My Dream Date With Radu Vadislav
Back in 2015, I was blessed enough to be a part of the second volume of the Dream Date With a Villain series. Published by the super-duper-fantastic Tenebrous Kate, I was given the chance to indulge in two of my biggest loves: fiction & Radu from the Subspecies film series! So if you've ever wanted a humorous peek into my weird-ass id, the teen dream edition, you're welcome. Also, this is by far the most Mary-Sue thing I have written to date. What can I say? Radu brought it out of me.
Ah, scenic Romania. Its rolling green hills, ancient mountains and a rustic beauty that hasn't been TGIFriday-ed to death. I used to dream of coming here as a small child. Nestled in my mother's ratty, forest green recliner that smelled of Virginia Slims and spilled Crystal Light, I would pour through books about it. Of course, back then, my big super-girl crush was Vlad Tepes. I love a man with flair and passion and anyone who can be accurately credited with being in charge of a creation entitled "Forest of the Impaled" is a man that's gonna make this girl's heart skip a beat or three.
But as I grew up, my tastes changed. Vlad, while still handsome and impressive, just wasn't doing it for me. The final stake in that crush coffin was a certain centuries old member of the undead whose reputation was legion. Ah. Radu Vadislav. Even just the name itself oozed power and bloodlust, two things that make this girl more swoony than a Preacher's Wife at a Mary Kay Convention. As I delved further into his OKCupid profile, I was growing more and more smitten. Homeowner? Pfft. That's for chumps and mortals. Radu had his own castle that was even older than him! Castle Vadislav. A castle! His likes? Pale skinned maidens in flowing clothes, moonlit walks and merciless bloodbaths. Um, yes, yes and yes!
My heart racing, I sent him a message. I was so nervous. Would I be maiden-esque enough for him? His father was King of the Vampires for crying out loud. I'm just a humble fringe culture writer from the hinterlands of Arkansas USA. My hopes were high but expectations not so much.
But be still my beating heart, I heard back from Radu almost immediately! He requested my address for a one way ticket to Romania. I literally jumped up, knocking over my prized plastic tiki mug, spilling my cup of Merlot via Franzia all over my lap but I did not care. I was going to Romania for adventure and perhaps, dare I dream....love?
The plane ride was long, but I could not sleep. My vena cava was running on pure girlish adrenaline. As I descended into Romania, I had to pinch myself. Was this really happening? Now I know how Priscilla Beaulieu must have felt when she first met Elvis. But Elvis didn't have his own castle and a holy relic called the "Bloodstone."
I managed to pay a very nice man named Enoch to drive me near the outskirts of Castle Vladislav. He apologized profusely but out of sheer fear would not take me any further. He did give me directions on how to get there from the woods. Even better? He made the sign of the cross and told me in broken English that he would pray for me and insisted I take his crucifix. Enoch had the eyes of a kind priest and I simply smiled and palmed the silver-blue religious icon. We said our goodbyes and as I started walking through the woods, I quickly tossed Enoch's gift. I had no idea how my date with Radu was going to go, but if there was any chance for some hot, blood spattered loving, I was not going to get cock blocked by a cross.
The sky was darkening, my pulse quickening along with it. Partially out of excitement and partially out of fear of being late. Nobody wants to be tardy on their first date. I said a small prayer to my dark lord, hoping that I would make the best impression and that there were no ticks in Romania. Countrysides like this in Arkansas are usually tick & chigger central and I wanted to save every drop of red for my long haired, fanged hotsie-totsie deathly pale date.
He must have heard my call for as soon as the sun was almost gone, I saw the looming structure of Castle Vadislav. Photos did not do the immense stone structure justice. It jutted out of the land like a defiant fist of history. It looked battled-scarred and beautiful. But a new panic emerged. Where was the front door? In his message, I was instructed to simply come to the castle by 8pm. Do castles really have front doors?
I started walking around the structure, looking for anything resembling a proper main door to knock on as the Sun had completely disappeared. “Shit!” I muttered to myself, fearing I was going to be late and ruin this. Before the tears could well up, I felt impossibly long fingers grasp my shoulder and in a sweet raspy voiced, I heard: “I see you found your way, my pretty.” My heart spun with me as I turned around and saw him. My Radu. I almost fainted.
“It's so nice to meet you. You look wonderful.”
He grinned, his lips dark and large fangs protruding proudly.
“You're very sweet.”, he luridly hissed, as one of his talon-length nails grazed the side of my neck. “It's not often I get willing visitors here.”
I tried not to hyperventilate and hoped he loved my flowing pale-green dress, courtesy of the Stevie Nicks collection circa-”the white winged dove” era, but judging by the way he was looking at me, there was no reason for doubt.
“It's a pleasure. You know this is my first date ever in Romania. Your homeland is gorgeous.”
“It is my home, dear one. Now, as lovely as you look in the moonlight, I had dinner specially made for you.”
“Ooh! Thank you. That sounds splendid.”, as I tried talking over my growling stomach. Of course, I'm sure he heard it anyways, with his super-sonic-vampire-hearing.
Radu grabbed my hand. I was pleasurably shocked with both how cold and strong it was. The nail situation would scare many a girl away, but Radu's nails, despite the hundreds of years of murder and torture, looked surprisingly clean. I could appreciate this.
The inside of Castle Vadislav was equally impressive. Spartan but ornate and reeking of dust, moss and tendrils of rot. In other words, tres sexy. He led me to a large dining area, with a heavy oak table that had clearly not been used for traditional eating in an ocean of time, if ever. Why would a lineage of vampires even have a dining table? These are not questions proper to ask tbough, especially as my date pulled my chair out for me, grinning like he knew exactly what he was going to be feasting on. Everything in me quivered, but I did my best to remain cool. Impressing a man and creature like Radu was a new challenge for me.
“I had someone in the village make you some food. I hope it is to your liking, my sweet.”
“Dining with you is very much to my liking.”, I gently flirted.
Radu smiled, his dark eyes practically gleaming.
In front of me was some sort of meaty-looking stew, with a healthy hunk of bread. I had failed to tell him in our brief correspondence that I am actually vegan but being in a new country and wanting to impress him so, I figured I would bypass that tidbit for now and maybe mention it later.
All of a sudden, Radu was frowning.
“My pet, forgive me, would you like some wine?”
“That would be wonderful...if it's not any trouble.”
He was smiling again. “Not at all. Give me a moment.”
Then in the most amazing feat of chivalry, he broke off the tip of one of his fingers, showing very little pain while doing so. The quickly severed digit fell to the ground and transformed into the cutest little demonic creature, complete with glowing eyes. It scurried off immediately only to return to our table, carrying a small glass of red wine. I blushed and thanked the tiny malevolent demon, who nodded and ran off.
“Is that better?”
“Absolutely,” I said, my blue eyes hopefully giving him a glimpse of the warmth I was feeling. Food was a formality that I dutifully nibbled at, as we gazed upon each other. If you asked me the taste of the brew-soup, I could not remember. I was too busy soaking up the ambiance of it all. His high cheekbones, the blue-purple circles around his beautiful eyes, the candlelight reflecting off of his pale-gray meets wan complexion...you can have your Bobby Sherman or One Direction poofters.
I did drink all of my wine though, because fruit is an essential part of vino and if you love your body, then you will love you some wine.
Afterwards, Radu got up from his chair and moved behind, putting both hands upon my shoulders, missing nary a digit. Radu is magic. Like a starfish. A sensual, death bringing starfish.
“My pet, you have traveled so far to be with me. Tell me, do you like it here?”
“I love it here. It's like a dream come true. I cannot thank you enough.”
“Stand up. I have something I want to show you.”
I dutifully obeyed and followed his way, basking in the feeling of the back of his hand on my lower back.
Radu led me to a large room straight out my subconscious desires. An enormous fireplace roared. Gold-orange light reflected off of the dark stone floors. In the middle of the room was a large steel cage that was perhaps as old everything else around here but looked very sound. Torture devices were just better made back in the age of craftsmen and cruelty.
My eyes took in the whole tableau with wide-eyed wonder.
“Oh Radu, this is wonderful! I didn't think the evening could get any better.”, I said locking eyes with him.
“It is just beginning.” he shined as he suddenly was upon me in a shadowy blur. Gripping each other, his scent, so masculine, like the rotting of old wood, the musk of a powerful animal and dried blood was almost as intoxicating as his firm, clammy skin. His tongue made its way to my throat and I started to tremble.
“Mmm....Radu, you must be so hungry.”, I smiled as his fangs started to nuzzle against my neck. But my smile turned into something else entirely as they started to break skin and sink inside me. A wave of headiness flooded throughout. I gripped on to him tighter. It was a pleasure unlike any other. Pain and sweetness married as an opiate.
I know what you're thinking. All this and on a first date? I'm a modern woman and you know, a meteorite could kill us all or worse, you could get saddled down with children in the suburbs and exchange couscous recipes over baby Einstein playdates. Hell has many forms.
As I started to grow weaker, girlish insecurity started to rear its ugly head. What if I'm just lunch? Am I not charismatic or pretty enough to join him for eternal life? I knew that Radu had been burned, quite literally, by his last relationship, but to paraphrase Morrissey, “To cause death by his side, well the pleasure and privilege is mine.”
He must have sensed this. Lifting up his head, his delicious mouth crimson stained with my blood. Unbuttoning the top of his black shirt and exposing a scrap of pale skin, Radu took the edge of his nail and made an incision, with beadlets of red-black blood starting to well up.
“Drink my love,” he hissed.
So much for being a vegan but drinking Radu's blood was worth breaking any well meaning dietary choice of mine. It was thicker and more rich than any hearty wine. Even the really good stuff that you can get in bottles. I could hear him exhale contentedly.
Finally he lifted up my head and we kissed, our blood and lips mixing together in the headiest of bouquets.
Breaking our kiss after minutes on end, I ran my fingers through his soft, stringy hair and whispered.
“Let's go out and find a shepherd.”
Radu laughed and uttered the phrase that forever seared its way into my heart and loins.
“Tonight it will be a bloodbath.”