A black-cloaked figure hurriedly entered the large, ornate mansion door, laughing through gasps as seven similar figures squeezed through the entrance, falling over one another as they groaned.
The leader of the group didn’t seem to notice the chaos, dancing around the lobby of the huge, vampiric mansion before stopping in front of a coatrack, taking off his cloak.
“It’s great to be back, isn’t it, boys and girls?” He chuckled, asking the group in a thick Italian accent, before throwing his cloak onto the rack and looking around the room.
The man, revealing himself to be the famed Cardinal Copia, smiled as he excitedly pranced over to his favourite red antique Victorian chair, sitting in it, closing his eyes and sighing for a moment; happy to be back within his abode after such a long time away.
Once he had finished reminiscing, he jumped up, looking back at his friends with a gasp, his plump lips beginning to curl into a cheeky smile at the ridiculous situation his pets had gotten themselves in, — uproarious laughter soon following.
The Cardinal appeared to be a good 50 years old with odd, down-curved black makeup around his heterochromatic green and white eyes, light time-faded freckles, many a wrinkle on his aged face, pointed ears, well-kept sideburns, a pencil moustache and distinguished, slightly-messy greying black hair.
He wore a nice, tight black suit with an intricate grucifix on the right breast, and to top it all off, a medium-sized, multi-pointed black cape with gorgeous red lining and a silver, winged clasp at the chest.
As Copia laughed at the group, his friends finally began to pick themselves up from the chaotic pile and, minus the theatrics, began to take off their own cloaks.
Underneath the black fabric revealed devilish creatures in black suits wearing horned, silver half-masks, pointed ears, long arrowed tails and sharp animalistic claws. These strange, humanoid creatures were known as Ghouls, — loyal minions and pets to the Clergy.
Once the Ghouls got their shit together, they began to smirk, bearing sharp fangs as they glanced at one another with a knowing look, before charging towards the laughing man, playful growls and laughter echoing through the mansions’ main room as they tackled the now squeaking man to the carpeted blood red floor, sitting upon him.
The man smiled as he looked up at his captors, before reaching up to boop one on the nose with a chuckle. The Fire Ghoul, nicknamed Dewdrop, shook his head with a ‘purrowl’ before quizzically tilting his head at his Master.
Copia grinned at the cute Ghoul, thinking back on how he had always found their subtle catlike movements so very endearing, even before his fated role as future leader of the Clergy.
As the man stared at his pets, he noticed their pointed tails swishing back and forth, a sign of happiness for their species that he had not seen in quite some time. He then proceeded to pull them in closer, blushing a little as he hugged them. “I love you Ghouls...” he squeaked out, the Ghouls replying not with words, but with deep purring.
Thirty seconds passed and the man cleared his throat, speaking up in a semi-stern voice as he gently pushed them away with a laugh, “okie dokie, that’s enough of that!”
The creatures all began to whine before moving off of their prey, allowing some room for him to stand. As Copia got to his feet, he smirked, staring down at the upset faces of his pets, all sprawled out on the carpet in differing, annoyed poses.
“Oh come on... what is wrong with you lot?!” He exclaimed, a confused look spread on the man’s face. The Ghouls looked at each other with a sigh before jumping to their feet and standing in a perfect, horizontal line in front of the man, a sad air filling the room.
“Sorry, Master...” they all said simultaneously, the Ghouls clearly dejected by Copia’s lack of mutual affection.
After a few awkward seconds, one of the males finally spoke up with a shrug, stepping forward towards the man who continued to stare confusedly. “I-it just felt good to be close again after so long...”
The shy Water Ghoul, nicknamed Rain, tilted his head with a small, awkward, lopsided grin as he tried his damnedest to get his Master to understand their plight in as few words as possible, too nervous to speak any further.
Copia suddenly furrowed his brow, closed his eyes and tried hard to think about the situation at hand, and what might be worrying his little minions. He searched his mind until it flashed with images of the busy Ritual circuit they had all just been on.
He suddenly opened his eyes and looked toward the floor, instantly knowing exactly what the Ghoul had meant.
“I worked my friends to the point of such attention-starvedness? And I didn’t even notice it..? — Me. The man who believes in equal pleasure? Fuck...” He scolded himself in a whisper as an embarrassed blush slowly covered his freckled cheeks, his face turning from confusion to slight anguish, guilt filling the man from head to toe.
Copia sighed before looking right at the Ghouls, determined to make things better.
“I am truly, truly very sorry for ignoring you, my beloved Ghouls...” He finished before bowing in apology, tears beginning to well and drip onto the carpet as he closed his eyes tight, grimacing as he fully expected his friends to reject his apology and fuck off, leaving him alone with his guilty thoughts.
As The Cardinal continued to bow in their direction, the Earth Ghoul, nicknamed Mountain, walked up right next to Rain, put his hand on Copia’s head and slowly stroked the messy, greased-up hair of his Master.
“It’s okay, sir.” The Ghoul said reassuringly as Copia opened his eyes, looking up at him from bowing position before straightening up as Mountain’s clawed hands moved to caress the man’s red, tear-soaked cheek.
The rest of the Ghouls, captivated by the loving sight before them, slowly began to surround The Cardinal one-by-one, bringing him into a huge group hug.
“Thank you, my Ghouls.” Copia squeaked out as he smiled and closed his eyes again, cherishing this moment with his odd little family.
~ The End ~ (for now)