Monday, 30 November 2009

Kettle Genies

Eunice arranged herself primly on the decaying sofa in Vlad's drawing room, and watched dispassionately as Roland threw himself into the armchair opposite, wincing slightly as he knocked his injured arm.

She looked at his handsome face, complete with romantically stormy expression, and wondered why he did not move her at all? After all, he was tall, good looking, rich and an alpha? Eunice knew that she would have trouble explaining herself to the Council of Witches and her family, when it came out that she was expecting a child by a werewolf and wished to marry him. But in the snooty, hierarchichal world of the Old Kingdomers, they would almost be as shocked that she had fallen for a mere Beta!

Eunice allowed herself a little smile at the memory of looking down at her mere Beta as he slept this morning. His curly dark hair had been tousled, his long limbs flung over the side of the bed and he had been snoring like a trooper! Still she would have him no other way, and would entertain no notion of another whatever the Witches Council, her family and Roland de Cazalrenoux had to say in the matter!

Roland viewed Eunice's little smile warily. As far as he was concerned, Eunice was the most thoroughly unpredictable female he had ever encountered, and although she totally exasperated him, he could not help becoming more and more attracted to her. She was like a breath of fresh air after all the beautiful, well-groomed women who pursued him. He was a vain werewolf who knew his own worth, but even Roland had enough insight to realise that most of them were after his money and the status he could give them.

What would most of them do if they knew he was a werewolf, a creature of the night?

'So Roland, are you ready to begin' asked Eunice tartly, breaking into his musings.

'Any time you like, Ms Batchworth' he replied urbanely.

'Well as you know, Sue Fisher has been casting spells on your behalf. However, these have not proceeded as smoothly as we would have liked. There seemed to have been a lot of background interference and it was very difficult to get them on the right vibration. It would seem that someone or something, doesn't want you to have any of this information, Roland?'

Roland looked annoyed.

'But wouldn't that someone have to be immensly powerful to block Sue Fisher's spells? I thought that she was the best in the business?' he asked.

'Oh she is' reassured Eunice 'We can only think of four someones or somethings that could possibly be doing it. The big question then is why would they be interested in your missing Clan member or what have you done to upset one of them?'

'I haven't upset anyone' said Roland a trifle haughtily 'I go out of my way to maintain good relations with all Old Kingdomers and even humans!'

'Hmm, like the way you have been getting on with the Count and Lord Kingsteignton?' asked Eunice shrewdly.

'They are vampires who have had the temerity to involve themselves in my business!' bit back Roland savagely 'Anyway, I do not believe that there is a vampire alive, if you can call it that, today who is powerful enough to intefere with Sue Fisher. If you tell me that Vladimerescu is on the list, I will have to laugh!

'Well' started Eunice diplomatically 'Three of them are definitely not vampires. There is old Tog ol Mallich, the renegade witch who lives on the mountain in Wales. We believe that she still has the power, but she is supposed to be totally crazy, is a recluse and why would she be interested in werewolf doings? There is Old Father Tom the Head of the Centaurs in Georgia, but he's a benign old fellow, and only interested in the welfare of his centaurs. None of the packs have taken to hunting centaurs have they?'

'Don't be ridiculous' snapped back Roland 'We have only the utmost respect for our centaur brothers, besides which we wouldn't stand a chance of catching them, even with a full pack!'

Roland grinned, and Eunice could see why this charming, self-deprecating side of Roland could be lethally attractive to women.

She smiled back at him, which broke some of the tension in the room, and continued.

'That only leaves Einneoach Lal Korami the Trollmaster in the Himalayas, but the one we are truly afraid of could sort of be classed as a vampire.'

Roland raised his eyebrows.

'Whatever do you mean' he asked.

'Well, really it's a thought that should not be thought. But we are worried that it is the one who has not stirred for 10,000 years and who shall not be called by name.

An icy chill ran up Roland's spine.

'But that's impossible! They are only stories told to frighten Old Kingdom children on long winter nights! Surely the great Father of Vampires cannot rise again, surely it's not true!'

Eunice sighed. 'Often the job of the witches is to think the unthinkable on behalf of the rest of the Old Kingdom. Don't forget that the Old Kingdom has been flourishing for many millenia longer than human civilisation. 10,000 years really isn't that long? There are many Old Kingdomers still alive who have heard tales of that time from relatives who were alive then.'

'But, why would the nameless Vampire Overlord, be interested in my internal Clan concerns? What is so special about our missing Kea? asked Roland with a frown creasing his forehead.

'This is what we have to find out' said Eunice briskly. 'Sue Fisher is working on some more powerful spells, but we did have the good luck to have a kettle genie pop up on your behalf!'

'A kettle genie?' echoed Roland increduously 'What on earth is a kettle genie?'

'Oh, they are genies who are attracted to living in and around witch's cauldrons. They like the warmth of the steam and the vibrations of the spells. Most cauldrons have one or two, but we are lucky enough to four resident genies!'

Roland was starting to think that the worst thing that he had ever done in his long life was take that call from Kingsteignton. It had only been yesterday morning, but it seemed that he had stepped into a surreal nightmare that never seemed to end.

'Er, why was it luck that the kettle genie popped up' enquired Roland, not really sure if he actually wanted to know.

'Because he had some important information for you' replied Eunice as though she was talking to a small child 'They don't just pop for everyone you know! The genie said to tell you that some of the answers you seek lie on your sofa at home, look for the lavender.'

'Sounds like utter nonsense to me, but I suppose I had better go and check it out' said Roland beginning to unfold himself from the armchair.

'Where do you think you are going?' asked Eunice crisply.

'To check my sofa? God knows what for, as it definitely isn't lavender! At least I can shower and get some decent clothes'.

'No you can't' said Eunice 'The genie also said that you must first help the vampire find the human, Mike Costello. If you don't all will go awry!'

'What a load of rubbish' ground out Roland 'Of what possible use could that human be to anyone. All he has caused so far is trouble! The best thing that could happen is that Kingsteignton bleeds him dry!!!!'

A little gasp behind him made him whirl round to see a pale-faced Vlad standing in the doorway holding a tatty green sweatshirt in his hands.

'No' moaned Vlad 'You do not mean it. Mike is my friend. What has he ever done to you?'

Eunice went over to Vlad and put her arm around his shaking shoulders.

'Of course he doesn't mean it. If he knows what is good for him, he will go out with you this morning and help you to find Mike. Did you bring that sweatshirt for him? That was very kind of you, though he doesn't deserve it!'

Eunice took the sweatshirt from Vlad's limp grasp and flung it at Roland.

'Change your clothes and go with the vampires, de Cazalrenoux. You have hurt Vlad's feelings for no good reason. I think that it is time that you all realised that we are caught up in something a lot bigger than your petty concerns!

No comments:

Post a Comment