I woke up feeling like I was coming down with the flu. I spent the day on the couch, watching crap TV, but when night came down I couldn’t stop the sudden compulsion to undress and open my window. I lay on the bed, shivering harder and harder until sleep came. I dreamed she was in my room. The vampire. If that’s what she really was. She stood poised right at the foot of my bed, watching the window as if she could hear something from outside. She wore a loose, black summer dress, showing her pale arms and legs. She stood there so long she seemed a sculpture, not real at all. Then she looked back to me and smiled, with all the terrifying quality of a statue coming to life. She leaned forward and pressed her hand into the blanket near my feet and I felt a throbbing pain start up in my thigh, as if the wound of my dream had returned. I just lay and watched. Even if I could have moved, it was a dream I didn’t really want to wake up from. She was beautiful in a spare and careworn way, like I would imagine an Amazon to be. Sculpted and hardened by hunting and moving silent through the city. She was silent now. Her dark hair tumbled around her face as she crept cat-like up the bed towards me, placing her hands and knees with sinuous care, barely shifting the mattress, until she leaned right over me and put her hand on my chest. She pressed her palm so hard into me that it hurt to breathe. ‘Awake,’ she whispered.