Dust Rose


A warm breeze pushed my curly chestnut brown hair back from my slightly tanned face. A cool, wet raindrop bounced off my nose and slid down my cheek slowly. I wiped it away with my dirty hand, and stared up at the sky in wonder. Dark clouds were closing in on the horizon, filling the land with the quiet rumbling of thunder from far off. My eyes gazed at the long stretch of ocean water, reaching across the entire bay. I took another step towards the rocky cliff’s edge, clenching my fists together tightly. As I neared the mossy ledge, I could hear the crashing of the waves beneath me strengthen angrily. Gently the wind continued to tousle my hair. At this moment my life rested in the hands of no one but myself, and there was no one else there to protect me, as there had been all my life. I inhaled the salty air slowly, and my feet were just about to slip off of the edge when two strong hands reached out and pulled me to their side. I gasped in fear and turned towards their face. It was Christian. My head only reached to his chin, and I looked up at him in awe. He looked so beautiful, that I forgot to breath, and I caught my breath quickly. I lifted my hand to his face and brushed my fingertips on his pale skin. He felt cold to the touch, and I pulled away, trying not to get captured in his memory again.

“What are you doing here Alexa? It’s not safe,” Chris sighed, pulling me back into a hug.

“I lost all I was living for,” tears trickled from my eyes.

“Not everything. Don’t choose this for yourself Alexa, please,” Chris pleaded.

“It’s the only way,” I looked down at my feet sadly, biting my lip.

“Not the only way,” He lifted my chin and wiped away my tears with his thumb, “Come with me, quickly.”




Chapter 1- Aoriend


“Alexa! Come get the phone,” A voice rang from downstairs in a melodic tune.

“Coming mom,” I called back to her, racing down the wooden stairs.

I reached out and pulled the phone out of my mother’s hands and bolted back upstairs. “Who was that?” I heard my father asking her as I shut my door and sunk onto my bed.

I gasped for air and put a fake smile onto my face as I placed the phone by my ear, “Hello?” I said in a sweet voice.

“Hey, it’s Paulina. What are you doing today?” The girl’s voice chimed back.

“I don’t think I’m doing anything. Why?” I replied, sighing happily.

“Want to go to the movies?” She paused for an answer.

“Yeah, I’ll be there in a few minutes,” I smiled.

“See you then,” She hung up, and I flung the phone onto my bed.

As I reached the front door, I pulled on my jacket and slipped into my shoes. I braced myself for the cool weather as I ripped the door open. “I’m going to Paulina’s,” I called as I slammed the door behind me.

I clicked the door open on my brand new black Lamborghini with pride, and nestled into the nice leather seats with pleasure. I took a big whiff of the ‘new’ smell, and smiled in satisfaction. I twisted the key in the ignition, and felt a small rumble as the vehicle hummed smoothly. Adjusting my seat, I carefully backed out of the short driveway and turned to the road. I weaved through the traffic expertly, and soon enough, Paulina’s house was in view. I swerved into her driveway and stepped up onto her doorstep. I was about to ring the doorbell, when she rushed out the door and almost ran into me. She already had her jacket and shoes on, and headed down the sidewalk.

“Ready to go?” She questioned, pulling me along with her.

I was about to say something when we entered the garage, but then she turned to me. “Can we take your ride? Mine’s kind of—well,” She pointed to a rusted old grey truck smeared in mud.

“Sure,” I nodded in agreement, and she slid into my car gratefully, “when does the movie start?”

“Seven,” She said, leaning back in her seat comfortably.

“Okay,” I exclaimed, “How do we get there again?”  

“I’ll show you,” Paulina sat up, staring through the window intently.

 I started down a road when she directed me to an unfamiliar dirt path. I looked at her in confusion for a second, but then continued. Half an hour later we hit a dead end and nothing could be seen through the lines of trees around us.

“I think we missed a turn,” She squinted her eyes.

The sky was already dark, and she groaned, “I guess we should just head back.”

I started back around when she screamed for me to stop. A dark figure stood cloaked in the middle of the road. They were only a couple of meters away from the car. I felt my heartbeat quicken, and sweat started beading down my forehead. Fog was starting to close in around us, and Paulina gasped for air, “Who is that?” Her voice was shaking.

The silhouette remained where it was, without any movement. I gripped my hand onto the door handle, and swung the door open. I cautiously stepped out and yelled to the person, “Who are you?” I tried hiding the fear in my voice unsuccessfully.

The person tilted their head, and looked at me. I couldn’t make out their face in the dark, but I could tell they were smiling.

“Alexa, I think that you should just get back into the car—now” Paulina’s lips were trembling in fear.

The gravel beneath their feet crunched as they walked around the car towards me. A shiver ran down my spine, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The silence was eerie, and so I called again, “Who are you?”

They didn’t reply. Suddenly I saw them standing over me, and I was on the ground. I could hear Paulina screaming in the background, as if it was just white noise. “Tonight you will suffer!” A girl’s voice whispered to me.

I tried to slap her or kick her, but I couldn’t. Something cut into me like a dagger, and I started feeling dizzy with pain. My body felt weak, and I slowly fell into unconsciousness. The last thing I could remember was a stinging pain in my neck, and Paulina’s screams.

I fought to open my eyes for a little while. I heard a guy’s voice speaking to me, and encouraging me to wake up. “Not again. Please wake up,” He grasped my neck with his hand tightly, and I cried out in pain.

I sat up, and grabbed for my neck after he removed his hand. My hand immediately felt a warm and sticky liquid. I looked at it, and saw blood.

“Who are you? What just happened? Where’s Paulina?” My voice cracked.

“Calm down. I’m Chris; I was walking by, when I saw someone attack you with a knife. I yelled at them to stop, but they ran off. I’m afraid they took your friend—and your car.” The young boy’s words echoed in my mind, and I noticed how he chose his words carefully.

I sat there for a moment, taking everything in. He helped me stand up, holding me by the shoulders. He had light, curly brown hair that clung to his face from the rain that had just started to fall silently. His sapphire blue eyes peered back at me with curiosity. He was dressed in black, which gave him a look of intensity. His pale skin and freckles stood out easily. I gazed into his eyes for a moment, and then came back to my senses.

“I have to get her,” I said quickly, wincing from the pain in my neck.

“You are in no fit condition to be doing that,” He shook his head, “But we will get her.”

“We?” I questioned.

He turned me around and we headed toward the trees. “Trust me, you’re going to need my help,” He said, latching his arm around my waist.

“Where are you taking me?” I asked uneasily.

“Somewhere safe,” Chris lead me onto a twisting path, “We’ll be there soon, don’t worry Alexa.”

I stopped suddenly, “How do you know my name?” I pushed away from him, and glanced back nervously, estimating how far I could run before he caught up to me. Not very far, I decided.

“You must trust me Alexa,” I shivered at the sound of my name on his lips, “I’m the one trying to help—“

Chris stopped talking in mid-sentence, and stood staring behind me, frozen into place.

“Chris?” I whispered, rain now trickling down my forehead.

“We have to get out of here—now!” He trembled, running up to me and hooking his arm around me again.

“Why? What’s wrong?” I twisted my head around, and suppressed a scream.

A large creature’s pale yellow eyes gleamed in the moonlight. A deep growl came from within the animal’s throat. Branches crunched beneath its feet as it slowly took a step out of the bushes. “Die young bloodsucker!” its low voice snarled.

I gasped, and stepped backwards, only to see more creatures beside us.

“There’s nowhere to run anymore. You have no place to go.” The animal moved himself into the path completely, and his large body was illuminated by the moon light.

It was a wolf the size of a bear, and the others were almost just as big. I glanced back towards Chris, and he slowly closed his eyes. He started to mutter something under his breath, and the wolf chuckled.

“Why, this is no ordinary Vampire,” I absorbed the beast’s words in my mind, “He is the Aoriend, son of the true leader himself.”

Chris let go of me gently, and stepped towards the beast, still muttering with his eyes closed. His entire body started to glow a light blue colour, and his hands started to shake. His eyes flew open and he spoke, “You shall let me pass through your territory unharmed, or you will pay the price.”

“I don’t take orders from a filthy little vampire. I don’t care if you are a prince, you do not have my protection.” The wolf gazed up at me.

My knees trembled, and I felt like I was going to collapse under the weight of his eyes, piercing me like a sharp dagger. “Unless,” The wolf whispered so that it was barely audible. “We do a little exchange.”

The animals all laughed, until Chris’ words silenced them, “What is it that I possess, that you wish to have?” His soft voice flowed through his lips with little effort.

“The girl,” The wolf smiled, and stepped forward, closer to me.

“That, I cannot do.” Chris straightened his posture, and held my arm close to his.

“Then you will both die.” The beast gave a deep, menacing growl, and stepped even closer towards where we stood.

The rain finally died down, and everything was quite. The animals sniffed the air, and a few of them were whispering to each other. One was standing so close to me that I could feel its hot breath on my legs. This one was smaller and was a light grey colour. When it spoke, it had the voice of a female, “Are you sure it is safe to spill the blood of an innocent human tonight, Gersain? Surely the master would not approve.”

The bigger wolf, Gersain, glared at her, and snarled, “Soon, Ashiur, I will be the new master, and you will obey my orders. When I rule, you will stand beside me as my mate.”

The female backed away and put her head down. For one second, I felt pity for the wolf, but soon it vanished when I felt the soft squeeze of Chris’ hand on mine. Suddenly, he pushed me to the ground and turned towards Gersain. “This human is my prey. Go off and hunt your own.”

Fear filled inside me, so that all I could do was sit on the cold, wet ground, feet away from huge ravenous wolves, and one seemingly hungry vampire. I started shaking uncontrollably as Chris lifted me up and started to stroke my neck with his fingertips. I could feel him smelling the blood now streaming down my neck from the knife wound.

Gersain growled, “Is it you that gave her that mark?”

“Yes,” Chris sneered, “She is for me and the king. I believe all is fair within those boundaries.”

Gersain stepped closer still, “Let me smell the wound.”

“Of course,” Chris beckoned Gersain forward, and pushed lightly on my shoulders so that I sunk to my knees.

Gersain brought his nose to be inches from my neck, and inhaled. Then he stepped back and turned to the others, “She has been bitten by a Vampire. She is his territory.”

I suddenly realized I had been holding my breath, and I gasped for air. My bloodstained hair dripped with water, and my clothes clung to my body.

“May I leave?” Chris asked, as if he was a school boy, asking to go from class for an early lunch, which was partially true.

Gersain nodded, and then ducked his head to his chest, and his body transformed into a man. He stood to his full height, and wrapped a dark robe closer to his body, which had just turned from his fur into material. Slowly, the other wolves followed his lead, and soon, they were just a group of people standing there. “We will go, without further delay.” Gersain said, and they all disappeared into the woods. 

My muscles stiffened in disbelief at everything I had just heard. Then I realized Chris standing over me, his hand outstretched. I didn’t move, but just kneeled there, waiting for my death to come. “I’m not going to hurt you, Alexa” Chris sighed, pulling my up by the shoulders against my will.

I shivered, and wrapped my arms around my body. Instead of responding, I stared at the trees from where the pack had just left.

“It’s going to be okay,” Chris reassured.

I laughed mechanically, and looked into his eyes, “Last I heard, you just told- whatever that was,” I pointed back to the trees, “you were going to-eat me.” I finished.

His face grew very grave, and he looked at me, “This is not the place to be talking about this.”

“Oh, no? And where is? You’re cave? Or whatever it is that you live in.” I said sarcastically.

“That hurt,” Chris peered at me, the corners of his mouth just barely lifting, “I have to get you out of here.”

He swung his arms back around my waist to try and help me to walk, as if nothing had just happened. He hauled me through the mud without any effort as I tried to be like a dead weight to him.

“Please,” I started begging him, “I want to go home,” I moaned.

The pain in my neck started to burn, and the last thing I heard before I passed out was Chris whispering, “Its okay, you’re safe with me.”





Chapter 2- Bloodline


            “How long has she been out?”

            “Not long.”

            “And the wound?”

            “She’ll be fine.”

            “Are you sure it was Madelaine?”



            “Do you really think she’s the one?”

            “I can’t be sure yet, but I think so.”


            My body felt too weak to move, so I just lay down, listening to the voices speak. Suddenly I remembered what had happened last night, and I groaned in agony. My neck was searing with pain, I had no idea where I was, and there was a possibility that I could be dead.

            My eyes opened in slits, and I scanned the room. The walls were a golden colour, and red patterns lined the top edges of the room. I lifted my head and opened my eyes the rest of the way, to see Chris sitting beside me and smiling. His sharp white teeth sparkled in the new sunlight that was shining through the open window. I sat there, dazed for a moment by his beautiful features. I hadn’t realized how attractive he was until now. “Good morning sunshine. You look cheerful!” His voice rang in my ears, and I felt a splitting headache. I sunk back onto the bed and moaned.

            “You can’t ignore me for forever,” his tone was light and happy.

            “Maybe not, but I can try,” My voice wavered.

            Chris laughed, and brushed some of my dark hair out of my face. I kept my eyes tightly shut, so I wouldn’t have to look at him again. Then I felt a million questions pour into my mind at once, and I sat up quickly, ignoring the pain of me head and neck.

            “You’re a Vampire.” This was indeed, not a question, but a fact.

            Chris’ face fell at once, and he sighed, still upset, “Nothing gets past you.”

            “So does this mean I’m your prey?” The last word flew off my tongue, and I cringed.

            “No.” Chris glared away, not returning to look at me.

            “But you even said that to those- those things.” I pulled the silky red covers off of me, and saw that I was still wearing my dirty jeans and t-shirt.

            “I can’t talk to you about this, Alexa. You must wait. Everything will be explained to you.”

            Just then, a tall dark figure emerged from the door. He was very muscular, and had dark hair. His eyes reached me first, and then Chris.

            “Hello Alexa, My name is Foreid,” His voice was deep and familiar. This was the person who had been talking to Chris before.

            “H-hello,” I said, trying to smile, but not quite managing it.

            He nodded, and then approached my bed, “You should lay down, you look ill.” His voice was soft and soothing.

            I leaned back onto the back of the bed, still sitting up, and looked inquiringly at both of them. “I’m fine,” I murmured.

            Chris held back a smile, and turned to Foreid. “I think now is as good as any time to tell her,” He nodded, and then stood up, “I’ll be back soon. I’m going to grab some lunch.” He snickered.

            Then Chris gave Foreid a meaningful look, and then strode out of the room, closing the door behind him. We both waited, listening to his footsteps to grow quieter, and then Foreid leaned forward on his chair and folded his hands together. I felt like I was a little girl, being told a bed time story by my father, but this one turned out to be a nightmare.

            “Last night,” Foreid cleared his throat as if thinking about what he was going to say, “Last night, Chris found you hurt. There was a—woman who attacked you-“

            “With a knife,” I cut in, pressing my hand to my bandaged up neck.

            “Is that what he told you?” Foreid rubbed his eyes, sighed, and then continued, “That was Madelaine. She’s like us in a way, in the fact that she’s a, well, a vampire of sorts.”

            I tried to steady my breathing. So this Madelaine figure was a vampire of sorts, what ever that was supposed to mean, along with the rest of these people. I kept my mind away from Paulina as long as I could, but then added, “She took my friend.” I barely whispered.

            “Yes.” Foreid made no effort to reassure me like Chris had, but changed the subject, “You also met Lichens, which are, as you would call them, werewolves.” Foreid said the name in an angry tone.

            “W-werewolves?” I stuttered, “Well, I guess that’s only one step up from weird after vampires.”

            Foreid’s smile didn’t touch his eyes. He stood up gracefully, and said, “I will call for my son, and then we should take you home, after a bit more of explaining.”

            I watched as Foreid closed his eyes, and started to mutter under his breath like Chris had the night before. His body also glowed blue. After a few moments, Chris appeared outside of the room, his face serene. Foreid pulled the door closed so that he and Chris were outside in the hallway. I tried to make out what they were saying, but they were speaking in a different language. It sounded as if they were arguing. I looked back at them curiously when they reappeared in the doorway. Foreid swiftly turned around and disappeared, while Chris came beside me, dropping a pile of clothes at my arm.

            “You can change into these, and then I will come back.” Chris pulled the curtains closed on the window, and was about to leave again, when I called to him.

            “Wait!” He stopped and came beside me, as I also stood, “The werewolves,” The word still felt strange in my mouth, especially when used so casually, “called you an ‘oriand’ or something. What does it mean?”

            He pushed me back down onto the bed with one easy movement, “Aoriend is a group of blood vampires who are like royalty. My father, Foreid, is the king of our kind.”

            I nodded in confusion, “So, why are you royalty?”

            “There are those whose descendants were born vampires, and have kept that line going, and then there are those who have been changed.” Chris emphasized the last word.

            “How are they changed?” I noticed both our voices growing quieter.

            “They are bitten.” Chris smiled to show his sharp teeth again.

            “But that means that,” I couldn’t finish my sentence.

            “Yes, Madelaine bit you.”

            I looked at him with horror, and then asked slowly, “I’m a vampire?”




Chapter 3- Chosen


            “That is what all evidence would point to,” Chris stared into my eyes for a long time, and then softly said, “But we have a feeling it didn’t effect you.”

            “Oh,” I bent my face into my hands, and asked, “Why do you think that?”

            “Because we think you’re already something like that,” Chris pulled my face away from my palms, and smiled, “Let me fill you in.”

            I sat up, intently, waiting for him to start, but then he just laughed. “First get changed, and then come with me.”

            As soon as he pulled the door shut, I slipped on the clothes he had set beside me before. I took a second to look at myself in the long, full bodied mirror in the corner of the room. He had given me a pair of dark pants, and a long cloak to go over top. I felt a bit sinister in the new outfit, and I pulled out my long brown hair from the hood to show all my curls. I smiled, and then pulled the door open, where Chris was standing outside, waiting.

            He brought his lips close to my ear, and whispered, “Stay near me. Try to blend in, and cover your scar.”

            I pulled up my hood reluctantly back over my head, and flattened my hair over the bandage on my neck. Then, Chris slipped his arm under mine, and led me through a passageway.

We passed many large doors attached to the golden walls, until we entered a large, dome shaped room. The entire room sparkled with gold, silver and pearl. In the front-center of the room, there sat two large thrones, on which Foreid and another woman sat. Chris pulled me towards them, and beckoned towards the woman. She walked carefully down the golden steps towards me.

“This is my mother, Andrease,” Chris said as she smiled and embraced me.

I stood there, stunned for a moment as she let go of me, and then stammered, “I-I’m Alexa.”

“Hello Alexa.” Her voice was careful and smooth, and then she pursed her lips and moved towards Chris, “Christian, I expect you know what to do?”

Chris nodded.

He pulled me away from his parents as Andrease ascended her throne to sit beside her husband. “You’re name is Christian?” I giggled, “That’s so cute!” I mocked.

He glanced at me for a second, and then said, “Yes,” and sighed. 

We both smiled, and continued to cross the room.

As I looked around, I saw that the wall behind Andrease and Foreid were covered in pictures of other leaders. I also could see that there were many vampires walking back and forth through the rooms and passageways, dressed in the same way that I was. I took a moment to see what Chris was wearing. He also had dark pants and a black cloak on, which emphasized his light brown hair and blue eyes.

“Let me take you into our history,” Chris guided me to another passage on the other side of the room.

“Is this your home?” I asked in awe.

“Yes.” Chris seemed pleased with himself.

He closed the door behind us as we entered a dimly lit room. There was a couch in the far corner, and a wall covered in books.

“As you know, I was born a Vampire.” Chris started as I nested into the leather seat of the couch.

“Our enemies are the Lichen, because they hunt the humans. We, on the other hand, hunt animals and other dark creatures that are hidden in this world.” He stopped me when my mouth opened to say something, “Now, there is a legend that goes back many centuries. Our people believed that one day, there would come a human into our midst. They said that this human would come to unite the Lichen and Vampires—to cooperate in peace.” Chris reached up to the top level of the book shelf, and pulled out a very old and thick one.

“How would they do that?” I asked, watching him flip through the dusty pages.

            “They say that this human would be a hybrid.” Christian stopped at one of the pages, and pointed to a picture of a Vampire woman and Lichen man standing side by side.

            “What’s a hybrid?” I asked, although I already started to guess.

            “Half Vampire, half Lichen.” Chris flipped the page over.

            “How does something like that happen?” I asked, nervously glancing back at the book.

            “They must have the perfect blood, which means that their parents would both have to be Lichen or Vampire.” Christian looked at me seriously, “Something that has never been known to happen before.”

            “So, why are you telling me all of this?” I tried to break our eye contact, but sat lost in his eyes.

            “We believe that you are the hybrid they speak of.” Chris opened to another page.

            “But, that’s impossible! I mean, I’m just a normal human, nothing else.” I pleaded.

            “Yes, for now. They say that this person would change at adulthood, and could never go back.” Christian held the book away from me, and against his chest, breathing deeply.

            “But you said the parents were both either Lichen or Vampire, but my parents aren’t!” I said in a matter of face tone.

            “Ah, but are they really your birth parents?” Chris leaned towards me with the book still firmly against his body.

            “Well, y-yes, of course,” My voice squeaked. 

            “Look, I’m not saying this is totally true. We don’t even know yet for sure, but there is one way to find out. We’ll have to test it, with the help of some very old friends.” I saw the seriousness of his face, and swallowed, nodding slowly.

            My eyes moved back to the book. He pulled it away from himself and turned the picture towards me. I sat there, staring at it for a moment, taking it all in. The painting showed a girl, eighteen or so, with long brown curly hair. She had the same facial features as I did, and she was wearing a velvety red dress. Large bat-like wings were folded behind her back. She had pointed teeth, and her nails were sharp as a knife. I was mostly caught in her eyes, which were a deep shade of violet. The pupils were merely slits. This person looked almost exactly like me, except she was a hybrid. She stood on top of a large rock, and was pointing towards the crowd around her. I leaned in closer, only to realize that the crowd was not full of people, but Lichen and Vampires.

My hand shook as I pushed the book away, and tears built up in my eyes. Christian placed the book to his side, and came to sit with me on the same couch. He lifted my chin and whispered, “It will all be okay. We will help you.”

“So, when do we leave?” I sat up a bit and tried to smile.

            “Tonight,” Chris stood up and opened the door, “Now let’s get something to eat.” He grinned menacingly, and I looked at him uneasily.

            “A burger will be fine,” I groaned as I stood up and followed him out the door.

            He laughed and shook his head. “Let me take you home first to let your parents know that you’re alive.”

            “Sounds good to me,” I agreed, looking down at my clothes, “But where should I tell them I was?”

            “I’m sure you’ll think of something,” Christian said as he placed his hand on the small of my back, and led me back through the passages and out into the fresh, cold morning air.


Chapter 4- Lunch

            I nervously shifted the key in the door, and twisted the door knob. I flicked on the lights in the entry way and kicked my shoes off after shutting the door. Christian decided to stay outside while I talked to my parents. We decided it was a better idea for me not to come home in the morning with a strange guy lounging around in the doorway and trying to give an explanation to everything that had happened. Hey  mom, no big deal or anything, but last night I was attacked by a vampire, my car was stolen, Paulina was kidnapped, I was threatened by werewolves, and I stayed overnight in a hideout for vampires. Oh yeah, did I mention I might be a HYBRID?  I shuddered as I replayed the events of last night over in my head.

            “Mom? Dad?” I called, if you really are my parents I added silently to myself.

            “Alexa?” My mothers voice called from the living room, “Oh, thank goodness you’re alright! We were so worried!” She screeched as she took me into a full embrace, tears rushing down her cheeks.

            My father stepped in right behind her, “Where were you young lady?” He demanded through gritted teeth.

            I pushed my mother away and answered, “I was with Paulina. We decided to go to the movies, and then Rebecca invited us to her house, and we stayed there overnight.” I started my well rehearsed excuse.

            Both of my parents faces relaxed, and my father warned, “Next time, let us know where you’re staying. Paulina’s parents called, worried.”

            I nodded, hiding my guilty face. Then my mother peeked through the window, “Honey, where’s your car?”

            Oh crap. “Oh, um, I left it at Rebecca’s. I was actually just planning on going back. Just thought you should know where I was first.” I put on a fake smile, and asked, “Can I go?”

            They both exchanged meaningful looks, and then my mother sighed, “Maybe you should just stay home for now, sweetie.”

            “But I already promised them I’d come back right away, and besides, we’re just going to go shopping probably.” I let my bottom lip curl back into a pout, and whimpered, “Please?”

            “Okay, fine!” My dad growled. They hated it when I did that.

            “Love you. Thanks a million!” I ran up and kissed them both on the cheek, and then headed to the stairs, “I’ll just grab my clothes, if I’m staying overnight again.” I added hopefully.

            “Alright,” The both agreed, and then moved back into the kitchen while I bounded up the stairs, taking two at a time.

            I burst open my door and pulled my closet open, pouring random outfits out and throwing them into a bag. I grabbed all my toiletries and stuffed them in, zipping up the pack and flinging it over my shoulder. I stumbled back down into the main area, and grabbed my jacket and shoes breathlessly and yanked open the front door. I called back one last goodbye, and then fled out into the chilly breeze. I whipped around the corner of the street at the end of the block, and almost fell over when I ran into Chris. He laughed, and placed me upright on the sidewalk. “That was quick,” He sneered.

            I smiled back at him and said, “They’re more gullible then I thought.” 

            He raised his eyebrows and shrugged. Then he led me to his shiny metallic blue porsh that we had driven in to get to my house. “Where to?” he asked as he started the car.

            I shifted awkwardly and turned my gaze to the window. “I dunno,” I barely whispered.

            I saw from my peripheral vision that his brow furrowed in frustration, “What’s wrong?” He asked.

            “Nothing, really. I-I just want to help Paulina, before it’s too late.” My words were slightly drowned out by the pitter pattering of the rain on the windshield.

            “Yes. So do I, but we must wait, you don’t have any idea what we’re up against,” His voice pulsed with anger, and he drew in an unsteadily sharp breath.

            “Then tell me,” I pleaded, looking down at my hands, “I want to know everything.”

            Christian was silent for a long time, and I turned my eyes back out the side window in disappointment. I decided he wasn’t going to tell me, but then he said, “Ask me anything you want.”

            I tried covering the astonishment in my face, as I looked at him carefully, thinking through his reply. Suddenly, a question just popped into my head, and it slipped out before I could stop it, “Ever had a girlfriend?”

            He sat thoughtful for a minute, and as he turned down one of the streets he said, “No. I must marry a full blood Vampire when I take the thrown,” He laughed mechanically, rolled his eyes, and then muttered, “whatever.”

             “Okay, second question. What happens to you in the sunlight?” I imagined the old Dracula movies where the vampire had to live in a coffin, forever in the dark.

            He looked at me seriously, as if this question really bothered him, “We—change.”

            “Change? How so?” I looked carefully into his eyes, trying to read what he was thinking.

            He checked my face, considering if he should answer, and then said, “Sunlight makes us—invisible.”

            I gaped at him, my mouth hanging open in surprise. He continued to glance from the windshield, back to my face. “Cool,” I finally managed to say.

            He burst out laughing, and then sighed, “Well, that wasn’t exactly the reaction I was expecting to get, but hey, it works for me.” 

            I laughed with him too, thinking about what a stupid thing that was to say. “Another question, do you have any—um, superpowers?” I struggled to find a word that would make sense.

            He held back another attack of laughter and said, “I guess you could call it that. We are all exceptionally strong and fast, we can all turn invisible, and we can transform into different types of animals in the moonlight. We’ve also been known to be very good at detecting feelings. And not to mention we have very sensitive hearing, and good eyesight. Almost like night vision.”

            “Wow,” I didn’t know what else there was to say. “Do you have any siblings?”

            “My older sister, Claire.” He smiled slightly, “she can be a pain sometimes, but she is very smart, and a great runner.”  

            “She sounds great, I wish I could meet her,” I said in admiration.

            “Maybe you can sometime.” Christian turned back to me.

            “That would be awesome.” I paused, “Question. Do you sleep at night?” I could barely imagine what someone would do at night if they couldn’t sleep.

            “No.” He said flatly as he turned around a corner.

            “So where are you taking me anyways?” I read some of the signs, but I didn’t recognize this street.

            “For lunch, as I promised,” Chris carefully slid his car into the parking lot outside of a fancy Italian restaurant. “Shall we?” He asked, and before I could open my door, he was there holding out his hand towards me.

            “How did you...?” I stuttered, but then he silenced me, holding a finger to my lips.

            “Come on, lets go back inside before we get soaked,” Christian slammed the door shut behind me, and I realized that it was raining.

            We hurried into the brightly lit building filled with tables and people. Chris asked the waitress for a table for two, and she nodded, leading us through chairs, to one corner of the room. There was a small round table draped over with a white table cloth and a candle in the middle. Rose petals were strewn around where the flame flickered.

“Nice, huh?” He asked in amusement as the waitress handed him two menus and scurried off.   

            I settled into the chair across from him, still not answering. He obviously noted my distressed look, and sighed, “What’s wrong Alexa?”

            “Is this a date?” I finally asked.

            “Only if you want it to be,” Christian smiled, placing one of the menus in front of me.

I frowned, “You didn’t answer my question.”

            He grew serious, folding his hands together, and leaning across the table. Then his expression lightened into a playful mood, “Yes, it is a date. Does that make you feel better?”

            “Not precisely,” I muttered, half under my breath.

            Chris chuckled, spreading his hand so it was almost touching mine. For a moment, I thought he was going to hold my hand, and my heart started beating harder in my chest. Then, I realized that he was just flipping over my menu, so that I was forced to look at it. Seconds later, the waitress arrived, “Can I get you something to drink for this evening?” Her voice was high pitched, and didn’t suit her older looking face.

            “Sure,” I said in a slightly started voice, “I’ll just get a water, thank you.”

            She smiled, and scribbled something onto her notepad, “And what about for you?”

            “Just a water please,” Christians voice flowed so perfectly, that the waitress gazed at him, awe-struck for a moment, and then shuffled off.

            “What are you going to eat?” I asked dubiously.

             He grinned, “Nothing. I already ate when you were talking to my father, remember?”

            “Oh,” I said, befuddled, “I guess that means you don’t have to eat as often then?”

            “No. Only about once a week. It comes in handy.” He brushed the tip of his finger through the candles fire, as if coaxing the flame.

            “No kidding,” I said.


            After an embarrassing lunch of Christian sitting and watching me eat, we finally got back into his car, and were sitting in the parking lot. “We should leave now. It will take a while to find my old friends,” Chris said, pushing the car into motion.

            “How old are you?” I had been puzzling over that one for a while now.

            “Eighteen, why?” Christian weaved through the vehicles until he had to stop at a red light.

            “Like, really eighteen?”

            “Kind of, in human years you could say that I’m three hundred and twenty eight.” He said.

“So you’re immortal,” I pressed my thumb against the glass window.

            “I am, and you might be too, if...” His words faded away, but I understood his meaning.

            We drove in silence for a long time, and I watched as the bright city lights faded away as the sky started turning a slight orangey colour. We drove along a highway surrounded by trees on either side, that twisted and turned back and forth between the wild. Then I saw that Chris had finally stopped after a while on the side of the road. Mist surrounded the pavement as we stepped out of the car. I ran my fingers across its cold metal as I walked around to meet Christian where he was standing, in front of a trail.

            “I’m going to need to carry you the rest of the way,” Chris said, leaning closer to me.

            “Why?” I asked.

            “Because where we’re going is deep within the forest, and not just friends live in these woods.” The chill of his voice tingled down my spine, and I shivered.

            “O-okay” I stuttered, pulling my jacket tighter around my body.

            He lifted me up from the ground, and held me close to his chest so that my face was inches from his. I could smell his cool breath, and it made me shiver again. His skin was also cold to touch, like ice. “Here we go,” Christian sighed as he walked to the forest edge with me in his arms.


            Chapter 5- Unexpected visit

A slight chill reverberated through my body. Chris gently placed me on the moist and mossy ground and positioned me behind him. A slightly warm breeze pushed my brown hair into my face, and I felt pressure building in the atmosphere. I could feel myself tighten in apprehension as the ground seemed to disappear beneath me. Every sound evaporated, and the stillness was disquieting. I held my breath, in fear that the slightest noise might twist the entire place out of balance. A distant ringing resounded in my ears, and I felt drawn towards the seductive noise. Abruptly, it stopped, and there was a powerful force drawing in every bit of energy. Then there was a sudden booming noise that ripped from the deepest core of the ground, tore across my mind and shredded any feelings I had. I almost forgot where we were, when I felt a body wrapped around mine. I looked up, and saw Christian holding me, as if barring me from any harm. His head was so close to mine that I could feel his pain searing through him, into me. He fell to the ground, his eyes closed. I gazed away from his body, and saw dark figures surrounding us in a tight circle. They were hidden in the darkness of the trees, until one stepped forward, barely making a sound. I gasped, realizing I hadn’t breathed, and stared at them.

            The body was like a giant bird, with large grey feathers and massive wings tucked to the body. The back legs were strong and muscular, and looked almost like a kangaroos, and the front two were like a cheetah’s. The last thing I looked at was the face. A man’s bare chest and arms were attached to the body, his face serene, and his dark hair loose in wavy curls.

            As his eyes made contact with mine, I froze. Pain shot through my head, and I felt a presence in my consciousness. It was like a dark hand, groping around, searching for something. Memories flooded back to me, taking me to different times in my life, until it stopped at a most recent one of me standing in the forest with Chris. My knees buckled and I collapsed. The ground rushed towards me and everything turned black.

            A cold hand brushed my temple, and the last few seconds rushed back to me. I fluttered my eyelids opened and sat up. Cold sweat was smeared across my pale forehead. Christian was kneeling next to me and helping me up. It was like he had just woken up to, and he wavered uneasily just as I did as we stood up. The people were still surrounding us, but they were all elucidated by light that was coming through the treetops now. The one standing in front opened his eyes, which were mere slits, and smiled welcomingly at us. Then he announced to the rest of them, “I have seen their minds, and they come only for guidance. Thus,” he lifted his arm towards us, “we shall do all that is within our abilities to help.”

            “Lachse, bearer of the amulet, we ask for your forgiveness for this unexpected visit. We request that you use your divine abilities to foresee what the fate of this girl is. With your acquiescence; I hope that you could enter her mind and tell us what she is to be. We believe she may be the one who unites the Lichen and Vampires together.” Christian paused softly, “The chosen one.” 

            An outbreak of roars came from the rest of them until they were silenced by the leader, Lachse.

“I shall do as you wish, but first you must do something for me.” Lachse opened his wings slightly as he gracefully advanced towards us, “You open this,” He held out a large golden necklace with a round plate hanging from it.

The amulet had strange markings on it, and it glimmered in the moonlight. Chris nodded his head in agreement and approached Lachse. He clasped it in one hand and started stroking it. As he continued to caress it, he whispered an unknown language. The necklace was glowing fiercely now, and then, with the slightest crack, it opened. As Christian pulled on the top, it revealed a small, yellow gem. He handed it to Lachse and stepped away. Lachse eyed it appreciatively, but when his palms drew closer to it, it shut again. He closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply, placing the amulet back around his neck.

“This amulet tells me I am still its master, as I hoped. Now, I can help you.” Lachse stepped closer to me and nodded.

I glanced nervously at Chris, and he gestured his approval. “You can trust him. Tredsiles are one of the most trustworthy creatures I have ever known.” He whispered.

I lifted my hand in the air and Lachse pressed his warm palm against mine. A blinding light filled my eyes as I rewound into my past. The only thing keeping me from falling was Lachses hand. There seemed to be a force field around us both, to keep us from moving. Pain hit my temples as memories shot past my eyelids. Suddenly, we stopped.

It was when I was just a toddler, so the images were fuzzy, even with Lachse there. A handsome couple stood over me, smiling. I was giggling and running towards them. Then we skipped forward a little bit, and I was about three years old, sitting in the woman’s lap. It was the same woman from the other memory. I seemed to be crying, and she was comforting me. She looked a lot like I do now, except for her bright violet eyes. The man from the other memory also stood there, talking carefully and keeping his voice down. He picked me up and looked into my eyes. His features were fairly wolf-like, and his voice had a sort of growl to it. ‘I love you Alexa, and I wish we didn’t have to do this.’ Then the woman stood up and put her hand on his shoulder, ‘Yes. We will come back for you when the time is ready.’ They both set me down and embraced each other, both weeping. ‘Come, it is time. Let us take her where she will be safe from...” The mans words faded, and we were pulled out of the memory.

I fell backwards, but Christian caught me in time. Lachse reared up and backed away from me quickly. “Cursed! Black hearts! Murderers!” He shouted to everyone.

I stood against Chris, stunned. “What did you see?” He asked, watching Lachse in bewilderment.

“My Parents.” My voice faltered for a moment, and I just barely whispered to him.

 He looked at me with understanding, and then let me go, walking up to Lachse, who was still yelling out in anger. The rest of the group were all holding bows, with arrows strung and ready. Christian lifted his hands in surrender as his feet quietly moved forward.

“What is it?” He asked calmly.

Lachse stood valiantly, his nostrils flaring, and said, “She is the Chosen one, but not the only one. I have seen deeper into her than you can understand. There is one other like her. Her—“

A huge crack of lighting split through the trees and drown out Lachses words. A fire sprung from the ground, and burned a circle around me and Chris. Lachse and the other Tredsiles loped away, back into the darkness of the forest. The fire’s glow was a deep green colour. Chris grabbed my hand and then pushed me back so I was a few meters from him. A dark figure walked through the flames towards him. They were wearing a dark cloak that obscured their face. The fire didn’t seem to have burned them in any way, or even singe the edge of their robe.

“Hello Christian,” A girl’s voice sneered as she pulled down her hood to reveal her face.

She had dark, creamy brown hair that was curly. Her violet eyes glimmered in the light. She lifted one of her hands to expose sharp nails that curved like knifes. She smiled, showing her sharp teeth.

“Madelaine.” Chris snarled, clenching his fists.

“Ahh, so you do remember.” She chuckled roughly.

“How could I forget?” Chris ground his teeth together in anger.

Madelaine turned her eyes to me for a moment, and then look back at Christian.

“What’s the matter Chrisy? Don’t you miss me?” she mocked.

“I could never love a murderer.” His eyes burned with rage.

“Hmm, that’s too bad. I was hoping if you came on my side, I wouldn’t have to kill you.” Madelaine paused, and her face crumpled in sadness. “Oh well.”

Before I had time to react, she sprung forward, ripping off her cloak, hands outstretched. Large bat-like wings spread out from behind Madeleine’s back. She furiously flew towards Chris and pushed him into the flames, which enveloped his body. I screamed in agony, hot tears rushing down my dirty face. Her claw-like hands grasped me around the waist, and she started to fly, holding me. We landed quickly on the other side of the fire, and she folded her wings into her back, and they disappeared. “Say goodbye to your little boyfriend.” She laughed.  

I tried pushing away, but she was to strong. Her nails dug into my wrist, and she closed her eyes.

Our surroundings disappeared, and we landed somewhere dark and quiet. The only sound that could be heard was the quiet dripping of water onto stone. Madelaine pushed me violently, and I hit the ground. I felt myself drift into unconsciousness.

“Alexa? Wake up, Alexa! Are you okay?” I hear a voice talking from above me.

I lifted myself up, and looked around. My hands were bound together, and I could feel a deep gash across my forehead. I was leaning against a cold, cement wall. My arms and legs were chained to the wall, so I could barely stand up. Paulina was sitting across from me, worry and fear spreading across her features.

“Paulina!” I cried happily, but couldn’t go closer to her, “Where are we?”

“I don’t know. I was brought here yesterday after we were attacked. As far as I can tell, we could be anywhere.” Paulina’s voice shook, and she lifted her arms to show the chains that were bound to her also. “She can transport herself anywhere she wants.”

“Who is she?” I asked, recalling everything she had said to Chris. Chris.

“I don’t know,” Paulina closed her eyes, and then looked out of the small, barred window nearby.

There were stars just starting to peek their way through the clouds.

“What happened to you?” She asked before I could say anything.

I started explaining everything from when she was taken all the way up to when Madelaine had taken me here. I told her about Chris, and how he was a Vampire, and about Lachse, who read my memories. I also added the part where I could be a Hybrid. When I finally finished, Paulina was quiet. I waited for her to say something, but when she didn’t, I murmured, “Are you okay?”

“It all makes sense now.” Paulina shook her head, disbelievingly.

“What does?” I questioned her, trying to shake away the eerie feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“That’s what she wanted all along. Chris came to save you, so she took me instead, as bait,” I shivered at her words, “She knew you would come for me. We know she had some kind of past with Chris, so she obviously wanted to get rid of him too. If she kills you, then maybe there won’t be anyone, not even a hybrid, to challenge her.”

I soaked in Paulina’s words, puzzling over them. If that were true, then all Madelaine needs to do is kill me, or get me to work with her. I shuddered. What kind of a past did Madelaine and Christian have? He had said something about once loving her, had he not?

Before I could comment on Paulina’s theory, a wooden door creaked open, and Madelaine stood in the door way, smiling menacingly.

“Time for a little change,” She snickered; tearing off my shackles, and dragging me back, out of the cell.


Chapter 6- A Little Change

After stumbling down a long stone, spiral staircase, we entered a dark, cold room. The top of the roof was opened up to the sky, and a long metal platform stood upright in the center. Madelaine pushed me against it and strapped in my arms, legs and torso. She fastened the buckles, ignoring the angry curses that spilled from my lips. Finally she stepped back as if admiring her work, and smiled. “Soon, the transformation will be complete, and I will become ruler of all kinds.” She snickered. “And you will be no one.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked warily, pressing my lips in a firm line.

“You have no idea how much we have in common,” Madelaine shook her head in distaste.

“I am nothing like you,” I spat.

“Oh, you’d be surprised,” She grinned, twisting one of her curls between her fingers, “But we’ll get to that later. First, we must wait.”

“For what?” I felt my face going pale.

“For you to become a hybrid. When the full moon rises this very night, you will change.” Her voice was cutting like sharp razors against glass, “After that, we will work together to destroy any royal blood that exists in either species- Vampire or Lichen.” Madelaine added absentmindedly.

“Like I would help you,” I said dryly, wrestling with the band holding my wrist firm.

“Trust me, you will once you discover what you’ve become. Soon, you’ll find that you can’t resist the urge to kill—to feed.” She licked her lips threateningly and clenched her jaw in anticipation, exposing a sharp row of white teeth.

“I wouldn’t!” I insisted, swallowing, “I couldn’t.” I barely whispered.

Madelaine laughed happily, “Look at that. Already doubting, are we? Yes, I know what it’s like, to have all that power. It’s so easy just to snap their bones and suck them dry!”

I flinched at the harshness of her words. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything so awful to an innocent person. “No,” My throat was dry, and a tear dripped from the edge of my lips onto my chin.

“Yes. And once you’re ready, you will help me build an army to wipe out any magical creature that roams the earth.” Madelaine stepped closer to me, snarling.

“An army of what?” I croaked.

“My own little creation of beasts, that follows under my command: Dark, magical creatures. Soon you will see, all in good time.” She cackled, and then stopped abruptly, massaging her temple with her fingertips and closing her eyes. “It’s almost time for it to begin.”

Tears streamed freely down my cheeks, and I shook my head violently, pulling at my restraints. “No! You can’t do this to me!” I screamed.

Madelaine’s violet eyes opened, filled with ferocious hunger and pain, “I’m not the one who did this to you,” She yelled back at my, a meter from my face, “It was your parents.”

“How do you know about my...” My words faded in my mouth, and my eyes widened in horror and apprehension, “It can’t be.”

“Ah yes, sister. It is I they feared, and it is I who killed them.” Madelaine snapped back, and nodded her head miserably.

“Your own parents,” I sobbed.

“My own sister,” She retorted.

“Why?” My lips trembled, and the lump in my throat ached.

“Power.” Madelaine’s sharp fingernails dug into my arm as she grasped me, forcing me to look into her deep stare.

She let go and jumped away as the first shaft of moonlight shone through the roof. A deep shiver filled my body until I was writhing in pain. My arms screamed with the pain that seared down them. I forced my eyes shut, and gritted my teeth together to keep from screaming. I couldn’t hold it in, and a gasp escaped my lips, followed by uncontrollable shuddering. My body was hot, and sweat beaded down my pale forehead. My back was the worst pain of all. It was like a knife was being wrenched from my spine, and warm blood was flowing from it. It felt like my skin was being torn off me slowly, and a fire was being pressed against it. The flames seemed to engulf me, until a cool ice showered over me. All I could hear was a dull thudding of my heart beneath my chest. The ropes and chains that had been holding me against the platform burst under the flexing of my new muscles. I hissed, standing up straight and scanning the room.

Madelaine was smiling, with a slight fear that filled her eyes. She opened her arms in welcoming.

I looked at my hands, bending them back and forth to get rid of the stiffness. My fingernails were longer and sharp, and my arms bulged more with hidden strength. I swiftly pulled my fingers up to touch the top of my ears, which were no longer rounded off, but pointed. I ran my tongue over my teeth, feeling each sharp point. My vision slightly distorted to a brighter contrast, making it easier to see in the darkened room. I peered through the shiny metal platform, seeing my catlike violet eyes. As I stretched my arms out, I felt something tugging at my back. Suddenly, large bat-like leathery brown wings pushed out of my spine and spread out around my body. I experimentally moved them up and down, pushing against the air and lifting my self a meter off the ground, and then dropping back. I landed in a deep crouch, my fingertips brushing against the dirty ground. I could no longer feel the cold, nor could I feel heat.    

I growled and stood up, moving towards Madelaine. A strange rush of passion and anger filled me. I hissed at her.

“Yes,” She nodded, “Now that it is done, come with me, and you shall feed.”

I folded my wings behind me and followed her out the door. We ascended a staircase smoothly, our footsteps quiet and soft against the stone. Finally we pushed open a cell, and Madelaine gestured for me to go in, closing the door behind me. I examined the room, and saw a young girl about my age, huddling in the corner.

“Alexa! Are you al—“ She stopped short, tears filling in her eyes and shaking her head in astonishment. “No!” She cried.

“Who are you to speak my name?” I growled, approaching her cautiously.

“Alexa it’s me! Your best friend: Paulina!” She paused, anxiety and fear filling her voice, “You don’t remember me?”

I grimaced, a sour taste filling my mouth. I stared at her, a small memory in the back of my mind reaching to me. I tried to grasp it, but it sunk away, and my vision clouded with pain. “I can’t...” A strange sense of warmth filled me, but then disappeared into annoyance and fury. “Kill,” I snarled.

“No, Alexa! You’re not a murderer!” Paulina begged.

“Stop saying my name!” I shrieked, covering my ears with my palms.

“Don’t do this,” Paulina’s muffled voice pleaded.

I turned away and cursed, and then ran towards her and gagged her with my hand, thrusting her against the cement wall. Her head struck it, and she fell limply to the ground. I crouched over her, feeling victory. I firmly held her right arm in my hand and brought my lips up to her skin. Her flesh smelled delicious, and I brushed my lips against her wrist. My sharp teeth bit into her, drawing blood. I slurped up the warm liquid that flowed out of her body and trickled down my throat. A new form of strength filled me, and I continued to drink Paulina’s blood.

Suddenly the door flew open, and I spun around, seeing a tall silhouette standing there. They ran to me as I stood up and forced me against the wall. I struggled, but couldn’t move. I studied the face, and recognition floated ahead of me. “Chris?” I whispered.

“Oh Alexa, what have you done?” His voice was filled with pain, but he was looking away.

I followed his gaze, seeing Paulina’s lifeless body lying on the ground. Chris held my shoulder firmly as he reached out and picked up Paulina. He draped her over his arm and pulled me closer. I saw him muttering under his breath, and realized what he was doing all too soon. Blue light flooded around him, and before we plunged completely into darkness, I saw Madelaine spinning towards us. She screamed something and staggered, lifting her fingers to a wound on her forehead where blood was smeared across her face.

Black engulfed the three of us, and all I could see was me, Christian and Paulina. We landed with a thud on a dirt floor. Little bits of sunlight streamed through cracks in the tin and wooden walls. I looked around, noticing that we were in some kind of storehouse.

“Oh no!” Chris groaned, placing Paulina smoothly on the ground.

I watched as some of the sunlight touched his skin, and it turned clear. I was intrigued by this, and tried it on myself, only to find in disappointment that it didn’t affect me.

Christian pressed his index and middle finger beside her throat, searching for a pulse. He froze there for a while, but then dropped them with a sigh. “She’s dead.”

I didn’t know whether this was good or bad news. My emotions flickered back and forth from anger to compassion, like a dying flashlight. “I’m sorry,” is all I managed to say, and then heaved myself onto a dusty bench nearby.

He shook his head, and his watery gaze lifted to me. “No, I’m sorry,” Christian said gravely.


 Chapter 7- Sides

“We cannot linger here any longer.” Chris’s voice was soft, but had a sharp and bitter edge to it.

I didn’t know whether or not I should follow him, or escape and find my sister again. I stood up and watched as he lifted up Paulina again, “We cannot leave her here,” He muttered to himself, “Not where she can be found.”

“How did you get away?” I asked abruptly, “From the fire, I mean.”

“I am the Aoriend, I cannot die so easily,” Christian held Paulina in his arms and walked towards me. 

“Oh,” I said, and stayed where I was as Chris placed his hand on my shoulder and closed his eyes, “Where are you taking me?”

“Where you can be helped,” He started to glow as words spilled from his mouth in an undertone.

Our surroundings vanished, and we landed in the middle of the throne room, where Foreid and Andrease sat. I turned to look at Christian, but he had already disappeared, and I was left, standing alone in front of his parents- the king and queen. I bowed my head and stared intently at my feet, not daring to look at any of the vampires that walked past, staring at me. I waited until Andrease placed a hand on my cheek and lifted my face. My body quivered, and I couldn’t control a sudden rage that overtook my and clouded my mind. A deep growl resonated in my chest as I pulled away from her and stood in a crouch. My mind was racing, trying to think of a way to escape. My wings shot out from my body and beat against the air noisily. I hissed as I flew a few meters of the ground, my sharp fingernails outstretched and ready for a fight. Andrease and Foreid, along with dozens of other Vampires encircled around me, trying to find a way to get me back on the ground. I searched for an opening, and rushed towards the nearest passageway, folding my wings behind me as I ran. I was obviously faster than most of them, and I moved so quickly that I could hardly be seen.

Suddenly, a cloaked figure barred the way in front of me and growled angrily. I stopped in shock, and took a few steps back through the corridor, seeing the other vampires closing in. Then, they pulled the hood down from their face, and I gasped, not believing my eyes.

A beautiful woman stood in front of me with fiery red hair that billowed around her face. Her bright blue eyes shone with intensity as she crouched into a fighting stance. She untied her cloak and let it drift to the ground. She wore a tight black leather outfit that clung to her body, showing off every curve of her body. Her arms were muscular and strong, as were her legs. She carefully approached me, and I stood there frozen, wondering if it was possible to get away. I felt her fingertips touch my brow for a second, and everything went cold. It was like an ice cube was being pressed against my forehead, and I screamed in agony, pressing my palm to my head. I collapsed onto my knees, my vision blurring with pain and anger. I tried to reach out to her and attack, but to no avail.

“Claire!” Christian’s voice yelled from behind me as I covered my icy burning temple. “Stop, Claire! Stop!” He continued to shout. “This isn’t helping anyone!”

“Christian, it must be done. She is a danger to all of us, now that it was Madelaine to change her.” Andrease tried to comfort her son, but he pulled away, and knelt beside me.

“Stop!” Christian cried out again and again, grabbing both sides of my face with his hands and closing his eyes, speaking in a different language.

My vision started coming back to me, and no longer felt distorted. I heard Claire trying to fight back with her own spell, and soon Chris had to stop in exhaustion. He fell backwards from me, and the pain came back even worse this time. I looked up at Claire and saw one of her arms outstretched to me, and the other to Christian. We both doubled up in pain and screamed at her to stop. Then, as I lay with my head to the cement ground, Vampires surrounding me and Chris, I saw Foreid step forward.

“Jëiride!” Foreid roared, throwing himself between Claire and Me and Chris.

Claire’s body froze, and my head stopped aching. Foreid seemed to be keeping her in one spot so she couldn’t hurt us again. I stood up, and so did Christian. Chris pressed his body close to mine, and I could feel bubbling anger rising up in my again, but staying just to the level so that it wouldn’t explode.

“Tósflair,” Foreid sighed, letting Claire loose from the magical binding spell he had put on her.

She growled at him and gave them all a sinister look before striding away into the dark passageway.

“Carry on with your other affairs,” Foreid told the rest of the Vampires, and when they made no incentive to move, he said, “Leave us!” And they all rushed away quickly.

“Thank you,” My throat was dry, and I barely managed to nod my head.

“Christian, take her to the dungeons, now!” Foreid ordered his son, turning away.

“But father, we can’t—“ Chris pleaded.

“Do as I say!” Foreid cut in, and then glided away.

“Come,” Christian whispered to me, and then hesitated, before grabbing my arm and dragging me away.





The End

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