Gabriel knelt down and removed his pack, setting it before him. He peered around through the darkened wood, alert to the movement of shadows and the soft sounds surrounding him. A quiet night, he mused, turning his attentions back to the pack and its contents.
Softly he hissed, "Wasted too many canisters." Gabriel shook his head, thinking back on his most recent job which involved a small horde of zombies threatening one of the larger villages. He'd lured them into the main square and blasted the lot of them to pieces, and much of the square with them, much to the horror and anger of the villagers.
"Lousy ingrates," he snorted, having then had to run from a mob that moved much faster than zombies and were much better at throwing things. Large, sharp, and nasty things.
Which led him to here, wherever here was. Going into a forest at night and all alone was generally not a good idea, and according to many Hunters, a downright stupid one. "Well too late for that now," Gabriel muttered, since he was in rather deep now and wouldn't have been able to find his way back even if he'd wanted to.
He pulled out a map and a small torch, which after another brief look around, carefully lit to a dull glow and began to peer over the map in his hand. Gabriel quickly located the village he'd "saved," and the long stretch of forest beyond it.
According to the map, there was a road that cut through the wide band of trees, and though it was hard to tell on this crude bit of parchment, that he'd picked up rather cheaply to save a few coins, there might even be a village or two nestled within.
"Great," Gabriel said with a proud smirk, "now all I have to do is find the road or the village, and restock in the morning." And with that as his strategy, the young man stowed away his gear once more and proceeded on through the forest.
* * * * *
Victor Mihalache, or Lord Mihalache to those who valued the use of their tongue, sat on his rather large throne in his rather large throne room. A pair of black Borzoi sat on either side of him and he stroked the one on his left with his long fingers. The Vampire lord seemed bored, and there was some truth in that. Mihalache Castle had been feeling empty lately and while he held a sort of affection for his loyal pets, they weren't enough. The hundreds of servants didn't even count as far as he was concerned.
Finally, Victor stood and moved his platinum blonde hair behind his right shoulder. "I need to start my legacy," he said decidedly. Both Borzois wagged their tails as if to approve of this decision. The Vampire lord called upon an errand boy, but one of his groundskeepers showed up instead. He was displeased by this. However, he was willing to hear what the man had to say.
"Lord Mihalache," he began timidly. "A stranger has been spotted in your forest. He seems to be making his way toward the village."
Victor pondered this news and decided to use it to his advantage. Maybe this stranger was just what he needed. "I will see to the stranger myself," he said and walked out, the soles of his boots clicking loudly until they were just an echo and then disappeared all together.
* * * * *
Gabriel crouched down low among the brush, his trained ears having picked up on the sounds of civilization. However, in today's day and age, any Hunter worth their weight knew better than to just saunter on in and expect to be welcomed with open arms.
The people down below might be ghouls in disguise or angry spirits. Though as he took in the quiet village, he was at least content that a lack of movement in the darkness meant that all good little human men and women were likely tucked away safe and sound in bed.
His sights trailed on further and he was startled to only then notice the great palace, standing like some dark nightmare. Gabriel ground his teeth tightly, knowing that places such as that usually only catered to a very select sort.
"Damn it, let it just be some eccentric old fool," he muttered. His empty stomach uttered a loud sound, and Gabriel then decided that he would take his chances. At least long enough to check out the local tavern and grab a meal. Slowly he crept on down the slopping tree line and into the village.
Victor waited at the base of the steep hill. The small village over which he reigned was surrounded by them on all sides, which probably discouraged anyone from leaving, along with the many hardships they would have to face if they did. Thick forests made up the north, east, and south border, and in them were many terrific creatures that would no doubt eat them on sight. To the west was a wasteland that only a fool would try to cross. If one good thing could be said about the Vampire lord, it was that he protected his people from the many monsters of the world.
He frowned at Gabriel once the man slid the rest of the way down the hill. The sight was a bit menacing with the tall creature standing in front of the gate to his village, arms crossed over his chest, pale skin aglow under the moon, and bright piercing blue eyes. "I may be old," he said, "But I am neither eccentric nor a fool. I might say that you are one, though. What kind of…" Victor sniffed the air briefly. "Human goes wandering through the woods this late at night?"
"Uh, a lost one?" Gabriel replied waspishly, glowering at the tall and stately man barring the way. No, not a man, he told himself, definitely something else. More than likely a Vampire, and of course he hadn't been equipped to take on one of those handsome brutes tonight.
Briefly Gabriel wondered if it might be possible that the Vampire wouldn't guess that he was a Hunter, but he sincerely doubted it. Again grinding his teeth together, it was with slow certainty that Gabriel accepted that his fate lie entirely within this creature's hands right then. Would he be permitted to turn around and take his chances in the woods again, or would the Vampire kill him right then and eliminate a possible threat?
"Obviously." Victor scanned the stranger from head to toe. It was indeed easy to tell he was a Hunter, what with the strange equipment he carried and the pungent smell of dead monsters all over his person. Victor could smell something else as well; something unseen by the naked eye, and it caused the tiniest of smirks to pull at the corner of his mouth.
"I am Lord Mihalache. You will address me as such when in my presence. You may tell me your name, but I doubt I'll much care." The Vampire lord turned and gestured over his shoulder for Gabriel to follow. "My village is small and on the poor side, but tonight you are a guest. You will eat dinner with me. I also insist you stay until morning. At least then it will be safer to travel through my forest."
"Right, Mihalache," Gabriel grumbled, casting a look of longing back to the dark woods, contemplating taking his chances there rather than in the Vampire's castle.
But would he even get that far if he chose to run now? Gabriel shook his head and let his shoulders sag in defeat, and turned his spiteful glare to the taller creature's back, "Name's Gabriel Silver... leaf. Gabriel Silverleaf." He winced a little and chewed on his lower lip. Having no idea just how old the Vampire was, it may well be best not toss out his real name. "Just make sure that doesn't end up written down on the menu," he said, hoping to cover up his hesitation.
"Lord Mihalache," he corrected with a soft growl. "The heart picks up speed when one lies, you know. As I said before, though, I don't much care anyway." Victor's upper lip curled in disgust. "I don't eat humans. I drink from them, and not always to kill. I would have an empty kingdom if I did that."
The tall blonde creature leads his human guest through the village. It was laid in grey cobblestone with small wooden houses and various shops lined up in surprisingly neat rows. In the center of town was a grand fountain that glowed with water that seemed to be tinted with gold. The castle grew more and more immense the closer they got. It was a regal structure, but in its own cultic way. Many black towers twisted high up into the sky. Jagged ornamentation served as perches for fantastic gargoyles that kept eye over the village below.
The grand front doors were opened for them. Inside was a long hall lined with torches and old paintings. It seemed to go on forever, but Victor just kept walking.
Gabriel rolled his eyes as the Lord corrected him, and sank deeper into his long brown coat as he was called out on his bluff. Quickly he went through all the information he'd gleaned over the years about Vampires, and found that there really wasn't much for him to go through. Not for the first time in his dangerous career did he regret not having studied harder and perhaps specializing in one particular monster over another.
However, taking a look around the village that he was led through, he had to admit that it looked to be a pretty nice little place. Perhaps not much of a kingdom as his host had described it, but it was in better state and order than many of the places he'd passed through. It might even be better than some cities, but of course he wasn't about to commend a Vampire on his ability to look after his people… or maybe that should be cattle. Well-tended to livestock meant better flavor, right?
His pale green eyes grew wide as the castle loomed before them, and he wished for a moment that he could stop and stare at a few of those gargoyles, wanting to know if they were the sort that came alive. If such was the case, he may have another problem on his hands. And was he actually going in? Gabriel fought down the little voice screaming at him to turn and give flight, to take his chances on the run, instead of wandering steadily into the belly of the beast.
Over the threshold his feet took him, and he peered at the paintings along the walls, "Relatives?" he asked, assessing some of the portraits they passed, and feeling a need to break the silence. It was a nice place, but too darn quiet.
"Yes," he answered simply. Victor gestured to the end of the hall they had come from with his right hand. "My great grandfather of twelve generations passed was the first portrait you saw. All the men hang on this side." He then gestured airily to the left. "These are the women of the family. They have all long since died." They finally reached the end of the hall where he took pause in front of the last portrait.
At first glance it appeared to be a woman with brilliant, long, black curls. Her blue eyes were lidded with heavy eyelashes, a beauty mark beneath the left. She had a thin, gradually sloping nose and full lips. She sat posed in a velvet chair in front of a garden wearing a midnight blue dress obviously made for ladies of royalty. "This is my late wife. He was different, as you can tell. His beauty was astounding and I was the only one who appreciated it. Sadly he was struck with pneumonia and died forty years ago."
There was a brief pause and Victor began walking again. "Do you like swine?" he asked, voice flat and casual as if anything he just said hadn't meant anything.
"Guess that's too bad," Gabriel murmured as he took in the family members as best he could during their long trek. It appeared to be quite a rich and extensive family tree, and for them all to be dead, well, that was a little sad. Even if they were blood sucking fiends? Well, everybody deserved a bit of family.
When they paused in front of the last portrait, Gabriel found himself staring at both the beautiful painting and at his host, curious as to why this information was being granted to him. There certainly wasn't any likeness between himself and this… man? Gabriel blinked owlishly and turned all his attention then to the portrait. He'd never have guessed that the regal beauty sitting there was anything but a lady of high society and breeding.
"H-he really was beautiful," Gabriel muttered, and felt that it was a shame for someone so unique and lovely could be taken from the world.
When Victor began to walk again, Gabriel had to pull his eyes from the picture and jogged to meet up with the Vampire's pace again. "Swine? Uh, to eat and if they're cooked."
"Good, because that is what we are eating. I'll tell the chefs to cook yours for you."
In about thirty minutes time they were both seated in the dining hall. The table was long enough to sit at least fifty people and was made of black stained redwood. Overhead was a large chandelier burning brightly with hundreds of candles. There were marble statues in every corner and they appeared to come from a place far to the east, maybe even the Isles. Various fruits and breads were spread over the table for them to eat until the main course arrived.
Victor poured the dark red wine into Gabriel's cup until it was practically brimming over. He then leaned back into his own chair and began to pet the heads of his faithful Borzoi.
As Gabriel popped pieces of fruit into his mouth and took deep pulls of the wine, he let his eyes roam over the beautiful and impressive dining hall. Did all Vampires live this good? It was the likes of royalty, and he couldn't help but find himself actually feeling self conscious in sitting there with his dusty brown coat and tattered clothing that surely reeked of burnt zombies.
He didn't bother to remove any of his clothing however, as even though that tiny voice of reason and training screamed at him to stop stuffing his face with the enemy's food, he didn't think it would be a good idea to not have his weapons, however meager they might be, close at hand.
"This is really some set up you've got here, Mihalache," he stated, finishing off the glass of wine and licking his lips happily. "But, is it just you and your servants and your dogs?" he eyed the handsome, finely structured dog, "They're not Were, are they?" he asked, looking back up at Mihalache and into those striking blue eyes.
"Lord Mihalache," he growled again. "And thank you. My ancestors built this castle from the ground up and obtained many of the treasures through trade and great wealth. More wine?" He filled the glass again without waiting for an answer. "Yes, although my servants are not to be in my presence unless I request it of them. No, my pets are no Were. I don't stand for those filthy mix-bloods in my home, much less my territory."
Gabriel appeared to ignore the growl and admonishment, instead looking to the wine within his glass, letting it swirl about carefully before he brought it to his lips. A rosy flush was rising in his cheeks, and that little voice of reason was growing quiet now.
"Seems kind of lonely," he mused, looking up and down the other forty-eight seats. The place looked like it should be bustling with life, with guests and family, a feast laden upon the table each night.
Gabriel lifted a brow at the distaste his host expressed on Weres. He'd successfully hunted a few in the past, though unfortunately had the scars to show that it had been a rough gig. "So you're pure blood or something? I thought that Vampires, like, took humans and made them into blood suckers. Do you actually have little baby blood suckers instead?"
The Vampire lord rolled his eyes. This one was obviously a light weight. "I find that term offensive, but yes. All Vampires are pure bloods. Once you are bitten and transformed, you are no longer a human. Weres are two halves to a pitiful incomplete whole." He sipped at his own wine, the dark liquid flowing over his thin lips and spilling down his throat. One of his long fingers dipped into the glass and was brought back out for his dogs to lick at.
"The answer to your second question is also yes. We Vampires are perfectly capable of reproducing, but even if they are born of a human, they too are full blooded Vampires." Victor raised a curious eyebrow. "I thought a man of your obvious profession would know more than you do?"
Did the Vampire just roll his eyes at him? Gabriel hid a smile by taking another sip of his wine. Unfortunately while he did enjoy his drink, he was never able to indulge in too much of it, and since he usually couldn't afford it, that didn't seem to matter much; until now, when his glass kept being refilled by such a tasty and rich caliber of wine.
"Hm, guess you got a point there," he said, thinking on what it must be like to be a beast one moment, a human the next? They must go insane after a while. Gabriel watched as the pets were given a sampling of the wine and again remarked privately on how decadent this all seemed, for even dogs got good wine here.
Gabriel winced, "Uh, yeah well," he seemed to sulk then, "I never really expected to go after a Vampire this early on. I know, or at least I think I know, that you guys are like older than you appear, but I'm still a young guy. Not to say that I haven't had my share of trouble and kills, but I was kinda hoping to wait a few more years before I tried staking myself a Vampire." It was hard to tell if he was always this bold and careless with his words, or if it was the wine that had loosened his tongue to such recklessness.
"I wasn't aware you were 'going after me.' Although, you are more than welcome to try. Taking on a Vampire is foolish, I must warn you. We are formidable breed. It is quite difficult to injure us, and don't think that garlic and wooden streaks are going to do the trick. Garlic is one of my favorite spices and giving me chest splinters wouldn't be in your best interest."
Normally, Victor would have been incredibly insulted and maybe even a bit enraged by such bold, vagrant boasting about hunting Vampires. However he decided to let it pass seeing as how the young man was drunk. Not to mention Victor needed him.
"Tell me, human, exactly how old do you think I am?"
"Well, maybe not right now, but in a few years I could become some great Vampire Hunter, you never know." Gabriel smirked, confident in his abilities, although he had to admit that his ego did take a little bashing as he just learned that wooden stakes and garlic didn't work after all.
What about silver? A good ol' beheading? Though of course, he'd have to be able to get close enough to take off a Vampire's head. Try them when they're sleeping, he concluded and smiled proudly, beginning to wonder if maybe he should get his Vampire slaying career off to a rousing start by taking his host's head when the sun came up tomorrow. Draining the last of his current glass of wine, he mused that it would be a bit of a shame to remove such a nice head.
"Uh, how old?" he blinked, drifting back from his daydreams, "Oh, I dunno. Could be hundreds of years old for all I know. Then again, maybe you're just a fledgling Vampire, no older than my human years." Absently he scratched at the mark upon his chest, carefully concealed under his clothes. How many generations of his family had possessed the same mark, did they match this Vampire's years? He really hoped not.
"I am 68, but I am no fledgling. By the smell of you I would guess you were near twenty years of age. Such a young thing like you should not be out in the woods at night all alone. Terrible things could befall you. You could be eaten or worse... You could even be strung up like some creature's play-thing."
That was when their food arrived. Gabriel was presented with roasted pork and potatoes, the meat neatly sliced and quite edible looking. Victor, on the other hand, had a whole pig set in front of him. Of course, there was no head on it. He had done the gentlemanly thing and waited until Gabriel's dinner arrived, seeing as how his own was raw and could have been eaten at any time. "There are butter and gravy if you like," he offered while picking up a plump hind leg and biting right into it.
Gabriel squirmed at that, as becoming some night crawler's toy was really the last thing he wanted. Being eaten he could deal with, it was probably painful and unpleasant, but at least he wouldn't have to bear the humility of having the family curse activated. Again he scratched the symbol emblazoned on his chest.
"Well, uh, it wasn't exactly my intention to be out there this late. Just, things got a little rough from my last job and I had to make a break for it," the young man then realized that maybe he should be thanking the Gods for his stroke of luck. Nothing had caught him in the woods, to eat him or play with him, and he'd found himself in some truly fancy digs, with great wine, and good food. Granted the host he was with wouldn't have been his first choice, but the blood sucker seemed like an okay guy.
"Uh, thanks," Gabriel said, reaching for the condiments offered to him, staring at the raw, whole pig in front of Victor. It rather brought home just what the other man truly was beneath those fine clothes and handsome exterior. Cutting up his own pork and shoving a good sized chunk into his mouth, he watched Victor, his own appetite not in the least diminished by the sight, but he was curious.
"It's horribly impolite to stare at others while they eat," the Vampire lord commented while dabbing his mouth with a napkin. The pale plump swine seemed to be sautéing in a red sauce, but anyone with half a brain knew what it really was. The gleam in his pearly fangs was also a strong indicator.
"Do you always scratch yourself when you're nervous? If it's because you have fleas, what from roaming around in the woods, I'll have you thoroughly cleansed so as not to infect my pets. It not, then I implore you to stop. It's... gross. Also, take smaller bites. You look like a barbarian horfing your food down like that. It might taste better if you actually chew."
"I've just never seen a Vampire eat. Thought they only took in blood through sucking, and only from humans," Gabriel replied, feeling chastised and he turned his sights down to his own meal briefly. Snapping that pale gaze up again when the Vampire spoke again.
Gabriel's cheeks burned with anger and humility, the Vampire's words made him out to be some half-wit from the hills. "I do not have fleas!" he ground out, though did notably cut his meat into smaller, more appropriately sized portions. "It's just… a nervous tic," he grumbled, and for the most part it was. "And if you want to get into what's gross, you're eating a blood soaked raw pig!"
"My diet is necessary; scratching your self is not. At least I have manners when I eat."
Victor took a bite from the second hind leg, the first having been devoured to the bone. The expression on his face never seemed to change. The man was very stoic, only raising an eyebrow now and then when the human did something he found interesting. He made it a point to sit up straight with his shoulders back, and while Gabriel seemed insistent on slouching over his food and wearing his coat to the dinner table, the lord was willing to forgive him.
But just this once.
"There are many misconceptions about us. We take blood and meat where we can get it."
"And apparently raw," Gabriel replied, finding this man's pompous airs to be rather irritating. Again, the Hunter had to remind himself that this was a Vampire, and likely to rip out his throat if he crossed him. Funny, he seemed to have to keep reminding himself of that.
"Well excuse me for not having a stick up my ass, if that constitutes having manners." Vampire, remember? Killing you in an instant? Gabriel's conscience honestly wondered why it even bothered sometimes.
Without any warning, there came a loud slap and blood trickled down Gabriel's cheek from the cuts caused by Victor's sharp nails. He stared at the young man with blazing eyes and curled lips, letting out a warning hiss. Both Borzois were also on their feet and growling. "You'll do well to hold your tongue, you worm!"
Gabriel could drink all the wine in the world, but it would be no excuse for an insult like that. Victor took pride in his nobility and would not be mocked by a dirty little vagrant. "I've been incredibly gracious to you so far. I brought you into my home and allowed you to take part of my food and wine. I could have left you out there to perish at the hands of your own nightmares! I could have accused you of being a trespasser and killed you on sight! I think you should try to be more grateful."
Gabriel felt his ears ring for a moment, the slap leaving him dazed. He brought his hand up slowly to his cheek, the fingers coming away bloodied. His conscious did a little victory dance, and seemed to keep saying, "I told you so."
"It's just weird though," Gabriel replied meekly, sinking down in his coat and staring up at the tall, pale creature with the burning blue eyes. "That you would invite me in and feed me. I'm a Hunter after all, and you're one of the things I hunt, or could hunt, anyway," he muttered the last as an aside. "So it's weird. Are you just playing with your food, or…" he bit at his lips, "do you have some ulterior motive?" And Gabriel had to fight the urge to scratch at the mark again.
"Whatever I may or may not have planned is my business," he said and took his seat once more. The dogs also seemed to settle down almost immediately and sat back. "I do find you interesting, though. If you tried to run now, I would chase you down. I will admit to that." Victor poured another glass of wine for Gabriel. "In the mean time... enjoy yourself."
The young man's face twisted into a defiant pout, not liking that even though he was the one that this business concerned, or may not have concerned as the Vampire stated, he was being given no information.
"Fine, I'll play along, for now," Gabriel shot back boldly, lifting his chin rebelliously, his cheeks still marred from the Vampire's wrath. He recklessly took the filled glass and drained a good half of it in one go, sighing as he set it back down and fixed a smug, drunken smile upon his host. "So, what else do you have for fun around here, other than this?" he waved his glass around and hinted that it needed a bit more within it.
Victor smiled slightly and gladly filled the glass again. "Fun? Well, I have my pets. I paint, though I'm not very good. I read from my vast collection of books. I would be happy to show you my library if you're interested. I spend time out in my garden. There are both nocturnal and sun sensitive plants. You may remember seeing it in the painting of my late wife?"
It was a cliché plan. Get the man drunk, keep him entertained, make him feel comfortable, and then strike when his guard was down. Even Hunters had their limits. With enough alcohol in his blood and filled with enough good vibes, Gabriel would be easily seduced.
Or at least easily taken advantage of.
"Surely hunting isn't the only thing you do for fun?"
So that garden existed? Gabriel nodded to the question and smiled, his wine flushed cheeks growing a little darker as he had a secret fondness towards plants and flowers. If not for his proud lineage as a Hunter, it may have been in his calling to become a gardener, but that was a foolish dream.
He drank from the topped off glass a little slower this time, though had drained it to the last drop all the same. He knew that he was drunk now, and likely had been since a couple glasses previous, but he was already deep inside the Vampire's lair and had been told that he wouldn't be allowed to escape, so why not just do as his host suggested, and enjoy himself? The effects of the wine also helped to take the edge off being so angry at himself for not having put up a fight.
"Well it's not exactly for fun," Gabriel replied, his speech slurred but not so much that he'd become unintelligible, "It's a job. A job that doesn't leave me a whole lot of time for fun."
Victor smiled again. Perhaps genuinely. "I admire your love of a good wine. I am pleased by this. You dress less proper than I like to keep my company, but you seem intelligent enough. I would be even more pleased to know if you enjoyed music. I myself am rather fond of the cello."
He then reached for the second bottle of wine. The second bottle he'd always planned on using this night. It was promptly opened and their glasses filled all over again.
"Well I don't get to drink something like this very often, and as you said," he grinned and lifted his glass appreciatively, "I should enjoy. As for the clothes," he shrugged, "I didn't have a spare set with me, and sorry about the smell. Zombies don't exactly roll in a field of roses, you know." He laughed quietly at that, though he really had felt out of place in such a pitiful state of attire, not that he'd ever think for a moment that'd he be dining with a Vampire in a palace.
"Mmm, I tried learning the violin once," Gabriel replied casually, staring at his glass and knowing that his tongue was being loosened by the contents, "figured it might be a way to make some money on the side if the hunting ever got to be slim pickings. There's a lot of competition out there after all, but not a lot of the fine arts still going around."
"So you would say that there's a lack of the fine arts in the world? I would find that noble of you. I would even admire you for it, maybe respect you." Victor motioned for one of his servants, a young woman in a long black dress that came up around her neck and over her wrists. "We want music," he told her. She nodded and left. A few moments later a small ensemble formed in the room.
There were two violinists, three flutists, and seven cellists. The music started and the melody was one that was identified with the family. "My late wife and I used to dance almost every night. Can you dance?"
"Well, people are so scared at what's out there, that I guess they forget to appreciate the finer things in life," Gabriel replied, sipping his wine quietly as the servant girl came and went, noting briefly that she'd been rather pretty. He was impressed with the band that was so quickly gathered. Did his host have them on hand all the time? He smiled and closed his eyes as he let the melody flow through him. It had been so long since he'd heard music that did not involve some bawdry ballad sung by drunks in a crowded tavern.
"D-dance?" Gabriel opened his eyes and gulped, "Uh, I've got two left feet I'm afraid. And with this much wine in me, I might even have three." That had caught him off guard; he didn't think that such a noble, upstanding Vampire as this would want to get close to his ill-mannered, odorous self.
"I wasn't asking you to dance. I was only asking if you could. You're hardly dressed for the occasion anyway. I might consider dancing with you if you could manage to be turned into a gentleman."
Victor fell silent then. When there was music playing he preferred there to be no talking. He went back to eating and soon the pig was gone. All that was left was the carcass swimming in the leftover blood. He lifted the plate and carefully poured the blood into his wine glass. At this point he actually drank the liquid down in one gulp. The Vampire sighed contentedly and licked his lips.
"Oh." Gabriel blushed and drank some more wine. Of course Victor hadn't been asking him for a dance, that would be stupid… but then what was with the music and the setting? The young man pouted and kept his wine glass close.
This time he tried hard not to stare, just glanced over at Victor now and again as the Vampire finished his sizeable meal and then proceeded to take in the blood as well. Nice to see that nothing went to waste, he thought to himself, and sank a little lower into his chair. The music, the wine, and the full meal in his belly were making him a little sleepy.
Victor watched Gabriel this time as well. He could smell all the wine flowing through Gabriel's veins. He could hear Gabriel's heart slowing down. Best of all, he was becoming ever more aware of that lovely little place inside Gabriel. That little place that would harbor his precious offspring. All of this was much easier than Victor thought it would be. Once Gabriel was sent upstairs, given some sleep attire and effectively stripped of his weapons, the Vampire lord would make his move.
"You look tired. Shall I have Lucille show you to your room?"
"Lucille?" Gabriel asked, rubbing at an eye as he struggled to stay awake for just a little while longer. "Um, sure." He yawned widely, "Guess it's time for good little boys to go to bed."
"Yes, Lucille." The same woman from before came into the room. She approached her lord in humble silence and waited for his instructions. "Show our guest here to his room. He will be staying for the night. I also want you to give him some proper sleep clothes; the silk ones. See to it that his clothes are washed as well."
The woman nodded and turned to Gabriel. "If you would follow me, please, sir."
"Well, this is goodnight from me to you, Mihalache," Gabriel said as he rose unsteadily to his feet. Needing to brace himself upon the table to keep the room from spinning out from under him. "Dunno if I'll see you in the morning before I leave, but it's been… surreal."
He nodded, satisfied with himself for that, and went to follow the pretty raven haired girl. Trying his best not to trip over his own feet as he did so.
"Good night." Victor didn't bother to watch them go. He was content to sit and listen to the music.