Listen closely, my darling. Block out all sound from the street below and hear nothing but the sound of my voice, my breath, my heartbeat. You feel yourself getting sleepy, so sleepy. Your body, your limbs, your mind are heavy and free of tension. Even your eyes you find hard to keep open. They close, but you hear everything I say. Can you hear me, sweetness?

Yes, Count.

Good. Now, you will enjoy this feeling of relaxation and delicious heaviness that I gift you with today. You will enjoy it, and you will be grateful for it, so grateful that you want to make the Count happy in return, yes?

Yes. Oh, yes.

Good. Do you know, my little dove, what would make the Count happy?

I should let you bite my neck?

No. I mean, yes. But there are some things we must take care of first, my little dove. We have barely met, after all. I must know the real you before I partake of your nectar. I want to know your secrets, your memories, your shames. Will you help me to know you better?

Um. OK.

Good. Now tell me about your lover. I want to know his name and what he does.

Which one?

Oh. You have more than one lover? Well, this is a surprise. Even though the Count had to give up the virgin thing in the ’70s, he is still discriminating above all else. When you are the best, you can choose to be picky.


Ah, but I am mesmerized by you, mon chére. You smell delicious, so ripe. Is that musk? I can allow you an indiscretion or two, but first I need details. Tell me about your lovers then, all of them.

Well, there’s Chuck. He’s an electrician. I see him once a week for dinner and a movie. He’s nice.

Does Chuck make love to you?

I guess you could call it that.

You guess … does he enter you?

Enter me? Yes. I think so. He’s pretty small.

Does he use a condom?

I don’t know. It’s usually dark. But yeah. I’d say he’s the condom type. He’s pretty insecure about his you-know-what. He’d probably like to bolster up its size. Or hide it.

Good. Good. You are being a very good girl. We shall be together soon, I promise. Now tell me about the others. Tell me all.

Well, Gordie is the guy who lives across the hall. He’s a webmaster and keeps really weird hours. I never know when he’ll show up. Could be every day, could be once a month.

And …

He enters me. But not always in the same place.

And …

And I know he wears a condom, because he likes those glow-in-the-dark ones. He even gets up halfway through and stands in front of the open fridge door to recharge it.

Excellent. More. Tell me more.

Then there’s Francis, our pastor. He likes to be spanked. Hard. We had sex, just once. But he wasn’t wearing a condom. He said the Lord would be our love glove.

Hmmm. No condom. How long ago was that encounter, mon petit chou?

Oh, a couple of years ago.

And have you ever been tested for HIV? Hepatitis? Herpes?

Um, not that I know of.

Not that you know of?! Do you have any idea how prevalent cases of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, hepatitis, and herpes are right now? Especially in L.A.? And you, with your multiple partners! Honestly.


Forgive me, love of my life. I got a little hot under the 5-foot standup collar there. It’s just that in my line of work, one can’t be too careful about quality control. I mean, when I say I want to “suck you,” I mean it quite literally, as in “dry.” I really don’t want to test the limits of that immortality thing. Or worse, can you imagine being riddled with lesions, genital sores, or bleeding cankers and never being able to recover or die? Can you imagine living through eternity with chronic fatigue?

(Silence again. He leans in close and lingers.)

Mmmm, but you smell divine, my love. So earthy, so primal. Alas, my desire consumes me and overrides all sense of reason! I must have you. Here. And now. But …

Yes? Yes?!

First, I want to extract a promise from you, dear heart. I have some literature from an excellent clinic just down the street from here. Wonderful place, very anonymous. I send all my potential lovers there, at least the ones I am willing to wait for. Promise me that you will read and absorb them. Learn about healthy active living. Get tested. Use condoms. Be sensible, for goodness’ sake. I want this to be a lasting relationship, but we must be able to trust one another, yes?


Don’t fret, sweetheart. I have contacts at the laboratory. I’ll call you when your test results are in. Probably.