Vinny pauses, turning back. He’d heard something. Something almost too quiet to hear, like whispering or muttering just below the surface of his hearing. He cocks his head, trying to locate the source of the sound. He lifts the headphones around his neck up to his ear, wondering if he’s getting some weird static on the bluetooth. But they’re silent.
They’re in a tiny church in the middle of the city. Vinny had signed up for the conference almost on a whim. No one else from his course had, but it’s not like he knows any of them that well either. Everyone on this trip was older and he felt a little self-conscious. But it was basically a free trip to Europe, and all he had to do in exchange was attend a couple of extremely dry seminars on Network Engineering.
Vinny takes a step back the way he’d come, closer to the wall of plaques, and he hears the sound again. He stills, tipping his head as his eyes run across the carved names. There’s one, right in the centre, that looks like it has some dark-coloured dried paste or ash smudged all around the outer edge of the stone. Vinny’s not sure if it’s to protect or seal it.
Vinny lifts a hand, tracing his fingertip around the curve of the C that’s the beginning of the occupant’s name. The stone feels like curved ice.
‘Oh?’ says a voice behind him. Vinny flinches, turning sharply. ‘You like that one? You better be careful.’ It’s their ‘tour guide’ who’s actually the conference organiser and, in Vinny’s opinion, far too attractive to be a tour guide or a networking engineer. Vinny feels his face heat.
‘I… um, I’m sorry,’ he mumbles, ‘I didn’t mean to um…’ He doesn’t mention the whispering. He didn’t dare. Someone had apparently clocked his meds in his washbag — and had a big mouth — because everyone on the trip had been treating him like an unexploded bomb. Vinny is used to it but that doesn't mean the ignorance doesn't sting. Vinny feels his face flush more but their host is smiling at him. He nods towards the plaque.
‘Buried with a stake in his heart, cursed to stalk the night as a vampire,’ he says, voice low, leaning into his accent as his dark eyes dance with amusement, looking at Vinny.
‘Really?’ Vinny says, pleased. He likes vampires. He always has. There’s something so theatrical about them; the blood and the darkness, and the death. It's the kind of thrill he's sorely missing in his current existence.
‘Indeed, yes,’ their guide tells him, with a gruesome smile, ‘like all wealthy landowners and absentee landlords at that time. Leeches in death, as in life.’
‘Eat the rich!’ someone jeers from the back of the group, and Vinny flinches again realising everyone has gathered to listen to their conversation.
Everyone laughs and Vinny laughs too, though the whispering has left him was a cold tingling feeling in his fingertips. Like the coldness of the tombstone has seeped into them.
They head back to the conference in the afternoon but Vinny can barely concentrate. He keeps thinking he can hear the whispering again. He’d dumped his headphones in the bedroom after lunch, somehow convinced it’s static. But even sitting in the warm, quiet of that afternoon’s lecture, Vinny’s mind keeps slipping back to the church and to the thought of the icy tomb.
Vinny doesn’t go to dinner that evening, though several people smile at him kindly and say he should. Vinny just flushes and gets more flustered; he doesn’t need to be coddled and taken care of. He goes up to his room, flipping open his laptop. He guesses the irony of having the conference in this hotel is that the wi-fi is patchy at best. Vinny’s planning on getting online for a few hours if he can, playing a couple of rounds of Halo.
He’s just digging his headphones out from where he’d shoved them under his pillow when a wave of fatigue hits him. It hits him so hard and so heavily that he lays down on the bed without even being bothered to turn the lights off and closes his eyes.
When he opens them again it’s much later, though he doesn’t know how he knows that. The room is dark, the only light emitting from under the door and the half-open screen of his laptop. Vinny sits up scrubbing a hand over his face, finger combing his long curling hair as he gets up and pads to the bathroom.
When he came back out the atmosphere of the room had changed. It was colder and Vinny rubbed the back of his arms, glancing around and noticing the window was thrown wide. Vinny feels his fingertips tingling as he reaches to close it. He’s almost certain it hadn’t been open before. He latches it and turns back and freezes.
There’s someone sitting in the chair by the door. Vinny yelps in shock, flinching back.
‘Now, now,’ the dark figure says, ‘there’s no need for that.’
‘Who are you?’ Vinny snaps, heart hammering against his ribs, ‘W-what are you doing in my room?’
‘It doesn’t matter,’ the man says as he stands. He’s much taller than Vinny and, in the light from the window behind him, Vinny can see his face is expressionless and bloodless framed by black hair and blacker eyes. They’re also gleaming red, Vinny realises with a jolt.
He scrambles back, gripping the window sill behind him. He looks around wildly. But the man is between him and the door. And he feels like jumping the fifty feet from the third-floor window would kind of defeat the purpose of escaping; swopping one certain death for another one.
‘Y-you can’t be in here,’ he says, trying to sound confident, while struggling to remember everything he could about fucking vampires. ‘You weren’t invited.’
The vampire laughs.
‘An old wives tale, I’m afraid little one,’ he says, mouth curving. Vinny can see the light catching on his fangs. Vinny can feel something cold, and hard settling in his stomach. He wonders if the window might be a better option after all.
The vampire advances towards him and Vinny, in a sudden streak of recklessness, decides he’s not going to die cowering in a corner. With a grunt of fuck it, he bolts for the door. The vampire catches him before he'd taken three steps. His hand closes on Vinny’s bicep like a trap and he spins him so he ends up bouncing on the bed.
Vinny screeches, heels digging into the mattress as he tries to shove himself away. The vampire catches his ankle and pulls. Vinny screams again, fighting with the sheets he’s got twisted around his waist.
‘Shush-shush-shush,’ the vampire says, climbing onto the bed as well as Vinny gives another scream and struggles. Vinny’s on his stomach and the vampire has a broad palm on the back of his neck.
‘C’mon, I’m not going to hurt you,’ he says, amusement curving his voice. Trying to gain any kind of help or attention, Vinny screams as loud and long as he can until his lungs are burning but it’s no use. It's muffled by the pillow his face is pressed into. So he changes tack.
‘Please,’ he gasps, forcing himself not to struggle, ‘—I can’t, please I can’t breathe—’ The hand on the back of his neck loosens and Vinny exhales in relief. But then he feels a body laying heavily against his back, and the vampire's humming is vibrating right through his chest.
‘Hm,’ says the vampire and Vinny feels a mouth on his hair, ‘now, isn’t this better?’ Vinny feels a knee between his thighs, nudging them apart so the vampire can lie between them more comfortably. His body is warmer than Vinny is expecting from a walking corpse. He can feel the warmth of it all down his back and the back on his thighs even through his sweats and t-shirt. Vinny shudders, tingling warmth spreading down his thighs, despite his heart still drumming against his chest.
‘Hm,’ the vampire says again. Vinny feels a hand on the waistband of his sweats. He means to say no, he means to say stop, but neither come out. Instead, a soft moan slips past his lips as the vampire gently pulls the fabric down until he’s bare below the waist. The vampire makes an appreciative noise, palm spread over the curve of his buttock. Vinny pants, as the vampire feels between his cheeks, down between his thighs to his balls, rolling them in his palm.
Vinny whines and the hand on the back of his neck tightens again briefly to keep him from sitting up. Vinny can feel his cock throbbing and his face flushing hard already.
‘Hush,’ the vampire says, soothing him. He’s pulled Vinny all the way back into him, so he’s sat on his thighs. The hand on the back of Vinny’s neck has knotted in his long hair so he can’t move his head.
‘Shush, shush,’ the vampire says again. Vinny whines as he feels the vampire's cock, hot and insistent, brushing over his sensitive hole and nudging his balls.
‘Please,’ Vinny mumbles, shivering at the feeling. Not sure if he means please don’t or please do.
‘You’re not my first tonight, little one,’ The vampire confesses, lying on him to speak into his ear. Vinny can feel his heart pounding in his chest. ‘I could smell you today, and I know you could hear me. I wanted to be warm for you. I wanted to taste you, and I wanted this…’
The vampire’s hot, hard cock strokes against Vinny’s inner thigh. Vinny tries to keep his breathing even, terrified and aroused all at once. So he hadn’t imagined the whispering at the tomb.
He feels the vampire’s hand move, a quiet click, and then there’s something slick and cold rubbing over the delicate skin of his hole. He gasps, still pinned by the hand in his hair. A finger slips inside him. He gasps, shivering, as the finger strokes him.
Vinny’s so riled it’s not long before the vampire adds another finger, working him open with a low murmur. Evidently, he’s pleased Vinny’s body is so obviously willing despite his squirming.
Then the vampire withdraws his hand and Vinny feels the head of his cock pressing against his hole. He stills, biting his lip as he feels the vampire press his dick into his twitching hole. Vinny lets out the breath he’s been holding as he feels the vampire settle against his back again, mouth on his neck. Vinny gives a muffled moan, feeling the vampire’s cock pushing deeper into him.
Vinny can feel his burning mouth on his throat, licking and sucking. He pants, trying not to panic. His cock is pulsing between his thighs, tip damp with pre-come. The vampire gives a long lick down his throat before Vinny feels the press of sharp teeth. A sharp splinter of pain which fades quickly to a dull ache. Vinny can feel his body clenching around the vampire’s cock in response.
He moans into the pillow, now not caring how loud he is. The vampire has a hand tight on his thigh and the other twisted in his hair, keeping him up and in place, as he fucks and feeds from him.
The sticky sound of the vampire sucking at the wound in his neck as he thrusts into Vinny is making his thighs tremble as his tries to keep himself from being pressed flat to the mattress. Vinny groans, pushing back into the downwards pressure. He can feel his body stretch.
The vampire hums, unsealing his mouth from the wound and cleaning it with several warm licks. The hand on Vinny’s hip moves between his thighs and takes a hold of Vinny’s cock. Vinny moans and shudders hard, so oversensitive.
‘That’s right,’ he says, mouth against Vinny’s ear. Vinny can smell the salty, metallic scent of his own blood on the vampire’s lips. Vinny starts to rock his hips, unable to stop himself. He fucks down into the fist around his cock and back into the cock stretching him open.
The vampire licks his skin, sucks his earlobe, nips gently along his shoulder. Vinny feels his edge, back arching like a bow, curving between the cock in his ass and the hand in his hair.
‘Fuck—’ he grunts out as he feels the orgasm roll over him in a chaotic, churning wave. He cries out, baring his teeth as he comes. He feels his body clench tight, thighs trembling, face flushing. He can feel sweat prickling in his hairline, and his cheeks burning as he gasps his breath back.
The vampire is still inside him, giving shallow thrusts, as Vinny comes back down. Vinny shifts, uncomfortable with his come starting to dry sticky on his skin and the sheets underneath him.
Noticing this, the hand on the back of his head tightens again and the vampire starts to fuck into him harder; short, rough thrusts that leave Vinny gasping with tingling aftershocks. Vinny whines, feeling all the air practically being forced out of his lungs as the vampire presses into him. What feels like a second before Vinny suffocates, the vampire goes rigid and Vinny feels his come scolding inside him.
For a moment the only sound in the room is Vinny’s breathing. And he goes cold realising he is the only one breathing. Then the vampire finally releases the grip on his hair, and carefully withdraws from his body. Vinny lays panting against the mattress, scalp stinging, as all sorts of tiny pains flaring in his body as the adrenaline of orgasm slowly begins to drain.
‘Until next time, little one,’ the vampire says, kissing him lightly behind the ear. Then the door to Vinny’s hotel room is slamming and Vinny is staggering upright to give chase, despite the pounding in his head, pulling his sweats up and stumbling after him.
He half steps half falls into the corridor, having to grab onto the door handle as a headrush blacks out his vision and sends the floor swooping up to meet him. Vinny drops to his knees.
He's told later he’d lost consciousness, from the blood loss, and the person in the room next door had come out at the sound of his door slamming. It doesn’t occur to Vinny until after, in the hospital, how frightening he must have looked; barely dressed and screaming, covered in dried blood from the wound in his neck.
Just as Vinny is falling asleep, he hears it again. Softly, nearly below his hearing, the whispering.