The Night had your Name
Fate brings together a fascinating stranger and a young society Lady at the Opera. They know immediately they are meant for each other, yet they are faced with many ostacles. She is already engaged to another man and also learns that the man she loves is suspected of being Jack the Ripper, the mass murderer. She follows him on one of his nocturnal journeys. The truth she discovers is eerie and alarming since she learns her beloved is a vampire. In the end, she has to face a difficult decision and doesn't have much time as the police and a mysterious woman chase him...
Autor: Heather O Lance
ca. 212 Seiten
The love story of a vampire and a noble mortal that cleverly combines the Jack the Ripper murders that held London in suspense towards the end of the 19th century; one character (which can be personalised) dies; the story is full of mystery, murder and intrigue, and ends happily for the main characters.
End of the 19th century
5 male and 3 female roles Lord Gregory Saville: turned into a vampire in the 17th century; gaunt, pale face; slender ivory-coloured body with hairless chest; enters into an improper bet with Steven Carmichael when he agrees to seduce Steven's fiancée, Sarah, so that she will have no choice but to forgive Steven's unfaithfulness; falls in love with Sarah and must clear up his name as Jack the Ripper then; afraid of turning Sarah into a female vampire because he turned Jacqueline Fitzgerald, his former lover, into a vampire, who became a cruel murderer as a result; has to fight and kill Jacqueline in the end; almost dies in the process; Sarah's blood saves him and he eventually turns her into a female vampire. Lady Sarah Cavendish: comes from a wealthy family. Her mother is dead and her father away on business; young pale skin; long brown hair; finds herself unattractive and has low self-confidence; is amazed that the attractive Steven wants to marry her; loves and admires her friend Elizabeth; falls in love with Gregory during a visit to the Opera and decides to stay with him once she discovers his double life; when Gregory is suspected of being Jack the Ripper and is hunted by the police, she forgives him the bet and helps him prove his innocence; in the end, he turns her into a female vampire - at her request - and they stay together. Steven Carmichael: gambler and playboy who can't stay faithful; has an affair with Elizabeth; always calls Sarah "little one" and is more interested in her family's money than in her. Elizabeth Brighley: a wealthy widow and Sarah's best friend; envied by Sarah for her beauty; has blonde hair and a flawless complexion; always calls Sarah "darling"; musically talented, plays the piano; quick-witted and self-assured, yet sometimes a bit superficial and self-involved; in love with Steven, yet wants to end the affair for the sake of Sarah; initially fascinated by Lady Fitzgerald, but is stabbed to death by the latter later. George Abberline: an inspector of the London Police; about 50 years old, with greying hair; is married, but also a bit in love with Sarah; dances with her at a ball and worries about her; in the end, he comes to the rescue of Sarah and Gregory in the fight with Jacqueline. Sergeant Watkins: Abberline's colleague; is knocked unconscious by Owen, but gets away with a bump on his head. Owen: Gregory's loyal servant; gigantic Irishman with short hair; former prize boxer who killed a man; taken out of jail by Gregory; sinister contemporaries, but helps Gregory and Sarah to flee from the police. Emily: Sarahs maid; round face; loyal soul; sweet nature. Not personalised characters: Jaqueline Fitzgerald: Gregory's former lover and a female vampire; lived at the time of the French Revolution; sold her body until she met Gregory; let him turn her into a female vampire to satisfy her vengeful nature; is subsequently left by him, yet follows him wherever he goes; implicates him in the serial killings; in the end, it comes to light that she is actually Jack the Ripper; committed the murders on the prostitutes and on Elizabeth. Gordon: a poet. Sybil: a so-called medium. The victims of Jack the Ripper: Annie Chapman, aka "Dark Annie" Mary Ann Walker, aka "Polly" Elizabeth Stride, aka "Long Liz" Mary Jane Kelly Kate Conway Belinda Graham: a noblewoman. Amelia: a prostitute. Henrietta: a friend of Elizabeths. The ghost of Lord Byron.
Leseprobe“Little one, are you ill?”
Sarah jumped up. Her head was pounding and she sank back with a groan. Someone was pounding on the door. Everything was pounding. She carefully explored her feverish body with her hands. She was wearing a nightgown, so she must have undressed, but all memory of her arrival home was lost. She looked behind her with swollen eyes. Her dress hung neatly over the back of the chair, and a black man’s overcoat was lying on the bed. Then it came to her... Gregory!
Sarah tugged at the fabric and buried her burning face in its soft, cool folds. A waft of Cool Water, mingled with cigarette smoke, rose from the black silk.
The knocking on her door intensified to a drum-roll.
Every knock was like a knife piercing into her forehead.
“Oh, come in, will you!” she shouted, “anything to make you stop.”
Sarah just had time to put the coat under the blanket before the door opened, and Steven entered. She noticed her maid behind him, and Emily winked conspiratorially at her as she left. What had she told him?
What had happened anyway?
“You look terrible. Emily said you are ill.”
“I already feel better.” Sarah forced a brave smile and sat up shivering.
“No, you should lie down,” Steven insisted.
But she couldn't. She couldn't lie down with all these confused thoughts racing through her head. She was overwhelmed with an odd mosaic of smells, images and forbidden feelings.
“Please wait for me downstairs, Steven,” she begged. “I'll be down soon.”
He brushed her aching forehead with his lips, and closed the door behind him.
Sarah dropped back on her bed, enjoying the moment’s peace, and stared at the rain outside her window. The steady noise brought back more and more memories.
Finally, she couldn't hear any longer, and sobbed bitterly into the black coat, uttering his name, “Gregory!”
She composed herself and called out for Emily. The servant girl darted in.
“Emily, how did I…” She broke off.
A smile, free of malice, flashed across Emily’s cheeky mouth. “Don't worry, I put you to bed last night. You were exhausted.”
“What's wrong with me? I feel so miserable.”
“Pardon me saying so, Miss,” Emily said hesitantly, “But you seem to have a hangover, no offence!”
Sarah covered her head with the pillow. “Help me to get dressed and then allow me to die,” she moaned.
Sarah stumbled down the stairs a while later and looked elegant in a subtle red dress with stand-up collar, her hair in soft waves under a silver hairnet. The deep shadows under her eyes told a different story.
“You still don’t look well,” Steven said, shaking his head. “It’s very unwise of you to get up. Come, sit down at least.” He pushed her towards an armchair and planted himself in front of her. “Little one,” he broke off as his eyes roamed over her head into the street, “what have you been up to?”
Sarah raised her hand to her neck. Had Emily betrayed her? She felt the blood drain from her face and asked meekly, “What do you mean?”
Steven smiled cockily. “I am only asking because a policeman is heading for your house as we speak. There still is time to confess. Perhaps I'll even help you to flee.” He taunted her.
Sarah barely heard him... The police? What else did she not remember? Her heart was racing, and when the doorbell rang, she thought she might faint. Fortunately, years of good breeding helped her facing her servant ingenuously.
“An Inspector Abberline wishes to see you, Miss. May I show him in?”
“Yes, thank you,” she said, avoiding Steven’s enquiring eyes. She nervously reached for her embroidery frame and put it aside again. Heavy steps approached through the hallway, and Sarah did not stand as the inspector was led into the room.
“Good morning, Miss Cavendish. I apologise for the disturbance. My name is George Abberline, and I am at Scotland Yard.”
His manners took her by surprise as she hadn’t expected a gentleman.
“It is fine... How may I help you?”
She held out her hand to the inspector and gave him a level look. She estimated him to be about fifty.
His eyes were glued to her, and she immediately felt guilty.
“What the devil do you want?” Steven snapped impatiently.
He straightened himself and turned to Steven with impersonal courtesy while a wince of shame passed over Sarah’s face shortly afterwards.
“And you are?”
The young man's face turned red. “Steven Carmichael. I am Miss Cavendish’s fiancé, and I demand an explanation.”
“I'll gladly give you one. I assume you haven’t read the newspaper yet?”
“What does the newspaper have to do with this?”
Without saying a word, Abberline put The Times on the carved sideboard next to Steven. He looked serious on his part.
“Another murder was committed in Whitechapel. The victim is a prostitute by the name of Mary Ann Walker. She was known as Polly. I don't believe that anyone knew her by her birth name.”
“Yes, so? How does a murdered whore concern my fiancée? You should be ashamed of bothering her with this horror story. Can't you see that she is ill?”
Abberline’s face hardened and his manner became cool and businesslike.
“I am deeply sorry about that, but my visit is of an official nature. I have reason to believe Miss Cavendish was in the East End last night.”
“Nonsense!” Steven hissed. “Sarah wouldn't…”
“Steven, please…” Sarah could barely hear her own voice. She stood up and slowly stepped towards the window. “How do you know that, Inspector?”
“How?” Sarah asked again, ignoring Steven’s shocked response.
Her eyes met his and she was surprised to read something like sympathy in them. She smiled spontaneously in gratitude, and Inspector Abberline responded briefly.
“The murder was committed in the Buck’s Row, where a poetry reading took place last night. I was told you were amongst the guests. Is that correct?”
Sarah nodded her head and immediately regretted it as pain and a feeling of giddiness controlled her. “Yes,” she answered meekly.
She heard Steven taking a deep breath and praying that he would keep quiet. Her prayer was answered.
“May I ask who accompanied you there?” the inspector asked politely.
“I was with a friend of mine.” Sarah hesitated and sighed silently. “Her name is Elizabeth Brighley. We were guests of Lady Fitzgerald.”
“You know Lady Fitzgerald?”
“Elizabeth knows her. I hadn't met her before last night.”
“And after the reading you drove straight home?”
Sarah stared into the rain. “Yes.”
“And you did not notice anything? You did not see anybody?”
Sarah shook her head carefully, without looking at him.
“Then I have no further questions. I thank you, Miss Cavendish. Would you be so kind as to walk me out?” Glancing at Steven, he added, “alone.”
Sarah’s heart beat faster. In her mind's eye, a figure with a pale face and with feverish splodges on his slender cheeks, was dancing.
Without looking at Steven, she followed the officer to the hallway. He watched her for a moment before he reached into the pocket of his great coat. Sarah’s eyes widened. She accepted her reticule silently and with trembling hands.
When Abberline began to speak, his refined voice had a slight Dorset accent, which made her think he hadn't grown up in the big city jungle of London either. He spoke in a low voice, careful not to be heard in the drawing room.
“I have already given your hat and coat to your servant. I thought you would perhaps appreciate some discretion, Miss Cavendish.”
His eyes softened and his lips twitched.
“You knew that I lied?”
Now she was certain that it was a smile.
“How can I thank you?” she asked and was reminded of asking Gregory the same question hours earlier. His face flashed before her and she lost herself in the memory.
She forcibly tore herself away from the memory and took the card the inspector was handing her.
“Send me a message at the Yard if you remember anything else. And Miss Cavendish…”
“Keep away from the absinth. It isn't for a respectable young lady like you.”
Sarah gave him a wry smile. “I know. Believe me, I don't ever intend repeating that experience. Inspector, do you think there will be more murders?”
Sarah immediately wished she hadn’t posed the question as Abberline went rigid and his mouth narrowed.
“It is quite possible, Miss Cavendish. In fact, I am sure of it. The East End isn't a safe place now. I wish you a good day.”
Sarah stood at the door and watched the officer as he plodded over the wet road on foot, his head lowered and hands buried deep in the pockets of his great coat.
She sighed deeply and then returned to the drawing room where Steven waited, his arms folded in front of him.
“It was Lord Saville, wasn't it?” he said coldly, his eyes flashing in anger.
Sarah remained in the doorway, either seeking protection or an option to flee.
“What was Lord Saville?” she asked lightly.
“Don't play innocent! He dragged you into the East End. To this reading!” His voice was full of scorn. “What was that all about?”
She had felt guilty until a few moments ago, but his dictatorial tone of his voice awakened her defiance.
“It was a reading on poetry – Lord Byron and Shelley, if you must know,” she shot back. “And no, it wasn't Gregory or Lord Saville who invited me but Elizabeth. Do you want to ask her?”
Steven ignored the challenge, “Who is this Lady Fitzgerald anyway?”
“I don't know. You are the one always attending parties, not me.”
“Sarah, I don't appreciate your tone. I am your fiancé and have the right to know what you are up to.”
“And I don't appreciate your interrogation. Not even the police officer had the audacity to interrogate me in such a manner. If you don't believe me then again, I advise you to ask Elizabeth.”
She glared at Steven defiantly, but feelings of guilt still gnawed at her. Of course, Steven was right, but all she wanted was for him to take her in his arms, and say that everything would be all right. Yet he did not think of doing that. He came closer and grabbed her by the shoulders. His face was dark and tense, and his fingers sank painfully into her flesh.
“Listen, Sarah, listen carefully. I don't want you to see Lord Saville again. The man is bad company for you. Do you understand me?”
He was hurting her, and Sarah winced as a result of his painful grasp, but Steven showed her no mercy.
“Do you understand me?” His hot breath was vicious on her face.
She nodded unwillingly.
“And you will obey me!”
She broke away. Blinded by tears, she stumbled past him and hid behind the sofa like a child.
“You brought him into my life. You introduced me to him. Why do you want me to cut him off now?”
“Why do you want to see him again?” he countered.
They stared at each other like enemies, even worse, like strangers. Sarah suddenly had the feeling that a lot more than a sofa stood between them. But she also knew she must make a decision.
“I won't see him again,” she whispered after a long pause, tears streaming down her face.
His face softened and he smiled. “Thank you, little one,” he tried to pull her against him, but Sarah stepped back.
“Fine, but please go now,” she said shakily, “I feel unwell and want to be alone.”
“Can I bring you anything? Shall I ring for Emily?”
“No. Just go! Go!”
“As you wish.”
He turned away, but turned around one more time. “My little one, one day you will see that I had to demand this from you; that I was right.”
She nodded half-heartedly. Did he not see that every word was like a brutal blow against her defenceless heart?
When Steven was gone, Sarah dropped into the sofa and let her head drop against the soft upholstery. She was too exhausted for tears. She felt brutalised like one of the victims of that madman... Only far worse. She palely reached for the newspaper Abberline had left on the sideboard. The sensational headline screamed out.
‘Another Ripper murder!’
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|Female main character|
|The first name of the young Lady is||569 x|
|The surname of the young Lady is||38 x|
|The colour of the young Lady's hair is||3 x|
|The colour of the young Lady's eyes is||6 x|
|Term of endearment used for the young Lady is||17 x|
|The young Lady's favourite perfume is||1 x|
|The colour of the young Lady's clothing is||3 x|
|Male main character|
|The first name of the vampire is||203 x|
|The surname of the vampire is||68 x|
|The colour of the vampire's hair is||5 x|
|The colour of the vampire's eyes is||5 x|
|Term of endearment used for the vampire is||10 x|
|The colour of the vampire's clothing is||6 x|
|The vampire's favourite perfume is||2 x|
|Fiancé of the female main character|
|The first name of the young Lady's fiancé is||178 x|
|The surname of the young Lady's fiancé is||20 x|
|Best friend of the female main character|
|The first name of the young Lady's lady-friend (female) is||157 x|
|The surname of the young Lady's lady-friend (female) is||20 x|
|The first name of the Inspector (male) is||9 x|
|The surname of the Inspector (male) is||64 x|
|Assistant of the investigating inspector|
|The surname of the Sergeant (male) is||11 x|
|Servant of the male main character|
|The first name of the servant (male) is||58 x|
|Servant of the female main character|
|The first name of the Lady's maid is||37 x|
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