Luke met Charles at a seedy shit-hole club in South Philadelphia called “Laurie’s”. To get to the bar, you had to walk down a dark, narrow paint-peeling staircase. Charles took one look at how Luke’s muscular thighs stretched the fine linen of his summer pants and bought the man a drink. Thighs like that deserved a drink. Hell, thighs like that deserved a kingdom.
Luke unbuttoned his shirt when Charles flashed his cash to pay and in that little minute, button, cash, breath, eye-contact, they decided that they would be lovers. Inevitable as seasons and taxes and death and crap. There was none of that awkwardness that came with new lovers, well, perhaps a little in the bathroom when Charles slid Luke’s pants down to pool around his ankles but after that, they were easy as breaking glass.
Luke was a dancer and Charles was a vampire. Both of them felt these labels, dancer, vampire, gave them a lot in common, though neither of them could truly articulate why. Maybe it was the hours – dancers perform at night and really, so do vampires, both putting on little seduction shows, both with varying degrees of success. Love me. Come with me. Down this dark alley, yes.
Or maybe it was the thirst. Luke was always thirsty, thirsty for water, thirsty to be loved, thirsty to be felt, skin on skin. Luke drank water by the gallons, big jugs, cups and ice melting in his hand. Charles was thirsty for Luke, for the sweat of his skin, his warmth, his health. Luke was a house of blood. A world. Charles thirst dried out his lover, and both of them drank like addicts, from each other, over and over, drunk on each other, till they were all salt.
On the last day that they lived together, before Luke left for the west, they held hands, and Luke drank up his own tears. Love you. Love you.