HER BEAUTIFUL SMILE
by Eric J. Krause
He did it quite often, and sometimes it even worked. He'd pass a good-looking woman and say something along the lines of, "Excuse me, I'm sorry to bother you, but you have beautiful eyes. Have a nice day." And then he'd walk away and not look back. About half the time they'd call a "Thank you," behind him. He'd turn, nod, and say, "You're welcome," and keep going. About one time out of ten -- okay, to be honest, probably one time out of fifty, maybe a hundred -- she'd ask him to wait. That would usually lead to coffee or lunch or something. Sometimes more. Much more. Those made the high strike-out ratio more than worth it. He didn't think of himself as a lecher or anything. Heck, he was perfectly happy simply giving the compliment, brightening someone's day, and going about his business. No harm in that, right?
That day, he saw her sitting under a tree in the park, enjoying a paperback and a blended coffee drink. Her slight smile took his breath away, and he didn't notice until later how gorgeous the rest of her was, which wasn't like him. He knew he couldn't pass up the opportunity, so as he got close enough, he said, "Hi there. Sorry to bother you, but I just have to compliment you on your smile. It brightened my day just seeing it." She looked up at him with surprise in her eyes, but when his words sunk in, her smile grew bigger and even better than before. "That's all I wanted to say," he continued. "Have a nice day." And with that, he kept walking. He didn't expect anything to come of it, but he'd be lying if he wasn't hoping.
His heart skipped a beat when he heard footsteps coming up fast behind him. "Wait, you can't just drop that on me and walk away," she said. Her voice was as magical as her smile, and he turned to find her right behind him, that smile on full display. "It's rude to act all Prince Charming, and then wander off."
He tipped an imaginary cap her way. "Sorry. I didn't want you to think I was a creeper or anything. I just saw your content smile while you were reading your book, and it made my day. That's all."
Now her smile faltered a bit. "So that's it? You weren't hitting on me? Not even a little bit?"
"Well, yeah, sort of, but I didn't want ..."
She grabbed his hand and dragged him back to her things under the tree. "Good. Would you care to join me back at my place for lunch? I have a chicken salad I made this morning chilling in my fridge. I'd be delighted to share."
The twinkle in her eye gave him butterflies in his stomach. That look said that lunch would be delicious, but dessert would be even better. Who was he to refuse such an offer?
Her place turned out to be a few short blocks away, in a trendy apartment complex by the downtown district. She led him up to her place on the second floor, and when she opened the door and led him inside, her mouth was over his in an instant. Yes! Score! He returned the frantic kiss and even let his hands roam down over her jean-covered behind, which, he had to admit, was possibly the most perfect one he'd ever cupped. She moaned, and he guided her over to the couch and gently pushed her down onto the cushions before dropping down beside her.
"Hmm," she murmured. "I'm actually in the mood for something other than chicken salad for lunch, if you don't mind."
He shook his head and managed to get out, "No, sounds good to me."
She smiled her stunning smile and pushed her face into his neck. He groaned as her tongue painted a pattern, and then groaned again when she gave him a little nip. It didn't hurt. At first. Until she really dug her teeth in.
He tried to cry out, but couldn't. He tried to push her away, but she was stuck firm on him. A dark black ring formed around his vision and grew until he could see nothing. A loud ringing assaulted his ears, and it felt like they should pop, but wouldn't. And then it all stopped. He could see and hear again. She stared down at him, her smile smeared with his blood, and long, sharp fangs poking out.
"What are you?" he managed to push out.
"A vampire, lover. Please me and you'll be one, too. Fail, and I let you die."
"Huh? But daylight ..." That was all the energy he had for words.
She lapped up the blood on her lips and retracted her fangs, bringing that brilliant smile back. "We love that literature and Hollywood perpetuate the daylight myth. It makes hunting so much easier. Now save your strength, lover, so we can see if you're worthy."
She peeled off her shirt, taking his breath away. Yeah, that sight might be as good or better than her delightful smile. When she undid his belt, he had to wonder if this day was panning out as one of his better, or one of his worst ...