The mansion was old and derelict, a sight for sore eyes if you will. The snow that was beginning to fall caught in the cracks of the slated roof that was missing slates, and stuck to the grime coated windows with their broken or cracked shutters. The foundation was practically eroded away, and the walls were made of stone instead of plaster and even now, the massive, jagged stones were crumbling to pieces. The front garden displayed dead grass, coated in a layer of thin frost. But the vampyres were clever, and let the exterior fade away.
It was the interior that counted.
I pushed open the front doors, ignoring the fact the locks had rusted again, and was immediately encased in the scent of roses. It was a luxurious scent, wrapped in velvet and secrets and only one of their kind knew what else was in that smell. I walked along the hallway and took in the burgundy carpet and dark red walls decorated with fancy but meaningless portraits of faces I didn't know, and wall lamps alight with candles. The soft glow of each flickering flame cast a soft shadow of the dotting of furniture about the place and gave a looming illusion. It was oddly calming though, and always, that intoxicating scent was ever-present.
I pushed open another set of doors, and the main room was revealed. A circular room with two sets of spiral stairs at either side. The room was dark and daunt, definitely not comforting but rather cold and anti-social.
I crossed the black tiles and listened as my bare feet padded along softly. The sound attracted a few curious glances from sets of odd-coloured eyes, but I ignored them and made my way to one of the many doors around the room. Another hallway to the left of the main room connected a corridor to the bedrooms. I could search there for Theo... Then, I heard the familiar sound of high-heels and turned my head slightly to see a pink-haired, overly tall girl advancing towards me. I groaned.
''Lyna, why?'' I asked, and covered my eyes with my hands. ''Why did you dye it?''
Lyna was a tall girl, with long, stretched-out limbs. Her skin was pale and as hard as marble, her eyes a beautiful gold. Her hair before she dyed it had been a long tumble of honey-coloured curls, but now, it was luminous pink, patched darker than others. It was a mess, probably unfixable. ''I know, it's horrid,'' she sighed pitifully. ''But I can't dye it again, not right away.''
''Your original hair colour was beautiful,'' I scolded. ''There was no need to do that to it.''
''Whatever.'' She began to blabber to me, then, of the drama that had blown up while I was away. Nothing unusual, a few injuries and some more sex stories I didn't want to hear about. Lyna's blabber began to make everything I had told myself not to forget slip from my mind and I cursed. ''Lyna, do you know if Theo's in?'' I asked, interrupting her but in a nice, polite way. She stopped mid-sentence, then bit her lip. ''No, and neither is Athena. Kraven's in charge,'' she said solemnly.
Oh, that's just wonderful, I sighed mentally. Kraven and I did not see eye to eye, and that's not just because he's taller than me. He objected to my presence; insisting he knew I was going to bring trouble. Even though he was right I didn't like admitting it. I nodded to Lyna and waved her off, re-entering the main room and then jogging up one of the marble staircases. As I walked, the energy exited my body like water down a drain. My vision began to darken and the walk to my room was taking longer and longer, each step taking forever to make a new one.
''Tired, aye?'' said a warm voice and I sighed in utmost relief.
''I am indeed, carry me,'' I said, jokingly of course, but I could have kissed him when I was suddenly weightless, and then in Hunter's warm arms. He carried me with great ease down the hall, and deftly opened my bedroom door. It passed in a blur of shadows and minute sounds that were becoming immune to my hearing. I felt my body being lain on the quilt of my bed, and then after some more shifting that I used no energy to do, I was stripped down to my underwear with Hunter in my bed beside me, holding me close.
''Better?'' he asked, his lips brushing my ear. I shivered pleasantly.