Vampires have held our fascination for hundreds of years. They have gone from something people believed were real, to a fictional creature to fear in the night, to lost souls, to lovers.
As our All Things Vampire series draws to a close, editor Ariel Jade shares what she loves about vampires.
Don’t forget to submit your vampire story to Triskaidekaphilia 2: Ravenous.
Vampires have long held our attention, and for good reason. They’re brooding, sexy, and oh-so-mysterious. What girl hasn’t sat looking out her window into the night, pining for an immortal to whisk her from the doldrums of her daily life? What boy hasn’t imagined a predator stalking him for the most delicious of nighttime romps, as he laments the staid routine he’s been born to?
Reason #1: The Secret
Yet those are only the imaginings of the less fortunate—the ones whose lives are untouched by the reality of the vampire. But I… I know the truth…
I am not the only one, but when I look at the faces surrounding me in court, the preoccupied courtesans and the over-hopeful daughters, I smile inside to think that I hold a secret that many don’t. I have been chosen by an immortal as a possible mate, and if I bide my time long enough, I, too, will gain immortality and be born into a world beyond any wild imagining.
Reason #2: The Exquisite Pain
For the uninitiated, the bite of the vampire frightens. For those who have felt teeth sink into our flesh, we know that the pain lasts for an instant, but the intoxication lasts for days. The first time my beloved Octavian woke me in my bedchambers, my fear was all-consuming. But once he marked me as his, I floated as if carried by miniature, unseen dirigibles for a full week.
To be bitten again is like coming home.
Reason #3: Their Scent
Octavian smells like my childhood: the sage and burning leaves of our country home, a whiff of citrus perfume my mother wore before she passed away, the must of an old book from Father’s library. But underneath it all, he smells like Octavian, a scent I detect as soon as he sets foot into our mansion. No matter where I am—entertaining a minor noble from the north or sitting at the dinner table with Father and my sisters—I will excuse myself to meet my vampire for what I know he needs.
Reason #4: The Hunt
At times, Octavian joins me in my bedchambers immediately, taking my blood with abandon that frightens me—not for myself, but for his own wellbeing. I have asked before—“What is it that has caused such hunger?”—but those cat eyes drink me in just as surely as his mouth. Never have I received an answer, but I need none to know what is important: that is only I who can sate him.
Still, at other times, he will make a game of it, turning the tables. Myself the prey hunting down the predator. Through the sitting room, around a pillar, darting here and there to avoid guests or my many sisters. It is at those times that I feel most alive, and I know that he loves me. For if he did not, would he take such child-like glee inventing games with me?
And yet… and yet…
Reason #5: How Long We Must Wait for Immortals to Decide
The vampire’s choosy nature is at once maddening and intoxicating. To know that when I am the object of Octavian’s attention, I am everything to my beloved is the most delicious of enchantments. To believe that I have finally captured his love only to have the certainty wrenched away–when seeing him the next day with some new harlot–is heart-breaking.
Yet on I soldier, eating sweet berries and drinking the finest wine, in the hopes that someday my blood will intoxicate him enough that he will bind me to himself… forever.
Ariel Jade is the nom de plume of an established SFF writer. She’s a member of the SFWA and has published several (non-romance) novels and short stories. Starting in early 2017, she’s embarking on a journey into the world of romance, erotica, and everything in between.