Disclaimer: Tanz der Vampire and its characters belong to Roman Polanski, Jim Steinman and Michael Kunze.

It has been a while since my lastest Tanz fic and I missed the fandom. This is a short fic that takes place after "Sie Irren Professor" and before the Midnight Ball. I am also working on another one-shot with Alfred and Krolock as protagonists that I hope to post soon.

I am also not giving up on the idea of writing a sequel for Die Fledermaus and the plot of the story is still a work in progress.

This story was beta-readed by kitsunegari101 and phantasmagoricfebruary, many thanks to them!

Alfred closed the library's door behind him and leaned against it. His heart was beating fast in his chest as Krolock's words echoed inside his mind, again and again, like a macabre melody.

Alfred's soul already belongs to me.

Alfred's soul…


Belongs to me.

Alfred remembered the first time Professor Abronsius talked about vampires. He remembered how his fellow classmates had mocked him and declared him mad. Yet, for Alfred, it had been Professor Abronsius' most interesting lecture, his scariest and most unnerving.

Alfred remembered how fascinated he had been, leaning against his desk to be sure he wouldn't miss one word from Abronsius. He remembered how he had skipped lunch and stayed awake long into the night just to bury himself in books about supernatural creatures. He could recall how he confronted the Professor to ask him more about vampires, and how enthusiastic the old scholar had been, only too eager to share more of his knowledge, then to prepare their trip to Transylvania.

Back then, vampires had only been a concept found in books and in Professor Abronsius' lectures. One Alfred both wanted to exist and dreaded.

Alfred hadn't been quite sure he and Abronsius would ever find something, let alone a real vampire. For most of their trip, they'd only found vampires in legends villagers would tell.

Count von Krolock, however, wasn't a concept. He was real, and he was everything Alfred feared. A real, blood-drinking creature, whose appearance screamed darkness and corruption. He knew he would be lying to himself if he admitted he only feared Krolock because he was a vampire…and that fear was the only emotion he felt toward him.

Alfred couldn't deny the Count was a mesmerizing man to watch. He saw that right from the moment he saw him. Count von Krolock had an impossible elegance in everything in did, no matter how simple or dull the task was. He held himself with a poise that drew the eye to the long line of his body. His voice was rich and soft and deep; it was the kind of voice you wanted to listen to. A soft baritone voice and aristocratic manners and the looks of an educated man; behind all that, a blood-drinking, terrifying creature of the night. This mixing seemed so odd, contradictory, frightening…and fascinating.

It wasn't hard to deduce that his son, Herbert von Krolock, was also a vampire. There were quite a few things the Viscount shared with his father: long hair, deathly pale skin, fine clothing, and aristocratic manners. Other than that, his coloring was lighter than his father's, with silver-blond hair and lavender clothes. Most of all, Herbert was bold and vivacious and straightforward, and Alfred made sure to try to avoid him; the nature of the Viscount unnerved him.

However, the Count von Krolock was hard to predict. He was dark, enigmatic, and composed. Alfred only noticed they were alone inside the castle when it was too late, when the Count lured him and spoke to him of freedom, of discovering the unknown, of unleashing Alfred's inner desires and not letting his fears and chains control him. He talked of Alfred as brave and young and capable. He was like a siren whose deadly song was luring him in. Despite himself, Alfred had been mesmerized, and he realized that he wanted what Krolock was offering him.

In retrospect, Alfred shouldn't have been surprised that the Count invaded his dreams since he already invaded his thoughts. And what a dream it had been…

A dream of Alfred, of the both of them. Krolock's voice calling out for him, his arms reaching for him; his fangs on Alfred's neck, his hands firmly holding him by the shoulders as he drank from him; his cape covering Alfred's form, the feeling of his long silky black hair on his neck and back; the Count's head pressed close into his neck.

When Alfred woke, sweat-soaked and breathing heavily, he was unsure at first if it had been a dream or if it really happened.

Alfred remembered Professor Abronsius once telling him researchers believed that vampires were able to get into their victims' heads, and perhaps even able to manipulate their minds. Alfred hoped that had been the case with him and tried to focus on the horror he felt during the dream—Krolock holding him and taking his blood, and himself turned into a vampire, yearning for blood, attacking Sarah—yet a part of him couldn't stop thinking that he had wanted this. The power, the seduction, the submission; allowing himself to be taken and then to feel all those hidden emotions and desires that were locked away for so long.

Krolock looked at him like he knew. He would stare at Alfred and Alfred was convinced those dark, piercing eyes could stare right into his mind, into his soul, and read every thought, every desire. Krolock's eyes watching his every move made him ill at ease. He looked like a cat watching a mouse before the kill.

Krolock was waiting. Alfred didn't know what exactly he was waiting for, but he wasn't sure if he really wanted to know; somehow, he could sense he was involved. Alfred had the creeping sensation something was going to happen, and soon. He wasn't sure if it was a good or bad thing, although knowing Krolock, it was probably the latter.

When Krolock confronted both him and Abronsius and claimed that Alfred's soul was his, Alfred understood what he meant and it scared him. Alfred had decided to face his fear and enter the castle to save Sarah from the claws of Count von Krolock, but now Alfred couldn't help but wonder if he didn't need saving as well.

He had always thought of vampires as heartless monsters. Feral creatures of pure instinct and hunger, only living to corrupt mortals and steal every drop of their blood until no life was left. However, it was difficult to believe when Krolock was so...refined. If it weren't for his pale skin and his clawed hands, Alfred wasn't sure he could tell him apart from any human.

Moreover, his perception of vampires was slightly shattered when he heard Krolock in the graveyard. His confessions, his deepest thoughts. And Alfred felt, at that very moment, another feeling for the terrifying Count: pity, mingled with sympathy. A few books presented vampires as bloodthirsty creatures, but also as solitary beings sailing on the endless sea of time and bearing the heavy burden of immortality, mourning their days as human beings, only finding satisfaction in the blood. Maybe, like those fictional vampires, Krolock suffered from his immortality and the isolated life it brought.

Alfred's fear of him was still present, however. If vampires were as capable of sentiment as human beings, it meant human beings were just as capable of being monsters like vampires were. After all, vampires were human once. Part of Alfred wondered what kind of man Krolock once was. What story was behind this dark and menacing vampire? What had happened to him to make him the being he was now? Somehow, all this mystery around the Count and the revelation of the deep conflict inside him only increased Alfred's secret fascination with him.

There was something that drew Alfred to him, something inevitable, something irresistible that captivated him, despite how ghastly he knew Krolock could be. Alfred understood then why Sarah was so attracted to him, why she left home to join him, despite how dangerous the situation was.

Count von Krolock was as fascinating as he was terrifying. He was heaven and hell, he was salvation and damnation, bliss and torment. Perhaps this was why he was so captivated by vampires, captivated by him. That twisted combination of light and dark, the battle between human and monster, neither dead nor alive, neither animal nor human. Beautiful and terrible, miraculous in existence yet demonic by nature. A blood-drinking creature with a handsome face and noble manners. Vampires were indeed fascinating, and Krolock the most. Try as he might, Alfred couldn't shake this from his mind.

All these feelings contributed to the purpose behind his actions. His goal wasn't only to save Sarah, though she was the main reason he ever set foot inside the castle. Alfred also wanted to stop this connection he felt to Krolock; the fear, the pity, the fascination.

He clasped his hands tightly together while thinking about the darkness of the Count's eyes. He imagined him dead, and he found the prospect strangely unpleasant.

Yet if Alfred wasn't helping Professor Abronsius defeat him, if he didn't have this purpose to both save Sarah and best the Count, he feared he would surely succumb to despair, succumb to this fascination. He waited for the Count's defeat and Sarah's rescue on the night of the ball, all the while thinking of how he belonged to him. He was so lost in his thoughts, he startled when Abronsius' hand tapped him on the shoulder.

"Come on, my lad! The ball will soon begin, we need to get to work quickly!"

"Yes, professor!" Alfred answered as he got to his feet. Everything would be decided on the night of the ball, he was sure of it. They would thwart the Count's plan, rescue Sarah and leave the castle forever.

However, he wasn't sure he would be able to escape Krolock. Not while he was already there. In Alfred's thoughts, in his nightmares, in his dreams and in his desires, where Alfred didn't want him.

He was there, in Alfred's soul. Perhaps he would stay there forever.

They would escape, Alfred prayed, but he feared he'd never be free of the Count. He would always be there, haunting Alfred's thoughts and desires.

After all, he'd already left his mark on Alfred's soul.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to tell me what you thought of it!