A few years ago, some friends on Facebook gave me an idea for a short story. I liked it, so I wrote Vampire Hunter as a result. I have the story up on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble for free. Later, my husband said, “You know, you should write a story called Christmas and a Vampire.” I asked him why. “Because it would be an interesting combination.” Once again, I rose to the challenge. Still working on it, but one day, I'll publish the story. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this exchange.
Rafaela slid silently out of bed, her bare feet chilled by the hardwood floor. Slipping on a pair of jeans, she searched her belongings for a weapon. Gone! Even her secret stash in the wardrobe, was missing.
"What the hell?" she whispered.
"Looking for something?"
His silky voice made her shiver. Rafaela spun around, crouched and ready for his attack.
Dirk licked full lips, glittering ruby drops rolled off his chin. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, leaving red streaks in its wake.
"What are you doing here, Dirk?"
"Nice move, staying with your fuzzy friends. Did you really think they could protect you?"
She had, but didn't say so. He took a step toward her. Rafaela held her ground.
"Because, really, you should know better, Ella."
"How did you get in?"
He gave her a patient smile, meaning he had no intention of answering her.
"Did you kill them all?" A sob welled in her throat at the thought.
"You mean this?" He wiped his lips casually. "I don't enjoy the taste of dog. Their guests, however, were delicious and quite cooperative."
Which explained how he'd gained access. He mesmerized one of them to invite him in.
"I should have killed you when I had the chance."
"So you're always telling me, Ella. And yet. . . ." He held out his hands from his sides.
Quick as a lightning strike, he crossed the room. One hand dug into her hair, the other clasped her spine, not quite paralyzing her. Her neck arched under his grasp, her blood throbbed against her skin. Dirk rubbed his lips up and down as his fangs descended. He inhaled slowly, deeply.
"Delicious, as always. You do this to torment me," he groaned.
Rafaela shoved him away, breaking his hold on her. Chest heaving, gut taut, she did her best to ignore the fact she wanted him. She always did. Even after he ravaged her family, killing some, turning others, she couldn't resist his touch.
"I have work to do, Dirk."
"Why, Rafaela? It's almost Christmas."
"No rest for the wicked."
"And I would know."
Her smile was tight, forced. He took a step away, shaking his head.
"Thanks to you, I have to find new accommodations. Someone burned crosses on my lawn."
"What did you do to upset the neighbors this time?"
He turned to her, eyes sad. For a beast of his caliber, the sight was alarming. Rafaela took a step back, stance defiant.
"Must we always do this? Every time we see one another, we fight."
"Maybe that's because our vocations are diametrically opposed."
"Oh, stuff it, Ella. You could kill every vamp in the world, and probably will. It won't change the fact I love you and you love me. Will you cut a guy some slack?"
"You kill, people, Dirk."
"So do you, Rafaela. Case in point, three friends of mine only today."
"They were monsters, just like you."
"I'm a man. Grant you, an undead one, who feasts on blood. . . . But I'm no more of a monster than you are."
"You killed all my friends and their guests."
He pointed at her, angry. "An assumption. Yes, I had a snack." He peeled a dried patch of blood from his chin flicking it away after examining it. "But I didn't kill anyone. Check for yourself. Your friends are fine. Unconscious, but alive."
"Then who's that?" She pointed to the blood stain on his shirt.
"Female guest about twenty-six, busty. O positive with an undertone of A. Very tasty vintage."
"And you swear she's alive?"
"Alive and sleeping. I do have some scruples, Ella."
"Why did you come here?"
"I'm lonely. I thought you might like to spend the holidays together."
Rafaela rolled her eyes, laughing. Dirk didn't laugh. His eyes were solemn, his mouth in a soft, full bow. He took her hands, gazing into her eyes, Fortunately, Vampire Hunters were immune to mesmerizing, but he still had the uncanny abilities of a human man. Dirk was nearly a hundred and fifty years old. He knew how to get around a girl's defenses. He'd done it successfully with her for nearly a full century and he knew exactly what buttons to push.
"Please, Ella. I may be a monster, but I still don't want to spend the holiday alone."
In point of fact, neither did she. Since she had no idea where most of her family was, she had no one to spend time with. A hundred years of vampire slaying had kept her from making friends with the humans around her. She'd found out the hard way that friendships made you vulnerable and got innocent people killed. She'd forged relationships with other special people, like Claudette and her family, reluctantly. They were better able to defend themselves if an irate vampire came calling.
"You can pretend that you aren't lonely, Rafaela. But I know you are. Hell, I'm lonely too. What you do is far harder than what I do. I survive, even lead a fairly comfortable existence from time to time. But you—my love. . . . You work so hard, hunting a race who wish only to coexist."
Rafaela's face had softened as he spoke, but when he said this last, her expression hardened once more.
"You say that after you devoured my little sister in her sleep? After you ripped out the throat of my brother and turned my parents? You attacked and killed half my family, the other half you turned into monsters like yourself. That is not peaceful coexistence."
"I didn't say it was peaceful." He smirked, raising an eyebrow.
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