It’s easy to see how it happened, looking back.

After a few centuries of marriage, anyone is bound to get bored. Sure, we tried blood-play to keep things interesting, had some steamy times intertwined as tendrils of phosphorescent mist, shapeshifted into wolves, and really got each other howling—what music we made!—but even all that biting and sucking only goes so far. Night-in, night-out, you’re seeing the same face, preternaturally untouched by the ravages of time.

It gets boring.

So we opened the relationship. I was the one who asked for it, and I had a lot of success at first: one, two, three! Three brides! Ah, ah, ah!—but I thought my charm would persist through the ages, like everything else about my unwholesome existence. Now they’re the ones having all the fun, and I can’t get laid for the death of me.

It’s the villagers, I think.

Here I am noble; I am boyar; the common people know me, and I am master. They know that in these veins flows the proud blood of Attila and his conquering race! Maybe they don’t like Attila. Do people not like Attila anymore? They whimper in my castle’s shadow and bar their windows against me. They hang out in the tavern all day and warn travelers not to come visit me. How can I meet new people like this?

Oh, who am I kidding? It has to be me.

My brides don’t have the same troubles that I do. Night after night, they bring men to the castle and drain them dry before I can get so much as a lick of their bodily juices—food or otherwise. I don't know how they manage it. We barely talk anymore: they keep to their part of the castle, I keep to mine.

The whole situation has only deepened the insecurity I have about my looks. The kindest thing anyone ever says about me is that I have an “aquiline” nose. Aquiline, like an eagle. A bird beak. So I grew a moustache to balance it out, but I think it just made things worse. My brides can manifest in diaphanous gowns woven from moonbeams, the mystical raiment clinging to every supple curve of their bodies, their voluminous hair rippling out in a hypnotic wind that compels the very stars to stir in their orbits! And I have a moustache.

Maybe I’ll shave it off when I get to England.

Yes, England.

Things finally got so bad that recently I decided to just pack up all my boxes of dirt and make a new start of it. I actually have a pen-pal from England staying with me right now! John is a nice fellow—quite attractive, as is his betrothed; but I don’t just want sex, sex, sex: I’m a vampire, not a monster. I need to develop the kind of emotional intimacy first that comes from, for instance, helping a man shave without the use of a mirror. But my brides, as soon as they get a whiff of another scrotum in the house, here come the waterworks: “You yourself never loved; you never love!” After four hundred years of marriage! What do you call this sort of thing? Codependency? Gaslighting? Or is that something to do with those wonderful new lamps they have in England? Either way, I had to give them a whole baby to shut them up—yes, I go to coffin without dinner, and I’m the bad guy!

Now John is acting all weird.

They made it awkward.

But I think England is the way to go. I’m certainly not getting anywhere here. There's a young woman there by the name of Lucy whose nightmares I've been haunting and can you believe it—she already has three lovers! Clearly this England, with her Queen Victoria, is a libertine paradise and the sexual mores there are not so uptight as they are here. I think it will suit me well.

I should definitely shave the moustache.

On second thought, perhaps Lucy is a bad idea: she already has her own polycule and devil knows that’s just inviting drama. The Texan in particular. Do I want to constantly be measuring myself against him? That knife—my fangs are like… baby teeth in comparison.

Oh, maybe I just don’t have what it takes to go on the prowl anymore—maybe I can convince John and his lovely Mina to form a neat little throuple with me and be done with finding anyone new. Ah, but then I’d run into the same problem again four hundred years from now. No, I’m just going to have to put myself out there, to spread my malign influence across the unsuspecting nations and see who among the wretched and sinful masses is debased enough to accept my unholy baptism of blood!

Which is what I call sex.