Tango with a Vampirebyglynndah©
This story is my contribution to the Halloween contest. I'd appreciate your vote and any comments you'd care to leave.
"Good evening." The voice interrupted her daydreaming but that was fine with her. According to the clock ringed in neon over the bar, Halloween would be over in less than an hour. Midnight. The witching hour. The hour when things were not always as they appeared to be.
She turned to the guy on the stool to her right. He was in costume, of course. They all were. Dark, dark hair and oddly mesmerizing eyes. Deep and mysterious, she found herself instantly drawn to them and then into them. His eyes were such a stark contrast to his skin. Pale, almost pearly white in the dim light of the bar. He was wearing a rather shabby black suit, cut in an old-fashioned style. A scent of something she didn't quite recognize clung to the wool of his suit jacket.
"So, are you a princess?" She was a bit taken aback by his remark. Her costume was a pretty accurate reproduction of the one Billie Burke wore in The Wizard of Oz, complete with the tall crown she wore and the wand she carried. She'd spent weeks sewing rhinestones and pearls onto the yards and yards of pink tulle. All night long she'd been bombarded by comments about good witches and flying monkeys. She sighed. If he wanted to pretend he didn't know who she was, she could play along. That's what Halloween was for, after all. Masks and moonlight. Costumes and kisses. Playing and pretense.
"Every girl is a princess tonight," she replied, taking a small sip of her drink.
"We have not been formally introduced as of yet, but if I may be so bold as to introduce myself. I am Cou...," he hesitated for a brief moment and then continued, "Connor." He had a slight trace of an accent the woman couldn't quite place. He was also more formal in his speech than she might have expected.
"My name is Rosie," she replied, holding out her hand. He took it and brought it slowly up to his lips. Both his hand and his lips seemed unusually cool to her touch. A tiny little shiver went through Rosie as his mouth brushed the back of her hand. This was somehow both old-fashioned and out of place, yet it seemed rather fitting and second nature to him.
Rosie smiled and turned back to her drink. She was shy as a rule and spent most of her nights at home with her cat. Normally she would never have ventured in here, but they'd been advertising this party for weeks. Rosie loved to play dress-up and to pretend to be someone she was not. Tonight seemed like the perfect opportunity to do both.
"Ah, they are playing a tango. My favorite. I so seldom hear one these days. Would you honor me with a dance, Princess Rosie?" He stood and bowed slightly, a courtly gesture that reminded Rosie of those classic black and white horror movies she often watched late into the night.
As they made their way out onto the dance floor, Rosie was once again struck by how cold his hands were. Perhaps he'd had them wrapped around a chilled bottle of beer. Funny, she thought to herself. She didn't remember him having a drink in front of him. She hadn't seen him drink anything at all.
They danced together. Dance sliding into a seduction accompanied by the sensual rhythms of the music. An innocent and one whose innocence had been stolen years, no, decades before. The tempo of the song changed and still they danced in each other's arms. One hearing the song of the musicians, the other hearing the music of the blood pulsing through veins and singing with an age-old rhythm. The mind of the vampire reached out, a tentative touch, the next step in the seduction of the victim initiated hours before.
"Ah. A pretty girl in my arms. It seems like years since I have danced with one as radiant as you are this evening." She listened to his tone, more than the words themselves, trying to place his accent. It was more pronounced now and she thought she detected something else, a lisp, perhaps. She hadn't noticed it before as they sat at the bar, but now, as she danced, held in his embrace, it was definitely there. I wonder where he's from, she thought.
She smiled up at him, once again marveling at his alabaster complexion and his eyes. She felt almost compelled to look in Connor's eyes. She could very easily lose herself in them, she thought. Fall deeper and deeper into their depths until all was lost forever. Rosie lost track of the steps, almost stumbling before Connor caught her in his surprisingly strong embrace. The vampire's eyes met the innocent's eyes and held them, a heartbeat, an eternity, before contact was lost as the soft lights of the bar intensified into full brightness.
They blinked in the light; almost a glare after the cool dimness of the dance floor, of the seduction began by the tango and continued by the dances that followed. She smiled up at him and thanked him for the dances. As he returned the smile, she caught a glimpse of his teeth, their odd shape, before Connor closed his lips over them and she could see no more.
"The night grows old and sunrise soon awaits, even on an occasion as pleasant as this one has proven itself to be. I fear I must soon bid you farewell, sweet Rosie." He bowed, deep from the waist. "If I may be so bold as to offer my service as an escort from this place. This," he indicated a door barely visible down a short hallway, "will avoid the crush at the front entrance."
Rosie curtseyed in return and took his proffered arm. "I'd be delighted. That way will be better for me, too."
"I must warn you, Princess Rosie. I intend to steal a kiss from you." His accent, his lisp, was more apparent than it had been earlier in the evening.
"You can't steal one from me this evening, Connor. My kiss will be freely given." She stepped aside as Connor opened the emergency door that lead into the dark alley behind the bar.
"My, it is quite dark out here," the innocent one cautioned. "Watch your step." The vampire needed no such warning, quite able to make out the chosen prey in the dark shadows of the alley. They walked a few more steps into the darkest section of their way.
"And now," whispered Connor, taking Rosie into his embrace, "would be a perfect time for that kiss." His arms tightened around her and he leaned down towards her face. Rosie tilted her face to meet his lips, her fingers curled into his hair. His lips met hers, a brief sweet kiss that seemed to last an eternity, and, indeed, for one of them it did. For the other it was merely the beginning of a ritual practiced for years, often in settings very similar to the one they were in.
The kiss continued, changing into something more intense. Kisses glided down the unaware innocent's jaw and the vampire's fangs extended as the sweet fragrance of the prey's vitality filled the air. At last the vampire could hold back no longer and clasping the victim's face in a surprisingly firm grip, bit down.
As Rosie sunk her fangs deep into his throat, his rich red blood coursing through her, she thought to herself, "Oh, yes! The wannabes always taste the sweetest!"