Baek had been around the world, had seen things not many others had, and yet there still was not much that could hold her interest.
When she had first made the change, her body transforming into something of a terror, something that humans of the age would grow to fear and cower in front of – she had been almost excited. There had been too many people, family, friends, neighbors that had misjudged her. Those who had said she was nothing of worth, and that she would be lucky to marry well and have children that would grow to be successful as she was not.
She had changed and had immediately wanted to make them take their words back, make them cower beneath her feet and cry out at the sight of her fresh and bloody fangs, dripping wet as she grinned wide.
Baek had meant to scare them all, had meant to make a terror of herself. How else was she supposed to be taken seriously? The other girls in the village were all either married or on their way to be. They were being courted, with men interested in them left and right. Baek had sneered at the men that came near her. Was it really a bad thing to dislike men?
It had been according to her family, especially her mother and father. Things had only changed for her, for better or worse she could not tell till much later, when a girl from a neighboring village came to stop in, traveling with her brother. The two were gods-awfully beautiful, and Baek had stared after the other girl even though she had been taught not to stare.
She had been young then, but old enough to be married off, old enough to have children and start a family. Yet, she had not wanted any of that. Baek wanted to have a home of her own, to spend time with a girlfriend or wife and settle down and grow old together. She had wanted what the men in town wanted – a home to call their own, property that they managed, with money incoming from a steady job in town. She had wanted it all.
But her dreams had stopped short the next week after the girl and her brother came into their small town. Baek’s parents invited them to dinner and they had obliged, bringing food of their own and thanking the Byun family for their generosity. They stated that their family’s hospitality was a warm welcome to the new village as the brother tried to search for work. Baek’s father even offered him a job running the stables at the inn, as their recent stable-hand had just passed from infection.
While Baek’s father and the brother were discussing arrangements and making small talk, Baek went to the other room, hoping to distract herself with dishes, clearing her plate, though truly she was just getting out of the room and pretending to make herself busy.
“Your family is very sweet to invite strangers into their home.” A voice commented from behind her, startling her where she stood. With a hand flying to her throat, eyes wide, she turned to see the girl from earlier, of whom had been introduced to the rest of the family as Joon. She smiled at Baek now, soft brown hair almost gleaming in the low candlelight.
She nodded, “Yes, they are.” And Joon smiled, hands going up to brush an invisible stray strand of hair from her face, eyes roaming the room.
“You’re not usually quiet when I see you in town, despite the other girls here. You’re the loud, ambitious one, aren’t you?” Joon asked of her, cocking her head to the side and coming all the more closer as Baek tried to back up, back hitting the edge of the sink and making her wince. Joon even giggled a little at that, “Sorry, I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable. You see, there aren’t many girls like you. Not here, not really anywhere. You’re special, do you know that?”
Baek wasn’t sure what to answer, but after a minute’s worth of silence, Joon shook her head, calling for her brother.
“Sehun, Baek and I are going for a walk!” and then, just like that, the girl was taking her by the wrist and trudging along with her out the side door, down the back end of the house and towards the stables around the corner.
To be quite honest, Baek liked the ambiguity of where they were going and why. She liked the smooth look of Joon’s skin, and the way it seemed to glimmer in the moonlight above. She liked the way her hand curved around her own, and liked that Joon was a girl giving her attention and not a man that only wanted to attempt to bed her.
They were quiet for a good portion of the walk, until the other girl spoke up, with that grin flashing across her face like a wild animal’s. Both intriguing and frightening.
“My brother and I have travelled for a very long time, trying to find someone to come along with us. We didn’t really come here to find jobs, or money. Food…” and she smiled sheepishly then, “Well, we’re always looking for a bite here and there, something to drink. But we mostly stopped in because I begged my brother. I wanted to find someone to spend a good portion of my life with. To find someone to share memories with. Someone that wasn’t my brother.” And that made Baek laugh.
Quiet again before Joon stopped. They were on the path towards the stables, Baek knew, and she could even hear the horses and cattle breathing in their stalls, their still faint groans and grunts evident on the breath of a wind. The path they followed was not very well known as many people in town took the main roads rather than the path through the forest behind the houses in the village. Baek wondered how a newcomer to the village knew of the paths down here.
She didn’t have much of a chance to ask where Joon was going with this explanation, not before the girl was pulling Baek’s face to hers, kissing her and making her head light with adrenaline. The other girl pulled away no more than a few seconds later.
“I’m sorry.” She said, “I really shouldn’t have done that. I should ask first.” And Joon nodded towards Baek’s neck, asking, “May I?”
When Baek nodded, thinking it was another kiss Joon was going to give her, she was sorely mistaken…
It had been roughly two hundred years since that moment, since Baek had been turned into a vampire. The vampire girl had turned her, and then the siblings – Joon and Sehun – had slaughtered her family in cold blood to cover the evidence of one single woman going missing.
They made it look like a wild animal did it. Made it look like the animals took Baek with them to feast upon, while they ravaged the bodies of her family.
Baek had returned to her small village about fifty years later, wondering what had become of it when Joon and Sehun had taken her under the promise of teaching her the ins and outs of how to be a vampire, and how not to expose their secret to the world. She had returned and found that the village had been burned.
It turned out that there were more “animal” attacks over the course of the next decade. The village had been near abandoned and the remaining sent of the earth below her feet had the evidence of having been burned. Baek had returned, been spat on and threatened by the couple that had taken up residence and rebuilt there. They had cursed her entire being, stating that it had been years ago now that they had warded off of her kind. They had threatened to burn her and all the other witches and demons that stepped foot into their home now.
And as they had cursed her, so she had cursed the one who had made her this way. Even if it had been at one point something she was thankful for.
Baek had gotten over that edge in her life, though. She remembered the girl she used to be, despite not wanting to follow the standards of the rest of her village. She had been lively and thriving, and had wanted to travel. And so she did. She travelled with strangers to countries that she had not known the names of, visiting little nobody cities along the way and thanking the people there for the warmth and hospitality. Baek did not make a habit of visiting a place more than once, wanting to see the world and all it had to offer.
She was an immortal woman now traveling mostly on her own, and so she cut her hair and travelled as “Baekhyun”, a young man looking for the end of the world.
It had worked for quite a while, and Baek had travelled that way until she had come to the end of the world, had seen everything, and had grown complacent with her lot in the universe. Nothing surprised her, nothing intrigued her anymore, and it was almost like she had seen everything there was to see on this planet. She had been with women from each era, had seen fashion and technology evolve in the last two hundred years. There were some countries, some cities even, that had technology she could not have fathomed some odd years ago, when she was first starting off.
She could not have imagined the advances, especially not as a human, and not even as a vampire.
But despite all the change, despite all the advances, she had lost interest in it all. New things cropped up, and yet they didn’t strike her or draw her attention in as they used to. The people – the humans – were all the same. They craved for the same things. More money, more food, more this and that. There were still terrible people in the world, and still terrible things that happened to good people in the world.
Baek was growing tired of seeing them all, and saving a portion of the innocents, too. Was she really saving them? Saving them from one fate and damning them to another.
A little more than two hundred years after she had met Joon, she came across someone that made her want to change her mind about the way she viewed the world. Maybe there were still interesting things to live for…
Baek had been staying in a small town, not unlike many of the ones she had been so used to staying in over the last century or so. She had been regarded well when she had entered the town that morning, and had been offered a place at the local hotel, with plenty of spare rooms for visitors. The man at the front desk said that the town did not get very many visitors, but that any of the staff at the hotel would be glad to show her around the town, taking her to the local haunts and pubs if she so pleased.
She had politely declined, moving to follow the concierge to her rooms to get settled for the night. She couldn’t quite call it an early night, not when things were just getting started for her day, but she would want to see her room first, want to see a layout of the place before she got really comfortable around here. She would need to find a bite to eat somewhere, and hoping roaming the city she would find someone willing enough.
When she had managed and settled all of her belongings, she did actually take the man’s advice on where to find food – and though his idea of food would not satisfy her tastes, she still took his suggestions.
Roaming down the main street, past the mini fountain with its coins fallen on the bottom of the slick stone, she could hear a soft cadence rising with the wind, nearly drowning it out. Muffled by a lackluster attempt at harmony, Baek could pick up a set of piano keys and a string guitar. Another’s voice harmonizing, and then a rush of voices muffling the beauty of the first voice – the main singer.
Baek let her ears guide her to where the sound was coming from, and found herself at a bar across the town, its crowd half sitting, half standing. The bar was full all to one side, with half the room taken up by a large piano and band. There was a lean girl sitting at the piano, fingers dancing across the keys as her voice enveloped the room in a melody so sweet Baek had to pause when she came through the entrance.
It was not often that a human – male or female – stopped her dead in her tracks. It had been a long while yet that one had even managed to draw her attention for any reason. They were all the same, and maybe this one was, too. But it was a different version of the same that almost intrigued her. Enough to make Baek stop and listen to the rest of the set.
A round of applause erupted across the small bar when the set was done, and the girl playing the piano, voice closing off on the last note, stood and bowed before everyone. She wore her hair in small, soft waves that surrounded her face, with braids pulled up at the crown of her head. She was pretty in a human way, with that soft smooth skin that ran just mildly darker than alabaster. The girl wasn’t dark, but she wasn’t snow white either. Baek had seen it all, done it all in the past century or so.
And this girl wasn’t any different than those she had met in the past. Baek had met musicians and actresses and mothers and maids. They had all been frightened, too cautious of her before she made her moves, and they had liked the danger she brought to their lives.
This one was different in that she didn’t look scared or innocent or weak. She didn’t look particularly strong, either, but when the two locked eyes, the girl only nodded her head and continued on bowing to the others. Baek was a nothing to her, and that intrigued her more than anything else in the room.
So she waited until the bar closed, the last of the drunks getting their rides home from family or friends. The carriages pulling away from the bar, the people stumbling on the cobblestone streets outside. It wasn’t exactly like the village Baek had called home two hundred years prior, but it resembled the anonymity of it enough that it made her feel comfortable.
Even if some memories of her old home brought her a chill down her spine, a hiss roiling out from between her clenched teeth, with fangs jutting at her bottom lip and begging to be sated.
“You were very good.” Baek managed to say, sneaking out from behind a column around the bar, the small space dark enough now that not many had seen her. It was the band and the bartender still here, with the bartender cleaning up the rest of the glasses and sticking some out to dry. He hid the expensive liquor behind a closed door in the back, and returned only to tell the two of them to take it outside if they were going to be talking for a while. Baek nodded her head and let a small smile flash across her face.
It was usually a look that sent people running, their instincts catching up to them, body telling them this creature was dark and dangerous. But Baek was interested to see that the singer didn’t do that, she only ducked her head and nodded toward the door, allowing Baek to lead the way outside.
“Thank you.” She said when they were at the threshold, stepping out into the dewy night. Baek could tell it was going to rain tomorrow, if not later tonight.
She made a deep sound in the back of her throat that could have passed for laughter and then extended a hand in the girl’s direction, making to introduce herself. She wanted to know the girl, too, and there was only a few ways to start such a relationship – no matter where it lead.
“My name is Baekah, though I just go by Baek these days.”
The other girl seemed to find that funny for some reason and commented accordingly, “I guess nicknames are popular these days, hmm? None of us like our real names, or we go by stage names. You can just call me Lu.” And she made no comment of what her true name was, but Baek wasn’t going to push her to divulge that information.
They all had their secrets.
Baek wasn’t sure how it happened, but she and Lu kept talking throughout the night, with Lu offering to meet up the next morning, or the next evening as it was getting late. Baek even walked the girl back to her uncle’s home, waving away concerns of how Baek was getting back to her hotel room.
“Trust me, nothing out here scares me.” And she tried to do that thing that she had often seen humans do, pretending to be strong and brave when they weren’t really. But Lu saw right through her it seemed, and she only shook her head and chuckled.
“I think you’ll be the one scaring everyone else off though, right?” and then Lu sighed and rubbed at the back of her neck. “Come again tomorrow night to the pub. I’m not playing, but we can talk more and maybe convince the bartender to give us a few drinks for free.”
Baek grinned, “Oh, darling there isn’t anyone out there that wouldn’t give us drinks for free, I’m sure.” And that had the human girl smiling again, real big and bright. Baek conceded to the fact that this was probably as far as she would get for the night, knowing that most humans were not the type to immediately trip into bed with people. Even other vampires weren’t like that, usually. There was a certain level of trust that one needed to step into bed with another being – human or otherwise.
Lu had to realize that Baek wasn’t a normal girl, right?
Whatever the human thought she was, Baek wasn’t going to stand around and let the girl start to fear or mistrust her. She had a plan, and the scent of the human girl’s blood only made her thoughts and desires more prevalent in the dark lit town.
She bowed her head to the girl before the door closed behind her, and she walked back to her hotel room. Or, at least, she walked halfway back to her hotel room.
Baek still needed to feed…
After so many decades of being a vampire, of working her way into the world as a supernatural creature, Baek had grown accustomed, or more used to not getting blood everywhere. When she had stepped away from her feeding ground, she had smirked slowly to herself and placed a hand on the human’s cheek, wondering if she would wake from the daze and euphoria, her eyelids currently heavy from the feeling.
Baek hadn’t expected for anyone to go willingly, and maybe the girl would wake from her spell and remember everything about their small encounter. Usually if the mortals awoke, there wasn’t much that they remembered of the small experience. If they did, they usually chalked it up to a dream, one of which no one would feel very comfortable in admitting they had.
Which always worked out for Baek as she preyed upon men and women alike that were…more unassuming than the louder humans of the pack.
Not that preyed was a very good word for what she did. She asked first, just like Joon had when she had bit Baek. The only difference was that Joon had turned her, not just bit her. There was a clear difference in that type of exchange. Baek wasn’t going around letting humans have a taste of her blood, too.
No, she only stopped for a quick bite before the real meal, which she hoped she would get tomorrow.
When she did meet Lu the next day, she was half expecting the girl to come dressed as she had the previous night. Dressed up modestly for her night at the pub, singing and playing the keys at the piano. Baek was pleasantly surprised to see that the girl had come with her skin revealed and a demure kitten’s girl on her face upon seeing Baek arrive. She was seated at the bar, and more than half the pub had their eyes on her, like they were waiting for her to open herself to them.
But if Lu was going to open herself to anyone tonight, it was going to be Baek, she would be patient about it – but was determined that it would happen.
“You…” Baek eyed Lu up and down, “Came prepared for a good night?” and the human girl only smiled conspiratorially, like she knew a secret that no one else did. Baek liked that – and thought it was a pleasant surprise from what she had seen in the past century. Human girls that played innocent, were scared of her, even feared her when all she promised to bring them was pleasure and ecstasy.
Of course, humans should fear her. She was a gods damned vampire for crying out loud. If humans didn’t fear her even a little bit, she would be the one fearing them. And seriously questioning her effectiveness as a vampire, too…
The night went on not quite as planned as Baek had intended, meaning only that Lu was much more energetic and open than she was expecting. She knew that the human was different than the others she had known – the ones that waited for her to speak, waited for her to make the first move.
But Lu touched her wrist, made contact first, laughed at the jokes she made, and that warmed Baek’s cold, still heart. She was the one to catch her attention through the fog, the one that would take her through a sloping hill of tired, bored living. Not that Baek needed someone to make her “feel” anything – there wasn’t anyone in the world that could stand a chance, or hold a light to Baek, herself. She was always adamant – at least, after the whole changing into a vampire thing – that she didn’t need anyone in the world to make her happy, or to complete her life.
“You’re awfully quiet.” Lu spoke up, grabbing Baek’s attention from where it strayed in her own thoughts.
Baek perked up despite the quiet previously, and shook her head, “Just sinking into my own thoughts.” And then she leaned forward, eyes going wide as Baek looked at Lu, which only made the human girl’s heart beat a little faster at the intimacy of the gesture. Baek even grinned wider at hearing the pacing of the other girl’s heart. “So, tell me more about yourself? I know that you play the piano and can probably sing better than anyone in this small town. But tell me more.”
Lu was quiet for a moment, as if she were thinking of what to say.
“Why don’t we go somewhere quieter? Picking the pub as a place to get to know one another probably wasn’t a good idea.” And the human girl’s laugh was like a twinkling peal of laughter that only made Baek smile more than she already had been. She liked this girl, felt comfortable with her even.
She hadn’t felt this…normal in quite a long time. Not since she was human herself, actually.
And so Baek nodded, quiet and still despite herself. Becoming a vampire had changed her over the years. She could remember the times when she was a loud, active spirit in her community. It was one of the reasons why the men in her village hadn’t tried courting her. She was loud and overactive when they were so used to seeing women giggle and curtsy and behave around them. Baek wondered how the men in her old village would react if she tried to play the demure little girl, let them court her, and then sink her fangs into their throats when they tried to lay a hand on her.
She also wondered, as she and Lu were leaving the pub, how she should break the news to the human girl that she was more than human, or not human at all.
There wasn’t exactly a polite or easy way to tell someone she was a vampire.
Despite that, however, Lu kept on chatting with her, the breezy air in the town lending to their singular conversation. There were others on the road, though they minded their own business. They seemed to want to stay far away from Baek, as if they could all sense what she really was. It must have been the paler than normal skin, as many of them in this town were quite dark, or at least tan from a day’s work in the sun. Baek remembered her own beautiful, tan skin from when she was mortal. She missed the hue of her own skin.
Keeping out of direct sunlight did a thing to the pigment of her skin that she didn’t exactly like.
Baek wasn’t sure how they had started walking back to Lu’s uncle’s home, but when they had stopped in front of the door, she lifted a brow in question, interrupting Lu’s sweet voice as she described how many cousins she had grown up with – only to have them all move into other cities, for them all to travel abroad and move away from her old parents’ home. Baek had been listening intently, but here was the real question.
She needed to be invited inside to private property. The pub and hotel were different, as they were owned and public. There were rules to follow, and she didn’t want to be burned or barred entrance just for some old-age vampire law.
Churches, holy places, private homes. They all barred her entrance unless she was invited in first.
“You’re welcome inside, don’t worry.” And then in a smaller whisper and that special, secretive grin of hers, Lu whispered, “My uncle isn’t home.”
The two entered the home in the next minute, Baek’s eyes widening at the front hall where there were guns hung up along the walls, antlers from an animal attached to a post and hung high up. The human girl’s uncle was a hunter it seemed, and she was only glad that he didn’t hunt her kind, not by the looks of it at least.
Baek climbed the narrow, spiral steps up to the second floor, following right after Lu. She didn’t presume to make a noise or ask any questions about where they were heading, not even when Lu invited her into the bedroom and closed the door solidly behind herself. Baek’s dark eyes widened, the smell of the girl so strong in here that it had her pupils dilating, thirsty despite having only fed the night prior.
Clearly that human from the night prior didn’t fill her up as much as she thought. Or Lu just smelled too good to be true, and too good to hold herself back.
Enough so that Baek got confident and sat on the bed, the dress she wore fluffing out though it was relatively thin compared to what she normally wore on a daily basis. She had almost prepared for something like this, only wishing that it was normal practice to wear pants in situations like this. Her skirts were far too heavy and constricting to be of any good use when it came to what she wanted to do.
And what she wanted Lu to do to her.
“Come here?” Baek said, phrasing the words like a question, a suggestion even. It was a request more than anything, asking if Lu would come closer. Asking if she were scared of Baek enough that she wouldn’t risk what was about to go down.
But Lu obeyed, fingers going to push back hair that was already very well in its place. A nervous habit it seemed, and the only gesture that Baek had even remotely caught onto in the span of time the two had been together over the past two evenings. It was a quick meeting – quicker than some of Baek’s other “conquests” if she could call them that. But she was thirsty, needed to feel Lu’s lips against hers, and also needed to feel the heat of her blood lap over her tongue, and then to slide down her throat.
Baek was so thirsty at this point that she found it hard to believe her fangs weren’t already out, and if they were, she only hoped Lu didn’t notice before she asked if Baek could kiss her.
Because she very much wanted to.
“You know, we don’t get very many outsiders here in town.” Lu said, leaning ever so close to Baek despite their already intimate lack of distance. If the human wasn’t careful, Baek might just take a nibble before asking…
But she would be a good vampire, she could be patient.
“Is that a good or bad thing where I’m concerned?” Baek asked with a slight laugh to the side, wondering if she was going to give herself away at any moment during their small talk.
Lu shrugged and leaned back on her elbows, skin exposed by her neck and décolletage, making Baek only narrow in on the space between the edge of the dress and Lu’s pretty neckline. It ran so smooth, despite her being a human. Baek wanted to feel the smoothness of it beneath her fingers, beneath her tongue, beneath her teeth…
“Good thing, I think. I mean,” Lu shrugged, something that caught Baek’s attention only because she was very invested in everything that Lu was doing at the moment, “You’re here, with me. I think that’s a pretty good thing, and important too.”
Baek couldn’t help but laugh at that, eyes turning to crescents as she laughed genuinely at Lu’s words. This human girl had made her not only smile in the past twenty-four hours, but feel something in her still heart that she had not felt in so very long. Baek could not truly remember how many decades it had been since she had a human girl that she adored.
She always outgrew them, or really they outgrew her. They grew older while she remained the same. It wasn’t exactly normal human behavior to remain frozen in place at one age. Baek couldn’t pass for more than twenty-seven at the max, let alone well into her thirties or forties, no matter how good her genetics were.
Lu also edged up on her elbows and got real close to Baek’s face, making her lean back on the side of the bed, in response. But the human girl just kept getting closer and grinned that same kitten grin that Baek had seen on her lips in the pub earlier that evening. It was an invitation, and one that Baek would not take lightly.
“Why did you come to our town, anyway?” Lu asked, cocking her head to the side and just getting closer. Baek had imagined this the other way around, but she wasn’t complaining, “I would hope you weren’t just passing by for a few meals and then heading on your way. You’re planning to stay, right?”
Baek wasn’t sure how to answer that, but she leaned forward, Lu not backing down either as she got closer. Enough so that the two were very close together now, lips near touching. A dare that Baek was willing to take.
So she tilted her head and peered down at Lu’s lips, her neck, and the rest of her body, letting the same words Joon had asked her two hundred years ago fall from her own lips.
“May I?” and Lu didn’t even say anything, she just closed the distance between them.
Things happened slowly then, but Baek felt like she was running at a million miles per hour, her heart freezing more than it had been, and then flaming in the next second, melting the ice around her heart. She could have sworn she heard or felt it beat, but knew that was just the reflection of the sound from Lu’s own beating heart.
Baek had missed the sound, even if it didn’t really belong to her.
Lu pulled back then, laughter spilling from her lips after she pulled away from their kiss and pulling far enough away she could see Baek’s now open eyes.
“I knew it.” Lu said, voice startling quiet, yet convicting at the same time.
“Knew what?” Baek then asked, eyes only opening wider as she moved back and tried to get a grasp on herself. Sweet, sweet blood filled her nose and she could only just barely make out the taste of it on her tongue.
Had she bitten Lu by accident? She hadn’t thought her fangs had come out, and even if they did graze Lu, it wasn’t enough to actually draw blood. But when she tasted further, smelled deeper, she could tell that it was something on the human’s part.
Lu had cut herself open, somewhere on her lips or in her mouth, before she had kissed Baek.
“You stepped into that pub last night and your skin just…lit up. Not like a normal person’s. And not like, sunlight sparkle, like a diamond. But you just…you looked so beautiful. And then you stayed until I was done with the set, until everyone else had left the pub. You didn’t come inside last night, because I hadn’t invited you in.” Baek was patiently waiting for Lu to finish her thought, waiting for her to actually come to the conclusion that she had been waiting for. It made this so much easier for her, to actually ask if Baek could bite her. “I have been told my entire life that demons or hell would come from me because of my sexuality, my parents used to tell me I was going to hell because of it. But hell has finally come to find me, hasn’t it?”
Baek hadn’t been expecting the conversation to take this turn, but she went with it, eyes softening as she responded, “All the demons are here, darling. And I’m the savior.” And with that, Baek grinned wide and chuckled, nodding back towards Lu’s throat, and cocking an eyebrow, “If you really want to go to hell, would you be my Queen?”
Lu didn’t even hesitate when she breathed the word, “Yes.” And allowed for Baek to sink her fangs deep in her throat.