The man waited off to the side while Guinevere rested. “Yuki, will you go stand over there while I talk to this man?” Concern washed over the young girl. “I’ll be fine. I promise.”
“If you’re sure ma’am.” Guinevere nodded, so Yuki obeyed and walked away to the spot the vampire pointed to. Guinevere stood and approached the man.
“It’s you…I didn’t think you were real.” The man laughed. He really is real…
“The fairies sure did a number on you. I am very much real. You wouldn’t believe my surprise when Mr. Vatore came into my office, with your picture and said you were the new vampire monarch.” Guinevere’s head was spinning. He’s real. He knows Caleb. He’s one of the men that made this happen. She needed to clarify something before she could move on.
“Wait, hold on. You know Caleb?”
“His father worked for my father until they both retired. I also dealt with the family and their wills…” Guinevere was confused – A business that deals with advertising and wills? As if sensing her confusion, the man elaborated. “I was a lawyer, but now I’m in charge of the business.”
“Did-did you know about Caleb’s vampirism?” She hoped he knew, so she didn’t end up the one to out Caleb and his sister.
“Yes. That’s why it was so easy to spot that you were one. His father used to claim Caleb and Lilith were his grandchildren until he slipped up in his will. I never asked him about it, and I could tell he was relieved when I didn’t. Then I put two and two together.” He’s too clever for his own good.
It was then that she realized he knew her name, but she didn’t know his. “I think before we continue, I should point out that you know my name, but I don’t know yours.”
“Oh! Right. I’m used to everyone knowing who I am. Forgive me, my name’s Gunther Goth.” Goth?! Oh. Oh dear. This could be complicated. Or awkward. But maybe they aren’t even related, right? Goth could be a common last name, right!? She hoped her inner panic wasn’t showing and that she could contain it.
“Pleasure to meet you Mr. Goth.” She held her hand out for him to shake. Instead he bowed, like he did in the glade, and kissed the tops of her fingers. He stood with a smile that made her knees weak. The lust she felt in the glade was rearing it’s unwanted head in the depths of her heart.
“The pleasure is all mine, I assure you.” Is he…flirting with me? Guinevere couldn’t tell if he was, or if she wished he was. She quickly changed the topic.
“So, how’s your family life? Has it gotten any better?” She asked, genuinely curious.
“A little. Cornelia and I still can’t decide on a wedding date. She wants to take time and plan the perfect wedding. Whereas I just want to marry and get it over with. Mum nags me saying I need to give Cornelia her perfect wedding or it’s going end up being a terrible marriage…I don’t think I can handle two women nagging me constantly. Father is trying to teach me how to juggle the business and Lordship – since he’s abdicating his title and passing it to me as soon as I marry.” He laughed lightly, but she knew it was weighted with sadness. “How’s your life going? You clearly have more responsibility than I do.”
“I put my foot down on marrying that…evil scumbag. But I’m still being pressured to marry. I was actually thinking of pursuing Caleb. If he put this much effort into helping me accomplish something, I think he would make an excellent husband.” There was something else about Caleb that made Guinevere think he would be a great husband, but she just couldn’t put her finger on it.
“If you’ve lived for so long, why are you being pressured into marrying? Have you ever been married?”
“I’ve never had a desire to marry. I’ve never found the one. As for why they want me to marry now…they want me to have an heir and spare just in case I’m assassinated.” The look of terror on Gunther’s face was shocking to Guinevere. “What? It’s common for vampires to be killed. Especially monarchs. There have only been four monarchs before me, and three of them were killed by someone.” Guinevere shrugged and looked at the ground. It felt freeing, but weird, to talk openly about this to someone.
“Pardon my language, but that’s fucked up to expect you to marry someone and have children as a precautionary measure.”
“It’s the way of vampires.” She spoke matter-of-factly. “It’s not ideal, but that how it’s been since the beginning.” They stood in silence for a couple minutes.
“Did you really not eat before coming here?” Guinevere shook her head.
“No. Seeing you broke whatever the fairies did. It all came back at once so it was a little overwhelming. But I am a little hungry, so Yuki and I should go home soon.”
“Why not come with me. There’s this restaurant in Windenburg that has plasma fruit salad, and plasma drinks. Caleb took me there last week and they were very vampire friendly.” This could be a good experience…
“Alright.” She turned to Yuki, “Yuki, come over here please.”
“Yuki, I’m going to go to lunch with this fine gentleman. He’s a friend of Lord Vatore, and he helped put this thing together. There’s more things we would like to discuss about future projects. You’re free to go home and relax.” Yuki curtsied.
“As you wish Your Majesty. If you need anything, I’ll have my phone with me. Call when you’re ready to come home, and I’ll send Sam.”
“No! No. Sorry. Sam is still resting, I think I drank too much this morning. I can manage. Thank you Yuki.” I hope that wasn’t suspicious…If Samuel really is related to Gunther, that would break both of their hearts. And Samuel didn’t want that. Yuki left without a word, leaving Gunther and Guinevere.
“Shall we go, Your Majesty?”
“Please, just call me Gwen.”