Royal Aademy of Bards Halloween Invitational 2007.

Disclaimer: Everything and everyone in this story are mine. There is a Thrall, Texas, but I have no idea if it bears any similarities to the town in this story. I would be shocked if it did.
Two Ladies Loving?: Depends on your definition of loving. :-)
Special Thanks and Cookies to: Stephanie, who may be one of the best friends my writing has ever had. Gotta love her for that. And for inviting me to play again!

Love it, hate it, want to know where to send the hate mail? or come see me at

Thrall, Texas
by Geonn

She had followed the same routine, every night, for the past few decades.

Coffee black, runny eggs and too-crisp bacon. The only difference was the ambience. Tonight, the plate was chipped and white. The counter beneath it was Formica speckled with bits of gray and white to look like marble. Sophie Fortier sat on her stool, her black duster brushed the floor behind her like folded bat wings. She wore a frilled white blouse underneath her leather duster and the plumed cuffs poured out of the duster's sleeves as she curled a finger towards the door.

She stared down at her plate with disinterest. She didn't need the food; it was a habit from life she'd never bothered to break. She reached for the basket of toast sitting next to the menu and took two slices out.

"Need anything else, darlin'?" the waitress asked.

Sophie looked up at the woman through her dark bangs. The downside to sitting at the bar meant the waitress was always right there. Too close for comfort. The waitress wore the general uniform of the diner - yellow with white frills - and had her chestnut hair done up in a bun. The difference between this waitress and countless others across the country was her age. Whereas most of the nightshift wait staff comprised of lifers - usually bitter women and taciturn men who had worked the counter so long that they'd given up on the hope of finding a better job - this girl was probably still on the shy-side of twenty.

"No. I'm good," Sophie said.

The waitress' green eyes lit up when she caught Sophie's accent. "Oooh, European?" She leaned forward, elbows on the counter and smiled. "I've always wanted to visit Paris. You ever been?"


"Is it wonderful?"

Sophie shrugged and said, "It wasn't when I was there." Of course, modern tourists didn't have to contend with Nazis storming down the street.

"Aw, well, that's a shame," the waitress said. She extended her hand. "Lucy. Lucy Paine. Or as my Momma always said, 'Lucy Pain-in-my-rear.'" Her grin widened, showing her teeth.

Sophie stared for a moment. Most people were put off by her demeanor and never even attempted conversation. Everyone else saw her ripped jeans, black leather jacket and violet-tinged eyes as a crystal-clear 'Keep Clear Fifty Feet' sign. Not nightshift waitresses, though. No, nightshift waitresses always wanted to talk. Sophie squeezed a napkin with her hand to rid it of any grease she may have gotten on her fingers. She extended the hand and used one of her many fake names. "Catherine Cole."

"Pleasure to meet you. Welcome to Thrall."

Sophie's eyebrows twitched. "Pardon?"

"Thrall, Texas, home of the Thrall Titans," Lucy said. She gestured at the night-black windows behind Sophie's stool. "Population 342 as of last year. Why? What's funny?"

Sophie hid her grin behind a piece of toast. "Thrall" was what she used to call the lovely young people she kept under her spell, the ones she kept in her company until they were used up. It had been ages since she'd had a thrall, ages since she'd had the luxury to stop moving long enough to keep one. What were the odds she'd end up in this little town? She shook her head and took a bite of egg-brushed toast. "Nothing, nothing at all."

"Nothing at thrall," Lucy said. "That's what all the high school kids say on Friday night. Nothin' at thrall to do. It's what passes for humor around here." She put a hand on her hip and looked down at Sophie's plate. "You need anything else, you holler, all right?"

Sophie nodded and Lucy moved away down the counter. Sophie ran the remnants of her toast through her eggs and ran her eyes down Lucy's back as she walked away.

Thrall, Texas. It would almost be a sin to not take this opportunity...

She grinned, making sure to keep her lips tight lest sweet, innocent Lucy spot her razor-sharp canines.


Sophie finished her breakfast and, at Lucy's insistence, accepted a slice of the diner's allegedly world-famous apple pie a la mode. She was halfway through the pie when Lucy returned and said, "Well? Ain't it just the best thing you've ever tasted?"

"It's good," Sophie admitted. She leaned back and locked eyes with the waitress. As she spoke, the purple irises of her eyes bled black. "But is it truly world-famous? I find that very hard to believe. Seeing as I have never even heard of this town, let alone this pie. So tell me, Lucy Paine. Is this pie truly world-famous?" By the time she asked the question the second time, the whites of her eyes had become charcoal, a pin of red rising in the center of the swirling darkness.

A wrinkle appeared between Lucy's eyebrows but quickly smoothed out. A haze lowered over her eyes and her face went slack. "No. It's not."

Sophie smiled and snaked her hand forward. She covered Lucy's hand where it lay on the edge of the counter and she squeezed. Their eye contact never wavered, but Lucy's hand trembled under Sophie's caress. Sophie turned the girl's hand over and traced the lines of her palm with long, sharp fingernails. Lucy trembled again.

"What is your middle name?"

"Elizabeth..." The word was a sigh.



"Tell me, Lucille Elizabeth Paine. Is there anyone else here this evening?"


"No cook? No dishwasher?"

"No. Just me."

Sophie pushed her stool back and released Lucy's hand. Lucy let her eyes travel down Sophie's body as she stood. Sophie was elegantly tall, just over the six-foot mark. Her black hair was shoulder-length, still wet from the shower, and strands hung like spider webs on her bare, pale throat. She curled a finger towards the door.

"Follow me." She turned and walked to the door of the diner, her knee-length black boots clacking on the hard tile floor. She didn't bother to look back. She knew Lucy was following her; they all followed her.

She held the door open for Lucy and brushed the back of the girl's neck as she passed. Lucy stopped on the sidewalk, unsure of where to go now. "Here," Sophie said, directing the girl to a dark alley next to the diner. Lucy followed without a word.

A security light burned over the diner's back door, illuminating a dumpster and a small red sedan. Sophie wrapped her arm around Lucy's waist and guided her to the brick wall. She planted her hands against the brick on either side of Lucy's head and arched her back, enveloping the girl, making sure she could see nothing but Sophie. Lucy's eyes were wide, her lips parted in a silent gasp as she looked up at the silhouette that now made up her entire world.

"Pretty, pretty one," Sophie whispered. She trailed one fingernail down Lucy's cheek and worked her fingertip under the collar of Lucy's uniform. "Lucille Elizabeth Paine."

"Yes," the girl breathed. Her eyelids fluttered and she said, "Take me."

Sophie's crimson grin wavered slightly. She stepped closer, her breath washing across Lucy's upturned face. "Did you speak, thrall?"

"Take me. Please. Catherine, oh..."

Sophie's eyes widened and she removed her hand from Lucy's collar. She slid her hand to the swell of Lucy's breast and squeezed through the crisp uniform. "Do you want me?"


"Lucille Elizabeth Paine..."

Lucy's eyes opened. "Call me Lucy." She leaned in and kissed Sophie hard. Their tongues dueled and Sophie briefly allowed Lucy dominance. She opened her mouth wide and let the waitress's tongue slid across her teeth until they found the abnormally-long fangs. Lucy pulled back, as Sophie expected, but her eyes were shining with anticipation and joy. "I knew it. Take me. Make me."

Sophie was stunned. No thrall had ever broken the trance. No thrall had ever taken charge in this manner. She was surprised to discover that she found it... invigorating. She captured Lucy's lips again and sucked her tongue before shoving her own tongue forward. Lucy moaned as she was thrust bodily against the brick wall. Sophie's hands, merciless talons now, dug into the girl's bun and wrenched her head back. "This will not be gentle."

Lucy groaned and tilted her head to the left. Her neck was long, smooth... exposed. Sophie bent and parted her lips, pressed the flat of her tongue against Lucy's warm, supple flesh and dragged her tongue from collarbone to the curve of her jaw. When she opened her eyes, the blackness had deepened and the spots of red shone like twin cigarettes. She unhinged her jaw and slid her arms around Lucy's waist as her teeth sank into the artery.

Lucy gasped, twitched and jerked in Sophie's arms. Her hands went to Sophie's shoulders, the drug of Sophie's kiss dulling her movements. She spread her slip-free sneakers apart, her thighs quaking, her fingers tightening on Sophie's shoulders. Sophie drank deep, letting Lucy's blood wash over her tongue and down her throat. It was sweet, tangy... she moaned and drew the girl closer.

When she'd taken her fill, she straightened and ran her tongue over her bottom lip. Lucy stared up at her with half-lidded eyes, her mouth hanging slack, her once-tanned skin paling slightly. "Did you mean what you said, Lucille Elizabeth Paine?" Sophie asked.

Lucy nodded, the vampire's voice echoing in her ears as if coming from a great distance. "Yes," she whispered.

Sophie opened the front of her coat, ripped open the buttons of her blouse and revealed the curve of her left breast. She drew the razor-sharp fingernail of her pinky across the upper curve, just above the lace of her black brassiere. Blood pearled on the porcelain flesh and Sophie cupped the back of Lucy's head and drew it to her chest. "Drink," Sophie growled.

Lucy parted her lips and swept her tongue over the cut. She drank greedily, her arms sliding around Sophie's waist as she drank. Sophie slipped her leg between Lucy's thighs and pressed up, felt the girl settle on her and gently began to rock her hips. Lucy moaned and moved her lips, kissing Sophie's breast, teasing the lace of her bra with her breath.

Sophie stroked the girl's hair and pressed Lucy against the wall. "Do you feel it? The ecstasy...?"

"Ooh," Lucy moaned. She pushed aside the material of Sophie's shirt and, head swimming, sucked the hard bud of her nipple. Sophie arched her back and growled. She moved her hands down to the course material of Lucy's uniform and tore it, spreading the back until she could spread her fingers across the smooth expanse of Lucy's shoulder blades. She curled her fingers and dragged her nails across the untarnished skin.

Lucy straightened her back and ground herself against Sophie's thigh. "It feels so... God..."

Sophie thrust upward and Lucy cried out. Their bodies jerked against each other in the darkness, just outside of the halo of the security light. Lucy came and her eyes flew open. She looked at Sophie and saw snow-white skin, blood-red lips, eyes as black as space and deep blue veins spidering along her temples and cheeks and throat. Her hair, black before, was so deep and dark it seemed to absorb all the light around them. Her duster flapped behind her like wings, her mouth open unnaturally wide as she bent her head again.

Lucy felt the teeth dig into her throat a second time and she cried out. She closed her eyes and felt what she thought were blood vessels bursting in her eyes. Her head swam and she acted on instinct. She barred fangs she didn't know she had, bowed her head and sank her new teeth into Sophie's neck as she came.

Sophie trembled and leaned back when she'd taken her fill. She stroked Lucy's face, her throat, her breasts and finally rested her hands on Lucy's hips. She guided the girl so that she slowly rode Sophie's hip. Her uniform skirt was rucked up, her thighs bare and the tips of her sneakers brushing the dirty ground of the alley.

Her body was limp as a rag doll, her eyes swimming as she gazed at her lover. Sophie smiled. "It has been a long while since I sired someone."

Lucy smiled lazily, not really understanding anything the beautiful woman in front of her was saying.

Sophie withdrew her leg, prompting a whimper from Lucy, and cradled the girl in her arms. She stepped away from the wall, looked around to make sure there weren't any witnesses, and stepped out of the darkness. Lucy fell asleep, her head pillowed against Sophie's breast.

A battered old station wagon, colored primer-gray with black shoe-polish smeared over all the windows, stood alone in the diner's parking lot. Sophie walked to the car and tenderly laid Lucy in the backseat. She got behind the wheel and pulled out of the parking lot. As she aimed the car towards the outskirts of town, she looked in the rearview mirror and saw that Lucy had curled into the fetal position.

It was only then that Sophie realized that, not only did she have a new childe, she hadn't paid for her breakfast, either.

She threw her head back and laughed as she turned on the headlights.


Three nights later, when Lucy finally resurfaced and returned to the diner, she stood silently as her manager reamed her. The diner had been left unattended, unlocked and unwatched for four hours until the morning shift arrived. He had demanded explanations, Lucy gave none. He demanded assurances it wouldn't happen again, Lucy didn't help him out. Finally, he had thrown her out of his office. "You're gone. Fired! Get out. And don't come crying back in two weeks when you can't find a job half this good!"

He watched her leave and shook his head. Her uniform was torn and hastily mended, dirt was caked under her fingernails and on her neck. She looked like she hadn't slept a wink in the three days she'd been missing. It was so sad when the young ones discovered drugs. Even a piss-ant town like Thrall, Texas, wasn't immune, it seemed. He slammed the cash register shut and pulled the want ads closer.

Lucy walked out into the dying light of dusk and shielded her eyes against even that meager glow. She opened the passenger door of the station wagon and folded herself into the dark seat with a grateful sigh. She slammed the door and turned towards the driver. The windshield in front of the steering wheel had been left clear enough so that the driver could see. Despite the dying of the day, her doll-white hands were still protected from sunlight by black gloves with metal studs on the knuckles.

"Pretty smart," Lucy said, as she gestured at the windshield.

"Thank Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," Sophie said. "Three hundred years, and Joss fucking Whedon comes up with a way for me to drive during the day."

Lucy giggled. She wiped at her soiled uniform and wished she could stop for a change of clothes. But this would do, for now. And besides, Sophie liked her in it. She had been buried for three days in her "home soil," and the transformation was now mostly complete. All she had to do was feed on someone and she would be set.

Sophie headed out of town as the sun set behind them. Darkness had just fallen when Lucy suddenly said, "Wait, stop!"

Sophie's jaw tightened. If the girl was having second thoughts now... But she pulled to the side of the road and said, "What?"

Lucy dug through the glove compartment and found the shoe polish Sophie used to darken her windows. She threw open the door and ran along the shoulder of the road until she reached the tall green sign. She looked up at the reflective white letters and uncapped the polish.

Population 342

She had to stretch to reach the lowest row of numbers, but she managed it. She blacked out the "2" and scrawled a large number "1" next to it. She stepped back to admire her handiwork, grinned to reveal her new, sharp fangs, and ran back to Sophie's station wagon.

Their laughter lifted into the air alongside the dust as they peeled back onto the highway.



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