My readers have the most fun with Paul Black, assistant and confidant to the magnanimous vampire Dr. Mark Corescu. The doctor has two servants, Paul and a young man named Reuben Stuckey. Paul is definitely the favored one, although Mark doesn't give that much thought until the end of the story when circumstances force him to acknowledge the inequality. (This photo is my idea of what Paul looks like)
Here is a little scene where Paul and Reuben lock horns. They are at each other's throats a lot because Reuben is extremely unhappy with the forced slavery and Paul, although also a servant, loves his master and wouldn't have it any other way. Check it out and have a little fun imagining what in the world would make these two hate each other so... Novel Excerpt THE JUDGING by ellen c. maze Reuben ran a chamois cloth over Dr. Corescu’s bronze Porsche. He rarely drove him anywhere on Fridays which freed up the day to wash every car. It was nearly noon and he had not seen the Boss or his lackey all morning. He smiled appreciatively at his reflection in the car’s rear quarter panel. He stood up and his grin fell immediately. In the mirrored skin of the sports car he caught a glimpse of Paul posed behind him, arms crossed, and his expression sour.
“Is it too much to ask that you clean my truck too? It is your responsibility. Or don’t you care?” Reuben clenched his teeth, his chest tightening. But he had to obey. He made a wide berth around Paul to collect his kit and then answered him as calmly as possible, satisfied that his ambivalence would be evident regardless.
“My mistake, Paul.” Reuben pulled a clean sponge from the box and made his way over to the new Chevy parked just outside the garage door. “I’ll get right on it.” Reuben mumbled curses under his breath and hoped Paul would return to the house and mind his own business.
“Hey Reuben, Mark told you months ago to rotate the cars through the shop. I haven’t seen you take any of them to the shop in months. If anything ever goes wrong or wears out on any of these vehicles, he’ll take it out on your hide. You know that don’t you?” Paul stood square, hands on his narrow hips and his chin down.
Reuben slapped the cloth onto the hood of the truck and took a deep breath. He was no doubt on probation for how he behaved toward Paul at the car lot. He balled his right fist around the rag and forced a smile.
“No, Paul, you might not have noticed but the schedule works perfectly. So perfectly that every single car is tuned up and filled with gas all the time. You never notice because I do my job.”
Reuben paused and realized with relief that his scarcely-bottled rage was dissipating.
“Well, if you’re sure…” Paul began uncertainly; Reuben interrupted him, his voice edgy.
“Look Paul, I got this under control. Why don’t you do us both a favor and trot back inside?” Reuben hooked a thumb toward the house without looking up. “That is your domain. The house. Make a cake or vacuum the floor or fluff some pillows. Go do whatever it is that you do in there all day. And leave me alone.” Reuben met Paul’s eyes at the last. He had him spooked and he waited for his slight superior to return meekly to the kitchen where he belonged. Momentarily, Paul sighed and nodded briskly.
“Very well.” He turned away and walked to the front yard. When he was out of eyesight but still within earshot, he called to Reuben loudly. “We’re going into town soon. I need your help at Lowe’s…”
Reuben hit the truck with his fist and shouted obscenities across the lawn until his throat was raw.
Paul scooted inside and leaned against the closed front door. Reuben scared him badly and always had. That bully is getting meaner and meaner. Mark needed to reprimand him. No longer interested in bringing Reuben on his errands, Paul trotted to his room to change. Perhaps Mark heard his suggestion regarding the insolent driver. Their telepathic link was strong, and soon enough, Reuben would get the scolding he deserved. Moments later, he heard the reply he expected.
“Paul. You will see your justice.”
Paul smiled. Life was good.