“She’s got hyperacusis,” said the brawny neighbour.

“Hyper what?” asked Garrett.

He was finding out all sorts of fun community facts with his new delivery job. His favourite part of the job was gossip on the side.

“Sound hurts her ears. We never see her outside anymore.”

“What caused it?”

The man ignored him. Staring at the closed dark curtains in her front window.

“Aggie saw her out after midnight once. It’s quiet then, right?” He sighed. “Such a shame. She was a real beauty.”

“Better than a barker, I always say.” Garrett rolled down his right sock to show off the scar from deep bite marks on the back of his ankle. “That miniature poodle was vicious.”

They spent a few minutes comparing scars before Garrett strolled back to his truck. He didn’t see her curtain rippling slightly aside. Or the figure intent upon his every movement.

She began getting parcels delivered regularly. It happened when Garrett was delivering her tenth package. There was a small envelope taped to her front door. Sealed with an ornate red wax imprint. Nothing was written on the outside of the envelope.

He raised his eyebrows. “Well, well. What have we here?”

Garrett tore open the flap. The sound of ripping paper was no problem for him. He unfolded the thick cream vintage paper.

Midnight Tonight was printed with copperplate precision.

Garrett’s lips spread into a slow smile. “Check the yes box.” He looked at the drapery covered window. “A real beauty, huh? We’ll see about that.”

At midnight when he arrived, she stood in the shadow of her doorway. Thick waves of ebony hair framed her moonlit face. 

“Hey, I’m Garre—”

She touched her index finger to her lips in the universal sign for silence. The black enamel polish on her almond shaped fingernail was so shiny, Garrett could see his reflection. A tiny pinpoint of anonymous head.

“Will you enter my home?” she whispered. Her upper teeth reminded him of a Himalayan cat. Each canine long enough to indent slightly into her luscious burgundy lower lip.

“Yes,” he whispered back with his trademark smile.

“Come.” She turned with a rustle of fabric. He followed her into a living room flickering with candle light. She stopped at a silver tray, gesturing towards a cut glass decanter filled with red liquid. “Do you care to imbibe?”

“I’m not big on red wine,” he replied.

She smiled, making her pointed upper teeth more pronounced. “What do you want then?”

He looked her body up and down. She wasn’t a beauty. She was perfection. Her black satin gown was corseted with silver lacing. Nipping her into an hourglass figure. The skirt fell almost to the floor at the front, revealing silver slippers that reflected shimmers of candle flames. He realized she was murmuring. “…kind of you to visit so late.”

“No worries,” he said softly. “I heard about your…problem.”

“Did you?” She smiled. “And what problem do I have?”

“Your ears.”

“My ears?” She laughed louder than he expected. “The stories they do tell.”

“I thought…” He trailed off as she stepped towards him. Pulling lightly on her corset lacing so the bow came undone. The fabric fell open at her cleavage.

“Perhaps it is loneliness that invited you here tonight.”

Garrett’s voice was rough in his throat. “No, no.”

“Perhaps you would prey upon a poor defenceless—”

He shook his head back and forth.

She was standing in front of him now. Only inches between their bodies. His mouth watered at her scent. A compelling combination of rain swept forest and steak Tartare.

She grabbed him by the cheeks. Stopping his head movements. Her nails dug into his skin slightly like cat claws. The pain only made him feel more aroused. She twisted his head. Turning his neck closer to her. She ran her tongue from the bottom of his neck up and around his ear, sending shivers through his body.

“I think I will enjoy you more than all my past delivery people,” she whispered before sinking her fangs into his throat.

His blood was hot and rich. Filling her with intense satisfaction.

After tossing what was left down the basement stairs, she sat on her black brocade love seat with her laptop. She pulled up her favourite online store and clicked around. Seeing what she might want to order next.

A small coppery burp filled her mouth, pleasantly coating her fangs. 

She wondered if the next delivery person would be as good.