I should have been angry. Traumatized. I had every right to be. Instead, I was fascinated.
Her fangs extended from her jaw, slowly growing into a pair of wicked canines, hanging there like stalactites for the world to see. And then, just like that, they retracted back into her mouth. Her irises changed from their crimson red hue back to their normal colors, a calm, soothing magenta that you could lose yourself in forever.
I caught her sneaking glances at my bandaged neck, looking guilty.
They say the eyes are the window to the soul.
It was much easier to communicate with her now, and I no longer found myself having to wonder what she was really thinking inside that head of hers. Whether she was laughing or crying, happy or sad. Now I could really see her for who she was. The real her. The way her eyes lit up with excitement, or dulled with sadness. Maybe the reason why I was so mesmerized by her eyes was because I had never seen them before. She had kept them hidden from the world behind those signature shades of hers, so as not to frighten anypony with her eyes, which had a tendency to accidentally flicker between magenta and red even when she didn't bare her fangs.
And in my humble opinion, I thought they were so freaking cool oh my gosh oh my gosh where can I get some I'm jealous!
"Pretty cool, right?" Vinyl smiled.
I giggled. "Very, very cool."
We continued to munch on our pancakes, which I had made after Vinyl Scratch somehow managed to not kill us both by trying to cook herself. Vampire or not, Vinyl was still a messy eater. Red juices stained her muzzle, dribbling down her chin. It's strawberry jam, I promise. An awkward silence settled over the kitchen and we found ourselves looking around at the floor and ceiling, unsure of what to say.
I coughed. "So, um, Vinyl."
"How much do you need to drink?"
She frowned. "Well, I guess normally one blood bag a month."
"All at once?"
"Nah. I'd much rather mix it in with my drink or something."
I looked at her, aghast. "You haven't slipped that into our meals, have you?"
A devilish smile spread across her face.
"Vinyl!" I shrieked, pounding a hoof. "That is disgusting!"
"Oh come on, you've tried it already—"
"That doesn't mean I like the taste! So you have, haven't you?"
I sighed in relief.
"Well maybe once or twice..."
"So have you worked out some kind of deal with the hospital? Is that why they let you have some every once in a while?"
Her expression darkened. "I can't tell you that."
"Oh. Come on now. Is it Vampires Anonymous?"
She shook her head. "I'm sorry, I wish I could tell you, Octavia. It's...confidential."
I was taken aback.
Oh well. I guess we all have our secrets.
I looked bashfully down at my plate and murmured an apology. "In any case, I'm sorry about wasting one of them."
"What? Oh." She waved her hoof dismissively. "Ah, don't worry about it. I think I got plenty when I uh, erm." She fell silent, looking away shamefully. "You know—"
"Yes," I said, a bit too loudly. "When you drank."
"Yeah." Vinyl cleared her throat and took another bite of her pancakes.
"Have you ever fed?"
I titled my head slightly. "You know. Drank blood from a pony."
"Oh, Celestia! No! No, you were my first," Vinyl laughed, covering her face. "And I've never killed anypony, if that's what you wanna know."
I sighed in relief, laughing nervously. "I can't be living with a murderer, now can I?" I wiped my lips. "Now you must tell me how I tasted."
Her jaw dropped and she blushed furiously. "Octy! I - I can't!"
"I'm just curious," I laughed. "Was I salty? Or sweet? Bitter?"
She shook her head.
Vinyl sighed in exasperation, rolling her eyes. "You tasted...very nice. Sweet."
I raised an eyebrow. "Like candy?"
"More like...cough syrup."
I couldn't contain myself. I shook my head, laughing, pointing at her., watching her redden even more. This was absurd. This was surreal. Here I was, having a conversation with a vampire over pancakes.
"Are you immortal?"
"Heck no. And I'm glad," Vinyl said, swallowing. "I mean, who wants to live forever?"
"There has to be some benefits, Vinyl," I scoffed. "Insurance?" I gasped. "Can you turn into a bat?"
"No!" Vinyl cackled. "I wish! The usual, I guess. Super strength." To demonstrate, she lifted the couch with one hoof. "My eyes and ears are sharper, and I can smell a lot better. I heal a bit quicker than most ponies, but it's not anything spectacular."
"And you won't go poof in the sun, will you?" I asked worriedly.
"I won't sparkle, that's for sure," she laughed, shaking her head at my naivety. "Octy, it's not like that. It's just really uncomfortable. It might be a nice sunny day for you, but for me, it's really hot." She paused. "Octavia? When you said you loved me..."
I was surprised. "You remember?"
"Kinda." She groaned, rubbing her head. "It's like there's this huge blank space in my head. One second I was talking with you and then I was on top of you, and your neck was gushing blood..." She shuddered. "I've never lost control like that."
"It must have been scary," I said quietly, idly tracing a pattern into the table.
"It was awful!" She hugged herself. "I thought I had everything under control, this curse! It was finally becoming manageable. But now I'm not so sure."
"I'm sure it'll be fine."
My words were hollow and empty, something to offer for the distressed mare. They didn't mean anything and I wasn't so sure I believed myself.
"I'm afraid the next time I'll lose it, I'll turn into a," she gulped, "a monster, and you won't be able to bring me back," Vinyl murmured.
I turned to face her. "Don't talk like that. It won't happen again."
She was quiet for a bit. "Anyways, when you said it, it snapped me outta it, but only for a second. That kiss though, that definitely set me straight. Did you mean it though?"
"Yes, Vinyl!" I exclaimed, shocked. "I meant it! With all of my heart."
As cheesy as it sounded, I had. Or maybe I had been desperate. I would have liked to believe that I had meant what I said, and said what I meant to say last night. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that they were the words of a pony whose life was in imminent danger. I would have said anything.
"So you will be my very special somepony?" Vinyl's eyes widened, hopeful.
Did I really know what I was getting myself into? Would this relationship even work out? Yeesh, breaking up was already hard enough without throwing a bloodsucking marefriend into the mix. The more I thought about it, I realized the only thing stopping me was my lack of faith. While things were more liberal in Manehattan, Canterlot nobility tended to stick to more traditional values, if you get my drift. A fillyfooler wouldn't stand a chance. And my mother would definitely not approve.
You can't keep living your life according to your mother's standards.
I sucked in. "Yes. I'd love to be your very special somepony."
You should have seen the look on her face. She raised her hooves in the air, ready to implode with joy, before I interrupted her.
"But!" I stopped her. "But, you have to promise me something. No more secrets. No more lies. I want to know the real Vinyl Scratch. You already know so much about me, and I don't know anything about you."
"Okay. I can do that," she said. "Yes! Finally! Oh sweet Celestia, whoo-hoo! It took six freakin' months—"
"—for you to finally get a clue!"
"For your information, Vinyl Scratch, I was not a complete dolt the entire time!" I huffed. "I knew that you liked me. I just wasn't sure if I...liked you back."
"I tried being subtle about it..."
I rolled my eyes. "Oh puh-leez! You were about as subtle as Princess Celestia in a BANANA SUIT!"
"Yesyesyesyes!" She hopped around like a foal. "YesyesYESyesYES!"
"Sit down and eat your pancakes."
"Yes mom." She stuck her tongue out. "Oh man, I can't wait to tell Lyra..."
I coughed. "Uh, Vinyl? Can we keep this under wraps for the time being?"
She glanced up from her plate. "Still in the shed?"
"Some of us aren't as comfortable as you are, Vinyl. You know where we are."
"Ah, so what? Forget Canterlot! They can kiss my fat flank for all I care."
Her flank wasn't very fat. In fact, it was very curvy, nice to look at oh I'm getting distracted again.
"You know what would really get their britches in a bunch? Us kissing."
I choked on my orange juice.
"We should just walk out into the street, and start like, making out."
"And we should make it extra messy, with lots of tongue action. It'll be hilarious."
I looked her with lidded eyes. "You know, we don't need an excuse to make out."
There was a glint in her eye. She shifted her chair over until she was close, giving me her very own bedroom eyes. "Oh really?" She puckered her lips and leaned in...
I stopped her, pushing her face away with my hoof. "First, brush your teeth. And watch those fangs."
I gave her a quick peck on the cheek, and I swear, she just melted.
Vinyl agreed that we both deserved a day off. So after making a few calls, she and I were free. Free to do, well, just about anything. She suggested taking a nap. I wanted to cuddle. We did both. A few times I had woken up because she had been hugging me so tight she was crushing the life out of me.
After some take-out we just sat outside on our balcony, watching the Canterlot skyline. And for a while, things were alright. I tried to tell myself that it was over, the worse had come to pass.
The worst had yet to come.
"We only have tomorrow to make you into a proper mare," I reminded her. "And we'll start by getting rid of those gaudy sunglasses!"
She had an entire closet full of sunglasses of all colors and shapes. I think she was more miffed over her broken glasses than the fact that I had tried to kill her with a silver knife.
I snatched them away from her and dangled it out of her reach.
She sighed. "The dinner with your parents. Right. Are you gonna tell 'em about us?"
I blanched. "Absolutely not! They can't know! Nopony can know! Not yet! It's bad enough that I'm a fillyfooler, Vinyl. If word gets out that I'm fooling around with a vampire..."
Vinyl shook her head. "Bad, very bad. I've worked too hard to keep this a secret from everypony."
"So you understand."
"I understand the vampire part. So what? Are we going to some fancy restaurant?"
I told her the name.
"Hey, I thought we got kicked out of there a few weeks ago," she said.
"Because somepony decided it was a good idea to burp as loud as she could and use her fork and spoon as drumsticks!"
She waved her hoof. "Forget it. What's for dinner?"
I cracked open the fridge.
"Hey, do you want the rest of the sandwich?" I asked, holding up a plate.