Gem sat in the dank old dining room, fiddling with her hands. A nervous gesture sure, but who wouldn't be nervous? There wasn't a sound coming from anywhere. Not even the sounds that a big old house should make in the night. It was eerie and unsettling, but Gem didn't have any choice but to stay. After all, Luke had said he would find her if she ran. She wasn't sure what he might do when he caught up with her, and he would. So running was out of the question.
The door started to creak open, and Gem's gaze shot to it as it did. A tall man, with dark hair, that hung on his shoulders in tight curls, walked into the room. His eyes were an odd shade of brown, almost red. His skin was pale as milk. He sat down across from Gem with a wide smile. He too, had fangs.
"You must be Gem. My name is Maximus." He winked, "But you can call me Max."
Gem nodded, gulping. She took a deep breath, steeling herself to talk to this new Vampire. "Why have you brought me here?"
He smiled again, "All of that will come in time dear child. Most pertinent to you right now, is that I effectively saved your life."
Gem felt her eyebrows raise, "How so? All I see, is that you had your lackey take me from my home, and keep me against my will."
"She has some balls I see." He rang a small bell by the table. Minutes later, the little old Butler scurried into the room.
Max looked at Gem, "Would you like a drink?"
Gem grinned. "Yes. Please." I could definitely use one.
He looked back at the Butler with a small smile, "Ham, please fetch us a bottle of the red, and some glasses. Also, bring a platter of food. You know the sort of thing I mean."
The butler nodded dutifully, "Yes Sir." He left, returning moments later with a large tray. On it, was a bottle of red wine, and a large plate, filled with an assortment of savoury snacks.
Max offered it to Gem. "Just a glass of wine for me, please. I'm not hungry." She couldn't even think about food, not at a time like this. She'd been kidnapped, and now she was expected to sit and have a civilised drink with her captor?
"Suit yourself." He took a piece of pork pie, and bit down, chewing loudly. Gem's brow furrowed.
"Is there much point to you eating that? Don't you need, blood, or whatever?"
Max's eyebrows rose then. "You seem to be quite calm about the fact that you are sitting across the table from a Vampire. In answer to your question, I drink blood to survive-" He spat the chewed remains of his pork pie into a napkin. "I like the taste of human food. Of course, I can't digest it, but it still tastes good to me."
Gem took a sip of her wine. "So, are you going to tell me why you had Luke rip me from my home?"
Max looked over at her, his eyes seeming sharper than before. "How do you know his name?"
Whoops. She put the glass down, her hand shaking, "I- I made him tell me. Don't take it out on him. Please."
Raised eyebrows, "Such concern for a rat, who was so against collecting you for me, he would have sat back and watched you die."
Maximus nodded, "Yes, die. I had Luke collect you this evening because you have drawn attention from the wrong sort of Vampires. They were heading to collect you themselves. If they had, you would be dead now, or worse."
"What in the hell can be worse than dead."
He smiled, "Gem, my dear, I have been alive a very long time. I have come to learn, there is pain you can inflict on a person, that is so bad, they would wish to be dead. Had Marisilia, and her children got a hold of you, I fear that may have been your fate."
"She is an old one, like myself, a Maker of many. My people tell me she sent her children, Jennet and Austin, to collect you. Jennet, probably wouldn't have harmed you unless directly ordered to do so. Austin on the other hand, well, he is a whole other kettle of fish."
"Why does she want me? Why do you?"
He sighed, taking a long gulp of his wine. He had hoped to put off answering these questions, but the girl was nothing if not persistent.
"You know my Dad?" Gem had never really known her Father. The last memories she had of him, were when she was five. Even those memories were hazy, she didn't even remember what he had looked like. When she asked her Mother about him, she would just say that he had left for their own good.
Maximus nodded. "Yes. I know your Father. He is one of mine. He passed on to you, a strong kind of Magic. Very soon, you will reach true maturity, when you do, you will change. When your parents had you, your Father fed you his blood, so that when you reached the right age, you would turn Vampire."
Gem gaped. No way could this be true. It all sounded like a dream, or maybe a nightmare. Maximus smiled a sad smile at her expression. "It is unusual for a person to be turned this way. Mostly, you have to be drained to the point of death, and fed gallons of Vampire blood to be revived. Only those born of a certain bloodline, can be changed that way. You happen to be one of them."
Maximus grinned, "Why, the bloodline of Vlad Tepesh himself my dear. The only Vampire to possess the ability of Pyrokenesis."
Gem frowned in confusion, "Am I supposed to know who that is?"
"You may know him as Dracula."