I led the three vampires into the living room and ordered them to stand in front of a small table containing a crystal decanter foolish enough to have its top off.
“You must now bind yourselves to me by blood,” I told them. Another tip from Ravi although I don’t think he had expected me to be foolish enough to use it.
I motioned to them to come forward, extending my two index finger-blades. They hissed, features distorted to display a little of what lay beneath. I’d have to teach them the error of their ways and hope that I wasn’t turning into a ghoulish version of Henry Higgins in the process. If I was very unlucky they’d develop cod-cockney accents and the horror would be complete.
Sullenly they extended their wrists and I slashed each in turn, quick slicing motions that brought brackish blood smelling faintly of the sea welling up from pale skins. Like an old hand I caught it in the decanter before slashing my own wrist, taking care to do it horizontally. The wrist was probably not the best place but I only needed a few drops and the symbolism was worth it. The delicate patter as my blood joined theirs: a metallic tang, a brief spot of crimson in the darkness of the viscous fluid marked the most dangerous point of our brief acquaintance. Morgan’s cheeks visibly hollowed and Marjorie choked, drool running down her perfect chin onto her t-shirt.
They were, I realised, starving. For the first time I felt like the idiot in the tigers’ cage who had volunteered just to impress but now wished he hadn’t as they picked his limbs off like boys with flies’ wings. A brief hiatus, pregnant with the import of what I’d just done hung heavy in the room. To my knowledge no one had messed about with this particular little ménage a quatre and there was usually a good reason for that.
“To blood of thine add blood of mine, together ere we die. So mote it be,” I whispered. The spell was cast and, much like the act of flinging yourself under the wheels of a bus, there was no undoing it. No going back.
With their gaze boring into the back of my head I locked the decanter in a small cupboard by the window, noticing absently that snow was falling thick and fast obscuring the world as though some old god had wished it away. Even Fife, usually all too visible from this window, was a distant nightmare that I couldn’t see anymore. I needed to get going or I’d suffer the same fate. I threaded the key onto a chain and put it around my neck where it hung glistening dully in the meagre light. No sound disturbed the gravid silence apart from the tick-tock of the clock and the faint rumble of traffic muffled by the snow.
A marriage made in Hell, indeed. But who was going to wear the trousers?