Flash Friday: “Accidental Vampire”

FLASH FRIDAY:  “Accidental Vampire” – Excerpted from CRIMSON ROSE*

copyright 2007 by Esther Mitchell

“You are a vampire.”

She sounded  skeptical.  Hell, she looked skeptical.  Geronimo sighed. No one ever said this confession stuff was easy.  Might as well bite the bullet.  “Yeah.”

Claire rolled her eyes.  “And you cannot come up with a better lie than that?”

“It’s not a lie!”

Juste.  A vampire who walks in daylight.”  She threw up her hands in disgust.  “Now I have heard everything!”

The problem dawned on Gerry, then, and he cursed beneath his breath.  This wasn’t about her not believing in vampires.  This was about what she believed about them.  A dark smile tugged his lips.

“There’s more than one kind of vampire, Claire.”

One slim, blond brow lifted.  She still looked unconvinced.  “C’est fait?  I have not heard of vampires who are not…how would you say? Allergic to sunlight.”

He leaned against the tree, following her restless motions as she paced in a tight circle.  “You’ve got Hollywood brainwashing, is what you’ve got.  Nosferatu can be killed by sunlight, supposedly.  They’re essentially dead, anyway, which I guess makes them susceptible.  I am not, and nor have I ever been, dead.  In fact, I’ve never met a Nosferatu.”

She whipped about to face him.  “Then how–?”

This was more difficult.  “About ten years ago, I was investigating a chemical weapons facility as part of a team like START.  I assume you’ve heard of them?”

She nodded.

“Yeah, well, some people aren’t as accomodating as the Russians were.  The entire team stumbled into an unshielded nuclear site.  Radiation poisoning killed everyone else on the team.  Somehow, I got lucky.”  He couldn’t keep the scornful irony out of his voice if he tried, so he didn’t.  “My blood was irradiated.  The doctors never saw anything like it, before, and they weren’t sure what to do with me.  They figured they could treat it like leukemia.  Just give me a bone marrow transplant and new blood.”

“It did not work?”

“Hell, no.”  He ran a hand through his hair.  “Some kind of mutation had already taken place, and the new blood just kept dying.  Even worse, I was drained all the time, so tired it took more effort than I had just to lift my arm.”

She looked curious now, and at least she was listening again.  “How did they fix it?”

“They never really did.  Matt found someone who’d developed a serum that slows the rate of blood death, and allows me to function longer without a transfusion, but I still need blood.  And I need energy, which I get by feeding off the energy of others.  A psychic vampire.”

The tip of her tongue darted over her lips, and her eyes telegraphed nerves her expression didn’t otherwise show.  “And how do you… feed?”

Hunger and humor blended in him as he watched that tongue move.  This probably went way beyond what she was ready to accept about their partnership.  His desire for her certainly did.  “Blood or energy?”

“B-both.”

He pushed off from the tree, ate up the space between them in a single, fluid motion.  “I get normal blood transfusions.  Drinking blood would be useless.  It just breaks down in the stomach.  As for energy,” he closed the distance until even a breath wouldn’t fit between them.  Hunger churned in him as he stared down into her emerald eyes.  Slowly, he dipped his head toward hers, and softly brushed his lips across hers, causing her eyes to widen as she sucked in a surprised breath.  His lips tugged up in a seductive smile.  “I’m afraid I’d have to show you.”

 

*This scene is unedited. Please allow for typographical errors.

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