Having a heartbeat so close really isn't a good idea. After ten minutes of testing how fast I can run, all I can hear is the gorgeous thump thump of his heart pressed up against me. I come to a stop and make him get down, moving a few paces away from him to clear my head. Breathing in the fumes of the cars passing us makes it slightly easier, and the roar of their engines helps cover the pulsing of his veins, but their rhythm and the smell are both stuck in my head.

"Um, can we stop off at the services soon?" Maxxie asks after a moment of me stood there out of reach with my eyes closed. His voice pulls me back to the real world and I blink.


"Well, I left everything in the car, and I wanna get smokes and something to eat. I think you should, too." Oh... is it that obvious?

"I'm fine."


"Keep that up and you'll be walking," I threaten, turning to run off without him.

"I take it back, I take it back!" he calls, closing the distance between us. I roll my eyes and crouch slightly, letting him climb back up. My stomach rumbles loudly as a car passes us and I hope Maxxie didn't hear it. "When we get there, you're having something to eat, even if I have to force feed you again," he mutters in my ear. Joy.


The run goes in a blur; all I could hear was his heart and the only thing I seemed able to really see was his wrist, torn and dripping blood hovering just above my lips.

"Man up," he says, jumping off and pushing me in the direction of the people milling around the place. I'm tempted to growl a "screw you" at him, but my hunger has gripped my vocal cords, reducing whatever I want to say to an animalistic snarl. So I just nod and walk off, leaving him to it.

I find a quiet exit from the place, the kinda area where the smokers or staff might come out for a quick puff and a chat. There's a bench nearby that I perch on the edge of, staring at the door impatiently, though I might as well have been carved out of stone; I sit perfectly still, waiting like nature's best hunter.

Which I s'pose I am now...

My humanity almost makes me bottle out after a few minutes of waiting, but the hunger wins every time I go to get up and walk away.

I'm about to try and make myself walk away again when I hear footsteps behind the door and the hunger roots me to the spot, pausing only to let the person open the door.

My hands precede me as I fling myself at whatever poor soul chose to come out here, grabbing onto their neck, feeling the pulse like a rocketing drum beat and smelling their blood before I unfasten my knife, ready to make short work of this.

"Holy shit, Alex!" the person yelps, struggling against me and I blink.

"Maxxie!" I hiss irritably.

"I think I just did something involuntary," he whines as I force myself to let go, feeling sick.

"I just did something involuntary too, but I'm not whining like a bitch about it," I growl, shoving him aside, waiting again. Next to me, Maxxie is patting his crotch and breathing a sigh of relief.

"It's okay. You didn't scare me quite as much as I thought," he tells me, but I barely register the words, focusing on the two sets of footsteps that are about to join us outside.

But they're not bringing heartbeats with them, or a delicious smell. As the two of them emerge, I recognize one of them as the vampire that called Maxxie a snack and the other one, a shortish guy in a suit with a bald patch who could only have been the one driving the car.

"You again!" her eyes widen and she backs off a step, pulling her friend with her. I look down at myself and then back up at her.

"Well done," I mutter, "you have wonderful powers of observation." She doesn't notice the heavy sarcasm in my voice, though, her eyes are fixed on the knife in my hand. Oh yeah... forgot about that.

"Why are you hanging around here to hunt when you have a human right there?" the balding guy asks.

"They're... y'know," the woman whispers in his ear, "lovers." His face too turns to one of disgust the same way hers had, and I smack him over the head with the flat of my knife.

"Don't be so narrow minded," I snap; I feel like I'm in secondary school, fending off the bullies for Maxxie all over again, telling them to get over themselves. The vampire winces as the edge of the blade tilts down and scores a red line on his big shiny bald patch as I pull the knife away again. It heals almost instantly, but he doesn't look too happy about it.

"This is our ground," he growls, "get lost, hunter." I take a step back, almost physically repelled by the venom in his words. Wow, I'm really not popular, am I?


The End

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