She applied her lipstick with the kind of accuracy a great painter may have when painting a masterpiece. She slipped the cap back on and slid into her leather jacket. Her wild red hair was even redder against the black of the leather and the white of her cheeks.
She grabbed her bag and headed out of the small motel room, making sure to lock it behind her. She had only planned to stay in this crummy motel for only a few days, but that quickly turned into a month. She hadn’t realized her stay would last so long. She was looking for a new life. It was only available through the relocation program the law had to offer. She couldn’t have a name, or a hometown, or even a face. She was just another one of the victims.
The evening sky was purple, but the city lights gave it a tint of gold that made everything seem less dark. Her heels clicked on the dirty sidewalk. She glanced up and took a look at the giant tower and smiled. This city was beautiful.
She found a spot in the grass that wasn’t occupied by tourists and pulled out her book. The hard surface of the cover brought a comforting sensation to her. Old things reminded her of home; the home she was forced to leave behind. She read by the lights of a nearby café.
“Ah. The Great Gatsby. An American classic.”
She glanced up to see who had spoken to her. It was a younger man, roguish in his appearance, but pretty well dressed. His brown eyes glowed in the sparkle of the evening light and he spoke with a French accent. It made him seem all the more cultured.
She smiled politely and replied, “It’s one of my favorites. I love tragedies.”
“Ah, so you’re American as well.” He took a seat next to her in the grass, his cool disposition spreading over her. “Why is there such sadness in such a young heart?” He asked charmingly.
Her cheeks flushed and he grinned at that.
“Je m’appelle Christian. Et toi?”
She giggled in the presence of his French. She thought about telling him her name, but then she remembered her past. She can’t let anyone know who she is. She couldn’t reveal her secrets. “Just call me Jane.”
The scent of Christian drew her to him. The thin lips twisted up into a smile, but some of the warmth had left. His toothy grin made her nervous. There was something slightly different about it now. She couldn’t quite place it though.
“So why The Great Gatsby?” Christian asked, casually reaching across her to get a closer look at the book. She noticed his exposed arm, white and translucent.
She was distracted when she replied, “Like I said. Tragedies are my favorite.”
He nodded, calculatingly. “Well all would agree that Gatsby’s fate is the most tragic.”
She thought about it, looking at the books in her hands. “Yeah, I guess. But not in the sense that most people would take it. Gatsby spent his entire life trying to live up to the expectations of the woman he loves, but she could never return that love to him. That green light at the end of the dock was nothing more than a far away dream.”
Christian nodded again, and said, “You speak beautiful things, Jane.”
She felt like she could trust Christian, but again there was that nagging sense to get away from him. But yet, she couldn’t find it in herself to get away. She was hooked and he was just reeling her in. Before she could stop herself, she blurted out, “Want to get some dinner?”
Christian paused and again with a smile. “I could go for a bite.”
The evening wasted away as they had dinner and then visited a local used bookstore. Against her will, Christian ended up buying her a copy of another tragic romance: Romeo and Juliet. It was in French, but she appreciated it all the same. As he handed her the worn paperback he whispered to her, “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars as daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven would through the airy region stream so bright that birds would sing and think it were not night.” The thought of this near stranger whispering the words of one of history’s most infamous love stories sent shivers through her.
They eventually found themselves back by the Eiffel Tower. It must have been nearing midnight, but she didn’t feel tired and Christian was relentless in his escapades of intimacy. In a spur of the moment decision, Christian bought them tickets and they went to the peak of the tower. She stepped out nervously onto the grating.
“I think I’ll just stay here,” She whispered timidly, but Christian wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
“Just get up to the railing,” he snaked his pallid arm around her waist. “I won’t let you fall. I swear.”
She stared up at him through long dark eyelashes. “Are you sure?”
A smirk slid into his lips and he gave a slight nod.
They were mostly alone on the outlook and she liked it better that way. She wasn’t really one for PDA’s anyway.
She took a few more timid steps and was against the outlook railing. The city stretched out below her into infinity. For just the slightest second, she thought she was flying. Christian nuzzled his nose into her neck and whispered, “Not as bad as you thought?”
“Not at all,” She said. “It’s beautiful.”
Christian kept his steel grip on her waist, but it seemed more forceful; more intense rather than intimate. His nuzzling soon turned to kisses and her pulse quickened. He hesitated for a moment, clearly interested in her reaction to his closeness.
She thought about pulling away, but again there was something pulling her to him. He was like his own force of gravity and she was caught in his orbit. The kisses then began again, more intense and passionate.
“No,” She whispered.
“What was that?” He asked, while still kissing her.
She broke free of him, stumbling away. “Get away from me.”
Christian looked confused, then angry and reached out for her. “I don’t understand.”
“Get away from me,” She repeated a little louder this time.
He grabbed for her and snatched her arm. He pulled her to him and he began kissing her, painfully this time. She pushed against him but his grip on her was solid.
She could hear the pounding of his heart and taste the sweat on his summer lips. She couldn’t resist anymore.
With an astounding precision, she lunged at his jugular, letting her elongated fangs sink into his exposed neck. He let out a muffled yelp, but she was already drinking too heavily for him to react any further.
With a thump Christian fell to the grating of the outlook, cold as ice.
She wiped her lips with her fingers, allowing some of the crimson liquid to stain her skin. She liked the way red looked on her. It suited her. She removed a small vial from her coat pocket and let some of the blood dripping from Christian’s neck fill the tiny case.
She took the elevator back down to the base of the tower and returned to her hotel room. She unlocked the door and laid her effects on the faded sheets of the bed. She stepped into the shower and let the hot water fall on her. It washed away the blood still remaining on her hands and the touch of Christian’s skin. She had finally fallen asleep near three o’clock; the witching hour.
When she awoke it was evening again. She slid into her leather jacket and splayed her hair across her shoulders. Her wild red hair was even redder against the black of the leather and the white of her cheeks. She removed the vial from her pocket and dabbed some of it onto her fingers. She applied the liquid to her lips with the kind of accuracy a great painter may have when painting a masterpiece.
She grabbed her bag and headed out of the small motel room, making sure to lock it behind her. The evening sky was purple, but the city lights gave it a tint of gold that made everything seem less dark. Her heels clicked on the dirty sidewalk. She glanced up and took a look at the giant tower and smiled.
She found a spot in the grass and pulled out her book.
“Romeo and Juliet? A bit tragic, don’t you think?”
She glanced up at the young man who gave off an undeniable confidence and intense curiosity. He was good-looking and she liked the way he held himself.
She smiled politely and replied, “It’s one of my favorites. I love tragedies.”
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