Maybe I had been making a greater monster of him than he really was, or maybe I was still under his influence, for I was certain that he wanted me to believe he was no more than a harmless man who happened to use vampirism to get what he desired. Some remnant of his mesmerism was still upon me. I had never been able to shake the feeling that he was tucked away in a corner of my mind, that he could read my thoughts, know what I was thinking. He had done something to me, but what that was, I had never been able to discover. All I knew was that the feeling had been with me since the morning I woke up and found myself in Venice.
Because, my dear Eric, I have tasted the secret knowledge. I know how much to say and when to pull back. I know what to see and not see. And now that I have become whole again, I can never go back. All these things he has given me. Better than my supposed mother and father ever could. For that, I owe him my life and allegiance.
I had lied to myself from the very beginning, deceived myself into believing that I was being fanciful and overly imaginative. Surely such monstrosities only existed in nightmares? Yet I had lived through a nightmare these past months, and that was no dream at all.I was still fighting against the awful truth, not wanting to give in, searching my mind for a logical explanation but there was none. And the most horrible realization of all was that I had known, somewhere deep inside, ever since the day I first set eyes on Vladec Salei.Plague carrier.Living death.Drainer of life.The phrasing did not matter. No euphemism could strike fear into the hearts of men the way that single word could.Vampire.And for me, the uninitiated, that single word meant death.