By Kammy Gaffney
Markkastanen Sartain sighed as he sipped his champagne. In all honesty, he found these little soirées rather tiresome at best. He didn't object to making some fool feel important by granting them the gift of his presence, far from it - it amused him to see how everyone bent over backwards to acknowledge him, tried to cultivate relationships with him. But after he had made his obligatory appearance, spoken to those one or two people that he didn't find too terribly annoying, he was generally ready to leave. He just wasn't particularly interested in all of the mundane self-congratulatory human prattle, even if the humans in question were some of the most wealthy and beautiful of their kind. He stayed now only because he was hungry, and there really were some choice young ladies (and gentlemen) circulating through the hotel ballroom. One young lady in particular had really caught his fancy. She was some sort of actress he'd heard - a very popular one at the moment, although he could neither recall her name or any movie she may have been in - not that he cared, anyway. Such things were immaterial to him.
He smiled very politely at the small circle of flesh that had cornered him by the bar, and folding his wings as closely to his back as possible, he excused himself and carefully eased his way past them - only to be surrounded by a fresh set of grinning idiot human faces. Mark tried to hide his mounting exasperation. Why were humans so damned fascinated by vampires? Did sheep in their pens feel such fascination for wolves? Somehow, Mark didn't think so. He continued to smile and nod politely, occasionally glancing about the room to relocate the pretty young actress he had seen earlier.
Ah, there she is... Mark attempted to excuse himself once more, as a buxom older woman who had subjected herself to one face lift too many was demanding to know if he could make other vampires and was it done the way Anne Rice had written in her novels.
"Of course not, don't be ridiculous," Mark snarled impatiently, still trying to keep an eye on the actress. She was moving out of his field of vision, becoming lost in the crowd again. "I'm of a very old family, a true vampire born, not to be confused with one of those common bloodsucking corpses." He gave her a dismissive wave of his hand. "Now, if you'll excuse me, please." He brushed past the woman, who dramatically fanned her face (Oh, Isn't he just delish? I'd let him bite me anytime! Oh, now, don't you tell my Jerry that I said that, why he'd just die of jealousy!), and resumed his pursuit. But his quarry was no longer anywhere to be found.
Mark scowled in annoyance. Well, that was that. He looked at the press of people between him and the exits and winced. Perhaps he could step into one of the small sitting rooms and relax a moment, before getting up the nerve to say his farewells and attempt to leave. Or he could just translocate, vanish from this place only to reappear at his sprawling mansion seconds later without fuss or fanfare. The later seemed the more appealing of the two options. He supposed the host would be upset if he left without saying goodbye. But then again, the host wasn't being swarmed by mobs of horny gold-digging ex-actresses desperate for immortality.
The vampire struck the jackpot on the first try - the little room was empty. There was a gilded Victorian fainting couch, a matching winged-back chair, a small fireplace, mirror, and a small elegant side table. All the comforts of home. Mark sighed in relief, loosened his tie, opened his shirt collar, and sprawled in the chair. Let his wings rest on the floor. Sipped his champagne. Reveled in the quiet.
There was a click as the door was opened. Mark frowned. Just his luck. Someone must've followed him. Well, whoever they were, they stood a very good chance of being his dinner. Especially if they were the least bit attractive...Mark raised an eyebrow. Well, well, well. If it wasn't just the little lady that he'd been looking for. Thank Chaos. He rose to his feet, and gave a little bow and a charming smile.
The actress blinked, gave a little gasp, and put a hand to her chest. Her rather well endowed chest, he noted.
"Oh! I didn't know
Mark smiled a little wider. She was a perfectly dreadful actress. That was the worse case of faked surprise he'd ever seen in his life. Apparently his continued silence and his proximity flustered her a bit, because after an awkward pause, she kept on talking. How terribly annoying.
"Well, I was hoping to get a little peace and quiet, you know, 'cause everybody's you know, like, wanting to talk to me, and stuff, since my last movie was sooo big." She looked him up and down. "Anyway, Michael Miercoles, you know him, he's the one directing my next movie, anyway, he was like, you know, maybe you should go and take a break, because he could see, I was like, all tired of these people, and stuff." She took a breath to continue, but Mark interrupted.
"That's all very nice, really, but I don't intend to stay for very much longer. So why don't we just cut all the chit-chat, shall we? You go sit over there, and remove your dress - lovely dress by the way - and then I'll take over from there."
"That is why you followed me in here, isn't it?"
"Well, yes, I mean,
no, I mean... hey, one of my friends told me you were gay! I knew you
Mark chuckled. "Well, perhaps your friend did not deliberately mislead you. I tend to go where ever my desires lead me." He put down his champagne glass. "And while you are very desirable, I also think that you talk too damned much. So..." He stepped up to her, tilted up her chin and gazed deeply into her nearly leaf green eyes, "I'm going to move things along, if you don't mind."
The girl shivered. Mark leaned in closer, slid his other arm around her waist, and pulled her body against his. He let his lips brush hers, followed the line of her jaw, barely touching her, reached her earlobe, gently seized it in his teeth, nibbled a bit. "Now, " he breathed softly, "Remember, you have to be very quiet. Not one peep."
"Okay..." The actress closed her eyes and laid her head back, exposing the long fluid curve of her neck.
Mark chuckled softly. "Not yet, child... I like to get the most out of my meals." He slid a slender pale hand over one smoothly curving breast. The girl blinked.
"You mean... I didn't think vampires could."
"The undead can't. But I'm very much alive." He folded his wings around them both, and gave her another soft lewd chuckle. "Come with me, and I'll gladly show you just how alive I am."
She smiled back, flirtatiously. "Okay - so where are we going? Do you have a room here too?"
"No, I don't need one. You're coming home with me. Hold on tight, and close your eyes."
"Oooh, how exciting...." The actress pressed herself close to Mark, and slipped her arms around his neck. Mark wrapped his arms and wings tightly around them both, his eyes flashed, emitting a brilliant blue light, and they both vanished into thin air.
"Moira? Moira are you in here? There's a photographer here, if you don't hurry you're going to miss a fabulous oppor--" a thin brunette stuck her head in the sitting room, and blinked. The room was entirely empty. Except for a mostly empty glass of champagne, there was no sign the room had ever been occupied. Moira's agent would've simply turned and left without a second thought, but a small shimmering pile of green on the floor caught her eye. She walked over and picked it up, puzzled.
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
The Actress © 2001 by KL Gaffney
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