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Monday, March 31, 2014

Le Minuit Chambre

            Le Minuit Chambre was more silent and tomb-like than usual, and the many servants of the Countess walked the hallways with terror in their step. For the few humans who served the dark lady, the feeling of deep consternation and scopaesthesia was simply the lay of the land, and yet since the visitor from abroad had appeared at the Countess’ side, the feelings had grown into a cacophony of dread.

            The Countess herself lay on top of the large bed that she had slept in since before France had become a country, her long, shapely limbs so heavily wrapped in silks and bandages that not a single inch of her skin touched the stale air. The Elizabethan wimple that she had never once lifted unless she was completely alone in her chambers cowled her face, and even though the only person present was a blind servant, she kept her face tucked beneath the folds of fabric.

            A slight draft ruffled the silks and Elizabeth’s eyes opened and turned towards the door, “Mathilde,” she hissed to her servant, “There is a draft again.”

            There was the sound of a body sliding to the floor and the Countess whirled with cat like speed to stare at the corpse of Mathilde where it lay sprawled across the carpet without so much as a drop of blood staining the embroidery.

            A laugh echoed around the chamber, and all at once Bey emerged from the shadows, his lips curled into a heartbreakingly beautiful smile, “Good evening, my lady. I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t resist a snack.”

            “Mathilde!” The countess stammered, offended less by the fact that her servant was dead and more at the massive inconvenience placed upon her to find and blind another. She turned her face to the intruder, and he could feel her scowl despite not being able to see her face, “You are most unwelcome, sir! I have put up with you and your…antics for as long as I am willing to.”

            Bey laughed, and the Countess cringed, her fingers involuntarily curling into balls, “You have been most accommodating, my lady, despite the fact that you are obliged to.” he sauntered easily over to her and gave her a slow smile, “But I am your lord, and the true master of this house and all other houses, and so you will ‘put up’ with whatever I see fit.”

            Elizabeth growled low under her cowl, and Bey went on, “You wear so many layers, my dear Countess. You, who used to bask in your beauty…but that was some time ago, wasn’t it?” he reached out and took her wrist in his long fingers. She stiffened, all too aware of the power surging behind the unassuming skin of ancient vampire.

            He ran a finger down the length of her forearm, stopping at the elbow and sliding a finger through the seam in her wrappings until his skin pressed against hers. She shuddered: it had been a good century since anyone had touched her without the buffer of her cloth.

            “You were the gem of Csejte, the most breathtaking creature the world had seen since Helen.” his fingers worked free the silk, and it began to slide free of her wrist, “You caused all those around you to practically weep in supplication,”

            The skin that was now free from the wrappings was coarse, like milky pale jerky. It had wrinkled and folded on itself as the moisture had evaporated from her aged body, and even though she had kept it hidden from any light for countless years, it had yellowed and curled like old parchment. The stink of decay wafted out, but Bey pressed his lips to her anyway, kissing down to her wrist as he pulled the last of the wrappings away. Her fingers were distorted and twisted, with only the gossamer wires threaded around the joints to keep them in place beneath her gloves.

            “But all of that was taken from you, wasn’t it? It took all of your power to survive the wrath of those who you once called your servants, and the cost to you was great, wasn’t it?”

            The Countess exhaled sharply, the feeling of healthy flesh against her making her both shiver in desire and recoil in horror, “Please, just go away.”

            Bey looked up at her, and set her hand back down, naked and trembling across her lap, “I forgot how much you loathe being seen now. Such a pity, I was looking forward to gazing into your eyes once again.”

            “Get out!” The Countess screamed, and with her ragged claw she threw one of her pillows at him.

He easily sidestepped it and chuckled, “Of course, Ellie.” he turned on his heel and saunter out of the room, very much like a cat that had just killed an especially juicy mouse.

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