Guinevere arrived shortly after a bath and clothes change. Never before had Guinevere seen the Goth Manor, inside or outside but there was something familiar about it. She walked up the stone path and knocked on the door — she stood in the shadow until Gunther, or someone in general, answered. Luckily it was Gunther who answered.
“I was worried.” She entered the very pink kitchen and held up the warped metal box.
“Everything is in here.” Gunther closed the door and locked in behind them. He eyed the box for a moment.
“Is everything okay?” Guinevere wanted to nod, but everything wasn’t okay.
“Honestly…no. I found proof that Van Gould has a history with poison. I’m worried that he’s going to poison me eventually…and if I’m out of the way without an heir, he would be the next in line. So I’m here to prevent that.” Gunther didn’t know what to say, instead he wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly.
“I don’t like the thought of you dying, Gwen. But I’ll help you.” Guinevere felt like she was going to break down, but held strong. I’m not going to cry in front of him.
He led her to the sitting room and sat on the couch. She sat next to him and ripped the top off of the lock box once more and showed him each piece of evidence and explained it. She then showed him the letter she read and told him of the others that she had yet to read.
“So this Van Gould guy is your great-uncle? And he has motive…why haven’t you done anything about it?” Guinevere placed the papers back in the lock box and set it on the coffee table in front of them.
“Because I have no actual proof that he killed my mother, brother, or father. I know he’s behind it, but without the how and the evidence he would just say I have a vendetta against him.” Gunther nodded with a solemn look on his face.
“That makes sense. So making a will is the way to ensure he’s caught and not the heir.” Guinevere nodded, equally solemn.
“I hate thinking about my own death…I’ve avoided it for a long time. But I do need to do this. Van Gould can’t be allowed to rule.” Gunther stood and grabbed the box.
“Let’s go up and make your will.” Guinevere stood and followed him out of the seating room and up the stairs.
Gunther was in full business mode: He was focused and set on completing everything before she left.
“Alright. Who do you want as your heir?” Guinevere bit her lip for a second out of nervousness.
“Mimsy’s unborn child, but I guess it would be her first born. And if the baby doesn’t make it, I want Mimsy to be Queen. She’s a lot like my mother and would be a good choice.”
“Why not just Mimsy then?” Gunther asked. Guinevere looked at the hardwood floor, the truth made her feel ill.
“Because Van Gould would never harm a child, no matter how fucking evil he is.”
“Okay.” Gunther remained quiet as he typed something on the computer. He stopped and turned to Guinevere. “So here’s what I have so far: ‘In the event of the death of HRH Guinevere Rose Straud and no biological offspring is present, her title and estate are bequeathed to the first born child of Lady Mimsy Alcorn Shallot and Lord Bernard Shallot. If the child is not of age, Lady Mimsy will become the Queen Regent until the child reaches maturity. If the child should perish before coming of age, Lady Mimsy shall inherit the title and the estate.’ I can tweak it if needed.” Guinevere shook her head.
“That’s perfect. I have letters I want written for specific people.”
“Dearest Mimsy, I am sorry for putting your child and you into this position. It was the only option I could see to protect everything I have built. Know that I did not commit suicide. This was not accidental. I was murdered. This was regicide, much like my father’s death. I have found proof pointing in the direction of the assassin, and Caleb will be providing that proof. He has orders to deliver it straight to you after my funeral.
Please forgive me Mimsy.” Guinevere didn’t know what else to add. There was so much she wanted to say, but she couldn’t without breaking down. “As for Caleb’s letter, just compose something about delivering it to my aunt. Just don’t let him know what it is…I trust him, but not with this.” Gunther nodded and resumed typing.
“What are you going to do with the proof until then?”
“I want you to hold onto it until it’s needed. Then you can hand it to Caleb.”
“What if I’m dead? I do age, you know.” Guinevere hadn’t thought of that. I’ll surely be dead within the year if Van Gould had his way. Guinevere couldn’t tell Gunther that, so instead she suggested the obvious.
“Then in your will leave it to any children you have with instructions.” Gunther nodded.
“That’s what I was thinking too. At least my children would know their dad is cool and was part of vampire politics.” Everything was weighing down on Guinevere, she felt the pressure of tears. Her silence caused Gunther to turn and look at her. “I’ll go print these off and you can sign them. You need to go home and try to relax.” Gunther left the room for a moment and came back with three papers, she signed all three and Gunther signed the will. He sealed them and skimmed the bookshelf for a book to stick the papers in. He chuckled to himself and pulled a book from the shelf: Dracula. “I’ll protect this book with my life.”
Guinevere looked to the flood and let the tears flow. This is too much…what if I’ve put him and his family in danger? She felt his presence at her side, his breath on her arm. She looked to him, he was kneeling next to her, his head on the arm of the chair.
“Stand with me?” He asked in a soft voice. He was back to being Gunther, her friend. He stood and held his hand for her to take. She obliged and was pulled up. “Everything will be fine. I have faith that you’ll find the proof before he does anything.”
“I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about you and your family. What if he finds out you helped me take his crown from him. He can’t openly do anything to me, but he could hurt me by hurting someone I l-consider a friend.”
“Nothing will happen to me. I promise you that.” He wiped the beginnings of her tears with a gentle touch. The confidence and sureness in his voice calmed and reassured her for now.
“I’m holding you to that promise.” Guinevere smiled. “I should go soon, I left without telling anyone…I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a search party planned for dusk.” They both laughed before hugging briefly. “Thank you for helping me. I do feel a little better, not much but it’s better than being completely stressed.” Well, at least now I have an heir. No one will know until I’m dead, but at least I have one.
“It’s no problem. Go home and relax. Keep me updated.” She nodded and left without another word.