The crowd was small and intimate. A hundred odd people, spilling cocktails on the hand-tied Chinese carpets, milled about the Minister of Agriculture’s Knightsbridge home. Most of them knew me. I knew some of them. But it was the ones I didn’t know—the mysterious Eastern element navigating the crowd with our host—that I was here to watch.
As a concert pianist, private parties weren't my normal gig, but I was on a mission for Les Elus, the ruling Council of the Vampyre. At stake—sorry bad joke--was a discovery that could well change our existence, providing rumor proved fact and if, of course, the goods didn't slip into the greedy hands of the enemy.
Geographical borders divide my kind as well.
If I swung from Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit to the boogie-woogie, would anyone take a blind bit of notice? In Charleston, South Carolina, an old blues man had taught me the proper way to play the boogie-woogie. Smoothly, I segued to the new beat and drew not a glance except from a reporter.
Gordon Thomas' slid a hand along the Steinway’s glossy black wing. Touching my piano was equivalent to fondling my mistress. I arched a brow as a reprimand.
The young man hid the offending hand in the pocket of his trousers, but didn't go away. I embellished a few notes then glided seamlessly into the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. The reporter dipped his head in salute, smiled shyly, a peace offering I assumed. He looked eager, this wide-eyed, rosy cheeked boy.
I decided to forgive his trespasses and stopped playing to talk to him. That attracted attention. Amusing that no one noticed the switch in musical styles, yet the absence of any style disrupted conversation. My host, Nick Croxton, in a close-knit trio beneath a potted palm, paused to look my way.
I mouthed, “Taking a break,” but he’d already gone back to whispering intrigue.
"Lord D’Arcy, I didn't intend to interrupt.” The young man's cultivated BBC accent grated on my nerves. “I'd greatly appreciate an opportunity to speak with you. I tried to catch you after your Royal Albert concert but they wouldn't let—" the rose in his cheeks flooded his face as he shifted back on his heels. "My name is Gordon Thomas. I'm a reporter for The Sun."
"The Sun?" I ran a quick inventory of recent peccadilloes that might have attracted the attention of a notoriety rag.
A striking blonde drifted to the reporter's side and squeezed his arm. "Introduce me, Gordon."
The party was looking up. Her elegant Versace suit dipped low between perfect Size C's. I didn't smell saline or silicone. Those perky puppies were real.
"Lord D'Arcy,” Gordon seemed to like titles, “my cousin, Ellen Amesworth."
"I admire your taste in relatives, Mr. Thomas.”

One of the first stories I ever wrote that I dragged out of moth balls and edited for submission. Morgan is the hero of one of my novel manuscripts Sinners Opera and does a walk-on in Black Swan, my Black Rosette from The Wild Rose Press. For more of Morgan, please visit me at http://www.lindanightingale.com/ for a continuing vampire story.

11 comments

  1. Mary Ricksen // April 3, 2009 at 12:40 PM  

    I love this Linda. For a second I though I was reading a true story. That's how good I think it is. We'll give it five pairs of PFS.

  2. Mary Marvella // April 3, 2009 at 2:43 PM  

    Ah, Linda. It sounds so you and so very Morgan! Good work, girl! I'm with Mary R, 5 slippers, at least.

  3. Toni V.S. // April 3, 2009 at 5:18 PM  

    5 pairs of slippers! Does that count as 10? You may have started a fad, Linda. Morgan is becoming a very popular name for characters in TV series. This week alone, I counted 4! Of the three vampire characters you've created, I think Morgan's the wittiest!

  4. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 3, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

    Linda,
    I am in awe of your ability to set scene! I could literally hear the music and see the spilled wine! What talent and thanks for the reminder to go and check your website for another chapter about Morgan! I've forgotten to check it lately!

    Scarlet-who never loved a vampire until..... Morgan

  5. Nightingale // April 3, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

    I love it! PFS has it's own review award -- slippers! Cyndi is going to do some reviews isn't she?

    Morgan wanted me to convey his heartfelt thanks. He's still asleep as it is daylight but at dark...he may come to convey them himself! :-)

  6. Emma Lai // April 3, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

    Love the excerpt! Definitely leaves me wanting more.

  7. Anna Kathryn Lanier // April 3, 2009 at 9:31 PM  

    Great excerpt. Leaves us wondering what's going on.

  8. Nightingale // April 3, 2009 at 11:41 PM  

    What's going on is a vampire/concert pianist/007 political intrigue! It was fun to write. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

  9. Judy // April 4, 2009 at 8:31 AM  

    Very intriguing. I loved it! Good job!

  10. Joanne // April 4, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

    Linda,
    Your writing is perfect! You immerse the reader quickly into the story. As a pianist, I enjoyed your music references.

  11. Beth Trissel // April 4, 2009 at 9:50 PM  

    Excellent as ever, Linda. :)