Sunday, 22 May 2011
Femme Fatale Deluxe
By Britney Spears
The world was different since the vampires had come out into the open. People didn’t exactly live in fear, but they weren’t all happy about the publicity of something higher up on the food chain. Religious zealots lost their minds condemning the damned. New sects sprung up in response to this new threat that isolated entire communities, entire streets, entire towns – people built walls between them and the monsters. None of it really affected the west coast, the most liberal and accepting area in all of the United States. For every area that banished the vampires another more populated city embraced them, made them tourist attractions and night clubs.
Tiffany and Sadie made their way up the walk to Club Midnight tucked away inside the rain-dipped trees of northern Washington. It wasn’t the prime spot for a club, yet even its obscure location didn’t stop it from being the hottest place in town on Friday nights (the managers thanked the presence of a local vampire for that). Britney Spears’s “Till the World Ends” was blasting its techno-beat from the DJ’s speakers as they approached. Sadie noticed that the building was a series of giant, rounded glass squares. It looked like a flashing geometric polygon with the laser light show that was going on inside behind the glass.
The bouncer at the door stopped them. “ID,” he said holding out an ebony hand.
Tiffany opened her cardinal clutch purse and pulled it out. Sadie took a moment longer; she had to search her pockets. The DJ glanced over them momentarily then let them pass. Tiffany pushed the door open and the music poured out around them, bumping to a steady bass beat Sadie could feel rattling inside her ribcage; she was far from sure about this night. Tiffany had always been the partier in college; she had dragged Sadie along on occasion, but after she realized Sadie didn’t fit in she stopped forcing her to socialize. Still, they’d made perfect roommates somehow – perhaps it was because at the end of the day they were the only genuine friend the other had. After all, opposites attract they say.
They were both dressed to party, Tiffany more so in her strapless cherry dress that hugged her form uncomfortably so – at least it looked that way to Sadie. She had gone with a particularly fashionable pair of hip-hugger jeans and a loose V-neck top with fluffy little sleeves; comfortable but not slutty, attractive but not desperate. The outfit went well with her straight cropped russet colored hair. Tiffany, on the other hand, was overtly obvious with her long blonde hair pulled up in an elaborate bun, exposing all of her neck.
She turned back to Sadie once they got through the door and said, “Did I tell you about the vampire?” She practically had to yell to be heard over the din of the music.
“Yes,” Sadie replied in mock annoyance, speaking over Tiffany’s shoulder as they made their way into the club, “Like fifty times; he attends the club every single Friday night but never socializes – thinks he’s better than everyone else, or something.”
Tiffany waved away her friend’s automatic response, “All that’s going to change tonight.”
“Why? Because you look desperate to be fucked by a vampire?”
If Tiffany had room inside that dress for concealing a knife, Sadie was sure she’d have been dead instantaneously for that comment.
“I am not desperate--”
“Just obvious; sorry,” Sadie replied as they made their way through a throng of people to the alcohol and the dance floor.
David sat in his usual booth along the far wall, the crowd gave him as wide of a berth as possible. He was listening to their thoughts, the same mindless-drunken rabble as usual as they rubbed up against each other, hoping the other was drunk enough to go home with them later. This wasn’t David’s feeding ground; he preferred a higher class of food, yet he came here every Friday night anyway. Why he bothered coming he really didn’t know anymore, but something kept pulling him in this direction. Every Friday night he started to reconsider, and then he found himself climbing into his Aston Martin and driving across town anyway. So he sat like a statue perusing the room with his mind, looking for someone whose thoughts didn’t run in the same direction.
He never expected to find someone with a sense of personality, but that night he did as Sadie entered the building. He could barely hear her over the rabble of thoughts and music, but his heightened senses picked up the difference like the drop of a penny in a high school cafeteria. He listened for a moment as her thoughts became louder and clearer – she was heading this way. He watched her without moving as she appeared through the throng; David noticed no one else but Sadie in her jeans and top with the plunging neck-line. She emerged from the throng of people behind a blonde woman; they were holding hands so as not to become separated.
He smiled and if any of the regulars had been paying him any attention they would have wondered what had caused that look on the vampire’s face for the first time in history. It was the smile of a predator that has just sighted the perfect specimen of prey. David vacated his chair for the first time in Friday night history and followed Sadie and her friend to the bar, like a lion stalking a gazelle.
Tiffany was ordering two shots when David appeared at Sadie’s right. Sadie raised the glass to her lips when David’s low, whisper-growl sent chills down her spine.
“I wouldn’t drink that if I were you,” he said inside her ear. Sadie turned to him, frozen, her eyes wide and startled. His electric eyes pierced her first. She felt them douse her with chilling clarity, and yet her head felt instantly fuzzy, as if he were casting an enchantment over her. With his spiky blonde hair, scraggly scruff of beard, and charming half-smile David looked like a punk-rocker straight from the 80s. He wore a studded black jacket and tight leather pants adorned with a whole assortment of relatively useless belts, buckles, and studs.
It was natural instinct that made Sadie turn back to Tiffany and knock the spiked glass from her hands before she could take a sip. The alcohol went all down the front of Tiffany’s sexy neon-cherry dress. Tiffany shot Sadie a hideously feral look.
“What the hell was that for?”
“He said it’s spiked.”
Tiffany looked over Sadie’s shoulder at David and did a double take. The vampire was standing right beside her, practically salivating over Sadie’s neck – a fact Tiffany missed in her absorption over David. Tiffany looked back down at her ruined dress and flashed Sadie another murderous look.
“You’ve ruined it!” Tiffany whispered to Sadie leaning in to block their conversation from David, who wasn’t listening anyway. “Do you have any idea how much this little bitch cost? And now you’ve gone and ruined it!”
“Sorry,” Sadie replied as Tiffany moved around her and brushed up against David’s arm. He didn’t notice. He never looked away from Sadie.
“My friend, she’s such a klutz sometimes. I’m Tiffany, by the way,” she crooned in her most seductive purr, running her fingers over his shoulder. It had no affect on David what-so-ever. For all either of them knew he never even heard Tiffany speak. She threw Sadie another disgusted look and disappeared into the thrumming crowd. Sadie watched her go apprehensively; the look of hunger of David’s face made her nervous.
“I should really go with my friend,” she said starting to make her way around him, but he moved just enough to block her from continuing forward. A couple dancing rather rigorously behind David backed up just enough to knock into him. It was the perfect distraction for Sadie to get away. When David had shoved the guy away that had fallen back into him he couldn’t see Sadie anywhere; it didn’t matter, he could smell her. Her blood was compelling and would lead him right to her, like a heat-seeking missile.
Sadie found Tiffany on the other side of the room downing another shot of something, probably whisky. Sadie pushed her way through the crowd and grabbed her upper arm, pulling her away from the guy whom Sadie could only assume had given Tiffany the drink. He was leering drunkenly at the both of them.
“Are you sure you want to keep drinking like that?”
Tiffany glowered at her. The look was very unbecoming. “What do you want? Haven’t you got a vampire to entertain?”
“I lost him,” Sadie lied with a shrug of her shoulders.
Tiffany made a noise of disbelief, “He seemed pretty dead set on you.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Sadie replied trying to change the topic, “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea,” she mumbled to herself.
“What?” Tiffany asked over the roar of the crowd. Sadie shook her head and leaned in closer to be heard.
Tiffany rolled her eyes, “Whatever,” she replied but she led the way to the dance floor anyway. It was just the two of them for a moment, but it didn’t take long for a group of guys to surround them. The flashing neon lights made it damn near impossible to see what they looked like, but that didn’t seem to matter much to Tiffany who was alternating between grinding on two of them. The one closest to Sadie had a hard-on he was grinding against her thigh. She felt like hiking her knee up into his groin and finding out how well he liked that.
She couldn’t take it much longer and excused herself, wedging herself between dancing couples just to get free. Sadie realized in a moment that was a mistake, she was being swallowed by the crowd. For a moment she felt like she might be crushed by the crowd’s unwillingness to let her go, then there was a hand floating before her, a life-raft in a sea of bodies. She grasped it and David pulled her free.
No matter where David went the crowd gave him space – he was like a negative magnet in a swarm of other negatives repelling them with his presence; oddly enough they were all attracted to one another. Sadie couldn’t pretend she wasn’t grateful; it was nice to breathe easy again. She gulped in the fresh air, relishing her lungs ability to expand unlike the bodies on the dance floor.
David’s grey eyes captivated; they were so light in color they were almost white and mesmerizing – she felt like the mouse ensnared in the eyes of the serpent. It took a moment before she realized he was still holding her hand. She hadn’t noticed because he had no temperature, his body was neutral. His arms found their way around to the small of her back and he pulled her closer. In a sea of dancing faces the two of them slow-danced to a rocking techno beat.
Sadie’s arms wound their way around David’s neck and she lost herself inside his eyes. There was something there, aside from the obvious vampire thirst for blood, something she couldn’t name or grasp. Just when she felt like she might grasp hold of it, it eluded her clutching fingers. She longed to trap it, hold it in her two palms, and interrogate it.
For David everything was different about Sadie. She wasn’t like the animals around them dying for a chance to forget, but she wasn’t the self-absorbed ritzy class he was used to either – she was common, she was neutral. Sadie was safe ground. She fit nowhere and she fit everywhere. He found himself letting down his defenses as they danced. He didn’t need to use his powers of persuasion over her – she came to him like a moth drawn to a flame. The thought made him smile. He could hardly see himself as the flame, and yet he was.
As Sadie was captivated by David, he was enraptured by her. Her heartbeat set the steady pace for their dance; he could feel it coursing through her veins. While parts of him desired to lean in, brush his lips along her neck, then sink his fangs into her flesh and drink like a fiend, another part of him detested the thought – how could any part of him want to ruin something so perfect? How long had it been since he’d lost his sense of humanity? Centuries?
Neither of them spoke a word as they danced, it wouldn’t have mattered, and Sadie couldn’t have heard him over the music anyway. She’d have had to scream herself hoarse just to to be heard. Their dance persisted through the hours, perhaps the longest dance in club history. As the crowd began to thin Sadie came back to her senses and realized it was time to go look for Tiffany.
It was nearing 3 a.m. as Sadie scoured the club for Tiffany, she was her ride home; well, technically Sadie would be driving. Tiffany would be too wasted to even go near a steering wheel, which was if she hadn’t all ready left with some strange guy. That would be just like her, to leave and say nothing. Luckily, for both women, Sadie found her passed out in the corner, arms wrapped around a plastic Ficus tree. Sadie bent down, draped Tiffany’s left arm over her shoulders, and proceeded to lift her – for a small person of 5’4” she was quite the load when unconscious.
Just like every other time that night when she’d found herself in a jam, David showed up and with the ease of lifting a light sack of flour, he scooped up Tiffany in both arms and carried her outside. Sadie followed like a lost puppy, being jostled around by the remaining people still trying to make the night last forever. David moved through the crowd with ease, they parted for him like the sea had for Moses.
“The grey Porsche is hers, if you could just take her over there,” Sadie said when they got outside but David ignored her. There was an Aston Martin DB9 Volante sitting right out front and that’s what he headed for. He tossed Tiffany neatly into the back seat and opened up the passenger side door, looking at Sadie expectantly.
“I can drive her home, really, there’s no need--”
“Get in,” David ordered, but he never raised his voice nor did he sound angry. It was a calm, cool command – inviting more than demanding. Sadie found herself doing exactly what he said. Before she knew it she was sitting inside the car and felt the crisp night air blowing her hair back from her face. Somehow David had managed to get inside the car and start the engine without her knowing. Everything he did made Sadie feel like she was jogging through sludge; she couldn’t keep up.
The car looked brand new, almost as if he’d driven it off the lot right before visiting the club. The idea made her chuckle, but the sound felt foreign inside the car and she stifled further laughter. She glanced at David from the corner of her eye; he was solely focused upon the road unwinding before them. Over her shoulder, in the back seat, Tiffany sat with her legs draped over the center console, chin tucked into her shoulder. She looked like a sleeping babe.
Sadie was almost afraid to speak, but forced herself to anyway. If they were being kidnapped she deserved to know. “Where are you taking us?”
David didn’t answer at first and Sadie began to wonder if he hadn’t heard her. Just as she opened her mouth to ask again David answered, “I’m taking you to my place.”
For a moment Sadie had no response, and then she felt her usually controlling demeanor reassert itself. She’d never been the timid one when it came to rejecting a guy’s advances, but David had that effect on people. “Why?”
A grin pulled at the corner of David’s mouth. “You ask a lot of questions.”
“Does your prey usually just go silently?”
This made David laugh outright. The sound was captured by the passing wind and thrown behind them.
Sadie sat rigid in her seat and turned to face the road. “Sorry to disappoint you, then.”
“You’re far from a disappointment,” David replied casting a glance in her direction.
“Am I supposed to take that as a compliment?” Sadie returned sarcastically.
“Something like that.”
“Well, it’s a backhanded compliment at best; sorry if it doesn’t woo me,” Sadie responded crossing her arms in front of her chest.
“You have nothing to apologize for; I’ve apparently lost my touch.” David said turning onto a hidden gravel drive. They were on the outskirts of town where the richer folk lived in mansions hidden in among the trees for privacy. Sadie could barely see the road in front of them, and wouldn’t have seen it at all if the headlights hadn’t been leading the way. On either side of the car the trees were so dense they formed a tunnel around them. They drove on in silence for several moments, until Sadie wondered if they’d ever escape the tunnel of trees.
When they did the headlights illuminated a castle Sadie had never expected. The manor towered three floors above them, all of it white brick, surrounded by flowers, bushes, and trees of varieties she’d never seen before. It was like stumbling upon an oasis in a desert – it almost certainly had to be a mirage (this thought would occur many times to her later).
David smirked, bringing Sadie back to reality. She found herself staring at the mansion with her mouth agape. It made her humble little cabin on the lake on the other side of town look pathetic. One second David was in the car and the next he was standing with the passenger side door open. He moved like the flick of a light switch. Sadie stepped out of the car in a daze. David reached in the back and pulled Tiffany out. Somehow he managed to close the door and carry Tiffany at the same time. He led the way up the stairs and into the manor. The front hall was white marble, the ceiling vaulted high above them. Sadie’s heels clicked over the marble floor, it was the only sound and it echoed. She felt like a child in a library the need to be quiet was so strong. She found herself getting nervous in the silence of this spacious manor in comparison to the deafening drum of the club.
David carried Tiffany over to an L-shaped couch that surrounded a flat-screen, plasma TV. It was easily 102 inches across diagonally and it took up an entire wall. Across the room was a bar and that’s where David headed next; Sadie stayed beside the couch and Tiffany. Behind the bar was an open glass window from floor to ceiling. Had it been daylight Sadie could have seen the sloping backyard that opened upon a garden, hedge maze, and seventeen acres of land. Thankfully it was dark and the glass only reflected her and David’s back. She felt plain in comparison as she caught the sight of her pallid reflection.
David brought over a glass with a cerulean liquid inside, and held it out to her. “Drink,” he ordered in his velvet growl.
“You told me not to drink at the club, but now you’re handing me something that doesn’t even look safe; what the hell do you take me for?”
David smiled patiently, “This will keep you from transforming.”
“What?” Said asked perplexed.
The smile expanded but it lost some of its humanity when it exposed the polished points of David’s fangs. It all came crashing down around Sadie’s shoulders then.
“And if I refuse?” Sadie asked hesitantly testing the waters; something inside her said there was no refusing and part of her really didn’t want to, but she’d only admit that to herself later.
David didn’t answer, just held the glass out patiently. Sadie looked from the cerulean liquid into David’s eyes. There was nothing threatening in them; like his voice a command wasn’t binding, but it left little room for question. His eyes told her the exact same thing. She could refuse, if she wanted, but it would do no good. She didn’t think he’d hurt her, but he’d get what he was after one way or another. Rather than being afraid of him she felt comfortable around him – that wasn’t like the usual Sadie, but David had that effect on people too.
She took the glass willingly and drank. She expected it to be cold but it wasn’t – it was neutral just like David’s body. She handed the glass back and he set it upon a coaster on the end table; she barely had time to register the oddity of this behavior before he stepped forward, hooking an arm around her waist, and pulling her towards him. Their lips met and Sadie knew instantly this was the best kiss of her entire life. David wasted no time; her parted her lips with his tongue and ran it over her front teeth. She reciprocated and only shuddered slightly at the feel of his fangs.
The moment didn’t last long. Sadie felt a haze rising in the back of her mind like fog covering a back road – it was thick, dense, all encompassing. She lost herself inside the haze. The last thought she had before it enveloped her completely was that she’d like to remember this experience – it was bound to be the best in her life.