“Excuse me, Miss Morrison?”

It’s Christmas Eve!!! Eeeek. Does this mean Nadine will be on her way to Paris to attend a Vampire Coven Summit?

An Undead Christmas Carol. J R Manawa.

“Excuse me, Miss Morrison?”

Before Nadine knew it, it was Friday afternoon. She’d finished work for the year and was more than pleased that she had managed to avoid the Office Christmas party. At twenty-two she was one of the youngest in the company, and after they’d had two or three free cocktails all the older men from Accounts always seemed to want to talk to her, a lot.

She wrapped up against the cold, and picked up the dress bag and the duffle from her desk as the first of the cocktails were being served by the reception girls, who had a reputation for mixing a wicked martini in the tiny kitchenette behind the photocopier. It didn’t take her long to reach St. Pancras station. The platforms were bursting with commuters heading home for the weekend and for Christmas. She dodged the crowd gathered around the towering Christmas tree made entirely of Lego bricks, and ran for the check-in desk.

As she waited in the queue, she searched the ticket hall for Caleb Adams, but he was nowhere to be seen. It was only now she realised that she had agreed to this ridiculous idea without even having a contact phone number for the man she was going with. She knew she could blame it on Sonia for convincing her, but Sonia wasn’t here to encourage her now either.

In her right frame of mind there was no way she would be standing in a Check-In queue for the Eurostar with a designer dress bag slung over her shoulder, waiting for a man she hardly knew, to go to Paris with him for the night.

Her mother would be turning in her grave, Nadine knew that much.

The only thing she had to go on was a message from Caleb’s concierge in her mailbox detailing that Caleb would meet her on the platform on Friday evening and that in the meantime she should give her name at the check-in desk and proceed to the train.

But Caleb did not meet her on the platform.

It was five minutes to departure, and Nadine had decided in a rash move of her more adventurous spirit, that she was going to get on the train and enjoy a free ride to Paris anyway, when someone tapped her on the shoulder.

“Excuse me, Miss Morrison?”

She spun around.

It wasn’t Caleb Adams. It was the Conductor.

“Yes?” she replied, wary, and concerned that he knew her by name.

“We need to leave now.” He gestured politely to the open door of the train, and took her bag for her.

Once they were on board, the doors beeped and slid shut, and the train pulled away from the platform.

Nadine stood at the door, in shock, and watched the platform roll away.

She was on a train, alone, destined for Paris.

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