The night air is cool. The hairs on her neck stand up. Her heels click unevenly on the brick sidewalk. The wind carries her scent, a mixture of perfume, sweat and drink. He smells it. He can taste it. He follows the scent.
Her phone rings. She answers. Her voice laughs out. She steadies herself against a signpost. He comes closer. The crowd is thin. The bars are still open. Outside the wind is cold.
Again she laughs. Her words are happy. Unaware. She throws her head back with laughter. Scent from her hair dances in the air. Strawberries. He smells beneath it. He smells her warmth. Her heart.
His attack is sudden. His arms are strong. She can’t breath. The phone flies from her grasp and into the street. Another straggler sees a blur and looks up. Nothing. He turns away.
In the shadow he bites and drinks. Her heart beats and slows and beats. They are warm. The wind doesn’t cool them. They are in harmony. Breathing together. Her heart beats for his.
Gently he lowers her to the ground. The cold has returned. He tightens her coat. Her breath is shallow. Her face pale. There is no trace on her neck. He watches, hidden by the night. Three friends find her. They call an ambulance. She is warned about drinking too much.
He walks away.