She placed his body on the dry grass, but tenderly, under the thick limbed tree where she had drained him, in case it rained, and ran away, but not before she pushed a lock of hair off his brow. She had her fill of life giving nectar and there was no need to keep hold of him any longer, even though she wanted to, he was so beautiful. A group of noisy college people were approaching so it was time to disappear into the shadows. So like the fleeting passage of a raven's flight through the night, Arrta ran away, unseen, blurring past shadows and brightly lit business after nightly business that dared linger open in this smoldering mid sized city.
She went into a bar three miles away, hardly breathing for the effort, and went inside where she was known as a regular, immediately asking for the time. Seconds had gone by since leaving the boy, and she knew the time, but it was a simple way to form an alibi, in case her lovely victim died and police asked questions, that, or the beautiful boy, woke up from his deep sleep she had brought on him. and called out to her. Foolishly she had told him her name. She would be obligated to return to him, and either kill the man child or become his lover. It had never happened to her, but it did occur, she knew, though rarely.
"Yes Arrta, it's nine twenty-seven," said Rick, the ugly though heart-of-gold bar keep. He always wore his big numbered watch, probably because of eye damage, she figured. "Your usual?"
She nodded, looking around, then smiled at him as he was still staring. "Yes," she said, and hung her head as he left to pour her choice of liqueur. "A double, Rick," she yelled out, not looking up from her black jeans, and loud enough for him to hear. She licked her lovely red lips and teeth for the tinniest remnant of tonight's victim's blood. His was a taste so rare. So heavy with male flavor and scents of a forest long gone from the face of the earth, and ancient flowers from the far side of the world, so intoxicating was it to a point that it was maddening, driving one to make asinine decisions, like, for her to return to his side and finish him off, gorging herself on all his blood simply because it tasted like honey mixed with her sweet whiskey, here; Which was what she had been given, just then, ancient stuff, very expensive, but very smooth.
She gave Rick a hundred dollar bill and as usual, he would inform her when she had drank a hundred dollars worth of the expensive golden liquid. She took a big swallow and tilted her head back, opening her mouth, letting the warmth of the air mix with her liqueur breath as it moved into and down her lovely pale body, warming her insides. Even a vampire has their petty little fetishes. Her's was this stuff, she knew, as she breathed the scent in and out as if shooting a drug in and out of a vein. Arrta finished off the one glass and went through the routine again with the next.
Before she was through, though, Rick had placed another next to her last one. She drank heavily like this for several minutes and then slowed. Fortunately, she never got drunk. The alcohol affected her mind to a point of warming her, and giving her a buzz, but her physical body did not loose any motor controls. Just a bit of judgment was all.
"Anyone new in here tonight," she asked Rick, more for conversation than need. She could see right through the wooden booth dividers when she wanted to.
"A few. They come and go, ya know."
She put another hundred on the bar top, feeling what Rick was about to say. It was routine with the two of them.
"What is it you do, again, Arrta? You told me once, but I can't remember. You're my best customer and I don't even know all that much about you."
She looked squarely and clearly into the ex-boxer's face and said, "I trim investment fats off portfolios for the Lima Group and reinvest the securities into lucrative markets for some very well-to-do people. I'm good at it and the dividends are quite rewarding. But I mostly invest in my own markets, these days. I'm not rich," she said, though she was--very, "but I do okay." That was certainly a lie, but a small one. She did very 'okay'.
"That's how you can afford this stuff, then, huh?" he mentioned, motioning with a nod to the glasses before her.
"Yes. It's my one fault, I admit. Don't know if I qualify as an alcoholic, but it doesn't seem to affect me or the work I do." Then thinking about it, she made a joke. "But maybe I'm just in denial."
Rick laughed. "If you're an alcoholic, then you're the most in-control one I've ever seen. I've never seen you tipsy or heard you slur a word. I don't know how you do it. Do they drink like this where you come from?" he was fishing. She didn't mind and told him.
"Finland, originally. That's where my family is," in graves, she knew. "Yeah, everyone drinks there against the cold."
"You don't have much of an accent."
"No, I picked up American tones and pronunciations fairly quickly."
"How long have you been stateside?"
She thought to tell him since seventeen ninety-two, which was the truth, but didn't think Rick would believe her. "About five years." That was believable, even though she looked very teenager-ish. Took her a while to convince Rick she wasn't showing him a fake I.D. card, when she first started coming here, about a year ago. But then she started throwing hundred dollar bills his way for the whiskey she wanted to drink, something he had to order in, and he got used to her unusual manner, plus having her around. She knew, reading his mind, that he secretly had a thing going for her, though she also knew he would never act on it. He thought of her more like a daughter he'd never had. There were several like her, in a way, that he'd convinced himself to being their protector.
"Why are you always asking about any new people? You lost some big-wigs money in the past?"
"No, I'm just curious. I study people and trends, watch the news, study reports, sociology and such, and make it my business to know how and why people think and do the things they do. It's one of many ways I interpret market trends. That and I'm just noisy about things."
"Oh!" Rick said, as if he fully understood, which she was certain he didn't, but it was sweet of him to agree. He looked back down the bar. Some others were looking for his attention.
"You okay here, for now?" he asked.
"Yes, thank you Rick. I'm going to be going in a bit. Can you carry over my tab till tomorrow?"
"Sure thing, kiddo."
She sipped slowly, now, smelling the aroma of the warm liquid and generally indulging herself in the last of her $25 a glass tumblers.
Spinning off the stool, Arrta left 'Rick's Place'. She should be drunk, but she wasn't really. Just warmed. It was too early to go home and she wanted to do something. She enjoyed prowling and then had a tickle of a thought, to return to the man she'd fed off tonight. She needed to be near him, for some very dumb reasons. The taste and scent of his blood were too strong in her remembrance and the whiskey had done its part in making her decision faculties weak enough. And she simply wanted to see him again.
To avoid any kind of ruckus, she ran back to the big lawn where she had laid him, hoping he was still there. When she was alone, men all to often hit on her and then she'd either take their blood or spill it. Again she went unseen, moving like the deep wavering branch of a leafy sycamore in a high wind, that no one remembers once the gust has past.
And then she stood over him, again. His name was Jeff. Jeffery, actually, but he didn't use his formal name, and she knelt by his side, sat in the grass and stroked his cheek. She bent over his face, too, and kissed the young man on his lips, feeling his warmth and lifting him into her upper body. He felt good, so good next to hers. She licked his neck, tasting through the skin the heady intoxicant of his blood, and would have taken more from him but she knew it would weaken him to the point of almost incapacitation or damage. She didn't want him like that, to suffer for the rest of his life with brain damage. No--she would just hold him for a while, then leave.
Two hours later, she was walking home with him in her arms. He was very light for her to carry, but other people, human people, wouldn't understand that because they were all weak, physically. So when coming upon others, or if a car approached on the back streets she walked, she would simply rush to some shadows and wait for them to pass, nuzzling her prize, her beautiful prize.
She had to question what she was doing. This was stupid. She couldn't reveal herself to him, for what she truly was but she couldn't leave him alone. Perhaps she had been too long without a lover and needed him, but she wouldn't force herself on him. Not anymore than letting him wake up in her bed, she told herself.
Something good might come from this, she mused. You never know about relationships. Life was just too complex. It is so difficult to predict every little corner and turn in two peoples lives, even though I'm sure I could manipulate him into becoming a lover, I don't want anything like that. I could turn him, make him my slave, have him any moment of the day or night, but I don't need or want that, not with him. He would be a mindless puppet and unhappy. No. I won't do that to this pretty child.
She recognized her selfishness. All vampires were, for the most part. They wanted what they wanted as she wanted him, even if it was only for this night. Not to make love to him, especially, but to just have him near, where she could touch him and caress his features, kiss his lovely lips and rub her cheek to his.