Read Time: 6 minutes | Suggested for ages 16 and up
Pretty hot, he thought as her leg emerged from the car, her five-inch heel meeting the pavement. He offered his hand to her without a word and she accepted the kind gesture. Joshua tallied another hash under the ‘gentleman’ tab of his mind.
Kate’s a stunner, Joshua thought. Her milky white skin was starkly contrasted with her dress which was so tightly formed that if it weren’t jet black, it would be mistaken for skin. Her blood red nails were highlighting a ferocious elegance he imagined she possessed. To him, the smoky shadow around her eyes confirmed this - the icing on the cake. She’s not just hot. She’s scary hot, he thought.
Kate walked beside Joshua with her arm looped around his. Her shoulder-length hair, brunette and shimmering, smelled like fresh linens or perhaps fruity desserts. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he knew that it was intoxicating.
He guided her to the front of the restaurant - some Italian place with good reviews. He felt the need to go fancy. For their first date, he took her to a movie. It wasn’t quite a date movie, either. One too many stabbings and about ten too many explosions. He was grateful he had another opportunity.
Persistence is key, he thought. Just remember to be persistent.
They were greeted at the door by an anxious and pimply host. Luckily, he took them straight to their table. Joshua saw the kid sneak a peek at Kate’s chest as he sat them. As if he were the alpha in a pack, Joshua stared the pizza-face down until he walked away with sweat on his forehead. What’s mine is mine, kid.
“Should we order a bottle of wine?”
“What?” Joshua stammered as his mind refocused and he stopped seeing red.
“Wine. Vino. Social lubricant. Should we get some?” Kate’s playful sass was right up his alley.
“Is water wet? Is the sky blue? Is John Stamos a hunk?”
“It appears we have the same taste in men.” Kate’s lips curled just enough to be deemed a smirk yet so subtly that Joshua realized he may be in way over his head with this woman.
He responded with a hand gesture that said cut it out.
The evening ensued with chatter, drinking and Lady and the Tramp type of dining. Italian was a good choice. Kate spouted off detailed flavor profiles for each wine they tasted before landing on an old cabernet sauvignon. Joshua couldn’t tell a cab from a chardonnay, but he appreciated Kate’s interest in something so foreign to him.
Kate swirled her glass and peered into the red whirlpool. Like a syrup, the tannins stuck to the sides of the glass and slowly slid down back into the dark pool. It was as if she saw something in the wine that he didn’t - like it was speaking to her. She makes wine so romantic. So seductive. I don’t mind it one bit.
Her glare was only interrupted by their server returning with the check. Kate made the reach, but Joshua snagged it before she even made contact. That’s another gentlemen point for Joshy Boy. Or what I like to call them, brownie points. And I’m thinking these brownies are going to be hot and ready tonight.
Joshua noticed enough wine for another glass at the bottom of the bottle. He poured it for Kate and she laughed it off.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” she asked with a laugh. “I really shouldn’t.”
“You want to let this go to waste? With all of those notes, hints and aromas of this, that and the other, I’d expect you to enjoy every drop,” he said convincingly.
“You’re an idiot,” she said as she grabbed the glass, flashed that complex smirk and began gulping down the remainder of the wine. The shadow around her eyes looked even darker - even more terrifying and attractive.
Joshua did want her drunk. At least tipsy. If she had a little bit of booze in her, she may put out.
He paid the bill and they walked outside of the restaurant. Pizza Face’s shift must have ended. Joshua didn’t get the chance to give him one last tough look. It was fortunate for the kid because Joshua was feeling loose and courageous after a few glasses of wine.
“Can you drive?” Kate was clearly tipsy. Joshua began forming his next move.
“Actually,” he started, “I probably shouldn’t. You’re okay with taking a little walk as we sober up?” She smiled and kissed his lips.
Here we go. This is happening. Every way he steered the evening, it heeded his instruction.
His outward confidence was only minutely stifled by his pounding chest and clammy palms. He could almost hear the blood traveling through his veins. It rushed to every end of him, bringing a warmth that even Kate could feel. She kept eyeing him, staring deeply at him. But not necessarily in his eyes. It appeared like she was intently inspecting his chest.
When she realized she was staring, she jolted her head away to look at the other side of the street. If Joshua was reading her right, she was embarrassed. He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her in closer as they walked along the pavement.
This made her feel better. They were on to discussing foreign policy and other things about which Kate was passionate but Joshua found dull. This girl sure knows a lot about eastern Europe. He kept a smiling face and put on all of the charm he had left.
They were a block away from his apartment. He just had to continue pulling the strings of this marionette of a night.
"You know, I live really close to here. Just down the street," Joshua said as he pointed with a head nod.
"You don't say," Kate said. Joshua couldn't tell if her tone was playful sarcasm or disinterest.
"I do say," he said. "I also say that it's getting a little chilly for an outdoor stroll."
"You're cold? I don't think it's bad at all."
Low blow, Joshua thought. Just be persistent. Move on to Plan B.
"I just figured you would be," he said. "I was just thinking we could have a little nightcap. Drinks are cheaper and more delicious when you make them at home. In fact, I make a mean Old Fashioned."
"I didn't realize you were so cheap."
"Oh, come on. You know that's not true."
He was at the end of the rope. He had to do something.
He slid his hand behind her with a small caress. This distracted her from his other hand grabbing hold of her wrist.
“What are you doing?” Kate was, for once, not on her toes. If even for a moment, Joshua could see fear in her face.
“I think we should have another drink,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
I know she wants it. I know it. He tried one more time.
“Kate, will you come up to my apartment with me?”
Blame it on his change in tone - the way he asked so nicely. She paused, gave him that unbearably attractive smirk and the slightest hint of an affirming nod. He released his grip from her arm to fish for his keys in his jacket pocket.
Joshua took long, assertive strides toward his front door, glancing back to be reassured that she was following. Like he always saw in the movies, he fumbled with his keys trying to find the right one. After what felt like an hour, he found the key and used it to open his door.
He walked in without kicking off his shoes to make his way to his mini bar. He was nervous. His body felt like it was boiling from the inside.
“I’ll get drinks ready. Just make yourself at home —“
Kate was more than ready. The animal rose up inside her. She ran toward Joshua to get on top of him as he faced the other way.
She sank her paper-white fangs into the side of his neck. Her thirst wasn’t yet quenched after a few moments of sucking his blood. She clamped down with her jaws and freed a portion of meat from his neck.
Joshua’s legs gave away but he was being held up by Kate’s grip on his arms - her red nails sinking into his skin. He didn’t know what was happening to him but knew that he needed to get to the mini bar to make her drink.
His skin lost color quickly. The warm rushes through his body had escaped him. The warmth had been in his blood, now drenching Kate’s chin and filling her stomach.
She felt more aggressive than normal. She hadn’t fed like this in ages and nearly couldn’t control herself. She released her bite to catch a breath and sank her teeth like needles back into his neck.
He had to get to the mini bar to make her drink but he couldn’t move. He could have called her a cab. He could have taken her hints. Nevertheless, he persisted.
Joshua thought no more.