New Egypt: The Revelations of Oriceran, Soul Stone Mage, Book 5
By Sarah Noffke & Martha Carr
The lantern light barely lit the large lobby. That was fine because Cordelia didn’t need much light since she could see fine in the dark. She pulled her fangs from the man’s neck, his head lulling back. He was a vegetarian. Not her favorite type of victim. Those who fed on meat had richer blood, but for now she couldn’t be picky.
Turning her attention to her companion on the other side of the table, Cordelia released the dead man’s body, letting it slide to the floor without a thought. She pulled an embroidered handkerchief from her bosom and dabbed it on the corners of her lips, wiping away the blood. When her lips were clean she dropped the handkerchief on the dead man’s body, her eyes still pinned on Hamilton.
Her partner was dressed in a blue British traditional suit, which was cut close to the body. He also wore a clever grin. It was one of her favorite things about him.
“You always look like you’ve got a secret that you’re deciding if you should tell or not,” Cordelia remarked.
“I have many secrets, but you know most of mine,” Hamilton said.
“Most?” she asked, her head tilted to the side and a playful look buzzing in her brown eyes. Cordelia wore a red gothic Victorian dress, a fashion she’d fallen in love with when on Earth in the seventeenth century. Now most on Earth didn’t put the same effort into their dress. Jeans? What were those? Pushing one of her black curls off her shoulder, she stared around at the hotel. This morning it was bustling with guests and had a large wait staff. The owner was now lying dead on the floor at Cordelia’s feet. It hadn’t been difficult to get into his mind and make him evacuate the hotel and fire most of the staff. What had been difficult was convincing Hamilton that the Palm Hotel was the perfect place for their coven to grow and flourish.
“You still don’t like it, do you?” she asked him. His discerning green eyes scanned the walls covered in old tapestries and the small palm trees lining the large fountain that ran down the length of the lobby. The ceiling, some thirty feet of height, was covered in a colorful mosaic depicting the Nile River filled with fishing boats, the sun setting in the east. New Egypt wasn’t exactly like its counterpart on Earth, but it was close enough that sometimes Cordelia forgot which planet she was on. She preferred Oriceran, which is why they’d decided to return to it, after many decades. Well, and it was the only place where vampires could be created the right way.
Hamilton wrinkled his nose, sniffing. “It’s not so much that I don’t like it, but rather that the hotel smells like…”
“Humans?” Cordelia asked, completing his sentence.
“Well, and witches, Light Elves, gnomes and all the other rubbish who have stayed here.” The firelight from the lantern danced over the curves of Hamilton’s face. He had high cheekbones like his father and also sharp eyebrows that framed his green eyes. He had his mother’s black hair and her Elfish ears. However, the silver streak that ran through his hair on the side of his head was unique to only Hamilton. Every vampire’s soul mark was unique. For instance, when Cordelia had been turned, many centuries ago in the streets of London, a purplish birth mark in the shape of a dagger appeared on her left shoulder blade.
Too keenly she remembered when she’d lost her soul. Most mourn for a bit when they lose their magic and become a vampire, a beast that sucks on the blood of others. However, Cordelia recognized from the beginning that the change was the best thing to ever happen to her. She was immortal now and yes, lacked magic, but was even more powerful with unmatched strength and mind control.
Hamilton pushed out from the small table, crossing one leg over the other. “Yes, the hotel will do. I wished it had a bit more history to it. It could be grander somehow.” He threw his hand in a circle motioning to the columns plated in gold and the custom furniture.
“I promise dear that we will trade up. First, we build our coven, making it strong with only the brightest and boldest vampires. Then we take over the kingdom of New Egypt and we can upgrade,” Cordelia said, snapping her fingers. “Lux? Divo?” She pursed her ruby red lips, disapproval heavy in her stare.
A tall man with two chins and small eyes appeared in the archway. “Yes, madam? What can I do for you?”
Cordelia pointed to the man lying beside her, bleeding on the Persian rug, although there wasn’t much blood left in him. “Divo, where have you been? The hotel owner has been dead for several minutes.”
Divo bowed a few times as he started forward. “My apologies, madam. Lux and I were trying to choose which room we were taking.” He turned and called over his shoulder, “Lux!”
A figure blurred as it sped forward. Lux’s figure materialized when he halted just in front of Cordelia. He was much shorter than Devo, with square shoulders. His head was bald, but he had no trouble growing a thick beard. Lux knelt down on one knee and offered her a hands, not seeming to notice the dead man underneath him. “My lady, I hear we’ve disappointed you. Please accept my apologies.”
Cordelia drew in a long breath and let it out as she dismissed Lux, turning to look at Hamilton. “We really need to be particular about those who we turn into vampires. I don’t want any more duds.”
Lux grimaced as he took the hands of the dead man. Devo already had his feet in his hands. They lifted the body and carried it from the lobby.
“Oh, and boys?” Cordelia called to them when they were almost gone.
“Yes, madam?” Lux asked, sounding less enthusiastic than before.
“I left you each a present in the walk-in freezer. You might want to thaw them out a bit, but their blood should warm up fast since I suspect their hearts are still beating. I only sent the tourists in there a little while ago for safe keeping.” Cordelia.
“Madam you are too kind. Thank you,” Lux said, a smile breaking across his face.