Dawn was beginning to break as Guinevere started to stir. She had slept for a full 24 hours. Once her eyes opened, she hoped it had all been a horrible dream. Instead of getting out of bed, she sat up and pulled her knees to her chest. There she remained in deep thought.
Her thoughts were plagued with self doubt and with the feeling of being unable to be responsible for the entire well-being of her peoples. She was terrified to meet with The League – the group of Vampires that she could only describe as a government entity. She wasn’t afraid of them as individuals, but together they could make or break her reputation as the queen. She wanted to change the laws to make everyone equal…within reason. Most of all, she wanted to achieve what Vladislaus the First wanted to accomplish: a peaceful co-existence with humans. And deep down she knew the League would fight against it.
There was a soft knock on the door, breaking her free from her thoughts.
“Come in.” Her voice was hoarse from not speaking for a long period of time. The door creaked open and a human girl walked in. Guinevere cleared her throat before attempting to speak again. “Hello. What’s your name?” Guinevere smiled at the human as a gesture of friendliness.
“Y-yuki B-Behr, Y-your M-m-majesty.” Yuki stuttered before doing an awkward curtsy. Poor thing must be afraid. What happened to her?
“Please, Yuki, breathe. I won’t harm you, I promise.” Guinevere consciously tried to sound gentle, because it hurt her heart to see how terrified Yuki was to be in her presence. “What brings you to my room so early?” Guinevere gracefully stood from the bed but remained where she stood. She wanted to give Yuki space.
“Sorry. Your aunt sent me to check if you were awake and to uhm…” Yuki looked to the ground, fear written all over her face and in her body language.
“Be my breakfast?” Guinevere scoffed at the idea. “Worry not Yuki, if you don’t consent to being a living plasma pack, I won’t blame you, and I won’t force you.” Relief washed over the young girl. “Did anyone go to my apartment and get my things?” Guinevere wanted to change the subject to try and ease Yuki.
“Yes, Your Majesty. I put everything away about an hour ago, just after it all arrived.” Guinevere rushed to her wardrobe and opened it up. She flipped through the clothes with a smile: It was all there and organized by type, color, and size. She closed the doors and looked at the young human.
“Thank you Yuki. You’re a saint. I’m going to go take a bath and get ready for the day. Can you go find me a couple plasma packs or fruit? Or even a consenting human?” Guinevere stressed ‘consenting’ to ensure she wouldn’t have to feel guilty later.
“Of course. You’ll have breakfast waiting for you. I’ll go now.” Yuki curtsied and left the room. Guinevere reopened her wardrobe and browsed. She wanted to look elegant, modern and maybe a bit sexy. It’s a table filled with men. Maybe if I give them something to look at, they’ll be more willing to do what I want. She knew it was a horrible idea but went with it anyway. She pulled a two items from the hangers and took them into the bathroom.
After a warm milk and honey bath, Guinevere was dressed and physically ready for the meeting with the League. Upon exiting the bathroom, she saw a man standing in her room, with Yuki at his side.
“Sorry Your Majesty, your aunt and uncle recommended living plasma.” Guinevere felt a pang of annoyance and couldn’t help but sigh. And so it begins… She didn’t think they would start to be controlling until after her coronation party.
“Is everything satisfactory, Your Majesty?” The man asked. It took a couple of seconds before Guinevere answered. She wanted to be truthful without telling them of her annoyance at her aunt and uncle.
“It’s not either of you. It’s just an adjustment from my old life to this new one. And honestly, it’s been almost a century since I last fed from a human.” It was a truthful statement, just not the whole truth.
“Oh! Well I’m happy to serve the royal family.” Guinevere had no idea where this man came from, but there had to be magic involved if he was this happy. Either that or he got off on being bitten. “Here. Take my wrist.” The man offered, holding out his wrist. Guinevere couldn’t, at least not until she knew his name.
“I don’t think I can bring myself to do it without knowing your name.” He lowered his arm to his side. Yuki looked at the pair, to Guinevere she looked a bit squeamish.
“Samuel Goth, Your Majesty.” Goth. She knew that name from somewhere, but her thirst was starting to take over and her memory was going foggy.
“Thank you, Samuel. I’ll take your wrist now.” He held it up for her to take, and she did. Before sinking her fangs into his flesh, she looked at Yuki. She was pale and looked feint. “Yuki you can leave if you don’t want to see this.”
“Thank you Your Majesty. I think I’ll go cook something for Sam so he can recover quickly.” She left the room before either of them could say anything. Guinevere looked down at Samuel’s arm, it was covered with fang marks at various stages of healing. He must be Aunt Mimsy’s favorite human. She closed her eyes before piercing the flesh and drinking. Once she was finished, she bandaged his arm and gave him a bottle of healing salve from her secret stash. It’s the least I can do.
“Thank you Samuel. Now please, go rest. Use that salve at least twice a day. It should speed up the recovery process.”
“It’s an honor Your Majesty. Is there anything else before I leave?” She took a deep breath, it was time to meet with the League.
“Yes, actually. Go tell my uncle that I’m ready to meet with the League.”
A note was sent up to her room shortly after Samuel had left the room. The handwriting she instantly recognized, it belonged to her aunt. Only two words were written on the torn piece of parchment: They’re ready.
Before heading down to the Pit, Guinevere entered her bathroom and freshened up her makeup. She ran her hands over her clothes to smooth any wrinkles. She then took a few deep breaths, repeating the mantra of: I can do this. Finally, she popped a breath mint and left the sanctuary of her master suite.
Three staircases later, she was at the entrance of the Pit – the lowest level of the castle. Around the table sat the League: Her uncle Bernard near the head of the table, next to him was a man she had never seen before. the so-called anomaly perhaps? Across from him was Wogan Hemlock then in the seat next to him sat a man she vaguely remembered as Ayden Van Gould. Interesting. I wonder why father chose these seats for those men. She took one last deep breath before walking down the last set of stairs. She put on the stoic façade her mother taught her as she approached the table. The men stood and bowed and remained that way until Guinevere took her seat at the head of the table.
“It’s been decades since I’ve last seen The Pit. I think first order of business is to spruce up this place.” She made light conversation to break the ice. Though…this place really could use a different color. Black and red is too cliché.
“That’s a wonderful idea Your Majesty, I feel there’s too much red.” The man next to Bernard spoke, as if he read her mind. This man piqued Guinevere’s interest.
“Actually no. First order of business is for me to become acquainted, and reacquainted, with my merry men. Wogan, it’s so nice to see you again. I hear congratulations are in order for the new addition to your family.”
“Thank you. Morrigan is actually expecting once more. I thought she was joking when she told me she wanted another…Bellisima is a fussy one, and you know my wife – quick to anger with very little patience.” Everyone laughed, but it warmed Guinevere’s heart to hear that a new generation of vampires were being born.
“Then double congratulations. Give Morrigan my love and well wishes.” She looked to the man next to him and recalled that he had lost his wife since she had been gone. “Lord Van Gould, I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. She was a sweet woman.”
“It is I who should be offering the condolences. My wife has been dead for eight years, whereas your father passed just last week.” He bowed his head.
“Then condolences to us both.” She turned her attention to the man sitting next to Bernard. “And who might you be?”
“Caleb Vatore, at your service Your Majesty. Although, your dear uncle lovingly refers to me and my sister as anomalies.” So he is the anomaly. This deepened her interest.
“Oh? And why is that?” She smiled a fangy smile, to which he returned.
“Well we were born fifty years ago in a home with a dark leyline flowing through it. We are fraternal twins born from humans that are currently still alive. If that makes us anomalies then so be it. Your father asked me to join the League because of it – because I know the life of a modern vampire. He originally asked my sister, but she has no interest in politics. She would rather start bar brawls and cook human food.” His face scrunched up on the last words. Just the thought of human food made Guinevere feel sick.
“I would love to meet your sister. Just not over dinner. Human food and I don’t get along anymore.” She smiled at the thought of meeting another modern female vampire. But first, I have to get through this meeting. “Let’s continue with this meeting…shall we?”