The taste was funny when it hit his mouth, like iron or copper (which he had expected), except that his body shook and convulsed uncontrollably, as though he were alive again. He always liked that part. The pain and the hunger abated, and were replaced with clarity, like the end of a bad trip, and Paul looked around with new eyes. He looked down beneath him, and realized he was crouching on a man who was struggling, and very quickly bleeding out, onto the pavement of this dirty alley.

Without thinking, Paul caught the flow of blood with his mouth. The shuddering came again, but much softer this time. He bit down into the flesh to keep the overflow at bay, sinking each one of his teeth in like a miniature syringe. He took a deep inhalation, and it was like breathing again. His mind was silent for all of this. Always is, during the kill.

Paul disposed of the body quickly, and cleaned himself up. He had come to this city to meet with his brethren among the Lusumi, and this blood would go a long way toward keeping his head clear. He wondered at the number of murders that would occur tonight as the Lusumi prepared for the gathering, but he dropped the thought rather quickly. He hadn't been to New York City in almost a hundred years, and he wanted to have some fun.