Elizabeth approached the stranger standing on her porch smiling at her.
“Hello there, you must be Elizabeth,” he said warmly. His voice was deep and melodious.
“Call me Liz, and I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage stranger,” Elizabeth returned the smile.
“My name is Greyson. Greyson Vatore. I believe you’ve already had the pleasure of meeting my brother and sister, Caleb and Lilith.”
“Oh, yes I have. Funny they didn’t mention you though.” Elizabeth found herself looking into grey eyes very similar to Caleb’s. “Why don’t you come in for a while.”
“Not surprising they didn’t mention me,” Greyson said as they entered the house. “I’m not considered one of the golden children in the family.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Elizabeth asked as she gestured for Greyson to take a seat.
“Let’s say I haven’t been away on vacation,” Greyson said cryptically. “My mentor suggested I leave Forgotten Hollow for a while.”
“Who was your mentor?” Brooke peeked out from the dining room.
“Count Straud,” Greyson said with his eyes flicking back to Elizabeth.
“Oh, that’s cool! He’s training Liz,” Brooke said with a smile.
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes at this handsome stranger. “He already knows that, don’t you Greyson?”
Greyson laughed but the smile didn’t touch his eyes. “You are a quick one. I can see why he likes you.”
Elizabeth turned toward Brooke and snapped. “Get downstairs and finish your homework!”
“Well, do the extra credit then, and if that’s done then go to bed. You have school in the morning.”
“Fine,” Brooke huffed and made her way down to her room.
“Why are you really here Mr. Vatore?” Elizabeth said formally. “Surely it’s not just the neighborly welcome wagon because I don’t see a fruit cake.”
“Just sizing up the competition Miss Stafford,” Greyson said just as formally. “The old Count sees something in you. Something that he used to see in me. I came by to see if I could discern what that something was and see if I was in for a fight.”
“Well, I certainly have no intention of fighting you or anyone else for that matter,” Elizabeth said as she got up and held the door. “Good evening Mr. Vatore.”
Greyson smiled, a very similar smile to Caleb’s. Elizabeth felt the familiar pull but quickly shut that feeling down. This was not Caleb.
“Good evening Miss Stafford.” he said as he darted through the open door and across the common area to the Vatore Manor.
Elizabeth didn’t see Greyson again that week. A few evenings after meeting him, Lilith came by for training. The sessions were fewer these days because Elizabeth had learned so much. She only needed the more advanced techniques now and was easily able to teach her coven.
“You’re nearly as skilled as I am with the mesmirization now Liz.”
“I get plenty of practice. It’s always the one the rest of the house wants me to show them. I think they feel they are better able to feed outside of Forgotten Hollow with that one.” Elizabeth laughed. “It always seems to come back to feeding.”
“I’m surprised with your stable they don’t have enough.”
“Well, honestly the stable just isn’t big enough for any more than the humans we have in there. We have five vampires here with Stanley and Daisy having joined. With only seven humans we just cannot feed as often as we need and find ourselves relying on those disgusting plasma packs or needing to feed outside of this area.”
“Hey, ummm, why didn’t you or Caleb mention Greyson to me? What’s that guy’s deal anyway?”
Lilith rolled her eyes, “That’s why Caleb and I weren’t at the stable party. Greyson arrived home just before we were heading over. Our brother has been gone for nearly fifty years. Vladislaus sent him away from Forgotten Hollow so the people might forget.”
“Well, it’s a long story and I don’t have time for the whole thing tonight, but suffice to say there is a reason Count Straud has the no feeding in Forgotten Hollow rule now.”
“But he lets my coven feed from the stable. If it was so bad, why would he have changed his mind?”
“I don’t know honestly, but I suspect it’s because you are of his lineage and he enjoys mentoring one of his line. He’d made the, I guess you’d say concession, to mentor Greyson because the man does have a lot of promise. But I never saw Vladislaus as inspired and eager to train someone as he has been since you’ve been here Liz. He most often stayed in that moldy castle and read his dusty tomes. We’d see him flying by in bat form occasionally but all in all, it’s been very quiet here in Forgotten Hollow until you arrived.”
Elizabeth looked thoughtfully down the road toward Straud Manor.
The end of that week the final three members of Elizabeth’s coven arrived. Gwendolyn, Duane and Spencer all settled into the routine. Elizabeth sat on Gwen’s bed while her friend unpacked..
“I cannot believe you are finally here!” Elizabeth said with a warm smile at her dear friend.
“I know, fucking took long enough, and I’m still not sure that Gabriel didn’t have someone track us. We’ll know soon enough though if familiar faces begin appearing here.” Gwendolyn finished unpacking and closed the wardrobe door softly.
“I know it took a while Gwen, but now with the stable in place and my power grown the way it has, I’ve been able to teach everyone and we’ll have no trouble fighting anyone that Gabriel might send here looking.”
Gwendolyn nodded thoughtfully. “Hudson and Daisy of course can help us in a fight. But you know Duane won’t be any help if it comes to that. You know his nose is always in one of his tomes. He’s always trying to develop that cure. What the fuck is that even about anyway? I know Duane enjoys our life.” Gwendolyn said as she took a seat on the bed.
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “You know Duane. He’s such a gentle soul. While he enjoys this life, he talked to me at length before we decided to leave that he understands that some may not enjoy the life and may want a way out. Gabriel would never give him the time or resources to find this cure. I couldn’t leave him behind. He and I have been friends for more than a century. I told him he would have the support he needed here.”
“Damn waste of space if you ask me.”
“Well, he’s working on better plasma packs too than these damnable fishy things.” Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “If nothing else, having a better tasting alternate food source would be good. Leave him be Gwen.”
Gwendolyn huffed. “And what about the kid?”
“Oh, I had you bring him because he’ll be able to attract more humans. The young women around here will love him. He’s got that mournful puppy look that women will swoon over I think.”
Gwendolyn laughed a deep throaty laugh.
“You really have thought this through haven’t you?”
“Bet your ass I did,” Elizabeth joined Gwendolyn in the laughter. It certainly was good to have her friend with her again. She felt united they were a formidable force.
‘Now if I could just figure out where this new character fits in…‘ Elizabeth thought of Greyson and the complication he represented and scowled.
|BtB: 09 – Introductions|