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Romance Teens & Young Adult Fantasy

This story contains sensitive content

Anders was a quiet man, someone you had to look at twice to remember he was there. Although he was of great stature and had hair that mirrored a heavenly glow, his eyes were solemn, sleepless, and hollow. One didn’t look Anders too long in the eye, to avoid the chill his gaze would pierce into the soul. It would happen so quickly, you could feel where in your body your soul chose to hide.

There was one thing this man of mystery truly hid, and that was that he was a vampire. He wasn’t the sort to go prowling in the night or feast on lonely women. Anders was spoiled with his very own, personal blood slave. Anders had found her wandering alone in an art gallery hall one night six years ago, glancing about her and standing like she didn’t belong there. 

Her name was November. She had short black hair and tender eyes, supple skin that had grown pale from staying in her room. Every day when he entered the room for a drink to sustain him, she sat in the same chair by the window, watching the wind or the rain, her knees drawn to her warm chest and her feet poking out from beneath her nightgown. 

“Hello Anders,” said November, not turning from the window. The moon was bright, blanketing her in its glow. Anders closed the door behind him and November’s room embraced him. A single lamp beside her bed glowed sleepily in the corner of her room. Her walls were covered in portraits and diaries, their eyes and words sleeping soundly in the bedroom’s cozy shadows.

When Anders approached her, she finally turned to look up at him, and he felt his throat tighten at her gaze. Her eyes held the faintest orange glow, the pinprick scars on her neck barely visible in the shadows. He knelt to his knees, and her eyes followed him as he set his gaze on the floor.

Tonight was the night he would tell her, and reveal his deepest sin. This secret he kept within him was destructive and unyielding, taunting his soul day after day he did not confess it to her. 

“What’s wrong?” Asked November, her voice gentle against the air. Anders’ mouth had slightly opened, but nothing came out. November set a gentle hand on his head, feeling his heavenly hair. 

How could she do this to him? When had she ever touched him in such a kind and gentle way? He couldn’t recall a time she had ever touched him, let alone touch him with a hand so full of words unsaid.  There was a rush of heat within his stomach and his throat went dry.

“November, I love you.” He said quickly, his voice was too hoarse for the soft air around them.

November gasped, retracting her hand and pressing it to her chest. He snapped his eyes to her, and she sat there, mouth open, eyes wide and absorbing all of the lamp and moonlight. 

Anders’ heart was pounding, threatening to destroy him from the inside out. How could he be so stupid, to fall in love with his blood slave; with a human? He stood quickly, and her hand reached out and snatched his wrist.

“I love you, too.” She whispered.

Anders froze. November looked at him, a small smile blooming on her lips that fit beneath her regal nose so perfectly. It pained him to look at her for too long, so he closed his eyes and kissed her round, delicate forehead. 

He inhaled, and his eyes shot open. He wished he could stop breathing, to savor this moment of tranquility he felt inside of him with his lips pressed gingerly to her head; the heat within him frenzied. There is a simple reason why his love is a self-proclaimed sin…does a lion fall in love with an elk?

Anders pulled away from her and looked at her closely, noting her half-lidded eyes and rosy cheeks from blushing. He held his breath for a moment, but all sounds around him began to wane. Her mouth was moving, but there was no sound except the rapid beating of his own heart.

I love you, tooI love you, too

Anders grabbed her and forced her to him, and he felt her blushing body shudder with rigidity. He sank his teeth into her neck, her delicious blood flowing over his tongue in waves of delicacy. Her nails began to claw at him. He inhaled, his eyelids fluttering as he sucked and held her down on the chair. 

November…November…

Anders had found her wandering alone in an art gallery hall one evening six years ago, glancing about her and standing like she didn’t belong there. He approached her silently as she stared at one of the larger paintings in the gallery, noting her cream-colored skirt and red cardigan. There was a hole in the sewing of the shoulder. 

“This is one of my favorites,” Anders lied. He waited for her to turn and look at him, but she didn’t. “The painter is a friend of mine.”

“Really? They must be very interesting,” she said. Her voice was like a low-pitched bell, something like you’d heard before. He looked at her, noting all of her imperfections. Her nose was too big, her lips too small, her eyes set too deep within her skull.

“I’m Anders,” he said, “it’s nice to meet you.”

“November Barnes,” she said, turning to him with an outstretched hand. He took it and felt her warmth, her tiny hand in his. She tilted her head with a smile as they shook, her dark hair falling from beside her neck to expose a slip of flesh. She said something and chuckled, and her lips were moving but he couldn’t hear her…

November, I love you.

...I love you, too.

Anders inhaled deeply, a loud sucking sound ripped from his mouth as he sat upward, blinking drunkenly as his eyes adjusted yet again to the dim light of the room. He was too warm and began tugging off his shirt when he stumbled to his feet and saw November sitting in the moonlight.

Her eyes were open, wet and red with tears, her mouth tinged with dark blood, a single streak running from the corner of her mouth down her white neck. Anders collapsed to his knees once again and tilted her head to the side. 

He could see the deepness of the wounds he had inflicted on her. He took her face in his hands; her bright eyes which had once been so softly gazing on him were now dark and vacant, her pink tender lips now white. 

Anders stumbled away from her, his throat tight and breathless. His eyes burned as he forced himself to stare at what he had done. She was slumped against her favorite armchair, the moonlight falling softly over her like a sheet of death. 

He wiped his face, hot tears mixing with her blood around his mouth. A heavy dread settled into his chest, and he gripped where his heart would be. He grabbed her red cardigan and lay it over her face and ran from the room, locking it from the outside. 

Anders knocked on Ragel’s door, and it swiftly opened. Ragel was the painter, a man of unassuming disposition and moderate stature, with short brown hair and circular glasses. He wore his painter's apron and sleeves, sporting a pair of black loafers coated in acrylic.

“Anders?” said Ragel, like he couldn’t believe it. He opened the door wider and slipped off his painter's sleeves. “Come in, what’s happened to you?”

Ragel guided Anders into his home, which they both regarded affectionately as the glass palace. In the middle of the living room was a monstrous canvas, and on it lay a vision of a painting that Anders couldn’t bear to look at.

It had been a month since he had murdered November. He couldn’t bring himself to enter her room again, although he knew she was rotting in her chair on the other side of the door. He was thirsty. His stomach was cinched like a belt, gripped by his guilt; his shame. 

“I need a drink.”

Ragel hesitated, they stood face to face in front of his painting. A nude woman with dark hair, sitting in a chair.

“I see, come with me.”

Ragel ushered Anders into the dark backyard, where a large two-story barn shed sat in the far back corner of unkept shrubbery and thorn bushes. There were no windows to see inside, but a sliver of golden light seeped just under the front door. 

Ragel was not rich from his paintings, but rather from his blood mill. He had a shed in his backyard where all of the blood slaves lived. As they approached, Anders could hear the sounds of chattering and laughter, but when Ragel’s hand touched the door handle, all sounds ceased.

They entered and were faced with a U-shaped living facility. One staircase on the left of the shed led up to the second floor. Some doors were opened, others closed. Every blood slave had stopped in their tracks to look at Ragel and Anders.

 Each blood slave wore a black tunic and slippers. Males slept on the bottom floor of the shed and women, who leaned over the railing to look down at them, slept on the top. 

“Good evening,” said the only woman on the bottom floor who stood by the entryway. She had her dark red hair in a ponytail to expose her neck. She held a clipboard that had a rather large stack of paper on it and handed it to Ragel, who handed it to Anders.

“You know the rules. Take your pick,” said Ragel, “I’ll be in the palace.” Ragel left then, and Anders flipped through the pages. His eyebrows raised slightly as he noted they were all categorized by age, gender, blood type, and physicality. He hadn’t been to the blood mill since he had found November.

He chose one and showed the woman with the red hair, who led him upstairs. Each blood slave had their own designated space. A small room with a bed, chair, and vanity. The walls were painted a dark red color and the floor of white tile. 

They stopped at room number 11, and she opened the door to a sleeping young woman. Anders felt a wave of relief come over him as he stepped inside and the door was shut. He could hear the woman’s faint breathing, and smell her sheen of sweat on her sleeping body. He stood over her and moved her hair from her neck with a single finger, his mouth salivating suddenly, shaking. He sunk his teeth into her slowly, and he heard her gasp. She didn’t move as he began to drink from her, but there was a strange heavy movement in his gut. His body lurched backward and ripped his mouth from her neck. The blood slave sat up and backed against the wall, breathing heavily through her nose.

Anders covered his mouth, breathing rapidly as his throat constricted and his mouth watered. What was this heaving happening inside of him? His stomach churned and he gripped it with anger. Without another look at the blood slave, he ripped the door open and made his way to exit. The blood he drank began to spurt out of his mouth, between the fingers, he was clasping so tightly over his lips. The red-haired woman stood and went to him quickly, but he shoved her aside and ran outside, hurling the rest of the blood up and collapsing to his knees. 

He didn’t think he drank that much from the blood slave, but he just kept hurling and gagging. If he was honest with himself, it tasted awful. It was rancid and stung his tongue like alcohol to a human. The light from the shed was on him shadows standing to peer out at him, and he looked over his shoulder.

Anders snarled with a wet cough, black blood dripping all down his chin. The door slammed shut and locked and the darkness enveloped him again. 

Anders returned home to his quiet, empty house. As he sat in the living room, staring at the gaping black maw of the fireless fireplace, he tried to imagine it was a time before he had met November. The blood mill had been a bad idea, he admitted. He knew why the blood slave’s blood had tasted like it did; he equated it to going from drinking choice wine to cheap liquor. 

Anders would get used to it, he wanted to assure himself. He would go back to the days of hosting parties and hunting socially, to find a supple neck to kiss before sucking the soul from their breath. 

I love you, too…

Anders gripped his head and squeezed his eyes shut. He blinked hard against the room that began to spin. He had tried everything…Animals, blood bags, babies, virgins, old people… he screamed aloud against the nothingness in his home. 

He knew why he couldn’t stomach any of it, why even though he forced himself to swallow, he always gagged and threw it back up. What do you do, when you finally find the one thing in life you’re willing to let consume you, and you’re the one who destroys it? 

He loved her, that’s what had made her blood a delicacy, nothing more. 

I love you, too…

Anders stood and held his head, heavy and pounding. Perhaps, he would rest awhile upstairs, with November. Perhaps, he thought, the world would take pity on him and let him rot away, just like she had. He closed his eyes, their dryness prickling behind his eyelids as he made his way slowly up the stairs. Why was the hallway so long, and the portrait’s eyes so bright? 

He fumbled for her bedroom key in his pocket and socked it in with difficulty. He rested his forehead on the door before entering, a deep breath, preparing for the smell of guilt and death to assault him. 

He stood in the doorway as the door swung open. The air was unmoved, the lamp still aglow. The window was clear and bright as the night he’d left it.

“Hello Anders,” said November, turning to look at him. Her skin rivaled that of the moonlight, her eyes bright like two stars of her very own. The scar of the wound he had so savagely left on her was healed, and she smiled at him, a famished look in her eye, “Where have you been?”

January 15, 2024 03:23

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4 comments

Trudy Jas
03:16 Jan 21, 2024

At first, I though :"Love you to death." but then I figured, she's still there. Of course, how she survives in a locked room for a month.... but then vampires, right? :-) Lovely (fairy?) tale.

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Madison Swann
16:24 Jan 23, 2024

Tysm! Yes, she was a vampire, patiently waiting. hehe :-) <3 Thanks for reading!

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J. D. Lair
17:32 Jan 24, 2024

Perhaps the cheap stuff will taste sweeter now they are free to love each other. :) great story Madison!

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Madison Swann
15:30 Feb 01, 2024

Thanks so much!!!!

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