“The Queen and Antony will be there. They are enthused about magic. Wait until they see what else you do!” The palace was opulent; in truth I hadn’t expected it to be so fantastic, what with its great colonnades and spectacularly tiled floors. We passed down a long hall; in the center of which were great shimmering pools and fountains. As we walked along, we began to hear the most haunting music.
It was light and pleasing to the ear and I told Faruk. “They are the palace musicians,” he announced proudly. “The Queen’s own favorites.” The Queen! Where was she? Faruk saw how excited I must have looked and he smiled. “Look there,” he said. “You see?” I turned and my eyes at last beheld her.
She was dazzling; far more beautiful than I expected. She wore a draped dress of white linen—her shawl looked golden. That is, it had what appeared to be glittering threads woven into the cloth. Around her throat, she wore a jeweled collar. I had never seen such stones for they seemed to have a life of their own. Her hair, as black as ebony, was done up in an intricate design of tendrils; there was no mistaking she was a queen. We were motioned forward by a eunuch.
He was quite tall and beautifully garbed. He bowed his head and asked us to proceed. “Her magnificence wishes you to come forward!” The queen acknowledged us with a little smile. Antony, handsome in his Roman finery, sat near her. He gazed coolly upon me but had a special smile for my wenches. If Cleopatra noticed, she didn’t show she had. “And what will you do for us?” she asked. This was not a command but a coquettish sounding question. I smiled. “Magic, your magnificence. I will dazzle you with it!”
She nodded for me to begin. I started simply. I didn’t wish to overwhelm her, so I conjured small winged creatures. There were gasps and applause, so I conjured more. I created wind and fire, too, which caused alarm at first but then joy and amazement at how easily I controlled my magic. All of this magic I had learned from Imtep. Yes, I am most grateful to him. My conjuring went on for some time but when I felt the moment right, I called for Ankata to enter. “The Priestess, Ankata!”
Near pandemonium erupted in the place. People stood to see her. She came in and bowed. The place went wild, and even Cleopatra applauded. Ankata had never looked more beautiful. She was dressed in lilac colored linen, so sheer, she looked nude. She bowed to the Queen and walked to my side. I reached out and drew her veil down so that she was naked. I disrobed, too, and gently pushed her to the floor. We made love first, easy and gentle, just fondling one another. But then we began to feed on each other, in the most amazing of places. The spectators were thrilled and shocked. I heard their gasps and whispers.
None of them enjoyed it more than Lucius Aratas—a Roman official Faruk had told me about. The wenches came out next. They were entirely nude. The men followed, and soon they began feeding and copulating with them. It seemed there was no difference between the feeding and the orgiastic pleasure they gave one another.
Cheers rang out as the Romans, initiated by Antony, shouted their approval. Cleopatra laughed whereupon Antony took her right there where they were seated. Others joined in until the entire room was one big orgy with Scaba and the wenches pleasuring each other and any man that wished it. I never saw so many naked bodies copulating as they were.
Shrieks of pleasure resounded in the hall— such that I’d never heard. Even the eunuchs joined in, pleasuring one another in wild abandon. It went on for hours. People only stopped when they were satiated. It was as Faruk had said—desires of the blood. Odd that sexual excitement transpires from vampiric feeding, is it not, Rose? At daybreak, Antony summoned me. He wished to know my name and something about me, where I was from, and so on. “I told him I was from Antioch. He asked me what I was about. I think strangely enough he thought me to have eyes for the Queen. I smiled and said I wished to take my troupe to Rome for I dreamt of the place and had done for a number of years.
He looked quite impressed with that. He was not only handsome but also arrogant. “Yes, Rome is the beginning and end of everything. Tell me,” he added. “Are you not staying? Are you intending to go soon?” I think he asked this hoping it was soon, for he had seen the way Cleopatra watched me. “It will be very soon,” I said. He looked relieved. “Do make plans to travel. I am certain you will sail for Rome before you know it!” I thanked him and as I turned to go, he called me back. “In the interim, could you leave a few of your wenches? Faruk will show you where to send them. I quite fancy them.”
He shocked me, Rose, as humans often do. Later, Faruk introduced me to Lucius Aratas. He was quite a handsome man, tall and distinguished looking. He looked every inch the aristocrat he was. “I have watched you,” he said. “You must tell me of your plans. I could not help but to overhear that you are leaving for Rome.” I agreed that I was. “That is good. I shall escort you there, if you will permit me.”
We shook hands then. His touch was interesting; I cannot always say I have an inkling about a person just from their touch, but I did rather have it about Lucius. I thought him most promising. For all of Faruk’s many gifts, I offered him the gift of immortality. He fell to his knees and wept. “Master, I cannot speak, I am so honored.” “Then you shall listen. I have seen how you look at Scaba, and I cannot part you two. She is yours forever if you wish it.”
He fell prostrate before me and wept, but these tears were of joy. And so I did create him and he fed upon myself and Ankata and Scaba, too. Then they fell about making love, for they were so entranced with one another. We would leave the next day. As for Faruk, he and Scaba were to remain in Alexandria because it was his city. From what I understand, they had many successful vampire brothels. Scaba, as wanton as she was, came to care for Faruk and as far as I know, she may care for him still.
And so we left the glittering Alexandria behind. Our destination was Rome. Rome, the city of cities—the new power in the world. I could not wait to see it for I knew much of my destiny awaited me there. And it did, Rose. Oh my, yes it did..."
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