“I’m just saying, Italian food is incredible. Eternal life sounds like an excellent deal and all that, and I’m all for the increased strength and stamina and whatever else comes as part of the package deal, but I don’t think I can deal with the idea of never having garlic bread again.”
“You do realise it’s all propaganda, right?” The vampire sighed, flicking a lock of dark hair from his eyes with a lazy twist of his hand. “Garlic is a natural blood thinner, humans eat more of it to keep us at bay, it makes mealtimes easier. Obviously. ”
“Okay, that’s actually amazing.” I assumed I must have looked suitably impressed, as the vampire let himself relax a little in his seat, though the stake remained tightly gripped within the confines of my hand and I still held the echoes of a threat about me. The vampire could have left, should he have wished to, and yet something was keeping him here. I wasn’t simply a meal to him, it seemed. “What about mirrors, though? It can’t be easy, keeping yourself looking good without being able to see your own reflection.” Unless vampires travelled in pairs, I supposed - I had never met one before, so had little to compare it to.
“Silver.” He replied with a huff, looking irritated. “Are all humans this ignorant?”
“Sorry?” I blinked, somewhere between offended and amused. As I watched, he seemed to soften a little around the edges, sharp lines blurring into something more appealing.
“If we were to visit an antiques shop then sure, there might be a few there that won’t show my reflection. Mirrors used to be backed with silver, originally, and as it is considered a pure or incorruptible metal, it won’t show our reflections.”
“That makes sense.” I agreed with a slow nod. “And aluminium is pretty unlikely to end up as a holy metal any time soon. I’d hazard a guess that the rumours you lot don’t appear in photos is because of the same thing?” He seemed unusually pleased at that, offering a fanged smile that should have been threatening but was instead somewhat endearing.
“Precisely! Silver nitrate in old film couldn’t capture our image. It used to be a lot of fun, standing in on photos and then leaving before they were developed and watching for their reactions at a distance.” There was a wistful sort of look in his eyes, a fond memory perhaps of a less complicated time. I could feel the heat of his skin at my neck, fingers tracing over the jugular vein with such reverence and I could not quite pinpoint when he had moved. “Shall we play a little game?”
“I thought vampires were meant to be cold as death itself.” It seemed that a great many of my assumptions were being disproved that night, and I found that I did not mind in the least. He had me, and I think he knew this as well, yet I felt that I may have earned some small modicum of respect from the predator I had invited into my home. He was offering me a way out.
“We are, if we choose not to feed.” He replied, and I allowed the stake to clatter to the wooden floor beside my chair, forgotten for the moment. Still he did not strike, hovering over me like an elongated vulture of a man, robed in coat and scarf with thick dark curls atop his head. “Now, I will ask you if you want me to turn you, and you are going to say yes.”
“Mate, you can’t just thrall your way into getting a new suck-buddy.” My attention snapped to the new voice in the room and the vampire snarled, hand shifting into a fist as he glared at the new arrival. “Where’s the fun in that?”
“Oh fuck off Grant .” The vampire growled at the man, red eyes shooting daggers at the man, and if looks could kill I was sure the silver-haired stranger would have turned to dust on the spot. “I’m not going to command him to do anything, he’s not my thrall .”
“How did you even get in?” I asked and the stranger snorted, gesturing at the still-open window even as he leaned back against the sill. “Well of course, but I mean - no one invited you.”
“Oh, that’s only his kind that need inviting.” He offered a toothy grin, and while the endless row of white teeth certainly was unusually sharp, at least from what I could see from my position, the fangs of my vampiric acquaintance were very much absent.
“Graham here is a werewolf.” The vampire offered, somewhat begrudgingly, and when it seemed the wolf was unlikely to approach either he or myself, he relaxed from the looming stance he had adopted at the point of interruption, though still kept himself at my side.
“Graham, I thought you said his name was-”
“Yes, yes, I know what I said.” The vampire waved me off, dismissive. “What do you want, lap dog?”
“Your brother asked me to keep an eye on you, keep you out of trouble.” The wolf turned to me then, amber eyes seeming to glow in the low light. “You really want to join his lot? No going out in the sun, sudden aversion to holy relics, lot of hard work if you ask me.”
“My brother ” the vampire snarled “knows where he can stick it. ”
“Alright, calm down.” He did not remove his predatory gaze from me, even as my vampire friend continued to spout unpleasantries and ignored insinuations. “What about it though, mate? Want to join the ranks of the local werewolves? Three nights a month you end up all fur and teeth, but it ain’t so bad the rest of the time. Private dental care, too, courtesy of the government.”
“No he does not , vile hound!” The vampire snapped, rounding on the wolf and drawing up to his full and decidedly intimidating height. I knew that things were liable to get somewhat ugly if I did not put a stop to it immediately.
“Excuse me, but I am more than capable of deciding for myself.” I huffed, irritated, and the vampire took a step back as though burned. I am certain I saw a flash of hurt in those crimson eyes, yet it was gone as quickly as it had appeared. Turning back to the wolf, I pushed myself up from my seat, though both men were still far taller than I. “Thank you for your offer, but no thanks.”
“And what of my offer?” The vampire was back in my personal space again, all heat and cheek bones, and it took all I had not to step away, to collapse back into my comfortable chair. “Can I turn you? Do you want to join me in eternally walking the night?” My lips quirked into a small yet oddly fond grin as I met his steady gaze with my own.
“Oh god yes.”