The little vampire stared at me for a moment before roaring with laughter that ended up into another alarming coughing fit that saw him double over in his chair. This time I did get up and rush over to him, crouching slightly so I could pat his back. When he had the coughing under control, he reached out and grabbed my arm, twisting it over so my wrist was exposed in front of him, blue veins criss-crossing just under the surface of my skin. I gasped and tried to tug my arm away but his grip was deceptively strong. Michael was by my side immediately but Monty just held up his other hand in a placating gesture.
“When you reach my age, the desire to feed is like a candle burning to nothing. I neither crave nor need it. If I did, then Michael here would have had a very ferocious battle on his hands. A mighty true-born he might be, but no match for an old creature like me, especially when faced with one as lovely as you,” he raised an eyebrow at me and released my arm and I couldn’t help but laugh softly at his veiled charm.
My experience with Elder vampires had so far not been exactly pleasant, but I couldn’t help but like Monty and when he smiled, crinkling up his eyes, I felt a small stab of warm affection for the old man.
“Be careful, Michael,” Monty croaked “I may just steal this one. We could do with some young blood around here, no pun intended of course.”
Even Michael laughed at this but I felt his hand move protectively to my waist regardless. The room grew silent again and I felt the laughter die away and the tension edged into the air space around us. Monty regarded us both, his eyes drifting over our faces, noting the hand that curled around my side and his face grew solemn and thoughtful.
“Love has a funny way of making the jigsaw pieces come together even when they are not meant to fit,” he pondered “You two are playing a dangerous game, I hope you know that?”
Michael shifted uncomfortably beside me. “We know the dangers. It’s becoming second nature at the moment. But we will be fine.”
“I hope that you will be. There are too many out there that would not wish to see your relationship continue. Deep-rooted beliefs run strong; old prejudices can be quite fearsome. You will have many enemies; you can count on that.”
“Yeah, we’ve met a few already,” I sighed.
“Then be prepared to meet a good few many more, my dear,” said Monty a hard tone creeping into his voice “a sensor and a vampire together will not be tolerated and I don’t just mean by the Elder Council. There are many out there who will stop at nothing to destroy this. If you do not stick together, then I am afraid for you. I am afraid for you both.”
There was something in the way he looked at me that made me think that it was I alone he was afraid for. I didn’t much like that feeling. It made me feel as if someone was running a very icy finger down my spine and about to plunge that same cold hold into my body and grip my heart in its freezing palm.
Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2012