Having made the decision to contact the vampire Council about their dilemma, Kirk, Drea and Margo decide to go that night.
Drea made a trip to the cleaners just before it closed. She brought back a magnificent suit for Kirk and a fine evening dress for herself.
“I forgot these were there,” she said with a contented sigh. “At least the buggers didn’t get them when they trashed our apartment.”
“We’ll meet you at your place at 9:00,” Kirk told Margo. “And Tommy?”
“I know, chef. I’m not coming. I promised.”
“No being the curious, stupid, heroic type, right?”
“I promised that too, chef.”
“You’re a good kid, Tom. For your own protection, you can’t be anywhere around.”
“I told Margo I wouldn’t come,” he said emphatically. “How bad can they be, though? You three are the best people I know.”
“They aren’t like us there,” Drea said, her eyes wide. “There are factions who hold to the old ways and those who hold with the new. We are of the new breed. Sometimes even we aren’t welcome. If they think that our involvement in Jay’s death has put the rest at risk, they will shun us, cast us aside without a thought. We risk everything by being day dwellers, striving for normal lives. Phillida and her followers would cut us loose without a thought, but they don’t dare.”
“Because my sire is their head.”
“He’s the one who turned you?”
She nodded, not wanting to look at him. It wasn’t something she was particularly proud of. One of the most bloodthirsty vampires of all time, Andres Cavedo, was her sire. He and Phillida were among the first and oldest in the country. He was the leader, but she sat at the head of the council. Phillida could not abide Drea, but unless she wanted to risk the wrath of her lover, she did her no harm. Since he was probably among the few who could, or even would, dare to give her the true death, she obeyed his rules.
“He’s a cold, heartless bastard,” Drea said quietly. “But for some reason, he cares about me. He has done much to protect us over the years because of it. However, I do not willingly cross him. Andres has his limits and he is not a patient man.”
“But it’s Phillida you’re going to see?”
“She is head of the Council. Andres is their ruler, but even he must follow the laws, many of which he put in place. The Council is like the British parliament. They make and pass laws, but Andres has final say in most things.”
“Is he an old style vamp or a new one?”
“Andres is rather more progressive than some of the others. It is his innovation that came up with the artificial blood. He also developed the sunscreen and the medicine we take. He’s an absolutely brilliant scientist.”
“But not a nice guy,” Tommy concluded.
“No. I’d say that ‘nice guy’ was about as far as you could get from his true personality. I think the words evil, blood sucking fiend would describe him better,” Kirk answered.
“I’m decidedly staying home,” Tommy said with finality. “And I may never leave the house again. You’ve just added to my paranoia,” he told them.
“He knows nothing about you, Tommy,” Margo tried to make him feel better. “He will leave you alone. Don’t worry.” But she didn’t feel very sure of herself.