Vampires are real. And they don't just inhabit New Orleans or Europe. You don't see them, usually, because they can pass for mortal if one doesn't look too closely, or for too long. If you do recognize a vampire, it's likely because he wants you to, just before granting you ecstasy and oblivion. He'll sink whetted-sharp fangs into your jugular vein while you are paralyzed with fear and curious, ardent desire. He'll pull the copper taste of your crimson blood in rhythm with the beat of your heart while letting you desperately gasp for air like a drowning child, keeping his meal warm and oxygenated. He'll cradle the back of your neck with one hand and painfully squeeze your torso with his other arm to milk the last dregs. He'll take his time. You'll shudder just before you die, the rapture that is a death rattle. Know from the tectonic grating and thunder that Alaric dined on you, and he must have had a reason.