It all began with a Youtube search. Well, that wasn’t strictly true. It all began when she got herself born to a Scotch-Irish mother and a Danish father. She wasn’t complaining—well not really; they’d given her all kinds of great stuff, a head for numbers, a taste for chamber music, a kick-ass metabolism, (she could eat anything without gaining a pound, which occasionally made it tough to socialize with girlfriends), thick strawberry blonde hair, the obligatory peaches-and-cream complexion, and freckles. Fucking freckles: just a splash of them, right across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose; she didn’t even have them all over shoulders and breasts, like her cousin, Sasha. Of course the fact that Sasha looked like a one-woman measles epidemic hadn’t stopped her from landing a gorgeous husband with whom she was sickeningly happy. Not the point; Dana wasn’t even looking to get married. She was looking for…fun, a little excitement, a little…something other than what she was getting from the guys she dated, literally all of whom told her she was “cute as a button.”

Marvelous. Who wants to fuck a button?

She knew she was being silly. She knew this was a self-image problem. This wasn’t even a “problem” in any real sense of the world. Poverty was a problem. Cancer was a problem. Homelessness was a problem. Cuteness was a…condition. It was just a condition she was getting a little sick of. And it wasn’t like she never had sex. She was 29, gainfully employed and unattached. She could have sex…well, maybe not whenever she wanted it, but since moving to the big city she’d had plenty of sex, mostly with guys, but once or twice… But even the girls…what had Kelly said? Direct quote: “Oh my God, Dane, you’re so adorable, I just want to eat you all up!” And she had, and it had been a-fucking-mazing! But still…

She was always…on the bottom; even when she wasn’t. Guys wanted to coddle and cherish and protect her, and girls wanted…well, Kelly wanted to dress her up in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform and spank her, but Kelly was…imaginative. And nuts; Kelly was nuts…and hot, but still…

And none of it would have been an issue if Dana had been wired a little differently, but the problem was…that…she was really…interested in sex. Not exactly obsessed with…well maybe a little. And she was interested in…all of sex, or at least not just in the lovey-dovey princess meets her prince and gets married and has babies and lives happily ever after scenarios that most of her friends seemed to fantasize about. But when it came to…the moment—and Dana’s curiosity meant she had more first-date sex than maybe she should have, because some of it wasn’t very good… No, when it came to the moment, she just couldn’t seem to…assert herself.

She’d tried being aggressive, even tried talking dirty to this one guy, but apparently it took some practice, or maybe he just hadn’t been into it or…something. She’d taken a leaf from Kelly’s book—Kelly always made it sound so easy—so she’d said something like “Oh my God, I want your big cock in my mouth so bad…” But the guy looked at her like he hadn’t understood. Maybe she’s been speaking a little quickly; she’d been nervous. So she tried again, slowed down a little, but as she was speaking she noticed that his dick wasn’t really all that big to begin with. That’s to say it was fine, but it wasn’t…maybe he was a grower, not a shower, and she didn’t want to think she was making fun of him, so she kind of…lost her train of thought. The guy had given her a quizzical look, smiled, said he thought she was “really cute”—son of a bitch was lucky she didn’t have a gun in her purse—and then given her a perfectly serviceable orgasm with his tongue before fucking her for ten or fifteen minutes until he came in a condom, by which time she was too embarrassed to say much of anything.

Then there was the time she and Todd had tried the friends-with-benefits thing for a few months, and she’d bought this really slutty little bra and garter belt set. She’d greeted him at the door in it one night. His eyebrows had gone up, and he’d said “very nice.” And he’d picked her up and carried her to the bedroom, and thrown her on the bed, and then he’d stood there a minute, just looking at her. She’d said: “What?”

“Dane, can I be honest?”

“I suppose…”

“It’s just that…I don’t know; the black is just…not really you somehow.”

“Why?” She was trying not to lose it. She’d paid a lot of money for the lingerie.

He could see she was upset, and he was a decent guy—they were still friends, but: “It’s like a disconnect. You’ve got this hot little body, and this adorable face…I don’t know, it’s like putting fishnets on Raggedy Ann.”

Still friends; no more benefits.



“Make-up, you idiot!”

That had been Yaz, Dana’s best friend at work. Five-foot-nothing-95 pound-fucking gorgeous, from Karachi originally, worked in HR, just down the hall from Dana’s office in Accounting.

“What about it?”

“You never wear any.”

“Look whose talking.”

“Yes, but I’m not whinging about freckles.” Yaz had gone to university in the UK, and Dana sometimes needed a second to translate.

“What the hell is…look, never mind. What do you mean about make-up?”

“Concealer, foundation, I don’t know. As you say, I don’t use much: lipstick, some eye stuff…”

“You mean like…what, painting over them? Oh, I don’t know, Yaz…”

“I don’t know either,” snapped her friend. “Personally I think it’s a stupid idea. You’ve got the most beautiful skin I’ve ever seen, and you have a lovely face. Why you want to change anything about your appearance is completely beyond my comprehension, but there it is.” She shot Dana a wry look: “The truth is: your well-wishers around the office are heartily sick of listening to a woman as beautiful as you are bitch about the way she looks. If you were to start griping about your weight, I might think about killing you myself.”

“Seriously, Yaz?” Then off her friend’s look: “Okay, okay…I’m sorry. I’ll shut up about the freckles. And maybe I’ll try some…something.”


On the way home that evening, she’d stopped at the local mall, headed into Macy’s, and spent entirely too much money on a variety of products: skin creams, foundations, rouges, various eye shadows, some lipstick—which she actually needed—and some other stuff, not all of which she understood how to use. The saleslady had explained most of it, and Dana had tried to pay attention, but the store was mobbed, and people kept asking her saleslady questions, and the muzak was loud and the heating system was on the fritz, and her phone kept beeping…

When she got home that night, she dragged a kitchen chair into the bathroom, sat down in front of the mirror, cleansed her face with the…face cleanser, and began.

Two-and-a-half hours later she looked up at the finished product and discovered that, unbeknownst to the art world, Picasso had painted a portrait of Joan Rivers just before she died as a $10-a-trick hooker. True: she could no longer see her freckles, but she was also having some trouble finding her lips. She sighed, reached for the box of incredibly expensive baby wipes and began the search to recover—or rather uncover—her face.


Later still, she was sitting in an old bathrobe in front of the computer, thinking about the now un-returnable collection of cosmetics still cluttering up her bathroom counter. That stuff really had cost a fortune. Had to be something on line that could give her a few pointers about how to apply it. She really didn’t want to just write it off. And that had led her to Youtube.

At first she just searched “make up,” and she’d come up with literally thousands of tutorials for applying…well, pretty much everything: eyes, lips, foundation, highlights, contours. She’d heard things like “go in,” “fluffy brush,” “water line,” “falsies,”—which could mean fake eyelashes as well as those boob-pads which Sasha used to fill out her bra; who knew? And then she’d started getting suggestions for more elaborate stuff: effects make-up, specific “looks,” and then—because it happened to be the middle of October—Halloween-themed tutorials.

And that got her thinking about the office party, which was a little wonky that particular October because Halloween fell on a Thursday, and upper management had a retreat scheduled for the following weekend, which meant the party was on Saturday, the 26th, which was—oh hell’s bells—a little more than two weeks away!

Maybe she wouldn’t go this year. Yaz wasn’t going; Dana knew that. She was taking some vacation and flying back to Pakistan for a week, or maybe ten days… Anyway, she didn’t really have time to put together a good costume. On the other hand, free food—good food too—and an open bar, and…there was always the possibility…

Sex: Jesus, she really was obsessed. But Dana hadn’t had any for a few months now, and she was getting…restless. And Halloween was a good opportunity, excuse, whatever… She could let go a little, wear something a little slutty; hell, everybody did these days. Her mom was constantly complaining about how her favorite holiday—passing out candy to cute little neighborhood kids in princess and superhero costumes—had turned into a meat market for horny twenty- and thirty-somethings. And Dana worked for a big firm; she didn’t know half her co-workers, at least…not to say know

Still, the costume was an issue. What should she be? She thought about it as she scrolled through the Halloween make-up videos: there were she-devils, skull faces, some super gory stuff—eyeball hanging out: not sexy; not even a little bit. Or if it was, that was not a guy she was going to be into—ok, there was Poison Ivy, and Maleficent, and what’s-her-name from Corpse Bride; that one was kind of cute.

Fuck! Cute! Not cute: hot, sexy, slutty even, but not fucking cute! Moving on: sexy kitty—still kind of cute-ish—vampire, generic sort of hooker look, mermaid—that one was just creepy, zombie—lot of zombies these days. Looked like fun, but again, not really sexy…well, what about vampire? It was kind of a cliché, but it looked do-able, even for a make-up newbie. And the costume would be pretty easy; vampires can wear anything, right? She could be power-suit vampire, business-casual vampire, little-black-dress vampire; the costume would be easy, but what about the make-up? Well, she could try. God knew she had enough of it. And if she followed one of these video tutorials, she’d sure as hell cover the damned freckles.


It took her most of the week practicing, but in the end, it didn’t turn out to be all that hard. She’d watched a bunch of different videos, and some of them had emphasized the durability of one product or another. Dana thought about where the night might lead…or where she hoped the night might lead; be good if the make-up stayed on long enough for her to…find herself a victim. The thought made her a little…moist. She fantasized about luring some hot guy off into the shadows—the party was usually held at this hotel in the middle of a local business park, and there were all kinds of places where a horny little vampiress could bring a willing victim for a quick suck.

She wondered about the fangs. Decided she had to have fangs, otherwise she’d just be some lady in a sexy dress and trampy make-up. Would they get in the way? Would she be able to talk with them in? Back to the internet, where, after a little trial and error, she found a local place that made custom fangs in a variety of designs. They were kind of expensive, but the guy she talked to promised strength and durability, and, he said, you could talk pretty well in them, with a little practice. She debated buying a wig, but decided a good one really was too expensive, and that anything cheaper just made her look silly. Instead, she opted for a new color and style, going, after work on Friday, from a demure blonde to a dark red with copper highlights, worn off the face and long, the ends curling just above the tops of her breasts. She liked the new shade. It even complimented the freckles.

She spent time thinking about the dress; even went shopping at a local upscale mall, but having spent more than she’d planned on the make-up, the teeth, and her hair, she opted for a club dress she’s bought over the summer, but never got up the nerve to wear: nylon and spandex, black (and fuck you again, Todd!), long sleeves, cutout shoulders, and a high collar with another cutout—teardrop shaped—beginning just below her collarbone, designed to display a lot of cleavage. She couldn’t really wear a bra with the damn thing, but the spandex pushed her up and together making her look bosomy, and maybe even a little…what, brazen? Panties would be tough too; g-string or thong at most, and could she get away with a lace garter belt? Easy access in any case. The thing had been on sale, and in her size, and she’d bought it, tried it on once, and then left it in the closet. It was impossible; beyond slutty, it was predatory: far too much for plain old Dana, but for Vampiress Dana…she’d tried it on with her make-up on and fangs in, and all of a sudden it was perfect.

The night before the party, she stared at herself in the full-length mirror on her bedroom door: dress, fangs, hair, make-up, a little jewelry, black stockings, four-inch stilettos, the whole shooting match. Vampires weren’t supposed to have reflections, but fuck that! She looked amazing: the new dark red hair framing her oval face, pale blue eyes under thick black mascara-ed lashes, her lids done in a sultry blend of black and copper, smooth, pale complexion with cheekbones made prominent by…some darkish powder—she’d forgotten what it was called, full lips painted a dark red, wicked looking fangs over her canines. Then, the collar of the dress high on her neck, slim arms in black form-fitting sleeves, and graceful hands with long red nails, the tops of her full, ripe breasts peaking through that keyhole, her torso tapering to a narrow waist and rounded hips, the slight line of g-string and garter belt disguised by the artful—and deliberate—wrinkling of the dress below the bodice, and finally: long, shapely black-stockinged legs narrowing to dainty feet in the simple-sexy pumps. She smiled at her reflection. She snarled. She ran the tip of her tongue over the points of her fangs, smiled again. She didn’t look cute as a button anymore. She looked…hot, but dangerous, a little bloodthirsty, which made sense, but…maybe…one more thing.

She went back to her bathroom and sat in front of her mirror. Taking a tube of fake blood she’d picked up at a nearby CVS, she dabbed a little from the corners of her mouth, allowing it to drip down her chin, then before it could stain her dress, she smudged it with her finger tips. There it was; the complete look; a ravenous, insatiable creature of the night, with the blood of her latest kill fresh on her lips.

That night, after she had taken it all off, Dana lay in bed trying to fall asleep. Her mind and body were restless, and as the hours passed, her fantasies became more erotic, twisted and surreal until her hand made its way between her thighs, her fingers found her clit, and she jilled herself to a wracking, half-remembered orgasm with the taste of blood in either her mouth or her memory.


The morning of the party, Dana slept late. When she finally woke up, she treated herself to a long hot shower, during which she shaved everything below her neck. She emerged with her skin tingling from the cool air in the apartment, and began her preparations. Anticipation made the whole day a little surreal. As she began what she thought of as the transformation to Vampiress Dana—should she come up with another name? ‘Dana:’ not really exotic enough maybe?—she began to get both excited, like riding-a-roller-coaster excited, as well as aroused. By the time the fake blood was dripping down her chin, she could barely sit still. But then she had to figure out what kind of purse to take; had to have at least a driver’s license, not to mention a little money, and a phone. Did the fashionable undead seductress favor a clutch or a shoulder bag? And should she wear something over the costume on her way to the party. The dress was pretty risqué. Fuck it! It was Halloween, or the weekend before, anyway. There would probably be people on the streets with less on than her. Still, the fantasy waned a little as she sat in traffic on the beltway behind the wheel of her Prius: club-slut vampire, fuel-efficient vampire…

She’d opted for the smallest, thinnest clutch she had, but when she arrived at the party and parked in the structure, she decided to leave it in the car. She even left the key fob balanced on the driver’s side rear tire. Dana was incommunicado for the next few hours anyway, and vampires never drank…wine. (Besides: open bar.)

Festivities had begun at 7:00, but Dana arrived closer to 8:00. The sun was gone, and the sky was just shedding the last of the day as she headed for the lobby. The day had been warm enough, but the night was chilly, and she began to wish she’d brought a wrap of some kind. Vampires weren’t supposed to get cold, but make-up and fantasy would only carry her so far. She decided to stay inside for the evening; chattering fangs: not sexy.

Inside the lobby, and up an escalator to a ballroom on the mezzanine. She handed her invitation—the only thing she was carrying—to Geoff from Security who was manning the door.

“Dana, is that you?”

“Hey Geoff. Yup, it’s me. How come you’re not in costume?”

“I’m working. Speaking of which, I’m supposed to see some ID…”

Dana grimaced. “I left it in the car. I didn’t want to carry a purse, and in this…I’ll go back for it, if you need me to”

Geoff looked her up and down. He took a couple of deep breaths. “It’s OK. I know you. Happy Halloween, and by the way…um, you look amazing.”

Dana smiled at him. “Thanks, Geoff, you’re an angel. Then she looked past him into the mass of people drinking, dancing, and partying. “I’ll scream if I need anything.” And she headed in, the high heels lending her hips a sassy sway.

“You do that, Babe.” muttered the 63-year-old ex-Marine under his breath. He watched her into the room, shaking his head.


The “ballroom” turned out to be a large multi-purpose/conference room which could be partitioned in half when required. Small chandeliers hung from a reasonably high ceiling to illuminate—dimly—a DJ playing a mixture of Top-40, Halloween novelty songs, and standards from a station against the far right wall. The bar was directly across in the far left corner, and next to it were several tables with what looked like the usual snack/dinner: canapés, fruit, cheese, desserts. A good-sized dance floor had been installed in the center of the room over the non-descript industrial carpeting, and several round tables, seating from four to six people at any given time, were arranged around it.

Dana took in her costumed co-workers. She recognized several, but more were strangers to her. She assumed she was also seeing partners, friends and various other “plus-ones,” but it was still a pleasant surprise—in the circumstances—to see how few people she actually knew. The costumes ranged from traditional—witches, cowboys, superheroes—to topical—two Donald Trumps, and one pair who was probably supposed to be Kim and Kanye—and from silly—a couple dressed as bacon and eggs—to sexy—slutty nurse, slutty referee, slutty Cookie Monster…wait, really? Abruptly, Dana decided she didn’t want to mingle. Plain old Dana was a people-pleaser, good at small-talk, social drinking, friendly flirting. Vampiress Dana didn’t want any of that. She’d be a hunter, confident and ruthless, searching for…an experience; maybe a lover, maybe just a playmate to tease and then abandon. She decided she didn’t much care. Tonight was for her, and she would top, tease, seduce, satisfy, disappoint, dominate, or whatever. She would try to avoid her friends and close acquaintance, but if one of them got in her way…if one of them wanted to play…she’d cross that bridge when she came to it.