Ardal was... unlike anything I’d ever seen.  Opal was lithe and beautiful, but he was stunning.  He was not tall, maybe an inch more than me, and his nondescript clothes fitted loosely but well about his slightly stocky frame.  His hair was dark, and cut to form a kind of mane.  His eyes were piercing and bright green, and his skin was smooth and pale.  This was a vampyr if ever I’d seen one.

As I was sizing him up, he was returning the favour.  Once he’d seemingly ascertained that I was no threat, he stepped forward and held out his hand.  “Fabia, I do apologise.  Lovely to meet you.”  I shook the proffered hand cautiously. “And you,” I muttered.  Despite his beauty, my instincts were all telling me to get very far away from this powerful creature.  However, my curiosity overcame them – again.  “So you live here with Opal?” I asked, by way of making conversation.

“Yes, for my sins.” He flashed me a grin. “The rent is less if you split it, and her company, while occasionally onerous, is mostly amusing, I grant her.”  He had a slight lilt to his voice – Irish? I couldn’t tell. “Scottish,” he clarified.  I blushed – or would have.  Yet another thing I could no longer do.  Opal intervened.  “He gets asked that a lot – weird, huh?” Ardal rolled his eyes.

“So, will you be stopping here with us for a time, or is this just a social call?” he enquired.  I looked beseechingly at Opal.  “Well,” she began...

The End

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