Have you any idea how hard it is disciplining young vampires?
They are arrogant, self-centred, cocky little brutes with a monstrous tolerance of pain, bodies that heal far too quickly and absolutely no sense of guilt.
You can flog them so their bones powder, or rape them into the floor until they can’t walk, and all they feel is anger. You can chain them up and not feed them for a month until they will beg and promise anything just to be allowed to feed.
But the second I let him out of that door he’ll be following his own will again. Without a second thought for what I’ve tried to teach him. Or that it should be my will he follows.
‘You will obey me!’
Have you any idea how hard it is to discipline young vampires?
Drusilla would be shivering with anticipation. Penn would be hanging his head in shame. Each and every one of the countless minions I have had over the years, I can say with total confidence, would have been quaking with fear.
But this is William. So he is just standing there in front of me and fidgeting.
‘Keep still, boy!’
He lounges around for hours when it suits him, so why can’t he damn well keep still when he is in front of me? Whilst I decide what on earth I’m going to do with him. This time.
I have used every punishment in the book and then some. Until I am just so tired of having to think about it that I almost want to let it go. But I can’t. He is my damn property. My responsibility. Mine.
And he is not getting away with this.
He is not getting away from me.
Have you any idea how hard it is disciplining a young vampire?
When you can never get him to pay attention to you. When you are grateful to even see him fidgeting.
At least fidgeting is some sort of reaction to me.
Dru screams in agony and ecstasy and shrieks my name. Penn howled in sorrow and submission and called me Master.
He just grits his teeth or yelps as the mood suits him. As if I wasn’t even there. As if I was just a stone he’s stubbed his toe against, or a cinder that spat out of the fire and burnt him. As if it is just the pain he has to deal with, not me.
As if I’ve already decided how much I’m going to hurt him, so all he has to do is get through it and then it will stop. Well it doesn’t work like that.
‘I won’t let you get away with that, boy!’
Not this time.
Have you any idea how long I’ve been disciplining young vampires?
‘Do you think you can get the better of me?’
Because I want some response from him; some acknowledgement of his fault. And I won’t let him skip off to wherever it is that his mind goes when I’m dealing with him. I will keep him here and now and concentrating on me. I will talk to him, I will get him to count, I will ask him questions, I will make him spell out half of Shakespeare backwards if I have to. But I will not let him think that we are not equally involved in this.
Because this time I will not stop until he submits. Properly once and for all submits to me, and acknowledges that he will do what I tell him. Until he says that he will obey me. Says that he will show respect to me. Admits that I, a hundred and fifty year old master vampire, know more than a brat scarce out of fledglinghood. Says that I am his sire with a total right of ownership over him.
Until he says that I know what is right for him.
Why won’t he trust me?
Have you any idea why I couldn’t discipline a young vampire?
I just have to put enough time and thought into dealing with him. So much time and thought.
If I want him to do something when he doesn’t, I must stand over him and threaten him every single time he hesitates. Because I can’t take my eyes off him for even one second. Or he’ll deliberately make a mess of it. And then come back at me with some glib remark. Or actually have the nerve to argue. Argue with me! The insolent, cocksure, confident, reckless little devil. Always pushing the boundary, always testing to see how far he can go. And if I give an inch he will take it.
‘You little devil.’
I can’t take my eyes off him.
Have you any idea how hard it is to discipline a young vampire?
When every time you shout at him he grins or winks or has some clever retort. When instead of explaining himself he relates some wretched tale that makes all the minions snigger, and you know they will be repeating it for weeks.
Whilst you are still trying to look disapproving.
And when you tell him to do something difficult, he does it without a care in the world for forethought or caution, and damn him but half the time it goes belly up because of it and you despair that he will ever be good for anything.
But then half the time it works.
And when you try to teach him what is important he just tilts his head and quirks his eyebrow and smiles.
And walks away with that swagger in his step.
‘Don’t walk away from me when I’m talking to you, boy!’
Don’t walk away from me.
Have you any idea how hard it is to discipline this young vampire?
Have you any idea?