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3 Three

    I'd been living in my tiny apartment on Thirty-First Street for more than a year now. There was no furniture except the one hideous couch and single bed, no television, of course no plates or silverware or cookware in the kitchen. I had a closet full of clothes and shoes, a toothbrush, assorted hair clippies, and dozens of soaps and bottles of bubble bath.

    I tried to keep Will from coming over because he always made comments about the apartment: it was Spartan, it was unhealthy, it was no way for a woman to live, no way for any creature to live. It was so empty of my tastes that I couldn't feel comfortable there. I might as well have gone to live in a cave after that crazy lady burned my house down.

    I reminded him, I intended to go live in a cave. And he told me that he wouldn't allow it. He actually said, "You've got to be kidding me. If I ever find you in a cave, I'm dragging you out by the hair and locking you in a professionally decorated townhouse until you come to your senses."

    I think I replied something like, "If you hadn't been hitting on me constantly since the day we met, I'd think you were gay."

    And I think he'd said something like, "You just want me to be gay so you can snuggle me without thinking about where it will lead."

    And I probably answered him snidely while secretly thinking he had a good point.

    Will's apartment would put Martha Stewart to shame, he tells me. There's a remarkable degree of color-coordination happening there. He has a couch, a TV, surrealist paintings by local artists, and several little tables that each have specific names: end table, coffee table, nook table, breakfast table. He even has a fully stocked kitchen, "for guests."

    And he rarely goes home. When he's not doing research, he's chairing a committee to stop domestic violence or doing an art-for-peace fundraiser. But he's usually doing research. He's brilliant, really, for someone less than a century old. I wouldn't be surprised if he were made a judge one day or kidnapped by a secret government agency and forced to work in their lab.

    Will and I have been friends for nearly twenty years, and it's a good thing because most sentient beings think he's a loon. Vampires find him a little too human, too willing to be a part of human concerns, because most vampires surround themselves with their own kind and think the highest praise one can give a human is to say it's tasty.

    Astute humans think Will is a little creepy. Not-so-astute ones find him interesting, hence the stocked kitchen "for guests." Only a vampire desperate for companionship would have human friends.

    But Will did have friends. Despite being both creepy and a loon, Will threw excellent parties and listened when people talked.

    Maybe if I'd been a better friend to him, Will wouldn't have needed to collect people like stamps. But I wasn't, so he did, and for the most part, I think he's happy.
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