The Undead Life of Harlow Kaine · Writing

The Undead Life of Harlow Kaine (8)

This story is a direct companion to The Undead Life of Harlow Kaine (7)

Throwing her keys to the valet, Harlow entered the mansion and immediately sought out Olivier. From a passing housekeeper she was told that he had retired to his room with a guest, August however was in his office stargazing. She broke off for the staircase and headed towards the second-in-commands office. While the matter at hand dictated that she see Olivier immediately, because the threat had been neutralized she could let August make that decision in her place.

After a brief knock, she entered without waiting for a reply. This was mostly unheard of and August looked up ready to berate whoever dared to be so rude. When he saw Harlow and the state of her appearance however, he practically vaulted over this desk to get to her. “Harlow, che cosa ti è successo?” he demanded, grabbing her shoulders and holding her still so that he could take stock of her injuries and ripped clothing. “Who did this to you?”

“I ran into the Abomination.”

August swore.

“And a Knight.”

He swore louder and longer this time, in his native Italian. “Did the Knight hurt you too?”

“No, I helped him kill the Abomination. He would have killed me but a mortal interfered; I saved the mortal from the Abomination.” she added quickly. August continued to examine her and frowned.

“Well, you’re obviously healing but slowly, Olivier needs to be informed as well, come.” August’s intent was clear, he was going to interrupt their Master. Harlow followed obediently, wishing she could shower and change clothes, but she knew that Olivier would need to hear her account and the sooner the better.

The two vampires reached the third floor and briskly took themselves down the hallway to the large double doors at the end. August didn’t hesitate to knock urgently and loudly. There was a brief wait before Olivier opened the door a crack, clearly upset at being disturbed. “August?”

“Harlow encountered the Abomination, and a member of the Knighthood,” he explained with some measure of heat in his voice, reaching behind him to show Harlow to Olivier. The change in their Master was almost immediate. He flung his door open and reached for her, his quickly babbled French escaping her level of comprehension.

“HARLOW, my dear Harlow, are you okay?” he demanded finally in English while doing a much more physical examination of her injuries. He spun her around, lifted her hair, ran his hands along her arms and back, trying to pinpoint where all her injuries were. She recoiled in a hiss of pain as one of his questing hands brushed against her side. “Something is broken?” he wondered out loud. He gently placed his hand on her again and concentrated. “Deeply bruised, but healing…slowly.” he finally stated. “Everything is much slower than it should be, not surprising when dealing with an Abomination.”

“The whole point is to delay the natural healing magic so the Abomination can simply rip any supernatural to shreds, which is why they’re so feared,” Rosemary stated from the door to her room, roused by the ruckus in the hallway. She approached Harlow and reached out a comforting hand. “You poor thing, you should sleep today,” she suggested.

“I absolutely agree, no arguing please,” Olivier seconded, lifting a staying finger as Harlow attempted to protest. “Once you’ve fully healed you’ll be out of danger so to speak and I don’t want you running around injured with a Knight on the loose. Rosemary, would you kindly send out an urgent message to get the Coven here for a meeting and have the staff open up the guest house? By Friday I think should give everyone ample time given the circumstances.”

August took this as a cue to escort Harlow to her bedroom just down the hall while Rosemary and Olivier continued to discuss the meeting. He opened the door for her and nudged her inside with his hand on the small of her back. “You’ll feel better when you wake up and you know it. I’ll send someone up to you tomorrow night,” he said in a tone that didn’t invite argument or suggestion. Harlow knew they were right but hated admitting that she needed the break, after a certain age vampires only “slept” if they were horribly injured or bored. Although Olivier had been known to sleep during times of great deliberation and August slept when he thought he could use it as an excuse to avoid something he didn’t want to do….it almost always worked.

After August shut the door behind her, Harlow sighed and gingerly made her way into her en suite bathroom to shower before changing into her favorite star-patterned pajamas to make the whole idea of being ordered into bed less of a humiliation and more of a “treat”. She crawled into the middle her king size bed, enjoying entirely too much space to herself while hunting down her stuffed animal, a true to size golden capped fruit bat she’d named Pipi (short for Pipistrello) and wrapping her arms around it for comfort. She laid there for a moment in the total darkness of her room, glow-in-the-dark stars childishly stuck to the inside of her canopied bed arranged in different constellations thanks to August’s help. She would sleep until she was healed, she decided, knowing that once she’d consciously made that decision the magic she held inside her as a vampire would make it so.

“Fine, go to sleep.”  she thought.

Everything went black.

Prompt generated from this list of 120 One Word Writing Prompts and the use of Google’s Random Number Generator. Number & Coordinated Theme Generated: 42 – Stars.

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