The vampire is waiting for me when I open the door to the basement, off to the left, away from the light.
“I was starting to think you’d never come.”
“I debated it. Got held up.”
“I can see that… Should I be concerned?”
“No. Back to the Depths with it. I’m starting to put a picture together of what this guys is doing, and I don’t like it.”
“Let me guess, just enough to be dangerous type?”
“What was your first clue?”
“He seemed… apologetic, when he kidnapped me. As though he didn’t really mean it but didn’t have a choice. When you know what you’re doing there’s a little bit more resolution to your actions.”
“I think he’s using the dead to get revenge on the living that have wronged him. But those deals tend to escalate quickly.”
“Well… while I certainly could eat a whole wheel of cheese right now, shall we?”
I nod and turn around. “There’s a lot of bright spots and reflected light filtering through the building, but I imagine he’ll be back here later tonight, so I don’t have another option to get you out. If you can run through the hallway half a floor up you can get to the service elevator…” I can feel her breath of my neck. Tense.
“And ride it up to the second floor?” Her voice runs along my flesh like satin, with an edge of diamonds caught in lace spiderwebs. Its a voice that could turn lumberjacks into simpering sycophants. I think about her face, what I saw of it, contorted by hunger.
“Yes.” My voice still cracks. I cough. “I’ll leave now and pull the blinds on the hallway window. 22A is on the right. Give me a count of 60 before you head out.” I start walking up the stairs. When I get to the normal elevator I toss the coffee into a waiting trash can, and run up the stairs the rest of the way. Halfway down the hall, I hear the service elevator door open and sprint the remaining distance, tossing my shirt up over the window to help obscure some it. She runs out the hall and into 22A, breaking the lock as she goes. When I hear the door click, I take the shirt down, putting it on while shivering. When it comes down off my face there’s a young man staring at me.
This time, my brain isn’t hyper alert, I’m not thinking of an excuse as to why my shirt was off, or why I’m putting it back on, I’m just staring back at him and waiting till he breaks the silence.
“What’re you doing?”
Still can’t think of anything. I can hear a whisper from the door of 22A, “There was a perv taking pictures on the street, thought I’d give him something to take pictures of.” He doesn’t respond, so I repeat what the whisper said. He nods, apparently not having heard it the first time.
“Fair enough. Wish I’d seen it though.” The dude shrugs then turns towards the stairs, and continues out the building. I shake my head and prepare myself to go into 22A.