Lucia collapsed on the sofa, wiping her hand across her mouth. Edward looked at her in disgust.
“I never knew one vampire who could eat so much, and still feel hungry!”
“I haven’t eaten for a long time Edward, give me a break.”
He lapsed in to silence, staring at the fire. Lucia sighed.
“You’re still thinking about her aren’t you?”
“Well yes, of course I am.”
“Do you like her that much?”
“I just can’t help thinking that she let me get away with you, when she knew that she would be hurt for it. She can’t be all bad if she did that could she?”
“She was with them all along!”
“Yes I know, but well I don’t know, some how when she looked up, and her face was all calm, it was like there was a shield around me; protecting me.”
“You really do like her don’t you.”
“No! Have you ever known me fall in love?”
“Well if Emily wasn’t love, then I suppose I have to say no. But you can’t hide that you like her.”
“All that bloods gone to your head.”
Lucia laughed and stood up. “Look, when you’re ready to admit you liked her, come find me. But meanwhile, I’m going to check out the man who’s moved in next door. He’s supposed to be quite the looker.”
Edward sighed as Lucia left, shaking his head at her thirst. He turned his head to face the fire and let his mind wander. He remembered when he had first met Charlotte, then the memory of her as she had killed Pierre and looked at him, inviting him to take a bite. As he slipped in to a doze he seemed to hear a noise behind him and he shook his head; then started to get up. Something connected with the back of his head and he swayed. Stars burst in his head, then the darkness closed in and he lost consciousness.
Edward woke to find someone wiping his head with a wet towel. Opening his eyes he saw Lucia bending over him; the person with the towel. She sighed and shook her head.
“You are really out of sorts aren’t you Edward? You didn’t even hear him come through the window.”
“Who was it?”
“Who do you think?”
Behind Lucia a man emerged, a grin on his face. Edward sat up and laughed.
“Robert, you always did know how to give a man a headache!”
“Edward, you’ve lost your touch. You used to be able to sense me a mile off.”
“My mind was occupied.”
“Lucia’s told me about that.” He was grinning, but Edward looked at Lucia with narrowed eyes.
“I hope there was no exaggeration.”
“Not at all Edward, I believe her completely. You were being truthful weren’t you Lucia?”
“Of course. It’s no exaggeration to say he was in love with her.”
“You said what?” Edward shot up.
“Robert, keep him away, I think you knocked him a bit harder than we thought.”
“Why would you think I was in love with her?”
“Edward, she’s the only one who’s ever resisted you, and you haven’t stopped thinking about her.”
“That doesn’t mean I was in love with her.”
“You are, Edward. You are in love with her. Don’t try and deny it, denial doesn’t suit you.”
“Look, can you two stop it. I haven’t had anything to eat for weeks. I’m famished.”
“Sorry Robert,” laughed Lucia, “Let’s go and get you a few humans.”
“Now wait a second. You can’t just start an argument like that and then leave,” argued Edward, “I am not going to be part of made up stories.”
“Well you are so just give in.” Why don’t you come hunting with us?”
“Because I’ve had to spend the last few days hunting with you.”
“Oh come on.”
“Fine, but only for Robert. At least he’s not making up stories about me.”
“Oh shut up!”
They went silently through the window and out on to the moonlit rooftops over the completely unsuspecting city of Prague.
As Lucia took Robert to one of her favourite haunts in the city, Edward drifted off to his. He paced along the streets, his feet making no noise on the cobbles. He shrank against a building as a loud, drunken man burst out in to the street, singing a song loudly through a large bristly beard that covered his face. He stumbled past Edward, only to feel himself being pulled to the side. The last thing he felt were sharp fangs deep in his neck.
Edward walked along once again, wiping his mouth free of blood. The man had tasted terribly stale and alcoholic, and it left a bitter taste in his mouth. He must find something sweeter to hide the taste. He headed towards a place where he knew he would find willing ladies, ready to take any man in to their beds. A prostitute inn. These were hidden in the darker parts of town, and the authorities wouldn’t do anything about them because they didn’t want to, for obvious reasons. He reached the door of the inn. He was sure to find someone inside here. He opened the door. Ladies covered the room. Men were walking around, some eyeing previously chosen women, others looking for something a little different. He would blend in well. He slipped to the left and stood in the corner, searching for a girl that would catch his eye, and make a good meal. Several of the women were now looking at him with interest, others with greed at his expensive clothes. He stared them down and they looked away embarrassed that they had been caught looking. They all settled back to their drinks and Edward watched. A young woman in the corner caught his eye. She seemed less comfortable than the rest, and she wasn’t staring at him like the others, she seemed to be trying to pretend like she wasn’t there. None of the people around her were paying any attention to her. Edward stood, and slowly paced towards her. She looked up as he reached her, a resigned look on her face. He gestured for her to follow him. She stood, and followed him slowly, through the staring girls. He led her up the stairs to the rooms above. He closed the door behind her, and turned. She had sat upon the bed already, waiting for him with that resigned look. He stepped forward, breathing in deeply. The scent of her blood made his throat clench, it was very alluring. He leaned forward, resting his hands either side of her on the bed. He breathed in her scent. She trailed her fingers softly along his neck and down his collar, unbuttoning his shirt as she went down. He sighed. His lips were at her throat, kissing her skin gently. There was a laugh. They both froze. Edward looked up and the girl looked round. The room seemed empty. The girl turned back to Edward, pulling her top over her head and throwing it to the side. She pulled his lips back to his again, and he climbed on to the bed. He looked down at her underneath him, then began kissing her neck again. Then, louder this time, there was another laugh. Once again, they both looked around. A figure dressed in a fitted black dress leant against the window frame. Charlotte’s face was smiling, but her eyes were black and smouldering. She walked slowly, gracefully, across to the bed and knelt on it, leaning forward so that her face was right next to Edward’s. She inhaled slowly, and her teeth flashed as she grinned.
“Charlotte…” Edward breathed, his voice heavy with passion.
“Charlotte? Who’s Charlotte?” demanded the girl on the bed.
Charlotte’s head snapped around to look at the girl. Her lips pulled back over her teeth and she hissed. The girl stared in horror as Charlotte spoke.
“What is your name?”
“Felicity,” the girl muttered, still wide eyed as she watched Charlotte.
Charlotte smiled and turned on the bed so that she was facing Felicity. She slipped her hand across the bed, trailing along Felicity’s hair to her neck. Charlotte slipped he hand underneath Felicity’s neck and lifted her head from the bed. She kissed Felicity’s forehead and looked at her. The, swiftly, she snapped her neck and Felicity’s head rolled back on to the bed. Charlotte turned to Edward, frozen beside her, and smiled again. He sank his teeth in to the dead girl’s neck and Charlotte followed suit. A few seconds past, and then Felicity was flung to the floor. They sighed. Edward’s eyes smouldered as he turned to face Charlotte. She rolled on to her back and looked up at him. Edward’s arms were around Charlotte and she was twisted round him, two bodies becoming one as they told each other for the first time, how much they loved each other.