winter is getting closer. the snow is piling high. my brown fur boots sink into the snow so deeply that i feel my sole touch the hard ground. my ears are cold, my nose is cold and i sniffle every few seconds. i take my arms out of my coat and pull the thick fabric closer to my shaking body. i wait for him at the bus stop. where he promised he would be. i don't know why. that's not a very vampire place to be. but i guess he really does like the more human things. white headlights appear in the darkness. the bus is coming. i stretch myself out to get a better look, without stepping onto the icy road. the bus comes to a slow swooshing stop and the doors slide open by themselves. a woman with two small boys steps off the bus. Kanute steps off after them.

"hi," i say, my breath visible in the coldness.

"hi," Kanute answers. he is bundled up in hoods and sweaters. his porcelain skin reminds me of designer dolls. he walks beside me on the cold, snowy sidewalk.

"no ones at my house right now. you can come home with me if you like," i say. he stops and adjusts my blue knitted cap.

"i can't do that," he says. his voice is smooth and the perfect pitch. my body aches to here it again.

"why?" i beg. he shifts his weight and sighs turning his head. he looks me in my eyes, the color of obsidian. i stare lostly into his, the color of blue sapphire.

"you know why," he says, lifting his hand to brush my cheek.

"we'll be careful," i say. i lean into him, the balls of my feet lifting off the ground. he chuckles at me.

"i don't trust myself with you," he sighs. "i'm too dangerous for you."

"you only think you are," i say.

"i wish that were so," he says. we start walking again. i feel his arm, wrapped in fabrics, come around my body, hugging me close to him.

"where are we headed now?" i ask, looking up into his porcelain cheek. there is no color there. the blushing bright apple red seen on others rushing through this snow bedded town does not exist on him.

"some place warm for you," he says.

"are you cold?" i ask.

"no," he smiles.

"then, why do you wear coats and hats?" i ask.

"because i want to look like everyone else," he says. "wouldn't you think it strange seeing a man half dressed in the dead of cold weather?" he asks.

"i suppose so," i say. we stop at the edge of a street. three snow hooded cars pass by and then we cross the street together. we come upon an apartment style complex of houses. a rush of excited energy sinks into me as i think this might be where he lives and he has brought me here to sleep the night. we stand on the little rug outside the building and he sifts through his pocket. he pulls out a key and twists it inside the lock. the door opens slowly with a noisy creaking sound. Kanute places his hand on my back and i step forward into the house. i must have frozen up. i hear the door close behind me. Kanute locks it.

"Rebecca," he says my name. i turn around to see him. he smiles wickedly. but i find it charming. he has one odd tooth on each side of the inside of his mouth. i can only see them when he smiles greatly.

"are you hungry?" i ask, my voice a tease. i peel my big coat off my shoulders and it drops to the floor. Kanute walks towards me.

"not very. but a little of your blood would be nice," he whispers on my jaw line. his hands tighten around my body. i unzip my jacket and unbutton my long sleeve shirt, revealing my collarbone. his soft lips press onto the side of my neck and then pull away. he hesitates.

"what's wrong?" i ask, worried.

"i'm being selfish again," he says, turning his face from me.

"this is not being selfish. if you're thirsty, then you should drink," i say. surprising myself, suggesting that i am the elixir he needs to survive. i shiver at my own words. he feels this movement in his arms.

"are you still cold?" he asks.

"no," i say. for the first time, i feel a ping of fear from being in his presence. he pushes his hood down and grabs his gray wool cap off his head. his hair is black like the raven bird's coat and just as menacing. i shake my hand over his choppy short locks. he smiles without showing any teeth.

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