The Count in his hilltop mansion leads the vampires of Forgotten Hollow. So I am told every time I meet another of my kind, whether casually or otherwise, and I can only infer that my sire and I offer the Count some great disrespect by not presenting ourselves for his approval. Ordinarily, a vampire would do so when settling in a new nexus. It’s only polite.
However. Apuleius is not a vampire who bends the knee, and he cares little after all the long centuries for niceties. When the Count meets my sire, he will understand. Apuleius has seen the legions of Rome, the arrival of the barbarians, the rise and fall of knowledge, the darkness of plague, the shining glory when art and industry became once again important in the mortal world. I spent the first decade of my new life sitting at his feet and hearing his tales.
Our exile from our last nexus was…unfortunate. I am sorry, truly. But Apuleius seeks to be a father of many, and so we have come to a place where our kind is able to live freely. Yes, others were here before us. We plan no disruption of their ways, only the chance to live as we have chosen.
The girl has given herself to our side, not theirs. Will that be the feather on the scale that tips all of us into bloodshed? Perhaps. I am not concerned. Apuleius protects us. Who is this Count to think himself worthy of our time?
In “Rags to Riches with Patrice/the Carvers,” Patrice Carver is a nearly-senior owner of a flower shop and plant nursery. She’s a mother of one (the adorable Eddie), and she has *never* been lucky in love. She’s spent most of her life yearning after her (now married) best friend Akira, to the extent that her only intimate relationship has been with Diego, Eddie’s father.
Diego’s a slightly older art critic who left San Myshuno in middle age to come live with Patrice and Eddie in Oasis Springs. In doing so, he sold his huge city apartment and committed fully to his son and his ex, even renovating their house and buying Patrice her flower shop.
It hasn’t been easy, learning how to depend on someone.
Wheels just keep spinning around, don’t they? Did you and Dad ever feel like things were slipping away and then somehow coming around again? I’ve given these men too many years of my life, but here come the little hopes, the tiny little hopes that never survive reality.
He’s just more humble these days. I can surprise him. He’s gentler. He’s not kind. I don’t think he’ll ever be kind. But he loves Eddie and he walked away from a date the other night to come talk to me. To be surprised by me.
I don’t know. I’ve got too much to do for all this nonsense. But wheels just keep spinning, that’s all. I probably shouldn’t trust one more time.