THE FLORENTINE VAMPIRE: LOVE IS THE DRUG THAT KILLS YOU by Francis-Marie de Châtillon

Chapter 5.

After the incident with the Hunter I was a little jittery as you may well imagine. I don’t like being forever watchful of my ways, wondering what may pop out of the woodwork at me. But that’s the life, so to speak. Well, on the following Monday I went into work as usual despite the burn marks on my face. I saw Jack straight off. Can you believe it? He’s in the office although he’s clearly shook up over Velvet being found dead, white as chalk in the restroom. Perhaps he was sick and tired of Velvet under it all anyway. Glad to be rid. I often wondered about that, as sometimes with her around he had a face like a horse waiting to be shot.

“Hell guy, what happened to your face? You look like shit!” His alarm was clear. I gave him a cool stare and then, 

“Jack, I just had a bit of an accident. It’s no big deal. Me and some water from the kettle. Should’ve been more careful.” Jack could tell in an instant that I didn’t want to pursue this conversation and so he changed the subject. 

“Friend of mine in the basement was telling me that there getting funny noises about an underground group that have been arriving in Florence. Seems they’ve come up on the radar due to their mix of boarded-line criminal activities, links with the Catholic Church, and strange esoteric beliefs and teachings. He just told me over coffee. Seems they’re keeping an eye out for them.” 

Now I sat up straight when I heard this. Of course I could be wrong, but that sounded like the Hunters all over. Church links, esoteric beliefs... Fuck! I thought that maybe the one I encountered was just some loner out on a limb. But now this seems to confirm that an effort is on here in Florence to find me. 

“Hey Jack, do me a favour will you? If you hear any more about these guys, will you keep me in the loop?” I try to make this sound at once casual yet important. I’m waiting for him to ask me why but, as I say, he’s distracted, concentrating on his e-mail. “Sure, sure thing, buddy. Sure thing.” 

I make straight down the hallway for my office and sit heavily in my chair. This is all going to get very messy, I say to myself. All very messy. So I decide I need time to think this through. But in this place? No. This place is crap for thinking. For me one of the best places to think clearly is in the supermarket. Yes, you heard right. The supermarket. Believe it or not I just love that vacuous, inane music. Its sugary, simple-minded ineffable naffness. Real calming. Soothing like. I get sort of stunned by the vast array of products and the colours. Julie used to that I look like I was hypnotized. 

So I head off out from the Consulate like a streak of lightning. I almost leave a vapour trail off my cell phone. And then I’m off up towards Sapori supermarket in Borgo Lorenzo. I love this place because when I’ve finished shopping I can go back across the piazza by the Cathedral to ‘Move On’. It’s a record shop/bar and restaurant. I get pissed there sometimes. Anyway, I’m going round Sapori—by the fruit and veg section to be precise—when I see her. She’s alone and looks stunning. It’s Julie I’m talking about. She usually wears her hair up high on her head in a sort of untidy bun. It looks fabulous when she does it right. But today it’s just hanging down her back and she reminds me of a penitent Magdalena. I start to get hard just looking at her. Of course I’m going to speak to her, but I just don’t want it to be a surprise attack. I decide to sidle up slowly and keep it casual. Or as casual as I can. “Hi Julie!” I say with a broad smile. I also let a note of sadness just creep into the tone. She looks roundat me and then sighs, “You following me, Guy? Because if you are...” She trails off and I wonder what she was going to say. 

“No, Julie. This was quite by chance. Anyway, how’ve you been? Thought I might have heard from you. You know, to see if I was alright”. Again I smile. I’m not sure what I’m trying to do here actually. 

“Why would I call? You’re always alright. Nothing can get to you, can it? Still going on with your strange ways? Disappearing for hours at night when I’m asleep? Can you still pull that funny stunt with the mirrors? YOU FUCKING FREAK!” The last was at a scream that had all the supermarket looking at us. A couple of black security guys show up and stand looking. 

“Julie, I just wanted to talk to you. Things haven’t been easy since you skipped out on me. You must understand that!” I spread my arms wide and hold palms open. Innocent gesture. Julie clenches her jaw and says nothing for a while. Then, 

“Something is very, very wrong with you Guy and you won’t tell me. You shut me out on all levels whilst pretending you cared for me. Oh, I know you don’t love me. Well, not love like normal people that is, do you? Because you’re not bloody normal are you?” I fail to say a word. I’m stuck. “ARE YOU?” she shouts, and the negros move a little closer. I see that a small tear of...what? Anger? Regret? Fuck knows what, but a small tear appears in her eye. I reach out slightly for her trying to keep it non-threatening. She steps sharply back and puts more distance between us. At this point I know I’m doing her or myself no good at all and so I make a move to leave. As I turn to go she grabs me by the sleeve of my jacket. “I’m sorry, Guy. I just can’t any more”. I walk out of Sapori and head for the bar to get pissed. Very pissed. It’s just like before except it’s daylight. 

This thing with Julie has gotten to me badly. I’m almost off my food. The problem is when you live day by day with humans and interact with them at pretty fundamental levels you get ‘infected’ by them. Your emotions begin to change slightly, you get normal ideas. Once upon a time Julie would have been just another woman, just another thing to feed off in one way or another—emotionally, sexually, and eventually her blood would have been mine. Oh for the days of the Hammer horror films ah? Remote castles, fancy dress, women with big tits half hanging out their dresses...And mustn’t forget loyal servants to do the cleaning up afterwards. But this is the real world and I am forced to live in it. As it is. As I am. And it’s a bitch. I can cope with it mostly—I mean I can keep a good job, hide well, never put myself in undue danger— I’m a success story as far as Vampires go! Ancient and still working my magic! LOL. Now I don’t like to be graphic when it comes to talking about sex and emotions and such, but for the sake of this narrative you should know a few things about how it was with Julie and me. So hang on tight. 

The first time I met her was at a party given by an acquaintance of mine. She lived in a large apartment building near the Uffizi buildings. I’d tried to hit on her one time but she blew me off with consummate ease. She’s an expert at bringing a guy down. But she set me up with Julie. She seemed to have some idea of the type of woman I might go for—don’t know how she knew that. So I meet this stunner. I’m not yet pissed enough to think any woman is fantastic but with my—-I would say ‘natural’ confidence and looks—I’m walking tall. I start to give Julie a close eye-balling. She’s about 5ft.10ins, not so slim but not hefty. Round. Sort of. She has long, straight blondish hair that she doesn’t make too much fuss of and her skin glowed! She had that healthy redness in her cheeks that I think the Brits refer to as English Rose. Pale blue eyes. So I’m hooked straight off. But it was later in bed that I realized I had found something special. She had a gentle eroticism that could blow your head off. This was a woman that made you want to love her one second and fuck her insane the next. Everything mixed up at once. She was like dynamite on legs. I remember the first time she took me in her mouth. It was bit too fast from the start but.... And she made me look at her whilst she worked on me. Every time I closed my eyes she’d slow and break off and say softly, “No, baby. Look at me. I want you to watch me”. And so it goes. I won’t go into more details because it’s too personal for me. Too much feeling there. So you see folks Vampires can get fucked. In all ways. Good and bad. And you know, I never wanted to hurt her. Never wanted to open her veins. And as we’re getting confessional here I might as well give you a bit of my history so you can build a complete picture. After all, I want you to tell me what you think of me by the end of all this. Perhaps I’m looking for redemption. Perhaps I feel a bit guilty. Perhaps I don’t give a shit either way. Perhaps, despite everything, I’m still one of the ‘good guys’. Well almost. LOLOL.

CONTINUES NEXT MONTH

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