Blaine and I were visiting the Vatore’s again, as many times in the past weeks. Often we combined it with stopping by the nearby cemetery first. So many folks dear to us gone too soon. Every time I became melancholic, Blaine gallantly took my mind off the sadness and onto more happy subjects. For example the fact that we were together at last. And we were happy. Still best friends, still silly, still madly in love.
I was still human, if you were wondering. Feeling ready to do something of this magnitude and working up the courage to actually go through with it, are still two pairs of shoes. But I meant it. I was going to do it. Soon. Eventually. At some point.
Blaine and Caleb had hit it off from the get go, Caleb had shown great kindness and patience when Blaine was a fresh vampire, they still met frequently to train, and Caleb had taught Blaine a lot, which had made them fast friends by now. Maybe Caleb was Blaine’s first ever friend, other than me. Becoming a vampire really had worked out for the better for Blaine in many aspects.
Similar with Grace and me, I enjoyed spending time with her. Even after I learned that she was born a Vanderbilt and a much older sister to Nicole. Yes, that little witch Nicole. I asked her about my grandchildren, whom I still had only seen once in photo of a newspaper article announcing their births, but she told me that all three older siblings, herself, another sister and a brother, whom I found out was married to Blaine’s ex Olivia now (small world, huh?) were completely cut off from the entire Vanderbilt empire, now owned solely by Nicole and her offspring once fathered by my now deceased son Marco.
Vivian was at a friend’s house tonight, so it was just Blaine, Caleb, Grace and me this time, their kids just stopping in briefly and then were off to do their things again. Their triplets were typical teens, but still very polite and well mannered. Two of them had part time jobs. I was helping Grace prepare a few small snacks and coffee, when she seemed to be cramping and slightly nauseated. I asked her if she were ill and she smiled, then spoke with her soft Southern drawl.
“Oh no sug, I am just fine.” she giggled, winking at her husband, who also grinned knowingly. I shrugged at Blaine.
“Just tell them, Grace.” Caleb said.
“Here, take a peek.” Grace showed her neck to me. Two bitemarks.
She had actually done it. My facial expression made her laugh, causing her to embrace me briefly.
“Don’t look so shocked, hon. It’s fine, really. It is just a tad bit uncomfortable sometimes, I am not going to lie, but for the most part, I feel elated and have an abundance of energy. Which got Caleb and me into trouble.” she giggled again, winking at Caleb again, while gently stroking her stomach.
“Oh your faces are simply a delight! Yes, here I am, a seasoned woman as they say, feeling better than ever and after our little naughty night when celebrating my choice, we are going to be parents again! Isn’t that just too much?! And this time the birth will be a breeze for me.” she laughed.
“Oh fuc…” I exclaimed, immediately cut off by Blaine.
“..fun times ahead is what Vik was going to say! That is great, you two!” Blaine had stood up and was hugging and congratulating the parents-to-be.
Too much indeed. You could not pay me to have a child now, and here she went, still a lot older than me. Hopefully this would not give Blaine some odd-ish ideas for after I had been turned. I started to regret my decision already.
“You haven’t heard the entire story though” Caleb started, looking expectantly at both Blaine and me.
Oh gawd, there was more?! I thought with terror.
“My sister Lilith, she married the Goth grandson, he had her turn him and they are expecting too! She is beside herself! I am so happy for her. She had been on such a lost path for so long, but all it took was the right guy. You should see those two lovebirds, you would not recognize her! Oh, and my son came to me and made me a proud dad. He will be a vampire soon as well! So happy. Hey Grace, I think we need to celebrate with the good stuff!”
I was still processing all this, when Grace brought out some fine crystal and some dark amber liquid which I just chugged in one gulp when handed a glass. What in the world was going on?
Though – it got better yet. But you all saw this coming already, didn’t you?
“Umm, Vik?” Blaine rubbed my arm gently, pulling me out of my mental brooding.
“Hmm?” I made, looking at him.
“I need to take you to the Count’s house. Now. He wants to see you…” Blaine tipped against his head, not to tell me I was an idiot but to sign that he received some mental message.
“What the heck are we supposed to do there?” I asked really displeased. Last place I wanted to go now. I’d prefer a root canal.
“I do not know. But we have to go. Now. Please.” Blaine offered his hand to me.
*sigh* So we went.
Blaine rang the doorbell, a weird off-tune chime sounded, which could have come straight from hundreds of years ago.
The door swung open, without anybody there. Oh fabulous. Good thing this was not at all weird.
Blaine let me step in first, then wanted to follow when a voice echoed from everywhere and nowhere
“No! Just her!”
Simultaneously the door fell shut. Hopefully Blaine was ok and didn’t get a face full of heavy wooden door! I turned around and tried to open it, but naturally, it would not budge. I was really not in the mood for such tricks tonight. Nor for the shock when I turned around and there was the elder creep! I let out a startled meep and jumped, my hand going to my throat in a reflex.
“Holy shit!” I exclaimed.
The elder bowed before me ever so slightly.
“My apologies, dear. I had no intentions to startle you. Welcome to my home and thank you for following my call so swiftly.” in his usual, eloquent and carefully enunciated fashion, as he gestured welcoming.
“Sure.” I literally was speechless otherwise.
“Follow me please, let us get comfortable.”
Comfortable? Around that creep? Hardly possible. I would ask if he had not looked in a mirror of late, but already knew the answer .. you know, vampires have no mirror image. Ha ha, yes, I cracked myself up too.
I followed him wordlessly into a large salon or sitting room or whatever you would want to call this undefinable room, overladen with gothic statues, old paintings of war scenes, old heavy furniture that looked like it would take two strong men to move just one side table. He stopped before some upholstered chaiselounge facing another and gestured for me to sit. Once I did, he sat too.
“How are you on this most auspicious of nights, my dear?”
“I am well, thanks. And yourself?”
“I am overjoyed.” Could have fooled me. Still looked like he ate little children for breakfast, but I’d take his word for it.
“Any particular reason?” I asked politely, a feeble attempt to make small talk, which was hard work for me. He still made me more than uncomfortable.
“Indeed. News has it that we will be welcoming a new member into our society soon. Splendid news, truly.” he gestured elaborately.
“Oh, yeah. A whole bunch of them actually. Grace, her son, Lilith’s new husband and probably some babies too.” I agreed.
“Nonsense. I do not care about that. No, I was speaking about YOU, my dear Viktoria. I heard you finally came to your senses and chose our life. Bravo! I applaud this.”
I should probably have felt flattered, instead I reached a new level of creeped out. Urgh.
Hopefully this old creep does not think about turning me himself! I thought, shuddering.
“Oh, but my dear child, what unkind words, of which I am certainly not deserving. And this ‘creep’ may be old, but you do realize that if I chose to be the one to turn you, it would be an utmost honor recognized throughout our entire vampire societies worldwide, do you not?”
Holy shit, he can read my mind! I thought.
“Of course I can. We all can, save your husband, naturally, as he is your soulmate.”
Aaaah, how do I keep myself from thinking! Ponies and rainbows, the Count in underwear .. anything else. Help! I thought in a panic, while trying not to think anything at all, which, if you ever tried that, you would know is pretty much impossible.
He laughed out aloud now, a roaring sound echoing off the walls. Oh no, he read that too.
Embarrassing. I blushed in various shades of red and pink, one deeper than the other.
“Oh my dear sweet child. You are a sheer delight to me. But fret not, I do not intent to interfere with your utterly and so typically human romantic plan of having your soulmate turn you. That would be truly bad sport by me. But I did want to welcome you myself. I am quite hopeful that the next time we meet, I will be able to introduce you into the wonderful and vast world of vampire knowledge, older than time, and undoubtedly a feast for such a brilliant mind as yourself.”
“Ummm, thanks. So much. I am … honored. Now … it is getting a tad late and I better go, so Blaine and I can get home before sunrise.” I stood up, as did he.
“I have one more topic to discuss with you, and you will make it home in plenty of time, you have my word.” he gestured me to sit back down. I did. Reluctantly.
“What would that be, Count?” I asked politely, although I really did not want to know at all.
“Your daughter, Vivian, she is almost old enough to begin her studies.”
“Oh yes, yes, Blaine has already been showing her the ropes…” this would not be so bad.
Or so I thought.
“That is lovely. But I intend to train her myself. Bring her to me, two days hence, same time as you came tonight.”
I paled. My child in the hands of that … man. Alone? No. Absolutely not. I thought.
“I am afraid you have no choice, my petal. You have my word, no harm shall ever come to her on my watch.” Argh, he read my mind again.
“Count, I do appreciate your offer …”
“It is not an offer at all, my dear. You will bring her as I asked. Do not make me remind you that I have the final say here. Please, do not defy me. I would truly hate to inflict punishment on you and Blaine. Please, do not make me.”
“Please Count, it is not necessary …and why? Caleb has teens, much better suited to train for you … I don’t understand why us?” I attempted to reason my way out of this.
“While I do not make it a habit of justifying my decisions to anyone generally, I will answer your question. I have felt from the beginning that you were special. Even that pesky husband of yours has something that the others lack. I wanted so much to groom Silas to be my heir, but he is just too wrapped up in his sad little sob story to see to big picture. Caleb is too soft and Lilith is the opposite. Neither of them have what it takes to be a true leader. You do. But your flaw is being too tentative. Your husband lacks that and is too careless at times. However, I see a sublime mix of you and your husband’s qualities in your offspring. A smart child already, with a well-balanced character. So I will groom her to one day be my heir, since I have none of my own, as you know.. Which is why it makes me unspeakably glad to see you will be a proper vampire mother soon. Once that has happened, I shall have a feast in your honor. But now go, child, sun will rise soon. Until we meet again, very soon.”
He slightly bowed again, and with a kiss suggested on my hand I was dismissed, as he had disappeared.