I glared out the window at the village below. The sun had just reached the top of the trees. Behind me, our servants were bringing in our furniture and other luggage.
"Where would you like the wardrobe, Madame Camille?" one of them asked and I rolled my eyes.
"Anywhere," I snapped. "Burn it for all I care."
The young servant sighed and told them to put it in the corner. Downstairs, the door opened and I picked up on his scent. I growled and the servants hurried out, knowing of my temper. After a few moments, the bedroom door opened again. I turned and glared at Erik.
"Good morning," he said smoothly. I just continued to glare at him. He handed me a goblet. "Because I know how much you despise hunting in a new place."
"No thank you," I said stubbornly.
"Drink it, Camille," he said. "If you do not, you will grow weak and die."
Suddenly, he was in front of me and gripped my neck, his thumb and pointer finger on either side of my jaw. His eyes were red with fury and he squeezed, forcing my mouth open. He tipped the goblet into my mouth and, despite my hatred for it, my mouth embraced the taste of the blood and my eyes closed. I drank deeply, moaning slightly, until it was all gone. Erik took the goblet and pushed his lips onto mine.
I pulled out of the kiss and he hissed, slamming the goblet on the vanity.
"You cannot reject me forever," he snapped, pulling the curtains closed. "I will have you, even if I must force you."
I scoffed. I knew his threat was empty. Erik loved me and would never hurt me on purpose. He watched me as I brushed my hair. He opened his mouth to speak more but someone knocked on the house door and I sighed, knowing it must be one of our new neighbors.
"Come with me," Erik ordered and I rolled my eyes, letting him drag me down the stairs.
When we got to the door, I stood obediently and let him put his arm around my waist. He nodded to the nearest servant and she opened the door. A short, balding man beamed at us, holding out a bouquet of flowers for me.
"You must be the Moreaus!" he exclaimed. "I'm so pleased to finally meet you!"
"Likewise," Erik said with a smile. "And you are?"
He bowed. "Howard Petit," he said. "I am the head of the men's council here in our lovely little hamlet. My wife would come with me but she is ill."
"I am sorry to hear that," I said obediently. "Thank you very much for these flowers."
"Oh, you're quite welcome!" He grinned some more. "You two speak like nobility! Could it be that we have a Lord and Lady in our midst?"
"Once upon a time," I whispered and Erik dug his nails into my hip to silence me.
We kept our smiles on our faces, though.
"We just come from a different place," Erik said simply. He staged a yawn. "If you will forgive us, it has been a long journey and we wish to rest."
"Of course!" he said. "When my wife, Gertrude, is feeling well again, we would be honored for you to come to our home for dinner."
"And we would be honored to accept," Erik said and bowed. "Good day."
The servant closed the door and Erik glared at me. I scoffed and shoved the flowers into his hands.
"Spare me," I spat and stormed back up the stairs.
I sat down at the vanity once again and sighed, taking in my appearance sadly.
I was very beautiful; I always had been. My eyes were once a normal blue but had changed to the same brilliance of Erik's when he turned me. I had high, sharp cheekbones. I had always enjoyed the way they enhanced my beauty. Of course, that beauty is what got me in this mess to begin with. My lips had been a healthy red but paled once I became a creature of the night.
My hair hadn't changed in the slightest. I pulled my brush through it again. It went down halfway to my back and remained the same red. It hadn't grown or gotten darker or lighter ever since he bit me. My skin had paled, making it stick out more. If anything, I just became more beautiful when I was turned into a vampire.
I loathed it.
"If you keep brushing your hair, it will fall out," Erik said, closing the door gently behind him.
I didn't answer. I put my brush down and went to the wardrobe, pushing through the hundreds of dresses for a nightgown. I glared at them all. If Erik thought buy me more would get me to open my legs, he was deeply mistaken.
He, too, was getting ready to retire for the day. I glanced at the bed, tying the small ribbon around my waist. Erik had been more adamant about lying with me in the last five years. I didn't understand the importance and he refused to tell me. He was getting impatient, though, and sometimes I thought his threat was real.
I got into bed and sighed, turning my back on Erik completely.
"I do not understand," he said quietly and I shut my eyes. "I have given you everything a woman could ever want. What more can I do to make you love me?"
"Give me my life back," I whispered and a tear traveled down my cheek.
Erik was at his desk writing when I woke in the late afternoon. I went to the washroom and splashed water on my face, rinsing out my mouth. Though the blood tasted wonderful when we drank it at the beginning, the aftertaste was rather unpleasant. I changed into a dress and brushed my hair again. It was my favorite thing to do and, nine times out of ten, drove Erik insane.
"So, how long will we be in this lovely village?" I asked sarcastically, glancing at his back through the reflection in my mirror.
As I expected, he slammed his pen on the desk and turned in his chair. His glare was angry but his eyes weren't red.
"We would not have to move so much if you would just cooperate," he snapped.
I rolled my eyes. "Perhaps if you had given me a say in the matter-"
This time he laughed. "My dear Camille, you would have said no."
"How shocking," I muttered sarcastically.
He shook his head. "I am not in the mood for this."
I stood and went to my traveling trunk. It sat beside a heavy black one that Erik kept locked at all times. I didn't know what was in it but it made my skin crawl whenever I got near it.
I took out the few possessions Erik had let me keep before he took me away. The minute I survived the turning, a strange excitement had taken over him. He forced me to sneak into my home, gather my most valuable possessions, then leave with him that night. I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye to my father.
I had a red dress that once belonged to my mother and hung it up with the other dresses, smiling fondly at it. It was the one she had married my father in. I had hoped to wear it when I got married but that was taken from me when my life was. My father had purchased a black and red fan for me for my 18th birthday and I perched it on the fireplace mantle, opening it so that it fanned out. The effect was pleasant and I nodded in approval. Finally, I had a painting of me with my father. Erik had been unsure about me keeping that. He thought it would give us away so I had to put it in a discreet place. Here, I put it so it wasn't facing the window.
I finished unpacking while Erik scribbled away at his desk. We had moments where things were pleasant between the two of us. As long as we were both doing what we enjoyed, we didn't argue. There were other times, though, that the walls shook with our yells as we argued with each other. Erik couldn't understand why I resented him and no amount of explaining would get it through his stupid, thick skull.
"I am going to join the council," he said as I hung one of his diplomas by his desk.
I scoffed again. "Why?"
"This is a small village, Camille," he snapped. "We have to put on appearances, you know that. It will give us an opportunity to meet new people. Perhaps you can manage some female acquaintances for once."
I glared at him. "I am perfectly capable of making friends myself."
This time he was the one to scoff. "With your attitude? I doubt it."
I shook my head. "How will you manage the council?"
"I am a very charismatic man as you very well know."
"Too charismatic," I grumbled. I looked out the window. "So we will be living like humans again?"
"At least you are giving me that much."
He groaned and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Please, Camille. Give me one day. Just one."
I glared. "That is rich."
"Just go feed," he snapped.