Case #13 – 5: Jesper, the Dreaming Vampire


The introduction is not going well.   No matter my pep talk, Morena is anxious and packing heat.  She’s shifting her weight, hands in her pockets, fidgeting.  In essence, she’s a terrible liar.  And it’s making her vamp uncomfortable.  And then there’s her vamp…who’s nothing like what I expected.

I expected, I don’t know what.  Taller?  Broader?  Brut-er?  I’m not sure.  But the vamp holding my wrist, fanging out, and threatening to bite the inside of my arm at the brachial artery or tear my arm out of my socket, whichever came first, didn’t seem threatening at all.  Barely 5’10”, dark chin length auburn hair, blue-grey eyes, he looks more a poet than a vampire.  At first, I waited for someone else to come in as we three stood there:

“This is Jesper.”

He just stared.  I waved.  “Hi.”  And then I waited.  I think I offended him. 

Finally, he spoke.  “And your name is?”  He was actively assessing me.  That clued me in.  Something told me, though, he intended as much.

I had put out my hand.  “I’m Sophie.  Sophie Quinn.”

He ignored my hand, stayed on his side of the room.  The meeting place is another room in my hotel, a suite.  A little close for comfort but considering, I had to go with it.  At least there are two rooms, so if I get through this alive, I can have some privacy with this vamp.  At this point, I’m thinking of all the things that have gone wrong in the course of 4 minutes.  All at once.  Time’s sorta frozen.

I had put my hand back down.

“And you’ve come to offer yourself?”

He had his approach down.  He’s rubbing his chin, a day or two of stubble eternally frozen there, never to be cleaned up.  I lost focus.  I admit it.  He has one of those builds that is just, hmmm, nice?  Sturdy without being intimidating?  You know what I mean?  Nice chin, really.

Damn it.  “I hate to disappoint but I’m not here as food.  But I am here to offer my services.”  Yeah, great.  My first meeting with Skovajsa comes to mind.

Morena takes an ill-conceived step forward.  “She’s here to help…with the dreams.”  Strike 2: telling his closely guarded secrets.   “She checks out.”  Strike 3: presuming to know better than him.

Yeah, I probably would have attacked me too.  His movement had been so quick while I was eye rolling, that he was just there, grabbing me, before I got a full 360 degrees in my sockets.  Yup, you can set your watch by vamps.  Clockwork.

“Jesper!”infinity

Now, I’ve had 13 lifetimes flash before my eyes and focused on the last four minutes and realize something important.  He can kill me at whim now.  He’s pausing for something.  He slowly looks up the length of my arm at me and meets my gaze.  And I this feeling washes through me and I know, he won’t hurt me.  In fact, the moment it comes to me, I know without a doubt that he will never hurt me.  Ever.  That’s when I start to realize something’s so incredibly off, that I have no words for it.  And I can see it in his face: he feels it too.  Whether the softening of my muscles as I relax does it or the receding of any fear that had been in my eyes, I’m not sure.   But he knows I am no longer afraid of him. 

“Kill me now or kill me later.  Does it make a difference?”  I start having a completely different conversation with him, one out loud, one with my gaze and my body language.

His eyes narrow.  “You’re not afraid to die?”

“Now where have I heard that before?”  Uh, yeah, didn’t realize that was out loud.  That is, until he tugs me all the way into his arms, putting the other around my waist.  Now you’re goading him?  No offense, dumbass, but your instincts have been wrong before!  Ok, now’s not the time to lose focus.

“This is just one more lifetime out of many.  You kill me now, I’ll come back in 50 years and stick you with a bill for past services…with due interest.”

His eyes are brightening to a fluorescent blue that I’ve never seen before.  Or maybe so?  His growl distracts me.  It tries to occur to me that I’m wrong, that he will indeed hurt me to gain the edge of Vampire of this situation.  But his eyes fall to my neck and focus on my amulet.  His grip eases a bit as he seems entranced.  Ok, that’s weird.

“If you give me a moment to show you…” It’s time to test this feeling, this feeling of utter safety underneath all the apparent danger and newness.  I reach into my pocket with my free hand, ignoring his tightening grip and Morena reaching for her weapon.

“Show me what?” he mouths around uniquely narrow fangs that I can’t wait to examine.

sparklinglemonI present the fruit, hold it out from me, not too close to him.  Meyer, to be sure.  Ripe and fragrant.  He turns his head from me to look, puzzled.  The feeling of security begins to grow. 

“What the—?” says Morena.

“—Is that?” he finishes.

I allow myself only a smile on the inside.

“It’s a lemon.”

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