Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 32

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.

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Chapter Thirty-Two

I clutched Aramis' hand as we walked into the drawing room. Aurelia immediately walked over to us. With a forced smile, she asked, "Could I speak to you in the study, boys?"

Aramis swallowed loudly and we followed her into the count's private office. I hoped it was sound-proofed like Aristes' study was, because I had a feeling we were going to have our asses handed to us.

Aurelia put her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow. "Well?"

"Well what?" Aramis repeated. He evidently thought playing dumb would work.

It didn't. "I hope you're happy!" she shrieked. "Everyone in the villa heard what you two were doing. My God Aramis, I am so embarrassed. There are nearly two hundred vampires here, most of them with their mates, and yet you two were the only ones that made a spectacle out of yourselves!"

She started speaking rapid Italian to my mate, who seemed to shrink an inch with every harsh word spat at him by his mother. I couldn't let Aramis take the blame, though, so I said, "It's my fault, Aurelia. I would blame it on being a new vampire, but I won't. We should have been more… discreet."

I was glad she switched back to English, but she was still pissed. "A bull in a china shop would have been more discreet, Eliot. Now I want you two to go out there and apologize to the count. Then, I want you to go upstairs and clean up whatever… mess you made."

There was a knock on the door, and I was glad of the reprieve. When the door opened and the count came in, however, I wasn't so happy. I decided to get it over with. "Count Corleanni, I'm very sorry for what happened. It's my fault entirely, and if you'd like me to apologize to your guests then—"

He put up a hand and smiled. "Please, think nothing of it." Aramis and I glanced at each other, both wondering if he was joking. The count continued, "Though I am very old, I realize what it is like to be young and newly mated. And Eliot here is a newborn. We can hardly expect him to keep his libido in check, especially after such a traumatic week."

Aramis cleared his throat. "Uh… we need to clean up the room."

"Already done," he said. "Now join the party and please do not be embarrassed." Aurelia stood there, gaping at the count. He took her chin in his hand and said, "My dear Aurelia, you are a wonderful mother and have a beautiful family. You have a strength and courage that I so admire—we all do. Even as a human, you fought for your love, and trust me, I know standing up to my wife is a formidable task."

I made a mental note to ask what had happened between the two women, but now didn't seem the appropriate time. Aurelia smiled at the count. "Grazie, signore," she said and left the room.

The count chuckled and said, "By the way, boys. We've moved your room to the far wing. It's soundproofed."

As he turned to leave, I asked. "Another soundproofed room? What's that for?"

A devilish grin spread over his face. "It used to be the torture chamber, but don't go yet, since we're having apple pie for dessert in honor of our American guests. I hope you're hungry."

With that bizarre declaration, he walked out, leaving Aramis and I scratching our heads. I spoke first. "Do you think that torture chamber and apple pie have ever been used in the same sentence?"

"Probably not," Aramis said.

"And do Italians even have dessert?"

He licked his lips seductively. "I'm Italian, and I love dessert. Especially nice, thick milkshakes."

"Ew!" I protested. "That is so… porny. And we're in enough trouble with your mom as it is. Let's go."

"Speaking of porn, I wonder if your dad and Benita have shown their faces yet."

I punched him on the shoulder. "Will you cut that out? Blech! That's all I need to think about right now."

We left the study and walked down the hall toward the billiard room. Aramis' brothers were arguing over how to play.

"The table's broken," Nero said. "There aren't any pockets."

"Oh my God," Marco moaned. "It's billiards, you moron."

"Even billiards tables have pockets, Polo."

"Maybe it's snooker."

Epp spoke up. "And I only have three balls."

"Isn't Blake a lucky boy then," Marco said with a chuckle.

Blake laughed, but his mate rolled his eyes. "I meant pool balls, you twat."

Before the argument could progress any further, Lucia and Blanca strolled in with two young male vampires I'd not met before. All of the brothers stopped talking and turned to face the newcomers. Marco cleared his throat and extended a hand. "Marco Ambrogi," he said with a small inclination of his head.

The taller of the two shook Marco's hand. "Bennett Skelton-Twombley," he said. His posh English accent fit the name well. He motioned to his friend. "This is Houghton Hugh-Phipps."

Epp smirked. "From Clan Hyphenation."

We couldn't help but snicker. The girls weren't amused we were teasing their potential suitors. Bennett took it in stride, though. He said, "Yes, it's rather absurd. The British aristocracy do so love making things difficult for their descendants. I had a mate at school named Percival Tarquin Highclere Fotheringay-Beckhurst—"

"The sixth," Houghton finished. "Poor sod. And he had a lisp."

"Oh damn," I said. "That is very unfortunate."

"Yes," Bennett laughed. Then he spied the game table and said, "Oh, look here, Phipps! Care for a game of carombole?"

He retrieved the three balls from Epp, while Houghton took the cue sticks from Marco and Nero. The two English vampires began to play a bizarre kind of quasi-billiards that I couldn't quite wrap my head around. I tugged Aramis out of the room and we went to find the food.

To be continued...


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