Damiano heard the door handle turn, the spindle meet the lock, and the lock give up like the piece of shit it apparently was. He had just enough time to pull his fangs out of Victoria's neck, he was a gentleman after all, and look up before the light from the hallway hit him full on. He stared at one of the singers from Blind Channel, who stared back at him as Victoria made a small unhappy sound.
"Fuck," he said as the other man rapidly retreated from the open door.
"Why'd you stop?" Victoria asked in the slightly drunk tone that came from having just been under his fangs.
It would wear off in a minute or two.
"Because we were seen," he said, gesturing at the door.
"Fuck," was also Victoria's reaction to that.
"Have to catch him," Damiano said, while wiping the blood off his mouth on the tissue he had had waiting just for that purpose, because he wasn't an animal, thank you very much.
"You owe me an orgasm," Victoria called after him as he dashed into the corridor.
"Later," he promised.
He was just in time to see the other vocalist disappear into a doorway further down. No doubt the other man had hoped that was the way back towards the backstage area, but Damiano knew for a fact it was another storage cupboard, because he'd been in it with Thomas a day ago. Apparently Blind Channel's singer had a bad sense of direction when panicking.
Damiano ran down the corridor and stopped outside the door. He could hear short, frantic breaths coming from inside. The lock clicked, just as he wrapped his fingers around the door knob. There was nothing for it after that, and he wrenched the handle, which gave easily, the locks really were utter shit, and threw the door open with flare. He couldn't help it, drama was in his nature.
"Please do not overreact," he said, switching to English.
Joel, at the last second he remembered the man's name, stared at him, white as a sheet.
"You're a fucking vampire," was the accusation that came back at him.
"Yes," he replied.
The blatant honesty seemed to bring the other man up short.
"But … but you were eating your bandmate," Joel said.
"Well, kind of," Damiano replied, "I don't see your point."
Joel looked at him as if he was insane.
"My point? My point? How could you do that to your friend?" the Finnish singer demanded.
"I asked nicely, she said yes," Damiano said as if it was obvious.
"Yes?" was the best Joel seemed to be able to do at that.
"Of course yes," Damiano said, insulted. "You ask permission before you stick your anatomy in other people I assume?"
"Yes!" the other man replied instantly.
"Well then don't accuse me of sliding my fangs in someone without consent," he said, glaring and putting his hands on his hips. "It's the same principle."
Joel did manage to look abashed at that.
"Not like the movies then?" was the vaguely sheepish question.
"A bit like the movies, but only about as much as anything in real life is like the movies," Damiano replied. "And no, I don't crawl through virgins' windows at midnight to feast on their blood. Not unless that's their kink anyway. There was one girl I was trying to impress in high school, but turned out her father had a crossbow. Those things hurt."
They were back to the are-you-insane expression.
"Look, I'm mostly just like you," he added. "I was born this way. I need blood like you need vitamin C, only what happens to me if I don't get it is worse."
"Sunlight not a problem then?" Joel asked and Damiano braced for all the usual questions.
"Not these days," he replied. "I have specialist products which make my skin react in the same way yours does, mostly, and before you ask, I'm wearing contacts."
He leaned forward and looked to the side so Joel could get a closer look.
"Never would have known," Joel admitted.
"That's the general idea," Damiano told him. "Please don't tell anyone. I'll do anything."
He did his best puppy eyes. He did not want to resort to messing with the other singer's mind unless he had to, that shit had side effects.
"So you and your bassist, you're not … well an item?" Joel asked.
Not the question Damiano had expected next.
"No," he replied, "no more than I am with Thom or Ethan either. We're just friends who occasionally exchange blood for orgasms. When we're travelling it's just easier. I have other options at home, y'know, unless one of them is having a dry patch and asks. Oh and by the way, you interrupted us just before Vic got her payback, so I'd avoid her if I were you until I get a chance to rectify that."
"I'm sorry," Joel said, "you should have locked the door."
"I did," Damiano countered, "but these locks are shit or you're stronger than you look."
"Definitely not Clarke Kent," Joel promised.
"You'd look cute in glasses though," Damiano said and mentally slapped himself for getting distracted.
Now was not the time to hit on the Finnish vocalist.
"So, are we good?" he asked with a hopeful smile. "We've got a rehearsal later and if I don't get back to Vic and make sure she's satisfied, she may kill me on stage with her bass. Would you really want to see 'Italian vocalist beheaded by guitar strings' as the headline in the papers tomorrow?"
Joel looked undecided for a moment, but eventually went with a small smile.
"Guess not," the Finn agreed. "Not really the vibe the contest is going for."
"Exactly," Damiano replied and gave the other man one of his full on grins
"And rock bands should stick together," Joel added.
Damiano nodded emphatically.
"Dam, where the fuck are you?" came from down the hall.
"I really have to go," he said as he heard Victoria's tone.
The problem with an interrupted feeding was it left the one being fed on in a really bad mood thanks to the unexpected hormone drop. Damiano really did not want to see how bad that might be with all the added stress of ESC. Victoria could be scary all by herself when she chose to be, adding in hormones and stress was not something he had any intention of letting go on long.
"My lips are sealed," Joel promised.
Damiano blew him a kiss and darted back into the corridor.
"Vic, my angel," he said, switching back to Italian, "you look tense, let me help you with that."
The glare that came back said he had about five minutes to do just that or he was in really big trouble. This time he was barricading the door properly.
Joel wandered into Niko's hotel room where he knew the rest of the band would be.
"What have you been doing?" Niko asked from where he had been playing on his phone.
"Checking up on things," Joel replied.
The rest of the band all looked at him from their various sprawled positions.
"Not werewolves," he said, throwing himself into an available spot, "vampires. At least their vocalist is anyway."
"And this is better how?" Joonas asked.
"He's fine," Joel assured his friends, pulling his rune covered stiletto blade from his boot and putting it to the side, "not one of the insane ones, well, I think all Italians might be a little insane, but he's okay."
Next went the leather wristband with its spells that gave him a little extra speed and strength. It landed next to his knife. It was useful for supernatural situations, but it made his skin itch.
"And you found this out, how?" Niko asked, playing with one of the silver blades from the table in front of him.
"Saw him and their pretty bassist acting suspicious, so I pretended to walk in on them. He had got his fangs in her, so I legged it and pretended to be clueless," Joel said, grabbing a beer from the stash next to the table.
"So, what, they're a couple?" Olli asked, suddenly more interested and sounding vaguely disappointed.
"Nah, just a mutual gratification thing," he replied, "but if you have thoughts in that direction you might want to wait a day because if the look she gave me when I left is anything to go by, she is pissed that I interrupted them and she might not discriminate," he added with a laugh.
"Fuck you," Olli said.
That just made Joel laugh harder. Being descended from werewolf hunters was sometimes a pain in the arse, because none of them travelled without protection, but at least they didn't have to worry this time. Most supernaturals were pretty civilised these days anyway, but there were always a few, and the other rock band in the competition had pinged their detectors as soon as they had crossed paths.
Olli might have designs on Måneskin's bassist, but Joel was thinking more along the lines of their lead singer. Maybe it was time he found out what all the fuss was about when it came to vampire legends. But they had a competition to worry about before that. When ESC was done and dusted, maybe he'd be able to convince the attractive Italian to show him exactly how those fangs worked. Could be a fun way to end the trip.