Liadah could never quite explain what it was about it that drew her to it with such entrancement, such fascination... and yet she could talk about it endlessly, listing the reasons it captivated her, that it made her heart race and her blood pulse excitedly, her body shiver in ecstasy at the sight of it...

It called to her even when it could not be seen- for Liadah knew in a split second it could appear, it would only take one quick action on her part and she could feast her eyes upon it, drink in its beauty, soak it into her eyes as if it somehow managed to nourish her, fill her, provide her with the high she needed, that she believed she had gradually become addicted to... it agitated her that it was so close to her, at all times, so very close, and yet she could not always see it, could not always have it, could not continually keep it in her sight...

It called to her, strong and seductive in its power, its pureness, and the vast supply of it always around her, owned by every person she saw, only barely concealed, so easily accessible to her desires... she constantly envisioned it, smelled its, its bittersweet, coppery scent the perfect perfume... its rich color the most beautiful of any she'd ever seen... it was so important, so vital, there was so much of it, everyone had a plentiful supply, and yet lose just a little and you could not survive. It was the life source of all, the basis of humanity... blood...

Blood. Even the word made her shiver with delight, the dark, hushed sound of the five letters put together...

Ever since she could remember, it has entranced her, alluring and wonderful in its amazing power. Take someone's blood, and you take their lives... it seemed only a liquid, and yet it meant so much more.

She was not a vampire- she had no interest in drinking blood, nor did she believe she would die without it, though sometimes her craving was so intense the thought crossed her mind. She did not drink blood normally- she didn't want to waste it, take it back to a place where it was once again concealed, where she could not gaze upon it.

The sight of blood, trickling, gushing, down a person's fresh wound, sent such a thrill through her she often felt her hair stand on end. Liadah felt a physical need, a hunger of sorts, to stare at it, touch it, smell it, absorb and observe it as closely as she could. The more blood, the faster it flowed, the more enchanted she grew...

Of course she could tell no one aout her obsession; it was a secret she guarded well, she was very aware of what other would think if they knew. They'd think her strange, a freak- perhaps even crazy, why they might even lock her away in some psycho ward, where it would be more difficult than ever to see it...

She hid it well- her habit of watching the goriest, bloodiest TV shows, movies. The fake blood they used was not as good as the real thing, but it was acceptable when necessary.. what she preferred to watch was real-life emergency room shows, operations, surgeries, people who'd been in accidents and were rushed into the emergency room with missing limbs, their bodies steadily emitting the liquid of which Liadah so desired to look upon.. anyone who watched her while she watched these shows would probably notice the hypnotized glazing of her eyes, the wide, malicious grin, the sparkle in her eyes, and be very uncomfortable, so Liadah watched alone.

She saw other people she passed every day not as people like herself,but vessels full of blood just waiting to be spilled... she could almost see their pulse in their throats, their wrists, and it tortured her to know that blood was behind it, behind their moving, their breathing, and she could not bring it to view...

Sometimes she could not restrain herself- sometimes the urge was so strong, the call so loud, she had to strike out, to bring it rushing to the surface. She used a variety of methods, all that appeared accidental to the person: pretending to startle while holding scissors or some other sharp object, then letting it slice into their skin just deep enough to draw the precious blood within; while kissing a date, "accidentally" biting down too hard; she had many versions, all that brought the desired result. She always apologized breathlessly, clearly flustered, face flushed with what appeared to be embarrassment and regret, but was actually excitement. No one had outright accused her of hurting them purposely yet- but sometimes she saw a glint in their eyes, a spark of fear that made her think they suspected... those that did usually told her in an odd, slow voice that it was ok, but they rarely came near her again. That was okay with Liadah- there were always more people, more suppliers of blood.

When she could not draw blood surreptitiously from others, or if she just felt the desire to see it strongly enough, she often made herself bleed, cutting at herself and watching with an enthralled fascination as the crimson bubbled up, spilling out across her flesh. When alone, she could indulge all she wanted- smell it, touch it, watch it with no effort to stop its flow, no one to watch her joy. She always made sure it was shallow, and bandaged it afterward, but sometimes it was hard for her to stop, to finally staunch its flow, to not keep on making more and more blood come... sometimes she worried that one day she would go to far, cut too deep, keep making cuts out of control, and be unable to stop even if she wanted to. But then she'd wonder in turn if it would be worth it, just to bring forth so much lovely blood...

Liadah smiled, a gradual, lingering smile at her date from her seat beside him in his car. She was doing all she could to keep his interest, keep him wanting to look at her, prolong his time with her... and soon, she hoped, kiss her...

She glanced down at herself, thinking wryly that she certainly looked good enough to keep his interest. She was wearing a snug, strapless black and white dress that flowed around her knees, with just the right amount of cleavage. She didn't have to worry about covering her scars from the deeper cuts- she always made sure to make them in places where it was unlikely she'd bleed to death and that were not easily seen, unless she was completely naked- which as of yet no one had been privileged enough to see. Her hair was loose, and she had put on bright lipstick to draw attention to her lips- to help draw his mind to them...

His name was Landon- she'd forgotten his last name, not finding it necessary to remember. This was their first date, and also their last- Liadah had yet to date a man twice, not after their first kiss...

She saw that Landon was eyeing her, his eyes sliding in her direction every few seconds. If he wasn't careful he'd drive right off the side of the road... clearly his mind was not on his driving. Liadah's smile widened.

Their date had been very successful so far; the dinner had been full of long pauses in which Landon had blushed and looked away from her awkwardly, then as if unable to resist some magnetic force radiating from her, quickly looked back, nearly staring. Liadah had not minded the lack of conversation- in fact, she preferred it. It was obvious he was interested in her... he would definitely be in the frame of mind to let her come near...

" I- I know of a lake nearby where we, uh, could, like, take a walk or something," Landon stuttered, glancing at Liadah for her reaction. " We could, like, look at the stars or something..." his voice trailed off, and he flushed and looked away.

Liadah smiled warmly, flashing her full effect his way. She subtly shifted herself so her breasts nearly spilled out of her dress.

" That sounds lovely," she purred. " Romantic.. you know what a lady likes, don't' you, Landon?"

Landon grinned rather foolishly, obviously pleased and incredulous at her reaction, her seeming to be taken with him. His face reddened further- he hardly seemed to believe his luck. Liadah's smile settled into a smirk around the corners...

As they pulled into the parking lot leading up to the lake, Liadah casually surveyed the area. Although it was a public lake, there seemed to be nobody else there at this hour- she saw no other cars, not people walking on the sand. No one would see them...

Landon quickly scrambled out of the car, hurrying to her side and opening her door for her. He took her extended hand and helped her step out, cheeks still flushed. The color in his cheeks distracted Liadah momentarily, and she stared, feeling her pulse quicken. It was blood, a plentiful supply of blood, that caused the color in his cheeks... she had to look away, take steadying breaths, to keep herself from leaping at him.

Landon had not noticed the intake of Liadah's breath, her unsteadiness at her thoughts of blood, his blood... he was frowning at her black stiletto-enclosed feet.

" Man, I'm so stupid,"he muttered, flustered. " You're going to get your nice clothes all sandy..."

Still carefully avoiding looking at his face, she said reassuringly, " Why, no, of course not, Landon, don't be silly. I'll just go barefoot. My dress will be fine- and I love the feel of sand on my feet..."

She tossed her shoes into his car, then convinced she could control herself now, looked up and smiled. The redness of his face had faded, to Liadah's disappointment and relief simultaneously. Hesitantly taking her arm in his, he began to walk her down the sandy beach. He was saying something,but Liadah was not listening... she could feel the blood pumping through his arm against hers, so fast, warm, strong, and so very close... she felt dizzy with the sensation, the anticipation of it... and she could not stand it.

She stopped walking abruptly, pulling him to a halt alongside her. Landon peered down at her with a puzzled frown. She saw a vein, lying under the skin of his forehead, and her heart pounded faster...

" Kiss me," she demanded breathlessly, her eyes fixed hungrily on that vein, already picturing the blood that would pour from it...her breath came faster.

He needed no urging- his mouth came down to meet hers, his arms sliding around her bare shoulders... Liadah snaked her arms around his neck, heart beating so fast she half-expected it to burst from her chest. She could feel his blood up against her skin... she could feel it...

As their lips opened and closed against each other in an urgent rhythm, she timed it just right, and bit down on his lip, hard... he cried out in pain, jerking away from her, his eyes shocked. His hand slowly drifted to his mouth, and when he returned it to his side, his fingertip was stained red. Liadah saw the blood, welling up slow from his cut, and she was light-headed, giddy... her eyes sparkled. His blood was even better than she'd expected, so red it was nearly black, and she felt almost high at the sight of it.

" You bit me!" he exclaimed, staring at her incredulously, a look somewhere between surprise and suspicion dawning in his eyes.

" I"m sorry," Liadah breathed, her chest heaving with her shallow breathing. She could not tear her eyes from the sight of his blood, raise them up to meet his eyes... " Let me make it up to you..."

She went in to kiss him again, and confused, he let her, his body limp and yielding. Her mouth was on his blood, she felt it on her lips, the smell and taste of it filled her so she could think of nothing else... and then she was biting down again, and he was screaming, because this time it had been even harder.

" What the fuck?" Landon screamed, but Liadah didn't hear him, she was too caught up in the blood, his blood, to let a little sound like the bleeder's screams distract her- for that was what he was to her now, a bleeder, an object to bring about her needs. She ran her fingers over it, as she squirmed and fought, panicked now, struggling to get away... she tightened her hold on him with one arm, strong now, stronger than one would think by looking at her. It was his blood that gave her strength, the thrill, the rush of it...

She wanted more, more, this wasn't enough... she wanted it to flow faster, more of his blood, more of the beautiful, beautiful blood...

Too caught up in the moment, the dizzying rush of joy enveloping her, she didn't have time to stop and think, to regain control of herself, make herself let him go... instead she found herself fumbling with one hand down the front of her dress, withdrawing the foldable knife she kept hidden in her bra, just in case... she knew she should stop, she should put in back, let him go, but the urge was too strong, the blood's call too loud... and a voice in her head whispered how badly she wanted this, how easy it would be just to give way to her want...

His eyes widened as he saw it in her hand, coming closer, closer... but he could not avoid it, she continued ruthlessly in its descent.

She felt him grow rigid as the knife's blade entered his neck, but she could not hear his scream- her eyes were focused on the blood emerging, drinking it in. And then her knife was coming down on him again and again, and there was more and more blood, so much of it, everywhere she looked, and it just kept coming and coming, it wasn't stopping, and she could barely catch her breath, her heart hammered noisily, she wondered fleetingly if one could die from pure joy...

So much blood, so lovely... it seemed an endless supply, all stored in one puny body, tucked away , now here for her to see.

When he lay still and lifeless at her feet, when the blood began to slow, she dropped to her knees, trying to catch her breath, get her heart rate slowed to a more normal pace. She still clutched the bloody knife in an equally stained hand, and she shook from the shivers still coming over her. Looking at the dead man before her, Liadah did not see a body, but the red fluid covering it... and a wide smile crossed her face.

She had finally crossed the line... she had been unable to stop herself, to stop causing the blood flow. She had finally killed someone. But as she looked at Landon- what had once been Landon- now, her earlier wonderings were answered. Killing him- killing anyone- was indeed worth it, it was all worth it to see the blood...