotic, as is the red blush that spills down his neck and chest and curls around the tips of his ears as he asks for Blaine's fingers.

"No rush," Blaine replies, stroking slippery fingers up and down the space between Kurt's cheeks, rubbing across his eager little hole as well as the warm, hairy skin there.

"I waited," Kurt answers, head tilting back with pleasure. "Was going to try this—by myself, but I wanted you to be the first."

Blaine aches at that, but he keeps stroking. He's nervous—he's never been anyone's first before, and even though he knows that it's silly to think of this as the pinnacle of their sexual introduction (he firmly believes that penetration is not the give all and end all of sex between couples of any gender), it's still important to him to make it as good as it can be for Kurt. He wants to do justice to the expectant wanting on Kurt's face. He wants Kurt to recall the first time that he let someone inside of his body with a smile and a blush, even if Blaine is a distant memory at that time.

He waits for Kurt to relax, slowly rubbing circles around the rim of his hole, and when he feels Kurt sag into his touch he gently works a finger inside, just to the second knuckle.

"Breathe out and push back a little," he says, and Kurt's hands flutter, one settling on Blaine's chest and the other flailing in the air uselessly.

"Oh," he moans.

"Sit back, baby.”

"Oh."

Blaine crooks the finger, lining up a second just for leverage's sake. "Just like that. So tight. Just relax, okay?"

The blush goes wild again, darkening and spreading across Kurt's skin. Goosebumps spring up along his arms, and the hair there stands on end. "Feels weird." He goes still, sitting back on his calves. His body does unwind considerably then, air filling his lungs as he gives over to it intrusion. His ass goes soft and spreads around Blaine's finger.

Kurt bites his lip. Blaine's finger is moving smoothly now, working him open. A second finger is incorporated just as easily, only this time Kurt's pelvis swivels to work against it. By the third he must begin to feel the burn because he slows down and starts panting. Blaine enjoys watching the muscles in his arms and shoulders and belly and thighs flicker and flex as he rocks on Blaine's fingers, face scrunched up.

And then he twitches, fingers spasming outward. He whines, scratching his fingernails down Blaine's belly. "Oh my god," he breathes, rocking a little faster. "Oh my god—"

With three fingers, the right angle, arousal, and time, it's more or less impossible to not find and massage his prostate. All Blaine has to do is crook his fingers. Kurt's cock twitches and dribbles a line of clear fluid. It puddles on Blaine's belly and Blaine bites down on his lip to stifle the whimper that rises in his throat.

"Blaine, I—"

Blaine doesn't realize just how much this is effecting him until he speaks and his voice is threadbare and breathless, "Want to be inside of you, okay?" He fumbles for the condom. "Do you want to move or—"

"No, I want it like this," Kurt breathes, staring down at him.

God.

Kurt shifts forward, letting Blaine reapply the lubricant. His chest is hitching so desperately; Blaine's pulse stutters in response as he adjusts his pelvis and—Kurt is just there all of the sudden, the firm globes of his ass spreading like warm silk, letting Blaine push in between.

"You feel so good," he gasps.

Kurt reaches behind himself and guides Blaine, working the blunt press of the head of Blaine's cock against his soft, gaping pucker. The head pops in easily, but the shaft takes longer, warm frantic moments of Kurt's breathing going funny and their hearts racing each other as he sinks down slowly.

"Okay?" Blaine asks, half holding his breath.

"D-don't move yet." Kurt is sweating and shaking.

"Never, not until you—you're ready." He trembles, fingers clenched around Kurt's hips. The heat and tightness is almost unbearable; he's thankful to be still, because moving would be too much right now. The tension in Kurt's body isn't all positive, as well, and the last thing that Blaine wants is to hurt him.

It starts up again with small twitches of Kurt's pelvis, just enough to scrape Blaine's cock along his insides and make Blaine's pulse stutter. He maintains a stranglehold on Kurt's hips as Kurt begins slowly moving his body up and down. He's as tight as a fist around Blaine's cock.

"Kurt," Blaine moans.

"Can feel you so deep inside," Kurt whimpers.

"Don't wanna hurt you."

"You aren't. It's just—a lot."

Blaine squirts more lubricant into his hand and then wraps it around Kurt's half-mast erection. Nothing like a good distraction. He applies a second coat to where the base of his cock is stretching Kurt wide open, then puts his hand back on Kurt's cock.

"Blaine."

"Shh. Just like this, okay? God, you are so beautiful."

He stares unabashedly as he strokes Kurt back to full hardness. He shifts his hips, daring to push up into Kurt and jerk him a little faster.

After that they slowly begin to move together, Blaine's stomach muscles burning as he forces them to relearn the particular sting of making his body churn up into another's. It's been a while since he's had a partner to this degree of intimacy.

Kurt begins to rock, front to back, face twisting up. "Better," he moans, moving in and out of the circle of Blaine's fist. "Much better."

There are soft, wet noises as a result of the movement of their bodies joining, and Blaine's heart picks up as they grow louder and come faster.

Kurt's right hand fumbles for Blaine's left and, though it's awkward, they tangle their fingers together in mid-air and Kurt whines, bucking Blaine's upward thrusts. "I'm okay, I'm fine, just—keep doing that, keep—"

It's messy and off-rhythm the entire time but it gets them there, and Kurt seems to love being in control of the rhythm and depth, which Blaine is more than happy with. Eventually, Kurt is climbing that edge, fucking himself between Blaine's cock and hand, his face beet red and his fingers almost hurting Blaine's, they are clinging so tightly to his.

"Blaine," he breathes frantically, and Blaine can see that his balls are tight and drawn up and his slit is winking and wet, bisecting a tight, shiny, swollen cock head. "Close—oh, god, oh—"

He begins to quake violently, his hand twitching in Blaine's, his face twisting up with blood and exertion.

"That's it," Blaine gasps, thrusting faster. "Come around me, let go, sweetheart—"

His body clenches up so tightly when he spills over Blaine's fist that Blaine comes not long after he does, whimpering and sweating and rutting up into him with frantic, short thrusts.

Kurt winces when Blaine slides out of him, catches his breath as Blaine discards the condom and gets them some tissues to clean up with. He folds down onto Blaine's chest when that's done. He shakes for a long time and Blaine holds him and strokes his back until the worst of it passes.

"Love you," Blaine says into the quiet.

"Love you, too," Kurt replies.

"Are you okay?"

"Sore," Kurt admits, smiling against Blaine's chest. "But yes." He closes his eyes. "Is it a cliche to feel different?"

"Not at all," Blaine whispers, carding his fingers through Kurt's sweaty hair. "I do. Because you shared that with me, I feel—different."

Kurt's smile widens. "I'm glad." He shifts onto the bed, leaving one arm and one leg slung over Blaine's body. "It was different from what I thought. Weirder and drier and—more intense."

"It's something that you enjoy the more you do it. The more your body learns how to relax into it. But if I—if I did something you didn't like, please let me know."

"I'm pretty sure that you did everything right," Kurt says, smiling sweetly. And then, after a significant, drowsy pause he asks, "Do you want to talk about what happened at the center?"

He doesn't, but he does want Kurt to understand why he had to spend so much time at work.

"Hulked out vamp tried to break into the back room of the center," he says. "He must have been one of those one in a thousand turns that is freakishly strong from the beginning. It's a shame that we haven't IDed him; I'd love to get samples, talk to him, maybe."

"How do you know that it was a guy if you weren't able to identify him?"

"One of the hidden security cameras survived his rampage," Blaine answers. "We didn't get much of a view beyond that, though."

"He didn't steal any blood?"

"No, he went for the records. Computers, backup files. They still aren't sure what he got or even what he was looking for. Nothing was deleted or removed—just a whole lot of physical destruction."

"That's odd," Kurt says.

"It really is. I could understand it if he were looking for blood; that's happened before. But what he actually did is so much worse. It'll be weeks before the center is up and running again and in the meantime they have to set up temporary extensions at the uptown facility and fly in help. I'll have to commute there for the time being and the shifts are going to be hell. We'll be working off of digital backup data that may or may not be current, so we're going to have a lot of downtime IDing and serving. Vamps are going to get cranky, humans are going to get cranky—it's a recipe for disaster. But I guess we'll power through it. It was even messier when the centers first opened, so there is a precedent, at least."

Kurt smiles, tracing shapes onto Blaine's chest. "I can water your plants and take in your mail. I'll make sure that there are groceries and things, too."

"You don't have to do all that," Blaine replies, scratching his fingernails against Kurt's scalp. "But I'd appreciate all that if you can find the time." It's hard, letting someone else do things for him, but he has to start allowing Kurt fill that space in his life—he wants that with Kurt, that level of trust and mutual care. "Tina made me agree to Sundays off, no matter what the shifts are like, so we'll have that and probably some daylight hours as well—it's just going to be unpredictable for a while."

"I don't mind," Kurt says. "I've been picking up a lot of extra work and the money has been good. Almost ready to start looking at cars."

"Ooh," Blaine hums. "Can I come?"

Kurt laughs. "This is not my surprised face."

"I'll forgive the teasing as long as you say yes."

"Yes."

"Excellent."

"Will you eat breakfast now?"

"Well, since you asked so nicely. And car shopping is hungry work." Blaine grins.

*

The twin bed in Kurt's room at the blood club is tiny.

He considers this, but only peripherally, with his head buried between Blaine's legs. He's kneeling on the floor beside the bed and Blaine is sitting up bent across it, ass hanging off of the edge. Kurt switches from his left to his right testicle with a wet slurp. He's been licking and sucking at the ever-firming sacs for probably a half an hour now.

Blaine had gasped something about five minutes in and all Kurt had been able to get out by way of response was a growl that sounded something like, "Love the way you taste." Which is the truth. There's something almost animal-like about the way that he processes Blaine's scent and taste, something that makes his mind buzz and his mouth water. Especially between Blaine's thighs. Especially between his cheeks.

God, it drives Kurt insane.

His fangs aren't down but they want to be; his gums are aching. He's so turned on that it hurts—both to stop the fangs and to stop from humping the heel of the palm he has pressed between his legs to keep himself from coming in his pants.

Blaine's feet are clinging to the edge of the bed and his naked legs are bent up and spread as wide as they can go, his cock and balls hanging flushed and heavy between them. Kurt supposes he should—do something else, stroke Blaine's cock or maybe go lower and—lick. But he's drawn back to the spit-soaked balls again, finding them much firmer against his tongue now when he licks them from bottom to top.

Blaine twitches, letting out a high-pitched noise. "God, I—"

"Yeah?" Kurt teases, sucking Blaine's left ball between his lips and tonguing it roughly.

"Oh my god, you are—so good at that."

He slides two fingertips across Blaine's twitching hole the next time that he switches balls, and grins around his mouthful when Blaine shivers and almost looses his footing on the metal edge of the bed frame.

"Kurt," Blaine breathes, hips rocking.

"Blaine." He presses harder, drawing a circle around the wrinkled, swollen rim.

"Please," Blaine answers, gripping the bedspread harder. His knuckles are white. "Please, there."

"Mm," Kurt hums. He's buzzing with power, feeling so in control, as if he could do anything and Blaine would love it. Instincts that seem to be proving accurate at every turn burn inside of him, driving him to lower his mouth to where Blaine is aching. He licks a broad stripe over Blaine's pucker.

"God, oh god," Blaine whimpers. He reaches down to wrap a hand around himself, but Kurt finds himself reaching up so quickly that his fingers blur. He grabs Blaine's wrist a little too hard.

"Don't," he whispers, curling the tip of his tongue harder against Blaine's entrance. "Don't."

"O-okay."

He works his tongue inside of Blaine bit by bit until he's licking deep, his chin rubbing hard against Blaine's spit-wet crack. It's so much; he's warm and sweaty and moving, pushing his body down around Kurt's tongue. Kurt can't move much inside, it's so narrow and tight, but he can move his tongue in and out, in and out, taking time to suck and trace the puffy rim of Blaine's hole with his lips before diving back inside. He doesn't keep track of time. He doesn't do anything but chase that jerking, gasping reaction, greedily wanting more and more of it from Blaine.

It goes on for ages.

Kurt goes from feeling cheeky to almost naughty about pushing it, but before long they pass that mark and he just sort of keeps going until his face is numb and his tongue tingling. His jaw has started to twinge, which is amazing—his body is built for untold amounts of stamina and to be pushing that limit must mean that Blaine is well beyond normal sensitivity.

Kurt lifts his head, rolling his jaw experimentally.

Blaine's eyes are shut—his body is dripping sweat and his skin is flushed red more or less everywhere. He looks unconscious.

Gently, Kurt edges a thumb along his hot, wet skin, finding his hole slack and soft. He pushes, hard and deep, sinking it all the way inside.

Blaine's eyes pop open. "Oh." His throat works with difficulty around a swallow and his hips jerk. "Kurt. Please. Can't wait any more."

Kurt applies a quick dab of lubricant to his fingers, then pushes his pointer finger in alongside his thumb. He works the two in a quick series of short thrusts, unable to hear anything over the pounding of his own heart besides the wet noise that results.

"Please—" Blaine's pelvis goes soft as he works himself down onto Kurt's fingers. His belly tenses, but it's compressed and bent, an adorable pinched roll of fat. And then he gasps into the heavy silence, "Fuck me, please, fuck me."

It's about all Kurt can take; he's never heard Blaine curse like that before. He drags wet, tongue-filled kisses up Blaine's hip. "Want it rough?" he rasps, climbing up onto the bed and dragging Blaine's warm, pliant body into his lap. "I can be—I can do that, if you want."

Blaine whimpers, kneeling over Kurt's lap and grabbing at his hair. His voice is low and broken when he spits out, "God, yes. Yes. Want that."

He shivers and rushes into a condom, urgency clawing at the base of his spine. Blaine's face is so—soft, almost withdrawn, almost passive; he's completely given himself over to Kurt, and Kurt can't breathe, the trust between them is so prominent in this moment. Blaine wraps his legs around Kurt's body and Kurt tips them forward until Blaine is under him, pinning Blaine's arms above his head as he pushes inside. There's absolutely no resistance, and this draws a deep, guttural groan from Kurt's chest. He doesn't need to wait, or gauge Blaine's reaction; Blaine's body is ready.

Blaine just whines and writhes, and Kurt pushes him hard into the mattress, eyes flashing.

"Please," he begs, again.

Kurt doesn't look away, doesn't break their eye contact when he begins to move. It's deep rolls at first, more grinding than thrusting, working his cock inside of Blaine's ass, trying to find his prostate; but that's short work, and Blaine keeps wriggling, and Kurt simply gives over to his baser urges and lets his back and thighs go and fucks Blaine into the bed, making it shake so loudly that he's sure everyone in the building is now aware of what they're doing. Strangely, that only makes him harder. Only makes him fuck Blaine faster, deeper. The noise of his balls slapping Blaine's skin drives him on, the broken begging cascading from Blaine's lips only makes him thrust harder.

"Blaine," he growls.

"More," Blaine gasps. Kurt holds his wrists tighter, leans closer, presses him harder into the bed. He can feel Blaine's cock trapped in between their bodies.

Blaine's eyes are a fractured combination of brown shot through with the faintest green, and there are tears on his cheeks. Kurt can't breathe—he's so beautiful like this, fucked open and broken in ways that Kurt can't even begin to understand. He only knows that in this moment Blaine needs him, needs everything that he has to give, and he wants to give Blaine everything.

He can feel Blaine's legs around his torso; the touch of Blaine's bare toes against his spine, the wet slide of Blaine's lips along his jaw.

"Bite me," comes the explosive, warm whisper against his ear, Blaine's fingers digging into his hair, pulling it in a way that would hurt if he were human. The sting brings all the hairs on his body to attention and he gasps, his back bending.

Blaine is wet and tight around him and he doesn't stop thrusting, he just buries his face in the soft side of Blaine's neck and bites, no questions, no worry, just does it—and only realizes directly after that he hadn't licked or kissed and so Blaine will feel it, will feel every inch of the pain of his skin being punctured.

Blaine sobs and comes suddenly, shooting all over them both; thick, long gushes that pool at his breastbone and drip down the sides of his torso and fleck his skin with pale splatter.

Oh my god, is all Kurt can think as he closes his mouth around the wound. It's just a second too late, and there's blood all over Blaine's shoulder and the bed but he doesn't seem to care; he clings tighter, stiff as a board under Kurt but sobbing wonderfully, openly into Kurt's hair. His body is content but riding a painful high at the same time, a bliss that goes beyond normal human endurance levels, leaving his mind a mess of warm, soft edges that almost glow; Kurt can feel them, though he isn't sure how, and for a moment he is frightened.

He pulls back from the mental connection with a jerk. Where had that come from?

"Don't stop," Blaine gasps, recapturing his attention. "Keep drinking."

Fuck.

So he keeps drinking. Blaine twitches and shakes the entire time, loosening his death grip only when Kurt has lifted his mouth. The room spins around Kurt. He has taken quite a bit of blood. Blaine licks at the corner of his mouth, then noses inside and drags the tip of his tongue over and around Kurt's fang teeth. There's blood everywhere between their mouths, smearing sticky across their chins.

Kurt hisses, rocking his hips. He's still hard as a rock, still buried inside of Blaine's body. "Blaine."

"I'm okay." He's sweating even more profusely than before, droplets rolling down his forehead and temples and neck. He doesn't seem to be suffering any discomfort, though. "That was incredible," he adds, kissing Kurt's lips.

"You're weak," Kurt answers, kissing down Blaine's throat. His body is limp and he just feels—fuzzy around the edges, to Kurt's senses. This doesn't stop him from lifting Blaine's trembling thighs and fucking deep into him. "God, you're still so tight."

Blaine whimpers. "If you—if you want to keep fucking me—I—you can."

God, but his body is wrecked. Kurt has been working him over in a variety of ways for hours, has been roughly fucking him for at least the last thirty minutes, and has taken a good amount of blood from his veins.

"You're so tapped out," he replies, and it's both an awed, aroused observation and a question but, yet again, his hips roll, and Blaine gasps.

"Wh-what, what do you want?"

He sits up on his knees, easing himself from the clench of Blaine's body carefully, watching Blaine's face tense when he's left empty and gaping. It's nothing to kneel over his chest, nothing to snap the condom off and smooth a fist up the shaft of his throbbing cock. Kurt breathes out, staring down at Blaine's flushed, blood-stained, sweaty face and round eyes.

"Want you to swallow every drop," he exhales, cupping Blaine's jaw. "Every drop, okay?"

"Y-yes," Blaine answers, eyes going even wider.

It's the most tense, erotic sixty seconds they've ever shared, Kurt jerking himself off with quick, frantic strokes, the slick noise of his fist around himself, and Blaine's throaty inhales and exhales as he waits, mouth swollen and open and willing. Kurt groans, pelvis twitching.

"Please," Blaine whimpers hungrily.

"Blaine—"

"Please. Come in my mouth." His lips tremble and his jaw surges forward, wanting it, wanting it so badly, so obviously.

Kurt lunges, pushing the head of his cock against Blaine's lower lip just seconds before he spurts, jolts of pearly come hitting the roof of Blaine's mouth and coating his lips. It just keeps happening, throb after throb after throb, Blaine's fingernails digging into Kurt's thighs as he swallows whatever makes it into his mouth down. Kurt pushes past his lips, forcing weak spurts to ooze across his tongue. Blaine's mouth goes soft and easy around him and before he can even protest Blaine is dragging him deeper, swallowing around his cock, sucking at the softening flesh, drawing out everything that it has left to give. Only then does Kurt pop free; Blaine inhales noisily, eyes rolling back.

"Could you stay there for just—a minute?"

Kurt sits gingerly on Blaine's chest, caressing his face. "Of course."

Blaine's eyes flutter shut again. "I—Kurt—I've never—you are incredible." He swallows. "It's like you're in my head, like you know exactly what I want."

Kurt wonders if maybe part of that is quite literally true. There have been moments between them recently, especially since they began to work blood drinking into sex regularly, when he has felt as if he could almost read Blaine's mind. Or, at least, read his general mood, far enough to understand his desires in the heat of the moment. Kurt has no idea to what extent vampires can do that, and Blaine hasn't seemed to grasp the gravity of his observation, so he decides not to bring it up. At least not until he can educate himself. And it's not as if he is actively reading Blaine's thoughts, or that he has any desire to do so.

"I think I like it this way," Kurt admits. "I like—" He blushes, staring at Blaine's arms, crossed above his head again despite the fact that Kurt hadn't put them back there. "I like—"

"You like topping," Blaine finishes for him, smiling.

"Is that okay?"

He doesn't want to label it quite so neatly. He does enjoy Blaine inside of him, quite often; he likes feeling full and he likes having his ass touched, but being inside of Blaine thrills him. It makes him feel like he belongs in his own skin, like his body is his instrument, like there isn't a thing that he couldn't accomplish in that moment.

Blaine grins, unfolding his arms, finally. He looks comfortable under Kurt's weight. "In case it hasn't been obvious enough," he murmurs, eyes going warm beneath their lashes, "I prefer bottoming."

Kurt whimpers, unable to stop it before he bites his lips shut. "But we can always—I don't want you to think—"

"I know, sweetheart. And we already have. It's a mood thing, you know? It's okay to want either or, and it's just as okay to agree on overall preference. I think we have, don't you?"

"I think so," Kurt answers, face still warm. It's so odd that he can—say and do all of those things to Blaine, and then blush like a kid when they actually talk about it after.

"Jesus fucking Christ, are you two done?" comes Santana's irritated voice from the other side of Kurt's door. "You've got a customer in twenty, gato."

Blaine laughs, looking properly embarrassed. The wound on his neck isn't bleeding freely anymore but it's messy and there is blood splatter all over his neck and side. "I'll clean up."

"Good idea," Kurt says, climbing off of him. "You smell too good. I might trail you home like a lost puppy like that." He shouts at the door, "Give me a few, Satan."

"Dios mio," she mutters, heels clacking all the way down the hall.

"That's not much of an incentive," Blaine answers, walking shamelessly naked and filthy across the room. His body is a map of bruises and scratches and his shoulder looks mauled, though it's probably just the blood making it look so severe.

"I hurt you," Kurt says.

Blaine glances down. "It looks worse than it is." He cleans the blood off of his skin with wet wipes that Kurt has a bulk-sized box of in his room. "Besides, I like the way it feels; when we're apart it reminds me of you."

With the blood cleaned off, the bite wound looks small, just teeth marks and red-purple bruises in the shape of Kurt's mouth that will fade soon enough, little more than an impressive hickey with two pinpricks at the center.

Kurt crosses the room to kiss Blaine, savoring the wet glide of their lips once, twice, and a third time before pulling back to stare into his eyes. "Call me before you go to sleep?"

Blaine smiles at him, sweetly satiated. "Of course."

*

Santana takes him clothes shopping.

He's become sort of amazingly adept at getting her to spill details about her and Quinn's life before the club without actually asking direct questions (that way lies eye rolls and rapid fire Spanish swear words). This time he uses a particular fashion choice that she makes to take a stab at a past event, and she laughs and twists in front of the dressing room mirror.

"I used to be crazy about uniforms, actually," she says, turning. "Quinn and me were cheerleaders all through high school."

"Must've been a hell of a squad."

"Lima Heights Adjacent," she sings. "We were badass bitches."

Kurt stares straight ahead, trying not to allow the surprise to show on his face.

He knows that they are much older than him and that there's probably a huge time gap between their high school careers and his, but to hear the name of his hometown is unsettling, and an odd coincidence. Or is it? Sometimes he thinks that there has to have been something other than pure chance to his collapsing on their doorstep. Then again, he makes a habit of not believing in things that border spirituality too closely.

"You're quiet," she drawls, adjusting her boobs in the mirror. "Does this combination not meet with your approval?"

"That pattern mismatch is so last season," he sighs.

She glares. "Never heard the phrase 'the hand that feeds you', huh?"

He smiles. "Just telling it like it is. Here, let me swap out that top." As he helps her button up a better choice, he asks, "I assume you were the fearless leader of this band of cheerful folks?"

"Depending on how bloodthirsty Quinn was that week, sometimes," she answers, tugging the collar into place. "It was different then. I was dating someone else, she was dating the captain of the football team."

"Wow," Kurt answers, stepping back and tilting his head. "Better." He fusses with the shoes they've selected, holding them up to compare. "So how did you two end up together?"

She stares at him through their reflections. "You talk to Quinn about this yet?"

"Uh, no." He tries to look as casually disinterested as possible. "Just curious. You're like my fairy godmothers."

Though she tries very hard to not look flattered, it's obvious that she is. "Well. Of course." She preens, taking the pair of shoes that he holds out to her and sliding them on. "Long story short? My girlfriend didn't react well after I was bit. She, um, she was unique, you know? She had a real special way of looking at the world, of—living in it. And I was suddenly a different person to her. She never saw it the way that other people did. It—I scared her, after. And around the same time Quinn turned, had a huge falling out with her meathead boyfriend. He hated it. Had all these plans for them and couldn't accept that she'd changed. Our families were—difficult, hers especially. So we ended up in each other's arms, so to speak. It's all very Telemundo novella."

"That's better," he says, referring to her outfit with a smile. He steps back as she begins to change. "You really love each other, though. I mean—it's sweet."

Santana breathes out, her eyes shifting away. "It took us a long time to get there, to build what we've got now. It wasn't always easy. But she's—she's probably the only reason we made it. I can be kind of a hot mess."

Kurt slides his fingers down into hers. "Hey. You made it. You're together. That's all that matters, right?"

Something dark and clouded in her eyes tells him otherwise but she says nothing, just tightens her fingers around his.

He chalks that up to a win.

Later, he has dinner with Quinn and brings up the one thing that he'd forgotten to ask Santana about; the ability that he seems to have to sort of read Blaine's mind.

"Sure," she replies. "Um, we don't talk about it, as a rule. It's—if they knew that some of us were capable of that, we'd be in a bind, wouldn't we?" She stops to sip at the blood in her wine glass, pushing a strand of hair off of her forehead. "It's not as developed as you'd like it to be. It only really happens when we drink, or before or after we drink. Or when we get close to a donor over time. I guess it just helps to gauge their—well, how much we can take, how close they are to unconsciousness, stuff like that." She licks her lip. "You and Blaine...?"

He blushes, fiddling with the napkin that he's been tearing to shreds. "A little bit. He just thinks I'm amazing at knowing what he wants when we're—"

She laughs. "Hey, honey. Nothing wrong with that." She raises her glass at him. "Enjoy."

"I don't want to read his mind against his will," Kurt says, frowning. "But I don't feel like I have any control over it right now."

"You can. Just—visualize a wall between your minds. That usually does the trick for me."

He's not sure that he'd have the proper control over himself in those heated moments to do that, but if it will keep him from accidentally invading Blaine's privacy then he's willing to try.

They drink in peaceful silence for a while. Santana floats through once or twice, stopping to tweak a strand of his hair and kiss Quinn on the cheek. Mercedes joins them for a bit, brings up a scheduling issue before launching into a round of small talk. It's friendly and easy and Kurt feels the warmth of their little family and crowded home settle in his chest.

When they're alone again and the stack of papers beside Quinn's computer is almost gone, Kurt asks, "Has there been anything else about the break-in at the center?"

"It's re-opening on Monday, but I'm sure you knew that already," she says. "When the authorities are unable to solve a crime, they're usually very quiet about it. Case in point. They never figured out who he was or what he was looking for. Chances are he was just some wacko fresh turn—sometimes they go nuts, monster strength and insanity, the whole nine. They'll be happy to call it that and move on."

"I'm surprised that the backlash hasn't been more intense," Kurt says. "They usually love using this kind of thing as an excuse to talk about how dangerous we are."

She shrugs. "He didn't go for the blood. If he had—it might've been different. As it is he just messed up some computers and security equipment. They could write it off as a robbery attempt and call it a day." She watches him for a long moment. "Anything you want to tell me?"

What to say?

He has no way of knowing if it had anything to do with him. All along he's panicked over the possibility that someone who knew David might come looking for revenge. Vamps don't give two shits about the human justice system; they'd just find him and chop him into pieces and call it a day. The police certainly wouldn't care. Even if they did find parts of his body they'd have a hard time identifying them, as vampires decay in ways that humans don't. So unless this vampire were kind enough to leave Kurt's wallet attached to his disembodied parts...

But who? David's jock friends had always been eager to flank each other in the halls at school, but Kurt seriously doubts that any of them care enough to prove that loyalty beyond the borders of their small town.

And then again there is the possibility that Kurt is just being extraordinarily paranoid.

"I'm concerned about people looking for me," he admits.

She hmphs thoughtfully.

*

Cooper and Blaine have always had an up and down relationship—sibling rivalry, personality clashes, jealousy of each other's relationship with their parents (Cooper had been close with their father, Blaine with their mother), misunderstandings of each other's professional and life goals, and the list goes on. Many of these issues have extended into adulthood without any sign of resolution but, if nothing else, they have learned to acknowledge one another; Cooper has become easier to get along with and Blaine has grown up a lot. Blaine appreciates every tiny step forward, because one of his biggest worries was that they would fail to resolve their differences and lose each other as they grew older.

One thing that they've always been able to enjoy together is shooting pool at the bar down the block from Cooper's apartment. Before Cooper had turned they used to drink beer and eat wings at least once a month—now it's mostly pool and darts and Blaine drinking twice the beer and eating twice the wings to make up for Cooper's inability to do so. And honestly, it's always easier to hang out with Cooper when one is buzzed, and tonight Blaine is well on his way to getting drunk.

The center is open again, but Tina had insisted that he take a week off before plunging back in full time. He'd promised himself that he would make time for Cooper as well as various school friends who he's been neglecting since he started dating Kurt.

He's thinking about that specifically when Cooper drags him out of his thoughts with the sudden announcement, "I'm going to ask Jenn to marry me."

He sets his beer bottle down and turns to face Cooper. "Coop, I—that's wonderful."

"Since I made partner it's all I've thought about," Cooper admits, one hand tangled in his own hair. "Still kind of terrified, I have to admit.”

"Don't be," Blaine replies, patting Cooper on the back. "She's crazy about you."

"Assuming she doesn't run screaming into the night and says yes—be my best man?"

Blaine's throat closes up and he feels his eyes burn before he can clamp down on the emotion. He's pretty sure that Cooper wouldn't want to deal with waterworks at this moment in time. "God, of course. Of course I will."

They hug, and Cooper ruffles his hair when they pull apart. "Thank god that's over." He grins. "Man, I miss getting drunk. That's probably the number one thing that I miss—well. That and red meat." He stares off into space longingly. "Cheeseburgers."

Blaine laughs. "You know, they're doing a study—"

"Blainers," Cooper groans. "Please, no. Not right now."

"Alright," he replies, grinning. "Shutting up." He raises his beer bottle. "To wedded bliss."

*

They're sitting on a picnic blanket surrounded by shopping bags. Blaine had lost count somewhere around the sixth or seventh, too absorbed in trying to balance them and Kurt's hand in his while laughing his head off and being pulled from vendor to vendor all at the same time.

This arts and crafts show has been on their radar for weeks and, happily enough, had fallen on Blaine's vacation week. Kurt has been going on about designs for days (he's putting together a fashion design portfolio in case he decides to fall back on that as a second career choice) and the material for those creations now resides in the bags around them, bolts of fabric and thread and buttons and baubles and patterns of all kinds. He's glowing with excitement, and it makes Blaine so happy to see him this bouncy.

Still, it has been a long day. Blaine had eaten a heavy, fried dinner, and now they are settled in the middle of a grassy park field waiting for the fireworks that cap off the evening to start. Kurt is nestled in front of him, sitting back against his chest, and their hands are tangled in his lap.

He buries his face in Kurt's hair and inhales. "Had fun today?"

"Oh, god yes," Kurt sighs, eyes tracing an arc across the dusky sky. "I have so many pieces that I want to put together."

"I can't wait to see them," Blaine answers.

"Oh, look," Kurt squeaks, pointing.

There's a burst of red and white in the sky and then all at once the sky above the field is a cacophony of noise and light as the fireworks begin in earnest. Blaine untangles one hand from Kurt's and strokes his fingers through Kurt's hair. They can't talk over the noise, so he spends most of the the show watching the reflection of the fireworks flare across the surface of Kurt's wide, excited eyes.

He thinks about Cooper asking Jenn to marry him. He knows that it's too soon for that kind of thinking as far as he and Kurt are concerned, but there is definitely an urge deep down in his belly to make things between them more defined, more permanent. It's a new feeling for him. Up until now he's been content to just enjoy their time together, so caught up in being madly in love for the first time in his life that there seemed to be no reason to look beyond that wonder. But now—he's not really sure what has created this need inside of him to make sure that Kurt stays around. Kurt hasn't done anything to make him clingy, so what is it really about? It could be that he's going back to school soon—and that Kurt may very well be attending college himself. Once that begins, their time together will be drastically reduced. Maybe Blaine is nervous about the effect that will have on them. Maybe once Kurt starts making friends and building a social life of his own at whatever college or university he chooses, he'll meet someone else or change his mind about their relationship. Blaine doesn't really see what they have—doesn't see Kurt—as flimsy or as changeable as that—but doubt can be groundless and still carve out a place for itself.

These thoughts stay on his mind all the way back to his apartment.

When they're settled in bed, his mind drifts to all of the things that he still doesn't know about Kurt. He can't even begin to engage this idea of settling with Kurt any further, not with that still on the table, he knows this, but it's still a difficult reality to swallow. He twists onto his back, breathing out as Kurt's arm readjusts across his chest.

"Can I ask you something?" he asks.

There is a beat of hesitation that makes his stomach clench up, but Kurt eventually replies, "Sure."

"How were you turned?" It's a good place to start; he knows that the answer isn't going to be pretty—Kurt is far too young to have been turned under healthy circumstances—but at least knowing the answer will be one more step toward understanding him.

Kurt tenses but doesn't pull away. "It's not a happy story. Do you really want to know?"

"Yes," Blaine says.

"I was always different, always—stood out," Kurt begins. "I was bullied all through elementary and middle school. By the time I got to high school I was sort of used to it. I, um, made some friends in glee club, but never quite—I'm really bad at friendships, I just don't seem to connect to people very well." He inhales. Pauses. "Anyway I—was never really happy. I was teased and ostracized but despite that I still wanted—sometimes I tried to fit in, tried to reach out for attention, and one weekend there was a party. That's how these stupid high school stories always start, right?" He laughs, but it isn't funny. "It was being thrown by an older brother of one of the glee kids. There were a lot of college students there and I just—I was lonely and feeling rebellious and like I could handle myself no matter what. I got drunk. I—ended up alone with one of the college guys." He breathes in. "I just wanted to be touched. I wanted someone to look at me as if I were—desirable, appealing, whatever."

Blaine goes very still, feeling his heart begin to pound a dreadful rhythm. This isn't the story that he'd expected to hear.

"He, um. He was very persistent, even though he didn't want to kiss or—anything that I wanted. He tried to—he wanted to—it—it didn't go very far, he just tried to, um. To get me to get him off with my hand. When I refused, when I—pushed him off of me, he—he grabbed me and bit me. I knew he was a vampire when I went with him, I mean I was just stupid, I thought it would be sexy, I had all these dumb ideas about vampires and he'd seemed so nice at first. Anyway he—he took too much blood. I don't know if it was because he was angry or horny or—whatever. But he took too much and he didn't know how to help me after. He panicked when I started to black out. When I woke up the bed was covered in blood and I wasn't human anymore. He'd turned me to stop me from bleeding out, I guess. No one knew who he was. Just some random student from the university one county over. I never saw him again and no one—they all thought that I deserved it for going upstairs with him. They told me that it was my fault. They made me sit through a vamp ed class, gave me some literature, assigned me time with the guidance counselor, and that was that." He wipes furiously at his wet cheeks. "The bullying slowed down a little—people knew I could hurt them, so they physically backed off. But the verbal stuff never stopped. Eventually I just learned how to hide myself better. I stopped trying to fit in, to make friends. I quit glee club."

When he stops, Blaine holds him tighter. "I had no idea."

Kurt looks up at him for the first time since telling the tale, his eyes swimming with tears. The eye contact seems to undo him; his tears spill over and keep spilling. His shoulders convulse. Blaine holds him until he's just sniffling, fingers twined through his hair. Blaine doesn't want to say I'm sorry. He doesn't want to express the protective anger that has risen alongside of that sorrow, either. He knows that neither of these things will help Kurt or change what was done to him.

"What happened to you is unforgivable, Kurt," he whispers fiercely against Kurt's ear. "And not one bit of it is your fault." He pulls back, stroking Kurt's face. "You deserved so much more. But you're here. You're here, surviving, and living, and getting better, and I love you so much."

"I love you, too," Kurt answers, sounding overwhelmed. "You're right, I just—can we—not talk about it anymore tonight, please?"

"Not another word, I promise," Blaine replies.

The next morning, he feels much more positive about things; Kurt had been so willing to open up, and maybe that's all that he has been waiting for. He ducks out of the apartment for fresh bread and orange juice and makes a detour to the local hardware store to get a copy of the keys to his apartment made. Back at home, he puts together a breakfast tray (bread and jam and butter and juice for himself and blood for Kurt). He uses a piece of butcher's string to tie the pair of keys to the little hole at the top of the blood packet, carefully hiding them beneath it on the tray.

He waits, thinking about the gesture that he's about to make while a bed-headed, shirtless Kurt curls into his side and begins feeding him bites of bread. He sucks jam from Kurt's fingertips, trying to judge his frame of mind. His eyes are red-rimmed from last night's crying but he seems happy now, and certainly brighter than he had been yesterday morning. Perhaps talking about his experiences had been therapeutic for him? Perhaps this is the thing that he'd been so ashamed of not talking about before? Blaine isn't sure, but—the keys are already on the tray, and he doesn't intend to change his mind. It feels like the right time.

Kurt reaches for the blood when Blaine is done eating. His eyebrows draw together in confusion when he feels the extra weight of the keys. They jingle, catching the early morning light as Kurt lifts them.

"I want you to be able to come and go," Blaine says, as Kurt turns the bright, freshly cut metal between his fingers, his eyes widening. "I—I wouldn't mind coming home to you, sometimes. If that's something you want, I mean—I want you to consider this place as your home, too."

"I can keep these?" Kurt asks, voice suddenly gone very high. "I can use them?"

Blaine says, kissing him, "You're an important part of my life. I want you around as often as I can have you. Now that you have a car, it only makes sense that you be able to let yourself in once you get here, right?"

Kurt squeals and tackles him—catching the half-empty glass of orange juice and sticky jam-covered plate that fly off of the tray in mid-air with one hand while the other frantically digs through Blaine's wavy curls and pulls him into a fierce kiss.

"Thank you," he say, voice breaking with emotion against Blaine's lips. "Thank you."

*

The height of the summer passes in a blur of shared activity; they take in everything that the city has to offer, shows and concerts, movies and dancing, shopping and dining. There are times when Kurt has no idea how Blaine manages to work, study, and date him without literally dropping from exhaustion, but he never seems overwhelmed—though he does at times come across as overworked—so Kurt is content to go with the flow.

He saves up enough money for a semester's worth of modest tuition and, with Santana's help, manages the paperwork that he needs to apply a bit late to several arts programs in the area.

Jenn accepts Cooper's marriage proposal and Kurt acts as a chaperon so that Blaine and his brother and their friends can celebrate with a good old-fashioned pub crawl.

Blaine is even more of a puppy when drunk, emotional and clingy and affectionate, and though Kurt can't say that he's overly fond of handling Cooper (who is a loud, boisterous person even without the ability to get drunk) at the same time, he's happy to be a part of it. It feels like a real family, different from but complimentary to the family that he's become a part of at the blood club.

Toward the end of the evening when Blaine has begun to sober up, he tucks himself against Kurt's body under a street lamp and asks, "Be my date to the wedding?"

"Blaine Anderson, who else would you have taken?" Kurt counters, jabbing his boyfriend in the ribs.

"Formality." Blaine's breath could knock out a horse. "God, I can't wait to see you in a suit. Will you let me buy you one? Please?"

There's no refusing that.

*

On another evening Blaine invites Kurt to meet some of his medical student friends, a mixed bag of men and women of all sensibilities and orientations who suggest that they go to a gay-friendly club where they dance and drink until the strobe lights are a blur and everyone smells like sweat and blood to Kurt. He experiences being ogled and hit on, really and truly, for the first time, and it's a weird combination of feeling simultaneously flattered and too exposed. Blaine isn't the possessive type, thankfully, but he doesn't leave Kurt alone for long enough to get swamped by the interested throng, which Kurt appreciates.

"Can I try something?" Blaine shouts over the music, loose from the cocktails that his friends have been buying him and Kurt, snug against his body on the dance floor, asks him what he wants to try. "Drop your teeth?"

"Here?"

"Humor me."

He does as requested, watching as Blaine drags the inside of his own forearm over one sharp canine just hard enough to break the skin.

Kurt's nostrils flare and he feels his pupils dilate at the smell. "Blaine?"

Blaine's face is sweaty. "Taste? I just want to see—"

Kurt doesn't need to be asked twice. He bends his head over Blaine's arm and licks away the thin line of blood that's welled up. The cut is too shallow to offer more than just a few drops across his tongue, but the blood tastes good and makes his pulse stutter.

"Do you—is it any different than usual?" Blaine asks, kissing his earlobe.

"A little," Kurt replies, shivering. "But—I'm not sure why." He drags his tongue over his gums. He feels tingly, but he isn't sure whether it's the music or the dancing or the alcohol in Blaine's blood.

"Sorry; science experiment." Blaine's hands tighten on his hips and carry him into the next song.

His friends have either paired off or dispersed throughout the club, so Kurt doesn't see any reason not to do the same, and though he still isn't quite sure if either the music or the atmosphere is suited to his taste, there is nothing about rubbing up against Blaine to a strong beat that he finds distasteful. All thoughts of propriety and snobbery directed at the questionably attired patrons around them disappear when Blaine's fingers tuck inside the back pockets of his pants and they begin to move together again. It feels good, though he knows that he's not very skilled at dancing, to let his body give over to the rhythm that Blaine sets, to tip his head up at the blinding, searching lights traveling above their heads and allow Blaine's mouth to explore his neck. He forgets that they're two among hundreds. He stops noticing the stares and the way that other men try to cut in between them or bracket them unsuccessfully.

It's a shock to his system when Blaine says into his ear, "You have no idea how badly they want to put their hands on you, do you?"

Kurt's first reaction is to think, I'm just some kid. But the Kurt that has blossomed under the warm glow of a respectful, mutual attraction is now aware of the effect that he can have. Just as he is aware that the outfit he's wearing—tasteful but also perfectly cut to his body, arranged to show off every positive asset—and the way that he's writhing in Blaine's arms is going to draw attention.

"Jealous?" he asks, grinning.

"No," comes the reply, instant and completely self-assured.

Kurt kisses him and the kiss goes from close-lipped to his tongue curling around Blaine's in the space of three heartbeats. Blaine's hands wrap around his lower back, pulling him in closer.

"All yours," he breathes, wrapping his arms around Blaine's neck.

He doesn't intend to let this dissolve into a trashy dance floor make out session, but his moral high ground disappears along with his usual hesitance to let go in public when Blaine's hands start to wander his back and shoulders, when one kiss becomes two becomes three, when their hips line up just so and Blaine shivers a gasp out across his mouth and he takes Blaine's bottom lip between his teeth in reply. Before he even realizes it he's grinding their cocks together through their pants, fingers twisted into Blaine's hair. The music, the crowd, Blaine's friends—everything and everyone disappears.

He can feel the bass line pound in his bones, vibrate his body right out of reality. The zing of Blaine's blood is still tingling in his mouth, just enough of a tease to linger. He can taste it if he runs his tongue along the back of his teeth and somehow he just knows that Blaine knows it; there's an informed glint in Blaine's eyes, a coy flash of you want more I know you do and I want to give it to you I want to give it give it give it that drives Kurt's instincts into overdrive. He tongues hungrily over Blaine's neck, all the way down to the spot where his skin is permanently flushed darker, marked from the constant reapplication of Kurt's bite. He thinks that he hears Blaine gasp his name but he can't tell, not with all the noise, so he just closes his lips around the spot and sucks. Blaine's body spasms under his hands.

Kurt's eyes flutter shut. "Want you," is what comes tumbling out of his mouth when he lets it run, all breath and little forethought. "Blaine, god, just—want you so bad, want to feel you—take me home, please?"

Blaine groans as their hips grind together. "Don't want to let you go."

"Your friends—" They really are very nice people; Kurt doesn't want them to think that he's some kind of sex-crazed weirdo on their first meeting.

"Give me five minutes," Blaine says.

He's not sure what kind of excuses Blaine makes for them, but ten minutes later they're jogging hand in hand back to Kurt's car, perfectly alone, giggling like kids as Kurt fumbles with the keys. Blaine takes over with the keys when Kurt won't stop laughing, so Kurt latches onto his back instead, kissing his neck, hands all over his chest and stomach. He nudges Blaine into the driver's seat despite the fact that it's his car, grinning at the surprised noise Blaine makes when he straddles his lap, pushes the seat all the way back, and closes the door behind them.

"Oh my god, Kurt," he says, as Kurt spreads him out.

The screens that Kurt has on his windows—designed to block UV rays but still allow him to drive, more a defensive novelty than anything else (people tend to stay far away from vampires' cars)—serve the happy purpose of blocking the view of the inside of the car almost entirely at night. Kurt jerks them down one by one until the car is shrouded in darkness, denied most of the glow of the parking lot lights.

"Are you sure?" Blaine gasps into the kiss as Kurt hungrily goes at him, fingering his jeans open.

"Need you," Kurt whines, shoving the pants down around Blaine's thighs.

"God, honey."

All they have is a tube of hand cream in the glove compartment and a crinkled condom rescued from the depths of Blaine's wallet, but it's enough; Kurt gasps, head thrown back, as Blaine peels the pants and underwear off of his sweaty hips, one hand wrapping around his cock as it bobs free and the other sliding around to spread him open.

"Right now?" Blaine asks again. "Right here?"

"Yes," Kurt gasps, hips churning. "Need something inside, please, fingers, just—" Blaine's strong, searching touch is so perfect in that moment that when his fingers finally find Kurt twitching and already opening up he whimpers, thrusting back onto them. "More." Blaine twists one finger inside, then a second when Kurt continues to whine, and the slick squelch and tangy scent of the hand cream make Kurt's senses go wild. He growls, rocking down onto Blaine's fingers. It's never felt quite that way before, immediate and invasive but still not enough.

"Fuck me," Kurt blurts, unashamed and desperate, condom between his fingers, Blaine's throbbing cock in his hand. It's so quick after that, a blur of sweat and skin as Kurt sits up higher on Blaine's pelvis and then sits down, slowly seating himself to the hilt of Blaine's cock, and even then it's almost not enough, the burn not keen enough, and Kurt hates the damned lotion and hates the condom, twisting his hips to get more.

"Oh god, baby, slow down," Blaine chants, holding onto Kurt's hips for dear life as the car squeaks and rocks around them.

Kurt rises and falls, shoving his hands up and under Blaine's shirt to get at his warm, smooth skin. "I don't want to use the condoms anymore," he gasps, and Blaine's eyes snap up to his. "I want to feel you." He bites his lip; Blaine's hips roll up and make his go still as he fucks up into him, hard and fast. Kurt's voice shakes, "I want you to come inside of me, I want you to make me wet, I want to feel it—feel it—"

"Kurt," Blaine sobs.

"No one else's, I'm no one—else's—and you're mine and—I don't—want to use them anymore, Blaine, okay?"

Blaine rumbles low in his chest and grabs Kurt around the waist, flipping them over and pushing back inside, deep and rough, shoving Kurt's thighs up and apart. "Spread for me, that's it."

"Oh, god," Kurt whimpers, slinging a leg around Blaine's waist. The weight of Blaine's body behind the thrusting changes everything; the angle and pressure are suddenly perfect. Kurt lets himself open up and take it, savors every slap as their bodies come together again and again. "God, yes, fuck me." He claws his fingernails up and over Blaine's back, keening. Now that he's started saying it he can't seem to stop, likes the way the phrase feels filthy on his tongue, sharp and demanding.

Blaine comes not long after that, arching over Kurt's body and biting down on his shoulder. The ring of bruises that forms under his mouth heals almost instantly. "Kurt, I—"

Kurt has one hand on himself, tugging fast, ass clenching around Blaine's cock. "I'm going to come just stay just—"

"Baby—"

It's messy and just as sudden as Blaine's orgasm had been, splattering Kurt's hand and both of their shirts. Blaine bites down again, drawing hard on his skin, still inside and fucking him through the orgasm.

"Stay," Kurt breathes, holding Blaine tightly. "Stay in me, okay, just—for a minute."

"Did you mean that?" Blaine asks, sweating and chasing his breath. "About the condoms?"

"Yes."

His eyes are wide with pleasure and surprise. "I—I want that, too."

Kurt kisses him. God, he's still half-hard and it feels so good, the post-orgasmic throb in time with the pulse of his softening cock, and Kurt just—lets himself enjoy it, lets his body tighten and loosen around the intrusion, and watches Blaine's face flicker with the sensation.

"You feel so good," he sighs, scattering kisses all over Blaine's face and jaw. He shifts his hips, dragging Blaine over his prostate again and shivering as his cock ejects a drop of clear fluid in response. "I—it's never really felt like that before."

"Mm, I'm glad," Blaine hums, pushing deeper. "Wish I could—keep doing this for you." He's shrinking and the condom is going to slip off, so he has to pull out.

Kurt feels odd when he's gone, but cleans up quietly between them while Blaine continues kissing his neck and shoulder. "Maybe—later?" he asks, a hopeful lilt to his voice.

Blaine's eyes go dark. "I could keep you open for me until we get home," he says, stroking three fingers across and then inside of Kurt's soft, stretched entrance.

"Home?" Kurt breathes.

"Home," Blaine rasps.

By the time they reach the apartment Kurt has managed to get Blaine hard again. It's a blur after that—Blaine has him over the dining room table, the couch, and the sink in the bathroom (they pause for towels and a little washing up) before they make it to the bed. Kurt employs every bit of restraint that he possesses to not rip Blaine's clothing into pieces as they undress. (His club ensemble is actually rather darling and it would be a shame to destroy it, no matter how good the reason.) Blaine flips him onto his belly as soon as they hit the sheets naked and before Kurt can even gasp out his desire Blaine's spreading him open and licking down and over his swollen hole. The softness of his tongue is soothing after all the friction, but the moment that he starts licking inside Kurt wants more. The tickle of his tongue is not enough.

"Again," he pants, kneeling up, sticking his ass in the air. The burn has become almost as welcome as the pleasure and so when Blaine sits up behind him and fills him with one, quick thrust he gasps, reaching for the headboard and holding on for dear life. It's perfect. But the angle isn't right after a minute or two and Kurt whimpers, "Let me on top?"

Blaine gasps, winded, "Okay."

A moment of frantic, sweat-slick rearrangement and Kurt sits down onto Blaine with a high-pitched snarl and slams forward, eyes rolling back. "Oh god yes, push up," and Blaine does, and Kurt puts one hand on the headboard and rides him hard into the mattress. "Don't move don't move—just—let me—"

"Yeah," Blaine breathes. "Do what feels good, sweetheart, just like that." The bed squeaks beneath them.

It happens suddenly, taking Kurt by surprise. He doesn't even have the words to warn Blaine, it's that fast; one moment he's grinding his prostate against Blaine's cock and the next he's shooting thick, creamy strands of come all over Blaine's chest without even a single touch.

"Oh my god," he cries, quivering so hard from it that he almost slips sideways. Blaine fucks him through it, deep and slow, milks him of several more pulses until there's quite literally nothing left and only then does he allow himself to come with a low grunt, filling the condom. "Blaine," Kurt whimpers, thighs shaking, every muscle in his body ticking. "Oh my god how did I just do that?" Blaine laughs, holding him by his hips. They are covered in come and sweat. Kurt wrinkles his nose. "Get the hose."

"Will a shower do?" Blaine asks.

Kurt bites his lip, smiling blissfully into the darkness of Blaine's bedroom. "It'll have to."

They make a half-hearted attempt at making out in the shower, but clean-up becomes priority.

At least until Blaine starts nibbling his ear and pressing him into the tiles, one hand buried in his wet hair. Kurt kisses at Blaine's wrist and forearm softly and before he can control it his fangs drop.

Blaine notices and kisses higher along the ridge of his ear. "Go ahead," he whispers.

Kurt bites down on the soft flesh of Blaine's inner arm, staying away from the cut from before, and is immediately lost to the sudden rush of sensation when the blood spills messily past his lips. Some escapes down his chin but he clamps tighter to stop that from happening again, moaning into Blaine's skin as the steam of the shower rises around them, making the blood smell even stronger.

Blaine whimpers, pressing his arm to Kurt's mouth. Kurt can feel Blaine's willingness, can feel how eager and loving his desire to give Kurt blood is, and it's almost as intense as the blood itself. He pulls away after a short while, letting the coagulant do its job while rinsing the excess blood off of his face. Blaine intercepts him before he finishes, kissing him until their lips are dark with it, tongue trailing along Kurt's bottom lip.

Kurt smiles at him, eyelids dipping lazily. "Thank you."

"My pleasure," Blaine replies, grinning and wrapping his arms around Kurt's waist.

*

Even though he has a car, finally, Kurt still likes to explore the city at night on foot. His routine is the same, now, when he isn't with Blaine; he takes his clients, spends a little time with Santana or Quinn or Mercedes, texts Blaine just to check on him and make sure he's eaten dinner, and then he picks a direction and just walks. He's stumbled upon so many interesting things in this way; shops, people, businesses, other blood clubs. Social interaction is still something that he prefers to enjoy in small, controlled doses, but from time to time it feels good to brush up against other people, sometimes even other vampires, even if it's just a nod or a smile or a "cool tonight, isn't it?".

He spends a lot of this time thinking, mostly about Blaine, of course, and their relationship, which has so far exceeded Kurt's expectations and hopes that he can't quite wrap his mind around it. He thinks about the secrets that he carries quietly, shamefully, forever terrified of their potential revelation. He thinks about the two performing arts schools that have accepted his application (not his top choices but, considering the way that he had to patch together his new identity and how late he'd applied, small miracles). He thinks about the gradual ending of the summer, about his schedule and Blaine's combining in a worrisome mesh of a lack of time for one another.

The two extra keys on Kurt's key ring are firm in his pocket. He shifts his fingertips over them one and then the other, taking care to not squeeze hard enough to bend them, which he could easily do. Such a simple thing, a pair of keys, but they mean the world to him now, and every time that he worries with undue ferocity he touches them and he remembers what Blaine means to him.

He exhales into the cool evening, his panic receding, hungering not for the expected, but rather for Blaine's hand in his.

*

Tina's email has no subject line but it does have an attachment and the body reads, "You might want to look at this. I debated sending it to you, but you have the right to know, honey."

It's a link to a missing persons bulletin from a popular Columbus newspaper's website. Blaine reads it with his stomach in his bowels and his heart beating an ugly tattoo against the inside of this chest. Once the initial shock fades, he sits in front of his laptop on the couch in his living room staring at nothing, frozen.

What had Kurt run from? Who is looking for him now? What hasn't he told Blaine?

He calls Tina when he's recovered enough to speak coherently.

"Look, can you find coverage for me tonight?" he asks. "I have to talk to him. In person. I'm not sure how long it'll take and I want to give this the time that it deserves. I just—it can't wait. It's waited long enough as it is."

She exhales heavily. He can hear the concern in her voice when she says, "I'll figure something out. Just—tread lightly, okay?"

"Love you. You know that, right?"

"Yeah, yeah, you big mush. Love you too."

Kurt doesn't answer his first call or text, but that's not unusual. There are times when he's busy with clients and other times when he flat out forgets that he has a cellphone.

Blaine drives to the blood club, where Mercedes tells him that Kurt had gone out hours ago and hadn't mentioned when he'd be back. He is not about to wander the city on the off chance that Kurt decides to pass through a familiar haunt, but that doesn't stop him from pacing the few blocks around the club twice over, kicking at the sidewalk and letting his mind race. Dread wells, black and sucking, at the center of his chest. What if Kurt's past is something that he simply can't live with, or something that they can't endure as a couple? He can't breathe, the doubt is so thick within him now. To have come so far, to have fallen so deeply in love with this man, only to have it ripped away because of past events that can't be altered—

He just doesn't know, and it's driving him insane.

This is the last thing that he thinks before something—or someone—comes out of the shadows of the alley beside him and knocks him over, turning his world dark.

*

Kurt drops by the center without calling first, which isn't usually an issue. He gets in line for blood out of habit, but really all he wants is to talk to Blaine. When he gets to the front of the line he notices an unfamiliar face on Blaine's side of the counter, so he switches to the line in front of Tina's to wait for a chance to speak to her, instead.

"Wasn't Blaine working tonight?" he asks when he gets to her, after saying hello.

"Could you step off to the side?" she asks, looking stressed. When he does, she frowns at him. "He—he went looking for you. He called in earlier."

Kurt's chest seizes up with ice cold fear. "Did he say why? We didn't have plans."

"Kurt," she sighs, glancing at the vampire next in line, who is grumbling impatiently. "Find him. Talk to him. Please. It's none of my business, and I don't want to play go between."

Fuck. Fuck.

He fumbles for his phone. There are two missed calls and a text message from Blaine asking him where he is, and would he be able to come back to the club to talk? No voice mail.

"Thanks, Tina," Kurt says, and scurries to get out of her way.

"Asshole," mutters the vampire in line behind him.

He doesn't even stop to glare. He blurs his way back to the blood club, heedless of the energy drain—and he hasn't eaten today, so it takes the wind out of him—and the irritated wave of pedestrians that he leaves behind.

The evening shift has taken over but Mercedes had left a note on his door that reads, "Your boy came looking for you a few hours ago. Answer your phone, dummy! xoxo M"

Shit.

What could Blaine need to discuss with him so urgently that he had come looking for him and then sped off to continue the search that fast? It isn't like him to not plan things ahead of time, and if he called out of work on a moment's notice it's not because of the urge for a cuddle, a quickie, or a casual chat. And he isn't answering his phone.

That's when the panic starts, bubbling up in Kurt's blood like poison from deep within. He can't shake the feeling that this is it—somehow Blaine has found out about why he fled Lima and wants to break things off with him as soon as possible. Kurt wouldn't be able to blame him if he did.

And there's another layer to it, a sort of bright, sharp-edged worry that has nothing to do with being personally exposed—Kurt can deal with that and he can even deal with the thought of Blaine's reaction because he did those things and the consequences are his to bear. He's been preparing himself for this for some time and even though the outcome might break him, he can only blame himself. But there's something else. Something that has to do with Blaine and the circumstances of this evening, and with the way that their communication has broken down.

He paces the streets around the club, redialing Blaine's number again and again and again. He's tempted to call Cooper or Jenn but he doesn't want to worry Blaine's family unnecessarily.

Then again, for Blaine to not be answering him after having looked for him so frantically...

Something is wrong. It all boils down to that knowledge, deep and instinctive in Kurt's gut.

Something is very wrong.

*

It's the first time that Blaine's been bitten against his will, and he learns very quickly why people who have gone through this look like they've been mauled by tigers—it's not the neat, precise slide of teeth that he gets when Kurt takes him in the most loving way possible. It feels as if his entire throat is being torn open, and there is nothing that he can do to stop it. Before he can attempt to struggle, he's sliding down into unconsciousness, Kurt's name a silent scream reverberating in his head.

*

Kurt is halfway back to the center when he feels it—vertigo, thick with human fear, the smell of it like the smell of blood when Blaine is excited only polluted with something wrong, a smoky residue, sharp and reeking and coating the usually eager notes with unbridled fear. He's not alone, and the source of his pain is the vampire that's with him.

Blaine is in trouble. Blaine is hurt. It isn't enough to tell him exactly where or how or even when, but it's a start. Kurt latches onto the horrific sensation and moves in the general direction that feels instinctively right. It takes several attempts before he feels as if he's heading in the right direction and by then he's on the phone to Santana, not stopping, just pressing the phone to his ear as he blurs over and over again.

"I need your help," he says when she answers.

"Look, I told you, it happens to a lot of humans—"

"Santana," he huffs, dashing the space of two city blocks in one breath. "Something's happened to Blaine, he's—he's unconscious. I felt him panic and then go unconscious. Please."

There is a significant pause, and then her voice, tone gone from teasing to severe, "Where are you?"

"The little bodega, the one Sam gets those enchiladas from—"

"Where are you headed?"

He can hear her shuffling, and Quinn's voice in the background. "East. From the blood center, now. Can you keep up?"

"Oh, please," she growls, and the line goes dead.

Calling the police would be pointless. They'd never get there in time and they'd be useless even if they could. Kurt recalls the description of the vamp that had been responsible for the break-in at the center, mind whirling yet again to make that connection and failing, but if it is that vamp, it would be too dangerous to involve humans. Kurt can hardly cope right now with the thought of just one life being threatened. For a split second he thinks of Cooper—but no. It wouldn't be fair to scare him like that and god knows what he'd do to catch up with them—he lives on the other side of the city and he isn't often available at this time of night. Kurt can't afford to waste the focus that a second phone call would require, or the time that he might lose trying to meet up with both Santana and Quinn and Cooper.

He's already made his choice. He just hopes it's the right one.

*

It's a park that Kurt has never been to before. This makes him nervous, though it has less to do with the unfamiliarity of the terrain than with the open air; the boundary free nature of the setting concerns him. The vampire and Blaine could be anywhere, possibly moving faster than Kurt can, and if they were in a building or limited by the urban landscape at least that might provide some limits to the engagement. He's panicking as it is, feeling young and stupid and useless despite his strength because that won't amount to a thing if he doesn't get there in time. The last thing he needs is to worry about the location, too.

He can smell Blaine's blood now, can sense the trembling riffs of Blaine's semi-conscious thoughts, and he's across the park in seconds. With every blur of speed he feels a little less on top of his game, which is worrying him—he had intended to feed on Blaine some time in the next day but now that window is closed, so the reserves that he has here and now are all he's going to have to work with.

He finds Santana and Quinn, relief palpable in the air between them when they come together under the cover of darkness. They look deadly and efficient in black clothing and running shoes, so unlike their usual turnout that Kurt can only stare at them. They mean business, and he's so glad to have them by his side.

"Have you locked onto Anderson yet?" Santana asks, moving alongside him.

He hadn't stopped to greet them, though he needs a moment before he can blur again; he can keep moving toward Blaine's scent and make some progress, at least, in the meantime.

"I think so," he answers, as Quinn falls into step on his other side.

"Is he bleeding out?" she asks, nose to the air.

"He's bleeding, but he's not that far gone yet, no," Kurt answers, and feels a rush of strength, quickly pushing a blur that takes him another half mile through the trees. They blur with him, then fan out a little, looking alert and probably about ten times more dangerous than he does with their fangs distended and their eyes nothing but full black pupil.

"There's a visitor's center with a path that leads down to a fishing spot," Quinn says.

"That way?" Kurt asks, because that is absolutely the right direction.

She nods and Kurt blurs again, fear making him desperate.

*

None of Blaine's training had ever prepared him for this. He's interacted with every kind of vampire imaginable, but never been in a situation where he was literally defenseless and also denied the chance to reason with one. Nothing he mutters seems to make sense to his captor, or perhaps the vampire is just not listening, and he's getting sleepier by the minute. He's lost a lot of blood.

He's also feeling remarkably stupid (he feels that he could have done something to take himself out of harm's way, though what exactly he could have done he doesn't know) as well as frightened. At first he'd thought that the vampire might simply feed off of him and leave him for dead. The anti-coagulant had never fully kicked in, though, and instead of just dropping him like an empty soda can the vampire had started babbling about finding him, finally, and about getting him to the park, as if in his own little world full of plans that only he was familiar with.

Blaine has no idea what he wants, but it isn't Blaine dead—at least, not yet—because the vampire keeps prodding Blaine awake every time that Blaine starts to nod off. He supposes he should be grateful—he isn't sure exactly how much blood he's lost but it seems to be quite a bit, and his ability to struggle is almost at an end, but he's still alive. He can't feel the wound anymore, though, and that scares him more than anything. He had managed to jam his hand against it for a while, but then his fingers had grown so slippery from blood that it hadn't been possible to continue doing that, not with how quickly his strength had been leaving him.

He stares blearily at the young man pacing in front of him. It's hard to focus enough to absorb details, but he's a stocky guy with short dark hair, covered in blood from his mouth to the neck of his t-shirt. Blaine's blood. He's turning frantic circles and muttering to himself as he has since they arrived. There'd been a building, at first, rectangular and dark and smelling faintly of burned firewood, but then as time had passed the vampire seemed to grow dissatisfied with his choice in some way, and dragged Blaine down a path covered in wooden planks to the edge of a fishing pond. It's man-made and smells briny and Blaine knows this place—but his thoughts had begun to scatter, and he'd passed out for a few minutes, coming awake when the vampire had shook him, and by then he'd lost his train of thought and his grasp on the passage of time.

All at once, something changes. The vampire rushes up the hill and then back down, a two-way blur that takes seconds and makes Blaine's whole body twitch with fear. He's so fast, so strong—but there's something wrong with him, and it's terrifying.

"He's close," the vampire breathes, and if Blaine weren't so out of it he'd be sure that the vampire is actually crying.

*

"It's too late for that," Santana says, leading them down the slope of the hill. "We rarely get to play the element of surprise card with each other. If I can smell him, he can smell us."

"Suggestions?" Kurt asks. He's absolutely prepared to fight, but he has little experience doing so.

Quinn walks ahead of them, her petite frame squared flawlessly under the dim moonlight.

"Depends on his goals," she whispers, drawing Kurt through the trees. "If he just wants Blaine for food he may drop him and give up at the first sign of competition. If he took Blaine for a reason—he may just snap his neck the moment that he gets what he wants." Kurt winces, and Santana sighs. "Sorry. It's the truth. We have to play this smart."

"We've got numbers on our side," Quinn says, climbing over a tangle of brush just behind the building. There's a window there, but the room it opens onto is as black as pitch. "Keep the building between us, draw him away from the water—Kurt, find Blaine and get him the hell out of here. Santana and I can take the vamp, scare him or chase him or mess him up if he decides he wants to try."

"I don't want you getting hurt because of me," Kurt says, panic setting in again, torn between doing what she says to ensure Blaine's safety and his loyalty to her and Santana.

"Fucking hell," Santana drawls, rolling her eyes. "Do we look like newbies to you? Go get your hobbit, Hummel."

It isn't so much a matter of choice anymore; Kurt can hear Blaine's sluggish, frightened thoughts now, can smell the trail of his blood all over the path they're walking and inside of that building and beyond, and it's too much. He has to find Blaine and take him away. He can't wait any longer.

"When we've got him at a distance, blur your skinny ass over to Anderson, grab him, and blur across the water if you can manage it—give it everything you've got; we can't go all Jesus Christ Superstar on water as far as I know, so inertia is your best friend right now," Santana says.

Of course, it all goes to hell the second that they split up.

The vampire does drift far enough away from Blaine for Quinn and Santana to get his attention, but not for long enough. Kurt finds Blaine by the water and has him in hand in seconds, but Blaine is seriously injured and he hesitates—what if blurring across the lake with him now were to hurt him or push him beyond help? His hesitation costs him the plan, because the vampire is back at Blaine's side in a matter of heartbeats.

Kurt stares up into the face of David Karofsky and hesitates a second time—not because it's David, and not because David is very much not dead and staring at him with a mixture of longing and rage so unbalanced that it makes him want to puke, but because he can feel every whirling thought in David's head.

David—is his. His creation. And the inside of David's head is the most frightening thing that Kurt has ever experienced.

He stumbles back, body shielding Blaine's, but it's not enough. He's not strong enough, and now Blaine is in even more danger.

"I knew you'd come for him," David spits, eyes wild and mouth wet with bloody saliva.

Santana and Quinn appear at the foot of the hill, stalk quietly up behind David, one on either side of him. One wrong move and it's going to devolve into a bloodbath, and they all hang there in the silence, Kurt trying to keep Blaine hidden while staring up at David in morbid fascination.

"I killed you," he breathes, blinking tears down his cheeks.

David holds up his arms and puffs out his chest, eyes narrowing. "Do I look dead to you?" It's an odd moment of sarcastic clarity considering what a confused cesspool his mind is.

Behind him, Santana stares at Kurt.

Kurt can hear Blaine moaning and trying to sit up, and every nerve in his body twists with the urge to just grab Blaine and run. But he can't. Up until today he'd imagined himself a murderer, and the revelation of the truth that he isn't is singing through him with just as much relief as confusion. If he leaves now, he'll never know what happened, and David—David has to be dealt with.

"When I woke up, I thought it was some kind of test," David goes on, staring at him in that strange way. "So I—I manned up and went looking for you. Couldn't find you, but always felt you just—on the edge of my mind." He jabs his temple with a shaking finger. "I get here, man, and what do I find? You got yourself this puny worthless meatbag for a b-boyfriend—"

Kurt's head throbs. "You did this, David. You tied me up in the choir room after graduation and you cut me open and drank my blood—you took it from me."

Quinn twitches closer, eyes dancing with warning. Kurt knows that she's trying to tell him to back down—that the cold truth is not what David wants to hear. Instead, he tries to find something, anything in David's thoughts that feels rational—something that he can grab onto to reach him before he snaps. He can feel the urgency in Santana and Quinn, and the bloodthirsty, tortured anger inside of David. It's going to end in a fight, and between the four of them there is so much strength and so much blood to shed. He can't let that happen, not with Blaine slipping away behind him.

"I had no idea that you survived," he says, finally, going with something that feels natural. "If I had, I wouldn't have left the way that I did." That much is true. "I didn't want to get in trouble, David. You understand that, don't you? I thought I'd killed you."

David's face goes over watery and anguished, and he takes a step toward Kurt. "You were always one step ahead of me. I got blood at that—clinic—and I smelled you all over him. I saw your marks on him. I had to get your attention, Kurt, I had to make you understand—see how weak he is. How unworthy. People like that, they aren't right for us. That's why I—did what I did. So I could be strong like you. So that you would see how—perfect we could be together, once I wasn't that pathetic human anymore."

Kurt swallows heavily. David is completely unhinged—a rogue turn, just as Blaine and Quinn had suspected.

David glances at Santana and Quinn, as if only just noticing him. "Who—who are they?"

"Friends," Kurt says, quickly. "Don't worry about them."

His mind spins rapidly. He could make a break for it with Blaine right now but David would only follow, and he'd be risking Blaine's life in the process in more ways than one. Or he could take the more frightening path and let Santana and Quinn move Blaine to safety while he continues to play for time with David. He shudders.

"You didn't have to hurt anyone," he begins, carefully, not mentioning Blaine's name, not even looking at him. "But it's okay. I really want to talk with you, in private. Okay? Can we do that?"

“Just you and me, right? Not—not them?” David asks, voice breaking.

Santana's eyes go wide. Quinn shakes her head once, stepping forward.

But they don't understand. They can't feel the synapses snapping and breaking in David's mind. He's not going to let Blaine go unless he knows that he has Kurt's full and undivided attention. He doesn't even see Blaine as a being on the same level as them—it would be nothing to him to snap Blaine in half. He wouldn't understand what the big deal was, or why Kurt would continue to care once Blaine was gone. Separating them peacefully now is the only way to ensure that Blaine survives this, and he's running out of time.

"Yes, just the two of us," Kurt replies. He stares at Santana, pleading without words. Quinn glances at her, and she glances at Quinn, and they both look terrified for him, but they move forward and Santana hoists Blaine easily in her arms. He moans and twists, fists opening in a vague attempt at self defense. It's like being driven full of knives to not turn and look, to not reach for him, as Santana carries him away.

Quinn lingers a step behind, looking at Kurt and then David. Kurt wills her to not do anything that will jeopardize Blaine's escape. She steps close, puts her hand on Kurt's arm, and Kurt feels the dig of her fingernail. She breaks skin, just enough to make him bleed, but so subtly that with all the human blood scent around David would never notice.

We can't take Blaine to a hospital—they'd ask too many questions—but we have something just as good on tap. Go back to the blood club. Do not let this kid out of your sight—bring him with you.

Kurt tries as best he can to project agreement without letting David feel it. Quinn leaves them.

The moment that Blaine is out of range of David, a cold relief sweeps through him. He feels unstable enough to sit down and put his head in his hands; Blaine is going to get help and his courage is leaving him now that that is accomplished and he just wants to stop. But he can't. In fact, he's going to have to give the most convincing performance of his life tonight.

He turns to David, drawing himself up straight. "Come with me?" he asks, trying to sound and look engaging.

David smiles a watery, broken smile that makes the hair on the back of Kurt's neck stand up.

*

Flashing lights, the smell of blood, and disorientation. The snapping of something inside of him when he realizes that he has no idea where he is, that he should hurt but doesn't and that's worse, and that he feels as if he had been near Kurt but it could have been a hallucination. Not knowing makes him go a little crazy. He feels like he's drowning inside of his own head.

"Where's Kurt?" he keeps asking, or at least he thinks he does, trying to flail to get attention, but his body isn't listening. "Please, please, take me to Kurt, where is Kurt?"

"Get him on the table," comes a soft, familiar voice, and Blaine should know who that is but he can't think.

"Give me something, Cohen-Chang—"

"If you leave me to it he'll be fine, but I need to work; he's lost a lot of blood. Move."

"That's all I needed to know," Santana says.

"I have to get back to the club," Quinn says.

Tina. Santana. Quinn. Oh, thank god. Kurt had managed to find him and bring the best. Blaine goes limp with relief. He floats for a while, misses part of the conversation, and then begins to listen again.

"You didn't have time to explain—"

"No," Quinn replies, sounding worried. "Even if I had, if Kurt knew, then David would have gotten it from him; Kurt is his maker and David is freakishly perceptive in a completely unpredictable way—I had no idea what he'd get from Kurt or how well Kurt has learned to shield. Not to mention, David's had—a lot of blood, and he's pumped up beyond anything I've ever seen before. I couldn't take the chance. I'm going to give Kurt time to get his guard down, and then—we'll put it to the test."

Santana sighs. "I knew we should've tested it sooner."

"It was item number thirty three on the list," Quinn hisses, "how could we have known that we'd need it tonight?"

"Should've probably had a higher priority," Santana muses. "Shit's pretty badass."

There's a pause, and then Quinn says, "You're probably right. But it's too late for that. I've got the cloaking device so I'll leave a trail for him, but I can only say so much. He can't know what he's leading David into, and if David knows I'm there—we're screwed."

And that's when a wave of pain washes over Blaine, flaring like a strobe light behind his eyes even as it smothers him, and he passes out.

*

He can't think of anywhere he'd less like to take David than the place that has been his home and refuge all summer. But Quinn had been adamant, and Kurt can't think of anywhere else that he knows better, either, so he supposes that home field advantage wins the day.

David is by no means calm but Kurt has held his blood-sticky hand all the way, and he seems quieter than he had when they'd first seen each other. Deep down inside in a place that he is muffling with every fiber of his being, Kurt is screaming. But he has a job to do, and if he does it right, this nightmare might actually end for him soon.

"You've been here this whole time?" David asks.

"Yes," he answers, leading David inside. He isn't sure how Quinn has managed it, but the building is deserted.

"I could never get into any of the buildings on this block without getting caught," David answers, looking around as Kurt leads him upstairs. Kurt isn't sure what Quinn wants him to do, but where else would be a more likely starting point than his own room?

"You got into the clinic," he points out, trying to sound interested instead of accusatory.

"I was so mad that night," David admits. "Was looking for your name in the computer but I didn't really know how to—find anything. I figured you were registered there."

"I'm actually not," Kurt says, forcing a smile. "Not under my real name, anyway."

"Yeah, I found that out—that's when I got really mad." His face is tense with an ice cold anger lurking behind it that makes Kurt want to let go of his hand and put space between them, but of course he can't.

"This is my room," he says, trying not to waver. A quick scan for something, anything different in the room reveals a slip of paper on his desk that hadn't been there when he left. He palms it before David can notice the motion, turning to open the window shades to let the streetlight in so that he can read it with his back to David.

I think our guest might enjoy the basement; your favorite chair is so comfy.

Remember our little chat about walls.

And that's all it says. He recognizes Quinn's handwriting, so she must be somewhere in the building, but—he can't sense her at all. And what does that even mean? He gets the bit about shielding—he's been trying as hard as possible to keep his thoughts boxed up and separate from David's, but why the basement and what did she mean by mentioning the chair that he likes to sit in when he's down there?

Kurt slides the paper under a book on his desk and turns to David, who has sat down on his bed. Kurt's skin crawls—he's made love to Blaine in that bed, and now the vampire that had almost killed Blaine and is still covered in his blood is just sitting there, as if he has some right to. He takes a deep breath. "Can I get you some blood?"

"Sure."

Every moment that passes makes Kurt feel more agitated. The pulse of sickening desire that rises from David like smoke makes him want to twitch out of his own body just to escape it. He can't stop hearing it, the underlying throb of David's wanting of him, combined with sickening flashes of the humans that David had killed on his way to find Kurt—several of them had been young men who had reminded him of Kurt, and the things that David had thought as he'd killed them—

Kurt breathes in through his nose. He can't lose it now, not when he's so close to executing whatever plan it is that Quinn has devised. This building is her fortress, and he trusts her completely.

David sucks down several blood packets of varying types—he doesn't seem to know or care about matches, and doesn't show any negative effects afterward. He just seems sleepier, which is good. He'll be more likely to agree to whatever Kurt suggests.

Kurt has to get him downstairs but how, without being obvious?

"It's really cramped up here," he says, sitting lightly beside David on the bed. He puts on the sweetest, most open expression that he can muster, letting his natural desire to take David downstairs show. "There's a finished basement—like a common room? With a pool table and a television downstairs. We could get comfortable. We're the only ones here tonight." Going anywhere near that implication makes him want to throw up, but he has to do this.

"I'm so happy that you understand, Kurt," David says, and there's that smile again, and then his fingers trailing clumsily along Kurt's arm. "So glad."

He isn't quite sure how David reached that conclusion, but he isn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He leads David downstairs, on the alert for any signs of Quinn—it's so odd that he can't feel her when he knows that she must be around.

Downstairs, he squares his shoulders and leads David in the direction of the armchair.

"This is my favorite place," he says, and it's true, and clearly puts David at ease. "Why don't you get comfortable?"

Kurt holds his breath as David sits down. He doesn't know what instinct exactly tells him to step back the moment that David is fully seat but he does, and a few seconds later there's a soft electrical hum and David's whole body goes rigid in the chair. The whining reverberation is like nails on a chalkboard to Kurt's ears; he hastily puts his hands over them, stepping even farther back.

David's face twists up with anger. "Kurt? What's going on?"

He can't move. Kurt watches, horrified, as he tries—he starts off just irritated and works his way all the way up to pissed off, thrashing in place as if invisible ropes are holding him from head to toe.

Kurt stands there for almost five whole minutes before Quinn reveals herself in the doorway, armed with chemical spray.

At this point, David can't even move his jaw to speak. His expression is frozen in rage, and his thoughts are battering Kurt's mental barriers like invisible fists. Several of those punches land, and Kurt is about two seconds away from collapsing entirely under the weight of holding them at bay when Quinn puts a hand on his shoulder.

"Any change?" she asks.

"No," he answers, clutching his arms and shaking. He doesn't think that he'll ever be able to forget the ugliness inside of David's head. "Quinn. Please. I have to—"

She notices for the first time just how shaken he is. "What did he say to you?"

"He didn't have to say anything," Kurt whispers, shoulders hunching. He feels weak and hates it. "How is Blaine doing?"

"He's resting comfortably," she answers, the softening of her tone as comforting as a hug. "He's with Tina and Santana."

Kurt blinks. "At Tina's apartment?"

"There's—" Quinn pauses, and Kurt realizes that there are things that Santana and Quinn have never shared with him. "We have a facility. It's sort of a medical treatment center slash research lab."

"Does Blaine know about this?" Kurt asks. This is something that he would kill to be involved in.

"No," she answers. "At least, not yet. We do a lot of—research, as a result of what we learn when we treat vampires and victims of vamp attacks. He's perfect for the group, but we weren't sure if he could handle it on top of everything else that he already does."

Kurt shudders. All of this unsettles him, and David is still there, mentally throwing out the most disgusting images. He wants to speak on Blaine's behalf, but that's not his job right now.

"Is that—is that something you guys invented?" he asks, motioning to the chair. As far as he can tell there's some sort of mesh laid over the chair's surface, giving off what feels like an electrical charge.

"When we've got time to kill, I'll explain how it works, if you're interested," she says, smirking. "For now, I'm just relieved that it does."

"You—this was the test drive?"

"I wasn't supposed to tell you that," she answers dryly. "We can talk about it later. The police are on their way."

He hesitates, one last time. "What are they going to do to him?"

"I'm reporting him as an intruder, and we'll have him linked to the center break-in," she says, her voice even and cool.

"He killed people on his way here," Kurt says, beginning to feel blessedly distant.

"Well then. That'll make this even easier." She pauses. "What you said back in the park—it's all true? He tried to take your blood, you thought you'd killed him?"

Kurt nods.

"If I were you I'd go home, clear up that missing persons—put it behind you. You should get a fresh start, just like we all did." She touches his arm. "And depending on what he says to the cops, you may be called in for questioning later. Better to clean up your paper trail now, before they come looking for you."

He would feel a lot more compelled to thank her for all of her help and advice if he could stop feeling David, but all he wants right now is to go to Blaine and forget everything that's happened tonight. Tomorrow he can tackle logistics.

"Can you give me the address?" he asks, and she nods.

*

"Kurt," Tina breathes, surprised.

"Quinn—"

She nods. "I figured. Come in. He's stable, but you won't be able to talk to him."

He can tell by how strongly the room reeks of Blaine's blood that it had been pretty bad. He senses, woven in among the wafts of scent, layer upon layer of fear, Blaine's and Tina's and even Mike's. He steadies himself with a deep breath as she leads him to the back of the underground complex.

"It was bad," he says.

"It was bad," she confirms.

Blaine is a bandage-swathed blood-streaked lump on the hospital bed set up in the corner of the room, attached to lines and machines, and Kurt inhales a pain so sharp that it actually makes his vision go black for the span of one heartbeat. He turns away, burying his side against Tina's, and feels warm tears rise behind his eyes. He wishes he could vomit, the pain is that intense.

"He's stable," she reminds him, chin strong and eyes bright. "He's going to be okay, Kurt. It was mostly just blood loss and shock."

"It was just the bite?" Kurt can't even bring himself to verbalize some of the things that he'd seen in David's head.

She frowns thoughtfully, then nods. She knows what he's referring to. "It was just the bite."

Kurt shudders. "Thank you. Thank you for—everything, for saving him—"

"He's one of the strongest people I know," she says. "And when he wakes up he's gonna be pissed as hell that I didn't invite him here sooner, so I guess saving his life is good leverage for then." She smiles playfully, trying to get him to smile back.

Kurt feels his lips quirk despite himself. "Can I sit with him, is that okay?"

She nods. "I'm going to go clean up." She hesitates at the door, turning to look at him over her shoulder. "I—I feel responsible for this. I sent him some information that made you look suspicious. It's why he went looking for you, to ask you about it, and then I turned you away later, and—I'm sorry, Kurt, if I had anything to do with this happening. Blaine is my best friend, but I should have given you the chance to speak for yourself. I should have realized how much you care about him."

Kurt's heart thuds angrily in his chest. Logically he knows that one way or another David would have gotten to him, and Blaine would have most likely been killed in the process. But the thought that Blaine might have died tonight thinking the worst of him...and under the circumstances of this evening... He takes a deep breath. Now isn't the time to be angry at Tina, and he isn't sure if he even has the right to be when none of this would have happened if not for his past. But it's not necessarily the time to fall all over himself to reassure her, either. Right now all he wants to do is sit quietly and feel Blaine's pulse throb against his fingertips. He gives Tina a terse nod, and then she's gone.

And for the first time since all of this craziness began Kurt sets his sights on Blaine, lying there so broken and small and filthy on the bed, and lets himself cry.

*

The first thing that Blaine thinks when he wakes up is that Kurt looks like death warmed over, and the second thing is that he wants to feed Kurt but knows immediately that he can't. Just how he knows this takes a longer while to sort out; his eyes wander hazily over the drip in his arm and the equipment around him. It's no hospital that he recognizes, but if Kurt is here than it has to be okay.

He was hurt. Right. Check. He was drained by a vampire with freakish strength and a lack of mental clarity, and then—there had been others. A conversation by water, trees—it's all fuzzy and unreachable, and trying to grasp it exhausts him, so he stops trying and instead focuses on twitching his fingers around Kurt's slender, pale forearm where it rests on the bed beside him. Kurt jerks awake long before his fingers complete that journey, bloodshot eyes around stark black pupils that are huge when they first focus and then smaller as he comes awake, bleeding blue-green around their edges.

"Blaine," Kurt says, and it comes out so desperately.

"Was looking for you," Blaine replies. His mouth is as dry as cotton and tastes like blood. He can barely move his tongue.

"Oh, honey," Kurt breathes. "I'm so sorry."

"'M'I okay?"

"You lost a lot of blood but yes, you're okay now." Kurt's eyes are shimmering with tears. "This is all my fault."

"Why your fault?" He wants to understand, but holding onto the conversation is rapidly becoming like trying to grasp a fish under water while blindfolded and wearing boxing gloves.

"If I had been honest with you about my past, Tina would never have had a reason to warn you last night, and none of this would've happened. But—please, rest. We can talk later."

Blaine wants to argue, but he can feel a wave of unconsciousness approaching and can't escape it.

*

Cooper arrives that evening and once he's up to speed, he lays into Kurt so harshly that the rest of the group gives them the room. They only stop short of shouting the walls down because the noise that they're making wakes Blaine.

"This isn't over," Cooper says, eyes blown black and quivering, jabbing a finger at Kurt. "You are responsible for this."

"I love him," Kurt breathes. "I know that this is my fault but I love him, and I'm going to do everything in my power to—"

"He wants to see you, Coop," Tina interrupts, sticking her head in the doorway cautiously.

Cooper's mask of anger cracks at that, and for one painful moment Kurt can see all of the fear for and love of his brother on his face. He's gone before Kurt can utter another word.

"You okay?" Tina asks.

"Who cares if I'm okay?" Kurt says. "He's right. I almost got Blaine killed and if it hadn't been for Quinn and Santana and you—I did nothing. I can't protect him, I couldn't even protect him from myself."

Tina waits for him to finish and then takes him to a small room that has a water cooler and a refrigerator.

"There's blood in the fridge," she says, sitting him down. "Eat. Next door there's a room with a cot. Sleep. You're no good to anyone in this state, Blaine least of all." She sighs. "Kurt—there'll be plenty of time to rake yourself over the coals later. For now we all need to stick together and support each other. Cooper is angry for a good reason, but you also have your own; don't forget that."

Her words feel like the insistent jab of fingertips trying to wake him from his angry stupor, when all he wants to do is continue being angry himself in peace. He doesn't want to sleep—what if Blaine needs him and he's not there?—but he is exhausted, and he can feel the jagged edges of his self-hatred sharpening, looking for any excuse to continue growing, and with Cooper still so available for further verbal punishment—

Tina is right. He needs to disconnect for Blaine's sake. So he does as he's told, and falls asleep the moment that his head touches the pillow.

*

All Blaine wants is for Kurt to wake up. Throughout the ordeal of recovering after Tina finished putting him back together, of dealing with Cooper's anger, and of trying to convince them to let him leave his hospital bed, all he's been able to think about are those blue-green eyes opening and looking at him, seeing him, connecting the two of them together again. It's only been two days but it feels as if it's been a year. He has been so completely cut off from everything else that makes his life, his life that he just needs this. He needs Kurt to be there because nothing else is.

Against everyone's advice he hauls himself out of bed, uses a wheelchair to transport himself to the tiny room where Kurt has been hiding, and hauls himself onto the rickety sour-smelling cot that Kurt is passed out on. He closes his eyes, letting the warmth of Kurt's body seep into his, wraps his arms and legs around him, and goes to sleep. He's not sure how long they sleep, but Tina wakes him several times to check his vitals, change his bandages, and make him drink something that tastes like vitamins and chocolate-flavored sugar. She removes the drip but gives him some pretty heavy doses of pain killers in exchange, drugs that make him fall asleep and have incredibly vivid, frightening dreams.

It's the middle of the night, almost a full day and a half later, when Kurt finally wakes up, goes stiff in Blaine's arms and rolls over into his chest, his fingers feeling for him in the dark. They don't need a visual confirmation to know who the other is, and Blaine feels him go limp with relief, the soft press of his face against his neck, the creep of his fingers down his back.

"Blaine," he breathes, sounding miserable but relieved.

The drugs have worn off somewhat and Blaine is feeling pain, but it's nothing compared to what it had been just a day ago, and he's too determined to remain lucid to call for Tina.

"Are you okay?" he asks, smoothing a hand down Kurt's back.

"Your brother hates me."

Blaine would laugh, except any movement like that would make the pain worse. "He doesn't hate you. He's—worried." He pauses, unsure if now is the time, and then decides that he can't wait any longer. "Would you please tell me what happened?" His voice is a wreck and he's weak, but he's as clear-headed as he's going to get at the moment, and he needs to know something before he slips under again.

"Right—right now? Are you sure you want to—right now?"

"Please."

Kurt draws closer, tucking himself against Blaine's chest. "The vampire that broke into the center—his name is David Karofsky. He used to bully me in school. I realized too late that he—he was doing it because he saw something in himself that was a little too much like something he saw in me, and he hated that part of himself."

"He's gay? Or a vampire?"

"Gay," Kurt answers. "It was mostly verbal abuse. He messed with me. His threats—really got to me. After graduation, I confronted him. He kissed me. I tried to get away from him, but he was prepared. He had the spray, a place to take me, and the school was deserted. He thought if he could make himself a vampire, especially with my blood, that we could—be together, that I'd want him. I didn't know that then, though—I just knew that he wanted my blood, and I fought him. He wasn't prepared for how wild I could become under pressure, I guess. I—" Kurt begins to shake. "I was messed up from blood loss but still so strong, and I—I thought I'd killed him. There was so much blood, and I really had no reason not to think—so I ran. I ran and a week later I was in Columbus. I've been hiding ever since."

Blaine stares into the darkness, eyes burning and heart racing. "God, honey," he exhales, tightening his arms around Kurt.

"I had no idea that it was him at the center the night of the break-in, but I suspected. I could have told you, warned you then—but I had no proof, and the authorities didn't find anything. I wanted so badly for it to be a coincidence, to just—forget that it had ever happened. And then—that night, I couldn't find you, but I could feel your fear and pain, and I knew—I knew I'd screwed up." Tears fall, warm and slow, soaking Blaine's shirt. "I found you. I led him away, let Santana and Quinn take you, hoping that you'd be okay, that I wasn't too late. Quinn had some tech back at the club, some kind of paralyzing net, and I was able to lure David into the trap without having to fight him, and she called the police."

"This is—this is what you've been hiding? That you thought you'd killed this guy in self defense?" Blaine rasps, digging his fingers into Kurt's back.

"Murder is murder," Kurt answers, voice shaking. "If I'd told you what I'd done without knowing that I hadn't actually killed him, you never would've—"

"You don't know that," Blaine interrupts. "He hurt you, he—he could've killed you in the process, how could I ever judge you for trying to get away, for doing whatever you could to survive?"

And it's only then when Kurt begins to sob that Blaine realizes that he's the first person to make Kurt talk about this in detail, the first person to offer him forgiveness and consolation, the first person to acknowledge that even though it's not okay it's over and he can stop worrying about being held responsible for the loss of a life, at the very least.

"You almost died," Kurt breathes out shakily, "because of me."

"I almost died because that guy is unhinged, Kurt," Blaine replies, tugging Kurt half on top of him, even though it's uncomfortable; he needs to be closer. "Yes, you should have told me sooner. But that doesn't matter now." He exhales, feeling exhausted. He isn't going to be able to stay awake for much longer and he knows that Kurt can feel this, too.

"Please sleep," Kurt whispers. "Please just get better, okay?"

He's already sliding under again.

*

All told, they spend about a week at the underground facility. Santana, Quinn, Mercedes, Cooper, Tina, and Mike all take turns caring for Blaine and keeping them stocked with supplies and friendly faces. In Cooper's case it's more of a wary glare, but as the days pass and Blaine is able to talk to him and explain what had happened, his shoulders loosen and the glare morphs into cool silence.

Kurt doesn't say much. He feels obligated only to Blaine at this point—Cooper has the story and if he doesn't want to forgive or trust Kurt, then it is what it is, and Kurt is willing to endure the broken trust. Hours of conversation with Quinn have left him centered, more willing to forgive himself than he had been on that horrific night. His vampire senses also allow him to draw back from the terrible things that he'd seen in David's mind, and even from the guilt that he'd almost been crushed under seeing Blaine so badly hurt as the result of his choices. It gets easier.

Tina rotates Blaine's work schedule so that he can take his vacation and sick time to recover while not losing pay, and the first thing that he announces that he wants to do is to go home.

"I'm sure my plants are dead," he says.

Kurt smiles. "I think one of the girls has been watering them, but I could be wrong." Kurt knows that he's actually panicking about a dozen things—missing work, falling out of touch with his regulars at the clinic, not returning the professional/educational correspondences that he maintains, and a variety of other things that keep him as busy as a medical student can be kept. Not to mention that he has a routine that is timed to the minute, and it's obviously killing him to do nothing but recover, puttering around in a hospital gown and made lethargic by pain medication.

By the end of the week he's climbing the walls, unbearable even to Kurt, who begs Tina to give them permission to go home.

"He'll hit his phone and laptop the second I let him out of my sight; his blood pressure will go through the roof," she protests.

"I'll drag him off of the electronics as often as I can, I promise. He's stable enough; please?"

"He is," she admits.

Santana visits on the day that they're set to leave. She greets Kurt with a crisp, "Let's talk."

Kurt knows that she wants the whole story. She'd visited a lot less than Quinn and never managed to get Kurt on his own; he isn't surprised that she's insisting now, while Blaine is getting one last going over by Tina.

It's a difficult conversation but he's managed to back away from the events and the emotions attached to them fairly well after a week, and all she does is nod and inhale sharply here and there.

"That's the full story, gato?" she asks, when he stops speaking. "Those are all the surprises I can count on from you?"

"That's it. And I'll be back at work as soon as Blaine doesn't need supervision, I promise."

She smirks, but here's a softness in her eyes that he's never seen before, and she surprises him further when she leans over and hugs him. "Make sure he gets back into fighting, ninja-hobbit form. There's a place for him here in the lab, if he wants it. But don't tell him just yet. Keep me in the loop."

Kurt feels a thrill at that—Blaine has always worried about choosing between research and hands on treatment, and Kurt has a feeling that this opportunity may negate the need for a choice, if they're willing to be flexible.

"Is it—for us, or them, this place? Really?" Kurt asks. It's a question that's been plaguing him ever since he found out about the place.

"Both," she says, after a thoughtful pause. "Times are changing, kid."

*

Tina comes bearing her mother's best culinary efforts and Blaine has to admit that, even if she had been empty-handed, he would have still been thrilled to see her. The wound on his neck is giving him trouble and he misses Kurt—being alone after a week of having him there constantly there to hold onto has been difficult—so he is especially weak to the offer of company.

"Sustenance," she chirps, and he's steering her into the kitchen before he even says hello.

"You're the best," he says, finally, digging out plates and silverware.

"How's the wound? Need help changing your bandage?"

"No, I took care of it this morning," he replies, sitting opposite her and serving them both.

"Heard from Kurt?" she asks as they eat.

Blaine exhales. "Things are strained with Cooper, but they're making progress. He's been a huge help, obviously. They cleared up the missing persons. It was actually one of the teachers at the school who filed the report, his choir teacher?" Tina nods. Blaine chews. "David's in the system, but apparently he's gone catatonic. If he names Kurt in the future there may be more questioning, but as of right now there's no paper connection between them." He sighs. "Because they were able to prove that David killed those people he's most likely going to never resurface again, anyway."

Tina stares off into space, pushing food around her plate. "Not that he doesn't deserve punishment—but god, sometimes I hate this system."

"It'll change," Blaine says, firm belief evident in every line of his body. "We'll change it, Tina. Make it better." He's determined to be involved, and he knows that there's no one else that he'd want to work side by side with more than Tina to make it happen.

She smiles, soft and slow, and then says, "Speaking of that..."

*

Fifty miles or so outside of the city, Kurt takes the iPod buds out of his ears and turns to Cooper and says into the blackness of the car's interior, "I love your brother. I'm not going to stop loving him. If he can manage to forgive me, then that's all the forgiveness I'm going to hold out for. I don't like going against your wishes—I really like you, Cooper—but it comes down to him and me."

Cooper is quiet for a long time. Seeing Blaine in that hospital bed has obviously left him shaken, but Kurt isn't going to back down; it's true that he hasn't forgiven himself for what happened but Blaine has, and for now that has to be enough.

"I'm the only family that Blaine has," Cooper says, finally, voice strained. "Our dad—he doesn't—after Mom died, he started a new life. Blaine and I, we were never enough for him—Mom held it all together, and without her—" He sighs. "I don't want to see Blaine get hurt."

"I meant it when I said that everything about me is out in the open," Kurt replies. "If David talks—that's something that I'll have to deal with, yes. But you know everything that there is to know now."

They don't talk for a while. The car eats up the miles, inky and endless; the road is nearly empty at this time of night.

Kurt feels rested and calm, despite the ordeal of seeing his uncaring relatives and Mr. Schuester, who had wanted to hug him and fuss over him in ways that he almost couldn't cope with. His life has been so firmly rebooted in Columbus and by Blaine's side that he can't mourn for the hometown or even the people that he's left behind—that chapter of his life has been finished with no regrets.

"I guess someone has to keep him distracted while I act like an idiot at my wedding," Cooper says, smirking faintly.

Kurt smiles, catching those blue eyes with his. "I do owe you a few."

*

Kurt gets home in the middle of the night, just in time to bring Blaine his medication and crawl into bed next to him while he's lucid enough to enjoy the warm slide of his boyfriend's body against his. It's been days, and he's missed Kurt so much.

"Tell me what happened," he murmurs, but the drugs are already making his thoughts fuzzy and Kurt is breathing softly against the back of his neck.

"Tomorrow," Kurt whispers, pulling the blankets over them.

Tomorrow brings dry mouth and discomfort and a half-bungled shower where Kurt washes him while helping to keep his bandage dry (he's been managing by himself, but he can't deny that it feels wonderful to be given that kind of attention, and Kurt wouldn't take no for an answer in any case), and they don't even exchange good mornings until ten o'clock when they curl up in bed again on clean sheets, and Kurt feeds him fresh fruit for breakfast, little chunks of ripe melon and banana that go down easily with little to no chewing required.

The drugs have worn off for the most part but Blaine is feeling stronger today, so the sweet sticky slide of juice between Kurt's fingers against his lips almost escalates into a pleasant make out session—until Kurt pokes him in the chest and tells him to breathe because he seems to have forgotten how, and he's started to list dangerously to one side.

"You're still out of commission," he observes, smiling, cheeks bright pink from the kisses they'd shared.

"I'm going to forget how to have sex at the rate that I'm going," Blaine replies. He licks sweetness off of his lips and drops his gaze hotly. "I miss you feeding off of me, too, so much." He traces Kurt's upper lip, fully aware of the placement of the sensitive, concealed fang teeth tucked up into the gums there.

Kurt's pupils go wide for a moment. "Even after...?"

"Not the same thing," Blaine replies, tracing Kurt's jaw with his fingers, and then he shakes his head. "I just—god, Kurt—we should be talking about Lima, not—"

Kurt smiles, kissing him. "Since we can't do anything about that right now, I agree."

"So tell me about Mr. Schuester."

"He was my choir teacher and the Glee club director," Kurt says. "Apparently a scholarship came up around graduation that he thought I might be able to apply for, so he got my aunt and uncle's home number from the school records and when he called they told him that they had no idea where I was, that I'd never come home from the ceremony. They'd just assumed that I was out partying." Kurt rolls his eyes. "As if that makes any sense. But Mr. Schue knew that I had intended to go home after the ceremony, and the next morning he came in early to ask the office if I'd called in sick. And then he found the carnage in the choir room."

Blaine frowns, tightening his arms around Kurt's waist. "Oh, Kurt."

"It's so strange; I didn't even know he cared," Kurt says, sighing. "I hardly knew what to say. I thanked him and gave him my number and email address."

Blaine smiles. "I bet he was really happy to see you safe and sound."

"I wanted to talk to him about David, but I couldn't," Kurt says. "Obviously."

"Cooper and Tina and I are going to do everything that we can to make sure that he gets the same treatment as any other criminal," he says, stroking Kurt's shoulder.

"I don't know why I care, I just—"

"It's good to care about the rules meaning something," Blaine says. "They should mean something."

There's a pause, and then Kurt continues, "So—my aunt and uncle showed up just before we were about to leave. Someone in the station had assumed that I wanted them notified because they were listed in the paperwork as my guardians. I don't know what I was supposed to feel, but I told them that I was okay and happy and settled. We didn't even say goodbye, really; they slipped out while I was talking to Mr. Schue."

"Geez. Are you okay with that?" Blaine asks, surprised that Kurt has turned that part of the story into an afterthought.

"I feel like I shouldn't be," he answers. His eyes go distant for a moment as he stares out of the far window. "But yeah. I think I am. I never had any real love for them, and I think the feeling was mutual."

The evenness in Kurt's tone lets Blaine know that he isn't just pulling a stiff upper lip. It certainly seems as if seeing his teacher had effected him more than seeing his aunt and uncle, and that makes a wobbly sort of sense to Blaine; Mr. Schuester had obviously been more concerned for Kurt than they had, and credit should be given where credit is due.

"And you and Cooper?" he asks.

"We bickered a lot. And then he went all professional lawyer mode with Mr. Schue and the police. I think that's why they asked so few questions; he scared the crap out of them." Blaine chuckles at that. "After, he was quiet, which made me nervous because I don't think I've ever seen your brother quiet. We had it out on the ride home, sort of, and I—I just told him that I wasn't going to give up on fixing things." Kurt presses his face into Blaine's neck. "I told him that I wasn't going to stop loving you."

The urge to tell Kurt that he doesn't have to fix things or, at the very least, that if there is anything to fix they'll fix it together, is so prominent in Blaine's mind—he wants to put the events of the last few weeks behind them. But he also knows how important it is to Kurt to be able to work through his feelings this way, so he hums in agreement and holds Kurt closer.

"I'm glad," he says. "I know how much it upset you to fight with him."

"I deserved it," Kurt replies. "But—I'm dating you, not your brother. He has to understand that."

Blaine smiles. "I saw those glances the first night that you met. You thought he was hot."

Kurt smirks. "Observation of good genetics does not equal attraction, sir."

"That was pretty smooth."

"I thought so."

Blaine laughs, trying to ignore the throb at his neck. "Plans for today?"

"I need to get back to work," Kurt answers, "if I expect to have any hope of paying for school supplies this semester. I emailed the admissions office about changing my paperwork to reflect my real name—told them a whole long family sob story and they said I could start classes while the mess is sorted out." He smirks. "When they saw that I'd paid the tuition in cash upfront they were suddenly very willing to work with me."

"Let me know if you need any help," Blaine says, though it's off-handed. Kurt can take care of himself and always has.

"I may need help surviving Santana's wrath," he says. "She's probably come up with at least a dozen new insults for me since the last time we spoke."

Blaine laughs. "I won't lie, she's come over just to try out some of them on me."

"Oh, god," Kurt groans, then giggles. "I am not surprised." He smiles. "Did Tina...?"

Blaine nods, smiling back. "Yeah. I've got a lot to think about, but it's—I don't think I could say no, you know?"

"I'm so excited for you," Kurt says, lacing their fingers. "It's what you've always wanted, and now you can do that and work in the hospital. And some day you can start your own practice, maybe."

"I want that so badly," Blaine replies, his mind swimming with possibilities. "I just have to teach myself how to slow down and not try to do it all in a day."

"I could provide distraction at key moments," Kurt replies, scratching a fingernail down Blaine's stomach. His eyebrows are up and his face playfully flushed.

"Is this a key moment, do you think?" Blaine asks, lying back on the bed. He's feeling physically capable of—that, for the first time in a while, and he isn't going to let the opportunity pass them by.

"I think it just might be," Kurt replies, sliding down Blaine's body.

*

It's weeks before feeding comes up again, mostly because Kurt staunchly refuses to broach the topic. He wants Blaine to recover. He doesn't understand why Blaine would want fangs anywhere near him after what happened with David. So he ignores the little hints—Blaine bending a certain way, arching at an angle that puts Kurt's mouth right there against the spot that he usually clamps down on, disregards the innuendo and the jokes about hunger or having a little snack, and generally avoids anything that might lead to the lust for Blaine's blood becoming overwhelming.

But there's just something missing without it. The intimacy that it results in is undeniable. The satisfaction that it creates in Kurt to take what he needs from the person he loves who more than willing to give it is not easily replicated during simple sex acts. And most importantly, he forgets how much Blaine loves taking care of him, forgets that it's about Blaine giving as much as it is about Kurt taking.

They celebrate Kurt's first successful week of classes with a ludicrously expensive dinner out, then spend the rest of the afternoon lazily making love in Blaine's bed.

Kurt is on top of Blaine, still softening inside of him and licking tracks of sweat from the sharp curve of his collarbone when Blaine's fingers tug through his hair. He could say any number of things in that moment to shatter Kurt's resolve—he's had his mouth buried against Blaine's tender neck for quite a while now and his thoughts refuse to stray from the obvious—but it's the direct approach that finally does it.

He's staring up at Kurt, cheeks arousal-flushed, eyes wide and wet, pulse fluttering visibly at his throat as he breathes out, "Drink from me?"

"Blaine," Kurt begins, worry crowding his chest.

Blaine kisses him, licks into his mouth and along his gum line where the fang teeth hide, just one lapse of control away from coming down, as always. Kurt shivers, feeling the touch everywhere in his body, like warm fingertips at the base of his spine starting a wave of rippling sensation that he can't get away from. He's been feeding off of customers at work, so it isn't about need. It's about desire. He wants Blaine's blood in the same way that he wants Blaine; in an uncontrollably hungry way born more of love than lust, though of course that last is never far behind.

"It's been so long," Blaine replies, fingers trailing over Kurt's damp back in tentative little sweeps. "Please?" His voice goes rough and low. "Miss it, miss the way it feels when we're connected like that."

Kurt swallows thickly, entranced by the temptation. He's stiffening inside of Blaine again, unable to control the sexual response to his teeth being teased, and he knows that Blaine can feel it, that Blaine knows how close he is to giving in.

"Do you—feel me, in your head, when I feed off of you?" he asks, hips jolting.

"Oh," Blaine moans, moving underneath him. "Oh, baby, yes, I—don't stop."

"It doesn't freak you out?" he asks, shivering when Blaine's body contracts around the base of his cock. God, he'd only come maybe ten minutes ago, and they're both still so sensitive—it feels amazing to be inside of Blaine, and hard again, without having pulled out in between rounds.

Blaine rolls his pelvis, belly hitching with uneven breath. "Kurt—please—n-no, it doesn't. I like—like it, so much. Feel so close to you, feel so loved."

Kurt can't help it; his hips are moving and Blaine's ass is tight but not unbearably so around him, smooth with friction and from stretching. He presses his face into the soft dip of Blaine's throat and just breathes him in, human smell, male musk, and simple human desire. He can feel Blaine, though he doubts that Blaine can feel him just yet, his mind crowded with sharp-edged longing. He isn't exaggerating; he truly does want what he's asking for, and Kurt can't deny him any longer, not with the truth so easy to read between their minds.

Kurt's belly swoops and his heart stutters and everything goes sort of white around the edges of his vision. His head swims and then goes dizzy with the anticipation; he can taste and feel Blaine's skin against his lips, so soft, so fragile, so easily hurt, and the power sings through his body like a symphony. He wants it, so badly, and Blaine is going to let him have it, and this never loses its element of heady surprise, Blaine giving over to him, giving Kurt the power to hurt him while at the same time trusting him completely not to.

Blaine squirms under him, fingernails scrabbling down his back. "Please—please—"

An electric jolt goes down Kurt's spine as the fang teeth come out and he breathes shakily, sliding his fingers along Blaine's arms and pushing them over his head and into the pillows. He laces their fingers and holds their hands together there when he bites down, hard and fast. Blaine's body goes rigid with the pain and he cries out, but the moment that Kurt pulls his teeth out he goes as limp as a kitten, his eyes rolling back and his body clenching around Kurt's cock.

"Yes," he hisses, forearms flexing against Kurt's hold. "Just like that. Take it, honey, take it."

It all goes fuzzy when Kurt is actually swallowing the blood that spurts messily between his lips. It's neither as clean nor as gory as the movies make it out to be, but he still has to be careful to not let any escape his mouth as he pulls, swallow after swallow going thin and warm and salty down his throat. He shakes; there's nothing quite like it, the way that it feels like being slowly lit up from the inside. When he breaks away the blood is already congealing but it's still messy, streaks of darkest red almost black and brown in tone, sluggishly rolling across Blaine's beautiful brown skin. It's beautiful.

Blaine whimpers, pupils blown. "Let me ride you," he gasps, looking hazy but determined.

Kurt releases his hold on Blaine's forearms, intending to use his strength to roll them over so that Blaine doesn't have to strain, but Blaine is already climbing on top of him without letting him slide out, and he cries out as he sits down, taking Kurt to the root again. Kurt gasps. The blood trickle has almost reached Blaine's nipple; Kurt sits up, hungrily licking at the cold, sticky leftovers. Blaine moans, cradling his head and rocking down into his lap when he slides his mouth around the nipple that's gone hard against his lip.

"Feel so good," he whimpers, sinking his fingers into Kurt's hair as he fucks down around Kurt's cock. "God, feel so—dizzy—fuck—Kurt, Kurt. Come in me. Wanna feel it."

Kurt whines, shifting his blood-sticky mouth to Blaine's, where it receives a thorough licking before Blaine latches on, bouncing in his lap. The friction is perfect and he fulfills Blaine's wish not longer after, holding him by his thick hips and pounding up into him. Blaine had stayed soft through round two and so Kurt finds nothing to amuse himself with after he's spent, but that's not uncommon for them. He kisses Blaine and rolls them onto their sides, sliding out with a gasp.

Blaine blushes at the messy result, cheeks rosy under Kurt's fingertips. Kurt kisses him.

"Mm, let me," Kurt says, reaching down and gently sweeping his fingers through the mess—between Blaine's cheeks, then dipping inside to push out what had remained—before reaching around with a tissue to dab off the worst of it.

"You like that a little too much," Blaine says, smirking, though the observation is weak and understated because he's obviously exhausted.

Kurt uses a second tissue, wet from a bottle of water on the nightstand, to swipe at the blood all over Blaine's neck and chest. "I would be offended, but you're not making the judging you face, so..."

"That would require the use of all of my facial muscles. So not happening right now."

"I didn't think so," Kurt replies, laughing. Sleepy contentment settles over them. It feels good, to be so close, to be so sure of another person. But there's something else there, something lingering, and he tilts his head at Blaine. "You're thinking."

"I feel like I've met my sarcasm quota for the afternoon. So I'll just say: yes, I am."

"What about?"

He stares at Kurt for a long moment, blinking slower than usual. He's tired from the blood loss. Kurt doesn't want to have a serious conversation if he's wiped out, but he doesn't seem to be that far gone and Kurt hadn't taken much blood.

Blaine holds his breath, exhales it all at once, and then asks, "Would you consider moving in? Or—getting a place together, a new one, with me? Maybe one closer to your campus?"

Oh.

Kurt isn't sure why, but the first thing that flashes through his mind is the very first time that he'd seen Blaine, looking so dapper and prim in his scrubs, standing behind a layer of reinforced glass and steel at the blood clinic. The memory is hazy with hunger and desperation, but he can clearly recall how honest that face had been, how concerned; Blaine had been the first person to show him kindness since he'd fled Lima. He remembers feeling safe, for just a second, held inside of that honey-brown gaze. Despite all of the obvious differences between them, he'd felt as if he'd accidentally stumbled upon someone that he could trust with himself, from the good to the bad and everything in between.

He recalls their flirtatious conversations and all of the making out and silly dates they'd gone on in those first few weeks, both of them so eager but not willing to admit upfront that they'd wanted the stereotypical romance and a slow build toward intimacy in case the desire hadn't been mutual. He recalls everything that he hadn't shared, how he'd wanted to protect both Blaine and himself from his past, and how much he regrets how that had led to being unaware of David until it had been too late. He recalls forgiveness, and healing, and fresh starts.

He kisses Blaine before he can answer too quickly, heart pounding. "I'd love that," he says, pulling away to stare into Blaine's eyes. "I—yes, Blaine. Yes."

"Let's start looking today," Blaine whispers excitedly, eyes round and full of tears. "Let's start right now, come on, get dressed!" He moves to sit up but kind of wobbles, and Kurt puts a hand on his side, effortlessly holding him up.

"After we get you restored a little," he says, grinning. "We have the rest of our lives to worry about interior design choices. In fact, it might actually take that long; I'm pretty damned picky."

Blaine goes still, a soft smile playing across his face. "Yeah?"

Kurt realizes just how he'd phrased that and blushes, eyes searching Blaine's. There's no taking it back, and no part of him wants to. "Don't you think so?"

And Blaine smiles back at him, and nods. "I do, yeah. I do."