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Are You Feeling Alive?

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Alcohol always had a more powerful effect on vampires than it did on humans. That was basic knowledge, and Hannah was well aware, yet somehow every time she went out hunting she always ended up at a pub. Perhaps it was some kind of vestigial behavior from her days of mortality, or maybe she was still just not quite accustomed to killing people, but either way, she was well on her way to properly pissed when a pretty brunette sat down on the stool next to hers. It was perfect timing, as Hannah’s appetite was just starting to pick up. 

“It alright if I sit here?” the stranger asked Hannah in a funny, unfamiliar accent. She had beautiful, prominent cheekbones and a piercing in her lower lip. And freckles. Hannah loved freckles.

“Er…yeah,” Hannah managed, staring at her stupidly. 

The brunette smiled her thanks. Fuck, she had nice teeth, too. “I’m Bonnie, by the way.”

“Hannah.”

“Can I buy you a drink, Hannah?” Bonnie offered.

Hannah was still staring; and she could feel that she needed to feed sooner rather than later. She was surrounded by the wet, enticing sounds of human heartbeats and the absolutely maddening aroma of the warm blood those hearts were pumping. She’d killed before after many more drinks than she’d currently consumed, but that usually got a bit messy, which she didn’t love. “Thanks but er, think I’d better be done for the night.” 

Bonnie nodded comprehendingly. “Maybe a coke, then? Or a bottle of water?”

Both of those were useless to Hannah, but Bonnie was sweet and gorgeous and Hannah wanted to talk to her some more. Why not have a nice time before things got murder-y? She knew she wasn’t supposed to call it murder. Jim had explained it to her the first time she went hunting. Everything needs to eat to stay alive. Vampires just happened to be the apex predators. It was nature. That didn’t stop Hannah from feeling awful and wanting to apologize every time she did it, though.

“Water’d be lovely, thanks,” she forced out instead, fighting to keep the guilt off her face. “Where’re you from, by the way? If you don’t mind me asking, I mean.”

“Oh, uhm, Sydney, actually. Australia,” she replied while waving the bartender over.

“Shit, well what’re you doing way up here, then?” Hannah opened her water and pretended to take a sip, hoping she wasn’t too drunk to make it convincing. 

Bonnie smiled kind of shyly. “I’m in a band.”

Hannah was very thirsty. “Well that’s cool, innit. What do you play?”

“Well, guitar, but I’m the singer,” she explained.

Hannah reckoned that Bonnie had a lovely singing voice. She said so out loud and the Australian blushed cutely. “Have you lot ever been to the U.K. before?’ Hannah wondered conversationally.

“No, definitely not,” Bonnie laughed slightly. “We’ve never even been out of Australia before.”

They chatted until Hannah literally couldn’t stand it any longer, and she regretted it. She genuinely liked Bonnie, and if she’d known that she was going to at the start, she’d have gone and sought out someone else to be her victim. But now there wasn’t time. She could feel her muscles threatening to stiffen up on her, rigor mortis trying to claim her body as the life force of her meal from the previous night started to run out. She gave Bonnie her best attempt at a smile. “D’you wanna get out of here?’

She did. “Alright if we go to yours, though?” Bonnie requested. “I’m in a van at the moment. Sharing it with five dudes, too. Not super romantic.”

“Yeah, no problem,” Hannah replied absently, fighting the tension in her neck and face. She took Bonnie’s hand. The pulse was right there, taunting her. Fresh blood nearly burning hot against Hannah’s cold palms.

They weren’t far from the coven’s flat, so Hannah led Bonnie on foot, doing her very best not to stumble, as she was quite unsteady once she’d stood up. As they walked Hannah kept her eye out for dark places she could could pull them both into. She knew there was a good alley close to their building, but she was getting desperate. 

The alley ended up being the only opportunity. When they turned the corner, Hannah pointed in the direction of the flat. “I live just over there.” Her voice was starting to shake.

Bonnie looked in the direction Hannah was pointing and while she was distracted, Hannah yanked her firmly into the alley and shoved her up against the brick wall just far enough from the pavement that the beam of the streetlight couldn’t reach them.

“Hannah, what’s going on?” Bonnie wheezed, the breath having been knocked out of her.

Hannah shushed her gently. “I’m sorry…About this.” she could see sheer panic in Bonnie’s eyes and it hurt her heart. “Dreadfully sorry, honest. You’re really quite lovely and I enjoyed our chat…” If Hannah could cry, she would. “B-but if I don’t hunt…” she sighed heavily, “I die.” She opened her mouth and willed it to relax enough for her fangs to extend and make themselves visible.

Bonnie gasped and struggled against Hannah’s hands, which pinned her to the wall by her neck and her chest. “Please don’t,” she begged, arms pushing uselessly against Hannah’s supernatural strength. 

“I-I don’t want to!” Hannah insisted miserably. “I’m so, so sorry, Bonnie. I don’t want to hurt people, I promise. Especially not you.” She couldn’t put it off another second, though. She lowered her face to Bonnie’s warm neck and pierced the skin with her fangs. The blood was right there. She could feel it. Smell it. Practically already taste it.

But she couldn’t bring herself to drink it.

Hannah pulled her mouth off of Bonnie and let go of her. The Australian looked at her with fearful confusion before collapsing. Oh fuck. 

She knelt down next to the unconscious girl, feeling and listening for a pulse. It was present and strong. Stronger than a human pulse was meant to be. Despite that, the punctures on Bonnie’s neck had somehow already stopped bleeding. All that remained were small, round scars, glistening—practically glowing— bright white in the darkness. Hannah had those, too. She reached up absentmindedly and touched the marks on her own neck. They were smoother than the rest of her skin.

She shook her head quickly to get some focus back. Her body was hardening and the motion hurt her. She had to get help. For Bonnie and for herself.

Jim answered his phone on the first ring. “Han? You never call me. Is everything alright?”

 


 

Bonnie drifted awake to the sounds of arguing voices. She forced her eyes open, squinting against the light in the unfamiliar room. She was on a couch and the sources of the voices, a guy and a girl that looked about her age (but inhumanly, unfairly pretty), were stood near it. Neither of them were currently looking at her, so they didn’t notice her push herself up to a sitting position.

“Hannah, this is bad,” the (very British) man lamented, shaking his head.

Hannah…Bonnie looked closer at the girl. She’d seen her before.

Hannah gestured at two more ridiculously gorgeous boys that were sat on the other couch. “Excuse me, dickhead,” she retorted, “but didn’t you make those? And me? Yeah. You did. Get off your fucking high horse, bellend.”

“Sorry, are we ’those’ now?” one of the others complained.

“Not now, Tom,” Hannah dismissed him exasperatedly.

“I only made you ‘cause you asked me to!” the first boy reminded her impatiently.

“And we’d been best friends for how long before that? C’mon, James, you should’ve known not to listen to me.” Hannah’s voice was familiar, too. Bonnie had definitely seen her before. But where?

They both noticed Bonnie then, and Hannah hurriedly crouched down in front of her. “Oh God, Bonnie,” she cried. “I’m so, so sorry.”

With Hannah that close, Bonnie’s memories started to come back. The pub, their conversations…and Hannah pressing her into a wall in a dark alley. Bonnie reached up to feel her neck where Hannah had bitten. It didn’t hurt like she’d expect it to. 

“I…” Bonnie tried to begin, not sure what to say. Her throat ached horribly when she spoke. “What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry,” Hannah said again, rather unhelpfully. “I needed to drink, but then I actually liked you, and when I went to kill you I just…couldn’t.”

Bonnie blinked at her. “Ehh, sorry, what?”

Hannah’s companion came over as well. “Hiya, Bonnie, you alright?” he greeted her pleasantly. “I’m Jim, nice to meet you,” he continued. “Er, what my dear friend Hannah is getting at is that she’s, well…she’s accidentally turned you into a vampire.”

Huh. Bonnie wasn’t sure what she’d been expecting, but it somehow wasn’t that. Despite the whole hot-girl-biting-her-in-an-alley thing, of course. After thinking for a moment, Bonnie supposed that any other other explanation would make that particular detail supremely weird. “So like, you’re all vampires?” she confirmed, still feeling a little groggy.

Jim opened his mouth to show Bonnie his fangs. Hannah had fangs, Bonnie remembered then. They were retractable or something, because they’d grown right before Hannah had bitten her. Jim’s retracted just then as she watched. Cool. Bonnie ran her tongue across her own teeth, and sure enough, she could feel sharp, protruding points that hadn’t been there before. SICK.

“Okay…” Bonnie was still processing everything. A vampire, eh? There were far worse things. In fact, there were very few better things. She wasn’t exactly sure that she felt like a vampire—if that was even a thing—but it was honestly hard to tell at the current moment, because her head felt kind of foggy and the burning pain in her throat was pretty overpowering.

“I didn’t mean to do it, I swear,” Hannah promised, looking positively distraught. “I feel terrible about putting you through this. I’m honestly really sorry.”

Bonnie gave her a questioning look. “Why?” She was unable to stop herself from giggling a little, though she knew it probably came off a bit bitchy as a response to Hannah’s desperately sincere apologies.

Jim and Hannah gaped at her uncomprehendingly. 

“What?” Hannah was clearly stunned. “What d’you mean ‘why?’”

Bonnie didn’t understand why they couldn’t see how awesome this was. She was a goddamn vampire! “I mean why are you sorry?” she explained. “This is cool as shit!”

“You’re not upset?” Hannah clarified.

Bonnie considered for a second. “Well I am a little, ‘cause the whole attacking me in an alley thing was fucking horrible…and I’m not gonna lie, I was kinda looking forward to hooking up…but you didn’t kill me or hurt me, so otherwise, no. I’m a vampire! I’m fucking razzed!”

“Oh,” Jim responded slowly. “Er, good. I guess.” 

“But I do have a question,” Bonnie told them.

“Sure, mate, yeah,” Hannah replied. “I made you, so I’ll help you. Gotta take responsibility.”

“No but that’s what I’m wondering,” Bonnie elaborated, “how do you ‘accidentally’ make someone a vampire?”

Jim snickered.

Hannah ignored him. “Now that’s actually a good thing to know. ‘Cause it’s a lot easier than you might imagine. In fact it’s easier than not making a vampire, I reckon.”

“Well that might be a bit of an exaggeration,” Jim interjected. 

Hannah laughed. “Oh really, James? Because you’ve got two pieces of evidence to the contrary, and their names are Tom and Deller.” She jabbed a finger at the boys on the other couch. “Anyway.” She turned her attention back to Bonnie. “Basically, if you bite someone and don’t bleed them out all the way, the venom from your bite will circulate through their bloodstream and make them into a vampire.”

“Technically, you don’t have to bleed them out completely,” Jim added, “you just need to bleed them out enough to kill them. But us four, we prefer to get them empty, just to be safe.”

“Speak for yourself,” Hannah chided. “Me personally, I’d prefer not to bleed ‘em at all. I hate killing things. Always have. I didn’t even eat animals when I was human…well, except for chickens. I could eat those bastards no problem. But like I was saying, yeah, I bit you planning to drink your blood and then I just couldn’t go through with killing you. I didn’t think about what I’d done until it was too late.”

“Bit of a common theme with her,” Tom chimed in.

Hannah chucked a decorative pillow a him.

Bonnie’s head was starting to clear a bit, though it was quickly crowding up with more questions. She was about to ask another when she felt her phone buzz in her pocket. Her stomach lurched when she took it out and saw about a million texts and missed calls from her bandmates. Then she looked at the time. Soundcheck was in 45 minutes. “Oh fuck!” She called Miki, who’d been the one that just texted her.

“Bon, thank god!” Miki shouted into the phone. “Are you okay? Where are you? You’ve scared the fuck out of us!”

“I’m fine, I’m fine. It’s er…it’s a long story,” Bonnie assured him quickly. “I’ll tell you when I get to the venue, yeah? Can you guys text me the address?” Miki was still ranting at her frantically when she hung up. She was probably gonna get shit for this.

“Listen I’ve gotta go,” she told the vampires as she stood up. “We’re playing a gig tonight.”

“Alright well, couple of things real quick,” Hannah stopped her. “You’ve gotta feed at least once a night or you’ll rot like a corpse. Your senses are gonna start sharpening up after you drink blood for the first time so don't get scared if you start hearing things you're not used to hearing...Oh and, you should probably try and get your fangs to retract before you go out in public. You’ve just gotta like, tense up the muscles round your mouth for a second..." She paused in her rapid-fire information dump and attempted to demonstrate. "Tell you what, let me give you my number in case you need—”

“Do you wanna just come to the show?” Bonnie blurted without thinking. She wasn’t even sure herself if this was to genuinely make things easier or if she was just trying to impress the pretty British vampire she’d been hoping to sleep with the night before, but either way she was dying for Hannah to say yes. “Maybe we can go out for another drink after?” she added, feeling suddenly bold. “You know, now that I’m no longer on the menu.”

Hannah chuckled. “That’d be lovely, thanks.”