Another Halloween where Nikki suckered me into going out. We arrived at a masquerade ball, I in a tux and she in a white ball gown that was decidedly reserved for her, keeping the neck and thigh line fairly modest. We danced a simple waltz along with all the other guests. After that, we didn’t even use formal steps, she clung to me like it was a high school dance, her cool voice in my ear.
“Are you enjoying yourself, Matthew?”
“It’s not our usual, but, yes. I like the slowness. Could do with a mite fewer people, though.”
“Hmm. Perhaps that can be arranged.”
“Why this, Nikki? It’s not our usual.”
“Tonight is special, Matthew.”
“Yeah, I know. Not my favorite, but I understand what you get out of it.”
“Do you, now? I’ve not shown you, and the power has grown. It demands to be let loose.” That soul-singing vibration filled her voice.
“What are you—” I was enveloped by a gentle, implacable warmth, like drinking hot cocoa on a cold day.
I knew this feeling, it was her will, her charm, whatever. I had felt this a few times before, but none recently. The last time she had done this to me, I was behind consecration in my house, and able to—barely—fight her off. She had grown much stronger since then, and that wasn’t even accounting for what she gained on Halloween. The belief energy of the world surged on days like today, giving vampires, werewolves, and others more power. This was why I preferred to stay locked in my house behind consecration with gallons of holy water nearby.
My limbs suddenly felt weak, as if my own will had gone out of them, and Nikki held me up like a ragdoll.
I wanted to be afraid, but the warmth—
No, I am afraid! Be afraid, dammit!
“Steady, Matthew. No need for fear. I keep my oath, but tonight is special.”
I opened my mouth, but I couldn’t get anything out. The warmth of her will, like a warm blanket, surrounded me. I was naked under that blanket, completely bare to her, but it was okay. I felt protected despite my vulnerability. I also knew that this was what she wanted me to feel, that this was how vampires seduce their victims. Sensual seduction was one thing, but few people could defend against this comforting warmth. Despite Nikki’s assurance, I tried to rebel against the feeling, but all the good it did. It may have been a warm, comforting blanket, but it draped over me so I couldn’t untangle myself from it. And I couldn’t even panic. It was all too comforting, despite what the logic of my brain said.
Suddenly, there was another presence with me under the blanket . . . no, not just under the blanket. It was Nikki, and I surrounded her. The blanket wrapped around me, but I wrapped around her. It was a weird tangle where I was vulnerable to her, but she also vulnerable to me. My will, my being wrapped around her like . . . not like a blanket, like a lover’s warm embrace. She was laid bare to me, now, and I could feel her.
I gasped, realizing I stood on the dance floor with her, while simultaneously in my mind I sat in front of a fireplace wrapped around her. Images flitted through my mind, and emotions tagged along. Each was indistinct, like rapidly flipping through a book, but I saw and felt them before the next and the next and the next.
“I have only been able to do this with my kind prior to this, but on this night I have the power, and share myself with you, Matthew. Happy Halloween.”
I clung to her as the torrent flowed through me, unable to speak, barely able to endure.