He loved his pack like nothing else but, lately, he had been thinking… he’d like something else to love. Or someone.
He longed for female company. The last time he’d been with a woman was over 50 years ago.
Now he’d started to regress into himself, leaving the pack after they’d fed together, to be alone on the beach or on the boardwalk.
He knew Paul and Marko were getting action every night after eating – but it was so easy for them. Both bubbly and confident, they just approached girls on the boardwalk, took them to the beach and got it on. Dwayne could never do that. He wasn’t shy, just… inexperienced.
Marko fell in love left right and centre but Dwayne had no one to feel for.
That night the Boys jumped on their bikes as usual and sped off, heading for food and fun.
Thoughts swam round Dwayne’s head, blocking out noise and sight.
A single tear dripped down his pale cheek as he realised – he’d always be alone.
After reaching the boardwalk and tying up their bikes, the three fair-haired Vampires headed off in search of blood. Dwayne had lost his appetite.
He plonked himself down on a low bench and stared out through his dark eyes at the crowd.
He was only aware of a long, swishing skirt flow past him and someone brushing past his legs. When he blinked and focused his brown eyes, he saw a young girl, about fifteen/sixteen, sprawled across his outstretched legs.
She was apologising over and over.
“Oh, I’m sorry! Sorry! I didn’t mean to do that! Sorry! Did I hurt your legs???”
A voice, filled with soul and personality flooded through the teenage vampire’s ears.
“Did you trip?” he asked, helping her up.
“Yeah… sorry…” she was straightening her long skirt and dusting off her arms.
“No – my fault,” said Dwayne gruffly. His senses were so tuned in he could see every silver fleck in her sapphire eyes, every curly strand of long black hair.
He smelled white musk perfume and apple shampoo.
In addition to thin leather straps on her arm, she wore clinking glass bangles, glittering silver anklets and two thumb rings.
He was instantly attracted to her an to his surprise his first thought was not “Man, I’m eating tonight!” But “Whoa…”
“I’m Dwayne,” he said.
“Selene,” she returned.
He offered he a ride on his bike in a bid to get to know her but she declined, saying she’d heard weird stories of young girls disappearing in Santa Carla after accepting rides.
“Bite to eat then?” Dwayne prompted.
Again she refused, saying she’d eaten.
He was surprised and delighted when she suggested a walk on the beach.
He accepted immediately and they strolled off, side by side.
Dwayne watched her walk, mesmerised, has she stepped daintily next to him, barefoot.
They stopped on the sands and Dwayne faced her. She had a small, button nose and a pretty little mouth that showed off pearly white teeth when she smiled. That smile – Dwayne nearly fainted.
She sat him down near the surf and they talked and talked, watching the moonlight dance on the water.
Dwayne realised he was in love.
As they talked and examined each other’s personality deeply, he didn’t notice the sky become tinged with pink.
Gingerly, he took hold of her waist. He waited for her to slap him off, but instead she took a step towards him. He was just about to lean in when the first rays of golden sun peeped over the horizon.
Dwayne hissed and shielded his eyes. After pushing Selene out of the way he took off, leaving his bike on the now half-lit boardwalk, not caring if a mortal saw him in flight.
He landed in the Cave entrance just in time to see the sun rise over the beach and a small, bemused figure pick herself from the sand where she’d been thrown.
David and the others were grouped in the main cave, shaking with worry. The sun had risen just minutes ago and Dwayne was out there under the fatal rays.
Paul had stopped dancing on the rim of the broken-down fountain and was sat on the floor, legs akimbo, humming distractedly.
When Dwayne stumbled into the main cave, burnt and bruised, his brothers fell upon him with thankful hugs. Their relief quickly turned to anger when he told them of Selene. He’d gotten himself half killed – for a girl probably not worth more than a snack.
“You need your head sortin’, mate,’ sighed Paul in disbelief.
“I want to turn her,” said Dwayne. “She’s amazing…”
David turned his cold eyes on his oldest childe. “No,” he told Dwayne angrily. “It’s too dangerous to involve her with the Pack. You know this. She won’t be ready. We aren’t ready. No. No.”
Dwayne thought this was highly hypocritical of David, as he had started bringing back and talking about turning a girl called Star. The usually-silent Dwayne said as much and David flew at him.
Tearing at each other’s face with razor-sharp claws, the two older vampires fought, kicking out with strong talons and biting necks with pointed fangs, yellow eyes glinting, with red and black sparks flying from the socket.
After calming down and wrenching his nails from his childe’s face, David headed to the back caves to sleep while Dwayne hissed and cursed.
“Bastard hypocrite!” he yelled, tears forming.
Well, David couldn’t stop his from seeing Selene. He could go to Hell.
When he went back for his bike the next night, he was surprised to see Selene sitting astride it, waiting for him.
“You’re a… you’re a vampire!” was all she could stammer when they reached the cliffs and stood facing each other. It was pitch black and the only light that fell on her beautiful face was his bike headlamp.
Dwayne tried to look puzzled and shocked but his fear showed on his face.
“Those tales I heard of girls going off with bikers and never being seen again… I knew there was something behind them. And you disappeared yesterday when the sun came up… just disappeared, like you turned invisible… or flew away…”
Dwayne listened to her babble while drums pounded in his ears. He expected her to run screaming down to the boardwalk or rush to tell everyone she saw but what he didn’t expect was for her to say, in her soft, silvery voice, was
“Will you take me with you?”
Dwayne gaped at her. Then he told her that that had been his intention, she was special, he wanted her to be with him, but he couldn’t turn her. He told her everything, of David and the Night Before.
“I think I’ve fallen for you,” he said.
“I think I’ve fallen for you, too,” she smiled.
She reached up and pulled him closer to her, into Dwayne’s first kiss in fifty years.
Dwayne was in ecstasy. The feel of her fingers in his hair, her arms around his neck, her warm, wet lips on his, her heart beating against his chest where they were pressed together.
He stroked the soft tops of her arms, then moved his hands down her arms to her elbows, then onto her waist, and up her back…
He thought, at first, that the rustling he heard was just the wind in his ears, but he soon identified the noise as the flap of a coat, and pulled back as he realised that the Pack were surrounding them on the dark cliff top. Paul and Marko were looking sad and dejected, David smug and triumphant.
“So,” He whispered. “So.”
Dwayne didn’t like the evil glint in his blue eyes as the eldest vampire continued.
“I told you,” David warned in tones as cold as ice. “I told you – no. I said not to get involved with the mortal girl. I – told – you – NO!”
“David – she understands – I swear she’s ready–-”
David sprang. He threw Dwayne to the grassy cliff top and grabbed Selene. She shivered under his murderous glare. Dwayne pawed at David’s back but Paul and Marko pulled him away and held him tight, restraining him.
Dwayne kicked and struggled and screamed. He watched helplessly as David sank his fangs into Selene’s pale neck and drank. Dwayne struggled against his ‘captors’ but Marko and Paul held him firm and looked at him unhappily.
Dwayne hissed and shouted and cried and screamed. Tears poured down his face in a hot, burning rush.
Selene, with her last ounce of strength and lifeblood, stretched out her arms to him, reaching for him. The fear and pain in her eyes was too much for Dwayne, who watched the bright twinkle in her eye dwindle and die, like and ember from a fire that is stamped on.
David let Selene go and her body slumped to the ground, lifeless, her crimson blood dribbling down his chin and spattering the ground.
Dwayne, feeling his heart split, gave one last blood churning howl before crying out, “Oh! All that I have ever loved!”