The club was packed. We'd lost most of the people we'd come with but that didn't stop Meg and I from dancing like crazy to the dance track being blared out by the DJ. She was wearing her favourite Little Black Dress and I my trademark red version, and as a consequence we were attracting quite a bit of male attention. Meg revelled in it and began bumping and grinding with some rugby player we'd met earlier. I gave her a wink carried on dancing on my own, until I felt a hand circle my waist.
"Such a beautiful girl should not be dancing on her own."
I smiled at the compliment and turned around to face my admirer. My smile vanished as I looked into cold, dark eyes. The guy was about 6"2 with black hair that flopped lazily over his forehead. He was good looking, almost too good looking, with a hint of designer stubble and hard muscles pressing against me. There was a smile on his lips but it didn't meet his eyes. Those cold, dead eyes, which despite his appealing exterior were screaming danger.
I managed to free myself from his grasp and mutter something along the lines of "no thanks", but he grasped me again around the waist, pulling me too close to his lethal body.
"Come on baby, just one dance,"
I began to panic but luckily I was roughly pulled backwards to find Meg's dance partner next to me glaring at Mr Dark and Dangerous. He put up his hands in resignation and melted back into the crowd.
"You ok babe?" Meg asked, concern etched on her face.
"Yeah, just another creep who doesn't understand personal space," I said trying to laugh it off. Meg obviously bought it as she turned back to her guy, but I was more disturbed than I wanted to let on. There was something wrong about that guy, something different than the occasional creepy lech that you encounter in nightclubs. Something dangerous. I like a Bad Boy as much as the next girl but the hair on the back of my neck was still standing on end.
The song ended and was replaced with a cheesy pop song from the 90s that Meg and I happened to love, and were soon blaring out to each other at the tops of our voices, vanquishing any residual thoughts of Mr D&D.
After an hour or so more of dancing I needed a break and slipped away to the bar. It was late and the dance floor was starting to thin meaning that I had the chance to survey the remaining crowd. There was a very drunk blonde girl propped up in the corner. I inwardly cursed her friends for leaving her like that. My attentions returned to the bar and I paid for my bottled water. As I headed back towards Meg I saw the blonde girl finally being helped up and I inwardly apologised for my cursing of her friends. It was then that I froze. Instead of being led out of the front entrance, she was being taken out through a back door by a tall, muscular figure with black, unkempt hair. Him.
I ignored all my self-preservation instincts and followed. I managed to slip through the door before it clicked shut and hide in the shadows whilst my eyes adjusted. The scene in front of me made me gag. He held the girl up against the wall as if she was as inconsequential as a rag doll, his face buried in his neck. I hesitated for a second wondering just why I had followed them when I heard her moan, a pitiful and pained moan. Instinct kicked in again and I picked up an ashtray at my feet, presumably left by some staff member with a habit, took aim, and threw. It struck his head with sickly crack and I relaxed, mentally noting to thank my dad for years of cricket practice. Mr D&D stumbled back, dropping the girl causing her to regain full consciousness. She looked me in the eyes before looking back at her attacker. He was regaining his composure and turned to face me, a look of unadulterated anger flashing across his face. I didn't understand, a shot like that would have floored men twice his size, but he shook it off as if I'd thrown a tennis ball.
"RUN!" I managed to cry to the girl, who didn't need telling twice, before he came running towards me and faster than I would have dreamed possible he reached me and had me pinned to the wall. I resolutely met his gaze trying to suppress the fear that was coursing through me.
"Well then, are you going to rape me instead then?" I asked trying to cover up the quiver in my voice.
"Rape? Oh believe me babe, I have no interest in that," he replied with an arrogant smirk across his lips, "nice shot by the way." he added, the smirk getting wider.
"What can I say, I'm a tomboy." I replied, surprised at my own bravado given the situation.
"Well, as you rather rudely interrupted my dinner, you'll have to do as dessert," and before I had time to fully comprehend his words, his lips opened and I saw his canine teeth descending to twice the normal length they should be.
"I could make this quick, I could make it painless, I could even make you forget it ever happened, but after your little stunt back there I don't think you deserve it," and with that his teeth, surely non-human teeth, sank into my neck. Pain shot through my body, racking my nervous system until even the tips of my toes were in agony. I could feel the flesh and sinew of my neck being torn as he drank, actually DRANK, my blood. But I refused to scream, I barely even moved. I was not going to give this monster the satisfaction of my defeat. I stared straight ahead at the wall of the alley until he finally pulled back. He looked at me with eyes full of something that looked like confusion.
"You didn't scream," he said. A statement, not a question, yet his head was cocked in a way that seemed to prompt an answer.
"I don't give psychos the satisfaction of being scared of them." I replied, not quite sure why I was goading him with name calling, but instead of getting angry he smiled.
"I'm not a psycho babe, I'm a vampire," and with that he was gone, a slight breeze rustling the September leaves at my feet.
A sob hitched in my throat but I forced it back. I pressed my fingers to the two puncture wounds in my neck. Vampire? Could it be true? The holes were rapidly healing, skin knitting back together, even under my touch. Vampires. Realisation bounced around my head. The alternative that a human had just drank my blood with magically elongating canines disturbed me more, and I found myself calmly accepting the existence of vampires, the stuff of fantasies, nightmares, and more recently, teenage girl obsession.
I traced the now perfect skin of my neck realising that any trace of my vampire had disappeared. I slowly headed back inside locating Meg easily enough sitting with her rugby player, giggling in a corner. I hated to rain on her parade but I needed to go home, the loss of blood making me feel like I'd drank far more than I had.
"What's up Scarlet, you look like you've seen a ghost?" Meg asked as she took in my ashen complexion. I smiled at her reference to ghosts. Wrong nightmare I thought wryly. I plastered a fake smile on my face before answering.
"I'm fine, I just think I've drank more than I should have. I'll get a taxi back to halls and see you later, or tomorrow," I revised as I saw her steal a glance at her new boy toy.
"OK, be careful," she said in afarewell.
As I got into a taxi waiting outside and gave my address to the driver, I finally let one solitary tear roll down my cheek. Just one.