Short Story Sunday: Heal Thyself (an Austin and Elizabeth Story)

It wasn’t just a cold. It was a body full of aches, gallons of snot, a cough, sneezing, and a sore throat, and an urge to text everyone he knew and tell them that he was never coming back.

Austin heard a tap on the door, then he knew someone was inside.

“Hey, sweetie. I brought you some soup, and tea,” a female voice said at the bottom of the stairs.

Austin couldn’t bring himself out of bed. “Elizabeth. Come upstairs.”

She put the soup in the kitchen and went up to see Austin. He’d all but missed Thanksgiving. It was Sunday afternoon. School started Monday morning.

He’d missed her. They’d hardly been seeing each other. He was teaching, working on his house renovations, and working on the side as a Vampire Hunter.

She had her own business and busy schedule, and she was a Vampire.

It worked. Sort of. He trusted her, most of the time. She didn’t trust him, or at least he didn’t think so. But they were trying.

When Elizabeth arrived in Austin’s bedroom she sat next to him and put a cool hand on his head.

“That feels great,” he whispered.

She kissed his forehead, slipped off her clothes, and crawled into bed with him. He fell asleep wrapped in a warm blanket and a cool Vampire.

Several hours later he woke up feeling  great. Elizabeth lay next to him, as quiet as death.

The only thing that hurt was his neck. He saw blood on the pillow. Just a drop but it was enough to know what had happened. She drank his blood. She actually drank her blood. Damn her. 

Austin put his hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder. “Wake up. Now.”

She opened her eyes and smiled. “Do you feel better?”

“You bit me. You drank my blood.”

“Yes, I did drink your blood. I did not ask for permission. I just did it. Austin I am a Vampire, and sometimes I do things like that. There is no excuse but I had to.”

“What about Vampire guys? Do you drink their blood?”

“No. I don’t make it a habit. And I’m not seeing any Vampire guys. Just you.”

“So just…”

“You don’t get it do you.”

“No, I don’t”

“You need to get your blood tested. I think it is called a PSA test. It is for prostate cancer. Oh yeah, and please, when you get a chance thank me for taking your nasty cold from you. I felt like shit, death warmed over shit, for about two hours while you slept. I don’t know why you didn’t get a flu shot. I’m not doing this for the flu.”

“PSA test. You can tell if someone has cancer?”

“Sure, sometimes.”

“Do I have cancer?”

“It isn’t like your levels are extra high, but you’re almost forty and there might be something there. You can’t put it off Austin. If you have it the early treatment is uncomfortable but waiting for it to grow and metastasize is horrible. It will be a slow and extremely painful death, and horrible for everyone you love to see you go through it. A few radioactive pellets put in the right place and you’re good to go. And Mr. Happy will stay happy. Done deal.”

“How?”

“What?”

“How did you take on my flu? How do you know about my PSA levels?”

“I don’t know. It’s just something I do.”

“If you can heal like that then why aren’t you working in a hospital. Why isn’t every Vampire working in a hospital or medical research?”

“We don’t all heal like that, or at least not all the time. It takes a lot out of us.”

“Can all of you do that?”

“I guess, in varying degrees. I don’t know. Some of us, are better at it, especially if it is someone we care about, or love.”

“But…”

“Stop. You could tell I was a Vampire. You can see ghosts. Not every can do that, or wants to. I can heal and see potential threats. Not everyone can or wants to do that.”

“Elizabeth, do you realize…”

“Yes, I do. Enough.” She put a finger to his lips. “Enough.”

Later that day, after she’d left, Austin could only feel how wrong it was, and how right. No matter what he was grateful to have a clear nose, and a clear head. Well, maybe a clear head. And more than that, maybe a clear heart as well.

~ end

For the entire Austin and Elizabeth Series (The Hunter) CLICK here. Start from the beginning. This is the 20th story in the series.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Motorhome

Motorhome
An Austin and Elizabeth Story

Austin grew up knowing that Grammy didn’t have many filters. She’d say anything she wanted to anyone. Austin’s mother said Grammy had always been rude. Grammy said she was giving out good advice that might make people want to do something about their situations. Everyone was in a situation so everyone was told what they needed to do.

Grammy’s caretaker, a lovely woman named Kayla, had texted Austin the following:

“Just a warning, Grammy is in a mood today. Completely speaking with no filter. We talked to Tom across the street. Grammy asked how they were doing and before he could say anything she said, “well it looks like you and your wife have completely given up on loosing weight.” I nudged her in hopes she would stop but it didn’t work. She then went on to say, “I thought you guys were dieting. Looked like you’ve completely given up on losing weight. Tom was so red embarrassed. I said he is healthy and happy and always smiling, so I told him to have a nice day and closed the door before Grammy could say anything else. I then said “OMG Grammy u can’t ever tell people that they are overweight. Ever. Men or women. It is not to be discussed. Don’t tell women they look pregnant. None of it. She said “Well maybe if I say something that will make them want to lose weight.” I said, “NO. NO. NO. Nothing you say will change them. You’re just being terrible at that point. No more ever.” Grammy’s mind is in it’s own place sometimes. Tomorrow is a new day. I told her she is the cutest sweetest little Grammy in the world. She has to stop thinking and saying such negative things.”

Austin was mortified. Tom had been a good friend for years, and would do anything for Grammy. But sweet little Grammy had a dark suspicious side. She’d grown up in the Deep South where people generally have fewer filters than those from other regions of the country. She’d also grown up in a family of Vampire Hunters. It was in their blood, no pun intended.

When Austin arrived at Grammy’s house he wondered who the old motor home in the driveway belonged to.

Kayla, a rail thin brown haired, blue eyed woman in her forties came out to meet him. She and her college student son Colt live with Grammy and took care of her in her great big family home. At one time Austin had tried to get Grammy to sell her house and move into a smaller house in his neighborhood, just three houses down from him, but she’d have none of it. She’d rather complain about money and upkeep than move out of the house she’d lived in for sixty-two years.

“Is someone visiting?” Austin looked toward the motor home.

“I bought that last week. I’m going to take Grammy on a road trip.”

It was a small 1981 motor home complete with faded orange and red stripes on the outside.

“Wow, look at this thing,” said Austin.

“Come inside. Take a look,” said Kayla inviting him in through the back door.

Grammy was sitting on an orange couch that could fold out into a double bed. There was a table, a small kitchen, four captain’s chairs, and a tiny bathroom complete with a toilet, sink, and a shower.

“Hey, Grammy,” Austin said bending down to kiss her.

Grammy was small, and still quite pretty for an eighty eight year old lady. Her white hair had been done up the day before with pink foam curlers. She wore bright pink lipstick, a pink flowered shirt, and matching pink pants.

Grammy took his hands, “Austin. What do you think of our new castle on wheels?”

“Great,” said Austin. “The orange and red carpet is pretty ugly, but otherwise it’s great.”

“I don’t see any problems with the carpet. It looks almost new to me,” said Grammy. “Now, Austin, are you still seeing that Vampire girl?”

Austin was in love with a woman who just happened to be a Vampire. He knew it wasn’t exactly the right thing to do but…

“But,” he said, “Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t a shadow creeper, or one of those ghoulish undead types. She lives a pretty normal life. You know the kinds of Vampires I help get rid of, and Elizabeth isn’t one of them.”

“You know those Vampires aren’t right. They do nothing but cause problems. Austin you’re an idiot for getting involved with one.”

“Grammy, Elizabeth isn’t that different from us.”

“That’s what you say. But the next thing you know they’ll be coming out of the shadows. I bet you the first thing they’ll do is call the ACLU and get a bunch of lawsuits in place against us normal people asking for rights and then some. Then they call AARP because they’re all older than dirt. You can’t trust them Austin. Listen to me. You are going to have nothing but trouble ahead of you. Nothing but trouble.”

“OK Grammy, I get your point.”

“I hope so. I don’t want you marrying one of those things. You haven’t have sexual intercourse with that Vampire of yours yet have you?”

“Grammy, I’m not going to talk about this anymore.”

“Are you still killing Vampires?”

“Only the ones without souls.”

“Well, how do you know if they have souls? They’re all a bunch of fanged faced liars.”

“Grammy, I know. I’m a Vampire Hunter. I can tell. It’s in my blood.”

“Well, your blood will be their blood if you don’t watch out.”

Kayla, who’d gone inside to make iced tea, came back out with three tall cold glasses full of iced tea with fresh mint. This wasn’t the popular sweet tea, but strong freshly brewed black tea with just a hint of lemon and mint. Grammy wouldn’t allow anyone to ruin her good tea with the addition of sugar.

Grammy took a sip of her tea and said, “I don’t know why your mom and dad had to name you after a city.”

Kayla smiled. “Be nice Grammy. You know Austin was where they fell in love.”

“Well, maybe. But it sounds like a character out of a trashy cheap romance novel,” said Grammy.

And she wasn’t kidding.

Austin had dinner with Kayla, her son Colt, and Grammy. They’d dined on garlic coated shrimp in a pasta, along with mushrooms and more garlic. Grammy always made sure she had garlic in all of her food to keep the Vampires away now that she had retired. Austin knew for a fact that garlic didn’t keep Vampires away.

Conversation became pleasant and without any caustic remarks. Grammy was charming and full of joy. Kayla looked relieved.

As Austin left his Grammy gave him a hug and a kiss. Then she said, “I wish you’d find a normal girl.”

Austin smiled and said, “Normal girl? Grammy, you of all people should know there is no such thing.”

Grammy just said, “pasha,” and closed the door in her grandson’s face.

 

~ End

Read all of the Austin and Elizabeth Stories (The Hunter Series) from the start.  Click here for the full set.

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Diary: The Twilight Zone of Love

Dear Diary,

Today I started to write my memoirs. I feel the weight of the damned upon my shoulders.

The cats are screaming. I must feed them. They refuse to catch their own food. I will start feeding them salad greens to inspire them to channel into their carnivore souls.

~ Vlad

 

I am her cat.

 

Dear Diary,

The cats are not happy with me.

~ Vlad

 

Grumpy-Cat-NO-1

Dear Diary,

Three hundred years of sleep has put me at a disadvantage. I wake and the world is an alien planet. Yes, I, Vlad the Vampire King, know what Science Fiction is. I make a comparison, only the world in which I have awakened is not fiction.

I’ve read the stories of Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and H. G. Wells. Their worlds are hardly less fantastic than what I see before me each and every single day. Yet, their writing is bold and fearless. I shall read more. I shall seek out more of what they call SciFi.

My old Vampire friend Thomas Kent came by the other night. We consumed many bottles of blood and many of wine, as we binge watched X Files episodes. I could fall in love with Scully. She would make a fine Vampire.

Thomas said we would next binge watch Breaking Bad. I understand it is about alchemist teacher and those who are against his art.

Later Thomas and I went out for fresh blood. I looked around every corner for The Smoking Man.

~ Vlad

The-X-Files

 

Dear Diary,

Today Thomas introduced me to something called Twilight Zone. I might never leave my house again.

He said that next week he will introduce me to something called Golden Girls. He said it will change me on so many levels. I have no idea what he means by that. I shall wait until next week.

~ Vlad

24-masks-twilight-zone.w750.h560.2x-1450978483

 

Dear Diary,

I have been thinking much about allegorical concepts and metaphors of stories that are so much part of modern culture. A wolf is no longer enough to scare someone. Religion does not bring fear into the hearts of the parishioners. It is stories of modern morality, greed, sex, and vanity told in straight forward ways that aren’t about royalty or gods. The stories are of the common man, both grim yet highly entertaining. There is a man called Stephen King who writes of such things in terms of good and evil with descriptions that would make even a Vampire take note. He is the master. There are others as well. But forget the horror, I have discovered women who write of romance in ways that make me almost numb not knowing what to think. The men on the covers tend to look a lot like me. How did they know? I am the man all women desire yet after reading these novels I wonder… I wonder a lot of things. I wonder if a woman called Nora Roberts would write a book about me. My image does not have to be on the cover. I’d prefer she just write about me, in

Modern women are like more like men in some ways, yet they are even more mysterious than they ever were. They are more beautiful and full of desire than women of the past. They are…they are…my dark soul is moved to say that they are wonderful.

But I speak too much about my food. I find while my body can be with many, my heart and mind are only with my Gillian.

~ Vlad

 

99ec35c3f2ce07478c410b316bf3f98b

Dear Diary,

Thomas told me that the actress who plays the role of Scully is name Gillian. If my heart could beat fast it would.

~ Vlad

 

Unknown

Dear Diary,

Gillian and I went out tonight, as we often do, because we’re Vampires. It should have been a normal night. By that I mean the kind of night that people have gone out in for hundreds, if not thousands of years. We went to a club, we drank wine, we listened to music, and we even danced. Then we had our fill of blood from new found friends.

As we walked through a dark alley, arm in arm, warm blood in our veins, love in our barely beating hearts and headed towards my car. Then I heard voices. Gillian heard them too. We stopped. She glanced at me and squeezed my arm. I took her hand.

“That’s them, the cute blonde guy and the beautiful ginger.”

“The Vlad the Vampire King?”

“They look like they’re off the cover of a bodice ripper romance. Don’t let that fool you.”

“Let’s make this happen. Jay, take the woman with the net. I don’t want her dead. Not yet. Carl, take the watch. The rest of you guys, stay with me. We’ll get Vlad.”

Gillian and I turned around. There were seven of them.

Vampire Hunters.

“I wish I’d worn flats,” Gillian hissed under her breath.

Before us stood six men and one woman. They were all dressed in black. They all carried weapons of some sort.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“The accent. Listen to his accent. He has the Lugosi accent,” said one of them.

“What an asshole,” said Gillian. “Let’s do this Vlad.”

She was right. I’d take no more insults from these idiots.

As they rushed us I held out my hand. “You are tired. Your eyes are weighted with molten silver. Your feet are like stones. You want to sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.”

Gillian sang softly. “Sleep, my loves, sleep in the dreams of your childhood. Sleep my kittens. Sleep.”

Then they fell to the ground. They were not good at what they do. Gillian and I looked down on them in disgust.

Then she started to dig in her purse.

“What are you looking for Gillian?”

“A Sharpie.”

“Do you wish to stab them? Their own pathetic lives are enough punishment for these characters.”

“No, not that kind of sharpie. A pen.”

And out of her purse she pulled a black pen. “Indelliable ink. It won’t come off for at least a week, unless of course they scrub their skin off.”

Then she proceeded to write the word LOSER on their foreheads and colored their noses black. She colored the woman’s lips black. On the men she drew funny beards and mustaches. Aside from when we make love I’ve never seen Gillian so happy.

When she was done we left and went back to her house.

In the old days I would have killed them. Now we do something worse. We make them look ridiculous.

I opened my eyes as she slept with her cold pale arms and legs wrapped around me, her auburn hair over my chest. We did indeed look like the cover of a romance novel. Maybe that isn’t a bad thing.

As for the Vampire Hunters… I don’t know. I don’t care. They are fools and will never be as glorious as the Vampires they seek.

~ Vlad

night walk

 

Dear Diary,

When one lives in a world that is in the shadows of both the real and the unreal it can be confusing, but then again it can be rewarding.

My mind goes back to times when we’d see dragons flying overhead as they migrated to their winter homes. There was a time when most everything in our homes, including the computer I write upon would be considered magic.

Then I see Gillian and I feel a different kind of magic.

I do not always understand it, this thing called love. There were centuries when I never felt it or missed it. There were centuries when I didn’t care. Love was no concern of mine. Then a woman who would draw funny beards on Vampire Hunters entered my existence. She was every bit as cold as I am, and it, what is the word they use? It clicked.

I must feed the cats. Tonight to celebrate they get tuna. From a can. As Vampire King I must make my subjects happy. HA HA HA. See I made a joke.

~ Vlad

fbe1abf716e5d03e068f0c4f109be234

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Conversion

“Durant, we found something.”

“What do you mean you found something?”

“Live dead bodies.”

“Vampires?”

“Yes, vampires. Happy fucking holidays.”

“I’ll be right there.”

Austin Durant had planned on spending the morning grading papers. When he wasn’t teaching history at the local state college he was a contractor specializing in restoring historic buildings. When he wasn’t doing that he was a vampire hunter. The vampire hunter part wasn’t planned. It just happened.

Now a call from his construction site foreman Matt changed his Sunday morning plans. Damn. He made a call and headed out.

His attorney and friend (the term friend was sometimes questionable) Aaron Todd stood on the front porch. How could anyone always look so elegant, even in jeans and a fleece jacket?

“Why don’t you people take care of your own?”

“You people? Really Austin. You sound almost racist.”

“You’re a vampire.”

“The ones in the walls are not my people.”

Aaron had a point. He was an attorney and lived in a beautiful modern house, with a beautiful wife who looked like she was right out of a Botticelli painting.  Aaron had nothing in common with the dried up husks with long yellow teeth and claw like fingers who were hibernating in the old walls.

Aaron was holding a pink box. “I brought donuts and coffee for your guys. It was the least I could do.”

“Thank you. The good kind,” said Austin, looking at the beautiful assortment of donuts, sweet rolls and bear claws. “Do you ever eat these things?”

“No. They make me sick.”

They waked back to the small bricked in room where the vampires had been found. The 8 x 8 foot space had been bricked in from the inside.

Aaron looked down at the still dead looking forms. “I know those two. I’d wondered what had happened to them. Not that I cared. I was glad to see them gone. The last time I saw them was this time of year. My wife Verity and I were downtown late at night and spotted these two on the steps of the new Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.”

“New?”

“It was 1890.” Aaron smiled and sipped his coffee. “They watched us with empty eyes coveting our existence. These two in the walls are creatures with no souls. They exist with nothing but longing for blood. They have no idea what the empty void is that fills them. That is why they wall themselves up to sleep for years. They know no torment. They feel no longing. They exist and that is all.

These two had come out to California to seek their fortunes right after the Civil war, like so many uneducated dullards. They were both pretty enough and young enough that they made a living selling their bodies. They were stupid enough to be seduced by evil. They forfeited their souls for eternal life. Either that or the idiots who converted them botched the job and only brought them back after their bodies were empty of any life at all. It doesnt matter. They might not even have had souls to begin with. They were the kind of people who just survive and nothing else. Their lives have no meaning.”

“You’re harsh.”

“I am realistic.”

“You saw them on the cathedral steps. You were going to tell me something about them.”

“It was two days before Christmas, they sat on the steps huddled together. I was going to approach them and tell them to leave town, when a priest came out into the dark and sat with them. We could hear what he said. I’ll never forget.”

Aaron took a deep breath as if he was almost human. “It was obvious they had been there before. The priest made a sign of the cross then put his hands on their shoulders and said, those who are loved will earn their souls. It is not in the scripture but I believe it. I know it. You are loved. Believe me. Believe my brother and sister.

Austin was amazed at what the vampire told him. “Do you believe that Aaron?”

“I want to, but no, I do not believe it.”

Austin knew vampires were cold hearted but he assumed that maybe… then again, when it came to the heart of a vampire assumptions were dangerous.

“By the way,” said Aaron, “the good priest was found dead a week later. His body had been drained of all blood. Funny how things work out that way.”

They looked down at the corpse-like vampires who lay on an ancient cot, huddled together in a cold embrace. Their old fashioned clothes still showed some color through the dusty and faded threads.

Austin raised the chain saw and was about to start it up when the male opened his eyes. It sounded like paper shredding. The woman did the same.

“Do it now,” hissed Aaron.

Austin started the chainsaw and cut off their heads.

He looked up and saw writing on the wall scrawled in what could have been blood above the cot.

We no not wat we do

“We know not what we do,” Austin read out loud.

In the curled up clawed hand of the woman Austin found a small carved figure of a baby in a manger. The paint looked almost new.

In the hand of the man was a holly branch.

“Those were gifts from the priest,” said Aaron.

The bodies turned to dust before their eyes.

“Aaron, what do you want to do with the ashes?”

“You have a shop vac don’t you?”

“Man, you’re cold. No pun intended.”

Aaron shrugged. Austin put the baby in his pocket and gave the dried holly branch to Aaron.

“Maybe I should believe,” said Aaron.

Austin put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Maybe you should.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tangled Tales

 

Austin and Elizabeth Stories

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player turns into a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires and the maybe love of his life (or maybe the cause of his death.)

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

Part 12: Back to the Past

Part 13: Nowhere in Time

Part 14: Father Paul

Part 15: The Bat

Part 16: Conversion

Short Story Sunday: Giving Blood (an Austin and Elizabeth Story)

Giving Blood

Part 16 – The Austin and Elizabeth Stories

 

“I can’t give blood.”

“Why not? It isn’t live you’ve been to sketchy African places or are having sex with needle users.”

“I don’t produce enough of my own blood to share.”

“I’ve never heard of anything like that.”

“Now you have.”

Elizabeth moved away from her boyfriend Austin’s friend Jason’s girlfriend Nicole and made her way back to the kitchen. The kitchen was where there was booze and nobody trying to get into her medical history or her lack of civic body fluid donation.

As she poured herself another glass of Cabernet a nicely dressed man with boyish good looks came into the room. She lifted her glass to him.

“Here’s to nosey assholes who won’t mind their own business. I take blood. I do not give.”

Austin put his arm around her and gave her a kiss. “Understood. Was Nicole bothering you about it? She asked me why you wouldn’t sign up.”

“I’ve got a good mind to take a blood donation from Nicole tonight.”

“Nicole is passionate for her cause.”

“It isn’t just her cause. Every time we see them she drills me about something. You know Austin, I am the mistress of polite but…”

“Nicole is just trying to be friendly. I’ve known her since college. She has always be forward.”

“Forward? Try rude. She is always drilling me with questions. She wants to know why I don’t like the sun, or why I don’t eat much, or why my skin is always cold, or why I never talk about my family. The questions are endless.”

Austin kissed on the cheek. “Don’t let it bother you.”

Elizabeth wasn’t going to be pacified. “I would normally ignore someone like her or fill her with nightmares but she is your friend. The only reason I don’t deal with her in the usual manner is because she is your friend. Do you understand. Do you understand what I mean by usual manner?”

“Yes, I understand. But you’ve been around enough that…”

“I know. I have. But I have never been in love with anyone with warm blood… ever, even before I became a Vampire. This is new, just like you dealing with my friends is new. Help me out here Austin.”

“This is all new to me too. One day I was a Vampire hunter and now I’m in love with a Vampire.”

“You’re not really a Vampire hunter. What you do is more like pest control. Unfortunately that doesn’t include pests like Nichol.”

He put his arms around her and pulled her close. “Let’s go home.”

She brushed her cold lips against his warm neck. “Good idea.”

As they walked to the car, arm in arm, a lone figure watched from the sidewalk. Maybe leaving the party for her house wasn’t that good of an idea. The night would tell.

To be continued…

 

About The Austin and Elizabeth Stories (The Hunter Series)

What happens when a History Professor/Restoration Expert/Player turns into a Vampire Hunter? He discovers basements full of undead creatures, a thriving community of hip and trendy Modern Vampires and the maybe love of his life (or maybe the cause of his death.)

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

Part 12: Back to the Past

Part 13: Nowhere in Time

Part 14: Father Paul

Part 15: The Bat

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Back into the Past

Part 12 – Back into the Past (the Austin and Elizabeth story)

Bringing the past to life is the goal of every history professor. Austin decided to spend a cold Saturday morning going over a folder of old letters and documents that would bring light on the past.

He looked at the woman curled up asleep on the couch. Her hair was in a mussed up layered bob he wanted to run his hands through. She was beautiful. She was also 180 years old and a Vampire.

Why do research when you have a community full of people who live forever to get information from? Oh right, because they’re cold predators who’d rather not talk to you unless they need something. That something includes blood, preferrable warm fresh from your neck. The main reason was that saying you got your information from a Vampire would make everyone think you were nuts.

She was still without any signs of breathing or so much a heart beat. Austin wondered if Elizabeth needed the blanket or only had it for comfort.

There wasn’t much comfortable about his relationship with Elizabeth relationship except when they were alone. Since letting her into his life (or was it the other way around) he had been subjected to veiled threats and questions about his motives toward her by her kind. Surprisingly he’d never been attacked, at least not by her kind of Vampire – the civilized kind who lived among real people.

The thick white scar on his left wrist was a constant reminder of the other kind of Vampire. That was the kind he’d learned to eradicate. Even Vampires called him to get rid of the soulless shadow creeping husks of Vampires he’d find under the floor boards and in attics of old buildings. They knew, the Vampires knew that he knew what they were.

The morning had been spent reading over documents from a house he was restoring. Three bodies had been found. A young woman with an infant in her arms was found under the floorboards. Dressed in expensive silk, he could tell she must have once been beautiful. The tiny baby was maybe only a few weeks old. At first Austin assumed she’d died from complications of childbirth but she’d been shot in the heart, then dressed and under the boards of the house. The man was found with what looked like a self-inflicted gunshot wound was found about 20 feet away. By the clothing and expensive watch Austin could tell the man was well to do.

All assumptions Austin made about the couple were wrong. They’d did in 1853. Around 1890 a larger house had been built on the foundation of the older building. DNA proved that the man was the father of the child. It also proved that the mother of the child was his sister. Jesus Christ, it just kept getting weirder and weirder. He’d found an ambrotype of the attractive couple looking dignified and respectable. The letters about forbidden love were tragic and charming at first but now it was just creepy and sick.

Getting up from his desk Austin noticed Elizabeth was gone. Just like a cat she could get up and vanish without a sound.

Austin found her in the kitchen making tea. She stepped close to him and brushed his cheek with her cold lips. “Don’t think too much about the dead,” she said quietly.

Funny thing for a Vampire to think.

“I love my sister but I could never…I couldn’t even think about it.”

“They weren’t right Austin. There were forces and things going on that neither one of us could imagine.”

As he looked in her eyes he thought about the night before. He’d run his fingers along her lips than asked her to show him her fangs. Shit, it was a stupid rude thing to do. Everything about being with Elizabeth was confusing and not right. It wasn’t wrong – it just wasn’t right. Then again, nothing in his life had ever been so right.

He watched the woman who in a few minutes could drain his body of blood mix the right amount of honey and lemon into his tea. Sweet and sour, hot and cold, day and night – it was the mix that made their relationship right.

“Austin, you care about the people you research as if you were there,” she told him as she handed him his cup.

“You were there.”

“I’m here, now. Right now. Go drink your tea and finish up. I’m going back to sleep.”

Austin watched her curl back up on the couch and turn her face away from him. He went back to his notes and back into the past, at least for the next hour or two.

 

Rose

 

 

For the complete story of Austin and Elizabeth (from the beginning) check the links below.

Part 1: The Hunter

Part 2:  Memory of Distant Love

Part 3: Dark Dreams of the Hunted

Part 4: About Those Pesky Undead Folks

Park 5: The Hunt Continues

Part 6: Cold and Warm

Part 7: Date with a Vampire

Part 8: Crawl Space

Part 9: Dust and Desire

Part 10: One of Those Days…

Part 11: Even Vampire Hunters Get the Blues

 

 

Oh.. one more thing! Today, January 11 is Unicorn Appreciation Day. Blogs all over the universe are reminding us today.

To read all about my unicorn experience CLICK HERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman