Acceptance and Love: Penny Dreadful 2×05

Warning: spoilers and NSFW screenshots

To summarize Penny Dreadful 2×05: Above the Vaulted Sky in one word: ACCEPTANCE.

(I was going to say ‘sex’ but let’s leave it to later, OK?)

We start with a heart-warming scene where Vanessa, frightened by the witches’ haunting, runs to Ethan’s room and asks to sleep in his bed. You’d be forgiven to think “It’s sexy time!”, considering what the show has presented to us so far (not that I’m complaining); however, our sweet wolf-boy politely tells her to use his bed while he sleeps on the sofa. They exchange a few meaningful lines and one of which is: “Whatever you have done… Whoever you have made yourself… I’m here to accept you.” These lines will find a meaningful echo in the next episode, as revealed in the teaser, Ethan’s werewolf nature will be revealed to his family-of-choice.

01 02

Meanwhile, The Creature’s touching fabricated little story fails miserably to win Brona/Lily’s reanimated heart, which we have already suspected to gravitate towards Victor Frankenstein. Rejected and heartbroken, however it seems his luck hasn’t completely run out yet: in the cholera-infected dark place he meets Vanessa Ives, who has already accepted him as not so different from any other human being (2×02: Verbis Diablo). Being the good-hearted woman that she is, Vanessa consoles him by citing poetry with him (John Clare’s work) and offers to teach him to dance. Sweet and heart-warming, right? Let’s hope they keep it that way: friends who share love for poetry and please do not let The Creature fall for Vanessa. I imagine it would have catastrophic result *sweatdrop*.

04 03

We still have no idea what The Creature is doing here (free soup and friendship with a beautiful woman, anyone?) and Vanessa, shouldn’t you get back to work?

Skipping a failed interrogation by Inspector Bartholomew Rusk and Ethan’s successful tail-cutting, we arrive to some opera theater where Dorian Gray and Angelique are happily on a date. Unfortunately, their jolly evening is ruined by some jerks who just feel the urge to humiliate a couple (too much time on their hand??). Kudos for the writers for giving us both Angelique’s and Dorian’s character development in a single scene: this is the first time we ever see Angelique’s dropping off her confidence, charming self to reveal a more vulnerable one – she endures being shamed without a retort. And Dorian steps up to do the single thing we all hope he will do but do not expect from him: he raises her hand to his lips and kisses it, telling the world that he is proud to have her by his side. Moreover, we see Dorian showing feelings for another person other than himself: he has always had an air of aloofness about him as if he doesn’t give a damn about the world. Now, the anger is palpable in his tone and he would have started a fight right there if Angelique hadn’t hold him back. (Part of me wish Angelique hadn’t so that we could see how our ageless beauty would have fared in a brawl.)

05

… Which leads to one of the most beautiful and meaningful dialogues, where Dorian lovingly tells Angelique he likes her for her person, not her sex. It’s still a little early to say if they have fallen in love (at least on Dorian’s side) but in this scene, there is a certain level of affection in Dorian’s words and gestures, which makes the sex scene afterwards much more enjoyable to watch because it’s not casual sex, it’s love-making – the fact that a lot of emotions are involved makes it all the more beautiful and sacred.

06

07

08

OK, let’s move to the ‘sex’ part as I have mentioned at the beginning.

Josh Hartnett (Ethan Chandler) once joked that season 2 was going to be a ‘bang-fest’ and this is proven in this episode – four relatively sex-free episodes (Angelique’s nude scene doesn’t count as sex, to me at least) and now the creators of the show think it’s high time they dropped the bomb and boy, how it explodes! We find out that stormy nights are always a perfect excuse to get horny – aside from Dorian x Angelique, there’s Sir Malcolm x Evelyn Poole and Brona/Lily x Victor Frankenstein. Here I will divide them into hate and love categories and give my two cents about them.

  • Sir Malcolm x Evelyn Poole
  • Love/Hate? Hate
  • Why? Of all the possible couples in this season this is the one that gives me an icky feeling when mentioned. My own personal shipping code dictates that a couple is only a true couple when there is honest affection, which is nonexistent in this one. From the beginning Evelyn Poole has approached Sir Malcolm with a hidden devious agenda (not so hidden to us viewers) – to seduce him and ‘infiltrate’ Vanessa’s defense. Last time we saw them in episode 2, she has obviously put a hex on him and in this episode, she pricks him with her ring, which is her lethal weapon she used to kill one of the witch (2x01: Fresh Hell) and a few dozen cows (2x03: Nightcomers). Whatever potion/poison she has injected into Sir Malcolm weakens his resistance, heightening his desires (for her). To me it’s dub-con (dubious consent – a usual tag in fanfiction) at best since the man is not in his right mind. The consequence later, I wager, will be rather dreadful.

09

  • Brona/Lily x Victor Frankenstein
  • Love/Hate? Hate
  • Why? Like the above couple, this couple is only dub-con at best. From the start it’s problematic and as the series progresses, it only descends down the path of nauseate (for lack of a better word). Let me make this straight that I have no qualms about the incestuous aspect between Lily and Victor (he ‘created’ her so he’s sort of her ‘parent’); what makes me cringe when thinking that they are shippable is that both Victor and The Creature have been filling her up with lies! Well, while The Creature fails (mostly due to his unattractive appearance), Victor wins! That he seems to harbor feelings for her does not make this relationship, built on a mountain of lies, any excusable. I have to seriously wonder when she jumps on his bed and starts touching him, does she have any idea at all about what she is doing, what they are and are not supposed to do considering that they are ‘cousins’ (Victor’s fattest lie). The Creature gets Lily rejection as a ‘punishment’ for his lies, let us wait and see what ‘punishment’ our good doctor will receive.

13 14

  • Dorian Gray x Angelique
  • Love/Hate? Love
  • Why? As I already elaborated above, this is perhaps the only sex in this episode that doesn’t involve deception. Sure both of them are still holding onto their secrets, Angelique with her true name and family before she came to London and Dorian with whatever secret he keeps on his infamous portrait and his immortality, yet there is a fine line between having secrets and deceiving each other. Even the most loving and faithful couple can have one or two things they want to keep for themselves (as long as their secrets do not affect their relationship). It may be a trivial detail that while the first two couples have sex with most of their clothes on (symbolizing the lies in their relationship, anyone?), Angelique and Dorian are entirely free of clothes (symbolizing their genuine feelings). Seems to me at that moment they lay bare for each other to see their emotions and they can be honest to each other despite their secrets.

11 12

By the way, kudos for a very passionate sex scene. *both thumbs up*. And Wagner is Penny Dreadful’s aphrodisiac (confirmed). And putting sex scenes with horror scenes is probably the show’s way of preventing people from fapping over these gorgeous actors and actresses 😈😈😈.

[Aborted] Threaten Me with Life

Disclaimer : Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom : Penny Dreadful (2014)

Rating : M

Pairing : Victor Frankenstein x Dorian Gray

Genre : fanfiction,

Characters : Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, The Creature/Caliban

Summary : This is an aborted idea I had for a Victor x Dorian smut. Sadly my inspiration has run out before I have the chance to finish it. To not waste a few words I’ve written, I will leave it here. Feel free to use it if you want to, just give me a few words, OK? The plot is that The Creature wants Dorian Gray as his mate and implies to kill him so that Victor will resurrect him (it’s a bit dark at first). Then they both learn a disturbing truth that some people just don’t die when they are killed. 

“He’s out of your league!” Victor Frankenstein hissed at his Creature, who, together with him, were lurking in the shadows and peering at the opposite coffee shop. “He’s no common folk, perhaps a lord’s son, a nobleman, a person of wealth and status. Drill some common sense into your head: should he go missing, his family could turn the city inside out to find him…”

He barely finished his sentence when his throat was seized with cold, vice-like fingers and his body was slammed against the damp wall, knocking the air out of his lungs. He clawed at the hand that sought to crush his windpipes but it was of no avail, the steeled grip did not loosen. His vision was blotted and his eyes bulging, Victor could feel the foul breath of Death very close to his face.

“How is a corpse ‘out of my league’, Creator? Does it matter whose son he is or what status or property he possesses once Death puts the veil over his pretty eyes? Oh, how fair and just Death is to us all: that he would treat a nobleman and a bastard the same, stripping them off their status and their gold, and leaving them a naked, undignified rigid cadaver.”

The Creature growled, baring his teeth in his widening grin as he lectured his creator. Victor could not bear to look at him.

“It’s different…” he retorted weakly. “He…he’s still living, he has not..”

“What is the difference? Was I human once, and living? Was my brother the same? We died of whatever cause we could not remember, and were revived by your hands. Did it matter to you at that time that you chose to give this corpse life and not the other next to him? Does it matter now that you work your magic once again on yet another corpse?”

Victor’s face crumpled in a grimace, his face purple with the lack of air. The Creature went on, voice softer and languid, “What matters is that I want him, Creator, have wanted him since the moment I saw him, closing his eyes as he inhaled the sweet perfume of the Rothchild’s Slipper. I have yearned for him as I yearned for your care and guidance when you made me, as I have yearned for release from this miserable fate of eternal loneliness and you will oblige me. Make him mine, Creator, and you have my word that we will go far away, out of your sight and your life. You want peace, don’t you? Do it for me and you will have it.”

Then The Creature released him and Victor gasped for air like a fish out of water. Every intake of breath was a painful stab to his lungs: his sight blurred with the hot tears that gathered at the corners of his eyes. “Fine…” he wheezed, clutching his throat, where he did not doubt would have five ugly purple bruises for days to come. Unconsciously he fixed his crumpled collar and cravat; he was not prepared to answer the torrent of questions from Sir Murray and Mr. Chandler lest they saw his neck. “But let me be clean of it, of this hideous crime of yours. I will have no part in your cold-blooded murder.”

“Fine. Taking life is my part as creating new life is yours. In three days I will come back, and I will have my beautiful mate. Do not fail me this time, Father.”

He retreated to the darkness faster than human eyes could follow, leaving Victor with a tornado of angst and guilt churning in his stomach as if a hungry mechanical monster. He wanted to throw up, despite he had not had much in his stomach since morning, and it was not entirely due to the violent treatment he had suffered at the hands of his ‘child’ or the putrid smell coming heavily from the open trench nearby. He braced himself to look up and found the young man had not left his place. The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history. Lines from a recently read novel sprang up in his mind. Such a beautiful creature and vividly alive. Yet Victor could envision that sculpted body, nude, pallid and lifeless, lying on his operation table, that his scalpel would mar that flawless skin with grotesque scars and stitches. He was no longer able to hold it back;  he threw up violently on the pavement, toxic acid burning his mouth and tongue.

Through a veil of tears Victor saw that the young man was staring at him from his place across the street.

Theories on Penny Dreadful

Warning: spoilers alert!!

Penny Dreadful is getting better and better – an episode full of precious gems: Vanessa and Victor being cute siblings while shopping for dresses and… underwear, Ethan showing that he’s far sharper than most give him credits for, Victor and Lily discussing feminism, Sembene being mysterious, quiet and frankly… Sembene while making dessert for everyone and of course, Dorian and Angelique showing the world their own version ‘Victorian Romance’ (really, the music, the cinematographic effect and the kiss are killing me – never quite turned on by such a kiss onscreen).

ep04

And so the awesomeness and cuteness of episode 4 have prompted me to a few theories regarding The Devil/Lucifer/whatever demon that Evelyn Poole & co. are worshipping. I’m gonna list them here in this post; some of them are pretty logical and sound (according to my friend) and are backed up with evidence while some are just plain wacky, so bear with me please. Here we go.

#1: Dorian Gray is The Devil aka Lucifer

IMG_0700

I’ve never bought the idea that the show is going to stick to the book and at some point will give us an old, hideous and mean-looking photoshoped version of Reeve Carney on a huge canvas – as far as I know, Penny Dreadful loves to play with those well-known literary figures. So by the end of season 1, I have come up with a theory of my own regarding Dorian Gray’s secret, which can be read in my previous post. In short, I’m quite convinced that our pretty faced immortal is either the host of Amun-Ra (as Vanessa is Amunet’s) or the Egyptian God himself.

Then season 2 has been airing and viewers find all the Egyptian reference pushed back to a corner, replaced by a threat from The Devil, aka the Fallen Angel Lucifer in Christianity. So far, little connection has been made between Dorian and the main plot as his storyline, combined with the new enigmatic Angelique’s, while intriguing and pleasant, is still hovering somewhere else (if this continued the two of them might as well start their own series). In an attempt to try to include Dorian and Angelique in the main story, I’d like to believe Dorian Gray’s true identity is Lucifer and while the witches of Evelyn’s coven are doing the dirty work for him, the Great Master himself is on a date, playing ping-pong, stunning ordinary people with fearless public display of affection and generally having fun. Well, it’s good to be the King and have minions working for you so that you can enjoy yourself, right?

One more clue: remember how Vanessa described ‘The Devil’ to Joan Clayton in “Nightcomers”. That sounds suspiciously like Dorian Gray to me.

Does this mean I forfeit the theory that Dorian is related to Amun-Ra. Actually no. I’m still holding to it as I believe Amun-Ra and Lucifer, in spite of names, are actually one entity that is the embodiment of the evils in this world. I don’t know the exact term for the process but in my own words I will call it ‘merging’ – that is when beliefs, religions, deities etc. have been affected by one another because of wars, invasions, merging of cultures, etc. and thus share similar traits. One example I can think of is when the Romans conquered Greece and adopted the Greek pantheon – pretty much the same gods and goddesses except for the names (Zeus to Jupier, Hades to Pluto, Poseidon to Neptune and such). So, it’s quite possible that Amun-Ra and Lucifer are one and the same. Besides, I don’t think John Logan and team would make create an elaborate storyline with all the myths and prophecies in season 1 only to throw it out of the window in favor of something new. Would be a total waste.

If Dorian Gray is indeed Lucifer then his relationship with Angelique may take a very twisty turn, which is my second theory.

#2: Angelique is either A) a Servant of God aka Not-Evil Angel or B) a fallen angel like Lucifer

Based on her name which is very likely an alias and her special condition, I’m inclined to believe this new, interesting and charismatic transgender character may not be a mere prostitute; instead, she may be an angel! Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not Christian) but I remember reading from some source that angels are supposed to be sexless/ non-gender (can’t pinpoint the exact word), thus it makes some sense that an angel masquerading as a human would choose to represent themself as a transgender person – neither man nor woman. If in this season our heroes are fighting the Servants of Devil then presenting a Servant of God would be a nice way to balance the scale.

But why would a Servant of God appear as a prostitute? Surely there’re a lot more places other than a brothel. And why would s/he approach and apparently seduce the Devil? That leads me to wonder whether Angelique is not a ‘good’ angel, but rather a fallen one. “When Lucifer fell, he did not fall alone” will be our mantra till the end of the season and may even continue in the next and episode 4 also fortifies the fact that many other ‘Evil’ angels fell with Lucifer and may be scattering all over the planet, corrupting humans or simply chilling out. So, after eons, at least one of them has found their way back to ‘reunite’ with Lucifer, right? Hell, that’d take ‘kindred spirits’ and ‘partners in crime’ to a whole new different level!

 #3: Dorian Gray is a fallen angel and it’s Angelique that is Lucifer/The Devil/Amun-Ra, etc.

So this is a reverse of my #1 and #2. Dorian Gray is one of the many that fell with Lucifer to earth and he was lost to his ‘friends’, hence he’s bored, lonely and always seeking new sensations, pushing against boundaries. Now his ‘Lord’ has come to him to take him ‘home’. Their exchanges at the ping-pong table serve as way for them to test each other in order to recognize their true faces. Once they do, what’s better way to seal the deal with a passionate kiss?

Beside, remember the little hint at the beginning of their scene? There’s a puppet box that is playing something related to Lucifer and then Dorian and Angelique walk out, arm in arm. Judging how John Logan likes to scatter hints to characters’ identities, this may qualify as an important one that indicates either of them is the Big Bad Boss of this season (if the Big Bad Boss does show up).

Still, why the Prince of Darkness would choose a transgender prostitute as his guise is quite beyond me.

#4: Dorian Gray is the son of Lucifer/Amun-Ra

a166568fjw1ehxpd175h8j20bo0b4q41

It’s getting wacky from here. You’ve been warned.

OK, so most of us viewers agree that Dorian Gray is immortal, he lives one hell of a long life and most importantly, he may have sold his soul in exchange for eternal youth and beauty, with his sins continously demonstrated on a huge canvas. But, what if the truth behind his immortality is none of this trading-soul business? What if he was born supernatural and was sent to earth by his father (whisper: Lucifer) to do his bidding? However, instead of focusing on his mission, he dumps all the work on the witches’ and takes time to enjoy himself? And every time his vessel suffers any damages he has to heal himself via a magical object in the form of a huge canvas, which also serves as an ‘Internet phone’ between him and Daddy. And every such time he has to listen to Lucifer’s reprimands until he can take it no more and decides to team up with the heroes to unsurp his Daddy. That’d be one hell of a family drama!

Blame The Originals series and their family drama for this crazy theory.

#5: Lucifer is actually Vanessa Ives

OK, I know this is crazy but let’s give it a thought.

Let’s suppose Vanessa Ives were Lucifer and somehow The mighty Devil had suffered an amnesiac which led to the emergence of ‘Vanessa Ives’ while the true Lucifer was confined/pushed back to a corner of her psyche. In order to get out and regain full control, Lucifer had to make Vanessa know who she really was and accepted him. So, he enlisted the help of his devoted servants (Evelyn Poole & co.) to mess up with Vanessa until she realized the truth. Would she be able to make peace and embrace him once she found out? That’s one major question awaiting an answer.

By the way, if this turns out to be true, I still have to wonder where Dorian Gray and Angelique would fit into the plot.

#6: Victor Frankenstein is actually an immortal

Unlike his fellow immortal Dorian Gray, our cute doctor, Victor, though lives long and stays young, doesn’t know much about how to enjoy himself and his immortality (or how to accumulate wealth for that matter). He devotes his endless years for science and thus suffers loneliness a great deal. He pities humans for their very limited life span and at the same time finds himself unable to see them as his equal and love them. So he seeks to create another life form that can endure time to be his ‘perfect companion’. So far he has managed to made 3.

But what about his flashback and childhood in season 1’s episode 3? It can be a false memory, created with a purpose to fool the audience until the big revelation later. Or, like Vanessa’s case in #5, Victor might have had amnesia and even now he still does not know of his immortality. Nevertheless, he has not forgotten his obsession with creating life.

I just realize this will make a good idea for an AU fanfiction where Victor Frankenstein finally gets a chance to meet Dorian Gray, someone he can call his equal and hence the budding of a romance.

Just my non-sorry attempt to ship ‘the good doctor’ and ‘the beautiful boy’.

So, my theories may or may not be true. In order to find out, we have to be patient and wait for the next episode, scheduled to air on May 31.

[Fanfic] Why Won’t You Die? (3)

Disclaimer : Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms : Dracula (2013), Penny Dreadful (2014)

Rating : M

Pairing : Dracula/Alexander Grayson x Dorian Gray

Genres : fanfiction, crossover, humor, probably a little OOC

Characters : Dracula/Alexander Grayson, Dorian Gray, Renfield, original character

Warnings: gore

Summary : It was pretty simple: Dracula’s habitual feeding was seen by a mortal young man (a very handsome one but it was not the matter!), so in order to protect his secrets, naturally the monarch of vampires had to kill him. Then, for some mysterious reason, the same young man showed up at his demonstration ball, alive, well and would very much like to remind the vampire how he had mercilessly ‘broken’ his heart only nights before.

III.    Blood Is the Life (or Not?!)

Why wont you die 3

 

“Perfection, sir,” said Renfield, taking a step back to get an overall view of his handiwork. The tux brilliantly complimented his lithe form, the black cravat adorned with a single pearl was most elegant (Renfield’s choice), his mustache and goatee well-groomed and there was not a single strand of hair out of place. Such an epitome of perfection was Alexander Grayson that Renfield actually felt hot tears rimming his black eyes. He half-heartedly wanted to say his boss looked dazzling but then he vividly remembered Grayson held a persistent grudge against any vocabulary related to light and shining; thus he opted for another word that was less likely to touch his boss’s sore spot.

Grayson was probably having the same idea (that was, he looked good, if not perfect) for a fang-y grin was spreading across his fine features. Renfield winced, and gestured to the corner of his mouth. For all their years together, he still had not quite gotten used to seeing Grayson’s pointed teeth. No, he was not squeamish about their shape or usage, nor was he afraid of them – he had seen worse from his boss. The truth, which Renfield never mustered enough courage to reveal to Grayson, was that when Grayson had that toothy grin of his he looked positively like the Cheshire Cat (he still had no idea why such vocabulary came forth in his mind; it just did), which, of course, dealt great damage to the sophisticated and authoritative image he strived to impress people. The inconvenient truth that sometimes his fangs grew without his conscious control did not help one bit.

“Photographed upon entry?” Alexander asked.

“As arranged. Sir, from this day onward, you are an American industrialist.”

“As American as God, guns, and bourbon. Is my accent all right?”

“Flawless, sir,” said Renfield with a smile and his thumb up.

“Thank you, Renfield. You should go get change too.”

Renfield replied with a silent nod before exiting Grayson’s chamber, leaving the man to the company of his reflection. He took a glance at his pocket watch. It was an hour and a half till the opening of the ball and there was still plenty of time to change. Unlike Grayson’s, Renfield’s outfit and hair required much less attention – it was Alexander Grayson the new entrepreneur that people would have their eyes on tonight, not his assistant. Renfield could do well with little attention; having people staring at him unfortunately reminded him of his earlier years back in the New World. He thought that he should do a double-check on the technical team. Better be careful than sorry.

From a spot above the stairs Alexander watched his honored guests in silence. Some had arrived quite early and formed little groups of acquaintances. His enhanced hearing picked up parts of their conversations. Mostly small talks about this lord or that lady, what the new exotic club at the West End offered, and the likes. Sometimes his pseudonym was tossed in, followed by some scornful remarks about the stereotypical American entrepreneur who possessed some ‘new’ money but had zero knowledge of the old aristocratic way. Laughter rose after such comments, grating Alexander’s nerves; nevertheless, there was not much useful information worthy of the former monarch’s lowering himself and trying to mingle in. Gossips seemed an essential sport of the upper class at present as it had been some hundred years ago – something never got too old. They interested him little as they had done before (though his wife Ilona, unfortunately, had been quite engaged in them). His eyes scanned the vast ball room with concealed boredom; he supposed if he were human he would feel the unstoppable urge to yawn. Then the door opened and entered a young man that instantly caught Alexander’s eyes. The most remarkable aspect of him aside from his face was his costume, which brought a touch of color into the monotony of the men’s formal dress suit with its peculiarities: the few top buttons of his white shirt were left undone, leaving his neck and throat exposed as he was not wearing any tie, cravat, or scarf; under his black jacket he was having a blazing fuchsia and black striped waist coat that one might find more common at a carnival than a formal event – on him, however, it gained a certain charm that exceeded its association. The bracelets on his wrists jingled lightly as he took long strides in, announcing his presence. First, it was only one lady or two who turned their heads upon hearing the soft ringing sound, summoned by the silvery beckon, but soon, most of the ladies and even some of the gentlemen were staring at the newcomer with eyes wide and mouth slightly agape.

Alexander was no exception; in fact it was he who stared the hardest at the young man as if trying to record every small detail into his memory: the dark chestnut hair framing his delicate face, the amber-colored eyes that were just a little too big for a grown man, giving him a faux child-like innocence, the Cupid’s bow lips that was curving in a polite smile when the ladies, maiden and wedded, batted their eyes at him, perhaps hoping for a secret and passionate rendezvous. The golden light of the ball room complimented his complexion far better than the dusted street lamp – it was as though his skin was radiating a soft glow. Alexander’s eyes bore into the man’s neck. Underneath the layer of silky skin was the prominent blue vein that was full of the toxically sweet nectar having poisoned him only nights ago. His sight was magnetized to it and his other senses were reduced to just the beating of the young man’s heart mingled with the clanging of his jewelry and the strong scent of intoxicating youth flowing in his arteries. Tantalizing. To think Alexander was able to pick out one particular scent amongst the sea of perfumes. His throat burnt with thirst, and so did his eyes. Through a red transparent veil he watched the young man blend in effortlessly with the aristocrats, joining their small talks and laughing with them like an intimate friend. His amber eyes twinkled, his manners charming and suave.

How Alexander wished to launch at him like the predator he was and drank him dry for all the mortals to witness.

He did not realize the shapes of his fingers were imprinted on the oaken rail, and he might break it in half were it not for a strong, black hand literally shaking him out of his bloodlust trance and a familiar voice waking his senses.

“Sir, get a hold of yourself!”

The red veil was lifted off, the sound and scent subdued and his world swiveled and molded back into the one he knew and lived in, whose focus was a pair of earnest black eyes. He shook his head, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Sir, you looked as if you were about to jump down and dine on our guests. What’s the matter?”

“I was about to do just that, Renfield,” answered Alexander. His throat still felt as if he had swallowed a ball of flame. “I think I need some whiskey.”

Renfield furrowed his eyebrows. “I don’t think it’s a wise idea to start drinking before the party begins, sir.” His eyes swept around cautiously and he asked in low voice, “What’s wrong, sir? I thought you’d fed already.”

“I haven’t, but the cause of my thirst is not natural. Do you see the young man down there?”

“There are a lot of young men down there, sir,” Renfield said matter-of-factly. “Which one am I supposed to see?”

Alexander scoffed slightly. How could Renfield miss such a conspicuous individual as that one? “The brown-haired one with a carnival waist coat and silver bracelets.”

Renfield scanned the room. “Nowhere, sir.”

With an exasperated huff Alexander looked down on the expanding crowd of fancy clothes and did not find the young man whose presence had nearly sent him into a bloodlust. Beside him Renfield grimaced at the sight of his boss’s eyes going alarmingly red and his fangs protruding at the corners of his lips. “Please follow me inside, sir,” he said hurriedly, grabbing Alexander’s arm and leading him away from the ball room and into his office.

“I understand that you may be feeling a little… nervous at your debut but it is imperative that you calm yourself down.” He half-pushed his boss down a large chair. “If you were human I would suggest a breathing exercise to…”

“I. am. not. nervous,” Alexander cut him. Each syllable was stressed like a hammer hitting a stubborn nail.

Renfield sighed and reached into his breast pocket, from which he took out a hand mirror. He held it up in front of his boss’s face. “Your eyes are red and your incisors are elongating. I dare say your current appearance is not appropriate to greet your guests.”

Alexander stared at his reflection for half a minute before bringing his hands to his face, massaging the muscles. Thankfully when he put his hands down, his eyes had returned to their pale blue and his teeth had shrunk back to acceptable length. Renfield nodded in approval.

“Really Renfield, I am not nervous. I am panicked.”

Renfield’s mouth was frozen in a perfect ‘o’. What did he just hear? Alexander Grayson was panicked? Vlad Tepes The Impaler who had gone to hell and back to carve fear into the heart of men was panicked?! Was Apocalypse approaching and Renfield was not even aware?!

“What could cause you to panic?” He managed speech at last. “Did someone of the Order of the Dragon…”

“That young man in the ball room… I remember seeing him before…”

Renfield blinked questioningly at him.

“… in a deserted alleyway two nights ago,” he sighed. “And I happened to drink his blood and gouged out his heart.”

As he spoke, his memory revived the scent of flesh blood and the feeling of a beating heart between his fingers.

Renfield gaped at him, wide-eyed and utterly speechless. Then he blinked. Once. Twice. Three times. “Sir,” he spoke with a certain level of hesitation, “are you saying you have seen a ghost? Right in the middle of the ball room? Among the company of hundreds mortals and one immortal?”

No need for such specification, Renfield.

“He… certainly did not look like a ghost…” But Alexander had never seen a specter himself so he was not in the position to judge whether a ghost should look like a ghost. Who had dictated that ghosts should look ghastly and be covered in blood and not wear a flamboyant waistcoat, silver jewelry and have shining brown hair and ruddy cheeks? “… He certainly did not look like a man who had his neck torn and his heart ripped,” he corrected. “Certainly did not look dead.”

“Then the man with such descriptions has vanished from sight?”

“…”

A lengthened, awkward silence.

“May I speak freely, sir?” Renfield asked meekly.

“Yes.”

“It is much more assuring to hear that you are nervous than you have seen a dead person who may or may not exist.”

“I know what I saw, Renfield,” Alexander retorted.

Renfield quirked an eyebrow. “Do you truly know what you see when you are in unscheduled bloodlust? Remember that one time in New Orleans…”

Alexander held up a pale hand, successfully preventing Renfield’s narrative, which to him was only a train wreck of mortification. That incident in New Orleans might haunt him for the rest of his undead life, which was not a very favorable prospect.

Renfield looked at the watch. “I wish we could discuss this matter some more but it’s almost time, sir. Better not to let them wait.”

“I need a shot of whiskey.”

Was that a whining tone in his voice or was it Renfield’s imagination?

“Just one sip, sir,” Renfield sighed, defeated.

Alexander nodded.

Renfield magically conjured a flask from his pocket and handed it to his employer, who took it, uncapped and unhesitatingly poured the liquid into his mouth. He returned the flask, patted Renfield’s shoulders and headed for the door.

When Renfield checked, his once full flask of whiskey was empty. One sip indeed. He marked down Alexander’s drinking habit on his mental note as something he should have a word with his boss later. Alcoholism was good to none, men and immortals alike.

It occurred to Alexander that he was not the least nervous. He persuaded them with his confidence and eloquence; he dominated them with his authoritative air. He had been royalty once: to exert his charisma and conquer a crowd was the least he could do to not sully his former name and bloodline, aside from having them impaled but that was out of the question. When looking upon their shared expression of awe, he could not help a little smirk: they were won, those who had laughed and gossiped about him earlier. Even the high-ranking members of the Order of the Dragon present were swayed. Though they hid their concern beneath artfully constructed disdain, he knew they understood that he was not a stereotypical American, that he might pose a real threat to their shadow empire.

And he also knew that he had not been hallucinated by his bloodlust either, for only a few moments after Alexander had begun his speech on the new, clean source of energy his entrepreneur company sought to introduce to the Great Britain, he caught sight of soft brown hair and amber eyes amongst the gathering crowd. His hair looked somewhat tousled as compared to his immaculate look before and there was a new blush on his smooth cheeks that added to his unnerving beauty. Did Alexander just think that the young man was beautiful? He did, and worse, he was distracted by it just enough for the audience to start questioning his silence before dear Renfield tapped him on the shoulders to remind him that he should resume his explanation. Oh right, back to the less distracting visages.

Perhaps in another universe Alexander Grayson would spot the lovely face of Mina Murray among the honored guests attending his party, and recognize her as the reincarnation of his deceased beloved wife Ilona. Then he would engage in a dangerous and sensual chasing game with her, which, much to a certain reporter’s dismay, ended with a Mina Murray in his bed and a very jealous and possibly murderous Jonathan Harker vowing to bring him back to his iron tomb. However, in this timeline and universe, while Mina Murray had sneaked to a corner to share a champagne with her best friend Lucy, Alexander’s eyes were entirely on the mysterious young man whom he was sure he had killed but now had shown up in his manor. On the bare skin of his neck that radiated a tantalizing scent, on the mischief light in his amber eyes and the contours of his lips that shifted when he smiled. The boy sure liked to smile as if he thought his smiles were his weapon as tears a woman’s. It might not be far from truth: Alexander could count the number of ladies hopelessly smitten and looked as though they could lay their life in front of him, and some males, too, though they were more surreptitious. He had never understood so well how the curves of one’s lips could “rewrite history” until now.

When all the candles were blown off for the demonstration to begin, their gazes locked for a millisecond, and Alexander felt as if he had accidentally touched the generator that was the source of the ‘miracle light’ with which he was about to astonish his guests. Eyes like these would be the death of him one day, the monarch of vampires was reminded of the crucial moment he had decided to sink his teeth into the young man’s veins. The bulb in each guest’s hand flared with light and surprised gasps filled the ball room but it seemed to Alexander at that moment there was no light brighter than the twin amber orbs and there was no sound louder than the quick intake of air from those carved rose lips.

“Can you see him now?” he whispered to Renfield once the demonstration was over and the ball room erupted in delightful applaud. The flute of champagne in his hand tilted to a particular direction. “The brown-haired one with the peculiar way of dressing?”

“The pretty one who has his throat bare, sir? Is he the one…”

“Yes. I want every information possible about him. Who he is. Where he lives. Why he is here…”

“… and possibly what he is, sir?” Alexander did not miss the similar interest in the man’s irises.

“Possibly what he is. I want to know everything.”

“As you wish, sir.”

Alexander Grayson barely listened to what the lady was speaking – his mind was busy searching for the color of fuchsia and black which had again disappeared from his sight. This lady had approached him, a voluptuous blonde woman in a teal dress that unabashedly showed half of her breasts, inviting the lustful gazes of many a man as she cut through the crowd like a well-honed blade. She congratulated him, of course, and went on talking something about an upcoming opera. He was not sure since his polite attention was only feigned. She reminded him too much of a lady in his court who had openly tried to seduce him even in the presence of his lawfully wedded wife, and for that Alexander found her womanly endowments tasteless at best. Her title and possible wealth, on the other hand…

“Oh, here you are. I have been searching for you. I want to congratulate you in person but it seems you are in company,” said a soft male voice which instantly alerted Alexander and the lady. Both looked to the right and met a pair of amber eyes. “The demonstration was very illuminating indeed.”

Alexander tensed for a millisecond, and he could hear the blood rushing in his veins in respond to the young man’s perfume. It was rose he was wearing tonight, a tad too womanly for Alexander’s normal preference. And there was the sweet scent of his blood lurking beneath. His instincts were provoked and it took all his will to restrain his own body from acting to its urges. His fists clenched and shook behind his back.

The young man glanced at Alexander’s arms briefly and did not hold his hand out for a handshake. “And what a ravishing company you are having Mr. Grayson. I find myself immensely envious.”

He was having his boyish smile as he held the lady’s hand and placed a light kiss on the gloved skin. “My name is Dorian Gray. A great pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lady…”

“Jayne Weatherby. The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Gray. You seem to be acquainted with our charming host before tonight.”

“I have had the pleasure to meet Mr. Grayson a couple of times. A ‘strained’ friendship is what I believe to be our case, am I right, Mr. Grayson?”

He winked at Alexander, whose body began to tense at each word. Were they to have vampiric senses, they could hear his knuckles cracking. “If you want to put it that way,” he said.

“Actually, Mr. Grayson and I had a date two evenings ago. Sadly he did not show up.” Feigning a pained expression, Dorian Gray put a hand above his chest. “Left me with a broken heart.”

Lady Weatherby was quick to console him by giving Alexander a chastising look. “Perhaps Mr. Grayson has not known but here in Britain we cherish our promises once made.”

Now Alexander could hear his fangs protruding and piercing his gums. His hands ached to wrap around Dorian Gray’s slender neck. And it was a real ache, not just an expression.

“I did understand that Mr. Grayson might have had a more important and urgent business than a casual tête-à-tête with me. I was hoping to have a few words with him after the demonstration. Did I interrupt your conversation? That was terribly rude of me.”

“No, you did not,” said Lady Weatherby. Her piercing, kohl-rimmed eyes glanced sharply between a tense-looking Alexander and an amiably handsome Dorian Gray. “I was hoping to invite Mr. Grayson to an opera three days from now but it seems opera is not really his cup of tea. He was rather… uninterested.”

“I beg to differ, my lady,” said Alexander. “But indeed I did not have many opportunities back in America – in New Orleans the theaters have actors imported from France but they are all pale imitations. The fastest way to kill off one’s passion. My years of traveling did not offer much chance either. Upon coming to London I have been thrilled with chances to indulge in my affection for arts.”

The lady’s coral lips curved in a smile. “All art lovers, aren’t we? I find it assuring that I am not the only one interested in opera here. Mr. Gray, would you care to join us on this occasion?”

Dorian Gray smiled. “Although I have been a devout lover of opera, I must say the current plays are becoming rather tedious and repetitive. Shakespeare, certainly, everyone loves Shakespeare, but watching Juliet embrace her beloved Romeo in her arms or Othello murder Desdemona out of blind jealousy the hundredth time hardly produces the same thrill and passion as the first. Still, none dare a change to these acclaimed classics: none would make Iago the hero or Romeo the bastard. It is tragic, but the novelty has already worn off long ago.”

Lady Weatherby shook her head in disbelief and clasped her hands. “My God, Mr. Gray, you could put all the directors and actors to tears with your words. I would not be surprised if you declared one day to become a theatrical critic. You are not already one, are you?”

Dorian Gray laughed with her. “A dreadful notion, my lady. As my late grandfather – God bless his soul – once said, ‘Those of talents write, and those envy only criticize.’ It was perhaps the only thing I could remember from him. A terrible grandson I am.”

“Wise words from a wise man. Alas, I did intend to invite you gentlemen to join me on Macbeth.”

“May I suggest an alternative, my lady, Mr. Grayson? I have fortunately discovered a theater at the East End, where the plays are all new and written differently from the classics. ‘Avant garde’ as they say.”

“Is that where a poor common girl was found grisly murdered only two days ago? My God!”

Lady Weatherby put a hand on her ample bosom and gasped quietly but like Dorian Gray, her fright was only acted. The gleam in her eyes betrayed her. Blood and violence seemed to turn her on, Alexander could catch it in her scent.

“There is no joy without risk, wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Grayson?”

His eyes directed at Alexander, a subtle challenge.

“If Lady Weatherby is pleased, who am I to decline such an offer?”

He too managed a small smile without allowing his incisors to be visible.

“I do hope Mr. Grayson will keep his promise this time,” said Lady Weatherby, winking at Alexander. Then she turned to Gray and graced him with a wide smile.

After having seen Lady Weatherby to her coach, Alexander strode to the garden, and was unsurprised to see Dorian Gray had not left yet. The young man beamed when he saw Alexander.

“Would you care for a walk, Mr. Gray?” said the vampire through gritted teeth. He was quite certain Dorian Gray, with his observant eyes, would not miss his palpable fury. “I’d like to have a few private words with you.”

“But of course, Mr. Grayson.”

Only a fool would accept such a shady invitation. Dorian Gray was not a fool, not in the least, which made his motives even vaguer to Alexander.

He had Dorian Gray up against the stone wall once they were remotely out of other guests’ eyes. His fingers closed around the young man’s neck like he had visualized earlier. His skin was warm and smooth under Alexander’s cool fingertips. One of his hands rested on Alexander’s forearm, gently drawing small circles on the fabric. To his surprise, Dorian Gray started giggling as though being pressed by another man (perhaps not man) to the hard stone wall was very amusing to him.

“Do you have any idea who I am, what I am?” His voice was a growl surging from the depth of his throat, more beast than human. He tightened his grip. Dorian Gray’s feet barely touched the ground. “Do you fancy your skin peeled off like a grape?”

It was difficult to be hung off the ground and laugh at the same time, but Dorian Gray still managed a smile. “Do you fancy a skinless corpse in your garden and the Scotland Yard questioning you day and night? I think I have a good idea of what you are, Mr. Alexander Grayson, as we were rather… intimate two nights ago.”

His fingers wrapped around the vampire’s wrist but he made no attempt to try lessening the pressure on his neck. “The question is, Mr. Grayson, do you have any idea who I am, what I am?”

The echo of his question further fanned the rage in Alexander.

“What are you playing, Dorian Gray?”

Their faces were close, and Dorian Gray’s perfume was stronger than ever. So was the scent of his blood.

“The same as you are,” whispered Gray, barely loud enough for him to hear. “Human.”

The last stressed word pulled the trigger and Alexander could not careless about a dry corpse or even ten in his garden. He could tear the body into pieces and discarded them over London if he had to. To hell with the Scotland Yard; all he wanted was blood – Dorian Gray’s peculiar blood that had him passed out for a day. He dipped his head in the nape of Dorian Gray’s neck and bit.

Dorian Gray’s blood was the same as he remembered, hot, thick and sickeningly sweet. It flowed into his bloodstream and quickly dissolved his rational thoughts, leaving his nature to surface and rule the rest of him. He knew Dorian Gray’s blood was sugared toxic, and he could not help sucking in that toxic until the last drop.

But there was no last drop. As before, the flow did not cease no matter how much he had taken – an endless river that soon had Alexander drowned. His consciousness was slipping fast, Dorian Gray’s moans became distant, and darkness put a veil over his eyes.

Before long, it was Dorian Gray who had to wrap an arm around the vampire’s shoulders, keeping him from falling to the ground.

“Now, now, where’s your table etiquette, Mr. Grayson?”

His tongue flicked against the corner of Alexander’s lips, cleaning away a few stray beads. His ministration elicited no response from the vampire.

Renfield looked at the two figures in front of him with badly concealed horror. His boss, Grayson, appeared unconscious and was supported by a brown-haired, amber-eyed young man who looked much paler than he remembered. On his shirt were a few dark stains, to Renfield’s dismay.

The young man smiled at him amiably. “You must be his assistant, Mr. Renfield I assume? Mr. Grayson has drunk quite a lot of champagne and the alcohol doesn’t seem to agree with his tolerance.”

Renfield was dumbfounded. What did the young man just say? His boss, Mr. Grayson, who could gulp down an entire barrel of whiskey would have gotten drunk on champagne? That would be the worst lie ever. He scrutinized the young man from head to toe with growing suspicion.

Not minding the odd way Renfield was looking at him, he gently transferred Grayson’s weight to Renfield’s awaiting arms. “It is quite late already. Please excuse me.”

“May I ask, who are you?” Renfield called after the young man, who had turned to leave.

“My name is Dorian Gray. Should Mr. Grayson ask, please tell him he still owes me a burgundy silk scarf and…” He glanced at the stains on his white shirt. “… a shirt. Goodnight, Mr. Renfield.”

His lean figure disappeared behind the iron gate.

Sighing, Renfield carefully walked his drunken boss inside the manor. Grayson smelled of rose, which was not his perfume tonight. He suspected it was from the mysterious young man. Dorian Gray. Renfield made himself remember the name.

When they passed the fountain, he barely managed to halt Grayson’s half-hearted attempt to reconcile with the water. He considered himself lucky that Grayson’s suit was unsullied. Grayson looked very handsome in it; it would be a real shame if he had to throw it into the fireplace.

And, he hoped against hope that Grayson would get sober enough for the scheduled interview tomorrow afternoon.

Dorian found Raziel waiting for him at the gate.

“You seem in a jolly mood, sir. Was it a good party?”

“It was great,” said Gray, taking off his coat and sitting down so Raziel could help him with his shoes and socks. “An illuminating experience. It would be great if we had that wireless light bulbs around our house.”

“As long as it makes you pleased, sir.”

“More than pleased, Razz, I am absolutely thrilled.”

“When was the last time I saw your buttons all done up?” Raziel arched a dark eyebrow at his master. “Is the air particularly chilling tonight?”

Grinning, Dorian unbuttoned his shirt with leisure hands, revealing two nasty bite marks. The blood had dried and caked around the wounds.

“I doubt that these stains could be washed away. A shame,” said the butler in a remorseful tone.

“He owes me a scarf and a shirt. Next time we meet, I’ll be sure to remind him.”

“The same one?”

Dorian nodded.

“Good thing he didn’t rip you apart like last time.”

“I consider it an improvement.” Dorian shrugged. “He only had me against the wall and bit me.”

“You met him on the street?”

“At the party.”

“A vampire attending a scientific demonstration ball? Now that’s innovative.”

“Even better, he was the host.”

Raziel stared silently at his young master for a good minute before his thin lips slowly curved into a smile, which was mirrored on Dorian’s face. “Congratulations, sir, there’s finally something that could pique your interest.”

Dorian could not agree more.

Cont

Could Dorian’s licking Alexander’s lips qualify as their first kiss?

[Fanfic] Like It Rough

Final2

Disclaimer : Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms : Dracula (2013), Penny Dreadful (2014)

Rating : M

Pairing : Dracula/Alexander Grayson x Dorian Gray

Genres : fanfiction, crossover, humor, probably a little OOC, modern AU, breaking the fourth wall

Characters : Dracula/Alexander Grayson, Dorian Gray

Warnings: brief reference to BDSM, blood play, knife play…

Summary: Dorian gets obsessed with a song Alexander really hates.

Dorian has been obsessed with a song recently.

It is not a problem because Dorian Gray is almost always obsessed with one thing or another. Such is the downfall of having three most desired by humans for granted: beauty, wealth and immortality. He needn’t strive for goals and as a result, he gets bored with his eternal life quite often. Sort of a chronic disease it is. Search always for new sensations, such is his motto: new things enchant him, thrill him for a while, until the novelty wears off and he quickly discards them to pursue others. The circle repeats; nothing lasts too long.

It is not a problem to Alexander Grayson either, the other immortal who shares the huge, modern mansion with Dorian Gray. Unlike Dorian, Alexander always has a goal to attain. To conquer Asian market, for one. To write his name in Forbes’ list, another. Sometimes, to have his own TV series where Dracula the vampire is the handsome and seductive hero surrounded by beauties while Jonathan Harker is the jealous villain, with none other than Alexander Grayson starring as the lead, of course. No more of the aged, ghastly pale Dracula with plastic fangs who dressed in ridiculous costume the media has so loved to portray: this is the Dracula of the new century, who possesses impeccable fashion style and the mind of a visionary and successful entrepreneur. The shame it was inexplicably cancelled after the first season, thus giving Alexander another challenge to conquer: to resurrect the series so that he can have more fun playing ‘Alexander Grayson’. To Dorian, it is just Alexander making things difficult for himself really: the easiest way is to buy off the channel and the production crew and have as many seasons as he could possibly want. Alexander sniggers. See the core of Dorian’s perpetual boredom now?

Back to the point. It does not matter to Alexander what damned song Dorian is obsessed with; what matters here is the former Romanian monarch just happens to hate that song as strongly as he loathed the Order of Dragon and all its associates. He feels as though he would murder the artist in broad daylight if he met him, or her or whatever. The vocal does not indicate the singer’s sex – another reason to hate it.

Actually this is not the first time Dorian has been obsessed with something Alexander hates. A few years ago it was Marilyn Manson that captivated him and Dorian listened to ‘her’ screaming (quite literally) day and nights, jarring Alexander’s patience and emotional well-being tremendously. The ugliest woman with the most hideous voice Alexander has had the unpleasure to know, thought the vampire, until Dorian corrected him, “That is a man. Marilyn Manson is the stage name.”

Oh well, the ugliest man with the most hideous voice Alexander has had the unpleasure to know. He could never fathom why a man would choose to be called by a woman’s name. Back in his old days, it was a crime to confuse the ruler like that. That Marilyn Manson should feel lucky that he was not born under Vlad Tepes’s reign.

Yet back then Dorian did not play it twenty-four-seven like today. Attention: ‘listened’, not ‘played’. There is a major difference between them. Back then Dorian only listened to those hellish songs on his iPod (even in time of bed, to Alexander’s annoyance), but now he has taken his obsession to a whole new level: he has bought a complete surround sound system so he can “wallow in its sensuality” (his words) whenever he wants, and that is just about every second he spends at home, which is just about every second Alexander spends at home. He feels invaded, and this enemy is far worse than the Turks. At least the Turks were afraid of him and his execution method. This is not.

It will eventually pass, Alexander assures himself. Dorian never really sticks to one thing for too long. One week at most, then he will grow tired of it like he did everything else (except Alexander and his bites), and he will get rid of it himself. Alexander just has to be patient and waits. Be patient. And wait.

One day.

Two days.

Three days.

… A week.

That damn song is still on, proud and loud, whenever Dorian is in the mansion. He has it on when they are having dinner and when he is taking a bath. He even has it on while he is watching Alexander’s TV series, playing as the background music in every scene while the original sound is muted. “You know, darling, this series of yours doesn’t have very provocative music,” says Dorian one evening. This is one of the night when he is in the mood to stay in and having a marathon of whatever TV series available while lounging on the enormous sofa like a huge, lazy cat in silk sleeping robe. “Perhaps you may consider this song as the main theme of the second season. With Dracula having both Mina and Lucy by his side, why not sexing it up a little? Pepper it with some rough sex and nudity. Perhaps an orgy. That Showtime’s series on Sunday does a good job showing it. That’s why they can keep their show going.”

While yours flopped, the implication is very clear.

Generally he adores Dorian but sometimes he just cannot help the urge to strangle him (did it once and unfortunately Dorian loved it). This is one of these times.

Other times are when Dorian has the song playing while they are making love, or fucking, depending on their mood.

“We can get a little crazy just for fun, just for fun…”

As if their sex which always involves blood is not crazy enough. Their bed sheet and pillow cases are a deep crimson while neither of them like the color is for a reason. There was that one time when they just moved into this mansion and had not have it properly furnitured: their newly hired maid freaked out when she came to gather the bed sheet to laundry only to discovered it stained with blotches of dry blood. Alexander had to hypnotize her to forget the whole incident before she called 911. Took some effort though. From then on color has always been their top priority when choosing things for their house. Even their floor carpet is a rare shade of red because Dorian sometimes likes it on the floor instead of the bed or sofa or the kitchen counter.

“Wanna wrestle with me baby

Here’s a sneak, little peek

You can dominate the game ‘cause I’m tough

I don’t play around that often

But when I do, I’m a freak

So you’d better believe

I like it rough…”

Oh, Alexander never doubts Dorian is a freak, a beautiful freak, who likes to fill their house with portraits of dead people he has collected from Devil-know-where. He himself is a freak too, at least when Dorian unleashes that part of him. And Dorian plays around more often than it is considered healthy. One time he bought home an exquisite knife set of various shapes and sizes, and coaxed Alexander into a sadistic/masochistic game that should never be played unless you were immortal and could heal yourself. He ended up spending half the night experimenting each and every knife on Dorian’s silky skin (did not regret it) and the other half licking the intoxicating blood from the runes he had successfully carved on his lover. The bed sheet was beyond help and had to be burnt away after that bloody night.

So, after a week of making love on that song, Alexander decides that he has had enough. One night he arrives home and walks straight into the living room. Standing in front of the stereo system, he contemplates it and then nonchalant puts a few lances through the thing (don’t ask where he got the lances). He smiles, feeling utterly satisfied as if impaling his enemies back in the old glorious days. He knows it is futile because Dorian will just buy a whole new system tomorrow but he does it anyway. One peaceful night is better than none.

Unfortunate for Alexander, he soon learns that the freaking song can still torture him even without the stereo system. It sounds only a tad lower though, as it is coming from Dorian’s Vaio.

Shit! Alexander facepalmed himself. How could he forget the laptop?

To top it, Dorian is singing along and he really cannot impale his lover to make him shut up.

Oh, can he?

“Push up into my body

Sink your teeth into my flesh…”

He pushes Dorian flat on the carpeted floor right in the first chorus. Hastily ripping his tie from his neck, he uses it to bind Dorian’s hands behind his back. Dorian’s pulses sing with excitement beneath his fingertips when he tears their designer’s clothes to shreds.

Once he thrusts into Dorian and bites into his thigh artery at the same time (no small thanks to his vampiric reflex), Dorian also stops singing. What come out of his Cupid’s bow lips are lengthy moans that sound a whole lot better than that trashy music. His fingers tangle in Alexander’s black hair, his long legs lock around Alexander’s waist, their heels digging into the small of Alexander’s back. Dorian rarely speaks during sex and this is his usual way of saying “faster”, “harder” and “don’t stop”. Alexander obliges him.

His thrusts unconsciously follow the rhythm of the song in the background.

“Give it till I beg, give me some more

Make me bleed, I like it rough

Like it rough, rough, rough…”

The aftermath of their lovemaking always looks positively similar to a homicide crime scene, with some broken furniture and spots of blood everywhere. Dorian lies naked on the floor, his face down and his limbs stretched. Alexander’s body, equally naked, molds into his. He is lapping at the few last drops on Dorian’s back. The song is still playing in the background, replayed the n time in the night.

“Make me bleed, I like it rough

Like it rough, rough, rough…”

Dorian has found his voice again. His singing is weak, breathless and blasphemously mixed with giggles.

“You are aware that this song provokes me, aren’t you?”

“Of course,” says Dorian confidently, “that’s why I’ve had it on for the last week. The result is quite… extraordinary.”

He tucks playfully at his binding and considers not allowing the bruise underneath to heal.

“You’re one sick bastard.”

It is not known whether because of Alexander’s words or his tongue tickling his sensitive skin that Dorian bursts into laughter.

“Next time you want to play rough, just say so,” Alexander sighs.

“But it’s much more fun seeing you angry, frustrated. Adds up the passion. Besides, I rather love that artwork you made in the living room. Vlad The Impaler indeed.”

“Throw it away tomorrow.”

“Make me.”

Dorian abruptly rolls on his side and before Alexander can protest further, there is slight snoring coming from him.

That is also Dorian’s usual way of saying “no more discussion”.

The following night Alexander comes home after a heated meeting with his board of directors only to find most of their furniture impaled in the same way as the unfortunate and short-lived stereo system and a beaming Dorian in the living room. “Got the lances from a props storage room. They sold them away after the movie’s utter failure. What do you think?” he asked in an innocent tone as if entirely oblivious to the dark, thunderous cloud hovering above Alexander’s head.

Plus, the damned song is playing loudly in the living room.

“Make me bleed, I like it rough

Like it rough, rough, rough…”

What does Alexander think? Alexander thinks murder.

End

Honestly I don’t know why I wrote this.

No offence to Marilyn Manson and Simon Curtis’s Flesh. I actually like the song a lot and sort play it whenever I have a chance, much to my brother’s annoyance. It fits Dorian and Dracula’s twisty romance.

Think of this story as a distant future to Why Won’t You Die?

[Fanfic] Why Won’t You Die? (2)

Disclaimer : Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms : Dracula (2013), Penny Dreadful (2014)

Rating : M

Pairing : Dracula/Alexander Grayson x Dorian Gray

Genres : fanfiction, crossover, humor, probably a little OOC

Characters : Dracula/Alexander Grayson, Dorian Gray, Renfield, original character

Warnings: gore

Summary : It was pretty simple: Dracula’s habitual feeding was seen by a mortal young man (a very handsome one but it was not the matter!), so in order to protect his secrets, naturally the monarch of vampires had to kill him. Then, for some mysterious reason, the same young man showed up at his demonstration ball, alive, well and would very much like to remind the vampire how he had mercilessly ‘broken’ his heart only nights before.

II. Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray had not expected it to be an extraordinary night.

His day started at sunset: he woke up from restless dream, bathed, dressed up, put on some eau de perfume – in the mood for jasmine – and ventured out London streets in another same old boring night. Dining at a random restaurant – French, Italian, India… did not matter – flirting with a random good-looking lady which might result in a quick fuck in the restroom or against the wall – again, did not matter – and forgetting her face entirely after the climax was reached. Same old boring routine. When the clock struck 9, he directed the chauffeur to a pub in a darker corner of the city. Ordering his usual drink, he sat back and studied the other patrons, the majority of whom dressed in much less fancy clothes than his, and ordered less expensive drink than the absinthe in his hand – not quite on par with his own at home but good enough to pass. Somehow watching them gulp down bottle after bottle of cheap swill, get drunk and squabble with one another, more often than not leading to a fight and blood being spilt, lent him a small joy that would be sufficient enough to keep him from banging his head against the wall in boredom. It would not leave any lasting damage on him anyway. He guessed it was the reason he still held some interest in this frowsty place, whose furniture was tasteless, decorations vulgar and the damp air reeked of cheap perfume, booze and occasionally a drunkard’s vomit while the alcohol tasted a little better than piss. Not that he had tasted piss though.

He was yawning the thirteenth time in this evening when out of the corner of his eyes, he saw a gentleman enter through the narrow door. Like him, the gentleman was dressed in fancy clothes: dark grey suit that was meticulously tailored to his form, a matching top hat and fingerless black gloves. He sported a neat moustache and goatee that added an air of masculinity and authority to his handsome sharp features. Too sharp that he appeared intimidating and cold rather than affectionate and lovely. He meant to be feared and in fear others found his charms undeniable, intoxicating; there was no other way around. His complexion was also a little too pale for Dorian’s taste, with tiny veins visible underneath marmoreal skin, but otherwise went perfectly with his raven coifed hair. Such stark contrast was rare, the world today dominated by golden hair and rosy cheeks. Something of a novelty. The man’s eyes were a pale blue and they scrutinized the place before opting for a table half a pub away from Dorian’s. Good. Dorian did not like getting caught in the middle of spying. The pretty waitress greeted him with a much warmer smile than she did other customers (except Dorian, of course) and attended to him with equal eagerness. A Whiskey, Dorian overheard the waitress mumble as she passed his table. A faint smile graced his lips as he watched the gentleman with newly kindled interest behind his glass of flaming green absinthe.

That might prove to be an extraordinary night after all, thought Dorian. The gentleman was discreetly touching the waitress’s forearm and winking at her, causing a rose to bloom on her cheeks despite all the powder she had put on. One who mastered the art of wooing. A man of his status and wealth, judging by his garments and the overly handsome tip he gave the waitress, could (and probably should) be at a luxurious fine dining place and have any woman he wanted, all prettier and of higher birth than a common girl at a common pub. What on Earth prompted him to set his foot in here? But again, the very same thing could be said about Dorian too, yet he still frequented this as a regular patron. He smiled to himself. It was silly of him to raise the question. From his own experience, he knew it was not uncommon for a powerful and affluent man to visit pubs and mingle with the common folks. Seeking a thrill to spice up his mundane aristocratic life: the nobles with their fancy clothes and fancy words bored him to death, and only at places like this could he abandon all his restraints of formalities and indulge in the carnal pleasures his class all scorned yet secretly dreamed of and rarely had the gall to practice.

He was surprised at himself, for even after he had gone through an analysis of the gentleman’s motives, he still had not lost the odd fascination with him. He wagered it was because of the man’s handsomeness. Beauty of all genders and shapes always hooked him and with a face like that, the man could have the personality of a broken chair and still had Dorian enchanted. He had already pondered the gentleman’s favored role in bed: would he be the one to conquer or would he prefer to be dominated, played with and thoroughly used instead? Would he fancy the fairer sex only or would he fight for both sides? Dorian sat back, savoring the building heat in his stomach as he undressed his target with his eyes. As if sensing the intensity of his gaze, the gentleman looked at Dorian’s corner. Smiling at him, Dorian raised his glass of absinthe in a silent toast. His gesture went unreturned.

He paid for his drink and sprang up to follow them as the waitress and the gentleman left the door. He inexplicably knew where they would head without even asking: a vile place to match the vile act they were about to commit.

Dorian’s ears picked soft groans as he crept closer, his footsteps soundless as a shadow cat’s in spite of the puddles left after the early evening rain. That his peeping habit could get him done one day or another, he remembered Raziel’s reprimand and smiled a small, sheepish smile as he peered out of the shadow at the couple intertwining their bodies in human’s most primitive dance. His heart beat a tattoo against his ribcage.

… He certainly did not expect to bear witness to a crime. A rather unusual crime it was, with the man bringing his mouth to his partner’s neck, puncturing the flesh with his incisors (strange!) and beginning to suck from the wounds. A thin string of red winded around the woman’s neck like an exotic necklace. She was enraptured at first, letting out audible moans while clinging herself onto the man’s lean form. Again, from his experience, he knew there were a number of men and women, nobles and common folks alike, who found this rather bestial treatment enjoyable, pleasurable even. There was no pleasure without pain; hence knife play, biting, scratching and all other bloody acts were not excluded from the arts of bed. The woman apparently enjoyed her partner biting her and feeding on her blood (was he?), until the man turned violent and started causing her unpleasant pain. She began clawing and kicking at him and her protest might have uncaged something in the gentleman (perhaps not so gentle anymore), something ugly and terrible, for the next thing Dorian witnessed with wide eyes was the man tearing off his victim’s neck, with nothing but his bare teeth, now elongated, sharpened and gleaming under the gas lamp. Like animal fangs, Dorian dared think. His eyes shining with unusual light, two will-o-the-wisp flames one sometimes caught in a graveyard, and they sent a chill down Dorian’s spine. The breath clotted in his throat and he did not doubt the virgin’s blush was coloring his cheeks. He was watching the scene with such attention that he forgot to blink. Or to breathe. Thrilled. The man had been admirably handsome in the pub, but at the moment he was absolutely breathtaking, with fresh blood smearing his lips and a dazed, wild look in his dilated shining irises as he stood leaning against the wall, chest heaving heavily with the afterglow of his kill. So ravishing was the bloodsucker that Dorian almost felt love. Love. He could not believe his mind had just uttered the word. Love was so mundane a concept and he had mostly left it to dusk away in a corner of his mind. No, love was an illusion, this was not; this was real. Perhaps not love then, but something that gave a similar first impression but was actually miles apart, a feeling much more intense and urgent, like wildfire in a parched forest. He had been fascinated with this man, no – this creature, in the pub; now he yearned for him with a need greater than anything he had ever wanted.

He certainly did not see it coming – a moment before the man had been lost in his own tempest of pleasure and in a blink of an eye, he was face-to-face with Dorian, his smooth fingers – too smooth to be normal – wrapping dangerously around Dorian’s neck. Perhaps were he another man, he would be utterly horrified and his fear would permeate through every orifice of his body. But he was not afraid really, surprised and caught off guard, yes but fearful, no. Instead, he was too eager to see what this creature intended to do with the sole witness of his gruesome murder. He stared back at those icy blue eyes with defiance, perhaps a challenge. He had not been so terribly excited for a long, long time that he felt as if he could go on his knees and weep.

A wet, warm tongue flicking against the skin of his neck, that was the first sensation, followed by the pricking of two needles into his flesh. Dorian grimaced slightly because of the tiny pain of penetration. The man had bitten him, that much he had expected; what was the use of those sharp teeth if not biting? Did he want to drain him too, as Dorian was pretty sure he had done the pretty girl earlier? Blessed, he thought, that he would encounter a creature in the flesh from those penny dreadful novels he sometimes purchased and read in idle afternoons when he did not have the crave of sleep. In those books these creatures – what were they called, ah, vampires – were always described as hideous-looking, having foul breath and dressing in filthy rags. Not once had they been described as gorgeous gentlemen in tailored suits drinking whiskey in pubs, charming waitresses and smelling of eau de perfume. Musk, he noticed, a bold, lascivious choice – the man was definitely armed to prey. How terribly inaccurate and dreadful human imagination could be. This was too amusing that Dorian would have thrown his head back and laughed out loud had the vampire not already begun sucking his blood. Then he simply stopped thinking. It hit him hard and unexpectedly: he was drifting in the rocking bosom of the quiet, gentle sea than all of sudden waves from the bottom deep surged forward and swallowed him up as if a titanic sea monster’s jaw. Lost he was, and ravaged in the whirlpool of pain and pleasure perfectly mingled. His knees became dough and the rest of him would have fallen to the ground had he not subconsciously clung onto the vampire’s body. If he were able to reason at the moment, he would willingly and gladly nail his soul on the devil’s altar once again so that this exquisite pleasure would become his from this night and all the nights to come.

Something interrupted his ongoing track to climax. Dorian would not describe it as ‘pain’ but a discomfort, a tightness in the chest from which he felt his heart struggling to get free. He looked down at his chest and saw a wrist disappear where his heart was. He stared at the vampire’s extraordinary face, accentuated by the demonic glow in his eyes. So maddeningly beautiful words simply could not do it justice. He wanted to kiss him, tasting his own blood on the vampire’s lips, provided his hand was not in the way. Troublesome, he frowned and vaguely began to get a grip of what had just been done to him. He glanced at the blood-soaked wrist in his chest and strangely enough, he found no pain whatsoever.

He felt the smooth fingers on the texture of his heart, felt the pressure they briefly applied on unyielding muscles. Unwilling to give in, wasn’t it? An odd ripping sound. Then he saw the crimson fingers closing around a blood-dripping fleshy lump. It was still beating in the vampire’s hand, he thought with some fascination before the emptiness in his breast conjured up the darkness on his eyelids.

Could he die this time, he wondered, before he closed his eyes and simply lost all his senses.

… Perhaps not.

He awoke with a revolting stench in his nose and a damp stickiness on his skin. Slowly he sat up and fragments of images were resurrected in his head. The crowded pub. The handsome gentleman and the pretty waitress. This filthy deserted alleyway. Bloodsucking. The unforgettable ecstasy (the clearest memory of all!). His heart. He looked down at the gaping hole in his chest from which he could see the wall behind and grimaced. On the ground his heart lied not so far away, among white little bits he suspected to be his ribs, stained with blood and mud. He did a double wince as he scooped his heart in his hand, examined it for a little while – had never seen and touched a real human heart before – before putting it in his pocket. Never mind the ribs; they were hopeless anyway. As he was done, he tipped his head back and broke into roaring laughter. Tonight he had crossed a new limit and broke a new personal record: not even gouging out his heart could kill him. He considered trying decapitation next time but decided against it: to put himself to the guillotine was a troublesome procedure which his lazy self would probably drop out before reaching halfway.

He found his burgundy silk scarf at his feet and frowned deeply. It was stained with blood and the filth that littered the ground and the smell was disgusting when he wrapped it tightly around the mess of skin and flesh on his neck. He glanced at the young girl’s corpse, killed by the same method, and let out a sigh, feeling the air wheezing through his open wound. It was a miracle that his larynx and windpipe had suffered only a few insignificant damages by the vampire’s bite; still, his voice would be affected; he hoped it was not so unpleasant on the ears like those veterans with throat damage he had met. Should he ever meet that vampire again (if he were lucky) he had to demand compensation. His throat could heal but this scarf had been one of Dorian’s favorites and now he could not wait to feed it to the flame.

The chauffeur regarded him with bleary eyes when he opened the door for Dorian. He was grateful that the darkness and the crude man’s sleepiness was enough to conceal the fact that he was having traces of blood on his face and a see-through hole in his chest, barely concealed by his coat. As for his rather untidy state, he was pleased that the man was trained and paid well enough to not raise a question.

Well, it had been an extraordinary night beyond his expectation, with only a little mishap that resulting in his having to pick up his heart from the ground and riding home with a fatal wound. Nevertheless, it had been most exquisite.

“Shall I prepare a bath for you, sir?”

Dear old Raziel, with his carefully groomed goatee and his immaculate butler suit, opened the door for him. Dorian did not miss the older man’s sloe eyes scrutinizing him from head to toe, mentally taking note of his stained face, his ruined clothes, his dirtied scarf and especially the conspicuous hole. Observant was a butler’s virtue, and Raziel had spent years perfecting it to the point he could even point out exactly how many strands of Dorian’s hair were out of place as compared to when he had left the manor.

“A bath would be terribly in need,” said Dorian as he allowed his butler to help him with his boots and coat – thanks God his voice was not too terrible. “But right now I do require your deft hands. Come to my chamber with me.”

“Anything you wish, sir.”

“Had a rough night, sir?” the stoic butler asked, gently wiping the bloodstains on Dorian’s face  and exposed neck with a silk cloth dipped in warm water. Bending his head, he studied the wound on his throat. “Huhm, dare I say your partner sure has very strong teeth.”

Dorian laughed, feeling the sound vibrating in his chest. “Yes, yes he does. And ‘rough’ is rather an understatement. Can you imagine what I encountered tonight, Razz?”

“Pardon my ignorance, sir.”

When he was done cleaning, Raziel began unbuttoned Dorian’s shirt, sliding it off his form. He stared at the hole for a good minute, examining the skin around with a doctor’s curiosity. If it were not for utmost respect for his young master, he would be very tempted to try putting his hand through the hole.

“Now now, don’t be shy, Razz,” Dorian cooed. “You can poke it if you like. I don’t mind.”

And he did, briefly, before he withdrew his hand. “A hand, about my size. Was it?”

Dorian nodded. “Your eyes are keen as usual. It was a vampire’s that did.”

Raziel took the cloth and wiped away the blood caked around the hole. “A vampire in London? How extraordinary.” There was little surprise in his flat tone. Well, for a butler whose master could survive having his heart outside his body, there were few things that were able to truly astonish him. “How was our Mr. Vampire like? Ghastly pale, dressed in filthy rags and having foul breath I suppose?”

Dorian laughed. “Dear Razz, no, we were both fooled by those penny dreadful novels. Lack of sunlight, yes but other things, no. How to describe him? Well, you can imagine a gentleman in tailored suit, who sported a top hat and a silver walking cane, who walked into pubs and charmed pretty little waitresses effortlessly with his generous tip and neat handsome look.”

“That certainly wasn’t something I expect from a creature of the night: a vampire who drinks alcohol?”

The blood was persistent and Raziel had to wash the cloth a few times before he could wash it clean. The water in the basin had turned a roseate shade.

“Whiskey,” replied Dorian. “And apparently that is not the only fluid on his menu. He took the waitress to a dark alleyway and drank her there. I watched them – please do not lecture me how that habit of mine is inappropriate, I know it is.” He held up a forefinger before continuing, “He spotted me, drank me and…” He shrugged. “… you can guess the rest.”

“Actually, no, sir. Drank you, that is a sensible thing to do to a witness. Not to waste valuable nourishment, of course. I just cannot fathom his reason for… this wanton display of sadism; it was uncalled for. Did he do the same to his first victim?”

“He drank her every drop and that was it,” Dorian answered, shaking his head lightly. “Perhaps he realized he could not kill me by draining me and had to opt for an… extreme method.”

“And how is your blood at the moment, sir?”

“Refilling, I suppose. I don’t feel very much like a dry corpse like I did an hour ago.”

“That’s very assuring, sir. Here you are.”

With much care, Raziel took the heart, now cleaned of the dirt, from the platter. “You have my heart on a silver platter?” asked Dorian. The butler could not help a small smile. “Yes, I do, sir.” Gingerly he held the heart in his hand and put it in Dorian’s chest. Holding his young master’s hand, he guided it to the hole and pressed it down. “Keep your hand like this, sir, until your wound heals.”

“Thank you Razz. You’ve been extremely helpful.”

“Your bath is prepared, sir. I took the liberty to scent it with your usual, lavender. I hope you don’t mind.”

“It would be lovely, thank you.”

The fastidious butler bowed deeply and turned to the door. “One more thing, sir, you’ve got an invitation.”

“To?”

“A scientific demonstration ball, it seems, sir,” answered Raziel. “From an American entrepreneur by the name Alexander Grayson.”

“A scientific demonstration by a man I’ve never heard before? Doesn’t seem like my usual cup of tea.”

“Shall I decline, sir?”

Dorian let out a small laugh. “You know me better, Razz. I never say ‘no’. What is the harm in attending one ball or two?”

“Understood, sir. I shall make the preparation.”

The butler said and disappeared behind the door.

With his right hand pressed against his chest, Dorian stood up, half-naked, and walked to his enormous bookshelf. He found the silver cobra figurine erected on the fourth shelf and twisted it clock-wise. The heavy bookshelf gave off a low rumble and revolved, slowly revealing a secret passage. With his other hand, he grabbed the silver candlestick Raziel had left and descended the dark, low stair. Behind his back, the bookshelf reverted to its normal position.

Dorian glanced at the various reflections of himself along the hall of mirror. To him, each reflection presented a distinguished face, a distinguished expression which was similar to one another in the way they were all watching him and judging him with every step he made closer to his destination. What have you done this time, Dorian? Have you reached another level of decadence yet? Can’t wait to see the results? He almost heard them whisper and snigger among themselves. Having no hand to cover his ears, Dorian paid them no mind and kept walking. He reached the end at last – an oval room where a huge canvas stood alone, entirely covered by deep scarlet velvet. When he uncovered it, he saw particles of dust fluttering in the dim candlelight. A pair of amber-colored eyes stared straight his own. Unnerved, even frightened, every time was the same. He forced himself to stare back because that was what needed to heal himself: if he did not, he might just go back and find a needle and thread to sew himself up. Maybe not. Raziel always had better hands than his so he would be less likely to make a mess. But it would not happen because this was still within Dorian’s endurance scope. “Hideous creature,” muttered Dorian as he studied every line on the withered face, every blister, every scar on wrinkled gray skin. He felt his heart start beating again, slowly and unsteadily at first, but gradually acquired its natural rhythm as each second passed. Even without a mirror, he could tell the torn muscles on his chest closed up as if being rapidly mended by an invisible hand. He fingered the skin and found it smooth, seamless, perfect.

He draped the velvet cover over the portrait and turned to leave. His ears picked up a sigh and a whisper went straight to his head like a needle. “Won’t you stay a little longer with me, dearest child?”

He ignored the petty voice and spun on his heel.

Cont

[Fanfic] Why Won’t You Die? (1)

Disclaimer : Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms : Dracula (2013), Penny Dreadful (2014)

Rating : M

Pairing : Dracula/Alexander Grayson x Dorian Gray

Genres : fanfiction, crossover, humor, probably a little OOC

Characters : Dracula/Alexander Grayson, Dorian Gray, Renfield, original character

Warnings: gore

Summary : It was pretty simple: Dracula’s habitual feeding was seen by a mortal young man (a very handsome one but it was not the matter!), so in order to protect his secrets, naturally the monarch of vampires had to kill him. Then, for some mysterious reason, the same young man showed up at his demonstration ball, alive, well and would very much like to remind the vampire how he had mercilessly ‘broken’ his heart only nights before.

I. Alexander Grayson

Renfield could not help a troubled frown when he saw his employer, Mr. Alexander Grayson, with his face wet and his hair a dripping mess, stagger (yes, stagger) into Carfax Manor and flop down rather ungracefully on one of the sofas in the living room. As soon as he laid his back down, he immediately closed his eyes, not even bothering to change into proper nightwear or taking off his shoes and socks. Judging by the way he had carried himself into the room and the telltale blush on his usually pale cheeks, Renfield was quite certain that his employer was fairly positively drunk as a skunk (which happened to be Grayson’s most hated animal in the world – just never remind him of that little accident back in America if you still value your veins). He would come to such conclusion provided he did not know any better; except he did, and he did know his boss was only human in appearance. Alexander Grayson was, to most humans’ dismay, a bloodsucker, and bloodsuckers, by and large, did not get drunk.

Or did they?

Neither did they snore, Renfield mentally sighed. For all the years he had been in his boss’s service, he had not once heard Grayson snore; his sleeps, though brief and sporadic, were quiet as death. Once upon a time he had mistaken Grayson’s death sleep to be real death and put his new boss, not without excessive amount of man-tear, into a coffin. He was already half-done with the funeral’s preparations when a furious Alexander Grayson leapt from the coffin and scared the shit out of him. Never put me in a coffin again, his boss had roared and until today, the words still echoed in the former law student’s mind.

As he scooped up his boss’s smaller body, Renfield got a better inspection of Grayson’s clothes, and grimaced. He had chosen an elegant dark grey suit for the night (why such fancy clothes for a hunt Renfield could never fathom) and now the outfit was ruined beyond help. His coat and white shirt were stained with maroon-colored blotches he did not doubt to be somebody’s, or a few somebodies’, blood. He could not help wondering if Grayson’s crapulence had anything to do with the ruin of his clothes. His boss was a rather messy eater – their years of living together had proven – but just not this messy; as matter of fact, he was secretly quite vain – please do not tell him that Renfield had accidentally caught him combing his hair and fixing his tie to perfection in front of the bathroom mirror for an amount of time other men would deem inappropriate. Had his victims put up a lot of fight or had Grayson decided to let himself go for a night? Anyway, he considered giving Grayson a change of clothes and disposed the coat and shirt, lest the maid was scared to an untimely death. Either two articles of clothes or a maid had to go, and Renfield would rather the former. He found Ella’s apple crumb cakes quite agreeable to his taste buds. Never mind the sugar though.

Once he had helped Grayson dry his hair, wash his face and change into comfortable nightclothes, he gently placed his boss, who remained quite dead as a log throughout the whole time, on his bed and thoroughly wrapped him in all the thick blankets available. Before leaving Grayson to his bloody sweet dream, he checked the window curtains again to make sure no sunlight was allowed in the chamber. He was very fond of his boss and undoubtedly, a healthy, alive and generous Alexander Grayson who paid well was far better than a crisply barbecued one, courtesy of the glorious sun.

Passing the fireplace, Renfield threw Grayson’s soiled clothes into the flame and retired to his own room. He was much eager to hear his boss’s story of this… curious condition the next morning.

Alexander Grayson woke up with an excruciating pain vibrating in his skull that he had not experienced for so many decades that he mostly forgot how horrendous a migraine could be. One thing that he learnt today was migraines forgave none, men or bloodsuckers alike.

In addition, his throat was scorched and he felt a thirst painfully. No, not the searing thirst that demanded hot blood, this was the kind of nagging thirst that yearned for a shot of iced whiskey. He licked his parched lips. Maybe several shots. Speaking of whiskey, he did vaguely remember having an exquisite taste of alcohol last night, just not from the usual glass and bottle. It was strong, too strong – perhaps the strongest he had ever had the privilege to taste in years – that it had made his head reel and his mind muddled. But, was it truly alcohol that he had filled his mouth with? Hell, his memory of the whole event and how he had successfully dragged his body home in such inebriated condition (and by successfully he meant without having either lost his way or attracted unwanted attention) was very much similar to the damnable smog that blanketed over London.

Aside from headache and thirst, he had a slight suffocation too, courtesy of the mountain of blankets undoubtedly dear Renfield had wrapped him in. He very much appreciated the man’s consideration and thoughtfulness, but perhaps Renfield had forgotten that it was in the middle of summer and if oxygen deprivation could not kill a bloodsucker, the unbearable heat surely could. Had the man really had to wrap him so tightly that he could barely move his limbs?

By the time Alexander had been able to dug himself out of his fabric cocoon (without calling for help or destroying his bed, thank you) and descended the stairs, his trusted right-hand man was sitting comfortably on a sofa and treating himself to the afternoon tea and apple crumb cake he so favored. In just his bed robe and slippers, he slipped noiselessly into the opposite seat, which was strategically placed in the shadows. He instantly grabbed the bottle of whiskey and poured himself a glass.

A perk of being a vampire was that he could drain the entire bottle if he wished to without having to worry about the alcohol’s effect on his empty stomach.

“Good afternoon, sir,” Renfield greeted, putting down his newspaper.

He nodded in acknowledgement and drained the glass in one gulp. The cool burning liquid sort of soothed his sorely dry throat.

“I’m afraid you have missed the appointment with Doctor Helsing. He came to check this morning.”

Alexander snorted, “If he’s made any progress in creating the serum then I’m interested in calling him back…”

“He hasn’t, it appears, sir.”

“… then never mind him. He probably just wanted to stick his needle in me for his own pleasure,” he muttered under his breath.

Having finished his first glass Alexander reached out for another, apparently missing the odd look written all over Renfield’s face. Someone just did not realize how much innuendo he had managed to throw in one single statement.

Oh well, never mind.

“How are you feeling, sir?”

“My head hurts terribly and my throat feels dreadfully parched. Not to mention lethargy is spreading through every marrow of my bones.”

“You sound a lot like you’re suffering from a hangover, sir,” Renfield remarked, taking a sip of his steaming tea. “Suppose bloodsuckers could get drunk.”

“I had only a small glass of whiskey last night for pretence’s sake. Though I admit it does feel like a hangover, which I haven’t had for two hundred years.”

“What did you drink last night, sir, aside from the whiskey, to make you stagger back home like a stone-drunk man?”

Alexander stroked his chin and his handsome sharp face sported a pensive look. Renfield took the time to savor a bite of the apple crumb cake on his plate. Heavenly, the taste, and he sighed with satisfaction.

“Human blood,” Alexander spoke at last. Or so he thought.

Only now did his mind begin to collect the scattered bits of last night’s events.

For a man of his look and wealth, finding a quality prey was easy enough. A common pub was his favorite hunting ground: there were simply too many mortals in and out every minute that hardly anyone would notice when one or two went missing. A discrete touch on the forearm, a knowing wink and generous tip for just a small glass of whiskey were enough a bait. Hardly any real effort was spent before he had the pretty waitress, soft and pliant, in his arms and pressed against the wall in some filthy, deserted alleyway. Her breath came in short pants and she shivered with what he took to be pleasure when his ungloved, cool fingertip gently traced the blue veins in her neck, feeling her excited pulses. Exactly the kind of foreplay she had expected from a noble-looking gentleman. She sighed lengthily, tickling his cheek with her warm, human breath before he sank his fangs into her flesh. He drank greedily not only to quench his unholy thirst but also to satisfy his unyielding lust to kill, to destroy a life at its apex of youth. Her soft body tensed instantly in reaction to sudden assault of pain and her pleasure-induced shiver transformed to tremor as she was prompted to come to her senses. She clawed and kicked at him, but her resistance only further provoked his thirst for conquest and domination and thus, his fangs tore apart her swan’s neck. Crimson colored her neck, her head fell back, her eyes rolled in her head, and her fight ceased almost immediately as if a cigarette stubbed in the ash tray. He sucked in the last few drops and let go off her, allowing her lifeless body to drop unceremoniously on the damp, dirty ground. Just like that, another life ended. He did not bother to look at his handiwork, having little to no respect for the essence he had stolen for himself. He leaned against the wall, his chest heaving heavily like an athlete who had just finished a marathon. His senses flared with the young woman’s vitality; sounds and scents swam in, giving him an illusion that he was spread in every nook and cranny of this damnable city, hearing and smelling everything at the same time. It was pleasure and torment going hand in hand, for though he was basked in ecstasy, he was exposed to all the hellish noises and disgusting odors London could offer in abundance. The sting of smog was unbearable, the churning of machines in factories torturous and the revolting stench from the open trench only a few feet from where he stood almost made him throw up blood. In an ideal world he would have his prey in a nice, clean place, scented with fresh flowers and perfume, and open for all the mortals to witness instead of lurking in a trash-filled alleyway and having a quickie every time the thirst hit him.

The swoon subsided at last and he was too pleased to leave this place and returned to his nice, cozy lair. Something caught his senses and he stopped in his track, smelling, listening. His eyes went bright as a cat’s when he caught the scent of jasmine in the wind and the drums of a living heart. Close, so close. He felt anger boiling in him at the thought of a mortal catching him in his most open moment. He spun on his heels, cutting the distance between him and the voyeur in mere flash. His vice-like fingers closed around a slender neck.

A pair of amber-colored eyes stared at him, surprised but undaunted. A young mortal. A boy merely out of adolescence. The scent was coming from him so strong that Alexander could feel his every fiber react to it. Like a wordless invitation. To what? To indulgence. Decadence. Seduction. What? Seduce him, could this boy? His mind, perhaps not but his body was definitely leaning towards the blue veins beneath tender skin, pulsating with life and youth, life and youth that he would soon rob, leaving but a dry corpse soiled by the shit and piss under his boots.

The boy kept staring at him with that defiance shining brightly in his eyes. Fearless and mildly amused. Intrigued. Thrilled. Eager. What else could he decipher from that seemingly simple look? Smugness. Challenge. Temptation. The Cupid’s bow of lips parted and curved ever slightly. What are you waiting for? The stranger who has me in your hands.

Alexander did not like the boy’s look one bit. No one had ever looked at him in that way. The peasants held their heads low and their eyes lower, not daring to look past his knees; the enemies glared at him, cursing him to go burn in the Seven Hells as he impaled them, and the Order of the Dragon’s knights looked at him with contempt and a fear carefully subdued and hidden far beneath a haughty facade, he who was an abomination crafted by their devious hands. But never had a person challenged him and enticed him at the same time with only a look. And his body, despite his will, was answering the silent beckon in those beautiful amber irises. Eyes like these would be the death of him some day. How ugly a déjà vu. A warning. He bared his pointed incisors and watched the boy’s eyes widen. Not if he killed the boy right here, right now. He bit down hard, and filled his mouth with the boy’s blood.

His own eyes widened after the first taste. It was bizarre, unlike any he had drunk before, and he had drunk countless mortals. Were he not taking it right from the veins, he would seriously doubt this warm and thick liquid was even blood. It had none of the salt and copper taste like the mortals’ he had fed; it was sweet – the nauseous sweetness of overripe grapes that started turning to wine. Too sweet that his tongue and throat burnt. The flavor of decadence, if decadence could be tasted. His mind protested against taking any other drop into his system. Noxious, it screamed, but his body refused to obey and directed his teeth to sink deeper into the soft flesh, drawing more of the poisonous nectar. The voice of his reason was feeble and thus held no match against his overwhelming instinct. He knew even before the match began that his rationality never had a chance against his lust, especially when such exquisite blood was fueling it so.

The body in his arms was pliable even when the pain his fangs induced began to trample pleasure. He heard a moan floating somewhere in his muddled mind and felt the weight in his embrace sank, and then an arm draping on his hard shoulders. As amorous as a pair of lovers, he briefly thought, provided that one of them was not trying to drain the other’s life. The scent of jasmine grew sharper, almost unbearable, as did the thumping of the boy’s heart. Like its master, it showed no fear and its unusually steady rhythm panicked him. His instinct told him something was not right – this boy was not right – and he had better finish him off before… before what he did not know yet. He drank deeper in long, harsh gulps that would soon make the heart succumb to the silence of death, his teeth ripping off chunks of flesh. A moan again, loud enough for him to not think it a mere imagination. But that was all he got: the blood did not cease flowing and the heart did not falter; it was as though he was drinking from a river, with its endless waves and ripples caused by winds. He felt sick with all the sweet blood he had taken, his head swirling and drowning in a whirlpool of fading pleasure and fast-building anxiety.

In one swift movement Alexander’s arm impaled the boy, bursting out of his body through his back. His victim stared at him with huge eyes; they were shining, the dim, tainted light from the lamppost failing to dull the amber-colored flame that seemed to sear through his soul. His hand in the young mortal’s chest moved, finding the heart and fondling it. The Cupid’s bow of lips bled; a string of ruby beads damped his shirt cuff. He could feel its warmth on the surface of his skin. The heart in his palm throbbed.

Alexander withdrew his arm from the chest, taking the heart in his hand, and bathed himself in a splash of blood. Normally he would avoid such a barbaric and completely superfluous ritual – it could draw unwanted attention from the mortals with his blood-soaked clothes, but with this particular mortal, he felt the need to do so, perhaps as a guarantee since he had been driven to panic with his ceaseless blood flow. Without his support, the young mortal sank to the ground and collapsed. He licked a few drops from the heart before discarding it on the lifeless body. At last its deafening thumps had vanished.

It took all his mental strength to not drop down next to the body and closed his eyes until eternity. His head retained just enough rationality to dictate his body to his manor’s directions but his mind was not sober enough to get rid of his bloody garment lest some nocturnal souls spotted him and grew suspicious. In that wretched trance-like state he walked back home…

The next thing he knew was the suffocating heat of the blanket cocoon and a head-splitting migraine…

“So, you fed, you were seen, you drank the man’s blood…”

“… gouged out his heart,” Alexander added, massaging his temples with his fingers.

“… and returned with a massive inebriation.”

Despite all the rich and illustrious descriptions Alexander had given, this was Renfield’s brief summary.

“Basically, yes.”

“What about your wet face and hair?” Renfield arched an eyebrow quizzically, which was mirrored in Alexander’s expression. “When you came in through the door, your face and hair were dripping with water,” he explained.

“I… must have had dipped my head in the fountain at the front. I can’t remember why.”

With great sympathy, Renfield just nodded his head and decided to push the matter of Grayson’s embarrassing state aside and focused on more practical matters. There were a lot of things a besotted man could do which he would be mortified when sober, didn’t Renfield know it?

“This young man’s blood intoxicated you. Has this ever happened before?”

Alexander shook his head. His glass was empty so he reached out for the whiskey bottle. “Never before have I encountered such a bizarre taste. It didn’t taste like animal blood either.”

“You’ve had animal blood? You can digest it?”

“Rodents and bats in time of desperation, but it aggravates my strength. Imagine eating nothing but stale bread for a week.”

“Should we call and inform Doctor Van Helsing?”

Alexander’s eyebrows knitted. He was silent and immobile for a while, his newly refilled glass in his hand seemingly forgotten. “No,” he said in grim tone, “as a matter of fact, I would like to keep this a clandestine business from him.”

His employer had little trust for the doctor, Renfield understood, for he did share the same doubt and distrust toward Van Helsing. Based on mutual vengeance, their alliance was shaky at best.

“As you wish, sir.”

His hand reached for the newspaper on the tea table and unfolded it to a particular page. “By the way, sir, you did say you fed on two: a young woman and a young man…”

Alexander nodded.

“Then it’s quite strange, because today’s newspaper reported only one death.” He showed the page to his employer, who immediately looked at the article. A deep crease began etching between his dark eyebrows. Were he human, Renfield would advocate against this habit of his employer since this seemingly harmless crease came easily but was difficult to be persuaded away and he would regret it by the time he had reach forty.

“He dressed fancifully and wore perfume, which suggested a man of wealth and status,” Alexander said. “A gruesome murder of such a man would cause a ruckus, unless…”

“The Order of the Dragon,” Renfield finished for him.

“The Order of the Dragon,” he echoed. A dark look crossed his face. “Probably a brother’s son. I imagine they would try to cover his death, especially when there are signs it involved supernatural force.”

“And your next move, sir?”

“We wait, Renfield. The death should alert them, and prompt them to action. Thus we wait. In the mean time…”

Alexander suddenly reclined on the sofa, one hand clutching his head and, Renfield dared a thought, making a crow’s nest of his usually coifed raven hair. “Can something be done about this monstrous migraine? It’s driving me insane.”

A neat hole was punched through the sofa, courtesy of Alexander’s fist and inhuman strength. Renfield blinked a few times, feeling both amused and sympathetic for his boss. That was one reason why he never allowed himself to get horribly drunk. Grayson was not the least exaggerating; this could indeed drive a man insane, or an immortal, and anyone unfortunate enough to be around him. “I suggest a hot bath may soothe it, sir,” said Renfield, “and a prairie oyster.”

A puzzled look spread across Alexander’s face.

“A common treatment for hangover, sir. You can have human foods and drinks so I assume it may work.” He pointed to the flask of whiskey that was almost empty. “And no more drinking of that.”

Alexander responded with a half-groan, half-growl before he sluggishly tore himself from the sofa and ascended the stairs. “Tell Ella to bring me the…”. His hands hovered in the air.

“The prairie oyster, sir.”

“Whatever it is, bring it to my room.”

Looking at his boss, Renfield decided that he should try to find some morphine should the hot bath and the drink proved to be useless, provided that morphine worked for bloodsuckers.

But first, he had to make a call to the furniture shop.

Cont

Reeve Carney Appreciation Post

Tình hình lạ bạn trẻ Joel vẫn đang hì hụi với những fic đang viết (đang thử cảm giác viết 3-4 fic cùng lúc là thế nào *mặt yaoming*) và để blog không bám bụi, bạn sẽ post hình vì-post-hình-rất-nhanh-và-câu-view+like-rất-tốt (bạn trẻ Joel đang trong tình trạng không ổn định về tâm sinh lý, mọi người thông cảm).

Và đây, Reeve Carney, obsession mới nhất của bạn trẻ Joel. Anh ấy là ai? Là “bạn trai khốn nạn” của Taylor Swift (I Knew You Were Trouble), là Spiderman/Peter Parker đu dây trên sân khấu Broadway (Spiderman – Turn off the Dark) và gần đây nhất là Dorian-fucking-textbook-definition-of-promicuous-Gray (Penny Dreadful – bạn Joel đang quảng cáo không công cho series này).

Reeve-Carney-of-Carney-675x450

a166568fjw1ehxpd175h8j20bo0b4q41

IMG_0750

a166568fjw1ehxpd1zr6kj20dc0h5jt3

f6379

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender (1)

FullSizeRender (2)

IMG_0708

IMG_0715

IMG_0758

IMG_0725

IMG_0720

IMG_0729

FullSizeRender (6)

FullSizeRender (7)

FullSizeRender (4)

IMG_0748

IMG_0752

IMG_0766

IMG_0760

theater-spider-manjpg-be4a05337e06a98d-620x400

Penny Dreadful Stills and Screencaps
37373-penny-dreadful-penny-dreadfulDori1Dori2My-name-is-Dorian-Gray.Dori3Dori5Dori4penny-dreadful-gray-croft30692b4134f94b334e38d471467180e76430dca7-2a61-4dac-b6df-2d28c76c12a4_zpsiqwablrcDori5-1Dori5-2

maxresdefaultDori6Dori7Dori8Dori9Dori10Dori11Dori12Dori13Dori14Dori16Dori17Dori19

Dori18ADorian_01 IMG_0698 IMG_0699 IMG_0700 IMG_0701 IMG_0743

[Fanart] Penny Dreadful

All credits go to the artists who have created such beautiful artwork

chiseko1000YEAH

Have some Caliban (The Creature) x Victor Frankenstein

45783650_p0
44176318
44447566
And some Happy Family ( Proteus, Caliban & Victor)

44038992
The look on Victor’s face when being sandwiched by his big ‘sons’
44039191
And last but never, ever least, the intoxicating Mr. Gray

44039536

HystericalHeretic

9748fb5ajw1eopqc7pnbnj20sd0irdip
9748fb5ajw1eopqdnuvqxj20sb0l876m

meatsheep

d30d9a54gw1ehdqj4hq53j20m80m8why

[Fanfic] Doppelgänger

Disclaimer : Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms : Queen of the Damned (2001), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Rating : T

Pairing : Mina Harker x Dorian Gray

Genres : Fanfiction, crossover

Characters : Mina Harker, Lestat de Lioncourt, Dorian Gray

Warnings: none

Summary : She had put an end to him, Dorian Gray, that she was certain. Then, would anyone kindly explain to her why she was seeing him again, in modern day, a hundred years later? A rock star on a billboard outside one of the many skyscrapers in San Francisco, no less.

Mina Harker was determined to find out.

For more than a hundred years, she had been certain that she had put a full stop to the dragging paragraph of his dark soul… Or strictly speaking, she had lent it a hand. Nailing him to the wall like a pinned butterfly, tearing off the silk fabric that covered his portrait from sight, and letting his own demon do the deed. She had watched his youthful flesh and skin turn to ash and melt off his skeleton, and his body that she had just held in her embrace crumple at her feet. “Farewell, lover,” she had whispered, placing her cold lips on the small heap of ash that had once been the forever young and beautiful Dorian Gray. “You avoided death long enough.”

Never in her wildest dream had Mina Harker imagined that she would see her former lover again, and in such manner.

She was seeing him on a huge billboard hanging outside the tallest building in the heart of San Francisco. Sleek black leather, bare chest and artfully tousled hair did bring a fresh charm to him as opposed to his previous gentlemanly look, though she had never imagined him in anything other than velvet and lace. His immaculate suit and silver walking stick. The hopelessly vain Mister Gray.

The letters caught her eyes and she allowed a smile to creep up her face. Her tongue flicked over her pointed incisors. The Vampire Lestat. Intriguing. This ‘Dorian Gray’, or whatever name he picked to go by in this age, had chosen to submerge himself in the popular culture. Ah, rock music. Mina rarely listened to rock, finding it too loud and outrageous for her taste as compared to classical music – she considered herself to be old-fashion: who else could be wearing too many layers of clothes in this day but a certain Victorian lady? However, she got in enough contact with modern age and its various colorful aspects to know that a number of mortals worshipped rock with a fervent zeal not unlike a true religion. She found herself smiling again. Dorian had always loved attention; it would be unwise of him to not establish himself as a god of these youngsters, who would gladly kneel at his feet for even the faintest curve of his perfectly shaped lips. His lips. How Mina had missed them even more often than their owner.

But, why a vampire of all things? Surely Mina also knew that rock and vampirism had a long, enduring love affair. She once read from a novel that the sensuality and euphoria of rock was very muck akin to a vampire’s feeding on blood. She had dismissed it as a writer’s artistic flair, who was not a vampire to taste blood. And if she could someday have an interview with one of those writers, perhaps in a dimly lit room with a window open to the bustling San Francisco streets, she would tell them the experience was neither always the same nor ecstatic; quenching the thirst was one thing; the ecstasy only came with the ‘right’ blood, at least in her case. Nevertheless, from the tiny TV screen in her apartment she learned that not all famous rock stars had to associate themselves with these bloody creatures of the night. And for all her history with Dorian, she didn’t remember him being obsessed with anything other than himself, certainly not vampirism. What thought had crossed his twisted mind when he presented himself as a pale-looking blood drinker clad in provocative sleek leather? Had he also found out that she still existed in this world and meant to provoke her? Intriguing. Definitely intriguing. Her smile widened into a grin, her fangs gleaming. A pair of passers-by scrutinized her with curious eyes. She winked at them, loving the blushes on their tender cheeks, and waltzed into the dark.

She grabbed a young man with dark brown hair and slender build on her way back, imagining it was Dorian Gray she was holding in her lethal embrace before sinking her teeth deep into the prominent vein on his neck. Loved the struggle he put till the very end. She had never been more satiated for a long, long time.

***

For the first time in her century-long existence, Mina was standing in queue. Since she hadn’t stood in line for all these years, she was devastatingly baffled at the length of this queue. Nevertheless, she resigned with soft, inaudible sigh and took her place at the end. More humans filled the space after her.

The line was moving with a dreadful pace.

In truth, Mina could have hypnotized the mortals here; she didn’t even have to pay either. However, she chose to go the mortal way, standing in line and waiting patiently for her turn. Dracula would not approve her abusing his immense powers just for something as mundane as buying a ticket for a rock concert.

You read just right. A rock concert.

She was buying a ticket for a concert that was to take place in a week’s time. The Vampire Lestat was the band’s name and it was all the rage these days that hardly did she not see either the posters hanging on the shops’ door or the TV playing their music videos anywhere she went. The youths seemed crazy about them, especially about their lead singer, who addressed himself as the Vampire Lestat. Even now in this stadium she could hear them talking relentlessly about him with a passion as strong and real as love. Still, that was not her reason for being here, enduring the tantalizing salty scent of blood rushing in young, vital bodies around her. She was here for the a certain Dorian Gray, who had somehow managed to come back from death and established himself as a new rock icon. She would see for herself if her former lover was flesh and blood or merely a phantasm, built by the collective minds and desires of young mortals. Then she would deliver him to Hell with her hands if needed be…

… Or so she had herself believed.

However, Mina would not admit, it was mostly because she wanted to know if he still remembered her.

She looked at the giant screen hung on the wall, entertaining herself while waiting. He looked certainly paler than before, his goatee forgone, and he had donned a pair of white fangs, which he seemed proud to show off. Quite taken with the idea, hadn’t he? She bet Dorian had spent an absurd time to perfect this look, he whose life purpose had been revolving around nothing else but his own appearance. The vain narcissist. And she couldn’t believe she had fallen for that narcissist, for that exquisitely shaped visage, those dark and mischievous eyes and sinful lips. Even more ridiculous was that after a century, she still had not been able to pull herself out of her ephemeral intoxication. Jonathan would be very disappointed in her if he were to know. Probably Dracula, too. The Count had told her how he’d fallen in love with her firm determination to reject him. How would them not though? Even Mina felt disgusted at herself from time to time, when she wasn’t boiling in her lust and memory of Dorian’s lips caressing every inch of her vampiric body.

Had she known killing Dorian would never bring an end to his curse on her, she might have preserved his life, taking him with her, away from the League, away from the world. No use crying over it, she had been telling herself over the decade, what had been done could not be undone. But it mattered little now, didn’t it? Somehow the magnificent bastard had found his way back into life. Back into Mina’s life.

At least he had a better-than-average singing voice. That was good to know. Perhaps she should make him sing for her before she finished him off for good.

***

She arrived at the stadium seven o’ clock sharp. She had prepared meticulously, dressing in her most appealing outfit that consisted a long, crimson velvet coat and tight black bodice that complimented her womanly curve, and a choker with a ruby on her throat; she had combed her hair and treated herself to a much more generous feast than usual just so her skin was rosy and her lips rogue – the best make-up a vampire could afford. She was satisfied with her look really, which drew eyes to her as she slid through the throng like a well-whetted knife. She did not realize she possessed such a level of vanity: the prospect of seeing him again after a century had brought it out in her. Aside from potent lust, that was.

She was two hours early and thus had plenty of time to survey her surroundings. Like her, a number of mortals had come early, filling in every empty space possible. Noises filled her preternatural senses and the rush of blood in young veins caused a delightful tingling in her throat. Only a tingling, no more. Lucky for them she was brimming with new blood and theirs only teased, not provoked her thirst. It would be unsightly to present yourself to your old flame with your immaculate clothes spotted with blood, she concluded. Gray had never been a sucker for carnage anyway.

She looked around and was mildly surprised to see chalky faces amongst human ones. Clad in black hoodies and black coats, they stood motionlessly in the bustling sea of mortals like odd statues placed at odd places. They didn’t bother to mask their look, just came as they were. Again, they might not need to, seeing that tonight was Halloween Night, an occasion for humans to try being monsters and monsters to walk freely amongst their prey. It wouldn’t be so bizarre that some of them could use this one-in-a-year chance to attend a rock concert. Music for everyone, is it not?

Mina shrugged and strayed as far from them as possible. She wasn’t scared of them, truth be told; she just didn’t want anything to do with them. In a sense they and her were of the same kind: blood predators that haunted the night for eternity. However, they were just as different as chalk from cheese. She was Dracula’s heiress, that much she knew, yet she could never figure out where her ‘distant cousins’ came from. Her maker had only Mina as his living fledging, while those vampires seemed to be everywhere over the continent. Not wanting to get into unnecessary trouble, she had been avoiding them ever since she stepped on this American land. She would forsake her prey if she saw them – there was no need to fight since this vast city was more than enough to sustain them. She didn’t frequent any of their bars either, though once in a blue moon she would take a very brief glance at the bar in her neighborhood. The name was Dracula’s Daughter and since she was in fact the titular character (aside from the late Lucy, God bless her soul), Mina felt a rather peculiar pull to the place. Masquerading as a normal patron, having a drink that she never touched, and admiring the beautiful gothic artwork littered on the black-painted walls, no more. Still, however careful and surreptitious she was, there had been some inevitable encounters from which she had learnt the hard way their sets of powers were much distinguished. And if she was entirely honest with herself, she could not be sure whether she could stand a chance against those ‘ancient ones’ of them. If their myths proved to be true, that an ancient one could set fire to their opponent with a snap of their mind, it dawned on her that it wouldn’t take long for them to incinerate her bat-swamp form to crisp. So she decided it was best to make her presence unknown to them. Better be careful than sorry. She thought it a particular advantage that her appearance was less conspicuous than theirs – unless she neglected her meals on a regular basis, which was unlikely – and that they would not be able to detect her easily if they didn’t come into direct blood contact. For once she was pretty grateful to be ‘Dracula’s daughter’.

***

Where was Gray? Would he come early to grace his fans with his presence? Basked in their unadulterated love, probably. She was beginning to raise questions when a thunderous cheer nearly burst her hearing. Once she overcame the short-lived pain, she looked to the entrance and caught sight of a black limousine maneuvering through the thick crowd with certain difficulty. That should be Gray, she thought. Who else would ride a big, fancy limousine but the star of the show?

She half-heartedly wanted to soar up to get a better view of him since the young mortals around would not allow her. They swamped around him like bees, trying with madness just so they could lay a finger on their worshipped idol. Gray greeted them with a faint smile, waving at them or touching their outstretched hands briefly while making his way through them, his black, bulky bodyguards keeping anyone from getting too close to him. He seemed rather accustomed to this whole huge-celebrity business. Not a yesterday-born star, wasn’t he?

She hid a smile and slipped through the mass. She was in for a private talk with him before the concert began.

***

“Hello lover,” Mina said, opting for casual manner as she leaned against the wall of the dressing room. Gray was alone, to her pleasant surprise. Saved her the energy for dismissing the mortals should they have been with him.

She knew not whether to simply laugh in amusement or throw her head back and roar in laughter at the look he was giving her. A mix of perplexity and terrible caution was etched on his face. He took a step back and regarded her, an uninvited and likely to be dangerous guest, with cool eyes.

At the same time, her undead heart received a sharp sting of realization: there was no indication that this ‘Dorian Gray’ would know a vampire who went by the name of Mina Harker, let alone remember being her lover.

She reacted just in time to dodge a malicious swipe of dagger aiming at her throat. Twisting her lithe body in the air, she managed to avoid the next attack directing at her midriff. She frowned in frustration before landing a roundabout kick in his right hand, sending the dagger flying and impaling the wall.

Both regained their respective distance, observing the other for the next movement. Mina tossed her long hair back and exhaled in mock relief. “That was uncalled for,” she remarked, unapologetic for wounding him.

“Who are you?” A thin, tortuous red trail ran down his marmoreal skin. Gray brought his injured wrist to his mouth and licked the blood clean. The shallow cut had vanished when he let his hand down. “…Vampire?” With that he launched at her again. Not bothering to retrieve his dagger, he opted to go at her with bare hands. His pointed incisors bared, somewhat marring his otherwise perfect beauty.

Once more, Mina dodged his attack by a hair’s breadth and mentally sighed. They could go like this all night, which hardly was what she had intended in the first place. A look of annoyance crossed her face before it literally dissolved into a dozen black bats. They circled around their target, flapping their wings furiously at the air before descending on him like ravenous beasts. He seemed stunned by their sudden appearance. Bat wings formed human arms, and Mina caged him in their inhuman strength. With no further notice, she crashed her lips on his. Her fangs glided on his flesh, her tongue immediately lapping his blood. And with blood flooded in her the understanding.

Blood never lied though.

The very first taste aroused in her an aggravating grief and disappointment. She threw him out of her embrace at once.

He wiped his lips, stepping back. Taking a defensive stance, he glared dagger at her.

She never knew Dorian Gray’s face could possess such burning and hateful expression; his was all cheeky smiles and blatant, shameless flirts. A tasteless joke, she smiled bitterly. This wasn’t Dorian Gray at all. Being a scientist once, she should have known better than the flimsy belief that one who had been reduced to ash could come back to life.

“What are you?” he asked incredulously, punctuating each syllable.

“Same as you are,” she replied. A lump in her throat. Her voice slightly hoarse. “A vampire.”

She could tell he didn’t believe her one bit. Didn’t matter. His trust was not her concern.

“My apologies. I have got the wrong person.”

Leaving him no chance to ask for further clarification, Mina dissolved into a dozen bats and rushed out of the window.

***

She was running away. She simply had to. If she was any second later, she was afraid that stranger would see her tears. He had a name all right. She would address him by his name as a token of her apology for the nuisance she had caused. Lestat. Lestat de Lioncourt. A name as French as it could be.

A distant cousin of hers, and never was Dorian Gray.

Well, she was not as tough as she fancied herself to be, and this, this was simply too much. The greater the hope, the louder the sound when it went crumbling in one’s heart.

Perhaps she had been too lonely. Too lonely that she would weep upon the lost chance of seeing the likes of Dorian Gray. Too lonely that she realized with such pain how deep and scathing her affection still was.

She felt consumed. All the previous blood she had fed vaporized. She felt the thirst stronger than ever.

A youth walked past her, ears plugged with headphones, paying no attention to his surroundings, to the ominous shadow lurking in the dark. His skin was pale, but pumped with fresh blood, his shoulder-length wavy brown hair billowing in the wind.

Perfection.

***

She felt tipsy when she set foot into the corridor leading to her apartment. Drunkards weren’t her usual choice, for she didn’t fancy getting alcohol in her bloodstream. But she felt no such restraint tonight, and a little alcohol, albeit second-hand, was welcoming.

“Hello, lover.”

Oh, she probably had had overestimated her tolerance of alcohol. She was drunk, not just tipsy, and she was seeing a tall man in long gray suit standing in the middle of her living room.

Gray.

She blinked a few times. The man hadn’t disappeared; rather, his figure was becoming clearer in her eyes.

“I am immensely surprised that you still keep my portrait,” the man said, tilting his head to the white wall. “I thought you would have burnt it.”

“It would be a waste,” she replied flatly, “to waste an artwork. Especially one of fine quality.”

Now she fully knew she was intoxicated; if not, she wouldn’t remain this calm, this impassive.

“Indeed.” The man slightly nodded. “Though I would prefer it placed in the middle of this wall…” Still with his back to her, the man strode to the nearby shelf, unwrapped a painting. “How I have missed you.” His lips touched the canvas in tiny butterfly kisses. Like making up to a neglected lover, she thought with strange fondness. He found a nail on the wall, and hung the portrait on. When he turned around to face her, he and the picture appeared a pair of twins.

The ghost of the picture.

The corner of her eyes was tingling.

She approached him with heavy but steady steps. When they were within arm reach, she stroke his cheek with her left hand. Warm and smooth as she had remembered. Always remembered.

Her other hand reached for her boot. She ran a knife through his heart in one swift movement.

He did not flinch. His eyes calmly traveled from her hand to her face, and he smiled the smile that was undistinguished from a smirk. “I hoped you had already given up the habit of nailing me after all these years.” He mimicked her stroke, long fingers absentmindedly drawing a line to the contours of her full lips. “I was wrong again.”

She withdrew the blade from his chest with little resistance. Not a single drop of blood. Even the hole on his clothes closed up instantly. “Just a small test.”

He arched an eyebrow at her. “For…?”

“To see if you are real or a trick of light.”

“How do you find the result?”

“Perplexed.” She let out a small laughter. “What the actual hell are you?”

“I am Dorian Gray, the same as you have known.”

Her eyes glanced at the portrait and returned to his face. “Not quite.”

“With a minor difference from my previous self, I admit.” He gave a small shrug. “I traded everything I could to the Devil. Obviously he does not mind a pretty boy running errand for him now and then.”

Somehow, she found little interest in the knowledge of the Devil’s existence. So he existed, that was all she needed to remember. Instead, she asked, “What sort of errand?”

He tilted his head. “Picking up his sons who have been unfortunately scattered around this globe. Not many people know this but the Devil is quite a loving father.”

“A rich one also. He must pay well.” She asked sarcastically, her eyes raking him up and down. “Nothing can destroy you now, is it so?”

He stroking his chin, feigning a pensive look. “Aside from my boss and his trusted hounds, no. I believe he rather indulges me as he allows me to roam the earth to seek for a single woman.”

He lowered his face, lips barely inches away from hers. His arms wound around her form.

Placing a hand on his chest, she pushed herself out of his embrace. “What is your plan?” She asked. “Revenge on your murderer?”

She wouldn’t let him know she even found that thought more welcoming than never seeing him again.

He smiled. “My portrait was my murderer. You…”

He was approaching her. “…only lent it a hand.”

He suddenly grabbed both her hands, pulling her to him once more. Their mouths crashed. She felt the coppery taste of blood on their lips, their tongues. His blood was the same delicacy she had had a century ago. Ecstasy came with the right blood. She bit his tongue and sucked harder.

When they finally separated, her eyes had turned red with desire.

“I have been searching for you for decades,” he stressed, “you who never stay long in one spot. Let’s say I was not very pleased to see you kiss that vampire when I finally found you.”

“Are you certain you haven’t a twin, Dorian Gray?”

“One that is a two-hundred-year-old bloodsucker? I think not.”

“Your doppelgänger then?”

His arms snaked around her waist. His hands slid further down to her lower curves. “Can we not talk about him and go back to my original plan?”

Her hands mimicked his movement. As a thought of mischief hit her, she squeezed his backside, digging her nails to his flesh. She was positively aroused to hear Dorian hiss. “And what may that plan be, Mr. Gray?”

“Nailing you, Mrs. Harker,” he breathed into her ear. “Not literally, of course.”

She burst into laughter and hauled him down the carpeted floor. Her hand trailed a path along his body until she reach her desired part. She gave it a light squeeze and was very pleased with the result. “I remember putting a knife here. Does it still function?”

“Want to put it to test?” He smirked.

She ripped apart his suit faster than he could blink.

End