The aging window yielded to the jiggle of my screwdriver with surprising ease. I would have thought someone with an ancient mansion on a hill would take better care to secure it at night from the likes of me.
Remember me? That’s right. It’s your old pal, Damon. The burgling bastard, himself. You didn’t think I’d just shave, throw my tools in the river, and join the priesthood, did you? No way in hell. Not when all that stood between me and what I wanted were a few crumbling walls and window frames.
And what---or rather who---was I looking for? Andrea. My angel. My everything. Or at least she was. Up until disaster struck, she’d been the best thing that ever happened to me. She was a good girl from the right side of the tracks. She had her own job, her own place. Hell, she even had a monthly book club. What the hell a slice of perfection like her saw in some lowlife like me, I’ll never understand. But I never cursed it or took it for granted a single day.
Now, every minute she was missing was like a knife driving straight into my gut. I knew she was there, holed up somewhere in that sprawling house. Where else would he have taken her?
I never should have trusted him: “the boss.” It makes me sick to think of him in those terms now, but that’s what he was---my employer---until he betrayed me. We had a good thing going, too, if I’m honest. He was a… well, he never much liked the V word… but he was the type who couldn’t come into your home unless he was invited. Problem was, when you’re undead for as long as he was, I guess your social skills go to shit. Creepy fuck couldn’t get in on his own. That’s where I came in. I’m an expert and getting into places where I don’t belong---places people don’t want me. You see, I guess it doesn’t say anywhere in the “rule book” that it has to be the resident that lets him in. Just so long as somebody did---me---he was good to go. Sucker got his meal, and I got my steal.
Well, clearly, I’m an idiot. I mean, what kind of moron makes a business deal with a goddamn vampire? One who only sees dollar signs and drug deals, that’s who. A.K.A. me. Not once did I even stop to question our little arrangement until the boss set his sights on Andrea. He got her, too. So easily. Didn’t even need my help.
And now, as I was sliding slowly through the window I’d opened, I wondered if I was being even more of an idiot. I mean, really. What did I think I was doing? Who breaks into a vampire’s house to challenge him on his own turf? Well, love makes you do stupid things, I guess.
And honestly, if he did anything to hurt her, not only would I go down putting up the biggest fight in the history of the world, but I’d also deserve whatever torture I got. Cheerful shit, I know.
Silently, my feet touched the floor of the darkened room. I straightened up and looked around. This was his study. I recognized the oversized desk, the filled bookshelves that lined the walls. I’d been in this room many times to discuss “business”---that is, get the location for the next victim. I remembered when that victim turned out to be Andrea, how he’d turned his little laptop around to show me her picture. My blood boiled as the scene played out in my memory.
My eyes landed on a raised, dark rectangle that sat in the middle of the desk. Wires and cords snaked away from it in two different directions. There it was, the offending laptop. Before I even knew what I was doing, I charged toward it. I don’t remember drawing my crowbar, but there it was, high in the air, clutched tight in my shaking fists. With force and fury, I brought it down hard on top of the computer. Things crunched and snapped as plastic and metal shot out in all directions. Over and over, I slammed my crowbar into that damn thing, that horrible object that was first used to show me that Andrea would be our next target.
When my burst of rage finally passed, all was silent once again. I stood looking down at my handiwork: a thoroughly decimated laptop and a few fresh dents in the wooden desk top. My moment of pride was short, and concern took over.
Shit, I thought. If he’s nearby, there’s no way he didn’t hear that.
Did I even care if he’d heard it? Maybe not. Maybe it was just as well I lure the bastard out. At least it would get him away from Andrea.
And so I stood there in the dark, and I waited. Nothing. Silence. Not so much as a mouse scurried across the floor. I knew I had no choice but to venture further into the house.
I clicked on my flashlight as I creaked open one of the study doors. I’d only ever come in the other way. What lay beyond this door was a complete mystery to me. Before me, a hallway stretched into the darkness. I had no idea if it would lead me to Andrea, but it was as good a place to start as any.
My steps were silent and catlike as I made my way through the darkness. I’d perfected the art of sneaking, and that night I was particularly thankful for it. It seemed the stakes had never been higher. Never before was so much riding on a successful break-in.
I was almost startled when a sound cut through the air. A woman’s voice. Gasping.
It came from the door to my right. Quickly, I turned and assessed my options. Below the knob, just at hip height, I spotted a keyhole. Without another moment’s hesitation, I knelt and pressed my eye to the tiny opening.
What I saw on the other side was a surprise, indeed. I could just make out a bed. A large one. On it were two figures. Women. One was blonde with an upturned nose and a dancer’s figure. The other was an Asian girl with straight black hair and a fiery severity in her eyes. I’d never seen either one before. Dressed in nothing but black lingerie they ran their hands all over each other as they giggled and gasped. Occasionally, one would lean in to taste the other, pressing her lips to an exposed patch of skin.
For a moment, my reptile brain took over. I could feel the heat stirring in my groin, and in all honesty, I probably could have watched forever, or at least until one of us---myself, the blonde, or the Asian---had climaxed. The thought was a sweet one.
The voice came from further down the hall. I whipped my head around to see Andrea standing in front of an open door. Her expression was almost unreadable: a mix of horror, relief, confusion, and a dozen other emotions. Her untied scarf hung from her neck with two sickening bite marks just visible behind one of its folds. The sight of them, red and raised, reminded me why I was there.
Before I could move or speak, a soft thump from the door in front of me drew my attention back to the keyhole. Looking through once again, I saw nothing. Then, suddenly a shape darted across my field of vision. There was a loud, percussive bang. A stinging pain in my nose. Tears in my eyes. The next thing I knew, I was sailing toward the wall behind me while the door flew open.
Out came the two girls: first the blonde, and then the Asian. Their eyes practically glowed with fury and they lunged for me. They held their hands and fingers like claws, but I could see their real weapons protruding from their mouths. Each lady had a pair of sharp, gleaming, white fangs jutting out from beneath her top lip.
“Shit!” I uttered. It’s one thing to know vampires exist and to interact with them on a regular basis. It’s another thing entirely to face them in battle. Especially when they’re hot, half naked, and probably pissed that you interrupted their lovemaking.
I didn’t realize the ladies were booted until one of them slammed her heel directly into my jaw. I flailed my fists while waiting for the stars in my eyes to fade, occasionally finding purchase in the vampires’ soft but eerily cold flesh. They screeched with each hit I landed, at the same time making several of their own. Knuckles pummeled me. Finger nails pierced my flesh. At last, a power fist shot straight between my thighs and knocked the wind from my lungs. I dropped to my knees and looked up to see my aggressors step back for a breather.
Now was my chance.
I reached inside my jacket pocket and pulled out the stake I’d prepared. Gripping it tightly, I moved fast. I brought it straight up and slammed it into the Asian girl’s chest. In an amazing stroke of luck, it seemed to find purchase right between her ribs. From there, I drove it in easily until there was nothing more to leverage against. Her scream filled the air and then died away as she seemed to shrivel and crumble around my stake, eventually falling free of it entirely.
Next, I turned my attention to the blonde, her eyes wide with a mix of terror and surprise. She began to shake her head, as if her next move would have been to plead for her life…. Death? Undeath? Whatever. It didn’t matter once I had her cornered at the end of the hallway.
The stake went into its second victim just as easily. This time, I watched her eyes roll back in her head, sink into their sockets and liquefy. Her jaw dropped open and her tongue hung out gruesomely until it, too, shriveled and fell to the floor. Never before in my life had I been so disgusted and satisfied at the same time.
For a moment, I simply stood there in the dark hallway, lording over the two piles of dust which had just been attacking me with claws, teeth, and tits out. All was quiet. Andrea was gone. I had no idea when she’d slipped away, but turning to the other end of the hallway, I saw she’d left a door open and swinging on its hinges.
I had a choice to make. Clearly, she wanted me to follow her, if indeed she had gone through that door. There could only be two reasons for that. One was that she wanted me---needed me---to rescue her. The thought raced through my veins and pooled in my dick. I imagined bursting into some dusty old bedroom, grabbing the boss by the scruff of his neck and driving my stake straight into his chest. I could see the look in her eyes as he crumbled, knowing that all her troubles were over and that I was the reason why. I would be her hero.
The other scenario, however---that couldn’t be ignored. What if this was a trap? What if she was now nothing more than his tool, his pawn he was using to get me where he wanted me so he could eliminate a threat. There was no denying he knew such a plan would work, too. I had to decide how stupid I was going to be.
I was very stupid.
Onward, I charged. Beyond the door that Andrea had left open was a small, dark landing and a series of narrow steps spiraling downward.
'The basement,, I thought. 'How fucking cliche. You’d think being undead for however many centuries would teach the old fart some originality. 'Oh well,, I thought. 'No time now to criticize his choices.
I tried to be as stealthy as possible as I moved down the stairs, but there was nothing I could do to stop the persistent echo of my footsteps. Down and down they seemed to go. They were unending. I began to wonder if I’d lost my mind or stumbled into one of those shitty supernatural internet stories that twelve-year-olds swear are totally real. I mean, hell. If vampires exist, who am I to be skeptical of anything else?
Finally, I reached the bottom. A quick pass with my flashlight revealed a cavernous, unfinished space with what looked like a tunnel straight ahead of me. I decided to take a look behind me as well and nearly shit myself when I saw a face peaking out from behind the stairway.
“Shh!” it commanded.
“Andrea!” My heart leaped. Without thinking, I rushed toward her, but stopped dead when she held out her hands in front of her.
“No,” she said in a whisper. “It’s not safe.” She dropped her arms slowly, keeping her eyes locked on my face. She seemed to be searching for something, some sign that I might not be me. At last, she seemed satisfied, and then slowly turned in the direction of the tunnel. Pointing a single finger, she said, “He’s in there.”
With my eyes, I followed where she pointed. The darkness was so dense, I could only see the mouth of the tunnel, waiting and ready to swallow up anyone who dared to enter.
I looked back at Andrea. “You want me to take him out?”
Now her eyes seemed large and childlike. She nodded, melting my heart like a snowball in Hell. That was all I needed. I headed straight for that tunnel, not even bothering to study her for signs of dishonesty. I’m stupid. Remember?
Faster and faster I went, my footsteps echoing damply through the tunnel. I no longer cared if the boss sensed me coming. I was going to murder this motherfucker, and I wanted him to know exactly who did it.
What I found when I reached the end was like something out of a horror movie. Candles burned dimly in their candelabras, throwing shadows all over the circular space. Statues in alcoves looked sinister and threatening in the low light. In the middle of the room was a coffin.
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, I thought. All right. Let’s do this.
Slower now, I made my way to the coffin. I rested my hand on the lid. If he was in there, I thought, I was going to get one shot. I needed to make it count. With a deep breath and on the count of three, I threw the lid open.
There he was. The boss, himself. He looked oddly peaceful with his eyes closed and his hands crossed in front of him, but the sight still made me shudder. A surprising wave of fear came over me. My joints locked. I fought to move them.
I can’t hesitate, damn it! I scolded myself. I can’t hesitate!
I hesitated. It was just enough time for him to stir. His eyes fluttered open and locked with mine. A sickening grin crept across his face.
“Well, well,” he said. “I see you---”
He stopped mid-thought, his eyes darting suddenly to something behind my left shoulder. I felt the stake being wrenched from my hand. It was gone before I thought to resist. The next thing I felt was an elbow in my stomach. I doubled over and staggered backwards. My head came back up just in time for me to see Andrea plunge the stake deep into that fucker’s heart.
A scream like I’d never heard ripped through the air. It seemed to fill the entire space, bouncing and knocking against every surface in a way it shouldn’t have been able to. At last, it faded and everything was silent once again.
I stared in amazement at the sweet, slight figure of my Andrea. She stood stalk still, clutching the stake. It dripped with a dark substance that was thicker than blood. Eventually, she let it fall from her hand and it hit the floor with a dull thud.
She turned to face me. The look in her eyes was one I’ll never forget. Amazement. Relief. We ran to each other and, for the first time in weeks, I squeezed her tightly. I pressed a kiss to her lips which were cool and moist with her own relieved tears and then wrapped myself around her once more. There we stood in each other’s embrace. She planted sweet kisses up and down my neck, from my ear to my shoulder.
Then there came the kiss that felt sharper than the others.
I pushed myself backward, holding her by the shoulders. Instinctively, my hand shot up to my neck. There was no puncture. No blood drawn. But none of that mattered. The truth was the truth.
She must have seen the horror on my face because all I found in hers was guilt and shame.
“I’m sorry, Damon,” she said through her tears. “It’s already too late for me.” She parted her lips and there, on either side of her mouth, were the fangs I had somehow missed earlier.
“Oh shit,” I said, more to myself than to anyone else. All I could do was stare. For the second time in a very short while, my world had been turned upside down.
“You should kill me, too,” she said.
“No,” I insisted automatically.
“Yes,” she said. “I’ll only need to keep feeding if you don’t. I don’t know if I could do that. I don’t know how….”
Her voice trailed off, giving way to light sobs. The scene played out before me: my sweet, beautiful Andrea wasting away to nothing, all alone with the dust in this drafty old house. I couldn’t let that happen, and I couldn’t shake the idea that was forming in my mind.
“I’ll help you,” I said.
She fell silent. “What?”
“I’ll help you,” I repeated. “Like I did for the boss.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Look,” I said, taking on a somewhat business-like tone. “You can’t get in anywhere unless someone invites you.”
“Shit,” she said. “I didn’t think of that.”
I smiled. Something inside me warmed. “That’s the first time I’ve heard you curse.”
She shot me a version of her famous glare. “Damon, this is hardly the time to flirt.”
“Right, right,” I said. “Sorry. Anyway, you know what I do. You know what I’m capable of. How I can get past almost any lock.”
Her tears stopped. I could see I had her full attention, and my meaning began to sink in. “Go on,” she said.
I swallowed hard. “Well, you don’t think there’s any way I’d let my baby starve to death, do you?” I blinked. “Undeath? Real death? I’m still not clear on the---”
Her lips pressed to mine and ended by floundering. Her skin was cold, but her taste was just as intoxicating as ever. And those eyes---well, I could never find them creepy or unsettling.
So that’s how it goes when you’re in love. You wind up doing the wildest, and sometimes stupidest things. So do yourself a favor and keep your doors and windows locked at night.
Not that it’s likely to do you any good. I mean, you're a good listener and all. I like you.
But I’d never let my baby go hungry.
Written by Jdeschene