Robert walked past them, in the same direction Catalin had headed. Alex watched his brother walk away and smiled. Everyone around was wearing summer clothes, with colours such as pastel pinks and baby blues, and then there were the three vampires, all dressed in black.
“How can you put up with being called ‘brother’ and ‘little brother’ all the time?” Beth asked quietly.
“He never calls me by my name.”
“He refuses to.”
Beth was stunned to silence and Alex just shrugged. He let Beth drag him around all the stalls in the large field – which was a lot – to make sure they were okay. Alex didn’t see the point in social gatherings such as these. Then again, he was a vampire, not a human. While humans were very social creatures, vampires travelled alone or maybe in pairs. Vampires also didn't usually make a home anywhere, instead going where the road took them. Lone nomads, compared to the sociable settlers. Alex smiled; he’d never thought of it that way before.
Beth continued to drag him around by the hand. Once it seemed that they had spoken with all of the stallholders, Alex let out a breath he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. Then Beth pulled him though a large crowd of people and at that moment he knew why he had been holding his breath; it was all he could do to not grab the closest person and tear out their throat. When they broke the crowd and fresh air was once again available, Alex turned to Beth.
“Can we go home now?” he asked.
“Alex, we can’t go yet,” Beth said.
“No, Beth, I need to go home. Now.” She seemed to understand as she grabbed his hand and weaved around the field back to the car park. She was clever enough to avoid the crowds.
When the two of them reached the car park, Alex practically jumped into the car. After shutting the door, he took deep breaths through his mouth in an attempt not to smell the scent of human blood that lingered in the air. Beth was sat in the passenger seat beside him.
“Alex,” Beth said quietly.
“Stay away from me. I don’t want to hurt you. Catalin told me not to leave it so long,” he said, mainly to himself, “and that little bit last night wasn’t enough for a week without.”
“Then let me help. I want to help”
“No, Beth, I wouldn’t be able to control myself. I’ll hurt you.”
“You managed to control yourself last night,” she pointed out.
“Last night, I didn’t have the blood of two hundred people in my nose.”
“Alex, I want to. It won’t hurt me. It didn’t hurt last night, when you said it would.”
“That’s because you wanted me to take your blood. If you hadn’t... you’d be dead now. Believe me.”
Beth ignored his warnings and moved closer anyway. She gently held his face in her hands and pulled his lips onto hers. Alex tried to pull away but her gentleness was greater than any strength he possessed. After their kiss ended, Beth guided Alex’s lips to her neck. His attempts to pull out of her hold turned to trembling. He wanted to do it; he wanted to sink his teeth into her neck and drink. He felt the same pleasure she did, only stronger. Suddenly, he tore himself out of her hands and moved as far away from her as the car would allow.
“Not here,” he whispered.
“Let’s go then,” she murmured.