The mansion is full of surprises, most of them unpleasant. What’s in store for Drea, Kirk and Margo tonight?
Margo patted his cheek none too fondly as she passed. “Your personality hasn’t improved a bit, Petrov. You’re still just as grumpy as you were. Are you getting laid on a regular basis? I hear it’s marvelous therapy.”
He growled slightly as she walked ahead of him out of the room. Margo waited for Petrov to get ahead of her. She never liked being the first to greet Phillida. One could never tell if she was in a throwing mood. Given the presence of the lovely and nubile Carley, Margo judged that she would be in the vilest of humors. She wasn’t disappointed.
Phillida was in full voice as Petrov led them to the library. Margo and Kirk could hear her yelling several yards away. At first, her words were indistinguishable, then an all too familiar litany developed.
“The bastard! The slimy, two-faced, lowlife, stinking, slug brained, worm-dick bastard! I’ll kill him! I swear, I’ll drink him dry. I’ll kill him in his sleep!” The crash of an expensive decorative object echoed down the barren hall. “Then I’ll rip her throat out. No, I’ll turn her as he lies there bleeding. Then her first meal can be what’s left of him. I hate him! I loathe him! I will get even if it’s the last thing I do!”
Kirk thought he heard another voice inside and hoped it wasn’t the second twin—Tweedle Dee. For some reason, they were inseparable, although they didn’t seem to like one another very much. They stood aside as Petrov tapped on the door just as another resounding crash filled the hallway. Petrov flinched.
Kirk smiled. At least there was something that got under the enigmatic veneer. Kirk had to admit that Phillida in full anger would be enough to make grown men tremble—even vampires.
“Come in!” She bellowed.
Petrov opened the door, flinging it aside without actually entering or getting in Phillida’s direct line of fire. Kirk entered warily. Phillida was not alone, but it was ‘t the other Tweedle Twin inside. Heinrich, another of the council members, Phillida’s staunchest supporter, was trying to talk her down as she continued to screech.
“Phillida, this is not the end of the world. Andres has had his little flings before. This is no different.”
“But it is! Don’t you see? Can’t you understand? He wants to marry her. Make her his queen. Have an heir with her! Did he ever once offer to marry me? Or any of the others? That is the difference, Heinrich. Could you really see taking orders from her? She’s a child, even by human standards. It is to insult me.”
“Why do you take this as a personal insult? He is seeding his wild oats….”
“Wild oats? Is that what you think this is about? You old fool! Wild oats, my ass….”
“Madam, your guests are here are requested,” the Tweedle Twin said quietly.
“Yes, thank you.”
Phillida turned her back on Heinrich, ignoring him as unimportant. A look of pure loathing filled his face, which he did nothing to conceal from Kirk and Margo. Even the Tweedle Twin said nothing to Phillida as she continued to rant and pace. Heinrich and the twin had not been dismissed, nor had Kirk and Margo. They weren’t in a position to do much but wait. Anything else risked incurring Phillida’s full wrath, and none of them wanted that. The silence, punctuated by her cursing, grew long.
Hoping to avoid a tongue lashing, Kirk cleared his throat quietly. Phillida looked up, surprised to see him. A sort of smile flickered across her lips and faded
“Kirk, darling. How good to see you.” She held out her hands to him, kissing his cheeks when he took her chilly fingers in his.
Shocked by such a friendly greeting, he merely smiled. Margo nudged him and he spoke haltingly.
“Lovely—to uh, see you—too, Phillida. You look radiant this evening.”
At least he was able to say this his honestly. She did look very beautiful. She was dressed in a beaded gown of the palest gold, so light a hue, it looked white until the light struck it. The beads were silver, gold and vivid red depending upon the angle from which they were viewed. Her dark hair was pulled into an elegant knot at the back of her neck and her head was spangled with jewels that matched the bead work. Her makeup was, as always, perfect, her complexion cold, but flawless. She was, without doubt, the most beautiful woman Kirk knew. Her beauty left him cold, for she was as cruel as she was gorgeous.