A/N: This is a new and improved story being re-released to the general public, so if you've seen it before, it's been heavily edited and I encourage you to stick around. Updates are Mondays and Thursdays. I appreciate any and all support that is given to me, and comments/reviews get cookies.

Word Count (overall): 1783 (short first chapter, I know).
Word Count (this chapter): 1783

Chapter One

Broken glass crunched underfoot as he stepped into the deserted alley. The frivolous festivities of mortals carried on in the main streets. He needed a respite from the plastic fangs and the fake blood that mocked him. Even now, on this night where everyone pretended to be a monster, he couldn't risk revealing what he was.

Sebastian leaned against a dumpster, an oddly elegant figure against a backdrop of squalor. The smell of rot was overpowering. He couldn't get away from it in the city. Wherever there were humans, rot followed. Unfortunately, a fox couldn't stray too far from the flock. Not that he was the sleekest or most efficient predator.

The idea of heading back into the pushing crowds, the heat and the chaos of the masses made his hands clench. His back stiffened. Leaving without a victim would defy the purpose of enduring the thronging mortals, but anxiety clawed at him. It was prime hunting time. As always, he was reluctant to face the crowds.

Sebastian took a deep breath and tried to pull himself together. The sooner he did this, the sooner he could go home. His movements were jerky and stiff as he headed down the alley. He paused at the mouth, sliding both his masks into place, one physical and one deeper than appearance could ever betray. He slid seamlessly into the jubilant crowd.

The smell of alcohol was overpowering, but not unwelcome. Alcohol had a clean smell that reminded him of disinfectant and hospitals. No germs. The scent of sweat and hormones underneath was far less pleasant.

Sebastian stood still in the middle of a living, moving mass of people. Many touched him, sliding their hands over his back or his chest. There was something magnetic about him, to humans. He was powerless to stop it. He just gritted his teeth and stayed absolutely still, forcing himself to not react.

His dark eyes fixed on a man dressed as a vampire. Maybe it was the cheap imitation (plastic yellow teeth and dramatic cape included) or maybe it was the insistent hunger spiralling through his veins, but Sebastian made his choice. They looked alike – the man's make-up leant him a paleness that nearly matched Sebastian's skin tone, though he was supernaturally flawless where the man was imperfect. The make-up was patchy, unable to hide the flesh tone of the living. It didn't stand up to a second glance.

They were both dark-haired, almost exactly the same shade, a dark brown that could easily be mistaken for black in the right light. Maybe that was what had caught his attention – something similar in a sea of difference. The man was muscular where he was slender and trim, large where he was average, blue-eyed where his were brown. The man was a full head taller than him. Lots of men were taller than him.

Sebastian approached, ruthlessly squashing the anxiety that bubbled in his stomach. He smiled.

"Hello," he said, lowering his voice and adding a carefully imitated husky edge to it.

"Hey," the man said. "You havin' fun?"

Sebastian hesitated. There was a slight slur to the man's words – he'd been drinking. The idea of spending more time in the crowds picking up a new victim made him wince. He decided to go for it. What did it matter if he got a little drunk?

"What's your name?" Sebastian asked, curling a delicate hand around the man's neck, bringing him down so that his chilled lips brushed the man's ear. His mouth was so close to the pulse point that he could almost taste the blood. He was so tuned into the body against him that he could hear the throb of the man's heart. This was what he lusted after. He wanted nothing more than to slide his mouth down a few inches and take what he wanted. Couldn't do that. Not here. He forced himself to keep his mouth right where it was.

"Mark," the man answered. His voice was a little husky. Breathless. Mark shifted, pressing against Sebastian. He was hard. It was a warm, firm rod against Sebastian's stomach.

Sebastian sucked in a breath and shuddered with revulsion. "Mark," he repeated, dropping his voice down to a purr. His teeth ached with the effort of holding his fangs back. He took Mark's earlobe between forcefully maintained blunt teeth and bit down gently. Mark shuddered and twitched forward, as if looking for something to rub against. Sebastian's disgust warred with satisfaction – all he had to do was get Mark away from the crowd, and the other's warmth would be his. Sebastian needed it.

"You want to get out of here?" Sebastian asked, pronouncing every word precisely, like English wasn't his first language. Or maybe this just wasn't the first time he'd learned it. He slid a hand down Mark's arm, his fingers long and elegant.

"Yes. Absolutely," Mark answered, too quickly, his words jumbling together, tripping over each other. He was breathing faster.

Sebastian flashed him a smile and laced their fingers together. Mark's hand enveloped his, but it was Sebastian that led them through the crowd and into the alley, deeper than he'd gone before. The roar of the celebration behind them faded away to background noise. They were alone. Alone enough.

In his youth, he would have been more cautious. He would have taken Mark somewhere private, where being stumbled upon by some drunken idiot was far less likely. His age leant him recklessness. He'd lost the lust for life, survival. It just didn't seem worth it. He didn't want to spend any longer with this man than he absolutely had to. He didn't want to keep the façade up. Maybe half of it was some hidden death wish. Maybe he wanted to be found, wanted something exciting and new to happen, even if it was his own death.

Sebastian let Mark press him back against the filthy wall. It smeared grime across his shirt. He grimaced. Would rather have been on top, but couldn't alert the man to his strength. He was smaller, slighter, natural that he would be the one dominated, not dominating.

He hunted for Mark's neck as the other ground mindlessly against him, his hot cock grinding into Sebastian's stomach. He found the throb of Mark's pulse and pressed his mouth against it, his lips dry and cool against the human's searing heat. That heat calling to him, the man still rutting against him, seeking friction.

Sebastian didn't hesitate, didn't want to be there longer than he had to. His fangs descended, aching as they slid from his gums, needle-fine. He shivered. Even that was a sensation that became pleasurable, a perquisite to what was coming. Mark's skin parted so easily for them. That first, metallic spurt sent a shock of pleasure through Sebastian. This was what made him hard, not the cock against his stomach for the muscular body against his. This. Always this.

Mark stiffened. Maybe some part of him registered that this wasn't right. He dismissed the pinch as a love bite and rocked more firmly into Sebastian's stomach, both of them hard now, Mark grinding them together.

It wouldn't take long. Sebastian struggled to take what he could, as fast as he could, before the daze of lust wore off and Mark could no longer rationalise it away. Mark didn't want to know; mortals were always so eager to put things in easily defined boxes. They saw what they wanted to see, felt what they wanted to feel. As long as it was in the realm of possibility. Mark's blood was salty and hot on his tongue.

Every mouthful was cherished, lifegiving. His cock throbbed in time with Mark's pulse. Sebastian's heart hammered in his chest. He snorted breath through his nose. He felt Mark shudder against him, and he knew what, or rather who, was coming. Mark's thrusts became jerky and staccato, his muscles tensing. Sebastian withdrew his fangs rather than risk them being snapped in the throes of Mark's orgasm. He sucked eagerly at the wound, trying to tease more blood from the tiny pinpricks. Nothing. No more. He was done. Mark's come smelled like the sea, musk and salt.

He lapped over the two tiny puncture wounds, then pulled back to eye his handiwork. Almost nothing, almost invisible, two tiny dots in the centre of reddened flesh, destined to bruise. Just like a hickey. As long as Mark didn't look too closely and saw what he wanted to see, like a good boy.

"You didn't-" Mark said, cutting himself off and gesturing down.

Sebastian smiled and curled his hand around Mark's wrist as the other reached for his belt. "It's fine," he murmured back. No need to fake any huskiness, now – his own erection took care of that. There was a high blush on cheeks that had once been marble, his slick lips parted and a shade brighter than they had been before. Animation flushed through him. "I got what I needed."

The man hesitated, then nodded. He took a faltering step back, then another. He touched at the ache at his neck and smirked. "Left me something to remember you by?" he asked.

"You could say that," Sebastian said, then nodded. He took a step forward, glad to be away from the mucky wall. "Go back to your friends." Something more than a suggestion there. Something that made Mark turn and do exactly what he was told. Mark left the alley with one last lingering glance, and went back to his friends. Sebastian watched him go.

He was alone. Alone with nothing but a hard cock and a memory. He headed deeper into the alley, away from the sickening crowds. He had no need of mortals now, not for a few nights. Time to ho home. Good.

He took the back alleys, staying away from staggering people under yellow street lights. He took his time, enjoying the crisp night air and the warm course of alcohol in his borrowed blood.

Heavy footsteps crunched behind him.

Sebastian paused. The footsteps stopped.

He concentrated, listening, trying to isolate the sound from the white noise background of the city. He couldn't get a fix on anything but the blare of a television in the apartment building behind him. Sebastian whirled, scanning down the alley. A cat yowled. A piece of paper danced to its own wind-led music. Nothing.

The fine hairs at the back of his neck prickled and stood on end. His heart leapt into his throat.

There was someone standing behind him.