(copyright Tristan Alexander all rights reserved)
It was late, after midnight, when Joshua finally managed to get to the basement. He had fallen asleep after supper and would have slept through the night but he wanted to hear more of Valantene's story so he had forced himself to wake. He also knew that the Vampyre would want to drink from him, having not done so the night before. It frightened and excited him to think of this part of the partnership.
As he entered the dimly lit basement he saw his lover's pale form, he was sitting on the old work bench where they had sat before, waiting for the boy.
"Good evening Joshua, I began to think that you were not coming this evening." Valantene said in a quiet distracted voice.
"Hi Valantene, I'm sorry I wasn't here sooner, I fell asleep. You aren't angry are you?"
"Of course not, I understand. Shall I continue my tale?"
The boy nodded and so the Vampyre continued his story at exactly the point where he had left off.
"For the next two nights I fed on the blood of animals. I found it easy to catch rabbits with my new speed and stealth. Their blood did not revive me as the boys had but my body did not reject it as it did all else. I felt a constant hunger yet it was not unbearable and I vowed to myself that I would never again kill another human.
Staying well out of sight, I had spied on the village to learn of any news that might concern me. I heard my father's voice and learned that since Lord Mihnea and I had disappeared on the same night, it was thought that I had been taken into the Lord's service. And though it was customary for a father to be asked before his children took such a position, it was not required. Since our village was small, some of those who found me with the boy were known to me. Because of the darkness and excitement of the situation none could be sure that it was me they saw. Some seemed sure, yet others insisted not, my family chose to believe that it was not me. I could never explain to them what I had become. I hoped that they truly believed I was in the service of Lord Mihnea, for in a way, I was.
I also learned that the boy I had bitten, Radu was his name, was not dead! He lay near death for the past day and a half but had come out of his still sleep after a priest had cleaned the wound with holy water. He had been kept warm by his father who had lain with him holding the boy against his own flesh and keeping them both well wrapped in blankets. This and the priest's attentions were enough to save him. I later learned that the boy had recovered with no apparent ill effects, though he never left his hut at night to relive himself again for the rest of his life.
The fact that the boy had not died was a relief to me but it did not change my resolve never to kill humans. As time went on, I left the area near my village and discovered much about this strange new life. I soon discovered that the safest and often most comfortable places to sleep through the day was in the ancient stone burial chambers. Some were caves that had been carved and built on to make a crypt, others were great stones that had been placed over earthen mounds. Most of these were empty except for the bones and possessions of those long dead. On the first occasion that I entered a tomb newly occupied, I nearly fled in terror. Only the rising suns relentless rays prevented me from running from the place.
Waking the next night, I quickly left this resting place to it's rightful inhabitant. An old man whose body must have been rotting even as it was placed into the tomb. After this experience I made every effort to inspect several possible resting places before each days dawn. I never wanted to be without a palatable place to lay my head again.
In the nights and months that followed I learned many things about being a creature of the night. I learned that I could seduce young men with the promise of sex and by using the same technique as Lord Mihnea had used on me, I could draw enough blood from them to sustain myself well. I learned that I did not have to kill to live, nor did I have to harm. The sexual pleasure that I gave my victims offset the small loss of blood and the few days of soreness to their genitalia. I learned that by feeding well, I could look as normal as most people. My skin still had an odd translucence to it but unless I allowed close scrutiny, no one suspected my true nature.
Though I made an effort to live and dress as normal men, it soon became apparent that this was foolish of me. I did not feel the cold nor the heat any longer so I did not need to cloth myself. And as my chief method of procuring blood was through sexual seduction, being nude seemed the best method of arousing the interest of my victims.
I did develop an attachment to the cloak the woman had put on me that horrible first night and so I found myself dressing as you see me. I have acquired many cloaks over the years, as one would wear out and begin to rot away, I would replace it. All have looked much the same, dark blue, nearly black with the same silver clasp transferred from one to the next.
The clasp was not on the original cloak but was made for me years later by an artisan who as a youth became my lover and during his apprenticeship to a master craftsman, made it as a token of his love. I stayed with him for many years until his death as an old man. I keep it to remind me that I am not unredeemable nor am I as cold at heart as I am in body. These are the only reminders of my home and century of birth that I care to have." The Vampyre stopped and gently caressed the clasp at his neck.
Joshua had noticed it before, it was very striking. About an inch and a half across, the circle of silver had a black design enameled on it. The center was a face half in shadow half in light with a bat wing rising from the dark side and a pointed collar from the light.
"Joshua you look troubled, what bothers you?"
The boy was still not sure about this relationship. "I don't know. I still can't believe this whole thing, I mean, how can I let you drink my blood and not feel strange? Are you sure that I won't become a Vampyre by letting you bite me?"