“My... my mother said it was a family name.” He sat back in the chair, not knowing what to think.
“Relax, Mathias. There are many ways that a family name can be passed down. I am related to the original Mathias by blood. But I promise you, you are the first vampire in your family in centuries.”
Mathias shook his head. There was a lot to get used to.
He looked up to see Tepes standing in the open doorway. “We have much more to get done today.”
Mathias got up from the chair and walked over. “That reminds me, where am I staying?”
“You will be staying with me.”
Before Mathias had a chance to say anything, Master Tepes had raised his hand and silenced him. “You will have a separate room with a lock on the door. I simply felt that it would be better for you to stay with me. I am your sire, after all.”
Mathias looked around. It would help if he had a weapon, but he could see nothing in sight that he could grab without Tepes noticing.
“Mathias, you have no need of a weapon. But if you insist, I will let you pick one out since you are so adamant. But before I forget, you are going to learn to block those thoughts of yours.”
Mathias hoped he didn’t piss Tepes off. So far, he seemed to be trying to help him, but it was hard.
“Enough of that, Mathias,” Tepes said. “Now, to block your thoughts I need you to relax your spine until you feel a chill.”
Mathias tried, and after a moment, achieved the effect Tepes spoke of.
“Now, imagine a brick wall forming in your mind; keeping what you want inside, away from prying eyes, away from those you do not trust.”
He did as he was told, but did more. He imagined a steel plate slamming down behind his eyes. In his mind, it was completely impenetrable.
“Now, I am going to try to read your thoughts,” Tepes said.
Mathias felt gentle probing, but nothing more.
“Well done, Mathias!” Tepes reached out to pat Mathias on the shoulder, and Mathias shirked away. Tepes withdrew his hand and had an apologetic expression on his face. “Now, I think we need to do something about your hair.”
Mathias glared. “My hair is fine.” No one was going to touch his hair. The last person to cut it was his mother, and he wasn’t about to let anyone else touch it and take that away from him.
Tepes sighed. “Mathias, I realize that you find it hard to believe, but I do these things because I care.”
“Look, I don’t belong here. I’m dirt poor. And when somebody gives you something, they always want something back. I can’t afford to pay any of this back, and I’m not about to let you take it out of me.”
“Mathias first of all, let me worry about the cost. Second, I have plenty. When you’ve been alive as long as I, you tend to collect it. Just try to enjoy yourself. That is all I ask.”
It wasn’t an easy pill to swallow. Mathias couldn’t figure out any other reasons than those that had been given to him by Master Tepes for all of the nice things he was doing for him. But there had to be a catch somewhere, but so far, there had been no clues as to what. And besides, who ever heard of a vampire child porn ring?
“Mathias?” Tepes asked.
Mathias looked up. “Huh?”
“You haven’t heard a thing I’ve said, have you?”
“Mathias, it’s all right. I was simply pointing out the architectural details of our school, but it really isn’t that important.”
It was frustrating. It seemed like everything Mathias did was wrong. He wasn’t sure how this was going to work.
“As I said before, our school is called simply, The University. It is called by the term to mean the old Roman use of the word. It has been in operation for a very long time. The castle you are standing within is fashioned after the castle that I had near the river Arges. It is your standard castle of the 1400’s, complete with a strong outer wall and a rather large courtyard.”
“But didn’t you die? Like