From the moment I walked through the door, I knew there was something special about this one. Music pumped through the haze of the warm room, others were feasting on hapless humans and the overpowering aroma of blood was pounding through the air; but all I saw was him. He sat at the bar staring into his drink trying to ignore the orgy of bloodlust around him in the darkened room; but in the background, I could hear his buddies laughing from the doorway behind me. Each of them saying it was a great joke; seeing none of them had ever been in here, yet they told him they had.
I walked over, sat next to him and waited for him to notice me. He did slowly and looked at me with his hesitant brown eyes. He wasn’t drunk; he was terrified, “Hi.”
“Hello.” I smiled, “How did you end up in here unwillingly?”
He groaned, “It’s my birthday; and the boys from the station thought it would be funny to bring me here.”
I grinned, “Into this room?”
He nodded, “Yeah.” He glanced over his shoulder, shuddered and turned back to his drink, “I really don’t like it here.”
Touching his arm, I leaned in close, whispering, “Have you been in here before?”
“Do you know what we do here?”
“From what I’m seeing, everyone is being bitten.” He winced, “It’s disgusting.”
“Hey. How do you know if you’ve never had it done to you?”
He looked at me and jerked back knocking over his drink as he caught a glimpse of my teeth and eyes, “No. You’re not one, are you?” I stayed silent so he could put the pieces together in his mind, “What’s it like?”
I took his arm and turned it over so the tender fleshy part was showing, “Well, one of us bites you and you get a high from it; we get a feed.” I looked up at him as I ran my fingertips gently over his inner wrist and ulna, “Would you like me to do that to you? Or did they just pay for me to talk to you?”
“They paid for a bite.” He whispered.
I looked around for a chair, “Well, seeing it’s your first time, I will insist you are in a comfortable chair and I’m sitting on your lap.” I led him to a vacant Eas-e-Boy chair and eased him into it, “Don’t want you passing out and hurting yourself now.” Climbing onto his lap, I sat sideways with my legs hanging over the arm and his left arm resting in my lap, “You’re right-handed… have I got that correct?”
He nodded looking at me, “Yes.”
“Good.” I whispered, “Now, let’s get to it.” I inspected his arm as my canines slid down from my upper jaw further and I could feel the hunger gnawing at me. His pulse was racing; typical of a first-timer here, “I’ll be as gentle as I can, okay?” Leaning down, I let my hair fall over my shoulder as I bit into the tender flesh and a steady stream of his blood flowed into my mouth. I counted four beats of his heart; five, six… and seven, before I pulled out. It was pretty quick. Licking my lips, I looked over at him to see he had the look on his face of a stoned human. Smiling I signaled over a nurse who walked to us and tended to his wound immediately as I got off his lap. Damn, he was a good feed.
As I turned to leave, he grabbed my hand and muttered, “Do that again.”
Kneeling, I touched his hair, “I can’t. Not until your sugar and blood pressure is back to normal.”
Dreamily, he smiled, “Shit, woman, that was great. I want more.”
“I’m a curator at an art gallery in the Valley. We can talk privately there if you want.” I gave him my business card and walked away into the gloom of the room. His buddies jostled past me and asked him how it all went; but I didn’t hear his reply.
Three days had passed since my feed at ‘Wicked’ and I was fixing up some lighting for the next exhibition. The gallery was closed and I was on my own for a good part of the day when I heard the doors open and close and somebody walked into the gallery I was in.
“We’re closed, people, go home.” I called from the top of my ladder as I angled the light just right onto a painting.
“Hi, you and I met three nights ago in a dim room at ‘Wicked’.” His voice reached my ears and I turned, “I was wondering if you’d like to talk now or later.”
“You really wanted to talk to me?” I climbed down the ladder quickly as it wobbled and shook. He ran over to steady it but I had reached the floor already, “I have great balance.”
“You really should have somebody spot you.”
“Don’t you remember what I am?” I took up a clipboard and wrote down that the light that needed fixing was done, “Oh, that’s right, you usually don’t.”
He fingered the bandage on his arm, “I was given the week off because I wasn’t strong enough to do a workout yesterday.”
Putting down what I had in my hands, I smiled at him, “You wanted me to bite you again.”
He frowned as he took a step back, “Bite?”
I walked toward him and he moved back until he was against the wall between two paintings and I was very close to him, “Yeah, bite.”
It was then, the penny dropped and he realised what I was; what we all were, “Oh, shit. You’re a…” he didn’t want to let the word escape his mouth; couldn’t let it out. It stuck in his throat as he turned and walked away from me and down the gallery a few metres, “..oh, shit.”
“Are you okay?”
He turned and looked at me, “You didn’t – like – make me one of you? Did you?”
I smiled walking to his side, “No. That’s against the rules; unless you really want to be one of us. Then, I’d have to train you because I’ll be your Sire; and that’s a lot of work.”
“You never got my name, did you?”
I shook my head, “No, but I still know what you smell like. I could follow you around the city for the next three days.”
“Shit!” he shook his head trying to get his mind around what I was; that I wasn’t trying to attack him or seduce him or… “Are all vamps the same?”
Turning, I walked back to the white cart where the supplies were to maintain the gallery, “No. Not all of us are controlled enough to know the difference between right and wrong; and it’s a pity when we come across vampires that are Sired wrongly or not at all that it’s us good ones who have to destroy them.”
“Why not the humans?”
I looked at him, “Do you really think you’d have the skills or the strength to take on a rogue vampire?” at that question, he hesitated. When he didn’t answer me and looked at his arm again, I raised my eyebrows, “Didn’t think so.”
“Evelyn.” I smiled, “Now we know each other’s names, would you like to go out for a bite?”
He hesitated with wide doe-like eyes, “Um…”
“I mean you eat and I watch.”
“Or we could make something at my place. I do have human friends; they just have to be careful around me.” I pushed the cart down the gallery and through the large door of where the paintings are stored awaiting other exhibitions. Once the cart was safely put away, the lights were switched off and the alarm was switched on, I locked up the front doors of the place and turned to him, “I’m ready to go, are you?”
Ryan was a complete gentleman. Instead of going to restaurant, we made them come to us. We found a good place to eat at, got them to make the food to go and came back to my place. He found my place was all decked out like a human’s house and I set the table for him and he dished up the meal for himself and sat down while I poured myself a wine glass of blood from the morgue (the guy there and I are good friends and he’s got better prices than the butcher).
“You’re drinking wine?” he asked.
“No.” I smiled a little, “But I won’t offer you any either.”
Ryan turned his eyes to his plate again and reluctantly went back to eating, “I’m sorry I asked.”
“Don’t be. You were curious.” I took a sip and watched him carefully for a moment, “But now, I’m curious about you.”
His eyes rose from the plate to my glass, to my face as he swallowed, “Yeah? What about?”
I leaned my elbows on the table and began swirling the glass around by the edges of the base of the wine glass so the liquid left a red stain on the inside of it, “I want to know why you came to me and not Roxanne. I don’t own the pub; she does.”
He finished what was in his mouth and put his knife and fork together on the plate; he had half-finished his meal. Sitting back, he sighed, “I’m a cop.”
“I know. You mentioned the station the other night.”
“You’re clientele.” He said, “You’re her closest friend and she trusts you.”
I downed the rest of my blood and stood, “Take off your shirt.”
Looking at him, I put the glass down on the table in front of his half-eaten meal, “Shirt. Off. Now.” Looking him up and down, I noticed he didn’t move, “Unless you’re wearing a wire.”
Ryan’s face fell, “Crap.”
“Get rid of it.” I took up his plate and the glass and walked into the kitchen to dump the food and wash off the plate. By the time I returned, he had dumped the whole contraption on the table. These things were getting smaller! This thing looked no bigger than a usb memory stick! I took it up, inspected it, dumped it on the floor and stood on it. From his ear, I heard what I had done was destroy the bug, “Get rid of the ear wig too.” At this, he pulled it out immediately and crushed it in front of me, “Good. Now, we can have a private conversation without anyone interrupting.”
Pulling off his bandage, he showed me the two holes I had left. They looked dainty really, “Do it again.”
“You’re healing really well.” I smiled, “But it’s more fun if there’s sex involved.”
He stood and took my hand, “I want you to do it.”
“I’d be the ideal undercover cop if I was one of you.” He whispered.
“It doesn’t work that way. It would get to a point nobody will work with you because you don’t age; cops hate that.” I stood as he began to look me up and down, “Ryan, you’re doing this for the wrong reasons.”
“No, there’s another.”
“Unless you’re dying from some incurable disease I can’t – and won’t – turn you.” I said.
He pulled from his pants pocket a letter from the doctor, “Here. It arrived yesterday.”
I read the letter about his brain tumor and how bad it had gotten and that seeing he had only just graduated from the academy he’d be able to get the pension, “I gotta make sure this is right.” I called the number on the letter and the oncologist’s office answered telling me almost word for word what the letter had said. They had found it during a physical and he had better tell his Captain before too long. I thanked them and hung up slowly putting the cordless phone down and turned to him, “Shit, Ryan.”
“I don’t want to fight it. It’s so far gone that I’ll be dead in a year.” He said, “Please, you’re my only chance to be a great cop.”
I handed the letter back as I held him close. His heartbeat was steady and fast as we stood holding each other; him depressed, me thinking about what he had asked me to do. It was against all my usual ethics; but he needed this. He had gotten his letter two days after his birthday – of all days! Standing back, I took his shoulders, “Okay, do you have a wife, girlfriend or anyone in your life right now?”
“They’re preparing for my funeral.”
“On the force.”
I made sure he was looking at me, “You will have to turn your back on everyone you know who is human if you go through with this.”
He nodded, “I know.”
“I’ll be on my own by the end anyway.”
Sighing, I wondered what I was getting myself into, “I’ll do it.”
A smile spread across his face slowly as tears glittered in his eyes, “Thank you.”
“But you must let me train you properly; and you can’t tell anyone you’ve done this.”
“I will allow your training and won’t tell anyone.” He nodded.
“Come here.” I put my hand out and Ryan pulled me close and kissed me. His sudden wont and love was strong as his hands pulled out the three pins that held my hair in place and it fell in a mass of curls through his fingers. Ryan inhaled my scent and reacted in an animalistic way; wanting more of me as he pulled at my clothes, just what I expected as I began undressing him.
We found our way to the bedroom – pealing off each other’s clothes as we did – and eventually found the bed (even though it was in the middle of the room) and he stopped suddenly. He just looked at me as though he was scared – terrified – that I was going to hurt him.
“It’s okay to leave if you want.” I whispered.
His fingers traced the contours of my left cheek as a smile touched his mouth, “No. I wish to stay here with you.”
From there, everything went in slow motion. The love-making wasn’t frenzied like I’ve always experienced; this man was a different kind of man who knew how to please a woman (no matter how old they were). I got so close to climaxing so many times and he’d tease me and tease me that I nearly lost it, letting the demon take over. I had to put a leash on it and keep it from showing too much; which was hard. But he kept watching my face for my eyes to change colour.
“What are you waiting for?” he whispered in my ear.
“I’m trying not to bite you.”
Looking into my face, he grinned, “I want you to. You have been keeping a lid on that demon for the past hour. Let it out. I want to see it.” Ryan then began pleasuring me again. How this guy didn’t have a chick in his life was way beyond me! And so as I came close to climaxing again, I grabbed him hard, turned his head gently and inhaled the beautiful elixir that ran through his veins. His arteries throbbed in time with his racing heart and as I came to my sexual climax, I bit in hard. The gush of hot blood rushed into my mouth and down my throat as I drank deeply through the adrenaline of the climax. As I drank fully, Ryan began to panic and tried to pull away, but I held fast as he weakened quickly and died in my arms. Then, quickly, I rolled him onto the other side of the bed, sliced my arm and let it drip into his mouth. Soon, it was a splattering onto his lips and he was licking it up and swallowing, then he grabbed my arm and suckled; biting in as his new teeth bored through his gums and he took in his first meal as an immortal.
I pulled away quickly and wrapped my arm with a nearby towel, “That’s enough for now.”
“I’m hungry.” He said, “Ravenous.”
“I know.” I smiled, “And the night is young.”
I now had a new vampire to train. The first thing he had to do was disappear for a while and create a new identity for himself; this was something I could do with Roxanne’s husband’s help. But after Ryan’s turning, I saw a real promising future for him in police work; he became more dedicated in it. And I was right, nobody wanted to work with him. His friends turned away from him, his family hated what I had done to him.
Ryan felt so lonely he almost lost his job as a cop; until he terrified the truth out of a suspect one afternoon. It was lucky I showed up when I did to pick him up. He had the guy against the wall and had shown him what he was for a few seconds; thus getting the full address in five minutes of what everyone else couldn’t in three days. I had watched my man suddenly turn from a sedate person into an animalistic creature that was ready to feast on the crim in the interrogation room. It was fortunate that there was only one camera (facing the suspect) and the two-way mirror was behind Ryan. He could still see himself, but after this night, he wouldn’t.
When I showed up, they were just peeling him off the poor breeder and rescuing the man they were going to charge. I rushed in saying that he had been stressed out due to a family problem.
“Really? Well, get his fuckin’ arse outa here and help him clean up is act before he kills somebody who is bloody innocent!” his Captain shouted as I rushed him out the door.
We had sat in a café I knew of for vamps where I knew he’d feel comfortable; as ‘Wicked’ wasn’t open as yet. He sat there in his uniform looking like a fish out of water and feeling about the same too.
I touched his hand, “It’s always awkward when you first start out.”
Squeezing my hand, he glanced around, “They’re all staring at me.”
I looked around too, “Yeah, well, you are a cop and you’re still in uniform.”
“I nearly fed on him… I could smell the blood,” he looked at me, “and it smelt delicious, Evelyn.”
“How do you stop yourself from attacking the ones who don’t deserve it?”
Smiling I leaned across the table and touched his face, “You learn how to do that through your Sire.”
“I have to stay away from my workmates and work until I can control this.” He sighed, “First, though, you have to teach me to make my first kill; otherwise, I’ll end up hurting somebody I love.”
“I know.” I stood, “Come on, first lesson’s today after you get out of uniform because blood is just shitty to get out of anything.”
He and I walked out of the café when the owner stopped me, “What are you doin’ bringing a cop in here?”
“He’s been turned.” I said, “He’s just fresh from the academy, been diagnosed with a tumor and didn’t want to die next year. I confirmed it and made sure it’s what he wanted. But there’s some teething problems at work; nobody likes working with him.”
“So, you’re going to teach him restraint?”
“They teach them that at the academy; but they don’t teach vampires how to restrain themselves.” He said, “And make sure he’s out of uniform next time; I don’t want people walking out of here again.”
“Sorry, Manny. I didn’t mean to; but ‘Wicked’ wasn’t open yet.” I said.
He nodded smiling as he looked at Ryan, “Be out of uniform next time man.”
“Sure.” He nodded as he tried to keep from following a few breeders down the street.
“Jeez, you’re starvin’.” I shook my head, “Come on, we’ll begin with tracking. First, though, I gotta get that uniform off you. You’ll look weird.”
Back at his place, I noticed that it was all closed up and smelt very musty. I opened the windows and pulled back the curtains that he had made for the place. This was something he hadn’t expected from this new life. The food in the fridge had dwindled to almost nothing and he had to build in a new fridge tucked behind the mirror of the bar where he kept his blood; yet he hadn’t touched it yet.
I opened the door and looked at the date of the bags, “You have to drink some of this.”
He looked at them sitting on the counter in front of me as he unbuttoned his cuffs and pulled down his tie, “I know. I just hate the taste of it when it’s cold.”
Looking at him, I smiled, “It’s fresh stuff you want.”
“I gotta have a shower, I smell horrible.” He muttered.
“You know, only you can smell that; and me, and other vamps.” I smiled as I put the blood back into the secret fridge, “The humans can’t smell it.”
“No, really, somebody puked on me.” He turned from me and headed to his bathroom as he pulled his tie from around his neck and bunched it up in his hands.
He was depressed that his new life wasn’t all the glitz that Hollywood had put across. I had made a promise to him that I’d help him; and that’s exactly what I would do.
I followed him down the hall to the bathroom and saw him staring into his bedroom, “You okay?”
“I have mirrors everywhere.” He said, then looked at me, “What do I do with them all?”
“Keep them. They’ll be good for you human friend when they realise you’re going to be okay.” I looked at one and it didn’t show my reflection to me, but it did look gorgeous, “They are lovely.”
He looked into it and saw just him looking back, “How do you get over the fact you’ll never see yourself in a mirror again?”
“I’ve been like this for over a hundred years. I kinda forget about it until I see a mirror; then remember it.” I smiled and touched his shoulder, “But you chose this life whereas I had it forced upon me.”
“Will you stay here with me tonight?” he whispered, “I don’t think I trust myself with anyone right now.”
“You have to feed.” I smiled, “And the bagged blood acquires a taste, so I’ll take you out to ‘Wicked’ and we’ll see who’s a criminal there and be referred by Roxanne’s boyfriend.”
“Shower first.” He nodded.
“I’ll join you.”
The vamp pub was thumping by the time we arrived. Ryan had dressed in a new set of clothes he had bought for himself a few days ago and I loved. He looked like he had money; and so we had to drop by my place so I looked the part with him. We showed up and Roxanne and her man both looked us up and down as we approached the Manager’s Table.
“I have a favour to ask.” I said to her.
“Involves Ryan?” she smiled.
“Yep, and I need the help of your man.”
She looked over at him and he nodded at her unasked question. She turned back to me, “Sure, he’ll help with his first. You gotta be there.”
“Of course, I’m his Sire.” I smiled.
A few hours later, we were walking down Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley. The Elephant and Wheelbarrow was doing fantastic business and Chinatown celebrated another festival with firecrackers, drums and dragon dancing through the main mall. It was loud and beautiful at the same time; but we weren’t there to see this spectacle. We were there to find somebody for Ryan to kill. And him being a cop would make it easier for him; well kind of. We had to break him a little first.
During the fireworks, we heard our first screams of a mugging. This was exactly what we needed; the perfect time for somebody to get grabbed was during this kind of festival. Nobody would hear it but us and Ryan had to work fast to get the job done. The three of us followed the screams down a side street and found the mugger wasn’t only grabbing her purse, but trying to get in on some action too. And she couldn’t have been more than fifteen years old. Her eyes begged us to help.
I looked at Ryan, “What do you want to do to him? He’s raping her.” I pushed him in the attacker’s direction and Ryan transformed into the creature I had turned him into. He grabbed the mugger and pulled him off the girl roughly. The guy dropped her bag and that’s where I rushed in and picked up all her stuff, packed the bag again and helped the young teen stay out of the way. I walked her to the nearest street with plenty of light, handed her bag back and told her that she was on her way to hospital because she had just been attacked. Numbly, she rose and walked off in the direction of Brunswick Street to get a taxi.
I was around the corner again as Roxanne’s man supervised the killing. Ryan was going really well as he pinned the guy down from behind, pulled his head back on an angle and then bit in and drank it all down. All three of us could feel the fear in the air here still as the limp body was disposed of by me and Roxanne’s man in a dumpster and the lid was closed.
Ryan leaned against a nearby building catching his breath as his teeth shone in the dim light of the alley, “I can’t believe I did that.” His voice grated, “I… killed somebody.”
I walked to him slowly, “He was attacking a young teen. He deserved to die.”
He pulled out his handkerchief and wiped his mouth and ran his tongue over his teeth as he looked at me and Roxanne’s man, “Any blood left?”
We shook our heads as he answered, “Well, you were on the ground, it pretty much spilled there.”
He nodded, “Okay, what’s next.”
“Restraint.” I smiled, “We’re about to go out in public again and you have to remember they are not all meals.”
“Right.” He nodded.
Roxanne’s man punched Ryan’s shoulder gently, “You’ll get it. It just takes time.”
“Time is what we all have right now.” I smiled as all walked out into the Chinatown Mall again and watched Ryan. He grabbed my hand and I found he was having a hard time with restraining himself, “Just breathe you way through it.”
“How do you two do this?” he muttered, “They all look so… so…” he shook his head as he looked to his feet.
“It takes a lot of practice and time.” Roxanne’s boyfriend said as we walked him up the Mall away from the dragon dancing, fireworks and people. Ryan had a lot to learn from us; and there was no better time to teach than now.
However, as we were about to turn the corner near the Peace Bell, I caught a scent on the night breeze; in amongst the smoke of the fire crackers. It was a familiar smell; as I had scented it a few days before. I raised my nose a little into the air to see if I could smell it again, but the breeze had died down taking the scent with it.
Ryan looked at me with blood-hunger tinting his eyes red, “What is it?”
I glanced at him as I pushed sunglasses onto his face, “Nothing, I thought I had sensed somebody following us. Guess I was wrong.” But I couldn’t shake the feeling we were still being followed; and the person following us wasn’t friendly.