At Andres’ mansion, Drea, Kirk and Margo meet with an unexpected person. The dead man’s daughter, Carley, is Andres’ new pet.
“Oh, my God!” Drea gasped, her hand springing to her throat. Perhaps it was a tad melodramatic, but she couldn’t stop herself. “What are you doing here? How on Earth?” She couldn’t put together a coherent sentence.
Patting her hand on his arm, Kirk took up the thread of conversation. “Carley, we hardly thought to see you here. We had no idea that you and Andres were acquainted.”
“We met recently,” she said, smiling happily at him. “At a party that the modeling agency gave. I didn’t know it, but I’ve been working for him over two years. And we never met!”
Drea’s eyes narrowed. Andres never went to any of the agency parties and rarely admitted he owned half interest in it. In fact, it was rather a well kept secret that he often contributed designs to their shows. All under aliases of course, and very hush-hush.
“Really? How amazing that you met like that,” she said, giving her sire a pointed look.
“I’m surprised to see you here,” Margo said. “Given the circumstances.”
“Oh, you mean Phillida? Well, she’s been very upset….”
Margo frowned, casting a confused look at Drea and Kirk. “No. I meant in light of your father’s death….”
“Haven’t you heard? Didn’t the police call you?”
“I’ve been here with Andres for the last week.”
Kirk took her hand, drawing her away from Andres. Though his wife knew her better, it seemed natural that he be the one to give her comfort. Drea stood by Andres, placing her hand on his arm. With a look of alarm, he gazed into her eyes. They had known one another long enough, nearly 500 years, that they didn’t need to speak to understand.
Carley burst into tears, throwing her arms around Kirk’s neck, burying her face in his shoulder. Unable to keep away, Andres went to her, taking her gently in his embrace. That one, small gesture told Drea that this was no mere infatuation on his part. He truly cared for Carley. There was no doubt in Drea’s mind that her sire was falling in love.
Andres held Carley as she wept. His eyes heavy with pain. Having been a soldier in many lives past, he had seen more death, causing much of it, than the rest of them combined. But this beautiful child hadn’t the experience of a 900 year old vampire lord. Though he was quite jaded in many ways, callous in others, he had always been sensitive to the emotional pain of the women he loved. Drea knew this, for at one time he had loved her. They had grown apart since she met Kirk, and were dear friends, much like father and daughter. But there would always be a place in her heart that only Andres could fill. He might be an evil, blood sucking fiend, but he was her dark lord and always would be.
Because of that, or perhaps in spite of it, she approached Carley and Andres, putting an arm around each, speaking quietly. Kirk took Margo aside to the refreshment table. He was pleased to see that Andres’ chef had either learned to cook or been replaced since their last visit.
“The food might actually be palatable now,” he commented dryly as he picked up one of the hors d’oeuvres.
Margo sniffed a petitfour dubiously. It merited a taste. “Not bad. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear we’d made these. They’re delicious.”
Kirk grinned, nodding. “I know this work.”
He headed toward the kitchen with Margo trailing behind.
“Where are you going?”
“To say hello to an old friend.”
He noticed that Rolf stayed with Drea, but Theo followed him. They entered the kitchen and heard a familiar voice bellowing loudly.
“You stupid little twits! What’ve I got to do, stand on my ruddy head to get you to do this proper? Oi, mate! No! You can’t take that tray out like that. Look at this mess. It’s bloody awful.” He continued in that vein for several seconds before realizing he had an audience.
“What’re you doing my my kitchen?” He demanded, before he recognized them. “Kirk? Margo? Damn me, if it’s not two of my favorite cooks of all time. When’re you gonna come work for me, love?” He asked Margo after kissing her lavishly. “Surely he ain’t paying you enough to put up with him?”
“Her put up with me?” Kirk looked offended, but shook the huge, red haired man’s beefy hand. “More my putting up with her.”
“She still has those temper tantrums?” He nearly broke Kirk’s fingers when he took his hand.
“But of course, I am French! I would never expect a mere Englishman to understand.” She tossed her head grandly.