"You know, it was really nice of you to take me out to dinner, Viktor," the blonde girl, hereon known as Sally, said, smiling over the table at her dark companion.

"Yes, dinner will be rather nice," Viktor muttered, poking at his spaghetti bolognaise idly. Sally's eyebrows creased slightly.

"Are you all right, Viktor? You're not eating. Don't you have an appetite?" She seemed concerned.

"My appetite is fine," Viktor said, waving a hand dismissively. "I am positively ravenous. In Romania, the food wasn't nearly as tasty-looking as this." His eyes rested on Sally's exposed neck.

Sally smiled again, glowing with pride. "I'm glad our country's made such a good impression on you."

"Indeed. It has all been rather delicious," Viktor agreed cheerfully, twining sloppy spaghetti around his fork. "Especially that friend of yours with the eyeliner, I very much enjoyed her."

"Maggie? I haven't seen her in days. I suppose I'm glad you liked meeting her," Sally said, a little of the heart gone out of her words. This was her date with Viktor, and he was talking about one of her friends. That wasn't the way it was meant to be.

"Oh, yes, she was quite the dish," Viktor said, a faraway look in his eyes. But then he caught sight of Sally's offended little pout. "Not nearly as appetizing as yourself, my dear, do not worry."

"Appetizing?" Sally said, perking up.

"Uh, hm, I meant pretty," Viktor corrected himself quickly, with an embarrassed look. "I am still getting a… a handle on your English language."

"No, I thought it was a lovely thing to say," Sally beamed, missing the point altogether. "It's so like you to say something quirky just to cheer me up, Viktor. It's one of the things I like about you so much."

"Stop it, I'm going to blush," Viktor said with a straight face.

"You're so modest. You don't like to make a meal out of things, do you?" Sally added, on the verge of blushing herself. She was hardly ever this forthright.

"I would not mind making a meal out of you," Viktor suggested, but Sally didn't seem to hear him.

"But… well, Viktor," Sally fluttered her eyelashes. "I was, uh, going to ask… is there anything you like about me?"

"Yes," Viktor said, again eyeing her luscious neck. "You do share my disdain for those wretched turtleneck sweaters."

"Isn't there something… else we have in common?" Sally prodded, almost desperately now.

"Sally," Viktor said silkily, getting up from his chair and leaning over the table. "I think we should go for a walk."

Sally's blue eyes widened.


They walked along the bridge outside the restaurant, Viktor in no hurry. It was dark out, and the streetlights shed little discs of light that looked almost as if you could pick them up between your finger and thumb. The street was deserted except for them, and Sally shivered a little at how cold it was out here. Viktor noted her theatrics, sliding off his black jacket.

"Here, Sally, take this."

"Oh, Viktor, that's such a sweet gesture," Sally sighed, falling for the chivalry like a chronic bungee jumper. She put the jacket on.

"No, really, I don't like cold food," Viktor said.

"Oh, Viktor, you say the funniest things!" Sally giggled.

They continued on down the bridge, until they reached the middle, where they stopped to looked down at the moonlight on the water.

"Isn't it beautiful, Viktor?" Sally said, with shining eyes.

"Yes, it is. It reminds me of a shimmering drop of blood," Viktor replied.

Sally frowned again. "Really? I didn't think it looked anything like that."

"Sorry. I was thinking about food again," Viktor said, shaking his head. "You really must tell me when I am being shallow, Sally."

"I don't believe you could be such a thing, Viktor," Sally said dreamily, looking up at him.

He allowed himself a smirk. "No, you would not, would you?"

Sally took a step closer to him, smelling really, really nice, kind of like lasagne, only of blood. Even all the blushing she was doing, a human thing that made blood rush into her face, was like she was waving food under his nose. And dammit, he was hungry.

They reached for each other under the moonlight –

"STEP BACK FROM YOUR VICTIM, CHILD OF THE DAMNED!" a loud, authoritative voice echoed from behind them. Viktor turned to see a small, rather pompous-looking man with brown hair and a crossbow slung over his shoulder.

"Shit. Look," Viktor started to explain, "I am having this one. You will have to go and find your own."

"I WOULD NEVER FEED ON THE LIFEBLOOD OF A YOUNG LADY LIKE A MONSTER!" the vampire hunter shouted, looking outraged. "HOW DARE YOU INSIST THAT I LEAVE YOU TO YOUR DEMONIC BUSINESS, FILTH!"

"Shhh," Viktor told him, pressing a finger to his lips. "Indoor voice, please."

"WE'RE OUTSIDE, YOU FOOL!"

"Viktor?" Sally asked, alarmed. "What's going on?"

"You do not have to worry about it," Viktor reassured her quickly, turning away from the hunter. "Sally, you must know this. You are very special to me. I think you are the most succulent girl I have met since I arrived in this country. There are many women who have told me I am a pain in the neck, but I feel –"

"DON'T LISTEN TO HIM!" the furious vampire hunter screamed.

"Sally…" Viktor began again.

"I've heard enough!" Sally cried, and threw her arms around Viktor. "I love you too, Viktor!"

"Not exactly what I meant, but that is good," Viktor said, putting his arms around her as well. It wouldn't do to have her wriggling around while he tried to drink her blood.

"DON'T WORRY, FAIR MAIDEN, I'LL SAVE YOU!"

Before either of them could give a damn about the vampire hunter's claim, a crossbow bolt sunk itself into Victor's back, making the Romanian gasp with shock. Sally whimpered as he let her go, falling to his knees.

"Viktor!" she screamed, sweeping down on his limp form.

"Sally, not helping," muttered Viktor, who was still conscious despite the tip of the bolt poking out of his chest.

"HA! TAKE THAT, YOU EVIL PSYCHOTIC VAMPIRE!" the hunter yelled joyously, kicking up his feet in victory.

"Could you please keep it down, I am trying to die painfully here," Viktor said, sparing a glare for the hunter. Sally put a hand on his cheek, looking down in sorrow.

"Oh, Viktor, my dear brave Viktor," she sobbed. "Our time together was so brief."

"It could have been briefer if this bastard hadn't interrupted," Viktor interjected.

"I HEARD THAT!" the vampire hunter roared, but Sally was nevertheless determined to continue her speech.

"And you were always so kind to me. I can still remember the time I woke up and you were hugging me…"

"I was trying to eat breakfast, you stupid girl," Viktor groaned, silently lamenting that his dying moments had to be like this; an annoying reminder of all the times he'd tried (and failed) to kill Sally. It was pathetic.

"And I just know you'd never hurt me," Sally finished, tears in her eyes as she looked upon the expiring vampire. "Even if you do say funny things sometimes, I know it's just because you're foreign and you're not used to speaking in English."

"That could almost pass as racism, Sally, but seeing as how I intended to drink your blood before I died, I will let it slide," Viktor said, his voice sounding strangled and weak. His last moments were approaching.

"Oh, Viktor, please don't go!" Sally bawled, burying her face in his chest. Viktor put a hand on her head, and with surprising tenderness, found himself stroking her soft, blonde hair. Comforting her. It was so very un-vampirelike of him that he almost stopped, but he found no urge to do so. Sally's eyes, glistening and red, met his in a final, meaningful gaze.

And then the vampire smiled and bit Sally on the neck.