James saw the woman across the room and imagined her in another time. In that time she wore a dress with a bustle, corseted up, in brilliant peacock colors, her hair up with a diamond comb.
Now she stood in straight legged jeans, black sandals, and a white button down shirt. Her brown hair wasn’t up, but down around her shoulders.
She turned towards James and mouthed out the words, “come closer.”
James was feeling lucky. The jeans and button down shirt would come off a lot quicker than layers of a bustle dress and a tightly laced corset. Of course, she’d want him. Of course, she’d have him. How could she resist?
Up close she was even more intriguing than she had been from a distance. Freckles scattered across her face. Out of nowhere she pulled out a pair of blue framed glasses and looked at him with bright hazel eyes. She really looked as if she was looking at an ancient artifact or a perplexing work of art.
“I’m James,” he said.
“I’m Isolde,” she told him. “So, what is your pickup line tonight?”
“Before we get to that, I know you’re a Vampire.”
“Just like you.”
“What are you doing here?”
“It’s a party. I knew the place would be full of nice warm people. After the past two years it is good to finally get out and be somewhere with plenty of donors.”
“Is that what you call them?”
Maybe on second thought she’d be weird. James decided to use his pick-up line and see what kind of reaction she’d have.
“Isolde, beautiful Isolde, I have a unicorn.”
“Does that mean you’re pure?”
“I haven’t been pure since the day I was born. Well, maybe pure fun. You know it’s a myth about unicorns and so called purity. Unicorns like to be around those who love them and don’t treat them like freaks.”
“Isn’t that what we all want? I’ve never met a unicorn before.”
“Would you like to?”
Isolde smiled showing a hint of fang, then kissed James on the lips. “Yes, I would.”
When they arrived at his house Isolde wondered if she’d really see a unicorn. She really didn’t care. He was sort of charming and good looking. She was bored and needed the cool touch that only a male Vampire could give her. She could have judged James, but she knew in her heart that she was just like him, always in it for the chase and the fast thrill.
But then, there in front of them was, a delicate creature with silky iridescent fur, like a miniature cross between a deer and a horse, with a single pearlescent horn coming from the center of its forehead.
It pranced in place when it saw James. He gave the creature a hug, then told it to greet Isolde. The unicorn rubbed against her like a cat and cooed with joy.
Suddenly she wanted to cry. All of the myths, stories, talk behind her back, and everything negative she’d ever thought about herself suddenly seemed untrue. The pain had lifted from her cold unbeating Vampire heart.
“Come with me,” said James, taking her hand.
Getting her out of the jeans and button down shirt was easy. Later the hours holding each other in the big bed, just talking came easier. James was wondering what was happening. He’d never just talked to a woman for hours like that. He didn’t have to charm this one. He didn’t have to impress her. He didn’t have to think what his next move would be.
Isolde lay with her head on his shoulder and arm over his chest as they talked about everything, and nothing. There was no urge to say she had to go. It was so comfortable. When had it ever been this comfortable? She couldn’t remember, at least not without a pang of uncomfortable pain and embarrassment. The funny thing was that she knew he was feeling the same way.
As the sun came up they fell asleep in each other’s arms. The unicorn had come into the room and curled up at the foot of the bed.
Downstairs their phones came alive with messages from friends asking where they were, and who they were with. It didn’t matter. They were with who they need to be with.