tagNonHumanMine...Yours Pt. 14

Mine...Yours Pt. 14

bypayenbrant©

Author's Note:

I have received many emails on my Sabbatical from writing. Besides the ones telling me to hurry up and get back to writing. The second most common was a desire to see more of William and Nancy. I had planned on writing a quick one-shot short story for them, but quickly realized it was impossible to write a separate story. They were too involved in the main plot, so I devised to write a separate "view" of the tale with them being the main characters.

This part 14 is a different take on many of the things that have happened so far in the story. So there are spoilers, but it has its own chapters. There are spoilers in here, so please start at the beginning if you are just coming to this tale for the first time. Otherwise, a lot of this will make no sense to you.

Please leave me comments, because I very much enjoy them. Leave me emails as well if you are too shy to leave a comment. If you are anonymous, then please leave me some way to identify you so I can write back.

Sincerely,

Payenbrant


*****

Mine...Yours 14 (William's View)

So many people love vampire stories. I personally am sick of them! They are overdone, transparent, gaudy and terribly gauche! I personally see these shows on television with the tragic undead monstrosity that is so misunderstood and it makes me want to laugh! What is this fascination with something that...? I am getting ahead of myself...

Salutations! I am currently William Henry Abernathy the Ninth! Not to be confused with William Henry Abernathy the Eighth, Seventh, Sixth or Fifth. You must already be familiar with my dear friend Gregory Brooks, as he has been writing out his own experiences in a journal format. I even think his roommate Lucretia is writing some of her own experiences in it as well. That should be interesting reading...speaking of...

"Nancy!"

"Yes William?"

"Be a dear and fetch me a cup of tea please, and make a note for me to speak with Lucretia again. I am getting nowhere on my investigation into the attack on the Gatewatch."

Now, where was I? Oh yes! I was about to tell you I am a vampire. No I do not have skin the color of cream and long midnight black hair that I practice artfully tossing out of my face in front of a mirror to attract the attention of every female in the room. I do not walk with a leopard's grace or exhibit a fondness for skin-tight clothing. Nor do I frequent nightclubs perusing the sea of writhing humanity for a tasty snack to bring home and dine on. I do not brood in the dark either, well, that is not entirely true. Everyone broods from time to time...I just do it less than people think.

In truth I am not so different from you, I just have a more specialized diet. Like a vegan, or someone who cannot eat genetically modified foods. In the end when one really thinks about it and looks at all sides of who and what I am, I am really...

Not so strange!

Chapter 1

I noticed the mug of tea with a wedge of lemon on a saucer on top of my desk and feel little paws on my shin.

"Will there be anything else William?" She asked.

"Only if you will finally tell me my dear, how in the world you can do this!" I retorted. "That mug is large enough for you to bathe in, and you cut a slice of lemon?"

"A woman has to keep some secrets to herself William." She told me sweetly.

I looked down at Nancy, my own roommate and who now fancies herself my personal assistant. She has charm, panache and a stern sweetness tempered by professional decorum. I find her to be invaluable.

Even if she is a rat.

"It is not a secret, it is either a mechanical marvel or a form of magic that allows you to..." I sighed and then chuckled.

"Never mind me Nancy...thank you for the tea." She gave a small squeak and then scampered out of the room as the phone rang. I heard her answer it, "Mr. Abernathy's office! How can I help you today?"

I had installed a numeric pad and small keyboard for her to use and soon she took over the phone systems in my office and even the group secretary in our building for all of the businesses wanted to hire her away from me! I see them every now and then as I close up at night, and I wonder what they are thinking?

The eccentric investor with his pet rat on a pink leash perched on his shoulder, and no sign of the well-mannered woman who answers my phones and collates my books.

"She already left for the night...you must have just missed her." I tell them with a smile.

Truly, living with a rat for a roommate is no worse and in many ways much better than having a human, or a werewolf as a roommate. Maybe a ghost would be a better only in the sense that they would take up less space than a rat, but I digress. The point is that I offered her my home to stay in on pure whimsy.

You see I have been around on this oval shaped planet long enough to have seen much and done nearly everything you can imagine. I have been to both the North and South Poles. I spent time in Russia during the Napoleonic invasion. I have been to the bottom of the Marianas Trench and have even traveled to two different dimensions containing a completely different version of my home.

Yet I have never had, until now, the chance to get into a heated debate about the merits of Big band music as compared to Classical with a knowledgeable rat!

As we come inside of my home I set Nancy on the ground and take off her harness. She prefers to remove it herself since she is nimble enough to do so, but I do it anyway since I view it as helping a woman to take off her coat. It is polite. Being polite is key to being good. Being good is essential to cover up what I truly am...

What I am is evil.

Hard to tell but in the world I lived in, even a few hundred years ago, it was not uncommon to slaughter whole groups of people down to the women and children. For after all...in a time of war you must destroy everyone in a family or those little bastards will come after you for revenge in the future. Makes it kind of tedious to have to look over your shoulder so it is better to get them when they are young and helpless.

Different times, different beliefs, and a different morality than this day and age we exist in. However it is one I still maintain. Does that make me evil? I am not sure. Nor do I particularly care. It is simply a facet of who I am, a ruthless and cunning individual. 700 years ago you would think me well adjusted, in the here and now I would be labeled a monster.

I took off my suit jacket and loosened my shirt cuffs before walking up to my Cabinet. I opened the door and took down my wineglass. After the day I have had a splash of baboon with sea otter and good touch of pelican would be perfect! I heard the click of Nancy's paws as she skittered into the kitchen. I crept to the corner and quickly peered around the side to watch. She had gotten on top of the counters again! I had never set anything up for her to climb. To the best of my knowledge no rat could get from the floor to the countertops. Yet there she was moving about and peering up at the cupboards. She turned her head to look at the doorway and I pulled back in time, then chanced a look.

The cupboard was open and a large cereal bowl and a box of cereal were resting next to her! How does she do it?

"I was going to ask if you needed help Nancy but..." my voice trailed off as she looked at me, her ears swiveling up.

"Oh! Thank you William but I have everything under control here. Just getting myself a snack." She said cheerily. "Can I get you anything?" She asked.

I held up my wine glass that was still half full of the mixture of blood and took another sip. Amazing stuff this mixture! I could feel it moving throughout my body, both relaxing me and making me feel alert. One of the few mixtures I had found that was only a three-part mix instead of the traditional four elements.

"If you need me Nancy, I will be in my study." I said quietly. Then I walked through the living room and to the side door where I pulled off the working light switch and punched in my security code. The heavy door unlatched and I pushed it open and turned on the lights. I don't need light to see, of course, but it is a wonder to me! So many vampires look down on humans because of their short life spans and other things that we have so much of...

But they, humans, found a way to harness a little piece of the sun and put it in a piece of glass.

I sat down at my desk amidst a pile of paperwork. Mostly it was stacks of handwritten notes, maps and star charts that had lines or words drawn in margins. Lumps of tape and photographs. Also hanging on walls or in jars were various trophies and bits of memorabilia I had collected in my life. A stuffed and mounted baby chupacabra. A display of bullets that had ended the lives of certain people, framed against the wall on black velvet. My two favorites are the killing bullet of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the killing bullet of Mahatma Gandhi. Took a while to find that last one since three shots had been fired and the first had not killed him.

I looked at my piles and wondered not for the first time if I should let Nancy in here to help me organize. She had done wonders for my office after all. Then, not for the first time I decided against it. I needed to have my own space that was just for me. I kept a clean house; I should have no trouble keeping a clean study. I eyed the stacks of notes and journals around me and grunted to myself.

I had changed much from the young man who had dressed in furs and slogged through mud with a heavy stick in one hand.

Though not as much as you might think. Life is full of struggles. Just last week I was at a meeting that was happy for me, and unhappy for another. The boardroom was stifling hot; if I had been human I would have been sweating. One attorney and two security personnel were holding the young man across from me back. I had been working on the accounts for a shipping company. The young man's father had built up the business even better than his own father had back in the early 1900's. This young cockerel in front of me, hardly out of his thirties had a good head on his shoulders but did not have a good enough mind for the finer points of running a successful company.

So, I bought it. I already had at least two buyers in mind where I could make an easy 25% profit on my investment. I was foolish in stating my intentions for the company, and this flea began making a lot of noise about his employees and jobs and so forth!

How noble of him...considering it was his lack of foresight that caused his company to be lost! Was he thinking of his people then?

I calmly gathered my papers and watched out of the peripheral as the child struggled against the hands holding him. I could sense his heartbeat and feel the heat of him from where I stood. I could sense anger, frustration, loss and...regret?

Regret...now that I can use!

There was a still fairly young vampire I had met by the name of Suzanne. Part of the Gatewatch eventually but at the time and at one point I had called her "friend." However she had found me rather distasteful when she learned more of my proclivities in dealing with enemies. Or how I had received my nickname over the centuries of time. She had told me I deserved to be called "William the Terrible."

It had taught me though to think more long term. I thought I had, but her disgust had taught me to alter my paradigms a great deal. I found it much more liberating to do what I was about to do now...

"Give us the room, gentlemen..." I said quietly. The men looked at me in surprise but slowly let go of the boy. He yanked his arms from them and glowered at me in, I guess he thought, in an intimidating fashion. I clicked my brief case shut and then waited, staring down at the table.

"You are a monster!" he shouted. I tried to remember his name, such an unimportant child I hadn't thought to remember it.

"Our family business...! To you it's just a pie to be cut up and sold off piece by piece! It's been in our name for over a century! We have history, prestige, reputation...!"

"Debt..." I said softly. My eyes at last flicking up to his, "...don't forget a great deal of debt." I reminded him. He was silent, watching me. I tapped my fingernail on the handle of the briefcase then I walked over to him. I stopped about four feet away and casually put my hands in my pockets.

One of the best inventions, pockets that is, and so handily placed. Much better than the odd belt pouch though I still miss the capacity of those in comparison. I mimicked his pose a little to help him feel slightly more at ease, and remembered to modulate my voice so it was warm, but with a hint of reproach in it. Back when I was his age I would have killed him for talking to me in such a fashion, but...

"Your Father and Grandfather were great men of business..." I should know, I had met them both at one time or another. "You however are not..." I could see him start to grit his teeth. Time to offer more of the carrot rather than the stick.

"That being said, you are more in touch with the employees of this establishment than they ever were. A detriment now since you inherited this company and cared more for your employees than for profits." I turned from him to walk back to fetch my briefcase. A good psychological tactic to give him a moment to digest what I had said, now before he speaks up...

"Your employees love you, and love this company. That is obvious, and I am not so blind as to miss the implications of what that means." I turned back and this time carried my briefcase with me. I can see a little bit of confusion in his eyes, and now adopted a fatherly tone. The regret I heard in his voice must mean he misses his father and is ashamed he is now losing his business that was entrusted to him.

Sadness, regret, confusion... Now I strike!

"I own this company now on paper, I could sell it if I so chose to do this... But I respected your father. I see a lot of him in you. I believe in time you could manage this place better than he could."

I reopened my briefcase and pulled out a document I had been hiding under all of the other pages of ownership transference. A smoke screen if you will, to hide my real purpose.

"I want you to stay, I want your people to stay. I want you to become the man that you are to become. I want you to run this company, but have an advisor of my choosing to help you with making the difficult decisions that must be made..."

His face showed shock and a wary sort of happiness, "You...you're not taking my Dad's business?" He asked disbelievingly. I smiled at him, and tried not to let my greed show.

"No, I am taking it. As I said it would be in name only. I would be paid a small percentage for paying your debts and supplying you with an advisor. After that it would be your company."

I could see his hesitation, so pushed in a slightly different direction. "I paid off the accounts. I would see it as a loan from the bank you are paying interest on, except I will help you with trained individuals who you can learn from to better yourself as well."

I paused and decided to show a hint of vulnerability, works very well with humans. Gregory responded favorably when I had done it with him after all.

"I was told by someone once, to Become, Grow, Learn, and Surpass. I didn't understand it at the time, and we may talk more in the future on it if you have questions. For now though, speak with your attorneys on this proposal and we may move forward." I gently squeezed his shoulder, which to him must have seemed a strong grip because he almost winced.

"I...I...thank you Mr. Abernathy. I will look this over and get back to you tomorrow if I can."

He shook my hand and I could feel the truth of his words and held back a smile of triumph...

Why destroy your enemies when you can take control of them and have them thank you for doing it? It is such a sweeter tasting victory!

I love my job!

That is just an example out of many of what I have done, and how I have changed as an individual over scores of decades. There was no need to destroy those who say they oppose me now. All I have to do is maneuver them into working for me. The results are the same usually, and I have a better profit margin.

Then along came Gregory Bastion Brooks.

What a novel individual he is. At first I thought him merely insane, most people scream or yell when they figure out what I am, he just saw it with a look! He saw it...then almost seemed to shrug his shoulders and just turned and walked away.

He aroused my curiosity, and having a long life does tend to get a little boring. So I decided to do something that I had never really tried before, based on my memories of the Vampyre I had consumed in my youth I decided to become friends with this individual.

The odd thing about it is that once I started it I really began to enjoy it. To meet someone, who to all appearances seems emotionally dead, made me feel so much more alive just being around him! A conundrum to be sure, but there it is all the same. I became friends with a human, and good friends at that.

I kept expecting him to ask me for money, or for favors, or for the all consuming desire people seem to have concerning us vampires..."Make me like you!" Rubbish! Instead he was quiet, didn't say much and showed no fear of me in the slightest. He took everything I said at face value and even asked my advice on certain subjects. It was very...liberating. Yes, that is the right word. It was liberating for me to become vulnerable, ever so slightly, to this mortal. For that I owe him a great deal.

To find out he had powers of a sort, a mage even, was not too shocking to me. Then to find he had a succubus under his command? The daughter of one of the Planar Lords, and he was still alive? Honestly I was not too surprised he was still alive. That dear boy has a knack for finding trouble and somehow coming out of it in one piece.

The ticklish part for me was wondering who had summoned the succubus Lucretia. A riddle I am currently not solving by sitting here and brooding.

See? I do brood. Just generally not in the dark.

I hear the front doorbell ring. I check the time; sun is still up, another hour and a half until sun down. I sigh at that. Nancy had been on me to actually answer the door for everyone from the Jehovah's Witness missionaries to the people who hand out flyers for my lawn care! I didn't want to be too long in the sun, but better safe than sorry. I picked up a vial of a mixture of sunfish, Komodo dragon, koala, and vulture blood. I drained it with a grimace, though it gave me strong and temporary resistance from sunlight it tasted like an ashtray!

Now, to see who was knocking at my door...

I stepped out of my study and locked it up behind me. Just being in there, surrounded by all the information I had amassed was enough for me to ponder the problem. I saw Nancy poke her head around the corner of the kitchen door.

"Sorry William, I wish I could answer the door for you. I just..." her voice trailed off as I walked past her.

"Quite alright my dear. You more than make up for that small shortcoming in other areas." I assured her.

I went to the door and smelled, no one? Hmmm... normally I can smell whoever is at my door. Usually I can differentiate between the young girls who sell cookies and those religious types with pamphlets that are supposed to save my soul from damnation...

...I prefer the cookies! Especially those coconut ones in chocolate!

I opened my door and smiled out at a young man who was also smiling at me. He was wearing a grass-stained shirt and had jeans with dirty knees. It was easy to identify him as a landscaper by the logo on his shirt. Strange though, I didn't smell grass or dirt about his person. He extended a business card to me, and as I reached out to take it from him his whole body flickered for a moment. Like when an insect flies in front of a movie projector. Which was all the warning I had before a piercing pain hit me between the eyes and I felt my blood leave me through a hole in the back of my head!

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