Most of the time, the transformations applied to the multitudes of young men take their sexual orientation from straight to gay—taking something that’s already there and twisting it into something different but similar. But what about the men who don’t have that little something? Men who are sex-repulsed aces (or sex-positive aces, no judgement), or are demi-sexual and searching for the right person to become attracted to?
If it’s not possible for us to generate sexual attraction without emotional attachment, or generate sexual attraction at all, what happens to us then? Are we just passed over, or do we at least get the chance to love and be loved even without the promise of sex?
"You could hardly be blamed for thinking as you do," said the pale man with his icy blue eyes. He spoke with a peculiar accent, marking him even more the foreigner as if his complexion didn’t already make him stand out. In the two minutes that they had been speaking, the clientele of the coffee shop seemed to have taken it upon themselves to gawk as openly as possible.
Nate shifted in his seat. He wasn’t used to being in the limelight, even if he was there only by proximity to the true target of the other customers’ attention. "That doesn’t put me at ease," said Nate.
"I can see why it wouldn’t," said the pale man. "My apologies. It must seem so rude that I haven’t properly introduced myself. You may call me Alaric. I would tell you where I am from though I doubt you would know of Neravichia."
Nate shook his head. "Neravichia?" he said. "I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. Is that somewhere in Romania?"
Alaric chuckled. "Further still than that, little lamb," he said. "Further even than you can yet fathom with all the knowledge of your world."
Nate’s first thought was that he was talking to one of the fey beings so often mentioned in the dark corners of the web where he’d first started hearing about the transformations. "Flattering," said Alaric. "But perish the thought. I cannot hold a candle to the true fey. You should count yourself lucky you speak to me and not to them for you humans are so ill-equipped to deal with their kind."
"I see," said Nate. He had enough sense to figure that it was probably impolite to ask what Alaric was, if he was neither fey nor human. Alien was always an option, but he had a hard time imagining that an extraterrestrial being would look so appealing in a conventional human sense.
Alaric leaned forward to whisper in Nate’s ear. "I am what your kind would call a vampire," he said, though it was hard to believe because his breath was warm against the side of Nate’s face.
Nate felt a strange flush in his cheeks as Alaric’s fingers landed ever so gently on the back of his hand. They were as warm as his breath, if not hotter. "Set aside all you think you know of my kind, for much of it is purely fictitious," said Alaric.
"To return to my earlier comment, I meant it when I said that you could hardly be blamed for thinking as you do," said Alaric. "For a very long time, our enemy has viewed you and others like you as unworthy of attention."
"If he and his followers had their way, all that would be left of the world are women who live to be fucked by men, men who fuck women, and men who fuck no one at all," said Alaric. "Such a sad and barbaric ambition wouldn’t you say?"
Nate felt his heart skip a beat. Alaric’s cold gaze was sharp and intense. He could almost feel those icy-blue eyes boring into the depths of his soul. "There is nothing wrong with who you are," said Alaric. "You are simply wired differently than most."
"Unfortunately, in a cosmos where sex is among the most potent of sources of power, you and others like you will tend to fall to the wayside," said Alaric. Nate sniffled. He knew it. Had known it all along. "Love is equally as potent, if not more so, but it takes time and care to nurture. In war, time is a luxury most cannot afford."
"So it’s hopeless, then?" said Nate. "I’ll be passed over for someone who they could better use in their war? I’ll have to wait for it to end, however long that will take? Even if it means waiting for the rest of my life?"
"Oh I am certain you will find someone to love who loves you back," said Alaric. "But neither is it hopeless. You say there is nothing in you that can be grown, that can be, as you put it, twisted. I say you are wrong. There is."
Nate looked out the window at the people crossing in front of the coffee shop. There were more than a few happy couples walking along, blissfully unaware of him. "And what would that be?" he said, in a tone perhaps a touch more scathing than he intended. "Misery? Desperation? Loneliness?"
"Desire," said Alaric. The word seemed to echo within Nate. He stared at Alaric, heart beating even faster in his chest. "Sexual attraction is not the seed that you think it is. Desire is its progenitor. And you must have some sort of Desire. Desire that can be amplified, magnified, and molded."
"You do desire things, do you not?" said Alaric. "Just because you have never seen another human being you would have liked to bugger does not mean you have never wanted anything in your life. Desire is the underpinning of existence. I daresay if you have never desired a thing in your life, you have more problems than love."
"I have," said Nate. Slowly and softly at first, but with increasing volume and enthusiasm he said, "I have desired things… I do desire things. I want to change. I want to be happy. I want to feel safe and content!"
"Yes. Just like that," said Alaric. Out of the corner of his eye, Nate noticed that the world seemed to have stopped. It was silent and motionless. Only he and Alaric seemed alive in that moment. "Call upon your desire. Speak to it. Embrace it."
Nate felt a tingling warmth radiate from the center of his chest to the tips of his fingers. A quiet moan slipped past his lips as he felt a stirring in his groin. It wasn’t unfamiliar, but this was the first time he had felt it in the presence of another man. The first time he had felt it because of another man.
"I awaken this in you not because I think what you were before was broken. I do not do this to fix you, but because love and sex and freedom need warriors to fight on their side," said Alaric.
"Show me the flame that now burns brightly within you," said Alaric.
Nate reached across the table and grabbed Alaric by the back of the head. He pulled the vampire close to kiss him. It felt like fireworks were going off in his brain as he lustily reached between Alaric’s legs to feel the erection burgeoning there.
"It would be my pleasure," Nate said breathlessly as he broke away from the kiss. He’d felt arousal before, but this was different. This arousal was intoxicating. All-consuming. The only thing he could think of was ravaging Alaric where he sat, and he had every intention of doing so.
"When this is over," said Alaric. "When we have won, I will quell the fire should you so desire it."
NAte stripped off his shirt and his pants. Alaric undressed with the snap of his fingers, clambering over the table and bending over it in front of Nate.
"I’ll cross that bridge when I get there," said Nate. And he would. Lust and sex felt fun. Titillating, even. Intoxicating, he thought to himself, as he slid his hard cock into the tight, velvety heat of Alaric’s hole.
For all the appeal of the indiscriminate libido he now found at his fingertips, there was a part of Nate that still felt it wasn’t him. He yearned for love, and thanks to Alaric he was now sure that he would eventually find it. He just wasn’t sure how much he wanted lust to play a role in it.