Life is Good
This story contains explicit sex.
Content warning: blood, violence, injury (not graphic)
Hugo really was very proud of his job. He couldn’t talk about it with other people, of course. Why, yes, I go out every night, search the city for vampires, and stake them. It wasn’t something most people would even believe. But Hugo enjoyed it. He liked the athleticism that it took, to chase something faster than humans, to fight them hand to hand. And he liked the results very much. Humans rescued. Predators vanquished. Hugo got to spend his nights in the open air, beneath the stars, working with his hands.
There were some drawbacks: damage to his clothes and weapons, damage to his now middle-aged body. Hugo wasn’t sure he could actually attribute his desperate loneliness entirely to his job, but when you couldn’t open up to anyone about your work and you were also busy every evening, well—
But that was all right. Hugo was proud of what he did.
Tonight he had found a vampire stalking a woman as she walked home from the bus stop. This was a relatively new area for Hugo, one he’d previously thought was vampire-free, but nowhere could be safe as long as any vampires were alive. Hugo had maneuvered the fiend into an alley and now he had it trapped. This vampire was an ugly one (weren’t they all?), with skin mottled gray and stringy black hair. It struck at him with fingernails so sharp they were almost talons. Hugo dodged, and the vampire hissed at him.
They traded blows and feints for a few minutes, and things were going fairly well. The vampire clearly hadn’t fed in a while and it was weakening quickly. But Hugo suddenly realized that there was another vampire present. It was standing at the entrance to the alley, just watching, with interest clear on its face. Hugo let the first vampire push him back a bit and then swung suddenly at the new one with his stake.
The new vampire sidestepped the blow easily— perhaps Hugo was getting tired, too— but it exclaimed in a surprised, rather posh voice, “Oh, goodness!”
Hugo was startled for a second, and it froze him just long enough for the other vampire to notice the advantage. It lunged at him, clawing his arm, ripping his leather jacket. Hugo let the force of the blow roll him and threw the vampire over his shoulder. He turned quickly on his knees and staked it through the heart. The vampire collapsed instantly into a pile of ash on the pavement.
The new vampire gave the ashy remains a look of distaste, as if it didn’t care for the mess. It was actually quite striking visually, this one— it looked like a man in his twenties, with shiny silver hair long enough to brush its shoulders, bright blue eyes, and pale skin. It was taller than Hugo, slender and lithe, and wore fashionable clothing— tight black jeans and a red sweater that hung off one shoulder, exposing its collar bone. It was by far the cleanest, most well-groomed vampire Hugo had ever seen.
Hugo rocked on his heels, stake still in his hand, trying to anticipate the creature’s next move. The vampire appeared to be doing the same thing, looking Hugo over, from his black boots to his torn jacket. Hugo knew he looked a great deal stronger than this vampire— he worked out every day and it showed— but vampire appearances could be very deceiving. Vampires only grew stronger with age, while humans were the opposite. And Hugo was not a young man anymore. At this point, his muscles were mostly hidden beneath a bit of middle-aged padding.
“I haven’t seen you around here before,” the vampire said in a friendly voice, as if the two of them might be making conversation over a pyramid of oranges at the grocery store. “Are you new?”
“Been here long enough to kill 5 vampires,” Hugo growled.
The vampire raised its silver eyebrows. “Oh. Ah— what an interesting statistic.”
Hugo struck, hoping to take the vampire off guard. It casually sidestepped his attack again.
“You know,” the vampire said, in a blatantly appreciative voice, “you’re really quite good at that.”
Hugo had never experienced a tactic like this before. Was it trying to knock him off his guard? “Not good enough if you’re still breathing,” he snapped.
The vampire looked displeased. “Really now, I had nothing to do with all of—” He gestured at the ash pile on the pavement. “I was just passing by.”
“Right, I’m sure. Anyway, doesn’t matter, if I let you go you’ll kill someone soon enough.”
The vampire crossed its arms, making its sweater slide farther off of its shoulder. Hugo found himself following the movement as if mesmerized. “That’s your entire worldview, then,” the vampire said. “They kill, you kill?”
“I didn’t make the rules!” Hugo struck once more and this time, the vampire disappeared entirely. Hugo stood frozen in shock, until out of the corner of his eye, he saw it reappear, coalescing from a mist into a solid body. “How the hell did you do that?” Hugo asked.
The creature looked delighted. “Oh, you liked that? It’s so funny, actually, one day it was very foggy and I thought how beautiful it was, and the next thing I knew I was all made of mist. It’s really quite pleasant, especially when it’s hot out. And, ah— you know,” it continued in a low voice, “I’m actually feeling awfully warm right now.” The vampire looked at Hugo in a hungry way— and not the kind of hungry Hugo was used to from vampires.
“What?” Hugo asked.
The vampire smiled. It made him look even more handsome. Not that Hugo had noticed he was handsome in the first place, and not that he was thinking of it as he, either. “You’re very athletic,” the vampire said admiringly.
“Aren’t you going to fight me?”
“Oh, I’m not much for violence, really.” Oddly enough, the vampire looked entirely honest at that moment.
“Funny,” Hugo said.
The vampire’s smile faded. He looked almost disappointed. “Well, it’s very nice to have met you. My name is Lyndon, by the way.”
“Hugo,” Hugo said, before he could stop himself.
“Well, then, Hugo— I suppose I’ll see you around.” The vampire took a step forward and for whatever reason, Hugo took a step back— probably just a bit off his rhythm, given how unexpected this whole exchange had been— and he slipped a little on a patch of some oily substance on the pavement. For a second, there was a pale hand at his elbow, steadying him, and then the vampire had disappeared into a cloud of mist, which dissipated into the night sky.
Hugo stared after him. “What the actual fuck?”
The following week, Hugo got a tip from one of his sources about a vampire tracking someone near the public library. Hugo arrived just after midnight and in the alley behind the library, he could see a body lying on the ground with tangled red hair over its face. Standing above it was a familiar-looking, silver-haired vampire.
During the past week, Hugo had attempted to make some sense out of the encounter he’d had with this creature. It hadn’t been too difficult to work out that the vampire’s flirtations were a tactic to set Hugo off his guard. That left one question though: why hadn’t the vampire used his advantage and attacked?
It had occurred to Hugo that it was possible that this vampire was playing some sort of long game with him, wanting to toy with him before killing him. It had also occurred to Hugo that there was some very small possibility that the vampire— Lyndon— had been in earnest. That he’d come across an aging vampire hunter in a dark alley, found him attractive, and decided to hit on him. If that was the case, then Hugo might be… flattered? But in a very strange way.
Hugo had not been faced with these kinds of questions about his prey before. Vampires were not complicated creatures. They were like animals, hunting and eating, with no concern for humans. Hugo had not ever considered a vampire to be good-looking before, or had much of a conversation with one. If Lyndon’s aim was to have Hugo be confused, then he’d at least achieved that.
Tonight Lyndon wore a tailored, snow-white suit that emphasized the long lines of his legs and his narrow waist, with a black silk shirt underneath. His shiny silver hair was loose around his shoulders again. Not only did this vampire dress well, but he had to be the cleanest eater Hugo had ever encountered, because there was not a single spot of blood on that white suit.
“We meet again!” Lyndon said, sounding pleased. “How are you, Hugo?”
“Oh, you know,” Hugo said. “Life is good.” He reached into his pocket and drew out a wooden stake for each hand.
“Oh, wonderful. I’ve been doing well. In fact—” Lyndon made an annoyed noise as Hugo struck at him with both stakes in quick succession. As always, Lyndon side-stepped the blows.
“Can you— can you stop that for a second?” Lyndon asked. He held out his hands in a calming gesture. Hugo noted that his fingernails were clean and well-cared for, not long and sharp like the other vampires Hugo had seen. Lyndon was even wearing pale pink nail polish.
“What do you think we’re doing here?” Hugo asked. “You’ve killed someone.”
Lyndon’s eyes dipped down to the corpse on the pavement and then back up. “Oh, yes. Well, actually, that’s a good point. Maybe we could meet somewhere else next time? Without all the—” Lyndon waved his hands around. “—fighting?”
“You cannot seriously be asking me out!” Hugo growled as he struck again. But this time, Lyndon did not move away. He simply caught Hugo’s wrist in his hand and held it steady. Hugo felt the color drain out of his face. He could not move his hand at all. In desperation, he struck out with the other stake and Lyndon caught that wrist as well.
This vampire was dangerous, Hugo realized. Not only was he unbelievably strong, but he’d maneuvered Hugo into making a terrible mistake in tactics. Hugo’s hands were crossed between their chests with his wrists held firm, his entire body anchored in one place. They were so close that Hugo could look right up into Lyndon’s otherworldly blue eyes. All Lyndon would have to do now would be to lean forward and sink his teeth into Hugo’s throat.
Only it wasn’t Hugo’s throat Lyndon was looking at. It was his mouth. It was also true, Hugo realized with some awful thrill, that Lyndon could simply lean forward and kiss him.
“You’re a vampire,” Hugo said, possibly just to remind himself.
Lyndon’s voice came out a bit husky. “Yes.”
“I’m a vampire hunter.”
“Then the only reason I will meet you is if you are attacking someone!” Hugo realized it was the wrong thing to say immediately after he said it.
Lyndon looked a little dismayed with that logic as well. “Well, I suppose then that I’ll have to attack someone,” he said petulantly. “If it will make you happy.”
Abruptly, he let go of Hugo’s wrists. Hugo staggered backwards, but used the momentum to swing his leg around. His foot connected with Lyndon’s stomach and knocked the vampire back against the alley wall.
Lyndon’s bright eyes were wide with shock. “Ouch,” he said, sounding betrayed, and he rubbed the back of his head where it had hit the brickwork. Then he began to brush the dirt from Hugo’s shoe off of his white suit.
Hugo stood there in the alley, attempting to keep himself from apologizing. He succeeded in that. But for some reason, he did not follow up with another strike at Lyndon. Nor was he able to understand why at the last moment, he had held back with the force of his kick.
Lyndon bent and picked up the victim from the pavement. That startled Hugo into action. No wonder there was no blood on Lyndon’s suit. If the vampire was taking his victim with him, then the victim hadn’t been bitten yet. They might even still be alive! He rushed at Lyndon, and found himself swinging at a cloud of mist. The vampire and his prey had disappeared.
For the next two weeks, Hugo looked over his shoulder in every dark alley. This was not new. The new part was that he was looking for a slender, attractive figure with silver hair. But there was no sign of Lyndon. Perhaps Hugo finally landing a blow had been enough of an insult to the vampire to make him realize that Hugo was not interested in a romantic relationship with a predator.
Although honestly Lyndon made quite a poor excuse for a predator, what with letting a vampire hunter escape unhurt. Of course, it was still possible that he was just playing a game with Hugo, amusing himself with someone who was clearly no threat. The fact that he was no threat was also unsettling Hugo. Lyndon was easily the most dangerous vampire Hugo had ever met. He had amazing strength and speed, not to mention the power to turn into mist. Hugo could only guess at what else Lyndon was capable of. Becoming a wolf or bat? Walking around in the sunlight?
The thing was, there was only one way Lyndon’s powers could be that strong, and that was if he was, in fact, a very, very good predator. One who either killed more often than the average vampire, or had been killing longer. How old was Lyndon? Hugo wondered. A thousand? Two thousand?
Lyndon must be playing a game. Millennia-old creatures surely got bored with normal hunts. And any traitorous part of Hugo that wanted to respond to Lyndon’s flirting with his own (probably even more awkward) flirting was just going to get him killed. Actually, Hugo did not have any idea how he was going to avoid getting killed by Lyndon anyway.
So, yes, Hugo was looking over his shoulder. He was not looking at the other end of a park bench where he’d settled himself one night around two a.m., but that was where Lyndon appeared, coalescing into view with a suddenness that made Hugo yelp and almost fall off the bench.
“Sorry,” Lyndon said, looking honestly apologetic. “Um— lovely night.”
Hugo made some vague growling noise.
Lyndon just smiled. “So, is life still good?”
“Beats death,” Hugo answered.
“Uh— well, yes, I suppose it does.” Lyndon was all in black tonight, with his silver hair pinned up above his neck. He was graceful and gorgeous sitting there in the half-shadow.
“I suppose you’ve attacked someone,” Hugo said.
Lyndon pressed his lips together, looking displeased. “Of course. Since that is the only way to get you to speak with me.” He gestured across the sidewalk, and now Hugo realized there was a body on the grass, in the darkness beyond the park’s lights. It hadn’t been there a moment ago. And if Hugo wasn’t mistaken, the body had red hair.
Lyndon produced a very old-looking bottle of scotch from somewhere. “But we don’t need to talk shop,” he said, with a flirtatious smile. “You look like you might be a scotch drinker. I don’t much care for it myself—”
“I know, you only drink blood.”
Lyndon looked put out. “No, I just don’t like scotch. Anyway, I thought perhaps this might smooth over whatever differences we’ve had—”
“Is that the same victim from last time?” Hugo asked.
Lyndon froze with the scotch in his hand. “Uh— what? No, of course not.”
Hugo stood up and strolled across the path toward the body. “Uh-huh. Same hair. You have a thing for twins?”
Whatever reply Lyndon might have come up with was cut short when Hugo kicked the body in the ribs. At once, the figure sat up, rubbing its side. “Ow.”
“What the fuck is this?” Hugo asked.
The victim— or not-victim— was a young person in jeans and a t-shirt. They pulled their red hair out of their face, and Hugo noted that their neck was completely unmarked. “This was all his idea,” they said.
Lyndon made a displeased noise. “Clifton, really.”
“And I should be getting paid,” Clifton complained, “having to lie on the ground and listen to you two disaster gays try to talk your way into bed.”
“Clifton!” Vampires couldn’t blush. They didn’t have the blood for it. But somehow, under the streetlight, Lyndon managed to look a little flushed. He put the scotch down on the bench and stalked over. “Hugo, I can explain—”
Again, Lyndon was saved from having to do that. But this time it was because two other vampires appeared, emerging from the shadows with hungry looks on their faces.
“Oh, dear,” Lyndon said softly. “Clifton, time to get you out of here.” He looked at Hugo. “I assume you can handle this? I can take you with us if you want.”
Hugo made a rather rude noise, and Lyndon rolled his eyes. “Fine. I’ll leave you to it, then.” He picked up Clifton like the human weighed nothing, and they vanished into mist.
The other vampires stared after him. “What the fuck?” one of them asked.
“Yeah, I’ve been asking myself that,” Hugo said. It was just one quick blow after that, and the vampire disintegrated into ash. To Lyndon’s credit, he did make a good distraction.
But the vampire that was left was stronger than the first, and now it was angry. “You’re gonna pay for that,” it growled.
Hugo dodged the first couple of blows, steering them toward the street light, where he wouldn’t be hindered by darkness. The light only made it more obvious what contrast there was between this creature and Lyndon. This vampire had matted hair and bloody clothes. It reeked of rot, and its skin was a dirty gray. But its eyes were that same bright, ethereal blue as Lyndon’s, and Hugo found himself wondering if all vampires might look like Lyndon if they weren’t so dirty and vicious.
Hugo could see the rage in this vampire’s every movement. They fought on, stake against sharp fingernails, practiced skill against brute strength. And then the creature got lucky. Hugo got a little too close, and his nails ripped open a gash all along Hugo’s stomach. Hugo gasped with the pain, and the vampire grinned in triumph.
Hugo staggered back and collapsed onto the grass. But the vampire did not make the killing blow. Instead, it abruptly disappeared. Hugo located it a second later, dangling with its feet dragging against the sidewalk. Lyndon was holding the creature by its throat. It struggled, but Lyndon was far too strong.
The violent vampire dissolved into ash, which was quickly blown away by the wind. Lyndon was left holding a stake, which he tossed onto the ground.
“That was disgusting,” Lyndon complained, brushing off his clothes as he walked over to Hugo. “Honestly. I wear white and there’s dirt, I wear black and there’s ash—” He stopped, looking down at Hugo with his eyes wide. “Oh,” he said. “Oh, that is not good.”
“You have a great bedside manner,” Hugo grunted. He had managed to get his shirt off, and he was pressing it into the wound. It seemed shallow enough, but there was a lot of blood.
And now Lyndon was staring at the blood. Hugo felt a cold shiver of fear. He hadn’t truly felt afraid of Lyndon in quite a while, he realized.
Lyndon’s face seemed to pale further. “Shit,” he said quietly. “Shit, shit.” He rubbed a hand over his mouth. “Hugo, god damn it.”
And then, to Hugo’s horror, Lyndon came down on his knees on the grass and reached for him. He was much too quick for Hugo to get away in time.
Lyndon grasped Hugo’s shirt and pressed it into the wound, harder than Hugo had been. The shock of it made Hugo dizzy, and black began to intrude at the edges of his vision. He heard himself gasping. But before he passed out, he heard Lyndon make a loud cry of pain.
Hugo opened his eyes and saw an unfamiliar ceiling. He turned his head to see an unfamiliar room, but one which looked shockingly normal. There were a couple of easy chairs and a television, blue carpet freshly vacuumed. Through a doorway there was a kitchen, painted yellow and white. Hugo was lying on a couch with a crocheted afghan on top of him, and on top of that was a fat orange cat.
Hugo’s abdomen ached, but somehow not as much as he’d expected.
Lyndon walked into view, wearing a pair of tight blue jeans and a fuzzy black sweater. His silver hair was in an intricate braid. “Oh, you’re awake!” he exclaimed.
“Did you save my life?” Hugo asked.
Lyndon looked pleased. “Life is good, as you’re always saying. Beats death.” He sat down on the coffee table, which looked like it was carved from a tree stump. The faint sunlight from the windows sparkled in his silver hair, and seemed to cause no discomfort.
Hugo felt like he didn’t know which way was up anymore. “What did you do to your hands?”
Lyndon’s hands were bandaged, fingers and palms, in white gauze. “Ah.” Lyndon looked a bit flustered. “That. Well. I’m, um— as it happens— I’m allergic to blood.”
Lyndon smiled unhappily. “Burns on contact. We have no idea why. Just bad luck, I suppose.” He clumsily unwrapped the bandage from a couple of fingers and showed Hugo shiny red burn marks. “But I was afraid you’d lose too much blood before I got you here, so I had to try to stop your bleeding.”
“What do you EAT?”
“Well, I can tolerate a few drops of blood. Clifton is kind enough to donate once a week or so.”
“Five drops,” said Clifton, from somewhere behind Hugo. They made a displeased noise and came over to re-wrap Lydon’s hand.
“You know what they say,” Lyndon said, with a smile, “if you can’t hunt your own, store bought is fine!” After some silence, he said, “That was very funny in my head. Anyway, the rest of the nutrients I need come from milk, mostly goat milk, different kinds of fruit juice, and vitamins. There were some lean years before I figured it all out.”
“You don’t hunt humans?” Hugo asked.
“So why did you make me think you did?”
“You had already decided that I did. And I wanted to see you.”
In the kitchen now, Clifton called out, “He has a crush.”
Lyndon scowled. “I’m 204 years old, I do not have a crush.” Still, he put on that flirtatious look again. “I just appreciate beauty when I see it.”
Hugo, lying wounded on a vampire’s couch underneath an afghan and a cat definitely did not blush. “Beauty?” he repeated faintly.
“Well.” Lyndon gave him an appraising look. “I mean, you must work out all the time. To be so fit at your age—”
“Oh, you’re barely a baby to me,” Lyndon assured him. “Anyway, Hugo, when you’re feeling better— perhaps now we could meet without all the subterfuge?”
“I— I can’t date a vampire.”
It was the truth. It did not keep Hugo from feeling awful when Lyndon’s face fell.
“Understandable,” Lyndon said quietly. “Well, I’ll let you rest.” He left the room without looking back.
Hugo struggled to sit up without dislodging the cat too much. He was very sore, but when he pulled up his shirt— actually it was someone else’s shirt— he gasped. There was no wound on his abdomen, just some heavy bruising.
“You know, he’s really not a bad guy,” Clifton said. They handed Hugo a bottle of water. “Drink it slowly.”
“I wouldn’t trust him,” Hugo said. “I mean, how does a vampire who’s supposedly so young and doesn’t drink blood have so much power?”
Clifton snorted. “Because he doesn’t hunt. Hunting takes it out of you, man. But Lyndon— he doesn’t wear himself out looking for food, he never gets injured, he eats a regular, healthy diet. Vampires like that are always stronger than those homicidal assholes.”
“Look,” Hugo said firmly, “if he wasn’t allergic to your blood, he’d probably have killed you.”
Clifton looked at Hugo like he was a complete idiot. “Lots of vampires work with donors.”
Clifton gave a patient sigh. “Vampires that don’t hunt humans usually have a long-term donor, like me. Some have more than one.”
“And you would just do that, feed vampires for pay.”
“Oh, no, we don’t all get paid. But the other benefits are amazing.”
Hugo felt an unpleasant twinge in his chest. “You mean— sex?”
Clifton burst out laughing. “Don’t look so jealous. No, man, I mean I was born in 1673. I’m older than he is. Been selling my blood to vampires since I was 24. And in return, they give me some of theirs. Regular doses of vampire blood extend human life. That’s how he healed you. A couple of drops of his blood sealed up the wound.”
Hugo flattened a hand against his bruised stomach. “He gave me vampire blood?”
“You’re welcome. And no, you won’t become a vampire. He’d have to give you way more blood to do that. More than he gives me.” Clifton shrugged. “Vampire blood is really beneficial in small doses. Even works on animals. Animal blood won’t sustain vampires, but vampire blood works fine on them.”
Hugo looked at the orange cat. It looked back at him. “I have never heard any of this,” Hugo said slowly.
Clifton smiled, rather patronizingly. “Well, Hugo, sometimes a family is a two-hundred-year-old guy who looks twenty, his even more ancient best friend, and their 90-year-old cat.”
Hugo eventually managed to stand up. Clifton made him eat a granola bar, and then agreed he was okay to go home. But when they got to the door, they yelled at the top of their lungs, “Hey, shirtwaist, your himbo boyfriend’s leaving!”
Lyndon reappeared, looking unamused. Hugo had absolutely no idea what expression was on his own face. “Shirtwaist?” he managed to ask.
“Yes, it’s terribly funny,” Lyndon said impassively. “I’m a tailor, and in the 1890’s Clifton sometimes wore a bespoke shirtwaist. That’s how we met.” He opened the front door and Hugo followed him out onto the porch. The sunlight still seemed to have no effect on Lyndon. Except for the shiny silver hair and strange blue eyes, he might have looked human.
“So do you make your own clothes then?” Hugo asked.
Lyndon looked cautiously flattered. “Yes. Most of them.”
“Well, no wonder you look so—” Hugo was not sure how he had intended to end that sentence, so he didn’t. “Will your hands be okay?”
Lyndon looked down at his hands. “Yes. A couple of days. I heal quickly.”
“So Clifton tells me. They know far more about this sort of thing than I do.”
Hugo needed to leave. He needed to be grateful that he had so far survived his encounters with this creature. Instead, he lingered on the porch in the morning sun and asked, “So, um— how did you become a vampire?”
Lyndon seemed to be a bit disturbed by the question. Hugo had never made small talk with a vampire before, and he wondered if he’d made some social faux pas.
“Well— funny story,” Lyndon said. “I have no idea.”
“That’s not a story, that’s one sentence.”
Lyndon shrugged. “Nevertheless.”
“You just woke up one night as a vampire.”
Lyndon took a step closer, seeming to relax a bit. “It was very confusing, let me tell you. Luckily I hadn’t been buried yet— I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would have been if I’d had to dig out of my own grave instead of just the coffin.”
“You woke up in a coffin?”
“Yes. You know, I think there must have been some sort of disaster, a flood or earthquake or something, because there were rows of coffins all together. Fortunately, there was a young man there— I think he actually may have been robbing the dead, but it didn’t seem like the sort of thing one should mention— anyway, he explained my situation to me. He even offered to sell me some blood for the ring I was wearing. You can imagine how well that went. But eventually I learned what I needed to do.”
For some ridiculous reason, Hugo now stepped closer. “So were you a tailor before, in life? What happened? What did you die of?”
Lyndon frowned. “I don’t know. I only have very hazy memories of all that.”
“I’m sorry. That must be hard.”
“Oh, no,” Lyndon said, brightening. “On the contrary. If I hadn’t become a vampire, I’d be dead in a row of coffins. And, um— life is good, right?”
Hugo put a hand on his sore abdomen. “Listen, Lyndon, I’m sorry. I’ve been really rude to you. You saved my life and got injured doing it. I’m grateful.”
“I’m just glad you’re alright.” Lyndon glanced at the street outside of his house. It looked like a normal suburban neighborhood, and Hugo found himself wondering exactly how many vampires lived in the city, completely undetected. “Be careful out there,” Lyndon said, gesturing to the city at large. “They’re not all as nice as I am.”
“No, they’re not,” Hugo said quickly, wanting to chase the frown off of Lyndon’s face. Then he finally made himself leave.
Hugo was back fighting vampires within two weeks. His stomach looked completely healed and felt perfectly fine. But he wasn’t sleeping well, and nothing about his life seemed quite right. The weather felt colder, the nights emptier, and Hugo’s entire existence lonelier.
One night Hugo chased a vampire into an alley, and was unpleasantly surprised to find that it had two friends. Hugo suddenly found himself very much hoping that Lyndon would show up once again. But he did not.
Of course, it wasn’t the first time Hugo had faced three vampires. There was an art to it: take out the smartest one first, because if not, that one would watch you stake the others and learn how you moved. The smartest one here was short and had fresh blood on its ill-fitting clothes.
Standard practice called for a distraction at this point, and Hugo found himself using a tactic he had never used before. “Hey, are there vampires that don’t hunt humans?” he asked.
One of the dumber vampires looked confused. “I don’t know, man, I just eat old ladies.”
“Oh, there are,” said the smart one. “Pathetic sons of bitches.”
“Wait, what?” exclaimed the last vampire. It was less bloody than the others, and didn’t reek of decay. It looked inexperienced enough that Hugo suspected that it had just been turned.
The smart one said, “You know, those fuckers who pay for their blood, so they have nothing better to do at night than sit around with their pets.”
The new vampire’s mouth hung open. “Wait, some guys get pets?”
“I just met a 90-year-old cat,” Hugo said. “I guess vampire blood sustains living things.”
“Yeah, if you’re dumb enough to let any of them live!” the smart vampire exclaimed. It rushed at Hugo, who tripped and staked it. It wasn’t like even smart vampires were very bright. (Well, there might be one exception, Hugo supposed.) He brandished his stake. “Next?”
The dumb vampire wanted to fight, and they sparred a bit. Hugo got knocked down but rolled with it and threw the vampire over his shoulder. Unfortunately, it got back up before he could stake it.
The new vampire was pretty much just watching the fight at this point. “Where do you buy blood?” it asked.
The dumb vampire shrugged. “I don’t know. Craigslist?”
It had turned its head to answer and Hugo quickly staked it. That left him facing only the new vampire. Hugo held up his stake menacingly and the vampire backed up. “How many people have you killed?” Hugo asked.
“One.” The vampire was breathless with fear. “But he beat up my sister and their kid.”
“Yeah, okay, I’ll let that slide. But do you promise not to kill anybody else?”
“Yeah, man, I promise.”
Hugo had never in his life let a vampire go unharmed. Not one he could easily have killed, anyway. “Go on, get out of here,” he said to it— to him.
Hugo knocked on Lyndon’s door a half hour later. Lyndon answered, all in white again, some blouse with ruffles and his usual tight pants.
“I’m an idiot, right?” Hugo asked.
Lyndon blinked. “I’m really not sure what answer you’re looking for there.”
“Why do you want to date a vampire hunter?”
“I don’t know. It’s not my fault. You’re very attractive.”
“So are you.”
Lyndon looked shocked. “I— really?” He took a couple of steps back from the door and Hugo followed him into the house, shutting the door behind him. “I mean, obviously,” Lyndon said, fully flustered now. “I just wasn’t sure you’d noticed.”
“Oh. Lovely.” Lyndon had backed up now until his back hit the living room wall. He was breathing hard and his face really was flushed. “Um— you know, I wanted to say something suave if we ever got to this point, but all my brain is giving me is puns about you and your, um, stake. Is that good enough?”
“Works for me.” Hugo flattened his hands on the wall beside Lyndon’s head and kissed him.
Lyndon was warm to the touch. Hugo hadn’t expected that. He was also very into this. Lyndon pressed his whole body against Hugo’s, kissing him hungrily.
Somewhere in another part of the house Hugo heard Clifton say something that sounded like “Fucking finally,” and then a door shut.
Lyndon moaned loudly into Hugo’s mouth, and it sent a shiver all through Hugo. Lyndon’s hands were busy, pushing off Hugo’s jacket and starting on the buttons of his shirt, moving with a bit of vampiric speed. When Lyndon had the shirt open, he pulled back to watch as he pushed it off onto the floor
“Oh,” Lyndon said appreciatively. He ran a hand across Hugo’s padded stomach and up his chest where a few grayish hairs grew. “I haven’t seen you all healed up,” Lyndon said. “You’re magnificent.”
Hugo definitely did not whimper as Lyndon’s hand reversed its journey, moving down to where it brushed against the waistband of his jeans. “Bedroom?” Hugo managed to ask.
Lyndon didn’t take his eyes off Hugo’s chest. “Mmm, I think so.” He put his hands under Hugo’s arms and lifted him off the floor, seemingly with no more effort than he would have needed to pick up his cat.
“Oh, fuck,” Hugo said, with what was absolutely a whimper. He had to wrap his legs around Lyndon’s waist as they moved down the hallway. This was not how Hugo had imagined this going, himself at Lyndon’s mercy. But damn if it wasn’t very much working for him.
Lyndon took them into a room and knocked the door shut with his shoulder. Hugo had a quick glimpse of a tidy bedroom with a bed covered by a colorful quilt before Lyndon pressed him against the wall, still holding him up. They started kissing again, and fuck, Lyndon was a fantastic kisser. He tasted like orange juice, and his hair was soft where it tangled around Hugo’s fingers.
Their hips rocked together and Lyndon put a hand under Hugo’s ass, squeezing him. “Gorgeous,” Lyndon breathed against Hugo’s mouth. “Oh, I’ve dreamed of this so many times.”
“So have I,” Hugo confessed. He gasped as Lyndon pulled away from kissing to press his mouth to Hugo’s neck. Hugo’s filter had been pretty well kissed away, so he really wasn’t to blame for saying to the vampire at his throat, ”Shame you can’t bite me.”
Lyndon made an amused noise. “Oh, I can bite you, darling. So long as I don’t draw blood.” To illustrate, he nipped at Hugo’s skin, pinching it between his fangs. He kept biting under Hugo’s jaw, spreading little pinpricks of pain and pleasure all along his path, then soothing them with his mouth.
Hugo groaned. “Fuck, Lyndon.” He pushed at Lyndon’s shoulders. “Come on, I want to see you out of those clothes.”
Lyndon smiled and set him down. He started working on his blouse, and Hugo stepped forward to work on Lyndon’s slacks, which felt satiny and soft. With the fastenings undone, Lyndon’s clothes slid to the ground, leaving him in a tiny scrap of white lacy underwear, which he removed too.
“Fuck,” Hugo said. Lyndon was a work of art, lithe and beautiful, all long lines and sharp angles. And Hugo knew that cocks looked larger on slender men, but still— “Fuck,” Hugo said again.
Lyndon turned, giving Hugo the back view: a pale, pert ass that flexed as Lyndon took the quilt from the bed, revealing pink sheets below. He laid the quilt gently on a chair.
“We’re not fucking on a piece I made by hand 75 years ago,” Lyndon said to Hugo’s questioning look.
“You fussy bastard,” Hugo said affectionately.
Lyndon fixed him with those shining blue eyes, giving Hugo the hungriest look he had ever seen from a vampire, and that was saying something. “Your turn,” Lyndon said. He made very quick work of stripping Hugo the rest of the way, and then groaned in appreciation. “Oh, Hugo. God, your thighs. You look like you could crush me.”
“I couldn’t,” Hugo reminded him.
Lyndon looked a bit smug. “I know. And you love it.” He slipped a hand down Hugo’s abdomen to circle his cock, tugging gently.
“Oh, shit,” Hugo groaned. Lyndon sped up his hand a bit, helped by the precome Hugo was leaking. He slipped his other hand behind Hugo’s head and drew him into a kiss that quickly became ravenous again. They leaned against the wall, all deep kisses and wandering hands.
Eventually, Lyndon let out a growl and Hugo was on his back in the bed before he realized what was happening. Lyndon pressed over him, kissing him still, making noises of appreciation. One of his hands slid down Hugo’s body, past his cock, pulling up one of his legs, and Hugo felt fingers circling his entrance.
“You okay to be topped?” Lyndon asked, breathless from kissing.
Hugo managed to nod. “Yeah. Just— yeah.”
Hugo laid there panting, his lips swollen, as Lyndon moved down his body, kissing as he went. When he got to Hugo’s cock, he gave a groan of admiration. “Oh, I knew you’d be thick, just like the rest of you. I’m going to have to have this inside of me later, darling. You’d just about split me in two.”
Hugo couldn’t help the shiver that went through him, and he felt his cock leak more precome. Lyndon made a hungry noise and swallowed him down until the end of Hugo’s cock hit his throat.
“Oh, fuck,” Hugo gasped, trying not to rock his hips as Lyndon’s fingers, slick with lube from somewhere, worked inside his ass, and Lyndon’s mouth moved over his prick in lazy sucks.
Eventually, Lyndon withdrew and rolled over on his back, slender and gorgeous on the bed, his cock jutting up proudly. He held out his arm. “Come ride me, Hugo. I want to look at you while I fuck you.”
Hugo’s legs were jelly, but he managed to climb over Lyndon. The vampire held him steady with no discernable effort as Hugo sank down, bracing his hands on Lyndon’s smooth chest as he worked to take all of him. There was rather a lot of him.
“Oh,” Lyndon said softly. “Oh, yes. Perfect.” With Hugo seated, he gave a buck of his hips, and Hugo had to grapple for balance. Lyndon gasped with pleasure as Hugo clenched around him. “Sorry, darling,” Lyndon said, not looking very sorry. “You don’t weigh anything.”
“That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that,” Hugo informed him.
Lyndon grinned as he held Hugo’s hips and helped him settle into a rhythm, which was partly Hugo moving and partly Hugo being moved. He could see the muscles of Lyndon’s abdomen tighten and stretch as he began to fuck him in earnest.
“Oh, you’re gorgeous,” Lyndon said. “Look at you.” He took one hand and circled it around Hugo’s slick, straining cock. “Everything about you so thick and hard. I used to watch you fight and have these fantasies about you pushing me up against the wall in some alley, covering my back with your body and just railing me. Oh, you will, won’t you? Tomorrow night?”
“Anything,” Hugo gasped.
Lyndon was clearly losing control now, his movements stuttering, his hand on Hugo’s prick speeding up. “Oh, fuck, Hugo. Can I come inside you?”
“God, yes, please—”
Lyndon was glorious in orgasm, throwing his head back, bucking his hips up. He held Hugo down on his prick so hard it almost hurt, and then Hugo felt hot gushes of come inside of him. It only took a second more for Hugo to come spurting over Lyndon’s hand, gasping.
After they stilled, Hugo flopped onto his back on the bed. He stared up at the ceiling as he felt Lyndon cleaning him with soft, sweet touches. And then he had a naked vampire curled up against him.
“Fair warning,” Lyndon said softly. “I may never have enough of you.” He moved up to kiss Hugo for a while, deep and slow, with less desperation now and more reverence. Hugo had never done so much kissing with sex, and never quite like this, like it was a conversation, a give and take, communicating something in a better way than using words. He put his arms around Lyndon, tangling their whole bodies together.
The next morning, Hugo woke up under pink sheets with a fat orange cat on his stomach. A shaft of sunlight over the bed illuminated the perfect, pert ass of the beautiful vampire sleeping naked beside him.
Hugo had to smile. Life was good.