Tekkeitsertok has the name of a god, but his life is far from celestial. Living in a small town in northern Alaska, he works two jobs to support his family of seven – him and his six dogs. As a gay man, he doesn’t have many opportunities for dating in a place like New Petersburg, but his whole life is about to spiral out of control when a vampire enters the bar he works in.
It is the first vampire to visit the town since the creatures’ existence had been announced by the government, and he causes problems from the moment he sets foot in the bar. The mysterious Sergey is set on making Tekke believe they are bound by destiny, but Tekke is having none of that, since he is all about the logical and rational in life. Then again, in a time when caribou have sharp teeth and ravens grow antlers, maybe it’s time to stop clinging to logic and embrace the strange and irrational?
If trying to date a vampire wasn’t enough of a problem, New Petersburg is being torn apart by forces no one can recognize. As reluctant as Tekke is, he might just hold the key to saving thousands of lives, including one that he holds increasingly dear.
But can you save the life of someone who is already dead?
Genre: homoerotic contemporary fantasy
Length: ~70,000 words
Themes (for the whole story): vampires, shape-shifters, adult virgin, enemies to lovers, rebirth, Siberia, Alaska, hunting, mutation, inspired by Inuit mythology, mythical creatures, monsters, shamanism, kept lovers, violence, mutilation, murder, blood magic, Gods walking the Earth, military, deception, dreams, friendship, extrasensory perception, emotional trauma, homophobia, despair, abandonment
Erotic content (for the whole story): explicit m/m sexual scenes (including: first time, ephebophilia, dubious consent, cheating)
Tekke looked up to the moose trophy head on the wall. Old Jason Budahas hunted the animal down and sold it to the owner of Hunter’s back when the bar was still actually owned by Mr. Hunter. Though Tekke wasn’t sure if that was the man’s real last name, or if everyone called him that because he was a keen collector of trophies. Whichever the case, all that was left of him now were the heads and the bar’s name. Holly Schickle, the new owner, didn’t want to change it, for marketing reasons, but Tekke didn’t understand how that could either hurt, or boost business. People would come here even if the place was called the Pink Flamingo, because it was the only bar in New Petersburg.
Tekke shivered when he looked trough the window, absent-mindedly cleaning a glass behind the counter. He wouldn’t leave his worst enemy out in this weather. The snow storm seemed to be swallowing the world whole. If New Petersburg was the ‘Pearl of Alaska’, as some advertised, this pearl was hidden deep under a mass of heavy, wet snow.
As long as you were indoors, there was nothing to complain about though. Customers drank their beers and mulled wine, sitting on fur covered stools around the open fireplace. One could even borrow a colorful quilt or blanket from the bar at no charge. Apart from a few Inuit sculptures, and photos on the walls, Hunter’s was modestly decorated. All sorts of music could be ordered from the jukebox, though at moments like these, some locals preferred to sing at the top of their lungs. Tekke didn’t mind as long as they left tips. The townsfolk worked hard, and even the more domestic types had their share of shoveling snow out of their yards, so they deserved some warmth and fun on a Saturday night.
Tekke smiled at the sight of Mr. Noongwook cooking a sausage over the open fire. The man always insisted on bringing his own, which he made out of bear meat. Holly didn’t mind, since with pine burning in the fireplace, it got the whole bar smelling like a boy scout’s dream.
Holly whistled at a man who was passing through the bar. “Hey, Barry! You drunk enough to take your shirt off yet?” She winked at him and took another sip of beer from her glass.
“Give me time, honey. I have a strong head. Maybe a drink on the house?” Barry yelled back and lifted his bottle.
Holly shook her head, uncaring that some of her long blond curls dipped into the beer she was holding. “Tekke.” She looked at him with an abrupt turn of her head. “You should take your shirt off. Or at least that oversized jumper you’re wearing. You’re not showing off your assets, I bet you could pull off the hot lumberjack look if you wore something fitted.”
“Are you saying you want me to drive business in your bar by stripping?” He lifted his eyebrows, though it probably didn’t show from under his overgrown sort-of-bangs and the chullo hat that almost covered his eyes.
Holly frowned, the laugh lines on her face getting more pronounced. “Right. That wouldn’t work.” She looked him up and down like he was a piece of bear sausage.
Tekke rolled his eyes and picked up another glass for polishing. “How come?” He could already sense a bad joke heading his way.
“You’d have to shave off the beaver stuck to your face. Or at least trim it.”
“Ha. Ha. Are you afraid of a beaver?” Tekke was so much taller, that to reach her, he had to bow down a little. He rubbed his bushy, thick beard over the top of her head.
“No! Hipster attack,” Holly whined and spilled some beer over the counter as she leapt away.
“Watch out, or I’ll be wearing black rimmed glasses for work tomorrow.”
But his joke was lost on Holly, as she made her way to the large window by the door. Tekke didn’t even realize that the singing stopped at some point, too busy chatting to Holly. She pushed through the crowd that was glued to the window like a bunch of children in front of a toy store. People pointed to something out there in the blizzard, and Holly yelled back to him, standing on her toes to see more.
“Tekke, come over here. I can’t see anything!”
Tekke smiled and shook his head. She was always ready to stick her nose in everyone’s business. He could easily look over people’s heads when he got to his toes, but what he saw outside, made his smile falter.
Out in the freezing cold, a slim figure was making its way towards the bar. Tekke couldn’t see much through all the snow, but it looked like all the person was wearing was a pair of jeans and a trench coat. The wind blew their long hair in every possible direction.
“Is anyone else out there?” Tekke blinked and made a step towards the door, ready to help the person he now recognized as a young man.
“I can’t see anyone,” mumbled a man from the side, but all eyes in the bar followed the figure outside, as the stranger made his way to the bar door.
The door opened with a crackling noise, letting in a cloud of swirling snowflakes that carried a rugged fold of silk that could have been blue once. The stranger wasn’t wearing a trench coat. It was a robe.
Tekke felt a chill go down his spine at the sight of a bare foot sticking out of a trouser leg that was frozen stiff. To his side, Holly dropped something to the floor when he entered the room with a lost expression on his handsome face. His fair hair was a mess, it clung to his cheeks and neck in wet streaks, partially obscuring a pair of vivid blue eyes. With nothing but a pair of jeans and a silk robe that did nothing to cover the bluish chest, he looked like a person who has just gone through something traumatic. When the door closed on its own and the stranger walked closer to a lamp, Tekke was shocked to see frost on his skin and eyelashes. The room became so silent, he could hear the soft crackling of the open fire.
“Are you all right?” asked someone in the crowd.They all gawked at the stranger, frozen in place like a bunch of ice sculptures.
That snapped the young man out of the stupor he was in, and he slid his gaze over the patrons, like he didn’t know where he was. He seemed very young, seventeen at most, with a long neck and slim body.
“I–I am thirsty.” His voice was a low, hoarse growl, colored with a clearly foreign accent. Russian maybe.
Tekke told Holly to call the local doctor and went straight for the kettle, pouring a cup of warm tea for the stranger. “Someone get him a blanket,” he urged the patrons as he made his way to the young man, increasingly worried. What could have happened to him? How long was he out in this horrific cold, practically naked, on his own? Tekke looked to the bluish fingers as he passed the man (boy?) the warm cup.
The stranger, however, blinked and his pupils became so large, the darkness almost swallowed the blue of his bright blue eyes whole.
“No,” he mumbled, a bit lispy. “Blood. On the rocks.”
And just like that, the room froze again as if hit by a wave of toxic snow.
Tekke took a step back, eying the stranger in a completely new way. After a moment of hesitation, he even took the cup back. Holly, who was already getting a quilt from a hook on the wall, stopped mid-way. Did they even have any Fairy Dust left? Well, they certainly did, as there was never before a chance to use it. But three years after they received their emergency batch from the government, wouldn’t it be out of date? Did Holly, or any other employee even know where they had put it?
The vampire, because the stranger was definitely one, didn’t even sugar-coat it by calling the dried blood powder by it’s product name – ‘Fairy Dust’, he called it what it was. Not a politically correct type then.
The stranger scrutinized Tekke so intensely it was becoming uncomfortable. “AB, adrenaline flavor would be perfect.”
Tekke licked his lips, feeling the weight of responsibility on his shoulders, as Holly, who was the freaking bar owner, refused to come closer.
“Do we have any Fairy Dust?” he asked, stiffly making his way to the counter. One of the formerly mythical creatures they’d only seen on television so far was now standing in front of them. Thousands of questions popped up in Tekke’s mind. Did he not feel the cold? Why did he come here?
Holly cleared her throat. “Check in the cupboard under the moose head.” She watched the vampire through her fingers, but then suddenly jumped, almost sliding off of the high stool when he heard the tune from the Sweeney Todd musical he watched with his friend Emily some time ago.
Holly cleared her throat and slowly gestured toward an empty booth. “Maybe you’d like to take a seat?”
Tekke bit his lip. And something like this happened when the waitress was on an unexpected sick leave. Holly didn’t seem eager to act as a good hostess either, which meant it was down to him to serve the unexpected guest. The other patrons slowly got back to their places, stealing glances at the newcomer. The question of what the hell was a vampire looking for in a small, remote town like New Petersburg was so far left unanswered, and hung over the room like a stalactite about to fall. Tekke knew there were vampire communities in Anchorage and Fairbanks, but what could be a vampire’s business in the far north? It wasn’t like he would come here to attack anyone. Even here they had police after all.
But the vampire just stood there in his wet, dirty clothes, gaze following Tekke as he got the sachets of Fairy Dust from the far back of the cupboard. It wasn’t what the stranger asked for, but at least it was something.
“We only have B.” Tekke straightened his back, trying to come off as calm as possible, but it was no easy task. “And it’s…” He looked at the packet with a pin-up style fairy in a wine glass and scratched his beard. “Plain, testosterone or cortisol.”
“Testosterone.” The vampire crooked his head with a mild smile, giving Tekke a glimpse of his fangs. Was he showing them on purpose, to intimidate him?
“Do you want me to heat it up?” asked Tekke, doing his best not to show how jumpy the vampire was making him. He wasn’t sure how exactly he was supposed to prepare the drink, but he knew from television that there were various ways the mixture could be served.
“On the rocks. I usually prefer it warm, but you make me so hot I need something to cool me down.”
Tekke’s mind came to a halt. What did he say? He looked back into the vampire’s inhumanly blue eyes, but decided not to comment. “Okay,” he muttered and stiffly turned around to get some water into a cup, following the preparation instructions on the back of the packet. Was that… thing hitting on him? Did it want his blood? Tekke’s heart caught up with the speed of his thoughts.
“You smell divine,” murmured the stranger, who trailed after him, but kept to the other side of the counter.
Tekke frowned and tensed even more. The compliments were getting him uncomfortable and with the dead silence in the bar, he was sure everyone listened in on this conversation. As the red powder dissolved in the water, he couldn’t help but think that the vampire had some of the worst pickup lines he’d ever heard. From the corner of his eye, Tekke noticed that he splayed his pale hands on the counter. The fingernails were a bit long and very shiny, like Emily’s after she just had them done. The hiss that followed made a crack in Tekke’s calm demeanor.
“I can smell virgin blood in you.”
A short burst of laughter from one of the locals stabbed through the silence. Tekke looked over there and wished he could freeze the guy in place. Heat started climbing up his chest, but he refused to take his hat off, or his jumper for that matter. He frowned and gave the stranger a look of disapproval.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Ah, you know very well what I mean.” The vampire ogled him with a heated stare that was meant to undress.
Tekke rolled his eyes and pretended he didn’t care, even though his virginity was the last thing he wanted to be discussed in public. He gave the drink a half-assed stir, threw in a few ice cubes and put it in front of the troublesome customer with a thud. “Five bucks.”
The vampire didn’t seem discouraged. “Virgin blood is exceptionally sweet. It has become a rare delicacy with the age of consent so high few reach it untouched,” he commented in a tone that reminded Tekke of an old hippie he saw on the news some time ago. Only the guy was talking about the dangers of consumerism.
“My private life is none of your business. Drink up your blood,” Tekke growled and moved further on along the counter, hoping someone would come and order a normal drink. No one cared to save him though.
The vampire grabbed the glass and poured its contents into his mouth, making the ice cubes jingle. He drank greedily, like a man who’s been thirsting for too long. His low groans of pleasure, and the rhythmic tapping of his toes on the floor resonated over the room full of baffled patrons.
Tekke felt their eyes on him. Most of the locals knew exactly what the bloodsucker was on about. Tekke was a single gay man in a small town in Alaska. On top of that, he wasn’t desperate enough to just get it on with anyone and consequently, at the age of twenty four, he was still a virgin.
The heat in his chest started spreading over to his cheeks, and it only became more prominent when he saw the vampire stuck his long tongue deep into the glass to lick the sides clean. As soon as he was done with his drink and put the glass on the counter, the vampire made his way towards Tekke, who looked at Holly with growing embarrassment. Maybe she’d agree to stand in for him in his bartending duties, given the circumstances?
The vampire reached out to touch Tekke’s shoulder and closed his eyes, body convulsing as if shaken by an abrupt pang of cold. The fact that he looked like a teenager made the whole situation even worse.
“What? You want another one?” Tekke tried to keep calm, but moved away by a few inches. Where was Holly when he needed her?
“Not today,” gasped the vampire and when he started chewing on his bottom lip, Tekke was relieved to see that the fangs have retracted. “Meet me after work.”
Tekke just stared at him. Who did this guy think he was? This is not happening. Unfortunately, another laugh from the side reminded Tekke that it was indeed happening. Did the vampire want to drink from him? He did say he believed his blood to be sweet.
“No,” Tekke said firmly.
“Why? I find you attractive.” The vampire casually took hold of Tekke’s hand and bowed his head to press a soft kiss to Tekke’s little finger. His skin was eerily cold.
“Let go, God dammit!” Tekke ripped his hand out of the grip with so much force that the impact sent him into the cupboard by the wall, making the bottles inside jingle. The freak was scaring him on purpose! And what was the whole ‘I find you attractive’ thing? “I’m not interested.” The last thing he wanted now was even more curious eyes on him.
“Why?” The vampire combed his wet hair back with a careless gesture. “I am rather handsome and my body is young and delectable,” he said as if he wasn’t talking about himself, but some trafficked slave-girl prostitute. Tekke gave him another look. There was no denying that maybe if the vampire cleaned up, he’d be on Tekke’s radar, but at the moment, he was making Tekke feel like a cradle snatcher.
“Did you consider the fact that I might not be gay?” Tekke frowned and slowly drifted further away from the boy-man. He couldn’t believe how full of himself the guy was.
“Ah, mere details,” sighed the vampire, slouching by the counter and following Tekke with his gaze like the creep he was turning out to be.
The whole situation was beyond Tekke’s comprehension. He wasn’t the most handsome guy in the bar. Barry was so much more approachable. Straight though. Tekke pulled his woolen hat further down on his forehead. “Whatever,” he mumbled.
“Oh, don’t be like that.” The vampire kept pushing. “We can have a moonlit walk.”
Tekke spread his arms to the sides. “What is that supposed to mean? Have you watched too many movies?”
The vampire chuckled and his face softened into a coquettish smile. “I do like Sweeney Todd. Johnny Depp is an exceptionally handsome man.”
“I don’t remember many moonlight walks in that movie.” Tekke pouted. He did remember some gruesome, bloody things that happened in it.
“That is true, but I still enjoyed myself,” said the vampire, apparently oblivious to the gap in his reasoning.
Apart from being embarrassed, Tekke was becoming increasingly angry with Holly and the way she had just left him for the freak to prey on. “Whatever you say.” He rolled his eyes and out of lack of better things to do, started polishing a squeaky-clean glass.
“Will you meet me later then?” The vampire appeared in front of him out of nowhere.
“No!” Tekke jumped away and heard someone abruptly get up from their chair in the bar. “Get out from behind the counter. This place is for staff only.” He hoped being firm would hide his fear.
The vampire laughed with a bow. “You are colder than many vampires I know, but still hotter than any man in this state.”
“Get out, or I will get someone to throw you out.” Tekke looked straight into the vampire’s eyes. He hoped to win this staring contest, as actually, he was the only security Hunter’s had. He was losing control over the situation. Why was the strange being so intent on a date? Was it really about virginal blood? It couldn’t be about just… him. There was nothing special about him. He was just Tekke, the bartender.
“Let me walk you home then.” The vampire moaned like a grumpy child. “Say ‘yes’ and I’ll vanish right away.”
“No. And I feel I won’t be going home alone tonight.”
“Because you will be going with me.”
“No, because I’m going with someone else.” Tekke hissed, hoping no one would tease him about that later.
“Is there a problem?” An older man leaned against the counter and looked to Tekke, but the vampire didn’t even spare him a glance, his attention completely focused on Tekke.
“No, it’s fine. Everything is under control.” He gave the man a nervous smile. More humiliation was the last thing he wanted, though he appreciated the man’s willingness to help. He didn’t know him well enough to know his name, so he wouldn’t have expected it.
“You aren’t afraid of me, are you?” The vampire crooked his pretty head as soon as the patron went back to his table.
“Get out from behind the counter,” was all Tekke had to say to him.
“So agree to meet me afterwards,” replied the vampire as if he didn’t listen at all.
“I’m not interested.” Tekke lowered his voice. He could already imagine the gossip that would spread all around town tomorrow.
The vampire shrugged. “Then I will not leave.”
Tekke scowled at his sweet smile. “Then I’m afraid I will have to make you leave.” The words didn’t hold as much confidence as he would have wished, a fact he became painfully aware of when the vampire crooked his head to the other side like a confused pigeon.
“Wouldn’t it be easier to say ‘yes’ to the moonlit walk?”
“I don’t know you. I have no idea who you are or what you’re doing here.” Tekke tried not to sound angry. He was afraid of getting hit by a creature much powerful than a normal person, but he still forced himself to grab the vampire’s arm. As hard as it was to imagine, those pupils became even larger, and Tekke felt a tremor shake the lithe body next to his. The vampire’s eyes fell shut, his face going slack like he was riding an orgasmic high.
That was it. Tekke tightened his hold on the intruder’s shoulder and pulled him away from the staff space behind the counter. He didn’t expect the vampire to spin around and wrap his arms around Tekke’s mid-section. With a moan, he pressed his hips against Tekke’s thigh. The fucker was hard. Tekke could feel the stiffness through his jeans as the guy rubbed against him. He was only lucky no one could see the vampire’s erection from behind the counter.
Tekke’s body went rigid, and the bar resonated with silence before roaring with laughter.
“Bring it, Tekke!” yelled one of the locals, clearly finding his peril funny.
Tekke clenched his jaw, feeling his face burn with heat. This could not be happening to him. It just couldn’t. He couldn’t be humped by a horny vampire at work. What was he supposed to do? Push him away? Hit him? Maybe he should have, but instead, he completely froze. And things were getting worse. The vampire clung to him, shamelessly humping his thigh, shaking and nuzzling his cheek against Tekke’s beard.
The festive whistling could only mean everyone considered the situation hilarious.
Tekke sobered up and pushed the vampire to the counter with all his strength. “Fuck off,” he hissed, despite the cheery atmosphere in the bar.
“Don’t be so cold and take your chance!” yelled a redheaded regular from the back of the room.
“Ah, piss off Tony.” Tekke moaned in frustration, but then, cold lips were on his and before he could even say Jack Robinson, the vampire stormed out into the blizzard with unnatural speed. A pile of papers Holly kept on a chest of drawers close to the door went up towards the ceiling and then fell to the floor, scattering all around the room. That alone was enough to make the laughs die out.
Tekke just stood there, watching the door and half-expecting it to open again. Did that really happen? Did the bastard really manage to steal a kiss? The faint feeling of a cool touch still lingering on his mouth seemed to be proof of that.
“What the hell?” he muttered and leaned against the counter, completely exhausted.
“You just became a vampo, Tekke.” Someone laughed from the side.
“Hey, I didn’t ask for it.” He looked to one of the tables. “Does anyone know who this madman is?”
“A vampire…?” Wendy voiced shyly.
“But why is he so in my face! Come on…” Tekke sighed and poured himself a drink even though he didn’t usually do that. At least not before the night was over.
“There must be something about that virgin blood thing,” Tony mused loudly. From the way he kept looking back in his direction, Tekke knew it was meant to ridicule him. Good old New Petersburg.
Tekke pouted and hit the counter with an open palm, before throwing a thunderbolt of a gaze at the guy. Without another word, he walked off to the back room. He couldn’t take more mocking.
Holly looked up at him from behind her desk, without even taking the burning cigarette out of her mouth.
“Could you… uhm… take over behind the bar for a while?” Tekke asked, trying to keep his cool.
“What happened again?” she muttered as if it was something he asked of her every day.
“That vampire happened,” Tekke moaned.
“What about him?” Holly sucked in some smoke.
How was he supposed to explain it? “Well, he…”
“He what? Just spit it out already.” Holly picked up her sandwich and bit into it.
“He molested me.” Tekke frowned and folded his arms over his chest.
“What, he wanted to bite you?” Her eyes got wide, and she barely kept the cigarette in her hand.
Tekke looked to her with a sigh. “N–no. He… rubbed himself against me.”
Holly stilled, looking at him as if she saw him for the first time and swallowed the bit of sandwich she had in her mouth with a widening smile. “Oh my God, Tekke, he likes you!”
“Holly!” Tekke didn’t even know how to comment on something like that. Did she not understand what position he was in? Apparently, she didn’t.
“What?” She dropped the sandwich to the plate and opened her hands, lisping through the cigarette she now had between her teeth. “You’d finally have someone to fool around with.”
“I don’t know him. He invaded my personal space.” The skeptical look Holly gave him, made Tekke boil with anger. “Doesn’t it make you curious why he singled me out?”
“You need to believe in yourself more,” muttered Holly with a shake of her head. “Isn’t it obvious that he’s into bulky, beardy lumberjack types?”
Tekke turned around without another word and pulled on the ear flaps of his hat before getting back behind the bar. Even if the vampire was into him, no one asked Tekke if he was into pretty blond boys who looked dangerously borderline underage. Okay, so maybe the piercing blue eyes did hold a promise of things other than death, but he wouldn’t just jump into it like a desperate polar bear meeting its first mate in hundreds of miles of snow.
The remaining part of Tekke’s shift went smoothly, although the vampire stayed the main topic of conversation throughout the evening. None of the townsfolk has ever talked to a vampire since the government announced their existence a few years ago, and nobody believed bloodsuckers were like the vampire characters of the popular sitcom Life Sucks When You’re Dead. Tekke was not impressed with some of the comments he overheard.
Holly went home early, so he was closing the bar on his own. It was freezing cold and windy outside, with the snow dancing around like in a madman’s dream. Tekke’s body trembled when the wind hit him as he went outside to close the door behind him, so he put on a furry hood on top of his hat.
When he turned around, the blond haired vampire in a robe was right behind him, a lot too close for Tekke’s liking. “Shit.” He hissed in surprise and dropped his keys into a pile of fresh snow.
The vampire dropped to one knee and picked them up, only to jingle them in front of Tekke’s face with a smile far too bright for the weather. Tekke tore them out of his hand with a low grunt.
“What do you want?”
“To walk you home.” The vampire gave him an innocent smile and touched his naked chest. Even watching him like that was enough to give Tekke cold shivers.
“You have to, I understand?” He sighed and gave the vampire an unsure look.
“Uh-huh.” There was no denying that even with all that dirt on him, and the fact that his fingers and toes were an unhealthy dark purple, the vampire was a very attractive… young-looking-probably-adult. With the thick snow rolling over them, Tekke could hardly see the lake Hunter’s was built by. He sped up, but the vampire caught up with him in an instant, looking at Tekke as if he were a two-headed caribou.
“What’s your name?” he yelled to scream over the wind.
“Tekkeitsertok.” Tekke gave him a reserved gaze.
The vampire barked out a laugh and stared at him with disbelief through the mass of floating hair.
“I know, it’s long,” Tekke sighed and gave up. “You can call me Tekke.”
“What kind of name is that?” The vampire kept chuckling as he scrutinized Tekke from head to toe.
Tekke rolled his eyes. “It’s Inuit. Is there any reason you’re stalking me?”
The vampire gave him a beautiful, almost innocent smile. “I’m in love with you.”
The words made Tekke stop in the snow and wind, completely baffled. This vampire had to be mad. “Uhm…”
“I can see you shine,” whispered the vampire, crowding him against a barrack they were passing. His eyes were wide open as he looked at Tekke with something akin to awe, which looked plain crazy with the hair tumbling around his head in all directions.
“I do what?” He shook his head. The night was getting weirder with every second and frankly, he wasn’t even that scared anymore. It was hard to fear someone who was so obviously out there.
“You have this golden aura, fair like the sun itself,” gasped the vampire and Tekke cocked his head to the side, unsure of how he could answer that. “You have no idea how I miss the sun,” whispered the vampire as he got to his toes, brushing his hand over Tekke’s shoulder.
“Don’t touch me.” The gesture reminded Tekke of when the guy dry-humped him in the middle of the bar.
The vampire moaned, clearly disappointed that Tekke didn’t catch the bait of the most ridiculous compliment ever.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Tekke was becoming curious of the vampire’s name, but he didn’t want to ask, as it would make him seem interested. He continued to move down the street.
“What didn’t you understand?”
“What sun are you talking about?” They passed another building with no lights on, just a dog barking madly somewhere inside. The town was still at this hour, with only dark silhouettes of buildings and rare lamp posts looming in the dark.
“You don’t know what the sun is?” The vampire frowned, walking barefoot through the deep snow. It was painful to watch.
Tekke didn’t even want to go into the sun conversation anymore, so he changed the topic. “Aren’t you cold?”
“As a matter of fact, I am,” replied the vampire. “But I don’t have anywhere to go.”
Tekke rolled his eyes at this pathetic attempt at manipulation. “Why did you come to New Petersburg then?”
“I came here for you.” The smile the vampire gave him was dripping with sugar.
“What?” Tekke’s patience was wearing out.
“I followed your scent.” He actually sniffed the air to prove his point.
“Oh? Like in some dumb movie? Was there no other virgin in Alaska?”
“Oh.” The vampire’s voice was shaky when he looked at Tekke, wetting his lips. “Nobody smells anything like you. It makes me…”
“What?” Tekke shrugged and treaded on in the snow.
“Mad,” hissed the vampire, getting into his way.
Tekke focused on the bluish lips, to avoid looking into his eyes. “So? What am I supposed to do about it?” He shifted in place, uncomfortably.
The vampire swallowed with a small smile. “Go out with me?”
“I don’t even know your name.” Tekke tried to pass him.
“It’s Sergey.” The vampire jumped out of Tekke’s way like a young deer.
The strong foreign accent made Tekke turn his head to look at Sergey, but he kept on going with the wind. It was too cold for his taste “Where are you from?”
“Saint Petersburg, Russia.” Sergey had no trouble keeping up with him despite being much smaller. “Will you go out with me now?”
“What for?” Saint Petersburg, New Petersburg. Was it a coincidence? Or did Sergey just make it up, and it was the first thing that came to his mind?
“It’ll help us get to know each other better. You already know my name.”
“Why would I want to get to know you?”
“Because… uhm…” Tekke wasn’t sure how to tackle a silly vampire. “I have a lot of work and stuff. I’m really busy.”
“I’m positive we can work something out.” Sergey didn’t seem put off in the least. He moved in long jumps to keep up with Tekke’s speed, his robe fluttering in the wind.
“I don’t know… I work in the evening and when I come back, I’m tired.” He watched his breath change into mist, only to disperse right away.
“I… I don’t think this acquaintance is the best idea. Maybe just come over to Hunter’s tomorrow like a normal customer. If you want to.”
“Oh, why not?” The vampire scowled at him like a little kid. “Give me a chance.”
All that attention was overwhelming Tekke. It was too much, and he had no idea how to cope with it. “I… uhm… I suppose we’ll get to know each other if you live in the neighbourhood.”
The vampire strode forward, getting slightly ahead of him. “I don’t have a place to stay.”
Tekke frowned. “Get a house, or a room, or whatever.”
“Where?” Sergey gave him a blank look. It was scary how pale he was, much more than the vampires Tekke knew from television. Maybe they wore makeup?
“Uhm… You said you feel the cold?”
“Well, do you want a blanket, or something?” Tekke said when they turned in to a small path that wasn’t even visible through all the snow. He could already hear the dogs barking with joy.
Sergey blinked at him. “A blanket?” He looked at Tekke in accusation. “Where would I go with it?”
“Well, you should have thought about that before you came to New Petersburg.” From the way the dogs sounded, Tekke was guessing they were very hungry.
“How? I don’t know anyone around here.”
“Newspapers? Internet? You call, rent a room and then you come over.” Tekke didn’t understand why would he need to explain that to anyone.
The vampire frowned and licked his lips. “I don’t know how.”
“Why did you come to Alaska then? With no place to stay…” The snow finally stopped creaking under Tekke’s feet as he went up the wooden stairs and onto the front porch of his bungalow. The house was built out of big logs and Tekke couldn’t wait to turn the heat on.
Sergey followed him like a shadow. “I was after your scent.”
Tekke’s mind went blank and he turned away from his door to look at the unlikely guest. “I– don’t understand. I’m sorry.”
“I’m sure you will.” Sergey smiled at him and drew closer to the wall for shelter from the roaring wind.
Tekke didn’t care much for enigmatic answers. “So do you want the blanket, or not?”
Sergey nodded eventually, but wouldn’t stop giving him that wide-eyed stare.
Tekke exhaled loudly and quickly went into his house to get a blanket for the vampire. When he came back, Sergey stood in the same position, as if he really were frozen, but his awe filled gaze seemed very much alive. Which didn’t make sense either, since Sergey wasn’t technically alive. “What is it?” Tekke asked as he passed him the thick, woolen blanket.
Sergey smiled and shook his head, hugging the cover to his chest. “You are exceptionally handsome.”
Tekke’s mouth fell open as he eyed up the pretty, yet definitely dead, man in front of him. He could bet Sergey was just saying that to get invited into the house. “Oh yeah?”
“Indeed.” Sergey nodded and wrapped the blanket over his arms.
Tekke couldn’t help but give him a tiny smile, which was probably lost somewhere under his beard anyway. “So… see you tomorrow I suppose. Don’t freeze. Or something,” he said and backed into his house.
Sergey sighed and moved into the remotest corner of the porch, where he sat in the shadow of the wooden railing.
Tekke frowned, but reason won over his natural compassion. It hadn’t been easy. Even though he knew vampires weren’t alive, leaving someone in the cold like this made him cringe. But he couldn’t trust a creature like him. How was it possible that Sergey felt attracted to him of all people?
Tekke finally stepped into his house, but quickly ran over to the side window to see what Sergey would do now that he was alone. Turned out there wasn’t all that much to see. The vampire laid down in a fetal position and nuzzled his cheek against the wood. After a moment, he turned his head to look somewhere beyond the porch and when Tekke followed his gaze , he realized Sergey was watching a tall tree, currently occupied by a constable of ravens, some of which flew down and moved towards the stairs. Three huge, black birds stared at the house, still like statues.
Tekke shook his head and closed the curtains.