Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and mature content.
Becca collapsed onto one of the dining chairs, slinging her work bag onto the table as she did so. It was amazing how tiring it was just sitting at a desk, answering phone calls and filling out paperwork. She peeled herself out of her coat and pushed it over the back of the chair. In the other room, there was the sound of movement, and then Maeve appeared at the door holding two glasses of wine. Her short blonde hair was up in a little scruffy bun and she was wearing a unicorn pyjama set – the same thing she had been wearing that morning. She smiled at Becca and held one of the wine glasses out to her.
“Drink with me,” she said.
Becca dragged herself up to her feet and grabbed her coat. Maeve followed her into the hallway where she hung the coat up on its hook.
“I’ve literally just got in from work.”
“And you deserve a drink.” Maeve pouted when Becca arched her eyebrow. “C’mon, you know I don’t like drinking alone.”
“Curfew started two days ago and you’ve already nearly finished the bottles you bought.”
She just blinked at her and lifted the wine glass higher.
Becca rolled her eyes and went into the living room. She dropped onto the sofa and stuck her hand down the side of the cushion to fish for the TV remote. Since curfew had begun, Maeve had turned their living room into her office. Her laptop and spreadsheets were scattered across the coffee table. She worked in marketing and so she said working from home was easier than driving to and from work every day. There was an obvious correlation between Maeve refusing to leave the house and the government telling people to be cautious, even though she was adamant that the reason for the change was because she was tired of her overcrowded office that stunk of body odour and tomato pasta.
“I made chilli. There’s some left over. Want me to heat it up for you?” she asked from the door.
“Sure. Thanks,” Becca replied, her fingers finally finding the remote.
“And then you’ll have a drink with me?” Maeve fluttered her eyelashes.
Becca smiled. “Fine. Just one.”
By the time Becca had finished eating, it was 7pm and the sun was down. She grabbed her phone.
‘I have some more questions.’
She read the message over several times and her heart did one heavy lurch when she finally pressed send. When there was no reply straight away, she placed her phone face-down on the armrest, tricking herself into believing she wasn’t bothered if it stayed silent.
But as she sat, pretending to watch a rerun of a sitcom, her palms were clammy against her tights and she found her eyes drifting to the left. When it finally buzzed, she almost jumped out of her skin. She forced herself to wait a moment before looking.
What the hell are you doing? She rolled her eyes and grabbed her phone. She wasn’t a teenager anymore, and with everything going on, replying too quickly was the least of her worries.
‘Okay. I could come over if you’d like?’
She smiled down at her phone.
‘Sure. I’m in all night.’
‘Be there soon.’
“Who you texting?” Maeve was at the other end of the sofa, her eyebrows dancing and a knowing smirk filling her face.
Becca sent her a jokey dirty look and got up to leave the room.
“Tell Gabriel I said hi,” Maeve called after her before she closed the door behind her.
Less than half an hour later, there was a knock at the door. Becca picked herself up off the top step and made her way down the stairs. Yes, she had been sat at the top of the stairs, staring at the door like an anxious teen waiting for her date to prom to arrive. She knew it was dumb, but there was something about Gabriel that filled her with giddy optimism. Even after everything she knew.
Letting out a calming breath, she opened the door. And there he was, standing a few steps away down the path, hands in the pockets of his wax jacket, his natural tan washed out by the glare of the streetlamp. He smiled at her, soft and warm and delicate and not in the least bit intimidating. She had always thought that. He had a look of a man who could easily come off as imposing. He was probably just shy of six foot, broad shouldered with a scruff of beard. His dark hair was short, his curls slicked back from his face, turning them into a sea of shiny waves. The style made him look more like a mafia boss than a care nurse. But despite all that, there was something so cool and disarming about him – even now.
“Hey,” he said, just like an awkward date ready for prom.
She smiled, her heart soaring. “Hey. Come in.”
He stepped inside and they both lingered a moment, standing almost chest to chest. His amber eyes gazed down at her. She noted that they flickered to her lips.
Then the living room door opened. They both turned to see Maeve poking her head out. She grinned.
“Hey, Gabe, want some wine?”
Gabriel audibly gulped. Despite him coming over to her place almost every week when they had dated, he and Maeve rarely interacted. Becca figured that Maeve’s bold, eccentric personality was a little too much for Gabriel to handle.
“Erhh...” he stammered, looking to Becca for help.
“We’re just gonna go up to my room.” Becca grabbed Gabriel’s arm and steered him towards the stairs.
Maeve wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. “Yeah you are.”
“Sorry about that.” Becca closed her bedroom door behind them and rested her back against it. “I think she’s bored.”
“It’s okay.” He laughed softly. He was standing by her bed, eyes scanning the art on her walls. He’d been in her room countless times before, but it felt different now, somehow. Now that she knew the truth about him, everything felt more intimate.
“And sorry for making you come here.”
“I know but…” She trailed off with a shrug.
“Since curfew, the three of us have had nowhere to go. I think we’ve completed Netflix, if that’s a thing. So, trust me, this is a welcomed escape.”
“You can sit.” She gestured to the bed.
He dropped down obediently and unzipped his jacket, revealing a simple black jumper underneath.
“So, you said you have more questions?” he asked.
She crossed the room and sat beside him. His body turned to her instinctively, like a flower searching for the sun.
“Yeah.” She cleared her throat and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “But first.” She frowned, trying to find her words. “Why am I okay with this? Why am I not scared of you? I mean, I should be, shouldn’t I?”
His eyebrows pinched as if hurt. “You should never feel like you need to be afraid of me. I meant it when I said I would never hurt you.”
“But you’re a v-” They both looked to the door, “vampire,” she whispered.
He held her hand on her lap. His enveloping hers. She noticed how cold his was compared to her own.
“I’m still me,” he said.
She watched their hands, feeling comforted by the way his thumb stroked her knuckles.
“I think a part of me is just thankful your odd behaviour wasn’t to do with me. Is that vain?”
Gabriel laughed softly. Her eyes found his.
“It’s so weird going to my grandad’s now you’re not there. Paul’s great with him and everything, but he barely talks to me. It’s like as soon as I get there, he’s like okay my shift’s over, and leaves.” She tilted her head, noticing the details of his face. The dark flecks in his irises, the sharp edge to his jaw. “I miss seeing you every night.”
He was watching her lips, mesmerised. They were so close she could smell his cologne. It was the same one he used when they dated. It was subtle but heady. Nothing like what the lads doused themselves in every night. No, Gabriel always had a refined, gentlemanly quality to him.
Her hand slipped out from under his and crossed the threshold between them. She watched as the muscle in his jaw flexed when she placed her hand on his thigh, his jeans rough under her touch.
“Can I see them again?” she asked, her voice now soft due to the close proximity.
“What?” he replied in a rushed expel of air.
This time, she didn’t need to ask twice. He parted his lips, eyes still on hers. His top lip twitched and his fangs lengthened in one fluid motioned, accompanied a sound oddly similar to that of a pen cap. A small gasp escaped her but she didn’t move away. Instead, her hand gripped his thigh and he inhaled.
She gazed at the sharp canines and marvelled at how they didn’t seem out of place. No, these were his real teeth. This was the real Gabriel.
She moved closer, their thighs touching. He just watched her, silently and patiently. But the air between them was thick with tension. In that moment, they were the only two people in the world that mattered.
Gabriel was here. Back in her room. Showing her all of him. Wanting her to know all of him.
Her heart was pounding and she relished the thought that he could hear it. Hear what he was doing to her. She gazed at the tips of his fangs and wondered how they would feel against her skin. Piercing her. Marking her.
Her lips were on his then. Soft and careful. He kissed her back, the tension in his body dissipating. His hand slid to her neck, his thumb brushing her jaw. Still so careful. She pulled away. His eyes were hooded as he gazed back at her. She could tell he could see the look in her eyes. The want. The need. His fingers curled around the hair at the nape of her neck. Tugged. She gasped. And then they were kissing again. This time, passionately. Feverishly. Hungrily.
She pushed off his jacket and straddled him. His hands were splayed over her back, pressing her to him, then pulling her dress up over her head. He peppered kisses across her neck and chest, the tips of his fangs scraping against her like nails.
Soft mewls and moans escaped her. She kissed him harder, grabbing at his jumper, needing his skin against hers. When she pulled it free, she threw it to the ground. Her hands explored the soft grooves of his muscular chest before pushing his back against the bed and getting lost in the heat and passion.
The atmosphere in the dark basement was somehow even gloomy than last time. Dalia had dealt the cards but they hadn’t even attempted to play. No, instead, the three of them sat, topping up their whisky glasses with the same bottle of blood. Dalia’s blood supply was running low. Now that the word was out there, the doctors she and Silas had befriended were no longer willing to fudge paperwork and give them blood donation handouts. Apparently, since the massacre after the raid, all hospitals were on high alert, and every doctor was being watched over like a criminal.
“This curfew has fucked everything up,” Dalia sneered, showing fangs. “Now I’ve had to shut my club. What the fuck am I supposed to do?”
“First thing you need to do is hide this stuff.” Silas lifted his glass, then nodded over to the freezer at the back of the room. “I’ve got word from the States that their vamp clubs are big business now. They’ve even got celebs paying good money to get bitten and thrown around a bit.” He shook his head and took a swig of his drink. “So, I can bet the authorities will start snooping around more establishments here soon, now they know Moonlight was just the tip of the iceberg.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not dumb.” Dalia leaned back in her chair. “These bottles are from home.” She gestured to the one in the centre of the table. “Freezer’s empty already.”
“There’s no curfews in other countries?” Ezra asked.
“Not yet,” replied Silas. “But it’s hard to tell which way the rest of the world is going to go. It’d be easier for the States to just embrace this new culture. Now that the rich are involved and it’s most likely bringing in a profit.”
“But they won’t do that here?” asked Ezra.
“Not now they’ve exercised the curfew. They’re already basically public announced that we’re a threat. They can’t go back from that now.”
Ezra’s body felt so heavy in the chair. Like his loss of hope was dragging him down.
“And the curfew is just the beginning,” said Dalia.
Silas nodded. “It’s only going to get worse for us.”
An exhausted groan erupted from the back of Ezra’s throat before he had a chance to quell it. His eyes bugged when both ancients’ gazes shot to him.
“I’m sorry, are we boring you?” said Dalia, arching a pencilled eyebrow.
Ezra had slouched so far in his chair his shoulders were almost level with the tabletop. He shouldn’t say anything. He should politely apologise. But when he caught his Maker’s frosty gaze, a sudden blaze of angry shot through his heart and he straightened himself.
“I’m just sick of you two whining like there’s nothing we can do about any of this. Honestly, you’re like a pair of old crones who just love to bitch and moan.” Dalia’s nostrils flared at Ezra’s fiery tone but Silas’ eyes shone with sudden exhilaration. His Maker sat opposite him, one shoulder against the back of his chair, a ringed finger circling the rim of his glass. A ghost of a smile played on his tanned face.
“Last week I was informed that we have a Court. That there are some higher power vamps looking out for our kind and what, now that things are getting a little shaky, we’re just supposed to throw in the towel? We’ve been around for God knows how long and we’ve managed to make it this far. I’ve got a progeny at home and I promised her I would give her a better life. This is not the end for us. I’m just not accepting that.”
Ezra was shaking; fury and fear and adrenaline buzzing through his veins. The backs of his eyes burned as he looked between the two ancients.
Dalia’s jaw worked, her painted red lips pursing together. She rose off her chair, fangs extended, “Look here you little shi-”
Her mouth clamped shut and her head whipped to Silas so quick her blond ponytail cracked like a whip. The one word uttered from Silas had been barely a whisper but it had instantly put the other vampire in her place. She gulped and sank back down onto her chair, cutting a sharp glare towards Ezra before bowing her head in subjugation.
Ezra looked to his Maker. He’d never seen his eyes twinkle before, it was unnerving. Why wasn’t Silas screaming at him for his insolence? His Maker was not one to shy away from using the back of his hand to remind his progenies of who was in charge. Ezra had expected the ancient to reach over the table and grab him by his collar but Silas hadn’t so much as flinched.
No, instead, his smile only grew bigger.
Ezra gulped, unable to look him in the eye.
“I think it’s time you meet them.”
“What?” The word tumbled out of his mouth.
“There’s a meeting tonight.” Silas lifted his glass and watched the last ounce of blood swirl around the bottom. “-with the Court. You’re coming with me.”