If only Chace was around, the twins birthday would have been perfect. I still hadn’t told everyone his actual whereabouts, even though I didn’t know them myself, I knew he wasn’t away on business. Inside I was dying, but I put on a brave face as I let Oriana blow out the candles.
The awards I was winning for the cop TV show were nothing compared to the joy of seeing my girls happy. Arielle had been acting out a little lately, but at least she was mostly a good girl, always in school, always studying. The excitement of a full day all about them was coming through loud and clear on Oriana and Alexandra’s faces, they looked so happy, I had never seen them smile so much!
As they entered the next stage of their lives they became closer than ever, but very different in style. Alexandra preferred a classic style, which she jazzed up with girly patterns, whereas Oriana was a rough and ready, jeans and a T-Shirt kind of girl, with her wild hair finishing the look.
Now that they were the same age as Arielle (for a short while) the three often played together, all racing up and down the apartment, screaming and shouting as they played.
I didn’t mind what they did, they deserved to have fun and do what they wanted, if Chace wasn’t found soon I might have to tell them what had happened, but I still needed to know what had happened to him myself. Where was he?!
* * *
The car in question took us high into the hills of Bridgeport. Movie star territory, I knew Lily’s friend Marlon lived nearby, perhaps if I played my cards right I could escape and take refuge at his house. As I was dragged out of the car I looked at my surroundings, I could see a large house in the distance, windowless, draped in bare bricks, definitely a vampiric residence. Huge fences stood between our party of three and the house. Huge fences that were guarded by dangerous looking men in suits and dark glasses, God help me. I had to wait by the road as The Queen talked to a guard, I could hear snippets of the conversation,
“She is expecting me,” The Queen said, pulling her hands close to her chest with a smile “and my entourage.”
The guard seemed sceptical, and not at all fazed that he was talking to vampire. Probably one himself, those evil eyes hidden behind the thick lenses.
“You sure about that?” The guard asked her, raising an eyebrow.
“Of course! Why would I lie?” The Queen replied, she was being coy, playing sweet, how I hated her.
“Fine. Go on through.” He told her grudgingly. As we walked down a large, stone path towards a guarded gate I turned my head and looked behind, it was identical to the gate we were headed to, and was also guarded. Escape from this place would be impossible.
Little of the house could be seen over the high fences covered by equally high hedges, this place brought a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘private residence’.
I was nervous as we walked up a long marble pathway, through grounds surrounded by fountains. Mary’s antagonism could be felt from miles away, it was as if she was radiating hatred, The Queen on the other hand seemed quite calm, but who knew what she was really feeling. I hated being around vampires, I had to get back to my family.
As I walked through the large oak door surrounded by marble my face dropped in shock.
The room I was entering was large, bright, and had an airy feeling with windows that framed a plain blue scene, did these face onto the city? How could they? No, it was dark out… it was a confusing scenario, nothing like drab underground prison I had been in before I came here, it did not seem like a very vampiric residence. A vampire clad in a nude bikini was sat on a chaise lounge on the opposite side of a dark blue pool, sipping a Plasma carton with her flaming red hair framing a dangerously beautiful face. I was glad Mary had given me a pair of denim shorts to go over my briefs.
“Carmen, what a surprise.” She said emotionlessly, as if it was not a surprise at all to her. As she stood up, she motioned for Carmen to come towards her, and motioned Mary to stay away. I could hear their conversation from my position on a comfortable sofa, with Mary standing watch behind me.
“What are you doing here Carmen? Did I not tell you to leave, or you simply as dense as you appear?” She asked with scorn.
“Excuse me your majesty, but it’s none of your business what I do with my time.” The Queen replied with a large, artificial smile and a laugh, which clearly irritated this woman. I was wondering why was Carmen, who I knew as ‘The Queen’ addressing this vampire as a Queen? Were there other Queens?
“That just shows exactly how little you know. It is most certainly my business what you do here, due to the fact that while in Brideport, you answer to me.”
“I don’t answer to anyone!” The Queen screamed back at her, which elicited an eye roll from the woman, and caused her to bare her fangs in anger.
“You will leave Carmen, or I’ll have your fangs. Goodbye now.” I was beginning to like this woman, she was giving The Queen exactly what she deserved, yet I was worried, if The Queen was banished from Bridgeport, would I have to go with her?
“I am a Queen! You can’t banish me, please your majesty!”
“You are not a Queen, and representing yourself as such is a disgrace, I am a Queen, not you. You may be at the head of a coven, but do not bestow royal titles upon yourself when they have not been earned in any way, shape, or form!” The woman was extremely angry not, gesticulating wildly with her arms, baring her fangs and snarling at Carmen.
Carmen definitely seemed afraid, I had never seen her face like it was right then, this woman must definitely have sway over vampires. If she could control Carmen, then she must be able to control Carmen’s subjects, of which there were 5, who knew how many more vampires she controlled.
“Go downstairs. I’ll deal with you later.” She spat at Carmen, who sloped off to the opposite end of the room and vanished through an archway. The woman was still ranting and raving, muttering to herself about ‘subject defection’ and ‘unworthy graces’ as she paced up and down.
“And who do we have here?” She asked, peering over at me, sat on the couch nervously, and Mary, who was stood behind me, and was both angry that her master had left her up here alone, and afraid that Carmen wasn’t all powerful.
“I- My names Chace Belgravia.” I told her, tripping over my words due to my nerves.
“And I’m Mary Win-” Mary was cut short as the woman pushed her out of her way, depositing Mary onto the floor in a heap.
“So Chace,” she began, sitting down next to me, “tell me exactly what you are doing in the company of such second-class vampires, and exactly why you are in my home.” My gulp was something straight out of a TV show, what if she didn’t like my answers? Would she kill me?
“Well it all started out when I went in search of my wife, who had been kidnapped by these vampires and-”
“Can you cut what seems to be a very long story short? I may be immortal but my patience for such mundane tales is zero.”
“Well I freed my wife from these vampires and they captured me instead. Now I’m here after my wife tried to free me and the vampires fled.” Condensing my struggle into such few words made me uneasy, and made me question the vampires that had held me in the underground prison. How could they have let Lily escape, then come back, leave again, and return with police officers? Compared to this place teeming with guards the underground cell was nothing.
“Such silly little vampires, I am curious as to why Carmen brought you to me… perhaps she thought I might appreciate a strapping young man.” she told me with a smirk, did she want me to sleep with her?! God no!
“Come Chace, I’ll take you downstairs and we can talk about my plans for you.” She told me as she walked towards the same archway Carmen had exited through.
As we entered the elevator I was nervous, what if I was stuck here forever? Were we going up or down? I couldn’t deal with being trapped in another underground prison, no way.
I couldn’t tell if we were upstairs or downstairs as I left the elevator. Everywhere had the same fake windows as the pool room, facing onto blank backgrounds, this passageway was particularly deceiving as I could barely see the blank wall through the thick curtains, so it gave a feeling of being inside a real home, with the sun shining outside.
I was even more taken aback as we entered an ornate sitting room, which, as I sat down and waited for the woman as she changed, I noticed had a garden! I could tell it wasn’t a backdrop, there was a fountain and everything, this place was like something from a movie, who lived like this?!
“Chace please, move closer.” She pulled over a chair as she sat on the large couch, and motioned for me to join her.
“What are you going to do with me?” I asked straight away. I had to get it over with, no more of this trailing through her beautiful mansion, quaking with fear on the inside. If she was going to kill me I wouldn’t go down without a fight. I waited, staring at her, I just needed an answer.
“Why do you even need to ask? I am going to kill you, of course.” No, no! There must be a way to escape, but how could I face off against this woman, who was apparently the actual Queen, and all her guards, in a mansion full of vampires? “But you will not die, I am going to open up a whole new life for you. The life of the undead.” I squinted at her, confused. Undead? What was that?
“What do you mean… undead?”
“Why Chace,” she laughed at my confusion, “you are going to become a vampire of course!”
* * *
Should Chace embrace a new life as a creature of the night in his own spin off, or attempt to escape and return to Lily?!