Three men work in a bar named Gladiators in the middle of Rome. Each has a unique power, though the others don't know. Rivalries and fights begin in this supernatural tale
Life is never easy for the likes of me. Oh you will never notice anything remotely different about me, yet when I am in your presence I am still unique, though no-one can really tell why. There is a simple answer, but I doubt you’d believe me even if I told you. For the most part, I try to keep myself to myself, though there are often times when I’m forced to reveal my secret.
I am not mortal like the rest of the “human” race. There are many of us who are immortal, both good and evil, much like the mortal race. We are still human, we just don’t die normally. Yes we do die, but we can’t die easily.
I’m a witch. Not a warty old hag who rides a broomstick. For one thing I’m a man. Yes you did read that correctly. However, I can’t be called a Warlock. Warlocks and Witches are very different. A Witch uses their power for the greater good. They don’t think of themselves when using their gifts. Warlocks crave power and use their magic for their own personal gain, at the risk of harming any beings nearby. Witches try to help others, and not harm any.
So now you know my little secret. Let me tell you more about myself. My name is Chris. I’m 23 and at present I’m living in the Eternal City or Rome as you may well call it. My reasons for coming here are my own, and I have no intention of revealing them at any time. I’m a tallish guy, being 6 foot tall, thin as a rake and (according to many) dashingly good looking. I prefer to be modest about my appearance.
I am one of three magical beings who live and work in a bar near the Colosseum. The bar is named Gladiators, and the three of us work it together almost every day. This story is of how I came into discovering the trio of beings and how we worked together.
On Saturday 3rd July I landed in Ciampino Airport to the south east of Rome. I was tired and wanted to get to my apartment on the outskirts. I got my luggage after a long wait, and finally caught a bus to Termini, where I then negotiated the labyrinth to get me to the Red line of the Metro, heading towards my stop. The Metro in Rome is not the most useful form of transport. It has two lines, the Red going East to West and the Blue line going North to South. However, due to a suicide only two stops down from Termini, the Red line was closed off.
Adjusting to this problem I decided to lug my somewhat overweight case and take the blue line to Colosseo, the stop for the Colosseum. I felt that I may as well have a look at the most famous monument in Rome.
Once the train arrived at the stop, I pushed through the crowds and was amazed to find the massive structure of the Colosseum directly in front of me. It took me a few seconds to take in the sheer size and scale of the ruins of this incredible structure. The sun was low in the sky, casting a striking glow over the monument. It was a mesmerising sight for me, and it began to take on a very powerful significance. At that time, I had no idea that I was a Witch. I did not believe that magic existed, and I had no idea that I was “Immortal”.
Across the road, down a small but busy road named Via di San Giovanni, I came across a bar named Gladiators. It was rather quiet, unlike the bars around it. I thought it was strange as it was the one closest to the main road that circled the Colosseum. Still I was in no mood to be sociable so I plucked up the courage and walked in.
The bar was trendy. That was the first thing I noticed. The walls were pale, and covered with lots of bright canvas. Plush sofas sat against the walls, with modern tables and chairs in front of them. The bar was close to the door. I noticed the two men behind it, one almost my height, and just a skinny. His hair was almost black, and cut very short. The second was smaller than myself, but with more bulk, though still slim. He was blonde and looked surly. I could see why there were few people here.
Had I known what my destiny was, chances are I would never have gone into the bar. I just wanted a quiet drink before the Metro re-opened. My Italian was very limited; however I had managed to interpret that it would open again in about two hours. It was now 6 so I was planning to kill the time with a couple of drinks before trying to get to my apartment.
I went towards the bar. Only three men sat at various tables. As I headed towards the bar I was aware of all eyes turning. The two behind the bar stared as I approached. I began to wonder if there was something wrong with my appearance. The taller of the two men behind the bar appeared to acknowledge my presence with a nod before taking a glass from a client who turned and left, without so much as looking at me. I was feeling very self conscious by now.
“Un cosmopolitan per favour,” I said, in very stilted Italian. The taller guy nodded and gestured for me to take a seat. I chose a table near the back of the bar, as far from the door as possible. I could see the two men behind the bar talking. I was under no delusions that I was the topic of their rather heated discussion. The shorter of the two kept glaring at me, making it clear that in some way I was offending him. I looked away, trying to avoid making eye contact. All I wanted was to get to my apartment and close the door on the world for a while.
After what seemed like several minutes, the taller man came over with my drink. I thanked him, expecting him to leave. Instead he hovered for a second, taking in my appearance. He smiled, and I noticed something about him. His eyes were different from any person I had ever met. They were a dull brown, which I expected, however they seemed to glow, as if they were lit from behind.
He continued to look at me for a few seconds and then he spoke. “Inglese?” he asked.
I nodded. He smiled and held out his hand. “I’m Robert,” he said. I was surprised that he spoke with a perfect English accent. I took his hand and told him my name.
“So, what you doing here with this?” he asked, gesturing towards my case.
“Oh, long story,” I said trying to laugh it off. His expression told me to continue. “I’m renting an apartment out here.”
“That doesn’t sound such a long story to me,” he replied.
“Oh believe me it is,” I said. “I’m running away from something, but I’d really rather not discuss it.”
“You’re not in trouble are you?” he asked. He seemed genuinely worried about me.
“Oh no,” I replied. “I’m trying to start over again, nothing more.”
“Good,” he said. He smiled. “We don’t want trouble here,” he joked.
I was taken by how nice he seemed. His appearance was as unlike a barman as I could imagine. However he seemed good at his job. We chatted for a few minutes. I glanced over my shoulder at one point towards the bar. The other guy was there, giving me a look that could kill. I pointed this out to Robert.
“What’s his problem?”
Robert looked and gave the guy behind the bar an expression that made him look away. “Oh he’s just pissed off with me for talking to you.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Well he thinks I’m interested in you,” he said laughing.
Robert laughed. “You do realise this area is a gay area don’t you?”
I nodded. I had read rumours about the area around Colosseo as being a gay area.
“Well he thinks that I’m into you,” Robert explained.
“Oh. So are you and he?”
“God no!” Robert said. “He wants us to be. I’m not interested though.”
“So he feels threatened by me?” I asked.
Robert laughed. “Don’t take it personally. He gets like that with most guys.”
I laughed and turned to look at the bar again. The guy was still glaring in my direction.
Robert could clearly see the tension and excused himself and walked over to the bar. I couldn’t hear the discussion, yet I had a good feeling I knew that once again I was the topic of discussion. I’d had enough. I got up and walked over to the bar. As I produced my money the other guy came close.
“I’m sorry if I offend you,” I said to him.
He looked at me sharply. “You don’t,” he said, very bluntly.
“You seem to dislike me,” I said.
“No. I just think that you should be able to tell when people are not available,” he said. He took my money and gave me the change. Robert came over and apologised again. I told him to think nothing of it. I asked him if he had the number of a cab firm. He called one for me and I went to wait outside. Within a few minutes the cab arrived and soon I was walking into my apartment, shutting the door on all reality.
The following day I woke late. Feeling very down I decided to have a quiet day on my own inside. I kept the shutters down and sat in the small sitting room, on one of the two armchairs. The TV was on, but I didn’t pay any attention to it. After several hours of sitting around with nothing but a glass of now warm water, I decided I had to get out.
The Giulio Agricola Metro stop was only a two minutes walk away. I took it slow, taking in the shops and many restaurants around me. The ice cream shop was tempting, but I resisted, deciding I was going to head towards Colosseo again.
I toured the Colosseum that afternoon. It took me the best part of an hour to get inside, and then I took my time wandering around. The heat from the sun was intense. After spending as long as I could bear in the Colosseum, I headed towards Gladiators.
I was surprised to see the bar was reasonably full. Robert was behind the bar, but the other guy wasn’t around as far as I could see. I was rather glad of that. I made my way through the people to the bar and Robert came over.
“Cosmo?” he asked, a grin on his face.
“No thanks. I’d like vodka with coke please,” I replied.
As he served it we got chatting. He told me that the other guy was called Andrew.
“So how come you’re here?” I asked. “I mean I noticed you don’t close until 2 in the morning and you were here last night. Don’t you ever sleep?” I laughed.
He grinned. “No actually I don’t sleep. I haven’t for a few days now. Funny thing is that I never feel tired. I just keep going.”
“That’s not right though,” I said. “Have you been to a doctor?”
“Yeah,” he said. “The doctors can’t find anything wrong. They think it’s insomnia and it will pass.”
I shook my head. “I don’t agree. I’ve had insomnia and trust me, it doesn’t last that long.”
“Well it means I can earn more money so I’m happy,” he said with a grin. He turned away and served another customer. I sipped at my drink, taking a look around the bar.
A man suddenly came in, carrying a large crate of beer. He placed it on the bar and said something to Robert in Italian. I tried to understand, but it made no sense to me. Robert was shaking his head and I understood him to say that something wasn’t possible. The man shrugged and walked out. He returned several more times, carrying crates of beer. Once he had gone and Robert had stored them safely behind the bar, I continued to talk to him. I was amazed how easy it was to talk to him.
“What was all that about?” I asked.
“Oh. He wanted me to go out and help him carry in the crates. Said he had another delivery across town and needed to get there fast.”
“And you couldn’t go?”
“Well someone has to look after the bar,” he replied with a shrug. I could tell by the way he spoke that he was hiding something. If I had known what he had said to the man I would know what he was hiding. I decided I would test him out.
“I heard you say something else.”
“What about?” he asked. I could see he was beginning to get tense, though he disguised it as well as he could.
“I don’t speak Italian,” I admitted. “But my Spanish is very good and I understood about seventy per cent of what you said.” I noticed he was clenching his jaw. I continued. “You said something about not being able to go outside and something about the sun.”
His jaw was very tight. I was worried that he was starting to dislike me for knowing too much. Very quickly his expression changed. I noticed a flash of fury in his eyes, and I thought for a moment I had seen them change colour from dark brown to red. Just for a split second.
“And what do you think I meant by that?” he asked. His voice was rougher than before and I could tell he was worried.
“I’m not sure,” I said. “Look if you don’t want to tell me then it’s ok. I mean we hardly know each other.”
He smiled. “That’s true. But I would like to know you better.” He wrote something on a napkin and handed it to me. I looked down and saw he’d given me his mobile number. I wrote mine on a beer mat and handed it back. He smiled.
“I’m not working tonight,” he said. “Maybe we can meet up and go somewhere.”
“Feel free to come to mine,” I said. “What time do you finish?”
“8,” he replied.
“I’ll cook something then. Give me a ring and come on over.”
I told him how to get to my apartment. He said he should be there by 9 and we carried on chatting. At 6 I left the bar and headed home. I had to call in to the supermarket to get some food for the evening. As I prepared the food something he had said kept bugging me. Why couldn’t he go into the sun? He hadn’t denied it, nor had he tried to change the topic. And why couldn’t he sleep? I knew insomnia can affect people in different ways, but to never sleep was simply impossible. I knew I was missing something. I just couldn’t think what it was.
At 9 there was a ring from the entry phone. He had made it, so I pressed the button to allow him in. Soon there was a knock at the door and he was there, dressed in tight jeans and a white shirt. Hit top three buttons were open, revealing part of a rather unexpectedly muscular chest. He produced a bottle of red wine.
We ate in the living room at the dining table. After diner we sat in the armchairs with the wine and talked. I decided it was not the time to think about asking him about his mystery aversion to the sun. I soon began to feel light headed. Clearly too much wine.
After drinking three bottles of wine, Robert still appeared to be sober. I was light headed now. I giggled a lot as we joked and told funny stories about ourselves. Time was flying by. Then Robert leaned towards me.
“I really like you,” he said. He leaned closer and our lips touched. It felt like a shock of electricity running through my body. His lips were like ice! His kiss was soft, and I kissed him back, savouring the moment, knowing it wouldn’t last. A drunken kiss. Nothing more than that. I felt weak and melted into the sensation of kissing him back. I certainly hadn’t seen this one coming. My body was still tingling, like an electric current was running through my entire body.
After what seemed like only a few second he pulled away. He smiled at me, showing his pearly white teeth. I had never noticed how perfect his teeth were. They glistened in the light. I grinned back at him.
“I have to go now,” he said. “Thank you for a lovely evening. I have to start work early and I need to look like I’ve had some sleep.”
I laughed. “Ok then. Well I will see you tomorrow then.”
He left and when the door closed I sighed and collapsed into my chair, a huge grin on my face. It was the last thing I had expected, and as I pulled myself out of the chair and headed to the bedroom, I was all in a daze. I flopped on the bed and fell asleep, a huge grin still on my face. That night I dreamed of him. It was not the first time, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
The next morning I awoke from a very disturbed sleep. I’d had some of the most strange dreams one could ever imagine. Robert had kept appearing to me in my sleep. At one point during the night I awoke, and was convinced, just for a second, that I had seen him watching me. Of course it was stupid. I needed to get a grip.
Feeling groggy I decided that I had to confront my issues. One major issue right now was money. True I had my savings, but I still needed regular income. I wasn’t as wealthy as some people, but I had enough to keep me going. Robert had mentioned that Gladiators wanted a new member of staff to man the bar. Though no one was leaving, the manager wanted a new face to try and bring in new business. That was my destination for the day.
I arrived at ten to twelve, ten minutes early for my interview. Signore Arnaldo was waiting for me, smiling and looking very welcoming. In his suit, with his balding head and glasses he looked like the typical office worker, not the owner of a trendy bar in the middle of a vibrant city. Within two minutes of meeting him, I saw right through his facade.
He was a tyrant. He expected perfection and nothing less. His name was as fake as his Italian name. Still he gave me the job, instructing me to start that very night. I was delighted, until I discovered that Andrew, the guy who seemed to have a grudge against me, was also working. That said, I knew Robert would also be working. Arnaldo told me I would be working nights, and late afternoons. I got two days off a week, and would be working every Saturday and Friday, the busiest nights. However we got off at 2, so I could still get to clubs if the need took me.
As I was starting at 4 that day, I headed back to my apartment to change into a tight pair of jeans and a white tee-shirt. At three I headed back to the Metro, changing at the ever crowded Termini to get the blue line to Colosseo. I was both nervous and excited by the prospect of working alongside Robert. I was also dreading Andrew’s reaction to me being behind the bar. Still I decided that I would be the professional in this and try to get along with him.
When I arrived at the bar, it was empty, save Robert and Andrew. Robert smiled at me as I walked to the bar. As I tried to go behind Andrew stepped in my way.
“Only staff behind here buddy,” he said sharply.
“Well lucky for you I am staff,” I replied calmly.
“Huh?” he asked, stunned.
“Yeah, your boss has employed me to try and bring in some new business,” I said. He moved aside, slightly surprised by my response. I got behind the bar and looked at both of them. Robert appeared as surprised as Andrew.
“Ok so which of you is going to get me familiar with things here?” I asked.
Robert stepped forwards. “Do you know how to work a bar?”
“Yeah, I ran a club in London,” I replied.
“Ok, well it’s all very simple. The screen on the till is a touch screen. You’ll find all you need to know on there.” He then showed me where the drinks were, and where they were kept. He took me to the room behind the bar where spare drinks were kept, to refill the stocks. Once this was done, he let me serve a couple of customers, supervising all the time. All the time I was aware of Andrew glowering at me.
After a couple of hours I became aware of another, slightly more bizarre sensation. I felt like I was on fire. I wasn’t sweating, yet I was boiling hot. My whole body was tingling, like I was excited or nervous. I just couldn’t explain the feeling. I was relieved when my break came at 7.30. It allowed me time to sit down outside and cool off.
The bar had been quiet so there was no way I could blame it on the sheer number of people in the bar. Robert was clearly worried about me. His break was at that same time as mine so he joined me outside.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. I told him my symptoms. He told me he had had a similar sensation not that long ago, before he became unable to sleep.
“So what does this mean?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” he replies. “I hope it doesn’t mean that you’re becoming like me.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. I was getting concerned.
“You said you heard me saying I can’t go outside in the sun. Do you have any idea why?” he asked. He showed no sign of being bothered by this discussion. We were sitting at a table on the street. People sat at tables further up the street, however outside the bar, only one other table was occupied. The air was warm, so my temperature hadn’t dropped much. I still felt strange.
“I have no idea why you can’t go outside,” I said. “My theories were all stupid.”
“Tell me some,” he said.
“You’ll laugh,” I said.
He smiled. “Amuse me,” he said. “I promise I won’t laugh,” he added when he saw my face.
“Ok, I thought you may have an allergy to sunlight,” I said. “Though I seem to remember you saying that you used to be able to help bring in the crates so that throws that theory out.”
He smiled. “Well it’s a very good theory,” he said calmly. “Though you are right, I don’t have an allergy to sunlight. I can’t explain it very well.”
I looked at him. “Do you have any idea?”
He looked away. “If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.”
“Try me,” I said calmly. I was worried about him. It was clear from his appearance that this was really bothering him.
“Ok, but if I tell you, it’s got to be a secret.”
“I swear,” I said.
He took a deep breath and then looked at me, as if checking I was serious. He sighed and put his hands on the table.
“Ok, well a few days ago, about the time I stopped sleeping really, I came down with the same symptoms you’re describing. It was really strange. I took two days off work to get over it. I thought maybe it was some sort of bug, but it wasn’t.” He paused, as if thinking how best to say what it was.
“What was it?” I asked.
He smiled a curious smile. “I was changing. Only I never realised it.”
“Yeah. This is where I’m worried you’re going to laugh.”
I looked hard at him. “I’m too worried now to even think about laughing.”
“I would be too,” he said.
“Go on, you can’t leave it there,” I said, pushing for the answer.
“Ok. Well I began to feel a burning thirst at the back of my throat. Only drink wouldn’t get rid of it. The doctors couldn’t explain it. They put me on antibiotics, which seemed to work for a few days. But it came back. I was constantly thirsty, and hungry, though food never made me feel full,” he blurted out. I was struggling to keep up with what he was saying.
“Well I’m even more worried now,” I said after a few seconds. “Do you still feel like that?”
“Well not now,” he replied. “Anyhow I then discovered I couldn’t stand the sun. Actually that’s not true. I realised that I had a problem that people would notice.”
“If I get into the sun I glow,” he said.
I laughed. “You glow?”
“Yes. It’s strange but I look like my body is lit up with torches or something. I realised this was not at all a good thing and therefore I never go out in daylight.”
“But what if you’re near a window? Does it happen then?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “It seems to only happen in pure sunlight. Clouds are fine too.”
“Is this going to happen to me?” I asked.
He looked down. “I don’t know. I hope not for your sake.”
“What do you mean?”
He sighed and looked at me. I could see he was struggling to find the words to tell me what was troubling him.
“I haven’t told you the worst yet,” he said slowly.
“Ok,” I said. “I’m ready.
“I’m worried how you’ll take this, and I don’t really know how best to say it so I apologise now if I scare you,” he said nervously.
“I’m scared anyway,” I laughed. “I don’t think you could scare me any more.”
“We’ll see,” he said. He took a deep breath and continued his story.
“Only one thing can quench my thirst. And I hope you’re not squeamish.”
I shook my head. “Let me guess, blood is all.”
He nodded. “Yes.”
I was sure he was joking. Then I looked into his eyes, and saw he was telling me the truth. My heart skipped a beat and I came over faint. He instantly worried and reached across to touch me. I pulled my hand away quickly.
“You’re a vampire,” I gasped. “Well that sure as hell explains why you felt cold when you kissed me.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. I could see he was hurt by my rejection of him. Instinctively I laid my hand on his. I nearly jumped out of my skin. His hand felt like ice. It was the most strange thing I had ever felt before.
“So you came over and were interested in me for my blood?” I asked. I then realised that my hand was still on top of his. He didn’t seem bothered by that however.
“No, I was attracted to you by a feeling,” he said.
“A feeling?” I asked, pulling my hand away.
“Yes,” he said. “It’s hard to explain but since I realised what I have become, I have been able to feel things around people. Certain people have a distinct feeling around them. You are one of the few. It’s like I can feel the power within you.”
“Power?” I asked confused.
“Like me,” he explained. “I have powers. And I think you do too.”
“What kind of powers?” I asked.
He smiled. “I don’t know. But I have the feeling that you will soon find out.”
I continued to work the rest of the shift with the same sensation of heat and now dread. I dreaded waking up in the morning and discovering I was anything but human. Especially if I was a vampire. I couldn’t even think the word without feeling terribly afraid. At two, we left the bar, and I raced to the bus stop outside the Colosseum to catch the night bus to Termini. Once I arrived there, I caught the N2 bus to take me back to Giulio Agricola.
My mind was racing as I rushed through my door. I closed it and locked it, aware now that I may well have security problems. The doors that led to the balcony from both the kitchen and sitting room were open as usual, their barred gates locked shut. Yet still I had a strange feeling that I wasn’t alone.
I walked slowly to the bedroom, with a sense of dread. I opened the door and turned on the light. I nearly leapt out of my skin. Robert was sitting on the double bed, a mischievous grin on his face. I backed away, but suddenly he was there, next to me.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said gently.
“Bit late for that,” I said bluntly. “What the hell are you doing here? And more to the point, how in the name of God did you get in?”
He smiled. “I told you I have powers.”
“Answer the damn question!”
“Ok, I can move with super fast speeds. I’m also super strong, so I was able to open the gate on the balcony and get in. It won’t open easily now, thanks to my strength.”
“Oh it had better be secure,” I said sharply. “And how dare you enter here without asking me!”
He stepped back. My rage was beginning to get worse. I was physically shaking with anger. Suddenly he jumped in the air as if stung by something. I heard a crash and realised that the wardrobe had tumbled. Where it had landed was right where only a second later he had been standing.
“Oh perfect,” I groaned, more to myself than him. “Now I’ve got this to clear up as well as security to sort out.”
“What the hell did you do that for?” he asked.
“I didn’t do anything!” I snapped. I could feel my anger bubbling up again. How dare he accuse me. “You know bloody well I was here all the time. How the hell could I have done that?”
“Maybe your powers are showing themselves,” he said calmly.
“Oh you can forget that right now!” I snapped at him. “I don’t have any powers ok.”
He looked hurt. “You had the same symptoms as me.”
“Yeah, of a bug,” I said. “I’m not ice cold. I don’t want to drink blood. I might want to kill you right now, but I am not turning into whatever you are. Unless you’ve bitten me.”
He smiled. “No. I haven’t bitten you. I’d rather you stayed alive. I think you have the same gene as myself. It’s a genetic gift.”
I laughed. “How dare you think I have some gene defect!” My anger was boiling over. I then noticed that the desk lamp was lifting of the desk. “What the hell?”
He turned and looked at the lamp lifting up. He looked back at me, a confused expression on his face. “Well that sure as hell isn’t me.”
I nodded. He wasn’t lying about it. He wasn’t near to it. “Focus your mind to put it down,” he said. I nodded again and willed with all my mind that the lamp would land on the table. It slowly lowered itself down onto the table. Once it appeared to be on the table, I broke my focus. The lamp clearly wasn’t on the table when I stopped focussing, and it toppled over onto the desk.
“Well that worked well,” I said to myself.
“You’ll get the hang of it,” Robert said, moving to give me a hug. I shook my head. I was in no mood for a hug, least of all from the man, if you could call him that, who seemed to be enjoying the fact that I was suffering from some breakdown. Hallucinations, that’s what it had to be. I was so confused, my head was spinning. I could feel my legs going weak. Next thing I knew, I was falling and Robert was catching me in his strong arms.
“What happened?” he asked, worried.
“I don’t know,” I replied, slightly surprised by the events. “I mean one minute I was in a fit of anger. Next thing I know, you’re lifting me off the floor.”
He grinned. “Bet that wasn’t a position you expected to find yourself in.”
I pulled myself out of his arms. “No. And it’s not one I want to be in again either.”
“Well there’s no need to be so touchy,” he said with a grin.
“And you can stop with the grinning too Mr,” I snapped. “I’m not in the mood for this.”
“Well I’m hardly used to having guys falling into my arms every day you know,” he said.
I stood up and pushed him off me. “Oh really. You’re certainly a cute guy so I don’t think you’re going to have any problems.”
“You’d be surprised,” he said. “You were the first guy to kiss me in several years.”
I laughed. “Correction, you kissed me.”
“True,” he said, grinning. “And I seem to remember you didn’t exactly push me away.”
I sighed. I knew he was right. I did want him, but right now I was more worried about what was happening to me.
“What is happening to me?” I sobbed, feeling my emotions rising up again. However I was determined to control it this time.
“I think you have a power that is growing,” he said calmly. “But it doesn’t seem like a vampire power. I may be wrong though.”
I glared at him. “Ok, so you think I’m some other mythical being, like a bloody vampire?”
“Do I seem like a stereotypical vampire to you?” he asked.
“No,” I said. The idea of him being anything like Dracula was diabolical. He was too perfect to be evil, which after all is what vampires were supposed to be.
“Does this mean we’re evil?” I asked.
He grinned. “Do you feel evil?”
I shook my head.
“Well then,” he said. “You are exactly the same.”
“Just completely different,” I said. I sighed. It had been one hell of a revelation.
Robert seemed more interested in what he felt was my new power, something that wasn’t vampiric in any way. He was muttering to himself. I tried not to listen. I was feeling too tired and pissed off with him for being there without being invited. I picked out a few words from him, but I chose to ignore them. But one word did keep getting mentioned. He kept using the word “magic”. This word did bother me, but for the moment I wasn’t sure why.