Catnapped 15

Sorry I was feeling sick yesterday!

The rest of the week passed quickly. Nevio still hadn’t requested blood and Jacques spent most of his time in his lion form lying in the garden.

He flicked his tail from side to side and he lay on the large rock Nevio had placed to the left of the flowers. Apparently the gardeners were worried about the state of the greenery with his big lion ass in the way.

Sunshine beamed down on him as Jacques lolled about in the bright sunshine enjoying the heat against his fur.

“You are just a big lazy lion, aren’t you?”

Jacques lifted one eyelid to examine the vampire standing beside his rock. He yawned, exposing his sharp teeth.

“Yes, yes, you are quite intimidating. If you are done with your nap your tutor is going to be here in an hour to discuss some boring, dusty history with you. I thought you might want to be ready for that.” Nevio’s disdain came across clearly.

Jacques chuffed his disapproval before standing then jumping down from his rock. If he nudged Nevio a bit it was perfectly accidental, or he would claim, if asked.

“Brat,” Nevio scoled in a surprisingly affectionate tone.

Heading inside, Jacques didn’t bother to reply. He made it all the way back to his room before he wondered why Nevio hadn’t sent a servant to inform him.

After a quick shower and change into fresh clothes, Jacques located the library where his sessions were going to be held. A man in a tweed jacket and khakis stood in the room, a low table between him and the door. Jacques couldn’t make out what was on the table. A covering blocked his view.

“Oh, there you are. Well I’m assuming it’s you. You are Jacques Caldera are you not?”

“Yes, and you are?”

“Felix Underson.”

“The explorer?” Excitement shot through him. He hadn’t dared to hope to have someone this prestigious teaching him.

“Yes, that would be me!” The explorer beamed at him. “I’ve heard you want to work in a museum.”

Jacques nodded. “That’s been my dream since my dad took me to the Smithsonian as a child. I want to preserve our history.” He blushed beneath Felix’s understanding gaze.

“Quite right. As do I. I’ve spent the past ten years trying to uncover histories lost treasures from remote locations. All the ordinary valuable items are returned to their home cultural center so it can be shared with all.”

“And the ones that aren’t ordinary?” The hairs on the back of Jacques neck rose as Felix lifted the cover off the table.

“I bring them with me to discover their secrets and I’ll be using them as a teaching tool. What better way to learn about history than to learn everything that has happened in the past good and bad. You see, Jacques, may I call you that?”

Jacques nodded, his mouth too dry to answer.

“I’m going to teach you to be a true historian. Unlike those that try to whitewash history and make it all about the pretty trinkets and heroic battles, I’m going to show you the evil underbelly so you have a more rounded education. You can only learn so much history from books before you have to go out and explore on your own. Unfortunately for you, you’ve been put into a rather restrictive environment while still expecting you to learn about the world. It is my job to make sure you can get the education you need.”

“I appreciate that sir.” Jacques tried not to show his unease. Surely Nevio would leave him alone with someone who meant him harm.

“I knew you would.” Felix flashed him an approving smile. “That’s why I saved my best hexed objects for you.”

“Oh, um thanks.” Curiosity had him stepping forward. He blamed his inner feline.

Three items lay on a bed of red silk.

“All three of these have a dangerous curse of some kind. It is unusual to find in lost temples or tombs protection against theft or intrusion.”

The best solution to Jacques mind it to just leave it there.

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