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Prologue

The day that I met Marcus I knew that my life would always be different. He was after all a sworn enemy to my entire coven and my very kind. I had never meant for things to go this far or come to these circumstances, but love makes you do crazy things and loose all sense of rationalism. My life had become diving off the high board and falling backwards and hasn't seemed to stop. Not that I had wanted it to.

In my three hundred and eighty two years in this world I had never wanted something I couldn't have, because I could have anything. I was a predator, whatever I wanted I had always just taken without thinking twice. When you become vampire you lose all sense of your humanity. You don't think about the people you kill or the people it affects. You love nothing but the hunger that lives inside you and the burning thirst it desires, the monster that wants and wants and is never full, but always hungry. You can't help it, you can't fight it, nothing but give into it. And it doesn't help how easy humans make it for us to have them fall into our traps. In fact they go willingly almost begging for us to take them. They are so easily fooled by seduction and we are irresistible, to turn us down would be to turn down air that you need to breath. Even their pleas and screams mean nothing in the end. We don't stop and ask why am I doing this? We merely count the seconds that it will take to go by until their lifeless body goes limp in our arms and they are dead and quiet.
Though I have lived my life like this, I had never asked to live my life as a demon of the night. To be forever dammed a killer and a monster, but it is what I am. There are those who have tried to live life off substitutes rather than human blood, but they never last. They always come back and hungrier than before. But they don't have the passion or the will of love like I have to live for Marcus.

The moment I had looked into his deep blazing eyes I was lost forever. At first I hadn't known what it was. It scared me; I didn't know what I was feeling because we don't feel. But I recognized it from somewhere but couldn't remember, though that only scared me more because vampires remember everything. Then I knew.... I knew what I was feeling and why it was so strange. For the first time in nearly four hundred years I felt alive. Slowly as I grew to know him from a distance I felt more alive each time. Something had awakened in me, something strong enough to change the course of nature and my basic instincts. Instead of telling me to kill it was telling me to live. I would rather wither and dry up than to continue living this life another day without him. If that meant going against nature itself, than I would find the will to do so. For him I felt like I would do anything, even betray my own kingdom; which is exactly what I was going to have to do to set him free.


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Chapter 1


I was out hunting with Alyssa and Jonathon trying to find a human that would satisfy my thirst. We don't have to feed every night but I hadn't fed in about three so I was very anxious to find our meal and quick. Alyssa and Jonathon were babbling on about how they were sick of our location and wished the king would relocate us already. Maybe Europe this time they hoped and started going on about how they were sick of American's. We usually moved every ten to fifteen years to avoid suspicion, though we had only been here for eight and I knew we had a good few years left. But what did I care, time meant nothing to someone that lived forever.

I rolled my eyes in their direction. These two weren't the people I would usually choose for companions, but it isn't wise to hunt alone. Considered too risky, you never knew when there would be an attack from the Dark Hunters, a group of ancient vampire killers that lived for one thing and one thing only. Too kill as many vampires as they could even at the means of forfeiting their own life. I have seen them throw their lives away for centuries, a group of four or five dying to kill a mere one or two of us.

"Ssshhhh," hissed Alyssa. "I think I hear someone coming up the side end by the dock.


This was my favorite hunting ground. Sailors and boat laborers making their way home from long journeys, usually gone for months at a time. Not many had anyone waiting for them at home to notice they were missing right away. By the time someone did it was too late and they were long gone.

I smiled with anticipation, my fangs sharp and ready for the bite and my body crouched over like a cat waiting to pounce the moment he turned the bend and was into our sight. I imagined the taste of the blood in my mouth, sweet and delicious. I didn't like the idea of having to share. I shouldn't have gone so long without feeding I scolded myself.

I could hear the steady beat of his heart and smell the scent of his warm blood growing more profound, so I knew that he was close. He couldn't see us as we hunted him; we were hiding behind a huge crate used for shipping things out over seas.

Suddenly I heard more than one set of footstep's, I heard at least twenty - moving fast. They were coming from all sides and closing in on us like mice stuck in a trap. Alyssa and Jon were giving out violent hisses and we all crouched in defense. The Dark Hunters I thought. It had to be. The docks were always nearly empty at this time of hour, except for the few stray sailors walking around aimlessly and drunk.

The first two attacked us from the side. Jon grabbed the one closest to him twisting his neck in one single movement, so quickly it was hard to believe it had really happened. Alyssa picked the other up and threw him hard against the side wall. I braced myself for what would come next, but all I could here was sudden silence. I wasn't afraid though, what advantage would these pathetic humans have over us. The three of us combined were nearly a thousand years old. We were trained in fighting and have been training for years.

Another wooden stake flew through the air and hit Jon right in his chest. He fell to his knees in complete shock that soon turned into anger before he turned into a powdery dust that was gone before the next stake flew through the air and right into the crate that was our only shelter.

I readied myself for the next attack, some of my confidence in this fight gone after seeing Jon who had lived nearly as long as I fall to his death. Alyssa hissed and ducked out of the way of another flying stake. Suddenly the remainder of the men came rushing in, giving up on the exercise that had cost us one of our own. I was prepared to fight and rushed to meet them and end their lives where they stood. And then we weren't alone and men were being thrown left and right, their bodies landing in crumples all around us.

I recognized some of the men from our coven. I gave them a grateful nod and felt my body start to relax from the tension. I had known these stupid humans would die a pointless death. There must be fifteen dead bodies all around, all for nothing.

"Jon is dead." Alyssa stated to the guard. They shrugged unconcerned. Death didn't mean much to us. We lived in it every day, as much as people who never die do, but we take it often enough that it is a part of us.

The tall one named Blake asked for the run down; which Alyssa took care of. I was glad, I hated going through the antics like we were reporting a crime. I was also still very thirsty and annoyed by our hunt being interrupted. I knew the guards would insist we return to the coven right away, having to find another time to feed.

The rest of the coven started to leave when I heard a noise coming from the other side of the dock behind an old steam boat that had been taken apart piece by Piece and was now lying in shambles.

"Elizabeth, are you coming?" It was Alyssa asking me.

I glanced back towards the old steam boat.

"Yeah I'm right behind you guys."

I fell back a few paces behind everyone else and slipped behind an old rusty shipping barrel. Nobody would notice my absence except for maybe Alyssa but she was heavily flirting with the guard and it was obvious her mind was elsewhere.

I crept silently towards the dismembered boat and could hear the sound of heavy breathing and the beat of a frantic heart. I rounded to the side hoping to catch him off guard. He was lucky to have survived this long after all.

I reveled in the idea of having him all to myself, visualizing the tear of my teeth into his flesh and the rich blood flowing into my mouth.

He was hiding under an old tarp that was laid over what looked like scraps of old engine parts. He didn't seem to notice my presence so I lunged for him, but he was too fast - amazingly fast for a human, the spot he had once stood was now empty. I turned to face him and he was already running towards me stake in hand aiming straight for my chest. I smacked his hand effortlessly out of the way momentarily catching him by surprise as the stake went flying out of his reach. Weaponless he used what resource he had and tackled me, knocking us both to the ground. We both struggled for control rolling aimlessly on the dock nearly falling into the harbor. He was not gentle because I was a woman either. He was using every ounce of his strength but was still nothing that matched my own.


Finally I pinned him down straddling him as he struggled to get out of my grasp. A pointless effort I was ten times stronger than him if not fifty.

I stared down at him. Got you I thought.

Whether he was scared, I couldn't tell. His face was expressionless and I wondered why he was not begging for his life. Even the bravest of Dark Hunters have asked for mercy. I couldn't help but be captivated by him.

He looked the age I had been when I was turned. Maybe a couple years older nineteen or twenty, still young for a Dark Hunter. His dark hair fell around his face and his lips were pursed in a tight line. But his eyes... his eyes were beautiful. A sea of liquid diamonds fringed with thick dark lashes. I felt like I could lose myself in the depths of them drowning a pleasant death. His bravery intrigued me as well which was strange, he was so fearless for someone so young.

Shocked at myself for taking the time to notice anything about him at all I jabbed my fingers deep into his shoulder.

He winced at the pain.

"What's your name?" I asked him, still surprised that I hadn't killed him yet.

He glared up at me.

I jabbed my fingers in deeper.

"Your name Dark Hunter."

"Marcus." He said through his teeth.

"You killed a friend of mine you know."

Well Jon was far from a friend, but I wanted him to fear me the way my interest in him made me afraid in ways that were unknown to me. Yet he still showed nothing.


"Any last words?" I asked giving a fierce smile revealing my sharp fangs as I leaned in towards him ready for the bite.

I knew what I wanted. I wanted to eat. Yet something was pulling me back. The desire to end his life was not as strong.

We stared at each other a while longer. Or maybe I was staring at him I don't know.

A lend in closer my fangs grazing the skin of his neck, he cringed away at my closeness. He was so warm and smelled like sandalwood; I imagined he must live somewhere near the forest. I knew to sink my teeth in. I wanted to; there was nothing I wanted more than the taste of his blood in my mouth but ..... I don't know, I kept picturing his eyes and the way they were blazing fire, drawing me in like a spell. I imagined it was similar to the affect we had on humans when we were luring them to their deaths.

And then I pulled back, against every instinct of my being that was vampire, loosening my firm grip, unable for the first time in over three hundred years to feed my aching thirst.

This seemed so surprise him as much as it did me.

"Well what are you waiting for?" He asked.

"I ..." I didn't know what to say I honestly didn't know what was stopping me. I just stared down at him and he stared back at me. I wondered if he was as lost by all this as I was. This was so strange, I had never thought twice about when or whom I killed. Why now?


He looked up at me incredulously, like he couldn't believe my resistance in wanting to kill him either.

I was still locked in his gaze when a sharp pain swept steadily up my right arm and I cried out in surprise. I looked down at my injury and a stake was sticking half way through. I had been hit. More Dark Hunters must have came back to retrieve the bodies. My blood seeped down the side of my arm and freckled on his face.

I yanked the stake out cradling my arm. It would be healed in a minute or two but the pain was excruciating.

I released him and he jumped to his feet simultaneously clutching the stake that had just been protruding out my arm. He was inches away and I was sure he would do it, I had been about to kill him myself just seconds ago. Hadn't I?

I could hear the others coming and knew I had seconds left. I looked up at him ready to meet my fate, expecting him to drive the stake right through my heart.

Instead he did something I hadn't expected.

"Go." He told me.

So I started running.

Chapter 2

I leaned against the wall of an abandoned wharehouse stealing glances from the corner to see if I had been fallowed. The street was dead silent except for the sound of a passing car a few blocks ahead and the flicker of the street light. What had happened back there? I should have killed him. He was a dark hunter, a sworn enemy to me and any other vampire, I couldn't understand it. And him, he should have drove that stake deep into my chest. So many things had changed in my expanded life time except for one. Vampires and Dark Hunters killed one another; it was the way it was. There was no mercy or second chances. Each of our fate was one inevitable doom to one or the other, we lived or we died, we didn't tell the other to go.

And what would happen to him if they noticed he had willingly let me go? Surely it is against some Dark Hunter law. And why should I care what they do to him? Confusion was filling my head with questions I didn't have the answers to. He had let me live and I was pretty certain I had been going to do the same for him. What if they killed him for his betrayal? If another vampire had watched me let a Dark Hunter go unpunished I would be sentenced to death. I couldn't let that happen. As much as every bone in my body and every instinct I had were telling me to go back to the coven and never look back, something stronger was telling me to make sure this human was safe. Something that was beyond understanding, I didn't know what was happening to me and why I should worry over the life of an insolent human.

I climbed up the fire escape to the top of the ware house. The wind was blowing fierce and sent my hair swirling around my face and the salty sea air felt sticky against my skin. I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing, but I had to go back, just to check. The safest way was to jump from roof top to roof top. There might still be some of them patrolling the ground and I would have the advantage of watching them from above.

I could still see the dock in the distance not much more than a few blocks away. It would take me less than five minutes to get back there. They would more than likely still be there, cleaning up our mess.

I stealthily made my way across, jumping gracefully from one to the next. When I found myself on the one closest to the docks, I crouched down hiding beneath the railing and in the shadows. I still couldn't believe what I was doing. Risking everything and for what? I was a bigger fool than the ones that had so wastefully given away their lives earlier tonight.

I crept as closely as I could to the railing and peered over the side hiding my head behind an old air ventilation duct. I could see about five men standing around loading the bodies into a van. About four others were making their way back from the direction I had run. They must have been the ones that had chased after me. I couldn't see Marcus though, maybe they had already killed him and he was one of the bodies being carried away. I suddenly felt strange and uneasy at the thought but couldn't place the emotion or the cause.

Finally I saw him come around the side of the van slightly limping and clutching the left side of his ribs. I must have hurt him worse than I thought. He was looking down not meeting any of the other men's eyes. There was definitely tension down there but nothing hostile just looks of disapproval. I leaned in closer so I could listen to what they were saying.


"What the hell happened back there Marcus?" A tall muscular man in his twenty's was shouting at him, his face chagrin. "She was right there; you could have easily killed her! What the hell!"
He yelled.


"I don't know Eric, I hesitated for a second and she was just gone. There was nothing I could do. You know how quick they are." His voice rose. "And in case you didn't notice I'm lucky to be alive she nearly killed me."

He was lying to them, he could have killed me. He had let me go, but why? I needed answers for myself and to bring reason to this anomaly.

"I knew we never should have brought you little brother," Eric sighed.


So they were brothers than. I looked closely comparing the two; I guess there was some resemblance; same jaw line, same mouth, but not the eyes. The one they called Eric, his eyes had that same color but they were flat and empty.

Anger filtered its way across Marcus's face. It was obvious he didn't like the idea of being considered any less capable then the rest of them.

"Just because she got away doesn't make me any less able than you Eric!"

"Oh really, how many Vampires have you killed Marcus?" He inquired crudely.

Marcus clinched his jaw tightly and gave his brother a look as sharp as glass.

Eric smiled derisively at his brother, "That's what I thought. Now finish cleaning up this mess and than head back." He ordered.

That seemed to be as far as the discussion would go on Marcus's indiscretions. He would not be punished merely a slap on the wrist.

This Eric seemed to be the leader of this group. He went about shouting orders, telling who to do what and where to go with this. I knew his kind well. He took pleasure in being in command and being the best everyone else inferior to him.


I rolled over onto the cold cement floor and looked up into the same dark sky I had looked up into a thousand nights. It had definitely been an interesting night for more reasons than one. I had nearly been killed twice and then risked it a third time coming back here to check on a human that I owed my last escape to. Why had he let me go? He should have killed me; it's what they train for their whole lives. He obviously wanted to prove himself to the rest of them and a kill would have been exactly what he needed to do. If only I could get him alone just to talk to him. I still hadn't fed, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't be tempted to kill him.


My thoughts were interrupted by the rumbling of engines coming to life. I glanced over the railing and the men were starting to pile into the vans. Marcus was standing off to the side still looking heated from the conversation with his brother. I found a descent sized pebble and flung it at him.

"AHH." he groaned and brought his hands up to his face.

Oops, I forgot how accurate my aim was and hit him right between the eyes. He looked up and I stuck my head out a little so he could see me.

His eyes shot out wide with shock as he looked around to see if any of the others noticed me. He put his hands up gesturing for me to stay put.

"You guys go on ahead I'll find my own way back." He grumbled to the driver.

"Don't be stupid, get in the van now Marcus." It was Eric's voice.

"I can take care of myself I said go!

Without another word the two vans drove off disappearing into the murky mist that was rolling off the harbor. It was nearly morning; I had been out all night. I would have some explaining to do when I got back. The king would be angry for being so careless after an attack. I was one of his most valued member's of his court. He was my maker and I was the only vampire he had ever turned. He had taken such a liking to me which was unusual for our kind and had always treated me more like a daughter. He would more than likely be sending someone to look for me soon.

As soon as the coast was clear and I was sure we were alone I jumped from the ledge onto a smaller building then onto a set of stairs. I could see Marcus watching me make my way down. He didn't look afraid but he didn't look like he trusted me either. He had a guarded expression and I could see him griping something under his jacket. Must be a stake I thought. Did he really plan to try and kill me after all this? That logic would bring sense to things, setting everything back in its rightful order.

We didn't say anything at first, just walked in half circles back and forth across from each other. If he moved I moved and vice versa, there was nothing out here but us and the swirling fog. The sky was still dark and heavily painted with thick clouds. You couldn't see a single star in the sky and the moon was barely visible. His heart was beating fast and his pulse quickened with every second gone by. But his face was a perfectly composed mask. He didn't want me to know what he was thinking any more than I wanted him to.

"You didn't kill me," I said never taking my eyes off him.

"No, "he answered his voice slightly rough.

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, you didn't kill me either," he said like he was reminding me.

We were going to get nowhere like this.

"I am a killer you know, you should have driven that stake right into my heart, I could kill you now and you have no reason to trust me. I have promised you nothing."

He looked unsure for a second.

"Then why did you come back? If you're going to kill me do it." He challenged while tightening the grip on his weapon.

"You still didn't answer my question. Why?" I pushed.

He didn't answer me at first and it looked like he didn't know how.

"Well, I saw that you were..... Going to kill me," he started, "I knew I was going to die and I could feel how badly you wanted me. Then I saw you look at me and everything about you changed, for a single moment you didn't look like a killer. Then in that same second you pulled back. I couldn't understand why, I still don't."

"I don't either," I muttered through unmoving lips.

He was stupid to trust me, I could kill him in a single movement and I think a part of him knew that. The way his fist was clinched to that stake proved I was right. We continue to stare at each other.

"So are you going to kill me or can I go on my way." He asked.

For some reason I didn't want him to leave. I wanted to know more.

"No one is stopping you from leaving," I tell him.

"Then I guess I'll be going."

He turned to leave and without even thinking I flung myself in his path. So fast you couldn't have noticed I had moved at all. We were standing very close now, our faces inches a part.

"I guess I should thank you for saving my life before you go. The next time our paths cross it might be under different circumstances and I would hate for you to think I was ungrateful"

I gave him my most alluring smile, careful not to show my fangs. Our eyes were locked and I couldn't pull away even if I wanted to. He was breathing heavier than before and we were so close I could feel the warmth of his body radiating off him. Yet I wasn't close enough and I wanted nothing more than to close the distance between us. Something I had never wanted with a human. I had never wanted them for anything other than their blood. His blazing eyes were fanning the hunger to this indescribable fire that was burning inside me. I had to get away from him, I was frightened by these strange desires I was longing for. I don't like things that I didn't understand. I had came here for answers only to become more confused.

So instead I turned to what I did know and I smiled at him again showing the tips of my fangs and licked the top of my lip.

He immediately stepped back and put himself in a defensive position.

"I told you not to trust me. Now run home before I change my mind and decide to kill you after all." I said in a voice so cold I was glad to recognize it as my own. This I understood.

He stood there staring at me in disbelief. Did he not know I was a monster, a killer and have been for hundreds of years?

"Just one last thing." He says.

"Yes?" I ask. What could he possibly want?

"Your name, what is your name?"

A few moments passed before I answered again. How could he still be standing here with me like this? I had just threatened his life; I wanted him to fear me. Yet he seemed as interested in me as I was of him.

"Elizabeth," I tell him, "My name is Elizabeth." I realize afterward my voice is barely a whisper.

A boat let out a piercing whistle from its steam horn, startled he turned to look behind him. I took the opportunity to leave.

When he turned back to face me I was already gone, but could still see him from where I hid. He looked around puzzled and then a smile played at the corners of his lips.

"Good bye Elizabeth."

Then he turned and left. I watched him until the fog swallowed him up completely and I was alone.

"Good bye Marcus."

chapter 3


When I arrived back at the coven it was just before sunrise. I had fed on the way, off of some drunken homeless man and was no longer enthralled by my aching thirst. As I approached the gate I noticed the guard on duty acknowledge me with a surprised look on his face. He was a young vampire less a half a century year old; I think his name was Lawrence. He had an out dated hair style and dressed like a nineteen fifties James Dean. I hated when the young ones didn't dress appropriate to the times. It seemed as if they were trying to hold onto a part of their old life; which was foolish. When you are vampire there is only the future ahead of you, the past is useless and nothing more than pointless memories that serve no purpose for our kind.

"Glad to see you made it back Elizabeth," he tells me.

"I needed to feed and the attack interrupted my hunt. It was unavoidable." I shrugged.

I felt slightly panicked thinking maybe he could see through my pretense; although I knew there was no signs on my face to draw such suspicions. I had years of practicing such charades for our human victims. I could be planning a mass homicide and my expression would read loving or thoughtfulness if I wanted it too, one of the perks of living nearly four hundred years. I had in fact been out breaking coven law by conversing with a Dark Hunter. He had let me go and I hadn't killed him. Punishment for my kind would surely be death no matter how much the king favored me beyond all others. Even though he was my maker before he was my king, he had thousands of our kind to uphold order to. Even if it pained him, if he ever found out what I had done he would have no choice but to punish me.

We hadn't always required a king, for many years there was no one to answer to and many did as they pleased, but as the human world grew and progressed, we couldn't have vampires running around killing recklessly. We needed someone to keep order in our world to keep from being exposed in theirs. Cyril is one of the oldest Vampires and not many went against him when he took the role as our leader. Unlike humans, as we get older we do not weaken, we get stronger, our senses sharper and he is the strongest vampire I know.

"The king will be happy to hear your back, he has Blake and a couple of other's out looking for you." he said while picking up the phone to call and announce my return.

"Great," I mumbled.

He buzzed me through the gate and muttered something along the lines of good luck. I would definitely need it. The king was going to be far from pleased from my lengthy absence, especially after an attack.

I walked up the large driveway that lead up to the main entrance of the Victorian mansion. I always thought this place suited our kind well. It was old and ancient just like the people who occupied it. The main entrance had tall pillars that reached the third story and was toppled with statues of primordial angels. You would think the angels would bring out the beauty and softness of the house, but it essentially gave the opposite affect making it look eerie and disturbing.

I hesitated outside the door with my hand wound around the handle. I knew who would be standing on the other side and was in no rush. I closed my eyes and let out a vast gush of air before opening the entry and stepping inside the house.

"Ah Elizabeth, so glad you made it home." He looked livid, but his tone was calm and unruffled; which made it more bone chilling. "To think we took you for dead," he added dryly.

"I'm sorry Cyril, I had to feed." I kept my eyes on the floor. Not many things scared me, but he was terrifying when he wanted to be. I thought of my brief encounter with Marcus and wondered if all of this confusion and now consequences were worth it.

"Well as long as you needed to feed, that makes it okay then." He snapped. He wasn't asking me, he was making it clear that I had put my own needs to feed against his wishes.

"No Cyril, I'm sorry it won't happen again." I said solemnly.

He was sitting on an old antique chair that was leaning against the far wall. His black hair was brushed back against his pale skin and his pale blue eyes were boding evil as he stared me down. He was dressed in his black tailored pants and a white cotton shirt. Even though he was thousands of years old he still looked in his mid twenties. I promptly made my way over kneeling in front of him. My head was inches away from his knees and I felt his cool hand stroke gently across the back of my head.

"Ah Elizabeth," he sighed," how I can never stay mad at you for long," he chuckled lightly. It was a cold ominous kind of laugh. I couldn't help but think of how there is nothing about us that is human or kind. Even something that should be as pleasant as a laugh was somehow menacing. I wondered why I was thinking like this. I had never thought about how inhuman we were before. Shaking the thought away I tipped my head back and looked up at Cyril wearily.

"Does that mean I'm forgiven?" I asked arching my brow.

"Yes, you are forgiven; however you will not act so rash again." He warned, "It's too dangerous Elizabeth; the Dark Hunters are getting more reckless every year. They mistake their foolishness for bravery wasting their lives and Jon was killed tonight, he was turned around the same time as you." He reminded me.

Yes I thought, that could have easily been me tonight, but it hadn't. Something strange and wonderful had happened between Marcus and I. Something that was beyond reason or understanding, I didn't know what it was, but I knew it was big and growing stronger.

He dismissed me soon after and I left to my room. As I walked I could see where I was going, but beyond the reality of my surroundings all I could see were the liquid diamond eyes smoldering forever in the back of my mind. I could never see those eyes again. I had risked more in a single night then I had ever risked in thousands. It was foolish and....

My thoughts were soon interrupted by the approaching footsteps coming from behind me. I turned around and it was Blake, one of the guards who had been sent to retrieve me and had earlier been a part of my first rescue with the Dark Hunters. Blake was about sixty years older then I and had always had a peculiar interest in me. By peculiar I mean him craving power and me being the loyal and favored subject of our king. He towered over me with his lengthy build and was staring down at me curiously with his black eyes.

"Can I help you with something Blake," I asked, my voice filled with boredom.

He gave me an overconfident smirk and stepped closer to me. He always thought of himself irresistible and I had a feeling it disturbed him I wasn't swooned by his charms.

"Well, well the Miss Elizabeth has returned." He said mockingly.

I gave an exaggerative yawn and continued walking past him. I would not put up with his antics. He sped ahead of me blocking my way once more.

"So where were you Elizabeth, you were gone nearly the entire night, it doesn't take anyone that long to feed." He asked.

There was something deliberate about his question. What was he trying to get at I wondered.

"That is no business of yours Blake, I do not answer to you, I answer to our king and he has dismissed me. So if you don't mind," I hissed, "get out of my way before I remove you from it." I threatened.

He seemed amused by this and his smile broadened as he leaned in closer to me and whispered into my ear.

"Of course my dear," his breath against my neck sent a shudder of disgust down my spine.

I glared at him and kept walking up the next story to my room. A few other vampires passed me on the way, but none dared talk to me. I wasn't known for socializing with others, so most stayed clear; which was fine by me I enjoyed my solitude.

My room was on the same level as the king and only two others, Andre and Lucas who were his main guards. Andre has been with us since about a hundred years after I was turned. His maker had abandoned him without teaching him how to survive. He was practically a savage when Cyril found him and took him under his wing. Lucas on the other hand had known Cyril before I had ever been turned and had been recruited the year he had become king. They were very loyal and probably the only people I trusted besides Cyril himself.

I walked into my room and laid down on my bed. The sun was just starting to peak its way out from over the horizon and I felt sleep droop heavily behind my eyes. I pressed the button on the wall next to my bed and the black metal drapes rose from the ground shielding my windows so I wouldn't be burned from the sun. After that I fell away into a deep dark sleep.

I woke up startled and looked at the clock on the wall. The room was pitch black, but I had perfect vision. It was a quarter after five and still day light for another couple of hours. I sat on the edge of my bed and thought about what had just happened. For the first time in my whole, long ancient existence I had dreamed. I had dreamed of Marcus, he was holding me in his arms and we were... happy? That wasn't right, that was impossible and I would never betray Cyril like that, I couldn't. This was going to be a problem and I knew there was only one thing left to do. He could end up getting me killed and I had to do something, anything to stop that. He was just a pathetic human, he meant nothing to me I told myself. I knew as soon as the darkness filled the night I would join it and I would begin my hunt for Marcus and finish what I should have done the night before. I only worried i wouldn't be strong enough to do it.

ch 4


My best odds in finding Marcus would be to go back to the last place I had seen him, the docks. From there I would be able to pick up his scent and do what was inevitable since the moment we met; I would kill him.


I knew what had to be done and all the reasons why, but the idea shoved a wave of misery through my body and deep into my bones. I could still hear his voice in my head, strong and fierce, not a hint of fear or hesitation when he had stood before me. I was capable of taking his life away in the brief second it would take for him to draw in a solitary breath, yet he had showed nothing. He had trusted me; which was his worst mistake and soon to be his last.


He said he had seen something in me for a single second that wasn't a killer. What could he have possibly seen in me that wasn't death or monstrous?


I groaned out load completely frustrated. I didn't like questioning myself or trying to interpret his motives or mine. I liked being strong, confident and caring of nothing but my own continued existence. I took the closest thing next to me and threw it hard against the wall, shattering it into pieces.

I was so angry at the thought of this mortal making me feel weak and that was all it took. In that moment I felt myself become more determined in my quest. Any second thoughts or strange emotions vanished as my path on his destruction became clear. I could kill him and I would.

It was only an hour left until sundown and I wanted to be gone before any of the others were awake. The last thing I needed was annoying questions and unwelcomed followers. I thought about Cyril and what he had told me the night before. He might be a problem, but if I was gone for only a short while he might not even be aware of my absence. In fact I counted on it, I couldn't afford to anger him a second time.

I dressed quickly all in black and brushed my long mahogany hair into a sleek twist. If it was any other night I would have made myself more tempting in order to lure in an unsuspecting prey, but tonight I needed to go unnoticed.

After all, I wasn't hunting for food; I was hunting a trained vampire killer and needed to catch him off guard so I could kill him before he had the chance to kill me.

I ran swiftly down the dim lit corridor hiding behind tall statues and dark archways. The only audible sound was of my feet stealthily making their way down the hall. When I made it down stairs I looked around the room thoroughly. After reassuring myself that here was no one else there I decided the best exit would be to go out the service entrance where there was a secret passageway that led straight out into the main road.

I pulled down on a lamp fixture that was connected to the wall until it made a clicking noise and a small section opened up. I slid in between the barrier before it started to close and stepped into the dark tunnel. It was damp and I had to side step puddles in the soggy earth. The walls were dark stone and a musky vapor filled the air.

I didn't think anyone else knew this place existed, but I noticed fresh foot prints in the recently disturbed dirt. There was no one here now, I could sense that, but someone was using these passageways for the same reason I was. To leave unnoticed. I would have to worry about that later; tonight I needed to have my full concentration focused on my hunt.


When I reached the end of the tunnel, I climbed up an old rusty ladder. At the top there was a latch and I pushed it open welcoming in the fresh night air. It was dark out now, practically pitch black, the only light came from the stars in the sky, but with the heavy clouds there light was just a dim glow.


About five miles away I could see the mansion. Lights were coming on so the house was barely coming to life. I noticed the top floor where Cyril would be still remained dark. Maybe luck was on my side after all.


When I reached the dock I picked up on his scent right away. He smelled woody and sweet like wild flowers and freshly cut wood all mixed together into one heady scent. From here I could tell he had gone east down Grand Boulevard. I knew that street, it went straight through the city and led out to a divider on the other side of town. One way led to the industrial district and the other the mountains. I thought of his scent and knew exactly which direction Marcus had gone.


In the city the night life was starting to make its presence known. People filled the streets, small groups heading to local bars and clubs as the music thrummed in all directions. I kept my eyes averted towards the floor hoping not to be recognized. This was a favorite hunting ground for most and I knew I wasn't the only one out searching for something.


Suddenly his smell stopped me in my tracks, hitting me like a wrecking ball. Marcus was so close and my fangs became sharp in my mouth.


His scent was leading me in the right direction when a group of people came rushing out of a night club laughing and stumbling into the street. I pushed my way through the crowd and down the nearest alley only to find it empty.


I continued walking straight ahead through the haze and darkness when something else caught my attention. I realized I wasn't the only vampire in this alley; panicked I hid behind a dumpster that smelled strongly of rotten garbage. With my heightened senses it was almost unbearable. I considered moving behind a large crate across from me when two figures emerged from the shadows.


They were struggling against each other in a vicious fight. One was bigger and without question much stronger, he picked up the other effortlessly and threw him against the brick wall with a crunch so loud I flinched imagining the pain. The smaller one laid in crumples on the ground barely moving as a few bricks that had been cracked from the foundation landed on top of him.


"Give up Dark Hunter." The bigger one taunted.

I stopped breathing. I couldn't see his face, but I knew. Somehow I just knew whose body was lying on the ground. I should be grateful that I was having this problem taken off of my hands. I should walk away and leave. He was as good as dead now and none of my concern.


I started to back away when Marcus let out a low moan catching my attention as he struggled to sit up. He was such a fighter, even when the bigger one who was without a doubt a vamp laughed at his feeble attempt to stand, he continued to try and stagger to his feet. Not even giving him a chance the vamp I couldn't recognize kicked him in his stomach, sending Marcus rolling to the ground in what I imagined excruciating pain. I saw a stake roll out of Marcus's jacket and the vamp nudged it out of his reach as he bent over Marcus's body.


I knew then what would happen next, he was going to feed off of Marcus. Unimaginable rage rippled through me as I saw his fangs submerge out of his mouth and inch closer and closer to Marcus's throat.


I didn't have time to think about what I was doing before I realized I was rushing in and sending marcus's attacker flying across the alleyway.


I leaned over Marcus's unconscious body and listened to his low uneven breathing. I couldn't believe what I was doing, I came here to kill him and I was saving him.... again!


I had never fought against another vampire, but I knew it could only end one way. He wouldn't just let me walk away and I knew this fight was to the death.


My new enemy stood up and I recognized him right away when he walked into a patch of light. He was one of Blake's. A fairly young vampire names Raphael only a couple of hundred years old, the glint in his eye's told me he was livid and maybe a little confused.

"Elizabeth!" he hissed through his teeth, "I never did like you." A shadow fell over his already daunting features making him look completely sinister.

"I can't say I wont enjoy this." he said as a smile played at his lip, a smile I knew so well. I had given that same smile so many times dark and full of amusement.


I didn't say anything only stared him down and gave him a devilish grin as I arched my eyebrows as if to say 'what are you waiting for?'


He rushed towards me, but I was around him in seconds throwing a hard blow to the back of his head. It didn't even seem to faze him as he spun around and knocked me on my back. He was strong for a young vampire and I knew this fight would be a close victory to whoever won.


He charged towards me and I thought anxiously of what to do. Then I remembered the stake. I crawled towards Marcus's body on my hands and knees searching for it amongst the rubble.
Just when I felt it in my hand Raphael grabbed my leg pulling me towards him. At the same time I twisted my body so i was facing him while simultaneously plunging the stake straight into his chest.

"I never like you either." I said firmly shoving the stake in deeper.


His blood dripped off the stake and down my arm, our gazes locked. Our faces were inches apart as I watched him turn from flesh to dust in seconds.


I laid there breathless and unbelieving of what I had just done. I felt frightened; I have never felt so frightened. It wasn't for fear of my life, just of what was happening to me. I closed my eyes when I felt someone looming over me.


"Elizabeth." His voice was shaky.


When I opened my eyes Marcus was staring down at me completely bemused.


"I...." I couldn't find my voice. I was a person who was never in loss of anything and was now finding myself completely in loss for words.


"What... What are you doing here?" he asked.

I couldn't answer him, I only stared. I was to relieved he wasn't dead and I didn't know what to do with that. I had never been grateful anyone was alive except for maybe myself.


He let out a soft chuckle that came from deep in his throat, "You know Elizabeth, you were the last person I thought I would see." He grinned at me and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever saw. It lit up his face in ways I never thought possible. Every feature seemed to glow and heighten in contrast to his smile.


Then he did something I never would have expected. He took his hand and brushed it lightly and hesitantly across my cheek. The warm feeling of his hand across my skin was the most pleasant thing I have ever felt. I wanted to pull him down on top of me and feel his warmth all over my body.


He had asked me a question. What was I to say? I came here to kill you and saw someone else was about to do the job and had a change of heart.


I pushed his hand aside scowling at him.


"Don't touch me!" I said with every bit of false hardness in my voice.

I felt something inside me sink as any softness his features had held for me disappeared, replaced with the similar look I was giving him.


"Well, what are you doing here?" he asked again.

Well you're welcome I thought angrily.


"Saving your life, for the second time I might add." I stood up dusting myself off, "You really should be more careful, I can't fallow you around all the time making sure you don't get yourself killed!" I practically hissed at him.

This seemed to make him grow angrier.


"I never asked you too. In fact I don't even know what you're
doing here." He reminded me.

His jaw was rigid with tension and his eyes seemed to turn from liquid to stone right in front of me.


"I was in the neighborhood." I said my voice filled with boredom.


I needed to get far away from here I thought. If I stayed a second longer it would be impossible for me to leave so I turned abruptly and started walking away.

"Not that fast Elizabeth I'm not finished!"


"Well I'm finished here. So I'm leaving." I told him absently.


Before I could react he grabbed my wrist and slammed me roughly against the wall. I could have easily thrown him off, but I couldn't force myself to budge. The proximity of his body and mine was something I couldn't ignore, because I yearned for it desperately. It was similar to the way I craved for blood. It wasn't so much as a want; it was more like a strong need or hunger.


"Now why were you here Elizabeth? Tell me now." His voice was coming out rough and his breathing heightened sending his breath whispering across my face. I was struggling to remain cold and distant with every second and finding it close to impossible.


What had he done to me? I hated the way he looked at me with fury in his eyes. I saved his life and couldn't even tell him why, because it was pointless. Even if he had let me live last night, he was a Dark Hunter and any thoughts he had for me were probably nothing more than disgust. When I looked at him I saw bravery and beauty. To him I was nothing more than the devil in the flesh and I hated myself for it.


I knew then I never really would have been able to kill him, I just had needed to see him and told myself what I needed to believe in order to get me here.

I looked up at him and knew I could never let him know any of that. I needed to protect myself. So I did what I had to do to. I turned to him, my face completely compassionless and rid of any kind of emotion and said true or not exactly what had brought me here.

"I came here to kill you."

Chapter 5


Marcus glared at me as I hissed the words in his face. He looked unbelieving and then slightly amused.

"Really Elizabeth, you came here to kill me?" he asked skeptically.

A few silent moments passed, the alley way was completely deserted. The only sound was the rise and fall of our breathing and the distant sounds of party goers roaming the streets out on the main road.

I didn't like how quickly he asumed i wouldn't kill him. Was i that obvious?

I could kill him now if I wanted to, no one would no and he wouldn't see it coming, but of course I couldn't. I felt like if I were to kill him I would be killing a piece of myself.

"Yes." I growled my voice venomous and full of as much hate I could fill it with.

His eye hardened before turning soft, almost thoughtful. I could feel him studying everything about me and wondered what he saw.

My long mahogany hair had sense loosened from its twist and now hung around my face and past my shoulders in a messy disarray from the fight. I could only imagine how scuffed I was from rolling around on the dirty alley floor and felt a little self conscious.

I stared back at him in what seemed to be a staring contest greedily inhaling his scent and the smell of his sweet breath as it poured over me like fire on a cold day.

He still had his arms on either side of me. I could have easily maneuvered myself away, but I didn't want to. I wanted to be as close to him for any amount of length he would allow it.

My chest was rising and falling against his and he seemed to notice when he abruptly stepped away looking confused.

"Your heart." he said

"Yes..?" I asked not knowing what he meant or why he should point out such an irrelevant observation.

He continued to stare at me wide eyed.

Than I knew, I knew what he meant and a pang of grief and anger shot through me.

They assume us to be dead creatures who are so sinister and cruel that our hearts can't possibly beat. Just a myth of course. Like anything else that lives, walks and breaths, needs a heart to pump the blood that runs through it's veins and we are no different.

As ironic as it is, I'm still alive, just simply immortal.

Immortal, the word echoed in my mind taunting me. I had always looked at it as a gift, a gift of eternal life, but now I wonder if it is more of a twisted curse.

"Yes, Marcus my heart beats." I said coldly.

"Oh, I always assumed-"

"You always assumed what?" I snapped.

My eyes squinted into menacing slits and my fangs begged to be let loose as I fought like hell to contain them.

"I know what you thought and you were right to think so. Imagine something as disgusting and dammed like me having a heart that beats in my chest. Well don't let it fool you. I might have a heart Marcus, but it serves no greater purpose than keeping me standing here before you. I am cold and heartless when it comes to taking lives and don't you forget that. Ever."

My body stung as a look that could only be realization filled his face.

It hurt in ways I never thought possible, but I felt something else as well, relief.

Relief that he was finally understanding I was no different than any other vampire. That I had killed hundreds of people and couldn't be trusted because I didn't even understand my own needs for not wanting to kill him. That he was one person and just because I spared his life, it didn't mean it would stop me from killing another's. I had to feed, I had to survive and that meant more blood.

"Elizabeth.." his look was compassion and maybe pity as he stared at me.

The moonlight shone down on his face and once again I was reminded of his beauty.

"Don't." I said sternly. There was nothing else to say. I knew what I was.

"I don't believe any of that." he told me.

I opened my mouth to protest, but in one long stride he was in my face and pressing me back against the wall. I wondered if he really thought he was over powering me or if he knew I was letting him.

"You can say it over and over all you want Elizabeth, but why'd you let me live that night? Why'd you come here to kill me, but ended up saving my life instead?" he demanded.

His eyes were filled with determination, but my will for him to understand me was so much stronger. If I wasn't going to kill him then I was going to protect him and that meant even from me.

"I don't know Marcus, but I can assure you it was a lack of judgment. You were hardly worth it with all the trouble your turning out to be and not to mention highly frustrating and annoying." I said shaking his hands off.

Yes, I would be cold , I wouldn't show him anything.

"I don't believe you." he challenged reclaiming his hold on my arms until my back was arched inward and my body was pressed against his.

"Let me go." I said through my teeth.

"No." he said firmly, his grip tightening.

His hair was stuck to the sides of his face and his eyes were bearing down on me intensely. When my eyes caught sight of his lips I knew I had to snap out of it.

I spun him around until he was the one pined against the wall and I was in control.

He looked at me shocked and a little bit angry.

"Is this what you wanted, to push me and see if I could really do it." I asked, giving him my most dark and wicked smile.

He didn't say anything only stared at me. His face was completely composed, but his eyes faltered for the briefest second and in that second I saw fear and uncertainty.

"Yes," I laughed, "You have every right to fear me."

If he wouldn't believe my words, then I would show him.

I smiled broadly revealing the sharp tips of my fangs then lightly brushing them against the square of his jaw.

A shudder ran through his body making me tremble automatically in responce.

"Elizabeth, look at me." he pleaded.

"I don't really see the point, I can look at you all I want when your dead."

"You aren't going to kill me." he said with out hesitation.

My eyes darted directly to his.

"Oh really and why is that?" I asked. My face betraying nothing.

"Because.." his voice was full of conviction and for a fraction of a second I thought he was going to say something that made me ears burn with want.

I realized then I wanted him to tell me he didn't fear me, that I didn't sicken him.

"Because why?" I pressed.

I knew my expression was anxious as I locked eyes with his.

"Because-"

"Shh," I hissed, "Marcus be quiet." I said, raising my hand to his mouth while listening to a distant sound. Someone was approaching maybe three blocks away.

"Someone's coming, about three men." I told him.

"When I didn't check in they must have came looking for me."

With out hesitation I started to leave. I didn't want to be here when they arrived, I didn't think Marcus would appreciate me killing his friends.

"Wait!" he whispered urgently, "when will I see you again?"

I shook my head and smiled before disappearing into the night.

**********


It was still a few hours before sun down when I reached the mansion and I was fairly certain no one would have noticed I was gone.

I had killed one of Blake's protégés tonight and soon questions would be surfacing about his whereabouts. I knew no one would suspect me, but it still seemed like another problem. Something I wouldn't spend a lot of time dwelling on though. He would be forgotten as quickly as he had been killed.

I could only think of one other thing, Marcus wanted to see me again. He certainly was a bigger fool then I thought. He didn't hear a warning when he was being given one and maybe I should feel thankful for that.

I pinned my hair back up into a tight twist and took a long look at the towering mansion ahead of me. My home, where I was free to be myself and completely safe. I should be happy to be back here, but every step I took that was farther away from Marcus, I never felt so far away from where I wanted to be.

Chapter 6


I quietly slid through the open space in between the wall before it sealed itself back up and the dark tunnel disappearing behind it.

It was dark in the service area, but I could hear voices coming from Cyril's study on the left side of the long corridor. Their voices echoed off the walls and I crept closer to listen.

"She's out of control Cyril!"

It was Blake, he would say that. He was constantly trying to persuade Cyril that I was a liability and a reckless threat to him and the clan. With recent actions I couldn't deny it. I was a huge risk, but to Cyril I was completely loyal and nothing could change that.

"She is none of your concern Blake," Cyril's voice was like fire urging Blake to defy him so he could unleash his wrath, "I've told you before to leave it alone and leave her for me to deal with."

"Just because you have some high disregards for the stupid girl doesn't mean-"

"Enough!" Cyril's voice hit the walls with such force it nearly caused me to stumble back.

Next there was a load crash coming from behind the door and Blake came stumbling out while fixing his shirt that was now half tucked and running a hand over his hair in attempt to smooth it back in to place.

I couldn't help but feel pleased and a certain amount of gratitude for Cyril. This wasn't the first time him or somebody like him had been jealous of the hold and presence I held in Cyril's life. He was after all my maker and in much sense, something stronger. There was a bond that could never be broken.

I was hiding behind a large grandfather clock propped in the corner across the entrance of the study door and was trying to stifle a laugh.

"Whose there?" Blake growled.

I stepped out clutching my stomach from the uncontrollable laughter that I couldn't seem to sustain.

"Have a nice chat Blake?" I asked cryptically.

His growl rumbled deep inside his chest as he crouched over in a defensive position.

"Awe come on, haven't you had enough for one night?" I crooned derisively as i imagined cyril throwing him across the room.

He took a step towards me clearly hoping to attack when Cyril's dominate voice rang through my ears stopping us both in our tracks.

"Elizabeth! I'd like to talk to you in here if you don't mind?" he wasn't asking me though, he was just being polite. Cyril didn't ask for anything, he didn't have to . You did what he said with no questions asked.

It was Blake's turn to smirk as I walked past him nudging him hard with my elbow and sending him stumbling forward and into the wall.

He came after me just as I was slamming the door shut it his face.
I was still laughing slightly. I had never felt or laughed like this before. Felt so free like a meteor had been let loose inside me and burst out through the center of my body leaving an open wound. A wound I never wanted to close the moment it had been ripped open because it made me feel alive and something else I couldn't recognize, but I hoped nobody else could either especially Cyril.

"What's wrong with you Elie?"

"Hu?"

He took a step towards me and stared at me intensely trying to prod out whatever he was searching for.

"What is it you want Cyril?" I asked.

"Just keep an eye on Blake, I don't trust him." he warned.

"Will do," I said and turned to leave.

"Are you sure there's nothing you want to tell me Elisabeth."

My body froze like he could somehow know what I had been up to.

"No Cyril, there's nothing."

Without another word I left the room and shut the door softly behind me. This was dangerous, if now more than ever I needed to be completely myself. If any one were to notice something different about me it would be him. Cyril knew me better than anyone. Perhaps the only one that truly knew me at all.


********


Cyril had brought me over to this life when I was just a helpless girl lost and alone; a common run away. It was 1627 and I had just had my seventeenth birthday. We were a poor family and my father worked on a plantation in what people now call the south. I don't remember much about my father except he was a mean man and my mother was a quiet women who didn't do much besides care to his needs and tend to her children. I also had three sisters and one baby brother growing up.

I remembered always being envious of my older sister Lorena, she had hair the color of rich chocolate that flowed against her creamy skin dancing in her beauty. Every man wanted to marry her and she had her pick of countless suitors.

My younger sister's Sarah and Josephina who were twins, were freckled faced little girls with long brown hair that hung in braids along either sides of their faces. My mother would dress them up in matching outfits and they always reminded me of life size dolls.

My baby brother was just an infant when I had left home. Out of all my siblings he was the only one I checked on throughout his life. Watched him grow, marry and eventually die, such a sad cycle humans have. Though I dare say more pleasant then the one I live in, a cycle of countless murders and endless nights.

My father had promised me to a man, twenty years my senior and I begged to be let out of such an arrangement, he was old and a stranger and more importantly I did not love him.

Back then we didn't have much of a choice in matter, we listened to our father's and did what was asked.

Like many young girls I had planed to merry for love, not convenience.

I knew I could never go through it. So one night when it was still dark and my family lay sleeping in their beds, I kissed my baby brother good bye and ran away taking only clothing and the single piece of jewelry that I owned, a necklace my mother had given me that had once been hers. It was a long silver chain with a shiny oval shaped jewel. It was fake, costume jewelry, but to me the most precious of treasures and greater than any diamonds or sapphires.

When I think of it now I can still feel the mist from that cold early morning running across my face as I ran through the field and into the forest beyond our house. I can feel the underbrush slapping across my legs sending sharp waves of pain as I ran relentlessly and aimlessly. I remember thinking I should be afraid. I had no money, no connections in the world, but instead I felt free. I had roamed these forests my whole life and it was a sanctuary, my sanctuary.

A few weeks later I found myself in a town far away from my old home. I had gotten a job as a laundress and spent my nights washing clothes.

One night on my way to the room I was renting above an old shop, I heard a scuffle coming from the alley a few blocks away from where I was staying. I thought maybe someone was hurt and the curiosity sent me wandering in the direction of the noise.

The haze rolled off the dark alley floor in a thick vapor and I saw a man leaning over a women, his face buried in her neck.

Embarrassed I quickly turned away to leave when suddenly the man was standing in front of me. I looked behind me wondering how he had gotten there so fast and saw the women's limp body laying on the ground.

I went to scream, but the man swiftly covered my mouth with his palm.

"Shh child, I mean you know harm." he whispered into my ear. It was strange, it should have been scary and daunting, but it seemed so intimate the way his breath whispered against my skin making me shutter. His voice was velvet to my ears and he was beautiful like an angel.

His pallid skin and jet black eyes were the most dominant features against his dark hair.

"Now, can I trust you not to scream?" he asked softly.

I nodded my head.

I realized he was probably going to kill me and I was suddenly trembling with fear.

"What's your name child?"

"E.. El..lizabeth." I managed to say through chattering teeth.

"Such a beautiful name," he mused and stroked his hand through my hair.

His face became serious and more beautiful if that was possible. "Now Elizabeth, can I ask you what your doing roaming the streets at this hour? It's dangerous, you never know what can be lurking in the shadows" His smile was sinister.

"I'm just getting off of work, I work as a laundress." I told him.

"You're so young," his voice was disproving, "where is your family?"

"I don't have a family."

"Awe I see," he sighed, "a lost soul, just like me," he laughed quietly to himself, something I wasn't sure I was supposed to notice.

"Please sir, can I go?" I looked at him pleadingly.

"Let me ask you something Elizabeth, are you happy?"

"What do you mean?" I asked my brow furrowed. If he was going to kill me why did he care if I was happy?

"What if I told you I had a gift to offer, a gift of life, power, anything you wanted?"

"I..I don't know sir, I don't know what you want me to say?"

"I want you to make a choice Elizabeth. If you like this life you live of washing clothes and dressing in rags, than I will leave you to it, but if you want something more.... Something beyond anything you ever thought possible than you can come with me, I have been alone for too long little Elizabeth and I could use a companion, a friend."

"So I can go if I wanted to?" I asked.

"Yes, you can go."

I backed away slowly before sprinting into a run hoping it wasn't a game and that at any moment he wasn't about to pounce on me, but he didn't. when I turned around to face him he was already gone.

Months went by and things had only seemed to get harder. I slaved away at the laundry house. Never having time for anything else. The thought of finding love grew more distant and impossible. I often thought about the man I never knew the name of and what he had offered me. I wondered if I had said yes how different my life might be now. Sometimes I thought it was all my imagination, but when I remember the fear I felt I knew it was true.

One night when I was walking home the streets seemed unusually quiet and I knew, I could feel him around me. I don't know how, it was just an instinct a sixth sense and I stopped walking and looked all around and in the dark shadows.

"I know you're there." I called out.

Wind spun across my face and I was abruptly spun around.

"Hello Elie."

I laughed at the name he had called me.

"What?" he asked amused at my laughter.

"Nothing, it's just my mother used to call me Eli."

"Why are you here?" I asked him.

"Well I was wondering, if you had given any more thought about joining me."

I had thought about it, a lot. I part of me knew he would come back, but I was still surprised.

"What would it mean exactly ...to join you?" I asked hesitantly.

"I can't tell you any more than I already have, if you made the weaker decision, I would have to kill you. What I am survives on the basis alone that our world is kept as secret as possible."

"Will it hurt?" I asked.

"Only for a moment,"

I could feel my heart pounding in my chest like it would break through my bones every prolonged moment he awaited his answer. I had to say yes, who wouldn't say yes? He was offering me a life of never worrying. I would have time to find my one true love and he wanted to be my friend. I can't remember the last time I had had a friend since I left home and I was lonely too.

I looked up him and nodded yes.

He lend towards me and I felt his cold breath on the base of my neck.

"Wait." I said so soft it was barely a whisper.

"What is it?" he asked and I could tell he was annoyed.

"What should I call you?"

"You may call me Cyril."

Then I felt a sharp pain as he bit into my neck.


*********************


I haven't thought of that night for centuries. I haven't thought about love for even longer. I was so far from that scared lonely girl wondering the streets at night on her way home from slaving over boiling water as a laundress.


I wonder now I f I had the chance if I would do it again knowing what Cyril had really been offering. A life of darkness and never ending shadows. For the past three hundreds years I have been falling through a deep dark pit and into a blazing fire only the fire was black and there was no light.


Things are different though now. Now I have Marcus shining a light into my dark world and I see no shadow, only light and something else. Love.


chapter 7

An entire week has passed sense I have last seen Marcus. I've considered going out looking for him, but have managed to talk myself out of it every time.

Either too big a risk or Cyril was staring at me in what I was sure to be suspicion.

There was also vile Blake constantly watching me with his every eye ready to catch me with my guard down. He would love all too much to find out this terrible yet wonderful secret I kept, it would both destroy me and empower him at the same time.

Tonight wasn't as dark as most as I sat in the window seat on the second story of the mansion twirling my mother's necklace around my fingers while staring unseeingly into nothingness. For the last few days I have done nothing but sit and stare. Not even going out to hunt. The thirst was still there, a constant ache, but the crave and the hunger were gone.

"Elizabeth."

I tilted my head slightly to make out Cyril standing in the door way with Lucas and Andre in toe.

I glanced at him before returning my gaze out the window.
Before I had a chance to tell him to leave me, that I didn't want to be bothered, he was sitting across from me with his hands resting in his lap.

I looked at the entrance and the door was softly closing with Lucas nor Andre nowhere in sight.

"What plagues you Elizabeth?" he asked.

His tone was neither concerned or worried, just bothered by my distance and strong desired solitude.

I knew Cyril cared for me as much as any damned heart could allow, but our thoughts and instincts always evolve around ourselves, we are ultimately selfish creatures. I knew he wasn't really asking me what was wrong, he was really concerned with why I was ignoring him.

"Nothing plagues me Cyril," I sighed, "What worries could I possibly have?" my thoughts unthinkingly went back to the night he had changed me and I began to feel a certain level of bitterness towards him, " after all I have everything you ever offered, a gift of life, power, everything I never could have imagined," I gestured towards my long black silk dress, "Look, I'm not even in rags!"

I felt like an angry teenager lashing out at her father and that was a picture Cyril and I were far from.

When I met his hard eyes I regretted my outburst. I forget that he is also my king and I need to learn to hold my tongue.

I expected him to yell maybe even hit me, but he gave me silence. In a way it was better, I needed to calm down.

"Why did you choose me Cyril?" I finally asked, but still not willing to look at him. I had always wondered why only me and no other's. I had never asked him this and could feel I had caught him off guard.

"You know Elie, we all go through this at one time or another, though I thought you were much stronger than some." he sounded a little shocked.

"Go through what?" I asked.

"A time where you feel unworthy, even repulsed by what you are, restless."

When I looked at him his face was still hard, but there was a slight gentle gleam in his black eyes that were turning mildly back into their icy pale blue they usually were when he was being more thoughtful.

"That's not an answer."

He grabbed my shoulders and drew me towards him so I had my full attention focused on him

"When I saw you that night, I had to have you. So much of you reminded me of myself. Alone, lost, cast out into the world abandoned."

"I wasn't abandoned Cyril, I chose to leave my family behind."

"You were lonely were you not?" he asked.

"yes."

"So was I and have never since."

He let go of me and looked away.

"What if that's not enough?" I asked in a small whisper.

I could feel the anger rolling off of him in waves, the Cyril I knew so well.

"Stop this Elizabeth. I won't put up with your moping around, it's pathetic and makes me look week. You will desist of this you understand!"

With that being his final word he stormed out slamming the door with such force the frame splintered and the ground shook.

Could that be all that this was, a vampire mid life crisis? That was the most foolish thing I have ever heard. Cyril had turned me because he was lonely and needed someone to walk the world besides him a constant companion, a friend of sorts. That is nothing of what I wanted from Marcus, I didn't truly know what lonliness was until i met him.

I needed to get out of here and feel the wind on my face and the smell of the earth. To think with no interruptions.

I was just about to reach the front door when Cyril's stony voice stopped me in my tracks.

He gestured to Lucas one of his guards, "Go with her." he said.

"If you fallow me out this door Lucas I will rip your throat out," I warned.

He glanced at Cyril who nodded his head an obvious queue for me to go unescorted.

I walked outside, past the guards post and into the woods.

As I walked the familiarity of the trees and the fresh air falling against my skin and into my lungs was refreshing and I began to relax.

I lend against a fallen tree and studied the rings in the center of the stump. Each representing a year the tree had lived.

It was far older than me, but not nearly half as old as Cyril.

I let out a heavy sigh. Someone was coming.

"Lucas if that's you, I said I wanted to be alone so leave now before I make you regret it.

"Elizabeth."

My heart nearly froze. Yes he was a bigger fool than I ever imagined.

"Marcus, what are you doing here?"

chapter 8


"I came to see you," he said taking a step closer to me.

"Why?" I asked arching an eyebrow and staring at him suspiciously.

"I wanted to see you." he had changed the words just slightly. He
wanted, he needed, it was the same way I felt.

"Whatever you think your feeling Marcus it isn't real so leave now, I might not be the most dangerous thing out here and I cant protect you from them, not here."

As soon as the words left my mouth I realized how true they were and immediately began to scan the forest for any other dark lurking presence. We were alone for now, but for how long? I couldn't risk it.


"I don't care." he said stubbornly.

"You are such a fool." It sounded like an observation.

I kept my eyes focused on other things. A bird flying over head, a large rock, fallen tree branches.One look into his eyes or one glance at his mouth and it was over. I didn't trust myself. I had no intentions on taking his life, but the evil creature that still lives inside me hadn't fed for the past week and I didn't trust it.


"Would you stop it Elizabeth. Tell me you can deny this!" his eyes were warm and desperate.

I scowled at him. He had no idea how difficult this was and he was only making it harder.

"Marcus, I'm telling you this for the last time, leave." I could tell my words hurt him and It hurt me.

"No," he said firmly, "I'm not leaving until you talk to me."

I stared at him until he spoke again.

"Do you think this is easy for me? My whole life I was trained to kill you. I told myself to turn back every step I got closer, but I couldn't."


I wanted to tell him it was the same for me, but how could I? He was so close now our bodies were practically touching and I hadn't even noticed when he had moved.

"Elizabeth..." he breathed my name the way the wind blows through the air. Soft, light and delicate.

No one had ever said my name like that before. I was so used to the crisp edge and impersonal way a vampire would say it. I never knew it could be said any other way and that when it was my knees would become weak and my feet would barely be able to hold my weight.

And he was oh so beautiful, like I had never seen beauty before I laid my eyes on him.

He was an angel sent from heaven to destroy me and I would go willingly, crumbling to the ground without putting up a fight.

"Elizabeth say something."

"I can't."

He took another step towards me and pulled me against his body. I thought maybe he might have kissed me, but he simply wrapped his arms around my waste and held me, hugging me against him.

I closed my eyes and relished in the way my body shaped perfectly against his like I had always been meant to be held in his arms.

I felt his lips press gently against my head in small gentle sweeps across me eyes, down my cheek and against my jaw.

He stopped there and looked into my eyes, my green eyes that were the color of jade, too green and sharp that I thought they might frighten him off when he saw the inhumanness of them.

"You're so beautiful." he murmured.

My breathing was haggard as I let out a shaky breath.


He hesitated for the slightest second before he lend his head down closer to my own and I felt the delicate touch of his lips.


It was pure fire as his lips moved hungrily against mine. He kissed me like the world could end at any second and I guess it wasn't far from the truth because in our world it could.

I never wanted this to stop, but it became too much for me.

The way he tasted in my mouth sent his scent into over drive and all I could think of was his blood.

I should never have gone so long with out feeding.

I pleaded with myself to stop. I would die now a hundred times to
be able to stop.


His lips moved from my mouth back to my jaw and down my neck. I thought maybe the urge would go away, but it only got worse. He brought his mouth back to mine, but it wasn't me anymore. It had taken over completely and my mouth moved from his lips to his neck and he let out a low moan coming from deep inside his throat. His pulse was beating fast between the thin layer of skin that protected himself from me and nothing could make me stop, not even the desperate pleas I shouted from with in, an unstoppable force.


So I bit down, tasting his blood. Rich, warm and thick.

It didn't last for more than a second before I pushed him away watching his body slam against the ground.

"Can't you see?" I whispered.

I never hated myself so much in my whole life.

"I cant protect you Marcus. I cant even protect you from myself."

My face felt wet as water dripped and slid down the sides of my cheeks.

When had it started to rain?

"go." I said deperately.


His hand pressed against the small puncture wounds on his neck.


He stared at me in what could only be pity. He didn't look angry at all and that upset me more. I also noticed he hadn't brought a weapon to protect himself.

"Elizabeth, I..."

"Please, just go." I whispered. I couldn't stand to have him here watching me.

I turned away after that. I couldn't see him leave, but I knew he was gone. I had felt his presence slowly move away from me. He hadn't even ran, just got up and walked away.

The water continued to flow more heavily down my face.


I touched my eyes with my hands and realized it wasn't raining, it wasn't raining at all. I was crying

chapter 9


Weeks have gone by and I have not gone out to find Marcus. I filled my nights with my normal routine that catered to me long before I ever knew him.

Yet nothing was the same.

The hunt was shameful and unrewarding. The power I once felt when I took a life was gone. Now the only thing that went through my mind was what if this had been Marcus. When I would feel their body go cold and their heart beat their last soft fading beat it was unbearable.

I not only thought of the victim, but I thought about whether there was some one out there who would be missing them when they were gone... someone like me when it came to him. It was unusual these feelings and I hated it. It's not right for a vampire to have morals, we can't afford them.

"Elizabeth I'm going hunting and your coming with me," it was Alyssa.

I haven't seen her since the night we were attacked on the dock by the Dark Hunters. I felt a shallow stab in my insides. Must everything remind me of him? I considered killing Alyssa right then and there so I would have one less memory to worry about.

"No, go on with out me." I told her.

"No, your going," she told me defiantly, "and were doing this with
style, not lurking around the docks like common animals."

"I like the docks." I said sternly.

"Well last time, it almost got us killed, so were doing this my way this time."

The urge to kill this dim witted girl grew stronger with every word that left her insolent mouth.

In truth I didn't really want to hunt at the docks anymore. Every time I smelt the salt water and felt the sticky sea air on my skin I was reminded of the night that I met Marcus.

"Fine, I'll go." I told her reluctantly.

"Good," she squealed, "now go change because were heading to the club tonight. I want something young and fresh," she said excitedly.

I left to my room and as I walked in I was startled to see Cyril sitting on my bed.

"Your going out hunting with Alyssa tonight?" he asked quietly.

I stared at him for a few seconds. We hadn't talked much since he had last had his words with me.

"Yes, I'm going, is there a problem?" I asked arching my brow questionably.

He swiftly moved until he was standing besides me. His eyes were light tonight and he seemed more coloful like he had just fed.

He touched the side of my cheek with his hand and gently kissed the side of my face.

"I'm glad you seem to be feeling better Elie." Was all he said before he left the room.

It wasn't so unusual this behavior. We had never gone so long without talking and we were bonded. He missed me and a part of me missed him too, but he couldn't understand what I was feeling. He would kill me if he knew what I was feeling. Our bond as strong as it was would never survive such a betrayal on my part.

I got dressed in a simple classic black dress that was both chic and sexy. We were going to hunt in the club, a busy place where there would be plenty of young and all to willing humans. I would go along with Alyssa, but in truth I didn't need to feed. I just wanted to shut her up and try to get Marcus out of my head.

I let my hair fall down my back and clasped my mother's necklace around my neck. Taking a jeweled hair clip from my dresser counter I pulled a few strands of hair out of my face and pinned it back in a
small twist.

We drove in one of Cyril's cars and made our way into the heart of the city. The music was blasting from an old warehouse and a line circulated around the side of the building with people waiting to get in.

This club was owned by vampires so the bouncer a very tall vamp with a muscular build and shaved head who let us pass through. As soon as we entered the club the atmosphere transformed from the outside. Their was velvet lined furniture and blocked off vip sections where you had to have a special pass or in our case fangs would be enough to get us behind those ropes if we wanted to. Though when you hunt you choose more down played victims. You don't take someone who is going to be missed.

The lights strobe across the crowd of gleaming patrons glistening with sweat from the heavy dancing as their bodies swayed to the music. This was all to easy a place for hunting in five minutes I spotted at least five potential victims.

I looked to my left where Alyssa had been standing and she was already gone. I spotted her through the crowd cornering a young guy maybe twenty-two. He would be all to willing to subside to Alyssa's charms.

I made my way into the crowded dance floor when someone grabbed me from behind and wrapped their arms around my waste.
My breathing stopped altogether. The scent of sandalwood hit me hard and I gasped.

"Marcus?"

I breathed out a long sigh of relief. I had missed him and maybe not even realized how much until this moment.

I turned around and was automatically caught in the icy diamond gaze of his eyes. He didn't look as happy to see me as I was of him.

"What are you ding here Elizabeth." He asked sternly.

"What do you mean, I'm sure you know vampires own this bar."

'That's not what I mean and you know it." he said gesturing around with his eyes to the crowded room.

I see it now, the all to sickening truth had finally caught up to him. He thought I was here to feed. When this realization first hit me my face must have looked hurt because Marcus's face seemed to soften. Well I didn't need his pity.

I ripped his hand off of my wrist and pushed my way off the crowded dance floor. I could see him fallowing me and trying to spot me out through the heavily packed crowd.

I saw an exit sign above a door that said roof do not enter.

I pushed it open breaking the lock with just the applied force of my hands and ran up the stairs and out the second door until the cold night air hit me hard and exuberantly.

I walked over to the ledge and peered out onto the world below. I must be only ten stories up but you could see everything from here.

The tiny lights spread like ants throughout the city until it reached the harbor where there were only distant lights coming off the few scattered boats and then the one blazing light coming from the light house.

The light house that guided the boats home through the dark, like my Marcus. In all my darkness he was the only thing that shone, the one thing that I couldn't have.

Never in all my years have I felt so much like that little run away girl that had escaped a marriage to set out and find love only to loose herself altogether and become what I am now. I traded it all for this life, yet I would willingly give it all up for Marcus to look at me any other way then he just had.

I was still standing in the edge of the building and the wind was blowing rapidly sending my hair spiraling in a whirlwind of mahogany locks. The jeweled pin fell from my hair and down to the ground several stories below.

How simple I thought, falling softly through the sky and then just....gone. If only it were that simple to end my misery. It takes more than that to kill a vampire. I would walk away from the fall with minor injuries that would heal themselves in minutes.

I heard the door creek open and Marcus's head poke through and glance around the dark roof top until he spotted me.

"Elizabeth!" he sounded almost frantic.

"what do you want?" I asked rudely.

"Get down from there, don't jump!"

Was he serious? It made me want to laugh out load. Did he know nothing of vampires?

"No Marcus, I don't want to live anymore," I gasped dramatically. It wasn't far from the truth, but I was afar from suicidal this was just entertaining.

"Listen Elizabeth, I'm sorry about what I said, it's just you never came to find me, I thought you would have." his face truly seemed hurt and my heart rate immediately began to pick up speed. Maybe he cared for me still and it wasn't too late, "then I find you here, a local hunting ground and I just.... It's hard Elie but I'm trying. This goes against everything I believe in."

"What did you call me?" I asked.

"Elizabeth..."

"No, after that." I said.

"You mean Elie?"

That did it for me. I jumped down from the ledge of the building and ran gently into his arms pressing my lips softly against his.

"You know Marcus, vampires can't die from jumping off buildings." I said against his lips and chuckling lightly.

"I know, but its still hard to see you standing so close to the edge, I know your indestructible, but.."

I cut him off with my hungry kisses. He cared for me, truly cared.

This was so wrong for both of us. We were not only an unlikely match, but an impossible one.

This was so different then the last kiss we had shared. The desire I felt for him was so much stronger then the thirst I had for his blood. I just wanted him and couldn't seem to get enough.

His hands roamed and explored my body as he trailed kisses that ignited me skin on fire. Along my jaw line and across the rim of my collar bone. When he brought his lips back up to mine he gazed at me and his eyes that were no longer icy but warm and liquid as they looked at me full of lust and something else I wasn't sure of.

"I know this is wrong Elizabeth, but ...-"

Just as he was nearly done finished speaking the door burst open.

"Marcus?"

Standing ten feet away was his brother Eric.

chapter 10


The rooftop was dark as the clouds drifted across the moonlight temporarily shielding us from any visible view from the Dark Hunter who would surely kill me if given the opportunity. He couldn't see us for now, but we could see him.

"Marcus?" Eric repeated.

I could feel Marcus's grip tighten around my waste as we stared at his brother who stood looking unseeingly beneath the archway of the door.

"Marcus you out here?" he asked again, I could hear the anxiousness mounting in his voice. His eyes were set as was the square of his jaw in a rigid pose showing he was prepared for whatever he might find out here.

Though I was sure the situation that was presented before him was far from anything he could have ever imagined.

I looked around for any type of escape, but the rooftop was completely bare without so much of an electrical box for me to hide behind. I could make a jump for it, but the line that circled the club was still heavily packed with anxious people hoping to get into the nearly exclusive club.

There was the back alley, but I could hear a couple going at it fiercely and no matter how distracted they were, the sound of my body crashing to the ground would more than likely cause attention.

Not to mention when I got up and walked away relatively uninjured suspicion would surely be a raised and that kind of talk was the precise thing we tried to avoid. It also never failed to get back to Cyril and punishment for such carelessness in public was far from pleasant.

I was completely panicked and running out of ideas. I could feel Marcus's heart jabbing fast rhythmic beats that were close to the pace of my own thrumming heart. I didn't know what to do and Marcus wasn't helping with ideas either. I couldn't imagine what was going through his head with me his natural enemy in his arms and his brother a Dark Hunter a few feet away who wanted nothing more than to kill me. It wasn't an easy choice like the one I had made when I killed Raphael to protect him. Raphael meant nothing and killing was as natural to me as water and air were to him.

I was almost certain I wouldn't harm Eric, but when he took a shady step forward clinching something in the breast of his jacket that was without a doubt a stake, my survival instincts immediately kicked in. I stepped away from Marcus forgetting he was there altogether and thinking only of the potential threat before me.

I had only seconds left before the clouds left me naked and in open view of Eric and I would have to act fast. As far as I could tell I had only two options, I could kill him or risk him killing me and the chances of him doing so were high.

Eric wasn't just any Dark Hunter, he was their leader, completely ruthless and a true warrior who had killed many vampires and probably more than one or two of the other Dark Hunters combined. There would be no hesitations with him and if Marcus was fearless than Eric was positively brimming with lack of self preservation. He lived only for the hunt and I could guess he loved the feel of his stake tearing into our flesh as much as we savored the feeling of our fangs sinking into their delicate skin.

Without warning I felt my body grow cold as my eyes turned from their jade green to black and the feel of my fangs clipping out of my mouth.

I missed this feeling before a fight or a hunt, my adrenalin rushing through my veins. I wanted to kill him, forgetting he was Marcus's brother or that it was wrong and I was a changed born again vampire.

This was something else and out of my control. It didn't come from my heart or my mind; it came from inside me, an uncontrollable desire.

I wanted to make this man who had led the many battles that ended with my fellow vampire's demise to suffer. I was a tigress and he was my prey.

Somewhere I could feel Marcus watching me intently, but he was faded into the background.

I crouched over ready to leap before the last cloud drifted leaving me unsheltered when I felt Marcus's hand reach out and shake me. From the look he gave me he was trying to snap me out of this, but it was impossible. When I was with Marcus I let go of this cold, heartless, hallow creature that I was and now I welcomed it back willingly.

As much as I wanted Marcus, I couldn't deny who I was or what I am. Honestly how long could we have kept this going? One day he would grow old and die and then what? This, right here in this moment was my true self, a natural reborn killer. Who was I to change the course of nature that had embodied me for all these years?

I readied myself for my attack, shaking Marcus's protective hold off of my arm.

He grabbed hold of my shoulders making me face him and gazed directly into my eyes.

It felt like a thousand bolts of lightning were vibrating through my skin in rapid jolts sending an electrifying thrill through my body and then it was over and all thoughts of killing were gone from my mind completely. He had a stronger hold over me then I thought. It took only one look from him to remind me of what I could be. What we could be together and how much I wanted it.

I almost forgot everything that was going on when I looked up into the sky to see the clouds shift by illuminating us out into the open. Thinking quickly I shoved Marcus hard, sending him soaring in the air and landing with a thump against the railing. I hated to hurt him in anyway, but it was better if I looked like I was attacking him rather than standing here gazing into his eyes.

Eric saw this just as it happened and stepped boldly out onto the platform stake in hand his eyes gleaming with zeal.

I swiftly flew through the air hoping to tackle him and get hold of the stake before he had a chance to use it, but he was too quick. He rolled to the ground on his side and was back on his feet nearly as fast as I was facing him again.

He stared at me coldly with a sinful grin and motioned for me to come forward with his middle and index finger.

He didn't even so much as glance at Marcus lying on the floor a few feet away and that sent another kind of protective anger through my body. He was unworthy for such a brother as Marcus.

For a while we repeated this synchronized movement back and forth, whenever one of us thought we had the other we found ourselves back at square one. We stood facing each other walking one way then the other. His Grey eyes were made of stone and he never tore his gaze from mine. He was like a machine, his breathing was even and not a strand of hair was out of place. I admired his persistence, no matter what the goal. Anyone who could keep up with me was worthy of my praise.

I gave him one last wicked grin before diving right and then left before ending up behind him leaving him glancing in all directions; I was faster even for him.

I tapped the back of his shoulder and grabbed the stake out of his grasp. He staggered back... but his expression didn't look scared, he looked furious. I wondered if it was from being beat by a women or a vampire I wasn't sure.

I grabbed him from behind wrapping my arm tightly across his neck cutting off some of his air supply and making it difficult for him to struggle

I was so close to his neck and for the briefest second the urge snuck up on me, but I knew I had to let him go. It was hard to break way of what I had known for the last three hundred years. The animal inside me was going to take time to tame and maybe it would never be fully under control, but this was proof that I could try.

It seemed like whole minutes had gone bye until I loosened my grasp from around his neck. I started to step away hopeful to make it to the door when Eric sent a hard blow to my abdomen causing me to stumble backwards as a result from the unsuspected hit.

Eric ran with the stake that was now back in his hands and went straight for my heart. I turned to run when out of the corner of my eye something strange caught my attention. I saw Marcus rip the stake away from Eric who was seconds away from achieving his purpose and mumble something hurriedly to him.

What was he doing? If Eric knew he was protecting me it would only put him in danger. Confused I came to a halt turning abruptly to face him only to find myself slamming into something sharp and painful while staring into his beautiful diamond like eyes.

I fell to my knees staring in disbelief at the blood seeping down the stake that was now lodged deep in my chest as my clothes became soaked with blood, my blood.

I didn't understand what had just happened; Marcus just drove a stake deep into my chest and the betrayal and hurt was unbearable leaving me completely empty and utterly shocked. I hadn't seen this coming and wondered if I was really the fool all along.

I didn't know what to think. It didn't add up, our entire short lived relationship we had existed alone because of him pushing me into embracing it. I had resisted to the brink of madness till I finally gave in only to have him kill me now? He had so many previous opportunities I couldn't make reason. I looked at him desperately asking for answers to my unspoken questions.

His eyes were anguished and broken.

I felt my life drifting away as I fell backwards staring up at the moon, the singular piece of solar art that was one of its own basking in its beauty, the queen of the night's sky and out lasting any star. It was one of the only things that have walked this earth with me besides Cyril throughout my entire existence as one of the dammed.

It was the spot light in the glittered mystery that was the night and to me as bright as the sun, it was my sun. I shut my eyes tightly saying good bye to such beauty. I was pretty sure the only brightness I would be seeing shortly was the blistering heat from the fiery pits of hell.

When I opened them Marcus was standing over me, Eric was still a good amount of distance away not paying attention to us, why would he? I doubted he suspected the betrayal that had just taken place between his brother and I. To him it had purely been a kill.

"I'm sorry, I... I had to do it," He whispered quietly enough so that only I could hear him.

He said something else, but I couldn't understand him and didn't want to the sound of his voice alone hit my body like fire against my skin.

The next thing I heard was the distant patter of footsteps making their way down the stairway in long lengthy strides and I knew I was alone.

I closed my eyes and welcomed the blackness. It felt like hours had gone by, but in reality it had been only seconds when I heard the door slam heavily against the wall and the approaching footsteps of an unknown stop at my side.

Imprint

Release Date: 03-22-2010

All Rights Reserved

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