Tuesday, October 22, 2013


“You’re going to use a knife?”

Rene paused, his eyes shifting from the glimmering dagger to the nude woman stretched before him on the bed. He’d picked her up at The Cave, one of those goth hangouts where the death groupies, as he liked to call them, came to roost. This one was a little young--probably just barely legal--but she’d practically fallen into his lap when he told her what he was.

“You’d prefer something else” he asked, flipping through his mental Rolodex to recall her name. Something with an A; Andy, Angela, Angeline. Yeah, that was it. Angeline.

“Well,” she pouted, “I just thought you’d, you know…use your teeth.”

Rene smiled, showing her what she wanted to see. “I didn’t want to hurt you,” he lied. “The knife is so much cleaner.”

She reached for him, wrapping her arms around his neck, her breath hot against his ear. “I don’t care about that. I want to be like you. You will make me like you, won’t you?”

“Of course I will,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck. “I promised you immortality, and I never lie.”

“Will it…hurt?”

“Not at all. In fact, you won’t even know it’s happening. Now lay back and relax.”

He crawled on top of her, his hands caressing those secret places she sought to protect, and within moments she was writhing beneath him like a cat in heat, pressing her body against his, as though she could merge with him. Feeling herself special because she had what he said he wanted.

“Angeline,” he whispered, his tongue tracing hot circles on her neck, prolonging her agony. “I need your blood.”

“Take it,” she urged breathlessly, turning to offer her neck. “Do it now.”

He smiled to himself. Oh yeah, I’ll do it. He pulled back, eyeing his target, his mouth opening wide to accommodate the awkward length of the teeth before biting down and plunging them deep into her neck. She gasped, her back arching off the bed, her nails digging into him as his mouth closed over the leeching wound.

“Oh, that feels so…weird.”

Rene grunted, unable to speak as the blood filled his mouth. After a moment, he opened one eye and, satisfied that the girl was lost in her fantasized ecstasy, stretched a hand under the pillow next to him, feeling for the ingenious little contraption he’d rigged for just this occasion; a length of clear medical tubing with a soft rubber suction cup on the end. He slid the cup under his mouth and reached for the switch that operated the small, nearly silent pump beneath the bed. Within seconds, the tubing pulsed with the girl’s blood.

She moaned again, her eyelids fluttering, and Rene made a pretense of ravaging her, rubbing his bare flesh against her own until she retreated into that dream world she’d created in her young, deluded mind. So easy.

It usually took about fifteen minutes to drain them. He could have done it faster with a more powerful pump, but the noise might have aroused suspicion. Besides, he kind of liked watching the life fade from their cheeks, their skin growing first pale, then almost blue, imagining what must be going through their minds as they died. Occasionally one would open her eyes, staring up at him in dumb comprehension, but by then, most were too weak to put up much of a fight, and those who tried were easily subdued with a whiff of the chloroform-soaked rag he kept next to the bed.

Angeline wasn’t one of these. She died quickly, silently, and he liked to think, gratified. After all, she’d gotten what she wanted. Well, almost.

He was still contemplating this when Joel’s brusque voice brought him back to reality.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you were starting to enjoy this.”

Rene turned, strands of dark hair falling across his face, his pale, slender body appearing almost ethereal in the dim light, and sneered. “You really think I like this stupid charade?”

Joel moved from the doorway, his brawny presence overwhelming the room as he closed the gap between them. Rene backed away from the bed and into the heat of his arms.

“I don’t know, I think you look kind of cute,” Joel teased, kissing him roughly on the lips, his big hands sliding down to cup Rene’s balls. Rene moaned, suddenly giddy with lust.

“I need you,” Rene murmured into Joel’s chest, his hands returning the ever more insistent caresses. “All I ever see anymore is the studio and those damn bars.”

“It won’t be long now,” Joel promised. “Another show like the last one, and we’ll be sitting pretty.” He glanced beyond Rene to the body on the bed. “Guess we should take care of her so you can get back to work.”

Rene followed his eyes and nodded reluctantly, wishing for once he could just forget the studio and fall asleep in Joel’s arms. It had been so long since they’d made love, and he knew it would be well past dawn before he finished in the studio and crawled upstairs. By that time, Joel already would be up and gone.

“Can’t we just skip it tonight?”

“Come on, Rene, you know the blood isn’t the same once it’s cooled. It’s just one more show, a few more pieces. Now take out those silly fangs and help me get this body out of here.”

* * *

“These pieces are beautiful, Rene. You truly are a genius, isn’t he, Joel”

Joel nodded at Morgan Wills, who was still holding the latest creation from Rene’s wheel. Morgan had been Rene’s agent for the past year, ever since he’d started selling the line of pottery he called Du Sang. Morgan turned the piece in her hands, moving it closer to the light.

“Sure you won’t tell me the secret of this patina?”

Rene glanced furtively across the room at Joel. “We’ve been over this before, Morgan. An artist never reveals his secrets.”

Morgan sighed, setting the piece back on the shelf. “Oh well, I tried. So what are you calling this one?”

“Angeline.”

“Yes, of course; always after a woman.” She turned to Joel. “Don’t you get jealous? After all, he’s never named one after you.”

Joel shrugged. “Rene claims it’s for his mother. This way he gives her immortality through them.”

“Them?”

“You know, the women…in the pottery.”

Morgan glanced back at her client, who looked away, avoiding her gaze. Wondering what the hell Joel was trying to do. It was bad enough he had invited Morgan over so early in the day. Rene had barely gotten the studio aired out before she’d arrived.

It was Joel’s idea to use the kiln to burn the bodies. Rene had balked at first, afraid the scent of roasting flesh might pervade his clay, but if it had, it only had added to the mystique of the Du Sang name. The seductive lines of the pottery with the unique, reddish hue had become an instant success. People who once had ignored his work now couldn’t get enough of him. He was the hottest property in town, and he owed it all to Joel, who never let him forget it.

“You just keep making your little pots and vases and I’ll take care of the money,” Joel had told him the morning after their first night together.

Joel had approached him first, claiming he’d seen the raw genius in Rene’s work. That Rene just needed the right marketing scheme to jump start his career. They had talked about it all night in a coffee shop after the art show where they’d met, then Joel had accompanied him home and seduced him in his own bed, not that Rene had put up much of a fight. The fact that a man like Joel could find him attractive was both a thrill and a curse. Sometimes Rene couldn’t decide which.

Yeah, they were bleeding ’em dry at the cash register. It should have been everything Rene had ever wanted. Artistic success, a man who loved him. True, he still had problems with the whole vampire thing. It was just a bit too contrived for his tastes. He had no qualms about luring the women to their deaths, he just would have preferred doing it without all the subterfuge.

“Believe me, this will work,” Joel had assured him the first time he’d seen him in his disguise. “Besides, what woman is going to let a guy like you take her home, much less steal her blood?”

Rene resented him for that, though in fact, he had never had any inclination to care about what women thought one way or another. They were to him like alien beings. Before this little gambit of Joel’s, the closest he had been to that nether region of womanhood was his own birth, and that suited him just fine.

No, Rene cared nothing for the women he seduced and even less for Joel’s ridiculous method of getting them, and yet, sometimes, when he was crouched over their bodies, the taste of their blood ripe in his mouth, he couldn’t help feeling an undeniable sense of power. A feeling that he was the master, instead of just another victim. Just thinking about it got him hard.

“Perhaps someday you’ll name a piece for me.”

Rene blinked; Morgan was still prattling on about the pottery. “You’re already immortal to me,” he said quietly. “You were the first to believe in my work…besides Joel.”

“Nonsense, Rene. You’re an enormous talent.”

“Watch out, Morgan, we don’t want it going to his head,” Joel quipped. Rene managed a smile, choking back his retort.

“I’ll bet I have these pieces sold before Friday’s show,” Morgan continued. “Will you have any more by then?”

Joel spoke before Rene could protest. “He’s got a couple in the works right now, don’t you, darling?”

* * *

“I would have preferred that you let me decide when and how much I work,” Rene snapped after Morgan had left. “After all, I’m the artist here.”

“Don’t get bitchy with me,” Joel shot back. “You’d still be begging for scraps if I hadn’t pulled you out of the heap. Do you know I was offered eight thousand dollars for the Melissa piece?”

“Yes, I have so much to thank you for.” Rene’s dark eyes glistening with unshed tears.

“Oh, please, save the tortured artist routine for your victims. I’ve got to go to work.”

He stormed out of the studio, slamming the door behind him. Leaving Rene alone with his pain and his doubts. Certain it wasn’t work that Joel had run out to. That he likely was meeting another lover. After all, unlike Rene, Joel was a stud; tanned, blond, and buff, the kind of man you saw on magazine covers.

Just thinking about him in the arms of someone else caused Rene’s stomach to clench. It was stupid and unreasonable, but he couldn’t help himself. No matter how much Joel lied or how badly he treated him, Rene still loved him. And he hated himself for that.

When Joel still hadn’t returned by nightfall, Rene swallowed his pain and donned his disguise, setting out for the evening’s hunt in a reckless mood. Looking for answers to questions he didn’t dare ask.

He skirted his usual haunts, wandering down dark, unfamiliar streets until he found himself standing outside the door to an obscure little bar near the waterfront. Without knowing why, he opened the door and walked inside.

The place looked like a dirty womb. The sporadic lighting emitted from candles nesting in outcroppings on the wall was the only source of illumination. Everything else was dark--the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the furnishings. There were few tables, and those were huddled against the wall, leaving a narrow pathway to the bar.

Rene threaded his way towards it, noting the near absence of customers; a threesome at one table deep in conversation and a couple of women who looked like they were ready to pass out. A strange, toneless music played in the background, reminding him of the murmur of disembodied voices. He sat down at the bar and ordered a double bourbon, intent on numbing the ache that was clawing at his gut.

That’s when he noticed her.

She was watching him from the opposite end of the bar. A face more pale than his own and eyes that seemed to devour the muted light. He looked away, turning his attention back to his glass, but he could feel her watching him.

“You’re like me, aren’t you?”

He looked up; she was sitting right beside him. “What do you mean”

She smiled, and even in the murky light, he caught the silvery glimmer of her teeth resting against her lower lip. “I could tell as soon as you walked in. You have the hunger.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he started to protest, but she cut him off, clamping her hand around his wrist and yanking him towards her with a force that caught him off guard. He stared into her eyes and saw something that reminded him of himself.

“You wouldn’t have found this place if you hadn’t been looking.”

Rene was aware that his heart had started to beat faster. What did she mean?

“I just came in for a drink.”

She snorted, shaking her head. “Sure you did.”

They sat like that for awhile, silent, while that weird music wound through his head, until gradually he felt himself being transported away from the bar and everything else that constituted his world as it had come to be. Like he was looking at his life from outside himself. Seeing the things he had, and the things he felt he couldn’t. The things that gave him strength. He glanced at the woman, saw that she was smiling. Like she knew.

“I want to show you something,” she whispered, pulling his hand off the bar and guiding it up her leg. Under her dress. Pressing it against the warm bulge hidden there. He gasped, his eyes growing wide.

“You’re--”

“Not what I seem. Nor are you. Pity, that we have to hide behind a mask to get what we want. What we need.” The woman who was not a woman smiled again, her eyes telling Rene that they shared a kinship. “I can show you how to use what you have to get what you need.”

“And what is that”

She leaned closer, her eyes narrowing. “Revenge.” She smiled at his reaction. “Yes, you know what I mean. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s best served cold. Nothing is better cold.” Her tongued flicked out, licking her lips. “It should be hot…and pulsing.”

Rene suddenly felt dizzy, like he’d been drugged with possibilities. She stood and took his hand in hers, pulling him to his feet.

“Come. You have so much to learn.”

* * *

It was late when Joel finally got home. He stole up the stairs, expecting to find Rene bent over a lifeless body. Instead, he was greeted by a woman whose pale, ethereal face and dark eyes seemed at once exotic and strangely familiar.

“Where’s Rene?” he asked, glancing around.

The woman stepped away from the bed, approaching him with the swagger of a streetwalker, her tight skirt riding just below her crotch, a crocheted sweater barely grazing her smooth midriff.

“Oh, you mean your friend?” She draped a slender arm around Joel’s neck. “I think he had a little too much to drink. He said something about going down to the studio, then I heard a thump.” She shrugged, moving closer. “He might have fallen.”

Joel turned and started towards the door, but the woman grabbed his arm, spinning him around.

“Nothing you can do for him now. On the other hand,” she purred, tracing a perfect blood red nail down the front of his shirt, “I could use some help, if you don’t mind.”

Joel’s lips curled in a smile. “I don’t mind at all.”

She kissed him and pushed him towards the bed. Joel’s hands cupped the cheeks of her ass, pressing her closer, but she pulled back.

“Not so fast, darling. Lay down.”

Joel happily obliged as the woman proceeded to undress him, then climbed onto the bed, straddling him.

“Aren’t you getting undressed?” he asked.

“Not yet. I want to do something else first.”

She leaned over him, her tongue circling his nipples, tracing up his chest to his neck. Joel relaxed, his arms wrapping around the woman’s waist, his hands trying to work their way inside the tight panties. She pushed them away and lapped at his neck, her hands teasing his cock to erection.

“Your friend told me you were into blood,” she breathed.

“Hmm?” Joel mumbled, distracted by the sensations he was feeling.

“He said you liked to play vampire. Would you like to play with me?” She nipped playfully at his neck. “Like that?”

Joel moaned, nodding, and turned his head to give her better access.

“How about this?”

In one swift move, she pinned Joel to the bed and clamped her jaws onto his neck. He began to buck, trying to push her away, but she reached across the bed and grabbed a rag from the night stand, pressing it against his face until his world went dark.

The blood from the bite on his neck was flowing cherry red across the crisp white pillowcase beneath Joel’s head. The woman stretched out beside his prone body, her arms wrapped lovingly around him, her face nuzzled against his neck, her mouth working the wound with the rhythm of his dying heart.

“You’re mine,” she whispered. “Forever.”

* * *

The gallery sparkled with the finest jewels of the city’s art crowd, all fawning over the latest Du Sang exhibit. Rene stood near the entrance, greeting guests, Morgan bent to his ear.

“Just look at them. They love you. I think we’ll sell everything before the night is out.”

Rene nodded, his eyes drifting around the room. Morgan glanced at him, misinterpreting his silence.

“Stop pouting, Rene. I’m sorry about you and Joel, but honestly, I never could see you two together. You’ve got to put it behind you and move on.”

“I loved him, you know,” he said without looking at her.

“You still have your work. Take that new piece of yours. So bold, so powerful. It’s like nothing you’ve done before.”

Rene smiled to himself. “You like it, then?”

“I love it. I’ve had three offers on it already. What did you name it?”

He pulled his hand from his pocket, brushing a stray hair from his dark eyes, his nails gleaming blood red in the flickering light.

“Joel. It’s the first of my new all-male line.”

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3 comments:

  1. This is truly intriguing! I love this story; it is so dark without bringing the problem of horrific details into play. The story is brilliant in its unpredictability - in no way did it occur to me initially that Rene was not as he seemed. The ending, also, shocked me. You originality is brilliant, and this piece is incredibly well written. Love it!
    Astrid x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I wrote this a long time ago.

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  2. love the story and the finish well written holds the reader very well

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