Max was startled to hear the knock. He was also feeling somewhat irritated. He could not imagine who it could have been, to totally ignore the “Do Not Disturb” sign. It could not be any of the hotel staff. But he knew no one there. No one who would ignore a “Do Not Disturb” sign anyway.
He waited a moment to know if the person would go away. But the knock was repeated. Probably some kid, thought Max. Thinking it funny to knock on their neighbours’ doors.
He opened the door with a scowl, prepared to meet a giggling toddler. He froze, stunned at seeing Lucard. Max felt winded, short of breath. He had not expected it, though he should have.
“Maximilian,” said Alexander quietly, breaking the silence. “It has been a long time.”
“Lucard,” acknowledged Max, wondering how on earth he was recognized.
And then ignoring all his training, Max threw caution to the winds.
“Won’t you come inside?” he asked.
Alexander’s lifted his eyebrows in surprise, though all he said was, “So said the spider to the fly, if I remember right.” He stepped into the room all the same.
Max smiled a bit grimly as he closed the door. “You are hardly a helpless fly, not even during the day time, if I remember right.”
Alexander made no response, just glancing around the room. “So, you have realized your childhood ambition and became a vampire hunter. The best in the business too.”
Max shrugged, but said nothing. His cover had been penetrated but he knew there was nothing he could do now.
Alexander regarded Max gravely. “I never expected you to change so much,” he said softly. “I never expected you to become so ruthless, if reports are to be believed.”
Max stared at Alexander in surprise. Then he recovered his composure. “I was ten when you knew me,” said he. “I grew up, that’s all.”
“Yes,” said Alexander, “You have certainly grown up.”
There was a glint in the vampire’s eyes and Max was suddenly feeling a bit breathless.
“Look,” said he. “I appreciate the visit, but I am not feeling in the mood for reminiscences. It is day time, so there isn’t much you can do to me either. So why don’t you just leave?”
“Nothing I can do?” murmured Alexander, with the same glint in his eyes. “On the contrary, there’s a great deal I can do, that I wish to do.”
The vampire moved almost in slow motion and yet, Max realized what was happening only when he was in the vampire’s arms. And then Alexander’s mouth found his and Max stopped thinking. His brain shouted one final warning as Max opened his mouth in response, but Max found it was exceedingly easy to ignore his brain.
Alexander sighed deeply as he lifted his head, though his arms still held Max close.
“I take it, you did not come here for this,” said Max.
“No,” muttered Alexander. “Which is making me wonder about my sanity.”
Max grinned. “If you are crazy, then so am I.”
Alexander smiled a bit half heartedly. “You seem to be taking this quite complacently,” said he.
“No, not complacently,” said Max. “My brain has just shut down.”
“I came here to kill you,” said Alexander.
“Surely, not during the day time?” protested Max.
Alexander tried to frown, but ended up smiling. “No, but- Max, be serious. I did not know you were Hawthorn, but I did come here to kill him.”
“I knew you were Dracula and my greatest ambition was to drive a stake through your heart.” Max looked at Alexander. “I am being serious. What happened now was totally unexpected, but it still feels right somehow. And I think I want to know where it will lead. If you have no objections, that is.”
Alexander’s arms tightened around Max. “As long as you are not going to regret it when your brain starts working again.”
“I don’t think there’s any danger of that,” said Max. “When you look at me like that, my brain is in a state of permanent meltdown.”
Alexander smiled. It was crazy. It was not like him. But what the hell, thought he as Max’s arms went round him and his lips found his, he was getting tired of his old self anyway.