Chapter 16-20

01/07/2012 20:11

Chapter 16 - Real Vampires, Real War


Two out of the remaining five elitists were left to kill off.

Well, perhaps after tonight, it would only be four.



Casimiro captured Lakshmi’s small lips with his own, causing even one as ancient as herself, to be swept off her feet by the Italian gentleman.  He caressed her face, human-like, something that was out of the ordinary for their kind; and he took gentle care with easing her onto the bed, divesting her of her Hindu clothing.  

“Casi, I—I’ve wanted you for so long.” She whispered, running her Henna tattooed fingertips along his lips.

He smiled, fangs visible.  ”Well now you have me.” He replied.  She tilted her head back as he kissed her neck and gasped in pleasure when he sunk his teeth into her neck.  Casimiro ghosted his hand down the curve of her hips to the back of his tailored pants, where he drew forth a stake and made quick work of shoving it through her heart.

Her last breath was an effort to remove the stake, but he plunged it deeper until her eyes glazed over and her skin and body melted underneath him into a mess of blood.  It saturated the bedsheets and dripped onto the floor, and he stood up, wiping his mouth clean with the hankerchief in his blazer pocket.

Jason soon emerged from standing guard outside the bedroom door and locked it.  He looked at the mess only momentarily, before laying another falsified“hex bag” in the pool of blood.  He scattered herbs in random spots around the room, surely to be found later.

“You’ve done me a great favor, Casimiro.” Jason said to the younger vampire.

“No, Jason, it is you who has done me a great favor.  I have wanted to distance myself from this league as soon as Orielle became Mistress.  You are a brave vampire, I often wonder why you are not the Leader of us all.”

Jason shook his head.  ”I am not meant for leading.  I want to live a simple life.”

“Someone will have to take the lead if you succeed in killing her.”

“There are two already who are meant to lead our kind.  When it is time, they will step up to the throne.” Jason said distantly, his eyes drifting over the blood.  ”When it is time…


“Who’s ready to party tonight?!” I yelled into the mic.  The crowd erupted in cheers.  ”I’m Bruno Mars, and I’m hosting for tonight so I better see ladies dancin’ and bottles poppinnnnn ALL NIGHT LONG!”

Ryan shook up the bottle of Cristal and popped it open, spilling the liquor all over the wild nightclub crowd.  I retired back into the VIP, wishing I could be a part of the festivities.  I missed this part of my life, when I used to go out and party.  I would forget about all the serious shit and let loose for a bit.

“Hey.” Phil plopped down on the velvet couch next to me, his eyes dancing around as he smiled.  ”Whassup bro? Around now you’d be dancing…it’s Rack City on man.”

I sat back on the couch and tilted my fedora down to cover my eyes from the laser lights that were flashing all over the club.  ”I’m just not feelin’ it tonight.  I gotta lot on my mind.” I said.

He slapped my arm and I could hardly feel it.  ”Let it go.  This is your last gig, then you gotta go back to Arizona.”

I looked up at him and chuckled, amused by his buzzed state.  ”Don’t let me ruin your night man.”

I felt an unnatural presence that made my head snap up in alarm as my sense shifted into hyperactive mode and I scanned the VIP lounge for what had put me in such a defensive state.

“Bruno, you alright?” Phil asked.

There was a shrill screaming that was heard above the music, and the entire club went into a panic.  I ran over to the balcony and saw there was a vampire amongst the crowd.  It was using supernatural speed to zip through the room and kill patron after patron.  The DJ stopped playing music and ran, as I watched in horror…such shock in my body that I was nearly unable to move.

“Yo!” I yelled.  ”Stop!” Without thinking, I jumped over the balcony and landed on my feet, racing off after the suspect.  He stopped and looked back at me with a bloody smile, and I didn’t recognize his face.  I charged after him as he ran to the back of the club.  When he was just inches within my grasp, I felt like acid had been poured over my body and I collapsed to the ground, unable to move.

Someone silver netted me.

“Dre! You cheated!” Nani announced, throwing down the game controller.

“No I didn’t, you just weren’t paying attention.” Dre corrected with a grin.

She eyed him, her nose crinkling in suspicion before she turned to me.  I held my hands up, I hadn’t even been really watching what had been going on; but I was actually being entertained by what had been going on these past few days with Dre here.  I’ve kept a close eye on Nani around him, but she’s gotten more comfortable, which was excellent training for her anyway.  When it came to daytime death, I still had to lock her down; but otherwise it was odd to me how much easier vampire tasks came to her than they had to my defiant ass.

“Alright, we’re gonna do this one more time.” Nani plopped back down on the couch.

“Chicks can’t play Black Ops anyway.” Dre snorted.

“We’ll see about that.” Nani said with determination.

I chuckled at their animosity to one another because of the competition; when I felt a jarring, like I was on a roller coaster that had just dipped.  It made me sit up and clutch my chest, looking around for what had caused the feeling.

Dre and Nani were too involved in their game to notice, but I was fighting an oncoming attack of the dreaded vampire auto-pilot mode that my body went into, when I blacked out and the vampire took control and wound up doing some insane un-human shit.  Last time I let that happen, we ended up with Nani.

I sat back on the couch and closed my eyes tight, but I was hit with a barrage of images that I couldn’t recognize.  Blood, open wounds, silver, burning flesh, torture.  I opened my eyes and took a deep inhalation, but as I suspected, it did nothing for me.

Nani suddenly dropped her controller, her eyes going blank and in seconds she had vamped out the house.  Dre looked over at me with wide eyes.  ”What thefuck was that?”

Shit.” I muttered, digging the heel of my palm into my forehead as I stamped my foot on the ground so hard that I burst a hole through the wood. I stood up and tried to maintain my composure as I vamped upstairs and was swept with another jolting feeling that this time, caused a pang of pain in my chest.

Dre came running up to my room in a panic.  ”What’s going on?!”

I held myself up against the wall, my fangs ejecting against their will.  ”It’s Bruno…” I said.  ”H-he’s in trouble….please…call him…I-I don’t know…how much I can fight…this….”

Hurriedly, Dre took out his cell phone and dialed Bruno’s number, while I forced myself to focus on an actual plan of action.  I was six hours away from Los Angeles, as far as driving went.  If I vamped, it would be four hours.  The quickest method was by private jet, which would be 40 minutes.

“No answer.” Dre said, vocalizing my worst nightmare.

I began to feel waves of panic.  ”Call Kristen.  I need…a jet.” I crumpled to the floor, trying my damndest to fight off this incredible feeling of need to go save my Creator.  Something was bad.  Something was horribly wrong.  Dre ran off to make the phone call, but I knew I wasn’t going to make it.

“DRE!” I screamed.  ”DRE! SILVER ME! HURRY!”


Orielle circled the young, captive vampire.  She had not wanted to resort to such forceful measures but, desperate times called for desperate moves. “Well, well, well.  A father now? Of two beautifully incompetent females.”

Bruno’s expression was of serious anger as he watched the leader of the Elitists walk around him as though he were a chained up dog.  He couldn’t move, he was silvered beyond belief across his neck, his arms, his legs.  His body was burning and he was getting weaker with each passing second.

“I’ve been meaning to send one of my subordinates to fully register your clan but…I suppose you could say I’ve been a bit…busy, with other objectives.” She said, finally stopped next to his body, her long, red hair skimming the ground of the warehouse.

“You can cut the powerful ancient vampire bullshit, this isn’t a movie.” Bruno snapped.

Quickly, she vamped to him, the sharp wooden heel of her stiletto pressing into his chest as she spoke through her teeth, “You are absolutely right, this is nomovie.  I do not need to wait for anyone to come by and save you, I can kill you myself right here and be done with this silly little game you and that bitchkeep wanting to play with me.” He was silent, waiting for her to end him, but she pulled back, her devious grin returning as she took a few steps back.

“But I know she is on her way; and I have a few words to exchange with her.  Depending upon her answer, you two may just get to live.”

“We’re not joining your fucked up league, and Roxanne would die before agreeing to work with you.”

Orielle poked out her lip sympathetically, sarcastically, as she cooed, “Aw. How…tragically heroic.  I wonder how her mind may change if she had a front row seat to the death of her beloved Bruno Mars?” She moved closer to him, her arms crossed.  ”Or…perhaps I wonder how your mind may change if you had the same pleasure of seeing her death?”

If you touch her-“

“What will you do? Kill me?” Orielle laughed, genuinely amused by the vampire’s bravado even as he was completely vulnerable to her.  ”My, this isn’t the Bruno that the public has grown to love, now is it?” She lifted a brow challengingly before continuing, “Now, this could all easily be solved if you both would just give up your foolish music nonsense and became a part of the Elitists, after all, we-“

“You have ten members.  Some of the most powerful vampires in the world.  I’m four years old, Roxanne isn’t even a year…we would just get in your way.”

Orielle nodded.  ”That was a lovely alternative tactic you used there, however, vampires with the abilities that you two have can be easily trained to be…” Her voice trailed off as she suddenly felt that sharing that much information may be her downfall at some point.  And with members of her league being killed left and right, she did not want to leave anything to chance.

“Trained to be what?”

“Excellent additions to our league.” She finished, opting to leave out the real reason.

Fuck your league.” Bruno insulted, nastily.  He couldn’t remember ever being this angry in his life, except finding out Roxanne had been killed came as a very very close second.

“You know…I don’t understand why you are so adamant about opposing our generous offers…after all, your Creator has finally realized his potential and joined us.”

It was so silent, you could have heard a pin drop.

Bruno was overcome with shock at that news, and refused to believe it.  Perhaps Orielle was just using this against him, to mindfuck him into a state of lesser awareness.  That couldn’t have been true.  Jason would never join the other side.  Everything he stood for was against them!

“What’s wrong? You had so much to say earlier…have you not heard the news?” Orielle felt an increase of strength in knowing she had her victim psychologically in her grasp.  He was defiant before, but now he was hanging onto her every word.

The words of Jason’s phone conversation rang in his ears; “The only way to defeat a vampire that is stronger than you are, is to use strategy over brute force.

“So it’s true, huh.” He switched up his tactics instantly.  He looked away from her, biting his lower lip hard in thought before releasing it.  ”I got the voicemail he left but I didn’t believe him.”

“You look disturbed.” Orielle noted.

Bruno stared hard at the silver chains that were tight along his right arm, melting through his flesh that kept repairing itself and attaching to the silver, only to be burned again, in a torturous cycle.  ”I never argue with the decisions of my Creator.  He made me who I am.” He said, feigning hurt and betrayal, as his mind worked to try to figure out if his vampire Father had ulterior motives, or if he really had given in to the Elitists.

“Now you are sounding far wiser than earlier.” She said approvingly, although she was a bit thrown at how easy it had been to get him to fall into her grasp.

‘Roxanne, please don’t try to attack this woman. Keep Nani away. You’ll get yourselves killed.’ Bruno closed his eyes and thought to himself, hoping, praying, somehow his message would break through their connections, despite the fact that vampires couldn’t normally communicate full thoughts to one another.


“Roxanne! Roxanne over here!”

“How is life going as a vampire?!”


“Back up guys.” Dre barked, startling a few photographers back who were getting too close as I kept my head low and ducked for the Escalade that awaited me.

“Roxanne!” I heard a female voice cry out, and I happened to glance over my shoulder to see a young teenager rushing towards me, my cover of Cosmo Girl in her hands and a camera in her other.  Dre started to announce again for everyone to back down, but I stopped him.

“Wait.” I said, my body still anxious and panicky.  But here, amidst these sleazy photogs, was a sincere fan who looked astonished to be in my presence.  Tears welled in her eyes as I approached her.  ”Hi, what’s your name?” I asked, feeling a shockwave run through me as I had been feeling on and off for the past hour.

“M-Melissa.” She stammered.  ”I love you so much!” She exclaimed.  I hugged her and she started sobbing.

“Hey hey, don’t cry Melissa.  You want a picture?” I asked, pointing to her camera.  She sniffled and nodded and I took it, holding it up and standing next to her for a photo.  I took two and gave it back to her.

“Can you p-please sign this for me?” She asked.

“Of course I can.” I replied kindly, taking the Sharpie and scribbling my name and a kind message on the cover of the magazine.  I gave her one last hug, “Stay safe, thank you for the support Melissa!” I said.

“You made my whole life Roxanne, I love you!” She called, backing up to allow me to get into my ride.

“I love you too!” I waved out the window as the truck drove off.  I rolled the window back up and sunk down in my seat, clenching my fists.  ”I just wanna kill right now Dre, I wanna kill.” I mumbled, closing my eyes; but every time I did, I was met with more horrific images.  Now that I knew Bruno was in trouble, the images had to have been of him, and that made things worse.

He wrapped the silver I had given him around his neck and wrists for protection in case I lost this fight for the consciousness of my mind.  ”You gotta give the driver directions…” He reminded me.

I relaxed myself the best I could and let the feelings begin to slowly break through this dam I had built up.  ”Get on the 405.” I said, gripping the door handle.  The driver was confused until Dre began to calmly repeat my instructions.  We made all kinds of twists and turns, and the closer we got, the more intense the feeling within me became.  Soon, I was no longer human.

STOP THE TRUCK!” I yelled, and that was the last human part of me that spoke, before I jumped out of the still partially moving vehicle and vamped off through nasty backstreets and druggie alleyways until I came upon a warehouse.  I growled, my blood boiling as I climbed up the side of the warehouse to the window and jumped through it onto the upper landing.  The scene below me was a gruesome one.  Bruno was lying on the floor, in a pool of his own blood, his clothes soaked and ripped.  He was covered in silver.

I scrambled down from the landing and vamped over to him.  ”Bruno…” I whispered.

He blinked slowly, beginning to open his eyes.  He looked up at me, “Listen…” He said; but I was highly freaked out because the last time we were in this position, he was lying bloody all over the boulevard and died that night.  I couldn’t take him dying again.  No.  I would Romeo & Juliet the fuck out right here and stake myself if he died.

“I gotta…I gotta get you out of this…” I pulled the leather gloves out of my pocket and began to put them on.

“No…stop….listen….say yes…just…agree…do it…for me.” He said.


I hissed as a thick silver chain was wrapped around my neck from behind and I was yanked down to the ground violently.  I gasped and coughed, looking up at an unfamiliar vampire.  He was hispanic and had long, curly hair pulled back in a ponytail, and he looked slightly deranged.

I growled at him and he growled right back, flipping me over with the silver, scraping me up against the cement floor and burning my flesh.

Raul, that’s enough.” Orielle’s voice echoed through the warehouse.



I was willing to kill for Bruno but I had no chance while being silvered with this ultra ultra powerful woman in front of me.  She would kill me before I had a chance to get to my feet.  I knew they would come back for us eventually.  I fuckin’ knew it.

“Welcome to the other side, my dear.  How are you enjoying death so far?” She asked as she approached me.

“Let him go.” I choked.  ”Bruno hasn’t done anything, let him go!”

“Oh don’t worry, I will…under a condition, of course.”

“I’m not joining you sick fucks!” I screamed, beyond frustrated with the entire situation that was going on.  Thank God I got here before Nani did, she had to be hours away and hopefully we could get out of this before she came and did some shit that would get her killed.

Orielle glanced over at Bruno and shrugged.  ”You two are practically the same person. I thought this may happen…and we are in need of new members immediately.  So, without another moment to waste.” She quickly shoved her heel into Bruno’s chest and I felt a ripping through my body as I screamed out.

NOOOOOOO!!” Bloodied tears ran down my face, but alas, she had only halfway lodged her crafty heel into him.  It was enough to put him on the closest brink to death he had ever been, and he was beginning to cough up blood.  Horrific scenes of every other vampire death flashed before my eyes and I knew I didn’t want to see him wind up like the others.  I wouldn’t be able to take it.

“What was that?” Orielle asked, pulling her hair over her shoulder, and it skimmed the blood on the floor.

I sobbed, “I will do it!  I’ll join!  I’ll do whatever you want!”

She looked impressed as she pulled her heel away and Bruno groaned in pain as his chest healed over and he turned his head to spit the remaining blood out.

“Love may sicken me to the core, but it has brought forth quite the characteristics between you two.  I will have a flight to your new Romanian quarters prepared for the night.” She snapped her fingers, “Raul! Bring me the spare coffins.  Our new members have a long flight ahead of them.”

I relaxed into the floor, feeling hopeless as tears cascaded down my face and Orielle and Raul left us alone.

Roxanne.” Bruno whispered, ever so softly.

“Yes?” I looked over at him, on the verge of breaking down into sobs again.

He was staring up at the ceiling, his eyelids low with weakness.  ”It’s time for us….to be everything we tried to fight to never become. Remember…back in San Mateo…our promise?”

I nodded slowly, “To fight until the end.”

“It’s time…” He struggled to speak, “To stop playing pretend…..and becomereal vampires.”


Chapter 17 - Trust in a Hopeless Place


“You have got…to be…fuckin’ kidding me.”


I glanced back at the large, intimidating vampire guard who ignored me and remained stoic outside of my door.  I kissed my teeth and threw the clothing aside.  I opened the closet, and unfortunately, the wardrobe was all the same.  All extremely formal, and ancient.

“Please tell me I can wear a hat.” I said aloud, although I knew the guard would ignore me. “Not even a fedora?”

I groaned.

My wardrobe would be the least of my worries for however long I would be held captive in the enormous castle.  Until we completed training, Roxanne and I weren’t permitted to be around each other without guards, and we definitely weren’t allowed to sleep in the same rooms…or ‘quarters’ as they called it.  They did not want to chance us losing focus on the ‘real goal’ at hand; and Orielle was paranoid about the looming betrayal factor.

But betrayal was bound to happen.  We were vampires, and I didn’t join this league for my health.

I still hadn’t seen Jason, and I didn’t know when I could, or if I would.

I just knew I was staring down some ridiculous threads…

I had no choice but to pull down the three piece suit and put it on.  When I was abruptly flown to Romania, my clothes were destroyed by the blood and cuts; and my ‘lounge-wear’ consisted of linen pants and shirts.  So I had nothing of my own to wear, and apparently this was the look of an Elitist vampire, at least I assumed it was.

“Master Bruno, the panel awaits you.”

“Can you-” I started to complain about the title they had given me, but I remembered I had to be as convincing as possible.  Damn, this was gonna be hard.  ”Here I come.”

“It wasn’t this hard getting into my wedding dress!” I winced as the seamstress mercilessly yanked the corset tighter around my waist, and even though I was a vampire, I swore she was breaking my ribs.

“You complain so much to be the future member of the Elitists, yah.” She muttered, pulling my slim skirt down properly so it ghosted the floor.  ”There, Mistress, is there anything else you need?”

“Yeah.  This dress off, and my husband would be great.” I snapped.

Tsk tsk tsk.” The seamstress shook her head at me disapprovingly as she gathered her things and left the room.  I managed to get over to the mirror and I looked at myself.  I had been dressed in a black corset with gold embroidery, and a long, thin black skirt that flowed with my movement.  I was required to wear some ugly ass black velvet gloves that went up to my elbows, and my hair was pinned up.  I looked like I was on my way to a gothic funeral ball.  This was some epic bullshit.

“Are you-” A male vampire came into my quarters, my escort I presumed.  He stopped when he saw me, “You look….gorgeous, Mistress Roxanne.” He stammered.

I was about to complain, when I looked up at him and was suddenly taken aback by…well…how stunning he was for lack of a better word.  He was tall and had a muscular build, caucasian I assumed, with blue eyes and short, cropped blonde hair.

“I uh…thanks.” I said, picking up my skirt so I could walk.  I hurried past him and then glanced over my shoulder.  ”We should go uh…..”

Emmett.  Emmett Slordaski.” He provided his name.

“Yes.  Let’s go.” I turned and started down the hall.  I didn’t know where the fuck I was going, but anything was better than standing another millisecond there awkwardly with Emmett.

He soon caught up to me and interlocked his arm with my own.  I wanted to pull away, but I didn’t.  I had to blend in, and he was my escort, so I suppose he was just doing his job.  ”You must feel honored, to be asked to be a part of the Elitists.”

“I’m not sure ‘honored’ is the word I’m looking for…” I said, glancing around at the extravagant architecture as I was led down the corridors.

He chuckled.  ”You…don’t want to be a part of it?”

I looked at him, my eyes narrowed.  Orielle would be highly suspicious of Bruno and I, and probably had planted charming Emmett just to throw me off.  ”I absolutely do.  I’m just not used to being so…regal.” I snapped, as though I were offended that he even suggested my dislike of their disgusting leaders.

He lifted his brows, surprised by my feistiness.  ”Didn’t mean any offense by my comment, Mistress, it was simply an observation.  You seem uncomfortable.”

“If I could breathe, I wouldn’t be breathing right now.  The dress is making me uncomfortable; but I want nothing more than to take part in leading my people…towards the Holy land…and all that shit…” I snatched my arm away and picked up my dress so it wouldn’t drag the floor, and I lifted my head up curtly and walked into the grand parlour room.  I stopped in my tracks when I saw Bruno, standing across the room next to his own escort.  I may have been bitching about the clothes in my closet; but whatever they hooked him up with, was working.

He looked powerful and royal; as though he ran the whole group of Elitists…fuck Orielle.  He caught sight of me and gave me that look that meant he liked what he saw! Shit…why hadn’t we ever tried Renaissance role play before?!

A man cleared his throat and we both broke each other’s gazes to look up at the balcony above us, and a tremendous fear struck me as I saw, in front of me, the vampire from my nightmares.


I watched as an asian guy came forward.  I remembered him from my first meeting with the panel of the Elitists.  I placed my hands behind my back, standing up straighter as he looked down at Roxanne and I with a smug expression.

Welcome…” He announced, “To the most powerful alliance you will ever become a part of.  Once you undergo training necessary to lead with us, you will unite with us.  To be an Elitists is a lifetime commitment.  The only way out, is through true death.” He explained, slowly pacing from one side of the balcony to the other.

“Our league has been under attack by witches and…” He looked upset as he continued, “Unfortunately we have lost crucial members, weakening us at an inopportune moment. We are in the midsts of an ultimate domination.  Tonight marks our conquer of Romania.  We are moving on to Italy next.  Soon, when we are at our strongest, we will take on America.”

My jaw clenched as I bit my tongue, trying to keep from saying any smartass comments.  I was a vampire.  I had to remain that way, both in conscious and subconscious thought.

“I am JongHo.  The second in command of the Elitists.  When you disobey me, you must answer to Orielle.” He smiled, “And I hear you have already been acquainted with her…anger.”

I looked over at Roxanne, who gave me a solemn glance before we both looked back up to the vampire who continued his speech.  ”First, in order to prove your loyalty to us; you must give up what you find most precious,forever.” In a flash, he disappeared in a rush of smoke, something I had never witnessed from a vampire before, and in the blink of an eye he was standing on the ground, in front of us.  He laughed under his breath as he first walked over to Roxanne, eyeing her up and down in a way that made my insides go up in flames.

Stupid little vampire.  Escaped death once.” He said, grabbing her face.  I instinctively jolted, ready to take him out, when my escort, whom I learned was named Maria, quickly grabbed my arm.

I looked back at her and she shook her head.

Roxanne’s fangs were projected, her anger evident, but her voice silent.  Finally, he let her go and she stared down at the floor.  I wanted to kill him right on the spot.  He was the reason why Kenji had committed the murder and gone insane.  It never had to happen, were it not for this motherfucker.

JongHo took her left hand and ripped the wedding ring off her finger, and she cried out.  ”Quiet!” He barked and she fell silent again, biting her lower lip, puncturing it with her teeth as blood tears welled up in her eyes.  He made his way over to me and I swallowed, standing tall.

He grasped my hand and pulled my band off my finger.  I watched as he walked to the center of the room and set them both down on the floor.  In an instant, with one step of his foot, they were destroyed, and although I maintained my composure, barely. Roxanne was kneeling on the floor, sobbing.  I wanted nothing more than to comfort her, to tell her it was alright; but I could do nothing but stand there, hardened with fury as each second passed.

“Elitists do not have relationships.  We have no time for companionship, we have no mercy; that is why we are so powerful.  We have sexual intercourse, of course; but oftentimes it results in death, as it rightfully should.” JongHo seemed to have taken pride in our expressions of dismay.

“Please…you can take anything from me, but don’t make me give Bruno up. Please!”

JongHo began laughing.  ”Do you see?” He spun around, making sure to speak to the few vampires in the room as he gestured to my sobbing wife on the ground.  ”Do you see why we forbid this bullshit?  She has not been physically harmed in any way, and yet here she is, weakbroken, over a useless emotion!”

“I-I can’t do th-“

Roxanne.” I said sharply, I waited a few moments before looking over at her.  ”Pull yourself together.  My Creator has joined them, so it will be for the better that we join as well.  If that means our relationship ends here,” I glanced up at JongHo,

Then so be it.” I said with finality.  ”We are over.”

I couldn’t look at her as I felt her pain rip through me.  I simply stared ahead, my mind working to begin to figure out plans.  If I tried to use my so-called gift here, I would be outed and attacked by the guards.  This had to be done in secret.

“Impressive.” Jongho nodded in approval, “However, the Progeny and Creator bond remains.  Sever it. Now.”

I closed my eyes tight, knowing this part was going to be the hardest.  He was asking me to release her as my child.  Once it’s done, it cannot be reversed.  We would no longer feel exceptional closeness, I would no longer be able to command her, to detect her as easily, to feel her emotions.  She would be just another vampire to me.

“Roxanne…as y-your Creator…I-“

“Isn’t that rather…brash, JongHo?” I heard Jason’s voice as he came to the edge of the balcony.

“Do not feel pity because of your child, Jason.”

“I feel nothing for Bruno, as I released him years ago.” He said curtly.  I kept my eyes straight ahead, staring at nothing, fearful anything would give me away.  Jason had never released me, he was lying.  I said nothing.  ”However, the girl, she is a newborn.  A very well-off one, but a newborn nonetheless.  Her mind is wreckless, impulsive.  Having her Creator in charge of her will ensure that she does not complicate our agenda.”

JongHo and Jason shared a silent exchange of glances before the younger vampire turned to us.  ”Fine. I will not require that of you; but should any secretive convening or romantic inclinations take place between you two, there will be a severe punishment.”

“JongHo…what about my other child? She’s probably running herself crazy trying to find me.” I asked, concerned about Nani.

He smiled as he turned away from us, his long robe flowing as he left the parlour.  ”Maria, see to it that Bruno begins his training tonight.  Emmett, Roxanne will start tomorrow evening.”

Both escorts nodded and we were all left to be standing alone.  ”Nani has been taken care of.” Jason said, not making eye contact with me as he turned and retreated from the balcony himself.

What the fuck did ‘taken care of’ mean, I had no idea; but if they were planning to hurt her in any way, I wasn’t sure I could take that.  It was bad enough I had to endure Roxanne’s pain; I couldn’t lose another child.  Another deep bond. It would surely break me.

“They hadn’t told us about….a relationship between you two.”  Emmett said quietly as he led me back to my quarters.  ”I’m sorry.”

“It’s nothing.” I said, wiping my face with the cloth hankerchief I had been given.  ”I don’t need him like I need this position.” I made a beeline for my room, turning to close the door.

“Mistress Roxanne, wait.”

“I need to be alone.”

“I know…but I’m not just your escort to take you around the grounds.  I’m your guide…your helper…” He stopped the door as I tried to close it again and finally I looked into his piercing blue eyed gaze, “Your friend.”

I stared at him. Hard. He still couldn’t be trusted, he worked for these vampires after all, and anyone under their rule must have evil flowing through them too.  Ulterior motives. I knew how this story was supposed to end, he was supposed to get close to me just so I could feel comfortable enough to tell him about our plans to overthrow the league and he would get rewarded by Orielle like the good fucking dog that he was.

I stepped aside, allowing him to enter my quarters, and I closed the door as the guards moved into their respective places, not allowing me a second of non-supervision.  He came in and sat down at the end of my bed, watching as I paced back and forth, unpinning down my hair and mussing it up the way I liked it.

“Why do you watch me like that?” I snapped, taking my long gloves off.

“Like what?” He asked.

“Like…I don’t know, like you’re in love with me or something.” I said in annoyance.

He smiled.  ”Can you exactly blame me?”

“You’ve been taught that love doesn’t exist, haven’t you?” I countered.

Emmett nodded.  ”I have…recently of course.” He stood up and approached me, “I am new to this league.  To your league.”

I backed up into the dresser, but it didn’t put him off.  ”O-oh?” I stammered.

“I am two hundred and forty eight years old, but my nest was taken over when the domination began.  I had a choice…fall in line, or be killed.” He touched my chin, lifting my face up to look at his.  ”I chose to fall in line…and something tells me, you have chosen to do the same.”

I pushed his hand away and broke our eye contact.  ”You’re crazy, why would I fake this shit? This is what I want to do.”

He shook his head.  ”You can lie to yourself if you want to, and you can lie to these vampires who have lost touch with humanity; but you cannot lie to me.  I loved humans very much, I still do.  I wanted, so badly, to be one of them again.  I know human emotion, human motives.  You have them, and it’s so present that I can only suspect that you were forced to be here.”

I edged myself away from him.  I couldn’t let my guard down and his words were so soothing to me, I almost did; for the sake of someone who could possibly understand me.  I crossed my arms, my back turned to him.  ”Emmett, you should leave.”

I heard his footsteps as he went towards the door.  ”I will see you tomorrow evening, Mistress.”

And with that, he vamped off.

I ripped, tugged, and yanked at the strings to my corset until it loosened enough for me to pull it off.  I stepped out of my skirt and tossed both articles of clothing on the floor, where they belonged.  I didn’t want to put on any of the extravagant night dresses they had for me.  I crawled into bed and pulled the blankets up tightly, and began to cry into my pillow.

I cried, hard.

My hand felt empty without my wedding ring, and my heart felt empty without Bruno.  Neither one of us knew how long we had to put up this hoax; but one minute felt like an eternity to be shut out by him.  He was bluffing, of course.  Our relationship wasn’t truly over, but just the idea of behaving as though it was, was enough of a crippling thought to me.  All those times I threatened for us to break up, I threatened divorce back in Hawaii…that meant nothing because it was just words.  Words with no action to back it up.  We would get back together, we always did.

But why did this feel so final?

So now, I was required to wear a uniform.

I was not undergoing any regular training to become a member of the Elitists,no.

I was undergoing training to become the commander of the tremendous army they were continuing to build day by day, as I had learned.

Maria was a tiny little thing.  She was petite and had jet black hair and dark brown eyes, which was odd against her pale white skin.  She smiled often, in my presence, but took her job, as my escort, very seriously.

“You look handsome in your uniform, Master Bruno.” She observed as I came out onto the courtyard.

I pulled on the leather, fingerless gloves that I was given to complete my uniform as I met up with Maria.  ”Thanks Maria.  I feel like a soldier…so what are you gonna have me do? Jump tires or some shit?” I looked out at the empty pastures.

She shook her head with a smile as she took a few steps backwards.  ”Kill.” She blew a whistle and before I could register what was going on, a crowd of vampires came racing at me from all directions.

Aw shit.” I muttered.

I hadn’t killed in combat since I was a newborn.  It was only a couple incidents here and there…the guy in San Mateo…Kenji…but nothing like this.

While I was lost in my thoughts, someone had tackled me to the ground and sunk their fangs into my shoulder.  Completely taken over by anger, I grasped what felt like a male and slammed him onto the ground.  I only picked him up again to smash him into the oncoming other vampires to give me enough time to twist his head and rip it off his neck.

He melted into a pool of blood.

One down.

“Your child and his progeny have been captured, so now what is the plan?” Casimiro asked with concern as Jason Hendrickson sat in the only room with a window, gazing out on the lawn as his child brutally murdered hordes of baby vampires.  He didn’t want them to have to infiltrate the system, but it’s clear that’s what they had done.  Jason knew the dangers of “playing possum”; the young, impressionable vampires could easily get swept up in the lifestyle of power, and change for the worst.  He only hoped he had instilled enough morals in Bruno, and he in Roxanne, for them to know better.

“I did not expect this to occur.” Jason said, his palms pressed together, fingertips resting against his chin.

“If they have given up, we will have to surrender.  Without their unique power, we cannot defeat Orielle.” Casimiro noted.

“Casimiro, they have not given up.  It is not in either one of their character to do so.”

The younger vampire shook his head, beginning to feel their efforts were becoming hopeless as he leaned against the windowsill.  ”Then why is your child murdering that flock of vampires.” He felt that pang in his chest that he always felt whenever the Elitists resorted to violent acts.  Casimiro was never a fan of it; and because of that, he thought it would be wise to work with the level-headed and intelligent Jason in hopes of ending this hierarchy once and for all.

“If you wish to work with me, you will trust me.” Jason stood up, having enough of the conversation between them.  ”If you wish to leave, you will be my next kill.” He quietly left the room.


Chapter 18 - Love Never Leaves


I stood up as soon as Orielle came striding into my quarters.  As I was trained, I lowered my head in respect for her “high power”.  She came over and sat upon the elaborate love seat across from me, adjusting her robe slightly as she waved her hand for me to have a seat.  I did, next to Emmett, who placed his hand on my knee and nodded at me for approval.

“Two weeks.” Orielle noted, “And you already look like royalty.” She snapped her fingers and two guards emerged from behind her and came over to me.  One knelt down with a small, black bowl; and the other brought forth a sterling silver knife in his gloved hands.


I looked up at her, my eyes narrowed with amusement.  ”You still don’t trust me?”

Orielle smiled as she lifted her shoulders slightly.  ”No.” She said bluntly.

I pulled back my silk sleeve and allowed the guard to slice my wrist.  It wasn’t as if I had a choice, anyway.

In the past couple of weeks spent in Romania, I was immediately put under closer surveillance and given strict orders to never use my powers under anycircumstances, and to, of course, never consort with Bruno.

I would get these random checkups at the weekly check ins with a member of the Elitists, usually Orielle, sometimes Jason.  You could call them ‘vampire drug tests’, I guess.  They took my blood to be sure I didn’t have any relevance to Bruno other than our kinship with one another; and to be sure I was only drinking the blood that was supplied to me.  It was supposed to ‘purify’ me; and if I drank from any other outside source, then it was considered treason.

Yes, it was that real.

The guard brought the bowl over to Orielle, who dipped her index finger into the crimson liquid and placed it on the tip of her tongue.  She closed her eyes and a smile crept across her lips.  ”Such power you have, what a waste.” She said softly, almost as if to herself.  ”Current stats please.”

Emmett cleared his throat and sat up straighter next to me.  ”Two underlings have been killed due to unruly behavior.  One of them was at the hands of Mistress Roxanne during an entry conference.  Her reasoning was valid, I was present to witness the occurrence.  She has completed Etiquette, Dress Code, Laws…and…” He drifted off, and I was hoping he wouldn’t rat me out for my failure of the last class.

He shook his head, as if to clear his own thoughts as he continued.  ”Politics.  All with excellent marks.”

I tried not to gawk at him.  Wow…I thought he may let me slide, but not go as far as to sing false praises of my courses.

Orielle seemed impressed.  I stayed quiet.  ”Excellent.  Continue with physical combat, intensive, Emmett, be sure there is no alternative style of combat used.  The Final Evaluation will take place after another two weeks of combat.”  She stood up and peered down at me, lifting a brow, “You are no Elitist yet, young vampire; and if you are to pass The Final Evaluation, you still will be placed on cautionary watch until you’ve matured to three years of age.”

She left the room, the guards trailing behind her, and I kept my head down in respect until she was gone, I then sighed and relaxed into my chair, glancing over at Emmett.  ”Excellent marks? In Politics?” I said with a small smile.

He shrugged, glancing over at me.  ”I figure you’ve been through enough so far…even though you refuse to admit to it.”

I was quiet for a bit, before I spoke again, “I feel like you’re working for Orielle—”

Roxanne.” He said sharply.  I quickly sat up, startled by his tone, but he just shook his head in disbelief.  ”I-I mean no disrespect by not calling you by your title, but I’ve told you my story.” He came over and knelt down in front of me, placing his hands on my shoulders as he looked up at me.  ”Humans outnumber us, and we can’t turn them all…there have been so many that have turned against us so far…the Elitists are so hungry for power that they can’t use proper strategy anymore.  The witch scare has Orielle all messed up in the head, I can tell.  She’s losing it…we have a chance…”

“Witch scare?” I asked, catching onto that part.  ”Is that what JongHo was talking about at orientation?”

He looked away, biting his lip.  ”He made light of the situation.” Emmett ran his hands through his short, blond hair, ruffling it.  ”Witches have been brutallykilling off each member.  They’ve slowed down for some reason…leaving only Jason, Casimiro, Orielle, and JongHo.”

I stood up, completely thrown off by that information.  ”Witches?!” I exclaimed, “We can’t fuck with witches!”

Emmett rushed over to me, grasping me tightly, looking into my eyes.  ”You cannot say anything.”

I shook myself loose.  ”Do you really think we have a chance against witches? I’ve dealt with them before Emmett…witchcraft got me…” I tried to find the words properly, “Witchcraft got me these powers….these powers I can’t use.”

“Orielle never spoke on them, only told me I had to be sure you didn’t use them whatsoever.” Emmett studied my expression, “Tell me, Roxanne.  Please.  If we can find a way out of this….”

“Emmett….if we can find a way out of this, I’m going back to America with Bruno.” I said softly.  I knew we had a certain chemistry about us, Emmett and I, but the reality of it was that I was in love with Bruno, and my heart belonged to him, and him alone.

He placed his hands in his pockets, walking across the room.  ”I know.” He said.  ”But if that means I get to see the light of happiness that you once had, then I can do nothing but accept that.  I am your escort, after all.”

I couldn’t help but to walk over to him, and I wrapped my arms around his strong waist, pressing my cheek into his back, feeling the steel fiber of his muscles underneath his linen shirt.  ”Emmett, you said it yourself, you’re myfriend.” I sighed as he placed his hands over my own upon his stomach.  ”I’m a Medium of sorts…I can communicate with spirits…and I can channel this bright energy and use it to burst a force out that can knock someone for a loop…especially a vampire, because of how much light I emit.”

“I know no Medium that can do that.”

“Well you don’t know what you’re gonna get when you fuck around with witchcraft.  I messed with a spell one night…and I haven’t been the same since.”

Emmett released my hold and turned around to me.  ”Perhaps we can use your abilities to our advantage.”

I shook my head slowly, “How?”

“I-I don’t know yet…but there has to be some way.” I could tell Emmett was thinking hard, and to be honest, although I had wanted to strategize with Bruno, it didn’t seem like that would be happening anytime soon; so this time I was on my own, and it felt nice to have someone on my side.  ”Orielle is clearly terrified by the prospect of witches coming for her…if you know about witchcraft, maybe you could-“

I waved my hands.  ”Oh no….no way, I’m not fucking with that shit again.  Nah uh.”

“No no, not cast any spells.  We can already see where that’s gotten you…but there has to be something we can do to frighten her…make her more vulnerable.”

“And then what? Kill her? Even at her most vulnerable, I’m not even a year old, and you’re 248…nowhere near her…what, five thousand?” I quietly whispered, fiercely.  Emmett’s head suddenly snapped up, and I could tell he was listening.

Someone’s coming.” He said quietly.  I watched as the doors opened and JongHo came through.  What did he want in my quarters? He always made me feel uncomfortable, the way he would stare at me in distaste…like he would kill me if he had the chance.  He seemed very like Kenji in their sociopathic manner of thinking.  He had no regard for emotion whatsoever.

“Emmett, spending extra time with the baby vampire?  I don’t recall Orielle handing out other courses.” He said smugly.

“I was simply answering her questions about The Final Evaluation, Master JongHo.”  Emmett said obediently.

JongHo nodded, “That’s nice of you, but she will do just fine, just so she has a…firm understanding of how we function here.  You are dismissed.”

I immediately veered on the side of slight panic at his request.  Emmett could do nothing but give me a wary glance and vamp away, as he was told.  JongHo closed the door behind him slowly and took time in clicking the locks.  I swallowed a lump in my throat as I straightened my back to look as unfazed as possible.

“I am planning on studying Vampire Law until Dawn, may I help you, JongHo?” I asked.

He turned around and in the blink of an eye, had his fingers around my neck, pinning me down onto my bed.  I grasped his hand, but he simply smiled at my efforts.  ”You…drive…me…to…insanity, Roxanne….do you know that?” He said, his voice laced with venom.

I pulled at his hand, hard; but to no avail.  ”JongHo…”

His grip tightened, “You have no respect for Authority!” He slapped me across the face and I screamed.  ”Refer to me with my title!”

“M-Master JongHo!” I said.  I felt helpless, why was this happening to me?! What did he WANT with me?!  ”Wh-Why are you doing this…to me?” I asked, as calmly as I could.

Suddenly, he kissed me!

Full on kissed me!

I shoved him and turned away, and I guess it caught him off guard, because he stumbled backwards; but just as I knew, before I could get out the room, he had me on the floor.  I started fighting, trying to punch him, scratch him, anything to get him off.  He slammed my head against the floor and I felt blood leaving my cracked skull that repaired within seconds.  I had never felt so weak.  If I killed him, or even hurt him with my powers, I would be killed.

“This is what you want, huh?” I said, laying there while he ripped my underwear off.  ”You want the one thing you never had….love, right?”

He looked at me with those hateful, intense, dark, slanted eyes with no mercy behind them as he pushed my legs apart and forced his length inside of me.  ”I will teach you, to obey Authority, to fear me.” He hissed.

I ignored the pain between my legs, closing my eyes and stilling my body, knowing everything would heal up just as quick as it was ripped apart by his roughness.  ”You can fuck me till you’re blue in the face,” I opened my eyes and looked up at him, “But love is not something that can be taken, like power, or blood, or even life.  Love plants itself inside you and grows; and it…never…leaves.”

Silence.” He spat, thrusting inside of me harder, he grasped my wrist, sinking his fangs in deeply, ripping the tendons.  I bit my lip in pain but refused to cry out.  He moved on, to the other wrist and did the same, before ripping my head to the side and biting into my neck.

“You can never….have my love……ever.” I rasped, bloody tears streaming down my face.

Two weeks.  Fourteen days.  I have been killing, yelling, commanding, fighting, for fourteen days.  This was never supposed to become a part of me, but I was starting to scare myself at how easy it was to deliver a true death to a vampire begging for mercy.

How easy it was to abuse, day by day, young hopeful vampires who were forced to be here and wanted to obey just so they could live.  I could turn my back on no one, because someone was always waiting with a dagger to stab you in yours.

I felt a disrupt within the hardened walls of my brain.  I tried to ignore it, and I yanked harder on the thick, silver chain that I had around a vampire’s neck, pulling him back so far I snapped his spine and he was screaming for benevolence that I didn’t have to spare.

The disrupt was stronger and I finally let go, and he collapsed, coughing up blood as his body healed itself.  ”Something wrong, Master Bruno?” Maria asked, noticing my distracted state as I glanced around the courtyard.

“I-I…” I started to say, but refused to admit it aloud.  ”I haven’t fed today.” I lied.

“You are nearly finished with your rounds, I will be sure there is a fine human awaiting you in your quarters.”

“Don’t send me anymore of these glamoured females, I’m not interested in them.” I kicked the vampire over onto his stomach and he winced in pain.  ”Go back to your camp.” I directed.  He staggered to his feet and I slammed him in the back with the silver chain.  ”Quickly!”

He vamped off, stumbling along the way a couple times, but eventually making his way back to his camp.  ”Master Bruno, I can tell something is troubling you.”

“Why? Because I don’t want glamoured females?” I asked, dropping the chain and wiping the sweat off my forehead.

Maria pursed her lips.  ”This has nothing to do with humans.”

“Don’t give me that look.” I lifted a brow.

“You may be the worst nightmare of our army, but you don’t frighten me any, Master Bruno.” She grinned before nodding her head towards the estate.  ”Why don’t we wrap things up early?  You’ve been quite brutal today, and I’m sure Mistress Orielle is awaiting our check in.”

“I’m sure she is.” I muttered, walking past Maria into the estate.  She trailed along behind me.  ”And what did I tell you about calling me that?”

Maria shrugged, hugging her clipboard to her chest.  ”I-I just can’t call you Bruno…it brings back memories of your music.”

“Damn Maria, were you a Hooligan?” I joked, heading into my quarters.

“No!” She blurted, “I mean…I loved you as an artist; your music was just so…oh Master Bruno, this is against every rule we have-“

“We aren’t allowed to have small talk? Go on…” I pulled my shirt off, relieved to get out of that dirty, sweaty mess.  Maria quietly sat upon my bed and I watched in the mirror as she stared back at me.

“Well…that song, ‘Just The Way You Are’ really helped me to love myself…I suppose you could say.  I was in the midsts of trying to be like every other vampire.  Strong, seductive, smooth….it was just never something I was very good at.”

“I can tell.”

Her jaw dropped as she hugged her clipboard impossibly tighter to her chest.  ”Master Bruno!”

I turned around and pulled the clipboard away, shoving her lightly.  ”I’m just fuckin’ with you Maria…quit callin’ me that…when I see your face…” I began to sing, “There’s not a thing that I would change….’cause you’re amazing, just the way you are.” She giggled, something which was not usual for her serious self.  ”And when you smile….the whole world stops and stares for a while, ‘cause you’re amazing…just the way you are. Punk.” I added, poking her in the forehead before turning back around.

“Real charming Ma—er…Bruno!” She said, rubbing her forehead while laughing.  Suddenly I felt another disrupt in my head, stronger this time, and I knew what it was.  I vamped to the door but then vamped back, and then back to the door and then back in front of the mirror.  I ran my fingers through my curls vigorously, trying to get the feeling out of my head.

“What was that for?” She asked curiously.

“Nothing.” I tried to keep from wincing at the pain I felt.  There was something wrong with Roxanne, she was in emotional distress and it killed me to not be able to do anything about it.  I hadn’t felt her strongly in our connection since orientation; so I had been able to let the memory of her fade to the background whenever I wasn’t alone…but now, now her presence was loud and clear.

“Please…I want to help you, there is something wrong.” Maria insisted.

“You can’t help me.  Leave.” I said, “Go!”

She was taken aback by my harsh tone towards her, but unfortunately the training I had done made it so I could care less about how she felt.  She was just another vampire, after all.  Maria left the room, and I dropped down to my knees.  She was using so…much…energy; I felt as though it were weakening me.

I need to obtain information concerning personal strengths and weaknesses pertaining to Mistress Roxanne.” I heard a male voice say at my door to my guards.  Soon, the doors were opened, and in came Roxanne’s escort.

I knew this couldn’t be very good.

He hurried over to me and knelt down, sympathizing with my pain.  ”Listen to me, don’t let Roxanne backtrack you…she is fine.”

“I feel her, I can feel her right now.” I grabbed him, “What are they doing to her?!” I said through clenched teeth.

“I am taking care of it.  I am not permitted to be here, if I’m caught without a decent excuse, I can be killed.  I came to tell you, do not, by any means, come anywhere near her quarters.” I watched as Emmett stood up and shook his head, before vamping from my room.  I couldn’t even ask him another question! I couldn’t ask how she was doing, how her training had been, if she had changed at all.  That was it.

The only thing I had left was the faint scent of her he carried on his shirt.

I left my quarters in a fury, careless about my lack of full uniform as I made my way out to the courtyard.  I vamped into the closest camp I could find and kicked the door down.  I grasped a nearby woman and ripped her head off; a skill I had gotten a lot better at over the past two weeks.  As she dissolved to the floor, the other vampires in the camp backed up against the wall, eyes wide in fear.

“Get the fuck out and fight.” I commanded.  Without question, they all darted out and began brawling against each other.  I stepped over the pool of blood and went outside, crossing my arms over my chest as I watched the death match occur.

I shook my head slowly as I glanced down to the tattoo of my mother’s face on my forearm…and then the Libra scales on my wrist…what had I become?

I laid there, on the floor, feeling used in the worst way.  I felt disgusting, dirty, useless, weak.  I curled up, all cried out; had my voice box not healed, my voice would have been rasped.  Blood was smudged all over my skin from previous wounds.

He bit me everywhere he could, repeatedly, making the wounds more than just skin deep.  They were on my soul; violated.

“Roxanne…” Emmett crept into my quarters and immediately rushed over to me.  ”Oh God…I wish I could have done something…” He said, on the verge of tears himself.

I stared at the wall, unable to speak, although I did appreciate his company.  I felt fragile, as though if I spoke, I would shatter into a million pieces.  He pulled me up into an embrace and I closed my eyes tight.  I smelled something that made me hold him closer.  ”Y-You were with Bruno.” I whispered, and sure enough, I felt more tears break through my lids.

Emmett picked me up and carried me to the bathroom, closing the door behind him.  ”He felt you, I had to be sure he didn’t jeopardize anything by coming for you.” He explained, gently setting me down as he started the bath running.  I held my knees to my chest, watching his every move.

“I appreciate that.” I said softly.  ”Tell me…” I closed my eyes, “How is he?”

Emmett glanced over his shoulder at me.  ”He’s…well, I didn’t know much of him prior to him coming here but he appears…how can I say this…something about his aura has changed significantly.”

I opened my eyes once more.  ”What do you mean?”

Emmett shook his head.  ”Whatever they are doing to him is cruel and I saw in his eyes that he was ready to end himself because of your distress…he is far stronger than before.  He may be young, but I do believe he would have a fighting chance in combat against me.”

“No…” I whispered, “No…no…no, he can’t be that way, he can’t slip into that.  He had a phase….in his human life, before he met me, where he was in a dark place…with drugs and…he can’t slip into that—”

Shhh.” Emmett said soothingly as he came over to me.  I winced as he reached for me, and he stopped, watching my face for a reaction.  ”You’ve gone through enough tonight, Roxanne.  Do not put unnecessary stresses upon yourself.” He gently pushed my dress off of my shoulders, and I allowed him to.  I stayed very still as he helped me to my feet and took tender care in not provoking me as he pulled it down to my feet and held my hands while I stepped out of it.  He looked to me for a sign to continue, and I nodded as he unhooked my black bra, and set it on the floor.  I had no underwear on, it had been ripped off earlier.

“Roxanne…” Emmett said, sadness in his voice as he saw all the blood, smeared over my body.

Don’t.” I stopped him from going on.  I just wanted to forget everything that had happened earlier.  He took my hand and helped me into the perfectly warm bath, and I sank down in it until just my head was above the water.  Although I no longer had sore muscles, it relaxed me as though I did.  I tilted my head back and closed my eyes.

He ran water over my hair, the blood washing out of my honey blonde curls that were flattened by the wetness.  ”We will kill him.  We can win this, Roxanne.”

I looked up at him.  ”I know we can.  And we will.” I said.  ”But for now, you make me feel safe, Emmett…will you do something for me?”

“Anything for you.”

Please, kiss me.”


Chapter 19 - Deception & Disarray


I curled my fingers around the entry door handles, biting my lower lip as I pushed them downward slowly, prepared for anything.  I closed my eyes and pushed the large, thick wooden doors open, letting the handles fly from my hands as I was knocked in the face with bright, warm, prevalent sunshine.


Bruno’s words rang in my ears from Hawaii; “I-I think you have the gene for daywalking!”

I stumbled backwards, my eyes stinging from not seeing light for so long.  I held my arm up to shield my vision…but as I did so, I realized…I felt no pain.  Slowly, I stood up and took another step forward into the sunlight.

It was then, that I felt someone yank me back into the dark estate and slam the doors shut.  ”Are you mad?!” A man whispered.  I blinked, white circles disappearing in my vision as it cleared up and I saw Jason standing there.  ”Orielle is looking for any reason to suspect you of betrayal, and you go out into the daylight?”

“J-Jason…how did you-“

“I have my own agenda, Roxanne.” He said firmly.  ”No vampire whatsoever is permitted to be up during daylight hours.”

“But, what about the ones who have the gene?” I asked.

“It doesn’t matter because Orielle does not have the gene; so therefore she is vulnerable to attacks during daylight.  She made it so nobody else, gene or not, is to be roaming the estate.” He explained.  ”Did you know you could daywalk? You could’ve gotten yourself killed.” He continued as he briskly guided me back down the halls to my quarters.

“I had a certain…idea that I could.” I mumbled.

“A certain idea is no real knowledge.  If you hadn’t been able to stand the sunlight, you would have been weakened so much that you could not walk back into the darkness to save yourself.  I thought you were more intelligent than that.” He scolded quietly, opening my door and allowing me to go inside.

“What do you want me to do, Jason? What the fuck am I supposed to do? They’re forcing me to follow their rules, to do their bidding, they’re isolating me…” I began to grow frustrated.

“I never wanted this for you, for him.  For either of you.” He took a few steps back, “You must rest for the evening, I cannot linger.  I may never be able to speak with you unsupervised again; but do not forget your power, Roxanne.  They don’t permit you to use it, but do not let it subside.  You will need it.  You must-” He looked around, and I had heard footsteps myself.  Without another word, he vamped away, leaving me hanging onto his unfinished advice.


Another week has gone by.

“Brilliant!” Orielle praised, standing next to me as I keeled over in pain from being required to use so much energy to destroy vampires now.  It took me an average of ten minutes of painful focus; but I was able to cause them to implode, or sometimes, spontaneously combust.

hated it.

“That’s my seventh one.” I winced, feeling a terrible headache and hunger pang.  I looked up at her, “Can I stop?”

She waved her hand dismissively.  ”Seven in a night is not nearly the type of power we require from you.  I suggest you continue to practice, your Final Evaluation will be judged highly on speed.  Continue.”

I stood up and another young vampire was sent out onto the courtyard.  He looked around at all the blood and looked petrified as he slowly approached us.  ”A-Am I gonna d-die?” He asked, shivering.

“Yes.” I said, starting my focus.  He stopped in his tracks, as though he had hit an invisible wall, and began to choke.

“Excellent Bruno…excellent, keep it up, more!” Orielle chanted, thrilled by the brutality of it all.  I worked harder, massaging my temples, as I felt like I was going to cause myself to combust into flames.

I yelled out in pain as I dropped to my knees.

“No!” She demanded, yanking me up by my shirt.  ”Keep going!”

I opened my eyes and all I could see was red.  The boy began regurgitating blood and he clutched his stomach as his body started to fall in on itself.  His eyes became sunken in, cheeks hollowed.  It was a grotesque scene.

I had to speed the process up, and I knew the consequences of my actions, but I darted forward and slammed my fist into his stomach, causing him to erupt in flames and that was all the energy I had left, as I collapsed to the ground and the courtyard spun into blackness.

I took the wrist of the woman who was sent to me this evening, and I punctured her veins, drinking from her.  She looked away, tensing up with each pull.  ”Relax.” I lifted my mouth to say.

“I apologize Mistress Roxanne.” She said, taking short breaths in an attempt to relax.  I kissed my teeth in annoyance and dropped her wrist.  ”Have I done something wrong?” She asked in alarm.

“No just…I’m done…go.” I waved her away and she grabbed the nearby gauze and held it to her wounds as she left the room.  I picked up a tissue and went over to my mirror, cleaning my mouth.

“Roxanne? May I come in?” Emmett asked at the door.

I chuckled. “Have you ever asked before?”

He emerged and closed them behind himself.  ”Well…since your Final Evaluation is in less than a week, I suppose I should start asking first now.” He said with a smile.

“What if I don’t pass it?” I asked nervously.

“Failing isn’t an option.” Emmett remarked seriously.  A little too serious, actually.

I frowned.  ”Wh-what do you mean?”

“If you fail, you’re deemed unfit for the league and they can’t release you after being taught all this elite knowledge.  You get the true death.  Killed.”

I gasped, “Emmett! Why didn’t you tell me this before?!”

“Because it was not something he was ever permitted to say.” JongHo’s voice sent a chill up my spine as he came through the doors to my quarters.  ”It is outlined in your conduct code that you are never allowed to discuss matters of The Final Evaluation with your superiors.” He said, his fangs extending as he approached Emmett, who readied himself to fight.

“Stop, please!  I asked him about it.  Punish me.” I quickly vamped in between the two.

JongHo tilted his head as he looked down at me.  ”I will take care of you after I finish with him.”

Before he could move any further, I did the only thing I could think of, and I shoved him.  JongHo laughed at my effort and swept me aside like I weighed nothing.  I crashed into the mirror and the two began fighting in a blur.  Unfortunately, Emmett couldn’t compete with the elder vampire, and fell to the ground, held there by JongHo’s shoe, crunching his neck into the floor.

“Roxanne…..go….please…….I don’t want you… see this.” He choked as JongHo pressed his foot down further.

“No, please stay.  You have every right to see how your death will be once you’re reported for treason.” He pulled a wooden stake out of his robe and raised it.

NO!” I screamed.  I vamped forward and wrapped my arms around JongHo’s neck in an attempt to choke him, but as I gripped him tightly, a bright light flashed in the room from my body and JongHo began shouting in pain as I smelled the flesh of his entire body burning to a crisp.  I never let go.  I held on tighter, it just felt like the only thing I could do; and seconds later, I was holding nothing, and blood was splashed down the front of my dress, and all over the floor.  Nothing remained but intestines; even his clothing was burned to shreds.

I took a few steps backwards, looking, in horror, at what I had just done.  ”What have I done…Oh my God.” I whispered, covering my mouth.  Emmett sat up slowly, amazed by what he had just witnessed.  ”Oh my God…I just killed JongHo!”

I was so loud, that the guards outside my door came barging in, and when they saw the scene laid out in front of them, they immediately pulled out their walkie talkies to signal an alarm; but Emmett drove a stake through one of them, and ripped the throat open of the other.  He quickly shut the doors and locked them; looking at me with panic in his eyes.

“Change your clothes.  I’ll take care of the remains of the guards.” He instructed.  I was frozen in place; in extreme shock.  I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak.  Emmett vamped over to me and shook me vigorously.  ”Look, if you want to live, go change! Now!” He barked.

I hurried into the bathroom and stripped my clothes off, grabbing a towel and rubbing off the blood from my skin.

I was going to die.  Once they discovered that I killed JongHo…it would be over for me.  There’s no escaping this place, and there is no escaping Orielle and her thirst for vengeance.

I laid in bed, freshly showered but still feeling weak from my earlier training session.  I was told there would be food for me; but I was still laying here, about to call it a night and move into my daytime death, even though it was hours until Dawn.

I heard my door open, and I closed my eyes as I breathed in the scent of a human.  ”You’re late.” I said.

“But I am here.” She replied.  I felt a dip in the bed as she crawled on, making her way up to me; but when she touched my chest, I gripped her hand suddenly, causing her to gasp.

I opened my eyes and looked up at her, but I was immediately taken aback and I released her hand, pushing myself away.  ”Who are you?” I demanded.

“I am Melissa.” She said with a thick Spanish accent.

“This is some sick fuckery.  Who sent you?” I questioned.  Whomever was in charge of my feeding, had sent me a woman who bore a striking resemblance to Roxanne.  She was tall, curvaceous, and clearly her hair had been purposefully dyed the same tone of blonde, as it fell in soft curls around her caramel face and framed her dark eyebrows.

“I was requested, Master Bruno.  Aren’t you hungry?” She purred, crawling forward.  I pushed myself off the bed.

“I’m not that hungry.”

Melissa ran her hand up the length of her leg, her red nails tracing the outline of her veins.  I didn’t want to drop fang but I couldn’t help my nature, as my teeth locked into place.  ”When is the last time you have been pleased?”

“No. I’m-“

“A vampire Elitist, which means no relations? Am I correct?”

Damn.  They had this one trained.  She wasn’t some glamoured airhead sent in for me to drain.  She was planted on purpose.  Melissa stood up and approached me, and I shoved her back, probably a little too hard for a human, but she landed on the bed.  She gazed upon me in challenge, unfazed by my violent nature.

“You should be afraid of me.”

“I am not.” Melissa said, reaching in her bra for a switchblade that she opened and used to slice a long, thick line above her breast.  In that moment, I saw nothing but the trails of blood that left the suture, travelling down her supple skin, being absorbed by the low neck of her dress.

I vamped atop her, licking the blood up and piercing her skin with my teeth to drink more; and to my displeasure, she moaned and her hands came up to tangle in my curls.  I shoved them away.  ”Do not touch my hair.” I growled.

“Whatever you say, I will do.” She said, laying back and biting her lip.

All she made me do was miss Roxanne.

Fuck.” I punched the mattress.

“What is it?” Melissa asked.  I ignored her question and instead, drank from her jugular, feeling my strength returning to my body as her sweet life source spilled into my mouth.  I hadn’t been this hungry in a while, and I had a feeling she would not be alive by the end of this.

“Do I feel what I think I feel pressing against my thigh?” I pulled away from her neck and looked down at her satisfied smirk as she added, “You can have more of me than just my blood, Master Bruno.  That is what I am here for.”

“Look at me, look at me.  We have to blame this on the witches.”

“How are we gonna say that? She’ll never believe us!”

“We don’t have any other option at this point.  What are some witchcraft objects, something, anything we can leave behind as proof?”

I looked around the room, trying to remember the things that I had from my spell.  ”There were a lot of plants…herbs.  Spices um…um…candles.  Animal parts.” I named out.

Emmett pulled out his necklace from his shirt and ripped it off.  ”Shark tooth.” He said proudly, pulling the tooth off and throwing it on the scene.  I ripped down the decorative flowers and threw them in the fireplace.  As soon as they erupted in flames, I used a metal pick to pull them back out and pat them until they stopped burning and Emmett helped me scatter them on the scene.

There were familiar screams outside in the corridors that made me pause.  Melissa pulled at my shoulders, “Why did you stop?”

I slapped her hands away.  ”Don’t you hear that?!” I exclaimed, pushing myself off the bed.  I ran out my door.  Even the guards who were usually present, were trying to figure out what the panic was about.

As soon as I stepped into the corridor, I was slammed into, and sent tumbling with another body, until Roxanne was atop me.  I held her in disbelief and she stared down at me with awe.  I couldn’t believe I was holding her right now, seeing her, being in her presence!

“Oh my God Roxanne, what…what’s going on?”

She looked around before whispering.  ”I killed JongHo.”

“You did what!?” I whispered back.

“Meet me in the third floor corridor, back near the empty quarters.  Tonight.”


“The guards will be occupied.  Trust me.” She smiled; and I couldn’t help but to smile back.  I always knew my girl was strong, and no matter what she was up to, she got another enemy down, and that was all that was important in this moment.  She vamped off me and continued down the hall, screaming in horror.

I saw Orielle come down to meet her, with at least ten guards behind her.  ”What is all this noise!?  What has happened?!”

“I-I don’t know! I just went to my bedroom and there were no guards and the door was wide open! I went inside and…and….” I faux sobbed and Emmett held me.

“Mistress, it’s the witches.” He said.  The color drained from Orielle’s face as she gestured for the guards to go ahead.

“Who have they gotten this time?” Orielle asked, her voice trembling.  I had never heard, or seen her so frightened before.  Emmett was right.

“M-Master J-JongHo!” I cried.

“No…” Orielle clutched her chest, and—


That necklace.

I’ve seen that necklace before…

It was gold with a red ruby in the center; and the voices around me became muffled as I zeroed in on the pendant, racking my brain to remember where I had seen it.  Something about that shape, that design…it was…fuck, I couldn’t think at all!

“I want security around the entire perimeter of the estate until further notice.  Daywalkers included.” Orielle ordered the lead guard, who nodded in understanding and repeated the order into his walkie talkie.  She held her silk robe together, watching as the guards walked off to attend to their duties.  ”JongHo was my second in command…” Orielle said softly, and something about her statement made it seem as though she were fighting off an emotional reaction.  Without another word, she disappeared in a wisp of smoke, leaving Emmett and I to our solitude.

He sighed heavily and looked down at me.  ”You can stay in my quarters…if you’d like.”

“I have something to take care of first, while everyone is in this disarray.” I placed my hand upon his cheek, “But I will come before Dawn.”

I’ll be waiting.”


Chapter 20 - The Necklace


I went back into my quarters, noticing, to my relief, that Melissa was gone.  I felt proud of myself, despite my urges, for not going further than drinking from her; but she tried, damn she tried, but I had learned that lesson from Leilani.


I noticed a note on my bed and I picked it up:

‘See you tomorrow evening. I have a feeling your thirst has yet to be fully quenched.


I balled the paper up and tossed it aside.  If these were the methods they used to train all the potential Elitists, then I could see why they were so deranged and violent.  The mind games they were playing were more cruel than their physical methods of torture.

I went into my closet and pulled down a black linen shirt and pants; changing into the set. I walked over to the mirror and stared at myself.  I could see in my eyes that I had lost the soft edge that my image relied upon; and before long, these demons I fought for so many years were going to resurface.  I tried to neaten my unruly hair some, finger combing it and getting the kinks out.

Getting frustrated, I went into the bathroom and ran some water onto my hands, running them through my curls.  It softened them, making them lay down so I had less of an afro.  When I caught myself in the mirror above the sink, I couldn’t help but to break out into a small smile.

Here I am, in Romania, amongst some of the most powerful vampires in the world; in danger of being killed, with no plans of escape…and I was concerned about my hair.

I left and sure enough, there were no guards outside of my door.  Figures Orielle would be more concerned with herself, when, in theory, she probably should have tightened security on the remaining members, but I wasn’t complaining.  I was quiet and quick, ascending the stairs and going around a few back halls, to reduce the chance of running into someone.

When I arrived on the third floor, I listened…and it was eerily silent.  This was the floor that housed the quarters of the other Elitists who were now dead.  The only lighting was provided by torches along the walls every few feet.  I walked back towards the empty rooms and I felt a pair of arms wrap around my shoulders from behind.

I knew it was her.

I held Roxy up on my back and spun her around, laughing with her as we reveled in the company of each other.  I set her down and grasped her face, looking into her eyes briefly before kissing her ardently, slowly, taking time to taste her mouth, her familiar sweetness.

“Damn girl, I missed you so much.” I said, pulling away, running my hand down her cheek softly.

“I missed you too Bruno.” She replied.  ”But listen, I don’t know how much time we have.  Emmett is on our side, he wants to get out of here too.”

“Your escort?” I asked curiously, “Rox, babe you can’t trust him.”

“He was the one who helped me cover for killing JongHo.  He even murdered the guards that came in.”

I was apprehensive, but I did recall when he came to warn me when Roxanne was in trouble.  ”How exactly did that happen?”

She bit her lip and broke our eye contact.  ”It just, happened.  There was a fight and I tried to choke him…and he fried up right under my touch.”

Somehow, I didn’t think that was the whole story.  ”Rox…what’s wrong?” I lifted her chin for her to look at me, and I felt her starting to get worked up.  ”I felt you in trouble a week ago…you just killed JongHo tonight.”

She moved my hand away and turned away from me, crossing her arms over her chest as she walked further down the darker corridor.  I rushed after her and turned her around.  ”I’m your best friend, you can talk to me, you know that.  We never keep things from each other.”

“I was raped.” She finally admitted, her voice fragile.

I stared at her blankly.

I couldn’t believe what I had just heard.

“What?” Was all I could stammer.  ”What?” I repeated, feeling anger bubbling up inside of me.

“I was raped, Bruno.” She teared up and quickly wiped them away before they could fall. “One night….JongHo came into my bedroom….and…and…”

I pulled her into my chest and held her.  ”You are so lucky you got to him before I could.” I whispered.  ”They got me real fucked up now.”

“No.” She said immediately, looking at me.  ”You can’t let them get to you, that’s what they want.  Let’s be real, Bruno…they don’t want both of us to join them.  They only want one.  They want you.”

“What do you mean? They’re training you too.”

“And they’re breaking me down.  They never wanted me to begin with, and they don’t let me use my powers; they’re keeping me here and putting me through the motions because they know that’s the only way you’ll cooperate.” She explained.  I didn’t want to believe it.  I refused to believe it.

“I don’t understand.”

“Emmett told me if I don’t pass The Final Evaluation, I’ll be killed.  They’re going to make it so I don’t pass…I know it.”

“Then we have to end this before the Evaluation then.” I said.  ”There’s no other option, I can’t lose you.”

“I can’t lose you either.”

“So we have to strategize.  Orielle must be afraid right now, we’ve got her in a good place but we have to target her specifically.” I leaned against the wall, thinking hard.  ”We don’t know anything about her.  If we could find out something in her past…anything—”

Aedan.” Roxanne suddenly said, her eyes growing wide.  She looked over to me as if I were supposed to understand what she meant by that random name.  ”Aedan!” She exclaimed again.

“Who the fuck is Aedan?!”

“That night, oh my God Bruno…that’s what Jason meant by me having to use my abilities.” She grew more and more excited as she explained.  ”When we dealt with Robyn…remember the visions I had? Orielle’s lover, Aedan, was killed by Robyn’s grandmother.  He wore that pendant she has around her neck, it’s gold with a red ruby inside.”

“We need that pendant.” I said, catching on.

“But how can we get it?  She wears it all the time and there’s no sneaking around her.”

I remembered the note on my bed from earlier.  ”I have a plan.”

“What is it?”

“Just trust me.” I held my hand out and she took it, I pulled her close to me and kissed her.  ”Trust me.” I said again.

“You know we won’t be able to do this again, be around each other, until this is all over.”

“I know.” I guided her to the end of the corridor and looked up and down each way, making sure I couldn’t sense, hear, or see anyone.  ”Hey, come here.” I brought her back down to the small, darkest hall I could find.

“Bruno, I should be going back to my-” I cut her off with a kiss, pressing her body flush against the cold, stone wall.

I pulled back, trying, hopelessly, to push him off as he kissed down my neck.  ”We can’t.” I said with a soft giggle.

“Yes we can.” He said into my skin, running both his hands down my body, around to my ass, and up under my thighs as he hoisted me up to wrap my legs around his waist. I bit my lip, at least until my sharp fangs extended and I tangled my hands in his hair as he kissed down the valley of my breasts, and then he stopped suddenly and looked up at me.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I forgot about what happened baby…I’m sorry, if you don’t feel comfortable yet-“

I pressed my finger to his lips and smiled.  ”Don’t get us caught.  I’d rather die fighting, than fucking.” I pulled him close to me and dragged my tongue along his teeth slowly, before capturing his lips in a kiss, tightening my legs around his waist.  He took my hands within his own and pinned them above my head with one hand, using the other to pull my dress down and spill my breasts out, which he proceeded to kiss and suck tenderly, one after the other, driving me crazy.

I ground myself against his erection, throwing my head back and trying to be quiet, but I moaned out when he pierced the skin right over my heart.  I arched my back and he covered my mouth, looking up at me with a sexy smirk as he licked the blood off his lips.

“I can’t take you out, look you can’t even be quiet when our lives depend on it.” He chastised, releasing my arms and unmuffling me, only to reach beneath our bodies to position himself at my entrance.

As I felt my body gladly welcome his warmth, slipping inside of my walls, I guess he suspected what was to come, because he kissed me, taking in my moans as he thrust inside of me, pushing me higher up the wall and bringing me back down with each movement.

“Bruno.” I breathed, pressing my forehead against his.

“I love you so much, baby.” He said, but it came more out like an extremely sensual groan that turned me on even more as he looked right into my eyes.

“I love you too.” I replied, bunching up the back of his shirt in my fists.  ”So much more.”  I loved the slow intensity we were at right now, feeling every inch of him hitting deep inside of me and pulling out slowly.

In fact, I had never seen him so emotionally involved in sex.  He usually went into an animalistic mode, but right now he was more human than I had ever seen him.  More expressive. More vocal.

I kissed his ear, hugging him closer as he started to pick up a quicker tempo.  I moaned his name into his ear and he said mine in response, grunting with each thrust.  Quickly, he set me down and turned me around so I faced the wall, and he pushed my dress up, sliding inside me again and picking up from where he left off as he wrapped his arms around my waist.

“Baby I can’t live without you.” He breathed into my ear, resting his chin on my shoulder.  ”I can’t do it.”

I felt every nerve in my body come alive as my stomach tightened up.  ”Hold me tighter.” I begged.  He moved his hand up the front of my body and gently gripped my neck, his other arm hugging me around the waist as he moaned endlessly into my ear, sending me over the edge.

“Oh God.” I whispered, reaching back to grip his thighs as I reached my climax.

He tilted my head back to kiss him, pulling only centimeters away to let out a long, drawn out grown against my lips as he came, pushing deeper and holding me in that moment.  He kissed me and moved his lips to my ear, “You’ll have the necklace two nights from now.”

“You look happier than usual, what did you get into last night?” Maria asked as we walked out to the courtyard together.  

I fixed my gloves and shrugged.  ”Just got some good rest for once.”

“It was Melissa, wasn’t it?” She smiled.

“Was that you?” I asked.  ”You sent her?”

Maria nodded proudly, unaware of how upsetting that was.  I decided I wouldn’t let her know.  Unlike Rox’s escort, mine followed all the rules and showed no sign of wanting to help me break any of them.  It was as though she worked hard in hopes that she would be promoted from escort to something more.  I had grown to like her over the past month, but she was still considered an enemy.

“Nice, isn’t she? Wasn’t glamoured at all.”

I stopped in my tracks, a thought coming to me.  ”Wait, the Final Evaluation is in a couple days, right?”

“Mast—Bruno, you can’t have possibly forgotten already, why do you ask?” Maria placed her hands on her hips.

“So I don’t have one of those check ins anymore, do I?” I tried to ask casually.

Maria shook her head.  ”No, they haven’t told me of any.”

I walked ahead of her so she could she my expression of utter relief.  I mistakenly had bitten Roxanne last night in the ‘throes of passion’ and forgot about the tests that we had every week to make sure that very act never happened.  ”CAMP 4, 8, 9, AND 12. OUT TO THE GROUNDS IMMEDIATELY!” I bellowed.

The respective camps came rushing out.  In a short period of time, I had already surpassed this Amam guy who was the previous commander.  He was tough and physically intimidating; but I had more.  Of course I didn’t lookfrightening, but my remorseless methods of training were what struck fear in every vampire in the army.

It wasn’t me.  I tried to remind myself of that when I had to separate my personas before going into daytime death.  But it was convincing enough for me to quickly climb the ranks around this place, and gain respect.

And alright, it kind of soothed the little bit of the Napoleon complex I had my whole life.  Like performing usually did, actually.

“Anybody wanna die tonight?” I asked, looking over them all, my hands behind my back.  They all shook their heads.  ”I’ve kept record of each and every one of you.  When I am promoted to the Official Commander; these camps will be rewarded by graduating out of training.  Until then, I will be watching you even more closely, taking off any weak links.  We don’t have anyfuckin’ room for weak links, am I understood?!”

“Yes sir.” They all chimed.

“King me.”

“You cheated.”

“Not even, check my moves.  See?” Emmett moved his checker piece around in the pattern he had just done to reach my side of the board.

I eyed him and placed another chip atop his.  ”I used to kill checkers as a kid, I lost my groove.” I said, moving my piece.

He chuckled.  ”I’ve just got age on you, kid.” He moved his own piece.

“How do you deal with that?” I asked, looking up at him.  ”I mean…living so long, don’t things get repetitive?”

“Well, sometimes they do.” He nodded, moving his piece further across the board and jumping two of mine.  ”But you find something to do.  You’re eternally stuck at one age.  I’ve lived in Italy, Russia, Antartica…that was fun.  I’ve done everything that some people spend their whole lives trying to do.  Once you see it less like a curse, and more like a gift…you settle into it and have fun.”

I watched him.  Emmett gave me hope that not all vampires were evil, dark creatures.  There were some like Bruno and I out there.  ”What about a family?”

“I had one.  It wasn’t really my thing.”

I shook my head.  ”Wait, what?  You had a family Emmett?”

“Yes.  My lover at the time wanted to raise one, so we adopted a little human boy.  We raised him up and put him in school…the usual, human thing.  He played futbol, and was good at it too.  We named him Kevin.” He explained, moving his pieces as he spoke.  ”When he was old enough, we gave him a choice, to be turned.  He declined, we accepted him regardless.  We watched him grow old, and he died at 92, from old age.”

He stopped his story and looked up at me, “Are you going to make your move?”

I guess I was too into his story to continue playing.  I snapped back into reality, jumping two of his pieces.  ”I’m…sorry to hear that.”

“Don’t be.” He waved his hand.  ”We got the opportunity to raise a child, watch his accomplishments and ease him through his last days.”

“And your lover?”

Emmett smiled.  ”What about you? What’s the plan with this necklace, hm?” I noticed how swiftly he switched the subject.


“I’d rather not speak about her.” He insisted.  ”The necklace?”

I sighed, deciding not to force it.  ”I should be getting it tomorrow night; but I cannot touch it.  When I get inside of someone’s memories, they can feel it, they’re with me, it brings them out of their own reality.”

“So she would know then.” Emmett concluded.

I nodded.  ”Yes.  So it has to be done when we’re planning to do everything.”

“And that is?”

“The Final Evaluation.”


“You don’t know me.”

“I don’t.”

“When you see the sun rise, you will remember that you saw a witch in the grounds.  You will run through the first floor, screaming a warning to everyone you see.  When they ask you where she is, lead them to the dungeon and then tell them it is you.”

“Yes. Yes it’s me…I am the witch.”

“Tell them there are more where you came from, and they are coming for Orielle.”

“Yes. We are coming for her.”

“Right. Just like that.”