“Kill it,” the Queen said.
“My Queen, if I may…”
“You may not, Sir Francis,” the Queen said. “The thought that I ever considered this…this…’thing’ a friend fills me with dread. I won’t have it alive so that it can continue to plot and scheme against the realm.”
“Your Majesty,” Sir Francis said. “I implore you to consider how rare it is to have a vampire in captivity. Allow me a fortnight to question her. Who knows how many vampires have infiltrated the highest levels of society? Why, any member of the trusted aristocracy could in secret, be a vile bloodsucker.”
“Well, that’s nothing new, is it?” Sir Walter asked.
The Queen sighed heavily. “I’m loathe to ask this but Sir Walter, do you have counsel on this matter?”
“I do,” Sir Walter said as he held up Lady Beatrice’s medallion. “Give her back her trinket tomorrow morning then haul her ass outside for the whole world to see. When everyone’s watching, rip her bauble off and let her cook. The vampires will know we’re onto them and run scared.”
“I must protest,” Sir Francis said. “To do as Sir Walter advises would be to lose our advantage. The Legion does not know we have one of their own and thus we’ll be able to use the information we receive from our prisoner to strike when they least suspect it.”
“Bah,” Sir Walter scoffed. “The wench will give you nothing.”
The Queen tapped her chin as she considered the dueling opinions. Finally, she sought a tie breaker.
“Archbishop. What say you?”
The holy man looked at the prisoner. Her head was hung low, her face covered by her hair.
“Sir Francis and Sir Walter are both very wise,” the archbishop said. “However, there is so much evil in this creature. To allow it to live much longer is to court disaster.”
The Queen stood up. By reflex, all three advisors bowed.
“The matter is settled. Get this abomination out of my sight. Sir Francis, you shall have the rest of the evening to question her. If she hasn’t provided any useful information by sunrise, Sir Walter shall carry out his plan.”
Sir Francis frowned. “As you command, Your Majesty.”
The Queen stepped across the room until she reached the vampire. The knights tightened their grips on her.
“Beatrice,” the Queen said.
The lady lifted her head.
“Was there ever a time when you were truly my friend?”
The lady snickered. “I’d sooner befriend a lowly human than I would a dog, Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth turned so as to avoid looking at the lady any further. “Take her away.”
Lady Beatrice refused to stand, so the knights gripped the lady under her arms and dragged her away. The Queen’s three advisors followed.
“God save the Queen!” Lady Beatrice shouted. “Because father is coming for her!”