“She said yes to dinner with me.”
He spoke aloud to himself, his wide grin exposing his teeth as he set his phone down on the bedside table. He lived by himself, which got a little lonely sometimes. Nikoli had paced the entire length of his mansion countless times before lying down in bed, just waiting to talk to Leila, for what seemed like an eternity. He had been bored all morning long, unable to focus on anything else aside from Leila. She had said she wanted to do dinner at 9, which gave him plenty of time to feed before dinner since sunset was at 7:30. Looking at his watch, he saw it was only 4:30 p.m. He had plenty of time to kill until then. Nikoli was excited, although he’d deny it if anyone asked. He hadn’t been on a real date in at least a couple hundred years and that had turned out horribly.
“Who could that be?”
Nikoli sat up in his big, california king size bed where he had been looking up at the mirrors when he heard the doorbell sound. The bed was an antique with it’s dark cherry wood bed posts that ran all the way up to the mirrored ceiling and it’s large underdrawers. Nobody knew where he lived as far as he knew. At least, not yet. Jessa had a terrible habit of stalking him and pulling him out of hiding. So, he was rather surprised that someone was at his front door, ringing the doorbell. Considering it was daytime, he wasn’t sure about whom his visitor would be. Since he didn’t really need to sleep, being immortal and all, he could choose whether or not to rest when he felt like it. Sleeping passed the time and allowed him to dream, but it wasn’t necessary for vampires. Really it was just a force of habit. It had been quite awhile since he had seen anyone outside of the club. He wasn’t sure what to do with himself since he couldn’t really answer the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Frankie. May I come in please? I need to speak with you.” His voice shook, Nikoli thought it sounded like fear.
Nikoli double checked the security camera to verify it was truly Frankie before answering, one could never be too sure. If need be, Nikoli could always press the “panic button” that came with the security alarm and cameras in case of an emergency (ie if anyone tried to break in and kill him.) If the button was pressed, the windows would be sealed and the whole house would be encased in a layer of reinforced steel. The door was already impenetrable by most beings. A giant, however, could probably bust through if need be.
“Come in.” Nikoli was unsure why Frankie might sound fearful or even why he would be making a house call. Although, it was true that he hadn’t come to the club very often since meeting Leila. The big wooden door swung open, while Nikoli was in the safety of the living room, and the big, hulking werewolf stepped into the foyer, shutting the door behind him softly. Although currently in human form, Frankie was still gigantic in size compared to Nikoli’s 6ft tall stature. He had to be at least 6ft 7inch with the way he had to duck under the doorframe just to enter Nikoli’s house.
“Nikoli, I haven’t seen you around lately. How is everything? I’m sorry that I made you wait in line the last time we spoke. It was rude of me.” He looked around, surveying the room. His eyes resting on Nikoli’s high tech, double-paned, tinted windows allowed all but the most harmful of the UV rays to enter his home. If he remained inside, he would be protected from the sunlight. Although warm on his skin, it had once proved to be an excruciating form of torture.
“Don’t worry. It’s good to see you too, but you didn’t come here for such pleasantries. What is ailing you, my friend?”
“You’re right. So, there’s a problem at the club….” Frankie was crushing his fedora hat in his large grasp, his lips pressed together in a tight line, worry lining his face.
“Why are you telling me this, though? I’m not the club owner, i’m just an investor. Alexander Russo is the owner. Have you spoken to him regarding the problem?”
“He’s part of the problem. The other one is your old girlfriend.”
“Jessa? What does she have to do with Alexander?” Nikoli shot Frankie an incredulous look, his fingers playing with the strands of hair that touched the nape of his neck. Frankie sighed before answering, wringing the hat like it was a wet rag.
“They seem to be… Dating or something. I’m not sure.”
Nikoli wrinkled his nose and bit his lip, worry lining forehead. Alexander was the richest and most feared vampire in the whole city. If he and Jessa were teaming up, trouble was definitely afoot.
“How do you know that they’re not simply...in love?” Even to his own ears, Nikoli knew his question was too hopeful and it was confirmed by the way Frankie raised an eyebrow at him, a small grin on his lips.
“Really Nikoli? It’s Jessa. You and I both know what she’s capable of.” Frankie crossed his arms and looked down at him like he was scolding a child.
“I know, you’re right. I think she’s just trying to get me back, though. Is she causing trouble?”
“Not really, not yet, but I sense changes coming. I just wanted you to know.”
“Well...thank you for stopping by Frankie. I really appreciate the heads up.”
“Not a problem. I uh..I know we haven’t been that close, because of what happened to my family and that I’ve taken it out on you unintentionally. For that, I want to apologize. I still consider you a great ally.” Nikoli took Frankie’s outstretched hand, shaking it firmly while patting him on the shoulder as well, his smile wide.
“No need to apologize. I completely understand. I know that it had to be really hard on you. I wish they’d catch whoever did it. I’m sorry you had to go through all of that. We’re still friends. You’ve always been in my thoughts.” Frankie smiled back and put his now wrinkled hat back on his head, patting Nikoli’s shoulder so hard in his exuberance that he knocked him sideways, nearly making him lose his footing. Nikoli caught his balance and laughed, “I had forgotten how strong you were!”
“Okay, well have a nice night. I’ll see you at the club soon then?”
“Of course. Maybe this weekend.”
“Great. See you later!”
Nikoli walked his friend to the living room doorway, not wanting to get too close to his door. He had gone into the light but one time before. It was right after he had been changed into what he considered a monster. It was a human habit, and without thinking he walked outside, his skin blistering instantly. To see the sun through his windows, but to never be allowed to experience its warmth again was quite another unique form of torture. He didn’t want to ever repeat that mistake. After Frankie left, he had more time to think about Leila and his date. He wasn’t even sure how to date anymore.
In fact he had been frozen at 27 for so long, that he hadn’t really thought about dating. His last date had been the night he was also turned into a vampire. His date was with a blonde, Kira, and he thought she was the prettiest girl in town. All through high school he’d had a crush on her, but she never noticed him. In school he was what most people considered “nerdy.” Somehow, though, he ended up talking her into one date, their first date. Just imagine, being on a first date and someone random attacking you after you walked your date home. He hadn’t even really seen the guy’s face, but he would always remember the smell. It was acrid, like sulfur and he wore a black cloak. The stranger bit his neck and if it weren’t for the fact that Nikoli stumbled into the street and got hit by a car, he probably would have remained human, albeit short on his blood supply. Once his mortal body died the change had started.
Some days he still longed to be human. For some reason he had managed to hold on to his humanity even in the face of adversity. Vampires, you see, have the ability to turn off their humanity at will, but Nikoli could never seem to let go of his human side. He held on with such a fierceness that he had pushed away many of his friends. One of them being Jessa. When he had met her, she had seemed fun and carefree. She made him feel good, free, wild.
Unfortunately it backfired and she became dangerous, cruel, uncaring. For quite awhile he had let himself get swept up in it, embracing his darker side, but eventually he saw her for what she was. An unfeeling, selfish monster. One day she wanted him to help her torture some human family, just for simply “being rude” to her when she had asked them to give her a cow and they had in turn refused. She had tied them up and began carving into them like they were Thanksgiving turkeys.
He had been shocked, disgusted even. The pain in their eyes calling to him, begging silently for him to help them. He had to fight off Jessa, knocking her unconscious for a brief period. It was enough time for him to help them escape. He saved the humans and rushed them to the nearest medical facility, compelling them with his eyes to say they were attacked, but didn’t see the assailants. After that he walked away from Jessa, disgusted by her cruel acts. She was so pissed that he wouldn’t partake in her offering, and that he left her behind without so much as a goodbye. He had been evading her ever since. He had stupidly thought that she would just move on, but he was obviously sorely mistaken. She had come back for some reason and decided to try to mess with him by dating Alexander.
Nikoli decided to read while he waited for the time to pass until he was able to leave the house and feed. He smiled, unable to contain his excitement for his date. Already, in such a short time, she had gotten a hold on him and due to his inability to fully embrace being a vampire, he knew that if anything happened to Leila, that he would be unable to forgive himself. He knew he would flip his humanity switch and never look back. If he lost her, he would surely lose himself as well. For even though he had only known this particular human but a short while, she had moved him in such a way that his world would remain forever changed.