The Law Offices of… a butterfly bush hid the names. I knew them well, along with the previous owners of the downtown Victorian. So many beautiful old homes are now law offices, but they’re the only ones who have money for the restoration work.
Since Friday is July 4th today was my usual Friday lunch date with Jack.
I walked up the back stairs in the heat and unfortunately ran into Laurence, Jack’s partner. Laurence is charming and good looking in a comfortable sort of way. I shouldn’t think twice about the guy but there is something about him that is all slime covered and rotten. He hides it well. I wanted to say “HI LARRY,” but I know he hates being called that. Laurence gives me a dirty look as my glance chills him to the bone. He never knows why he feels uneasy around me, but I do. I’m a Vampire, only that well dressed slime ball doesn’t know it.
Jack greets me with a kiss and a smile as always. I’ve known him for over 15 years. We’re friends outside of lunch. In fact I think he and my husband Teddy are going to go to a Giant’s game in San Francisco later this week.
I notice a book on his shelf that is somewhat out of place. Green cover with an illustration of a boy on a tree swing on the cover. A book I thought I’d read over and over to my own children until I changed my mind.
“The first time I read The Giving Tree I thought it was the most beautiful story. A tree gave all to a boy and it was happy. Now I think it is a horrible story about a horrible selfish boy who took everything from the tree and gave nothing back. He never loved the tree, he just used her until there was nobody and nothing else to use anymore,” I told Jack.
“I guess if you put it that way,” said Jack looking a little sad from my analysis.
“I’m not that negative. Really Jack, you know Little Women isn’t one of my favorite books, but the character of Jo, despite her crazy funny ways always puts her family first. She is impulsive but she is also smart and loving and would do anything for her family. But she isn’t like the tree. She seeks love but not in a stupid blind way. Now the character of Amy, she is one selfish little bitch.”
“So why don’t you like Little Women?”
“It’s putridly happy and fussy. The March sisters are way too annoying for me. Plus their adoring father is so irresponsible. I’d have to bitch slap the man if I ever met him. The mother Marmee is way too good and called Marmee. The romantic hero Laurie is a total whoosie lala pansy boy.”
Jack smiled and leaned back against the desk. I stepped closer to him and started to loosen his tie.
“How old were you when Little Women came out?” Jack asked me.
“I was eight or nine.”
“How old were you when Dracula was published?”
“Lord of the Rings.”
“Really? Ninety five. That just blows me away.”
“Lord of the Flies?”
“Very funny. It came out the same year as Lord of the Rings.”
“How old were you when Fifty Shades of Gray came out?”
“Stop.” I have to admit that we couldn’t stop laughing. It was a stupid game but that is what friends do. “
You aren’t waiting today. No foreplay? Not even a glass of wine? You’re just going to jump in and tear my neck open.” He gave me one of his million dollar smiles and brushed a lock of hair behind my ear with his hand.
I folded his silk tie and placed it on the table then started to unbutton his shirt. “I get what when I want it.”
“You’re such a predator Juliette.”
I tugged at his shirt. “You get what you want and need from me. Don’t tell me there hasn’t been a time when my visits didn’t make you feel good for weeks. You love the thrill. You love the rush I give you and the glow makes you higher than any man-made drugs. And don’t forget that I will never tear your neck open silly man. Just two nice neat punctures that you’ll never know were there.”
He took my jaw in his hand. “Let me see your fangs.”
I turned my head. I wasn’t going to play this game.
“Juliette, what if I said no?”
“It wouldn’t matter. I’d have you anyway, if I wanted. You know that Jack. We’ve gone over this before. Why even discuss it?”
After spending so much time with my teens these adult conversations with Jack seem sort of odd and strange… whatever. Besides, Jack and I have been friends for years. He thought we were having an affair before he found out, accidently about a year ago, that I’m a Vampire. No affair, not really, mostly just a few lovely planted memories. But despite being a little flipped out when he first found out I was a Vampire and that we even really existed, he said he didn’t want to stop.
But as I was talking I was thinking I sort of sounded like Hal in 2001 Space Odyssey. “Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”
Then I just wanted to smile and tell Jack “You can run but you can’t hide.”
I didn’t tell him that. I got close and brushed my teeth over his lovely lips then unbuttoned his shirt so I could get to his neck. He didn’t say no. I ran my hands through his sandy brownish blonde hair and then showed him what my fangs could really do.
As always I brought him something. Today it was white chocolate dipped raspberry truffles with a center of dark bittersweet chocolate so rich that just one was almost overkill. I brought him a dozen. That is what I do for my friends, unlike the boy with the tree.
We rested for a while on the leather couch in his office. He rested his head on my lap and slept while I savored the feeling of his blood flowing through my veins. I picked up my Nook and read poetry a while then gently kissed his forehead and left him alone.
No court dates or appointments were on his schedule for the rest of the day. I looked at the post-it notes on his desk and noticed that he was doing some pro bono work for some foster kids later in the week. Good man my Jack is.
Sometimes people use the expression “I’m only human.” That isn’t such a bad thing. It isn’t a weak thing unless one wants it to be.
And we all know that by reading my least favorite book “Little Women” that one can be both gentle and strong. I mean, they’re no Vampires, but I wouldn’t want them to be. I like them the way they are – at least most of them.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman