I do not know why I lost myself in laughter when he talked to me. I had wanted it for days and nights now and when he finally does come and say something to me, I act the fool and laugh like a lunatic. Superb first impression, Lestat.
"Give me a moment," I say in French. He nods.
He must be more intelligent than his speech lets on, knowing French - or at least enough to understand me. I do not know why I laughed but I see now that he will be great fun, if only for tonight.
"Right then, if you're done with your little laughin' fit, mind tellin' me why it is you've been followin' me?” I say. I respond in French. Let him think he's got some backstreet ruffian. Ha! Doesn't know the half, this one.
I pay attention to him, the way his body moves and responds to everything. Fluid, he is, like water. But, there's no heart beat, no blood flowing through him. Nothing but a shell.
Just full of surprises this one.
"Come, let us get out of the street and I will tell you," I say, walking past him. He looks at me, raising one eyebrow as if I was supposed to be joking, or something.
"Now, do not fuss. You are just as curious as I."
There it is again, that flicker of yellow behind the blue. I wonder what it is from. I watch him as we walk. He stays out of reach. Had he training at one point and time in the Queen's Army? No, I cannot see him being in the Army. Perhaps he has lived life on the streets. That certainly would make anyone wary and account for the slang.
Ah but I get ahead of myself, already answering questions that I have not yet asked. I watch him watch me, like a dance with our eyes. I know not where I am taking him, but I want privacy amongst the soft flesh of humans. I want to be able to feed off them as we talk just little drinks. I want to see his reaction when I do.
He was bloody right 'bout that. I am curious. Wonder what he's up to. Though he doesn't seem to know his way 'round.
There's somethin' about him - makes my skin crawl. Like Angelus, but more. He doesn't seem as forceful as Angelus, more like he's hidin' and waitin' for you to be occupied with something else 'fore he pounces. Don't know if I like it or not yet. He's dead. I know that much, but how? And if he's dead, then what the hell is he? He doesn't feel like a vampire. Doesn't act like one either.
Been watchin' him walk now and he doesn't move as though he actually belongs here. More like he's a part of somethin' else - just visitin' for a bit.
"Where is it you're lookin' to go, mate?” I ask. I don't want to be out here all bloody night. I've things to do - Dru - and people to kill.
"Somewhere warm," I say, pulling my velvet overcoat tighter to me. "I forgot how cold England could be."
He nods curtly, moving quickly through the streets as if he owned them. Maybe he did. What do I know of such things? His head is held high, those startling eyes watching everything, including me.
I can feel him next to me. A heavy presence in the cool, soft night air. It is as if he is pushing the air softly and sweetly into my body so that it caresses me, even with its coldness. I do not think he is doing it on purpose; maybe he is not even consciously aware that it is happening.
I do not like to pry into other's minds - save for prey - but my curiosity overwhelms me and I pry, just a bit.
I find nothing. No thoughts, no memories, no shield to keep me out. He is blank to me. Like a clean fresh chalkboard that has never been touched. Or the newest of fallen snow in fields where no man walks. However, should there be something there? Something to distinguish that he is ... thinking for himself?
I am not so sure anymore if I wish to be alone with this - thing. How can it speak without the thought to do so? Or move? Is it controlled?
That thought stops me in my tracks, makes my borrowed blood run cold. It is a hideous thought, that. To have someone control your body after death, to animate it in such a way that you are nothing more than a marionette on a string, pulled hither and thither.
"What are you?” I ask, turning to look at him. The panic still bubbles inside of me and I work to keep it at bay. I have never felt such fear in the years since my death and I am not in the mood to play with it now.
"Vampire," I answer cautiously. I see surprise on the bloke's face before he tries to cover it up, but it was there. He hadn't expected that answer. Why? Why would he think I'd be somethin’ else other than a damn vampire?
"What are you?"
I thought him a demon at first, now ‘m not so sure. Figured they'd be able to spot a vampire when they were but ten paces away.
He laughs again. It rolls over me and through me. Some sort of magick, that. Something to make my insides turn and writhe, not in pain, but in pleasure. I shake it off quickly enough, but it's right frightening for it to have happened like that.
What am I? Well, is not that the question of a lifetime. I am a vampire, true, but...not the same as he. I know that just at a glance. He still has a human pallor about him, even the smell of a fresh turned grave. Dirt and things that slither - not unpleasant, but fresh. New. Like he had just crawled out of a grave tonight.
"I am a vampire as well," I say and it is his turn to look surprised. "Though, it would seem that we are not one in the same, you, and me."
He scoffs and looks at me. He does not hide the fact that he is looking, studying me. I do not mind for it has happened before with humans and others of my kind. That curiosity to know if the flesh would be warm or cool to the touch, if it would give under pressure. To know if my eyes are really that shade of violet, if my nails are as sharp as they are glassy. I know that look well and I do not mind it.
"Come," I say softly. "Let us talk somewhere warm, where we can be surrounded by the living and not fear them fearing us."
His eyes travel slowly up my face and he meets my eyes. We hold that gaze for but a moment before he is nodding his head and beginning to walk. I smile to myself and fall in step next to him.
"So what do I call you, mate?” I ask. He never told me his name, but neither did I. Bloke didn't ask.
I head to the left, down and alleyway, walkin' fast. Wonder if he can keep up. There's an opium den just a block or so away. Perfect.
"I've been called many things," I say, the hint of a smile on my face and sorrow in my voice. "But, my name is Lestat de Lioncourt."
He speeds his gait and I keep up easily. I do not know what he is testing me for, but I do not find it difficult to keep up. He almost seems fragile to me and already my head is filling with visions of him padding barefoot through my rooms, clad in some ornate outfit I have painstakingly picked out for him. Or even just walking nude in the moonlight, not caring.
Ah, but he is not human, not one of my precious humans. He is vampire. Same as I in name and deed. And I go and make him mine without question or consultation and all before I even know his name.
"Do forgive me; I have all but lost my mind tonight. What is your name?"
"William the Bloody," I say, flashing a smile. Turning before he can say anythin' else, I walk quickly to a door and open it.
Immediately we are assaulted with the pungent odor of opium and other things, but it has what the bloke wanted. Warm, lots of humans who wouldn't struggle against a fang or two.
He walks in with me, not sayin' a word about where we are. No protestin', no complainin', nothin'. Just silence as we walk through the mass of warm flesh and slow, lethargic heartbeats. There's a haze round the place, like cloud cover.
Comin' to a seat near the back, I fall to the soft cushions and layback, motionin' Lestat to do the same.
Lestat. Don't know 'bout him yet.
I would have never thought to come to one of these places, but I have to admit, it is what I wanted. The warmth is everywhere, thick and heavy, almost oppressing. However, the humans, the humans, and heartbeats, and blood - it is everywhere. A slow rhythm to sway to. I could listen to this for hours.
William the Bloody falls into a nest of cushions and smiles up at me, motioning to my own pile. I sit down, a little more carefully than he does, but I do.
I look around at all of the glassy eyed humans, so lost in their pleasure that they feel no pain or fear. It would be so easy to draw one into my lap and drink slowly from them. I am very tempted, but I do not.
"So, you say you are vampire, William, and yet I see no sharp incisors, no pallor to your skin. You look as though you are still living," I say. I have to know how. I have to know why. "How can this be?"
"Oh, I've got fangs, mate," I say smiling. "Just not in the right face to see them."
He looks at me all confused like. He really doesn't know, does he? I would have thought by now he would've given up the charade, called me out or some such nonsense. But no, he really doesn't know.
I let my face fall into that of the demon and look over at him. I laugh when he gasps. Wonderful that fright is. Just bloody perfect. I slip back into the human mask and look back at him.
"Now, let's see yours, yeah?"
Jessie pulls away from my neck slowly, licking the already closed wound.
"I am sorry. There is more to see and I cut you off I fear too soon. I know you have questions and I can only hope to answer them. But, for right now, let me hold you close, take comfort in the fact that you have not run from me, not yet," I say, holding Jessie to me.
She nods her head and we sit like that for what could be hours, or just mere minutes. It seems time has eluded me tonight and I do not mind it. I just wonder if I am fooling myself with this William - if I am wishing upon a falling star like a besotted human, unaware that the star is dying or dead already.
Perhaps Jessie will give me the perspective I need. Perhaps she will be able to shake me out of whatever it is that has consumed me so. I fear I will drag her with me if she does not.