• Rupert Stanley, vampire lawyer
    The sun had barely set, washing the sky in hues of fuchsia and violet that darkened to navy and black, but the entire district of O-Positive of Northern Virginia was as busy as ever. The police patroled the streets, their chests ablaze with glowing crosses, their hands cautiously by their guns. The patrons of the Blood District went causually about their night, setting up shop and mingling with the tourists. Coffin-bangers and Fangsies flitted through the streets, high on the forbidden excitement of mingling with real vampires.

    Rupert Milton Stanley, once a minor lord and now another fanged nobody, watched them from his apartment window, idly swirling a glass of blood in his hand. He wasn't sure who he hated more; the government or the Fangsies.

    Fangsies were pretend vampires, little teens who rebeled against their parents by dressing up vampire chic clothing and donning fake fangs. They came into the Blood District to make-believe they belonged and that no one understood their pain. They partied with the monsters when it was conveniant for them.

    In the end, they went home and saw their families. They got to eat what they wanted and never got sick from it. They could walk in the sunlight and not fear that some twitchy cop would kill them for sneezing. They wanted the fantasy and Rupert lived the reality.

    They were pathetic.

    Not pathetic, Rupert. Sad.

    Rupert closed his eyes, resting his head against the cold window pane. God, he could almost hear Jacob. How many times had they had that conversation?

    He could almost see Jacob now, standing behind him. It was pure imagination, vampires didn't cast reflections, but he saw him nonetheless. Medium height with an unruly mop of black hair, wise dark eyes perched over a nose that only a mother could love and his yamake that he wore proudly. Never in all the years that Jacob had been a vampire did he ever lose his faith.

    "Sad is an understatement," muttered Rupert to the memory. They don't know how it really is."

    "And how is it," asked Jacob, walking past Rupert to sit on the couch. "We have more freedom now. Things are looking up."

    "Looking up? We're hounded nightly!" Rupert stalked past the couch, pacing. That night had been his final straw. A massacure at the A-negative District, all over some silly girl who swore that a vampire had hissed at her. "No fair trial! No jury of our peers! No investigation! Just fangs and shoot!"

    "It takes time for things to change," Jacob said. "Some people accept us."

    "There are more and more Vampire Friendly groups out there," pointed out Rebecca, Jacob's fiancee. She was sitting quietly in a corner, reading wedding magazines.

    Rupert snorted. "Vampire Friendly? Like the Fangsies or Coffin-bangers. Oh, real friendly as long as they can get in your pants."

    "And what do you suggest, Rupert? That we go back to the way it was? To hiding what we are and fearing each night that we won't be able to eat, that we'll be discovered? Go back to sneaking around in shadows?" Jacob asked. "I like it this way. We're making some progress."

    "Progress? We're forced to live in special districts. You have to have a police escort when you go to your night classes and they ration our blood supply. We had to be branded, Jacob! Branded!"

    Jacob sighed and Rebecca held the magazine closer to her face. Rupert regretted it immedietly. "I'm sorry. I forgot."

    "Say nothing of it," Jacob said with a forced cheerfulness. "Say, are you coming to the Bachelor Party?"

    Rupert nodded, but he saw that Jacob had moved his hand to cover the tattoos on his left arm. One was the mark of the vampire, imposed on him by the government. The other was best left unsaid.

    Rupert sighed and pushed away from the window, shaking the last bits of that memory away. It hurt to think of them, to remember Jacob and Rebecca. It had all changed. No more sitting in his apartment or laughing over tea they couldn't drink.

    Sitting on Rupert's kitchen table were three flowery, ornate teacups. Too girly for his taste, but Rebecca had liked them. He never really got a chance to give them back. It was always, "Let me wash them and you can take them back next time," except, they never wanted there to be that next time. The cups stayed with Rupert, and Jacob and Rebecca always came over.

    "If only we didn't have that stupid Bachelor Party," Rupert snarled. He finished the last of the blood from the glass and slammed it down on the table. "Why did you want to have that stupid party!"

    "It's not stupid," said Jacob as they entered the bar. "It's a tradition. My last night of freedom."

    "Ha! You and Rebecca have been together for decades, centuries," said Rupert. "You don't need to get married. You already are."

    "We want to do this right. Now that we have the freedom to marry, we want to. It took us a long time to find a Rabbi to marry us outside. Heck, it took a long time to find a Rabbi to marry us period."

    "This is still stupid," grumped Rupert. "Aren't Bachelor Parties supposed to go to strip clubs or something like that? Not the bar down the street."

    Jacob smiled. "Rebecca would kill me if I ever did that and you're too uptight for that anyway. If I took you to a strip club, you'd have a heart attack."

    "Need a heart for that."

    Rupert picked up the teacups and brought them over to the sink. They weren't used, but he needed the ritual. Washing the cups would make him feel human. He had to be careful or he'd break them. Rebecca wouldn't like it if he broke her teacups.

    If onl they hadn't had that stupid Bachelor Party. Hell, if only Jacob hadn't wanted to hire the wedding planner. That was were it all really went wrong. That wedding planner!

    The police showed up at the bar, The Leech's Delight, the night after the Bachelor party. They stormed in, guns out and ready. Everyone froze, pints of blood halfway to their mouths. When the police showed up, it meant that someone with fangs was going to die.

    "We're looking for a Jacob Goldstein," one announced.

    "I'm Jacob. What seems to be the problem?"

    "Where were you last night?"

    "Here. Everyone can vouch for me. It was my Bachelor's Party," Jacob said. He gave them his most harmless smile without a hint of fangs. "I believe some of you fine officers were on duty here."

    A few of the police shifted uncomfortably. Rupert's pale blue eyes narrowed. The police knew why they were here, but it looked like they were also embarassed.

    "Mr. Goldstein, you're coming with us as a person of interest on the attack of Miss Melanie Hews," the lead officer said. "Please come quietly, don't make us use force."

    "Of course," Jacob said. They all knew it was no good to fight. Melanie Hews was the wedding planner, a human that Jacob and Rebecca nearly counted as a friend. Her name had been plastered all over the papers, either as a traitor or as a pioneer. Depended on what paper you read.

    "Is Melanie okay?" Jacob asked as he approached the officers.

    "She'll be fine. Truamatized, but she'll recover."

    "What happened?"

    "Just come with us."

    "Why did you go!" Rupert gripped the sink as he tried to not cry. That was the last time he saw Jacob alive. Melanie Hews, it turned out, had a boyfriend who was very anti-monster. When she continued to help Jacob and Rebecca, he attacked her. She named Jacob as the attacker, though.

    No one questioned it.

    No one did anything.

    No one, but Rebecca.

    "Jacob! Where are you taking him!" Rebecca came running down the street once word got to her that Jacob was being arrested. Though the words, "You're under arrest" were never uttered, no vampire ever left with the police and didn't wind up being charged.

    "Ma'am, stay out of this please."

    "You have no right! Let him stay. He's innocent!"

    "Ma'am, please, move back."

    "Sir, she has the mark as well," whispered one officer.

    "Ma'am, stay back. Don't make us use force."

    Jacob pushed away from the officers. "Rebecca, run home. Don't worry, I know I'm innocent. I'll be home by tomorrow."

    "The cemetaries are filled with the innocent," cried Rebecca. "The government doesn't care. You have fangs, they already think you're guilty."

    "I'll get a fair trial. You'll see."

    "Don't be naive," snapped Rupert. "No vampire has ever gotten a trial, let alone a fair one."

    "Jacob, you can't go! They can't take you! Don't leave me!" Rupert had to move fast to grab Rebecca as she launched herself despretly at the man she loved.

    That was when Jacob made his move. He walked over to Rebecca, pushing the officers off himself. One of them got jumpy and shot him in the back.

    Jacob died in Rebecca's arms. There was no write-up in the paper. Melanie Hews finally came clean after she learned of Jacob's death, though what did she expect when she accused a vampire.

    Don't worry, I'll get a fair trial.

    Rupert placed the teacups in the drainer and walked away from the kitchen. He sat on the couch, his friend's words ringing in his ears. Jacob never got a fair trial. No vampire ever did. But, times were changing, weren't they?

    He picked up a text book, flipping through to that week's chapter on the History of Law. Maybe, vampires didn't have a fair chance now, but he'd change that. He'd fight for the rights of vampires. He'd fight for the Jacobs of the world who never got their fair trial. He'd fight for the Rebeccas who were still hurting from the unfair laws.

    Look out world! Rupert Stanley, Vampire Lawyer was on the case!