I feared the blood of animals wouldn’t be enough.
I was wrong on both counts. The hunt brings out a primal part of me, a man that wants to seek and fight and provide for what is his and in its own way, it is more humane than the way humans farm, raise and slaughter animals. Every life I take is a gift from the world, and I am never cruel or nonchalant to the enormity of that. From the first night, the hunting and feeding has felt as natural and necessary as any consumption of food and drink I did as a human.
“Being a vampire has its upsides, doesn’t it?” Rudolf smiles as the wind whips my suit coat open, yet there is no sense of the cold. The sky is gray, it’s barely dawn and the glow of orange sun is just hinting through the trees.
“That is does. Our heating bills are minimal for a start.” I let out a low chuckle.
In the days after the attack, Seleme and I stayed at the family home. Anna was there as well, counseling both Seleme and myself as we struggled and came to terms with our new selves and everything that happened that night.
There were many heroes but turns out Anna and Maltese were the magic silver bullet we needed. Anna can communicate with animals, another of her many unique powers. Turns out, Maltese was none too happy about the upcoming nuptials. When Anna came in the room, Maltese was already lying in wait outside the front door.
I’m still not sure if it was just coincidence that had Dimitri heading to the house at just the right moment to let the cat inside, or whether Anna had a hand in that as well. When I talked to him, he said he just felt this pull. Something told him to go to the door. Since he had the security code already, he thought something might be up so he followed his instinct.
Thank fuck he did.
What I do know is, he isn’t sure why he just opened the door without knocking, and I’m guessing it’s probably best if he never does.
Whatever the details, the door opening at that moment was what we needed to change the balance of power in the room, distracting everyone as Maltese made his launch which, without his help, we are all unsure how it would have turned out.
“Seleme is well today?” Rudolf asks, a father’s concern in his voice.
“She is. Looking more like she’s months along than mere weeks.”
He looks at the ground with a slight smile. “Yes, as was the case with her mother. When vampires conceive, things are fast. She will give birth within a couple months. You will need to be ready for anything.”
“I’m beginning to understand that. This morning, on our hunt, first she was craving squirrel. Then it was skunk, of all things. Skunk blood.” I shake my head, the absurdity of our conversation sinking in.
Rudolf grins. “I remember like it was yesterday. Seleme’s mother couldn’t get enough of possums and chipmunks. I do feel for you though,” He walks with his hands clasped behind his back. “Skunks have their downside.” He leans into me and sniffs on a crooked smile.
“That they do.” The ground crunches under our steps, a hard freeze coating everything with crystals overnight, and I think of how beautiful Seleme was this morning with her rounding belly and full growing tits, laying on the edge of the bed while I fucked into her hard enough I broke the headboard.
We’re on our third bed. The antique store delivery workers are starting to look at me with some mad respect.
“Did you track down the remaining Hasanovs?” I ask, bringing up a subject Seleme has been anguishing over.
Rudolf nods and sighs. “There aren’t many of them left. They’re young and frightened of our retribution for what their elders did. I spoke with them and explained our way of seeing things, promised them there would be no more danger if they want to return to their homes. I want bygones to be bygones, all this war and death…” There’s sadness in his voice as he continues. “I wish I didn’t have the guilt of so many lost lives on my conscience.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” I reassure him. “It was the Messinas. They had you fearing your own shadow, and whipped up fear in the other clans so they’d make attempts against Seleme and keep their bargain relevant in your mind. They were the ones killing the doves, throwing them on the porch when they were meant to be a sign to Seleme. A sign that she was about to find her one. Fall in love. They knew they needed to threaten you all, scare you before they lost their hold on what they wanted.”