"Sebastiaaaan," bellowed Jim from his office as he pressed his hot brow against the cool of the window and watched as life played its role outside. From the three story building the people on the pavement looked like ants, scurrying around being late for work or late for school or late for an appointment or late for dinner. Jim could never be late. He had all the time in the world, and somehow he resented the fact. He was jealous of the humans who had a limited life span so that they had to fit everything they ever wanted to do within that time. He, Jim, did not need to fuss, did not need to hurry, for he had forever, and forever had him.
The smell of a metallic tang filled the air and Jim's senses zoned in on one thing. His nostrils flared so he could absorb as much of the alluring scent as possible. His mouth began to water; he gulped down some excess saliva to prevent dribbling. His eyes focused on the reflection in the window of his manservant entering the room with a bowl on a tray. His ears could hear the pulsing of Sebastian's heart, slow and steady.
Ba-boomp, ba-boomp, ba-boomp.
Jim dug his nails into the window, taking the top layer of glass off in his frustration. He turned and watched Sebastian place his meal on the desk and then back away slowly so that there were a few metres between them. The distance really was pointless, it was not like he could outrun him, and Jim could still see the vein in Sebastian's neck pulsing and hear his heart beating.
Ba-boomp, ba-boomp, ba-boomp.
Jim, keeping in control, slowly sat down and immediately a burst of flavours filled his nose that excited him in a way no human could possibly understand. His pupils dilated so much that his eyes, usually a chocolate brown colour, were completely black and hungry, oh so hungry.
He gripped the table, resisting his instincts to drink straight away as a voice in his head reminded him his manservant was still in the room. At this point Jim was never capable of speech, his animal instinct was too overpowering, even for a well trained creature like him. Instead he gave a swift nod to Sebastian, who bowed in return and left the room. Jim waited until he heard the click of the lock before dipping his little finger into the deep red liquid, and dabbing it onto his outstretched tongue.
The effect was instantaneous. His dilated pupils became slits and he jumped up so that he was crouching on his chair, his legs tucked underneath him. He took the bowl in his hands and raised it to his lips so quickly that if you were to blink you would have missed it. Tipping the bowl up he allowed the thick, cool liquid to spill into his mouth and pour down his aching throat, quenching the thirst that had been tormenting him.
The blood was more satisfying than anyone could describe. Better than water after a trek in the desert, better than a hot bath on a cold day, better than the first kiss after an age of lust. Jim brushed his tongue across his lips, not letting one drop escape. He let out a pleasurable laugh as he feasted, a throaty rumble that had the undertones of a madman.
The laughing stopped abruptly as the last drop was drunk and the meal was over. An animalistic need for more surged over him and he threw the china to the floor and charged at the door.
You see the problem with vampires is that they do not eat 'enough'; they eat until their stomachs cannot take it anymore and it physically hurts to move. Humans have a similar characteristic, but they are just greedy, vampires have a natural instinct to drain a living thing of it's blood, to eat as much as you can in one sitting so that you did not need to hunt again for a long time. That is why Jim was locked in his office, and why he was furiously scratching at the door like a dog, trying to dig his way through to get to the nearest thing with a pulse. In this case, Sebastian.
Jim forced his teeth into the door and bit off a large chunk of wood. This revealed underneath a layer of pure diamond – the whole room was encased with the stuff. This was because not even a vampire was strong enough to get through it.
Jim screamed Sebastian's name, demanding his immediate release from this imprisonment.
"Sebastian! I order you to let me out of here! I will kill you if you do not let me out this instant!"
"You will kill me if I do." Having your life threatened by the man you work for would send any sane man running. Sebastian, however, had spoken with a soft smile in his voice. "You know the rules, sir, twenty four hours." It took a vampire on average sixteen hours to recover from the blood lust, but, for the protection of Sebastian and the manservants before him, Jim had ordered them to keep him locked away for twenty four hours whilst he recovered.
Sebastian turned off the intercom he used to communicate with Jim when he was locked away, and went back to doing his daily orders.
Jim did not give in immediately. He spent two hours ripping the wood from the door, pulling the books from the shelves and throwing anything on the desk to the floor. Again, none of this was unusual, nothing of importance was kept in that room, and everything could be easily replaced. He threw his armchair at the window, which was three inches thick and had a diamond core. The glass didn't even crack. Jim sank to the floor, defeated.
His thoughts went straight to the blood he had just devoured. Whose was it? Where did it come from? Where had it been? It was fresh, human, and male. He could tell the difference much like you can tell the difference between beef and chicken. The victim had been roughly forty five years old and there was an unmistakable underline of alcohol and cocaine. So it was a tramp Jim had had for dinner. Not Jim's favourite but at least it was human. The last batch of blood had been horse and that was always so runny and lacking in flavour! A tramp must have been hanging around the wrong place at the wrong time and Sebastian had decided Jim deserved a treat.
In the old days it so much easier to have human every feast time, but these days with the increased intelligence of humans and the technology, it was too risky. It was a shame because human blood was the caviar of the vampire world. Highly sort after and not easy to get. Other blood was okay but human was delectable. But too many humans disappearing in one area caused suspicion. Fortunately vampires can live off an adult human for two and a half years, as they only needed to feast monthly, so the occasional disappearance was expected. And it was not like they would ever find a body. Good old Sebastian saw to that. He was probably seeing to it right now. Once all the blood was drained and frozen into portions, the body was burned and then the bones and teeth left are crushed, much like a cremation. The ashes are then used as fertiliser for Sebastian's garden.
Jim glanced at the grandfather clock in the corner of the room. It had been twelve hours already. The older he got the faster time seemed to go. Jim, by any standards, was old, very old. In human years he was five hundred and eighty nine years old but he was stuck in his early thirties. His eyes were the only thing that gave him away. They contained such wisdom, such exhaustion, and the suggestion that this man had seen more than he should have at his age. He had watched the world develop and change as he stayed exactly the same. He met Shakespeare, watched King Charles I's execution, seen Mozart perform live. He had been all over the world many times, but in 1875 settled in England, fond of the ways of the Victorian gentleman. Occasionally he would go home to Ireland and see how the descendants of his family were getting on. But the people he cared about the most were long dead, and after twelve generations of the Moriarty's there were too many to keep track of.
He spent another few hours sitting cross legged on the carpet. He focused on the patterns in the wallpaper, memorising every swirl and shade of colour. The stillness was calming, and as the effects of the blood lust began to subside, Jim was able to think clearly without the thought of blood or hunger dominating his consciousness. He listened to the sounds of the house. The buzzing of the flies, the whistle of the winds, the humming of the heating. The song of the building was a beautiful thing.
The silence was interrupted with the sounds of the front door opening and closing. Jim concentrated on the footsteps as they approached the room he was locked in.
"Four hours to go," came a familiar voice over the speakers. This was Sebastian's way of telling him he had arrived on time for work and was getting on with it. On the nights when Jim was suffering with the blood lust, Sebastian did not bother to inform his employer when he was leaving. This was because Jim was still at the 'willing to drink any blood' stage and so reminding him that there was a human within his reach did no good for his sanity.
Ah Sebastian, Jim sighed. He was so good to him, worked hard, made him laugh, and convinced him that it was worth living this dreary life. Sebastian had turned forty last year. He had laughed it off and said that compared to Jim he was still a child, but inwardly Jim had already started to panic about the day Sebastian could no longer work for him. Of course Jim had had many human manservants before Sebastian, it was not unusual in the vampire world, but Sebastian was different.
After centuries of practice Jim could pick out a psychopath when he saw one, and Sebastian was one psychopath to be reckoned with. Jim had been out one evening for a stroll when the scent of blood caused his skin to crawl. He had followed the scent to an alleyway where he found Sebastian slitting the throat of a prostitute. He had tried to run when he caught sight of Jim, but Jim had him pinned down to the floor in seconds. He had taken him back to his house and gave him a proposition; work for him, fuel his urge to kill by providing Jim with meals every month. After a little persuasion ("accept my offer or I kill you") Sebastian accepted, and Jim's manservant at the time, Timothy, trained him so that he would be ready for when he retired. Thirteen years. Thirteen years Sebastian had been working for Jim, and he had become more attached to him than any other human.
"But maybe if I… No. No!" He scolded himself. In his nearly six hundred years Jim had not turned one person. Not one. The anger at the one who had turned him was deeply rooted into his soul, and when he had realised what they had done he vowed he would not do the same.
In the 1400's there was a risk of vampires dying out. This was because there was a war between the ones who wanted to reveal themselves and the ones who wanted to stay in the shadows. Many were killed, their heads severed or their bodies burnt. This meant they ran out of soldiers very quickly and so both sides set up a mission where as many people were turned as possible. Jim had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had been returning home from the local pub after celebrating his engagement to his sweetheart, when a vampire had grabbed him and taken him back to his home.
The process to turn a human was fairly complicated, it could not happen by accident. The blood of the vampire is smeared onto the chest of the human in a circular shape with a cross going through it. At the point where the lines meet, the skin is pierced with a needle and vampire blood is injected into it. Then the hole is sealed with wax. Jim was awake when this happened to him and it was the most frightening experience of his life. The vampire had then offered him a drink laced with human blood and the moment he drank, the transformation was complete. For ten years he was locked in a room to train him to control his hunger. He could not see his family, his friends, his fiancée, no one. He was forced to leave his life behind, and that would break any soul. Not only that, but during this time the war had ended and so his 'death' had been for nothing.
No. He would not do the same to Sebastian.
There was a click, the door creaked open, and Sebastian stood in the entrance with a warm smile. The stress and the worry that had built up over the past twenty four hours drained away.
"How are you feeling?"
"Claustrophobic," Jim murmured bitterly. Sebastian gave him a knowing look.
"Your bath is ready and I have laid your clothes out on your bed. Will you be walking it off or going for a drive?"
"Walking. Would you care to accompany me?" he asked hopefully. If he was going to lose Sebastian one day, he was going to make the most of him now. Sebastian bowed his head and looked at Jim through his eyelashes.
"It would be a pleasure sir."