He shrugged. “Give or take, I think so. Anyway, I brought you here to make you an offer.”
“What sort of offer?” she asked, wary.
He looked thoughtful, as if he was considering how to phrase it. He absent-mindedly took a small box out of his pocket, flipped it open and took something out of it, placing it between his lips before putting the box away. It took Beth a few moments to realise it was a cigarette. It seemed to light automatically.
“You smoke?” she asked. He hadn’t seemed the... smoking type. Not that that made any sense whatsoever.
“If I recall, you used to find it hilarious. Not that it matters at this particular moment. Do you really want to know if you are with child?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted after a little while. “What would it change?”
“Nothing, really. Not much, anyway. Not for a little while. How far in do you think you are?”
“About two months.”
“I see. Well, it’ll be nine months before the child is due.”
Beth frowned at him slightly. “Do you mean seven?”
“I know how to count to eleven, Beth.”
“Why eleven?” she asked, her frown deepening.
“You know you’re not human, don’t you?” He raised a slightly patronising eyebrow at her.
“I didn’t know witches had a different pregnancy.”
He laughed. “Witches? Irrelevant.” After his laughter died down, he murmured to himself, “Witches,” and chuckled a bit more. “No, my dear, you are no witch.”
“But what? Your love said so? Robert may be a powerful vampire but he isn’t entirely familiar in the blood of the Forest. Nor its powers. You find magic easy to access, yes?”
“It always happens by accident, I never mean to use it.”
“Precisely my point. Witches require years of training. Even Robert should have known that; his sister was one.”
“You knew Angelina?”
“I met her spirit once. But you are no witch, Beth; let no one tell you otherwise. You’re not truly a mortal either.”
“What is a ‘mortal’? It makes you sound incredibly arrogant,” she noted.
“That’s because I am incredibly arrogant,” he grinned. “A mortal race is commonly defined as one that will die of old age; humans, vampires, witches, lycanthropes, dwarves, just to give a few examples.”
“So... I’m never going to die?” she asked, her voice trembling.
“I never said that, not at all...” he trailed, his eyes glazing over.
His hand crept up and clutched at his shirt, just above his heart. His eyelids fluttered closed and he took in a deep breath.
After a few moments, he released his shirt and his eyes opened.
“No, even non-mortals die. Whether it’s disease, an accident... or on the end of a blade, everything dies in the end. Almost everything anyway.”
She looked at him silently. He must have lost someone.
“How do you know all this? What are you?” she quietly said.
“I’m the same as you, though a little different.”
“We are of the same blood, but not from the same location. It is not my place to say more.”
“Then whose is it?” Beth asked.