“I didn’t know you liked the French,” Devon said, standing against the old mahogany bar that gave a stellar backdrop to the dark old cellar wall.
“Italian was always my favorite, but then you know that.” I looked at him and smiled as I poured myself a glass of red from a French red wine bottle.
“As beasts go, this is a deep richer red than I’ve ever had. Tell me whatever do you do to make it so imperishable?”
“It’s an art,” I said, sipping the glass of red, not too much but just enough to savor the bit of flavor it offered. I knew well not to sip too much all at once. It would ruin it if it went too fast, and that was what was most important not to get carried away in the moment.
“Tell me, Carlisle, what made you have a change of heart?” Devon smirked.
“It wasn’t worth the money. In the end, our friendship was what did it. I couldn’t stay mad at you.”
“I hope you don’t think I cut you out purposely.” Devon fell a bit against my hand, and I gripped him hard to help him from toppling over. My fingernail scratched his hand, causing him to bleed a little.
“So sorry!” I said, looking at his bleeding hand.
“No worries, I think it’s this wine. It’s intoxicating I’ll say that! But in all seriousness, I’d never go *behind* your back!”
“Oh, no, never occurred to me at all. I will say I was a bit disappointed that you didn’t think to consider my feelings about it. It was thinking with such a large investment, and I could have helped you not be taken advantage of by such shrewd businessmen. But you’re much younger than I and much more hungry.”
“You make me sound like a selfish prick. You know why I chose to go with Kimble and Pratt over your company. We’re friends! I never mix business with friendship.” Devon patted my shoulder.
I smiled, looking at him. He was lying. I knew he was lying. I no longer cared because, in a few moments, he’d realize what a mistake he had made.
After everything, I had done for him. Devon had been the son I had never had. He was now engaged to my daughter, Lynne. She was a serenely beautiful creature, and while I had loved her from the moment of her birth, she was adopted by me after her parents died tragically. Lynne had not known the true overprotective nature of her father.
I still recalled the first time I had seen her in her crib. Blood dripping from my hands. I saved her from the monsters that wanted to do her family harm.
I preserved what I could of them for her in case some day she needed to know where she had come from. Saving their essence – bottling it up to test when the time was right, and there was no time like the present.
I’d never let Lynne marry this greedy little fool. If Devon had his chance, he might learn my secret, and we can’t have that. I watched Devon’s eyes as they glossed over. I saw him adjusting his collar from the heat. His body was pale, and I watched as he was now sweating.
An alabaster brow that had betrayed us all, and I felt so stupid when I had first realized his intentions. Marry the daughter and take over the father’s company in tow. Perhaps that was always his intention. That day I bumped into him running errands. He had dropped a dozen or so sketches of business ideas. I was quick to read his eagerness to succeed.
His hunger would now be the death of him.
“Do say, this is rather delicious wine! May I have another glass?” He asked as a wild look came over him.
“Of course, anything for you,” I said, pouring him another glass. I watched him greedily suck down the dark red wine the color of thick running blood. The thickness of it dripped from the corners of his mouth.
I smiled as I watched him, thinking back to that day when I overheard him talking to Jim Kimble of Kimble and Pratt industries. He had come over for brunch with Lynne and had spent the entire afternoon doting over her. I felt my daughter had finally found someone worthy of her sweet nature. That is when he broke my heart.
“Carlisle is not aware of the deal. He’s too old school and does all his number-crunching by pen and pad. No idea what a Bitcoin is. All those transactions are secure. When I marry that ugly daughter of his ill slip something in both their dinner plates, no one will ever be the wiser…”
He had planned to kill us both. Wretched man wouldn’t go near my daughter. To kill me, you’d need a lot more than poison.
“How is that wine?” I asked Devon.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me or why I can’t stop drinking it! Please give me more!” His crazed eyes held onto the wine. Soon he was walking around searching for more.
I watched him stagger back and forth. It was almost too good to be true. It had been much easier than I thought it would be to turn him.
“I think this is an amazing wine, is it French?”
“Oh, I don’t like putting labels on people. I just prefer to drink them.”
He watched me as he backed into the corner of the cellar, into the storage room where I kept the empty wine barrels. He still did not understand what was happening.
“What’s that?” He began to laugh hysterically.
“Drink them. I like to drink the blood of my victims.”
“Now, you sound crazy!” Devon laughed again.
I shut the door to the storage room on him.
“What are you doing? Where’s more of that delicious wine? Come now, Carlisle, you’ve had your fun! Let me out of here.”
“Oh no,” I locked the door and put the key inside my pocket, patting it for good measure.
“You recall your agreement with Jim Kimble?”
“What? Let me out of here!”
Devon’s fear was turning to anger as his new brain was bringing to take shape, wrapping itself around the situation he now found himself.
“Oh, no,” I sighed. “I won’t do that. Instead, I’m letting you be the hungry little monstrous human you were meant to be. Do you know what it feels like to live a day, month, or years buried with no way to feed that hunger?”
“No! What is the meaning of this?” He cried now.
“If you think very hard, I’m sure you will figure it out. After all, you have an eternity.”