Revenge of the Vampires

Chapter 11

1

Tristan loved Paris. He didn't understand why anyone would want to live in any other city in the world. Paris was a beautiful city. It had a reputation of being the most romantic one anywhere. Tristan agreed with that.

The nice thing about that was it made it very easy to feed on women in the city. French women were always looking for romance. All a vampire had to do was romance the woman. It didn't seem to take much to get close to them. Of course, it wasn't necessary to romance them in order to drink their blood. There wasn't a mortal woman alive who could stand up to any vampire. It was the thrill of the chase that had him doing it. To watch a woman succumb to him without using his powers was the ultimate high. It was the thrill of the chase.

Of course, if they refused him, then he could always take them by force. The ones who forced his hand would never live to regret it. Tristan would drain them completely. Knowing it was against the Vampire Council's rules made absolutely no difference to him. No one was going to control him, not even the council. He didn't care what rules they made up for other vampires; he simply wasn't going to follow them. And why should he? Count Dracula did not bother to follow any of the rules. They had no control over him whatsoever. In fact, everybody on the council was scared of him. There wasn't any doubt he was the most powerful vampire in the world. No one, including himself, would argue that point. Nevertheless, when he broke the rules, they should have sent an army of vampires to punish him. Did they do that? Of course not! They were all afraid of their own existence being snuffed out by Dracula.

If he was the only one, Tristan just might overlook it. However, that was not the case. Barnabas Collins of Collinsport, Maine was known to ignore the council as well. He didn't even allow the Master control over him. Collins had ignored the council for his entire existence. He didn't report to them on a regular basis such as every other vampire was obligated to do. Those who did not, were punished. Even Tristan reported to them. He honestly did not know why he did. He supposed it was because those that would be sent by the council would be more than just a nuisance. Tristan did not like destroying his own kind, even if they were misguided by the council. It didn't matter anyway as his reports were never true. He did what he wanted regardless.

He found a way to be a thorn in Morgan and Miranda's side. He allowed Ramon to stay in his castle. Ramon was attempting to raise a large enough vampire army in order to take control of the Vampire Council. Tristan didn't believe he would be able to do it, but he certainly wasn't going to stop him if he had any chance at all of succeeding.

He simply didn't understand the council. Why should the vampire race take a back seat to the much weaker mortals. Their argument didn't make any sense. So what if the entire human race was obliterated. There were still animals. They could be raised for the purpose of feeding the vampires. Tristan never took into account that vampires would all have the same abilities, and would no longer be the stronger race. Nor did he consider that he loved being superior to mortals. That superiority would go out the window with allowing vampires to destroy the human race.

There was a knock on his chambers door. Tristan thought that it better be his servant bringing him a young beautiful girl to feed on. The blood lust was raging inside him and he had to satisfy it.

"Come in," he called out.

The door opened and Richard, his servant, walked in. Tristan never allowed his servant to look up at him unless he requested it. Richard was beneath him in every way. He knew how to keep his servant in his place. Treating his servant in the manner that Barnabas Collins treated Willie Loomis was out of the question. A vampire should never befriend his servant. Tristan did not realize that Willie Loomis had more loyalty to Collins than any of his servants ever would. Willie Loomis was a servant and a friend to Barnabas Collins. Richard was simply a slave. Calling him a servant was being generous with words.

With his eyes down he spoke to Tristan. "Master, there is a phone call for you from the Vampire Council. They said it is urgent that they speak with you."

Tristan already knew what this phone call was about. It probably was coming from either Morgan or Miranda. The two vampires pretty much controlled the entire council. They had Damon and Eddie voting with them. That was all it took for complete control of the council.

"I think I will keep them waiting. Let them know that I am busy and will call them back. If they try to tell you that it is too important to wait, tell them to wait anyway. I know what they want. I have no intention of giving it to them. You will not tell them that, though. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, Master, I understand you completely."

"Then why are you still standing there? Get out!"

Richard hurried out of the chambers. He knew exactly how cruel Tristan could be if he did not move fast enough for him. The servant had been the recipient of many beatings. His master fed on him regularly to keep him in line. Richard didn't understand why he didn't hate the man with a passion. Somehow, he felt an obligation to serve him. He wasn't exactly sure why, but he just had to do it. And do it, he did.

Tristan sat down. He had been hoping for a pretty girl to feed on; that was not the case. Now he would have to go out and find one himself. Actually, when it came right down to it, it would be a lot more fun. He enjoyed the art of seducing before he sunk his teeth into his victim.

His thoughts were interrupted once again with a knock on the door. Despite not wanting to be disturbed, he called out, "Come in."

The door opened and Richard meekly walked in. "I apologize, Master, for disturbing you once again. However, Morgan and Miranda will not take no for an answer. They put Count Dracula on the line who insisted upon speaking with you. He said if you refuse to speak to him, he would be coming to Paris."

Tristan raised an eyebrow. He wondered why Dracula would become involved. He was well aware of the vampires that Ramon was bringing to his castle. Dracula normally stayed out of council business. So why was he calling? He supposed the only way to find out was to take his call. "All right, I'll be there in a moment. Tell Dracula I will speak with him."

Richard bowed and left Tristan's chambers. The vampire looked out the window. He really didn't want to get involved with Dracula. There wasn't any way he could defeat him, and he knew it. What had Ramon done to bring Dracula into the mix? When he allowed Ramon and the other vampires to stay in his castle, he knew their purpose. He honestly didn't think Dracula would become involved. He realized now that he was being naive. Dracula went clear across the world to San Francisco to defeat an army of Andrew Adell's vampires to restore the Vampire Council to Morgan and Miranda. If the council was in danger, Morgan likely went straight to Dracula. Still, he hadn't expected his involvement this quickly. He figured Dracula would stay out of it until it was too late. Again, that had been naive. Tristan should have known better. Now there was a big problem in his castle. He didn't know what it was as of yet, but he certainly knew that he was about to find out.

Leaving his chambers, he headed to the next room where the telephone was located. Standing by the phone was Richard. He handed the receiver to the vampire, bowed and left the room.

"Count Dracula, this is an unexpected pleasure. To what do I owe that pleasure?"

In his thick Transylvanian accent, the count said, "There is a problem the council needs your help with."

"Really, the council has never asked for my help before. What could be so dire that they would call upon me?"

At the other end of the phone, Dracula tried to keep his voice controlled. Tristan knew exactly why he was calling him. The count didn't believe for one second that Tristan didn't know what was going on in his own castle. "Ramon has been gathering an army of vampires in your castle."

"I wouldn't worry about that, Count Dracula. They are not going to move on the council. They are too frightened of you. I am surprised that you became involved."

"I wasn't given a choice."

Tristan was genuinely surprised at this remark. "I do not understand. I was under the impression that you always have a choice as to how you handle anything."

"Not this time. Ramon went to Collinsport Maine and kidnapped Dr Julia Hoffman. As you may know, she is the fiance of Barnabas Collins."

Tristan could not feel anything but disgust. Collins should either turn her or leave her alone. Vampires were superior to mortals, and should not be romantically involved with them. "I don't see how that involves you. I am aware that you helped Collins in the American city, but I believed that was more against Andrew than anything else. Why are you worried about the mortal woman of Barnabas Collins?"

"Barnabas has become a close friend. He enlisted my help to find Dr Hoffman. When I went back to Collinsport, Ramon invaded my castle and kidnapped Angelique." Dracula remained silent for a moment to allow his words to sink in.

Tristan smiled. It was a brilliant plan on Ramon's part. Unfortunately, by doing so, Ramon involved him in his scheme. Dracula would now demand that he stop Ramon. "That is very unfortunate. What do you intend to do? I will remind you that an invasion into my castle would mean all out war."

"I am not the least bit afraid of all out war. If it comes to that, you have much to lose."

Tristan noted the deadly tone in Dracula's voice. He could pretty much guess what the count's demand was going to be. "What exactly do you expect me to do about it?"

"If you want to avoid an all-out war, I would suggest you contact Ramon and demand that he release Dr Hoffman and Angelique. If anything happens to either one of them, I will destroy everybody involved."

"That is an unwarranted threat, Count Dracula. Shall I remind you there are over 100 vampires residing in my castle at this very moment. I doubt very highly if you could handle that many vampires at once."

Dracula was having trouble controlling his anger. If Tristan knew how many vampires were in his castle, then he approved of Ramon's actions. As far as Dracula was concerned, he was every bit as guilty as Ramon himself. "There were over 50 vampires that invaded the American city. As you know, we handled them with ease with absolutely no loss on our side."

"That is half the number that are in my castle. I do not believe you would find it as easy to defeat them. Remember, you had the help of Collins, Morgan and Miranda, and if my memory serves me correctly, there were two other vampires who helped you. I don't believe you could stand alone against an army of 100."

"I will not only have those same individuals, but a room full of vampires pledged to help me. Do you think you could stand up against an army loyal to me?"

Dracula's voice had turned deadly. Tristan had not anticipated Dracula would have that kind of help against Ramon. If the elder vampire entered his castle, Tristan was willing to go to war with the council and Dracula. "Do not enter my castle, Count. I have warned you and the council before that I will not tolerate anyone invading it."

"But you have no problem with Ramon invading my castle and kidnapping Angelique."

"I do not want a war with you, Count Dracula. I will contact Ramon and demand that he release Angelique immediately."

"And Dr Hoffman?" Dracula demanded an answer.

"Barnabas Collins and his mortal woman mean nothing to me. I do not care what happens to her. If Collins invades my castle, he will be destroyed. I would suggest that he negotiate with Ramon for her release. Quite frankly, I have no respect for a vampire that messes with a mortal woman. Collins is playing with fire and doesn't seem to realize it. He's depending on this doctor to cure him of his vampiric condition. Once he does that, I have no doubt that open season will be declared on him by vampires that he has alienated in the past."

"If and when Barnabas is cured of his condition, he will be protected by me. Anyone who goes anywhere near him will be destroyed. I will not allow him to be harmed once he becomes human again. Now, I want Julia Hoffman released as well. Nothing else is acceptable. Both women will be released. Either you convince Ramon to do it, or I will force him to do it. If it comes to that, every vampire in that castle will be destroyed. I can promise you that. You will have the war you claim you do not want."

"Calm down, Count Dracula. I will contact Ramon and speak with him." The nerve of the man! Did he really think that he was scared of him? The number of vampires in his castle would make mincemeat of Dracula and his minions. He wasn't dealing with Andrew Adell who let his hatred for the San Francisco detective cloud his judgment. Tristan knew what he had to do. He certainly wasn't going to demand that Ramon release either one of the women. Ramon had the upper hand, and Tristan would support him completely in his endeavor. In fact, Tristan would head back to Transylvania to head the coming war with Dracula and the Vampire Council. He was tired of being threatened by them. If Dracula and Collins didn't have to pay any attention to the council, then neither did he, Ramon, or the other vampires resting in his castle. It was time they put an end to the council's reign.

"I will expect to hear from you shortly. If I do not, you have a war on your hands. Remember, if anything happens to Angelique or Dr Hoffman, you will forfeit your existence since it is your castle." Dracula hung up the phone.

Despite claiming he wasn't scared of Dracula, he found that final warning ran a chill up his spine. Nevertheless, Tristan would not back down. Dracula had existed several hundred years, and it was time that someone ended his existence. Who better than he and Ramon to be the ones to do it?

"Richard!" he shouted.

The servant came into the room almost immediately. He would do nothing to anger Tristan as he knew a beating would be the result. "Yes, Master."

"Make arrangements to return to Transylvania immediately. There is a war on the horizon."

"Yes, Master." After bowing again, he scurried out of the room as fast as he could to make the arrangements his master demanded.

2

Devlin picked up the two trays of food to take to the mortals in the darkest part of the castle. Like him, they needed to eat. Ramon made it his responsibility to see that they received bathroom breaks and food. His master warned him against Angelique. She was a witch and had powers that could seduce him into obeying her. Ramon threatened him with death if he allowed it. To make sure he was completely under his thrall, Ramon bit Devlin to place more of his venom in his system. It would help him resist the witch.

Most witches wouldn't think of going near a servant of a vampire. They knew the results would make them a mortal enemy of the member of the living dead. Angelique, on the other hand, just might do it. Despite her obsession with Barnabas Collins, she never went near Willie Loomis, Collins's servant. Ramon had decided not to take any chances, hence the reason why he decided to put more of his venom in Devlin.

Devlin wished he knew the reason why he felt so obligated to serve Ramon. The vampire was cruel and treated him as if he were subhuman. Despite the feeling of obligation, Devlin never lost his desire to free himself of the vampire. The only reason he hadn't at this point was because he didn't know how he would do it. No opportunity had ever risen to show him the way.

He continued down into the depths of Tristan's castle where the two women were held. When he arrived, there were two human guards on each side of the door. One of them unlocked the door into the room in which the cells were contained. Devlin carried the breakfast trays inside. Using his foot, he pushed the door closed. He walked over to a table to the left of the cells, setting the trays down.

"I am going to give each one of you a bathroom break before I feed you. We will do it separately as I don't trust the two of you together." He walked over and opened Julia Hoffman's cell.

Hoffman exited her prison and looked up at Devlin. She saw the bruises on his face and neck. Ramon had obviously beaten the young man for allowing her to get away. He also had bitten him recently. Julia had been around a vampire long enough to know the reason for that. With more venom in Devlin's system, he would be less likely to betray the vampire. Julia knew that most servants of the Living Dead never did anything to get away from their captors. They served the vampires until they became too old to do so. Most vampires, at that time, would end their existence. Yet, the will of some people kept them from being completely loyal to their masters. Willie Loomis had been one of them. Despite knowing he could never walk away from Barnabas Collins, he served him reluctantly and quite often disobeyed him. Fortunately for Willie, Barnabas never totally lost his humanity as most vampires did. Eventually, Barnabas and Willie became friends. It was no longer necessary to bite Willie, as he remained at the Old House of his own free will.

Julia suspected that Devlin was much like Willie was in the beginning after the fateful day he opened Barnabas Collins's coffin for the first time. Devlin gave her the impression that he wanted to get away from Ramon. When she told Angelique there was a possibility they could get Devlin to betray Ramon, she felt guilty for what might happen to him if he did. Now, looking at him made her wonder if she should involve him at all. The young man's face was black and blue, he had two black eyes, and Julia suspected there were probably many more bruises on his body. Ramon had beaten him severely for allowing Julia to get away from him. Despite that knowledge, she knew that she would try to enlist his help. He was their only hope for escaping Tristan's castle without the help of Barnabas and Dracula.

"What happened to your face?" Julia asked him.

He turned to look at her. "What do you think happened? This is what he does to me when things don't go his way. When you got away from me, he was furious. I thought he was going to kill me. He kept beating me." He lowered his eyes. He didn't want her to see the tears that were welling up there.

"I'm sorry, Devlin. I never wanted that to happen to you. Believe me, I know what vampires are capable of," Julia said.

"It's not really your fault. I don't blame you for trying to get away. You did what you had to do. I blame Ramon. And you're right, vampires are capable of extreme cruelty."

"Why don't you try and break away from him?" Angelique asked him.

"I cannot. I must serve him."

"But why? Why do you stay with him when he beats you?" Julia asked. She knew fully why he did. She saw the same thing in Willie. He wanted to get away from Barnabas in the beginning, but couldn't. He also felt like he had to serve him. That, of course, was the venom the vampire put into his victim. The opposite sex was always more susceptible to the venom. However, the same sex succumbs to a vampire with reluctance. Occasionally, a person's will will be so strong that they will fight every step of the way. "Obviously, you have a very strong will. The reason you feel compelled to serve Ramon is because of the venom he places in your system when he bites you periodically. If he didn't bite you, you would lose the desire to serve him as the venom left your system. You can fight it, Devlin."

Devlin shook his head back and forth. "No, he would kill me. I can't do that. Don't ask me to betray him. I must serve him, there is no other way." Devlin was becoming extremely agitated.

"Calm down, Devlin," Julia said. "If you really want to get out from underneath the vampire, you have to take chances. There isn't any other way. You can either be his slave for the rest of your life, or at least until you're too old to serve him any longer, at which time he will kill you, or you can try and fight the venom in your system and free yourself."

"I don't know how to do that,"Devlin said.

"I can help you," Angelique promised him. "I created a vampire. I know exactly what they can and cannot do. Would you have access to things like a cross, holy water, and garlic?"

"Not here in the castle. Obviously, since those things can either harm or control a vampire, none of the vampires will allow them in the castle."

"Then you must go outside the castle to obtain them," Angelique told him. "You must purchase a chain with a cross on it and wear it on your neck. You must keep garlic on you at all times. I would suggest that you buy a child's squirt gun and fill it full of holy water. Holy water will protect you from vampires. If squirted on them it will burn their skin. Also, if possible, you should carry a stake. Once you have incapacitated a vampire, you must stake them. If you get a wooden stake, you must make sure that you hit the center of the heart. It is the only way to kill them. You can also purchase a gun. However, the bullets must be silver with a wooden center. The silver alone will not kill a vampire. If they are filled with wood, then they will definitely kill the vampire. The best way to kill them is to stake them with wood and then remove the head. Since it is probably impossible for you to do that here, all you will need to do is place garlic in their mouth after staking them. Once you have done that, they will die for good very quickly. Do you understand?"

"Yes, I understand, but I don't know if I can do it."

"Devlin, if you free Angelique and me, we will stay with you and protect you until you are able to get away. You must leave Romania and go to America. We can make sure that you get identification and a job. The smart thing to do would be to change your name so that Ramon could never find you. I don't think you really will have to worry about that, as Dracula is going to want to destroy every vampire in this castle. Believe me, he is capable of it. He will also kill every human being that attempts to stop him. Don't be one of those that try. You have a decision to make. Do you want to be a slave until you grow old, or will you help us to help you?" Julia glanced over at Angelique as the two of them waited for Devlin's decision.

"I know that Barnabas Collins is also here in Transylvania, or he will be when he discovers that you are here, Doctor. Will he and Dracula protect me as well?"

"He will if we ask him to, and so will Dracula. So what will it be, Devlin? Do you really want to rid yourself of the vampire?"

Devlin stood there. His mind was going 90 miles a minute. The whole plan rested on whether they were stopped by the other vampires or Ramon himself. Then there was the problem of the other humans that were slaves of vampires. If he released the two women, the other humans would try to stop them. Could he really do this? It was his job to serve the vampire. He didn't know why, he just knew he had to. Was it true that it was the venom the vampire put in his system that made him want to serve his master. If that was the case, he was being forced to, he wasn't meant to serve him.

Angelique was becoming impatient. "Well, Devlin, what is your decision?"

Julia wanted to give him all the time he needed to make the decision. She looked at Angelique and shook her head, hopefully relaying for her to be silent, and give him time to think. She didn't want him rushed. It might result in him backing off. Fortunately, Angelique understood and became silent once again."

"Take your time. It's a big decision to make," Julia told him.

There was nothing more that he wanted in his life than to be free of Ramon. If they were caught, it would mean certain death, at least for him. Ramon needed the two women to negotiate with Dracula and Collins. He didn't need him. He would surely kill him if they were caught. Ramon could find another servant easily. Devlin was actually surprised that he hadn't killed him already. Then again, if they were caught and Ramon killed him, he would be better off than he was right now. If he couldn't live his life free of the vampire, then he had no life in the first place. His decision was made. "What do you want me to do?"

"First of all," Angelique said, "We have to have warmer clothes than what we have on. Otherwise, all of us would freeze to death before we reached Dracula's Castle. Can you come up with warmer clothes than these?" she asked, pointing to her attire.

"Sure, there has to be servants in the castle about the same size as the two of you. I am sure I can find something."

"Very good," Julia said. "Next, is there any way to get out of the castle without being noticed?"

"That is going to be far more difficult. There are ways out of the castle, but Ramon isn't stupid. He has those guarded."

"Are they guarded by servants who have been bitten by Ramon or one of the other vampires?" Angelique worried about her powers against someone who had been bitten by a vampire. She couldn't guarantee that she could control them. In fact, her experience had been that she didn't have much control over them. Even if there was a little bit of control, it didn't last very long. Angelique was not certain they would be able to get out of the castle before whoever she cast a spell on would return to being under the vampire's thrall. It would be touch and go as to whether they would make it out.

"Unfortunately, I can't answer that. I do not know if they have been bitten or not. I can't imagine anybody staying here if they were not under the thrall of the vampire. Then again, it would be extremely hard for them to get away."

"Angelique, if they are guarding an area that leads out of the castle, I would think they would be under a vampire's thrall. Otherwise they could just leave."

Julia Hoffman was right. The witch would have to depend on her powers to hold them as long as possible. However, she knew it wouldn't be for long. "Devlin, do you know a way to Dracula's Castle that others would not follow? In other words is there another way other than the traditional way to get there?"

Julia could tell where Angelique was going with this questioning. They could get a head start on any of the servants following them if they took a different path. Unfortunately, there was another problem. "Wouldn't they be able to tell which path we were taking just by the footprints in the snow?"

Angelique looked over at Julia. She smiled despite herself. "You really are a party pooper."

Julia returned the smile. "It comes from working with a vampire over the years. You try to think of everything."

"Okay, we are back to square one. How are we going to get out of the castle and far enough away to get a head start on any humans following us?" Angelique said.

Devlin thought for a moment. "There might be a way, but it will be dangerous. In fact, it could be deadly for me."

"Do tell us,"Angelique said.

"It could be done right before sunset. That way, all of the slaves will be with their masters. It is required of them to be there when their master awakens. The problem is we wouldn't have much time to get away."

"And instead of humans following us, we would have vampires,"Angelique said.

"I doubt we would get very far," Julia pointed out. "Ramon would send several out to look for us. They'd go in different directions, and one of them would spot us from above. No, that won't work. That would be far too dangerous for you, Devlin. If we do this, we have to have a very good chance of getting away. Otherwise, you will meet a certain death, and I am sure it will be very painful. Ramon would be furious and he would make sure that you paid dearly. We can't do that to you."

"I have an idea," Angelique said.

"What is it, Angelique?" Julia asked.

"We could make up a message that says Dracula is sending in an army of humans to stake all of the vampires. That would force their human slaves to go down into their lair where all of them are resting, in order to protect them. We can make it sound like they can do it at any point during the day. That way, they would all stay down there. It would give us the time we need to get away and to get to Dracula's Castle."

"I like it," said Devlin. "It just might work. The message cannot be in my handwriting as Ramon would recognize it."

"But I doubt if he would recognize Julia's or my handwriting," Angelique pointed out. "Get us a pen and paper."

Devlin left the cell area, leaving it unlocked. He was certain that Julia wouldn't attempt to leave until they were ready. When he came back, she was still near the open cell. Devlin handed the pen and paper to Angelique.

"I will do this, Doctor, just in case Ramon would recognize your handwriting. I don't think he would, but let's not take the chance. I know he would never recognize my handwriting." Angelique wrote the note and handed it to Julia for inspection.

Hoffman smiled. "That should do it! In the meantime, Devlin, we need warmer clothes."

"I am already working on that," he said. "While I was getting the pen and paper, I removed some clothing from a couple of the female servants. They should be plenty warm enough for the two of you to reach Dracula's Castle. I will bring them to you as soon as we rid ourselves of the two guards outside the cells."

"How do we deliver the message and when?" Julia asked.

"I know of a messenger I can trust. I will give it to him, and he will bring it to the castle to deliver it to the guards."

"How soon can you do that?" Angelique said anxiously.

"I will do it right away. I want to make sure we are far away from here when the vampires wake up. Otherwise, you too would be recaptured, and I would be most definitely killed."

"Then do so right away," Angelique said.

"There is one thing we haven't considered," Julia said.

"What would that be?" Devlin inquired.

"Dracula and Barnabas may not be back yet."

There was silence among the three of them. Finally, Angelique spoke up. "I can't believe that they wouldn't have realized that you were missing by now. Dracula and Barnabas would have come here to meet with Morgan and Miranda. He knows about the vampires that have been arriving at Tristan's Castle. He also knows that Ramon wants to take over the council and allow vampires to kill it will. Both Dracula and Barnabas are intelligent men. They would be back by now."

"Is there a way to get a message to them at Dracula's Castle?" Julia asked.

Devil and shook his head. "No one I know would go near his castle. Everyone is terrified of him. I wouldn't know who to send the message with."

"Dracula gets messages from Barnabas," Julia said. "How does he get them? There must be somebody that is delivering them to him."

"Vlad has certain people that he trusts to bring messages to him," Angelique answered. "The problem is that none of them would accept a message coming from Devlin, or anyone else that has anything to do with this castle. They would not deliver it to Vlad."

"Even if it was coming from us?" Julia asked.

"They would never believe it was coming from us if it was delivered from somebody in this castle."

"Well then, we have no choice but to do it this way. We can only hope that Barnabas and Dracula will be able to sense our presence the closer we get to the castle."

"Angelique, you have been able to telepathically connect to Barnabas in the past. Would you not be able to connect to either him or Dracula in the same manner?" Julia wondered.

"Under normal circumstances, it would be no problem at all. Unfortunately, Ramon anticipated that I might try that. I received some kind of shot. I don't know what it was, but it is interfering with my ability to telepathically contact anybody. The only reason I am able to do so with the guards here is because they are so close. I would never be able to contact Barnabas or Dracula at the castle. If I could, I would have already done so."

"Then we proceed with the plan that we have," Devlin said. He picked up the note and left the women after he locked Julia in her cell. "I will be in touch." With that, Devlin left them and shut the main cell door behind him.

"Doctor, can he really be trusted?"

"I sensed on the plane that he wanted to get away from Ramon desperately. Although I wasn't able to reach him there, I believe he sees a feasible opportunity to get away from him for good. Yes, I believe he can be trusted. He will come through, Angelique. If I didn't think so, I never would have approached him in the first place."

"Then all we have to do is wait," Angelique said.