Sky Valley had two parking complexes, both multi-story and built from gaudy, grey stone which rose up on either side of the centre like medieval towers. They had both become favourite residences of supernaturals of higher berth, the council elected by each faction to be fair, but had not been fair for centuries, and, if given the honour, was the home of the ancient creatures of the world. So much had been recovered from underground storerooms, as well as scavenged from nearby houses and department stores that the interior was by no means sparse. Comfort and opulence reigned supreme.
Nonetheless, Nicolae hated his job.
It was dull, unsatisfactory, and required far too much effort. Since his election some two years ago, he had endeavoured to remind the other members of the council of his distaste. It amused him just to see Lord Montgomery’s hairline prickle, or McLachin hold his breath indignantly for so long that he looked like an overripe plum, but in association with such buffoons, Nicolae wondered constantly why he had accepted the space on the council. Perhaps it would have been easier if there was a fair share of work between each member, unfortunately for him, vampires had spearheaded the council from the beginning, leaving him with all the work.
Nobody could doubt that the vampires were dangerous, it was for such a reason that they had not been challenged for leadership, at least not outrightly. Unlike some of the mongrel supernatural creatures that lurked through the dark streets, Nicolae could rest assured that his race really was the monsters that were beneath your bed. Despite this, one particular race took the phrase “don’t know when to quit” to a completely different level; the werewolves.
Time for them to bore me to second-death.
Nicolae sat slanted in the grand, wooden council chair – which many of his subordinates had come to call a throne – though in truth it was rather uncomfortable. He folded his long legs over the arm, his chin rested in the crook of his palm, his fingers stroking his cupid’s bow with feigned interest. He and his audience stood at the top level of the parking complex, where thick drapes ran from pillar to pillar to signify private rooms. Ultraviolet windows – delivered especially – ran around the outside where balconies would once have been, and they revealed a waxing moon which had been so for almost fourteen months, the light bleeding in from behind and brightening Nicolae’s halo of white-blond hair. Only his skin was a shade whiter, as cold and blanched as chilled milk. On his sharply pointed ear shone a moonstone stud – one that he prized above all else as his last sentiment of the past – though he always remembered to wear it on the left during the second half of the month.
“So you see, my Lord, my masters are keen to strike this arrangement…” waffled on the werewolf messenger, a man who Nicolae had no doubt had been selected by forgetting to step back. He was cowardly and pathetic, a room with two vampires was known to unnerve him, and amongst Nicolae’s court of thirty three, his knees were practically turned to water. Nicolae spread his hand further over his mouth to hide the condescending smile playing up on his cold, pale lips. He readjusted himself, looking thoughtful, though his leg was just beginning to cramp.
The werewolf’s forehead shone with nervous sweat, and his hands, covered in dark, curly hairs, were clenched tightly at his sides. Nicolae steeled himself not to roll his eyes as he continued to half-listen to the dog...