Your Face in a Crowd

~1500 words :: Vampire Chronicles :: Louis/Lestat :: 8/16/02
It’s the night before the concert and Lestat is pissed off. (Note: This is the sequel to The Waiting Game and is third in the Coming Back to Life series, a collection of stories set in a universe where Akasha doesn’t rise.)

So here I am, big famous rock star. Girls and guys mine for the taking – heh, they’ll get more than they bargained for with me, though, I’m thinking – but I can’t stop thinking about him.

Stupid fuck-ass veil of silence. I have to go looking for him like a fucking mortal, of all things. A little effort on his part would be appreciated, but God forbid the bastard should make a move.

We’ve been rehearsing for the big concert since I rose this evening and I haven’t had a chance to get a bite. A bite. Ha. I amuse myself. It doesn’t do much for my general disposition. I kick a trashcan and it shoots down the hall and slams into the wall at the end, making a fair bit of an indentation. That’s better, but I’m still pissed.

I hate it. I hate this feeling. Weak and pathetic. Needy. My fist slams into the wall and leaves a hole in the plaster. What do I care?

I read his stupid book, right? ‘Lestat never told me anything, whine whine whine.’ So I wrote a book, too. Now he’s got all the answers, but he’s not fucking here!

Some poor sod’s going to have a very unpleasant death tonight, I can tell you that for sure.

Tomorrow we’re on stage and he should be by my side, but he’s not. I don’t know where the hell he is.

I get all sorts of shit scenarios running through my head. Marius or some other pompous bastard wasted him for daring to write a book and inform the world of our existence. Right, well then why didn’t they waste me, too? But I still can’t discount it. Maybe he decided he didn’t care anymore. Killed himself. Went underground. Any of those things. I can’t see it, though. Louis wanted to live. Whiney bastard, yeah, but he clung to life like nobody’s business, even when he was trying to get himself killed.

The thought that’s making the biggest effort to intrude on my consciousness is that maybe he doesn’t want to see me. Maybe he found somebody new. Maybe he didn’t like my answers. But thoughts like that give me this nasty weak, shivery feeling down my spine and in my gut, so I break some more stuff trying to bring the anger back. Anger is much better than fear. There’s a fair bit of self-loathing in there, too. I hate myself for feeling this way.

I’m out the door now; the night air is cool and a little windy. I imagine walking down the street here and seeing him waiting for me. I try to picture him in modern clothes, but it’s no use. Instead I see him in those dark brown breeches and that emerald green shirt with the white lace at the cuffs and collar. I remember picking that outfit out for him. I remember ripping the shirt off him in a rage, but I don’t remember what it was I was so angry about. Probably the same old same old. Just what I’m doing now. Trying to smother that horrible debilitating fear with anger.

I stop dead in my tracks for a minute and I feel positively sick to my stomach. It’s like there’s an emptiness that’s eating me up from the inside out. In that instant I hate him almost as much as I miss him. It scares the shit out of me that anyone could have this sort of power over me. I fight the feeling; shove it deep down inside and try to forget about it. Try to forget about him.

The thirst is pulling at me and I let instinct take over. Get outta here; I can’t kill any of these guys, they’re all crew and shit. People’d notice if they went missing. I do have some sense of self-preservation, although it may not seem like it at times. Okay, most of the time.

So instead I’m running down the streets, getting as far away from the studio as possible. Think about nothing but the hunt. This is what it’s all about, not some fucking wanker fledgling. Killing.

I’m in an alley and I can see someone walking alone about a block down. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Don’t you know it’s dangerous to be out all alone at night?

I get closer and my heart stops. It’s him. I stumble and he turns around and it’s just some stupid mortal. Passing resemblance, but he could never hold a candle to Louis. Fuck. I close the distance between us in the blink of an eye and I grab him so roughly his neck snaps before I even sink my teeth in. Like I care. Somebody’s gotta pay for making me feel like this. Nothing personal, man.

Three more dark haired pretty boys are marked for death before I’m satisfied.

They love me. They want me. They worship me.

I stand on the stage with the floodlights as my only sun and look into their adoring faces. They scream my name and it’s music to my ears. Like Lelio all over again, only better. This is right. This is what I deserve.

Fuck Louis. Who needs him anyway?

This is my moment. I smile, showing off my fangs. The music starts up and I’m ready to go.

I yell out to the crowd; the mic is unnecessary. A bunch of girls and even some guys in the front row are crying they’re so thrilled to be this close to me. I can hear their hearts beating so fast. So alive. So young. So mine.

Who needs Louis when I have all these adoring fans?

I’m singing my heart out. Not singing for him, the shit. Singing for them.

My eyes sweep the crowd and that’s when I see him. In the back, but with my vampire sight I have no problem making him out. None at all. Just standing there, an island of calm in the raging storm that is the rest of my fans.

His eyes burn into me like green flames. His face is a mask. No emotion. It’s a good thing we’ve practiced so much, because I’m on autopilot now, not thinking about the song at all. It’s like I’m speaking in tongues; I no longer even understand the words coming out of my mouth. All that matters is why the hell is he way back there and not here in the front row?

Why are you just staring at me like that? Do something! Give me a sign here. Don’t put it all on me, don’t do that!

But he doesn’t blink, doesn’t move a muscle. He’s just standing there, waiting for me to make the first move. Fucking passive-aggressive.

I want to glare at him, want to tell him to fuck off. I also want to smile and tell him how much I love him. How much I’ve missed him.

I do smile then, just for him. And then I see him relax. I can literally see the tension leaving his body and his eyes crinkle up at the corners and he smiles back.

The next song is fast and sexy. Perfect for what I have in mind.

Time for a little strip tease, I’m thinking. A little of the old Lestat charm. Show him what he’s been missing. I slide my free hand up under my shirt, rubbing circles on my stomach and chest. I think about it being him touching me like this and my cock surges to life, straining against the tight leather of my pants.

Ripping off my shirt, I toss it to one of the tearful girls in the front row and she practically passes out from the excitement. I barely notice her, though, my attention is centered on one person and one person only.

He quirks me a smile, just one corner of his mouth raised and I swear he just rolled his eyes. Now I’m angry again. He looks so fucking calm and collected, so cool, and I’m up here on fire for him. Ready to come in my pants for him, damn it!

I swivel my hips and caress my erection through the leather. Don’t come. Don’t come. Don’t come.

There’s a pause in the lyrics and I blow him a kiss. Why I do believe this is beginning to have an effect on Monsieur Composure now. If I don’t miss my guess, he appears to be getting all hot and bothered. His mouth is slightly open and his eyes are hooded. Seems to be breathing heavily.

Mission accomplished, Lestat, I congratulate myself.

There are only two more songs to go, but it seems like an eternity. Inside I’m counting the seconds until we’re done and I can be his side again. Finally.

Read the sequel: Monsieur le Rock Star.