You’d think he’d be over it by now, is what Dracula thinks. You’d think two hundred years or more would have worked all of the butterflies out of his system. He doesn’t even need to breathe anymore, his borrowed blood is hardly vital enough to stir more than the shadow of a pulse in his throat, god knows what state his glands are in, but even so he’s always nervous, always terrified. He’s not religious, obviously, not even when he was alive years and years ago, but he remembers how other people looked when they were kneeling in front of the castle’s altar, dimly, and more vividly the faces as he closes in upon them, and it’s a little bit of that feeling, a joyful terror, a fear so thrilling it’s almost holy.

There are two of them that he’s got a thing for just now, a man and a woman, and it’s all he can do to stay calm when he’s in the room with one of them, let alone both like now. Still, he’s been doing this a long time, there’s things you can do. He doesn’t keep looking after them, which is obvious, but he doesn’t ignore them, either, which is just about as bad. It’s a balancing act, between friendship and regard.

“A bunch of us are going to this concert later,” says his woman, “it’s a local band, my roommate’s boyfriend is in it, but they’re pretty good. D’you want to come along?”

“Yeah, come on,” says his man. “I’ve seen them before, they’re great.”

Oh man oh geez oh man, is what Dracula thinks, but he just smiles and pretends to think about it.