©1998-2000 Alexandra O'Mallory
She awoke. It was always the same. Torn between the desire to stay engulfed in the silent darkness and the thirst to feel the life of another pulse between her teeth. The thirst always won...night after endless night. All those young boys wanting, waiting, begging for more than they could have ever imagined they bargained for.
She dressed slowly, methodically, precisely. She still loved the simplistic pleasure of slipping into a lace black bra and a wisp of a dress. She slid her long fingers over her smooth breasts and small, firm, nipples. These were the tiny pleasures of an eternity of beauty. Still. Long flaxen hair fell carelessly over her shoulders as she straightened ready to enter the heat and the night.
It was so easy in this century to feed, so many targets. Five hundred years before, when she had begged for her life, it was far more difficult to conceal a murder. In this place and time, victims were part of the decor of the city, adorning the streets with amusing anguish.
She entered the bar slowly enticing each patron to look. It was part of the production and she contrasted the gaudiness with her sleek visage.
He sauntered close and circled, smiling widely. "Why pretty girl, why you sitting here all by your lonesome?"
Gray-blue eyes, ravenous as winter dawn raised and lingered, "Waiting for you."
"So, does this mean I can buy you a drink?" Blond and blue eyed he summed her up as another desperate female looking to fill a lonely night with a young stud such as himself. He read her expression as one of lust and he was all too right in his assumptions.
"You may bring me a glass of red wine."
"And you'll tell me your name?"
"You may call me Kate."
"Alright, Kate, you can call me John," and he smiled so very sure of the conquest he was about to make. This one would give anything for it...he just knew. Hell, she was probably already wet for him.
Kate was ready for him and she accusingly watched his throat reverberate with life. She instinctively knew his was the kind of hot blood that would keep her warm all night. At this very moment, nothing was more important to her that sinking her in teeth as deeply as possible and ravaging that neck. She fed without manners and what she left behind was scraps. As he turned to return to her, a slight built man walked haphazardly in his way. The man bumped John and the wine was spilt.
"Goddam it, you asshole, look what you did!"
"Oh, I am so very sorry. Let me buy you another."
Kate's eyes were drawn to the voice of the slight man. His was a presence that echoed a soul within. His voice was deep and educated and so terribly out of place in this wretched bar.
"You're goddam right, you're gonna buy another one." John shoved the man and although John was much taller and larger, the other man barely moved. John shoved again eager now to impress his importance. The slender man turned and smiled.
"This isn't necessary. I have said I was wrong and would be more than happy to replace the damage that I did."
Kate stood and walked over to the two men. Both stopped speaking and watched the effortless grace with which she moved. She looked like bone china in a world of carnival glass. "John, I have changed my mind. I no longer wish that drink."
"What the hell?" John's anger and resentment was swift but as he turned and met her eyes, he was instantly disarmed. "Oh, I see. I guess I should go on home now."
"Yes, John, you should. But before you leave, be sure to apologize to, I'm sorry, I did not hear your name." Kate turned and extended her hand.
"Jacob. My name is Jacob Errett." Jacob took the outstretched hand and held it close as if it were a lifesaving device.
"Your hands are cold. Are you all right?"
"I am now, Jacob. I am Kate Schaeffer and I am so very pleased to meet you."
John, long forgotten, was mumbling an apology and staggering to the door as if he wasn't sure who he was or where he was.
"I am from out of town. I am here with the advertising convention. I thought I would stop in for a drink and something to eat but this place isn't exactly what I had hoped for but then I never would have expected to find someone like you here. God, I am rambling away here, aren't I? Oh, god, how embarrassing, I'm still holding your hand like some kind of a schoolboy."
"I rather like it, Jacob, it has been a very long time since I simply held hands with a man."
"Well, I can't imagine that, but I was planning on a movie. Would you like to see a movie with me?"
"A movie? You want to take me to a movie?" Kate began to laugh and she realized then that it had been years and years since a man, a simple mortal man, had made her laugh like this while holding tightly to her hand. "Jacob, named for a man in the bible, aren't you? Are you much like that Jacob? Are you a god fearing man, Jacob?"
"I suppose I am. I am not a religious fanatic, Kate, I don't go knocking on any doors to try and convert people but I try to stay on the side of the light, you know, do the right things in life."
"What do you think about the darkness?"
'I guess I don't care much for spending too much time in the dark. I like vacations at the beach and all. Strange questions, Kate."
"I suppose. I am not really hungry after all, Jacob."
"Well, how about that movie?"
She watched him and admired the courtesy he was determined to show her. She knew him to be a kind man, not so much by the words that he spoke but rather the way he said the words he spoke. She wanted to stay with him and feel that kindness surround her as sunlight to one who is forever cold. "Jacob, I am not what you need."
"Could you let me be the judge of that? Maybe, I'll agree with you in an hour or so, but I don't really want to give up yet." He ran his fingers through the waves of his brown hair and sighed softly. "I have been lonely for a long time. So often, I feel as if I will never fit in anywhere, like I was born in the wrong time and place, there is so much around me that I just don't understand and what I really want out of life is something beautiful. Something so beautiful...something...someone like you. Is that hard to understand?"
"No, it is not. But, Jacob, you were right the first time. I am much more of a something."
"Well, I guess I don't know how but it doesn't really matter does it?" And he smiled, one of those rare smiles that invades and overwhelms all that see it.
Her smile came slower but just as sure. "No, Jacob, it does matter but I will stay with you for awhile."
Then do you mind if we walk to the movie? I saw a theatre just down the street." Jacob stood and placed his hand under her arm to help her from her chair. He couldn't seem to keep from touching her and he gently brushed her hair from her eyes. "So soft. You are so incredibly soft."
They left the dingy bar and entered the darkness together. Kate was in her element yet Jacob was completely unaware of exactly what it was that was walking beside him and he tried to protect her from the dangers inherent in the night. All he knew was that he was not alone and that even more amazing the woman next to him appeared to be heaven sent. As they walked, Jacob tried to keep her safe by taking her hand and laying it on his arm and he watched carefully in the dimness to make sure that no one approached them as they made their way. He frantically searched for small talk lest she begin to think him stupid.
"You didn't tell me what you do for a living, Kate."
"I am a collector, Jacob. I collect samples of every place and every person I have ever known."
"You mean kindof like an antiques dealer? Do you make any money at that? I'm sorry that really sounded rude. I don't mean to pry and whatever you do, it is obvious you would excel."
"Actually, I do reasonably well at my life's work. I get by like everyone else, sometimes I get what I want, and sometimes I get what I need. Rather like the Rolling Stones song." Kate began to feel a numbness in her fingers and legs as weakness from lack of any substantial dinner began to have its ugly effect. She turned to him and studied his face...so very earnest in his attempts to bond with her. She suddenly felt like the monster she pretended she wasn't. Her feeds were always off the lowest of mankind, rapists, thieves, and bigots. This way she could always rationalize that what she did was a help to mankind. Destroying Jacob would not help anyone. For the first time in what seemed to be decades, a man was trying to pay court to her. He simply wanted her company and would take whatever she offered which was less than nothing. He said he didn't like the darkness so it was no use trying to keep him. Jacob liked to go to the beach for vacation...hardly a vampiric destination. Yet, she couldn't bring herself to take him inside her mouth and devour all that kindness but then again she couldn't afford to let a feeding go to waste.
"Go home, Jacob. Now! I am not what you need."
"Kate, I know this sounds premature and strange, but I am willing to take whatever it is you have to offer. Please, don't expect me to simply walk away from you."
She stood in silence and contemplated this man. He was no more or less than a human living creature and there was no denying what she was and always would be. She smiled and slid her arms around his neck and drew him close. He was smiling in anticipation as she sunk her fangs into his juggler. Warm blood squirted and oozed as she suckled. Jacob slid elegantly through her arms and collapsed in a heap on the ground.
Kate turned her face upwards towards the moon and smiled full and broad. "You know when it comes right down to it, there's no denying what you are. And damn, there is nothing quite as good as the jolt from the blood of a god-fearing man."