Alexia was fairly certain one of her roommates was a vampire. Of course, it was difficult to be sure. There was really no polite way to ask someone if they were undead. Besides, if she asked him, he was sure to ask her something similar. She certainly didn’t want that, especially if he was a vampire. She was determined to figure it out on her own. To that end, she decided to make a special dinner for the household.
“Something smells good,” Marcus, her non-vampire roommate remarked as he came downstairs that evening. He looked at the pot on the stove. “Italian?”
“Yes. I have spaghetti and garlic bread. I even made the sauce myself.”
“What’s in it?”
“Secret family recipe,” she replied.
“How mysterious. I’ll set the table, then.”
Marcus was a pretty standard human. He was an average height and build. He was good-looking and friendly, so he had a fair number of friends. He’d taken the attic bedroom, which had a skylight. No, there was nothing strange about Marcus. After sharing a house with him for six months, Alexia was sure of that.
The basement door creaked open and their other roommate, Orpheus entered the kitchen. He immediately covered his nose and mouth.
“Are you okay?” Alexia asked.
“Yeah. It’s just…a lot of garlic.” His voice was soft as ever.
Marcus raised his eyebrows. “You don’t like the smell of garlic?”
“I’m allergic,” Orpheus explained. “Just the smell makes me sick.”
“Oh, sorry.” Alexia turned off the stove. “I didn’t realize.”
“It’s fine.” He waved her concern away with his free hand. “I was just coming up to take a shower, anyway.” As he walked through the kitchen, his steps were silent as the grave.
“I’ll open a window to let the smell out,” Marcus offered.
“Thanks,” Orpheus mumbled as he left the room.
Orpheus had been living with them for just over a month. He was thin and pale. His room was in the basement and he never seemed to leave it before sunset. He worked as a night clerk at a hotel, so he slept during the day. These were all facts Alexia had added to a list of reasons she suspected he was a vampire. Now, she got to add an aversion to garlic.
“I guess he won’t be eating with us.” She strained the pasta and set the food on the table.
“Don’t feel too bad,” Marcus said. “Now, we know about the garlic thing, so we can avoid it in the future.” He took a seat and filled his plate. “I, for one, am looking forward to this meal.”
“I didn’t know you could be allergic to garlic.”
“You can be allergic to just about anything,” Marcus told her. “I had a friend in college who was allergic to alcohol. It made parties more difficult. Honestly, garlic allergies aren’t that uncommon.”
“Tell me more, Dr. Cullen.”
He grinned. “I still can’t get used to the sound of that.”
“How’s your residency going, by the way?” She scooped some food onto her plate, trying not to think too much about what might be living (or whatever vampires did) in their basement.
“Not nearly as entertaining as Scrubs promised it would be.”
“So, no evil janitor.”
“Well, obviously we have one of those. What hospital doesn’t?”
Alexia laughed and they fell into friendly conversation.
Orpheus passed through as they were finishing. He kept his nose covered as he escaped back into his basement room.
“We should definitely avoid using garlic from now on,” Marcus commented. “I’m glad I got to tasted your special recipe, though. It was delicious.”
“Thanks,” Alexia mumbled, staring at the basement door. She wasn’t able to relax until she heard Orpheus leave through the downstairs exit.
“I’ll do the dishes,” Marcus offered.
“You don’t have to do that. I’m the one who suddenly decided to cook.”
“And I’m the one who ate your cooking.” He patted his stomach. “I have to do some work for it or I’ll feel guilty.”
“Well, if you insist.” She stood. “I’m going to camp out tonight. It’s too nice to be inside.”
“You didn’t take much convincing.”
“If someone else wants to clean, I’m not going to argue much.”
“Fair enough. Be safe out there.”
“I’m always safe,” she assured him as she went to grab her sleeping bag.
She headed out into the woods, making sure she was a good mile from the house. She couldn’t have anyone seeing what she was about to do, after all. She looked up at the full moon, moving ever higher. Already, her blood ran hot and he skin tingled. She’d been holding herself back, but wouldn’t be able to manage that much longer.
Alexia looked around to make sure no one was nearby. She listened quietly, but only the animals could be heard. She had nothing to hide from them.