The Vampire Grinch
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by Lacey Anne Frye
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Gavin's always loved Christmas, but his boyfriend? Malcolm would rather be staked and beheaded, and since he's a vampire, that's saying something! Their quarrel threatens to make the holidays less than merry, but when they spend Christmas Eve apart, Malcolm starts thinking of reasons they should keep their Yule fire burning bright.
eBook Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspinner Press, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: January 2012
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [82 KB]
Reading time: 50-70 min.
You could always tell when a vampire was irritated.
Malcolm's icy gray eyes flashed and narrowed, and a muscle in his jaw clenched. It was all barely noticeable, of course, and only someone who'd been among vampires for a while would have been able to catch it.
Gavin Martello was that someone. One of his female coworkers at the gym--and a good personal friend of his--happened to be a vampire, and he'd been dating Malcolm for almost a full year now. He liked to think he'd gotten quite good at reading them, no matter how much they didn't like it. It was a little vampire secret that they tried to hide their true feelings by not saying anything at all, and so Gavin had learned very fast how to pick up on their expressions.
Malcolm turned away from him, all grace and unearthly beauty. He walked into the kitchen of Gavin's small home, and he went to the refrigerator, saying nothing.
"What's that look for?" Gavin asked wearily, arms crossing. If Malcolm's expression had been meant to quiet him, Malcolm was in for a surprise. He may have been a vampire, but Gavin didn't scare easy. Besides, he knew that beneath the scary I'm-a-monster exterior, Mal could be quite the pussycat.
"You know, for being, like, a million years old, you're not very good at lying."
Malcolm didn't say anything. He just kept rooting around in the refrigerator. Gavin got the idea that he wasn't even really seeing anything in there, that he was just doing it to busy his hands. It was like he didn't want to have to look at Gavin, and for some reason, this was really annoying.
With a little sigh, Gavin slipped past him and climbed up onto the counter next to the fridge. He swung his legs a little, furrowing his brow as he watched the vampire. What on Earth had grated on Malcolm's nerves this time? What could possibly be wrong with him?
Christmas was on the way, and Gavin had just been telling him about the party his sister was throwing the next evening, Christmas Eve. He'd spent the day putting up his fake tree--by himself, mind you; he'd let Malcolm sleep in his little hidey-hole downstairs--and he'd gotten the living room all nice and decorated for the holiday. He normally put the tree up at least a good couple of weeks before Christmas, but he just hadn't had time this year. Better late than never, he figured.
It would be his and Malcolm's first Christmas together since they'd met at the beginning of the year, and Gavin was more than a little excited about it. He'd never had someone to celebrate with--somehow, he'd always been single on what he considered the most important holiday of the year. And to him, things couldn't have been better. He had a man he loved, a party to go to, the Weather Channel had promised that it'd be a white Christmas, and he was making good money at the gym, which meant that he'd been able to buy good presents for everyone.
So why, when Malcolm had ventured up from the basement, did he have to go and mess it all up? Gavin hadn't been expecting him to jump for joy at all the decorations that had gone up, but a little "Yeah, looks nice" would have gone a long way.
"Do I have to guess what's wrong?" Gavin asked. "I can't read your mind."
"I just don't care for this holiday. I don't want to do anything for Christmas," Malcolm said. His tone could only be described as stiff. Confrontational.
"What do you mean you don't want to do anything?"
"Exactly what I said." Malcolm spared him a glance, eyes stormy. "I don't want to celebrate."
This was said so simply that it left Gavin stumped. Sure, there were probably a lot of people who didn't like Christmas, but he'd been so looking forward to it. It'd been his favorite holiday since childhood--the snow, the music, the break from school, the presents--it was hard for him to believe that there were people who didn't like it. And his mother, with whom he'd been very close, had shared his feelings on the matter--it'd been their thing.
For the first time since he'd been planning the holiday, he suddenly remembered that Malcolm was a vampire.
"Oh, is it religious reasons?" He couldn't believe he hadn't thought of that sooner. Crosses and other Christian paraphernalia could hurt vampires, and they couldn't walk on hallowed ground, and Christmas was very, well, Christ-related.
"No. Maybe I just fucking hate Christmas."
"I'm over a hundred years old, Gavin. I've celebrated Christmas all over the world for as long as I've been around. It loses its charm after the first fifty years or so, believe me."
"Oh. But I thought...."
"You thought you'd make all these plans and decide what we're going to do before even consulting me?" Malcolm asked. When he put it like that, it did sound bad. But Gavin had been excited--he couldn't help it. "Maybe if you'd asked first, you wouldn't have wasted your time putting up all these stupid decorations."
"Stupid?" Gavin echoed, his face heating in anger. Any bit of guilt he'd felt seconds before vanished.
"Christmas is useless. It's an excuse for you humans to spend money and pretend to care about one another. It's an artificial holiday, and I've always hated it."
"Well, you don't have to be such an asshole about it," Gavin murmured.
Malcolm suddenly straightened, shutting the fridge a little harder than he normally might have. "Are there any more packs? I could have sworn I had some," he said coolly.
"How should I know? I don't drink the stuff."
"You said you'd pick up more."
"And I did. It's not my fault you're a glutton and sucked them all down," Gavin said, rolling his eyes. "You don't even need that much, do you? I mean, you can survive on, like, a drink a week."
"You don't need all those donuts, but you eat them anyway," Malcolm said matter-of-factly.
To a lesser man, such a remark may have stung. But Gavin was at the gym regularly, both to work and to work out, and while he took care of his body, he'd also been blessed with a fast metabolism. So what if he ate a couple of sweets every now and then? He deserved them.
He hopped off the counter, and gave Malcolm a wide, sweeping bow. Malcolm arched his eyebrows skeptically, and Gavin said, "Allow me to run right out to the blood bank for your majesty. Never mind the fact that it's snowing and I have to go all the way to Annapolis. Oh, it's no big deal, really. I don't care if it takes me an hour to get there. Even though you could probably fly there and save me all the trouble."
Malcolm only deadpanned him, and Gavin didn't blame him. Everyone and their mother knew that vampires couldn't fly.
Gavin moved past him, grabbing his coat from the back of one of the dining room chairs. He shrugged it on in short, jerky motions, realizing how angry he was really feeling. It wasn't often that he got mad at Malcolm--it wasn't often that Malcolm acted like an insensitive jerk--but sometimes, it just got a little difficult being with someone like him.
First, there were the ungodly hours. After Malcolm had started staying with him, Gavin had had to completely switch up his routine. He'd once been a morning person, the sort of guy who considered the sun a near and dear friend. Ever since he and Malcolm had started dating though, he'd become a night owl.
Then there was the blood. Thank God for the blood banks that had been established for that very purpose, because the relationship may not have worked if Gavin had had to feed Malcolm all on his own. Gavin was muscular, but also rather thin, and the very few times Malcolm had fed from him, it had severely weakened him. It wasn't an unpleasant feeling--in fact, it was kind of nice--but Gavin did have a life outside of his boyfriend, and he needed to keep his strength up for it. Not to mention, he was afraid of the scars. He could count on one hand the number of times he'd let Malcolm feed on him, and he'd like to keep it that way.
And don't even get him started on Malcolm's attitude. Sometimes Malcolm went through what Gavin secretly referred to as "vampire PMS"--he could be sardonic, inconsiderate, and full to the brim of himself. During his vampire PMS, he sometimes got it into his head that the world revolved around him, and he acted like he was some sort of royalty. And that got old real fast.
It was simple: vampires could be dicks. Everyone knew that. And Gavin had been well aware of that going into the relationship. Really, he should have been expecting Malcolm's attitude--it'd been a while since he'd gotten into one of his moods.
As Gavin was cutting through the living room to the front door, a sound like rushing wind met his ears, and Malcolm was suddenly in front of him, blocking his way. Gavin glowered. There was that too, that stupid unnatural speed that all vampires insisted on using whenever they got the opportunity. They could be real showoffs at times.
"Gavin, I'm sorry." It was clear by Malcolm's tone that he was only saying what he thought Gavin wanted to hear. He looked down at Gavin with those intense gray eyes, and Gavin wondered if he were trying to hypnotize him. He'd once asked Malcolm if that were possible, if vampires had that ability, but Malcolm had only laughed. To this day, Gavin didn't know what that had meant.
Fortunately, if that had been what Malcolm was trying to do, it had no effect. "It's fine, whatever," Gavin said.
"You don't have to go to Annapolis."
"If I don't, who will? For some reason, you and your bloodsucking kind are terrified of going inside blood banks. You know, they're not going to kidnap and drain you or anything--that's kind of the opposite of their goal."
"No one has to go at all. You were right--I can survive without it." Suddenly, the hints of a smirk played at his full lips. "And if it gets bad, maybe you would be so kind as to...?" He trailed off, his eyebrows rising suggestively. Any other time, Gavin might have gone along with it, and any other time, Gavin might have accepted this teasing remark as an apology.
But not this time. "No. I'd rather drive over thirty miles in the snow than let you anywhere near my veins, thanks," he said curtly. "Besides, it'll be nice to get away from your negativity and cynicism for a little while."
"Get out of my way."
Malcolm didn't move. His expression was hard to read, but he almost looked confused. Like he couldn't believe that Gavin hadn't just merrily accepted his apology. That figured. Vampires always acted like they were so smart and so much more clever than humans. That was a joke.
Gavin rolled his eyes again. "Get out of my way or get out of my house."
At the threat of having his invitation rescinded, Malcolm sidestepped out of the way. Gavin all but threw the door open, slammed into the storm door, and hurried out onto the stoop.
While the snow seemed to be coming down in bucketfuls, it was light and slow, and it didn't seem to be sticking to the ground. Gavin sent a quick thanks up to the weather gods, praying that the flurries wouldn't get worse before he returned. He buttoned up his peacoat as he made his way carefully down the brick steps.
"Gavin...." Malcolm was still inside, talking through the storm door. Gavin hadn't quite gotten around to replacing the screen with the glass pane that he usually put up when the weather got colder. He suddenly wished he had. "Let me come with you."
"Don't test me right now." Gavin turned to look up at the vampire. "And I swear to God, if you open that door to follow, I will stake you so fast you won't know what hit you."
"No you won't."
Gavin didn't have it in him to argue. There wasn't really any point--both he and Malcolm knew he was bluffing.
He ignored the feeling of Malcolm's eyes burning into him as he walked down the driveway toward his car. As he slid into the driver's seat, he realized he was grumbling wordlessly under his breath. He shook his head as he started the ignition, looking back at the house to see Malcolm still at the door.
Vampires were dicks. Why was Gavin surprised that Malcolm was a regular Ebenezer Scrooge?