On Friday the 13th, 1885, a viscount and an American met in the parlor of a lavish Victorian townhouse. The viscount sat down on one divan and gestured for his American visitor to take the other. “Would you care for a drink, Mr. Jones?”
Mr. Alfred Foster Jones shook his head. “I don’t drink.”
“Very well.” The viscount took a fortifying sip of brandy as the butler politely removed himself from the drawing room. “I require your assistance on a dark and vile matter.”
“Dark and vile are my specialty,” Alfred drawled with a humorless grin. “What monsters need hunted?”
“My youngest son has been stolen from me by… unnatural forces. They feast upon his youth and ignorance for their own perverted purposes.” The viscount grit his teeth. “Do you understand the unholy creatures bedeviling my son?”
Alfred nodded. “That I do.” He patted the wooden stake hidden beneath his riding coat.
The viscount nodded in satisfaction. “The Vicar said all I could do was pray for my son’s immortal soul, but I prefer actions to words. Penetrate the creature’s foul den and purge us of this evil.” He paused for another sip of brandy. “You will be well compensated, naturally.”
“Of course.” Alfred stood up. He paused at the doorway. “I trust you understand what’ll happen if I find your son and he’s already been turned.”
The viscount dropped his head in resigned sorrow. “I know. Kill him, if you must. I would rather a dead son than an abomination.”
Alfred nodded and took his leave with an address in hand and half of the promised pay jingling in his coin purse.
Later that night, a young man hurried along the narrow cobblestone streets of London. Flickering gas lamps illuminated his path with a pale, watery light. He knocked on the wooden door of a boarded-up townhouse and whispered a passphrase to a woman inside. The door cracked open—revealing dim lights and the sound of music—then snapped shut as the young man slipped inside.
From the shadows of a nearby alleyway, Alfred watched. He waited a few minutes in the clammy fog, then approached the door himself. He knocked.
“Who’s there?” a woman’s voice asked from behind the door.
“A gentleman who wishes to sow seeds in the garden,” Alfred replied.
“What type?” the woman whispered.
The door swung open, but Alfred paused at the threshold. The older woman holding the door open sighed in exasperation. “Don’t tarry, sir. Come in!”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Alfred removed his hat and stepped inside. Despite the building’s dilapidated exterior, the inside was plush and ornate. Crystal sconces cast a warm light on red silk wallpaper and beautiful mahogany woodwork. Alfred offered the landlady a pound Sterling, which she quickly palmed.
She gestured for Alfred to follow. “This way.”
Alfred hung his Stetson hat on the coat rack and followed the old woman down a dimly lit hallway. At the end, two doors swung open to reveal an intimate theater. The wooden stage was barely larger than a bed, with a ring of candles along the edge. At the center, a man played a romantic melody on his violin. The musician was slender and pale, with messy blond hair and a mask of black lace that hid the upper portion of his face. He wore a crimson vest that accentuated the trim lines of his body. Completing the ensemble were black leather boots that ended at the knees and skin-tight breeches that showcased his shapely thighs.
Keeping his eye on the musician, Alfred walked down the center aisle of the dark theater and took a seat near the front. The dimly lit room provided many secluded spots for amorous trysts, most of which were already occupied by men who shared a love that dared not speak its name. From a dark alcove to his right came the tell-tale moans of two men in amorous congress. Similar sounds emerged from two writhing bodies to his left. All around him, the lovers’ gasps grew louder as the melody quickened.
Directly in front of Alfred, the musician swayed enticingly to the tempo on the tiny stage. His fingers danced across the strings as his bow gracefully arched back and forth. The melody crescendoed, filling every corner of the room with an aching and longing melody. With powerful strokes, the musician released a furious cascade of notes that climaxed in a glorious finale. By the time he finished, his audience was satiated and spent. They clapped languidly from their positions sprawled around the room.
Alfred joined the applause as he studied the musician. The man exuded an aura of power and sexual temptation. If this wasn’t Alfred’s target, he would eat his hat.
The musician tucked his violin beneath one arm and took a bow. When he glanced down, he gazed directly at Alfred from behind his black lace mask. The beguiling musician paused a moment and eyed Alfred appraisingly; despite the dark room, he stared directly into Alfred’s eyes. He smirked and crooked his finger—gesturing for Alfred to follow. Then the musician turned on his heels and slipped behind a velvet curtain without a single glance backward.
From behind, Alfred had an excellent view of the musician’s trim legs and shapely buttocks. Suspicion and desire warred within him, but the opportunity to approach his target was too tempting to ignore. Alfred took a deep breath and pressed his hand against the wooden stake hidden in the inner pocket of his coat. He climbed onto the stage and followed the musician behind a curtain and into a well-appointed sitting room.
Dark oak paneling along the walls provided an air of masculine elegance. Two fainting couches furnished the room, each decorated with embroidered golden flowers on maroon velvet upholstery. The only other piece of furniture was a side table holding an open violin case.
While Alfred loitered by the door, the musician carefully lowered his violin into the red velvet lining the case. With his instrument safely protected, he returned to the center of the room and artfully sprawled across one of the fainting couches. He lounged on his side with his elbow pressed against the cushion and his cheek cupped in one hand. He kicked off his boots and gracefully stretched his legs out across the cushions.
“I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure,” the musician purred with half-lidded eyes and a predatory smirk. “Arthur Kirkland, at your service.”
Alfred nodded. “Alfred Jones,” he drawled. “Pleasure’s all mine.”
“Please sit, Mr. Jones.” Arthur gestured to the other fainting couch. “I do not bite,” he promised. “Hard,” he clarified after a moment’s thought.
Alfred walked across the room and carefully took a seat on the other couch. He studied the man in front of him. Beneath his black lace mask were eyes so green they gleamed with an unearthly power and skin as pale as moonlight.
Arthur stared back—not shy in the least as he appraised Alfred from the tip of his honey blond hair to the scuffed toes of his leather boots. “I think we both know the reason for your visit to our fine establishment,” he said, his voice as smooth as silk.
Alfred nodded and leaned forward, drawn in by the man’s captivating green eyes. “I’ve heard those with unnatural appetites gather here.”
Arthur smirked. “Indeed.”
“And they say the gentlemen who visit leave satisfied but… drained.”
“A malady easily cured with a little rest.” Arthur removed the mask from his face and set it on a nearby table. His face was pale and handsome, with striking eyebrows and flawless skin. He caught Alfred’s gaze and smirked. “I trust you wish to experience this condition yourself?”
Alfred took a deep breath and struggled to resist the charming gaze that threatened to distract him from his mission. “Have the life force sucked out of me, you mean?”
Arthur turned up his nose. “Is that the coarse terminology you use in the States?”
“We’re called many names in America, Mr. Kirkland.” The hairs on Alfred’s arm rose as they continued their little cat-and-mouse game. “Unnatural. Vile. Abominations.”
Arthur scoffed. “The foolish braying of ignorant men.”
“You’re not afraid of them?” Alfred asked.
“I fear nothing and no one,” Arthur replied with utter confidence. “But enough of all that. You are the one who interests me tonight.” He stretched out his legs, showing off the long, sensual lines of his tight breeches. “I must admit my surprise in seeing a gentleman such as yourself in our fine establishment.”
“Oh?” Alfred cocked his head to the side.
“You’re a virgin.”
Alfred’s eyes widened in surprise. “How did…? I mean, that’s not…!” he sputtered.
“My dear sir, it’s clear from your every mannerism that you have no experience in the bedroom.” Arthur gracefully stood up and padded over to the other couch. He bent forward and pressed his finger against Alfred’s lips. “I will ensure your experience is as painless as possible.”
“I ain’t scared of pain,” Alfred replied, hand slowly inching toward his stake. His Adam’s apple bobbed involuntarily. “What’s the price?”
“A taste is all I require,” Arthur murmured as he straddled Alfred’s hips. He leaned in and kissed Alfred gently on the lips. His lips were soft and warm. He wrapped his arms around Alfred’s neck and started humming to himself.
Alfred surreptitiously reached for the wooden stake in his hidden coat pocket. His movements slowed as a warm cloud of lust and desire filled his mind. Arthur’s tongue slipped into his mouth—soft and teasing. Desire pooled at the pit of Alfred’s stomach. His base instincts took over and he pressed Arthur back-first onto the couch.
Arthur’s eyes widened in surprise before lowering in a come-hither manner. “Good show,” he said with a grin. From his position pinned underneath Alfred, Arthur wiggled his arms free and started unlacing his breeches.
Alfred pressed his nose against Arthur’s neck and closed his eyes as he inhaled the intoxicating scent of sweat and lavender perfume. Just beneath Arthur’s skin beat a strong and steady pulse. Alfred pulled back in surprise. He studied the lithe body beneath him. His eyes were drawn like lodestones to Arthur’s thick, partially erect cock poking out of his unlaced breeches.
“Like what you see?” Arthur asked temptingly.
“Mmm,” Alfred mumbled as he scooted backward until he was straddling Arthur’s knees, his eyes still fixated on the veins of Arthur’s cock. Desire overwhelmed Alfred. He bent down and licked the glistening skin, then wrapped his mouth around the cock and placed his hands at the base of the shaft. Every instinct screamed at him to go faster, but he took his time as he dipped his head lower. Arthur moaned happily beneath him.
Unable to resist any longer, Alfred felt his fangs sharpen and elongate. As soon as the tips touched Arthur's sensitive skin, the vampire's toxin numbed the flesh and delivered a powerful aphrodisiac. He painlessly sank his fangs into Arthur’s cock and drank hungrily from the blood engorging Arthur’s member. It was the purest, sweetest blood he had ever tasted. Alfred could feel Arthur’s heart racing as the blood pounded in his veins. A delicious repast of passionate desire and mindless indulgence filled his mouth. Arthur gasped beneath him, engulfed by the intense sexual pleasure that numbed any pain and left a vampire’s victim dazed and deliriously satiated.
Alfred feasted on the delectable blood. The warm blood filled his mouth and momentarily quenched his ever-present hunger. The only difficulty was stopping before he drank too much. As Arthur’s cock went limp in his mouth, Alfred retracted his fangs and pulled back. He licked his lips to enjoy every single drop.
Beneath him, Arthur lay sprawled on the fainting couch. By all rights, he should have been completely unconscious from the blood loss and vampiric toxin. Instead, Arthur panted slightly and gazed up at Alfred through half-lidded eyes.
Alfred’s eyes widened in shock. He cursed himself for giving into his appetites once he realized the musician was not the vampire he hunted. “Fuck,” he muttered to himself.
“No, fucking is different,” Arthur replied as he slowly sat up. “I could show you sometime.” He studied Alfred for a long moment and shook his head. “No wonder you’re still a virgin if that’s how you make love to a man.”
“You’re not afraid?” Alfred asked as he climbed to his feet and smoothed the wrinkles from his coat.
“Why would I fear such a delicious morsel?” Arthur crooked his finger and gestured for Alfred to come closer. As Arthur started to hum, Alfred’s head swam with desire. He leaned forward and planted a hungry, passionate kiss on Arthur’s lips. The lingering taste of blood in Alfred’s mouth merged with the soft warmth of Arthur’s tongue.
Arthur pulled Alfred back down onto the couch. Lips locked, they rolled over until Arthur was on top. His nimble fingers unhooked the laces of Alfred’s trousers.
The kiss suddenly ended as Alfred jerked his head backward. “What are you?” he demanded.
Arthur smiled and sat back on his haunches, straddling Alfred’s waist. “A veela, of course.”
“But veelas are women!”
“A common misconception.” Arthur tugged Alfred’s trousers down his thighs. “Just as many assume that vampires are all mindless killers. Care to tell me why you’re here?"
Alfred glanced down at his hardening cock. He normally lacked the blood flow to stiffen his steed, but his recent bite provided ample support. Alfred licked his lips. “Are you interrogating me with sex?” he wondered aloud.
“Would you prefer a different manner of questioning?” Arthur replied as he adroitly stroked Alfred’s cock to complete tumescence.
“Oh… ah… no.” Alfred bit back a moan of pleasure from Arthur’s gentle rubbing. Although veelas weren’t as strong as vampires, they could entrance their prey with pheromones and enchanting music—luring them in so the veela could feast on sexual energy. Even with the bite, Alfred’s cock-sucking had clearly invigorated Arthur. On the whole, it seemed telling Arthur the truth was easier than a fight—and far more pleasant. “Viscount Bromwich offered a bounty to kill the vampire who turned his son,” Alfred explained between panted breaths.
Arthur arched his thick eyebrows and stopped stroking. “Edwin’s father? Thought I was a vampire?”
“Paid me handsomely to purge this den of evil.”
Arthur scoffed. “He meant the sodomy, you know. His son visits often.”
“In hindsight….” Alfred agreed.
“I trust you have no desire to purge us now?” Arthur asked meaningfully.
“Hell, no!” Alfred shook his head adamantly. “I only hunt monsters.”
“Not veelas?” Arthur smirked. “How strange for a vampire to hunt other vampires.”
Alfred shrugged. “You’re a man who fucks other men.”
“Hardly an apt comparison. Tupping is nothing like murder.”
“But you feast on it nonetheless.”
“Touché.” Instead of responding further, Arthur resumed his skillful caresses. Beneath him, Alfred sighed in pure bliss. He felt a pang of regret for his many years spent eschewing other men’s company for fear they would learn his true nature. As Alfred drew closer and closer to the blissful edge, his gaze focused on Arthur’s pale, flawless neck, temptingly out of reach. He had sucked his fill, and still he wanted more.
Arthur caught Alfred’s gaze. “Is penetration all you desire?” he asked with a smirk. “Very well.” Arthur leaned closer. Alfred arched upward. He sank his fangs into the willing veela’s neck and orgasmed with a sting of pleasure. After Alfred’s earlier feast, just a few mouthfuls of blood were enough to satiate his desires. He pulled back and licked his lips clean.
“Mmm,” Arthur moaned happily as he rolled onto his back. He gazed contentedly at the ceiling. He turned his head to the side and frowned as Alfred stood up and fixed his clothing. “Leaving so soon, Mr. Jones?”
“A short errand.” Alfred grinned, flashing his fangs. “I need to deliver a message before dawn.”
The next morning, Viscount Bromwich awoke in his luxurious, four-poster bed with the nagging sense that something was amiss. On the pillow next to him, a familiar coin purse lay nestled against the fabric. With a frown, he opened the purse. Inside, his payment to Mr. Alfred F. Jones lay untouched. On top of the coins was a folded piece of paper. He pulled it open and read the hastily scrawled message:
There is nothing wrong with your son. If you ever hire another bounty hunter, I will have your head.
The viscount shivered and murmured a prayer. Elsewhere in the bustling city of London, the vampire and the veela rested peacefully after a long night. Both may have been unnatural creatures of the night, but they weren’t monsters.