Weekend Wind Down – Dancing With The Devil

Blind dates are excruciating. But when you are on the shady side of thirty and manless your married friends always want to fix you up, although I sometimes think they only do it because they want me to be as miserable as they are. I’ve been to barn dances with hard-handed farmers, to the ballet with poseurs, to rugby matches with boys called Crispin or Alexander, to tea at the Ritz with mummies’ boys…
Need I continue?
It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine how excited I wasn’t as I stepped out of my taxi at an exclusive venue in Mayfair. I paid the driver and trod the spotless pavement to where a thug in a tuxedo guarded the door. He leered cheerfully at me as I approached.
“Cerys Watson.”
He looked down at his smartphone and his grin widened. He turned to open the door for me.
“Welcome Miss Watson.”
His breath was hot on the back of my neck as I walked into the foyer, but he didn’t make the mistake of touching me.
A uniformed concierge surged forward. “Miss Watson. May I take your wrap?”
I allowed him to take the vintage mink and velvet confection – loaned for the evening by the ‘friend’ who had talked me into this latest piece of idiocy. As he handed off the cloak to a scuttling hatcheck girl I took a covert glance around, marking both the understated opulence and the exits against any future need.
“If you would be good enough to follow me.”
I chose not to challenge his overblown phraseology, following quietly in his wake and wondering why I could smell his fear. When he opened one leaf of the double doors I understood.
This Halloween ball needed no fancy dress. The club was chock full of vampires and their pretty pets. As we crossed the room I felt the cold assessing eyes of the bloodsuckers and the hot hostility of the blood sluts. 
My date occupied a prominent and advantageous table where he could both see and be seen. As we approached he stood to greet me. He was dangerously handsome in a darkly seductive mode that I found both interesting and challenging. As the terrified concierge effaced himself I found my hand taken in a cool, strong grip and lifted to a pair of perfectly sculpted lips. A pair of icy blue eyes assessed me from the toes of my black suede shoes to the polished crown of my head.
“Exquisite,” he breathed. “May I call you Cerys? My own name is Victor and it would please me greatly to hear it on your lips.”
“Victor.” I managed to manufacture the required blush.
He smiled, a smoothly polished seducer’s smile. “Will you take an aperitif before we dine?”
“A Tio Pepe would be pleasant.”
Our drinks were served by a silent-footed sommelier with a stick up his ass. He obviously knew what his customers were, but had decided it was beneath him to notice. The desire to shock him out of this sense of superiority was almost irresistible. Almost.
Victor’s antennae were very good, because he caught something of what I was thinking, although it was obvious he understood it as embarrassment. He lifted my hand to his lips once again, and this time I felt his tongue taste my flesh. He smiled. “The attitude of servants should be beneath the notice of one as beautiful as you.” 
A raised finger brought a svelte waitress bearing leather bound menus. 
I didn’t even pick mine up and Victor looked intrigued. “You are not hungry?”
Hungry, yes. Decisive, no. Will you order for me, please?”
His smug smile showed me precisely how much that pleased him. He must have thought a ripe peach had dropped straight into his lap. I lowered my eyes and kept my face and body demure. This evening might turn out to be more amusing than I thought.
He ordered steaks. Mine was to be rare. His blue. Oh yes, vampires can and do eat. For pleasure. Blood is, of course, both pleasure and necessity. Gourmet food and fine wines are an expensively enjoyable luxury.
The atmosphere in the club was calculated to promote casual excess, from the sharply folded linen napkins to the soft-footed waiting staff, to the live piano music.
We had eaten our excellent steaks and drunk a bottle of Bulls Blood when a small stir alerted me to a young woman who was quietly climbing onto the stage. For a moment I could not believe my eyes. It seemed that Dusty Springfield had been reincarnated. From the panda eyes to the beehive she was perfect and when she opened her mouth to sing the voice was pretty close too. She sang You Don’t Have to  Say You Love Me and I was transported. I was vaguely aware of Victor watching my face like a cat watches a butterfly, but I was too busy listening to care.
When the girl finished her set and slipped away a small dance band took the stage, complete with brilliantined crooner. After a couple of swing numbers the rhythm changed and they launched into Frankie Laine’s Jealousy in full Argentine Tango rhythm. Victor held out an imperious hand.
“Dance with me.”
We took to the strip of dance floor and it was as if we melded into one entity. From the first ochos through cortados, turns and crosses he led and I followed. I flowed into him with every crisp snap of my heels and he held me as if we had been lovers for a thousand years. When the music ended he let me go with extreme reluctance and led the way back to our table where a dessert wine so expensive it is only sold in half bottles awaited us along with petits fours and strawberries with chocolate dip.
Victor dipped a fruit and offered it to me. I ate obediently, but to be honest the strawberry was so tasteless as to render the exercise wholly pointless. The wine, however, was of a quality that makes the tastebuds sing. 
“Where,” he asked with elaborate casualness, “did you learn to dance.”
“Many places, sir. But the Argentine Tango? On the streets of Buenos Ayres. You?”
“Too many places for you to bother your beautiful head with.” He signalled with one long white hand and the waltz the band had been playing was replaced by the sultry seduction of the rumba. 
I needed no second invitation and we took to the floor, moving as one body in perfect rhythm. Let there be no doubt about it, the undead can dance. As we circled the floor, the lights in the room dimmed leaving just one spotlight  following us as we moved, linked inextricably together by the sensuous demands of the dance. 
As the last note dropped into the air, the light was extinguished leaving me in Stygian blackness held in the strong hands of a Master Vampire. He bent his mouth to my neck and I could feel the excitement run through his body.
“Mine,” he groaned.
“Not so fast, my friend.” I snapped my fingers and the room filled with an ochre-coloured pulsating light. Dropping the simulacrum of human beauty I stood there in my true form laughing.
I had always known I was dancing with a vampire. He, poor fool, didn’t realise his last ever tango had been in the arms of the devil…

©️Jane Jago 2019

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