I walked behind my parents, my hands behind my back and doing my best to not turn around. The village girl had entertained me greatly. As we looped around the farms, I rushed forward within whispering distance. I cleared my throat and my father nodded once.
"She thinks we have not earned her respect," I said quietly.
"Yes, I know," he said. "You are not the only one who can read minds, dear son."
I rolled my eyes. "Why were you so easy on her, then?"
"I knew her father," he answered. "He was an honorable man. He was in charge of supplying the fruits and vegetables to our castle."
I smirked. "The fruits and vegetables we hardly ever eat."
"Silence that tongue of yours," my father snapped, coming to a stop and looking at me. "You are as bad as Viveka."
"Be patient with him," my mother said and I rolled my eyes. "He is without a companion. I'm sure he wishes to-"
"I'm going back to the palace," I said through clenched teeth. "The sun is becoming most uncomfortable."
"Cian," my mother began.
"You have not been excused," my father interrupted and I groaned. He turned to face me fully. "Why have you become like this, Cian? Could it be from the death of your sister?"
I glared at him then turned on my heel. I returned to the palace, keeping my hands behind my back. My presence caused unrest among the village people who had gone back to their tasks. They scrambled to a halt and bowed to me. I heard shouting in the house of the young woman and hesitated.
"I don't care, Mother," I heard Viveka snapped. "Where were they when Father died!?"
"You must learn respect or you will find yourself in the cells, Viveka!"
I reached my mind in and found Viveka's. I looked into her mind. So, she would be going to the farmlands this evening? Well, she would have a guest.
I sat at the dining table, glaring at the wood. My parents enjoyed human food but I wasn't very interested.
"What was your relationship with Miles?" I inquired and my father looked at me suspiciously.
I looked a lot like him but my eyes were red. I had his height and short pitch black hair. It worried my father that I had red eyes. He was afraid it would reveal who we were. That's the real reason we stayed in the palace.
My father cared for his people greatly. My mother did as well but she didn't have as much say in what goes on outside our walls. My father wished I was more interested in our people but I just wanted to be left alone and do as I wished. It was my older sister who was supposed to worry about politics. I had enjoyed fornicating with the servants. As soon as my father heard of that, though, I was punished most harshly.
"We were... reluctant friends," he said finally. "When he would bring our produce, he asked many questions about our family. He was very kind." He shook his head. "I do not know why his daughter hates us so."
"How did he die?"
"Vampire hunters," my mother whispered. "He was one of the few defending us."
"Perhaps that is why," I pointed out, taking a sip of blood. "She must see it that he was protecting us and then died as a result."
My father took a bite of the steak. "I didn't consider that." He turned to his wife. "Should we send compensation?"
I scoffed. "They have enough money to see them through."
"That isn't what I was suggesting," my father said quietly. "I was suggesting training."
My mother and I stared at him.
"Training?" my mother asked. "What kind of training?"
"Whatever she chooses," he shrugged.
She thought it over. "I agree with such an offer. Ultimately, it is your decision, though."
My father nodded and stood. "Follow me," he said and I obeyed.
Our palace was bright and red. My parents had done all they could to keep the humans' suspicions at bay. It was already hard appeasing them when my father's fear of being discovered kept them from coming inside. We climbed the marble stairs and walked down the halls. As we walked, my father spoke.
"I know you have interest in her," he said.
"It is merely interest, Father. That is all."
"What about her is so... interesting?"
"The way she spoke to you," I answered. "No one has spoken to you like that before. Well, no one aside from me."
"So what are your intentions?"
"I have none but to understand," I said simply.
He stopped outside his study, unlocking it with a heavy key. He walked in and I followed him to his desk. He pulled out some parchment and a quill then began to write. I waited. When the ink had dried, he rolled it up and tied it with a black ribbon. He held it out to me.
"Then you shall deliver the letter."
"Me?" I repeated. "Deliver a letter?"
"You believe such a task is beneath you?"
"Of course I do," I snapped. "We have men for this."
"You wish to know more of this young woman. I also know you wish to spend more time outside the palace. This is your chance."
I sighed. "Yes, Father," I muttered and took it. I looked at the clock. "Is it too late?"
"Yes," he said immediately. "You will go tomorrow morning."
I nodded and left, closing the door behind me. I went to my bed chambers and put the scroll on my desk. I looked out the window where I could see the farmlands. My black pupils grew bigger as I focused my sight.
There she was in a dark gown. She was talking to a man perhaps 5 years her senior. He was showing her about corn. Why would she be interested in corn? They walked among the stalks and I opened my window quietly. Making sure my door was shut, I closed my eyes.