By Suzanne Carré

I walked into the library to find the Book of Keys, a fabled text detailing the lore for dealing with the supernatural. Despite what my uncle Lance said, I always believed the book existed, or why else would Sebastian tell me to seek and read it? Lance always claimed Sebastian was a liar; a snake luring me to my fate, where his agenda aimed to prevent me claiming my birthright as a Keeper, a rank held by all the men in my family. But I’ve never considered the vampires we keep as evil, they haven’t shown any malice towards us, when our family have contained them in this house for centuries. I don’t even know what evil really is, least not when receiving the mandatory blessings from our priest every night; we do what we have to when dealing with these vampires, and if you call it evil then I am closer to Satan than these fanged creatures could ever be.

 

In the corner of the room stood Chrylita, leaning against a bookcase, pretending in her innocent guise to occupy her eternity with a book. How I have admired her, of all the vampires, she alone claimed my fascination to the degree of obsession. Ever since I was old enough to find women alluring, I have suffered a crush on her (no crush is far too restrained a term), when my fantasies have excluded any platonic desires on my part. I have lusted her in my dreams, gripping my pillow tight while I drained the last of my energy; dedicating every stroke to her, when in my mind’s eye she embraced me; saturating my sheets with exertion, all in her name: I have made her mine in all but reality. Now she faced me, we were here together, alone for the first time.

 

I approached this goddess of desire, focusing on her body, no matter how I tried my eyes kept wandering over her curvaceous figure; my mind wondering how her skin felt in my hands, when I have yet to caress her; admiring her perfect body, not caring perfection always comes at a price, a price I felt weighed the measure of my soul, but it didn’t matter for one chance to be with her. If I made a pact with the Devil, then he resided in me, we are the same, and I am damned to Hell, so why not accept her offer? What sacrifice do I make from indulging, as a chosen one of the Keepers, when carnal sin never prevented any devotee from assuming the mantle of Lord of Keepers? I am of the blood, I carry the direct decent, and I have no reservations to accept the Staff of Right. It seemed ever so easy to press her against the wall and finish those years of frustration, to end all those days we played this mental foreplay with each other. Who would know what we did together if we did not whisper this secret?

 

I confessed how I loved her, to my priest, I have wept out the sin of wanting one of my charges. He commanded me to stay strong, not cross that line separating the Keepers from those we preserve, and why—for God’s sake or to salvage what remained of my forsaken soul? As a Keeper, my expectation has always been that I will marry, produce an heir to my post, a sad fact Lance failed to accomplish when all of his children have since passed on. I accepted the duty of my family line, and found a wonderful partner in Cecilia, but every time I embraced her, Chrylita returned my hold. My vampire lover ever remained in my heart, a place I cannot make available to any human when she filled every void of my mind. I suspected her knowledge of my infatuation in the way she waited for me to deliver the blood at night. I have walked through the vampire labyrinth only to feel her guard over me, protecting against other vampires who would easily kill me, freeing them all from the obligations set by my family’s existence, when no leader to the Order meant they are liberated.

 

We stood only a hands-width apart, I stared at Chrylita, we stayed locked by an invisible dimension from crossing into each other’s domain, yet there appeared no reason to reach out to her, no physical barrier preventing me embracing her body. Her beauty beguiled, making me believe she held the capacity to love, when I have seen her love others of her kind, but I still doubted if she had a heart capable of beating the blood she consumed every night, yet alone designed for the soft feelings only a woman expressed in a relationship. I stared into her golden eyes, wild and penetrating irises charging my mind with a thirst I doubt she could quench; her full lips relaxed to tempt my mouth from consuming her in a link no magic could reverse; her anticipation evident with the labouring of her breath: my breathing reflecting hers, constraining my chest with a tightening bind; the very essence of her firming in my groin, delivering a heat rising through my body to quake my heart from its regular beat, drying my throat, and driving my mind beyond reason.

 

In my mind I bent to press my lips to hers, to know the taste of her mouth, if only a prelude to drinking her nectar from the cup of her passion, the well of pleasure enclosed in the folds of her glorious cunt. Yes, I have seen it, so many times I have watched her offer up her body to her lover Everad. Her kitten games involving her displaying to him, without shame she pushed her butt skyward to display the level of her sexual needs, and so many times he played homage to her femininity, kissing her there before providing her his body. I have been her furtive admirer, trespassing into her secret chamber to watch her indulge with her lover. I have watched her pleasure, a display I believe she never faked; admiring the way he gave his all to satisfy her, so when vampires fuck, they create art on top of their bedsheets; pretending I am him, complete with his superior body, if only to compensate for my inadequacies; dealing with the saturating visual stimulation the only way available to me, for hours locked in my self-mortification: masturbation. It became my punishment for lust, yes, but one I firmly believe I deserve.

 

Chrylita smiled, her lips curling back to reveal her fangs. Yes, she is a vampire, but that never stopped me wanting to fuck her, when she was the most beautiful creature in the world. If I have fucked her in my imagination, I have fucked her 10,000 times. Taking that step to making it physically real didn’t seem wrong, no worse than the sin of committing to her in my dreams. It seemed crazy that if I live my days on this earth, I would not know how if felt to have her body engulf mine, the way she guiltlessly consumes her lover. If there is ever a sin of the flesh, then surely denial wrought with all my wild fantasies counted far worse than the actual sexual participation? Or have I hesitated on the threshold of temptation, delayed my initiative by comparing my mortal condition with her eternal lover? Yet in my dreams I better him in attributes and style, so there seemed no necessity to delay our gratification.

 

I wanted more though, I wanted to hold the chalice when she drank the blood I collected for her. Everad was more than her chosen lover, he acted her high priest supporting her in his arms while she swayed to the rhythm of their communion in flesh and blood, stimulating until she convulsed; the excess blood she couldn’t swallow while writhing, pouring over her mouth, a libation eagerly supped from her breasts by him; their entwined bodies heaving to their dedicated pleasure; their orgasms put up as a sacrifice to glorify their passion, praising all things laudable; satisfaction sought in the pure ecstasy ruling their immortal existence: love. I have copied their lovemaking, with Cecilia, using the vampire techniques made her eyes widen, proving I have touched a sweet spot I doubt she realized existed, but I admit I have gained nothing from her when I imagined my vampire mistress in my arms: her perfect body wriggling under me in her alluring colubrine twist. Chrylita experienced love like no mortal had ever taken part, and I wanted to know love with her, so I asked her for what I wanted, the thing I needed most from her.

 

Chrylita licked her lips. “I am the Book of Keys, Jason. Read me.”