Blaine answered the door. It was past the time most people would visit, so it was either a lost person, or an emergency.
It turned out to be neither. Blaine raised one eyebrow, but did not step aside to let the visitor in.
“Hey Nicole. Did your high horse get lost and happen to dump you off on my doorstep?” Blaine inquired, grinning.
“Laugh it up, if you want. Can I come in?” she started towards the entrance but halted when realizing he did not move.
“Prefer if you didn’t. I really have nothing to talk to you about that would take long enough to go through the motions. On that note: what do you want?”
She fidgeted a little, which was unusual for her prim and proper ways.
“You have to fix this.”
“Fix what? If anything in your house is broken, normal people call a contractor. If it’s not your house, call someone who cares, cos I am not the right address, pussycat.”
“Don’t call me that! I deserve some respect, even from the likes of … ummm … what I meant to ask was, no, what I am here to say is … well … you have to turn me back.”
Blaine laughed loudly. I now appeared behind him, Vivian too.
“What is … Nicole? Come on inside. Blaine…?” I shook my head at him and gently pulled him aside, gesturing Nicole into the living room. Once we all sat, she started again.
“Do you know what your husband did?”
“You have to be more specific.”
“Okay. This!” she pointed at her fangs.
“Oh, right. That. OK, and how can we help?” I asked. This is when Blaine nudged me, and said “This is gonna be good!” then grinned. Nicole shot him a ‘drop dead’ look.
“I need him, or you, to undo this. Turn me back. This is causing countless hardships in my life and I simply cannot afford to be dilly-dallying my life away like this. You broke it, you fix it!”
“What? What do you mean no?”
“No, niente, nada, not gonna happen.”
“You HAVE to!”
“The beauty of it is that I don’t.”
“I am going to make you pay for this.”
“Good luck. That will be like reaching into a naked man’s pockets.” Blaine laughed.
“Please. I am pleading with you for my livelihood. How am I supposed to run a business and make my scheduled crowd appearances if I can only operate at night?”
“To say it in the words of the great James Dean ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a f*ck.'”.
“That was Rhett Butler and it’s damn, not fu.. well, not that.” Nicole corrected.
“I don’t give damns or f*cks about you. Which I am pretty convinced is a mutual feeling.”
“So you refuse?”
“With great passion.”
“Ok, what about you, Viktoria? Do you have the sense to see the whole ramifications of this peculiar situation and will help me?”
“I wish I could, but I really cannot. Awfully sorry.”
“So what am I supposed to do now?”
Blaine answered for me.
“My suggestion would be to walk your arrogant skinny little ass back out that door and never come back. We wouldn’t want you to catch a case of the poor & dirties now, right?”
Oh Blaine. A part of me wanted to be polite, the other part was amused as heck about this exchange.
Nicole stood up and stomped out, slamming the door shut behind her.
I got the worst headache of a sudden, about three days after Nicole’s drive by visit. When I finally tried to relax, I heard a voice. No, really. Finally it became clearer.
“Hello, my dear, how are you tonight?”
OK, this was – by far – the worst obscene caller I ever got.
“Indeed. I will come straight to the point of my calling. Please come see me at your earliest convenience. Which, since you are fairly new still and I have never summoned you directly, means right now. I will await your arrival eagerly.”
The headache ended and evidently so did the ‘transmission’. Great. I quickly told Blaine, who offered to go with, but I preferred him to stay with our child.
The usual routine awaited me upon arrival, the heavy front door swung open, then fell shut behind me without a person in sight. Suddenly there was the Count, just this time I did not jump. The usual niceties were exchanged, I was lead into a gaudy sitting room, offered beverages, until he finally, at long last, started getting to the reason of it all.
“Do you have any idea why I may have called you here tonight, my dear?”
“No. Your daughter is making satisfactory progress, more than satisfactory indeed. No, the reason I have invited you here is to make an introduction.”
“My dearest Viktoria, I am not in the mood to play the usual game of you working yourself up about my choice of words, pretend not to know what I am talking about until we go round and round. I want you to introduce me to somebody. That is not hard to understand. In any century.”
“I am sorry, I just do not know who I could …”
“Please, it is ‘whom’ and I am talking about a beautiful young vampire, whoM I would like to meet.”
“Ok, I think I may not have had enough coffee tonight. I am still lost here.” I took a sip of said beverage, which he had offered initially.
“Oh for heavens sake! I would like to meet Miss Nicole Vanderbilt. And I would like you to make the introduction!” he grew more and more impatient.
I nearly spewed out all the coffee I had just sipped. Was the old Grinch serious!?
“Nicole Vanderbilt?! Why?”
“As I have told you before, I am not in the habit of explaining my requests to my subjects, but if you must know, I have looked into her history and must admit I am quite enamored. What a cunning mind, for such a beautiful dame. Wealth, power and the strength to do whatever it takes to achieve what you want. Splendid! She and I would be a match the world has never seen.”
I burst into laughter before I could help it, which was muffled when I saw his angry expression.
“Sorry. I thought you were joking. You want to … date her?”
“My dear Viktoria, you should know by now that I never jest. And ‘date her’? Tssk! I prefer to call it something more respectful, but know the modern language and yes, I believe that is what you call it these days. Date her. I wish to date her.”
I had to try very hard to suppress another outburst, so the rest of the conversation was mostly dominated by the vampire elder. When I was finally and as abruptly as usual, dismissed, I nearly ran down the street, where I stopped and laughed till I cried. Yeah, now I REALLY had heard it all. What a dream team.
My phone buzzed. A message from Addy. I texted back, she followed up with a call. I ended up visiting her. And told her. It was way to good to pass up. Casey was there too and all three of us ended up holding our bellies with laughter.
“Nice mess I am in here, and all you two can do is laugh.”
“You’re laughing too!”
“Yeah, until I realize that I have no clue what to do. I can hardly play matchmaker for that witch and the weirdo.”
“Why not?! OMG Mom, you HAVE to! Please I am begging you, do it!” Adrianna clapped her hands excitedly.
Yeah, Mom did it. I will spare you the hideous details. Naturally Nicole was less than amused, until I mentioned that he was filthy rich, powerful and able to potentially turn her back into a human. Which he of course had no intentions to do, but that was between her and her new beau to discuss, I would certainly not tell her. And guess what, she agreed to meet him. I could already hear the wedding bells. Thing was, once she was in his home, luxuries such as a right to choose and free will were coat checked. You had it for as long as the old creep allowed it. If he was set on marrying her, they would be married. BWAHAHAHAHA. Sorry.
Did I feel guilty for delivering the sparrow to the cat? Not even an ounce of guilt. Nope. To me, Nicole had never been anything other than a mean interference. And the more I talked to Addy about her, the more I came to the conclusion that Marco may have had his problems before, but meeting her was what signed his fate. I would not put it as bluntly as Addy had, that she indirectly killed Marco, but she was not innocent in the matter. And another thing. If he got his hands on her, maybe he would want to procreate meaning I could get my own daughter free from his grip, and he could make his own spawn to groom for greatness. And maybe, just maybe that would mean he would not want Marco’s children, so one of us could take them in and they would no longer be exposed to their evil mother. Hope, as they said, dies last.
Blaine looked off when I got home, he sat on the couch, holding some official looking letter. Uh oh, those were rarely good news. Evidently, as he told me, his biological father had died.
“When is the funeral?”
“Are you going?”
“Maybe you should, for closure…”
“Vik, that man is a stranger to me. The only time he had anything at all to do with me is when he impregnated my mother. That was literally the one and only interaction he and I had. I am not going and that’s that. Now, if you feel sorry for me and want to make me feel better, I have some suggestions …”