Vladislav enters the kitchen, an air of triumph remarkable for the amount of time he’d been out of his coffin this evening – about 9 minutes.
“So, today is our anniversary, so, I’m getting up nice and early. It’s only just gone sunset, the sky is just a dark grey, not totally black yet, so you know it’s early. I’ve organised a lovely evening for the two of us together, I’m actually going to try and cook a meal for her, with Stu’s help. It’s going to be very romantic.”
“Yeah.” Stu is behind Vladislav, almost completely obscured before he speaks and Vladislav moves to the side.
“We only have about an hour until she arrives, so, let us begin.”
“Alright, so, we’ve gotta get out some utensils. Have you got a pot?”
“Yes, we should have.” Vladislav rummages violently, loud bangs and clashes echoing out from where he is head and shoulders deep in the cupboard under the sink. Stu looks to the camera and gives a nervous smile.
“How about this?” Vladislav stands and gestures with his acquired pot towards Stu. Vladislav brushes away a layer of dust and Stu coughs. It looks well worn, although clearly unused in a long while.
“Yep, that’s great. And a wooden spoon?”
“I have this? Is this good?” Vladislav holds a stone mortar and pestle bigger than his head. Considering how large it is he doesn’t struggle under the weight.
“No, we don’t really need that for this recipe.”
Vladislav puts it down on the dining table, slightly deflated.
“I’ve had that since the fourteenth century.”
The slightly shaky start seems to relax into easy instruction. Vladislav manages to cook an entire pot full of pasta without serious injury or property damage, much to the relief of all present. Viago interjects only a couple of comments about being careful, Vladislav, if you ruin my kitchen I’ll be quite unhappy with you, before he is ushered out.
When it comes time to make the sauce, Stu is put in charge of seasoning.
“I know it’s cheating but I think if I tried to flavour it, it might not end well. That’s what Deacon suggested.”
“If you did all of the cooking it would be disgusting. Vampires don’t cook.”
“Alright.” Vladislav chuckles but steers Deacon out of the kitchen vigorously.
“She’ll be here in ten minutes. I’m actually a little nervous. Don’t tell her that though.” He wipes his hands on his waistcoat and smiles.
“How is the sauce going?”
“We’re all done.”
“Done? Great! Great job Stu!”
Stu smiles and nods before exiting the room, going unnoticed by Vladislav who is anxiously checking the room. He lights a candle, straightens the tablecloth, tucks Deacon’s latest knitting project underneath a doily. Noticing the mortar still on the table, he picks it up and searches for a destination. Upon finding most surfaces occupied his solution is to run and place it in another room - the pestle, left behind on the table, is hastily picked up and thrown into said room, landing with an echoing crash as he re-enters the kitchen, followed by a distant "What was that?!". Though he winces slightly, Vladislav continues to speak as if the crash and subsequent exclamation had not occurred.
“I think I’m ready!”
His phone jingles and he brings it out, staring at it intensely.
“Hi!” Vladislav embraces her as she reaches the door, having almost ripped the door off of its hinges in his excitement.
“Something smells nice!”
“I have a surprise for you.”
“Oh my god, this is so nice!” Vladislav beams, leading his partner to her seat. He plates a bowl of pasta for her carefully, as if it required the upmost precision, laying a single sprig of parsley on the top.
“Did you make this?”
“With the help of Stu, of course.”
She swirls a mouthful of pasta onto her fork and eats it tentatively, exclaiming in surprise.
“This is actually really good.”
“I think I cooked too much pasta.”
“I think it's impossible not to cook too much pasta, actually.”
If he could grin any more Vladislav’s face might split in two. She raises her glass and they toast, her glass filled with water, Vladislav’s glass empty.
Vladislav breathes deeply, taking her hand from across the table.
“Hey guys, what’s going on?”
“Nick! What are you doing?”
“I’m just getting some blood.”
She gives a sympathetic smile, Vladislav an exasperated sigh. He’s conspicuously silent as Nick retrieves a carton of blood from the fridge, pours a glass, returns the carton, and finally leaves the room.
“As I was saying-“
“Vladislav asked us not to go in there!” Viago is clearly trying to whisper, but he is completely audible as Nick leaves the room.
“Well I didn’t know, did I? I just wanted some blood.”
“Why I cannot have one moment in this house…”
She has her lips pressed together to keep from giggling and Vladislav’s anger can’t last for long.
“Don’t worry about it. I think I can guess what you were gonna say.”
Vladislav looks into her eyes and knows she’s right. He doesn’t have to say anything. They lean toward each other easily, almost magnetically, like it’s what they were meant to do their entire lives, sharing a single warm breath, eyes closing in unison-
“Is that my scarf?”
“Deacon, come on.”
“I did not give him permission to wear my scarf.”
“I’m fucking cold, man, I can’t regulate my body temperature, I’m dead!”
The lovers halt.
“Not. One. Moment.”