Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. I don't own the rights to NBC's Dracula or their characters originally created by Bram Stoker. The only rights that I do own are to the characters of my creation, not including Dracula, Mina Murray/Harker, Jonathan Harker, etc.
Blood in The Water
I have been working for Mr. Grayson for the past eight weeks and am proud to say that it didn't take me to long to get a understanding of the daily tasks. In the morning, after I bathed and got dressed I would bring food for Mr. Grayson and Renfield. I was assigned to clean Mr. Grayson's bedroom along with his personal office space. It was a little nerve racking to clean for him, because most of the time he was either away or somewhere else in the house. On my break time or time off I would be sitting in the garden smelling the roses, either humming to myself or reading a book from the rather large library.
The living situation was rather pleasent. I appeared to be cared for well by not only Renfield, but by Mr. Grayson as well. In the beginning he was a little indifferent to my presence. When I brought this to Mr. Renfield he explained a little of what had happened after London had purchased his lights.
"He use to throw large galas here. They were seen from all parts of London, lit by his special lights. But after the fall of some of the aritstocracy and a few other unpleasentries he closed himself off from the world. He didn't want to be apart of a society that was corrupted."
"I can agree to a point. I've lived in London for almost twelve years and found its society to be brutally reprehensible and full of shamless parties where the wealthy try to measure themselves up, all the while ignoring the pain of others. Wether that be from a lack of caring or because they are truly blind, I cannot say. Not suggesting Mr. Grayson in any of this of course."
"You seem to not like London."
"I like it well enough, but..." Here I trailed off.
"I don't want to be unprofessional."
"There is no need for that, we are speaking as equals."
"To be honest. I'm alone, I haven't a friend in the world. It brings me to tears sometimes, to be frightfully abandoned and detached. I fear the worst. I fear that I could die at any moment and never be thought of again. To have not a single soul to say goodbye. And that breaks my very heart. That is how I see London."
"You have a very gloomy look upon to the world, but be assured you are cared for."
"Thank you." In truth I wanted the conversation to end, I wanted to crawl back into myself and hide. They were my employers, not my friends, but it was still pleasent to think that I could possibly be missed if ever something should happen to me.
It was around 5 in the evening on night, I was sitting in my room on the floor reading my way through the pages of a collection of Fairy Tales by the Grimm Brothers. It was rather intriguing, only published a few years back, but just recently translated. The stories tell of the forests of Germany and what secrets they hold. I wondered to myself, could such a place exist. A place where giant wolfs gobbled up grandmothers and little girls. Where evil queens curse others for the sake of beauty or where men had the power to weave hay into gold. Such a world would be a...there came a knock at my door.
There was Mr. Grayson in a simple shirt and pants, wearing a robe, and holding a tray of fruit. I went to stand up, but he said that I was fine where I was. He came and sat down next to me, offering me a few slices of apple.
"I hope you don't mind, but I wondered if you would like some company."
"I don't mind at all."
"What are you reading?"
I lifted the book so he could read the spine. His lips formed a smile as he bit into a fig.
"Have you read it? Would you like me to read to you?"
"Yes I have. That would be nice."
"Do you have a particular story in mind?"
He gently took the book from my hands and thumbed through the pages. When he finally landed on the one he wanted, he handed the book back. I looked down and read out loud `Little Briar Rose'. I'd read this one already and found it to be thoughtful and rather alluring. The story opens with a king and queen watching their child be gifted by thirteen different fairies. The twelfth fairy was wicked and jealous so she cursed the child to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and would fall to the Earth dead. Thankfully she was saved from this. As the story came to a close I noticed the way Mr. Grayson was looking at me.
"Mr. Grayson are you alright?"
"Yes, and please call me Alexander."
So we sat there for a few moments until he finally spoke.
"So how do you like living here?"
"It's lovely and beautiful..."
I trailed off, hoping that he wouldn't notice, but of course he did. How was I to tell him that his home lacked the affection of another. It felt empty and unloved, a shell of its former self.
"I am sensing a but coming along in your statement."
"...but it's kind of lonely here. I've never had much of a social life, nor would I even begin to understand how to have a proper one, but for you. I'm sad for you. You should have a lovely lady by your side, someone to lift you out of your slumber...."
I saw his face, he looked surprised.
"I apologize that was ignorant of me."
"On the contrary, you have a sight about you that is shocking to say the least. But you are only half right."
This peaked my interest, "what am I wrong about?"
"Who is to say that I want a lady by my side?"
Now it was my turn to have a surprised expression. Is Alexander telling me that he is like myself. That he prefers that company of men, rather than that of a woman.
"What are you saying Alexander?"
"I'm simply saying that who is to say I cannot enjoy the company of a lovely gentleman just as I would a lovely lady."
"I guess I can understand that."
In truth I found this to be slightly confusing. I have always desired men, never women. So for Alexander to say that he desires both, kind of fogs my mind. But if he doesn't judge me, than who am I to judge him.
"What about you. Do you desire a lovely lady or a gentleman or both?"
"Well since we are being honest. I desire only men. I don't find women sexually appealing. This is why I'm living in London. I ran away from my home because my father caught me in bed with a young man."
"Would he not have approved?"
"Not at all. He was a Preacher for the Church and the act that I was performing was in his eyes an abomination, a murder to my very soul."
"I always found that to be interesting. The Church so set in their ways about two men loving each other, but they stand by and fill their deep pockets with the money of the people. They fill people with false hopes and watch them crash to the ground in a glory of flame and anguish."
"So I take it your not a Church going kind of gentleman?"
"Not at all."
We remained side by side, listening to the wind beyond the window. I could feel his hand close to mine, but I didn't dare move. It was better to have this semi-intimate encounter than nothing at all. When he spoke I didn't hear what he said in the beginning.
"Pardon, I did not hear you."
"I asked if you would like to take a ride into London. It's about 6:15pm. and I think we could find something interesting to do out on the town."
"I would love to. Do you want me to change or is what I am wearing acceptable?"
He eyed me up and down. Staring at my new white shirt, sleeves rolled to my elbows. Wearing a black pair of riding pants and boots that were a gift from Renfield.
"You look wonderful the way you are. Lets go get the carriage."
While Alexander carried the fruit back to the kitchen I grabbed my money pouch and scarf and met him at the front door. He was telling Renfield that we were going out for the evening and would be back late. As I walked up to the two men, I could see the look in Grayson's eyes. There was something animalistic yet tender residing beneath his surveillance, but this is what drew me to him. The world is full of both lightness and darkness. London herself pretends to be light in the day, but she is equally dark in the day as she is in the night. For myself darkness isn't evil or menacing. The evils in the world occur during both the day and night. Evil has no prejudice, it doesn't choose when to attack and when not to. I've come to the conclusion that what people preceive as good, like Church and Medicine do some of the worst harm. These institutions that pretend and project a type of superiority and righteousness are what fill me with dread.
On our way out Alexander led me to the carriage and held my hand to allow me in. As I got situated he told the driver to head towards the Railway café. He sat close to me, close enough so that our hips touched. While he sat back his nose caught the scent of something. I watched as he got closer to me, to my throat and could hear him inhale deeply.
"Lavender, you wear lavender."
"Yes I enjoy the scent. It holds some healing properties, or so I've heard."
"Do you have any ailments?"
"Not that I know of."
We shared a smile as the carriage made its way onto the main road. I could smell the lavender that I wore, but it was his essence that caught my attention. He smelt of the woods, the Earth, the water, the sky and everything that was natural to nature. The sky had already turned a deep shade of violet and the street lamps were beginning to turn on.
"Has London thanked you for your contribution to lighten up their city?"
"Well not exactly. Most of London uses my bulbs and technology, but they don't really care where it comes from. I guess it's a good trade. They get light and leave me in peace in exchange for their money."
I nodded my head while turning to look out the window. London was truly beautiful at night, full of life and excitement. Alexander was quiet for a while until I heard him lightly whisper my name. I turned to see him intently looking at me.
I felt the carriage make its turn towards the late night Railway Café. We stopped around the corner, covered by the night. As Alexander got outside he held out his hand and gently helped me down. We walked side by side to the small shop. Alexander said that he would order if I didn't mind. So I sat down at a small table towards the end of the patio listening to the other couples talk of business, politics, and or love. When Alexander came out he was holding two cups of cappuccino. He placed them down on the table, sliding one my way. We sat in silence, sipping our drinks when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a couple walking towards us.