Jacques spent the morning reviewing the contract. For a contract where he bartered with his blood it was a pretty good deal. Nevio offered him a solid salary for his time and for living there. His room, food, and a car were part of the package. A slight twinge of irritation went through him over the car but he let it slide.
With vampires he would have to pick his battles. Making sure Nevio didn’t take over his life would be the largest one. He could accept a car with good grace.
The way Jacques saw things he could either give in with good grace by signing the contract, or he could fight Nevio and lose all of his opportunity for negotiating. He didn’t bother to consider a third option of being allowed to leave. Vampires were territorial and Nevio saw Jacques as belonging to him. No way would the vampire let his meal walk out of the door and not do anything.
Jacques clutched the pen he found tucked into a drawer and frowned. A deep sigh escaped from the recesses of his soul. “I’m screwed either way,” he muttered.
A headache pressed down on him adding to his oppression. He growled. His lion half wanted to run.
Why shouldn’t he? Didn’t Nevio tell him to examine the document? If he were to negotiate in good faith he needed to relax. He couldn’t concentrate under a time crunch. A wicked smile curled his lips.
“I hope he warned them he had a lion in the house.”
Laughter rang through the room seconds later followed by a loud roar.
As he suspected the noise brought company. A man he didn’t recognize opened Jacques door. He didn’t wait to discover his response. Instead Jacques ran past. The startled yelp added to his enjoyment of the moment.
Let them try and cage the lion, he would show them what it meant to try and tame the beast.
The long hallways were perfect for a good run. Jacques followed the carpet to a landing then down a flight of stairs. The front door thwarted him with its closed status. He growled at the barrier.
“Are you running for freedom or stretching your legs?” Nevio’s voice called out from the top of the stairs.
How did the idiot think a lion could answer? Jacques plopped down on the marbled floor and glared at the vampire.
“Hmm, good point. You’re not exactly the English speaking type of lion. This isn’t a cartoon after all. If I let you out will you stay on the grounds? I don’t want someone to shoot you thinking you escaped from the zoo. I’ve warned my fellow vampires that my sweet lion has joined me. No one on the state will seek to harm you.”
“Nod if you are just going for a run,” Nevio demanded.
Jacques let the moment linger for a bit before nodding. The damn vamp needed to sweat a little. Did vampires sweat? A question to have answered another time.
“All right then. Like I said don’t run past the gates. We don’t want someone making a lion rug.”
Jacques didn’t bother to respond to Nevio’s humor. He fled as soon as Nevio opened the door enough for him to get through.
“Have a good run. I’ll leave the door ajar for your return,” Nevio promised.
Fresh air filled his lungs as Jacques fled from the stifling mansion. Years among the cold walls didn’t sound like a good time but maybe he could coax the wolves to come visit and liven things up. He could already tell that the vampires needed a bit more excitement. Who better to add it than the pack?
Pondering the downfall of the vampire coven, Jacques explored the grounds. Looking back at the mansion he admired the gothic pillars and enormous size. The ivy trailing up the sides added a romantic charm.
However, it was the landscape that took Jacques breath away. He currently stood in the middle of a small flower garden in full bloom. A riot of colors and smells flooded his senses. The urge to run faded as he inhaled the heady fragrance of the blossoms.
Jacques flopped down in a patch of sunlight and gave into his feline urges to become one with the sunny circle of grass.