Crystal was waiting on her when she walked in the door, the usual scowl on her face that she reserved just for Lacey. "You’re late." She said as she stood there waiting for Lacey’s latest excuse. Lacey had no intention of going pointless rounds with her aunt and brushed past her. Crystal’s hand shot out, gripping Lacey’s arm with inhuman strength. "I’m not done with you niece," Lacey bristled at the venom in her aunt’s words. Just as Percy, one of her aunt’s guards, entered the room, Crystal’s demeanor changed more quick than the blink of an eye. "I have a special present for you," she purred at Lacey as she pulled her towards the parlor, "Come Percy, you might be useful."
Lacey thought she was numb to all of her aunt’s antics by now, but as they entered the parlor, the sight that assaulted her struck her down to her toes. The room was lit by hundreds of candles, the furniture moved off to the sides of the room, and the heavy plush rugs rolled back to leave the hardwood floor bare. Her aunt’s girls were seated in a large circle, blood connecting the spaces between them. A dark figure was standing on the edge of the circle, his black robes dusting the ground around him, holding a large book that seemed ancient. Laying in the center of the circle of blood was her father’s decayed corpse.
Her aunts laughter echoed through the room, "Why child, you look as if you might faint, Percy, help the girl have a seat." Percy looked almost as ill as Lacey, but he did as Crystal bade him. He took Lacey’s arm and with tenderness led her to the chair and had her sit. He moved his hand to her shoulder to make it appear as if he were holding her there, but he was trying to lend her some strength.
Lacey held herself stiff in the chair and regained her composure as she looked her aunt dead in the eyes and said, "Why aunt, I did not know you were getting me a gift, I haven’t gotten anything for you." Crystal’s eyes gleamed at her rebellious niece, "Oh no my dear niece, this night is all about you, the last of our family who has a pulse."
Percy’s hand tightened on her shoulder, fearing for Lacey, she was after all only mortal in a brothel full of vampires. Women vampires no less, with all their jealousy and pettiness. He detested Crystal, but he had been sold off to her for service. He had grown fond of Lacey, she was honest and kind to him. He had watched her since she first came to the house, she had been reserved and quiet. While she kept to herself, she treated him with kindness and honesty, as if he were another human, not just some monster.
"Let me introduce you to our guest here Lacey," Crystal preened. "He is a high priest of black arts and has traveled to us from a very long distance just to perform a great service to us in giving you this gift." Lacey arched her eyebrow at her aunt waiting for her to continue. "His price was steep, but I assure you, he is worth it."
Taking the bait, Lacey asked, "What would this service he is to perform for you, and at what price?" Crystal looked as if she would crow, "Why dear, he is going to bring your father back from the dead, I know how much you adored him." With a smirk Crystal continued, "And his price is a virgin to return with him to his lands." Lacey frowned, the last person her aunt would know is a virgin she thought. As the realization dawned on her who Crystal intended to send with him, Crystal practically jumped up and down with glee. She hadn’t told anyone that she had made love with Kevin, so of course she would assume that Lacey was a virgin.
Lacey glanced from the priest to her aunt, as if trying to decide which was the lesser of the two evils. Should she say something now to her aunt, or go with the priest and tell him later? Her aunt mistook Lacey’s indecision as panic, walked to the priest she said, "Please, let us begin."