‘Vampires, like in Buffy?’
‘Buffy the vampire slayer.’
‘No, not vampires, vampire bats,’ he asserted firmly, none the wiser as to the identity of Buffy.
‘There’s a difference?’ she sounded unconvinced, ‘a difference between vampires and vampire bats?’
‘Yes, of course there’s a difference, I’m a naturalist, not a fantasist.’
‘A naturist! You take your clothes off in public?’ she suggested, mischievously.
‘Naturalist,’ he corrected her, his voice tinged with impatience. A painfully literal man, humour had no place in a conversation about his life passion, even with a beautiful woman. Perhaps that was why he remained unattached at fifty five.
Unperturbed, he explained with the patronising tone of a bad schoolteacher, ‘Vampire Bats are hematophagic mammals. That means they feed on the blood of other mammals. They are as real as you and I.’ Pausing to mull something over, the deep frown creasing his brow did nothing to spoil what she considered a ruggedly handsome visage. ‘Admittedly,’ he continued, ‘hematophagy is a characteristic shared with the kind of vampires that featured in Hammer Horror movies. Anyway, point is, they sometimes carry rabies.’
‘Yuk, they sound horrid.’
‘No,’ he protested, turning to look at her, trying to make out her expression in the gloom; the flickering lantern was more successful at filling the night air with the pungent aroma of spent paraffin than filling it with light.
‘They arent, they’re fascinating,’ he insisted.
‘Whatever.’ With the one word, she dismissed his bats.
He was exasperated by her the immature response, but he could not help but find it oddly attractive.
‘Anyway, they are native to South America. Finding one in Spain is unusual and worrying, they have to be quarantined…. that’s why I’m here, to cull the vermin,’ he finished lamely.
They were sitting together on a porch swing, though the absence of any possibility of motion that could be described as swinging put the lie to the name. The mechanism was solid, through the effects of time and a corresponding lack of attention. At least it was on a porch.
With the subject of the bats now completed, as far as she was concerned in any case, they sat in an uncomfortable silence as the night creatures stirred all around them.
Dinner had been a simple and silent affair. The other guests, like him, were overnighters and did not know each other; their behaviour indicated that they had no desire to get to know each other. They had taken their seats with only the necessary perfunctory noises such as were required to maintain a civilised though chilly atmosphere. Once they had consumed their chosen meals, they left the table with barely a nod. She had not been amongst the diners.
The last to rise, he had stepped out through the patio doors and onto the veranda just as the last rays of the Spanish sun had faded and died with the day. The cicadas were in concert, the faint breeze was warm. It was delightfully Mediterranean.
He had not seen her arrive, one moment he was alone on the seat, then the faintest creak of old timber alerted him to a presence. A powerful waft of perfume filled his nostrils, the fragrant scent of fresh flowers, and, almost imperceptible, the sickly sweet aroma of damp and crumbling wood. He did not look directly at the newcomer, but saw her form emerging in his peripheral vision, as if it were being pressed through the velvet darkness into the dim glow cast by the porch lamp. Uncomfortable at finding himself seated so close to a stranger, he was aware that the swing seat would betray any movement with a creaking protest, so he did not edge away. Normally he would not have had the courage to speak, but the scent was alluring, intoxicating, it clouded his inhibitions. He wished her a good evening. She responded in a voice that was sweet syrup seeping through the dark. Without volition, he found himself explaining his reason for being at the boarding house, the planned cull of a plague of vampire bats.
When he had explained his intent, they fell into an uncomfortable silence. Regretting telling her about the cull, he felt no better than a rat catcher. He dared a sideways glance, but her expression was hidden in the contrasting of a deepened blackness against the dull halo of orange from the lantern behind her. His eyes dropped instinctively, curiosity rewarded with a tantalising glimpse of a full breast tipped with a perky nipple, briefly visible through shifting satin.
His eyes were drawn irresistibly lower, below her waist. Feeling a hot flush of embarrassment, he looked away before she noticed the direction of his gaze; he was sure she was completely naked under the thin satin gown. Although loose, in places it clung to her body like a second skin, transparently caressed the curves of her rounded thighs, sinking in the cleft between her legs. To his horror, he felt his cock stiffen and he crossed his legs to conceal the bulge.
‘I saw,’ she spoke without looking at him.
‘What did you see?’ he replied, feigning ignorance in vain and hoping she meant something else.
‘You, looking at me,’ the gown clung tight as she twisted her upper body to face him. Her breasts were thrusting toward him, hard nipples pressing the satin, proud from the dimpled darkness of her areolae.
Unexpectedly, she asked, ‘Would you like to kiss me?’
Without waiting for his reply, before he could react, she leaned forward to press her lips hard and passionately against his own. Her tongue had penetrated his mouth before he could move or utter a sound. Her eyes were closed, but they shifted urgently under mauve shadowed lids as if she were dreaming. He tasted sweetness with a metallic edge, but could not identify it. Groping clumsily for her breasts, he fondled the warm soft flesh through slippery satin, felt the weight of her breasts and found the stiffening nipples with his thumbs, but she slithered quickly from his grasp. Fingers nimble with the familiarity of experience deftly released the buckle of his belt, the buttons of his pants. Warm wetness spread through the tightness of his briefs as her lips rolled over the bulbous end of his rigid cock. He rolled his thighs gently in time with the movement of the hand that gently cupped his balls inside the cotton of the briefs. He tried to delay, but could not last long. She slithered up to kiss him, but he turned his head away, unwilling to touch lips that had savoured his seed. That suited her perfectly, his neck was bared to her, the beating pulse visible. She sank her sharp canines into his warm flesh, feasting on the throbbing flow of red nectar that burst free.
The swing creaked as their bodies shifted in an embrace that could only have one outcome, she clung to him tightly, drew the life from him. When she released him, he remained upright, blank eyes staring, a lifeless husk.
‘To you, they are small furry mammals with leathery wings and sharp teeth, objects to study,’ she whispered, a dark trickle rolling from the corner of full black lips, ‘but to me, they are family.’