Rejected offer

Usually, to thank someone, he would offer to take them out to eat somewhere. It was a message he had instilled in him by his mother. Henri had probably missed his weekly call by now. That would be a nightmare to deal with.

Taking a vampire out to a meal didn’t seem like a good idea though. He didn’t know what that entailed. Well, he knew it had to deal with blood. That much was obvious. But he didn’t want to say any of that. It would just be awkward. Henri knew enough about vampires to know that some of them lost their tempers when faced with… well, obvious facts? Assumed traits? There was the church that had been trashed when someone assumed that crosses had anything to do with keeping a vampire out.

Nevertheless, he had to do it. It was how he was supposed to be polite. Henri tugged at the collar of his new shirt awkwardly. “I’d like to treat you to a meal as thanks.”

Slowly, the vampire’s eyebrows crept upward on his face. “You would… like to treat me to a meal?”

Henri nodded.

The vampire smiled. The teeth were so human looking. That was another thing Henri could never get over. He knew this one too, had known for a long time. “Fangs” weren’t a part of the package, despite what everyone said. Henri hoped he hadn’t gotten himself into trouble or something.

“No you wouldn’t,” the vampire said. “But thank you for offering.”

Then he left Henri alone.

One-sided introduction

Henri recognized the vampire the moment he stepped into the doorway. He didn’t interrupt the nurse as he cleared away Henrique’s meal. He could get to his feet now without feeling dizzy. The vampire didn’t say anything until the nurse walked out. The man said something to the vampire as he left, but Henri didn’t catch it.

“I see you didn’t die,” the vampire said, tone all matter of fact.

Henri looked him over. The vampire wasn’t really how he remembered him being. He was shorter than Henri, slighter too. If he had been human, he wouldn’t have been the type to throw Henri into the back of anything. “I have you to thank for that… um…”

The nurse had never given him the vampire’s name. Now that he thought about it, he could see that. How many people knew that there were vampires working here?

He decided not to make it more awkward. “It’s Henrique. Thanks for ignoring whatever it was I was saying when I was bleeding out.”

The vampire nodded. “People bleeding out don’t tend to know what’s best for them.”

At this point, he didn’t really know what else to say.

Train your face

The Baron’s son had a way of almost looking like he wasn’t present in the room. Golden could have hit him. However, he knew enough to know that hitting the Baroness’ heir would be a very bad idea. He was suspicious enough of the people around him to not want to deliberately make any enemies. He would leave this place on his own decision, not because of anyone else.

“Are you all there?” Golden asked. Hitting him was beneath him (because of his position, because of how much younger he was), but Golden didn’t have a problem asking about him all out.

The younger boy frowned. “I… take it you aren’t talking about a physical injury?”

Golden rolled his eyes.

The boy sighed. “Ma’mer says that too. When I’m not interested in something I look dumb.”

That was not what he expected. “Really?”

“Not what she said, but sort of. I can’t help that.”

“Yeah you can.”

That got the Baron’s son’s attention. “You can?”

“Expressions are something you can train,” Golden pointed out. “You’ve just got to pay attention to what you’re doing?”

“Pay attention to my face?”

Golden left him to return with a bowl of water. He placed it in front of him. “Look.”

The Baroness’ heir did. Then he bit his lower lip. “Do you think I can figure it out?”

“Anyone can figure it out. Just do it.”

“Thanks, Golden.”


It was only later, much later, when Golden thought about it, that he realized how he really felt about that word. The concept. Thanks.

It didn’t feel so bad. He smiled.