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i can close the door on us (but the room still exists)

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Nadja looks out at the twinkling moonlight reflecting off what—in her experience—seems to be an unusually still Atlantic Ocean, but she can’t enjoy it. Between Gizmo sobbing, sitting too close beside her on top of the crate that should currently be housing her slumbering husband, and the intermittent blaring of the ship’s horn, she can’t get a moment of peace.

Not to mention, of course, the fact that she herself is not slumbering, because it has recently become apparent that her pigarse husband is still in Staten Island.

Her new travel companion sniffles beside her. “Nadja?”

When she doesn’t answer, Guillermo sighs.

“I’m sorry for what I said. I shouldn’t be mad at you, I’m just so fucking furious with Laszlo.”

Nadja stares out at the water. The fat, white moon casts long streaks of pale light, making the gentle waves look like creases in shimmering fabric.

“I mean, what the fuck is wrong with him? How could he do this to me?”

Out of the corner of her eye she watches Guillermo, refusing to turn towards him. She feels his gaze land on her face. She knows what he’s going to say before he says it.

“Anyway,” he huffs, “it’s not just about me. How could he do this to you?”

“Guillermo, do not speak about my husband like this,” she hears herself snap. “He is looking after baby Colin Robinson which is a very noble act.”

It’s an absurd thing to say given the circumstances and she’s sure she’s caught as soon as it comes out of her mouth, but Guillermo’s mouth drops open and his eyes are round with betrayal. Stupid fucking boy.

How could Laszlo do this to her though, really?

Colin pissing Robinson?

She steals a glance down at the letter beside her that she’s steadfastly ignoring in Guillermo’s annoyingly sharp presence.

It really is all extremely horrible. Sitting here, made small by watching a large moon over endless glittering seawater—she could be a human again in Antipaxos. Unimportant and unpowerful, a girl in a family of seventeen children, destined for death or marriage to a man who would almost certainly erase her to be even less than she already was.

Guillermo has now moped off to another part of the ship’s deck, leaving Nadja the peace and quiet to allow a few of the tears she has been viciously restraining to roll silently down her cheeks.

The thing is, Nadja is very clever. Obviously cleverer than donkey shit Nandor and even cleverer than her Laszlo, with all of his flowery language and poetry.

Why she’s really clever is how she’s managed to live a relatively happy eternal life so far, and that has been mainly by abstaining from the kind of navel-gazing that Nandor is regularly stupidly indulging in.

She doesn’t think too deeply, for example, about her relationship with Laszlo. Things happen, and he does his stupid shit, but when he comes back to her she finds that it’s much easier just to keep things light and devour him sexually when he comes though the door.

That’s not to say she never thinks about it.

Sometimes, when she’s sure he’s slumbering beside her and she’s safe with the four walls of her coffin close around her, she lets herself consider him. Lets herself consider them together, all the years that have passed, everything that’s happened, the other people— all of it, all at once. When it’s just her in the dark, cradled and constrained in the tight space, she can allow herself to really look. Like Laszlo and her relationship with him are a sculpture at a salon and she’s circling it, taking in every texture and every angle.

Nadja thinks that if it were a sculpture, there’d be a few nicks in the bronze. No, if she’s being really honest, it would be worse than that. There’d be extra limbs or something. Mistakes from the casting that interrupt the beauty of the smooth form, that stick out sorely, not meant to be there.

Laszlo is perfect and she loves him and they are a vampire power couple, but why does he keep choosing other things over her? Guitar lessons with the devil, a fucking human women’s volleyball team, Colin bloody Robinson. It’s not that she wants him not to do those things, she just doesn’t understand why he never invites her along.

Of course that’s where things get really dicey. When she’s being clever, she doesn’t let her thoughts go down that particular direction, snapping herself into slumber instead.

Tonight on this boat however, feeling like the only lonely girl awake in the world, she can’t muster up the conviction to steer herself away. She tastes copper as her tears stream down and curl around her lips. What’s the bloody point anymore, anyway? The sea stretches out in front of her as far as she can see, and he’s miles and miles away.

All at once, everything that she keeps locked away so they can keep being Nadja and Laszlo floats up to the top of her mind.

The witch who looked nothing like her, him fucking Lilith even though he knew they were the most sworn enemies of all, and then how she’d heard him having the best bloody time getting off with Nandor after she’d banished him from their room—the sound of him laughing throatily, that familiar lilt in his voice, while she lay in her coffin feeling like she had a hole in her middle.

How he wants to permeate every inch of her space when it’s the two of them in their chamber, her hair down and her gown off, bracketing him between her big, strong legs, squeezing his waist with her knees as she rides him.

How when she’s doing something that doesn’t involve her body he seems to have something else on.

She straightens, needing a change of scenery immediately. “Gizmo!” she whisper-screams into the direction Guillermo trudged off into. “Come here at once, your mistress needs to eat!”

 

x.x.x

 

Before coming to London she hadn’t usually disrobed when she slumbered, preferring to dress anew at the beginning of each night, but the material of her council-issued white garb is scratchy and cheap. She undoes the golden clasp at her sternum and the layers of polyester slink off her shoulders and pool around her waist before she loosens the tie there and lets the whole garment drop down around her bare feet.

Her room in the council dormitories is small and spartan, with no furniture but a completely ancient wooden wardrobe by the shuttered window and a less ancient telephone table by the door. Her coffin lies on a plinth in the middle of the room. She moves toward it now. She floats up above the plinth and then lays herself down onto the plush red velvet inside the coffin, leaving the lid open so she can stare at the buttressed ceiling. It’s not even nearly dawn yet.

There’s been a lot changed with her move to London three months ago, but her mornings are perhaps the most different. No scrumptious Jenna, no ghost of Gregor past.

No Laszlo—

Anyway. Enough of that. She is in a new place, and on the hunt for new sexual partners.

She’s thought about making fun sex friends with some of her other council members, but most of them are very old and very boring. Once they’re over a thousand years old it’s like, do we even have anything in common?

There’s only one vampire who’s any way fuckable, and that’s Adaya. They’d spent most of the last orgy together on a secluded chaise longue, having a whale of a time alternating between making each other come and laughing at the strange sight of all the really dusty and serious council vampires going ham on other dusty and serious council vampires.

Nadja closes her eyes and steers her mind to Adaya as she trails her fingers down her stomach, getting ready to pass the last hours of her day in the same way that she now does every morning.

She imagines Adaya sitting atop her now in her chamber, on that crap little telephone table. Nadja has always been an adept storyteller, she’s always weaving tantalising and colourful tales. It’s that talent that allows her to paint a beautiful sex-picture in her mind now with Adaya – her long dark hair wrapped around Nadja’s fist as she bounces on her lap, her breasts sliding against Nadja’s own, her throat exposed as she stares up at the ceiling, mouth hanging open.

Nadja’s hand moves down to her entrance and then to her clit. She begins making the little circles like she likes. She takes in a shaky breath she doesn't need. Her hands and throat tingle as she stirs under her own expert touch. She settles down into the velvet of her coffin.

She tries to focus on the sexy little scenario she’s set up in her head, but as she feels herself getting hotter and wetter, her thoughts slip away from Adaya. Instead, there’s a familiar wide torso between her legs, hands with black fingernails spreading her knees open.

She wills her thoughts back to Adaya, back to them fucking on every surface of Nadja’s room. She focuses on the image of Adaya’s white teeth sinking into her bottom lip as Nadja pushes two fingers into her—an arm wrapped all the way around her waist, holding her up against the armoire, which bangs loudly with every thrust of Nadja’s hand.

It’s no use. The banging armoire reminds her of the thump of her coffin back in Staten Island, and suddenly she’s being fucked into it, a thick head of black hair pressed up against her cheek and cold lips mouthing against her neck.

She hears herself moan, her body responding to the memory, sharper and clearer and more real in her mind than any colourful little story she can make up. But she doesn’t want to think about him.

She tries for Viago, imagining that he’d eat her earnestly, on his knees in front of her while she sits in his golden throne. When that doesn’t stick she moves to Guillermo, imagining herself astride him, her strong vampiric body ruining his delicate human one.

She groans. Even a scenario as freaky as fucking her human familiar-turned-unwilling-companion isn’t enough to stave off thoughts of him. It doesn’t matter how hard she tries anyway, really, or who she tries to think about. It happens like it does every morning.

She really hasn’t been thinking about him much since she’s been here, and not like, during the night while she is going around doing her important business, it’s only like this. It’s just been too many times together, too much sex between them over too many hundreds of years. Every scenario she pictures with any person just melts into a memory of her and Laszlo.

She imagines his hands running up her thighs as he moves between her legs, the downy hairs on his belly brushing off the curve of her own as he slams into her.

Tears sting at the sides of her eyes even as her legs start to shake and the muscles in her stomach tighten. Hundreds of times with him flicker in front of her closed eyelids.

Him looking up at her with his dark eyes from between her thighs, fingertips pressing into the softness there. Him smiling down at her, like he never does in front of anyone else because he’s such a grumpy arse, but when he smiles at her he looks younger, human even.

She sinks two fingers into herself and palms her breast, imagining it’s his hand on her cold skin.

Him naked except for the gold necklace his horrible father gave him around his pale neck, the chain glinting and the round pendant sitting in the middle of his chest just above where she likes to open his skin with her nail. His face changing, his mouth falling open and his brow knitting together in his desire for her.

Her hands in his hair, the smell of him, his breath on the nape of her neck and his strong forearm clamped around her front as he pushes into her too slowly.

Her mind is swimming, her muscles all pulled taut. She feels hot all over, all up her neck and in her cheeks. She moves her hand down to her clit and it's him touching her and him inside her and her hips are rising up to meet his as he buries himself in her over and over again.

She comes and tastes tears, and when her orgasm tapers off she’s left missing him so profoundly that it feels like a stake in her heart.

After a moment she steels herself and levitates out of the coffin to perform her nightly ablutions. When she settles herself back into the velvet afterwards she’s clever—she uses her vampiric powers to summon her slumber, and she’s out like a light.

 

x.x.x

 

Nadja’s never understood why humans are obsessed with snow. She says as much to Guillermo now as they stroll together down an empty street, its cobbles blanketed with a thick layer of white.

“I think it’s sweet, like they don’t get much snow over here, so when they do get it everyone freaks out.”

“Well we never got snow on Antipaxos and I didn’t freak out like a stupid baby when I saw it for the first time.”

Guillermo laughs a little. “I mean you’re a five-hundred year old vampire Nadja, so it’s not suprising you don’t get the whole childlike wonder thing.”

He smiles over at her, and there’s something endearing about him in the setting, with his hands shoved snugly into the pockets of his furry jacket.

“Anyway,” he starts, “we’ve been all over Soho now and it looks like there’s literally nobody out.”

“So what?” Nadja scoffs, stopping on the corner as they reach the end of the street. “A little snow and the whole bloody place shuts down?” She turns to shout down a row of houses on her left, raising her voice, “stupid bloody baby arses—“

“Shh Nadja!” Guillermo cuts her off. “We could try to get invited in somewhere, but you’d have to stop shouting like a crazy person.”

Nadja groans. Eating a human who happens to be walking in a dark alley is a lot less effort than trying to hypnotise one into letting you into their house.

“You could,” Guillermo starts, and Nadja turns her attention back to him, “I mean, you could drink from me.”

The tips of Guillermo’s ears and nose are a little red from the cold already, and now his cheeks are positively flaming. Nadja can see his pulse jumping in his neck. She can hear his heartbeat. Her mouth fills with moisture despite herself.

“I’m not going to turn you into a vampire Guillermo,” is what she decides to say, because it’s the safest reply she can think to give to such a proposition.

Guillermo shakes his head, and he looks genuine. “No! That’s not what I meant! I just— I want you to eat, ‘cause you need to eat. And I’m like, food for you, so.”

Nadja stares at him. He looks back, swaying back and forth slightly. He pulls at his jacket and does a little shiver, staying silent as he waits for her to respond.

Eventually she answers, mustering up her best flirty voice and bearing her teeth in an attempt to break the tension that’s settled into the few feet between them.“What if I kill you Guillermo? Hmm? What if I get a little taste of your delicious warm blood and I can’t stop myself?”

He doesn’t rise to it. “I trust you Nadja.” And he looks right in her eye as he says it.

 

x.x.x

 

Since it was Guillermo who had organised their travel back to Staten Island, they were to fly there by plane on an overnight flight.

“It’s like, a six hour flight versus a two-week trip at sea. I honestly don’t know who would choose to go by boat,” he’d said to her while hunched over his computer, navigating it deftly with his fingers stroking gently over the little flat pad.

She looks around her chambers. She’s been shipping all of her belongings back to Staten Island over the past few weeks in preparation for her departure from London, so that all that remains now is one suitcase with a few gowns in it and her dolly.

“I’ll miss this place,” she says to the empty room, and to dolly.

“I won’t,” dolly replies, “no good pussy or peen.”

She hears Guillermo’s gentle footsteps outside the door. “Nadja,” he calls softly, “we’ve got to leave for the airport now, the cab’s here.”

“Be right there, you go!”

She looks around one more time. She smoothes her hands over her dress.

“I like it,” dolly pipes up from behind her.

“You like what my darling?” She murmurs back as she checks that she has all of her things before they leave.

“I like your dress. You look like a present. Very unwrappable, very sexy.”

“Well my dolly, I’m going to be a clever girl about it.” She picks up the suitcase. She bops dolly on her little nose.

“I’m going to meet Laszlo, he’ll unwrap me and fuck me and love me and somewhere along the way when he’s entranced by my beauty and he’s giving me his attention I’ll slip in that he has really fucked me over.”

“That’s it? μαλακία!” shouts dolly. She waves her hands angrily. “I think he needs lashes! He’s pigshit leaving you alone for all this time!”

“I just want my husband back, dolly,” Nadja sighs.

“And anyway,” Her voice threatens to crack. ”He fucking loves leaving me, so if I push him away he’ll probably never come back.”

Her dolly looks at her sadly. “Okay my darling,” she says after a moment and holds up her little dolly hand for Nadja to take. “Let’s go find Gizmo and our cap.”

“It’s cab, my stupid little baby bitch.”

“Okay, let’s go find our cab.”