I haven't often gone hungry in life. When I was a kid in Scotland my father had a good steady job, my mother was what they now term a stay-at-home-mom - in those days she was a housewife. She cooked good wholesome meals, made even tastier by her use of lard. Amazing we weren't all Billy Bunters. It wasn't until I left home, lived alone and worked for a pittance, and would sometimes have to juggle between frozen fish fingers or a packet of cigs that I realized the importance of good nutrition.
Years later through some silly mistakes one makes in life I found myself penniless once again, living in Vegas and more often than not in line for the 55cent breakfast in a Downtown casino. A red letter day occurred when I had an extra nickel in my pocket and put it in the slot machine I was leaning against whilst waiting to partake of greasy bacon and runny eggs. I got three bars which paid me 25 cents. I put it all back in, got 3 sevens which paid me fifty bucks! That day I could upgrade to the $1.50 breakfast, fill up my aging Chevy with gas, and visit the supermarket! That had to be over 25 years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday.
Things have improved since then,you'll be glad to know, although my frugal beginnings are probably the reason I still balk at the outrageous prices charged in restaurants these days. Who ever would have thought a burger in a 'name' restaurant could possibly cost $50? And fries are extra!
When I started writing, I imagined a different kind of hunger - the kind that stirs the blood and loosens the saliva glands. Food can do that too, but the sight of a beautiful face, a grace and athleticism all bound up in the perfect body can be fodder for fantasy on the pages of erotic romance. Personally I don't think I've ever hungered for another being, but I became aware of the use of the expression first in the lyrics of Stranger in Paradise:
Won't you answer the fervent prayer
Of a stranger in paradise
Don't send me in dark despair
From all that I hunger for
But open your angel's arms
To the stranger in paradise
And tell him
That he need be
A stranger no more
"From all that I hunger for..." That one line made me wonder what it would be like to hunger for another, for love, for sex - the Grand Passion so to speak. I find it easy to write about, and if I haven't exactly attained these momentous heights in my own personal life, I'm more than content to have the safe cozy love I share with my partner. But fictional romance needs, nay demands the GP and I have to admit I find it easier to write when there are vampires involved. For a lot of readers vampires are the quintessential hungry lovers.
Here's a fairly tame exampe from Duet in Blood, one of my early vampire tales:
A little after midnight. Time to assuage my hunger before the streets of West Hollywood emptied for the night. The bars would soon spill out their young and boisterous patrons who would be heading home early in preparation for the new workweek to come.
Micah’s blood, pulsing sweet and strong under his skin, had been an almost overpowering temptation. One day, I would have to tell him my true identity, reveal to him the darker side of me—that part of me that sends me out into the night, as it now did, to find that which would quench my thirst and satisfy the hunger that never really left me.
The streets and sidewalks of West Hollywood were damp from an earlier rainfall as I walked with measured nonchalance between the flashing lights and pounding music that beckoned passers-by into the anonymous ambience of the gay bars that lined both sides of Santa Monica Boulevard.
“Hi, you look lonesome.” The sweet-faced young man, who stood smoking a cigarette outside one of the more popular bars, gave me a sly smile.
“Can you take care of that for me?” I asked, preparing him for his affirmative answer.
“You bet.” He took my hand and led me into a nearby, darkened doorway. “You’re hot,” he whispered, tugging at my fly.
I cupped his face between my hands and kissed his mouth lightly. “Open your eyes,” I said. As his liquid blue eyes gazed into mine, I entered his mind and told him that all he would remember of this encounter was that it had been wonderful. I then added the thought that he would never want to smoke another cigarette ever again. He gazed back at me with the complete trust of one whose will has suddenly been taken from them.
As my lips caressed his throat, his arousal pressed against my thigh. “Oh, feels so good,” he murmured. “So good…”
My bite was clean and deep. He stiffened in my arms for just a moment, then he was clinging to me, pushing his neck against my mouth, as he sent his sweet, life-sustaining blood pulsing over my tongue. He shuddered and moaned aloud as he orgasmed without my ever touching him there. I licked the puncture marks on his neck, my saliva immediately healing the wounds.
“Please stay,” he whispered as I stepped back from our embrace. I kissed him once more, before leaving him alone in that dark doorway, knowing that all he would remember of our meeting was that it had brought him pleasure—and that he was now a non-smoker.
If you're having a hard time giving up the smokes - find a vampire...