“Same time next week hon?” Clarissa said.
She was rolling up the milk blue dress she wore for me. The kind that wouldn’t look out of place in a medieval castle, sitting on the arm of some noble king. She’d picked it up cheap after a Halloween party. Each week, she put it on and each week she made some cash.
I didn’t answer and she didn’t need to ask again. She was out the door before I could light up.
I fell from the bed and cried. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t as hard as it had been. Common law caught up with the times. I didn’t eat people, they wouldn’t stake me. I don’t raze a town to the ground, I get to own a bit of property of my own.
It didn’t stop the stares or the whispers. I had a small place on the outskirts of a small town, kept and repaired over the centuries. Sure, some of the London firebreathers had penthouses or mansions. They soaked up the limelight. And the compound interest on enough gold to back most countries currencies.
But I had mine. And it was pathetic.
I hadn’t noticed her return. Didn’t hear the door open, her quiet call from the doorway. She found me curled in a ball, like a hatchling from an egg with just a tail over my eyes for dignity. She’d seen me naked a hundred times. Felt every part of my body. And yet I was more exposed to her in that moment than if she had flayed my skin from my body.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, grabbing her phone from the sideboard. “I didn’t mean to. I forgot. I’ll go.”
I moved like a whelp half my age. My frame filled the doorway before she could think to move. My heart pounded, chest glistening and claws scratching at the wattle walls. We’d roleplayed this. Over and over. Her the damsel. Me the big monster. Chasing her. Catching her. Consuming her.
For the first time I saw her fear.
Not the kind money buys. The cheap platitude to keep an aging reptile happy. This was terror and I felt ashamed as a flicker of pride rippled up through my belly and made my fangs twitch. And then I collapsed in shame.
“Go,” I said. “Go!”
But she stayed. Trembling. I pushed past her, heading to the lounger with the groove cut out the back. I needed a drink. A big one. The kind that would kill a man. Her hand grabbed my arm as I walked past, the fingers barely making it a quarter way around.
“Please,” I said. “I’m sorry.”
“Is that what you always do?” Her face was lit by the candles dotted around the room. It ‘set the mood’ for our little escapades, but now it only served to reveal her emotions. Her eyes were questioning. The fear had gone, or at least subsided.
“When I leave. Do you cry? Is it because of me?” she said.
“No,” I blurted out before I could help it.
Her hand was still on my arm and I turned to face her. Facing each other, our differences were unassailable. I towered over her. But right now, I felt smaller than a newt.
“There are six females left in England. Our entire species is going extinct, it just takes a long time for anyone to notice. And the only way I can relive the old days is to pay a stripper to pretend to be scared of me.” Her face dropped at my poor choice of words. “Sorry.”
“I’ve been called worse.”
“I understand if you don’t want to…”
She put a finger to my lips, her legs stretched to reach, and I could taste her. The rush returned.
“Let’s try something new,” she said.
Prompt originally posted by LeVentNoir on reddit and received 16 upvotes.