A Kiss Before Dying

By Saber ShadowKitten

There was a greasy mop of curly hair on the floor.

Angelus paused mid-step and stared at the mass of dark curls in the middle of his living room. The heap was on the floor in front of a Louis XIV settee, and the lamps scattered around the room cast a shine on the greasy hair.

"Drusilla!" Angelus called.

The mop twitched.

Angelus frowned and cautiously walked towards the large hairball. He hoped it wasn't a dog of some sort. He despised dogs. When he was about a foot away, the mass shifted and rose slightly. Angelus stopped moving abruptly and stared hard at the thing.

Barely discernable through the knots and tangles, a pair of bright blue eyes stared right back at Angelus.

"Drusilla!" Angelus yelled. "Get yerself in here!"

The mop scrambled backwards at the vampire's yell. Flashes of white human limbs appeared and disappeared from beneath the long, dark curls.

A human, Angelus realized. There was a human underneath all that hair.

An evil smile pulled at the vampire's lips. He started forward again, making a mental note to punish Drusilla for not coming when called. The mass of curls backed away until its retreat was halted by a mahogany table. The antique vase wobbled precariously when the table was bumped, but it did not fall.

Angelus crouched in front of the smelly mop, reached forward and parted the tangle of dark hair. His metaphorical breath caught at the dirt-streaked beauty he found underneath. Wide blue eyes were framed by long black lashes. Chiseled cheekbones cut sharp lines towards soft-looking lips. A smear of dried mud decorated a straight nose.

"Well, hello there," Angelus said quietly. "Who might you be?"

Blue eyes stared back at him with fear.

"What's yer name?" Angelus said, adding a hint of hardness to his tone. "I willna ask a third time."

"Will," the human said in a soft, shaky voice.

"Will, eh?" Angelus smiled. "'Tis a pleasure t' meet ye. I'm Angelus. Now, how did ye get t' be in me home?"

Will swallowed. "Some, er, lady dragged me here."

"And where is she?"

"Said she was going to find a bone and left."

Angelus chuckled. So, Drusilla decided to bring a 'dog' home after all.

"Uh, can I leave?" Will asked nervously.

"Most certainly," Angelus lied. "I'll arrange for a handsome cab t' take ye home."

Will shook his ratty head quickly, causing some of the strands of greasy hair to slide through Angelus's fingers. "No. I can walk."

With that answer, Angelus was able to put all the pieces together to form a clear picture. The long, filthy hair. The stench. The extremely dirty skin. Drusilla had brought home a mud-lark.

Mud-larks were the poorest of the poor in London. Homeless, they lived on the banks of the Thames with nothing but the rags on their backs and their hair to protect them from the weather. Every day, they sifted through the brown, mucky river in search of any items they could sell for a coin.

Normally, mud-larks were either the very young or the very old. More money could be made as a thief and pick-pocket, or by prostitution, both of which were easier, too. Even toshers and bone-pickers -- scavengers of rubbish piles and graves -- made more money than mud-larks.

Something had happened to Will that turned him into a mud-lark, of that Angelus was certain. Children who grew up on the banks either died from hypothermia or disease before they reached their teens, or they turned to other avenues of money making. By the length of Will's hair, Angelus estimated whatever it was happened about a decade ago.

The vampire was just going to drain Will, but his curiosity was piqued. Also, Angelus wondered how Will would look if he was clean and had a haircut. The human was quite beautiful, even with all the dirt.

"I've a better idea," Angelus said. "Allow me t' extend me hospitality an' offer ye a bath an' bed for the night."

Will blinked several times in surprise. "Er..."

"Ah, come on, lad," Angelus prompted. "I'll even toss in supper an' a morning meal."

Will's pink tongue darted out to lick his lips at the mention of food. Angelus had the sudden desire to kiss those moistened lips, despite how disgustingly filthy the other man was.

"All- all right," Will agreed tentatively. He dropped his eyes, and Angelus saw a red blush under the dirt on Will's high cheekbones. "Do you... can I eat first?"

"Aye, that ye can." Angelus stood. "Follow me, Will."

Angelus led Will through the fancy home to the kitchen. The vampire had killed the owners the night before, so the pantry was still stocked with fresh food.

"Sit," Angelus gestured to the wooden table set in the corner of the room. He went to the pantry and took out as much food as he could carry, then brought it over to the table. He laughed when he heard Will's stomach rumbled loudly. "Go ahead, boy, eat yer fill. I'll be drawin' yer bath."

"Thanks," Will said quietly.

Angelus nodded and started out of the kitchen. He glanced back at Will and grinned when he saw the human was stuffing his face with bread.

Continuing on his way, Angelus hunted down a minion to start heating water for the bath. The dark-haired vampire retrieved the washtub and placed it in front of the fireplace in the study. He hummed Debussy to himself as he collected a bar of heavy lye soap, soap cakes, several towels and the cutting shears.

A half-hour later, the tub was filled with hot water carried in by the minion from various lit fireplaces throughout the home. Another small, water-filled cauldron hung over the fire in the study, to be added to the tub when the water in it started to cool.

Will stared with trepidation at the cutting shears Angelus held in his hand. The two men were in the study, Angelus dressed only in his trousers and boots. Will was still wearing his threadbare shirt and trousers, and his bare toes dug into the carpeting on the floor.

"I don't want a haircut," Will stated.

"Why no'?" Angelus asked. He gestured at Will's hair with the shears. "'Tis a ratty mess. I would think ye'd want t' chop it off."

"Keeps me warm," Will mumbled in response.

"I'm certain a coat would keep ye warmer," Angelus told him. "An' I've plenty o' those."

Will's eyes widened in surprise. "You'd give me a coat?"

"Aye," Angelus said. "But only iffin' ye get yer hair cut."

After a brief moment, Will nodded and turned his back to Angelus. Now it was Angelus's turn to be surprised. Such trust the boy had, Angelus thought as he stepped up behind Will. It was a rarity in this day and age.

Angelus lined the shears up with Will's jaw and made the first cut. It was only because of the vampire's strength that the sharp shears were able to cut through the tangled mass of Will's long, thick hair. Angelus's lips curled back in disgust as several bugs jumped from Will's head.

When the waist-length hair was chopped down to chin-length, Angelus signaled the minion standing in the shadows to collect the greasy lump on the floor. Once the minion had left, Angelus addressed Will. "In t' the bath wit' ye now."

"Aren't you going to leave?" Will asked in return.

"Nay," Angelus replied. "Ye'll need help t' scrub yer back."

Even in the firelight, Angelus could see Will's blush. The vampire chuckled and busied himself with the soap and towels. "Dinna worry, Will. We're both grown men, an' I'm no' about t' take advantage of ye."

At least, not until you're clean, Angelus added mentally.

The vampire waited until he heard Will climb into the tub before turning to face the other man. A smile tugged at his mouth at the pleased expression on Will's face.

Angelus knelt next to the tub, grabbed the lye soap and Will's arm, and began to scrub the layers of dirt away. Will struggled a bit, at first, but at a sharp glare from Angelus he settled back and allowed himself to be washed.

It wasn't odd for Angelus to perform what could be considered a maid's task, such as bathing the mortal. He wanted Will to be perfectly clean, and he couldn't trust the minions to make sure that happened. "If you wanted something done right, you did it yourself," as the old saying went. Plus, bathing gave Angelus an opportunity to check over Will without resistance.

Will seemed to be healthy enough. He was extremely thin, and his feet were rough and littered with scars from years of going barefooted. His hair was a sable color that curled wildly, even when wet.

It was Will's face, though, that captured Angelus's eye. The vampire had thought Will was a beauty with an inch of dirt marring his skin. Now that the other man was clean, his striking features stood out, and Angelus was hard-pressed not to run his fingers repeatedly over Will's chiseled cheekbones or his soft lips.

Angelus heard the front door open and stood. He handed Will the soap. "I'll let ye finish yerself," he said before he headed out of the study.

Angelus found Drusilla in the living room with a bloody human femur in her hand. "Angel, have you seen my puppy? I've got a bone for him."

"Dru, how many times have I told ye no' t' bring anyone home?" Angelus tisked.

Drusilla pouted. "But 'e was begging for me to take care of 'im."

"Well, I be takin' care o' him now," Angelus told her in a hard tone. "Ye've been a bad girl, Drusilla. I'm goin' t' have t' punish ye."

"I'm sorry, Daddy," Drusilla said, her pout turning into a wicked smile. "Are you going to 'urt me?"

"Aye," Angelus nodded, "I'm goin' t' hurt ye very much. Go t' yer room, take off yer dress, and lay o'er the table."

"Yes, Daddy." Drusilla hurried out of the living room, still clutching the femur bone in her hand.

Angelus smiled to himself. He'd make his dark childe wait for a long time before he went to her room. That'd be more of a punishment than a thousand lashes for her disobedience.

Returning to the study, Angelus found Will standing uncomfortably in the middle of the room with a towel wrapped around his body. The difference between the dirty mop the vampire had found in the living room compared to the clean man standing before him was astounding. Angelus felt his trousers tighten, and he rubbed his hands together in anticipation.

"Come, Will. I'll show ye t' yer room," Angelus said.

"But... my clothes..."

"Leave them," Angelus instructed. "We'll find ye some new ones on the morrow."

Angelus led Will out of the study, up the stairs to the second floor, and to one of the bedrooms. He held the door open for the other man and stayed in the doorway as Will looked around the ornate room with awestruck eyes.

One of the minions had lit a fire in the fireplace, and the flickering flames cast a glow on the four-poster double bed with a gold coverlet. A neatly folded pile of clothing sat on a cherry-oak dresser. Heavy damask drapes covered the single window.

"Will this do for ye tonight?" Angelus asked.

"Yeah," Will breathed. "This is amazing. How can I ever thank you?"

A predatory smile slowly spread across Angelus's lips. "I have an idea or two," he said, one hand going to the buttons on his trousers, the other pulling the door shut behind him.


Angelus awoke late the following afternoon to the sound of heavy rain against the window of the bedroom. Will was curled in a ball under the heavy blankets with his face pressed against Angelus's stomach. Will's warm, even breaths danced across the vampire's cool skin as the other man slept.

In the early morning hours as the two men lay in bed, stated, Angelus had questioned Will about his life. Will had told Angelus that his wife and child had perished in a fire that had burned his home to cinders, twelve years earlier. Following that, he confessed that he'd had a mental breakdown that cost him his employment, and he'd been living on the banks ever since.

It would have been a sad story to someone who cared. To Angelus, it satisfied his curiosity, and now he had to decide what to do with Will -- kill him, or keep him?

Will was a pretty decent lover for a human male, and he wasn't as tight as he should have been, which led Angelus to the conclusion that Will had prostituted himself on occasion. More than likely it had been to other mud-larks, considering that the dirty, smelly state of his person would have turned off most people.

He was quite beautiful, too. His newly cut, sable-colored hair hung in waves around his face and felt like silk between Angelus's fingers. When Will smiled, his entire face lit up, and it caused Angelus to instantly smile in return.

Drusilla would be happy with a new pet to play with. She'd been getting on Angelus's nerves lately, and perhaps Will would make a good distraction. If trained right, Will could take care of Drusilla by himself, leaving Angelus free to do as he wished.

It would also be nice to have a new childe, one who was actually sane. Another male childe would be nice, too. Penn had struck out on his own decades ago, and Angelus hadn't had another man's companionship since then. Raping and pillaging wasn't as much fun with women, and having another male around would balance the scales when Darla came calling.

Then, there was the added bonus of teaching a new childe. Angelus smiled at the thought of chaining Will up and whipping the skin off of him because of his disobedience. Or watching as Will and Drusilla viciously fought for the privilege of being fucked by their sire. Or having Will kneeling at Angelus's feet at the snap of his fingers, sucking his cock no matter where they were or who was around.

Angelus liked all of those images tremendously, and Will's fate was sealed. With a nudge, Angelus woke Will, and the blue-eyed mortal emerged from under the covers to blink sleepily at the vampire.

"Is it morning already?" Will asked around a yawn.

"Nay, 'tis afternoon already," Angelus corrected with a grin.

"Oh." Will looked crestfallen. "I guess I'd better be off, then."

"Before ye go, how 'bout a goodbye kiss?" Angelus winked.

Will gave the vampire a half-hearted smile in return, then leaned forward and pressed his mouth to Angelus's. Angelus snared the back of Will's hair and held him firmly. The vampire plunged his tongue past Will's parted lips and teeth and into the warm cavern of his mouth.

Hungrily, Angelus plundered Will's mouth for several long minutes. Will gasped for breath when Angelus finally moved from his lips to kiss down his jawline and along his neck.

"That was some bloody goodbye kiss," Will panted.

"Aye, well, a kiss before dying should always be a good one," Angelus murmured against Will's throat.

"Dying?" Will said in confusion.

Angelus struck without warning, burying his fangs into Will's jugular. Will gasped and froze in Angelus's deadly embrace. The vampire drank greedily, the hot blood causing his cock to harden.

On the edge of death, Angelus removed his fangs from Will's neck and pushed him onto his back. Angelus rose up, straddled the dying mortal's head, and used the side of his nail to cut a slice on the head of his cock. The blood pulsed as his member throbbed, and Angelus thrust forward into Will's mouth.

Will reflexively swallowed around Angelus's cock, and the vampire groaned. He began a fast pace, pumping in and out of Will's warm, wet mouth. Will's blunt teeth scraped along Angelus's tender skin, and Angelus's eyes rolled at the pleasure-pain sensation.

The dark-haired vampire came with a grunt, shooting his blood-mixed semen down Will's throat. Again, Will swallowed. Angelus then pulled his cock from between the human's lax lips and rested back on Will's chest. He watched as Will's blue eyes glazed over, and the body went limp beneath him.

Angelus bent forward and brushed a soft kiss across Will's mouth. "Sleep sweet, Will. I look forward t' yer awakenin'."

Angelus climbed out of bed, tucked the coverlet around Will's body, and, with a spring to his step, he headed for the door. Drusilla was still waiting for her punishment, and Angelus was in the mood to hear the beautiful music of her screams.