It’s another boring dinner with a close family friend, the Alcott’s. The air is thick with amusement as my mother puts on airs of merriment. A vampire elder, who refused the offer to remain in residence at the coven, after my father’s death and we’ve been all but shunned by them. Those parasitic leeches, who I’m forever destined to call my brothers and sisters, as I’m one of them.
My ambitious mother, wanting to be taken back into the fold, have it in her mind that I’m to be joined with Viktor, the coven leader her oldest of friends. I will not, I’d sooner walk stark naked into the sun. Which I’d made known to my mother, who promptly turned away from that idea.
“You’re been so quiet this evening my dear, whatever could be on your mind?” Says, Mrs. Alcott.
I apologize, I’ve… just been…”
“More than likely she’s thinking of her fiancée.” States, my mother.
“Oh, I didn’t know that you’d found her a match, what with her being so… old.”
Pretending to drink, I’m alarmed at my mother’s words, and some of the liquid goes down unexpectedly. Literally trying to hack it back up, in the most lady-like way, I have to resort to excusing myself with a raised hand and a quick exit.
Finally my airway’s cleared and I can hear my mother in the other room, retelling the story of my engagement, and to whom? I’d thought that the Viktor situation had been put to rest. He is the coven leader, an elder, powerful. But I don’t care, I don’t love him.
“Who is he, the Bedford’s son or the Garrettson’s, I hear they’re both on the prowl for an heiress.”
“My Julia may be… seasoned, but she’s definitely capable of securing a good match.” Says my mother, offensively.
“Well don’t keep us in suspense, who is he?”
“You wouldn’t know him.”
“Oh come now, we’re the Alcott’s, we know everyone worth knowing in London.”
“Well… I know for a fact that you don’t know him then, he prefers the country to the city.”
“Oh… he’s one of those, well congratulations, Julia’s too beautiful to be a spinster.”
My eavesdropping was in vain, as my mother knows that I’ve been listening in the other room, and she beckons me silently to rejoin them. With a sigh, I straighten my dress, and with a pat of my hair, float lady-like back into the room, to continue the madness of propriety.
It’s a bumpy carriage rise to the Coven, and the air coming in through the window is refreshing. “You haven’t fed tonight have you?” Inquires my mother. “No, but I’m sure that they’ll be plenty of blood for me to gorge myself on.”
“Oh cheer up, this is a joyous occasion, you act like you’re going to a funeral.” States my mother.
“A funeral would befitting, as we are the undead, the bringers of death…”
“You will watch your tongue, and you will act the part of a lady. I will not have you embarrass me. We’re already labeled as rogue vampires, I will not have you ruin this for me.”
Her chiding’s silenced me, as I know that this is important to her. Lycan’s murdered my father, we were at war with them, as we always are, and vampires venturing from the coven were sent back in pine boxes, their bodies mutilated. My father was one of them. She wants to be a part of the coven again, and this is her chance. “If this is what you want…” I state.
The mansion is as I remembered it, beautiful, dark, antiquated décor, and the residents… well they’re pleasing to look upon, lovely pale skin, dark haired, mysterious, dressed in all black attire. I stand out like a sore thumb in this crowd, in my soft blue colored gown.
“Finally our guests of honor have arrived.” Says a handsome, dark haired man descending the stairs. Taking my mother’s hand in his, he applies a kiss. “The coven welcome’s you both back with open arms. I know that Viktor will be pleased that you’ve decided to rejoin us.”
“It’s refreshing to be amongst my family, to not have to hide who I am.”
“And you must be Julia… you left here a child, and returned a woman.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you…”
“Kraven, Viktor’s regent.”
“And where is Viktor?” I inquire.
“He sleeps, until it is his time to rule.”
“How long will he be asleep?” I ask.
I’m guessing that your inquiries, stem from your mother’s marriage proposal?”
“Julia…” States my mother, sternly.
“No, it’s fine…” He states, reassuringly.
Taking my hand, he leads me to the center of the room, with my mother in tow. His dominance is attractive, yet stifling. “Tonight we celebrate a joining of blood, our former elder Claudia’s, lovely daughter Julia will be mated with me in marriage soon.” A low applause follows, as my heart does a plummet all the way down to my satin slippers.