A/N: I don't own any characters, although I do love tormenting poor Alfred. I'll put him back where I found him though, promise.

I've been away for a while, but I finally finished this. Little one shot, like all the others, although this may become part of a slight arc that I'm putting together, involving Alfred and Herbert.

Synopsis: Alfred indulges a little too much a vampiric get together, and Herbert sees an opportunity to take advantage. But will he actually follow through?

Alfred didn't have much experience with alcohol. This much became more and more apparent as the night dragged on. Herbert often felt that these little soirees of his father's were quite dull, but he found himself mildly entertained on this night, watching the fledgling vampire coping with the unfamiliar revelry with copious doses of self-prescribed liquid courage. After his first, second, eighth glass of wine, it became clear to Herbert that Alfred couldn't hold his liquor in a bucket with a mule to do the heavy lifting.

Even more entertaining was the discovery that Alfred was a deceptively flirtatious drunk. Throughout the night, Alfred flitted from one vampire to another, chatting charmingly with man and woman alike, many of whom responded to his coquetry with either mild amusement or utter indifference.

Sarah stood watching nearby, arms crossed in an irritated huff, disapproval written all over her face. Herbert scoffed quietly to himself over her hypocrisy. The young wench was quite the flirt herself, dallying with his father while romancing Alfred . The only difference was that she had acted the tease in the midst of cold sobriety, while Alfred's flirtations were the product of his overindulgence in the vintage.

A flurry of gasps and a mild crash brought Herbert's attention back to Alfred. It seemed Alfred had overbalanced and collided with a server, whose tray of drinks had fallen to the floor, spreading wine and broken glass all over the aged marble. The patrons of the bar seemed more affronted at the disturbance of their comatose revery than anything else, as Alfred scrambled haphazardly to assist the server in cleaning up the mess. He stumbled awkwardly, swayed as though light-headed, and Herbert could see what would come next. The nobleman pushed his way through the crowd and crossed the ballroom just in time to prevent Alfred from hitting his head on the tile floor as he lost consciousness. Paying no heed to the look of shock frozen on Sarah's face, Herbert hauled the insensible boy into his arms and exited the ballroom.

Herbert thought for a moment of taking Alfred to the crypt, but a wanton thought turned him toward his bedroom. As they traversed the corridors of the castle, Herbert could not help but smile a bit at the poor boy's situation. He knew that , once he came around, Alfred would be thoroughly embarrassed about his antics, if he even remembered anything at all. It would take a large amount of coaxing to convince him to surface once more, and even then, Herbert knew Alfred would likely keep apologizing for his behavior until every vampire in the castle threatened to stake him if he didn't stop.

They had nearly reached their destination when Herbert felt Alfred begin to stir in his arms. A small hand curiously fingered a stray lock of hair that had fallen loose before Herbert's eyes. "You have rather pretty hair."

The silky strand slipped from Alfred's grasp, and his hand wandered lazily to Herbert's face. Herbert's eyes clamped shut as the fingers trailed over his cheek, and he could feel every groove in the fingertips. Herbert opened his eyes.

Alfred let his hand fall, as the act of holding his hand up apparently became too strenuous. They had reached the bedroom by this time, and Herbert unceremoniously kicked the door open. Without bothering to turn down the bed, he settled Alfred lightly on top of the coverlet, with all the gentleness of a parent putting an exhausted child to bed.

"Such nice clothes, too," a small voice said. Alfred had stirred again and was now looking down at his own attire. "This is very nice. May I borrow it?"

"Certainly." Herbert smiled as he gently eased Alfred out of his evening jacket. He had relished the sight of the youth in medieval blue tails and cream silk waistcoat and cravat. He had allowed Alfred to assume that Sarah had chosen his attire for the evening, because he knew it made the boy happy, when in truth, Herbert had arranged Alfred's evening clothes himself.

Herbert had unabashedly enjoyed dressing Alfred as though the latter was his own personal doll, and he had imagined undressing the lad would be infinitely more enjoyable. Herbert warned himself, however, not to go to far, for Alfred would most assuredly have an apoplectic fit if he woke from his stupor and found himself completely stripped. Herbert carefully removed Alfred's cravat and laid it and the evening jacket in careful piles on the edge of the bed. He was undoing the buttons of Alfred's collar, when he realized that Alfred had slipped back into unconsciousness.

The boy moaned senselessly in his sleep and tossed his head to the side, revealing the pale expanse of his neck and a pronounced jugular. Clearly that wench Sarah had been keeping Alfred busy. The thought gave Herbert a pang of momentary jealousy. But the sight of Alfred exposed in the dim light distracted him from this emotional pain and drew him mercilessly toward a physical one.

Herbert's palms itched, and thirst burned his tongue. He smiled and traced his finger along Alfred's collarbone, up his neck, following the line of the vein toward his jaw and up to his temple, twisting his finger into a curl. Alfred shuddered. Herbert instinctively leaned in toward the precious vein, drawn to the scent of blood.

There were no words in any tongue known to man that could describe the blood-lust that burned his throat like ice and made his whole body ache in such a way that the undead should never feel. His tongue was dry and his heart aflame. He bore his teeth and a low growl escaped his throat as he lowered his lips to Alfred's throat. Then the boy moaned again, and Herbert stopped.


Herbert's eyes closed, and his head hung slightly. Long had he wanted Alfred in his bed, to taste of his fresh, youthful blood. True, the girl Sarah had done the deed of turning the boy, but now the opportunity lay before him to take what he desired without protestation. Nevertheless, Herbert found he could not bring himself to take advantage. He still wanted the boy to be sure, but now he wanted more. He wanted the boy conscious when he took him in his arms, to be willingly taken to bed. More than his blood now, Herbert wanted his heart.

With a sigh, Herbert settled back in his chair and willed his lust to abandon him. He put his hand to Alfred's forehead, brushed a curl from his eyes, and watched over him as he slept off the evening.

A/N: Reviews are muse feed.