The night is dark and cold, a breeze whips up the dry leaves and gusts down the deserted cobble stone streets; she stands outside the theater for a moment before pulling her coat tighter around her shoulders and hurrying down the road. She stops for a second to pear down a dark alley, and with a slight shrug she hurries down it trying to reach her car before freezing to death. She shivers as the wind swirls around her, she glances over her shoulder and fear races through her, a shadowy figure stands at the entrance staring at her. She looks ahead again and starts fumbling for her keys, she can see her car parked under a street light; she glances back at the figure but no one is there. She condemns herself and slows her pace some, she sighs and looks forward.

She gasps and freezes, the man is standing before her, she turns to run but he grabs her and pins her against the wall. “S-Stop!” She struggles, he nuzzles her and softly licks her neck “Don’t! Please!”

I’m sorry… I’m so sorry.” Before she can say anything more he bites down, his teeth pierce her skin and blood wells up. He sucks on the wounds softly, swallowing more and more of her blood; as the wounds slowly clots and the blood flow slows he pulls away. She is in stunned silence, he looks away from her ashamed and fearful.

What the hell…” She touches the wounds softly as he takes a step back “What are you?”

I… I’m sorry…” He looks at her, his blood lust satisfied “I couldn’t help myself…. I’m so sorry.” She steps away from him but he does not let her go far, he grabs her arm and pulls her back, she panics but cannot escape his grasp. He pushes her back against the wall and softly touches her forehead, a red light emanates from his finger tips and her world goes black.

She wakes with a start, hands slamming against the steering wheel of her car. She looked around and finds herself in her car, doors locked, seat belt on, and keys in the ignition. Panicking she scrambled for her bag and pulls out a compact, she examines her neck but finds nothing. No marks, no scars, nothing; she closes the compact and tosses it back in her bag while she takes deep breathes hoping to calm her pounding heart. She turns her key and the car fires up, she backs out of her parking spot and drives home, trying to put the encounter out her mind.

Weeks pass by, she stays away from the alley though she is not sure if what happened that night was real or a dream. On one the of many occasions she is in the historic downtown she sees a man working behind the counter of the candy store, without hesitation she goes in and approaches the counter. He looks up and for a split second the color drains from his face but it quickly returns with his friendly smile “How can I help you?”

I, um… Can I have a pound of nut free fudge please?” She asks, he nods and cuts a small square off of the larger block. He wraps it up and she pulls her wallet out “How much?” He hesitates for a moment before passing it to her.

On me.” She looks up and there is instant understanding. She takes it and stares at him a moment, everything seemingly falls into place at that moment. It was real, he was real, that night was real. She nods and leaves the store, going to the office space she works in just down the road from the candy store and the alleyway.

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