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Sigi, pt 4 :iconmilo2:milo2 0 2
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Sigi drove home with the wind whistling an annoying tune through the hole in his window. He was in an odd mood tonight. He’d decided to leave the event a touch earlier than he normally would. At least tonight he’d left Stefan at home; that was one less thing to aggravate him now.

He knew himself very well. Living so many years gave you an uncomfortable amount of time to come to terms with your own shortcomings. Sigi, despite his skill at hiding it, had a bit of a temper. He was better at hiding his moods than Stefan, who sulked like a small child even with magazine photographers present, but he could nevertheless get into a deep, foul mood quite easily.

It was partly the hole in the window. The sound it made as he drove. The wind blowing directly into his left ear at certain speeds. The fact that someone had had the absolute nerve to shoot a wooden bullet at him while he was minding his own business… it could have ruined his outfit, on top of that. This jacket was a gift from a tailor in 1952. And his manicure had chipped when he’d scratched his responding message into that stone. Another annoyance; it bothered him to have one irregular nail.

He’d chased off a few hunters before. Bought some off as well. Apparently someone hadn’t gotten the memo.

He stewed in near silence (with whistling accompaniment provided by the window) until he couldn’t take it anymore; he turned on the CD player and cranked the volume up high. By the end of the second Vivaldi suite he was home.

Still in a foul mood, but less furious. Ready to undress and sulk in the privacy of his house. Perhaps he’ll look over his rosaries—
As soon as he set foot inside the foyer he knew something was amiss. He could smell it. There was perfume here that didn’t belong to him. The house was a touch warmer than usual. Someone was here that should not be.

And the realization that Stefan had brought somebody here, that Stefan was on a date, was the final straw. Sigi dropped his bag and coat and went in search of Stefan.

It didn’t take him long at all. The further he went the more he could smell and hear of the intruder. All his rage focused upon Stefan now, and not his guest. Stefan had willfully gone against Sigi’s rules.

Sigi rarely thought about the night he found Stefan, having broken into his house to stand over his bed, attempt to touch him as though he had a right to anything he wanted, but he was thinking about it now.

He considered throwing the door open as loudly as possible, but that would result in needing to repair the door and probably alarm the guest unnecessarily. He wasn’t doing this to put the fear of God into Stefan’s guest; once he’d gotten rid of the intruder, Stefan would get his own private show.

Sigi found them, of all places, in his bedroom. His bedroom. Not Stefan’s. Of course. Because Stefan’s room was not as lavishly decorated, not the sort of thing you’d want to show a date to impress them when Sigi’s four-poster mahogany bed frame, complete with tapestry hangings, was on the next floor up. Sigi cherished the rage welling up inside of him at this disgusting level of disobedience and disrespect. He liked having a very good reason to be so angry.

Since Stefan was obviously a fan of sneaking around, Sigi decided the best course of action would be to wait for Stefan to notice him. He waited patiently, watching Stefan paw awkwardly at the woman on his bed, standing so close either of them could reach out and pull his hair.

The woman opened her eyes first. She spotted Sigi immediately and recoiled from Stefan with a yelp. Stefan turned to look up at Sigi, who forced a smile past his scowl. “Stefan. Who’s your friend?”

Stefan stammered. Sigi hated every inch of the snivelling coward, hated the cheap lipstick smeared across his mouth, hated the way his sweat smelled through his rumpled clothing. “You’re— you’re supposed to be out!”

“‘Out’ does not mean ‘never coming back’,” Sigi told him patiently. He turned his gaze upon the woman, who stared at him open-mouthed. “I take it he didn’t mention whose bed this is?”

She shook her head. “Sorry! So sorry!”

Sigi paused. He could smell alcohol on her breath. He turned to scowl at Stefan again so quickly he felt his neck crack. “Get. Out. Of. My. Bed.”

Stefan moved to obey but Sigi barked, “Not you, you stay.” He waited for the woman to stand up, adjust her dress to fall properly over her thighs, then took her hand and leaned down to gather her shoes and purse in his other hand. “You are going home immediately.”

She gasped and sobbed as he led her through the house. He stopped in front of the telephone and passed her things back. Before he dialed the number for a taxi he looked her over, saw the way she was crying, and made his best effort to sound soothing. He was angry. Not with her. She reminded him of a child awaiting a beating and he didn’t like that at all.

“What is your name?” he asked quietly. Still frowning, but sounding calm.

She snuffled into her palm for a moment before she choked out, “Margareta.”

“Margareta.” He took her hand and squeezed it gently. “My deepest apologies for startling you tonight. Are you very familiar with the man upstairs?”

She hesitated a moment before shaking her head, looking ashamed. Sigi didn’t care about how or why she’d come here tonight, didn’t think it was anyone’s business what Margareta did with her weekends. Sigi dialed a number. While the phone rang, he stated, “I’m about to do you a favour, Margareta. If that man attempts to contact you ever again, ignore him. You don’t deserve that trouble.”

Sigi gave the taxi company his address and hung up. He stood outside with Margareta until the car arrived; when she asked if she could take his photograph he agreed, then gave her a sympathetic moment to fix her makeup before she leaned in for a picture. When she climbed into the taxi Sigi made sure she gave the driver her address, and Sigi paid the driver in advance, along with a generous tip.

Once the taxi was out of sight, Sigi marched back inside. Stefan, that disobedient little stain, had not waited for Sigi in his room, had instead slunk to the living room.

Sigi noticed then that all the lamps in the house were on. He walked through the living room, turning them off, always glaring at Stefan. That done, he stepped closer and leaned down to scowl directly into Stefan’s eyes.

Stefan opened his mouth. “You didn’t have to—”

Sigi smacked him across the face, then held him tightly by the jaw. “I am not here to listen to you lecture me about ruining your night. I am here to remind you of whose house this is. I am here to remind you of why you are here, in my house. Or do you remember why that is?”

Stefan sulked. Sigi dug his fingernails into Stefan’s jaw until the man whimpered. Blood dripped along Sigi’s knuckles, pooled between his fingers.

“You’re here because you wanted this,” Sigi reminded him. “You came here because you were so certain that I belonged to you. And now, Stefan, you have what you wanted. You have me, until the day you die.” He stared into Stefan’s eyes. “Am I not enough for you, Stefan?” he asked quietly.

Stefan stank of sweat. “You go on dates every night,” he whined. Whined.

Sigi laughed in his face. He did not find this funny at all. “You do not have that privilege, Stefan. You gave it up when you proved yourself to be untrustworthy. Do you not recall coming into my house uninvited because you thought you could just have me? Like a pretty trinket.” He pulled Stefan closer by the jaw, now too close for Stefan to see anything past his face. “If I need to discipline you like a dog that won’t stop pissing in the corner then so be it.”

“You’re hurting me,” he grunted.

“No. I’m being gentle.” Sigi shoved him away, watched him fall to the floor grasping his bloodied jaw. “And you are not sleeping tonight until you strip my bed, replace the sheets, burn the ones you were fornicating in, and clean every collection room.”

Stefan made a noise of protest. Sigi interrupted him loudly. “Excuse me, do you need assistance with your chores, Stefan?”

Stefan went quiet for one blissful moment, then dared open his mouth again. “You didn’t have to be rough with her.”

You brought a woman to my house and had her inebriated in my bed,” Sigi roared. “Do not tell me I was ‘rough with her’. She’s lucky I left early.”

Stefan had the nerve to scowl at Sigi as though he should feel bad for ruining Stefan’s night, but Sigi was hard to impress. When Stefan didn’t move his ass quickly enough Sigi lifted him to his feet by the forearm and dragged him upstairs so he could supervise Stefan’s chores.

Sigi did not need to sleep. Staying awake all night to watch Stefan clean up in sullen silence was actually quite relaxing, besides.

*

As the weeks progress it becomes painfully apparent that Sigi must abandon his studies.

Johannes is still concerned for his health. He’s stopped inquiring after Sigi’s health since Sigi loudly told him to stop, although that hasn’t kept him from watching Sigi carefully.

Sigi cannot sit at meals anymore. He’s tried to eat breakfast with Johannes and the landlord’s family, with no success. Food does not appeal to him any longer. Even when he feels hungry, trying to eat anything offered by the servants in the kitchen turns his stomach.

He attends church more frequently. The priest seems a bit unnerved by his presence (understandably), although he doesn’t turn Sigi away. Johannes is not Catholic; he will not follow Sigi here. Sigi sits in the pews at the back, staring at the crucifixion and waiting for thoughts of blood to leave him, although he should have realized a Catholic church is not a place to forget about blood.

He tries not to think of his mother. He refuses to allow the terrible thought that she was right intrude upon him, not now, not after he’s avoided it so well lately.

Something is terribly, terribly wrong with him. He’s no longer feverish. No longer merely ‘ill’. He cannot eat, he does not sleep. He lies awake every night listening to Johannes breathe and he salivates at the smell of it. Whenever Johannes speaks to him, whenever the priest speaks to him, Sigi can only think of biting through that tongue and swallowing the blood that would pour into his mouth. No amount of prayer can distract him.

Locking himself away is not an option. The only room he can find in which to do this would be a cupboard under the stairs, if he should remove all the linens, but the servant girl would have to come pull him out eventually. And he could still smell them through the wooden door— the landlord, the servant girl, Johannes, the man who delivers the eggs…

He’s biting his fingernails a lot these past few days. He bites until he can taste his own blood, and it isn’t enough to fully distract him, but it calms him somewhat. Johannes notices his ragged fingertips at night, voices concern about all the scabs, but Sigi pretends he’s always had this habit.

The only thing that helps keep him from chewing on Johannes is fresh meat from the market. Sigi is fast running out of money. He’s counted the meagre amount left in his purse multiple times, knows it will purchase perhaps one last cut of raw meat before he becomes truly desperate.

Jan’s father has arranged for three dogs to be killed. No one suspects what Sigi has done. He’s becoming anxious that he’s going to ruin his own good luck.

Sigi is upset to realize he must leave before he hurts Johannes. He’s already left his family; now he must leave the one friend he’s ever had. He can’t tell Johannes he’s leaving, either— Johannes would try to convince him to stay, or worse, follow him. He can’t risk that.

He watches Johannes fall asleep, like every other night of the past month, hungry but not tired, his body remarkably still as he fails to draw breath. He’s stopped inhaling when he doesn’t think about it. Yet another reason he should leave now. Johannes is a student of natural philosophy, like Sigi; he will notice that Sigi hasn’t been breathing very often. He’s already noticed that Sigi feels cold every time they touch, unless Sigi clings to him and leeches some of his warmth.

Sigi doesn’t think it’s possible that he’s dead, but he’s cold, does not breathe, does not sleep, and despite this constant aching hunger he hasn’t starved yet.

He stands at the foot of the bed, watching the way Johannes moves in his sleep, and wishes not for the first time that he could have been less odd. He might not have left home to meet Johannes if he had been normal, true, but perhaps he still would have. Who could know? But then, he might have had more friends then, too.

He almost wishes he knew how to cry, but that hasn’t really happened since he was very young. He just watches Johannes breathe and sleep and envies Johannes his ability to live normally. Johannes will get on without Sigi. He’ll meet people who will speak to him and look at his face and he won’t frighten people with his presence. He’ll marry, most likely; he’s a kind person. Sigi envies Johannes’s potential future wife the place she’ll have in his life.

Sigi changes his shirt and takes only the most important things with him. He slips out of the house without so much as a note, intent upon leaving town for good. He could live on a farm, perhaps… he was good enough with all the chores his mother set upon him, he might be able to raise cattle or…

“Sigi? Where are you going?”

Sigi stops. Johannes must have run out of the house to catch up with him. He turns to look at Johannes and finds that he can’t make eye contact. “I need to leave,” he says as he starts to walk again.

“Sigi? Sigi!” Johannes hastens to catch up, barely dressed, one shoe on. “Sigi, why are you leaving, what’s happened?”

Sigi walks in silence a while, but Johannes keeps pace with him. Sigi could run, outpace him, but something keeps him from running.

“Sigi, would you please tell me what’s wrong?” Johannes reaches to grasp Sigi’s hand, and that is what makes Sigi stop again, this time shaking his hand free.

“I wish you hadn’t noticed I left,” Sigi said, still unable to look at his friend. “Damn you, why did you wake up?”

Johannes frowns. “Sigi, what is it?”

“I don’t know.” Sigi dares a glance at Johannes, and suddenly he has to laugh. He cackles helplessly, palms up, as if asking anyone to supply him with the answer. “I don’t know. I don’t! I can’t stay, I must leave before I— Before I hurt you.”

Johannes looks alarmed. Dismayed. “Sigi… I’ve told you before, you aren’t dangerous. A little odd, perhaps, but that’s no fault of your own…”

“No, Johannes, not—” For a single dreadful moment he feels it about to leave him, and he has a moment to prevent it. And he does not. “I killed Jan. The boy. That was me. I did that. I— I bit through his neck, Johannes, and he— I cannot eat, Johannes, and he tasted glorious—” He’s sobbing. It startles him enough that he stops talking, holds a hand over his mouth. His face crumples and the tears spill from his eyes and suddenly he’s upset that he can still taste the boy’s blood in his mouth and he is so hungry for more of it.

Johannes shakes his head. “Have you gone mad? That was a dog, it couldn’t have been…”

“I tore into his soft throat like it was fresh bread,” Sigi tells him through his tears, “I’ve never tasted anything so delicious. I’ve been thinking about it for weeks. I’ve been wanting it for weeks. When you sleep I watch you. You smell delicious and when I kiss you I want to bite your tongue in half and swallow the meat. That’s why I’m leaving.”

“But… why would you do that?” Johannes is so quiet. His eyes have gone wide. He’s looking at Sigi as though he still wants to beg him to stay.

“I don’t know.” Sigi feels tired. His tears have abruptly stopped. “Perhaps I have gone mad. I cannot stay here with you. I… need to go far away. For a while. I’m sorry to have troubled you.”

For a moment he thinks Johannes is happy to let him go. Sigi starts walking again, feeling so ashamed of himself he might as well dig a hole in the first field he comes across and climb inside.

“Sigi, before you leave.”

Sigi is horrified for a moment to feel Johannes hurry closer, wrap his arms around him. He was always so much taller than Johannes; his friend stands with his face planted squarely in Sigi’s back. Sigi closes his eyes as Johannes slides around to his front, still holding him, and Sigi rests his cheek on top of his head. The smell of his dark hair is so familiar, but just underneath it, the flesh of his scalp, the blood running through everything else… Sigi bites his lip to avoid biting Johannes.

“Don’t write to my mother,” Sigi says, feeling ridiculous.

Johannes laughs. “I won’t.”

“…Or my father.”

“Definitely won’t.”

“Tell your family I’m dead.”

Johannes pulls away and wipes his face. “Please be careful.”

Sigi nods. Then, the last thing he ever says to Johannes: “You were my first friend. Thank you.”

He hurries off before Johannes tries to touch him again.

*

Father Addams could never quite prepare for the sight of Sigi in one of the pews. It always felt unreal at first, something he might have imagined, but once the shock wore off he was able to treat the peculiar celebrity as he would any other churchgoer. Sigi often made appearances very, very late at night, startling Father Addams as he wandered about tidying up since he never heard Sigi step inside.

He was there tonight, seated in the back row, one of two people visiting and the only one awake— the other was a young woman asleep by the front. Father Addams let her sleep. Sigi was leaning with his elbows on the pews in front of him, his hands clasped against his forehead. He didn’t move as Father Addams approached, yet didn’t seem surprised when the priest spoke.

“You look as if you’ve had a trying day, my friend.” Father Addams didn’t like to sit in Sigi’s presence; some childish part of him didn’t want to experience craning his neck up to look at Sigi even with both of them seated. He remained standing in the aisle.

Sigi peered at him sideways from behind his knuckles. “I needed a place to think calmly.”

“At three in the morning?”

He waited for half a minute before Sigi spoke again. “You don’t seem to get much sleep, either, Father.”

“Alas, chronic restlessness. At least I can make good use of this time when there are guests at all hours.” Father Addams motioned towards the front row with his chin, hoping the young lady was comfortable. Another glance down at Sigi and he noticed that he looked a bit more rumpled than his usual. “Is everything all right at home? You seem to have come here in…”

“In a temper?” Sigi turned his face enough to look up at the priest.

“I was going to say ‘in a hurry’, but if that is what happened… Did you need someone to talk to? You know I’ll always lend an ear.”

Sigi’s blue eyes were always sharp. Father Addams had grown used to maintaining eye contact with even the most unusual of guests; only years of practice kept him from looking away when Sigi stared him down. He wasn’t sure why Sigi tended not to blink very often from time to time, but it wasn’t his place to ask, either.

“You know, attendance had increased once people realized you come here,” he said after a time, tactfully deciding to change the subject. “I’ve been meaning to thank you for that. The bigger the gathering, the happier the occasion.”

“I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. I would have expected you to ask me to be more discreet.”

“Why would I do that? You’ve always been a model guest.”

Sigi shrugged one shoulder. Didn’t speak. He finally blinked, then looked back towards the front.

“Well. I’ll leave you to your reflection. It is always good to see you.” Father Addams put a hand on Sigi’s shoulder before he moved to leave.

Sigi surprised him by suddenly asking, still looking at the pulpit, “Is it possible for a woman to be a witch without her knowing it?”

Father Addams was perplexed by the question. He thought he’d misheard Sigi for a moment. “…Is that what brought you here tonight?”

Sigi’s lip quirked in half of a smile. “No. That’s the first thing I can remember asking in confession. I was very young.”

“And what prompted that question?” The priest sat down beside Sigi, for perhaps the second time in his life.

“My parents were very old-fashioned.”

“You must have had good reason to ask that, if it weighed so heavily on your mind. Were you concerned for someone?”

Sigi didn’t seem to breathe for a few short moments. Father Addams wondered if he’d offended his guest. Then Sigi spoke again, breaking that spell. “Not especially. My mother was obsessed with the possibility. I didn’t know what to look for, myself.”

Father Addams considered this in silence. “Is your mother well?” he ventured after a long while.

“My mother is dead, Father. But thank you for your concern.”

They sat together in silence after that. Eventually Father Addams excused himself, sensing Sigi didn’t have anything else to share and didn’t want to be rude. By the time he’d checked quietly on the young lady in the front, to make sure she was sleeping soundly and not ill, Sigi seemed to have left.
Sigi, pt 4
and here we have three more scenes of sigi! showing how sigi feels about his personal assistant disobeying The Rules, young sigi having to Deal With Shit, and a rare instance of sigi looking for advise. GOSH I LOVE HIM

next update you can expect some more sigi backstory (ugh there's so much of it and i'm LIVING MY BEST LIFE), robert's DINNER DATE from HELL, and possibly some new characters!

PLZ leave me your thoughts if you enjoyed it! thank you! <3
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definitely not a vampire
spoiler alert sigi's the vampire it's him it's him

i... wish i were capable of going to bed on time but at least this is a REALLY PRETTY DRAWING

quick facts!!!!!!
-sigi's 369 years old
-plattdeutsch was his first language but he's been around so long his accent has become "is this a fake accent, we can't tell"
-sigi is six foot ten in his socks. there is a queer punk band named 'seven foot femme' in his honour.
-i need to wake up in five hours hhahahahahahahahahahahhhhh


ETA: now that i've caught up on sleep and looked at this for a while i figured out what i was trying to achieve at 2:30am the other night so now sigi's complexion is considerably more accurate to what i have in mind U u U
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Horrible. It’s the only word Sigi can think of right now. He turns it over in his mind as though he’s never really studied it before: horrible. Horrible. Horrible. It starts to sound less and less like a real word, but the feeling of dread in his stomach is no less powerful.

“Sigi?” Johannes has been watching him for the past minute or so, trying to get his attention. “Sigi…” He turns away from Sigi to face their professor standing just inside the doorway to his home. “He’s just as shocked as I am, sir. We all are. Poor little Jan…”

Sigi’s stomach churns as they’re invited inside, both from horror and— even more upsetting— from hunger. The bloodless body of the small child he’d chewed on two days prior is lying on a table, there for people to mourn and pay their respects. The woman seated on the chair in the corner, sobbing softly by herself, must be the mother.

Sigi steps closer with Johannes. Their professor is speaking, mentioning where they found the body, but Sigi already knows exactly where they found it.

While Johannes offers his condolences to the distraught family Sigi leans around the table to get a glimpse of the mess he left of the child’s neck. It’s very clear what killed him, he realizes, and he feels his stomach clench again with that horrible mix of guilt and overwhelming hunger. He didn’t expect to have to look at this child again.

He’s brought out of his stupor when he hears the professor say it: a hunting dog. They were going to look for the sick animal and kill it before it could attack anyone else.

“By the look of the mess, it could be any one of the lord’s dogs. We haven’t had wolves here for years.”

Sigi steps outside quickly, muttering condolences as he leaves, eager to get out of that house before his guilt stops being mistaken for sympathetic shock. He’s shaking out on the streets when Johannes finds him, leaning against a wall and ignoring the people who look at him.

“That poor boy,” Johannes whispers, “He just left the market and…”

Sigi has to bite his lip to distract himself from the smell of the boy, still very present inside that house. It doesn’t smell at all like decomposition to Sigi; it only reminds him of how good his blood tasted.

“Sigi? Are you still unwell?” Johannes reaches up to hold his friend’s shoulder. “You’ve been pale lately.”

Johannes’s hand feels hot through Sigi’s clothing. Sigi doesn’t feel cold, but he notices how warm Johannes is now. He can't stop noticing it, like how he can taste Johannes’s breath whenever he speaks. “I’m hungry. That’s all.”

Johannes is visibly taken aback. “Hungry? After… that?”

Sigi pushes off the wall and walks away. “I’ll see you later.”

“Where are you going? We’ve food at home!”

Sigi ignores him, walks faster when he hears Johannes trying to follow. He’d always had longer legs, and he loses Johannes as soon as his friend gives up. He can’t let Johannes know where he’s going.

He spends the rest of the day traveling as far out of town as he can get before he’s in pain from hunger. He doesn’t come home until hours past midnight, sated, filthy, wide-awake and distraught. When he slides into bed Johannes sleepily rolls over to hold him, and Sigi curls into his warmth and does not sleep.

*

Robert hadn’t gone into hunting because he liked it. There wasn’t much to enjoy about a job like this, and the only hunting experience he had prior to this very particular game was hunting deer in his childhood. No, this was dangerous (some would even argue unnecessary) compared to hunting in order to put food on the table, or even for sport.

This was hunting to keep people safe.

He hated hunting the old ones, but you couldn’t really put it off when you found another one; the longer you waited, the more people you were endangering. At least the old ones tried to be subtle, and smart, and could wait between victims. The young ones were the most needlessly violent.

Both young and old were terrible when they were cornered. It wasn’t really a matter of which was easier to get rid of.

But oh, he hated hunting the old ones. The best approach, or at least the approach Robert vastly preferred, was an ambush. A sneak attack. Sniper shot.

A stake in the heart would work, if you knew where to aim, but that was tough. You had to get in close, and that was probably the stupidest thing you could do. You also needed a lot of upper body strength and fucking ridiculous reflexes. Robert stayed in shape mostly for being able to get away when he mucked things up, and he knew from experience that a stake through the heart was impractical. Pushing forty, he was no Olympian.

Robert had some compromises, to spare himself some grief, extend his lifespan. After all, food chains were food chains, and everything deserved a shot at existing— he tried to do a background check before finalizing the next target. He’d found a few who lived in rural areas and stuck to farm animals; some even raised their own cattle and left people alone. Others still made a point to work in morgues; fresh blood was apparently not mandatory.

He was wary when Sigi was first brought to his attention. He didn’t really care for pop culture so he was behind the times with most celebrities; it was his thirteen-year-old niece who showed him who Sigi was. After he’d dared commit the crime of confessing he had no idea who that was, and after she’d gasped and demanded how he couldn’t know, she showed him some magazine articles and bragged about the lipstick she owned. Apparently this Sigi was… well. Famous, for some reason. Robert just assumed Sigi was a makeup brand, but Sigi was a person.

The photos weren’t that alarming because, being in a fashion magazine, Robert assumed airbrushing and lighting did all the work. He didn’t think about Sigi until a week later, when he heard that name again in a documentary playing on television while he cooked dinner. Struck by hearing the same name so soon, after never hearing it before, he leaned into the living room to watch. This Sigi was narrating a documentary on the history of modern scientific thought, talking about the standardization of the meter and other things Robert had never really wondered about. Curious, Robert used his phone to look up the documentary, to find the narrator’s name, and then was interested to see it was the same Sigi responsible for his niece’s lipstick collection.

That led to a brief internet spiral while he finished cooking, in which he checked Wikipedia and news stories, and pictures— candid as well as professionally done— and before he knew it he felt like he couldn’t even think of food. He found himself leaning on the countertop beside the stove, deep in his phone, staring intently at every picture of this Sigi person and unable to look away.

This was not something common to vampires, at least not in static photos. It struck Robert however that any Youtube results for Sigi brought absolutely no moving images over five seconds long. Sigi visibly disliked being filmed, although he had no trouble offering his voice to— Robert checked Wikipedia again— documentaries, movies, video games, audio books, or interviews.

He’d write it off as eccentricity if he didn’t feel the need to stare at every picture he could find of Sigi, including those short video clips. Sigi… didn’t seem to look right in videos. Which was odd.

Robert tried to go back to his meal, now getting cold on the stove, but he’d lost his appetite. Sigi had ruined his appetite somehow.

It came to him about an hour later, while he was avoiding his phone and ignoring the television, trying to clean his gear before he sat down to do a little editing for his day job. A feeling of dread had settled over him since he’d looked Sigi up online, and he still couldn’t fully explain why looking at Sigi in pictures was somehow horrifying, but he watched the video clips again and came to the decision that he had another background he should check soon.

This would be the first time he’d had to figure out a celebrity target. It would take longer to get the information he needed to make his final decision. Maybe Sigi was just weird. Maybe he was a weird but perfectly normal human. Or maybe he wasn’t a perfectly normal human but he stuck to a strictly small-vermin-and-cattle diet. Either way, Robert had to be extra careful and extra sure if he was going to even consider hunting someone in the public eye like this.

He sort of hated his job.

He worked around his daytime-job-as-editor schedule to make trips to the city Sigi usually lived in. At least as an editor he could get into publishing shindigs if he pulled a few strings, and Sigi worked with a lot of magazines. After getting a temporary spot in a hotel, Robert spent his days trying to figure out some part of Sigi’s schedule and his nights trying to sneak ever closer for a glimpse. He’d make a decent stalker if he were any less morally strict.

Part of his hunting, once he got close enough, involved having to hide his face and hide his scent. There were ways to cover enough of his scent that a potential predator wouldn’t recognize him if he was always around, and then suddenly, inexplicably nearby on a dark night in an abandoned street. Robert wore essential oils, a different one every day he knew he’d be near enough for Sigi to possibly spot him, and on some days he covered his torso with unsavoury things like old blood from a butcher’s shop or, on the worst days, cooled bacon grease. He hated being near potential vampires smelling like a BLT but they didn’t care as much for meat as they did fresh, hot blood.

He tried to stick to essential oils for the most part, but they got costly.

He didn’t have to start coating himself in a different stink for a little while, able to observe from a greater distance, but once he started trying to keep track of everyone Sigi went on a date with he started to worry and move in closer. They didn’t seem to all… go home. Most did. It was hard to spot at first. But nearly one in twelve people didn’t leave Sigi’s house after they followed him home from a party. Every twelve dates, somebody vanished.

The longer Robert waited, the more people would mysteriously disappear.

He was careful to make sure, of course, but after he watched twenty-eight different people go home with Sigi and two didn’t leave the house again with Robert watching well into the next day, until Sigi left by himself… Robert had to resign himself to the fact that he was going to get much closer to Sigi now.

A few more strings pulled and suddenly Robert was editing for magazines that liked to cover Sigi’s body of work, whether it was makeup or fashion or art curation or scientific studies. (How on Earth did anyone have so many fingers in so many different fields? Robert had maybe one half of a hobby and Sigi was the Renaissance.) Eventually, someday soon, Robert was going to have to meet the guy face-to-face.

His chance finally came when he got to attend an open lecture at a university, with Sigi as the guest specialist. Sigi was giving a lecture to grad students and Robert was left stupefied just listening to the whole thing. With the documentary narration and audio books, Sigi was likely to have a script; during the lecture he did not hold any notes at all. He instructed everyone present on a very specific period in early modern military history and even answered questions at the end, no script, no notes, nothing. Robert even learned some things about military history that he didn’t have much use for.

Since he was going to edit the brief article about Sigi’s lecture today, Robert was able to get close enough to thank Sigi for the opportunity. Close up, Sigi was the single most alarming being Robert had ever had to address.

He was courteous. He was well-spoken. He was a gracious guest and delighted to meet anyone who’d enjoyed the lecture. He shook Robert’s hand. Robert was petrified the entire time, unable to string two words together without feeling his innards all clench up.

Looking at Sigi in person, having him look at you and speak directly to you, was… horrifying. Robert had survived vampire attacks, had hunted and killed some pretty vicious predators, and he had never been as unsettled as he had when getting to meet Sigi. He couldn’t explain how, exactly; his voice was very soothing, as inviting as a voice could be, and if Robert could look away at all without seeming entirely rude he could probably even relax.

Sigi smiled, interrupting himself, and instead said to Robert, “You seem overwhelmed. Is there anything I can do?”

Oh, God, when he smiled it was even worse. Robert nearly vomited, so shocked by the sight of it that he almost didn’t know how to speak for a moment. He wasn’t starstruck. He didn’t care for celebrities at all— once he’d met his favourite author and was able to have a perfectly civil, levelheaded conversation with her. He wasn’t even interested in Sigi’s work, he wasn’t a fan… This wasn’t jitters, this was raw animal terror and unspeakable, indescribable horror given a pretty face and a handsome voice.
“Sorry, you…” Robert decided he couldn’t hide it at all even if Sigi hadn’t made note of it. Might as well play along. “I wasn’t ready to meet you in person. And you gave such a wonderful lecture.”

“Thank you. I’m very lucky the university will have me. You have an interest in the subject?”

Sigi wasn’t dressed the way he was in the fashion spreads or on the red carpet, just a tie and dress shirt under a simple sweater, brown leather Oxfords— he was dressed more like an academic today, and he was still somehow radiant. Robert had always been mystified by makeup that didn’t intend to look halfway natural and Sigi’s red lips were no exception.

Sigi smiled again, making Robert feel more ill. “You’re staring at my mouth,” Sigi noted calmly, no quieter than before.

Robert jolted with alarm. “Sorry. My… my niece wears your lipstick. She’s a fan; she actually had to tell me who you were.”

Sigi’s smile broadened. “Ooh. You must live in the woods,” he remarked, as though he envied Robert.

Robert was trying very hard to remind himself that he couldn’t start to like Sigi even the tiniest bit if he was going to have to kill him. “Not anymore, I’m just hopeless.” He tried to duck out courteously, gesturing around the room at the bustling faculty and students. “I won’t take up any more of your time, but thanks so much. It was a pleasure.”

Sigi shook his hand again. “Likewise. You should attend the lecture next month.”

Robert nodded, made his way outside, and promptly dry-heaved over a bush behind the lecture hall.

He didn’t hate Sigi, and that was probably the most alarming part of all. He was scary as all hell but he wasn’t trying to be; Robert had met plenty of people through his day job and few had even tried to be as warm as Sigi had been.

It was his face, Robert realized, thinking about it on the way back to his hotel room; Sigi’s face was so perfect, so astoundingly beautiful, that it totally fucked with your eyes. It threw off your balance and made you almost motion sick. This wasn’t a thing Robert had noticed with other vampires; this seemed to be particular only to Sigi. He’d heard of the uncanny valley— this was an uncanny deep sea trench. People weren’t meant to see faces that perfect.

Upon further reflection, Robert couldn’t figure out why he thought of Sigi’s face that way. He wasn’t even what Robert found most attractive, superficially. But something about him forced Robert to know, beyond a doubt, that Sigi was so beautiful, so utterly perfect, that he was beyond description. It wasn’t Robert’s personal preference; it was a fact. It was awful to look at.

Once Robert felt well enough to take the bus back to his hotel, he spent the next hour or so trying to get more background information on Sigi. He should have guessed he’d come up with very little; ten minutes into his research he was digging through blogs that seemed devoted to guessing things about Sigi. All people knew for sure was that he was ‘probably from Germany’, but even that was contested in the comment sections on Youtube. Apparent linguists online would get angry enough to remark on how Sigi’s accent was not the typical German accent from any part of the country, so he had to be faking it. Native German speakers would be a bit more optimistic, but still confused.

Sigi did not give people concrete information about himself, it would seem. Nobody really knew how old he was or when his birthday might be, people couldn’t confirm where he was from, and although it was clear that Sigi was well-educated it was hard to find a full list of which schools he had attended. People online argued about that, too.

Just looking at the list of documentaries Sigi had narrated on Wikipedia, Robert felt intimidated. Did Sigi have any level of expertise in all of these subjects? Robert didn’t even care about all these subjects and yet he felt woefully inadequate for about half an hour, before he decided he was just tired and shaken up from having to meet Sigi in person. He went to bed early that night.

A lack of background information at this point was getting more and more suspicious. Robert started trying to dig up anything he could get on Stefan, Sigi’s personal assistant. The guy didn’t hold interviews or anything, but he was usually at Sigi’s side during public appearances. Throughout the entire lecture Robert could see him standing by the door, holding Sigi’s phone and looking vaguely unhappy.

Stefan didn’t seem to do much for Sigi apart from hold his phone and his coat. He had no history with other secretarial positions, didn’t seem comfortable with half of the events Sigi went to, and if there wasn’t proof of Sigi flat-out refusing the idea that Stefan was actually his boyfriend Robert would have to assume that was the only reason Sigi had given him that job. Although… thinking back on it, Sigi had visibly ignored Stefan the whole time Robert was at the lecture hall, before and after the lecture itself; Sigi also never seemed to speak to Stefan in public. He kept the guy close but he ignored him. Stefan didn’t try to talk to him, either. They just seemed to barely put up with one another.

Robert didn’t immediately think Stefan might be a thrall, but he looked through all the candid pictures online where Stefan was visible off to the side until he found three in which a neck injury or a bruise were in evidence. Stefan might be a thrall. That might be the only thing keeping him near Sigi. But thralls were usually completely brain-dead until they got near people, which was when they started acting like rabid dogs, no matter how loyal they were to their vampires. Stefan was always in public with Sigi and seemed to be mostly normal, if a little anxious.

Robert pulled some strings again; he was going to attend two more magazine shindigs soon, one to give him one last chance to meet Sigi in person, and one to make his move. If Sigi proved a lost cause at the first event, then Robert didn’t have to attend the second one. He hoped he was wrong about all this and Sigi was just a weird European celebrity and Stefan was just a terrible secretary.

He dreaded being caught. Not because of getting arrested, but because… Sigi had a lot of fans.

A lot of fans.

If Robert had to kill Sigi he was going to disappoint quite a lot of people. Possibly ruin a few jobs, given how busy the guy was.

But Robert didn’t do this for the glory or the gratitude or the fun. There was no glory, rarely any gratitude, and he definitely didn’t have any fun doing it. He did this because he couldn’t sleep at night just ignoring them. He kept thinking about the people who didn’t ever walk back out of Sigi’s home.

The first shindig was a pretty fancy one. Robert had to rent a tuxedo, although he resisted the brief impulse to get a haircut. He wasn’t trying to impress anyone; he just didn’t want to stand out. And he was on a budget— he was running low on peppermint oil.

Robert was tempted to get drunk at the bar before he talked to Sigi again. He approached, ready to order two of the most potent drinks and knock them back immediately, then paused when he noticed Stefan wandering closer to the bar. He slowed down to let Stefan grab the bartender’s attention first. Stefan ordered something for himself, nothing for Sigi, and drank it right there.

It would probably be too obvious if he tried to talk to Stefan. Robert wasn’t real good at socializing, he hated parties, and he’d always be the guy to leave early. He watched as Stefan walked away, looking sullen as ever, completely ignoring Sigi and apparently only there to hold Sigi’s phone.

Robert waited just long enough to swallow two glasses of fruity, sweet cocktails before the liquid courage kicked in. Then he mingled.

It was never hard to find Sigi at these events. People flocked to him, and although his behaviour was always subdued, downright demure, he didn’t really have to work to grab anyone’s attention, either. Robert found him because he just looked for where the crowd was thickest.

Sigi was sitting on a love seat along the far wall, facing somebody seated in the adjacent armchair, holding conversation with a small group. Robert was surprised to see he was holding a glass of something— red, yes, but not that particular shade. He was about to suspect the glass was a bluff, a prop, until Sigi actually lifted it to his beautiful red mouth and drank.

Out of nowhere, Robert had the sudden thought: Please, God, don’t let him actually be a serial killer. Not that the alternative was very attractive, either.

Robert made small talk with someone nearby and worked his way slowly closer to the seating arrangements. He felt like he was trying to sneak closer to a python and desperately hoping it wouldn’t notice.

“Robert, was it?”

It was just his luck that the small group around Sigi had mostly dispersed when he finally got close enough, so Sigi noticed him immediately. Robert prepared himself for the sick feeling to kick in as he moved to make eye contact.

He had just enough time to register that Sigi was dressed significantly less like an academic tonight before Sigi unfolded himself gracefully from the love seat and stood.

“Yeh— hesss,” Robert’s reply came out in a feeble hiss like the air being let out of a punctured tire. Sigi wore heels tonight. He was already taller than Robert; because of the heels he had to crane his neck to avoid staring directly into Sigi’s chest, and Robert was a big guy. “Sigi, right?” he cracked pitifully, taking the manicured hand Sigi offered and finding himself shocked anew at the strength of the guy’s grip.

Sigi smiled— a faint one, but no less alarming to watch. “I’m flattered you recognized me. You’re a long way from the university.”

“Oh, I freelance for magazines. I was in town for family and I got roped into covering the event.”

“Your magazine pool sounds very diverse.”

Instead of addressing that, Robert said, letting his genuine surprise show, “I can’t believe you remembered me.”

“Public relations is what I do. Where would I be without that?” Sigi asked, before sipping his drink again.

That’s right. Robert glanced briefly at the glass to confirm that it wasn’t thick enough to be… damn it, that looked like pink champagne. “Well, isn’t that what you have your… guy for?”

Although Sigi had been pointedly spending time with anyone but Stefan so far, his eyes went directly over to the corner in which his assistant currently sulked. “In theory,” he said, as he returned swiftly to ignoring Stefan.

Robert didn’t feel like he was boring Sigi, but he wouldn’t be shocked if he was. “Well… I need to go find my date…”

Sigi’s smile widened. Robert noticed for the first time that his eyelashes were nearly white. “You’re lying to me, you fiendish thing.”

Robert felt his heart stop beating. His entire body reacted. “Sorry?” he wheezed, trying to laugh but finding he’d forgotten how.

Sigi coyly finished his drink. “I saw, you came here alone. No shame in that, of course.”

Robert tried not to seem as relieved as he was. He could force out that laugh now, although it troubled him to think Sigi might be flirting with him. Even more disturbing was the idea that Sigi had noticed him upon arrival. He’d known Robert was here this whole time. “Ah, you caught me. I was feeling awkward after Franklin over there introduced me to his date. I think she’s a model,” he added. He’d overheard Franklin’s friend tell him earlier, exasperated, that nobody cared what his date did, and could he please stop bragging?

Sigi chuckled. “Oh yes, Franklin. Great photographer, terrible braggart.”

Robert was starting to get dizzy looking up at Sigi and watching the red sequins of his outfit flash in the dim light of the room. Somehow he made a dignified escape and mingled a bit more.

Somehow he wound up near Sigi again later, despite his best efforts not to look like he was here to spy on the guy. Sigi didn’t seem to find it odd that Robert kept bumping into him, and by the time Robert was finally able to leave he’d almost gotten Robert to feel comfortable near him, if only by sheer force of courtesy.

Mysterious drinks aside, Sigi wasn’t the only person avoiding the hors d’oeuvres, so that couldn’t be taken too seriously. But after a little while Robert noticed that people seemed to actually stop talking when Sigi spoke up— not entirely, but the general volume consistently dropped every time Sigi said anything. Anything. And Robert found himself eager to seek out Sigi by the end of the night, after talking to him thrice, feeling as if he’d found something interesting he wanted to tell Sigi—

That was what made up his mind. He was going to have to move in fast at the next event.

He still felt that eager-excited puppy-love as he drove back to his hotel in his rented car. Sigi had done nothing, really, to justify Robert feeling like he’d just asked the most popular girl in school to the dance and she’d said yes. Sigi was polite, casually flirtatious at times, but he had done nothing to single Robert out. It had still taken Robert four real attempts before he could actually leave.

Old vampires were very, very good at enthralling a roomful of people. True, Sigi had the added advantage of his shocking beauty, but Robert was almost too afraid to look at him head-on and he was still feeling that feeling two hours after he’d left the party.

And it wasn’t as though he looked forward to having to snipe someone, so that wasn’t it.

He had one week to stock up on the right oils and clean his gear. He got started immediately, as soon as he stripped out of his tuxedo and got into a housecoat, to help get rid of that puppy-love feeling a little bit faster. Harder to feel smitten when you were planning an assassination.

Despite his dread for the upcoming event, the week flew by. Robert suddenly found himself re-packing his hunting gear, checking over the necessities, checking the essential oils, double- and triple-checking the cleanliness of his weapon. He wasn’t going to get in close; that was a rookie mistake and usually impractical. If he could snipe his target from a distance, that would be best. Fewer people would suffer. Robert stood less chance of being arrested, too.

In Robert’s varied experience, the only things that really killed a vampire were decapitation and a well-aimed hole in the heart. Sometimes decapitation wasn’t fully reliable; a vampire already in panic mode could manage headless long enough to cause some real damage. But getting the heart always worked.

A wooden stake would do it, sure, and Robert had figured out a while ago that the denser the wood the better the attack. Metal piercing the heart didn’t work as reliably as, say, ebony, which was something Robert knew from harrowing experience but couldn’t explain. So he had his bullets made custom out of ebony.

The gun was technically a custom job, too; after a lot of help from the one weird redneck cousin Robert had in his extended family, Robert had made a gun that worked at medium range and wouldn’t totally destroy dense wood bullets upon firing them. It was technically a sniper rifle, but he couldn’t shoot from too far off. Tragically, this meant he’d have to get relatively close to his target if he wanted this to work. No distant rooftops tonight.

And so there he was, lurking in the underground parking lot underneath the event taking place upstairs, having doused himself in way too much peppermint oil, kind of burning from the oil and the adrenaline. It took him forty-six minutes to locate Sigi’s car; it was another party for wealthy guests, people in entertainment. Everyone had an expensive car. Sigi’s car didn’t stand out here, unlike its owner.

He waited between a support pillar and a raised curb on the corner, between the floors in the lot, and watched Sigi’s car intently. Anyone who walked past his hiding spot didn’t notice him, hidden as he was beneath a dusty grey tarp; he looked like a pile of construction junk. He smelled ridiculous, too; the peppermint was so strong that he might actually pass for real trash, too much for anyone to really want to investigate.

His heart was pounding in his ears for the first twenty minutes of his vigil. The party was well underway; he saw very few people leave the doors at the far end of the lot, and hardly anyone came halfway to his hiding spot. Most of the people he spotted were obviously drunk, or else high on something, or just too preoccupied to even care if Robert were to stand up, wave his rifle over his head, and yawn real loud. He wanted to, so badly, but instead of standing he worked on methodically flexing the muscles in his legs to keep them from falling asleep.

He didn’t expect to see Sigi until the event was over, but fifty-seven minutes after he found his hiding place, still slowly flexing muscles one at a time to keep himself from getting stuck in position, he got his chance. Sigi himself stepped out of the door to the parking garage, alone. As always, even from a distance it was easy to tell it was him. Much taller than average, long near-white hair tumbling over his shoulders to bounce with every step, heels clicking on the pavement.

Robert was suddenly calm, at peace. All his nerves were forgotten as he focused entirely on the rhythm of Sigi’s step as he approached, aiming carefully for the chest, watching him as he came within range.

Robert watched Sigi’s face through the gun’s scope and was intrigued by the utter lack of any kind of expression. Sigi didn’t even look as if he was deep in thought; he was only walking, doing nothing else. He was just as startling staring blankly at the air in front of his face as he was when addressing someone. For an instant, Robert felt that unwelcome almost-adoration nudge its way into his brain again.

He exhaled slowly, soundlessly, as Sigi reached his car. Sigi lifted a hand to the front door, about to use the key.

Robert pulled the trigger. The gun was muffled, quiet. His aim was good.

At the same time, Sigi twisted to the right.

The bullet pierced a hole in the driver’s side window. Robert noticed this exactly when he realized Sigi was staring in his direction.

Gone was the calm non-expression he’d worn as he entered the garage. Sigi was not afraid— he was undoubtedly furious.

Quite a good distance away, Robert recoiled as Sigi took a few steps forward, now aimed in his direction. As if he’d forgotten Sigi was too far away to strike at him.

Time stretched out. Five seconds felt like five years. In the moments it took for Robert to realize he was still hidden, still far enough away that he could escape with a head start, he saw the way Sigi moved and he was utterly terrified for his life.

He knew now. He knew he’d chosen the right target.

The door to the parking garage swung open as somebody shouted, “Sigi!”

Sigi stopped immediately, turned casually to glance over at the door. He was moving normally again, just a pretty man at a party in expensive clothing. With one last glance over at Robert’s hiding place, leaving no doubt in Robert’s mind that he knew precisely where that bullet had come from, Sigi turned to step calmly back toward the door.

“You weren’t going to leave us so soon, were you?” called the old woman at the door, dressed in a glittering cocktail dress.

“I thought I’d brought my glasses,” Sigi replied gently, his voice carrying well in the quiet garage, “I realize I’ve forgotten them at home.”

“Oh, dear. I’ll lend you some of mine.”

Robert barely heard Sigi’s chuckled response (“Thank you, I doubt your prescription is sufficient. I’ll manage.”) because he’d figured out that he’d been given the greatest gift of his life: a chance to get out and regroup without bloodshed. He dismantled his gun quicker than ever before, moving too fast for his hands to shake, and before he understood how he’d gotten out of his hiding place he was sprinting for dear life, faster than he’d ever covered ground in all his years of hunting, knowing he’d never be so lucky again. He did not turn around to look for Sigi, knowing in sight of the old woman he would let Robert flee.

He’d parked his car at the outer edge of the property. He leapt behind the wheel and started the engine as he pulled the door shut, screamed out of there burning rubber. He turned so fast he nearly lost control of the car, pulled away from the event, quivering as the adrenaline started to drain slowly out of him.

As he passed the main entrance, seconds away from driving through the front gate, something shattered on the passenger side and hit him hard in the ribs. He yelped but was smart enough not to stop. It took him ten seconds to understand there was a hole in his passenger window.

His phone was ringing.

He couldn’t stop here. He kept driving until he was several blocks away, then slowed down and backtracked a little, before he pulled into the lot of a pizzeria. His car smelled like peppermint.

The phone started ringing again. He shook his hands out and looked for the phone while he massaged the new bruise in his side. “…Hello?”

“When do you plan on arriving, Robert? Did you find the venue yet?”

Oh, Christ. “Miriam, hi! You’re attending tonight?”

“Of course I am, don’t be silly. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet Sigi myself! Were you driving up or is your taxi lost?”

“Oh, no… no, I’m driving up. Sorry, I didn’t realize you were waiting for me. Traffic was brutal leaving my neighbourhood, I got turned around once or twice trying to find a creative route…” Robert squeezed his eyes shut. How hadn’t he known the lead editor and magazine founder would be there tonight? Oh god, he had to change his clothes and wipe off this stupid peppermint…

After reassuring Miriam that he was going to be there shortly and he’d find her, he hung up and rubbed his face with both hands. He had a change of clothes in the trunk. Always did. He had baby wipes to get rid of the worst of the oils, and some cologne to take care of the adrenaline sweat. He could be ready in twenty minutes, there in twenty-five. He needed to calm down.

At least this would be a good alibi, he reasoned. People would place him there. He was showing up right after the failed snipe, true, but he lived too far away for it to make sense that he could have gone home, freshened up, and come back. He hoped.

He changed inside the car in the dark, wiping every inch of his skin clean of the peppermint oil, carefully applying just the right amount of cologne not to be too pungent again, and left his tie for last. Before he stepped out of the car to adjust the fit of his shirt and jacket, he looked at the passenger window and decided to look for the projectile. It wasn’t a bullet, that was for sure…

He found it on the floor, having tumbled beneath the driver’s seat. It was a rock, just big enough to sit in his palm, not round but polished smooth. It hadn’t come from somebody’s driveway, it was part of an interior decor. The side against his palm was rough, so he tipped his hand to turn it over.

TRY THAT AGAIN.

Scratched into the stone.

Robert stepped outside to vomit onto the pavement, then put the stone inside the dashboard and got his toothbrush from his bag.

He drove halfway back toward the venue and parked in an underground lot that would cost him more than it would at the venue, then walked the rest of the way. He couldn’t explain a hole in the window very well tonight. At least he was cleaned up, dressed appropriately, and wearing cologne with no trace of peppermint. He’d stopped shaking and sweating. The walk would help to further calm him.

Miriam found him almost as soon as he walked past the coat room. As she grasped his arm and led him deeper through the crowd of people sipping wine and chatting he spotted a bowl of polished stones like the one that had punctured his window.

He didn’t see Sigi anywhere. He wondered whether he’d left after Robert’s escape. Miriam would have said something, though, since he was there to cover the party and Sigi was a major feature. It made Robert nervous not to know where Sigi was.

Considering how intent he was upon Sigi’s possible whereabouts, it was shameful to Robert that he didn’t notice the man approach until Sigi had a hand on his shoulder, pressing gently, as one would greet an old friend. Robert took in Miriam’s look of surprise and delight, a complete reverse of the way Robert felt at the moment, before he turned to look.

He expected Sigi to be angry. Of course that didn’t make sense. They were back inside, surrounded by guests, being civil, and Sigi didn’t know Robert had just sprinted away from him in the parking garage, coated in peppermint oil with a gun case tucked under his arm. Sigi’s smile didn’t quite seem to reach his eyes— or maybe that was Robert’s imagination at work.

Sigi had spoken. Miriam was demanding an explanation as to how he and Robert knew each other. Robert stammered, lost already, ashamed he’d missed the start of the conversation because it made him look somewhat more like a guilty party. Sigi’s grip on his shoulder didn’t quite tighten, really, but his fingers squeezed briefly, one at a time, as if to playfully tease Robert before his hand slid gently along his upper arm.

It was more distracting than the possibility of Sigi being angry with him. Robert tried not to look like he was reacting to a shockwave of goosebumps all along both arms.

“Robert attended a lecture of mine recently. We keep running into each other,” Sigi explained, when Robert’s stunned silence lasted a millisecond too long. “Divine coincidence, hm?”

Miriam voiced dismay that Robert had somehow forgotten to mention this to her earlier, while Sigi kept the hand loosely around Robert’s tricep. Somehow making it feel less like Robert was being restrained, more like an affectionate touch. Robert glanced hesitantly up at Sigi’s perfect pale face for any sign that he was going to die tonight and realized with a sinking feeling that Sigi was being affectionate with him. At least in front of Miriam. It might change as soon as they had room. Robert felt his jangled nerves waking up again, leaving him ready to bolt and, for the moment, clear-headed. It wouldn’t last.

Somehow the conversation between Sigi and Miriam was a quick one. Miriam got Sigi to promise an interview, they arranged a date, and somehow, somehow, Miriam was off with a wink for Robert.

Robert had the ridiculous, terrible urge to beg her not to leave him alone with Sigi, but he reeled in the urge at the last second.

Sigi’s grip didn’t tighten up the way Robert expected it to. Rather, Sigi merely lowered his voice, dropped the hand from his arm after a lingering touch, and leaned in.

“Apparently someone here is hiding a crush.”

The tone was soft, discreet, and the words were entirely not what Robert was expecting. Robert felt his face go hot and he looked up at Sigi’s face before he remembered how the sight upset him. “I’m— sorry?”

Sigi’s deep red lips pulled apart in a smile as he glanced across the room. “You aren’t very good at it, mind you, which leads me to believe you’re actually just terrified of me.” He looked sideways at Robert and the smile turned briefly into a cheeky grin. “Although, being freelance, you have plenty of control over the work you take on, don’t you?”

Robert swallowed twice to get the creaking out of his throat. “Your date must have stood you up tonight,” he attempted weakly.

It shouldn’t have pleased him that Sigi seemed to enjoy his joke, but it did. Sigi smiled down at him and the sound of his soft chuckle was the warmest, most inviting sound Robert had ever heard. “Were you always afraid to talk to your crushes or am I special?” he asked sweetly. As if he had never noticed the effect he had on people. As if Robert were the first person to feel uncomfortable near him.

“…I was always crap at it,” Robert admitted, feeling some of the extreme fear drain out of him the longer they spoke. There was still a chance this could go badly. One in twelve, Robert reminded himself grimly— if the danger wasn’t immediate, there was still that unsettling ratio to keep in mind. “I always thought the girls I liked were out of my league.” Not a lie; he could talk about high school, no problem.

Sigi tilted his head. His long hair slid forward off his shoulder, bounced and swayed. He smelled so nice. “Given how anxious you are right now, am I correct in assuming I’m not your usual type, on top of that?”

Robert, feeling helpless, nodded.

Sigi’s gaze flicked down, studying Robert from head to toe. “A shame,” he hummed, “You’re definitely my type.”

Robert was going to die of a heart attack before Sigi could sink his teeth into him. He knew it. “R-really?” God, he was terrible with flirting. Even if Sigi was just toying with him. It made him nervous coming from anyone and this was Sigi, intimidating enough on his own without the added threat of being a violent predator. This guy had a Wikipedia page so long it took Robert four hours to read it— four hours to get the summary of Sigi’s achievements— and a face that hurt to look at in unexpected ways and here he was flirting quite openly at Robert. Fans and non-fans tended to agree Sigi was one of the most gorgeous people alive and he was flirting with Robert.

He wondered, stupidly, what his niece would say if she heard of this.

Sigi didn’t seem perturbed by Robert’s very obvious terror. He nodded, still studying Robert thoughtfully as one would take in a landscape painting. “I like the beard.”

It occurred to Robert that it would be polite to say something. “Thank you,” was all he could come up with.

Sigi seemed utterly charmed with him nonetheless. He rested the hand on Robert’s shoulder again, this time with no doubt that the touch was affectionate, nothing sinister. Thumb stroking the fabric of Robert’s suit. “I would love to continue this discussion in a more intimate setting.” That smile widened imperceptibly again. “I’d like to see more of how you talk to your crushes.”

The rest of the night passed in a haze. Robert found himself back in his car, stupefied and afraid, and utterly confused. He’d started the night prepared to snipe a vampire.

How had he wound up with a dinner date?
Sigi, pt 3
HERE IS SOME MORE~ c: i'm having so much fun omg. you know, i think this might be the first time i've actually written a vampire story? i'm ashamed. it's high time i just give in and do what i love lol

introducing ROBERT, who's a big teddy bear and a genuinely decent guy with a job that, unfortunately, will put a damper on sigi's fun. someone's gotta do it...
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“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been one week since my last confession.”

The church is full of its usual smells. Smoke and candle wax. Old and new paint. The tarnish of metal decorations. And the bodies, young and old, their various functions.

“I continue to be spiteful and show hatred. I am vain, above all, and use the vanity and greed of others for my own gain.”

There are four people bleeding in the church today, whether from a cut sustained while gardening or due to biological routine. Two other people suffered a nose bleed upon waking this morning. One person vomited, twice, in the middle of the night; the smell of bile is still in their breath.

“I am lustful, and show no love to the people around me. I don’t think I ever learned how to do so. I am too proud to worry.”

The ancient varnish coating the wood of the confessional booth. The dust in the cloth and tapestries. Years of saliva floating in the air and staining the furniture.

His confession is almost word for word the same as it was the week before, and the week before that. Nothing has really changed; he hasn’t made much effort to try. He knows where he is going if he ever dies, but it’s nice to have a routine, and he’s always liked the church.

*

If you asked Stefan, Sigi was his most terrifying on camera. Video clips seemed to work differently as soon as Sigi was in the shot.

Stefan couldn’t stomach any video with Sigi in it, and he lived with the guy.

It was hard to explain what exactly seemed so unbearably wrong in these recordings. Sigi was not out of focus or hard to understand; on the contrary, he was almost too in focus. It seemed as though he was too sharp, too clear, in comparison to everything else onscreen.

Sigi seemed to be permanently trapped in high definition, even on older, cheaper equipment. They had experimented with this, on one of Sigi’s more inquisitive days, with a camera so old Stefan had to balance it like a suitcase on his shoulder, and Sigi walking, moving, speaking, was too much for him to look at through the machine.

It was almost passable when Sigi was alone in the clip. The trouble was that Sigi was almost never alone in the clip. Interviewers leaned into the shot, traffic moved behind them, and suddenly Sigi was too… too much.

When Stefan sat in with editors to peek at Sigi’s clips there was always a murmur of the frame rate being ‘weird’. Sigi had learned quickly that clips had to be kept very short, and any documentary appearances had to be limited to voiceovers or else he had to sit extremely still, to avoid everyone else reacting to him the way Stefan did looking through the viewfinder of a camera built in 1986.

He enjoyed upsetting Stefan, but with everyone else he had to be sure they could still like him, even only a little bit.

*

Sigi wakes up lying on the floor, each of his two hundred and six bones feeling exactly like a bruise. There is a foul taste in his mouth. He thinks at first that he’s had too much to drink, that he brought some new friend home after spending too many hours in the tavern downstairs, but this is not the taste of beer in his mouth. This is worse, a thousand times worse…

When he opens his eyes the pain intensifies. He’s suffered too much drink before, and this is nothing at all like the morning after a party. The pain reminds him of being a child for a moment.

He sees the man standing over him, watching him expectantly, as if he were about to touch Sigi.

Rage bubbles up within Sigi’s aching chest. He does not know this man, he does not know why he’s on the floor in such pain, but he knows this man is the cause. He can tell from the way he watches. He’s proud of his work.

The force of his fury terrifies Sigi later, once he’s able to think clearly, but as he lies on the wooden floor in a room he does not recognize with a strange man leaning over him, in horrifying pain, he cannot think of anything but vengeance. He has been wronged. He ignores the pain holding him to the floor and is on his feet again, too furious to really feel how his joints scream in unison. The taste in his mouth sinks into his throat and he coughs up something thick, something he can’t identify.

The man is not as tall as Sigi. He does not expect Sigi to beat him to the floor, nor is he prepared for Sigi to grind the heel of his shoe into his throat, again and again, until something crackles loudly. Sigi stops. The room seems to whirl about him, too fast, much too fast, and he’s distantly stunned to notice he isn’t appalled by the sight of all that blood…

Of course you’re used to blood, he tells himself, you’re a student of natural philosophy. You’ve seen blood before. Plenty of it…

His limbs quake. He can’t tear his gaze away from the spreading pool of blood on the floor. Soon it will drip between the boards, into the room below. Someone will see.

There is a sound upon the stairs. Sigi feels faint and sick to his stomach, but before he can lean down to vomit the door opens fast, clattering against the wall. Sigi reacts as his eyes meet those of the intruder, and before either of them understand what has happened, Sigi is outside, the broken glass of the upstairs window showering over him in glittering pieces.

He runs. His body has never hurt this much. Several streets north he finally stops to double over, catch himself on hands and knees, and vomits onto the cobblestones.

When he dares to look at the mess he’s made his stomach lurches again from fear; he seems to be losing a lot of blood. Through the mouth. He can feel it surging up from his throat again, bubbling up with the rage brought on by the sight of the strange man, and he is helpless to prevent himself vomiting twice, thrice, each expulsion a deeper red than the last.

That done, fully aware of how much blood a body needs to function, he’s more than a little concerned. He wobbles up to his feet again, holding the wall of a nearby shop to keep his balance.

He’s seen plagues before. He’s seen what happens to people who fall ill, vomiting blood and God only knows what else. He’s dying of a plague. Should he attempt to find his way home, wish his fellow lodger good-bye, bequeath his equipment and his books to Johannes? He knows he cannot, if he wants to avoid Johannes suffering the same fate.

He sits down, leaning against the outside of the shop, and stares at the sky. People glance at him as they pass. He should tell them he’s dying of plague.

But no. He knows there are other complaints to look for, and apart from the troubling vomit there is nothing truly amiss. He’s a student of natural philosophy, he knows there is nothing happening to his skin, no itch or irritation, nothing but a badly upset stomach.

Poison, then. The man whose neck he just trod on has poisoned him. It would explain the hideous taste on his tongue, still sharply noticeable beneath the taste of his own blood and bile. Perhaps he’d just gotten rid of every trace of the poison. He does not feel worse… And he is still alert, if shaken.

Standing again, moving slowly, quaking violently with every step, he suddenly understands why his stomach pains him so: he is hungry.

Once the thought occurs to him it latches onto his mind with the vicious tenacity of a rabid dog. He is hungry. He’s never felt this empty in his life. He staggers along the streets to a tavern he does not recognize, inhales the smell of the beer and stew inside, and promptly shakes his way back onto the street.

He is not hungry. He is… ill. He is very, very ill, and he is about to prove it all over the street again.

Somehow he finds his way back to the room he shares with Johannes, who is out attending to his studies. Grateful for the privacy, Sigi takes too long to unlock the door, shut it again, and pull his bedding over his head.

Everything hurts.

Almost immediately the blankets are pulled from his face and Johannes is standing over him. His soft, round face is worried. “Good God, where have you been? What’s happened to your clothes?”

Sigi didn’t see when the room went dark, but he’s clearly been in there all day. Johannes has lit the candles, his books are strewn about the floor where he dropped them, and he’s pulling at Sigi’s collar to loosen everything. “Please, don’t… I’m poisoned,” Sigi murmurs, his eyes unable to settle on one thing for very long. Everything is too much. He’s shaking like a man with a fever but his body is cold, so cold…

Johannes is unable to get Sigi to undress himself, but with patience he’s removed the worst of Sigi’s stained clothing. Sigi doesn’t know how long he’s been lying on this bed, quivering and tense, but Johannes is still there, clucking like a hen over him.

“…had too much to drink, made yourself sick, I’ve asked you not to do this again…” Johannes says. Can he not see how cold Sigi is? He must want it to be too much beer and not poison.

Sigi has to concentrate to keep his hands from swinging about as he lifts them to hold Johannes gently by the head. “Write to my mother,” he breathes, “Tell her. Poison.”

Johannes shakes his head free. “Your murderer is inept, then. You’ve been here for eight hours, landlord saw you come in…”

Sigi groans and shuts his eyes when Johannes touches his face. His fingers are too rough. Every ridge of his fingerprints scrapes too deep. Sigi grasps Johannes by the wrists. “Listen to me. Take my equipment.”

Johannes touches his face again, ignoring Sigi’s whine. “You’re not poisoned but you’re chilled through. Come on.”

Everything is too much. Sigi keeps his eyes shut tight as Johannes wipes a wet cloth over him, pulls on a fresh shirt, and gives him the blanket off his own bed. Johannes talks through it, obviously more worried now that it’s clear Sigi is not merely too deep in his cups.

Sigi doesn’t fall asleep so much as lose track of time. He’s in too much pain to sleep, but Johannes, exhausted and still worried, has stretched out beside him on Sigi’s bed. Sigi hasn’t stopped shaking yet. He twists onto his side to cling to Johannes’ warmth and only tightens his grip when Johannes sighs and fidgets.

Now that he’s changed position, Sigi can’t look away from Johannes’ mouth. The man always did breathe loudly in his sleep, but Sigi can see his breath and the room is not cold. Sigi can see as much as feel the heat rising off of Johannes and he doesn’t understand why his eyes are playing tricks on him now, in the dark—

That’s right. The candles burned out a while ago. Sigi forgot all about them, too entranced by the sight of Johannes lying next to him.

Sigi keeps his arms wrapped around Johannes’ waist as he squirms up off the mattress to press his mouth to Johannes’ lips. He is not shy with his mouth, never has been, but Johannes has not been a frequent playmate. His decision to kiss Johannes is sudden; he wants to taste that warm breath, he wants to lick that tongue…

Johannes stirs and leans into the kiss, half-asleep but welcoming. Sigi finds himself licking underneath Johannes’ tongue, tracing the shape of the blood vessels there, feeling them pulse against his flesh, hot and delicious.

The taste reminds him of the taste he woke up with in that unfamiliar room, but less revolting. Much less revolting. Sigi feels like he’s tasted the first small spoonful of a delicious stew. Warm, inviting, thick and delightful.

That is when he realizes he is about to bite through Johannes’ tongue. He doesn’t find the idea upsetting, or even in poor judgement, but the fact that this is Johannes gives him pause. He wants very, very much to bite down, so he pulls away and burrows deeper into the blankets, resting his face against Johannes’ side as the latter returns to sleep unaware.

The night passes impossibly slowly. Sigi counts every second as it passes, watches the shadows cast by moonlight as they move across the wall, listens to Johannes draw breath, exhale… When Johannes finally stirs again, the sun has started to rise, and Sigi has not slept.

“There’s glass in your hair?” Johannes’ voice creaks as he sits up.

Sigi lets him pluck the shards of glass from his hair, unable to move until Johannes lifts him out of bed. He leads Sigi downstairs to the dining room and nudges him into a chair.

Breakfast is an abject failure. Johannes brings Sigi a plate of food and sets down a cup of water. Sigi stares at the plate, motionless, his hands resting in fists on either side of his meal. The smell of the food is terrible; Sigi thinks everything must have gone rancid. When Johannes urges him to try, at least try to eat something, Sigi grimaces.

Perhaps he means to please Johannes when he lifts a piece of bread to his mouth. He bites down slowly. Chews methodically. He has to remind himself how to swallow. Johannes watches the whole laborious process with concern.

Sigi reaches for the water with a trembling hand, takes one sip, and replaces the cup.

Johannes sits back. “Did you sleep—”

He is interrupted by the sound of Sigi’s chair scraping back quickly as he hurries to the side door. Sigi staggers around the servant girl sorting laundry outside to vomit against the tiles of the courtyard. He nearly collapses with the force of his body’s revulsion.

Johannes follows him outside and places a careful hand on Sigi’s back. “…God in Heaven,” he gasps when he sees all the blood.

Sigi stands up, ignoring the way the servant girl is trying not to look at him. She’s tried not to look at him since they first arrived at this house. He’s grown used to that sort of thing, although now she’s staring transfixed at the red stain he’s thrown onto the tiles. No doubt she’ll hate him for the extra work he’s just given her.

She finally looks at him, for only the second time since he’s come here. She seems to regret it immediately, as she glances sharply back to the ground.

Sigi shakes Johannes’ hand off of his back and walks unsteadily around the house to the street. He wonders if it’s possible to die of a stomach ache. He catches a glimpse of his face in a mirror in a merchant’s window; his complexion looks almost grey, his teeth stained with the blood coming up from his insides. No wonder the servant girl couldn’t look at him, he thinks dizzily.

He walks along the streets, looking at shops that haven’t yet opened for business, watching servants return home from the marketplace. Someone passes him with fresh meat in their basket and his mouth fills with saliva, a rush so alarming that he doubles over with his hands held up to catch any overflow.

The marketplace, he decides. The butcher’s stall. The meat smells so appealing, so delicious, almost as beautifully enticing as Johannes’ juicy tongue. Perhaps he’ll find something he can stomach there.

Half of the meat at the stall smells rancid, too old, even though Sigi knows it can’t have been on display that long. No butcher would dare sell such rancid meat… But he can smell the pigs strung up for butchering behind the stall proper, and those have just been slaughtered. Sigi pushes every last bit of money he’s brought with him into the butcher’s hands and demands cuts from that pig, that one, that perfect one. The one that smells so heavenly.

Sigi doesn’t even wait for the butcher to finish wrapping the cut before he takes it in both hands and walks away. It is all he can do to keep himself from licking and sucking at the red, oozing meat in front of everyone by the stall. He makes it to a nearby alleyway and kneels down, bending over the half-wrapped meat to sink his teeth into it.

It’s a good thing he found some privacy; he’s never tasted something so wonderful. He groans around the meat and closes his eyes in a rapture almost holy in its purity. His hands tremble and his thighs press together. He can feel everything in his body improving so rapidly that he nearly faints. His stomach settles, his head stops pounding, and little by little he stops shaking.

And that vile, foul taste in the back of his mouth is finally gone.

Sigi chews his way through the thick cut, managing to swallow some without feeling ill at all. Glad that there is something that won’t cause him to vomit again, no matter what it is, he decides to eat it all. Blood stains his fingers and smears his jaw. When he’s swallowed the last mouthful he licks and sucks his fingers clean, wipes his face and licks his fingers again.

He feels as though he’s just stepped in front of a blazing fire after walking through snow all night. He kneels there, breathing slowly, revelling in the sensation.

Minutes pass. He realizes very suddenly that he has company; he turns to see the intruder, a small child standing in the street, looking in at him.

Sigi feels so euphoric and flushed that he forgets himself: he smiles at this strange child. He doesn’t smile at people. Johannes actually gripes frequently about how Sigi never seems to smile, but Johannes is lucky enough to have seen it more than once in private.

The child is entranced by the sight of Sigi, curious, and Sigi motions for the child to step closer. “Come here, boy. It’s rude to stare. Come and meet me, like a proper gentleman.”

The child wanders closer, staring. Sigi waits for him to make it to within his reach before he puts a hand on the boy’s shoulder. He can’t be more than five, if that. “Here, boy, do you go wandering off around the market often?”

The child shakes his head, wide eyes fixed upon Sigi’s face. He has one fat little fist held close to his pink mouth.

“And you didn’t think your mama would miss you?” Sigi asks. “Wandering off to stare at a strange man eating his breakfast.”

The child shakes his head again.

Sigi sniffs, then pauses. Had he been holding his breath? Sniffing feels… as if he’s interrupted something. But along with that sudden sniff, meant to be a show of disdain, Sigi can suddenly smell something. How hasn’t he noticed it yet?

The child.

The child smells glorious.

Sigi stares at the child, who stares back at him. It isn’t a soap smell, or anything he can categorize as a good smell. The child smells like the freshly slaughtered pigs at the butcher’s stall but… warm. Living.

The child smells like blood.

Sigi’s mouth fills with saliva again. Without thinking, his hand moves to the centre of the child’s back and pulls him in close. Sigi’s teeth close around the boy’s neck and cut through the flesh, his jaws crushing the spine. The child goes limp over Sigi’s knee as he swallows the blood fountaining into his mouth.

He does not think of what he’s done. He only thinks about the taste gushing over his tongue and down his throat, the pulse of wet pleasure between his thighs. His eyes roll and he moans, shuddering over the child’s body.

Sigi no longer feels newly recovered. He feels as though his frame is too big for his skin. His hands shake, his pupils dilate, his muscles tighten. He drops the bloodless child onto the ground and tries to walk away. He tugs his jacket closed over his bloodstained shirt as he shudders his way into another side street.

Walking proves difficult. He wants to run. He quivers with the strain of moving slowly but finds himself marching like a soldier on orders down the streets nevertheless.

He can still taste the meat and the blood between his teeth. He licks at them restlessly as he walks. His cheeks feel hot, blazing hot; he’s become a furnace.

He can smell that glorious smell everywhere now that people are out walking the streets in droves, going about their daily chores. Sigi’s teeth ache as if they might fall out, but the rest of him is too full of good for him to feel concerned.

He feels as though he is filled with the light of Heaven.

Sigi has never been able to blend unnoticed into a crowd, but now he’s more than his usual noticeable. He can’t stop laughing. Everything in the world is beautiful, he has not died of poison, and he’s finally managed not to vomit half of his innards after a bite of something delicious.

He must go tell Johannes. He is alive and doing well, very well, too well. Sigi stops, turns on his heel, and walks back to the room he rents with Johannes to share the good news.

The servant girl avoids his eyes as he walks in. The landlord demands an explanation for the mess in the courtyard. Sigi hops his way upstairs much quicker than he normally travels after a morning out in the marketplace and shoves the door open.

Johannes is out.

With a frustrated huff, Sigi clatters excitedly outside again, ignoring the landlord’s query as to whether Sigi has brought some new horrifying illness into his home. He keeps his forced-march pace all the way to the lord’s library across town, where Johannes likes to dig through the books. Sigi staggers into the building, looks around, marvels at the glorious smell of the woman cleaning the shelves by the door, but cannot find Johannes. Sigi leaves, groaning with annoyance. Where is Johannes?

Perhaps it would be wise to stay in his room until Johannes returns. He hurries back, startles the poor servant girl, alarms the landlord with his ‘constant hurrying about’ and shuts himself in the room upstairs. With nothing better to do, Sigi paces back and forth.

An hour later, still pacing, Sigi stops when he can hear the landlord speaking to Johannes downstairs, as clear as if they were in the same room with Sigi. The landlord is worried about him, cautions Johannes to be on his guard. Johannes doesn’t make it to the room before Sigi flings the door open and grabs at him.

“Sigi, what—!”

Sigi doesn’t let him finish the sentence. He crushes his mouth to Johannes in a kiss as he kicks the door shut again. Johannes voices surprise into Sigi’s mouth but is not able to speak until Sigi has him pinned down against his bed.

“I’m alive,” Sigi states simply, flushed and unable to be still.

Johannes has not looked at him like this in years: he’s terrified. Sigi used to terrify him on sight, but familiarity eroded some of that fear. Now he’s worried, even more than he was the previous night.

“Sigi, what were you doing? Where did you go? I was out all morning trying to find you!”

Sigi laughs. “I found my cure and I feel wondrous.”

Johannes puts a hand to Sigi’s face, then pulls it back in alarm. “You’re too hot!”

“No, no, I’m just right. Celebrate with me, darling Johannes!”

Sigi has his hands inside of Johannes’s clothing and his lips around Johannes’s tongue when he realizes he can feel his own heart pounding irregularly. He pulls back to pay attention, leaving Johannes gasping and flushed by himself for a moment.

“What—“ Johannes begins.

“Hush,” Sigi snaps, just as his heart thuds especially hard and seems to give up. He sits absolutely still, straddling Johannes’s hips and pointedly ignoring the erection prodding his backside, expecting to feel pain now that his heart has apparently… stopped.

Johannes leans up on his elbows, still very flushed but regaining his worried expression. “Sigi, you’re scaring me. You’re ill. We shouldn’t…”

Sigi bites his lip and squirms, just so, atop his friend’s arousal. Johannes cringes, ashamed of himself. Glad that he’s shut the man up for a moment longer, Sigi pays close attention to the sudden lack of a racing heartbeat against his ribs.

A few minutes pass. Sigi does not feel faint, nor does he so much as lose his balance. Johannes is too frightened, apparently, to move out from underneath Sigi. Sigi, having decided that his heart must be back to normal by now, sinks back down to drape himself lengthwise over his friend.

It’s strangely comforting to kiss Johannes when Sigi finds his tongue so delicious. Like with the child in the streets, Sigi can taste the blood inside of Johannes’s tongue, pulsing hot and rich through the thick muscle. Sigi’s jaw tightens with the effort of trying not to bite down, bite through that tongue as easily as he tore through the child’s throat.

Once Johannes has had all he can take, Sigi lies atop him, listening to the sound of his friend fighting to calm his breath again. Sigi feels dissatisfied, but too preoccupied to really want to take care of that right now. At least Johannes had fun.

In the middle of his heavy breathing, Johannes puffs, “My father begged me not to come here with you.”

Sigi contemplates this. “I’m not surprised. Is that supposed to upset me?”

Johannes lifts his head to better look at Sigi. “You knew? …Did he threaten you?”

“No.” Not this time. “I guessed. No one really likes me.”

Johannes sits up, apparently upset. When Sigi looks at his face he’s taken aback by the concern still there. “If that’s true, what do you think I’m doing here?”

Sigi doesn’t think about his response. It’s not the sort of thing that’s ever caused him distress, merely a fact of his life. “You’re either a fool or you want something.”

Johannes frowns and tries to put his clothes back on. “Am I a fool for worrying about you, then? You’re acting like a lunatic.”

“Do you want me to stop fucking you?”

“You know exactly what I meant, Siegfried, don’t be difficult. You spent the night telling me you were dying of poison, which I was beginning to believe after what happened at breakfast, and then i have to chase you around town before I find you again—”

Sigi gently presses his hand to Johannes’s lips, which are swollen and rough from kissing. “Why did you bring up your father? I know he doesn’t like me. Why are you thinking of him?” He’s still too full of energy, although his mind is relatively calm after toying with Johannes.

“He says you’re strange. Today you’re acting the part!” he insists when Sigi scoffs and climbs off the bed.

“If I gave any thought to every person who considers me odd I’d never get a single thing done,” Sigi tells him archly as he pulls his breeches on. “You’re days away from your buffoon of a father; please don’t start thinking of him whenever I touch you.”

“Wait, where are you going? What is that all over your shirt? Is that yours?”

Sigi pauses to look at the bloodstains all over his chest. Odd that Johannes didn’t notice until now, but then again, Sigi did climb onto him as soon as he came back. “I visited the butcher.”

“For goodness’s sake, at least change your shirt.”

Sigi wrestles Johannes down to steal the shirt off his back, then trades it for his own. He drops his stained shirt on Johannes’s chest. “There, I’ve changed. I’m going for a walk.” If he stays here any longer he knows he’s going to want to chew a hole in Johannes’s throat, and despite his current annoyance with his friend he does want to keep Johannes around. He’s one of the few people who’s managed to accept Sigi’s peculiarities. Sigi privately thinks having a plainer friend like Johannes nearby has helped other people get used to him quicker.

“Wait, Sigi, wear a jacket!”

Sigi ignores him and heads outside in his breeches and borrowed shirt, no jacket, no hat, burning hot and freezing cold all at once, not in the least bit bothered by it.

He still can’t feel his heart beating.

*

The strangest part of living so long, he decided, was being forgetful over certain things. You just carried on until one fine day you realized, quite suddenly, that it had been in fact over sixty years since you last spoke to someone, and they were more than likely dead.

He found himself wondering, out of nowhere, how Johannes must be doing lately… before abruptly remembering that Johannes had most definitely been dead for several centuries. Might have fully decomposed by now, climate permitting. Nothing left.

Irate at thinking about Johannes like that as if he could hop on a boat and go visit him, a few hundred years after they parted ways, Sigi closed his book and crawled into bed for a nap. It was noon, the sun was up, and it was unseasonably warm; it made him feel sluggish. He didn’t have any appointments until four o’clock.

Stefan was never encouraged to attempt to wake Sigi, even if they had pressing engagements. If Sigi ever woke to see the man standing in his room again, Stefan would not live another day. Luckily for Stefan, Sigi had a lot of practice deciding to sleep for very specific stretches of time, and he awoke two hours later with plenty of time still to spare.

He crawled back out of bed, feeling no more rested but not at all groggy, a little more alert now that the temperature outside had fallen somewhat. He could hear Stefan in the kitchen downstairs making himself a late lunch. Sigi never cooked, had no idea what Stefan kept stocked in the pantry and didn’t care to look.

Since Stefan was so stubborn about keeping the plumbing functional, Sigi had grown more fond of taking baths when he was feeling especially bored. He’d once experimented with not bathing— only tidying up when it rained, or borrowing a pump or a faucet while he traveled— to see whether it would render him less attractive to people in any way, but as far as he could tell they didn’t notice whether he had or had not bathed. Either their sense of smell was much, much duller than he realized, or he didn’t have enough of a scent himself. Maybe it wasn’t something people could pick up.

Cats liked him more when he didn’t bathe, which changed his mind about the whole practice of avoiding it.

He heard Stefan fumble in the kitchen when he started filling the bathwater, which suggested Stefan had no idea he was home. Making a mental note to keep an eye on Stefan later, wondering why he’d expect to have the house to himself this afternoon, Sigi shrugged out of his clothing and slid into the water.

Johannes had been dead for at least three hundred years. Sigi did the math while he soaked, staring at a crooked tile in the ceiling: if Johannes had lived to the age of seventy, if he was lucky enough to become an old man, he’d be dead three hundred years. Had he had any children? Grandchildren? Where had they gone? How many people living today had come from Johannes? His friend, diluted, branching out into descendants…

Good God, he hoped Stefan wasn’t by some freakish coincidence one of Johannes’s relatives. That would be appalling.

He’d done some further research into the new mummy’s background and wasn’t entirely shocked to confirm his suspicions: he had known her when she was alive. Briefly, but they had met. He hadn’t liked her then as much as he did now. She’d told her mother that Sigi had caught her father’s attention. Sigi, eight years old, only learned what had happened long after the girl’s mother dragged him through the streets, screeching with rage at the thought of her husband being stolen away by a child.

Sigi, who didn’t know what the woman’s husband even looked like, had to accept a beating first from her, then from his mother, then his father, for apparently catching his eye. He was eight years old.

It was a strange sort of revenge to now have that girl’s mummified body kept in his house, centuries after she lied to her mother because she didn’t want Sigi to play on her street.

The bathwater was hot. Sigi had installed a large enough tub for his long legs to fit comfortably, and he liked sliding down until his head was fully submerged. Underwater he could still hear Stefan in the kitchen, using the blender.

Soak for half an hour. Get dressed. Interview at four o’clock for a magazine. Launch new makeup collection in the evening. A party. He was going to be busy.

He stopped in the room of mummies to pat the glass case around the girl and smile at her before leaving for the night.
Sigi, pt 2
and part 2! mild mature warning for a brief sex scene (sort of) and a hungry vampire scene.

enjoy! let me know what you think! c:
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Their first notice of his impending visit came in the form of a technician, changing the lights in the museum.

“Dimmers?” Greta demanded, baffled. “They’re already on dimmers! What happened to the last system?”

The technician shrugged from the top rung of his ladder, with his hands inside the ceiling fixtures. “Hey, don’t ask me. Your boss says you need the highest-quality dimmers. Something about a celebrity guest.”

The boss was frantic, moving as quickly as she could without running, bouncing between galleries and exhibits as though she hadn’t slept all night. Greta nearly got trampled on her way to the locker room. No one seemed to know, or want to believe, who their guest might be. No one dared interrupt the boss for an explanation until she finally ran out of things to fuss over, admitting defeat.

“Sigi,” she said finally, when someone demanded to know, and once they’d caught her sitting still.

That sent a ripple of silence through the nearby staff. Even the technician upstairs paused when someone passed on the news. Everyone had heard of Sigi. Three of the employees were familiar with his cosmetics line. One of them was even wearing his signature shade, and immediately worried about whether she dared continue to wear it today— what if it did not flatter her as much as she hoped? What if she offended him?

Greta didn’t care much for celebrities but even she knew who Sigi was. She wondered whether this was fame or infamy. She wasn’t particularly fond of him; she assumed he must be no different from other people around her, and she was sure he must be a lovely individual, but she was sick of hearing of him.

He owned a line of cosmetics that was known in particular for its lipstick, which he himself was never seen without; he spent money as though he was more eager to be free of it than to ever have too much of it; he collected artwork and priceless artifacts in his spare time; he was never out of the public eye, always in the news.

Possibly most intimidating for the museum staff was the fact that Sigi, on top of all this, was also a fairly big name in archeology and natural sciences. He didn’t look like he’d spent any time becoming any sort of specialist, and yet he’d made several appearances in very well-researched documentaries as a guest speaker. It was never made too clear what his specialty was, exactly, but he gave lectures every few months at a certain university and was considered ‘honorary faculty’.

Everyone at the museum was nervous now, including the technician, who privately worried whether Sigi might also be a bit of an electrician in his spare time. He didn’t want to find out Sigi had found his skills wanting.

Greta asked one of her fellow guides, in an undertone, “Why do we need better dimmers for Sigi?”

The other guide, a very young woman who definitely followed entertainment news more closely than Greta did, replied in her own soft voice: “He’s paying for them. He said he wouldn’t visit if we hadn’t updated to the right system.”

That made Greta dislike him even more. What an arrogant man. Horrible, what too much money did to people.

It puzzled her how frightened people seemed once they knew who their guest would be. Greta made it her own private goal for the day to not be nearby when Sigi arrived; she’d rather avoid all the nonsense.

To her chagrin, the boss asked her personally to lead Sigi through the exhibits. “You’re more calm than Eva is today and you know more about the pieces he wants to look at.”

Greta wanted to refuse, but the boss mentioned she would receive a bonus for handling this well— ‘as you always do’— and helping the staff look their best. Greta had to humbly accept that she herself would stoop to anything for a little more money, even after her contempt for wealthy, arrogant people.

But she wasn’t going to use that extra money to force a museum to re-fit their lighting scheme, she reminded herself.

Sigi arrived promptly at noon. His personal assistant left the car first, walked to the front door and leaned inside to ask whether everything was ready. Greta, waiting inside with the boss, the curator, and the assistant curator, felt her dislike of Sigi coil up within her once more.

Sigi unfolded himself from the car and opened a black umbrella, although it was not meant to rain today. It wasn’t even very cloudy.

Greta’s first impression of him up close was how unusually tall he was. She had never really noticed it in pictures before. In person, it was a little jarring. She’d pictured him closer to average.

Inside the lobby, with the main doors shut behind him, he closed the umbrella and passed it to his personal assistant. He removed his sunglasses and handed those over, as well, without a glance at his companion.

Greta’s stomach lurched, then pinched.

She had never cared enough to really look at him in pictures. She’d never been interested in men who were too soft around the edges. These days people were different, a much greater variety was becoming commonplace, but Greta still preferred her men to be rough, with calloused fingers and bristling beards. Sigi was absolutely nothing like what Greta found most appealing, and yet she could not take her eyes away from him.

He wore his hair long and curling, almost white against his marble-pale complexion. His lips were painted the deep blue-red of arterial blood. His figure was slender and lithe, his posture as graceful and serene as a dancer’s. His eyes were a clear, calm blue framed in long, pale lashes. His fingernails were sharp and red. He was absolutely everything that Greta did not seek out in a man, all put together in a single person, and he was astounding.

Greta suddenly understood why everyone else on staff today was so petrified: Sigi’s beauty was the stuff of nightmares. He was so stunning that it filled her with terror.

The boss took a moment to find her voice. “Good afternoon, Mister Siegfried, and welcome…”

He smiled at the boss, in Greta’s general direction, and Greta’s insides clenched all at once. It was like God had singled them out, just in that moment. “Thank you for having me. I appreciate what you’ve done with the lights.”

As though he hadn’t paid for them himself.

“And please. Sigi will do.” He slipped out of his voluminous black coat and dropped it on his personal assistant’s arm. As he stepped further inside Greta suddenly noticed he wore heeled shoes, much taller than anything she found comfortable. It baffled her that anyone so tall would feel it necessary to add another six inches like this.

“Sigi, this is Greta. She would be delighted to lead you on your private tour.”

Greta thought for the most horrifying moment of her life that she might wet herself. Sigi was smiling directly at her, looking into her eyes, and she had never felt such undefined, powerful terror before. Did she want to impress him because he was beautiful? Did she feel inadequate standing so close to him? Perhaps later, once she’d gone home for the day and taken a hot bath, she could begin to figure out exactly why her stomach hurt when Sigi looked at her.

“It is a delight to meet you, Greta.” Sigi’s voice was just as beautiful as his face, with more of an accent than she herself had these days. She realized something about his accent reminded her of family she had lost when she was still young, an older generation long before hers. Sigi, of course, did not look half so old.

Greta was ashamed to hear herself stammer as she responded. “Please, follow me. I’ve been told you’re eager to see the third-floor exhibits…”

“Not entirely,” he said coolly, falling into step beside her. She shuddered when she noticed he was close enough to brush his arm against hers, however briefly. “I do have one exhibit in mind. I’ve an eye on something in your collection.”

Then Greta realized why he was here. He was going to buy something, or wave money around and expect to get his way. She felt childish triumph then, knowing how stingy her boss could be about even loaning pieces to other museums.

“Shall I lead you through our collection?” she asked, daring to glance up, way up, at that grotesquely flawless face. She expected to see hints of makeup hiding something less desirable, makeup other than the very obvious lipstick, but was dismayed to find she couldn’t tell whether he was covering his face or whether he was actually this perfect.

“If you would be so kind. I would love to hear your take on things.”

Greta led him and his personal assistant to the third floor, to one exhibit in particular. The boss and curator and assistant curator followed at a polite distance, waiting for the elevator to come back down for them rather than crowd Sigi. Greta suspected they liked the brief chance to be free of him, even if they were more openly adoring of him.

The exhibit was a carefully chosen selection of ancient scientific tools, paintings, and any sort of medical oddity preserved from the appropriate time period. The most common items in the exhibit were archaic forms of burners, tongs, magnifying glasses, and the like from early in the Age of Enlightenment. There were paintings, portraits made of scientific minds of the era. And in the centre of the exhibit, in a tasteful little semi-private nook, were nestled about ten specimens in glass jars, and one mummified eight-year-old child.

Greta led him through the exhibit as she would anyone else, taking note of when Sigi looked slightly impressed. She couldn’t help but feel intense pride when his expression altered even slightly, as though she’d won at some secret game for teaching him something. She wondered how extensive his schooling truly was.

When they approached the little nook, Sigi seemed more drawn to the specimens than the rest of the exhibit thus far. Greta told him about where the specimens had been made and when, what they were suspended in, everything. She explained more about the items than she normally would for a general tour, knowing how keen he was on them. She noticed she desperately wanted to impress him, more than ever, now that he was very visibly intrigued rather than politely curious.

With everyone presently in the exhibit watching Sigi, it was painfully clear he only had eyes for the mummified child.

Greta didn’t get very far telling him her story. She got to her age, saying she was very likely born in 1648, when Sigi interrupted.
“I must have her.”

Greta waited for the boss to step in with her usual talk of the museum pieces not being available to loan out or purchase, but was surprised when she heard nothing from that half of the room. She glanced over at the boss, standing in the far doorway, nodding beside the curator.

Sigi kept his eyes on the glass case containing the girl’s body. She was a very well-preserved mummy for her age; she still had her soft, shiny brown hair, and her face was plump enough for one to imagine she had only just gone to sleep. They had had to do extensive MRIs to confirm that she was, in fact, a preserved body, and not just a cleverly made doll.

The boss was very proud of this acquisition, and here she was, ready to sell the girl to Sigi at a moment’s notice.

Greta tried not to feel personally affronted by the fact that Sigi was going to get his way, after all. This had nothing to do with her. She was going to be paid extra for the day, anyway. It wasn’t her mummy to sell.

All of Greta’s sour feelings fled, however, when Sigi turned his delighted smile upon her. If his polite smile in the lobby had hurt to look at, this one caused her real, physical pain. This was a genuine smile of pleasure. She had never longed for a person so much before this moment. She was going to go home feeling quite shaken, but for that moment, she was awestruck. She had to be the luckiest person on earth.

Twelve minutes later, Sigi climbed back into his car, eight million dollars poorer and one mummified girl wealthier. The museum would deliver her to his home by tomorrow.

His personal assistant got behind the wheel and frowned into the rearview mirror at his employer. “This isn’t the oldest mummy you have. What makes her so special?”

“Oh, Stefan,” Sigi purred from the back seat, gazing through the heavily tinted window at the museum staff in the doorway. “We were born in the same year. It is so terribly hard to find contemporaries these days.” He turned his gaze on Stefan’s reflection. “And how could I leave her alone in that sad little place?”

*

Sigi’s voice seems to ooze its way through the television speakers. He rarely gives interviews, and only allows short clips of footage to be shared at a time.

“Now, you’ve claimed not to be dating anyone,” says the reporter, almost forgetting to hold the microphone to her own mouth in her eagerness to get every word from Sigi. “But you’re never seen anywhere without Stefan. You two aren’t perhaps…?”

Sigi smiles. It is a candid interview, brief, caught on the sidewalk as he leaves work that evening. He is almost too pale on camera, his lipstick and blue eyes the only landmarks that show up on screen before the cameraman tries adjusting the light. “I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint the rumour mill. Stefan and I will never date.”

“You have been known to keep your friends close, though.”

Sigi’s polite smile widens into something a lot less coy. “And my enemies, closer.” He speaks without caring that Stefan is two feet away, fully visible in the shot.

*

There were plenty of things Stefan had gotten used to, despite everything. Sigi was an odd employer, but not terrible.

He could be worse, Stefan told himself at least once a week.

Sigi slept at odd hours. He kept the house dark, too dark for Stefan, who got a scolding whenever he tried to put in extra lights. He didn’t believe in heating the house, unless they had someone staying in the one guest room— which was the only well-lit, warm, soft room in the entire building. Sigi did not even care too much about the plumbing; Stefan had to insist that yes, in fact, he was planning on using the toilets fairly often, even if Sigi wasn’t, to get Sigi’s permission to keep the plumbing functional.

Sigi also worked very, very hard. If not hard, constantly, at the very least. Stefan had his hands full managing emails and phone calls, because Sigi did not like computers and hated looking at phone screens even more than staring at a laptop. Stefan helped plan his schedule, balancing photoshoots, product launches, interviews, lectures, parties… Sigi did not need to rest the way Stefan did, and had several times in recent years lined up appointments for eighteen days straight without enough time for a normal person to sleep more than an hour at a time.

Every time Stefan thought Sigi didn’t really work so much as make appearances, any time he was about to question Sigi’s work ethic, he got reminded somehow of the fact that Sigi had gone back to school for a new doctorate nineteen times. For the hell of it. Because he was bored.

He was considering making it an even twenty, in fact, which made Stefan feel weak to imagine how he was going to schedule all of Sigi’s usual shit around classes.

People did not often think to ask how many degrees Sigi had, which was lucky, because then some of them would stop to do the math. When faced with that question, Sigi would airily claim that he’d simply ‘aged well’.

Sigi officially did not date, but he brought people home pretty frequently. Some of them never left. Thankfully, he didn’t expect Stefan to have to deal with any of that. Stefan pretended not to have noticed.

The ones that did get to leave often got a rude awakening when Stefan was the one to drag them out of bed, with Sigi already hours gone. Sigi was, understandably, good at luring someone new into his bed every other night, but he was no good at making them feel welcome to stay afterward.

Sometimes Stefan went to make the bed and found Sigi himself still in it, so deep in his sleep that he could be carved from stone. Stefan had learned not to worry if he couldn’t hear Sigi breathing; he was alert even if he looked dead.

Stefan had tried, only once, to touch Sigi while he slept. He’d had worse ideas in his life, but he couldn’t think of what they were. Sigi had snapped back to life in a millisecond, with Stefan’s broken fingers crushed in his fist.

He’d expected Stefan to work as usual with that broken hand, too.

Stefan had never been the sort of man to be afraid of anyone, but he was… wary of Sigi. Sigi could not be bullied, actually laughed at any attempts one might make to threaten him, and Stefan had learned that it was probably safer to be maybe a little bit afraid. Sigi had weird ideas about comeuppance.

It was the whole reason Stefan worked for him, after all.

At least Stefan had more money now than he ever had before. At least he lived in a nice house (even if it was a bit too dark and a bit too cold). At least he got to travel and see interesting places, mixed in with all the work. At least people gave him a lot of attention, as Sigi’s assistant.

It almost made up for the fact that he was never going to get fired, and was never going to have another job for the rest of his life. It almost made up for the fact that Sigi could find him if he tried (again) to run off with something valuable and start over somewhere far away. It almost made up for the way Sigi kept him under his thumb.

Stefan went everywhere with Sigi, not because Sigi needed him or even liked him, but because Sigi didn’t want him to go off and do anything Sigi did not approve of. Stefan didn’t delude himself: Sigi clearly disliked him. Sigi was not afraid to let Stefan know, even going so far as to tell him outright, on multiple occasions, that he disgusted him. But he kept Stefan fed and clothed and busy. His punishment was that he was stuck with Sigi until he died.

Stefan had stopped worrying that Sigi might end his life. It wasn’t Sigi’s style of punishment. He was going to watch Stefan grow old and wither away while he remained in Sigi’s employ. He was going to wear Stefan down over decades.

The best he could do was suck it up and go along with things. Sigi could make life difficult if he raised too much fuss.

*

Los Angeles, the fourteenth of May. Sigi is approached outside an evening gala by a meek little woman, not dressed for the occasion, wearing such drab clothing compared to Sigi’s gem-studded backless getup. Sigi waves off the security guard approaching the little woman; she is obviously terrified, but not of anything in front of her.

She looks all around herself once she’s near Sigi. Sigi has gone outside to speak with the editors of several fashion magazines, to get some air, away from the music inside the venue. He leans forward in his chair to watch the little woman.

“Miss. Have you something to tell me?” he asks her gently.

The woman’s face crinkles for a moment; she is surprised at this form of address. She is not very young, and Sigi does not look very old. But then her face melts back into that wide-eyed worry again. “I’m sorry, I… I live down the street. I’m staying with my mother. I heard you would be here tonight and I… I had to take the chance, I’m sorry.”

Sigi nods patiently. Behind him, the editors murmur amongst themselves.

She continues. “I… I had to warn you. I… know him.” She glances over Sigi’s shoulder at the editors, hesitates to say anything else.

“Wife?” The word falls heavily from his lips, his voice dropping into a more serious octave. Deep, understanding concern.

She shakes her head, very slightly. “Almost. Thank God. Don’t… you don’t know…”

“I do. Believe me.” Sigi smiles. “I’m going to keep him where he can’t cause trouble.”

She stammers a moment. Sigi stands up and reaches to hold her hand in both of his.

“I’m sorry for everything. I’m glad you came tonight.” Sigi motions for the chair he’s just vacated. “I was just about to leave. Please, make yourself comfortable.” He introduces her to the gathered editors as a friend of his, and informs the lingering security guard that she is to be left alone.

Before parting, Sigi informs her, “Give yourself ten minutes before going inside. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the party.”

The woman sobs at the table after Sigi leaves, but she takes his advice. The rest of her night is a pleasant one.

*

The mummy girl arrived at eight the next morning. Stefan signed the paperwork since Sigi was nowhere to be found, and he supervised the relocation of the mummy to the appropriate room.

Stefan hated that he shared a house with a room full of mummies. Among his hobbies, Sigi was a collector. He had a room of religious paraphernalia, several rooms of priceless paintings, and a room of mummies. Stefan didn’t like to think of himself as squeamish, but he didn’t like being anywhere near the dried-up corpses.

“Marvelous, isn’t she?”

Stefan jumped a foot in the air when Sigi’s voice sounded directly over his left ear. He turned around as he backed away. He hated when Sigi did that, almost as much as he hated the mummies.

Sigi ignored his reaction, staring raptly at the dead girl in her little glass case. “Eight years old when she died. Her father did well preserving her.” He tapped the glass, right above her little snub nose. “She and I might have been neighbours. She was born very near to my hometown.”

“Why don’t you kiss her if you love her so much?” Stefan couldn’t help the petulant retort, but he regretted it right away. It sounded so stupid, even coming from him.

Sigi smirked at him, then leaned in to kiss the glass as though it weren’t an odd thing to do. He lingered there just long enough before drawing back for Stefan to feel uncomfortably interested. “A kiss between siblings, hmm? Oh, Stefan, don’t you like my lovely new girl?”

“No, I don’t fucking like her. These things are creepy.”

“Hm. You like unconscious girls but not dead ones. Odd.” The remark was disdainful, although Sigi’s tone was light. Stefan rarely heard anything approaching normal anger from him; it didn’t mean he didn’t feel it.

“Aren’t you late for church?” Stefan demanded sourly.

“I’m on my way to confession, yes. I won’t be late.” Sigi was dressed plainly today, in a sweater and dress pants, although he was wearing those sharp heels again. And that red lipstick that was never mussed up, never missing; Stefan had only seen him without it twice. “You’re agitated this morning.”

Stefan didn’t see when Sigi moved in closer. Suddenly his employer was behind him, leaning down over him, smoothing his cool hands along Stefan’s arms. Stefan went rigid, from terror and something else.

Sigi did not like him. This was not a show of affection. Stefan stood as still as possible as Sigi bent closer, nestled into the crook of his neck, lips pressed into the flesh just above his shirt collar. Sigi did not like him, but he liked body heat quite a bit, and he liked it right here, just below the jaw.

“You’re wearing that foul cologne again,” Sigi murmured, making him shiver at the way his lips moved against his neck, before Stefan felt teeth digging into his skin.
Sigi, pt 1
it's been a while! I'M BACK (sort of)

long story short: i'm finally on medication for the first time in my life, and it's helping me to stay focused and be able to work on projects like art and writing again! AND I LOVE IT. i've been slowly puttering away at a new project now, and here is the first bit: SIGI. he's a vampire. i love him. you love him. everyone loves him. well, everyone loves him OR hates him, but we'll get into that later.

marking this whole story as mature, although this part doesn't feature anything especially heavy. the usual vampire fare, i'd say.

i'd love to hear what you guys think :) and if you catch any spelling or typing errors do let me know, lol
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deviantID

milo2
AJM
Canada
Current Residence: an igloo, Canurrdia
Favourite genre of music: electronic/ industrial/ experimental
Favourite style of art: surreal/ psychological/ colourful/ & patterns are nice
Operating System: The Creature v. 3.0, known to its friends as Three.
Wallpaper of choice: pinstriped and peeling, please.
Favourite cartoon character: Freakazoid.
Personal Quote: "mumble grumble pff."
Interests

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:icontheelementalbanana:
theelementalbanana Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If the original Milo is normal, Milo2 is the violence one and Three is the peaceful one, the too peaceful and accepting sometimes, why did you call yourself Milo2? I found him the most unlikable by far. You seem like a much better person then him. Then again, I may be misinterpreting the story, or confusing between the clones...
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:icongingertwistt:
GingerTwistt Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh my goodness, ARPIL
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:iconmilo2:
milo2 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015
AAAHHHH CORKSCREW
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:icongingertwistt:
GingerTwistt Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
MUCH OF THE LOVE
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:iconrindel:
Rindel Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I was looking around a bit whether you have a tumblr account, but didn't find anything? If you don't have one, would you mind people sharing your art there with dA's share-function, or do you prefer that your art doesn't end up on tumblr unless you yourself put it there? :]
Love your art and stories!
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:iconmilo2:
milo2 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
i do have a tumblr! thisbookisaboutmonsters.tumblr.com is my art. feel free to follow and reblog my posts!
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:iconrindel:
Rindel Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh great! Thank you for answering!
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:iconrae-77:
Rae-77 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your'e an awesome artist C: i love your style<3
oh..that ewbcam xD
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:iconsepia-rose:
sepia-rose Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You have an amazing knack for creating such witty, oddball, unique characters. I've been unofficially watching you since before I joined up here, and I think it's about time I properly watched you.
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:iconmilo2:
milo2 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
aw, thank you very much! c:
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