Tales of a Night Walker
By Bert McKenzie
Copyright 2010

Chapter 5

Sarah stood, staring at the two of us as we quickly stepped apart.  "I
wouldn't harm him," I said quietly.

"I thought...you were about to..."  I could see the tears in her eyes.

"I am so sorry," I apologized, turning from them.

"Lighten up, sis." David said.  "It was only a hug."

I quickly left the room and returned to my attic abode and spent the rest
of the night in contemplation.  I decided I must find another place to hide
out, one where I would not endanger my friends, and where I could stay away
from the forbidden lust I felt for Sarah's brother.  I must remind myself
that this is why I was living this half life.

Morning came and I heard the stirrings of life in the house below.  I sat
quietly in the dark of my room for a long time and tried to plan what I
would do.  Perhaps after the sun set again I could go out in search of
someplace else to be.  I must find a job so I would be able to rent an
apartment on my own.  After a time a soft knock came from the door.  I
ignored it wishing whomever it was to leave.  But again it came, a gentle
tap.  The knob turned and I heard Sarah call my name.  "Jeff, may I come
in?" she asked.  I wanted to forbid her, but after all, this was her home,
not mine.

"Yes, of course," I responded.  She opened the door and came up the short
flight of stairs to my attic room.

"I am so sorry I over reacted last night," she apologized.  "I guess I'm
just a little too protective when it comes to my brother."

"Don't apologize," I responded, looking guiltily at the floor.  "You were
right to be concerned.  I may have hurt him without even thinking.  Such as
I am, I don't know what to expect.  Sarah, I am not human, and none of us
can be allowed to forget that fact."

She sat on the top step at my feet.  "Don't say that.  You are gentle and
kind.  Just because you have an unusual condition..."

"Your brother told me last night that you were romantically interested in
me."  There, I had blurted out part of my concern.

"Well, who wouldn't be?" she responded after a moment of silence.  "You are
attractive, strong, kind and gentle.  And you are a great friend, companion
and protector.  Of course I have a bit of a crush on you.  But I also know
that you don't feel the same way.  That's okay.  I love you, Jeff and if
it's only as a sister, that's okay too."

"Sarah, I would never do anything to hurt you, and if staying here is
giving you some sort of false hope for a future for us then I had best find
someplace else..."  She quickly reached out and placed her finger to my
lips.

"Don't even think it," she admonished.  "I won't hear of you leaving.
You're my vampire and I'm not going to let you go out into the night of the
20th century alone and unprepared for a world you can't even imagine."  She
laughed a gentle laugh.  "Besides, who else is going to drink all that
pig's blood I just stocked the refrigerator with?  Now come downstairs and
let's have a long talk.  I think we both scared David last night.  He
probably has all the wrong ideas about us, and certainly about you."

"What can you possibly tell him?" I asked.

"I think it's time for the truth.  After all, if we are going to be a
family, he has a right to know."  She took my hand and pulled me to my
feet, bringing me down the stairs and out the attic door.

"Sarah, I'm not sure you should tell him what I think you want to tell
him," I cautioned as we came into the darkened parlor, but she ignored my
protest.

"Okay, what's up?" David asked.  He was sitting on the couch watching the
television box.

Sarah reached over, turning the knob flipping off the set.  "We have a lot
to explain," she began.

"Well I know things are pretty strange around here," he said as we sat in
chairs opposite him.  "You have a new boyfriend who sleeps in the attic,
drinks pig's blood and keeps the shades drawn.  Either he's a psychopath,
hiding from the police or some sort of creature from a B movie, no
offense," he said with a glance to me.

"None taken," I replied, not having any idea what the reference meant.

"You're partly right, Davey," Sarah said.  "He's not a psychopath.  Jeff is
one hundred and fifty-five years old.  He's a vampire."

David began to laugh, and then he stopped and looked shocked.  "You're
serious.  You really think this guy is... oh my God, Sarah.  He's just..."

"I'm afraid it's true," I admitted.  "My father tried to murder me in 1823.
But instead, the creature he found to do the job turned me into the living
dead.  That is why I drink pig's blood."

David's face was one of incredulity.  It was obvious he did not believe us.
"Didn't you wonder at how cold he was?" Sarah asked.  "Or why we keep it
dark in here?"  "Well..."  We could see that her brother was beginning to
doubt his certainty that this was some sort of joke.  "I guess I'm off
after all.  I thought he was gay, but he's just a two hundred year old
vampire."  The hysteria began creeping into the edge of his voice.

Sarah suddenly turned to look at me.  "David, you thought he was gay?"

"I'm only 155, and do I not understand that term?" I asked.  "You said your
brother was gay.  I thought it was because he laughed and smiled so much."

Sarah began to laugh.  "No, Jeff, today the term gay means a homosexual."
She saw the blank look on my face as I tried to digest what she was saying.
"You know, someone who likes people of the same gender.  Surely you had
homosexuals in your time."

I quickly stood and walked to the window, staring at the drawn curtains.
"Jeff," Sarah said firmly.  "I know it was probably thought to be a very
bad thing in your time, but there are some people who are just that way.
David didn't mean to insult you, and I won't have you treating my brother
badly because of his preference for men."

I turned and looked at David, his face still a picture of confusion and
disbelief.  Sarah's brother seemed so normal, not an abomination.  "You are
a homosexual, and you admit it openly?" I asked him.  I then turned to
Sarah.  "Your brother likes men?  And you find this acceptable?"

She nodded, a frown still lining her brow.  "You had better not say
anything negative about it.  I know you were brought up in a different
culture, but I won't stand for any bigotry."

"But that was why my father hated me, and why I was cursed," I said,
astonishment in my voice.  "My father caught me in the arms of another
man."

"You're gay?" she exclaimed.  "That explains so much."

"I knew I wasn't off," David laughed, and then quickly looked concerned.
"But what's this shit about being a two hundred year old vampire?"

"One hundred and fifty-five and it is true," I admitted.  "I've spent the
last one hundred and thirty-two years locked in a crypt.  My first act when
released was to murder a man."

"It was the guy who tried to rape me," Sarah quickly added.  "I told you
about that."

"You didn't say he murdered the guy!"  David quickly stood and began to
pace the room.  "You guys are putting me on.  This is some sort of crazy
joke."

"Leave it to me to fall in love with a gay vampire," Sarah muttered, more
to herself.

I fell into a chair beside Sarah just as David fell back onto the couch.
"This is quite an astounding world I've come into," I said to them in
astonishment.

"I guess we deserve each other," Sarah laughed after a moment.  "We are
truly a confused family.  I have one younger brother who is gay and an
adopted older, much older brother who is a gay vampire"

"So you really think you're a vampire?"  David asked with a slight tone of
sarcasm in his voice.  "Do you kill people and suck their blood?  Should I
be worried?"  I told him the only person I had ever killed was the man who
tried to assault his sister.  Since then I had been a strict 'vegetarian,'
living on pig's blood.  David just laughed.  We talked long into the
afternoon.  I told them the whole story about Armand and my father.  Sarah
just shook her head.  David told us about his feelings, how he had always
felt different.  What a strange new world we lived in.  "Well I'll give you
one thing," David finally said.  "If you aren't two hundred years old, you
sure do know your history."

"One hundred and fifty-five," I corrected him for the third time, causing
both he and his sister to burst into laughter.  David suddenly got an
excited look in his eyes.  "Tonight, you and I are going out.  I can't wait
to take you to private club I know."  He explained that this was a place
where lots of gay people socialized.  I wasn't sure this was a good idea.
I was, after all, a vampire.  Not only did I have urges toward other men,
but I had urges toward blood lust that I had to keep suppressed.  I had
been doing what I thought was a good job of fitting into this strange new
world, but how was I to behave in an establishment full of uninhibited men.
The truth was I wasn't sure how to act around these humans.  I may be one
hundred and fifty-five years old, but for all that, I was still a virgin in
many different senses of the word.  How different my life would have been
if I had been born into this century.

* * *

David hailed a cab for us and we headed into the heart of the Richmond
business district.  As we rode along I asked where we were going.  "We're
going to a bar," David answered.  "It's time we went out and had some fun."
Sarah explained about the bar.  It was a place where a lot of other people
with similar interests and tastes socialized, but I was confused.  I asked
if it was designed for gay people to socialize in, why had she come along.
Would she not be out of place?  But David just laughed and said she would
be our chaperone.  She admitted that she had gone with him to this club
before and enjoyed music.  There were a few other straight couples who
socialized there, but the clientele was predominantly gay.  Sarah admitted
that she often had to go home alone if David found someone else to leave
with.  This certainly seemed inappropriate to me and I determined that we
would all leave together, or at the very least I would accompany Sarah, not
letting her leave such a place alone.

There, in the middle of tall office buildings was a door surrounded by
ropes of light.  A name seemed to be written in a glowing cursive, "The
Pink Collar."  Sarah paid the driver and the three of us stepped out onto
the paving stones.  David pulled me toward the door, and soon we entered
the establishment, stopping to pay a cover charge at the entrance, and then
stepped into a fairyland of sensory stimulation.  Inside the door was a
dimly lit lounge area flanked on one side by a long bar and the other side
by more of the strange ropes of lights surrounding a mural depicting a
picture of two men in Greek togas embracing.  At the far end of the bar was
another huge room with a dance floor.  Dim lights lit an area where a large
group of tightly packed men were gyrating to a cacophonous sound.  It was a
cross between a tribal drum beat and the tortured sound of metal being
destroyed.

David ordered drinks at the bar and the three of us moved to the room with
the dancers, finding seats at a table along the wall.  I took a sip of my
drink and nearly gagged.  It tasted like Scotch, but was so unpalatable
that I coughed and choked.  "Too strong for you?" David shouted over the
noise.  I merely nodded my head.  I was learning that anything other than
blood or water didn't seem to agree with me at all.  David grinned and
shook his head, no doubt laughing at the thought that I could drink pig's
blood from their refrigerator but choked at the taste of alcohol.  "Do you
want to dance?" he asked.

I was shocked.  I'd never danced with a man before.  I shook my head.  "I
don't know how to do this," I shouted back.

"Come on, I'll show you," David insisted and pulled me to my feet and into
the crowd.  "Follow my moves," David yelled and began rocking back and
forth, holding my hands and swinging me around in the tempo of the drum
beat.  I tried to do the same as the others I saw on the dance floor but
felt extremely awkward.  This was a far cry from the dances I had attended
in my youth.  What would Armand and Felicity have thought to see me
bouncing in rhythm with this strange crowd?

Many of the other dancers wore skin tight white shirts that looked more
like underwear than proper attire for public.  I found this even more
enticing and tried to focus on David instead of letting my eyes wander.
But I kept getting distracted by the constant jostling from the crowd.  It
seemed that strange men were always bumping up against me.  I thought that
it was my clumsy dancing that was causing me to get in the way of others,
but after I apologized several times, I saw the smiles on their faces and
began to realize that the bumping and touching must be intentional.  The
sound finally died down and holding David's hand, I quickly pulled him back
to our table before the loud music, if one could call it that began again.

"David!  David Kitterage!" a voice screamed over the sound of the room.  We
turned to see an older man dressed in a flamboyantly colored shirt and
wearing an earring like a pirate waving at David.  He quickly made his way
to our side and gave David a hug and kissed him on the lips.  I was shocked
to see such open display and quickly turned aside.  To my extreme surprise,
no one else in the area seemed to take any notice of this aberrant
behavior.  "Who is this fabulous creature?" the stranger asked in an oddly
musical voice.  "Where did you find him?  He's gorgeous."

"Neil, this is Jeff, Jeff, Neil."  David introduced us and I uncomfortably
reached out my hand to shake the newcomer's, but instead the man grabbed me
and pulled him tightly against his body, slamming his lips to mine.  I
pushed him back none to gently and he made an odd sound like a cat in heat.
My vampire body reacted violently.  I could feel the blood warm in my veins
as my throat began to burn and my mouth to salivate.

"Oh Jeffrey, I want to have your baby!" he said.  Had I been able to blush
I surely would have.

"Cool it, Neil," David warned.  He could see my discomfort and perhaps
understood the danger this situation was causing.  "Jeff isn't used to this
sort of place."

"Oh, I am sorry, a straight boy.  What are you doing with this old queer,
Jeffrey?"

"The name is Jefferson," I corrected him.

"Well if you ever need to try a walk on the wild side I'd love to be your
tour guide."  The strange man then reached down and grabbed my genitals.
Before I could react, he had melted back into the crowd.  It must have been
obvious that this sort of behavior was a shock to a man from a century out
of time.

David quickly pulled me back to the table.  "I am sorry about him," he
apologized.  "I wanted you to see what it was to be gay in the modern age,
but I guess you weren't quite ready for that."

"Indeed not," I agreed.

"Calm down, buddy.  Your eyes are kind of turning red.  It's absolutely
spooky," David said.

"Was that Neil?" Sarah asked.  "Oh my God, David, how could you let someone
like that near Jeff?"  She then reached out and took my hand.  "Jeff, if
you ever want to rip someone's throat out, he's the perfect person to
practice on."  I could tell she was joking, but I also could tell she
didn't like the strange man.  They had no idea how close I was to doing
just as Sarah had suggested.  I took another swig of the alcohol which
brought on another round of coughing, distracting me from the wild animal
urges I was feeling.  If this is what it meant to be gay in the 20th
century I wasn't sure I wanted any part of it.  Everything seemed a bit too
open and exposed.  The odd little man was much too forward for my taste,
but I had to admit, this was definitely a unique experience.

David excused himself and went off to dance with some old friends he knew
and left me and Sarah sitting alone at the table.  She asked me how I was
adapting to this place.  I truthfully admitted that I was having a bit of
trouble.  There were just too many sounds and lights to allow me to be
comfortable.  And how could anyone concentrate with that awful sound they
called music.  It was an overload to my senses making me feel jumpy.  She
apologized and told me that we could leave as soon as David came back.  I
looked for him on the dance floor but he was nowhere to be seen.

"Sweety," a high pitched voice called.  I jumped and turned to again see
the man David introduced coming to the table.

"Go away, Neil" Sarah said firmly.

"Oh I know where I'm not wanted.  I just thought I'd tell you that your
little brother is in trouble.  I saw some guy pull him toward the restrooms
and he didn't look like he had to go."

I was instantly alert.  "Show me where this resting room is," he demanded,
jumping up from the table.

"I'll go get help," Sarah said as she hurried toward the bar.  Neil pointed
to a dark archway on the far wall.  I shoved my way, none to gently through
the crowded dancers and entered the darkened hallway beyond.

Inside the hallway smelled of sweat and lust combined with the smells of
urine.  It was very dimly lit compared to the dance floor but my enhanced
vision allowed me to see clearly.  There were niches and corners with
benches, most of them occupied by men in couples.  They were touching and
kissing and performing all sorts of acts for which they would be burned at
the stake in my era.  He had never seen such open displays of debauchery.
But I shook my head to focus and followed the clear scent of David.  I
could tell my friend had come through this room and I continued on toward
the back.  At the end of a narrow hallway were three doors.  One had the
word "Men" written on it, and one said "Ladies."  I assumed these were
interior out houses similar to the bathroom that Sarah had at her home.  A
continual line of men seemed to be coming and going through the door so
labeled.  The third door had no such label, but it was the one that seemed
to block David's scent, and my path.  I stopped beside it and listened for
a moment.  I had no desire to interrupt if David had willingly joined
others for some sort of perverse sexual release.

"You got a lot of nerve showing your face here after last summer," a man
growled.

"I told you it was over," he could hear David say.

"I think you owe me, Davey.  It's over when I say it's over," and then I
heard the unmistakable sound of a fist making contact with something soft,
followed by a groan.

That was all the invitation I needed.  I grasped the handle and found the
door locked, so I simply pushed a bit harder and with a loud sound of
splitting wood, it opened.  Inside a small storage room was a scene frozen
in time.  Two thugs were holding my friend and a third man had obviously
just punched him in the stomach.  Once again time seemed to slow to a crawl
as I moved.  With an angry growl I crossed the room before they were even
aware that the door had opened.  I grabbed the man who had just delivered
the blow and tossed him back into a wall as if he were a rag doll.  I could
see the surprise on one to the two thugs' faces as I smashed my fist into
one, then the other.  Released from their grip, David fell forward into my
arms.  I gently lifted David and began to carry him toward the door.

Apparently things had returned to normal enough for the thugs to realize
what was going on.  One grabbed a chair and smashed it over my head,
knocking us to the floor.  I pushed David into the corner then turned on my
attacker, grabbing him by the throat and pinning him against the wall.  An
animal growl came from the pit of my soul and my lips curled back over my
teeth.  I could see the fear in the man's eyes and I could feel his pulse
beneath my hand.  I could think of nothing but ripping his neck open to
drink that hot blood.  Everything seemed tinged in a red haze.  "No, Jeff,
let him go," a voice said.  I turned to see Sarah pulling on my arm.

Another growl came from my throat and I had to shake my head violently to
try and stifle the urges I was feeling.  But Sarah held on to me and gave
me a rock of stability on which to focus.  I slowly relaxed my grip and
allowed the man to slide down the wall until his feet touched the floor.
"Time for you to go, buddy.  You've caused enough trouble here," a big man
standing behind Sarah said, and grabbed me by the collar, pulling me back
from my intended victim.

"No, he was only helping my brother," Sarah tried to explain, but the big
guy shoved us both toward the door.  David had already recovered enough to
stand there and joined us as we were roughly pushed back into the darkened
room beyond.  I thought to turn on this large man, but Sarah grabbed my arm
and David leaned weakly on my other side, so I allowed us to be pushed out
toward the dance floor.  Most of the men who were engaged in intimate
contacts in the darkened hallway seemed to have vanished, no doubt
frightened by the rather noisy altercation.

The crowds on the dance floor parted as we made our way out of the hallway
and through the dancers toward the main entrance.  I felt as if all eyes
were upon us as we passed through the throng, and looking up, suddenly
spotted something familiar in the crowd.  Deep brown eyes stared at me from
the back of the crowd and a pang of instant recognition hit me, almost
doubling me over.  I blinked and looked again but the owner of those eyes
was gone.  "Keep moving," the big man said and gave me another shove from
behind.  I thought again to turn and fight, but Sarah and David pulled and
tugged me rapidly toward the door.

Once out into the fresh night air, my head seemed to clear.  "David, are
you alright?" Sarah was asking her brother as they rested on the sidewalk
outside the establishment.  I turned to my friends with concern.

"I'll be okay," David said, still holding his stomach.  "Let's just go
home.  I think I've had enough fun for one evening."

Sarah quickly hailed a cab and we climbed in to return home.

"Who were those men?" Sarah demanded as soon as we were settled in the back
seat.

"One guy was a persistent boyfriend from last summer," came the answer.
"He owns the club.  We had a short fling and he somehow got the idea he
owned me.  It was a messy breakup right before I returned to school."
David then turned to look at me.  "My hero!  Thank you for coming to my
rescue," he said.  "You must really be fast and strong.  I didn't even see
you.  The door burst open and the next thing I knew I was on the floor and
you were holding that guy by the throat."

"You're just lucky you weren't hurt more seriously," Sarah admonished her
brother.  She then turned to me.  "And you could have killed those men.  If
I hadn't got the bouncer..."

"Yeah, he was a big help," David said sarcastically.  "He thought we were
the bad guys."

"At least he got us out of there," she said.  "Did you see how Jeff had
that man pinned to the wall?  And he was growling like a wild animal.  I
thought he was going to kill him."  She then turned and gave me an odd
look.  "What's wrong?  Are you okay now?"

"Wrong?" I repeated.

"I know your moods.  Something is bothering you.  Was it the fight?"

"I thought I ..."  I stopped for a moment, trying to organize my thoughts.
"I saw someone in the crowd, someone I knew.  His eyes anyway..."

"Jeff, you don't know anyone here," Sarah said, gently.

"I know, but for a moment I would swear those eyes. . . They belonged to
. . ."

"Who?" David asked.

"It cannot be.  I must have been mistaken.  The person I thought I saw has
been dead for at least one hundred and fifty years."

When we got home, Sarah went right to bed, but David pulled me down onto
the couch beside him.  "Who did you think you saw?" he asked.

"I could swear those eyes belonged to Armand," I replied, sipping a glass
of blood.

"Your lover?"

I let out a strangled laugh.  "Lover?  We shared one kiss.  I saw a lot
more than that just walking through that dark hallway tonight."

For a moment my new brother looked at me with a kind of wonder on his face.
"One kiss?" he repeated.  "Jeff, how many men have you kissed?" David
asked.

I was a little shocked.  I kept being surprised by the openness of this new
era.  "Not including that strange man you introduced me to this evening,
just the one," I replied.

"And how many girls have you kissed," David persisted.

"Counting my mother and sisters?"

"No, not counting them."

I was acutely uncomfortable with this line of questioning.  "Well, actually
none."

"What about Felicity, your fianc‚?"

"In my day a man courted a woman slowly," I replied.  "We may have
eventually shared a kiss..."

"Are you a virgin?!"  David had a look of incredulity on his face.

"One doesn't usually speak of such things in public," I answered.

"But are you?" he persisted.

"Yes," came the answer.  "You sound as if you think this so strange."

"Well in this day it is.  Most guys lose their virginity before they're out
of junior high."

"I don't know what junior high is, but we did things a bit more slowly in
my day."

David suddenly pulled me over on top of him.  "You don't know what you're
missing," he said and firmly kissed me on the lips.  For a moment I
couldn't breathe, not that I needed to.  But the room seemed to spin and
David pressed his warm, sensual lips to my cold ones.  Our lips parted and
I felt David's tongue invade my mouth.  I was in sheer heaven with the
excitement of the moment.  I felt his tongue exploring my canine teeth,
then dueling with my own as I tried to slide my tongue into his mouth in
return.  I couldn't believe that another man was kissing me willingly, and
with such passion.  I felt the burning at the back of my throat and had an
urge to bite down.

I broke the kiss and quickly sat up.  "What's wrong?" David asked.

"I'm not sure we should be doing this," I replied.  Something in the back
of my mind nagged me, a hidden bit of guilt left over from my previous life
accompanied by the knowledge that I could so easily kill my friend.  But
David just stood up, took his hand and led me to the bedroom.  Once inside,
he shut the door behind us and began to remove my shirt while kissing me
again.

He slowly and sensuously kissed my pale chest and said, "You are still so
cold.  I'll have to try and warm you up."

"I'm not sure that is possible," I answered truthfully.

"Let's see if this doesn't warm you," David said playfully and began to
undress before me.  My body temperature may not have changed, but I could
feel the passion rise in me and my body began to respond physically.  When
David was totally naked, he dropped to his knees and began to remove my
trousers.  I leaned back against the closed door and gave myself over to
another new experience.

Little did we realize that outside our house a pair of soft brown eyes
stared up at the bedroom window.  The owner of those eyes then made his way
to a pay phone.  He quickly dialed a number and spoke rapidly into it.
"Father, I've found someone you would never have guessed."

 

 

 

 

 

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