There was too much fucking smoke. Again.
He seethed but remained professional as he listened to the girls swarm Ginger as she lay in bed. Pyrotechnics exploded around him and he rose to the stage.
“Get back, demons!” he cried dramatically at the swirling whiteness. Ginger slowly rose above of the fog to flash her newly grown fangs at him. Her body curled in on itself as she hissed at him. He pointed at her, and fire jumped from his finger and lit her up. The crowd behind him oohed and ahhed on cue.
And it hit him square between his shoulder blades.
They were here. He strutted around slaying vampires on stage, but their gaze made him sweat buckets under the 5 pounds of leather he wore. Had it been 10 years already? It didn’t seem like it, but much had changed. He was glad the show had become second nature, since he could rely on muscle memory even as he panicked. He had planned on partying with the new vamps tonight - give them the gold star treatment - but it would not happen. He had far more important guests.
He ripped off his harness and threw it at the stage tech. He knew not to speak to him, but the new girls did not.
“Peter, the show was so much-”
“Not tonight.” He didn’t even look at them. He turned to his PA. “Tell Ginger to stay in her room tonight. I’ve got people coming over.”
She opened her mouth to argue. They both knew her too well. “I mean it. She stays away.” His eyes, usually glassy with drink, were feverish. Dark. Intense. She nodded.
He ducked into an elevator, his face a mask of discomfort.
“How odd,” she said to no one in particular. In the three years she worked for him, she had never seen him so miserable. She listened carefully at the ambient noise, and walked toward the yelling to deliver the news.
Ginger was a loud bitch.
Even before opening his door, he knew they were there. He took a deep breath and walked down the narrow hallway with 70-odd years worth of relics in glass cases. Without looking, he knew what each thing was, how he had acquired it, and at what cost.
Ah, such a cost.
He walked confidently to his bar, the only place he felt at home in that massive penthouse. He peeled off the coat and threw his dark wig on a chair. A fresh bottle of melon liqueur sat on the counter with a glossy black bow with a crow feather tucked into it. He plucked it off and threw it over his shoulder with disgust.
“How predictable,” he said as he cracked it open and poured. Its artificial melon scent calmed him. Just as the lip of the cup touched his, the cup flew from his fingers and shattered against the wall.
“Arghg!” He clutched at his heart and ran toward the balcony.
“Yuck. I despise sweet drinks,” a female voice echoed from the shadows. She revealed herself. His chest burned. She was one of them? He’d never dealt with a woman. He didn’t think there was a woman among them.
“A lady. I know. What a burden,” she said. She circled him, scrutinizing.
He tugged on his leather pants and took it.
“You’re not what I expected.”
He didn’t know what to say. This woman was taller than him. Her hair shone copper pot red in the tasteful recessed lighting. Her cheekbones were high and broad. Her skin was lineless and freckled. She wore a short pink silk nightie and a pair of knee high leather boots - very nineties grunge.
She sniffed the air around him. “What happened to the powdered white hair, velvet coat aesthetic? It was charming.”
“You ... don’t know?” He’d be furious if she turned out to be a stalker fan.
“Don’t be silly.”
“Yes, of course you know,” he said. He did not want to anger her. Her eyes traveled from his motorcycle boots up to the nest of chains and airbrushed tats around his neck. Sweat dripped from his temples.
She bit her lip and his blood froze when he spied a flash of fang. As she walked into a bank of shadow, her eyes glowed, catlike, but bronze. She was no human.
She pointed at the green liquid still dripping down the bar wall. “I’m sorry about that. I just ... really don’t like the stuff,” she said. She walked around his penthouse, hands clasped behind her back. She looked like she was floating. He looked down at her feet.
He closed his eyes and tried to master his fear.
“You can have bourbon if you like. I don’t mind it. In fact, it makes me nostalgic,” she said. He walked back to the bar on rubbery legs and poured himself a drink. She watched him, smiling, as he drained the first glass. He poured again. Her hand rose. He froze. Her long fingernails looked like artificial talons, glossy and well-kept. To another human, it was the latest craze. To him, it was death.
She chuckled. “That’s enough. What’s your hurry to damage what we so graciously repair?”
He put the full glass down, grateful that the first glass had already hit his system. He wasn’t used to being toyed with - the other ones usually did what they came to do and left in less than half an hour. He could rest for a while, heal, and ride out the blood high with a willing whore or five.
He looked down at the amber liquid. Had it been ten years since their last visit? It really didn’t feel like it. The usual one he dealt with usually alerted him with a minion before he came, but this time, there had been nothing. Silence. His brow furrowed.
When was it that I got my deal at this hotel? It couldn’t have been more than three years, since that’s when I hired my new PA. Before that, Southern Italy and Venice for two years performing street magic, and before that, London-
“I can smell your brain burning from here, poppet,” she said. In the blink of an eye, she moved from the far corner of the room to right behind him. He bit back a scream. He would never get used it that. “So, how many years has it been?” she asked. She traced the shell of his ear with one of her talons. It felt firebrand hot. Weird.
“You know what I’m thinking?” His legs itched from the sweat dripping down them.
“A little,” she said. “But you think very loud.” She stepped closer. Her breasts pressed against his chest. He gasped. She was warm. Not only warm, but hot. He was surprised enough to turn to look at her. She put her hands on his naked waist. The tips of her talons felt needle sharp on his skin. “Again, with the screaming thoughts,” she said.
“I know.” She walked him to the end of the counter, then whoosh threw him artfully into a high back leather chair 25 feet away. His eyes filled with water. The whiskey made him queasy. He didn’t like it as much as the melon stuff.
London. That’s where he had last met them. And he had only been there seven years ago, at most.
“Seven years, three months, and 13 days,” she said. “I’m very good with numbers.”
She appeared at the chair opposite him, legs crossed. She played with the hem of her dress. The skin of her long, long legs shone. Despite his fear, his body reacted. He wasn’t only an alcoholic. Pussy was also a cherished vice.
“Aren’t you going to ask?” she said. Her leg waggled impatiently. It looked blurry she moved so quick.
“Where is he?”
“Stellar question. He’s dead. Anything else?”
“Why?” His heart sank as the word left his mouth.
She materialized in front of him, on her knees. Up close, she wasn’t pale like the others. She looked byzantine. Not the adjective, but literally, from Byzantium. Both incredibly old and new. When did that empire rise? 1800 years ago? His thoughts raced. Italy. Italy . His throat clicked as he swallowed bile.
“He was right to choose you. You’re very good,” she said, caressing him with burning fingers. Her dark, slanted eyes looked almost too big for her face. She stood back up and started moving past his collection of relics.
After London’s decennial meeting, he had gone to Italy on a mission - to kill an irritating sire that got in the way of their political pursuits. He was old, and therefore powerful, but he was also a lecherous, vice-ridden degenerate who would give him many opportunities to weave himself into his harem of willing blood donors.
She flipped her copper hair. “My brother, and all I had in the world. He was a good man, but in his years, I will admit he grew careless and started mixing with a dubious element. I told him, over and over, to practice a little self-control, but he would’ve have any of it.” She turned to look at him. She gently touched the glass enclosing a medieval crossbow, and it shivered to silvery dust. She picked it up and cocked it expertly, pointing it at him.
“To think he was murdered so ignominiously by a bloodbag like you!” she said. Her voice rose to an inhuman scream that made his eardrums hurt. She threw the crossbow at him and it boomed and burst to pieces on the wall behind him. “You didn’t even give him a warrior’s death. You poisoned him. Poison, of all things!”
She smashed a few more displays. A flintlock rifle from the American war of independence hit the glass coffee table in front of him, exploding it. The finest drops of red appeared on his belly. His legs twitched with the urge to run, but he knew better. She could run faster, and his death would be excruciating.
Well, more excruciating. Her face was pale with rage. She scratched at the walls and kicked a heavy wooden chair into a book case with deceptive ease. He closed his burning eyes. It all had to end sometime. He had cheated nature and death long enough. He was grateful that he would leave no one who would be in harm’s way after his death-
He noticed that the noise has stopped. Her gaze was heavy as wool on his skin.
“Do go on,” she said. Her voice echoed off the scattered detritus of her rage.
He opened his eyes. Her nightie was torn. The ragged flap fell so that he could clearly see the fine copper hair of her cunt. Again, he was distracted by lust. She walked to him, slowly, quite humanly, and his eyes didn’t leave the fork of her legs. When she stopped right in front of him, he could feel the heat emanating from her. He was suddenly painfully hard.
His eyes moved from there up her body - small, pert breasts, long neck, burning eyes. They didn’t frighten him anymore.
There was a part of him that felt it was a glamor, that his lust was her doing, but he didn’t care. He got the image of raw honey dripping from a broken comb, of sweat-slick bodies and cunt musk. He took a deep breath. The whiskey whispered in his blood.
“I could drain you, right now,” she said. She ran her finger down the fine droplets of blood beaded on his belly. “And get all the satisfaction I need.” She sucked her finger clean and moaned. “But I can taste him in your blood.” She spit in his face. It burned, but as some dripped into the corner of his mouth, he realized it was sweet. Her saliva was sweet. A honey trap.
“Selfish bastard,” she said. She rested her knee on the arm of his chair. Her cunt wafted inexplicable deliciousness to him.
She moved her hips rhythmically, her inner thigh muscles moved liquidly under her unbreakable skin. “Ever tasted a day walker’s fica before, Vincent?”
His face snapped up to hers. “Day walker?” Not even her brother was a day walker, and by all accounts, he was older.
She flashed her fangs at him. They were longer with arousal.
“Day walker,” she repeated, and put her boot on his belly. The pain made him temporarily forget his lust. “Males don’t get the privilege. They can’t.They lack the self control to do so without giving themselves away in hours.”
His brain buzzed again. In all his years of extensive research, he had never heard of day walkers except in vampire fairy tales. They were impossible. A myth. But this creature called herself one.
“How do you think we ever got anything done while my brother slowly poisoned himself with your silver-tainted blood? Someone had to run the errands. My ability to withstand sunlight made it much easier to keep the underlings in line while he foundered. Underlings ... including your sire.”
She chuckled at his gobsmacked look. “I suppose the cat’s out of the bag.” She curled her fingers at him and hissed. She was a jocose one.
“Vincent. Caro. I can read minds,” she said.
Again, he was confused.
She waved her hand dismissively. “As much as I loved him, my brother was becoming a bit more dead weight than an equitable partner,” she said. "They did me the favor of requesting his elimination so I would not be implicated. It’s all quite cut-and-dried.”
“But-” He didn't understand her outburst.
“He was my brother, after all. Either way, don’t worry yourself with the specifics. You did a brilliant job. Colloidal silver. Fuck! Sometimes humans can still dazzle me with their cleverness.”
He straightened up. He didn’t know whether he was about to die, or be fucked. Oddly, it was...not an unpleasant feeling.
“Did you fuck?” She sniffed at him.
“What d’you mean. Your brother?”
“No. That silly bitch who’s been yelling at your assistant three floors down.” She rolled her eyes.
She knew about Ginger. Shit.
“Yes. No. Well, he sucked me off several times.”
“Such a filthy little fuck, was brother mine,” she said. “Did you like it?”
His face tingled with blood. “I came.”
She shivered mockingly. “Such a democratic answer. So, yes.”
“It was a mouth on my cock. It felt good.”
“How amoral of you. Did he feed from it?” She looked down to the fork of his legs. Her tongue appeared at the corner of her wide mouth.
“Did he swallow?” she asked. Gay or not, a male vampire could not ingest semen. Only females found any nourishment or power in the fluid. She was testing him.
“Did it hurt?”
He didn’t know why she asked these questions. “No.”
“He liked you, then,” she said.
He ran his black-polished fingers through his hair. He had done much worse to kill a vampire. He was not ashamed.
She plopped down on the chair and lifted her leg over the arm. She was on full display, but her body language was completely natural, not sex pot. He almost felt guilty for openly staring.
“So tell me about this new look, then? It it working for you?” She raised her leg, pointing her foot, inspecting the silver buckles on her boot.
He rubbed at his leather-clad thighs. “It attracts higher quality trim.”
“Trim. I would be offended, but who gives a fuck. It’s all food to me,” she said, picking at a talon. “I can see how it might go. You’re standing on the leather-clad shoulders of giants.”
“I love music, and the 60’s and 70’s were particularly amazing. Iggie. Bowie. Eno. Jagger. Reed. Plant. Delicious .”
She appeared between his legs, spreading them. Her talons tore neatly through the laces of his leather pants. He was exposed down to his sweaty pubic hair. “What a breed of musician they were. Eager for experimentation and experience. Thirsty for what life had to offer them, so to speak,” she said, winking at him.
“I don’t really like rock. I prefer opera,” he said inexplicably.
“Poser.” She smiled, then shrugged. “Verdi had his charms,” she said. “But Reed. He was entrancing. A meter seven of melting, melancholy sweetness. And very willing.”
She stood up, exasperated. “You think you’re the only one with a deal with a devil? You can’t possibly think you’re that original.”
She made a menacing sound deep in her throat. “Sadly, men like that - true creatives, visionaries - are exceptionally rare nowadays. I blame the internet. Disposable celebrity culture has killed creativity.” She turned back to him. “Stand up Vincent. Let me get a good look at you.”
He rose on wobbly knees. She smiled at him. His chest seized with fear. Her fangs were fully out, and they were long enough to go past her bottom lip.
She was hungry, or horny. Both.
“I despised the bastard that you dealt with, but he did right by you. You look more delectable than you did in the 80’s,” she said. “You went from old and dusty to tight and severely edible.”
He only looked to be in his 30’s, but in reality, he was in his 90’s. Vampire blood had served him well. Very, very well, since it combatted disease as well as degeneration.
“You’d be riddled with venereal diseases if it wasn’t for our blood. You’re a whore. And you refuse to protect yourself. How very arrogant.”
Maybe he wanted to die. But he couldn’t. Not quite. If he killed himself in any other way than beheading, he would become one of them, and that was a fate worse than death. So he remained alive. Barely. His liver, ever drowned in alcohol, refused to fail. His cock, even after being sunk in the filthiest back alley hooker, refused to ache, bleed, and grow sores. He was a preternatural picture of health.
“To think you were a contemporary of those great artists, and you were listening to Die Zauberflöte instead.” She waved her hand, and the stereo blasted Der Hölle Rache at full volume. She had been watching him this afternoon, before the show.
“I’ve nothing against Mozart, but he was weird. A very odd little man.” She wrinkled her nose. “Regardless, his genius was his own. At least he has that.”
So she’d met Mozart too?
She read his thoughts. “Liszt, on the other hand…” She made a circle with her thumb and forefinger. “ Primerissimo .”
She waved her hand again, and rock music started to play. It sounded like Bowie by the precise vibrato, but he couldn’t be sure.
Oh You Pretty Things
Don't you know you're driving your
Mamas and Papas insane
Let me make it plain
You gotta make way for the Homo Superior...
She laughed, but it sounded more like the wind through the trees. She swayed to the music, her eyes closed. He edged toward the bar as she sang along to the next verse.
The earth is a bitch
We've finished our news
Homo Sapiens have outgrown their use...
Blood rimmed her eyes. “I can feel the worn turkish carpet underneath our feet, smell the marijuana smoke cut with the metal of our mixed blood,” she said.
He nearly dropped the bottle of whiskey. “But, he’s dead.”
She stopped dancing and looked at him. Her eyes swam in red. “Yes. In my arms.”
“Of cancer?” He thought vampire blood made humans impervious to that kind of disease.
“Of course not. He was just done living. He was tired, and I had the honor of dispatching him. A light flick of the wrist and I removed his head from his body. We were alone. No lowly scavenger was allowed to drink his precious life.”
“And the others?”
“What others?” she said. A crimson tear dripped down her cheek.
“Of the musicians you mentioned. Were they ... enhanced too?”
She wiped her face. Blood stained her freckled cheek. “No. Just him. The others I just consorted with. I drank from them, but not the other way around. It’s a savage gift we give, and not all could withstand it while keeping their sanity, especially my blood. It’s too strong. David was different, but even then, he was not strong enough.”
“So, he asked to die? Why?”
She looked up at him. “Why would you ask that? You feel it too.”
The bottle slipped from his fingers and shattered on the floor.
She appeared at his side, along with the sound of crunching glass. “Do you truly want to die Vincent? Has your vendetta grown stale?”
The oaky scent of whiskey made him woozy.
“You’ve killed enough of the lower born to fill this hotel. You killed my brother. Is that enough of an exchange for your parents?”
“I killed your brother,” he repeated.
“Yes, you did. He was worth 10 thousand lowly street suckers,” she said. “Is it over? Do your parents sleep soundly now?”
He felt cheapened by her sudden kindness. Yes, he had made a deal with the devil, but that way, he could get at more of them. In the end, the ability to kill had outweighed having his whole soul.
She caressed his face. “You serve a very specific purpose, Vincent. If you didn’t, they might’ve dispatched you long before. In your cozy home, way back in 1934.”
He felt as if someone had punched him in the sternum.
“Did you order it?”
“No. I can read human thoughts, but not my brother’s. He did.”
“And you didn’t know?”
“Again, no. Not until much later. Actually, until you joined my brother’s harem. He was having a good old time draining you. He even bragged he could taste the family resemblance.”
His head was spinning, but a sardonic grin still twisted his face.
The fucker was dead now. And he had died very painfully. If he hadn’t already been enhanced by vampire blood, he would’ve gotten heavy metal poisoning from all the colloidal silver he ingested every day. And still, the bastard drank. He had tasted his sire’s blood in his veins, which had hidden the silver taste. In fact, he had gotten off on the fact he was drinking the blood of a human owned by one of his underlings. He was that kind of creature. And it had killed him.
“Indeed. Killed by his own hubris. How apt,” she said.
He breathed like a winded bull. He regretted the second drink. Her hand, hot and dry, rested on his shoulder. “I promise you, I didn’t know. I just thought you an asset. I had no idea my brother had killed off your family when you were child as a warning to other vampire hunters. It was petty, since none at the time had never actually succeeded-”
“They were...vampire…” he started to sway. His vision swam with black dots.
“Amateur vampire hunters,” she said. “A harmless bunch. They usually can’t see the forest for the trees.” She bent and picked him up like a baby. His ears popped, and he was at the leather chair in an instant. “But, sadly, the man training them was acquiring much better sight. I suppose my brother was just nipping it in the bud. I still think it was overkill.”
“Nipping it. In the bud.” His lips trembled.
“Although it was violent to your child eyes, they died quickly. I claimed several heads to get that information.”
He looked up at her. “It’s too bad our blood can’t help you forget all you suffered.”
She was evincing something close to sympathy. It was bizarre, and it made him uneasy. Was it some new kind of mental torture?
Her mouth curled into a grin. “Vincent. Ever suspicious. I’m not what you’re used to - street suckers and third-tier employees. But I forgive your skepticism.”
“What do you want from me then, if not my head?”
“Oh, one day I will claim your head. All have to pay the piper. But I still have much use for you until then.”
“The same thing?”
“More or less. After my brother’s death, there are several second-tier devotees that are causing some trouble. I could kill them myself, but it would be-”
“Messy,” he interrupted.
She pointed at him and nodded her head. “Yes. Dramatic. I despise that kind of drama.”
He nodded back. They exchanged a meaningful stare. Almost shamefully, his cock stirred in his pants. Her pupils reflected rose gold at him.
“In exchange for the privilege of ingesting my blood, you will have youth, health, mental vigor and ten years’ free reign. Use it wisely, or founder.”
“If you do not keep up your end of the bargain, I will find you. Even if you hide in the belly button of the earth, I will sniff you out and tear you to pieces. Slowly.”
The threat did not frighten him. He was good at what he did - where his parents failed, he had succeeded more times than he could count. And furthermore, he was curious. How was her blood different?
Daywalker blood. Fascinating. His scientific brain clicked away. A mythic beast, in the form of woman. It did not surprise him in the least.
She retracted her fangs. “I like that. The constant questioning. My blood will only improve upon it, a hundred-fold.” She appeared at his side. “I miss it so. It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered another quite like you. Does the hiding in plain sight frustrate you?”
He bit his lip, then nodded. It was pointless to lie - she could read his mind.
“Did you like being in films?” She looked him up and down. He could be in films now.
“It was okay. I never really rose above b-status, but it was a living. Kept me in broads.”
She chuckled. “Broads. Pussy. Trim. You’re a class act, Peter,” she said, walking to the stereo. She turned her head to look at him. “But never change.” She winked.
Grating guitars filled the room. Punk music, a genre he hated.
She whipped her hair as she danced violently to the music. There was a mad joy to her movement. She looked like she was in a film running too slow. She was so frenetic he felt a honeyed breeze from her dancing.
“Iggy. Mad, beautiful bastard. Still kicking, too. He wasn’t as self destructive as he put out.”
He tugged at the crotch of his pants. Now that the sweat was drying, the leather was shrinking. His balls felt waterlogged. She stopped dancing and studied him. She licked her lip. Her fangs were back, completely. They looked stark white against her dark rose lips.
“Peter,” she said softly. There was a echoing, otherworldly quality to her voice now. Warmth crept up his thighs and up the shaft of his cock. “Will you dance for me?”
“Me? Dance?” His eyebrows rose. Women did it for him. Not even her brother had asked him-
“Can we dispense with the internal monologue, pet? It’s getting tiresome.” She walked to him. She was almost a head taller than him. Her touch burned up his side. She traced his appendectomy scar. “My blood will fix that.”
There was something coming off her now, a sensation that made him feel like he did when he stood too close to a large speaker. His teeth vibrated with it. Her brother had felt that way, but to a much lesser degree. He was on 4, tops. This creature was at 11.
“You’re lovely. Would you give me the pleasure of dancing for me?” She materialized on the leather sofa in front of the windows and reclined. With a wave of her hand, another song with a vaguely familiar hook came on.
He stood on the carpet, in the middle of the floor. Even with the mess she’d made, the space felt too open. He could do magic. Act, even do a bit of theater. But dance…
Her hooded copper eyes transferred heat to the base of his spine. He cried out and fell to his knees. His hand was a trembling fist on the carpet. It was pleasure, pure and intense. She played his receptors like a cosmic xylophone. Sweat covered his body again.
“Balla per me, carissimo. Dance for me,” she purred. The sensations subsided enough for him to stand up again. He began to move his hips in very shallow circles. He didn’t know what to do with his arms, so they stayed at his sides. She clicked her tongue. “Come now. How many times have you enjoyed the pleasure of seeing someone act out their desire for you in dance?”
“You are a good actor. Yet this is the best you can do for the creature who saved you from being drained? Va t-en! I'm offended.”
She was suddenly in his arms. “Those men who had given you their diluted sacrament wanted to kill you after he was gone. To clean up the mess. But I cleaned first.” She licked his earlobe with a preternaturally long tongue.
“Why me?” His arm tightened around her waist.
She whispered in his ear. “Because you’re bold. Brave. Talented. Beautiful. Any one of those things are sufficient, and you’ve got them all.” She lay back down on the sofa. “Take off those ridiculous sigils and come closer.”
Sigils? His airbrushed tattoos and chains. He wet a bar towel and wiped his neck and chest. The chains dropped into the sink with a clatter. His heart beat double time but still he walked willingly to the beautiful creature who had saved his life.
“Caro,” she said softly, reaching out to him. A force pressed against his chest, stopping him in the middle of the carpet again. “I refuse to order you, but I will ask one last time. Will you dance for me, Peter?” Her accent was stronger in her arousal. “I want to see that lovely body move.”
He stared at the stereo, perplexed.
“Iggy doesn’t do it for you?” she smiled. “That’s too bad. Let me feel you out…” She materialized behind him. Her leg snaked between his, her hot hands - not unpleasantly hot, just warmer than human - moved up his body. One settled on his chest, another on his neck. “I can smell the adrenaline in your blood, with just a touch of dopamine to add spice.” His eyes were half-closed with sensation. He offered his neck to her, but she merely kissed it, right over where his pulse rushed. Her hand moved down his chest, slowly, and dipped inside his pants. She raked her talons through his pubic hair and squeezed him. If she had not been holding him, he would’ve dropped to the floor again. Her touch galvanized him. She shifted her hips and rubbed herself against him. He felt the heat of her cunt through the leather.
She pulled his cock out of his pants and stroked it in the same rhythm she moved her hips against him. He whimpered and turned to offer his mouth to her, forgetting that vampires rarely kissed.
“I’ve got it!” she said. She let him go and leapt, catlike, onto the sofa. Her eyes shimmered. She waved her hand.
A discordant warble came on, then rising drums.
You better throw her in the water…
He stood still for a few seconds, adjusting. His chest rose and fell sharply with excitement. Just before she opened her mouth, he began to move. It was completely different from before - not awkward. His belly muscles moved liquidly as he gyrated for her in the semi-darkness.
“Ahhhh…” The sound doubled, then tripled. It’s as if his lust gave her breath.
His erect cock was bolstered by the gaping fly of his leather pants, and it bounced with each hip thrust. He turned and moved his hips in figure eights, hands in his hair, eyes half closed.
She sat up, body poised to jump.
Photographers snip snap
Take your time she’s only burning
This kind of experience
Is necessary for her learning
He turned his back on her and hooked his thumbs in the waistband of his pants as he moved. With each gyration, the pants got lower. He turned and gave her a look through heavily kohled eyelashes.
She growled. He felt more than heard it, and reverberated in his ribcage.
“Peter…” She jumped - easily, smoothly, and ten feet in the air - then landed on her knees behind him. Her hands were hot marble on his wrists. “Let me.” She put a talon at each of his ankles and tore through his pants scalpel-smooth. The leather fell to their feet. His ass flexed near her face. “Tease.”
She picked him up, put him over her shoulder and threw him on the sofa.
He wheezed from the fall, then giggled. “That’s new. Can’t say I don’t like it.”
She tore off her dress tissue paper quick and stood before him in boots and nothing else.
“You’ll have to do that for me some other time, when I’m not starving,” she said. Her leg went over his head, and she sat on his chest. His skin tingled with her heat. Her smell was sweet but intoxicating, like an unaired room a day after a cocktail party.
“First, a mercy,” she said. She took a handful of his hair and tugged it. It ached, but he knew she was being exceedingly gentle with him. Her long thighs looked iridescent they were so silky. “Drink deep, caro.” She sat on his face. He slid his tongue into her and colors exploded behind his clenched shut eyelids. Her hot silk had the same feel as a human woman’s, but she did not taste like one. Honey. Not a euphemism, but fact. His nails raked down her thighs, but her soft skin was impenetrable. His chest began to twitch from lack of air. There was just darkness and his own growing hunger. His spaded tongue penetrated her deeply, trying to extract more sweetness. Her heat made him foggy. He felt like he was sinking into a deep fever. The swirling behind his eyelids slowed. His chest burned, then bloomed pain. He wondered whether he was dying. His fingers dug into her ass and pressed her closer.
He didn’t care.
She pulled him from between her legs by his hair. He felt feather-light in her grasp. He gasped, then gave her a drowsy grin.
“You’re not dying. You’re drugged.” She caressed his pussy sticky face, then poured whiskey into his open mouth. He coughed and tried to sit up. She cradled the back of his head and kept pouring. “Drink, darling!”
He opened his mouth wider, stuck out his tongue. It went down smooth as water compared to her heat.
“Buono,” she said in a gentle whisper. “The more you have, the less it will hurt.”
He gulped down as much as he could. “Hurt?” he slurred.
“Caro,” she said, pressing her lips to his dripping forehead. “Assimilating my blood will not be pleasant.”
He thought of the five other times he drank vampire blood. It wasn’t painful at all. It felt like the most glorious bender ever. Even through the stupor, his muscles tensed.
“Sadly, comparing their blood to mine is equivalent of comparing posca to Falernian wine. Be at ease, beautiful. Before pain, I will give you pleasure.”
He felt himself rising, and realized she carried him in her arms. As a further kindness to him, she walked at a normal pace into his bedroom and gently laid him on the bed. Buckles clinked as she took off her boots.
“I won’t cut these off. I like these,” she said, and winked at him. He giggled again, then slapped his palm over his mouth. He was drunk.
“ Sei bello ,” she said as she crawled to him. He wanted to rise, pull her to him, but his limbs were heavy. He didn’t feel fear. He wondered whether he’d be able to perform.
“Don’t worry, caro. I’ll make everything better,” she said as she crawled between his legs. She sniffed at him, deep deep breaths that made his thighs twitch. He looked down and her eyes glowed, reflecting the colored lights coming in from the floor to ceiling window. He licked his lips. He couldn’t distinguish between her and the liquor. He hardened in her intense gaze. He felt like all his energy was pumping toward his cock. She licked him and he arched, pressing his heels into the bed. His eyes widened as she wrapped her tongue around him...twice.
“Oh shit!” He bucked forward, but she pushed him down and began to jerk him off with her tongue. There was something in her saliva. It felt like hot cinnamon oil on his skin. It was warm, but intensely pleasurable. Even through the throbbing of his cock, he thought he felt her pulsing energy. He didn’t know whether she took from him or he took from her.
Her tongue went back into her mouth and he was cold.
She sat on her haunches between his legs. Her eyes traced invisible trails over his body, chasing his blood. She closed her fist around his cock, pumped it once slowly, and let go. Two small rivulets of blood appeared on both sides his shaft.
He made a gurgling sound in his throat. Blood shone ruby red on his pubic hair. He tried to touch himself, but in the blink of an eye, he felt her weight on his hips. She straddled him.
Wasn’t she going to drink?
“Si, caro.” It never failed to fascinate him how clearly she read him. Her fangs brushed against his cheek. “Now, clear your mind. It will make it easier.”
His blood was rusty on her mound as he slid into her. She was tight and unbelievably hot. For a moment, the sensation cut through the drugs and he saw through the glamor.
-scales shimmering iridescent copper over her body. She’s completely hairless, and trembling spines rise up the ridge of her back-
He screamed. She put her hand over his eyes.
“Shhh, angel. I tend to eat noisy animals, if only to stop the screaming,” she said. Even the quality of her voice changed. It was less sweet, more sibilant.
His mouth snapped shut.
“Relax, and trust me.” She moved her hand. His eyes remained closed. “This is no fun if you don’t trust me, caro. Open.”
He obeyed. She was herself again, but better. Her copper hair rippled around her head. Her skin seemed to give off a golden halo of warmth that made him sigh.
“Good boy.” She tried to caress him, but he recoiled from her touch.
It’s a lie. You’re a lie.
Her caressing hand grabbed his cheeks, making his lips pooch, fishlike. Her talons dug into the soft flesh. Warmth dripped down to his hairline. “And this face... is it not a lie, pet? Shall I peel it off, try to find the wizened 97 year old man beneath?” She slapped him, hard. Her fangs were bared with anger, but a deeper fear seized him.
Not that man. Dry and dusty, horrible. Weak.
"Please! No!” A tear dripped from his eye and mixed with the blood on his gashed cheek.
She threw her head back and laughed. “That’s my boy.”
She squeezed around him and his toes curled. Whatever she was, she was delicious.
“You have no idea.” She placed his hands on her breasts. They were hot and firm. Her nipples poked his palms. He squeezed and smiled.
He wanted the strength to sit up and take one into his mouth.
“Soon enough you’ll be able to take anything you like,” she said. “I’m hungry. Fuck me.”
He moved inside her.
The hairs on his arms stood on end. Everything was taut, sensitized. In no time, he was hard and eager. She giggled as he finally gained the strength to pump into her. He grabbed her waist. His blood hummed. He was more aware, but her glamor remained. Something like sweat beaded on her brow, but he knew better. Vampires didn’t sweat, but he was curious. He rose to sitting and licked it off her skin. Again, he was indescribably high. He felt better than he had ever felt. Without thinking, he rubbed his gashed cheek against her lips.
White light exploded behind his closed eyelids as she slammed him into the black enameled headboard. He moaned and felt wetness running down the back of his neck.
“So strong, yet so fragile,” she said. Her tongue snaked behind his head and slid back into her mouth dripping crimson. The taste of him made her quicken, and she could not be gentle any longer. She clamped down on him and groaned. Faint blue lines rose from between her legs and moved up her body as she pulsed rhythmically around him.
He opened his eyes. Blue laced her small breasts and went up the narrow column of her neck. She threw her head back, staring at the ceiling in seemingly dumb pleasure as her copper eyes went blood red. She purred, a deep, frightening sound that was more tigress than house cat.
“You’re... delicious,” she said, seemingly gasping, although she did not breathe. Pleasure and pain seemed far away to him. His breathing was getting more and more shallow.
She’s draining me. Through her pussy. I’m truly going to die.
She leveled her gaze on him. Blood feathered around the edges of her whites and disappeared, and they were copper again.
“Yes, but only to fill you all the more with myself,” she said, responding to his thoughts.
She rose off him and his cock slid out, still semi hard and streaked with blood. He fell over and his arms flopped forward lifelessly. The gray turned to black as his head wound pulsed his life to the mattress.
dying dying dyingggg
His heart barely whispered in his chest.
Her weight sunk the mattress as she stood in front of him. His blood stained the insides of her thighs. She caressed his temple tenderly.
“Now is the hour. Are you ready?”
He couldn’t speak. A tear crossed the bridge of his nose. He nodded, once.
Yes. Please. I’m dying.
“You are already dead, caro,” she said. Her face swam in his field of vision. “And you don’t have much time until your body realizes it.” She pulled him to sitting again and knelt in front of him.
If I don’t drink now, I’m done.
“By drinking even a drop, you promise with all your being to be all mine to have, to hold, and to dispose of as I see fit. Do you accept?”
His chest muscles pressed out a puff of air from his slowly shrinking lungs.
His rose lips were going palest blue.
“I don’t doubt it, caro, but there is one more thing.”
His eyes bulged.
“I must be the most important thing in your life. As a little... sacrifice to our future together, I require the blood of someone you love.”
Another tear rolled down his ravaged cheek. It was already cold.
“Your parents are dead, mercifully, but there is one person you care for…” She waved her hand gracefully and pointed down.
Ginger. Bloody fucking Ginger.
“Ginger. Yes. You give her to me, and I will give you what you want. You don’t, you die.”
Fuck fuck fuck Ginger has a little boy back in Guatemala with parents who think she’s a model in NYC instead of an b actress in a shitty magic show what about the boy her boy my boy
“For now, he is safe. I give you my word. But think quickly. You’re dyyyiing.” She ended the sentence in a sardonic singsong and floated to the door. “Clock is ticking. Tick tock.”
He couldn’t feel his limbs anymore.
Ginger. More than a piece of ass. She read One Hundred Years of Solitude to me after we finished making love. Stained my sheets with ice cream. Smelled like sweat and lilies. Yelled at me in Spanish when I pissed her off, thinking I don’t understand. I’ll never be able to tell her that I do.
My boy. Safe?
“Yes.” she said. She was closely following his thoughts. Since he was dying, they were far more difficult to read.
He cared about her, but not enough to be found drained on a hotel bed. She was a marginally talented model. He was a vampire assassin. She would age, become unattractive. He would not. His secret would be obvious after 10 years passed and he had not aged a day. He could not risk it. He would not.
The cold was spreading, and he didn’t want to die. He wanted to know more about vampire society. More about her.
It sounded like a fading echo, even in his head. His thoughts were unraveling - they no longer felt linear.
“Time’s up. Yes or no?” She touched his cheek, looking into his glassy eyes. His vision was going.
His chest contracted one last time, in a sob.
She disappeared. The light went out of his eyes…
And then, slowly got brighter. It started as a small dot that grew, grew, grew along with a heart-rending roar-the light began to change, get more crimson and the indistinct roaring began to coalesce into words. Still indistinguishable, but obviously words.
Is this hell? Heaven absolutely will not have me.
The red light began to congeal into images. Red dirt roads, brightly colored birds on a wire. Books toted town to town on a burro and words words palabras...
Mi amor, trae el agua!
Clean water, cold and sweet, is poured into a metal bucket by slim brown hands tipped with chipped hot pink nail polish-
He screamed, long and hard, until every bit of living breath left his lungs.
Agony. It was everything. His whole body was on fire. There were thoughts, so many thoughts, but they moved far too fast for him to distinguish. There was one thought that roared louder than all.
Thirst. Crushing, ecstatic, thirst. He could drink the whole of the Mediterranean. All of it. In one gulp.
“Tsk. Tsk. Baby steps.” She tugged at his head, and it took some some actual effort to detach him from her chest. He grunted and dropped back to the bed, twitching and moaning. The sheets crunched with broken glass. A stiff hot wind came in from the broken window - it must’ve been the way she came in.
He screamed again, this time much louder. He wanted to crawl out of his skin and jump out the window. He blinked the blood out of his eyes.
Everything was gilded, and almost too bright. He could see the grain of the wood of a display cabinet 30 feet away. He was overwhelmed by the scent of the dried liquor on the wall in the bar on the other side of his apartment. He turned to look out the window and knocked himself over with the the speed of his movement.
She laughed. “Patience, pet. You will adjust.”
He looked over at her. The gash she had cut into her chest had healed, but blood still covered the front of both their bodies. Her glamor floated over her actual form like smoke, but it no longer frightened him. In fact, it was fascinating.
“What’s your name?” He jumped. His voice has a strange quality to it. Like it no longer came from his voice box.
“You’ll find out soon enough,” she said, looking into him with cat-like eyes. “You’re assimilating beautifully.” She took his face in her hands and turned it. “Would you like to see?”
She picked up a larger shard of glass and handed it to him. An unmarred, lineless face stared back at him. His hair was thick, and the scattered grays were gone. His brown eyes looked like dark amber smoke that rippled with her borrowed life. He didn’t look older than 25. He smiled at himself, then hissed and dropped the glass.
“Fangs? You didn’t tell me about fangs!”
“It’s not a big deal. You’re not a full vampire. They’ll fall off soon enough, like milk teeth.” She smiled wide at him. “Come now. Don’t you feel better?”
He crawled into her arms. Her touch made him feel a joy he thought had been rotted out of him. Bloodstained tears dripped down his boysmooth, chiseled cheeks.
He thought of Ginger. “Did she die quickly?”
She ran her fingers through his hair. “She didn’t know what hit her. And your boy is safe. Although you cannot see him, you will be able to provide for him handsomely.”
“How? I can’t play goth magician anymore. The fines for breaking contract with the casino alone will bankrupt me.”
She gave him a crooked grin. “You’re mine now. You have all the riches in this nasty ol’ world to use.” They rose together up above the bed, spinning slowly. She caressed his now supple body with undisguised lust.“You’re worth every penny.”
He couldn’t speak for staring at her. Her thoughts, her history whispered in his blood - the blood he had assimilated from her. He had never felt more in love in his hundred years. He was no fool - he knew she could not love him, but he would remain at her side as long as she wanted him. It was enough.
“Ready to go?” They landed by the broken window. They were at least 60 stories up.
“But what about the casino?”
“Underlings will take care of that. You needn’t step foot in this hovel again.” She waved her hand impatiently and looked down to the ant hive of activity on the ground. “Ahh, there it is. Right on time.”
“Where are we going?”
“Does it matter, pet?” She took his hand and dove out the window. There were streaks of colored light, but before he could panic they landed on the ground gracefully in front of a purring '69 Impala. A valet opened the door. She nodded at him. “It’s all you, darling.”
He slid in the car and they pulled into traffic. He caressed the steering wheel. “This seems…”
“A bit anticlimactic? Did you expect a flaming dragon?” She giggled and put her feet up on the dashboard.
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
“Don’t be silly. They’re extinct. Put on the radio. We’ve got a long drive.”
He knew not to ask where. She would show him. He messed around with the knob. Violetta’s Sempre Libere blared on the classical music station, but his face twisted with distaste. He kept surfing. Disembodied garbling, a Baptist preaching hellfire and brimstone, static … then Freddie.
Drop of a hat she's as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild..
She's all out to get you
She's a Killer Queen
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
He nodded to the words, a smitten grin on his face.
"You like it?" she said. She had borrowed one of Ginger's dresses. It looked better on her.
He stared at her and zigzagged, nearly hitting a pedestrian. "Yeah."
She slapped him. "Keep your eye on the road. I like this car."
He kept sneaking looks at her as he heard the words. "Naw. You couldn't have. Wasn't he-"
"He was beautiful soul," she winked at him. "Now drive."
The sun rose behind them as they hit the highway.