The late 1800’s were a testament to hedonism, especially for my kind.
Oscar Wilde created Dorian Gray, and on the black and white pages, much of the age can be learned. It was a good time to be alive. Beauty was a valuable coin, intellect and wit keys to society and success. The attitude of the era reminded me of the mid-sixteen hundreds when I was a young mortal man. Though the 1890’s lacked the sexual promiscuity of Old Rowley’s Court, I was at home again in the latter part of the nineteenth century. I am quite sure that my friend and King, Charles Stuart, would have reveled with me in the last years of the nineteenth century.
That said, however, one incident brought home to me rather forcefully that immortality has its disadvantages.
The year was 1897, and many nights I awoke with remorse gnawing at my guts. The recent death of a loved one tortured my dreams and my waking hours. In my long life, I had known many women. Unfortunately for them, most had died in my fatal embrace.
Some I had loved. The latest was Daphne. Her skin was alabaster, her eyes a vibrant green. She was my mistress, our precious moments stolen.
Three nights a week, after work in her father’s shop, the dark-haired beauty made excuses to her husband and came to my bed. I tucked her beneath me and satisfied desire in the hot, tight depths of her body. She was a commoner and I of noble blood, but passion is blind to social caste. Daphne was warm and loving, her touch, like the sun, I’d never again feel. We set the darkness afire.
From sunset to sunrise, I longed to share the elation of the Bloodbond with my lover. If I drank from her while we battled for release, we would experience satisfaction mirrored in our partner’s ecstasy. That last evening of our torrid romance, the craving sizzled in my veins and burned in my loins. I had reason to believe Daphne would revel in our ultimate joining.
She was in love with me.
The vampire’s kiss is an erotic coming together of the mental and physical. Mortals trembled as bliss possessed them and, sexually aroused, melted into my embrace. Daphne’s arms were around my neck, my cock hard on her belly. Anticipation seared through me as I wisped my tongue over her pale velvet throat. She sighed and shivered, threading her fingers into my hair. I breathed desire against her ear then eased my fangs into the pulsing artery.
I clamped a hand over her mouth to stifle her cries and sucked harder. Her fists pounded my head and shoulders, but her struggles intensified my pleasure. I plunged into the body writhing beneath me, thrusting deep. She inhaled a sharp breath of dark ecstasy. Despite her fear and revulsion, her hips bucked to the rhythm of my strokes. Sinking into the Bloodbond, she climaxed on a long moan exhaled against my palm. At that moment, I was a part of her and she a part of me. I was so lost in our mutual passion that I stopped listening to her thoughts. Release weakened me. She slapped me soundly across the mouth and battled free.
Barefoot, she fled, wriggling into her dress on her mad dash to the door. The aroma of her blood, her perfume and sex tempted both lusts—cardinal and carnal. I grabbed my clothes and pursued her down the narrow stairs into the din of the pub below. I’d never entertained Daphne at my London residence. The loft above the bar was a perfect rendezvous.
Until half-dressed and bleeding, my lover took flight.
A ruffian seized my arm, spun me to face his ruddy countenance. “What did you do to the girl? “ His breath smelled of rotting teeth and ale. “She was running like she’d seen the Devil. There was blood on her neck.”
“He’s always been a bit strange,” the innkeeper accused. “One of them toffs.”
Tension resonated in the smoky room. Men’s sweat reeked of danger. The crowd threatened to become a mob. Visions of fleeing peasants brandishing fiery torches flashed in my memory. I refused to relive that terror at the hands of these fools.
I glared at the man until he removed his paw from my sleeve. “Forget her.” My gaze swept the working class company. “Forget the girl and the blood.”
While I mesmerized twenty grumbling peasants, a solitary figure in a gray cloak climbed to the ruins of Tintagel on the craggy shores of Cornwall. In the thundering silence, Daphne Ludgven walked calmly off the cliff and died on the sharp rocks battered by an angry sea.
Daphne was free of guilt. Mine settled like the misty rain on the shoulders of my black cloak. I left Cornwell without a backward glance, bound for my ancestral estate in Devon. In times of trouble, I always returned to Royal Oak and to my piano. As the miles crept away, remorse drove me to an ill-fated decision. I’d enjoyed enough of being a vampire. I wanted to be simply human.
Grief does strange things to the mind.