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Choices and Consequences

Aric sat his car outside the bordello seeing other vampires come and go, but he couldn't bring himself to join them.

The idea had seemed like a good one when he'd headed there, but by the time he arrived, the thought of touching another woman did nothing for him.

"What has she done to me?" he asked himself as he sat in his car.

He jumped when someone knocked on his window.

Looking up, he saw Henry staring through the glass at him.

Sighing, he opened the door and stepped out into the chilly night.

"Hey Aric," Henry said, slapping his friend on the shoulder. "Are you planning on coming inside or sitting in the parking lot watching people like a random weirdo?"

"I was planning on being the random weirdo," Aric replied, forcing a mirthless laugh.

"What's wrong?" his friend asked, pouting.

Aric sighed, there was no hiding his true feelings from his closest friend.

"I think I've made a terrible mistake," he admitted slumping against his car.

"Let me buy you a drink and you can tell me about it," Henry offered, holding out his arm towards the door.

Shaking his head sadly, Aric allowed his friend to lead him inside, waving away the matron, he let himself be led into a private room.

Falling into a chair, he waited as Henry ordered them each a pint of spiced blood before closing the door and activating the rooms privacy settings.

"Alright," Henry said, handing his friend his drink, "what was the terrible mistake you think you've made?"

"I had sex with Liberty," Aric sighed, drinking deeply, feeling refreshed by the spiced blood.

"So," Henry chuckled, "I owe you ten bucks."

"What?"Aric asked, looking at his friend quizzically.

"I bet myself ten dollars that you would bed her, but that it would take at least a month," his friend explained, pulling out his wallet and sliding a crisp red note across the tabletop.

"Why do I keep calling you my friend?" Aric laughed, pushing the money back towards his friend. "Just use it to buy another round."

"So, you had sex," Henry breathed, settling back in his seat. "What about that was a mistake?"

"There are laws forbidding it," Aric replied hotly, exasperated by his friends lack of concern.

"You don't think anyone actually obeys those laws do you?"Henry asked looking amused. "My pet Alfie is one of my favorite playthings."

"I had no idea," Aric replied sitting up, suddenly interested in the conversation.

"You mean to tell me that you and Angel never..." Henry began, but stopped when he saw his friends face.

"No," Aric growled, his face darkening, "we didn't. I raised her, those thoughts never crossed my mind, but Liberty is different."

"How so?" Henry asked sipping his drink.

"I can't explain it," Aric sighed, slumping back again, "she's unlike any other human I've known."

Henry stayed silent, waiting for his friend to expand on his explanation.

"When she's near me I can't think of anything but her," Aric finally said, trying to put his thoughts in order. "Her smell, the taste of her blood, how right her body feels next to mine."

"Sounds like love," his friend said, pursing his lips.

"Love?" Aric asked. "Are we even capable of such feelings?"

"I love Alfie," Henry confessed, looking sad. "I love his so much that I've altered his files for the last three years to hide his true age."

"You've what?" Aric asked, surprised that his friend had done something so illegal.

"Alfie is thirty-one," his friend sighed, downing the last of his cup. "I've kept him from the bleeding clinic because I can't think of my world without him."

"Why are you telling me this?" Aric asked. "As the vampire in charge of this region I could have you put to death for that."

"You could," Henry acknowledged, looking forlornly at his friend, "and I know what I'm risking, but as the 'vampire in charge of this region' you can also change the law."

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