August 12, 1926 6:22 pm
Temperance laughed as her husband twirled her again and again under the dazzling chandeliers. She finally fell into his arms to let the room stop spinning. When she looked up into Alexie's warm brown eyes, his lips captured hers to take her breath away all over again. Just then the संगीत dwindled to a stop and chatter echoed throughout the ballroom, bringing the couple back to the present.
"And आप thought this wasn't going to be any fun," Temperance teased as the pair drifted among the crowd arm in arm.
"It was delightful," the younger man agreed, "But see, now you're going to make me talk to people for the rest of the night when I would much prefer to be in बिस्तर with you."
"Darling, behave!" Temperance scolded with a laugh, nudging her husband away when he tried to tickle her neck with his lips.
"Aren't the boys so rambunctious tonight?" A woman in a modest white dress had caught Temperance's free arm, her other hand preoccupied द्वारा a flute glass of bubbly liquid. "I swear, I don't even know where Wil ran off to."
"Dobryj vyechyer*, Katerina," Alexie greeted innocently.
"Privyet*, trouble maker, and happy birthday."
"That champagne looks delightfully illegal. I think I'd like to find myself a glass. Would आप like some, Tempy?"
The wife giggled at his sly excuse to slip away. She accepted his offer and allowed her सेकंड half to disappear into the crowd of expensively dressed philanthropists.
The noise of the crowd faded away, allowing every footstep to echo on the polished hallway. Alexie was enjoying his leisurely stroll when he heard the shrill scream. He burst into the room were several others were pinning a young man to a chair. The captors finally managed to lodge a wad of cloth into the his mouth to muffle his screaming. Even in the dimness of moonlight and a few candles, Alexie could see the slashes in the hostage's torn clothing. Blood pooled on the floor around the chair.
"What the hell are आप doing?" Alexie demanded. "The whole house could have heard you! Cecil-"
John Cecil* held up the silver whip in cession, the weapon gleaming with blood. Alexie Rome calmed his demeanor and approached the hostage.
"Take it easy, I'm not going to hurt you. But please, do refrain from hollering like that again." Alexie removed the gag. The captive opened his mouth to scream, but was stopped द्वारा the wrist forced into his mouth. As his pierced the smooth flesh, and vampires's eyes closed as he savored the taste of blood. A hiss erupted from the gathered gentlemen as their friend willingly fed the starving creature.
After a moment, Alexie yanked his arm free and accepted Cecil's handkerchief to press against the four bleeding marks. He stood and calmly addressed the gathered men. "Now, I know we're all a bit excited, but it's impossible to ask our friend here सवालों if आप manage to KILL him first. Wil, the file, if आप will."
Wilhelm Magnus stepped आगे and handed over a black folder. Alexie took from it a black and white picture of Russian soldiers, which he held for the vampire to see. "Recognize anyone from this picture?"
The hostage glared from his chair and bared his fangs. "You all are insane. Let me go-" He was suddenly cut off as his eyes widened. A harsh cough managed to free itself from the vampire's throat as he choked, struggling against his bonds. He lurched आगे and vomited blood. "Wh-what did आप do to me?" he stammered breathlessly.
"I apologize, my blood is poisonous to your kind, but I can have one of the humans feed आप and cure आप right up-- if आप answer my सवाल honestly. Do आप recognize any of these men?"
"N-no, none of them." He struggled for a breath as he coughed up और of the red liquid. "Please-!"
"LOOK AGAIN," Alexie ordered.
The vampire squinted at the image, panting hard. "M-maybe. The first row.. in the back, second.. from the right. I don't know is name!"
"This one here?"
"That's the same soldier as the others pointed out too," Wilhelm murmured to himself.
The quiet contemplation and heavy breathing was abruptly punctuated द्वारा a BANG as the room door burst open. A slim, dark shadow in a sparkling dress stood with her hands on her hips.
"Really?!" Temperance demanded. "Our first big party since coming to America, at the Vanderbilt mansion no less, and आप decide to turn it into one of your interrogations?"
"Spasibo*, sweetheart, we were just finishing up."
As Alexie turned to apologize, the desperate vampire lunged आगे in his seat. A सेकंड BANG smashed into the creature midair and knocked him to the floor. He lay still, the bullet hole in his head adding to the blood already covering him.
"Wil, Katerina is looking for you," Temperance quipped as she holstered her pistol back into the thigh holster. "I'm exhausted, and I'm going home. Coming, sweetheart?"
"Right behind you!" Alexie caught John Cecil द्वारा the arm and added quietly, "Thank आप for the party-- and the birthday present," before hurrying to catch up with his wife. The others were left to clean up the blood and dispose of the body.
Dobryj vyechyer = good evening
Privyet = hello
Spasibo = sorry
John Francis Amherst Cecil married into the Vanderbilt family to Cornelia Vanderbilt on April 29, 1924.