The Traveling Vampire and Return of the Countess

Karl Galambos and Sally Johnson returned from Europe to dwell in Newtonwood, an old mansion south of Seattle, Washington. The house was haunted by the spirit of a previous owner, Rose Milton. Because Sally had become friends with the members of the Seattle Occult Society, she and Karl allowed them to hold their meetings in the ballroom. Before they moved into the mansion, Karl asked, "Are you sure you want to live in a haunted house?"

"Absolutely. Since Paris, I realized that spirits are not to be feared. They in fact can be my friends." She touched his face. "If I can live with a vampire, I certainly can live with a ghost in the house. Besides, Lucy is helping me improve my spirit contact abilities. Which reminds me -- the SOS is meeting here tonight."

Karl opened the refrigerator and took out a bottle of blood purchased from a local funeral home. He filled a glass and returned the bottle to the fridge. "I don't always feel comfortable around them."

"Hey. They're fine people. If it weren't for them, you'd be locked up in a sealed casket in the Paris catacombs. All that anti-vampire stuff was all Charles Nagy's doing. They've since realized that Nagy was a fanatic psychopath and that there are good vampires as well as bad ones."

He poured the blood into a pan and heated it up. When it was warm but not boiling, he filled the glass again and drank it down. "Nevertheless, if they're so easily influenced by a maniac like Nagy, who's to say that they won't be again? Besides, to my mind they all seem a little kooky."

"Oh Karl, just because they have some strange ideas and sometimes act peculiar is no reason to think that they're nutty. They're like artists. Y'know, eccentric."

He shrugged and then smiled at her. "Okay. They're your friends. But let's forget them for now. I've drunk enough blood to feel randy." He got behind her and began to knead her shoulders. "Let's go upstairs."

"Oh, you men. Undead or alive, you always have only one thing on your mind." She turned around and kissed him on the lips. "It'll have to be later. The SOS people will be here any minute. Lucy and I are going to hold a sťance. We're going to try to find out why Rose is haunting Newtonwood."

Karl snorted with frustration. "Very well. I'm going to the den and read while they're here. I don't want anything to do with any sťances."

"All right, hon. Don't worry. They usually leave by ten. We'll have the whole rest of the night for lovemaking."

They kissed again, and Karl went to the den. Fifteen minutes later, the doorbell rang.

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