Crimson, Velvet and Bells

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At this late hour, the tall windows are dark and the iron balcony empty.

Perfect timing for a visit.

The address is the same and my skeleton key still fits.

Evidence of the modern world is everywhere yet this city never really changes. The shutters are repainted, but they’re still crooked. The roofs are patched, but they still sag. My guess-it was built this way. A perpetual state of elegant disrepair.

This building is no exception, though our love nest is less of a secret now. From exclusive parties and private séances, to quiet nights when locals slip through the back door-insiders know where the supernatural fringe and the mortal world collide.

It wasn’t our first time. That night in the Himalayas was innocent, or as innocent as it gets. This place witnessed different firsts. The vampire and her human lover, facing down fearsome legend and dire warnings in the name of love. The undead couple, just scratching the surface of their potential. Nobody imagined the magic that would come from our union.

The square table sits in darkness, place settings untouched, though one wineglass is missing.

Eight steps up the creaky staircase and distant chanting tickles my ears while incense wafts through the dark foyer. Candles remain unlit until I pass through the outer chambers and step through a brick arch. Then, flames jump to life, illuminating crimson tassels, antique paintings and the faces of Pharaohs.

The chair at the farthest end of the room beckons, the best seat in the house. I can see my reflection flickering in every gilded mirror. The missing wineglass waits, as if left by a phantom. One sip and I know it was meant for me.

The exquisite taste, intoxicating scent and thundering power of your desert blood, floating on the velvet melody of bells.

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