"So you guys don't actually sparkle in sunlight?"
Constantin sighed and put his glass down. The liquid sloshed slowly.
"No we don't. We die. Horribly. And to be honest, and I mean no disrespect here, but I think that's possibly one of the worst questions you could ask any of us."
"What, why? In the movies they always sparkle in sunlight, I don't think it's a weird question at all."
"Because you're basing your... You know what, never mind."
Carolyn shifted uncomfortably in her seat. He picked up his glass and took a sip.
"Damn, it's getting cold." He grimaced.
"You want another one?" she asked, hoping this meant a bit of a reset in the conversation.
"Yeah." He waved at a waiter. "What can I do for you, sir?" the young waiter said.
"Yeah, sorry. This one's cold. Could you get me a fresh one?"
"No problem. I'll be right back."
The waiter grabbed the glass and went towards the bar, dropped the glass in a bin and went into a small door to the side of the bar.
Constantin checked the time on his phone. It wasn't nearly late enough to use that as an excuse to cut this date short, but he really wanted to. Also, with his first glass going cold halfway through, he was actually getting quite hungry. Getting the typical 'Are you like Edward?' questions didn't help either. His friends had said the dating scene was rough but he thought it couldn't possibly be this bad. On the other hand, she was pretty. Maybe he just needed to get to know her a bit more. As long as that waiter came back with a fresh, hot glass, he could stick it out a bit longer.
"So, what do you do for a living?" he said, trying to sound more interested than he felt.
"I'm a vet, actually," she said with a smile, "and I love my job."
"Huh, cool," he said and was surprised he actually meant it.
"I think so. I love animals, and I wanted to help them. So I studied to do so."
"So do you guys do pets? Or bigger animals?"
"Mostly pets, but sometimes a farmer will need some help with something and we'll drive out there. It's more varied than I expected, really."
Okay, Constantin thought, she reads vampire stories and thinks that stuff is real. But this does change how he looks at the evening. It was difficult enough for him to sign up for a dating app. Not for just one reason, but for multiple.
The first was that it was so awkward. After 400+ years, he had found himself single again, and was out of touch with how dating happened now. He and Elena had been together for nearly a century, but at a certain point it was just grating on him that she had such a blood lust. He was ready to calm down a little, you know? It's fine killing for food, but he'd lost the hunger for the hunt years before. Elena, however, not so much. She still went out to terrorize neighborhoods just because she was bored. And after the break up and her not taking it so well, he'd been forced to kill her. His friends told him that's how it goes sometimes, but he still felt a bit bad about it. And now that dating involved apps and all kinds of digital nonsense, he had to learn a lot in very little time.
The second reason, more of a logistics issue, is a tricky one. Most people know mirrors don't pick up on vampires. But not many people know cameras don't either. At least, not Constantin. So you try making a dating app profile without pictures. Back when he was still alive, photography didn't even exist. So he'd had to scour the internet looking for the best lookalike he could find and, well, take his pictures. He'd found a guy, looked almost exactly like him, but he wasn't exactly the same. Different haircut. "Went to the barber's." Different clothing style. "I decided to change my style."
Small tattoo in his neck.
Constantin had gotten a tattoo in his neck.
Dating used to be so much easier, he thought to himself. But at least this date was turning out better than he'd expected.
"So we've talked about what I do for a living. What about you?" Carolyn asked, taking a sip of wine.
"Well, as you know, being limited to nighttime is a bit of an issue when it comes to employment." He laughed. "But I work as a translator, from English to Romanian mostly. It's easy to do freelance and from home. And working late doesn't really matter to my clients, as long as I do the job well. And with centuries of experience with either language, I think I do well."
"Is there much need for translations to Romanian?"
"Not as much as there used to be, but the older generation usually sticks to Romanian."
Constantin stopped talking and looked up. The waiter came into view and looked like something had gone terribly wrong. Small beads of sweat were on his forehead.
"I'm sorry, sir," he said to Constantin, "but it seems the, err, batch, has spoiled. It was the last batch too."
"So you're out?" Constantin said, baring his fangs slightly.
The waiter jumped a little.
"I'm sorry, I wish I had better news. It's been a busy day and we didn't realize we were running low. I'll make sure the check reflects our mistake." "Good."
Carolyn looked at Constantin and then the waiter. She looked annoyed at the bad service.
Constantin felt the hunger grow, knowing that there was nothing coming to fix it. He looked at Carolyn and smiled.
"I'm kinda done with this place. You want to go for a walk?"
Carolyn smiled and shook her head.
"Look, I've had a nice time and I'd like to do it again, but I know better than to go take a walk with a hungry vampire."
Constantin laughed, "You got me."
"Nice try. Send me a message sometime, yeah?" she said as she got up.
Carolyn grabbed her coat from the back of her chair and waved while she walked out of the restaurant's door.
Constantin smiled as she did and closed his eyes for a second after she'd left. She was cool. He intended to send her a message soon, do this again. But right now, he was still really hungry.