He is a loafer and a bandit, sauntering along the lanes and woodland rides, nonchalantly taking his ease amongst the shadows. Nothing of the soldier in him: he is not on patrol, nor does he work with comrades, though he might consort with them. He’s a poser in aviator shades – lazy, handsome in a dark way, always with an eye to the main chance and single-minded in his conquests. Though his tastes swing either way, he much prefers women: he adores their scented hair, their soft and fragrant flesh. Men can’t compete for sweetness; they are coarser-skinned, sourer to the taste and less aromatic, but he’s not too fussy – if one comes along, legs provocatively bared to the knee against the heat, he’ll rise to meet him. Not head on, though. Never that. He is a guerrilla, with tactics to match.
At first he introduces himself as a companion, humming softly at the ear, a wayfarer travelling in the same direction. He slouches along sloppily, dipping and swooping around the head and shoulders of his prey, weaving ever closer to the skin, seeking perhaps an undone button or an untucked shirt rippling in the breeze. He annoys, perhaps is flapped away, but he is droopily persistent. The more he’s repelled, the more assiduously attentive he becomes, though still languid in manner. Not for him the spitfire menace of the wasp or the swiftly suicidal sting of the honey-bee. His passion becomes a frenzy of desire as he smells sweat rising from skin, imagines the blood beneath. He penetrates, spiking the flesh and wounding, then flitting out of range, drunk now with the luscious red fluid that he has extracted. He’s swapped it for some of his poison. But he’s not finished yet: dizzily inebriated, he lusts for more. Half in ecstasy, he swirls and dips in taunting arrogance, whisking himself beyond the reach of now flailing, panic-stricken arms; he may distance himself for a while, waiting for the flapping to falter , but still he is there, riding the air, pacing himself, moving as one with his victim, ready for his chance. When it comes, he dives in again, landing so softly he can pierce and suck unnoticed, until he is so glutted that he is forced to let go.
If quick enough and not too distraught with pain, that innocent victim now has a fleeting chance for revenge. The attacker, bloated and engorged, is sluggish now, eyes drooping with sleep. A lucky handslap or dexterous swat with a stick may pitch him, whirling, into oblivion.
Self-defence, m’lud, but come too late: the great red poisonous weals that he has inflicted will impose their own sentence of many days.
[Footnote: In fact, it is the female of the species which bites and sucks blood, but I’m a fiction writer… 😉 ]