After the party ended, Guinevere barely made it through her bath before needing to replenish her energy. She slept peacefully until just after dusk – then she had awoken feeling parched. She sat in bed, phone in hand, and texted Yuki to bring up plasma: fruit or pack. Guinevere took this time to get out of bed and light all the candles in her room.
Moments later there was a knock on the door. “Come in!” She called from the side of her bed. The door creaked open and in walked Samuel.
“Sorry Your Majesty. Yuki was just about to go to sleep to rest for tomorrow. So she sent me.” Samuel bowed before approaching Guinevere. “The festivities drained our supply of plasma fruit and packs. I hope I’ll be a good substitute.” Guinevere nodded, she was salivating at the idea of warm, sweet plasma. I know I fought against drinking from humans in the past, but they just taste so much better. She gravitated to him, like moth to a flame. He held out his wrist, she placed her hands gently. She noticed the fang marks from before where faded more than normal healing.
“I see you’ve been using the salve. Are you running low? I can make some more if you need.” She looked to him, their eyes meeting.
“I still have half the bottle, ma’am. It has helped immensely, thank you.” Guinevere felt content knowing she had helped ease the healing process. Before either of them could speak again, Guinevere lowered her head and sunk her teeth into the flesh of his forearm – she drank until she was satisfied.
Since Yuki was sleeping, Sam took it upon himself to help Guinevere get ready for the press meeting. She picked out the outfit, and he applied her make up with care, assuring her that she would look flawless. How does he even know how to apply make up? Was the only thought she had. Once her make up and hair were finished, she wished she could see how she looked.
“Maybe one day someone will invent a mirror for vampires.” Samuel spoke with sadness in his voice. “It’s a shame you can’t see how drop-dead gorgeous you look. You look very much like a modern day vampire queen – elegant, classy, and simple.” Guinevere was sure she would be blushing if she was physically capable of it.
“How do you even know how to do make up?” She meant to say ‘thank you’, but instead she blurted out the first thing that came to mind. Her eyes widened and she covered her mouth which sent Samuel into a fit of laughter. “I meant to say thank you. I’m sorry.” She mumbled behind her hand.
“It’s okay ma’am. It was a good question. Before Yuki there was an elderly lady and she did the make up for your aunt. She taught me in case I was ever needed to do make up. I practice on Yuki occasionally.”
Guinevere still didn’t know much about Sam. She thought this would be the perfect time to get to know him. “Other than being a guard and consenting to being food, what do you do around here?” She had only ever seen Sam in his armor or when he was up here to be a living plasma pack.
“I go around repairing things, tuning the instruments. I tend the garden during the day, and I cook for me and Yuki. In my free time though, I research vampires. That’s what landed me here in the first place.” I had always wondered how the humans ended up here. Grandfather used to kidnap them and father thought that was barbaric.
“I’ve always wondered…how did you end up here? You don’t have to tell me if it’s traumatic for you.”
“My work was researching the supernatural, and I got a lead about a massive vampire colony. So naturally I went to investigate. It brought me to Forgotten Hollow. Your father found me trespassing, so he offered to spare me and let me stay as long as I served him. Being the young eighteen year old I was, I figured why not. I don’t regret it, though I do miss my family. My brother would be an elder by now, and my nephew and niece would be all grown up.” His story made Guinevere feel conflicted. He wants to be here, but he misses his family…maybe if this press thing goes well he can take a vacation and visit them.
“I’m glad you’re here Samuel. You’re a good person.”
There was an awkward silence. Guinevere decided to talk about the press meeting to change the somber topic.
“So when we go, are you going to dress in your suit of armor? Or in casual clothes?” I would love for him to go in the suit of armor. So many people would be intrigued.
“I’m sorry ma’am, I’m not going. It’s just you and Yuki against the press and masses I’m afraid.” He lowered his eyes to the ground. Guinevere placed her hands on her hips.
“Why?” She wanted her humans there to help her with the outside world.
“My family most likely think I’m dead, ma’am. I can’t go and show them I’m alive. There would be too many questions and I don’t want to make things more complicated for you.” Oh. There goes my plan of sending him on vacation and reuniting with his family.
“You could always wear your suit…the helmet covers your face.” It was a last ditch effort to try to have both of her humans with her.
“Sorry, ma’am. Plus, someone has to stay behind and protect your aunt and uncle while they’re in hibernation.”
“Fine. You can stay. Watcher forbid anything bad happens to them…and Watcher help them if anything happens to me.” She joked, but deep down she was serious. If anything happened to her without her guard, she would make sure they suffered.
“I’m sure your ghost would haunt them for eternity if anything happened to you ma’am.” Damn right I would. She looked at Samuel’s face. He was pale and looked a little ill – common for someone who had plasma taken.
“You’re looking a little peckish, you should go eat something.” I guess it’s a good thing he’s not going. He needs to rest and replenish.
“You’re right, I am feeling a little drained. I should make something for Yuki too, she’ll be hungry when she wake up.” He excused himself with a bow and started to leave.
“I hope you don’t mind if I follow. There’s more I wish to talk to you about.” He stopped in his tracks and turned to her. Confusion and shock written on his face, then it morphed into a mischievous smile.
“I don’t mind at all, in fact, I would be honored if you watched me cook and eat.”
“Are you teasing me?”
“Me? Never.” Together, they left her chamber and went to the servant’s quarters.
Samuel made a simple fruit salad, they were quiet while he cooked. Guinevere watched – it had been decades since she last ate human food. He grabbed a bowl for himself and put the rest in the fridge.
They sat at the table. Guinevere had been thinking about the renovations she wanted to do to the castle.
“What would you say if I wanted to renovate the cells? I want to help you and Yuki be more comfortable and feel at home.”
“Forgive me for being cautious ma’am, but your father said he was going to and he didn’t. It’s a nice idea though.”
“I’m not my father. I actually care about humans. I plan on renovating the Pit, and that includes your cells. So tell me what you would like done down here to improve your quality of life?” Samuel was silent for a couple minutes, thinking.
“The first thing I would like to see is bigger rooms and some privacy for. The toilet and shower are private enough, but sometimes I feel uncomfortable when I’m trying to sleep…it feels like I’m being watched.” Guinevere could understand that, she agreed and made a mental note.
“Get together with Yuki and make a list of things the both of you would like changed. I want to turn those cells into actual rooms…make them feel more warm and homey, and less like a prison.”
“I’ll be sure to do that, I’ll start my list while you’re in San Myshuno…and Yuki can look over it later tonight.”
Until he finished his fruit salad, they talked about the human world and their experiences. Sam only had eighteen years of experience and things have changed drastically in terms of technology. Whereas Guinevere lived there for decades but missed a lot of things. I may have lived in San Myshuno…but I rarely ever left the penthouse.
“Ya know…If you want to learn more about humans and their world, why not advertise for a penpal? I remember when I was in school we would send letters to elderly people as a kind of penpal slash companionship program. Nowadays I’m sure you can find a forum for them on the internet.”
“That’s genius! Thank you Sam.” Guinevere didn’t think to use the internet for anything other than research, even then she preferred books. I’ll write out a profile and an open letter before I leave for the press meeting. “Before I go…do you think you can take a quick photo of me for the penpal thing?”
“Of course Your Majesty. Shall we go back up to your room? I think you left your phone up there.”