Anton
Author: Lycanthrophile (lycanthrophile@imadethis.org)
Fandom: Original Characters
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: All characters are copyrighted to me.
Rating: R for disturbing images
Summary: A vampire's musings on how he met a trusted friend
Word Count: 1,634
Notes: For DC, who requested a vampire story. Originally a birthday present for my friend, this character has become central to the ongoing series Runs in the Blood.
Archive: Do not archive without my express permission.



"Hunt with me tonight."

She looked at me and then returned to staring at the crescent moon. "I don't know..."

Her uncertainty is clear. Although she is as much a creature of the night as I am, she still clings to human morals. "We don't *have* to hunt humans," I say silkily.

"Of course we don't," she says, still staring at the moon. "But if any cross our path unwittingly, they will be prey, Anton. Your prey."

Still in denial, she's distancing herself from her desire and condemning me for mine. I bristle a little at that, tongue flicking over sharp canines. "Tell me that when you smell fresh blood, you do not wish to partake."

She shivers. My barb has hit close to home. "I choose not to," she responds sharply. "Or at least I used to be able to choose."

I can see the beginning of an old argument starting, based on our natures. I am vampire. She is werewolf. I am literally death warmed over. She is the life force of nature. I shun humanity, fearing discovery. She seeks them out, relishing the danger. I have no compunctions about satisfying myself with their lifeblood. She has not completely shed that inhibition...yet.

Her instinct for self-preservation is what allowed her to survive her life. And to survive her life, she has killed. She has killed with purpose, and indiscriminately. It is those 'senseless' killings, when she gave in to her animal instincts that trouble her the most.

I go over to the window, pinning her in place. She doesn't like being hemmed in, but all the same, she finds it oddly reassuring. "You don't have to choose to hunt humans," I whisper in her ear. I can smell her, not quite wolf, not quite human. I can almost hear the thundering of her heart, pumping the salty/sweet blood I so crave. 'Not from this one,' I sternly remind myself. But I don't let any of my inner craving reach the surface. Instead I seek to sway her to my point of view. "Choose to be what you are. In wildness is the preservation of the world. So seek the wolf in thyself."

Suddenly aware of how close I am, she twists away from my embrace. "Metallica?" she asks with a faint grin as she puts some distance between us.

"You were expecting Shakespeare?" I smile, baring my fangs. "I didn't know the man, even if I was alive then."

She giggles, turning to the window again. "One thousand years," she muses.

"One thousand and twelve," I correct. Long enough to see the birth of nations, the death of empires, generations born, generations die, times of war and times of peace. Sometimes I feel that I have lived forever. But then some would say I have.

And sometimes, when I feel jaded and nothing can shock me anymore, I find someone who does. Like this werewolf bitch I've taken under my wing. Unlike the occasional humans I've sheltered over the years, she hasn't asked for me to bestow the Everlasting Gift on her. She still holds her mortality too dear, and thinks that I do not.

That is not quite true. Only those who have lost something appreciate its full value. And yet, if mortality were offered to me, I can't say that I would accept it. And perhaps that is why she does not seek my brand of immortality; her lost humanity is too precious a memory to 'sully' with vampirism.

I first found her while I was stalking my prey in the slums, my preferred hunting grounds. A man was talking to what I took to be a prostitute. But this whore didn't seem to be interested in a date, at least while it was snowing. The john wasn't so easily discouraged. When she turned her back to walk away, the angry man twisted her arm behind her back and forced her into the shadows of alley, intent on his lusts as was I on mine.

I like to project the image that I do not care whose blood I sup on. That is not quite true. Some shred of the religious training I my mother instilled in me so many centuries ago must remain, for I prefer to slake my thirst on the evildoer, although I will drink from the innocent to preserve my existence. So I knew when I found this man about to commit rape on the streetwalker, I would dine well. I can only drink so much blood at one time, and an adult human male would be a fine, filling meal. The hooker I would kill by conventional means, a knife-slit throat. Unlike some of my more melodramatic kinsmen, I have no desire for my presence to be known. Since there would be evidence of a sexual attack on her, the police would assume her rapist had killed her. They had always done so with my previous witnesses.

I stepped into the alley, awaiting my moment. I expected to see the john forcing the whore in whatever sexual act he desired. Instead the man was hobbling towards me, underwear around his ankles, face distorted in terror. Behind him was something I had long heard rumor of, but had never seen in the flesh. A seven foot tall wolf stood on hind paws, reaching with sharp talons for the fleeing man. I don't know which revelation was more surprising to us - her seeing me standing there unafraid, or me discovering that the legendary werewolf did exist.

The human, babbling and begging for his life, grabbed the lapels of my leather jacket. I placed my arms around him, crushing him to my body. My need for blood has taken over, and, werewolf or no werewolf, I intend to feast tonight. He jerks, an abortive attempt to get away. But by then it is too late. My hand is already pulling his head back, exposing his throat. I can smell his blood pulsing in his veins. His hands are scrabbling at my face as my fangs tear into his neck. The werewolf snorts. She seems transfixed by the sight of me as I begin to drink.

I give myself up to all the sensations that course through my body. My heart throbs and my lungs quicken. Every cell tingles with the infusion of fresh blood. Fire, ice, arousal, satiation all pour through my nerves. But all my awareness focuses down to the muscle in what seems to be an extension of my body. His heart pounds furiously, speeding the blood past my lips. Then it slows, requiring me to apply suction. This is when I get the most enjoyment. The edge of my thirst blunted, I can savor the taste. It's a common misconception that blood tastes metallic. It's sweet, actually. Sweet and thick. I can get a buzz off of the blood of a drunkard or high off of an addict if he's just shot up. That's in addition to the rush I get slaking my thirst. But I prefer blood that is undiluted by such vices.

This man is still struggling weakly against me. Amazing, considering how much blood he's lost by now. But even as I note this, he stills and his heart gives one weak, fluttering beat before stopping. I continue to drink, eager to gorge myself on all I can. All too soon, the red river runs dry and I drop the corpse. It's only when I hear the soft growl that I remember I have just deprived a very pissed werewolf of her prey.

I look up and catch the lupine's eyes. She's staring at me, head cocked to one side, muscles tense, ears back, tail stiff. Her body language speaks of curiosity coupled with a readiness to defend herself. We stare at each other for several long minutes. For some reason, I feel the need to reassure the beast. "I do not wish to fight you." Although werewolves are said to become vampires upon their death, there is an old legend that vampires are doomed to walk the world until they meet the wolf that will tear them to shreds. I have no desire to test that legend. And apparently the werewolf wasn't certain she would win the fight. Her form shifted. It is the streetwalker, just as I suspected. We stood there in the freezing alley. What a picture we must have made - two supernatural creatures wondering what the hell to do next.

Without saying a word I turned and walked out of the alley. And without saying a word, she followed me back to the apartment where I lair during the day. Maybe she was just tired of being alone. I let her follow. Maybe I was tired of being alone too.

That was how I ended up sharing my existence with her, something I hadn't shared with any mortal in over two hundred years, since my betrayal. Over the weeks, we forged a friendship, a bond. We both hunted as our natures dictated - she sticking to the city's vermin while I sought out human vermin. We argued over the morality of killing humans. We learned of each other's history, me being stunned as often at events in her past as she was in mine. The only thing I haven't been able to get her to tell me is how she ended up alone on the streets. Maybe that will come in time. Maybe not at all. It does not matter.

"Are you coming with me tonight or not?" I'm eager to begin tonight's hunt. She doesn't move from the window. "Well?"

She turns away from the window, tossing blond hair away from blue eyes. "Yes, Anton," Lindy Leahs says. "I'll hunt with you tonight."

The End