Writer's note: After reading the Blood books and the Smoke series, I wondered how Tony and Henry hooked up. After "Blood Price" the next time we see Tony, he's already in bed with Henry. So what happened in between? This one-shot was inspired by the line "A memory of a night in an alley off Charles Street back in Toronto surfaced" from the book "Smoke and Ashes."
Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing Tony Foster, Henry Fitzroy and the universe in which they exist. They belong to the talented Tanya Huff. No infringement intended.
That night near Charles Street
By Kate Red
He allowed himself to be pulled into the dark alley and propped against the brick wall. The hands that groped his ass through his jeans were strong, the lips on his firm. For a john, Tony thought, this dude ain't that bad. His breath didn't smell; he didn't smell. He was even kinda cute. He also didn't want to do anything particularly kinky, a plus for Tony since he was trying to get out of the business. After what happened a month ago, he'd become more careful in selecting who he let pick him up. Vicky Nelson's cop voice boomed loud in his head: "It's just not safe! What if someone tries to do more than just mess up that pretty face of yours when you say no?!?"
Well, it's kinda hard to say no when you haven't eaten a decent meal in two days and your stomach kept growling. He thought about picking pockets, but he was a bit out of practice and he really, really didn't want to get pinched. Imagine what Victory would have to say if she had to bail him out. Tony shuddered. He felt a tug on the top button of his jeans and felt the zipper slide down. Tony shifted a bit, trying to find a more comfortable spot against the cold wall, then tuned out what the guy was doing. He could do that. He'd long learned how to separate himself from what his body was involved in. In this business, he had to. Or else he wouldn't have survived. "But I grew strong, and I learned to carry on." Oh crap, Tony thought, now I'm hearing Gloria Gaynor in my head. Can I be more gay?
Tony dropped his hand on top of the man's head, his fingers brushing an errant lock. He closed his eyes, tried to lose himself in the man's ministrations.
Then promptly opened them again.
He had a strange feeling somebody was watching. A quick look up and down the alley showed nobody else. Tony tried to relax, but the odd feeling stayed. OK, I'm imagining things, he thought. I'm freaking myself out. I gotta stop watching those late-night horror movies on television.
He didn't mean to watch. He was no voyeur. Well, sometimes. But he had no intention of doing so tonight. He had been walking on Charles Street, heading toward the garage where he parked his BMW when he caught a familiar scent. It wasn't something he could identify right away, but he recognized it. He followed the scent until he came to the mouth of the alley and saw the two figures.
He was young, the one he had scented. Thin, too, like he had missed a few too many meals. Not someone I'm likely to feed from, Henry Fitzroy thought. More than 450 years as a vampire had taught Henry the importance of varying his diet, so to speak. That meant feeding from a number of people. People he knew. This one, not so much. And yet he held a memory of this person, this faceless, nameless person.
He couldn't shake the feeling he was being watched. But the alley was empty. Wasn't it? Tony felt his gaze drawn to a spot on the opposite end of the alley. But there was nothing there except shadows too small, too light to hide someone.
A car on that end of the street made a U-turn, lighting the alley and the street for a second, maybe two. Then it was gone. If Tony hadn't been watching, he wouldn't have seen the light wash over the figure of a man, his shoulder propped against the wall. Tony's heart slammed into his ribs. Fair hair. It took only a second. But it was time enough to give him the important details. Fair hair. Short. Slight build. A powerful presence.
He knew who it was.
Henry knew the moment the younger man noticed him. He heard the pounding of the boy's heart quicken. There was fear. And underneath was an undercurrent of excitement. Henry smiled, the civilized mask slipping slightly allowing the Hunger to peek through. In this dark alley, he might just be able to indulge himself and have a little fun.
It had been almost two months since that night Victory sought his help to save the undead creature's life. Tony still had some trouble wrapping his head around that one. How could somebody who was dead be in danger of dying? But Henry Fitzroy had been attacked by a nasty demon and had been badly hurt. Tony didn't think vampires could really be hurt, unless you threw holy water on them or staked them or branded them with a cross or ... what else did Buffy do?
That night, he learned some of the stories about things that go bump in the night were actually true. That vampires do exist. That they really need blood to survive. That the feeding wasn't quite as messy like they show on TV. And that whole teeth-on-skin, drawing-your-blood thing, oh yeah, people forgot to mention that that was a big turnon.
Tony heard a moan, and belatedly realized it actually came from him. Memory of that night was making him hornier, more so than the guy at his feet who was doing his damnedest to get him off.
Closing his eyes, Tony took himself back to that night, to that moment when his world opened up just a bit more. He had taken Victory's Swiss Army knife from her and used it to make a tiny slash on his wrist. Then she helped guide his wound to Henry's lips. Tony remembered that first touch; the vampire's lips were cool and wet from Vicky's blood. It should have been icky, and yet it was actually weirdly arousing. Tony was only glad Fitzroy stopped drinking before he embarrassed himself in front of Victory.
Henry could hear the younger man's heartbeat accelerate as he climaxed. A second later, the rich, musky scent of sex reached Henry and he fought to tamp down the Hunger. He watched as the other man stood up. He and the younger man were talking. Sounded like the other man was inviting the younger one to come home with him and turn their short session in the alley into an all-night affair. Henry straightened from his position, unconsciously readying himself, for what, he wasn't quite sure. The noise of the traffic behind swallowed most of the conversation.
And then he heard "BMW" and suddenly had an image of a young man standing next to his car at a stoplight, commenting about his car and the Rolex on his wrist, popped up in his head.
He knew who it was.
Vicky's street kid.
Tony didn't quite know whether to stay or leave. The vampire had started walking toward him and Tony hurried along the john. No need to get other people involved, he thought. Why was he coming over anyway? It's not like they've been formally introduced. The last time he saw Fitzroy, the vampire all but ran him over with his slick BMW. Granted it turned out he was trying to get to Vicky to save her, but still. Tony didn't think the vampire even knew he existed aside from being a random food source Vicky brought home one night. Like takeout from McDonald's.
"Good evening, I'm Henry."
Tony felt like he should kneel. Or bow. He didn't understand why. So he just shook the hand the vampire offered.
"I'm a friend of Vicky's. I understand you helped save my life and I wanted to say I'm truly grateful."
Was that what you were doing watching me get off? Being grateful? Tony shrugged. "Yeah, whatever."
"I'm very sorry about the other night. You wanted to talk and I was in—"
Tony shrugged off the explanation. "Vicky needed you."
Henry nodded. The boy was trying very hard to look as if talking to a vampire was no big deal. There was bravado in his voice. And a speck of hurt. Henry felt a glimmer of shame. He could have treated this boy with more courtesy, especially after he saved his life.
"Tony, would you let me buy you dinner?"
Tony froze. He just stared. Did the vampire just say, "Would you let me have you for dinner?" No, he couldn't have. He cleared his throat. "You said buy me dinner, right? Get actual food, right? Like Coke and burgers?"
Henry raised a red-gold eyebrow.
"Don't worry, Tony, you're not on the menu."
Tony didn't think any more blood could go up to his face and heat it — considering what effect the vampire's mention of dinner had down below. He tugged at his jeans, a movement not lost on Henry. His eyes darkened and he smiled mischievously.
"Unless you want to be."