A/N: Another ff based on Dracula The Series
Max was feeling bored. This vacation was beginning to be a very bad idea. But after the accident, it had seemed like a good idea to take some time off. But since the accident had not caused any damage and had only shaken him up a bit, within a week he was bored with his surroundings. There was nothing to do but to swim and to watch the sea and learn how to dive or surf. But to Max, the sea was rather less challenging than vampire hunting. He was strongly beginning to suspect his family’s motives in sending him off to this god forsaken beach ostensibly to recuperate.
Of course he had known neither his mother nor Chris was very happy about his line of work. Sophie and Klaus were equally opposed to it. They all knew firsthand the dangers inherent in vampire hunting and they had done everything in their power to stop Max from making it his career. But their power over him was nil and their influence very limited. In addition to which there was nothing else Max wanted to do with his life. So, in the end his family had accepted his decision with good grace. Or so it had seemed to Max till recently.
The alacrity with which his family had packed him off on this holiday, however, showed that their opinions hadn’t changed at all. Being in the line of work that he was in, it was impossible for Max to be so shaken up that he needed a break. But the doctor, who Max began to suspect was in cahoots with his family, had advised him to take a break, and since his family were also quite adamant, Max had agreed. He was also, he thought, a bit shaken up at the time and his family probably knew it.
Max stifled a yawn and glanced at his watch. It was nearly four. He stretched himself and looked around the beach. Only a few swimmers were there, stretched in the sand at various places. At least, he reflected, the place was not crowded. That was the only good thing about this place. He was not prepared to make small talk with a lot of strangers who somehow felt the need to spill their life-stories to chance acquaintances.
Max got up from where he was lying, picked up his towel and shook the sand out of it. Wrapping himself in it, he walked back to the hotel. At least, thought he, I will have a tan to show for this totally pointless break. He yawned again. One more day of this and he would certainly go mad. His room had been booked for three weeks, but that was of no importance.
On reaching his hotel, Max went straight to the reception. The clerk at the table gave him the smile practiced by hotel clerks the world over. Max returned the smile, noticing in passing that the girl was rather attractive. Her smile would have been attractive too, had she been more sincere about it.
“How may I help you, sir?” she asked, still with that smile”
“I want to check if any tickets are available on the next flight to New York,” he said.
“Oh, are you leaving, sir?” she asked. “I thought your reservation was up to the 29th.”
“Yes, but something came up at work.”
“All right, sir. I will make enquiries.” The smile was back.
“Thank you, sir.”
Turning to leave, Max froze on his track. He stared intently at the man who just walked into the hotel and turned back to the receptionist.
“On second thoughts,” said he. “I think I will stay till the 29th.”
She smiled again, this time, a genuine smile.
Max turned again and nearly bumped into the man whom he had watched just a few seconds ago.
“Excuse me,” he muttered, avoiding eye contact with the stranger.
“It’s all right,” said the man in a strangely accented voice. Max all but ran from the reception. He sank on to a sofa on reaching his room and was surprised to find that he was shaking.
“For God’s sake, Maximilian,” he muttered. But he was shaken, he admitted to himself. This was the last place on earth he would have expected to find Dracula.
“Damn!” muttered Max. He had none of his vampire hunting equipments. Or rather, nothing suitable for a quarry as tough as Dracula. What he had was defensive, suitable only for protecting himself from an attack. He was not expecting to hunt vampires during this vacation.
Max wondered if Dracula had recognized him. True, it has been nearly twenty years since he had seen him, but vampires had a highly developed sense of smell, Max knew. It was quite possible that the twenty nine year old Max and the ten year old Max had the same smell. But he could hope that Dracula did not associate him with the most successful vampire hunter of their time. He had gone to great lengths to protect his identity, but Dracula was not just another vampire. Max gave a mental shrug. He would be prepared, but he would not worry. He may not be able to destroy the vampire, but he was certain that the vampire would not be able to harm him either.
At least, thought he, having Dracula here would at least end his boredom.