Before she could react, the Count vanished into thin air like before. She was still on the ground when two leather-boot clad feet appeared in her line of vision.
"It doesn’t look like he likes you very much."
Erinna raised her head to meet the owner of the mocking voice. She came face to face with a beautiful and slender woman. She wore black leather pants and a matching jacket that showed off her exquisite beauty. Erinna could tell she was a vampire and somehow her presence made Erinna wary.
"Who are you?" She decided to ask.
"Oh, forgive my manners Countess. Ingrid Lamaar at your service," the woman said with a mocking bow. Erinna did not like the woman’s attitude. It oddly reminded her of the Count too much.
"I’m Princess Erinna, don’t call me Countess."
"Don’t tell me what to do you little whore," Ingrid sneered.
"I know all about your little game. Playing all hard to get when we all know the Count just has to look at you for you to open your scrawny little legs," Ingrid ventured on, undeterred.
Erinna was left dumbfounded by the other woman’s vulgarity. How could any self-respecting woman bring herself to say such crude words? She did not even know just what she had done to warrant such degrading insults.
"I do not know what you’re talking about," she said as calmly as she could, struggling to remain collected.
"Cut the princess crap already, we both know what a conniving manipulative little liar you are. How else would you have convinced the Count to risk his own life and every vampire’s by entering in a doomed union with you?"
To say she was shocked by the vampire’s words would have been an understatement. Did Ingrid even know how much Erinna would give to escape the Count’ evil clutches?
"I will die before I marry your Count. I am not stupid; I know the consequences of a vampire-elf union. Not that he is husband material anyway." Her voice was firm, strong and stern. She had taken enough from the rude vampire. She would never consider tying herself to a creature like Dracula for the rest of her life. What sort of a man hit the woman they were proposing to?
"You would never capture his attention for long anyway; the Count likes his women experienced, not naïve little princesses waiting for a Prince Charming."
Erinna wanted to tell Ingrid that she had no desire whatsoever to capture their Count’s attention and would do better safe and sound in her tower back in Ellingsdale but an idea popped into her mind. More like delayed realisation.
"Are you jealous?" She asked, fighting the urge not to laugh because if it was about the Count, Ingrid had definitely nothing to worry about there. She had not been joking when she said she would rather die first.
"Why would I be? The Count is mine anytime I want," boasted Ingrid.
"Then why don’t you put a leash on your dog and tell him no means no?" Erinna glared daggers at Ingrid, taking out her on her.
"He is a guy and welcomes any challenge. Just know as soon as he gets what he wants from you he will lose interest and you will end up in Death Town with every other foolish girl who thought she was the one, counting the hours to your death."
The Count carelessly tossed away the body of the skinny redhead after draining it of all its blood. She had had the misfortune of bearing the brunt of his anger that night. THE Count took out his white spotless handmade silk handkerchief and was wiping the stray blood running down his chin when Alexander, his right hand man burst through the French doors of his newly opened exclusive bar.
"Ah, not again," he swore as he surveyed the four dead bodies on the floor of his now empty famous bar. He had opened it the previous with his bonus from the Count the previous month. Dracula could be very generous if his orders were carried out to the dot.
"I was in a bad mood," Dracula replied simply as if that was an excuse.
Normally no one would dare to question his actions but Alexander had been present for the better part of his life that Dracula could describe him as somewhat of a friend. Therefore unlike everyone else in Dracula’s kingdom, Alexander could afford to be a little insolent without worrying about his life.
"Now I have to recruit more bar maids. Again. Couldn’t you have gone into the streets or a blood bar?"
Dracula scrunched his face up in disgust.
"They’re all walking symbols of AIDS and STIs," he scoffed.
"You know you’re an Ingester and Neutraliser, AIDS wouldn’t affect you."
It was true, Dracula was a Matter Ingester, and he could basically eat anything without being harmed. His blood neutralised everything.
"Doesn’t mean it’s hygienic.’
Alexander rolled his eyes. "Anyway, how is it going with the princess?" he asked curiously as he stepped over one of the dead bodies on his way to the cold room to get a drink.
"She might need a little convincing," Dracula hedged, knowing in his mind that that had to be the understatement of the year.
"A department we both know you thrive in," Alexander chuckled as he returned with a bottle of whiskey.
"She’s too stubborn, strong-willed and ill-disciplined," the Count grumbled.
"Sounds like someone I know," Alexander teased him. Dracula shot his friend a warning glare that would have frozen any other person or vampire.
"I hit her."
The action had been more reflex than intent. Dracula was a vampire who did not like to be challenge; he always responded violently. His bride had made the mistake of challenging his authority.
He had regretted it afterwards; another one of the many foreign feelings Erinna was arousing in him with each passing second. Like always when he was agitated, he went on a killing spree; but unlike other times, the guilt did not go away; it remained glued to him. He felt like scum. He had never cared about any woman beyond the pleasure of one night and he was clueless on how to treat Erinna. He was like a newborn baby, a novice, in this new world of feelings and was just as lost. How many mistakes was he going to be allowed to make before he lost Erinna forever?
"You must have had your reasons," Alexander said vaguely not wanting to question his master yet dying to give his friend some desperately needed advice.
"Come on Alexander, I know you have a lot to say."
"I just don’t think hitting her is the best way to make her smile at you. Why don’t you give her time to adjust to her destiny and leaving her father?" he suggested. Alexander was among one of the few vampires who knew about his union with Erinna.
"Her birthday is in three months Alexander, we do not have time."
"Fine, just don’t hit her again. The last time you hit me I wasn’t able to feed for three days; and I’m a vampire."
"What happens to her is up to her. Anyway, I felt you try to mind link with me," he switched the subject.
All vampires were telepathically connected to him as he was their sire and could mind link with him anywhere, anytime unless he deliberately blocked them.
"Yes, you blocked me."
"I was feeding."
Alexander nodded in understanding. Dracula hated having his meals disturbed. In fact it was a sin worthy of the death penalty. Yes; a lot of things with Dracula were warranted a death sentence.
"What did you want me for?" he asked.
"I have something you might be interested in."