Asteria stretched after a long sleep. She should feel refreshed but she felt sleepy and sluggish. Where were her followers? They should be building her power, not weakening it.
She sent her essence out into the world to see what was going on. There was a new cult taking root in both the Greek and Roman cultures. It was built on the basis of Hebrew’s monotheism, something about the son of God making an appearance and promising to forgive all sins. Asteria shook her head in disgust. That would be a lot of work for one god, but when she looked for her creations, her blood drinkers, she found that many of them were following this new religion.
Where was Tadeas? He should be teaching the new disciples her ways not letting them fall for Christianity and their one god theory. She looked for him everywhere but he was nowhere to be found. Did the first of her creation finally take a trip on the river Stix?
She had to do something to regain her power and bring her vampires back to her. She had never spoken to any of the vampires that Tadeas had created, only him. Now that he was gone she was going to have to reach out to her people. She pondered long and hard on the best way to do it. Taking a page from Christianity she would bring a daughter into the world that would bring all of her creations back to her bosom.
To create a half mortal daughter, she was going to need more power then she currently had. She could only think of one way to generate enough power, give her vampires a hint of what was to come. She sent them a prophecy detailing who and why she would send a daughter to them.
The prophecy helped, it not generate as much power as she hoped but it would be enough. There was a buzz in the ears of her creations. What she had not planned on was the amount of time that it would take to transform herself into human form.
Miguel stood on the balcony looking down at the hordes of humans gyrating against each other in the hot and sweaty bar below. He stifled a yawn, and pondered why they found such an inferior activity so entertaining. It was a very human thing to do, a way to forget about their petty problems and have a good time. He had nothing to complain about, he owned most of the city, and he had a retinue of followers that were ready and mostly willing to do his bidding. He was the patron of the city, the unspoken king, it had taken over a hundred years to get where he was today, and a year ago he would have said that it was worth it. Tonight though, he was bored. He was tired of waiting for the prophecy to become reality. He had been ready for years, he was anxious to begin his real reign and bring Europe to its knees before him. In the back of his mind though, there was always an uneasiness that someone else would discover ‘The One’ first.
He spent years studying the prophecy and the tapestry. All of the signs pointed to San Sebastian, but there were other bays on the east coast of the Atlantic that the text could have been talking about. What if he had missed it? He scowled and shook off the thought. This had to be the place, he needed to have patience and diligence, the reward would be worth it.
He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply trying to find someone to have for dinner. The bar smelled as it normally did of sex, alcohol, smoke, a few drugs, and something else. Something that he had never smelled before. It was like blooming lilacs and female, delicious. He opened his eyes and followed his nose looking for the source. He watched the door on the women’s restroom close and the smell faded with it. She must be inside, he thought.
“Master,” a voice behind him said.
“Vince, what can I do for you?” He asked not bothering to turn and look at his underling but keeping his eyes on the bathroom door.
“Everything for the finale of the film festival has been set,” Vince said with his head bowed in supplication. “It will be the same as last year at Castillo de la Mota, I have the big box set up for your entourage.”
“Very well,” Miguel said only half listening. “Was there anything else Vince?”
“There has been talk that the prophecy has been confirmed on the Ivory Coast,” Vince said stepping up to the railing next to his master and catching a whiff of the distinctive smell.
“That is interesting,” Miguel said barely stiffening at the remark. He was sure that there must be some mistake. He would call his sister as soon as found the source of the amazing smell. “I am sure that it is nothing. I will look into it. Thank you for keeping me up to date on the situation.” He froze as the air became saturated with the smell of the female leaving the ladies room. “If you will excuse me. I think that I have found my dinner for the evening.” Miguel dismissed Vince with a half wave of his hand, not taking his eyes off the female making her way back to the dance floor.
Vince’s nostrils flared zeroing in on the female and taking a step back. “Enjoy Miguel.”
Miguel watched the female with short dark hair make her way through the crowd. The cut fit her heart shaped face and when she glanced around he caught a glimpse of her ice blue eyes. He was surprised that he was able to make them out in the smoke darkened club. They must be electric under normal light. Her skin was an olive color, but he thought that most of that had come from the sun. Under her spaghetti strap red tank top and short black skirt, he thought that she would have skin the color of milk. She was strong he could see the cut of her biceps, they were not big, but toned and she curved in all the right places. Miguel had seen it all before. The only thing that stood out to him about her was her smell; to him everything else was average.
He watched her stop in the middle of the dance floor, she placed both of her hands on her hips with her legs spread and yelled at a man caught in an embrace with another woman. Miguel leaned against the railing to watch the show with a small smile on his lips.
“He’s lying to you,” a voice with a Spanish accent whispered in my ear. I looked around, ignoring Mark, to see who had snuck up on me, but no one was there.
“Are you listening to me?” Mark asked trying to maintain eye contact. “I was just dancing with her nothing more.”
“He’s lying to you again,” the whisper said louder this time. I fought the urge to look around again for the source of this voice that was trying to distract me. Not giving up on the situation at hand I just stared back at Mark.
“The next thing I knew she was kissing me,” he said trying to take both of my hands in one of his, like he always did when he was in trouble. I pulled my hands away not ready to talk about it in a crowded bar.
“Whatever, I’m not going to have this conversation in this place,” I said waving my hands around the noisy crowded bar in San Sebastian, Spain. “I’m going to head back to the room. When you are ready come back, we can talk.” I said turning and heading toward the door. Maybe I had too much to drink tonight. Hearing voices? Come on.
Out on the street I took a cleansing breath getting rid of all the smoky, sex driven air of the bar and began to walk toward the hotel that Mark and I were staying in.
Some trip this was turning into, I thought while making my way up the sidewalk. I hated being a babysitter and it felt like that is all I had been on so far. Whether I was half carrying Mark home drunk from a bar, finding his lost passport, or making sure that he had dinner when he needed it, all I had done was take care of him. Finding him playing tonsil hockey with some girl on the dance floor while I was in the bathroom was the last straw. I knew that things had to change, or we would have to go our separate ways.
I wound my way through the streets trying to figure out how to save this trip. I had been dating Mark for three years, and we had been planning this summer in Europe since the beginning of our junior year of college. I thought we had a great relationship. This trip was going to be our last hurrah before settling down with careers and family. We were only on our second week and I was having second thoughts about everything that I thought I loved about him.
Turning the corner onto the street of my hotel I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I stopped and look around. There was a man standing in the shadows of the building. I could only see that he was large, and his eyes almost seemed to glow. He creeped me out.
“Good evening,” someone behind me said and I watched the man in the shadows dip is head in greeting. I spun around to see who was behind me but no one was there. I turned back to the man only to find that he was gone. My flight or fight instinct kicked in and I ran down the street and almost tripped through the door of my hotel.
Antonio, the night clerk, looked up from behind the desk with a concerned look on his face. “Señora Hunter, are you alright?”
“Si, I am sorry, I thought that someone was chasing me,” I said looking around at the empty lobby.
“You have nothing to worry about in San Sebastian, señorita, this is a very safe town.”
“I know it has just been a long night.” I headed toward the elevator then to my room.
I flipped on the lights, checked the bathroom, the closet, and under the bed. I just wanted to make sure that no one was hiding in my room.
It had been a strange night. I undressed and put my stinky bar clothes in a plastic hotel laundry bag. I headed toward the bathroom, the shower was calling to me. As the hot water beat on my back I thought about the voices that I heard. The one at the bar, and the one on the street. They were different sounding, I did not think that they came from the same person but each time they sounded like someone was behind me even though when I looked there was no one there. Maybe I had too much to drink. I shut off the shower and dressed in boxers and a t-shirt before turning out the lights and going to sleep.