I Bid You Welcome by Dorothy Davies

EXTRACT FOR
I Bid You Welcome

(Dorothy Davies)


I Bid You Welcome...

Bela Lugosi

The electronic butler stood by the doorway, nodding his head, bowing slightly to everyone as they arrived. ‘I bid you welcome...I bid you welcome...’ It was charming but monotonous. Angie, standing in her cloakroom cubicle ready to take hats and coats, thought if the thing said it one more time she would go mad, rush outside and rip its stupid head off.
‘I bid you welcome...’
She gritted her teeth and pasted on the false airhead smile the company asked for.
‘Well, at least you’re real!’ The comment from the suave silver haired man with the perfect smile was accompanied by what felt like a bank note. She bobbed a curtsy and gave him a genuine smile back. The coat was quality, the material as fine as any she had ever handled. Money, loads of it. And he was unaccompanied this night, too. Angie gazed at the man’s retreating back, wondering how she could get to speak to him again. He had to come and reclaim his coat ... eventually ... could she hold out until then?
She looked down. It was a £20 note. She had never been given that much by anyone for such a trifling task as taking a coat. He had to be loaded. She had to speak to him again. This night. There had to be a way out of this dead-end job and into a life where money spoke and she need never want for anything again.
More guests, more coats, wraps, stoles, jackets, mink, ermine, silver fox, she knew her furs and she knew her ‘customers.’ Haughty to the very last, every one of them, hardly a smile, hardly an acknowledgement of her existence. Not like the silver haired man. He had noticed her, he had tipped her; he had smiled at her.
It was the only thing which kept her going through the long wearying end-of-year-party evening. That and the certainty that when she ushered the last guest off the doorstep and into a taxi, she could go out and get what she needed.
Blood.
The women acted as if she did not exist, except to hand back the fur, the silk, the velvet or whatever they had chosen to drape round their useless bodies that night. Not entirely useless, they were living containers for the elixir of life for some, but they didn’t know that. Just as well, or they would not set foot outside their homes. If they knew the truth, they would hang a crucifix from every entry point, coat the windowpanes with garlic and generally act as if they were safe. They weren’t. None of those things had ever stopped a blood sucking individual – and never would. No, they were not safe but the poor things didn’t know that. Any more than they knew she had quietly noted down who they were and would look them up later – and perhaps pay them a visit. The thought made her smile.
‘I bid you welcome...’ She looked up, startled. It wasn’t the automatic voice of the robot butler, but the silver haired man who was standing smiling at her. He leaned on the small counter which marked her domain from the rest of the club.
“Are you sick of the robot yet, my dear?”
“It’s silent now but earlier I would have given much to have torn its head off.”
She flushed bright red, wondering how she had the temerity to talk to a guest in that way. He saw it and laughed.
“Don’t worry, I hate the stupid thing too and intend to ask the Club Secretary to do away with it. What’s your name, by the way?”
“Angie, Sir.”
“Nice name. I’m drawn to you, Angie, I’m not entirely sure why.”
Angie didn’t believe that for a minute. Men like this knew precisely what they were doing, who they wanted and why and then went and did something about it. This man wanted her and he was about to get his way. It wasn’t for sex, she knew that, she wasn’t pretty enough, well endowed enough or had overwhelming sex appeal. It had to be –
Could it be...?
“Are you not staying for the rest of the evening, Sir?”
“No. It’s boring. I want – entertainment.”
“I just want the evening to be over so I can go home.”
“I don’t think so, sweet Angie. I think you need the evening to be over so you can go out on the street – and feed.”
“How did...”
“Takes one to know one.”
She found his beautiful coat and handed it over with shaking hands, such was her excitement at finding another such as she; one who had recognised her for what she was. Could she just let him walk out of her life?
Dare she just let him walk out of her life?
He stood, amused perhaps by her indecision. She felt the changes of expression chase across her face, saw his eyelids crinkle in anticipation of laughter – at her, or with her?
“I tire of the party this eve.” He looked solemn then, as if awaiting her response. Angie’s first reaction was that he sounded old fashioned for a moment. Her second reaction was, of course, he is as old as time – as I am.
“Is there no reason for you to stay, Sir?”
“None whatsoever. Nor for you, sweet Angie. Come walk with me.”
It was not a request, it was an order she could not ignore and would not, either. She grabbed her own coat, a pathetic thing compared with the glories she had handled all that evening, and scurried out of her cubbyhole, the need, the desire, the thirst thronging through her veins. The fact she was walking away from her job and half a week’s wages didn’t matter in that moment. He offered her his arm and she took it, feeling the material flow under her fingertips. She felt shabby and yet expensively dressed at the same time.
Nothing was said between them. It was as if they had known each other for several lifetimes. They walked in unison; their thoughts seeming to flow in unison too. Her heels clicked on the wet pavements which were glistening with golden wealth under the street lights. She felt as if she could walk forever and never get tired.
He drew her to a stop on the steps of the parish church, looming, sheltering, impressively stone-like in the darkness.
“Tell me I did not choose badly this night, sweet Angie. Tell me you can walk into this building and come back out alive.”
“But of course.” She pushed at the huge ancient wooden door which, despite being locked, gave way under her touch and she walked in, defiant against the symbols of faith which comforted some and terrified others. The man followed her in and stood leaning against the font, watching her approach the altar without fear.
“It’s fine, sweet Angie; it’s fine. Now, come to me.”
She turned and walked back to stand in front of him.
“I’m Constantine Williams. I’m the same as you. Countless hundreds of years old. For the entire time I have been Constantine I have not found anyone to walk with me, feed with me, share the eternal nightmare of being vampiric with me. Then I saw you standing there and I just knew. Will you share my life?”
“Willingly.” She went into his arms as if she had never been anywhere else.

Later she would wonder why she was so trusting and then knew the answer, it was the loneliness. In every life she had taken on as a vampire there had been the intense loneliness until she had found someone ‘like’ to share her life with – for a while. It never lasted, vampire love never did. The driving need for blood set lover against lover, the demands of eternal life meant that relationships palled, became violent, ‘died’ as only a vampire relationship could - in mutual acrimony with a good deal of hatred concealed and festering under the smiling skin.
But before then ... oh before then was the wealth, the sheer exhilaration of not having a worry in the world about spending money on anything she chose; the passion, they made love as if they were both going to die in the morning, day after day after day and it never grew any less, the conversations, ranging across hundreds of years and countless vampire lovers and never ever looking into the future, not for a moment, for to look forward was to cast a death knell over the love, the sex and the joy they were experiencing.
But everything changes, everything ends. Quiet words became nasty words, talks became arguments, passion became a torment of spite. Angie sat with a drink one evening, wondering where it had gone wrong and knowing that it had gone wrong this way many, many times before. It was part of vampire psychology, the need to be top, the need to dictate another’s life and when that was two vampires together ... it went wrong.
There could be but one winner.
With a huge sigh she got up and went to collect a very large carving knife. The last row had been just that, the last one, in her considered opinion.

I Bid You Welcome by Dorothy Davies

EXTRACT FOR
I Bid You Welcome

(Dorothy Davies)


I Bid You Welcome...

Bela Lugosi

The electronic butler stood by the doorway, nodding his head, bowing slightly to everyone as they arrived. ‘I bid you welcome...I bid you welcome...’ It was charming but monotonous. Angie, standing in her cloakroom cubicle ready to take hats and coats, thought if the thing said it one more time she would go mad, rush outside and rip its stupid head off.
‘I bid you welcome...’
She gritted her teeth and pasted on the false airhead smile the company asked for.
‘Well, at least you’re real!’ The comment from the suave silver haired man with the perfect smile was accompanied by what felt like a bank note. She bobbed a curtsy and gave him a genuine smile back. The coat was quality, the material as fine as any she had ever handled. Money, loads of it. And he was unaccompanied this night, too. Angie gazed at the man’s retreating back, wondering how she could get to speak to him again. He had to come and reclaim his coat ... eventually ... could she hold out until then?
She looked down. It was a £20 note. She had never been given that much by anyone for such a trifling task as taking a coat. He had to be loaded. She had to speak to him again. This night. There had to be a way out of this dead-end job and into a life where money spoke and she need never want for anything again.
More guests, more coats, wraps, stoles, jackets, mink, ermine, silver fox, she knew her furs and she knew her ‘customers.’ Haughty to the very last, every one of them, hardly a smile, hardly an acknowledgement of her existence. Not like the silver haired man. He had noticed her, he had tipped her; he had smiled at her.
It was the only thing which kept her going through the long wearying end-of-year-party evening. That and the certainty that when she ushered the last guest off the doorstep and into a taxi, she could go out and get what she needed.
Blood.
The women acted as if she did not exist, except to hand back the fur, the silk, the velvet or whatever they had chosen to drape round their useless bodies that night. Not entirely useless, they were living containers for the elixir of life for some, but they didn’t know that. Just as well, or they would not set foot outside their homes. If they knew the truth, they would hang a crucifix from every entry point, coat the windowpanes with garlic and generally act as if they were safe. They weren’t. None of those things had ever stopped a blood sucking individual – and never would. No, they were not safe but the poor things didn’t know that. Any more than they knew she had quietly noted down who they were and would look them up later – and perhaps pay them a visit. The thought made her smile.
‘I bid you welcome...’ She looked up, startled. It wasn’t the automatic voice of the robot butler, but the silver haired man who was standing smiling at her. He leaned on the small counter which marked her domain from the rest of the club.
“Are you sick of the robot yet, my dear?”
“It’s silent now but earlier I would have given much to have torn its head off.”
She flushed bright red, wondering how she had the temerity to talk to a guest in that way. He saw it and laughed.
“Don’t worry, I hate the stupid thing too and intend to ask the Club Secretary to do away with it. What’s your name, by the way?”
“Angie, Sir.”
“Nice name. I’m drawn to you, Angie, I’m not entirely sure why.”
Angie didn’t believe that for a minute. Men like this knew precisely what they were doing, who they wanted and why and then went and did something about it. This man wanted her and he was about to get his way. It wasn’t for sex, she knew that, she wasn’t pretty enough, well endowed enough or had overwhelming sex appeal. It had to be –
Could it be...?
“Are you not staying for the rest of the evening, Sir?”
“No. It’s boring. I want – entertainment.”
“I just want the evening to be over so I can go home.”
“I don’t think so, sweet Angie. I think you need the evening to be over so you can go out on the street – and feed.”
“How did...”
“Takes one to know one.”
She found his beautiful coat and handed it over with shaking hands, such was her excitement at finding another such as she; one who had recognised her for what she was. Could she just let him walk out of her life?
Dare she just let him walk out of her life?
He stood, amused perhaps by her indecision. She felt the changes of expression chase across her face, saw his eyelids crinkle in anticipation of laughter – at her, or with her?
“I tire of the party this eve.” He looked solemn then, as if awaiting her response. Angie’s first reaction was that he sounded old fashioned for a moment. Her second reaction was, of course, he is as old as time – as I am.
“Is there no reason for you to stay, Sir?”
“None whatsoever. Nor for you, sweet Angie. Come walk with me.”
It was not a request, it was an order she could not ignore and would not, either. She grabbed her own coat, a pathetic thing compared with the glories she had handled all that evening, and scurried out of her cubbyhole, the need, the desire, the thirst thronging through her veins. The fact she was walking away from her job and half a week’s wages didn’t matter in that moment. He offered her his arm and she took it, feeling the material flow under her fingertips. She felt shabby and yet expensively dressed at the same time.
Nothing was said between them. It was as if they had known each other for several lifetimes. They walked in unison; their thoughts seeming to flow in unison too. Her heels clicked on the wet pavements which were glistening with golden wealth under the street lights. She felt as if she could walk forever and never get tired.
He drew her to a stop on the steps of the parish church, looming, sheltering, impressively stone-like in the darkness.
“Tell me I did not choose badly this night, sweet Angie. Tell me you can walk into this building and come back out alive.”
“But of course.” She pushed at the huge ancient wooden door which, despite being locked, gave way under her touch and she walked in, defiant against the symbols of faith which comforted some and terrified others. The man followed her in and stood leaning against the font, watching her approach the altar without fear.
“It’s fine, sweet Angie; it’s fine. Now, come to me.”
She turned and walked back to stand in front of him.
“I’m Constantine Williams. I’m the same as you. Countless hundreds of years old. For the entire time I have been Constantine I have not found anyone to walk with me, feed with me, share the eternal nightmare of being vampiric with me. Then I saw you standing there and I just knew. Will you share my life?”
“Willingly.” She went into his arms as if she had never been anywhere else.

Later she would wonder why she was so trusting and then knew the answer, it was the loneliness. In every life she had taken on as a vampire there had been the intense loneliness until she had found someone ‘like’ to share her life with – for a while. It never lasted, vampire love never did. The driving need for blood set lover against lover, the demands of eternal life meant that relationships palled, became violent, ‘died’ as only a vampire relationship could - in mutual acrimony with a good deal of hatred concealed and festering under the smiling skin.
But before then ... oh before then was the wealth, the sheer exhilaration of not having a worry in the world about spending money on anything she chose; the passion, they made love as if they were both going to die in the morning, day after day after day and it never grew any less, the conversations, ranging across hundreds of years and countless vampire lovers and never ever looking into the future, not for a moment, for to look forward was to cast a death knell over the love, the sex and the joy they were experiencing.
But everything changes, everything ends. Quiet words became nasty words, talks became arguments, passion became a torment of spite. Angie sat with a drink one evening, wondering where it had gone wrong and knowing that it had gone wrong this way many, many times before. It was part of vampire psychology, the need to be top, the need to dictate another’s life and when that was two vampires together ... it went wrong.
There could be but one winner.
With a huge sigh she got up and went to collect a very large carving knife. The last row had been just that, the last one, in her considered opinion.

EXTRACT FOR
I Bid You Welcome

(Dorothy Davies)


I Bid You Welcome...

Bela Lugosi

The electronic butler stood by the doorway, nodding his head, bowing slightly to everyone as they arrived. ‘I bid you welcome...I bid you welcome...’ It was charming but monotonous. Angie, standing in her cloakroom cubicle ready to take hats and coats, thought if the thing said it one more time she would go mad, rush outside and rip its stupid head off.
‘I bid you welcome...’
She gritted her teeth and pasted on the false airhead smile the company asked for.
‘Well, at least you’re real!’ The comment from the suave silver haired man with the perfect smile was accompanied by what felt like a bank note. She bobbed a curtsy and gave him a genuine smile back. The coat was quality, the material as fine as any she had ever handled. Money, loads of it. And he was unaccompanied this night, too. Angie gazed at the man’s retreating back, wondering how she could get to speak to him again. He had to come and reclaim his coat ... eventually ... could she hold out until then?
She looked down. It was a £20 note. She had never been given that much by anyone for such a trifling task as taking a coat. He had to be loaded. She had to speak to him again. This night. There had to be a way out of this dead-end job and into a life where money spoke and she need never want for anything again.
More guests, more coats, wraps, stoles, jackets, mink, ermine, silver fox, she knew her furs and she knew her ‘customers.’ Haughty to the very last, every one of them, hardly a smile, hardly an acknowledgement of her existence. Not like the silver haired man. He had noticed her, he had tipped her; he had smiled at her.
It was the only thing which kept her going through the long wearying end-of-year-party evening. That and the certainty that when she ushered the last guest off the doorstep and into a taxi, she could go out and get what she needed.
Blood.
The women acted as if she did not exist, except to hand back the fur, the silk, the velvet or whatever they had chosen to drape round their useless bodies that night. Not entirely useless, they were living containers for the elixir of life for some, but they didn’t know that. Just as well, or they would not set foot outside their homes. If they knew the truth, they would hang a crucifix from every entry point, coat the windowpanes with garlic and generally act as if they were safe. They weren’t. None of those things had ever stopped a blood sucking individual – and never would. No, they were not safe but the poor things didn’t know that. Any more than they knew she had quietly noted down who they were and would look them up later – and perhaps pay them a visit. The thought made her smile.
‘I bid you welcome...’ She looked up, startled. It wasn’t the automatic voice of the robot butler, but the silver haired man who was standing smiling at her. He leaned on the small counter which marked her domain from the rest of the club.
“Are you sick of the robot yet, my dear?”
“It’s silent now but earlier I would have given much to have torn its head off.”
She flushed bright red, wondering how she had the temerity to talk to a guest in that way. He saw it and laughed.
“Don’t worry, I hate the stupid thing too and intend to ask the Club Secretary to do away with it. What’s your name, by the way?”
“Angie, Sir.”
“Nice name. I’m drawn to you, Angie, I’m not entirely sure why.”
Angie didn’t believe that for a minute. Men like this knew precisely what they were doing, who they wanted and why and then went and did something about it. This man wanted her and he was about to get his way. It wasn’t for sex, she knew that, she wasn’t pretty enough, well endowed enough or had overwhelming sex appeal. It had to be –
Could it be...?
“Are you not staying for the rest of the evening, Sir?”
“No. It’s boring. I want – entertainment.”
“I just want the evening to be over so I can go home.”
“I don’t think so, sweet Angie. I think you need the evening to be over so you can go out on the street – and feed.”
“How did...”
“Takes one to know one.”
She found his beautiful coat and handed it over with shaking hands, such was her excitement at finding another such as she; one who had recognised her for what she was. Could she just let him walk out of her life?
Dare she just let him walk out of her life?
He stood, amused perhaps by her indecision. She felt the changes of expression chase across her face, saw his eyelids crinkle in anticipation of laughter – at her, or with her?
“I tire of the party this eve.” He looked solemn then, as if awaiting her response. Angie’s first reaction was that he sounded old fashioned for a moment. Her second reaction was, of course, he is as old as time – as I am.
“Is there no reason for you to stay, Sir?”
“None whatsoever. Nor for you, sweet Angie. Come walk with me.”
It was not a request, it was an order she could not ignore and would not, either. She grabbed her own coat, a pathetic thing compared with the glories she had handled all that evening, and scurried out of her cubbyhole, the need, the desire, the thirst thronging through her veins. The fact she was walking away from her job and half a week’s wages didn’t matter in that moment. He offered her his arm and she took it, feeling the material flow under her fingertips. She felt shabby and yet expensively dressed at the same time.
Nothing was said between them. It was as if they had known each other for several lifetimes. They walked in unison; their thoughts seeming to flow in unison too. Her heels clicked on the wet pavements which were glistening with golden wealth under the street lights. She felt as if she could walk forever and never get tired.
He drew her to a stop on the steps of the parish church, looming, sheltering, impressively stone-like in the darkness.
“Tell me I did not choose badly this night, sweet Angie. Tell me you can walk into this building and come back out alive.”
“But of course.” She pushed at the huge ancient wooden door which, despite being locked, gave way under her touch and she walked in, defiant against the symbols of faith which comforted some and terrified others. The man followed her in and stood leaning against the font, watching her approach the altar without fear.
“It’s fine, sweet Angie; it’s fine. Now, come to me.”
She turned and walked back to stand in front of him.
“I’m Constantine Williams. I’m the same as you. Countless hundreds of years old. For the entire time I have been Constantine I have not found anyone to walk with me, feed with me, share the eternal nightmare of being vampiric with me. Then I saw you standing there and I just knew. Will you share my life?”
“Willingly.” She went into his arms as if she had never been anywhere else.

Later she would wonder why she was so trusting and then knew the answer, it was the loneliness. In every life she had taken on as a vampire there had been the intense loneliness until she had found someone ‘like’ to share her life with – for a while. It never lasted, vampire love never did. The driving need for blood set lover against lover, the demands of eternal life meant that relationships palled, became violent, ‘died’ as only a vampire relationship could - in mutual acrimony with a good deal of hatred concealed and festering under the smiling skin.
But before then ... oh before then was the wealth, the sheer exhilaration of not having a worry in the world about spending money on anything she chose; the passion, they made love as if they were both going to die in the morning, day after day after day and it never grew any less, the conversations, ranging across hundreds of years and countless vampire lovers and never ever looking into the future, not for a moment, for to look forward was to cast a death knell over the love, the sex and the joy they were experiencing.
But everything changes, everything ends. Quiet words became nasty words, talks became arguments, passion became a torment of spite. Angie sat with a drink one evening, wondering where it had gone wrong and knowing that it had gone wrong this way many, many times before. It was part of vampire psychology, the need to be top, the need to dictate another’s life and when that was two vampires together ... it went wrong.
There could be but one winner.
With a huge sigh she got up and went to collect a very large carving knife. The last row had been just that, the last one, in her considered opinion.