There was no way she was going to let him lie here and possibly bleed to death on her watch, especially after he did it to save her life! He was a hero, and there he was lying on her couch, coughing and bleeding his life away.

Oh hell no! Not on her watch!

Before she could think about her actions, she reached out and gripped the collar of his shirt and pulled.

The white cotton rent into two in her hands and parted neatly to the side.

She ignored his gasp and his eyes that jerked open in shock, and hefted the gauze, ready to staunch the flow of blood.

But… but… but the wound was…it was…healing.

She watched amazed as the inside of the very pink wound began to knit itself together very slowly. As she watched the blood seemed to move backwards and the innards of the stab wound began to seal.

“I—I can explain.”

She tore her eyes away from his chest would, in too much shock to do much of anything, and looked up into glowing green eyes.

“You– your eyes–”

“There is a simple explanation,” he struggled to say, and then winced as his hands went to his mouth. “Wheely thimple,” he continued though his voice was slurred and his words were lisping.

“Virgil,” she managed, slowly scooting backwards. “What…”

“Barb,” he looked like he was going to cry. “He dropped his hands as his shoulders sagged. “Barb.”

And then she saw why he was lisping so badly. His teeth had gone pointy and long.

As she watched he pulled out his inhaler again and took a few puffs.

“What are you?” she demanded, sliding back, ready to gain her feet and make for the door like the devil himself was after her.

“You know what I am,” he sighed, shaking his head as he fangs receded.

“But—but you’re nerdy!”

“Yeah.”

“And—and your hair is messy!”

“Not so messy,” he frowned a bit. “I kind of like it long. Women like to play in it.”

“And — and you’re short!”

“Hey! I am tall for my time! I am not short! I’ve average at worst!”

“But you—you have fangs and your wounds are healing! What are you?”

“You know what I am,” he rolled his eyes. “And please tell me we are not doing this.”

“You’re a—a –”

“Am I supposed to slip up behind you and sniff your hair? Really, Barb. I thought you were more mature than that.”

He actually looked offended. But…but somehow that made her feel a little less afraid and more, well, interested.

“You’re a–you’re a–”

“Sweet Jesu, woman! Just say it.” he moaned dropping his head into his hands and then glared up at her.

She couldn’t believe that she was going to do this, but she had to say it. It was too big to keep silent on the matter

“You are a fucking vampire!”

“Duh!”

“But–but– That’s” Barb stepped back, her eyes wide as she stared at the nerd who…suddenly gained a lot of cool points. “Really?”

“Really.”

“Do you drink blood?”

“Yes,” he breathed, exasperated.

Now Barb had stars in her eyes as she stared at the man lying across her dressing room couch.

“Do you sparkle in the sun?”

“Spark—what?”

“Sparkle!

“Oh no you didn’t!”

Barb’s eyes widened as Virgil forced himself to his feet, his eyes wide in horror as she stared in sheer amazement.

“What?”

“No you didn’t just compare me to a poorly written emo jackass who needs to be written up for domestic violence!

“But—“

“But what, Barbra!”

“I thought that….”

“That what? Being a vampire would automatically make me cooler or something?”

“Well…”

“Well what! What you see is what you get!”

“But…”

“You are the same way you were when you were changed. I have asthma; I wear glasses because I am near sighted as hell. I stutter when I talk to women, and yes I am a nerd! My amazing magic ability is that I don’t die. And I don’t sparkle in the sunlight I combust.”

“Oh,”

“Now you sound disappointed. What? You think that the whole universe is going to change for me just because I am undead?”

“Well, most vampires, I assumed, were rich and….”

“Have you any idea how expensive it is to get someone to create a fake identification? How dangerous? Let me get something straight, Barbara. I am poor. I work very hard to make my ends meet, and my options are rather limited you know, that pesky thing about having to work nights to avoid a major case of sun poisoning? And let me tell you something. It gets expensive having to reinvent yourself all the time. De Vampry? My last coordinator’s idea of a joke.

“But I thought?”

“What? Because I am paranormal, I suddenly become some bright and beautiful thing? No, Barb, What you see is what you get.”

“So…no riches squired away?”

“In this economy?” he rolled his eyes. “Please women.”

“But you’ve seen so much of history…”

“And most of it sucks. I was poor during the industrial revolution. Trust me, when you are one of the faceless drones trying to work for a tuppins just to get some rotten moldy bread… and don’t even get me started on the rats.”

“That don’t sound too glamorous.”

“Glamorous?” he sounded incredulous now. “There is nothing glamorous about history,” he sighed. “I ran from the Nazis, I ran from the superstitious crows and the fake damphiers who supposedly were born of a corpse and a slut. I worried about God burning my immortal soul while the church raged and kept the poor, poor. You can imagine my shock when I learned to read properly and the things that most of them said didn’t match up to the book they were preaching out of. Of course I had to hide that too. If they knew I could read, they would have burned me alive. And that of course brings us to the uprisings and the burning times. And they burnt more than books and witches. I lived through world wars and conflicts. I saw people die in the streets when a simple meal and some clean water could have saved them, and I watched the rich and the unconcerned walk over them like they were so much garbage. I fought for the wrong sides of war if it would have kept me alive and I fought for the right side of some nut job’s war and discovered that there is no right or wrong side. It’s whose body count is the highest. So yeah, I’ve seen a lot, Barbra. And most of it is not pretty or glamorous. And not even remotely romantic Most of it was harsh and dangerous and disgusting. So please don’t compare me to a teenaged looking pedophile with delusions of grandeur and a god-complex. What I am—what I am is much more complicated and real.

“So…no strength of a thousand men?”

“How about the strength of one man who works out a lot. Well, maybe three men, but I am not one to brag.”

“You work out?”

“Hey, I was a fat kid when I was turned. Thank goodness that we can work out and alter out appearance. I lived near Baden-Baden … lots of wonderful bakeries.” he sighed in what had to be fond remembrance. “My mother was a baker.”

“And the perfect complexion….”

“Thank God for Pro Active solutions.”

“And…can you turn into a bat?”

“Can you?”

“No.”

“Well,” he threw his hands in the air. “There you go.”

“No wolves either?”

“Only if I have a lot of faux fur, some digigrade stilts, and a hell of a lot of make-up.”

“I am so disillusioned,” she sighed.

“Tell me about it,” he chuckled.

“What?”

“My main talent is that I won’t die easily. How about that? I may not be able to sparkle or fly you thought the night skies, but I can competently speak fifteen languages, I can cook very well, I have hundreds of years experience in pleasing my sexual partners, and I can take a bullet for you then walk it off. Sound good?”

“Well, “ she grinned back. “It’s not sparkle in the sunlight and toss cars around with your bare hands good, but it sounds pretty damn real to me.”

“So, can I have a real date now?” he implored, clasping both hands under his chin, tossing his hair out of his face, and giving her the best wolf puppy eyes he could manufacture. “ I already took a knife wound for burgeoning love?”

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