It was a beaten and rundown town just on the outskirts of New York City. The forest was still wild in these parts at the time. The trees grew thick and left little light for the town's inhabitants. There was a bar in this particular town that found itself the second home of many civil war veterans. The booze freely and the woman behind the bar was as sweet as her kind face promised. It was this woman that caught the attention of the two monsters who had been lurking in the town for the past few nights.

They wandered in hungry and exhausted from their journey from the city. The woman's father had recently lost his life to an illness the girl had unknowingly contracted. She did not know it yet but the monsters could smell the rapid degeneration of her blood. She had perhaps a week left. She would have had more time if someone were there to nurse her to health like she had done for her father.

She came from around the bar, her long fingers grasping the pitcher of ale tightly. She was not yet aware of what was causing her to feel so weak. Her golden brown curls were pinned up out of her face. Not that they particularly liked this arrangement. They fell out in odd places, giving the girl a defeated, tired look. Her large blue eyes were trusting but unsure of the two men she was walking to. She usually made sure her customers came to her. But there was something about these two men she found herself drawn to.

The older one had shoulder length black hair and pale eyes and skin the color of alabaster. He looked almost regal as he sat in the farthest and darkest corner of the bar. His back was to the wall, watching everything. The man across from him had the same cold stare with high cheek bones and shorter mousy brown hair. His eyes were even paler and more menacing. The two men said nothing as they entered the bar. They took their seats and watched the room in silent contentment.

The humans felt the change in temperature in the bar. They felt the coolness that came along with the presence of monsters, the sudden rush of adrenaline that came from having been marked as prey. The men were sophisticated in their evil, sitting at the table like royalty. The girl felt a strange familiar pull in the darkest corners of her soul. Something that told her she was comfortable with these monsters. Something in her blood that longed to feel their lips. Something that told her they were kindred spirits.

She didn't consider herself a brave woman. Intelligent perhaps, but not heroic. She lived her life in humble simplicity. Trying not to bring attention to herself, living one day only for the next. Her life was dull and filled with little excitement or meaning. But the taller man locked his cold eyes on her and her heartbeat raced. Her blood prepared. Adrenaline rushed through her body. It was something she found both pleasuring and frightening. So she filled a pitcher and brought it to them.

Without a word she placed the pitcher on the solid wood table. The men looked at her, first in her eyes and then traveling down the length of her body, lingering for too long on her bare throat, sensing the presence of blood there. The pumping and pulling of her quickly racing heart. She filled their mugs and stood back quietly. The men each took one drink, put the mugs down, and made no move to drink again. The girl took this as her signal to be dismissed and returned to her place behind the bar.

The men stayed in their shaded corner through most of the night. The girl continued to risk glances at them. Both equally fascinated and frightened of them, unsure of the explanation for either feeling. After the first sip they didn't drink again. The mugs steadily lost their flavor but she made no move to retrieve them.

A man had been sitting at the end of the bar. He was uncomfortable with the monsters there but too afraid to ask them to leave. He stood and left the bar quickly, not paying his tab or even saying goodbye. The two men watched him go behind cold eyes. Then the brown haired one turned back to his companion. The companion nodded and the brown haired man left the bar. He never returned.

Later in the night the bar emptied all for the man at the table sitting with nothing but the two nearly full mugs of ale and an almost full pitcher with no intention of drinking. Finally the girl forced herself to go to his table. She removed the mugs and came back to wipe the table clean.

"Closing soon," she muttered under her breath. He only nodded, but continued to watch her hungrily.

She felt comfortable with him despite the fear. As if the two parts of her were fighting for dominance. One part told her to go to him, the other told her to flee. She did neither. She returned to the bar to retrieve another rag and when she came back up she was alone. The man had gone. The door to the bar closed quietly. She didn't even hear him go. He left nothing to suggest he'd ever been there at all, except for the money that paid for the entire pitcher of ale he'd wasted.

When she was finished for the night she went to leave. Her home was a small apartment above the bar but she had to leave the safety of the bar to reach it. The staircase in the back was the path that led to her home. She pulled on a long tattered coat and locked up behind her. Her heart began to race again as she stepped into the alley. She was unsure why her body was acting the way it was. She had walked the path a thousand times.

The alley was dark and slick with a recent rain. Little light shown from few windows. She pulled her coat close to her body and quickly made her way to the stairs. She reached the foot of them and turned to go up only to find her way blocked. The dark haired man was leaning against the wall, his pale eyes shown eerily in the lack of light. His skin seemed paler than the fog.

"I have a proposition for you," he spoke with an accent that sounded long forgotten. Her breathing was heavy. Sending air from her lungs in little white clouds.

"A proposition?" she replied, having been caught off guard. He nodded to the stairs.

"Mind inviting me in?" She looked at her door. So close yet too far. She could not escape him if she tried. Yet there was the part of her that was curious of his proposition.

"I am not accustomed to inviting strange men into my home," she said at last. His mouth hinted at a smile.

"I would not want to tarnish your reputation. Perhaps you would join me on a walk instead?"

She took a moment to consider this. She was unsure of how taking a walk with a strange man would be better for her reputation than inviting one into her home. But the curiosity and pull of her blood won her over. She nodded quickly. He pushed himself gently from the wall and reached out his arm to her. She took it and he led her down the alley.

She stayed silent as they walked together, arms linked. The only sounds came from the quiet tap of their feet, her ragged breathing, and the occasional drip of rain from a nearby roof. She could feel the chill of his skin under the velvet coat he wore. But the icy air didn't seem to hold his attention. She waited for him to offer his proposition, but he said nothing.

"Your name?" he finally spoke after a long while, though she had the feeling he already knew and only asked out of politeness.

"Alexandria," she told him. He nodded to himself.

"Lovely name."

"Yours?"

"Marcel." She played around with the name for a moment, deciding the name sounded French and wondering what had brought him to her small pathetic town. And more importantly what proposition he could ask of her.

"Your companion?" He smiled slightly again.

"Gustav."

"What brought you to the states, Marcel?" The smile remained as if he was amused, pleased that she was clever enough to locate his accent although it had been years since it had been spoken properly.

"Soldiers," he told her simply. She nodded but did not question further. She felt a strange thrill by using his proper name. She hadn't caught his surname and he hadn't asked hers. It seemed almost intimate.

She stayed quiet as the man led her through the slumbering town. They made it to the very last building. All that was left was the dirt road that led to the city or the forest. There was a carriage waiting along the road. It was dark and unwelcoming. The horses shifted nervously. The man at the reigns was the companion Gustav. He looked over her with the same cold deeply set eyes but his expression remained hard and blank.

"Your proposition?" she asked Marcel.

"You have a choice," he told her. "Either you can return home alone. Go back to your pitiful life serving old men. There is no one in this town that has it in his sights to marry you. You will continue to grow old until the disease that flows through your veins succeeds in claiming your life." Her breath caught.

"Disease?" she asked.

"The diseased that claimed your father is now currently working its way through your body."

"Are you a doctor?"

"I'm a specialist." Gustav laughed quietly from the carriage.

"What is my other choice?" she inquired.

"You can come with me. I'll take you to my home in the city. I can treat your illness. I can make sure you are never sick again. I can keep you safe. Forever."

"And what is the price?"

"The price is that you can never come back here. You will live with my companion and I. You will be my Queen."

She was quiet as she thought this over in her mind. She had nothing for her in the town. No family, no friends. The only possession she had of any money was the bar and she had never cared much for it anyway. This man, Marcel could protect her. He could shelter her. He could heal her. But what was he asking of her? Companionship or marriage? He had not been clear. She supposed she did not mind either way. It was a life or death choice. And even if the man did frighten her, there was that part of her body that was telling her to trust him.

"I… I accept," she told him. He smiled again and reached out his arm. She took it and he led her to the carriage.

...

I had this story up for a while on Mibba. Then I took it down to rewrite it and give it to my family to read. But I never did because I'm horribly self-conscious. So it's going back up here. But there are a few changes. So here you have it. My take on vampires.