“Sì, mia streghetta?” he said as he stopped to investigate one of the walls.
“What did you mean earlier, when you said I’ve been stealing your dreams?” Beth asked.
“Precisely that. You’ve been having my dreams, and I’ve been having yours. I must say, there are an awful lot about me.”
“Well, you’d just abandoned me. I mean, us. You’d abandoned us; Alex, Catalin and me.”
“I didn’t leave because of them though,” he murmured.
“Anyway, why have we swapped dreams?” she asked, desperate to change the subject.
“The only logical explanation is a blood bond. Unless you want to put it down to some act of God,” he scoffed.
“I thought you were Catholic.”
“Was Catholic, my dear. Past tense.”
“But, a blood bond? That’s impossible, surely?”
“Why should it be? We did share blood, did we not?”
Beth blushed. “That’s not what I meant. I meant, I’m human.”
“You’re not human, dear, you’re simply mortal. There’s a difference.”
“Is this about me being a witch?”
Robert turned away from the wall and shrugged. “I honestly don’t know.” He pointed to the area of wall behind him. “I’ve found the hidden room. It’s not hidden particularly well though.”
Robert showed her how easily it opened, by just pressing a button and pushing the wall section. When he did it, it swung inwards, revealing a set of steps. It looked extremely dark in the room beneath the house.
“I’ll just wait here,” she said taking a step back.
“Don’t worry, I can see down there. There’s a light switch on the wall.”
He held out a hand to her, which she hesitantly took. Beth clutched to Robert’s arm as she walked into the darkness. She heard a click and was suddenly blinded as the light came on. In the room, there were shackles attached to the wall, sharp knives and wooden stakes along one wall and some sort of table in the furthest part of the room.
Robert dropped her hand and went straight to the shackles. He rubbed his fingers against the inside of it and held it in front of him, looking at it. He smelt it and then put it against his tongue. He tipped his head to the side for a moment.
“Dried blood,” he murmured. “Not a vampire I’ve ever met before.”
“How do you know?” Beth asked.
“Some of us can tell whether we’ve met someone before by the taste of their blood. If we’ve met them before, our brains store the smell and will always recognise it. Not a very useful talent.”