Let me tell you about Paul.
I've tried to kill him four times now. This doesn't stop him referring to us as 'partners' at every given opportunity.
He likes to call himself my liberator. I like to call him many things – often with as many f and c words as I can get in – but 'liberator' isn't one of them.
He is completely unremarkable. He told me we'd met four times before I got off my tits and let him suck my blood. He'd been hiding behind a different name each time. I'd never cared enough to remember his face, so I never recognised him. I'm sure he must hate me for that. Maybe that's why he infected me instead of killing me. He wanted to make me suffer in a way normal pain and death just can't manage.
He says it's because we're kindred spirits – he saw into my soul, and it burned him to the bone. He says he just knew that I would be the one to make him complete.
Bollocks to that. He saw a bold party girl in skin-tight jeans, with cleavage strapped up to her chin and a wild energy fuelled by foreign substances, and he thought she'd be fun to have. If he thought that skin-deep persona was the real me, he was sorely mistaken.
It's probably clear to you already that I hate this man. He's slimey, weak, shiftless, cowardly and he turned me into a monster with a rotten core, but the thing I hate the most is that he's all I have now.
He likes to remind me of this – regularly.
When I come home several hours too many after him, he glares at me from his sofa, and lectures me as I get ready for my post-feed sleep on giddy, discoordinated feet (I like to pick up my food from the crowds that spill out of pubs and clubs at closing time. Gives you the double whammy of getting fed and getting wasted).
"You're so ungrateful. You don't know how lucky you are that I chose you. I have girl's queuing up for me to love them like I love you."
That's nearly always his opener. He's not lying either. He has girl's out there who worship him. He knows where to look for them, and he knows exactly how to play them. It's not hard. They have more blood than sense. When he gets them hooked, they pant for him like bitches in heat. They don't care that he hasn't really got the looks, or the charisma – they believe they have a bona fide vampire asking them to help save his soul. They hand over home-made blood bags for him to slurp dry like juice cartons.
Then comes the reasoning.
"You don't have to make it like this, Georgia. You're all I want, and I'm all you have. That could be wonderful, if you'd only let it. You have me, body and soul – you know that? There's nothing I wouldn't do for you,"
[which was a lie. He wouldn't die!]
"how many other people out there can you genuinely say adore you that much?"
None. I don't trust myself to go near my old friends, or any of my family. I know I'd do something I'd regret.
Everytime he says that, I hate him a little bit more. I keep expecting to hit rock bottom, reach the point where it's impossible to hate him any more than I do, but it never happens.