“Holy shit,” Seth said in an awe-filled voice as Rian’s home came into view.
“Yeah, it’s a bit…big,” Kemp admitted.
“I guess. Wow.”
The Tudor manor house was set amid rolling, tree-covered hills in a hidden valley virtually inaccessible except by the narrow lane the limousine was carefully negotiating. The pearl-gray stone buildings, for there were several that made up Rian’s holdings, seemed to glow eerily in the moonlight.
As the limo pulled up the in front of the main house, Rian stepped into view, his arm around the waist of an auburn-haired beauty.
“Your parents I presume,” Seth said, sensing Rian’s power even as he and Kemp exited the car.
The woman hurried down the steps to enfold Kemp in a tight embrace before stepping back to look at him. “You’ve grown up,”
Kemp laughed. “Yes Mother, it happens you know.” Taking Seth’s hand he performed the introductions as his father joined them.
“So this is the young man who needs my help,” Rian said, cutting to the chase as the quartet started up the steps.
“Rian,” his wife said, admonishing him. “Let the boys get settled in before you start interrogating them."
Rian chuckled. “Yes my dear, you’re correct. We have a time enough.”
As they entered the manor house, Seth stopped, gaping at the great hall with its high, beamed ceiling. “It’s like going back to medieval times. I expect to see King Arthur walk in any minute.”
“Wait until you see the rest of the place,” Kemp told him.
“But not yet.” Rian studied Seth and then signaled for one of the young men standing at the back of the hall to come forward. As he introduced him to Seth, Kemp’s mother took her son aside.
“I have a meal ready for you as well, that doesn’t require a donor,” she told him as she led the way into one of the rooms off the main hall. “I suspect you’re starving after your long trip.”
“More than. Father’s plane was sort of lacking in the food department.”
“As always,” she replied with a roll of her eyes. “I always have to remind him to stock up when we travel.”
“That boy Seth’s going to feed from, is he a new ghoul? I don’t remember seeing him before. He’s awfully…pretty.”
“Jealous?” She smiled knowingly. “Not to worry, he’s devoted to Rian and quite, quite straight, which is why your father chose him.”
“I wasn’t jealous,” Kemp told her in denial. “Well, okay, maybe a touch. Things are still new between us, so—yeah.”
“Sweetie, I get jealous and I’ve been married to your father for well over twenty years now.” She nodded toward the table where a meal was laid out and said, “Sit, eat and tell me all about Seth.”