In spite of everything, I was mostly hungry.
Eight months of relentless effort led to the closure of 400 years worth of passionate murder and lifeless sleep. I had been the undoing of my siblings. My family. Four centuries of deepest love and conspiracy. And now I stood among men.
I stood before a chaos contained within graceless mahogany Falls Church walls. A pair of succulent 40-something agents passed me by with nods of respect…and all I wanted to do was drink both men.
This is not who I am.
A slap on my denim jacket caught me by surprise. My neck jerked and my eyes flashed black before returning quickly to blue. I was so used to George’s company that I no longer processed his smell. Pollo Loco, Newports, early hints of gingivitis. “You know not to sneak up on me like that”
George nodded, “C’mon, boss. Let’s duck into my office. You don’t want to be here.”
Three high level brass turned the corner into the hallway, followed by a swarm of media. George was right; this was becoming a circus. I turned to leave with him before I heard a heavy rolling thud a quarter mile away. “Is that…?”
“Yeah, it’s the survivors. I’m telling you, Andrei, you don’t want to be around for this.”
No. “I will face them.”
I turned to my last remaining friend and said without emotion “You need to leave.”
He stood where he was. Thank you, George.
The media spread like writhing mold along every patch of wall available to them as the three executives took places before the rolling display arrived. They were proud and smug. These spugs would be the faces of the “heroism” that destroyed my kin. And still the cameras flashed as the smallest of the three brass tried in vain to suppress a smile. His heart was beating at 137 beats per minute.
Goddamn, I was hungry.
The rolling wheels grew near, and a large oak platform began to turn the corner. I could see the shoulder of one of my shackled brothers. It was Valory, the second youngest. Even from that glimpse I could see he had been beaten enough that his scars remained. I smelled solar torture. I am sorry, my brother.
The platform continued to turn until it smashed and punctured a baseboard by the elevator. The six or seven standing on the platform were jostled by the impact, shaken like rag dolls, immortal in name only.
The tallest of the seven turned his head in spite towards the crowd.
“Gregori,” I whispered, and he met my gaze.
“Andrei? Andrei Lishen Subarova?”
Gregori was my confidant.
“What are you doing, consorting with meat?”
Gregori was the one I turned to 433 years ago after our step mother took me from my bed in the middle of the night, thrust her teeth into my neck, and made me part of the family.
Cameras tuned away from the brass and put their attention on us. They would, of course, capture nothing with their film.
Spittle formed at the corner of his blackened mouth, “You have betrayed us all! Judas! You are Judas to your family!”
Gregori reveled in the consumption of over 42,000 men, women, and children in his time. He also owed me $28,000 I would never see.
“If I am your Judas, where is your cross?”
Gregori thrashed against his chains as the other siblings stood without passion or response. I stood watching him, knowing it would be the last time I would see him or any other family. I would like to think the FBI would find some way to spare their….
Gregori was a bad man. We were bad people. And we deserved all that was happening.
That moment was broken when the tallest of the brass, General Miller broke our gaze. Amongst the din of family and media, his gray voice was clear. “We need to talk.”
“You said you would cure me. Will we discuss this now at your office?”
“Yes. That’s what we need to discuss.” General Miller’s pulse spoke louder than his voice. His truth was partial. Something wasn’t right. “We must go.” He put his arm around my shoulder and led me away from the circus.
The din grew quieter as we headed towards his office. The general walked at a slower clip than I was used to, and I forced myself to keep pace. He broke our silence. “You are a hero, Andrei. Your nation is grateful.”
I snapped back. “I did not do this for gratitude or heroism.” I paused to collect myself… “Forgive my bitterness; this has been tiring. Can we get something to eat?” There were small mammals in the lab we were approaching. Their heartbeats teased the back of my throat.
“You will have plenty to eat in due time, Andrei.”
I looked up to him, “Human food? Will the cure be that quick?” I sounded expectant, too much like a child hoping for a present. I was yielding too much power to this blood man.
General Miller stopped for a moment. He breathed, trying to find words. And then he continued his slow gait. We approached his office, yet he kept walking.
“Have you been lying to me, General? There…is a cure, right? I did all of this…all of this for a cure!”
The General looked forward, and we continued walking into yet another hall. “Yes, Andrei. There is a cure. When you are done, you will no longer need to kill people for food. ” His blood spoke true. What was he hiding?
“More than that, General. I mean breathing…daylight…garlic bread.” Was I asking for too much?
We stopped at the only door in the green hallway we travelled. “All of your questions will be answered, my friend. Here is where we depart. I thank you again for your service to your country.” General Miller offered his hand. My country ceased to exist almost 80 years ago. I shook the General’s hand. He bowed slightly and made his way down the hall.
I stood there for a full minute, trying to anticipate what I had bargained my family away for. By now, I was famished, and reason was starting to fade. There could be unmitigated betrayal behind that door. A giant mirror, perhaps, to study my reactions. Was General Miller behind that mirror? I think I knew his heartbeat well enough. I’d know. And he’d be the first I would consume. I would…
This is not me. I opened the door and walked in.
I had entered what, under normal circumstances, would appear to be a woman’s one-bedroom apartment. The smell…it was lavendar and Opium and jade plants and…someone had eaten salmon in the last few hours. Ivory walls featured impressionist art and significant negative space. Shelves lined with small plants and books. A long, long white leather couch stretched almost the length of the main room. Above the couch, an almost as long mirror. Ah. I could not detect a pulse behind the mirror…perhaps it was sound proofed…I waved to it anyway.
There was so much brightness in the room that…. My eyes darted for the ceiling, only to be relieved when there was no sunroof to be found. In fact, there were no windows at all. Perhaps in the bedroom?
Suddenly, there was scent so powerful of woman that it almost blinded me. Perhaps it was my increasing hunger, but the scent was much too strong for one woman…too synthetic…as if pheremones and…something…was being pumped through the ventilation. It was disorienting, and I sat himself down to the leather couch.
She walked into the room then, and she stunned me.
I have known beauty and grace. It always fades with mortal age. Yet never have I been so affected as I was by this woman. She was healthy, 32 or 33 years old. Four inches shorter than me and her weight typical for an American. Her organs were spectacular and without blemish. She had recently become a mother, and her pulse was a calm 65 beats per minute. I tasted the air and detected no disease. She walked with a grace that spoke of confidence and…fear? It was courage. Yes. This was a brave woman who probably knew exactly who…what she was dealing with.
Of the shell, the woman had long brown hair, green eyes, Irish decent. Her face, wide and round. Her breasts were heavy, full, enhanced by her nursing a…7 month-old. Her blue and white dress reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland. Only, more womanly.
She approached me with a bright smile and warm glow, though in her eyes, I knew she was furiously calculating…what? She offered her hand. “Hello Andrei, my name is Anna.”
I reached down to kiss the back of her hand, taking a moment to savor the scent of her blood. Ahhh…. She wore a silver bracelet with long, hollow glass beads set into the design. “The pleasure is entirely mine, Anna. You are spectacular. I do not mean to be rude, and I am eager to get started on my cure. I am, however, terribly hungry and would like to get something to eat.”
“Oh no, that’s fine. I understand.”
“It’s just that there’s an awful lot of white in this room, and, well….I’d hate to be the person who has to clean up all of the mess. Where do you keep the animals?”
Anna shook her head, and said, “Oh, there are no animals, Andrei.”
“Beverage then? Fine….anything at this point. I normally like vodka with mine, but I’ll take it straight, if…”
She was shaking her head. “No, no Andrei. That won’t be necessary.”
Impatience filled my gut where there should have been blood. “What are you talking about?”
“You will feed from me, Andrei.”
What the…. “Excuse me?”
“I will feed you. I will cure you .”
“You will…” My eyes darted to the mirror above the couch. “The woman is my cure, General Miller? The woman?! I have sacrificed my entire family…everyone I have ever loved…who carried me across the centuries and shared every joy and splendor I have ever known.”
Anna tried to interject, “But…”
I couldn’t even begin to address her. “They are gone, General Miller. All gone! All so I could spare you a handful of murders every year. And you repay me with a steak?!”
Anna anticipated my angered response. “Please let me explain, for I owe you so much.”
I said nothing to the woman who asked to be my dinner.
She bravely continued with heavy breath. “Andrei, in World War II, you fought with my great grandfather and saved him….”
I took in her scent deeply. Deeper still…and her heart rate increased. Yes…. “Brian MacNamara. A brave man. I saved many brave men then. I fed on more. Wars provide opportunities that appeal greatly to my kind.” I could feel my fangs begin to come in. I made sure that she saw them.
“My…my great grandfather knew of your nature. He said that you were one who did not kill for pleasure. That you were noble among your kind. You did not feed among the living beyond the animals and those that threatened his platoon at night. He said you absorbed damage that would kill 10 men and they gave you a secret purple heart….”
“Between that and the one in my chest, I have a matching set. What does that have to do with anything?”
“He said you spoke of hating what you were. That you were not by nature a killer. I joined the FBI and when I learned of your work and what I could do for you I….”
She stopped when she realized my eyes were only inches away from hers. Anna’s heart rate jumped from 90 to 120.
I whispered to her, “Hush….. ”
“I…I…” Such courage in such a beautiful girl. She tried to look away from my gaze…towards her wrist…. That wouldn’t do. With my hand, I tenderly turned her face back to mine., a silk, encouraging finger caressing the side of her porcelain cheek. Her eyes locked with mine.
“What do you see, little bunny?”
“Your eyes…are so dark and so wide…I c-can’t look away from them.” Her chest rose and fell, I imagined her breasts exquisite. If only I wasn’t so hungry….
I smiled, “Your pupils have dilated, Anna…you are absorbing as much light as you possibly can. So listen, darling. Absorb and follow as much as you can. It is easy to follow me now, isn’t it?” I began to tilt my head from one side to the other, and she found her head doing the same.
“So easy….” Her breathing slowed, her mouth so dry, elsewhere so damp…. Anna’s legs shifted against the leather of the couch “But…”
Anna’s willpower was incredible. I do not remember resistance like this in ages…it only served to fuel my desire for her. I got off of the couch and extended my hand to her. Her eyes, now devoid of any white, followed mine as she reached out for my hand. She rose with grace, yet I could still see the worry within her…that one scrap of resistance.
I looked to her chest, which served to increase her pulse. I then looked back into her eyes, and she nodded in understanding. Unable to look away, lips parted, she unbuttoned her dress with long fingers that acted of their own accord. Her sleeves fell past naked shoulders I achingly wanted to kiss. Unwavering, she reached back to unclasp her bra, releasing her massive, lactating breasts…her dark, round nipples erect, eager to respond to my attention. I reached out to her left breast, and she gasped. Such a beautiful teardrop…my fingernails grazed up the side of her breast, and back down with soft, firm fingertips. Up and down, and with every cycle she breathed in time.
She stood there in white panties and hunger…and as much as I wanted to feast upon her then, I wanted that much more to take her into my arms. I wanted to embrace Anna. And before I could complete that thought, she was in my arms, her hands grasping me at the back of my neck. I brought my lips to hers and opened my mouth slightly, encouraging her with my breath to do the same. Our lips met, and then again and then deeper again. My tongue teased her wanting mouth, and she encouraged it with her own. She found my fangs with her tongue, and delicately licked the sides of them, allowing her tongue to be grazed ever so slightly at the points before withdrawing, allowing my tongue to take over her mouth. We soul kissed to the sound of her heartbeat as I traced the outline of her neck. Her hands, caressing my hair, seeming to fumble with each other, unable to get out of each other’s way. I smiled as I leaned in to smell her jugular vein., only thinking of how sweet her flowing liquor would feel within me.
I reared my lion head back, with fangs fully drawn, ready to feed as I had a thousand times before, when I noticed in my periphery that Anna had a small glass vial in her hand. It was a bead from her bracelet. And before I could comprehend what she was doing, she broke the vial with her fingernail, releasing a heavy, white mist that drifted toward and permeated my flesh. In five seconds, I had fully absorbed the contents of that vial.
Something wasn’t right…I could feel it in my throat…my tongue, instinctively I felt for my retracting fangs until they were gone. I pushed Anna away, whose eyes were starting to regain whiteness. “What have you done?” I asked in horror, clutching my aching chest. I dropped to my knees, and then put my hands to the floor.
Anna, in the coda of her trance, looked down to me and whispered, “for you…all for you.”
I looked up to her, then to her breasts…her nipples…so hard to look away…I forced myself to look into her eyes, now human-looking, “What is happening?”
Anna leaned down to caress my face, a finger tracing the outside of my lips. I instinctively opened my mouth in response, and she smiled warmly. She walked across the room to grab a handmade quilt, draped it over her shoulders, and returned to the leather sofa. I watched her with fascination as she sat there, crooking a finger as if to reel me towards her.
Helplessly, I did. She was a mortal…a meal. In all my years, no one had captivated me like this. Blood was my mistress. Now it was Anna. Where is my bloodlust? Where did it go? I can’t think about this. For the world is Anna and Anna alone in this moment. By the time I got to the couch and sat down, I knew I could deny her nothing. My eyes kept drifting to her breasts, now partially covered by the quilt. I did not understand this compulsion. And for all that almost happened, I feared I was being rude.
I pleaded with her. “How will I feed without my desire for blood?”
With warm, human eyes, brighter than mine could ever pretend to be, she answered, “You will feed upon me.” Her hand reached for my hair, and I eagerly received it. It drifted to the side of my face, and I moved with her gentle motions. “I am your cure,” she whispered. “Come feed upon me, Andrei.”
And even still, I did not understand. Anna knew this, and so she pushed aside the quilt, revealing her exquisite breast. So powerful, it seemed to have its own gravity. Her hand returned to the back of my neck, gently guiding my head to her tit. So round and beautiful. Waiting for my mouth. I struggled to look up to her, “But…”
She smiled and said, “Hush….” Her finger returned to my mouth, teasing my lips, sliding just a half-inch in and out, along the sides…I instinctively pursed my lips around her finger and began to suck upon it. “Yes, Andrei. My baby.” Her finger became a hook, and she slowly led me to her breast.
For all the power in my sense of smell, nothing was ever as exquisite as the scent of her pheromones, her sweat, and…oh my God, her milk. She had milk. My mouth drew wide and clamped hard upon her nipple, drawing as much of her areole into me as possible. And then I began to nurse upon Anna. First tentatively. Then I looked up to her, and I saw only arousal and yearning for me to suck more. I did and I did and then I felt it. I felt her milk enter me and I knew of no greater ecstasy. It was nothing like blood. Blood was survival. Anna’s milk was life. And as I drank deep of her nectar, I knew there could never be a greater happiness.
She called to me in breathlessness, “Suck meeeee, Andrei.” Her hands stroked my hair wildly now as she suckled me. Anna was giving grace and composure up for lust and ardor. “Do not ever stop!” Her milk flowed into me, and it only made me want to suck more. My hand reached for Anna’s free breast, which made her cry out “Yes!” as I clamped her aching nipple between the base of my fingers, pulling rhythmically to the beat of my nursing.
She was close to orgasm and my only reason for existence was to bring her there. I pinched her free nipple, coaxing a spray of milk that coated my fingers. I brought the milk-laced fingers to her mouth, and she moaned with acceptance, her hand drawing my head closer to her breast. My tongue coaxed her nipple, and she breathed in time to it. My head bobbed as I sucked and she would guide it.
“My other breast….now, Andrei.” I unlatched from her right, and moved down the couch to nurse from her left. She vacillated between hums and moans, and I learned quickly that I could get those and other responses by how I nursed from her.
Her legs were squirming as I pushed her panties to the side. My fingers traced the outline of her clit, and then rubbed just above it, getting her acclimated and soaking before penetrating her deep with two fingers, my thumb still resting on her clitoris, edging her forward…
“Oh God….Andrei…please….please….” but by then, as I relentlessly nursed upon my Anna, I could feel the contractions within her pussy, and I knew she was without control. I suddenly unlatched and teased her nipple with the tip of my tongue, letting my icy breath cool her nipple before sucking deeply again. And that was all it took. With surprising strength, she clutched my body to hers and came hard to my attentions. She spasmed and rocked and gasped and screamed. And I knew no greater pleasure than to inspire such joy.
It was at that moment that I realized my hunger had past. Is it possible? I do not remember ever being…not hungry. Am I cured? Can I walk in the sun again?
Excitedly, I left Anna’s body and looked to the long mirror…where there was no reflection. I continued to stare into the mirror, at the room behind me, until Anna’s beatific face shared in the reflection.
I turned to my lover, and asked her what happened to me. She nodded and encouraged me to lay my head in her naked lap. I did so, and she began, again, to stroke my hair.
“The CDC wanted a cure from you. We knew of your existence. We also knew the exponential threat potential your family and other disease vectors could have caused. What’s more, some of us knew what became of your minds during and after infestation. For all of these reasons, my Andrei, we wanted to save you.
“For all of our efforts, we could not find a full solution. We have made inroads for various symptoms…a sunblock that lasts fifteen minutes, soy-based garlic…. Our most successful innovation was an enzyme that changes your need for blood with a need for milk. In time, any milk will do as much as any blood would do. For now, it’s limited to human breast milk.”
“I can live with that.” I clamped her nipple with my fingers.
Anna bit her lip, “So can I. We’re not done with you yet, are we?” Her hand insinuated its way to my thigh, and to my still raging hardness.
Her hand went to her slightly sore nipple, coaxing a little more milk from her breast, letting the white droplets fall down her hand. She brought the milky hand to my shaft and began to stroke it expertly. “Am I you cure, Andrei?”
I turned to Anna and flashed my eyes to black. Anna’s dilated in response. Her hand continued her stroking, but her lips parted and her breathing grew heavy. I smiled as I released her, and she moaned before me.
“Yes…you are my cure, my Anna.”