He didn’t have personal friendships with humans, the way some other Vampires did. He would protect them when necessary but he wouldn’t be their friend – at least not a close friend, not for a long time.
Of course he had human lovers, but that was pure physical need for their touch and their blood.
Vampire woman were another matter. He tended to be a freak magnet when it came to them. The normal ones were out there but they were always involved or off-limits in some way or another. Or they were too strong and independent. Or in rare moments, years ago, he’d used bad judgement and not seen the big picture. Screw the big picture, he’d grown up and moved on. He was different now.
There were always other men, but right now he had the need for a female of his own kind. Someone safe and easy. Someone who would be there for him after a job that often involved violence and other unpleasantries.
He’d had plenty of friends with benefits.
Camel by the Sea. The beautiful village on the California coast. A place full of artists and rich people and those just wanting some peace and quiet. His Grandmama had lived here when the artist colony was thriving at the turn of the 20th century. He used to visit her and fall in love with the place and everyone in it.
This weekend was the Concourse de Elegance the most prestigious car show in the universe. Everyone who was anyone would be here, including Vampire Hunters. And since Max was the world’s foremost hunter of Vampire Hunters he was looking forward to it. A weekend of perfect cars, perfect women and perfect hunting.
It had been a long day and a long drive. He took his bags out of the car and walked to the door of the cottage he’d rented with 3 of his colleagues. He wasn’t sure who’d be here as it was last notice for him. He’d hoped it would be Pierce and David, two of the best and total car guys. He figured as long as they were there they might as well have some fun.
He used his key and as he opened the door cheers came up. Female cheers.
Elizabeth, Janye and Mehitabel. Vampire women who were also Hunter/Enforcers of the highest order and all GIRLS.
This was not what he was expecting. Not at all.
They exchanged warm greetings (he didn’t show his true feelings about the situation) and he left to shower off the weariness of the road. As he was drying off he could hear the girls talking. He stopped rubbing his hair to listen.
Janye: I can’t believe the choices Max makes. His last girlfriend was one of those types who always looks perfect and helpless. A total control freak.
Elizabeth: Total bitch. She just used him and he was too stupid to know it. Oh my God she had fangs like a saber tooth tiger, no it was more like a rabbit. And she was always telling everyone how attractive she was. I wish she’d done us all a favor and gone down with the Titanic.
Mehitabel: She used him. Most of them just used him. He wouldn’t know his perfect match if she slapped him across the face.
The women went on talking about his physical attributes (excellent), his professional attributes (excellent), his qualities as a Vampire (outstanding) and his relationships with woman (pathetic.) Great, this was going to be a wonderful weekend.
He’d known all three of them for years, over 100 but he’d never heard this side of the story. Damn. Was he that ridiculous? No, it had to be them. Women were so skewed.
He’d always been friends with Elizabeth and Jayne. It wasn’t like the movies or books where Vampire women drop their clothes and crawl naked all over their dominant male counterparts. Besides, these two were like sisters.
Then there was Mehitabel. Beautiful and strange, at least to him. He couldn’t stay away from her at one time, but he couldn’t be with her, not in his heart. She was too easy for him to use. He’d never love her, but he’d never met a woman so sexy, who could drive him so insane with desire. But she wasn’t the one. He made that clear from the start. It would never be.
The women helped him bring in the weapons and they sat around the table with bottles of wine, Bourbon and blood. They laughed over old times, new times and everything in between.
Despite his first impression he knew these three Vampire women were at the top of their game and would be loyal and true with him. And in turn he would do anything to protect them. They’d be a good team. They’d get the job done.
Beside that, he knew they’d like the cars.
They were excited to show him their dresses. Elizabeth, the most outgoing, a California blonde of the first order, had a red-flowered strapless sundress of silk with a wide skirt and strappy red heels. Jayne had a royal blue halter dress that looked like it had come right out of Grace Kelly’s closet. A redhead with an attitude, Jayne had a fierce sence of humor and a fierce sence of the fight. Mehitabel had a black sheath dress with a pattern of leaves woven into the fabric. It was form fitting, which was good since she had an extraordinary form. She’d wear it with a long strand of real black pears and matching earrings. She’d wear her brown hair sleek and long.
Mehitabel was as odd and unusual as her name, but he had always liked her. He was drawn to her humor and her matter of fact ways with a touch of something sad that he could never quite figure out.
He’d also had a history with Mehitabel. She knew his every move. And in turn he knew every move she made, every inch of her body, everything she had to give him and then some. But she wasn’t the one. She wasn’t the girl of his dreams. She was different. Max wasn’t looking for different. He was looking for perfection. But that was a long time ago, at least 90 years, maybe more like 100.
As the night went on he thought maybe he’d relive some of the magic of days gone by. It would be a way to get off some of the tension before a week of dangerous work.
“I’m going to go to the beach. Anyone want to join me?” He asked that as he looked at the women.
“Sure,” said Mehitabel, “I’ll go.”
They walked along making small talk. It seems so comfortable and so right. Old friends forever, just like old time. As they came to the beach on the edge of the Pacific Ocean Mehitabel became silent.
“You’re quiet tonight,” Max said, ready to make a move on her. One kiss and she’d be his for the week. The others wouldn’t care, unless it was pure envy.
Mehitabel stepped away. “It was never friends with benefits or fuck buddies or whatever you want to call it with me Max. I loved you but you never wanted it. You just threw it away and treated me like some common girl that needed to be slut shamed. I loved you for so long and now I don’t know. I’m not perfect enough for you. You want a woman who will break your heart into a thousand shards and I can’t do that for you. If you had spent some time with me, some real-time and looked past the imperfections…”
“I never said that…” Max protested.
“You didn’t have to. You used me Max. You used me so I had to let you go. Don’t you understand?” Mehitabel was now angry, something he’d never seen.
He tried to take her hand, “The last time we saw each other, I mean romantically, you were the one who turned me away. You told me to go.”
She stepped away again. “To go back to your girlfriend. I wasn’t going to be with a man who was cheating on another girl, especially another Vampire. I told you that. Remember?”
Max remembered too well. She’d always been so friendly and compliment about his relationship rules.
Mehitabel continued her rant. “And there had been no romance. Sure we’d talked into the night. Sure we had some sort of weird connection where we could read each other’s thoughts, excuse me, I could read your thoughts, or at least I know when you’re thinking about ME, but it was never romance. Not with you it wasn’t. You did everything you could to talk yourself out of caring about me.”
“I’ve been thinking about you a lot,” Max said gently, trying to calm her.
“I know that.”
She was right. She always knew. There was some sort of strong connection where she always knew when he was thinking about her. It was spooky.
“Why didn’t you contact me?” Max was almost feeling hurt that she’d think of ignoring him after all of their history.
“Why didn’t you love me Max?”
“It wasn’t like that Mehitabel. I was just looking for something else.”
“What? Oh right, perfection. Well Max, I might be among the most elite hunters on the planet but I’ll never be anything but an imperfect slut to you. I’m never going to let you break my heart again. Do you understand that Max?”
“So am I.”
She walked down the beach alone. He wondered if she was crying. He’d find out later.
Over the years he’d taken down Werewolves, Vampire Hunters with fire blowers, Ghosts, Rogue Vampires and Zombies. He’d seen it all. He was Maxwell August Todd, one of the greatest Enforcer/Hunters of all time, but this was one battle he couldn’t win.
“Mehitabel, I’m sorry,” he called after her.
Then he remembered something his mother had told him, one of those things that he wished he’d remembered earlier. “Max, my darling boy, remember, if we were all perfect then life would be so boring you’d hardly be able to stand it.”
Looking down the beach at the woman walking along the edge of the night surf, he suddenly realized he was in love and this would be the most difficult fight of his life.
He called her name again. She turned and yelled “Go to Hell.”
“Yes,” he said to himself out loud, “to hell and back.”