**This story is part of my Bloodlust Vampire Series, part one of which you can find here.**
While sitting on an iron bench in the most secluded part of City Gardens, trying to live in the moment instead of mulling over the historical, my eyes are drawn to a small flower. The leaves of the bush it’s growing on are a glossy green so deep they make the scarlet bloom look almost bloody.
Such a pretty rose.
As soon as my mind names the flower a memory swoops in, entirely unbidden, to drag me back into the past. I don’t go far back, though. Just a handful of years to a comment my own sweet Rose made in one of her regular fits of fearlessness. It amuses me so much I laugh out loud.
“All a human has to do to save themselves from a brood of starving vampires is bring up the subject of electric lighting,” she’d said. “They’ll throw themselves into a debate so heated even the slowest of mortals will be able to get away entirely unmolested.”
As she often is, Rose was right. Electric lighting is a true double-edged sword for us. Some of my kind worship it. They wake with the setting of the sun and feel fresh wonder that they can turn night into day with just the flick of a switch.
Others argue that it’s the worst thing to ever happen to the Night Children. They lament the loss of our veil of darkness, wail about how few shadows we now have to move around in. It’s their belief that, if any single thing is to be our undoing, it’ll be perpetual daylight.
As for me, I’ve always lingered in that place that sits comfortably between for and against.
All I have to do is look around me to appreciate why some vampires consider light bulbs to be little orbs of concentrated magic. Without them, everything that surrounds me would be devoid of colour. The lush green grass beneath my feet would be dull. I would only ever see any of these flowers – both the common and the more exotic varieties – in shades of grey rather than the beautiful reds, pinks, and purples that my vision is currently filled with.
But on the other hand, there are many things that I miss about the true dark night.
For instance, the sky above me should be as dark as pitch and glittering endlessly with white sparks. The moon should be bright and bold. But it isn’t. Up there, everything is polluted by an orange haze that mimics dawn and shrouds all but the brightest of stars. I miss the beauty of the night sky, I miss the sense of urgency that I used to feel whenever I took the time to stop and gaze into in its impossible vastness.
As I ponder these things, as I turn all of the old arguments over in my mind, the direction of the wind shifts. Grass ripples, flower stems sway, and a heady fragrance winds its way up my nostrils, down my throat, floods through my mind. I forget all about vision, forget about light and dark. I’m taken back to a time of oil lamps and candles. To the first time I ever met Lily…
The ballroom glowed with an orange light. Bodies swirled past in pairs, silk brushed against satin. Hearts raced, blood rushed, laughter and conversation bled through open doors and out into the night.
I lingered on the balcony long after my companion had seduced his victim into joining him beneath the willow trees by the lake in the middle of the grand estate. Never one to be picky he chose quickly, usually selecting a footman or a maid, someone who wouldn’t be missed until he was well fed and long gone.
But I was very particular about who I would and wouldn’t eat. For him it was about ease, for others it was a visual thing, but for me, it was all about scent. I’d been known to sit and wait for hours, almost until sunrise some nights, in taverns, inns, and private homes just waiting until that certain scent caught my nose. My food had to smell good or I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.
I’d waited on that balcony so long I was beginning to think that I’d be going to sleep thirsty when I detected the first hint of her scent. I could tell it was a woman. They smell sweeter and spicier than men, there’s a vibrancy to their blood, a freshness that’s always smothered by the stench of testosterone in masculine bodies.
It only took seconds to identify her. To connect the pulsing waves of her honied blood to the bird-like fluttering of her heart. Once I had her singled out from the rest of the crowd, I took a greedy breath, filled my lungs with her. My desire for her was so intense I had to fight to stay where I was, then I had to fight to pull my gaze away from the hypnotic beat in her neck so that I could know her.
When I finally made myself look at her face I was taken aback. The vitality in her blood claimed nineteen years at the most, but the wrinkles that tightened her eyes and the fine lines that pinched at her lips said otherwise. So did the knowing smile she levelled at me over the rim of an almost empty wine glass.
I could smell the alcohol in her blood. Could feel it twisting me a little, loosening my limbs, quickening my own pulse. She was a respectable woman intoxicated in public, and that knowledge was intoxicating to me. It excited me in all the ways a man could be excited and, aware of her own power as she was, she knew.
Concentrating on the ticking of the fob watch in my pocket, I tried to figure out how to approach her. I considered boldly asking her to dance and whipping her around the floor, through the great double doors and out into the gardens. I’d already chosen the spot I’d take her to. A bench nested among some flower beds that by now would be bathed in moonlight.
I could imagine her sitting there, her hand at her breast in an attempt to calm her heart as I trailed my fingers over her décolletage, her shoulder, buried them to the roots of her hair so I could tilt her head and expose that long pale column beneath her ear.
Her scent became stronger, it saturated the air around me, penetrated every part of me until I gasped. She held my gaze as she got closer to my balcony. As she wove around and between dancing couples, she turned her head to maintain eye contact even as she slipped out into the night.
Two blinks and I was behind her. My speed should have startled her, but it didn’t. She didn’t even look over her shoulder, she just kept her pace steady, her steps even, and I followed. As we walked in the direction I had imagined us taking, a weighty floral fragrance layered itself over the potent scent of her blood. I caught hold of a fleeting thought she had that she was glad to have been named for such a powerful flower.
So her name was Lily, then.
When we reached the stone bench, Lily perched on the edge. My attempt to sink down beside her was thwarted by her long fingers grasping at the tails of my coat. I swayed on my feet, dizzy, assaulted by the sheer weight of sensation. A quickening heart, an addled brain, shaking limbs, something warm and wet and delightful enveloping my cock.
Lily had done this before. Everything she did she did well. Hands cupping my balls, nails scratching my thighs. My legs shook as she used her teeth to push and pull my foreskin up and down my shaft, my arse twitched when she delved into my slit with her tongue. I was supposed to be feeding on her, but she’d turned my plans upside down. Flipped everything until I was holding onto her shoulders, whimpering and jerking as her throat tightened around the head of my cock and she began to hum.
I could hear the soft gagging that she tried to hide from me. Could hear her heart thrumming, her veins vibrating under the speed with which her blood moved through them. Puffs of breath through her nose, wetness squelching between her thighs.
My balls became the entire world. They were heavy, they ached and rose closer and closer to my body with each breath I took. Panting and shaking, I breathed Lily in and felt my balls squeeze. The sensation forced its way down the length of my cock and poured out of its tip, covering Lily’s heaving chest with thick white globs.
My fangs cut through my gums and I prepared to strike, but Lily took that from me, too. Her finger moved through the gelatinous come I’d sprayed her with and suddenly her scent was a thousand times stronger. As she sucked the tip of her finger, a long red line appeared on her skin. Blood oozed from the cut and mingled with my own fluid.
On my knees between her parted thighs. Hand buried beneath mounds of crinoline, fingers plunging into a musky soaked cunt, tongue lapping at cold semen and hot blood. The taste of her, of us both, exploded over my tongue. My fangs punctured her skin, her hands sank into my hair and pulled me closer.
In the white light of the moon I fed and fed, I drank my fill and more, but Lily didn’t wilt. She didn’t fade, didn’t weaken, her heart didn’t stop. She just waited until her continued existence registered in my head and then started to laugh. I fell back, scrambled away from her in confusion. Her visage flickered younger, older, ancient, and then back again. What under the Lord’s sky was she…
A hand rests on my thigh, pulling me from my memory and making me jump. I’m confused again because I can still hear Lily laughing, and then feel embarrassed when I realise it’s because she’s sitting right beside me in City Gardens.
“There are two things in their long lives that no vampire will ever forget,” she giggles softly. “The first time they take a victim and the first time they are a victim. We left you alone for millennia but then you had to go and try to feed on one of us. Young fool.”
Smiling, I make like I’m going to nudge her off the bench. She rolls her eyes at me. We both know that I wouldn’t have a hope of doing it for real with someone her age.
“You’re late, witch.”
“Yes, well, I’m here now. What is it you wanted to talk to me about, my darling Mr Katz?”
“Rose has informed me that Vincent Martel is looking for me. He can’t find me until I understand what it is that he wants.”
With a nod and a sigh, she lifts both her skirt and her blood masking spell at the same time. As the street lamps blink out one by one and the moon manages to cast its weakened glow over our quiet corner and the bench, I’m swamped by the smell her blood and the fragrance of lilies. Overpowered by hunger, desire, and need. I swore off witches and their sex magic a long time ago, but right now I’m desperate. My heart belongs to Rose, but just for tonight, the rest of me belongs to Lily.