Somewhere in the city there was a piece of hardware that could locate the small slice of moon peeking in through the Westerly clouds. No human eyes could have found it, were any looking. In the old days, these final hours before the dawn would've been blacker than death. As it was, street lights lent humanity a measure of control over the darkness. To add to this, a warm, welcoming glare began to spill out through the windows of coffee shops as their owners eagerly opened their doors just as the first black suited men appeared on the streets. Odd exclamations and the first cautious sounds of conversation bit into the quiet, along with the clicks of black briefcases and the sniffles of aristocratic noses taking exception to the homeless man on the corner of Parker and Snippes.
Shortly, a black suit monopoly was reduced to majority, as grey and brown jackets began to mix with the rest. More radical still, blues and greens and pinks made an appearance, crisply pressed skirts shuffling through a rustle of pants. At this hour, on these streets, the women stood out like ducks at a shooting gallery. Fully aware of the looks they were getting, some women cast their eyes down, intimidated and unnerved, cowering before the power of the black suited men, but also perhaps secretly pleased, their deference encouraging more looks and feeding the egos of the lookers. Other women refused to be cowed. With each step they declared their own mastery, challenging the men by openly meeting their gazes. Most men could not meet their eyes. To those who looked back, the women gave curt nods of encouragement, silent trophies which neither party had the time to respond to.
Paula Lowdeck was more of the former. She was a thin-boned woman in her late twenties with a longish face and a pointed nose. Her skin was clear and smooth, alluringly framed by her long auburn hair. Her bust was large enough to get her a second look from the men and had she wanted to with a little makeup she could've drawn their eyes for much longer. Therein lay the difference between her and rest. Her eyes were down, but not because she noticed the looks. She did not blush, nor sway her hips; she walked almost as if in a trance. Her brow was creased with a frown so slight it seemed habitual. Her skin too was perhaps a shade paler then it should've been, its tightness whispering of endured suffering. When she did notice the looks, Paula shuddered. She closed her eyes and took deep calming breaths. Then she was back in her trance, alone in an ocean of bodies.
Her moment came near the corner of Gartham and Clark. Passing under an awning, she was for a breath in a darker shadow. It was a space to the side of the sidewalk's main traffic and thus all the more inconspicuous. He grabbed her then, his right hand closing over her mouth while his left hefting her between the legs, pushing her teal business skirt upward. She would have sprung at his touch, but just as suddenly her legs had no ground to push against. Wind hit her face like an open palm, her stomach turned, and just for an instant her mind clouded with vertigo. Then, Paula's eyes widened with recognition. Warm liquid dripped past the fingers of the man's left hand. His nostrils tightened even as his leather clad toes slapped against the concrete on the roof of a skyscraper. His lips twitched upward. Beneath the rising smell of piss, sweat, and terror, the odor of female arousal was growing. Not that it mattered — the contract had been agreed to already.
Finding his balance overlooking the city below, the man switched his grip. His left hand wrapped around the base of her neck, dangling Paula over the street. With his right, the man slashed through her hair, his fingers cutting away her scrunchy as if it were nothing. Her mane flapped in the wind like a lone wing, desperate to keep her a float. "Oh God," Paula breathed, forced to stare at the street far below her.
She couldn't see her assailant, but Paula knew what he looked like. He was not too tall for a man, 5' 11 at most, with a lithe muscular frame, short black hair and very dark brown eyes. He had a square chin, a skinny nose, and large ears. His breath quickened as he grabbed Paula's collar and with a sharp motion tore her top down the back. She gasped, but the sound was torn apart by the wind long before it could reach anyone. The man swung her body aside, directing the small shower of buttons to crash on the rooftop beside him.
Paula jerked in his grasp as he dangled her over the street once again. Her body was shaking from cold and terror. Through his left hand, the man could feel goose bumps rising over her flesh. "Oh ... oh, wait, please no..." she croaked as his hand snaked around her, closing over her left breast. He pulled her backward until she was bent in the air, her ass rubbing his hard cock through his pants. Tears rolled down her cheeks. "Please," she moaned, "I changed my mind. I ... I want my money back... !"
The sound he made was something between a growl and a chuckle. He ripped off her front with the same ease as her back. This time most of her top came away in his hand. The rest floated as rags off her shoulders. She shrieked as her waist swung forward, away from his crotch. The man smiled darkly as he watched Paula's legs dangle. Almost unwittingly, Paula's hand reached for her crotch. Her eyes closed. She moaned.
He tore her skirt with a single finger casually ripping the fabric down the crack of her ass, feeling her through her panties. She was left twitching over the street in plain white underwear. He stopped then, waiting.
Paula's breathing was hoarse. Her body shook. Her inhales deepened as she hung unmolested. At some imperceptible moment, the tension in her shoulders changed. Gasps of fear turned into laughter. It was a giddy cackling, split with moans. "I didn't think it was real," she breathed. "Not completely." The man pursed his lips. He studied her. "Just do it," she cried. "Don't make me wait. Fucking do it, come on! Aaaggrrhh!" Paula screamed. Her hands rose as if to grab the man where he held her. They fell away as soon as she touched him. She slumped, rubbing her palms on her elbows. "So cold. I hadn't imagined this."
The man moved then. Casually, he undid his zipper. The sound brought Paula's head up again. He drew her toward him until his lips were right by her ear. "Shush now," he breathed. "The only thing left is to be my little fucktoy." Paula purred. Pulling aside her soaked underwear, she spread her cunt as her moved his cock between her legs.
He impaled her completely with one violent thrust. Paula shrieked. His left hand rose from her neck, grabbing her hair. His right hand squeezed her right breast. He bent her forward over the drop with only the very tips of her heels digging into the roof. He fucked her like that, each thrust hard enough to shove her off of the building. Then he would pull her back down his cock by her hair, all the while mauling her breasts. Her toes, desperate, would barely find their sliver of purchase before he would thrust again.
Paula sobbed and coughed and moaned and gagged and giggled. She came thrice before he pulled her head to his mouth. His right hand moved behind her, pushing against her spine, forcing her to arch her back. Paula came again when he lowered his face to her throat. She raised her palm to his head and held him to her. It hurt when his teeth pierced the skin.
He fucked her until her hands and feet were dangling limp and her body was turning cold. "Nice," he murmured into her ear. He shuddered against her. "Coming now, Paula. Can you feel my cum spilling inside you? Fuck, you were good." He licked her. Drowsy as she was, her lips parted in a faint satisfied smile. She had no idea he knew perfectly well she couldn't feel much of anything now.
The man let her go. He gasped at the feeling of Paula's cunt sliding down off his cock. He zipped himself up, feeling a little guilty as he watched Paula plummeting down. There was something unprofessional about not cumming inside her. But it wouldn't do to have the coroner finding vampire spunk on her body. With his vampire eyes he could see that the smile stayed on her lips all the way as she watched the ground grow nearer.
Reaching into his jacket, the man pulled out a camera. He stared through it at the street below, adjusted the lens, and snapped the shatter. He moved along the roof, readjusting the lens, on and on, taking picture after picture until the camera beeped at him that it was out of film.
He stepped away from the edge then, placing the camera back in his jacket. He stood meditatively for a moment before turning eyes to the West and sniffing the air. He let his body relax. All along his frame tense muscles unwound sending wave after wave of energy upward into his brain. He felt drugged and euphoric then. His spirit seemed to rise from his body, casting his metanatural senses across the city.
It drifted southward, homing in on the one he was looking for. He found her in the park, clearly a fit woman, with tight jeans outlining strong thighs and a well rounded ass. She wore a black leather jacket, zipped up to her neck, and a bright red scarf. A good length of the scarf trailed down to her ribs in contrast to her curling black hair which stopped just short of her shoulders. Her skin was ivory and her face oval with sharply defined features. Even standing beside her most would have thought her blemishless, though the man on the roof knew that if one stared really hard one could sometimes make out the cadavers of long bleached freckles under her skin.
Another man walked beside her. He was tall and awkward. Hardly unattractive, but there was just something there that lacked confidence. His face was long and his nose wide. He wore a long grey jacket of some furry material. It was open down the front revealing his white by yellow checker shirt. The clothes looked worn and rumpled.
The two walked hand in hard. The woman led, looking relaxed and content. The man slouched, his breath slightly deeper than might be thought normal, a hint of shadows under his eyes, and red flecks over his irises. As his spirit brushed past them, the one on the roof heard the muted rumble of running water and rustle of wind over grass. A sense of warm recognition caressed his mind, telling him to be patient.
When they came near the water, the woman let go of her companion's hand. He stopped, seeming startled. The woman walked on for a few more steps before stopping also. She stood silently for a moment, her eyes searching the expense of the park stretching before her. Her companion coughed. The woman smiled. She spun. Her eyes glinted warmly, her smile no less happy and welcoming for the two fangs stretching down over her lower teeth. "It's time," she told him.
The man in the park stiffened. His shoulders straightened. He gulped. "Uh..." he opened his mouth as if to protest.
"Shhhh," the woman cut him off. She stepped toward him, opening her arms. She embraced him, biting into his neck.
The man shuddered. His arms twitched several times then rose. His fingers dug into her jacket, pulling her closer.
"Yes. Shhhh," she murmured against him. She led him like this, wrapped around him, kissing the sucking his neck tenderly. It was just a little way to a bench and she pulled him down beside her. The man's breathing was sharp. His hands groped desperately over her body. He gasped. The woman spread her legs for his fingers and pushed her chest out into his palm. She cradled the man to her. Her hand stroking his hair maternally — her mouth locked over his throat.
His hands fell away a few minutes later. His breath slowed. His eyes rolled soon after that. The woman held him to her. She sucked and sucked until she was sure there was no life left in him. She let him go then. The man's body slumped as she stepped away from the bench.
Standing three feet away, the woman unzipped her jacket. Reaching inside she pulled out a camera. She aimed it at him, adjusted the lens, and clicked the shutter. She walked back until she was ten feet away, snapping pictures with every step. Then she returned, still taking pictures.
She produced a spray can from her jacket, shook it, and coated the corpse liberally with its contents. She stepped away again, lit a match, and tossed it onto the body. The sudden explosion was intense enough to blow her hair up for a moment. She took more photographs. Finally, she put away the camera. Looking up, she sniffed. "Late, isn't it," she whispered.
A cold wind blew across the city. It blew across the bare broken body of Paula Lowdeck as it was lifted into a plastic bag and blew away the ashes of Christopher Miller leaving a charred bench in its wake. When the horizon glinted with the first rays of the sun a few moments later, both the man on the roof and the woman in the park had disappeared.
Constance always awoke before me. She said it wasn't really an age thing, more of a metabolism type of deal. All I knew was that there was something jabbing my chin. "What?" I groaned, trying to pull away the aggressor.
"I said I put the film in the developer fluid."
I felt Constance's warmth beside me and heard the rhythmic tapping of fresh blood under her skin. "Ah?" I blinked, tasting her familiar scent in the darkness, superimposed over a dozen other household smells and competing with, indeed, the harsh odor of developer fluid. We needed more air fresheners.
The hand I was holding scratched my chin. One finger reached up to stab under my lip, rubbing my teeth. I gurgled groggily, flexing my jaw around her finger. Sheets rustled and a cool breath sped by my face as Constance moved over my body. Her thighs squeezed my hips. The warm skin of her cheek brushed my shoulder in passing. Her stray hairs fell over my face. Her lips closed over my carotid artery. She sucked without biting, her tongue dancing erotically over my vein.
I sighed. My hands moved to her flanks. She was warm all over from yesterday's work. Her skin was smooth. Her body was soft at first touch. It hardened when I squeezed her sides, dense muscles pushing against my fingers. Touching Constance was much like touching a leopardess — her back arched, her muscles rippling, utterly deadly with her teeth at my throat. This was danger and passion crouching above me. Terror and arousal united under my hands.
"Good morning," I said.
"Morning, Sleepy..." she murmured. Her lips closed over my neck again. "You're ... mmm ... always shoo ... hrrr ... cute when you're ... hrrr ... sleepy, Sal..." she muttered. She giggled then.
I drew my hands up over her ribs. Constance slept in a no nonsense sports bra. It fit over her like another layer of skin. She growled her approval into my neck as I ran my hands over her breasts. The fabric was cooler than her. My cock was hard now. Neither of us had cum on the job the previous morning.
Her underwear was the same thick fabric as her bra. Her crotch was moist. "Yeah," Constance encouraged my exploration of her. Her butt twitched for emphasis. "Oh, yeah," her fingers dug into my shoulders as I pushed down her panties with one hand, simultaneously trying to do the same with my boxers. I wasn't exactly in the best position for this and for a moment we paused, shaking our hips like a pair of salmon on land to wiggle out of the clinging material. I chuckled and Constance rubbed to top of her head against my chin. Her breath whistled on its way through her teeth. She was grinning.
Privates liberated, I pushed my cock down until the tip was caught by the opening of her cunt lips. Constance liked the sensation. Her mouth turned frantic over my throat, kissing rapidly, licking, and occasionally giving me love bites — still not breaking the skin, but marking her territory. She was wet for me. With the first thrust, the head of my cock slipped into her pussy and then more than an inch besides. I gasped and Constance growled her approval. She pulled up and I drew down. Then even more of my cock was inside her. We continued like this, little by little our waists coming closer together. The last bit I hammered into her with sharp quick thrusts that made her cry out. Her head rose from my neck. Her mouth locked over mine. We kissed, salivating on each other's tongues, fucking slowly at first, but soon my strokes became faster and longer.
Constance covered my face in kisses. Her lips sought to map every inch of me, it appeared. She wanted to tease me as well. We were playing a game suddenly. For every touch of her lips, I would jerk my head and try to kiss back, only to have Constance twisting away lightening quick, denying me. It was fun and challenging in a way, and it kept us both distracted a bit as our orgasms built. We laughed between kisses.
Finally, I couldn't hold anymore. One hand let go of her ass. Reaching up, I dug my fingers into her hair. Constance knew me well enough that she needed no more warning. She moaned her own pleasure. In an instant, her lips were back where they'd started, wrapped over the veins in my neck, and her cunt was a millimeter away from my balls. We were cumming together, shaking and holding each other with strength that would've crushed any human.
Afterward, while Constance showered, I strode through our studio, switching on lights. Our home was our gallery. Every switch unveiled another aspect of human mortality and memories that revealed the burdens of mortal existence. Our photographs lined every wall. On each canvas, men and women lay broken against the pavement, floated face down in the river, burned up in flames, sprawled in their beds, on park benches, in alleys, or amidst treasured possessions. Many were naked. All had been suicides of a sort.
It's amazing what you can get away with if you pay your taxes in this day and age. Constance and I weren't some bogy man show. We were a licensed photography studio. Our buyers believed we were perverted geniuses, no doubt — skilled beyond measure in the application of makeup and the arrangement of the poses of death that could fool any expert. They thought we were brilliant journalists who arrived at the scene of the crime before the body was moved and angled our cameras to create the illusion that it had just happen. I'd even gotten an email once praising my Photoshop mastery.
We were modern, Constance and I. We had a website and sold our pictures worldwide. Vampirism was our niche. We were absurd in that way: vampires pretending to be humans pretending to be vampires. And under the cover of creating an image for one business, we advertized for another, our real one.
Do you feel beaten by life? - we asked on our website. Filled with pain. Crushed by angst. Suffused with ennui. Do you wish your final experience to be worthier than the rest? Do you wish to die in a fantasy? Do you wish to see the magic beneath this materialistic world for one time before you are gone? Those who knew and wanted saw this slogan for what it was. They came to Death by Vampire Studios shortly before another picture appeared on our walls.
We were doing something unique, Constance and I. It excited me. Often, I found myself wondering how it would end. Where would we be in a decade or twenty years time when the rotation of the Earth caught up with our little enterprise? More's the marvel, because the thought frightened me, and an ageless being is not often rattled by the clattery of oncoming history.
It was around eleven. The girl had paused at first outside our display, staring in through our windows. The showroom was vacant, but we could sense her out there even from the rooms in the back. Her heart beat quickened, and there was nothing unusual about that — our gallery isn't a soothing sight to a passerby in the darkness. But she did not walk away, like someone disturbed. Neither was she excited by it. Those start to twitch from the influx of energy. We heard nothing of that. On the contrary, she just stood and looked while the heart in her breast twisted and screamed out in terror. It got our attention.
The door opening bell chimed just as Constance and I came entered the showroom. I should say it was the front hall of the showroom, since most of the studio was set up as a gallery and a great many visitors usually ended up getting tours of the rest. The girl hesitated when she spotted us. She looked dazed or maybe drugged, and I suspected her mind wasn't working too clearly.
"Well, come in," I said with a smile. "Don't let the cold inside now."
"Uh ... oh." The girl glanced to her left where she was still holding our door. She smiled back weakly and let it close behind her. She looked around and her heart beat even faster. She gulped.
"Please, look around. Let us know if there is anything we can help you with," Constance told her and the girl nodded.
Feeling a little braver, she stepped deeper into the room. She stopped in front of a large photo of a woman, sprawling naked and glistening pale in the moonlight in the middle of a field of poppies. Laurna Owl — she'd had a beautiful fantasy, I remembered. The girl stared at this for a while before moving on to the next photograph. She was shivering, and not from the cold. From the side, I could just observe a hint of hunger in her eyes.
She had a Slavic face and her heavy blond hair, tightly braided in one ponytail, fell over her shoulder all the way to her thighs much in the Russian tradition. She wore a thick pink sweater, buttoned down the front like a blouse, and a long grey skirt. The colors clashed and I was sure the bulky clothes hid a good figure. She did seem awfully worn. Her eyes were red and her skin was almost a sickly yellowish color. This was an ugly duckling, if ever I've seen one.
She was staring at her fourth photograph when Constance's chin jerked toward her. I nodded. The girl had eyed me more than my partner. "You are not here to buy the photos," I said, coming beside her. She jumped, having not noticed my drawing closer. I smiled at her, showing just a hint of my fangs. She froze, her eyes going wide.
"Yeah ... uh ... I mean ... I ... uh ... it said on your website..."
"Yeah," I nodded. She was hugging herself, looking me up and down. "Why don't you come in the back," I said, gently touching her elbow. "There are more pictures there."
The girl flinched at my touch only to bump into Constance, who had moved up to her other side. Constance caught the girl with hands on both her arms. "Easy there," Constance smiled. The two were the same height. Their faces were close. "You're cold. We'll make some hot chocolate." Constance's fangs made a brief appearance for the last two words. They were gone an instant after. To most, it would've been a trick of the light. But this one recognized what she saw. She let out a barely audible gasp. But she was calming too, resigning herself or going into shock.
"Come on," I said, placing my fingers back on her elbow. Constance let her go, taking the lead. We were in control now. Constance and I had her surrounded. It was a dark night and no one knew she was here. Her increased shivers told me the girl understood this as well. We herded her into the back.
We led her to the dining room, named so for the kitchenette in the left corner. Several thickly cushioned black leather chairs and a black leather love seat surrounded an antique coffee table. "Take a seat," I said gently.
She had been hugging herself the whole time, her elbow shriveling away from my fingers, yet now that I had removed them the girl looked after them longingly for a moment. She sat in one of the chairs.
"What's your name?" I asked, seating myself across from her on the loveseat.
"Angela." She was looking down.
"It's a lovely name."
She tugged on her ponytail — I thought, unconsciously — and shifted her shoulders. "It's pretty common."
"Must be because it's so lovely." She couldn't help but look at me then. I smiled. Angela blushed and quickly cast her eyes down. "I'm Sal," I said. "And this is Constance."
"Hi," Constance said, setting down Angela's hot chocolate. She sat beside me on the loveseat.
"Oh, uh, hi," Angela mumbled, blinking at the hot chocolate. Her fingers wrapped around the cup, luxuriating in the heat. After a moment, she cast her gaze up again. Her eyes drifted from me to Constance, somewhat put off, I thought, by our supportive smiles.
"So why are you here, Angela?" I asked.
Hands shaking, Angela brought the cup to her lips. She tasted it, then sucked in a haggard breath. Her gaze zigzagged between me and Constance a few more times. She seemed uncertain whom she wished to address. "Your website, uh, I mean, is it true what you say? Do you really... ?" She left the question unfinished. Not that it needed an ending.
First rule of the vampire handbook: never advertize that you are a vampire. Constance and I had had a wonderfully merry week plastering it all over the website. God bless the materialistic skepticism of modern times. Second rule of the 20th Century revised addition of the vampire handbook: if you are going to advertize, don't admit it in public because that's when the SWAT team breaks in and the scientists grab you. We were both still virgins by that one. Leaning back, I spread my hands, inviting Angela to commit herself first. Neither of us had any doubt about her by this point, but standards are made to keep you from being dumb in the future.
Angela got this. Her hands tightened around her cup. She stared down at the dark liquid. Outwardly, she seemed more composed, but I could hear the drum of her heart beat. It pumped her blood with a desperate strength and urgency, screaming denials of what she was planning to say. "I want to die," Angela whispered. Getting it out strengthened her. "I want to die," she said louder, in case we hadn't heard her. "I mean, I wish to commit suicide. But I'm afraid and I want ... your website, and I've heard stories, it says you are vampires. It says that you make it ... beautiful." She was looking at me now, pleading, and there were tears in her eyes. "I want to feel good." She had to grab a Kleenex then and blow her nose.
"How do you want to die?" Constance asked her.
"What?" Angela frowned. "I ... uh, I mean, I really don't know. I just..." She wavered.
"Why are you looking for death, Angela?" I asked, taking her hand. She flinched at the contact, but didn't pull away. Her shaking fingers weakly closed over mine. She leaned toward me.
"Are you really vampires?" Angela breathed. "Is it really real?"
I cupped her cheek with my palm, caressing her. She didn't flinch this time. Angela leaned into my hand. Her eyes closed. She sighed. "Tell us why," I insisted.
Tears ran down her face. She didn't wipe them. I thought she was afraid I'd take my hands off her. "Tom," she started to say. "I..."
"Yes," I encouraged.