The rich, aristocratic and overtly sensual vampire Countess seductively promised a somewhat naïve Tony Delmonti that his conversion to vampirism would bring him not only youthful immortality, but innumerable women and all the sex and party drugs he could handle, plus more besides. So far, Tony had seen only a glimpse of those promises. Come to think of it, that sex was with the Countess herself and those were her party drugs.
Tony regarded His Lordship with as much fear as a fly caught in a silken web must feel when a spider is about to devour it for lunch. Somewhere, deep in the old man’s eyes, a golden vampire flicker of power was beginning to emerge. In his entire life, Tony had never seen anything as intimidating or as deadly.
Even as Christine resumed her seat, Tony could feel the pressure mounting against him in the study. For someone who had, for the past year, felt invincible, Tony felt decidedly vulnerable and exposed to a danger from which he might not return. Every eye in the study focussed on him, and not in a good way. With no uncertainty, Tony knew he was on trial for his life. For the first time since conversion, Tony regretted becoming a vampire like never before and wondered whether he would survive to see the next moonrise.
His Lordship simply stared grimly at Tony while aiming his pointer at the spot on the carpet just vacated by Christine.
Sighing, Tony rose to face his accusers. Most disturbing for Tony was that the werewolf never budged an inch. It simply lay there flicking its tail in anticipation, watching him with feral yellow eyes.
At twenty-three years of age, Tony could be best described as well-built. Standing more than six-feet-four inches tall, he was a magnificent example of a male vampire and before conversion, a human. His hair was ash blond, thin and cut to fall across his right, black-painted eye. He had black eye shadow artfully painted and applied to both his grey eyes. Whereas, on the others, this look was interesting, on Tony it magnified his natural, good looks, which he exploited with women at every opportunity.
Tony wore no piercings—he scorned them. He often bragged to his clan that a vampire needed only his incisors. Hours in the gymnasium resulted in muscles that rippled beneath his black skin-tight shirt. His stomach muscles flowed like beckoning beach waves to every female within view. Unless it suited him, these, too, he scorned as part of his vampire game with the humans.
Biceps, thicker than most men’s thighs, bulged with veins and corded muscle, encased in tight, black jeans. Legs as sturdy as tree trunks propelled Tony with a pent up energy that could explode into a leap beyond forty yards or put him through a standard door, shattering it like it were paper-thin. Tony was a vampire to be feared, even by his own kind, and he was highly intelligent. Even so, he was puny compared to the werewolf.
Going vampire, as Tony described the conversion, had probably saved his life. Despite a strict gym routine, Tony had to breakout, and when he did, his hunger for women, hard drugs, alcohol, fast food and reckless behaviour knew no bounds. As soon as the change took hold, Tony ceased his intake of illicit substances. Vampires didn’t need them anyway.
Tony’s muscle strength magnified, as did his capacity to think. Apparently, though, his recall had suffered when his human self had over indulged. Or had it?
Tony stood silent in an imaginary dock. Folding his hands behind his back, he looked expectantly up his judge.
His Lordship held his pointer loosely in his right hand. He consulted the volume beneath his fingertips, then stated in a voice resembling dry, winter leaves, tumbling along dark path, “You’ve heard the damning evidence provided by the other accused, Mr Delmonti. Would you say it is accurate?”
Tony nodded. He was too scared to voice a reply because that damn werewolf was licking its lips and purring like a cat as it watched him intently.
“Very well, Mr Delmonti. Describe to this court, in your own words, how your conversion took place.” His Lordship uttered a caution. “And, Mr Delmonti,” “Under no circumstances, skip or gloss over the events leading up to that moment.”
If it were at all possible for a vampire to blanch, Tony did. His whiter than pale features got even paler still and his body tensed as if preparing to receive a blow.