Dead or Alive
A Vampire Romance
By Juliette Kings
“What a bunch of idiots,” Jamie said to himself as he watched a mob of men run down the road brandishing knives and guns they didn’t even know how to use. They wouldn’t dare use them. Well, maybe they would – that is why Jamie had to hide. Now he was all dressed up with no place to go.
Now what? Maybe a trip to his favorite opium den for an easy meal or a trip to Madam Rosanna’s for a drink with one of her girls. At least the girls were clean and pretty, but the rush of opium infused blood sounded good right now.
Jamie ended up back home to change his bloody shirt. He knew his housekeeper would be able to get the stains out but it still annoyed him.
As he grabbed a new shirt out of the wardrobe the smell of jasmine and roses gently made him smile. He turned around.
“Belinda. What a delight.” She was indeed a delight but he didn’t expect to see her, not here in his house, much less in his bedroom.
The delicious sight in a silk green dress smiled and sat on his bed. “Your housekeeper let me in. I don’t think she approves but then again…” she didn’t finish her sentence but just laughed.
James brushed his lips across hers then slid his fangs across the side of her neck. “She doesn’t approve of you because she doesn’t know you.” His mouth went to Belinda’s again.
“You taste like blood,” she whispered.
“You taste like death darling Belinda.” Jamie took her hand and pulled her up. “I’m getting dressed. Let’s go out.”
They passed into the darkness outside, arm in arm, laughing quietly at their private jokes.
Maybe they’d go to the whore house or the opium den. Maybe they’d go to a musical revue or drop by and see friends. Anything was possible. Together, Jamie and Belinda always had a way of making everything fun – at least fun for them.
They decided on the theater but stopped in front of one of the larger churches in the center of the city. A bride and groom happily rode in their carriage to start a new life together. The bride was dressed in innocent white. The groom was happy and handsome.
Jamie and Belinda stood, arm in arm, and looked upon the happy couple.
“That could have been us,” said Belinda.
“We don’t deserve that kind of happiness,” said Jamie, giving her hand a squeeze.
“Why not? We could get married. We could be happy Jamie.”
“Oh darling, you’d drive me crazy. I’d have to kill you.”
“I’m already dead. Well, sort of dead.”
And under the gaslights by the church Jamie kissed Belinda. “Dead or alive, I love you Belinda. I always have. I always will.”
A cold tear ran down Belinda’s cheek. Jamie led her into the empty church and up to the alter. “Belinda, will you love me and stay with me always?”
“Jamie, will you love me and stay with me always?”
“I suppose. Aren’t we supposed to talk about till death do us part?”
“I didn’t think about that,” said Jamie.
“You wouldn’t now James would you?” She called him by his proper name, the way she thought a wife would.
They left the church and headed back to Jamie’s place. Over a glass of wine they made uncomfortable small talk.
“Will you stay the night Belinda?” He had to ask.
“If you’ll have me. Oh Jamie, we’re so awful. We really are. There has to be more.”
He thought about it for about a second. “Not really. We are what we are. We are who we are.”
Then he took her hand and led her back up to his room.
In the morning the world came alive, but they continued their sleep, wrapped in each other’s cold dead arms, as alive as they knew how to be.