by ‘Teresa Devereux’
I was standing in the middle of a street, surrounded by the two cars, and a throng of vampires. Marie, Van Myers, and Luther had gathered off to the side, with the Sheriff and his men between the cars and myself. The Sheriff approached me, saying “get yourselves ready, you meet the Prince in an hour”. With that, he joined his men and left.
I walked in a half dazed state over to the group, Van Myers offering us his apartment to get cleaned up in. Father Luther suggested he leave us, now we had completed our mission. Van Myers said “you will have to be introduced to the Prince eventually, but perhaps now is not the best time”.
Before we left his apartment, Van Myers checked his answering machine. A message had been left by one of his associates. It mentioned how ‘Pentax’ stock prices had soared recently. Apparently one of the reasons for it was due to a company “Blacque Market Consortium” buying up shares. He also advised Van Myers to support the mayor, Randal Winston-Baxter, as it could pay off in the future. Van Myers seemed to have quite a business backing. Of course, he’d had the last 150 years to develop it, so it is hardly surprising.
We arrived at the Prince’s apartment and walked into a large party in progress. From across the room I saw Gabrielle talking to the Prince’s female ‘friend’ from the other night. A twinge of jealousy coursed through me. Looking around the room further, I saw the Prince speaking to a group of people on the far wall. As if sensing me looking at him, his eyes locked onto mine, and a smile crossed his face. He walked purposefully towards us, but stopped in front of me. He addressed us all, but stared at me. “I am so glad you are here. Please, come sit and tell us all about your adventures”. He smiled at me, then glanced at the others before wrapping my arm in his and escorting me over to the sofa.
We all sat, and a small crowd gathered around us. The Prince said to us “well, it has come to my attention that you found and dispensed with the person responsible for the murders. Well done. Please, tell us about it, all the details”. We looked at each other, all eyes settling on Van Myers. Reluctantly he began to gloss over the details, embarrassed that at being the centre of attention. The Prince said to him “no, tell us everything..!”
Van Myers began again, somewhat shakily, but his enthusiasm grew as he recounted our trials. Whenever Van Myers mentioned that I had been hurt, the Prince looked at me with compassion and concern, and touched my hand. It was like electricity coursing through me every time his hand met mine. This was something completely new to me. I had never felt as if anyone had taken any interest in my welfare before, at least not in the way the Prince was. I felt special in his presence, as if I was the only person in the room that mattered. Was what I was feeling....., the beginning of love? I had only ever experienced this sensation with two other men in my life. My birth father, and Gordon, my Sire. I was entranced by the Prince, and fell under a spell in his presence.
At last, Van Myers finished our story. Many of the people present had dwindled, and only a few remained. Eventually even they began to leave. Van Myers had not spoken of our encounter with Father Luther, I suspect he found it more tactful to wait until he could tell the Prince in private.
As Van Myers now told the Prince of Luther, I watched for the Prince’s reaction. He guarded his expressions well, but I saw a glimpse of anger cross his face for a second. He calmly said “and where is this Priest now?” Van Myers said Luther had returned to his church. The Prince said “well, leave us and fetch him now. Bring him here so that I may meet him.” He dismissed them casually and turned his attention back to me.
We were finally alone. I had waited for an opportunity to speak to the Prince all night, and now there was nothing and nobody to interrupt us. I began haltingly, not sure how to phrase what I had to say. “My Prince. I am glad we finally have a moment to speak privately.” He looked at me concerned, and urged me to proceed. “As part of our agreement, you said that we would all be freed from any obligations with you. I have only one request to make of you. I am sure you are aware who my Sire is....Gordon. I want to return to him. Regardless of the actions of Kyle, I believe Gordon wants me to return to him, and I want that as well. He is my Sire. I love him, and want to be with him.” He looked hurt and disappointed, and I felt like a naughty child in front of him. Despite the attraction I felt towards the Prince, he was not my Sire, and I felt my place was at Gordon’s side.
The Prince took both my hands in his, and looked at me now with compassion in his eyes. “Gordon was never meant to be your Sire. I was. I’m sure he told you a story about how he had watched your family for generations, and had chosen to embrace you. That isn’t true. It was in fact I that had watched you. You were to be my Childe. Gordon embraced you out of spite, to get revenge on me. He knew that I wanted you myself. Gordon lied to you.”
I couldn’t believe what the Prince was saying. I stood up, and stubbornly said “no, that can’t be true.” He continued despite my accusation. “On the night he embraced you, he also embraced a bastard Child, Rhiannon. She wasn’t even planned, but he did that as an additional slap to my face. I’m sure he never told you about Kyle either. I never would have embraced you unwillingly, as he did. I would have given you the choice. He doesn’t love you, not the way I do. Gordon used you. Used you and left me to deal with the consequences. You can’t imagine how heartbreaking it has been to play these silly political games, so that the other Kindred of this city would never suspect my feelings for you. They think me too old and heartless to feel love. They are wrong.”
My head was spinning. I felt dizzy from all the Prince had said. I wanted to believe that Gordon could do no wrong, that he was infallible. Kyle had planted doubts in my mind abut Gordon’s character, but now, to hear this from the Prince? I didn’t know what to think. I paced in front of the Prince, wringing my hands in front of me.
The Prince stood, and took my hands. He gently pulled me down to the sofa beside him. I was too mentally exhausted to fight him. He continued to tell me about how he had followed me, and how he had planned to embrace me. As he spoke to me gently, I could feel myself falling into the depth of his eyes. He said “drink of me, and you will know how much I mean to you.” With that, he offered me his wrist. He bit into it, and a pool of dark blood formed. It was intoxicating, and felt compelled to reach for him. I began to suck his wrist, and felt the headiness of it explode in my mouth. It was the same experience I had when I drank from the goblet. My senses seemed to heighten, and I felt giddy with the power his blood held. I let him go, and curled up into his lap comfortably. He sat quietly, stroking my hair. At last, I felt as though nothing mattered anymore. Thoughts of Gordon seemed far away, his memory felling tarnished. I felt so much closer to the Prince, like we were soul mates.
I’m not sure how long I lay there with him, however I became aware of other people speaking. I looked up groggily to see Van Myers, Marie, and Luther in front of us. The Prince lifted me to the side, and stood. I could hear them talking about Luther’s Sire, and how he had embraced the Priest. The Prince walked to the glass window overlooking the city and looked out over the magnificent view.
With his back still turned, he spoke to Luther. “Who is your Sire?” Luther replied, “he said his name was Marius.” The Prince looked thoughtful for a moment, and said “yes, I know Marius. From what I understand, you didn’t choose this existence. I am going to be humane and offer you.... death. I promise it will be fast.” Luther said “no. I believe this is a challenge God has put before me to test my faith. I have a mission I must complete.”
The Prince looked amused by Luther’s response, then shrugged his shoulders in acceptance. He beckoned for the Priest to go to him. He told Luther to kneel before him. Luther said indignantly “I kneel before no one, other than my God.” The Prince stared at him and said firmly “kneel before me.” Haltingly, the Priest fell to his knees before him. I noticed a slight smirk briefly cross the Prince’s face as he looked down upon Luther. He said “Luther, Childe of Marius, Childe of Beniah, Childe of Michel, Childe of Ambrose, Childe of ...” He continued for several generations, until he reached, “Childe of Brujah, Childe of Caine. Rise before me.”
I had read of the belief that vampires were the cursed descendants of Caine, Adam’s child, as punishment for killing his brother Abel.
Luther stood before the Prince as an accepted member of vampiric society. Like it or not, Luther was now officially one of us.
The Prince seemed to grow weary now, and said to us all “leave now.” He looked at me and said “I will see you later, Teresa.” I smiled demurely at his promise, and gathered my things to leave. There was little point in any of us continuing our association, now that we had disposed of Kyle. We left in separate taxis for our respective homes.
On return to my home, I realised how run down it had become since the Annubi had set up temporary residence. There was no sign of them now thankfully, other than the mess they had left. I was still feeling energised from the Prince’s blood however, and decided to do a little cleaning up before retiring for the day. I had so much to think about, and I knew I would not rest well if I went straight to bed.
I made note of the broken front doors, and disrepair of the window. I would have to arrange for tradesmen to fix them during the day while I slept. There were broken pieces of china littered around, and pieces of silverware that were missing. There was no doubt in my mind that my new ‘family’ had taken them, as proceeds toward their ongoing werewolf crusade. It brought to mind the saying “you can pick your friends, but not your family.” It left a bitter taste in my mouth. I thought of Jan’s fate, and questioned what had really happened to him. I had more questions than answers now, and I would have the daunting task of unravelling the mystery of who my Sire really was. Who was telling the truth, and who was lying to me?
As I thought about all of this, I was absently picking up the pieces of broken glass in the front foyer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a ray of sunshine creep across the floor beside me. I had been so busy, I had failed to notice that dawn had broken. I felt terror build inside me, as I inched away from the rays, and fled into the security of my dark basement apartment.
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