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About the author:
I’m Croatian horror, SF, children’s/fantasy author. I published my first short story in 1996, my first novel in 2000, and since then I published more then 30 books. I love books – books are my life. Writing for me is not only something I do; it’s a way of living.
What inspired you to write your book?
I love vampires and 20 years ago, when I wrote this book, there was not many vampire books translated in Croatian, and I wasn’t reading English well. So I wrote myself a vampire novel. I loved it. Other people loved it. Real vampire love affair.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I stepped back, but at the same moment he grabbed me and pulled me closer to him. This closeness was at the same time terrible, as much as it was good. He looked at my lips and my face like he was seeing me for the first time, but he avoided my eyes. He began to scare me. Under half-opened lips his white teeth flashed. I could almost imagine those fangs. I could almost imagine them on my skin.
“Take him,” he whispered and then pulled me even closer to him so I was standing on the tips of my toes, uselessly trying to pull away. His lips were so close that they almost touched me. And his breath, flavorless and unnatural, like the breath of the marble statues in the salon under us, disturbed me more than his touch. His predatory eyes looked like they could see every drop of blood that flowed through my body. They sought it with every flash. His fingers on my arms burned my skin. Dangerous. Dangerous. Dangerous.
“He’s yours…“ I didn’t hear the sound. Only his lips moved. The dark crowns of his long lashes trembled. His grip weakened a little. I dared to inhale.
His eyes slowly closed. Horror was screaming through my veins like they were not part of my body. My lips moved and my voice, strange and shaky, whispered:
“You’re giving him to me? Him, who you yourself want so much?”
A spasm disfigured his face, his smile tensed on his lips. But he did not open his eyes.
“Yes… I do…”
Against my will, the sound of his voice made me shiver. So terrible, wild and implacable was his desire.
Some kind of murmur, like when a cat purrs, passed his lips. He let his head fall forward, his silken hair touched my cheek, so soft and cold that I wished I could run my fingers in it, feeling its fullness. His lips fell on my cheek.
He was whispering fast and feverish. I could not understand the words. He was whispering words in Latin like prayers, like songs and like sweet curses. His hands went up on my shoulders. I was trying to free myself from his grip.
His fingers wrapped themselves in my hair. His hand was cold and unnatural. Hand of death.
It seemed to me like he was giving in to some inner insatiable instinct that did not care for rules or laws, because it knew nothing of them. That was what he looked like when his head hastily, but somehow lifelessly, fell down toward my neck, and his fingers pulled my high collar that was covering it.
“Damian!” I screamed. The young man down there looked toward us. The sound of my voice echoed and glided off the walls of the round auditorium. The sound of the footsteps. The door opening… closing…
I was wrestling with him, this strange white statue. I screamed again:
“Damian! Let me go! It’s me. Don’t…”
His arms let me go so suddenly that I lost my balance, lurched and ran into the balcony wall. My eyes were wide open in horror, my face pale, and my breathing jerky. I leaned on the wall, not daring to move. He suddenly turned his back on me, leaned his palms on the wall and hid his face in his upper-arms.
We stood like that for what seemed like eternity. The seconds were oozing like blood drops from an open wound. Pain was hungry. It existed from the beginning of the world, and it’ll exist when there won’t be one. There’s no a cure for it. There’s no nourishment that could satisfy it.
His hand moved, but he was still bent over, covering his face. His fingers reached for the green velvet curtains and slowly push them aside. Light flew in.
“I know it’s you…” his whisper was shivering in the waves of restrained passion. His fingers, so white, crumpled the velvet and the color between them looked poisonous. “Go now,” he said and leaned his forehead on the cold wall, like he was a mortal and his forehead was burning and he wished to cool it down with that everlasting cold stone. “Go. He’s been waiting. Take him like he’s…” his voice broke, the curtain slipped from his fingers and his hand made a motion. “Go, little sister.”
For a few seconds I was not able to move. I was staring at his crooked back. His hair fell down, covering his face, but it uncovered his neck and the vein at the side, terribly blue and pulsating. This was not right, I thought. This was not how it was supposed to be. This was not happening.
I tore myself from the wall, made one step, two, and then looked at him. His left arm was hanging like it was dead beside him. He wasn’t moving. It seemed like he wasn’t even breathing.
I pushed the curtains aside and stepped out.
He was waiting there, like he knew what to do. I did not feel his touch. I looked at his brown eyes; I touched his blond hair. I felt nothing. I did not want him. Not him. Not like that.
I let him kiss me. He was alive. He was so unbearably alive. I had forgotten what a living kiss felt like. And suddenly I was not some kind of god; I was mortal just like he was. Nothing mattered. Everything was swirling into the endless river of life and death, chaos and absurd. I felt nothing, desired nothing. Nothing existed. He knew nothing. He was blind. I let my mind be exhausted with his blindness. Nothing existed and this was not happening to me. This must be happening to someone else, someone I knew nothing about and was scarcely interested in. I didn’t exist. I was a spirit without flesh. A deceiving game of light.
Walking I turned around to look behind. Damian was standing beside the green curtain. On his face there was some spasmodic, frozen expression. Not sadness. Not pain. Something like regret. Something only he could feel. Something unearthly and still; there was something in it that felt so familiar to me, only I could not remember what it was. My mind went foggy every time I tried to think hard about it. I could not think. I would not think. Yes. That was what I was going to do. Forget all that.
I turned around, and left Damian.