The snow bit into Lance’s skin, numbing him to the bone. He sat in an unfamiliar part of the forest, his senses dull from the frost. A heartbeat drummed in his ears that was not his own. He blinked the ice out of his eyes and reached out his hands. His fingers brushed against the soft fabric of a white gown, miraculously dry from the snow.
Ink black hair contrasted against the pureness that surrounded them, the ends damp from the weather. Lance pulled the unconscious figure into his arms, revealing the face of his lover. Keith had a peaceful expression gracing his features, water droplets sticking to his eye lashes. His cheeks were flushed red from the cold, Lance could hear the blood beneath his skin flowing to provide what little warmth Keith could provide. His heartbeat taunted Lance like a timer, each tick becoming slower, one after the other.
Lance embraced his partner, attempting to provide his own body heat. Finding his attempts to be futile, Lance’s mind began to race for another solution. His hand shook as he carefully brought it to Keith’s head, and he delicately caressed his head as if he was a fragile doll. Where his hand made contact, Keith once black hair turned start white, as if the color was being pulled out of him.
The air shifted around them, a chill ran down Lance’s spine that wasn’t caused by the snow. An intense feeling took over Lance’s senses and gold specks blurred his vision.
Keith’s heartbeat grew into a loud roar in Lance’s ears, the sound of blood pumping slowly through his boyfriend’s veins echoed in his head. Lance’s mouth ran dry, a sharp pain erupting in his mouth after the arrival of his fangs. Adrenaline coursed through him, blocking what little sense he had left.
His mind screamed for him to stop, think about that he was doing, but all he could focus on was the soft flesh of Keith’s neck, begging to be bitten.
Lance licked his lips, eyes darting back and forth from Keith’s gentle look, to his exposed neck.
Lance’s fangs broke through the delicate skin, filling his mouth with the sweet taste of the smaller man’s blood. Soon, the white gown Keith was dressed in was stained with the very thing that gave him life. Drops of the crimson liquid fell upon the snow, seeping deep into the earth.
Lance found himself unable to stop, ripping and gnawing more into Keith’s neck, begging for more. Keith’s heartbeat had stopped long ago, when Lance had made his choice.
Lance resulted in sucking the body dry, lips pressed carefully against the man made wound. He slowly dragged his tongue across the blood-stained skin, lapping up any remaining plasma that he may have missed.
As he did this though, the body in his arms finally made a sound. It was low, emanated deep within the chest, almost… sexual.
Lance nipped once more at the skin, earning another small moan. These small sounds soon became bells, which then began to harmonize into a familiar Christmas tune.
Lance awoke with a start, the ringing of “Silver Bells” fading in from his alarm clock. He had set his radio to the station as soon as the season for none stop holiday music had begun. His fingers quickly searched for and found the snooze button, not wanting to wake up the figure next to him.
Lance ran his fingers through his hair, ruffling his bang that had stuck to his forehead over the night. He went to sit up, only to find the left side of his body to be weighed down. Keith laid in his arms, back facing Lance. He slept quietly, undisturbed by Lance’s early morning alarm.
Careful not to disrupt his boyfriend any further, Lance wiggled his arm from under Keith’s head and tucked the blanket back around him. Lance leaned down to leave a small peck on his ear, only to freeze in his tracks.
Right where his shoulder and neck meets, Keith had a small hickey. The spot itself wasn’t that concerning, it was the two nicks were hidden by the bruise. Lance ran his tongue across his bottom lip, the lingering taste of iron encroached on his senses, alerting him that the taste of blood was not his own.
Lance slapped a hand over his mouth and gagged, trying to dissuade himself that he didn’t enjoy the taste, that his partner’s blood wasn’t the sweetest thing he’s ever tasted. His alarm clock went off once again, and Lance couldn’t help himself from throwing the thing against the wall, the clock exploding into a million plastic pieces.
Keith began to stir, the sudden noise waking him. Overcome with panic and disgust, Lance ran out of the room and escaped their shared apartment, barely remembering the grab a coat on his way out.
It wasn’t uncommon for Lance to show up unannounced to Hunk’s apartment, he just found it strange for guests to show up at 7am on a Thursday in their boxers and a thin raincoat when it was snowing out. Nevertheless, Hunk invited Lance in and he and his girlfriend Shay went to work making sure he was comfortable.
“Sorry for dropping in like this.” Lance murmured tiredly as he accepted the cup of coffee Shay offered him.
“Nonsense,” she chidded, “You’re always welcomed. Though, Hunk told me that the two of you had a final today at 11, shouldn’t you be home getting some sleep?”
Hunk returned to the living room with a change of spare clothes that Lance had left, offering them to his half naked best friend.
“I told you that we could study beforehand, but this wasn’t what I had in mind.”
Lance accepted the clothing with a thankful smile, “Ah, sorry, pal. Had some trouble back home with the Misses.” He chuckled humorlessly into his coffee mug as he took a sip.
Shay shot a concerned look towards Hunk, who only returned a confused shrug. She excused herself from the room, wanting to change out of her nightclothes and not intrude into a problem she had no right to concern herself with.
Hunk sat himself on the couch next to Lance and slapped him on the back, causing his coffee to spill a little into his lap.
“Did Keith bring another lizard home?”
“No, not a cat.”
Hunk rubbed his chin in thought, “Oh no, he didn’t find another wild coyote and try to train it like a dog again, did he?”
Lance shook his head, eyes trained on the steaming mug in front of him. Hunk, sensing that he didn’t want to talk about the matter, nodded in understanding and stood up from the couch. Lance cursed to himself, wishing he could tell his longtime best friend what was really on his mind, but knew that ignorance was bliss, and sparing Hunk from his secret would be for the best.
“Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m need a big breakfast before we have to take this finale. What about you?”
Lance offered a small smile, but Hunk knew that whatever happened between him and Keith was still bothering him. Hunk shook his head to himself and went to work on breakfast as Shay came shuffling in from their shared bedroom.
“Er, Hunk? Your phone has four missed calls from- Oh!” Shay passed Hunk’s cellphone to him, the screen showing a blurry picture of Keith, caught off guard by the pop of confetti from the surprise party they threw him two years ago. Hunk cautiously answered the phone.
“ Took you long enough! ” Keith’s worried voice protruded loudly from the phone speaker, causing Lance’s head to perk up. “ Lance left his phone at home and I saw him rush out of the apartment without any clothes on. Have you seen him? ”
Hunk glanced over at Lance, who was shaking his head vigorously. He gently bit his lip and moved his cell to his other ear.
“Actually, yeah. I have seen him. He’s actually here with Shay and me, so you should come over.”
Lance groaned and pressed his face into the pile of spare clothes in his arms. Hunk nodded curtly, sure of his decision.
“Yep, we’re making breakfast now. You should come over and join us.”
There was a brief moment silence on the other line.
“ Alright. I’ll be there in ten. ” The line went dead.
Lance glared at Hunk from the living room. “You’re the worst best friend ever.”
Hunk pulled an apron from off the wall and slid it over his head, “You better get dressed, your boyfriend will be joining us for breakfast.”
When Keith arrived, Lance was calculating how much it would hurt to jump out of the kitchen window from a three story apartment.
Keith was dressed appropriately for the weather. He wore a thick winter coat that was to no surprise: black. His coat matched the black jeans and combat boots he wore, which complimented the black toboggan he wore that protected his ears from the cold and hid the white strands of hair that sprouted from beneath it. The only splash of color to his whole outfit was the red scarf that was wrapped tightly around his neck. Between the two of them, most would believe Keith to be the vampire, not Lance.
“Lance!” Relief flooded Keith’s face. He threw off his coat and ripped off his scarf, revealing one of Lance’s light blue turtlenecks. Lance felt a swell of pride in his chest seeing his boyfriend in one of his sweaters, but the feeling quickly went away when he remembered why he was wearing the article clothing which covered his neck.
“Keith, just in time! Breakfast is served-” Hunk walked in on the two in the living room. Keith had Lance trapped on the couch, shaking him by the shoulders with an angry look on his face. Lance looked accepting on the treatment, allowing himself to be shook back in forth.
“GOOD THING THE FROST DIDN’T KILL YOU BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I’M GOING TO DO!”
Hunk quickly got between the two, pulling Keith by the back of the shirt to get him off Lance. Lance inhaled sharply, eyes darting to Keith’s exposed neck only to see smooth, unmarked skin.
At first, Lance thought he was hallucinating. He stood up suddenly, startling the two men in front of him. He took Keith by the wrist and pulled him against himself, Lance’s other arm secured tightly around Keith’s waist to keep him from moving. Ignoring the protests from both Keith and Hunk, who commented that now wasn’t appropriate, Lance pulled on his collar only to be taken back by the lack of bite mark. A faint bruise still lingered where Lance had taken the bite, but the longer he watched, the bruise seemed to glimmer and fade away, showing now evidence that it had been there in the first place.
Keith glanced nervously up at Lance, who only stared in disbelief. Lance searched Keith’s face for an answer, wishing to know the meaning for this. Keith’s violet eyes glistened up at him, offering him an answer that Lance didn’t understand.
Lance finally released Keith and allowed him to rejoin Hunk’s side. The three of them stood in silence, not sure what to say next. The tension was broken by Shay, who placed the platter of pancakes Hunk had made loudly on the counter, snapping the boys attention towards the kitchen.
The four ate in silence. Lance’s eyes never left Keith, leaving the other to fidget uncomfortably in his seat. Hunk had tried to make light conversation, only to receive curt responses from the couple.
“So, Keith,” Hunk began as he poured syrup on his second stack of pancakes, “Are you going anywhere for winter break?”
“Ah-” Keith’s eyes shifted from Lance to Hunk. He took a few seconds to think, processing the question. “No, I don’t have anywhere to go.”
Shay refilled her coffee cup. “No family to visit?”
Hunk coughed into his fist and faced Lance, who’s attention never left his partner. “Lance?”
“You going anywhere for break?"
“So you’ll be spending it together?”
“Depends on how cooperative Keith is.”
Shay cleared her throat, difusing any tension that was building up. She brushed her hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear, fixing it around her large hoop earring. She stood up and took her and Hunk’s plate, who was in the middle of taking another bite of his stack.
“I think it’s time for the two of you to head to campus. Might as well get some last minute studying in before your test.” She shot a glare towards Hunk, who had the most pitiful look on his face, “I’d hate for you to bring a bad test grade home for Christmas.”
Hunk sighed and stood up from the small kitchen table, a small pout still lingering on his lips. Lance followed in suit, eyes still trained on Keith. Shay took Lance by the arm and pulled him towards the door, “Don’t worry, I’ll walk him home. You just worry about your Biology exam, okay?”
No words were exchanged as the four of them donned on coats. When they stepped outside, Lance and Hunk walked towards the school provided shuttles as Shay and Keith waved them goodbye and wished them luck.
He definitely failed.
Not that it mattered anyways, it’s not like he hasn’t taken this class before. Lance could recognize the smell of fetal pigs a mile away. The stench of formaldehyde and preservative had scarred itself into his brain the first time he had taken a biology class in ‘83. For their final exam, they had to identify parts of the pig and access the damage done to them. Easy enough. Well, it would have been easy if Lance’s mind wasn’t replaying images of the bruise that he swore Keith had this morning.
He had finished the exam first, bullshitting answers so he could leave the lab room as soon as possible. He needed to clear his mind. He needed fresh air. He needed to eat.
Lance had felt sick all morning since his incident with Keith. He could still taste the few drop of blood that he had stole from his boyfriend. The fact that he even tasted what Keith had to offer, he knew that it was only a matter of time until something went wrong.
He trekked off of campus back to the spot where Keith had first found out about his true self. The wind was blowing harshly against him, the chilly air nipping at his skin. Lance had to trust his other senses other than smell. The wind had been blowing from campus, so he could only sense the smell of tears and disappointment.
Lance heard faint heartbeats surrounding him. He listened closely, hoping to hear the frantic beat of a small squirrel or rodent. Unfortunately, it was winter time so he had slim pickings. The thought made Lance sneer, his determination to catch and kill something increasing ten fold. He tugged his jacket tighter around him and delved deeper into the forest.
His ears had picked up on the steady heartbeat of a fairly large animal. Lance assumed it to be a deer, a wolf maybe? He didn’t care. The more he thought about it, the hungrier he became. He broke out into a sprint, teeth bared.
It had been a while since he had really let loose. This is what he was. A wild animal. A monster. He continued weaving through trees before entering a small clearing. His vision had blurred from the snow, taking away another one of his senses. He rubbed his eyes, his nose catching a small whiff of smoke.
Among the clearing sat a small circle of candles. Wax dripped slowly down the base of each one, steam being released each time a drop fell upon the snow. Carved into the ice was an unfamiliar symbol, one made up of a large circle with foreign script written inside. Lance would have mistaken it at as pentagram, but the whole thing seemed less demonic.
A hooded figure dressed in black robes sat in the middle of the circle, legs crossed and fingers pinched, mumbling recitings that Lance didn’t recognize. The flames of the candles would jump once in awhile or change colors to a certain words.
Small creatures emerged from the forest as the figure continued to murmur, drawn by their ceremony. The animals didn’t seem fazed by Lance’s presence, making him wonder what the person was doing, if it was a person at all.
Lance took a step forward, his footprints crunching in the snow. The figure jumped to their feet and spun to face Lance, throwing their hood off. The candles were blown out all at once, and time seemed to freeze.
Keith stood before Lance, eyes glistening a bright purple. The roots of his hair were pure white and soon shrunk back to the raven black that Lance knew and loved. Keith was still wearing the turtleneck and jeans from that morning, the only difference to his attire being the cloak he wore.
Lance could hear Keith’s heartbeat rapidly increasing as he walked forward. Keith’s heart would skip with every step he took, and drummed in Lance’s ears as he picked up pace. He ran towards Keith at full speed, taking him in his arms.
Lance held Keith by the waist, taking in the gold freckles that glittered but then faded from the paler man’s skin. Keith’s appearance had returned to normal with maybe a sparkle or two in his eye.
Keith watched Lance nervously, unable to speak. His arms were draped lazily over Lance’s shoulders with his fingers instinctively laced together. Lance gazed into his boyfriend’s eyes, a small chuckle barely escaping his lips.
“God, I love you.”
Lance pulled the smaller man flush against his body and captured Keith’s lips with his own, snow falling around them.
The moment was truly magical.