Uh. brigits_flame. Prompt "wine." Not edited in the slightest, because I didn't want to put eltea through the disgusting travesty of prose below. XD
Apologies first to Vincent, who never did anything to deserve being treated this way, and to richelle2972, who has been wanting me to write about him again since... ever... and definitely ought to have gotten better than this. XD
Please excuse the insanity. I haven't slept much this week. And won't be sleeping much tonight, now...
**EPIC FAIL ADDENDUM -- the climactic line was eltea's idea, and I completely fail at French at two-thirty in the morning. XD Please ignore my idiocy.**
**EFA II -- managed not to copy and paste the first line. I'm actually impressed with how hard I failed on this one...**
Boredom was a wretched thing.
And a damned persistent one.
Vincent slung his feet up on the desk, admired the way the lamplight played on the Italian leather of his boots, and swirled the exquisite Merlot loitering in his glass.
He was going to do something stupid, wasn’t he?
Vincent set his feet back on the floor—arguably where they belonged—and put his weight on them.
“Ah, l’ennui,” he remarked absently, pale lips twisting into the thin smile he’d perfected a very many years ago. “Comme tu es bel. I do so wish you wouldn’t tempt me.”
The darkness parted for him, streetlamps’ benedictions wavering in the depth of the night. Shadow-lace clouds veiled the moon.
Listening to the crickets go silent as his heels struck up a rapport with the pavement, he mused that perhaps wandering the Earth for two and a half centuries earned one some deference.
Then again, the veneration of crickets wasn’t particularly impressive.
What he needed was larger prey—larger, fatter, warmer. It was all very simple, really; the greater the size of the animal, the greater the volume of its veins. Direct proportionality and all that.
And the wilder the struggle, the richer the wine.
The keening of distant sirens made him wonder a moment, and the quibbling of doves in an olive tree by the roadside sent him running his tongue over his teeth. He liked killing doves. They were wonderfully soft things, first of all; and, perhaps more importantly, the blatant symbolic significance amused him far more than it should have.
Vincent Duval had never claimed that he was not a sadist. That would have been a heinous lie.
He grinned a little wider, and half-muffled moonlight gleamed on his fangs.
Not much was open at this hour, but the clubs were still seething, vermin of both ordinary and supernatural persuasions spilling out into the street, the moon bleaching them indiscriminately to monochrome. Vincent moved through their ranks as if the sidewalk were empty; intoxicated or not, they could smell him—could scent the black ichor that forged its sluggish way through his veins—and moved hastily out of his way. In this part of the town, most of the populace sensed a predator before they ever saw one.
The good predators, of course, were only seen when they wished to be.
A bouncer whose face combined the worst attributes of toad and pit-bull offered him a nod-shrug gesture, which Vincent acknowledged with a fraction of a wave.
Ah, the nuances of body language. Such finesse.
As the pulsing cluster of mediocre dancers fragmented enough to allow him a perfect pathway, Vincent wondered if it was blasphemous to measure himself mentally against Moses. Smirking, he remembered that he needn’t worry, given the whole Eternal Damnation portion of the program.
It would have been blazoned in glorious fine print if there had been a contract, but the hungry vampire who had indulged in the fluids of a certain penniless drunkard (who had been lying unconscious in the gutter at the time, as it was) hadn’t proffered any such document first.
Then again, no one sued restaurants over hot coffee in 1785.
Vincent had been illiterate then anyway.
He sat with his back to the bar, nursing a new glass of wine and an inkling of a headache.
Oh, mon cher ennui. Now look what you’ve done.
He supposed it was better to be bored here than to be bored at home.
A girl who would have been consigned to the stocks for her raiment (or, rather, her lack thereof) in Vincent’s day flounced over and managed not to miss the barstool she sought.
Vincent sniffed disinterestedly. Human. Flooded with adrenaline. Irretrievably wasted.
“I’ve never been here before tonight!” the girl announced.
Was she talking to him? Hell.
Her eyes were bright, her glossy grin was blinding, and flecks of mascara dotted her cheeks to testify to her cosmetic zealotry. “So what are you?” she prompted.
Before Vincent could figure out how to phrase Your worst nightmare to ideal dramatic effect, she was squealing.
“Are you a vampire?” she demanded.
Vincent attempted not to flinch. He very badly wished he was something she didn’t like. Like a manticore. Or a cockroach.
His prayers had no noticeable effect.
Oh, yes. Eternal Damnation. Right.
“Yes,” he managed to reply.
Her eyes went very round, and her face went very solemn. “Do you bite people?” she whispered.
Even without the absurdly sharp hearing the music had lately been abusing, even without two-hundred-and-fifty-odd years of watching people speak, Vincent would have known very well what she had said simply by virtue of her expression.
What was it about feeding that made the concept so difficult to understand? How was it any different from humans slaughtering livestock?
It was fairly likely that there was a detailed ethical debate lurking about the subject, but Vincent preferred not to have PETA breathing down his neck.
Or the FBI.
Or both at once.
Yes, that might prove unpleasant.
“I do,” he confirmed reluctantly.
The girl gazed at him for a long moment, rapt and rapturous. After a long silence, which Vincent spent attempting to determine where he might run that she couldn’t follow, his tormentor gave voice to her question at last.
“Will you turn me into a vampire?” she breathed.
He stared at her.
What were they feeding them these days?
“I would rather rub garlic on a stake and throw myself upon it,” he answered.
It was the truth; vampiredom in general would be better off losing him than gaining her. He’d be damned if—
Well, that was a foregone conclusion.
The girl’s bottom lip protruded as she fixed him with her best pair of puppy eyes.
Little did she know that vampires were quite immune to the tactic; the werewolves had been at it for eons.
“Don’t tell me,” she begged, “that you don’t sparkle, eith—”
Before he could stop himself, Vincent Duval had upended his wineglass over her head.
He made a graceful exit before anyone could process the incident. The streetlamps seemed a bit more disapproving as he started home, and he eyed them mutinously. Who were they to judge? It wasn’t as though anyone expected them to alter the basic tenets of their existence to adjust for popular literature.
Vincent huffed. Now he really was going to kill something.
Next time, he’d just be bored at home. At home, he was the only psychotic freak he had to worry about.