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The Vampire Hotel

Chapter Text

Carmilla stood in the open doorway of the beach house she shared with Laura. Ten minutes earlier, she awoke to find herself alone. The sheets on Laura’s side of the bed were cool and untouched which meant that her girlfriend hadn’t come to bed that morning. It was slightly concerning, but not entirely unusual. Laura tried to keep to Carmilla’s nocturnal schedule, but there were days she couldn’t help but be drawn to the sun. Her own tolerance for sunlight had improved, but in typical catlike fashion she preferred the extra sleep.

In the distance, she observed Mattie and Laura reclining side by side in two loungers. A large beach umbrella protected had been erected to protect Mattie from the sun. Carmilla assumed that her sister had arrived on the island earlier that morning.

The last rays of the setting sun highlighted the gentle ocean waves with a reddish-orange hue. It looked to be a beautiful cloudless night, although a touch warmer than usual. For Carmilla, this wasn’t a problem. The cat part of her longed to stretch out in the still hot granules of sand. But that might lead to rolling around. Or frolicking. She learned her lesson in that regard the hard way.

That was nearly two decades ago, but Laura still dragged that damn video out at least once a year. Watching a home movie of her panther-self playing in the sand was embarrassing, but her complaints were always half-hearted because Laura loved it. And she loved Laura. Submitting to the occasional mortification was a small price to pay for one of Laura’s smiles. Besides, she only barely resisted reciting foolishly sentimental poetry or decorating their bedsheets with rose petals.

Carmilla watched Mattie take Laura’s hand in her own and place a kiss against her girlfriend’s knuckles. On paper, Mattie and Laura’s friendship shouldn’t work. And perhaps in another life they might’ve been at one another’s throats. But in this one they’d been confidants and sisters. They had a bond that operated outside of the relationship of sister or lover they shared with Carmilla. These women were her family. Not the one she’d been born into, but the one she made of her own choosing.

Deciding that she’d procrastinated enough, Carmilla shrugged into a silk robe that fell just past midthigh and padded across the beach to join them. Their conversation trailed off. She squeezed Mattie’s shoulder before turning to her girlfriend. Laura’s eyes were hidden behind dark sunglasses and she wore a sarong covered indigo bikini and the tiny smile she reserved for Carmilla alone.

“Hey,” Carmilla said and let her eyes roam over Laura’s body. The bikini didn’t leave much to the imagination.

Laura reached out and took ahold of Carmilla’s hand and pulled her down for a kiss. “Hey. I missed you.”

“Hmmmm. And yet you never came to bed. So,” Carmilla murmured against her mouth. “I might need some convincing.”

“My beloved sister hasn’t seen me in months and I’m ignored for a strumpet. How rude,” Mattie said, with false indignation.

“Strumpet? Really?” Laura blurted.

The exasperation coloring Laura’s tone made Carmilla want to smile. Also, the fact that she was glaring daggers at Mattie. Carmilla waggled her eyebrows at Laura, and without breaking eye contact, said, “Mattie, if Laura and I promise to attend your party tonight, would you leave? Immediately?”

Mattie sniffed. “So much disrespect. Especially after I’ve been kind enough to allow you to use my island as a litterbox. You’re lucky I don’t have you staked, kitty cat. But fine, I’ll go. Make sure you see to her needs. The poor thing has spent the entire night crying on my shoulder.”

“Stop exaggerating,” Laura said. “I absolutely did not cry on your shoulder. Or, you know, at all.”

“Yes, well, I could tell that you wanted to. The party starts at midnight, and I expect you both to show up. It’s the grand opening.” Mattie stood up and brushed non-existent sand from the white beach dress with gauzy sheer layers that she wore. Her expression softened as she turned to gaze down at Laura. “Little sister. It’s hard to imagine this now, but your heart will mend. What people say about time healing wounds isn’t complete nonsense.” She leaned over and tucked a few strands of Laura’s hair behind her ear before cupping her cheek. “I’ll see you later this evening. And don’t you dare let bedroom eyes over there distract you from coming.”

With a small nod, Laura leaned into Mattie’s caress and said, “Thanks Mattie, we’ll see you tonight.”

Before she left, Mattie pulled Carmilla into a tight hug. “I’m happy to see you. We need to spend an evening together before I have to go back, just us.”

“Paint the town red?” Carmilla asked, brow raised. She was, of course, joking. Those days were long in the past.

“Please, as if. You’re too domesticated for that, little monster. But perhaps we can share a glass of blood and reconnect.” Mattie slapped Carmilla’s arm lightly. “I’ve missed you. And I absolutely forbid any more of these extended separations.”                  

Carmilla watched her sister walk along the shoreline with the ocean waves rolling and lapping at her feet. Mattie had a particular fascination with the ocean, and while she strongly preferred the city, she made a point of visiting a few times a year. It had been five years since Mattie decided to purchase an island in the Mediterranean with the intention of turning it into a resort experience for vacationers who wished to mingle with vampires. Half of island was sectioned off for personal use—her own mansion and Carmilla and Laura’s cottage. The surrounding area was overgrown with trees and vegetation and had enough animal life for those times when Carmilla felt like stretching her paws and hunting.

They’d lived here for the past few years with Laura’s elderly father, Sherman. That is, until he passed away six months prior. Initially inconsolable, Laura suddenly became prone to long bouts of silence. It was disquieting and Carmilla swore never again to crave a moment’s peace. Only recently had Laura’s laughter and smiles begun to reappear in greater frequency.

She refreshed Laura’s wine from a nearby cooler. “Are you comfortable where you are or would you like to share?”

Rather than answer, Laura grinned and scooted forward to allow Carmilla to climb in behind her. “Are you naked underneath that robe?”

Carmilla wrapped her arms around Laura’s waist and nuzzled her neck. Held her tight. She hummed and murmured, “Perhaps I am. What’s the point of living on a private beach if you can’t take advantage of the perks?”

“I’ll never get used to how much of an exhibitionist you are.”

“Says that girl who keeps recording images of me walking around nude.”

Laura laughed. A beautiful sound. “I think it’s necessary to document these incidents. You know, for posterity.”

“And the library of videos detailing every moment we’ve spent fucking?”

“Those are also for posterity. Future generations of lesbians might one day need to reference them for educational purposes. I’m pretty sure we do this better than it has ever been done. They’ll be instructional videos.”

“Right. Instructional videos otherwise known as pornography.” Carmilla nipped at Laura’s neck. She smelled of honeysuckle and the ocean breeze. Being this close, she could also smell the blood that pulsed through Laura’s veins. It was intoxicating. “Your hair smells nice. Although, I didn’t hear you come in to shower.”

Laura continued to gaze out at the surf and didn’t immediately respond. Whenever she was feeling contemplative she watched the water. At some point during the day a yacht had anchored itself a mile or so off the coast.

“You were asleep. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

Sighing, Carmilla said, “Cupcake.” She hated that Laura ever hesitated to share her burdens.

Laura placed her hands over Carmilla’s which still hugged her waist. “I know. I wasn’t avoiding you. I promise. Mattie called earlier and I ran inside to shower before she came over. That’s all.”

“You talked about dad?” Sherman had insisted that Carmilla call him dad. It started out strange, but he was the only parent she’d ever loved.

“Yes. And no.” Laura’s shoulders lifted in a half shrug. “I hadn’t seen her since the funeral, so we talked about it some. Mattie was telling me about when she was human and,” she hesitated, “her son. The one she lost when Lilita turned her.”

Laura never bothered to hide her disdain when she spoke Mother’s name. Over the years there had been no love lost between the two. Although, if anything, Maman seemed fascinated by the fact that Laura never weakened, never grew tired the way her own bonded did. If anything, she grew stronger. Her strength and endurance would never match a vampires, but her health far outshone an average human’s. Carmilla didn’t want to draw conclusions from this, refused to ever say it aloud. But her traitorous heart hoped this was a sign that that they’d have an eternity together.

“Ah, so she told you about growing up along the Congo?” It wasn’t a secret, but Mattie rarely mentioned the family she had before Mother. It spoke volumes that she’d share this information with Laura.

“She said when she was barely a teenager her father traded her to a man for some livestock.” Laura sounded offended that feminism didn’t exist in ancient times. “But apparently, he treated her well and they started a family.” Her voice cracked when she continued, “And then Lilita happened. Mattie was torn away from her family because your mother thought her beautiful and exotic. Like she was something to collect.”

Carmilla pressed a kiss to Laura’s ear. “She saw him again before he died. He was an adult by then, and didn’t remember her.  But it brought her closure to see that her son lived and had his own family. Sometimes I wish I were as strong as Mattie.”

Laura squeezed her hand and said, “No Carm, you’re stronger. You both had terrible things done to you, but you are the one who was brave enough to love again. To try again. Especially after what happened with Ell. You Carm, you. You’re the strongest person I’ve ever met, never doubt that.”

“I think you’re biased, sweetheart.” Her tone was light, but she appreciated Laura’s unwavering loyalty.

“Maybe so,” Laura admitted. “But I refuse to apologize when I know I’m right.” In mature fashion, she blew a raspberry.

“So, are you ready to talk about it?” Carmilla asked, changing the subject. She kept her tone soft, soothing. Her hands rubbed and kneaded at Laura’s muscles in an effort to relax her. She loved touching Laura. The way her skin felt against her own. She smiled at the goosebumps left in the wake of her fingers.

Laura shivered and sighed. “That feels nice.” She remained silent for another minute before finally saying, “Do you realize that I’m sixty years old?”

“And yet, you don’t look a day over twenty.”

“Ha, you’re so funny.” Laura leaned her head back until it rested on Carmilla’s shoulder. “I guess with my dad and everything it’s struck me that I’m standing still while everyone else I know is…dying.”

Carmilla leaned her head back and took a moment to search for the right words. In her darker moments, she sometimes wondered if Laura would ever come to regret this life where attachments to people were fleeting. “My family wasn’t one filled with warmth, so I can’t really say that I felt anything at all when my relatives met their respective ends. But, there was a point around my hundredth year or so when I realized that everyone I had ever known was dead. It was…unsettling. If the Karnstein descendants remembered me at all, it would only be as the idiot girl who got herself murdered at a ball. Forgotten, barely a footnote in the family history books.” She took a deep breath and continued, “But sweetheart, you won’t share that fate. Yes, you’re going to leave people behind, but they’ll all be better for having known you.”

Laura twisted her head around as much as she was able. Her lips quirked up and she said, “Hmmm, now who’s sounding biased?”

Carmilla scoffed. “I’m always objective.”

“Uh huh.”                                      

They fell into a comfortable silence. Many nights were spent out here under the clear night sky where Carmilla felt so at peace. Laura always kept her company. Usually with a glass of wine while she detailed her day overseeing the construction of Mattie’s new hotel. But then there were times like tonight when they simply wanted to lie in the comfort of one another’s arms and enjoy the quiet solitude. Carmilla never loved her sister so much as the night Mattie requested that Carmilla and Laura move to the island with Laura’s father. Mattie affirmed that only her apprentice, Laura, could be trusted enough to supervise the creation of the newest Succombez á Moi hotel. There might have been some truth to that, but mostly this was a move that allowed them to get far away from Mother. And Ell, who despite Carmilla’s repeated threats of bodily harm and decapitation, hadn’t dimmed in her obsession with Laura.

At least living here on the island, they had a modicum of freedom from her family and their dramas. She squeezed Laura tight as if her arms could provide adequate protection the dangers that seemed to linger around every corner.

“You’re thinking too hard back there. Are you brooding about your mother again?” Laura asked through a yawn. “You know she hates it here ever since those birds kept following her around and pooping in her hair. I know you said Mattie wasn’t involved in that, but the whole thing was way too weird to be a coincidence.”

Carmilla smiled warmly in remembrance of her mother’s indignation. “I’m fine. Minimal brooding.”

This non-answer obviously didn’t sit well with Laura as she twisted around until she straddled Carmilla’s thighs. Her nose crinkled as she said, “‘I’m fine’ is what people say when they aren’t fine at all.” Laura expelled an overly exaggerated sigh and said, “I suppose I’m just going to have to tickle it out of you.” Her hands made threatening motions at Carmilla’s middle.

“Tickle it out of me?” Carmilla asked, eyebrow raised. “If memory serves that didn’t go so well for you last time.”

Laura’s lips curved upwards into a radiant smile. “I’ll have to disagree with you there, Carm. I remember that day very well, and I think it went great for me.” Her eyes fell to where Carmilla’s robe had fallen open and partially exposed her breasts. “You know, I realize I give you a hard time about traipsing around the island half naked, but please never listen to me. You should wear nothing but your birthday suit all the time.”

Carmilla exhaled at the simple pleasure of Laura’s touch. Forty years and their mutual desire for one another hadn’t diminished. She lusted after Laura every bit as much as she had at their first meeting so long ago. The sex had always been explosive, but it was the love and trust that Carmilla valued the most. And the mutual trust she had in Laura to love her back. It was laughable that on their first meeting she’d tried to send Laura away. Thankfully her body instinctually understood what her mind could not.

Enthusiastic hands were pushing Carmilla’s robe away from her breasts, and then Laura’s mouth was there sucking at her nipple. She started soft, alternating between firm strokes and quick flicks of her tongue that were meant to arouse. Not that she needed much help. Sometimes Laura doing the most innocent of tasks was enough to turn her on. There was nothing innocuous about her actions right now though. The fine edges of Laura’s teeth bit into her puckered nipple and stretch it away from her body. It ached, sharp in one moment, then settling into a dull throb the next. Her breath hitched and she could feel the monster that lived in the red tinged shadow of her soul stirring, clawing its way out of slumber. It was intrigued and hungered for its mate. It longed for her touch. Her taste. It wanted Carmilla to take control, to bury her fangs and her fingers in the warm willing body that was pressed so enticingly against her own. But for now, she’d hold it at bay because there was pleasure to be had in compliance too.

Laura’s lips pulled away from the tender flesh with a loud wet pop and now she hovered bare inches above Carmilla’s breast with a sinful smile that plainly spoke of her intentions. Her tongue darted out, transferring its attentions over Carmilla’s other breast. Decades of encouragement and shared intimacy had made Laura into a confident lover. And on her, it was a magnificent thing to observe.

She wanted that hot wet mouth on her body. This was Laura’s show, but she had no intentions of making it easy. Carmilla snaked her hands around Laura’s hips until they cupped her girlfriend’s ass. Her fingertips kneaded the cheeks. Almost unconsciously, Laura’s hips started grinding against her stomach.

Good. But before she could press any advantage, Laura took ahold of her wrists and pushed them against the chair on either side of Carmilla’s head.

“Oh no you don’t. You stay still or maybe I’ll get up and go to Mattie’s party instead.”

It was an empty threat, but Laura’s expression was serious. Carmilla laughed out loud. “Sorry cupcake, but I know you too well. If we went to that party now you’d be dragging me into some hideaway within a half an hour begging me to fuck you.”

Laura huffed and said, “Or maybe you’d be begging me to fuck you.”

Winking, Carmilla said, “Schematics. Just as long as someone is getting fucked. Also, have I ever said how sexy your dirty talk is?” She leaned forward to capture Laura’s mouth in a slow measured kiss. Laura’s hands tightened around her wrists and held them in place as the kiss grew more heated. Another kiss was placed against the side of her mouth, then Laura was nipping her bottom lip. Hard enough that the monster began to make insistent demands. Take her. Take her. Drink from her. Make her yours. Instead, she relaxed against the chair and grinned. “Someone is feeling frisky tonight.”

“You bet I fucking am,” Laura replied, emphasis on the profanity. “Keep your hands there. Don’t move them or you’ll have to wait till later when we’re in public.”

“Control looks good on you sweetheart.” The monster thought so too and perhaps a tiny growl escaped Carmilla’s lips at seeing Laura in her element like this. She gripped the hard metal slats of the chair and watched her girlfriend’s attentions wander over her body. Laura’s hands were cupping the undersides of her breasts then pushing them together creating an illusion that they were fuller than they really were. Laura’s mouth resumed its attentions on her breast while maintaining eye contact. It was one of the sexiest things she’d ever seen. But Laura Hollis, ever tightly-wound, couldn’t keep her entire body under such strict control. Her knees had a bruising grip on Carmilla’s sides.

There was no mistaking the scent of Laura’s arousal. Sweet and tangy. The monster smelled something else entirely. Laura’s blood was poetic in its effect on her. Always there, tingling at the edge of her senses. Teasing and beckoning and promising to sate her hunger. And it always did, if only for a short while.

Without warning, Laura sat up and reached behind her back to pull the strap that was holding her bikini top in place. It started to float away from her body, but was quickly held in place by her arms which snapped tight to her ribs.

“You know,” Laura began, a sly smile gracing her lips. “I will only drop this if you agree to give me whatever I want.”

“Yes, okay. I’ll do it.”

Taken aback by Carmilla’s immediate acquiescence, Laura burst out laughing and managed to accidentally drop her top anyway. The thin material fell and caressed Carmilla’s stomach with a feather-like touch as it landed. Their eyes met and after a few seconds, Laura’s mirth faded until only a sinful smile remained. Carmilla’s eyed Laura’s breasts. They were lovely and she wanted to use her mouth to map out the beauty marks that in her opinion resembled stars and constellations. A map of the only universe she ever felt like she belonged in. She’d kissed each one a million times. She had a strong desire to get started on the next million.

Instead, she watched as Laura’s head lowered until her soft lips pressed a kiss to Carmilla’s neck. Each and every time Laura touched her it felt like love and acceptance. This gentler version of Carmilla’s own bite had become a ritual between them over the years. When she bit Laura, drank from her, Carmilla tried to pour every ounce of devotion she possessed into an act that by its very nature was violent and painful. She thought that perhaps this was Laura’s unspoken way of saying that she’d succeeded.

Soon Laura was scooting down her body, nearly as eager as Carmilla for the night’s first orgasm. Laura’s impulsive nature almost always guaranteed that one of them was coming within the first ten minutes. And if the way her legs were being spread wide was any indication, then she was minutes from relief.

Laura paused to briefly to taste and suck at the tender flesh of Carmilla’s inner thigh. The workings of a vampire’s body had been a source of constant frustration to her girlfriend over the years. No matter how she tried, Laura could never leave a possessive mark on Carmilla’s fair skin. Her heart would never pump blood through her veins again. If she was cut only the barest trickles of blood would flow from the wound. Once, early in their relationship, Laura spent an entire evening suckling at a single spot on Carmilla’s neck only to have the fruits of her efforts, a barely visible mark, disappear within ten minutes.

Laura Hollis often didn’t know when to quit, but in this case, wisely chose to move on. She nipped one final time at Carmilla’s leg before moving on to nuzzle the fine trimmed hairs at the apex of her thighs. As she drew away, Laura used her teeth to lightly tug on some of those hairs before descending to spread Carmilla’s lips with the tip of her tongue.

It was always difficult for her to relax in these situations. The monster demanded dominance and truthfully, Carmilla usually didn’t see much point in denying it’s desires. They were a part of her. But the contentment she now knew had also fostered change. Trusting another person enough to be vulnerable with them hadn’t come easy, but then Laura was nothing if not persistent.

She closed her eyes and forced her body to melt into Laura’s touch. Her tongue was pushing determinedly between Carmilla’s labia, delving deeper and deeper only to pull away before she fostered too much pleasure. Hissing, Carmilla snapped her eyes open and glared.

With a not so innocent smile, Laura retreated an inch. “Watch me.” She followed this statement by blowing cool air on Carmilla’s sex which did the exact opposite of cooling her off.

And this wasn’t exactly a new request, nor one she had any issues obeying. Laura had a thing for being watched. Carmilla drew her mouth into a smirk and through a deliberate growl that she knew made Laura hot, said, “Someone seems to be embracing her role. Just wait till it’s my turn.”

Laura smiled, clearly excited for that as well. “Can’t wait.” Her brown eyes regarded Carmilla warmly and held some emotion that she couldn’t quite decipher. Love yes. Lust definitely. But something else too…possibly anxiety. She wasn’t able to think much more on it, though, because Laura did that swirl thing with her tongue that drove Carmilla crazy. She insisted on calling it the Hollis Maneuver which also drove Carmilla crazy. Could she be any more silly? Or adorable?

And sexy. Sexy because the look Laura was giving her now was the very definition of sexy. Shit. She might come, except Carmilla refused to come this quickly. She was a centuries old vampire, not a prepubescent boy who thought the finish line was two pumps and four seconds in. However, Laura must’ve recognized the signs because she doubled down on the swirl thing and Carmilla was lost. Her body clenched, shuddered. Distantly, she could feel the sensation of Laura’s tongue continuing to flit through her folds, fucking her with supreme skill. When the orgasm passed and she could think again, Carmilla reached a hand out and said, “Come here cupcake. Give me a minute and I’ll return the favor.”

Laura gave a tiny shake of her head and continued lapping at Carmilla’s folds, managing to avoid any overly sensitive areas. After a few minutes, she must’ve determined that Carmilla had enough of a cool down period and returned to her task with gusto. Where she’d been soft before, she was now wild. One moment she was sucking Carmilla’s labia into her mouth, then the next one of her teeth gently scraped across the hood of her clit.

The entire time they watched one another. Laura’s eyes were penetrating as they read her every reaction. Carmilla’s days of holding things back were long gone and now she felt comfortable letting go and giving Laura everything she wanted. Which often included multiple orgasms. Laura’s fingers were probing at her entrance, each offering promises of fulfillment and rapture.

The monster, still present, rumbled its contentment in the back of her mind. Yes. Give. Give. Give.

Laura was rocking Carmilla’s body with each push of her strong arms, and her lips had latched onto Carmilla’s clit with a singular focus. Each time they penetrated her body, those fingers were knowing and determined to seek out those spots that would make her scream. Carmilla wanted to hold those fingers close, make them cede to her will. She rolled her hips in time with Laura’s thrusts and soon enough she was coming again.

Only when her body slackened, weak from pleasure and overstimulation, did Laura pull away. This time she accepted the invitation and crawled up the lounger until she straddled Carmilla’s hips. Along the way, she’d managed to lose her sarong and bikini bottoms.

“You’re brimming with enthusiasm tonight,” Carmilla said, with a lazy smile.

Laura pecked her on the mouth and said, “Are you saying I’m usually lacking in enthusiasm?” Her eyes glinted and the corners of her mouth were upturned in amusement.

Carmilla snorted. “Hardly. I think you’re normally dialed in at a ten. But…” She trailed off and considered Laura’s face for a moment. The way her eyes were crinkled and the nervous energy that surrounded her. Like she had a secret she could barely hold inside. She recognized this look, but wasn’t sure what the cause of it was. Perhaps Mattie’s arrival? “You seem like you’re up to something.”

Leaning forward to press another kiss to Carmilla’s mouth, Laura murmured, “There might be…something.”

“Mmmm. Mattie’s been on the island all of a few hours and she’s got you involved in some scheme,” Carmilla said, largely unconcerned. Her attention was needed elsewhere. Like Laura’s sweat slickened body and the way it glided against her own. She ran her hands between their bodies to cup Laura’s breasts. Squeezing them and enjoyed the way Laura’s hard nipples were rocks against her palms. She kissed her again, and again. Their lips moved together effortlessly, a languid exploration. They’d made love thousands of times, but Carmilla never got enough. The between them bond ensured that she would always crave Laura’s blood far more than others, but the emotional connection had been unexpected. She needed Laura’s blood, but not nearly as much as she needed her love. Love insisted she do ridiculous things like buy nerdy gifts she knew Laura wanted and present them for no reason other than she could. Or do appalling things like pick up her dirty clothes and clean the dishes.

Speaking of the need for blood. The monster was fully awake now. Awake and wanting. Her fangs were pushing through the front of her gum line while her human incisors receded. It was always an uncomfortable process—replacing one tooth with a sharper and infinitely more lethal one.

“You’re hungry aren’t you, Carm?” Laura asked. She was grinding and painting a wet streak down Carmilla’s abdomen. And her hands were everywhere. Caressing her face and shoulders before finding purchase in her hair. She wasn’t gentle about it. “I think you need to feed.” It was stating the obvious, but Laura made it sound suggestive. Like feeding also meant fucking. And for them it did. Sex and blood had long shared symbiotic existence in their lives.

Carmilla released a rumbling assent that reverberated through her chest. She lowered one hand between their bodies until her fingers could tease at Laura’s sex. So wet. The hunger was consuming her senses. Almost unconsciously, her mouth moved to hover over Laura’s neck. She kissed the skin there, licked it. Sucked at it as if she could somehow get to the blood without surrendering to her violent nature.

Laura held her head in place, fingers threaded through Carmilla’s unruly hair. “Carm, please give me more. I need you.”

Permission given, she scraped her fangs across that fragile skin and her senses exploded as they absorbed the twin droplets of blood that formed. There were times when passion led her to strike quickly, and drink her fill, but given a choice Carmilla greatly preferred to savor and relish Laura’s blood. The droplets welled from the miniscule cuts and she sucked at them, encouraging the blood to flow despite the shallowness of the wounds. It was too soon to fully give in.

She thumbed Laura’s clit while her index finger caressed the silky folds that awaited her. Laura was pressing herself into Carmilla’s hand and it seemed that gentle lovemaking would have to wait. She wanted to tease, to make her beg, but that would mean removing her mouth—and fangs—from Laura’s throat. Instead she gave in and inserted a single finger inside. It wouldn’t be enough and she smiled without breaking the suction hold her mouth had when a gasp of outrage emerged from Laura’s lips.

Rather than continue with complaints, Laura made use of what was given. Her hips rose smoothly only to sink back down until she rested on Carmilla’s knuckles. Over and over, Laura pleasured and filled her body while Carmilla held her tight. She blazed with a fire that felt like it could scorch and consume.

The monster snarled in its fervor for more and Carmilla could only see through its red tinged gaze now. The world in all of its infinite colors had transformed into one made only in shades of red. Her fangs broke the skin of Laura’s neck even as she added another finger. The blood trickled freely into her mouth. Not enough to sate her hunger, but an appetizer nonetheless.

Laura’s knees clenched around her hips as she feverishly rode Carmilla’s fingers—nearly as desperate in her need as Carmilla was in her hunger. She was speaking in nonsensical ramblings as she sought her release. “Carm…I love…please make me…I need more…don’t sto…oh god yes…”

Carmilla could feel the muscles of Laura’s pussy fluttering around her fingers. She responded by adding a third then rapidly swiping her thumb over Laura’s clit. Instinct took over and she used the hand that still grasped Laura’s breast to pinch and twist her nipple.

“Carm,” Laura said, breathless. “Now, do it now.”

She struck and buried her fangs as deep as she could into Laura’s neck. It took exactly three seconds before Laura cried out, her body shuddering with orgasm. Only then did Carmilla retract her fangs and drink.

Blood, thick and sweet in a way that was wholly Laura flowed down her throat. Carmilla swallowed it in huge gulps and was vaguely aware that some of it was spilling from the sides of her mouth. She really never had mastered the art of a clean bite. The red haze that muted her vision faded and Carmilla could feel the monster returning to its slumber. It was then that she became aware of Laura pulling her hand away from her center.

“Don’t stop, Carm. Just hold me.”

Carmilla wrapped both arms around Laura’s waist and held her tight as she swallowed her fill. She rubbed and caressed the muscles of Laura’s back to let her know without words that she was loved and cherished. This feeling of intimacy would forever stand as one of the most satisfying she’d ever known. All too soon she could feel Laura’s body going slack and knew it was time to stop. A few swipes of her tongue and the blood slowed to a trickle. Laura’s healing would take care of the rest.

“Sleep. I’ll wake you before it’s time to go,” Carmilla said. She smiled when Laura babbled something about being ready for round two. Carefully, she stood up with Laura cradled in her arms. Seconds later they were inside and she was lowering her onto their bed. A few feet away, their tabby cat, Minerva McGonagall, stared at them with a judgmental eye. Carmilla hissed, but the cat was clearly not impressed.

After checking to make sure that Laura’s pulse was strong—they kept blood on hand for an emergency that had yet to occur—she went into the bathroom to retrieve a damp washcloth. They would bathe before the party, but Carmilla wanted to take care of her. She wiped the worst of it away and was relieved to see that the puncture wounds had nearly healed over. In another hour, there would be no evidence they’d ever existed.

Minerva was picked up and deposited on the floor. Curling her body around Laura’s would’ve been impossible otherwise. The stupid cat got the last laugh by immediately jumping back on the bed walking across her face to then slink under Laura’s arm and fall asleep. They were in a constant battle for Laura’s attention. A battle she was pleased to say she consistently won. What a ridiculous trio they made.

A half an hour or so passed before Laura stirred. “Carm,” she said, drowsy but with a smile in her tone. “Please tell me we didn’t miss the party. Mattie would kill us.”

Carmilla kissed her ear and said, “No. We still have time. Are you ready to shower?”

“In a minute.” Laura interlaced her fingers with Carmilla’s and held them to her belly. “Can I ask you a question?” She paused to allow Carmilla time to murmur her acquiescence. Do you ever think about the future?”

Sensing that there was hidden meaning behind this question, Carmilla didn’t immediately answer. “No, not really,” she said, finally. But Laura stiffened imperceptibly before relaxing and Carmilla knew she messed up. Even now, decades later, communication wasn’t a simple thing. Sighing, she expanded on her train of thought. “For me the future has always been a long lonely road. Barren of life or a destination. It’s one I’ve traveled for centuries. And then there was…you. Cupcake, the only tomorrows I dream about are the ones that have you in them.”

Several seconds passed and then Laura turned in her arms, wearing a beaming smile and a single tear that slipped down her cheek. She kissed Carmilla’s cheek and said, “I love you so, so much. You know that right?”

She did and said as much. Carmilla watched as Laura scooted Minerva off the bed and then padded her way to the bathroom. A second later the shower turned on. Something was off today and she couldn’t put a finger on it. She wondered if Mattie had managed to talk Laura into doing something ridiculous again. Like the time her sister—drunk on blood—nearly convinced Laura—drunk on alcohol—that a panther would make a sexy lower back tattoo.

“Are you coming, Carm?”

She decided the mystery of Laura’s strange mood could wait. There was a party they needed to prepare for. As soon as she was close, Laura giggled and pulled her into the shower. The hot spray washed down upon her from multiple angles. Smiling, Laura leaned against one of the walls, seemingly lighter than Carmilla had seen her in months.

“You look happy.”

“I am. We are.”

Yes, they were happy. Carmilla sometimes couldn’t believe this gift that was her life. She moved forward until their wet bodies were pressed together. A perfect fit. She didn’t have to ask if Laura wanted to make love again. They moved together as one. Their touches gentle and reverent.

Later, Carmilla dressed in her usual leather pants and a loose gray top. The outfit would annoy Mattie so that was a plus. Laura on the other hand apparently wanted to impress someone. She wore a pale blue sun dress decorated with little yellow flowers. Each one resembled a small burst of sun. The dress hugged her breasts, but otherwise hung loose around her hips in delicate waves. And around her neck, the diamond necklace Carmilla had gifted to her twenty years ago.

“You are lovely,” Carmilla said, caressing the side of Laura’s neck. No evidence of the bite remained, but Laura shivered and blew out a slow breath at the contact. She was tempted drag them back to bed and would’ve done so if the threat of Mattie’s inevitable revenge didn’t loom large.

Laura must have read her mind because she said, “Oh no you don’t. Tonight is too important.”

With a raised eyebrow, she replied, “Alright, let’s go. Although I have a feeling this is just the beginning. Give her another century and Mattie will have the world will be littered with vampire hotels.”

Laughing, Laura said, “I’m not sure I’d have it any other way.” She accepted Carmilla’s hand and winked.

They walked barefoot and hand and hand along the beach. Laura swung their arms back and forth which in many ways was comforting. When Laura was content she showed it in small, sometimes silly ways. As they drew close to the lights and overall merriment that Carmilla would undoubtedly be annoyed with, Laura stopped and tugged on her arm. Mattie stood, perhaps fifty feet away, and smirking at her. She was definitely up to something.

“Cupcake?” Carmilla asked as she turned to Laura who suddenly seemed nerve-wracked. She frowned trying to figure out what had suddenly changed. “Hey, what’s up?”

Laura drew in and released several deep breaths that didn’t seem to calm her at all. She wrinkled her nose before steeling her shoulders and finally blurting, “Okay, so I was going to do this later, but I don’t think I can go into that party and be Mattie’s hostess without going for it. The anticipation alone would make the night unbearable. Well you could say no and that would make the entire night worse than unbearable. But why would you say no? We’ve been together for decades. We have so much sex that we are singlehandedly driving the average for couples up. We adopted a cat! We’ve been living together for forty years. Who dates for forty years without getting married? My father loved you like a daughter. I should have done this before he died, but I think maybe he is still with us. He’d be happy for us. Oh god, I’m babbling.”

“Yes, you are.” Carmilla stared at Laura, confused. What was happening? Then her eyes widened in understanding. Oh. “Was there a question in all of that, Laura?”

“Carm, I love you. I think I’ve always loved you.” Laura held up a small inscribed ring. “It’s not a diamond, but I hope you'll think it's appropriate.” She squeezed her eyes shut and asked, “Will you marry me?”

Carmilla stared at the ring with its familiar Elvish inscription. Of course, Laura would go with a perfect replica of The One Ring. She smiled. The stars shined bright and perhaps that long road had a destination after all.