Chapter 65: Rhys

I was beginning to regret taking a paycut in exchange for my sister’s spot on Blood and Bishops. I’d been excited when the show was picked up for a full season, but now

Now I was subjected to her crude ad-libbing in all our shared scenes, in which she instructed me to shove all manner of medical instruments, chess pieces, and cadaver parts up my anal cavity.

I also struggled with chess itself. For my character, Roland Redgrave, chess was both a tool and, as a last resort, a weapon. But I couldn’t immerse myself deeply enough in the game, especially not with certain…distractions.

I should’ve fought for the role of Lord Harrington Bishop. But how could I have known…? And now I was sentenced to hours of watching my goddess in his arms or on his lap… I thought the script relied far too much on cheap sexual thrills for an attempted ratings boost.

I hoped we might discuss the acting trade or the show itself off-set, but no matter how artfully I posed against a wall or statue, she never noticed me. But seeing her absorbed in a world of her own, a world closed to all others, was appealing on its own.

Still, I wondered…what would she say, if I spoke to her first? Would she be annoyed? Repulsed? Wary? She had the right to be all three.

So I let her be. If she wanted, she could acknowledge me.

I needed to focus on my chess training regardless. And then there was the matter of my mother…no. She’d want me to focus on work. On acting.

So I tried to get into character–what sort of man would enjoy the machinations of a lengthy game of chess? If I altered my glamour, maybe my mindset would follow.

Yes, Dr. Puck seemed like a natural chess player. And the new coat of paint seemed to help me with my game as well…

…And then my sister ruined my immersion by interrupting. I’d almost forgotten I was wearing another man’s face.

I don’t know why I decided to go along with it, rather than revealing myself immediately. Maybe it was because this was the first time she’d voluntarily spoken to me off-set. Or maybe it was because she immediately apologized for offering sexual favors to our therapist in the past. (Something to discuss with Dr. Puck during our next session.)

Would she only speak to me if she thought I was someone else? Could this be the only way to bond as a brother and sister should?

Unfortunately, improvisation wasn’t my strong suit; I was an actor, tasked with bringing even the most pedestrian scripts to life. Still, I was able to convince her of my false identity, thanks to my sheer talent.

I hadn’t known she’d thought all those things about me. I hadn’t known what she thought of me at all, and now I almost regretted it.

But if I could help her see the truth about her unnecessarily maligned elder brother…

I could only try. What other opportunity would I ever possibly have?

I was equally surprised when my other sibling initiated conversation. I was prepared to treat him as I would any other director, but he sought me out when we weren’t filming–and offered unsolicited advice.

Were it on any other subject but my goddess, I might have dismissed it outright. I never needed assistance with women.

But she…she lived in a world closed to mere mortals, a world to which I desperately wanted the key.

But I still couldn’t bring myself to approach the gates of that world. Why? I’d had countless women worship the ground I stood on–many of whom I’d taken on that very same ground.

In this case, it was best to keep my distance; as select few (or more than a few) of my attractive fans learned, some people were meant to be worshipped from afar…

“Rhys?”

What did you call a daydream at night?

“Rhys…Straud?”

I sprang away from the column I so handsomely leaned against. “Yes?” Please don’t ask me where the bathroom is…

“Hamlet won’t be in the next episode,” she said, “so all of my scenes will be with you or my pet were-leopard instead. I was wondering if you’d like to run lines together…?”

“…”

“…Rhys?”

“…Ah, yes. That seems prudent.” My heart was racing. Thank you, Hamlet Richardson, for abandoning a third-rate show in its time of need in favor of your film career.

“I know the entire castle like it’s the back of my favorite vampire novel,” she said. “I found the perfect place to practice.”

What could I do but follow?

And what sort of person had a secret set of stairs leading from the kitchen into a basement?

My goddess hadn’t lied; she did seem incredibly familiar with the layout of the castle. It was difficult to keep up.

She led me into…some sort of holding cell. Strange, but appropriate. One of the scenes in the next episode involved Lady Octavia Bishop taking Roland Redgrave hostage while her husband was out hunting for food.

“This is where the evil vampire lord keeps his prisoners,” she told me.

“Naturally.” It was natural for a vampire lord to do such a thing, wasn’t it? It wouldn’t do to have prisoners escaping.

But in this particular scene, I was her prisoner…

I begged for my release, while she coldly played chess, deaf to my pleas.

But more important than my release was my desire for her to know me again, as she once had, before Lord Harrington ever turned her and claimed her as his wife. She was meant to be mine. How could she have forgotten…?

I was shocked when afterward, she took me by the hand, her slim, pale fingers interlacing with mine.

“I could sense every bit of your painful longing and suppressed passion in your performance,” she said. “I feel like you really understand the material–and you make it seem so real.”

“I…I try to… I’m an actor.”

“I hope I can learn a lot more from you. Eheheh…”

“I…I’d be happy to teach you everything that I know.”

She tugged on my hand. “Can I ask for more of your romantic expertise?”

I swallowed. “Of course.”

She led me down the hall to to a bookcase–one that gave way when she jostled a particular tome. Very peculiar–both the hidden door and her incredible knowledge of this place.

I followed her down yet another dimly lit hall, our footsteps echoing against the stone. At last, we arrived at a heavy, old wooden door, one that swung open to reveal a very interesting bedroom–one with chains dangling from the ceiling above the bed and countless candles littering the floor.

“This is my favorite room in the entire castle,” she announced, heading deeper inside. “The cruel vampire lord’s hidden chamber…”

“Your–your favorite?” With another glance around, it quickly became apparent what such a room was used for…

Before I could stop her, she made for a pillory surrounded by mirrors and secured herself inside. …My goddess certainly knew her way around ancient punishment devices.

She tested the strength of its bonds, her hands moving within their confinements. “Would a vampire lord use this to restrain a nubile human maiden or abducted funeral parlor employee, do you think?”

A white-hot thrill shot through me, the pull of the forbidden… “The neck access…is less than ideal for a vampire to feed from his victim, I believe.”

“Hmm…I wonder what he’d use it for, then.”

I coughed. “I…I can think of a few things.”

She raised her head to look at me. “Will you tell me? I need all the dark, terrible inspiration I can get for my writing.”

“…It would be my pleasure.”

I made a mental note to have my assistant secure my brother’s number as soon as possible; I suspected I’d need a great deal of further advice.

 

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17 thoughts on “Chapter 65: Rhys

  1. Hahaha I had assumed Rhys was intentionally trying to figure out what was going on with his sister. I love that the Dr. Puck ruse was completely by accident 😂

    O is still so stunning in her Blood & Bishops look 😍 I know Rhys appreciates it too haha. I almost died when they found the stocks in the bedroom LOL (but I would never expect less from Graham 😛 )

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL, I figured that’d come across as Rhys scheming a la Graham (or even Finn), but no, it was just him being seriously devoted to the ~art of acting~

      I love her Blood and Bishops look! So much more than her everyday look, rofl. And of course Graham would have stocks in his basement dungeon bedroom. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “I hope I can learn a lot more from you. Eheheh…”

    When O laughs like that, we all KNOW something truly wicked is about to happen.

    And Rhys is delightfully ready to be her sex slave. Bahahahaaaa!

    OMG…honestly, this was going down so perfectly that any minute, I was thinking he’d wake up to her all puzzled as she’s still asking his to go over their lines together. But then, this is Ophelia. LIttle Miss Sadistic Pleasure. Oh, Finn. Your plan is working perfectly. Hmm…Matchmaker, matchmaker…okay, okay, I won’t put that in your head again (althought it is now running through mine, atm.)

    How would Ophelia know this castle so well?

    I loved the castle name and the beautiful Bianca painting is such a great touch. Such a gorgeious classic (as Bianca is to Graham…le sigh…)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ROFL, where does Rhys sign up? 😉

      And ha, the end of the chapter totally wouldn’t have been out of place as a Fangs dream sequence…but no, it’s totally Ophelia being Ophelia. And oh no, that earworm is back! ROFL.

      Ophelia’s spent a lot of time exploring the castle because she loves it so much (and has all these weird fantasies about it). Graham likes the Bianca painting too. 😈

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ophelia looked SO beautiful (ok, no, SHE’S the prettiest… ), and I was really struck by what a good mix of his parents Rhys is ❤️

    I love that he accidentally ended up as Gal’s therapist, and I hope they have more sessions? 😈 Am I so naive that I think that will end well? Yes. Yes I am.

    I know he wasn’t actually present, but I feel like Graham was the low key star of this chapter as Ophelia takes us on a wayward tour of his inner sanctum (that painting tho, RAWR Bianca).

    How will Rhys be able to satisfy Ophelia’s dark vampiric desires though? I am eager to know!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ❤ ❤ They're both good mixes of their parents, right? I love Ophelia's Lyons eyes.

      LOL, Gal hasn't seen the last of bro-Puck… And does anything involving Gal end well?

      ROFL, this castle is 100% Graham's, no question about it. Pregnant naked Bianca paintings everywhere.

      Can a fae possibly satisfy Ophelia's dark vampiric desires? 😦 (Rhys would like to try.)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. OMG….I was wondering why Dr Puck would be there. Lol for a group therapy session….😂😂😂😂. But O and Rhys, he really is falling for Ophelia. Poor Finn will be giving relatipnship advice for both lover and wanna be lover. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. Puck gets around, don’t you know! 😉

      Finn probablyyyy won’t like the situation he finds himself in. 😦 Or maybe he’ll meet someone new…? (HE WON’T, BECAUSE HELL IF I’M INTRODUCING MORE CHARACTERS AT THIS POINT. *internal screaming*)

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Aha! Dr. Puck my *ss. I knew there was something fishy about him. However, I think I’m liking Rhys more and more, as this story goes on. He is actually very vulnerable, though most people wouldn’t know it, because they don’t take the time to get to know him. I hope Rhys is able to fix his sibling bonds.

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see Rhys take on the Dr. Puck persona again, to try to understand Gal better. If he does, I really hope she doesn’t find out. I doubt she’d ever forgive him.

    I wish Rhys all the luck in the world in his romantic endeavors. I’d love to see him and O together. They’d make a great couple.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You were right last time!! The doctor wasn’t exactly in, LOL–though Rhys was in the doctor?

      I’m so glad you’re warming up to Rhys! ❤ ❤ I know he can seem obnoxious and over-the-top at first (and okay, maybe he's both), but you're right about the vulnerability he doesn't let other people see, thanks to his persona.

      You're also probably right about Rhys playing Dr. Puck again. 😉 And about Gal never forgiving him if she found out.

      He'd be so pleased to know someone was rooting for him and O! ❤ ❤

      Like

  6. Nooo, how could this chapter get cut off right there! I want some of that dark and terrible inspiration, too!
    O is so beautiful, she’s every bit Bianca’s daughter and I love them both *_* I hope she and Rhys both can find some inspiration and happiness from each other >:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ ❤ ❤ ROFL, I wasn't expecting people to be so disappointed that it cut off there! I guess I should've known better. 😉 There will be more dark and terrible inspiration in the future…! Probably.

      O is definitely Bianca's daughter. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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