I love Black Friday – not because of the great deals at the malls or because it’s the start of the holiday season. My joy is that Thanksgiving is past for another year, and I’m in the midst of a long weekend. Plus, it’s usually cold enough to wear my leather duster on a regular basis. Some years I stay home and don’t even venture to the mailbox. Other years I contribute to the local economy by picking up stocking stuffers at the museum shops down on West Main Street.
This year is far different. I spent the better part of Thanksgiving night working on a short story while imbibing Tanqueray and tonic – with a touch of lime. So, I slept until noon, drank a cup of microwave heated left over coffee before I jumped in the shower and headed to one of the local brew pubs for a very rare burger with bleu cheese, garlic fries, and some exquisite mead to wash it all down. The rest of the daylight hours were spent in the dark anonymity of a movie theatre and trying not to be completely antsy about what was to come. Had this meeting not been so spur of the moment, I may have gotten a tattoo before hand – always a relaxing way to spend the day.
I walked into the coffee shop just before seven, and found Alex was already waiting for me. “Bryan described your duster quite well, but he forgot to mention you’re a very attractive Bear,” he said in greeting.
“Thank you,” I said with a blush then added “sadly to be as old as he is, Bryan is far too heterosexual for his own good,” I responded.
“He said you had questions about vampire physiology.”
“I do. He said you’re the person to help me better understand.”
“He would. I am, or was, a physician by training. Just after the Second World War, I was turned. I gave up my practice on mortals, but I’ve continued by education and now work with vampires, werewolves, and, well, anyone who needs my particular skills.”
I thought it better not to press for more information. The vampires and Wolves were enough. “You’re still young then,” I asked.
“Comparatively, I am. But even at just over 2000, Bryan is young when compared to some of the others – including the Wolf who shares your bed.” He had me there. Seb was nearly four hundred when Bryan was born.
“I didn’t mean to offend,” I said wishing I could rewind.
“You didn’t. You need perspective that’s all. Mortals dwell on age and the history one has seen. Once you have a guarantee of living for ever, it matters less and great events pass by unnoticed. I’m hardly there, but I do know a couple of vampire who remember less of the moon landing than you.”
“Sebastian is like that. He has no clue about the Black Death or the Crusades. He loved the French Revolution and Baroque Venice, but he’s likely to think we’re still British subjects.”
“And what is it you want to know that neither your Wolf nor your vampire friend can tell you?”
“How does the drinking work?”
“Of blood? Why and two bit vampire movie can show you that.”
“No, I mean coffee, wine…”
“It works by us not drinking it. But I see what you mean. We sit around places with some drink or other and nurse it all night. If need be, we’ll slip to the restroom, toss what we have, and order a fresh one. Blood though it different. Our systems change during the Turning to absorb blood. We can also ingest semen and vaginal fluid – probably because are body fluids. For the record, our saliva is chemically different than that of mortals, so is wolf saliva by the way.”
“Technically though you’re dead…”
“Not exactly. The transformation requires a physical death from which we’re brought back through the transference of vampire blood. More than anything we become a different species, far harder to kill, unable to stand direct sunlight for long, and a host of other things. Just as you wouldn’t call someone revived on an operating table ‘undead’ we’re not.”
“Is still very possible and pleasurable. Our hearts beat, blood runs through our veins, and the corpus cavernosum still function normally in males. Males no longer produce sperm, but there is seminal discharge. Women become barren and stop menstruation, but otherwise function normally.”
“Somehow I’d thought it would be more…dramatic.”
“Unfortunately, no. I’m sure some avocational writer with a laptop and a blog will find a way to make it more salacious, but it’s pretty simple physiology.”
We talked until the coffee shop closed, then walked up to the cemetery and back. “It’s been a good evening Alex, and I’m glad to have met you. Maybe we can get together more often.”
“I’d like that and if you and Sebastian are ever in the mood for a third, feel free to call me.”
I gave him a wink and a raised eyebrow as I turned on my boot heel to head home. Now, how do I bring up a three way with a vamp to Seb? I’ll figure out a way.