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My Ganymedes, My Little Nightingale

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 “Zeus carried off… Ganymedes because of his beauty, to be amongst the Deathless Ones and pour drink for the gods in the house of Zeus–a wonder to see–, honoured by all the immortals as he draws the red nectar from the golden bowl.” - Homeric Hymn 5 to Aphrodite

 

Pre lude.

 

Nandor the Relentless had not had a familiar in decades. 

That isn’t to say that he needed a familiar, just that it’d be useful. Laszlo and Nadja’s familiar usually did all the housework and victim-luring, but their most recent one died a stupid death– falling into a grave he was digging for a victim and fatally hitting his head on a rock– and they had not bothered to replace him.

Fucking guy. 

Without any familiars around to do the work for them, the vampires were forced to clean up after their own messes, like some sort of commoner.

That wouldn’t do.

 

Nandor liked going on night strolls, even when he wasn’t actively hunting. Staten Island was certainly more bright and populated at night than most places Nandor had graced with his presence over 700+ years, but there was something charming about its lack of stillness or silence, even in the wee hours of the night. Street lights buzzed softly, cars drove over puddles on the side of the road, neon store signs flickered weakly. Background noise to humans, but loud and clear in Nandor’s ears. 

 

We belong in hell.”

“And what if there is no hell, or they don't want us there? Ever think of that?”

 

Nandor paused in passing by an apartment. He glanced up at the source of the noise. A window of one of the 2nd-floor flats was open, letting out a little bit of sound into the cool night air. 

One of those moo-vees, probably.

Still, his interest was piqued. Nandor gracefully floated up to the open window and peered inside. 

 

There sat a young man no older than 18 or 19 on a worn cream couch, eyes glued to the screen in front of him and holding a pillow to his chest. His round glasses reflected the moo-vee in front of him hazily.

He was one of the most exquisite creatures Nandor had ever seen, and he wanted him. 

The boy’s skin was tan and smooth, his cheeks rosy and plump like a cherub’s. His figure was full; though his more intimate curves were hidden under a collared shirt and a loose sweater. Behind shiny glasses were warm, intelligent eyes full of wonder and excitement. Dark curls were parted neatly down the middle to frame his round face. 

Nandor licked his lips.

He quickly inspected the apartment the young man assumedly lived in. It was small but very tidy and clean. Though some of the furniture was old and cracked, not a speck of dust could be seen on anything.

 

The human sighed to himself contently, his grip on the pillow tightening slightly. He still didn’t see Nandor’s face nearly pressed against the glass window.

“Why can’t I be like that, huh?” He murmured. “Why do I have to be a dumb human instead of a cool vampire?” 

Cocking his head with interest, Nandor allowed his fingers to curl around the open windowsill, though he could not fully enter. 

“Guillermo de la Cruz, all powerful vampire… No, that’s not catchy enough. Guillermo the… fastidious? Determined? Ugh, never mind. I’ll think of a better title later.” The human mused. “Not like I’m going anywhere.”

 

Guillermo… ” Nandor echoed, testing the name out on his tongue. It tasted like spiced cinnamon. 

That finally got Guillermo’s attention. “Huh?” He let the pillow drop to the floor and stood from the couch. “Is someone there?”

Nandor, of course, did not reply. 

Tentatively Guillermo moved towards the window, the anxiety rolling off him in palpable waves. He looked out the window– but all his trembling eyes saw was a bat, fluttering away into the inky night. 

 


 

Over the next few weeks, Nandor watched the little human boy Guillermo intently. His prior assumptions were unsurprisingly correct. He was neat, good at cleaning, sociable, and, in addition, was obsessed with vampires.

Nandor couldn’t have asked for a more perfect budding familiar.

 

“Nandor, we rarely see you anymore.” Nadja started suddenly one night as the vampires lounged in the living room. “As soon as night falls, you leave and only come back at sunrise.”

“I think he’s gotten himself a lover, my darling,” Laszlo said, patting his wife’s hand. “It’s about bloody time.”

Nadja arched a brow. “Gail?” 

“Doubt it.” Laszlo waved his hand. “We know Gail; if he was seeing her again he would have told us already.” He locked eyes with Nandor. “Care to share with the class, old chap?”

Nandor bristled. “I do not need to tell you anything.”

Laszlo and Nadja glanced at each other. 

“He’s hiding something, I’m sure of it,” Laszlo whispered loudly. “Rather rude of him not to share the little tart he’s undoubtedly picked up-”

Nandor cut him off with a hiss. Laszlo and Nadja hissed back, but did not press further.

 


 

After a few weeks of stalking– er, observing Guillermo, Nandor decided it was time to strike. 

He found Guillermo in an alleyway behind Panera Bread (where Nandor had deduced he worked night shifts), dropping off some garbage in a large dumpster. 

 

“Guillermo…” Nandor called softly from atop a roof.

Guillermo turned around, confused. “Hello? Is anyone there?” He glanced around the empty alleyway.

Nandor misted down from the rooftop to appear in front of the human. “Good evening, little human.” He purred.

Guillermo stumbled backward in shock, his back hitting the cool bricks.

“H-huh? You– what?” He sputtered. 

“Do not be frightened. I am not going to hurt you now.” Nandor crooned. “I am Nandor the Relentless of Al Quolanudar. I know about you, Guillermo. I know that you like vampires. I am here to make a deal with you.”

“A deal?” Guillermo echoed, the fear emanating from him practically palatable. 

 

Nandor reached out his hand. Guillermo looked like he didn’t know whether to take it or kiss it. “Have you heard of familiars?”

Guillermo’s eyebrows furrowed. “Aren’t they like, servants of vampires?” 

“Yes. Servitude in exchange for one day being turned into a vampire.” Nandor didn’t miss the way Guillermo shivered at vampire.

“How long do I have to serve you?” His eyes flicked to Nandor’s outstretched hand. “And um, what sort of stuff do familiars do?”

 

Damn humans. Always asking so many questions. 

 

The vampire shrugged and shifted slightly. “The number of years varies. Familiars do things like clean the house, find victims, dispose of said victims, prepare their masters for the night, yadda yadda.” Their eyes met. “Simple things for someone like you Guillermo, no?” 

Gulping, Guillermo nodded. “R-right. I’m a good worker.” 

“It will not be the easiest job in the world, but the rewards will be worth it.” I think. “So what do you say, Guillermo? Will you leave my old life behind to become my familiar?” 

Guillermo bit his lip in thought, but after a moment slowly took Nandor’s hand. “Ok. I’ll do it.” 

 

Traditionally, one strong handshake and a set of sworn vows was enough to seal the deal between a new familiar and vampire. Simple, with no mess. 

But there were other ways to seal the deal than just a handshake.

 

So Nandor kissed Guillermo. A little indulgence before indefinite servitude.

Guillermo gasped in surprise but quickly melted into the kiss. He didn’t have the centuries of practice that Nandor did, but his enthusiasm was adorable. He shifted higher up on his toes and gently rested a hand on Nandor’s broad shoulders.  

The urge to sink his fangs into the human’s plush lower lip was almost unbearable, yet Nandor resisted at the last second and pulled away.

 

“Now we are Master and familiar.” Nandor said, his nose brushing Guillermo’s. “You must never call me Nandor as long as you are my familiar, only Master. Do you understand?”

“Yes Master.” Guillermo whispered, lashes fluttering. 

Nandor stepped away and took the slightly trembling boy’s hand in his. “Come, Guillermo. I have much to show you.”

 

II.

 

It was 2 years into Guillermo’s servitude.

So far, Nandor was overall pleased with Guillermo’s progress as a familiar. Sure, he was physically weak and still looked nauseous when he had to dispose of a body, but that was common for new familiars to be squeamish about that kind of thing. Besides, he was very good at cleaning and finding victims, and that was important too. 

 

Nandor was honestly surprised neither he nor his roommates had eaten Guillermo yet. He smelled so tempting, his flesh so plush and soft looking, but for some stupid fucking reason Nandor forbade himself (and the others) from pressing Guillermo against the wall, shoving his nicely pressed collar down and sinking his fangs deep into his juicy neck. 

Colin Robinson, however, did not seem to get the “no feeding on Guillermo” message. In fact, he seemed to quite enjoy feeding on Guillermo, who was (mostly) too polite to tell him to fuck off already. This posed a problem for both Guillermo and Nandor– if Guillermo was drained of energy, he couldn’t do his important familiar duties. He just hoped Colin Robinson would not go too far– 

 

Thud.

 

“Ah, crap.” 

 

Sighing and making a mental note of what page he was on, Nandor snapped his book shut and walked to the room next door. As expected, behind the door was a slightly perturbed Colin Robinson and a very much unconscious Guillermo, face down on the floor.

“Dammit Colin Robinson!” Nandor snapped. “Look what you did! You drained Guillermo too much and he fainted! You went too far.”

“Sure did.” Colin Robinson said, sounding only a little sheepish. “I didn’t mean to knock him out, but he gives off such delicious uncomfortable energy.” 

Nandor huffed, not satisfied with the answer but not in the mood to fight about it. “I will take him to his depressing little room now.” 

 

He picked Guillermo’s limp body up with ease and carried him bridal style to his room. Adorably, a little bit of drool escaped his slack lips. Nandor brushed it away gently so as not to wake him. 

Colin was right. He did look delicious.

 

Brushing aside the thought, Nandor set Guillermo down on his tiny bed– just as his eyes fluttered open.

“Nandor?” His voice was slightly slurred with sleepiness. “Is this a dream?” Drowsily he reached out and brushed his hand against Nandor’s cheek. His plush lips parted slightly, and if Nandor didn’t know better… he’d think Guillermo was expecting a kiss. 

Nandor tilted his head, curious. “You dream about me, Guillermo?” 

The human’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

 

Suddenly, his eyes widened and he yanked his hand away like he touched a red hot iron skillet instead of Nandor’s cheek. 

“I– um– sorry.” He stammered. “I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry, Master.”

Nandor chuckled fondly. “It is alright, Guillermo. You were asleep after Colin Robinson drained you, fucking guy. It is normal to be confused when you wake up.”

“Right… I was just confused. That’s it.” 

 

For some reason, he didn’t meet Nandor’s gaze. 

 

V.

 

One day, something in Guillermo changed. 

Specifically, his smell.

It wasn’t like he changed whatever perfume he used. He still smelled like his regular old spices. But there was more to a human’s unique scent than what oils or sprays they choose to slather upon themselves.

 

“There is something different about you, Guillermo.” Nandor said suddenly during their biweekly game of chess.

Guillermo took a sip of his coffee and moved his pawn forward. “I’m not sure what you mean, master.”

“Did you lose your virginity?” Nandor asked, ever blunt.

The squeak and deep blush that question elicited from Guillermo was delicious.

“Wh-what? I, um, er… maybe?” Guillermo tugged at his collar and half-heartedly attempted to hide behind his coffee to avoid Nandor’s gaze. 

“Maybe?” Nandor repeated. “Either you lost your virginity or you did not.”

Guillermo shifted in his seat uncomfortably. “I-I did. I mean, I’m 23. Most of my friends have lost their virginity by now unless they’re saving themselves for marriage and I haven’t. So…” He shrugged his shoulders and traced the rim of his coffee cup. “It was just a date that escalated. I don’t… I don’t think it meant anything to him.” 

“You were not slacking on your familiar duties for a date, were you?” Grumbled Nandor.

Guillermo shook his head quickly. “No, master. It was during the day. I wouldn’t just leave you at night like that.”

 

He tilted his head. “...Are you displeased that I’m not a virgin anymore, master?”

“Just that your blood will not taste as sweet when I turn you.” Nandor made his move, and knocked over Guillermo’s queen piece. “Checkmate.”

Guillermo flushed and looked away, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed thickly. 

 

Ha.

 

VI.

 

Nandor did not go into the kitchen often. He had no use for the space; he consumed humans for sustenance, not fruits and vegetables. He vaguely recalled devouring ripe peaches and pomegranates hundreds of years ago, but could not recall what they tasted like other than sweet. The juices would sometimes soak into his beard, and he’d have servants wipe it from his lips and beard with silk handkerchiefs– like Guillermo did, just with the blood of humans rather than the blood of fruits.

Speaking of Guillermo, unlike his master, he enjoyed being in the kitchen. From what Nandor could tell, he spent a significant amount of daytime baking or cooking. Nandor would awaken to the smell of some sort of baked treat wafting in from the kitchen at least a couple times a month. Guillermo always seemed to be in a better mood after baking, and his skin was so warm from the oven. His hands, slightly calloused from years of work yet still gentle, felt like soothing hot towels on Nandor’s cool skin. 

 

It was unusual for Nandor to wake so early in the afternoon. Normally he had little problem sleeping through the day and waking up at dusk to Guillermo waiting outside his coffin. 

What woke him this winter afternoon, however, was a noise he had never heard before.

Or rather, not a noise, per se. 

It was a song, in a language Nandor did not recognize. Whoever was singing had a voice that was as clear and smooth as a tiny hidden forest creek, protected from the pollution of cities and unblemished by mankind. 

 

Cracking open his coffin lid, Nandor misted out of his coffin and traveled through the house’s long hallways, chasing the source of the bewitching song. To his complete surprise, he found himself hovering in the doorway of the kitchen, taking in the sight of Guillermo singing to himself jovially as he shaped thick, sweet-smelling dough into perfect circles on a baking sheet. He dusted his hands off on his apron once finished and picked up the sheet, twirling it around almost romantically like a partner at a masquerade ball and still singing all the while.

Nandor had never seen his familiar look so carefree. It was a nice change from the perpetual slightly concerned expression he had around the vampires. 

 

As much as he wanted to, Nandor couldn’t keep up his mist form indefinitely. He decided to shift back to his regular form and speak.

“You have a beautiful voice, Guillermo. Like a nightingale.” 

Guillermo jolted and nearly dropped his baking sheet.

 

“Master! You scared me!” He huffed, setting the sheet on the stovetop. “What are you doing up so early? Did you have a nightmare?”

His concerned expression was back. Nandor already missed the relaxed smile he wore a few seconds ago.

“No, no. Your singing woke me up.” He watched his familiar delicately place the tray into the oven. “You never told me you could sing.” 

Guillermo grimaced. “I’m sorry, Master. It won’t happen again.” He punched in some numbers on the oven’s clock and wiped sweat from his forehead with the back of his arm. 

“You remind me of a boy I had in my court back in Al Quolanudar. His voice was like the cool water of an oasis in the burning heat of the desert. I missed his enchanting songs terribly when I was exiled.” Nandor reminisced. 

 

A small, embarrassed grin tugged at the corners of Guillermo’s lips. “Yeah, well I was head choir boy for 3 years in a row back in middle school. I used to sing all the time.” 

“Why did you stop?”

Setting his baking supplies in the sink, Guillermo simply shrugged. “I dunno. I’ve been pretty busy with familiar work, so I don’t really have much time for myself to sing. And I know if I sang while you guys were in the house, Laszlo and Nadja would yell at me.” 

“Bah! Who cares what those fucking guys think!” Scowled Nandor. 

“I do. Even if I’m technically only your familiar, I still do what they want me to do and try to keep them from getting angry with me. If that means no singing, then fine.” Guillermo covered the dirty dishes in pearlescent soap and flicked on the water. 

“Pleasing them is not in your job description.”

“Pleasing them is in my best interest, though.” 

 

Nandor considered that. “...Maybe so. But… Laszlo and Nadja are not awake right now. Perhaps you could– no, I order you to sing for me.” 

Guillermo shot him a quizzical look. “Right now? While I’m washing dishes?”

“Yes. Sing the same song you were singing before, the one in your strange language. Softly.” Nandor added at the end. 

After a tense moment, Guillermo sighed to himself and opened his mouth, continuing his siren song; albeit quieter this time. He kept his gaze trained on the dishes in front of him. Nandor watched him silently, leaning against the cracked kitchen door frame and savoring the meaningless words like they were carved from fine marble by a masterful craftsman. 

 

Though he never said it out loud, from that day onward Nandor nicknamed his familiar ‘little nightingale’ in his head. 

 

VIII.

 

“What are you reading Guillermo?” 

Guillermo looked up from the book he was nose deep in. “Hmm?”

“I said, what are you reading?” Nandor repeated. 

Guillermo blinked. “Oh, this? It’s a book on Greek mythology. I was a huge mythology nerd as a kid. I’d memorize all the myths, then tell my cousins all about them when we went stargazing at my Abuela’s place. As I got older I forgot about them, but when I saw this book at the library I couldn’t help but pick it up.” He smiled fondly at the book. “Right now I’m reading about Ganymedes.”

Settling down in the chair next to Guillermo, Nandor rested his elbow on the chair arm and stared at him intently. “Tell me about this Ganymedes.”

“Well, Ganymedes was one of the most beautiful mortal men on Earth. Zeus– that’s the king of the gods and thunder– instantly fell in love with Ganymedes, so he transformed into an eagle and whisked him off to Mount Olympus, home of the gods. There Ganymedes became Zeus’ cupbearer, which I think means he pours the gods their wine and nectar.” Guillermo explained. “He’s associated with the constellation Aquarius, and one of Jupiter’s moons is named after him. Oh, and Zeus’ wife Hera was pretty pissed at the human Ganymedes being on Mount Olympus, but she’s always pissed off. Zeus and Hera didn’t have an open thing like Laszlo and Nadja.” 

 

Their eyes locked in a stare. 

Sounds familiar, does it not? 

 

“And what did Zeus do to Ganymedes?” Questioned Nandor slowly. 

He heard Guillermo’s little heart speed up in his chest. 

“Th-they were lovers.” There was a flicker of pink in his full cheeks. “It wasn’t a big deal if two guys loved each other in Ancient Greece.” He paused. “What about in Al Quolanudar? Was it acceptable for men to be together?” 

“But of course.” Nandor tapped his fingers against his cheek. “You think I only took women to bed during my time as a ruler? Silly Guillermo.”

Guillermo frowned. “You had 37 wives.”

“True.” Nandor tilted his head in acknowledgment. “But I did not limit myself to only women. Some of my favorite lovers in my lifetime were men.” 

 

A familiar expression crossed Guillermo’s face– one the human often wore. He bit his lip, his eyebrows creasing and his eyes darting down. He was thinking. Sometimes Nandor wished he could read his mind, see exactly what went on in his pitiful human brain. He supposed his lack of mind-reading skills was for the better though; it would certainly take the fun out of trying to guess what his crafty little familiar would do next. 

 

“You really are like Zeus, huh?” He said carefully. 

Nandor puffed up his chest. “I do not object to being likened to a Greek god. That is a good comparison.” Feeling strangely sentimental, he gently grasped Guillermo’s chin and tilted his face up to look at his master. “And you, Guillermo, are my dutiful mortal. You are my Ganymedes.” 

Guillermo’s blush looked so lovely in the candlelight. 

 

IX.

“Hey, Master?”

“Yes, Guillermo?” 

“Do you remember the day you made me your familiar?” Guillermo asked, running his brush smoothly through Nandor’s silky thick hair.

Nandor hummed. “Of course.”

 

“Do you,” Guillermo paused, swallowed, “do you remember how we, um, sealed the contract?” 

Tilting his head slightly, Nandor cocked an eyebrow at Guillermo. “Yes. Why?”

Guillermo’s cheeks turned pink. The brush in Nandor’s hair faltered for a second. “I was wondering if the way we made the agreement official is common with vampire masters and familiars.”

“Not really. Usually a handshake is enough.” Nandor shrugged. “Some older vampires like the idea of making their new familiars do a blood vow- cut their hand and swear on their life sort of thing-, but the last thing I want to do to a fresh new familiar is get too excited by the blood and drain them.” He scoffed. “Not that that would ever happen. I have mastered the art of self control in my 700 years.” 

 

Something in Guillermo’s expression changed, though Nandor couldn’t figure out what exactly. “Do you ever have to control yourself around me?” His voice was soft but full of burning curiosity. 

Nandor turned around fully to face Guillermo. “Every day.” 

He did not miss the glint in his familiar’s eyes. 

“Control yourself from doing what?”

Nandor wasn’t stupid. He knew what Guillermo meant.

“Well, even though you are not a virgin anymore, you smell delicious. But it would not do for me to drink from you.” He admitted.

He could hear Guillermo’s heart speed up in his chest. His cheeks reddened further, a telltale sign of how alive he was. 

“I wouldn’t mind.”

“I know, Guillermo.” 

“I wouldn’t mind if you did… other stuff to me, either.” 

 

Nandor tilted his head. Blinked slowly, owlishly. 

He tried to choose his next words carefully. “I understand that humans and vampires value physical contact in different ways.” He started.

Guillermo’s eyebrows furrowed. “You can’t tell me a kiss is equivalent to a handshake for vampires.”

Ah, there it was. He said the word.

Clicking his tongue behind his teeth, Nandor shrugged non committedly. “It’s a cultural difference.”

Only partially a lie.

 

After a moment of contemplative silence, Guillermo spoke up. “So if I kissed, like, I dunno, Laszlo or Nadja or some shit, it’d be no big deal since it’s the same as a handshake?” 

Immediately Nandor felt a wave of white-hot jealousy wash over him.

“Absolutely not!” He snapped. “I forbid you from kissing Laszlo or Nadja.” 

“I didn’t want to anyways. I was using them as an example.” Guillermo muttered to himself, briefly breaking eye contact. 

His upper lip curling to reveal sharp fangs, Nandor glared at his familiar. “I do not understand what you are getting at then!” 

Guillermo’s jaw set. Eyes narrowed. Hand twitched. His gaze flicked from his palm to Nandor’s strong black hair.

 

Do it, little nightingale. Grab my hair. Give in to your instincts.

 

“...Never mind. Forget I said anything, Master.” He mumbled. “I need to finish brushing your hair. Turn around, please.”

And just like that, he was back to his regular submissive self. 

Logically Nandor should be glad that Guillermo didn’t rebel, yet… he couldn’t help but feel disappointed. 

 

XIII.

13 years.

13 years since Nandor found the young, sickeningly innocent Guillermo de la Cruz and brought him into his home.

Of course, 13 years is nothing to vampires, but to humans and their pitifully short lifespans, that’s a significant amount of time. 

 

Guillermo 13 years ago was nothing like the magnificent, strong slayer that stood before Nandor today. He no longer indirectly took lives by feeding unsuspecting virgins to Nandor; no, Guillermo de la Cruz had watched immortal lives crumble under sharpened wood, caused unflinching marble skin to burn or even burst into flame. There was nothing indirect about this slayer’s methods. Blood from countless vampires soaked his hands, and all Nandor wanted to do was lick up the streaks of blood that trickled down the folds between his fingers. 

 

13 years, and Nandor had never properly tasted or licked up Guillermo’s own blood.

Every time Guillermo had gotten hurt over the years, he had always wiped it away and bandaged it up before Nandor or any of the other vampires could get to it. 

Which was the smart thing to do really. He was a warrior after all, and the best warriors were both strong and clever. 

 

So imagine Nandor’s surprise when he saw Guillermo trudge into his room holding his blood-soaked neck. 

 

Nandor followed his bodyguard to his little cupboard and peeked inside. “Guillermo? Are you alright?” 

“Could be better,” Guillermo grumbled, not even managing to fake a smile. “Listen Nandor, if you have something you need me to do, it has to wait. I’m a little occupied right now.” He pressed a white shirt to his neck wound. “And I’m fucking exhausted.”

“What happened?” Nandor sat down on the bed next to Guillermo. “Who did this to you?”

“What does it look like? I got attacked by a vampire!” Guillermo barked before his shoulders slumped and he sighed. “Sorry. I feel kinda woozy.” 

Nandor’s face darkened. “Where is this vampire?” His words came out in a growl. “I, Nandor the Relentless, will rip out his throat with my teeth!” 

Guillermo half-smiled. “I appreciate the thought, but I killed him. Just not before he could get a good swipe at me.” 

 

“May I see your neck, Guillermo?”

Hesitation crossed Guillermo’s features. “...Why? Looking for a quick snack?”

“I want to see what he did to you. I would not hurt you.” 

“You promise? If you attack me, I’ll defend myself.” 

 

Remembering something he learned from Colin Robinson, Nandor unfurled his pinky and held it out to Guillermo. “I give you my pink promise. I swear I will not attack you or hurt you, my Guillermo.” 

Something in Guillermo’s eyes softened. “Fine.” He curled his pinky around Nandor’s. “Pinky promise.” Slowly he lowered the shirt and tilted his head, allowing Nandor a better view of his wound.

 

It was… really not good. Not good at all. His smooth tan skin was marred by a deep scratch mark that steadily oozed blood. Humans were fragile, Nandor knew that, but he was bad at judging what was fatal and what wasn’t. Humans didn’t heal like vampires. 

“That is… a lot of blood.” said Nandor with his signature grimace. “Will you die?”

“I’m not going to die.” Guillermo sighed. “It sucks, but as long as I bandage it and rest some I’ll be fine.” 

 

Such a waste of perfectly good blood.

 

Guillermo blinked confusedly, and Nandor realized he said that out loud.

 

Silence.

 

“I mean… if you want, you can have some of the excess blood. Just don’t take any more.” Whatever blood was left in Guillermo’s body turned his face red, and his eyes flitted away shyly. 

“So you want me to… lick up the blood from your neck?”

Guillermo shivered. 

“Do you think you could control yourself?”

“Yes.” 

“Yes what?

“Yes, I can control myself.” 

 

Wordlessly, Guillermo tugged down his collar more and tilted his head further. An irresistible invitation. 

Nandor’s mouth watered.

 

Starting at his collarbone, Nandor dragged his tongue up Guillermo’s bloody neck, fucking finally tasting the blood he longed after for so long. He could feel and hear Guillermo’s heart thundering under his tongue. 

The only sounds in the room were Nandor’s pleased groans as he lapped up the red nectar, and Guillermo’s breathy whimpers. Nandor’s hands were lightly grasping his shoulders, but oh how he wished he could move them somewhere else. His little nightingale was staying remarkably still, save for the occasional tremble, his hands balled into fists on his thighs. 

“You can put your hands in my hair.” Nandor offered graciously. Guillermo immediately sunk his hands into his thick black hair, though he did not pull, only using him as an anchor. He whined as Nandor’s tongue passed over the deepest part of his wound but did not jerk away. 

“My sweet Guillermo, so good for me.” He purred with a slightly slurred voice. The hand in his hair tightened momentarily. “If only I could have tasted you when you were a virgin. You would have been positively divine .” 

 

With a strangled gasp, Guillermo lost his balance and toppled over, taking Nandor with him. Nandor landed on top of him, his arms darting out at the last second to avoid crushing the human. They were almost chest to chest, then nose to nose, then his lips were on Nandor’s and oh , Nandor realized with a small pang of jealousy, he’s a much better kisser now than he was 13 years ago

Eventually Guillermo pulled back to catch his breath. Nandor could feel himself breathing heavily too, even though he didn’t need to. Vampires' breathing was more muscle memory than anything, but it wasn’t uncommon for their breathing to quicken during moments of high excitement. Moments like these, when Guillermo looked at him with half-lidded eyes filled unmistakably with desire. His fingers dug into Nandor’s hair as he yanked him down into another kiss with a growl. 

It was like a dam had burst. Suddenly Guillermo was everywhere at once; his legs entwined with Nandor’s, one hand tangling in his cape and the other still gripping onto inky black locks, their hips slotted together to confirm that yes, they felt the same way about this.

“Tell me you want this.” Guillermo whispered, dragging his teeth over Nandor’s bottom lip. 

“Y-yes. I want this.” It was very hard keeping a level voice when Guillermo’s hand was currently undoing the laces on his pants and tracing his happy trail. “ Guillermo… ” He meant it as a warning to hurry the fuck up and get on with it, but it sounded more like a plea. 

“Get up. I need to get the lube.” Admittedly it was strange hearing Guillermo ordering him around, but Nandor did as he was asked. He rolled to the side on Guillermo’s little bed, propping himself up slightly on an elbow to watch him rummage around in a nearby drawer. While he was occupied, Nandor took the liberty of shucking off his pants and boots.

 

Guillermo always took such good care of him. Always brushed his hair nicely, bathed and clothed him with care. So it made sense that he was good at taking care of him in this way too, curling two thick fingers in just the right way, in just the right spot. Nandor clutched uselessly at Guillermo’s sheets as he prepped him thoroughly, whispering sweet encouragements the whole time. 

In the handful of sexual fantasies Nandor had had about Guillermo over the years, Nandor never once imagined a scenario where Guillermo was on top. There were a few times where he imagined Guillermo as something that Laszlo called a “power bottom”, riding him like the world’s most expensive concubine, but that was it. Yet being underneath Guillermo didn’t feel wrong, not at all. Unexpected, maybe, but not wrong. 

 

“You ready?” Whispered Guillermo, pressing a soft kiss to the shell of Nandor’s ear. Nandor nodded, watching eagerly as Guillermo pushed his pants then underwear down. 

He lined himself up carefully, one leg holding Nandor’s leg and the other on his own cock. They both let out a groan as he snapped his hips forward. Guillermo took a small shaky breath and his eyes fluttered shut; his expression vaguely reminding Nandor of a baroque painting– intense, erotic, and stunningly beautiful. 

 

Warm, soft fingers splayed out on Nandor’s abdomen. “I can almost feel myself fucking you, under my fingertips,” Guillermo murmured. If Nandor could blush, he would’ve. “I’ve waited years for this.” 

“Why did you not do this before? You are a powerful slayer. A warrior. Warriors take what they want.”

Guillermo’s face sobered. “I could kill you, Nandor. But I can’t control you. If I fucked this up, you could leave me. I’d rather do nothing and have you stay than act out and risk losing you.” He ran a thumb over Nandor’s cheek surprisingly gently, brushing over his bloodstained beard and lips. “...You know how that feels, don’t you?” 

Nandor could only nod, only dig his fingers into whatever flesh he could reach and hope his nails won’t pierce him, only stare up at his dear Guillermo above him and moan his name.

 

Pressing their chests together, Guillermo leaned down to purr some of his funny words into Nandor’s ear. He seemed to really like muttering mi amo a lot. Nandor had no clue what the hell he was saying, but the affection in his voice was clear. He could feel Guillermo’s hot breath against his neck, feel his thrusts speed up, then–

Ah!”

The cry that slipped from Nandor’s lips was wholly involuntarily as Guillermo bit down on his neck hard , then clenched down harder and harder still, until his dull canines finally broke skin. Realizing Nandor was bleeding, Guillermo dug his teeth in further and pulled, trying his damndest to rip the skin. He was like an animal, digging his claws into pale skin and suckling greedily at the lifeless blood oozing from the pathetic wound.

Oh. He’s feeding from me. He’s trying to turn himself.

Nandor chuckled wryly. “Sneaky boy. Got me while my guard was down, didn’t you? Hmph. Not the setting I imagined it in but… oh well.” With a pained grunt, he hooked a sharp nail into his bite mark and tore, widening his wound and allowing easier access for Guillermo to lap up his blood. Guillermo made a little surprised noise, but did not protest. 

 

After drinking his fill, he sat back up and licked his blood-stained lips. A little shudder coursed through his body. “Will you stay with me during my turning?” 

“My sweet Guillermo,” Nandor crooned, reaching up to brush a stray strand out of his lover’s eyes, “as if I’d ever leave you. You are far too precious to me.”

The look in Guillermo’s eyes could only be described as reverence. 

“...Will you stay with me after you turn?” 

Guillermo’s brow twitched at the deflected question. “That’s part of the reason why I’m excited to be a vampire. I get to stay with you forever.” 

 

Unable to control himself any longer, Nandor surged up to kiss Guillermo, his arms circling his neck and legs hooking around his back. Guillermo kissed him back feverishly– kissed him like he was going to die and this was the last thing he could do before his life slipped through his fingers.

 

“I love you.” Someone gasped, and neither knew who said it first because the other echoed it just as quickly. 

 

I love you.

 

Sweat drips, bodies meld. 

Hips stutter, nails sink into skin. 

 

I love you. 

 

Ecstasy crescendos, then falls in a golden wave.

 

I love you, I love you. 

 

Deft fingers wring out ropes of white, followed by another rope that drips rather than splashes.

 

I love you, I love you, I love you.

 

The two men lay there together, bodies still tightly locked, panting heavily for air– even though neither really needed to breathe.

 


 

Guillermo dies fairly quickly, quicker than most during transformations. Usually you get violently sick for a week or so as your body gradually changes from the inside out, and then you eventually keel over dead before rising as a new being. Nandor considers that a mercy, really; even over 700 years ago Nandor remembered how slow and torturous his transformation was. There was nothing you could do to help the pain or speed the transition up, but Guillermo probably appreciated the moral support anyways. There was no one to stroke Nandor’s hair or offer words of comfort as he agonizingly lost his humanity over a full lunar cycle. He would not let Guillermo suffer the same loneliness he felt.

 

He didn’t bother directly telling Laszlo and Nadja what he had done. He just strolled into the library where they were lounging, announced “We will be needing another coffin”, and let the smell of sex and Guillermo’s blood on him provide context. 

 

“About time. We were wondering when you were going to do it.” Laszlo said. Nadja nodded along with a smile, though Nandor didn’t miss her sneakily passing Laszlo money. 

“I heard the Guide mention a new vampire-run funeral home in Manhattan, perhaps we can go coffin shopping there?” Nadja offered.

Nandor narrowed his eyes. “I will not allow my Guillermo to have a simple box coffin. He must have a nice one.” 

My Guillermo?” Repeated Laszlo, eyebrows shooting up to his hairline. 

Nadja simply rolled her eyes. “Obviously. As if I’d allow an ugly coffin in my house.”

 

Nandor clapped his hands. “Good. I shall be staying with Guillermo to make sure his transformation is O-A-kay. Nadja, I trust you to pick out a good coffin for him.” Nadja preened that the compliment. “Laszlo, you… stay out of the way, I guess. Maybe find a virgin for Guillermo’s first feeding?”

Huffing, Laszlo crossed his arms. “What am I, a mother bird finding worms to throw up in her baby’s mouth? Do it yourself.”

“Just indulge him, darling. This is obviously important to him.” Nadja patted her husband’s arm soothingly. “We will help you, Nandor. Where is he now?”

“In his room, dying. He’s very still.” Absentmindedly Nandor touched his lips. “Very clever, that little rascal. He bit me.” His hand flew to the already healed spot where Guillermo attacked him. “Right here.”

 

Nadja and Laszlo exchanged a look. Nadja mouthed something to her husband that looked a lot like bloody smitten. 

Overcome with the sudden urge to be with his dying love, Nandor turned on his heel and left the couple. 

 

Oh, my sweet Guillermo. I am so excited to spend eternity with you.



LVIII.

 

“Ugh. She was so messy. Why’d you have jump out at me while I was feeding? I hit her artery and it got all over my vest.”

“I did not mean to frighten you, my love.” Nandor wrapped his arms around his husband’s waist and hooked his chin over his shoulder. “You were always such a delicate eater; I did not think it would be a problem.” 

Guillermo dropped the bag full of body parts off the bridge unceremoniously. “Being a delicate eater doesn’t make my flight or fight instincts go away.” He sassed, though he carded his fingers through Nandor’s silky hair. 

 

“Do you know what night it is?” Nandor pressed a kiss to Guillermo’s neck. The bag hit the water below with a heavy splash then sunk down. After a moment, the rippling water smoothed and stilled, as if it had never been disturbed in the first place. 

“I think so, but tell me anyways.” 

“It’s your Ascension Day. It’s been 45 years since I turned you.” 

“Damn, 45 years already? You weren’t kidding when you said time moves differently for vampires. It feels like… 9 or 10 years, max.” Mused Guillermo, staring at the moonlit waters dreamily. 

Nandor’s cool breath caressed his ear. “45 years since we fucked for the first time, too.”

Nandor!” 

“What? I am just making an observation! No need to get all huffy-puffy about it.” 

“I’m not all huffy-puffy about it.” Guillermo huffed. 

“Sure.”

 

They fell into an easy silence, watching the dark river flow under the moon’s unflinching gaze. Their fingers laced together almost automatically. Somewhere, an owl hooted.  Crickets chirped. 

Nandor brushed his thumb over Guillermo’s. He was wearing the black ring Nandor had gotten him for his 20th Ascension Day. Of course he remembered. Guillermo always remembers. 

“...I still wish you’d let me get you a familiar as an Ascension Day present, my love.”

Guillermo rolled his eyes, just the same as he did all those years ago as a familiar. “Familiars aren’t pets, they’re people. And I think I do a fine job doing the housework myself, thank you very much.” He glanced up at Nandor with a small smile. “Besides, I like being a vampire with you and only you. Is that not enough?” 

 

Something in Nandor’s dead heart stirred. 

“Of course it is enough, little nightingale.” He said, and kissed his husband the same way he first kissed him, 58 years ago.  

 

Finis.