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Love Bites

By Jade Falconer


Matthew goes to a Halloween party and meets Peter, who is dressed as a vampire. Matthew was lonely after losing his boyfriend, but what Peter wants to give him may be more than Matthew can handle. But Matthew can’t stay away; when he learns Peter’s secret will he run? Or want more?



It had been over a year since Matthew’s boyfriend, Kevin, had died in a tragic car crash, and his life had not yet returned completely to normal. His two best friends—who had hooked up and un-hooked up so many times with each other it was impossible to tell if they were dating on any given occasion—had coaxed him out of his small apartment for a Halloween party.

Matthew hadn’t been out since the accident, but Halloween was his favorite holiday, and he knew it was time to put the past behind him. There was no point in going to a Halloween party if you weren’t going to do it up right, and being conspicuous was never something that bothered him.

They ended up at a dance club that had been one of Kevin’s favorite hangouts. There was a line to get into the party. Matthew shivered in his wispy harem girl costume. His long black hair draped over his shoulders like a mantle, covered with transparent squares of multi-colored fabric. An equally bright scoop-neck top that hugged his skin like spandex, and ventilated harem pants with a low-slung belt of tiny gilt bells around his hips, completed the outfit. He wasn’t a drag queen by any stretch of the imagination, but it was the perfect holiday for camping it up—it was just the kind of thing Kevin would have loved.

Matthew wanted his mood to be as bright as the faux-silk swirling around his body. It was time.

Finally, he handed his five dollars to the doorman, and got the back of his hand stamped. His friends waited just inside and the three of them proceeded Into the semi-dark of the club. The decor of the club was rather gothic to begin with: fake stone walls, arched doorways, and a suit of armor in one corner wearing a black velvet mask and a feather boa for the occasion. The dance floor was illuminated with blacklight, and blue and green lasers occasionally sliced through the crowd.

His friends hit the dance floor and Matthew jingled his way over to the bar. He ordered a drink to help him loosen up. He caught the occasional pair of eyes looking his way, but even in the sexy outfit he felt like he blended in with the other outrageously dressed partygoers.

Industrial music thumped through the room loudly enough to make conversation difficult, but not impossible. A smoke machine labored away, combining with the erratic lighting to give a surreal effect. People seemed to appear and disappear randomly, and suddenly a tall, slender man materialized out of the fog next to Matthew.

Startled to see someone so close beside him, Matthew shifted back slightly to let his eyes focus on the man. Another vampire, which seemed to be a popular costume, but better than most. The man had short, reddish brown hair and chiseled features that looked almost harsh, but were tempered by a sensual smile. Beneath the open black jacket, Matthew could see that the man wore no shirt, and snug leather pants didn’t conceal sharply defined abs and the suggestion of hip bones. His body was slender but not skinny, and suggested strength in some indefinable way. Matthew realized he was gaping and shook his head, smiling. “Hi,” he said, stirring his drink for something to do with his hands.

The man just stared at Matthew for a long moment. “Hello,” he said, leaning closer. “You’re lovely.”

Matthew noticed the fangs when the other man smiled. They were much more professionally done than any others he’d seen. But it was difficult to look away from his pale, piercing eyes. He felt a little devoured. “You know what they say. Flattery will get you everywhere,” he quipped. “I’m Matthew. Nice to meet you,” he said, extending his hand politely.

“I’m Peter,” the other man replied, taking Matthew’s hand. Instead of shaking it, he brought it to his mouth and kissed the back. All the while, he never broke eye contact. “And I’m entranced by your beauty.”

Matthew felt like blushing. The mysterious stranger was gorgeous, and very obviously coming on to him. It felt nice. He hadn’t really flirted with anyone since Kevin died. It seemed to be just what he needed this evening. “Well, perhaps I’ll dance for you, Peter,” he said, shaking the bells on his hips.