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The parlor was her favorite room in the townhouse. When they had evenings at home, pretending to be human, Drusilla was inclined to wander into this room and sit by the fireplace. Most times she encouraged her William to lay there with his head in her lap as she played with the pale brown curls that framed his face. They made a perfect picture of domestic tranquility that was utterly deceptive.

This night, however, William absconded with Angelus, leaving the women to entertain themselves. Her boy’s absence put her in a snit. Barely healed from Darla’s attentions, Dru wanted to mother her boy. William had been weak for days and now that he was in hunting condition, she wanted him by her side, not out with her Daddy.

Daddy kept her from him that day. She remembered that much and held the grudge with considerable effort. Her mind wanted to let it go and wander as it normally did, but she could be stubborn and now was one of those times when her own will overpowered the gleaming madness.

Magdalena slipped into the parlor quietly, clearly ill at ease around Angelus’ insane childe. She knew that Drusilla knew she was there, but the childlike creature ignored her in favor of watching the flames dance in the hearth. That would be fine normally; any attention bestowed upon her by those wicked brown eyes usually started with terror and ended with pain and humiliation.

“Drusilla. Mistress Darla requests that you join her in her suite,” she told her, taking small unneeded breaths meant to calm her demon.

Still as a statue, Drusilla spoke, her voice a melodic tinkling that was not at all unpleasant. “Grandmummy’s been bad, Maggie dearest, and I’m rather cross with her now. She’ll find that I am terrible company.” She turned to the minion, her eyes dark and glistening. “I know what she wants from me. My Angel’s off playing nicely with my bright boy and Darla’s all alone.” A pout, and the minion stepped back, unsure if there would be a fit of sorts soon, but staying clear just in case.

“I only do as she bids, Miss Drusilla,” she said defensively, glancing around for a weapon should she be attacked.

Unfolding her thin, long legs from under her skirts, Drusilla stood and tilted her head to the left. She regarded Magdalena with a tiny smile. “Of course, pet. But since I don’t do as she bids, run along and tell your mistress that she would do much better to fuck herself than trust me to do it for her. I’m feeling unpredictable.” She patted the girl’s cheek, laughing as she fled the room as fast as her demonic speed would allow.




“Drusilla, Magdalena tells me that you have declined my invitation to join me this evening.”

Anger. Indignation. Cruelty. These and more poured from Darla and invaded the young vampire’s senses. She let her head sway as the feelings washed over her.

“I went to the carnival with Daddy last spring. It was great fun and we ate until our tummies burst. You were gone. Off to see your sire.”

“Drusilla, I don’t see—” the petite blonde started.

“No, grandmummy, you don’t. But that night was full of colors: blues so dark and deep like the midnight sky; greens so full of power that the devils themselves were jealous; and there was red, red everywhere, bleeding into it all. He made it that way just for me and we had our fill,” she proclaimed, rubbing her belly in a circular motion that was both hypnotic and distracting.

Darla studied her, impatience giving way to curiosity. Angelus’ childe told stories to make a point and she wondered what this one would reveal.

“Yes, Angelus is very good at that dear. We all are.”

“Hmmm, yes, and inside he was giant and needed and powerful. Not like he is with you. Small and petty.”

Narrowed eyes regarded the lithe brunette. “Angelus is a perfect childe, Drusilla. I made him that way, unlike that gutter-mouthed idiot with which you are cavorting around.”

Drusilla laughed, the cackle of her madness, but with startling clarity remaining in those dark eyes. “He doesn’t lounge at your feet, full of wonder, and sing songs from his heart for you Darla. Unlike my gutter-mouthed warrior, he doesn’t worship you anymore. He just doesn’t know it yet,” she purred, pleased with herself.

Tonight was a good night for folly and fools, Darla being both in Drusilla’s opinion. She would believe everything the younger vampire said because she thought her too stupid or insane to lie.

Dru smiled sweetly and caressed Darla’s hand, ignoring the slight tremble as her lies took root.

Manipulation had its rewards.