Two days later Linden knew where the kitchen was, as well as most of the other important rooms in the manor house. While Piers slept, the cute kitchen maid had spent a few hours each day giving Linden the grand tour. As Piers had predicted she flirted outrageously until Linden finally told her that women were not his thing. She'd pouted but accepted that with reasonably good grace.
In the evenings, Piers gave him the grand tour of the rest of the estate, which was not a small undertaking. Roderick joined them the second night, relating some of the history of the estate, which had been in existence since the early 1500s.
"I took it over when I ostensibly wed the duke's only daughter in, humm, 1549 I believe."
"Did she know—what you were?" Linden asked.
"She knew everything about me, yes. She was a charming female, but totally uninterested in males, so her father was ecstatic when she accepted my proposal of marriage. As his only child she inherited the estate and at her death it passed to me."
"Is it presumptive to think that the 'you' we know today is the supposed descendant of the 'you' who originally inherited the estate?" Linden asked, chuckling.
"Not in the least. My various manifestations have all had reputations as roués. It's quite amazing how many of them died in foreign countries, only to have their bastard sons appear soon after to claim their inheritance."
"Funny, that," Linden commented with a laugh.
"I've learned though time that doing that sometimes raises eyebrows. So now I'm the very reclusive owner, rarely seen except in passing. People are a bit smarter these days, what with the preponderance of books, movies and television shows about our kind. They believe in vampires even as they call us myth or fairytales. Something it would behoove you both to remember."
"For when we go out on the town?" Piers asked innocently.
"Not happening, Piers. I was very serious when I told you that the boundaries of the estate are also your boundaries."