Paid Up

You can read the story from the beginning here

Lord Cerdig paused at the entrance to the chintz covered, plant filled room. “You’re making yourself very comfortable in my domain, Madame Cecile.”

The vampire shrugged. “It’s remarkably cosy,” she said. “And it’s not like you need the space.”

Lord Cerdig stared in frustration. Madame Cecile dressed to stereotype. The long, flowing, blood-red gown clung to her slim figure and the black lace band around her neck drew attention to her pale skin and the generous view of her cleavage. He narrowed his eyes. “Why don’t you dress to match the room?”

Madame Cecile shrugged. “Do you have the last payment?”

“Why don’t you check your bank account?” Lord Cerdig said. He watched as she picked up her phone and opened the flower-patterned case. How had he come to this? This was the final payment. He’d paid off his debts and covered the cost of buying Umbran’s loyalty. Now the slate was finally clean.

“It’s all here,” Madame Cecile said, tucking her phone away in her handbag. “What are you going to do now?”

“I’m going to ask you to leave,” Lord Cerdig said. “We all know how vampires and the faerie realm mix. Everyone knows what happened in York.”

Madame Cecile’s eyes were cold. “Lord Ragnar destroyed the vampires over there. It was his mismanagement that caused the problem. Lady Freydis herself is now married to a powerful vampire that far outranks me. Your problem was money.” She smiled thinly. “It still is.”

“I’m still the prince of this domain,” Lord Cerdig snapped.

“And still without a wife,” Madame Cecile pointed out. “And your court exists because it’s a buffer between a lot of powerful lords.” She waved her had at the beautiful surroundings. “Your grasp of the normal world is weak yet your control over your domain has an exquisitely fine touch. You never needed Lady Freydis.”

“She understands the normal world like no-one else,” Lord Cerdig said. For a moment he looked thoughtful. “Keep this corner but know that I’ll always watch it. And now that I’m clear, I’m going to make this domain a thing of wonder.” His eyes snapped back at Madame Cecile. “Mark my words.” And without hesitation, he strode forward, straight through the middle of the sofa and window as if they were nothing but mist.

Madame Cecile cautiously walked over to the sofa and patted the centre. It was reassuringly, unnervingly solid. She looked around. She had enjoyed living here, away from the true sunlight, but perhaps it was time for a change. It looked like there were turbulent times ahead.

This chapter is in response to Writing Prompt Number 21

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