Dragonblood Vampire

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The first blood a vampire tastes becomes its prey forever.

I never wanted to be a vampire in the first place. But when Cindy bit me, I had no choice.

We'd been cuddling in the swing on her parents' front porch. We'd been an item about a month. Imagine, me! The nerdy Dungeons and Dragons lore-obsessed pudgy guy, with the hottest girl in school! All I'd done was be polite. After all, we knew she was a vampire.

Cindy was a horse vampire--or so she told everyone. She collected horse models, she drew horses, stuck pictures all over her binder, and let's not get into her My Little pony obsession. So none of us worried about her much. If a vampire can only bite one host, they're no threat to anybody else, right?

It was dusk in April--in Pasadena, that means mild, warm days and cool nights. And when your girlfriend is dressed in a thin, see-through top, that means she tends to get cold. And a cold girlfriend is very snuggly.

Cindy looked like Goldilocks. Curly blond hair, blue eyes, and a figure as hot as a habaneros. She wouldn't let me fondle her breasts, but I was getting close and personal with her nice firm rear.

“Dalton,” she whispered breathily against my cheek.

“What?” I breathed, giving her a squeeze.

Her warm mouth slipped down the side of my face to my neck. “I lied about the horses.”

She lunged against me. At first I thought she was taking things to the next level--then her teeth sank into the side of my neck.

Have you ever been bitten by a dog who meant business? It hurts like hell and it's not remotely sexy. And when it's your neck, it instantly chokes you and you react in violent self defense.

I grabbed her face and tried to tear her off me, but she had her arms wrapped around my shoulders and head like a freaking face-hugger. I dug my fingernails into her eyeballs.

Cindy hissed and wrenched backward, and red-hot pain seared through my neck. She'd torn a chunk out of me! She stared at me with blood running down her chin, rubbing one eye and chewing.

I leaped off the porch and ran for it.

Blood spattered down my neck into my shirt, and the wound burned as if I'd been bitten by a rattlesnake. Running was spreading the venom through my bloodstream, but terror and adrenaline pumped through me even harder. Cindy was on the all-vampire track team, and any second I expected to hear her whirlwind-footsteps and feel her tackle me from behind. Vampires run like cheetahs. But I ran two blocks and there was no sign of her.

I slowed to a jog, but my chest and arms were burning and tingling. I gasped for breath, but my lungs had trouble expanding. I was already changing.

Footsteps. Fast ones.

I ran into the nearest front yard, thinking of hiding under a bush. In this neighborhood, the houses were old and big, with giant, mature trees and shrubs. Needless to say, there's lots of hiding places.

Unless you're running from a vampire, who can track you by smell.

I ducked through three yards, and ran up against a six-foot block wall. Despite my waning human strength, I grabbed the top and flung myself over.

Gravel instead of grass. Ouch. It was one of those Zen garden kinds of yards with curving gravel paths and strips of grass, and a koi pond with water lilies floating in it.

My last strength drained away from the climb over the wall. I stumbled and fell to all fours, and crawled under a lacy little tree with tiny red leaves. It wasn't the greatest hiding place, but it was all I could manage.

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