Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 19

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Nineteen

"Excuse me?" Dad asked with a scowl.

"Well, he'll be at Belsmeade and I'll be home and it's really, really hard to be apart and it's gonna suck enough—"

I heard Epp snort and start laughing in the other room, and then I heard someone smack him on the head. "Don't be rude," Aurelia snapped.

Epp said, "Ya know? I'm lucky I have any hair on that part of my head. You people are always hitting me!"

"Because you're always an asshole," Aramis called out to him.

"Basta!" Aristes barked. Then he turned to my father. "Please forgive my children, John. They can be somewhat uncouth."

Dad nodded, but looked worried. I turned to Aramis. "Can Dad and I talk in private for a bit?"

Aramis looked bereft. "But, you don't want me to stay?"

"Please, Air. I need some time." I could tell he didn't like it, but he and his dad left the room and I sat in a chair opposite my father.

"So," Dad said. "You're feeling okay, after changing?"

"Surprisingly, I feel fine. Kinda weird to think about still, but too late to turn back now."

He clenched his jaw. "Yes it is. God damn it, Eliot! What happened? You tell me you were going to a club in Boston and next thing I know some stranger calls me to tell me there'd been an accident. I panicked. I thought I'd lost you, bud. And then I found out that you're…"

A tear dripped down his cheek and I moved to kneel at his feet. "Dad, I'm still here. It's still me. I'm just a little… tougher to break now. But if you want to know, I'll tell you everything."

I went through the whole story, starting with meeting Aramis, all the way through the kiss that cost me my human life. He listened thoughtfully and asked a few questions now and then, until everything was told.

"But are you happy?" he asked.

"I am, Dad. I love Aramis and he loves me."

He looked around at the luxurious furniture and shelves of old books and whistled. "Well, you're certainly never want for anything, that's for sure."

"Love you, Dad," I said.

"Love you, too, bud."

There was a knock on the door and Aurelia peeked in. "We're just about to have some dinner. Would you like to join us?"

"Dinner?" Dad asked. "You mean you—"

Aurelia laughed graciously. "My dear John, our family eats food just as humans do. We're having pot roast this evening. Our cook is quite excellent."

"I'm sorry," he replied. "I'm not used to all of this."

"No reason to be sorry. You and your son will have to learn together, and we'll all help you."

The dining formal dining room was cavernous. The table sat sixteen, which was unfathomable to me. Blanca and Lucia flanked my father, and I could tell that he was trying to enjoy their attention without seeming like a creepy old man. They were two absolutely, spectacularly beautiful nineteen-year-old girls, while he was technically old enough to be their father.

I was distracted by my thoughts when the butler—by Christ, these people had a butler!—came in and started pouring wine into the glasses around the table. He arrived at my chair and asked, "Would you care for some wine, sir?"

"Um… no. Just water."

He smiled politely and continued around the table until everyone but the baby and I had their glasses filled. Aramis' father stood and raised his glass. "A toast. To the new members of our family: Eliot, Blake and John. Welcome to the clan."

Everyone took sips of their wine, so I sipped my water. When the thin, cold liquid hit my tongue, I coughed and sprayed it in a fine mist all over myself. I was so used to warm, thick blood, that the water—the most basic beverage on the planet—made me want to gag.

Aramis chuckled. "Sorry, babe. Forgot to tell you that everything's going to taste really different now."

"Even water?" dad asked.

"Even water," I replied morosely. I sank down in my chair, trying to make myself invisible. Aristes snapped his fingers at one of the servants, who hurried over to wipe my mess off the table. The butler then miraculously appeared at my side with a bottle of red liquid. I took it and was amazed that it was warm.

"It's synthetic," Aramis said quietly. "It's not quite as good as the real thing, but it's better than water."

I lifted the bottle and sniffed at it delicately. When I didn't hurl at the smell, I decided to try it. I slowly tipped the bottle up and took a swallow. The taste was definitely not the sweet, savory flavor of my mate, but the texture was the same, and it had a rich, earthiness to it that made it enjoyable. I raised the bottle again and began to chug it, moaning at the buzz in my gut.

"Eliot!" my father snapped.

"What?" I asked indignantly.

"Mind your manners."

I looked sheepishly at Aurelia, who waved my worries away. "It will of course be hard for you to control your thirst. Have as much as you'd like."

I really liked Aramis' mom.

The butler brought me another bottle and announced, "The council has arrived, sir. Shall I show them into the study?"

"No need," said a voice from the hall.

The door opened and eight vampires strode into the room. Six were men, all equally as handsome and distinguished-looking as Aristes. There were also two women. One of them was hanging on the arm of one of the male vamps. The second, younger female was… staring directly at my father with a look of utter disbelief. My father returned her gaze, with the addition of a slack jaw and a weird choking, rattling sound coming from his throat.

Dad shot from his chair and thrust his hand out to her. "John Berenz," he told her.

The dark-haired beauty took Dad's hand and stuttered, "N-nice to meet you. I'm Benita de Sorbino." They didn't release each other's hands, but stood staring dumbly at one another.

Marco raised an eyebrow and asked, "Well, what have we here?"

Raniero shook his head in disbelief. "This place is turning into the Love Boat."


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