Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 19)
It’s only happened a few times over the course of my life…my existence…but I recognized the overwhelming sense of foreboding at once. It was unmistakable and yet nearly impossible to put into words. I felt it last when Sebastian showed up at my home unannounced. And the night Sebastian killed Claude’s father. It started with an icy chill running down my spine then my skin crawled as if someone had stomped over my grave. Suddenly, the inside of the car had become suffocating. I couldn’t breathe…and it didn’t matter that I didn’t need to…at that moment it was imperative for me to breathe.
As I climbed out of the car, struggling to gulp unnecessary air into my lungs, I smelled the weather turn. It hadn’t been a sunny day, though the sun was out for most of it. It had since retreated behind a cloud and that cloud had quickly become several. Now the sky threatened to open up above me.
A loud clap of thunder shattered the air. In another lifetime I might have flinched. Or perhaps turn my face to the sky and wait for the rain to come. I did neither.
Instead I stared at the building looming in front of me. Claude had disappeared through the front door over an hour ago and still no amulet.
I glowered up at the dark sky, silently daring the storm to come. It would be fitting…it was storming the last time I saw Elton…
* * *
“Ah, the lovely Victoria. I’m surprised to see you so early in the day.” Elton turned his wrist to check his watch. “It’s still hours until night fall.”
He followed my quick glance at the sky and smiled. I didn’t need to say anything else.
Elton kissed the air on both sides of my face and gave me a weak hug. “It’s lovely to see you again,” he said.
“You asked me to come.” I flashed a careful smile, keeping my fangs concealed.
“Yes…yes I did.” All pretenses fell away and his face took on a serious air.
He held out a chair for me and waited until I was situated to take the seat across from me.
“You want my necklace,” I said, before he could ask.
Elton folded his hands in front of him, lacing his fingers carefully together. “I would very much like to have it, yes. I’m quite willing to pay more than what it’s worth.”
I started to get up when he reached across the table and grabbed my hand. His expression changed only slightly, but I could tell the coolness of my skin surprised if not frightened him. “You are in danger of wasting far more than your time, I fear.” My eyes fixed on his fingers gripping my wrist until he released me, lacing his fingers together again.
I smiled widely…perhaps just to frighten him…perhaps because I liked him. I wasn’t sure. But I smiled until all my teeth were exposed. My fangs were still safely tucked in, but it was obvious there was something different about me. Something he couldn’t put a finger on.
A visible shudder went through him.
“I can’t sell you the necklace. You see, I’m afraid my husband would be quite put out with me if I did. It was a gift.”
“Yes, you mentioned that.”
“What is it about this necklace that so interests you?” I toyed with the large black stone hanging around my neck.
“I can’t describe it…I just feel I must have it. As if it already belongs to me,” Elton said, squeezing his laced fingers tighter.
I nodded. The necklace drew more attention than made sense to me. It was hideous, and yet everywhere I went, it became the center of attention. I knew then I would never wear it again. No matter what Sebastian might say.
“You remember my husband?” I asked casually.
Another involuntary shudder coursed through him as he sat, otherwise perfectly still in front of me. “Yes. He is a handsome man. Certainly hard not to notice.” And he smiled.
“He is handsome. It makes it easy to forget how dangerous he is. Don’t. Heed my warnings and never forget how dangerous he is. Interest in the necklace will garner interest from Sebastian. You don’t want to draw Sebastian’s attention any more than you already have just by nature of your…fame.” I patted his hands and rose out of my seat.
Elton’s chair scraped the floor as he stood across from me and forced a smile.
“You have nothing to fear from me, Elton. I shall always consider you a dear friend. As your friend I share these warnings with you…for no other reason.” I hugged him gently, placing a chaste kiss on his cheek. With a humorless laugh I added, “You smell wonderful.”
“Victoria,” he called after me as I was leaving.
I paused with raised eyebrows.
“I do hope we meet again…as friends of course.”
“Of course. I’m sure fate will find us in the same company at one time or another.” A quick smile in his direction, and I turned to leave with one last thought.
I wonder if you’ll be happy to see me then…
* * *
With another crack of thunder, the sky finally let loose with a deluge.
Sheets of rain sliced sideways across the parking lot, immediately soaking me through. I could have retreated to the car, but I had no desire to be cloistered in tight quarters. It reminded me too much of a coffin.
Lightning lit up the dark, and I saw Claude stalking back to the car. His face was unreadable.
He ran the last few steps once he saw me. “What are you doing in the rain?”
“Never mind that…did you get the amulet?” I shouted over the sound of the storm.
Claude fell into the car and slammed his door, forcing me to get in to get his answer.
“Did you get it?” I asked again.
Claude shook his head, scattering droplets of rain around his head. “He wasn’t there.”
“Sebastian is going to stake us both.” I reiterated my statement from earlier and this time Claude didn’t argue.
“Let him try…he won’t even know where to look for it without us.”
Until the next time…I’ll be working on a bonus! (if you comment that is.)