I spend the next two days with Billy, talking to him about being a vamp and who I am when we’re alone, about school and my cover life when his parents are with us. He slips into a coma a bit after dinner on the second night.
A bit of work with my glamour gets his parents to go out for dinner on the third night.
As soon as they’re out of the room, I pull the IV out of his arm and spend a moment gently massaging it, pushing as much of the morphine tinged blood back out of him as I can. Not that I mind morphine, but it tastes pretty mucky. I wipe his arm off and lay my lips upon the wound, pulling his blood into my mouth.
I eat my fill, which isn’t a whole lot. I’m not really hungry. It takes about a week before I start to feel hungry. The two or three mouthfuls I take won’t kill him, but they don’t have to. I don’t know precisely how the magic works, but I do know you need at least some of the soon-to-be vamp’s blood in your system.
With his blood still on my tongue, I pull back. I bite my finger, feeling my own blood welling up, and then open his mouth, tracing a line of my blood on his tongue. Then I kiss him, deeply, mixing his blood with mine.
Our blood mixed with theirs is toxic. I don’t know why, but it is. But it’s not enough to let them drink your blood, nor is it enough to drink theirs. You’ve got to mix them together.
It acts quick, too. Less than a minute later, his heart stops and the monitor begins to beep. Gotta get this done fast.
‘The blood is the life.’ True, but blood isn’t all there is to life; there is breath, too. I hold his face in both of my hands, draw in his last breath, and exhale it back into his lungs.
Gives new meaning to ‘the kiss of life,’ huh?
I put the IV back in and get out of there fast.
April 2, 2017
The Libertine is absolutely slamming. It’s an Enlightenment Club. NeoClassical music pours out of the speakers. Electric guitar, violin, and drums pound out a quadrille faster and better than it had ever been in the old days.
I love it here. So do a lot of other vamps. Mostly old vamps, ones within a hundred years of my age. If I had to guess, I’d say only two-thirds of the crowd here is human. The rest are like me: voraciously enjoying a version of the world we left behind, a version that had all the fun of the old world, with a modern twist.
It’s beautiful. I never saw the salons of Paris, but they couldn’t have held a candle to this.
The music switches into a waltz with a hip hop arrangement, more drums than anyone in Vienna ever thought could go with this sort of music, and the tempo’s way faster. It works. And I’m working it.
The prey for tonight is dancing with another woman, but he was in my set for the last quadrille, and he will be in the next.
It’s different here. He knows I’m a vamp. My corset’s so tight that no one who has to breathe could pull it off. He thinks we’re flirting for sex.
Of course, I know that’s not quite how this is going to work out.
The music shifts again, and he’s once more in my dance set. As we clasp hands and turn to the music, he compliments me on my frock. Frock… Hell, he might even be old enough to remember when that was the word for a dress. He’s not wearing contacts, and his eyes are awfully light blue. I’m thinking he’s from the 1820s originally. Not quite old enough to remember the world The Libertine is trying to recreate, but old enough for it to seem familiar.
Unlike the old days, none of us are wearing wigs. It’s his own hair that’s curled and pulled back into a ponytail. My hair is the only bit of my outfit that’s out of time. Instead of the sky-high piles of curls most of the women are wearing around me, I’m sporting a simple bun with two hair sticks.
At the end of the set, he offers me his arm. I take it gracefully. We don’t really need to talk. He’s confidently leading me toward the back of the club.
Because of the nature of the clientele here, there’s a large number of secluded nooks, corners, a few private rooms, and a long and usually deserted hallway in the far back. He’s taking me to one of the private rooms. I change his direction. The private rooms are lavishly appointed, all velvet and gilt, and I don’t want to get blood and ash all over them.
The management appreciates that I’m a polite guest.
I steer him gently toward the back hallway. It’s concrete block and cement floors. Much less romantic, but significantly easier to clean up.
“Want to play a game?” I ask him as we get into the hall.
“Good.” I push his damask silk coat down his arms, unbutton his very fine silk shirt, and pull it down so his arms are trapped behind his back in his shirt and coat. Did you know that silk has the same tensile strength as steel? I didn’t either until recently. But it certainly works to my advantage. I slip off my stockings, also silk, and finish up the bundle of his arms by tying them in a precise knot.
“I certainly think so.” I push him against the wall and begin to unbutton his breeches.
He certainly is old school; he’s got nothing underneath them.
Until the moment I bite into his femoral artery, he thought this was foreplay.
He’s kicking and struggling, but he’s not strong enough to get away from me.
He suddenly stops fighting. “Please, help me!”
I can feel the vamp behind me grin. Okay, I can imagine the vamp behind me grin. A familiar voice says, “May I join you?”
I look back and see Billy in full 1770s garb, including powdered wig, smiling at me. I scoot over a bit, leaving the vamp’s left leg free. Billy settles in, eating with the famished hunger of the young.
After a minute, the vamp is unconscious. I stake him to finish it off.
“You found me.”
Billy licks his lips, getting the last of the blood, dusts vamp ash off of his silk coat, and then smiles at me.
“Of course. He really was tasty. I understand why you hunt us.”
“Do you now?” I tuck the hair stick back into my bun.
“I think I do. Mistress Pruitt, would you do me the honor of a dance?”
"Certainly, Master Price."