Interview with Marcus Monteleone, 300 year old golden vampire.
by author Sharon Hamilton
I’m sitting in the grand living room of the beautiful Monteleone villa in Healdsburg, California, overlooking turning red and yellow vineyards of the world famous Dry Creek Valley floor. This is the exquisite Monteleone family estate and Marcus Monteleone, a 300-year old golden vampire, is the owner.
The red tapestries that hang from the upper reaches of the two-story living room and hand-hewn timbers framing the tall windows and ceilings strike me with their rustic strength. The thick beams are carved with ancient symbols and details of fabled animals and unearthly beings, and make up a gorgeous pattern of crown molding criss-crossing and framing the ceiling of this grand room.
I can see they could throw one heck of a party. And dances. Enough room for an entire orchestra and a crowd of many.
Marcus Monteleone lives a grand life, because he lives forever. Now successfully mated to his fated love, Anne. They have one child and when I arrived yesterday, I noticed she is very large with child again. Good for you, Marcus, I think to myself.
“Thank you,” he says back to me.
I have forgotten he can read my mind. Well, I take that back, he can read minds of certain simpaticos, and, since I am so affected by him, I must be one of them. It brings a bit of a flush to my cheeks as I cross my legs and try to concentrate on my typing. I don’t have to look up to see he is pleased with this, and is smiling.
I clear my throat. I want to ask him so much and have so little time, at least compared to his time. I start with something safe. God forbid I should bring up anything about sex…
“You can ask me anything you like. Anything,” he says.
I am working hard not to see a huge king-sized bed with red velvet coverlet and golden pillows embroidered in silver and gold thread. These vamps have such a strong affect on most human women, I know this is not the first time someone has come to interview him, and secretly wishes she would wind up in his bed.
What have I done?
He chuckles. “I am used to this. And I don’t mind it at all. It is rather a pleasant picture in my mind too. But, as you know so well, my fating with Anne is permanent and since she is a part of me now, she will also be my eternal partner.”
“Yes,” I struggle to look at him and once I do, I am transfixed on his eyes. I am grateful Anne is not here to perhaps feel how I lust for her husband. “I understand that completely, and didn’t mean to imply otherwise.” I want to be proper, after all.
“Of course not. We live a different life, difficult for humans to understand. Things are more intense for us. Your erotic fantasies of—“ he leans forward and places his elbows on his knees, his long fingers clasped together in a mating that sends a flush of warmth down my spine and takes my breath away. “Your fantasies are just part of how we get to appreciate beautiful women, as human men do. Except we get to feel how they feel toward us, too.”
“Yes. Well, I’m glad I didn’t disappoint.”
“On the contrary, I am extremely grateful. You brighten my morning. A man who would bed you would be extremely lucky. I can see all that.”
I have to stick with something close to what I came for, the interview, and try to steer away from the fact that this man is so drop dead gorgeous, I’m about to make a fool of myself.
“It is never foolish to have passion,” he says. “It enhances life, wouldn’t you agree?”
I nod, and fumble for my notes. I am relieved to find them, folded and re-folded several times in my nervousness. He sent the limo I know so much about, to my house yesterday afternoon, and I read and re-read these questions dozens of times while sitting on the back seat, feeling strangely captured and so distracted by the male scent of him in the car, that I could hardly concentrate.
“Again, I thank you. An unintended consequence. I must remember it, for those it would make nervous. And I’m delighted to know it excites you, in a good way.”
I take a deep breath and exhale. I think about my dinner with Anne last night while Marcus was off attending to some family affair. I was shown my room for the customary sleepover, and I’m remembering how I felt like I’d rather do this than sleep in the White House one night.
“Of course, the romantic in you will always opt for the experience,” he says, not at all impressed with himself that I would choose to spend the evening with his family over just about anyone else’s.
They’ve told me I will get a better feel for their family to conduct an interview that will be inspired. And they are right. I was blessed with a wonderful, deep sleep last night, because the sheets and a lace nightgown I was gifted were infused with a heavy lavender scent from the fresh sprigs of lavender from their own meadow. It was simply the best rest I’d had in my entire life.
Marcus walks to a black box and pushes a button and I recognize Pat Metheney’s beautiful piece, The Bat, Part II echoing throughout the great room. I have written his story to this album. I am almost transported to a timeless place where human and vampire, author and character can discuss our differences, and the ways we see the world in a beautiful and relaxed setting. No wine, although I know he will offer me some.
“Now?” he asks, as he turns to address me, standing.
“No thanks.” I say to him perhaps later with my mind. He sighs, nodding his head.
I am calmed by the melody and the little scratching noise of the electronic bat wings in the background. He issues a short bow and smiles as he re-takes his position on the burgundy couch in front of me and very slowly crosses his long legs encased in black slacks. His white shirt, a sheen to it as if it is part silk, is rolled up at the sleeves. I have a clear view of those incredibly long fingers, and the light dusting of dark hair spreading from the backs of his hands, up over his wrists and over his forearms, until the vision is lost under the delicate white fabric of his shirt.
He has chosen not to answer my mental query about the fabric origins.
I begin my questions. “So, tell me about golden vampires. How were they created and how are they different from dark vampires?”
“As you know, we goldens can go out in the sunlight, and are not constricted by the night like our cousins, the darks, are. We choose this life as adolescents. Once the age of puberty is reached, we decide whether to remain human or become vampire. This is a decision every golden must make for himself, or herself.”
“Except in cases when they are born, or made, like Anne,” I ask.
“Ah yes, Anne.” He is looking out the window with fondness at the mere mention of her name. “She is one very rare and special human woman who was born a hybrid.”
“Her father,” I say.
“Yes. A love story for another book perhaps?” he asks.
“I think so. That would be lovely, wouldn’t it?” I am thinking I need to take notes.
“I won’t let you forget, Sharon. Don’t worry. I’ll remind you.” He smiles again.
“So how is it that goldens and darks are made? Were they one species and then broke apart?”
“You probably don’t know this, but we are the original species. What has happened through evolution is that humans lost the ability to teleport, live eternally, all the heightened aspects of vampiric life. They can no longer choose how they would like to live. Darks, on the other hand, have lost the ability to choose to live and play in the sun, and are constricted by what most humans see as traditional vampiric rules. As to how one species developed one way and one the other, well, I cannot say. We are not god. Though we are eternal, we did not make the universe.”
“All your brothers and sisters agreed to become golden vampire, yet, your parents decided not to, is that right? They remained human.”
“Yes. And unfortunately, we all had to watch them die. But they remained together for their short life.” He frowns and looks at something on his shoe. “In general, a marriage where one is vampire and one is human is not something that usually works.”
“Yes, Paolo, for one.”
“Exactly. But Paolo is falling in love again, as you know.”
“Indeed I do. The next book in the series. He falls in love with a human woman, an expert on mythology and vampires in particular.”
“Yes, a human expert to things she doesn’t really believe in. Ironic, no?” He flutters his brown eyelashes at me and I melt. Maybe I would trade places not with Anne, but with Paolo’s new human lover. What would it be like to be taken by such a commanding, eternal lover? What would it feel like to let him feed off my blood?
“You must watch yourself around Paolo, my dear. He has a fondness for human women, and you would be his type,” he warns.
I blush and realize he has spoken the truth.
He stands and stretches out his hand. “Come. Let me give you a tour of our vineyards and the wine caves. I want to teach you about living things that have seasons, the miracles of what you call Mother Nature. On this tiny patch of land, I am her gatekeeper, her guardian. And I like to show her off proudly.”
I stand and say, “Of course.” I watch as I slip my hand into his and we walk out onto the veranda where sun is pouring over the leaves of the land like drizzling honey. The faint smell of ripening grapes is wonderful.
And, for just a second, I feel what it would be like to live here. In another life. In another time. In another book.
Anne caught her husband cheating with the maid of Honor before their wedding cake was cut. She decided to take her planned and paid for honeymoon in Tuscany, alone. On the evening of what was to be her wedding night, she gets bitten by a female vampire.
Marcus Monteleone has waited three hundred years to find his fated female, only to discover her dying in his arms. He saves Anne’s life by turning her, and then works to gain her trust, to cope with being a newly formed golden vampire.
But when Anne finds out Marcus has not been completely truthful about his past, she vows to live as a human, and shuns the vampire world. Alone and unprotected, she falls prey to the very villainess who took her human soul, and who now takes the only man she’s ever loved.
Which lover will have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the other before they both are lost?
Sharon Hamilton loves all things paranormal: Angels, Dark Angels, Watchers, Guardians, Upogenie and Vampires. She also has developed a series of hot romantic suspense Navy SEAL stories. Her characters follow a spicy road to redemption through passion and true love—not exactly what they taught you in Sunday School!
Sharon is represented by agent Jill Marsal, and has finaled in several erotic, contemporary, paranormal and single title contests over the past three years. She regularly participates in four RWA and California Writer chapters, and two blogs.
An avid organic vegetable and flower gardener, Sharon and her husband live in the Wine Country in Northern California, where most of her stories take place.
Sharon is going to be giving away a Kindle ebook of "Honeymoon Bite" and a poster signed by Jimmy Thomas. This giveaway is US only due to shipping. One lucky commenter will be selected.