Twenty Fifth of the Fifth Moon, 413

I returned the next evening to complete my purchase of the spellbooks from Ulrich. He seemed disappointed; perhaps thinking that he could have gotten more money from me. I reminded him that Lord Strahd rewarded devotion, but also cruelly punished treachery. He adamantly denied thinking such thoughts and I waved him off with enough gold to rebuild his crumbling manor.

I left the grounds, the entire time forgetting all about the books I had just acquired and instead thinking about Tatyana’s return. She would be mine as she should have been a half a century ago.

I dismissed the carriage and returned late that night. Tatyana was asleep, but she answered my unspoken call and snuck out to the gardens. In the moonlight she was beautiful, even more so than the night before. The girl shivered in the cold, and appeared withdrawn. This was no doubt due to my feeding the night before, but it was a small price to pay.

“My Lord,” she whispered. I appeared out of the shadows to answer her.

“Yes, Tatyana,”

“Are you going to take me away from here?” she asked, with a mixture of fear and excitement.

“Of course, my love. You will be with me forever.”

“Are we going to leave tonight?”

“Not tonight. We must wait until the evening after next. Then I will take you away.” I said. She seemed relived, but afraid of something. I asked her what troubled her.

“Oh, my Lord, I don’t want to be here any longer. Earlier tonight, Master Ulrich told me he was planning to marry me. That your gift to him would allow him to pay the church’s dowry on orphans they raised. I don’t want to marry him, I want to marry you!” she exclaimed. I was enraged, but spoke as gently as I could.

“That will not happen, Tatyana. I will take you away before then. Just one more night,” I promised.

She fell into my arms, and did not care when I took her blood.

Twenty Fifth of the Fifth Moon, 413

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna