Warning! This is a horror/dark fiction story so may be disturbing to some. There is strong language and sexual situations.
They lay on cool white sheets, gently stroking one another’s bodies by the flickering glow of a television screen. The movie, an old black and white drama about a couple on the run, was perfectly attuned to the silent desperation of their lovemaking, shades of flickering light spilling onto the dingy motel walls tinting their naked limbs in shades of blue.
“Why do you have paintings on your skin?” she asked, tracing the slow rise and fall of the banner on his chest with her tongue, grooming him as she might a favorite youngling.
Bobby laughed. “The tattoos? I don’t know.” he raised his arm, flexing the smooth muscles to show off the panther. The open mouth seemed to yawn. “I saw this guy in a window of a skin palace down in San Pedro,” he said, “and I knew I had to have him.” He shrugged. “Then I went back and got another one, and another. They’re kind of addicting.”
Summer smiled, watching the panther. “What is… addicting?”
“That means something you’ve gotta have,” he explained. “Something you can’t live without. Get it?”
She nodded sadly and his face suddenly fell. “Shit, honey, I’m sorry…. I didn’t mean….”
She placed her fingers to his lips, shushing him. She had told him everything in the coffee shop; who she was, how she lived. At first he had not believed her, so she had looked around to be sure no one was watching them, then briefly removed the dark glasses, showing him her golden eyes.
He had believed.
She had expected him to be angry with her, or frightened, but he had not been. Instead, Bobby had sat for a long time, quietly sipping his coffee, gazing at her, and thinking. When he had at last spoken, his words were touched with love. “Summer, what you did before wasn’t your fault. I mean, it was all you knew how to do, but now you know better, so you gotta stop.”
“Bobby, I will starve.”
He had clasped her pale hand in his strong tanned one and flashed his beautiful smile. “Honey, this is the 21st century,” he said earnestly. “We have science and stuff. There’s gotta be other things you can live on besides human blood.” He had pointed to her coffee cup. “You drink coffee and it doesn’t hurt you.”
“I also had another drink,” she had told him, remembering the long list of beverages the prince had said would not harm her.”
“There, you see? I bet there’s lots of stuff you can eat that won’t hurt you. Heck, I saw this cave man movie once and people used to eat raw meat before they discovered fire.” Before she could protest, he had called the waitress and ordered her a burger and fries.
She had become violently ill after only a few bites.
Undeterred, Bobby had promised to take her to a health food store in the morning. “They got all kinds of vitamins and protein drinks and shit,” he had explained. “We’ll just go to a library and look up all the stuff that’s in blood, then we’ll buy everything we need to make our own.”
She trusted his judgement implicitly. If Bobby said they could make their own blood, then it must be so.
Unable to return to his apartment, they had driven north on Ventura in search of a motel. While they were driving, she had remembered the dead man in the Accord’s rear storage compartment. Bobby had quickly detoured into an alleyway, guiding the Accord deep into the underground parking area of a vast apartment complex, and they had wrestled the stiff corpse into the storage compartment of a dusty Oldsmobile with flat tires.
The motel, an anonymous place with tens of identical rooms stacked one on top of the other in a single habitation, had a sleepy bear painted in glowing lights on its facade.
She had liked that very much.
After Bobby had gotten the key, he brought her to this room on the upper level, opening the door and taking her hand to lead her inside. “Here we are,” he smiled, “our own little place.”
She had pressed herself against him then, holding him in her arms and looking adoringly into his soft eyes. He had lifted the dark lenses from her face, gazing into her golden ones, telling her how beautiful they were. Still standing, they had gently removed one another’s garments and she had whispered her desire to couple with him.
“Are you sure?” he had asked.
She had hesitated, recalling the horrible experience she had undergone at the prince’s hands, feeling the residual pain of his assault in her loins.
“Yes,” she had replied.
Bobby had been warm and Bobby had been gentle; standing there in the pile of garments for the longest time, simply stroking the soft skin of her back, moaning in pleasure as her hands found and touched him. When finally they sank onto the white sheets of the sleeping platform, he had allowed her to simply lay her body against his, finally slipping one long thigh over his hips and feeling the intense heat of him against her. She had cried out in pain once and he had looked up in alarm. Then she was on top of him, slowly moving, feeling the warmth of his palms cupping the tender buds of her breasts.
They had fallen asleep together, waking in the early hours to splash together beneath a steaming spray of water in the bathroom shower, returning to the big sagging bed to hold one another while the old movie played on the silent television.
She had never known such contentment.
“What do you want to do?” Bobby was looking at her now, his head propped gracefully on one muscled arm.
“We must go out of this city.” She answered without hesitation. “We must go far away from him.” She did not say so, but she was thinking of the prince’s ability to follow her scent over great distances and she was not at all certain that the perfume she had purchased would mask her track permanently.
Bobby looked thoughtful. “Man, that’s pretty radical. I mean, there’s my job and school and everything.”
Her heart sank. He was beginning to reconsider the foolishness of his actions. She realized the great danger he was in. Could she really expect him to give up his life for her?” “Bobby,” she began, “I do not want you to be injured. If you wish to leave me….”
He took her chin in his hand. “Hey, who said anything about leaving you.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “I love you, Summer. I go crazy just thinking about you. It’s just that we gotta figure this thing out. Say we run. First of all it’s gonna look pretty weird. I mean, I can’t just disappear. The people I know would wonder what happened to me.” He thought for a moment. “And what’s to keep this… guy from following us? From what you told me about him, he’s got mongo cash.”
He smiled. “Lots. He’s got lots and lots of money, enough to track us down.” The smile changed to a frown and he got to his feet, crossing to the room’s only window and peering out into the rain. “It’s getting light already. Damn! We need time to make some plans… a couple of days to work things out. I could call my boss and make up some story about getting the flu or something…. If there was just someplace we could go… someplace safe.”
“I know a place,” she said.