Sunday, 7 June 2009

Roland's Day Deteriorates

Roland entered the vampire's house warily, although his curiosity was piqued and he wanted to know what the inside of a vampire's lair looked like.

As the Count dumped Kingsteignton unceremoniously on a couch in the hall and Vladimirescu picked up some kind of note, began reading and then started muttering to himself, Roland roamed the rooms on the ground floor. All he could see was faded grandeur; peeling wallpaper, fading upholstery and several holes in the carpets. Even the kitchen cabinets and appliances looked like they had come out of a woman's journal of the 1930's. It was a far cry from his ultra-modern, luxurious flat overlooking the river at Shad Thames.

However, he could find no signs of a human male being currently in residence. His ultra-sensitive nose detected that a male in his late twenties, with not particularly good personal hygiene had been there but had left at least an hour ago. An overturned red wine bottle dribbling over the carpet, an emptied glass and a lot of bagel crumbs were further confirmation of the humans presence.

So Vladimirescu had not been lying about him being here, at least. Roland decided that there was no profit in him staying there if the psychic was long gone and returned to where Vlad still stood. He had crumpled the note in his hand and was looking thoughtful.

'Look Vladimirescu, there is no human here, so I am off. Some of us have work to do you know!'

'Oh' said Vlad vaguely 'Yes it seems his plans have changed. I will try and sort something out'.

'What was in that note he left you?' asked Roland curtly.

'Oh, the note wasn't from him; it was from the milkman asking that I pay his account' replied Vlad weakly.

'Don't take me for a fool, Vladimirescu! All I want is to know where my clan member is? Pretending to be as soft in the head as Kingsteignton, cuts no ice with me. Arrange a meeting with this human psychic of yours and let me know'.

Roland turned on his heel and strode out of the house, passing Count Antonescu, who was still trying to get Kingsteignton to lie on the couch, without acknowledgement.

He walked briskly out into the spring sunshine and hailed a cab to take him back to his flat.

What a total waste of an afternoon! He had learned nothing to his advantage and reeked of vampire! He would have a good, long shower when he got back and see if he had had any messages from Sue Fisher.

As he was paying off the cabbie at the main door of the block, he noticed a familiar figure come down the steps, unhook a soft mint green crash helmet from the handlebars of a scooter of the same colour, and start putting it over her glowing, titian curls.

Roland couldn't believe his eyes. What was Eunice Batchworth, that divine goddess of a young witch doing in his apartment block?

He loped over to where she was now climbing onto her scooter in a few strides.

'Hi Eunice! What are you doing here? Were you looking for me?' Roland asked a little breathlessly.

'Oh Roland, Hi. No I was over having a cup of tea with Malvolio and Proserpine. We were talking about what to do for Proserpine's birthday. As you know, it's only a few weeks away.'

'I didn't know that you knew Malvolio and Prosperpine?' he replied carefully.

'Yes, I've known them since Malvolio brought her to The Young Witches Association Christmas Party last year. I often drop by, or we all go out for pizza or something. Anyway, mustn't stop, have got heaps to do!'

With that, Eunice revved up her scooter and shot off down the road.

Roland leaned his hand against the nearest lamppost for support. Was his world really spinning totally out of control? Although he knew that there was no real reason why Malvolio should tell him who he saw and when, Roland had always believed that he knew roughly who his clan consorted with and why. Clan security was paramount and as alpha it was his job to ensure it. But Roland was honest enough to admit to himself that the real reason he felt so shaken was because a bolt of pure jealousy had shot through him the second that Eunice had mentioned Malvolio's name.

He had arrogantly assumed that the beautiful young witch has been seeking him out; and he didn't like the fact that she had been hanging out with his curly -haired, personable young beta one bit. In fact he was amazed at how little he liked it at all!

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