He was also bound by his promise to gather into the bosom of his family the mother of his intended who hated him. The Baroness Szechenyi blamed him for her husband's death and was making it her life's mission to keep him from honoring the commitment he'd made. A commitment he would willingly cast aside, except Rackoszis never went back on their word, no matter how great the personal discomfort.
The Baroness made it only too evident she found him repugnant. No, she found him more than repugnant, she actually had nerve enough to call him a soulless abomination to his face. The silly woman thought him a vampire, a revenant bent on making her daughter over in his image. Once again family honor forbade him from telling the Baroness there really were such creatures, but he was not one of them. He wasn't soulless, he wasn't undead, and he didn't drain humans of their blood. No, he was none of those things, he was a different kind of creature altogether.
Now he paced the corridors of his dark castle and cursed the ancient gods for their capriciousness. The artist he hired to paint his and his intended's miniatures, Baroness Beatrix Celine Baranyi, was a horse breeder and talented artist who preferred cowboy, Cziko, attire to proper riding habits. And despite her unusual choice of dress, she was bringing light and laughter into his life for the first time in a century, and he couldn't have her. His word stood in the way. He was damned if he broke it and damned if he kept it. The only recourse left him was to pray. If the ancient gods had even the smallest regard for him, they'd help him figure a way to possess Beatrix for what remained of his very long life.