© 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by Laplor
Suggestions and valuable criticism along the way by T. Troupe and LeAnne Lassiter
The "neck" belongs to T. F., and may not be "recycled" without permission. Vachon and his "universe"belong to their creators. The university campus and the Neill House's Great Pumpkin Sacrifice are used w/o permission, but will not be harmed (well, the pumpkin is doomed, but *I* won't hurt it!)
I am all destiny, a trade,
A grain of sand.*
Vachon stepped onto the grass, laughing, to allow two bloody-fanged vampires, a Dalmatian, and a four foot tall purple dinosaur to scurry past.
He straightened the collar on the cheap cape he had obtained as camouflage and sauntered on up the street, smiling at the irony. The tradition of wearing disguises to frighten away 'creatures of the night' provided him with perfect freedom to be himself. He could display his fangs, and even flash glowing eyes, to a reaction of a startled scream at worst, usually followed by laughter.
Indulging his need to hunt and to kill was risky; but Halloween was a night when groups of people were out in disguises. People expect to see a young man who looks frightening, even a vampire. Some were willing to let down their guard on this one night, and he was usually able to take advantage of the larger numbers out on the streets to find prey, concealing their disappearance long enough to be gone himself before they were found.
He liked to find an event in some city or other that drew costumed people, and then to indulge himself. This year, he'd traveled to Fredericton, a moderate sized city in New Brunswick where two universities shared one campus. He arrived the night before, and holed up for the day in the basement of an empty office building downtown. At sunset he set out on the short walk up the hill to the campus.
One of the residences had a tradition of "sacrificing" a huge, flaming pumpkin each Halloween, by throwing it off of a roof after performing a "solemn" ceremony. It was primarily an excuse for young people to gather noisily and enjoy themselves.
When he reached the open gates he smiled at all the commotion. This was the kind of population where his apparent youth allowed him to blend in easily.
Since it was still too early for the main festivities he wandered around the campus, listening to a variety of music from open dorm windows. He smiled at passers-by as though he knew them, laughing at their costumes and enjoying himself.
He saw her at a sheltered bus stop, between one of the residences and the Student Union Building where she was waiting for the downtown bus. On a whim, he decided to follow her.
Instead of a costume she wore simple black slacks and a white blouse. She clutched several books and a jacket, while holding a paperback open in one hand. Though she appeared to be intent on her novel, ignoring the other people around her, he realized that she was actually watching them closely. She blushed when she discovered that he was looking at her. When he smiled she quickly poked her nose back into her book.
While she looked down, he studied her more thoroughly. She was tall--about his height, and her body was pleasant enough, but his attention had been drawn by the fact that she simply did not fit in.
There were very fine lines around her eyes, leading Vachon to assume that she was probably in her mid twenties. Yet she had an innocent look that, along with her lack of makeup made her appear a little younger. Her light brown hair was pulled back tightly into a pony tail. As he watched he saw her push loose strands out of her eyes several times.
Her location in the center of, and yet apart from, so much excitement intrigued him. She seemed, like him, to enjoy the party atmosphere around her, but without feeling any need to take part in it.
She looked up to see if he was still watching and her eyes intrigued him, hinting at more passion than she even realized herself. He suspected that she left her home every day full of the hope that someone would notice her. She likely believed that on this evening she was going to return disappointed as usual.
Lonely, passionate, and desperate. He could work with this.
She looked at him again, after they got on the bus. When her eyes met his briefly, and he smiled again, she tried to cover her blush by becoming busy with the books she carried in her arms.
She became even more flustered when he winked at her. He wasn't surprised to see that she found him attractive, but he also knew what he looked like. He knew that he did not look like the kind of guy she could picture herself even talking to, let alone anything more--and he intended to do quite a bit more.
When the bus started moving, she started to look out the window, and he realized that she was going to try to elude him.
The game had begun.
When a busy coffee shop appeared ahead, she reached up for the bell cord to signal the stop. He rang it first, gave her a cheery grin, and said, "We must be neighbours."
"I-I guess so," her voice trembled.
As they waited for the door to open, he stood behind her, almost, but not quite, touching her.
It was no problem to brush against her so that she jumped and dropped her books.
She smiled when he apologized and helped her pick them up, touching her hands a little longer than necessary.
He brushed his hand gently against her breast as he helped her pile the books up in her arms again.
He took a moment to study a lurid cover, before looking up at her, "Anne Rice, hmm? You're a fan?"
He grinned, "Me too." He nodded in the direction of the coffee shop.
"Can I buy you a coffee?" He gave her another of the smiles that always keep them talking.
She agreed, possibly because there was really nowhere else to go.
He established his cover story that he was a student, and poured on the charm. She was very eager to talk about herself. He easily found out that she was far from her family, and lived alone. She had a few days off, so her absence from the residence cafeteria where she worked would not be noticed immediately.
She smiled as she admitted, "You know I actually don't live in this neighbourhood. I got a little nervous when I realized that you were watching me on the bus, so I decided to get off someplace that there were people around. You didn't 'look' like the nice guy you've turned out to be."
He offered to walk her home.
She hesitated, "I don't know. It isn't really too far to walk, but I *should* just get a cab...."
"Look, I'll buy you another coffee, if you'll let me walk with you. Please."
When all else failed, pleading with sad eyes usually worked to reel them in.
She nodded nervously, "Okay, it might be hard to get a cab tonight anyway." She almost sounded convinced.
Twenty minutes later, they were on the way to her apartment. As they walked, he made sure that he found excuses to touch her casually: A hand on her back, briefly twining his fingers with hers, even touching her cheek to draw her attention to a house especially well decorated for Halloween.
She didn't appear to mind, in fact, she seemed to welcome his touch.
Her apartment was in one of those huge, ancient houses turned into a dozen cubby-holes. He laughed at the possibility that she, or her parents, had picked it as a relatively safe place to live in the big, bad city. He had hoped for someplace a little more anonymous, but he was relieved to see that one of the units was apparently hosting a Halloween party. A "vampire" entering with her or leaving later, would hardly be noticed.
He could have killed her in the open on this night. However he wanted the time and privacy to give her some pleasure in exchange for her life.
Once inside, it didn't take long to help her out of most of her clothes. He realised that he would soon be revealing his true nature. He didn't want to frighten her into bringing in the neighbours, nor did he want to pull her mind under his control. He wanted to enjoy her reactions without forcing her cooperation.
With a few kisses, caresses, and soft whispers he easily convinced her that wearing a blindfold might be fun.
She giggled with nerves, but didn't hesitate to get a scarf.
She returned to sit facing him on the bed in her white cotton bra and panties. She stiffened and laughed nervously as he put the scarf over her eyes with gentle hands. He held it in place with one hand as he walked around her to tie the ends in the back.
"How's that?" he purred in her ear, as he finished tying a secure knot behind her head.
"Can you see anything?"
She turned her head slightly to the left, then to the right, "No." She didnn't seem to notice that his voice was getting husky.
"Good." He could give the beast in himself even more freedom, now that he had less concern about what she might see.
He almost purred as he ran gentle hands up her arms to her shoulders. He was warming his hands while using them to calm her.
The tensions in her body eased slightly as he held her close and helped her lay down on the bed. He kissed her and whispered, "I'm going to take my clothes off now. Are you okay?"
She sounded hesitant, "Yeah. Uh, I think so."
He placed a soothing hand on her breast, feeling her heart pounding fast and strong. "It's okay. You'll be alright." Lies are so easy.
She barely shivered at his touch when he came back to her. He held her close for a moment before he removed the rest of her clothing.
He dressed quietly. They get cold so quickly, he thought as he expertly broke her neck then tenderly brushed sweaty hair back from her face, and pulled the blanket up to cover her body.
He dropped a kiss on her forehead before he strode to the door, his vinyl cape swirling around him.
I am the lesson to be learned.
I take the throat of innocence,
And leave decay.
I stain the way for all to see.*
* "Gift of Flesh" by Def Leppard (1996)
© 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000