Gabriel frowned as the dim passageway began to spiral down, as he moved he realized he must have passed at least twenty floors. As the tunnel began to straighten out he slowed dimming the magickal light he held. He saw light ahead shining through another tapestry.
“So,” a voice said from the other side “Lou's definitely back.” The woman’s words were followed by a sharp thud.
“I saw him myself.” A second male voice added something hissed and Gabriel moved a little closer putting out his light.
“Veman” the woman laughed “you saw at least five different shapeshifters posing as him and you said they were the real thing.”
“They were convincing.” The man said trying to sound confident.
“Nothing like the real thing” the woman said Gabriel could hear the smile in her voice. “So how many?” she added. Gabriel flinched as something metal and heavy slammed down on a wooden surface.
“Two hundred,” the man said “it has to be from Lou's stores.”
“And the blood drinkers?” the woman asked.
“I don’t know.” Gabriel saw a shadow pass the tapestry. “I don’t know how to tell.” The woman laughed.
“Maybe our visitor in the tunnel can assist.” The woman pulled back the tapestry and Gabriel winced as the light blinded him he raised his hands ready to defend himself. “Come on, don’t hang around in there, someone will think you're up to mischief.” Gabriel lowered his hands warily, blinking he stepped forward into a huge kitchen
“Hey,” he muttered a little embarrassed about getting caught.
“Hi,” the big built but short man stretched out a hand, long, black claws tipped his fingers and Gabriel took it.
“This is Veman.” The woman said “he's the night chef.”
“And you?” Gabriel asked the woman was dressed in red her copper hair hung down just past her shoulders, deep purple-red eyes looked him over slowly.
“I'm Jules.” She smiled.
“Gabriel.” The vampyre said as Jules refused his offered hand.
“Can you sort a query for us?” Veman said pulling out four bottles from a cool box on the floor.
Gabriel felt his heart speed up, he smelt blood as Veman began to open the bottles. “Which one is best?” he asked Gabriel saw labels with indiscernible symbols on and he frowned. Jules noticed and pointed to each bottle in turn.
“A, B, O and not sure.” She laughed.
“Gabriel moved each bottle apart from the others he knew Veman and Jules watched him.
“Best for what?” Gabriel asked.
“For you and your friends.” Veman said “so we know what to get next time.”
“I don’t know what they like.” Gabriel said he closed his eyes for a moment the smell of the bottles was niggling at him.
“Gabriel,” Lou's voice cut through the sounds of the kitchen, as the daemon threw the door open. The vampyre just looked at him then at Dawn who stood behind him.
“What are you doing down here?” Dawn growled.
“Helping me, sires.” Veman said
“Helping?” Lou said frowned Veman.
“He’s helping with quality control.” Veman smiled “I don’t want to feed them rubbish and make them ill.” He flashed a look at Gabriel who nodded.
“Alright,” Lou said doubtfully. “I will believe you this time but consider carefully the consequences of lying to me, Veman.”
“Of course, sire.” Veman smiled.
“This one.” Gabriel said moving the bottle with the unknown blood type.
“That’s the best?” Veman asked.
“No,” Gabriel said “it’s the same as that one.” He pointed at the O bottle.
“Oh,” Veman said “so which is the best?”
“None of them,” Gabriel said honestly. “They’ve been open for too long.” Dawn smiled as the chef turned a shade of pink that clashed with his red hair.
“Okay, we’ll try again in the morning.” He said.
“I thought you were the night chef.” Gabriel frowned
“I am,” Veman said “its always night down here and I like to work for as long as I can stay awake.”
“He can keep going for around four days.” Jules said Veman nodded.
Lou looked at the pair for a moment then sighed.
“Come on, let’s go.” He said.
Gabriel was quiet as he, Lou and Dawn walked back to the bedrooms. Gabriel turned to close his door but Lou pushed it back.
“Gabriel, I know Veman was lying to me.” He said as Gabriel's blue eyes glared at him. “I will let it go if you tell me what you were doing” Gabriel turned away a look of disgust on his face.
“I will tell you nothing.” He snapped “and I will be leaving as soon as possible.”
“What?” Lou cried “why?”
“Because I will not be followed when I go for a walk and I will not be kept in the dark when it concerns the safety of my family.”
“What have I kept from you?” Lou asked Gabriel raised thin eyebrows and stared at him. “Alright," Lou gave in "I will tell you what's going on, okay?”
“And stop following me?” Gabriel snarled Lou reluctantly nodded.
“On the condition that you tell someone if you're going so we don’t worry,” Lou said “you are on the top wanted list at the moment.”