A draft of autumnal air drifted through the tavern, notes of decay and cinnamon carried by a slight chill, as the oaken door opened and was slammed shut. Dressed commonly, but standing regal, the lady in blue swept her gaze across the room with purpose. Under the blue veil her full lips twisted in growing scorn at each broken wretch her vision passed by.
In the back, in the shadow of a great beasts’ mounted head, he watched her from under a black hood. The lady in blue spotted him just as some of the patrons were beginning to take offense to being sneered at. She moved determinedly over to his table and, with all the air of a haughty noblewoman, seated herself across from him.
“I need you to do a job.” She blurted, her words thick and heavy. Her hands fidgeted at her bag.
“Manners, such terrible manners…Milady.” his thin, pallid lips turned up slightly.
The lady clutched her bag tightly and began to form a biting retort. When he lifted his eyes to hers, she gasped involuntarily
Devoid of color, as though cataract, but lifeless. The eyes of a corpse. Those cold unseeing eyes saw more deeply into her than she cared for. The lady felt violated at his gaze, the touch of death lingering over her mind. At a loss for words and paralyzed by fear her mouth could only gape.
“Such is the gaze of one of the dread lords.” He muttered to himself as he leaned back, blinking, releasing her from his hold. “So your lady sent her maid to hire me. In disguise, in hopes of not offending. Your ruse is insult enough. To think she could fool a scion of the house of death, ludicrous.”
He stood to leave as the maid grabbed a handful of his black cloak. “begging your forgiveness my lord. We thought it was only tall tales, you being dead and what.”
He looked down at her. “Unhand me.” She slowly released his cloak looking mortified at her behavior. “Only half dead.”
She reached into her blouse and removed a thin glass vial and a small pouch. She set both in his outstretched hand. He bounced the pouch lightly in his palm and frowned. “There is more when the job is done your lordship.” the maid hastened to add.
He held the vial against the flickering torchlight, squinted for a moment, and sighed heavily. “Vampyres, you have Vampyres…Damn blood-sucking parasites.”