"What happened?" Zoe asked.
"We were staying with a tribe in the middle of the rainforest and their rite of passage for becoming a man is to wear a pair of gloves that have bullet ants woven into them. So, of course, we decided to have a go," I told her.
"I was the only one it didn't affect," said Zev, gloating as usual.
"Zev," Evangeline started, "that was because you're an elf, not because you're super manly."
He prodded her in the ribs. She smiled and leant her head on his shoulder.
"Apparently I was talking nonsense for a whole day," I said.
"You were," said Evangeline. "We were trying so hard not to laugh at you, which Nas wasn't very happy about."
"Nas is never very happy about anything unless it involves sex," I pointed out.
"I can hear you," Nas said loudly.
"I thought so."
"It's true though," she smiled. She came and sat down next to Zev. "It's just not my fault."
"Well who's fault is it then?"
"My mother's. She's the one who brought me up in a brothel and pushed me into being a prostitute when I was seven."
"You blame your mother for everything," I said.
"Well, it's usually her fault. Those eight years were rather interesting though."
"How did you become a vampire, Nas?" Zoe asked her.
"You want to know?" Nas replied, tipping her head to the side.
"It's not a very happy tale. Are you sure you want to know?"
"Okay then. Well, like I said, I was brought up in a brothel and became a prostitute when I was seven. When I was fifteen, my town was attacked by a large vampire coven. My mother and I hid and when they found us, they took us as slaves, though you can imagine there were other motives for taking us. They abused me for two years before the kind one realised what they were doing. He took care of me, and we fell in love.
"He turned me when I asked and we planned to run away together. But of course, every fairy tale ends miserably. The other vampires had known of our plan and our relationship for weeks . The night we were going to run away, they killed him. And made me watch. I was distraught, heart-broken, et cetera, et cetera but I was angry more than anything else. So I killed them all. And during my 'fit of pure rage and vengeance' as the Mistress put it, I turned. On my own, and without the help of anyone, or any ritual. I was the first and the only one since.
"My mother asked me to turn her, so I did. So that's how I became a vampire. Is it at all what you expected?"
"No," Zoe murmured, shocked, "not at all."
"And my transformation, the joining of my souls, meant I got hypnoxia. It's a rare disease that seems to be a mix of human conditions, such as asthma and eczema, meaning I often can't 'breathe' and I get very dry skin. It's not fun."