Dusk was well into the hour and turning into the evening once everyone was done. The males had already arrived and sat patiently at the table.
“Thana, you know Master Kissar. Make sure he sits at the seat near mine and position Laurissa behind him. Give her a knife to cut the human’s vein.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
Laurissa patiently waited for Thana in her chambers while she watched Lord Dunkan. He was very quiet but kept his connection to her open. He knew something was going to take place that Laurissa would disapprove. He prepared himself for an outburst. Laurissa could feel cold anger and fear come through the tendril as he avoided Laurissa. She was curious what his plans were and what lengths she would have to take to disrupt his plans.
Thana approached her with a haughty look. “You will be attending Master Kissar tonight.”
Laurissa stood and followed Thana out of the room. She sent her tendril to her requesting a connection. Thana accepted and sent one to her. “Lord Dunkan has requested you use a knife to serve your human. You may collect one from the kitchen. You must take good care of Master Kissar. He is one of Lord Dunkan’s esteemed. Do as he requests no matter the situation and keep your mind open. We are for Lord Dunkan’s pleasure. He feels and hears what we feel and hear.”
Laurissa could feel Thana’s nervousness. Thana thought Laurissa would anger Kissar and would not perform to his liking. Thana stopped just before the hallway ended and turned to look directly into Laurissa’s eyes. “Hear me, Laurissa. If you fail in your service, Lord Dunkan will become violent, and we will all suffer. I promise you, I will come for you when he is through.”
“You do not need to threaten me, Thana. I know what is expected. Lord Dunkan has made it very clear. Perhaps you should go to him and tell him how you feel. Perhaps you should bed him before the meeting starts to relax him.”
“Do not be stupid. You know he will make his selection when he chooses.” She glared at Laurissa.
“Believe me, you can have him.” Laurissa sneered. This seemed to please Thana. Thana enjoyed her time with Lord Dunkan a little too much.
“Oh come now, my dear. You hurt my feelings.”
“You have none to damage.”
He chuckled. “True enough.”
“Why did you mate with me?”
“Is it not clear to you? Worry not, my dear. You will soon learn the answer.” The coolness in his voice sent shivers down her spine.
The males sat silently linked to the tendril and talked. Some eyed the females around them. Thana stood across from Laurissa, watching her. Lord Dunkan made an appearance, and everyone stood in respect. Laurissa felt fear and respect come from the table.
Master Kissar felt a friendship with Lord Dunkan. They had known each other a very long time. This interested Laurissa, considering Lord Dunkan did not make friends. He is a tall rounded vampire. He is taller than Lord Dunkan. Standing side by side, Lord Dunkan would look small a fragile. Master Kissar has big meaty fingers, and his belly took a large portion of his lap. Dark brown hair is pulled neatly at the base of his neck and tied with a single strip of cloth. He wore plain cotton pants and a shirt. He looked like a fat farmer who enjoyed his food a little too much.
“Please be seated.” Lord Dunkan said through the tendril. Laurissa noticed he did not block her from the communication. He wants her to know everything. It is part of the game he played. Laurissa imagined her face to be still and free of emotion. Nothing he said will create a physical reaction. It would be dangerous to do so in this room. She remained cool and calm and listened intently. Perhaps she will learn something she could use against Lord Dunkan.
“My fellow Vampires, you know of my plans to create a world where vampires are the dominant species. I have called you here to execute my plans. If we all work together, we can outnumber the human population in a decade.” He paused to make sure he still held everyone’s attention. Several males requested their goblets filled, including Master Kissar. Laurissa opened a vein and allowed the blood to drain into the goblet, then took the human to the fireplace and used the poker to burn the opening closed.
“I will be instructing each member of my house to turn and train one human, male or female, every week from Madwell. The young vampires will be released in a week’s time to form their own houses and will be required to turn a human every week. Your houses are to go to the surrounding villages until all of the humans are turned.”
“That is all well. However, if all the humans are turned, we would be forced to starve or begin feeding off each other. This is folly.”
“You are right. My village of humans is a decent size. The young and adolescent will be left unharmed. A group of fifty adults will be left to grow their young. As the human’s age and procreate, we will harvest them and send an order of humans to each home.”
Master Kissar raised his goblet to Laurissa to fill. As she handed the goblet back, Kissar’s hand brushed hers. She did not respond.
“Fifty humans will not be enough to feed thousands of vampire”
“This I know also. There will be farms created in several of your villages and ran by my house. This process will take at least a decade. Our young will travel the world to build houses of their own, and you will one day create their farms to manage.”
“And how will we collect our food?”
“Your requests will be sent to my house, and I will distribute them to your house.”
“Our requests? This sounds like you will be demanding compensation.”
“Yes. This is my land, these are my livestock. You fall under my rule. There are a great many things your house will do for me for payment.”
The room erupted in outrage. Master Kissar took the opportunity to stretch his arms and grab Laurissa’s butt, and wink at her. Laurissa paid no attention to Master Kissar. She concentrated on what was going on in the room.
Master Kissar is amused with the situation. Several males thought to drag Lord Dunkan out of his manor to show him their strength. Those that feared him grew in their fear. They disguised it well in their angry outbursts. If she could sense the fear, so could the other males. None seemed interested in exploiting the weakness.
Lord Dunkan stood up. “Silence! We will discuss this in an orderly fashion.” The room quieted down, and the males found their seats once again.
“Lord Dunkan, I feel if this is the way things will go, we should split the land and rotate the livestock. Giving one vampire, even one such as yourself, full power over the other houses bodes poorly for the other houses. Your dream of vampire domination could turn into our extinction.”
“I am listening.”
“Allow say eleven hundred humans their lives. Each house here at the table will own one hundred of the humans. We could rotate the human’s labor. Each year one house will be responsible for farmland for our livestock’s nourishment. Perhaps every decade or two, we can select a human from each house to turn. This way, we will all own a portion of the livestock. Our young will have to go forth and do the same.”
“We would benefit from this as well. Each house should send one of our young and help them create a house within the farm. This way, our houses stay united, and our livestock grows. As masters, they will answer to us. It would take more time, but it seems a better outcome than allowing one vampire to establish dominion.”
Laurissa could tell Lord Dunkan did not like what he was hearing. He wanted supreme control. He understood this could not be rushed. Laurissa’s voice rang loud in his mind, ‘form a partnership, not a kingdom.’ He swallowed his pride for the time being. He was too close to seeing a world run by vampire. He will be able to work out details of his kingdom later.
“I could work with this arrangement. My village can house our humans; however, you each must bring your own selected one hundred. I would suggest making sure the town’s healers and farmers are among the selected. Do not turn the young; however, you may play with them to your desire. Keep in mind, if one human dies to the fault of the vampire, that vampire will suffer the same fate.
“The villages we live near will be an excellent place for our young to live until they are able to find their own homes. It would be a terrible tragedy if they perished because they did not have shelter or food or even stumbled on to another vampire’s territory. We must select the humans we turn in with the intention of creating a house. In one month’s time, eleven new vampires will come into existence. They will become a new house, and we will select the master. They can find shelter within the village until the transition is complete. I suggest reconvening here once a month to give details of our successes and form plans for the next stage.”
“I agree with this as well. Lord Dunkan, your idea of turning humans once a week is splendid. Creating houses from our young will allow us to establish more territory and help maintain the farms. However, we should be the selectors. I am sure we all have reliable young under our care; however, it is easier to control a house if we are the ones who turn the vampire.”
“Very well, it seems everyone is in agreement on the matter. I will have a contract written by next month that we will all sign in blood.” Murmurers of agreement went throughout the table.
“There is one more thing I would like to announce.” Lord Dunkan stretched his hand out to Laurissa. Laurissa tenderly took his hand, and he pulled her to him. She did not like what was happening. The males in the room all looked at her. “I have been enthralled by this little beauty and have taken her as my mate.” Hoots and hollers were made toward her. “She may be visiting you to ensure our agreements are met and will be helping run the farms. Her word will be my word, and I expect you to respect her as you do me. This one belongs to me and no other.”
“You expect us to take orders from a female?”
“Yes. I assure you, I have ways of ensuring my female’s safety and knowing whether or not she is received kindly. This female is not simply one you can play with. She will be my eyes and ears and will make decisions in my stead. If you do not like this, I am sure we can find your replacement.” Lord Dunkan met everyone’s eyes. The room seemed to shrink as they all submitted to him. Laurissa could feel his disappointment. He would have loved a fight. He had three more males he could place in the already established houses. He would gain a village with the death of the master.
The vampires disconnected from Lord Dunkan and began talking amongst themselves, making plans to create the farms.
Laurissa began to wonder how she would travel to the other houses when she could go no more than two miles away from Lord Dunkan.
“What is your name, darlin?” Master Kissar asked, interrupting Laurissa’s thoughts.
“Her name is Laurissa.” Dunkan answered for Laurissa
“You have done a fine job, Dunkan.”
Laurissa noticed Thana glaring daggers in her direction. If she could have killed her, she would.
“Thank you. Do you wish to bed her?”
“That would be fine, thank you.” Master Kissar eyes widened, and a very large grin spread on his lips as he gazed hungrily at Laurissa’s form
“I have taught her the ways. This one is very special. Do not break her.”
“You take the fun out of it.” He pouted.
Lord Dunkan chuckled. “If you cannot contain yourself, you may choose another.”
“No, no. I will behave.”
Lord Dunkan leaned toward Kissar until his face was inches from his. “Remember. I know everything that goes on in my house. The length of our acquaintance will not save you from me.”
“I have given you my word, Dunkan. There is no need to threaten me.” He growled.
“It is done. You may have Laurissa for the night.”
“You are most generous.”
“You see, Laurissa, I can make alliances and form relationships. I am pleased you helped me on such a matter.” He projected
“I will have your head!” She replied.
“Yes, yes. I am sure you will.” He said, unimpressed.
“Fill my goblet, darlin, and come sit on my lap.” Master Kissa said as he patted his lap.
Laurissa sliced her human’s wrist and filled his goblet, then retrieved the poker and sodered it closed. She knew the human was in agony. She truly felt sorry for it. As she turned around, Master Kissar watched her with lust in his eyes. Laurissa sat across his lap and draped an arm around his neck. He cupped her neck and pulled her closer, and took a deep breath. “My! You do smell sweet, darlin.”
“My name is Laurissa.” She hissed.
Master Kissar and Lord Dunkan laughed hard. “This one has a bit of fire!”
Lord Dunkan’s laughter was a mask to hide his embarrassment. “You realize this is going to be bad for you, my Lord. I will not submit.” She projected.
“Oh my dear, you will. This master loves breaking his females. They sometimes die. I am tempted to allow him his pleasure.” His laughter rang through the tendril. “You encouraged him with your canter.”
“Worry not, Dunkan. I will have fun with her and return her to you in the morning.” Master Kissar said as he lifted her wrist and fed off her. His eyes glowed as the taste of her filled his mouth. Laurissa tried to pull away, but Kissar strengthened his grip. His power emanated off him. She had not felt such power. She began to feel weak and exhausted.
“Oh darlin, you are something special. I can taste it. If you will excuse me, Dunkan, I shall retire.”
“Good night Kissar.”
“Bed him well, Laurissa, or it will not only be Kissar who you will answer too.” Dunkan projected as Master Kissar led Laurissa to the hallway leading to the bed chambers.
Laurissa refused to give him the satisfaction of an answer. Lord Dunkan took Laurissa’s arm just as she passed. “If you close your mind, I will come and watch or possibly join Kissar.” Dunkan warned through the tendril. Dunkan’s blue eyes slowly moved to look past her and to Kissar.
Laurissa wordlessly turned and yanked her arm away. She felt very weak from the blood loss. But she will defy Lord Dunkan with everything she has left.
Lord Dunkan’s warning was a mask for his nervousness about Laurissa’s defiance. Laurissa will not disappoint him. Dunkan wishes for power. She will weaken him in the eyes of the other master. It may mean her death; however, death is better than being whored out to his subjects or forced to do unspeakable acts.