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Women of the Bite : A Lesbian Vampire Anthology
The seductive power of the vampire meets female energy in Women of the Bite. These eleven stories of eternal love, dark avenging angels, and the eroticism of blood lust explore the female vampire and her sisters from all angles. A young gypsy girl is saved from marauders by a mysterious spirit, but what price will be exacted for her rescue? Her blood, or her heart? A young vampire runs into trouble in the New World and finds herself seeking the protection of her maker's wings back in Europe. Had her mistress always known she would return to the nest? Silent film actress Theda Bara was known the world over as "The Vamp," but what happened when she was called upon to judge a beauty pageant of vampiresses from around the world? What happens when a vampire and a werewolf are matched up by an online dating service? They both love steak tartare, but do they have enough in common beyond their mutual lust to find love as well? Sink your teeth into these and many other stories of the lust and love of lesbian vampires.
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July 07, 2009
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Excerpt from Women of the Bite by Cecilia Tan
Some people read palms; I read groceries. Every day, as I slid items over the scanner, I learned who was planning a romantic interlude (steaks, red wine, chocolate sauce) or a school birthday celebration (cake mix, candles, cupcake holders). Ben and Jerry's signaled an evening of self-indulgence or pity, especially in large quantities. Other meals meant nostalgia and homesickness: grits and black-eyed peas, or meatloaf and mashed potatoes. An assortment of cheeses betrayed a cocktail party. They could keep no secrets from me. I knew who was menstruating or dieting, who had a wheat allergy, who was trying to ward off colds and fevers. I knew who had warts. I silently named the shoppers while they eased their debit cards through the machine and tapped in numbers. Old Man Pinchmouth and his laxatives. Lady Bountiful, every cart brimming full of desserts. The Harried Woman, with her three children following after her in a chorus of demands. Then there was the woman I called the Queen of Goth and Sugar. Goth, because she never wore anything but black over a form that was Somalia-skinny and midnight pale. For a while I thought she might be a software dev--Microsoft's down the road, after all, and she had that late-night pallor they all sport. But the women there dress in only two ways: the management track in neat little suits, and the rest in fleece from Eddie Bauer or REI. She was too dressy, prone to wearing velvet shirts and black jeans, and gold jewelry in odd configurations--a cluster of hoops cascading along one ear, or a ring chained to a bracelet. Her eyes were alive--neon blue, like ardent lightning, so bright that you'd swear they glowed in the dark. Maybe they did. And Sugar, because she only bought candy. A particular type, unadulterated by chocolate or cookie. Pure, hardcore sugar--Brach's mints or Pixy Stix or circus peanuts. She liked Peeps in particular--the day after Easter, she bought ten flats of them, each marshmallow lump coated with sugar, colored a poisonous yellow. I tried to catch her eye and smile, two adults laughing at the childishness, but she stared straight ahead, face blank as an unmarked grave. * * * * I am not a cashier by trade. My business card, which I pass out at the drop of a hat, says "Lily Summerchylde, Photographer," and that's what I am. I make a little money from it. Mainly I take cemetery shots and tweak them with Photoshop into something they're not: spectral landscapes that sell well in a certain kind of gift shop. My boyfriend Bill is a photographer too, and ekes out his own existence with a job at an electronics store, pumping up the volume and selling toys to gadget-hungry geeks. * * * * We didn't have family, Bill and I. We had each other, two plain-looking people living plain lives. Bill wasn't as good as I was. It's a fact. I learned that if my luck sweetened, I should play it down, twist it sour, because when he was frustrated, he lashed out. I used to say, "It's just the way he is." Or, "He doesn't really mean it." And once, humiliatingly, embarrassingly, I heard the words come out of me: "But he's so sweet later on," and I felt like a battered wife on Oprah. I hated myself for that, the way I hated him sometimes. But it was why she spoke to me. I had a black eye that Valentine's Day. I told the head cashier I'd been snowboarding, and maybe she believed me, maybe she didn't. I came in with lots of sports injuries. I tried to make them seem real by learning the names of the equipment, the maneuvers, the best places to go. If you know the names, it's more convincing to people. "I was up at Whistler," I told the cashier. "Trying to do a frontside 540 and I fell. Boy, what a weekend!" She nodded, gave me my drawer, and pointed to register five. The Queen had three sacks of candy hearts, colored pastel and printed with slogans like "U R so sweet" and "Cool babe." The counter belt slid them along to me and I grabbed the first bag. Her motion stopped me. She reached out with fingers as cold as truth and traced them along the bruise, so softly that it didn't hurt. "Put ice on that when you get home," she said. "It keeps the swelling down." I didn't know what to say, so I nodded, and kept on swiping the bags through until "1.49" showed red on the register display. She paid with a twenty and indicated I should drop the change in the MEOW fund-raising jar. She paused and looked at me again before she left. Pinchmouth, following after her, looked at me too. He didn't say a word, but when he gave me his money, there was a business card. It said "EastSide Women's Shelter--Education and Intervention." On the flip side was a list of questions, under the heading "Are you a victim of domestic abuse?" I could have answered yes to every question, but I didn't want to. * * * * The 250 bus stops running at 10:40, and I'd missed it. The store manager had kept me late over a seventy-five-cent discrepancy in my drawer. It had been one of those incidents where you realize you're a wage slave, and that every petty authority figure around you is more interested in making you kiss ass than finding out how hard you work. I could feel weariness down from my shoulders to the aching arches of my feet. The business card was burning a hole in my pocket, though I refused to think about it. Bill would be in bed by the time I got home. Things had been bad lately. But asleep, I could pretend. Pretend I wasn't bruised. Pretend I wasn't battered. The Queen rose from the bench where she'd been sitting, pouring Pixy Stix sugar down her throat. When she said, "You look tired. I'll buy you a drink," for once I felt as though someone was interested in me for me, not to take advantage of, not to fuck, not to preach to, not for anything but talk. She took me to the Celtic Bayou and I drank microbrewed hefeweisen with a lemon slice, and she drank Tom's Cream Soda with no ice. "I don't know how you do it," I said. "Nothing but sugar." She shrugged. "Sugar for energy. It keeps me going. Other things are more difficult to come by." We talked about photography, time she'd spent in New Orleans, and how the winters in Seattle are fine, except when the black ice hits, two or three times each year. She didn't tell me what she did or where she was born, or even her name. But I felt like I trusted her, the way you trust your best girlfriend in school. Sometimes she'd look at me with that azure gaze and I'd feel warmth along my skin, blushing, and her mouth would quirk, amused as something in me stirred. * * * * She drove me home and I asked her in. She hesitated in the doorway, shy, until I turned and beckoned. It was late, and the apartment complex was silent. Bill would be sleeping. If we kept our conversation quiet, he'd never know. She settled on the couch like a bird finding its roost, her eyes thoughtful, contemplative. "I've got chips," I said, moving towards the kitchen. "I don't eat them." Glancing back at her, I asked, "Too unhealthy?" a beat before we started to laugh. I looked up from the laughter and saw Bill standing in the doorway. I knew the look on his face, but I'd never seen it before in front of someone else. "A working man's got to sleep!" he snarled. "Get your bitch friend out of here and come to bed." I felt my face throbbing, felt the blood moving through the bruise there. Her gaze traveled from me to him. Then back again, and I felt her question in my mind. Goddess help me, from the sullen twist of his lip and the frustrated fury in his stare, I knew it would be worse than a black eye this time. So I nodded. I nodded to the Queen of Goth and Sugar. * * * * She moved quicker than anything I ever saw. * * * * There's a story by H.P. Lovecraft that mocks the trend of saying something is too horrific to describe. The hero makes fun of this tradition and then, of course, something kills him. His last words are a gasp, something like, "It's unnamable!" I never understood that until she raised her face from Bill's throat, a scarlet puppet jaw, eyes brighter and bluer than before. Her face had color in it for the first time, and every time she leaned down to drink from him, she flushed as the blood passed into her, her cheeks ruddy. But the look on her face--was indescribable. I couldn't name it. I couldn't name her. I wouldn't name her. I stumbled back through the doorway, unable to speak. But I left the door open. * * * * When she came to me, her mouth still tasted of sugar and copper. She trailed kisses along my neck, almost hard enough to bruise me. Almost. Her hands were cold but sure, stripping away my clothes. Her lips were warm with Bill's blood. She cupped my breasts, raised them to her mouth. Touched her tongue in circles around a nipple, slow relentless circles, not touching the aureole until I gasped with need, tried to pull her to me. She raised her head and looked at me, a sound deep in her throat like a wolf's growl, an edge of thunder that made my pulse race until it pounded in my ears, swallowing up all noise. She pressed me back on the bed and I opened to her like a flower. She poured kisses like wine along my stomach, let them pool in the hollow of my hip. Her body was white and slim and unreal as an anime heroine. I did not think of Bill, did not think of the scarlet display in the other room, the broken marionette on the floor that had been his body. Everything was sweet lust and fire. Her fingers slid inside me--slick with blood or from my own wetness? I could not tell, could only groan out my pleasure as she drew my clit into her mouth, let me feel the caress of fang, the honed dance of her tongue. She would pause just as I was about to come, draw back, let me cool, then begin again. I hovered on the edge for hours, it felt like. Then, as sudden as her attack, she lowered her head and this time I knew she wouldn't stop. Waves washed through me, as though I was caught in an inescapable current, drowning. I clung to her, shuddered against her as she drew orgasm after orgasm from me. She could have killed me; I wouldn't have cared, so lost in the deep well of pleasure. Perhaps she did.