Longing to Belong


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The Journey Begins

Jessi’s words echo in my mind as I look out over London from the hotel room where she left me. “Go on,” she’d nudged me. “You can’t be attached to me forever. At some point all of us need to be on our own and that point has come for you. There’s a whole world out there to explore, and nothing but time to explore it all. You need to be your own person now Raven.” 

Easy for her to say. All I’ve known since that fateful night is Jessi and Kara-Mei, the safety of our family. The thrill of the hunt was always amplified because we worked as a team. Now, for the first time in decades, I’ll be on my own again. Jessi is right, of course, I do need to be my own person. An exaggerated sigh passes my lips, Jessi is always right. It’s annoying really. 

Somewhere out there in the city, my little family of misfits is going about their business and most likely getting into all sorts of delicious trouble. My heart aches to join them but I know better than to go against Jessi when she’s made up her mind about something. All the same, I can’t stay here in this hotel room forever. The minutes are ticking by and with each passing moment dawn is getting closer. 

Deliberately, I turn away from the window and begin packing what little I own. I never saw the point in collecting much of anything beyond clothes to wear and a handful of souvenirs from the many many places I’ve seen. And since my clothes tend to get ruined, they get left in dumpsters more often than not. It only takes a moment to fill the backpack I carry when traveling with the essentials and a carrier bag with the items that will be left behind. 

A final look in the mirror before I go. My hair is as shiny and black as a Raven’s feathers, falling down my back in gentle waves, a beautiful contrast with my pale skin and blood red eyes. I dab some lipstick on and smile at my reflection. I look good enough to eat in my skinny jeans and cropped top. That might sound terribly conceited but I stopped being modest long ago. With a chuckle I sling the backpack over my shoulder, pick up the plastic carrier back and exit the room leaving no evidence that I was ever there at all.

Once outside the city is still very much awake and I make my way downtown, keeping my ears and eyes open for any potential prey. There’s never a lack of prey in big cities like this. I discard the carrier bag in the first dumpster I come across and now I’m ready to get my night started. There’s beggars on every corner but I pass them by swiftly. They’re too weak, too easy.

No, this is my first solo hunt and I am looking for something a little more appetising. The family stayed in London long enough that I know my way around blindly and so it takes me little time to locate the dark abandoned alleys people get warned about. I know where the gangs prefer to hang out, and which ones are most violent. I know exactly where I’m going but as I pass an average looking townhouse, my plans change in an instant. 

My ears effortlessly pick up the sound of an argument coming from inside, though to be fair the yelling is so loud most people would probably hear when walking past. What most people wouldn’t hear is the sound of children whimpering somewhere upstairs and a woman apologising over and over to no avail. The sounds of an abusive household, another man who so very wrongly assumes he has the right to terrorise those that live under his roof simply because he is male. 

It takes me a moment to realise other passers by are beginning to stare at me, though it’s not surprising as I’ve stopped dead in my tracks and am standing still as a statue to listen in better. Not wanting to attract unneeded attention to myself, I look around and spot a nice dark corner to hide while I decide what to do next. 

The offending male makes it an easy decision thankfully, as I can hear him making his way towards the front door while telling the woman to stay put and make herself useful for once in her life while he goes for a beer with the lads. Just how is a woman to make herself useful this late at night? I shake my head. Men… they make no sense and this senseless specimen is about to discover his actions come at a very steep price indeed. 

When he exits the house I wait around for a few more moments before following him at a safe distance. I can’t do anything while there’s others around but as any true local he takes a shortcut through a quiet street. Oh, he’s making this so easy but I don’t care. If there’s one thing that always sets my teeth on edge it’s abusive sons of bitches. 

Catching up to him is easy enough, he’s not walking very fast and even if he was it wouldn’t matter. I tap his shoulder lightly, feral smile already in place. Usually this would be where I play a little game of seduction but I’m too enraged for that right this second so I don’t bother. As he turns around to face me, the look on his face quickly shifts from annoyed to calculated and then finally appreciation. He starts to speak but I put a finger to his lips and shake my head. “You’ve been a bad, bad boy tonight sugar.” I smirk and let my fangs slide out for him to see clearly, my accent taking on that mocking southern drawl I love so much. 

The confusion in his eyes makes me laugh out loud. Not a warm, compassionate laugh though, oh no, a cold murderous one. The kind of laugh that chills the blood. Slowly I wrap my fingers around his throat and begin to squeeze. “I really should teach you a lesson, child. Show you what it’s like to be terrified. Oh but you’re beginning to learn already aren’t you?” Even in his fear he has the gall to look offended at being called a child and I roll my eyes at him. 

“It’s too late now, naughty little boys that hit their women get their throats ripped out.” And without further ado I release my grip on his throat enough so I can reach the vein pulsating there in his neck, rich with the life force I need so badly to survive. In the blink of an eye my teeth have pierced his skin and the blood flows freely into my mouth. Blood is spilling onto my chin, hands and clothes but I don’t care. Hunger and anger make for a messy meal, that’s just how it is.

Only when he’s entirely bled dry do I let go of him and take a step back to observe my work. I need to cover up my tracks, I can’t let anybody find him with those puncture wounds, it would raise too many questions. An animal attack would not be believable, not in this day and age, not in the middle of London. After a moment of consideration I grin into the darkness of the night, lean down and grab hold of his head. With a quick pull, I sever it from his body and toss it aside. 

There, that’ll do it. The flesh of his neck is torn to shreds from the force of having the head removed and there’s no chance they’ll find my teethmarks on him now. I do admit I feel rather proud of myself for dealing with this scum so swiftly, but of course that doesn’t much help his probably not so grieving widow, or his children much. They are free of him now though and that should be worth something if you ask me. 

Now that my hunger has been satisfied, it’s time to move ahead. I can’t stay in London any longer, much as I love the city. The temptation to rejoin my maker would be too great. Not to mention the body count has already risen high enough and the time for moving was getting close for all of us even before I got sent off on my own. I’m not sure where I’ll end up in the end, but I know where I’ll begin. Back to my roots, back to the place where it all began. 

Which means I’ve got some serious planning to do and serious planning requires a room with Internet access. First though, I need a change of clothes. Avoiding suspicion gets a lot harder to do when you’re covered in blood. I easily find a fresh top and jeans in my backpack and change into them, use the bloodied top to wipe off the blood on my face and neck before stuffing the dirty clothes into the bag with a mental note to get rid of them later, far away from the body.

First order of business, getting to the airport and finding a place to sleep. Heathrow is miles away but the rush of having fed is still singing through my body and I swiftly make my way out of the city although I don’t run at full speed until the busy areas are well behind me and I’m confident nobody will notice. As fast as my feet will carry me, I run along the highway towards Heathrow, reaching the airport well before dawn. 

Finding a place to sleep isn’t the most simple task at four in the morning but one of the hotels near the airport turns out to have a 24 hour bar that allows for a way in. A quick check reveals that sure enough, there’s a clerk on duty at the front desk as well, and a male one at that. This just must be my lucky night, men are so much easier than women… I grin happily as I observe him quietly while he is working, entirely unaware of my presence. He’s not unattractive either and that makes it easier on me to play my little game too. 

He’s not the tallest man I’ve ever seen, in fact he’s rather on the short side but I do believe he’s at least an inch taller than me still so there’s that. His light ash brown hair is carefully styled to look careless and he’s dressed fashionable though I’m sure that last bit is part of the job description. All the same, he’s clearly a guy who cares about beauty and style, two things I have in ample supply. I quickly pat down my hair and approach the desk carefully, fidgeting all the way over there.

The moment the clerk looks at me though, I know this won’t go quite as I hoped. There’s no sign of desire or even appreciation in his blue eyes as they take in the look of me. “Hello there dear, can I help ya?” He’s polite enough, but definitely not interested in me. His heartbeat is steady, not a sign of transpiration. 

I can’t help it, I look down to make sure I look decent but whatever the issue my looks aren’t it. Cleavage, check. Tight jeans, check. Hair perfect? Well actually I did just run for miles but surely it’s not that bad? He’s arched an eyebrow at me now as I stand there looking myself over and I smile apologetically. 

Quickly I read the name tag he’s so kindly wearing. “Well Sam,” I start making sure to sound as lost and innocent as I can manage, “I need a place to stay for a night, possibly two.” I bite my lip for added effect but nothing, not even a smidgen of interest. He just looks at me intently, as if he’s trying to decide if I’m for real or not so I flash him my platinum credit card. Gotta love all that modern technology, even if I have to change the account to a new identity every so often which is a hassle. 

The card seems to do it, because he turns his gaze from me to his computer at last but quickly shakes his head. “I’m sorry miss, I simply can’t offer you a room tonight.” To his credit he does look genuinely apologetic but that answer just will not do.

A quick scan of the room reveals there are no security cameras pointing at the desk, foolish but convenient for me and with a sigh I reach over to turn the computer screen towards me and look over the room listings myself. When he tries to stop me, I simply use my other hand to hold him in place.

“Hmmm, funny. You have no room for me you say but I can clearly see the executive suite hasn’t been booked yet. In fact it’s available for over a week.” 
Sam the clerk turns bright red with indignation. “That room is reserved for high ranking executives in businesses we work with and I cannot simply…”

He shuts up when my hand moves to his throat and I squeeze slightly. “Now that, will not do. It will not do at all. You will give me that room, you hear? Or I will get very angry.” There’s not a trace of innocence in me now, my fangs are bared and I’m looking him straight in the eyes, compelling him to pay attention and play nice. 

“You do not want me to get angry, do you Sam?” He shakes his head as frantically as my hand around his throat allows, his eyes wide with fear and his lips forming a slight ‘o’ but he makes no sound, very clever of him. “There’s a good boy. Now you will give me the key to that suite, and comp my stay for a night to make up for this misunderstanding. Am I clear?” 

He nods now and I release him, turning the computer screen back towards him as well as he puts in the needed information and hands me the key. “That wasn’t so hard, now was it?” I chuckle and start towards the elevator. Before entering the metal cage that will take me to my floor though I turn around and catch poor Sam about to grab the telephone. “Oh and Sam my boy? I highly recommend you do not call the cops on me. It wouldn’t end well.” 

I smile coldly at him. “Besides who would believe your story when they see what a frail girl I am, and unarmed too.” And with that I enter the elevator and press the appropriate button. The doors close almost instantly behind me and the last thing I see of the front lobby is Sam gingerly putting down the phone and massaging his throat. It must be rather sore, but I don’t care. He’s lucky I’d already fed or it might have ended even worse for him. Even if that had meant looking for another hotel.

I find my room easily enough and immediately switch on the ‘do not disturb’ sign before having a look around. It’s a gorgeous room, on the top floor of the hotel though out here there’s not much of a view. There is however a nice big king-size bed, a sitting area and dressing area as well as a spacious bathroom with bathtub and shower combination, dressing table and an assortment of shampoos and creams.

This room will do lovely, oh yes. I’m almost sorry I won’t be staying here long. As I explore the different areas of the suite I find a desk with laptop in the sitting area and grin widely. Even more perfect, it saves me the trouble of having to steal one somewhere. 

Sun up is a few hours off yet so I open up the laptop and it instantly connects to the Wi-Fi, how considerate of them. I get to researching flight departure and arrival times and decide my best bet is to start off taking a plane to Denmark, and go on from there to Iceland followed by Greenland and then Canada. The journey from Greenland to Canada will be the most challenging one but I’ll figure it out when I get there. 

First stop Copenhagen, there’s a late night flight I can take that would keep me out of the sun, that’s rather important for someone like me you understand; and I book me a ticket for the day after tomorrow, since there’s none available for tomorrow night. I knew I should have made him comp me for two nights but ah well, money has never been a problem. 

While I’m at it I also book a room in Copenhagen, I might as well do some sight-seeing and I can’t get a flight to Reykjavik until the next evening anyways. For the first time since I left the hotel in London I feel truly excited. This will be my own personal journey, and what a journey it will be. I sit up until moments before sunrise just imagining all the things I will see, the people I’ll meet.

I wonder if all places are as depraved as the big cities I’m used to. I hope so, I thrive in depraved places. Tomorrow I’ll find out, but right now I need to rest. My research has taken up the precious few hours I had remaining until sunrise so I make my way to the bedroom and close the heavy curtains, satisfied to find they block most if not all light before flopping onto the comfortable bed and settling in to sleep.

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Boredom is a Dangerous Thing

The next evening I wake up promptly at sunset, as I have done every night since the night I woke up a vampire. Granted not all places I have woken up in were as nice as this one. I revel in the comfort of the room for a while, turning on the tv in the bedroom and surfing challenge until I get bored.

I need to get outside to find some real entertainment, and someone to eat, lounging around gets boring quickly for somebody like me. But first a shower, just because I can and because a thorough inspection reveals there's a few spots where blood from my last victim still sticks to my skin where it dripped down my neck into my cleavage. Nothing that would be noticed unless I undressed but still, I do highly prefer to be clean.

For a moment I consider taking a nice relaxing bath but decide against it. It would be too time consuming and I am unsure of how long it will take me to find a suitable meal out here. Although I'm fairly familiar with London, I can't say the same for the area surrounding the airport.

I did spot several houses nearby when I arrived but whether or not there's anybody living there that would be to my tastes is uncertain at best. So a quick shower it is. I relish the feeling of the hot water running down my body and the scent of the hotel's shower gel. It's a very girly scent, flowery and sweet, quite pleasing to the senses.

It doesn't take long to wash up, dry off and get dressed and just thirty minutes after I woke up, I'm ready to leave the hotel; carrying a small plastic bag with the blood splattered clothes from the day before.

Passing the front desk I'm half disappointed, half relieved to see that Sam the clerk isn't on duty tonight. In his stead there's a stern looking woman, her copper hair tight in a bun at the nape of her neck. Everything about her screams annoyance, perhaps she doesn't like working the night shift?

I'm in such a rush to be outside that I almost miss the small group of young men lounging in the chairs across from the desk. They're whispering and nudging each other, casting not so subtle glances towards the receptionist. Something tells me they've been here for a while giving the poor woman a hard time.

Their breath reeks of alcohol and cigarettes and something else. I breathe in slowly and wrinkle my nose, it's weed. At least one of them has pot on them, but I don't think they've actually smoked any just yet.

I walk past them, pretending not to notice when their intoxicated stares land on me while a wicked idea begins to take shape in my mind. Once outside the plastic bag is promptly dumped in a dumpster behind the hotel and I linger for a while, considering my next move.

I could simply turn around and go back inside the way I came out but then that would come across as desperate for attention from those boys. I am many things, but desperate for attention is not one of them not even when it's only make belief. I think back on the hotel lobby, picturing it in my mind's eye, including their position. The solution is so simple it makes me chuckle.

From where they're sitting they'd have a clear view on some of the tables in the hotel lounge. If I play it right, they're sure to come to me rather than me having to actively lure them in. I nod to myself and walk around to the lounge's terrace and let myself in through the French doors that are kept unlocked for the comfort of any smokers that might be enjoying the accommodation.

I order a martini at the bar and find a seat at a table where I'm not quite facing the group of young men still in the lobby, but don't quite have my back towards them either. The drink is placed in front of me though I have no intention of drinking it, I'd be quite sick if I did. Instead I idly play with the glass, shifting it around on the table, gently stirring the drink with the little cocktail pick that holds two olives, that sort of thing.

My sharp hearing easily picks up the low voices of the guys in the lobby, daring each other to ask the receptionist all sorts of ridiculous questions such as the colour of her underwear and whether or not it's lacy. I can't help but roll my eyes at the juvenile nature of their conversation, especially since none of them look a day under twenty-five. It takes a while before one of them spots me sitting all by myself.

"Look over there, she looks like she could use some company right?" His voice is thick with alcohol and drugs as he nudges his mates who of course vehemently agree. There's four of them in total, each as far gone as the next though they manage not to stumble when they get up and walk towards the hotel lounge.

"That stiff receptionist wasn't any fun anyways." Another one speaks up loud enough for the woman in question to hear. Truth be told they seem harmless enough. Annoying sure, but not malicious or cruel.

Plenty of people get a little overbearing when they've had a few too many drinks, it's hardly an unforgivable sin. All the same, I need to feed and I hardly fancy running all the way back to London for a meal when I just left the city last night. I could, I just don't want to.

"Hello pretty lady, mind if we join you?" The one who noticed me first is standing right next to me now, slurring his words just a little. I look up to give him a cautious smile, knowing that the dim lighting in the room will hide the odd colour of my eyes.

"Well, that depends. A girl has to be careful after all, what with you guys being strangers to me and all." I practically purr at him, as I study the lot of them intently. They're average looking, the kind of guys that you would walk past without a second glance. Not ugly, but no models either. Their clothing is as casual as casual gets, jeans that are torn at the knees (are those in fashion again? I don't keep track.) and plain t-shirts.

"You'll be perfectly safe, I promise you. We just figured you might want a bit of company that's all." It's the same one that replies while the others nod their agreement. I motion for them to take a seat and motion for a waitress to come so they can order their drinks.

Three out of four order a plain pale lager, Belgian if I know anything about beers, the fourth goes with scotch on the rocks. "Sooooo," the one I've determined must be the ringleader begins again, nervously wiping a lock of auburn hair out of his eyes which are the colour of melted chocolate. "I'm Zack, this here is Wade" he nods his head towards a tall skinny guy with long black hair that's tied together in a ponytail and the guy gives an awkward wave.

"I'm Todd!" the chubby green-eyed, redheaded boy pipes up eagerly. Poor guy, must not be popular with the ladies. He reminds me of a puppy, a cute golden retriever puppy, eager to please to the point of being overenthusiastic. I smile at him and turn my attention to the fourth in the group, who's been staring at my cleavage rather distractedly.

"Oh and that's Teddie, don't mind him." Zack continues, ignoring Todd's interruption. Teddie nods his head and finally moves his gaze from my chest to my face. I can't tell what colour his hair is, it's trimmed so short there's only stubble left but his eyes are the darkest eyes I've ever seen. Even I, with my excellent vision can barely distinguish the iris from the pupil. "Nice tits." He murmurs and I arch an eyebrow at him but say nothing. I'll get him for that later.

"I'm Cary, nice to meet you fellas." I drawl at them, giving my current fake identity's first name rather than the name my creator gave me on our first night together. Raven is a private name, reserved for those I trust or at least like enough to let in on it, not for people about to become food.

The guys mainly talk among themselves while ogling me, tossing the occasional question my way. "Where are you from?" "What do you do?" "Where are you headed?" that sort of thing. Clearly they're not the most riveting company, but that's okay.

When they finish their drinks I get up from my chair and smile at each of them. "Why don't we continue this upstairs, in my room? I'll have room service bring up something to drink or we can raid the mini fridge?" Three of them jump up instantly nodding and exclaiming what a good idea that is.

But not Teddie, he's still sitting there where he was, staring at my glass. "You haven't even touched your drink." I wink at him. "It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. I decided I wasn't in the mood for alcohol only after I ordered the darn drink already."

That seems to spark his interest because he sits up straight and looks at me so intently it would have creeped any mortal girl out. "Oh no? Then what are you in the mood for?" I chuckle and look around conspicuously as if to make sure nobody's listening before leaning in to whisper in his ear.

"I am in the mood to get high. Can you help me with that?" My nose had told me he had some pot in his pocket as soon as he sat down and sure enough he grinned, nodded and got up from his chair. "Lead the way then, Cary girl."

And lead the way I do, taking the four of them into my suite's sitting area. There's plenty of space for the five of us there but Teddie looks around with a frown on his face all the same. "Something wrong?" I tilt my head as I walk up beside him and look around the room as well but I see nothing out of the ordinary.

"Just that there's no option to go outside, no balcony or anything. The smoke detector will go off if we light one up in here." I look up towards the smoke alarm and grin. "Well we could open a few windows, but then it would get pretty chilly in here." I tap a finger to my lips and wink at him again. "I have a better idea."

And without further explaining I fetch the chair from by the desk, climb onto it and fidget with the smoke detector until the cap comes off. There's no batteries but a quick tug easily dislodges the wires, cutting off the power and effectively disabling the entire thing. With a smug look I climb down from the chair and turn to face the guys who have been watching my actions attentively.

"There, all good now." I grin ear to ear and flop down on one of the comfortable sofa's in the sitting area. "So do you guys want to raid the mini fridge or should I see what room-service has to offer?" I gesture around in a motion meant to include the entire suite. "Obviously, it's on me." The guys all dive for the mini-bar and pull out several tiny bottles of hard liquor that they gulp down.

Teddie pulls a small bag out of one of the back pockets in his jeans, a pack of tobacco out of the other and settles down to roll a joint with ample weed on it. I giggle like a schoolgirl at the prospect of four drunk and high guys in my room for me to play with, though of course they assume it's because of the drugs.

"You ever done this before?" Zack has sunk into the sofa next to me, his breath rich with the smell of vodka and I lick my lips in anticipation before looking him in the eyes with a slightly dreamy look, my voice husky. "Done what, exactly Zack? Bring four complete strangers to my room or smoke weed?"

He gulps, bless him, I'm making him nervous though that might also be the colour of my eyes. I lean into him more without breaking eye contact and whisper so quietly only he can hear me. "There's nothing odd about my eyes, they're a lovely brown."

It's a nifty trick, this compelling thing, and Zack relaxes again though his pupils are dilated and I can hear his heart racing. I don't need to look at his crotch to know he's getting hard down there. All he sees when he looks at me now is a young gorgeous woman after all. Nothing odd about me.

"Um," he stammers, "both, I suppose." He chuckles nervously and so do Todd and Wade who have sat down with their loot from the mini-fridge as well, Teddie just rolls his eyes. I chuckle and look at each of them, letting my eyes wander over their bodies.

"I've smoked plenty of pot, don't you worry about that. As for bringing strangers into my room, well you boys did promise me I would be in no danger and this big room gets awfully lonely. I just figured it would be fun, is all."

They smile at me and sip their bottles. Really now, who sips vodka? Graceful as a cat I get up from the sofa and walk to the door to lock it, making sure the 'do not disturb' light is still on before I return to the boys. Enough stalling, I'm hungry and bored.

Upon my return Teddie has lit the joint and the guys are passing it around. They hold it out to me but instead of taking it I grab Teddie's face and look him dead in the eyes, enjoying the look of surprise when for the first time he realizes my irises are blood red.

His mouth opens into a perfect 'o' but I guess the cat got his tongue because he says nothing. I laugh and whisper at him like I did at Zack before. "Relax, you're high as a kite. It's all because of the drugs. Now, you want to take off your shirt and make out with Todd." Teddie nods, his mouth closing and his face relaxing as he takes off his shirt.

While he does that, I shift over to Todd and gently take his face between my hands. "Todd my boy, anything weird you think you see is because of the weed. You are perfectly safe. Teddie is going to make out with you. You're going to let him. I promise I will make it worth your while."

Todd nods as eagerly as I expected he would. "There's a good lad." I smile at him, a genuine warm smile before moving away from him towards Wade, taking Zack's hand and pulling him with me. Wade gets the same treatment, so my eyes won't alarm him though nothing about undressing or making out with one of the other guys. I nestle on a sofa and pull the two of them to either side of me. "Satisfy me, boys." I smile at both of them and they begin caressing my body while I watch Teddie and Todd make out on the other sofa for my viewing pleasure.

I keep watching them out of the corner of my eye as I turn towards Wade and begin licking his neck while Zack reaches around to squeeze my breasts and kisses the nape of my neck. "You're ice cold." He whispers into my ear and I smile. "All the more reason you two boys should warm me up some."

And with that I let my fangs slide out and pierce the skin of Wade's neck. I don't make it hurt for him. They're decent guys, or at least as far as I can tell. They don't deserve my usual treatment, but a girl needs to eat. His blood tastes extra yummy due to the amount of alcohol he's drunk and I gulp it up, stopping well before he's in any danger to be drained however. After all, I have an abundant supply right here with me. No need to rush it.

I can feel Zack is feeling left out though so I turn away from Wade and towards Zack, nibbling harmlessly on his ear first, licking my way down to his neck and teasing him cheerfully before I bite him, too. His gasp is one of pleasure, not pain and I let my hand slip under his shirt to scratch my nails lightly over his back. Blood is dripping down my chin but I don't pay attention.

These boys are so intoxicated and the combination of alcohol and weed is making me drunk and careless. I beckon the other two boys over and stand up just long enough to remove my top and jeans, keeping on only my pretty lacy underwear. All four of them are staring now and Teddie's hastily removing his own pants as well, his shirt already on the floor from earlier.

"Come on my pets, time to take this party to bed." I grin and walk into the bedroom, hips shimmying seductively while they follow me obediently. Before the night is through, I will be a very, very satisfied girl.

By the time I'm done with them, my poor pets for a night are exhausted and dawn is fast approaching. The combined potency of the alcohol and the weed in their blood has made me one very careless vampire and they are covered in bite and scratch marks. Alarm bells are going off in my mind but in my state of intoxication I ignore them entirely.

I do make sure I didn't drain any of them, vaguely remembering Jessi's age old warning about creating ghouls, but thankfully and surprisingly they're all fine. I giggle at nothing and wake up Todd, who lived up to every expectation I had about him, meaning he proved he is indeed very very eager to please and I have time for one more round before I need to shoo them all out of my room and sleep.

Todd looks at me with sleepy eyes and I put a finger on my lips, beckoning him into the sitting room. I might be a vicious killer most the time but I do know when to reward a good boy. I take his hand in mine and kiss his lips, they still taste of alcohol and it sends a shiver down my spine.

"Dance with me, cutie?" I giggle at him and pull him close, my tongue tracing the vein in his neck. "But..." he looks at me confused, I guess the alcohol is leaving his system already or maybe it's because I called him cutie. He really is cute though. "There's no music to dance to."

I shake my head excessively and start swaying, still holding him tight, though not so tight as to break his bones. "Who said we'd need it?" I can feel his body responding to my embrace, and he sways with me. His hands carefully trace my back, but don't stray near my behind or my breasts, a cutie and a gentleman.

I'm not in the mood for a gentleman right this second though. I'm in the mood to have fun, and to turn his world upside down so I look into his eyes and grin while speaking purposely in a way I know he won't be able to ignore or disobey.

"You'll remember nothing of this night, except for what's about to happen. You will leave this room at dawn as a changed man, Todd my boy. Confident but not arrogant, and never cruel. If you are cruel, I will have to come back to stop you and that won't be as fun as tonight was."

He blinks a few times but says nothing. "You won't remember that I told you that of course." I grin and push him down on a sofa. I'm tired of talking so instead I fuck his brains out, figuratively speaking of course. All while telling him what a great lover he is, it's not a lie he really is. Not dominant and controlling enough for me to want to keep him, but a very good lover for a girl with more vanilla tastes than I have.

When it's over, I make Todd get dressed and drag the other three out of bed as well. I only have twenty minutes until dawn and I need to be alone when it arrives. Quickly I make them all get dressed and send them away. I had fun with them, but now I want to be alone. I close the curtains in the bedroom and flop down on the bed, falling asleep the exact moment the sun rises on the horizon.

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New Horizons

When I wake up the next evening the alcohol has thankfully left my system and I'm feeling relaxed and ready to begin my journey home. I put on comfortable clothing, reactivate the smoke detector and leave the room feeling terribly smug. Those boys last night really were a nice change from the scum I generally feed on.

I make my way to the lobby where Sam the clerk is once again at his post. His eyes widen in fear when he spots me and I chuckle a little under my breath. There's a few other guests passing through the lobby as well but they pay no attention to me as I approach the desk and smile wickedly at Sam.

"Relax. You never saw me here right? And now I'm leaving so no harm no foul." He swallows hard and nods, his hand reaching up to his throat. I don't need to be a mind reader to know he's remembering our first encounter. He hands me my bill though and I look it over. The first night was indeed comped by the hotel, though there's an insane amount of charges for the mini-bar. Ah well, my bit of fun was worth the cost of the alcohol.

I pay up and make my way to the airport where I board a plane for Copenhagen. It's not a very long flight, just under two hours and very uneventful. Most people seem to be napping on board or reading. There's a movie playing on little screens but it's not very interesting.

Fifty shades of something, I've heard it mentioned but can't say it interests me, though the nudity is amusing enough. More to the point the reactions of some of my fellow passengers to the nudity is amusing. There's an elderly lady a few rows behind me that is shocked and offended and makes it abundantly clear she feels this film is not appropriate for showing on a plane.

Then there's a younger woman whose heartbeat shoots through the roof every time the male lead is on screen. I can actually hear her fanning herself during the more heated scenes. All in all, a boring trip and boring film to accompany it. I'm glad when the plane lands and we're all allowed out of the metal contraption.

I pick up a guide to Copenhagen from the airport's press shop and make my way into the city. I've never been here before, and don't speak the language but that's never stopped me from having a good time. Flipping through the guide I decide to start at a place called LangelinjePier to see the statue of the Little Mermaid. I might not know a darn thing about Denmark or Copenhagen but even I have heard about that statue.

There's a map included in the guide book as well so finding the Pier is no big trouble. I had imagined Copenhagen would be a sleepy little city but soon discover I was mistaken. The nightlife is vibrant in several areas, there's music coming out of bars and clubs and people having a good time. There's a distinct lack of dark alleys though, which is going to prove problematic but one thing at a time.

I'm almost halfway to the Pier when I realise I should probably check into the hotel first, since I went to the trouble of booking it in advance and it's late already. At least for humans it's late, for me it's early. With a sigh I turn around and sprint in the opposite direction across the water, reveling in the feeling of the air rushing past me at this speed. I always did like to run, it's so liberating.

It only takes me a few moments to reach the Island hotel where I reserved a room for the night. I check in, explaining that I just got here by plane and couldn't arrive sooner. The clerk is all sympathetic smiles and nods and easily hands me the key to my room which overlooks the water.

No seduction or threats needed, it almost makes me wonder why I don't book in advance more often but then I remember. It's because I enjoy the seduction and threats. If it were this easy all the time, I'd be a very bored vampire and you never know what might happen when I get bored.

Now that that's taken care of I walk right back out of the hotel without even dropping off my backpack first. There's a big city to explore and only so many hours before dawn to see it. I find the statue easy enough, it's just a short walk from the hotel, following the water. I'm sure the canal has a name but I wouldn't know what name that might be and my map isn't being helpful. It's not important anyways.

The little mermaid statue is well... it's a statue of a mermaid on a rock, do I really need to describe it? The polished bronze glows in the light of the moon, and there's no denying it's beautifully crafted. In an impulse I dig up a smart phone out of my pocket, yes I do follow with the times a little. These things are handy to stay in touch though of course only one person has my number. I snap a picture of the statue and send it to my maker and sister.

"Found me a mermaid. Guess where I am?" I grin as the phone beeps to indicate the message was received and tuck it back in my pocket. I expect no answer and that's alright after all I'm supposed to be on my own at least for now. Age old habits die hard though.

I hang around the statue for a little while watching the light of the moon reflect on the canal the mermaid that inspired the piece of art supposedly lived in and shake my head at her. I know the fairytale, of course. A young mermaid swims to the surface and sees a prince she instantly falls in love with so she decides to give up everything she knows, life below the surface, her family, her fins, for the smallest of chances at finding love. In the end she loses her life as well because her prince loves another.

A cautionary tale if you ask me. I gave up everything for love once, though not as deliberately as this mermaid. I suppose in the end, I too gave up my life. The difference being I took the life of the man I once loved first. But that's a story I don't like to linger on so I turn away from the statue and start walking the streets of Copenhagen aimlessly.

I pass by museums housed in stately buildings, all closed of course at this time of night. There's a castle, pretty to look at but Europe is littered with the things I've discovered, and a palace (according to my guide, personally I'm not sure what the difference between a castle and a palace is. I could look it up but I can't be bothered.)

There's clubs where people are dancing the night away and I smile to myself. I'm sure I'll make my way there at some point during the night, I read that contrary to some other places in the world, Copenhagen clubs don't close until dawn making them a perfect place for me to spend my time when I'm done exploring. There is however one other place I would like to see before I get my groove on and it should be... ah here it is. The Copenhagen Zoo.

I walk around a bit to find the best point of entry and much to my delight find that the wall isn't hard to get across at all for somebody with my particular, shall we say, abilities. There's wire at the top, most likely under electric current but I'm not worried. There's not a soul in sight and with a bit of a head start I easily leap over the wall, landing softly on my feet on the other side.

There's no better way to see any tourist attraction if you ask me. I have the park all to myself and take my time exploring. The animals are mostly asleep for the night, but I make do. I peek in on the tigers, also asleep to my surprise. I figured they'd be more nocturnal animals. With a shrug I wander on, admiring the beauty of the predators and the frailty of their prey.

I think of how funny it would be to put a deer in with the lions and watch the mayhem. There's something peaceful about watching other hunters at work, and in my mind I'm no different from the wolf or lion. I kill for food, not for sport but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the hunt. I'm sure if animal predators could speak, they'd have the same attitude.

Of course humans have a hard time understanding such things. They don't want to face the harsh reality that it's an eat or be eaten world out there. Their food is delivered to them nicely cut into pieces that are impossible to identify as having once belonged to a living thing.

I smirk as I climb the observation tower in the zoo and perch at the very top to look out over the city. Humans crawl by like ants, always in such a hurry, never really seeing what's going on outside their own bubble. Ooooh! There's one that nearly got hit by a car because the phone in his hand was more interesting than the road under his feet. I giggle maniacally and clap my hands in an applause he'll never hear. "Well done you, tiny human, well done." My voice is dripping with sarcasm going to waste in the silence of the night air.

When I've seen enough, I climb back down and exit the zoo I the way I came in, in search of a night club to dance at and maybe grab a quick bite. Or maybe not, skipping one night won't kill me. Giddy with my little sneaky visit to the zoo and the excitement of a new place I practically skip towards the hotel, since I located a couple of clubs in that area upon my arrival.

Sure enough, there's several to choose from and I duck into the first one that has music that pleases me. The dance floor is crawling with people, young and slightly older, drinks in hand, some of them shouting along to the song that the dj is playing at the top of their lungs, others in silence and others yet just stand on the sideline watching. It's human society summarized in a single space, and it's exhilarating.

I stand to the side, far away from the bar and watch them interact with each other. There's the overachievers doing intricate dance moves that only half the time match the rhythm of the current song, there's the shy ones that move in such small ways it's hardly dancing at all out of fear to be laughed at or noticed at all.

There's the confident ones and the flirty ones, there's big, small, thin, chubby, it's an all you can eat buffet and there's no lack of choice. I breathe in through my nose and inhale the scent of human in the evening. Dozens of different perfumes mixed together can't mask the basic smell of perspiration and excitement.

Yes, excitement has a scent though don't ask me to describe it. I can feel my fangs slide out ever so slightly as I contemplate my options. Even if I could survive a night without feeding, the temptation to dig my teeth into one of these lovely creatures is very real.

I step out onto the dance floor, and unabashedly nudge a few of those already there out of my way so I have the space I desire to move in. With my eyes closed, I let the music guide my feet and the rest of my body follows, as graceful as a leopard on the prowl and just as dangerous.

Even with my eyes closed I can feel them start to stare at me, the wonder, the admiration. I revel in it, as I have always done. I drink it in like fine champagne, letting it fill my being with the potency of it. There's bliss to be found in places like this where nobody asks who you are or where you came from.

In fact conversation is near impossible with the throbbing of the music being so loud. I let it carry me away from the world, pretending for one night that I'm just an ordinary girl among other ordinary girls.

Until I'm abruptly pulled out of my little fantasy by another sensation, a much more alarming sensation. I can feel a piercing glare being shot my way even without opening my eyes. It's nothing like the looks I was getting from the humans. No, it's very different.

Not quite threatening but somebody clearly is not pleased with my presence here. I open my mouth and whisper softly. "If you have something to say, say it." Even with the music being deafening I know that if my suspicion is correct, my whisper will be heard.

And sure enough, my ears pick up the whispered reply, ice lacing the unknown's voice. "Not here. Meet me outside." I roll my eyes and shrug, slowing my dance to a stop. I know they're still closely monitoring me even as I walk to the door and slip outside.

I follow my ears and senses towards a darker corner across from the club entrance where he's waiting for me. Definitely another vampire, there's no hiding that. Not from one of his own kind at least. I've seen so few others like me, I can't help but take him in eagerly, every last detail of him. His skin is pale as mine, his blond hair shiny even here in the shadows, his eyes shine golden at me, a colour that in all my years I've never seen on a mortal face.

He'd be drop dead gorgeous if he wasn't looking so terribly annoyed right now. His lips form a harsh line, pressed together as they are and those golden eyes show nothing but contempt. I swear I see his nostrils flaring as if he's smelled something foul.

"Alright, I'm here." I tilt my head curiously at him and arch an eyebrow. "What do you want then?" I don't bother sugar-coating my voice for him or hiding my annoyance at being dragged out of the club where I was having such a good time. He rolls his eyes at me and I huff, he's the one that dragged me out here and got all offended and now he's rolling his eyes at me?! How does that make sense?

"You seriously have to ask?" His voice when speaking out loud is gravelly, it raises the hair on my back but I hold my ground and nod at him defiantly. I'm many things but a mind reader isn't one of them, though I've heard tales of others like me that can do that.

Suddenly I eye him more suspiciously. He better not be reading my mind, or he'll have another thing coming. With a sigh he shakes his head at me as if I'm a petulant child, all that's lacking is a wagging finger. "How old are you?"

I blink at him. Why does my age matter? On a whim I decide to be a smart ass about it and smile coldly at him. "Twenty." Oh, I do think I saw the corner of his mouth twitch just a little. Could it be that mister cold and scary vampire finds me amusing? "How long have you been twenty?" He asks in a monotone voice and it takes me a moment to realise he's quoting Twilight at me.

I have to resist the urge to slap him, really, it's too surreal. I chuckle and bat my eyelashes flirtatiously at him. "Wouldn't you like to know?" He nods as if that answers his question and I briefly wonder about his sanity. "You're a young one, mistakes can be forgiven if they are corrected." He looks at me intently.

"What mistakes? Do you always talk in riddles or is that just for my benefit?" I ask, getting annoyed again now. Who does he think he is lecturing me about mistakes? He doesn't own me, nobody does.

He gives an exaggerated sigh and takes my hand, dragging me along. I try to pull free but he's stronger than me by far, and I have no choice but to run along behind him if since I deem him quite capable of inflicting serious damage if I don't.

When he finally stops we're in front of a large mansion in a part of the city I hadn't yet explored. He rummages through his pockets and pulls out a key that unlocks the front door. Inside there's a clear abundance of luxury even in the hallway, but that's nothing compared to the room he takes me to.

There's a large marble fireplace with a roaring fire even though it's not cold at all. Fixed on the wall above the fireplace is a gilded mirror that's clearly an antique and all around the room are chairs and sofas so expensive looking I wouldn't dare sit on them even if I was invited to sit.

Lounging all around are others, vampires and humans alike. Some of the vampires are openly feeding on their 'guests', others are merely observing or talking among themselves when we enter though all conversations stall when they catch wind of me.

For the first time I feel truly uneasy, with so many undead eyes focused on me. There's a few that appear openly hostile, but most of them seem mostly curious about the stranger in their midst. "This," the vampire who brought me here gestures around the room, "is my family. I protect them at all costs. Careless ones like you jeopardize all I strive for."

He pauses and I can feel the atmosphere in the room shift from casually curious to menacing at his words. None of these will stand for anybody disrupting their way of life, that's clear as day to me. "I don't understand how my dancing at a club jeopardizes anything. I haven't even fed all night."

He looks at me as if he questions my intelligence. "You don't understand? How... has your creator taught you nothing at all?" I huff, Jessi taught me plenty, she taught me everything she knew and made me the hunter I am today. Or at least, she polished what was already there from my final human days. How dare this stranger make assumptions about something he doesn't know anything about?

"She's taught me manners, at least." I mutter, quietly but picking up steam quickly. "You drag me out of the club, across the city to this house filled with vampires that look ready to tear me to shreds, ask me all sorts of questions but don't even have the decency to introduce yourself properly. And with all your questions, you don't seem to care about who I am, you only care that I don't disrupt your precious peace. Well you can rest at ease, I'll be gone again tomorrow and you will never have to see me again." I glare at him, daring him to contradict anything I've said.

He doesn't though, instead he laughs. A deep, throaty laugh that echoes off the walls. "You're a feisty one aren't you? Clueless but feisty." He holds out a hand for me to shake, still chuckling. "Alright then lets do this your way shall we? My name is Soren Harmsen, head of this family. And you are?"

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