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getting love mixed up with sympathy

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“Okay, so,” Guillermo folded his hands in front of him and addressed his housemates, minus one. “Do we have any more ideas? It’s been two weeks.”

“He’s stayed in his crypt for far longer than that,” Nadja replied. “Laszlo, do you remember the time we went to the theatre to see that film, what was it, something home, Going Home? With the dogs and the cat? He didn’t leave his crypt for three months. And it had a happy ending! Perfectly happy!”

“You know, if worst comes to worst, we could just print up a fake filming permit and say we’re shooting a TV show. Some creature feature, big budget,” Colin Robinson chuckled.

“I… I really don’t think Nandor would appreciate that. Also, like, we are shooting a TV show. Just not right now.”

Laszlo pointed at him. “Exactly. We’ll have cameras around him, no one will suspect a thing,” he preened, proud of his own logic.

“N-fine. We can talk about that more later.” Or they could not, because there was no way Nandor was going to suddenly become willing to walk around in public in his new man-bat-monster-thing form. Guillermo really should have figured that the cat Nandor picked up off the side of the road was too clean and well-behaved to be a stray.

“So he needs to kiss his true love. How about this: I will go and get my big book of spells, we will call up one of Nandor’s dead wives, have her kiss him, and boom! He is no longer a bat creature. He is just a regular Nandor creature,” Nadja suggested.

“There might be a bit of a language barrier there. I don’t think Nandor speaks Al Quolanudarian anymore? So she might get confused,” Guillermo said. She would probably also be highly alarmed at the sight of a looming monster with bat wings and a mouth full of sharp fangs.

Nadja looked at him in silence for a second, eyes sharp. Finally, she spoke, her words sending Guillermo’s world tilting on its axis. “Well, why don’t you try it then? I do not wish to speak this into existence, but unfortunately you seem to be the most likely candidate.”

Guillermo tried to stutter out an answer for what felt like a full minute, unable to get even a single syllable out.

“I mean, he’s got to have a ‘true love’, since the spell actually took. Though it would have been funny if he hadn’t. Imagine that obnoxious wormy witch spluttering because her nasty little incantation just fizzled out!” Nadja leaned back in her seat, satisfied at the thought. “So yes, I am right, Guillermo. Go kiss Nandor and see if he stops being a bat.”

Laszlo jumped in. “About that.”

“About what, darling?” Nadja asked.

Laszlo coughed into his hand, more to emphasize that he was speaking than to actually clear his throat. “I have been examining that spellbook that Lilith loaned us, and in investigating the Latin a little more closely, I noticed a slight irregularity in our previous translations.” He paused to flip open the book lying in his lap. He really should just bookmark the page, though Guillermo didn’t bother to tell him that.

“I must say, that translation screen you have lent me is quite the invention,” Laszlo said, pointing at Guillermo without looking up.

(If you end up on this screen, just click on this symbol,” Guillermo had said, pointing to the widget for his translation app.

Laszlo had squinted at the screen. “What is the function of all these other little squares?”

“That’s just like my grocery list and email stuff,” Guillermo replied. “Don’t bother. I keep my porn on my computer,” Guillermo had admitted, and Laszlo had looked at him with more respect in his expression than Guillermo had ever seen before.)

“Ah, here it is. It turns out the word we had assumed was a euphemism for “to kiss” does not refer to any sort of chaste lip-touching. Of the mouth, at least,” Laszlo said.

“So we have been chasing the wrong dog this entire time. This is going to be one of those spells that wears off with the next new moon. I can’t believe it,” Nadja huffed.

“Not quite. It is still very clear on the necessity of an amorous interaction with the other half of one’s heart, to put it in metaphorical terms. But this one phrase can be better translated to mean, ‘to mount’,” Laszlo said.

“So the gist of the cure seems to be, if you’re going to turn into an animal, you’re going to fuck like one.” With that, Laszlo raised his eyes from the text and looked right at Guillermo.

If Guillermo’s world had been tilting before, it had now spun a complete 180 on its axis. He felt like he was standing on the ceiling. Colin Robinson’s eyes glowed blue from his smug perch in his armchair.

“That’s- you’ve got to be wrong,” he croaked out.

“I can assure you, I am never wrong on matters of getting down and dirty,” Laszlo replied, affronted.

“Well? Will you do it? As much as I have enjoyed having a little peace and quiet around here, it really does get difficult dragging victims back here for his sorry arse,” Nadja said.

Guillermo took a moment to compose himself. What was a round of sex between a vampire and his bodyguard? He would just go in, bend over, and later, once they’d found whatever charming and gorgeous person was Nandor’s true love, they’d all have a laugh about this whole thing.

“Fine,” he said. “I’ll go get ready.”


Nandor could sense that it was Guillermo on the other side of the door, because he didn’t yank Guillermo in with a hand over his mouth like he had done to all the other people they had offered up once their pool of Nandor’s friends and acquaintances had run dry. Maybe that was why they hadn’t been able to break the spell- kissing a terrified stranger in the darkness didn’t seem like a good way to find true love. Not like they had many other alternatives.

Well, there was the one. The one that led Guillermo to knock softly on the door in the first place.

Not a single candle was lit in Nandor’s crypt, and the curtains were tightly drawn. Guillermo could sense Nandor standing at the door as he walked into the dark room, sealing them both into darkness as he shut the door behind Guillermo. Nandor slowly circled around Guillermo until he was standing before him. Guillermo could see the shine of his eyes- bigger now, and entirely black- in the sparse light filtering in from under the door.

His eyes were slow to adjust, but Guillermo already knew what he couldn’t see. The extra foot or so added to Nandor’s height meant Guillermo had to crane his neck even more to look him in the eye, and when his lips curled back in an awkward grimace, Guillermo caught hints of his teeth, all of them transformed into sharp fangs. A pair of leathery wings rustled nervously behind him.

Guillermo could tell Nandor was uncomfortable with Guillermo seeing him like this by the way he clasped his hands in front of himself. Those hands, which now curled into talon-tipped claws, folded tightly in on themselves.

“Would you mind if I lit a few candles?” Guillermo asked. Nandor only grunted in response, which meant Nandor was still sulking about his new appearance. “Okay, fine. I guess we’ll just be in the dark then.”

They stood there for a second. Guillermo knew that Nandor knew why he was here. Guillermo wouldn’t be in his crypt unless he had been sent to try his luck. The moment stretched on for far too long, like they were actors and one of them had missed their cue. Nandor was waiting for him to break the silence, which, fine. Guillermo decided to break it to him slowly.

Nandor only nodded when Guillermo told him Laszlo had found some new information in the spellbook. “It turns out we’ve been translating it wrong. Or, I guess, Laszlo’s been translating it wrong.” His mouth was trapped in a strange imitation of a smile. He wanted to be friendly, cheerful, but they were alone, and reassuring himself was more than he could do, much less reassure Nandor.

“You know how we all thought that one phrase meant ‘kiss’? Like in the fairytales, true love’s kiss. Well, it turns out it doesn’t mean kiss. It means, it means-”

Years of strapping Nandor into his orgy dildo harness still couldn’t dislodge the words from his mouth. “It’s a bit more than that. Kinda like dogs, you know how dogs…It’s a sex thing. A specific sex thing.”

Nandor stood before him, still unmoving. “You are saying I will need to hit it from the back.”

“Yeah, pretty much.” Guillermo shrugged, like it was no big deal. “And since we’ve run out of people you know, pretty much, we’ve decided to, uh, try me!” he said, his voice rising to a high-pitch squeak like he was the bat-creature, not Nandor.

Nandor didn’t say anything. “We don’t have to,” Guillermo hurriedly reassured him.

“No, I will not back down from this. I will take responsibility for what I have become, and I will ascertain that it is undone.”

Guillermo let out a shaky breath. “Okay. Okay,” he said. Nandor’s words sounded almost ridiculous in their gravity, but they set his heart racing anyway.

Guillermo started to undress, first unbuttoning his vest, then his shirt. He couldn’t see the buttons, but he looked down at them anyway, to keep himself from checking to see whether Nandor was watching. Nandor would still be able to see him, but Guillermo was still grateful for the darkness. He wasn’t any less exposed, but he could at least pretend.

He turned and crawled onto the chaise lounge, on his hands and knees. His face was burning, and he felt the flush spread down his neck as he spread his legs a little wider and reached between them for the plug he had prepared himself with.

Guillermo heard a tiny clack as Nandor pressed a talon to the gem inlaid in the bottom. “Where did you get this? I had this made from Mahan the Fearsome’s sword after I made him into one of my personal eunuchs.”

“It was in the general use toy box.”

“Sshhh. Fucking Nadja and Laszlo. Always getting into my things,” Nandor muttered.

Guillermo didn’t mention that the plug had been in there for as long as it had been his duty to sanitize everything in the toy box. He just pulled the plug out, slowly, because he’d chosen the largest one he could find, to play it safe.

Guillermo placed the plug between his hands and shifted on his knees, making sure he was comfortable. It was excruciating, waiting for Nandor to say something, to do something.

“I’m ready,” he said.

Guillermo couldn’t hear Nandor moving behind him at all. “Guillermo,” Nandor said, “I will need for you to put lubricant on my penis.”

Guillermo’s brain short circuited.

“Do you have lube?” Guillermo asked. He sat back on his heels and twisted to face Nandor. His eyes had adjusted to the darkness somewhat, and he could see the way the curse had stretched and shifted Nandor’s face and form. It made something small and animal in the back of his mind shake with fear, and something even smaller and more animal feel something he refused to identify.

Nandor pressed a squeeze tube into his hand that Guillermo could tell by shape was the fancy silicone kind he favored. For immortal creatures of the night, they sure were a lot faster at picking up on new varieties of lube than they were at learning to use, say, a credit card reader.

Guillermo’s fingers brushed against Nandor’s strange talon hands. He guessed it made sense that it would be difficult to handle fine-motor skills with them. He wished Nandor hadn’t been hiding away in his room where Guillermo couldn’t help him with things like that.

The stuff was very slick and unfortunately chilly when Guillermo squeezed a glob onto his hand. Guillermo had been drawing baths for Nandor since his first night as a familiar. He was familiar enough with what Nandor’s dick looked like that he could probably draw it from memory. He thought he knew what to expect.

Nandor had always been proportionate. And now he was very proportionate. It was… fuck. Nandor was already hard, and so big. The ridges along the sides were new, and so were the little bumps along the bottom. He groaned and thrusted a little into Guillermo’s hand, and Guillermo tried really hard not to get distracted. His heartbeat was already a lost cause, thundering traitorously in his chest.

Guillermo got back on his hands and knees. From this angle, he could barely see the outline of the edge of the chaise. Relax, he told himself. It didn’t help much.

“Okay. I’m ready.”

“Yes, I know, no need to repeat yourself,” Nandor replied. Guillermo heard Nandor shuffle closer and felt a tentative hand on his hip and something pressing against his entrance.

Guillermo was eternally grateful that Nandor took his time, kept the ache of being stretched open from being too painful. He almost wanted to forget that it was Nandor, because it was too much to bear, but after twelve years he couldn’t mistake the sound of small, unnecessary breaths and the smell of hair oil for anyone else.

Nandor groaned when he was finally fully buried in Guillermo, and Guillermo wished he hadn’t put his phone with the rest of his clothes, because he wanted to record it and play it back every time he jerked off. Nothing could ever live up to knowing Nandor was moaning because of him.

He made the most embarrassing choked gasping noise when Nandor pulled out from the way every strange ridge and bump made his nerves spark, topped only by the noise he made when Nandor pressed back in.

Sharp talons were squeezing his hips almost painfully as Nandor set a rhythm, picking up the pace when he could tell Guillermo could handle it.

It felt good. It felt amazing, actually. He could feel the ridges every time Nandor made any movement, and he had found just the right angle to send jolts of liquid pleasure up Guillermo’s spine every few thrusts.

“You know, Guillermo, the worst part of this was having to give Babri back. I have never had a cat who would come when called before. Do you think I could have taught her to play fetch?” Nandor said, his voice somehow still even and unaffected by exertion. “I believe I could have gotten her to sleep in my coffin with me if I had had a few more nights.”

“Stop talking about the cat. Shut up about the cat, please,” Guillermo gasped. He felt like his eyes were about to melt out of his skull from how turned on he was and Nandor was still thinking about the witch’s cat he’d stolen on accident.

“So you are listening to me. Do you think we should get a cat?”

“You’re kind of ruining the fucking mood here.”

“What mood? I am a giant bat creature and you are taking it in the ass as a favor to me. I cannot even give you a reach-around with these hands.”

Guillermo didn’t want to say that he probably wouldn’t need it. He’d never come just from being penetrated before, but he’d also never had Nandor fuck him before. He felt too warm all throughout his body, like he had been sitting too close to a fireplace.

Guillermo let his head hang and let Nandor’s tight grip hold him up over shaking knees. He was content to let pleasure roll through him in slow waves for as long as Nandor needed to fuck him, no matter how long it took, but something started to feel strange. It felt like Nandor’s cock was growing inside of him.

“Um. I think there’s something going on with your, uh, dick,” Guillermo said.

“What do you mean?”

“It feels like it’s getting bigger. Did you happen to uh, take your dick for a test drive before this?”

Nandor was silent for a very long moment. “…No.”

“See, when you say it like that, it makes me think you’re lying to me,” Guillermo said.

“I am not lying to you, Guillermo,” Nandor said.

Nandor was definitely lying to him.

“Fine. Whatever. Please tell me what’s going on with your dick.”

“Have you never seen two dogs stuck together in the street, Guillermo? You really are very sheltered.” Nandor really had the nerve to talk down to him right then.

“I don’t- no. Wait, no, my cousin breeds goldendoodles- is it a knot?”

Nandor made that annoying indecisive “nghugh” noise that drove Guillermo up the wall. It was nice to know that transforming into a bat monster hadn’t affected his vocal chords that badly. “Kind of, yes.”

Okay, well, fuck.

Guillermo pressed his lips together to suppress the whine making its way up his throat. He could feel it now, how the base Nandor’s cock seemed to be getting bigger. Nandor thrust in completely, filling Guillermo, and then stopped, hips pressed firmly against his ass.

“I will stay here now. I-if I keep thrusting, I might harm you,” Nandor said.

“Okay,” Guillermo said, his voice sounding as shaky as the rest of him.

And the sensation didn’t stop; the knot seemed to be swelling so fast and taking forever at the same time. It started out too much and only got bigger from there. Guillermo had never felt so full. He was paralyzed with it, frozen in place and helpless as the knot grew.

“Good boy. You’re such a good boy, Guillermo,” Nandor said softly, one hand gripping Guillermo’s hip hard enough to bruise and the other gently stroking his hair.

Guillermo was making some sort of awful whining noise, over and over again. He couldn’t help it, he was overstimulated and emotional from Nandor giving it to him, from the knot pressing up unforgivingly against his prostate, from the feeling of being trapped and split open.

He needed to come so badly, he felt like he would collapse in on himself like a burning building if he didn’t, but he couldn’t move, couldn’t even close his mouth or make himself beg Nandor to touch his cock.

Nandor couldn’t pull out, so he was rutting shallowly against Guillermo, but it was still too much, his eyes stung with tears and his cock pulsed with desperate need.

“Guillermo,” Nandor growled, sounding truly like something out of hell. His talons pierced Guillermo’s skin and he was coming, wasn’t he, he was coming in Guillermo, he was going to fill him up with his come, and fuck, that was it for him, his fingers dug into the chaise as he sobbed and pressed his hips back against Nandor and came.

There wasn’t any relief from the aftershocks, either, when Guillermo came down from the high of his orgasm to find Nandor had lain them both on their sides on the chaise with his knot still in Guillermo. But Nandor had his arms around Guillermo, and he held very still while Guillermo shivered.

It was kind of unusual for Nandor to initiate any sort of touching, but he was stuck. Guillermo smugly thought, with the part of his brain that he could still scrape together into coherency, that it served him right.

“I really would have appreciated a heads up, you know,” Guillermo said, once he felt coherent enough to talk. His nerves were still buzzing, but the knot was rubbing against him in a way that was starting to feel good again.

“How was I supposed to know that it would happen twice?” Nandor whined right in Guillermo’s ear. He huffed out a breath right against Guillermo’s neck. Those fangs could probably tear the vertebrae out of it like his tendons were butter, and it made Guillermo shiver. Though Guillermo had seen Nandor pull someone’s throat out entirely with his regular teeth, too.

Guillermo sighed. Nandor shifted his weight and the knot rubbed up against Guillermo’s prostate. His own cock was starting to fill again, and he wondered if it would be awkward to start stroking himself.

“Are you doing alright with it?” Nandor said, his voice surprisingly gentle. Guillermo didn’t think he would be able to bear it if Nandor wasn’t cured by this, he would expire from heartbreak like he was the wrong character in the cheap gothic paperback he wanted his life to be.

“Ye-yeah. I am.”

Guillermo rocked his hips back against him, and the overwhelming fullness felt nice, like he didn’t have room to worry or overthink it. Nandor cupped Guillermo’s chest in his hands and squeezed and traced the edge of his nipples with his claws, which made Guillermo squirm. Nandor was lazily groping him, his chest and his stomach and his arms, like he was the one who had trapped Guillermo instead of getting stuck in place by his own dick.

He pressed his sharp teeth gently against the back of Guillermo’s neck and opened his mouth so they would scrape against the skin without drawing blood.

Guillermo tipped over into another orgasm, and the lack of desperation this time around let him enjoy the way pleasure spread lazily through his entire body, down to his fingertips. Behind him, Nandor kept the sharp edges of his teeth pressed against his fragile skin and held him close.

After a few more minutes of lying there, the knot had finally gone down enough to allow Nandor to pull out, and Guillermo could feel the narrow width of the chaise lounge become slightly less stifling as Nandor’s entire body began to shrink. His heart leapt as he pushed himself up on one wobbly elbow and looked behind him. From what he could see in the darkness, Nandor was Nandor again.

“Aha! Your asshole has saved the day, Guillermo,” Nandor exclaimed, limbs spread as akimbo as they could be on their shared platform.

“So it worked. True love’s… something,” Guillermo said, and laughed a little to himself. The absurdity of the whole situation was catching up to him.

Nandor frowned at him. “I thought you were saying the curse was meaning I just had to fuck someone from behind.”

Guillermo was struck with the possibility that Nandor was right. Was it psychosomatic? Did the curse break just because Nandor thought it would?

“You are being very quiet.”

He wished Nadja and Laszlo would burst through the door at that moment and tell them that oopsy-daisy, the curse didn’t mention true love, just sex. Because that would suit his whole life just perfectly, wouldn’t it? He constructed elaborate stories in his mind to guard against the pathetic drudgery that filled his days. Of course he wasn’t the brave prince and Nandor wasn’t the temporarily chiropteran damsel in distress.

Guillermo opened his mouth, closed it. He had to tell Nandor the truth.

“No, master, we were just wrong about the kissing part. The-the true love part… that was still in there.” He closed his eyes, even though Nandor’s face was still mostly shadows to him, because he didn’t want to see the look of displeasure on his face.

He had to keep his eyes closed for a long moment.

“Huh,” said Nandor, who had told Guillermo that as a human, he had spoken four languages and written poetry that moved battle-hardened soldiers to tears.


“Why do you sound so upset, Guillermo? I know humans these days all get into a fuss about arranging their own marriages, but I had a very good run of luck with my thirty-seven wives. You are very lucky, if you think about it.”

The silence in the room was deafening, and also Guillermo’s fault. Actually, no, Guillermo wasn’t going to take the blame for being rendered speechless, because he had earned the right to be bewildered at what Nandor had just said. He thought he knew Nandor better than the back of his hand.

He could back out of this, or he could quit being a coward by… going along with Nandor.

“If we’re going to be dating, you can’t do the thing where you’re mean to me in front of the cameras because you think it makes you look better,” he said.

“Ugh, fine,” Nandor replied, in a tone that Guillermo was certain meant he was going to have to remind him more than once.

“And we get to do this regularly.”

Nandor frowned up at him. “I do not think I can do the knot thing again.”

“No, not that part. I’m fine-” and because his life seemed to be giving him exactly what he wanted in the most inconvenient way possible, Nadja, Laszlo, and Colin Robinson decided that was the perfect moment to burst into the room, Laszlo still clutching the spellbook.

“Oh good,” Nadja said, “you are no longer a weird bat monster. See, look, Laszlo, I was right.”

“Indeed, my savage siren, your brilliance has saved us once again.”

Nandor stood up, dick dangling, as Guillermo leaned over the edge of the chaise and groped around for something to cover himself with.

“Yes, yes, I intend to show Guillermo the benefits of being involved with me, but first we are going to get ourselves cleaned up and go get some blood. I am very hungry, because some people, I will not say who, kept sending in only waifs for me to eat.”

Guillermo, having draped his sweater over the more vulnerable parts of himself, took a moment to be a bit smug. Being a familiar sometimes meant denying oneself public credit for saving the day, but Nadja hadn’t been the one to s’envoyer et l’air with Nandor’s monster form.

“Also, we are getting a cat.”

“No, we’re not.”