He's hungry. He's hungrier than he can ever remember being, even the newborn thirst wasn't this bad. He's in the wilds of Northern Canada, and he's been travelling for days, coming down from Greenland through the Queen Elizabeth Islands, for no other reason than he'd never been there before, and he saw an intriguing postcard of Greenland in a stack of mail.

He stops his running and slows to a walk. He's not tired, per se; vampires don't get tired, but he's weary of seeing tundra and brush and snow fly past so he slows his pace, enjoying the forest he's now in. He's feeling the effects of not feeding. It makes him feel weaker than he is, like he remembers feeling when he'd been pushed around by the thugs that lived in his neighborhood as a boy, and he hates it. That helpless, ineffectual feeling scares him for some reason he doesn't even want to remember.

He considers hunting wild game since it's been days since he came across a human settlement, but he hates the taste of it. It's bland and cloying and it's just all around lacking. He can smell water up ahead and knows that if humans are around, that's where he's likely to find them.

He stands at the edge of a lake, gulping in scent, surveying the wind. A gust of wind makes the trees creak and clatter together, pushing a scent toward him. Ah-h-h, that's what he's looking for, and the faint smell of human makes his whole neck hurt like someone slid a sword down his throat and was rattling it around, slicing through shards of flesh. It's painful, it really is, and the venom wants to come and fill his mouth in anticipation. He swallows it back down though; he's learned the hard way to always be cautious, and he approaches carefully, slowly.

He sees a camp, a cottage on the other side of the lake and starts out for it. He's almost there when suddenly another scent is carried on the wind. It makes him rumble back deep in his throat; goddamn it, he's hungry and he doesn't want to fight for a meal.

He stops and debates for a moment. Usually, he doesn't like running into other vampires, and he avoids confrontations with them. But he's hungry and hasn't seen any humans for long enough that it makes him willing to take the chance. Quiet as only a hunting vampire can be, he sidles up to the cottage from downwind, letting the rustling trees cover the sounds of his bare feet as he approaches the camp. There is one window in the side, and he slowly moves his head so he can see inside.

There's a huge cloud of red hair, and that's all he can see as the vampire bends over the victim, a middle-aged human in a plaid shirt and jeans¸ down vest−typical hunter's attire. The human's cap rolls off its head and across the floor as its struggles against the vampire lessen. There's another prone body on the floor, arms spread out like it was crucified right there on the floor. The pallor of this corpse tells James that it's been already drained.

There's a curve to the hips of the feeding vampire, and he's not surprised when she turns as she's feeding and he sees the feminine planes of her face. She catches sight of him in the window, and her eyes widen.

She drops the victim and it slumps to the floor. She's flushed from feeding on both humans, and the flawlessness of her skin is only enhanced by the delicate pink spreading across her cheeks. She watches him, but he does nothing, just stares; he's a bit taken aback by her beauty among all this desolate wasteland. For she is beautiful, all cream and thickly lashed eyes and high aristocratic cheekbones. But then she smiles; her mouth is too wide and sensual to keep the pretense of aristocracy, and her smile is nothing but wicked, like catching an exposed breast when a woman's shirt blouses open as she bends over.

She arches one elegant eyebrow at him, and even though he doesn't know who she is, or anything about her, it's an extremely sexy gesture. It pulls the corners of her lips up, and it almost taunts him. What are you going to do? it asks him. It's teasing and disdainful, and it slices through his hunger, his exhaustion and invigorates him like a shot of adrenaline delivered straight to the heart.

It's not what he expected, and he feels a grin slide across his face. He will rise to the challenge. In one quick gesture, he jumps through the window, glass exploding through the room. But as quick as he jumped, by the time his feet land on the rough hewn wooden floor, she has fled through the cabin door. He wonders if he should immediately go after her, but the smell of the blood from the half-drained man is entirely too compelling, so he picks up the body, secure in the knowledge he can track the redhead down.

He starts to suck on the neck wound already there, and the blood comes slow and sluggishly. Still, it is so sweet and vibrant, he sighs with relief as it soothes the burning and starts spreading out to his limbs in cooling, blessed relief. It ends way before he's ready, and he sucks at the wound like he's an industrial vacuum cleaner, until he can feel the veins collapsing in the body under the suction of his lips. He evens licks at the blood that has covered the neck and face, cleaning it all off the corpse.

He looks around, and gives the other corpse a kick, rolling it onto its back, estimating its size. He pulls the boots and jeans off the corpse and exchanges them for his own; they're in much better shape than the ragged ones he's wearing. Thus only slightly fortified and refreshed, he starts off through the woods, following her scent.

He follows her easily by smell alone, but she's traveling fast and it keeps him running. He finally catches sight of her several hours later as she's climbing a steep, rocky ledge. She's maybe a couple of miles away, and something−some sense−makes her turn around to see him at the edge of a group of trees, watching her.

She frowns, and he can tell she's wondering about his motives. He smiles and licks his lips, letting his tongue slid around his mouth lasciviously, grossly. That makes her raise her chin and smile, and then she scrambles up the rock face and is gone.

Now the chase is on. He pours on the speed, and is scrambling up the same rocky slope but by the time he reaches the top, she's gone. He sees nothing around him but a spectacular view of ponderosa pines, the landscape full of gently rolling hills with an unbroken layer of trees, like a huge shag carpet. It's a beautiful sight, with the sun sinking in the western sky tainting the clouds above with shades of mauve and lavender.

He appreciates it, but his life is full of beautiful vistas, and the one he wants right now is a cream-colored torso rising up to full, heavy breasts and a wide, sensual smile. He starts down the slope and after his target.

She's fast; she's really fast, and he doesn't catch sight of her all that night. He knows he's on the right track, though; he can feel it in his belly, his 'compass' as he refers to it to himself. It's a feeling, a deep feeling behind his navel that pulls him to his target like there's an invisible cord stretching between him and the one he's hunting. It pulls him like a retractable leash to her; he knows which direction she is travelling in, and he's hungry to catch up to her.

It's the afternoon of the next day when he finally catches sight of her. She's crossing a wide plain, and her hair flies out behind her like a red cape being waved by a matador. Again, somehow, she senses his eyes on her, and she slows and turns, her eyes searching the horizon. She spots him, and she stands for a moment with her hands on her hips. It's defiant and it's challenging, and suddenly he knows he wants her more than anything he has wanted in a long while, and maybe all this chasing is just an extended form of foreplay.

As if she can read his mind, her hands slowly rise from her hips, trailing along the open edges of her jacket. They reach her collar and slowly pull her jacket open. Even at this distance, he is mesmerized by her movements, and the world becomes her pale hands fingering her lapels and pulling them apart, revealing the tight tee-shirt underneath. She slides her hands across her belly, and his palms itch to feel the cotton shirt she's wearing, to pull it from her body. Her hands slide upwards, and then she's cupping her breasts, letting her thumbs rock across where her nipples are, and he swears he can feel how they would stiffen against his fingers.

She's laughing at his expression and then, in an instant, she has turned and fled. He's on to her now, though, and he's beginning to think that maybe she wants him to catch her as much as he does, but she's too proud to make it easy. So, he bursts into speed, flying across the open plain like a racer on the salt flats of Utah, but again, she has disappeared into the forest and he's left to follow her.

He catches sight of her next as the sun is low in the sky. She's on the other side of a gorge, and he marvels as to how she got to the other side so fast. It's a rocky canyon, with a stream burbling at the bottom, but the chasm separating the two walls is yards and yards apart. She's standing there like she's been waiting for him, and she watches as he steps up to the edge of the gorge¸ checking for the best way across. He sees next to her in the brush a snake of rope, and he understands now this is a test. He can climb down to the stream bed, cross the water and then climb back up, but by the time he does that, he knows she'll be long gone.

Or he can jump. It's a long ways though; he can't remember ever having jumped quite that far. She raises her chin, and he understands; oh yes, it's a challenge. So, he backs up a few hundred yards to give him the room to build up the speed he needs. She's watching him and smiling. He bursts into a full run, and with a tremendous leap from legs like iron springs, he starts to sail across the gorge, the far wall rushing at him as he cuts through the air, his legs still pumping like he's using the open space as a bridge. Suddenly, he realizes it's not going to be enough; it was indeed impossible, and he feels the inevitable arc of descent catch up with him. He hits the ground on the far side of the stream with a jaw-crushing impact that hurts from the soles of his feet, up through his spine. He rolls to try to lessen the impact, but it doesn't help much, and when he rises to his feet and shakes his head, he's breathing hard from the pain.

Above, floating down to him like a dropped feather, is her laughter. It's the first time he's heard her voice; it's husky and sexy, and he grinds his teeth in frustration. He looks up, and she's peering over the edge of the gorge. "Come on, you can do better than that," she urges him, before disappearing behind the edge. But she twists the knife by letting some object fall. He watches as it floats down on the air currents, and he steps forward a few steps to snag it out of the air. It's her shirt, the tee-shirt she was wearing, and he brings it to his nose and inhales deeply. It's warm and musky and feminine, and he sucks it in like a bloodhound. He tucks it into his back pocket, and smiling, starts to climb the gorge wall.

They start to enter a more populated area, with her still leading him on like a forest wraith, always just ahead of him. He's grateful when he finally runs across an old woman walking her dog along a country road. He pulls her into the bushes, while the little dog yaps and snarls. He disables the woman with a quick blow to the neck, and spends a moment chasing the suddenly terrified beagle before killing it and throwing its body away. He comes back to the old woman, who's dressed in a babushka and coat. She reminds him of someone, someone he knew when he was human, and although it slows him down for a moment, it's not going to stop him, and oh, it is good to be feeding.

He drinks in great, big, gulping draughts and can feel the blood warming him, giving him some color, his eyes returning to their natural red state. It's euphoric, this full feeding on a human, and he consciously has to slow himself to let it last. Human blood, there really is nothing like it, and he can feel it seeping into his spent tissue and rejuvenating it, sending tingles down to his fingertips and toes, even to the roots of his hair. It's the most intense feeling of his life, these feedings, and he adores all of them. But as one appetite is slaked, another rears its head, and feeling full and confident, he's off again in search of the redhead.

It's nighttime when they reach Edmonton. He's closing in on her, he can feel it, and he is relishing the thought of fucking her. The city has been released from the grip of winter to revel in its short summer, and the North Saskatchewan River is near flood stage with the snow run-off. He splashes across it and into an urban park. Her scent is fresh; she is just minutes, maybe even seconds, ahead of him and he pours on the speed, eager, very eager, to catch her. She's waiting for him under a huge maple tree that sits among a grass lawn, hidden in the shadows made by the moonlight.

She's leaning against the tree, one knee bent so that her foot is flat against the tree trunk and her hands are behind her. Her hair is wild and curly, massed around her face and down her back. His hands itch to feel it and tug on it, to make her bend her head back and expose her throat.

He walks slowly up to her, and already his body is responding to her presence, her scent. She's watching him, a smile slightly curving the full lips that already look as if they have been bruised by kisses. She has the most elegant eyebrows, he thinks oddly to himself; they are arched like the crook of a raven's wing. But his eyes slide from her face down her neck. Underneath the blazer she's been wearing, there is just a lacy hot pink bra, and the cups of it are holding some very round and beckoning breasts. He can see the creamy torso just as he imagined, and she is clad in low-slung jeans that sit well beneath the mysterious shadow of her navel.

She leans her head back against the tree, and it exposes her neck, a very sexy, beckoning gesture. He steps closer to her and grabs the fleshy part of her side above her hip. It's soft and smooth under his hand, and it makes his palm burn. "Ha! Caught ya," he murmurs, stepping close to her.

The difference in their heights makes her look up at him through her eyelashes. She laughs low and throaty. "And what will you do with me now that you have me?" she asks, deep and husky, and her voice is like a hand on his dick, and it's making him hard.

He presses his hips against her so she can feel his hard erection. It fits against her belly; the pale flesh there cushioning him like a custom-made pillow. He bends his head and kisses her roughly, demanding. He pushes her against the tree, his knee edging its way between hers, and he covers her mouth with his, his tongue thrusting between her lips. She's giving back as much as she's given, sucking his lips one at a time, pushing his tongue aside with her own to run hers along his teeth. He pulls her closer with one hand and runs the other up her side to squeeze a lace-covered breast. She sighs when he does, and it gets all up inside of him, and now she's all he wants, and he wants wet and tightness and friction, now.

She sneaks a hand between them and palms his hardness through his pants, and he rocks his hips against her, promising to deliver it to her. The head of his penis catches a bit on his zipper, since he's going commando, and he yelps a little, before it shifts and now he's just pressing it into her. It's almost making him crazy, how much he wants to take her hard and fast. She yanks on his hair, once, but he ignores it, and continues sucking on her bottom lip, giving it a nip with his teeth.

She yanks harder on his hair, and shit, that really hurts. He's not used to fuckpartners this aggressive, and it confuses him for a moment. He's always been the dominating one, but she can feel his confusion and she breaks his kiss and stares at him, hissing.

That makes him angry, and he remembers his frustration and the way she laughed at him. Without even thinking about it, his hand raises and he slaps her across the face. Her head whips to the side with the force of it. She's more surprised than anything, and he's almost as surprised as she is, unsure of the motivation behind his action. Her face is hidden by her hair, but she brings a hand to her face, touching it gingerly. She looks up at him, and he's not sure whether to apologize or do it again, when her fist appears in the air out of nowhere, colliding forcefully with his cheek. Suddenly, he's the one whose head is whipping around. He falls to his knees with the pain, and she's gone. By the time he's back on his feet, she's at the edge of the lawn, streaking into the trees, her laughter spreading out behind her like the trail of a jet.

He starts after her, and they rush between the park trees like guided missiles, one following the other. He's almost reaching her when she whips off her jacket, and it flies in his face. Angrily, he tosses it aside as she has reached the edge of the park and is now running along the night city streets, so fast that the few humans out this late at night don't even register their presence before they are gone. They enter the high-rise district, but this city's buildings are low and squat to what he's seen in other places. They race down the dark streets, turning a corner, and suddenly another piece of fabric is flying towards him this one catching him across the face. It's her bra, and now he's really smiling widely as he tucks it into his back pocket. He's lost sight of her for a moment, when he registers movement above his head. At the edge of the building, he spots her jeans in a crumpled heap, and looking up, sees that she's climbing the corner of the building like she's Spiderman, clinging to the concrete facade with just her toes and fingertips.

He stops to appreciate the sight of her climbing in just some lacy underpants, and his hands and cock itch to take that. She stops for a moment to look down at him and smile, giving her ass a sensuous shake and damn, if he doesn't want her more, so he springs up on the building and starts up after her. Twenty stories later, he flips himself up to the building's roof.

It's dark up here, and the city is glittering below him. He strolls among the air conditioning units and ventilation hoods until he spies her. She is leaning against a small staircase housing, and now she is completely nude. She has one hand covering her pubis and the other across her breasts, with her red hair massed around her and her eyes at her feet. It's Botticelli's Venus, but she's standing on the roof of a high rise, not a half-shell. He strips off his leather jacket and his shirt as he approaches her, enjoying the scenario she has set up for him.

He steps closer, a little warier this time, acknowledging her unpredictability. But this time as he nears she breaks from her pose, runs toward him and leaps at him from a distance. They slam together and fall, rolling to the ground. He's on his back and she's straddling him, sliding her hips up and down his, so that he can feel the hollow where her sex is and how his cock will fit in there and each time she rubs the lips of her sex over his pants and the head of his cock, a moan escapes him. He reaches up and grabs her breasts with both hands, and just as he knew they would, the nipples harden under his hands. She places her hands over his, and he squeezes and rolls the flesh while she throws her head back in pleasure, rocking herself up and down. It's marvelous and after all these days, he can't believe he's finally got her, and something in him wants to chain her to him, so she won't escape. He flips her over and squirms as he wriggles his pants down around his knees, while she writhes underneath him.

He slides back up her body as she raises her knees, and he slides into her like Ricky Hernandez stealing third base and the shock of the two of them coming together makes him groan loud and long. It's better than he imagined; it's so hot and wet and tight, and her muscles clench around him like a hand wringing him out. He can't stop himself from thrusting, and he knows he better slow down if he's going to make this last, but somehow he can't; he just wants to go deeper and deeper.

His focus is broken by her breath at his ear. "Nah-ah-ah, not so fast," she denies him, and rolls them over without breaking their connection. She's back on top, and that appears to be the way she likes it because it gives her control. She is slowly rising up his cock and then twisting back down on it, grinding into his pelvis, and he loves watching her pleasure herself on his dick. She starts to go faster, and her eyebrows scrunch together over her closed eyes, and her mouth is open with her panting. She's the sexiest thing he's ever seen, and he wants to help her find the release she is driving for, so he lets a hand slip from her breast and down her belly to where they are joined together. He slips a finger into the lips above where she is stretched to take him in, finds the hard nub there and starts to flick it back and forth.

Her eyes fly open, and she braces her hands on his chest and then throws her hand back as a long drawn out sound comes from deep inside her, half-sigh and half-growl. It's the most erotic sound in the world, and he is desperate to take her now. He can feel the walls of her sex clenching around him as she climaxes, and he's determined to get his release now that she's had hers, so as she still pants with the end of her peak, he rolls her to his back and begins stroking in and out.

It's the best pussy he's ever had, and he loves the feel of her full breasts against his hard chest. She's raising her hips to meet him, and the two of them are rocking together violently and he's stroking in and out like a piston. He feels like a sex machine, a goddamn sex machine, and his cock swells even bigger. He's wrapped his hands around her shoulders to pin her down and with a tremendous thrust, the tip of his cock presses against something deep inside her, and he's arching his back. His cum is shooting out of him in long shuddering jets, and it goes on and on as he arches helplessly against her, lost in the pleasure. It's an orgasm of a massive magnitude, and he doesn't know if she is coming again or not, but she cries out with him and is holding onto him like he's a life preserver. His thrusting gradually slows as the last of the waves subside, and he collapses on top of her, feeling totally drained.

He feels limp on top of her with his breath by her left ear, his face lost among that cloud of red hair that he now is totally taken with. In another moment, she rolls him to the side and slides out from under him.

He rolls to his back, still stunned by the intensity as she rises to her feet and walks over to where her panties are. She slides them up her long legs and walks back toward him, as he watches her languidly. She pulls her bra from his back pocket, his jeans still crumpled around his knees.

Twisting, she reaches behind herself, fastening the bra hooks, and adjusts the bra to her breasts. He likes watching as she lifts her breasts with her fingertips so they sit firmly within the cups. She leans down and kissing her finger, presses it against his lips, smiling.

He frowns as he watches her leave, sliding back over the low wall of the rooftop to climb back down the way they came. He sighs and falls backward, unsure of why he's so sad that she's gone when he's had what he came for. But then her head appears above the wall again, surrounded by its corona of red hair.

"Hey," she calls to him. "Catch me again, and next time it will be head." She slowly licks her way up her forefinger before swirling it around her tongue just so her meaning is clear. There's that wide, wicked smile again before her head disappears.

'Ah," he sighs as he wriggles his pants up his hips and buttons them. That's an offer he can't refuse, and he's almost laughing with delight as he starts to go after her.