Naris howled with laughter as he watched the Dragen’s pathetic attempt to reach them. It had been a lifetime since he had the gratification of watching one of them suffer like this.

    As his laughter subsided, he looked at the female in his arms, studying her and debating what to do with his new toy. Naris ruled the shadows and although many had tried, none had found his sanctuary in the Darkness. Entering his private quarters, he tossed the unconscious Dragen on his bed. “It would be a waste to destroy such a unique creature, even if she was of the Fire. Most likely they both are half-breeds but nonetheless, such a find could not have been left behind.”

    Naris lightly ran his fingertips over the markings on her body, stopped only due to the cloak and dress she wore. “Annoying..why do they wear such garish clothing in the human realm..”

    With a wave of his hand, the cloak and dress disappeared, leaving only a thin silver silken gown behind. It revealed much more of the red scaling and that brought a devilish smirk to the vampire’s face. His eyes took in every part of her as he waited for her to wake.

    Layna started to stir and as her eyes opened, she bolted upright. It took her a moment to take in her surroundings and her new attire. Then she saw him. Quickly, she moved away from him, pushing herself backwards across the bed.

    “What..whe..where have you taken me? Where is Adrastos?” Her voice wavered as she almost pleaded for an answer.

Naris leaned over the end of the bed, placing his hands on down upon it. He reveled in her fear and a spark of excitement shot straight through him. “Calm yourself, my beautiful creature. He isn’t dead. The suffering he’s enduring without you is much worse then death. I can see why he reacted so. You are a possession most would be privileged to have.”

    Raising up, he moved along the side of the bed towards her, every step deliberate and slow.   “There is no hope of running from me. This is my realm. There is no escape. He is hurt but his body will heal. His mind, on the other hand...”

    Reaching inside for a scrap of courage, she took a breath and straightened a bit. “What do you want from me, vampire? Does it thrill you to make others suffer and take what is not yours?”

    “You dear, were a spur of the moment decision. You intrigued me. I had only hoped to destroy him but this is better. That Dragen reeked of the blood of my children. He took mine, I take his..although I doubt he would consider it fair trade.”

Naris almost chuckled as he finished his sentence. He gazed at her for a moment as she stood rooted to the spot determined not to show fear, but her eyes could not hide it her and he told her so. “Your beautiful eyes betray you...am I that terrifying that you want to run?”
    The vampire now had one knee on the edge of the bed, within arm’s reach of Layna. His eyes narrowed as he looked at her, his voice deeper and quieter. “Now..I introduced myself to both you and your mate earlier. Tell me, my lady..who are you?”

    Deciding that he would kill her sooner or later, it didn’t matter anymore if he knew what she was or whether she cowered or not. She had been ripped from the only thing that mattered in life anymore.

    “I am Layna Surya Valden...of the Fire.” As the words left her lips, they gave her strength. If she as going to die in this place, she refused to cower to this monster. If nothing else, she still had her pride in who she was.

    Getting herself to her knees, Layna raised before him. The silver gown cascaded down over her curves and her hair fell in wild curls around her. A flame began to dance in her eyes as it pulled Naris in.

    He stared at her, almost frozen in her gaze for a moment. This creature was both familiar and different to him at the same time. His eyes scanned over her body before pausing at her lips. Something as amazing at this creature should be his. It would be so easy to claim her in a heartbeat. No one had ever resisted his power before. Reaching out a clawed finger, he ran it down her jawbone towards her chin. At that moment, Naris wanted to do more then claim her. The urge to own her body and mind was almost overwhelming.

   “You..can not.... have her..” The foreign whisper in his mind snapped him out of the trance. Without warning, Naris tore out of the room and into the shadows. Emerging into the great hall that held his throne, he paced across the floor, rambling like a soul gone mad into the darkness around him.

    “You can not have her?? Who dares tell me what I will claim! I can have whatever I choose..I am Naris Amun of the Darkness!! She is Fire, that one...she is...but there is more..more. I will find it..know it..her..all of her..it will belong to ME!”

Sitting upon his throne, Naris gripped the arms and closed his eyes. “My creatures of the Darkness, show your master what he wishes to know. Show me Layna Surya Valden.”

    Visions raced through is mind. Dragens wailing in misery and death as vampires and humans destroyed them. Two of the Fire escaping, one male and his mate, her belly swollen with child, into the mountains. A swaddled child lay sleeping in a basket. Parents standing over her, murmuring something beyond his reach. A gentle glow surrounding the child, almost like fire that didn’t burn.

    Suddenly the vision flashed brightly, almost blinding Naris and everything was gone. Panting heavily, Naris could not speak or move. The pictures that flashed before him through through his mind as he struggled to remain calm. He felt the emotions of the dragens and the ferocity in which they guarded their child. It was expected for one to protect and watch over it’s child but this..this was something more, something almost obsessive and enigmatic.
    What terrified the vampire was the energy that cut him off from the rest of the vision. It had been so intense and pure and was nothing he had ever felt in his long existence. The weight of it pulled at him..at his core.  Slowly, he stood with an almost disturbing and compelling need to return the Dragen he now kept.

    The room was silent with the exception of her heartbeat. Layna sat motionless on the bed, still caught off guard by the vampire’s unexpected and hasty exit. If she had angered him, it was only a matter of time before he returned with retribution.

    All she could do now is wait, her heart aching for Adrastos, resigning herself to the fact that she would never see him again. Closing her eyes, she prepared her farewell.
    “Adrastos, I hope this reaches you one day..my heart will forever be yours. I love you...”

The End

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