Shit. This was not a good idea. Actually, most people would see this as a really fucking bad idea. Good people, sane people do not sleep with vampires. Sane people do not help said vampire remove his pants, they run the other way in absolute terror. Yet, I had enjoyed it. Really, I'd more than enjoyed it. It felt like...god, there are no words suitable to describe it.
Fireworks went off.
Yes, sleeping with someone who technically can be killed on sight without any real repercussions is a bad idea. Sleeping with that person while there's two separate wars raging around us, that's inexcusably asinine. But here I was laying in a king-sized bed, curled up against one of the most beautiful vampires I'd ever seen.
Vampires were at war with each other, humans were at war with vampires, and I was right in the middle of it. But hey, I was always looking for a good scoop, right?
Less than a year ago, newspapers around the world began reporting sightings of strange people. People who hid from the sun, fed on blood, and exhibited various bizarre abilities, i.e. mind control, grace and beauty beyond the norm, super-strength, etc. Not all of these people had all of these abilities, it differed among them. The sightings only increased though, and the fact that these news accounts were coming from respectable newspapers, magazines, and tv news programs only made people more uncomfortable.
Vampires had finally decided to come out of hiding.
They've been around for almost as long as homo sapiens, but their origins are a mystery. Some believe it was a virus, others suggest it was a curse, and the religious right tends to say it was from a pack forged with the devil. Some say it started in Persia, during the time of Alexander the Great, that he and his friend/boyfriend Hephastian died of vampire bites, not alcoholism or an STD. Others peg Ramses I as the first vampire, using his long life as their only proof. He outlived most of his kids, but that's still a pretty short lifespan for a vampire. And, still more people say the Vatican was filled with vampires during the Inquisition, pointing out the sadism involved. That one is pretty much universally debunked as bullshit. Not even vampires are that sadistic.
For whatever reason, vampires chose late 2007 to come out of hiding. They were subtle at first, telling friends what they were, showing fang in public, little things like that. Then it was hosted information sessions, vampire nights at bars and clubs, press conferences, spots on talk shows, etc. But still, this was segregated to the few vampires that actually wanted to be acknowledged by the public.
It was enough to scare the hell out of the world. Cue hate groups emerging, preachers screaming about the devil, politicians taking sides, most against the undead, and a feeding frenzy in the press. Shortly after came the mandates to law enforcement to shoot on site, if the vampire became a threat. Silver bullets of course. The public needs to be protected, and well, vampires already died once, so what's the harm? A politician actually said that.
I can answer that really well right now. If Zeke, aka my bed buddy, ever got shot by a freaked-out cop, or burned alive by a 21st century linch mob, my heart would break. Falling in love with a vampire is a much, much worse idea than just sleeping with him. Sleeping with him lets you walk away, loving him, that's gets you killed. Might get me fired too.
I write for the New York Citizen, and actually, that's how I met Zeke. The quickest way up the ladder is getting a really juicy story on the vampires, and I really wanted to get up that ladder. I'm only 23, and you can only slave away at a copy-editing desk so long before you begin to entertain dangerous thoughts. I'd slaved away at that desk as an intern my last two years in college, and after graduating.
Less than a year ago, I begged my editor to promote me to a junior reporter position, no pay raise necessary. He jumped on that, and gave me my promotion, but it was dull as the desk. On slow days I was a grunt for the senior reporters, on the faster days I got to cover bake sales, little kids that won the blue ribbon at the state science fair, and the little old lady that knit hats, mittens, and scarves for the homeless. Worthy, but boring as hell.
A month of that and I grew desperate enough to wander down to the Lower East Side, where the Ruby Lounge hosted a vampire night every Thursday night. I'd been to the club once before, with a girlfriend, and the decoration didn't change much to host the vampires. I found Zeke, sitting off in a corner, sipping red wine and watching the room with amused eyes.
That was six months ago, and we remained only friendly up until last night. My hang-ups, not his, obviously. But he'd pursued me for those six months, not obviously, but so I didn't doubt that he was attracted to me for a minute. I was definitely attracted to him too, so why the hang-ups? One, he's a vampire, and as I said, vampire romance is a very dangerous thing--for me, not him.
The second reason held me back more though. I simply didn't trust him, and that had less to do with the fact that he was a vampire, and more with my own insecurities. I'm not ugly, but I'm definitely not beautiful. I'm not an inch over five feet, and I don't even weigh a hundred pounds, except maybe soaked to the bone. I really have no curves, the hips are pointy bones, the boobs are well, small. A little weight is not a bad thing ladies, remember that when you're studying the anorexic models in magazines.
Shoulder-length, generic brown hair, and a baby face complete the look. Most people guess my age to be around fourteen, sixteen if I'm lucky. At least people older than me, those younger can usually tell that I'm older, even if I don't look it. Maybe they can I tell that I'm jaded enough for someone three times my age. Only my eyes stand out as pretty, a vivid blue-grey that seems to please people. I'm sort of a plain pretty, I'm not so insecure that I won't admit that.
But Zeke, he's the living embodiment of a wet dream. He died and was made a vampire when he was twenty-seven, not a bad age to be preserved at. That was back in 1813 on a cold, quiet night in the rolling hills of Ireland. He was a good Irish Catholic boy up until then; with a name like Ezekiel, he couldn't be anything but Catholic.
He usually combed out his jet black hair after a shower, so that it would dry straight, and lie flat, falling just below his ears. It never actually did. It was too thick and full to behave, though two centuries still hadn't stopped him from trying. When he let it dry naturally, that's when my libido went out of control. It curled. Soft, playful little curls that shortened his hair to above his ears, and stole my breath.
It was curled liked that now. The first time I saw him wear curls, I nearly swallowed my tongue. Since that night, he'd let his hair curl far more often. Trying to seduce me? Of course not.
It wasn't just his beautiful curls that brought me to my knees, no it was the whole package. He wasn't muscled, but well toned, and you could see his muscles move beneath his milk white skin. It all led to face that was largely indescribable, except maybe as ethereal. He wouldn't be appearing on any beefcake calendars, but was still all man. He looked like a wet dream, because his beautiful face seemed like something only from a dream. His eyes were the color of black coffee, and looking into them, I couldn't believe that vampires have no souls.
Now what I couldn't wrap my head around is why a man that looked like that, would want a woman that looked like me? He didn't have a kiddie fetish, that I was certain of, he wasn't insecure himself, and women, human women came into the club every thursday to throw themselves at him. I still didn't have a satisfactory answer to that question. I asked him one night, and he gave me a confused look, told me that I was beautiful. I think I rolled my eyes.
Don Juans with 200 years of practice know just what to say.
Yet, here we were, curled together in the midnight blue satin of his bed, two tiny fang marks on the inside of my thigh. I didn't want the marks to show, and it was a sure bet no one except Zeke was going to see there. I shimmied away a little, and went up on an arm, watching him sleep.
His skin was stark against the sheets, but his black hair almost blended in. He looked like anyone else asleep--unsuspecting and so very alive, more than one of the undead had any right to be. His chest rose and fell as if it had never stopped 200 years ago, and blood still pulsed through his veins. I couldn't imagine him as really being dead, and I didn't want to. I wanted him to be the living, breathing man I saw in front of me, but I knew he wasn't that either.
He must have sensed me watching him, because it pulled him awake, and he rolled to his side, and mimicked my position. The moonlight spilled in through the tiniest space in the curtains, and shown on his chest. His skin was so pale with so little hair, that he kind of glowed, naked and breath-stealing. He lay there glowing quietly, not speaking, waiting for me to speak first and confess what was bothering me.
What was bothering was what I saw in his eyes, a mirror of what was in my own. I saw love, real adoration, something I didn't think any vampire could feel. That scared me. Seeing that in Zeke's eyes scared me more than bloodlust on his hungriest nights. It also scared me more than all the carnage and death of the two wars being waged outside the windows.
Dangerous and frightening as he was, I didn't see myself walking away from Zeke.
Yeah I know, I should get my head examined.
This is designed to be a teaser for a larger story that I'm thinking of writing, so please let me know if you liked it. Thanks for reading!